2019 Grants Awarded

Every month, UTRGV research faculty and staff go through the external funding process to fund their research, community outreach efforts, and student opportunities. We recognize the individuals and teams who are successfully awarded below.

In FY 2019 Sept. 2018 - Feb 2019, UTRGV has been awarded 107 grants totaling $19,280,795.

Below, see a breakdown of each month's successfully awarded principal investigators, the projects, award amounts, and sponsors.

  • January

    In January 2019, UTRGV received $2,718,344 in research awards. Congratulations to all!

    Jan 1, 2019 - Jan 31, 2019

    Awards

    Count of Awards

    Sum of Total

    College of Education & P-16 Integration 1 $374,998
    College of Engineering and Computer Science 2 $33,157
    College of Liberal Arts 1 $18,428
    College of Sciences 5 $668,316
    Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship 1 $2,100
    Division of Government & Community Relations 1 $35,119
    College of Health Professions 1 $250,000
    School of Medicine 8 $1,336,226
    Grand Total 20 $2,718,344

     

    College of Business & Entrepreneurship

    • Dr. Akindayomi Akinloye (School of Accountancy) was awarded $2,100 by The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to identify and track the de-motivational factors hindering a university’s Hispanic students from pursuing a CPA license. This research is titled “An Examination of the De-Motivational Factors Inhibiting Hispanic Students' Participation in the CPA Exam.”

      

    College of Education & P16 Integration

    • Dr. Alma Rodriguez (Dean’s office) was the PI on a BranchEd grant that has awarded $374,998 over three years to the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration, making it one of four minority-serving institutions selected by the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchEd) to join its national Teacher Preparation Transformation Center, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

     

    College of Engineering & Computer Science

    • Dr. Mahmoud Quweider (computer science) was awarded $23,157 by the UTSA / Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for the project “FY 2018 Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) Critical Technology Studies Program.”
    • Dr. Noe Vargas Hernandez (mechanical engineering) was awarded $10,000 by VentureWell for the project “A Curricular Exoskeleton to Develop Innovation Skills.” Funding will provide workshops, mentoring, and access to a makerspace for prototyping where students will develop the necessary skills to participate in the VentureWell E-Team Grant program, a series of innovation competitions for engineering and computer science students to solve real-life challenges relevant to the region, and apply recently acquired knowledge.

     

    College of Health Professions

    • Dr. Michael Lehker’s “Cultivating Medical Professionals for Underserved Border Communities” proposal was awarded $250,000 by the Moody Foundation.

     

    College of Liberal Arts

    • Using a $18,428 grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Dr. Paul Jorgensen is improving campaign finance data in order to create new and more accurate measures of campaign fundraising and spending in the United States.

     

    College of Sciences

    • Dr. Alex Racelis (biology) was PI on two grants:  A $57,633 award from Texas A&M University - Corpus will continue to fund “Experiential Training in Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Technology for Agricultural Applications” and $16,500 from University of Georgia/USDA-NIFA will go towards a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program.
    • Dr. Jude Benavides from the School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences was awarded $70,000 from Texas A&M Agrilife / U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study “Reintroduction as a Population Restoration Technique and Micro-habitat Assessment of Translocated Northern Bobwhites.”
    • Dr. David Hicks’s proposal was awarded $ 521,383 by Florida A&M University/NOAA to continue research with the  “NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems.”
    •  Dr. Cristina Villalobos (School of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences) was awarded $2,800 by PSJA for work on a “C-STEM Mobile Lab.”

     

    Division of Governmental & Community Relations

    • Christina Trejo, Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement and Economic Development , was PI on a grant that was awarded $35,119 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to “Support the expansion of community engagement infrastructure at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.”

     

    School of Medicine

    • Linda Nelson, DNP (Clinical Affairs) was awarded two grants by the Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas: $150,000 for a “Interprofessional Community-Based Practice and Education Project” and $250,000 towards an “Integrated Care Collaborative Unit (ICCU).”
    • Dr. Joanne Curran (Human Genetics) continues to receive $107,309 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for “Telomere Length Dynamics in Relation to Changes in Adiposity and Metabolic Risk” research.
    • Dr. Gabriel De Erausquin, Chair of Psychiatry and Neurology (Institute of Neuroscience) was awarded $ 467,102 from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services for “Training of Promotoras to Reduce Untreated Psychosis (TOP-UP).”
    • Supplemental funding ($180,600) was awarded to Dr. John Ronnau (Interprofessional Education) by the Health Resources and Services Administration to continue the “Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program.”
    •  Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso awarded $ 15,000 to Dr. Michelle Zeager for the “Pediatric Environmental Health Speciality Unit (PEHSU) Program.”
    • The South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute (STDOI) at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine received a new Subaward of $50,332 from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio / NIH. Dr. John Blangero was the PI.
    • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded $115,883 to Dr. Sunand Kallumadanda (Family Medicine) for the Family Medicine Residency Program.
  • February

    In February 2019, UTRGV received $462,011 in research awards. Congratulations to all!

