April 2015

University Awarded Grant for Self-Control Project

Jennifer Veilleux, left, and Eric Funkhouser will lead a project focusing on temptation and self-control. Photo by Matt Reynolds, University of Arkansas

Researchers in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences are launching a project that will examine how people think of their temptations.

Florida State University awarded a nearly $143,000 grant to Jennifer Veilleux, an assistant professor of psychological science, to conduct the project in collaboration with Eric Funkhouser, an associate professor of philosophy.

Their project is part of a $4.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation awarded to Florida State for an initiative called the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control.

In laboratory studies, the researchers will have dieters and smokers view their desires as either coming from within themselves or externally, and then tempt them with the objects of their desire, either food or cigarettes, to see which view of urges is most effective at helping people resist their temptations.

“Everyday cases of self-control often come down to how well people manage their conflicting goals and temptations,” said Jennifer Veilleux,. “Dieters or smokers will often say, ‘The emotion swept over me like it’s the wind. This craving just came upon me.’ It wasn’t originated from the self but something external, an ethereal external temptation that then almost infects the person.”

Funkhouser said people sometimes see these external pressures as inner demons or animal urges.

“That creates a mindset where you are at war with this entity,” he said. “We want to determine if that is a healthy and effective attitude to take toward temptation, or whether it is better to have what we call an acceptance attitude, where you accept a temptation as part of yourself."

The University of Arkansas project was one of 10 selected through a sub-grant competition by Florida State. The overall project will investigate self-control from a variety of perspectives, from neuroscience and social and developmental psychology to philosophy, and involve researchers from around the world.

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Mantooth Honored by SEC


Alan Mantooth

Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and the Twenty-First Century Endowed Chair in Mixed-Signal IC Design and CAD, is the University of Arkansas recipient of the 2015 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award.   

The award honors professors from SEC universities with outstanding records in teaching, research and scholarship. The honorees serve as role models for other faculty and students.

“Alan Mantooth is an outstanding faculty member and we are very pleased that he was selected as the University of Arkansas’ SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipient,” said Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “His record of teaching, research and innovation is remarkable.”

SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners, one from each university, receive a $5,000 honorarium and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The SEC Professor of the Year receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be recognized at the SEC awards dinner in Destin, Florida, and the SEC Symposium in Atlanta.

Mantooth has been a professor of electrical engineering at the university since December 1998. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the U of A in 1985 and 1986. He received a doctorate from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990.

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New Foundation Grants Program Available for Faculty

The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations invites faculty who are outstanding early career scientists to apply for nationally competitive Faculty Scholars grants that range from $100,000 to $400,000 per year.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Simons Foundation have created a joint national competition for grants to outstanding early career scientists as Faculty Scholars. Awardees will receive a five-year, nonrenewable grant whose size will be based on several factors, including the amount of external funding the scientist has at the time of the grant.

There are no limits on the number of applicants or awardees from any eligible institution, and candidates apply directly without an institutional nomination.

Faculty who apply to the Faculty Scholars program are asked to notify Marla Mayberry at 479-575-2638 or mcmayber@uark.edu.

New Book: Sleep Loss Tied to Emotional Reactions


Matthew T. Feldner

A person’s loss of sleep can be connected to their likelihood of reacting emotionally to a stressful situation.

That is one of the recent findings included in a new book, Sleep and Affect: Assessment, Theory and Clinical Implications, co-edited by a University of Arkansas psychology professor and his former doctoral student. Affect is a term in psychology that describes a broad range of emotional experiences.

“In our study, we wanted to find out if there was a link between the loss of sleep and our emotional response,” said Matthew T. Feldner, a professor of psychology in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. “We saw that if a person lost a night of sleep they responded with more emotion to a laboratory ‘stressor.’ This finding extended previous work that had linked chronic sleep loss to anxiety and mood disorders.”

Feldner co-edited Sleep and Affect with Kimberly A. Babson, a health science specialist at the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Menlo Park, California. Babson earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Arkansas.

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University Awarded Grant for Self-Control Project

Mantooth Honored by SEC

New Grants Program Available for Faculty

Sleep Loss Tied to Emotional Reactions


U of A Alumna Named Director of Science and Research Communications

Doctoral Fellow Working to Develop Next Generation of Materials

Record Number of Space and Planetary Science Students Represented at Conference


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Grant Award Winners

The following is a sampling of the top grants awarded to faculty and staff in March, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor. An asterisk (*) indicates the continuation of a previous award.
• Min Zou, $438,317, National Science Foundation
• Jennifer Veilleux, $142,947, Florida State University
• Julie A. Stenken, $123,252, SFC Fluidics
• Tricia Starks, $121,250, National Institutes of Health
• Song Feng, $94,690, Korea Polar Research Institute


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