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Osher Institute Awards $15,000 in Grants for Faculty Research

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State University has awarded $15,000 to fund three faculty research projects. The 2019 Osher Faculty Grant recipients and their projects were selected from a wide variety of applications from tenured and tenure-track faculty across disciplines. Over the past eight years, the Osher Institute has awarded more than $115,000 in grants to Boise State faculty.

Established in 2011 by the Osher Institute Advisory Board, the Osher Faculty Grant supports Boise State faculty and raises awareness of the Osher Institute within the university. Annual member contributions to the Osher Institute’s Excellence Fund make the grant possible. The 2019 recipients are:

Bhaskar Chittoori, Department of Civil Engineering

Bhaskar Chittoori Portrait
Bhaskar Chittoori

Chittoori’s project aims at applying environmentally-friendly biological processes to minimize volume changes (heaving and shrinking) in expansive soils. Expansive soils expand (heave) when they get water and contract (shrink) upon water loss, causing billions of dollars of damage each year to transportation infrastructure across the country. Over the years, various methods have been developed but are either expensive, ineffective or not environmentally friendly, leaving engineers to continue to search for sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to stabilize these soils. One innovative approach is called microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP), which stimulates bacteria to precipitate calcite and strengthen the soil. This study applies MICP to expansive clayey soils to mitigate swelling and improve soil strength.

Leslie Kendrick, Department of Radiologic Sciences

Leslie Kendrick, Radiologic Services, faculty/staff, studio portrait, photo by Priscilla Grover
Leslie Kendrick

Kendrick’s project aims to identify a new method of measuring athletes’ post-concussive time to recovery and to identify if blood biomarkers could aid patients, physicians, coaches and families in recognizing and predicting post-concussive healing. This research specifically aims to compare the time of post-concussive symptom resolution – defined for this study as a return to work, learn and play – with blood biomarker levels in young athletes over the course of the study.

Alessandro Meregaglia, Albertsons Library

Alessandro Meregaglia, Library, faculty/staff, studio portrait, Photo by Priscilla Grover
Alessandro Meregaglia

Meregaglia’s project will study the history of Caxton Printers, Ltd., their longtime director, James H. Gipson, and the firm’s contribution to the development of regional publishing in Idaho and the American West. This research will result in a book written for those who study book publishing history but also will be accessible by a general audience and will be particularly relevant to Idahoans interested in the history of their state.

The Osher Institute is a membership-based, lifelong-learning program for intellectually curious adults age 50 and older. It is run through the Division of Extended Studies and offers a variety of college-level, noncredit lectures, short courses and special events.

Learn more on the Osher Institute site.