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Kays Foundation Awards Six New Grants for A-State Faculty Research Projects

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JONESBORO – Six Arkansas State University faculty members have been recognized as recipients of Kays Foundation grants totaling $103,502 to provide support for their projects this year. The board of directors of the Kays Foundation reviews and approves proposals from A-State faculty and staff.

Dr. Amanda Mohler, assistant professor of occupational therapy, received funding of $21,653 to purchase assistive technology to be used in a clinical skills laboratory. The assistive technology is the first step in developing the lab for promoting interprofessional education and student learning, including competency and clinical reasoning.

A proposal by Dr. Sarah Davidson, assistant professor of nursing and associate dean, was approved for $16,550 to purchase a Gaumard HAL S1020 simulation manikin and monitor. This equipment provides new options for hands-on learning in simulation labs and the classroom, along with instant feedback. Faculty will use the monitor in didactic and clinical courses in disaster preparedness, graduate nursing, and undergraduate nursing programs.

Jody Nutt, assistant professor of medical imaging and radiation sciences, received $16,631 to acquire a 3-D scanner for medical imaging. The images will be used in medical 3-D printing applications, such a construction of organ and anatomical models to enhance students’ educational experience.

A grant proposal for $16,168 from Dr. Asela Wijeratne, assistant professor of bioinformatics, was approved. Wijeratne is trying to find a more durable and environmentally friendly solution for sudden death syndrome (SDS), which is a highly destructive soybean disease caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium virguliforme.

Kelli Listenbee, director of Learning Support Services and coordinator of First Year Experience, and Tabatha Simpson-Farrow, director of the Writing Center, asked the foundation for $22,500 toward a project to complete the Academic Hub, a center comprised of library and faculty resources, along with three student-tutoring centers, on the third floor of Ellis Library.

The Kays board awarded a $10,000 grant to Bradbury Art Museum in response to a proposal from Haley Voges, education coordinator at BAM. The grant will be used as matching funds for a project in which BAM will develop a mobile extension of the museum. The BAM van will enable staff to share the art collection across a wider region, benefiting those who might not otherwise have access.

According to Terry Carty, executive vice president of the Kays Foundation, the grants are part of the foundation's ongoing commitment to assist the university through grants that help advance its academic, service and research missions.

The Arkansas State College Foundation for the Advancement of Higher Education, which operates as Kays Foundation, traces its beginnings to 1911 and the administration of V.C. Kays, the founding principal and president of the institution that evolved into Arkansas State University.