Western Faculty Showcase Research at Grants Mixer

Western State Colorado University faculty presented their recent grant-funded research at a symposium on Oct. 4, sponsored by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Grants.

Various faculty displayed posters of their programs, explained their professional development and shared their new ideas and knowledge with their colleagues.

 Western Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr.Patricia Manzanares-Gonzales commended faculty members for their efforts. She announced that a new program has been implemented to offer faculty an incentive to receive grant money — for every grant that is written requesting over$100,000, the staff member who wrote the grant will receive $1,000 for their program from the university, whether they receive the grant or not.

The Sponsored Programs and Grants mixer is a biennial event, put on by program director Janice Welborn. For more information visit the Office of Sponsored Programs and Grants' website.


Kevin Alexander

Professor of Biology

Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Environmental Studies Council member

Dr. Alexander has been engaged in a number of research projects in the last two years. He has performed water quality analyses for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District. He has also worked on riparian assessments on streamside vegetation. And he hires students each summer to help research a federally endangered butterfly species in the San Juans.


Scott Cohn

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Cohn and his students engaged in research to determine how many recyclable materials on campus were being put into the garbage. By digging through trash each day before it was carried out of Borick Business Building, they discovered that 40 percent of recycling ended up in the trash. They discovered that by moving recycling bins and positioning them right next to trash cans, they could improve recycling considerably.


Jonathan Coop

Assistant Professor in Biology and Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Programs

Dr. Coop has been working on a range-wide assessment of Rocky Mountain Bristlecone pine, studying old trees, current conditions and future forecasts, with particular emphasis placed on fire vulnerability.


Hannah Cottier

Vice President of the Board

Western Mountain Rescue Team

The Mountain Rescue Team was able to graduate nine of its members through the university’s Extended Studies EMT program, made possible by a Colorado rural health care grant. They have also received 80 percent funding for a new, 2013 Chevrolet pickup truck for the support the team. The Mountain Rescue Team will pay for the remaining 20 percent of the vehicle.


Julie Feier

Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration

Ms. Feier presented on behalf of student-led sustainability efforts that have been implemented in recent years. This semester alone, 95 percent of students voluntarily contributed $28,000 in fees to fund wind-energy offsets for the university. Grant money totaling $140,000 has been raised to fund on-campus sustainability efforts, of which $69,000 has been allocated since 2007.


Sally Hays

Professor of Economics

Department of Business, Accounting and Economics

Dr. Hays worked with Gunnison County Electric Association and the US Department of Agriculture to conduct energy audits for business in unincorporated Gunnison County. Around 85 percent of business owners audited said the program was effective, and the various entities were able to parlay the original grant program to continue it into the future.


Chris Luekenga

WRAP Judicial Coordinator

In 2009, Western received a $2.5 million grant to address student drinking. Before that time,there were no campus programs to address alcohol education and drinking prevention. Western’s Responsible Alcohol Program was started, and a fine and parent notification system was implemented to deter students. WRAP also sponsors alternative late-night programs. Since the program was implemented, recidivism rates have gone from 35 percent to 9.4 percent, and binge drinking numbers have decreased 12 percent.


Jack Lucido

Assistant Professor of Communication

Director of Undergraduate Film Studies Program

Mr. Lucido has received a grant to produce a film as part of the undergraduate curriculum with the goal of creating awareness of and reducing sexual assault. He currently has 16 students working on the documentary, which is in pre-production.


Brooke Moran

Associate Professor of Recreation and Outdoor Education

Department of Recreation and Exercise Sport Science

Dr. Moran has been working with Ralph “Butch” Clark to create the Coldharbour Sustainable Living Center. The purpose of this center, though still in early stages of design, is to create an environment and a curriculum that shows students how to live sustainably in their homes and off the land.


Cassandra Osborne

Assistant Professor of Biology

Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Osborne studied the nature of endocrine disrupting compounds and Xenopus laevus (aka the African clawed frog) development. She and her students have been researching these frogs and environmental effects through a grant funded by Western’s Thornton Biology Research Program.


Michael Vieregge

Professor of Business Administration

Department of Business, Accounting and Economics

Dr. Vieregge and his students engaged in a project with the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association to help them streamline their advertising processes. By searching through databases and following up with people who had requested information on the area, they were able to determine which national regions had residents who were likely to visit the valley, which season they were likely to come, and how much they spent while on vacation in the area.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 12:00pm