Cumberland Announces Creation of the Dr. Bill McKee Academic Research Grants | Cumberland University

Cumberland Announces Creation of the Dr. Bill McKee Academic Research Grants

Cumberland University announced the creation of the Dr. Bill McKee Academic Research Grants, which will be awarded annually. In the inaugural year, funding for 28 faculty-proposed research and creative activities projects have been competitively selected and awarded.

The newly established Dr. Bill McKee Academic Research Grants are named in honor of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bill McKee, who has served Cumberland for many years.

These grants will fund projects, from a variety of disciplines and university offices including sociolinguistic research, the quantification of capsaicin in peppers and workshops designed to help freshman and sophomore students decide on a major. 

“I am honored to be able to announce the award winners for the inaugural group of research and creative project grants to our talented and deserving faculty,” said Dr. C. William McKee, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Cumberland is lucky to have such passionate faculty, and I look forward to seeing the results of these interesting and diverse projects.”

All faculty and staff were eligible to propose a research or creative project idea in need of funding. Proposals were submitted in early January and were reviewed by a selection committee.

It is expected that all selected projects will be completed by December 31, 2021 and presented to the campus community either at the annual Research Colloquium or in a Faculty Research Forum. 

The following projects were selected to receive a research and creative activities project grant: 

  •  “Mentoring and Support of Students on Academic Probation” – Abby Pitts, Director of Student Retention and Tennessee Promise Support, and Instructor, Tracy Anderson, Assistant Director of Student Retention and Tennessee Promise Support, and Instructor and Stephanie Davis, Dean of Students and Instructor
  • “Workshops to Help Freshman and Sophomore Students with Deciding on a Major that Aligns with their Goals and Strengths” – Abby Pitts, Director of Student Retention and Tennessee Promise Support, and Instructor and Tracy Anderson, Assistant Director of Student Retention and Tennessee Promise Support, and Instructor 
  •  “Study Abroad Program at Cumberland University” – Dr. Eric Cummings, Dean of the School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
  •  “Improving Recruitment of Graduate Students” – Dr. Paul Percy, Professor of Business
  •  “Determining the Relationship between Resilience/Grit and the Retention Rate for Bachelor’s Degree Nursing Students” – Julie Windmiller, Assistant Professor of Nursing
  •  “Clinical Assessment for Undergraduate Nursing Students – Are We Doing Enough?” – Dr. Mary Bess Griffith, Dean of the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions and Marcia Barnes, Assistant Professor of Nursing
  • “Connecting Gene History and Population Genetics to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – Dr. Laura Bechard, Assistant Professor of Biology and Dr. Julie Phillips, Assistant Professor of Biology
  •  “Expanding Databasing of Archaeological and Museum Collections at Cumberland University” – Dr. Rachael Bible, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  •  “The Dark Horse Campaign of 1844: Slavery, Westward Expansion, and Presidential Politics” – Dr. Mark Cheathem, Professor of History and Editor of the Martin Van Buren Papers
  • “Physician Authentic Leadership as Healthcare Managers, their Emotional Intelligence and its Impact on Subordinate Ethical Strength” – Eddie Christian, Director of Counseling
  •  “Instrumentation and Software for Calibrating Monitors and Projectors for our Apple Computers” – Dr. Peg Fredi, Assistant Professor of Art
  •  “A Collector’s Commemorative Edition of Novus Literary Journal in Print” – Sandee Gertz, Assistant Professor of Creative and Imaginative Writing
  • The Implementation of an Exercise is Medicine on Campus Program at Cumberland University” – Dr. Jason Grindstaff, Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Science and Dr. Richard Storie, Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science
  •  “Sociolinguistic Research: Collecting Vanishing Voices – Mapping an American Minority Language” – Dr. Kent Hallman, Assistant Professor of Sociology
  •  “Papers of Martin Van Buren – Microfilm Preservation” – Katelynn Hatton, Andrew Wiley
  •  “The Talk: In Black and White” – Dr. Fred Heifner, Professor of Anthropology, Philosophy and Religion and Virginia and Guy Thackston Professor of Liberal Arts
  •  “Power and Submission in ‘Indian Marriages’: Cross-cultural Marriages in 18th Century America” – Dr. Natalie Inman, Associate Professor of History 
  •  “Two children’s books on Haitian culture entitled: Can You? and Roody and the Simple Gift” – Dr. Natalie Inman, Associate Professor of History
  •  “Student Response on the Effectiveness of Cumberland University Psychology Program Initiative ‘Family Chores’” – Dr. Jenny Mason, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • “Sunnyside and the Seviers: A Nashville House History” – Dr. Tara Mielnik, Assistant Professor of History 
  •  “Outstanding Problem in Mathematics” – Dr. Robert Nichols, Associate Professor of Physics and Information Technology
  •  “The Quantification of Capsaicin in Peppers” – Dr. Sarah Pierce, Professor of Chemistry
  •  “A Study on Increasing Freshman Resilience Scores” – Rusty Richardson, Executive Director of Community Relations and External Affairs, and Instructor and Abby Pitts, Director of Student Retention and Tennessee Promise Support, and Instructor
  •  “Que the Key Grip: Teaching Screenwriting Students the Business of Independent Film Making” – Dr. Michael Rex, Associate Professor of English
  •  “Ancestral Legacy” – Ted Rose, Professor of Art
  • “Video Village Case Study Report” – Dr. Stephen Shao, Associate Professor of Business
  • “Interactive Read Aloud Project” – Dr. Sandy Smith, Associate Professor of Special Education and Dr. Cyndy Stone Allen, Assistant Professor of Elementary Education
  •  “History of Higher Education in Tennessee” – Bettina Warkentin, Librarian and Instructor and Dr. C. William McKee, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

For questions on faculty research and creative activities grants, contact the Office of the Provost at lhale@cumberland.edu.