Spring 2020 Newsletter from CERD

The first evidence that spring is just around the corner can be found with the blooming redbud tree. Aside from the redbud’s value in the landscape, it is edible. The flowers can be eaten raw or added to salads. They are said to be delicious when sautéed in butter (isn’t everything?)


Research Dean’s Corner

by Dr. Susan Bloomfield

This is a time for transitions for our office!  In late January, our pre-award office completed its move from Heaton to our new quarters on 4th floor Harrington Tower, in the former Aggie STEM office area.  Shortly thereafter, we welcomed our two new Research Development Officers, Ann Savell and Jason Foley.   Having both served in pre-award services at SRS, they already have extensive knowledge about all our internal systems and have hit the ground running.   This also frees up our Senior Research Development Officer, Jesús Palomo, to re-focus on the many other duties he assumed one year ago, even as he continues to assist with a limited number of proposal submissions.

You may have read the Dean’s announcement about my decision to retire from my tenured position and the Associate Dean for Research role at the end of May, 2020.  I have been honored to serve you in this capacity over the last four years, over which time we have achieved a lot in fine-tuning a College Research & Development Office with outstanding professional staff ready to support your proposal and grant management needs.   I have learned that a research support staff this size is unusual among TAMU colleges; kudos to our Dean for recognizing in her first months here the need for more pro-active support and allocating significant resources to achieve it.   An internal search now active under Dr. Michael de Miranda’s able leadership will identify our best candidate to be your next Associate Dean for Research, hopefully by early May.   I anticipate working side-by-side for a few weeks with this new ADR to assure a smooth transition.


A number of faculty have expressed concerns about the evolving “summer salary policy” as presented by the Provost and VP for Research to our University Council of PI’s, as well as to all research deans on the University Research Council.   Your College CPI group has also discussed this extensively.  The bottom line is, for now, that this policy (limiting PI’s funding of summer salary from federal and state external funding sources to 10 out of 12 weeks in the summer) will not be enforced till Summer 2021.

However, many colleges—including the CEHD– have decided to urge voluntary compliance with this “best practice” even this coming summer.  Federal audit guidelines insist on a tight congruence between % FTE spent on research and % of your pay deriving from those funded projects.   If a PI’s salary for the 3 summer months is paid entirely off federal/state research funds, this raises flags for auditors.  In rare cases, this pay scheme may be appropriate if the faculty member is working 100% time those 3 months on research projects and takes no vacation days all summer long.   This also presumes 0% effort on teaching or service duties, which is highly unusual for anyone with graduate students to sustain through the summer months.   If you still have questions or concerns about this “best practice” approach, please talk to your department head or your departmental representatives to our College CPI ( https://mysehd.tamu.edu/faculty/research-office/council-of-principal-investigators/).

On March 2, all research deans had a chance to converse briefly with Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Current priorities of this OSTP are:  reducing research security risk (essentially, IP theft), reducing administrative burden on researchers, promoting a safe working climate and reducing harassment in the science community, and improving opportunities for under-represented minorities.   Dr. Droegemeier raised an interesting point.  Given this current administration’s focus on deregulation, it creates a unique opportunity to work on reducing our paperwork burden by, e.g., “harmonizing” grant proposal application paperwork across the major federal agencies.  Another challenging issue the OSTP is addressing is best practices for universities to follow in cases of sexual misconduct among faculty, in terms of downstream considerations like authorship issues when co-authors might have been the target of harassment.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with new, bold ideas for ways we can support your research enterprise.   We are heading into the most intense time of the academic year, that final push after spring break to the end of the semester.   I wish for you continued productivity and success, even as we all concentrate on better hand hygiene and (dare we wish for it!) more sleep, which are becoming important public health practices in this spring of COVID-19.


