Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Research Grant Winners

Congratulations to our 2018-2019 Award Winners! 


Kristen Carpenter, Psychiatry & Behavioral Health

Title: Psychiatric Comorbidities and Treatment Adherence in Women Receiving Prenatal Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder PI: Kristen M. Carpenter, Ph.D.

Abstract: Estimates indicate that approximately 25-33% of pregnant women with an opioid use disorder have a comorbid psychiatric disorder. These comorbidities may contribute to poorer treatment adherence in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs. As little research examines the psychiatric characteristics of pregnant women seeking MAT for opioid addiction, the purpose of this research is to describe psychiatric diagnoses and treatment and explore relationships among psychiatric comorbidities, MAT program adherence, and maternal outcomes (e.g., abstinence/relapse, intrapartum pain management, neonatal outcomes).

Joyce Chen, Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Title: Addressing the Gender Pay Gap at OSU and Beyond

Abstract: We quantify the gender pay gap at OSU and assess the key contributing factors. In particular, we examine differences in research productivity, tenure and promotion, teaching and service, as well as differential effects of marriage and children. We also conduct comparisons with other institutions, which have more extensive policies for addressing pay disparities. Our analysis will be shared with the Faculty Committee on Benefits and Compensation, the President, and the Provost to provide concrete action steps to reduce pay disparities at the University.

Karen Eliot, Dance

Title: A Biography of Tamara Karsavina as a Teacher, Coach and Mentor

Abstract:  Most studies of Tamara Karsavina end with her career as a Diaghilev ballerina. In this biography, I contend that her later contributions as a teacher are essential to understanding the transmission of Russian ballet into Western Europe. Dance scholars’ failure to analyze pedagogy and the teacher’s role in relaying embodied knowledge means that a vital aspect of dance’s history––transmission from one body to another––has been overlooked. Karsavina bridged the classical Russo-French training and the newer model of actor/dancer demanded by Fokine’s ballets in the repertory of the Ballets Russes, embodying both styles and transmitting them to her students. 

Lesley Ferris, Theatre

Title:  Sahar Speaks: Voices of Women from Afghanistan

Abstract: While Afghanistan continues to be much in the news at this present moment, the absence of women's voices in the ongoing conflict in the country continues to be the norm. This project addresses that absence by commissioning and producing a new play by an Afghan women playwright. A staged reading of the project will take place this summer in London, with a view to producing the play, along with three others in 2019. The plays are adapted from original news stories (some autobiographical) by Afghan women that were published in 2016 in the Huffington Post.

Jessica Kaffenberger, Internal Medicine-Dermatology

Title: Investigating the role of providing longer acting reversible contraceptives to patients on isotretinoin in a dermatology outpatient clinic

Abstract: Isotretinoin is a very effective, yet teratogenic, medication which is used by millions of patients for recalcitrant acne. All females who are treated with isotretinoin have register in the iPLEDGE program, where they must pledge to use two forms of contraception. However, pregnancy rates on this program remain high. This is a prospective cohort study that aims to determine if long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is being offered to females undergoing isotretinoin therapy, and the proportion of patients who select a LARC. This study also aims to determine barriers to providing LARCs in a dermatology setting.

Elizabeth Klein, College of Public Health

Title: Focus on the positive:  Framing health communications to promote female smoking cessation

Abstract: Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Women smoke less than men, have equal interests in quitting, but have a more difficult time sustaining cessation compared to men.  Health communications on cigarette warning labels or media campaigns focus on negative consequences of continued smoking (loss-framing); emerging research suggests positive messages (gain-framing) may be more effective with female smokers.  We propose a pilot study of women (n=126) to compare gain- and loss-framed pregnancy-specific communications messages on their perceived effectiveness to motivate cessation.  Results will inform a larger-scale text-based intervention to promote sustained smoking cessation for women.

