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Current Projects


National Science Foundation

Collaborative Research: Impacts of Prior Work Experience on Adult, Non-traditional, Engineering Students

Project PI: Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Mechanical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering

The proposed project aims to support the persistence of non-traditional engineering students by examining the impact of prior engineering-related work on engineering identity and approach to engineering study. By applying the theoretical framework of multiple identities, this work will collect and analyze qualitative data from traditional and non-traditional engineering undergraduate students at three diverse institutes of higher education: a large public university, a small private university, and a community college, as well as survey data from these institutions and more. This work will illuminate the development of professional identity and its impacts on motivation and persistence for non-traditional engineering students with prior engineering work experience.


A Scholarship Program to Increase Retention in Engineering (ASPIRE): Improving Work-Study-Life Balance

Project PIs: Jean Nocito-Gobel and Maria-Isabel Carnasciali,  Mechanical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering,Tagliatela College of Engineering; Christopher Martinez, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Read More (Update)

The goal of this project is to improve student retention, particularly in the sophomore and junior years, for engineering students who show academic potential but are at risk of not completing their studies due to financial concerns and/or life-work-study balance issues. This will be accomplished by: providing scholarships for sophomore and junior level matriculated students based on both financial need and merit; recruiting and providing scholarships to community college transfer students; providing support services including peer tutors, conferences, lectures, presentations, and career planning; and increasing student engagement in college- and university-wide activities that contribute to persistence.


Department of Education 

Global Classrooms and Cultural Connections for the 21st Century:
Morocco's Bountiful Perspectives 

Project PIs:  Halima Belemlih, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences; Khadija Al Arkoubi, Business Management, College of Business; Donna Leake, Education, College of Arts and Sciences 
Read More

Historically and culturally Morocco is and has been at the intersection of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  The University of New Haven (UNH) will provide an opportunity for K-12 educators in Connecticut and pre-service teachers in the UNH graduate education program to participate in a four-week study abroad program in Morocco. The program is divided into three stages.  1) The pre-orientation program includes: Formal and Moroccan Arabic language instruction; on-site lectures; guided readings and dialogue with other participants.  2) An intensive four-week study abroad component including: 40 contact-hours of Formal and Colloquial Moroccan Arabic study; lectures and seminars that cover a broad range of historical and contemporary issues such as politics, religious diversity, multiculturalism, gender, cultural geography, global economies; and K-12 educational policies and practices.  Classroom learning will be supplemented by visits to important sites in Rabat, Casablanca, Tangiers, and other locations and home stays. Participants will engage in dialogues with their Moroccan K-12 counterparts.  3) During the post study abroad program participants will complete important products that have four levels of sustainability: student instruction, professional service, community outreach, and global partnerships. A comprehensive evaluation plan, including assessments at every stage of the project, ensures that the goals of the project are achieved and also will assist in project sustainability beyond the term of the grant.

Department of Justice

The Effects of Increased Prescribing of Psychotropic Drugs to children and adolescents on Trends in Juvenile Delinquency and Violence: Empirical Analysis Using State-Level Panel Data

Project PI: Maria Tcherni, Criminal Justice, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences

The proposed research project intends to test a novel possible explanation for the Great American Crime Decline of the 1990s and 2000s: the increasing rates at which psychotropic drugs are prescribed, especially to children and adolescents. Since children growing up in poverty are more likely to engage in violence, the increasing prescribing of psychotropic drugs to this group is hypothesized to lead to decreases in youth-perpetrated violence. Dr. Maria Tcherni at the University of New Haven proposes to test these hypotheses using a state-level panel data set including yearly measures (1990-2013) of the following: juvenile delinquency and violence, psychotropic drug prescribing to children and adolescents, and relevant control variables associated with these two sets of measures at the state level. Fixed effects panel data analyses will be performed to estimate the relevant models. 


