March 17, 2009
Seattle University’s investment in faculty research continues as Summer Faculty Fellowships have been awarded to 5 College of Arts and Sciences recipients. The fellows will receive money and time to advance their studies in a variety of disciplines.
For his part, Rob Efird, assistant professor of anthropology and Asian Studies, will conduct five weeks of field work in an ethnic minority area of China to examine how children there acquire knowledge about their environment. “If we can grasp how children in such societies come to comprehend and cherish their nonhuman neighbors,” says Efird, “we may find ways to address the fatal ignorance and neglect that characterize human-environmental relations in our own society.”
Support from the Summer Faculty Fellows program is essential to Efird’s research. “Quite simply, this fellowship is the decisive difference between field work or no field work, and subsequently, publications or no publications since publications in cultural anthropology are often premised on field work.”
The Summer Faculty Fellows program has been around for about two decades. This year’s fellows receive approximately $7,000, the salary equivalent of teaching one summer course. Recipients are also limited to teaching no more than one course during the quarter so they can focus on their research.
“The importance of the program for faculty is that they are able to set aside a block of time during the summer to accomplish their academic or creative work, hopefully, without having to worry about their finances,” says Jacquelyn Miller, associate provost for academic affairs, who oversees the program.
Another fellow, Katherine Raichle, will be looking more closely at how effective psychological treatment is for coping with chronic pain. The assistant professor of psychology says that existing research in psychotherapy has indicated that the working relationships people have with their therapists may be as important as the therapeutic techniques themselves. Raichle will test that premise more rigorously by using data that she and others have collected. “I am especially grateful for the money,” she says, citing the tight financial conditions in higher education and beyond.
As Miller, the associate provost, sees it, the Summer Faculty Fellows program is money well spent. “When faculty are able to get their research and creative projects out into the public sphere,” she says, “Seattle University gains visibility and prestige while promoting new knowledge and ways of envisioning the world.
Theresa Earenfight, historyRob Efird, anthropologyKatherine Raichle, psychologySharon Suh, theology and religious studiesCharles Tung, English
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