Institutional Awards

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, $353,100. Julie Vastine, ALLARM. The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) housed out of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA is partnering been with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (ACB) on their project funded by the U.S. EPA titled "Integration of Citizen-based Monitoring and Nontraditional Monitoring Partners into the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership". ALLARM role in this project is to help develop monitoring protocols, create quality assurance project plans, develop monitoring training tools from chemical monitoring to data interpretation workshops, and identify and coordinate volunteer monitors and watershed associations in Pennsylvania and southern tier of New York.

U.S. Department of State FY14 U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program, $76,573. (Alyssa DeBlasio, Elena Duzs, Russian Department).  Dickinson College and the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) propose a two-way scholar exchange with the primary goal of exchanging best practices in liberal arts teaching, both in-person and virtually. The exchange has three parts: A) two Dickinson professors will spend a semester at RSUH holding workshops and helping to develop new English-language seminar-style courses; B) a n RSUH Jr. Scholars will spend a semester at Dickinson on teaching internships where they will bring Russian pedagogy to Dickinson and gain invaluable teaching experience in the American classroom; and C) a RSUH professor will spend a semester at Dickinson, exposing the broader student body to excellence in Russian pedagogy. A two-way scholar exchange will place faculty and students from Russia and the US in consistent dialogue with their peers—face-to-face at first, and then through Skype and blogging. This exchange will deepen the already established partnership between the two institutions as they work together towards their mutual commitment to the liberal arts model, which prepares students for life-long service to the community as global citizens.

Partnership for Better Health – Mini Grant. $1,800. (Joyce Bylander, Student Development) “CONNECT/CALC Collaboration” The CONNECT/CALC Collaboration between Dickinson College and Carlisle Arts Learning Center is a unique 4 week summer program that is targeted at enriching the lives of up to 24 at-risk teens. The program will operate June 30-July 25 and each week will have a thematic emphasis, including: Natural Art & Healthy Living; Seeing Our Lives Through the Lens & Through Creative Writing; Architecture/Sculpture Week: Building Art & Building Ourselves; and Curating & Exhibiting: For Today and For the Future. Funding provided in part by the Partnership for Better Health.

Faculty Awards

Center for Rural Pennsylvania, $23,129. (David Sarcone, Health Studies). “Exploring Health Care Alliances in Rural Pennsylvania” is Dickinson’s portion of a $50,000 collaborative research grant with Shippensburg University. This research will examine the formation of health care alliances; their effect on rural community health care capacity: and, the potential of these alliances to better meet the needs of rural communities, while remaining aware and respectful of traditional methods of health care provision valued by the residents of these communities.

Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies 2014-2015 Grants. $2500. (Edward Muston, German) “Serbia by Way of the U.S.A.: Using Handke’s Imaginary America as a Guide for his Controversial Travel in the Former Yugoslavia.” The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) funds projects aimed at promoting an understanding of the historic relationship between the United States and Austria in the fields of history, politics, economics, law and cultural studies. Grants provide support for related lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, and documentaries.

National Science Foundation – Chemistry of Life Processes. $217,583. (Rebecca Connor, Chemistry) “RUI: Electrophilic Modulation of the Heat Shock Response System.” The proposed research will identify the amino acids within the heat shock transcription factor (Hsf1) modified by electrophilic natural products (such as parthenolide and derivatives) and model electrophilic compounds using liquid-chromatography/mass spectrometry. Once identified, the effect of these modifications on the interaction of Hsf1 with other heat shock proteins will be determined using bio-layer optical interferometry for measurement of binding affinity and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Recombinant Hsf1 containing mutations at the identified modification sites will also be studied using interferometry and EMSA. Some of these mutant proteins will be generated through the introduction of a protein mutation and purification module in my Chem/Bio 342 class (Structure and Function of Biomolecules). The publication of this module represents part of the broader impacts of the grant to the biochemical education literature. The effects of modification by electrophiles on the chaperone ability of heat shock proteins 70 and 90 will also be determined using luciferase re-folding assays. The effect of potential chemotherapeutics as well as endogenously created electrophiles on the heat shock response of human cells has implications with respect to the toxicology of electrophilic compounds.

National Science Foundation, Ocean Acidification program. $248,040. (Tony Pires, Biology). “Ocean Acidification/Collaborative Research/RUI: Effects of Ocean Acidification on Larval Competence, Metamorphosis, and Juvenile Performance in a Planktotrophic Gastropod.” This three-year collaborative project (with Tufts University) will take place on the Dickinson campus during the academic year and at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs during the summer. The research goals are to understand how ocean acidification, caused by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, affects the life history of marine organisms. Although there has been much recent work on the effects of acidification on growth and development of marine organisms, there has been little attention to effects on metamorphosis, which is the transition between larval and juvenile life stages in most marine animals. There also has been little attention to “latent effects” of acidification, that is, how exposure to acidified conditions during the larval stage might impact later life history stages.

Partnership for Better Health, Health Markets Analysis Program. $40,000. (David Sarcone, IB&M). Prof. Sarcone, in collaboration with Chad Kimmel of Shippensburg University, will conduct a business market analysis that will generate a clearer understanding of the demand for specific health services in Perry County, including a focus on health services for residents who lack adequate health insurance.

National Science Foundation. $256,855. (John Henson, Biology) “COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH/RUI: G protein regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in the cleavage stage embryo.” Many fundamental aspects of cell architecture and behavior are mediated by a series of structural and motor proteins that comprise the “cytoskeleton.”  Filaments composed of the protein actin are one main element of the cytoskeleton and in conjunction with a large contingent of actin binding proteins and the myosin family motor proteins, they help mediate cell movement, shape change and division. The complex structural organization and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton has been extensively studied in highly motile, polarized and flattened cultured cells. This proposal plans to investigate the regulation and organization of actin in a large and unpolarized spherical cell, the sea urchin first division embryo. This long standing developmental biology experimental model offers some unique advantages including the ability to track actin dynamics in the living cell as well as the availability of specific treatments to interfere with aspects of actin cytoskeletal function. The proposed studies will employ sophisticated microscopic, molecular and pharmacological approaches to investigate the regulation and organization of the actin cytoskeleton underlying the changes that take place at the surface of the sea urchin embryo post fertilization and those that accompany the division of the cell during the process of cytokinesis. (Collaborating institution: New Mexico State University)

University of California at Santa Barbara, Carsey-Wolf Center – Connected Viewing Initiative. $4,625. (Greg Steirer, English and Film Studies) “Beyond Minnows and Whales: Reconstructing Mobile Gaming for the Cross-Platform Franchise.” Though an important aspect of game companies’ product portfolios, most free-to-play mobile games generate little to no revenue from the majority of those who play them, instead depending upon a tiny group of high-spending players, typically referred to as “whales.” Though in theory this leaves a large market of still untapped consumers, experiments over the last few years with microtransaction design and pricing structures have demonstrated the extreme difficulty of translating these non-paying consumers of free-to-play games (“minnows”) into consistent paying customers. This study will employ a mixed-methods research approach, organized around a number of specific case studies in mobile-console connectivity and cross-platform monetization. The deliverable will consist of an overview of consumer responses to different kinds of mobile-console connectivity initiatives as well as an analysis of emerging best practices for the use of mobile in cross-platform franchise management.

Student Awards

Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunities (EPA-GRO) Program. $50,000. (Zev Greenberg ‘16, Chemistry). The EPA-GRO program encourages promising students to pursue careers in environmentally-related fields and to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate level. The program will help offset two years of college costs, plus provide an internship with EPA in summer 2015.