Social Science Research Institute Fellowships awarded

Six Penn State faculty members were recently named Social Science Research Institute Faculty Fellows for 2016–2017.  The fellows program provides release time for faculty members to acquire new knowledge and research methods from other disciplines to take their research in new directions. 

Mentored Fellowships support an individual faculty member to work with a scholar from another discipline and gain new skills, whereas Collaborative Fellowships provide funding for a new team of faculty members to develop a novel, interdisciplinary research program.  

The 2016–2017 SSRI Fellows are:

• Matthew Carlson, assistant professor of spanish and linguistics; Michael Putnam,associate professor of German and linguistics; and David Reitter, assistant professor of information sciences and technology; were awarded a Collaborative Fellowship for their project “Competition, conflict, and optimization: Toward a dynamic model of multilingualism”. The team will develop a model of multilingualism by using intensive computational methods to analyze natural speech from a range of multilingual populations.

• Jinger Gottschall, associate professor of kinesiology, was awarded a Mentored Fellowship to explore the role of genetic factors in motivation toward developing personalized interventions to enhance physical activity habits in people who don’t exercise for her project, “Genetic Determinants of Exercise Adherence”. She will be working with Kateryna Makova, Pentz professor of biology.

• Corina Graif, assistant professor of sociology and criminology and research associate with the Population Research Institute, was awarded a Mentored Fellowship for her  project, “A Network Analysis of Undocumented Immigrants and Disparities in Health Risks and Exposure to Violence”. Graif aims to extend the concept of neighborhood exposure to include the network of “activity spaces” in which children of immigrants and their familiesspend time in order to better understand the links between health and place.  Graif will be working with Diane Felmlee, professor of sociology.

• Deirdre O’Sullivan, associate professor of education, rehabilitation and human services, will focus on factors that may account for cross-generational patterns of child maltreatment in disabled populations in her Mentored Fellowship project, “Disability, invalidating responses, and experiential avoidance in families with disabilities: Understanding the cycle of maltreatment in multi-generational contexts". She will be working with Jennie Noll, professor of human development and family studies; and Chad Shenk, assistant professor of human development and family studies.

Over the past 8 years, the SSRI Faculty Fellows Program has supported 35 faculty members in the social and behavioral sciences. More information, including the application process, can be found at the SSRI Faculty Fellows program website.