The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas: (Institutional effectiveness) research within its mission, if appropriate

Compliance Judgment

X     In compliance     Partially compliant     Non-compliant


Francis Marion University is a teaching university, yet places value on research by faculty and students through encouraging research as a part of the educational experience. As stated in the University Mission Statement, “Since our highest priority is excellence in teaching and learning, we believe that intellectual inquiry and analysis by students and faculty members are essential. We encourage all scholarly pursuits, including student research for courses and faculty research for presentation, publication and for use in the classroom” [1]. Even though no explicit research goals exist for the University, faculty members are engaged in research to support educational programs. Faculty research and scholarship contributes to and benefits the institution’s research mission.

The University measures its research success through multiple means, including tracking the number of research awards granted for faculty development, the number of workshop grants awarded, and summer research stipends.  A summary of research grants awarded by the University is summarized in table 1 for the past three academic years. During this time, the University awarded $168,870.53 to faculty members to conduct research as seen in the table below.

Research Grants
Research Grant Information
Number of Faculty Receiving Awards
Amount Requested
Amount Distributed

Table 1.  Research Grant Awards 2014 – 2017

A summary of workshops grants awarded by the University is summarized in table 2 for the past three academic years.   During this time, the University awarded $204,089.66 to faculty members to engage in scholarly pursuits as seen in Table 2.

Workshop/Course Grants
Workshop/Course Grant Information
Number of Faculty Receiving Awards
Amount Requested
Amount Distributed

Table 2.  Presentation Grant Awards 2014 – 2017

A summary of Summer Research Stipend Awards awarded by the University is summarized in table 3 for the past three academic years.   During this time, the University awarded $164,000 to faculty members to engage in summer research as seen below in Table 3.

Summer Research Stipends ($4,000 each) to Support Summer Research Activities
Tenure-track Faculty
Tenured Faculty
Summer Stipend Information
Summer 2014
Summer 2015
Summer 2016
Summer 2014
Summer 2015
Summer 2016
Number of Stipends Authorized
Number of Stipends Distributed

Table 3.  Summer Research Stipend Awards 2014 – 2016

Between 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 academic years, the University provided $536,960.19 for faculty members to engage in research and scholarly activities.  

Research within Departments

Since Francis Marion University prioritizes excellence in teaching and learning, the University encourages the presentation and publication of scholarly research among its faculty and students. The following information provides examples of how the University engages in research within its mission.

Department of Biology

The Department of Biology at Francis Marion strongly encourages student participation in research activities. The Department offers many opportunities for undergraduates to assist in faculty research or develop their own independent research projects. Students can earn academic credit through Special Studies and Honors Independent Study.

The faculty in Biology are engaged in diverse research projects, such as:

  • field studies and conservation biology of animals and plants
  • cell and molecular biology
  • cellular basis of cancer and epilepsy
  • immunology and microbiology
  • genetics and biotechnology
  • pollen germination
  • animal reproductive biology
  • microbial ecology.

Each Spring semester the Department hosts a Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (P.U.R.E.) symposium on campus, where motivated student researchers can present their results. Both students and faculty attend the symposium. It provides a great opportunity for students to give a scientific presentation [2].

Department of Psychology

Both undergraduate and graduate students frequently participate in research activities under the supervision of psychology faculty members. They may serve as an assistant in a professor’s research lab, or they might conduct their own independent research project as part of a paid experience or for course credit (e.g., PSY 497, PSY 270/370/470). Faculty members routinely secure funding from grants, intramural professional development funds, or the University’s QEP funding for experiential learning. Sometimes those funds include pay for student work. Most often, students participate in extracurricular research for no pay. These students choose to conduct research to accrue experience for applying to graduate school or to gain more extensive knowledge about the research process under the close mentorship of a faculty member [3].

The following research manuscripts were produced recently by psychology faculty members:

  • Schwanz, K., Palm, L. J., Broughton, S. F., & Hill-Chapman, C. R. (2017).  Self-Reliance and Relations with Parents as Predictors of Anxiety and Depression in College Students. American Journal of Education Research, 4(14), 13 – 17.
  • Broughton, S.F. & Hill-Chapman, C.R. (2016). A simplified scan sampling procedure for evaluating behavioral effects of a group intervention. In Sprink, A., et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of Measuring Behavior 2016: Tenth Annual Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research, pp. 273-277. Dublin, Ireland: School of Computing, Dublin City University, the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the University of Aberdeen and Noldus.

Descriptions of scholarly work among Francis Marion faculty and students from other Schools or departments are described below.

