Today@Sam Article

SHSU Achieves Record Breaking Year In USDA Grant Funding

May 5, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

invasive cloverSeveral Sam Houston State University researchers received grants totaling more than $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service through its Plant Protection Act (Section 7721).

This new cycle of 2021 awards represent continued federal grant funding success for the university, which has seen a steady increase in USDA awards in recent years. In 2019, USDA grants to SHSU totaled $352,207. By 2020, that sum almost doubled to $633,366.

SHSU Associate Vice President of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Chad Hargrave, along with his team, help faculty submit grants to external sponsors and promote all aspects of research.

“We believe strongly that funded research helps the university meet its broader mission of providing a quality education through experiential learning and promoting student success. Ultimately, our goal is not just to submit grants successfully for faculty, but to help faculty be more engaged in the funding process, which results in more proposals and hopefully more funding dollars coming into the university,” Hargrave said.

SHSU 2021 USDA APHIS-PPA Grant Award recipients and projects:

  • Jeremy Bechelli, Department of Biological Sciences
    • Continued Screening of Novel Antibacterial Producing Soil Isolates as Bio-control Agents Against Rice Pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryze and X. oryzae pv. oryzicola
  • Richard Ford, Department of Agricultural Sciences
    • Statewide Agricultural Biosecurity Curriculum Development and Implementation for Texas High Schools
  • Kylee Kleiner, Academic Affairs (ORSP) – Invertebrate Research Laboratory
    • Texas Field Survey for Corn and Small Grain Priority Pests
  • Junkun Ma, Department of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology
    • Enhancement of a Handheld Infrared Thermography-Minirhizotron Device for Nondestructive Rapid Detection of Cyst Nematodes
  • Ashley Morgan, Academic Affairs (ORSP) – Texas Invasive Species
    • Texas Exotic Wood Boring Beetle Survey
    • Citrus Greening Educational, Outreach and Management Program in the Gulf Coastal Counties of Texas
  • Chris Randle, Department of Biological Sciences
    • Predictive Modeling of Texas Crop Pests and Pathogens Expanded: Niche and Climex Models
    • Predictive Modeling of Molluscan Agricultural Pests to Assess Probability of Invasion
  • Mahdi Safa, Department of Engineering Technology
    • New Multisensory Data Fusion Model for Pest Inspection in Maritime and Port Industry
  • Autumn Smith-Herron, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
    • Texas Soil Nematode Survey

According to Hargrave, many research projects at SHSU include opportunities for students to get paid to work in research. In 2019, SHSU students earned a total of $1.2 million in research assistantships (15 percent of all research expenditures).

“Most of our students work jobs today. College is so expensive, and many have to work. Typically, these research assistantships pay pretty well,” Hargrave said. “If a student can do research and get paid for it versus waiting tables at a restaurant or something like that, you are giving them an opportunity to actually engage in education for a job.”

Upcoming faculty workshop

For SHSU faculty members interested in learning more about USDA grant opportunities, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will host a USDA APHIS PPA workshop on June 2 from 10 a.m. to noon, and June 3 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both events will be presented via Zoom.  For details contact Clayton Cottle at .



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