Student Independent Study and Research (SISTAR) Grant

Student Independent Study and Research grants support teams of one Saint Mary's student and one Saint Mary's faculty member in collaborative scholarly or creative projects for eight weeks during the summer between a student's junior and senior years. The student and faculty member may share the same project, or they may do separate projects that complement or support each others' work. Projects may also be distantly related in subject matter but closely related in method or field. SISTARs help to prepare students for graduate study and careers by encouraging their personal development as confident, independent scholars; faculty benefit from the opportunity to dialogue with a mature and motivated student on topics of mutual interest. Among the other SISTAR grants awarded annually, Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTARs are reserved for pretenure faculty.

 

Application Guidelines Previous SISTAR Awards


Application Guidelines

Eligibility: The SISTAR Program is open to full-time faculty and students in any discipline. The student and faculty member should apply for the SISTAR program as a team in the student's junior year. (Deadlines are announced annually by the Center for Academic Innovation Director.)

Time commitment: The student and faculty member are expected to collaborate for eight weeks during the summer.

Funding: The student receives a taxable stipend of $3,500 plus eight weeks housing on campus, if desired. The faculty member receives a taxable stipend of $3,500. The grant also supports travel and related expenses for the student to attend a professional conference.

Application: There is no application form. Instead, the faculty member and student collaborate in drafting and assembling a four- to six-page proposal that includes the following.

1. The following statement, signed by the faculty member’s department chair: “I have read this proposal and consider that it is consistent with the interests of the department and the College.”

2. A proposal for the student's project, written by the student, and addressing these questions:

a. What do you propose to do?

b. How did your project come about?

c. Why is it worth doing?

d. What do you expect to accomplish in your eight-week work period? If completing your project will take longer than that, what is your plan and timetable for completion?

e. What experiences and courses have prepared you for this work?

f. What other summer obligations do you have (for example, summer school, summer job, internship, other travel plans, etc.), and how are they compatible with the demands of your proposed SISTAR work?

3. A proposal for the faculty member's project, written by the faculty member, and addressing these questions:

a. What do you propose to do?

b. How did your project come about?

c. Why is it worth doing?

d. What do you expect to accomplish in your eight-week work period? If completing your project will take longer than that, what is your plan and timetable for completion?

e. What teaching and research experience has prepared you for this work?

f. What other summer obligations do you have (for example, summer school teaching, other research or travel commitments, etc.), and how are they compatible with the demands of your proposed SISTAR work?

4. A jointly written description of how your projects complement each other and how you plan to work together.

5. In addition to the four- to six-page application described above, please also include:

a. A brief curriculum vita emphasizing the faculty member's preparation for this project.

b. A letter of recommendation addressing the student's ability to undertake this project, written by someone other than her faculty co-applicant.

6. Interview: After you submit your application, you will be contacted for an interview with the CFAI Grants Committee. Interviews last about 30 minutes, allowing the Committee to ask additional questions about your projects, as well as to assess your preparation, commitment and interaction: it is important for teams to demonstrate good rapport, and a collaborative, peer relationship in which the student plays an equal role.


 

Previous SISTAR Award Recipients:

 

2013 SISTAR Teams

  

Sonalini Sapra (Gender and Women's Studies and Political Science) Abigail Burgan Transnational Advocacy and Challenging Traditional Gender Work Roles

MaryAnn Traxler (Education) Bridget McMillan Multicultural Connections: A View Through Children's Literature 

 

Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters Pretenure Faculty SISTAR Grants:

Steven Broad (Mathematics) Meredith McGee Programming the Web: Recruiting and Retaining Women in Computing


2012 SISTAR Teams

Julie Tourtillotte (Art) Chelsea Young Obsolete by Lunchtime and Pattern/Repeat/Change


Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters Pretenure Faculty SISTAR Grants:

Amy Gillan (Education) Allison Zandarski Water Analysis and Potential Restoration of a Eutrophic Freshwater Lake: Investigation, Informative Documentation and Ocean Literacy Connections

Kristin Jehring (Mathematics) Gina Deom The Status of Girls in Indiana

Terri Russ (Communication Studies) Dani Haydell Uncovering Truths about Female Empowerment


National Endowment for the Humanities SISTAR Grant

Edith Miguda (History) Patricia Prucknic Women's Rights are Human Rights: The Human Rights Discourse and Kenyan Women's Search for Constitiutional Rights - Global and Local Connections

