Previous Issues, Grants@Bates

GRANTS@BATES

April 2017

In this issue:

  • Alden Trust Awards $150K to Bates for Updating Classrooms in Carnegie
  • Fellowship Successes: Bates Alumni Earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, Students RISE
  • Caroline Shaw Wins NEH Summer Stipend for “Beyond Sticks and Stones”

Alden Trust Awards $150K to Bates for Active Learning Classrooms in Carnegie

The George I. Alden Trust awarded $150,000 to Bates to be used to create two new active learning classrooms in Carnegie Hall. Chosen by the science faculty and the classroom committee, Carnegie 339 and 225 are in urgent need of refurbishing, they are well-sized for testing and piloting active learning, and they are not being heavily used. Each room will be renovated with different classroom furniture and technology, providing alternatives for faculty to test and refine their approaches to active learning. The classrooms will be ready for Fall 2017 classes in all disciplines. The classroom committee will be sharing plans and keeping faculty updated on construction throughout the summer. In order to promote this new model of teaching and learning across all academic disciplines and allow faculty to discover how to best use the new rooms, we will publish case studies through the Faculty Commons for Learning and Teaching, as well as host guest experts and provide brown bag lunch sessions to market and demonstrate a variety of teaching techniques that make use of the various room layouts.


Fellowship Successes: Bates Alumni Earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, & Students RISE

Two Bates graduates are among the 2000 current and prospective Ph.D. students who have been awarded fellowships this year through the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Phi Tan Nguyen, who graduated in 2013 with a major in Neuroscience, is enrolled in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of California – San Francisco. Caleb Randall Glassman, who graduated in 2014 with majors in Neuroscience and Biological Chemistry, is enrolled in the Immunology program at the Stanford University School of Medicine. GRFP recipients receive yearly stipends of $34,000 for up to five years of their graduate studies, plus a tuition allowance that is paid to their institution. For more information about the GRFP, please refer (or refer your students to) http://www.nsfgrfp.org/. Congratulations to Phi and Caleb!

Bates students also continue to compete effectively for DAAD Rise Fellowships, which provide opportunities to conduct research at academic institutions in Germany. As of this date, we have learned that Deepsing Syangtan, a chemistry major in the Class of 2018, will be working on an organic synthesis project at the University of Ulm. For more information on this program, your students can visit https://www.daad.org/en/find-funding/undergraduate-opportunities/research-internships-in-science-and-engineering-rise/. Congratulations to Deepsing!

Watch this space for news about the Fulbrights…!


Caroline Shaw Receives NEH Summer Stipend for “Beyond Sticks and Stones”

Prof. Caroline Shaw (History) has received an NEH Summer Stipend award for her new book project, “Beyond Sticks and Stones: A Modern History of Reputation in Britain.” She receives a stipend of $6,000 for research she will conduct this summer. She is one of sixty-nine summer stipend recipients announced by NEH, and the only one in Maine. Congratulations Caroline!


March 2017

In this issue:

  • Libra Foundation Awards $250K Grant to Bates for Purposeful Work Internships
  • Department of Physics & Astronomy Receives Grant from Maine Space Grant Consortium
  • Ben Eckardt ’19 Receives Blue Waters Student Internship Award for High Performance Computing

Libra Foundation Awards $250K to Bates for Purposeful Work Internships at Maine Companies

The Libra Foundation, based in Portland, Maine, has awarded a five-year, $250,000 grant to Bates College to support the Purposeful Work program, specifically to help build and support internships in Maine. The Libra Foundation is committed to strengthening the Maine business economy and Bates’ Purposeful Work program is focused on helping our students find work that has meaning and context, making it an ideal partnership.


Department of Physics and Astronomy Receives Grant from Maine Space Grant Consortium

Bates’ Physics Department has received a $22,495 “Integration of Research into Undergraduate STEM Curriculum” grant from the Maine Space Grant Consortium, an independent not-for-profit organization which administers NASA’s EPSCoR program in the state of Maine. First-year professors Aleks Diamond-Stanic and Jeff Oishi, who prepared the grant application, will use the resources to integrate NASA research data about galaxies and exoplanets, and inquiry-based explorations of the data, into the classes they will be teaching this year—Introduction to Astronomy, Computational Science Research Methods, and Introduction to Astrophysics. Students will also visit the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, which is responsible for analysis of data from the Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. Congratulations to Aleks and Jeff for making this possible!


Ben Eckardt ’19 Receives Blue Waters Student Internship Award for High Performance Computing

Mathematics major Ben Eckardt ’19 has received a Blue Waters Student Internship award to support his work with Prof. Henry Boateng. The program provides a student stipend totaling $5000 for research over a full academic year with a faculty mentor, a two-week intensive high-performance computing workshop at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) facilities on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, and an allocation of computing time for Ben and Prof. Boateng on the Blue Waters petascale supercomputer. With the help of these resources, Prof. Boateng and Ben will work on a project entitled “Kinetic Monte Carlo Study of Crystal Growth.” For more information about this program, please visit http://www.shodor.org/petascale/participation/internships/


January 2017

In this issue:

  • Jeff Oishi and Collaborator to Receive One of Seven Scialog Awards for Astrophysics
  • NEA Announces $40K Grant for 2017 Season of Bates Dance Festival
  • Ryan Bavis Receives Outstanding Mentor Award from Council on Undergraduate Research

Jeff Oishi and Collaborator Form One of Seven Teams Receiving Scialog Award for Astrophysics

The Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement has announced seven grants resulting from their October 2016 “Scialog: Time Domain Astrophysics” conference. The conference was attended by 45 Scialog fellows, selected as top early career researchers in the field, who formed 19 teams competing for these awards. One of the successful projects was The Stellar MRI, jointly written by Matteo Cantiello of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Bates’ own Jeffrey Oishi (Physics and Astronomy). As a result, they will be receiving a grant totaling $50,000. The Kepler space telescope has revealed that the insides of many stars are rotating much slower than expected. This grant will fund a detailed investigation of a new idea involving a subtle effect of weak magnetic fields that could explain the slow rotation by efficiently transferring rotation from the small cores to the larger outer layers. We look forward to reporting further on the research resulting from this prestigious grant.


NEA Announces $40K Grant for 2017 Season of Bates Dance Festival

Once again, the Bates Dance Festival has secured the support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), with an ArtWorks grant in the amount of $40,000. The upcoming 2017 season, the festival’s 35th, will be the valedictory for longtime Festival Director Laura Faure. We eagerly await another summer full of dance, education, and community.


Ryan Bavis Receives Outstanding Mentor Award from Council on Undergraduate Research

The Biology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has selected the 2016 recipients of their Outstanding Mentor Award. In the Mid Career category, the award went to Bates College’s Ryan Bavis, the Chair of the Biology Department and the recently named Helen A. Papaioanou Professor of Biological Sciences. The award recognizes biology faculty who excel in engaging undergraduate students in research and mentoring them in the advancement of their scientific careers. Nomination materials highlighted both the quantity of Ryan’s mentorship relationships with students—more than 60 mentees in his 13 years at Bates—and their quality, including 20 peer-reviewed scientific papers that he has co-authored with one or more students, presenting results from research supported by several grants from the National Institutes of Health studying the developmental effects of perinatal hypoxia and hyperoxia (oxygen deprivation, or superabundance). A presentation of his research, in honor of his appointment as Papaioanou Professor, will be in the Keck Classroom on Friday, January 20th, at 4:30.


November-December 2016

In this issue:

  • Andrew Kennedy Receives Additional $48K from Pitt-Hopkins Research Foundation
  • Nathan Stephansky ’17 Presents on Drought Resistance by Trees at National Science Foundation

Andrew Kennedy Receives Additional Support from Pitt-Hopkins Research Foundation

As reported in the September issue of this newsletter, Prof. Andrew Kennedy of the Chemistry Department came to Bates with a grant from the Pitt-Hopkins Research Foundation (PHRF) to support his research on the bio-molecular, epigenetic mechanisms of memory formation. Since then, Prof. Kennedy’s previous institution, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has sent Bates $48,000 in unexpended PHRF funds, at the request of PHRF. This boost will enable an expansion of Prof. Kennedy’s research program as it relates to Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome.


Nathan Stephansky ’17 Presents at NSF on Drought Resistance in Trees

On October 23-24, a poster session was held in the atrium of the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, featuring research conducted with the support of NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. One of the presenters was Bates College’s Nathan Stephansky ’17, presenting on “Drought Resistance in Two Dominant New England Hardwood Tree Species.” Nathan’s research has been supervised by Prof. Brett Huggett of the Biology Department, as part of his NSF Collaborative Research grant on drought resistance in trees, and received supplemental support from the REU Site at Harvard Forest. Nathan also received a $1,000 travel grant from the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory to support his presentation at the REU Symposium. The REU Symposium was co-sponsored and organized by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), of which Bates is an institutional member. Congratulations to Nathan and Brett!


