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Recent Awards

Explore recent grant awards.


Assistant Professor of Physics Samantha Fonseca dos Santos and her research collaborator from Laboratoire Génie des Procédés (Centrale-Supélec et Matériaux) in France were selected to receive a 2018 Thomas Jefferson Fund award, in partnership with the French Embassy in the U.S. and the FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange), under the “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative. The program which was launched by the French government to develop top-level research projects in France, and with French partners, to address climate change. Their project, Electron-driven reactivity of NOx molecules by electron impact: the NO2/N2O prototype for control and reduction of atmospheric pollution, focuses on understanding the underlying mechanism behind the destruction of nitrogen oxide molecules by electron collision. Specifically, the team will investigate the process of rovibrational excitations and dissociative electron attachment of these molecules, which is important for monitoring these species in the atmosphere and plasma modeling. Funds will allow Dr. Fonseca and a student to travel to France to conduct computational work aimed at describing these reactions at the quantum level.

Connie Briscoe, Director of the Rollins Wellness Center, will serve as the Project Director of a new three-year matching grant from SAMHSA's Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention Program to develop the necessary infrastructure, activities, and evidence-based strategies to build and sustain a foundation for prevention, early identification, and intervention for students, including those at risk for suicide, depression, serious mental illness, and/or substance-use disorders. Read more here

Associate Professor of Chemistry Kasandra Riley and colleagues from Washington and Lee University received a collaborative Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) grant that will allow the team to complete and test novel modules for a web-based tutoring prototype for undergraduate students taking introductory chemistry courses. With the overarching goal of improving STEM persistence, particularly among low socioeconomic status and underrepresented minority students, the project aims to develop a more focused online tutorial system that is tailored to better prepare students at ACS schools for entry-level chemistry coursework. The tutorial will include short videos demonstrating concepts and content and be accompanied by practice problems where students can receive real-time feedback as they work through chemistry and math problems. The system will also be modular in its design, allowing for individual institutions to tailor content based on requirements for individual courses.

Associate Professor of Mathematics Zeynep Teymuroglu and colleagues from Spelman College and Morehouse College received a collaborative Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) grant for their project, Teaching Social Justice Mathematics. The grant will allow the team to develop and lead a two-day symposium focused on integrating issues of fairness and equity into mathematics lessons and classroom discourses. The proposed symposium builds on a previously funded ACS workshop focused on social justice mathematics. In this symposium, participants will create mathematics modules focused on social justice that will be shared across participants and ACS campuses. The project aims to develop and cultivate a community of practitioners who are committed to integrating social justice issues into undergraduate mathematics as well as further facilitate and nurture collaborative research among the group.

Rachel Walton, Assistant Professor, Olin Library/Digital Archivist & Record Management Coordinator, is serving as the Rollins Project Leader on Pathway to Diversity: Uncovering Our Collections, a continuing collaborative ACS grant project with faculty and archival professionals from Centre College, Furman University, and Washington and Lee University. The group is working to build a comprehensive shared online digital archive relating to the history of desegregation at these colleges that speaks to the broader experience of African Americans during the desegregation of small college campuses across the South. With a second year of funding, the collaborative team will now focus on annotating, curating, and digitizing the primary source materials identified during the first year of the project, in preparation for future dissemination on a shared website and in the classroom.

George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Professor of Religious Studies Yudit K. Greenberg has been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru U.S. Scholar grant for research at the Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Mumbai in India during the 2018-19 academic year. In addition to conducting research on the Jewish actresses in the silent years of Bollywood and their contributions to the field, she will teach a graduate seminar on Religion and Gender. She will also present her past research on love and the body in comparative religion in a variety of venues across India including the Jaipur Literary Festival, Khoja Studies Conference at the University of Mumbai, University of Delhi, Cotton University, and as a scholar in residence in Uzbekistan. Dr. Greenberg is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2018-19.


Bobby Fokidis (Biology) was awarded a one-year grant in the amount of $45,210 from the National Science Foundation’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program, which supports quick-response research on natural or man-made disasters or other unanticipated events. Fokidis received the award to conduct a study of stress responses and urban resilience in anole lizards here in Central Florida following Hurricane Irma. The project, which also provides an undergraduate research opportunity, will compare how urban and rural lizard populations perceived, responded to, and recovered from the hurricane’s impact on their environment by examining changes in behavior and stress hormone levels.

Jenny Queen (Psychology) received a one-year Innovative Instruction grant in the amount of $23,844 from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) to partner with two colleagues from Centenary College and Sewanee: The University of the South on a project titled Cognitive Science in the College Classroom.The project pairs this faculty team with instructional design and technology staff to create and test a novel series of online modules that will allow ACS faculty from all disciplines to apply empirical evidence on how students learn best and process information into their courses.

Rachel Walton (Olin Library) serves as the Rollins Project Director on a 2018 Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) Diversity and Inclusion Grant for the amount of $30,119. The aim of the grant is to bring archival materials related to the history of desegregation into Rollins classrooms as well as other small college campuses across the South. This multi-institutional project will also include faculty and archival professionals from Center College, Furman University, and Washington and Lee University.


