Research funding nearly triples over three years at Fresno State

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Research funding nearly triples over three years at Fresno State

California State University, Fresno faculty recorded another record-breaking year of securing grants and contracts for a variety of research and projects during 2000-2001.

Growth in funding increased 27 percent in the last fiscal year, said Dr. Tom McClanahan, associate vice president for University Grants and Research. That means that in the last three years, the total of grant dollars received has grown more than 250 percent — from $13 million in 1997-98 to more than $33 million in 2000-2001.

McClanahan credits Fresno State faculty members, backed by proactive deans and vice presidents.

“Research activity is very encouraging,” McClanahan said. “Faculty and staff are attracting attention with their research activity in ever-increasing fields.”

Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, added, “Without a doubt, faculty expertise is the primary factor associated with successful research applications. Other factors are a reputation for quality that is earned over time and a great deal of personal initiative and effort. We’re very proud of our faculty and the staff of the University Grants and Research Office,” Ortiz said.

In 2000-2001, more than 500 faculty proposals were submitted to the grants office and were then sent to over 150 public and private funding agencies.

McClanahan said the university’s professionalism has resulted in a leadership role in grant-related services to the Central Valley. Funded projects include an array of outreach and service to business, education and government agencies.

“Fresno State is becoming increasingly competitive in obtaining state and federal funding, and in many areas of academic focus we are clearly dominant,” he said.

Agriculture and Water Technology research is one area where Fresno State has few peers. Between the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT), the California Agricultural Technology Institute (CATI) and the CATI-administered Agricultural Research Institute (ARI), Fresno State conducts millions of dollars in research and training.

CIT alone is administering multimillion-dollar contracts on behalf of the California Energy Commission to help state farmers install high-efficiency energy measures.

The College of Health and Human Services has been very active in seeking external support, and last year it received several million dollars in research and training grants as well as financial support for students. For example, health science professor Vickie Krenz, who started with a very small study several years ago, now directs more than $250,000 in sponsored research with other campus researchers involved.

Science research on campus has become an increasing point of pride at Fresno State. So too are science related services provided to the Central Valley. For example, Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., coordinates a $957,969 program designed to increase access to mental health services among the Central Valley’s Latino community. Dr. Fred Schreiber, Ph.D. and Francisco Pineda coordinate a $335,937 program that involves faculty and students at several local community college campuses, called, “Bridges to the Baccalaureate”. Their mission: increase successful completion of the BS degree by minority students.

McClanahan is both optimistic and realistic about prospects for continued growth in the university’s sponsored research. “In the current year

[2001-02], I think we may reach $40 million in total grant and contract funding, which would double even the most optimistic projections of a few years ago.”

However, he said, in order to sustain high levels of sponsored research and grants, “Fresno State must invest deeply and systematically in building its intellectual and physical infrastructure.”

EDITORS: SEE ATTACHED LIST OF RECENT MAJOR GRANTS

Recent Major Grants

California Water Institute

Amount of Award: $1,114,000

Project Director: Dr. Karl Longley and Dr. David Zoldoske

Purpose: Facilitate targeted studies, education, and research of key water issues in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

College/School: Engineering and Computer Science

California Energy Commission Rebate Program

Amount of Award: $7,000,000

Project Director: Dr. David Zoldoske and Pete Canessa

Purpose: Provide technical assistance and equipment cost rebates to agricultural related energy user to reduce peak period electricity demand.

College/School: College of Agriculture Sciences and Technology

Entrepreneurial Resource Center

Amount of Award: $998,000

Project Director: Martha Lucey

Purpose: Conducting entrepreneurial training classes for eligible unemployed persons in Fresno County.

College/School: Craig School of Business

Cal Works Specialized Assessment Services

Amount of Award: $384,390

Project Director: Dr. Charles Arokiasamy

Purpose: Provide Fresno County Cal Works participants who have limited English speaking ability with an employment evaluation and assessment.

College/School: Kremen School of Education and Human Development

One Stop Operator — Fresno Work Force Connection

Amount of Award: $993,684

Project Director: Joe Olivarez

Purpose: Contract with Fresno County to provide the initial intake and referral of unemployed residents in assisting them to obtain employment.

College/School: College of Health and Human Services

Fresno Collaborative For Excellence In Preparation of Teachers

Amount of Award: $2,043,399 (4 years)

Project Director: Dr. David Andrews

Purpose: Provide secondary science and math teacher training and credential program.

College/School: College of Sciences and Mathematics

Pilot Balloon Study

Amount of Award: $69,461

Project Director: William Slusser

Purpose: Daily collection of wind speed and direction in Fresno area, up to 10,000 feet.

College/School: Social Science

Increasing Access to Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Mental Health Services

Amount of Award: $985, 969 (3 years)

Project Director: Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola

Purpose: Multi-agency collaborative to increase access to mental health services and reduce barriers to care in the rural Central Valley.

College/School: College of Sciences and Mathematics

California Reading and Literature Project

Amount of Award: $294,000 (3 years)

Project Director: Rosie Arenas

Purpose: Professional development training and support for 420 PreK-3 teachers.

College/School: Arts and Humanities