Faculty Awards

National Science Foundation. $157,153. (David Kushner, Biology) “Collaborative Research/RUI: Identification of cis-acting sequence and structural elements required for replication of a viral RNA”  This grant provides funds for Professor Kushner to conduct a collaborative research project in conjunction with Professor Anne Simon of the University of Maryland.  Identification and characterization of all structure-function relationships in non-coding sequences required for replication of an infectious RNA is a fundamental question in virology.  However, many viral RNAs are simply too large in size to be used to generate such a functional map.  The 356 nucleotide subviral RNA of Turnip crinkle virus known as satC is one of the smallest known infectious agents and therefore is highly suited for sequence-structure-function studies.  Furthermore, satC sequence-structure-function relationships can be studied using a novel approach termed in vivo functional selection, in which an evolution-based approach allows for functional satC to be selected from an initial pool where specific regions of this viral RNA have been differentially randomized.  This has allowed for detailed characterization of the 3´ portion of satC.  This project aims to use in vivo functional selection to begin to characterize the 5´ portion of satC, specifically examining sequences and structures that regulate synthesis of progeny (+)-sense viral RNA from (-)-sense replication intermediates.  A critical element of this project is that the experiments will be initiated during semester-long experiments in the PI’s RNA biology (Bio 419) courses in Spring 2010 and Spring 2012, in order to expand opportunities for student-faculty research.

National Science Foundation. $184,920. Ben Edwards (Geology). “Using the Products of Volcano-Ice Interaction to Constrain Paleo-ice Conditions II: documenting fluctuations in continental ice-sheets.” With this funding, we will conduct a field, geochemical, and geochronological study of 34 basaltic glaciovolcanic and subaerial deposits on the Kawdy-Tuya plateaus in northern British Columbia, Canada, to investigate the possibility of genetic linkages between volcanism and the fluctuations in the ice volume of the Pleistocene Cordilleran ice sheet (CIS). In the field we will sample and document the elevations of important stratigraphic components (pillow lava, passage zones, dykes, Surtseyan tephra, glacial deposits/striae) to constrain paleo-ice conditions. In the laboratory we will analyze bulk rock, glass and mineral compositions to determine whether or not source region, transport, or storage conditions also record changes in ice dynamics. The most crystalline samples from each deposit will be used for high precision 40/39 Ar geochronology to determine eruption ages and to test correlations between eruption frequency and ice fluctuations recorded by local glaciovolcanism and/or the global ice volume record from marine sediment climate proxies. 

National Science Foundation (NSF) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP). $499,476. (Dave Crouch/Chemistry; Mike Holden/Chemistry; Teresa Barber/Psychology; Chuck Zwemer/Biology; and Dave Kushner/Biology)  Through this program, Dickinson intends to recruit and matriculate a cohort of NSF-STEP Scholars in each of three years beginning in the fall of 2009.  This program will have three major components: 1) a four-week summer pre-matriculation program in which students will participate in lab research and a series of enrichment workshops in chemistry and mathematics; 2) a second eight-week summer of research with Dickinson faculty members using our successful model of student/faculty research; and 3) a capstone eight-week summer research experience at off-campus laboratories in major research universities. The program will provide a strong mentoring experience for underrepresented students to support their pursuit of a science major. The successful implementation of this plan will result in the establishment of a cohort of science major role models for future students among our underrepresented minority groups.  Results of the program will be disseminated widely within the broader scientific education community so that they may serve as a model for other institutions.

The Association for Asian Studies, Northeast Asia Council―Short-term Travel to Japan for Professional Purposes. $3,000. (Shawn Bender, East Asian Studies) “Engineering Intelligent Machines for an Aging Society: Robotics and the Technology of Care in Japan.” This project investigates the design and implementation of robotics technology in elder-care facilities in Japan. This technology is developing rapidly in response to the dual pressures of a labor shortage and an aging population. For two months (June-July), this funding will support ethnographic fieldwork among robot designers and in elder-care facilities utilizing this technology, primarily in the Kansai region of western Japan. This research will contribute to the emerging literature on the social context of robot use in Japan and will provide the basis for a more comprehensive, longer-term study of the application of robotics technology in Japan. 

