Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago

Center for Interdisciplinary Thinking

2014 Grant Program Recipients

CIT Grants Competition 2014 Awards

Migration is Beautiful

Dina Berger, Ruth Gomberg-Munoz, and Maria Vidal de Haymes: $2,000

This award will support a speaker series organized by the Latin American Studies Program in collaboration with faculty in Anthropology and Social Work that proposes to bring together immigration experts from across the country and Loyola students, staff and faculty who share an interest in Latin American-U.S. migration in order to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for collaboration among Loyola faculty, staff, and students and the broader Chicago immigrant rights community.


Summer Research Experience in Neuroscience

Raymond (Toby) Dye and Robert G. Morrison: $10,000

This award will support a summer research experience for undergraduates to work in one of the laboratories of the collaborating neuroscientists.  Comprised of neuroscience-focused scientists from biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics, and psychology, neuroscience is a roughly 50-year old field that seeks to understand how the nervous system guides thought and behavior. The projects available to undergraduate students will focus on research in a relatively wide variety of areas, including Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Developmental Neurobiology, Sensory Neuroscience (Vision, Olfaction, and Audition), Computational Neuroscience, and Affective Neuroscience.


Gather up the Fragments

Aaron Greer and Amy Wilkinson: $10,000

This award will be used to launch an interdisciplinary dance on film course. The Dance Program within the Department of Fine and Performing Arts (DFPA) has been asked by the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) to collaborate on a February 2015 Shaker art exhibit entitled Gather Up the Fragments. LUMA will be presenting numerous Shaker works including sacred prints, furniture, and other innovations. With three members left in the Shaker community, this project will address the problem of preserving a culture that is on the brink of extinction. In the course, dance majors from DFPA and film students from the School of Communications will participate in the creation and presentation of an original work exploring the kinesthetic expression of spiritual gifts, the art of dance as a hallowing of the body, and Shaker culture, with a finished product that includes both choreography and film/digital media projection.  The work will be a major performance art piece premiering for the public at the Loyola Dance Main Stage Performance in February 2015 on the Lake Shore campus followed by a month-long run in the LUMA gallery space at the Water Tower Campus during March 2015.  Lastly, the intention is to submit this work for screening at one or more dance film festivals in the United States and abroad.  


Gender Research Seminar

Betsy Hemenway: $10,000

This award will support ongoing programs of the Gender Research Seminar that will include a range of projects with a common theme, involving faculty from many departments (History, Fine/Performing Arts/Theatre, Communication, Social Work, Modern Languages and Literature, Classical Studies, CURL, Theology, English, and WSGS), undergraduate students, and community members. This project constitutes the continuation and expansion of work by the Gender Research Seminar (in the WSGS program) and is guided by the following questions: How is it possible to do interdisciplinary work related to gender? How can we examine and transform traditional relationships of male/female, time/space, or affect/concept to create opportunities for engagement in holistic learning and new knowledge? How might we use performance, broadly defined, to accomplish these goals? The questions continue a series of discussions and projects that have taken place since 2007 among the members of the Gender Research Seminar, which will serve as the anchor of the project and the forum for presentation and discussion of ongoing work. The other two segments will be a Teaching Initiative and a Research/Creative Initiative, involving faculty, undergraduate students, and community members beyond the core Seminar group.


Life Sciences in the Post-Genomic Era: Preparing Students for the Next-Generation of Sequencing Technologies

John Kelly, Catherine Putonti, and Sushma Reddy: $10,000

This award will bring these exciting new sequencing technologies into the classroom at Loyola, enabling teams of students to hone the skills necessary for interdisciplinary research while simultaneously contributing to scientific understanding. Advances in sequencing technologies have catapulted molecular biology into the post-genomic era, expanding the realm of what is possible. As a result of the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies in the last decade, it is now possible to sequence whole genomes in days rather than years. Furthermore, it is now feasible to investigate the hundreds to thousands of microbial organisms that live in environmental niches, from the microbes that drive our own metabolism in the gut to those responsible for nitrogen and carbon cycling in the environment. Furthermore NGS technologies can capture the expression of genes, which drive biological functions, distinguish diseased from normal tissues, or even provide insight into the phenotypic variation observed between two different species. Analysis of the data produced by these new technologies presents novel challenges and opportunities for computer scientists, statisticians, bioinformaticians and biologists alike and, of course, for their undergraduate students in the form of collaborative research projects.



College of Arts and Sciences
Lake Shore Campus · 1032 W. Sheridan Rd., Sullivan Center 235, Chicago, IL 60660 · 773.508.3500
Water Tower Campus · 820 N. Michigan Ave., Lewis Towers 930, Chicago, IL 60611 · 312.915.6520

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