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Latest faculty and staff awards announced

St. Vincent's Circle
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

Several DePaul faculty and staff members were awarded grants and funds recently to support critical research and programs. The faculty and staff members represented three colleges, one department and two centers or institutes, and the awards ranged from $16,000 to $270,000. Read on to learn more.

Darryl Arrington of the Office of Multicultural Student Success was awarded $37,500 by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to support the core mission of the Office of Multicultural Student Success. The office develops programs designed to improve retention and help students from key groups persist to graduation, specifically enhancing and growing programs for first generation students. The award covers the period of December 2022 to November 30, 2023.

Emily Barnard and Sarah Bockting-Conrad of the College of Science and Health were awarded $26,000 from the Mathematical Association of America to support the summer 2023 National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program during the period of June 1, 2023 to August 31, 2023.  This year’s project is on graph b-colorings with questions that are low-floor and high-ceiling to accommodate students at varying places in their educational careers. The main goal is to create opportunities for students to conduct original research and to open the door to graduate programs and careers in mathematics.

Julie Brosnan of the College of Science and Health was awarded $270,000 from the Community Mental Health Board to support the program “Mindfulness Matters: Strengthening Resiliency Skills for Anxiety, Depression, and Executive Function.” The program addresses the mental health needs of elementary- and middle school−aged students and their families, and this grant will support the Oak Park community through the District 97 school system. District 97 participants will learn about emotional health, and those who are at increasing risk or symptom severity will receive more intensive, individualized service. Additionally, care coordination services will be provided to District 97 families so that they are connected to both school and community-based supports. The award covers the period of April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024.

Joanna Buscemi of the College of Science and Health was awarded $79,127 by the National Institutes of Health to support the project “Testing a Multi-behavioral Intervention to Improve Oral Health Behaviors in the Pediatric Dental Surgery Population.” During this project, DePaul University will lead the adaptation and development of the multi-behavioral intervention. They will assist UIC in developing a focus group script for obtaining feedback on the proposed intervention with stakeholders, co-conduct the focus groups, co-lead the coding of the transcripts and data analysis and revise the intervention protocol based on feedback from stakeholders. They will also develop the protocol, standard operating procedures and training materials for the community health workers and supervise them throughout the trial. The award covers the period of September 20, 2022 through August 31, 2024.

Michael Flores of the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media, School of Cinematic Arts was awarded three grants from the from the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) that cover the period of May 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024:

  • The first award is for $39,354 and will allow 16 CHA youth residents to participate in the six-week “Next Level Photography” program. Youth will learn the fundamental concepts necessary to shoot, edit and manipulate photographs and to critically evaluate the images. The program is also designed to expose participants to photography as a career option in several genres including portraiture, commercial, fine art and journalism. 
  • Flores was also awarded $44,092 from the CHA which will allow 16 female high school students to participate in the six-week program in documentary filmmaking, “Become a Filmmaker.” The intensive course will create a collaborative environment in a university setting where Chicago-area teenaged females learn valuable media skills that provide a voice for topics and social issues that concern them most. The program will demonstrate how young women can employ media in positive ways and usher in a group of future women and student leaders who understand (and advocate for) the challenges young women face.
  • Finally, Flores received $34,295 from the CHA which will allow 12 residents to participate in the program “TV and Movie Scripts 101 (Screenwriting).” The topics covered in the program include screenplay format, visual writing style, scene craft, story structure, character development, and dialogue. Supported by accomplished DePaul filmmakers and graduate student mentors, CHA students will workshop a group screenplay written in teams of four or five and an individual original short screenplay. 

Principal investigator Kathryn Grant and co-principal investigator Jocelyn Carter of the College of Science and Health received a $175,000 award from The Wallace Foundation to support their work on The Cities Project. The project aims to create sustainable infrastructures to support students in the Chicago Public School district fighting urban poverty and associated stress exposure. The award covers the period of April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024.

Megan Heffernan of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences was awarded $42,545.50 from the University of Notre Dame which will allow Heffernan to devote full-time work to the preparation of her monograph “Resilient Books: Archival Science in an Age of Precarity” at Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Studies from August 14, 2023 to May 3, 2024. This project is an issue-driven study of the protracted legacy of the media landscape of early modern England within the modern rare book library, an intellectual space that depends on the inclusive work of multiple disciplines.

Maija Renko and Bruce Leech of the Driehaus College of Business were awarded $39,534 from the U.S. Department of State to support the U.S.-based Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative Fellowship at DePaul. The award will support the coordination and delivery of virtual and in-person entrepreneurial training sessions. Additionally, they will coordinate and host a two-day conference including speakers, site visits and workshops introducing Chicago as a case study of entrepreneurship. The award covers the period of September 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023.

Maija Renko of the Driehaus College of Business was also awarded $25,000 from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation to support the “Ecosystem Innovation Project.” In partnership with the Women’s Business Development Center, DePaul will implement and deliver the project and will identify opportunities for collaboration with partners and analyze the Partner’s Organization program array. The award covers the period of November 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023.

Howard Rosing of the Irwin W. Steans Center was awarded $16,446 from the Builders Initiative to support the Chicagoland Foodshed Mapping Project. With Builders Initiative funding, Rosing will execute the project and build a database of growers and evaluate the connectedness of farmers and food producers by keeping track of relationships and organizing quantitative and qualitative data on select engaged growers. The award covers the period of January 1, 2023 through August 31, 2023.

Geoff Smith of the Institute for Housing Studies was awarded $20,000 from the Chicago Community Foundation to support DePaul as the co-chair of Elevated Chicago’s Knowledge Sharing Working Group. Elevated Chicago is a collaborative that promotes more equitable development of public spaces, buildings and vacant land around Chicago’s public transit infrastructure. Activities will include convening project stakeholders to advise on aspects of project development and implementation, responding to and tracking data in support of external stakeholder research questions and requests for Elevated Chicago, and developing narratives that use Elevated Chicago program data to tell the stories of its impact. The award covers the period of January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023.