King, NC, United States

Winston-Salem State University

www.wssu.edu
King, NC, United States

Winston-Salem State University , a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a historically black public research university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States. It is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.Winston-Salem State has been ranked #27 by U.S. News & World Report in the Top Public Comprehensive Baccalaureate Colleges of the South category for the last nine years . WSSU is a recognized regional institution offering baccalaureate and graduate programs to a diverse student population. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 399.96K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) seeks to infuse a novel, engaging bioengineering project into the existing Exercise Physiology curriculum. This project will enhance student abilities to use lab-bench techniques to provide an innovative educational opportunity to funnel the next generation of talent into the STEM pipeline. Novel aspects of this proposal include: offering this experience to undergraduates; offering this experience using Exercise Physiology as a platform; infusing the lab-bench modules using a bioengineering project as a vehicle; and offering this experience at a HBCU, so that underrepresented students are funneled into STEM graduate schools and careers. The Department of Exercise Physiology at WSSU will be one of the first, if not the first in the nation, HBCU or otherwise, to offer this experience.

The goal of this project is to infuse lab-bench modules into the Exercise Physiology curriculum at WSSU. The objectives of this project are to: 1) improve student attitudes toward use of lab bench-based techniques; 2) improve student perceptions of scientific inquiry in Exercise Physiology; 3) increase student intentions to engage in undergraduate research; and 4) increase student intentions to persist in STEM-related fields. Thus, this project has the potential to advance knowledge related to cognitive and behavioral factors that may determine whether or not an underrepresented STEM undergraduate pursues graduate school.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 307.80K | Year: 2016

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program provides support for projects that offer solutions to the severe underrepresentation of African American students in computer science at the undergraduate level. The project at Winston Salem State University will build research capacity among faculty and students in the Department of Computer Science by examining resource management of big data applications on cloud infrastructure. This work will be done in collaboration with Duke University. Undergraduate computer science majors will gain research experiences that may further their interest in pursuing a degree in the discipline, thereby contributing to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in the discipline.

The project goals are: to build the big data and cloud computing research capacity at Winston-Salem state university; to involve undergraduate students in cutting-edge scientific research; and to enhance educational experiences for computer science majors. The project is exploring research centered around the estimation of a globally efficient and cost effective resource allocation for concurrent MapReduce workloads in a cloud infrastructure so that the configuration ensures meeting service level objectives (SLOs) of various workloads and at the same time minimizing the resources required to achieve this goal. The specific research aims are: to leverage a profile and prediction subsystem in order to characterize and model the performance of a MapReduce workload and identify them accordingly as small jobs, periodic jobs, and delayed jobs; to investigate the parameters to be included in the utility function that best can capture the priority, deadline, performance characterization and heterogeneity of MapReduce workloads and the heterogeneity and dynamics of underlying cloud infrastructure; to design and develop algorithms and heuristics for utility-based resource management that take advantage of the workload-specific characteristics and deploy them with the goal of meeting SLOs and maximizing cloud utilization; and to evaluate the proposed approach with real-life big data workloads and study their performances, cloud rental costs, and the overall utilization of the cloud resources.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 387.35K | Year: 2015

As part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments, the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program funds innovative resources for use in a variety of settings. This project aims to enhance the National Parks System in the U.S. by engaging the system as a resource for science education. The advantage of using national parks for science education is that they are natural settings with dynamic changes and offering countless avenues for citizen inquiry. The project will build collaborations between park-based scientists whose work happens out of the public eye and interpreters who are visible to millions of annual visitors. Based on pilot studies done at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the researchers will extend this work in six national parks with different characteristics. Partners in this endeavor include Winston-Salem State University, and TERC, Inc.

This projects goal is to establish a model for how national parks can be resources for science education and learning. The project will concentrate on the that is being done in six national parks, by scientists who are generally from academic institutions. The scientists have selected each park for research because of its unique features, for example, Carlsbad Caverns unique feature is its bat population. The main methodology of this proposed effort is to translate these research endeavors and results from the scientists to the park visitors in such ways as to make the process enjoyable, informative, and thought-provoking. Evaluation elements will be included every step in this process in order to not only determine if learning has occurred but also how effectively the science has been translated.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 299.70K | Year: 2016

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Research Initiation Awards (RIAs) provide support to STEM junior faculty at HBCUs who are starting to build a research program, as well as for mid-career faculty who may have returned to the faculty ranks after holding an administrative post or who need to redirect and rebuild a research program. Faculty members may pursue research at their home institution, at an NSF-funded Center, at a research intensive institution or at a national laboratory. The RIA projects are expected to help further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and teaching at his or her home institution, and to involve undergraduate students in research experiences. With support from the National Science Foundation, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will conduct research aimed at understanding organic synthesis which is important for therapeutic purposes, agricultural, oil field and other industrial applications and broadening the participation of underrepresented students in the nations STEM workforce by integrating undergraduate research with education. This project will greatly improve the quality of undergraduate research and education in Organic Chemistry at WSSU. The high-quality research experiences in organic synthesis at WSSU will be extremely valuable for minority students who are interested in careers in STEM. These research experiences will further prepare students to obtain graduate degrees and thus broaden the participation of minorities in the Nations STEM workforce.


