Faculty Development Research Grant

Saint Mary's College supports faculty in their professional development as scholars and artists by funding proposals for research and creative work.

Application overview The Application ProcessGuidelines for Evaluation
Previous Award Recipients • Apply

Application Overview:



  1. All full-time faculty are eligible. Part-time faculty who have taught for five semesters are also eligible. Persons on terminal contracts are not eligible, nor are faculty who resign their appointments.
  2. Faculty members of all ranks from all departments are encouraged to apply.
  3. Former recipients may apply. If the committee must choose between two applications of equal merit, then it will give preference to the applicant who has not received monies in the recent past.
  4. All forms of scholarly and creative work may be proposed, but an award cannot be used to complete a degree.
  5. If applicants receive funding for the same project from other sources, they must inform the committee.
  6. Faculty may apply for only one CFAI Faculty Development grant in the same academic year.
  7. Some CFAI grant funds have additional eligibility restrictions reflecting donors' wishes.


The grant amount is $2500.00. The purpose of these grants is to support research and creative activity.

Funds are disbursed as a stipend. The money is added to the recipient's paycheck and taxed as income.


The grant deadline is announced annually by the Center for Academic Innovation Director. Ordinarily the deadline is February 15, or the following Monday if February 15 happens to fall on a weekend.

Administration and Review:

  1. Guidelines and applications are reviewed annually by the CFAI Grants Committee in consultation with the Center for Academic Innovation Director.
  2. Grants are awarded by the Dean of Faculty on the recommendation of the CFAI Grants Committee.
  3. Recipients are announced at the President's Dinner.

The Application Process



  1. Applicants should complete this form. The proposal narraitve and all supporting materials should be submitted as email attachments to cfai@saintmarys.edu. All materials must be received by the proposal deadline (ordinarily February 15).
  2. If the application proposes research involving human subjects or laboratory animals, the applicant must contact the chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research involving human participants, or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for research involving animals. A Request for Protocol Approval must be submitted to the appropriate committee. When the protocol is approved, the applicant will receive a letter from the chair of the IRB or IACUC to forward to the CFAI Grants Committee. The grant award is contingent upon this approval.

Responsibility of the Recipient upon Completion:

  1. The Recipient must send a written report to the Senior Vice President and Dean of Faculty, with a copy to Center for Academic Innovation Director by May 31 of the year following receipt of the grant. This report must indicate what the recipient accomplished as a result of the grant.
  2. Saint Mary's College, and if applicable, the donor, must be acknowledged in any published report, article, exhibit, etc., made possible by the grant.

Guidelines for Evaluating Faculty Development Research Grant Proposals

Each proposal is read and evaluated by all members of the CFAI Grants Committee. The Committee emphasizes the following points during discussion of a proposal's merit:

  1. Specific Aims
    1. How well conceived, defined and organized is the proposal itself?
    2. Are the project and its objectives clearly stated in language accessible to the non-professional? Are the arguments for the needs and value of the proposed work developed thoroughly? Remember that the members of the committee will not be familiar with the methodology and technical jargon of all the disciplines.
  2. Method
    1. Is the project methodology solid?
    2. Is the project design appropriately scaled for the proposed project duration?
  3. Significance of the Project
    1. How significant is the project within the applicant's field of study?
  4. Previous Work
    1. Does the applicant's experience demonstrate a good foundation for the proposed project?
  5. Pertinent References
    1. Does the bibliography identify the best sources for the proposed project?
    2. Is the bibliography up-to-date and clearly pertinent to the proposal?
  6. Outlet
    1. Does the proposed outlet (journal, exhibit, recital, etc.) seem appropriate for the research project?
  7. Format
    1. Did the applicant adhere to the application guidelines?
  8. Recommendations
    1. The Committee must receive at least one letter of support for the proposal from someone who can provide an informed judgment of its merits.
    2. The applicant's department chair must also sign the proposal, indicating that she/he endorses it.

Faculty Development Research Grant Awards


2015 Research Grant Awards

Susan Baxter, Communication Studies, Dance, and Theatre. “The Holy Cross Sisters at Saint Mary’s: A Play.”

Kurt Buhring, Religious Studies. “An Exploration of the Holy Spirit in Black Theology.”

Sean Savage, Political Science. “TR and FDR as Party Leaders.”

Reena Lamichhane Khadka, Biology. “Distribution and Antibiotic-Sensitivity Patterns of Pathogenic Bacteria on the Floors of a Nursing Care Unit in Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, Indiana.”


2014 Research Grant Awards

Ann Marie Alfonso-Forero, English, "The American Dream and American Exceptionalism in Moshin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist." 