School of Business

Peer Reviewed Journal Article
  • Aniello, J., Clouse, R.W., Goodin, T. “An Authentic Learning Experience.” Entrepreneurs in Action (EIA), University of Florida Press (2016).
  • David, Fred R. and David, Forest R. Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases-A Competitive Advantage Approach. 16th Edition. Hoboken, NJ. Pearson Education Inc. (2017) – published 1-4-16
  • David, Fred R. and David, Forest R. Concepts of Strategic Management-A Competitive Advantage Approach. 16th Edition. Hoboken, NJ. Pearson Education Inc. (2017) – published 1-4-16.

Department of History

  • Alena Eskridge-Kosmach engaged in the following research activity:
    • Published “The Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878 and the Attitude of Russian Society (based on Memoirs, Diaries and the Epistolary Heritage of Contemporaries),” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 29 (2016): 423-72
    • Presented “Yugoslavia and the US Foreign Policy in the 1960-1970 of the 20th century” at Religion, National Identity and Statehood in the Balkans of the 19th-21st Century Conference. This meeting took place at Veliko Tarnovo University in the Republic of Bulgaria, November 19-20, 2016.
  • Scott Kaufman engaged in the following research activity:
    • Completed revisions on an essay on U.S. relations with China during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration to appear in A Companion to Dwight D. Eisenhower, which will be published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2018
    • Submitted a review of Luca Trenta’s book, Risk and Presidential Decision Making: The Emergence of Foreign Policy Crises (New York: Routledge, 2016), to Presidential Studies Quarterly
    • Presented a paper entitled “Complications over Cyprus: The Ford Administration and Its First Foreign Policy Crisis” at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Conference at the University of San Diego in June 2016

Department of Sociology

  • Jessica Burke presented five papers at professional conferences during Fall 2016:
    • Two papers were co-authored with Dr. Lisa Eargle and Thomas Brown, a senior sociology major. One of the papers titled “Student Perceptions of Factors Influencing Violence and Anti-Violence Strategies on Campus and in Communities” was presented at the Southern Criminal Justice Association Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia. The other paper, “The Influence of Racial Status on Student Views about Campus Police” was presented at the Mid-South Sociological Association Annual Meeting in North Charleston, South Carolina.
    • Another paper co-authored with Dr. Eargle, titled “Nearly 50 Years after the Loving vs. Virginia Decision: Interracial Romantic Relationships and Hate Crime Victimization” was also presented at the Mid-South Sociological Association Annual Meeting.
    • Finally, Dr. Burke presented two solo authored papers at the Mid-South Sociological Association meeting:  “Interracial Relationships and Mental Well-Being: An Application of Identity Theory” and “Psychosocial Factors and Psychological Distress:  An Exploration of Latino Marital/Cohabiting Relationships.”
  • Lisa Eargle authored or co-authored the following presentations at the Southern Criminal Justice Association conference in Savannah, GA during Fall 2016:
    • “Student Perceptions of Factors Influencing Violence and Anti-Violence Strategies on Campus and in Communities” was co-authored with Dr. Jessica Burke and Mr. Thomas Brown.
    • “Hate Crime or Act of Terrorism?: The 2015 Mass Shooting of the Emanuel AME Nine in Charleston, SC” was co-authored with Dr. Ashraf Esmail of Dillard University and Dr. George Amedee of Southern University-New Orleans.
    • “Investigating Law Enforcement’s Activity Before, During, and After a Terrorism Incident: An Application and Expansion of the TIVEAD (Terrorism-Instigated Violence Event as Disaster) Model’s Framework” was a sole-authored poster presentation.
  • Alexander Lu published a book chapter in 2016 titled, “Newspaper Portrayals and Emotional Connection Strategies: Commemorating Model Minority Murder Victims” in Asian/Americans and Education: A Critical Analysis of the “Model Minority” as Perpetrators and Victims of Crime (Rowman and Littlefield Press).
  • Rusty Ward participated in an “Author Meets Critic” panel discussion at the annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, April 2017. Dr. Ward  critiqued Dan Harrison’s recently published book titled, “Making Sense of Marshall Ledbetter: The Dark Side of Political Protest.”

School of Education

  • Drs. Meetze-Holcombe, Bausmith & Taylor’s work, “University Life 101: The  Freshmen Two Years Later” was presented at the Southeastern Regional Association of  Teacher Educators (SRATE) Fall 2016 Conference on October 13, 2016.
  • Callum Johnston (with Teresa Herzog) presented a paper at the 2016 International Education Conference, in Venice, Italy titled, “The Effects of Prosocial Lessons on the Establishment of Positive Learning Environments in Early Education.”

Department of Political Science and Geography

  • William Daniel published two scholarly journal articles during 2015-2016:
    • “An online electoral connection? How electoral systems condition representatives’ social media use” in European Union Politics (2016)
    • “First Order contests for second-order parties? Differentiated candidate nomination strategies in European Parliament election” in the Journal of European Integration (2016).
    • Dr. Daniel also presented his research at the following academic conferences:
      • American Political Science Association (San Francisco, August/September 2015)
      • European Political Science Association (Brussels, Belgium; June 2016)
      • European Consortium for Political Research, Standing Group Conference on the European Union (Trento, Italy; June 2016).

