New grants to Mount Holyoke and its faculty.

Williston Library reading room. Photo by Michael Malyszko

Mount Holyoke College and its professors received the following grants and fellowships between May and October 2015:

  • Five College Consortium, with funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has awarded Ying Wang and Lisha Xu, both in the Program in Asian Studies, in collaboration with Zhijun Wang of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a Blended Learning in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences grant. It funds their project, “Incorporating Online Materials and Digital Learning/Assessing Tools into Advanced Chinese Newspaper Reading and News Watching.” This project develops online components for an advanced course at Mount Holyoke called Learning Chinese Through Newspapers and includes a textbook-editing project. Start date: September 1, 2014, for the academic year.

  • The American Association of University Women has awarded Catherine Corson, Department of Environmental Studies, an American Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grant. The book for which Corson received the grant uses multi-sited institutional ethnography to show how and why strategies that successfully attracted high-level political attention to Madagascar’s biodiversity ended up impeding effective programmatic strategies. Start date: May 15, 2015, for one year.

  • NASA has awarded M. Darby Dyar, Department of Astronomy, an 18-month extension on her ongoing project “Enhancing Science Return from ChemCam through Laboratory and Statistical Analyses and Integration with APXS.” This extends Dyar’s current award as one of the Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientists, which started on June 1, 2012.

  • The National Science Foundation has awarded Barbara Staudt Lerner, Department of Computer Science, a grant for a collaborative project with Harvard University titled “Bringing End-to-End Provenance to Scientists.” The project assembles an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, informaticians, and ecologists to address a fundamental problem in science: how to utilize data provenance to improve the transparency, reliability, and reproducibility of scientific results. The goal is to design, build, and study an end-to-end system (eeProv) to extend original data analyses by domain scientists and to manage and analyze the resulting provenance in a common framework with common tools. Start date: June 1, 2015, for three years.

  • The Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University has awarded James Hartley, Department of Economics, a grant to run a student book club on the topic of commerce, culture, and liberty. Start date: June 1, 2015, for one year. In addition, the Charles Koch Foundation has again awarded Hartley funds to support a student reading group. Start date: September 1, 2015, for one year.

  • Wellesley College has granted Caleb Fassett, Department of Astronomy, a sub-award on its NASA-funded project “Impact crater modification in diverse environments on Mars.” Fassett’s role in the project is in Digital Terrain Model generation, crater measurement, and geological analysis. The measurements and methods used for this project leverage his recent projects on crater degradation on the moon and on Mercury. Start date: June 9, 2015, for three years.

  • The American Association of University Women has awarded Kate Ballantine, Department of Environmental Studies, an American Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship. The primary focus of Ballantine’s sabbatical research will be a project designed to determine the effect of soil amendments on nutrient and contaminant leaching and greenhouse gas emissions in restored wetland soils under different climatic scenarios. Start date: July 1, 2015, for one year.

  • The National Institutes of Health has awarded Katherine Binder, Department of Psychology and Education, a three-year continuation grant for her project “A Multi-skills Approach for Low Literate Adult Learners.” This project is designed to identify sources of reading and writing difficulty for students in adult basic education programs and expand the basic research foundation necessary to build effective assessment and intervention programs targeted to this population. This grant renews her research project, which started on December 1, 2010.

  • The National Institutes of Health has awarded Jared Schwartzer, Department of Psychology and Education, a grant for his project “Mouse model of maternal allergic asthma and offspring autism-like behavioral deficits.” This project seeks to determine the extent to which maternal asthma contributes to causing autism spectrum disorders and will inform future development of therapeutic interventions for mitigating the effects of maternal asthma in at-risk populations. Start date: August 1, 2015, for three years.

  • The James S. McDonnell Foundation has awarded Mara Breen, Department of Psychology and Education, the Understanding Human Cognition Scholar Award to support her project “Exploring Auditory Imagery through Reading.” Breen is one of only eight recipients this year. Her work explores auditory imagery through the lens of human language by investigating sound representations generated during silent reading. By exploring the similarities between perception and imagery, her research addresses foundational questions in cognitive science about the nature of mental representations. Start date: September 1, 2015, for eight years.

  • The Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library has awarded Suparna Roychoudhury, Department of English, a short-term fellowship for her project “Phantasmic Shakespeare: Imagination in the Age of Early Modern Science.” This fellowship will enable Roychoudhury to complete a monograph that seeks to establish that Shakespeare’s artistic portrayal of imagination is more deeply connected to early modern scientific thinking than has been acknowledged. Start date: September 1, 2015, for the academic year.

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Thomas E. Wartenberg, Department of Philosophy, a grant to support his Summer Seminar on existentialism. The seminar will acquaint participants with the basic philosophical ideas of existentialism by introducing them to the writings of such thinkers as Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and Franz Fanon. The seminar will explore how the existentialists argue for their view of life and assess existentialism’s validity both historically and for our contemporary society. Start date: October 1, 2015, for one year.