Two Salem College professors have been awards research grants for the summer of 2015. Dr. Traci Porter, associate professor of biology, has been awarded the Patricia Flynt C’57 Faculty/Student Summer Research Grant, and Dr. Elroi Windsor, assistant professor of sociology, has received the 2015 Faculty Research Grant.
Over the summer, Dr. Porter and her students will monitor the health and relative prevalence of several species of bat that are found in three counties in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. They will be looking for evidence of white-nose syndrome, which is a fungal disease that has been affecting bats in various parts of the United States and Canada since 2006.
“Bats are important predators of insects, including agricultural crop pests,” says Porter. “Losing millions of bats is likely to have a profound impact on natural and agricultural ecosystems.”
Porter plans to collect data that, over time, will help to improve estimates of bat losses to white-noise syndrome in the region.
Dr. Windsor will apply the Faculty Research Grant to a project, titled Meaning-Making in Working with Bodily Products. In June 2014, Windsor earned a summer sabbatical grant and began research at a medical center in the southeastern United States. In that study, Windsor researched the center’s handling of nonliving bodies and bodily products. The 2015 research will focus on social meanings and emotional labor tied to working with non-living bodies and body parts.
“The topics of this research study may strike many as unappealing,” says Windsor. “However, I plan to frame working with bodies as sociologically meaningful and worthy of scholarly attention.”
Windsor plans to use the grant to continue what has already been an in-depth study, accruing more than 100 hours of observational data connected to key concepts in sociology. A book based on the research is forthcoming.
The Patricia Flynt C'57 Faculty/Student Summer Research Project Grant was established in 2013 to support faculty research or scholarship and to provide invaluable undergraduate research opportunities for Salem College students. The President and the Dean of the College annually select the grant recipients. Each year, a selection committee composed of faculty members and the Dean of the College selects one recipient for the Faculty Research Grant.