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News Release

September 9, 2011

Ohio University’s Baker Fund awards more than $41,000 to four faculty projects 

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 9, 2011) – Ohio University announced the recipients of the 2011 Baker Fund Awards.  

The 2011 funding cycle yielded awards for projects ranging from the production of a ten-minute video, titled "Dinner Music," to research on the role that zinc plays in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In total, the Office of the Vice President for Research approved the funding of four ongoing faculty research projects totaling $41,512. 

This year’s recipients are Geoffrey Buckley, associate professor, geography; Robert Colvin, professor, biological sciences; Melissa Haviland, associate professor, art; and Daniel Hembree, assistant professor, geology. 

Buckley earned a Baker Award to complete a study that examines the rise and fall of asphalt as a popular paving material for playgrounds and schoolyards. Specifically, Buckley is seeking to determine how communities in Baltimore were able to reverse the trend of using of asphalt as a recreational surface. 

Colvin’s Baker Award will fund the completion of ongoing research on the way that zinc behaves in the nervous system. According to Colvin, increased zinc levels in the brain can trigger a mechanism that causes neuron death during a stroke. The Baker Award will allow Colvin to conduct several critical experiments over the next year.  

For Haviland, the Baker Award supported the production of a ten-minute video and sound composition, titled "Dinner Music." The video, which focuses on the sights, sounds, and cultural implications of a full set of china breaking, will be exhibited at national and international galleries and festivals. 

Hembree is using his Baker Award to complete the first investigation of a modern Nautilus deposit from a cave environment and to continue the study of shallow water deposits of cephalopods in the South Pacific. Hembree’s research project will investigate what happens to externally-shelled cephalopods after their death in an attempt to better understand existing fossil cephalopod collections from around the world and their environmental significance.  

The Baker Fund Awards support the research, scholarship and creative activity of regular tenured and tenure-track faculty members, as well as administrative staff.  Since 2001, the Baker Fund has awarded more than $688,000 to 73 proposals. 

Endowed  in 1961 by a gift of more than $612,000 from 1926 College of Arts and Sciences graduate Edwin L. Kennedy  and his wife, Ruth, a 1930 graduate of the College of Education, The John C. Baker Fund was established to support faculty improvement and research efforts.

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