June 24, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Five Arts & Sciences Faculty Working on Innovation Strategy Teams Awarded $4 Million

Five College of Arts & Sciences faculty are working on four Ohio University Innovation Strategy teams awarded $4 million for new research and teaching initiatives focused on the shale industry, osteoporosis diagnosis, immersive media and instructional innovation.

“The four teams selected for major funding awards this winter advanced truly innovative approaches to grappling with problems in healthcare, energy production and policy, advanced communication modalities and student learning,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College, who announced the awards on Feb. 25. “They successfully harnessed interdisciplinary expertise from across the institution to develop novel strategies for their research and education initiatives.”

In each case, the awards are for multiple years of funding, dispersed in installments and contingent on the teams meeting intermediary milestones.

Dr. Anne Loucks and Dr. Lyn Bowman, professors of Biological Sciences, are part of the “Innovative Strategies for Diagnosis of Osteoporosis and Prevention of Fractures” team, which received $875,000.

The team has identified two new technologies that may prevent bone fractures by improving the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The faculty and staff plan to develop a new medical device and novel medical software and commercialize the innovations for clinical use. Current methods for diagnosis of osteoporosis may lead physicians to prescribe preventive care for many patients who do not need it, and also may not identify patients who could benefit from interventions.

Dr. Christopher France, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, is part of  a team working on “Immersive Media Initiative,” which was awarded $878,000.

This initiative will develop an innovative student education and workforce training program by providing technology, facilities, curriculum and active learning opportunities that encourage students to become leaders in the future immersive media job markets that use virtual and augmented reality. The initiative’s proposed state-of-the-art production facility and development of multi-disciplinary projects across the university will offer students real-world experiences in immersive media research and creative work.

Dr. Daniel Karney, Assistant Professor of Economics, is on the team for “Preventing a Bust: Innovations for Sustainable & Enhanced Economic Outcomes from Shale,” which received $1.3 million.

This initiative proposes to increase regional economic development and wealth, enhance energy security and mitigate the societal and pollution-related impacts of the pending shale industry “bust.” Team members will integrate their expertise in economic and public policy, fluid and solid mechanics, air and gas monitoring and modeling, electrochemistry and thermal and corrosion sciences to mitigate the impact of resource extraction industries on Appalachia.

Dr. Linda Rice, Professor & Director of the Online Master of Arts in English for Teachers, is a member of the “Academic Innovation Accelerator,” which was awarded $924,000.

The accelerator will empower faculty to pursue appropriately designed and evaluated pilot projects in academic innovation that will enhance both the quality and reach of an Ohio University education. The project is modeled after accelerators that serve entrepreneurs by providing services, expert advice and financial support for ideas during their early-stage development. The accelerator will provide these resources for promising academic innovations that include a pathway to sustainability.


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