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October 2020

Volume 7, Issue 10


Top Story

New Awards for Manufacturing Digitization and for
Digital Humanities Advancement

In This Issue

Top Story


Meet CSU's New Faculty


Featured Research Center Series


Research Guidance


CSU Scholar News


Inspired Creativity


Technology Transfer News


Scholarship of Note


Research Funding

Dr. Jerzy Sawicki, the Bently and Muszynska Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (MCE), will lead a new program funded by the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) to support digitization of Northeast Ohio’s manufacturers. EDA is investing $599,998 in the three-year project to establish the Entrepreneurial Manufacturer Digitization Support (EMDiS) Center of Excellence at CSU under EDA’s 2020 Build to Scale (B2S) program. EMDiS is the only B2S Venture Challenge track award in the State of Ohio.

EMDiS will consist of faculty and labs from CSU’s engineering and business colleges, supported by manufacturing experts at MAGNET, an Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate, and partners AeroControlex Group and the Ohio Aerospace Institute. The center will offer direct consultation by staff and faculty with client companies in the adoption of smart manufacturing and digital tools, as well as workforce education and training. Services will be available to all manufacturing sectors, with a focus on the aerospace manufacturing base.


Mark Souther Awarded Digital Humanities Advancement Grant

Dr. Mark Souther, a professor in the Department of History and Director of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities (CPHDH), has received a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The $79,510 in funding will support Dr. Souther’s project, titled “PlacePress: A WordPress Plugin for Publishing Location-based Tours and Stories.”

Dr. Souther’s team will work with urban/public historians at Wayne State University and Slippery Rock University to test the PlacePress plugin tool. Wayne State is collaborating with Wayne County Parks in Detroit and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to build a digital companion to the Hines Park Heritage Trail, while Slippery Rock will work with a small historical society in New Castle, Pennsylvania, to build a digital tour to enhance its program offerings. In addition, Dr. Souther will work with a digital scholarship librarian at the University of Oregon who specializes in remote user testing with focus groups to improve the development process for the new plugin.

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Meet CSU's New Faculty

Toby Bercovici, Theatre & Dance

Toby Vera Bercovici is an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Theatre & Dance. She is a director whose work utilizes a rigorous authenticity, playful relationship with the elements of time, and uniquely feminist aesthetic to help tell important stories. She places special emphasis on the ethical, psychological, and physiological manifestations of intimacy, and has created numerous dance-theater adaptations of classic texts, including The *Annotated* Taming: Or, Out of the Saddle, Into the Dirt and The Life and Death of Queen Margaret.

As an adaptor, she weaves strong feminist counter-narratives into classic texts, and what emerges is work that illuminates rather than glorifies and juxtaposes historical snapshots with examples of our current flawed but beautifully diverse present. Her work has been presented in multiple venues in New York City and New England, and she served as assistant director at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and the Classic Stage Company. Prior to joining Cleveland State, she taught theater at Colby College, Young Harris College, Holyoke Community College, American International College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. You can see more of her work at www.tobyverabercovici.com.

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Featured Research Center Series

Center for Urban Education

The Center for Urban Education (CUE) was founded in 2010. It initially served as the research and development arm of the Campus International School (CIS), and has grown to include research and development collaborations with other schools, districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations in Greater Cleveland and beyond.

Led by Dr. Adam Voight, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Foundations (C&F), CUE is a founding member of the Cleveland Alliance for Education Research, a research-practice partnership among CSU, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and the American Institutes for Research.

Research Guidance

New Uniform Guidance for Grants

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued its Final Guidance on amendments to the OMB Guidance for Grants and Agreements (Uniform Guidance). The revisions, which take effect on November 12, include the following:

  • Publication Costs related to research, when authorized, are generally to be charged only to the final budget period of an award.
  • The period available to direct recipients to submit final reports during closeout has been extended to 120 days. Be aware that failure to submit a final report may delay the release of funds from subsequent awards.

Faculty are encouraged to contact Sponsored Programs and Research Services (SPRS) for any questions related OMB’s Uniform Guidance.

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CSU Scholar News

Annie Jouan-Westlund, World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Dr. Annie Jouan-Westlund is a professor of French in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. She earned her master’s degree in English and American Civilization from the Université de Nantes, France, and her PhD. in French Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Considered an expert on French and Francophone life writing, Dr. Jouan-Westlund has expanded her research to focus on gender and class representations in crime stories.

Since she joined Cleveland State University in 2000, she has published a total of thirty journal articles and book chapters and gave over sixty conference presentations around the world. Although she published numerous articles on French cinema and cultural studies, her expertise is primarily on life writing and the complex relations between true events and their written transposition. Since 2015, she has been the recipient of two Faculty Scholarship Investigation (FSI) grants which funded her study of the spatial, psychoanalytical, societal and gender issues in autofiction, a genre situated between fiction and reality. In 2017, she was chosen to participate in the CLASS What We Know Lectures Series to present her work on gender representations in French television series. In February, she participated in the literary program “Signs of our Times” on French public radio’s France Culture to debate the ethical consequences of human-interest stories with two colleagues from UCLA and Paris III-Sorbonne.

