South Saint Paul, MN, United States
South Saint Paul, MN, United States

St. Cloud State University is a four-year public university founded in 1869 above the Beaver Islands on the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States. The university is one of the largest schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which is the largest provider of higher education in Minnesota. A regional comprehensive university, St. Cloud State has more than 15,400 students and nearly 110,000 alumni.Among its accomplished alumni are: John Stumpf – Chairman, CEO and president of Wells Fargo & Company James B. Bullard – President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis Bonnie Henrickson – University of Kansas women's basketball head coach↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ Wikipedia.

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Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 161.42K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Heart disease is the leading cause of death among elderly American Indians and Alaska Natives Heart disease death rates for elderly American Indians at per are percent higher than average in the total U S population Most elderly Native Americans live in remote locations and lack transportation to healthcare facilities This is a key barrier that complicates healthcare access and prevents adequate long term monitoring of coronary artery diseases CAD Access to a facility that can perform a cardiac stress test is particularly difficult The elderly patient often has to travel several hour for such testing because the small clinics located on a reservation are typically staffed by a doctor and a small number of technicians Often these small clinics do not have a staff member with the training experience and procedural skills to administer a cardiac stress test Cardiac testin has been used in clinical practice for many years and its use has contributed significantly to the management of many patients In its current form clinical exercise testing consists of the continuous monitoring of an ECG lead system with frequent recordings of lead tracings Additional tracings are taken according to clinical circumstances Frequent blood pressure determinations are made before during and after exercise of progressively increasing intensity usually with a treadmill to any of a number of test end points This project proposes to develop a telemedicine system that will allow a reservation clinic staff member to administer a cardiac stress test under the interactive supervision of a person experienced in cardiac stress testing protocols Preliminary data will be collected on acceptance usability and utility of the proposed Telemedicine Cardiac Stress Test System through focus groups The focus groups will consist of Native American patients primary care physicians nurses on a reservation and personnel responsible for performing cardiac stress tests Human trials with American Indians living on reservations will be completed in Phase II PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability Heart disease represents almost percent of all U S deaths American Indians and Alaska Natives die from heart disease at a younger age than other racial and ethnic groups in the Unites States Prior to the andapos s coronary artery disease was relatively uncommon among Native Americans Over the past few decades changes in diet economics and lifestyle have resulted in marked increases in the rates of obesity diabetes high blood pressure and kidney failure all of which increase rates of coronary artery disease heart attacks and cardiac deaths

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 614.03K | Year: 2015

The Computing and Engineering Scholarship Program (CESP) at Saint Cloud State University (SCSU) will offer 45 biennial scholarships of $6,000 per year for four years to students that demonstrate financial-need and academic talent, and elect to pursue degrees in Information Assurance, Information Systems, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Manufacturing Engineering. Recruitment plans will target transfer students from Minnesota and neighboring states. This project will build on the successes of a previous S-STEM project at SCSU and will improve SCSU STEM programs, will continue the development and enhancement of student support structures, and will increase SCSUs contributions to the national need for STEM graduates.

Student support structures, such as faculty and peer mentoring, advising, mentoring and tutoring, will be enhanced to ensure student success. Students will be assigned a faculty mentor, a graduate assistant and senior student support. Students may optionally engage in a research project, take a 1-credit seminar course or complete an internship in industry or in a national lab that will provide them with practical skills to will help them to be successful in the workplace. Assessment plans will evaluate the efficacy of the enhancements to the SCSU student support infrastructure and will track student success after leaving the program.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PHYSICAL & DYNAMIC METEOROLOGY | Award Amount: 52.11K | Year: 2014

The objective of this research is to further clarify the effects of low-level upstream moisture on the amplitude of gravity waves generated by complex terrain when actual cloud formation processes are considered. A particular focus is the net result of two competing processes which will act to strengthen or weaken the wave activity. The method to be used begins with gathering a verification dataset of the upstream cloud structure by using a stereo photogrammetry system during the upcoming DEEPWAVE experiment. These cloud observations will be combined with upper tropospheric gravity wave data obtained by NCARs High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) and, ideally, upstream wind profiler and radiosonde profiles collected by the Integrated Sounding System (ISS), which have already been requested as part of DEEPWAVE. The observed events will then be studied using numerical simulations in an attempt to identify conditions leading to three scenarios: 1) amplification of wave activity relative to a dry event, 2) weakening of wave activity relative to a dry event, and 3) no change in amplitude due to offsetting of the two factors.

