Ohio State ADVANCE
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Ohio State ADVANCE

REACH Alumna and Distinguished Ohio State scholar to be appointed to White House advisory council

Posted: November 19, 2019

Story was originally posted to The Ohio State University College of Engineering website on November 15, 2019.

The White House has announced President Donald J. Trump’s intent to nominate College of Engineering Associate Dean for Research Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska, College of Engineering Associate Dean and Professor
SPIN lab, Bolz Hall
Photo by Katrina Norris
The Ohio State University

Also a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, Grejner-Brzezinska is an expert on global positioning system/global navigation satellite systems (GPS/GNSS), multi-sensor integrated systems for assured navigation, and autonomous vehicle navigation. In October, she was the first woman from The Ohio State University to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation (ION), the International Association of Geodesy and The Royal Institute of Navigation.

PCAST is a presidential-level advisory council of experts from the private sector and academic communities who will provide scientific and technical information to inform public policy relating to the American economy, the American worker, national and homeland security, and other concerns.

“As a scientist and academic educator, I am honored to join this distinguished body of accomplished science and technology leaders and to serve our nation in this way,” said Grejner-Brzezinska. “Academia, industry and government must work in partnership to support innovation, create frameworks for fast translation to application, and implement legislation that will promote a healthy, educated, sustainable and equitable world, and shape the future social and cultural fabric of our society.”

Beginning in 1933 with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Science Advisory Board, each President has established an advisory committee of scientists, engineers and health professionals. Although the name of the advisory boards have varied over the years, the purpose of each remains the same—to provide scientific and technical advice to the President of the United States.

The current PCAST was originally established through Executive Order 13226 by President George W. Bush in 2001, and subsequently reestablished by President Barack Obama in 2010 and President Trump on October 22.

“The Trump Administration is ensuring a diverse group of our Nation’s leaders in science and technology is represented within PCAST,” said White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Kelvin K. Droegemeier, who also chairs the council. “As promised, we’re announcing additional voices from academia who will play a critical role in how PCAST advises the President on matters central to our Nation’s science and technology efforts.”

The council will include 16 total members in addition to the chair. The inaugural meeting will take place on November 18.

The White House also announced President Trump’s intent to nominate Shannon Blunt, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Kansas. PCAST members announced previously on October 22 include: Catherine Bessant, Bank of America; H. Fisk Johnson, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.; Dario Gil, IBM Research; Sharon Hrynkow, Cyclo Therapeutics; A.N. Sreeram, Dow Chemical; Shane Wall, HP Labs; and K. Birgitta Whaley, University of California, Berkley.

Grejner-Brzezinska came to Ohio State more than 20 years ago as a Fulbright Scholar from Poland to study geodetic science, which, among other things, focuses on the size and shape of the Earth and the estimation of spatial coordinates—two keys to creating reliable global positioning systems. She went on to earn a PhD and become a faculty member at the College of Engineering. She served as chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering for four years prior to becoming the associate dean for research in 2017. She also served as president of the Institute of Navigation (ION).

Earlier this year, Grejner-Brzezinska received The Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar Award and was named a Distinguished University Professor—an honor bestowed on no more than three exceptional faculty per year.

Category : General

New mathematics course connects students with Columbus’ own Hidden Figures

Posted: October 25, 2019

Originally published online in the College of Arts & Sciences College News

John Johnson Jr. and Ranthony Edmonds share a desire to understand access to mathematics for groups historically underrepresented in STEM. Edmonds, Ross Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, said although she and Johnson both felt isolated in their undergraduate studies, mathematical communities were vital for helping them feel more comfortable in their PhD programs.

“I found a home at the University of Iowa and with various other programs, while John found community at Howard University, a historically black college,” Edmonds said.

Both Edmonds and Johnson, program specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, discovered that the history of black mathematicians in the United States was a powerful way to examine mathematical communities. Johnson was first introduced to this subject a through a website called MAD: Mathematicians of the African Diaspora, and Edmonds through the story Hidden Figgures. She first heard about, then read, then watched Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, a 2016 book by Margot Lee Shetterly and subsequent film that popularized stories of NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson. A fourth woman, Christine Darden, was also featured in the book.

Hidden Figures

From left: Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn, three NASA mathematicians who played key roles in U.S. space exploration and were profiled in the movie Hidden Figures.

As Edmonds and Johnson discussed their interest in the subject, they came up with an idea to create a class exploring diversity and inclusion in mathematical communities. The result was the aptly named course “Intersections of Mathematics and Society: Hidden Figures,” which launches next semester.

