2015 Grants and Awards

Bill Ong Hing

Professor Bill Ong HingBill Ong Hing, School of Law, has been awarded additional funding of $40,000 from the California Department of Social Services to continue providing legal services to unaccompanied, undocumented minors. The Refugee Programs Bureau funds nonprofit legal organizations to provide these services and USF's Immigration Law Clinic will represent minors in Northern California. (Dec. 7)

Andrea Spero

Andrea McEvoy SperoAndrea Spero, School of Education, has received a grant of $50,000, from the Orton Foundation, to support Slavery to Obama: Renewing the Promise of Reconstruction. These funds are used towards the class Slavery to Obama, an in-depth examination of the long history of white supremacy and black resistance. This course is designed to enable honest and critical discussion about race in America. Readings, lectures, and activities will focus on those events and individuals that shaped and influenced America’s efforts to abolish slavery and address its historical consequences, as well as subsequent efforts to create a society based on values of racial equality and social justice. This will be the 1st time that Slavery to Obama receives funding from the Orton Foundation. (Nov. 6)

Gretchen Coffman

Prof. Gretchen CoffmanGretchen Coffman, College of Arts and Sciences, has received a $5,000 grant from the Chicago Zoological Society for her current project, "Restoration of Wetland Habitat for Critically Endangered Cypress Trees of Laos." The grant supports a stipend for a Southeast Asian wildlife conservation expert and the development and distribution of educational training materials for local stakeholders. Community engagement is the key to protecting the cypress stands and maintaining the wetland habitat for threatened wildlife species. (Nov. 23) 

Hsiu-Lan Cheng

Hsui-Lan ChengHsiu-Lan ChengCounseling Psychology, School of Education, has received a grant to promote psychological research and training on health disparities. The title of her research project is "Development and Validation of a Measure of Patients' Perceived Racial/Ethnic Discrimination in the Health Care Setting." Dr. Cheng and her students will construct and validate how discrimination in health care is perceived and will apply the construct of racial microaggressions to enhance the understanding and measurement of discrimination in health care. The one year grant from the American Psychological Association is for $8,020. (Nov. 23)

Gretchen Coffman

Prof. Gretchen CoffmanGretchen Coffman, Environmental Science and Management, is being funded by the University of California, Santa Barbara, to participate in the Santa Clara River Habitat Restoration Project. Dr. Coffman and her graduate students will develop a study design and conduct long-term monitoring of riparian plant growth and ecophysiology in the restoration area for the next five years. This grant, which is being funded by Ventura County Watershed Protection District, is for $50,000. (Oct. 1)

Giovanni Meloni

Giovanni MeloniGiovanni Meloni, College of Arts and Sciences, has received an award from the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund. He and his students will continue to expand their investigation of the photoionization behavior of species relevant to combustion chemistry. This new project will provide his undergraduate and graduate students practical access to research in physical chemistry. They will be exposed to world-class research facilities at Berkeley National Lab and at the Swiss Light Source in Switzerland. The three year grant is for $70,000 and is Dr. Meloni's second award from ACS. (Oct. 23)

Genevieve Leung

Genevieve LeungGenevieve LeungCollege of Arts and Sciences, has received a grant from Language Learning for $9,901 for her project "Cantonese English Dual Language Immersion." She and Dr. Yuuko Uchikoshi from the University of California at Davis will look at the linguistic gains, socioemotional impact, and pedagogical achievement​s and challenges of students at a Cantonese-English dual-language elementary school. They will be analyzing cross-sectional data from students in grade​s 1​,​ 3 and 5. (Sept. 1)

Patrick Camangian

Patrick CamangianPatrick Camangian, School of Education, was awarded the 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, a $70,000 award. Through research in the health sciences and critical social theory, his project “From Coping to Hoping: Teaching Youth to Thrive through Trauma,” will develop a robust framework for understanding how pedagogy can be both critical and culturally relevant and sustaining, while also better accounting for the holistic demands youth in urban settings must negotiate. This interdisciplinary framework will serve as the analytical lens for a corpus of qualitative data for an ongoing teacher-action research project in the Oakland Unified School District. (Sept. 1)