The goal of the proposed study is to develop carbon-carbon bond formation strategies in the synthesis of highly functionalized heterocycles such as biflavonoids, pyridines and bipyridines. The specific aims of this project are to: 1) develop efficient copper and rhodium catalyzed carbon-carbon bond formation reactions for heterocycle synthesis utilizing inexpensive and readily available aromatic compounds; 2) develop a merged 2 carbon-carbon bond formation catalyzed by copper and rhodium catalyst complex; 3) synthesize bisteppogenin and diphysin from biflavonoid family; and 4) develop a versatile synthetic approach to pyridines, bipyridines and their analogs. This study will result in the first synthesis of these heterocycles and thus advance new knowledge, and tactical approaches in the C-C bond formation arena for the synthesis of heterocycles. This project will be conducted in collaboration with faculty from the department of Chemistry, Biology and the Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center (BRIC) at WSSU.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 199.88K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Research Initiation Awards (RIAs) provide support to STEM junior faculty at HBCUs who are starting to build a research program, as well as for mid-career faculty who may have returned to the faculty ranks after holding an administrative post or who needs to redirect and rebuild a research program. Faculty members may pursue research at their home institution, at an NSF-funded Center, at a research intensive institution or at a national laboratory. The RIA projects are expected to help further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and teaching at his or her home institution, and to involve undergraduate students in research experiences. With support from the National Science Foundation, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will conduct research on the structures of biomolecules which are key to understanding processes in biological systems. The research is a collaborative project with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This project will enhance WSSUs research capabilities and the educational experiences of undergraduates. Students will receive mentoring, training and research experiences at WSSU and NIST. The research and educational efforts are expected to expand the participation of groups underrepresented in STEM and support WSSUs vision and mission of strengthening and broadening the participation of underrepresented groups.

This goals of the research are to: 1) Explore the direct connection between geometry and chemical reaction dynamics by studying the conformational preferences for photon induced intramolecular formation in Tryptophan methyl ester; 2) Measure the atomic displacements and changes in electronic distributions that occur in a peptide bond when it is linked by hydrogen bonds to a molecule, specifically the model system of 3-indole propionic acid-H2O; 3) Examine the influence of hydrogen bond formation with water in the reversible tautomerization reaction involving oxindole-H2O in the presence of light; 4) Probe the influence of hydrogen bond formation with water on the inter-molecular dynamics of m-methoxyphenol; and 5) Determine the intramolecular potential energy surface that governs the motion of an alkyl functional group such as -CH3 moiety attached to the N site in N-methylcarbazole and discern how this motion is affected when the assembly is radiated with light. The project will strengthen WSSUs undergraduate students preparation in advanced spectroscopy technology, and thus, will have a significant impact on WSSU and its commitment to producing more graduates with competencies and degrees in STEM fields. Research will be conducted at WSSU and NIST.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 419.59K | Year: 2014

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Winston-Salem State University seeks to enhance the quality of the undergraduate research experience in the Chemistry undergraduate degree program by laying the foundation for effective research skills that will ultimately promote student success.

This project explores foundational research skill-building as an intervention to enhance learning and professional identification, which are two important determinants for increasing student retention and success in STEM fields. The mediation also seeks to incorporate high-impact practices to increase underrepresented student achievement in the chemical sciences, and thereby to promote student diversity in STEM.

Student retention and achievement will be assessed by adapting previously established evaluation tools. The project activities to support this goal are: (i) to implement two research foundation courses (Introduction to Research Methods and Computational Analysis Lab), and a capstone interdisciplinary research-oriented upper-level laboratory course; (ii) to adapt and infuse short guided research-oriented projects into laboratory courses; and (iii) to provide instrumentation to support the research-oriented laboratory experiments and research efforts toward preparing students to be more perceptive to modern instrumentation used in current scientific research and industry. Effective laboratory instruction and learning approaches will also be adapted or developed to motivate higher-level critical thinking skills and to improve student understanding of the research process.