Intellectual Merit :
When the special problem of moisture effects on mountain wave activity has been examined by investigators, the focus has been on how the presence of water vapor and latent heat release modifies the airs static stability. However, separate idealized modeling studies of flow blocking show that the actual microphysical processes involved in cloud condensation can result in different behavior than that predicted from pure thermodynamics. The only way to truly know that these effects occur in the real atmosphere is to observe them, after which numerical simulations which closely match the observed behavior can be used to explain the underlying physics. Thus, the research proposed here will allow for a more complete explanation of the effects of moisture on mountain wave activity, which is part of a larger problem involving describing this activity when all possible factors (e.g. boundary layer effects) are considered.

Broader Impacts :
The numerous impacts of deep, vertically propagating mountain waves are well covered by the motivation for the DEEPWAVE experiment itself. These include aviation turbulence due to breaking waves, the effect of mountain wave drag on general climate modeling, and the destruction of ozone through formation of polar stratospheric clouds. As with any human impact, there will be a desire to predict these effects and the underlying wave activity which is done with a combination of numerical modeling and subjective forecaster judgment, both of which will be improved by this research. Between the cloud photogrammetry, upstream sounding profiles, and wave information collected by HIAPER, a complete verification dataset exists for testing numerical model output with observations. Obvious areas to look for improvement would be in the microphysics parameterization, which can be matched against the cloud observations. Additionally, documenting the resulting wave activity for different large scale synoptic patterns and moisture amounts will aid human forecasters in anticipating events based on routinely available observations, such as satellite. Since this research is being performed out of an undergraduate meteorology program, there will also be excellent educational opportunities for students at an early stage in their careers. While one student will participate in the actual field campaign itself, along with the planning and subsequent analysis, the datasets collected can be easily incorporated into classroom material (especially cloud physics and wave dynamics), emphasizing the real-world applications of the more theoretical topics.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING | Award Amount: 126.45K | Year: 2014

1336062 / 1336165 / 1336604

Urbanization has resulted in many aquatic ecosystems becoming impacted by effluent discharges from wastewater treatment plants. In recent years, treated wastewater effluent has been identified as a pathway for endocrine active compounds, including hormones and pharmaceuticals, to enter aquatic ecosystem with adverse effects for the health of exposed fish populations. Despite these dramatic alterations to pre-industrial conditions, effluent dominated systems sustain many fish species and are used by the human population for recreation. Updates to the wastewater infrastructure supplying these urban aquatic ecosystems cannot accomplish restoration to pristine condition, and instead need to strive for the greatest cost-benefit of the infrastructure investment. This project explores the idea that large-scale wastewater infrastructure improvements will reduce overall endocrine active compound concentrations in an effluent dominated urban aquatic ecosystem and, thus, will enhance the sustainability of fish populations despite continued presence and inputs of these compounds. A case study will examine the efficacy of upgrading two major wastewater treatment plants in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area to disinfection (Ultraviolet (UV); chlorination/dechlorination). This aquatic ecosystem has been the focus of intense biological and chemical study for several years and provides a unique opportunity to assess (i) how two approaches to effluent disinfection will reduce endocrine active compound loads in the final effluent; (ii) how estrogenicity, a measure of the total biological activity in the system, is affected by the upgrades to two treatment plants contributing roughly 50% of all effluent in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area; (iii) how the two treatment technologies (UV vs. chlorination/dechlorination) compare in their efficacy of removing endocrine active compounds from the final treated effluent; and (iv) how adverse biological effects in exposed fish will be mitigated.

This project will address an understudied area in the environmental sciences that has a direct impact on the majority of our population, which resides in urban areas with effluent dominated ecosystems. The ability to study the effects of two disinfection technologies side-by-side in two size-matched urban wastewater treatment plants will provide efficacy information to wastewater treatment plant engineers and will help guide investment into future infrastructure upgrades. Urban ecosystems will benefit from a better understanding of how technology can help to reduce the environmental loads of endocrine active compounds and provide for sustainable fish populations.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PHYLOGENETIC SYSTEMATICS | Award Amount: 306.54K | Year: 2014

All animals that have evolved in the deep sea are under similar selective pressures as a result of the environment (e.g., little to no sunlight, high atmospheric pressure). This extreme habitat has led to massive convergence in animal morphology and behavior across deep-sea organisms, including bioluminescence, enlarged fangs and gaping mouths. In this project, the investigators will build phylogenies, model the evolution of deep-sea adaptations and uncover the links between these adaptations and diversification rates in three major clades of fishes. This study integrates phylogenetic relationships based on genetic and morphological data, comparative morphology, ecology, and evolutionary biology in an effort to broaden our understanding of fishes that have evolved, thrived, and diversified in the deep sea.