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Inspired Creativity

Russ Borski Directs Blithe Spirit on CSU's Pandemic Theatre Stage

Russ Borski, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, will direct Blithe Spirit, an adaptation of Noel Coward’s play. Blithe Spirit tells the story of novelist Charles Condomine who, while researching the occult, hires a medium who mistakenly summons the ghost of his deceased wife. Her ghost then attempts to disrupt Charles’ marriage to his second wife, who can neither see nor hear the ghost.

Productions in the Department of Theatre and Dance’s “Pandemic Theatre” this fall consist of virtual rehearsals via Zoom, culminating in a filmed presentation on the Pandemic Factory Stage located on the paint deck in the scene shop in the 13th Street Building. The stage, pictured at left, incorporates 10-foot individual zones (separated by glass) for actors and avoids set up and strike down of scenery to create a safe performance experience.

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News from the Technology Transfer Office

UPDATE: U.S. Patent Allowed

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has allowed U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/944,340, titled Authentication Methods and Systems Using Interactive Three-Dimensional Environments. Dr. Ye Zhu, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), is the lead inventor for the new technology.

The invention provides a method of authenticating a user by the displaying a three-dimensional virtual environment which the user navigates and interacts to define a passcode. The novel passcode program allows a user to move objects in 3 dimensions which serves as the user’s passcode to gain access to a system.

Contact Jack Kraszewski for assistance with a disclosure to begin the process of protecting your invention or intellectual property.

Funding Support Training

NorthCoast I-Corps training is available to help you attract additional sources of funding support for your research, technology, or new ideas. The program is short, part-time, and devoted to helping participants obtain funding and other support for the development of an idea, technology, or research outcome. The following CSU faculty were accepted to participate in this month’s Northcoast I-Corps cohort:

Josiah Owusu-Danquah: Extendable Bone Plate

Hanz Richter: Walking Aids with Compliant Support

Prabaha Sikder: Electroactive and Live Muscle Construct

Wenbing Zhao and Xiongyi Liu: PeerLifeCoach

The next round of NorthCoast I-Corps training will start in December. Interested faculty should contact Jack Kraszewksi, Director of the Technology Transfer Office, for additional information.

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Scholarship of Note

Research and Scholarship News from Across Campus

GRHD's Bibo Li Published in Science Advances

Dr. Bibo Li, a professor in the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences (BGES) and a member of the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD), has had a new article published in Science Advances. The article is titled "TbRAP1 Has an Unusual Duplex DNA Binding Activity Required for Its Telomere Localization and VSG Silencing." Science Advances is a Science group journal and is one of the top journals with an impact factor of 12.530.

Additionally, Dr. Li’s post-doctoral fellow Dr. Amit Gaurav presented a talk, titled “Trypanosoma brucei RAP1 has an RNA binding activity that is essential for VSG monoallelic expression,” at the (virtual) Annual Molecular Parasitology Meeting XXXI in September. Four of Dr. Li’s students and post-docs presented posters, and Dr. Li chaired the Nuclear and Telomere Biology conference session.

Cyleste Collins and Heather Rice Receive Covid-19 Research Award
Drs. Cyleste Collins and Heather Rice

Dr. Cyleste Collins, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work, and Dr. Heather Rice, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, were awarded a $5,000 grant by the Social Science Research Council for their project, titled “Addressing African American Infant Mortality Using Technology during the Covid-19 Crisis.”

Out of over 1,300 applicants, they were 1 of the 62 recipients of a Rapid-Response Grant on Covid-19 & the Social Sciences award. Their work builds on research that Drs. Collins and Rice initiated under the Office of Research’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Grant (CR3) Program. For more information, click here.

Julie Wolin Joins Ohio AG's Environmental Science Advisory Council

Dr. Julie Wolin, an associate professor in the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BGES), has joined Ohio Attorney General David Yost's Environmental Science Advisory Council.

The 12-member council will meet with the attorney general and the leaders of his Environmental Enforcement Section to discuss the latest environmental issues and to act as a sounding board for the Attorney General’s Office regarding the best ways to preserve and safeguard Ohio’s natural resources.

Matthew W. Green's Engaged Scholarship

A 2017 paper authored by Matthew W. Green, Jr., an associate professor in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, was the most downloaded article on CSU’s Engaged Scholarship publication site. The article, titled "Same-Sex Sex and Immutable Traits: Why Obergefell v. Hodges Clears a Path to Protecting Gay and Lesbian Employees from Workplace Discrimination Under Title VII,” appeared in The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice and was downloaded 1,432 times in August alone (out of 3,885 total downloads). Interest in the article likely stemmed from the Supreme Court's June 15 decision that Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or transgender status.

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Research Funding

URA Deadline Approaching

The deadline to apply for Spring 2021 funding through the Undergraduate Research Award (URA) program is November 25. The purpose of the URA program is to allow undergraduate students to obtain funding to offset the costs associated with doing research undertaken in a CSU credit-bearing course.

Additional information on the URA program and the Office of Research’s other internal funding programs can be found here.

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Please share with us important news or updates on your research, scholarly, or creative activities. Updates may be related to a paper that has been accepted for publication in a high-impact journal, a book you've just published, your work that will be exhibited at a prominent institution, or other updates you wish to share with our office. Send details to j.yard@csuohio.edu and b.j.ward@csuohio.edu.

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