Summary of 2016–2017 Awards
  22 grants to 18 individual awardees: $1,504,386 total

  • Arts & Literature: $129,852 on 8 awards
  • Humanities: $87,137 on 3 awards
  • Science & Math: $1,287,397 on 11 awards

Allison Kettering, William R. Kenan Professor of Art History EmeritaAlison Kettering

Modernization of the Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art

Funder: The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

Award date: 7/22/16 
Award amount
: $15,000
Project period: 1/1/17-12/31/17

Through 2017, this grant will enable the Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art, of which Professor Kettering is Editor-in-Chief, to upgrade its digital architecture to support recent innovations in online publishing and to train key staff to effectively use new digital resources, allowing the Journal to publish at least one digitally-enhanced article in each issue.

Matt Whited, Assistant Professor of ChemistryMatt Whited

Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar: Exploiting Metal/Main-Group Cooperation in Small-Molecule Activation

Funder: Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation

Award date: 7/29/16  
Award amount
: $60,000   
Project period: 7/29/16-7/28/21

The Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences at undergraduate institutions. The award is based on accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates, as well as a compelling commitment to teaching, and provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000.

Professor Whited’s research program focuses on chemical synthesis involving transition metals, with a particular interest in carbon dioxide transformation for renewable fuels, and has involved 18 Carleton students since 2011. The grant will fund equipment purchases to support cutting-edge research with Carleton undergraduates as well as conference travel for Professor Whited and his students. The award also provides funds for supporting departmental expenses associated with research and education, and these have been designated for developing course-based research opportunities in the Chemistry Department.

Christopher Calderone, Assistant Professor of ChemistryChristopher Calderone

RUI: Condensation Domain-Catalyzed Dehydration: A Novel, Widespread Mode of NRPS-Dependent Reactivity

Funder: National Science Foundation

Award date: 8/3/16  
Award amount
: $293,514
Project period: 8/1/16-7/31/19

Professor Calderone’s research identifies new pathways by which bacteria and fungi produce molecules known as non-ribosomal peptides, examples of which include such therapeutically important medicines as cyclosporin and penicillin. This project involves four student researchers each year, the development of educational modules for undergraduate teaching labs at Carleton, and the development of curriculum for the public-private LearningWorks partnership program in downtown Minneapolis to teach underserved middle-school students molecular biology concepts and techniques.

Andrea Mazzariello, Visiting Assistant Professor of MusicAndrea Mazzariello

Plant Another Flower

Funder: Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council

Award date: 8/17/16  
Award amount
: $5,000
Project period: 9/19/16-4/7/17

This “Established Artist” grant supports Professor Mazzariello’s new musical project to develop a new piece of music and words to perform himself, centered on drums, keyboards, voice, and electronics played simultaneously. He will premiere this “one-person band” work – which merges his experience playing rock music with his experience writing concert music – at the Northfield Arts Guild in March 2017.

Peter Balaam, Associate Professor of EnglishPeter Balaam

Faculty Site Visit to Pune, India

Funder: Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

Award date: 10/1/16  
Award amount
: $2,000
Project period: 10/1/16-12/1/16

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Faculty Site Visit Program is intended to familiarize faculty at ACM colleges with consortial off-campus study programs. Professor Balaam participated in the off-campus study site visit to Pune, India in October 2016.

Gao Hong, Gao Hong Senior Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments and Director of the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble

Arts Tour Minnesota: Storytelling music from the Chinese pipa

Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board

Award date: 11/2/16  
Award amount
: $17,852
Project period: 6/1/17-5/31/18

With this Arts Tour Minnesota, Chinese musician and educator Gao Hong will conduct performances and outreach activities featuring storytelling music from the Chinese pipa repertoire in small, rural community libraries throughout greater Minnesota.

Trish Ferrett, Professor of Chemistry Trish Ferrett

Stephen Mohring, Professor of Art 

Nancy Braker, Lecturer in Biology and Puzak Family Director of the Cowling Arboretum

2017 Seminar: Wilderness in the AnthropoceneStephen Mohring

Funder: Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

Award date: 1/13/17
Award amount: $10,000
Project period: 6/1/17-6/15/18

Professors Ferret, Mohring, and Braker will participate in the ACMNancy Braker Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL), gathering with 12 other colleagues from six ACM colleges during June 2017 at Coe College’s Wilderness Field Station (WFS).

The seminar includes overlapping interdisciplinary, team-taught modules – in boreal ecology, environmental writing and environmental social science – touching on the biology of wilderness, its place in our art and mind, and its place in our current society. Faculty will approach complex topics from different disciplinary perspectives, combining both specialist and non‐specialist roles.

Following the on-site portion of the seminar, each participant will create a new course or course module on a topic related to the seminar that advances his or her teaching interests.

The ACM’s SAIL program, funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, supports faculty as they develop innovative, multi-disciplinary curricula for upper-level students.

