WMU garners $3.6 million in grants in three months

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO—Grants to Western Michigan University hit the $3.6 million mark from November through January, WMU trustees learned at their Feb. 27 meeting.

Awards for November climbed past $1.1 million, or 31 percent of the three-month total, while grants during December nearly reached $1.8 million, or 49 percent. January awards accounted for the lowest share at $720,125, or 20 percent. The three months combined pushed the University's year-to-date total of externally funded awards past $16 million.

Grants for public service

Grants for public service outstripped grants for research, exceeding $1.5 million and led by a nearly $1 million grant to Dr. Carol Sundberg, director of the WMU Center for Disability Services. The grant, from Kalamazoo Community Mental Health Services, will provide daily living, communication, behavior control and social skill services to developmentally disabled adults.

Grants for new research

Research grants totaled nearly $1.3 million and were led by a new award of $150,654 to Dr. Robert Shawn Wall Emerson, professor of Blindness and Low Vision Studies, from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, through a subcontract from the Mathematics eText Research Center at the University of Oregon. The grant will be used to investigate image descriptions that students with visual impairments or blindness use in place of printed charts, graphs, images or diagrams commonly imbedded in math texts.

Another new grant, this one for $100,000 from the Education and Technology Foundation of the National Fluid Power Association, was awarded to Drs. Alamgir Choudhury and Jorge Rodriguez, both associate professors of industrial and manufacturing engineering. The grant will allow the two scientists to develop a laboratory for design of energy efficient fluid power application through performance testing of a system and its components.

Other grant categories and their totals were for:

  • Instruction, $154,804
  • Academic support, $53,700
  • Student services, $522,205
  • Scholarships and fellowships, $98,328
  • WMU research Foundation, $29,576