2014 Projects in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Interdisciplinary Studies

Summer Research 2014 – Projects in the Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies

Summer 2014 Student Application Form

Choose a disciplinary area for a quick link to the associated projects:

American Conversations   Archaeology   Art   Asian Studies   Economics   Education   History   Music   Norwegian   Religion   Theater

(or view projects in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics)

AMERICAN CONVERSATIONS

Matthew Rohn – An American Conversations Digital Humanities Portal and Resources

This project will start the development of an American Conversations, digital humanities, web-based portal to house resources that faculty and students can use as relatively passive “readers” but also interactively in the study of visual, auditory, data-driven American Conversations material. We will explore the development of specific resources for teaching a visual art topic through a virtual gallery; a census-derived immigration issue; an interactive museum of American popular culture; and civically engaged radio essays.

This research position is half-time, 20 hours per week during the ten weeks of the summer program. The student will typically meet at least once a week with me as we both research what others are doing in these fields and what best practices might be. We will work closely with one or more St. Olaf Digital Humanities staff and interns to learn about resources they know and determine what would work better for American Conversations needs based on college computing resources or other resources that can be added with existing means. We will periodically develop some of these resources either through the student’s technical abilities and creativity or with the help of IT staff and/or Digital Humanities staff and we’ll be playing with some of these resources. We’ll keep logs of our work and develop means of archiving not only our resources but also our trials, successes and failures so others continuing this work in future years can build on what we do and not reinvent the wheel.

The student will expand their basic research skills through practice and searching for high quality resources in a relatively new field. They will learn about pedagogy and how to communicate knowledge in a multi-modal way to a variety of users (i.e., faculty of differing backgrounds, 1st and 2nd year students, a possible bigger, Web audience). The student will also learn new technologies and best practices in this field.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Timothy Howe – 3D Imaging and Archaeology

The St.Olaf Archaeological Field School at Antiochia ad Cragum in Southern Turkey will be using the emerging 3D technologies of RTI and PhotoScan to document and analyze the artefacts from the 2014 excavation season. The project will involve: (1) taking multiple still photographs (70-90) of each object, (2) taking multiple still photographs of the excavation process, (3) processing those digital photos to produce a finished image, (4) organizing the images according to site-specific metadata, and (5) interpreting the historical and cultural significance of each finished image. Students are needed who have experience in photography, photographic manipulation (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom), GIS, and metadata to perform tasks 1-4 and begin task 5.

Students and faculty will work collaboratively in the field and in the lab as RTI and PhotoScan data is collected and processed. However, as the students become more adept at capturing and processing data, faculty guidance will become less necessary and student work will become more independent. By the end of the project, students will be processing their own data and offering interpretations about its relevance and meaning.

This project will give students valuable, transportable skills in advanced photography, (photo)graphic design, website design, textual and image analysis, computer mapping (Geographic Information Systems) and archaeological research. In addition, residence in Turkey provides a unique internationalization experience, allowing student researchers to collaborate with Turkish peers. Since Turkey is an emerging economy and one of the only fully Westernized Muslim countries, the opportunities for networking and lifelong learning are incalculable.

ART

Jane Becker Nelson – Collection Stories: Curating the Flaten Art Museum Collection

This project puts students in direct contact with historic and contemporary artworks from the Flaten Art Museum’s collection of over 4,000 objects. Because many of the objects (including some of the finest) are hidden in museum storage for optimal protection, few know about this rich cultural resource. In order to increase use of the collection as a teaching tool, the museum director is seeking a team of students to co-produce thematic video slideshow tours of the collection. Using artworks as a springboard for interdisciplinary inquiry, they will develop “Collection Stories” that highlight thematic relationships among works from disparate periods, cultures, and media. Acting as curators and storytellers, students will develop virtual exhibitions, narrate video slideshows, and publish them as part of Flaten Art Museum’s online collection.

The professor and students will be in frequent communication as they jointly study collection objects, conduct research, and curate the Collection Stories. The first two weeks will require intensive group work, but independent research and production time will increase as the project develops. Full group meetings will take place three times each week, with individual professor-student meetings scheduled as needed. Outside of group meeting times students will work independently and in peer-to-peer pairs, using the Print Study Room in Dittmann Center as an available work space. Students must be intellectually curious, creative, detail-oriented, and self-motivated. They must also be determined to revise their narratives and videos multiple times, until the museum director deems them ready to publish. Creative writing skills and visual sensitivity essential; experience with studio art, art history, and/or digital media desirable.

