Provost Research Awards fund early-stage inquiry, teaching innovation

The Provost's Office has announced this year's recipients of the Provost Research Awards, given to support innovations in teaching and research at Brandeis. Some $500,000 was awarded to 43 projects selected from 94 proposals.

The awards "are aimed at early stage research to initiate innovative scholarly inquiry and creative activities that have the potential for significant, sustained impact," Provost Lisa Lynch said. "Teaching innovation grants focus on innovations in teaching and student assessment, with special preference given to proposals that look at ways of addressing issues of diversity and inclusion and to team teaching/interdisciplinary course design."

Three committees had the challenge of evaluating all of the proposals submitted.  Research Committee members included Gannit Ankori, John Burt, Katy Graddy, Ed Hackett (chair), Sarah Lamb, Cindy Thomas and John Wardle.  Teaching Committee members included Carol Damm, Susan Dibble, Deb Garnick, Sarah Lamb, Paul Miller, Karen Muncaster and Dan Perlman.  Teaching/General Education Committee members included Joel Christensen, Paul Miller, Karen Muncaster, Dan Perlman, Elaine Wong.

Here are a few highlights from the research awards:

Recipients: Associate Professor of Mathematics Jonathan Touboul and Associate Professor of Biology Stephen D. Van Hooser
Topic: The development of high resolution vision
Details: At birth, human vision is blurry. Without proper visual experience early in life, visual acuity never increases (the disease amblyopia), due to abnormal development of brain circuitry rather than the eye. Using research animals and mathematical models, we uncover basic principles of the experience-development of visual acuity.

Recipients: Heller School for Social Policy and Management Professors Margot Davis, Marji Warfield, Janet Boguslaw, Sharon Reif
Topic: Grandparents as Parents: Unplanned consequences of the opioid epidemic
Details: Parenting is increasingly shifting to grandparents as a consequence of the opioid epidemic. The proposed project will (1) build understanding of the challenges faced by those who are custodians of children whose parents have opioid use disorders (OUDs); and (2) assess the financial, health and psychological well-being of grandparent care-givers.

Recipient: Assistant Professor of Education and Sociology Derron Wallace
Topic: Safe Routes to School: Black Caribbean Youth Negotiating Police Surveillance to and from Public Schools in London and New York City
Details: A critical ethnography on the policing of Black immigrant pupils to and from public schools. The proposed study is based on a paired-case design focusing on Tottenham, North London and the East New York section of Brooklyn — regions with high concentrations of Black immigrants. This project seeks to make a signal contribution to the study of pupil policing by examining the phenomenon cross-nationally — focusing specifically on how Black immigrant youth perceive and experience ‘Stop and Search’ policies in London and ‘Stop and Frisk’ practices in New York City while on route to and from public schools.

The full list of awardees follows:

Doug Bafford (Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program, Anthropology)
Evangelical Christians’ Engagement with the Cultural Other: Constructing an Alternative Post-Apartheid Modernity through Religious Cosmology

Sava Berhané (IBS)
Women of Color in the Workplace: A View from Greater Boston

Baptiste Blanc (Physics)
Chemo-mechanical gel actuated by an oscillating chemical reaction

Angela Gutchess (Psychology) and Bob Sekuler (Neuroscience)
Perceptual and Mnemonic Differences across Cultures

Liz Hedstrom (Biology, Chemistry)
Drug design with target degradation

An Huang (Mathematics) and Bogdan Stoica (Physics)
Physics from the primes

Margot Davis, Marji Warfield, Janet Boguslaw and Sharon Reif (Heller)
Grandparents as Parents: Unplanned consequences of the opioid epidemic

Janet McIntosh (Anthropology)
Tough Talk, Vulnerable Soldiers: Language Ideology and the Making of United States Service Members

Sarah Mead (Music)
The Modal Expression of Musical Affect

Aldo Musacchio (IBS)
The Short and Long Term Impact of Immigration on a Developing Society

Robyn Powell (Heller)
Barriers and Facilitators to the Application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) within the Child Welfare System: A Qualitative Study

