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Larson Tenure-Track Time Reassignment Collaborative Research Program awardees announced

| Juliana Poquette

Six faculty members are the first to receive awards from a new University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire program to support tenure-track faculty as they develop and enhance their scholarship, and to encourage them to do so in collaboration with students.

UW-Eau Claire’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has announced recipients of support from the Vicki Lord Larson and James R. Larson Tenure-Track Time Reassignment Collaborative Research Program. The support comes from a UW-Eau Claire Foundation fund established by the late Dr. Vicki Lord Larson, UW-Eau Claire chancellor emerita and former communication sciences and disorders faculty member and academic affairs administrator.

“Vicki understood how important it is for newer faculty members to move forward in significant ways on their scholarship,” said Dr. Karen Havholm, assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “She also appreciated that UW-Eau Claire faculty are teacher-scholars, and championed faculty collaboration with students in research as a way to merge research and teaching. The Vicki Lord Larson and James R. Larson tenure-track award supports both the tenure-track faculty member and the student collaborator.”

The Larson fund provides support for a faculty member and student who will collaborate on a scholarly project during a specified semester. The support includes a scholarship of up to $2,000 for the student and funding for the equivalent of one three-credit course of reassigned instructional time for the faculty member.

The following award recipients have been announced for projects conducted or to be conducted during the spring or fall semester of 2019-20 or 2020-21. In the future, awards will go to three faculty members and their student collaborators each year.

Fall or spring 2019-20

Dr. Tom Sather, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, and student collaborator Hannah Kay Yingst partnered with Mayo Clinic Health System collaborator Tania Riske, a speech language pathologist, on a project titled “Implementation of Evidence‐Based Practices for People with Acute Aphasia.” The project was designed to increase the use of evidence-based practices among speech language pathologists caring for patients with acute aphasia.

Dr. Shanise Walker, assistant professor of mathematics, and student collaborators Jonah Amundsen and Heather Baranek will continue a research project titled “Game of Cycles.” The team will study various Game of Cycles game boards on planar graphs to determine if there is a winning strategy for each of two players. The team also will study a version of the game in which there are more than two players.

Fall or spring 2020-21

Dr. Bryan Brown, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, will work with not-yet-identified student collaborators on a project titled “Evaluating the Use of Disability Simulation in Fluency Disorders Courses.” The study will aim to quantitatively determine the value added by the use of disability simulation in teaching about fluency disorders. The study also will look at whether alternative assignments that do not require disability simulation are as effective.

Dr. Bradley Carter, assistant professor of biology, and student collaborator Brianna Hameister will pursue a project titled “Effect of Embryonic Lead Exposure on Social Behavior Development in Zebrafish Larvae.” The project will advance the technical capabilities in Carter’s lab and contribute to Carter’s evolving experimental pipeline investigating the impact on neurodevelopment of genetic and environmental factors associated with autism.

Dr. Nora Mitchell, assistant professor of biology, and a not-yet-identified student collaborator will partner on a project titled “Toward a Mechanistic Understanding of Life History and Hybridization Using Experiments.” By measuring differences in hybrid formation between annual and perennial sunflower species, Mitchell and her student collaborator will inform future experiments that will lead to a deeper understanding of how species may evolve under future climate change and could have implications for ensuring global food security and reconstructing evolutionary history.

Dr. Dalete Mota, associate professor of nursing, and student collaborator Jordan Crary will work with Mayo Clinic Health System collaborators on the second phase of a project titled “Prevention of Family Member Exposure to Antineoplastic Drugs in the Home Setting.” The project is a continued investigation to confirm international data on secondary exposure of family members and caregivers to chemotherapeutic drugs. Researchers will compare the effectiveness of a new disclosing solution with that of common household cleaning projects in their effectiveness in identifying and eliminating chemotherapy metabolites excreted by patients.

More information about the Vicki Lord Larson and James Larson Tenure-Track Time Reassignment Collaborative Research Program is available on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs website.