Texas State awarded more than $21 million by congressional appropriations bill

Inside TXST

Jayme Blaschke | March 31, 2022

Texas State University is the recipient of more than $21 million through H.R. 2471, the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022," passed by Congress.

The bill provides full-year funding through Sept. 30 for projects and activities of the federal government and authorizations and extensions on a wide variety of government-sponsored programs and activities.

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The Meadows Center for Water and Environment

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment received $2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the Climate Change Impact on Water Initiative. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett facilitated the grant.

The Meadows Center project analyzes climate factors, including dramatic increases in extreme weather events and drought projections, for Texas to assess how the state’s climate projections can best serve water stakeholder needs. The cutting-edge research will provide actionable climate impact information in order to prompt policy and decision makers. The project will develop models of climate change aimed at analyzing the impact on surface water and groundwater at the local level. This will enable The Meadows Center to provide a policy roadmap for individual stakeholders, communities and public officials to prepare Texas for challenges ahead related to water resources, environment and the economy.

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Melinda Villagran, Director of the Community Health and Economic Resilience Research Center

Melinda Villagran, Director of the Community Health and Economic Resilience Research Center, received $2 million to improve mental health training and technology through the Community Mental Health Surveillance Collaborative at Texas State. Doggett also facilitated this grant.

"The pandemic has left more and more of our neighbors suffering from depression, anxiety and more severe problems that may lead to severe harm," said Rep. Doggett. "During the pandemic, we have benefitted from our local COVID dashboards, which mapped out our community to show where new infections were occurring. This new funding I secured is designed to facilitate similar action for the growing number of mental health concerns in Central Texas. This funding will enable mental health experts and data scientists to develop a mapping tool to help us intervene and to prevent mental health crises. A mental health map of Central Texas should be a useful tool for public health planners, school counselors and veterans’ assistance groups. It can help to match needs of neighbors from certain areas, age groups, and other factors with available resources for help in times of crisis or challenge."

"Building resilience after the pandemic requires a new look at the most pressing mental health challenges in Central Texas," said Villagran said. "This funding Rep. Doggett secured will enable our data scientists to create a virtual one-stop-shop for clinicians, nonprofits, and government agencies to better understand and address the changing landscape of mental health in our area."

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Round Rock Campus

The Round Rock Campus received $1 million for the STEM-for-All Partnership (RRSAP) and Research Initiative, overseen by Leslie Huling, professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. U.S. Rep. John Carter facilitated the grant.

RRSAP is a public/private initiative that will combine a workforce research initiative with a well-integrated portfolio of STEM engagement and educator professional development opportunities for learners of all ages in the Texas 31st Congressional District. Research data will be collected and analyzed from area employers and education providers concerning current and future workforce needs to identify gaps and to promote collaborative planning to better meet local needs. The STEM engagement and educator professional development collaborative includes summer engineering camps for elementary students, STEM internship programs for secondary students, monthly STEM nights at area schools, summer engineering institutes for pre-service teachers, Saturday teacher professional development sessions for K-12 teachers, a speaker series for the community and STEM exhibits and interactive activities at area community events.

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The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State received $11 million via the Protecting Our Lives through Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Carter.

The grant will support ALERRT's Integrated Response Training Program, which provides multi-disciplinary, scenario-based training to first responders across the country to improve rapid response to active shooter events. A significant portion of the funding will go toward training first responders in how to be instructors, so they may return to their communities and train others in the Integrated Response Training Program. ALERRT is also expanding and developing more e-learning capabilities.

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Weston Nowlin

Weston Nowlin, a professor in the Department of Biology, received $5.6 million for the multiyear, multi-investigator collaborative project to study the populations of native and invasive species in Texas waterways.

The ongoing research project studies how varying river conditions, such as flooding and drought, combine with landscape-level factors, such as climate and land use patterns, to affect the distribution and abundance of organisms within and across river drainages in the state. The research will examine the response from a broad ecological range of species, including bacteria, fish, freshwater mussels and invertebrates.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922