Falk College strives to achieve excellence in education not only through good teaching but also through participation in active research. Our students benefit by learning from researchers who are working at the cutting-edge of knowledge, within well-equipped laboratories, and in projects that are both domestic and abroad. We encourage both undergraduates and graduate engagement to achieve not only a rewarding educational experience but also enhanced career opportunities upon graduation. Learn more about the different types of research awards.
2018-2019 SU CUSE Grant
Evaluating the Role of Sustainable Farming Practices in Promoting Food Security While Protecting Endangered Species in the Galapagos Archipelago
The Galapagos ecosystem is a strong draw for international ecotourism. Human activity, however, often leads to profound changes in the relationships and structures of biophysical systems that are detrimental to both human and non-human species. The confluence of changing land use patterns and the introduction of a devastating avian parasite into the Galapagos Islands has set the stage for the decline of several species of Darwin’s finch, a centerpiece of Galapagos tourism.Learn more about this research.
2018-2019 SU CUSE Grant
Further Evidence for the Negative Consequences of Mosquito Net Fishing
Hundreds of millions of insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa for the control of malaria. While successful in controlling malaria, these nets also make excellent fishing nets. Our previous research suggests that the practice of mosquito net fishing is ubiquitous and devastating to the fisheries of the floodplain of the upper Zambezi in Western Province, Zambia. We hypothesize that the current paradigm of mass distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets threatens economic and food security as well as malaria control.Learn more about this research.
2018-2019 SU CUSE Grant
Mechanisms of Change Associated with Mindfulness Training for People with Posttraumatic Stress: Triangulating Neural Networks, Biomarkers, Cognition and Behaviors
Clinical research has explored the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions for a range of physical and mental health outcomes including posttraumatic stress (PTS); however, little is known about the neural and cognitive mechanisms of change resulting from mindfulness-based practices. Objective measures of changes in cognitive and neural networks associated with mindfulness-based practices would be valuable tools for researchers to expand understanding of the specific mechanisms of neural change associated with mindfulness practices, and to provide objective measures of PTS.Learn more about this research.
2018-2019 SU CUSE Grant
Risk and Protective Factors as Determinants of Sexual Health Behaviors of Caribbean Youth: An Ecological Approach
Young adults in the Caribbean who represent over one-fourth of the area’s total population are particularly vulnerable to challenging and disadvantageous macro-environmental factors and experience a multitude of complex health-related problems. There is a worrying and growing trend in the rates of negative health behaviors among Caribbean youth including aggression (e.g., fighting, hitting), homicide, crime and violence (e.g., robbery, felony, drug dealing), substance abuse (alcohol and drug dependency), and engagement in negative sexual behaviors (unsafe sexual practices, early initiation into sexual activity).Learn more about this research.
Dessa Bergen-Cico Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to Thailand and Cambodia for Research on Mindfulness for Addiction Recovery
The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board are pleased to announce that Dessa Bergen-Cico, Professor of Public Health at Syracuse University has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Thailand and Cambodia for her public health research Mindfulness in the Mekong. Dr. Bergen-Cico will research the use of Buddhist practices and mindfulness for recovery from addiction and traumatic stress in the Mekong region of Southeast Asia.Learn more about this research.
Gangamma leads study, strengthens mental health services in local refugee community
To help create culturally-informed practices of care, as well as fill a crucial gap in services to promote refugee health, Falk College at Syracuse University and The Multicultural Association of Medical Interpreters (MAMI) will collaborate to develop a training module for interpreters and psychotherapists. They will work specifically with resettled refugees in Syracuse, New York.Learn more about this research.
Early Identification of Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults Living at Home
A recently launched pilot project to screen for cognitive decline as part of routine community health services currently offered to older adults is expected to demonstrate the benefits of early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias (AD/D). One major benefit is the potential of keeping Syracuse-area adults aged 65 and older healthy and safe in their homes for as long as possible.Learn more about this research.
Upstate New York – Unfamiliar Territory: Evaluating the Impact of Health Care Reforms on Behavioral Health Care Providers in Rural Upstate New York
Matthew Spitzmueller, assistant professor in the School of Social Work in Falk College, has been selected to participate in one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) leadership development programs designed to equip leaders across the country—in every sector and field—to collaborate, break down silos, and use their influence to make communities healthier and more equitable.Learn more about this research.
Larsen continues research related to malaria control in Zambia
Assistant professor of public health, David Larsen, is the principal investigator for a trial comparing different spray strategies to control malaria vectors in Zambia, funded by the President’s Malaria Initiative for $75,115. He is also co-investigator for a trial comparing different health system strategies to eliminate the malaria parasite reservoir in humans in Zambia, funded by the Gates Foundation. In addition to these two trials David is working with Dr. Rick Welsh on the problem of mosquito net fishing, how it impacts livelihoods, food systems, and malaria control.Learn more about this research.
