From the President




  Books & Film



  My Response

  Letters to the Editor

  Contact Response

  Submit Footnote

  Submit Letter to Editor

  Address Change

  Back Issues

  Response Home

  SPU Home

Winter 2006 | Volume 29, Number 1 | Faculty

SPU Grants Enable Faculty to Engage the Culture Through Research and Scholarship

THIS YEAR, SEATTLE PACIFIC University awarded $52,000 to 17 faculty members for research projects on such topics as “universal design” in new homes, the theology of Scottish novelist George MacDonald, and the resilience of children after the death of a parent.

As a comprehensive university, Seattle Pacific understands the importance of professors engaging in active scholarship, says Susan VanZanten Gallagher, director of the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development (CSFD). “There’s a symbiotic relationship between teaching and scholarship,” she explains.

Administered through the CSFD, three internally funded SPU grants — the Senior Faculty Grant, Faculty Research Grant, and Lilly Faculty Grant — provide faculty members with the money needed to cover travel, software, research assistants, and more. “Part of engaging the culture is interacting with the world by exploring ideas, developing therapies, or addressing social problems,” Gallagher explains. “Scholarship is one way faculty members contribute to the overall mission of the University.”

Assistant Professor of Biology Cynthia Bishop received a 2005–06 Faculty Research SPU Grants Enable Faculty to Engage the Culture Through Research and ScholarshipGrant to continue a project she began 15 years ago. Then a veterinarian specializing in birds, she had treated many birds affected by the often-deadly air sac mites. “Both wild birds and pet birds are haunted by these respiratory parasites,” she says. “It’s a real problem to get rid of the parasite without killing the bird.” After making inroads into a treatment in the 1990s, Bishop expected other researchers to continue her work when she left full-time veterinary medicine and began to teach. But no one did.

“People are working on research all over the world, but so far no one has been working on this exact project,” she says. So when Bishop arrived at Seattle Pacific in 2001, she applied for a Faculty Research Grant. Now processing her findings, Bishop says the results are encouraging.

Although SPU has long provided internal grants to professors, and supported faculty members seeking external grants, when the CSFD opened in 2002, it took on the administration of internal funding. Total grant money increased from $18,000 to $52,000.

“It’s important that the University is investing in scholarship,” says Gallagher, explaining that before outside organizations award research grants, they often consider if an applicant’s own university has given an award for the project. “Examples of that happening are the $90,000 National Science Foundation Grant received by our science faculty, and the Wabash Grant awarded to SPU theology professors,” she notes. Bishop also plans to apply for an outside grant for her research.

And faculty members aren’t the only ones benefiting from such grants. Many professors employ research assistants (i.e., undergraduate students), providing them with real-world research experience. “I worked all summer on my project with a student,” says Bishop, adding that the pre-veterinary student learned to safely handle tiny birds, even drawing blood samples from them. “This academic year, I have another student, too,” she adds. “She’s more interested in the parasite aspect of the research.”

'In class, students also reap benefits from faculty research. “When I’m teaching, I automatically bring in information about my research,” says Bishop. “I’m doing this right now in my animal physiology class.”

Says Gallagher: “With President Eaton’s vision for SPU, the existence of the Center, and the expertise of our faculty, we are fleshing out what it means to be a premier university.”

Send This Page Send-to-Printer

Back to the top
Back to Home


A Conversion of the Imagination
2014: A Blueprint for Excellence shows "Seattle Pacific will be a place that knows and understands what's going on in the world, and it will be a place that embraces the Christian story," says President Philip Eaton. [President]

Katrina's Call
SPU professors, graduate students, and staff help with hurricane relief efforts on the Gulf Coast and on SPU's campus. [Campus]

Quality Always
Alumni of the Year, Kathi and Jerry Teel, live out their Vitamilk Diary slogan, "Quality Always," in all areas of their lives. [Alumni]

The Gospel According to Miller
Author of best-selling book, Blue Like Jazz, tells SPU students that "engaging the culture is not rocket science." [Books & Film]

Field Goals
Courted by Division I soccer teams while in high school, stand-out Falcon forward, Sarah Martinez, hits goals on and off the field. [Athletics]

My Response
John Perkins writes a letter to Seattle Pacific about God's grace during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Copyright © 2005 Seattle Pacific University. General Information: (206) 281-2000