Santa Clara University

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Fall 2010 Faculty Roelandts Fellows

The Center for Science, Technology, and Society is pleased to announce this year's faculty Roelandts Fellows. Competition was up from last year with 16 faculty proposals submitted. Ultimately, we were able to fund at least partially seven faculty proposals totaling roughly $25,000.  

Project titles ranged from "Technology to promote reading in rural Burkina Faso" in which Dr. Michael Kevane will work to assess the impact of solar LED lighting on student learning in rural areas, to "Using Geographic Information Systems to analyze household food security in disadvantaged San Jose neighborhoods" where Dr. Leslie Gray and Dr. Iris Stewart-Frey will examine access to food and the increase in food security through backyard gardening in a low-income neighborhood.  

This inaugural competition supports projects that are commensurate with the Center's mission, "to understand and enable the innovative application of science and technology for global human benefit." CSTS is pleased to make these research awards, and hopes that these internal grants can help faculty seek additional, extra-mural funds, as well as continue to mentor our student scholars. The Center also encourages the integration of this research with new STS course development and the Values in Science & Technology pathway (also sponsored by CSTS). 

The grant program is headed by Jack Gilbert, Professor and Chair of the Chemistry & Biochemistry department at Santa Clara University as well as Director of Sponsored Research at the Center, and Craig Stephens, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Education at the Center.

 

F10 group photo

From left to right: Father Michael Engh, S.J. (President), Thane Kreiner (Executive Director, CSTS), Daniel Strickland (Mechanical Engineering), David Hess (Biology), Katerina Bezrukova (Psychology), Maria Constantino-Roelandts, Willem Roelandts

Faculty Awards

Katerina Bezrukova, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology
"Out of Reach: Examining Group Faultlines, Climate change, and Distance in Virtual Teams"
 This proposal is designed to explore whether people are able to make trustworthy connections and innovative decisions with others they have never physically met. The participants may be across the country or even across the globe and thereby interact as a "virtual team." Such teams are harder to manage and may differ significantly culturally. The research to be undertaken seeks an understanding of how employees from different cultures and working virtually can stay productive and be creative.

Leslie Gray, Ph.D. & Iris Stewart-Frey, Ph.D.

Environmental Studies Institute
"Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze household food security in disadvantaged San Jose neighborhoods"
The purpose of this project is to examine both the access to food and the increase in food security through backyard gardening in a low-income neighborhood. In collaboration with the Americorps volunteer program of the Health Trust and La Mesa Verde, an NGO, the study will involve the use of GPS-based collection of data and of GIS for database building, mapping and analysis.

David Hess, Ph.D.

Department of Biology
"Tracking and identification of antibiotic-resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrheae using genomic and molecular techniques"
In collaboration with a public health unit in San Francisco, the goal of this proposal is to investigate the causes of antibiotic resistance in the bacterium that causes a sexually transmitted disease. The research involves fully sequencing the genomes of four strains of the bacteria to determine the mutations that are the source of the resistance. This information may ultimately assist in defining the therapy the infected individual will receive.

Michael Kevane, Ph.D.

Department of Economics
"Technology to promote reading in rural Burkina Faso: The effects of LED lights on students' reading levels and habits"
Through a partnership with libraries in Burkina Faso, this purpose of this project is to make small portable solar- and battery-operated LED lights available for students to use for reading at home where lighting may not otherwise be available. Increasing the number of hours in which a student can read is expected to enhance their learning, and the study is designed to assess this.

Tammy Madsen, Ph.D.

Department of Management
"
Social Entrepreneurship: Exploring the GSBI Data"
The field of social entrepreneurship has not received the analysis through formal hypotheses, robust data, and rigorous methods that it deserves. The goal of this proposal is to address these deficiencies by developing an extensive and detailed dataset of social entrepreneurship ventures and providing a thorough literature review on social entrepreneurship to benefit researchers working in this area.

Laura Robinson, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology
"Overcoming Inequality: Successfully Implementing IT into the Process of Career and College Planning"
The goal of this project is address challenges associated with the lack of knowledge that first-generation students wishing to obtain education beyond high school often are unaware of how to accomplish this. The proposed research involves teaching these students about the processes associated with applying to college and for financial aid and includes training in the use of digital resources to do so.

Daniel Strickland, Ph.D.

Department of Mechanical Engineering
The aim of this proposal is to develop a portable solar/hydrogen fuel cell generator for off-grid electrification to meet basic necessities such as lighting, cooling, and refrigeration. The expectation is that the availability of energy services in these areas will provide an essential input to economic activity and growth. By using renewable resources for the generator, it is hoped to mitigate harmful emissions from existing biomass derived energy sources, while supplying clean energy to the community.

 


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