President Ann Weaver Hart presents Javier Duran with the Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Award

UA assistant vice president and chief diversity officer Raji Rhys says "The Inclusive Excellence Award recipients are a select group of people who are among the very best at harnessing the power of diversity to create a measurable and meaningful impact on our UA community."

Faculty Grants

Collaboration and Innovation Grant Recipients 2013

In May 2013, five projects including television documentaries, a digital archive, a virtual venue and two innovative studies received Confluencenter Collaboration and Innovation Faculty Grants. The competition for these grants is open to faculty from the colleges of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The funded projects for 2013 are:

New Blueprint for Success: Micro-entrepreneurs and Cooperatives in Brazil
Dan Duncan, a filmmaker at the Southwest Center, and Marcela Vasquez, associate professor in the School of Anthropology, will produce a series of television documentaries presenting innovative entrepreneurial grassroots ventures in one of Brazil’s most marginal urban contexts—the favelas of Rio de Janeiro— revealing a blueprint for entrepreneurial success.

Disciplinary Trading Zones: A Focus on Methodological Imports
Associate professor of sociology Erin Leahey will study interdisciplinary research itself, examining three different methodological techniques to determine how research approaches are transferred across disciplines. This study will further Confluencenter’s mission of collaboration by providing practical suggestions for supporting interdisciplinary work.

The Documented Border: An Open Access Digital Archive
Journalism faculty Celeste González de Bustamante and Jeannine Relly, Lawrence Gipe from the School of Art, and the borderlands curator at UA Special Collections in the library, Verónica Reyes, will join forces to collect images and oral histories about the U.S./Mexico border to advance understanding of the border and its peoples.

Satire News, Civil Discourse and the Political-Media Complex
Currently, very little is known about viewers’ perceptions of satire news. Professor of sociology and research director at the National Institute for Civil Discourse, Robin Stryker, will study how programs such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report shape students’ understandings of and engagement with American democracy.

Crossing Boundaries Seminar Series
Linda Green, director of Latin American Studies, and Matias Bianchi, School of Government and Public Policy, will use innovative technologies to create a virtual seminar series linking UA faculty and students with scholars and other leaders in Latin America. Seminar participants will converse about human trafficking, the drug trade, natural resource extraction, and U.S./Latin American diplomacy.

Graduate Fellowships

Twenty Grad Students Join First Cadre of Fellows

More than 75 graduate students from across the colleges of Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) and Humanities applied for Confluencenter Graduate Fellowships of up to $5,000. Fellowships were awarded for the most innovative or collaborative research projects which run the gamut from creating new ways to enhance the classical music experience using computer-generated visualizations, to border studies in Mexico, Chile and on native lands. James Howell and Diane Richardson received funding to create a symposium in 2014 titled “Oceans and Deserts: Charting Transdisciplinary Currents in Environment and Culture within the Arts and Sciences.”


Morgan Apicella                School of Geography and Development

Apicalla’s pilot study assesses factors that influence the participation of teachers in gardening and ecology programs at their schools in Tucson. It will determine what types of support might encourage and sustain teachers’ involvement in these programs in order to improve a gardening and ecology teacher-training program. This study, in the initial stages of development, will involve a partnership between Manzo Elementary School, the Community Food Resource Center (CFRC), as well as faculty and students from multiple disciplines at the University of Arizona.

Dylan Baun                         School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Rethinking recurrent strife in Lebanon from the 1950s-1970s, Baun’s research considers those “from below” who actually participated in conflict. To capture the underlying dynamics of social mobilization and armed conflict, it focuses on the practices of two populist organizations that used violence in this period (i.e., the Kata’ib Party and the Lebanese National Movement) and their perceptions and experiences. 

Mark Blair                           American Indian Studies (GIDP)

The main focus of Blair’s research is Native American student retention and what American Indian Studies Programs are doing to support students. It proposes the re- establishment of a Native American Graduate Student Center on campus.

Geoffrey Boyce                  School of Geography and Development

In 2010, controversy over Arizona’s SB 1070 shined a light on the proliferation of policies that target and criminalize immigrants and their loved ones in the United States. Yet in the debate surrounding the Arizona law there was strikingly little discussion of the ways that SB 1070 merely extended – rather than departed from – the broader thrust of federal policy directed toward the policing and criminalization of immigrants. Boyce’s research addresses lacunae in conversations about SB 1070.

Kevin Chau                         School of Music

Chau’s creative performance project aims at the development of a real-time art music visualization program that reflects live music. The resulting live acoustic performance will combine a musician and responding real-time visualization program with an intention to guide an audience into an active listening role.

Diane Daly                          School of Information Resources and Library Science

Daly’s design project will culminate in a dynamic virtual space to strengthen the Mexican puppetry community and advance the field of puppetry research in the Americas. A project website will facilitate the Mexican puppetry community’s collective expression and add value to its artistic output. In recognition that living Mexican puppetry is an animation of popular Mexican society and a subculture with great influence on puppetry in the Americas, the site will also advance interdisciplinary scholarship by promoting research access.

