New Directions Teaching and Research Grants

Image of Col. Chuck Newhouse and cadet using BEAM lab
Col. Charles Newhouse assists a cadet doing research in the civil and environmental engineering BEAM lab. The lab was funded through a Jackson-Hope New Directions in Teaching and Research grant. – VMI Photo by Kelly Nye.

The Jackson-Hope Grants for New Directions in Teaching and Research program was established to fill a critical need for funding to enable faculty to implement new ideas and to gather data to strengthen proposals for external support.  This support is critical as competition for external grant money is fierce, and proposals describing new research or pedagogical directions are often not funded without significant preliminary data. 

VMI’s faculty actively pursues funding to support research and teaching interests.  The grants have allowed many important projects to go forward, including applied math professor Col. Greg Hartman’s Affordable Print and Electronic teXtbook project, civil and environmental engineering professor Lt. Col. Tim Moore’s VMI Clean Energy and Air Resources research, education and workforce development project, and the implementation of active learning strategies into VMI’s biology courses by Lt. Col. Emily Lilly.

New Directions grants also funded a project by civil and environmental engineering professors Lt. Col. Charles Newhouse and Maj. Matthew Swenty to establish a Built Environment Assessment and Modeling testing lab, as well as a joint mechanical engineering and physical education project of Maj. Joyce Blandino and Lt. Col. Mike Krackow for lab equipment for new research in biomechanics. This grant supported VMI’s recently established exercise science minor, as did another grant, to PE professor Holly Richardson for lab equipment to assess physiological biomarkers in salivary fluids.

A grant to physics professor Col. Stacey Vargas for an ultrashort pulse laser wireless telecommunications link makes research possible that may someday change how cell phones work.  And the newest quality enhancement plan, required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, was funded by a New Directions grant and will enable math professors, Maj. Jessica Libertini and Maj. Karen Bliss to develop a new course sequence for cadets in the humanities and social sciences.

New Directions grants support faculty in their pursuit of scholarship and directly affect the cadet experience in the lab and in the classroom.