This project will provide students from a wide range of disciplines an opportunity to hone curatorial skills. Students will gain experience in critical analysis, aggregating material, visual literacy, creative writing, editing, collections management, digital imaging, and web-based platforms – desirable and marketable skills in a wide range of academic fields and professions. The students’ projects will be permanently available as part of the Flaten Art Museum website, and will serve as excellent “published” material that students can cite in internship, graduate study, and job applications.

Peter Nelson – Stop Motion Animation

Create a stop-motion animation and submit it to film festivals! Students will collaboratively work with Visiting Assistant Professor of New Media Peter Nelson through the entire process of making a stop-motion film. Students will storyboard the film, develop and build sets and characters, light, shoot, and edit footage, create a soundscape, develop promotional materials including a website and posters, and submit the product to film festivals. Students with a wide range of skills (sculpture, photography, drawing, filmmaking, graphic design, performance, theater, music, dance, screenwriting, etc.) are invited to apply.

Students will be creative collaborators, giving input into the production of the film. The professor will oversee all aspects of the project, but will delegate large chunks of responsibility to students. Because of the multi-faceted nature of stop-motion animation, students will take ownership of certain aspects of the film and will need to be self-motivated. Depending on the stage of the film, the professor and students could be working closely together 40 hrs/week or might meet just an hour or two every other day to check on progress.

Students will learn through both independent work and attentive mentorship. They will be immersed in the entire process — a high-impact experience that will be great for future job prospects. Students will be able to highlight accomplishments, such as professional film festival screenings and gallery exhibits, on their resumés. The skills of planning, creating, and promoting a film are relevant to a variety of careers in commercial and fine arts, including film and television production, animation, graphic design, web development, photography, and marketing, to name a few. Additionally, the following skills are relevant in nearly every career: creativity, attention to detail, problem solving, presentation skills, and the creation of promotional materials.

ASIAN STUDIES

Ka Wong – Asia in Northfield: A Historical, Ethnographic, and Cultural Study

Since Northfield officially welcomed its first wave of refugee immigrants during the Vietnam War diaspora, almost four decades ago, the Asian population in this all-American city has steadily grown, reaching 3.5% in 2010 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With the diversification of both colleges, the number of faculty members and students of Asian origins or heritage has also increased notably over the years. Why did they settle in Northfield? What are their stories? How do they face the issues of assimilation, stereotype, and discrimination while keeping their own cultures, traditions, and identities? What does it mean to live the “American dream” in Northfield? As the new focus of cultural and ethnographic studies highlights the nature of “locality” and “lived experience,” this interdisciplinary project puts forward a faculty-student collaboration on collecting, documenting, and analyzing the Asian American experience in Northfield.

Students will be selected based on some combination of: 1) interest in Asian American/cultural studies; 2) strong communicative and organizational skills; 3) computer skills, such as web design/publishing, photo-imaging/digitalization, and video/audio editing; 4) some knowledge of Asian language(s), such as Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong is preferable but not required.

While students will work closely with the faculty member and each other throughout the research process, they are also required to work independently on various components of the project—such as survey/organize empirical data, compose field notes, input information, and digitize materials. In addition, students may be asked to observe the Minnesota Vietnam Culture Camp, which is scheduled to take place at St Olaf College in mid July. This project will provide students with valuable experience in conducting humanities/cultural studies research, from methodology and theory to field work and analysis to digital documentation and presentation, which is important for pursuing a graduate degree/teaching career. Students will also gain more in-depth understanding of the local community, especially the minority group of Asian Americans. Acknowledgment and appropriate credit will be given to the students in all future publication/presentation of the research findings.

ECONOMICS

Ashley Hodgson – Measuring medical treatment intensity when a patient has multiple chronic conditions

A growing share of patients today have multiple chronic conditions (diabetes, asthma, heart disease, depression, etc) complicating their medical care. This requires doctors to make judgment calls in prescribing treatments designed to address a single medical condition. Two competing forces may influence hospital treatment intensity for these patients. On one hand, doctors may act more cautiously because of the uncertainty in side-effects of treatments designed for a single isolated condition. On the other hand, doctors may prescribe more treatments to these patients in order to pre-empt anticipated side effects, or because extra treatment is needed to counteract negative reactions to treatments designed without consideration of the patient’s secondary conditions. In light of these influences, we ask the question: Do patients with multiple chronic conditions receive more intensive treatment or less intensive treatment when they are in the hospital for conditions unrelated to their chronic illnesses?  Based on recent trends, we expect multiple chronic conditions to increase treatment intensity and increase costs exponentially. Alongside our statistical investigation, we will review the literature and discuss different conceptual frameworks to explore the many factors that influence a patient’s treatment intensity, as well as related questions about chronic conditions as individual or sometimes multiple complications.

