San Marcos, TX, United States
San Marcos, TX, United States

The Texas State University System was created in 1911 to oversee the state's normal schools. Since its creation it has broadened its focus and comprises institutions of many different scopes. It is the oldest university system in Texas. The system is unique to Texas because it is the only horizontal state university system; the system does not have a flagship institution and considers each university to be unique in its own way. Over the years, several member schools have joined the TSUS or moved to other university systems. The Texas State University System saw its largest growth in 1995 when the Lamar University System was incorporated into the TSUS. The incorporation saw four schools join the system: Lamar University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange, and Lamar State College-Port Arthur. Today, the system encompasses eight institutions.The system is headquartered in the Thomas J. Rusk State Office Building at 200 East 10th Street, Suite 600, in Downtown Austin.The Texas State University System is governed by a nine member Board of Regents appointed by the Texas Governor. In addition, a nonvoting student regent is appointed annually to the Board. The administration is headed by a board-appointed Chancellor, who is based in Austin. The Board of Regents has the following members: Charlie Amato , Donna N. Williams , Dr. Jaime Garza, Kevin J. Lilly, Ron Mitchell, David Montagne, Trisha Pollard, Rossanna Salazar, Michael Truncale and Ryan Bridges . Wikipedia.


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Patent
Texas State University | Date: 2016-10-19

The disclosure relates to a method for creating a nanoscale structure. The method includes forming a window in a semiconductor structure, the semiconductor structure comprising a substrate, a first semiconductor layer, and a mask layer; depositing a second semiconductor layer within the window such that a gap remains between the second semiconductor and a portion of the window; and regrowing the first semiconductor layer such that the first semiconductor layer fills the gap.


Brunson E.K.,Texas State University
Pediatrics | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Parents decide whether their children are vaccinated, but they rarely reach these decisions on their own. Instead parents are in fluenced by their social networks, broadly defined as the people and sources they go to for information, direction, and advice. This study used social network analysis to formally examine parents' social networks (people networks and source networks) related to their vaccination decision-making. In addition to providing descriptions of typical networks of parents who conform to the recommended vaccination schedule (conformers) and those who do not (nonconformers), this study also quantified the effect of network variables on parents' vaccination choices. METHODS: This study took place in King County, Washington. Participation was limited to US-born, fi rst-time parents with children aged ≤18 months. Data were collected via an online survey. Logistic regression was used to analyze the resulting data. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-six conformers and 70 nonconformers completed the survey. Although people networks were reported by 95% of parents in both groups, nonconformers were significantly more likely to report source networks (100% vs 80%, P < .001). Model comparisons of parent, people, and source network characteristics indicated that people network variables were better predictors of parents' vaccination choices than parents' own characteristics or the characteristics of their source networks. In fact, the variable most predictive of parents' vaccination decisions was the percent of parents' people networks recommending nonconformity. CONCLUSIONS: These results strongly suggest that social networks, and particularly parents' people networks, play an important role in parents' vaccination decision-making. Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2015

The Texas State University - San Marcos, STEM Rising Stars program, will be a four-year comprehensive effort designed to support college students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to feel confident and motivated about their future careers, to be academically successful, and to graduate on time. The project will increase understanding of successful ways to support and encourage female, Hispanic, and African American undergraduate students in STEM fields of study. Increasing STEM participation and graduation numbers for minority and female students will have a major impact on the production of a diverse and well-trained group of STEM graduates in Texas and potentially, at other large institutions across the country. This project will provide a model for how to recruit and retain student interest and participation in STEM education and will provide research insight as to how STEM instruction can be improved to be more effective.

Specific project goals at Texas State University over the next four years will be to: 1) increase the overall second-year STEM undergraduate student retention rate by 12% over four years to achieve a target of 62.5% retention; 2) increase the retention rate of Hispanic and African American STEM majors by 15% to achieve a target of 53% retention; 3) increase the overall representation of Hispanic and African American students (combined) in STEM majors by 20% over four years to achieve a target of 36% representation; and 4) increase the number of female students completing undergraduate STEM degrees by 25% over four years to achieve a target of 20% completion. These goals are guided by theoretical bases such as Tintos academic and social integration model and Astins involvement model, Tierneys model of persistence which suggests that institutions need to provide their students the cultural capital necessary to succeed in an educational system where barriers to persistence and integration exist for minority students, and the use of active learning methods. This project also considers contextual micro-level data that some theorists believe will help change agents understand what works and under what circumstances. Some of the contextual factors considered include: faculty and peer relationships, family and community support, and academic sense of self. By establishing communities of learners at both the student and faculty levels, Texas State STEM Rising Stars aims to make a significant and sustainable impact on the overall STEM learning culture at Texas State University. The project evaluation will involve a mixed-methods approach for formative and summative assessment. The formative assessment component will assess student participants learning by measuring changes in their pre and post assessments, course grades, and the degree to which students report a continuing interest in STEM fields of study. The summative evaluation will monitor progress toward achieving project objectives and activities. In addition, the project will be conducting a persistence analysis, tracking student persistence and attrition among project participants. Texas State STEM Rising Stars is committed to producing significant improvements and has the faculty, partnerships, and infrastructure needed to assure success.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2016

