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Faculty Innovation Grants: Investing in creative approaches to teaching and learning
Sep 24, 2018, by Staff Writer
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Smithfield, RI – Through the Faculty Innovation Grant program, now in its seventh year, Bryant is investing in the development of creative and innovative pedagogies designed to effectively prepare students for the world and the workplaces they will encounter when they graduate. 

The Provost's Office and the Center for Program Innovation annually award $2,000 grants to faculty members introducing a substantial innovation into the classroom at Bryant. Last year, in keeping with a strong emphasis on growing programs in analytics and data science, the Advanced Applied Analytics Center added funding for two additional grants that would specifically focus on innovations in teaching analytics. Since 2012, more than 30 grants have been awarded to forward-thinking faculty working individually and in teams. 

"We are fostering a culture of innovation at Bryant, says Provost and Chief Academic Officer Glenn Sulmasy, J.D., LL.M. These grants encourage faculty to be creative, test new ideas, and discover the most effective ways to teach students how to think critically and solve the most complex problems."

The call for Faculty Innovation Grant proposals is issued in the late spring. Proposals are reviewed by the previous year's Innovation Grant winners, the Provost's Office, and the Center for Program Innovation Director, and the winners are announced in the summer. Faculty receiving Innovation Grants present their results at Bryant's annual Research and Engagement Day (RED) in April, and submit a report to the Provost's Office and the Center for Program Innovation. Faculty collaborate throughout the year to exchange and implement the most effective ideas.

The Faculty Innovation Grant winners for the 2018-2019 academic year are:

Funded by the Center for Program Innovation

  • Professors of English and Cultural Studies Alex Perullo, Ph.D. and Joan Zaretti, Ph.D. – Enhancing engagement and interactivity for music learning and education.
  • Professor of English and Cultural Studies Tom Roach, Ph.D. – Life and How to Live it/Death and How to Diet: Innovative immersive pedagogy for humanities literature course
  • Professor of History and Social Sciences Katayoun Alidadi, Ph.D. – Enhancing student engagement by flipping International Law Class
  • Professor of Management Dirk Primus, Ph.D. – Identification of ‘Wicked Problems’ at Bryant University and RoboBee site visit for selected students
  • Professor of Management Crystal Jiang, Ph.D. – Incorporate story-telling in teaching innovation management course and teaching students how to incorporate story-telling

Funded by the Applied Analytics Center

  • Professor of Information Systems and Analytics Kevin Mentzer, Ph.D. – Using LINUX and Python to develop social media listening program for class
  • Professor of Information Systems and Analytics Chen Zhang, Ph.D. – Robotics Course development


Previous Faculty Innovation Grant recipients:


Funded by the Center for Program Innovation

  • Professor of English and Cultural Studies Janet Dean, Ph.D. – Developing tribal digital archives as part of course
  • Professor of Science and Technology Gaytha Langlois, Ph.D. – Develop sustainability ‘plug in' modules
  • Lecturer in Science and Technology Stephanie Mott – Developing anatomy lab manual to blend with IWORX.
  • Professor of English and Cultural Studies Alex Perullo, Ph.D. – Exploration and recording of Providence sub-cultures
  • Assistant Professor of Management Elzotbek Rustambekov, Ph.D. – Developing expertise for business concept videos

Funded by the Applied Analytics Center

  • Professor of Information Systems and Analytics Suhong Li, Ph.D. – Analytics for wearable devices
  • Lecturer in Management John Poirier – Human Resources Analytics training 


  • Associate Professor of MarketingSharmin Attaran, Ph.D. – Leveraging Advanced Social Media for Experiential Learning
  • Professor of Accounting Dennis Bline, Ph.D., and Lecturer in Accounting MaryElla Gainor Mastering Problem Solving Skills
  • Associate Professor of Science and Technology Kirsten Hokeness, Ph.D. – Flipping the Biology Classroom
  • Lecturer in Finance Maura Dowling, CFP® – Introducing "Creative Systems Learning" to Finance Students
  • Economics team: Assistant Professor Laura Beaudin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Aziz Berdiev, Ph.D., Associate Professor Edi Tebaldi, Ph.D., and Professor Sam Mirmirani, Ph.D. – Applying Economic Theory to Real-World Problems


  • Associate Professor of Marketing Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D. – Using Cartoon Technology to Teach Sales
  • Professor of Accounting Lookman Buky Folami, Ph.D. – Development of New Graduate Course on Business Valuation
  • Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Analytics Kevin Mentzer '91 and Professor of Computer Information Systems Janet Prichard, Ph.D. – 3D Printing
  • Associate Professor of Marketing Srdan Zdravkovic, Ph.D. –  Experiential Learning Project in the International Business Program


  • Associate Professor of Applied Psychology Allison Butler, Ph.D. – Develop a Flipped Classroom Approach to Teaching Upper-Level Child Psychopathology Course
  • Lecturer in Finance Mara Derderian, M.B.A. – Work Toward Establishing a Financial Planning Track in the Finance Department in Partnership with the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards
  • Professor of English and Cultural Studies Terri Hasseler, Ph.D. – The Creativity Sketchbook Challenge
  • Professor of Finance Jack Trifts, Ph.D. – Develop Use of Technology to Support Flipping the Classroom


  • Assistant Professor of Economics Aziz Berdiev, Ph.D. –Technology that Gives Students Opportunity to Apply Their Knowledge During Class
  • Associate Professor of Marketing Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D. – Mobile Sales Lab
  • Associate Professor of Sociology Sandra Enos, Ph.D.  – Teaching Creativity in the Sociology Classroom and Beyond
  • Professor of English and Cultural Studies Martha Kuhlman, Ph.D. – Artists to Collaborate with Graphic Novel Students
  • Lecturer in English and Cultural Studies Paul Swift – Preparing for the Role of Game Master in Live-Action Role-Playing Reacting to the Past Gam


  • Professor of Information Systems and Analytics Richard Glass, Ph.D. – Collaborate with Students to Co-design an Improved Computer Information Systems Course
  • Professor of Finance A. Can Inci, Ph.D. – Purchase Software to Enhance His Corporate Finance Course Innovations
  • Professor of Anthropology, African Studies, and Music Alex Perullo, Ph.D. – Community Ethnography Course Support
  • Associate Professor of Marketing Srdan Zdravkovic, Ph.D. – Materials and Training to Engage International Business Students in Unique International Cross-University Initiative
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