Danfeng Soto-Vigil Koon

Danfeng Soto-Vigil KoonDanfeng Soto-Vigil Koon, School of Education, was awarded the 2015–2016 National Academy of Education/ Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. Selecting only thirty fellows from over 400 applicants, the NAEd/Spencer Fellowship recognizes individuals whose research has the potential of bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, and practice of education. In addition to providing a $27,500 award, the fellowship invites fellows to share their work with each other and more senior scholars during two meetings in Washington, D.C. during the fellowship year. Danfeng Koon's funded research explores the unique role of civil rights advocacy in contemporary school discipline reform efforts and the potential for law to challenge and/or exacerbate the socially reproductive functions of education. (Sept. 1)

Deneb Karentz

Deneb KarentzDeneb Karentz, Biology and Environmental Science, has been awarded $233,985 from the National Science Foundation for a five-year grant to manage and conduct an international polar biology training program in Antarctica for early-career scientists (PhD students and postdoctoral scholars). The funding will support two month-long advanced field courses focused on biological adaptations to environmental change in Antarctica, and will provide a unique opportunity for hands-on experience to the next generation of polar researchers. The grant is a collaborative effort with Dr. Donal Manahan at the University of Southern California who has been awarded $340,706. In addition to grant funding to USF and USC, NSF will provide logistics support for travel and research activities in Antarctica during the two field seasons (2016 and 2018). This is Dr. Karentz's tenth award from the NSF. (Sept. 1)

Juliet Spencer

Juliet SpencerJuliet Spencer, College of Arts and Sciences, has received a $25,000 gift from Claudia and Roger Salquist for the purchase of a Thunderbolt Analyzer from Gold Standard Diagnostics. The analyzer will be used in upper division classes like immunology, medical microbiology, and molecular genetics and biotechnology, as well as by students conducting research with faculty. (Sept. 4)

Calla Schmidt

Calla SchmidtCalla Schmidt, College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for $196,746. In collaboration with Mt. San Antonio College and the College of the Atlantic, Dr. Schmidt and her colleagues will engage a diverse cohort of undergraduates in hands-on, career-applicable environmental science experiences. The project will expand student awareness of traditional and nontraditional environmental science careers and focus on the skills and content knowledge necessary for career preparation. The team will facilitate student development of professional networks and create a system for documenting and archiving student career preparation and skills acquisition. (Sept. 15)

Peter Jan Honigsberg

Peter HonigsbergPeter Jan ​Honigsberg, School of Law, received ​$54,675 in operating support from The Roddick Foundation to hire an audience engagement and marketing coordinator for the Witness to Guantanamo (WTG) project. This will enable the project to continue to collect, document, and preserve the stories of the people who lived or worked in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sharing the findings with the public and making the interviews accessible to researchers, scholars, public officials, and others is a cornerstone of WTG. With this funding, the project will grow its international social media audience and develop relationships with nonprofit partners and journalists. (Sept. 29)

Charlene Lobo Soriano

Charlene Lobo Soriano, Center for Academic and Student Achievement, received $20,000, from the Maisin Foundation, to support the 2016–17 Muscat Scholars Program (MSP). This funding will help position incoming first generation, first year students for academic success, and social support during the crucial first year of college. This support is provided through academic preparation, programming, multi-level support (peer, faculty, staff, and alumni), and intensive opportunities to develop professional and personal identities. MSP’s core is a two-week boot camp for incoming first generation college freshmen, designed to build community, boost academic readiness, and introduce new students to the ins and outs of how college works. First generation college students face distinct challenges that can make it a struggle to stay in school, but Muscat Scholars supports students in defying this trend. This will be the 4th year The Muscat Scholars Program receives Maisin Foundation funding. (July 1)

Monisha Bajaj

Monisha BajajMonisha Bajaj, International and Multicultural Education, School of Education, received a grant of $49,554 from the Spencer Foundation. Her project is entitled "Transnational Civic Engagement of Immigrant and Refugee Youth at a Newcomer High School in California." Her research examines how recent immigrant youth engage with notions of rights, citizenship, and civic identity as they integrate into the U.S. and prepare for post-secondary transitions. (July 1)

Wanda Borges

Wanda BorgesWanda Borges, School of Nursing and Health Professions, has received a 3-year, $600,000 grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust. Fifty percent of this grant will be used to establish the endowed Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarship Fund to provide financial aid for Master’s Entry Nursing Students. The remainder of the grant will be used to fund current financial aid for students enrolled in the Master’s Entry Nursing Program. (July 1)

