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Faculty Highlights for Fall 2014

January 15, 2015

Check out the latest faculty honors, publications, presentations and more.

On October 10th, Associate Professor of Mathematics Ben Allen gave a talk entitled, "Asymmetric Spatial Structure Alters the Molecular Clock," at the International Conference on Advances in Interdisciplinary Statistics and Combinatorics, University of North Carolina-Greensboro. On October 15th, he gave a talk entitled, "An Information-Theoretic Formalism for Multiscale Structure in Complex Systems," at the Geometry and Dynamics Program sponsored by Brandeis University's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT). Allen was also an author of the article, "Fourier decomposition of payoff matrix for symmetric three-strategy games," published in Physical Review in October, and his research was recently featured in this ScienceNews blog post.

Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Department Chair José Ignacio Alvarez-Fernandez presented "El periodismo documental y las últimas horas de la Segunda República Española (Documentary Journalism and the Last Hours of the Spanish Second Republic)" at the 16th International Meeting for the Study of Contemporary Spanish Literature, A Coruña, which took place from June 30th to July 3rd in Galicia, Spain.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Jacqueline Alfonso Barry passed the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) on July 31st. The EPPP assesses knowledge of eight main content areas and is a pre-requisite to licensure as a clinical psychologist.  On October 18th, Alfonso Barry and Associate Professor of Psychology and Department Chair Linda Lin presented "Factors Related to Support for a Campus-Wide Smoking Ban in Small Liberal Arts College Settings" with Emmanuel students Meaghan Brown'16, Jacqueline Smith '15 and Sarah Kilduff '15 at the New England Psychological Association (NEPA) conference held at Bates College. Barry also chaired the paper session, Stress and Mental Health Issues, at the NEPA conference.

Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Chair Catherine Simpson Bueker had two entries accepted for The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism, being published by Wiley-Blackwell. The essays are on the topics of citizenship, and immigration and welfare. She was also invited to submit a summary of her research on civic and political immigrant integration for a report being undertaken by the National Academies of Science. In November, Bueker was awarded a 22-month grant in the amount of $49,750 from the Spencer Foundation to develop a new project exploring the experiences of women of color in a predominantly white, high-income school district. She is exploring the experiences of three different groups of women: town residents, as well as women who were able to access the school through two distinct voluntary integration programs, one based on a commuting model and one based on a boarding model.

Lecturer in Biology Liliana Busconi and Jud Hill completed the third term offering of the Friday Afternoon Science Program for Girls in Grades 6, 7 and 8, a program designed to inspire and attract underrepresented populations to STEM fields. The program brings middle school girls from neighborhood schools onto the Emmanuel campus to utilize the laboratory facilities in the Wilkens Science Center. Devin Rauh '16, Joanna Bercume '16, Elanna Abreu '18, Matthew McCarthy '16, Shayna Miller '15, Maura Tuohy '14, Elizabeth Repash '17, Katherine Fazioli '17, Amelia McGuire '16 and Sheila Drakely '16 were actively involved both in the design and teaching of the laboratory experiences.

Associate Professor of Management and Department Chair Patricia Clarke presented, "U.S. Retailers Expanding into Canada: The Recent Experience of Target, Nordstrom, Saks, and Sears," by Clarke, Gregory Dowler '15 and Kelsie Dumas '15 at the annual meeting of the Financial Education Association on September 19th in Savannah, Georgia.

Professor of Mathematics and Department Chair Yulia Dementieva co-authored an article, "Effect of EHR User Interface Changes on Internal Prescription Discrepancies," with Alexander Turchin, Abhivyakti Sawarkar, Eugene Breydo and Harley Ramelson, in Applied Clinical Informatics, 2014; 5: 708-720.

Associate Professor of English and Department Chair Matthew Elliott is serving as a peer reviewer for Studies in the Novel, a journal published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Assistant Professor of History Jeffrey Fortin appeared on NPR's The Academic Minute to discuss identity theft in early America. The segment aired on Friday, November 28th, and can be found here.  In June, Fortin gave a keynote address titled, "African Americans on the Water," at the Harriet Tubman Railroad Conference in Maryland. The address examined how African Americans used waterways and the sea to escape slavery and find freedom on board ships.

On October 31st, Associate Professor of Art and Department Chair Cynthia Fowler presented a paper entitled, "The Modern Embroidery Movement in Early 20th-Century America," at the Feminist Art History Conference at American University in Washington, DC.

