Summary of 2010-2011 Awards

19 grants to 16 individual awardees: $1,475,690 total

  • Arts & Literature: $61,695
  • Humanities: $198,900
  • Science & Math: $1,210,595
  • Social Science: $4,500

Dave Musicant, Associate Professor of Computer ScienceDave Musicant
“Mentoring in Wikipedia: Improving the Experience for Newcomers”
Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Award date and amount: 7/1/2010, $36,343
Project period: 7/1/10-8/31/10

This Research Opportunity Award (ROA) supplement supported the summer portion of a sabbatical for Professor Musicant with the GroupLens project at the University of Minnesota.

Deborah GrossDeborah Gross, Associate Professor of Chemistry
“Inclusion of the ATOFMS in Measurements and Models in Summer 2010”
Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Award date and amount: 7/14/2010, $29,986
Project period: 7/14/10-7/31/11

This Research Opportunity Award (ROA), as a subaward from a St. Louis University grant, entailed the measurement of air pollution in Milwaukee by Deborah and two Carleton undergraduate research students.

 Jennifer Wolff, Assistant Professor of BiologyJennifer Wolff
“Identifying new regulators of sex-specific neurogenesis”
Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Award date and amount: 8/4/2010, $517,912
Project period: 8/1/10-7/31/13 Awarded as a Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant, this three-year project supports learning how sex-determining genes work with regulators of cell identity, division, and patterning to generate unique neurons in each sex is critical for understanding normal development, and may also provide clues about developmental disorders with higher incidence in one sex, such as autism. This work involves undergraduate researchers, high school students participating in Carleton’s Summer Science Institute, and a postdoctoral fellow.

Dan Hernandez, Assistant Professor of BiologyDan Hernandez
“RIG: Aboveground and belowground effects of multi-species herbivory across a successional gradient in tallgrass prairie”
Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Award date and amount: 9/7/2010, $184,021
Project period: 9/15/10-8/31/12 The activities in this Research Initiation Grant to Broaden Participation in Biology (RIG BP) include mentoring undergraduate researchers and developing a new lab exercise in Professor Hernandez’s Ecosystem Ecology course. The field and laboratory research in the Carleton Arboretum involves studying the effects of mammalian herbivory on insect communities in tallgrass prairie. The project will also develop K-12 outreach activities in collaboration with arboretum staff.

Cameron Davidson, Associate Professor of GeologyCam Davidson
“Tectonic evolution of the Chugach-Prince William terrane, south-central Alaska”
Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF) and Keck Geology Consortium
Award date and amount: 11/5/2010, $20,000 Carleton share (total $40,000)
Project period: 6/15/11-7/12/11 This collaborative project of Cam Davidson, John Carver (Union College, Schenectady, NY), and six undergraduate researchers involves field research on the tectonic evolution of unusual geological features on Kodiak Island and western Prince William Sound.

Adeeb Khalid, Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor of Asian Studies and HistoryAdeeb Khalid
“Between Empire and Revolution: The Making of Soviet Central Asia, 1917-1932”
Funder: John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress
Award date and amount: 12/1/11, $40,000
Project period: 12/1/10-5/31/11 Professor Khalid’s research from December 2010 through May 2011, as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress, culminated in a lecture, and contributed to his book on Central Asia in the early Soviet period.

Asuka Sango, Assistant Professor of ReligionAsuka Sango
“Zen Stories for Today: A Collaborative Model of Research Mentorship”
Funder: Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)
Award date and amount: 12/17/10, $2,000, Carleton share ($6,000 total)
Project period: 7/1/11-6/30/12 With Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) funding, Professor Sango, two colleagues at Luther College (Gereon Kopf Religion, and Benjamin Moore, Art), and a number of undergraduate student researchers will create interactive digital applications that allow students to explore Zen Buddhist religious texts. The team will develop interactive animations of key Zen “encounter dialogues” between masters and disciples, make audio recordings of interviews with Zen Buddhist practitioners and scholars on the dialogues, and build a set of resources which students and faculty can use to teach the dialogues. The project combines cutting-edge research and digital/interactive technology to facilitate learning across the liberal arts and to explore the intersections of faith and learning. More information is available on the ACM FaCE website.

Hong Zeng, Assistant Professor of ChineseHong Zeng
“Taoism and Buddhism in Chengdu and Yunnan through the lens of filmmaking”
Funder: ASIANetwork
Award date and amount: 1/26/11, $33,945
Project period: 4/15/11-5/5/12 Professor Zeng and five students, as recipients of a 2011 grant from the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program, received funds in support of travel for their summer 2011 research into the influence of Taoism and Buddhism on literature and film arts in Chengdu and Yunnan.

Neil Lutsky, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of PsychologyNeil Lutsky
“Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award, 2011 recipient”
Funder: American Psychological Foundation
Award date and amount: 2/10/11, $2,000
Project period: 2/1/11-8/31/11 This Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes “a significant career of contributions as an exceptional teacher of psychology.” Lutsky was nominated for this prize by a group of his former students at Carleton and by colleagues in the teaching of psychology community. The awardee receives a plaque, $2,000, and an all-expense paid trip to the American Psychological Association annual convention, where the award is presented and where the winner is invited to give a special address.

