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APSU professors Di Paolo Harrison, Williams receive summer research grants

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Two Austin Peay State University professors have been awarded summer research grants to further their development as both educators and professionals in their fields.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Two Austin Peay State University professors have been awarded summer research grants to further their development as both educators and professionals in their fields.

Associate Professor of Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies Dr. Osvaldo Di Paolo Harrison and Assistant Professor of Music, Voice Dr. Jeffrey Williams have each been awarded summer research grants by APSU’s Department of Research to develop research projects during the summer that may place them in a better position to seek external funding. Di Paolo Harrison has been awarded a grant in the total of $5,000, while Williams will be receiving $2,000 from APSU's Department of Research.

Since arriving at APSU, Di Paolo Harrison has received three summer research grants which have been used to fund the development and publication of four books. His most recent book, set to be published in 2017, is titled “Noir taíno: La novella negra de Puerto Rico” and investigates the impact of hardboiled literature on the island of Puetro Rico.

His fourth Spanish-language book, Di Paolo Harrison’s other works include a study on Hispanic sci-fi and detective novels, titled “Post-human Apocalyptic Moaning and Explosions: Hispanic Detective Fiction and Science Fiction of the 21st Century,” as well as a book on crime in Argentina, titled “Cadáveres en el armario.” His most recent book, “Negrótico,” tackled the South American fusion of hardboiled and Gothic literature.

The money received from APSU will go toward covering publication costs, as well as allow Di Paolo Harrison to travel internationally to promote both the work and the University.

“Without the grants that the Office of Research has provided, I would have not been able to publish my books and continue to have a solid presence among the international literary circle,” Di Paolo Harrison said. “In addition, the most important achievement was to bring my research, with the funding APSU provided, to my students.

“As part of the Austin Peay spirit, everything we do is for the benefit of the student body,” Di Paolo Harrison continued. “Research should be conducted for the betterment of our faculty and the knowledge that we can pass that on to our students.”

Williams has been funded by APSU’s Office of Research to attend the SongFest Professional Development Program for College Teachers. Held in Los Angeles, SongFest’s program is geared toward artist-teachers in voice and collaborative piano who maintain a performing career and are generally in their first decade of college-level teaching. An intensive, two-week session, the program provides opportunities for professional development performance and networking.

The United States’ premier art song festival and training program, SongFest attracts an international roster of leading recital artists and pedagogues as well as students from some of the nation’s top music conservatories.

“SongFest is virtually unique and a summer destination for the most highly regarded composers, voice teachers, vocal coaches, collaborative pianists and singers in the United States,” Williams said. “I sincerely do not know how SongFest is able to gather such incredible people together for this program. The names and reputations are immense: Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, Jake Heggie, John Musto, Libby Larsen, Roger Vignoles, Sanford Sylvan, William McGraw and the list goes on.

“I'm thrilled to be in a position where I can take advantage of all the opportunities this program has to offer - the performing, the coaching, the networking, and of course, the music.”

As a part of his studies, Williams will also present a lecture recital on APSU music theory, piano and composition faculty member Dr. Jeffrey Wood’s cycle of songs “Different Bodies,” which was premiered locally, as well as at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tenn., with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra in February 2016.

“Having the opportunity to lecture on and perform Dr. Wood's music at SongFest allows another venue to perform his music and share it with this incredibly receptive and special audience,” Williams said. “Dr. Wood's piece deserves this audience. I cannot wait to share it with them and get their feedback.  It will be excellent exposure for Dr. Wood and for APSU.”

For more information on Di Paolo Harrison, contact him at dipaoloo@apsu.edu. For more information on Williams, contact him at williamsjj@apsu.edu. For more information on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, visit www.apsu.edu/grants.