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Faculty across disciplines receive UMBC Summer Fellowships

UMBC faculty across all three colleges and the School of Social Work were awarded funding through the Summer Faculty Fellowship (SFF) for this past summer. The SFF program supports non-tenured, tenure-track UMBC faculty pursuing research and scholarly projects in any UMBC department during the summer.

A brief overview of each project that was awarded SFF funding is below.

Corrie Francis Parks, assistant professor of visual arts, was awarded funding to create a short animated film about an oracular toaster that brings chaos to a small town in Japan. The film, “Ms. Yamada’s Toaster,” questions the need to control the future and how people handle the certainty of death. 

Dena Smith, assistant professor of sociology, was awarded an SFF to write the article “Meaning-making and Medicalization: Tensions in Mental Health Practice” for submission to the journal Sociological Forum. This article is an extension of Smith’s previously published research. 

Filipe Filomeno, assistant professor of sociology, will study Baltimore’s immigration policy and collect data about Baltimore’s local immigration policies from the late 1970s to today. The information will help support more inclusive immigration policies that are likely to emerge in cities experiencing downscaling in a context of competition in immigration affairs. 

Jolene Sy, assistant professor of psychology, was awarded SFF funding to determine the optimal level of classroom support to help college-aged students with intellectual disabilities in a vocational writing class produce cover letters.

Loren Henderson, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, used SFF funding to complete the statistical analysis and writing for a manuscript about incarceration, ex-offender reentry, and racial disparities in sexually transmitted infections in communities. The manuscript will be presented at a national conference and will be submitted to a sociology journal. 

Maleda Belilgne, assistant professor of Africana studies and English, received an SFF to study space, race, and the speculative in the work of major twentieth-century black writers. The project is called “Between Nothingness and Infinity: Discourses of the Fantastic in Afro-Diasporic Literature.”

Michael Lane, assistant professor of ancient studies, was awarded funding through the SFF program to sustain his research on the cross-cultural ancient landscape around Greece’s fortress of Glas.

Stephanie Ceraso, assistant professor of English, was awarded funding to support research for her upcoming book about listening education in the twenty-first century. This work aims to help students get the most out of listening to sounds digitally and helps them become more thoughtful, sensitive listeners, with the goal of enriching their learning experiences.

Bedrich Sousedik, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, received support to develop algorithms to solve saddle-point linear systems. The algorithms will be applied to real-world reservoir models such as water management, oil and gas recovery, and nuclear waste disposal. 

Erin Green, assistant professor of biological sciences, received funding to dissect the underlying molecular interaction between two proteins that are critical for protecting the end of chromosomes from deterioration or fusion with other chromosomes. 

Minjoung Kyoung, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was awarded SFF funding to develop an imaging tool that combines a superresolution microscopic technique with a multifocal fluorescence cross-correlations spectroscopy tool. This tool uses highly time-sensitive methods to measure molecular interactions that will provide real-time information about drug target dynamics in live cells.

Andrew Gadsden, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received funding from the SFF program to further explore and develop estimation strategies that other engineers and scientists can apply in the future to work from control systems technology to stock market analysis. 

Qian Zhu, assistant professor of information systems, received SFF funding to integrate and represent pharmacogenomics information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on cancer drugs, to facilitate cancer research and support drug discovery. 

Ting Zhu, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, received a Summer Faculty Fellowship to apply information on cellular phone users’ social interactions to determine accurate indoor localization without the support of external infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi or cellular networks.

Nancy Kusmaul, assistant professor of social work, received SFF funding to gather preliminary data that will be used to explore an improved nursing home model. This model will help facilities consider changing their approaches to better address the needs of their workers.

For more information about SFF, visit the program website

Posted: November 9, 2015, 5:03 PM