University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
November 15, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

USA Researchers Visit Auburn To Help Spur Research Collaboration

Front Row: (From left) Vice President for Research Dr. Russ Lea; McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library Director Carol Ellis; Biomedical Library Director Dr. Judy Burnham; Developmental Studies Instructor Leslie Whiston; Dr. Gary Piazza, professor, Mitchell Cancer Institute; Dr. Ajay Singh, assistant professor, MCI; Writing Center Specialist and ESL Instructor Carla Saint-Paul; Dr. Mihaela Marin, associate professor of foreign languages; Dr. Sytske Kimball, professor of earth sciences. Second Row: (From left): University Libraries Dean Dr. Richard Wood; Dr. Ming Tan, associate professor, MCI; Dr. Gail Jefferson, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Dr. Alice Ortmann, assistant professor of marine sciences; Dr. Erwei Dong, assistant professor of leisure studies; Dr. Wei Lui, Mitchell Cancer Institute; Dr. Rajeev Samant, associate professor, MCI; and, Amy Delcambre, grant development specialist II.

A group of 21 University of South Alabama researchers traveled to Auburn University to meet with Auburn faculty in the hopes of forming new, collaborative research relationships.

The research field trip to Auburn is the first of what USA hopes to be many visits with regional universities. USA Vice President for Research Dr. Russ Lea sees the field trips as a necessary response to decreasing federal support for research and development.

Since federal research grants are becoming more and more competitive, USA  is coming up with new, innovative ways to bring research funds to the state through collaboration with other institutions. This research helps improve the quality of life for all Alabamians -- spurring advances in everything from cancer treatment to engineering to marine sciences.

USA wants to collaborate with research faculty at other state institutions in order to propose federal research plans that could lead to scientific breakthroughs, such as better health care, alternative energy sources and greater understanding of hurricanes. 

USA Libraries Dean Dr. Richard Wood said that the research collaboration between USA and Auburn may also shape the next phase of the two libraries’ investigation into using technology to expedite archival processing.

“The libraries have cooperated for decades in terms of the interlibrary loaning of materials held by one library but needed by a user at the other institution,” he said. “This takes partnering to a much higher level by seeking grant opportunities that benefit both partners.”


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