Current Falk College Faculty Externally Funded Research Projects

Externally funded research projects are awards granted by federal, state, or local agencies and foundations.

Maria Brown

Brown leads collaboration benefitting older adults with cognitive decline

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.




Matthew Spitzmueller

Social work professor receives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership grant

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.




David Larsen

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-investigato…




Katie McDonald

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 Unive…




Ken Corvo

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 collaboratio…




Brooks Gump

Brooks Gump studies racial differences in cardiovascular disease risk with NIH award

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 School of Education’s Department of Exercise Science on the project Racial D…




Portraits of Dessa Bergen-Cico and Rachel Razza

Professors Bergen-Cico, Razza awarded grant for trauma resiliency programming

Associate professor of public health, Dessa Bergen-Cico, PI and associate professor of human development and family science, Rachel Razza co-I, received a $20,000 grant from the Health Foundation of Western and Central NY for their project entitled Tra…




D. Shin

Study to investigate nutritional implications of eating alone in Korea

Data from the National Statistical Office (NSO) shows that the number of single-person households in Korea, totaling 539,800, comprised 27.9 percent of the total number of households in 2016. This has led to many socio-cultural changes, including dietary habits, as more and more Koreans find themselves eating alone.




Rick Welsh

Falk Food Studies and Clarkson Environmental Engineering researchers focus efforts on positive environmental, energy and health outcomes for small New York State, northeastern U.S. livestock farms

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.




Jeeyoon Jamie Kim

Sport management professor receives grants to study 2018 Winter Olympics youth viewership

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.”




Brooks Gump

Gump to continue leading Undergraduate Program for Trauma Research with Veterans with newly awarded NSF grant

Falk Family Professor of Public Health, Brooks Gump, Ph.D., M.P.H., will continue leading a program this summer for undergraduate veterans and non-veterans (five openings for each) interested in becoming trauma researchers. Gump was one of six faculty from three upstate New York universities (Syracuse University, SUNY Upstate, and SUNY Oswego) who ran this Research Education for Undergraduates (REU) program in 2012 and 2013. As one of several on-going interdisciplinary collaborations in the Falk College, the REU program includes faculty members Keith A. Alford, Ph.D., ACSW, associate professor of social work and Dessa Bergen-Cico, Ph.D., CHES, CAS, assistant professor, public health. The $297,135.00 grant recently awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support the REU program for two more years, which is now recruiting undergraduate veterans and non-veterans to participate. Students can earn $3,000 for participating in an intensive four-week summer program from June 5-29, 2017 at Syracuse University.




Rick Welsh

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.




Tanya Horacek

Falk College nutrition professor, Tanya Horacek, part of team awarded $4.9 million USDA grant for childhood obesity prevention

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.




Professors Cowart and Brown

Genesis Health Project launches Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia caregivers support program

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. A 12-Week Healthy Living Program will launch August 13 and runs through October 29, 2016 from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Living Water Church of God in Christ, 121 Huron Street. The Healthy Living program encompasses Alzheimer’s Disease and nutrition education, exercise sessions and yoga and meditation. Required registration and orientation for this free program will be held on August 13 starting at 9:00 a.m. All individuals must be 18 years of age to participate.




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