Moaven Razavi (Heller)
Applications of Text Analytics and Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Healthcare Unstructured Big Data

Jessica Santos (Heller)
An Intersectional Analysis of Employment Inequities in Healthcare

Raphael Schoenle (Economics, IBS)
Financial Concentration and Common Ownership

Shashank Shekhar (Biochemistry, Biology, Physics)
Developing Stentor coeroelous as a new model organism to study the physical basis for evolution of multicellularity and organismal size-regulation

Hannah Snyder (Psychology) and Joy von Steiger (Brandeis Counseling Center)
Promoting successful transitions to college for students at high risk for anxiety and depression

Tory Fair (Fine Arts)
More Than Minimal

Jonathan Touboul (Mathematics) and Steve van Hooser (Biology)
The development of high resolution vision

Derron Wallace (Education, Sociology)
Safe Routes to School: Black Caribbean Youth Negotiating Police Surveillance to and from Public Schools in London and New York City

Tim Wiggins (Biology, Neuroscience)
Identification of Genes and Neurons that Link Sleep and Learning


Wendy Cadge (Sociology)
Teaching Introduction to Sociology in a Flipped Classroom: An Experiment to Enhance Student Learning

Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld (Heller)
Ford Hall 2015 Strategic Management and Operations Management Teaching Materials

Robert Duff (Music)
Multi-Year Student Assessment Approach in the Collaborative Performing Arts Program

Charles Golden (Anthropology)
Blogging from the Field for Online Learning; Field Data to Course Data: Transforming GIS Coursework

Angela Gutchess (Psychology, Neuroscience)
Teaching Learning Using the Science of Learning

Rosalind Kabrhel (Legal Studies)
Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Teresa Mitchell (Psychology)
An Image-based, Self-paced Module for Teaching and Learning Human Brain Anatomy

Lucía Reyes de Deu and Elena Gionzález (Romance Studies)
Task-Based Instruction: Re-designing HISP 10 - Beginning Spanish

Chandler Rosenberger (International and Global Studies)
Advising as Teaching: Redesigning the Multidisciplinary Major for Cumulative Impact

Lisa Rourke and Bofang Li (UWS, English)
Digital Pedagogy Certificate Support Fund

David Sherman (English)
Inventing Farewell: A Practicum on Elegy

Creating Digital Assignments for a transformation of my Caribbean Studies classroom

Becci Torrey (Mathematics)
Outcomes-Based Assessment in Precalculus

Rachel Woodruff (Biology) and Emily Westover (Biochemistry)
Designing a joint project for two complementary classes


Jennifer Cleary (Theater Arts) with Tory Fair (Fine Arts), Pito Salas (Computer Science), Jerome Tharaud (English), Dan Perlman (Biology, Environmental Studies), Rebecca Torrey (Math)
Research, Development, and Implementation of Oral Communication Instruction and Assessment Across Disciplines - General Education

Irina Dubinina (GRALL) with Hollie Harder (Romance Studies), Jian Wei (GRALL)
The Brandesian Language-Learning Experience

David Engerman with Xing Hang (History)
Digital Literacy in History: From Theory to Practice

Colleen Hitchcock (Biology and Environmental Studies)
BiolXX Climate Change - Human, Ecological, and Evolutionary Responses: Course Development to Meet the New General Education Requirements

Elissa Jacobs with Bofang Li, James Mandrell, Dawn Skorczewski  (English, UWS)
Writing Across the Disciplines: Creation of Materials to Support Teaching About Transfer

Bofang Li with Lisa Rourke, James Mandrell, Elissa Jacobs (English, UWS)
Brandeis Open Access Writing Resource (BOARR) Library, Blocks, and Workshop Series

John Plotz (English) with John Burt (English) and Fernando Rosenberg (Romance Studies)
Digital Literacy External Consultant Visit: Lisa Gitelman

Harleen Singh (GRALL, WGS, and SAS) with members of the DEIS-US/DJW committee
DEIS-US/DJW courses for the General Education Requirements

Sabine von Mering (GRALL) with Mary Fischer (Sustainability Programs)
Your Brain on Carbon

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, Research, Science and Technology

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