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With a focus on learning, we employ a range of strategies to support innovation, collaboration across centers, and university-wide discussion and decision-making


Award Winners 2000 - 2001

June 30, 2000

As Nova Southeastern University matures, a part of its evolving mission is the development of its faculty. One important faculty activity is scholarship. Through efforts by the University President and its Trustees a quasi-endowment has been established to support faculty scholarship. The Board of Trustees at the request of the president has allocated $500,000 for faculty scholarship. The president's commitment is to request additional funding to enhance this activity. It is planned to use interest of up to a maximum of 5% being used to enhance faculty scholarship through individual faculty awards. A task force was established and charged with developing:

  1. Priorities for funding;
  2. Specific procedures to guide faculty in making application for funding;
  3. A procedure and mechanism for orderly, representative and efficient review of faculty proposals; and
  4. additional funding opportunities; including a Center/College match for this fund.

Recommendations for each of these charges follow.

Funding Priorities

Awards will be made in part from this fund (50%) and in part from funds of the Center supporting this award (50%).

During this first year of operation, annual awards of a maximum of $10,000.00 each were presented to faculty selected by a reconstituted subcommittee of the Faculty Scholarship Research and Professional Development Committee and approved by the University President. Funding was prioritized for work that:

  1. was deemed scholarly in nature by the faculty applicant and his/her Dean
  2. was initiated by a faculty member and approved by his/her Dean
  3. represented new or expanded activity for the University
  4. fell within the University and College/Center identity, goals and mission
  5. contained a meaningful evaluative component proposed by the applicant
  6. will expand the knowledge and understanding of the academic community, and
  7. will be disseminated, through professional review, outside of the University.

Funding was prioritized for proposed work that facilitates faculty in doing traditional scholarly research projects, for significant educational and program development and for activities that expand understanding and increase the body of knowledge associated with a given profession or professions. Special attention was given to activities that include an interdisciplinary component while achieving the above stated objectives.

2000-2001 President's Faculty Scholarship Award Winners

In this year's competition, we had 21 submissions from 42 faculty members representing 13 academic units. This was a wonderful response from the NSU community and it shows how eager faculty are to involve themselves in professional development activities.

The quality of all of the proposals submitted by the faculty was stellar and the process of selecting the eventual award winners was quite difficult. So close was the competition, that President Ferrero decided to expand the number of winners this year from an initial group of 6 to the final cohort of 9. That was just how good these proposals were.

Dr. Lester Janoff - HPD College of Optometry
Dr. Ed Keith - Oceanographic Center / Farquhar Center for Undergraduate Studies

Dean David Loshin - HPD College of Optometry
Dean Richard Dodge - Oceanographic Center
Dean Norma Goonen - Farquhar Center for Undergraduate Studies

Project Title: Tear Protein Adhesion to Contact Lenses and Lens Storage Vials

Abstract: Over the past two years we have been investigating the adhesion of tear proteins to contact lenses. We have determined that tear proteins adhere to some types of contact lenses more than others, and that the time-course of tear protein adhesion also varies with the contact lens polymer. However, we have discovered that there is an incredible amount of variation in this process. The major tear proteins behave differently in relation to the contact lens, and there are differences between individuals in terms of the types and amounts of proteins secreted. Because of this variability, we propose a series of control experiments using simulated tear solutions containing individual tear proteins in known concentrations, to determine their adhesion to new contact lenses never worn by patients. Once we have a clearer understanding of this variability, we plan to conduct clinical studies of tear protein adhesion to new contact lens materials, and explore the impact of tear protein adhesion on clinical problems such as Contact Lens Related Papillary Conjunctivitis (also called giant papillary conjunctivitis or GPC).

Dr. Josephine Shallo-Hoffman - HPD College of Optometry
Dr. Cyril Blavo - HPD College of Allied Health
Dr. Rachel Anastasia Coulter - HPD College of Optometry

Dean David Loshin - HPD College of Optometry
Dean Raul Cuadrado - HPD College of Allied Health

Project Title: Vision Screening of Pre-School Children at Nova Southeastern University

Abstract: It is well established that the earlier the treatment of some eye disorders, such as amblyopia and strabismus, the better chance there is to prevent a permanent loss of visual acuity and binocularity. Current vision screening requirements in the state of Florida have not been evaluated for accuracy. This study will test the validity and reliability of the current vision screening requirements for pre-school children for the state of Florida. Young children will be recruited from the NSU Family and Pre-school Center. Method: All children, age 3-5 years old, who attend programs at NSU Family Center and whose parents consent, will be tested with the following vision screening battery, using a multi-station format (each screener performing one task) at the Family Center. The sensitivity and specificity of each screening test will be determined using examination data as the gold standard as will be explained as follows.