This research will increase our understanding of a diverse array of deep-sea evolutionary adaptations, including bioluminescent structures that are used for predation, defense, species recognition, and sexual selection. These novel morphologies and behaviors have never before been studied within the context of a robust evolutionary framework based on molecular and morphological data. The resulting hypotheses will include a temporal component based on the fossil record that will allow us to explore, for the first time, whether these specializations are having potential effects on speciation in the deep sea. This project will support the training of postdoctoral, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in marine biology, systematics, and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas and American Museum of Natural History. Findings from this work will continue to augment a new bioluminescence exhibit created and curated by PI Sparks and co-PI Smith (Creatures of Light).

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MPS DMR INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 154.77K | Year: 2014

This award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program funds the establishment of an integrated particle property distribution measurements system on a single ferronematic sample. Colloid dynamics are particularly complex when strong interactions amongst the suspended particles can overwhelm the fluctuation-dissipation and thermalization. This problem is prominently manifest in ferrofluids where long range magnetic dipole interactions can lead to gradual agglomeration and loss of desirable colloidal characteristics. A particular class of ferrofluids known as ferronematics, where specially fabricated ferromagnetic nano-particles are suspended in liquid crystal host matrices, is gaining increasing popularity due to their strong magneto-optical response. Long term stability of ferronematics depend on the incorporation of surfactants that support sufficient electric charge or steric effects to counteract the inter-particle magnetic attraction. Proper dynamical representation of ferronematics requires that the mathematical dynamical equation be modified to incorporate the inter-particle forces and be averaged over the entire ensemble of particle physical, magnetic, and electric properties. Dynamic light scattering with zeta-potential capability is used to determine particle size and surface charge and then that information is fed forward to the ac susceptibility measurement with swept frequency capability that characterizes particle magnetics as a function of its physical dimension. The combined distributions are then used to develop and validate advanced dynamical models and to evaluate colloid stability against agglomeration and sedimentation.

Non Technical
As the science and technology of nanoparticles evolve, various classes of liquid suspended nanoparticles (colloids) are proving to be of particular importance to science, engineering, and environmental applications. Understanding the critical nanoparticle parameters that differentiate dispersed suspension from sedimentation or agglomeration will lead to superior classes of engineered materials such as ferrofluids, nano-drug delivery agents, and biofuels, as well as improved environmental understanding of hydrologic flows in oceans and lakes. This award from the Major Research Instrumentation program funds the establishment of a complementary pair of characterization instruments. The first tool determines particle size and surface charge distributions using Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). That information is then fed forward to a magnetic measurement, AC Susceptibility (ACS), that utilizes the same colloid sample and characterizes the particle magnetization distribution and magnetic switching behavior. DLS will also be used for studying hydrologic sedimentation research such as dynamics density and turbidity flows. In addition to colloidal research, several undergraduate classes in the departments of chemistry, physics, and atmospheric and hydrological sciences will incorporate these characterization techniques in their instructional laboratories.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 600.00K | Year: 2012

The NSF-S-STEM-Scholars@StCloud program at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) offers 30 two-year scholarships of up to $9,100 per year to academically talented and financially needy students who are interested in STEM careers in Information Systems, Computer Science and Computer Engineering. This program enhances the ability of these students to complete a high-quality degree program, thus strengthening the STEM workforce and its leadership. The NSF-S-STEM-Scholars@StCloud participants are recruited at the junior level, including transfer students. Full-time faculty mentors provide academic advising and each scholar has a faculty mentor, a graduate assistant or a senior student peer. Many of SCSUs first-generation students come from low income families. Exceptionally talented students who chose low-cost two-year community, tribal and technical colleges transfer to SCSU to continue their studies. The project is developing liaisons with STEM departments in nearby colleges. SCSU is well-positioned to broaden the participation of economically disadvantaged and talented female and minority students to increase enrollment, recruit, retain and graduate them in STEM disciplines. NSF-S-STEM-Scholars@StCloud students are graduating with the strong foundation necessary for them to be successful in their chosen careers in industry or in graduate school.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: FED CYBER SERV: SCHLAR FOR SER | Award Amount: 1.33M | Year: 2015

This project seeks to establish a new CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) to prepare highly-qualified Cybersecurity professionals for entry into the federal, state, local, and tribal government workforce.

