Innovator Article

Alumni Giving Boosts Faculty Research

by Adrienne Capps, Senior Director of Development

Alumna May Seeman ’89 established the Seeman Faculty Opportunity Fund in 2009 to support emerging faculty needs such as research, travel to conferences and presentations. The first beneficiary of Seeman’s gift, Associate Professor Beth Bechky, said the funding helped her significantly during the data analysis phase of her research project, “Science Under Scrutiny,” an ethnographic study of a crime laboratory.

“Thanks to May, I was able to spend five months on sabbatical at Columbia University thinking deeply about the data, reading and talking about my ideas with colleagues in New York City,” said Bechky, who is writing a book exploring how science and law enforcement influence how forensic scientists accomplish their work.

“It will impact scholarship in sociology, organization theory and science studies,” Bechky explained. “And it will help managers and policy makers understand the practice of scientific work, and communicate to the public the real role of scientific evidence in law enforcement.”

Seeman, CEO of MEAG-NY in Manhattan, met with Bechky during her sabbatical. “From my days as a student through to today, I continue to be impressed with the caliber of the School’s faculty,” said Seeman. “Faculty excellence is critical to a growing School like the GSM.

“Beth is a rising star—exactly the type of promising faculty that will strengthen the School’s quality,” Seeman said. “My financial commitment met my interest in supporting the School’s greatest needs, and I am happy it is making such an impact.”

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