Provost creates first fellowship

Betsy Garcia

A new fellowship program will help eight professors from each college gain funding for research projects for the next academic year.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Harry Hellenbrand announced the creation of the Research Fellows Program, which will pay for part of fellows’ research from 2008 to 2009. The fellows, who were chosen from a competitive selection process in fall 2007, will also have a reduced teaching load during that period in order to dedicate more time toward their research.

As part of the program, fellows will be reporting their results or creative activity to the deans in their department and the provost. The Oviatt Library will host a tutorial once a year at which the fellows will share their work with the campus.

Fellows were notified of their selection through email from last December through early January by each department’s dean’s office.

“This is an outstanding program the provost established. I hope it gets set in place to benefit other researchers on campus. It is a great program that other fellows will agree it will help them get their work done much better,” said Benedict Yaspelkis, kinesiology professor who is also among the eight selected fellows.

Yaspelkis’ project is concerned with the health of humans in this country and worldwide, and his research focuses on fighting the obesity epidemic and diabetes. The professor has been working on the project at CSUN for the past 12 years.

“The purpose is to gain an understanding of how the disease occurs and reverse it,” said Yaspelkis.

Xiyi Hang from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was very excited when he found out through an email from his dean.

Hang said he will apply a computational approach to medical image analysis to determine the levels of health in cells by observing micro-ray images.

Professor Rick Mitchell, who was chosen from the English department, has written more than 20 plays and teaches playwriting, drama and performance. Mitchell will be working on a full-length play called “Anthropology.”

The play is based on the Iraq War and will examine cultural differences and historical conflicts related to the war, signifying the battle over the control of scientific knowledge, technology and science.

Mitchell will use the funding to pay for production and hiring professional actors for the spring 2009 semester.

Adele Eskeles Gottfried, who was chosen from the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, will conduct her study on elementary schools to colleges and will examine how to motivate children, the effects of parental involvement, how high school courses relate to choosing college courses and how it all ties together for a positive impact for future academic achievements and course selection.

Vicentiu Covrig, a professor from the Department of Finance Behavior, Real Estate and Insurance, will be studying non-U.S. investor behavior.

Art professor Owen Doonan will not only organize an international workshop in Turkey and edit volumes on the archeology project he pilots, but he will also expand the catalog for the CSUN exhibition into a major publication, “Post-Colonial Art of Tunisia.”

Lindsay Hansen from the Oviatt Library will conduct interviews in East Berlin with Volkmar Andra and Peter Wicke, who were popular music figures during the Cold War era.

Suzanne Scheld from the Department of Anthropology will write two papers on the debated presence of China in the African continent. One paper will investigate the political, economic and socio-cultural land ownership of the Chinese in the Senegal. The second paper will be based on racial discussion as a response from the Chinese presence in the Senegal.