McDonald continues research on community living for all people with intellectual disability
Professor of public health, Katherine McDonald, received funding from the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Program, Administration for Community Living/DHHS for the Community 4All Project, a collaborative research project involving Syracuse University and The Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS). The project total is $495,699 and its aim is to support the right to community living and participation for all people with intellectual disability.Learn more about this research.
Kenneth Corvo receives grant for research, writing on domestic violence theory, policy
School of Social Work associate professor, Dr. Kenneth Corvo, has received a three-year, $50,000 grant from the Frederick H. Leonhardt (FHL) Foundation. This latest grant from the FHL Foundation follows Dr. Corvo’s decade-long professional collaboration with Frederick Leonhardt, foundation president and a former therapist. The grant award supports Dr. Corvo’s research and writing in the area of theory development in domestic violence and includes the publishing of academic articles on domestic violence theory and policy, the presentation of conference papers, and collaboration with other national and international experts in the field.Learn more about this research.
Racial Differences in Arterial Stiffness and Cerebral Function
Falk Family Endowed Professor of Public Health, Brooks Gump is a co-investigator working with primary investigator, Kevin Heffernan and co-investigator Tiago Barreira from the Falk College department of Exercise Science on the project Racial Differences in Arterial Stiffness and Cerebral Function funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities/NIH/DHHS for $154,000. There are well documented racial differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, including hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes. These CVD risks are associated with underlying racial differences in systemic vascular functioning that may manifest as subclinical changes early in life. Recent evidence suggests that these vascular changes may have detrimental effects on the brain. The study will consider racial differences in vascular functioning and associated brain blood flow and cognitive functioning.Learn more about this research.
Trauma Resiliency in Urban Environments (TRUE)
The Trauma Resiliency in Urban Environments (TRUE) grant aims to implement and evaluate a trauma informed mindfulness-based program for pregnant women and mothers of young children affected by community violence and living in hot spots in the city of Syracuse. Syracuse is a community scarred by decades of pervasive gun violence, divided by gang-turf affiliation, and home to a substantial refugee population from war-torn regions. An estimated 90 percent of the children in the target community have been exposed to violence; majority have traumatic stress (PTSD) and/or other serious emotional and behavioral problems; 52 perecent of the adults in these hot spots meet criteria for PTSD.Learn more about this research.
Resource Recovery at Small Farms using Anaerobic Digestion: A Viable Technology Education and Outreach Effort
Despite a significant number of animals on smaller dairy farms in New York State and the northeastern United States, the vast majority of research on the benefits of anaerobic digester (AD) technologies only relates to larger livestock farms. That is about to change thanks to a research award made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the project, “Resource Recovery at Small Farms using Anaerobic Digestion: A Viable Technology Education and Outreach Effort.” Falk Family Endowed Professor of Food Studies and project co-investigator, Rick Welsh, will lead evaluation and assessment efforts that could help develop and extend appropriate AD technology for smaller livestock farms, especially dairy farms, to realize the substantial environmental benefits from greenhouse gas emission reductions, economic benefits from energy production, and health benefits from reducing pathogen loads on farm. Welsh is partnering with two environmental engineers from Clarkson University- Drs. Stefan Grimberg and Shane Rogers.Learn more about this research.
Building a Sport Participation Legacy Through the 2018 Winter Olympic Games
With final preparations underway for the 2018 Winter Olympics scheduled to begin February 9 in PyeongChang, South Korea, Falk College assistant professor of sport management, Jamie Jeeyoon Kim, is researching the negotiation of motivation and constraints in young people’s decision-making for tuning into the Winter Olympics. More importantly, her research investigates how watching the Winter Olympics affects the decision-making process for sport participation. Dr. Kim was awarded $18,000 as part of the International Olympic Committee’s advanced Olympic research grant for her project, “Building a Sport Participation Legacy Through the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.” She also received a Falk College Seed Grant for $7,500 grant for the project, “Building Korea’s Brand Personality and Equity with the Olympic Brand and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.”Learn more about this research.
Maternal Child Health Spot Booster
The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York recently awarded a $24,942 grant to the trauma intervention project, Maternal Child Health Spot Booster, led by Syracuse University’s Falk College Trauma-Informed Scholars in partnership with the Syracuse Trauma Response Team (TRT). The proposed sustainable intervention strategy aims to help preschoolers in the areas of the Syracuse community most affected by violence and the resulting trauma. Starting this fall, the research team will train Head Start teaching staff and bring mindful yoga intervention to 4- and 5-year-old classrooms at Merrick Head Start, part of the Syracuse City School District and Onondaga County’s federally designated Community Action Agency, PEACE, Inc.Learn more about this research.
Vacationing and Health Study
Recent years have seen a decline in the American Vacation with many workers in the United States failing to fully utilize the paid time off from work that is available to them. The Vacationing and Health Study is a one-year project funded by Project Time Off that aims to examine the psychological, social, and physical well-being changes that occur as a result of vacationing as well as the potentially costly effects of not taking time off from work. The study consists of three appointments at Syracuse University. All three appointments involve a venous blood draw, questionnaires regarding stress and psychological functioning, a blood pressure and heart rate fluctuation reading, and body measurements (such as waist circumference) as well as a hair sample.Learn more about this research.