October 2016

In this issue:

  • Two Major Grants for Bates Museum of Art
    • King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture Supports Exhibition of Contemporary Saudi Art
    • Henry Luce Foundation Helps Description, Digitization of Marsden Hartley Collection
  • Krista Aronson’s “Picture Book Project” Wins “Ignition Grant” from IMLS

 Two Major Grants for Bates Museum of Art

The Bates College Museum of Art has recently secured two significant grants, one to support a groundbreaking exhibition, and another that will help us describe, digitize, and conserve an important resource for the benefit of coming generations.

Phantom Punch: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia

Phantom Punch: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia is a new exhibition that will open October 28th and run through March 18, 2017. The exhibition has been curated by Prof. Loring “Danny” Danforth of the Anthropology Department and Dan Mills, Director of the Bates College Museum of Art. It is funded in part by a $100,000 grant from the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, with production assistance from CULTURUNNERS, Ltd.  The exhibition features work by leading and emerging Saudi artists, as well as a series of lectures, visiting artists, and performances, story-telling and other pop-up events that create timely cross-cultural dialogue on campus and in the surrounding communities. This is one of four coordinated group exhibitions focusing on contemporary Saudi art in the US in 2016, along with Parallel Kingdoms in Houston, Gonzo Arabia in Aspen, and Genera#ion in San Francisco. Unlike these exhibitions, however, Phantom Punch includes work by artists from both Gharem Studio and Pharan Studio, the two leading groups of artists in the Kingdom. All of these exhibitions are part of CULTURUNNERS’ multi-year tour across the U.S.

Henry Luce Foundation Helps Bring Marden Hartley Collection to the World

The Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection is one of the strengths of the museum’s permanent collection, featuring drawings and a few small paintings by the artist, a variety of art objects collected by the Lewiston native —who is increasingly recognized as a leading American painter of the early 20th  century—in the course of his life and travels, as well as other materials relating to Hartley. The relationship of these objects to Hartley’s body of work, however, has been challenging to articulate, without the descriptions, promotion, and conservation treatment necessary to be able to make them available to the wider world of art history scholars. With the support of a $50,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Museum will begin the process of integrating these materials into our collection database, interacting with scholars of Hartley’s work to better describe their significance, and carrying out the conservation treatments necessary to prepare these items for handling or exhibition.


Krista Aronson’s Picture Book Project Earns Sparks! Grant from IMLS

In 2014, Prof. Krista Aronson of the Psychology Department and her research student, Brenna Callahan ’15, began the Picture Book Project, to attempt to measure the degree to which children of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are (and are not) represented in children’s literature. Since then, Prof. Aronson and her students have developed a taxonomy of characteristics that can be used to richly describe the various topics and themes found in this literature. In so doing, they amassed a collection of such books, published from 2004 through the present, which are displayed and available for circulation in the lobby of Ladd Library, and found themselves potentially filling a need felt by children’s librarians, teachers, parents, and children themselves throughout the nation.

How, though, can one make use of sample themes such as “Oppression” (based on race or culture), “Beautiful Life” (positive depictions of cultural particularity), and “Everychild” (books which feature a child of color as protagonist but whose race is not a feature of the story), in ways that are readily intelligible to such constituencies? How do the particularities of the cultures and origins depicted get filtered through the sometimes rigid mesh of a library catalog? To address this problem, Prof. Aronson applied for and received a $20,197 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries program. IMLS is the Federal grantmaking agency whose mission “is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.”

With the support of the grant, Prof. Aronson will work with librarians (Christina Bell, Humanities Librarian at Ladd Library; and in a consulting role, Deborah Tomaras, a cataloging librarian at Lewiston Public Library and Patten Free Library in Bath), children’s book authors (Anne Sibley O’Brien of Portland, a long-time collaborator on the project)—as well as Brenna, who has sustained her involvement in the project as a volunteer, and a new research student—to make project data readily available in usable forms on the Ladd Library website, and to promote its availability to interested constituents.


September 2016

 In this issue:

  • Three New Bates Professors Bring Research Support with Them
    • Andrew Kennedy Studies Epigenetics of Memory Formation, Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome
    • Aleks Diamond-Stanic Looks through Hubble Space Telescope at Stellar Mass
    • Jeff Oishi Models the Sun’s Magnetic Field
  • Tom Wenzel Grant for Nationwide Implementation of Active Learning in Analytical Chemistry
  • Amy Douglass Receives NSF Grant for Research on Eyewitness Identifications
  • Nathan Lundblad Serves as Visiting Associate Research Professor at Joint Quantum Institute
  • Mara Tieken Selected for Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement

Three New Bates Professors Bring Research Support with Them

In a first for GRANTS@BATES, we profile not one, not two, but three new tenure-track faculty at the college who were able to bring external support for their research with them from their prior positions: Andrew Kennedy (Chemistry), Aleksandar Diamond-Stanic and Jeffrey Oishi (Physics and Astronomy). A total of eleven new faculty were hired this year for tenure-track positions or long-term lectureships, and we look forward to highlighting the achievements of more new members of the Bates community in coming months and years

Andrew Kennedy Studies Epigenetics of Memory Formation and Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome

Epigenetics, the study of how genes are silenced or made available, is a rapidly growing area of biochemical science. Andrew Kennedy, a new member of the Chemistry Department and the Neuroscience Program, combines analysis of large-scale gene expression data with behavioral studies of mice to identify and synthesize molecular compounds with the potential to trigger changes in the epigenetic mechanisms that are involved in the formation of memory. With challenges to memory formation being an important neurological symptom of several syndromes, both heritable and acquired, pharmacological agents that could improve the functioning of these mechanisms would be transformative.

One example of such a disorder is Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder associated in humans with insufficient expression of the TCF4 gene on chromosome 18. Andrew’s research attracted the notice and support of the Pitt-Hopkins Research Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by families of children with Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome in 2013 to raise funds in support of research with the potential to lead to new therapies, while he was still a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratory of J. David Sweatt (then the chair of Neurobiology and director of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, now chair of Pharmacology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine). In support of Andrew’s continued efforts, the Pitt-Hopkins Research Foundation has extended a grant of $40,000 to Bates, to enable Andrew to complete a final year of work that he began at UAB under Dr. Sweatt’s supervision. A recent paper in the journal Cell Reports, on which Andrew was first author, identified a potential therapeutic approach, which Dr. Sweatt has characterized as “an important step forward.”

In preparation for his arrival at Bates, Andrew also applied to participate in the INBRE Investigator program, part of the Maine INBRE grant from the National Institutes of Health administered by the MDI Biological Laboratory. (A slot had been opened as a result of Jason Castro’s NSF CAREER grant, reported in a previous issue of GRANTS@BATES, which compelled Jason’s “graduation” from the INBRE Investigator program.) Through a competitive process, Andrew’s work was selected by the Maine INBRE Scientific Advisory Board, and approved by NIH, which provides him with guaranteed research funding of $339,300 over the next three years. Bates received confirmation of the first year’s installment, of $84,828, just before the beginning of the Fall semester.

Please join the Office of Sponsored Programs in welcoming Andrew to Bates, and looking forward to the opportunities that NIH and PHRF support of his research will provide to our students.

Aleks Diamond-Stanic Looks, through the Hubble Space Telescope, at Stellar Mass

Since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has provided laypersons with unprecedentedly sharp images of distant space phenomena, and provided astronomers and astrophysicists with heaps of data with which to try and answer hitherto unanswerable questions about the universe. One such question, proposed to the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)—which runs HST-enabled research programs under contract from NASA—by Aleks Diamond-Stanic while he was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is “How compact is the stellar mass in Eddington-limited starbursts?” To help Aleks answer this question, STScI has given Bates a $107,883 grant, which will enable Aleks and three students per year to work on answering this question over the next two years. Please join in congratulating and welcoming Aleks, and awaiting the answers from the stars above!

Jeff Oishi Models the Sun’s Magnetic Field

Like Aleks, new physics professor Jeffrey Oishi looks at the stars. Jeff’s primary tool, however, is a computer, not a telescope. He is part of a multi-institution, multi-disciplinary team, led by Prof. Benjamin Brown at the University of Colorado-Boulder, that is working on the NASA-funded project, Stellar Insights into Solar Magnetism: Exploring Fundamental Dynamo Physics across the Lower Main Sequence. Jeff is a theoretical and computational physicist who uses networks of multiple, high-powered processors to model fundamental physical processes at work in major astronomical phenomena—such as the sun’s magnetic field. Toward this effort, Bates has received an initial subgrant of $13,054, the first installment of an expected $114,483 over the next three years. Welcome and congratulations to Jeff!