David Stefancic (History) Kathryn Replogle Women in State Reconstruction after War

 

2011 SISTAR Teams

Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters Pretenure Faculty SISTAR Grants:

Ryan Dombkowski (Biology) Catherine Batz Longterm Physiological Effects of Energy Drinks

Cassie Majetic (Biology) Brittany Sinka Assessing potential effectors of Phlox floral scent biochemistry: fertilizer floral color

Isabel Larraza (Chemistry) Caitlyn Wonski Superbases and Hexabromoacetone: A Novel, Sustainable Approach to the Hofmann Rearrangement


Susan Baxter (Theater) Emily Schmitt An Experiential Study in 'Staged Journalism'

Stacy Davis (Religious Studies) Rebecca Jones Gendered Language in Jewish Sacred Texts

Krista Hoefle (Art) Katheryn Fisher Unknown Atomic Workshop: A Two Women Collaborative Printshop

Daniel Party (Music) Rachel Thiel Women in Argentine Political Song: The Case of Mercedes Sosa and Popular Music and Masculinity in 1950's Latin America: The Case of Lucho Gatica

 

2010 SISTAR Teams

Mary Ann Kanieski (Sociology) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Ashley Feely
Emerging Patterns in Relationships Between Mothers and Their Adult Children: Examining Mothers' Self-Constructed Identity

Susan Latham (Communicative Disorders) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Brynn Thomas
Effectiveness of GIT and PROMPT in Autism Treatment

Patrick Pierce (Political Science)
Megan Griffin Race to the Top: The Political Economy of State Tax Incentives for Business

David Stefancic (History)
Alyssa Klubeck
Women in Revolution: Comparing Women in the French and Irish Revolutions

 

2009 SISTAR Teams

Phyllis Kaminski (Religious Studies)
Mary Gross
Educating for Transformation: Daughters in Conversation

Isabel Larraza (Chemistry/Physics) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Kara Joseph
Hexabromoacetone and Ethyl Tribromoacetate: A Novel Green Path to Drug Intermediates

Daniel Party (Music) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Current Trends in Latin American Music: A textbook chapter
Stephanie Mitchell Where economics meets music: the Latin American Music Industries

Max Westler (English)
Kristle Hodges
Exploring African-American Poetry

 

2008 SISTAR Teams

Jerome McElroy (Business Administration and Economics) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Wenwen Bai
The Political Economy of China’s Incursion into the Caribbean and the Pacific

 

2007 SISTAR Teams

Kimberly Abeel ‘08 A Vision of the Church: Looking Toward the Future
Anita Houck, Religious Studies A Vision of the Church: Looking at Single Life

Ryan Dombkowski, Biology (Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR Characterization of the vasoregultory capability of the heme-oxygenase/carbon monoxide pathway in isolated blood vessels of lower vertegrates
Beth Achterhoff ’08 Effects of exogeous and endogenous carbon monoxide on cardiovascular parameters of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Jeanne Choquehuanca ‘08 Indigenous Identity and Democratic Political Identity in the Andes
Marc Belanger, Political Science Assessing the Role of NGOs in Democratic Institution Building in Latin America

Alexandria Zakrzewski ‘08 Consciousness, Metacognition and "Theory of Mind": A Scientific and Philosophical Search
Thomas Parisi, Psychology Exploring the "fictive anthropologies" of Dante and Freud

 

2006 SISTAR Teams

María Meléndez (English) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Monica Garvey
Creating Fiction: Adventures in Listening to the Living and the Dead

Don Paetkau (Biology)
Christin Molnar
Cloning a Drosophila Suppressor of Retinal Degeneration

Laurel Thomas (Music)
Mallory O'Brien
Finding Our Voices: Repertoire for the Modern Woman in Opera and Musical Theatre

Julie Tourtillotte (Art) Captured Images: The Pace and Pattern of Change
Kristin Stransky Innardactions

 

2005 SISTAR Teams

Mana Derakhshani (Modern Languages)
Megan McGee
The Magic Carpet Ride

Kurt Buhring (Religious StudiesMaryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Sinnamon Wolfe
Divine and Human Responses to Human Suffering In Liberation Theology and Process Theology

Kitty Green (Education)
Lauren Condon
Using Multicultural Service Learning to Connect Teachers, Students and Communities

Frances Kominkiewicz (Social Work and Anthropology)
Megan Kennedy
Increasing Understanding of Mental Health Issues Affecting College Women: How Can We Foster Student to Student Support?