Desired skills and interests include: courses in statistics; an interest in thinking about applications to health policy; an interest in learning a new statistical software package (Stata). The students and I will meet daily either in person or over the phone. During these meetings we will report our progress and strategize for the coming days. The meetings will be the times when we talk about our ideas for a relevant conceptual framework, and brainstorm on ways of testing those ideas using the data. We will be working with multiple data sets, and will divide the work among us. Most of the data work will be using Stata, a statistical package.

Students will gain an understanding of the process economists use to empirically investigate a research question. They should also learn about health care policy and administration, especially as we process the theoretical framework for the paper and do our review of literature.

EDUCATION

Jean Aguilar-Valdez – Educational Research from the Borderlands: Latina/o Student Testimonio as Ethnography and Documentary

This summer project is an extension of the Spring 2014 DUR course, “Educational Research from the Borderlands: Latina/o Student Testimonio as Ethnography.” The course was designed to familiarize undergraduate students with critical, decolonizing approaches to qualitative and mixed methods educational research methodologies. Undergraduate student researchers – many with previous experience in courses or field experiences in K-12 education – meet together with middle and high school Latina/o students in the TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) Program at Northfield High School and Northfield Middle School, and those in facilitative positions within the TORCH program. Through the use of research methodologies such as ethnography, testimonio, and mixed methods review of TORCH’s quantitative measures of success, students work alongside Latina/o students and their families and members of TORCH staff to uncover truths about Latina/o students’ realities and power, as well as the model for success over the years that TORCH has achieved with its Latina/o students. The summer portion of this project will involve taking the data collected during the semester, analyzing it, meeting additionally with stakeholders and participants as the final products of the study take shape, and working as a co-author and co-creator with the professor in creating manuscripts, presentations, a website for testimonios/stories, and several mini-documentaries based on the data collected.

Students in this summer project are expected to meet with the professor twice a week for 2-4 hours, when data, analysis, and ideas will be shared, and plans of action will be generated. The remainder of the expected 40/hour per week will be spent communicating either in person or through electronic media such as email, Skype, or collaboratively through Google Docs and Google Drive, in order to continue to analyze and shape the data and the products that emerge from the data. Students are expected to remain electronically available for collaboration during weekdays for the duration of the project, and work closely with the professor as co-authors and co-creators of the final products meant for dissemination. Students also will go with the professor to meet with participants and stakeholders in the study at the TORCH program offices at Northfield middle and high schools, as well as consult with other professors and faculty at St. Olaf with expertise in IT and documentary creation.

Students in this project will learn a new mindset and approach to working in solidarity with non-dominant populations when engaging in educational research. They will become a part of a larger push for social justice and new paradigms of understanding when considering the lived realities and voices of the Latino population and of the teachers and advocates who work within these communities on a daily basis, and have been a part of these communities for years. This project helps the students involved understand the larger community and its struggles and perseverance from deeply personal and human stories and interactions with those who live it. On a continuous basis, students will be exposed to theories of decolonizing methodologies, pushing their boundaries of how to view participants as equals, not as an “other” or an object to be researched, as well as gaining knowledge of the practical application of decolonizing methodology and research for the purposes of social justice, through actual experience doing and connecting with the community and its needs. Students also will gain experience with several aspects of humanities and social sciences research such as ethnography, member checking, qualitative and quantitative data organization and analysis, transcription, narrative construction, website design, and documentary editing and creation.

Heather Campbell and Elizabeth Leer – The Implementation and Impacts of Northfield’s Teacher Professional Learning Communities

In an effort to systematize their mode of delivering school-based professional development, Northfield Public Schools utilizes a unique model. Each Wednesday, all district schools have a one-hour late start to enable school teachers and staff members to meet in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). We will survey and interview teachers, administrators, and parents to explore both the benefits and challenges of implementing PLCs locally and to investigate how Northfield gained support from the district and community to structure professional development via weekly late starts. In addition, we will analyze PLC yearly reports and other publicly available information (including test scores) to determine the historical development, educational impacts, and current status of the PLCs. We hope to have a draft of a paper ready for publication at the end of the summer project.

