Profile of Faculty Grant Awards, 2017-2018

Summary of 2017–2018 Awards
  17 grants to 16 individual awardees: $835,926 total

  • Arts & Literature: $50,123 on 5 awards
  • Humanities: $297,200 on 2 awards
  • Science & Math: $488,603 on 10 awards

Clint Cowan, Professor and Chair of GeologyClint Cowan

Visiting Faculty Director, Amsterdam Fall 2018

Funder: Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

Award date: 7/11/17
Award amount
: $14,300
Project period: 9/1/18-12/31/18

Prof. Cowan will serve as Visiting Faculty Director of the ACM's "Sciences, Global Health and Interdisciplinary Studies" off-campus study program at Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit in fall 2018. Drawing on Prof. Cowan’s extensive experience with OCS programs (and five years at Koninklijke Shell Exploratie en Produktie Laboratorium in the Hague), his responsibilities will include teaching an interdisciplinary honors course and advising students’ independent research projects.


Cam Davidson, Cam DavidsonProfessor of Geology and Director of Carleton's Interdisciplinary Science and Math Initiative

Collaborative Research: RUI: Translation and Accretion of the Yakutat Microplate and Prince William Terrane, Alaska

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 7/26/17
Award amount
: $232,557
Project period: 9/1/17-8/31/21

A collaborative four-year project, funded by a NSF Tectonics (#1727991) continuing grant, will further study of the geology of southern Alaska. Drawn from Carleton, Union, and other liberal arts colleges participating in the Keck Geology Consortium, ~25 undergraduate research students will work with Davidson and John Garver (of Union College) in the field in Alaska as well in the lab at Carleton and Union. In addition, the project entails substantial public education efforts at the Kenai Fjords National Park and the Tongass National Forest about the geological evolution of these areas. This project continues work begun by Davidson and Garver with a previous NSF grant (Tectonics award ID #111655) and other support.


Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Pamela Feldman-SavelsbergBroom Professor of Social Demography and Anthropology and Director of Africana Studies

Rethinking Immigrant Integration in a Mass-Migration Era: Migrant Families in Comparative Perspective

Funder: Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS)

Award date: 8/10/17
Award amount
: $5,000
Project period: 7/15/18-12/12/18

As a visiting scholar in residence at STIAS in South Africa in fall 2018, Prof. Feldman-Savelsberg will work on her book on transnational family obligations and belonging as well as conduct fieldwork with Cameroonians in Cape Town.


Anna Rafferty, Anna RaffertyAssistant Professor of Computer Science

Research presentation at the German Machine Learning and Formal Methods seminar

Funder: Schloss Dagstuhl – NSF Support Grant

Award date: 8/11/17
Award amount
: $1,262
Project period: 8/27/17-9/1/17

Financed by National Science Foundation CNS-1257011, this grant covered travel and accommodations for Prof. Rafferty to present her research at the Machine Learning and Formal Methods seminar held in Germany from August 27-September 1, 2017.


Deborah Gross, Deborah GrossProfessor of Chemistry
Tsegaye Nega, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

A Student-Centered Educational Collaboration Focusing on Sustainable Environments: Carleton College and Addis Ababa University Linkage

Funder: U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia

Award date: 9/29/17
Award amount
: $18,000
Project period: 9/29/17-9/29/18Tsegaye Nega

A “U.S.-Ethiopian University Linkages Seed Grant” from the American embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia funds an innovative effort to foster pedagogical connections between a liberal arts college and a foreign research. Working with colleagues at Addis Ababa University (AAU), Prof. Gross and Prof. Nega will develop an environmental-science course that will be taught simultaneously to both Carleton undergraduates and AAU master's students. Gross and Nega hope that the pilot project will serve as a basis for equipping a new generation of students (and professionals) to confront the interconnected ecological and social issues underpinning environmental crises, especially in developing countries like Ethiopia. The project will also cultivate future collaborations between Carleton and AAU, with individual classes, with academic departments and programs, or with off-campus study opportunities.


