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Seven Southwestern Faculty Members Receive Awards for Research and Professional Development

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    Maria Lowe, associate professor of sociology, one of seven Southwestern faculty members receiving funding

The fund provides monetary awards for the continuing education and development of full-time faculty members of United Methodist colleges and universities in Texas.

Seven Southwestern University faculty members have been named 2007 recipients of awards from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund.

The fund provides monetary awards for the continuing education and development of full-time faculty members of United Methodist colleges and universities in Texas. Applicants are required to submit programs that will “contribute to the improvement of the quality of intellectual, community or religious life of the state of Texas and the nation.”


Southwestern received a total of $13,270 in grant money from the fund this year. Each faculty member will receive between $1,500 and $2,000. The recipients plan to use their funds for projects ranging from cancer research to private lessons with some of the country’s leading musicians.

The recipients and their projects are as follows:

• Romi Burks, assistant professor of biology, will use her funds to conduct research on egg production in applesnails, an exotic, invasive aquatic snail that is causing problems in several bodies of water in the Houston area. Female applesnails can produce 500 to 3,000 eggs at a time, so they can multiply rapidly. Burks wants to learn more about when female snails start producing eggs and whether egg production increases as the snails get older/bigger.

• Daniel Castro, professor of history, will use his funds for a comparative study of two revolutionary groups – the Shining Path of Peru and the Tupamaros of Uruguay. He plans to publish a book on the Tupamaros in late 2008 or early 2009.

• Maria Cuevas, assistant professor of biology, will use her funds to conduct research on the effects of 4-hydroxy tamoxifen on endometrial cancer cells.

• Lisa Moses Leff, associate professor of history, will use her funds to conduct a research project titled “Who Owns Jewish History? Archives in Transit After World War II.” The project focuses on how and why so many archival documents relating to the French Jewish past ended up in the United States and Israel.

• Maria Lowe, associate professor of sociology, will use her award to continue research on her book project, “Civil Rights, Agitation, and Freedom in the Ivory Tower: The Distinctive Roles of Tougaloo College and Millsaps College in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965.”

• Tim O’Neill, professor of political science, will use his funds for a comparative study of anti-terrorism legislation and strategies in the United States and England.

• Eileen Meyer Russell, associate professor of music, will use her funds to take private lessons with teachers who will help her refine her skills as a performing musician and music educator. She has already set up her first lesson with Joseph Alessi, principal trombone player with the New York Philharmonic and professor of trombone at The Juilliard School of Music.