December 14, 2009

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Two Bucknell University professors have been honored for their research and scholarship with the inaugural David T. Scadden Faculty Scholar Award.

Andrea R. Halpern, professor of psychology and a participating faculty member in the neuroscience program, and Virginia Zimmerman, associate professor of English, were selected from a competitive pool of candidates with a wide variety of scholarly interests.

Andrea Halpern
Halpern, who has been a member of the Bucknell faculty for 27 years, has mentored nearly 90 students, involving many of them in her research. She conducts research on cognitive processes such as memory and thinking, particularly for nonverbal materials. Her particular interest is in how musicians and non-musicians understand and remember music. Halpern received the Scadden Faculty Scholar Award for her research project, "Neuroimaging of False Memories for Imagined Tunes."

"In this project, we will look to see whether auditory-related parts of the brain are activated when people mistakenly say they had heard a familiar tune earlier in the session, when in fact they had only imagined it," said Halpern. "The brain activation will be captured by a noninvasive technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging, and will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Robert Zatorre at the Montreal Neurological Institute."

Virginia Zimmerman
Zimmerman, who was the recipient of Bucknell's Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009, joined the faculty in 2002. Her research interests are in 19th-century science writing for children as well as time and the individual in Victorian poetry. Zimmerman received the Scadden Faculty Scholar Award for her research project, "The Fairy Tales of Science: Children's Science in the 19th Century."

"In 'Fairy Tales of Science,' I examine Victorian toys, games and texts designed to introduce children to natural history," said Zimmerman. "By putting the child in the position of being the scientist, these materials empower children in the face of scientific advances (such as Darwin's evolution) that often made individuals feel insignificant."

Bucknell graduate, trustee
David Scadden, a 1975 graduate and a Bucknell trustee, is the Gerald and Darlene Jordan Professor of Medicine at Harvard University, where he also serves as co-chair of the department of stem cell and regenerative biology as well as co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

He has established a fund to provide two $5,000 research fellowships to support eligible faculty during the academic year.

"The Scadden Fellowships help Bucknell in its efforts to strengthen the academic core and increase resources available for faculty scholarship," said Christopher Zappe, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell.

"It is a pleasure to congratulate both Professor Halpern and Professor Zimmerman for this well-deserved recognition and support for their scholarly work."

Contact: Division of Communications