St. Cloud State University (SCSU) has an undergraduate program in Information Technology Security (ITS) and a Masters of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA), both of which are undergoing strong growth. The proposed CyberCorps®: SFS program will create Community Cyber Security Champions (CCSC) and a Collaborative Learning Environment. St. Cloud State University has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education since 2009. ITS and MSIA students have solid theoretical foundation, along with experiential learning opportunities throughout the curriculum. They have participated in the Collegiate Cyber Defense competition since 2007, won the state competition twice, and the Midwest Regional competition once. In addition, they also won the national Open Web Application Security project - Application Security competition in 2011. The proposed project has a strong management plan, including student selection, mentoring, and assessment. CyberCorps students will form a team of cybersecurity champions leading an effort to educate the broader public.

The main goal of the project is to attract, retain and graduate high quality students with knowledge and skills necessary to join government cybersecurity workforce. Another goal of the project is to attract female students by exposing them to cybersecurity aspects that have direct social impact. It will be accomplished by implementing community service component, where scholarship recipients will educate the broader community. This social part of the project may attract more female students and will benefit the community as a whole. The student clubs will regularly organize community events to educate the public on cyber threats and how to mitigate them. The project involves two Minnesota Community Colleges: Century College in St. Paul and Lake Superior College in Duluth. The project will also recruit from Lincoln University in Missouri, an HBCU, and other minority serving institutions. Scholarship recipients will form collaborative study groups involving students from SCSU and the two Community Colleges to share knowledge and experience with cyber defense practice.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Catalyzing New Intl Collab | Award Amount: 29.57K | Year: 2013

Latha Ramakrishnan

This Catalyzing New International Collaboration (CNIC) award supports U.S.-India Collaborative Research to Decipher Function and Evolution of GABAergic Neurotransmission in Planaria. Professor Latha Ramakrishnan, St. Cloud State University will initiate an international collaboration with Dr. Priyadarsi De, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata to develop novel reagents for investigating the evolution and function of GABAergic neurotransmission.

The interdisciplinary research endeavor is to design and fabricate cell-type targeted nanomaterials for GABAergic gene function analysis in planaria using a powerful new gene knockdown technique for tissue specific controlled suppression of gene expression. The technique could provide a discrete tool for the functional characterization of the GABA receptor family in planarians and inform our understanding of the evolution of this important pathway. There is increasing interest in the invertebrate organism as a model for various neurobiological and developmental studies. The researchers combined expertise spans chemistry, physical chemistry, molecular biology, and materials science.

The award supports travel for the US PI and senior undergraduate student to visit the collaborator?s lab in India where they will develop and learn how to synthesize the polymeric nanoparticles that will be derivatized to promote specific knockdown of key mRNA targets. Proof of principle experiments will be carried out by graduate and undergraduate students in the respective laboratories with the overall goal of submitting a competitive pre-proposal to the Integrative Organismal Systems, Neural Systems Cluster.

If the project goals are achieved, this research could significantly impact the neurosciences and other fields such as materials science and nanotechnology. It may also have far-reaching broader impacts on multidisciplinary research and it will have provided a unique international research experience for the next generation of student participants in this project.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 281.88K | Year: 2014

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program (CRIF), Professor Latha Ramakrishnan from St. Cloud State University and colleagues Tamara Leenay, Mohammad Mahroof-Tahir and Mark Mechelke will acquire a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. This spectrometer will allow research in a variety of fields such as the study of biologically relevant species. 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. The results from these NMR studies will have an impact in synthetic organic/inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research performed by undergraduate students at St. Cloud State University and neighboring institutions such as North Hennepin Community College as well as local and regional industries.

The award is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) investigating fundamental biochemical principles such as the function and mechanism of action of major inhibitory and excitatory neural communication systems in flatworms; (b) studying the mechanism of toxicity of natural producs towards cancer cells; (c) investigating structure-properties, i.e., physical, chemical, and electronic relationships of vanadium complexes to decode their potential anti-diabetic mechanisms; and (d) studying the mechanism of cytotoxicity of cyclic Mannich bases.

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