Fort Myers, FL, United States

Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers, FL, United States

Florida Gulf Coast University is a public university located just south of the Southwest Florida International Airport in unincorporated Lee County, Florida. The university belongs to the 12-campus State University System of Florida. FGCU competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I sports and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate's, 51 different types of bachelor's, 29 different master's, and 6 types of doctoral degrees. Wikipedia.

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Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 558.56K | Year: 2013

By Encouraging the Next Generation of Innovative iNtelligent Engaged Engineers to Reach Success, the ENGINEERS program within the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University gives academically talented students with demonstrated financial need the opportunity to augment their educational experience through enhanced academic mentoring and meaningful extracurricular activities tailored to their own requirements for professional development. In their first two years in the program, participants are provided with enriched academic support, cohort and programmatic activities, discipline specific mentoring, and additional opportunities to engage the engineering community within the University and the Southwest Florida region. Programs designed to improve technical writing skills, resume building, and effective learning are offered to maximize each participants chances of success. In their last two year in the program, based on their career goals and aspirations, each student links with a mentor whose expertise is consistent with the students chosen career path (post-graduate education, immediate entry into the work force or entrepreneurial endeavors). Each student, in consultation with the program staff and mentors, develops a plan that encompasses a series of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals that fit their career development needs. Progress is assessed through end of the semester portfolio reviews with the program staff, as well as regularly scheduled meetings with their mentor.

In addition to enhancing each participants educational experience, the ENGINEERS program encourages civic engagement from the demographically diverse cohort. The impact of programmatic activities on the student cohorts undergoes formative and summative assessment with the findings broadly disseminated at the college, university, and national level to contribute to best practices for implementing targeted extracurricular activities that significantly enhance the student educational experiences.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 119.95K | Year: 2015

Due to the ubiquitous nature of software in the 21st century there is a great and increasing demand for software developers and programmers in the US. Both Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT) academicians and practitioners agree that a comprehensive strategy to improve the number and quality of 21st century CS/IT workforce is needed. This project will assist colleges and universities in producing more well-qualified software developers through the use of a cyberlearning environment that builds on and extends WReSTT-CyLE (Web-Based Repository of Software Testing Tutorials), a cyberlearning environment for software testing.

The project will: (1) investigate the impact that students use of WReSTT-CyLE, at a cross-section of academic institutions, has on their software testing skills; (2) develop a theoretical framework of learning and engagement strategies that best support improvement of students knowledge and skills in software courses for diverse student groups; (3) transform WReSTT-CyLE into a domain-independent cyberlearning environment for software and programming courses (SEP-CyLE) and repeat (1) above using SEP-CyLE for software courses; and (4) conduct biannual workshops to expose instructors to how SEP-CyLE may be used in the classroom to support pedagogy. The research in (1) will include mixed methods studies with both qualitative and quantitative components.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM | Award Amount: 34.39K | Year: 2017

The Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium (USTARS 2017) will take place March 31-April 2, 2017 at Amherst College, in Amherst, Massachusetts. The symposium will highlight research being conducted by underrepresented students in the areas of algebra and topology. Most speakers will give thirty-minute research talks in parallel sessions. Graduate students will give at least three-quarters of these presentations. Two distinguished graduate students and one invited faculty member will be chosen to give one-hour presentations. A poster session featuring invited undergraduates, a panel discussion, and a professional development session are also planned. USTARS exposes participants to the research and activities of underrepresented mathematicians, encouraging a more collaborative mathematics community. Participants are also given the opportunity to meet and network with students and faculty members who will later become collaborators and colleagues.

At this unique meeting, attendees are exposed to a great variety of current research, ideas, and results in their areas of study and beyond. The topics of the presentations will vary over a wide range of areas in algebra and topology. There will be parallel sessions focused on combinatorics, number theory, commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, associative algebras, nonassociative rings and algebras, group theory and generalizations, topological groups and Lie groups, general topology, algebraic topology, and manifolds and cell complexes. Further details may be found on the conference website at

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCHAEOLOGY | Award Amount: 46.32K | Year: 2016

