Institutional Awards

TEW Foundation. $5,000. This grant provides general operating support for the college through support of our Annual Fund.

Herman Goldman Foundation. $12,500. This grant will supplement the existing Herman M. and Mary Brauner Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Magic Pebble Foundation. $20,000. This grant supports Dickinson’s annual restricted scholarship fund.

The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation. $700,000. This grant supplements our existing Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide additional tuition assistance to worthy students to support their pursuit of a Dickinson College undergraduate education.  

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. $21,000
sub-award to Dickinson through a $100,000 grant awarded to the Central Pennsylvania Consortium. (Neil Weissman and Brenda Bretz/Academic Affairs) This proposal, submitted by Franklin and Marshall College on behalf of the Central Pennsylvania Consortium schools (Franklin and Marshall, Dickinson, and Gettysburg) will support a $100,000 planning grant for use over approximately 19 months for a project to help faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences explore the potential of “blended learning” (the application of technology as a teaching method) in the liberal arts context. One portion of the total $100,000 grant will be used to fund a series of three workshops led by keynote speakers with expertise in blended learning and its pedagogic application in the liberal arts setting. These half-day workshops, one held at each campus, will be open to faculty members from any of the three colleges and will be designed to help interested faculty members explore the potential applicability and impact of blended learning in the liberal arts context. The second portion of the grant will provide $21,000 per college for mini-grants, awarded by the respective provosts’ offices of each of the three institutions, as stipends of up to $3,500 to six faculty members who agree to develop (or refine) and subsequently pilot blended learning courses and work with evaluators to assess student learning outcomes. The third portion of the overall grant will be used for a culminating symposium to present outcomes and discuss next steps.

Association of American Colleges and Universities - Bringing Theory to Practice - Leadership Coalition Grant. $10,000.
(Shalom Staub/Academic Affairs) This grant has been awarded to help Dickinson make progress toward improving student retention by enhancing the first-year student experience through better integration of the academic and student development programmatic efforts and resources. Specifically, the proposal outlines plans to enhance the first-year experience to support the intellectual dimension of student well-being, and to build positive social connections for peer-to-peer relationships and faculty-student relationships. We will use grant funding to bring two visiting speakers to campus with expertise in these matters, to conduct a three-day summer study group in the summer of 2014 to explore the relationship of student well-being and academic engagement, and to provide modest programmatic support for faculty who might be interested in initiating out-of-classroom experiences with their first-year seminar students. Dickinson was invited as one of thirty colleges and universities to submit a proposal to this program, based on our prior track record as a national demonstration project grant recipient.

The Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust. $12,500. This grant will support expenses related to the construction of the Durden Athletic Training Center.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. $400,000. "Expanding the Collaborative Initiative Between Liberal Arts Colleges and Military Institutions of Higher Education." (Neil Weissman/Academic Affairs and Doug Stuart/International Studies and Political Science). This grant will be used over approximately three years for a project to sustain and institutionalize academic cooperation between selected liberal arts colleges and their nearby military institutions of higher education. This initiative will build upon the momentum generated by several successful meetings and projects that were funded by a planning grant from the Mellon Foundation awarded to Dickinson in March 2011. The overall goals for this continued project are to facilitate dialogue on the best education for future military and civilian leaders, to identify practical ways for the two academic communities to work together, and ultimately to improve civilian-military relations nationwide. This project will be composed of an institutional core, a mechanism for sharing information, and a cluster of mutually reinforcing programs for student-faculty collaboration, to insure that inter-institutional cooperation will be made permanent. Dickinson will serve as the lead institution on this project, continuing its role as convener and organizer over the three-year grant period.

Faculty Awards

Penn Humanities Forum – Mellon Regional Faculty Fellowship. $5,000. (Antje Pfannkuchen, German) Through this award, Professor Pfannkuchen will become a member of the Forum’s weekly Mellon Research Seminar on “Color,” the program topic for 2014-2015. The interdisciplinary seminar includes Mellon postdoctoral and faculty fellows from Penn and other institutions throughout the region.

Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry Post-Doctoral Fellowship. $42,000. (Claire Seiler, English).  The Fellowship is for an academic year of study, teaching, and residence in the Center. The purpose of the Post-Doctoral Fellows Program is to stimulate and support humanistic research by providing scholars in early stages of their careers with the necessary time, space, and other resources. In addition, the Program was created to allow the Emory community access to a range of humanistic work by visiting scholars from other institutions.

