The following is a list of the Theory-to-Practice Grants awarded in the 2012-2013 academic year.

Medieval Building Techniques
Submitted by assistant professor of history, Ellen Arnold. In April and May, Arnold will visit two sites in Germany and France, that are developing building projects using medieval construction methods—one a castle, and one a church. During her time in Europe, Arnold also will be doing preliminary work to determine the feasibility of future research for students.

Exploring the Literary Politics of Ireland
Submitted by assistant professor of English, Nancy Comorau. She and her students will spend spring of this year reading contemporary Irish literature, including fiction from the Republic of Ireland, drama from throughout the 32 counties, and poetry from the North. Their focus will be on how Ireland’s literature and politics interact. During the summer, they will travel to the capitals of Dublin and Belfast and to the village of Listowel for its writers’ festival. The group will visit with representatives from cultural advocacy groups, see museums, take tours, see theatre, and attend lectures by Irish writers.

Environmentalism and Hindu Philosophy
Submitted by student Alexander D’Amor-Braver. He and several students will visit sites in India where religion and environmentalism intersect and speak with the people living there. They will, during their three-week trip in July, explore how those philosophies are applied in everyday life. Learn more.

Effects of Voluntary Exercise on Neuroplasticity Following Traumatic Brain Injury
Submitted by student Clare Edwards. Her four-month research which began this month, is designed to assess the role of voluntary exercise in neural plasticity following a traumatic brain injury, observing the behavior of 32 rats, with regard to those having access to running wheels and those who do not.

Cuba: A Nation in Transition
Submitted by professor of economics, Bob Gitter. With several OWU professors representing a variety of academic disciplines, Gitter and the group are interested in studying more about today’s Cuba, in the aftermath of the resignation of that country’s long-time leader, Fidel Castro, and the fact that both he and his brother, Raul, are in their 80’s. What major transitions lie ahead for Cuba? This contingent of OWU faculty members will spend two weeks in Cuba this summer, focusing on this and other areas of interest.

Reading the Museum: Institutional Determinants of Cultural Identity in Liverpool
Submitted by student Matthew Hill. He wants to explore the role museums play in constructing cultural identity in Liverpool, England for one week in March. Hill will evaluate formal and historical elements of selected Liverpool museums and their exhibits, demonstrating how choices museums make reflect and generate certain assumptions about cultural identities.

Student Exhibition Experience
Submitted by OWU Ross Art Museum director Justin Kronewetter. The grant will provide funding for Kronewetter and his students to travel to the southwestern United States in May to study artwork created by Hispanic, Native American, and African American artists living in three celebrated art communities in New Mexico, in preparation for the student-organized multi-cultural exhibition on campus.

Conservation of Green Sea Turtles in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Submitted by student Jung Hyun Lee. Students will travel to Costa Rica for a week in August, to volunteer at the Sea Turtle Conservancy to help with conservation efforts for wild green sea turtles. The students will gain experience in marine biology and conservation as well as important field and research skills as they help with the preservation of this endangered species.

OWU Dance Student Participation at American College of Dance Festival
Submitted by assistant professor of theatre and dance, Marin Leggat. She and several dance-theatre majors will travel to Oakland University in Michigan, to attend the American College Dance Festival in February.

Why Do Finnish Students Finish First?
Submitted by student Kelly Maier. Two students will spend time in Finland in May, conducting Action Research featuring four factors believed to have created Finland’s academic success. Those factors include a positive view of special education, the idea that community is foundational in the classroom and school systems, the culture and government structure, and successful teacher training. Learn more.

Expatriation and Inspiration in Lisbon
Submitted by student Spencer McGlade. As several students travel to Lisbon to intern with prominent multi-cultural writers from around the world, students will develop further skills as critical thinkers and writers and find their personal writing identities. Learn more.

A Door into Time
Submitted by student Shelli Reeves. Through research including interviews in Savannah, New York, and Washington, D.C., during a four-month period, Reeves will study the history of the Black Girl Scouts throughout American History. She’ll access archives in each location, as well as artifacts and opinions. Reeves plans to eventually create a publication to make information accessible to the public.

Environment, Permaculture, and Sustainability in Ecuador
Submitted by student Ashley Taylor. Students will look into modern tropical agricultural practices this spring and summer, to develop alternative sustainable techniques to help the surrounding environment. As interns for the Third Millennium Alliance program in Ecuador, students hope to gain experience in real-world sustainability efforts and develop methods for food production and simple living—with knowledge that will further development of a more sustainable OWU. Learn more.

Memory for Spanish
Submitted by student Eric Tifft. His seven-month research involves how age affects cognitive deficit such as the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. Tifft is examining the availability/accessibility ratio as it relates to cognitive aging in a complex task involving Spanish reading comprehension.

Understanding Vietnam Through Volunteer Work and Cultural Immersion
Submitted by student Charlotte Zalenski. She secured an internship with East Meets West Foundation in fundraising, administration, and sanitation projects in the Ho Chi Minh City office, and will be living with a host family during her stay this summer. Zalenski hopes to develop a profound understanding of Vietnam and its people through communication and service work, and to build a healthier relationship between our cultures.

How to Jump: An Evaluation of the Limb Musculature of Saltorial Mammals
Submitted by student Britannia Wanstrath. Her project is focusing on determining gear ratios of mammals as they jump and the use of illustrative anatomy to draw the muscles and bones. She did her research in Australia in later December and early January.

