Duke Graduate Students Receive Grants to Expand Training beyond Core Disciplines

GSTEG

Eighteen Duke University students—16 from The Graduate School, one from the School of Nursing and one from the Divinity School—received Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants (GSTEG) for 2017-2018 from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Stretching beyond their core disciplinary training, these doctoral and master’s students will spend up to one semester acquiring skills, knowledge or experiences that will enhance the approach to their original research.

Hands-on Training

Sarah (Sally) Bornbusch, Ph.D. in Evolutionary Anthropology, Arts & Sciences

Sally BornbuschFaculty mentor: Christine Drea

Work at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Genomics & Microbiology Research Lab to learn how to assess antibiotic resistance in bacterial microbiomes of nonhuman primates, to inform dissertation on relationship between primate gut microbiomes and host health (see update)

Amelia Meier, Ph.D. in Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment

Amelia MeierFaculty mentor:  John Poulsen

Train at Institute for Research in Tropical Ecology in Gabon to learn genetic analysis methods necessary to identify individual forest elephants, which will inform dissertation on elephant tracking in Gabon (see update)

Seth Sykora-Bodie, Ph.D. in Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment

Seth Sykora BodieFaculty mentors: Lisa Campbell and Andrew Read

Participate in Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey to inform dissertation on comprehensive approaches to Antarctic resource management and conservation (see update)

Kate Thomas, Ph.D. in Biology, Arts & Sciences

Katie ThomasFaculty mentor: Sönke Johnsen

Conduct coding-intensive research at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, drawing on its database of millions of deep-sea animal sightings, to inform research on vision and bioluminescence in deep-sea cephalopods (see update)

Anna Wade, Ph.D. in Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment

Anna WadeFaculty mentor: Daniel Richter

Train at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in use of silicon-32, a radioisotope serving as a novel dating tool for environmental processes, which will support dissertation research on legacy sediment (see update)

Jillian Wisse, Ph.D. in Ecology, Arts & Sciences

Jillian Wisse

Faculty mentor: Douglas Nowacek

Learn a novel analysis technique (liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry) at National Institute of Standards and Technology, to support a preliminary analysis using remote blubber biopsy samples from pilot whales (see update)

Internships

Emily Cherenack, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Arts & Sciences

Emily CherenackFaculty mentor: Kathleen Sikkema

Volunteer with Femme International to implement reproductive health intervention for adolescent girls in Tanzania, and receive training from Dr. Adam Carrico at University of Miami on how to use biological measures in research with women, which will further ability to conduct research on reproductive and sexual health among adolescent girls in Tanzania (see update)

Mercy DeMenno, Ph.D. in Public Policy, Sanford School of Public Policy

Mercy DeMennoFaculty mentor: Frederick Mayer

Gain hands-on experience working with policymakers and civil society organizations on research related to the theory and practice of effective regulatory governance in the financial sector (see update)

William Gerhard, Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering

Billy GerhardFaculty mentor: Claudia Gunsch

Intern with Danish Hydraulic Institute in Singapore to incorporate antibiotic resistance genes and pathogens into a global ballast water movement model, which will support dissertation research and potentially inform policy and regulatory decisions under debate by the United Nations (see update)

Courses

Dustin Benac, Doctor of Theology, Divinity School

Dustin BenacFaculty mentor: Craig Dykstra

Attend Qualitative Research Methods Intensive Seminar at University of North Carolina’s Odum Institute for training in qualitative data collection and interpretation, to be applied to a pilot study examining patterns of connection among five church-related educational institutions in Pacific Northwest (see update)

Lok Chan, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Arts & Sciences

Lok ChanFaculty mentor: Kevin Hoover

Take part in Udacity Machine Learning Program to develop skills needed to produce a web-based application for logic education and, through practice, a deeper understanding of philosophical differences between Bayesian and Frequentist statistical methods, which will inform dissertation on learning and testing through lenses of philosophy and statistics (see update)

William Cioffi, Ph.D. in Ecology, Arts & Sciences

William CioffiFaculty mentor: Andrew Read

Attend course at University of Utah on stable isotope biogeochemistry and ecology, which will support dissertation proposal to use baleen from fin whales to reconstruct individual life histories and assess changes in foraging ecology, reproduction and stress (see update)

Sophie Galson, M.S. in Global Health, Duke Global Health Institute

Sophie Galson Faculty mentor: Catherine Staton

Take part in residential immersive Swahili course at The Training Centre for Development Cooperation in Eastern and Southern Africa in Tanzania, to support research project on hypertension in emergency department of Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (see update)

Allison Lewinski, Ph.D. in Nursing, School of Nursing

Allison LewinskiFaculty mentor: Allison Vorderstrasse

Attend course at University College London on applying principles of behavior change in behavioral research interventions, which will help in characterizing social interaction and support among individuals with type-2 diabetes who are interacting in a computer-mediated environment (see update)

