NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Office of Research and Graduate Studies has announced the recipients of its annual Research and Creative Activity grants. The RCA grant program was created to support SFA faculty members' initial research efforts and to help prepare their research for submission to national grant programs.

Each year, ORGS and the SFA Department of Academic Affairs conduct a university-wide call for proposals, with the end of October typically serving as the deadline for submissions. The University Research Council then conducts a blind peer review of all applications. Grant awardees are notified early in the spring semester, and projects are funded through the remainder of the fiscal year.

This year, ORGS received 13 applications, and the council selected seven applicants to award RCA grants totaling approximately $124,000.

2019 Research and Creative Activity Grants

Dr. Jeremy Becnel - Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Sciences and Mathematics
Generalized Probabilistic Radon Transform

The Radon Transform is a functional analysis tool that has proved to be extremely useful outside of its origin. It is one of the driving forces behind the mathematics of medical CT scans and tomography. Becnel hopes to develop a generalized version of the Radon Transform, which is applicable to most, if not all, probability measures. In addition, he also expects to develop the fundamental results in this setting. These new results will increase the applicability of the Radon Transform and will lead to further areas of study, both pure and applied.

Wesley Berg - School of Art, College of Fine Arts
Tokyo - Digital Drawing

Berg's project will see Tokyo, Japan, through the lens of digital drawing. His current drawing works on paper to explore architecture, minimalism, color and line. While investigating underground art scenes and pop culture themes present in contemporary Tokyo, Berg will create digital drawings on location with local artists and collaborators. The resulting work will seek to merge both digital and analog drawing approaches.

Dr. Kathryn Kidd - Forestry and Spatial Science, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
Tree Radial Growth Responses to Climatic and Hydrologic Disturbances in Upland and Bottomland Forests in East Texas

This project focuses on quantifying relationships between annual radial growth of tree species due to climatic and hydrologic disturbances (temperature, precipitation, flooding events, etc.). Both upland and bottomland species will be studied in the West Gulf Coastal Plain region of East Texas. Such research is vital in assisting forest managers who work to manage the forests of tomorrow.

Dr. Jane Long - Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Sciences and Mathematics
Extending Results on the Group Cohomology Properties of the Qd(p) and PSL(3,p) Groups

Long's project seeks more complete information about a question arising from the intersection of the fields of algebra and topology, which is the study of properties that are preserved through the deformation, twisting and stretching of objects. This project seeks to extend, refine and reframe algebraic information about two infinite families of mathematical groups - the Qd(p) groups and the PSL(3, p) groups, where p is an odd prime. Long hopes to do so in such a way as to obtain more complete information about the ways these groups transform objects built from spheres; provide valuable information about these interesting groups; and develop techniques that can be used to obtain further information about groups with similar structures.

Dr. Brian Oswald - Forestry and Spatial Science, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
Using Chemical Analysis and GIS to Differentiate between Two East Texas Pine Species and their Hybrids

Oswald's research will focus on the hybridization between loblolly pine and shortleaf pine along the western edge of the southern forests in Texas. The study will investigate whether differences are occurring in the older overstory canopy trees and those that are younger on the same sites. Using plots from the northeast corner of Texas to south of Conroe, it also is anticipated that locations where these potential differences occur may be influenced by geographic position. This is a preliminary study that Oswald hopes will open avenues to broader investigations.

Dr. Brook Poston - Department of History, College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Curse of the Country: James Monroe's War against Political Parties

Poston's research focuses on President Monroe's mostly successful attempt at eliminating the Federalist Party as a political entity and, subsequently, forever eliminate parties from American political life. Poston will complete an archival research trip to consult the unpublished Monroe documents collected by Dan Preston in addition to other resources as he prepares his manuscript.

Dr. Matibur Zamadar - Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Sciences and Mathematics
Developing a Multifunctional Treatment Solution of TMPyP/DHN/Fe(III) ions for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Zamadar will research a multifunctional treatment solution to determine its potential in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Other potential uses include being utilized in conjunction with other therapeutic methods to combat tumors and as an alternative for lessening the negative side effects of chemotherapy drugs.