National Science Foundation – Penn State University Materials Research Facilities Network (MRFN) Faculty Fellows Program 2014. $6,500. (Sarah St. Angelo, Chemistry) “High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR-TEM) for Green Nanoparticles.” The MRFN Faculty Fellows Program will allow Prof. St. Angelo to access HR-TEM to analyze nanoparticles synthesized with green reducing methods.

PPG Industries Foundation, $5,000. (Hans Pfister, Physics & Astronomy). Dr. Pfister designed and built a cost-effective Solar Air Heater (SAH), having a very high (~ 80%) solar to thermal energy conversion efficiency. An SAH converts solar energy directly into hot air and can therefore be used for supplemental space heating. Essentially every building that is presently being heated with forced air can be heated on a sunny day with a solar air heater, thereby drastically reducing these of fossil fuels and consequently reducing the emission of CO2. During the fall 2013 semester Prof. Pfister and his students determined the optimal mass flow rate, i.e., air speed through the SAH. Presently, Prof. Pfister and his students are optimizing the SAH’s absorber surface. The remaining part that needs to be optimized is the SAH’s glazing. The glass should be such that it lets as much of the solar spectrum into the SAH and keeps as much as possible of the reradiated infrared radiation inside the solar collector. PPG in Mount Holly Springs, PA, supported by the PPG Industries Foundation will work with Pfister to optimize the glazing of the SAH for maximum efficiency.

American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship.  $35,000. (Alyssa DeBlasio, Russian). “The End of Russian Philosophy?” Prof. DeBlasio is in the final stages of a book project on the transition of Russian philosophical thought from the post-Soviet period (1990s) to the present (2000s). Funding would support the completion of the sixth and final chapter of the manuscript during her pre-tenure sabbatical in 2014-2015. During fall 2014, DeBlasio will conclude the research for the sixth chapter in Moscow, Russia; during the summers and spring 2015, she will write the final chapter and complete any necessary edits and revisions before sending the manuscript out to a press for review.

Northeast Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NE SARE) 2014 Partnership Grants. $15,000. (Matt Steiman, College Farm; Tim Wahls, Mathematics & Computer Science.) “FARMDATA: An internet-based production record system for vegetable farm improvement.” FARMDATA is an internet-based database system for inputting and reporting crop production records, including seeding, transplanting, harvest, cover crop, compost, pest scouting, spray activities, and customer invoicing.  The FARMDATA portal, accessible by both smartphone and desktop computer, uses “smart” forms that minimize incorrect records while saving farmer time by making calculations and “remembering” important data such as field sizes, spray and seeding rates.  
  FARMDATA was launched at the Dickinson College Farm in July of 2013 and resulted in a dramatic increase in the capture rate and consistency of planting, harvest, and crop improvement records. This feasibility study will provide two Pennsylvania organic produce farms with their own working version of FARMDATA. Project investigators will work with the farmers to improve the program to meet their needs, resulting in a best fit for each partner farm and an enhanced version of FARMDATA. The project will also collaborate with Pennsylvania Certified Organic to tailor record formats for certification requirements. Federal funding (through USDA NIFA is $15,000 plus $3,796 in cost sharing from Dickinson College.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement – Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award. $35,000. (Rebecca Connor, Chemistry) “Investigation of the effects of parthenolide on the heat shock response system.” Parthenolide, an electrophilic natural product from feverfew, reacts with biological nucleophiles and exhibits many cellular effects. Through covalent adduction of proteins NFκB and IKK, parthenolide acts as an anti-inflammatory drug and a potential chemotherapeutic. Nonetheless, parthenolide also adducts other proteins in cells, which can lead to modification of many cellular processes. Using a reactive parthenolide derivative, we have evidence that heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) can also be adducted. The effect of parthenolide on heat shock response has not been fully explored and we propose to evaluate the interaction of parthenolide with the heat shock response system in human leukemia cells. We hypothesize that adduction of heat shock proteins results in disruption of their ability to form the heat shock chaperone complex, and thus activates the heat shock response. In order to evaluate our hypothesis, we will (1) measure the effect of parthenolide treatment on heat shock transcription, (2) identify adducted heat shock proteins and individual sites of adduction using a reactive parthenolide derivative, immunoblotting, and mass spectrometric analysis, and (3) determine the effect of parthenolide on the chaperone activity of heat shock proteins and on the in vitro reconstitution of the heat shock chaperone complex. 

