New fellowship funds innovation at Carleton

A new $4-million endowed fellowship is funding the initiatives of nine Carleton University faculty members. The Carty Research Fellowships were established in 2006 from the endowment left by former public servant and philanthropist E. Bower Carty. The fellowships will provide seed money to faculty within the first five years of their appointment and are awarded annually. Almost $300,000 in research grants was awarded in 2006 and Carleton Now is pleased to recognize and congratulate the inaugural winners.

Sarah Casteel is an assistant professor of English and teaches courses on Caribbean writing and the literatures of the Americas. She is examining how contemporary immigrant and diasporic authors are reimagining the “Indigene” and the “Jew” as figures of New World belonging. Casteel expects her research to result in a book that will suggest that the interethnic paradigm is particularly relevant to the contemporary societies of the Americas. “This kind of research support is particularly valuable for new scholars such as myself who are in the process of establishing themselves in their respective fields.”

Sheryl Hamilton, Canada Research Chair in Communication, Law and Governance, is working on six cases that highlight the mechanics of “provocative governance.” By studying Robert Latimer’s mercy killing of his daughter, and other cases in which “the personal troubles of a private citizen become the public issue of a nation,” Hamilton hopes to understand how Canadians try to make sense of their world through law and culture. “I feel extremely fortunate to have received the Carty fellowship. It will have two dramatic impacts upon my project: 1) it will permit me to continue to work with my research team; and 2) we can now conduct interviews across Canada with key participants in these events.”

Advances in computer graphics and robotics, and the incorporation of haptic (touch) sense into computer technology are allowing Peter Liu, Canada Research Chair in Interactive Network Computing and Teleoperation, to improve the precision of surgical simulation for training surgical residents. “With this fellowship,” says Liu, who joined Carleton University’s Department of System and Computer Engineering in July 2002, “I will be able to develop a demonstrative training prototype for cricothyroidotomy, enabling us to attract other external funds for further research.”

Patrick Morin, an associate professor in the School of Computer Science, is interested in implementing more efficient methods for computing statistics on data with more than one dimension—for example, the variables of weight, age, gender and so on, in heart disease. Morin has been studying this area on and off for the past five years, and he says: “There are powerful techniques out there, but they are not very computationally feasible. I’m very lucky to be working with the world-class computational geometry group here at Carleton. The Carty fellowship is a great boost for this project.”

Assistant law professor Dawn Moore will use her fellowship funding to study the operation of drug treatment courts across the country. Her research focuses specifically on the high dropout rate of women in the courts. Moore has written critically on the overhaul of Ontario’s correctional system, date rape drugs, drug addiction and alcohol intervention programs.

Associate Professor Paul Nelles is visiting old libraries in Europe, where he is studying the history of reading and the role of the Renaissance book. Specifically, he is focusing on 16th century Swiss physician and botanist Conrad Gesner, who wrote the major encyclopedia Universal Library. But he is also concerned with wider questions about books, libraries and the Renaissance intellectual world at the tail end of the first century of print. “These are dusty old books that few people read anymore,” says Nelles, who teaches history. “Botany has long since become absorbed into the modern scientific paradigm, yet its beginnings were very different.”

Banu Örmeci, Canada Research Chair in Wastewater and Public Health Engineering, is looking at a more efficient way to disinfect drinking water. Örmeci plans to study the limitations of treating dangerous microorganisms with ultraviolet light and chlorine, for example. “If microorganisms associated with particles survive ultraviolet and chlorine disinfection at doses typically encountered in a water treatment plant,” suggests Örmeci, who joined Carleton University in July 2005, “surviving pathogens can possibly lead to a water-borne disease outbreak.” (See full story on page 1)

George Rigakos, an associate professor of law, criminology and political economy, is researching the dramatic increase in Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) in Toronto and their growing role in public safety. Rigakos says that since the City of Toronto was amalgamated nine years ago, and local borough councils shut down, BIAs have taken on more responsibility for public security. “The Carty funds will help me develop a long-term analysis of the relationship between policing and capital,” says Rigakos. “This is an important component of the overall project.”

Ming Tiampo, an assistant professor in the School for Studies in Art and Culture, is rethinking multiculturalism in Canadian art. “There has been a relative silence in the visual arts about questions of pluralism since the emergence of post-multicultural critiques in 1995,” says Tiampo, who is a founding member of Carleton’s Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis. The funding will allow her to reveal how intersecting cultures in an increasingly mobile world affect Canadians and to produce an exhibition for the 20th anniversary of the Multiculturalism Act, in 2008.

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Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

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