Cross-cutting research collaborations awarded grants

July 1, 2019

logo for Science and Society at State, an interdisciplinary seed grant programNine cross-cutting research collaborations between MSU units were recently awarded grants by the Science and Society at State, or S3, program, led by LBC's Dr. Sean Valles.

The S3 internal grant program enables faculty members in different disciplines to study a topic and to work together on research or education, laying the groundwork for potential external grant applications. Specifically, the program funds interdisciplinary research and education projects which use methods, approaches, and scholarship from STEM or health sciences combined with science studies (looking at science from the lens of the humanities and/or social sciences).

Valles notes that this year’s collaborations show an inclination to improve society in some way, by making it more inclusive, equitable, healthy, and knowledgeable. “Social justice was not in the grant application criteria,” Valles says, “Yet this program shows the enduring land grant spirit of MSU: ambitious academic and interdisciplinary work serving the people of Michigan and beyond.”

The S3 program flows out of Lyman Briggs College’s commitment to exploring science and math in context. LBC Dean Michele Jackson says, “Interdisciplinary research is critical to solving today’s most pressing scientific problems. Starting these projects, though, can be difficult. Briggs is proud to sponsor programs like S3, which provide the support needed to launch productive research partnerships and to chart new directions in science scholarship.”

The nine collaborations are as follows. 

The Capacity Necessary to Designate a Surrogate

This project investigates if patients with dementia or delirium have the cognitive capacity to designate individuals (surrogates or durable powers of attorney for health care) to help them make treatment decisions. Currently the health care system precludes such individuals from making any medical decisions, including naming surrogates, and many patients haven't named surrogates prior to needing care.

Investigators:

  • Robyn Bluhm, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Letters; Lyman Briggs College
  • Jennifer Carter-Johnson, College of Law
  • Andrea Bozoki, Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology, College of Human Medicine/College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Devan Stahl

We Are Not Strangers Here: Cross-cultural Engagements and Responsibilities of Self-same Land

Women of color have historically been underrepresented in forestry and other natural resources-related disciplines. The leaders of this project will host a speaker series of prominent women of color artists and scholars in urban forestry and natural resource management to consider how to better involve and portray of women of color in urban forestry, urban ecology, and urban conservation. Recordings and artifacts from the sessions will be on display at Fenner Nature Center. 

Investigators:

  • Asia L. Dowtin, Department of Forestry, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Tamara Butler, Department of English, College of Arts and Letters
  • Estrella Torrez, Residential College in the Arts & Humanities

Exploring the Resilience of Lansing’s Urban Agriculture Systems with the Community

This community-engaged project explores the resilience of the urban agriculture system (UAS) in Lansing to perceived social and environmental shocks. Urban agriculture can facilitate a wide range of human and ecological benefits, including food security, community building, improved water systems, and neighborhood beautification.

Investigators:

  • Jenny Hodbod, Department of Community Sustainability, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Lissy Goralnik, Department of Community Sustainability, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Zachary Kaiser, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, College of Arts and Letters
  • Krista Isaacs, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Creating Inclusive Environments in Long-term Care for LGBT Older Adults

Baby boomers are different from prior generations; they are more assertive, health-conscious, and engaged in their care, and they have expectations of quality, evidence-based, nondiscriminatory health care. This project was created to identify the training needs of providers in long-term care (LTC) with regard to providing culturally appropriate, dignified care to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) older adults. 

Investigators:

  • Anne K. Hughes, School of Social Work, College of Social Science
  • Linda Keilman, College of Nursing

A qualitative exploration of media and information/communication technology use among older adults with and without cognitive impairment and dementia

This project seeks to understand the context in which media/information/communication technologies are used among marginalized populations of older adults with and without cognitive impairment. Collecting data through in-depth interviews and ethnographic methodology, the researchers aim to understand the personal context in which such technologies are used by and adopted to (as well as alter) specific routines.

Investigators:

  • Anastasia G. Kononova, Department of Advertising + Public Relations, College of Communication Arts & Sciences
  • Shelia Cotten, Department of Media & Information, College of Communication Arts & Sciences
  • Fei Sun, School of Social Work
  • Dar Meshi, Department of Advertising + Public Relations, College of Communication Arts & Sciences
  • Andrew Bender, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Department of Neurology & Ophthalmology, College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Andrea Bozoki, Department of Neurology & Ophthalmology, College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Cultural STEM: Gaming and Computing Activities to Support “Community Cultural Wealth” in Informal STEM Learning Environments

The Community Cultural STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) research collaborative asks: Given the importance of building on what Yosso (2005) identifies as community cultural wealth for the purposes of resisting and disrupting macro- and micro-forms of oppression in communities of color, how can community cultural wealth act as a conduit for broadening participation in STEM? They will work with libraries and community cultural centers that serve youth of color to explore answers to this question.

Investigators:

  • Michael Lachney, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education, College of Education
  • Elizabeth LaPensée, Department of Media & Information, College of Communication Arts and Science
  • Jada Phelps-Moultrie, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education

Integrating Natural, Social, and Behavioral Science Methods to Understand Barriers to Integrated Pest Management in Rwandan Coffee

Coffee is one of Rwanda’s top exports and is crucial to the 350,000 Rwandan families who farm it. The potato taste defect (PTD) due to antestia, a pest, has impacted coffee crops, making some coffee taste like potatoes and reducing its value. Farmers have been skeptical about the use of integrated pest management and the use of a pesticide to reduce antestia, This project aims to understand farmer knowledge about antestia and barriers to integrated pest management implementation by considering the literacy in rural areas and complexities entailed in discussing antestia control.

Investigators:

  • Maria Claudia Lopez, Department of Community Sustainability, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Lucero Radonic, Department of Anthropology, College of Social Science
  • Larry Gut, Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • Andrew Gerard, Department of Community Sustainability, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Technostress and the Health of Working Older Adults

Long-term exposure to stress is a risk factor for many chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, obesity, and Type-2 diabetes). In 2018, an estimated 80% of midlife and older adults reported some type of chronic disease. In addition, recent statistics state that technostress affects nearly 65 million Americans. This study will explore the association between technology use, technostress, and physiological indicators of stress. It will also investigate aspects of technology use, like duration of time, frequency of use, and applications used.

Investigators:

  • Elizabeth Mack, Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences, College of Social Science
  • Shelia Cotten, Department of Media & Information, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
  • Daisy Chang, Department of Psychology, College of Social Science
  • Wenda Bauchspies, Department of Community Sustainability, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Amber Pearson, Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences, College of Social Science

It’s Elementary! Exploring Backyard Moth Ecology to Learn About Science Practices

This project partners MSU academics with local educators to develop project-based learning curriculum, in urban entomology, for elementary-school science. Working in a local 2nd grade and 5th grade classroom, the project team helps students create simple LED moth traps and teaches them how to catch moths in their local communities. Students will then come up with testable research ideas and spend several weeks collecting data and documenting their findings. Students are given the opportunity to develop genuine science projects and provide valuable data for entomologists regarding local moth distributions.

Investigators:

  • Peter White, Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Entomology, College of Natural Sciences
  • David Stroupe, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education
  • Amanda Lorenz-Reaves, Department of Entomology, College of Natural Sciences
  • Sinéad Brien, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education
  • Nicole Wonderlin, Department of Entomology, College of Natural Sciences
  • Lise Martin, Sycamore Elementary School, Holt Public Schools
  • Robyn Fiore, Hope Middle School, Holt Public Schools

More information about the projects may be found on the S3 website: http://s3.msu.edu/funded-projects-2018-2019/