Surplus production is often linked to social development and the rise of politically complex societies. It has historically been thought to help people buffer risks. Largely, however, past work has focused on agricultural societies, with fewer studies considering how surpluses were produced and managed under other economic systems. With support from the National Science Foundation, Drs. William Marquardt, Victor Thompson, and Michael Savarese will conduct research at the Mound Key and Pineland archaeological sites to investigate the role of surplus production among the Calusa of southwest Florida, who were the most powerful group in peninsular Florida in the sixteenth century A.D. The Calusa king collected tribute from a population in excess of 20,000 distributed among 50 to 60 Calusa communities extending from the northern reaches of Charlotte Harbor to the Florida Keys. However, unlike the farming people of the interior river valleys of the southeastern U.S., the Calusa relied primarily on fish and shellfish for protein, collecting wild plant foods and using only a handful of plants from home gardens. Most importantly, they did not grow maize, which formed the basis of surplus production and political complexity for many groups across the Southeast. This project focuses on surplus production and distribution in a complex fisher-gatherer-hunter society. Few archaeologists have examined surplus production among fisher-gatherer-hunters, especially those in the sub-tropics. This research will shed light on long-term sustainability of fisheries, a topic of considerable world-wide interest, and address the potential impact of over-harvesting shellfish. The project will also help train the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists, both undergraduate and graduate students. As part of the research, the team will teach a field school that will involve students drawn from a broad geographical region. Students will be trained in research, as well as specialized methods and traditional archaeological excavation. The research will bring students with interests in archaeology, geology, and ecology together to address a burgeoning field in geoscience: conservation paleobiology (applying the theories and analytical tools of paleontology to solving problems concerning the conservation of biodiversity). The project will also partner with the Florida Public Archaeology Network as well as the Randell Research Center to engage the public throughout the research process.

Specifically, by means of coring and archaeological excavations in structures thought to be fish and shellfish storage and processing features, the team will examine how the Calusa produced and managed large-scale food surpluses presumed to be necessary to sustain their large populations. This work aims to discover how surplus production was situated within the larger histories of the Calusa, and how these practices structured interactions with Europeans. This work will serve as a comparative study against examples that focus on the links between surplus, storage, social development, and the transition to agriculture and animal husbandry. Development of comparative case studies such as this one will help disengage the concepts of surplus, storage, and social relations in terms of both individual agency and collective action.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2016

1619948 (Mitsch). This is a grant in assistance for international travel for U.S. scientists and engineers, the preponderance of them being early career, to participate in the EcoSummit 2016 in Montpellier France on August 29-September 2, 2016. The goals are: 1. To support the participation of these scientists and engineers in two specific invitation-only special sessions: 2. To develop at least two special issues in international journal(s) related to the theme of EcoSummit 2016: Sustainability and engineering change; and 3. To attract young U.S. environmental scientists and engineers to an international dialogue on ecological engineering for landscape sustainability and climate variability.

More than half of the funded participants will be female and six of the funded participants will be from EPSCoR states. Participation by USA scientists and engineers in this event will provide a stimulus to their research programs on sustainability, ecological engineering, landscape management, and climate variability. Those from the USA who attended EcoSummit 2012 in Columbus US have related the incredible opportunity that these ecosummits provide and the international connections that they made for enhancing their research. U.S. scientific research in ecological engineering, watershed management, and mitigating and adapting to climate variability will be especially enhanced.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: TOPOLOGY | Award Amount: 30.00K | Year: 2015

The fifth annual meeting of the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium (USTARS) is to be held at Florida Gulf Coast University on April 18-19, 2015. Speakers will give 30-minute research talks in various subfields of topology and algebra; these subfields include algebraic combinatorics, enumerative geometry, knot theory, and representation theory. Two distinguished graduate students will give hour-long presentations and one invited faculty member, Dr. Angelica Osorno of Reed College, will give a one-hour keynote address. Invited undergraduate researchers will participate in a poster session.

USTARS promotes diversity within the mathematical community by providing a platform for collaboration and professional development. Participants are exposed to a variety of current research, ideas, and results, and meet underrepresented professors and students who will become future collaborators or colleagues. The conference also promotes diversity by encouraging women and minorities to attend and give talks. Indeed, the conference organizing committee is diverse in gender, ethnicity, and educational background, and hence is well-positioned to encourage participation from a diverse group of students. The participants of the conference will continue to influence the next generation of students by serving as much needed mentors and encouraging students in the mathematical sciences to advance themselves and participate in research and conference events.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 945.01K | Year: 2016

With funding from the National Science Foundations Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, Noyce@FGCU is recruiting undergraduate STEM majors in Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Engineering and preparing them to become grades 6-12 Science or Math teachers. The project will fund 19 Scholars over 5-years. In this project, the Colleges of Education and Arts and Sciences of Florida Gulf Coast University are collaborating with the districts of Lee, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte, and Collier counties in southwest Florida. Primary objectives of Noyce@FGCU include 1) Increase the number of STEM classroom teachers for grades 6-12, 2) Increase the success of Noyce@FGCU classroom teachers, and 3) Support teacher certification of Noyce@FGCU scholars. Elements of the program include:
--A) A robust, two-tier recruitment strategy that recruits under-represented urban and rural minority and first generation college students and area high school students. Areas of recruitment include: a) a Learning Assistant program, b) TRIO programming for STEM majors, c) under-served population recruitment in high schools, d) service-learning opportunities in 6-12 classrooms, e) visits to introductory STEM classrooms, and f) advisement seminars and brochures,
--B) Pre-service enrichment in the form of workshops, conferences, and summer STEM experiences bridging the junior to senior year;
--C) Pre-service mentoring, courses, and state test preparation;
--D) A first-year in-service COE FGCU coaching program; and
--E) Specific efforts to prepare the Scholars for teaching in high needs schools.

