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October 2021

Volume 8, Issue 10


Top Story

Farewell Message from SVPR Forrest Faison

In This Issue

Top Story


Research Funding News


Meet CSU's Faculty


Featured Student Researcher


Research Compliance


Inspired Creativity


Technology Transfer News


Research Events


Research Funding

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

As you have undoubtedly heard, I will be departing Cleveland State in October for personal reasons. Michelle and I will take some time off before we see what’s next and where we can best help others. I want each of you to know what an honor and privilege it has been to be part of the CSU family and to have had the amazing opportunity of working with you and for you during my time here.

The work our researchers are doing is critically important and will benefit so many here in greater Cleveland and beyond. I know that work will continue, grow, and flourish. I am humbled when I see the hard work, dedication, and commitment our researchers have made through these challenging times.

Cleveland State and the Cleveland State family, like Cleveland my hometown, will always have a special place in my heart. The faculty, staff, and students are just incredible and so very inspiring. I wish for the university all successes in the future. May each of you be richly blessed, as I have been blessed with the privilege of knowing and working with you.

Thank you my friends for the honor of a lifetime to be with you and on the CSU team.



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Research Funding News

Mekki Bayachou Receives NIH Award for Biosensor Research

Dr. Mekki Bayachou, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, has received a 3-year R15 award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop new ultra miniature sensors for measurements within cells. Dr. Bayachou’s $447,128 award is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and is titled, “Selenide-based electrocatalytic sensors for sensitive peroxynitrite detection in biological media: a bottom-up approach for functional interface design.”

Dr. Bayachou and his group are developing a nanostructured thin film material based on defined organic selenides chemically attached to ultra microelectrodes as sensing devices. The engineered interface will be used in sensitive detection and measurement of a reactive nitrogen-oxygen species known as a potent oxidative stress and disease marker implied in a host of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, immune response, and chronic inflammation. This innovative bottom-up interface engineering design approach allows for the possibility to fine-tune the interface properties to optimize sensitivity and selectivity of the detection of this disease marker. The successful development of this type of ultra microsensor will not only enable in-situ measurement of the reactive stress marker at the level of live single cells but will also shed light on the obscure mechanisms through which this potent species operates under many disease states and, ultimately, its clinical footprint.

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Meet CSU's Faculty

Ebenezer Concepción, Black Studies

Dr. Ebenezer Concepción is an assistant professor in the Black Studies Program. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and post-doctoral training from the Carnegie Mellon University. In his current book project, The Politics of Care, Religious Liberty, and Social Justice in Latin(x) American Evangelicalism, he makes connections between Afro-Indigenous histories of transnational migration and its contemporary relations with belonging and religion in the U.S. and Afro-Latin America. It is an oral history and critical ethnography about the Latin American Council of the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc., (CLAIDDP), a 70-year-old non-profit organization with Puerto Rican roots that began in New York and has grown to contain over 500 churches worldwide and almost 900 ministers.

This project comparatively explores how CLAIDDP has been shaping the sociopolitical fabric of the Americas through the infusion of faith-based values in everyday life, and how this movement impacts feelings of belonging or exclusion among its members and non-members, especially trans and queer people. As such, The Politics of Care straddles the affective tensions between religious liberty, the Christian Right, and social justice through an analysis of Afro-Latin/x American evangelicals’ formal and informal community-building, civic engagement, and political participation.

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Featured Student Research

Best Poster Prizes Awarded for Undergraduate Summer Research

Katelyn Zeitz & Amanda Mohan (left), Maria Rivera Paz (right)

Undergraduate research students presented their work at the 2021 Undergraduate Research Poster Session on September 23. Students, faculty, and staff discussed research that was funded by the Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA) Program and the McNair Scholars Program.

Based on faculty votes, first place prizes were awarded to two deserving posters:

  • Katelyn Zeitz and Amanda Mohan (advisors Grace Huang and Eddie Lam) for their project “Revised Parenting Style and Practices Scale (R-PSPS): Examining Parenting Practices of Resettled Refugees and Immigrants”
  • Maria Rivera Paz (advisor Bibo Li) for her project “Expressing T. brucei SNAP26 in E. coli cells for antibody production”

The Office of Research congratulates all of the students and their mentors, and encourages undergraduate and graduate students to continue to actively engage in research.

Research Compliance

New Foreign Conflict of Interest Training is Available

The federal regulatory landscape regarding foreign influence on academic research continues to evolve as federal agencies update their policies and regulations. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has begun work to develop clearer guidance to implement National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM-33), which was intended to protect U.S. Government-supported research from foreign government interference and exploitation.

