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The National Science Foundation has recently awarded a grant to a research team that includes a faculty member at UT.

rentschCollege of Communication and Information Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Communication Studies Professor Joan Rentsch is the co-principal investigator for the project, titled Facilitating Knowledge Building in Cooperative Learning of Statistics in Teams with Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Hearing Students. The study was awarded $499,830 by the National Science Foundation.

“This grant enables us to extend the team communication research, which was funded initially by the military, to deaf and hard-of-hearing students working in STEM disciplines,” said Rentsch. “We are excited to conduct this work in CCI’s Integrative Organizational Research Laboratory.”

The study will focus on how deaf and hard-of-hearing students are able to obtain knowledge about statistical concepts and problems by communicating both public and personal information. Rentsch’s knowledge of team communication will guide the development of the research methods and training materials.

Rentsch will be working with a team from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), including investigator Michael Stinson, who is a professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT.

“Rentsch’s expertise in team communication will allow her to provide tremendous support for this NSF grant,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “Her innovative research has already provided valuable insights and information to other organizations.  This is exciting work, and we look forward with great anticipation to the results of this cutting-edge project.”

The grant-funded work will continue until August 31, 2018.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,