Recent Awards

June 2018

Dr. Daniel Berleant and Dr. Phil Williams receive nearly $50,000 to investigate protein accumulation in corn seeds

Dr. Daniel BerleantDr. Phil Williams Dr. Daniel Berleant and Dr. Phil Williams of the Department of Information Science have received $48,167 from the USDA to study how proteins accumulate in corn seeds depending on their genomic and epigenomic traits. In order to study this important problem, the project team will analyze the expression of native and recombinant proteins from corn plants. Read more…

May 2018

Jodie Mahony Center Receives Funding for Middle School Program: “MT Stage: The Hamilton Experience.”

The Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education has received $31,084 from the Arkansas Department of Education for “MT Stage: The Hamilton Experience.” This program allows seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students to produce and perform in the play “Hamilton,” a popular hip hop musical that started on Broadway in 2015. Read more…

January 2018

Department of Philosophy Plans for Annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl

The UA Little Rock Department of Philosophy has received a $1,600 grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to host the sixth annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl. The Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl is led by Drs. Jana McAuliffe and Michael Norton in the Department of Philosophy. Read more…

Center for Arkansas History and Culture Wins Grant to Process and Digitize Arkansas Railroad and City Maps

The UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture has received $5,874 from the Arkansas Humanities Council to assess, digitalize, and catalog early railway line and city maps from 1917-1918. The project, entitled “Tie-ing Arkansas Together,” will process and digitize 133 oversized railway maps associated with the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railroad and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Read more…

ASBTDC Awarded $100,000 to Assist Four-County Area

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received $100,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Portable Assistance Program. The competitive grant program supports one-year projects in areas that have experienced recent economic distress through natural disaster, downsizing, layoffs, or plant closures. Read more…

October 2017

Dr. Agarwal collaborates on $1 million NSF Big Data grant to research data science-informed solutions to health disparities in southern U.S. region

Nitin Agarwal

Dr. Nitin Agarwal is collaborating on a three-year $1 million NSF-funded project that brings together several universities to take a big data approach to address health disparities in the southern United States such as cardiovascular diseases.  Dr. Agarwal’s portion of the project totals $61,931 over three years. Read more…



Naval Research office awards Nitin Agarwal $1.5 million grant

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor has received more than $1.5 million to research ways to aid U.S. military forces in the fight against cyber propaganda campaigns. The Office of Naval Research awarded Dr. Nitin Agarwal, the UA Little Rock Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy endowed chair and a professor of information science, a $1,530,778 grant. This new grant enables Agarwal to continue his investigation into the practices, tactics, and motivations of organizers of web-based mass movements and their participants. Read more…

Arkansas Economic Development Institute receives resiliency grant of $320,500 from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration

Arkansas Economic Development Institute The Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $320,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to conduct a Land & Resiliency Initiative for the Arkansas-Louisiana Multi-modal Economic Corridor (ArkLaMEC).  The project will be a joint effort of AEDI and the Office of Innovation and Economic Development at Louisiana Tech University (OIED). Read more…

September 2017

Dr. Nitin Agarwal receives $230,000 to assist U.S. Department of Defense in social bot detection

Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair of Information Science Dr. Nitin Agarwal has received $230,000 to develop a socio-computational model for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to detect the online presence of “social bots.” These bots automatically generate messages that persuade social media users on particular issues, ideas, and campaigns. Read more…


Dr. Paul Crutcher receives grant to host National Consortium for Teaching about Asia for Arkansas teachers

Dr. Paul Crutcher of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a grant from the Freeman Foundation to teach the Consortium for Teaching about Asia program to Arkansas teachers. The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) is a multi-year initiative to encourage and facilitate teaching and learning about East Asia in elementary and secondary schools nationwide. Read more…

August 2017

Information Science Receives over $260,000 Annually for its Support of the Bioinformatics Core of the Arkansas INBRE Program

The Department of Information Science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received over $260,000 this year to continue its partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). This partnership supports the Bioinformatics Core of the Arkansas IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Program. Awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this grant is active for five years. The total funding for the five-year period is over $1.3 million. Read more…

Bowen Law School Receives nearly $25,000 for Mediation Project for Families

The William H. Bowen Law School at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock received $24,872.22 to continue the Early Intervention Mediation Project. Funded by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, this project provides free services for children up to age three who need developmental assistance. Read more…

Arkansas Economic Development Institute Awarded over $150,000 to Provide Information on Early Childhood Services in Arkansas

The Arkansas Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received $156,850 from the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Childcare and Early Childhood to continue the Arkansas Early Childhood Asset Map program. The Institute will utilize its Census Data Center and GIS Applications Laboratory to provide mapping services, resource guides, and its yearly publication, Getting Ready for School. Read more…

