New Theory-to-Practice Grants Announced

Ohio Wesleyan awards $135,000 in spring grants to support active learning

Kamila Goldin ’13 works with children in McLeod Ganj, India, during a recent Theory-to-Practice grant-funded trip. Ohio Wesleyan has been awarding the grants since 2009 and announced 21 new grants this week. (Photo courtesy of Kamila Goldin ’13)

It’s a sure bet that the 21 newly awarded Ohio Wesleyan University Theory-to-Practice grants will help students and employees have a winning educational experience that connects academic theory with real-world practice.

Begun in 2009, OWU’s Theory-to-Practice grants allow members of the campus community to seek University funding to support academic and community service issues of special interest. Here are the latest grant recipients:

Graeco-Canadian Summer Field School,” submitted by student Danielle Bernert of New Albany, Ohio. In June and July, Bernert will travel to Asprovalta to participate in an archaeological field dig on Greece’s north Aegean coast. The six-week program, sponsored by the University of Montreal, will include visits to other sites and museums as well as opportunities to catalog and organize artifacts.

Child Development in Romanian Institutions,” submitted by psychology assistant professor Sarah Bunnell with students Nicole Kaeser of Weston, Conn., and Riane Ramsey of Delaware, Ohio, and psychology assistant professor Andrew Brandt. The group will travel to Romania, where they will connect classroom knowledge of atypical development with current advances in behavioral science and first-hand experience with developmentally impaired children. They also will attend an international research conference to learn about advances in assessing and treating children with developmental disabilities.

Examining AIDS Policy in South Africa and Tanzania,” submitted by student Kimberly Eckart of Chelsea, Mich. Eckart will travel to Africa in May and June to explore the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in HIV/AIDS policymaking and policy advocacy. She will compare policies in the two countries to policies in the United States, using the information for future post-graduate research.

Rephotography for Assessing the Effects of Mass Transit on Urban Development,” submitted by student Christopher Henchey of Melrose, Mass. Henchey will spend a year examining the use of rephotography to assess urban development. The technique involves studying historical photographs and then taking new photographs at the same site. Henchey will visit Boston, Columbus, Seattle, and Portland to assess the limitations and potential of rephotography as a research method.

Climate Change and Community Building – The Japanese Quest for Sustainable Development,” submitted by students Lydia Hoefel of Akron, Ohio; Sriharsha Masabathula of New Delhi, India; and Anuk Yingrotetarakul of Samutprakarn, Thailand. The students will travel to Japan in May and June to study it in an academic, cultural, and global context to better understand Japan’s perspective on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While there, the group will volunteer to aid those impacted by the March 2011 earthquake.

Elevate Dance Intensive,” submitted by Lauren Holler of Valley View, Ohio. She will travel to Detroit in July to study the competition dance world versus the modern dance artistry. Following the experience, Holler plans to conduct master dance classes for the entire OWU campus in the fall.

Tim Miller Residency at OWU,” submitted by theatre & dance faculty member Edward Kahn. Miller, an internationally acclaimed performance artist, will be in residence from February through May, conducting workshops with Ohio Wesleyan students that culminate in public performances of their resulting works as well as a public performance by Miller himself.

Effects of Genetics and Exercise on the Incidence and Progression of Colorectal Cancers,” submitted by faculty members Scott Kelly and David Markwardt. For three years, they will lead a collaborative effort investigating the ability of voluntary exercise to prevent or delay the onset and severity of colorectal cancers. The program will provide opportunities for students to engage in applied biomedical research related not only to classroom concepts, but also to a global research effort.

Appalachia: The Intersection of Faith, Service, and Health Care,” submitted by student Amber Kimberling of Galloway, Ohio. In May and June, Kimberling, a microbiology major and religion minor, will serve with in the Christian Appalachian Project’s children’s unit and then in the Remote Medical Kentucky free clinic. She will seek to better understand the intersection of faith and service as well as learn to work effectively with the region’s residents.

HaitiOWU,” submitted by staff member Sean Kinghorn, OWU’s energy conservation and sustainability coordinator. In August, Kinghorn and six students will travel to Haiti to serve Pwoje Espwa, an orphanage in Les Cayes. A HaitiOWU team visited the orphanage in May 2011, helping to renovate on-site facilities, teach English, and build the foundation for a long-term relationship.