Department of Mass Communication

  • David Baxley published four articles for the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 3) website:
    • “Building Trust: Let’s Get Back to the Basics” (December 2016)
    • “CBS Correspondent Finds Ways to Connect Heritage With Reporting.” (January 2017)
    • “Where Did Television News Go Wrong?” (January 2017)
    • “An Emotional Toll: Reporters and the Big Story.” (February 2017).
  • Tim Hanson wrote two feature articles for South Carolina Living:
    • “The Clock is Ticking,” which examined the growing popularity of escape room games, appeared as a cover story in the November/December 2016 issue of the magazine.
    • A second article about the widespread dog sport of Flyball will appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

Department of Physics and Astronomy

  • Rahul Renu engaged in the following research activity
    • Published an article in the Journal of Manufacturing Systems in 2016-2017 titled, “Computing similarity of text-based assembly processes for knowledge retrieval and reuse”
    • Presented a conference paper on “Improving engineering graphics grading using a shape similarity algorithm” at an American Society of Mechanical Engineers conference in Charlotte, NC.

School of Health Sciences

  • Tracy George made the following four presentations:
    • George, T. P. (2017): “Long-acting reversible contraception.” 23rd Annual Advanced Practice Nurses’ Conference, Charleston, SC (February 24, 2017)
    • DeCristofaro, C. & George, T.P. (2017). “Translating mobile technology from the classroom and laboratory to the real world: Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment,” Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education 8th Annual Conference (February 21, 2017)
    • Murphy, P., George, T.P., DeCristofaro, C. & Remle, C. (2017). “Knowledge progression regarding advance directives among pre-licensure nursing students.” 2017 Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy (Virginia Tech CIDER CHEP). Blacksburg, VA (February 15, 2017)
    • DeCristofaro, C. & George, T.P. (2016). “Use of mobile technology with undergraduate nursing students.”  OLC Accelerate 2016 Conference, Orlando, FL (November 16, 2016). (Trends and Innovations Education Track session).
  • Deborah L. Hopla made the following presentation in 2017: “O’ the Places You’ll Go!” Keynote Speaker. The Student Nurses Association, State Convention, 65th Annual Student Nurses Convention, Hilton Head, South Carolina.
  • Nina Russell made the following presentation in 2016: “Text-Messaging to support diabetes self-management in a rural health clinic.” 22nd Annual Diabetic Symposium for Primary Healthcare Professionals.
  • Ruth Wittmann-Price engaged in the following research activity:
    • Book publication-Wittmann-Price, R. A., Godshall, M., & Wilson, L. (Editors) (2017). Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) review manual (3rd). NYC: Springer Publishing. (ISBN: 978-0-8261-6165-9)
    • Book publication-Wittmann-Price, R. A., Reap Thompson, B., & Cornelius, F. (Editors) (2017). NCLEX-RN® EXCEL: Test success through unfolding case study review (2nd). NYC: Springer Publishing. (ISBN: 978-0-8261-2833-1).
    • Dr. Wittmann-Price also published seven book chapters:
      • Wittmann-Price, R. A., Waite, R. & Woda, D. H. (2017). “The role of the educator.” In Role development for doctoral advanced nursing practice [Dreher, M. & Glasgow, M. E. S., Eds. (2nd edition)]. NYC: Springer Publishing; and, Wittmann-Price, R. A. (2017)
      • Six chapters in Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B. & Makic, M. B. F. Nursing diagnosis handbook (11th ed). St. Luis, MS: Elsevier.

Department of English, Modern Languages, and Philosophy

  •  Lynn Hanson wrote an article with Rahul Renu, Department of Physics and Astronomy, describing “A Rule-Based Decision Support System for Authoring Technical Instructions,” forthcoming in the published proceedings of the 2017 IDETC Computers and Information Engineering conference.
  • Christopher Johnson’s newest book, A Political Biography of Sarah Fielding, was published in July 2017 by Taylor and Francis.
  • Pamela Rooks presented two conference papers:
    • “Prodigals’ Return: The Lessons of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Colonial Children” at the 26th Annual British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference in Savannah, GA, Feb. 17 -18, 2017
    • “Making It Work: Constructing an Introductory Interdisciplinary Gender Studies Course” at the 4th International Conference on Advances in Women’s Studies” in Toronto, Canada, June 10 – 11, 2017.


  1. Catalog 2016-2017, Mission Statement, p. 9
  2. FMU Website, PURE Undergraduate Research
  3. Department of Psychology, Student Research