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Funding Creative Research


March 25, 2016

External funding to support creative work and scholarship in our fields of art, design and media is limited and hard to come by, which is why the Westphal College instituted a Minigrants and Creativity Awards program. This year, Film & Video professor Gerard Hooper is producing a documentary on location in Cuba examining memory and perceptions of the past; Theatre professor Bill Fennelly is launching creative research at the Brubeck Collection in Stockton, CA for his new adaptation of the 1950s jazz musical, The Real Ambassadors; Stefan Rank, PhD, Game Design & Production professor, received funding to continue his research into how virtual reality and motion sensing devices impact perceptions of our behavior and the behavior of others; and Dance professor Tania Isaac will premiere the new duet work “(in)visible man,” in collaboration with adjunct Dance professor Meredith Rainey, at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Please read on to learn more about the wide range of innovative faculty research projects that received funding this year.

Minigrants and Creativity Awards are granted annually for the launch, continuation, or completion of creative work or scholarly research. Linda Kim, Art & Art History professor, received funding to acquire the reproduction rights for 45 illustrations from the Getty Research Institute in L.A. and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago for her upcoming book, Exhibiting Racial Expertise. Animation & Visual Effects professor Nick Jushchyshyn is creating an immersive and photorealistic documentary experience based on the Dreadnoughtus schrani dinosaur discovered by CoAS faculty and students in 2014. Arts Administration professor Neville Vakharia will continue his research on the impact of leadership practices and attitudes on organizational performance in nonprofit arts organizations, which he is conducting in collaboration with Erasmus University in the Netherlands and the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Lewis Colburn, Art History professor, received funding to participate in an artist residency program at SculptureSpace in Utica, New York this summer, and Art History professor Blaise Tobia will produce 10-12 of his large-scale prints for exhibition at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, DC and Art Space in Durham, NC. Jacklynn Niemiec, Architecture professor, is designing a community workshop at the Dornsife Center exploring self-portrait and connections to place.

Game Design & Production professor Robert Lloyd received funding for his work with senior engineering design students on Drexel Ride, the motion simulator lab they’re redesigning for interdisciplinary versatility. Visual Studies professor Jennifer Blazina received support for tools and materials for the creation of a life-sized, wearable glass dress for the Glass Association Conference at the Corning Museum of Glass. Arts Administration professor Julie Hawkins is conducting research into the values of participation and free agency in Drexel’s upcoming Pew-funded residency with acclaimed French choreographer, Boris Charmatz; she also received a Creativity Award to participate in four federal arts advocacy days for her research on cultural policy.

Dr. D. B. Jones, University Distinguished Professor of Cinema & Television, received support to fund the illustrations of his new book An Exchange of Valuables, a critical appreciation of filmmaker Michael Rubbo’s entire body of work. Digital Media professor John Berton is continuing his work on the eXtreme High Frame-Rate Lab, involving the study of how high frame rates affect the way audiences perceive detail and realism in movies.