Spring 2017 Grant Awards at JMU


Funding cycle




Proposals funded


First-time 4-VA grant award recipients


Course redesign project


Collaborative research grants





Selected projects demonstrated strength of collaboration which directly aligns with 4-VA’s mission to “promote collaborations that leverage the strengths of each partner university and improve efficiencies in higher education across the Commonwealth of Virginia.” We are proud to fund projects that increase JMU’s access to research and resources, engagement with the campus, community and across the state, capacity for innovation, and visibility here in Virginia and on a national scale.

4-VA at JMU is proud to announce its Spring 2017 Grant Awards to the following faculty:

Carissa Henriques

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design

Course Redesign for “Social Entrepreneurship and Design for Social Impact”



  • Dr. Justin Henriques, Assistant Professor of Engineering at JMU
  • JMU X-Labs

Dr. Giovanna Scarel

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Modeling charge density in infrared power generation



  • Dr. Ilarion Melnikov, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at JMU
  • Dr. Balsa Terzik, Assistant Professor of Physics at ODU

Dr. Erika Kancler

Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Program

Radiology for Anatomists: Building Interactive Medical Images to Enhance Anatomical Learning



  • Carolyn Schubert, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences & Nursing Librarian at JMU
  • Kevin Hegg, Director of Digital Projects at JMU

Dr. Joy Myers

Assistant Professor of Early, Elementary and Reading Education

In Search of Effective Practices and Pedagogies in Elementary Writing Methods Courses in the Commonwealth



  • Dr. Judy Paulick, Assistant Professor of Education at UVA

Dr. Leontina Adriana Banu

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Workshop on the Science, Instrumentation and Education Program at the Madison Accelerator Laboratory



  • Dr. Kevin Giovanetti, Professor of Physics at JMU
  • Dr. Gabriel Niculescu, Associate Professor of Physics at JMU
  • Dr. Ioana Niculescu, Professor of Physics at JMU
  • Dr. Scott Pendleton, Accelerator Lab Manager at JMU
  • Dr. Gail Dodge, Professor of Physics at ODU

Dr. Masoud Kaveh Baghbadorani

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Optical Properties of Hybrid Organic/Plasmonic Nanowires Heterostructures



  • Dr. Chenggang Tao, Assistant Professor of Physics at VT
  • Dr. Oleksandr Kokhan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at JMU

Dr. Michael H. Renfroe

Professor of Biology

Developing Industrial Hemp Markets in Virginia: Academic and Industrial Partnerships



  • Dr. Samuel Morton, Assistant Professor of Engineering at JMU
  • Dr. John Fike, Associate Professor of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at VT
  • Dr. Michael Timko, Professor of Biology at UVA

Dr. Samy El-Tawab

Assistant Professor of Integrated Science and Technology
Development of Transit Bus Performance Monitoring System using Low Cost WiFi Technology and Cloud Computing in/out of James Madison University Campus



  • Dr. Byungkyu Brian Park, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UVA

Dr. Yonathan Admassu

Assistant Professor of Geology and Environmental Science
Use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for slope stability studies



  • Dr. Lindsay Burden, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at UVA

Grant recipients not pictured

Dr. Kevin L. Caran

Associate Professor of Chemistry
A Novel Multidisciplinary Approach to Combat Pathogenic Bacteria



  • Dr. Kyle Seifert, Associate Professor of Biology at JMU
  • Dr. Klebert Feitosa, Associate Professor of Physics at JMU

Dr. Roshna Wunderlich

Professor of Biology
Characterization of the intrinsic foot muscles using novel elastomer gel deformations and electromyography



  • Dr. Klebert Feitosa, Associate Professor of Physics at JMU
  • VT