Campus News

Bowdoin Awarded $50,000 Grant

Story posted May 15, 1999


May 5, 1999, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Bowdoin has been awarded a $50,000 grant to fund research projects in several disciplines involving various aspects of Maine's coastal environment.

Bowdoin was one of only six schools out of 104 applicants chosen to receive a grant from the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and the Alice and Leslie E. Lancy Foundation.

Many of the projects will be performed at the Coastal Studies Center, and Peter Lea, associate professor of geology and director of the Center, will serve as project director.

Up to 12 students, to be known as Lancy Scholars, will receive $3,000 fellowships to work this summer on research or other projects in the humanities, social sciences and terrestrial or marine sciences.

Increasing the connections between different fields of study is an academic goal of Bowdoin's. As Lea stated in the grant proposal "[I]nterdisciplinary connections are perhaps best fostered within an integrating theme that is legitimately approached by separate disciplines, but is rich enough to promote, and ultimately require, fusion of a broad range of disciplinary perspectives. Such a theme can and should vary according to institutional strengths: at Bowdoin we find it within our coastal environment."

The NCUR/Lancy grant money is the first step in creating a vigorous student-faculty research program based on this coastal environment. The Coastal Studies Center was created on 118 acres of coastal land with the intention of integrating disciplines as varied at marine science and art. It is envisioned as a place where artists and writers will work alongside scientific and social researchers.

Plans for the Lancy Scholars include periodic gatherings at the Coastal Studies Center at which students and faculty may discuss their projects and interact socially. Next year the students will have the opportunity to discuss the results of their summer projects at a symposium. It is expected that many of the students will extend their research into a senior honors thesis and that the students will continue to meet with their mentors after the summer.

Leslie Lancy was a native of Hungary who emigrated to the United States in 1938. He patented numerous inventions in the field of electroplating, then became a leader in designing methods of metal finishing that minimized pollution and recycled chemicals economically. The Foundation hopes Lancy Scholars will repay their mentors by supporting future generations of scholars and artists.

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