Faculty Awards

Stetson’s Water Institute Receives $185,000 Florida Sea Grant

building exterior
The Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center houses the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience (IWER) Field Station on the shores of Lake Beresford.

The Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience (IWER) at Stetson University will be making an environmental difference in Volusia County thanks to a $185,000, two-year Florida Sea Grant.

Florida Sea Grant is a university-based program that supports research, education and extension to conserve coastal resources and enhance economic opportunities for Floridians.

portrait with windows behind him
Jason Evans, PhD

IWER is partnering with the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council; Thomas Ruppert, the Florida Sea Grant program’s coastal planning specialist; and Volusia County to implement a landscape conservation and climate resilience planning project.

“The joint project provides an opportunity to develop robust recommendations for land conservation in Volusia County that account for the economic value of natural landscapes including environmental planning for flood avoidance, pollinator habitat maintenance, water storage and purification, and carbon sequestration,” said Jason Evans, PhD, interim executive director of IWER and associate professor of environmental science and studies at Stetson.

pretty shot of dunes and rising sun, orange sky.
The grant will be used to develop recommendations for land conservation in Volusia County, such as Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach, above, with the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse in the distance.

Grant funds will be used to employ a post-doctoral resilience modeling specialist who will implement geospatial modeling approaches for examining the landscape with mapping techniques through a partnership with Stetson University’s Brown Visiting Teacher-Scholar Fellows Program.

“I believe the Florida Sea Grant award demonstrates that IWER is recognized as a leader in resilience planning, research and implementation,” said Evans. “Having resilience planning experience and the ability to conduct a project of this magnitude in Volusia County are important aspects of the grant.”

-Sandra Carr

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Faculty Accomplishments Faculty Awards

Fairwinds Foundation Awards $23,651 Grant To Stetson University

The Fairwinds Foundation presents the grant to Stetson University on March 3 in Orlando to, holding the check, left to right, Tim Stiles, executive director for Career and Professional Development; Board of Trustees Vice Chair Steve Alexander ’85 B.BA; and Jeff Ulmer, vice president of Development and Alumni Engagement.

The Fairwinds Foundation presented Stetson University with a $23,651 grant that will help provide 30 students with career training and mentoring in order to successfully secure an internship or job.

The grant matches a $23,651 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund for Stetson’s EDGE 2020 program, which “focuses on accelerating social capital and success for 30 students with limited incomes,” said Tim Stiles, executive director of Career and Professional Development at Stetson.

The EDGE program is open to first-year students through seniors. It will begin May 6-8 with a three-day “Orlando Bound” excursion that will include meeting with various employers, attending networking events, and receiving online and in-person financial literacy training and development. 

“The program will continue with one-on-one and small group mentoring for eight to 12 months — until every participant uses their training and contacts to successfully secure an internship or job,” Stiles said.

If you are interested in applying for the program, contact Career and Professional Development at [email protected] or 386-822-7315.

-Stetson Today

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Faculty Awards

$404,000 Grant Funds Stetson’s Water Institute And South Atlantic Region Project

Streets in New Bern, North Carolina, were flooded after Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Photo by Alice Wilson, City of New Bern Geographical Information Systems Manager

Many coastal cities are sinking and becoming more susceptible to climate change. As the world and oceans become warmer, rising sea levels will continue to cause flooding and storm surge in low-lying areas. A new grant gives researchers throughout the Southeast the opportunity to discover green infrastructure solutions to mitigate the effects of this flooding on coastal communities.

The Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience (IWER) at Stetson University is collaborating with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Coastal Management and Sea Grant College Programs in FloridaGeorgia, and North and South Carolina to evaluate green infrastructure interventions for reducing flood risks. The research opportunity is made possible by funding from a $404,000, two-year Karl Havens Memorial South Atlantic Regional Research on Coastal Community Resilience Grant.

portrait with windows behind him
Jason Evans, PhD

“The goal of the project is to assess how green infrastructure interventions — like natural land conservation and restoration of coastal wetlands, oyster reefs and beach dunes — may provide cost-effective flood mitigation within essential transportation networks,” said Jason Evans, PhD, interim executive director of IWER and the grant project’s team leader. “Each state team is working closely with its partner communities to develop project recommendations. The team works very well together because of its overall spirit of collegiality, collaboration and commitment to furthering long-term resilience of coastal communities.”

