The Alumni Weekly provides these pages to the president.For Princeton’s faculty, summer is a time to pursue their passions in a different setting; to collaborate with colleagues, undertake projects, and share their knowledge in places and ways that the demands of the academic year preclude. To give you a flavor of what they have been up to, I have invited three members of our faculty to reflect on their summer activities.—S.M.T.
Daniel Marlow, Professor of Physics:
Paul Muldoon, Howard G. B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities:
Carolyn Rouse, Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies:
With funding from the Princeton Environmental Institute, I am building a high school in Oshiyie, Ghana, scheduled to open in September 2010. From its inception, Grand Challenges: Oshiyie has had three essential objectives: empowering the community, opening the project to Princeton students as a learning opportunity, and collecting longitudinal social scientific data. The goal is to bring together professors and students from engineering and the social sciences in order to research why culture matters when it comes to designing sustainable development projects.
The high school’s curriculum will focus on material science, engineering, and agriculture. Its students will learn by designing, raising funds for, and then building projects to solve community problems like water scarcity, hunger, poor drainage, and soil erosion. Given that I am testing whether science education can be an essential means for empowerment, I will be hiring a Princeton engineering student to teach engineering, conceptual physics, and math in Oshiyie next year.
Last summer I brought two undergraduate and two graduate students to Ghana. Their research has already produced one award-winning graduate essay and an award-winning senior thesis. More important are the conversations that this project has inspired in my classroom. Based upon my research, I designed a course titled “The Anthropology of Development” that brought together a magnificent group of students from across the disciplines. As the project continues, I look forward to bringing more students to the field and designing more courses that look closely at the cultural aspects of development.