Office of Academic Affairs and Faculty Development Center Award Competitive Grants

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for Faculty Development recently awarded two of their highest honors to four St. Thomas faculty members. Dr. Bruce Gleason and Dr. Mufaddal Baxamusa each received the University Scholars Grant, while Dr. Katharine Hill and Dr. Joshua Stuchlik each received the Distinguished Early Career Grant.

The University Scholars Grant (USG) is awarded to faculty members with outstanding records of ongoing scholarship who have gained national or international recognition. Applicants must be tenured faculty with associate or full professor rank who have completed at least 10 years of full-time service at St Thomas. The grant provides the recipients with release time for scholarly work over a two or three-year time period.

Gleason is a professor of music and current chair of the Communication and Journalism Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has been at the University of St. Thomas since 1999. His primary area of research is chronicling the history of military music – and more specifically the history of horse-mounted military bands. He plans to use the University Scholars Grant for his new book project, "Cavalry Trumpeters, Kettledrummers and Mounted Bands: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century."

“With the completion and release of "Sound the Trumpet, Beat the Drums: Horse-Mounted Bands of the U.S. Army, 1820 to 1940" by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2016, I am now researching and writing the prequel, which investigates the tradition across Europe,” Gleason said. “I am pleased and honored to be awarded a University Scholars Grant, which will provide precious time to carry out this work. Military and court music has greatly affected other musical genres over the years through instrument inventions and development as well as through usage, and I am pleased to have found an interesting niche within this history.”

Baxamusa is an associate professor of finance in the Opus College of Business. He has taught at St. Thomas since 2008 and his primary area of research is in the field of finance.

“The USG grant will reduce the number of courses I teach for the next few years,” Baxamusa said. “This will provide me with time to complete some very large and intense research projects.”

His University Scholars Grant project explores the question: How does political uncertainty affect the formation of collaborative partnerships between firms? “To investigate this expansive question, I plan to focus on studying strategic alliances between firms,” he said.

The Distinguished Early Career Grant (DEC) recognizes and supports early career faculty – those with at least four but no more than 10 years of full-time service at St. Thomas – who have a distinguished record of ongoing scholarship. The award provides release time to faculty over a two-year period for advancing their scholarly agenda at a generative moment in their careers.

Hill is an associate professor of social work and BSW program director in the School of Social Work. She has taught at St. Thomas since 2009. Her area of research has focused on two primary areas – improving systems collaboration for older youth with disabilities who are also child welfare involved, and political and community social work practice.  She will be using the Distinguished Early Career Grant to conduct research in the latter area.

“I am committed as a scholar, teacher and social worker to building political power among social workers and social work clients and this project is an extension of that work,” Hill said. “We know that when people vote, there are benefits to themselves and their communities and there is increasing interest in integrating nonpartisan voter engagement in to social work settings – both public and nonprofit. However, there is a dearth of ‘best practices’ for voter engagement in social work settings. I plan to use this project to document and disseminate specific examples and models, so that social workers are able to effectively engage their clients in voting.”

Stuchlik is an associate professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has taught at St. Thomas since 2011. His primary areas of research are epistemology and ethics. He plans to use the grant to write a book about the role of intention in ethics.

“I would like to express my gratitude for the grant,” Stuchlik said. “It will provide me with the time to write a book on a topic I have been thinking about for nearly a decade. I am honored that my project was selected.”

I am interested in the role of intention in ethics,” he continued. “For example, according to just war theory (and current international law) it is sometimes legitimate to bring about ‘collateral damage’ to noncombatants as a side effect of attacking military targets. But it is never permissible to aim at killing noncombatants, even if doing so would somehow contribute to a good and worthy end — as in the case of the Allied bombing of German and Japanese cities during World War II. Why should our intentions matter in this way for morality? That is one of the questions I am pursuing.”

For more information on the University Scholars Grant and the Distinguished Early Career Grant, visit the Center for Faculty Development.