Treva Lindsey, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Title: Hear the Screams: A History of Violence Against Black Women and Girls

Abstract: Hear The Screams is a history of violence against Black women and girls. From the transporting of captive Africans to police officers gunning down a six-year old Black girl while she slept, violence against Black people is one of America’s most consistent and unrelenting practices. I document violence against Black women and girls from slave ships in the 1700s to hospitals in the 2000s where Black child-bearing people die at alarming rates during and after giving birth. This story recasts violence as both physical attacks on Black bodies as well as the creation of unlivable living conditions for vulnerable communities.

Timiya Nolan, College of Nursing

Title: Life after Breast Cancer: Stories from Young Black Women

Abstract: Black women who are young (less than age 45) are disproportionately affected with breast cancer. Not only are young Black women more likely to have breast cancer, they also report poorer quality of life (QOL) than young White women. Stories of life after breast cancer are predominately told by White women. Few studies have described or attempted to improve QOL among young Black survivors. Following previous work that identified age- and culturally-specific concerns among these survivors, this study proposes to develop themed videos for an intervention aimed at improving their QOL moving young Black survivors toward health equity in QOL.

Tasleem Padamsee, Health Services Management and Policy

Title: Breast Cancer Prevention Decision Making among High-Risk Latinas and Asian American Women

Abstract: Women who face high risk of breast cancer have a range of risk-management options, but we know little about how they decide among them.  My prior research illuminated a range of previously unstudied dynamics that inform women’s choices, and demonstrated that these differ between White and African American women.  The proposed pilot study will extend the study of women’s own perspectives on risk and prevention to Latinas and Asian American women.  This will set the stage both for a larger grant application in 2019, and for future clinical and social interventions to support health-protective decision making among diverse high-risk women.

Mary Rodriguez and Jera Niewoehner-Green, Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership

Title: Patching the Leaky Pipeline: Exploring Women’s Faculty Identities in Colleges of Agriculture

Abstract: From under-representation in leadership positions to the disproportionate advancement of tenure and promotion, agricultural science is one field that suffers from a “leaky pipeline” for female faculty. It appears that gender equality in earning Ph.D. degrees, is not synonymous with gender equality in subsequent opportunities. Quantitative research has illuminated these persistent disparities but there is a dearth in qualitative research that explores the lived-experiences of female faculty within agricultural sciences. Using qualitative feminist methodology, this research aims to understand how organizational practices and narratives within colleges of agriculture influence women’s lived experiences.

Kammi Schmeer, Sociology

Title: Social and Economic Adversity, Stress and HPV Infection among Women in Nicaragua 

Abstract: Cervical cancer is the leading cause of female cancer deaths in Nicaragua, due to high rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) and more rapid progression of HPV into cervical cancer in low-income settings. Research in other settings suggests that stress can increase viral infections and related cancer progression. We propose to study how social and economic stressors contribute to increased risk of HPV and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) among Nicaraguan women. The results will improve our understanding of the adversities women face and their associations with HPV (and cancer by extension) and other STI risks among women in Nicaragua. 

Mary Thomas, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Title: Shaft: a rogue analytic of the surface

Abstract: As increasing attention is paid to the subsurface activities of capitalism and the dynamic mobilities of geology-become-climate in the Anthropocene, the interaction of the surface of the earth with the earth below is widely undertheorized.  Our approach hones in on the shaft, which we argue serves as more than a channel to and from the surface; rather, the shaft creates matter and subjects through their mobilization from the position of the surface. As material of the earth is carried through the shaft and workers’ bodies are invested with the responsibility of carrying gender, sexual, racial, and colonial identities and priorities to the earth’s underground, and back up again, these processes also determine matter through conceptual surface domains.

Lucille Toth, French and Italian

Title: On Board(hers): a dance work on borders and women in motion. 

Abstract: As a non-verbal form of communication, dance challenges the idea of borders on different levels (political, geographical, historical and aesthetic). On Board(hers), an all-women dance performance based on the recorded voices of fifteen female immigrants’ testimonies, will foreground a collection of gestures that embody unique experiences of migration. Representing different ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, socio-economic statuses and levels of education, the repetitive-structured piece will create a 40-minute long choreography that hints at stories of women who are at the mercy of contemporary immigration policies, while underlining the fortitude of women’s work, humor, and solidarity. On Board(hers) will allow participants and audiences to explore how global mobility is gendered.

