Grants and sponsored research at Austin College allow our faculty, staff and students opportunities to explore new ideas in and out of the classroom. The Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations office works across campus to provide philanthropic support for academic programs, faculty and student research, curriculum enhancement, student life initiatives, scholarships, and capital improvements.
The funds will provide automatic door openers to increase accessibility for differently-abled people entering Mason Complex and Hopkins Center, which are two of the most frequently used buildings on campus.
Garret Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention Grant
$214,550 – Project Director: Teresa Moore, Director of Counseling Services
This award will support the new program, Austin College Targeted Outreach and Intervention for Mental Health, Suicide, and Substance Abuse (ACT Out) to help recognize and respond to students who are at risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior.
$100,000 – Project Directors: Dr. Kelynne Reed and Dr. Chris Goldsmith
The Hearst Pre-Health Scholars Program provides scholarships to students with financial need; priority is given to Pell-eligible students. The funding helps pay for scholarships and the fees associated with applications to pre-health professional schools, test preparation exams, and travel to interviews.
$180,000 – Project Directors: Dr. Felix Harcourt, Dr. Greg Kinzer, Dr. Claire Wolnisty
The grant application, titled Legacies of American Slavery Regional Collaboration, is a three-year project centered around the 1930 lynching of George Hughes and burning of the Black business district and Grayson County courthouse in Sherman, Texas. It includes a stipend for a student researcher, course development opportunities for faculty, and community outreach. Austin College was one of only seven applications selected nationally for this highly competitive award.
$50,000 – Project Director: Lisa Emery
These funds will support the Director of Bands position held by Mr. Alan Harkey. The ‘Roo Band was in only its second year in 2020-2021 when COVID protocols significantly limited opportunities to perform, although safely distanced rehearsals and team building continued.
$25,000 – Project Director: Lisa Emery
The 2021 Winter Storm caused damage in multiple buildings across campus and created significant disruptions to academics and student life on campus. Austin College experienced multiple days without a water supply, damage to residential and academic buildings across campus, and was even forced to switch from natural gas to diesel fuel to ensure boilers remained functional to provide heat to the more than 1,000 students living on campus. Funds from Communities Foundation of Texas were used to minimize additional expenses and the insurance deductible from storm-related damage.
W.B. Munson Foundation, $25,000
Elias & Hanna Regensburger Foundation, $7,500
Texoma Health Foundation, $12,000
Project Director: Dr. Nathan Bigelow
The SEPA program focuses on engaging students in community development through grant writing as an entrepreneurial endeavor, teaching technical aspects of grant writing, and providing hands-on grant writing experience with a local nonprofit agency over the summer. Funds are used to deliver an extensive two-day training workshop for participating nonprofit agencies and student interns as well as provide stipends for the student interns, allowing the nonprofit agencies to participate at no cost to the agency.
The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, $200,000
Hoblitzelle Foundation, $50,000
The Hannah Natatorium locker rooms received a complete renovation including a special re-design, new flooring and fixtures, new lockers and seating, an increase in shower units, and upgrades to the ventilation system. The improved facilities are the high-level competitive space that our student-athletes and community deserve.
$5,000 total awarded for three projects, Constitution Day, Political Science Colloquium on Public Discourse, Dr. Kenneth Street Law Symposium
Project Director: Dr. Frank Rohmer
As one of only six schools honored with a Sumner Scholarship endowment, The Sumner Foundation has a long-standing history of supporting Austin College projects that target democratic, government, and civic activities. This year, the Sumner’s Foundation will once again sponsor the Political Science Colloquium on Public Discourse and the Dr. Kenneth Street Law Symposium. A new program, “Constitution Day,” scheduled for September 2022 will include a speaker from the Pre-Law Society Speaker Series focusing on the place of lawyers in democratic statesmanship.
Project Coordinators: Dr. Jeremy Posadas, Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Cooper, Dr. Nathan Bigelow
Austin College’s project, “Pathways to a Just Society” will create collaborative new courses and provide internships for students’ deeper inquiry into issues of justice and equity. Of the 50 liberal arts colleges invited to submit proposals, 12 institutions were selected to receive grants totaling more than $16.1 million to be used over a three-year period. The project is anticipated to either create or redesign more than 30 general education courses, launch 6 new undergraduate research and applied learning courses for up to 69 students, and allow 60 faculty members to participate in enhanced faculty development.
Austin College students are provided with exceptional summer research opportunities thanks to an award from the Robert A. Welch Foundation which provides funding for departmental faculty members, student research scholarships, lab equipment, and chemicals. Students and faculty are also able to travel to industry meetings and conferences, helping students gain and develop an interest in pursuing a career in chemistry.
$90,000 –Dr. Saritha Bangara
The grant will fund the Public Health Outreach Partnership with Grayson Crisis Center for research, evaluation, and education of vulnerable female populations in Grayson County. This will also support three Austin College student public health researchers who will conduct focus groups and develop health education modules to help female victims of domestic abuse.
$115,516 – Dr. James Hebda
“Research 365: Providing Unified Research Experiences in Biochemistry Throughout the Year.”
Dr. Hebda’s research focuses on how cataracts are caused by degradation of the protein in the eye, resulting in vision loss, and the role and functions of alpha-crystallin in varying pH conditions and temperatures are vital to understanding the mechanism in which cataracts develop as well as how alpha-crystallin prevents cell death post-cardiac arrest.
$90,405 – Dr. John Richardson
“Using Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences to Prepare Students for their Futures.”
Using protein folding and misfolding and its relations to disease, Dr. Richardson is using research-intensive courses, independent summer research experiences, and yearlong research projects to train the next generation of physicians and scientists to find new ways to improve women’s health.
$149,903 – Dr. Lance Barton
“Training a New Generation of Physician Scientists to Understand the Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Chronic Diseases Affecting Women.”
Dr. Barton’s research provides in-depth experiences for undergraduates through research-based courses in Cellular Physiology and Cancer Biology. Students are able to engage in greater depth with a basic science research project during the summer and academic year.