Gao Hong Dice, Lecturer in Chinese Musical InstrumentsGao Hong Dice
“FY 2011 Arts Learning Grant”
Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board
Award date and amount: 3/1/11, $16,750
Project period: 4/1/11-3/31/12 Supporting lifelong learning in the arts, this project will promote Chinese music and culture through a residency in a Northfield elementary school and with the Northfield youth choirs. See Gao’s personal website.

Mark Kanazawa, Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Social Sciences, Director of Environmental StudiesMark Kanazawa
“Wilbur R. Jacobs Fellowship”
Funder: The Huntington (Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens), San Marino, California
Award date and amount: 3/3/11, $2,500
Project period: 7/1/11-7/31/11 This appointment as a fellow supports a summer month in residence doing research for Professor Kanazawa’s current book project, “Golden Rules: Mining and Water Rights in the California Gold Rush.”

Ross Elfline, Assistant Professor of Art HistoryRoss Elfline
“Toward an Architecture of Distribution: Superstudio’s Magazine Works”
Funder: Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies Research and Development grant
Award date and amount: 3/31/11, $5,000
Project period: 6/20/11-6/19/12 Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend
Award date and amount: 4/25/11, $6,000
Project period: 6/1/11-8/31/11 These two grants will advance Professor Elfline’s book project on the Italian radical architecture collective Superstudio. He will use the NEH grant in summer 2011 to conduct archival research in Florence and Paris for his project. He plans to use the Graham Foundation grant to finish that archival research in December 2011 and summer 2012, working toward the completion on his first book.

Harry Williams, Laird Bell Professor of HistoryHarry Williams
“Fulbright Scholar 2011-2012”
Funder: CIES Fulbright
Award date and amount: 4/28/11, $106,900
Project period: 8/1/11-7/31/12 As a recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, Professor Williams will be spending a year teaching at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, the People’s Republic of China. There, he will offer courses in African American social, cultural, and intellectual history. Professor Williams will also pursue a research project on China’s relations with black America.

Matt Whited, Assistant Professor of ChemistryMatt Whited
“Development of Silylamides as Nitrene Delivery Reagents for Late Transition Metals”
Funder: Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement
Award date and amount: 5/10/11, $35,000
Project period: 7/1/11-6/30/13 This Cottrell College Science Award funds Professor Whited’s research in organometallic chemistry and small-molecule activation. The award also provides opportunities for undergraduate students to conduct research in Whited’s lab.

Helen Wong, Assistant Professor of MathematicsHelen Wong “Relating quantum and classical topology and geometry”
Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF) DMS Topology
Award date and amount: 5/19/2011, $124,770
Project period: 6/15/11-5/31/14 The main goal of this three-year research project is to strengthen the relationships between quantum theory, geometry, and topology, an area of mathematics concerned with the intrinsic properties of a space. The project will advance theories drawn from both quantum physics and topology that open up avenues for research into possibility of applications in physics, quantum computation, and beyond. Wong’s project will involve a number of undergraduate researchers during each year and summer of the grant.

Matt Whited, Assistant Professor of ChemistryMatt Whited
“Ambiphilic Scaffolds for Cooperative Metal-Ligand Activation of Small Molecules”
Funder: American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Grant
Award date and amount: 6/6/11, $50,000
Project period: 7/1/11-8/31/13 This funding, along with Professor Whited’s Research Corporation grant, will inaugurate Professor Whited’s research program at Carleton. The projects promise to expose undergraduate students to several important, active areas of research in organometallic chemistry and small-molecule activation, active areas of research due to their importance in numerous pharmaceutical and commodity chemicals, including petroleum.

Michael McNally, Professor of ReligionMichael McNally
“No One Word for Religion: Native American Traditions, the Freedom of Religion, and the Law”
Funder: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Award date and amount: 6/10/11, $50,000
Project period: 8/1/11-7/31/13 This project, begun in 2006, on the relationship between Native American religion and U.S. law, will allow Professor McNally (in summer 2011) to be able to complete two strategically placed law review articles on this topic and (during the 2011-2012 academic year) to begin work on his next book, tentatively entitled No One Word for Religion: Native American Traditions, the Freedom of Religion, and the Law. His project has, to date, entailed law-school coursework, targeted training with a number of Native American legal scholars, and research into various cases of conflict between Native American religious practices and state and federal law.

Cameron Davidson, Professor of GeologyCam Davidson
“Collaborative Research: Provenance and thermal evolution of the Chugach-Prince William terrane flysch, southern Alaska”
Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Award date and amount: 6/15/11, $212,563
Project period: 6/15/11-5/31/15

A four-year continuing grant from the NSF’s Tectonics program was awarded jointly to Professor Davidson and a collaborator at Union College (Schenectady, New York) to investigate several key problems in North American tectonics and advance geochronologic methods used for tracking the origin and thermal evolution of sedimentary rocks. The project will provide a better framework for understanding the timing and nature of basin formation (including hydrocarbon-rich strata), and the timing and extent of precious metals deposits (gold) associated with intrusive rocks. The project also has a strong educational component, one aimed at increasing the number of students in the geoscience pipeline and ultimately the workforce. All told, as many as 18 undergraduate researchers (many of whom will be members of groups which are underrepresented in the geosciences) will work on the project with Professor Davidson and his collaborator.