CHALLENGE GRANTS SUPPORT STUDENT-FACULTY COLLABORATION
OSWEGO -- Since SUNY Oswego's geology program
instituted its required capstone experience, "all the students are
really, really fired up about doing research," said Dr. Sharon Gabel,
associate professor of earth sciences. Now the college's new
Student/Faculty Collaborative Challenge Grant program has arrived to
help support such work.
Gabel and sophomore Rob Venczel make up one of four
faculty-student pairs who have received the first round of Challenge
Grants to work on scholarly projects beginning as early as this summer.
The campus grant program promotes collaborative
scholarly and creative work by undergraduates and faculty. Interim
Provost David King initiated the program this year, with $10,000 in
funding, in part from the Oswego College Foundation.
Gabel invited Venczel, a geology major, to join her
in her 2-year-old project of monitoring changes in the shoreline of
eastern Lake Ontario. The project provides information for plans to
preserve the "this unusual and important freshwater beach-dune
ecosystem," she and Venczel wrote in their proposal.
The erosion of the sandy eastern shore has long been
a community concern, and Gabel's work in collaboration with students
has received support previously from the local chapter of the Nature
Venczel said that he hopes to pursue a career in
environmental science and that the project will help him to do
The other winning proposals in this first cycle, for
projects to be carried out in 2004-05, are interdisciplinary:
* Katie Miloski, a biology major and chemistry minor,
will work with Dr. Kestas Bendinskas, assistant professor of chemistry,
on her study of medicinal plants used by diabetics in the Republic of
Congo. She hopes to identify the mechanism by which these plants
activate a response to insulin in human liver cells. The project is
related to a larger project that Bendinskas is working on with Dr. Webe
Kadima of the chemistry department and an international team of
scientists. Miloski said she plans to attend medical school after
graduating from Oswego.
* Dr. Craig DeLancey, an assistant professor of
philosophy and cognitive science, and John Callan, a junior majoring in
computer science and cognitive science, will test a series of
hypotheses about the nature of the social and economic role of anger.
They will use a modeling technique called genetic algorithms to model
retributive behavior. DeLancey is the author of the book "Passionate
Engines: What Emotions Reveal About Mind and Artificial Intelligence,"
published by Oxford University Press in 2002, and his work with genetic
algorithms has been applied to financial problems on Wall Street.
* Courtney DeLosh's paper about the justice of the
gender-structured family in Dr. Robert Card's public affairs class was
the impetus for the project they will conduct. DeLosh, a psychology
major, and Card, an assistant professor of philosophy, will conduct a
Central New York survey on the division of labor by gender within the
"The possibility for this kind of collaborative work
is really valuable," Card said, adding that involvement in
undergraduate research improves a student's prospects for graduate