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01/24/2013
Texas Wesleyan Professors Receive Sam Taylor Fellowship Awards

From cloning of bacteria to environmental education, research takes on many forms.

And thanks to the Sam Taylor Fellowships, seven Texas Wesleyan professors will be pursuing research in the sciences, education, and humanities. The funding is awarded by the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

Awardees and Research Topics

Bruce Benz will conduct research and further engage his students with practical field research skills, thereby contributing to the knowledge of the White Rosinweed—an endangered plant in the state of Texas—as well as performing DNA barcoding of numerous native Texas trees and shrubs.

Tanni Chaudhuri will conduct qualitative research focusing on the different sociological perspectives of individuals of diverse cultures and origins. Specifically, she will investigate the life experiences and perspectives of health quality between HIV-positive and AIDS-diagnosed women in Texas as compared to women in West Bengal, India.

Mark Hanshaw will continue his research into how individuals migrate between religious traditions in our multicultural society, specifically between Christian and Eastern religions in North America. The research will culminate in a film-based project.

Newton Hilliard will conduct chemistry laboratory research related to the cloning of the bacteria Halothiobacillus neapolitanus to determine their metabolic properties and potentially discover ways to protect our environment from pollutants.

Laura Kunkel earned funding toward educational expenses related to earning her Doctor of Education degree, with a curriculum and instruction concentration.

Phil Pelphrey plans to further engage his students with practical research skills and conduct chemistry research focusing on organic compounds and sub-molecular bonding and reactions. The goal is to improve pharmacological agent synthesis and methodologies. Specifically, his research strives to improve the current methods of generating cyclopropane compounds, which have an affinity to the chemical messengers that make up the central nervous system.

Patsy Robles-Goodwin will conduct a quasi-qualitative research study to examine the environmental education issues relating to pre-service and in-service teachers as well as parents. She will be providing vital information in a field without current data to support the ever-changing demographics in Texas.

The will of the late Sam Taylor set aside income from a portion of his estate to fund continuing education and development of faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas.

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