Dr. Terri Hamill - Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services

Dean H. Wells Singleton - Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services

Project Title: Use of Chirps for Electrophysiologic Assessment of Hearing in the Lower Range

Abstract: The purposed study applies a novel use for the type of acoustic signal, called a "chirp", to elicit an electrophysiologic response. Electrophysiologic testing involves the measurement of the firing nerves of hearing in response to sound, measured with electrodes taped to the head. The proposed research will determine the optimal chirp stimulus characteristics and compare and contrast the chirp responses to those evoked with more traditional stimuli. It is hypothesized that the chirp will provide a more robust measurement of low-pitch hearing. Electrophysiologic measurement of hearing for low pitches is a continuing challenge in audiology. This study will use normal-hearing adults to begin the investigation into the feasibility of using this chirp stimulus to assess hearing for low pitch stimuli, so that it may one day be used to assess hearing of infants and others unable to participate in traditional behavioral hearing testing.

Dr. Ana Fins - Center for Psychological Studies

Dean Ronald Levant - Center for Psychological Studies

Project Title: A Behavioral Intervention for HIV-Positive Individuals with Insomnia Complaints

Abstract: Reports of sleep complaints among HIV+persons have ranged from 14% to 79%. Furthermore, studies have established the presence of sleep disorders independent of psychological causes such as depression. Sleep disturbances reported include delayed sleep onset, nocturnal awakenings, early morning awakenings and poor sleep quality. Despite the prevalence of sleep complaints, little information exists on the treatment of sleep disturbances in this population. The use of non-pharmacological interventions for insomnia with HIV+individuals has been encouraged as a means of avoiding the use of sleep medications, which can cause sedation, dependence or drug interactions, and as a way of imparting a sense of control and mastery to HIV+patients. This study will yield preliminary data regarding the efficacy of an established psychological intervention for insomnia in reducing sleep complaints among HIV+individuals and will generate pilot data to assess the feasibility of conducting such an intervention within an HIV+ population.

Dr. Stan Hannah - Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services
Dr. L. Leanne Lai - HPD College of Pharmacy
Dr. Laurie Dringus - School of Computer and Information Sciences
Dr. Lisa Deziel-Evans - HPD College of Pharmacy
Dr. Thomas Thompson - Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services
Dr. Alan Cohen - Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services
Dr. Madeline Hellman - HPD College of Allied Health

Dean H. Wells Singleton - Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services
Dean William Hardigan - HPD College of Pharmacy
Dean Edward Leiblien - School of Computer and Information Sciences
Dean Raul Cuadrado - HPD College of Allied Health

Project Title: Design of Collaborative Learning Environments: Building Community on the Web

Abstract: The conversion of traditional classes to online media has proven surprisingly difficulty. In most cases, instructors have failed to take full advantage of the power of the Internet. As a result, most online courses are merely HTML versions of correspondence courses. In 1965 Douglas Englehart argued that the true power of the net-worked environment was its ability to leverage our intellect. To date, there has been little empirical research on how to construct an online learning community that would realize Englehart's vision. The proposed research project would develop four online sites for graduate students in education, pharmacy, information science, and physical therapy. The sites would be designed specifically to study and test ways in which technology could be used to bring together students and scholars so that they could learn together by sharing their ideas, expertise, and problems.

