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, which support initial research efforts by SFA faculty members and prepares them and their research for submission to national grant programs.

ORGS and the Division of Academic Affairs conduct a university-wide call for proposals, and the deadline for submissions is typically the end of October. The University Research Council 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 five applications, and the University Research Council selected four recipients. The total monies awarded equals nearly $35,215.

2021 Research and Creative Activity Grants:

Wesley Berg – School of Art, College of Fine Arts
Drawing Rock Art Symbols of the Greater Southwest

Berg’s Creative Activity project proposes to explore rock art locations in southern Utah and northern Arizona. The objective is to create drawing artworks while observing petroglyphic sites and ultimately merging prehistoric iconography with contemporary interpretations of landscape, form and color.

Dr. Flora Farago – School of Human Sciences, James I. Perkins College of Education
Attitudes about Gender in 7-10 year-old Children in Kenya

Farago’s study is to examine Kenyan children’s gender stereotypes, including perceptions about gender, discrimination, gender atypical peers, occupational aspirations and empowerment. The current study extends previous research. The project will lay the foundation for external funding via the Fulbright, Reed Foundation, and the Society for Research in Child Development.

Dr. Lindsay Porter – Department of Biology, College of Sciences and Mathematics
Characterizing the a-latroinsectotoxins of Brown and Black Widow Spiders and Assessing their Potential as Biopesticides

In Porter’s study, two putatively insect-specific toxins, a-latroinsectotoxins, from two local widow spider species will be fully sequenced and the encoded proteins recombinantly expressed. These toxins will be assayed to confirm their toxicity against insects, both for a crop pest and for a vector of human pathogens.

Dr. Dipak Singh – Department of Computer Science, College of Sciences and Mathematics
Artificial Intelligence Solutions to Improve Natural Disaster Resilience and Relief

Singh’s project focuses on studying the characteristics of fake news during natural disasters based on the fine-grained contextual user features, such as user profile history and behavior on social network, and the pattern in the propagation of such news over time using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technologies.