Research Fellowships

2012 Summer Research Fellowship Recipients

This fellowship supports faculty research during Summer 2013 on a competitive basis. It provides a stipend for a summer research project on a full-time basis with the expectation of a submission to a high-quality, refereed journal or an equivalent standard of intellectual contribution.

Denise Ben-Porath
Department of Psychology
The goal of the study is to determine the differential treatment effect of a brief mindfulness intervention vs. a brief distraction intervention in women diagnosed with an eating disorder before and after an exposure meal. Additionally, for purposes of comparison and control, a nonclinical sample also will participate in the same two treatment interventions, mindfulness and distraction, while eating the same meal.

Paula Britton
Department of Education and Allied Studies
This study explores the consequences of early life experiences and parental support of sexual orientation/gender on adult LGBTQ mental health with an emphasis on implications for counselor intervention. Additionally, it explores specific coping strategies influencing healthy development potentially related to parenting style.

Chrystal Bruce
Department of Chemistry
This study, involving computational modeling of the interactions between DNA and small molecules, will allow for better design of anticancer and antibiotic pharmaceuticals.

Leslie Curtis
Department of Art History and Humanities
This project is focused on the theme of the Mystic Knight in the work of French Symbolist artist Odilon Redon (1840- 1916). It investigates how the symbolism and meaning of key works on this theme can be better understood by a careful consideration of the artist’s tendency to combine experiences from his travels in the Pyrenees and his service in the Franco-Prussian war with related sources in local medieval legends such as the “Song of Roland,” the story of Oedipus and the Sphinx and its depiction by other artists, and the operas of Richard Wagner, especially that of Parsifal.

Rebecca Drenovsky
Department of Biology
Understanding the factors that limit plant growth and reproduction are critical to the success of rangeland restoration programs. This project seeks to understand the resources that limit plant establishment, growth, and recruitment in a suite of perennial grasses commonly used in restoration in the Intermountain West.

Nathan Gehlert
Department of Education and Allied Studies
This study seeks to extend the field of psychology’s understanding of how to define and assess competency in relationships through the creation of an assessment of relational competencies.

Penny Harris
Department of Sociology and Criminology
Resilience, as a psychosocial concept, can assist people in coping more effectively when faced with adverse situations, and the original work in this area focused on children and adolescents. This study proposes extending the resilience research by focusing on older adults who are experiencing chronic disease, such as dementia or HIV/AIDS, and identifying factors that can foster resilience in this population.

Erin Johnson
Department of Biology
The project involves looking for compounds that hold the potential to enhance the immune system’s response to viral infections.

Angie Jones
Department of Psychology
The goal of the proposed work is to gain a better understanding of the production effect, which refers to enhanced memory for items read aloud compared to silently. Very little work has been done in the field to understand how/why the effect occurs.

Sharon Kaye
Department of Philosophy
This project is to write an Introduction to Philosophy (designed for undergraduate students) for the Teach Yourself series of the British publisher Hodder and Stoughton (published by McGraw-Hill in the United States).

Dan Kilbride
Department of History
The fellowship will be used to research and write an essay about how American abolitionists used contemporary information about Africa in their campaigns against slavery and racism.

Phil Metres
Department of English
Taking its title from the name of the zones in Northern Ireland where Protestant and Catholic communities face one another, “Interfaces,” the fellowship will be used to compose a series of poems that would offer a complex but detailed rendering of life across zones of global conflict. But more than merely depicting conflict, the poems will help develop a cosmopolitan poetry that offers a vision of peace-building among and between entrenched enemies.

Joan Nuth
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
The fellowship will facilitate the writing of a chapter of a book manuscript intended to be “A Theological Primer for Spiritual Directors.” This chapter completes the material about creation in the first chapter, focusing on the nature and destiny of the human being, and complementing the “Principle and Foundation,” the starting point of the “Spiritual Exercises.”

Paige Rinker
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
The fellowship will facilitate the completion of the development and implementation of an analysis tool designed to identify cluster patterns in a novel form of rank data. This type of analysis has natural applications in market research.

Ralph Saporito
Department of Biology
The proposed project is designed to further understand how animals defend themselves against natural predators. In particular, the study will examine how differences in the distribution of poison glands in frogs lead to differences in protection from predation.

David Shutkin
Department of Education and Allied Studies
The fellowship will facilitate the writing of an essay based on qualitative research of a school district’s technology reform initiative. Using sociological theory, the essay will seek to explicate how the goals of the reform initiative are undermined by the very technologies that are featured as the means to the success of the reform.


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