Luther College faculty members Deborah Norland, professor of education, John Moeller, professor of political science and director of Ethics and Public Life, and Robert Shedinger, associate professor of religion, have been awarded Associated Colleges of the Midwest's Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) grants for collaborative research.

Grants totaling nearly $60,000 were awarded in FaCE's spring 2010 grant cycle for research across institutions and disciplines and to create and plan wide-ranging collaborative events.

With funding from a $13,330 FaCE grant, Norland and Moeller will collaborate with faculty from Coe College, Cornell College and Ripon College to explore the feasibility of a short-term study abroad course on the island nation of Malta.

The course, Global Citizenship, will look at issues including poverty, migration, culture and nationhood, and would be offered through Luther College as soon as June 2011.

Norland and Moeller are the project leaders. They propose the Mediterranean island nation of Malta as an ideal country for such a short-term experiential course. Although Malta is part of the European community, it continues to be a developing nation with a rich history of cultures intermingling, most recently receiving northern African refugees who see Malta as their entry into the European community.

Shedinger will use a $2,150 FaCE grant to take part in a working group, organized by Peter Wright of Colorado College, that will share individual teaching strategies for presenting Islam in the light of current theories of religion, and to address related questions that arise in the course of teaching Islamic history and civilizations to U.S. college students.

The working group will also include M. Brett Wilson of Macalester College and Noah Salomon of Carleton College.

Shedinger's book "Was Jesus A Muslim? Questioning Categories in the Study of Religion" will provide a theoretical focus for the project.

Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the ACM FaCE project provides funds for collaborative research and events that strengthen curricula, teaching and student learning outcomes at ACM colleges. Through FaCE activities, ACM faculty and administrators build networks - both across campuses and across disciplines - while developing innovative, effective teaching practices and tools.