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Sustainable Development Research





Graduate Student Research Awards Information


Sustainable Development Research Awards Programs - Overview

In Spring 2023, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette awarded $40,000 in faculty research grants related to Sustainable Development - that is, research related to Social Inclusion, Environmental Protection or Economic Growth - and to the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. This initiative was a collaboration between 5 campus entities: Faculty Affairs (Dianne Olivier), the Graduate School (Mary Farmer-Kaiser and Philip de Mahy), the Office of Campus Diversity (Kiwana McClung) the Office of Sustainability (Gretchen Vanicor) and Brian Bolton, Professor of Finance and the Dwight W. Andrus, Jr. / BORSF Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Finance. This program has several key goals: (1) to celebrate the amazing research being done across the UL Lafayette campus, (2) to show how vital research on sustainable development is for Southern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region, and (3) to create a platform to share research and to encourage collaborations where faculty can help solve some of society's greatest challenges.

In the initial phase in Spring 2023, we rewarded 19 faculty projects. We identified 4 "Ambassadors," or senior faculty who will take on additional responsibilities of leading this work going forward and 15 "Fellows." All 19 faculty are required to (a) submit their research to the committee members, and (b) present their research at a to-be-determined research seminar open to the entire UL Lafayette community. The winning faculty members and their projects are listed below.

This initial phase is the first of several, anticipated to last for at least 3 years. Phase 2, which was launched on December 1, 2023, seeks to recognize and reward graduate student research on Sustainable Development. Applications are due by January 31, 2024 and the winning projects & students will be announced around February 1, 2024. We expect to award another $30,000 to $40,000 to 15-25 graduate student projects.  After that, we expect to have 2-4 more rounds of grants for faculty, graduate students and all members of the UL Lafayette community. Click here to learn more about Phase 2 for graduate student research.


Sustainable Development Research Ambassadors - Spring 2023

  • James Albert - Professor - Biology, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
    “Documenting Body-Shape in Riverine Fishes”
    Sustainable Development Goals: 6, 15
  • Emad Habib - Professor - Civil Engineering, College of Engineering
    “Fostering Flood-Resilient Communities: Integrating Hydrodynamic Modeling, Socio-Economic Risk Assessment, and Inclusive Communication”
    SDGs: 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16
  • Liz Skilton - Associate Professor - History, College of Liberal Arts
    “The Sustainability of Coastal Restoration: Tracking Community Understandings of Restoration Projects at 5 or More Years”
    SDGs: 8, 11, 13, 14, 15
  • Heather Stone - Associate Professor - Educational Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education & Human Development
    “Isle of Memories: Stories of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw”
    SDGs: 4, 10, 16"
    Link to Dr. Stone's film on this topic

Sustainable Development Research Fellows - Spring 2023

  • Stephanie Arceneaux - Senior Instructor - LHC Group - Myers School of Nursing
    Education of Nursing Students on Human Trafficking Improves Knowledge”
    SDGs: 5, 11
  • Emily Blosser - Assistant Professor - Sociology, College of Liberal Arts
    “Food for Thought: Exploring the Impact of Food on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals Using a Podcast”
    SDGs: 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 13, 15
  • Ling Fei - Assistant Professor - Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering
    “A 3D-Printed, Freestanding Si/Carbon Composite Lattice for Li-Ion Batteries”
    SDGs: 7, 11
  • Tori Flint - Associate Professor - Educational Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education & Human Development
    “Literacies Beyond Bars: (Re)claiming and (Re)imagining Identities Through Multimodal Family Literacy Practices”
    SDGs: 4, 16
  • Randy Gonzales - Associate Professor - English, College of Liberal Arts
    “Filipino Food, Louisiana Ingredients”
    SDGs: 2, 12
  • Liane Hancock - Associate Professor - Architecture, College of the Arts
    “Serving the Under-served: Building Resiliency for Manufactured Homes across the Coastal South”
    SDGs: 1, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17
  • Emily Kane - Assistant Professor - Biology, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
    “You’ll Never Look at a Roadside Ditch the Same After This! Small, Boring Fish Make a Big Impact on Pest Control”
    SDGs: 3, 5, 6, 11
    Link to Dr. Kane's video on this research
  • Do Kyun David Kim - Professor - Communication, College of Liberal Arts
    “Measuring the Duration of Flood Risk Perception and Recommendations for Sustainable Development: Climate Change, Natural Disaster, and Community Education for Preparation”
    SDGs: 4, 10, 11, 13
  • Manyu Li - Assistant Professor - Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
    “Cultivating a Sense of Belonging for Inclusive and Equitable Education: From Research to Application”
    SDGs: 4, 10, 16
  • Nathan Roberts - Professor - Educational Foundations & Leadership, Education & Human Development
    (with Marietta Adams, Aimee Barber & Amanda Mayeaux)
    “Lactation Policies and the K-12 Teacher Workforce:  A Law and Policy Analysis to Determine a Model Policy to Encourage and Support the Recruitment and Retention of Female Teachers”
    SDGs: 3, 4, 5, 8
  • Emily Sandoz - Professor - Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
    “Promoting Appetitive Learning of Consensual, Empowered Vulnerability: A Contextual Behavioral Conceptualization of Intimacy”
    SDGs: 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 16, 17
  • David Squires - Assistant Professor - English, College of Liberal Arts)
    “‘Proof That We Ever Was’: Exhibiting the Ernest J. Gaines Center Collections"
    SDGs: 4, 10, 16
  • Yu Wang - Assistant Professor - Chemistry, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
    “Development of Novel Water Purification Materials for the Removal of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)”
    SDGs: 6, 11
  • Christine Weill - Associate Professor - Communicative Disorders, College of Liberal Arts)
    (With Ryan Nelson & Holly Damico)
    “Investigating Our Legacy: Twenty Years of Language and Literacy Projects in Southwest Louisiana”
    SDGs: 1, 4, 10
  • Yung-Hsing Wu - Professor - English, College of Liberal Arts
    “‘Reading Race with Oprah’: A Conference Panel”
    SDGs: 4, 5, 8, 16


2023-2024 Research Summit Schedule

  • March 8, 2024 - Faculty Sustainable Development Research Summit
  • April 12, 2024 - Graduate Student Sustainable Development Research Summit

Both Summits will take place at the LITE Center, from about 9am-2pm. All projects will be presented at each session, with 15-20 presenters introducing their work in short, impactful 5-7 minute pitches. Each Summit will have multiple breakout sessions to faciliate more focused conversations with the researchers, plus lots of coffee and snacks.

More information, including the detailed program and registration information, will be posted here as the events get closer.



Office of Academic Affairs

  • Dr. Dianne Olivier
    • Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Office of Faculty Affairs
    • Professor of Educational Foundations and Leadership

The Graduate School

Office for Campus Diversity

  • Kiwana McClung
    • Chief Diversity Officer
    • Professor of Architecture, SLEMCO / LEQSF Regents Professor in Art & Architecture II

Office of Sustainability

Brian Bolton (

This page is maintained by Brian Bolton, Professor of Finance and the Dwight W. Andrus, Jr. / BORSF Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Finance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.