Magazine On-line [fall 2010]
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Jones, Kenan funds benefit students

Transylvania students are fortunate to have two significant endowed funds to draw from when contemplating research projects. The David and Betty Jones Faculty Development Fund and the Kenan Fund for Faculty and Student Enrichment combine to offer substantial support for faculty-directed student research projects that greatly expand students’ out-of-class learning experiences.

The Jones Fund was created in 1989 as a complement to the Bingham Program for Excellence in Teaching. It originally provided only faculty grants but was expanded in 1999 to include student research proposals. It has funded a total of 64 student proposals.

The Kenan Fund was established in 1999 to support faculty research and professional development, faculty-directed student research, and distinguished visiting professors. Since its inception, it has funded 57 student projects.

This past summer, these funds combined to provide $35,000 for students to use in their faculty-directed research projects. In addition to the military history research completed by Tommy Stephens, here are highlights of projects pursued by 10 additional students last summer:

Seniors Ashley Stafford and Leah Merchant, directed by music professor Larry Barnes, researched music in Dakar, Senegal. They studied the relationship, connection, and influences between political events and musical composition in the region. An integral part of the research involved hip-hop artists, who not only express their opinions of political events in their lyrics, but write many candidates’ speeches for elections. In addition to attending concerts, they spent time taking part in cultural tours and interviewing natives, professors at the local university, and one of the hip-hop artists.
Senior Sidney Crawley, directed by chemistry professor George Kaufman, did a 10-day field study on the epidemiology of Myxoma Virus and Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus. Her research took her to various locations including the Australian Animal Health Laboratory and the University of Canberra, investigating methods employed by Australian scientists to ensure the continued success of RHDV as a population control mechanism for rabbits. In Australia, the Wild European Rabbit is an extremely destructive pest, competing with sheep and cattle for food, and causing irreversible damage to native vegetation. Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) was deliberately released in Australia in 1995.
Junior Josh Edge, directed by Spanish professor Jeremy Paden, researched attitudes toward gender and sexuality in Cuenca, Ecuador. He examined the question of machismo in a twenty-first-century context and investigated Ecuadorians’ views on homosexuality, utilizing his research experience within the country and a survey he conducted.
Senior Abigail Dority, directed by former sociology professor Marta Rodriguez-Galan, studied ageism by working with students at Picadome Elementary School in Lexington. She compiled a selection of fictional stories written by fourth-grade students, who were asked to use several characters of various ages in their stories so that she could study how they perceived age roles, particularly that of the elderly.
grant bucklesGrant Buckles stands in front of the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa, Ontario.
Senior Grant Buckles
, directed by women’s studies professor Simona Fojtová, researched aboriginal women in Ottawa, Canada, with the Canadian Parliament. He worked from the office of a member of Parliament and observed the Canadian political system, but his main focus was the political rights of Canada’s aboriginal people, particularly the women of Canada’s First Nations. He spoke with national and regional First Nations chiefs, leaders of aboriginal women’s organizations, members of Parliament, and legislative experts. He presented his research at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference in Denver in November.
Rebecca GoncharoffRebecca Goncharoff, pictured in Thailand, researched mine-affected communities in Thailand and in Appalachia.
Senior Rebecca Goncharoff
, directed by women’s studies professor Simona Fojtová, participated in a three-month internship through the Educational Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange. Her research compared the context and organizing strategies of mine-affected communities in central Appalachia and the Loei Province in northeast Thailand. She had spent time in Na Nong Bong village in Thailand, where a gold mine was built six years ago, during a previous study-abroad program. Over the summer, she worked in eastern Kentucky compiling a report on the people-driven economic transition in the region.
Junior Kate Bussell, directed by biology professor Sarah Bray, studied plant diversity in a controlled field plot subject to a new mowing schedule at Floracliff Nature Preserve in Lexington. She compared the impact of two different mowing times on the diversity of plants in the fields and goldenrod growth and density, which directly affects arthropods being observed.
HB ElamWomen work on quilts commemorating the reopening of the Lyric Theater in Lexington.
Senior H. B. Elam
, directed by art professor Kurt Gohde, documented through captioned photos the quilting project for the Lyric Theater in Lexington. People from many different parts of Lexington made squares that were put together to create a 6-by-15-foot quilt, which revolves around the African American community and the reopening of the Lyric Theater, using the guiding words “Spirit, Vision, Challenge, Triumph and Love” to inspire attendees. The project culminated in a photo exhibition in the mayor’s office.
Junior Anderson Salinas, directed by economics professor Alan Bartley, researched the economics and law of child support by fathers. He focused on whether the practice of issuing jail sentences to fathers who were behind in their payments worked to give them an incentive to make regular payments or impeded their ability to pay over time. He constructed economic models and collected data and running regressions. He presented his findings at the Kentucky Economics Association’s annual conference in the fall.

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