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development—2009 Seed/Assistance Funding for Research or Commercial Partnering Activities Program. $8,715. (William K. Bellinger, Economics and Jue Wang ’12) “Retail Shortages in Pennsylvania Inner City Neighborhoods: Evidence and Policy Proposals.” With this grant funding, four goals for this summer research project will be pursued. The first goal for this research project will be to identify statistically the income density patterns for our area’s towns and cities. This will be accomplished using data that has already been collected. Secondly, we will identify areas that are underserved by the retail sector and possible retail opportunities in or near inner city neighborhoods. We will then share these results with county and local development officials and area retail executives. Finally, with their guidance, we will design preliminary central city retail development plans for a select number of cities and boroughs. 

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar. $4,400. (Amy Wlodarski, Music) “Exile Culture in California: European Traditions and American Modernity.” These funds support attendance at a summer seminar to be held at Stanford University. The goal of this seminar is to examine the complex cultural interactions that took place when German writers, artists and musicians who had fled Nazi Germany encountered American culture during the 1930s and 1940s. Seminar participants will also work on their own related research projects or curriculum development. An important component of the summer is the opportunity to present work-in-progress to the seminar for productive feedback.  

The George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation. $25,000. Karl Qualls (History). “Las Casas de los Niños: Raising Spanish Children in Stalin’s USSR, 1937-1951.” This funding will support the project described herein. In 1937, as the bombing of Guernica and northern Spain increased in frequency and intensity, thousands of children boarded ships to safer residences in foreign countries. These children left behind everything they knew. Family and friends usually remained in war-ravaged Spain, leaving these children initially with nothing but hunger and tears. About 3,000-4,000 children, teachers, and caregivers entered the hastily provisioned Homes for Spanish Children that became their schools, homes, and families. After only a few years of getting used to their new homeland, the schools evacuated in front of the Nazi invasion. As they fled to the interior they were again met with cold, hunger, and a lack of all material comforts. For those who had been able to receive news from home, the war eliminated correspondence. Were their parents alive or dead? Were they still in Spain or had they fled to France, Mexico, or another country? Trauma marked most of these young lives, even as they entered factories, fields, or universities without the support of the children’s homes. Yet many of the niños went on to prominent political, military, artistic, and academic careers. My book project will be the first in-depth study of the niños in English and the first to place it in the larger literature of trauma and exile by investigating how the children adapted to their new life and how the Soviet system addressed the problems of so many Spanish-speaking children washed up on its shores. To what degree did the Soviet project to create educated, cultured, loyal, and productive citizens adapt to the difficulties of rearing and educating traumatized and often ill-prepared young charges, and how did the Spaniards change the system of which they were a part? 

Smith College―Sophia Smith Collection and College Archives―Travel-to-Collections Grant. $530. Amy E. Farrell (American Studies and Women’s Studies). This funding will be used to travel to the Sophia Smith Archives at Smith College for research for Professor Farrell’s new manuscript, Fat Shame: Fatness, Stigma, and American Culture, which is under contract with New York University Press. Fat Shame explores the roots of fat stigma within American culture prior to the advent of the major diet industries in 1920, linking this fat denigration to contemporary cultural narratives that draw on fat stigma. It concludes by considering the activism of the fat acceptance movement.

American Philosophical Society (APS) Sabbatical Fellowship, $40,000. (Minglang Zhou, East Asian Studies). “Between Integration and Segregation: Models of Nation State Building and Language Education for Ethnic Minorities in China, 1949–2009.” This project seeks funding for a book project on the Soviet and Chinese nation-state-building models using and their subordinate linguistic paradigms as the conceptual framework. The book will analyze the PRC’s laws, policy documents, education annals, census data, and language textbooks, and compare them across the two paradigms, supplementing the analysis and comparison with Zhou’s earlier ethnographic work.

