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The Office of Grants and Faculty Development Center has announced the recipients of the 2008-2009 faculty sabbatical awards. They are as follows:

  • Gregory Adler, biology/microbiology, will study the distribution, abundance, habitat relations, diet and genetic structure of rock vole populations in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern West Virginia. The study is designed to address how this species has persisted in a patchy environment for approximately 10,000 years.
  • Merlaine Angwall, theatre, will write a book and music for an original musical titled “Mount Pleasant” and will submit it for a staged reading at a reputable theatre company or university.
  • Stephen Bentivenga, biology/microbiology, will study the sub-cellular structure of Glomeromyocota at the University of Minnesota. He will learn advanced techniques and test hypotheses about the relationships within this group and with other groups of fungi in the hopes of predicting the different ecological functions of the various groups.
  • Berttram Chiang, special education, will gather information on practices in specific learning disabilities eligibility determination on local, national and international levels. He will study the implementation of brain-based instruction for students with SLD and study the patterns of performance of Chinese students and the disparity in SLD prevalence rates between Taiwan and the U.S.
  • Kathleen Corley, religious studies/anthropology, will work on a book manuscript: “Maranatha: Women, Funerary Rituals, Meals and Christian Origins.”
  • Don Dingledine, English, will complete a book-length study tracing the influence of Radical Reconstruction (1867-1877) on American Literature. He will add evidence to his current thesis, making it more marketable, and submit the completed manuscript for publication.
  • Craig Fiedler, special education, will conduct an extensive literature review, engage in research activities with families of children with disabilities and write a book-length manuscript.
  • Michael Ford, reading education, will build on a body of work that he has already established through an intensive field-based investigation of a critical aspect of elementary reading programs/small-group reading instruction. There are five goals around which the activities and outcomes will be organized: knowledge expansion, hands-on field experience, instructional materials development, writing projects and residency participation.
  • Pamela Gemin, English, will embark on a project with a threefold purpose: “Music Swims Back to Me” will include studying the tradition of writing poetry in response to jazz and popular music, composing new poems in response to music from these genres and examining the role music plays in the creative process of writing poetry.
  • Marguerite Helmers, English, will conduct a study on visual and verbal portraiture. The study will focus on the published travel narratives and published and unpublished images of 19th century British travelers Isabella Bird (1831-1904) and Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003). The study will examine the ways that travelers, adventurers and travel writers augmented their narratives with photographic portraiture and self-portraiture.
  • Kathryn Henn-Reinke, curriculum and instruction, will study design, implementation and assessment of trilingual education programs in Europe and South America. Her findings will be applied to her teaching in the ESL/Bilingual program.
  • Li Hu, art, will create an ambitious painting project consisting of nine paintings about the impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China as well as visit the dam and study related materials. The completed work will have a show at a local gallery and will be used for national competition shows.
  • Jeff Kaplan, religious studies/anthropology, will undertake a research project in the Sudan, following up on an invitation from the Sudanese government to teach a course on a voluntary basis at the University of Khartoum. The gradual, year-long project will consist of conducting interviews and doing research among the Janjaweed in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
  • Stephen Kercher, history, will engage in research examining the political, social and cultural life of the U.S. in 1976. Research from this project will be used for the writing of a book.
  • Baodong Liu, political science, will expand his research to the national level and write a book focusing on the interplay between race and the electoral process.
  • Robert Pillsbury, biology/microbiology, will learn new statistical techniques and apply them to existing, large-scale data sets at the Center for Water Science in East Lansing, Mich.
  • Todd Sandrin, biology/microbiology, will expand his research of the study of communities of microorganisms with Dr. Raina Maier of the University of Arizona.