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Bentley Awarded $300,000 to Strengthen Sexual Violence Prevention

by John McElhenny August 29, 2018

Only Massachusetts University to Receive U.S. Justice Department Grant


News, Campus Life

Bentley University has been awarded a $300,000 federal grant to strengthen efforts to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking among students of color, LGBTQ and international students. Bentley was the only Massachusetts university to receive the U.S. Justice Department funding, demonstrating the university’s proactive leadership in combating sexual violence.

The grant will help Bentley establish new programs for populations who are often disproportionately affected by sexualized violence as well as fund trainings in sexual violence prevention for Bentley staff and community partners including the Waltham Police Department; REACH, a non-profit organization in Waltham that supports domestic abuse survivors; and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

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The Yawkey Foundations Support the Bentley Service Learning and Civic Engagement Center

The Yawkey Foundations have made a $500,000 grant to support the Bentley Service Learning and Civic Engagement Center.  The grant is among the largest private foundation grants Bentley has ever received and will help assure that one of the university’s flagship programs will continue as a vibrant national example of excellence and innovation in service-learning for many years to come.  The grant is intended to enhance Bentley’s ability to educate future managers, executives and board members of nonprofit and community organizations.  

The specific initiatives include:

  • Expanding nonprofit internship opportunities
  • Developing a nonprofit leadership seminar
  • Developing a significant nonprofit career fair and deeper nonprofit career advising resources and training

Dr. Jonathan White and his team at the BSLCE will develop and manage these programs over the next five years in collaboration with several offices across campus.  Read more


Professor Gesa Kirsch Receives NEH Summer Stipend Grant


National Endowment for the Humanities announced yesterday that it awarded $21.7 million for more than 200 humanities projects and programs nationwide. I am pleased to announce that Professor Gesa Kirsch has been awarded an NEH Summer Stipend grant for her project Legacies of Thought and Action: The Professional Networks of 19th Century Women Physicians.   Summer stipend awards are $6,000 and support two summer months of full-time work on a humanities project.  Professor Kirsch will focus her work this summer on the Women’s Medical Journal which received little scholarly attention, yet served as a powerful networking tool for early women physicians, according to Gesa.  This work builds on a larger project that also includes several cohorts of early 19th century women physicians. This research has important implications for today: it highlights the powerful impact of professionals networks for women and other underrepresented groups, whether they work in the medical professions, STEM fields, the social sciences or humanistic fields.  Gesa recently published the memoir of Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter, an early California woman physician, which set her on the path to this larger project. She will talk about her book, More than Gold in California: The Life and Work of Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter, at the Harvard Medical School on April 25th . 

Only 8% of applications were funded this year and the competitive process makes this award an important honor for this project. The full list of grantees (along with the successful applicants for several other grant programs) can be found here.


The next deadline for the Summer Stipends program will be September 27, 2017, for awards for the following summer. Information can be found here.



Bentley University Receives First NIH Funding


Dr. Miriam Boeri, Associate Professor of Sociology, has been awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health for her project entitled “Suburban Opioid Study.”    This is the first time a Bentley University faculty member has been awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).   The work will inform health care efforts targeted to suburban populations of opioid and heroin users with a more comprehensive understanding of suburban drug use, risk environments, and social context of drug use.

Dr. Boeri is a co-Principal investigator in this study with a colleague at Southern Connecticut State University.  The project triangulates ethnographic field research and in-depth interviews conducted in three suburban field sites that differ by size, location, and demographics: New Haven, Boston and Atlanta.   This study responds to an urgent need to know why opioid and heroin abuse continue to increase and what prevention and intervention programs are needed to address the opioid epidemic.  It is extraordinarily timely and relevant.

The total award is $341,565 and the Bentley portion of the budget is $142,025 for the three year project period beginning on April 1, 2017.

William Randolph Hearst Foundation Supports Scholarships

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation has awarded Bentley a grant of $75,000 to support scholarships for students from underrepresented groups. The scholarships, to be expended over five years, will enhance the diversity of the undergraduate student body and make it possible for more students who are the first-generation in their families to go to college to attend Bentley.   The Hearst Foundation established an endowed scholarship at Bentley in 1986 that has supported more than 20 students.  This new fund will support several students each year. 

Mining the Ice Age to Predict our Future

Professor Thom Davis secures NSF funding for his research on mining the ice age.  Recently, he and two colleagues (Asst. Prof. Jeremy Shakun at Boston College and Professor Paul Bierman at The University of Vermont) were awarded a three-year, $265,117 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the timing and rate of the thinning of the southeastern Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) during the last major period of deglaciation after the Pleistocene epoch, or the “Ice Age.” 

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Bentley’s Center for Integration of Science & Industry receives funding from NBRF

Bentley’s Center for Integration of Science and Industry (CISI), founded in 2013 with a $1.3M grant from the National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), was awarded renewed funding: $2.3M through 2020. 

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U.S. Department of Energy Funds Algae Research at the Center for Integration of Science & Industry

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Michael Walsh, a research fellow in Bentley's Center for Integration of Science and Industry, is developing a business commercialization plan to use industrially cultivated algae for production of energy, animal feed and even human food.



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Sandeep Purao awarded NSF Eager grant for Smart Community Solutions project

The proposed work involves a study of how Values (ethical principles) and Value (economic utility) influence the design of smart city solutions. The problem statement directly confronts a fallacy: that smart city solutions to improve convenience and efficiency (e.g. parking apps or traffic optimization) will contribute to broad social outcomes in domains such as health and education, and lead to resilient, healthy and smart cities. Instead of framing the problem as a duality, Dr. Purao seeks to investigate the interplay, framing it as a Value-Values continuum. If successful, the results can directly benefit the massive investment of public funds in planned smart city initiatives (Whitehouse 2015).

The project, entitled “Values and Value for Designing Smart Community Solutions”, was awarded a budget of $181,197 for the two year project period beginning on 9/15/16.  

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"

With an annual budget of $7.5 billion (FY 2016), the NSF is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

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