Assistant Professor of Sociology Janese Free was an invited guest lecturer in two classes in July at SHOWA Women's Institute. She spoke on "Educational Inequality" with a focus on her research on migrant children and education. Free, with Associate Professor of Sociology Katrin Križ and Jenny Konecnik '14, had an article, "Harvesting hardships: Educators' views on the challenges of migrant students and their consequences on education" accepted by Children and Youth Services Review

Associate Professor of Chemistry Aren Gerdon traveled with four students to the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco in August. Gerdon gave two presentations entitled, "Freshmen join the team: Research in the General Chemistry lab" and "Chemistry for the developing world: Senior seminar at an undergraduate institution" and one poster on "Identifying and Analyzing DNA Aptamers for Calcium Phosphate Mineralization." Student presentations were as follows:

  • Sarah Faulkner '15 and Samantha Watson '15 presented a poster, "Selection and analysis of DNA biomimetic templates for the mineralization of hydroxyapatite."
  • Chris Connelly '15 presented a poster, "Surface Immobilization of Amorphous Calcium Phosphate for Protein Affinity Studies."
  • Geoff Conklin '15 presented a poster, "Quartz Crystal Microbalance Integrated with Microfluidics and Optical Microscopy for Improved Study of Mineralization Kinetics."

In a management capstone course taught by Lecturer of Management and Economics Kelly Grant, Jake Jaskolski '15, Nick Joyce '15 and Ryan Margulis '15 of "Classified Kicks" ranked in the Global Top 100 for the Business Strategy Game simulation. These students competed against more than 11,000 groups throughout the world. Other high achieving teams include the "BoMa Shoe Company" team (Devan Moulton '15, Jarrod Slavinskas '15 and Seth Wynne '15) and the "Elite Shoe Company" (Ryan Kessler '15, Tyler Manchester '15 and Molly Metivier '15) team.

Professor of Theology + Religious Studies Mary Hines attended the annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America in San Diego in June. In August, she presented a full day of talks on the history and development of the theology of Mary to the Carmelite Fathers and students in Washington, DC.

On October 18th, Assistant Professor of Education and Department Chair Sister Karen Hokanson, SND and Associate Professor of Science Education Fiona McDonnell hosted education workshops for more than 100 educators from Boston Public Schools and Boston Archdiocesan Catholic schools. 

Assistant Professor of Art Stephan Jacobs was a participant in the "Living Room" by Contemporary Art at the Gardner at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on October 17th. He exhibited a collection of mid-century, personal photo albums and discussed photography's effect on perceptions of personal and cultural memory.

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair Christine Jaworek-Lopes presented a poster, "Pilot study on the use of Sporcle quizzes in organic chemistry," at the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, California, on August 10th during the CHED General Poster session and on August 11th at Sci-Mix session.  Jaworek-Lopes also co-presided over a Connections to Chemistry workshop for high school teachers on October 15th at Burlington High School. 

Assistant Professor of Theology +Religious Studies Laurie Johnston gave two conference presentations over the summer of 2014: "Environmental Destruction and Proportionality in Just War Theory," a paper presentation at the New Wine, New Wineskins Conference at the University of Notre Dame, July 31st-August 3rd. Johnston was also the Respondent to presenter William Portier's paper, "Signs of the Times, Then and Now," in the Receiving Vatican II interest group at the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America, which took place in San Diego, California, June 5th-8th.

Associate Professor of Sociology Katrin Križ co-authored an article, "Dignity and dreams: What the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) means to low-income families," that was accepted by American Sociology Review. Križ chaired a session on "Public Services" and presented two papers (one on migrant students' hardships, co-authored with Janese Free and Jenny Konecnik '14; the other one on children's participation in child welfare, co-authored with Marit Skivenes) at the International Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) in Segovia, Spain, September 28th-October 1st. Križ's co-edited book, Child Welfare Systems and Migrant Children: a Cross Country Study of Policies and Practices, was published by Oxford University Press. Križ also co-authored the introduction and conclusion and a chapter entitled, "The United States: Child Protection in the Context of Competing Policy Mandates."

Assistant Professor of Sociology Ivy Krull led the National Planning Committee in hosting the 2014 Addictions Health Sciences Research Conference from October 15th-17th at the Hyatt Harborside Boston. This conference brought together more than 300 health services and implementation science investigators, clinical practitioners and policy makers to discuss issues related to addiction health services research and implementation. Krull's article (co-authored with L. Lundgren), "The affordable care act: new opportunities for social work to take leadership in behavioral health and addiction treatment," was published in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. Krull also presented at the Global Addictions Conference in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in November.  

Assistant Professor of Biology Jason Kuehner presented research from his laboratory at the 2014 Genetics Society of America Yeast Research Conference in Seattle, WA. The presentation included data from former summer research student Hilary Duffy '14. The research abstract was entitled, "Stimulation of RNA Polymerase II ubiquitination by yeast RNA 3' processing factors is a conserved DNA damage response in eukaryotes."

Associate Professor of Biology and Department Chair Josef Kurtz and Associate Professor of Biology Todd Williams were awarded a three-year National Institutes of Health AREA (Academic Research Enhancement Award) grant for $357,000 to continue their work investigating the interplay between the central nervous system and the immune system. The title of the grant is "Function of hematopoietically-derived myeloid precursors to the central nervous system immune cell population" and provides support for both student researchers and supplies.  Kurtz was an author on an article published in the October 2014 American Journal of Transplantation, entitled: "Transgenic Expression of Human CD47 Markedly Increases Engraftment in a Murine Model of Pig-to-Human Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation."

On December 5th, Assistant Professor of Education Christine Leighton co-presented the paper, "Exploring use of increasingly complex text to enhance ELLs' knowledge and expository text comprehension," at the Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association in Marco Island, Florida.  

Assistant Professor of Psychology Helen MacDonald presented a poster, "Association between Dispositional Mindfulness, Academic Delay of Gratification, and Academic Satisfaction in College Students," and symposium, "Enhancing the Teaching of CBT: A Multidisciplinary Perspective." at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Philadelphia from November 20th-22nd.

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair Michelle Maiese's article, "How Can Emotions Be Both Cognitive and Bodily?" was published in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences in June 2014. Maiese's book chapter on "Body and Emotion" has been published in The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition, edited by Lawrence Shapiro. Maiese's article, "Thought Insertion as a Disownership Symptom," was published in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

From November 13th-15th, Professor of Political Science and Interim Chair Lenore Martin participated in a workshop on "Turkish Foreign Policy in the 21st Century: The Human Dimension" in Ankara, Turkey. Her paper, "The Kurds and Turkish Foreign Policy in a Tumultuous Middle East," was part of the panel on Politics of Religion, Ethnicity and Migration.

Assistant Professor of English Andrea McDonnell presented at the International Academic Forum Conference on Communication and Media Studies, discussing her juried paper, "Celebrity Gossip Magazines, Guilt, and the Liminoid Airport," in Providence, Rhode Island, on September 20th. McDonnell also read excerpts from and discussed her recently published book, Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines, (Polity, 2014) at Porter Square Books on September 25th. McDonnell's and Assistant Professor of Psychology Clare Mehta's paper, "We could never be friends: Representing cross-sex friendship on celebrity gossip websites," appeared in the August 2014 issue of Psychology of Popular Media Culture.

Associate Professor of Science Education Fiona McDonnell, Ashley Houston-King '15 and Grant Kuehl '15 presented at the Fall 2014 MACTE/COMTEC/MAECTE Conference on a service learning project between Emmanuel College and OLPH Mission Grammar School. The presentation, "A Service-Learning Project with a Neighborhood Elementary School Provides a Context for Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for the Challenges of Teaching Inquiry-Based Science," involved Emmanuel education students in designing and teaching two inquiry-based science units. 

Assistant Professor of Psychology Clare Mehta chaired and presented a session on mentoring at the American Psychological Association conference in Washington, DC. She is also co-editing a special issue of Sex Roles honoring the feminist psychologist Sandra Bem. 

Professor of Nursing Janice Bell Meisenhelder earned Certification as a Nurse Educator from the National League for Nursing. On May 29th, Meisenhelder, with Sharon Sullivan of MGH, presented a poster entitled, "Two Strategies for Standardizing Clinical Evaluation: Benchmarking and the Clinical Concerns Form," at the 22nd Annual Nurse Educator Conference in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Meisenhelder is the first author on a manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, entitled, "Caring for the Bereaved Parent: Guidelines for Practice."

On November 7th, Assistant Professor of Economics Rebecca Moryl presented "Audioecon: Using Economics Themed Podcasts to Enhance Instruction" at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Professors Conference: "Topics and Tools for the College Classroom" in St. Louis, Missouri.

Associate Professor of Art Megumi Naitoh's works produced in Denmark were displayed at LaCoste Gallery, Concord, Massachusetts. A series of her works were also donated to a gala auction held on October 18th to celebrate Mudflat's 43 years of education in the ceramic arts. Mudflat in Somerville, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education of ceramics arts. Naitoh's ceramic works will be on display until March 15th as part of the Poking the Lilies Pad exhibit at the Asia Institute Crane House in Louisville, Kentucky. She was also one of the featured ceramicists in The Society of Arts and Crafts' exhibition titled, Our Cups Runneth Over: Sculptural & Functional Cups, on display from November 8th-January 10th.

Professor of Political Science Marie Natoli's paper entitled, "Citizens United: Corporate Spending and the Perversion of Democracy," was accepted for presentation at the International Conference for Social Sciences and Humanities in Florence, Italy, in June 2015.

Lecturer in Foreign Languages Isa Orvieto's new website, "Italian News Clicks" went live in September. The project was realized in collaboration with two Italian professors in Milan and the technical support and supervision of ATIG at Emmanuel College. Orvieto also presented her work at the annual Massachusetts Foreign Language Association Conference. The title of the presentation was "Open access to an open world," which outlined how to use technology to connect the classroom to present realities of a foreign country.

On November 8th, Associate Professor of English David Palumbo presented his paper, "Raillery and Debt in Swift's Letters," at the East Coast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Newark, Delaware.

Associate Professor of Physics Allen Price's article, "Tethered particle motion with single DNA molecules," was accepted to the American Journal of Physics.  Briana Mousley '15, Stefano Gambino '16 and Elsie Helou '15 served as student co-authors on this manuscript.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Christine Sample gave a talk entitled, "Population structure and the molecular clock of neutral evolution," at the Holy Cross Mathematics Seminar in Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 23rd.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry R. Bryan Sears and students Edmund T. Fisher '16, Ariana L. Cardillo '16 presented findings from their research, "Synthesis of ruthenium(II) complexes with N,O-chelates: An investigation of the effect of ligand σ-donation on oxidation state, spectroscopy, and photochemistry" at the 248th National Meeting of American Chemical Society in San Francisco, California, on August 11th.  Sears co-authored a book chapter in Applications of Nanoscience in Photomedicine (1st edition), entitled, "Advancing photodynamic therapy with biochemically tuned liposomal nanotechnologies." Sears's recent work "Selective treatment and monitoring of disseminated cancer micrometastases in vivo using dual-function, activatable immunoconjugates, " was also showcased as an Editorial Feature in the journal Science Translational Medicine

Assistant Professor of Political Science Adam Silver took part in the Northeastern Political Science Association meeting in Boston from November 13th-15th as follows:

  • Chair, American Political History: Retrospectives and Perspectives
  • Discussant, Congressional Affairs: Elections, Institutions and Careers
  • Panelist on roundtable, The Tea Party's Tempest in the Republican Party's Teapot: How Divisions Within the Republican Party Affect American Public Policy

Professor of Art Kathy Soles's and Assistant Professor of Art Brian Littlefield's drawings were on view as a part of the "Drawing Project" at HallSpace gallery in Boston from September 6th -October 11th.

Lecturer in Mathematics Brendan Sullivan published a new mathematical puzzle in June's issue of Mathematics Magazine. You can find it here.

Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies Jon Paul Sydnor took 10 students to Karnataka, India, in June for his course "India: Religion, Culture, Justice." The group visited historical sites, met with religious leaders, spoke to students, served underprivileged children, and learned about Indian ecological programs. This was the second trip for the course. The next will be in summer 2016.  Sydnor gave two presentations at the American Academy of Religion conference in San Diego in November. He presented on the promise and peril of teaching world religions in an online format. He also compared Buddhist and Christian concepts of the person, in order to develop a new, thoroughly relational Christian anthropology.

Associate Professor of Political Science Petros Vamvakas's recent publications and presentations include:

  • "Global Stability and the Geopolitical Vortex of the Eastern Mediterranean," Mediterranean Quarterly, Volume 25, Issue No. 4, Fall 2014.
  • "In Greece the 'European Project' is still on course," Greek Elections 2014, Greek Politics Specialist Group, Political Studies Association, June 2014.
  • "The role of great power politics in the Eastern Mediterranean: USA, Russia, EU and NATO," at Annual International Seminar, "Crisis and Change: The Uncertain future of the Eastern Mediterranean," University of Piraeus, Tinos, Greece, July 5th-10th.
  • Served as faculty and taught a course on Democracy and Geopolitics of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean at The International Center for Leading Studies, July 21st-August 2nd, Chania, Crete, Greece.
  • "Energy and the Eastern Mediterranean," Second Mediterranean Forum, July 2014, Chania, Crete, Greece.
  • "Global Stability and the Vortex of the Eastern Mediterranean," New Frontiers in Resource Conflicts and Territorial Disputes, Midwest Political Science Association, April 2014, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Chair Discussant, "Domestic Politics and International Conflict," Midwest Political Science Association, April, 2014, Chicago IL.

Professor of Philosophy Thomas Wall presented a paper on "The Transferability of Higher Order Cognitive Skills" at the International Conference on New Horizons in Education held in Paris from June 25th-27th. The paper will be published in the conference proceedings (Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2014).