Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Hackworth Research Grant Winners, Winter 2010


Xiaojing Dong, Assistant Professor, SCU Marketing, $2,800 for a project called "Marketing Ethics and Physicians' Free Drug Sample Dispensation Behaviors." Pharmaceutical companies commonly distribute free drug samples to physicians. In turn, physicians often hand on these free samples to their patients. But how has this marketing practice actually affected patient welfare and public policy? Professor Dong's study will examine the ethical assumptions behind this common marketing technique.

Dennis Gordon, Professor, SCU Political Science, $4,200 for a project called "Ethical Challenges in International Immersion and Service Learning: First Do No Harm." International programs for service learning for college students continue to grow. But there has not been sustained reflection on the impact of U.S. students on the communities in which they are serving. Professor Gordon, who has long been involved in international education, aims to develop ethical best practices to guide such student-host interactions. [Click here to view the report]

Kristin Heyer, Associate Professor, SCU Religious Studies, $3,762 ($2,500 for summer support $1,262 for travel) for a project called "Gendered Vulnerability: Exploitation of Women on the Move." Professor Heyer will present a paper on this topic this summer in Trent, Italy, at a quadrennial conference called "Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church." The paper is part of a larger project called "Hospitality and Justice: Christian Perspectives on Immigration."
[Click here to view the report]

David Popalisky, Associate Professor, SCU Theater and Dance, $5,000 for a project called "Intersecting Motion: Migrations in Nature and Humankind." Professor Popalisky is developing a "multi-environment dance performance work that will investigate through an environmental ethical lens the intersections between human and natural migration in a world impacted by environmental change and economic stress." En route to that final creation, he will be using the grant money to stage two preliminary projects -- one a series of presentations by SCU dance students at K-12 schools and the other an experimental outdoor "migration" dance on the SCU campus to be performed by student dancers and audience members. [Click here to view the report]


Spencer Ambauen, Erica Flieger, Brienna Rust, and Laura Skinner, SCU Senior Undergrad Engineering Students, $1,000 in support of a project called "Sustainable Building Design in Northern Ghana." This team is collaborating on a Senior Design Capstone Project to build a library and community onion storage facility in northern Ghana, where many such structures are currently built with expensive and unsustainable materials. The grant money is specifically to support the development of the written ethical justification of the project. The team will be working with Professor Mark Aschheim of the School of Engineering.

Charlotte Shannon, a joint Political Science and Environmental Studies Major, $300 for a project called "The Ethical Imperative of Environmental Justice." Ms. Shannon will be doing qualitative research to illuminate patterns of causality in census tracts in Santa Clara County in which her earlier quantitative research revealed strong correlations between cancer risk from environmental factors and race and income. She will be working with Professor Naomi Levy in Political Science.

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