Current Grant Projects

Benoit, III, E. (2019). Virtual Footlocker Project: Developing a User-centered Framework for Digital Preservation of Active Duty and Veteran Personal Records. Institute of Museum and Library Services, $390,706. Award number RE-37-19-0011-19. Funded. 

The Virtual Footlocker Project (VFP) is a three-year research project that will investigate best practices and protocols for archivists assisting veterans and active duty personnel with preservation of their personal digital archives. The project will address the following questions:

  • What are the digital preservation concerns of contemporary active duty and veterans?
  • What are the technical and descriptive requirements to meet these needs?
  • Which existing open source tools and practices can be adapted and modified for assisting digital preservation, where are the gaps, and how can they be filled?

For generations, soldiers documented their wartime experiences in personal diaries, photographs, and correspondence. Often veterans kept these treasured personal collections long after their service, and handed them down to family members with some eventually donated to archives and museums. These personal military service accounts serve a vital role in humanizing wartime sacrifices and experiences. The contemporary 21st century soldier no longer creates and maintains the same analog personal archives with the shift towards digital technologies over the past twenty years, thereby creating a critical future gap in the record. The proposed project will develop a user-centered framework to create best practice digital preservation protocols for assisting veterans with preserving their personal records.

The VFP will employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis methodologies to provide multidimensional findings. The proposed project will leverage existing data collected from the PI’s previous quantitative research, specifically a survey of 500 contemporary veterans and active duty personnel. New data will be gathered through a series of ten focus group interviews with both enlisted and officer representatives from each of the five armed service branches (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy). Analysis of both the existing and new data will map the technical requirements for digital preservation based on existing standards, identify challenges (technical and policy), and propose a functional framework for protocol design. Finally, the VFP will design a workshops series for archivists based on these findings. The PI will receive feedback throughout the project from advisory boards of archival scholars, practitioners, and military representatives.


Stewart, B. & Walker, J. (2018). EAGER cloud-ecosystem in box (CEB). National Science Foundation, $298,286. Award number 1842679. Funded.

Dr. Brenton Stewart was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Computer and Network Systems. As the recipient and lead investigator on the study, Dr. Stewart will receive $298,286 as a fund that will shape the exploration further and ultimately finalize his research. The project team will enable minority-serving institutions to address the deficit that exists around diverse engagement, leveraging cloud ecosystems in their research in two important interconnected arenas and encompassing exposure, training, and engagement in this domain. This project is a partnership between the LSU-SLIS and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

The Cloud Ecosystem in the Box (CEB) project will develop collaborative communities. Initially composed of minority serving institutions, the project will generate conceptual and methodological innovations in cloud computing research by leveraging NSF funded cloud and industry ecosystems. CEB, will also create a much-needed means of enabling and fostering innovative change within cloud computing training, sharing knowledge and resources as innovation takes place, enabling heightened outreach to diverse communities to build a healthy pipeline for students aspiring to enter the computing profession, and strengthening the ability to evaluate new research strategies leveraging these resources. The community will initially comprise faculty from minority-oriented institutions and will allow them to collectively overcome resource barriers and engage with peers in a community of practice.


Nina Lam (Principal Investigator), Margaret Reams, Seung-Jong Park, Michelle Meyer, and Seungwon Yang (co-Principal Investigator). (Sep. 2016 – Feb. 2021). IBSS-L: Understanding Social and Geographical Disparities in Disaster Resilience Through the Use of Social Media, $834,585. Award number NSF#1620451. Funded.

This interdisciplinary research project will examine whether social and geographical disparities exist during the four phrases of emergency management (mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery). The investigators will use multiple perspectives and scales to address the research questions, including analysis at the community, individual, and organizational scales. Findings from this project will provide valuable insights into the interplay among regional disparities, individual social networks and behavior, and governmental/organizational policies.

This project will expand knowledge of whether social media use may serve to overcome or further deepen the social and geographical disparities in each phase of emergency management. The project will enhance understanding of how to conduct efficient mining of social media data in order to produce useful and valid scientific information, thereby advancing both social science and information science research by developing and testing algorithms that can be used to mine noisy and imperfect data from sources like Twitter. The knowledge gained from this project will help develop strategies to reduce disparities, create effective social media campaigns and emergency management outreach, and promote resilience to disasters. The methods used in this project will be applicable to study other disasters in other regions. This project is supported through the NSF Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (IBSS) competition.