Edwardsville, IL, United States

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

www.siue.edu
Edwardsville, IL, United States

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, , is a four-year, coeducational, public university in Edwardsville, Illinois, United States about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. SIUE was established in 1957 as an extension of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and is the younger and smaller of the two major institutions of Southern Illinois University system. The University offers graduate programs through its Graduate School.In fiscal year 2013, SIUE faculty and staff received more than $38 million in grants and contracts for research, teaching and service initiatives--- which ranked 6th among the 53 comparable public and private universities. As in previous years, "a significant portion" of these funds was for work done through the East St. Louis Center. Otherwise, over $6 million was awarded for 115 research grants from agencies that included the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.Fielding athletic teams known as the SIU Edwardsville Cougars, the university participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division I level as a member of Ohio Valley Conference .The majority of SIUE's students are from Illinois, with out-of-state and foreign students accounting for 9.68% of enrollment. The university offers numerous extracurricular activities to its students, including athletics, honor societies, student clubs and organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities. The university has an alumni base of more than 90,000. Alumni and former students have gone on to prominent careers in government, business, science, medicine, education, sports, and entertainment. Wikipedia.


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DeGroot J.M.,Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Omega (United States) | Year: 2012

Scholars have noted that communication helps maintain relational continuity despite physical absence; yet, the specific role of communication in continuing a relationship with the deceased has not been analyzed. In this study, messages directed to the deceased on Facebook memorial group walls were examined to explore how grieving individuals utilize Facebook memorial groups in order to make sense of the death of a loved one and reconnect with the deceased. Using a grounded theory approach, message topics and apparent grief-related functions served by messages were identified and characterized. Initial observation revealed that grieving individuals wrote to the deceased as if the deceased could read the messages, which is a unique type of communication. The communication written to the deceased individuals appeared to serve two functions for those writing the messages: (1) Sensemaking; and (2) Continuing Bonds, or upholding relational continuity, with the deceased. © 2012, Baywood Publishing Co., Inc.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Chemistry of Life Processes | Award Amount: 213.80K | Year: 2016

With this award, the Chemistry of Life Processes Program in the Chemistry Division is funding Dr. Chin-Chuan Wei from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who is investigating an important class of proteins that have been implicated in disease processes such as atherosclerosis and tumor growth. The program involves studying how the functions of these proteins are ultimately related to their unique structures as governed by weak interactions between various proteins and other molecules. The Professor Wei is characterizing these weak interactions in an effort to understand the similarities and differences of these protein functions and to provide new insights in enzymology. The project participants, including undergraduate and M.S. graduate students, acquire specialized training in protein preparation and characterization techniques, that enhance fundamental research programs at a primary undergraduate institution. The project also recruits underrepresented students and high school students to biochemical research.

This research project uses biophysical techniques to elucidate the enzymatic mechanism of two related enzymes, NADPH oxidase 5 and dual oxidase. Their enzymatic activities are modulated by several factors including domain-domain and protein-protein interactions. These interactions are investigated by ultra-sensitive calorimetry and UV/fluorescence spectroscopy to obtain thermodynamic and kinetic parameters, as well as information about structural changes. In addition, the dissimilarities between their sequences, phosphorylation, and auxiliary protein recognition sites are investigated for their distinct activity profiles. Information from this study provides a molecular understanding of these two enzymes in regards to their catalysis and regulation, defining a new model system for exploring non-phagocyte NADPH Oxidases.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.04M | Year: 2014

Given the need for this nation to maintain its leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the growing diversity and needs of our school population, it is important to increase our production of STEM teachers who are well prepared to teach in high needs schools. This project is designed to meet that challenge. It is a Track I Phase I Robert Noyce Scholarship project designed to graduate and certify 24 secondary mathematics teachers to serve in high-needs rural and urban communities, targeting the southwestern Illinois region. It is a partnership of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education, the SIUE STEM Center, Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC), master teachers, community-based organizations, and Belleville, Cahokia, and Highland Community School Districts.