Harvard-Yenching Library Travel Grant Program. $400. (Ann Hill/Anthropology) This grant will provide funds for Professor Ann Hill to travel to Harvard-Yenching Library for three days to conduct research for a project on the Nuosu and tribalization on China’s southwestern frontier.  She will examine books in the Hollis collection on the following subjects: Leibo County history, Meigu County history, ethnographic reports from the Leibo and Xiao Liangshan frontier in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and frontier governance in the Republican era.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences (UBM). $229,801. (Michael Roberts, Biology; Jeffrey Forrester, Mathematics). “An Integrative Analysis of Human Cancer:  Exploiting the Synergy of Mathematical and Molecular Biological Approaches in Studying a Complex Problem.”  The project involves the linkage of a course in Biology, The Biology of Cancer, and a course in Mathematics, Mathematical Techniques in the Biological Sciences. A cohort of 6-10 students from these programs will co-enroll in the courses in the spring semester of their Junior Year.  The Biology of Cancer will examine the molecular basis of cancer including the genes and signaling networks involved in malignant transformation, with a strong emphasis on the experimental approaches to cancer study.  Mathematical Techniques in the Biological sciences will survey biostatistical methods with a focus on network modeling. The project mentors will meet with the student cohort throughout the semester to further underscore the course connections and begin developing research questions that exploit the genomic approaches used to understand cancer coupled with the mathematical tools used to analyze large datasets and construct mathematical models. The students will form teams of 2-4 student researchers who will return to campus for an eight-week summer research experience.

Institutional Awards

The Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, $10,000. (Leonard Brown, Jr., Dean of Students Office). This funding will support the College's Bonner Leader Program in 2009 – 2010 by providing funding for an orientation program, first-year service trip, second-year service exchange project,  local summer service internships, a senior Bonner intern, and costs associated with travel.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). $15,000. (Julie Vastine/ALLARM) “EPA Region 3 Volunteer Monitoring Conference at Dickinson College.”  This grant is awarded to ALLARM to coordinate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 3 Volunteer Monitoring Conference in 2009. The conference will be a two-day training workshop to take place at Dickinson from October 19 - 20, 2009 for citizen volunteers as well as federal, state, and local government staff involved in water monitoring programs from the six Region 3 states: Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The focus of the workshop will be to provide a forum for participants to meet, present, share their own experiences, and help promote volunteer monitoring efforts. ALLARM will be responsible for providing audiovisual equipment, coordination, registration support, meetings space, food, and conference organization.  Attendees will be responsible for their own hotel and other meal expenses, and no conference registration fees will be required of participants. 

Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania, Family Planning Marketing/Outreach Mini-Grant, $4,500. (Mary Arthur, Student Health Services). For marketing Student Health Services sexual health services. 

State of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 2009 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. (Joy Burnette; Neil Leary, Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education (CESE)). This award honors Pennsylvania businesses and organizations that recognize environmental challenges as economic opportunities in disguise, work toward technological innovation, and pursue enhanced efficiency and increased productivity. If approved, this award will recognize and showcase Dickinson’s efforts at saving natural resources, saving money and helping build a healthier, stronger Pennsylvania through pollution prevention, waste reduction, recycling, indigenous resource use and technological innovation. 

Pennsylvania Department of Education – Office of Commonwealth Libraries – Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. $34,997. (Jim Gerencser/Archives & Special Collections)  “Slavery and Abolition in the US.” This grant will enable the Archives and Special Collections Department of the Waidner-Spahr Library, in collaboration with Millersville University, to add more contextual material to the web-based project entitled Slavery and Abolition in the US. The website for this project () currently includes the full text of more than 80 books and pamphlets (more than 14,500 individual pages) from the nineteenth century dealing with the issue of slavery.  

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Presidential Discretionary Grant. $250,000. Neil Weissman (Academic Affairs). This grant will provide support for our recently established, interdisciplinary Africana Studies program and major. It will offset, for a three-year period: a) the salary of a key faculty position in the program - a specialist in Africana-Studies, and b) the programmatic and curricular development needs of the faculty participating in the creation and growth of the new major. 

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry – Campus Ministry Grant, $3000. Mira Hewlett,  Susanna Bartlow (Religious Life, Women’s Center). This grant will fund a joint venture between the Office of Religious Life and Community Services and a professor of Women’s Studies and Director of the Women’s Center.  A group of 20 first year students would have the opportunity to take “American Women, Spirituality, and Social Justice” as a first year seminar.  The class would explore 19th century women’s spiritual conversion narratives, the work of novelist Alice Walker, and a variety of Buddhist and Jewish feminist theologies in the classroom.  In the community, the class would learn about domestic violence through the local YWCA and the nation-wide Clothesline Project, explore women’s concerns at the General Board of Church and Society in Washington DC, and have an optional trip to Philadelphia to learn about AME womanist spirituality.

