Faculty Excellence Awards

Avian Habitat Selection During Migration in Western Siberia: An Undergraduate Research Experience
John Cavitt, Zoology
This proposed project will provide a unique undergraduate research experience for 12 Weber State students that are currently enrolled in a summer semester Study Abroad Topics in Zoology course. These students will work with faculty to design and conduct original and critical research on avian migration at a research site in Siberia, Russia. The students and faculty will travel to Russia in May 2020 to collect data. Biologists currently working on this project in Siberia have asked Weber State to bring supplies and equipment to support the research project. The funding request is being made to help with the purchase of supplies and equipment. Upon returning from Russia, the results will be analyzed and synthesized for dissemination to various audiences. Undergraduate research and studies abroad are considered to be high impact practices. This project combines these high impact practices, and is expected to enhance the educational experiences and outcomes for participating students.

F1/10 Autonomous Racing Vehicle Testbed
Scott Hadzik, Automotive Technology
Full-scale autonomous vehicles are currently on the roads or in late-stage production testing. These vehicle systems require complex sensing equipment, predictive control, machine learning, security, and privacy. Researchers from several universities around the United States have developed a universal platform for testing autonomous vehicle systems and software. F1/10 is an open-source autonomous cyber-physical platform that allows researchers to conduct experiments and complete testing using a robust, scaled-down platform. The platform is 1/10 the scale of a vehicle. It uses the Robot Operating System (ROS) and various hardware components to provide a platform for experimentation. The funding requested will be used to buy the hardware platform.

Playing at Nation: Soccer, Racial Ideology, and National Integration in Argentina, 1910-1935
Jeffrey Richey, History

This project consists of traveling to the National Archives located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to collect data needed to finish a book manuscript, Playing at Nation: Soccer, Racial Ideology, and National Integration in Argentina, 1910-1935. The archival research enabled by the award will augment and diversify the evidentiary base and analysis, bringing this research and writing process to a close. This research trip will also secure novel, engaging, and licensed photographic imagery to include in the published book—material only available at Argentina’s National Archives.

The Perils of Queer Literature
Richard Price, Political Science

Queer people have long struggled to be included as full American citizens. One method of citizenship studies focuses on the governmental recognition of queer identity as an element of the broader American people worthy of inclusion in the public sphere. This project explores the question of equal citizenship from the perspective of literature. The stories we allow to be told represents a political choice about who counts as part of the people. The project also explores the contest over queer representation in literature since the 1920s. Where publication once led to criminal charges, today the controversy has shifted towards the attempt to remove or restrict access to queer inclusive literature within libraries or schools. The funding request being made will cover the costs associated with record and material requests from various agencies needed for this project’s research, as well as travel to these agencies.

Embodied Learning Residencies - Movement & Mathematics in Italy & India
Erik Stern, Dance

Funding for this project will be used to help Dr. Erik Stern with travel arrangements to share his research on embodied learning methods through lectures, workshops, and collaboration with educators, mathematicians, and artists. While on sabbatical, Dr. Stern will share his research at the following: 1) at the University of Bologna Institute of Advanced Study, 2) at FermHAmente, a science festival in Fermo, Italy, and 3) at The Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, India. These high-profile residencies will also bring attention to interdisciplinary research and pedagogies taking place at Weber State University. In addition to helping fund Dr. Stern’s travel, award monies will also be used to support work on a book that is a collaborative effort between the Department of Performing Arts and Mathematics.

Perform, Teach, and Present MasterClass at the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival
Shi-Hwa Wang, Music
Yu-Jane Yang, Music

This project requests funding for Weber State professors and students of piano and violin/viola to attend the 2020 Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival. Two professors and six students will attend the festival. The professors will teach and perform at the festival, while six students will study and perform. Participation in this internationally renowned music festival provides the opportunity to study and perform classical music in an authentic European setting, while also providing students with a greater understanding of classical music studies.

"Flesh Blanket" Short Film
Josh Winegar, Visual Art & Design

“Flesh Blanket” is a short experimental narrative film written, and will be directed (spring/summer 2020), by Josh Winegar. It’s the story of a man who becomes host to an infectious parasite that takes over his thoughts and functions. His short life, after being infected, is dedicated to the survival and spread of the parasite. Funding for this project is being requested to support the film’s production.

