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June 12, 1997

UPB faculty get grant for science/religion course

The John Templeton Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant for the development of a new course on science and religion to three faculty members at Pitt's Bradford campus (UPB).

Andrew Dzirkalis, political science; Richard Melka, mathematics, and Hashim Yousif, physics, will use the grant to develop a course titled "Science and Religion in Western Culture." The course will be one of four senior colloquia courses to be offered as part of UPB's new curriculum, which requires all seniors to consider some major theme from a multidisciplinary perspective.

"Our course will ask such questions as whether science and religion are fundamentally opposed," Dzirkalis said. "Are science and religion isolated from each other, since they ask radically different questions, or are they interdependent, with something fruitful to say to each other? Indeed, might they not need each other?" The Templeton Foundation was founded in 1987 by stock market investor John Templeton to promote research, creative thought and teaching on the relationship of science and religion.

Along with awarding Dzirkalis, Melka and Yousif a grant to develop a course on religion and science, the Templeton Foundation also recently named UPB to its "Honor Roll of Character-Building Colleges." The foundation established the honor roll in 1989 to recognize four-year colleges and universities that emphasize character-building as an integral part of the college experience. As a member of the honor roll, UPB will be featured in Templeton's "1997-1998 Honor Roll Guidebook." More than 65,000 copies of the guide are distributed nationally to high school guidance counselors. Schools on the honor roll include Notre Dame, Yale, Boston College and Villanova.

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