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Re-Imagining the First Year of College (RFY) has launched its online learning community. The RFY learning community will serve as the central workspace for the 44 campuses with team members at the helm initiating and driving discussions. Learn more

The 2016 College Media Conference is scheduled for June 27-29 in Washington, D.C. This is the top conference for media relations professionals. The early bird registration rate ends May 27. For program information and registration visit this website.

Read AASCU President Muriel Howard’s statement on the Beyond the Box and download the report here.



Black Hills State University (S.D.)
The spring session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG) concluded its 10-week trading session April 22. The SDSMG is operated by the Black Hills State University Center for Economic Education. For the spring trading session, 558 students from 25 South Dakota schools formed 239 teams of stock market investors and received a hypothetical $100,000 to perform online investing in real-time stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Read more

Colorado State University-Pueblo
Colorado State University-Pueblo will kick off a new partnership with the Smithsonian Institution this summer by sending five students to Washington, D.C. for month-long internships in June. The five students selected for the internships will work in a variety of museums and locations across the Smithsonian from June 1-July 1 as part of a partnership that began with the University’s involvement with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Read more

Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Connecticut State University has been selected by TheDream.US, the nation’s largest scholarship program for DREAMers — immigrant youth who came to the United States without documentation — as one of only two schools in the country to participate in TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship program. Scholarships will support highly-motivated immigrant students who live in 16 states where they are “locked out” of access to a college education because they are required to pay out-of-state tuition or prohibited from enrolling in the state’s colleges and universities all together. Read more



Grants and Gifts

Arkansas State University
Jonathan Merten is developing a laser-based method to measure uranium enrichment levels in microscopic samples in less than a second. He is conducting his research under contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Office of Naval Research. The grant is $264,030 for the first three years. Read more

Black Hills State University (S.D.)
Professor of American Indian Studies, John Glover, and Native Educational Endeavors, Inc. were awarded a grant by the Indian Land Tenure Foundation to offer a Black Hills State University comprehensive online Indian Lands course. The purpose of the course is to gather the existing and proven land tenure curriculum, pedagogies and expert instruction that have been tested over the last decade in classrooms across the U.S., assembling content into a new online course accredited and offered through BHSU. Read more

California State University, Sacramento
The National Institutes of Health (NIV) recently awarded a four-year, $425,000 grant to Chemistry Professor Katherine McReynolds. The grant will allow McReynolds to expand her student research team as they pursue the process of creating a preventive, topical agent that creates a barrier between the cell and the HIV and AIDS virus. Read more

Georgia College
Associate Professor Sam Mutiti recently received a Fulbright Scholar grant. Research that began in 2013 with a study abroad trip for Georgia College students developed to allow him to spend nearly a year in Zambia researching contamination in a former mining town and teaching students at the University of Zambia. Mutiti will work to answer several key questions while there including how can the people live with such levels of the poisonous lead in their blood. Read more

James Madison University (Va.)
A multidisciplinary team of JMU undergraduate and graduate students has earned $10,000 from a local event, Care for the Caregiver Hack-a-thon, to develop a mobile app that encourages caregivers to care for themselves. The tentative plan is to set up a 501c3 organization and use the $10,000 to launch the app the team developed over the summer. Read more

Lincoln University (Pa.)
Lincoln University is one of 30 institutions selected to receive grant funding from UNCF’s (United Negro College Fund) new Career Pathways Initiative (CPI). Lincoln will receive $100,000 to support planning for Project CAREERS (Creating Avenues for Real Employment Engagement Resulting in Success), a four-year, holistic, student employment pathway which positions students to move from the classroom to a career or graduate program. Read more

Lock Haven University (Pa.)
First Quality Enterprises, Inc. has donated $250,000 to the Lock Haven University Foundation. The gift, distributed over five years, will support academics, with the purpose to be decided by LHU administrators and First Quality at a later date. Read more

Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Students from applied engineering, safety & technology, chemistry and physics will soon be working together on nanotechnology projects, thanks to the efforts of Millersville University’s Mark Atwater. The assistant professor of applied engineering, safety & technology was awarded a $502,420 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to pursue researching the use of nanotechnology on metal foams. Read more

Salisbury University (Md.)
Adding to the list of Fulbright Scholars bringing national and international distinction to Salisbury University, Manav Ratti, associate professor of English, has been awarded a grant through Fulbright Canada — with the good will envisioned by the senator unfolding in Salisbury itself. The Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leadership Program provides small grants for current grantees and alumni of the Fulbright Canada program to partner with local organizations in order to make a significant positive environmental impact in their community. Read more

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • With funding from a $140,000 Mathematics and Science Partnership grant, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock program is helping Arkansas elementary school teachers become more effective science educators. Read more
  • With the help of a recent grant, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock researcher is expanding his investigation of cyber flash mobs — particularly those that lead to violent or damaging behavior. The three-year nearly $300,000 grant will fund a project that will analyze the formation of cyber flash mobs, investigating how and why the gatherings occur and why they’re so effective. Read more

