Pasha Antonenko has an extra $4.5 million in grants for his research.

Antonenko, a UF education professor, has received four research grants from the National Science Foundation, a federal agency that funds projects supporting science, education, technology and mathematics research and education. A fifth grant is pending official announcement.

This is a new record for a College of Education researcher, Antonenko said. But he didn’t apply for the grants with this goal in mind.

"I guess I’m proud, but on the other hand I wasn’t applying to these grants to set a new record," he said. "I was applying for grants to get funding to do interesting, cutting-edge research."

He said research is what he’s most excited about, and with about $4.5 million total from the grants, he can head five projects that will advance education technology.

These projects include researching ways multimedia learning affects students and creating an app that allows students to learn about human physiology through simulations, wrote Thomasenia Adams, the college’s associate dean for research and faculty development, in an email.

UF educational technology doctoral student Jiahui Wang has been working with Antonenko for about a year. She said he is deserving of the grants because he’s hardworking.

"It is really nice working with him," the 25-year-old said. "As students, we’re not just doing data analysis or doing some work for him. Our ideas and our contribution is being respected."

Antonenko said he hopes these grants will improve education as well as put UF’s College of Education on the map.

"You’re basically saying, ‘Here we are at the University of Florida,’" he said. "We do quality educational research."

Contact Alexandra Fernandez at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @alexmfern