2020 Summer Research Fellows

Faculty Work to Improve Grant Writing Skills 

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jun 2020) — Kennesaw State University’s Summer Research Fellows Program is an annual intensive professional development and mentoring program designed to help faculty members successfully apply for research grants from state and federal agencies, foundations and non-profits.  
“As a result of working with faculty on grant writing, we noticed a strong need to give faculty dedicated time and space to work on their grants (enhanced by more one-on-one mentoring and support),” said Evelina Sterling, director of research development and strategic initiatives in the Office of Research, which sponsors the program.  “Grant writing can be a difficult process, so we want to provide faculty with the time, support and mentorship to be successful.” 
The goal of the Summer Research Fellows Program is to enhance the research capacity of KSU and support the advancement and success of faculty by providing comprehensive training in the preparation of competitive grant proposals, establishing a research mentoring program, and creating a community of practice aimed at facilitating and promoting the engagement of diverse groups of faculty in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. 
For the program’s second summer, which began in early May and runs through mid-June, 15 faculty members were selected from the 34 applicants, showing just how competitive this process was. The disciplines of the accepted applicants range from mechanical engineering, nursing and physics to architecture, geography, and criminal justice.  
Each member, who earns a summer stipend for participating, is expected to not have any competing Learningresponsibilities or conflicts in order to devote their time fully to the program.  The faculty selected are those who demonstrate the greatest success for submitting a competitive external grant proposal in fall 2020 or spring 2021 as a result of participating in this program 
“I love working with faculty around grant writing, which is as much of an art as a science,” said Sterling, who is also interim assistant dean of research in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and an  assistant professor of sociology. “It is very rewarding to see something start with a germ of an idea and develop into a successful competitive proposal that results in funding.”  
Along with the rest of the campus, this program has had a few changes since the impact of COVID-19, forcing remote learning. All the workshop modules have been moved to online and there will be a mix of asynchronous assignments around the different aspects of grant writing that faculty can complete at their own pace, as well as synchronous presentations from various grant and research-related experts.  
While there are still many opportunities for external funding for KSU faculty, some of the deadlines and expectations have been altered by COVID-19 and therefore, the program will be flexible with faculty, both around participating in this workshop as well as the proposal submissions process next year.   
The 2020 Summer Research Fellows include:  

  • Name 
  • Anton Bryantsev
    developmental biology
    College of Science and Mathematics
  • Page Burch
    College of the Arts
  • Sara Evans
    criminal Justice
    College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • David Guerra-Zubiaga
    mechatronics engineering
    Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
  • Ping Johnson
    health promotion and physical education
    WellStar College College of Health and Human Services
  • M.A. Karim 
    civil engineering
    Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
  • Paul McDaniel
    College of Humanities and Social Sciences 
  • Mary Ramos
    WellStar College of Health and Human Services
  • Kisa Ranasinghe
    College of Science and Mathematics
  • Darlene Rodriguez-Schaefer
    social work and human services
    WellStar College of Health and Human Services
  • Arash Soleimani 
    College of Architecture and Construction Management 
  • Eric Stachura 
    College of Science and Mathematics 
  • Jared Taglialatela 
    College of Science and Mathematics 
  • Lynn Varagona 
    WellStar College of Health and Human Services 
  • Kate Zimmer 
    inclusive education 
    Bagwell College of Education