University of North Georgia
UNG raised more than $2.6 million this year for student scholarships, nearly doubling the previous mark of $1.35 million. The total was announced and celebrated at the university's fourth annual Scholarship Gala, held April 30 in Bogart, Georgia. Read more

University of West Florida
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with colleagues in the UWF Department of Chemistry and Office of Undergraduate Research, has been awarded a $294,000 grant from the National Science Foundation that will be used to enhance interdisciplinary undergraduate research. Read more

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
The university has received a $1.25 million competitive grant to continue its nationally recognized work preparing adapted physical education teachers for schools across the country. Read more



Awards and Honors

Armstrong State University (Ga.)
Director of International Education Dorothée Mertz-Weigel will be knighted by the French Ministry of Education in a ceremony to be held at Armstrong in February 2017. Mertz-Weigel will be conferred with the insignia of the Order of Academic Palms of the Chevalier (Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques), an honor founded in 1808 by Napoleon Bonaparte to award devotion and accomplishment in the areas of teaching, scholarship and research. Read more

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
The university’s digital forensics program has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The designation by the National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education is valid for five academic years. Read more

California State University, East Bay
Stephanie Couch, executive director of Cal State East Bay’s Institute for STEM Education, was recently recognized as one of the 2016 San Francisco Business Times’ Influential Women for her achievements in developing science, technology, engineering and math programs. Read more

Frostburg State University (Md.)
Sydney Duncan, associate provost, was presented with the Robert A. Collins Service Award at the 2016 International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. The special recognition is named for the conference’s founder, the award’s first recipient, and is presented to an International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts board member or division head for outstanding service to the organization.
Read more

Midwestern State University (Texas)
The Respiratory Care Department has earned the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award given by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). This award recognizes the department for being among the top 10 percent of approximately 440 respiratory care programs in the country and places the MSU respiratory care program among the top master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s respiratory care degree programs in the nation. Read more

Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Micheál Houlahan and Philip Tacka, received the OAKE Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 OAKE National Conference in Long Beach, Calif. The award recognizes the team’s career of innovation and enduring dedication to the field of music education and music theory. Read more

University of Illinois Springfield
Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning, was honored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) with their Hall of Fame Award during the association’s conference in St. Louis on May 10, 2016. Read more

University of West Florida
The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated the University of West Florida as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through the academic year 2021-22. The National Centers of Academic Excellence program seeks to reduce vulnerability in the nation’s information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and increasing the number of professionals with cyber defense expertise.
Read more

Western Washington University
Western Washington University has appeared on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of the top green energy purchasers in higher education for the past 10 years. In the most recent listing in April, Western was 20th on the EPA’s list of the top 30 green energy purchasers in higher education. Western annually offsets 100 percent of its electrical consumption from green sources via purchases of renewable energy credits. Read more




Angelo State University (Texas)
Travis Sparks, a geoscience major, has received a 2016 GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research from the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) – Geosciences Division. Read more

Arkansas State University

  • Raj N. Patel, a junior Honors student, received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Patel will use the award to study abroad with the A-State summer program at Saitama University in Japan. Read more
  • Shane Hunt, dean of the College of Business, and John Mello, professor of supply chain management, have funded the Hunt-Mello Textbook Scholarship for business students at Arkansas State. The two faculty members donated portions of sales of a textbook the pair co-authored in 2014 titled, “Marketing.” Read more

Armstrong State University (Ga.)
Professor of Engineering Studies Cameron Coates has been selected to participate in the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Faculty Fellowship Program. The 10-week summer residency will take place at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and will include seminars, group meetings, tours, special events and access to research resources. Read more

Buffalo State College (N.Y.)
Ashley Weselak, who will graduate with her master’s degree in English education in May, has been named a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grant to teach English as a second language in Rwanda starting in the fall. Read more

California State University, Monterey Bay
CSUMB teams won the top two spots in Fishackathon 2016 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of 40 sites on six continents to hold competitions over Earth Day weekend. The event brings together coders, designers and marine scientists to craft technological solutions to help safeguard the health of marine life – and the millions of people who depend on fish in their diet. Read more

California State University, Northridge

  • Thousands of parents in California rely on the more than 30,000 licensed family child care homes in the state to take care of their children during and after daytime work hours. Though these providers, on average, have more than 11 years of professional experience and engage in professional development and quality improvement, a substantial number of them struggle financially, according to findings from a study led by California State University, Northridge psychology professor Holli Tonyan. Read more
  • Biology professor and coral reef expert Peter Edmunds delved deep below the ocean’s surface to monitor and study the effects El Niño has on coral reefs. As part of an ongoing decades-long research project on reefs, Edmunds and a team of CSUN biology graduate and undergraduate students began a one-year National Science Foundation RAPID-funded research project in January on the island of Mo’orea to see if El Niño’s effect on rising water temperatures could in turn change coral growth rates. Read more
  • Associate anthropology professor Hélène Rougier has embarked on a mission with an international team of fellow scientists to answer questions of epic prehistoric proportions — where did the early Europeans come from and how did they get there? Rougier and her team’s research on prehistoric human bones found in the Goyet cave in Belgium — dating from about 35,000 to 15,000 years ago — were incorporated in the first-ever comprehensive study published in Nature magazine on Monday, May 2. Read more

