Your Hendrix Odyssey

October 2011 Odyssey Grants

Hendrix Odyssey Program

Project Funding

October 2011

The Committee on Engaged Learning (CEL) has awarded $80,412.75 in Odyssey grants to 27 projects proposed by faculty and students in the October 2011 cycle. The grand total for funding since the Odyssey Program’s inception in 2005 is $1,891,777.15.  The CEL gratefully acknowledges the support of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language and the Crain-Mailing Center of Jewish Culture in this funding cycle.

Students will research abolition and slavery in London, explore New Urbanism in Portland, learn new languages, and immerse themselves in the healthcare system of Nicaragua.

The Odyssey Grant recipients include:

Jordan Akin, Sheryl Burt, Kate Moran, Cassandra Heimann, Alanna Montgomery and Matthew Larson

Life on the Pine Ridge Reservation

Category: Global Awareness

Sponsor: Coach James Kelly

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is home to the Oglala Lakota tribe. Jordan Akin, Sheryl Burt, Kate Moran, Cassandra Heimann, Alanna Montgomery and Matthew Larson will work with Re-Member, an organization that works to build relationships and understanding between immigrant and Native Americans. The students will observe and participate in cultural activities, attend lectures, visit sites on the reservation and do mission work for the tribe. “The United States is home to people from many different backgrounds, and we hope to gain a broader perspective of the true diversity of this country by traveling to live in one of its more remote communities,” they said.

Xan Clark, Kelsey Shaub, Tawny Smedley, Scott Banks, and Jet Doan

Guided Advanced Study of Japanese Language and Culture

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Michael Sprunger

Hendrix doesn’t offer classes in Japanese, so students took the initiative through an Odyssey grant to arrange for intensive instruction. Xan Clark, Kelsey Shaub, Tawny Smedley, Scott Banks, and Jet Doan will be tutored in the language and culture by Gwen Stockwell, who has a Master’s Degree in Japanese pedagogy and spent several years living in Japan.  “In Japanese, perhaps more so than in other languages, having a firm grasp of the native tongue is impossible without cultural awareness,” they said. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Kathleen Combs

Helping Children One Nickel at a Time

Category: Undergraduate Research

Sponsor: Dr. Tim Maxwell

This spring, Kathleen Combs will volunteer with the Complex Brain Function lab at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Children earn nickels by playing games that in reality are tests of their brain function. The research currently being conducted in the lab focuses on children with anxiety disorders in order to assess their performance compared with non-anxious children. “I believe the research we conduct in the Complex Brian Function lab has the potential to serve as an impetus for more profound research that makes significant discoveries,” Combs said.

Kelly Connelly and Alison Pope

A New Lens for Women:  Studying Gender in Film at Female Eye

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Kristi McKim

Kelly Connelly and Alison Pope will travel to Toronto for the 10th annual Female Eye Film Festival this spring. “The festival features international independent films with feminist themes made mostly by, but not limited to, women,” they said. They hope to learn more about the role of women in film and the cinematic perception of women’s role in society. Their project will culminate with a screening and reflective discussion on campus.

Francis Cruz

That Must've Hurt!: A Journey into Stage Combat

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Prof. Ann Muse

Through a series of workshops this spring sponsored by the Society of American Fight Directors, Frances Cruz will enter the world of stage combat.  Using precise choreography, actors can provide striking, vivid points of conflict for the audience. “Stage combat is how actors safely recreate scenes of violence without actual harm coming to either of the participants,” Cruz said. He will learn the nuances that make a fight not only well-choreographed but also well-acted.

Hannah Flatau and Hannah Hudspeth

Tristate Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Chris Campolo

The Tristate Undergraduate Liberal Arts Conference draws students from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi to present original works and ideas in any area of philosophy in a professional conference environment. Hannah Flatau and Hannah Hudspeth will  reorganize the conference this year to include five additional institutions in the tristate area.  “Organizing the expanded conference will give us an insight into the life of many professional philosophers,” they said.  They plan to increase participation and create greater networking possibilities.

