Faculty Excellence Awards

Beyond Suffrage: A Century of Northern Utah Women Making History
Sarah Singh, Library Special Collections
This project is a collaboration between Weber State University’s Stewart Library and Center for Multicultural Excellence, and the Ogden Union Station. This project proposes to conduct oral histories and collect stories, photographs, and documents from women who had an impact on the communities in northern Utah, and create a traveling exhibit around the stories. The exhibit will be held in the grand lobby of the Union Station; this will allow anyone who walks into the museum to see the exhibit at no cost. The exhibit will have several sections of panels that will focus on the various areas of women's involvement in politics, business, humanities, healthcare, education (including Weber State University), and service. The panels will contain photographs and historical text and quotes from the interviewees, along with integrated cases holding artifacts. The partners will be working with exhibit designers on the panel sections, as well as interactive elements equipped with touch screens and additional information. With the collection of oral histories, the group is reaching out to various ethnic groups on Weber State University's campus through the Center for Multicultural Excellence and History Department to find students that will be trained in conducting the interviews. Oral historians have found that people are more open to discuss things with interviewers that they identify with. This is also a great opportunity for college students to learn and connect with their community.
Journey Through Rwandan Memorials: 2019 Segments
Stephanie Wolfe, Political Science and Philosophy
In 1994, Rwanda was ravaged by a brutal state-sponsored genocide. Over the course of 100 days, 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed. Virtually every social institution was destroyed or discredited beyond recognition, as leaders in the community and their families were often the first to be targeted for elimination. The genocide ended with the defeat of the extremist regime by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) who, in the aftermath, would assume leadership of the country. Following the genocide, the country was transformed as it attempted to come to terms with its past. Among these transformations was the creation of a series of memorials to document, preserve, commemorate, and focus national attention on the concept of “never again." Twenty-five years later, there are 265 official memorials and 113 private sites designated as genocide cemeteries within the country (which is roughly the size of Vermont). There are even more landmarks, commemoration stones, and private markers that dot the countryside, which have gone uncounted. Journey Through Rwandan Memorials will be a comprehensive book on the Rwandan genocide and on the memorialization and commemoration process. It will highlight the history and significance of each of the seven national memorials, in addition to providing background about the genocide as it occurred in each province (i.e. state), and provide testimonies and historical facts for the memorials found in various districts (i.e. counties). Through an examination of the memorial landscape we will compile a rich text of first-person interviews with survivors, in addition to reviewing published testimonies and compiled reports. The final result will be a crafted narrative of the genocide that adds a unique perspective to the existing body of literature and unearths several connections and themes that have not yet been addressed in existent publications. The project leader is Dr. Stephanie Wolfe (Department of Political Science and Philosophy, WSU); in addition, Dr. Anna-Marie de Beer (lecturer in French at the University of Pretoria, South Africa), Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza (Country Director and Co-founder of Never Again Rwanda), and Omar Ndizeye (genocide survivor and Program Officer for Never Again Rwanda). Each co-author will bring their talents and expertise to the book, blending disciplinary perspectives with survivors' unique experiences.
Perceptions of Suicide, Sexual Assault + Reporting, Political Ideology,
and Support for Black vs. Blue Lives: A Sociological Investigation

R.C. Morris, Sociology and Anthropology
This project involves both teaching and research. Funds are being requested to purchase 30 i-clickers for use in the classroom to enhance student engagement in large general education Introduction to Sociology courses. The clickers will also be used for cross-sectional research projects, sampling student populations in the classroom setting. Currently, clickers are added to the syllabus as a required item that students need to purchase. When combined with the required books, the cost of clickers adds to the financial burden students face. This project seeks to purchase 30 clickers (currently 70 have been purchased using funds from another grant source) so that clickers can be loaned out to students in Introduction to Sociology (typically around 100 students). This will allow for the same level of classroom engagement, but will remove the cost burden from students. Research has found that using technological pedagogy is a useful tool for enhancing the learning experience of students, especially for more introverted students (Morris & Parker, 2014). The research findings will then be presented at the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ (SSSP) annual meeting.