New Awards

Department Researcher Award Start Date Project Title Sponsor Name  Amount
Educational Adm & Human Resource Develop Mendoza Diaz, Noemi 12-Jul-19 Collaborative Research: Research in National Science Foundation 174,633
Educational Adm & Human Resource Develop Moore, Janie 12-Jul-19 Collaborative Research: Research in National Science Foundation 87,316
Educational Adm & Human Resource Develop Weichold, Mark 12-Jul-19 Collaborative Research: Research in National Science Foundation 43,658
Educational Adm & Human Resource Develop Ogilvie, Andrea 12-Jul-19 Collaborative Research: Research in National Science Foundation 43,658
Health And Kinesiology Crouse, Stephen 1-Sep-19 Brazos County Volunteer Fire Department Cardiovascular Health Profiles Brazos County Volunteer Fire Department  $                                                              3,320.00
Health And Kinesiology Martin, Steven 1-Sep-19 Brazos County Volunteer Fire Department Cardiovascular Health Profiles Brazos County Volunteer Fire Department  $                                                              3,320.00
Health And Kinesiology Buchanan, John 1-Sep-19 Planning Grant: Engineering Research Center for Human Interactive Technologies (HIT) California State University Fullerton Auxiliary Service Corporation  $                                                            12,000.00
Teaching, Learning And Culture Hernandez, Paul 1-Sep-19 Balancing Identities to Broaden Participation in STEM. California State University San Marcos Corporation  $                                                          244,685.00
Health And Kinesiology Deutz, Nicolaas 15-Sep-19 Nutritional modulation to minimize resistance exercise induced metabolic deregulations and improve training responsiveness in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease DHHS-NIH-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute  $                                                          189,140.00
Health And Kinesiology Bramhall, Joe 15-Sep-19 Nutritional modulation to minimize resistance exercise induced metabolic deregulations and improve training responsiveness in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease DHHS-NIH-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute  $                                                          189,140.00
Health And Kinesiology Johnson, Valen 15-Sep-19 Nutritional modulation to minimize resistance exercise induced metabolic deregulations and improve training responsiveness in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease DHHS-NIH-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute  $                                                          189,140.00
Health And Kinesiology Engelen, Marielle 15-Sep-19 Nutritional modulation to minimize resistance exercise induced metabolic deregulations and improve training responsiveness in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease DHHS-NIH-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute  $                                                          189,140.00
Health And Kinesiology Wilson, Kelly 1-Oct-19 Texas A&M University Student ACE Texas Office of the Governor-Criminal Justice Division  $                                                          449,144.00
Health And Kinesiology Armstrong, Carisa 1-Oct-19 “But where there’s hope, there’s life” hosted by the Texas A&M University Dance Program Arts Council of the Brazos Valley  $                                                              3,775.00
Teaching, Learning And Culture Hernandez, Paul 1-Oct-19 Collaborative Research: Improving the recruitment and persistence of women in the Geosciences: Exploring deliberate mentoring approaches aimed at undergraduate students Colorado State University  $                                                            16,860.00





Dr. Mack Burke, CPI Chair

Council of Principal Investigators

The CEHD Council of Principal Investigators held their meeting on February 20, 2020.

Faculty members in attendance were Mack Burke (EPSY), Fuhui Tong (EPSY), Christine Stanley (EAHR), Tamika Gilreath (HLKN), Steven Riechman (HLKN), and Trina Davis (TLAC).

Topics discussed in the CPI Meeting included:

  • The two new CERD Pre-Award Officers were introduced. See more info on Jason Foley and Ann Savell further [below?].
  • There is potential finding available for widely-used research software within CEHD; Dr. Sue Bloomfield requests that any suggestions, including the software name and number of licenses, be emailed to her.
  • A survey was sent out by Dr. Tamika Gilreath on 2/20/20 on behalf of Dr. Mack Burke, Chair of our College Council of PI’s. We urge all our research-engaged faculty to complete this important short survey to assess your research program’s current and future need for IT and communications support (beyond the usual support all faculty receive for their workstations and the like).    A growing number of PI’s in our College are integrating videography, online coaching/teaching, marketing of their project to assist in recruiting subjects, and the like; sometimes these costs can be supported on larger federal grants, but sometimes not.

The survey can be accessed here:  https://tamucehd.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5C5W4zAiGtz3C17

  • The use of off-campus IDC Rates is coming under scrutiny by the VPR office as they strive to create clearer guidelines on when this lower rate is applicable. If you are applying to an agency that allows full IDC, and you believe your project qualifies for off-campus IDC, we urge you to reach out to our team well ahead of time for confirmation of that before the budget is built.
  • Jamilia Blake is leading a subcommittee on undergraduate research, and would like to see what interest there is in creating a student pool for research subjects. This would be a step toward getting undergraduate students interested and involved in research, as well as providing a base pool of research participants.  If you feel there is interest in using college-age students as research subjects, please reach out to Dr. Jamilia Blake for further discussion.

The next CPI meeting will be held on Thursday, April 9th from 12:00pm-1:35pm in 801A Harrington.

For more information about The Council of Principal Investigators please visit the CPI website.