Elana Harrison, Catherine Gilman, and Amelia Robert

Green City: New Urbanism in Portland, OR

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Stella Capek

New Urbanism is a style of city planning that focuses on sustainable development, mixed-use housing, and alternative transportation. It combats suburban sprawl and reclaims public spaces, while respecting local architecture and ecology. Elana Harrison, Catherine Gilman, and Amelia Robert will explore elements of New Urbanism in Portland, Ore. “Our intention is to analyze how community life within New Urbanist neighborhoods differs from other areas,” they said.

Karl Heinbockel, Cassie Tragert, Forest Cooper, Anna Smith, Cassidy Robinson, Josephine Reece and Lacey Laborde

Exploring Roots of Change: Service and Learning in the U.S. Environmental Sustainability Movement

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Stella Capek

Karl Heinbockel, Cassie Tragert, Forest Cooper, Anna Smith, Cassidy Robinson, Josephine Reece and Lacey Laborde will go cross-country to build on their interest in environmental issues. They will visit Chicago, one of America’s “greenest” cities, with stops for environmentally oriented service projects and research visits to non-profits and organizations along the way.  “We will be exploring environmental issues, solutions, technology, social issues/eco-justice, and food production,” they said.

Julissa Hutchison-Ybarra

Art on Probation

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Prof. Melissa Gill

Julissa Hutchison-Ybarra will draw upon her background in art, psychology and sociology when she teaches an art class for juveniles on probation this spring.  “An art program through Conway juvenile court services would provide encouragement, support, focus, and an outlet for expression—things most kids in the juvenile probation program have never had,” she said. The students will focus on techniques and principles, and each participant will build a portfolio of artwork. The class will culminate with an art show.

Meghan Kerin, LeQuan Dang, and Natasha Honomichl

Analysis of the PLA2 Gene in Agkistrodon contortrix for Evidence of Allopatric Speciation in the Populations of the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains

Category: Undergraduate Research

Sponsor: Dr. George Harper

Meghan Kerin, LeQuan Dang, and Natasha Honomichl will conduct molecular analysis of the venom of Agkistrodon contortrix, commonly known as the copperhead. They are investigating if copperheads were subject to allopatric speciation, the diverging of a species due to a physical or geographic barrier. They will focus on the Southern Copperhead and the Osage Copperhead. “The Arkansas River may be a physical barrier between these two populations of copperheads and could potentially result in allopatric speciation,” they said.

Abbey Koon and Karyn Kuan

Open-Minded Dialogue: An exploration of tolerance, architecture, and spatial analysis in medieval Spain

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Sasha Pfau

Abbey Koon and Karyn Kuan will explore four cities in southern Spain as they research the cultural and religious borrowing in architecture and design between Muslims, Christians and Jews. They are particularly interested in examining the nuances of Jewish culture compared to the more obvious and dominant Muslim and Christian influences. “Many Jewish structures were built in a style that was reflective of other cultures due to their continual persecution as minorities,” they said. Buildings that reflected the architecture of the city may have helped the Jewish structures blend in to avoid being targeted by the other cultures. This project is co-sponsored with the generous support of the Crain-Maling Center of Jewish Culture.

Kimberly Lane

The Lutheran Midtowne Garden: enriching young minds through collaboration and hands-on learning

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Tyrone Jaeger

Kimberly Lane is a driving force behind establishing the Lutheran Midtowne Garden, an educational vegetable garden at Christ Lutheran School in Little Rock. Students at the school will work together to tend the garden while learning about food security, sustainability and the growing process. “Once we harvest the food produced in the garden, a portion of it will be given to lower-income families, and the rest will be used as a healthy alternative in the school cafeteria,” Lane said.