Students will analyze and code survey data from teachers, interview data from principals and teachers, and data from a variety of public documents (reports, test scores, meeting minutes, etc.). Desired skills include: experience coding and analyzing qualitative data, conducting interviews, understanding basic statistical information. However, the investigators will train students. It is likely that there will be frequent research-team meetings (perhaps 2-3 times per week), but there will also be time for individual research. Most of the work in the summer will be reading through interviews and documents, coding data, and perhaps conducting additional interviews. Students and professors will work closely together to analyze the data and write the paper.

Few research experiences in education/education policy are available at St. Olaf; this project will provide students interested in educational policy, leadership, or instruction a chance to serve on a research team investigating an important education policy in Northfield.

Sharon Lane-Getaz – Researching Curriculum and Assessments for Bridging the College and Advanced Placement Statistics Gap (CAPS-Gap)

This project will conduct background research for Bridging the College and Advanced Placement Statistics Gap (CAPS-Gap). The students and I will review and summarize existing statistics education standards including: Advanced Placement topic guidelines, Common Core Initiatives for High School Statistics and Probability and Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) endorsed by the ASA for both the K-12 and the College Report. We will also summarize survey results from a CAPS-Gap Needs and Interest Survey administered to AP Statistics Readers in January 2014. Given these criteria, we will categorize existing curricula and assessments that may address the gap between AP Statistics courses and a rigorous, second course in statistics at the college level. The team will recommend activities and assessments to address the proposed CAPS-Gap module objectives. Students should have completed at least one and preferably two Statistics courses at St. Olaf and should have completed an Educational Psychology course.

I will work collaboratively with students in identifying curricula and articles that will inform our background research. For example, I will provide information regarding existing statistics education standards, and will also suggest curricula to review.

The students will gain insight into statistics education research and will be likely candidates to be involved in aspects of the the proposed three-year NSF project which will engage CIR Fellows and CURI summer researchers in all aspects of the project from design through dissemination.

Greg Muth – The Science Alliance: Science Education and Outreach

This non-traditional summer research project continues our community outreach effort to get elementary students excited about science and gives Oles the opportunity to inspire our next generation of researchers. The goal of the summer portion of the project is to research and develop hands-on classroom activities for elementary school students centered on the principles of renewable energy and other areas of science. The project continues during the academic year with training of volunteers and dissemination of the materials and curriculum throughout the community in a science-outreach program. This project is ideal for a student interested in science education. A vital component for the success of this project is coordination and implementation during the academic year.  Preference will be given to those individual able to do so.

After the initial training period, the students will take primary responsibility for the project. The goal is to empower the students with the confidence and to generate their own ideas for teaching and the skills and resources to see their ideas to implementation. The working relationship range from daily hands-on guidance to complete independence with room to encourage creativity and expression.

A primary goal of the project is for students to take ownership of the development and dissemination of the curriculum they develop. There is opportunity for complete independence, an opportunity to provide leadership, and an opportunity for mentoring the next generation of scientist.

HISTORY

Timothy Howe – 3D Imaging and Archaeology

The St.Olaf Archaeological Field School at Antiochia ad Cragum in Southern Turkey will be using the emerging 3D technologies of RTI and PhotoScan to document and analyze the artefacts from the 2014 excavation season. The project will involve: (1) taking multiple still photographs (70-90) of each object, (2) taking multiple still photographs of the excavation process, (3) processing those digital photos to produce a finished image, (4) organizing the images according to site-specific metadata, and (5) interpreting the historical and cultural significance of each finished image. Students are needed who have experience in photography, photographic manipulation (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom), GIS, and metadata to perform tasks 1-4 and begin task 5.

Students and faculty will work collaboratively in the field and in the lab as RTI and PhotoScan data is collected and processed. However, as the students become more adept at capturing and processing data, faculty guidance will become less necessary and student work will become more independent. By the end of the project, students will be processing their own data and offering interpretations about its relevance and meaning.

This project will give students valuable, transportable skills in advanced photography, (photo)graphic design, website design, textual and image analysis, computer mapping (Geographic Information Systems) and archaeological research. In addition, residence in Turkey provides a unique internationalization experience, allowing student researchers to collaborate with Turkish peers. Since Turkey is an emerging economy and one of the only fully Westernized Muslim countries, the opportunities for networking and lifelong learning are incalculable.

