Launch Awards Program Recipients 2019

The DRN-LAP is intended for faculty of color and diversity scholars at MSU. The award supports scholars in launching new research through pilot study, creative projects of scholarly merit or the enhancement of a measure or technique. Work that benefits diverse scholars or populations will be prioritized. Collaborations across departments or colleges are also of high priority. 

Learn more about the Launch Awards Program


2019-20 Recipients 

Young Anna Argyris, Ph.D
Communication Arts and Sciences

Project: Dr. Instagram Is a Liar: Underserved women's reliance on social media for image sharing and low rates of receiving Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)
"Anti-Vaccination content on Social Media (AVSM) causes serve harm to underserved populations due to their reliance on mobile phones and social determinants of health. This study's goal is to identify empirical associations between underserved populations’ reliance on social media sites for image-sharing and their low HPV vaccination rates."

Soma Chaudhuri, Ph.D

Project: Smart Phones, Apps, and the Fight to End Violence Against Women>
"One of the biggest threats women face in the developing world both in their private world and
outside is violence. Research has shown that violence against women is an outcome of the structural disadvantage(Jacobson 2014; Chaudhuri, Morash, Yingling 2014). This study will focuse on how mobile technology can help the fight against domestic violence, and work towards ending gender inequality."

Higinio Dominguez, Ph.D

Project: Mobilizing Excellence in Teaching Mathematics with Diverse Learners
"My research in classrooms that school districts label as “at risk” shows that when teachers of diverse students learn to mobilize resources for learning, they simultaneously mobilize the mathematical concepts they study with their students. The purpose of this study is to document the process of mobilizing resources."

Emine Evered, Ph.D

Project: American Influences on Turkish Prohibition of Alcohol (1833s-1930s)
"The history of Turkish-American relations during the Cold War has fascinated many historians as the
U.S. worked with both Turkey and Greece (and eventually Iran) through the Truman Doctrine. I anticipate learning more about the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey in the post-WWI context to shed light on rising American hegemony in the post-WWI world."

Tama Hamilton-Wray, Ph.D
Residential College in Arts and Humanities

Project: The 'Eclipse' Film Development/Pre-Production Research Project
"The 'Eclipse' film, which takes place during the mid-1960s, concerns the way in which a close-knit Black community, situated in a small Ohio town, responds to racial injustice. The film development/pre-production research project is necessary for understanding the complexities and nuances of the small town Great Migration community."

Sudha Sankar, Ph.D

Project: Sexual Socialization of Girls in South Asian Families; South Asian Mother's Perspectives
"The myth that South Asian adolescents delay premarital sexual debut and engage in lower rates of sexual intercourse in adolescence compared to their Euro-American, African-American and Hispanic-American counterparts, has led to this population being overlooked in the area of sexual violence. This project aims to exploring South Asian mothers’ experiences and struggles with parenting, particularly focusing on communication regarding sexuality with daughters."

Philip Warsaw, Ph.D
Community Sustainability

Project: Equity or Gentrification? Social and Environmental Impacts of Urban Agriculture as a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy
"Urban agriculture (UA) has become a growing development trend in the transitioning urban landscapes of the post-industrial Midwest and impacts social and health benefits. This project will study UA as a green development strategy by investigating the multiple impacts of urban agriculture in Lansing, MI through the growth and management of Ingham County Land Bank (ICLB) urban garden program."

Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D

Project: The Documented- Oral Histories from Spartan Students
"The Documented” is a series of in-depth interviews with Michigan State University students impacted in the last couple years by immigration policies. This oral history project brings a human face, Spartan faces, to the ongoing federal, state and local issues that involve immigration.

Ning Hsieh, Ph.D

Project: Underutilization of Healthcare and Barriers to Care among LGBTQ People of Color
Despite recent legislative progress in LGBTQ rights in the U.S., research in the past two decades consistently demonstrates how sexual minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer individuals, have poorer health outcomes than their heterosexual counterparts. This study will answer the question, "What are the experiences of LGBTQ people of color in healthcare, and how are they different from those of their white LGBTQ counterparts?"

Janani Ravi, Ph.D
Veterinary Medicine

Project: A computational approach to repurpose drugs to fight infectious disease
This project was designed to develop computational approaches to repurpose existing drugs on a large-scale to combat infectious diseases. The aim is to develop a computational approach to repurpose
existing FDA-approved drugs towards the host -directed intervention of infectious diseases
such as tuberculosis.