Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Hackworth Research Grant Winners, Spring 2009


Robin Hayes, Ethnic Studies/Political Science, $1,500 to support work on a project entitled, "A Diasporic Underground: African Liberation and Black Power." Professor Hayes' research is examining the role of the African diaspora in shaping the ideas of racial justice that inspired black power organizations in the United States in the late 20th century.

John Ifcher, Economics, $1,500 to support work on a project called, "The Happiness of Single Mothers After Welfare Reform." Professor Ifcher is using the social scientific tool called the "difference in difference model" to study how the welfare reforms of the last decade have affected the subjective well-being of single mothers.

Susan Morse, Law School, $1,500 to support work on a project called, "Selling a Value Added Tax: The Ethical Limits of Government Persuasion." Professor Morse examined the ethical constraints on government efforts to persuade the public to accept a value-added tax. Her research formed the basis of a chapter in the "VAT Bible," publishedby Tax Analysts.

David Pleins, Religious Studies, $2,335 to support work on a project called, "Charles Darwin and the Golden Rule: Evolution, Creation, and the Moral Sense." Professor Pleins is writing a book on Darwin and 19th century debates about the Book of Genesis. In this project, which will be part of the book, he is studying Darwin's thought on the evolution of both religion and the human moral sense. Charles Darwin on the Naturalness of Religion by J. David Pleins was published by Bloomsbury in 2013.

David Sloss, Law School, $2,500 to support work on a conference to be held next spring at the SCU Law School called, "Corporations and International Law." Professor Sloss is the Director of the Law School's Center for Global Law and Policy, which annually hosts on campus a major conference on international law and on many related ethical issues.

Shannon Vallor, Philosophy, $4,027 to support work on a project called, "Human Enhancement Technologies and the Virtues." Professor Vallor is examining the potential of virtue ethics to clarify the debate over the possibilities of self-transformation suggested by current enhancement technologies.

Sally Vance-Trembath, Religious Studies, $5,000 to support the development of a course called, "The Cardinal Virtues: Foundation of Catholic Ethics." In this class, Professor Vance-Trembath intends to present the closely related theological and moral vision of St. Thomas Aquinas. In doing so, she aims to acquaint students more thoroughly with the links in the Catholic tradition between faith and the moral reasoning.

Michael Whalen, Communications, $5,000 to support work on a film called, "Unknown Hero: The Francisco Jimenez Story." Professor Whalen's documentary will focus on the life of SCU Professor Francisco Jimenez, who was four years old when he crossed with his family into the United States from Mexico in search of a better life. By telling the story of the Jimenez family and their work in migrant camps, Professor Whalen hopes to provide a narrative that will inform the ethical debate today over immigration in the U.S.


Sarah Bradley, SCU '10, Communications Major, $500 to support work on a Senior Capstone Project called, "From Infanticide to Dowry Theft: An Ethical and Cultural Exploration of Gender Disparity and Discrimination in Rural India." Ms. Bradley will be traveling to rural India this summer with the Vijay Foundation and will conduct research for her project while she is there. She will be working with Professor Barbara Kelley.

Francesca LeBaron, SCU '10, Economics Major, Mathematics Minor, $500 to support work on a Senior Thesis called, "Using Dynamic Artificial Neural Networks to Forecast Fair Trade Coffee Premiums." Ms. LeBaron will be using forecasting methodology developed by SCU Professor Manoochehr Ghiassi to attempt to more accurately predict supply and demand of fair trade coffee. She will be working with Professor Drew Starbird.

Stephanie Sloane, SCU '10, Philosophy and Economics Double Major, $200 to support work on a Senior Thesis called, "An Econometric Analysis of Aristotle's Virtue Ethics" (Ms. Sloane's grant could increase up to $1,000 in the event she presents her paper on this topic at an academic conference in the next year). Her research is especially concerned with the correspondence between high levels of civic engagement and happiness. She will be working with Professor John Ifcher.

Jason Tauches, SCU Law School, $1,250 to support work on the conference to be held at the Law School next spring called, "Corporations and International Law." Mr. Tauches is the new editor-in-chief of the SCU Journal of International Law and will be heavily involved with other students in planning and organizing the conference next spring. He will be working with Professors David Sloss and Beth Van Schaack.

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