    Feb 1, 2019 - Feb 28, 2019

    Awards

    Count of Awards

    Sum of Total

    College of Engineering and Computer Science 2 $5,015
    College of Sciences 1 $435,900
    Strategic Enrollment 1 $11,096
    College of Health Professions 1 $10,000
    Grand Total 5 $462,011

    College of Engineering & Computer Science

    •  Dr. Constantine Tarawneh from the University Transportation Center for Railway Safety was awarded two grants to put on Railway Safety Summer Camps this summer; $2,600 to serve La Feria ISD and $2,400 for Sharyland ISD. 

     College of Health Professions
    •  Dr. Jung-Il Oh from the department of Health & Human Performance was awarded $10,000 from the Korea Name Energy Society for his proposal "The Effect of Name Energy on Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, and Brainwave."

     

    College of Sciences

    •  Dr. Megan Keniry, department of biology, was awarded $435,900 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her proposal was titled "Investigating the Roles and Regulation of FOXO Transcription Factors in GBM and basal breast cancer."

     

    Strategic Enrollment

    • Jael Perez, Associate Director of Financial Aid Operations, was awarded $11,096 from the One Star Foundation to go towards a UTRGV AmeriCorps Program.



     

  • March

    Mar 1, 2019 - Mar 31, 2019

    Awards

    Count of Awards

    Sum of Total

    College of Education and P16 Integration 1 $113,565
    College of Engineering & Computer Science  8 $73,375
    College of Health Professions     1 $11,500
    College of Liberal Arts   3 $13,918
    College of Sciences 2 $18,900
    Division of Community & Governmental Relations 2 $314,848
    Division of Research, Graduate Studies, and New Program Development 1 $5,000
    School of Medicine  2 $554,888
    Grand Total 20 $1,105,994

    College of Education and P16 Integration

     

    College of Engineering & Computer Science

    • Dr. Stephen Crown, Mechanical Engineering, was awarded $4,000 from the Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education for the TexPREP Program. The Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP) provides students the opportunity to develop a passion for engineering and a stronger foundation in science and mathematics by exposing them to current research and student lab facilities, preparing them through interactions with faculty and college students, and inspiring them with hands on activities in a university environment.
    • Dr. Constantine Tarawneh from the University Transportation Center for Railway Safety was awarded six new grants to put on Railway Safety Summer Camps for local high schools: $ 31,985 to serve La Joya ISD; $ 1,255 each for Monte Alto ISD - Early College High School and Jose Borrego Middle School; $ 2,055 for San Benito ISD; $4,000 for Valley View ISD; $28,425 for Vanguard ISD; additionally, Dr. Tarawneh was awarded a $400 amendment for Sharyland ISD.

     

    College of Health Professions

    • Dr. Roberto Trevino from the department of Health and Human Performance was awarded $11,500 by PSJA for a PSJA ISD- UTRGV Preschool E3E Health Project.

     

    College of Liberal Arts

    • Dr. Russell Skowronek from the Department of History was awarded $10,000 from the Summerfield G. Roberts Foundation and $2,500 from the Texas Historical Foundation for the CHAPS project, “The Rio Grande Valley Civil War Trail: Engaging and Educating the Community.”
    • Dr. Diana N. Rivera from the Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies was awarded $1,418 from Humanities Texas which contributed towards bringing “New Narratives of the Early Chicana Movement: Chicana Movidas” to UTRGV. This anthology brings together generations of Chicana scholars and activists to offer the first wide-ranging account of women’s organizing, activism, and leadership in the Chicano Movement.

     

    College of Sciences

    • Shelby Bessette from the Coastal Studies Lab was awarded $3,900 from the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) to fund a Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) Program.
    • Dr. Alexey Garber from the School of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences was awarded $15,000 from the National Science Foundation to contribute towards Conferences on Discrete Geometry and Algebraic Combinatorics.

     

    Division of Community & Governmental Relations

    • Hector Landez from Business Development was awarded $ 294,848 from the U.S. Department of Defense / Defense Logistics for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Rio South PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center).
    • Karen Dorado from Community Relations was awarded $20,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense for 2019’s HESTEC Navy project.

     

    Research, Graduate Studies, and New Program Development

    • Samantha Lopez from International Admissions and Student Services was awarded $5,000 from the Institute of International Education, Inc. to benefit a Venezuela-Emergency Student Fund (ESF). Emergency Student Funds support students who are at risk of dropping out of school due to hardships in their home countries, such as political unrest.

