Summary of 2018–2019 Awards
  21 grants to 14 individual awardees: $1,132,443 total

  • Arts, Literature, & Humanities: $100,071 on 8 awards
  • Science & Math, & Social Science: $1,032,372 on 13 awards

Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh

AMS-Simons Travel grant

Funder: American Mathematical Society, with support from the Simons Foundation

Award date: 7/1/18
Award amount
: $4,800
Project period: 7/1/18-6/30/20

This two-year travel grant – administered by the American Mathematical Society with support from the Simons Foundation – provides research-related funds for Professor Turnage-Butterbaugh’s travel and for bringing her research collaborators to Carleton, as well as additional funds for enhancing the research atmosphere in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Carleton.

Rika Anderson, Assistant Professor of Biology Rika Anderson

Elucidating the role of viruses in shaping microbial adaption and evolutionary trajectories in the subseafloor of deep-sea hydrothermal vents

Funder: NASA, Contract with J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)

Award date: 7/18/18
Award amount:
Project period:

As a co-investigator, Rika Anderson will contribute to a NASA Exobiology project led by Lisa Zeigler Allen at the J. Craig Venter Institute. The research team – consisting of Prof. Anderson, a student researcher, and a research associate – will assist primarily with bioinformatics tasks.

Jay Tasson, Assistant Professor of PhysicsJay Tasson

RUI: Tests of Gravity, Data Analysis, and Detector Characterization for LIGO

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 7/31/18    
Award amount: $119,960         
Project period: 8/1/18-7/31/21

This NSF (#1806990) project continues efforts, advanced in part by coPI Nelson Christensen, to identify and characterize noise in data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Prof. Tasson will help develop tools to perform and interpret multi-messenger astrophysics. The project involves undergraduate researchers and outreach to the local community.

Rika Anderson, Assistant Professor of Biology Rika Anderson

The Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL): Advancing the Search for Life Beyond the Solar System

Funder: NASA, Subaward with University of Washington-Seattle

Award date: 8/8/18      
Award amount
: $130,169         
Project period
: 6/1/18-5/31/23

This project, as part of NASA’s broader “Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS)” network, aims to improve how scientists recognize whether an exoplanet can or does support life. As a co-investigator with Victoria Meadows of the University of Washington-Seattle, Prof. Anderson will examine the early evolution of microbial life on Earth. She will work with a Carleton undergraduate researcher on bioinformatics tasks over the course of the five-year grant, and attend the Astrobiology Science Conference each other year.

Linda Rossi, Professor of Art Linda Rossi

Photographic Puzzles of Rice County

Funder: Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC)

Award date: 8/21/18    
Award amount
: $5,000             
Project period: 10/30/18-10/15/19

Building on her recent successful installation at Valley Grove chapel, Professor Rossi will create a series of photographic puzzles that focus on the landscapes, flora, and fauna of Rice County. This Individual Artist Grant for Advancing Artists will foster exploration of the ways in which we conscript nature in everyday objects. Professor Rossi plans to hold a public event showcasing the puzzles and featuring a reading by a local naturalist at the Northfield Library in September 2019. 

Cecilia Cornejo, Instructor in Cinema and Media StudiesCecilia Cornejo

2019 Artist Residency at Lanesboro Arts

Funder: Jerome Foundation, administered by the Lanesboro Artist Residency Program

Award date: 9/4/18      
Award amount
: $4,000           
Project period
: 9/1/19-9/30/19

Two residencies per year are awarded to artists with projects that activate the people and places of Lanesboro, Minnesota, while instigating positive change. Professor Cornejo will travel to Lanesboro in September 2019 with her public art project “The Wandering House,” which features an ice-fishing house converted into a mobile audio-recording studio. While there, she will invite the community to record their oral testimonies as they reflect on the significance of home and on how current debates surrounding immigration affect this notion. The project will engage the community in the production of collective knowledge while challenging the prevailing representations of rural people and immigrants. 

Gao Hong, Director of the Chinese Music Ensemble and Senior Lecturer in Chinese Musical InstrumentsGao Hong and pipa

2019 Folk and Traditional Arts Grant for Pudong style pipa pieces

Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB)

Award date: 11/7/18    
Award amount: $34,071            
Project period
: 1/1/19-12/31/19

This Folk and Traditional Arts Grant supports Gao’s recording of the ten most important Pudong style pipa pieces on video to help pass on Pudong to future generations. She will present two concerts, ten lectures, and ten workshops for schools, senior centers, and community music groups.

