Faculty, staff honored for grant-writing success


Troy University honored four faculty members their grant-writing success during the 28th annual Sponsored Programs Luncheon held earlier this month.

Dr. Alvin Diamond, Dr. Michael Woods, Dr. Cynthia Hicks and Dr. Ruth Busby were honored with the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction for Sponsored Program Success for their work.

Drs. Alvin Diamond and Michael Woods received the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction for their National Science Foundation grant that will double the capacity of the Herbarium.

Diamond and Woods were honored for their project, “Alabama’s Biodiversity Heritage: Expansion and Promoting Access and Use of a Regionally Important Botanical Collection,” which received a $195,359 grant from the National Science Foundation. The project will double the capacity of the Troy University Herbarium, which was initially established in 1954 before falling dormant in 1988. The duo re-established the Herbarium in 1997, and today, as one of the fastest growing herbaria in the Southeast, it houses a collection of more than 48,000 plants, representing the largest collection of plant specimens from the state’s Wiregrass region.

The NSF grant will allow for the purchase and installation of new compactor storage units, which will double storage capacity, two new computers and a new camera and macro lens to capture images of plant specimens. The grant funds will also enable the herbarium curators to conduct workshops on plant identification and classification for the Alabama Science in Motion program and the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative.

Drs. Ruth Busby and Cynthia Hicks received the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction for their U.S. Department of Education grant for CCAMPIS.

Hicks and Busby received the honor for their project, “Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS),” which received a $246,562 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The program will provide subsidized childcare for student-parents enrolled at all of TROY’s campus in Alabama—Troy, Dothan, Montgomery and Phenix City. To qualify, students must be eligible to receive Federal Pell Grants. Under the program, the subsidized childcare services will be provided through local child care centers near TROY’s campuses, or at the Coleman Center for Early Learning and Family Enrichment at the Dothan Campus.

In all, 192 faculty and staff members were commended for their efforts in pursuing more than $46 million in grant funds. To date, these efforts have received $33 million in funding with another $2.5 million still pending approval.

“We’ve come a long way from that first luncheon where we commended 33 grant writers who secured $1.2 million in funding,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “Each of you deserve our appreciation for the impact you have made. It is through your efforts that Troy University will go from good to great.”

Judy Fulmer, director of Sponsored Programs, said the impact of grant writing is felt not only by the University but also by the communities it serves.

“Sponsored Programs funding has made a difference in our University, but more importantly, it makes a difference in the lives of those in the communities we serve,” she said.

One such community that will continue to reap the benefits of the University’s efforts in the town of Hurtsboro. Thanks to a Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant, faculty and staff from the Phenix City Campus have provided intergenerational literacy programming over the last two years. As a part of the Sponsored Programs Luncheon, Fulmer announced the donation of books to the Hurtsboro Senior Center, including 52 different titles for both children and adults.

Also, during the luncheon, Debbie Sanders, executive assistant to the Chancellor, received special recognition. Sanders, who has served Troy University for more than 50 years, will retire at the end of December.