2017-2018 PDGR Abstracts


In February, 2017, a committee of retirees, appointed by Frances Lawrenz, Associate Vice President of Research, reviewed and recommended 14 of the 21 application for Professional Development Grants for Retirees. In March,  Allen Levine, Interim Vice President for Research, announced the recipients for the 2016-2017 Professional Development Grant for Retirees. Of the awards, one was from the Duluth Campus and the others were from the Twin Cities Campus. They represent the fields of Medicine, Law, History and Art History, Education, Architecture, Mining, Indian Studies, and Statistics.


Frederick Asher, Professor Emeritus, Department of Art History, CLA, University of Minnesota-TC,
India and the World: The Visual Culture of Indian Ocean Trade to 1500.  Support requested to conduct the final research in Indonesia, the Gulf, and Zanzibar for a book on the visual culture of the Indian Ocean trade prior to 1500, the first every book on this trade.  Research on other port areas of the Indian Ocean has been completed.  Indian Ocean trade was an exchange that sent Indian ivories to Pompeii and a fully constructed Indian temple to coastal China, Chinese ceramics to Southeast Asia, India, the Gulf, and east Africa, and extended Indian religions and writing systems across Southeast Asia and Islam across the entire Indian Ocean.  

Betty Cooke, Lecturer, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, CEHD, University of Minnesota-TC,
Parent-Child Interaction Video Update: The Reflective Dialogue Parent Education Design.  A grant was awarded to plan an update of the Reflective Dialogue Parent Education Design, a research-based approach to parent education.  The printed handbook and DVDs were designed in the mid-1990’s to strengthen the quality of parent-child interaction.  New culturally relevant parent-child scenes and new technology will make this approach more useful for parent education, professional development and continued research. 

Charles Fairhurst, T.W. Bennett Professor Emeritus of Mining Engineering and Rock Mechanics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering, CSE, University of Minnesota-TC,
Video: Why Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering?  A one-hour technical video will be prepared in collaboration with an IT professional and distributed to an international audience of engineers.  The video will outline the current state of the art of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. The International Society of Rock Mechanics requested this video, part of a series prepared by leading international experts.  It will describe the special role of numerical modeling as a tool to inform design in rock engineering and will emphasize UMN contributions to this field

Alan Lathrop, Curator, Manuscripts Division, University Libraries, University of Minnesota-TC,
Emmanuel L. Masqueray: A French Architect in Minnesota.  This is a proposed book-length study of the life and career of Emmanuel Louis Masqueray (1861-1917), a prominent architect who designed the Cathedral in St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.  He was a French-born architect who migrated to New York in 1887, worked for a succession of prominent NY architects, and was employed as chief designer at the World’s Fair in St. Louis.  He designed 112 structures in less than a decade, including four cathedrals and 39 parish churches in six states and Canada.  Funds will be used for travel, research, and reproduction of materials for the proposed book.

Carol Miller, Morse Distinguished Teaching Professor and Associate Professor Emeritus of American Studies and American Indian Studies, CLA, University of Minnesota-TC,
Founding Mothers of Contemporary American Indian Literature.  Funds to conduct research at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Collection were granted for a critical study focusing on five American Indian women authors: Sarah Winnemucca (Paiute), Zitkala Sa (Dakota), S. Alice Callahan (Muscogee), Mourning Dove (Okanogan), and Ellen Cara Deloria (Dakota).  These authors stand as the progenitors of the rich and important canon of contemporary American Indian literature.  This study intends to examine these writers’ defenses of Native interests and values over a period of history that included removal, boarding school, military subjugation, allotment, threats to sovereignty, and predictions of vanishing that threatened every aspect of Native American cultural viability.

Alexis Pogorelskin, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of History, CLA, University of Minnesota-Duluth,
Duluth and Hollywood: The Career of Sidney Buchman.  Funds will be used to develop a video documentary on the connection between Duluth and the movie industry with a focus on the career of Sidney Buchman, born and raised in Duluth, and his extraordinary contributions to script writing.  His Oscar winning productions include Holiday (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), Talk of the Town (1942), and The Group (1966).  His political heritage framed this work.  Buchman’s defiance of the House Un-American Activities Committee forced him into exile in France but made him a symbol of political courage.  This documentary will argue for Duluth’s contribution and the significance of this region to American popular culture through Sidney Buchman.