Cecilia Cornejo, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media StudiesCecilia Cornejo

Support of Ways of Being Home

Funder: Jerome Foundation

Award date: 1/17/17 
Award amount
: $10,000
Project period: 3/1/17-3/15/19

This Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant supports Professor Cornejo’s new film, Ways of Being Home. The film explores issues of displacement and belonging as experienced by the transnational community of Mexican immigrants living in Northfield. Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, Ways of Being Home is the second in a trilogy of films that centers on the experience of underrepresented Northfield communities.

Alex Knodell, Assistant Professor of Classics and Co-Director of Archaeology Alex Knodell

Crossroads and Boundaries in an Ancient Greek Borderland: The Mazi Archaeological Project

Funder: American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Award date: 1/25/17 
Award amount
: $42,000
Project period: 9/1/17-6/30/18

Along with his co-directors Sylvian Fachard and Kalliopi Papangeli, Professor Knodell will use this fellowship to complete research and publications on the Mazi Plain, a landscape that has been both a crossroads and a boundary since ancient times. This project offers a long-term approach to regional history, human-environmental interaction, and cultural heritage management​.​ ​Final publication will include a ​multi-authored ​scholarly monograph​, an interactive online database, and a Greek-language guidebook geared toward a popular audience and designed to promote local engagement with the region.

Wes Markofski, Assistant Professor of SociologyWes Markofski

New Sociology of Religion & Diversity and Democracy courses

FunderGlobal Religion Research Initiative at the University of Notre Dame

Award date: 2/10/17 
Award amount
: $4,000
Project period: 5/1/17-4/30/18

Professor Markofski will use this Curriculum Development Grant to revise two courses: “Sociology of Religion” and “Diversity and Democracy in America and Beyond.” The former course will explore special topics in the contemporary sociology of religion and to examine contemporary Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh communities in South Asia and the Asian Pacific region. Prof. Markofski will revise the latter course to invite students to consider whether and how religion should stand alongside other forms of American diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and language.

Helen Wong, Associate Professor of MathematicsHelen Wong

von Neumann Fellowship

Funder:Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)

Award date: 2/15/17 
Award amount
: $91,550
Project period: 9/25/17-8/24/18

This prestigious von Newmann Fellowship from IAS in Princeton, New Jersey, supports a one-year membership to IAS and enables Prof. Wong to continue her research interests in hyperbolic geometry and quantum topology. Established to support outstanding early-career mathematicians, von Neumann fellowships fund advanced mathematical research.

Layla Oesper, Assistant Professor of Computer ScienceLayla Oesper

CRII: III: RUI: Computational Approaches for Inferring the Evolutionary Histories of Cancer Genomes

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 2/22/17 
Award amount
: $142,783
Project period:

An NSF Computer Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) grant funds Professor Oesper’s project to examine the present limitations of algorithms used to infer information about tumor evolution, and focus on the development of computational approaches to understanding the evolution of mutations in cancer genomes. Additionally the research will involve up to 10 undergraduates in cutting edge computational biology research, and offer a cross-institutional undergraduate workshop for both students and faculty at baccalaureate institutions to interact and collaborate.

Julie Neiworth, Julie Neiworth Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of the Natural Sciences and Psychology 

Longitudinal Cognitive-Behavioral Testing and Immunohistochemical Assessment of Beta Amyloid Plaques in a Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Funder: National Institute of Health (NIH)

Award date: 3/7/17 
Award amount
: $431,950
Project period: 3/15/17-2/29/20

This Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) of $430,391 from the NIH funds a three-year research project to study the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In her project, Prof. Neiworth and undergraduate student researchers will collect cognitive and behavioral data from a troop of cotton-top tamarin monkeys. They hope to distinguish “natural” aging-related declines in learning and thinking from declines due to Alzheimer’s-like changes in the brain – plaques of beta amyloid molecules and neurofibrillary tangles of tau proteins. Since tamarins closely share certain key characteristics with humans, Prof. Neiworth’s research could lead to the development of new medical and training procedures for the treatment of AD in humans. In addition to working with up to 50 undergraduate researchers during summers, winter and spring breaks, and the academic years, Prof. Neiworth, in consultation with Associate Professor of Psychology Sarah Meerts, will continue to seek evidence for beta amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the monkeys once natural death has occurred. Neuroscience students will conduct immunohistochemical processes with Neiworth to seek these markers of AD.

Tsegaye Nega, Associate Professor of Environmental StudiesTsegaye Nega

Simulating Urbanization and its Impact on Ecosystem Services in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Funder: Fulbright, Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Award date: 3/16/17 
Award amount
: $102,600
Project period: 8/1/17-5/30/18

A Fulbright “Core” Scholar award enables Prof. Nega to conduct teaching and research in Ethiopia in 2017-2018. Working primarily at Addis Ababa University, he will teach environmental science courses (including courses on geospatial analysis and modeling) and, with students there, develop an urban simulation model of Addis Ababa. While in Ethiopia, Prof. Nega will also advance a budding social enterprise that fabricates fuel-efficient cookstoves and biomass pellets, and will continue to build long-term relationships between the environmental studies programs at Carleton and Addis Ababa University.