Shu-Hua Wang, Internal Medicine Department, Infectious Disease Division

Title: Improving diagnosis of tuberculosis in pregnant and lactating women in Gondar, Northern Ethiopia 

Abstract: Globally, tuberculosis (TB) is a significant human pathogen and is the top infectious disease killer. Fatality rate is higher in women than men. This sex difference might indicate gender inequity of due to barrier to healthcare assess, socio-economic disparities, or cultural stigmatization especially in developing countries.  Even though, TB is associated with increase mortality during pregnancy and postpartum, the prevalence or other associated risk factors are not well known.  The goal of this project is to improve screening and diagnosis of TB in pregnant and lactating women and to improve knowledge of TB associated risk factors in Ethiopia.  


Kelly Fulkerson Dikuua, African American and African Studies

Title: (Un)informed Consent: Involuntary Sterilization, Eugenics and Racialized Violence in the Jim Crow United States and Apartheid Southern Africa

Abstract: This research project explores comparative legal practices, cases, media coverage and testimonies that have arisen in relation to involuntary sterilization in the United States under Jim Crow laws and Southern Africa during the apartheid era. This transnational project argues that the denial of consent, or at best tenuous consent, to sterilization reflects institutionalized violence perpetrated by the state and a global anti-blackness built on a historic partnership between legal segregation and eugenic practices. The project interrogates the nature of consent, examining the lines between consent and coercion, and contesting consent as a viable mechanism to establish legal autonomy.  

Marla Goins, Teaching and Learning

Title: Exploring the Educational Trajectories and Political Activism of High School-Aged Afro-Brazilian Girls

Abstract: In this research, I explore how the educational trajectories of afro-Brazilian girls are influenced by the tenets of a school centered on black consciousness and by political movements, particularly the Natural Hair Movement. At the Steve Biko Institute, a black consciousness high school in Salvador da Bahia, I will form a focus group with afro-Brazilian girls in which we discuss their college planning. I will also conduct interviews with my participants and collect narratives from them, to learn about how their high school education and political involvement impact their ideas about postsecondary options and their decisions to attend college

Alexandra Kissling, Sociology

Title: Couple Dynamics Surrounding Permanent Contraception

Abstract: Sterilization offers an ideal case to study gender dynamics, because men and women can both get permanent contraception. Further, highly advantaged men and less advantaged women most commonly have permanent contraception. This dissertation asks how and why do adults choose permanent contraception, both individually and as members of a couple? Are decision making processes different for men versus women, or by the socio-economic status of individuals and couples? In order to answer these research questions, this dissertation includes in-depth interviews with 100 individuals (in 50 couples) that assess perceptions, intentions, and ideas about sterilization and how they relate to inequality.

Kristen Kolenz, Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Title: Embodying Transformative Hip Hop Performance: Decolonial Theory-Making at Rebeca Lane Concerts

Abstract: This project examines Guatemalan hip hop activist Rebeca Lane’s concerts as sites of decolonial theory-making and political transformation. Through participant-observation of a concert and dialogic interviews in Guatemala City, I ask how Lane imbues her movements with decolonial meaning and what happens when her audiences take up these practices in their own bodies. Based on a queer, feminist theory of decoloniality made locally specific by Lane, I will deploy an interdisciplinary methodology that traces the migration of meaningful gestures between Lane and her audience and their potential to create political transformation.

Elizabeth Koss, The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Title: Perspectives, Experiences, Attitudes, and Barriers to Sexual Health Education for Women with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities

Abstract: The prevalence of STIs in the general population has been well-characterized and is a growing concern, however there is a paucity of literature available regarding incidence and prevalence of STIs among individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disability (I/DD), and the available data is alarming. The purpose of this study is to (1) identify perspectives, experiences, and attitudes about the sexual health of young women with I/DD, (2) identify the barriers to an effective sexual health education for young women with I/DD, and (3) provide recommendations for future research to promote effective, positive sexual health education for young women with I/DD.

