Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


2010-2011 King Creativity Grants Announced

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    Four students will continue work this year on an automated microorganism detector that was started as a King Creativity project in 2009-2010.

Fund will enable students to pursue 12 innovative projects in the coming year

Students who want to investigate subjects ranging from the construction of an electric cello to using sound waves to desalinate water will be able to do so in the coming year thanks to grants from the King Creativity Fund.  

This is the 11th year the fund has supported “innovative and visionary projects” proposed by Southwestern students. The fund was established in 2000 with an endowment provided by Southwestern alumnus W. Joseph “Joey” King. Each year, the fund supports up to 20 projects. This year, more than $20,000 was awarded to fund 12 projects. Students will present their projects at a symposium to be held on Monday, April 4, 2011.

This year’s projects are as follows:

  • “Shakespeare Out of the Box.” Andrea Neal and Jessica Espinoza will put on an outdoor production on campus of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The project will be supervised by English Professor Michael Saenger.
  • “Improvisation Across Mediums.” A group of 19 students in theatre, music and visual art will put on a one-night theatrical happening that includes improvisation, music, painting and poetry.  Zachary Carr will be the student leader and the faculty supervisor is Theatre Professor Rick Roemer.
  • “SUTV: Putting Southwestern on the Big Screen.” Colin Berr, Matthew Hall, Kory Payne, Eleysa Richards, Dempsey Jones, Ben Cardiff, Sean Stumpf are taking the first steps toward forming a campus television station, starting with online broadcasts. The project will be supervised by Paul Sicard, coordinator of audio visual services.
  • “Electric Cello.” Music major Natalie Phillips-Perkoff and Physics major Will Hardy plan to design, build and perform with an electric cello. The project will be supervised by Music Professor Lois Ferrari and Gerry Wade, coordinator of science facilities.
  • “Automated Microorganism Detector.”  Will Hardy, Marisol Frausto-Martinez, Jessilyn Massey, Heather Petty will continue a project begun as part of last year’s King Creativity program which successfully designed and built a device to detect bacteria. The project will be supervised by Gerry Wade, coordinator of science facilities.
  • “Attitudes toward Creativity in Artificial Intelligences: Interactions between Humans and Artificial Intelligence.” Psychology major Matt Daughtry plans to study interactions between humans and artificial intelligences, examining in particular peoples’ reactions to machines and computers they perceive to be intelligent. The project will be supervised by Jacqueline Muir-Broaddus, professor of psychology and education.
  • “Through the Webs of Haussmann.” Studio Art major Christine Harris plans to create a three-dimensional drawing composed of parts of drawings, support rods and thread, exploring the interaction between orb spider webs and the urban planning designs of Baron Haussmann. The project will be supervised by Art Professor of Victoria Star Varner.
  • “Using Sound to Desalinate Water.” Physics majors Thomas Newman and I. J. Okechukwu plan to design, build and test a pump that uses a piezoelectric transducer to push salt water through a reverse osmosis filter by using the standing sound waves in a tube. The project will be supervised by Physics Professor Steve Alexander and Gerry Wade, coordinator of science facilities.
  • “The Southwestern Arts Festival.” Natalie Phillips-Perkoff and Anne Fenley will put together a day-long festival of theatre, music and art that is open to Southwestern students, GISD students, and members of the community. The project also raises funds for Mr. Holland’s Opus, a program that provides musical instruments to children and schools that otherwise cannot afford them. The project will be supervised by Music Professors Bruce Cain and Jason Hoogerhyde.
  • “Conversation on the Cultural Impact of Film Music.” Music major Andrea Plybon plans to compose music to accompany the 1924 silent Raoul Walsh film “The Thief of Bagdad,” starring Douglas Fairbanks. The Southwestern University Orchestra will perform her piece, and before the concert, a panel of noted musicians and composers will discuss the impact of music on film audiences, as well as the development of the art of film scoring. The project will be supervised by Music Professor Lois Ferrari.
  • “Chimpanzee See, Chimpanzee Do: A Study of Social Learning and Handedness.” Animal Behavior major Morgan Mingle plans to study social learning and brain laterality as indicated by right- or left-handedness in chimpanzees. The project will be supervised by Psychology Professor Steve Schapiro.
  • “Sustainability in the Theater.” Sophomore Environmental Studies major Kira McEntire will do a project to test the applicability of energy-saving LED (light emitting diodes) fixtures in place of traditional incandescent fixtures in the theatre, and the feasibility of using solar panels to generate power for such use. The project will be supervised by Theatre Professor John Ore.