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Faculty Lauded for Funded Research


Five distinguished faculty members were honored on April 4 for their achievements in securing externally funded research grants at the second annual Sponsored Research Day on the Rose Hill campus.

The University Research Council and Office of Research presented the Outstanding Externally Funded Research Awards (OEFRA) to recognize the high quality and impact of the honorees’ sponsored research within the last three years and how their work has enhanced Fordham’s reputation—both nationally and globally.

Faculty were honored in five separate categories, and were presented awards by University Provost Stephen Freedman, Ph.D.:

Humanities: Nina Rowe, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History and Music in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Rowe, an expert in the art of northern Europe in the high and late Middle Ages, recently received a $4,000 grant from the American Philosophical Society and fellowships totaling $95,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. She used the awards to fund research for her current book project, From Adam to Achilles to Alexander: World Chronicles and the Anecdotal Past in the Late Medieval City.

Interdisciplinary Research: Chun Zhang, Ph.D., Professor of Curriculum and Teaching at the Graduate School of Education 

Zhang has worked with colleagues at Columbia University and New York University to investigate workforce development in universal preschool programs in New York City. At Fordham, she has collaborated with Yi Ding, Ph.D., associate professor of school psychology, and Tiedan Huang, Ed.D., assistant professor of educational leadership, administration, and policy, to secure research funding. Her efforts have netted awards and grants totaling more than $2.8 million for studies that will impact the lives of children with special needs and their families.

Junior Faculty Research: Jordan DeVylder, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Social Service

DeVylder, who joined the Fordham faculty in 2017, has a keen interest in preventive mental health, with an emphasis on psychosis and suicide. He is currently conducting a randomized trial to test an intervention to improve detection of untreated psychosis by community social workers. The trial is being funded by a $680,000 National Institute of Mental Health grant. DeVylder also recently won an $85,000 grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Sciences: Jason Munshi-South, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

An expert in the burgeoning field of urban ecology, Munshi-South was awarded a $600,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation in 2015 to study the evolutionary biology of wild rats. Since then, the NSF has granted multiple sub-awards , some of which have involved bringing undergraduates from other campuses to work with him during the summer. The NSF has continued to increase this award annually; its total is expected to reach over $672,000 this year. In total, Munshi-South has received more than $1 million in grants from the NSF, the National Institute of Health, and other foundations and organizations.

Social Sciences: Yilu Zhou, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Gabelli School of Business

Zhou is the first faculty member from the Gabelli School of Business to be awarded a National Science Foundation grant, for her research project, “Can You Trust Apps Age Recommendations? Inconsistent and Unreliable Maturity Ratings on Mobile Platforms.” An expert on human-computer interactions and social media mining, she received two awards totaling $245,000 from the NSF for the project.

George Hong, Ph.D., chief research officer and associate vice president for academic affairs, touted the fact that from July 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, Fordham faculty submitted 116 new grant proposals—an increase of 142 percent over the same period last year—and that faculty has received 82 awards in the past nine months.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, commended the winners for the example they set for their students.

“I wanted to congratulate all of you for renewing the heart of the University, in a really significant way, and giving all of our students inspiration, hope, and great pride,” he said.

Organized by the Office of Research and the University Research Council and sponsored by the University Research Compliance Council and the Office of Sponsored Programs, the daylong event included a workshop devoted to compliance awareness, a forum of humanities researchers, and a keynote speech by Jennifer Saak, Ph.D., managing director of Traliance. 


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