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. $6,000. Ted Merwin (Asbell Center for Jewish Life). This grant funding will support the March 2009 Alternative Spring Break trip to Montevideo, Uruguay.

The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. $20,000. (Julie Vastine/ALLARM) “From Monitoring to Action: Technical Assistance to Watersheds.” The purpose of the grant is to 1) create an online toolkit with water quality monitoring resources and training materials that ALLARM has developed over the past twelve years for watershed organizations; and 2) work with watershed organizations on using their monitoring data for the protection and restoration of Pennsylvania waterways.

Sustainable Energy Fund – 2008 Solar Scholars™ Program. $15,000. (Ken Shultes, Facilities Management). These funds will enable a purchase of a 3.2 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array that will be installed on the roof of the Center for Sustainable Living. Consistent with Dickinson’s institutional commitment to sustainability, this project will further reduce the College’s use of non-renewable fossil fuels. Students and staff from Facilities Management (including the Sustainability Coordinator) will assist with the installation, monitoring, and maintenance for the project. The project will also have an academic component where the solar array will be integrated into various courses (Neil Leary, Director of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education will be overseeing this integration while Professors Michael Heiman and Hans Pfister have already expressed interest in integrating study of the solar array in their courses). In addition, community outreach activities will be held to educate the campus and community about the solar array. There is a $6,000 matching fund requirement associated with this program, which will be covered by Facilities Management (in addition to any further funding needed for project completion – including maintenance and repair).

The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, $10,000. (Leonard Brown Jr./Dean of Students Office). Bonner Leader Program Enrichment Grant. This funding will support the College's Bonner Leader Program by providing funding for an orientation program, first-year service trip, service exchange project, local summer service internships, a senior Bonner intern, and costs associated with travel. Through these and other activities, the College’s Bonner Leader Program will strive to grow to a minimum of 40 students per year.

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts/Jumpstreet. $2,185. (Davis Tracy, WDCV). “Streaming Grant” funding to support the 14th Annual Bluegrass on the Grass Festival in summer 2009.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) – Archives and Records Management Grant.  $4,993.  (Jim Gerencser/Archives and Special Collections). The College Archives and Special Collections will use this grant to process the papers of Frank Masland, central Pennsylvania industrialist, environmentalist, activist, and philanthropist. These papers were donated to Dickinson College in the mid-1990s. The goals of the project are to ensure the safe and proper archival housing of the collection, to create a comprehensive guide to the papers for use by researchers, and to make the collection guide available via the Web to encourage extensive exploration of these valuable resources. The grant monies received will provide salary for a temporary hire to process the collection during the summer of 2009.  Funds will also be used to purchase necessary archival supplies for the proper housing of the collection.  

Shared Services Insurance Group, Inc. $2500. Mary Arthur, Student Health Services & Health & Wellness Committee. “SSIG Healthy Students Innovation Grant”. Funds will support an American College Health Association (ACHA) – National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey in Fall 2008; marketing and advertising for NCHA survey, and incentives to increase participation in NCHA survey.

PA Association of Broadcasters. $6,000. (Davis Tracy, WDCV) “Focus on Sustainability - Public Affairs Radio Programming.” Funds will be employed to support the administrative and technical production of public affairs radio programming, with the specific focus on the topic of Sustainability, the mindful use of resources in stewardship of the environment. Dickinson students will generate programming ideas, produce, record and air these stories locally on WDCV FM 88.3, worldwide via our website www.wdcvfm.com, and via Podcast.

Student Awards

Kathryn Wasserman Davis, Projects for Peace, $10,000. (Sarah Smith ‘09.) “Breaking Barriers by Reducing Color Symbolism in Communities in Northern Ireland.” The project will explore the ways in which the reconceptualization of color can be used as a tool of conflict resolution, with the objective of creating an alternative lens through which youth from both communities can think about color in relation to the conflict. In conducting a five-week peace project with youth (ages 8-12) from the Catholic Ardoyne community and the Protestant Shankill community, Smith will seek to strip away color’s sectarian connotations and place notions of color within more neutral frameworks: engaging youth from the two communities in dialogue about the role color plays in the conflict.