Faculty, staff win grants

Thursday, October 15, 2009


St. Cloud State is proud to announce the following faculty and staff grant recipients:

Steve Mooney, professor of finance, insurance and real estate, received a $20,300 grant to establish educational programs. Mooney plans to use the grant to help fund a real estate lecturer series during spring semester 2010.

Sonja Goerdt, assistant professor of mathematics, received a $4,500 grant from Serve Minnesota to help fund the AmeriCorps Minnesota Math Corps program. The program trains math tutors to work one-on-one with 4th - 8th grade students who are not proficient in math. These tutors use research-based mathematics interventions and regular assessments to ensure each student’s success in the subject.  Minnesota Math Corps is an AmeriCorps program hosted by St. Cloud State University and sponsored by the Corporation for National & Community Service and Serve Minnesota.

Mark Schmidt, associate professor of business computer information systems, received a $92,083 grant from the Department of Defense to provide scholarships for students and lab equipment for computer security. St. Cloud State earned the grant in part due to its status as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

Randal Baker, professor of geography, received a $29,050 grant from Explore Minnesota Tourism. The grant will be used to fund interns who staff the Explore Minnesota Tourism’s Travel Information Center during the summer and academic year. Through this internship program, students acquire practical experience assisting travelers in identifying potential destinations and making navigational decisions. When they are not assisting travelers, interns are involved in projects, such as conducting visitor data analysis and ordering destination promotional materials. This partnership provides a unique experience for students in the travel and tourism program giving them practical experience, while assisting Explore Minnesota Tourism in fulfilling its mission

Debra Leigh, professor of theatre, film studies and dance, received a $34,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation to support and strengthen the anti-racism organizing efforts on college and university campuses through the Higher Education Anti-Racism Team (HEART). The HEART Collaborative includes St. Cloud State, University of Minnesota Moorehead, North Dakota State University, Bethel University, the Minnesota Collaborative Anti-Racism Initiative, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of Diversity.

Michael Pickle, associate professor of special education, received a $51,500 grant from the Minnesota Department of Education to coordinate a blindness/visual impairment project.  The project addresses the lack of training offered for instructing visually impaired or blind adolescents and children. The grant enables St. Cloud State University to partner with institutions in the MnSCU and the University of Minnesota systems to offer teaching certification in the area of blind and visual impairment.

Marian Rengel, outreach coordinator for learning resources and technology services, received a $95,288 grant from Minitex Library Information Network to support the Minnesota Digital Library system. The Minnesota Digital Library is a growing project supported by funding from the Library Services and Technology Act and Cultural Heritage. The grant’s main purpose is to fund positions that benefit the system.

Rengel also received a $44,700 grant from Minnesota Learning Commons to help fund the Minnesota Digital Library Pachyderm Training Program. The program will provide training for Pachyderm, an open-source, multi-media authoring tool that allows teachers and students to create Flash-based learning objects and lessons without delving into the complex intricacies of the Flash program.

Glen Palm, professor of child and family studies, received a $4,984 grant from Independent School District 742 – St. Cloud to fund the Parent Education Services Dad’s Project. The Dad’s Project is a 12-week parenting class for incarcerated fathers at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility. The class is offered twice during the year and serves about 50 inmates. Some of the fathers read a book that is videotaped and turned into a DVD which is sent to their child along with a copy of the book. This class has been offered since 1995.

Mary Pfohl, assistant professor of social work, received an $86,190 grant from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. The grant will fund the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Child Welfare Consortium Project, which supports the preparation of social work students entering the field of child welfare. The project enhances the participants’ knowledge of child welfare services, challenges and practices, and is projected to increase the students’ effectiveness in assisting those in the welfare system as well as minimize burnout in their future career endeavors.

Robert Johnson, professor of ethnic studies, received a $2,500 grant from the Federated Insurance Company to fund the Federated Insurance Pipeline Program. The Pipeline Program consists of three pre-college summer enrichment programs: the Math-Science-Computer Camp, the Scientific Discovery Program and the Advanced Program in Technology and Science. Each pre-college program addresses the underrepresentation of students of color in scientific and technical areas. Although the focus of these programs is on underrepresented groups, students from all backgrounds participate in these programs.

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