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posted October 14, 1998

Jon Gjerde

History professor Jon Gjerde has received three awards for his 1997 book "The Minds of the West: The Ethnocultural Evolution of the Rural Middle West, 1830-1917."

Gjerde's analytical and ethnographic study received the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Immigration History Society (for the best book in immigration history), the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Agricultural History Society (for the best book in agricultural history), and the Benjamin F. Shambaugh Award Honorable Mention of the State Historical Society of Iowa (for the best book in Iowa history).

James Madison of the Department of History at Indiana University, described "Minds of the West" as "a book of...sophisticated and multi-layered analysis" and "among the very best studies of ethnicity we have."

In "The Minds of the West" Gjerde examines the cultural patterns that American-born and European immigrants carried with them to the Midwest, where migration patterns and the vastness of the landscape enabled cultural groups to sequester in tightly knit settlements built around community institutions.

Recounting the tensions immigrants felt between old and new, Gjerde reveals subtle but important differences in courtship styles, intimacy patterns, childraising methods and inheritance practices among ethnic groups.

"Minds of the West" was published by the University of North Carolina Press.


Research Fund Awards Six Bioscience Faculty

Six faculty members received awards this year from the Faculty Research Fund for the Biological Sciences.

The three-person selection committee solicited coherent and specific research proposals that demonstrated research excellence and a documented need in an underfunded project.

The 1998 fund recipients, and their research subjects, are:

Carla D'Antonio, integrative biology, "Effects of Invasive Species on Communities and Ecosystems"

Michael Dickinson, integrative biology, "Instrumentation for Biomechanical and Physiological Studies of Fish"

Donald Rio, molecular and cell biology, "mRNA Splicing and P Element Transportation in Drosophil"

Ellen Robey, molecular and cell biology, "Notch Signaling and T-Cell Lineage Selection"

John Taylor, plant and microbial biology: "Sexual Recombination in Fungi Imperfecti"

Loy Volkman, plant and microbial biology, "Actin Involvement in Nucleocapsid Morphogenesis of a Baculovirus"

The Fund was created two years ago by a $5 million gift from anonymous donors. Its goal is to maintain and enhance the quality of biological research by providing short-term support for feasibility studies and equipment needs.


12 Junior Faculty Garner Hellman Fund Awards

Twelve junior faculty members have received research support awards from the Hellman Family Faculty Fund.

Recipients were chosen based on the excellence of the proposed research. As in previous years, the selection panel looked for evidence of exciting, creative research, and for new ideas, paradigms and theories.

The 1998 recipients and their study subjects are:

John Battles, environmental science, policy & management, "Does the Early Detection of Neighboring Plants Improve the Survival and Growth of Forest Trees?"

Aditya Behl, South and Southeast Asian Studies, "Rasa and Romance: The Avahdhi Sufi Premakhyans"

Stephen Best, English, fugitive properties, "Slavery, Technology, and the Lure of the Material in American Culture"

Ignacio Chapela, environmental science, policy & management, "Species-Specific Carbon Processing by Fungi in Coniferous Forests"

Jack Colford, public health, "Application of Density Equalized Map Projections to Evaluate Spatial Clustering of Cryptosporidiosis in San Francisco"

Yang Dan, molecular and cell biology, neurobiology, "Reading the Neural Code in the Mammalian Visual System"

Suzanne Fleiszig, optometry, "Development of Novel Therapies for Pseu-domonas aeruginosa Infection"

Junko Habu, anthropology, "Development of Sedentism Among Prehistoric Hunter-Gathers in Japan"

Fenyong Liu, public health, "Development of Ribozymes as Novel Gene-Targeting Agents"

Xin Liu, anthropology, "Moral Mathematics: Luck, Fortune, and Authority in Late Socialist China"

Laurie Wilkie, anthropology, "998 Archaeological Excavations at Clifton Plantation, Bahamas"

Peter Zinoman, history, "Vu Trong Phung and Literary Modernism in Vietnam."

The awards selection panel included four recently tenured faculty members, a nominee from the Academic Senate Committee on Research, and Interim Vice Provost Donald McQuade, who served as chair.

The fund was established in 1995 with a $5 million gift from F. Warren and Patricia Christina "Chris" Hellman.


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