UA Little Rock Children International Receives over $1,000,000 to Help Children in Central Arkansas

The Children International program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received $1,179,100 to continue providing health, education, and extracurricular resources for pre-K-12 students in central Arkansas. Read more…

IDEA Data & Research Receives over $600,000 from Department of Education

IDEAThe IDEA Data & Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received $601,775.75 from the Arkansas Department of Education, using flow-through funds from the U.S. Department of Education. IDEA Data & Research has received funding for 13 straight years. Read more…


July 2017

Dr. Darin Jones Receives close to $800,000 to Enhance Cancer Therapy

Dr. Darin Jones Dr. Darin Jones, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has received $795,683 over a five-year period from the National Institutes of Health for his project to enhance therapy for cancer patients. Working with Dr. John Tainer from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Jones is working on a way to target and kill cancer cells without reliance on hormonal receptors in the body. Read more…


Dr. Tansel Karabacak Receives $500,000 to Improve Low-Carbon Fuel Cells for Mass Transit

Dr. Tansel KarabacakDr. Tansel Karabacak, professor of physics and astronomy at UA Little Rock, has received $500,000 for a three-year project to research and develop unique high-performance fuel cells to improve the renewable energy infrastructure in the United States. The project is designed to assist the U.S. Department of Energy’s initiative to produce hydrogen and low-carbon fuel cells that are affordable, safe, and environmentally sound. Read more…


Arkansas Economic Development Institute Receives $10,000 to Assist in Pine Bluff Revitalization

The Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) at UA Little Rock has received $10,000 from the Simmons First Foundation to assist the City of Pine Bluff’s “Go Forward Pine Bluff” initiative. This initiative, led by Simmons First Foundation, aims to implement a blueprint to address the systemic problems and challenges in the city. The blueprint emphasizes four major areas: economic development, education, government and infrastructure, and quality of life. Read more…

Sequoyah National Research Center Receives Grant to Allow Public to Search Collections Online

The Sequoyah National Research Center (SNRC) at UA Little Rock has received $22,283 from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council to allow online access to their extensive collections. Currently, SNRC’s databases contain newspaper indices, tribal enrollment information, documents, and Native American obituaries. With this grant, SNRC will be able to consistently format all entries in their databases and implement a user-friendly search function on their website. Read more…

June 2017

Dr. Mengjun Xie Receives over $100,000 to Develop Virtual Cybersecurity Lab

Mengjun XieDr. Mengjun Xie of the UA Little Rock Department of Computer Science has received $124,537 from U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) for his project to develop a cloud-based virtual network security lab that will help students practice network and cyber defense skills. The project, called Networking and Network Security in the Cloud (NetSiC), will address issues related to cloud-based computing environments. In a cloud-based environment, information is stored on a remote server in an outside location, rather than locally on a piece of hardware. Read more…

UA Little Rock Survey Research Center Receives over $6,000 to assist Arkansas Literacy Councils

The UA Little Rock Survey Research Center (SRC) has received a $6,039 grant from Arkansas Literacy Councils to evaluate and capture data for the Arkansas Reads Program. This program, led by AmeriCorps members in community-based literacy councils around the state, provides one-on-one and group tutoring sessions to adult learners seeking Basic Literacy instruction. The program also provides services to adults seeking to learn English as a second language and recruits volunteer tutors to assist with these services. Read more…

UA Little Rock Biology Professor Receives $35,000 to help City of Little Rock with Mosquito Surveillance

Dr. Carl Stapleton, an Associate Professor of Biology and the Director of BS in Environmental Health Sciences Program at UA Little Rock, has received $35,000 to assist the City of Little Rock with its mosquito surveillance system for the 2017 mosquito season.  Dr. Stapleton will provide recommendations for mosquito trap locations, collect and identify mosquito species, collect samples from mosquito breeding areas, compile and analyze data, screen selected mosquito specimens for the presence of the West Nile Virus, and conduct educational tasks. Read more…

Ottenheimer Library Awarded $13,000 to Engage Community on the Hispanic Experience

The UA Little Rock Ottenheimer Library has received $13,000 from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) to participate in its Big Read Program. The NEA Big Read Program, in partnership with Arts Midwest, allows communities to engage in reading programs and events that broaden their understanding of the world and region. Read more…

College of EIT Wins $20,000 for 2017 National Summer Transportation Institute

Vernard Henley, Assistant Dean of the UA Little Rock College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT), has received $20,000 to host the 2017 National Summer Transportation Institute. The Institute is a two-week program designed to heighten interest in transportation careers for students living in rural and underserved regions of Arkansas and Memphis, TN. The Institute will run from June 18 to June 30, 2017. Read more…

