Bethany College Faculty Member Receives 2013 Instrumentation Grant

BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College faculty member Jennifer Franko has been awarded a $19,995 state grant to purchase scientific instruments for teaching and research.

The award is a 2013 Instrumentation Grant given by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research.

Currently the assistant professor of biology, Franko said one of the major factors that contributed to her position at Bethany was her desire to participate in the education and training of undergraduate students. She said obtaining support for research equipment through sources such as this will provide hands-on research training opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in the biomedical field.

“This is more beneficial than relying on summer internships at other, larger research institutes for such research experiences. Acquiring the ability to perform real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses will revolutionize our current molecular and cell biology related courses, as well as our senior research project capabilities,” said Franko.

The Instrumentation Grant Program purchases scientific equipment for advanced undergraduate laboratories in order to encourage students in West Virginia to continue their careers in science, mathematics and engineering.

Bethany College President Scott D. Miller said this is a “wonderful opportunity” for Franko and her students.

“Because of this grant, she now has the chance to offer students more experience and a better understanding of their field, right here on campus. Jennifer is a dedicated and respected faculty member here at Bethany and this grant further exemplifies her dedication to her work and to her students,” said Miller.  

Funding for the award is possible through the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund, which lays the foundation for many of the state’s competitive grant programs. Since 2005, this fund has awarded nearly $30 million for research, supporting 19 institutions across West Virginia.

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Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.