L. DeAne Lagerquist – Locating Lutheranism: Using GIS Tools to Investigate and Interpret 19th Century Norwegian-American Lutherans

Beginning with O.M. Norlie’s 1918 Norsk Lutherske Minighter i Amerika, we will 1) map the locations of Norwegian-American Lutheran congregations, 2) look for patterns in their dates of founding, geographic locations, synodical affiliations, and names, and 3) for a smaller number of congregations construct a more robust on-line exhibit of photographs, historical documents, and narrative. The student will be involved in data entry, researching missing addresses, data analysis, selection of historical materials, and design and construction of the exhibit.

Following initial orientation, much of the work can be carried out more-or-less independently. However, I anticipate at least twice weekly consultations. Data entry will be done on campus. Gathering of historical materials will require travel to the ELCA Regional Archive on the Luther Seminary Campus (St. Paul). There may also be materials in the NAHA collection at St. Olaf.

Students will develop technical skill and experience, research skills and strategies, and historical judgement relative to source selection and interpretation. They will also gain knowledge of American religious history generally and of St. Olaf’s ethno-religious heritage more specifically.

MUSIC

Paul Niemisto – Collaborative Practicum in Community Cultural Development: Vintage Band Festival in Northfield

This is an applied research project involving assessment and data collection regarding a major music festival in Northfield MN, which took place in summer 2013. This collaborative practicum involving a music festival and community cultural development will explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of the evolving field of arts management. Students with backgrounds in instrumental music, math/statistics, and/or arts managements experience will be given priority.

The project will begin in late May with introductory meetings and workshops about the history of the Vintage Band Festival, previous St. Olaf student involvement, and delineating new goals and plans for the upcoming activity. This will include an extensive walking tour of Northfield and all the venues and resources used in the VBF. A handbook of literature examples on festival planning, the economics of arts in the community, literature specific to the VBF, and related materials will be given to the participating students for early reading and then discussed during the opening sessions. The major element of this project will be a detailed evaluative process of statistical information gathered from the 2013 event, examining the previous students’ work, the effectiveness of festival volunteers in their planning and execution, and measuring the impact in the audience and the community, in economic and cultural terms. The project will culminate in a detailed report to the VBF Board and Northfield Downtown Development Corp. about the survey results and recommendations. While daily contact will be normal between the participating students and faculty, a general meeting will be held at the end of each week to assess the recent activity and consider plans for the next week. We will use the CURI summer gatherings as particular points for assessment of progress and a presentation of work up to that point.

This experience offers a balance between gaining a theoretical knowledge of the subject and some substantive experience in the field. Interested students will be screened for selection to this project based on some combination of: 1) background in math/statistics, 2) some knowledge and experience in organizing arts events 3) some completed course work in arts management or related subjects, and (4) demonstration of personal skills related to interviewing, public speaking, letter-writing, cyber skills, and document organization. Student researchers will assume considerable responsibility as active participants in the project. They will need to be meticulous record keepers and advance planners, dealing with a complex palate of subject matter. They will also need to exhibit flexibility and patience in working with many people locally and nationally, in addition to their faculty mentor. Students interested in Arts Management, Music, Statistics, or Media Studies could find this research practicum useful in career preparation. Related academic areas such as Economics, Journalism, or Musicology may also be pertinent.

David Castro and Tina Garrett – The Mathematics of Atonal Musical Structures

Within the growing sub-field of music theory known as transformational theory, recent work by Dmitri Tymoczko, Steven Rings, Clifton Callendar, et al., has developed the traditional relationship between math and music to an unprecedented degree. These authors (and others) employ sophisticated mathematics in order to model various musical structures and their interactions. To date, however, the most influential work has largely focused on tonal or diatonic music, meaning that fully chromatic or atonal music remains a rich area for research. To that end, the goal of our summer research project is to examine Allen Forte’s list of atonal set classes using the tools and concepts of combinatorics. This research will evaluate the notion of sets, as it is understood by music theorists, for its analytical validity and effectiveness.

David Castro will oversee the major aspect of the project question — what type of analyses make sense in the atonal setting. Tina Garrett will provide the mathematical expertise and combinatorics background. The students will have the opportunity to work at this intersection of music and mathematics and learn to look at a music theory problem from a different perspective. The project also provides an insight into the application of combinatorics.

