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Strasser Appointed to Lead Grants and Academic Research Efforts

Karen StrasserKaren Strasser has been named director of Grants and Research at Ferris State University.

Since July 2011, Strasser has served as interim dean for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education at Ferris. She also has previously served as acting associate dean and department head for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education at Ferris as well as associate professor of Biology.  Strasser earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science/Biology from the University of Tampa (Fla.) and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Louisiana.

“Dr. Strasser’s appointment represents the first of several steps that we are taking as an institution to increase grant funding and further support academic research efforts,” said Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “While Dr. Strasser will provide essential leadership for grant-seeking endeavors at Ferris, we are also interested in growing grant awards for the local community. It is my hope that we will be able to support partnerships with schools, businesses and other organizations that could benefit from grant dollars but may not have the resources to seek them out.”

Strasser’s strong research background and success in obtaining grants to support her research will serve her well in her new role. She has produced numerous professional publications on the development of ghost shrimp populations including research on their larval development, host selection and settlement preferences in both laboratory and natural settings. Additionally, Strasser has been successful in securing several grants and awards to fund her research. She also has served as an ad hoc and panel reviewer for the National Science Foundation.

At Ferris, Strasser has demonstrated a passion for promoting undergraduate research opportunities. In May 2011, she piloted an undergraduate research fellowship program to promote student-faculty research efforts. For 10 to 12 weeks, five Ferris student fellows were funded in their collaborative research efforts with a faculty member and presented their preliminary research findings at the conclusion of the summer. The program was deemed successful as students clearly demonstrated the value of their experiences and received additional funding for at least seven student fellows for Summer 2012. Additionally, she has worked with the College of Arts, Sciences and Education Special Grants Committee to revise the review process for internal grants including the Student Research Grant, Dean’s Initiative Award and Special Events Grant.

Strasser’s appointment will take effect immediately following the naming of a new interim dean for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education.