2012-2014 Academy Team Members and Project Areas
Engineering and Biology
Siva Vanapalli, Whitacre College of Engineering;
Jerzy Blawzdziewicz, Whitacre College of Engineering;
Kendra Rumbaugh, TTUHSC
This team is working towards development of innovative research projects at the intersection of medical sciences, biology, engineering and physics. The team plans to investigate bacterial communities in chronic wound infections, seek effective treatments using active crawling particles to deliver antimicrobial drugs to resistant biofilms, and undertake fundamental studies of the mechanics and neurosensory control of sub-millimeter-size nematodes to help in design of artificial worm-like particles that can move autonomously. The investigations will involve inventing sophisticated microfluidic devices that enable quantitative studies of microscale biological systems and developing new quantitative theoretical models to describe the experimental results.
Law and Society
Hans Hansen, Rawls College of Business;
Patrick Metze, School of Law;
Jill Patterson, College of Arts & Sciences
Through the Center for Social Impact, the participants will provide an informed voice for those who have been marginalized by politics, stereotypes or poor ethics. This work will serve as a platform from which to conduct serious research and also as a method of public outreach, demonstrating to the general population that scholarship has a practical benefit.
Food, Health, Cancer
Conrad Lyford, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Barbara Pence, TTUHSC;
Barent McCool,College of Human Sciences;
Erica Irlbeck, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Autumn Shafer,College of Mass Communications
The overall research interest is in the effective delivery and marketing of food and health products from both public and private perspectives. This encompasses the broad area of pre- and post-production issues for agricultural and health products including marketing and management issues. In particular, the focus is in improving consumer choice and information for better health outcomes.
Technology and Aesthetics
William Westney, College of Visual & Performing Arts;
Michael O'Boyle,College of Human Sciences;
James Yang, Whitacre College of Engineering
This project integrates the fields of artistic performance, pedagogy, advanced technology and philosophy. It focuses specifically on pianists playing classical music, and is motivated by the fact that certain pedagogical approaches that seem to have worked very well in the studio have heretofore only had anecdotal reporting of success. This project seeks to ascertain whether or not, or to what extent, approaches that have seemed like potential “best practices” can now be verified by scientific means.
Illiteracy, Education and Community Development in Sierra Leone
Amy Parker, College of Education;
Amma Akrofi, College of Education;
Kelly Phelan, College of Human Sciences;
Weiwu Zhang, College of Mass Communications;
Arlene Paschel, Library
The project seeks to address the problems that industries such as petroleum, mining, hospitality and healthcare/health education has in hiring Sierra Leonean young adults by addressing the needs for contextually based “literacy on the job” training. The approach involves piloting structured internships with industry for young adults where the workplace becomes the curriculum. Through the use of on-site and off-site mentors, wireless cell phone communication, radio programming, video modules, and Facebook, young adults will have access to multiple media forms that are already in use to increase their literacy and employment skills for industries that need immediate workers.
Water Cycles and Resources Science
Richard Zartman, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Juske Horita, College of Arts & Sciences;
Ken Rainwater, Whitacre College of Engineering
The overarching goal of the team is to advance our scientific understanding of the water-energy cycle within the atmosphere/surface/subsurface continuum on a regional scale in the Southern High Plains (SHP). The water cycle of the SHP, which also involves energy transfer, encompasses interactive, non-linear sub-systems on differing temporal and special scales, including dynamic atmospheric cycles to short-term surface hydrology (streams and playa watersheds) to long-term subsurface groundwater hydrology (vadose zone, Ogallala aquifer).
Environmental Impact on Developmental Issues in Plants
David Knaff, College of Arts & Sciences;
Rao Kottapalli, Center for Biotechnology and Genomics;
Susan San Francisco, Center for Biotechnology and Genomics;
Jatindra Tripathy, Center for Biotechnology and Genomics;
Masoud Zabet, Center for Biotechnology and Genomics;
Paxton Payton, U.S. Department of Agriculture
The broad goal of this transdisciplinary group is to develop a model for integrating multiple layers of molecular, cellular and physiologic information to better understand these relationships as they relate to environmental and developmental challenges in biological systems. The interpretation of these data will require powerful and sophisticated computational and bioinformatics tools. Graduate students involved in this project will be integral in the design, implementation and analysis of the data.
Symbiosis and Environment
Christopher Witmore,College of Arts & Sciences;
Bruce Clarke, College of Arts & Sciences;
Laura Beard, College of Arts & Sciences
This proposal is to open a broad conversation concerning symbiotic relationships over the long term, with an emphasis on questions of microbial ecology and exchange, as they affect issues of companionship, nutrition and livelihood, and environmental sustainability.
Food Safety and Public Health
Todd Brashears, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Mindy Brashears, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Mark Miller, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Chance Brooks, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Guy Loneragan, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources;
Kendra Nightingale, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
The motto for this team has evolved as the group has been built and resources combined into a coherent unit. We state this as, “Goal...One Vision:To serve the food industry, food producers, consumers, our community, international partners, fellow students, faculty and staff by providing the world with a safer food supply.” Each member of the Food Safety and Public Health team has multiple graduate students working on various projects directed toward the same goal. Students are involved in both planning and implementation of research projects in the U.S. and abroad and are intimately involved in helping the faculty team achieve the goals of the program.