Tom Wenzel Receives Grant for National Implementation of Active Learning in Analytical Chemistry

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant through their Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) to Prof. Tom Wenzel to support a series of workshops and on-campus site visits to assist instructors of analytical chemistry to implement active learning strategies in the classroom and laboratory at all types of colleges and universities. The project, in which Tom is collaborating with Prof. Renee Cole of the University of Iowa, will receive a total of $900,000 of support from NSF over the next three years, of which Bates’ share is $632,070. The remainder will go to Prof. Cole, whose role is to evaluate the effectiveness of the project’s methods at instilling the use of active learning among faculty participants and assessing student learning outcomes from the use of active learning strategies. This is the third and culminating grant for this project, which began in 2008 with a collaborative research grant on “Development of Contextual E-Learning Modules for Analytical Chemistry” from a predecessor of the IUSE program. We congratulate Tom on this strong vote of confidence from the NSF in his career-long contributions to improving the teaching and learning of chemistry.

For more information on the IUSE program, please see the current Request for Proposals at https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15585/nsf15585.htm.


Amy Douglass Receives NSF Grant for Research on Eyewitness Identifications

Prof. Amy Douglass (Psychology) has received a two-year, $127,858 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Law and Social Sciences (LSS) program for her continued research collaboration with Prof. Neil Brewer of Flinders University of South Australia. This grant, “RUI: Can Brief Social Interactions Undermine System Variable Protections Against False Eyewitness Identifications?”, is the second from the LSS program for Amy’s collaboration with Prof. Brewer. Part of the expectations for an “RUI” (Research in Undergraduate Institutions) grant entail substantial involvement of undergraduate students in the research. Eyewitness identification procedures are designed to limit identifications of innocent people. However, current procedures do not account for the potential for brief social interactions to shape eyewitness decisions. These interactions may be subtle (e.g., one witness seeing how quickly another witness made an identification) or explicit (e.g., verbal pressure from a detective). The proposed research tests whether these interactions can affect eyewitnesses’ choices. Bates students will aid in the performance and analysis of a series of experiments designed to address this significant challenge.

For more information on the LSS program, please see the current Request for Proposals at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15514/nsf15514.htm.


Nathan Lundblad Starts Sabbatical at Joint Quantum Institute

Bates has entered into an intergovernmental personnel agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that enables Nathan Lundblad (Physics and Astronomy) to participate in the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) as a Visiting Associate Research Professor. The JQI is a research center located on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park, and supported by NIST. This opportunity will enable Nathan, who is on sabbatical and a current recipient of the Philips Fellowship, to work closely with JQI scientists to test out new experiments involving the application of Bose-Einstein Condensates to solid-state physics.


Mara Tieken Receives Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement

Mara Tieken (Education) has been selected to receive this year’s Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. This award “recognizes a faculty member who connects his or her teaching, research, and service to community engagement.” Mara will officially receive the award in October at the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities conference in Washington DC, where she will give a featured presentation.

Mara is principal investigator of the Spencer Foundation grant “Rural-Rooted and College-Bound,” a study of first-generation college students from rural school districts, and author of the book, Why Rural Schools Matter.


July-August 2016

In this issue:

  • Genevieve Robert Receives $199K, 3 Year Research Grant from NSF
  • Nathan Lundblad Coordinates Student Travel Grants for APS-DAMOP with NSF, NIST Support
  • Will Ambrose Receives $5K from State DMR to Continue Bloodworm Studies

Genevieve Robert Receives 3-Year Grant from NSF for Geology Research

Genevieve Robert’s research proposal on “Melt Viscosities in Silica-Undersaturated Systems” has been selected by the National Science Foundation’s Earth Sciences Division for a three-year grant. She has received an initial installment of $136,265, with an expected total over three years of $199,519. Her proposal was a “Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)” proposal, which required that she include a plan for integration of Bates students into her research. Genevieve and her students will study the variability in the viscosity of magma (molten rock beneath the earth’s surface) as a result of changes in chemical composition and temperature, using experimental model systems in her lab at Bates and with collaborators at the University of Missouri. Genevieve is an Assistant Professor in the Geology Department who is entering her third year at Bates, and this is her first grant from NSF.


Nathan Lundblad Coordinates Student Travel Grants for APS Meeting

Nathan Lundblad (Associate Professor, Physics) was responsible this year for coordinating student travel grants to the meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society. In support of these student travel grants, he secured a grant of $12,000 from the National Science Foundation, and a grant of $5,000 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Congratulations to Nathan!


Will Ambrose Receives $5K from State Department of Marine Resources for Bloodworm Studies

The Maine State Department of Marine Resources has awarded a $5,000 contract to enable Will Ambrose (Professor of Biology) to continue studies of bloodworm populations in mid-coast Maine. Bloodworms are a popular bait species for recreational fishermen. While Will is serving at the National Science Foundation as a program director, NSF encourages program directors to remain active in research and allows them time away from the office to do it. This research project is one of several that Will and his technician, Bill Locke ‘07, have continued.


 

May-June 2016

In this issue:

  • Davis Educational Foundation Supports Academic Resource Commons with 3 Year, $223K Grant
  • Will Ambrose to Remain an Additional Year at NSF
  • Elizabeth Rush Mueller Wins Howard Foundation Fellowship

Davis Educational Foundation Supports Academic Resource Commons with 3 Year, $223K Grant

The new Academic Resource Commons (ARC) has received a 3 year grant of $74,512 per year from the Davis Educational Foundation. The grant will enable the Academic Resource Commons to hire Student Resource Representatives, Peer Tutors, Student Managers, and Supplemental Instruction Leaders, and to double the hours of professional staff managing the Supplemental Instruction program, also known as PALS. The grant forms part of an overall half-million dollar project that will launch the ARC as a program offering comprehensive, high-quality, student-run and student-focused academic support services, centralized in Ladd Library. Congratulations to ARC Director Daniel Sanford on securing this valuable support!


Will Ambrose to Remain an Additional Year at NSF

Prof. William Ambrose (Biology) will be remaining an additional year at the National Science Foundation as Program Director for the Arctic Observing Network. We look forward to his return to Bates in the fall of 2017 and the insider’s insights he has gained from his time at NSF!


Elizabeth Rush Mueller Wins Fellowship from Howard Foundation

The George A. and Eliza Howard Foundation awards a limited number of fellowships each year for independent projects in selected fields, targeting its support specifically to early mid-career individuals who have achieved recognition for at least one major project. Nine fellowships of $33,000 were awarded in April 2016 for in the fields of Creative Non-Fiction, Literary Translation into English, Film Studies, and Literary Studies. In Creative Non-Fiction, one of these was to Elizabeth Rush Mueller, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities and Lecturer in English at Bates. Howard Fellowships are intended primarily to provide artists, scholars, and writers with time to complete their work. Fellowships are offered in a five-year sequence of fields, so successful candidates are given the option of postponing receipt of their fellowship, so as to make the Howard competition accessible to those whose personal plans do not line up exactly with the year in which awards are offered in their fields. Elizabeth plans to postpone her Howard Fellowship to follow the completion of her Mellon Fellowship at Bates in 2017. For more information on the Howard Fellowship, please visit https://www.brown.edu/initiatives/howard-foundation/home.


 

April 2016

In this issue:

  • Jason Castro Awarded Prestigious CAREER Grant by NSF
  • Adriana Salerno Selected as Dolciani Visiting Mathematician by Mathematics Association of America
  • 2 Bates Students in Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships at NIST
  • Visual Stylometry Team including Bill Seeley Wins NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant

Jason Castro Receives $720K Faculty Early Career Award from NSF

Jason Castro (Psychology and Neuroscience) has received a Faculty Early Career (CAREER) grant from NSF, totaling $720,000 over 5 years, for his project “Data-driven Approaches for Investigating Olfactory System Heterogeneity.” This CAREER award is the first ever to a faculty member at Bates. As described in NSF’s abstract of the award, “The broad goal of this project is to develop and apply a suite of computational tools for studying the molecular and functional organization of the brain. To address whether circuits in a given brain area are organized as functionally diverse and heterogeneous modules despite apparent anatomical similarity, the PI and his associates will investigate the mouse olfactory bulb — a brain structure dedicated to processing smell. Image data charting patterns of gene expression throughout the bulb will be obtained from open, digitally curated atlases (the Allen Brain Atlas (ABA)), and computationally mined to identify spatially structured motifs of gene expression. Electrophysiological recordings will also be made from slices of the bulb to directly test for the presence of organizational motifs identified in silico. These research activities will engage undergraduates extensively…. Additionally, the PI will promote the virtues of computational thinking and problem solving in biology through a redesign of his Introductory Neuroscience course.”


