Noteworthy: Research grants, awards and publications

Film poster for "Black Girls Play: The Story of Handgames" features two Black girls playing hand games on a chalk-covered street in front of a house. Three other girls are skipping rope in the background.
ESPN Films’ "Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games," featuring UAlbany's Kyra Gaunt who served as consultant and on-screen talent, has won a 2024 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Short Form Documentary Film.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 25, 2024) — The latest developments on University at Albany faculty and staff who are receiving research grants, awards and other noteworthy attention.

  • Gary Ackerman, associate professor at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, co-authored a new report “Chemical Terrorism: Assessment of U.S. Strategies in the Era of Great Power Competition” as part of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee established to address issues related to chemical terrorism threats.
  • Associate Professor of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Benoit Boivin was awarded a 4-year, $2.2M grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to examine the “Role of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B in Cardiac Hypertrophy.” Boivin was also awarded a 5-year, $1.9M grant from NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences for his project, “Complexity of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Oxidation.”
  • Public Administration PhD student Tzuhao Chen, along with CTG UAlbany researchers J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, G. Brian Burke, Alessandria Dey and Derek Werthmuller published an article, “Characterizing Technology, Affordances, Constraints, and Coping Strategies for Information Dissemination to the Public: Insights from Emergency Messaging in US Local Governments” in the most recent issue of Government Information Quarterly.
  • Dolores Cimini, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research and senior research scientist in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, received an American College Health Association’s Fellows Award for 2023–2024. She and other recipients of ACHA’s awards were celebrated at the association’s annual meeting held May 29.
  • Kyra Gaunt, an ethnomusicologist and assistant professor in the Department of Music and Theatre affiliated with Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Sociology, served as consultant and featured on-screen talent for the ESPN Films’ Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games, which won a 2024 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Short Form Documentary Film. The film’s script is based on a thesis in Gaunt’s award-winning book, The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double Dutch to Hip-Hop (2006). The documentary, which was produced for ESPN’s 30 for 30 film series, won its category at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival and was then shortlisted for the 2024 Oscar nominations. The film is currently available on ESPN+.
  • CTG UAlbany Director and Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy Professor J. Ramon Gil-Garcia co-authored an article in the International Review of Administrative Sciences on “Exploring the Negative Impacts of Artificial Intelligence in Government: The Dark Side of Intelligent Algorithms and Cognitive Machines.”
  • Associate Professor of Physics Alexander Khmaladze was awarded a 3-year, $686k grant from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Label-free detection of iron binding proteins in intact cells.”
  • Assistant Professor of Korean Studies Peter Kwon will deliver a talk in New York City tonight about his book, Cornerstone of the Nation: The Defense Industry and the Building of Modern Korea under Park Chung Hee. Released this past March by Harvard University Press, the book explores the complex alliance of military and civilian forces that catapulted South Korea’s conjoined militarization and industrialization under Park. Kwon's talk begins at 6 p.m. at the Korea Society at 350 Madison Ave. and will be live-streamed. Register here to receive a viewing link.
  • Melissa Arnold Lyon, assistant professor of public policy at Rockefeller College, was awarded a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Education for the 2024-2025 academic year. The highly competitive fellowship provides a $70,000 grant to allow the recipient to focus on research. Lyon’s project, “Labor and Learning: Analyzing Teacher Strikes and Their Impacts on Students and Communities, 2007-Present,” is a continuation of her research into the impact of teacher strikes, which resulted in an article in the Journal of Human Resources and a publication for the Urban Institute.
  • Paul Morgan, Empire Innovation Professor and Social and Health Equity Endowed Professor at the School of Public Health, is researching bullying and victimization of elementary school students with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Morgan, who was awarded a 3-year, $1.3 million grant in 2022 while he was at Penn State, is continuing the funded research at UAlbany. His longitudinal study investigates factors in family, classroom, school and neighborhood contexts associated with bullying in grades 3-5, and whether bullying is related to academic, behavioral and socioemotional functioning at the end of 5th grade.
  • Peter Shea, a professor with a joint appointment in the departments of Educational Theory and Practice and Informatics, received a SUNY Innovation Instruction Technology grant for $99,100 for his project, SUNY AI-ED: A SUNY-wide Professional Learning Community for Artificial Intelligence in Education. The project aims to develop a proof of concept for a multi-institutional professional learning community that will help educators across various sectors gain new knowledge, skills and abilities around artificial intelligence in design, teaching, learning and assessment. Several faculty members from the School of Education are involved in the grant, including Jianwei Zhang, Reza Feyzi-Behnagh, Jason Vickers, Haesol Bae, Lijun Ni, Alex Kumi Yeboah and Jonathan Foster