Feature Story

Ohio Wesleyan Awards Fall 2013 Theory-to-Practice Grants

January 2, 2014 – by Cole Hatcher

Julie Stark ’15 and friend at the Harnas Wildlife Foundation animal sanctuary. (Photo courtesy of Julie Stark ’15)

Ohio Wesleyan University is awarding $95,000 in competitive Theory-to-Practice Grants for the Fall 2013 grant cycle, which since 2009 has supported more than 500 members of the campus community in conducting research in 12 world regions, 54 countries (including the United States), and 21 U.S. states (including Ohio).

“Ohio Wesleyan’s Theory-to-Practice Grant program is one of our most popular and innovative programs,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “It helps students to link classroom theory with transformational real-world experiences across the globe. When combined with our groundbreaking, faculty-created OWU Connection curricular initiative, Ohio Wesleyan is redefining the 21st century liberal arts education. The energy surrounding these initiatives is palpable.”

Ohio Wesleyan awards two rounds of Theory-to-Practice Grants funding each academic year. To date, more than $985,000 in funding has been approved to support nearly 150 proposals. Here are the latest Theory-to-Practice Grant recipients and their projects:

Aging Experience of Older Adults in Myanmar,” submitted by junior Thin Nu Yee of Sanchaung, Myanmar. From June 1 to Aug. 1, Yee will assess the attitudes of young adults toward older adults and how the experience of aging is evolving within Myanmar culture. “Artists and Immigrants: Exploring Berlin’s International Art Scene,” submitted by seniors Megan Pinto and Jaclyn Amanna, both of Raleigh, N.C. From Jan. 2 to Jan 10, they will visit Germany to study the impact of immigrant artists on Berlin’s flourishing, international arts scene. “The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Across the Academic Spectrum,” submitted by physical education professor Richard Hawes Jr., M.S. From March 7 to March 16, Hawes and a group of students will obtain hands-on experience with the AIS departments of sports science, nutrition, performance psychology, and performance recovery. Students will include senior Kaitlyn Eckert of Sandusky, Ohio; senior Jennifer Erichsen of Farmington Hills, Mich.; senior Marissa Esber of Akron, Ohio; junior Ryan Stefancik of Richmond Heights, Ohio; and junior Robert Lindberg of San Antonio, Texas. “Creole Cultures in the French West Indies / National Identity and Cultural Production in Martinique and Guadeloupe,” submitted by seniors Maya Buening of McArthur, Ohio, and Emily Knapp of Naperville, Ill. From March 5 to March 17, they will study the effects of French colonialism on national identity and cultural production in Martinique and Guadeloupe. “Do Pinworms Eat Bacteria? Investigating the Diet of Nematode Parasites from Cockroaches,” submitted by senior Kristie Goughenour of Chesapeake, Va. Goughenour will work through February on a research project to determine the food source of pinworms. “The Effects of PYY3-36,” submitted by senior Mohammed AL-Issa of Dublin, Ohio. Between January and May, AL-Issa will examine the weight loss and appetite suppression effects of Peptide YY3-36 (PYY3-36) in cases with and without ventromedial hypothalamic (VMH) lesions. “Hawaii: Exploring Literature, Language, and Culture of the Pacific Islands,” submitted by associate professor of English Karen Poremski, Ph.D., with senior Colleen Bodee of Flossmoor, Ill., and junior Taylor Johnson of Plain City, Ohio. From June 14 to July 6, the group will study cultural, historical, and linguistic features of the Pacific Islands. “Investigating Environmental Conservation through Ecological Research and Cultural Exploration in Australia,” submitted by seniors Laura Robison of Irvine, Calif., and Marissa Witkovsky of Roaring Spring, Pa. From May 15 to June 6, they will examine how Australia balances human interests with conservation. “The Role of Indigenous Healing Systems in Haiti,” submitted by sophomore Valentina Marginean of Youngstown, Ohio, with sociology/anthropology professor Mary Howard, Ph.D. From May 18 to May 25, they will investigate adaptations found within Haitian health-care that resulted from structural violence. “Sustainable Train-the-Trainer Program,” submitted by junior Alexa Katrinchak of Elyria, Ohio. Through January 2015, Katrinchak will attend health- and fitness-related conferences in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia to gain certifications to lead, serve, and manage the trainer program. “When Species Collide: The Effects of Habitat and Ecological Competitors on White-Breasted and Eurasian Nuthatch Foraging Strategies,” submitted by junior Emily Johnson of Charlotte, N.C. Between February and March, Johnson will research the effects of congenerics and ecological competitors on the birds’ selection of foraging habitat, tree rugosity, and maturity while in Germany. “Writers and World Citizens: The Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon,” submitted by English professor David Caplan, Ph.D. From July 1 to July 14, Caplan and several students will attend the two-week festival in Lisbon, Portugal. Students will include sophomore Julia Stone of Oxford, Ohio; junior Katie Purdy of Cincinnati, Ohio; and senior Oore Ladipo of Abuja, Nigeria.

The Theory-to-Practice Grant Program is funded through the generous support of the President’s Circle, a group of donors who have made special gifts to fund initiatives related to Ohio Wesleyan’s Strategic Plan and The OWU Connection curricular initiative. Learn more about the grant program at https://www.owu.edu/academics/the-owu-connection/theory-to-practice-grants/, more about the curricular initiative at https://www.owu.edu/academics/the-owu-connection/, and more about supporting Ohio Wesleyan initiatives at https://www.owu.edu/alumni-and-friends/give-to-owu/make-a-gift/.