The expected outcomes of this project are: (i) increased student retention and achievement in the chemistry degree program; (ii) improved preparation of undergraduate students for graduate programs and/or chemical careers; and (iii) increased undergraduate research presentation and publication with faculty. Measurable outcomes include: (i) an increase in student retention and achievement, including underrepresented students, in the chemistry program, and ii) a resultant increase in graduates who will enter advanced degree programs or join the workforce in research or industry. These expected project outcomes support WSSUs vision to produce graduates of distinction who will lead and compete successfully in the global economy. By integrating modern instrumentation into laboratory instruction and undergraduate research projects, it is anticipated that students will have hands-on experiences and training on state-of-the-art equipment that better prepares them for the workforce. The project activities and outcomes will be published in appropriate journals, disseminated at local and national meetings, and made available via websites to promote teaching, training, and learning.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 139.94K | Year: 2014

This project, Data Computing for All: Developing an Introductory Data Science Course in Flipped Format, addresses two current issues: the need for more students to be familiar with the use of data in a variety of contexts and the need for instructional materials to support coursework in the flipped classroom format. The flipped classroom reverses the way time is spent by students. Instead of having information given to them in the classroom and then going away to practice using the new knowledge by themselves through homework problems, the students get the information before class time and then practice using it while the course instructor is present to help with misunderstandings and complexities. This allows the instructor to address the problems encountered by small groups of students, rather than lecturing to a large group without knowing who understands what.

Data science is essential for applications as diverse as genome sequencing and customer data analysis. Nearly every discipline has need of large scale data handling that requires computing and statistics in combination. More specifically, this course addresses an important need not only in computer and statistical sciences, but in all science, business, medical and engineering areas in general. The reliance on the effective use of vast amounts of data and the emergent field of data science is changing the operation of organizations across sectors. This project will not only provide new course in an important area in the STEM disciplines, but will also result in valuable educational research.

With the growing use of the flipped classroom model of learning, questions arise about its generalizability. Is it always the right approach? How difficult is it to prepare materials to teach a course in this way? This project will address these questions in the context of a new data science course for students with minimal background. The project is being developed in computer science and statistics departments at two different types of institutions. Both institutions have experience using the flipped approach and together have the expertise for data science. The course materials as well as the evaluation results will better enable other institutions to consider including introductory data science computing in their programs.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IIS SPECIAL PROJECTS | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

This EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) project is to develop software and use the CONSTRUKTS smart hands-on learning platform for education relevant to manufacturing.

The technical part of the proposal centers around two main goals: 1) Optimization of the CONSTRUKTS wireless sensor network hardware platform; and 2) Design-Build toolkit supporting transformation of physical models to virtual representations for additive manufacturing. Broader Impacts for this project include hands-on workshops with youth from the local community that explore the design of complex systems.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 399.74K | Year: 2016

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Winston Salem State University seeks to improve the motivation, engagement, and academic performance of students by building software that enables the organization of computer science and physics courses using game design principles and mechanisms. This approach is about motivating particular student behavior in a course through the use of game elements, such as instant feedback, freedom to fail, freedom of choice, leveling, progress bars, badges, and leaderboards. The activities and strategies are evidence-based and a strong plan for formative and summative evaluation is part of the project.

This project has the objectives to: implement a course gamification platform that can support the gamification of STEM courses; develop instructional materials for gamifying modules of two computing courses, Data Structures and Introduction to Database Systems, and one physics course, Principles of Physics; and evaluate the developed software and created instructional materials to assess their effect on student motivation, engagement, and academic performance. Course gamification, which leverages extrinsic and intrinsic motivators for engaging and motivating students to learn, has the potential to improve academic performance and contribute to increased retention and graduation rates in STEM disciplines. Therefore, the proposed gamification approach and supporting software will be especially beneficial for institutions whose students have low STEM graduation rates.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 399.88K | Year: 2016

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) seeks to enhance the quality and experience of underrepresented undergraduate students in the psychology department with the goal of increasing the number of students prepared for research careers. The project takes the novel approach of integrating the psychology curriculum with natural science and infusing it with cultural neuroscience, an emerging interdisciplinary field. The activities and strategies are evidence-based.

This project has the objectives to: establish an honors curriculum within the department; enhance the curricular offerings within the psychology program at WSSU by improving the biological/cognitive foundation area; and modernize and upgrade the instructional and research equipment used by students and faculty. The project is designed to keep students engaged in scientific discovery, promote interactions between students and faculty, and expose students to current and emerging technology. Demonstrating and evaluating a pathway for psychology majors to the field of cognitive science and STEM research preparation could serve as a model to other programs.

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