Adam Legg

Determining if speciation has occurred in Regina Septemvittata in Northwest Arkansas

Category: Undergraduate Research

Sponsor: Dr. George Harper

Adam Legg will examine the genetic variation between populations of Queen snake both east and west of the Mississippi river. He is exploring the genetic differences found in the snakes of northeast Arkansas. “Classifying the snake as a new sub-species would be helpful for the population because work could be done to place it on the endangered species list, thereby allowing conservation efforts to be used for preserving the population,” he said.

Bryce Martin

Going on the Road with Landfather

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Marianne Tettlebaum

As a member of the band May the Peace of the Sea Be with You, Bryce Martin is eagerly anticipating the release of “Landfather,” the group’s upcoming full-length album. To promote the album, the band will go on a tour organized and publicized by Martin. “I will be in charge of not only completing and manufacturing the most artistically ambitious record we’ve done thus far, but I will also be the sole manager of promotion and booking in support of the album,” he said.

Hannah McGrew

Youth Crime Prevention and Community Development through Soccer Values

Category: Service to the World

Sponsor: Coach Jim Evans

Hannah McGrew and other members of the Hendrix Women’s Soccer team will travel to Jamaica to work with Sports-To-Life. “The organization uses athletics to teach kids important lessons about community, citizenship, and the value of teamwork,” McGrew said. Ideally, kids will be motivated to stay off the streets and away from gangs. The team will organize a week-long soccer camp for at-risk children in the Kingston area. An additional layer of this service project is a sports equipment drive on campus; the team will deliver the donations to Jamaica and give some to the camp participants to encourage a lasting interest in athletics.

Delaney Roberts

Commotion in the Queer Movement: Examining Queer Organizing in San Francisco

Category: Special Projects

Sponsor: Dr. Lisa Leitz

During Spring Break, Delaney Roberts will travel to San Francisco to learn the newest and most successful methods of queer organizing. She will attend meetings with grassroots organizations and have conversations with activists and social movement scholars. She will share her findings about their successful methods and practices with queer and ally activists on campus. “With the work and dedication of Hendrix students, this project will result in real, tangible changes in our community based on what Hendrix students believe is just,” Roberts said.

Benjamin Seale

Thailand Summer English Camp

Category: Global Awareness

Sponsor: Dr. Jay McDaniel

The Thailand English Summer Camp is a program that brings American college students to the country to teach English to Thai students. Benjamin Seale has been accepted to participate in the program, where he will also share his culture and learn more about the Thai through mutual sharing in the language lessons he leads. “As part of my cultural explanation, I will speak ‘Americanized’ English to demonstrate American slang and colloquialisms, which will broaden the Thai students’ abilities to communicate with other Americans,” Seale said. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Erin Shaw-Meadow, Catherine Jarrel and Emily Maverick

From the Earth to the Table: Organic Farming in Costa Rica

Category: Global Awareness

Sponsor: Dr. Lilian Contreras-Silva

Erin Shaw-Meadow, Catherine Jarrel and Emily Maverick will volunteer on an organic farm in Costa Rica, where they will discover whether organic farming is a realistic option in a country with a developing economy. They will working through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), a program that links volunteers with farms where they work for their room and board.  “Many of the farms encourage a cohesive community that fosters the exchange of languages, educational backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences,” they said.

Hailey Travis and Brennan McGinn

Shifting Gears: Changing the Lives of Women and Children with Bicycles

Category: Service to the World

Sponsor: Prof. Britt Murphy

Hailey Travis and Brennan McGinn will work with the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas to provide bicycles for the residents and their children. The women will have a greater range for finding employment, and their children will learn confidence and a healthy lifestyle.  “In addition, we will teach multiple sessions of a two part curriculum, one course focusing on the basic mechanics, repair, and safe operation of the bicycle, and the other focusing on safety skills for youth and children,” they said.

Jennifer Youngblood

Revealing a City's Untold History: London and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Category: Undergraduate Research

Sponsor: Dr. Jeff Kosiorek

London presents an interesting dichotomy in history since it was both a center for abolitionist thinkers and the fourth biggest slave trading port in the world. Jennifer Youngblood will explore museums, monuments, and the British Library as she investigates the two sides of the city.  “I wish to shed light on London’s involvement in slavery and discover how London was able to deal with the dueling dynamics of slavery and abolition,” Youngblood said.