Courtney Dorroll                School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Dorroll’s research concerns a Turkish neighborhood called Hamamönü which underwent extensive revitalization and restoration in 2010. This neighborhood stands as a visual representation of the Neo-Ottoman movement in contemporary Turkey.

PennElys Droz                    American Indian Studies (GIDP)

Indigenous peoples worldwide demonstrate profound resilience amidst challenges emerging from colonization, working to re-empower and provide for the contemporary needs of their people in a manner supporting bio-cultural integrity and the interconnectedness of people and homeland. This research accomplishes the following goals: identification of the areas of intersection between Indigenous epistemologies, practices and ecological engineering; creation of a design methodology rooted effectively in culture, land, and community relationships; and identification of successful practices and challenges to the use of a biocultural design method.

Erin Durban-Albrecht         Gender and Women’s Studies

In the words of M. Jacqui Alexander, how and why does the postcolonial nation-state get “configured as heterosexual”? Related to this question, why is it common sense that some places are inherently homophobic? What effect do these configurations and understandings have on gender and sexual minorities? This project, guided by these pressing questions, will contribute to cutting- edge scholarship in several interdisciplinary fields and intervene in harmful thinking that impacts multiply-marginalized communities.

Miriam Gay-Antaki             School of Geography and Development

The literature on gender and climate governance is very sparse with very little attention paid to issues of gender or feminist perspectives. This project addresses relevant questions about women’s relationship to the environment, and about how others, especially in government and NGOs, see their roles. Gay-Antaki explores ways to document these relationships for the community and communicate her findings at the national, international and NGO level.

Kristin Helland                    Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (GIDP)

The project explores code switching in three different genres (a TV/Internet ad, a music video, and a film) from the perspective of linguistic landscape (LL) and multilingualism.  This study expands the definition of LL that goes beyond the visual texts found in public spaces to incorporate “all those displayed and interwoven ‘discourses’– what is seen, what is heard, what is spoken, what is thought” (Shohamy & Waksman, 2009, p. 313). It introduces an innovative way of analyzing linguistic and non-linguistic semiotics in advertising, music videos, and film.

Megan Henley                     Sociology

Medical research has demonstrated that emotional and physical support during labor improve birth outcomes, yet existing research has paid little attention to the workers who provide that care. The Maternity Support Survey represents the first systematic and cross-disciplinary effort to understand the roles and experiences of labor and delivery nurses, childbirth educators, and doulas, in the United States. This survey asks delivery nurses about their views of childbirth, their perceptions of obstetric practices, the sources of their beliefs about best care, and the organizational supports and challenges that they face.

Maya Kapoor                       English

Kapoor’s project explores how humans manage desert plants in the face of climate change. Specifically, it considers the connection between Arizona’s ecology and the rest of the world, and how conserving our species in response to climate change is a global problem with global players and solutions. 

Sarah Kelly                         School of Geography and Development

For this project, social science and natural and physical science students from both sides of the border coalesce to create multimedia materials and workshops on community-based research. As of late, there has been a focus on ideas of engaged scholarship, community collaboration, and multidisciplinary work, but there remains a need for models appropriate for border cities and an ongoing dialogue about the structure of engagement for these endeavors.

Adam Kullberg                   English

This project analyses the impact of nuclear weaponry and technology on various sites and populations throughout the Southwest, including uranium mines throughout the Navajo Nation in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico; nuclear testing sites; and cities affected by radioactive fallout. It emphasizes not only how experiences connected to these sites have affected specific populations, but how the lasting impact of political and environmental changes have rippled through generation after generation, transforming these populations’ neurological, physical, spiritual, and ethical connections to the land.

Diana Montano                   History

Montano examines the ways culture shaped Mexico’s course of electrification, contributing to the discussion of the making of a modern nation and modern citizens. It places the ordinary citizen at its center to reconstruct how modernity was lived, consumed, rejected, and shaped in everyday life. It presents modernity not simply as an abstract force or a static concept but a complex pattern of human choices.

Lucero Radonic                 School of Anthropology

Using infrastructure surveys and resident interviews, Radonic traces the water that flows through a multi-authored maze of pipes connecting a low-income indigenous neighborhood in Sonora, Mexico.  An interactive infrastructure map, ten short video vignettes, and some explanatory texts will be uploaded onto an interactive and bilingual website where visitors will learn about informal water infrastructure and the micro politics of water management. 

David Tecklin                     School of Geography and Development

Tecklin illustrates how fishermen, women shoreline collectors and indigenous leaders have reinterpreted and reshaped the property rights designed for them as part of the Chilean government’s large-scale privatization of the coastline.  The final product will be a web-based interactive map (or story map) that presents filmed interviews as embedded within the larger geographic context of struggles over the country’s coastal waters. The project thus aims to advance interdisciplinary inquiry into property claims as a theme in environmental governance but also to explore new and accessible ways of communicating the practical relevance of such research.