Previous Micro-grant Winners
Fall 2014 Winners
Marco Centurione, International Relations
Project: Participation of 4 students to SUNY Model EU 2015 in New York City.
The participation to the Model EU simulation has special relevance to the Spiritan mission in terms of attentiveness to global concerns and of educating young men and women to serve humanity. It is deeply related to the Spiritans' charism of encouraging students to come to understand themselves as active world citizens who are closely linked to, and therefore called to work for, the mission of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit and of Duquesne: collaboration, dialogue, responsible action, and civic engagement.
Patricia Sheahan, Education
Project: Curricular support for guest speaker series for social justice in educational settings course.
It is important to me that my students engage with people who share in the Mission Statement of Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit. The guests I want to invite to my classroom to share their experience and profound concern for moral and spiritual values in environments that are open to diversity. Through their service they openly live these values. Their experiences help students understand social justice.
Mildred Lopez Escudero, Modern Languages and Literatures
Project: Travel funding to present a paper entitled, Topografias corporales, figuraciones literarias y performance en la cindad festiva, Cuando Sara Chura Despierte (2003).
My research compliments the mission of Duquesne University to welcome diversity and foster cultural awareness because it studies how contemporary narratives portray indigenous South American communities in their migratory experiences and cultural struggles in a contest of a Catholic celebration. My work reflects and contributes to Catholic intellectual tradition because it focuses on the cultural and religious rituals that Catholicism played in maintaining ethnic identity for many indigenous migrant communities who migrate from rural areas to the city.
Mrea Csorba, History
Project: Travel funding to study collections of African art at major Mid-Atlantic state museums.
In my view, the research I propose in African art is very much consistent with values implicit in Spiritan commitments to understanding the "Other." Given Duquesne's interest in promoting knowledge of African culture in our academic curriculum, especially in areas where a Christian presence has been embedded since the Byzantine period, study of the form of Christian architecture can result in a very interesting case study of how vernacular traditions may be elasticized to integrate influences and accommodate the needs of the Christian liturgy.
Christine Lorenz, History, Art Division
Project: Professional development support for exhibition production costs of fine art photographs entitled Clamshell Plastic Studies.
The photographs have a way of defamiliarizing this material, plastic, that we take for granted: we are noticing something that we typically think little about, and we feel compelled to resolve how we feel about it. A compelling moment of notice can lead to consideration of just how much this plastic is out there, what we do with it, and how much of it we may individually be responsible for. The impetus to change our thinking and our behavior, to be open to more sustainable ways of living, is charged by such moments of unexpected engagement. This is part of what it means to take seriously the University's directive to value our environment and seek solutions to global problems.
Spring 2014 Winners
Mrea Csorba, History
Project: Travel funding to present a paper entitled A Bird in the Ear (and Tail) of a Stag: Re-assessment of Heraldic Steppe Imagery from Budapest to Beijing--a Century Later
As an art historian, I research ancient art of migratory herders, broadly characterized as Scythians, that migrated out of the Central Asian steppes up the Danube and other rivers into continental Europe in late prehistory. My work contributes to the larger documentation of an intriguing paradigm of symbiotic exchange between the mobile Scyths and their powerful neighbors, the well-settled Greeks. Termed the "steppe and the sown," this paradigm offers lessons from ancient times consistent with the Spiritan mission which, as I understand it, values intellectual, artistic, and spiritual self-awareness while seeking respectful engagement and interaction for mutual benefit with the "Other."
Ryan Patrick McLaughlin, Theology
Project: Travel funding to present a paper entitled Cosmic Fallenness, Evolution and Nonhuman Death
Duquesne University has taken a strong stance in emphasizing and practicing environmental sustainability. Sustainability is a matter of justice as well as a recognition of the sacramentality and integrity of creation. My work reflects and contributes to Catholic intellectual tradition because it draws heavily on the natural sciences, in this case the evolutionary emergence of the cosmos and its life. This dialogical combination of faith claims and science in an effort to facilitate a more reverent attitude toward nonhuman creation strongly reflects both a core of Duquesne's identity and themes of Catholic intellectual tradition.
Dorit Sasson, ESL
Porject: Professional development support for Cultural Narratives for UCOR Students in the ESL Program
With regard to Spiritan identity and mission, my faculty development project responds to issues of peace and justice through themes of tolerance and greater understanding of the immigrant experience. This issue also has special relevance to the Spiritan mission in terms of building global understanding and mutual respect in the pursuit of academic excellence. These outcomes are acquired and sustained when students learn about other cultures through the experience of reading.
Ed Schroth, Environmental Studies
Project: Curricular support for Science at the Service of Society
Science at the Service of Society is a teaching method used by the Bayer School to help our science students bring classroom theory to community practice while also strengthening Duquesne University's relationship with the Greater Pittsburgh community. Our efforts are driven by values and practices that are informed by the institutional mission of our founders, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit: collaboration, sustainable relationships, and responsible action.
Patricia Sheahan, Education
Project: Curricular support for Guest Speaker Series for Social Justice in Educational Settings Course
My course uses the arts to foster theoretical and conceptual understanding of the issues, meanings, and problems of social justice, as well as critical analysis aimed at transforming social, political, economic, and educational systems. It is important to me that my students engage with people who share the mission of Duquesne University. The guest speakers I want to invite to my classroom exemplify a profound concern for moral and spiritual values in environments that are open to diversity. Through their art they openly express and live these values. Their work and experiences enrich student understanding beyond textbook approaches to social justice.