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Twelve University faculty members recently received 2010 Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Awards, according to the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The awards "fund exceptional faculty research projects," and were established in 1995 with funding from former University Chancellor Richard Salomon '32, Vice President for Research Clyde Briant wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. Since 1999, the awards have been funded by the University, Briant wrote. This year's awards ranged in size from $13,000 to $15,000, according to the award's Web site.

According to Briant, the University grants 10–16 Salomons each year, which are "intended to acknowledge (the) excellent in research across all disciplines."

"The awardees are women and men who are mostly at the early part of their careers, doing exciting research in areas that have the potential to make important contributions in their fields," Briant wrote.

Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies Francoise Hamlin said she will be using her Salomon to fund a new research project titled "Coming of Age in the Movement" in order to study the trauma experienced by children during the civil rights movement.

While conducting past research on the civil rights movement in Mississippi, Hamlin said, she began to realize that the way in which it affected young people was largely unexplored.

"We celebrate them as pioneers and heroes, but we don't really consider the toll it took on them," she said.

On a similar note, Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and Anthropology Marcy Brink-Danan is also using her Salomon Award to further research in an area she's found hasn't received much consideration, she wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.

Brink-Danan — whose project is titled "Local News, Global Jews: An Ethnography of European Jewish Journalism" — is conducting the first ethnographic study of Jewish journalism. She wrote that she hopes "this project will tell us more about the ways Jews, and other minorities, make decisions about how to represent themselves in the public sphere."

Mark Zervas, assistant professor of biology,received a Salomon Award to conduct new research on the creation of lateral versus menial dopamine neurons using mouse genomics.

Zervas was particularly excited to have received the award, saying "this is one of those experiments that I've wanted to do for a long time, but it's hard to justify parting with money to do those experiments." His Salomon will allow him to "push a research avenue forward" that he may not have been able to otherwise, he said.

All three recipients expressed praise for the University in investing in faculty members through the awarding of Salomons. 

To Hamlin, the award is a "demonstration of faith," while Zervas said it "reflects a certain type of commitment from the University to promote very fundamental but very human health relevant sorts of questions."


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