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Committees Award more than $100,000 to 12 Faculty for Research, Creative Work

ATHENS, Ohio (April 26, 2007) — Two Ohio University committees have awarded more than $119,000 in research grants to 12 faculty members. The grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, will fund projects that include an investigation of the effects of gravitational forces on plant growth and a study of the role of clinicians in mental health courts.

Of the 28 proposals received, the Ohio University Research Committee awarded 10 grants. Two post-doctoral fellowship positions also were awarded.

"I am very honored to receive the OURC award and am especially grateful to the grant committee members who took the time to review the many applications. The grant will enable me to spend this summer in film and government archives in Germany, analyzing the official children's films produced by the state-run film association," said Benita Blessing, assistant professor of history.  She is using the grant to begin work on her second book, Children in East German Films: Sex, Gender and Education on the Big Screen.

Emily Balcetis, assistant professor of psychology, will use the funding to explore the mechanisms that intensify emotional reactivity in marital and long-term relationships. "By better understanding the dynamic nature of emotions and visual experiences, we hope to offer a partial explanation for why conflicts arise in relationships, and offer possible solutions to extreme emotional reactivity and relationship conflict."
 
For Elizabeth Sayrs, assistant professor of music theory, the funding provides an "opportunity to pursue research that has the potential to link music theory and cognitive science in really interesting ways that wouldn't be possible without research support from the university."

Two one-year post-doctoral fellowship positions also were awarded by the Ohio University Post-Doctoral Fellowship Committee. Sarah Wyatt, associate professor of environmental and plant biology, and Nancy Sandler, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, received $25,000 in funding.

"The post-doctoral fellowship program’s aim is to further research and scholarship conducted at Ohio University and to develop the next generation of scholars," said Roxanne Malé-Brune, director of grant writing and projects at Ohio University and manager of the award programs. "The pool of applicants for the OURC grants and post-doctoral fellowships was very strong this year, and the projects that received approval came from a number of departments. Both committees were very impressed by the breadth of the proposals."

Since 1995, the OURC, which consists of 14 members, has awarded $1,076,249 in Vice President for Research funds as seed money for new projects. The five-member post-doctoral fellowship committee has awarded $500,787 since 1997.

2007 recipients of OURC awards:

Emily Balcetis, assistant professor of psychology, received $6,499 to examine emotional reactivity in marital conflict.

Ursula Castellano, assistant professor of sociology, received $7,593 to study the role of clinicians in mental health courts.

Keith Milam, assistant professor of planetary geology, received $8,000 to study terrestrial impacts on early Earth.

Andrea Clem, assistant professor of family medicine in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, received $8,000 to examine hormone therapy on perimenopausal women.

Nancy Tatarek, assistant professor of anthropology, received $6,000 to study the health of 19th and 20th century working poor, women and African-Americans.

Elizabeth Wangui, assistant professor of geography, received $7,997 to study livelihood changes among grandparent-headed households after AIDS-related deaths in Kenya.

Mariana Dantas, assistant professor of history, received $5,000 to study the life of a wealthy mulato man who lived in Brazil in the late 1700s. The project aims to expand the understanding of the role family, property and race played in shaping the social structure and development of that society.

Elizabeth Sayrs, assistant professor of music theory, received $5,346 to study frame-shifting in music.

Benita Blessing, assistant professor of history, received $7,500 to study gender and antifascist education in film.

Michele Clouse, assistant professor of history, received $7,300 to study medical regulation and government in 16th century Spain.

2007 Post-Doctoral Fellowship awards:

Sarah Wyatt, associate professor of environmental and plant biology, received funding to study factors that govern a plant’s response to gravitational forces.

Nancy Sandler, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, received funding to study graphene, the pure two-dimensional form of crystalline carbon, as a material for future electronics.

Media Contact: Andrea Gibson, 740-597-2166 or gibsona@ohio.edu

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