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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.


MRI: Acquisition of an X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) System

Project PIs: Nancy Savage, Saion Sinha, Kagya Amoako, Emese Hadnagy, Dequan Xiao

The University of New Haven requested funds for the acquisition of an X-Ray diffractometer (XRD) which includes capabilities for X-ray reflection and small angle X-ray scattering measurements (SAXS). The XRD will be used for faculty research programs and undergraduate and graduate student research training. Both faculty and students in the Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Forensic Science, and Environmental Science programs will use this equipment.


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
With Fulbright grant, Meriden teacher hopes to develop ‘culturally responsive’ curriculum
Global Classrooms and Cultural Connections for the 21st Century Learners: Morocco’s Bountiful
Program Overview
Project Website (Developed by a Fulbright project participant.) 

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, Criminal Justice and Donna Morris, School of Public Service, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences

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: James Isenberg, David Lambert, and Christopher Sedelmaier, Criminal Justice, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences
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.


Impact of Forensic Evidence on Arrest and Prosecution

Project PI: David A. Schroeder, Criminal Justice, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences

In September of 2010 the NIJ published The Role and Impact of Forensic Evidence in the Criminal Justice System, a report chronicling a study conducted by Peterson, Sommers, Baskin, and Johnson (2010). This proposed research is centrally focused on eight of the ten research recommendations made in the Peterson, et al (2010) report.  The goal of the proposed research is to further our understanding of how the presence of forensic evidence relates to case clearance and conviction. As with Peterson, et al. (2010), this research has four research objectives: 1) estimate the percentage of cases in which crime scene evidence is collected; 2) discover what kinds of forensic evidence are being collected; 3) track such evidence through the criminal justice system; and 4) identify which forms of forensic evidence are most efficacious given the crime investigated.


UNH Campus Program to Reduce Violence Against Women

Project PIs: Leila B. Dutton and Fadia M. Narchet, Criminal Justice, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences

The goal of the project is to reduce sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking on the UNH campus. In order to accomplish this, the following objectives were developed: 1) Develop and implement mandatory education for all incoming first year students; 2) Establish the Committee on Violence Prevention and Intervention (CVPI) to review campus policies and procedures related to violence against women (VAW); 3) Increase campus awareness of VAW; 4) Increase support and services for victims, and; 5) Train Peer Educators, key campus personnel, Campus Police, and West Haven Police Department detectives on sexual assaults, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.


Department of Homeland Security

Design and Development of the Artifact Genome Project (AGP)

Project PIs: Ibrahim (Abe) Baggili, Frank Breitinger, and Ted Markowitz, Electrical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Tagliatela College of Engineering

The output from this proposed project would allow UNH the ability to create the digital forensic artifact database we term AGP. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first scientific project to attempt to create a comprehensive database of digital forensic artifacts. This database is important because it will help future investigators quickly identify digital forensic artifacts that may end up becoming digital evidence. AGP can be queried for informational reasons, but can also be integrated into digital forensic tools. If integrated into tools, it can help automate the process of recovering low-hanging-fruit artifacts in a timely manner, providing the tools and examiners with pre-raid knowledge for artifact identification and analysis.


National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, SURF Program

NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

PI: Nancy Ortins Savage, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering

The NIST is one of the nation’s premiere research institutions for the physical and engineering sciences. The NIST SURF program provides undergraduate students a unique opportunity to spend the summer assisting on research projects that directly correlate with their fields of study.



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 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 habitats.


CT Humanities Council Quick Grant

The Creative Genius of Thomas Edison

Project PIs: Judy Randi, Education, College of Arts & Sciences; David Sloane, English, College of Arts & Sciences

Interactive university-community forum featuring recognized scholars, David Edison Sloane, on Edison and Invention, and Jim DeCesare, on Creativity in the Digital Age. Presenters will engage the audience in discussion of the qualities that made Edison a creative genius, innovator, and entrepreneur. Participants will explore what it means to be creative in the Digital Age.

2015 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant

SING: Science Induction for the Next Generation

Project PIs: Cindy Kern, Education, College of Arts & Sciences; Amanda Bozack, Education, College of Arts & Sciences; Rosemary Whelan, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

More information can be found about this grant here.


Davis Education Foundation

University of New Haven- Tagliatela College of Engineering Project to Integrate Technical Communication Habits (PITCH)

PI(s): Ronald Harichandran, Dean, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Jean Nocito-Gobel, Mechanical/Civil Engineering; Michael Collura, Chemical Engineering; Amy Thompson, System Engineering; Nadiye Erdil, System Engineering

The PITCH initiative includes four features likely to enhance success:

1)      Common experience of students from different programs in the Multidisciplinary Engineering Foundation Spiral Curriculum

2)      Emphasis professional communication habits as well as communication products

3)      Innovative resources compiled in Learning Resource Books

4)      Make effort to build capacity to sustain the project within the engineering facility rather than rely on outside instructors.

More information on this project may be found here.


The Tow Foundation

Youth Justice Institute at UNH

PI: William Carbone, Criminal Justice

Please visit The Tow Foundation’s website here for details on their funding opportunities and projects.


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

This project includes several initiatives related to the KEEN vision: Introduce entrepreneurial concepts and sustainability concepts in TCoE programs; Develop and adapt international curricular opportunities for students; Further strengthen internship programs and opportunities for students; Increase participation of undergraduate and graduate students in research; Increase local and global community-based service learning activities.