Gao Hong, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments Gao Hong

Established Artist Grant. Composition of Duet for Pipa and Zhongruan

Funder: Southeaster Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC)

Award date: 3/21/17 
Award amount
: $5,000
Project period: 4/1/17-9/30/17

This Established Artist grant from the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) will support Chinese musician and educator Gao Hong in composing a Pipa and Zhongruan Duet.

Michael McNally, Professor and Chair of ReligionMichael McNally

Native American Religious Freedom Beyond the First Amendment

Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Award date: 3/29/17 
Award amount
: $6,000
Project period: 7/1/17-8/31/17

Funder: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Award date: 4/6/17 
Award amount
: $50,000
Project period: 9/1/17-8/31/18

With the Guggenheim Fellowship, one of the most prestigious grants in the scholarly world and in the arts, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, Prof. McNally will complete a book, Native American Religious Freedom Beyond the First Amendment. His book project explores what happens to Native American claims to sacred places, practices, objects, knowledge, and ancestral remains in the law, when such sacred claims do not easily fit into the legal category of “religion.” In telling the remarkable stories behind historical and current events such as the protests at Standing Rock, the book will take stock of the implications of Native Americans’ religious-freedom claims in various legal discourses – environmental law, treaty based federal Indian law, historic preservation law, indigenous rights in international human rights law. McNally’s book will inform discussions about religious freedom, the cultural history of religion, and the vitality of indigenous religions today. 

Shaohua Guo, Assistant Professor of ChineseShaohua Guo

Liberalization of Cultural Space: Progressive Trends in China’s Digital Public

Funder: Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award date: 4/24/17 
Award amount
: $50,000
Project period
: 6/12/17-6/12/18

With this fellowship, Prof. Guo looks at the four most dynamic discursive spaces in the Chinese internet over the past two decades: bulletin board systems, blogs, microblogs akin to Twitter, and WeChat (a combination of WhatsApp and Facebook). By analyzing three prominent contemporary cultural modes – fun-seeking, trailblazing, and taboo-breaking – she contends that the entertainment-oriented online sphere has actually nurtured a diversified cultural public sphere that is open to constant contestation – including political debate that many outsiders overlook when they look over the Great Firewall. Prof. Guo will spend the first half of the year-long fellowship in China conducting field work and the last half completing her manuscript.

Kristin Bloomer, Kristin Bloomer Associate Professor of Religion and Coordinator of South Asian Studies 

Kula Teyvam: Family Gods and Changing Places in Tamil Nadu

Funder: American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) and NEH

Award date: 4/28/17 
Award amount
: $31,137
Project period
: 6/1/17-12/31/18

A 9-month AIIS Senior Research Fellowship, funded both by the AIIS and by the National Endowment for the Humanities and granted to “superior Indologists in the humanities,” will allow Prof. Bloomer to conduct research on women in a patrilocal, patrilineal society in South India. In particular, Prof. Bloomer will examine the adaptation of certain Hindu rituals that allow gender-bending possibilities as women and men seek answers to questions about their intimate relations to place and one another: identity, loyalty, family, love, belonging, and home.

Cam Davidson,Cam Davidson Professor of Geology and Director of Carleton’s Interdisciplinary Science and Math Initiative

REU Site: Keck Geology Consortium: Undergraduate Research Pathways that Broaden and Strengthen the Geosciences

Funder: Keck Geology Consortium

Award date: 5/2/17
Award amount
: $84,000
Project period: 5/1/17-4/30/21

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 5/2/17
Award amount
: $25,000
Project period
: 5/1/17-4/30/21

This major research project aims to broaden the diversity of the geoscience workforce especially among underrepresented groups, and to prepare students for careers in the geosciences. The Keck Geology Consortium funding and NSF support (#1659322) will allow Prof. Davidson and a longtime collaborator at Union College to offer as many as sixteen undergraduate research experiences. With an emphasis on year-long research experiences, structured research curricula, and mentor training, the Consortium programs provide a distinctive model for undergraduate research. Involving fieldwork in Alaska, these experiences will include both “Gateway” projects designed for first- and second-year students that consist of a mix of field and laboratory work, exposure to the breadth of the discipline, and to career opportunities in the earth sciences; and “Advanced Research Program” projects that enable students to participate in a four-week summer project involving a mix of field and laboratory study, followed by an academic year-long project at their home campuses.

Andrea Mazzariello, Visiting Assistant Professor of MusicAndrea Mazzariello

2017 McKnight Fellowships for Composers

Funder: American Composers Forum (ACF)

Award date: 5/31/17 
Award amount
: $25,000
Project period
: 6/1/17-5/31/18

This prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Composers from the American Composers Forum will allow Prof. Mazzariello to compose new concert music for performance by leading contemporary music ensembles; to write new work for himself to play in a unique setup that involves keyboard, drums, voice, and electronics; and to compose new music with youth in and around Northfield. One of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country, the McKnight Foundation’s arts program has supported individual working artists in Minnesota since 1981, providing annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 10 different creative disciplines.