Grant Highlights

Congratulations the members of the University of Mary Washington faculty who have successfully submitted proposals for special projects and research. A funded grant is a vote of confidence from an outside agency or foundation in support of an innovative project or an important research program.


Congratulations to these 2005/December 2006 grant winners:

Charles Sharpless, assistant professor, chemistry, won a $1,000 grant from the Virginia Academy of Science for his research, “Photochemistry of Natural Organic Matter in the Rappahannock River.”

Suzanne Cooper deJanasz, College of Graduate and Professional Studies, won a Fulbright Scholarship to teach “Management Related Education” in Poland.

Craig Naylor, assistant professor, music, won a $9,000 grant for his project entitled “Native American Voices” from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Doug Sanford, chair, historic preservation, won a $48,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his project “Virginia Slave Housing.

Steve Farnsworth, associate professor, political science and international affairs, won a Fulbright Scholarship for “Media Coverage of the U.S. Presidency: Comparing U.S. and Canadian Television News.

Jennifer Polack-Wahl, associate professor, computer science, won a $2,300 grant as a subcontractor from the ACM SIGSCE project.

Alan Griffith, assistant professor, biology, won a $500 grant from The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for his research project: “Aeschynomene virginica, a Threatened, Wetland, Annual Plant.”

Cheryl Hawkinson-Melkun, director, College of Graduate and Continuing Studies writing center, won a $1,500 grant from the Association for Continuing Higher Education, ACHE, for her research: “Meeting the Needs of the Non-traditional Student: A Study of the Effectiveness of a Synchronous Online Writing Center.”

Christopher Kilmartin, professor of Psychology, won a “Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies, University of Klagenfurt, Austria” from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Leah Cox, Director of the James Farmer Scholars Program, a university outreach program to encourage local African-American youth to attend college, has recently won two grants: a $9,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation in December, and a matching grant of $25,000 from the Bank of America Foundation, in conjunction with Donna Mejia, director of major gifts. The Verizon grant will partially underwrite a week-long summer Debate Workshop to be held on the UMW campus in July 2006 and the Bank of America Foundation grant will pay general operating expenses.

Meghan Budinger, assistant director and curator, James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, won a $5,000 Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. in December. The grant is an important first step with the NEH, allowing the University to seek higher levels of funding for projects. It will allow the museum to begin the process of conserving its 55-piece costume collection in the hopes of making it available to the public for interpretation and study.

Medhi Aminrazavi, Professor, Classics, Religion and Philosophy and David Ambuel, Associate Professor, won a $5,000 grant from the U.S.-Japan Foundation in December. This grant will underwrite costs associated with a University of Mary Washington Conference on U.S. and Japan relations planned for Spring.

Deborah O’Dell, Associate Professor, Biology, mentored undergraduate student Elena Quintiliani to win a $500 undergraduate research grant from the Virginia Academy of Sciences. This grant will allow Dr. O’Dell to work with Miss Quintiliani to explore the topic:  “A comparison of the neuroanatomy of Apil mellifera and Apil cerana laying workers.”


Kathryn Loesser-Casey, Associate Professor of Biology, Jodie Hayob, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Geology, Susan Matts, Assistant Professor of Physics, Deborah O’Dell, Associate Professor of Biology, and Neil Tibert, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Geology, won a National Science Foundation grant for the “Acquisition of a Variable-Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope at Mary Washington College” in the amount of $247,241 in 2004. Leanna Giancarlo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, assisted in writing the proposal.

Debra Hydorn, Associate Professor of Mathematics, won a grant to fund a “Conference for undergraduate research in the mathematical sciences” from the Mathematics Association of America in 2004.

Marie Sheckels, Professor of Mathematics, won a Virginia Department of Education grant of $23,004 in conjunction with the University of Virginia in 2004.


Andrew Dolby, Assistant Professor of the Department of Biology, won a $500 grant for undergraduate studies in the program, “Using DNA Fingerprinting to Detect Extra-Pair Mating in the Gray Catbird.”

Weijing Lu, Department of History, won a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities for “True to the Word: The Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China.”


Marie Sheckels, Professor of Mathematics, won a $10,000 FIPSE U.S. Department of Education grant for her work, “Preparing Future Middle School Mathematics and Science Teachers: An Opportunity for Virginia.”

John Temple, Associate Professor of Biology, received a $1,200 grant from the Virginia Academy of Science, for a proposal entitled, “Metabolism in Exogenous Amines by Snakes with Contrasting Dietary Profiles.”


Karen Anewalt, Computer Science, won a National Science Foundation grant for $4,262 entitled: “Electronic Commerce Coursework in Computer Science” in conjunction with George Washington University.

Leanna C. Giancarlo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Kelli M. Slunt, Associate Professor of Chemistry, and Raymond B. Scott, Professor of Chemistry, won a National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $99,500 in September 2001 for a project entitled: “Acquisition of a Scanning Probe Microscope for Atomic Level Investigations of Chemical Systems.”

Steven A. Greenlaw, Professor of Economics, and Robert Rycroft, Professor of Economics, won a research contract of $53,385 from the U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General, for a project entitled, “Financial Forecast for the U.S. Postal Service.”

Margaret A. Ray, Associate Professor of Economics, won a three-year grant totaling $184,618 in August 2001 for her project, Advancing AP Economics, from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), a program of the U.S. Department of Education.


George King, Professor of Physics, won a $43,632 grant for a Physics Science Modeling Workshop.

Jennifer Polack-Wahl, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, won a $2,000 grant from the Lemelson Foundation.


Raymond Scott, Professor of Chemistry, won a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in the amount of $100,000 for the development of a “Faculty-Undergraduate Student Summer Research Project in the Natural Science,” known as the Jepson Summer Science Program, and he submitted a proposal to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research of the Alice and Leslie E. Laney Foundation to support the same program.