Recent Grants

  • Debby Walser-Kuntz, Debby Walser-KuntzProfessor of Biology, has been awarded a Multi-institutional Innovation Project grant from Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP), with Co-PI Adrienne Falcon at Metropolitan State University and partners at Minneapolis College and Minnesota Campus Compact. Their project “Census 2020: Counting On Campus” aims to raise awareness of the upcoming census by developing and disseminating curricular and co-curricular education and mobilization materials for faculty, staff, and students at institutions across Minnesota.

  • Rou-Jia Sung, Rou-Jia SungAssistant Professor of Biology, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant (#1841992) for her project, “Development of Novel Augmented Reality Tool for Teaching Molecular Visualization in Biochemistry.” Prof. Sung will work with coPI Dr. Andrew Wilson, Academic Technologist for Digital Scholarship,Andrew Wilson to develop a freely available AR-based application that can be installed on mobile smartphone and tablet devices and will contain virtual 3D objects representing the molecular structures of three fundamental molecules central to biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics curricula. Each molecule will be associated with a set of learning materials, developed by the project team, to facilitate use in the classroom. The three-year project involves 5 Carleton undergraduate researchers, Prof. Jane Liu at Pomona, and Prof. Thom Bussey and a graduate student at UCSD. Prof. Sung’s and Dr. Wilson’s application was recently covered the magazine The Scientist, which published a short article on its development and use so far.

  • Laska Jimsen, Laska JimsenAssociate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, has been selected, by Project Pericles, as the Periclean Faculty Leader (PFL) at Carleton College. PFLs champion civil dialogue, civic engagement, and social responsibility in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community (local and national). With this support Prof. Jimsen will make major revisions to her Nonfiction Media Production course that will foreground civil dialogue and nurture long-term community relationships.

  • Cecilia Cornejo, Cecilia CornejoInstructor in Cinema and Media Studies, has been awarded an Artist Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Fund for the Arts in support of her project The Wandering House. This year NALAC awards will provide funding to 26 Latinx artists and collectives and 17 Latinx arts organizations throughout the U.S. These 43 recipients are recognized for their artistic excellence in pursuit of social justice through the arts and were selected from a pool of nearly 400 applications by a national peer panel process involving 45 arts experts representing diverse disciplines, regions and ethnicities. Learn more about Professor Cornejo’s work at, and

  • Steven PoskanzerThe Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Carleton College a grant of $150,000 for the project “Navigating the Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Liberal Arts Education.” With the support of Mellon Foundation funding, the project will enable Carleton faculty members to anticipate the challenges and opportunities that artificial intelligence (AI) will be presenting for the College curriculum, for graduates, and for society as a whole.

    The Carleton AI project advances the College’s strategic goal of remaining at the forefront of liberal arts teaching and learning. In his request to the Foundation, President Poskanzer wrote: “Advances in the development of artificial intelligence and expansion of the internet into almost all areas of life and society are arguably among the most important factors transforming how we live and work. As AI becomes ubiquitous in every area of social and academic activity, we shall need to draw on the insights of humanistic disciplines to understand, embrace, and value the kinds of thinking, learning, and actions that make us distinctively human.”

  • Wes Markofski, Wes MarkofskiAssistant Professor of Sociology, has received funding from the Louisville Institute for his project “Good News for the Common Good: Multicultural Evangelicalism and Ethical Democracy in America.” The Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers enables ecclesially-engaged academics and scholarly religious leaders to conduct major studies that contribute to the vitality of Christianity in North America. Grants support year-long research projects that address Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or religious institutions.

    With his grant, Prof. Markofski will produce a major new book on multicultural evangelicalism and ethical democracy in the United States based on twelve months of full-time ethnographic fieldwork with faith-based organizations in Portland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Boston, including 92 in-depth interviews with racially diverse evangelical and non-evangelical religious and civic leaders, community activists, organizers, lobbyists, and neighborhood residents. The book's descriptive breadth and comparative leverage will offer a theoretically rich and empirically robust analysis of multicultural evangelical strategies of public engagement in the United States. Prof. Markofski has already incorporated some original research material relating to this project into several of his courses, and expects his grant-funded work on the book to further advance his teaching.

    Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment and based at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Louisville, KY). The Institute’s fundamental mission is to enrich the religious life of North American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.

  • Cherlon Ussery, Cherlon UsseryAssociate Professor of Linguistics, will receive research and travel support from the Icelandic Research Fund at the Icelandic Centre for Research for the project “Ditransitives in Insular Scandinavian.” The Icelandic Research Fund supports a wide range of science, humanities, and arts research in Iceland, and made 31 grants (to 17% of applicants) in this round of funding. The initial award of 17.5 million Icelandic króna for year 1 (roughly $145,000) is renewable for two additional years. This project is a collaboration with Jóhannes Gísli Jónsson at the University of Iceland, and other faculty and researchers at University of the Faroe Islands, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Yale University, and the University of Konstanz. The project funds will allow Prof. Ussery to continue her ongoing research centered at the University of Iceland and University of the Faroe Islands.

  • Gao Hong, Gao HongDirector of the Chinese Music Ensemble and Senior Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments, was awarded a 2019 Folk and Traditional Arts Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Hong will record the ten most important Pudong style pipa pieces on video to help pass on Pudong to future generations. She will present two concerts, ten lectures, and ten workshops for schools, senior centers, and community music groups.

  • Cecilia Cornejo, Cecilia CornejoInstructor in Cinema and Media Studies, has been awarded a 2019 Artist Residency at Lanesboro Arts, funded by the Jerome Foundation. Two residencies per year are awarded to artists with projects that activate the people and places of Lanesboro, Minnesota, while instigating positive change. Professor Cornejo will travel to Lanesboro in September 2019 with her public art project “The Wandering House,” which features an ice-fishing house converted into a mobile audio-recording studio. While there, she will invite the community to record their oral testimonies as they reflect on the significance of home and on how current debates surrounding immigration affect this notion. The project will engage the community in the production of collective knowledge while challenging the prevailing representations of rural people and immigrants.

  • Linda Rossi, Linda RossiProfessor of Art, has been awarded an Individual Artist Grant for Advancing Artists from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) for her project “Photographic Puzzles of Rice County.” Building on her recent successful installation at Valley Grove chapel, Professor Rossi will create a series of photographic puzzles that focus on the landscapes, flora, and fauna of Rice County, fostering exploration of the ways in which we conscript nature in everyday objects. Professor Rossi plans to hold a public event showcasing the puzzles and featuring a reading by a local naturalist at the Northfield Library in September 2019.

  • Rika Anderson, Rika AndersonAssistant Professor of Biology, has received NASA funding for a project to improve how scientists recognize whether an exoplanet can or does support life. Prof. Anderson’s work in “The Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL): Advancing the Search for Life Beyond the Solar System” project will contribute to NASA’s broader “Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS)” network. As a co-investigator with Victoria Meadows of the University of Washington-Seattle, Prof. Anderson will examine the early evolution of microbial life on Earth. She will work with a Carleton undergraduate researcher on bioinformatics tasks over the course of the five-year grant, and attend the Astrobiology Science Conference each other year.

  • Jay Tasson, Jay TassonAssistant Professor of Physics, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant (#1806990) for a three-year project “RUI: Tests of Gravity, Data Analysis, and Detector Characterization for LIGO.” The research continues efforts, advanced in part by coPI Nelson Christensen, to identify and characterize noise in data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Prof. Tasson will help develop tools to perform and interpret multimessenger astrophysics. The project involves undergraduate researchers and outreach to the local community.