Sonalini Sapra, Political Science and Gender and Women's Studies, "Women in Peacekeeping: South Asian Perspectives." 


2013 Research Grant Awards

John Fotopoulos, Religious Studies
A Honey-Coated Sword: Battling Biblical Interpretation in the Correspondence Between Jerome and Augustine of Hippo
Kathryn Haas, Chemistry and Physics
The Human Copper Transport Protein (Crt1) and Human Serum Albumin (HAS) Facilitate Copper Reduction by Stabilizing Cu+: Defining Potential Cu+ Binding Sites

Anita Houck, Religious Studies
A Contemporary Spirituality of Vocation

Zae Munn, Music
Parma Recordings CD: They Were Mysterious Guests, Hard to Capture: Timothy McAllister and Friends Play Zae Munn's Works for Saxaphone in Eclectic Chamber Settings
Laurel Thomas, Music
Songs of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits: The Folk Tradition as Art Song
Jamie Wagman, Gender and Women's Studies and History
Our Pill, Ourselves: American Anxieties Surrounding Oral Contraception


2012 Research Grant Awards


Harula Economopoulos, Rome Program
A Margaret FitzGibbons Higgins Faculty Development Grant
Picturing Sculpture Photographic coverage of Works by Stefano Maderno
Indi Dieckgrafe-Dreyer, Dance
Dane, Imagination, and Alchemic Mysticism, Reason and Lore
Ryan Dombkowski, Biology
Development of a laboratory model of 'energy drink' overdose
Sandi Ginter, Art
Millions of Thumbprints
Daniel Party, Music
NEH Research Grant
A New Paradise: Women in the Chilean Indie Pop Scene (2006-2011)
Sean Savage, Political Science
NEH Research Grant
A Roosevelt by Any Other First Name Is Still a Rossevelt: TR's Influence on FDR


2011 Research Grant Awards

Michael Kramer, Communication Studies
Public Memory & Rhetorical Reflection: (Re) Presenting Oratorical History at Cooper Union

Nancy Menk, Music
Writing for Women's Voices: A Conversation with Composers

George Trey, Philosophy
The Love of the World and the State of the Earth

Mary Kay Welle, Nursing 
Teaching Strategies & Curricular Design to Meet Changing Nursing Education Needs


2010 Research Grant Awards

Jayne Kendle, Nursing
Assessing Family Well-being & Coping of Parents with Medically Fragile Children

Julie Tourtillotte, Art
Textile Study Tour to Arimatsu, Japan


2009 Research Grant Awards

Laura Ambrose, Humanistic Studies
Travel in Time: Reading Records of Local Travel in the Margins of Early Modern Almanacs

Kitty Green, Education
Stayin' Alive: Journeys of Hope and Determination, Young Teachers' Experiences in the Classroom

Mary Ann Kanieski, Sociology
Parenting Culture: A Qualitative Study

Mary Porter, Mathematics
Investigating the Effects of a Writing Project on Students' Understanding of Two Techniques of Proof

Riccardo Riccardi, Music (Rome)

Terri Russ, Communication, Dance and Theatre
(In)Visible Women: Post-menopausal Women's Stories of Beauty & Body (Dis)Satisfaction

Julie Storme, Modern Languages
Listening to Understand: Exploring Issues of Identity with Muslim Women Living in France 


2008 Research Grant Awards

Eric De Sena, Anthropology
The Porolissum Forum Project: an archaeological excavation of a Roman and Gothic city in northwestern Romania

Krista Hoefle, Art
My Tomorrowland is an Empty Space: On-site Digital Drawing at the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians Philadelphia, PA

Jeffrey Jacob, Music
A compact Disc Recording of My Symphony No. 3 by the London Symphony Orchestra

Amanda Littauer, History
Oral History Research Proposal: Lesbianism and Adolescence in the 1950s

Edith Miguda, History
Archival research on Women and Politics in Colonial Kenya

Daniel Party, Music
The Birth of Balada: The Spanish Origins of Latin America's Romantic Pop Song

Mary Porter
Students' Understanding of Proof by Mathematical Induction

Sean Savage, Political Science
The Senator from New England: John F. Kennedy

Umberto Taccheri, Modern Languages
Active and Contemplative Life in Dante, from Convivio to Commendia


2007 Research Grant Awards

Kurt Buhring, Religious Studies
Reinhold Niebuhr: A theological and Ethical Response to the Great Depression

Insook Chung, Education
A comparative study of U.S. and Korean fourth grade student conceptual understanding of multiplication and its real life applications