Stephanie Manning, M.A. in Digital Art History, Arts & Sciences

Faculty mentor: Sheila Dillon

Attend course at Sotheby’s Art Institute on finance and art market to deepen understanding of art market industry, including financial aspects behind valuing and appraising art, to prepare for career as specialized art consultant or investment analyst (see update)

Bria Moore, Ph.D. in Medical Physics, School of Medicine

Bria MooreFaculty mentor: Terry Yoshizumi

Attend course on radiation emergency medicine at Oak Ridge Associated Universities to learn practical aspects of handling contaminated patients in a hospital setting, which will improve ability to communicate effectively with medical professionals in emergency situations (see update)

Ryan Peabody, Ph.D. in Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment

Ryan PeabodyFaculty mentor: Susan Lozier

Take course at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences on modern observational oceanography with a focus on carbon and nutrient sampling, to support research employing oceanographic data, satellite remote sensing data and models to examine linkage of large-scale ocean circulation and ocean productivity (see update)

Research Materials

Kirsten Overdahl, Ph.D. in Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health, Nicholas School of the Environment

Kirsten OverdahlFaculty mentor: P. Lee Ferguson

Purchase software licenses for cheminformatic programs Schrodinger and Py Mol, which are required for a UNC course on research in pharmaceutical sciences, which will inform dissertation on chemical pollutant structure/occurrence and biological effects (see update)

About GSTEG

This internal funding mechanism from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies encourages graduate students to step away from their core research and training to acquire additional skills, knowledge or co-curricular experiences that will give them new perspectives on their research agendas. These Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants are intended to deepen preparation for academic positions and other career trajectories.

A January 2017 RFP invited all current Duke graduate students (including master’s, professional and Ph.D. students) to propose graduate training enhancement activities lasting up to one semester. Proposals were reviewed by an ad hoc committee convened by the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies with representation from faculty, institute directors and graduate students, representing all divisions of knowledge.

The first cohort of GSTEG recipients (2016-2017) included Selcan Aydin (Biology), Nathan Bullock (Art, Art History and Visual Studies), Christopher Catanese (English), Jung E. Choi (Art, Art History and Visual Studies), Adela Deanova (Philosophy), Zoie Diana (Environmental Management), Daanish Faruqi (History), Brenna R. Forester (Environment), Joelle Hathaway (Theology), Alisha Hines (History, African and African American Studies), Zhiqin Huang (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Travis Knoll (History), Stephanie Gehring Ladd (Religion), Fateme Yousefi Lalimi (Environmental Science), Tess Leuthner (Environment), Mark River (Environment), Danica Schaffer-Smith (Environment), Elizabeth (Schrack) Shaver (Marine Science and Conservation) and Banafsheh Sharif-Askary (Medicine). Learn about some of their experiences:

Th.D. Candidate Gains New Skills to Understand Christian Engagement with Architecture

Joelle A. Hathaway, Doctor of Theology candidate at Duke’s Divinity School, received a grant to take a photography course at Durham Tech and conduct fieldwork in England. Her aim was to compile a portfolio of high-resolution images of religious art and architecture and conduct interviews about contemporary art in Anglican cathedrals, which will inform her dissertation about Christian practices of engagement with architecture and built environments.

Hathaway was among 19 graduate students from five schools at Duke who received Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants last spring for training beyond their core disciplines. Her faculty mentor was Jeremy Begbie. She shared this update.

I took my trip to visit Anglican cathedrals with modern art in October. It was immensely helpful; in addition to photo-documenting the cathedrals’ art and architecture, I was able to conduct interviews at four of the cathedrals: Chichester, Winchester, Salisbury and Canterbury. These interviews were with cathedral canons, visual arts advisors and curators, and a theologian in residence who focuses on art in cathedrals. Many of these persons gave me personalized tours of the cathedrals’ art acquisitions, and I was able to ask questions regarding the involvement and reactions of the cathedral congregation, tourists and local communities in response to these acquisitions.

I presented a paper last month at the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR) based on the interviews and research I did at Salisbury Cathedral. I have two other paper proposals submitted for other academic conferences, also on cathedrals from my trip. I feel like I could spend the next decade researching and unraveling the different threads I uncovered through this experience! I also have a much better sense of my weaknesses—this trip improved my photography skills but I have since learned that I also need to develop new skills in photo editing, which is necessary to correct distortions due to the extreme angles from which one photographs architecture.

This opportunity has strengthened my research and provided new avenues for further exploration.