April, 2017

Dr. Agarwal and collaborators are awarded a $7.5 million project to analyze online political groups

Dr. Nitin AgarwalDr. Nitin Agarwal, the Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair Professor of Information Science at UA Little Rock, is collaborating on a five-year, $7.5 million project recently awarded from the U.S.  Department of Defense (DoD)/Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The project is scheduled to start in September 2017. Dr. Agarwal, who was specifically awarded $676,955, is collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University, University of South Carolina, and University of Pittsburgh to assess and develop new research models to track online groups that have a political agenda and focus. Read more…


February 2017

Linda Barker Receives Five-Year Grant for Educational Opportunity Center in the Arkansas Delta Region

Linda Barker

Education is an important component for success that should be available to all persons regardless of socio-economic background. Linda Barker, Director of the TRIO Educational Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center Programs, has been awarded a five-year grant totaling $1,179,985 from the US Department of Education for a new Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) that will provide information and access to education and training programs for 1,000 people in a 12-county area in the Arkansas Delta. TRIO will receive $235,997 each year. Read more…


January 2017

UA Little Rock Biology Professor Wins Grant to Monitor Butterflies along the Jordan Road Track of the Terre Noire Natural Area

Dr. William H. BaltosserDr. William H. Baltosser, professor in the UA Little Rock Department of Biology, has received $7,434 from the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission to monitor Diana Fritillary and Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies following extensive vegetation thinning at the Jordan Road Track of the Terre Noire Natural Area in Clark County, Arkansas. Read more…



UA Little Rock Biology Student Wins Award to Research Cyanobacteria in Six Little Rock Lakes

Grace Rutter, a junior majoring in Biology at UA Little Rock, has been awarded $2,750 from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her project to study the dynamics of cyanobacteria in six recreational lakes in Little Rock. Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, is a type of nitrogen fixing bacteria that resides in water and other moist environments. This type of bacteria converts nitrogen gas from the air into a solid microorganism that is beneficial to plants. Read more…

Linda Barker Receives Two Grants to Fund Programs for Low-Income and First-Generation College Students in Pulaski and Jefferson Counties

Linda Barker, Director of the TRIO Educational Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center Programs, has received two grants from the US Department of Education’s Federal TRIO Program to help low-income and first-generation college students succeed in post-secondary education. The first grant, which serves 1,068 students in Pulaski and Jefferson counties for five years, totals $2,562,040. The second grant, which serves 500 students in north Pulaski County for five years, totals $1,199,995. Read more…


ASBTDC receives $200,000 to support programs for Arkansas small businesses

asbtdcThe Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at UA Little Rock is one of five small business and technology development centers in the nation selected to receive a $200,000 grant from the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to support programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses. Read more…


UA Little Rock Student Wins Award to Research Metabolic Pathways in Dancers

When we think about the study of dance, we often associate it strictly with the world of art, music, and rhythm. Because of this artistic emphasis, this type of study rarely incorporates the hard sciences such as biology and chemistry. Lelia Rosenkrans, an undergraduate majoring in Dance and minoring in Chemistry, is passionate about merging these two worlds together. She has been awarded $1,375 from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her study of the physiological relationships between metabolites (substances in our bodies that are formed by or required for metabolism) and dance fitness. She will be under the supervision of Professor Samantha Johnson from the UA Little Rock Department of Theatre and Dance. Read more…


UA Little Rock Student Wins Award to Research Pattern Recognition Classifiers for Prosthetic Hand Users

When it comes to prosthetic technology, scientists and engineers want to make these devices as natural and seamless as possible for the user, even down to the electrical signals that tell the devices how they should move. Shelby Wingate, a junior majoring in Systems Engineering at UA Little Rock, has received $2,750 from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her project to research pattern recognition classifiers that analyze electromyography (EMG) signals for hand motion intention. Read more…

UA Little Rock Student Wins Award to Transcribe Music of World-Renowned Arkansas Fiddle Player

Emily PhillipsEmily Phillips, a junior majoring in Anthropology and Spanish at UA Little Rock, has received $2,000 from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her project to transcribe the music and stylistic elements of “Fiddlin’ Banjo Billy Mathews.” Mathews, who has resided in Carroll County, Arkansas since 1975, is a world-renowned fiddle player known for his intricate and unique playing style. He has been performing for over 40 years and has greatly contributed to the American folk music catalog. Under the supervision of her mentor, Dr. Juliana Flinn of the UA Little Rock Department of Anthropology, Phillips will transcribe Mathews’ recordings and identify unique elements that highlight his signature style on paper. Read more…


UA Little Rock Student Wins Award to Improve Online Cloud Encryption and Security

As we continually conduct business online in a cloud-based environment for sensitive data such as tax returns, medical records, and databases, the need for advanced techniques to secure personal data becomes imperative. Jacob Bonfanti, a sophomore majoring in Computer Science at UA Little Rock, has won $2,750 from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct a project to provide a homomorphic encryption scheme for computing on encrypted data in cloud-based computing services. This is in addition to his mentor’s previously awarded SURF project in 2016.

