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Harpur faculty receive Dean’s Research Awards


Eight Harpur College faculty representing seven departments were presented the Dean’s Research Semester Awards for the fall or spring semesters of the 2004-05 academic year. “The proposals were all outstanding,” said Harpur Dean Jean-Pierre Mileur. “Junior faculty like these are the future of this institution and their disciplines.” Recipients may take a full- course reduction for one semester or divide their course reduction over two. Based on the recommendations of faculty committees established to review the proposals, Mileur presented the awards to:

Ali Bouanani, classics, whose research will show how and why Morocco interacted with the United States and the doorstep from which later intervention in the Arab world would begin. His study presents special focus on travel writing and the so-called Barbary literature, showing that even before the U.S. attack on Tripoli in 1804 and later imperial escapades, U.S. writers were prone to defining the Moroccan-Arab, Berber or Jew as simultaneously exotic, barbaric, outlandish, idolatrous, childlike, depraved and sexually thrilling.

Arleen de Vera, history, will conduct oral history interviews, create archival collections and revise her manuscript about the tension between American liberal democracy and the creation of an American political empire. Using Filipino migration and nationalism in California as a case study, she will research the larger social and cultural effects of migration and nationalism on both the Philippines and the United States.

David Hacker, history, will rely on 19th and early 20th-century census data to investigate the decline of fertility in the United States. The study will construct new estimates of fertility from 1800 to 1940 and identify economic and social correlates of marriage and fertility.

William Heller, political science
, is researching how institutions that divide decision-making authority affect policy outcomes and politicians’ behavior. He plans to produce a series of papers and eventually a book linking formal models with real-world data on the differences in joint decision making when decision makers are political allies or enemies.

Matthew Johnson, psychology, will write about data collected from the Binghamton Transition to Marriage Project, a longitudinal study of couples from engagement to the early stages of marriage. He and his graduate students observed videos of couples discussing their problems, coded their behavior and will analyze the data to determine predictors of marital discord that could lead to divorce. Johnson plans to extend this work to research larger populations.

Donald Loewen, Russian, will study how 20th-century Russian poets present themselves as poets when they shift to prose in writing their autobiographies. The most significant shift happens in the 20th century because the poets are willing to claim the title poet openly when writing prose. Loewen will use his findings for a multibook project where he will look at autobiographies from the 19th century and the era of the late 19th to the early 20th centuries.

Nancy Um, art history, is preparing a book manuscript on the 17th and 18th century environment of the Mocha trade network in Yemen. The study will present a spatialized account of the Mocha trade network as understood through the architectural and urban structures and social spaces of exchange that marked its landscape and defined its sphere within the extended Qasimi Dynasty.

Weixing Zhu, biological sciences, will prepare the submission of an NSF-CAREER proposal. His research-education foci are in the area of nitrogen (N) biogeochemical cycling. Broad scale fertilizer usage and fossil fuel combustion has led elevated atmospheric N deposition and caused forest decline and water pollution worldwide. The proposal will target N cycling and N retention in several human-settled ecosystems. He will also prepare several manuscripts on N cycling.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08