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Posted on August 4, 2017

Dixon Hall on a sunny Autumn day.

During fiscal year 2016-2017, California University employees collectively received more than $5.4 million in awards to fund service projects, conduct research and support instruction, according to the latest report from the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.

More than 57 percent of the awards were from private funding sources, such as foundations or corporations; the remainder were from federal and state sources or from Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

The awards total has grown steadily since the 2013-2014 fiscal year, when Cal U employees were awarded about $1.7 million in external funding.

The largest 2016-2017 grant, valued in excess of $2.8 million, provides Midland Valley MOVE structural modeling and analysis software for use in the Earth sciences program.

Other highlights:

  • Two grants with a combined value of more than $668,000 support Cal U’s participation in the Upward Bound college readiness program for high school students in Fayette County and the Monongahela Valley.
  • An award of over $389,000 continues support for a collaboration between Cal U and Intermediate Unit 1 to provide pre-service teachers, current teachers and other school personnel with professional development in teaching English as a second language.

Smaller awards support a variety of projects, from school district-based internships for graduate students in Cal U’s athletic training program to assessments of aquatic life in local waterways to research into using robotics and virtual reality technology to teach children with special needs.

In all, 22 California University employees were awarded external funding during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

'Million Dollar Achievers'

Two Cal U professors have been recognized as “Million Dollar Achievers” after obtaining at least $1 million in external funding through the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.

Dr. Thomas Mueller, of the Department of Earth Sciences, and Dr. Robert Whyte, chair of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, join 18 previously recognized Cal U faculty and staff members who have been awarded $1 million or more in grants and/or contracts during their careers at the university.

Both grant writers topped the million-dollar benchmark last year.