This internal funding mechanism from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies encourages graduate students to step away from their core research and training to acquire additional skills, knowledge or co-curricular experiences that will give them new perspectives on their research agendas. Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants are intended to deepen preparation for academic positions and other career trajectories.

Kenan Institute for Ethics Receives Luce Foundation Grant for Four-Year Project

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The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics a four-year grant of $550,000 to support a multidisciplinary exploration of humanity’s place in an Anthropocene world. The project will be led by Norman Wirzba, professor of theology, ecology and agrarian studies at Duke Divinity School and a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute, and Jedediah Purdy, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law at Duke Law School.

The “Rethinking Humanity’s Place in an Anthropocene World” project will seek to transform and redirect academic disciplines so they can better prepare communities to meet the health, sustainability and justice challenges of the Anthropocene, the current geological age in which human activity has been the dominant influence on Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Questions of theology and law are intended to provide a dual, orienting focus while drawing in perspectives from a wide range of other disciplines.

“The theological perspective is intended to give the project a lens through which we can assess questions of meaning, value, and purpose in our institutions and policies,” said Wirzba. “Ultimately, our goal is to rethink the work we’re doing in academic disciplines so that we’re not simply recapitulating the modes of thought that have created the crises we now face.”

The project will include an intensive multidisciplinary working group in which scholars will engage the topic through conversation, monographs and essays; a university-wide graduate seminar taught by Wirzba and Purdy on the project’s themes; public lectures and panel discussions; and research projects for graduate students.

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., and seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious, and art communities.

Originally posted on the Duke Divinity School website

New Grants Support Graduate Students to Pursue Training Outside Their Disciplines

gsteg-grid

Nineteen graduate students from five schools at Duke have received grants to enhance or expand their training beyond their core disciplines.

This new internal funding mechanism from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies encourages graduate students to step away from their core research and training to acquire additional skills, knowledge or co-curricular experiences that will give them new perspectives on their research agendas. These Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants are intended to deepen preparation for academic positions and other career trajectories.

Here are this year’s grant recipients:

Selcan Aydin, Ph.D. in Biology, Arts & Sciences

Attend the Quantitative Biology Summer School’s Computational Synthetic Biology Track at the University of California, San Diego, to obtain the skills needed for the modeling and data analysis challenges of research on the effects of genetic variation on signaling dynamics

Faculty mentor: Nicolas Buchler

Nathan Bullock, Ph.D. in Art, Art History and Visual Studies, Arts & Sciences

Spend a semester at the Yale School of Architecture to gain the practical and technical know-how of a professional program, work with practicing architects in their studios and inform application of architectural theory to dissertation research on contemporary Singapore

Faculty mentor: Annabel Wharton

Christopher Catanese, Ph.D. in English, Arts & Sciences

Intern at the North Carolina Museum of Art to contribute to the exhibition “History and Mystery: British Old Masters, 1550-1850,” which will provide experience within two departments of a major public arts organization and inform research on 18th– and early 19th-century British poetry

Faculty mentor: Robert Mitchell

Jung E. Choi, Ph.D. in Art, Art History and Visual Studies, Arts & Sciences

Develop a local art festival, “Like Project 2016,” at SlowSlowQuickQuick alternative space in Seoul, South Korea, that will nurture community self-help in deprived urban neighborhoods and inform dissertation on the intersection of art, technology and space

Faculty mentor: Mark Hansen

Adela Deanova, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Arts & Sciences

Complete online courses in data analysis and digital marketing to contribute to Google Analytics data analysis and design of social media and user experience strategy for Project Vox, a digital initiative that recovers the lost voices of women philosophers in the early modern era, and to inform dissertation on Robert Boyle, John Locke and their women philosopher critics

Faculty mentor: Andrew Janiak

Zoie Diana, Master of Environmental Management, Nicholas School of the Environment

Probe for chitin in decorator worm (Diopatra cuprea) tube and underwater adhesive at the Okeanos Research Laboratory at Clemson University, to further understanding of conserved molecular mechanisms in invertebrate bioadhesive and structure and inform thesis on “Learning to Glue Underwater: Inspiration from the Decorator Worm”

Faculty mentor: Dan Rittschof

Daanish Faruqi, Ph.D. in History, Arts & Sciences

Do volunteer work with the Syrian refugee community in Amman, Jordan, through relief foundations operated by Syrian Sufi spiritual networks that are the basis of dissertation research, which will augment the dissertation’s purely discursive value through an experiential engagement with the human dimensions of the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis that are central to the research questions being posed, and that largely motivated selecting Syria as a research site

Faculty mentor: Engseng Ho

Brenna R. Forester, Ph.D. in Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment, Environmental Sciences and Policy Division, University Program in Ecology

Participate in Tutorial on Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics and Investigative Workshop in Next Generation Genetic Monitoring at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis in Knoxville, to inform dissertation research in the emerging field of landscape genomics

