New Webpage Highlights Faculty Research at Wellesley

An old movie poster, an image of the moon and mars and ancient etchings of soldiers
May 15, 2018

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) has launched a new webpage, the Faculty Research Spotlight, that will serve as the hub for the influential research and scholarship of Wellesley faculty.

Sponsored research provides critical support for Wellesley’s role as a research college dedicated to advancing knowledge, engaging with issues of global importance, and addressing pressing problems of the day. In the sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences, Wellesley professors are conducting a wide variety of research, making leading-edge discoveries, publishing papers, and exhibiting and presenting at conferences together. As befits both a research college and one of the preeminent liberal arts colleges, faculty work side by side with students in a multitude of ways.

OSR’s new webpage aims to publicize the path-breaking and creative work of faculty from across the College and to celebrate the many competitive fellowships, grants, and awards Wellesley faculty receive throughout the year. Faculty are encouraged to submit information about their current projects so that the College can spotlight their research—and its connection to Wellesley’s core mission of undergraduate education—with the campus community as well as prospective students, collaborators, funders, and the media.

Here are three examples, from the dozens featured on the webpage, of current faculty research projects in science, social science, and the humanities.

Vanja Klepac-Ceraj, assistant professor of biological sciences, is studying the connections between microbes and their interactions with the human body with the help of a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Her longitudinal study of over 1,000 children (from birth to age 12) aims to improve our understanding of environmental influences on health outcomes in infants and children.

The recipient of the prestigious Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, Stacie Goddard, Jane Bishop ’51 Associate Professor of Political Science, examines the concept of precision in global military doctrine in her project “The Cult of Precision: The History of a Dangerous Idea,” interrogating the meaning and use of technologically “precise” weapons in contemporary warfare, as well as the equating of “precise” warfare with “legitimate” warfare.

Sponsored by a fellowship from the W.E.B. Dubois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship, Nikki Greene, assistant professor of art, offers a new interpretation of the work of Renée Stout, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Radcliffe Bailey, and David Hammons in her project “Rhythms of Grease, Grime, Glass and Glitter: The Body in Contemporary Black Art.” Greene argues that through the working (and reworking) of bodies and body parts that are identified as black, these prominent contemporary artists of African descent present new ways of looking at and conceiving of black identity.

“Wellesley faculty are recognized experts in their fields, receiving highly prestigious external awards that testify to the importance of their work in advancing knowledge as well as in engaging productively with contemporary issues,” said Elizabeth Demski, director of OSR. “We are delighted to launch a dedicated space to showcase the diversity and significance of faculty research for the benefit of the campus community, the media, and our external funders and partners.”

The Office of Sponsored Research manages the pre-award administrative process, provides information about external funding sources, supports the development and submission of proposals, and clarifies and ensures compliance with sponsored research regulations for Wellesley College’s externally funded grants.

The page is a work in progress, and faculty are encouraged to create a new profile by filling out the profile creation form or update an existing profile by completing the profile update form.

Photo: “Warrior and Attendants” Court of Benin, 16-17th Century, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Open Access Program-Creative Commons Zero (Erich Hatala Matthes); Artist depiction of the planet KELT-9b, which is hotter than some stars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (Kim McLeod); Advertisement for "Csibi der Fratz" (1934), by exiled director Max Neufeld, starring exiled actress Franziska Gaa (Anjeana Hans).