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City Tech Awarded Several Competitive Federal Grants

Among those instrumental in obtaining close to $3 million in federal grants were Bonne August, City Tech’s provost (left), and Barbara Burke, director of grants and contracts. Photo credit: Rafal Ostrowski.

City Tech recently won several competitive federal grants, totaling close to $3 million.

The College was awarded $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF), $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), $514,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and $173,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“We’re making a splash on the national stage,” says City Tech director of grants and contracts Barbara Burke. “We’ve come a long way in a couple of years. It’s gratifying to see all of our hard work rewarded.”

NSF Grant for Incubating New Ways of Teaching

City Tech is one of just seven institutions in the nation to receive an NSF Innovation Through Institutional Integration (I-Cubed) Program grant, with the others being Arizona State University, Fort Belknap College (MT), Michigan State University, Rutgers University-New Brunswick (NJ), Texas Tech and Vanderbilt University (TN). The four-year, $928,836 grant is earmarked for reimagining student laboratory experiences across a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) course offerings.

Teams of faculty will develop interdisciplinary case studies to engage students in active learning to solve real-world problems taken from industry. The goal is to integrate research and education and to develop a global workforce prepared to face 21st century challenges. Outreach to industry will create significant research and learning opportunities for students.

“We have reached a stage in our evolution as a college of technology in which we are being recognized as an incubator for new ideas that will lead to models of learning able to be replicated by other colleges,” explains Bonne August, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at City Tech. “We anticipate that these grants will revolutionize our teaching of science, technology and mathematics, engaging students in active, interdisciplinary and project-based learning.”

The College also received $160,000 from NSF’s Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH) to strengthen the teaching of computational thinking across the College. Over the next two years, an interdisciplinary team of faculty will create a curriculum development model that can adapt to and reflect the rapid and continuous changes in information technology that affect every field.

In addition, NSF has funded City Tech Physics Professor Giovanni Ossola’s research in the amount of $114,450 over two years for his project, “Automated Computation of One-Loop Scattering Amplitudes.” His research will draw upon the largest and most powerful particle collider ever built – the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research located in Geneva, Switzerland – with the goal of developing new theoretical tools and forging stronger research ties between CERN developments and City Tech activities.

City Tech’s Department of Nursing received $514,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand its program for registered nurses to earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing. The funding will enable City Tech to increase the number of such students from 143 to 350, over the three-year grant period.

Two New NEH Grants – Rare for a College of Technology

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded City Tech two more grants, marking an unprecedented fifth time in three years that the College has been the recipient of its prestigious awards.

“We are the only City University of New York college to get even one NEH grant in the funding cycle that began in August,” notes Burke. “This achievement demonstrates that our philosophy of stressing the humanities as the foundation of all education is right on target.”

“Along the Shore: the Landmarks of the Brooklyn Waterfront” will be the theme of two week-long summer institutes for 50 community college teachers from across the nation supported by a $140,000 NEH grant. In 2007, incidentally, the Brooklyn waterfront was declared one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The institute will be led by City Tech Professors Richard Hanley (English) and Shelley Smith (Architectural Technology). Participants will document and interpret specific landmarks using a range of digital media, employing techniques which will be transferrable to participants’ own explorations with their students in their home communities.

English Professor Matthew Gold won his second NEH Digital Humanities grant, this one for $33,235, to continue his project, “Looking for Whitman: The Poetry of Place in the Life and Work of Walt Whitman.” Classes from City Tech, New York University, University of Mary Washington and Rutgers University-Camden, each of which is located in an area central to Whitman’s life and work, document and share their research experiences with one another through such Web 2.0 platforms as WordPress, MediaWiki, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and Google Maps.

“It is rather extraordinary that a college of technology has received so much support for its humanities initiatives,” says Provost August. “The atmosphere we’ve created – in which faculty from arts and sciences disciplines work together with their colleagues from our Schools of Technology & Design and Professional Studies on new dynamic courses and course modules – enhances the well-rounded education we offer our students. These efforts are appreciated by major funders like NEH.”

Finally, the College’s Childcare Center won a $1.1 million U.S. Department of Education four-year grant, “Child Care Access Means Parents in School,” to expand services for underserved infants, toddlers and school age children of City Tech students. This will increase the ability of parents to take evening session courses and attend the College’s winter session.

10.23.09


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