Judith Karshmer

Judith KarshmerJudith Karshmer, School of Nursing and Health Professions, has received a grant of a total of $92,998, from Kaiser Permanente, to support the USF School of Nursing for 2015 Transition to Practice Program in health, hospice, and community clinics. The University of San Francisco has joined forces with HealthImpact (Optimizing health through nursing) and the Kaiser Permanente Fund for Health Education at the East Bay Community Foundation to develop the New Nurse Transition Program. The Transition Program provides an experience for new RNs to begin working as professional nurses with a mentor in the community setting. The goals are to retain our new nurses while developing their role as a professional nurse. USF offers the only program comprised entirely of community settings. This will be the 3rd year that the Transition to Practice Program has received Kaiser Permanente funding. (July 30)

Seth Wachtel

Seth WachtelSeth Wachtel, College of Arts and Sciences, has received a $60,000 Digital Humanities grant for his project Discovery and Documentation of At-Risk Built Heritage. This NEH grant will help launch a digital technology-based process to document and record physical cultural heritage in the Bay Area that is vulnerable to loss or alteration. The project will involve USF students and grassroots volunteers, with the resulting Gleeson Library archive being made available to the public, teachers, students, academics and professionals. (June 1)

Alark Joshi and David Wolber

David WolberAlark JoshiAlark Joshi and David WolberCollege of Arts and Sciences, ​have been awarded a grant of $34,650 from the Google Foundation to conduct a summer workshop, Mobile Computer Science Principles, that will enable San Francisco high school teachers to start courses based on App Inventor and mobile computing. USF students will work in San Francisco schools assisting teachers during the 2015-2016 school year to help sustain a community of practice. (June 1)

Tom Cavanaugh

Thomas CavanaughThomas Cavanaugh, College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a one-year grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) in the amount of $18,359 to teach two courses on the question of wisdom, offered to first-year and transfer students at USF. Entitled Enduring Questions: Concepts of Wisdom, the grant will engage students in various disciplines of Asian and Western Philosophy to explore the age-old question of wisdom and ignorance. Dr. Cavanaugh will incorporate plays, films, and an off-campus excursion to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum into each course in order to foster a vivid learning experience. (June 1)

Peter Jan Honigsberg

Peter HonigsbergPeter Jan Honigsberg, School of Law, received $5,000 from the Samuel Rubin Foundation to support the work of the Witness to Guantanamo project. The project films interviews of Guantanamo detainees and other witnesses in order to document and expose human rights abuses and rule of law violations that occurred at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (June 10)

Laleh Shahideh

Laleh ShadidehLaleh Shahideh, Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Services, received a $25,000 gift from the Nick Traina Foundation for CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) After Hours and the Nick Traina Crisis Funds for youth in jeopardy. This gift will help guarantee that students in crisis have access to potentially life-saving counseling services at the exact time they need to talk with a clinician. Additionally, this gift will help students in jeopardy who need immediate tuition assistance in order to continue their studies at USF because of a personal or family crisis. (June 19)

Alexa Curtis

Alexa CurtisAlexa Curtis, School of Nursing and Health Professions, has been awarded $149,999 from the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. This two-year grant will support the development of rural health academic practice partnerships to increase inter-professional training opportunities for USF's nurse practitioner students. Ultimately, funds from this grant will improve the pipeline of healthcare providers for underserved rural communities. (June 30)

Claire Sharifi and Barbara Sattler

Barbara Sattler

Claire Sharifi, Gleeson Library | Geschke Center, and Barbara Sattler, School of Nursing and Health Professions, have been awarded $9,000 from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Their grant will enhance nursing skills by training nurses to use the National Library of Medicine's TOXNET suite of resources to assess and address environmental health. They will develop a new online training program for nurses that includes case studies, specialized tutorials, guides and bibliographies. Participating nurses will learn how to integrate evidence based environmental health resources into their professional practice. (May 1)


Paul Flores

Paul FloresPaul Flores, College of Arts and Sciences, has been named to the 2015 class of Doris Duke Artists by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) and Creative Capital. Professor Flores is one of 22 nation-wide recipients who will receive $275,000 each in flexible, multi-year funding as an investment in and celebration of their ongoing contributions to the fields of contemporary dance, theatre and jazz. Paul teaches a very popular Hip Hop Theater class in the Performing Arts and Social Justice Major. (May 7)

