Lilly Grant funds summer research and scholarship

Twenty-three Northwestern College faculty and one student will receive funds from the college’s $2 million Lilly Grant for summer research and scholarship related to vocation and helping students discover God’s call on their lives.

Dr. Carl Vandermeulen, English, and Ryan Pendell, a senior philosophy and writing major from Elkhorn, Neb., will travel to Georgia to photograph and write about the farm and region where author Flannery O’Connor lived. They also will visit Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville to study O’Connor’s revision process.

Vandermeulen will include insights from the collaborative research trip in a book he is writing entitled “Paradoxes of the Person in Creative Writing.” He also will create a photo essay.

For Pendell, the trip and study are part of his honors research project. He will also draw on the experience to help teach Dr. Joonna Trapp’s course on Southern literature.

Theatre professor Dr. Bob Hubbard will receive funds to attend the Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference in Chicago. While there he will present on a panel he is also co-chairing: “Vocation and the Theatre: Calling All Theatre Artists.”

Eleven faculty members will receive stipends to work on course designs that intentionally incorporate finding one’s calling into class reading, study and discussions in various disciplines. Professors planning 2006 courses with a calling component include Dr. Mike Avery, business; Karen Barker, theatre; Dr. Paul Bartlett, kinesiology; Dr. Dean Calsbeek, exercise science; Dr. Laird Edman, psychology; Dr. Randy Jensen, philosophy; Dr. Rod Spidahl, religion and missions; Drs. Thomas Holm, Juyeon Kang and Kimberly Utke Svanoe, music; and Mike Wallinga, computer science.

Another 11 faculty members will receive stipends for similar work that incorporates service-learning components into academic courses. Professors researching service-learning opportunities include Jeff Barker, theatre; Dr. Ruth Daumer, nursing; Dr. Eric Elder, economics; Dr. Jennifer Feenstra, psychology; Hubbard; Piet Koene, Spanish; Dr. Mike Kugler, history; Deb Menning and Dr. Joonna Trapp, English; Dr. Todd Tracy, ecological science; and Dr. Marc Wooldridge, music.