Timothy Mahr – Composing for Concert Band

Two student composers will each create a work for concert band. The compositions will be artistic reflections on one of two subjects: the first choice will be the St. Olaf College campus theme for 2014-15 (to be announced later this spring) and the other will be the heritage of the St. Olaf Band as it approaches the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1891. Students selected for participation will have demonstrated advanced skills in upper level music composition courses and/or applied composition lessons.

Initial daily meetings during week one will refine the concept of each work. Meetings will then occur 2-3 times a week as the writing proceeds. Transfer of each work from manuscript to a computer-engraved score will begin as early as the midpoint of the project. Final meetings will focus on editing the works and managing the part extraction. The two composers will meet together in a seminar once a week to share the progress of their work with each other, as well as provide feedback to one another.

The opportunity to compose for a large ensemble with the promise of a reading of the work is rare for an undergraduate student. Most likely, the proposed project’s compositions will be deemed worthy for inclusion on of our concerts, so they would receive additionally a number of rehearsals leading up to their performances.  This entire process offers the students a vital learning opportunity.

Tracey Engleman – Vocal Health and Wellness for the Collegiate Singer

In response to the St. Olaf Music Department’s need for applicable and readily available information regarding vocal health and wellness, this inquiry aims to produce content for an online resource available on the Music Department website that is specific to the human voice. This resource will be available to the more than four hundred singers who find themselves in the multiple choirs, various performing groups, and voice studios at St. Olaf. The information and resources provided may help students prevent vocal injuries due to vigorous vocal use while at St. Olaf, or help them on their road to recovery after an injury has occurred. The content will include a review of the latest vocal science literature, input from faculty and students at St. Olaf who have experienced vocal injuries and interviews with authorities in the field.

Together, the student and I will work to come up with a specific timeline for the inquiry. The early steps will focus on research, information gathering, and outlining the content to be created. The research includes reading relevant literature in the field, interviewing students and faculty members to gauge what content would be helpful, and interviewing other experts in the field. These experts may include speech and language pathologists, otolaryngologists, and/or movement specialists. The next step will be to create 1) the material for the online content, and/or possibly on online “handbook”; 2) a presentation that would include a seminar for incoming freshmen addressing the vocal demands they will experience; and 3) a poster-presentation. As the faculty mentor, I will serve as principal editor. I will also read the student-generated material as a critical scholar, assessing the pertinence and persuasiveness of the evidence provided, and the strength of the analysis. Additionally, I will offer suggestions of pertinent books, articles, and sources and propose various approaches, methods, and lines of interpretation. The student and I will work together through regular scheduled communication and I will answer other questions or concerns that arise in a timely manner.

The student will have the opportunity to learn about vocal health and wellness through an academic, scholarly inquiry into the subject. He/she will be able to have the opportunity to speak with knowledgeable members in the field of vocal health, and will gain experience in planning, managing, and executing a large-scale project. Additionally, the student will be able to improve upon his/her writing and research skills through regular feedback and guidance.

NORWEGIAN

Kari Dorer – Sett i gang Web Portal

The Sett i gang web portal is a website that brings many useful language learning resources together in one site for first year Norwegian language learners.  This includes audio materials, an online workbook, flashcards and links of interest to the learner. The project draws on theories of second language learning and online learning for facilitated student inquiry into how theory and practice meet in applied linguistics and educational technology. This process involves evaluating learner results of existing materials and the technological tools that best meet the needs of language learners. Then, the students will apply this knowledge by creating additional exercises/ resources for learners.

One student position requires Norwegian language knowledge (NOR 253 or higher) and the second student position requires a strong interest in the intersection of language learning and technology. Norwegian language knowledge would be helpful for this student, but not required. The project is divided so that the students will have time to explore topics independently, together with each other, and also ample time to work collaboratively with the faculty mentor.  Additionally, it emphasizes working with and learning from IT staff so that everyone can learn from each others’ expertise.

This project provides the opportunity to take part in what language instructors do to prepare the best learning environment for our students. It asks the one student to critically evaluate pre-existing materials, investigate how students interact with these materials and determine if the curriculum is meeting the students’ needs. The second student has the opportunity to explore how technology is used to support language learning. This student will be critically examining and determining which tools best support the educational goals of each exercise and how the layout and features of the quizzes will best meet students’ needs.

