Two receive Northwestern Endowed Research Fellowships

Research by two Northwestern College faculty members will receive added support this year through the college’s . Dr. Dave Arnett, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. James Mead, associate professor of religion, were each awarded $10,000 research grants for 2009 by Northwestern’s Faculty Development Committee following an external review process.

The Endowed Research Fellowships are intended to fund substantive research that contributes meaningfully to the faculty member’s discipline. The awards are provided through the generosity of an anonymous donor and may be used for stipend, travel, equipment, books, supplies and student assistants.

Arnett’s research is in the field of biophysical chemistry and involves structural and spectroscopic studies of biological molecules. His goal is to refine experimental techniques for measuring distances within single protein molecules. Arnett’s work will use both experiments and computer simulations to provide important information about the structure of individual biological molecules as they carry out their biological functions.

A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 1999, Arnett won an $8,000 research fellowship last summer from the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund. That fellowship funded an eight-week research project at the University of Kansas with the research group of Professor Carey Johnson.

Arnett holds a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and did post-doctoral research on fluorescent microscopy at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. He is the author of articles published in a number of professional chemistry journals.

Mead will explore the relationships between Jewish and Christian biblical theology. He plans to conduct a portion of his research at his alma mater, Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a doctorate in biblical studies.

The author of “Biblical Theology: Issues, Methods and Themes,” Mead intends to eventually write another book based on this new area of study. He also hopes to present his findings at conferences, such as those for the Society of Biblical Literature, and develop a new Northwestern course in Jewish biblical theology. Among the goals of his research are to contribute to the Jewish-Christian dialogue and to inform the biblical interpretation and theology classes he teaches at NWC.

An ordained Presbyterian minister for 24 years, Mead joined Northwestern’s faculty in 2000.