Faculty grants

07/10/13

Research grants funding Bluffton faculty summer work

Bluffton University Research Center grants are helping four Bluffton faculty members pursue scholarly and creative projects in their respective fields this summer.

Recipients of $3,000 stipends and up to $600 for research expenses are Dr. Rudi Kauffman, an assistant professor of restorative justice; Dr. Jonathan Andreas, an assistant professor of economics; Dr. Martina Cucchiara, an assistant professor of history; and Dr. Stephen Harnish, a professor of mathematics.

Kauffman’s funding is for development of two manuscripts for publication as academic journal articles about his dissertation research on just war theory. One of the articles draws on restorative justice and international relations theories to explain evidence that just war making leads to particularly unjust outcomes.

Andreas is using his grant to launch a blog at www.medianism.org, where he will promote use of median lifetime earnings as the simplest useful measure of economic well-being. He asserts that median income—the actual income of the person in the middle of a group—is a more accurate reflection of the group’s welfare than mean (average) gross domestic product, which is the most common measure used by economists.

Traveling to Germany, Cucchiara is conducting research that will aid in the revision of her doctoral dissertation for publication. Her work focuses on Catholic nuns in modern Germany, particularly during the Nazi era of 1933-45; her dissertation is titled “‘Bitter Times’: The Poor School Sisters of Notre Dame in Hitler’s Germany.”

Harnish is making at least 10 high-quality movies, none longer than one minute, which will demonstrate how changes in temperature, pressure and sound-wave amplitudes affect speeds and pitch of the sound waves. In addition to advancing mathematical and theoretical physics, the work will expose Bluffton students to visualization tools for research, he says. And increased skills in visualization, he adds, can aid ongoing collaboration with research partners at China West Normal University.

All four grant recipients will make public presentations about their research on campus during the 2013-14 academic year.

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