Stakeholder Views on Intellectual Disability Research Ethics
Katherine McDonald, associate professor of public health in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and faculty fellow in the Burton Blatt Institute, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The research project, “Stakeholder Views on Intellectual Disability Research Ethics,” is expected to have significant ethical and public health implications. Robert S. Olick, associate professor of bioethics and humanities at Upstate Medical University, will serve as co-investigator on the project.Learn more about this research.
The Syracuse Lead Study
The Syracuse Lead Study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will examine environmental toxins that collect in the human body, such as lead, to understand their impact on stress response and cardiovascular health. By identifying cardiovascular risk factors, this research study will offer valuable information to improve child and adult health in communities throughout the country. The Syracuse Lead Study is a four-year project focused on children ages 9, 10 or 11, who live in the 13202, 13203, 13204, 13205, 13206, 13207, 13208, 13210, 13244 zip code areas and identify their race as black or white.Learn more about this research.
Falk professor to study anaerobic digesters for small-scale dairy farms
Falk College professor of Food Studies, Rick Welsh, and Stefan Grimberg and Shane Rogers, two environmental engineers from Clarkson University, have received a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture to develop educational and outreach materials related to smaller-scale anaerobic digesters. In the U.S., anaerobic digesters have been seen as larger farm technologies since the more manure produced on a farm, the greater the amount of biogas produced too. This biogas is captured and burned to produce heat that can be used to keep parlors warm or to produce steam to turn a turbine and produce electricity. Excess electricity can be sold. Earlier research by Welsh and colleagues found widespread interest among smaller-scale dairy farmers in New York State for digester technology. And digesters are smaller-farm technologies in many nations around the world including Asia and Central America.Learn more about this research.
Falk College associate professor of nutrition, Tanya Horacek, R.D., Ph.D., and Syracuse University are part of a 14-university team that has received a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to empower college students to create obesity prevention programs for their peers as well as students in elementary and high schools. The campaign, which will launch in August, is entitled, “Get Fruved.” It will harness the peer-to-peer interactions of more than 1,000 students who will work together to create interventions so students become more physically active. “Fruved” is a term that refers to fruits and vegetables. The behaviors students will address include healthy eating and physical activity as well as managing stress, emotional well-being, and the importance of positive social support systems. The students will also be advocates for environmental change on their campuses to support positive health behaviors. This project purposefully uses a non-diet approach to weight management and instead focuses on promoting healthy behavior and positive healthy body images.Learn more about this research.
MSW students selected for program focused on mental, behavioral health needs of veterans, military personnel and their families
Syracuse University’s School of Social Work has announced four advanced standing MSW students have received Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant awards as a part of the Upstate New York Mental and Behavioral Health Education Consortium (UNY-MBHEC). This new initiative’s focus is to increase the capacity of the social work profession in upstate New York to serve the mental and behavioral health needs of veterans, military personnel and their families, and residents of medically underserved rural communities.Learn more about this research.
Alzheimer’s Disease and caregiving support to the African American community in Syracuse
A $500,000 grant from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) will fund programming to deliver Alzheimer’s Disease and caregiving support to the African American community in Syracuse —including respite care and connections to community resources—as part of the Genesis Health Project. This initiative, led by Syracuse University’s Falk College, is part of the NYSDOH’s Alzheimer’s Disease Program, which implemented a $25 million strategy in 2015 to support people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias and their caregivers. The goals of the African American Alzheimer’s Dementia Caregivers Support Program (AADCS) are to provide Alzheimer’s and dementia education to inner-city African Americans and increase use of available resources to diminish caregiver stress. The programs include educational seminars and cultural competency training for community-based partners.Learn more about this research.
2017-2018 Falk Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Seed Grant Award
Building Korea’s Brand Personality and Equity with the Olympic Brand and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics
Countries host the Olympics with expectations to improve the country’s brand through the games. The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics is no exception, expecting $10.5 billion worth country brand improvement effect that leads to $39.8 billion worth of increase in Korean product sales and tourist visit (HRI, 2011). However, such optimistic expectation on branding effects is often criticized as ‘unreliable’, ‘romanticized’, and ‘unrealized’.Learn more about this research.
Working toward wetland restoration
In the St. Lawrence River watershed in northern New York, two creatures struggle to hang on in the complex ecosystem of restored wetlands. The Blanding’s turtle and the golden-winged warbler can thrive in the shallow pools of water and adjacent dense shrubby vegetation typical of the swampy marshes. The recovery of these two specific species is an important indicator for an interdisciplinary team of researchers, including two from Syracuse University, assessing the viability of public-private partnerships to restore wetlands. Their work is providing answers to ensure conservation efforts that benefit both human and animal in this region—and possibly beyond.Learn more about this research.