Montana State University

Sixteen MSU faculty receive inaugural professional development leave grants

January 8, 2004

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Montana State University has funded 16 faculty members in the inaugural Short-term Professional Development Leave program.

Based on the recommendations of the Provost's Task Force on Faculty Development, and funded, selected and sponsored by MSU Provost David Dooley and MSU Vice President for Research Tom McCoy, the short-term leave program provides funding for professional development activities that will enhance the recipient's teaching, scholarship and outreach.

The university has allotted $50,000 for the trial program. The leave program allows for up to $5,000 per proposal to be used for professional development.

The winning proposals were selected from a pool of 32 proposals submitted in November.

A second round will be offered for next fall semester. Proposals for that round must be submitted by Feb. 27 with decisions announced in March.

Faculty with winning proposals for Short-term Professional Development Leave are (listed by college):

Edward Schmidt, veterinary molecular biology. Schmidt will use the grant to travel to the University of Guelph in Montreal in July to collaborate with reproductive immunologists who will help him in his study of the factors that cause miscarriage.

Arts and Architecture:
Dennis Aig, media and theatre arts. Aig traveled to workshops in marine archeological and scientific video documentation in St. Louis and Lafayette, La. this month. Aig plans to use information from the workshops during a summer project in the Gulf of Mexico. He will make a full-length documentary for national television on World War II shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Harvey Hamburgh, art. Hamburgh will use the grant to attend a visual resources conference in March. Hamburgh believes the knowledge of digital conversion of images and digital imagery gained at the conference will enhance his work as an art historian.

Elizabeth Croy, music. The grant will enable Croy and her accompanist, Julie Gosswiller, also of the music department, to attend the Savannah (Ga.) Music Festival where Croy will compete at the American Traditions Competition. Croy will sing in the opera/art song and musical theater categories with some of the top singers from around the country.

Gesine Janzen, art. Janzen will travel in the summer to Frogman's Press, affiliated with the University of South Dakota, to study national trends and technological advances in printmaking utilizing digital media.

Susan Dana, management. Dana will use the grant to participate in the Huber Hurst Research Seminar for Legal Studies to be held in February at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Dana was one of just eight participants from around the country selected to participate in the seminar.

Education, Health and Human Development
John Christopher, health and human development. Christopher will travel to New York to be trained in "focusing," a psychotherapy intervention technique. He plans to use the training in teaching and supervising master's level counseling students in the department of Health and Human Development as well as in counseling at MSU's Counseling and Psychological Services.

Steve Perkins, civil engineering. Perkins will travel to Boulder, Colo. to take a course on Computational Geotechnics and Dynamics. The new software technique helps geotechnical engineers to use the finite element method to analyze stress, deformation and stability in engineering and design projects. The information will help Perkins teach a similar graduate course spring semester at MSU.

Hashem Nehrir, electrical and computer engineering. Nehrir will travel to Curtin University in Australia for three weeks in August to collaborate with the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies. Nehrir is a specialist in alternative power generation education and research involving wind, photovoltaic (PV) and fuel cell power generation devices. The visit will enrich his knowledge and his teaching and research in the area.

Letters and Science
Susan Kollin, English. Kollin, who teaches western American literature, will travel in June to the Alaska State Library in Juneau to research Russian-Eskimo actor Ray Mala, who appeared in a number of Western films from the 1930-1950s. Her research will be used in a chapter in her book on the international origins of the Western film and will also be the source for a journal article.

Linda Karell, English. Karell will travel in the summer to the Mildred Wirt Benson collection at the University of Iowa. Benson was the ghostwriter for many of the Nancy Drew mysteries. Karell will use her research as a chapter in her book, "Rewriting the Author," which will look at the meaning of authorship. Information about Benson will be part of the book's chapter on ghostwriting.

Phillip Gaines, English. Gaines will travel to the Langdell Law Library at Harvard University to research trials by jury in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. He will use the information to complete his book, "The Hidden Rhetorics of the Courtroom."

John Thompson, modern languages. Thompson, a first-year professor of Spanish at MSU, will travel to Galiza, a section of northwestern Spain, in the summer to study Galizan novels written about the Spanish Civil War. Galizan is a Spanish dialect very similar to Portuguese. Thompson hopes to write a book about the novels and what the novels, written from 1956-2002, have to say about fascism in Spain.

Jack Fisher, sociology/anthropology. Fisher will take a class in Helena on the use of Arc View GIS software, which provides archaeologists with powerful tools to conduct spatial analysis. Fisher will use the software in his archaeological research of sites in the Bridger Mountains, the Marias River, as well as the Dunefield Midden site in South Africa.

Mary Murphy, history. Murphy will travel to district courts throughout Montana, as well as the Washington State Law Library in Olympia and the Seattle Branch of the National Archives, to research sedition laws and the constitutional issue of free speech in the Northwest during World War I.

Fredericka Gilje, nursing. Gilje, who teaches nursing at MSU's nursing campus in Billings, will travel to Sweden during spring break to collaborate with a Norwegian colleague and a Swedish researcher at the Umea University School of Nursing. She will research procedures involving patients,' nurses' and physician's experiences with suicidality. Gilje plans to use her research to help teach student nurses about working with suicidal patients as well as in her own work with suicide prevention in Montana, which has the second highest suicide rate in the U.S.

Contact: Pat Chansley (406) 994-4373