Columbus State University (Ga.)
Students from various academic departments have collaborated on a stirring photo exhibit that showcases issues confronting youth and the power of community involvement. Called “Voices of our Future,” the photo exhibition is designed to better explain the issues Columbus’ youth are facing. Read more

Frostburg State University (Md.)
In Argentina, Frostburg exchange student Sofia Agüero Petros can’t walk down the street without being stopped by fans of her performances in Disney Latino’s “High School Musical: Sueños (Dreams)” and “High School Musical: El Desafío (The Challenge),” and their chart-topping albums.
Read more

Georgia College
Brian Minter, computer science senior, was one of 350 students in the world selected to get a free ticket to the 2016 Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference. Scholarship applicants were required to submit an app that demonstrated creative use of Apple technologies and runs on an Apple platform as well as answer an essay question about the coding process. Ticket prices for the conference are valued at over $1,500. Read more

Midwestern State University (Texas)
A new species of a legless lizard fossil found at Midwestern State University’s Dalquest Desert Research Station (DDRS) has been named in honor of Texas and an MSU botanist. The “Lone Star” lizard’s official name is Solastella cookei – the species name in honor of Biology Chair William Cook. Solastella is a Latinized form of “lone star.” Read more

Saginaw Valley State University (Mich.)

  • Heading into a profession that is over 75 percent dominated by males is just one more challenge for Megan VanFleteren to overcome. The mechanical engineering major and Foundation Scholar from Troy has learned to adapt and persevere in the face of adversity, and does so with a positive attitude. Read more
  • A student employee from Saginaw Valley State University was recognized as the top student employee in Michigan. Zach Metiva, a computer science major from Standish, was selected by the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators as the 2016 Student Employee of the Year for the state of Michigan. Read more

Slippery Rock University (Pa.)
Jeff Lynn, associate professor of exercise science; Joyan Urda, assistant professor of exercise science, and Patricia Pierce, professor of exercise science, published "Sun Exposure and Exercise: The Good, the Bad and the Behavior Change," through the American College of Sports Medicine. Read more

Southeast Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University students and mother and daughter duo Vickey Graham and Narita Gater of Charleston, Missouri, didn’t realize they would graduate together until their final semester at Southeast. Both will receive degrees at Southeast’s spring 2016 commencement exercises May 14 at the Show Me Center. For Graham, this commencement will fulfill a lifelong dream to earn her college degree. As a single parent of three children, she put their lives first and delayed her higher education. Now 54 and with five grandchildren, she’s ready to start a new chapter in her life. Read more

University of Central Florida

  • “CSI” and its television spin-off shows make forensic science seem like an exact study that will deliver a sure conviction or exoneration in court. In real life, there’s a lot of confusion about forensic evidence, and other than DNA it is rarely introduced into the courtroom. University of Central Florida forensic scientist Candice Bridge is working alongside her peers and a national organization to change that and give prosecutors and public defenders more knowledge about what forensic science can and cannot do. Read more
  • Four years ago, UCF finance major Courtney Wood was playing basketball with her dad when he went into sudden cardiac arrest. He survived and now wears an Implantable Cardiac Device (ICD) to monitor his heart. That terrifying moment would inspire his daughter to come up with the winning idea for the Great Capstone Case Competition. Woods and fellow UCF business students pitched their idea of a mobile network to monitor cardiac patients to a panel of judges from Verizon, which sponsored the spring semester contest. Read more

University of Illinois Springfield
The University of Illinois Springfield unveiled The Young Lawyer, a 6' 4" statue of Abraham Lincoln sculpted by renowned artist George Lundeen, on May 10, 2016. Read more

University of North Georgia
A UNG professor has established an initiative to help combat food insecurity at the college level. Nationwide, more than 200 educational institutions have recognized a need for on-campus food banks, including Georgia schools like Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University. The Wall Street Journal asserts that this trend could be because of rising costs in tuition, housing, books and transportation. Read more

Winthrop University (S.C.)

  • Winthrop University senior Adaeze Aninweze, a chemistry major originally from Nigeria, has won a National Security Education Program David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship for Study Abroad. Aninweze is the first Winthrop student to receive the prestigious scholarship. Read more
  • Rachel Burns is the first student Fulbright Scholarship winner for Winthrop UniversityOf the 97 people who have applied for Fulbrights to South Africa this year, only 14 have been awarded the scholarship thus far. Read more
  • Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Sport and Human Performance Seth Jenny spent four months and two days hiking the Appalachian Trail. Jenny shares his once-in-a-lifetime adventure in his new book, “Marathon’s Walk in the Woods: An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike,” now available on Amazon. Read more
  • Three Winthrop University senior chemistry majors were recently honored with the Carolina-Piedmont Section of the American Chemistry Society’s 2016 Outstanding Student Leadership Award. Read more