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APUS Awards 16 Faculty Research Grants for 2013

Charles Town, WV, May 8, 2013American Public University System (APUS) today announced the award of 16 faculty research grants. Designed to advance online higher education knowledge and practice in key discipline areas, the annual APUS grants were awarded to the following individuals.

School of Arts and Humanities

  • Dr. Jennifer Cramer, instructor, sociology: establishing a primate conservation program in Gambia for research and educational outreach
  • Dr. Melvin Deaile, associate professor, history and military history: development of organizational culture in the Strategic Air Command from 1948-1962
  • Kristin Sawicki, instructor, history and military history: evaluating the effectiveness of virtual field trips as a best practice in online education
  • Dr. Don Sine, professor, history: the role the Department of State played in the TET Offensive during the Vietnam War

School of Education

  • Dr. Kathleen Tate, program director, of M.Ed. in teaching: impact of digital movie making on elementary students’ mastery of discipline-specific concepts

School of Management

  • Dr. Lauri Byerley, associate professor, sports and health science: energy drink consumption patterns among online college students

School of Science and Technology

  • Tom Sawicki, instructor, science: morphological and molecular characteristics of the stygobitic species
  • Lee Stocks, instructor, geography and geology: assessment of ground penetrating radar (GPR) application to subsurface void detection 
  • Charles Venuto, instructor, environmental science: history of the creation of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

School of Security and Global Studies

  • Jason Anderson, instructor, intelligence studies: the factors that affect retention rates of online graduate students
  • Dr. Nicole Burtchett, associate professor, intelligence studies, and Dr. Elena Mastors, VP and Dean, School of Security and Global Studies: the role that British identity plays in the recent protests  in Northern Ireland
  •  Dr. Joe Campos, program director, intelligence studies: the various imperatives that drive some to violence and others to seek political solutions to conflicts
  • Dr. Laura Culbertson, associate professor, international relations: the relationship between court systems and state centralization in the Middle East
  • Dr. Valerie Davis, associate professor, intelligence studies: identify innovative teaching techniques to close major intelligence gaps between under-represented minority cultures and the intelligence community
  • Jacques Roussellier, instructor, international relations: diminished relevance of the UN decolonization paradigm with regards to the 88 UN Trust and non-self-governing territories´ decolonization and independence processes
  • Dr. Paula Wylie, associate professor, international relations: Ireland's diplomatic, economic, and security interests in Africa from 1960-80

The accomplishments of APUS faculty members who earned grants demonstrate the University’s commitment to delivering quality, relevant academic programs, according to APUS Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Patricia Campbell. 

“Our faculty members are diverse, experienced, and dedicated scholar practitioners,” said Campbell. “Faculty research adds both to their knowledge base in their chosen fields of study and to the vibrancy of the University community as they bring their knowledge into our online classrooms.”

Past grant recipients report that support from APUS has been vital to their efforts.
Kimberly Rush, assistant professor, history, received a grant to study the influence of past queens on Queen Elizabeth I of England. “The research grant I received from APUS allowed me to travel to England to do research on queenship in early modern England,” said Rush. “While there, I was able to see primary sources and visit the areas mentioned in my research.”

Dr. Kate Brannum, interim program director, international relations, Kimberly Ruff, instructor, international relations, and Michelle Watts, faculty director, School of Security and Global Studies applied their grant to travel for primary research in Panama. Their findings are soon to be published in the Latin American Policy Journal. “Over the course of two visits to Panama, we spent several days on an indigenous comarca, a semi-autonomous reservation,” said Watts. “We also had the opportunity to attend a human rights event recognizing International Human Rights Day and talk to indigenous activists.”

APUS grants have also been used to expand earlier faculty research efforts. Dr. Jose Mora, associate professor, intelligence studies used his grant to gather additional data that will contribute to a book about the Pentecostals in Latin American. He will present his findings at the 2013 Latin American Studies Association conference.

Dawn Spring, associate professor, history and military studies, researched the role of Hungarians in United States public diplomacy during the 1950s and 1960s. Her findings are soon to be published in The Journal of Cold War Studies and will contribute to a longer-term book project.  “The research grant allowed me to connect to international scholars involved in New Cold War history, a growing and cutting edge field of scholarship,” she said. 

About American Public University System

American Public University System, winner of the Online Learning Consortium's (OLC) Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and four-time recipient of the OLC's Effective Practice Award, offers more than 90 online degree programs through American Military University and American Public University. APUS's relevant curriculum, affordability and flexibility help more than 100,000 working adults worldwide pursue degrees in a diverse variety of subjects. For further information, visit

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Brian Muys

Brian Muys

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