Faculty Development Grant Award 2018-2019 Recipients

Grammar Brush-up and Heritage Studies: FYE

Dr. Marilyn D. Button

Description of the project: 

This project funds the development of course syllabi and instructional materials for two important areas in our university-wide curriculum: (A) Writing Proficiency and (B) Freshman Year Experience. 
A. Background/ Rationale: The Writing Proficiency Program of the University currently identifies three loci for judging student writing competence: a blue-book assignment in ENG101, the first university level writing course; four Writing Emphasis courses; and a writing portfolio in the major department. Thus, theoretically, writing instruction takes place in all departments, throughout all course levels. 

While the structure for these initiatives is already firmly in place, the general consensus on campus is that students still have difficulty writing at a college level standard when they reach upper division courses. To supplement the efforts of faculty and staff already in place to teach writing, I propose that a concentrated course in grammar be offered as an elective to juniors and seniors through the Department of Languages and Literature. 
Because I believe in pedagogy which emphasizes the structure of language as a prerequisite for understanding sentence level errors and for developing a better grasp of style, I am already offering this semester a “grammar brush-up” to a volunteer cadre of five students who specifically requested this opportunity. We meet twice a week to review fundamentals of English grammar as presented in a workbook with exercises. This instruction is met with enthusiasm. Evidence in the form of revised essays at the end of the semester will demonstrate the value of this instruction. 
To improve this voluntary initiative, I propose developing a semester long “Grammar Brush-up” to be offered as ENG 412.02 in the fall. I would like to develop the syllabus for this course, set up a system of assessment that will validate the necessity of using this course as a supplement to the instruction already in place. 

Goals and Objectives:

The goal of this proposal is to improve student writing campus-wide by developing an upper level English course that appeals to students by offering an intensive review of English grammar and syntax within the context of literary and stylistic exemplars from the African American literary tradition whose content and style appeal to students. Such exemplars would be selected from the work Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others

  Bilirubin levels and risk for inflammatory bowel disease
Dr. Carla Gallagher

A concise description of the project 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) describes a class of diseases that cause inflammation of the colon and the small intestine (and sometimes also inflammation of other digestive organs including the stomach, esophagus, and mouth). The most common types of IBD include Crohn’s Disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The chronic inflammation associated with IBD results in increased oxidative stress that damages the environment of the colon. Bilirubin is an antioxidant that is found naturally inside the body, and therefore it reduces oxidative stress. Low levels of serum bilirubin have been associated with increased risk for Crohn’s disease. The overall aim of this study is to examine whether total serum bilirubin levels are associated with risk for ulcerative colitis since it is a similar to Crohn’s disease in many ways (both IBD). The specific aim of the 2018 funding is to examine gene expression levels of the enzyme that metabolizes bilirubin (UGT1A1). 

Data that Dr. Gallagher collected with prior faculty development funds supported the hypothesis that bilirubin levels are associated with IBD. This research has resulted in one publication and two presentations at national scientific meetings by Dr. Gallagher, and one nationally funded grant to Dr. Gallagher and Dr. Miller (grants, presentations, and publications resulting from prior faculty development funds are on the final page of this application). The project in 2019 will elucidate the scientific reason behind these findings by examining the level of the gene required for bilirubin metabolism in these patients’ tissues. 

Measurable goals and objectives for the project 

The goal of this project is to determine whether total serum bilirubin levels are associated with risk for UC, using data that Dr. Carla Gallagher has stored in her databases, available at Lincoln. A specific goal with the 2019 funds is to examine gene expression levels of the enzyme that metabolizes bilirubin (UGT1A1) in these patients to elucidate the scientific reason behind the findings that bilirubin levels are associated with both types of IBD (CD and UC). Gene Expression Assays (for UGT1A1) will be run using real time PCR. Logistic regression analysis will be performed on each quartile of total serum bilirubin compared to the last quartile (highest bilirubin levels) to calculate the risk for developing UC with lower total serum bilirubin. Adjustments for known IBD risk factors will be conducted using logistic regression

  Exploring the role of ST2 and its activation of NFKB
Dr. James Gallagher


For this faculty development proposal, I propose to spend 2 months over the summer of 2019 to continue my personal research and establishing a fully capable cell culture laboratory. Over the past few years, I worked on examining the protein ST2 and what role is may play in the formation of cancer. This research has previously been funded by a couple smaller research grants, most recently an internal grant through the Undergraduate Research Office (Spring 2017), which allowed my research project to get off the ground and make some progress made into determining the role of ST2 in the activation of NFKB and the role it plays in the progression of Head and Neck cancers. To complete this project, we will need to increase the certification of our current tissue culture facility from a Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-1) to a BSL-2. All of the current equipment and facilities are already present on our campus to support a BSL-2. However, we are lacking the policies and procedures for our laboratory to be certified at this level. I propose to correct these issues while also doing personal research as part of this Faculty development grant. 

