Recent Grants

  • Clint Cowan, Clint CowanProfessor and Chair of Geology, has been named the Visiting Faculty Director of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’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.

  • An interdisciplinary team of faculty led by Melissa Eblen‐Zayas, Melissa Eblen-ZayasDirector of Learning & Teaching Center and Associate Professor of Physics, has received a grant from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest's "Hybrid and Online Curricular Resources" program to develop a set of online "Qbit" modules designed to strengthen students’ quantitative skills. Building on the use in summer 2016 of Qbits in the Carleton Undergraduate Bridge Experience (CUBE) program, the team will in summer 2017 develop Qbits that review quantitative topics and demonstrate the topics’ applications in different disciplinary contexts. The first Qbits will cover quantitative topics of high relevance to multiple disciplines, beginning with logarithms, exponents, and basic probability. In the 2017-2018 academic year, Carleton will test the Qbits in various contexts - primarily courses in physics, chemistry, and economics - and in other settings such as academic support programs; evaluate the modules' impact on student learning; and make them available to ACM colleagues for further testing and use.

  • Susannah Ottaway

    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $800,000 to Carleton for the four-year project Public Works: Providing Authentic Experience with Difference in the Arts and Humanities.

    As the College continues to advance its strategic goals, including preparing students for fulfilling post-graduate lives and careers, the Public Works project will provide faculty with crucial resources and opportunities in the arts and humanities. Engaging in on-campus and off-campus collaborations, and developing digital skills in meaningful public projects, students will be receiving valuable training for twenty-first century careers. The project will fully support the College’s objectives of increasing the number of opportunities for student-faculty research and providing students with pathways for utilizing the liberal arts in “life after Carleton.” Directors of the project are Susannah Ottaway, Professor of History, and Kelly Connole, Associate Professor of Art.

  • Andrea Mazzariello, Andrea MazzarielloVisiting Assistant Professor of Music, has won a prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Composers from the American Composers Forum. This one-year award will allow Prof. Mazzariello to compose new concert music for performance by leading contemporary music ensembles; to write new work for himself to play in a unique setup that involves keyboard, drums, voice, and electronics; and to compose new music with youth in and around Northfield. One of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country, the McKnight Foundation’s arts program has supported individual working artists in Minnesota since 1981, providing annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 10 different creative disciplines.

  • Carleton Dean of the College Beverly Nagel and St. Olaf Provost and Dean of the College Marci Sortor have announced the seventh round of collaborative grants through the colleges’ “Broadening the Bridge” grant project, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • Cam Davidson, Cam DavidsonProfessor of Geology and Director of Carleton's Interdisciplinary Science and Math Initiative, has received support from The Keck Geology Consortium and the National Science Foundation (#1659322) for a major research project that aims to broaden the diversity of the geoscience workforce, especially among underrepresented groups, and to prepare students for careers in the geosciences. This funding will allow Prof. Davidson and a longtime collaborator at Union College to offer as many as sixteen undergraduate research experiences. With an emphasis on year-long research experiences, structured research curricula, and mentor training, the Consortium programs provide a distinctive model for undergraduate research. Involving fieldwork in Alaska, these experiences will include both “Gateway” projects designed for first- and second-year students that consist of a mix of field and laboratory work, exposure to the breadth of the discipline, and to career opportunities in the earth sciences; and “Advanced Research Program” projects that enable students to participate in a four-week summer project involving a mix of field and laboratory study, followed by an academic year-long project at their home campuses.

  • Kristin Bloomer, Kristin BloomerAssociate Professor of Religion and Coordinator of South Asian Studies, has been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for her project “Kula Teyvam: Family Gods and Changing Places in Tamil Nadu.” The 9-month fellowship, granted to “superior Indologists in the humanities," will allow Prof. Bloomer to conduct research on women in a patrilocal, patrilineal society in South India. In particular, Prof. Bloomer will examine the adaptation of certain Hindu rituals that allow gender-bending possibilities as women and men seek answers to questions about their intimate relations to place and one another: identity, loyalty, family, love, belonging, and home.


  • Shaohua Guo, Shaohua GuoAssistant Professor of Chinese, has been awarded a Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship, with additional funding from the NEH, for her current project “Liberalization of Cultural Space: Progressive Trends in China’s Digital Public.” Prof. Guo looks at the four most dynamic discursive spaces in the Chinese internet over the past two decades: bulletin board systems, blogs, microblogs akin to Twitter, and WeChat (a combination of WhatsApp and Facebook). By analyzing three prominent contemporary cultural modes – fun-seeking, trailblazing, and taboo-breaking – she contends that the entertainment-oriented online sphere has actually nurtured a diversified cultural public sphere that is open to constant contestation – including political debate that many outsiders overlook when they look over the Great Firewall. Prof. Guo will spend the first half of the year-long fellowship in China conducting field work and the last half completing her manuscript.

  • Michael McNally,Michael McNally Professor and Chair of Religion, has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, one of the most prestigious grants in the scholarly world and in the arts, to complete a book, Native American Religious Freedom beyond the First Amendment. The book explores what happens to Native American claims to sacred places, practices, objects, knowledge, and ancestral remains in the law, when such sacred claims do not easily fit into the legal category of “religion.” McNally's book project has also received a 2017 Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  • Gao Hong, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments and Gao HongDirector of the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble, was awarded an Established Artist grant from the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC). She will compose a Pipa and Zhongruan Duet.

  • Tsegaye Nega,Tsegaye Nega Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, has been granted a prestigious Fulbright “Core” award to conduct teaching and research in Ethiopia in 2017-2018. Working primarily at Addis Ababa University, Prof. Nega will teach environmental science courses (including courses on geospatial analysis and modeling) and, with students there, develop an urban simulation model of Addis Ababa. While in Ethiopia, Prof. Nega will also advance a budding social enterprise that fabricates fuel-efficient cookstoves and biomass pellets, and will continue to build long-term relationships between the environmental studies programs at Carleton and Addis Ababa University.

  • Julie NeiworthJulie 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. 

    (Prof. Neiworth's grant #1R15AG051940-01A1 is funded by the NIH National Institute on Aging.)