Profile of Faculty Grant Awards, 2013-2014

Summary of 2013–2014 Awards
  21 grants to 19 individual awardees: $1,387,036 total

  • Arts & Literature: $152,800
  • Humanities: $260,200
  • Science & Math: $974,036

Bill NorthWilliam North, Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Reform and Renewal in Medieval Rome

Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Award date: 7/24/13  
Award amount
: $17,000     
Project period
: 10/1/13-9/30/14

Professor North will co-direct an NEH Summer Seminar with Professor of History Maureen Miller of University of California, Berkeley. Funded by the NEH and hosted by the American Academy of Rome, this five-week seminar during summer 2014 allows 16 college and university faculty to discuss collectively the nature and dynamics of medieval reform movements and to pursue independent research projects from multiple disciplinary perspective.


Raka MitraRaka Mitra, Assistant Professor of Biology

RUI: The role of Ralstonia solanacearum effector protein Rsp1281 in bacterial wilt disease

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 8/28/13 
Award amount
: $450,000     
Project period
: 9/1/13-8/31/16

This RUI (Research in Undergraduate Institutions) grant enables Professor Mitra to investigate a root-invading bacterial wilt pathogen to better determine plant defense pathways employed in roots, gaining insights useful for developing wilt resistant crops. The project supports the PI’s research, an undergraduate researcher in each summer, a technician year round; and it gives opportunity for students in Carleton’s Cell Biology Laboratory and Molecular Biology classes to gain important research lab experiences.


Gao HongGao Hong, Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments

Promoting and preserving pipa music

Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board

Award date: 9/4/13 
Award amount
: $53,600     
Project period
: 11/1/13-10/31/14

A “Folk and Traditional Arts” grant supports master pipa player, Gao, in promoting and preserving the traditional Pudong style of pipa music, and in giving concerts and lectures in three Minnesota locations.


Joel WeisbergJoel Weisberg, Herman and Gertrude Mosier Stark Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Natural Sciences

RUI: Relativistic Gravitation, Pulsar Beams and Birth Processes, and the Interstellar Medium

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 9/9/13 
Award amount
: $329,474    
Project period
: 9/1/13-8/31/17

This RUI (Research in Undergraduate Institutions) four-year project is Weisberg’s eighth NSF grant for his student-faculty team’s astrophysical research centered at Carleton. The team will use the grant to support radioastronomical and theoretical studies of pulsars at Carleton and at radiotelescopes in Puerto Rico and Australia. Pulsars are the cores of dead stars, about the size of a city and containing more mass than the sun, weighing a billion tons per teaspoonful, that spin at rates up to hundreds of times per second. In addition to studying pulsars own fascinating properties, the team will use pulsars to study other astronomical phenomena and theories, travel to meetings and observatories, participate in two month-long residencies at the Australia Telescope National Facility.


David MusicantDavid Musicant, Professor of Computer Science

CS 10K: Educational Media to Advance Computer Science (EMACS)

Funder: National Science Foundation CCF CE21

Award date: 9/17/13 
Award amount
: $66,287    
Project period
: 1/1/14-12/31/16

The collaborative team of Twin Cities Public Television, the STEM Education Center at the University of Minnesota, and Professor Musicant as a coPI, will pilot a media-based instructional model for high school computer science (CS) with intent to increase students’ awareness and understanding of real-world applications of CS, and improve teachers’ understanding and ability to teach core AP (Advanced Placement) computer science principles.


Laska JimsenLaska Jimsen, Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies

Production of Deer of North America.

Funder: Jerome Foundation

Award date: 9/18/13 
Award amount
: $15,000     
Project period
: 10/1/13-12/31/14

This “Film and Video Grant” supports of the production of the documentary essay film Deer of North America that explores contradictory and mythologized relationships between human beings and deer.


Gretchen HofmeisterGretchen Hofmeister, Professor of Chemistry

Transition State Analogues as Mechanistic Probes for Asymmetric Desymmetrization by Cinchona Alkaloid-Based Catalysts

Funder: American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (PRF)

Award date: 10/25/13 
Award amount
: $65,000     
Project period
: 1/1/14-8/31/17

Professor Hofmeister’s research aims to evaluate reactions and test computational models, enabling rational design of improved catalysts. Funding supports a total of eight undergraduate researchers over three summers and involves collaboration with Professors David Alberg and Daniela Kohen at Carleton, and Professor Keith Kuwata of Macalester College.


