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Alumnae Fund 36 Programs for 2008-09

April 29, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Alumnae of Northwestern University has awarded more than $144,000 in gifts, grants and academic enrichment awards for University projects in 2008-09.

The 36 funded programs were selected from 60 proposed by University faculty, staff and student-initiated projects and approved by faculty advisors. Grants ranged from $500 to $10,000.

The Alumnae board's primary source of funding is its Continuing Education program, beginning its 40th academic year in fall 2008. The 60-member volunteer board plans, schedules and proctors the classes attended by more than 3,000 community residents each year. Through net profits from this program, the Alumnae group has been able to give more than $2.7 million in annual grants. Gifts support projects not usually included in University budgets.

Gifts and grants for 2008-09 cover six funding requests in full, including support for the Block Museum exhibit of 16th century Italian drawings; hiring a craft artist for fall theater productions; age-appropriate supply "pods" for the Family Institute's play environment project; costume rental for the "Dangerous Beauty" summer music theater production; a peer jury initiative in an Evanston middle school; and equipment for the Northwestern News Network.

Two more programs will be fully funded jointly with grants from the Academic Enrichment Endowment: a gala for music theater composer (and Northwestern alum) Sheldon Harnick and the residency of German cellist Lucas Fels, a leading performer of contemporary music.

Other Academic Enrichment grants will support Literary Journalism guest visits, a "Music in Film" festival exploring the role of contemporary music in current films, the Music Teaching and Learning Distinguished Lecture Series, and an international, interdisciplinary "global city" conference in Evanston.

Gifts and grants for other fine arts initiatives include seed money for radio-TV-film students to finance their films for the Advanced Production sequence; the residency of Northwestern composer Jeremy Cohen for readings of a new musical; a roundtable showcasing popular new high school music courses; research on American music in Hollywood films from 1928 to 1960; and "Modern Musketeer," exploring the role of Douglas Fairbanks in the early film industry.

Among criteria for Alumnae grants is support for research projects with undergraduate participation. Two summer research assistantships for a cancer study will bridge the biomedical and social science disciplines; a third assistantship will offer direct involvement in clinical medical research. Other grants will support student development and implementation of new engineering simulation software; coordinate technical support for on-campus student businesses; and fund undergraduate participation in developing training materials for the School of Education and Social Policy's Asset-Based Community Development Institute website.

Specialized equipment, supplies and services will be financed for Mo2, a mobile lab unit serving material science classes, substance abuse tests for Back on Trac (NU), an evidence-based clinical intervention program; tiled micro arrays for cystic fibrosis research; replacement of a failing computer for a shared-equipment compound microscope; specialized audio equipment to study aging of the voice; and new displays for the University Library.

Partial funding will help support two major science and health outreach programs in Africa: an extension of Global Health Technologies to resource-limited settings in southern Africa and development of a new science curriculum for high school girls in rural Uganda. Outreach science programs in Chicago will include one-on-one mentoring by Northwestern medical students for high school students interested in health science careers and classes, laboratory study and counseling in the reproductive sciences for a young women's leadership school. A workshop in cross-cultural communication will be offered for teachers and students in the genetic counseling program.

Funding for "Science in Society," a new web-based e-magazine, will help expand its coverage of science initiatives at Northwestern. An interdisciplinary workshop will examine Max Weber's historic 1918 essay, "Science as a Vocation," in the light of current studies in the history, sociology and anthropology of science. A continuing project will study the intellectual transformation of one noble family during the French revolution.

The Alumnae board's Gifts and Grants committee for 2008 was co-chaired by Jane Knight Dampts (GSESP 1981) and Carolyn Krulee (GSESP 1969). Chair of the Academic Enrichment committee was Holly Sunshine (Weinberg 1971).
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