As a proactive measure, Cleveland State has added a new module to our CITI training program to help researchers better understand foreign influence concerns. The module Undue Foreign Influence: Risks and Mitigations can be added to your CITI account by selecting it in the enrollment questions.

Cleveland State University values international collaborations and is committed to academic freedom and the ability of our researchers and scholars to communicate, exchange ideas, and collaborate with their counterparts around the world.

For additional information on FCOI training, contact Dr. Benjamin Ward, Director of Research Development & Ethics.

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Inspired Creativity

Russ Borski Adapts and Directs Blithe Spirit

Russ Borski, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, has created a new adaptation of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Professor Borski will direct the updated version of the show, which is set in present day Long Island.

The play, performed in two acts, offers up the fussy, cantankerous novelist Charlie Condomine, remarried but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his first wife Elvira, called up by a visiting “happy medium,” one Madame Arcati. Worlds collide, personalities clash, and Charlie’s current wife Ruth accidentally joins forces with Elvira in the afterlife. These two “blithe spirits” haunt their hapless husband into perpetuity.

Blithe Spirit appears at the Outcalt Theatre from October 21 - 31. Ticket and show time information can be found here.

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News from the Technology Transfer Office

Commercialization Support

The TeCK Fund, a joint technology commercialization and startup fund co-managed by Cleveland State University and Kent State University, has been awarded $300,000 by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to continue its mission to accelerate commercialization of university technology and bring innovative new products to market.

The funding augments previous awards of $700,000 that established the TeCK Fund in 2017, and continued TeCK Fund II in 2019. The TeCK Fund provides faculty pursuing applied research projects with up to $100,000 to assist with commercialization activities including prototype creation, third-party validation, and market research, which are required to successfully spin off technologies.

For more details about TeCK Fund III, contact Jack Kraszewski, Director of the Technology Transfer Office.

Invention Disclosure Update

An invention disclosure was submitted by Dr. Ye Zhu, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and research assistant Jafar Pourbemany, titled “An Automatic Mechanism to Pair Wearable Devices Based on Biometric Patterns.” Wearable devices need secure communication to share data with a base station (like a smartphone) or other wearables. However, traditional pairing techniques (e.g., Bluetooth) either need user intervention or interaction with an input device or display, which may be inconvenient or impossible in many wearables. A suitable solution is to use biometric signals to pair wearables. The invented mechanism uses a hard-to-copy biometric signal of a user to dynamically generate a secure 256-bit key every few seconds of the biometric cycle for pairing wearables.

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

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Research Events

Center for Applied Data Analysis and Modeling Virtual Seminar

The Center for Applied Data Analysis and Modeling (ADAM) will host a virtual seminar on computing resources at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), both for research and classroom purposes. OSC is a fantastic resource for computing, backup, and many other purposes and it is free for most Ohio university usage.

On October 26 at 11:30 a.m., Wilbur Ouma of OSC will give an overview of the services OSC can provide for CSU users. After his talk, there should be time for questions and discussion of computing needs for individual faculty, classrooms, or projects.

To RSVP for the event, contact center co-directors Dr. Shawn Ryan (Mathematics and Applied Statistics) and Dr. Thijs Heus (Physics). The link to attend the meeting is here.


Additional Upcoming Research Events

Brown Bag Lunch Hosted by the Center for Refugee and Immigrant Success (CRIS) 
In the fourth Brown Bag Lunch for the Center for Refugee & Immigrant Success (CRIS), Dr. Deirdre Mageean, a professor in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, and Jack Yochum, a Levin College graduate student and research assistant for the Center for Economic Development (CED), will present “Climate Change and the Refugee Crisis” on October 21 at 11:30 a.m. Register here.

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Research Funding

URA Deadline Approaching, RIT Workshop for NSF S-STEM

The deadline to apply for Spring 2022 funding through the Undergraduate Research Award (URA) program is November 29. 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.


RIT to Offer Virtual Workshop Series for NSF S-STEM Proposals

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will offer a virtual workshop series and mentoring opportunities on Preparing Successful NSF S-STEM Proposals. The main goal of the S-STEM program is to enable low-income, talented domestic students to pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields.

The workshops are designed to occur biweekly beginning on Friday, November 5, with one-on-one mentoring of proposal development teams available through the program deadline of March 16, 2022. Workshop applications should be submitted via email to grssbi@rit.edu, and should include contact information and brief background of the two team members and a 150-300 word description of your current idea for the focus of your S-STEM proposal.

For additional information about this opportunity, contact Dr. Benjamin Ward, Director of Research Development & Ethics.

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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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