Faculty Pursue Passions with Grants

From planning new courses to indulging old passions, a number of Andover faculty will be able to pursue their interests and enrich the Academy campus thanks to recently-announced faculty grants. Though dozens of faculty won approval for their projects, there were several standouts in a field of remarkable proposals and endeavors. Instructor in History Marcelle Doheny, Instructor in English Ada Fan, Visiting Scholar in Molecular Biology Jerry Hagler, and Instructor in Art Thayer Zaeder were given a grant to integrate Peabody artifacts into the current curriculum. “I just think that the use of the Peabody really broadens the curriculum,” Mrs. Doheny said. “It is a different form of literacy about the past, and it is a very important tool we can use to teach. Also, it is right here, under our noses, waiting to be used,” she added. Instructor in Spanish John Maier looks forward to utilizing his grant to finish a novel that he started on his last sabbatical. He said, “The book was something that I started last year on sabbatical, and it has to do with a young assistant director at a university, and a relationship that he is developing with someone he works with, and maintaining a long distance relationship with a girl who lives on the other side of the country.” “It is about his personal growth and how he works with the conflict,” he continued. Instructor in English Paul Tortorella was given a grant to research Gothic Literature for use in a new senior elective course. “I am interested in the newest criticisms in the field, am looking for contemporary thoughts on a very old genre,” he said. “I have a list of books I am going to read on contemporary criticism; I will be visiting various websites, and use the Harvard Library,” he continued. “I also want to research other areas outside of literature that deal with the gothic trend, and bring that into the course. I want to study some of the architecture, paintings. I also plan on visiting haunted houses in New England.” Director of the Academic Support Center Patricia Davison was granted money to take a course on new psychological reports. “The company that produces the most common intelligence testing in the United States has revised the instrument called the WISC4,” she explained. “The company has revised and eliminated parts of the tests that have been designed, and I need to take the course to be able to interpret these new instruments. After the course, I will be able to understand the new readings for Andover students’ testing,” she said. Instructor in German and Russian Peter Merrill, who also teaches instructional fencing, will prepare to introduce his students to three different weapons after taking advanced fencing lessons. “I will be taking the lessons in Bedford, Massachusetts…and will be working with three different coaches and three different weapons, and I have previously only worked with one weapon,” he said. Mr. Merrill will hone his skills on the foil, the epee, and the saber in preparation for working with beginners at Andover in the instructional program. Director of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library Elisabeth Tully will attend the Children’s Literature of New England Conference to explore her passion for literature. “The conference is an annual conference sponsored by Children’s Literature New England, which takes its principles from the Simmons College Library School,” she explained. “It is a very serious conference that is six days long, and before going to the conference, about 50 to 60 pieces of literary work must be read for discussion,” she added. “The conference reenergizes me to keep studying literature.” Head of School Barbara Chase, Dean of Studies Vincent Avery, and Dean of Faculty Stephen Carter decided which grants would be awarded, and the amount of money to allocate. “[We] go over the grants and see if they fit in as faculty development, are relevant, are something good for the person doing it, and good for the school,” Mr. Carter said. Money for the faculty grants is provided through school funds and donations. According to Mr. Carter, “Some of the money is budgeted from faculty development, which is from funds given over the years, some of the money is from course planning, some is from the Johnson Endeavor Fund, some comes from the Sutherland Fund, and some is given through the Abbot Academy foundation.” Phillips teachers receive a certain amount of money depending on the job, its length, and the tools needed.