Fungisai Musoni, African American and African Studies

Title: The Rockefeller Foundation in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (1950-1980): A transnational Study of Gender Inequalities

Abstract: The proposed research will be the first project to explore the Rockefeller Foundation’s (RF) activities in Rhodesia. Using a deep historical approach to explore the long-term impact of gender inequalities within the RF organization, the project builds on and adds to a recent wave in transnational work by examining the interactions between RF officials and African-Rhodesian women between 1950 and 1980. Of the existing literature, scholars have focused on the interactions between RF male officials and male elite leaders. By focusing on the interactions between RF officials and African-Rhodesian women, the proposed research will fill the gap in existing literature. 

Sarah Paxton, History

Title: Silent Stitches: Re-examining the Response to Domestic Violence in the United States

Abstract: My dissertation will measure the efficacy of the current legal response to domestic violence by historicizing the societal response to victims of abusive relationships. I will identify early approaches adopted by our present system by studying five institutions and discuss their motivations and purpose in different eras.  I will also analyze cultural depictions of abuse as metaphorical or persuasive tools as it illustrates reformer’s assumptions while drafting victim response. Ultimately, my project will reveal the purpose with which modern strategies were designed and assist in reshaping the current system to best respond to a variety of women in unique circumstances.

Eleanor Paynter, Comparative Studies

Title: Local Experiences of Transit: Refugee Oral Histories in Italy 

Abstract: This oral history project attends to the increasing number of women migrants in what has been called a “refugee crisis” in the European Union, focusing especially on the experiences of women at official and informal migrant reception structures in Italy. Through interviews and observations, I will address the absence of attention to the experiences and voices of women refugees in the EU and respond to the need to better understand the range of experiences of refugees and the communities in which they live.

Sujatha Subramanian, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Title: Care or Confinement? Adolescent Girlhood, Juvenile Justice, and the Contradictory Spaces of Observation Homes in Mumbai, India

Abstract: My research looks at the experiences of girls who have been involuntarily confined in children’s homes and observation homes by the Indian state under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015. Through ethnographic research at an observation home, I will study how ideas of girlhood delinquency as well as of vulnerability and victimization are produced through the intersections of gender, sexuality, caste, religion and class. I will employ participatory methods to study girls’ own perspectives regarding their identities within the space of the observation home, and understand how they alter the predominant ideologies of the space through their practices.

Joshua Truett, Theatre

Title: Velas, Muxes, and the Performance of Zapotec Style: Indigenous Festival and the Making of Dissident Counterpublics 

Abstract: I investigate the role of performance and visual culture in Mexican festivals known as velas (candles or sails), analyzing how they celebrate the labor of women and muxes, a third-gender identity rooted in the indigenous Zapotec culture of Oaxaca. Women and muxes are the main arbiters of local culture through their control of the velas, where the reproduction of ethnic and social identities occurs. Through performances of local fashion and the preservation of culinary and linguistic heritage, the velas provide a public stage where local groups construct and contest sociopolitical identity. Women and muxes, I argue, make their voices heard through the performances of identity fostered by the vela celebrations. 

Lyndsey Vader, Dance

Title: Spaces of Encounter, Repertories of Engagement: Politics of Participation in 21st-Century Contemporary Performance Praxes

Abstract: This project examines the socially progressive potential in the aesthetic strategies utilized by female and gender non-conforming art practitioners that reconceive audience agency and authorship within the creative process and/or performance event. Choreographies and installation work by United States-based artists Faye Driscoll, Yanira Castro, and Complex Movements converse with diverse histories of participatory trends and the politicoaesthetic aspirations the form advocates. Through the creation of immersive environments, these artists disrupt structures of visibility, dismantle constructs of identity formation along binary, stable, and fixed parameters, and interrogate the ways in which value gets assigned within visual culture through processes of identification. 

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