Matt Whited, Matt WhitedAssociate Professor of Chemistry

Chemistry Early Career Investigator Workshop

Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Award date: 10/27/17
Award amount
: $70,498
Project period: 11/1/17-10/31/18

This NSF grant funds a two-day event near NSF headquarters, organized by Prof. Whited with Gordana Dukovic at University of Colorado-Boulder, that will provide early career chemists with opportunities to network with: each other, funded mid-career NSF researchers from a variety of institutions, and program officers from NSF CHE and other organizations supporting chemistry research.


Kimberly Smith, Kimberly SmithProfessor of Environmental Studies and Political Science

The Conservation Constitution: The Conservation Movement and Constitutional Change, 1870-1930

Funder: William Nelson Cromwell Foundation

Award date: 10/28/17
Award amount
: $7,200
Project period: 6/15/18-8/31/19

Funding for archival research will enable Professor Smith to advance her book that examines the impact of the Progressive Era conservation movement on constitutional doctrine, explaining the role of the judiciary in creating the constitutional foundations of the modern environmental regulatory regime.


Sarah Titus, Sarah TitusAssociate Professor of Geology

Making laboratory deformation bands in sandstones for comparison with natural field data from the San Andreas fault system

Funder: American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund (PRF)

Award date: 10/30/17
Award amount
: $70,000
Project period: 6/1/18-8/31/21

PRF Undergraduate Research support from the American Chemical society will enable the interpretation of some enigmatic small-scale faults from central California. The three-year grant will fund Prof. Titus and six Carleton students, with undergraduate researchers participating in field work in California and laboratory deformation experiments with a colleague at Rice University.


Laurence Cooper, Laurence CooperProfessor of Political Science

Political Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Reveries of the Solitary Walker

Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Award date: 12/31/17
Award amount
: $50,400
Project period: 1/1/18-12/31/18

An NEH Fellowship grant will support Prof. Cooper’s work on a book-length study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s crowning work, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker. Rousseau’s Reveries articulate the meaning, requirements, and expressions of the philosophic life, a life that Rousseau deemed the most choiceworthy life for a human being but also a deeply problematic one. The most daunting demand of the philosophic life, and the focus of the Reveries’ dramatic narrative, is the need to overcome certain fiercely held moral passions and prejudices. The provisional title of Cooper’s book is Dreaming of Justice, Waking to Wisdom. Cooper’s fellowship is one of just 74 awarded this year, only twelve of which went to faculty at liberal arts colleges. The NEH received approximately 1,100 applications.


Cecilia M. Cornejo,Cecilia Cornejo Instructor in Cinema and Media Studies

Ways of Being Home documentary

Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB)

Award date: 1/10/18
Award amount
: $10,000
Project period: 3/1/18-2/28/19

An Artist Initiative grant will enable Prof. Cornejo to complete Ways of Being Home, the second in a trilogy of films that traces the experience of marginalized communities in Northfield. In collaboration with members of the Mexican community of Northfield, Cornejo will film a poetic documentary that examines issues of displacement, belonging, and resilience from their perspective. Community members will contribute to the making of the film by sharing their personal experiences, performing technical roles during the shooting process, creating the film’s soundtrack, and offering their feedback at three screenings of the work in progress, actively shaping the final film.


Juliane B. Shibata, Juliane ShibataVisiting Assistant Professor in Ceramics

New ceramic installations with living flowers

Funder: Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB)

Award date: 1/10/18
Award amount
: $10,000
Project period: 3/1/18-2/28/19

This Artist Initiative Visual Arts grant enables Shibata to create three new installations that integrate living flowers with her ceramic ones. She will unite floriography, a language of flowers that has traditionally been rooted in the female experience, with her ceramic practice to produce works that combine specific cultural and historical themes in ways that widen Minnesota's artistic heritage. MSAB funds will also allow Shibata to professionally document her work and approach exhibition venues in Minnesota about displaying her installations.


