The Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for Faculty Development recently awarded two of their highest honors to three St. Thomas faculty members. Dr. Elizabeth Kindall received the University Scholars Grant; and Dr. Gloria Frost and Dr. Mark McInroy each received the Distinguished Early Career Grant.

The University Scholars Grant (USG) is awarded to 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 time for scholarly work over a three-year period.

Kindall is an associate professor of art history in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has taught at St. Thomas since 2008. Her primary area of research is in Chinese art history, particularly 14th through 18th century Chinese landscape painting. She plans to use the USG for her project “Landscape Biography in Late-Imperial China.” The study advances the idea that certain landscape paintings were produced by Chinese artists as a form of “landscape biography.”

“My goal for this project, made possible by this grant, is to introduce a little-studied genre of Chinese art,” Kindall said. “Because this is an interdisciplinary study, my aim is to contribute to a variety of disciplines including art history, history, biography, religious studies, cultural studies, identity studies and landscape studies. This research will also directly affect my undergraduate and graduate students here at St. Thomas, because we inevitably end up discussing what I am working on in class and their insights are always a great help.”

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

McInroy is an associate professor of theology in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has taught at St. Thomas since 2011. His primary area of research is modern Christian theology. He plans to use the DEC grant to write a book arguing that the concept of the “radiant invisible” functions as a central yet largely unnoticed theme in 20th century theology and philosophy.

“Receiving this grant presents me with an extraordinary opportunity, for which I am exceedingly grateful,” McInroy said. “There are few things more precious to faculty than time, and this grant will give me the time required to pursue a large-scale research project. I am deeply honored to have been selected by the Faculty Development Committee.”

Frost is an associate professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has taught at St. Thomas since 2009. Her primary area of research is medieval philosophy. She plans to use the grant to write a book on Thomas Aquinas’ understanding of causal powers and causation.

“I am very excited to have increased time for my research,” Frost said. “It will allow me to complete my first book and to disseminate research I have been working on for several years. I am very grateful to St. Thomas for their support and I will do my best to make good use of this tremendous opportunity.”

According to Dr. Mary Reichardt, internal grants director in the Center for Faculty Development, the DEC and USG grants are highly competitive and awarded only to faculty who exhibit a clear record of outstanding scholarship combined with national and/or international reputation. The USG is awarded to established scholars and the DEC to rising stars.

“This year’s awardees impressed us as remarkable exemplars of the reason for these grants – the university’s recognition, reward and support for truly distinguished scholarship,” Reichardt said.

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

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