Differentiated and Multi-Age Instruction in an Indian Orphanage,” submitted by Sophia Lewis of Worthington, Ohio. In June and July, Lewis will travel to the Pumpkin House orphanage in Ahmednagar, India. An early education major, Lewis anticipates teaching English at the orphanage while assessing the effectiveness of the school’s multi-age classroom. She will present the results of her research to classmates and donate it to the University’s education library.

Dubai: Globalization and Geography,” submitted by Addison Miller of Ashville, Ohio; Iftekhar Showpnil of Dhaka, Bangladesh; and John Bieniek of Martinsburg, W.Va. In December, the students will travel to United Arab Emirates, where they will use Dubai as a case study of globalization—examining how economic, political, and cultural globalization has impacted the development of the city.

Exploring the Nuance of African Globalization through the Study of Afro-Brazilian Culture in Salvador da Bahia,” submitted by Samuel Monebi of Sabo Yaba Lagos, Nigeria. In July and August, Monebi will travel to Brazil, where he will study African globalization by analyzing Yoruba-influenced cultural practices in Salvador Bahia. His research will include an analysis of religion, music, dance, food, garments, art, and architecture.

Virginia Quarterly Review: Internship,” submitted by Megan Pinto of Raleigh, N.C. , In May and June, two OWU creative writing students will intern at the Virginia Quarterly Review literary journal to gain professional and artistic experience.

Learning and Leading through Diversity and History,” submitted by student Felicia Rose of Windsor, Conn., and staff member Terree Stevenson, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. During fall semester, 62 students will engage in a live re-enactment as a runaway slave traveling through Ohio on the Underground Railroad. This will coincide with the history department’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. During spring semester, participants will experience being a Native American sent along the Trail of Tears traveling through Southern Ohio.

The Scientific Process from Start to Finish: Characterization of the Poeciliopsis Placental Gene A2M,” submitted by student Kristen Schwacha of East Windsor, N.J., and zoology faculty member Tami Panhuis. From June 2012 through May 2013, Schwacha will work to characterize the fish placental gene A2M and relate this to the maternal fetal conflict model of evolution. She will seek to co-author a scientific publication of the collected results to present at Ohio Wesleyan and scientific conferences.

Investigation of Interaction Between Fluoxetine and Environmental Enrichment on Hippocampal Neuroplasticity and Functional Memory,” submitted by student Victoria Sellers of Aurora, Mo. Between August 2012 and February 2013, Sellers will assess the effects of antidepressant drugs and enriched activity on memory function and neuron growth in healthy mice. The project will reflect core neurobiology principles and be assessed by an examining board for departmental honors in neuroscience.

Zimbabwe,” submitted by students Gene Sludge of Montgomery, Ala., and Magdalena Jacobo of Juarez Chihuahua, Mexico, with residential life coordinator Tracey Walterbusch and University Chaplain Jon Powers. In July, the group will travel to Zimbabwe to explore British colonialism and the impact of post-colonialism on Zimbabweans, including links to the A.M.E. Church, adult literacy and poverty, and sexually transmitted diseases. They also will examine the ties between Africa University in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe, and Ohio Wesleyan.

Dentists All Around the World,” submitted by Eri Takeuchi of Osaka, Japan. In June and July, Takeuchi will travel to Asia to compare and contrast differences in dental care among Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. She will interact with local dentists, patients, and researchers to gain further insight on the different dental care systems and patient needs.

Presentation of Culture in Oahu: Influences of Americanization and Tourism on Hawaiian Culture, and the Challenges Faced by Local Professionals when Representing its History,” submitted by Rachel Vinciguerra of Reading, Mass. In July, Vinciguerra—who anticipates a career in cultural and historical studies—will travel to Hawaii to research Hawaiian culture as presented by professionals responsible for representing the region’s history faithfully. She will place special emphasis on the Americanization of Hawaii and the impact of tourism on Hawaiian and Polynesian traditions.

Cultural and Volunteer Experience in Tel Aviv, Israel,” submitted by Tamara Winkler of Cincinnati. In May and June, Winkler will travel to Israel for a cultural immersion and volunteer experience in Tel Aviv. She will participate in a program called Oranim that intertwines the values of leadership and service and volunteer at Save a Child’s Heart, an international humanitarian project that works to improve the quality of cardiac care for children from developing countries.

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s theory-to-practice grants and other curricular initiatives at

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