The Texas State University Noyce project, also known as Responsive, Attentive, Dialogic, and InterActive Noyce Scholars (RADIANS) project, will focus its recruitment efforts on physics, chemistry, and engineering majors, disciplines which are underrepresented in its large teacher preparation program and also represent areas of teacher shortage in US public schools. The RADIANS Project will provide scholarship support to STEM majors who seek teacher certification, resulting in 50-60 teachers over the five-year life of the project. Scholars will participate in a field-based teacher preparation program that is research-based and is collaboratively delivered by STEM and Education faculty members. The first semester of this program will be delivered onsite at an area high school that operates an innovative STEM Academy, while the second semester will consist of a full 16-week student teaching experience supervised by science education faculty from the College of Science and Engineering. During this program, faculty from the Colleges of Education and Science & Engineering will also design and deliver monthly full-day Saturday Seminars for the scholars to enhance their content knowledge and content-specific pedagogical skills, and to increase their knowledge of the latest research on STEM identity and their ability to support K-12 students STEM identity development. Project staff will use strong partnerships with area school districts to facilitate certified scholars employment in high-needs schools, and will coordinate with districts to provide two years of induction and mentoring. Finally, the RADIANS Projects emphasis on diversity of representation in the Learning Assistant (LA) program will result in a more diverse teaching force that can serve as advocates and positive role models for minority and economically disadvantaged students, and encourage them to pursue educational opportunities in science and teaching.

The RADIANS Project will provide scholarship support to STEM majors seeking teacher certification, and will continue to operate the Learning Assistant (LA) initiative, one pool from which prospective teacher candidates will be recruited, launched with previous NSF support. RADIANS will support 10 to 12 scholars each year. It will investigate the long-term impact of several related interventions on the recruitment, development, and retention of science teachers and will contribute to the growing knowledge base related to STEM teacher development. The research area of STEM identity development figures into the project in two ways: (a) teacher education candidates will be taught about the latest research on high school students STEM identity development, and (b) project personnel will study STEM teacher identity development of the teacher candidates. This will allow researchers to investigate the impact of these early experiences on the identity development of teacher candidates as they enter a teacher preparation program, progress through their teacher training, and experience their first years of classroom teaching. Potential benefits include: the recruitment of STEM majors who are experienced with research-based instruction into teaching programs will result in improved K-12 science instruction, which will lead to increases in student science achievement during the high school years and improved college and career readiness among students. Finally, the RADIANS Projects emphasis on diversity of representation has the potential to produce a more diverse teaching workforce that can serve as positive role models for students underrepresented in STEM. Proactive encouragement of young diverse learners by a cadre of well-prepared, STEM confident, diverse teachers will positively impact participation and pursuit of STEM degrees and thus contribute to a more competitive, competent, and confident workforce.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ECOSYSTEM STUDIES | Award Amount: 171.15K | Year: 2016

Forest mortality caused by drought has recently increased and is now of global concern. This project is designed to improve the ability of ecologists to predict the impact of significant tree die-off in semi-arid, forested ecosystems. The study focuses on piñon-juniper woodlands. In the Southwest U.S., where they occur, higher temperatures and decreased precipitation have increased drought severity, reducing tree health, and triggering widespread tree death across the region. This research is motivated by previous findings showing that piñon pine mortality unexpectedly leads to woodlands becoming hotter and drier, potentially altering the environmental conditions that control future plant growth and ecosystem recovery. These surprising results challenge the expectation that tree mortality would lead to increased soil water availability. This work will contribute key data on the specific roles of woody plants in regulating water availability in water-limited, semi-arid ecosystems following mortality of large numbers of trees. The modeling will clarify the extent to which specific forests are vulnerable to drought and changing climate, and will help to identify key environmental factors that increase vulnerability. One postdoctoral researcher, two graduate students, and several undergraduate researchers will receive training and support at two Hispanic-American Serving Institutions. This study will inform regional natural resource managers of climate effects and develop activities for students from Albuquerque-area and San Marcos, TX schools through STEM focused K-12 education programs at both institutions.

