Gannon sees rise of grants to faculty

Gannon University’s Faculty Development Committee has recently endorsed $80,291 in faculty grant awards, a 72 percent increase over the amount approved 10 years ago.

All requested proposals were granted for the fall semester.

The committee meets twice a year, once in the fall and another in the spring. The fall submissions cover proposals that will materialize between Oct. 15 and March 14 while the spring submissions cover those occurring between March 15 and Oct. 14 of the next year.

According to Mehmet Cultu, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering and the chairperson of the committee, professors submit an application summarizing their project.

In addition to the summary, the proposal should include a description of the faculty member’s qualifications, a detailed budget estimate and the form of financial aid requested.

Proposals are evaluated based on the quality of the written proposal and the clarity of its purpose, the cost of the project and the potential contribution to the faculty’s individual or collective development.

Faculty members use the money to further their education and share their work with their peers from other universities by going to conferences, workshops and seminars.

According to Jeff Bloodworth, Ph.D., associate professor and chairperson of the history department, faculty members appreciate these grants and look forward to them.

“Getting your Ph.D. is hard but it’s only the beginning,” Bloodworth said.

“Going to conferences to present your work and going to workshops and seminars is the lifeblood of an academic.”

Bloodworth used his grant to pay for his travel to attend a conference at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., where he spent a week studying the influence of America’s religion on its foreign policy.

“It was money well-spent,” Bloodworth said.

Carol Hayes, an instructor in the English department, said her grant helped her attend a conference at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania organized by The English Association of the Pennsylvania State Universities on Oct. 11.

The conference was about intertexuality, the use of different methods of media in the classroom, where Hayes presented a paper about the audience’s perception of Hamlet’s father in Shakespeare’s play.

“It helped me to think backwards as I prepared my paper for the conference,” Hayes said.

“It was great listening to how readers interpret writers’ works, which I find fascinating.”

The committee submits its recommendations to Andrew Novobilski, Ph.D., the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, who then makes the final decision.

The provost’s office will further monitor the progress of the projects that receive funding.

“I know for myself that if I did not get these awards, I wouldn’t be half the teacher I am,” Bloodworth said. “It keeps you intellectually alive.”



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