• Melissa Johnson, one of eleven faculty members receiving funding for faculty-student research projects
    Melissa Johnson, one of eleven faculty members receiving funding for faculty-student research projects

Southwestern has awarded $139,000 to fund 11 faculty-student research projects in the coming year. The projects will enable nearly 30 Southwestern students to conduct research with faculty members, particularly during the summer.

  • Laura Senio-Blair, assistant professor of Spanish, received $1,932 to study how Hispanic film can provide linguistic, cultural and professional opportunities for liberal arts students.
  • Romi Burks, assistant professor of biology, received $15,680 to continue her research on an exotic applesnail named Pomacea insularum
  • The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry received $75,330 that will enable all of its faculty members to work with student researchers over the summer. Fourteen students will be funded through this grant.
  • Sergio Costola, assistant professor of theatre, and Rick Roemer, professor of theatre, received $20,400 to create a play for Bulgarian and American youth. The play is about Eshu, a diety from African mythology. It will be performed in Bulgaria this summer and then will be performed at Southwestern in fall 2010 as part of the Theatre Department’s Theatre for Young Audiences program.
  • Fumiko Futamura, assistant professor of mathematics, received $7,590 for a project to try and solve some problems with various Banach spaces, which involve understanding the shape and structure of sets of values arising from certain kinds of rearrangements. The work may have future applications in signal processing, which drives all our digital technology.
  • Melissa Johnson, associate professor of anthropology, received $4,743 for a study of different cultures that have intertwined along the San Gabriel River.
  • Steven Marble, associate professor of education, received $4,345 for a study of Hispanic perspectives on Texas history.
  • Alison Marr, assistant professor of mathematics, received $7,190 to study some new labelings on directed graphs. These problems could have applications to areas of communication networking and intelligence. 
  • Jesse Purdy, professor of psychology, received a $4,900 grant to test the possibility that learning plays a role in the acquisition and performance of anti-predatory behavior in an endangered fish called the Oxylan Pygmy Perch, which is found in coastal fresh waters of eastern Australia. The funds will help him spend four months in Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia, working in an aquatic animal behavior and cognition lab associated with the Pet Porpoise Pool marine park and the University of Southern Cross.
  • Eileen Russell, associate professor of music, received $2,900 for a project to recruit and retain euphonium and tuba players in junior high and high school music programs. 
  • Elizabeth Stockton, assistant professor of English, received $7,930 for a book project on the letters of Elizabeth Stoddard.


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