Brad Kasberg '12
Geography and anthropology major, Kasberg will use the prize to conduct an analysis of zinc, lead and cadmium contamination of soil and water on Miami tribal land and map the widespread contamination of the tribal land; cultivate plants culturally significant to the tribe and analyze them for zinc, lead and cadmium contamination; and develop a sustainable land use plan for the tribe. Jason Rech, Jonathan Levy and Daryl Baldwin will mentor Brad throughout the duration of the project.
Edgar Evan Hayes '11
Classics major. Evan will use the prize to create a “reader” text for an ancient Greek literary work. Working with Dr. Steve Nimis, Evan plans to develop his own Greek parser (a program that clarifies syntax and grammar for the language) which will offer students of Greek the ability to read the Greek text, see relevant glossary, and read a brief commentary – all on the same page. Inspired by an independently published textbook he’d seen, Evan has chosen to offer his reader electronically and through Amazon.com’s “print on demand (POD)” publishing service.
Heather Hillenbrand '09
Anthropology major. Using knowledge gained in her anthropology major, study abroad experiences, and community service, Heather will use her prize to travel across the Atlantic to study skeletal remains at the famous Duckworth Collection at the University of Cambridge. She aims to compare the prevalence of osteoporosis in British archeological populations to extant data for modern populations. Her hope is to publish her findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and to uncover new insights into why this debilitating disease hunts so many people today.
“Excavating and learning about human skeletal material is both my special talent and my passion,” notes Heather, “Nothing I have ever experienced compares to looking at a face that has been buried for hundreds or even thousands of years.” This year, she will be able to relish in the messy joy of working with excavated human material and hopefully help to enlighten our knowledge of the human body.
John Obrycki '08
Environmental Studies, History and American Studies major. John investigated how southwest Ohio's agricultural system has evolved since the early 1800s. He also documented how it has responded to the profound changes in American agriculture that have occurred over the past half-century, collecting oral histories from more than 100 farmers and agricultural specialists. Using archival research, he traced land use patterns and reconstructed the food system of the region from the past two centuries. His research culminated in a major conference on "The Futures of Farming," held on Miami's Oxford campus in February 2009.
Kathryn Fennig '07
Linguistics and Spanish major. Kathryn spent a year studying the acquisition of the African language Ndau by speakers of English and Portuguese. She conducted research in Mozambique, which, along with Zimbabwe, is home to the 2.7 million speakers of Ndau, a Bantu language of the Niger-Congo family. To complete her study, she learned Ndau and worked with aid workers in the area to create a manual to help them learn this native language.
Shirley Wang '06
Interdisciplinary Studies major. Shirley spent a year investigating the humanistic significance of sexual violence and weaving this into the traditional social and medical sciences knowledge. Wang noted: “As much as hard statistics and research-drawn conclusions are needed to convince policy planners and some professionals of the magnitude of sexual violence, the issues of sexual violence cannot be effectively understood until we take a serious look at the persons most deeply and profoundly affected by the phenomenon,” Shirley worked with and interviewed notable scholars in this field across the globe: at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, at the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, DC and at other agencies in Australia and Taiwan. Faculty advisor: Dr. Terry Perlin, School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Michael Seifried '05
Philosophy major. Michael spent a year in Vienna studying composer Arnold Schoenberg and philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein at the Schoenberg Center. Wittgenstein is regarded by many as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Schoenberg revolutionized 20th century Western music by composing in a 12-tone style rather than the traditional eight note major or minor scale. Their lives intersected in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. Michael first became interested in Schoenberg during the summer after his freshman year when he studied in Berlin. This interest continued during a semester abroad at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge, where Seifried studied Kantian aesthetics. Michael's goal is to "contribute to existing Schoenberg scholarship while also providing a uniquely humanities-based introduction to his life, thought and music." Faculty advisor: Dr. Effie Papanikolaou.
Susan Schroer '04
Music Performance and English major. Susan spent time in Chennai, India conducting a series of ethnographic studies of students of Carnatic music. She worked with students in their teens and early 20s to learn how they perceive music and its relevance to other aspects of their lives, and she explored the master-apprentice (known as the guru-shishya) relationship by talking with students and teachers and observing teacher-student interactions. The final product of this research was a series of individual profiles and a documentary film that depicts the state of Indian classical music today. Faculty advisor: Srinivas Krishnan.
Jennifer Germano '03
Interdisciplinary studies major. Jennifer spent a year working with scientists in the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Her research aimed to determine what predators are most responsible for the declining population of endangered lizards -- the grand skink and the Otago skink-- on the South island of New Zealand. Faculty Advisors: Dr. Thomas Crist and Dr. Hays Cummins.
Elisabeth Strunk '02
Fine Arts and English major. Elisabeth traveled to Ghana, West Africa to gather information for a book manuscript. The manuscript was comprised of a critical essay regarding gender roles within the village and photographs depicting women of the village. Faculty advisors: Katie Johnson, English; Jon Yamashiro, Fine Arts; and Gail Della-Piana, Architecture.
Benjamin Auerbach '01
Anthropology and religion major with a criminology minor. He collected data from major osteological collections in museums and universities in Europe and North America, including the Natural History Museum in London, the National Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology in Florence, Italy, the Duckworth Osteological Collection at the University of Cambridge, England, and the Smithsonian Institute, among many others. The data was used to complete a conclusive study of "Allen's Rule"-a classic hypothesis in the field of biology which states that in order to lose excess body heat, the limbs of animal species in warmer climates are longer (providing more surface area) than those of the same species in colder climates. Faculty advisor: William McGrew, Anthropology.
Callandria Cook '00
English major. She wrote and illustrated a book for children based upon the culture of the Miami Tribe. The book was written in both English and Miami and included a pronunciation key for the Miami language. Faculty advisor: Hugh Morgan, English.
Sarah A. Stewart '99
Chemistry major. She developed a culturally sensitive educational curriculum to slow the spread of HIV and AIDS in Namibia among rural and urban populations. Faculty advisor: Martin Bosman
Jennifer A. Devine '98
Interdisciplinary studies major. She conducted research on the impact of the introduction of the ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) on the aquatic ecosystem of Loch Lomand, Scotland. Faculty advisor: Don Kaufman.
Cary A. Berryman '97
Anthropology major. She conducted research on chimpanzee rehabilitation in Tanzania and Kenya with the Jane Goodall Institute. Faculty advisor: Bill McGrew.
Kevin McFadden '96
Creative writing major. He traveled to San Francisco where he wrote a book-length manuscript of poetry, Petals for Miss Wu. Faculty advisor: James Reiss.
Mary Bertke '95
English literature major. She studied instrumental (tenor banjo, guitar, and mandolin) and vocal Irish music in the United States and Ireland with plans to record a tape of traditional Irish music. Faculty advisor: Mick Moloney
Joseph D. Salvatore'94
Creative writing major. He worked with poor Appalachian communities, volunteering at shelters, soup kitchens, and other organizations that serve low income and homeless people in West Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio. Faculty advisor: Steven Bauer.
Steven R. Reineke '93
Music performance major. He traveled to Los Angeles where he studied and wrote music with film composers. Currently, Steven is Director-Designate and Conductor of the New York Pops. He will become the orchestra's Music Director on October 1, 2009. Faculty advisor: Ron Matson