Kelly Harrington, Art Motherhood: A Reality Check

Jason Lahr, Art Spatial Fictions: Drawing as Installation

Joanne Snow, Mathematics
Crafting a Biography of Marston Morse


2006 Research Grant Awards

Mark Abram-Copenhaver, Communication & Performance Studies
Profiles of Life After A Theater Major

Thomas Bonnell, English
On the Trail of Boswell's Revisions of the Life of Johnson

Phyllis Kaminski, Religious Studies
What Daughters Know: Thinking Women's Spirituality


2005 Research Grant Awards

Insook Chung, Education
Preschool Education through the Eyes of Korean Mothers

Nancy D'Antuono, Modern Languages
Andrea Perrucci Seventeenth-Century Italian Playwright and Acting Theoretician

John Fotopoulos, Religious Studies
The Intertextuality of 1 Corinthians

Jerry Gingras, Modern Languages
Lopez de Ayala and the Aristocratic Historiographical Tradition of Castile

Nancy Menk, Music
The Seventh World Symposium on Choral Music

Bill Sandusky, Art
Bringing to a Conclusion Phase One of the Brancacci Project

Susan Vance, Business Administration and Economics
Financial Literacy of College-age Women


2004 Research Grant Awards

Thomas Bonnell, English
Retooling for Boswell's Life of Johnson

Clayton Henderson, Music
Emma Wixom Nevada: Cultural Influences in a Silver-Mining Town

Jeffrey Jacob, Music
A study of Contemporary Italian Piano Music at the Bari Conservatory

Mary Porter, Mathematics
Creating and Using Examples, Nonexamples, and Counterexamples in Undergraduate Mathematics

Sean Savage, Political Science
Scoop the Lonely Hawk: Senator Henry M. Jackson and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1968 - 1972

Laurel Thomas, Music
A Study of Asian and Asian-influenced Song Literature at the Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong, China


2003 Research Grant Awards

Insook Chung, Education
Assessing Korean 9-year-old Children's Conceptual Understanding of the Multiplication Basic Facts

Jason Lahr, Art
Riding with Pike

Catherine Pittman, Psychology
Loosening the Grip of Fear: Strategies for Overcoming Chronic Anxiety

Mary Porter, Mathematics
Women in Mathematics-Based Careers

Sean Savage, Political Science
Hawks, Doves, and Owls: 1968-1972

David Sever, Biology
Updating the 1925 Developmental Biology Research of Inex Whipple Wilder


2002 Research Grant Awards

Clayton Henderson, Music
Continued Research into Quotation in the Music of Charles Ives

Jeffrey Jacob, Music
Premiere Performance and Recording of "Concerto for 2 Pianos And Orchestra" in Prague,


2001 Research Grant Awards

Sandra Ginter, Art
"Thresholds" - an art installation

Max Westler, English
Endless Summer


2000 Research Grant Awards

J. Philip Bays, Chemistry
A Specificity of Esterase Hydrolysis@ Reactions II

Mary Porter, Mathematics
A Student Learning Strategies and Proof Schemes: A Collaborative Research Project, Part II


1999 Research Grant Awards

Phil Bays, Chemistry
A Specificity of Esterase Hydrolysis Reactions

Johnson Bowles, Art
A Wearing a Woman' s Life B Phase II

Carmen Garcia- Rasilla, Art
A Critical Edition of Salvador Dali' s Secret Life

Jeffrey Jacob, Music
A Performance and CD Recording of My Composition, The Carol of the Bells by the Moravian Philharmonic

Nancy Menk, Music
A Meeting the Choral World: Fifth World Symposium on Choral Music"

Kathy Ornish, Art and Donald Stikeleather, Dance
Vessels of Transformation: A Dance/Sculpture Collaboration

Mary Porter, Mathematics
Exploring the Relationship Between Students' Learning Strategies and their Views on the Nature of Mathematical Proof


1998 Research Grant Awards

Dale Banks and Loretta Li, Education
What's Green About the 1996 Award-Winning School Districts: A Comparison of Indiana's Districts Containing Blue Ribbon Winners with Thirty Randomly Selected Indiana School Districts

Nancy D'Antuono, Modern Languages
Calderon in Italy, 1642-1800

Kelly Hamilton, History
Wittgenstein and the Mind's Eye

Ella Harmeyer , Nursing
Community Collaboration to Enhance Clinical Experiences

Deborah McCarthy, Chemistry
Analyses of Antioxidants on Carbon/ Carbon Composite Friction Materials

Catherine Pittman, Psychology
"Assessing Change in Personality After Brain Injury"

Thomas Platt, Biology
A Survey of the Helminth Fauna of the Freshwater Turtles of Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste, Costa Rica: A Component of an Taxa Biological Inventory

