Following is a roundup of some grants received by Illinois State faculty and staff.

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Professor to explore lives of vets caught up in justice system

image of Phil Mulvey
Phil Mulvey

Illinois State researcher Philip Mulvey has received $95,831 from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to explore the daily lives of veterans who enter the criminal justice system.

Research has shown that military veterans reintegrating into civilian society are at increased risk for relationship troubles, mental health crises, and substance abuse as well as an increased propensity for violence. Those factors may lead to minor brushes with the law due to various anti-social behaviors, or to imprisonment for serious crimes.

Mulvey, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences, is working to find out how day-to-day life experiences can impact anti-social or criminal behavior in veterans. He hopes his research will help lead to improved treatment and corrections services. The two-year study is supported by the NIJ’s Early Career Scholar program.

Mulvey’s study will include veterans in the criminal justice system in counties across Illinois. He will conduct face-to-face interviews with up to 50 veterans on probation, and some will be asked to complete surveys to record daily activities, emotions, and general state of mind.

The information gathered during the study could eventually help to shape policies and practices for dealing with veterans in the criminal justice system.

$268,000 grant to save circus history

A grant awarded to Milner Library at Illinois State University will ensure a wealth of circus history will be preserved. Milner Library’s Special Collections and its partners received a three-year, $268,139 grant, which began in May, from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to digitize 315 circus route books, dating from 1842–1969.

Only 400 circus route books are known to exist. Similar to yearbooks, route books contain information about people, positions, events, and the show’s season.

“I’m thrilled to be working with our knowledgeable librarians at Milner Library and with our colleagues at Circus World and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on this multi-institutional, collaborative, digital-humanities project,” said Dallas Long, associate dean at Milner and project coordinator.

After digitization, these route books will become a storehouse of data useful to historians, researchers, writers, teachers, and family historians. This collection is historically important because route books often document pivotal moments in history.

Professor Wang to bring lecture series, conference on Taiwan

T.Y. Wang smiling
Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics and Government T.Y. Wang

Illinois State University’s Professor of Politics and Government T.Y. Wang has received an $80,000 grant from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States. The grant enables the University to host an international conference about Taiwan on campus this October, and supports an international lecture series on Taiwan issues.

About 25 distinguished scholars specializing in Taiwan study, including those who are affiliated with non-U.S. institutions, and about 10 graduate students will be invited to participate in the conference on “Taiwan in a New Era.” The international speaker series will host five invited academic presentations to be held at various academic institutions.

For more than a decade, Wang has collaborated with a national group of senior scholars who study Taiwan. The Taiwan and Asia Program scholars share resources and combine research efforts to understand the unique political environment in the area.

ISU team evaluates program targeted to improving student performance

Since October 2011, Illinois State University has been under contract with the Illinois State Board of Education to serve as the external evaluation team for the federally funded Illinois State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG).

Associate Professor April Mustian, of the Department of Special Education, and Professor Gary Cates, of the school psychology program, are the principal investigators with staff support from Special Education Associate Professor Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino and Lisa Hood, of the Center for the Study of Education Policy. Last year, the University received $204,578 as part of a grant from the Regional Office of Education #47, which has awarded $1,004,578 to Illinois State to date.

The primary goal of the Illinois SPDG is to scale up implementation of a coordinated, statewide system of personnel development that will increase the capacity of school systems to establish and use a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Framework of research-based instruction, intervention, and assessment to improve the progress and performance of all students, including those with disabilities.