March 29, 2012

2012 Student Symposium Winners

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped out with this year's Student Symposium! It was a wonderful event!

A full recap is in the works, but until then, we wanted to recognize the winners!

Excellence in Content
Daniel Buis, Landscape Architecture
Mentor: Meg Calkins
Title: The Sustainable Theme Park: Designing a net-zero expansion to Holiday World & Splashin' Safari 

Xioadong Zhang, Geological Sciences
Mentor: Jeffry Grigsby and Richard Fluegeman
Title: Sedimentologic change at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary in the Mobil-Mississippi cores

Diana Cordero, Biology
Mentor: Susan McDowell
Title: Effect of Simvastatin on Staphylococcus aureus

Kaitlyn Weiss, Mason Haggerty, & Jacqueline Heath, Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science
Mentor: Henry Wang
Title: The effect of seating surface compliance on trunk motion

Excellence in Display
Margaretta Peterson, Landscape Architecture
Mentor: John Motloch
Title: Cultural Design in Landscape Architecture: Creating a Cultural Landscape for the Lakota and Dakota people of Crow Creek Reservation

Eduardo Beltran, Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science
Mentor: Henry Wang
Title: The effect of gait retraining on female high school runner with knee pain

March 21, 2012

2012 Student Symposium: Open to the Public!

You are cordially invited to attend: 

Seventeenth Annual Student Symposium 
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
1:30-4:30 p.m.
Second Floor, L.A. Pittenger Student Center

The Ball State University Student Symposium is an opportunity for students to present their creative and scholarly projects in an afternoon poster session. The Symposium also provides a platform for students to learn the ins and outs of creating a poster and to practice speaking professionally with those within and outside their discipline about the work.

Presentations of exceptional merit will be awarded a monetary prize, given in memory of former SPO staff members, Linda Keys, Jeffrey Litten, and Sandra Smith.

Lists of participating departments, faculty members, and students are available on the Sponsored Programs Office website:

Thank you, and we hope you can attend on March 27!

March 13, 2012

Dear Colleague Letter: Unsolicited Proposals at the Interface of the Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Engineering


Divisions within the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) have seen increasing numbers of proposals in recent years that focus on biological systems at all levels of biological organization, ranging from the sub-cellular level to the environment. Additionally, the Directorate of Engineering (ENG) seeks to contribute to the understanding of biology using engineering tools to exploit unique aspects of biological systems in applications that are useful in industrial, environmental, and health care arenas. At the same time, divisions in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) are receiving significantly more proposals that incorporate approaches and address questions that have traditionally been the domain of the mathematical and physical sciences and engineering.

BIO, ENG and MPS recognize that it is vital for biological, mathematical, statistical and physical scientists and engineers to increase their collaborations, both in new research efforts and in ongoing research projects, to advance the frontiers of discovery and innovation. While many strong, vibrant interactions currently exist between the three directorates, this letter is to remind our research communities that BIO, MPS and ENG strongly encourage proposals from interdisciplinary research teams that involve collaborations among investigators from the biological, mathematical, and physical sciences and engineering to support new interactions that span interfaces between BIO, ENG, and MPS.

Read the full letter:

March 07, 2012

History in Action: The 15th Annual Student History Conference at Ball State University

On Friday, February 24, 2012, the Ball State University History department hosted its 15th Annual Student History Conference. This year’s speaker, Dr. Jeremy Popkin of the University of Kentucky was invited because of his reputation in the field of French history and particularly because his book, You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery, received the David Pinkney Prize. This prize is awarded annually by the Society for French Historical Studies for the best book on French history published by a North American scholar. His presentation titled “Stories of Saint-Domingue, Stories of Haiti, Stories of the Modern World,” was intriguing on a variety of levels, and relatable to most topics studied by all of the history students.

The conference consisted of various panels, ranging from “Of Cats and ‘Irishmen’: Domesticating Wildness” to “Czarinas, Dictators, and their Challengers.” These panel sessions allowed students to explore the diverse research of Ball State’s History faculty and their fellow undergraduate and graduate students. It was also a great experience for the students who presented. Nancy Lee Clark, a first year graduate student, presented on the origins of the Boy Scouts and how it was primarily a way to take assist young men who were not equipped to deal with the rigors of war. She argued that Robert Baden Powell, a career army man, designed the Boy Scouts to prepare young men to serve in the military and die for God, king and empire. She presented alongside Michael Chudzinski and Timothy C. Rainesalo in the panel “Of Boys and Men: Masculinity, Military Service, and Propaganda in World War One Era Britain.” They indicated that the blending of topics into one, organized discussion was “a great experience – and has made the three of us better prepared” for future professional endeavors.

Dr. Rene Marion, then an Assistant Professor of History in the department organized the first Student History Conference (SHC). The annual Dorothy J. and Richard W. Burkhardt Lecture was moved to the last Friday in February so that it could serve as the keynote lecture in a plenary session of the SHC. Dr. Richard W. Burkhardt specialized in modern European history and Dorothy Burkhardt taught French in the Dept. of Modern Languages. After they retired, their three adult children (including Dr. Richard W. [Chip] Burkhardt, Jr., a Prof. Emeritus of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) endowed an annual lecture in honor of their parents a specifically related to the topic of French history and culture broadly conceived.

Eric Spall, BSU M.A. candidate in History, won the award for Best Graduate Paper, entitled, “Leisler’s Rebellion Revisited.”

Joseph Bodley, University of Western Ontario B.A. candidate in History, won the Best Undergraduate World History Paper, entitled “The Noble Radical: Alexander Radishchev and the Culmination of Eighteenth Century Enlightenment thought in Russia.”

Ms. Shira Lurie, University of Western Ontario B.A. candidate in History, won the award for best Undergraduate U.S. paper, entitled “Loading the Dice: Gambling and the Constraint of Chance in Colonial Virginia.”

Photos documenting the 15th annual SHC will be uploaded to the History Department’s Facebook page.

-Blogger Maggie Cude, SPO & Graduate School Graduate Assistant

March 06, 2012

From NIH OER: OMB Asks for Comments on Potential Reforms to Federal Grant Policies

The Office of Management and Budget just published a notice in the Federal Register asking for public comment on potential reforms to federal grant policies contained in OMB circulars such as A-21, A-133, and A-122. These include ideas that would standardize information collection across agencies, adopt a risk-based model for single audits, and provide new administrative approaches for determining and monitoring the allocation of federal funds. These ideas reflect the input of a number of groups that have been considering these issues over the past few months, including the A-21 Task Force, which I have mentioned here before.

I encourage you to read the notice in full. To give you an idea of the scope of the proposed reform, here are some of the ideas discussed:
  • Exploring alternatives to time-and-effort reporting requirements for salaries and wages 
  • Charging directly allocable administrative support as a direct cost Including the cost of certain computing devices as allowable direct cost supplies 
  • Consolidating the cost principles into a single document, with limited variations by type of entity 
  • For indirect (“facilities and administrative”) costs, using flat rates instead of negotiated rates 
As you can see, some of these changes, if implemented, will have a broad, long-lasting effect on how federal grants are administered. Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this opportunity to provide input to OMB as they consider the proposed reforms.

You can submit comments at The comment period closes on March 29, 2012.

Read the original post on the Extramural Nexus Rock Talk here.