Grants awarded in 2005


Trinity University, in a collaborative effort led by Diane Smith, Associate Vice President for Budget and Research and Professor of Geosciences, with Harry Haines, Robert Huesca, Department of Communication, Alida Metcalf, Department of History, Arturo Madrid, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz, Modern Languages and Literatures, Sussan Siavoshi, Department of Political Science, Ruqayya Khan, Randall Nadeau, Sarah Pinnock, Department of Religion, Meredith McGuire, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Stephen Nickle, University Chaplain, has been awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation for the program entitled Difficult Dialogues: Promoting Pluralism and Academic Freedom on Campus. The goal of the project is to develop four dialogues that will focus on the specific issues of Culture and Civil Status, Religious Particularism, Compulsory Heterosexuality, and Islamophobia to bring forward reasoned discussion about people of diverse religious, ethnic, sexual, and cultural backgrounds.  Each dialogue will encompass a series of activities, including distinguished speakers, seminars, artistic presentation, films, discussions, and receptions, to promote genuine engagement, mutually respectful listening, and getting to know others as individuals,.   The four dialogues will take place, one each semester, during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.  Two early summer workshops will lay foundations for the dialogues by educating a team of faculty, students, and staff, who will lead the activities associated with each dialogue.  $100,000.

Diane Smith, Associate Vice President for Budget and Research and Professor of Geosciences, along with the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics & Astronomy, and the program in Neuroscience, has been awarded a grant from an anonymous foundation to fund stipends for summer research students in the sciences. These funds will allow the university to offer research opportunities to fifteen students in each of the next three summers for science projects in interdisciplinary fields such as nanotechnology and neuroscience, and increase the number of students working in underrepresented research areas.  The engagement of students in active research is at the center of the science program’s mission to provide majors with a thorough understanding of scientific principles and processes, and inspire them to further study.  $220,500.

Peter Kelly-Zion, Department of Engineering Science, and Chris Pursell, Department of Chemistry, have been awarded support from the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund for their project Experimental Study of Transport Phenomena and Film Instabilities of Evaporating Multicomponent Fuel Films.   They will investigate fuel evaporation with student researchers over the next four summers.  $50,000.


Frank Healy, Department of Biology, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to support his research project on Gamma-butyrolactone autoregulatory signaling in thaxtomin and naphthoquinone polyketide-producing Streptomyces.  His genetic, physiological and biochemical project will provide training and research experience opportunities for undergraduates in experimental design, execution and presentation of research at scientific meetings.  $135,000.

Jonathan King, Department of Biology, has received an award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to study the effects of inflammation in tissues by investigating protein interactions at the junctions between cells in a project entitled Proteomics of Inflammation at the Epithelium.  Trinity University undergraduate student researchers will work together with Dr. King on the four-year study of how neighboring cells interact. $168,600.

Denise Pope, Department of Biology, has received a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South to collaborate with departmental colleagues Kevin Livingstone, Kelly Lyons, David Ribble, and James Shinkle in a significant restructuring of the curriculum built around issue-based modules.  The new Integrative Biology course and laboratory will promote greater literacy in science by teaching non-science majors to understand the fundamental nature of science, and will serve as a curricular model for other ACS institutions.  $20,000.

Business Administration

Dante Suarez, Department of Business Administration, has been awarded funds by Bank One to develop a Financial Literacy Program to teach financial literacy, mainly to Hispanic students. The program was staffed with student-instructors from his Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC) Doing Business in Latin America class. They were trained to answer questions on general banking and how to buy a home, and made presentations about it in a host of community centers of San Antonio. He plans to continue this program next semester. $3,500.


Michelle Bushey and the Department of Chemistry have received an award from the National Science Foundation – Major Research Instrumentation Program to acquire an automated capillary electrophoresis instrument and a nanospray mass spectrometry interface.  This equipment will be used by faculty and undergraduate research students in interdisciplinary projects involving both the Biology and Chemistry departments.  $128,000.

The Department of Chemistry, Michelle Bushey, Chair, has won an award from the Welch Foundation to support twenty-three undergraduate students on research projects with faculty over the next three summers.  Funding will be provided for the students to travel with their faculty mentors to present their research results at national meetings.  Students will be involved in research for ten weeks in the summer, culminating in an undergraduate research symposium.  $120,000.

Bert Chandler, Department of Chemistry, has received a prestigious Career Award from the National Science Foundation for his project Chemical and Catalytic Characterization of Dendrimer Templated Bimetallic Nanoparticles.  Over the next five years he will work with post-docs and undergraduates to build a database of knowledge on nanoparticle particle properties that will allow for their more effective use as building blocks for new nanostructured materials or in the design of new catalysts and catalytic technologies. Because catalytic technologies are so prevalent in U.S. industries, improvements in the fundamental understanding of the synthesis and catalytic properties of bimetallic nanoparticles have the potential to positively impact both the American catalysis industry and the national economy by providing cheaper materials and consumer products, and reducing pollution and industrial waste. $415,000.