Connection to Current Lincoln University ILO and Biology Program SLO’s 

The below project falls under Lincoln University ILO’s 1 and 7 and Biology Program SLO’s 1 and 2. Specifically, the Biology Program SLO #1 stipulates that students will, “Apply the scientific method and complete an independent research project.”. This correlates with Lincoln Universities ILO number 7: Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning. For students to complete independent research projects and master scientific and quantitative reasoning, it requires their faculty to be engaged in independent research themselves. We in the biology department take on student mentees each semester and need the ability to provide for these student researchers. I have personally had approximately 20 students over the last 7 years, with 2 students currently working in my laboratory. However, due to previous issues encountered, time restrictions due to teaching load and loss of samples due to equipment failure, the opportunities that can I can provide to students are dwindling. The funding requested will allow me to reinvigorate my research program by investing in the facilities within the university and explore new areas in cellular tissue culture which I am unable to accomplish at this time during the active semester. Once completed, I will be able to take on more students, and continue to give quality experiences to those mentees.

  Editing a Peer-Reviewed Publication on Ab/uses of Power and Violence: Villians, Bullies and Tyrants"
Dr. Abbes Maazaoui

A Concise Description of the Project 

The summer project is to edit, produce and publish Volume 7 of the annual peer-reviewed publication, The Lincoln Humanities Journal (ISSN 2474-7726). This special issue of the LHJ will be a collection of essays devoted to analyzing the topic of Ab/uses of Power and Violence: Villains, Bullies and Tyrants. The publication will examine (a) the making of the villain, the bully and the tyrant; (b) the various incarnations of the villain in art, literature, history, film, folktale, television, political life, international relations, and the media; (c) the mis/use of power, from bullying, harassment, sexual assault, to random violence and unprovoked wars; (d) the morphing of heroes into villains, and vice versa; (e) the collective fascination with the figure of the ‘bad guy’; (f) the evil political power versus the rule of law and justice. Based on the number of inquiries, there is evidence that this project will generate a strong interest. Please see below Appendices # 1 (Call for Articles) & 2 (Evidence of interest in the project). 

Measurable Goals and Objectives for the Project 

1. Continue the now-established legacy of the Lincoln Humanities Journal, by publishing Volume 7 in December 2019 
2. Publish a peer-reviewed product of the highest academic quality by insuring the integrity of the blind review process 
3. Promote interdisciplinary studies by providing an intellectual platform for national and international scholars to exchange ideas and perspectives 
4. Enhance the University’s reputation as a contributor to academic scholarship and intellectual engagement

Preservation and Expansion of Lincoln's Zoological Collection - Summer 2019

Dr. Jennifer McCarthy

Project Description: 

The use of zoological specimens in laboratories provides students with hands on experience and facilitates active learning (Allmon et al., 2012, Cook et al. 2014). Often times laboratories focusing on organismal functions such as ecology, taxonomy, physiology, phylogeny, or anatomy are forced to use skull replicas, or computer generated images owing to a shortage of actual specimens and a difficulty in obtaining them. However, the experience for students using these artificial models is inferior to students that are able to observe and handle real specimens (Ladkin, et al. 2009). The goal of this project is two part. I would like to properly curate and preserve the incredible zoological collection that Lincoln University already possesses, and I would also like to expand upon this collection to enhance our ability to provide students with hands on learning experiences in the future. 

Lincoln University has a rich historical legacy and this extends to the zoological specimens that the university retains. Since my arrival at the university I have begun to catalog some of the vertebrate (skulls, skeletons and preserved items) and invertebrate (insects, preserved items) specimens that are stored in the Biology Department. Most were moved to the Ivory Nelson building with no documentation and are now sitting on open shelves. There is no identification of the specimens, no documentation of their origin, and they are not properly stored or catalogued. For example, I have ascertained that two of the specimens are African leopard skulls, and another is a set of African elephant teeth. These specimens are rare in the collections of any university, yet are unidentified in the storage room. This is a missing piece of Lincoln’s Legacy, but also makes these specimens unusable in classes. In addition, I have found several flats of invertebrate collections that were obtained on the Lincoln campus in the 1950’s. They would not only provide important insights to the invertebrate biota on campus at that time, but would also serve as invaluable comparative samples for species diversity changes between then and now. For the proposed project, I would like to obtain appropriate storage cabinets for our vertebrate specimens; and then properly identify, tag, and catalog each specimen so that it can be easily accessed and used for classes. I would also like to ensure that these special specimens are preserved as part of Lincoln’s legacy. 

In addition to the preservation of our current specimens, I would like to work to expend our collection through the organized acceptance of donations from other universities, organizations, and individuals, as well as the collection of samples. Many organizations or universities have extra specimens that they don’t need, and by having an organized catalog at Lincoln, we would be ready to receive these specimens. In addition, we are currently applying to the state of Pennsylvania for a scientific collection permit. This would allow us to begin to collect vertebrate and invertebrate specimens ourselves from road kills, hunting check stations, or through limited scientific trapping of specimens. 
Support of the proposed project would allow me to spend the spring semester and summer taxonomically identifying our numerous zoological specimens, as well as moving them into a proper storage container. I would also be able to work to expand our collections with new specimens. This all will allow us to finally use some of the unique specimens that Lincoln possesses in our classes, and to ensure that they are preserved and maintained for the future. 

