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Released Time for Research & Creative Works (RTR)

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Internal Funding for Research & Creative Activity

Released Time for Research & Creative Works (RTR)

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FUNDED PROJECTS 2018-2019 RTR Awards

Children's Growth in Reading Competencies: Child and Family Characteristics as Contributors
Jennifer Chen, School of Global Education and Early Learning 

This research study will investigate reading achievement over time from kindergarten to third grade between English-speaking children and language minority children, defined as those coming from a non-English speaking home. It considers the significant influence of early reading ability on children’s later literacy achievement and other academic outcomes and the issue of disparities in reading competencies between English-speaking children and language minority children. Data for this investigation will be drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (Kindergarten Class of 2010-2011, known as ECLS-K: 2011), conducted and made available publicly by the National Center for Education Statistics, which is within the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. The findings of this study will provide important implications for both educational policy and practice seeking to bolster reading performance and close reading achievement gaps in early grades between English-speaking children and language minority children.

Creating Optimal Virtual Reality Experiences for Liberty Hall Museum and the Michael Graves Residence
Edward Johnston, Robert Busch School of Design

The main goal of this project is to create improved virtual reality experiences of Liberty Hall Museum and the Michael Graves Residence. Audiences will experience representations of these spaces through mobile devices and virtual reality glasses. They will be immersed in experiences that connect with historical information about both sites. Liberty Hall Museum is an 18th-century American historic site built in 1772 by William Livingston, New Jersey’s first elected governor. The museum has identified the need to visualize the museum's spaces for the public, especially for individuals who cannot access the site. In addition, my student research team has begun creating virtual reality content for another property recently acquired by Kean University called "The Warehouse," Michael Graves' private residence. The intent is for the house to become a resource center for learning about the famous architect, Michael Graves, as well as a space for studio work and lectures. To help initiate that conversation, our research team has created a virtual reality prototype of a walkthrough of the Michael Graves Residence in Princeton, New Jersey.

The Bystander: Condemned, Condoned, and a Subject of Endless Fascination
Dennis Klein, Department of History

The goal of the present proposal is to advance current research on the bystander phenomenon with the aim of presenting the results on campus, at disciplinary conferences, and in peer-reviewed academic journals. With the publication in the early 1960s of scholarly research on the Holocaust era, “the bystander” emerged as a major subject of investigation competing with extant research on victims and perpetrators. The subject received widespread popular and academic attention with the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964. At first, the media reported about the act of assault and murder, but two weeks later, reports started to look at the 38 witnesses who allegedly did nothing to intervene. A.M. Rosenthal, a reporter for The New York Times followed with a book on witnesses who, he asserted, stood by and watched. Within a few years, scholars, in attempting to explain the curious inaction, proposed “the bystander effect,” arguing that witnesses stand by when they believe other witnesses will intervene. Bystanders were largely regarded as inert, paralyzed by what became known as the “diffusion of responsibility.”

My research interrogates these conclusions on many levels.

Diverse Type(s)
Robin Landa, Robert Busch School of Design

Graphic design educators have been too slow in embracing diversity in terms of non-European aesthetics; the emphasis in design education is on the Swiss Style, a minimalist approach to graphic design that emerged out of Switzerland and Germany in the 1950’s and continues to strongly influence design education until the present day. To best prepare aspiring designers, we need to look beyond dated European conventions and embrace a diversity of perspectives shaped by factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and identity, among others. Due to the lack of inclusion of a variety of contemporary aesthetics, now I must conduct research in order to best serve and inform design education. The main goal of my project is to research diversity in graphic design focusing on typography. I will use my research to write a book, tentatively titled DIVERSE TYPE(S) and update course content in the Robert Busch School of Design (RBSD) two BFA: Graphic Design academic programs.

Life cycle assessment of integrated waste-to-bioenergy systems in wastewater treatment plants
Dongyan Mu, School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences 

This project will conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for various technology combinations that recycle and reuse waste streams including sludge, scum and centrate created from the municipal wastewater treatment plants into biofuel, bioenergy or nutrients for in-plant and farmland use. The optimal technology combination will be identified and the strategies that could improve the environmental performance will be proposed. The project is expected to better our understanding of waste-to-bioenergy technologies, promote implementation of those technologies in wastewater treatment and significantly reduce the need for petroleum-based energy.

Promoting & Enhancing Engagement & Retention: Instructional Nodes of Technology in Digital Education
Chrisler Pitts, Nancy Thompson Library - Learning Commons

The recent transformation of Kean University’s Nancy Thompson Library to a Learning Commons environment (NTLC) supports the provision of an integrated information delivery and learning support system that directly assists students with academic learning, completion of research-creative-and-scholarly activities, and continuous professional development through programs, placements, and events. The changes are reflected in the maintenance and delivery of Digital Collections to the Digital Student in a manner consistent with online and interactive learning. This project serves as a research study focusing on the support provided by the NTLC (through in-person and virtual/online experiences) and the following goals: 1) Understanding retention rates of Kean students relative to performance in Information Literacy instruction. 2) Investigating student engagement techniques as they relate to pedagogy. 3) Examining instructional modes and modalities to improve student performance. 4) Developing means to measure student response and success with regard to digital learning and student support services and interventions.

Fusing Remote Sensing Data for Computing High-resolution Land Surface Dynamic Feedback Patterns
Feng Qi, School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences

Global population growth poses increasing pressure on agriculture worldwide and especially in developing countries. Precision agriculture came in as the 3rd wave of modern agricultural revolution that has the potential to double agricultural productivity and maximizes yields. The implementation of precision agriculture means precise application of the correct amount of resources including water, fertilizer, pesticides in the field. This requires a thorough understanding of the soil conditions including soil types, soil nutrient level, soil texture and many other soil properties in great spatial detail. Traditionally spatial soil information has been provided by soil survey maps produced by the NRCS of the USDA in the United States and similar soil survey agencies in other countries. These soil maps, however, are of low spatial resolution and cannot meet the current needs of precision agriculture. This has prompted the development of digital soil mapping, which uses technologies such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Remote Sensing to map soil soils in much greater spatial detail than traditional soil maps. Digital soil mapping has been developing fast with the advancement of these technologies as well as developments in related fields including machine learning and data analytics. In order to capture land surface dynamic feedbacks at high spatial resolution and predict more detailed spatial distribution of soil attributes, this study proposes to use the ESTARFM method to fuse MODIS data with Landsat 8 data to first generate a synthetic Landsat-like imagery. The LSDF is then derived from the Landsatlike imagery with both high spatial and temporal resolutions. The derived high-resolution LSDF can then be used to infer soil properties with soil inference algorithms.

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