The project will: 1) recruit highly qualified STEM students that demonstrate an aptitude for teaching mathematics, 2) provide these students with an enhanced experience in mathematics education and research, 3) supply high-needs middle and high schools with exemplary mathematics educators, 4) increase outreach in the communities of southwestern Illinois, and 5) disseminate project findings for use in other mathematics education settings. As a means of interesting STEM majors in a teaching career, four summer internships will be awarded each year to SIUE and to Lewis and Clark freshman and sophomores with an interest in STEM and aptitude for mathematics who also show promise to be strong teachers and an additional eight tutoring internships will be awarded annually at Lewis and Clark Community College. Eight competitive Noyce Math Scholarships will be awarded yearly to junior and senior mathematics majors who are committed to pursuing a mathematics teaching career. After graduation, new teacher support will include a summer face-to-face workshop, online mentoring and support, and professional development events to maintain a collaborative network of peers and supportive master teachers.

This project complements the science oriented Robert Noyce Scholarship project currently in progress on the Edwardville campus, allowing for synergistic use of commonly needed resources. Both projects are designed to build scholars self-efficacy (a belief in ones ability to do a challenging job well) for teaching mathematics in a high-needs school, and the findings from both Noyce projects will be examined together to assess the impact of the self-efficacy approach.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ITEST | Award Amount: 846.46K | Year: 2014

A high quality, technical workforce requires that students, particularly those from underserved populations, have innovative experiences with computational tools and informational technology. The main goal of this Strategies project is to experiment with new content and methods for engaging students who are underrepresented in STEM fields in the computing sciences via a place- based curriculum that asks students critical questions about the environment and culture of their own region. Working with East St. Louis teachers and project partners, students will produce a richly annotated web-based community map with associated images, texts, audio and video that highlight features and events deemed important by students and the community. Partners include the Southern Illinois University (SIUE) STEM Center, the Interdisciplinary Research and Informatics Scholarship Center, and Curriculum and Instruction Center, the Department of Historical Studies, the Black Studies Program as well as the Virtual East St. Louis Historical Society, Harris Stowe State University and the East St. Louis School district. Beginning in the sixth grade, a cohort of 40 students will progress though a three-year out-of-school program in which they will engage in increasingly complex projects that involve the use of information technology and computing tools. Expected outcomes for the students include increased student self-efficacy, enhanced technological skills, and awareness of IT and computing careers. The project will also provide extensive professional development for six teachers.

The project will conduct a longitudinal quasi experiment that will follow students through the three years of their participation, including the transition to high school. Data will also be collected from a comparison group, allowing for an assessment of any outcome differences from the student cohort participating in the program. Program evaluation data for answering research questions and assessing progress on the project objectives will be collected using instrumentation specifically designed for this study. Data sources include (a) student pre-/post-STEM questionnaires; (b) student interviews; (c) observations of program activities; (d) student-created artifacts; (e) annual coursework/career intentions questionnaires; and (f) parent/caregiver questionnaires and/or interviews.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Campus Cyberinfrastrc (CC-NIE) | Award Amount: 268.04K | Year: 2016

This project provides Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) a direct connection to the Midwest Regional Education Network (MREN) in Chicago, IL where Internet2 and other research networks peer. The project includes purchases of routing equipment and PerfSONAR servers to measure the connection speeds to remote locations.

This new connection offers a 10x speed increase to Internet2 from current connections that are shared with commodity Internet traffic, providing researchers, faculty, and students faster access to remote resources and collaborators. This benefits the ongoing research and teaching activities, which include: understanding ultra intense laser-cluster interactions in the X-ray regime, determining the effects of nanoparticle doping on liquid crystal systems, using the NSF funded BlueWaters facility for structure-function studies (using the hepatitis C virus as a model system) and also drug testing for alzhimers disease, as well as the NIH (NIGMS) funded ANTON system to understand the detailed behavior of a nanobiomolecular switch. Informational sessions, faculty awareness, and use surveys will be performed to document increased use of off-campus computing resources and data transfer capabilities by additional faculty for research and teaching activities.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Cyber-Human Systems (CHS) | Award Amount: 219.65K | Year: 2017

This project will study how making common telepresence robots more expressive and interactive affects peoples willingness to use them and their opinions of remote collaborators. Many telepresence robots take the form of a screen on a mobile platform, giving remote attendees a physical body that can increase feelings of presence and interaction compared to a normal videoconference. However, the limited non-verbal expressiveness of these platforms is a major barrier to their use. Thus, the research goal is to increase the embodiment and social interaction capabilities of these platforms by adding a hand and arm to support common non-verbal interactions such as pointing, gesturing, and touch. To do this, the researchers will first build a simple hand and arm to support these non-verbal interactions and add it to an existing telepresence robot. They will then develop software to run on the robot to execute the gestures and ensure the safety of people nearby, as well as a user interface that maps gestures by the remote user onto gestures the hand and arm are able to execute. They will then test the usability of the system and its effects on social presence through studies that include both one-on-one and small group icebreaking conversations. This work will lead toward more natural interfaces for telepresence robots and a better understanding of how people accept them and interact with them. This, in turn, should lead to social benefits by making remote interaction more effective, saving time, effort, and fuel costs around travel while supporting not just remote meetings but other remote services such as medical diagnosis and caregiving. The team will also use the research both for their own classes and for outreach at events designed to encourage children to explore science careers.

