Press Releases

Rose Announces Nearly $1.5 Million in Federal Funding to Support CSI Research

Programs will study the role of sleep in infant development, STEM education and job training for adolescents with autism

Staten Island, July 28, 2020
Tags: Education

Congressman Max Rose announced today that nearly $1.5 million in federal funding has been awarded to CUNY College of Staten Island (CSI) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research and projects regarding STEM education and job training for adolescents with autism and on the impact of sleep on learning in infancy.

“Inspiring research is being conducted every day by some of the best and brightest here on Staten Island,” Rose said. “With this funding, Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Berger will be able to conduct research that not only advances the body of knowledge in their field, but will have a direct impact on the lives of Staten Island families.”

The $1,431,485 in grant awards from NSF include:

  • $945,539 to CSI Professor Dr. Kristen Gillespie who is leading research into providing adolescents with Autism with a path to employment through STEM learning. 
  • $485,946 to CSI Professor Dr. Sarah Berger who is researching the role of sleep in infant motor solving problems.

“We are very excited to receive NSF funding for our collaborative study which aims to empower autistic teenagers to seek out careers that are well-matched with their strengths and interests,” said Dr. Kristen Gillespie, Associate Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island. “Rather than becoming the visionaries and transformers of society that they could become, many autistic people are unemployed and isolated. By developing clear guidelines to help educators match their teaching styles to how different students learn, we can help autistic students develop the confidence needed to attain their dream jobs while helping teachers engage their students more effectively.”

“The proposed research should ultimately provide guidelines for balancing enriched learning experiences, interventions for at-risk populations, and a protective environment that promotes rest and regulation,” said Dr. Sarah Berger, Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. “In addition to the practical implications for sleep health and early intervention, the proposed work has significant benefits for undergraduate students typically underrepresented in the sciences, whose training comprises a significant part of the grant. Funding will provide these students the opportunity to participate in research that they may otherwise not be able to afford and will provide extensive hands-on experience in conducting scientific research that will prepare them to enter the graduate training pipeline as highly competitive candidates.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting-edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future.

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