College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

The College of Education and Human Development invited research-active CEHD faculty to submit seed grant research proposals that addressed topics of current interest and consequence.

The seed grant initiative is intended to support new or emerging research projects. Preference is given to interdisciplinary proposals that engage two or more disciplines within (or beyond) the College, AND that will advance plans for scholarly publications and external funding.

Recipients of the seed grant funding for calendar year 2018 are listed below.

Name of Investigators (Bold indicates PI) Title of Proposal/Abstract or Summary of Aims
Courtney Baker, Mathematics Education, CEHD
Margret Hjalmarson, Mathematics Education, CEHD
Nancy Holincheck, Science Education, CEHD
Jill Nelson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, VSE
Model-Eliciting Activity Design Considerations to Achieve STEM Integration

The aim is to examine the potential for Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) to be designed for STEM integration. The project will bring together national experts in teacher leadership, model- eliciting activities, science and mathematics education to develop a research agenda and plan for future projects for MEAs as part of K-6 STEM learning.

Brenda Bannan, Instructional Technology/Learning Technologies Design, CEHD Smart City Learning Solutions - Advancing Research and Development

This project aims to advance research and development in smart city learning solutions related to moving a complex, initial interdisciplinary research project forward to seek larger amounts of external funding. Two workshops across to support travel of experts to GMU to codify current learning and next generation funding/research directions.

Elizabeth Levine Brown, Human Development and Family Science/Elementary Education, CEHD
Linda H. Mason, Ph.D. Special Education, CEHD
Tracy Sweet, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland
Michael Valenti, Pressley Ridge Schools (Pittsburgh, PA)
Collaborative Communities in Special Education: Exploring How Social Networks and Special Education Teachers’ Social and Emotional Competence Inform Positive Outcomes for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

This project investigates how special education teachers’ social emotional competence is associated with the quality of formal and informal collaborations in self-contained classrooms in schools serving students with EBD. This work informs the movement to establish more inclusive classrooms by identifying the critical competencies educators need to implement effective practices.

Grace L. Francis, Special Education, CEHD
Jodi Duke, Special Education, CEHD
Mark Thurston, School of Integrative Studies, CHSS & Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
Michael Wolf-Branigin, Social Work, CHHS
Developing the “Be Ready, Be Well” Program Prototype: Proof of Concept

This proposal aims to (a) develop a prototype of the “Be Ready, Be Well” program, (b) mentor student researchers, (c) foster local and national partnerships, (d) result in peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations, and (e) establish a proof of concept for the program to secure grant funding to pilot the prototype.

Margaret T. Jones, Health and Human Performance, Kinesiology, CEHD
Sina Gallo, Nutrition and Food Studies, CHHS
Robyn Mehlenbeck, Psychology, CHSS
Biomarkers of early metabolic disease among young, overweight/obese Latino children: an underserved population

Specific Aim 1: Explore novel physiological biomarkers indicative of early metabolic disease (cardiovascular, diabetes, dyslipidemia, liver disease) in young Latino (primarily Central American) children who are overweight/obese. Specific Aim 2: Evaluate anthropometrics (BMI, % body fat) and cardio-metabolic functioning (blood pressure, blood lipids, glucose) in Latino children who are overweight/obese.

Angela Miller, Research Methods, CEHD
Michelle Buehl, Educational Psychology, CEHD
Dr. Melissa Broeckelman-Post, Communication, CHSS
Context Matters: An Exploration of Epistemic Climate and Motivation in an Undergraduate Communication Course

Seeking support for the expansion of a project examining epistemic climate and motivation; next steps are measure refinement and conceptual model building in the spring 2018 semester. Our goal is to pilot an instructor intervention in the fall of 2018 focused on helping instructors to support student motivation, engagement, and epistemic competencies.

Sarah Nagro, Special Education, CEHD
Christan Coogle, Early Childhood Education, CEHD
Kelley Regan, Special Education, CEHD
Kristen O’Brien, Special Education, CEHD
eCoaching Plus Video Analysis: A Comprehensive Approach to Field-Based Special Education Teacher Preparation

Leverage interdisciplinary expertise to investigate an innovative, comprehensive teacher preparation approach across both early childhood and schoolage settings in order to use findings from this project to propel a timely and relevant line of research allowing for dissemination through publication, presentation, and securing of external funds.

Anastasia P. Samaras, Elementary, Literacy, and Secondary Education, CEHD
Lynne Scott Constantine, School of Art, CVPA
Lesley Smith, School of Integrative Studies, CHSS
Paula Cristina Azevedo, Secondary Education, CEHD
Anya Evmenova, Special Education, CEHD
Margret Hjalmarson, Mathematics Education, CEHD
Arvinder Johri, Secondary Education, CEHD
Allison Ward-Parsons, Literacy and Reading, CEHD
Adjunct Faculty Self-Study Collaborative at Mason: Building a Professional Community with Adjuncts as Faculty Associate Compeers

A one-year transdisciplinary self-study professional community for supporting the professional development and teaching of Adjunct Faculty as Associates across Colleges. Addresses immediate and urgent need at Mason. Its transdisciplinary design of both investigators and participants holds great potential for improved student learning and opportunities for large scale research and funding.

Jenice L. View, Transformative Teaching, CEHD
Abena A. Aidoo, Tourism and Events Management, CEHD
Wendi Manuel-Scott, School of Integrative Studies, CHSS
Learning Historic Places with Diverse Populations: Youth Participatory Action Research to Reinterpret Virginia Historic Sites

The specific goals for this project are to examine what happens when select undergraduate students, and rising 7th 8th and 9th grade students who are African American, engage in youth participatory action research (YPAR) to reinterpret historic sites in Virginia and Washington DC. We will explore how YPAR transforms students’ understanding of the past and their perceptions of the present.