The work sits at the intersection of telerobotics, haptics, and social psychology. Because gestures, pointing, handshakes, and other non-verbal communication are an important part of human interaction that current telepresence platforms do not support, the work focuses on the development of a lightweight arm that can implement those gestures without the complexity, fragility, and expense of arms that fully mimic human motion. To make this tradeoff, the research team will develop a 3D-printed, 5-fingered hand with 3 degrees of freedom and simple connections that allow the fingers to bend naturally enough to recreate the intended gestures. The control software will use a forward and inverse kinematics approach to model hand configurations and use an open-loop controller that works along with the human operator to implement the gestures; bump, force, and optical sensors will be used to address safety concerns. For the human remote operator, the team will develop interfaces that (a) add cameras to the robot to provide a fuller view of the remote environment needed for effective gestures, and (b) use motion-tracking hardware to detect the remote users arm motion and translate it into the space of possible motions of the robot arm, focusing on the specific targeted social gestures. They will evaluate the system through a series of between-subjects user studies, having participants as either the remote or local user interacting with a version of the robot with or without the arm. Participants will interact with trained experimental confederates both to reduce variability and to ensure that the target non-verbal gestures are experienced in both the with- and without-arm conditions. The team will measure perceived social connectedness with conversation partners and acceptability of the robot using standard scales, as well as asking questions about the particulars of the experience both to gain deeper insight into the reasons why the arm is effective (if it is) and to guide the design of future systems.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 299.55K | Year: 2016

This Exploration & Design project, of the Engaged Student Learning track of the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program, will develop, test, and study high-quality undergraduate instructional materials that integrate field-based geoscience learning into elementary teacher education. Historically, the geosciences have been taught inconsistently to future elementary teachers, and many elementary teachers enter their practice lacking strong exposure to geoscience topics. The geosciences are central to issues of importance to human well-being and global sustainability, and strong K-12 geoscience instruction is critical to ensuring the development of citizens who can make informed decisions in their own lives and for inspiring a new generation of geoscientists. The geoscience workforce has the lowest participation by underrepresented minorities of any of the sciences, and if the geoscience workforce is to grow in both numbers and diversity, more attention to the preparation of teachers of earth science across grade levels is needed. This project addresses this problem by testing a new model for geoscience instruction in a science content course for elementary education majors. The model integrates principles of field-based experiences and informal, out-of-classroom learning using the highly successful EarthCaching program as a foundation for teacher candidates learning. The new curriculum materials will directly impact 225 undergraduate education majors during the grant period, with the goal of increasing their knowledge of earth science core concepts and positive attitudes towards field-based learning, thereby strengthening their preparation to teach science in their own classrooms.

The project responds to the need for further studies on how informal learning complements the formal classroom environment. The project will develop and study a curriculum that includes an Introduction to EarthCaching module and six EarthCaching authentic field-based experiences to be completed outside of class time. The curriculum will be aimed at pre-service elementary teachers; however, the materials will be appropriate for special education and early childhood education majors. This enhanced course content will support pre-service teachers to connect abstract geoscience concepts to real-world contexts. The project will employ qualitative and quantitative research methods, providing a rich dataset to advance understanding of the impact of field-based informal learning on teacher candidates knowledge of earth science as aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. Furthermore, the research will examine teacher willingness to use informal learning experiences with their students after participating in such an activity and changes in their own personal dispositions towards lifelong science learning. The curriculum materials will become a permanent component of the science content course for pre-service teachers at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and will be widely disseminated to the teacher education and geoscience education communities. The research findings will be the foundation for a larger project to examine the role of informal learning in the preparation of science teachers across different institutional contexts. Additionally, project-developed EarthCaches that are accepted into the EarthCaching.org public database will be available for discovery and exploration by members of the general public, with expected visits in the many thousands. The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program is providing co-funding for this project in recognition of its alignment with the broader teacher preparation goals of the Noyce effort.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY | Award Amount: 113.56K | Year: 2016