Dr. Pat Blackwelder - Oceanographic Center

Dean Richard Dodge - Oceanographic Center

Project Title: Calcification in Marine Invertebrates: Research and Lecture Series Utilizing the Recently Acquired Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center

Abstract: A basic research program in marine invertebrate calcification, and a related collaborative lecture and hands-on labs series with the University School is proposed utilizing the recently acquired scanning electron microscope (SEM) by Nova Southeastern Oceanographic Center. SEM study of fine structure and composition of cultured and fossil marine crustacean calcified valves and coral skeletons will be conducted. In addition, SEM and biomineralization related lectures and a hands-on lab is proposed in conjunction with the University School Marine Biology and Environmental Science program. The first research study will focus on crustacean (ostracod) calcified valve fine structural variability with change in environment. By examination of fine-scale morphologic features in their shells (sieve-pores), chemical information (salinity) from the ambient environment in which they grew may be reconstructed. The second research study will be on corals and incorporation of clay sized dust particles during growth. A significant component of airborne dust in South Florida and the Caribbean is windborne from the Sahara. It is of unique composition with relatively high concentrations of titanium and iron. SEM elemental analysis for the presence of Saharan dust in dated corals ultimately may assist in determination of paleowind variability. The interdisciplinary component of this study is with the University School science program, in which lectures on electron microscopy and calcification in marine invertebrates, as well as a hands-on SEM lab will be conducted.

Dr. Camille Bentley - HPD College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Joel Spalter - HPD College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Kerry Earlywine - HPD College of Pharmacy
Dr. Harold Laubach - HPD College of Medical Science

Dean Anthony Silvagni - HPD College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dean William Hardigan - HPC College of Pharmacy
Dean Harold Laubach - HPD College of Medical Science

Project Title: Diagnosis of Parasitic Infection by Surrogate Methods in Rural Communities of Guatemala

Abstract: This project is the first part of a series of related studies to be performed during repeated NSU DOCARE Student Chapter Missions to Guatemala. It was suggested by observations made on the Mission of January 2000. These included the apparent high prevalence Ascariasis, Giardiasis, and Entammeba histolytica cyst passage and the apparent utility of complaints of chronic abdominal pain, anorexia and weight loss among patients treated. Study One will address the question whether, in an environment in which these infections are endemic, these symptoms can be used as an appropriate surrogate for stool examination in the diagnosis of the protozoan and nematode infections. Study Two will be the development of growth charts for pediatric patients in the visited Guatemalan communities. These growth charts can then be used in further studies.

Dr. Veljko Dragojlovic - Oceanographic Center

Dean Richard Dodge - Oceanographic Center

Project Title: Cobalt Nanoclusters as Carbonylation Catalysts

Abstract: The broad, long-term objectives of this project are to develop a nanocatalyst for metal-catalyzed carbonylation of alkenes. Each year, in the US over 4 mission tons of chemicals are made using metal-catalyzed carbonylation process. Specific goals of this proposal are to prepare cobalt nanoclusters as carbonylation catalysts, investigate their properties, and apply them on a simple system. Publications by other research groups and my preliminary research indicate that the likelihood of success is high. The results will be submitted for publication in peer reviewed journals and possibly presented at a conference. Acceptance of a presentation is also subject to a peer review. The proposed project calls for the involvement of two centers: Oceanographic Center and Farquhar Center. While most of the work will be done at the Oceanographic Center, students at Farquhar Center will also participate in the proposed project by performing instrumental analysis and doing simple reactions.

Dr. Nicola Schutte - Farquhar Center for Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Nathalie Franco - Farquhar Center for Undergraduate Studies

Dean Norma Goonen - Farquhar Center for Undergraduate Studies

Project Title: Normative Life Transitions: Predicting Successful Adaptation in New Mothers and Beginning College Students

Abstract: The aim of this investigation is to explore internal factors (emotional regulation, coping, beliefs and expectations regarding the transition) and external resources (social support, role reorganization) that promote successful adaptation across the transitions of college and parenthood. Beginning freshman students and mothers-to-be will be recruited to participate in a longitudinal study. Regression and path analysis will test the predictions regarding the role of internal and external factors in promoting adjustment across transitions. The conceptualization of the project began in December of 1999 and the data collection phase of the project would begin with the pre-transition assessment in June 2000. The study and dissemination of results to national conferences and refereed journals would be completed by the summer of 2001. The finds of this study will help us better understand the crucial factors in the successful adaptation of new mothers and beginning college students.


This has truly been a remarkable event for our fine university. Our honoring the faculty winners is just the start of this annual event. With the support of the Board of Trustees and the Deans of Nova Southeastern University, we will continue to build upon this inaugural award. It is President Ferrero's hope that, in the years to come, NSU will be able to increase the amount of awards and money given in support of faculty scholarship and research. This is an investment not only in our faculty, but also into the enrichment of our students' academic lives and in the improvement of our great university.