Dr. Jay Barth, Prof. Hope Coulter, and Dr. Jeff Kosiorek

Buffalo River Currents: Nature, Place, and the Public Imagination

Category: Special Projects

Dr. Jay Barth, Prof. Hope Coulter, and Dr. Jeff Kosiorek will lead 12 Hendrix students on a cross-disciplinary study that integrates local history, public policy, and creative responses to the Buffalo River, which was the first national river in the United States. “This program seeks to understand the ways that place is shaped by idiosyncratic forces, both social and natural,” they said. Each participant will synthesize his or her own response—analytical, literary, and artistic—to the Buffalo River country.

Dr. Carl Burch

Open-Source Software Development Odyssey

Category: Professional and Leadership Development

Dr. Carl Burch will guide eight students in a three-week session to design and develop a complete open-source software project.  They will create a JavaScript-enabled Web page that features an educational game or teaching children (grades 4-8) about designing the circuits that form the foundation of computers. “The primary goal is for participants to get a hands-on experience with professional software development,” Burch said.

Dr. Nancy Fleming

2012 SWACDA Collegiate Honor Choir and Conference Experience

Category: Special Projects

At the meeting of the Southwest Region of the American Choral Directors Association, students from 30 colleges will come together for a Collegiate Honor Choir. Dr. Nancy Fleming will take singers Tessa Caballero, Hope Coleman, Dalton Hoose, Robbie Liebendorfer, Emily Maverick, Conner McMains, James Sebesta, and Hannah Smashey to represent Hendrix. “They will learn about choral music from a variety of perspectives: by performing themselves, by hearing outstanding choirs perform, by sharing their experiences with other college students, and by listening to professionals discuss technical aspects of their craft,” Fleming said. This project is co-sponsored by the Jonathan and Donna Wolfe Hendrix Choir Endowment Fund.

Dr. David Hales

Student Travel to American Chemical Society National Meeting to Present Research

Category: Undergraduate Research

The Department of Chemistry will take 27 students to present their research as posters at the Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Anaheim, Calif., in March.  The students will attend technical sessions and ACS functions to become better acquainted with the professional society and aspects of their chosen discipline.

Prof. Brigitte Rogers

American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) Conference: Kicks on Route 66

Category: Special Projects

The Odyssey Program and the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance will team up to send members of the Hendrix Dance Ensemble to this year’s American College Dance Festival. Held at Missouri State University, the festival emphasizes the importance of dance in higher education and provides a wide assortment of classes, lectures and performances by leading experts. The festival offers an intensive study of dance movement and theory, along with class instruction and performance feedback from renowned dance professionals. The 15 student participants will work in leadership positions as choreographers, as well as in artistic positions as performers for two dance pieces that will be adjudicated at the festival.

Dr. Jose Vilahomat

Exploring Aspects of Nicaraguan Healthcare System

Category: Special Projects

Dr. Jose Vilahomat and Prof. Irmina Fabricio will take seven pre-med/biology students to Nicaragua to visit a hospital in Managua, a prominent private clinic and places of interest in the country’s history, culture and geography. The participating students are Marc Brick, Melissa Clement, Jasmine Haller, Kaitlin McGrail, Malena Outhay, Saranya Prathibha and Amelia Unser. They will attend presentations on kidney transplants during the trip. Interacting with skilled medical professionals will give the students insight into the healthcare system in Nicaragua.

Dr. Ann Wright

Travel to 2012 American Physical Society Conference

Category: Undergraduate Research

Dr. Todd Tinsley will accompany four Hendrix students as they participate in the American Physical Society conference in Atlanta, Ga., this March. Hanna McWilliams, Jordan Russell, Tyler Webb and Julian Giller will present their research at the event.