2016 Grants and Awards

Aysha Hidayatullah and Aaron Hahn Tapper

Aaron Hahn Tapper Aysha Hidayatullah, Aaron Hahn Tapper, and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, have received a $5,000 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and located at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Funding from this grant will support an intensive weekend-long faculty workshop dedicated to collectively studying and articulating the Department of Theology and Religious Studies’ (THRS) undergraduate teaching mission in light of its faculty’s diversity and USF’s Jesuit Catholic mission. This focused, intensive gathering for full-time faculty aims to develop a collective understanding of how the THRS Department’s teaching mission can be translated across the diversity of approaches to the study of religion. (Dec. 2)

Desiree Zerquera, Kimberly Reyes, and Jason Pender

Jason PenderKimberly ReyesDesiree ZerqueraDesiree Zerquera, Leadership Studies; Kimberly Reyes, Leadership Studies; and Jason Pender, Student Housing and Residential Education, have received a $2,000 2016-17 NASPA Region VI Research and Assessment Grant to support the collaborative research project, “Understanding Practitioner-Driven Assessment and Evaluation Efforts for Social Justice.” This project aims to examine the ways in which student affairs practitioners are leveraging social justice through work in assessment. Funding from NASPA provides the opportunity for one graduate student working in student affairs to develop and recruit participants for a survey, analyze its results, recruit focus group participants, support focus group analysis, and disseminate study findings in NASPA’s Region V and Region VI Regional Conference next year. (Nov. 2)

Aparna Venkatesan

Aparna VenkatesanAparna Venkatesan, Physics and Astronomy, is part of a three-year collaborative grant for $215,000 that has just been funded by the National Science Foundation to support the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT) Project, "Enhancing Undergraduate Research Experiences through Extragalactic Radio Astronomy." This grant builds on prior work with the UAT, supported by a previous NSF grant in 2012-2016 totaling $438,000. Led by Professor Rebecca Koopmann at Union College, the UAT is a consortium of 20 undergraduate-focused institutions across the United States. Through the current NSF grant, the UAT will extend its multi-faceted program to promote undergraduate research within ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA, where ALFA refers to the Arecibo L-band Feed Array detector). ALFALFA is the most extensive and most sensitive large scale astronomical survey to date of the neutral hydrogen in the local Universe at radio wavelengths of 21 cm, detecting more than 20,000 galaxies out to a distance of 750 million light-years using the world's largest radio telescope, the 305-meter Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Prof. Venkatesan and USF undergraduates will utilize this grant to gain hands-on observing and data analysis experience at world-class observing facilities through annual workshops, involvement in a summer research program and remote observing, opportunities to network and present results at national meetings, and cutting-edge collaborative research projects. These projects include studies of the chemical and ionization signatures of low-mass ALFALFA sources, the Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey (APPSS) which uses ALFALFA galaxies as preferred tracers of large scale structure in the local universe, and, targeted follow-up investigations of very low-mass "dark galaxies" that have neutral hydrogen but appear to be starless. Prof. Venkatesan and her USF student research group have been recently profiled in the press, and in articles on the UAT including Mercury magazine (2015) and the Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly in summer 2016. Prof. Venkatesan’s research program in theoretical and observational cosmology has received a number of awards and grants, including the 2013 USF Dean’s Scholar Award and the national Cottrell College Science Award. She is also the recipient of a Jesuit Foundation Grant from USF in 2012. (Sept. 12)

Bill Ong Hing

Professor Bill Ong HingBill Ong Hing, School of Law, has been awarded an additional $240,000 to supplement his original grant from the California Department of Social Services Refugee Programs Bureau. The grant will increase the number of unaccompanied, undocumented minors receiving services from USF's Immigration Law Clinic to 56 minors in Northern California. Professor Hing also continues to receive funding from the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), through their grant from the city of San Francisco, to provide legal representation to children and families with cases in the San Francisco Immigration Court. (Aug. 25)

Kevin Kumashiro

Kevin KumashiroKevin Kumashiro, School of Education, has received a 2-year federal AmeriCorps grant, totaling $1,036,941, to support the San Francisco Teacher Residency (SFTR) program. This grant provides stipends to dozens of "teacher residents" in high-needs San Francisco public schools, and aims to increase the pathways into teaching for candidates from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds. The SFTR program is a partnership between USF, the San Francisco Unified School District, the United Educators of San Francisco, and Stanford University. These will be the 7th and 8th years that SFTR has received AmeriCorps funding. (July 1)