Because fully homomorphic data encryption is not fully developed in cloud computing services, Bonfanti, with his mentor Dr. Chia-Chu Chiang from the UA Little Rock Department of Computer Science, wants to provide an encryption scheme that provides more security for this type of storage. Read more…

July 2016

NSF Grant Funds New Cyber Security Education Platform

EIT Assistant Professor Dr. Mengjun Xie photographed 9-21-2015

The $276,424 grant enables the team to develop PROMISE, a Platform for Competition and Education in Cyber Security. Led by Associate Professor of Computer Science Dr. Mengjun Xie, the researchers will create a cohesive system of free resources designed for multiple levels of cyber security learners. As a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity Education, UA Little Rock is well-equipped to launch the platform. Xie is joined by co-principal investigator Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe, Professor of Computer Science; Dr. Chia-Chu Chiang, Professor of Computer Science; Dr. Shucheng Yu, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; and Dr. Amy Sedivy-Benton, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education. Read more…

June 2016

Arts & Letters Radio Show Receives Funding for Another Season

Dr. J Bradley MinnickWhoever said radio’s dead has never listened to Dr. J. Bradley Minnick’s show Arts & Letters. Now on its third year, this innovative celebration of the humanities in Arkansas has just won a $9,000 grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council (AHC) to fund another year of programming. This is AHC’s second year in a row to sponsor Arts & Letters. Read more…


Agarwal Receives New Grant Funding for Cyber Campaign Research

Dr. Nitin Agarwal

UA Little Rock’s Dr. Nitin Agarwal is taking the social media research world by storm, fueled by the support of the university and external sponsors. The Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair Professor of Information Science just received a $186,692 grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to fund his exploration of cyber campaigns—his fourth major grant in the last academic year. Read more…

May 2016

Grant to Support Pollution Prevention Internships for UA Little Rock Students

Dr. Lashun Thomas

With the support of a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), four UA Little Rock students will have the opportunity to intern with a local industry partner this summer. The internships will focus on pollution prevention. The students will shadow and assist engineers, scientists, and other personnel at local participating industries, including North Little Rock’s L’Oréal USA manufacturing facility, Little Rock Wastewater, and Alcoa Inc. Read more…


CAHC Launches Multi-Part Political Cartoon Project

The UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC) has received a $10,424 grant award from the Arkansas Humanities Council to launch a multi-part project that focuses on the intersection of politics and cartoons in Arkansas, titled No Laughing Matter: Political Cartoons and the Arkansas Historical Perspective.  Read more…

Sequoyah Center to Archive Collection Focusing on Alaska Native Peoples

Jeanie GreeneThe UA Little Rock Sequoyah National Research Center (SNRC) will be processing and archiving a major new collection soon, thanks to a $24,000 grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC). Read more…

Center for Literacy to expand Reading Recovery Training

Reading Recovery Training

With the support of the Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA), the UA Little Rock Center for Literacy will soon be able to expand the reach of its Reading Recovery training program. The Center just received a $7,000 RRCNA grant that will fund the training of seven new reading recovery teachers in an underserved school. Read more…

$1.2M Grant Awarded to Interpreter Education Program


For nearly 40 years, UA Little Rock’s Interpreter Education program (IEP) has equipped teachers to serve the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind community. Now, thanks to an over $1 million five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), the program is launching a new campaign to train as many qualified applicants as possible. Read more…



EIT Receives ADE Grant to Fund Professional Development Program for Computer Science Educators

Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe

Thanks to an over $35,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), UA Little Rock will be providing a specialized professional development opportunity for teachers this summer. Led by Computer Science Professor Kenji Yoshigoe, the new program will focus on computer science content delivery for high school educators. Read more…



New grant to investigate cyber flash mobs

Nitin Agarwal Thanks to a new grant, Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair Professor of Information Science, is expanding his investigation of cyber flash mobs. The award—Dr. Agarwal’s third in the last six months—is funded by the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) under the Social and Cognitive Networks program within the Network Sciences division. It provides Dr. Agarwal with $82,338 for the first year of his project “Towards Predictive Modeling Deviant Cyber Flash Mobs: A Socio-Informatics Driven Hypergraph Framework.” Over the next three years, ARO is expected to contribute nearly $300,000 to this research. Read more…

April 2016

$12.5M DOE Grant to Fight Cybercrime

Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira

With a nearly $12.5 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE), UA Little Rock and four other universities are taking on cybercrime. Led by the University of Arkansas, the team, along with several industry partners, has launched the Secure Electric Energy Delivery Systems (SEEDS) Center, where they will develop cutting-edge technologies to help power delivery systems withstand cyber-attacks.