Adriana Salerno Selected as Dolciani Visiting Mathematician by MAA

Adriana Salerno has been selected by the Mathematics Association of America as the Dolciani Visiting Mathematician for Fall of 2016. She will be based at the MAA’s headquarters in Washington DC, working half-time to improve their outreach, K-12 and undergraduate programs, and possibly help create some new ones, while also pursuing collaborative research with colleagues at the University of Maryland. As described in the MAA’s solicitation of applications, “The visiting mathematician will work to implement initiatives that foster meaningful discussion and cross-pollination of ideas between the college and secondary mathematics teaching communities. She will work to promote rich mathematical experiences for students at both levels as well. She may travel to give talks, visit schools and colleges, and provide professional development for teachers and faculty.” The position comes with $25,000 that may be used for stipend and/or travel costs.


Two Bates Students Earn Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships at NIST

In another first for Bates, two students—up from a previous record of one—will be spending their summers in the laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. government agency that is part of the Department of Commerce. Daniel Paseltiner ’16, who participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program in Gaithersburg, Maryland last year, will be returning to SURF-Gaithersburg to join the Physical Measurement Laboratory. Sophia Gottlieb ’17 will participate in the SURF program in NIST’s labs at Boulder, Colorado, joining the project “Standards for Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging” under the supervision of Dr. Michael Boss.  Both Dan and Sophia are Physics majors.


Visual Stylometry Team, including Bill Seeley, Wins NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant

Dr. Catherine Buell, PhD (Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Fitchburg State University), Dr. William Seeley, Ph.D. (Lecturer in Philosophy, Bates College), and Ricky Sethi (Associate Professor of Computer Science, Fitchburg State University) have received a National Endowment of the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant for their project Scientific Workflows, Image Analysis, and Visual Stylometry in the Digital Analysis of Art. The goal of the grant is to develop a digital image analysis tool for studying paintings called WAIVS (Workflows for Analysis of Images and Visual Stylometry). WAIVS will be powerful enough to support advanced academic research in computer science, cognitive science, art history, and the philosophy of art while at the same time providing a user-friendly interface accessible to students and researchers with little or no computer science background. Dr. Buell’s and Dr. Seeley’s collaborative work on visual stylometry began in connection with a course on applied linear algebra taught by Dr. Buell while she was a Vising Assistant Professor in the Mathematics Department at Bates in Fall 2014. An interdisciplinary team of students worked with Dr. Buell and Dr. Seeley to program image analysis methods (Linnea Brotz ’15, Art and Visual Culture; Peter Cole ’15, Physics; Kathleen Morrill ’15, Biological Chemistry; Devon Brown ’14, Mathematics; and Brent Talbot ’14, Politics). Using entropy, foreground/background analysis, and discrete tonal features, the students were able to successfully train the computer to sort paintings by school (Impressionist from Hudson River School landscapes) and artist within each school (Monet from Renoir and Sisley). Based on this initial proof of concept, Dr. Sethi joined the collaboration, resulting in this new grant from the NEH. To further the collaboration, Bates will be receiving a subcontract of $6,237 from Fitchburg State University.


 

March 2016

In this issue:

  • Lauren Ashwell Wins Burkhardt Fellowship from American Council of Learned Societies
  • Sue Houchins Receives Rose Library Fellowship from Emory University

Lauren Ashwell Receives ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Faculty

Lauren Ashwell of the Philosophy Department is one of 21 scholars nationwide selected by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to receive the Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Faculty. Her project, Projection and Desire, brings her prior work in the epistemology of self-knowledge into dialogue with themes in feminist philosophy, challenging the assumption made by much of the philosophical literature on self-knowledge that descriptions a person makes of her own mental state are universally treated as authoritative. Drawing on feminist literature, Prof. Ashwell will describe circumstances in which a person’s understanding of their own desires—most often, a woman’s—are called into doubt, by others or by herself, and also explain how social privilege interacts with the functioning of introspective faculties to lead one to make mistakes about others’ desires.

Through the Burkhardt Fellowship, Prof. Ashwell will spend the 2016-17 academic year in residency at Harvard University’s Department of Philosophy, which will allow her to interact regularly with leading theorists of self-knowledge, a grouping of Boston-area feminist philosophers, and potentially other researchers at Harvard—such as psychologists—whose work is relevant to her interests. She expects the research to generate a series of papers which will form the basis of a book-length study. This fellowship, made through a category of Burkhardt awards designated for faculty at liberal arts colleges, is made possible by a grant to ACLS from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation intended to foster interaction between liberal arts college faculty and their counterparts at research-intensive universities. The resources of the fellowship will augment her Phillips Fellowship from Bates College.


Sue Houchins Receives Rose Library Fellowship from Emory University

Sue Houchins of the Program in African-American Cultural Studies has been awarded a Rose Library Fellowship by Emory University for her project “Letters As Performance and Constructure of Social Networks.” She will explore the library’s holdings of correspondence between Alice Walker and Bessie Head, a South African-born writer who spent much of her life exiled in Botswana, a nation of which she eventually became a citizen. Prof. Houchins has also been working with an international team of scholars and local archivists to conserve and make publically accessible Head’s papers, held at the King Khama IV Museum in Serowe, Botswana. Through her work with Head’s voluminous correspondence, Prof. Houchins is showing how the author, despite her overt disavowal of any type of racial politics, worked as an important node in an international social network of black women writers from Africa, the Caribbean, and North America.


February 2016

In this issue:

  • Brett Huggett Receives $164K for Collaborative Research on Drought Response in Trees
  • National Endowment for the Arts Continues Support for Bates Dance Festival
  • Upcoming Faculty Panel: “Writing for the Non-Specialist Audience”

Brett Huggett Receives $164K from NSF for Collaborative Research on Drought Response in Trees

Brett Huggett (Biology), who is now in his second year at Bates, has just received a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Integrative Organismal Systems. The grant, for $164,704, represents Bates’ share of a collaborative research project with researchers at Yale University and involving experiments to be conducted at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. As plants are exposed to drought conditions, the water transport system can become dysfunctional, leading to reduced forest productivity, and ultimately plant death. The goal of this project is to characterize the relationship between the three-dimensional structure of the xylem network and its function during drought in northeastern hardwood trees in order to determine the adaptability of those networks to changing environmental conditions and to model physiological tipping points and tree mortality. The project will combine experimental measurements with historical data, and through the collaboration with Yale, will utilize advanced imaging techniques and 3D analyses and printing to develop multi-dimensional models of tree xylem. Bates students participating in the project will have opportunities to conduct research at the Harvard Forest while enrolled in their Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, collaborate with graduate students and postdoctoral research associates from Yale, and travel to the University of California, Berkeley to learn 3D imaging techniques. Congratulations to Brett on his first major research grant!


NEA Continues and Strengthens Support for Bates Dance Festival

The Bates Dance Festival continues to receive annual support from the National Endowment for the Arts’ ArtWorks program, this year in the amount of $40,000, the largest NEA grant to the Festival to date. This year’s proposal, “Seeding the Field: Cultivating an Innovative Dance Community,” will bring leading dance artists such as Hope Stone Dance (Courtney Jones), Dante Brown/Warehouse Dance, elephant jane dance (Heidi Henderson), Michelle Dorrance, Kate Weare Company, and Doug Varone and Dancers to the Bates campus during this summer’s festival. Congratulations to festival Director Laura Faure!


December 2015

Sherman Fairchild Foundation Awards $270K to Bates Summer Science Research Experience

Bates College has received an award of $270,000 from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation which establishes the Bates Summer Science Research Experience. The grant allows Bates to expand the number of funded research opportunities for students in STEM fields over the next three summers. Fifteen students per summer receive research stipends and funds for lab equipment and research-related travel. In addition, all students in the program participate in a common summer research experience that will include workshops led by faculty and staff covering topics such as effective poster presentation, research ethics, among other subjects. Students will also present their own research over the course of the summer and present posters during Parents Weekend. The director for this new program is Nathan Lundblad (Associate Professor, Physics) with key logistical support from Bethany Whalon (Assistant in Instruction, Biological Chemistry). Congratulations to all faculty and staff who participated in the development of this important initiative, including Nathan, Bethany, Tom Wenzel, Rachel Wray, and many others.