L. DeAne Lagerquist – Locating Lutheranism: Using GIS Tools to Investigate and Interpret 19th Century Norwegian-American Lutherans

Beginning with O.M. Norlie’s 1918 Norsk Lutherske Minighter i Amerika, we will 1) map the locations of Norwegian-American Lutheran congregations, 2) look for patterns in their dates of founding, geographic locations, synodical affiliations, and names, and 3) for a smaller number of congregations construct a more robust on-line exhibit of photographs, historical documents, and narrative. The student will be involved in data entry, researching missing addresses, data analysis, selection of historical materials, and design and construction of the exhibit.

Following initial orientation, much of the work can be carried out more-or-less independently. However, I anticipate at least twice weekly consultations. Data entry will be done on campus. Gathering of historical materials will require travel to the ELCA Regional Archive on the Luther Seminary Campus (St. Paul). There may also be materials in the NAHA collection at St. Olaf.

Students will develop technical skill and experience, research skills and strategies, and historical judgement relative to source selection and interpretation. They will also gain knowledge of American religious history generally and of St. Olaf’s ethno-religious heritage more specifically.

RELIGION

L. DeAne Lagerquist – Locating Lutheranism: Using GIS Tools to Investigate and Interpret 19th Century Norwegian-American Lutherans

Beginning with O.M. Norlie’s 1918 Norsk Lutherske Minighter i Amerika, we will 1) map the locations of Norwegian-American Lutheran congregations, 2) look for patterns in their dates of founding, geographic locations, synodical affiliations, and names, and 3) for a smaller number of congregations construct a more robust on-line exhibit of photographs, historical documents, and narrative. The student will be involved in data entry, researching missing addresses, data analysis, selection of historical materials, and design and construction of the exhibit.

Following initial orientation, much of the work can be carried out more-or-less independently. However, I anticipate at least twice weekly consultations. Data entry will be done on campus. Gathering of historical materials will require travel to the ELCA Regional Archive on the Luther Seminary Campus (St. Paul). There may also be materials in the NAHA collection at St. Olaf.

Students will develop technical skill and experience, research skills and strategies, and historical judgement relative to source selection and interpretation. They will also gain knowledge of American religious history generally and of St. Olaf’s ethno-religious heritage more specifically.

THEATER

Jeanne Willcoxon and Brian Bjorklund – Dramaturgical Research: Digital applications, resources, and exhibition

The primary research question that this project will answer is “How can we help students effectively research the theatrical text and live performance?” This project will focus on creating online resources that provide support for and instruction on dramaturgical research as well as an easily searchable production archive for students and faculty. Instructors could use this resource in class to teach students how to do the field-specific historical research of dramaturgs (dramaturgs, in general, provide production research and inspiration to theater directors, designers and cast members). Student dramaturgs would also use this resource to create and present their work on productions.

Experience and background with theater production, research and/ or experience with computer technology and web resource creation is desired. Faculty and students will work together to plan and execute the work of the project, meeting regularly throughout the time frame of this grant. The project will use a collaborative working model and involve the resources of IT and library digital humanities staff. The larger project will be broken down into parts and the team will divide the projects up for completion.  Some projects will be completed by individuals and others may use a team approach.

This project will extend student learning in dramaturgical research, provide a rich experience in visual research and give hands-on experience with using digital tools for authoring, presenting and discovery. The collaborative working model will provide interesting opportunities for discussion and learning effective approaches for project work and problem-solving.

Todd Edwards – Alternative trigger devices for show control in live performance.

This summer project will research and test alternative triggering devices for use in live performance. These triggers can control special effects, lighting, sound, projections, pyrotechnics and scenery automation. Potential triggers can include MIDI, Arduino, IR, Camera and Motion Control devices. We will look at numerous products that are used for interfacing a user (actor, singer, dancer, other talent) with technology. These interfaces then trigger media servers or other software programs to fire specific cues, which can include lighting, special or visual effects, pyrotechnic devices or audio/music. Additionally, these triggers could be used to move scenery or props within a performance space. These devices can be used in theater, dance, performance art, musical/concert venues, etc…

This project provides a great opportunity for the student researcher to work with creative concepts and industry tools and technologies. They will be exposed to many new and different possibilities as we explore existing triggers together, test their effectiveness, and create new triggers for use in live/performance venues. The student will work closely and directly with me and be an integral part of the success of this research, and will also meet other professionals in the field.