Alessandra Cassar

Alessandra CassarAlessandra Cassar, Economics, has been awarded a one-year grant from the Charles Koch Foundation for $14,000 to support student research fellowships as part of her dual research project “Improving Education in Disadvantaged Communities and Decreasing the Gender Gap.” Funding from the Charles Koch Foundation will allow a group of IDEC (International and Development Economics) students to spend the summer conducting research in several developing countries including Colombia, Bosnia, Togo, and Senegal. (July 6)

Judy Pace

Judith PaceJudy Pace, Teacher Education, School of Education, has been awarded a one-year grant from the Spencer Foundation in the amount of $49,333 for her project “Preparing Teachers to Teach Controversial Issues: A Cross-National Study.” Funding from the Spencer Foundation will allow her to examine teacher educator efforts to prepare new teachers to teach controversial issues in secondary history/social studies classes. Dr. Pace’s research will contribute to both theory building and practice by generating knowledge to improve teacher preparation in an area crucial to democracy. (June 1)

M. Antoni J. Ucerler, S.J. and Xiaoxin Wu

Wu XiaoxinM. Antoni Ucerler, S.J.M. Antoni J. Ucerler, S.J. and Xiaoxin Wu, Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, received a grant of $538,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation in New York. This four-year grant will enable the Ricci Institute to initiate a new international education and publication project to further scholarly research on Christianity in East Asia with a particular emphasis on two different types of study: (1) independent historical narratives of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Christian communities within their respective cultural spheres; and (2) explorations of the historical connections that bind Chinese Christian culture to that of Japan and Korea within the emerging field of global history. The project aims at developing such scholarship through a focused series of workshops, fellowships, and publications, thereby building new intellectual bridges that connect scholars from different linguistic, cultural, and academic traditions around the world. (June 1)

Visit the new project website.

Evelyn Ho

Evelyn Ho, College of Arts and Sciences, and colleagues from UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine, have been awarded a one-year $53,000 grant from the Mount Zion Health Fund to support the project “Heart Healthy Integrative Diet for Chinese American Patients.” The project, led by Dr. Jane Jih at UCSF, will consist of interviewing Chinese medicine experts, patients, and providers to create a Chinese medicine and western biomedicine heart healthy diet. They will also offer nutritional counseling for Chinese American patients and their providers. This research builds on a previous integrative patient education intervention for type 2 diabetes created and tested by an interdisciplinary team led by Professor Ho and involving USF students, faculty from UCSF, USF, UCLA, and University of St. Joseph. ​USF Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Language, Genevieve Leung, will also provide expertise to the project. (June 17)

Claire Castro and William Karney

Claire Castro and William KarneyChemistry and Environmental Science, received a National Science Foundation research grant for $204,902. This funding will provide training for undergraduate students in many aspects of computational organic chemistry. Specifically, the three-year grant will support undergraduate students in summer research that focuses on (1) the reactivity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (environmental pollutants) and (2) quantum mechanical tunneling in annulenes. The grant will also enable students to travel to regional and national meetings to present their results. Finally, the grant will foster participation by underrepresented groups in chemistry. This is the fourth consecutive NSF grant for the Castro-Karney research team. (April 4)

Karin Cotterman

Karin Cotterman, McCarthy Center, and her program, Engage San Francisco, a place-based initiative with the Western Addition, have been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Super Bowl 50 Fund, the charity organization of the Super Bowl. This grant supports the expansion of care for Western Addition children and teens who struggle with mental illness such as depression and PTSD. The strategy and approach for this effort will be coordinated by The Youth Healing Alliance, a collaborative effort with local non profit and government agencies working in the Western Addition. Thanks to this grant, a network of organizations that addresses mental health issues will collaborate with USF faculty to improve the lives of Western Addition children. This coalition will work with residents in the community and service providers who treat youth who have experienced trauma. (March 13)

Bill Ong Hing

Professor Bill Ong HingBill Ong Hing, School of Law, has been awarded additional funds of $200,000 from the California Department of Social Services to continue providing legal services to unaccompanied, undocumented minors, primarily from Central America. The Refugee Programs Bureau funds nonprofit legal organizations to provide these services and USF's Immigration Law Clinic will represent minors in Northern California. The new award brings the total amount that Professor Hing has received to support the representation of minors to $352,000 from this funder. (Jan. 1)