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APUS Announces Faculty Research Grant Highlights and New 2014 Recipients

Charles Town, W. Va., April 2, 2014 – American Public University System (APUS) today announced the select accomplishments of American Public University and American Military University faculty research grant recipients, and the award of 16 new grants.

“The APUS research grant program is designed to advance knowledge and practice in key discipline areas,” said Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Patricia Campbell. “The applied knowledge of our recent grantees, along with the academic depth and breadth of our latest awards, vividly demonstrates the program’s expanding scope and impact.”

Among the accomplishments of past grant recipients, faculty researchers Dr. Elena Mastors, dean of applied research and professor, School of Security and Global Studies, and Charles Venuto and Dr. Thomas Sawicki, instructors, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, have been featured on The Academic Minute, a nationally- syndicated public radio program that features researchers from colleges and universities around the world. Mastors’ research is on the psychology of adversarial leaders. Venuto’s work is on the history of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Florida and Sawicki studies stygobitic species in the Florida aquifer.

Dr. Ronald Johnson, associate professor, School of Business, will present the result of his research, “The Use of Mobile Learning Tools and Strategies in the Online Classroom,” at the 2014 ISIS-Paris International Multidisciplinary Academic Conference.

Research conducted by Dr. Donald Sine, professor, School of Arts and Humanities, resulted in an article, “The State Department and the Vietnam War – Decisive Year of 1968 (Tet)” published in the Journal of Diplomatic History.   His article is also included as a chapter in a full-length manuscript on the Vietnam War Tet Offensive, with publication expected in 2015.

Dr. Jennifer Cramer, assistant professor, School of Arts and Humanities, has built upon her research, “Establishing a Primate Conservation Education Program in the Gambia,” by co-organizing a symposium for the International Primatological Society's 2014 Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam, that will establish a network of international scholars working in West Africa.

The 2014 APUS faculty research grant recipients and their grant awarded research topics include:

School of Public Service and Health

·         Christi Bartmann, professor, “The Robert’s Court in Comparative Perspective,” a look at the current Roberts Court to determine how it handles administration as it relates to other branches of government

·         Nygel Lenz, instructor, “Using the Biosocial Nexus to Explain Criminogenic Risk Factors,” documenting the biosocial nexus explaining criminogenic risk factors to a broader audience by drawing them to an individual member

School of Security and Global Studies

·         Dr. Martin Catino, instructor, “The Sunni Awakening in Bahrain,” an exploration of how the Sunni of Bahrain reacted to the Shia uprising in that county

·         Dr. Paul Cooke, professor, “Morocco: A Case Study in Islamic Politics,” an investigation into the reasons that Morocco has avoided the unrest that characterized the Arab Spring

·         Dr. Ronald Mangum, instructor, “National Security Decision Processes in Post-Soviet States: Georgia a Case Study,” an in-depth analysis of how national security decisions are made in post-Soviet Georgia

·         Diane Maye, instructor, “U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq,” a within-case comparative historical analysis of how power was distributed in Iraq after the 2003 invasion and the difficulties involved in forging alliances and shifting alignments with sub-state actors

·         Dr. Melissa Schnyder, professor, “The Determinants of Cooperation among Migrant and Refugee NGOs in Europe,” an examination of how national policy shapes and influences cooperation among non-governmental organizations

·         Dr. Brannon Wheeler, instructor, “Water Issues in the Gulf Countries,” documenting how food and water scarcity issues and concerns shape public policy in Gulf countries

·         Dr. Paula Wylie, professor, “Ireland's Diplomatic, Economic, and Security Interests in Africa from 1960-80,” a study of source documents from the Irish National Archives regarding diplomatic and trade initiatives in African states of the period

School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

·         Charles Britt, instructor, “Accuracy of a Presence-Only Habitat Model for Identifying Appropriate Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera) Nesting Habitat in Belize,” using a habitat model to find nest sites and to locate new nesting areas that require protection and conservation

·         Dr. Arthur Coumbe, instructor, “Army Education and Training Practices,” an examination of how the Army has trained education officers over the course of the last century

·         Kristin Drexler, instructor, “Examining Socioeconomic Impacts on Buffer Communities Using the Multidisciplinary “S.P.E.E.C.H.” Tool,” use of a pedagogical tool in communities in Belize to determine attitudes and behavior toward the change to sustainable alternative livelihoods

·         Karen Hand, assistant professor, “Enhancing Online Discussions to Promote Learning,” an investigation into whether critical thinking can be increased in discussion forums of online classrooms by requiring students to customize the title of each of their posts

·         Dr. Valorie Titus, instructor, “Predator Protection and Management: A Human-Wildlife Conflict,” use of surveys to examine the willingness to pay for predator protection and management in areas where predators are abundant and areas where they are scarce

School of Arts and Humanities

·         Dawn Spring, instructor, “American Advertising’s Influence on the Japanese Advertising Industry,” an exploration of how the American Advertising Council influenced the Japanese advertising industry

·         Dr. Chapla Verma, professor, “The Culture of Buddhist Nuns in the U.S.,” a look at the structures and religious and administrative practices of a Buddhist nunnery


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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