National Eating Disorders Association Funds Research on Cost-Effectiveness of Intervention Strategies

A multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research group led by Dr. Bryn Austin of Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and including Prof. Nathan Tefft of Bates College (Assistant Professor, Economics) has been awarded a two-year grant by the National Eating Disorders Association. The group of collaborators, which also includes researchers from Seattle Children’s Hospital and the George Washington University, will conduct a study entitled “The Economic Case for Eating Disorders Prevention and Early Detection: A Comparative Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Six Intervention Strategies.” Prof. Tefft’s role in the project will be to conduct empirical analyses of the price elasticity of over-the-counter diet pills and dietary supplements, using various large, national datasets in which he has expertise, for which he will receive subcontracts from BCH totaling more than $18,000 over the two-year project period.


Louise Brogan Joins Sponsored Programs as Science Grants Coordinator

We welcome Louise Brogan to the office of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance as a part-time Science Grants Coordinator. You may already know Louise as the Writing Specialist for Natural Sciences and Quantitative Writing. Beginning January 4, 2016, Louise will add to her portfolio of responsibilities 5 hours per week assisting faculty in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics with writing effective grant proposals. In addition, in the summer months of June and July–often the busiest time of year for research grants–she will be working full-time in this position.

Louise brings an excellent set of qualifications for this type of work. A 1993 graduate of Colby College (with majors in biochemistry and mathematics), she earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1998. She was awarded an NIH National Research Scientist Award in her time at the Jackson Laboratory, and continued her research career at Albany Medical College, GE Global Research, Evident Technologies (as the first bioscientist on staff at this small company in Troy, NY), and Maine Medical Center Research Institute, participating in the writing and administration of successful research and SBIR grant proposals to NIH and the Department of Defense. She is a co-author of 6 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Blood, Nature, and Biochemistry. She looks forward to having the opportunity to work with Bates scientists on proposals related to their research interests.


October-November 2015

In this issue:

  • A Community-Based Approach to Reduce Sexual Violence at Bates
  • Maine Campus Compact Wins Environmental Education Grant from EPA
  • Joe Hall Gets Grant from Endangered Languages Fund for Wabanaki Place Names

Reducing Sexual Violence at Bates with Help from a $300K Department of Justice Grant

Gwen Lexow, Bates College’s Title IX Coordinator, and Dean of Students / Vice President for Student Affairs Josh McIntosh are the co-directors of a new $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, through their “Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Program.” The grant will enable Bates to hire a full-time Project Coordinator (see job description at http://apply.interfolio.com/32113) whose primary responsibility will be collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to design a broad-based and effective, four-year curriculum for on-campus education and prevention programs to address sexual violence, stalking, and relationship violence on the Bates campus. It also will provide resources to help broaden the implementation of Green Dot bystander intervention programming, training and technical assistance for key members of Bates staff, and closer coordination between the College, the Lewiston Police Department, and Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services (SAPARS).


Maine Campus Compact Wins $90K Environmental Education Grant from EPA

The Maine Campus Compact (MCC), which is hosted by Bates College, has won a $90,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through their Environmental Education program. The project, entitled “Community Colleges for Environmental Stewardship: a Replicable Model for Environmental Education and Behavioral Change,” will extend to community colleges in New England related work that has begun at 4-year colleges through MCC’s $168,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, and builds upon a prior EPA grant that MCC received in 2012. Efforts at community colleges are scheduled to begin in December.


Joe Hall Gets Grant from Endangered Languages Fund to Study and Map Wabanaki Place Names

Joe Hall, associate professor of History, has received a grant in the amount of $1,750 from the Endangered Languages Fund for his project, “Mapping the Wabanaki Homeland of Western Maine.” With the support of the grant, he will collaborate with Donald Soctomah, a Passamaquoddy tribal historian, to consult with Passamaquoddy elders who still speak their mother tongue fluently. Several place names in the western part of the state are derived from names in historical Wabanaki dialects. They were recorded, however, by European settlers who spoke languages that were very phonetically different from Algonquian languages, and whose own written language tended to be orthographically irregular. It is therefore difficult to reconstruct the historical Wabanaki pronunciation or meaning of those names. Given the history of concourse and linguistic similarities between various Wabanaki peoples, learning the Passamaquoddy equivalents for these place names will provide valuable data for linguists and historians, will aid the Passamaquoddy people in their efforts to keep their ancestral language alive, and will remind Maine residents that, as Prof. Hall says, “we all walk on native ground.”


September 2015

In this issue:

  • NIH Grants for Schlax and Koven
  • NSF Supports Tom Wenzel’s Workshops for Analytical Chemistry Faculty
  • Sponsored Programs: Limited Availability in September

National Institutes of Health Grants for Schlax and Koven

Paula Schlax, Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Biological Chemistry Program, has received a grant of $345,750 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In her three-year project, “mRNA Degradation in Borrelia burgdorferi,” she will study the changes in gene expression that take place in the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease. By comparing the decay rates and steady state abundances of transcripts in wild-type and ribonuclease deficient strains, she and her students will characterize the roles of specific ribonuclease enzymes in the turnover of messenger RNA (mRNA), the molecule that conveys genetic information from DNA to the ribosomes, the sites of biological protein synthesis within the cell.

Nancy Koven, Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Neuroscience Program, has received a grant of $299,439 from the National Institute on Aging within NIH. Her three-year project, “The role of endogenous oxytocin in adult psychosocial adjustment: Main effects and interactions with serotonergic and dopaminergic modulators of social cognition,” will quantify naturally-occurring oxytocin levels in peripheral fluids from an age-stratified community sample of healthy adults. Though some clinicians have begun administering pharmaceutical oxytocin to treat various psychiatric disorders, there are not yet reliable baseline data of endogenous oxytocin concentration in the general population. Using a multi-level, multi-method research approach, Nancy, her students, and her collaborators at the University of New England aim to determine how oxytocin, singly and in conjunction with other neurotransmitters, influences the cognitive and affective mechanisms that promote adulthood psychological well-being.

Both Paula’s and Nancy’s awards were made through NIH’s Academic Research Enhancement Award program (AREA, also known as R15). Eligibility for the AREA-R15 award is limited to faculty investigators from institutions that receive less than $6 million/year in NIH support. In recent years, the AREA-R15 award has become a mainstay for independent faculty-driven research programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences at Bates. As on all NIH programs, applicants who do not receive funding on their first try are allowed to submit one revised resubmission. With Paula’s and Nancy’s recent successes, we can now report that 100% of AREA-R15 projects proposed by Bates faculty in the last 4 years have been funded by NIH, on either their original submission or the revised resubmission. In contrast, over the last four Federal fiscal years, NIH has reported a success rate of 13% on AREA-R15 applications. This is testament both to the scientific quality of the individual applications and to the nationally competitive research environment created by Bates faculty, staff, and students.


NSF Provides Additional $50K for Faculty Workshops in Analytical Chemistry

Tom Wenzel, Charles A. Dana Professor of Chemistry, has received a $50,000 supplement to his $600,000 National Science Foundation grant “Development of E-Learning Modules for Analytical Chemistry.” This supplement will allow Prof. Wenzel and his collaborators to prepare and run a second workshop for faculty members who teach analytical chemistry at historically black and Hispanic-serving institutions. With the first such workshop, held in June 2014 at Spelman College in Atlanta, having received more than twice as many applications for participation as projected, Prof. Wenzel is anticipating a significant turnout of faculty who teach analytical chemistry interested in learning more about active learning methods within this field.


Sponsored Programs: Limited Availability in September

Joseph Tomaras, Director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance, will be out of the office on medical leave beginning on September 14, with a planned return date of September 28. Contingency plans have been made and communicated to faculty members working on proposals due in these two weeks and the week following. Please feel free to continue to send non-emergency e-mails to Joseph, and be patient for eventual response. For any unforeseen emergencies, please contact the following individuals as appropriate:

  • Heather Ward, Assistant Director of Accounting, for the fiscal administration of existing grants, regardless of funding source;
  • Jason Scheideman, Assistant Dean of the Faculty for Budget and Administration, for any new or pending grant proposals to governmental funding sources;
  • Rachel Wray, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, for any new or pending grant proposals to private funding sources.

July 2015

In this issue:

  • Rachel Wray Joining Bates as Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations
  • Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge Wins NSF Planning Grant
  • Continued Support for Asian Studies at Bates by the Tanaka Memorial Foundation

Welcome Rachel Wray as New Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Wray as Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Bates, with an official start date of July 27th. Rachel comes to us from The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, where she has served as Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and Foundation Relations Officer for the past seven years, with major accomplishments including two separate million-dollar gifts to name new laboratories. Prior to that, Rachel was a Foundation Grant Writer for the National Audubon Society. She has a BS in Biology from Trinity College and an MS in Marine Environmental Sciences from the University of Maryland. Rachel brings with her extensive grant writing experience as well as a deep understanding of the importance of building and nurturing relationships with key foundation and corporate partners. As detailed in the March issue of GRANTS@BATES, Rachel will be responsible for securing and stewarding private, institutional support for major objectives of the College as a whole, as part of the overall fundraising goals of the Office of College Advancement, while Joseph Tomaras, Director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance, will continue to work with individual faculty as part of the Dean of the Faculty’s office to secure government and private support of their research programs. Rachel will be situated in Coram 232, with its picturesque view of the Quad, a few short steps from Joseph’s office, and both look forward to working together as a team.


Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge Wins NSF Planning Grant

Laura Sewall, Director of the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and the Coastal Center at Shortridge, has won a planning grant in the amount of $24,952 from the National Science Foundation’s Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories program. Developed in collaboration with Caitlin M. Cleaver, the Director of Science and Research at the Hurricane Island Foundation, with the assistance of Damon Gannon, the Director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island, the proposal details plans to create an active network of small field stations surrounding the Gulf of Maine, ranging geographically from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, with input from members of the scientific community on which biological and geological data are most important to track in the face of global climate change. With data showing that the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s other ocean areas, there is evidence that our local coastal ecosystems, and the industries and communities that depend upon them, are particularly vulnerable to additional change. In the coming months, they will convene two planning meetings of small field station directors and scientific advisors, to be held at Hurricane Island and Shortridge. These will be followed by the development of a strategic plan for the proposed network, and a business planning workshop for field station directors to be held at Shortridge at which implementation plans will be developed.


Continued Support for Asian Studies at Bates from the Tanaka Memorial Foundation

The Tanaka Memorial Foundation has awarded a grant in the amount of $10,000 to Bates College. Their ongoing support of Bates enables three initiatives: 1. Summer research grants to a student traveling to Asia to conduct research in support of a major in East Asian Studies; 2. The Technos International Prize, awarded each year to one or more graduating seniors from the program in Asian Studies who show exceptional academic performance and commitment to service; 3. Travel by a faculty member and two students to Technos International Week in Japan, with preference for faculty and students who have not previously had significant experience with Japanese culture.


June 2015

In this issue:

  • Second Year of Maine INBRE includes $565K of Support for Research at Bates
  • Will Ambrose Joining National Science Foundation as Program Director
  • Patrick Tolosky ’15 Receives Davis Projects for Peace Grant for Public Health in Peru
  • Daniel Paseltiner ’16 Receives Fellowship for Electrical Engineering Research at NIST
  • Upcoming Grant and Fellowship Deadlines

Maine INBRE Enters Second Year

The Maine INBRE program has entered its second year since its most recent competitive renewal by the National Institutes of Health. Administered by the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories, Maine INBRE has twelve participating institutions, including Bates. As part of Maine INBRE, Bates receives an annual institutional support grant that provides research support for Bates students and their faculty mentors, as well as three “INBRE Investigator” Developmental Research Project grants to individual members of the Bates College faculty: Jason Castro, Travis Gould, and Larissa Williams. Support for research at Bates in this year’s Maine INBRE grant totals $565,205.


Will Ambrose Joining NSF as Arctic Observatory Network Program Director

Biology professor Will Ambrose has been selected by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs to serve as Program Director for the Arctic Observatory Network program, beginning June 15th. Prof. Ambrose will be taking a one-year leave of absence from Bates, with the possibility of an extension to a second year. Prof. Ambrose will be responsible for long-range planning and budget development for the Arctic Observatory Network, will manage the merit review process for proposals, and will be responsible for making recommendations of which proposals to fund.

In support of this endeavor, NSF has awarded Bates an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement in the amount of $189,916 to cover a portion of the salary and fringe benefits payable to Prof. Ambrose during his time at NSF. During Prof. Ambrose’s tenure at NSF, the NSF-supported research project on “Exploring the role of oceanic and atmospheric forcing on Arctic marine climate from newly developed annual shell based records in coastal Norway” will carry on at Bates under the sole direction of Prof. Mike Retelle in the Geology department. Since NSF allows program directors to periodically visit their home institutions in order to maintain their research programs, research projects supported by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association and the Maine Department of Marine Resources will continue in Prof. Ambrose’s lab during the coming year.

This is a rare opportunity for a faculty member from an undergraduate institution like Bates to gain inside experience in making award and strategic decisions at the NSF, and we look forward to Prof. Ambrose sharing his insights upon his return.


Patrick Tolosky ’15 to Build Public Health Capacity in Peru with Davis Projects for Peace Grant

Graduating senior Patrick Tolosky received a $10,000 grant from Davis Projects for Peace (DPP), a program of the Davis United World College Scholars program. Established by philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis, Projects for Peace provides undergraduate students with resources to test out their ideas for building peace in projects during the summer. For his project, Q’eros Health Initiative, Patrick will work with the Q’eros people in the Andes Mountains of Peru to build a center for preventative healthcare. In addition to the grant from DPP, Patrick’s project will be supported by materials contributed by Baystate Health in Massachusetts, and the efforts of Willka Yachay, a not-for-profit organization founded by Bates alumna Hanna Rae Porst ’11 as a result of a previous DPP grant.

Patrick is also one of this year’s record 18 current or former Bates students to receive a Fulbright fellowship. Following completion of the project in Peru, he will travel to Spain this September as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant.


Daniel Paseltiner ’16 Receives Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at NIST-Gaithersburg

Daniel Paseltiner, a dual major in Physics and Chinese (with a minor in Mathematics), received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct research in the Physical Measurement Laboratory (Electrical) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Part of the Department of Commerce, NIST carries out scientific research on standardized measurement and advanced technology for the advancement of industry in the United States, at its laboratories in Gaithersburg and in Boulder, Colorado. At NIST, Daniel will be working on the project “High Resistance Standards” under the direction of Dr. Dean Jarrett. In support of Daniel’s project, Bates received a grant of $8,442, which provides for Daniel’s stipend, housing in Maryland, and travel between Bates and NIST.

It is also worth noting that this is the third straight year in which a Bates student has been selected for a NIST SURF. Previous NIST SURF students from Bates have been Joanna Moody ’14 and Andrew Briggs ’15.


April-May 2015

In this issue:

  • Bates Receives $1.4 million of Mellon Foundation Support for Diversifying Faculty
  • Travis Gould Selected as New INBRE Investigator, to Receive $473K over 4 Years
  • John Strong to Receive Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Ali Akhtar to Receive Robert M. Kingdon Fellowship
  • Museum of Art Receives $10K Exhibition Grant from Davis Family Foundation
  • Upcoming Grant and Fellowship Deadlines

Mellon Grants Support Faculty Diversity at Bates

As announced to the faculty on March 25th in a joint letter from Matthew Auer, Dean of the Faculty, and Crystal Williams, Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Bates College has received two new awards from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will help us build on the college’s priority to diversify the faculty so as to continue to bring strength and excellence to the academic enterprise. First, the Mellon Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant directly to Bates focusing on a) broad diversification of the faculty through the development of postdoctoral positions, b) the creation of a diversity advocate team to support our efforts at the division and department/program level, and c) resources to undertake strategic outreach and to build on-campus academic programming that will enable departments/programs to bring to campus a host of emerging scholars from under-represented groups. Second, Bates has been invited to join the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, and Connecticut, Middlebury, and Williams colleges as one of four lead liberal arts colleges in the Creating Connections Consortium (C3). This Mellon-funded initiative brings together undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty and administrators from liberal arts colleges and research universities to create diverse, intergenerational learning communities, mentorship relationships, and enhance the preparation of young scholars from under-represented groups for careers in liberal arts colleges. As a result of this invitation, Bates will receive a subgrant of $419,360 from Middlebury for its role in the consortium moving forward.


Travis Gould Selected as New INBRE Investigator

Travis Gould, a second-year Assistant Professor in the Physics Department, has been selected as the newest INBRE Investigator after a statewide competition. With Travis joining Larissa Williams of the Biology Department and Jason Castro of the Psychology Department, Bates now has a total of 3 INBRE Investigators, the most of any institution within the Maine INBRE network (coordinated by Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories). Maine INBRE is established and supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence program. Travis will receive a four-year Developmental Research Project grant totaling $473,185 in support of his project “Investigating the Organization of Chromatin by Super-Resolution STED Microscopy.” This project aims to use super-resolution fluorescence microscopy techniques that have been at the center of his research program to resolve the nanoscale organization of genetic material in the cell nucleus. Understanding how DNA and its associated proteins are organized on molecular length scales is important for understanding how the genome works and also the mechanisms underlying genetic disorders.