Faculty Collaborative Awards

Development of Non-Invasive Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound (LIFU) Therapy for Chronic Pain
Todd Hillhouse, Psychology and Neuroscience
Suketu Naik, Engineering
The objective of the proposed research project is to utilize Non-Invasive Low Intensity Focused
Ultrasound (LIFU) systems to treat chronic pain. The LIFU will emit ultrasound waves to modulate neural activity in a target area within the brain or body to treat chronic pain patients. The aims of the research are as follows: 1) to custom-design LIFU systems to treat pain in pre-clinical mouse models that can later be extended to a clinical population, and 2) use a traditional and translational pre-clinical model of pain in mice to evaluate the effectiveness of the LIFU devices. In the long run, this neuro-engineering research aims to lessen the dependency on opioid-based or opioid-derived medicines by creating a patient-specific and disease-specific treatment of neurological disorders using non-invasive ultrasound vibrations.
Spray Tables for Human Anatomy Laboratory
Brian Chung, Zoology
Taylor Foss, Concept Center
Thomas Odenwalder
This project seeks funds to permit a collaborative effort between two colleges, the College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology (EAST), and the College of Science (COS), in order to leverage the design and manufacturing capability of the EAST Concept Center to improve the COS Human Anatomy Cadaver Lab. The Human Anatomy program utilizes new human cadavers each semester for students studying the human body. These human cadavers are normally returned to their families at the end of the academic year. Recently, we acquired four human cadavers whose last wishes were to provide themselves indefinitely to our program, instead of one year. Our program is not equipped to store cadavers for longer than two semesters. Commercially available long-term storage options are, at best, a compromise and not very effective for the undergraduate environment. The EAST Concept Center has designed a retrofitted bed that can be placed on the lab’s existing tilting gurney that is equipped with a retractable spray tent that sprays wetting fluid over the human cadaver on a regular timed system. This wetting spray accumulates around the human cadaver and drains into a collection tank for the next, programmed spray session. This system uses five gallons of water, compared to the 50 gallons required to fill commercial cadaver immersion tanks. This represents a significant decrease in weight, which makes the design more mobile. Most importantly, this design allows us to use this unit in our daily teaching labs since it retrofits directly to the gurney we already have, and the spray apparatus folds out of the way. This feature also saves valuable lab time by freeing up the instructors from having to manually spray the human cadavers, a process that takes about 5-10 minutes. Finally, this system provides cost savings over the cheapest commercial unit. After hours, weekends, and during longer breaks, the unit can be programmed to spray the wetting solution on a regular schedule, performing the same function as immersing the human cadaver into a large tank of fluid. By combining the research, design, and fabrication capabilities of EAST, with the requirements of COS, this project is a unique and valuable collaboration for both colleges whose long-term benefits far exceed the initial cost.
Evaluation of Hydration and Health Behaviors in Local Teachers
Cory Butts, Health Physical Education Recreation
Mandy Kirkham King, Health Physical Education Recreation
Ryan Zimmerman, Health Physical Education Recreation
David Aguilar-Alvarez, Exercise and Nutrition Science
Damon Joyner, Exercise and Nutrition Science
Tim Ruden, Health Physical Education Recreation
Noah Erb
Chandler Rudolph
Anthony Ludwig
Aubree Pustek
The purpose of this multidisciplinary proposal is to secure funding to complete a novel investigation of hydration and health in local school teachers, involving nutrition, exercise science, and physical education. Time-intensive occupations such as teaching may challenge the ability to maintain optimal fluid intake behaviors, potentially affecting health and functioning. Yet, an assessment of hydration in teachers during the school day has not been completed. The purpose of this investigation is to observe and compare the hydration of local teachers to recommended standards. We also intend to evaluate relationships between teacher hydration and health variables. We will recruit 60 teachers to complete urine collection and diet records during two school days, as well as a separate health assessment. We hypothesize that teachers will have suboptimal fluid consumption patterns, thus dehydrating throughout the school day. This will be the first study to evaluate hydration in teachers during a school day, thus enhancing the understanding of the occupational demands of teaching on health. This study will support student-learning initiatives through high-impact educational experiences with involvement from a variety of disciplines. Further, this project may provide the potential to initiate community programs at Weber State University (WSU) to support health in local school teachers.