Troy University grant writers were recognized during the 32nd annual Sponsored Programs Grant Writers Luncheon held Dec. 6 in the Trojan Center Ballrooms. In the last year, TROY faculty and staff secured $32 million in grants with an additional $11 million still pending.
The record-breaking total comes just months after TROY was reclassified as a doctoral institution by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education on Sept. 8.
“The true maturation of institution is found in research. On Sept. 8, the future of the University changed, but its significance is found in what we strive to do every day at TROY, and that is to add value to the degree,” said Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “What you do and what you have done is a remarkable contribution to our institution. I’m excited about the future of the University, and I’m excited about what you’re all doing to make us better.”
During the luncheon, two new awards were given as well as recognizing the first Trojans Talk Research speakers.
In December 2022, the Office of Sponsored Programs started the Trojans Talk Research monthly program to promote an interest in research with students and to allow faculty to share their research projects ranging from dark matter, to gambling in high school sports and blood flow restricted exercise. The following were recognized and awarded: Dr. Connor Wu, Dr. Arun Ghosh, Dr. Justin Robinson, Dr. Robert Mathner, Dr. Dee Bennett, Dr. Paige Paquette, Mary Joann Rouse, Dr. Grant Mouser and Dr. Alexander Kofman.
The first recipients of the new Chancellor’s Award for Grant Writing Excellence were Dr. Sherrionda Crawford, Chair of TROY’s Counseling Department, Assistant Chair Dr. Samantha Booker and Dr. Korinne Babel for their grant, “Trojan School-Based Mental Health Counselors Training Initiative.”
The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $$1,132,775 and will help TROY’s Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Interpreter Training address the critical shortage of mental health counseling services in area school systems.
“Receiving this recognition, and this grant, was very validating,” Babel said. “We know we’re making an impact on the State of Alabama within these counties, but it’s really awesome to be recognized by the committee that our grant is making an impact here at TROY as well.”
The first recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence was Dr. Jacqueline Jones for her grant, “Foxi3 Regulation of Prostate Cancer Metastasis within the Tumor Microenvironment.”
The grant was awarded by the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation in the amount of $95,000 and allows Jones and her students to conduct research on the factors that drive advanced stages of prostate cancer with the goal of finding a cure. Her research involves using cloning and gene knockouts, a widely-used genetic engineering technique that involves the targeted removal or inactivation of a specific gene within an organism’s genome. This summer, she successfully reduced a protein she and the team previously identified as contributing to the aggressive nature of prostate cancer.
“This is very exciting, partly because all of the individuals who were a part of this luncheon worked hard to submit research grants, so it’s very honoring and I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Jones said.