BMCC Selects 17 Professors to Receive More Than $78K in Research Grants

April 18, 2017

Seventeen faculty members at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) have been awarded a total of $78,338 in Faculty Development Grants to support their research and creative activity.

“We were impressed by the high quality of the proposals and look forward to the results,” said Karrin E. Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. “As always, we greatly appreciate the scholarly achievements and contributions of our faculty.”

Funds from the awards will support summer salaries or reassigned time for faculty to conduct research and travel. The funds also support student research stipends and conference registrations.

The 17 funded projects were selected among more than 50 proposals by faculty from the Social Sciences, Modern Languages, Academic Literacy and Linguistics, English, Speech, Music and Art, Math, Health Education and Science.

“Research topics range from a study of immigrant populations who are vulnerable to deportation in New York City to an examination of hospitality in European-Arab interactions to uncovering hidden structures in music,” said Jim Berg, Associate Dean of Faculty. “The number and range of the applications is impressive. BMCC faculty are engaged in research across the disciplines and around the world.”

“I feel honored and grateful to receive this Faculty Development Grant,” said awardee Shoba Bandi-Rao, a professor in the Academic Literacy and Linguistics Department. “My project seeks to understand the role of prosody (rhythm, stress, intonation of speech) in reading texts, specifically among unskilled readers. Using prosodic notations, the study tests ways to help readers develop fluency.”

Receiving the grant, she says, “has been an affirmation of the current direction of my work and encouragement for future research. The larger goal is to address college readiness at two-year colleges, which is a major contributor to low/delayed graduation rates.”

Math Professor Chris McCarthy received a Faculty Development Grant for his project, “Mathematical Models of Column Filters.” Its allowance for release time, “will help me complete the research sooner,” he says. “It will also help pay for supplies which might be needed for additional filter experiments.”

McCarthy’s project involves experimental data provided by BMCC Science Professors Abel Navarro and Kibrewossen Tesfagiorgis. “I would not be able to construct the mathematical models of the column filters without it,” McCarthy says. “Receiving the grant is an honor. It’s like a vote of confidence, and that encouragement is important, as well. The funds devoted to travel will make it easier for me to share ideas with the scientific community.”

Faculty Development Grant Awardees A-N

David Allen, Math, “Topological Structures Hidden Within Music”; Shoba Bandi-Rao, Academic Literacy and Linguistics, “Using Prosodic Notations to Help Unskilled Readers Read Fluently”; Elizabeth Fow, English, “The Female Face of the Hero”; Matthew Geddis, Science, “Elucidating the Effects of Native Hawaiian Plants on Neuronal Differentiation, Regeneration and Modulation; Shirley Leyro, Social Sciences, “Vulnerability to Deportation as Legal Violence Inflicted Upon Non-Citizen Immigrants”; Sarah Madole, Music and Art, “An Attic Battle Sarcophagus from Roman Syria in its Context”; Sophie Marinez, Modern Languages, “Haitian and Dominican Diasporas in the United States: A Comparative Approach”; Chris McCarthy, Math, “Mathematical Models of Column Filters”; Michael McGee, Health Education, “Antecedents to Romantic Relationship Formation: The Role of Sexuality Education” and Abel E. Navarro, Science, “Primping Solid Wastes as Eco-Friendly Filters for the Bioremediation of Antibiotics from Wastewaters.”

Faculty Development Grant Awardees R-Z

Jose Fernandez Romero, Science, “Anti-HIV Synergy and Broad-Spectrum of Different Combinations of HIV Entry Inhibitors”; Kibrewossen Tesfagiorgis, Science, “Investigation of Location Error in Satellite Precipitation Estimates Using a Radar-Gauge Product”; Kristina Varade, Modern Languages, “European-Arab Intersections: An Examination of Hospitality”; Nettie Christine (Chris) Vinsonhaler, English, “The Bardic Beowulf: Performance, Translation, and Scholarship”; Elizabeth Whitney, Speech, “Dangerous Realities: Transnational Performances of Queer Community”; Lina Wu, Math, “Solving Liouville-type Problems on Maniforlds with Poincare-sobolev Inequality by Broadening Finite Q-energy to Infinite Q-energy” and Meryam Zaman, Social Sciences, “Transforming Discourses: Sacred Stories, Islamic Authority and Women.”


Faculty Development Grants are reviewed annually by the Faculty Development Committee of the Academic Senate and by Karrin E. Wilks, Senior Vice President and Provost. The committee chair is Margaret Carson, Professor of Modern Languages. Funds are provided by the Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation.




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  • Seventeen BMCC faculty receive a total of $78,338 in Faculty Development Grants
  • The awards support summer salaries or reassigned time for faculty to conduct research, student research stipends and more
  • Funds are provided by the Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation

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