Public Health Internship in Alabama
Submitted by student Nora Gumanow. She will conduct focus groups with adolescent girls, coding qualitative data. This will take place for several weeks in May and June, in the context of her current research designed to investigate risky behaviors—especially lack of birth control—among adolescents in Birmingham.

A Unique Model for Land Conservation and Preservation in Karukinka, Chile
Submitted by students Melissa Guziak, Gwen Kelling, and Samuel Sonnega. They will travel to Tierra Del Fuego, Chile for nine days in January 2014 with staff member William Hayes to visit the newly-founded Karukinka National Park. There they will interview officials with the Wildlife Conservation Society to learn about their model for land conservation and preservation.

Equine Veterinary Medicine: A Close-Up Experience with Horses
Submitted by student Mary Helfrich. She will gain hands-on experience with horses in the Ohio area in early July and August, becoming familiar with their behaviors in sickness and good health situations, also learning how to administer vaccines and diagnose and treat horses.

Transatlantic Food Practices: A Comparative Analysis between Barcelona Spain, and Columbus, Ohio
Submitted by students Sarah Jilbert and Hayden Barnes, with professor of geology-geography David Walker. They will conduct an analysis of food cultures and practices in Barcelona, Spain and Columbus (OH) in mid-May, and also will evaluate the health and environmental issues related to these practices. Learn more.

From Jane Rose to Savita Halappanaver: Examining Reproductive Rights Policy in the U.S. and Ireland
Submitted by students Kate Lewis-Larkin and Katalyn Kuivilla. For 10 days in June, they will do a comparative study of public policies and debates surrounding reproductive rights in Ireland and the U.S.

Tin House Workshop
Submitted by student Alyssa Long. For a week in mid-July, she will attend a creative writing workshop in Oregon, featuring intensive creative writing seminars, peer critiques, panels, and readings given by elite faculty and students in the program. The focus is on honing students’ manuscripts to make them more real, vivid, and publishable.

Mediterranean House Gecko Research and Herpetology Conference
Submitted by student Madeline Miguel. She will be part of a research team that will focus on the Mediterranean House Gecko to see if it can evolve adaptations based on physiological and morphological tests. Traveling to California and New Mexico in mid- June for a duration of two months, she will also attend a Herpetology Conference.

Pueblos and Landscapes of the American Southwest: Reframing the Views of 19th Century Photographers
Submitted by professor of fine arts, Jeff Nilan, rare books librarian, Bernard Derr, and several students. They will travel to New Mexico for a week in June, using the NGL Mellon grant archive created last spring (“Photographs of the American Southwest, 1870s to early 1900s) as a logistical framework. They will record changes occurring in the subjects and views more than a century later.

Christian Perspectives and Social Identity
Submitted by students Thomas Owings, Andrew Barnhardt, Haley Cook, and Joe Kirincic. They will travel to West Virginia, Alabama, and Illinois at the end of July, to study the mechanisms of religious narrative in domestic, low-Church Protestant denominations and their impact on social identity.

Ethnographic Research on Kosrae Island, Federated States of Micronesia
Submitted by professor of sociology-anthropology, Jim Peoples and students Haley Beffel, Erika Nininger, and Samuel Sonnega. They will travel to Micronesia at the end of July for two weeks to interview people about their use of communications media, their attitudes and plans for future emigration, their feelings about the recent presence of other Christian denominations on the island, and their food preferences and knowledge of farming and food processing practices. Learn more.

Understanding Social Business Models
Submitted by student Dung Pham. He traveled to Singapore in March to learn about how to scale up a business and transform it into a successful enterprise.

The Unending War: Exploring and Addressing the Relational Remnants of War between Vietnam and the U.S.
Submitted by student Hoa Pham and Chaplain Jon Powers. They will travel to Vietnam for two weeks in May to study the painful issue of Agent Orange and the gap in trust between our nations that was enlarged by the unjust verdict in 2005.

Harnas Wildlife
Submitted by student Julie Stark. She will volunteer at an animal sanctuary, Harnas, in Africa, for three weeks, beginning in early May. The sanctuary specializes in caring for wild animals that suffer from such diseases as AIDS, epilepsy, and other ailments.

Documenting African Christianity in Uganda
Submitted by professor of religion Emmanuel Twesigye and students Ryan Lenfest and Jennifer Sollmann. They will travel to Uganda for three weeks in mid-May to witness, experience, and document how religion, history, culture, politics, and ethics are celebrated as transformative positive forces in Africa.

Understanding the Indigenous People of the Mountainous Tamang Region of Nepal
Submitted by students Rachel Vinciguerra and Eleanor Feely. They will travel to Nepal for two weeks in late June to study how sustainable tourism practices have been implemented by the Holiday Mountain Treks and Expedition Company and how the first novel published in English in Nepal has been received by Kathmandu and the mountain cultures (Tamang). Learn more.

Carrying Words Across Borders
Submitted by student Caroline Williams. She will attend workshops in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction as well as literary walks and other excursions and readings with Portuguese and North American writers as she travels to Portugal in late June for two weeks.

Examining the Relationship between Environmental Policy, Geology, and Sustainability in Ipoh, Malaysia
Submitted by student Elaine Young. She will spend three weeks in December and January 2014 in Malaysia, investigating the interactions between global environmental policy implementation, sustainability, resource management, and geology.



Theory-to-Practice Grant Program
OWU Connection Programs
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