H. Alan Mantooth and Qinghua Li of the University of Arkansas are the principal investigators of the project, titled “An Interdisciplinary Approach to Integratable, Composable, and Evolvable Cybersecurity in Energy Delivery Systems.” The project received $12,226,504 from the DOE to fund five years of research. Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, Director of the Emerging Analytics Center (EAC), will lead the UA Little Rock portion of the project. As a subaward recipient, UA Little Rock is slated to receive $889,456 over the next five years. Read more…

March 2016

NIH Study Seeks to Improve Quality-of-Life Measure for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

In the U.S. alone, 30 million people over the age of 12 experience hearing loss in both ears ( To learn more about the needs and experiences of this population, UA Little Rock’s Dr. Samuel Atcherson, Associate Professor of Audiology, has partnered with Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Dr. David Cella of Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University to standardize and validate a self-report survey for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Read more…

UA Little Rock to Host STEM Leadership for Girls Conference

Thanks to a grant from the Arkansas STEM Coalition, UA Little Rock will soon host its first STEM Leadership for Girls conference. Scheduled for April 22, 2016, the conference will introduce upper high school and early college women from around the state to advanced STEM activities and career opportunities. Read more…

February 2016

Grant Funds EIT Summer Science Camp

Summer Science Camp

The Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT) will help propel Arkansas’ youth into successful STEM futures, thanks to a grant from The Harris Foundation and ExxonMobil. The $50,000 grant enables UA Little Rock to host a free two-week camp this summer for middle school students; it will be one of ten ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps taking place around the country.  This is EIT’s eighth consecutive year hosting the camp. Read more…



New Grant Will Benefit Law School’s Mediation Programs
Kelly Browe OlsonTiffany Kell

The Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission has awarded the Bowen School of Law a $10,000 grant to expand its services for Arkansas’s at-risk children and families. The grant provides funds for professional mediators to serve families throughout the state through the Arkansas Youth Mediation Program and Juvenile Mediation Mentorship Program. Kelly Browe Olson, Director of Clinical Programs at Bowen, and Tiffany Kell, Mediation Program Coordinator at Bowen, will lead the grant-funded efforts. The Arkansas Youth Mediation Program runs the Dependency/Neglect Mediation Project and provides Families in Need of Services (FINS) and Juvenile Delinquency Mediation to families and children facing a variety of behavioral, relational, and legal issues. Read more…

Grant to encourage STEM learning in AR elementary schools

The UA Little Rock STEM Center has been awarded a $6,150 grant from the Arkansas STEM Coalition to provide new science equipment for two elementary schools in Central Arkansas. Keith Harris, Science Instructional Specialist for the UA Little Rock STEM Center, will lead the efforts to integrate the equipment into select third through sixth grade classrooms. Stephens Elementary School in Little Rock and Pinewood Elementary School in Jacksonville will receive these learning tools and the professional development training that accompanies them, provided by Harris. Read more…

January 2016

Grant to help digitize historical segregation materials

Elizabeth Eckford and L.C. Bates sit on a bench outside of Little Rock Central High School, 1957

Historically significant Arkansas documents will be available and preserved together in digital formats for the first time, thanks to a $106,908 grant University of Arkansas at Little Rock researchers obtained.

The UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC) received the award to digitize materials related to the history of segregation and integration in Arkansas’ education system. Read more…

NIH Awards Over $1 Million Grant to Develop Robotic Device for Seniors

Dr. Cang Ye

NIH Logo

The number of senior citizens in America grows rapidly every day, with the total senior population expected to reach 88.5 million within the next 40 years. One team of researchers hopes to make these individuals’ lives easier and healthier, thanks to an over $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Cang Ye, UA Little Rock Professor of Systems Engineering, will be working as a subcontractor on the grant, which was awarded to the University of Alabama (UA) and will be led by UA’s Dr. Xiangrong Shen. In addition to Dr. Shen and Dr. Ye, Dr. Anne Halli-Tierney of UA, Dr. Lena Ting of Emory University, and Dr. Sanford Meek of the University of Utah will also serve as principal investigators on the project. Read more…

