Julie Neiworth, Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of the Natural Sciences and Psychology, received a $431,950 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a three-year research project to study the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Prof. Neiworth and undergraduate student researchers will collect cognitive and behavioral data from a troop of cotton-top tamarin monkeys. They hope to distinguish “natural” aging-related declines in learning and thinking from declines due to Alzheimer’s-like changes in the brain – plaques of beta amyloid molecules and neurofibrillary tangles of tau proteins. Since tamarins closely share certain key characteristics with humans, Prof. Neiworth’s research could lead to the development of new medical and training procedures for the treatment of AD in humans. In addition to working with up to 50 undergraduate researchers during summers, winter and spring breaks, and the three academic years covered by the grant, Prof. Neiworth, in consultation with Associate Professor of Psychology Sarah Meerts, will continue to seek evidence for beta amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the monkeys once natural death has occurred. Neuroscience students will conduct immunohistochemical processes with Neiworth to seek these markers of AD.
- February 22, 2017
Layla Oesper, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Computer Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) grant for her project “RUI: Computational Approaches for Inferring the Evolutionary Histories of Cancer Genomes.” Professor Oesper’s project will examine the present limitations of algorithms used to infer information about tumor evolution, and focus on the development of computational approaches to understanding the evolution of mutations in cancer genomes. Additionally the research will involve up to 10 undergraduates in cutting edge computational biology research, and offer a cross-institutional undergraduate workshop for both students and faculty at baccalaureate institutions to interact and collaborate.
Wes Markofski, Assistant Professor of Sociology, has been awarded a Curriculum Development Grant from the Global Religion Research Initiative at the University of Notre Dame, to revise two courses: “Sociology of Religion” and “Diversity and Democracy in America and Beyond.” Prof. Markofski will revise the former course to explore special topics in the contemporary sociology of religion and to examine contemporary Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh communities in South Asia and the Asian Pacific region. Prof. Markofski will revise the latter course to invite students to consider whether and how religion should stand alongside other forms of American diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and language.
- January 30, 2017
Cecilia Cornejo, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, received a Jerome Foundation Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant in support of her new film, Ways of Being Home. The film explores issues of displacement and belonging as experienced by the transnational community of Mexican immigrants living in Northfield. Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, Ways of Being Home is the second in a trilogy of films that centers on the experience of underrepresented Northfield communities.
- January 25, 2017
Alex Knodell, Assistant Professor of Classics and Co-Director of Archaeology, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship through the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for his collaborative project, “Crossroads and Boundaries in an Ancient Greek Borderland: The Mazi Archaeological Project.” Professor Knodell will use the fellowship to work with collaborators in Athens toward the final publication of a multi-disciplinary field project on the Mazi Plain, a landscape that has been both a crossroads and a boundary since ancient times. This project offers a long-term approach to regional history, human-environmental interaction, and cultural heritage management. Final publication will include a multi-authored scholarly monograph, an interactive online database, and a Greek-language guidebook geared toward a popular audience and designed to promote local engagement with the region.
- November 2, 2016
Gao Hong, Director of the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble and Senior Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments, has won a 2017 Arts Tour Minnesota grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She will conduct performances and outreach activities featuring storytelling music from the Chinese pipa repertoire in small, rural community libraries throughout greater Minnesota.
- November 1, 2016
Peter Balaam, Associate Professor of English, was chosen to participate in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest's Faculty Site Visit to the off-campus study program in Pune, India, in October 2016. This professional development opportunity familiarizes faculty at ACM colleges with consortial off-campus study programs.
- September 12, 2016
The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton was awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a two-year project to develop bold, new models to broaden participation in STEM. SERC is one of 37 projects being recognized for first-ever awards for the NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) program which aims to improve access to STEM education and career pathways at the national scale, making them more widely inclusive to under served populations. The geosciences lag behind most other STEM disciplines in diversity and are also projected to have a deficit in the workforce in the coming years.
SERC's initiative, Engaging Local Communities in Geoscience Pathways, brings together partners who have led successful national efforts addressing components of these challenges with partners in three regions to create pathways in three regional pilots, focusing on key academic transitions in three diverse U.S. communities—Atlanta, GA; San Bernardino, CA; and Oklahoma—and will use these pathways as laboratories and catalysts for a systemic change in geoscience and geoscience education. Of the initial 37 recipients, Carleton is the only private, four-year liberal arts institution represented. For more information on the 37 projects visit the NSF website.
- August 17, 2016
Andrea Mazzariello, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, has been awarded a $5,000 “Established Artist” grant from The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council for his new musical project, “Plant Another Flower.” With the SEMAC grant, Andrea will develop a new piece of music and words to perform himself, centered on drums, keyboards, voice, and electronics played simultaneously. He will premiere this “one-person band” work - which merges his experience playing rock music with his experience writing concert music - at the Northfield Arts Guild in March 2017.
- August 3, 2016
Christopher Calderone, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant for his project “RUI: Condensation Domain-Catalyzed Dehydration.” His research identifies new pathways by which bacteria and fungi produce molecules known as non-ribosomal peptides, examples of which include such therapeutically important medicines as cyclosporin and penicillin. This project involves four student researchers each year, the development of educational modules for undergraduate teaching labs at Carleton, and the development of curriculum for the public-private LearningWorks partnership program in downtown Minneapolis to teach underserved middle-school students molecular biology concepts and techniques.
- July 29, 2016
Matthew Whited, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been named a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, a major funder of chemistry research and teaching activity. The Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences at undergraduate institutions. The award is based on accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates, as well as a compelling commitment to teaching, and provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000.
Professor Whited’s research program focuses on chemical synthesis involving transition metals, with a particular interest in carbon dioxide transformation for renewable fuels, and has involved 18 Carleton students since 2011. The grant will fund equipment purchases to support cutting-edge research with Carleton undergraduates as well as conference travel for Professor Whited and his students. The award also provides funds for supporting departmental expenses associated with research and education, and these have been designated for developing course-based research opportunities in the Chemistry Department.
Michael Flynn, William H. Laird Professor of Linguistics and the Liberal Arts and Chair of Linguistics, and Jeff Ondich, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation's Documenting Endangered Languages program for a project entitled “Fostering Dakota Language Restoration through Workshops: First Steps to Partnering by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, the Dakotah Language Institute, and Carleton College.”
Through this project, Flynn, Ondich, Associate Professor Catherine Fortin, and Assistant Professor Cherlon Ussery will work in close partnership with a team of Dakota educators to advance the formal description of the endangered Dakota language, and begin planning to produce comprehensive courses and accessible electronic resources about Dakota language and culture.
The project's centerpieces are a workshop, to be held at Carleton in late summer 2016, at which Carleton faculty and students will collaboratively work with Sisseton-Wahpeton educators and Dakota speakers on the Dakota language, and a follow up visit by Carleton faculty and students to the Oyate in eastern South Dakota in the fall.