John Strong Receives a Guggenheim Fellowship

John Strong, Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies and current chair of the Asian Studies Program, has been selected as one of the 2015 recipients of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. For twelve months, starting in August 2015, he will be researching and writing a book tentatively entitled “Buddhist Relics in Western Eyes.” This will be a study of the ways in which European and American Buddhists have encountered, reacted to, and dealt with bodily relics of the Buddha or of enlightened Buddhist teachers. The Guggenheim Fellowship provides 6-12 months of support to enable writers, artists, scholars and scientists to work with a maximum of creative freedom, free from other professional obligations. Guggenheim Fellowships may be applied for by mid-career to advanced professionals, which the Foundation understands to be those who as writers, scholars, or scientists have a significant record of publication, or as artists, playwrights, filmmakers, photographers, composers, or the like, have a significant record of exhibition or performance of their work.


Ali Akhtar Selected as Kingdon Fellow

Ali H. Akhtar, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and also member of the Program in Classical and Medieval Studies, has been selected by the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as one of two Robert M. Kingdon Fellows. The Kingdon Fellowship program focuses on Judeo-Christian history in early modern Europe with increasing interest in comparative studies of the Mediterranean. Ali’s current research project on Venice and the Ottoman Empire encompasses the entire Mediterranean basin and all three major Abrahamic faith communities in the region (Christian, Jewish, and Islamic), adding new dimensions to the program. With the support of the Fellowship, Ali will extend his pre-tenure research leave to a full year, which he will spend in residence at the Institute, with time for research trips to Venice, Istanbul, and other sites on the historical Silk Road.


Bates Museum of Art Receives $10K Exhibition Grant from Davis Family Foundation

The Davis Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Bates College Museum of Art, which will support the exhibition Points of View, to be held at the Museum June 10 – October 24. Points of View is an exhibition of contemporary photography featuring new and recent works. The works in the exhibition view elements of the Maine landscape from different levels of scale, and the exhibition itself is Bates’ contribution to the Maine Photo Project, a statewide collaboration organized by the Maine Curators’ Forum, for which the Bates Museum is a project sponsor.


March 2015

In this issue:

  • Grants Office Update
  • Maine Campus Compact Receives $168K Grant from the Davis Educational Foundation
  • Anita Charles Wins Fulbright Scholar Award to Teach in India

Grants Office Update

When Philip Walsh announced that he would be joining Maine Initiatives, Inc. as their new Executive Director, Bates lost a strategic thinker and talented professional, a loss that is felt beyond the grants office. In four years at Bates, Phil had created and staffed the Office for External Grants (OEG), which has overseen an increase in the volume of external support for faculty research and institution-wide initiatives at the College.

At the same time, it presented the College with an opportunity to reconfigure how it supports grant-seeking efforts. Effective the beginning of March, Joseph Tomaras, formerly the Associate Director of OEG, became the new Director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPaRC), reporting to the Dean of the Faculty. SPaRC serves as Bates College’s authorized organizational representative when applying to or negotiating with government (Federal, State, local) agencies to obtain grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements in support of Faculty research and other sponsored projects. SPaRC also works with faculty to secure research and sponsored program support from colleges and universities, hospitals, foundations, corporations and other private entities, and coordinates the College’s compliance with Federal and State regulations governing research.

A search is presently underway for a new Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations, within the Office of College Advancement, who will be responsible for securing and stewarding private, institutional support for major objectives of the College as a whole. In the interim, Joseph is managing this portion of Bates’ grants portfolio as well. Though the new Director of FCR and the Director of SPaRC will be reporting to different Vice Presidents, they will work together as a team to move Bates College forward by expanding both the amount and the number of sources of external support.

Though OEG as a single office is no more, the website at www.bates.edu/grants/ will remain the central repository for information about external grant seeking at Bates, and will in the coming weeks be revised to present useful information more comprehensively for the benefit of grant-seekers. Please feel free to contact Joseph at jtomaras@bates.edu with any questions or recommendations.


Maine Campus Compact Receives $168K Grant for Campuses for Environmental Sustainability

The Maine Campus Compact, a coalition of 17 member colleges and universities whose administrative office is hosted by Bates College, has received a grant of $168,000 over two years from the Davis Educational Foundation to support the Campuses for Environmental Sustainability project. More than 70 faculty members working in multi-disciplinary teams from 18 campuses across four New England states will learn how to embed environmental service-learning components into a course of any discipline. Selected campuses, to be announced in April 2015, will deliver a minimum of four related service-learning courses. Teams will receive training in service-learning pedagogy and apply this interdisciplinary model to create community partnerships and address critical environmental stewardship challenges. Campus proposals are due April 13th. For more information, please visit the CES program page at http://www.mainecompact.org/ces.php.


Anita Charles Wins Fulbright Scholar Teaching Award for India

Dr. Anita Charles, Lecturer in the Education Department and Director of Bates’ Teacher Education program, has been selected for a Fulbright Scholar Teaching Award in India. During her upcoming sabbatical in Winter 2016, Anita will be teaching courses in education, child development, and language acquisition at Lady Shri Ram College for Women in New Delhi. Through first-hand experience of the similarities and differences in teacher training between the United States and India, she expects to be able to add cross-cultural depth to her understanding of literacy and special education, potentially laying the groundwork for future collaborative efforts.


December 2014

In this issue:

  • National Endowment for the Arts Announces Grants to Bates Dance Festival, Museum of Art
  • SmartGrant Goes Live
  • Correction: MAC Grant to Museum of Art
  • Winter Grants Lunches
  • Upcoming Deadlines

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Grants to Bates Dance Festival, Museum of Art

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced 917 Art Works grants for 2015, totaling more than $26 million. Of these awards, 9 were to arts organizations in the State of Maine. Two of those, of $30,000 each, were to Bates College, to support programming of the Bates Dance Festival and the Bates Museum of Art.

The Art Works grant to the Bates Dance Festival represents the 30th straight year of NEA support for the Festival. The Festival’s program for 2015 will bring together leading dance figures, companies, and emerging artists such as Sean Dorsey Dance, Robert Moses KIN, Delfos Danza Contemporanea, as well as dance scholar Deborah Cash, consultant Kim Konikow, students, dancers, and educators. We look forward to another invigorating summer of contemporary dance from around the world on our campus.

New to NEA is the support of the Bates Museum’s Thousand Words Project (http://thousandwordsproject.org/). With the NEA grant, the project will be expanded to include students from throughout the Lewiston and Auburn Public Schools. Students will build writing skills through digital exploration of the college’s museum of art. Classroom activities will include writing lessons structured around a digital interface that leads students on a virtual journey through the museum’s diverse art collections. Through sequential lessons, online exploration, and visits to the museum, middle school students will hone their writing skills, learn how to look at art, and develop critical thinking skills. Launched in 1996 by Education Curator Anthony Shostak with support of a gift from the Arthur and Helen Baer Charitable Foundation, the Thousand Words Project has, through the continued support of the College, the teachers and administrators of the Lewiston and Auburn School Departments, private philanthropists and now the NEA, become the Museum’s flagship outreach program. Development of a web-based curriculum linked to Common Core standards opens the potential for expanding student participation beyond the local community.


SmartGrant Goes Live at Bates

As scheduled on November 17th, Bates’ implementation of the SmartGrant cloud-based grants management system from ERA Software Systems went live. Bates faculty and staff with active grant awards or pending proposals have been issued their credentials and can review the status of their grants and proposals in SmartGrant. Anyone planning a new proposal submission should review grant proposal submission procedures (http://www.bates.edu/grants/front-page/apply-for-a-new-grant/), the SmartGrant FAQs (http://www.bates.edu/grants/smartgrant-faqs-frequently-asked-questions/), and contact Joseph Tomaras (jtomaras@bates.edu) to schedule a one-on-one training.


Maine Arts Commission Grant to Bates Museum of Art

In the October issue of this newsletter we reported on a Maine Arts Commission grant to the Bates Dance Festival. In addition to that, we are pleased to report on a $4,100 grant from the Commission to the Museum of Art, to support the exhibition Convergence: Jazz, Films, and the Visual Arts, presently on display in the museum through Dec. 13. Organized by the the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland and the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Convergence was first curated by Dr. Robert E. Steele and Dorit Yaron, the Driskell Center’s former Executive Director and Deputy Director, respectively, and Sonié Joi Ruffin-Thompson, Visiting Curator at the American Jazz Museum for a Feb. 14 – May 31, 2013 exhibition at the David C. Driskell Center, then traveled to the American Jazz Museum where it was exhibited Nov. 8, 2013 – April 27, 2014.


