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FSU Foundation Funds Proposals From Faculty, Staff and Students

The Frostburg State University Foundation, through its Annual Fund, recently granted 23 proposals by FSU faculty, staff and students that meet the goals of student enrichment, academic enrichment and regional and cultural enrichment, the themes of Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg.

This year’s allotment for these proposals was $85,000, a portion of the total $193,942 raised for the unrestricted Annual Fund in fiscal 2009. That’s more than double the allotment made available last year, $41,500, which was the first year the Foundation made these opportunities available.

The FSU Appalachian Festival received funding through a request by Dr. Kara Rogers Thomas. The festival, held each September, strives to educate the community about the Appalachian tradition. Bluegrass musicians, historical and social groups interact with the public, sharing stories and information about the region. Many FSU students from departments such as Parks and Recreation and the Department of Music help in the celebration.

Student Zachary Bensley received funding for a bike-sharing program on campus. Over 70 colleges and universities currently have bike-sharing programs that help reduce driving, which reduces automobile accidents and carbon emissions. Students from Rogers Thomas’ Sociology of the Environment class and Dr. Hank Bullamore’s Internal City Patterns class will assist in the project.

Nicholas Wilson, curator of the Frostburg Science Discovery Center, will use the resources to enhance the center with more hands-on experiences. “The Touch Zone,” a zone for feeling and observing, as well as an upgrade to the high-definition projector, will be employed. Expanding the film library will round out the enhancement of the center.

The Department of Mass Communication’s Michael McAlexander and Admissions Office’s Wray Blair will be collaborating on a student recruiting video, featuring non-traditional and returning students to FSU with an emphasis on the ease of online courses. The video will be distributed on DVDs and be available for download on the Internet. The funding will also support current students, who will be hired to assist in production and editing of the video.

Dr. Barbara Ornstein was granted funding for The Children’s Literature Centre for a new project, “Adopt-a-School.” This program would focus on an elementary school and would strive to provide the most current children’s literature and experiences for children and teachers. Arranging for an author or illustrator of children’s literature would be a highlight to the program.

Amy Carter, director of Leadership and Civic Engagement, was awarded funding to engage in projects and initiatives for creating ethical leaders that will send students on trips during breaks to volunteer in such places as New Orleans. Students attending conferences focused on preventing alcohol abuse and violence against women will help to transform the campus into a safer and more informed society. The grant will also work with the Western Maryland Food Bank to distribute food to the needy.

The Biology Department’s Dr. Karen Keller received funding for a three-quarter lifesize human muscular anatomy model with internal organs to serve the increased demand for health professions. The model is needed to accommodate a 50 percent increase in enrollment in anatomy and physiology-related courses in recent years.

Dr. Maureen Connelly received funding for undergraduate honors research programs. The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Stipends (UROS) gives research grants to students who are being mentored by a professor. Costs for traveling to give speeches and presentations would be covered under this grant.

For promoting healthy families, Dr. Karla Diehl was awarded funding for creating activities and events that bring families closer. The Salvation Army Community Center in South Cumberland will be the home to an event that strengthens family bonds. Learning to deal with stress, at-risk youth and cooperation are the focuses of the program.

Dr. Fritz Kessler of the Geography Department was awarded funds for a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) device to collect raw data which will then be used to map the local area. This research will look at how the use of such GPS devices coupled with specialized Web services are changing the way map-based information is produced and distributed by the novice cartographer. The collected data will use mapping services like Google Maps and Yahoo! Maps to create maps that can be shared across the Web. This mapping process will also be demonstrated in Kessler’s cartography classes as they study how the Web, GPS devices, and other mobile technologies have changed the field of cartography.

Director of the Cultural Events Series, Mary Jane Plummer, was allocated an allotment to support the Experiential Production Program. This program allows for students from varying majors such as Mass Communications, Recreation and Parks and Music Management to work with professional actors, musicians, technicians and production staff. Up to 25 students will participate in the program, giving them professional experience.

Thomas Kouyeas of the Department of Theatre and Dance was awarded a grant to expand the curriculum to cover sound design. With the funding, the department will now have modern sound recording and programming software, and upgrades to existing microphones and other communication systems will be made.

The annual mathematics symposium, through Dr. Karen Parks, was given funding to use for the annual gathering. The symposium’s goal is to spread the message of mathematics and mathematics education to regional teachers through featured speakers at the symposium.

Dr. Joanne Budzien was granted funding for a computer-based scientific research group on campus. Through computers not being utilized on campus, the group will convert these computers into scientific machines capable of helping out with world problems by using their collective computing power to run large mathematical equations and to collect data.

Department of Physics and Engineering’s Dr. Hang Deng-Luzader was granted funding to help with the annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Day, inviting area middle and elementary school students to campus to perform experiments.

Dr. Eric Moore of the Department of Physics and Engineering was awarded a grant for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program, allowing for a freshman experience residence hall, with resident assistants, for students intending to major in a STEM program.

Department of Psychology Associate Professor Dr. Megan Bradley and Associate Provost Dr. Mary Gartner were awarded funding to address achievement deficits of ethnic and racial minority groups, first-generation and low income students. Data will be collected on these groups to determine how to help students receive better grades, increase the comprehension of course content and the improvement of study skills. Enhancing classroom experiences and a better learning environment will be the permanent effects of the study.

Also receiving funding was the Department of Biology Professor Sunshine Brosi for Ethnobotany modules; Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi’s dinner on proper etiquette; the Health and Physical Education Department for testing for fitness research; FSU Marching Band Director Philip Klickman for the purchase of new rain jackets for the band; Dr. D. Alan Bensley for faculty and student conference presentations on assessment; a Department of Psychology lab assistant through Dr. Kevin Peterson’s request.

The FSU Foundation has embarked upon a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Gifts support student enrichment, academic enrichment and regional and cultural enrichment. For more information about supporting FSU, visit or call 301-687-4161 or 1-866-241-3296, toll free.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589