American Academy of Arts and Sciences – Visiting Scholars Program. $65,000. (Claire Seiler, English) “Midcentury Suspension.” This first book project offers a new literary history of the decade after WWII outside the dominant heuristics of modernism and postmodernism. 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources. $5,500 (subaward). (Tom Arnold, Biology) “SAV Technical Synthesis III.” As a continuation of the SAV Technical Synthesis series, we will gather the Chesapeake Bay SAV community to synthesize what has been learned since the last Technical Synthesis document was finished in 2000. The new document will address the following management needs: 1. Review current habitat requirements and water clarity standard and determine if they are stringent enough to allow for the resurgence of SAV. 2. Are 13% and 22% of incident light at the plant sufficient? 3. Revisit ambient nitrogen, phosphorous and chlorophyll habitat requirements in relation to anticipated reductions in loadings via TMDL/WIP process, provide guidance to Water Quality Standard development. 4. Improve modeling results for SAV growth in linked Watershed/Hydrodynamic Model (the Chesapeake Bay Model). 5. Modeling results to date have been too poor to incorporate into model runs. 6. Will global change require different habitat requirements in the future? 7. Revised/re-considered habitat requirements will improve direct SAV restoration (i.e. planting/seeding). 8. As recommend by STAC review of 2011. 9. Revised habitat requirements will provide greater explanatory power when preparing SAV information for managers and the public (i.e. Bay Barometer, report cards etc.). 10. Use ecosystem services evaluation.

American Philosophical Society. $6,000. (Alyssa DeBlasio, Russian) “The End of Russian Philosophy?” Prof. DeBlasio is in the final stages of a book project on the transition of Russian philosophical thought from the post-Soviet period (1990s) to the present (2000s). Funding would support the completion of the sixth and final chapter of the manuscript during her pre-tenure sabbatical in 2014-2015. During fall 2014, DeBlasio will conclude the research for the sixth chapter in Moscow, Russia; during the summers and spring 2015, she will write the final chapter and complete any necessary edits and revisions before sending the manuscript out to a press for review.

Pittsburgh Humanities Center. $50,000. (Alyssa DeBlasio, Russian). Deblasio is in the final stages of a book project on the transition of Russian philosophical thought from the post-Soviet period (1990s) to the present (2000s), entitled The End of Russian Philosophy? Philosophy and Religion at a Crossroads in the 21st Century. She is seeking funding for a pre-tenure sabbatical (2014-2015) to support the completion of her manuscript, of which five chapters are written and the final sixth chapter is nearly complete. At the same time, Deblasio is also beginning a new book-length project on philosophical readings of contemporary Russian films. It is particularly crucial for this new project that she be based at the University of Pittsburgh, which has the largest collection of Russian films outside Moscow. Pittsburgh is also an optimal location for the completion of this book project on Russian philosophy, both because of the outstanding Philosophy Department and because the Slavic Department is one of few departments in the country that has offered courses in Russian philosophy and intellectual history.

DAAD Reinvitation Program, $7,800. (Kamaal Haque, German). "Luis Trenker and the Persistence of Heimat." Luis Trenker (1892-1990) was a prominent actor, director and television personality who during his decades-long career became known as an exemplar of someone deeply bound to his "Heimat," a German word inadequately captured by the English "homeland." "Heimat" has often been seen as an ideal, almost utopian, place, a repository of desires for a simple, often agrarian, life. In particular, Trenker's "Heimat" in the Dolomite Mountains of South Tyrol was viewed as a place free of the negative effects of modernity. Trenker's "Heimat," however, was constantly changing and his advocacy for it changed, too, coming to embrace issues like the environmental movement and tourism. These changes parallel changes happening in the German-speaking world during his career. In this book length research project, Haque will show how Trenker adapted to the rapidly changing contexts of twentieth-century German, enabling him to remain a symbol of "Heimat" even today, more than twenty years after his death.

