Testimonials from previous Berkman
Each year, Berkman
grant recipients are invited to a luncheon to celebrate and to discuss
their projects with fellow awardees. This page includes photos from the
May 2006 reception, attended also by Myles and Carol Berkman, as well
as quotes from previous Berkman award recipients discussing how they benefitted
from their grants.
Carol and Miles Berkman, Carnegie
Mellon University, May 2007
From Tina Blaine, Lecturer, Entertainment Technology Center, 2005 - 2006 awardee for "New Interfaces for Old Instruments: Ancient Cultures/Modern Sounds"
The Berkman Faculty Development Grant I received was originally intended to support the investigation of multimodal gestural approaches to control and augment the capabilities of "traditional" musical instruments. An opportunity to develop a suspended glass instrument for electronic musical performance in a similar realm of investigation presented itself a few months after the award was granted. The research and development for this project in collaboration with Chris Strollo and Robin Stanaway became newly focused on capturing the electronic and acoustic sound potential of large glass rondels. To that end, the materials and sound generation research for this project was extensive and required cautious experimentation toward the development of novel techniques for playing glass, sensors and strings. The culmination of this work, entitled "Circumference Cycles" was performed at the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) Conference in Paris, France in 2006. A two-week residency at the Studio for Electro Instrumental Music (STEIM) allowed us to further extend this endeavor and create a series of original compositions for this instrument that were presented in Amsterdam, Holland and at the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. This research and development would not have been possible without the generous assistance of the Berkman Faculty Development Fund.
From L. Mark Carver, Associate Teaching Professor, School of Music; Coordinator, Collaborative Piano, 2006-2007 awardee for "Sound Recording"
I am grateful to the Berkman Fund and the Berkman family for assisting in the creation of a new sound recording. This recording was made in Mexico City (released internationally in October 2008) after rehearsals and concerts in Pittsburgh, PA and Santa Fe, NM. It features Jessica Rivera, internationally renowned soprano, Eleanor Weingartner, Principal Clarinet of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, and Mark Carver, Associate Teaching Professor in the College of Fine Arts. This grant offered me the opportunity to make music on the highest level with the finest artists in my profession. It has given me both personal and professional enrichment beyond words, and this experience will be passed on through my teaching and performing to all of my future students.
From Joseph Mannino, Professor, CFA, School of Art, 2005 - 2006 awardee for "Of Clouds and Steel"
I received a Berkman grant in the spring of 2006 in connection with a one-semester faculty exchange to Auckland, New Zealand. During the exchange from July through December 2006, I did not have access to the equipment necessary to make artwork in my customary medium--ceramic sculpture--and instead explored a new two-dimensional format. "Of Clouds and Steel," the project I developed in Auckland, involves the production of human-sized inkjet images of individuals, and is an extension of my previous sculptural work. I work collaboratively with each of the individuals whose portraits I am creating to decide on the gestures and visual statements to be expressed. I choose people in a variety of venues, including schools, galleries and private homes. Auckland is a uniquely intercultural place, and I was fortunate to be able to include people and language representing European, Maori, Samoan, Tongan and Korean perspectives. "Of Clouds and Steel" is a growing and continuing project, and its next public exhibition will be at the Arlington Art Center in December 2007, where it will incorporate new images from individuals at that venue. The Berkman Faculty Development grant gave me both funding and encouragement to successfully extend my art practice in an interpersonal and intercultural framework.
From Russell Schwartz, Assistant Professor, MCS, Biological Sciences, 2004 -2005 awardee for "Computational Methods for Identifying Cancer Progression Pathways"
The Berkman grant allowed my group to pursue a collaborative project adapting computational methods from evolutionary biology to the study of cancer biology. Cancerous tumors that appear indistinguishable in the clinic often have very different causes at the genetic level. These genetic differences can lead some tumors to respond very well to treatments that are ineffective on seemingly identical tumors in other patients. Our goal in this work was to use computational algorithms from the field of phylogenetics, or the inference of evolutionary history, to identify common sequences of genetic abnormalities in tumors by looking at how single cells differ within tumor samples. The hope long-term is that identifying these "tumor progression pathways" will help in identifying good targets for future cancer therapies and in better identifying those patients who will benefit most from a given therapy. Berkman funding allowed us to support an M.S. student to put our ideas for tumor phylogenetics into practice and conduct an extensive pilot study with our collaborators in the group of Dr. Stanley Shackney at the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute. This pilot work led to novel insights into the development and progression of breast cancer tumors and has led to peer-reviewed conference and journal publications. The collaboration the Berkman funding helped us foster is continuing as we pursue more sophisticated models and algorithms for this problem.