Sean Savage, Political Science
LBJ's Party Leadership: The Texas Connection

Susan Vance, Business Administration and Economics
The Americans With Disabilities Act: The Impact of Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder and Reasonable Accommodation on Accounting Firms and Academe


1997 Research Grant Awards

J. Phillip Bays, Chemistry
Computational Study of Onium Compounds

Clayton Henderson, Music
Paul Dresser as Minstrel, Actor and Singer

Renée Kingcaid, Modern Languages
Serge Doubrovsky: A life in Fiction and a Fictional Life

Sean Savage, Political Science
LBJ and the Democratic Party

David Sever, Biology
International Collaboration on Reproductive Biology of Salamanders


1996 Research Grant Awards

Clayton Henderson, Music
Paul Dresser In Evansville, Indiana ca. 1882-84

Nancy Menk, Music
Fourth World Symposium on Choral Music and World Choirs Festival

Sean Savage, Political Science
JFK and LBJ: Analyses of Presidential Party Leadership

Sara Sawtelle, Chemistry
Electrochemical Investigation of Gold, Tin and Titanium Compounds


1995 Research Grant Awards

Clayton Henderson, Music
A Context for Paul Dresser Songs

Julie Long, Library
Evaluating Presentation Software to Use in the Design of Modules for Teaching Search Formulation/Commands in Computerized Resources

Donald Miller, Mathematics
Mary Jo Regan Kubinski, Nursing
Barbara Wall, Nursing

Styles/Outcomes of Accelerated Nursing Program Students in Two Settings

Catherine Pittman, Psychology
Change in Personality after Brain Injury

Joanne Snow, Mathematics
Study of the Automorphism Group of a Compact Complex Homogeneous Manifold

Mary Wood, Psychology
Qualitative Changes in Narrative Reports of Autobiographical Memories


1994 Research Grant Awards

Sr. Kathleen Antol, Chemistry
Application of Non-Radioactive Methods of DNA Detection

Clayton Henderson, Music
Paul Dresser and American Popular Song

Robert Hohl, Library
An Exhibit on the History of the Printed Book in the West

Renée Kingcaid, Modern Languages
The Catechism Lesson (a novel)

David Stefancic, History
The Nation Builders: A comparative biographical study in the process of nation building


1993 Research Grant Awards

Clayton Henderson, Music
Paul Dresser and American Popular Song

Jeffrey Jacob, Music
A Performance at the 1993 Seoul International Festival

Phyllis Kaminski, Religious Studies
Blondel’s l’Action (1893): A Centenary Reading

Nancy Menk, Music
The 1993 World Symposium on Choral Music

Sean Savage, Political Science
The Presidential Leadership of Harry S. Truman: The Kentucky Connection

Douglas Tyler, Art
Public Art/Public Eye


1992 Research Grant Awards

J. Phillip Bays, Chemistry
Automated Development of Force Field Parameters

Kara Eberly, Biology
Characterization of the Biochemical Mechanisms Involved in the Induction of Cytokine Gene Expression in Murine Cell Lines of Flavone Acetic Acid (FAA)

Nancy Menk, Music
Oregon Bach Festival: Master Class in Choral-Orchestral Conduction and Performance

Annette Peacock Johnson
Barbra Wall, Nursing

Five-Year Plan: Study of Behavior Patterns and Learning Styles in the Department of Nursing

Patrick Pierce, Political Science
1992 ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods

Paul Shore, Education
Jews at the University of Vienna 1780 — 1800

Lauren Strach, Business
Undergraduate Women and Their Teachers: Analysis of Administration and Economics & Perceived Gender Differences in Teaching

Karilee Watson, Education
Jill Vihtelic, Business

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex and Finance Administration and Economics but Were Afraid to Ask: A Survey of Women Survivors

JoAnn Widerquist, Nursing
Correspondence of Florence Nightingale and Edwin Chadwicki: Their Underlying Motivation for Sanitary Reform


1990 Faculty Research Grant Awards

Nancy D’Antuono, Modern Languages
"Lope de Vega in Italy, 1620-1800: Performance, Translation, Adaption

H. James Paradis, Art
Slide and Video Documentation in the Rain Forest, Costa Rica

Patrick Pierce, Political Science
Revitalization of American Political Party Organizations and Strengthening of Congressional Party Discipline

Catherine Pittman, Psychology
Self-Punitive Behavior: An Animal Model of Self-Defeating Behavior

Rebecca Stoddart, Psychology
Non-Verbal Assessment of Language-Delayed Children’s Emotion Skills

Richard Tarara, Physics
Computer Animations and Simulations in Physics Instruction

JoAnn Widerquist, Nursing
Analysis of Correspondence between Florence Nightingale and Mary Jones