Stetson’s environmental science and studies students will have an opportunity to intern with the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, assist with implementing key project objectives and work directly with the country’s leading resilience experts.

IWER has conducted sea-level rise vulnerability assessments and developed adaptation planning strategies for numerous local governments in the past, and often in collaboration with research and outreach partners from Florida Sea Grant, the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and other universities throughout the southeast region.

National Guard pulls a lifeboat with rescued residents through deep water
Georgetown County Fire/EMS provides swift-water assistance by using inflatable boats to evacuate residents from flooded homes in South Carolina during the October 2015 flood. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intiriago/South Carolina Army National Guard

“IWER’s mission includes conducting advanced research methods and outreach that promotes creative solutions to complex environmental challenges,” said Evans. “Being selected to lead this grant-funded project in partnership with university collaborators, a diverse set of coastal communities and planning professionals, and the Sea Grant College Program’s network of outreach specialists, is a clear indication that IWER’s high-impact experiences and capabilities have been well-recognized.”

Earlier this year, Evans, et al, presented recently published research findings at the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR) symposium at Vanderbilt University.

Roads to Nowhere in Four States: State and Local Governments in the Atlantic Southeast Facing Sea-Level Rise,” published in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, discusses how local and state governments in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina are handling sea-level rise issues and road infrastructure. The research paper was selected by a review committee as one of the top four journal articles in 2019 to be published in ELPAR’s special issue of the Environmental Law Reporter.

The Roebling House at the University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography’s parking lot was flooded after Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Photo by the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

In addition to Evans, project researchers include Chris de Bodisco, PhD, assistant professor of economics at Stetson; Shana Jones, JD, planning and environmental services unit program manager, J. Scott Pippin, JD, public service associate and Jon Calabria, PhD, associate professor of environment and design at the University of Georgia; Daniel Hitchcock, PhD, associate professor of agricultural sciences at Clemson University Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science; Narcisa Pricope, PhD, associate professor of geography at the University of North Carolina Wilmington; and Tara McCue, AICP, director of planning and community development and Luis Nieves-Ruiz, AICP, economic development program manager at the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council.

Partner communities include Cape Canaveral, Florida; Garden City, Georgia; New Bern, North Carolina; New Hanover County in North Carolina; and Georgetown County in South Carolina. The cities and counties will be working with the lead researcher in its state to identify specific project sites for possible green infrastructure interventions as well as develop cost-benefit analysis models for providing a range of estimates for long-term values, including flood protection, habitat creation and preservation, contaminant mitigation and the integration of green spaces within a built environment.

-Sandra Carr

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SURE Grant Undergraduate Research

2020 Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience Grant Awards

Congratulations to our 2020 SURE Grant winners, we commend your effort!

Jasmine Hartsgrove, mentored by Fazal Abbas, Social Contagion model and obesity

Marie Domina, mentored by Terence Farrell, Rodents as hosts of snake parasite

Zevi Altus, mentored by Lisa Coulter, Estimating Kurdish Population in Turkey

Alyssa Louk, mentored by Thomas Farrell, Canterbury Tales Project

Kathryn Moran, mentored by Terence Farrell, Invasive Parasite (Raillietiella orientalis) in Corn Snakes

Julia Bassett, mentored by Nicole Mottier, America’s First Cocaine Encounter

Victoria Crawford, mentored by Asal Johnson, Wright Building and Community Health

Rebecca Guerra, mentored by Christopher DeBodisco, European Union Monetary Policy

Nelson Quezada Herrera, mentored by Joel Davis, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad

Jake Simmons, mentored by Tandy Grubbs, Nitrate, Phosphate, Ammonia Nutrient Concentrations

Gordon Silva, mentored by Nathan Wolek, Acoustically Treating Collective Church Deland

Jacob Woods, mentored by Nathan Wolek, Procedural Audio Integration into Celeste

Daminie Appavoo, mentored by Fazal Abbas, Mathematical Optimization Methods: Application

Samantha Dunlap, mentored by Katya Kudryavtseva, Captain America and Malchish-Kibalchish

Ocean Crawley-Sweeney, mentored by Dejan Magoc, Access to Healthcare in Remote Villages E Afr

Adam Wallace, mentored by Douglas Phillips, Stetson University Band Program 1955-1974

Anna Hamilton, mentored by Will Miles, Maximization of Stetson Student Learning

Grace McEllroy, mentored by Nathan Wolek, Manipulatives Of Audio Signals For Classroom Use

Sarah Rathke, mentored by Kelly Smith, Religionization and Xenophobia, env opinion


Office of Faculty Engagement

Welcome to the Office of Faculty Engagement at Stetson University. The Office provides entrepreneurial leadership of all aspects of faculty development, engagement, and support with a focus on ensuring academic excellence and innovation. Go to menu (3 dots) to navigate the website or refresh to the homepage by clicking the Stetson University logo.

Faculty Awards Summer Grants

2020 Summer Grants for Faculty Research & Creative Inquiry

The Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs is pleased to congratulate our Stetson teacher-scholar faculty on the submission of proposals for innovative scholarship, research and creative inquiry. The following Summer Grants Program projects were recommended by the Professional Development Committee to the Provost for their outstanding potential and dedication to Stetson’s mission of teaching, research, and artistic development:

Carol Azab, “Towards a better understanding of binge-watching behavior- because almost everybody is doing it

Sean Beckmann, “The presence of tick-borne pathogens and the prevalence of co-infection in prairie dwelling rodents” 

Judith Burnett, “Inua Partners in Hope: Curriculum Development and Expansion of Psychosocial services in Naivasha, Kenya – Evaluation and Post-Graduate Programming

Dengke Chen, “Animation Encapsulates Art Form Progression of Ancient Chinese Art in Mo Gao Caves,China

Terence Farrell, “The Effects of an Invasive Pentastome Parasite on Snake Health

Thomas Farrell, “Scribal Responses to Dialect Features in the Reeve’s Tale”

Jesse Fox, “Spirituality and Avoiding Difficult Emotions: Working With Spiritual Bypass”

Melissa Gibbs, “Nutrient contributions of armored catfish in Volusia Blue Spring”

Juanne Greene, “To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Understanding Executives Propensity to Utilize Social Media as a Strategic Disclosure Tool”

Kelly Hall, “The Effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence in Employee Feedback Processes”

Sidra Hamidi, “Constructing Distinctions: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear States in Global Politics” 

Matthew Imes, “Corporate Boards,Gender Diversity, and Debt Maturity”

Luca Molnar, “Complicating Victimhood Narratives: Three Women as Symbols in Obstetrics

Nicole Mottier, “TBA”

Timothy Murphy, “Business-based Information Literacy: Undergraduate Perceptions of Concepts and Practice in Library Instruction Sessions

Erin Nickell, “Show and Tell: Juror Perceptions of Audit Partner Characteristics and the Role of Visual Aids in Courtroom Testimony” 

Yohann Ripert, “Decolonizing Diplomacy: West Africa and The United States: 1960-81

Tara Schuwerk, “Making Sense of Nature: Communication and Sustainability in the Food System

Rajni Shankar-Brown, “Examining Turnover and Supporting the Wellbeing of PreK-12 Educators in High-Poverty Public Schools”

Jean Smith, “Investigating Protein Aggregation Evolution in Fungal Species”

Joseph Woodside, “Healthcare Robotics: Autonomous Learning Models for Clinical Decision-Making

Petros Xanthopoulos, “A minimum variance ensemble clustering algorithm based on modern portfolio theory

John York, “Computational Modeling of Ethylene Binding to the Copper Ion in the Ethylene Receptor Protein (ETR1)” 

Daniil Zavlunov, “Opera in Russia during the Reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855): A Cultural History [Phase III]

Congratulations to all the awardees!