Enhancing Community Policing Through Community Mediation: An evaluation of its cost and effectiveness

Project PIs: Christopher Sedelmaier, John DeCarlo and Michael Jenkins, Criminal Justice, Henry C Lee College

This project seeks to establish the value of the use of mediation strategies toward reducing the burden on the criminal justice system and improving the effectiveness of police in their community-policing mission. The use of mediators allows police to make maximal use of reduced sworn staffing and comports with the central tenets of cutback management. Although police have been making referrals to community mediators for a number of years in an attempt to address quality of life complaints, there has been little research or documentation on the effectiveness of such an approach, its cost benefits and impact on police resources. Anecdotal reports from the field support this approach but more empirical evidence is needed to increase the practice and funding of such efforts.


A Clinical Model of Educating Police Executives for Sustainable Change

Project PIs: John DeCarlo, Michael Jenkins and Christopher Sedelmaier, Criminal Justice, Henry C Lee College
Read More

The University of New Haven (UNH) proposes to develop a model regional Community-Oriented Policing (COP) executive-level academy (clinic) that uses a nascent pedagogical model combining clinical, context based education and concepts from knowledge management. These educational concepts will be used to develop a hybridized, prototypical curriculum and learning environment to build a base of educated police leaders who are capable of partnering with research organizations and competent in evaluating the need and practical application of COP research to practice.


Connecticut Small Business Innovative Research
in collaboration with Anchor Science LLC

Material Characterization Research on a Novel Thermal Interface Material (TIM)

Project PI: Saion Sinha, Department of Math and Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science, College of Arts and Sciences & Tagliatela College of Engineering

Thermal Interface Material (TIM), developed by research partner/collaborator Anchor Science LLC, has exhibited outstanding thermal properties when compared to the competing available materials. This research project is anticipated to provide a better understanding of the reason leading to the TIM exhibiting such unique thermal properties.


Connecticut health and educational facilities authority

State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management

Project Longevity UNH

Project PIs: Mario Thomas Gaboury, Christopher M. Sedelmaier, John DeCarlo, Michael Jenkins, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences
Read More: 11/16/13,
Press: 2/22/14, 2/9/13

Building on Boston’s 1996 Operation CeaseFire strategy, in July 2012, the University of New Haven police research team and Yale University began working with the New Haven Police Department, the US Attorney’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and the offices of probation and parole to implement a plan to reduce gun violence, Project Longevity.  Project Longevity focuses the efforts of all levels of law enforcement agencies, service providers and community groups on the most violence-prone offenders in the city. It acknowledges the group-nature of violent offending by “calling-in” those people who are most likely to perpetrate or to be victims of gun violence. During this “call-in”, representatives from the above-listed agencies deliver a message that the violence must stop. Community members and service providers then offer immediate and direct opportunities to promote pro-social behaviors to any of those in attendance. By delivering this “carrot-and-stick” to the key violence-prone players in the community, the strategy influences the influential. The message spreads, and the violence rests.


State of Connecticut justice assistance grants

State of Connecticut Department Of Energy and Environmental Protection

The Long Island Sound Mapping and Research Collaborative (LISMARC)

PI: Roman Zajac, Biology & Environmental Science, College of Arts & Sciences

In June 2004, a settlement fund was created for the purpose of mapping the benthic
environment of Long Island Sound (LIS) to identify areas of special resource concern, as
well as areas that may be more suitable for the placement of energy and other
infrastructure. This activity shall assist managers in the State of Connecticut, the State of
New York, Connecticut and New York Sea Grant, and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (USEPA) meet their mandates to preserve and protect coastal and estuarine
environments and water quality of Long Island Sound, while balancing competing human
and energy needs with protection and restoration of essential ecological function and


Davis Education Foundation

Kern Family Foundation

Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education 

Project PIs: Jean Nocito-Gobel and Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Mechanical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering , Tagliatela College of Engineering

Model for Keen Institutional Integration with Emphasis on the Second Year Experience (SYE)

Project PIs: Amy Thompson, Industrial, System & Multidisciplinary Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering and Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Mechanical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering

New England Integrating Curricula with Entrepreneurial Content (ICE) Workshop

Project PIs: Maria-Isabel Carnasciali and Jean Nocito-Gobel, Mechanical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering Tagliatela College of Engineering