April 2, 2024

Four professors selected for ‘Year of Exploration’

Four Goucher College faculty members will embark on a Year of Exploration as the 2024 recipients of the Myra Berman Kurtz Fund for Faculty Research and Exploration of the Sciences (KRES Fund).

Now in its third year, the KRES Fund seeks to enable Goucher faculty to remain lifelong learners and continue their intellectual curiosities and passions through exploration of the sciences, technology, and their relationship to society. The fund is designed to encourage faculty to pursue new experiences outside of their prior work, explore novel areas of knowledge, and push disciplinary boundaries. Recipients are provided with a year’s worth of funding to begin these new projects.

This opportunity to pursue a new “passion project” is made possible by a generous $400,000 pledge to Goucher College from Stuart Kurtz in honor of his late wife, Myra Berman Kurtz ’66. The KRES Fund will support the annual awarding of multiple faculty year-of-explorations over the course of the next decade.


The 2024 KRES recipients:


Steve DeCaroli

Steven DeCaroli
Professor of Philosophy—Brain Fundamentals: Neuroscience and Philosophy

Professor DeCaroli will use the year of exploration to further his formal training in cognitive neuroscience. Augmenting his expertise in philosophy with an added foundation of cognitive science will contribute to both his teaching and scholarship on the subjects of ethics and cognition and the impact of contemplative practices like mediation on brain function.

Amanda Draheim

Amanda Draheim
Assistant Professor of Psychology—Use of Artificial Intelligence for Training Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning in Psychotherapy

Assistant Professor Draheim will explore how artificial intelligence may be applied to training case conceptualization skills among graduate trainees in clinical psychology. Case conceptualization involves using the client’s presenting concerns combined with psychological research to develop a rationale for a client’s distress and to inform treatment. Developing skill-in-case conceptualization is challenging but important, as it is considered a core competency for clinicians.

Ann Duncan

Ann Duncan
Professor of American Studies and Religion—Doula Support and Reproductive Justice in Baltimore

This project explores the role of abortion, birth, and postpartum doula support in addressing injustice in reproductive health care in Baltimore. During the grant period, Professor Duncan will train to become a full spectrum doula and, through this training, shadow doulas, ultimately volunteering with the Baltimore Doula Project and Baltimore Abortion Fund.  Such engagement with reproductive justice work in Baltimore will shed light on the unique role of doula support in addressing lapses in health care access, poor health outcomes, and reproductive autonomy. 

Lana Oweidat

Lana Oweidat
Associate Professor Professional and Creative Writing—Generative AI as a Writing Consultant for Second-Language Learners

Associate Professor Oweidat’s project will explore the impact of generative artificial intelligence on second-language writers from marginalized contexts with limited access to writing support. Specifically, it considers how these tools might be used by individuals residing in international refugee camps in order to assist translating and composing answers for official documents and aid applications.