Professors receive Lilly grant to integrate faith, learning

A pair of Grove City College faculty members have been selected to serve as Lilly Faculty Fellows and embark on a two-year project to more fully integrate the lessons of faith into the College’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum.

Dr. Michelle McFeaters ’88, ’02, assistant dean of the Calderwood School and professor of Accounting and Finance, and Dr. Brian J. Dellinger ’07, assistant professor of Computer Science, were awarded fellowships and grant funding from Lilly Endowment, Inc., to pursue the project.

The Lilly Faculty Fellows Program is a new initiative for “faculty leaders across the disciplines to engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation,” according to Lilly Endowment. The programs aims to encourage a sense of calling for faculty and provide a means to creatively explore how Christian thought and practice can be integrated into the curriculum. Previous Lilly fellowships were focused on faith integration in the humanities, but the Faculty Fellows Program signals a broader approach into all academic areas, including the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and professional disciplines.

The new project will engage faculty from the College’s Calderwood School of Arts and Letters and the Hopeman School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics. McFeaters will coordinate efforts in the professional disciplines and Dellinger in STEM areas. They will be attending conferences to study ways to incorporate faith into the learning process and bring those strategies back to Grove City College where they’ll develop plans, in consultation with their peers, to make changes tailored to the campus community.

“By design, we don’t know what those changes will be yet – part of the goal is for us to learn more about what we might do at these conferences,” Dellinger said.

In addition to the work off-campus at conferences, the program provides funding to build up a Lilly Faculty Fellows program on campus, McFeaters said. What shape that work will take is still to be determined, she noted.

McFeaters earned a B.A. in Economics and a M.S. in Accounting from Grove City College. She continued on to receive a D.B.A from Anderson University in 2009. Her main areas of research center on global capital markets and the impact of accounting information and her area of specialty in teaching is cost accounting.

Dellinger received his B.S. in Computer Science from Grove City College, going on to complete an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. His research in Computer Science centers on mechanical models of belief and self-tutoring artificial neural nets.

Grove City College is part of the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities that sponsors a variety of activities and publications designed to explore the Christian character of the academic vocation and to strengthen the religious nature of church-related institutions.

The Lilly Network represents among its current membership a diversity of denominational traditions, institutional types, and geographical locations.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The foundation works to support its founders’ passions for community development, education and religion. The Endowment was created in 1937 by three members of the family behind the pharmaceutical business Eli Lilly and Company  The foundation dedicates special attention to projects that benefit young people and that strengthen financial self-sufficiency in the charitable sector.

Professors receive Lilly grant to integrate faith, learning

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