The project will test the overarching hypothesis that tree density in semi-arid biomes may represent a tipping point, such that a decrease in tree density due to drought-induced mortality can trigger a potentially irreversible drying of the system, and transition to a new ecosystem state. The project will address: 1) specific mechanisms that explain why plant-available soil moisture and remaining juniper and small piñon pine tree function decreases following piñon mortality (decrease of hydraulic redistribution, altered energy balance, or reduced infiltration due to hydrophobic litter inputs); and which process, if any, is dominant; 2) if there are specific tree density thresholds or species-specific community compositions that facilitate aridification following tree mortality; 3) if there are soil structure and/or precipitation regimes in semi-arid woodlands that facilitate aridification following tree mortality and 4) what is the likelihood that these disturbed woodlands will return to their previous state or progress to a new ecosystem state. The experimental design is centered on nine large plots, three with no disturbance that will act as controls, three in which all piñon pines are girdled, and three in which all juniper are girdled, which will allow the research team to examine species-specific roles of piñon and juniper in regulating the hydrology of these woodlands. Measurements include the response of hydraulic redistribution and sapflow in the remaining species, soil moisture profiles, and surface energy balance components, which will be used to constrain a land surface model, the Community Land Model (CLM 4.5), modified to include hydraulic redistribution. The proposed work will greatly enhance the ability to predict how and why coniferous mortality in semi-arid biomes may trigger aridification, advance our understanding of the links between tree mortality and hydrology in semi-arid systems, and quantify the role of hydraulic distribution at the ecosystem scale.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Dimensions of Biodiversity | Award Amount: 204.95K | Year: 2016

All species on earth interact with other species in complicated networks that include plants, animals, and microbes. These interaction networks have long fascinated biologists, who are interested in why some species depend on each other and in how these relationships matter for maintenance of biodiversity. For example, why do most insects that eat plants consume only a few types of plants in any one location? And, how did it happen that many of these insects depend on beneficial microbes (fungi and bacteria) that are found nowhere else except with those insects. This project will explore how such specialized interactions arise. Specifically, researchers will investigate the evolution of new interactions among insects, microbes, and an economically important plant (alfalfa) in western North America. By identifying the key factors that underlie the insect-microbe-plant interactions in this study system, the research will fill a substantial gap in our understanding of the diversity of life, and enhance our ability to predict how global change will affect biological diversity and ecosystem function. The researchers will also engage and collaborate with the public through a discovery-based citizen science program, and will develop new analytical tools to benefit other scientists who are interested in how species come to depend on each another.

This project examines a complex network of interacting biodiversity, including macroscopic and microscopic organisms, to answer a fundamental question: What role does biodiversity play in the evolution and maintenance of novel interactions? The research team takes advantage of a well-studied plant-insect-microbe system to investigate the importance of multiple layers of inter- and intra-specific diversity for predicting the evolution of novel interactions, specifically the colonization of alfalfa by the Melissa blue butterfly and microbes. The project combines a systems approach to biological complexity with manipulations that allow the researchers to integrate three focal dimensions of biodiversity: (1) functional diversity, encompassing how variation in phytochemistry, larval performance, and butterfly egg-laying preference are shaped by microbial, fungal, plant and caterpillar interactions; (2) genetic diversity, including the role of genomic variation within and among populations of interacting plants and insects, both in the wild and in an experiment context; and (3) phylogenetic diversity, focusing on gut bacteria in insects, as well as fungal and bacterial endophytes in plants.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: DISCOVERY RESEARCH K-12 | Award Amount: 333.15K | Year: 2016

The research in mathematics discourse has examined important issues in the characterization of effective teaching ranging from teacher goal setting to supporting student thinking. Much of this research has focused on describing the elements of discourse that investigators have posited as contributing to teaching and learning. This research study systematically expands on the characteristics of mathematical discourse and examines and specifies relationships between these descriptive elements across multiple content foci in mathematics and across a range of teachers at the middle grade levels. The principal investigator is conducting a microgenetic study based on examination of video data from multiple routine classroom settings with teachers who demonstrate varying levels of discourse across three curricular topics in mathematics. A review of the research literature on classroom discourse, with a focus in mathematics, supports the development of an analytic framework to characterize the discourse of both teachers and students in the classrooms. The discourse patterns from teachers at grades 5, 6 and 7 provide a comparison of the discourse across upper elementary and middle grade classrooms.

