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Nicholls receives more than $800,000 in research grants

THIBODAUX — The Louisiana Board of Regents has awarded Nicholls State University $847,120 in grants that will enhance the university’s research opportunities, classroom instruction and community outreach.

Of all state universities applying for Board of Regents funding, Nicholls received the third-highest dollar amount, ranking only behind Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Debi Benoit, director of research and sponsored programs at Nicholls, said this year’s Board of Regents grant total is the largest the university has received in the 10 years she’s overseen campus grants. All nine proposals submitted by Nicholls were fully funded for the amount that faculty requested.

Nicholls received grants to fund the following:

  • Upgrades to the university’s geomatics computing lab to train students in Global Positioning System (GPS), laser scanning and other geospatial technologies (Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, applied sciences department head);
  • A yearlong professional development program to improve the teaching of math among local fourth- through eighth-grade teachers (Dr. DesLey Plaisance, director of graduate studies and assistant professor of mathematics);
  • Simulation equipment and supplies for a critical-care nursing laboratory to better prepare nursing students for clinicals (Dr. Amanda Eymard, associate professor of nursing);
  • A state-of-the-art ion chromatography system to be used for biology and chemistry teaching and research efforts (Dr. Earl Melancon, professor emeritus of biological sciences);
  • Water-quality analysis instruments that will expose students to environmental research techniques used to monitor coastal erosion, oil spills, pollution and more (Dr. Raj Boopathy, professor of biological sciences);
  • Simulation equipment to help nursing and dietetics students better learn how to conduct nutritional assessments of older adults (Rebecca Lyons, nursing department head);
  • Nicholls LA GEAR UP science camp to motivate low-income high school students to learn science and ultimately to attend college (Brandie Toups, director of the Bollinger Memorial Student Union);
  • A new press and other printmaking equipment and supplies to improve safety, enhance teaching and learning, and bring attention to the printmaking concentration (Ross Jahnke, professor of art); and
  • A nursing department initiative to implement innovative teaching and evaluation strategies using technology such as iPads (Angele Davis, assistant professor of nursing).

Board of Regents grants

CUTLINE: The Louisiana Board of Regents funded nine grant proposals from Nicholls State University, totaling more than $800,000. Pictured standing, from left, are Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president; Dr. Balaji Ramachandran, applied sciences department head; Kimberly Dozar, assistant professor of nursing; Ross Jahnke, professor of art; Dr. Amanda Eymard, associate professor of nursing; Dr. Raj Boopathy, professor of biological sciences; Debi Benoit, director of research and sponsored programs; Dr. DesLey Plaisance; director of graduate studies and assistant professor of math; and Dr. Earl Melancon, professor emeritus of biological sciences. Seated, from left, are Rebecca Lyons, nursing department head; Dr. Darcey Wayment, associate professor of chemistry; and Brandie Toups, director of Bollinger Memorial Student Union.

 

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