ORS luncheon
Keynote speakers Sebawit Bishu, PhD, left, and Brian Buma, PhD

Office of Research Services celebrates funding recipients

October 15, 2019

In a celebratory luncheon on Oct. 11, the Office of Research Services honored faculty who received millions in external funding for research in the first half of 2019. The honorees, who spanned the CU Denver campus, have tackled crucial topics that affect the world, such as preschool mental health and thwarting Russian online disinformation. The keynote speakers were Sebawit Bishu, PhD, an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs, and ecologist Brian Buma, PhD.

Following a warm welcome by Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Bob Damrauer, the two awardees outlined their research and took questions from the audience of about 30 faculty.

Gendered experiences of women administrators in male roles: the case of city managers

Sebawit Bishu, PhD, spoke about her two-year study on women representation in local government using data from surveys. Her research explores alternative forms of glass ceilings, such as the ways in which gender disparities manifest in work authority for women in administrative roles in local government, particularly as city mangers. Aspects of the work environment that Bishu explored include perceived level of work authority, pay, leadership diversity, and sexualization in the workplace.

At a high level, her research deconstructs the organizational black-box to understand why few women engage in male-dominated roles and explores ways to break the cycle. The main takeaway: Women are underrepresented in these government positions and they are penalized in the access they have to exercise local authority as well as the economic return of their jobs.

Reviving the world’s longest running succession study

Brian Buma, PhD, assistant professor of integrative biology in the College of Language Arts and Science, spoke about his expedition to Glacier Bay National Park to hunt down and then expand eight long-forgotten, 103-year-old succession plots with a grant from National Geographic. His team discovered the plots and with the new data, revived the longest running succession study in the world.

Armed with laminated photographs of the plots and surrounding areas,a famed ecologist’s 1916 handwritten journals, a metal detector and a bit of luck, researchers spent eight days tracking down the plots, finding the final one within hours of having to leave. Through extensive fieldwork, historical archives, remote sensing and dendrochronological methods, they were able to fill in the data for the missing 75 years.

The full list of grant awardees:

College of Arts & Media (CAM)

Carol Golemboski, Professor, Visual Arts, “Magic Show: Photographs by Carol Golemboski”

Bryan Leister, Associate Professor, Visual Arts, Systems – An Exhibition

David Liban, Associate Professor, Theatre, Film, & Video Production, “A Feral World” – Post Production

Gregory Walker, Professor, Music & Entertainment Industry, African Immigrant Ballet Collaboration

School of Education & Human Development

Robert Allan, Assistant Professor, Counseling, Effects of Clinical Supervision of Mental Health Professionals on Supervisee Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes and Behavior, and Client Outcomes

Adriana Alvarez, Assistant Professor, SEHD, Examining a Reflective Process as a Biliteracy Instructional Tool

Rachel Stein, Assistant Professor, SEHD, Perspectives of Preschool Mental Health: Voices of Early Childhood Educators

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Hamilton Bean, Associate Professor, Communication

Stephen Hartnett, Professor, Communication

Haadi Jafarian, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Thwarting Russian Online Disinformation: A Rhetorical Analysis / Artificial Intelligence Pilot Study

Satadru Dey, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Cybersecurity of Connected Vehicles: A Control System Oriented Approach

Alireza Vahid, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Deceptive Solutions in Data Transmission

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Chris Agee, Associate Professor, History, Policing and Democracy in Philadelphia and Houston, 1970-2000

Hamilton Bean, Associate Professor, Communication, Japan’s Mobile Alert and Warning Messages and Public Responses

Brian Buma, Assistant Professor, Integrative Biology, Ecosystem Succession and the Longest Running Study in the World: Expanding and Building on a Globally Unique Ecological Research Network

Marjorie Levine-Clark, Professor, History, “Work and Worklessness”, 4 Volumes of Primary Sources with Scholarly Introductions and Annotations for British Society in the 19th Century Collection by Routledge

Alyssa Martoccio, Assistant Professor, Modern Languages, Beginning Spanish Oral Fluency Project

Chris Miller, Assistant Professor, Integrative Biology

Alan Vajda, Associate Professor, Integrative Biology, Gut Microbes and Chemical Cocktails: Implications for Host Health

Chris Phiel, Associate Professor, Integrative Biology, RNA Methylation in Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Jennifer Reich, Professor, Sociology, State of Families Reader

Amy Roberts, Assistant Professor, Physics, Implementing a Standard Data-Description Language and Building a Common Analysis Community Around Nuclear Physics Data

Jean Scandlyn, Associate Professor, Health & Behavioral Sciences

Sara Yeatman, Associate Professor, Health & Behavioral Sciences

Exploring Ways to Improve Access to Adolescent Reproductive Health Services in El Alto, Bolivia

Maren Scull, Assistant Professor, Sociology, The Experiences of Sugar Babies in Mutually Beneficial Relationships

Diana Tomback, Professor, Integrative Biology, Limber Pine at Treeline in Rocky Mountain National Park: Distribution and Community Structure

Anthony Villano, Assistant Professor, Physics, A Detector Array for the Calibration of Dark Matter Sensors

School of Public Affairs

Sandy Zook, Assistant Professor, SPA, Applying Benefits Theory of Nonprofit Finance: Analysis of Revenue Portfolios in Ghana