UNH Awards Four Research Grants in Support of New Center for the Social Sciences

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau
603-862-1460

July 23, 2001


DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire is one step closer to having a collaborative center for the social sciences with the announcement of $40,000 in funding for four interdisciplinary research projects.

Faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, the School of Health and Human Services, Cooperative Extension and elsewhere are working together to create an administrative center at UNH for the behavioral, social and health sciences.

The four summer research projects will allow the organizers of the umbrella group to show that a collaborative center would allow real world, relevant issues to be tackled, facilitate partnerships with state agencies and make it easier for faculty to attract grant money.

"We envision the center as the front door to the social, behavioral and health sciences at UNH," says Liz Stine-Morrow, associate professor of psychology. "There is a lot of talent in the social sciences on campus and lot of resources in terms of ongoing research and scholarship that no one outside of the university knows about. One of our goals is to make these resources more accessible to the state."

Sheila McNamee, professor of communication and chair of the group working to establish a center, says the center will fill in the chasm that currently exists between basic research and applied work.

"The center will allow structure for innovative programs," she says. "It will connect service, teaching and research. For example, my work has always been interdisciplinary. My home is in communication, but most of my writing has to do with psychology. I believe the center will allow me to marry theory and practice. There will be more latitude for creativity."

The following projects received funding from the offices of David Hiley, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Donald Sundberg, vice president for research and public service:

  • Jolly Emery, political science, and Ellen Cohn, psychology, to study community policing in New Hampshire;
  • Sally Ward and Sharyn Potter, sociology, working with Ted Kirkpatrick, Justiceworks, to create an evaluation and assessment unit;
  • Andrew Smith, Survey Center; Judy Bush, Cooperative Extension; and Ned Helms, NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice; to study ways to increase social capital in the state;
  • Carolyn Mebert, psychology, to identify protective factors that contribute to successful outcomes in sexually abused individuals.
  • For more information on the umbrella group, contact McNamee at smcnamee@cisunix.unh.edu or Stine-Morrow at eal@unh.edu


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