Professors Receive Funding for Research

April 16, 2012

Professors Receive Funding for Research

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University's Center for Applied Social Sciences has awarded funding for four faculty research proposals in history, anthropology and criminal justice.

The center is providing $900 for each project. Research proposals include the following:

Dimensions of Personal Politics in the Deep South: Georgia Senior Women Review Their Lives, Public and Private

This project is a collaboration between Dr. Catherine Oglesby, professor of history, and Dr. Kate Warner and Dr. Martha Laughlin, professors of marriage and family therapy. It is an oral history project that will provide the historical and sociological perspectives of women who were raised in the middle decades of the 20th century (1930s to 1960s). The perspectives will be examined to understand the role cultural factors (regional, racial, sexual, class, etc.) have played in shaping these women. Women from across Georgia will be asked questions about their lives as well as questions that deal with specific issues, movements, wars and other events they experienced in the tumultuous middle years of last century, with an emphasis on how the national and international intersect with the personal and local. Additional funding for the project has been provided by the Georgia Humanities Council, the Leona Hudson Estate and several internal grants.

Historical Land Use Analysis: Richmond County Georgia

Dr. Christopher Meyers, professor of history, will oversee this project, which provides an examination of an important 365-acre tract of land in Richmond County (Augusta). This purpose of the project is to document how the land was used and its significance to the state of Georgia, with a focus on the operations of the nursery. The property was originally possessed and occupied by Native Americans, who eventually lost the land to European settlers. From the late 1700s to mid-1800s numerous large farms and plantations occupied the property. In the late 1850s a family of Belgian immigrants purchased the land and turned it into one of the most famous nurseries in America, Fruitlands Nursery. The nursery introduced many new species of flowers and plants to the United States and the owner, Prosper Julius Alphonse Berckmans, was the most noted horticulturalist in Georgia. Three decades into the 20th century, the nursery deteriorated and the land was sold to become a golf course.

Taphonomic Assessment of Pig Carrion in South Georgia

This research, conducted by Dr. Joyce Chan, professor of anthropology, will focus on establishing a decomposition timeline to estimate the time of death and reconstruct events leading to a person's death. A decomposition timeline is used for determining a postmortem interval (PMI) for bodies found. Pigs will be used as human analogs to determine a decomposition and decay rate at the outdoor Lake Louise site. Entomological and decay data is important for local law enforcement officials working with PMI estimation in forensic cases.

A Global Perspective on the Relationship between Technology and Internet Crimes

Dr. Wilson Huang, professor of criminal justice, is conducting a study that attempts to bring a macro perspective to the theoretical explanations of cybercrime. Current theories applied to online crimes have focused on routine activities and opportunities, but no systematic data has been gathered in a global framework to render support for these links to cybercrime. The study will concentrate on phishing attacks and their associations with global indicators such as computer usage, Internet accessibility, secure server provision, mobile phone density, etc. This applied research will shed light on the effects of Internet technology on crimes occurred in cyberspace and offer suggestions to manage this growing problem.

All research proposals are consistent with the goals of the Center for Applied Social Sciences,which strives to expand human knowledge through innovation, research and creative activities. The center addresses justice issues, social phenomena, social inequity, family and wellness issues, human factors and safety issues, decision-making and field performance, human and natural security issues, technology innovation and much more, both locally and abroad.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved formation for the Center for Applied Social Sciences at VSU in July 2011 and the center officially opened three months later. Twenty thousand dollars in start-up money for the center was provided by Meggitt Training Systems Inc.

To learn more about the Center for Applied Social Sciences, visit or contact Dr. Darrell L. Ross at (229) 333-5943 or