Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU announces second round of Promising Scholars

August 22, 2006

Program supports research by rising faculty

Indiana State University has selected 16 faculty members for its second group of "Promising Scholars," up-and-coming educators who have demonstrated their commitment to meaningful research and real-world learning opportunities for students.

Promising Scholars receive research grants of up to $15,000 each in an effort by the university to attract and retain exceptionally qualified faculty. The program is part of "Fulfilling the Promise - The Path to Pre-eminence," a six-year plan to raise Indiana State to a high level of prominence in the state, Midwest region and nation.

"The Promising Scholars program demonstrates this university's commitment not only to providing experiential learning for students but also to creating workable solutions to community problems," said ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III. "Supporting faculty in this kind of research will undoubtedly have a measurable impact on our local, regional and national communities."

Selected via a competitive process, the 16 new selections bring to 34 the total number of Promising Scholars recognized by the university. The initial round of 18 scholars was announced in January.

"Balancing research with a commitment to student learning, via experiential learning and community engagement, is part of what sets Indiana State apart from many other universities. Whether it be in the sciences, humanities, technology, the arts, human performance or education, these Promising Scholars have demonstrated that commitment," said C. Jack Maynard, ISU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

A four-year grant from the Lilly Endowment to recruit and retain intellectual capital for Indiana's higher education institutions is providing initial support to the Promising Scholars program. Indiana State has the goal of re-allocating university funds to continue to support the program, Benjamin said.

Indiana State's 2006-07 Promising Scholars and their projects are:

Michael Angilletta, assistant professor, ecology and organismal biology, "Developing a Unified Theory of Thermal Adaptation." Temperature affects virtually every function of organisms, from metabolism to reproduction. This research will review ecological and evolutionary responses to variation in temperature. The study will help others develop more realistic models of how species might adapt to climate change.

Joe Ashby, assistant professor, electronics and computer technology, "Distance Education Remote Lab Development." Offering practical lab experiences in the distance education environment is a challenge. The goal of this project is to deliver on-line lab based learning modules involving robotics and automation, on a continuous basis, to Indiana high school students.

Kathryn L. Bauserman, assistant professor, elementary, early, and special education, "The Reading Resort: Studying the Impact of Targeted Instruction on the Literacy Skills of Struggling Readers." This study focuses on providing preserve teachers with experiential learning experience by working with struggling readers in the community and provides research opportunities to study the impact of focused literacy instruction on learners and the attitude changes of pre-service teachers as they hone their literacy instructional skills.

Patrick Bennett, assistant professor, psychology, "Prayer as Self-disclosure to God: Implications for Immune Function." Prayer, for many, offers an opportunity to make meaning and express emotion which serve to help individuals integrate difficult life experiences into their sense of self. This project will explore whether such psychological benefits lead to physical benefits by promoting increased immune functioning.

Kevin Bolinskey, assistant professor, psychology, "Psychological Indicators of Hypothetically Psychosis-Prone Individuals." This project examines the pattern of relationships between various psychological measures that have independently been demonstrated to be associated with increased liability to developing a psychotic disorder.

Aruna Chandra, associate professor, management, "International Business Education through Experiential Learning." This project aims to increase awareness of opportunities in the international business arena and interaction amongst ISU and area high school students through an experiential learning component involving student development of web-based international business learning modules targeted at high school students.

Yuetong Lin, assistant professor, electronic and computer technology, "The Study of Distributed Wavelet Fuzzy Networks Using Java Objected-Oriented Neural Engine.' This project aims to use a distributed computing framework called Java Object-Oriented Neural Engine to build a wavelet network-based fuzzy logic controller, with a goal of studying the viability of implementing the computation-intensive task of network adaptation with multiple low-end computers and hardware-independent Java platform.

Doug Martin, assistant professor, English, "The First Ten Years of the Best Online Writing." A printed anthology of the best creative writing on the internet, as it now exists. This will be the first book of printed online writing, and will help bring attention to Indiana State University and Terre Haute.

Linda S. Maule, associate professor, political science and women's studies, "Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness: A Social Justice Service Learning Project." Via qualitative and quantitative data collection, a graduate research assistant, two learning community peer assistants, and the instructor will assess the value-added and positive learning outcomes of the integration of a five stage service-learning model into the curriculum of a learning community for first-year students.

Mary Ann McLean, assistant professor, life sciences, "Microbial Diversity in Acid Mine Drainage Seeps in Western Indiana." Reclaimed coal mines often produce acid mine drainage seeps containing high concentrations of trace elements which are toxic to many organisms. This study will identify dominant microbes and explore their synergistic interactions which contribute to the maintenance of the geochemical characteristics of this extreme environment in Indiana.

Christopher E. Mehrens, music reference librarian, library services, "The American Music Criticism Project." This project will produce a comprehensive annotated bibliography dedicated to American music criticism. Whereas current bibliographies of music criticism are focused on composers and the reception of their work, this project is primarily focused on the critics and their work.

Sherry McFadden, associate professor, theater, "Using Theater, Dance, Puppets, and Masks in Schools and At-Risk Communities to Enhance Curriculums and Lives." The newly developed theatrical dance company "Fusion," founded by McFadden and dance instructor Teresa McCullough of the ISU College of Health and Human Performance, will work with teachers and students in elementary grades using theater and dance to enhance curriculum. Fusion will also begin a project with Ryves Hall Youth Center to develop a "talking history" production to be performed in the Spring of 2007.

Harry E. Minniear, assistant professor, aerospace technology, "Dedicated Crew Resource Management Training - A Study of Effectiveness at the Collegiate Level." This study examines whether crew resource management training strategies administered to pilots leads to increased efficiency and safety performance in the cockpit.

Amit Sinha, assistant professor, finance, "Understanding the Microstructure of Derivatives Markets." Aimed at understanding the microstructure of futures markets such as the Chicago Board of Trade or Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the project will provide students and faculty an opportunity to recognize and investigate the nuances involved in dealing with high frequency trade data.

Elaina M. Tuttle, assistant professor, life sciences, "Genic Selection and the Maintenance of Diversity of Nature." This research will utilize known homologous genes and functional genes found through micro-array analysis to map a chromosomal inversion that will be a model for the interface of genetics, behavior, physiology, ecology and evolution.

Bassam Yousif, assistant professor, economics, "Building the Future: Economic Alternatives for Iraq." This project seeks to propose executable economic policies that promote reconstruction and stability in Iraq, in particular policies that encourage civil society and democratic governance.


Contact: Robert English, interim associate vice president for academic affairs, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2307 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or

Story Highlights

Program supports research by rising faculty

Sixteen faculty members have been named to the second group of "Promising Scholars," up-and-coming educators who demonstrate a commitment to research and real-world learning for students. Promising Scholars receive research grants of up to $15,000 each. The program is being funded via a four-year grant from the Lilly Endowment.

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