Centre News

Centre professors awarded Stodghill Research Professorships

February 7, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger       
Allison Connolly Allison Connolly (above), assistant professor of French, and
Daniel Kirchner (below), assistant professor of philosophy, are
two of five Centre professors awarded Stodghill Research
Professorships for the 2012-13 academic year.

Dan Kirchner Stodghill Professorships are two-course release awards that
allow professors to focus closely on research projects of their

Five Centre professors were recently awarded Stodghill Research Professorships—a competitive, two-course release allowing them to work on a substantial project of some kind—for the 2013-14 academic year.

Awardees of the Stodghill Professorships are: Allison Connolly, assistant professor of French; Robyn Cutright, assistant professor of anthropology; Bruce Johnson, James Graham Brown Professor of Economics; Daniel Kirchner, assistant professor of philosophy; and Matthew Klooster, assistant professor of biology.

Projects the professors will work on during their Stodghill Professorships range from research initiatives to writing manuscripts. Connolly will do both as she completes work on a book-length manuscript on transculturality and gender. She plans to look in-depth at mother figures in literature written in French.

Cutright, who has spent time studying archaeology in Peru, will also work on a manuscript, on the subject of Andean household economies, along with several other projects.

“First, I plan to write and submit for publication an article based on my dissertation research, which looked at how local farming households in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru, experienced conquest by the Chimu state in the 14th century A.D.,” Cutright says. “In the article, I’ll link the changes and continuities I observed archaeologically in these households to broader theories about the impact of imperial conquest on provincial communities.

“Second, I plan to write and submit grant applications to agencies such as NSF and National Geographic to support my ongoing research into the dynamics of ancient provinces and frontiers at the archaeological site of Ventanillas, also in the Jequetepeque Valley on the north coast of Peru,” Cutright continues. “I’ll be using research that I conducted there in 2011 and this coming summer to flesh out these grant proposals and solicit funding for several more seasons of archaeological fieldwork, which will provide continued opportunities for Centre students to become involved.”

Bruce Johnson will use his Stodghill Professorship to analyze data and continue research on the influence of physical attractiveness on labor market outcomes.

Kirchner will also complete a book manuscript based on an original ethical theory he is in the process of developing that will involve the ethics of food.

Klooster will study the symbiosis between a non-photosynthetic plant and its obligate fungal associate during his professorship.

“My Stodghill is going to be utilized to allow me the time I need to finish out a large National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to me in spring of 2010,” he says. “This will give me the time I need to do final bits of research in the lab, data analysis and writing up the work for publication.

The research itself is on a complex highly specialized plant fungal interaction,” Klooster continues. “The plant I’m studying is a totally non-green, non-photosynthetic plant that gets all of its resources from fungus—it’s a total anomaly to other plants. I’m studying the relationship between fungus and plant using genetic tools.”

For all of the professors given Stodghill Professorships this year, the award is quite an honor.

“Receiving the Stodghill award means a lot to me—I look forward to doing a lot of writing but also working to be able to involve more Centre students in my research,” Cutright says.

“I’m really honored and, more than anything, appreciative,” says Klooster. “It’s bittersweet. I’m going to miss interacting with students that term, but am thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue professorial endeavors.

“The professorship is a sign to me that Centre really supports the research initiative that I brought to the college by providing me this extra time to do the work,” Klooster continues. “It’s a sincere sign of support.”

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

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