 

2004 SISTAR Teams

Krista Hoefle (Art) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Dorothy Schultz
Does Pink Make You Puke? & To Be Unlike Myself

Mary Ann Kanieski (Sociology)
Tosha Smith (Burke)
Education,
Cultural Capital, and Standardized Testing

Don Paetkau (Biology) Maryjeanne R. Burke and Daughters SISTAR
Maria Khan
Characterization of a Drosophila Retinal Degeneration Mutant: rdgE

Katherine Sullivan (Theatre)
Betsy Brown
Rediscovering Michael Chekhov: The Old Becomes New Again

 

2003 SISTAR Teams

Keith Egan (Religious Studies)
Kathryn Harrison
The Phenomenology of Edith Stein in Conversation with John of the Cross & The Phenomenology of Edith Stein in Conversation with Thomas Aquinas for a Deeper Understanding of Feminism

Indi Dieckgrafe (Dance)
Jaclyn Thompson Dance:
Integrating Math, Motion and Forms

Bill Sandusky (Art)
Jennifer Trachy '04 in collaboration with Jill Feller '99
Aspects of The Brancacci Chapel of Masaccio, Masolino and Filippino Lippi Re-Created for the 21st Century

Rebecca Stoddart (Psychology)
Leticia Verduzco
Writing Our Way to Finding Our Way in School & Mentoring Hispanic students’ high school success through language and cultural self-efficacy

 

2002 SISTAR Teams

Karen Chambers (Psychology)
Heather Engstrom
"The Culture of Eating Disorders"

Sandra Ginter, (Art) "Indiana, the Crossroads of America"
Lisa Ritter "Transcendental Dinner Party" (Burke)

Astrid Henry (English and Women’s Studies)
Anna Lentz
"Women's Sexuality and Empowerment at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: Two Studies."

Jerome McElroy (Business Administration and Economics)
Leslie Morris
"African Island Development Experiences"

 

2001 SISTAR Teams

Linda Berdayes (Communication, Dance and Theatre)
Hayley Dawson
"A Media and Public Discourse: Narrative Diversity in the Era of Media Consolidation." (Burke)

Kara Eberly (Biology)
Angela Cederquist
"Activation of Transgenic Mouse Macrophages: Which Genes Are Critical for Killing Bacteria?"

Jeffrey Jacob (Music)
Lilly Morales
"A Poetry and Music Collaboration." - (Burke)

George Trey (Philosophy)
Alissa Blair
"Philosophy, Emancipation and the Latin American Condition"

 

2000 SISTAR Teams

Christopher J. Dunlap (Chemistry/Physics)
Amy Dooms
"Variables Affecting Available Phosphate Concentrations in Soils." - (Burke)

Clayton Henderson (Music) "Good's Opera House and the Oliver Opera House: Cultural Resources for South Bend, Indiana: 1880 - 1905"
Rebecca J. Klest "Women Composers of the Late Twentieth Century"

Patricia Sayre (Philosophy)
Nora Byrne
"Epistemology"

Joanne R. Snow (Mathematics)
Angela Finke
"The Philosophy of Mathematics"

 

1999 SISTAR Teams

Deborah McCarthy (Chemistry/Physics)
Anne Pangilinan
"Studies of Antioxidants Produced for Use on Carbon/Carbon Composite Friction Materials"

Charles Peltier (Mathematics)
Chengdong Liu
"Determination of the Variables that are Significant to Student Retention at Saint Mary's College"

Max Westler (English)
Emily Cardinali
"Words and Images: Exploring Screen Writing"

Ann Loux (English)
Cara Ford
"Voices from the Avenue and Beyond: A Current Reader for Literary Non-Fiction" - (Burke)

 

1998 SISTAR Teams

Marc Belanger (Political Science)
Amy Shepherd
"Teaching Writing in the Borderlands Between Politics and Literature"

Jeffrey Breese (Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work)
Stacy Davis
"Service Learning in Higher Education"

Patrick Pierce (Political Science)
Madeline Carpinelli
"Constituency Contact and Citizen Knowledge"

Catherine Shoupe (Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work)
Carrie Goldbeck
"Studying Music and Dance in Scotland: The Meaning of Meanings" - (Burke)

 

1997 SISTAR Teams

Jerome McElroy (Business Administration and Economics)
Patricia Olazarri
"Measuring Tourism Development in Small Mediterranean Islands"

