Five LAS Faculty Faculty Members Receive CRCW Seed Grants

Faculty from all 3 major divisions of the College (Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences) were awarded grants by the Committee on Research and Creative Works (CRCW) this Spring. Each investigator was asked to provide a very brief description of their project for the LAS News Feed. Read more below…

Diep Dao, GES

Diep Dao, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies (GES), was awarded a grant for a project submitted with collaborator Gia Barboza from Criminal Justice in the School for Public Affairs. The title of their project is “Making Communities Safer Places to Grown Old.” Dr. Dao provided this description: Elder maltreatment in the United States is a significant public health problem associated with increased morbidity and mortality. While elder abuse is a well-document social problem in the United States, community-based elder abuse prevention is a topic that has not been given much research attention. The objective of this research is to conduct a community-based participatory project for the city of Colorado Springs that aims to identify the structural factors of communities that contribute to elder maltreatment over the last 10 years.

Dmytro Bozhko, PES

Dmytro Bozhko, Assistant Professor of Physics and Energy Science (PES), received a grant to support his project “Creation and Investigation of Hybrid Reconfigurable Magnonic Crystals.” A brief description of the project: Creating new materials with unique properties is one of the most challenging tasks for modern material science and fundamental physics. To obtain unique properties, which are not found in nature, one can make some particular property of the material to artificially vary in space,  forming so-called metamaterials. The special class of metamaterials made of magnetic elements got the name “magnonic crystals”. Magnonic crystals are very promising for applications in data processing, offering a significant reduction of a computing element size and better energy efficiency. So far, the majority of magnonic crystals were made non-reconfigurable – i.e. once made, their properties would be fixed forever. Only a few attempts were made to create reconfigurable ones, but so far all of them are consuming energy for storage of their properties. In this project, a new type of magnetic metamaterial will be created – a hybrid magnonic crystal, which will be reconfigurable and at the same time fully non-volatile.

Kay Yoon, Communication

Kay Yoon, Associate Professor of Communication, received a grant to support her project titled “Boundary-crossing Interactions and Virtual Knowledge Sharing in Multi-team Environment: An Exploratory Study.” She describes the study as follows: “Social media technologies (e.g., Slack, MS Team) afford individuals to not only internally coordinate knowledge sharing with coworkers within their workplace but also to externally connect and collaborate with other professionals in their shared fields of profession. The proposed research project investigates how individuals with multiple team memberships experience boundary management in their knowledge sharing practices in the social media environment (e.g., knowledge sharing and withholding) and how their team boundary-crossing activities influence the structure and development of knowledge sharing processes at the team level.”

Ben Kinsley, VAPA

Ben Kinsley, Assitant Professor of Visual and Performing Arts, received a grant to support his project “Tree Talks: Populus tremuloides.” An abstract of the project: Tree Talks: Populus tremuloides will be the first in an annual series of events focused on understanding a single tree through a multitude of perspectives. This project is inspired by a quote from the renowned mycologist Gary Lincoff (1942-2018): “No tree is an individual; all are communities of organisms changing throughout the life and death of a given tree. A tree is a microcosm of all the kingdoms of life. Know a single tree thoroughly and you know more about life and evolution than any world traveler can ever hope to attain.” Once per season, over the course of a calendar year, the public will be invited to gather around a chosen tree (for the inaugural year, a grove of Quaking Aspen), and listen to lectures by a group of experts from wide-ranging fields who will share their knowledge of the tree from their respective discipline. Each lecture will be recorded, and at the end of the year a publication of text, images, and sound will be released as a limited-edition artist book. 

Rachel Thayer, Psychology

Rachel Thayer, Assistant Professor of Psychology, received a grant to support her project titled “Improving Measurement of Cannabis Use among Older Adults.” A brief description of the project: Clarifying impacts of cannabis use on cognitive health in aging is critical for informing older adults and their healthcare providers, but existing studies on cannabis use have largely ignored inclusion of older adults. Further, a major limitation of existing cannabis use studies is accurate measurement of use characteristics, and available measures have been developed in young adult populations. The current proposal seeks to recruit older adults who have used cannabis at any point in their life in order to validate questionnaire items that are most pertinent to older adults and their lifetime and current cannabis use, with the aim of identifying best practices in measurement for future studies.

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