Tag Archive for Grants

NEH Supports Henry Bacon Papers

Suzy Taraba, university archivist and head of Special Collections, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for a preservation assessment of the Henry Bacon Papers. The grant for $5,810, expires June 30, 2011.

Redfield Awarded NASA Grant

Seth Redfield, assistant professor of astronomy, received a grant from NASA on Jan. 28 for his research titled “Probing the Atomic  & Molecular Inventory of the Beta-PicAnalog, the Young Edge –On Debris Disk of HD32297rp.” The $48,334 grant, will be applied over two years.

Aetna Foundation, Lego Supports Green Street Arts Center

The Green Street Arts Center received a $4,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation to support the center’s Afterschool Program. The award will be applied Jan. 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010.

In addition, The Green Street Arts Center received a $3,000 grant from Lego for the art center’s mural project.

NSF Awards Grant to Dierker, Beveridge

Lisa Dierker, chair and professor of psychology, and David Beveridge, the University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, professor of chemistry, received a $174,999 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will support an inquiry based, supportive approach to statistical reasoning and applications. The award will be applied Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2012.

Filmmaker Longley ’94 Receives MacArthur Grant

James Longley ’94

James Longley ’94

Documentary filmmaker James Longley ’94 has been awarded the prestigious $500,000 MacArthur grant, along with 23 other recipients. Longley’s low-budget, self-financed films are intimate portraits of people in politically volatile countries in the Middle East. While working on his documentaries, Longley lived among ordinary families and gained access to individuals living in places rarely recorded by Western filmmakers.

Two of Longley’s works, Iraq in Fragments (2006) and Sari’s Mother (2006), were nominated for Academy Awards. Iraq in Fragments chronicles life in war-ravaged Iraq through the eyes of an abandoned young boy on the streets of Baghdad, the collective energy and obsession of Moqtada al-Sadr’s followers, and the agrarian solemnity of Kurdish family farmers. The short film Sari’s Mother deals with a family struggling to navigate the labyrinthine health care system in Iraq.

In 2002, Longley founded Daylight Factory, a production company committed to creating documentary films about international subjects. His current projects focus on Iran, India, and other countries in the region.
Link to James Longley biography on MacArthur Foundation site:

5 Questions With…Edward Moran


Edward Moran says he measures the mass of black holes by its gravitational effects on something else that's nearby.

5 Questions is a new feature in The Wesleyan Connection that will ask faculty members – surprise! – five questions about their work and activities.

This issue, the questions go to Edward Moran, chair and associate professor of astronomy and director of the Van Vleck Observatory. His primary area of study is black holes. This summer he received a major National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for an extensive study on “intermediate mass” black holes.

Q: Everyone thinks they know, but once and for all: what is a black hole?

EM: Technically, black holes are places where matter has been crushed down to a single point. In other words, blacks hole can have the mass of a star but absolutely no size. They therefore have infinite density and, in their immediate vicinity, an extremely intense gravitational field.

Q: How are black holes created?

EM: We only know how stellar-mass black holes are created, which is from the explosions of very large stars. As for the types of black holes I study, the “supermassive” black holes that are found at the centers of galaxies, how they are created and what their initial masses are remain open questions at this time. I’m trying

NSF Grant Lets Shusterman Study Connections Between Children’s Acquisition of Language, Number Concepts

Anna Shusterman

Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology, received a five-year National Science Foundation grant.

Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology, recently received a five-year, $716,227 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study “The role of language in children’s acquisition of number concepts.” Shusterman will be evaluating 3-to-5-year-old hearing children in her Cognitive Development Laboratory at Wesleyan. She also will be studying deaf and hard-of-hearing children of the same ages who are learning English to try to determine how language delays affect children’s learning of number concepts.

The grant, which begins this year, comes from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program. The program is only available to non-tenured faculty. Researchers may apply a total of three times to the program; Shusterman was awarded the grant on her first application.

“The CAREER Program truly provides NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty and demonstrates

NEA Supports Orchestra Director’s Ensemble

Angel Gil-Ordóñez is the director of the Classical

Angel Gil-Ordóñez is the director of the Post-Classical Ensemble in Washington DC. (Photo by Tom Wolff)

With a boost from National Endowment for the Arts, Angel Gil-Ordóñez’s Washington DC-based orchestra will continue making music for seasons to come.

Gil-Ordóñez, music director of the Wesleyan Orchestra, adjunct professor of music, director of private lessons, chamber music and ensembles, learned that his Post-Classical Ensemble received a $50,000 grant from The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The award is made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“We are still jumping for joy,” Gil-Ordóñez says. “It is such an honor, and reassurance that the NEA and the Recovery Act consider that our work must be assured continuity.”

Gil-Ordóñez and artist

Bank Foundation Supports Etherington Scholarships

The Etherington Scholarship Program received a grant worth $2,000 from the Liberty Bank Foundation on July 6. The Etherington Scholarships offer outstanding students from Connecticut community colleges a chance to attend Wesleyan.

NSF, NIH Support Burke’s Development, Evolution Research


Ann Burke, associate professor of biology, received grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health to study amphibian systems.

Ann Burke, associate professor of biology, recently received a three-year, $395,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the development and evolution of the shoulder girdle using transgenic mice, frog and salamander.

The mice will be generated in collaboration with a lab at the University of Michigan and will allow Burke and her associates to turn off Hox genes, which are specific patterning genes, in specific sub populations of the embryonic mesoderm that make the musculoskeletal tissues.

Pictured is a three dimensional reconstruction of a mouse and chicken scapula. Ann Burke, associate professor of biology, received two grants that fund her research on the scapula's development.

Pictured is a three dimensional reconstruction of a mouse and chicken scapula. Burke is studying the scapula's development.

“Comparing the dynamics of gene expression and cell interactions during the formation of the pectoral region in a variety of embryos will help us understand the evolution of these musculoskeletal structures and the dramatic variations among vertebrate lineages associated with adaptations for different locomotor strategies, like swimming, scurrying, crawling and flying,” Burke explains.

The frog and salamander experiments will use transplants of mesoderm between wild type embryos and embryos that have Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) expressed in all their cells, allowing Burke and her associates to fate map mesodermal cell populations.

Fate mapping is determining which cellular structures in the embryo give rise to which adult structures.

“We do this by transplanting the embryonic structure from a labeled embryo (GFP in this case) into the same spot in an unlabeled embryo, and tracing the ‘fate’ of the labeled cells, that is which adult structure they end up in,” Burke says.

Burke also received a two-year $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use the same amphibian systems (salamander and frog) to develop a model system for understanding body wall defects in humans.

The grants will provide funds for a team of researchers at Wesleyan working with Professor Burke on these projects, including a postdoctoral fellow, graduate students and undergraduates.

“Receiving these two new federal grants, plus a grant from the Eppley foundation earlier this year, is a remarkable accomplishment in any year, but particularly this year as funding levels have dropped precipitously,” says Jan Naegele, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior.