Costello Interplay Award for Science and the Arts


The Costello Interplay Award Fund was established in the Fredonia College Foundation in 2016. The purpose of the award is to provide grants to faculty and students at the State University of New York at Fredonia for projects which explore the intersections between the visual and performing arts and the natural and mathematical sciences. The fund will encourage collaborative exploration, research, and creativity resulting in new work that is enriched by both fields. Faculty and students will gain a deeper understanding of one another’s areas of practice and inquiry, enhancing their future work as artists and scientists.

Types of Projects Considered

Any research, applied, or creative project that combines the sciences and the arts will be considered. Each project team must consist of at least one faculty member and one student, with at least one team member from the sciences and one from the arts. Larger teams are encouraged (e.g. two faculty members and two students). The main purpose of the award is to foster collaborative exploration that enhances team members' and the public's understanding of the arts and sciences. The fund is not intended to support course or curriculum development, or pedagogical research or practice.


  • For the purposes of this award, the sciences include the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. The arts include the departments of Visual Arts and New Media, Theatre and Dance, and the School of Music.  
  • Students must be matriculating full-time in one of the degree programs in the departments defined above, at the undergraduate or graduate level. It is not necessary that a student be receiving credit for the project itself.
  • All full-time and part-time faculty in the defined departments are eligible to apply.


The fund is administered by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Dean will appoint a selection committee of four members, two from the sciences and two from the arts. Dean Karafa will sit on the committee ex officio. The funds will be disbursed to the Project Leader, who will be accountable for all project expenses.

Proposals will be accepted annually for projects proposed for the following three semesters. This year’s deadline for submission is the close of business, Friday, December 15, 2023.

Click here to apply.

Total Funds Available

This year $6,500 is available through the Costello fund. Applications are accepted for any amount of funding up to the available total.

Final Report

A final report of up to 3 pages including a final budget and project outcomes is due by not more than six weeks after the completion of the project. All advertising, programs and other materials must acknowledge support by including the statement "This project was funded in part through the generous support of the Costello Interplay Award through the Fredonia College Foundation, State University of New York at Fredonia." Please include samples of programs, posters or other materials with the final report. Subsequent proposals from awardees will not be considered by the committee unless final reports from previous Costello awards have been submitted.

About the Benefactor:

Dennis Costello graduated from Fredonia in 1972 with a degree in Economics. With the help of his faculty advisor, he received a full fellowship to Ohio State University, where he completed his master’s in Economics. Today he has more than 30 years of experience in the energy and venture capital industries, is retired as managing partner with Braemar Energy Ventures, and sits on the board of directors of numerous energy efficiency and alternative energy production companies. Dennis is also the past chair of the Fredonia Foundation Board of Directors. In appreciation for all that Fredonia gave him, he has made numerous donations to Fredonia.

Click on the links to learn more about the Costello Interplay Awardees: 

2017 - "Making Sound You Can See" by Department of Computer and Information Sciences Assistant Professor Gang Hu, and School of Music Associate Professor Ray Stewart and three of their students. 

2018 - Two projects were selected.  Bernd Göttinger (Associate Professor, Music) and Michael Grady (Professor, Physics) assisted by the entire Junior class of the Sound Recording Technology program in the School of Music, for creating an electroacoustic enhancement system to understand and improve acoustics, and the team of  Peter Tucker (Associate Professor, Visual Arts and New Media) and Jon Titus (Associate Professor, Biology) and their students for “Wildlife Woodworking"        

2020 - "Polarizing World in Deep Mountain Roots" by Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Wentao Cao and Department of Visual Arts and New Media Professor Timothy Frerichs along with two students from Geology and Environmental Sciences and two students from Visual Arts and New Medial will examine geological samples from a "hot" and a "cold" root of ancient mountain belts, aiming to reveal their contrasting forming conditions, petrographic textures, and artistic appearances.

Take the next step