Press Release

OWU Connection Grants

November 20, 2019 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan Awards 10 New Grants to Support Academic, Research, and Internship Experiences

DELAWARE, OHIO – Coastal erosion in Puerto Rico. Pan-Africanist ideology in Ghana. The Apostle Paul’s influence in Greece and Italy.

Ohio Wesleyan University students will research these topics and others using nearly $67,000 in newly awarded Theory-to-Practice Grants, part of The OWU Connection program. Overall, the 10 university-funded grants will enable nearly 50 students and eight employees to complete academic, research, and internship experiences on campus and in Argentina, Canada, Greece, Italy, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, West Africa, and the State of Virginia.

Bridget Roddy ’20

Bridget Roddy ’20 of Mount Vernon, Ohio, recently earned OWU Connection funds to enable her to spend a month in Romania this summer helping to excavate the Roman fort of Halmyris.

“From being able to identify context layers, to recognizing metal and bronze artifacts among the soil, I felt that I was putting my classroom lectures to work out in the field,” said Roddy, a sociology/anthropology and psychology double-major and international studies minor. “Three years ago, when I came to OWU, never in a million years did I think I was going to be able to travel to Romania to do archaeological field work.

“By having had the chance to further explore field archaeology, I feel better prepared for leaving OWU to take the next step in my journey,” the senior said. “Although archaeology is a wide field with many avenues to choose from career-wise, I like the idea of working in a museum or with artifacts, something I came to enjoy after we unearthed small, special finds. Wherever I end up, I know that my Connection experience has helped me immensely in so many ways!”

Ohio Wesleyan will award three rounds of Theory-to-Practice Grants this academic year – one round during fall semester and two in the spring. Here are the new fall recipients of these OWU Connection grants and their projects:

  • “Translations for Palazzo Arti Fumetto Friuli,” submitted by Stefania Bertolini-Puckett, modern foreign languages faculty, in collaboration with student Kaitie Welch of Columbus, Ohio. They will travel to Italy for nine days in January to participate in an Italian-to-English translation project for a new comics museum in Pordenone. They will work with renowned comics artist Giulio DeVita, art director of the museum, to create an English version of the museum’s website.
  • “The Canadian Cannabis Act and Commercial Impacts,” submitted by Justin Breidenbach, M.Acc, associate professor of accounting, in collaboration with students Jack Funderburg of Westerville, Ohio; Molly Jewett of Eagle, Colorado; and Jay Welch of Hendersonville, Tennessee. The group will travel to Canada for nearly two weeks in May to examine key aspects of the accounting and commercial regulatory environment surrounding the Canadian legalized cannabis industry.
  • “The Cost of Conflict & The Price of Peace: The Economic and Social Impacts of the Sectarian Conflict in Northern Ireland,” submitted by student Abby Carlson of Huntsburg, Ohio, in collaboration with students Hanna Cao of Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China; Gracie Clevenger of Canal Winchester, Ohio; Alana Guzman of El Paso, Texas; and Maggie Myers of Coshocton, Ohio, and in collaboration with advisers Robert Gitter, Ph.D., professor of economics, and Lisa Ho, assistant director of International and Off-Campus Programs. The group will travel to Northern Ireland for 10 days in May to explore the economic and social impacts of sectarian conflict from the latter half of the 20th century to the present.
  • “Argentina’s Culture of Remembrance,” submitted by Andrea Colvin, Ph.D., associate professor of modern foreign languages, in collaboration with students Sam Merino of Los Angeles, California, and Austin Strayer of Willard, Ohio. The group will travel to Buenos Aires for 10 days in December to explore issues from Colvin’s fall Spanish 300.11 class, “Remembering the Dirty Wars in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.” They will focus on how Argentina has dealt with its past and how its history continues to affect its culture, current political climate, and economy.
  • “Coastal Erosion and Degradation in Puerto Rico,” submitted by Tommy Jacobson of Duxbury, Massachusetts. He will travel to Puerto Rico for nearly two weeks in January to study the causes and effects of coastal erosion and degradation along the Caribbean Island.
  • “Tim Miller Short Residency and Performance at OWU,” submitted by Ed Kahn, Ph.D., professor of theatre & dance. An internationally acclaimed performance artist, Miller will visit Ohio Wesleyan for one week in January during which time he will host student workshops and perform for the campus community. Miller's creative work as a performer and writer “explores the artistic, spiritual, and political topography of his identity as a gay man.”
  • “Hamlet’s Soliloquies in the Blackfriars Playhouse,” submitted by Zack Long, Ph.D., associate professor of English. Long will spend the summer investigating Hamlet’s soliloquies in the Blackfriars Playhouse at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, and at the Blackfriars Archives at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
  • “Outreach and Shadow Puppets: Re-writing Early Modern Texts for Younger Audiences,” submitted by Glenda Nieto-Cuebas, Ph.D., associate professor of modern foreign languages. Students in Nieto-Cuebas’s Spanish 499 class, “Women and Power in Early Modern Spain,” will adapt and produce a 17th Century three-act play as a 15-minute shadow puppet show. The students also will participate in a Spanish-language workshop with Dragoncillo Puppet Troupe, a professional puppet company.
  • “From The Door of No Return to Repatriation: The Influence of Pan-Africanist Ideology and Philosophy as Seen in Ghana,” submitted by student Paris Norman of Cleveland, Ohio, in collaboration with students Keionna Badie of North Chicago, Illinois, and Tiffany Moore of Cleveland. They will travel to Accra, Ghana, for nine days in March to visit museums, memorial sites, and organizations to gather information about the influence of Pan-Africanism, a worldwide movement that seeks to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all indigenous and Diasporic ethnic groups of African descent.
  • “The Apostle Paul’s Influence in the Mediterranean Region Based on Historical and Geographical Context,” submitted by student Alexis Thomas of Cincinnati, Ohio. Thomas will travel to Italy and Greece for nine days in March to study a portion of the Apostle Paul’s journeys and learn more about the influence he held and continues to hold in this region.

After the students complete their OWU Connection experiences, they will prepare reports and presentations based on their objectives and experiences, with many presenting at the annual Student Symposium in the spring.

The OWU Connection, the university’s signature program, is designed to help students think big (understand issues from multiple academic disciplines), go global (gain international perspective), and get real (translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience). The OWU Connection includes Theory-to-Practice Grants, Travel-Learning Courses, mentored research, internships, and more. Learn more about The OWU Connection at www.owu.edu/owuconnection.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.