December 2015

Arkansas Department of Education Funds UA Little Rock K-4 Professional Development Project
A team of UA Little Rock professors has just received a $146,812 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to support their training of Central Arkansas teachers. Led by Dr. Gail Hughes, Professor of Educational Leadership, the team will provide professional development sessions in science instruction for K–4 teachers from Bale, Booker Arts Magnet, and Pulaski Heights Elementary Schools, as well as Pulaski Academy and Little Rock Christian Academy. Read more…

UA Little Rock Health Services Partners with the Arkansas Department of Health to Celebrate World AIDS Day


On December 1, the UA Little Rock Office of Health Services partnered with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to celebrate World AIDS Day with the campus community. Marie Sandusky, Director of UA Little Rock Health Services, led the committee that planned this day-long celebration featuring educational opportunities, free HIV testing, presentations, and commemorative events. Read more…

Center for Arkansas History and Culture Receives Grant for New Workshops

The UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC) has been awarded by the Arkansas Community Foundation’s Bridge Fund Endowment to design and lead a new interactive workshop, “Teaching a Web of Arkansas History.” The project will be developed by CAHC Associate Provost Deborah Baldwin, Assistant Director Kimberly Kaczenski, Director of Technology Chad Garrett, and Archivist Shannon Lausch. Read more…

Dr. Ryan Fuller Helps Organizations Prepare for Crises

From fires to fraud, all organizations face internal and public crises, and their responses to these events can shape their corporate identity for years. Dr. Ryan Fuller, UA Little Rock Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, is helping organizations better prepare for crisis communication before devastating events occur. Read more…

ONR Awards Dr. Nitin Agarwal New Social Media Research Grant

Nitin Agarwal

With a new grant from the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR), Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair Professor of Information Science, continues to establish himself as a leader in social media research. Read more…

November 2015

Dr. Nitin Agarwal Receives Grant for Social Media Research
From terroristic propaganda to political activism, many diverse causes and voices now use social media as their major public platform. As a result, the way in which groups release, spread, and popularize information online is both fascinating and culturally significant. UA Little Rock’s Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Chair Professor of Information Science, has been awarded a grant in collaboration with Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) to support his research into this subject. Read more…

CPB Awards Grant to Four Arkansas Public Radio Stations to Form News Collaboration
KUAR’s Ben Fry to Coordinate Natural State News.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Nov. 16, 2015) — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has awarded a $278,300 grant to a group of four radio stations in Arkansas, coordinated by KLRE/KUAR General Manager Ben Fry, to support the establishment of a statewide journalism collaboration. UA Little Rock’s public radio station KUAR will be the lead station for the project, joined by Fayetteville’s KUAF, Jonesboro’s KASU, and Texarkana’s KTXK. Together, these stations will form Natural State News (NSN), which will create and distribute multimedia content relevant to the interests and needs of Arkansans, particularly those in rural areas. Read more…

October 2015

Sequoyah National Research Center Hosts “Native Americans in America’s Wars” Event

SNRC logo

While November is National Native American Heritage month, the related events often don’t do justice to the true significance of Native Americans in U.S. culture. To counter this shortcoming, the Sequoyah National Research Center (SNRC) has just been awarded a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to support their upcoming “Native Americans in America’s Wars” event. The event, a collaboration with the Arkansas History Commission (AHC) led by SNRC director Dr. Daniel Littlefield, aims to educate attendees about the crucial role of Native Americans in defending America since the Revolutionary War. Read more…

Dr. Mengjun Xie and UAMS Team Use FitBits to Conduct Asthma Research


Dr. Mengjun Xie, UA Little Rock Assistant Professor of Computer Science, is serving as a co-investigator on a UAMS research study that recently received a 2015 TRI Pilot Award from the UAMS Translational Research Institute. The project, entitled “Exploring the Effects of Sleep Patterns and Physical Activity on Asthma in Adolescents with Wrist-Work Smart Devices,” is led by Dr. Tamara Perry of UAMS; Drs. Jiang Bian and Yi Guo of the University of Florida are also collaborating on it. Read more…

September 2015

Dr. Alexandru Biris to Conduct Breast Cancer Research

Dr. Alex Biris

For nearly 20 years, the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program (ABCRP) has promoted innovative research work in breast cancer factors, prevention, detection, and treatment. This fall, ABCRP will support Dr. Alexandru Biris, chief scientist and director of the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences, in launching his research project “Tunable Plasmonic Nanostructures for the Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer.” Dr. Biris has received a $75,000 grant from ABCRP and UAMS to support the project, which will investigate the use of nanostructures to pinpoint and possibly destroy individual breast cancer cells. Read more…