     

    School of Medicine

    • Dr. Chelsea Chang from the department of Internal Medicine was awarded $50,000 from the New York Academy of Medicine. The two-year, $50,000 fellowship will support Dr. Chang and her team at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in developing an innovative curriculum for the Barondess Elective – Advanced Clinical Reasoning, a new elective for senior medical students and Internal Medicine residents. The curriculum will focus on the clinical history, physical examination and clinical reasoning with real patients. The two-year fellowship will yield written cases prepared by the students to guide future learners. For years to come, trainees taking the elective will add cases, increasing volume and variety.
    • Dr. John Blangero from the South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute was awarded $504,888 from Boston Children’s Hospital for his proposal “Gene Networks Influencing Psychotic Dysconnectivity in African Americans.”
  • April

    Apr 1, 2019 - Apr 30, 2019

    Awards

    Count of Awards

    Sum of Total

    College of Education and P16 Integration 1 $99,537
    College of Engineering & Computer Science  2 $2,110
    College of Health Affairs 1 $100,000
    College of Liberal Arts   3 $58,755
    College of Sciences 6 $1,452,254
    Division of Community & Governmental Relations 1 $20,000
    President’s Office 1 $302,790
    School of Medicine  1 $45,000
    Grand Total 16 $2,080,446

    College of Education and P16 Integration

    • Dr. Jennifer Joy Esquiredo from the department of Bilingual & Literacy Studies was awarded $99,537 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his proposal, “Promoting Humanities Learning in Elementary Schools.”

     

    College of Engineering & Computer Science

    • Dr. Constantine Tarawneh from the University Transportation Center for Railway Safety was awarded two new grants to put on Railway Safety Summer Camps for local schools: $1,255 for Monte Alto Elementary School and $855 for Edcouch-Elsa ISD.
    • College of Health Affairs Dr. Veronica Umeasiegbu from the School of Rehabilitation Services & Counseling was awarded $100,000 by the Teas Council for Developmental Disabilities – TCDD – for a Rio Grande Valley Community Needs and Strengths Assessment.

     

    College of Health Affairs

    • Dr. Veronica Umeasiegbu from the School of Rehabilitation Services & Counseling was awarded $100,000 by the Teas Council for Developmental Disabilities – TCDD – for a Rio Grande Valley Community Needs and Strengths Assessment.  

     

    College of Liberal Arts

    • Dr. Cynthia Jones from the philosophy department was awarded $20,000 from the Texas Bar Foundation for “Empowering Success for Foster Youth In South Texas.”
    • Dr. Sarah Rowe from the Sociology and Anthropology Department was awarded $33,255 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for an Interdisplinary Public Heritage Curriculum for the Rio Grande Valley.
    • Dr. Russell Skowronek from the Department of History was awarded $5,000 from Humanities Texas for the CHAPS project, “The Rio Grande Valley Civil War Trail.”

     

    College of Sciences

    • Dr. Teresa Feria from the department of Biology was awarded $ 474,105 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for her proposal, “Empowering Future Agricultural Scientists: food security and climate change research experiences for undergraduate students.
    • Dr. Daniele Provenzano from the department of Biology was awarded $90,448 from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi to study “Occurrence and functional consequence of a novel prophage linked to non-pathogenic conversion in pandemic O3:K6 Vibrio parahaemolyticus.”
    • Dr. Christopher Vitek from the department of Biology’s award was amended $227,550 from the Texas Department of State Health Services to Maintain sentinel Aedes surveillance sites
    • Dr. Frederic Zaidan from the department of Biology was awarded $25,000 from the Association of Public and Land- grant Universities (APLU) for “Adaptive Courseware for Early Success.
    • Dr. Jude Benavides from the School of Earth, Environmental and Marine Sciences was awarded $335,331 from the Texas General Land Office to study “Bahia Grande Channel Widening: Flow and Water Quality Data Collection Effort and Monitoring.
    • Dr. John Breier from the School of Earth, Environmental and Marine Sciences was awarded $ 299,820 from the National Science Foundation for Collaborative Research targeting “Hydrothermal Estuaries: What Sets the Hydrothermal Flux of Fe and Mn to the Oceans?”

     

    Division of Community & Governmental Relations

    •  Maria Juarez from the department of Business Development was awarded $20,000 from UTSA / U.S. Small Business Administration to benefit the UTRGV Small Business Development Center.

     

    President’s Office

    • Brenda Codallo from the department of Athletics was awarded $ 302,790 by the NCAA for a NCAA One-Time Division I Disbursement.
     

    School of Medicine

    • Dr. Helene Krouse from the department of Internal Medicine was awarded $ 45,000 from the American Medical Association for a AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium Membership Agreement.