Cherlon Ussery, Associate Professor of Linguistics Cherlon Ussery

Ditransitives in Insular Scandinavian

Funder: Icelandic Centre for Research

Award date: 1/16/19    
Award amount
: $51,024            
Project period
: 1/1/19-12/31/19

The Icelandic Research Fund supports a wide range of science, humanities, and arts research in Iceland, and made 31 grants (to 17% of applicants) in this round of funding. The initial award of 17.5 million Icelandic króna for year 1 (roughly $145,000) is renewable for two additional years. This project is a collaboration with Jóhannes Gísli Jónsson at the University of Iceland, and other faculty and researchers at University of the Faroe Islands, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Yale University, and the University of Konstanz. The project funds will allow Prof. Ussery to continue her ongoing research centered at the University of Iceland and University of the Faroe Islands. 

Wes Markofski, Assistant Professor of SociologyWes Markofski

Good News for the Common Good: Multicultural Evangelicalism and Ethical Democracy in America.

Funder: Louisville Institute

Award date: 2/1/19      
Award amount
: $40,000            
Project period
: 9/1/19-8/31/20

The Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers enables ecclesial-engaged academics and scholarly religious leaders to conduct major studies that contribute to the vitality of Christianity in North America. Grants support year-long research projects that address Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or religious institutions.

With his grant, Prof. Markofski will produce a major new book on multicultural evangelicalism and ethical democracy in the United States based on twelve months of full-time ethnographic fieldwork with faith-based organizations in Portland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Boston, including 92 in-depth interviews with racially diverse evangelical and non-evangelical religious and civic leaders, community activists, organizers, lobbyists, and neighborhood residents. The book’s descriptive breadth and comparative leverage will offer a theoretically rich and empirically robust analysis of multicultural evangelical strategies of public engagement in the United States. Prof. Markofski has already incorporated some original research material relating to this project into several of his courses, and expects his grant-funded work on the book to further advance his teaching.

Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment and based at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Louisville, KY). The Institute’s fundamental mission is to enrich the religious life of North American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other. 

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

The Small Cycladic Islands Project (SCIP)

Funder: Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP)

Award date: 2/4/19      
Award amount
: $5,000             
Project period
: 5/1/19-4/30/20

This INSTAP 2019 New Research Grant supports the SCIP multidisciplinary archaeological team in their investigation of the smallest of the Aegean islands. The project focuses on several small, uninhabited islands in the Cyclades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Such places have played many roles at various points in history – for example as cemeteries, stepping stones, sanctuaries, refuges, and “goat islands.” SCIP will investigate the archaeological and environmental history of these islands from prehistory to the present, focused especially on questions of maritime connectivity, island communities, and an archaeology of uninhabited spaces and in-between places.

Cecilia Cornejo, Instructor in Cinema and Media StudiesCecilia Cornejo

Artist Grant in support of The Wandering House

Funder: National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC)

Award date: 2/19/19    
Award amount
: $5,000             
Project period: 3/1/19-2/28/20

NALAC Fund for the Arts awards provide funding to Latinx artists and collectives, and Latinx arts organizations throughout the U.S. This year 43 recipients, recognized for their artistic excellence in pursuit of social justice through the arts, were selected from a pool of nearly 400 applications by a national peer panel process involving 45 arts experts representing diverse disciplines, regions, and ethnicities. Professor Cornejo’s Artist Grant explores notions of home, a multilayered concept in a constant state of flux as more people around the globe become displaced. Learn more about her work at, and Carleton’s Public Works website

Laska Jimsen, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media StudiesLaska Jimsen

Periclean Faculty Leader (PFL)

Funder: Project Pericles

Award date: 2/20/19    
Award amount: $2,000             
Project period
: 9/1/19-3/31/20

Periclean Faculty Leaders (PFLs) champion civil dialogue, civic engagement, and social responsibility in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community (local and national). As the selected PFL at Carleton, Prof. Jimsen will make major revisions to her Nonfiction Media Production course that will foreground civil dialogue and nurture long-term community relationships.

Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship

Funder: Jerome Foundation

Award date: 3/18/19    
Award amount
: $20,000            
Project period
: 5/1/19-5/30/21

As one of 60 inaugural recipients of the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships, in collaboration with Prof. Jason Coyle at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Prof. Jimsen creates experimental nonfiction film and video work, and they are developing new projects that draw on the history of automation and pose questions about contemporary labor and workplace transformations. 

