Faculty awarded grants for summer scholarship

Northwestern College Scholarship Grants were awarded to 11 NWC professors to fund their scholarship and research during the summer of 2008.

Grants of up to $2,250 were presented to seven professors, while another four were the recipients of awards of up to $5,000 for collaborative research with students. The grants are designed to encourage the production of scholarly work for publication and distribution beyond Northwestern’s campus.

Dr. Luke Dahn, a professor in Northwestern’s music department, will travel to Russia to work with the Moscow Conservatory’s Studio for New Music ensemble. Dahn will compose a chamber work for the ensemble, which will include it in a commercially produced recording by Albany Records, the foremost label of new music in the United States.

Biology professors Dr. Laurie Furlong and Dr. Sara Tolsma will research the genetic relationships between mayfly populations on Santa Cruz Island and the California mainland, exploring genetic drift, or the random changes in gene frequency over time. They plan to publish their work in a peer-reviewed journal or present their research at a science symposium. Assisting Tolsma will be Morgan Achterhoff, a sophomore biology major from Orange City.

Dr. Randy Jensen, a member of the philosophy department, will begin writing a book of philosophical and theological reflections on selections from C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” series.

Dr. Michael Kensak, a professor in the English and foreign languages department, will investigate theories of visual intelligence and design a series of animation sequences for teaching German grammar.

Dr. Ann Lundberg’s seasonal work as a national park ranger is the basis for her research into how ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings were represented in the 19th century. She plans to study how World Fair exhibitions of Native American archaeological sites changed over time and what those changes may signify. Lundberg, an English professor at Northwestern, plans to write an article about her findings.

Another member of the English department, Dr. Joonna Trapp, will continue her work on a book about lyceum oratory and culture in the South. The grant will allow her to prepare a book proposal and several sample chapters for a publisher, as well as to submit articles based on her work to scholarly journals.

Kim Van Es, also part of Northwestern’s English department, will focus her research on the teaching of grammar in secondary schools. Her project will include a survey of secondary language arts teachers in northwest Iowa. She plans to write an article on her findings and present it at the Iowa Council of Teachers of English convention.

Other Northwestern professors besides Tolsma who will conduct collaborative projects with students include Dr. Michael Andres, religion; Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, music; and Dr. Todd Tracy, biology.

Andres will work on a first draft of an introductory text about Christian witness, written from a Reformed and evangelical perspective and integrating the subjects of evangelism, apologetics and justice. Assisting him in his research will be Justin Pannkuk, a senior religion and education major from Webster City, Iowa.

Josselyn-Cranson plans to study worship music used by emerging churches in preparation for writing a book on the subject. Helping with her research will be three music ministry students: Meggan De Jong, a 2008 graduate from Sully, Iowa; Katie Gard, a 2008 graduate from Fergus Falls, Minn.; and Jonathan Scheffert, a senior from Marshalltown, Iowa.

Tracy will continue his research into the impact of the invasive European buckthorn on two local forest ecosystems in Sioux County with a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Funding for two student assistants—biology ecological science majors Erin Brogan, a junior from Orange City, and Jacob Gaster, a sophomore from Bettendorf, Iowa—is provided by the Northwestern College Scholarship Grant.