John Pauley (Communication, Dance and Theatre)
Anne Werring
"Reintroducing Voices from the Past: Sister Miriam Joseph Ruah, C.S.C. and Sisters of the Holy Cross" (Burke)

Sean Savage (Political Science) "The Rise of African American Political Influence Within the Democratic Party"
Jennifer Warner "The Impact of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Southern Democratic Politics"

Julie Storme (Modern Languages)
Genevieve Morrill
"Collaborating on the Development of a New French Studies Course: French Colonization: History, Interpretation and Aftermath"

 

1996 SISTAR Teams

Theodore Billy (English)
Michele Kuhlmann
"The Aesthetics of Iconography: Nathaniel Hawthorne's Psychology of Art"

Indi Dieckgrafe (Communication, Dance and Theatre)
Caroline Quinlan
"Two Women Dancing"

Deborah Norin-Kuehn (Music)
Jill Switzer
"A Study of Extended Vocal Techniques of the Twentieth Century"

Thomas Platt (Biology)
Kara Masucci
"Molecular and Morphological Analysis of Larval and Adult Spirochids (Digenea: Schistosomatoidea), Parasites of Freshwater Turtles and Snails"

 

1995 SISTAR Teams

Susan Alexander (Sociology, Anthropology, & Social Work)
Johnna Skyles
"The Social Construction of Feminism"

J. Philip Bays (Chemistry/Physics)
Amy Brinkhoff
"Molecular Modeling in the Undergraduate Curriculum"

Sr. Jean Klene (English)
Suzanne Kondratenko
"A Search for the Sociopolitical Context of Lady Anne Southwell"
"Friendship in the Writings of Women of the Renaissance"

Katie Sullivan (Communication, Dance and Theatre)
Kathryn O'Donnell
"The Method to His Madness: A Performance Study of Jean Genet's The Maids"

 

1994 SISTAR Teams

Andrew Cutrofello (Philosophy)
Jennifer Shea
"Reconstructing the Life-Philosophy of Lou Andreas-Salome"

Philip Tiu (Mathematics)
Elizabeth Go
"On the Deterministic and Probabilistic Aspects of a Problem in Applied Combinatorics"

 

1993 SISTAR Teams

Herold Weiss (Religious Studies) "The Question of the Sabbath in the Epistles of Paul"
Lisa Hardman "Paul's Letter to the Romans: Ethical Guidelines in a Diverse Community"

Laura Haigwood (English) "The Romantic Link Between Feminine and Feminist: Gender and Ideology in Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads"
Catherine Adams "Eliza Allen Starr: The Romantic Roots of a Woman-Centered Art Pedagogy"

Patricia Sayre (Philosophy) "Seeing the World Aright: Wittgenstein and Moral Psychology"
Katherine Bumb "Exploring Empathy: Wittgenstein and the Problem of Private Experience"

Zae Munn (Music)
Marcie Thorson
"Composing Two Large-Scale Musical Works: From Creative Inception to Public Access"

 

1992 SISTAR teams

Rebecca Stoddart (Psychology)
Janine Felder
"Self-Esteem, Social Problem Solving and Social Adjustment in Abused Preschoolers"

Tom Bonnell (English) "The Most Disreputable Trade: Publishing the Classics of British Poetry 1765-1810"
Rene Young "Stocking the Shelves: Women Poets in 18th-Century Anthologies"

Julie Wroblewski Tourtillotte (Art) "Contemporary Fiber Art: Rites of Passage, With an Investigation of Surface Design in Multi-Cultural Textiles"
Frances McMahon "The Human Form: Sculptural Fibers"

Ann Clark (Philosophy) "John Dewey and the Feminist Debate on Experience"
Lisa Claussen "Women's Experience: bell hooks and Vandana Shiva"

 

1991 SISTAR Teams

Gail Mandell (Humanistic Studies)
Moira Murphy
"Rediscovering Times Past: Biographical Research into the Life and Times of Sr. Madeleva Wolff, C.S.C."

Marcia Rickard (Art)
Brenda Hull
"Nine Drawings: Curatorial Problems in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Art"

Catherine Pittman (Psychology)
Mary Beth Tusing
"Facilitating the Return to Driving After Brain Injury: Neuropsychological Assessment of Driving Ability"

Jerome McElroy (Business Administration & Economics)
Angelique Dioguardi
"Tourism in the Pacific Basin"