2008-09 Promising Scholars faculty plan meaningful research

May 15 2008

Whether searching for a way to block the growth of cancerous tumors, examining factors that influence domestic violence or designing a more energy efficient home, rising faculty members at Indiana State University plan research that holds the promise of a better quality of life.

Seven up-and-coming faculty members have been named 2008-09 “Promising Scholars” in recognition of their commitment to meaningful research and student learning.

Promising Scholars receive research grants of up to $15,000 each in an effort by the university to attract and retain exceptionally qualified faculty. The program is part of “Fulfilling the Promise - The Path to Pre-eminence,” a six-year plan to raise Indiana State to a high level of prominence in the state, Midwest region and nation. A four-year grant from the Lilly Endowment to recruit and retain intellectual capital for Indiana's higher education institutions is providing initial support to the Promising Scholars program.

Chosen via a competitive process, the seven new selections bring to 51 the total number of Promising Scholars recognized by the university since the program began with the 2005-06 academic year.

The 2008-09 Promising Scholars, and their projects, are:

* Allan Albig, assistant professor, life sciences, “Discovery and Characterization of Novel Regulators of Angiogenesis and Tumorigenesis”
The formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) is critical for the development of most kinds of solid cancers. Therefore, anti-angiogenesis therapies may be used to block tumor growth. Albig will discover and characterize novel molecules that regulate angiogenesis. He believes these studies will eventually lead to the development of new anti-cancer therapeutics.

* Ray Chen, assistant professor, art, “Clay Expression: From Cultural Influence to Modern Context”
This project provides a response to the professional needs and interests of the ISU community and strengthens communications between local, national and international artists. An international ceramics symposium will take place on the ISU campus in spring 2009. The symposium has a unique artistic vision that brings art educators, national and international artists, collectors, curators, art critics and writers, galleries and museums directors, as well as an invitational and a juried exhibition to ISU art galleries. The program will include lectures, panel discussions, groups of topic discussions, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, professional equipments and publication manufacture exhibitors as well as inviting artists and professionals. The art department will host a five-week international ceramics residency and workshop in the summer of 2009.

* Gerardo Cummings, assistant professor, Spanish, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Sexuality, Capitalism and Politics in Mexican Popular Culture”
This project will produce a comprehensive study of sexual representations in Mexican popular culture of the past fifty years, and the roles that capitalism and politics have played in its appeal to the masses. The project will generate a book and a companion DVD documentary that will study the depths of sexual behavior in mass media artifacts such as comic books, music, television and film.

* Wei He, assistant professor, management, “Attracting Direct Investment from China to Indiana: Rationales, Approaches, and Prospects”
China currently owns the largest foreign exchange reserves in the world and is encouraging its firms to actively invest abroad. Meanwhile, Indiana desperately needs both domestic and international investment to revitalize its economy and create new employments. This project intends to help match Indiana's demand of investment with China's supply of it by studying the rationales, approaches and prospects of soliciting direct investment from China to Indiana. It will benefit the state and local communities' economic development, ISU students' experiential learning of international business and the academic literature on foreign direct investment from emerging economies to developed countries.

* Debra Leggett, assistant professor, counseling, “Marital Satisfaction and Social Interest: An Investigation of the Community”
Legget will investigate the relationship between social interest and marital satisfaction as well as the relationship between social interest and domestic violence within the Wabash Valley. She also will collect data regarding the prevalence of interpersonal violence within the sample and will measure the validity and reliability of a new domestic violence measure, which is focused on the context of violent behavior within couples. If the hypotheses are supported, she will apply for grants to develop high school and college programs that increase social interest and relational satisfaction and decrease relational abuse.

* Eulsum Seung, assistant professor, science education, “Improving Preservice Teachers’ Reflection Using a Web-Based Video Analysis Tool in Elementary Science Teacher Preparation”
The purpose of this project is to support pre-service teachers’ evidence-based reflection experience by integrating a web-based video analysis tool in elementary science teacher preparation. The use of video-analysis will facilitate the self-reflection of elementary pre-service teachers’ and the collaborative reflection with their mentors. This project will investigate the effectiveness of evidence-based reflection in the mentoring context as well as seek effective ways to encourage pre-service teachers’ reflection on their teaching practices. It also will investigate how reflective mentoring improves pre-service teachers’ knowledge of inquiry-based science teaching and learning.

* Mary C. Sterling, associate professor, interior design, “Net Zero Energy Healthy House Project”
The National Association of Realtors predicts 5.7 million existing home sales and 693,000 new-home sales in 2008. It would seem that the greatest impact on reducing the carbon footprint for the built environment would be through retrofits. The renovation of a house on North Seventh Street in Terre Haute will model a pilot project of a Net Zero Energy Healthy House for a typical mid-western working class family. An integrated design process will address the seven phases of design with a multi-discipline team of professionals, students and community stakeholders. This retrofit will advance universal design and promote housing that is healthy, affordable, sustainable and energy-efficient.

Photos:
Allan Albig
Ray Chen
Gerardo Cummings
Wei He
Debra Leggett
Eulsum Seung
Mary Sterling

Contact: Bob English, associate vice president for academic affairs, Indiana State University, 812-237-2307 or renglish1@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Whether searching for a way to block the growth of cancerous tumors, examining factors that influence domestic violence or designing a more energy efficient home, rising faculty members at Indiana State University plan research that holds the promise of a better quality of life. Seven up-and-coming faculty members have been named 2008-09 "Promising Scholars" in recognition of their commitment to meaningful research and student learning.

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