Journeys Translation, Transcription, and Classroom Visits
Stephanie Wolfe, Political Science

Journey through Rwandan Memorials will be a comprehensive book on the Rwandan genocide and the memorialization and commemoration process. The book will highlight the history and significance of memorials and the memorial process, in addition to compiling a rich historical narrative for various provinces and districts (i.e..... states and counties). Within Rwanda, there are 265 official memorials and 113 private sites designated as genocide cemeteries within the country (which is roughly the size of Vermont). There are even more landmarks, commemoration stones, and private markers. Stephanie Wolfe is the project leader and primary author on the book, while Omar Ndizeye is the second coauthor. Omar has been responsible for providing translation during the interview process and ensuring that those involved understand the cultural and societal cues during trips made to Rwanda. Omar has agreed to visit Utah for two months to go through all project transcripts and recordings to make sure that the English transcription is correct. He has also agreed to offer lectures and participate in events while in Utah. This funding request is being made to cover the costs associated with Omar’s travel and accommodations.

Faculty Collaborative Awards

Improving Equity & Inclusion at Weber State University
Kathleen Cadman, Nursing
Vincent Bates, Education
Azenet Garza Caballero, Psychology
Patti Glover, Faculty Senate
Ernesto Hernandez, Library Instruction
Tim Herzog, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Jonathan Marshall, Zoology
Enrique Romo, Access & Diversity
Sarah Steimel, Communications
Bobbi Van Gilder, Communications

The Improving Equity and Inclusion project requests funds to send four members of WSU’s Equity and Inclusion Task Force to the 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The knowledge gained at this conference will help inform recommendations and decisions about how to increase the diversity of faculty, staff, and students at Weber State. In addition to diversity, this project will also be looking at access, equity, inclusion, and retention. Best practices will be used to analyze Weber State’s existing data and strategies for faculty and staff recruitment, hiring, and retention, as well as student recruitment and retention. Once a thorough analysis has been done, the data and information will be used to inform recommendations that will be made to the university’s administration, including department deans and chairs. The goal of this project is to gather and analyze data to make informed recommendations and decisions that will help the university recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students.

Folk Songs Recordings
Daniel Jonas, Music
Viktor Uzur, Music

An extension of the 2019 Hemingway Collaborative project that provided funds for the Bonneville Chamber Music Festival, this project requests funds to help with the arrangement and recording of selected folk music using trumpets/flugelhorns with a string quartet. The musical arrangements will be original treatments of folk music from the United States, Great Britain, South America, and Eastern Europe. The diversity of countries will provide an array of styles, reflective of the backgrounds of the musicians involved in this project.

Accessible Course Content Design in Health Professions Courses
Diana Meiser, Library Instruction
Shaun Adamson, Library Instruction
Jason Francis, Library Instruction/Health Sciences

The Accessible Course Content Design project requests funds to send three university librarians to the Medical Library Association (MLA) Conference in Portland, Oregon. Accessibility compliance is not something that faculty are accustomed to addressing or trained to identify until a disability accommodation is requested. Attending this conference will aid the Weber State Stewart Library’s effort in assuming a campus-wide leadership role, in partnership with the Disability Services Office, to assist with campus-wide initiatives that advocate for access to resources. Based on the library’s success, an open-access repository of teaching materials is being constituted and new resources are being provided to meet the demand.

Teaching Inclusively: Institute for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity in the Classroom
Colleen Packer, Communications
Melina Alexander, Education
Adrienne Andrews, Diversity

The Teaching Inclusively project is a two-part project that includes a semester-long institute that focuses on inclusive teaching. This institute will explore strategies for inclusive course design, student-centered pedagogical practices that support student engagement, achievement, and belongingness. The first part of this project will include the development and creation of the institute and its curriculum. The second part of this project will include the integration of at least three inclusive teaching practices and data collection, followed by a final report. The funding request will compensate project directors for their time and effort associated with designing the institute. Participating students and institute teachers will also receive stipends for their participation in the project.

Imaging & Separations Facilities for Geologic Dation of Zicons
Kristin Rabosky, Physics
Elizabeth Balgord, Environmental Sciences

Zircon is an ideal mineral that can be used as a geological clock. Faculty and students in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department have collected zircon-bearing rock samples to determine geologic histories of mountain belts. To determine the history of a sample, individual zircon grains must first be separated, and then imaged to evaluate growth increments recorded in different layers that have distinct trace elemental signatures. Faculty and students in the Physics Department are developing techniques to innovatively image grains using a cathodoluminescence detector and color filter wheel to separate signals from different trace elements. Developing this imaging technique will bring new grant opportunities to both departments and provide new avenues for undergraduate research. The funding request is being made to help cover the costs associated with the purchasing of materials and supplies, equipment, and lab setup.