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International Affairs announces Cobb Fellow recipients

February 18, 2015

Photo of blue stick figures surrounding a globeInternational Affairs has announced the recipients of this year’s Cobb Fellowships: Gregory Beyer of the School of Music, Andy Bruno of the Department of History, Mitch Irwin of the Department of Anthropology, and Thomas Pingel of the Department of Geography.

Each fellow will receive a grant of $1,500 to facilitate research collaboration with an international colleague.

The Cobb program is funded through an endowment that was established from the estate of Lillian (“Pauline”) Cobb, who served as the first chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures from 1930 to 1966. It is a competitive grant program designed to promote the active involvement of tenured and tenure-track NIU faculty members in international travel that will enhance their on-campus programs.

The specific invitational priorities of the Cobb Faculty Travel Fellowship program may be adjusted each year to support particular aspects of the strategic plan and mission. For the 2015 competition, International Affairs identified one invitational priority: international research collaboration. The proposals were evaluated in part for their congruence with NIU’s Triangle Map.

Beyer is an associate professor in the School of Music. He seeks to support the aims of his project, Acromusical: a multi-faceted resource for the berimbau dedicated to performance, publication, research and community building in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Top: Greg Beyer and Andy Bruno. Bottom: Mitchell Irwin and Thomas Pingel.

Top: Greg Beyer and Andy Bruno.
Bottom: Mitchell Irwin and Thomas Pingel.

Bruno is an assistant professor in history. He plans to join a field trip to Lake Baikal in Russia as part of a large international project, “Exploring Russia’s Environmental History and Natural Resources.”

Pingel is an assistant professor in geography. Using unmanned aerial vehicles, he will deploy imagining instruments in Mexico for environmental monitoring.

Irwin is an assistant professor in anthropology. He seeks to strengthen international research collaboration and forest protection in Madagascar.

In addition, the Division of International Affairs has provided funds for two more international research collaboration fellowships. These have been awarded to: Barbara Schwartz-Bechet of the Department of Special and Early Education and Rodrigo Villanueva of the School of Music.

Schwartz-Bechet seeks to create a joint course/degree with the NHL University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Villanueva will collaborate with colleagues in Brazil to continue his research on Brazilian drummers.