Project Goals and Objectives: 

Goal 1: To properly identify, catalog, and preserve the existing biological specimens that Lincoln possesses. 

  • Objective 1: Identify and document specimens. 
  • Objective 2: Work with outside curators to properly preserve and rehabilitate historical samples. 
  • Objective 3: Obtain proper storage cabinets for the collections and create a comprehensive catalog. 

Goal 2: To collect additional specimens to expand the Lincoln biological collection. 

  • Objective 1: Collect local specimens to add to the Lincoln collection. 
  • Objective 2: Facilitate the acceptance of surplus collections from local organizations and individuals. 
  • Objective 3: Catalog and document all samples to facilitate easy use in biology laboratories and classes


  Co-curricular Development, Course Design, Research, and Publication in Women and Gender Studies in Human Service
Dr. Melina McConatha

Project Description 

This proposal outlines the strengths and needs for support to 1) develop a 400 level co-curricular course with LU Women’s Center to offer to students in Human Services in order to better understands women and gender diversity in the field of service 2) write a curriculum based publication with student co-authors; 3) Complete presentation on findings for a presentation at the National Women's Studies Association Conference and 4) Enhance co-curricular research and course development throughout campus by bridging our areas of focus to best serve women and people with diverse gender identities through curriculum, services, and resources in the areas of Human Services and Women's Programs at Lincoln University. Finally, this project will provide an opportunity for faculty (myself), staff (Rachel Manson Director of Women’s Center, and students (3 LU students) to collaborate and enhance scholarship in ILO3 Diversity Awareness and Cultural Awareness Diversity and Cultural awareness to best support effective and appropriate interaction towards women and people with diverse identities. 

Project Goals and Objectives 

These objectives will be measured by reaching the following goals:

  1. Submitting a 400 level co-curricular student centered Women and Gender Studies course in Human Services tied to ILO3 Diversity Awareness and Cultural Awareness 
  2. Submitting the co-authored manuscript with three Lincoln University students for publication titled: To Be Young, Gifted, and a Black Women: Creating Student Powered Curriculum in Women and Gender Studies at Historically Black Classrooms 
  3. Analyzing data and preparing a presentation to the National Women's Studies Conference 2019 and subsequent student co-authored publication 
  4. Students will integrate cross-cultural understanding of Women and Gender Studies in Human Service to develop an appreciation for diverse forms of cultural expression from women in diverse communities and gender identities 

Project in Summary: 

This summer faculty development proposal focuses on a co-circular project supporting education and diversity in Women and Gender Studies on campus, which will support and provide evidence of growth in three spaces 1) a co-curricular course development project with Rachel Manson, Director of the LU Women’s Center tied to ILO Three and 2) a presentation to be shared and lead by LU students, staff, and faculty at the National Women's Studies Association and 3) a diverse student powered curriculum based research publication submission.

Developing and Implementing new Lab-lecture courses in Physics and Engineering Science at Lincoln University - Summer 2019

Dr. Andriy Semychayevskyy

Project description 

STEM teaching methodologies that are broadly referred to as „integrated lab-lectures‟ quickly gained popularity after NSF award #9350662 “Integrated Lab-Lecture Introductory Physics with Computer Aids” [1] was completed at Michigan State University by Distinguished Professor Walter Benenson and his colleagues in 1996. Similar activities have also begun about that time in other schools [2]. 

Several senior Lincoln University STEM professors have argued that the current approach to teaching physics and engineering science, in which lectures is the main mode of classroom instruction, needs revision, due to the challenges that generation-Z students face at Lincoln and at their future workplaces. For the successful ABET accreditation of the Engineering Science program, we will also need to increase the number of lab hours to 400 (physical time, not credit hours) or more during the 4 years of the bachelor’s program. 

The courses that will be redesigned in this project include: Physical Science Labs, Sophomore and Junior Physics Labs, Signals and Systems, and Digital Signal Processing. 

The applicant has worked with student researchers at Lincoln for several years, including LEAPS-T and NSF-RIA projects, and is well familiar with the proposed topic. He has also never previously applied for an FDG. 

Project goals and objectives 

This proposed FDG is inspired by the applicant’s recent teaching experiences and has several goals: 

  1. to develop new lab experiments for non-STEM majors who take GSC-101L/102L, Physical Science I/II labs, including those in optics, electricity and magnetism, and basic inorganic chemistry; 
  2. to develop new labs for Engineering Science and Physics majors, namely, those for PHY-291 and PHY-391 (Sophomore and Junior Physics Lab) courses; 
  3. to transform current Engineering Science courses, ENS-310 and ENS-311 (Signals and Systems and Digital Signal Processing), from their current lecture-based form to lab-lecture courses that integrate taught material with hands-on practical designs of signal processing hardware. 

The objectives of the project are to: 

  1. increase the number of lab hours in physics and engineering to the numbers required by ABET without increasing the number of required course credit hours; 
  2. to retain current students and recruit new students into STEM programs; 
  3. to provide non-STEM majors with adequate hands-on experience in Physical Science, a general education course.