The movie release of Hidden Figures renewed interest in recognizing the contributions of people of color and women in STEM, but Edmonds and Johnson felt the resulting conversations left out the mathematical side of these women’s contributions.

“We found interest, as mathematicians ourselves, in unpacking their stories, both from a historical point of view and then from a mathematical point of view,” Edmonds said. “We thought it would be great to be able to design a course where we did just that.”

Students in the class will read Hidden Figures and learn about various mathematic topics related to space travel as they are introduced in the book. The course will also examine the social contexts of these women’s times and impacts of mathematical communities for people from underrepresented groups.

“When you have access to different types of mathematical communities, that changes the way you approach math in general,” Edmonds said. “That’s what these women were doing in the book. They had a mathematical community, but they were also from middle class backgrounds, they had college degrees. So, was there a hidden figure like Katherine Johnson that never got this opportunity? Probably.”

Slide rule

Students will learn how to use a slide rule, pictured above, as part of the course Hidden Figures. Slide rules enabled people to quickly complete large calculations before calculators. 

Johnson says thinking about intersectionality and how characteristics like race, gender and socioeconomic background influence how people join and prosper in mathematical communities is a central part of the course. That theme will be supplemented through a mentorship component that matches students with professionals from underrepresented backgrounds —their own “Hidden Figures” — working at organizations around Columbus.

Throughout the semester, students will interview these professionals to gain insight into their everyday work, career paths and how they’ve utilized their networks and communities. Additionally, students will work on small-group projects to simulate larger communities, which often have members work together to produce new pieces of mathematics or use mathematics in certain ways.

(Having) access to communities that can help you [better understand math] tends to be what separates people who consider themselves to be mathematically able and those who don’t.”

For Edmonds, the course is an opportunity to break down the idea that math is apolitical, which she says “couldn’t be further from the truth.” She says not everyone has access to challenging curricula, enrichment services and other programs that encourage students to become comfortable and proficient with the subject. That leaves people with perceptions about math that may not have anything to do with their actual competency.

“People think very rigidly, like math is either something you do or you don’t, you’re either good or you’re not. When in reality, it’s like a tool that can be sharpened,” Edmonds said. “(Having) access to communities that can help you do so tends to be what separates people who consider themselves to be mathematically able and those who don’t.”

To further this idea, students will also be asked to present on a topic to K-12 students at Columbus Metropolitan Library branches as part of their Young Minds initiative.

Because the course is intersectional, Edmonds says she hopes students from a wide range of disciplines will join.

“If anything, this isn’t a course for just math majors or just engineers; this is a course for people who are interested in learning a little bit more about these women and their stories and what you can do with math,” Edmonds said. “The more diverse the people in the course are, I think the more fruitful those discussions will be.”

Category : General

REACH for Commercialization™ 2020 Application Now Available

Posted: October 11, 2019

Ohio State ADVANCE is proud to offer REACH for Commercialization™ 2020. REACH is a year-long program designed to help women faculty and post-doctoral scholars explore commercialization as a means of expanding the impact of their research.

The application for REACH 2020 is now available.

Additional information on the REACH 2020 program can be found on the ADVANCE website. Please contact Katie Musson, musson.7@osu.edu, with any questions or problems regarding the application.

Category : General

REACH for Commercialization™ Alumna Selected for Third Fulbright Award

Posted: June 26, 2019

New award focuses on work to develop nursing curriculum in Norway

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board awarded Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, from The Ohio State University College of Nursing the third Fulbright award of her career.

The 2019 Fulbright Specialist award will take Morrison-Beedy to Norway, where she will work through August and September on nursing curricular innovations that set the stage for developing a master’s-level nurse practitioner program at The Lovisenberg Diakonale University College in Oslo.

“Fulbright experiences are opportunities not only to learn about other countries and cultures, but also to engage with them about aspirations that we can help them fulfill,” Morrison-Beedy said. “I am very excited about working with partners and nursing leaders in Norway to advance the quality of healthcare and prepare future generations of nurses there for success.”

Morrison-Beedy, who serves as chief talent and global strategy officer and the Centennial Professor for the College of Nursing, has previously earned a Fulbright Administrator award to France and a Fulbright Scholar award to conduct research in Scotland.

The Fulbright program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. For more information on Fulbright opportunities at Ohio State, please contact Joanna Kukielka-Blaser or visit the Fulbright page of the Office of International Affairs.