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

The purpose of this program is to create a model for integrating KEEN initiatives and student outcomes (KSOs) across four-year engineering programs in the Tagliatela College of Engineering, with special focus upon integration within the second year engineering analysis courses. This research will lead to the development of a formal model, called KEEN across the Engineering Curriculum (KatEC) Model, to help the TCoE with KEEN curriculum development and KSO integration at UNH.  This model will support an institution-wide curriculum initiative to integrate KEEN into courses and programs by: supporting the student achievement of KSOs at UNH; developing intrapreneurship mindsets and skills; supporting the institutional experiential education mission of UNH; supporting UNH's continued effort to strengthen ties with our regional engineering community, involving local companies, professional societies, advisory board members, and practitioners in UNH TCoE initiatives.

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

The University of New Haven, Lawrence Technological University, and Saint Louis University facilitated a one-week summer workshop for engineering faculty from KEEN institutions located in the New England and mid-Atlantic region (New Haven, Widener, Western New England, Union, Villanova, Bucknell, and Boston). The five-day workshop at the University of New Haven replicated and expand upon previous workshop offerings and included experiential training on how to incorporate entrepreneurial mindset skills.    During the project, Lawrence Tech and Saint Louis University faculty engaged faculty members to develop and implement best practices of introducing students to KSOs through meaningful engineering challenges. 

Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules and a Leadership Cohort

Project PIs: Ronald Harichandran, Dean, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Mechanical and Systems Engineers, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Jean Nocito-Gobel, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Cheryl Li, Mechanical Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Amy Thompson, Industrial and Stystems Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Armando Rodriguez, Economics, College of Business; Nadiye Erdil, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Ravi Gorthala, Mechanical Engineering, Tagliatela College of Engineering; Ibrahim Baggili, Computer Science, Tagliatela College of Engineering

The purpose of this program is to build upon and incorporate prior knowledge from the KEEN network. This will be applied over a three-year period, and will consist of five components:

  1. Develop online modules for integration into engineering courses that will impact all engineering students in the college
  2. Conduct workshops to help engineering faculty develop a favorable mindset toward entrepreneurial thinking and embrace these concepts within their courses
  3. Develop and offer an elective 3-credit course in Business Fundamentals for Engineers
  4. Establish an Engineering Entrepreneurship Cohort that will serve as the tactical commands of entrepreneurial thinking activities at UNH
  5. Conduct extracurricular activities promoting culture of entrepreneurial thinking

Characterization of Borrelia Biofilm in Juman Erythemia Chronicum Migrans and Tick Midgut Tissues

Project PI: Eva Sapi, Biology and Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences

This project will explore the hypothesis that Borrelia biofilm structures exist in vivo in Borrelia infected human and tick tissues. This hypothesis is based on our published in vitro data, which shows that laboratory Borrelia strains are capable of making biofilm structures and other preliminary results showing Borrelia aggregates in human Erythema Chronicum Migrans and tick midgut tissues.


Quinnipiac River Fund

Using vitellogenin and choriogenin gene expression in wild mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) as bioassays for the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the lower Quinnipiac River

Project PI: John Kelly, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

The objective of this study is to look for evidence of the deleterious effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals in wild fish with the lower Quinnipiac River. Endocrine disruptors are pollutants that interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system in animals. To accomplish the goals of this study, a common local species of killifish will be captured in the lower Quinnipiac River. Male fish will be tested for the activity of specific genes associated with reproductive proteins that should be found in only female fish. This will be one of the few studies of EDCs to ever be conducted in the Quinnipiac River, and the first that is focusing on vertebrates.


Longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae) as a bioassay for the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the upper Quinnipiac River watershed

Project PI: John Kelly, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

The objective of this study is to look for evidence of the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in wild fish within the freshwater regions of the Quinnipiac River watershed. This study is building on an ongoing project that is looking for this same thing in the lower, saline reaches of the river and estuary.


Assessment of biodiversity and copper contamination of benthic algae throughout the Quinnipiac River

Project PIs: Amy Carlile, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences; Jean-Paul Simjouw, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

This study will examine the biodiversity of benthic algal communities and the potential for copper contamination in those communities throughout the Quinnipiac River. Algae are vital components of any ecosystem, comprising the base of the food chain and performing essential ecosystem services (such as carbon fixation and habitat formation). This study aims to provide baseline knowledge through algal biodiversity assessment along the salinity and land use gradients present in the Quinnipiac River. This study will also examine the impacts of ambient copper as measured in tissue content, morphological variations, and specific distributions. This will be the first study to examine benthic algae, important components of aquatic ecosystems, throughout the length of the Quinnipiac River.


Ecotoxicology of the Quinnipiac River: Detection of estrogenic substances and toxicity in the Quinnipiac River watershed

Project PIs: Melanie Eldridge, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences; Jean-Paul Simjouw, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Compounds that mimic human hormones (endocrine disruptors) have been associated with negative effects on human and animal reproductive systems. As these compounds are becoming more prevalent in the environment, it is necessary to survey waterways to determine whether endocrine disruptors are present and then trace their source. This study focuses on a number of sites along the length of the Quinnipiac River, with reference to anthropogenic inputs into the watershed. This research aims to determine the amount of bioavailable estrogens and the level of toxicity present, as well as help trace where the inputs are being added to the river.