Outstanding Faculty Achievements
Through discovery, innovation, and the forging of new research frontiers, the faculty of Fairfield University’s College of Arts and Sciences are making their mark on the world and earning national accolades along the way. Although the list of this year’s faculty accomplishments is far too long to recite, three particularly outstanding professors made headlines this past semester as the recipients of national grant awards and prestigious research fellowships.
Earlier this year, Assistant History Professor Jennifer Adair, PhD, was awarded a $33,600 fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in recognition of her groundbreaking academic research on the history of Argentina's transition to a democracy in the 1980s. During a highly competitive application cycle in which only eight percent of proposals were awarded funding, Dr. Adair was selected as one of 74 professors nationwide to receive the prestigious fellowship. The funding from the award is being used to support the completion of her latest manuscript, In Search of the ‘Lost Decade:’ The Everyday Politics of Human Rights in Post-Dictatorship Argentina, the first-ever book-length study on Argentina's transition to democracy during the Raúl Alfonsín administration. Her achievement marks the second successive NEH grant won by a history faculty member at Fairfield within the past two years, following Dr. Silvia Marsans-Sakly’s award for her advanced research on Tunisia in December 2017.
Another faculty member making headlines is Assistant Biology Professor Catherine J. Andersen, PhD, who was awarded a $149,419 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) in support of an innovative faculty-student research study in nutritional science. The two-year project, which includes Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Aaron Van Dyke, PhD, as the co-project director, will investigate the effects of dietary intake on markers of cholesterol, metabolism, inflammation, and immune function. Fairfield’s researchers hope to determine if the bioactive components in egg yolks will alter the composition and function of HDL (the “good” cholesterol), leading to beneficial changes in immune cell activity and inflammation. If so, their findings could have important implications for the role of nutrition in health and human disease.
“This grant serves as evidence that our work is competitive in the national arena, allowing us to continue developing our research programs in exciting new areas,” Dr. Anderson said.
Outside of the laboratory, CAS faculty member Kris Sealey, PhD, associate professor of philosophy and co-director of the peace and justice studies program, is receiving national recognition as the project leader for a groundbreaking initiative titled “Conduct Unbecoming: Toward a Code of Publication Ethics in Philosophy.” With the support of a $75,000 grant award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dr. Sealey will lead a team of journal editors, university presses, and members of key American Philosophical Association committees in developing an explicit code of publication ethics and best practices that editors, publishers, and professional societies in philosophy and the humanities can adopt and adapt. The grant supports a seven month engagement with the academic philosophy community that will involve structured focus groups and in-depth discussions geared toward identifying and addressing issues like evolving forms of scholarly misconduct, diversity in citation and engagement practice, plagiarism, and implicit bias.
"Through its Jesuit mission, Fairfield University is committed to endeavors that ground scholarly pursuits in a foundation of social responsibility and diverse learning communities," Dr. Sealey said. "To this end, our project is well-suited to find its home at Fairfield.”