Hybridization occurs when members of different species attempt to reproduce. While hybridization has traditionally been viewed as normally inconsequential to species integrity and the speciation process (hybrids were assumed to be inviable for some reason), there is growing evidence it may actually be beneficial and accelerate speciation under some circumstances. Understanding the origins of biodiversity requires more thorough knowledge of mechanisms that may alter the outcome of hybridization. One such mechanism is the rearrangement of chromosomes that may change the genomic structure of species in a way that limits the potential for hybridization. This project will study a model fish species, topminnows, in order to understand how divergence and chromosomal rearrangements may interact to determine the dynamics of naturally occurring hybrid zones. The research will also be used in development of high school curricula to teach evolutionary concepts and to provide research experiences for undergraduates.

Topminnows in the Fundulus notatus species complex have broadly overlapping ranges throughout much of the Mississippi River basin and northern Gulf of Mexico drainages. Earlier work with these species identified a number of replicate hybrid zones where the hybridizing species and populations differ in levels of divergence and, in some cases, chromosome number. The researchers will use modern genomic tools to quantify the amount of hybridization and patterns of introgression in eight replicate hybrid zones. Artificial breeding experiments in the laboratory will produce progeny that will facilitate the production of genetic maps of hybridizing populations. Genetic maps will elucidate spatial patterns of gene flow in replicate hybrid zones. Experimental hybrid zone trials will also examine mate choice dynamics and the viability of hybrid offspring.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: LINGUISTICS | Award Amount: 70.29K | Year: 2015

The immediate research response to a natural disaster frequently focuses on loss of life, injuries, structural damage, and aid response. Research on the demographic shifts associated with response efforts and the social, linguistic, and economic effects of outsiders engaging with affected communities is often overlooked. Without immediate action to capture and document these details, the individual experiences of people who survived these events risks being merged into more generalized narratives, influenced and homogenized by media reports. The possibility of this disconnect was brought to the fore during events such as Hurricanes Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005, where initial media coverage under-represented individual and local experiences, but where subsequent ethnographic studies found practical and pedagogical value in capturing such details (for example, the lived effects of the privatization of health and housing services, and the construction of culturally sensitive science curriculum materials about hurricanes).

This project focuses on Nepal, which was recently devastated by major earthquakes in April and May 2015, to capture individual-level and local experiences in a timely manner. The researchers will collect, annotate, and make publicly available interviews and narratives conducted with earthquake survivors. The geo-linguistic focus will be communities of Tibeto-Burman language-speaking peoples from three districts of Nepals Western Zone: Mustang, Manang and Gorkha, including local residents and former residents (rural-urban migrants) who are now moving back to their home villages to participate in relief and rebuilding efforts. All are speakers of endangered languages. Linguists Kristine Hildebrandt of the Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and Mark Donahue of Australian National University along with Medical Anthropologist Sienna Craig of Dartmouth College and Cultural Anthropologist Geoff Childs will work with Nepali researchers to elicit narratives and interview speakers to build a database of survivor narratives, one that takes the perspective of the survivors and responders. The narratives will reveal grammatical and discourse features of emotive language. These materials will also reveal nuances about the relationship between humans and their social and physical environment while the collective memory of the event is still fresh, providing valuable insider perspectives on why and how people create and maintain their livelihoods in places and in ways where extreme environmental conditions are a constant and powerful presence.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Chemical Synthesis | Award Amount: 299.99K | Year: 2015

In this project, funded by the Chemical Catalysis Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Cristina DeMeo of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is investigating structural modifications of sialic acid derivatives. Sialic acids are carbohydrates which are involved in numerous biological phenomena, ranging from cell-cell adhesion and mobility to oncogenesis and recognition by viruses and bacteria. The broader impacts include advancing the chemistry of sialic acids, enabling access to important biologically active sialic acids, and training undergraduate and Masters students, with an emphasis on recruiting and training underrepresented minorities.

Sialylations by chemical methods are often complicated by the intrinsic structural features of sialic acids, making the stereoselective synthesis of sialosides a challenge in carbohydrate chemistry. With the ultimate goal of gaining a better understanding of the roles of O-protecting groups in sialylations, this project is centered on the evaluation of sialyl donors functionalized at O-4 and O-7 positions. In addition, the research is addressing the influence of protecting groups at O-4 and N-5 on the conformation of sialic acids.

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