Thom Moore (Physics) and Whitney Coyle (Physics) have been awarded a new three-year grant totaling $371,645 from the National Science Foundation to support continued research with undergraduate students in the area of musical acoustics. The project will allow Dr. Moore and Dr. Coyle to collaborate with a team of undergraduate students to understand how structural vibrations affect the sound of brass wind instruments and to investigate the physical parameters of the reed that are important in producing the sound of woodwind instruments.

Ena Heller (CFAM) received two general program support grants from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs to help support a variety of exhibitions and educational programming at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

James Patrone (Chemistry) was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Mindlin Foundation’s Undergraduate Mentored Research Program to support student-faculty collaborative research with an undergraduate student in 2017. The project, titled Identification of Novel Hexokinase 2 Inhibitors, will allow the team to conduct research during the spring semester to identify selective enzyme inhibitors that may be used as tool compounds to study the effect of glycolysis inhibition on cancer cell lines.

Rollins College will serve as a sub-site for the Corporation for National and Community Service’s AmeriCorps VISTA program through the Heart of Florida United Way. Rollins has been awarded two VISTAs through the subaward: the Rollins College VISTA for Community Outreach & Collective Impact, and the Rollins College VISTA Outreach Coordinator & Advocate for Student Veterans.

Rollins College has received renewal funding for five years from the U.S. Department of Education/TRIO Programs to continue the Rollins College Upward Bound Program. Upward Bound, a college preparation program for high school students, will provide assistance to 72 high school students annually in Orange County who are low-income, first-generation college students. The program's direct services are fully funded by the Federal government in the amount of $322,335 annually.

Julian Chambliss (History) received an R-1 Planning Grant from the Associated Colleges of the South, which is intended to explore partnerships with major research institutions in the region. The grant will allow Dr. Chambliss to partner with faculty from UCF to host a Digital Literacy and Collaborative Learning Workshop at Rollins in August 2017 for faculty from both institutions. The goal of the two-day workshop is to expand on established faculty dialogues and initiatives at each institution connected to community engagement and digital humanities.

Jenny Queen (Psychology) received a planning grant from the Associated Colleges of the South for a collaborative project with faculty from Centenary College and Sewanee: The University of the South titled Cognitive Science in the Classroom.

Susan Singer (Provost’s Office) will co-lead a four-year research grant with Michigan State University titled, Using networks to scale improvement of STEM undergraduate education: A comparative study of network goals, processes, and strategies to advance organizational change. The project, funded through the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program, aims to advance knowledge of organization-focused change networks as a potentially powerful lever for advancing improvements in STEM education. The results of the study will produce evidence-based findings and resources, including a robust, research-based Toolkit, useful to leaders of STEM undergraduate change efforts, as well as scholars striving to expand the body of knowledge of how such networks form, develop, and advance change.


Laurel Habgood (Chemistry) was awarded a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) to host a collaborative workshop at Rollins for chemistry faculty within the ACS consortium. The workshop, titled Improving Inorganic Chemistry Pedagogy, was held June of 2015.

Li Wei (Modern Languages) received a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South to support his collaborative blended learning project with a faculty member at Washington & Lee University. The team will work to develop a Chinese character mobile training app for use in introductory Chinese courses.

Susan Montgomery (Olin Library) received a grant for Rollins to host Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, a public programming imitative produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). The program—part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square—will offer public screenings of episodes from the Latino Americans film series, in conjunction with lectures and other cultural events on campus and in the community throughout the 2015-16 academic year.

Ena Heller (CFAM) received a general program support grant from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs to help support a variety of exhibitions and educational programming at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum during the 2015-16 season.

Nancy Decker (Modern Languages) is the recipient of a STEM Articulation Grant from the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) in partnership with Paragon School, which serves students in grades K-12 with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The project will provide innovative, engaging, and hands-on STEM-based German instruction to Rollins students, as well as middle and high school students in the local community.

Zeynep Teymuroglu (Mathematics) was awarded a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South to host a collaborative workshop at Rollins for ACS faculty titled Mathematics for Social Justice, to take place in May 2016.

Rachel Walton (Olin Library), working with Julian Chambliss (History) and Anne Stone (Communication), was recently awarded a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South to implement an innovative project titled True Stories: Supporting Classroom-centered, Multidisciplinary, and Collaborative Oral History Curricula at Liberal Arts Colleges. The project will involve archival professionals from Rollins College, Davidson College, and Southwestern University, who will provide critical classroom supports in the form of technology, expertise, preservation activities, and archival storage space for faculty teaching oral history-centered curricula to undergraduate students in a variety of learning contexts.

Daniel Myers (Computer Science) was awarded an Undergraduate Research grant from the Mindlin Foundation to support student-faculty collaborative research with an undergraduate student in 2016. The project, titled Implementing an Adaptive Tutorial System for Coding Literacy Education, will work to create an open-source adaptive tutorial system that provides instruction in the fundamentals of coding literacy and program interpretation to new computer science students.