Dr. Cang Ye Receives NIH Grant to Develop Wearable Robotic Device for the Blind

Dr. Cang Ye

NIH Logo

According to the American Foundation for the Blind, around 25 million Americans live with significant vision loss. Dr. Cang Ye, a professor in the department of Systems Engineering, aims to make these individuals’ lives easier with the results of his upcoming research, funded by a nearly $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The $820,263, three-year grant will enable Dr. Ye, his team of postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students, and his research collaborator Dr. Yantao Shen at the University of Nevada, Reno to develop a Wearable Robotic Object Manipulation Aid (W-ROMA) for the visually impaired. Equipped with a camera, the device detects objects that the wearer needs to move or use, then guides him or her to take hold of them. Read more…

Dr. Tony Hall and Dr. Gail Hughes to Launch UALRTeach Noyce Teacher Scholarship

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With a new grant from the National Science Foundation, UA Little Rock scholars will be able to make a major impact on early STEM education in Arkansas. The over $1 million grant supports the UALRTeach Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which is a collaboration between UA Little Rock, Henderson Middle School, UA Little Rock Children International, and the Museum of Discovery. The program will take a multi-pronged approach to tackling Arkansas’s shortage of science and mathematics teachers, particularly in high-need schools. Led by Dr. Tony Hall and Dr. Gail Hughes, the program will benefit current and future STEM teachers, current and future middle school students, and research in the area of STEM teacher education. Read more…

June 2015

Dr. Mary Yang Receives NIH Grant to Study the Relationship Between Genes and Cancer

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Dr. Mary Yang, associate professor and director of UA Little Rock-UAMS joint bioinformatics program, has been awarded a $373,520 grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to launch her research project investigating the relationship between genes and the development of cancer. The project, which focuses on developing and utilizing computational methods by which the genetic mutations that cause cancer can be observed and tracked, could be instrumental in improving cancer diagnoses and treatments. Read more…

December 2014

Dr. Alexandru Biris Named one of Five Inaugural ARA Fellows

Dr. Alex Biris

Congratulations to Dr. Alex Biris, Director/Chief Scientist of the UA Little Rock Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Services! The Arkansas Research Alliance has selected Dr. Biris as one of five inaugural fellows in its newly-formed fellowship program.

Dr. Biris is conducting research on the science of nanostructures that can be used to alter properties of substances at the atomic level. As a new fellow, he will receive a three-year, $75,000 grant in support of his projects. Learn more about the ARA fellows.

Dr. Hanan Mahdi

Ground Penetration Radar

Dr. Hanan Mahdi

Hanan Mahdi, Associate Professor of Research in the UA Little Rock Graduate Institute of Technology and the Arkansas Earthquake Center, has received a $286,341 grant from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) to investigate Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) system configurations that will most effectively assist the AHTD in state highway maintenance and management.

“According to the highway administration, it is highly probable that unknown utilities will be encountered when construction begins, resulting in possible project delays and cost overruns,” Mahdi said. “To avoid these delays, the planning and early design phases should include site characterizations of subsurface utilities. While not all utilities are detectable, utility-locating surveys will significantly reduce the uncertainty typically associated with these projects.”

During the two-year grant period, Mahdi and her co-principal investigator Amin Akhnoukh, associate professor of construction management in the UA Little Rock College of Engineering and Technology, will assess various GPR configurations. Based on their research, they will give AHTD their recommendation for the most efficient system to purchase.

“The use of a specifically-designed GPR configuration will help AHTD in different projects, such as detecting the location and depth of underground utilities to avoid any destruction of water pipes, gas pipes, drainage systems, electric cables, and sub-pavement cavities,” said Mahdi. “Additional advantages of this project include the investigation of any archeological sites or unmarked graves that AHTD may encounter during the work.”

Mahdi and Akhnoukh will also train AHTD personnel on the use of the new system during field investigations and through workshops. “We’re looking forward to working with AHTD to accomplish the project tasks to benefit the state with these important needs,” Mahdi said.

September 2014

Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe
MRI: Acquisition of Peta-scale Data Storage System for Big Data Exploration in STEM Fields

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Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe, associate professor and chair in the Department of Computer Science, has received a $291,908 grant from the National Science Foundation. This is a prestigious and competitive three-year grant is for deployment of a high performance peta-scale storage system, which will be a first at this scale for higher education and research in Arkansas.

This acquisition will expand the ability of the high-performance computing (HPC) systems already available at the UA Little Rock Computational Research Center (CRC) for conducting cutting-edge big data research and promote STEM education in Arkansas.