The use of the analytic framework supports the development of metrics that can reliably measure critical aspects of mathematical discourse. These metrics examine both the function of the discourse in the classroom and the mathematical intellectual work that the discourse supports. The researcher builds on the analytic framework and resulting metrics to redesign courses offered to pre-service and practicing teachers in the university teacher education program. The resulting framework and redesigned teacher education courses will provide models on which other teacher education programs might build. The redesign of the pre-service and in-service courses effectively integrates the research into education.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 39.25K | Year: 2017

Resilience thinking is a rapidly emerging concept that is being used to frame how scientists approach the study of biophysical systems. It also seeks to determine how societies, economies and biophysical systems can be managed to ensure resilience; that is, how to maintain the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance. There are strong overlaps between the scientific discipline of geomorphology (the biophysical processes that shape Earths landscapes) and the concept of resilience. There is however a lack of awareness of the foundations of the former in the emergence of resilience. Thus, resilience is limited and limiting in its application to bio-geomorphic systems. A collective examination of bio-geomorphic systems and resilience will conceptually advance both areas of study and further cement the relevance and importance of understanding the complexities of bio-geomorphic systems in an emerging world of interdisciplinary research endeavors.

The 48th annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium (BGS) on Resilience and Bio-Geomorphic Systems will bring together leading and emerging scientists in bio-geomorphology and resilience thinking. The meeting will be organized around themes related to interactions between bio-geomorphic systems and resilience: (1) Foundations in geomorphic systems and resilience thinking; (2) Extreme events, thresholds, and resilience; (3) Cross-scale interactions; (4) Longitudinal resilience: mountains to coasts; (5) Eco-geo connections; and (6) Social-ecological systems. All papers presented orally and selected papers presented as posters at the BGS are published in the internationally recognized journal Geomorphology. In keeping with the tradition established by past BGS, the 2017 meeting will promote and enhance student education and participation.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Chem Struct,Dynmcs&Mechansms B | Award Amount: 420.00K | Year: 2016

In this CAREER project funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamics & Mechanism B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Todd Hudnall of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas State University is developing new classes of organic radicals that feature readily tunable electrochemical and photophysical properties. The goal of this research is to exploit the characteristics of these organic radicals for the development of organic energy storage and light-emitting materials. The project lies at the interface of organic, inorganic, and materials chemistry, and is well suited for the education of scientists at all levels. Undergraduates and graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will have opportunities to collaborate with experts from chemistry, engineering, and physics. Professor Todd Hudnall is also well poised to increase the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as Texas State University is one of the largest Hispanic Serving Institutes in Texas. Professor Hudnall works with members of local high schools and childrens museums to design science curricula dedicated to providing problem-based learning experiences through hands-on experimentation in the chemical and physical sciences. Members of Professor Todd Hudnalls research team and local high school students design and implement experiments that mimic the experiences of collegiate level researchers in order to encourage the high school students to pursue science degrees in college.

The unique electronic configuration of stable organic radicals circumvents classical quantum mechanical limitations such as the Pauli Exclusion Principle, making these molecules good candidates for next generation energy/memory storage and organic light-emitting diode materials. The radical motifs are derived from singlet carbenes or carbene-inspired moieties that enables the rapid tailoring of the electrochemical and/or photophysical properties of the resultant organic radicals. This strategy allows the synthesis of novel organic radical architectures to develop a dynamic structure-property correlation. These studies answer the following questions: 1) How do the electronic properties of the carbene influence the electrochemical and/or photophysical properties of the radical? 2) To what extent can the electrochemical window be expanded for these systems? 3) Will neutral radicals obtained by reduction of emissive cations likewise be emissive? Professor Todd Hudnall also integrates an educational component inclusive of outreach activities involving K-12 students through partnerships with local high schools, childrens museums, and the Boy Scouts of America.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 360.00K | Year: 2017

This project sets up an REU site focused on software systems and analysis at Texas State University. This REU site provides opportunities for a cohort of undergraduate students to participate in research and development of innovative software systems and analysis technologies that would have enormous public benefits. The site emphasizes the participation of a diverse group of students, in particular, women, minorities, first generation, and non-traditional students. The project includes workshops, entrepreneurship forum, student presentations and posters, field trips and other professional development opportunities. The goal is to increase retention of computer science students, instill in them the spirit of innovation, improve their career perspectives, engage them to participate in cutting-edge research in software systems and analysis, and motivate them to enter graduate computer science programs.

Software affects nearly every aspect of our lives and holds the key to many scientific and engineering challenges. As software is increasingly pervasive nowadays, software-related problems have become much more prevalent. This project will study new trends in software systems including mobile software systems, green computing, internet of things, big data and parallel systems while analyzing various software qualities such as reliability, performance, usability, safety, maintainability, and energy efficiency.

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