Kamal Harb and Doug Padron

Kamal Harb, Director of Health Promotion Services, and Doug Padron, Associate Athletic Director, have received a three-year $30,000 grant from the NCAA. The award will support the Dons: Do Something About It Program, which promotes responsible drinking among USF athletes and students through a bystander intervention model. Through an online and on-campus social norming campaign, students will be encouraged to intervene if they witness their friends or strangers binge drinking, playing drinking games, or exhibiting any other problem drinking behaviors. The program will teach students appropriate intervention behaviors and help them recognize the need to intervene. (May 1)

Peter Jan Honigsberg

Peter HonigsbergPeter Jan Honigsberg, School of Law, has received $100,000 from The Oak Foundation to continue conducting in-depth filmed interviews with former Guantanamo detainees and related personnel. This grant will provide general operating support, including funds for the post-production of interviews, transcriptions and related materials, and outreach to potential users of archival materials and to improve the website.(March 12)

Alexa Curtis

Alexa CurtisAlexa Curtis, School of Nursing and Health Professions, has been awarded $2,000 from New York University for her project, the Interprofessional Oral Systemic Health Teaching Learning Activity. Working with dental health professionals, she will develop a web-based instructional resource to prepare dentistry students at University of the Pacific and USF School of Nursing and Health Professions' students for a clinical experience in pediatric oral-systemic health care. (March 17) 

Dean Rader

Dean RaderDean Rader, College of Arts and Sciences, had his work selected by Stephen Burt, the renowned poet and scholar at Harvard, for the Poetry Society of America's George Bogin Memorial Award. The Poetry Society of America is the oldest and most prestigious poetry organization in America, and the Bogin award is given to "poems that use language in an original way to reflect the encounter of the ordinary and the extraordinary and to take a stand against oppression in any of its forms." (March 30)

Bill Ong Hing

Professor Bill Ong HingBill Ong Hing, School of Law, has received a subaward in the amount of $86,300 from the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). This support is from a grant funded by the City of San Francisco to provide legal representation to children and families with cases in the San Francisco Immigration Court in 2015. The subaward will be used to fund the School of Law's Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic. (Feb. 26)

John Callaway

John CallawayJohn Callaway, College of Arts and Sciences, will receive $47,982 over three years from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). USGS is the lead on this NASA-funded grant entitled "Developing a National Framework for Carbon Monitoring in Coastal Wetlands." Dr. Callaway will coordinate data compilation and analysis for one of the six national sites (coastal Louisiana) and participate in modeling and synthesis across the remaining sites (Florida Everglades, Chesapeake Bay, Waquoit Bay, San Francisco Bay, and Puget Sound).​ (Jan. 1)

Ursula Aldana

Ursula AldanaProfessor Ursula Aldana, Leadership Studies, School of Education, has received a 4.5 year grant for $163,000 from the International Baccalaureate Organization, a Swiss foundation. Professor Aldana will collaborate with Dr. Anysia Mayer (CSU Stanislaus) and Dr. Patricia Gandara (UCLA) to examine school outcomes and engagement of high school and postsecondary students from low-income households in California who participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program​me​. (Jan. 1)

Bill Ong Hing

Professor Bill Ong HingProfessor Bill Ong Hing, School of Law, has been awarded a grant from the California Department of Social Services in the amount of $112,000 to provide legal services to unaccompanied, undocumented minors. The Refugee Programs Bureau funds nonprofit legal organizations to provide these services and USF's Immigration Law Clinic will represent 28 minors in Northern California in the next six-month period. (Jan. 1)

Wanda Borges and Mary Kate Wood

Mary Kate WoodWanda BorgesWanda Borges​ and Mary Kate Wood, School of Nursing and Health Professions, have received a grant from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Department ​for​ $153,000​. The grant will provide​ eight educational stipends to doctoral students in the psychiatric mental health nursing program ​over​ the next three and half years. ​The grant will support students who are committed to working in the public mental health system and prepare them to deliver mental health services that promote wellness, recovery, and resilience. SONHP will encourage ​the enrollment of ​individuals with consumer and family experience in the public mental health system ​and recruit students who are culturally competent and/or have life experience with the public mental health system. (Jan. 26)