Conducting research on the viability of a possible alternative to antibiotics is how one Whitman College student and his professor will spend the summer. And 20 other students have similar plans.
Twenty-one teams of Whitman faculty and students, spanning the liberal arts disciplines, have been selected to receive Perry Summer Research Grants. The funding enables pursuit of summer research projects, which provide students experience in the methods and challenges of sustained, collaborative scholarly work.
The professors also benefit — from having valuable student research collaborators. And the projects, typically closely aligned to professors’ established research, often result in joint publications and presentations at scholarly meetings as well as topics for senior theses.
The Perry awards were established to honor Louis B. Perry, Whitman’s eighth president (1959-1967) and an emeritus member of the college’s Board of Overseers. The Perry awards are also funded by support from the Parents Fund, through the Student-Faculty Research Fund. The 2010 recipient teams are:
- Sharon Alker, associate professor of English and general studies, and Eleanor Gold ’11: An examination of models of Scottish masculinity in one of writer John Galt’s most understudied works, “Sir Andrew Wylie of that Ilk.”
- Susanne Beechey, assistant professor of politics, and Abby Neel ’12: An analysis of the distinctions of deservingness in the 2009-2010 federal health-care reform debates.
- Shampa Biswas, associate professor of politics, and Thomas Friedenbach ’12: A study of the effectiveness of social technologies at work in the global nuclear nonproliferation regime within a post-cold-war context of shifting global dynamics of economic power and security.
- Janis Breckenridge, assistant professor of English, and Mehera Nori ’12: An examination of contemporary memorial sites in Buenos Aires intended to shape and preserve collective memory of the last dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983).
- Frank Dunnivant, associate professor of chemistry, and Emily Doyle ’11 and Nicole James ’11: Experimentation to determine the release of chlorinated pesticides during simulated dredging events.
- Brien Garnand, assistant professor of history, and Stefan DuBois ’12: Microscopic analysis of the surface and fabric of urn shards from the Carthaginian tophet, an open-air burial precinct where infants were dedicated to the gods.
- Kendra Golden, associate professor of biology, and John Hodges ’11: Study of the immune response of Manduca sexta to E. coli infection in the presence of T4 bacteriophages. The study results are a step in elucidating whether bacteriophages, bacteria-eating viruses, could be an effective and environmentally safe way to combat resistant superbugs in place of antibiotics.
- Russ Gordon, professor of mathematics, and Jonathan “Nate” Wells ’11: A study of the perimeter of Eisenstein triangles by applying ideas of the perimeter of the more familiar and much-studied Pythagorean triangles.
- Jim Hanson, professor of forensics, and John-Henry Heckendorn ’12: Undertaking the completion of one of the most comprehensive argumentation textbooks ever envisioned for use in colleges and universities.
- Jocelyn Hendrickson, assistant professor of religion, and Maherin Ahmed ’11: A project to examine the correlation between socioeconomic class and women’s access to divorce in Islamic family law courts in contemporary Bangladesh.
- Sarah Hurlburt, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, and Evelina Miropolsky ’12: A dual project of interrelated research involving a close reading of the poetics of memory in Julien Duvivier’s films as well as completion of a bilingual glossary of film criticism.
- Kate Jackson, assistant professor of biology, and Claire Snyder ’12 and Khoa Nguyen ’12: A search for evidence of cryptic speciation in the Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca), a species of wide distribution in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Christopher Leise, assistant professor of English, and Rose Woodbury ’12: Research on the fictionalized history at Salem’s witch-related tourist attractions that diverge from academic accounts and explanations of the hysteria. Research results will lay the foundation for a new chapter in the professor’s book about representations of Puritanism in American fiction after World War II.
- Susan Pickett, Catharine Gould Chism Endowed Chair of Music, and Jonathan Spatola-Knoll ’11: Creation of a first edition of composer Elfrida Andrée’s “String Quartet in D minor,” a work that won second place in an 1890s international competition but was never published.
- Kevin Pogue, professor of geology, and Liesl Olson ’11: Collection and analysis of soil samples from vineyards throughout the Columbia Basin to determine genuine differences in physical terroir within the American Viticultural Areas (wine-making regions).
- Matthew Reynolds, assistant professor of art history, and Elizabeth Hockett ’11: Research of the 2008 “Hollywould Festival,” which displayed the work of more than 160 artists on Hollywood Boulevard during a massive urban revitalization project of Hollywood. Research results will be used for the professor’s book project that focuses on the role of visual arts in the redevelopment of urban space and the frequent displacement of communities because of redevelopment.
- Gary Rollefson, professor of anthropology, and Laura J. Evilsizer ’11: Mapping of archaeological structures (ritual, residential and pastoral) dating between 5,000 to 3,000 B.C. located in Jordan’s desert panhandle.
- David Schmitz, Robert Allen Skotheim Chair of History, and David Friedman ’11: Research on the role of nationalism in the emergence of the Cold War years. This is the final research needed for the professor’s current study of American nationalism and foreign policy.
- Nicole Simek, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures and general studies, and Elizabeth Kiley Wolff ’12: Examination of the impact of gender differences on the production and content of comic texts in French Caribbean literature.
- S. Brooke Vick, assistant professor of psychology, and Julia Clark ’11 and Amanda Mueller ’11: A project to determine the effects of claiming discrimination on another’s behalf. Does such an action spare the target of the discrimination the social cost of personally making the claim, or does the target suffer negative consequences for having someone speak up on his or her behalf?
- Melissa Wilcox, associate professor of religion, and Liam Mina ’11: Continuing research of a multiyear study of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an international organization dedicated to serving LGBT communities.
- Virginia Grantier