Story originally posted by The Ohio State University College of Nursing.
Category : General

Melnyk Awarded “Academy Edge Runner” Honor from American Academy of Nursing

Posted: June 3, 2019

Recognition earned for impactful cognitive-behavioral skills building program

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has honored Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN as an Academy Edge Runner designee for her successful cognitive-behavioral skills building intervention programs. This is the third Edge Runner honor for Melnyk.

Melnyk, who serves as vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University, created her programs to improve both mental and physical health outcomes in children, adolescents and college students through early intervention strategies. Research shows that one in every four children, teenagers and college-aged youth suffers from a mental health disorder, yet fewer than a quarter of them receive any treatment. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in 10- to 34-year-olds.

“Although the numerous studies that I have conducted across more than two decades have shown that my cognitive-behavioral skills building programs are effective in treating depression and anxiety,” said Melnyk, “my dream is that these programs are heavily used in schools, community settings and universities across the U.S. and the globe as a preventive intervention strategy to curb the rapidly-escalating and high prevalence of mental health problems and suicide in children and youth.”

More than 12,000 children and youth of all backgrounds have benefitted in 44 states and five countries that have implemented Melnyk’s program. Outcomes include lower rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal intent, higher levels of healthy lifestyle behaviors and improvement in academic outcomes.

The AAN stated that the Academy Edge Runner honor recognizes “nurse innovators who have charted a new course and ushered in remarkable improvement to major healthcare challenges at every level … Melnyk’s program is transforming the way students think about their own mental health while learning lifelong strategies for healthy living.”

Melnyk’s cognitive-behavioral skills building intervention is the basis for the College of Nursing’s MINDSTRONG program, a seven-week, evidence-based intervention with a goal of reducing stress and improving resiliency and self-protective factors for overall well-being. MINDSTRONG is being rolled out to students at Ohio State and will soon be made available for faculty, staff and their families.

Category : General

Ohio State ADVANCE contributes to first publication from World Intellectual Property Review’s Influential Women in IP

Posted: May 31, 2019

According to the WIPR website, the publication profiles the leading female IP practitioners from around world, including 20 Trailblazers, identified as rising stars in the industry. There are also interviews, statistics and articles on gender equality featured in the magazine. Click here to view the publication.

Category : General

REACH for Commercialization™ Receives 2019 OSEP Award

Posted: May 20, 2019

This original article was written by Chris Booker and published by Ohio State News on May 13, 2019 and can be found here.

Twenty-one projects — tackling issues such as addiction recovery, sustainability and income inequality — have been awarded grants in the second year of philanthropic funding from The Ohio State University’s comprehensive energy management partnership.

Ohio State Energy Partners contributes $810,000 each year to the university or affiliated philanthropic causes as part of its commitment to academic engagement.

The university’s Energy Academic Collaboration Council also solicited proposals from faculty, staff and students for consideration and advanced priorities to OSEP. The awards advance university priorities and foster transdisciplinary and community collaboration.

In 2017, the university and OSEP entered into the comprehensive energy management partnership, which launched an innovative energy efficiency program and boosted Ohio State’s standing as an international leader in sustainability. OSEP is a joint venture between ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure.

“Ohio State and OSEP share a commitment to tackling the issues that affect us all, locally and globally. I am thrilled that so many outstanding ideas generated by our university community are moving forward,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron.

Recipients of the 2019 OSEP Awards will address a broad range of issues and ideas. The largest single award of $200,000 will support Campus Student Sustainability Challenge. Six student teams received funding for projects to make campus more sustainable.

Another award supports opportunities for more than 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students to study abroad through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Education Abroad program. The program is operated in collaboration with the Office of International Affairs.

Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer James Moore said education abroad has immense student benefits, such as increased learning outcomes, retention and degree completion, as well as significant institutional benefits, including campus internationalization and an enhanced international reputation.

“I think it’s important for our students to have these experiences if we want to maintain our global edge,” Moore said.

“One expectation of the students is they will become ambassadors and they will share knowledge as well as shatter myths around education abroad,” he said. “They will explain why it’s important and what it does for them.”

Another award will support a survey of the ecological and economic potential of more than 1,000 acres of forest owned by the university. The School of Environment and Natural Resources is conducting the survey.

Ohio State ADVANCE and the Office of Research received support for the REACH for Commercialization program. REACH is a year-long program for female faculty, research staff and postdoctoral researchers designed to boost innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We could not be more proud of the outcomes we are already starting to see from this partnership. This is only the beginning. There is much more good work to be done,” McPheron said.

Click here for the complete list of award recipients



Category : General