Professor Bennardo's doctoral and current research focuses on the linguistic, cognitive, and cultural representations of ontological primes, e.g., space, time, relationships, quantity, quality. His specific interest is the investigation of intra-modular and inter-modular conceptual structures or cultural models. His cultural area of specialization is Polynesia, the Kingdom of Tonga.
- NSF grant (applied) Radiality at the Root of Polynesian Collectivism: Representing and Expressing Quality Distinctions in Polynesian Languages.
- NEH grant (applied): Radiality at the Root of Polynesian Collectivism: Representing and Expressing Quality Distinctions in Polynesian Languages (view abstract here).
- Wenner-Gren Grant for Workshop (applied): Cultural Model Theory: Shaping a New Anthropology.
- NSF grant Cultural Models of Nature Across Cultures: Space, Causality, and Primary Food Producers. View abstract. (2014-2017)
- An American Cultural Model of Nature: A Pilot Study in Northern Illinois (2009-2012)
- A Tongan Cultural Model (2003-2008)
- Tongan Concept of Neighborhood (2001)
- Polynesian Navigation (1999)
- Tongan Possessives (1998)
- Space in Tongan Language and Culture (1993-96)
Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP)
Through this program, faculty will be able to engage undergraduates in their research agendas in one-to-one mentorships and stimulate student interest in pursuing graduate education. This program is designed to encourage a broader involvement of students and faculty not only within a given major, but also, where appropriate, to encourage and support mentorships that involve faculty members with qualified, highly motivated students outside the major.
- Create and expand opportunities for undergraduates and faculty to work as collaborators in the search for knowledge
- Involve students in the creation of that knowledge
- Celebrate the accomplishment of undergraduate researchers
- Foster a better understanding of what faculty do and why they do it
- Inspire critical thinking and active learning through the greatest resource of this university: the programs of scholarly endeavor that come from research-active faulty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Further demonstrate and reinforce the synergistic relationship between teaching and scholarship