Dr. Yoshigoe and his collaborators are particularly interested in exploring large-scale medical image analysis, complex social network analyses, large-scale entity resolution, and protein structure prediction. However, the requested instrument can impact on research, training, and teaching beyond the proposed research projects. The acquiring system will facilitate a wide range of big data research projects throughout Arkansas including the computational chemistry group and the UA Little Rock-UAMS joint bioinformatics program, and open to all UA Little Rock researchers and their collaborators. It can also be integrated to the visualization equipment array for the new Emerging Analytic Center.

February 2014

Dr. Mengjun Xie and Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe
REU Site: CyberSAFE@UALR: Cyber Security and Forensics Research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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This prestigious and competitive three-year grant from the National Science Foundation establishes a new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, which is also the first REU Site hosted by UA Little Rock. Undergraduate students recruited from all over the country will participate in summer research focused on the integration of fundamental security and forensics research with the latest technical advances in mobile computing, cloud computing, and social networks. The research is led by an experienced faculty team that plans to offer a balance of theory, applications, and practical skills as well as mentoring and professional development opportunities for the students.

The intellectual merit of this project lies in strong research basis and the expertise of the faculty. The projects are in research areas that are current and address national priorities. The site will leverage its National Security Agency designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and NSF funded Cloud Computing Research Instrument and Computational Research Center to enhance and enrich participants’ competitive research experiences. The undergraduate student participants will gain a broad and unified picture of the significance of security and forensics through interactions with university professors, professionals, and researchers in forensics labs, practitioners in the IT industry, and security officers in military service. The research has the potential to contribute to the research core of the emerging field of cyber security.

September 2013

Dr. Cang Ye
NRI: Small: A Co-Robotic Navigation Aid for the Visually Impaired

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The objective of the proposed research is to develop enabling technology for a co-robotic navigation aid called a Co-Robotic Cane (CRC). The CRC is able to collaborate with its user via intuitive human-device interaction mechanisms in achieving effective navigation in 3D environments. The CRC’s navigational functions include position estimation of the device, wayfinding, obstacle detection, and objet recognition. The use of the CRC will help to improve the independent mobility of the visually impaired and, therefore, improve their quality of life. The project team will develop new computer vision methods that support accurate blind navigation in 3D environments and intuitive human-device interaction interfaces for effective use of device. These methods include: (1) a new robotic pose estimation method that provides accurate device pose estimate by integrating egomotion estimation and visual feature tracking; (2) a pattern recognition method that may recognize indoor structures and objects for wayfinding and obstacle manipulation/avoidance; (3) an innovative mechanism for intuitive conveying of the desired travel direction; and (4) a Human Intent Detection interface for automatic device mode switching. The proposed blind navigation solution can be encapsulated in a miniaturized system and installed on a conventional white cane and enhance its functionality. The resulted CRC will provide advanced navigational functions that are currently unavailable in the existing blind navigation aids.

Dr. Shucheng Yu
MRI: Acquisition of a Cloud Computing Infrastructure for Research and Education

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This is a prestigious and competitive 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation for deployment of the first cloud computing instrument in the state of Arkansas for research and education. The awarded instrument, after its installation, will have more than 1000GB RAM and over 100TB storage. Theoretically, the cloud can run over 400 simultaneous virtual machine instances (each with 4GB memory) and is ideal for large-scale parallel tasks in the era of big data.With the awarded cloud instrument, PI Dr. Shucheng Yu and the Co-PIs, all from the Computer Science Department at UA Little Rock, will carry out various cutting-edge research projects, spanning areas of social networks, cloud computing security, cryptography, biomedical computing, and data stream analysis. The cloud will be made accessible to the community of UA Little Rock and researchers from other universities in the state of Arkansas. This grant also aims to provide unique experiences with cloud techniques to students at UA Little Rock.

Dr. Hirak Patangia
SBIR: Hands-free Silent Tactile Obstacle Avoidance System for Blind Travelers.

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Congratulations to Dr. Hirak Patangia of the UA Little Rock Engineering Technology department. He received a subaward from Fauxsee Innovations through the National Science Foundation for the proposal entitled SBIR: Hands-free Silent Tactile Obstacle Avoidance System for Blind Travelers. With this funding, Dr. Patangia will be able to hire two undergraduate students and one graduate student for the Fall semester.Fauxsee Innovation“proposes to design, develop, evaluate, and specify an ultrasonic blind mobility assistance device[called] ‘Roboglasses™’ that will provide a more effective, affordable, lightweight and intelligent navigation assistant for vision-impaired people.”  Dr. Patangia and his team of students will contribute to this project by providing design assistance, design testing and evaluation, instrumentation, and system simulation.

*This page does not provide a comprehensive list of all awards and only provides a list of awards approved for publication. Please contact us if you would like to announce your award on this page.


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