Bert Chandler, Department of Chemistry, will collaborate with colleagues at Iowa State University in a National Science Foundation funded research project entitled Design of Nanostructured Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Catalysts for Biorenewable Conversion.  Two Trinity University students will spend the next three summers researching new catalyst technologies.  Travel funds include support for the students to spend time during the summers in Iowa State University laboratories.  $57,400.

Laura Hunsicker-Wang, Department of Chemistry, has been awarded a grant from the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund to study the Modulation of Reduction Potentials of 2Fe-2S Iron Sulfur Clusters.  During her two-year project she will analyze biochemical and structural changes in iron sulfur proteins to more fully understand how proteins tune reduction potential.  Two student researchers each summer will be supported by the grant.  $35,000.

Chris Pursell, Department of Chemistry, has been awarded funding from the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund for a sabbatical leave.  He will spend the academic year 2005-2006 at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand performing laboratory studies examining Gas-Liquid Interface.  His experience will benefit the undergraduate interdisciplinary research program at Trinity and lay the foundation for long-term collaboration with colleagues at Canterbury.  $50,000.

Adam Urbach, Department of Chemistry, has received an award from the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund for his study High-Affinity Reversible Complexes in Water.  He will spend the next two years working with research students to develop a molecule-based multivalent system for the storage, release, and capture of homogenous catalysts.  $35,000.

Adam Urbach, Department of Chemistry, has been awarded a grant from the Research Corporation to support his study of Cofactor-Mediated Peptide Recognition in Water by a Synthetic Host.  His two-year project will involve three undergraduate researchers each summer.  $39,000.


Robert Huesca, Department of Communication, has been selected for a Fulbright Senior Specialists grant in Communications and Journalism at the University of the Frontier, Temuco, Chile.  He will spent two and one-half weeks leading seminars and lecturing to graduate and undergraduate students, evaluating academic curricula and faculty, and developing research guidelines on the topic of Communication for Social Change. $3,000.

Engineering Sciences

Diana Glawe, Department of Engineering Science, has received funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to support a Knudsen cell reactor.  Students in the Senior Design Capstone project will be responsible for the design and fabrication of the reactor which will be used for catalyst research related to hydrogen technologies.  Two of the students will travel to Washington, D.C. in late spring of 2006 to represent the group at the National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planet. $10,000.

Wilson Terrell, Department of Engineering Science, has received funding from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers to support the Trinity Senior Design Project Design and Construction of a Refrigeration Testing Laboratory Unit.  He and five seniors will build the refrigeration testing laboratory on campus to be used subsequently in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer as well as thermal fluid elective courses.  $5,000.


Richard Newhauser, Department of English, has been awarded funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities to teach a 2006 summer seminar at Darwin College, Cambridge University, England, called The Seven Deadly Sins as Cultural Constructions in the Middle Ages.  This seminar for college and university teachers will examine the cultural construction of medieval moral thought using the categories of the Seven Deadly Sins, critically review scholarship on the sins, and make maximum use of the unique manuscript, research, and human resources available in Cambridge.  This is a renewal of Dr. Newhauser’s highly successful 2004 summer seminar. $93,000.


Donald Clark, Department of History, Director of International Studies, has received funding from the AsiaNetwork Freeman Foundation for his May 2005 Research Seminar Religious Ideas in Korean Daily Life.  He and five Trinity students traveled to South Korea and spent two weeks in Seoul working with students at Yonsei University.  For an additional week they traveled to Kwangju to represent the City of San Antonio at the annual commemoration of the 1980 Democracy Movement hosted by the Kwangju-San Antonio Sister City Committee.  Back home in San Antonio they presented exhibits and lectures on their experiences.  $32,000.

Political Science

Mary Ann Tetreault, Department of Political Science, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation in support of a project entitled Collaborative Research on the Dissent /Repression Nexus in the Middle East.  She will join researchers from the University of Maryland, Ohio State University, and the University of Kansas in developing research models and databases to promote international interdisciplinary partnerships among faculty and students in the fields of sociology, political science, and international relations.  The project aims to advance our understanding of the transformative changes associated with democratization and globalization in a strategic region of the world that has major implications for world order and development.$62,000.

Sociology and Anthropology

David Spener, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, has received a Research and Writing Grant from the MacArthur Foundation to support the completion of research for his book titled Migrant-Smuggling on the Tex-Mex Border: Slave Trade or New Underground Railroad? He will spend spring 2005 on leave as a visiting scholar in the Departamento de Estudios Socio Urbanos at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico conducting field interviews and analyzing data.  His book will be of interest to Mexican and U.S. policy-makers, officials of government migration and security agencies, human rights activists, legal professionals, and migration and borderlands scholars.  $40,000.

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