Gao HongGao Hong, Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments

Double Concerto for Pipa and Violin with Symphony Orchestra

Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board

Award date: 11/6/13 
Award amount
: $10,000     
Project period
: 11/6/13-11/1/14

An Artist Initiative grant supports master pipa player, Gao, in the creation of the first-ever Double Concerto for Pipa and Violin with Symphony Orchestra to be performed with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra and Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra.


Dana StrandDana Strand, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of French and the Humanities and Director of French and Francophone Studies

The Tournées Festival

Funder: FACE (French American Cultural Exchange)

Award date: 11/21/13 
Award amount
: $1,800   
Project period
: 11/1/13-2/28/14

This FACE Tournées Festival funding supports the showing of five French films in February 2014 as a part of Carleton’s international film festival during winter and spring terms 2014.  The screenings in Carleton’s Weitz Center for Creativity 250-seat cinema will be open to the larger community; and will be woven into language, literature, and cinema and media studies courses.


Arjendu PattanayakArjendu Pattanayak, Professor of Physics

KITP Scholar for 2014-2016

Funder: Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP)

Award date: 12/15/13 
Award amount
: $4,050   
Project period
: 1/1/14-12/31/16

The KITP Scholar award funds travel to Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for a total of six weeks over the next three years to work on and discuss theoretical physics with those in residence there.


Trish FerretTrish Ferrett, Professor of Chemistry
Nancy Braker
, Lecturer in Biology and Director of the Cowling Arboretum
Ross Elfline
, Assistant Professor of Art History

Contested Spaces 2014 Seminar

Funder: Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

Award date: 12/18/13
Award amount: $10,000  Nancy Braker
Project period: 1/1/14-12/31/15

Professors Ferret, Braker, and Elfline will participate in the ACM Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL) with colleagues from Colorado, Beloit, Coe, Luther, and St. Olaf Colleges in Colorado during June 2014. Their project “Developing Environmental Stewardship through Immersive Experiences in Contested Spaces: Collaboration and Learning Across Boundaries” Ross Elflineaims to create curricular materials on environmental stewardship at and beyond Carleton.

The ACM’s five-year program of Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning, funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, supports faculty as they develop innovative, multi-disciplinary curricula for upper-level students.


Laska JimsenLaska Jimsen, Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies

Production of Circles &Arrows, Matrices & Trees

Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board

Award date: 1/8/134
Award amount
: $10,000  
Project period
: 3/1/14-2/28/15

This Artist Initiative Grant in Visual Arts enables the completion of an experimental 16mm film Circles & Arrows, Matrices & Trees. Professor Jimsen will screen cuts of the film at colleges, universities, and arts centers and conduct workshops on the photochemical process of 16mm hand processing.


Marty BaylorMarty Baylor, Assistant Professor of Physics

Optimization of Index Contrast in Diffusive Photopolymers Able to Create Waveguides and Fluid Channels in Optofluidic Devices

Funder: Research Corporation

Award date: 2/19/14 
Award amount
: $35,000  
Project period
: 7/1/14-6/30/16

The Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award (SI-CCSA) from the Research Corporation will move Prof. Baylor closer to her goal of creating 3-D, portable devices for optical sensor applications. Grant support will also enable undergraduate researchers to assist in building apparatus, acquiring data, analyzing results, and devising future experiments.


Susan SingerSusan Singer, Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of the Natural Sciences

IPA (Intergovernmental Personnel Act) assignment as DUE Director

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 2/20/14 
Award amount
: $229,303 
Project period
: 1/29/14-1/28/15

Professor Singer continues her assignment as Director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Undergraduate Education (DUE) Division, which started in 2013. As director of DUE, Susan supports the division’s mission of promoting excellence in undergraduate STEM education. Her responsibilities with DUE – a division of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources – entail a grant-funded leave from her Carleton responsibilities for the term of her appointment at NSF. (Note that this award is not included in the annual totals above.)