Wayne Potratz, Professor Emeritus, Department of Art, CLA, University of Minnesota-TC,
Lead a Workshop and Lecture at Festival of High Temperatures: Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, Poland.  Funds will be used to participate in a Polish fire arts festival, Festival of High Temperatures, at Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design, Wroclaw, Poland.  He will be leading a workshop on alternative methods of mold making for iron casting and giving a lecture at the festival. This is an opportunity to collaborate with Eastern European artists and expand his creative practice.

Jonathan Ravdin, M.D., Nesbitt Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine, Medical School, University of Minnesota-TC,
Enhanced Clinical Data Management for the Youth and AIDS Projects by Implementation of New Health Information Technology.  This planning grant provides initial support for the transfer of data on HIV-infected youth and their families that were collected in an Xcel data base since 1991.  This grant is insufficient to implement new health information technology but it could augment other sources of funding.  The Youth and AIDS Projects provide case management to improve the survival of youth people with HIV and prevent secondary spread of HIV to their partners and children.  New analytic tools are needed to store and organize data to improve case management, grant submission, and faculty productivity. 

Gerald Rinehart, Vice Provost and Dean of Students, Office for Student Affairs, University of Minnesota-TC,
Review and Summary of Historical Documents Pertaining to Religious Organizations, Activities and Issues on UMN Twin Cities Campus, 1947-present.  This grant is for planning the analysis of 60 years of historical documents tracing the evolving perspectives of spirituality in student life, the role of religious leaders in campus controversies, the development of policies and organizations on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.  Planning will involve the University Archives, their documented materials, and the assessment of new records.

Marjorie Savage, Professional and Administrative Staff, Outreach and Research, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota-TC,
Frances Andrews: A Social Biography of Progressivism.  Funds will support research for a social biography of Frances Andrews, a social activist in the first half of the 20th century.  Andrews advocated for safe birth control, environmental preservation and voting rights.  Her life illustrates how Minnesota women reached across societal and cultural boundaries to effect change with reformists from across the Upper Midwest.  Search of primary sources will include archives in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan communities where Andrews lived or frequently visited.

Kathryn Sedo, Professor Emerita of Clinical Instruction and Senior Attorney, Law School, University of Minnesota-TC,
Attend Two American Bar Association Meetings for Low-Income Taxpayer and Pro Bono Update to Maintain Mastery as a Community Volunteer.  A nationally recognized expert in substantive tax law for low-income individuals and tax procedures, and former director of the Tax Clinic at the Law School, Sedo plans to maintain her mastery by attending American Bar Association Section of Taxation meetings.  She uses her expertise by volunteering her services and being a resource to various legal aid and non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities. The meetings are in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas.

William Sudderth, Professor Emeritus of Statistics, School of Statistics, CLA, University of Minnesota-TC,
Present at Conference on Simplifying Strategies in Stochastic Games, Erice, Italy.  Sudderth plans to present research that is about finding comparably simple strategies for more general stochastic games and discussing it with leading European game theorists at the conference in Italy. The mathematical theory of stochastic games is used to model situations in which two or more individuals engage in a competition that requires them to make a series of decisions in the face of uncertainty.  Good strategies are often complicated and difficult to implement.  His co-authors of a publication on simplifying strategies will be at the conference.

Elaine Tarone, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, CLA, University of Minnesota-TC,
Shifts of Accuracy, Complexity and Fluency in Constructed Dialogue by Adult Second Language Learners.  Funding supports expanding research on second language acquisition, drawing on Bakhtinian sociocultural theory.  Tarone and a colleague plan to gather more data documenting adult English learners’ shifts in accuracy, complexity and fluency when they replicate the speech of others in language play.  They plan to present their findings at a conference and submit a paper for publication.

Kyla Wahlstrom, Research Associate, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, CEHD, University of Minnesota-TC,
School Start Time Research: Further Discovery, Dissemination and Policy Implications. Funding will be used to complete research on the school start time using car crash findings from high schools.  She has one year of crash data but will gather data from subsequent years to determine longitudinally if the findings are consistent with those from Year 1.  Findings will be presented at two national conferences.  This work is a continuation of the research that she has conducted for the past 20 years.