October 2014

In this issue:

  • Continued Support for Bates Dance Festival: New England Foundation for the Arts & Maine Arts Commission
  • John T. Gorman Foundation Provides Scholarship Support for Maine Students at Bates College
  • SmartGrant Grants Management System Coming to Bates College
  • Book Review: How the NIH Can Help You Get Funded

Bates Dance Festival Receives Grants from NEFA and MAC

This summer’s Bates Dance Festival received several grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts, totaling $24,325. These included a National Dance Project grant for $10,000, to support the participation of David Dorfman; a $9,000 New England Expeditions grant which brought in Camille A. Brown and Dancers; and New England States Touring grants for Prometheus Dance ($4,000) and Lida Winfield ($1,325). The Maine Arts Commission has also continued its support of the Dance Festival, with a grant of $9,668.


John T. Gorman Foundation Scholarships for Maine Students

The John T. Gorman Foundation has continued its yearly support of scholarships for Bates students from Maine with a grant of $10,000. Established in 1995 by a grandson of L.L. Bean and headquartered in Portland, the Foundation emphasizes programs that benefit the most disadvantaged people of the state of Maine. We thank the trustees and staff of the Foundation for their ongoing support of Bates’ efforts to make college education available and affordable to all qualified students.


SmartGrant: A More Efficient Way to Prepare and Manage Grants

Staff of the Office for External Grants and the Office of Accounting and Financial Reporting, with the assistance of representatives of the Dean of Faculty, Human Resources and Information and Library Services, have been working behind the scenes to configure SmartGrant, a comprehensive grants management system from ERA Software Systems. Our scheduled date to “go live” is November 17th. As of this writing, we are back-entering pending proposals and active grants into the system; training administrative staff and faculty with routing and approval responsibilities; and aligning grant budgets with the College’s Banner accounting system. Once complete, SmartGrant will enable faculty and OEG staff to expedite institutional approval processes on new grant proposals, generate comprehensive reports on our grants portfolio, and more easily compare their grant budgets to the fiscal data housed in Banner. If you receive a communication from either Joseph Tomaras of OEG or Julie Lindquist King of ERA-SS with SmartGrant in the header, please hang on to it for future reference.


Book Review: How the NIH Can Help You Get Funded: An Insider’s Guide to Grant Strategy

Michelle L. Kienholz and Jeremy M. Berg; Oxford University Press, 2014

Joseph Tomaras, Associate Director, Office for External Grants

This book lives up to its title: The authors have detailed knowledge of the differing institutional cultures and policies of the various institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health. More importantly, since such information can shift due to changes in personnel, appropriation or Congressional authorization, they point the reader to online resources through which one can keep pace with developments relevant to one’s own research program. Some of these resources, such as lists of “cleared concepts” for special interest RFPs to be issued by each of the Institutes, were new to the author of this review.

Even so, the book format shows its limitations. While all information appears to have been updated through 2012, and some sections show signs of having been updated in 2013, there have already been significant changes in NIH policy since then. For example, the prohibition on more than 1 resubmission of declined proposals remains in place, but the NIH has significantly relaxed the content requirements for a proposal to be considered “new”. The book’s strategic advice on resubmissions reflects the older, more restrictive version of the policy. Faculty considering applying for NIH funding are advised to read the book soon, before it gets too far out of date, and to check with the Office for External Grants on significant policy changes.

Another limitation is an orientation toward those institutions—teaching hospitals, medical schools, and research-intensive universities—that comprise the bulk of the biomedical research enterprise, and thus on the R01 grant mechanism that forms the mainstay of their NIH funding. The R15 (Academic Research Enhancement Award or AREA grant) that is so important to researchers at Bates and comparable institutions is only mentioned once.

Despite these limitations, much of the book’s advice is reliable and transferable. A copy is available from Ladd Library. Thanks to science librarian Pete Schlax for ordering it!


September 2014

In this issue:

  • NSF Boosts Research at Bates with $1.17 million
  • Profs. Ambrose and Retelle Conduct Collaborative Research in Norway
  • Confocal Microscopy Coming to Bates
  • Katharine Ott (Mathematics) Joins Bates Faculty, NSF Funds in Hand
  • Nathan Tefft Collaborates with Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Learned Clerks to Converge at Bates for Summer Symposium

NSF Boosts Research at Bates with $1.17 Million

In the last month, Bates College has received three new grant awards from the National Science Foundation, totaling $1,170,158. The resulting projects, each briefly profiled below, will involve faculty in each of the departments in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

NSF Awards $337K to Ambrose and Retelle for Collaborative Research in Norway

William Ambrose of the Biology Department and Michael Retelle of the Geology Department have been awarded a $337,228 grant by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs for a collaborative research project on “the role of oceanic and atmospheric forcing on Arctic marine climate from newly developed annual shell based records in coastal Norway”. Together with Prof. Alan Wanamaker of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences at Iowa State University (which received its own NSF grant, for a total project cost of $810,000), Profs. Ambrose and Retelle will test the relative influence of dominant climate modes on the regional oceanography in northern Norway during the last millennium. Students from both Bates and Iowa State will be supported by and involved with the project, and the PIs will use data and ideas developed in this project for several courses at Iowa State and Bates College relating to climate change, paleoclimate and oceanography. In addition, the PIs will make visits to local K-12 schools in both Maine and Iowa and conduct teacher professional development and curriculum development in the area of climate change.

Confocal Microscopy Comes to Bates, thanks to NSF-MRI Grant

In January of this year, after several months of planning, a multidisciplinary team of faculty put in a proposal to NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation program for the purchase of a Leica SP8 confocal microscope with white-light laser. Led by Larissa Williams (Biology), the team included Matt Côté (Chemistry), Travis Gould (Physics) and Nancy Kleckner (Biology and Neuroscience). As a result of the proposal they put together, Bates has been awarded a $791,480 grant. The Leica, which we expect will be delivered and installed within the current academic year, will be housed in the basement of Carnegie Science Hall, and scheduling of training and usage will be managed by the Bates Imaging and Computing Center. Until now, Bates biologists requiring confocal microscopy for their research have had to try and get time on a microscope at Bowdoin, or travel even further to do their sample preparation and imaging at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. The versatility of this new device will enable not only biological research, but also research in nanotechnology (Côté) and photophysics (Gould). The only comparable microscope in the State of Maine is at the Jackson Labs in Bar Harbor. Because of the Leica SP8’s capabilities, researchers at Bowdoin College wrote in support of our proposal, and the microscope will be incorporated into the professional development and training in advanced imaging of faculty and students at Southern Maine Community College. Thus the confocal microscope will enhance not only the research infrastructure of Bates, but the resources available to researchers throughout southern and western Maine.

Katharine Ott Joins Math Department, Brings $41,450 NSF Award With Her

The newest tenure-track member of the Mathematics Department, Katharine Ott, comes to Bates from the University of Kentucky, where she had an NSF research grant to investigate boundary value problems in partial differential equations. The unspent balance of that grant ($41,450) has been transferred to Bates for completion. While the equations that Katy studies are used in describing or modeling natural processes in physics, biology and ecology, she prefers to focus on the theoretical aspects of mathematics, discovering new properties of increasingly complex equations. She is particularly interested in the effect of singularities—boundary conditions that are not conveniently smooth—on the equations she studies. When asked what attracted her from a large university to a liberal arts college like Bates, she cited the opportunity to work closely with undergraduate students and shape their interest in mathematics. Please welcome Katy to the community of researchers at Bates!


Nathan Tefft Collaborates with Boston Children’s Hospital, Receives $8,713 Grant

Nathan Tefft, who returns this year to the Economics department at Bates after a stint at the University of Washington, is now part of an interdisciplinary research team led by Dr. Bryn Austin at Boston Children’s Hospital that is examining the effectiveness of various public health educational campaigns. Nathan’s role in the current project is to characterize the spatial (market-level) and temporal distributions of the quantity of and expenditures on appetite suppressant products using Nielsen’s Consumer Panel Data and Retail Scanner Data. As part of this, he is leading the empirical analyses of both datasets, which includes data extraction and refinement, analytic file construction, and all statistical and econometric analyses. In support of his role in the project, he has received a grant in the amount of $8,713, which provides summer salary and access, for Nathan and select students, to the proprietary Nielsen data sets.


The Learned Clerk: A Summer Symposium on Medieval Studies to be Hosted at Bates

Sylvia Federico, of the English Department, is organizing a symposium to be held at Bates in Summer 2015, entitled The Learned Clerk: Neglected Sources, New Perspectives. It will feature invited speakers who are leading scholars in the fields of medieval literature and history, editing and manuscript studies, and digital humanities, whose research variously engages the forms and modes of late medieval textual culture. Proceedings of the conference will be published in Exemplaria, a leading theoretical and methodological journal in medieval and early modern studies. To date, underwriting commitments have been secured from the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.