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$1.1M NSF Grant To Study Grandparents

From Oklahoma’s KOTV:

Associate Professor Tammy Henderson, PhD, will use $1.1 million in stimulus for her research project in Alaska.

OSU Prof Gets $1.1 Million In Stimulus To Study Alaskan Grandparents

By Jennifer Loren, Oklahoma Impact Team

STILLWATER, OK — A professor at Oklahoma State University received $1.1 million in stimulus to study Alaskan grandparents. The National Science Foundation made the grant possible through their pot of stimulus money. But some Oklahomans say this is just one more example of stimulus waste.

For more than ten years Oklahoma State University professor Tammy Henderson has been researching grandparents. She studies their relationships and responsibilities within their families…

Henderson is now continuing her research with $1.15 million in stimulus money. She and two other social science professors from the University of Alaska will be leading the research project. The research project is called "From Their Perspective: Alaskan Grandparents’ Roles, Strengths and Needs."

"Aren’t there people here that you could study?" asked Oklahoma Impact reporter Jennifer Loren.

"Yes. But, again, if you go to another place it has implications for indigenous people here in their communities. And there’s a correlation between the geographic and the historical composition of folks in Oklahoma as well as in Alaska. So why not Alaska?" said Tammy Henderson, OSU Associate Professor.

With the stimulus funding Henderson will hire two new university employees. But, they will only be employed for the two year duration of the grant. That, she says, is how this project is stimulating.

"It is bringing two new positions to Oklahoma State University in economically challenging times," said Tammy Henderson, OSU Associate Professor.

The team will travel back and forth to Alaska several times where a team of about 15 people will take part in the study. They’ll investigate Alaska native grandparents living in rural, semi-urban and urban areas of Alaska.

"Travel to some of the rural communities is extremely expensive and so I admit there’s some of that," said Tammy Henderson, PhD, OSU Associate Professor…

For Tammy Henderson, money is not the issue. For her the science is priceless.

"Is it fair? Um, I do not feel that the political answer is one that I should take as a university professor. But I will tell you as a professor who is trying to change the world by giving it good science and good theory it was a good thing to do," Said Tammy Henderson, PhD, OSU Associate Professor.

OSU has applied for more than $100 million in stimulus money for research grants alone. So far they’ve received $3.3 million.

Mind you, the National Science Foundation was about to be investigated for all of the dubious grants they have awarded over the years.

But the Inspector General got caught up checking into the way the NSF employees watch pornography and chat on phone sex lines all day, that he was never able to get around to checking out their grant records.

In case you missed this Washington Times article from yesterday:

Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation

Jim McElhatton

September 29, 2009

Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times.

The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars

[R]ecords obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act laid bare the extent of the well-publicized porn problem inside the government-backed foundation.

For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.

When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official’s porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.

"He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents and this site helps them do that," investigators wrote in a memo.

The independent foundation, funded by taxpayers to the tune of $6 billion in 2008, is tasked with handing out scientific grants to colleges, universities and research institutions nationwide. The projects it funds ranges from mapping the genome of the potato to exploring outer space with powerful new telescopes. It has a total of 1,200 career employees.

Recent budget documents for the inspector general cite a "6-fold increase in employee misconduct cases and associated proactive management implication report activities." The document doesn’t say how many cases were involved in the increase, and officials could not immediately provide a figure.

Documents obtained by The Times through an open records request show the foundation’s inspector general closed 10 employee misconduct investigations last year, up from just three in 2006. There were seven cases in 2007. Of the 10 cases closed last year, seven involved online pornography, records show. However, those figures don’t include pending cases.

Maybe Ms. Henderson promised the NSF some racey pictures of her grandparents.

After all, it is stimulus money.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “$1.1M NSF Grant To Study Grandparents”

  1. Confucius says:

    “As a university, you know, we all need to find a way to sort of compare ourselves to each other and research funding is one of the tools we use to compare with,” said Toni Shaklee, OSU Assistant Vice President for Research.

    She says research projects like this one will bring a higher caliber of faculty to the College of Human Environmental Sciences and therefore, more esteem to OSU. That translates into more students, which means more money for Oklahoma.

    This IS the reason why so much medical and scientific research is fraudulent.

  2. NickB says:

    Speaking of the “National Science Foundation”, the woman behind the “Obamasong” in N.J., Charisse Carney-Nunes, just happens to be the Assistant General Counsel at the National Science Foundation, and has made campaign contributions to Obama through the NSF. Being a dear friend of BHO, I wonder how she got that gig…. ;)

    Of course the NSF is all about glomming onto taxpayer money and frittering it away on crap like this.

  3. proreason says:

    It must be just a coincidence that although the University has only received 3.3% of the stimulus money they have requested, 1/3 of that is going to “studying grandparents” in the #1 cruise destination……all managed by an African American.

    To even mention it sounds racist to me.

  4. David says:

    NSF funding is considered high risk. It is often used to fund “fuzzy” topics. In my area it funds research into creativity in engineering design and the role of open web design and innovation. While it is difficult to see the application of this type of research, one significant benefit is that it keeps the US having the best graduate programs in the world. The largest chunk of this funding goes to pay for salaries and tuition of graduate students. This is what brings people here for graduate school. In Europe, schooling is paid for but you have to do government work that is often not related to your research interest, doubling your time in school. While I think it would be preferable if all this funding came from industry, it is just not reasonable. Business has to be profitable, government doesn’t. In addition the acceptance rate for proposals with NSF is only 10%. Much lower than many other agencies. There is certainly room for improvement. For one, the research grants which come from tax payer money is also taxed once it is given. This is ridiculous but they are concerned that it would not be right to tax industry grants and not government grants. The obvious solution is to not tax either, but for some reason that doesn’t usually work for government bureaucrats.

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    “For more than ten years Oklahoma State University professor Tammy Henderson has been researching grandparents”

    Ten years .. TEN YEARS!!! Whattha hell’s takin’ so long!!! WHAT in God’s name in the “study of grandparents” would take a person TEN YEARS to study?!?

    How slow is this “professor”?

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    The hippies are now grand parents and I hear they are causing a stir all over the place with their Grey Panther sex on park benches and such.
    Is this the new “OLDER” fad?


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