Faculty mentor: Dean Urban

Joelle Hathaway, Th.D., Divinity School

Take photography course at Durham Tech and conduct field work in England to compile a portfolio of high-resolution images of religious art and architecture and conduct interviews about contemporary art in Anglican cathedrals, which will inform dissertation about Christian practices of engagement with architecture and built environments

Faculty mentor: Jeremy Begbie

Alisha Hines, Ph.D. Candidate in History and African and African American Studies, Arts & Sciences

Attend History of Capitalism Summer Bootcamp at Cornell University to receive instruction in technical content areas such as statistics and accounting in addition to an introduction to economic theory, in order to apply quantitative methods and techniques to study of slavery and freedom in the middle Mississippi River Valley

Faculty mentor: Thavolia Glymph

Zhiqin Huang, Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering

Spend time at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to leverage cutting-edge facilities and other resources that will inform dissertation research on novel nanostructures to develop extremely low-energy and ultrafast plasmonic switches

Faculty mentor: David R. Smith

Travis Knoll, Ph.D. in History, Arts & Sciences

Intern at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia to focus on issues ranging from Brazil’s internal political scene to the key role Brazil’s foreign policy plays in the region and beyond, to inform research on the intersection of politics and religion, strengthen Duke’s ties to the Centro de Formação, Treinamento e Aperfeiçoamento and gain skills needed to explore a career in government

Faculty mentor: John French

Stephanie Gehring Ladd, Ph.D. in Religion, Arts & Sciences

Take printmaking course at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and spend time in a Durham printmaking studio to gain insight into the process of intaglio printmaking, which will enhance observational powers in writing about prints and inform dissertation on attention to suffering in the work of Simone Weil and Käthe Kollwitz

Faculty mentor: Paul J. Griffiths

Fateme Yousefi Lalimi, Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Nicholas School of the Environment, Earth and Ocean Sciences Division

Visit Dr. Andrea D’Alpaos’s lab at the University of Padova to inform work on modeling large-scale estuarine eco-geomorphodynamics and conduct field work in the Venice Lagoon, which will contribute to dissertation on coastal wetlands and their resilience to anthropogenic and environmental perturbations

Faculty mentor: Marco Marani

Tess Leuthner, Ph.D. in Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment, Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program

Participate in Environmental Genomics Training Workshop at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory to facilitate research and professional goals of understanding and applying skills in toxicogenomics as a tool for environmental protection and management

Faculty mentor: Rich Di Giulio

Mark River, Ph.D. in Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment, Environmental Sciences and Policy Division, University Program in Ecology

Obtain hands-on training on a state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope at NanoEarth, Virginia Tech, to inform research on nano-characterization work as part of dissertation on how phosphorus is transported by particles in stormwater

Faculty mentor: Curtis J. Richardson

Danica Schaffer-Smith, Ph.D. in Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment, Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Participate in Environmental Data Analytics Workshop offered by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Ecological Observatory Network to learn about using their resources in current and future research and build technical expertise relevant to dissertation on “Spatiotemporal Variability of Inland Waterbodies along the Pacific Flyway Using 30+ Years of Landsat”

Faculty mentor: Jennifer Swenson

Elizabeth Schrack, Ph.D. in Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment

Work closely with staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and The Nature Conservancy as well as coral reef managers and restoration workshops around the world to conduct a needs assessment to assess the research question, What information do coral reef managers need regarding coral restoration methods prior to starting restoration projects and in what forms will this information be most accessible and useful?, which will enrich research in coral reef ecology and provide training in social science methods

Faculty mentor: Brian Silliman

Banafsheh Sharif-Askary, M.D., School of Medicine

Facilitate expansion and evaluation of H.A.R.T. Program (Health, Advocacy and Readiness for Teens), which aims to equip teens with tools related to nutrition, fitness and healthcare navigation in order to facilitate a successful transition to a healthy adulthood, with community partners Healthy Lifestyles Clinic and Bull City Fit; will hone teaching skills and increase understanding of Durham community health needs

Faculty mentor: Sarah Armstrong

Proposals were reviewed by an ad hoc committee convened by the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies with representation from faculty, deans, institute directors and graduate students.

From left, first row: Nathan Bullock, Christopher Catanese, Jung Choi, Adela Deanova, Zoie Diana; second row: Daanish Faruqi, Brenna Forester, Zhiqin Huang, Travis Knoll, Stephanie Gehring Ladd; third row: Fateme Yousefi Lalimi, Mark River, Danica Schaffer-Smith, Elizabeth Schrack, Banafsheh Sharif-Askary. Not pictured: Selcan Aydin, Joelle Hathaway, Alisha Hines, Tess Leuthner