Susan Jaret McKinstrySusan Jaret McKinstry, Helen F. Lewis Professor of English, Associate Director of the Digital Humanities

Fulbright Scholar Specialist Roster

Funder:  Fulbright Scholar Program, U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Award date: 2/27/14 
Award amount
: $6,600 
Project period
: 6/15/14-8/31/14

In the field of Communication/Media Studies, Professor McKinstry was approved to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster. The program enables U.S. faculty and professionals to engage in short-term collaborative projects – focusing on strengthening and developing higher education institutions – with universities overseas.


Cecilia CornejoCecilia Cornejo, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies

With the Skateboarders

Funder:  Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) McKnight Foundation

Award date: 3/18/14 
Award amount
: $5,000
Project period
: 6/3/14-5/9/15

This McKnight Established Artist grant from SEMAC enables Professor Cornejo to complete “With the Skateboarders,” an experimental documentary project filmed entirely in Northfield. Additionally, the grant allows her to stage a premiere in Northfield, and make the film available for wider viewing.


Cameron DavidsonCameron Davidson, Professor of Geology; Director, Carleton Interdisciplinary Science & Math Initiative

South-Central Alaska - Tectonic evolution of the Chugach-Prince William terrane, south central Alaska

Funder: National Science Foundation /Keck Geology Consortium

Award date: 3/26/14 
Award amount
: $14.225
Project period: 6/1/14-9/1/14

The subaward, funded by the National Science Foundation through the Keck Geology Consortium, supports geological field research in south-central Alaska. As a partnership between Davidson and a collaborator at Union College (Schenectady, NY), this project has been running since 2011. This grant funds travel and research supplies for Davidson and his collaborator and additionally provides student fellowships for six Carleton students.


Lori PearsonLori Pearson, Professor of Religion

Gender, Religion, and Social Theory: Marianne Weber and the Origins of Religious Studies

Funder: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Award date: 3/26/14 
Award amount
: $241,700 
Project period
: 6/15/14-7/1/17

This substantial New Directions Fellowship will enable Professor Pearson to address legal, cultural, and societal debates about women’s rights that shaped theories of religion in Germany around 1900. The funding primarily supports summer and sabbatical leave time and graduate coursework.


Serena ZabinSerena Zabin (square), Associate Professor of History

Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre

Funder: Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS)

Award date: 4/4/14 
Award amount
: $1,500
Project period
: 6/15/14-8/31/14

This Benjamin F. Stevens Fellowship from MHS supports research on any aspect of the history of New England. Professor Zabin will do research in Boston during summer 2014 on her book Occupying Boston.


Audrey RussekAudrey Russek, Andersen Fellow in American Studies

2014 Henry Belin du Pont Research Grant

Funder: Hagley Museum and Library

Award date: 4/30/14 
Award amount
: $800
Project period
: 6/23/14-7/4/14

This residential fellowship from the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware – which specializes in the history of American business, technology, and innovation – supports Professor Russek’s research for two weeks during the summer of 2014.


Alex FreemanAlex Freeman, Assistant Professor of Music

McKnight Composer Fellowship

Funder: The McKnight Foundation

Award date: 5/22/14 
Award amount
: $25,000
Project period
: 6/15/14-6/14/15

A one-year fellowship from The McKnight Foundation and administered by the American Composers Forum recognizes composers, such as Professor Freeman, whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who have created a substantial body of work over a period of time. This year, four fellows were chosen from a total pool of 63 applicants. The support is intended to enrich the state of Minnesota by providing for composers’ artistic growth. Professor Freeman’s composed chamber works and choral music are performed regularly in Minnesota, across the U.S., and abroad. Read more in Carleton News.


Kelly ConnoleKelly Connole, Associate Professor of Art

McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists

Funder: The McKnight Foundation

Award date: 6/1/14 
Award amount
: $25,000
Project period
: 6/1/14-5/31/15

Administered by Northern Clay Center, this $25,000 fellowship is designed to strengthen and enhance Minnesota’s artistic community, as well as significantly advance the work of Minnesota ceramic artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit, who have already proven their abilities, and who are at a career stage that is beyond emerging. See more in the Carleton News article.