Rou-Jia Sung, Assistant Professor of Biology

Development of Novel Augmented Reality Tool for Teaching Molecular Visualization in Biochemistry

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 3/21/19    
Award amount
: $299,292          
Project period: 4/15/19-3/31/22

An NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant (#1841992) supports Prof. Sung in her work with Dr. Andrew Wilson, Academic Technologist for Digital Scholarship, to develop a freely available AR-based application that can be installed on mobile smartphone and tablet devices. The app will contain virtual 3D objects representing the molecular structures of three fundamental molecules central to biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics curricula. Each molecule will be associated with a set of learning materials, developed by the project team, to facilitate use in the classroom. The three-year project involves five Carleton undergraduate researchers, Prof. Jane Liu at Pomona, and Prof. Thom Bussey and graduate student at UCSD.

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

2019-20 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Musicians

Funder: McKnight Foundation

Award date: 5/9/19      
Award amount
: $25,000            
Project period
: 6/1/19-5/31/20

With this McKnight fellowship that supports mid-career artists, Gao became the first musician in any genre to win five McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians administered by the MacPhail Center for Music. See the 2019-2020 McKnight Fellowship Recipient Press Release

Daniela Kohen, Professor of ChemistryDaniela Kohen

RUI: Molecular Insight into Cation Motion within Zeolites

Funder: National Science Foundation

Award date: 5/13/19    
Award amount: $183,416       
Project period: 7/1/19-6/30/22

A Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant (NSF #1900590) enables Prof. Kohen and her team of undergraduate researchers to conduct an in-depth computational study of the design and identification of zeolites – porous minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents and catalysts – in a variety of industrial processes.

Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh, Assistant Professor of MathematicsCaroline Turnage-Butterbaugh

Focused Research Group: Averages of L-functions and Arithmetic Stratification

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 6/13/19    
Award amount
: $35,235        
Project period: 7/1/19-6/30/22

As part of the Management Team, Prof. Turnage-Butterbaugh will serve as one of two Senior Scientists on the NSF grant (#1854398) along with five PIs: J. Brian Conrey (American Institute of Mathematics), Henryk Iwaniec (Rutgers University), Jonathan Keating (University of Bristol), Trevor D. Wooley (University of Bristol), and Kannan Soundararajan (Stanford University). This vast research project, carried out as a concerted team effort, will make precise the connection between conjectures about averages of shifted convolutions of arithmetic functions and conjectures about the statistics of values and zeros of the Riemann zeta function and other families of L-functions. As one of the Senior Scientists, Prof. Turnage-Butterbaugh will contribute to the project research and to the mentoring of the other team members: junior faculty consultants, postdocs, graduate students, and participants at mini-workshops held at the American Institute of Mathematics, Stanford, Rutgers, and Bristol. 

Sarah Titus, Professor of Geology Sarah Titus

Linking slip dynamics to off-fault deformation in strike-slip fault systems

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 6/14/19    
Award amount
: $81,707        
Project period
: 8/15/19-7/31/21

NSF collaborative research project (#1917048) seeks to develop physical models – using sand, clay, and other materials – to mimic patterns observed in nature near the San Andreas fault in California. This laboratory-based approach allows the team to investigate the importance of different parameters, such as slip rate. In addition to physical models, the team will develop freely-available tools for analyzing the experimental results and a module about seismic hazards for middle schoolers that will be publicly available via the Science Education Resource Center. The project supports two PIs (Sarah and early-career investigator Jacqueline Reber at Iowa State University), a graduate student/alum Emily Ross ’17 at ISU, a research scientist in Mathematics (Joshua Davis), and three undergraduate students from Carleton.

Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh, Assistant Professor of MathematicsCaroline Turnage-Butterbaugh

Class groups of number field and zeros of L-functions

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 6/24/19    
Award amount: $74,980        
Project period
: 9/1/19-8/30/22 Prof. Turnage-Butterbaugh’s research, supported by NSF (#1902193), will pursue problems in the intersection of analytic and algebraic number theory, developing new methods for studying the vertical distribution of zeros of L-functions and obtaining new results concerning the class groups of number fields and Landau-Siegel zeros. Her project brings to Carleton graduate associates who are interested in better understanding the teaching and research culture at a liberal arts college and in interacting with talented undergraduates, and who will work with Prof. Turnage-Butterbaugh on problems related to the project. Carleton students in turn will benefit from attending colloquium talks by the graduate associates and from learning about graduate school culture at research universities.