Pre Award Hires Two New Development Officers

Jason Foley,
M.A. joins the College of Education and Human Development as a Research Development Officer in CERD. Jason will assist in proposal development for EPSY and EAHR.  Jason holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in Sociology from Sam Houston State University and is currently working toward RACC certification in research administration. Prior to coming to CERD, Jason worked at Sponsored Research Services as a Proposal Administrator for several years. He has worked with many TAMU system members including TTI, TAMUCC, and the departments of Animal Science and Nutrition under AgriLife Research on a wide variety of proposals.  Jason and his wife Katy are parents of two; their little miracle Lincoln (5) and Freya (1, going on 18). Jason is located in Harrington 428E. Email: jason.foley@tamu.edu






Ann Savell, joined the College of Education -Research & Development office at the beginning of February, and will be assisting with proposal development for the HLKN and TLAC departments.  Many of the CEHD faculty have worked with Ann in her previous role as a pre-award administrator at Sponsored Research Services. Ann hails from Tomball, Texas and holds a B.A. in English from Sam Houston State University.  She has extensive experience in research proposal administration, and has been part of the successful submission of a wide range of proposals, including several large center grant proposals, as well as the Army Futures Command proposal for the new combat development complex at RELLIS campus.

Ann’s recent awards include:

  • 2019 Staff Excellence Award, Division of Research, Texas A&M University
  • 2018 What’s Your Big Idea Contest, winner of Best Overall Idea-Team, Academic Affairs Climate and Diversity Committee, Texas A&M University

Ann brings with her a diverse range of skills through her background as an accounting supervisor for a technology solutions company and as an office manager for a construction company, as well as a love of editing from her education in English literature.

Ann is married to a software developer for the Texas A&M University Libraries, and they have two young monsters, er, daughters.  In Ann’s free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, photography, playing sports, and visiting her large extended family. Ann’s office is located in Harrington 428B.  Email: asavell@tamu.edu 


Post Award News

Summer Payroll Planning Has Started

The Post-Award Research Services team would like to take the opportunity to remind faculty and staff that we have begun planning for summer payroll efforts on research accounts. Over the next few weeks, we ask that faculty and staff please check your inboxes for emails from our staff and shared email addresses regarding plans for summer Graduate Research Assistants (GARs), student hourly workers, and full/part-time research staff and faculty.

We encourage anyone who has questions about summer payroll efforts on research accounts to contact our office at any time by emailing cerdpayroll@tamu.edu.

Post-Award is Traveling

This time of year is often filled with the excitement of Spring Break plans, the anticipation of graduation, and of course an increase in travel to conferences and presentations across the College of Education. Two members of the Post-Award Research Services team, Adriana Burnett and Modesta Molina, are currently attending the Financial Research Administration Conference (FRA) provided through the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA).

Two other members, Tracy LaTourette and Kristin Ebner, are hopeful that they will still be able to attend the Post-Award Intensive Training Program provided through the Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI) in May given the current updates on the Coronavirus COVID-19 guidance and protocols. Regardless of the conference/training attended, the Post-Award team is looking forward to the shared information they will be gaining through these prestigious programs and how that shared knowledge will further help the office create improved processes for all research related projects within the College of Education.

Post-Award is On the Move

As a way of promoting Texas A&M University’s healthy work-life balance initiative, the Post-Award Research Services Team is actively participating in the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Walk Across Texas program. The team has walked over 175 combined miles in the first 3 weeks of the program! Look for us around campus as we continue to keep moving and walking for better health.







Outreach Services Update

Bryan ISD Showcase and NABE Conference

CEHD Faculty Drs. Shevonne Harvey, John Williams, Kirsten Newell, Sharon de Marin and graduate student Cassidy Caldwell all show their Aggie pride at the Third Annual Bryan ISD Showcase held Rudder High School in February.

Outreach Coordinator for the Research office has been busy this spring working with faculty and school districts locally and nationally.  In early February, the annual Bryan ISD Showcase was held at Rudder High School with a larger than ever attendance by Bryan ISD community members.  Several faculty (and even some family members) along with staff helped have an strong presence at the CEHD booth.  Thanks to Cassidy Caldwell for helping us  get organized.










Outreach Director, Matthew Etchells of CRDLLA with Grand Prairie ISD Bilingual Director, Magda Grape and Outreach Coordinator, Amy Jurica Hinnant at the 2020 NABE Conference.



Later in February, Outreach Coordinator, Amy Hinnant, assisted Outreach Director from CRDLLA, Dr. Matthew Etchells, at the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The NABE Conference attracts educators, teachers, and administrators from across the country to learn more about the latest in bilingual education and network with schools from all parts of the US.


Dr. Kay Wijekumar (TLAC) with former grad student Dr. Shuai Zhang and Sarah Fitzhugh of Lewisville ISD at the TASA Assessment conference in Austin.








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