Grants Awarded to Knox Faculty

Support student research; enhance curriculum in performing arts

October 11, 2010

Knox College faculty in political science and theatre are participating in projects to enhance the curriculum in the performing arts and promote student research in all disciplines, through grants from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.

Peter Roskam, Andrew CivettiniAndrew Civettini, assistant professor of political science, and Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, professor and chair of theatre, are working with colleagues at other liberal arts colleges in the region on two upcoming events, supported by grants from the Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Project at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM).

Photo, right: Political science faculty Andrew Civettini (right) talks with Congressman Peter Roskam (R, Illinois) during the congressman's visit to campus.

Civettini is leading the planning of a joint faculty-student workshop on how faculty and students work together in the undergraduate research process. The event, "ACM Workshop on Models for Undergraduate Research: Fostering Faculty-Student Collaboration," will be held in Chicago in April, 2011. The workshop received an initial grant of $3,500 for planning, and is eligible for an additional $11,500.

"What makes this conference distinctive is that we are bringing together faculty and students from ACM colleges, representing a full range of disciplines and career stages," Civettini said. "Faculty are interested in student input -- what skills and knowledge students want to gain from research. We're asking students directly, 'If you were going to design an undergraduate research program, what would it look like?' Faculty will then talk about how to accomplish that."

Civettini, who came to Knox in 2007, has conducted research in political psychology. He studies the role of emotion in voting behavior, and regularly involves students in his research.

Elizabeth Carlin-MetzCarlin-Metz is joining with colleagues at Coe College and Grinnell College to organize a Performance Educators Conference on how dance and theatre are taught in a liberal arts context.

Photo, right: Elizabeth Carlin-Metz directs a theatre rehearsal.

The conference will be held in October at Coe College, with planning led by Dennis Barnett, associate professor of theatre at Coe. The grant will provide up to $15,000 toward the cost of the conference.

The conference will feature members of DAH Theatre of Belgrade, Serbia, who will perform this fall at Knox and several other ACM campuses.

"DAH combines dance, theatre and multimedia, and challenges the traditional roles and methods of teaching about text, director, actor, dancer, choreographer and musician," Carlin-Metz said. "The conference will allow faculty to engage in sustained discussion about the ways in which theatre and dance are taught in the liberal arts college. In our own theatre department at Knox, we are interested in developing more avenues for students to explore original works."

In addition to teaching and directing theatre at Knox since 1994, Carlin-Metz has directed numerous acclaimed productions by Vitalist Theatre in Chicago.

So far this year, seven grants totaling nearly $60,000 have been awarded to small teams of faculty for research and events. More than 100 faculty members from all 14 ACM colleges are expected to be involved in the grant-funded activities to enhance learning in classrooms, laboratories, performances and off-campus study. The next funding cycle deadline is December 1, 2010. The FaCE Project is supported by a grant to the ACM from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. ACM members are Beloit College, Carleton College, Coe College, Colorado College, Cornell College, Grinnell College, Knox College, Lake Forest College, Lawrence University, Luther College, Macalester College, Monmouth College, Ripon College, and St. Olaf College.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.