Assessment activities will include efforts to assess specific components of their project , success of recruitment efforts in terms of: the strength of the partnerships they develop with recruiting targets such as high needs schools within the area and key departments and offices within the university; the numbers, diversity, scholarship and devotion to service among the applicants they attract, the Scholars reaction to enrichment activities and mentoring services offered; and the quality of the Scholars efforts during their first years of teaching as concerns the use of effective teaching practices and sensitivity to measures to engage the diverse set of students they will work with. Mixed methods including surveys, interviews and focus groups as well as observation of the Scholars in action will be used as assessment/evaluation tools at both the formative and summative stages of the project.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: APPLIED MATHEMATICS | Award Amount: 24.00K | Year: 2016

This project supports participation in the thirty-sixth annual meeting of the Southeastern Atlantic Regional Conference on Differential Equations (SEARCDE), on November 5-6, 2016, at the Florida Gulf Coast University. The conference began in 1981 and has met annually since then, with the venue rotating among research institutions in the Southeast. The conference will serve as a forum for discussion and exchange of research ideas and recent developments in both theoretical and applied differential equations. In addition to four invited plenary lectures by leading international scholars in differential equations, there are twenty minute contributed talks given in parallel sessions. All participants will have the opportunity to present their work in these contributed talks, which are organized so that talks by established and senior researchers are interspersed with talks by beginning researchers. The conference tradition fosters an atmosphere conducive to networking and the creation of new research collaborations. SEARCDE especially encourages the participation of beginning researchers who get the opportunity to meet and hear renowned plenary speakers and senior researchers from the region. These opportunities are important for junior researchers, especially those from underrepresented groups. NSF funding ensures that many talented young researchers in applied mathematics will have the opportunity to participate in SEARCDE 2016.

The principal objective of the SEARCDE conference is to promote research and education in the field of differential equations by bringing together established and beginning researchers to exchange ideas and discuss recent developments. Among others the conference topics will include mathematical biology and epidemiology, dynamical systems approaches to partial differential equations, optimization, and optimal control and numerical analysis and simulation of solutions to PDEs. Proceedings of this conference will be published in Communications in Applied Analysis. Information about the conference can be found at the website,

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 249.24K | Year: 2013

This Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms (WIDER) planning grant provides STEM faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University with training in evidence-based practices and course design. By participating in the STEM Professional Academy for Reinvigorating the Culture of Teaching (SPARCT), faculty are learning guiding principles for change in STEM instruction.

Intellectual Merit: By applying Rogers Diffusion of Innovation, a change theory, SPARCT is creating ongoing changes among SPARCT faculty and within the larger university climate. The project encompasses all main STEM disciplines and includes faculty participants from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education, and Engineering. Combining content experts with educational experts, SPARCT is strengthening pedagogical understanding and serving as a model program for other universities. Training for SPARCT faculty includes participation in a three-week (4 hours per day) STEM Summer Academy followed by an academic year-long faculty learning community, training in peer observation, and participation in a seminar series. As SPARCT faculty measure and assess the effects of their teaching practices, they also evaluate the program. Both disciplinary and program findings are disseminated throughout the STEM learning community.

Broader Impacts: By involving at least 25% of Florida Gulf Coast Universitys STEM faculty, SPARCT is creating a community of STEM scholars, reinvigorating interdisciplinary connections, developing learning threads, and increasing the university communitys potential to transform the teaching culture. SPARCT targets introductory STEM courses, thereby positively impacting student recruitment, retention, and learning among STEM and non-STEM majors. Moreover, SPARCT is helping to develop a more STEM-literate population, therefore enabling a stronger, more competitive STEM workforce in Southwest Florida.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 274.47K | Year: 2015

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program (CRIF), Florida Gulf Coast University will acquire a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. The instrument will allow research in different areas including organic synthesis and materials, peptide, forensic and inorganic chemistry and enhance the teaching program at the University. The research will impact areas of biological and environmental interest including DNA stability, anti-viral peptides, precursors to novel drugs and gas adsorption materials. In general, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools available to chemists for the elucidation of the structure of molecules. It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules, and to study the dynamics of interactions between molecules in solution. Access to state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers is essential to chemists who are carrying out frontier research. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research performed by undergraduate students at Florida Gulf Coast University. The NMR will also increase the chemistry departments capability to collaborate with local law enforcement institutions on drug identification as well as with local bio-tech companies.

The proposal is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as synthesizing (a) bio-inspired ionic liquids; (b) medicinally relevant natural products; (c) bioactive molecules; (d) studying structure and function of membrane disruptive anti-viral peptides; (e) studying forensic applications of NMR with concentration in long-term structural and chemical stability of DNA; and (f) studying metal-organic materials from pillared discrete structures.

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