Valparaiso University Announces Kapfer Research Award Recipient

Valparaiso University Professor Allison Schuette ’93, MFA, associate professor of English, has received the Philip and Miriam Kapfer Endowed Faculty Research Award to continue her work on an initiative of the Welcome Project, which collects oral histories about the complexity of living together amidst increasing diversity and difference.

The bi-annual award is funded by an endowment created by the Kapfer family and provides one semester of full-time leave with pay or two consecutive semesters with a half-time schedule, plus a $4,000 stipend. Philip and Miriam Kapfer are parents to alumni Paul Kapfer ’89, J.D., and Dr. Stephanie Kapfer ’91.

Professor Schuette launched an initiative of The Welcome Project titled “Flight​ ​Paths:​ ​Mapping​ ​Our​ ​Changing​ ​Neighborhoods.” “Flight Paths” is a project designed to help participants, regionally and nationally, engage and analyze factors contributing to de-urbanization and the fracturing of neighborhoods, communities, and regions in post-industrial America through the lens of Gary and Northwest Indiana.

She plans to create an interactive documentary website that demonstrates the changing racial and economic demographics of Gary and Northwest Indiana, which will dramatize the significant impact of de-urbanization in a visually compelling, easily accessible online space.

Professor Schuette, who joined the faculty in 2005, serves as co-director of The Welcome Project with colleague Liz Wuerffel ’00, MFA, associate professor of art. This year she received funds to continue her work with “Flight Paths” from the National Endowment for the Humanities and was awarded the VUAA Faculty Development Award.

Kapfer Research Award recipients are selected by the Creative Work and Research Committee based on the originality and significance of the proposal, as well as the applicant’s perceived capacity to complete the work.