National Endowment for the Arts - Literature Fellowships: Translation Projects, FY 2014. $12,500. (Mariana Past, Spanish and Portuguese) "English translation of Ti difé boulé sou istoua Ayiti by Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Haitian Creole." With the assistance of co-translator Benjamin Hebblethwaite, I will translate into English a major literary-historical work in Haitian Creole, Ti difé boulé sou istoua Ayiti [Controversial Issues in Haitian History] (1977), by the prominent Haitianist scholar Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1949-2012). This landmark text in Haitian letters has not yet been translated to any language. Because it highlights the understudied role of the slave masses in the Haitian Revolution, Trouillot's early Creole masterpiece should be made accessible to a wider readership.

National Geographic Society. $9,700. (Ben Edwards, Earth Sciences) "Documentation of Lava Flows on top of Glacier at Veniaminof volcano, Aleutian volcanic arc, Alaska." We are on the brink of a revolution in the understanding of volcanoes and their interactions with water in all forms. Our abilities to study and monitor eruptions with RUV and satellites are rapidly making the need for some field measurements obsolete; however, field-based measurements and sampling of lava flow temperatures, thicknesses and compositions are still fundamentally important to push our knowledge over the brink into the new realm of enlightened understanding of the Earth's basic machinery. Eruptions of ice-covered volcanoes are particularly important for understanding how the Earth's internal heat plays a role in the life cycle of its much colder, external cryosphere, as well as improving our understanding of the fundamentally hazardous lava-ice interactions. Although glaciovolcanic eruptions happen infrequently, at present two such volcanoes are actively erupting (Pavlof and Veniaminof, Alaska). The eruption of Veniaminof volcano is especially important as the lava flows are moving on top of the surrounding caldera ice, and rapidly sinking down in to the ice. While we cannot predict how much longer the eruption will last, it is likely that the lava flows will continue to melt through the ice for several months. However, in order for us to understand how the lava flows will affect the life cycle of the caldera ice, we need to make measurements of lava flow temperatures, initial melting rates, and collect samples of the lava while it is still relatively accessible above the ice.

University of California at Santa Barbara, Carsey-Wolf Center - Media Industries Project. $4,170. (Greg Steirer, English) "Gamifying Video Distribution." In a media distribution landscape awash with innovative models of content delivery, the digital distribution of long-form video has largely relied on adaptations of familiar methods of delivery and monetization from the pre-digital era: advertising-supported delivery, paid subscriptions, transactional rentals, and direct sales. Partly because it is younger and has more experience in a multi-platform environment, the video game industry, by contrast, has pursued a policy of experimentation and innovation with respect to digital distribution. We believe that these models of digital game distribution have important implications for the digital distribution of long-form video. Indeed, we believe that key aspects of these models could be productively adapted to "gamify" video distribution so as to produce additional revenue streams and greater consumer engagement. The goal of this research is to examine innovative models of digital game distribution and to illustrate how these models can be developed for the distribution of long-form video.

National Science Foundation - Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry. $86,927. (Peter Sak, Earth Sciences) "Collaborative research/RUI: Quantifying weathering rind formation rates using U-series isotopes along steep gradients of precipitation, bedrock ages, and topography in Guadeloupe." Weathering of tropical volcanic islands is rapid because of the reactive nature of the volcanic rock and the hot humid climate. These islands are therefore important contributors to the global cycles of carbon and other elements. In the tropics, rock fragments in the regolith zone commonly form alteration rinds. Weathering rinds are excellent samples to understand key chemical weathering processes because their alteration can be modeled without consideration of erosion. The goal of this proposed work is to develop weathering rinds as a new approach to quantify rock weathering rates and to understand the environmental factors that control these rates. To achieve this goal, five geochemists and a geomorphologist will collaborate to combine a novel U-series isotopic technique with bulk chemical, petrographic, and electron microprobe analyses to study weathering rinds formed in monolithologic watersheds along steep gradients of precipitation, topography, and bedrock age across Basse-Terre Island, Guadeloupe, France. This is a collaborative project with the University of Texas at El Paso and Penn State University, fully funded by the NSF. 

Center for Lusophone Research (CLR)/Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Grants for Short-Term Research in Portugal and/or Lusophone Africa. $3,000. (Jeremy Ball, History). “Monuments, Commemoration and the Creation of an Angolan National Identity.”  Under this funding Ball will conduct research in Angola during summer 2014 on historical narratives and political counter-narratives of post-independence public monuments. The study will use specific monuments to illustrate key aspects of post-colonial historical discourse that have emerged since 1975.

Student Awards

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship Program for undergraduate students. $50,000. (Tabea Zimmerman '15, Environmental Science). 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 2014.