Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Jesuit Professor, Student Get Space Grant Funding

Physics professor Dr. Joseph Busche receives $8,828 award for online teaching development, junior psychology major August Capiola receives $5,000 for research.

WHEELING, WV, May 9, 2011 -- A Wheeling Jesuit professor and a WJU undergraduate have both earned awards from the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

The awards were made at the spring Space Grant meeting, according to Margie Cooke, contracts administrator for sponsored programs at WJU, who serves on the board of directors of the consortium.

Associate professor of physics Dr. Joseph Busche (shown at right) received $8,828 from the Space Grant for his proposal, "Teaching Modern Physics as a Distance Learning Course with a Synchronous Component."

Busche was funded through the College Course Development program, which seeks to develop new and innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses at Space Grant affiliated colleges and universities in the state.

Applicants are required to present a clear and feasible plan for designing and offering a new course in the STEM fields and include plans for continuation of the course after the first year.

August Capiola, a junior psychology major with a minor in cognitive science, was awarded a $5,000 NASA Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This program provides support for undergraduate students to become involved in a research project under the supervision of their academic advisor.

Capiola, a native of Washington, Pa., will work with Dr. Bryan Raudenbush as his academic advisor and plans to research the "Effects of Food Neophobia and Food Neophilia on Diet and Metabolic Processing." (Both shown at right.)

The West Virginia Space Grant Consortium is a NASA-sponsored organization consisting of 12 academic institutions and 6 corporate and scientific partners in the state. It is dedicated to building research infrastructure and promoting STEM education in West Virginia.

The consortium's programs focus on research, collaborations with high-tech industries, student fellowships, and K-12 and public outreach. This is consistent with the strategic vision for the state’s participation in the nation's future endeavors in science and technology.

The consortium is housed in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University.

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