Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Hackworth Research Grant Winners, Fall 2011

The following Hackworth Grants for Research in Applied Ethics were awarded in December to faculty and students by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. The next Hackworth Grant round of funding will be in Spring 2012. Hackworth Grants are supported by a generous gift from Michael and Joan Hackworth, longtime supporters of the Ethics Center and Santa Clara University.

The Fall 2011 Hackworth Grant awards went to:

Faculty Grants

Brian Buckley, Philosophy, $1,000 to support development of a class called "Ethics and Marginalized Persons." Professor Buckley is pioneering an ethics class that would, for the first time, fulfill both the Core Curriculum ethics requirement and Core Experiential Learning for Social Justice requirement. The class will focus on what it means to respect the personhood of those who are poor, disabled, gay or lesbian, and elderly.

Elizabeth Drescher, Religious Studies, $2,000 to support work on a project called "Pastoral Care in Social Media Communities: Exploring the Ethics of Digital Ministry." Professor Drescher has written extensively on social media and religion. In this project, she will be examining the ethical challenges and opportunities that arise from the increasing use of social media to create and facilitate religious communities.

Jonathan Fung, Communication, $2,500 to complete work on a film called "Hark." Professor Fung is in the final stages of production of a film about sex slavery and human trafficking. He described his work: "'Hark' is the story of a man who is confronted with a moral dilemma to either continue living a self-absorbed life or to change his ways by doing the right thing. The story draws attention to the harsh reality of human trafficking and shines light where there is darkness."

Kathleen "Cookie" Ridolfi, School of Law, $5,000 to support work called "Prosecutorial Ethics Curriculum.." Professor Ridolfi, who is Director of the Northern California Innocence Project, is working with her peers at the Project to address the problem of prosecutorial misconduct. In addition to research on the instances of practices like improper argument and the use of false evidence, Professor Ridolfi and her team will be developing teaching modules keyed to each common type of prosecutorial misconduct.

Laura Robinson, Sociology, $3,000 to support work on a project called "Digital Democracy and Citizen Participation: Examining the Ethical Implications of Inclusion and Exclusion in the Digital Commons." In this work, Professor Robinson is exploring a paradox and inequity in the digital communication revolution: Technologies have made possible more opportunities for civic engagement but such participation is "increasingly fee-based [so] that critical segments of the population remain digitally excluded from emergent forms of democratic engagement."

Shannon Vallor, Philosophy, $2,000 to support development of a class called "Sustainable Energy and Ethics in Engineering." Professor Vallor has been working with the School of Engineering to develop an innovative graduate class for the new master's program in sustainable energy. While there are many engineering ethics courses at universities throughout the United States, there are few such classes focused on ethics, sustainability, and energy. And, where there are such classes, they are usually not focused on graduate students. Professor Vallor's class will address this gap, at SCU and beyond.

Nancy Unger, History, $2,255 to support work on a project called "Diggs-Caminetti and the Mann Act: Test Case in Legislating America's Sexual Ethics." Professor Unger, a specialist in the Progressive Era in the United States, will be examining the 1913 case of Maury Diggs and Drew Caminetti, two Californians who abandoned their wives, ran off to Reno with two sorority sisters, and were prosecuted under the federal Mann Act that prohibited the interstate transport of females for immoral purposes. Crucial questions linger from the case about the extent to which the government should police personal morality. Unger's book, Beyond Nature's Housekeepers, was published in 2012.

Student Grants

Zena Andreani, SCU ' 12, Double Major, English and Religious Studies, $400 to support work on a Religious Studies seminar paper called "Restorative Justice and Resolution: The Urgent Alternatives to Shame and Punishment in the United States." Ms. Andreani will study Bay Area groups promoting approaches to criminal justice that emphasize practices like truth-telling and reconciliation. She will work on her paper with Professor Diane Gibson in a class called "Human Suffering and Hope."

Christopher Wemp, Christopher Wemp has completed his senior honors thesis called "Sowing Seeds of Hope and New Life: The Role of Music in Social Awareness and Change in Peru and El Salvador." Christopher said of his work: "This document is a cumulative work that makes use of my research and time spent in El Salvador (through SCU's Casa de la Solidaridad Program, and a second time with the Hackworth Grant) and in Lima, Peru (through a Jesuit Community grant). It combines my interests in music, religion, political science, and Latin American culture to create an interdisciplinary work that deals with past and current realities in the two mentioned countries. The process of creating this thesis was a joy (albeit full of hard work); the fact that there remains so much more material that I didn't have room for in this paper makes me confident that this is an area I will continue to explore in an academic and personal manner.


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