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May 2008 – February 2009 Pacific Fund Grant Winners

May 2008

Caroline Cox, History Professor

The Shot Heard Round the World: One Girl's Journey with Diabetes at the Dawn of the Age of Insulin

$1,952 was awarded to cover travel and research to complete her book.


Dr. Cox completed her research of Elizabeth Evans Hughes, who was one of the first recipients of insulin when it was discovered in 1922. Her biography, The Fight to Survive: A Young Girl, Diabetes, and the Discovery of Insulin, was published in 2009.

Bill Swagerty, History Professor

California Gold Rush Field Experience

$1,155 was awarded to cover travel costs associated with field trip to Coloma in the Gold Country for the California History class.

Andreea Boboc, English Professor

Dementors, Desire & the New Medievalism

$2,000 was awarded to fund the cost of hosting hip-hop artist/medieval scholar Baba Brinkman, who raps the Canterbury Tales.

Kasey Gardner, Communication

Monster and the Monstrous, Oxford M6: The horror of Cameron in "Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles"

$2,000 was awarded to cover the cost of travel to a professional conference in Oxford, UK to present a paper.

Marcia Hernandez, Sociology Professor

Dari Sylvester, Political Science Professor

Partnership for Assessment of Communities: Advancing Pacific's Commitment to Distinctiveness

$4,014 was awarded to support a research project on quality of life issues in the Magnolia District of Stockton.


This 10-year project is creating numerous research opportunities for students. Undergraduate students have been hired and trained to collect and analyze data from the Magnolia District as well as Riverbank, a farming community in nearby Stanislaus County.

September 2008

Stacy Luthy, Biology Professor

Pacific Leadership in Delta Ecosystem Studies

$15,000 was awarded toward the purchase of a hydroacoustic system to conduct studies to characterize fish populations in the lower San Joaquin River. This dual-frequency identification sonar, or DIDSON, will enable students and faculty to identify fish even in the murky waters of the delta.


Dr. Luthy and students deployed the system in the Calaveras River and were able to track fish there. As soon as a special mount is ready, they will use the equipment in the San Joaquin River as planned.  

Balint Sztaray, Chemistry Professor

Photoionization Measurements at the Swiss Synchrotron Light Source

$6,020 was awarded to fund travel for a faculty member, graduate student and undergraduate student to conduct research for two weeks at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland. The goal was to carry out Photoelectron Photoion Coincidence (PEPICO) Spectroscopy experiments at the newly constructed iPEPICO experimental endstation at the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) beamline of the Swiss Light Source. PEPICO is important to basic energy research.

Xiaojing Zhou, English Professor

Jennifer Helgren, Visiting History Professor

Angel Island Field Trip

$2,148 was awarded to take two classes on a field trip to the Angel Island Immigration Station. Classes include "U.S. Immigration History" (HIST 132) and "Introduction to Ethnic Studies" (ETHN 11).

Macelle Mahala, Theatre Arts Professor

Penumbra Theatre:  A People's History

$1,125 was awarded to fund the research and publication efforts pertaining to the writing of Mahala's first book, Penumbra Theatre: A People's History, about one of the oldest and most prestigious African American Theatre companies in the country. Specifically, the funds will be used for archival research and participation in a Junior Faculty Publication Workshop.

Marlin Bates, Communication Professor and Director of Forensics

World Debate Tournament, County Cork, Ireland

$3,400 was awarded to fund travel for a debate team (two students) to attend the World's Universities Debating Championship in Cork, Ireland.

Madalyn Friedrich and Robin Lee, Visual Arts Students

Caps and Couture:  Fashion & the Urban Landscape

$2,116 was awarded for costs of staging a fashion show and exhibit, bringing fashion and art together at the Reynold's Art Gallery. Funds also cover the creation of the exhibition catalog.

February 2009

Michelle Maloney, Library Faculty

Gesine Gerhard, History Professor and Director of Gender Studies

Gender and Performing Arts Festival, April 19, 2009

$3,995 was awarded to help underwrite costs of the festival, which includes multiple experiential learning projects.

Jianhua Ren, Jerry Tsai and Michael McCallum, Chemistry Professors

Interfacing with a Cluster Computing Environment

$4,900 was awarded to fund a computer node and two desktops to facilitate student use of the department's computer cluster for research projects.

Patti McCarthy, Visiting English Professor

Strengthening Pacific's Vision of the Future

$5,195 was awarded to fund equipment for use by students in film production class.