Ryan Terrien, Ryan TerrienAssistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Towards Tranquil Terrestrial Worlds Orbiting Tiny, Turbulent Stars: Next-Generation Algorithms to Reveal Nearby ExoEarths Using Near-Infrared Doppler Spectroscopy

Funder: Heising-Simons Foundation, Subaward from Pennsylvania State University

Award date: 1/26/18
Award amount
: $11,310
Project period: 12/1/17-11/30/20

A subaward from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) for the Heising-Simons Foundation-supported project, “Towards Tranquil Terrestrial Worlds Orbiting Tiny, Turbulent Stars: Next-Generation Algorithms to Reveal Nearby ExoEarths Using Near-Infrared Doppler Spectroscopy” will fund Prof. Terrien’s work with undergraduate researchers in summer 2018 to help improve the precision of analysis techniques that are being used to search for exoplanets orbiting nearby red dwarf stars.


Gao Hong, Gao HongSenior Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments and Director of the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble

Ancient Music in a Globalized World: Documentation of Nanyin Preservation in Quanzhou, Fujian

Funder: ASIANetwork’s Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows (SFF) Program

Award date: 1/28/18
Award amount
: $21,823
Project period: 4/6/18-5/15/19

Centered on a research trip to China, this project will document how the people of Quanzhou maintain nanyin, a genre of Chinese classical music local to the Fujian province. Working with Gao, three student participants – Gus Holley ’20, Lia Spencer ’18, and Yiqing Yu ’21 – will improve their Chinese language skills, further develop their musical abilities, transcribe music, interview the local people working to preserve nanyin, and develop a website to document the project.


Gao Hong, Gao HongSenior Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments and Director of the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble

USArtists International (USAI) grant

Funder: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

Award date: 3/6/18
Award amount
: $5,000
Project period: 3/15/18-3/14/19

This USAI grant will support the Gao Hong and Issam Rafea Duo’s performance at the Beijing Music Festival in China. USAI is the only national initiative in the United States solely devoted to supporting performances by American artists at important international cultural festivals and arts marketplaces abroad.


Noah Salomon, Noah SalomonAssociate Professor of Religion and Director of Middle East Studies

Thinking Islam across the Sunni-Shi‘i Divide: A New Approach to Islamic Studies

Funder: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Award date: 3/16/18
Award amount
: $290,000
Project period: 4/1/18-8/31/21

With this prestigious New Directions Fellowship, Prof. Salomon will explore the intertwinings of the Sunni and Shi‘i worlds and develop a unique new perspective on key questions that have troubled Islamic studies, and religion at large, for decades. His project will involve extensive travel and language study as well as deep research into Shi‘i Islam. In addition to a new scholarly project, the New Directions Fellowship will also enable Prof. Salomon to launch new courses on Shi‘ism and the Shi‘i world.


Juliane Schicker, Juliane SchickerAssistant Professor of German

NEH Summer Institute “Culture in the Cold War: East German Art, Music and Film”

Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Award date: 3/28/18
Award amount
: $3,300
Project period: 6/17/18-7/14/18

This four-week NEH Summer Institute allows participants to pursue an intensive program of study under a team of experts on the GDR. Prof. Schicker will apply the interdisciplinary examination into the GDR arts gained at the Institute to her teaching and research, including projects on Mahler and women's rock music in the GDR.


Ryan Terrien, Ryan TerrienAssistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

NEID: NN-EXPLORE Exoplanet Investigations with Doppler Spectroscopy

Funder: NASA, Contract with Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL)

Award date: 4/14/18
Award amount
: $15,276
Project period: 6/5/18-9/7/18

Prof. Terrien will serve as a co-investigator on a NASA-funded project to develop a new exoplanet-finding spectrograph. The spectrograph, called “NEID,” will detect exoplanets by measuring their minute gravitational tugs on their host stars. During summer 2018, Prof. Terrien will work with collaborators from Penn State, the University of Arizona, and other institutions to develop and commission new software and calibration systems for NEID, working towards a goal of commissioning the full spectrograph at the WIYN Telescope (Kitt Peak Observatory, AZ) in 2019.