Faculty and Staff Career News

November 2, 2016

To read complete versions of these abbreviated news items where you see a live link, click to reach the faculty member’s personal page. Then visit that page’s “Recent News” tab, where this current item in fuller detail will be at the top. For staffers without a faculty page, the full text of each news item is included here.

George Ashline, professor of mathematics, recently gave six invited talks/workshops to about 125 students in different classes/groups of students at U-32 high school in Montpelier, VT. Through several activities in each workshop, George led hands-on investigations by students.  During the week of July 18-22, 2016, George co-taught the course Number Theory for Teachers as part of the Vermont Mathematics Initiative (VMI), a three-year, statewide, comprehensive professional development program in mathematics for Vermont teachers.

Jeffrey Ayres, dean of the college and professor of political science, traveled with 16 students from his Canadian politics course and University of Vermont History Professor David Massell and 20 of his students from Thursday-Saturday, October 27-29, to Ottawa for the annual academic study trip to Canada.  On this study trip students met members of Parliament from different federal political parties and dined in the parliamentary dining room, hosted by federal Quebec Liberal MP Denis Paradis.

Doug Babcock, director of public safety, in July was elected as a Director at Large of the Northeast Colleges and Universities Security Association (NECUSA). NECUSA is America’s oldest campus law enforcement organization.

Christine Bauer-Ramazani, instructor in the Applied Linguistics Department, has had accepted for publication in Applications of CALL Theory in ESL and EFL Environments a book chapter she co-authored. In September, she consulted on designing activities for blended learning in language courses for a school in Germany. In addition, Christine has been invited as a keynote speaker on technology in teaching and learning for the 75th anniversary of the Centro Colombo Americano in Bogota, Colombia in September 2017.

Vince Bolduc, professor of sociology, in July was a guest on the Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition, discussing with another guest the subject of low fertility in Vermont. Also, Vince and Herb Kessel, professor of economics, in recent months published an article, “Vermont’s Domestic Migration Patterns: A Cause of Social and Economic Differences,” in the journal of the New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society.

Robert Brenneman, associate professor of sociology/2016-2017 Fulbright Fellow in Guatemala, made the keynote presentation and was a panelist for major academic audiences at two sites and dates in Guatemala during September, and he lectured for a youth leadership program at a university. During October he organized and participated in an author’s panel and presented a paper at the Annual Meeting for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Atlanta, GA. Recently he gave a virtual lecture at an academic research center in Mexico.

Alain Brizard, professor of physics, published a peer-reviewed paper, “Motion in an asymmetric double well,” in the professional journal Commun Nonlinear Sci Numer Simulat. He wrote the paper in collaboration with a former Saint Michael’s College student, mathematics major Melissa Westland ’16.

Kellie Campbell, associate director in Information Technology and director of the Accelerated Summer College, attended the Leading Change Institute in Washington D.C., this past summer.  She was one of 38 in attendance, accepted this past spring.  The Leading Change Institute is a program through EDUCAUSE, focused on engaging leaders who seek to develop their skills for the benefit of higher education.  Higher education requires leaders, particularly in the information sector, who can inspire, advocate, and advance needed change (http://www.leadingchangeinstitute.org/). Some collaborators and presenters at the institute included leaders from National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

Christina Chant, assistant professor of chemistry, successfully submitted a paper that was accepted to the Journal of Chemical Education.  This paper covers the creation of a new biochemistry lab that is being run in Professor Alayne Schroll’s biochemistry course at Saint Michael’s.  The paper includes three Saint Michael’s alumni who studied biochemistry as co-authors, and is a collaboration with a UVM faculty member.  It also acknowledges several other Saint Michael’s students for their contributions.

Brian Collier, associate professor of art, this fall was showing work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Art-Science Gallery in Boulder. CO. The group exhibition features a series of projects Brian has done in Boulder over the years and is part of the History of Art in Boulder, CO Project. The show runs from Sept. 29, 2016 – Jan. 6, 2017.

Laura Crain, library associate director, and Anthony Bassignani, library circulation supervisor, presented “More Than Just a Job: Creating Advancement Opportunities for Library Student Workers” at the Vermont College & Special Libraries Conference in Castleton on October 21, 2016.

Peter Cross of the College’s Information Technology staff has written a new novel titled More Than a Memory. The story is a romance that incorporates Vermont, Burlington and a college setting. Peter says the book and Kindle Version are available via the publisher Amazon, and a print version is in the Saint Michael’s College Bookstore. Peter also has a few copies in his office.

John Devlin, associate professor of fine arts/theatre, designed scenery for Sister Act and lighting for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? with the Saint Michael’s Playhouse. He was production manager for those two shows as well as Baskerville and Pete ‘n’ Keely, working with many students and alumni John also designed lighting for the Lost Nation Theater production of Sylvia this fall,  he collaborated with departmental colleague Cathy Hurst on the departmental production of Ophelia, designing scenery and lighting and supervising set construction.

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence in American studies, gave two presentations in October for the University of Chicago’s creative writing series, Poem Present.  In summer and fall 2016, the University of Alabama Press released two more bilingual editions of contemporary Cuban poetry with Dykstra’s scholarly introduction and translations:  Breach of Trust, by Angel Escobar, and The World as Presence, by Marcelo Morales.  In July, Kristin gave a presentation on a different poet, Rito Aroche, for the Americas Society in New York.

Jo Ellis-Monaghan, professor and chair of mathematics, joined with her colleague Greta Pangborn of the computer science faculty to run the “Summer Combo in Vermont” conference, where their Saint Michael’s students presented posters. Jo also was an organizer when the Mathematics Department hosted a regional workshop on best practices in teaching calculus. Jo and Greta also organized a Discrete Math Days of the Northeast conference; and, they and students had a paper accepted to the journal Theoretical Computer Science.

Daniel Evans, director of the English Language Programs and associate professor of applied linguistics/TESOL, and Jeffrey Ayres, dean of the College and professor of political science, traveled to Japan, September 30-October 10, 2016, to strengthen relations with long-standing partner universities in Japan.  Dan and Jeff met with faculty and administrators from seven institutions in both the Tokyo and Kanazawa areas, and hosted alumni receptions.

Dan French, coordinator of the School Leadership Program in the Education Department, was presented the “Making IT Happen Award” at VT Fest, the Vermont state educational technology conference in November.  One award is presented annually by each state affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to honor outstanding educators and leaders in improving digital learning opportunities for students. Dan and recipients from other states will be honored at the ISTE national conference in San Antonio, TX this June.

Cathy Hurst, professor of fine arts/theatre, and her departmental colleague, John Devlin, co-hosted the fifth annual Vermont High School Theater Lab and 12-Hour Play Project. They welcomed approximately 75 students and teachers for a full day on Saturday, September 24. Each presented workshops and facilitated the staging of several brief plays written during the day.

Pauline Jennings, instructor of creative dance in the Fine Arts Department, completed production on Quotidian Mandala, a dance for camera piece she choreographed and filmed in San Francisco over the summer. The collaborative team just received confirmation that the film has been accepted for world premier November 5th at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. It will premiere at City Hall in Montpelier this December.

Aostre Johnson, professor of education, published a book chapter, “Spirituality and Contemplative Education” in Spirituality across Disciplines: Research and Practice, and a book review, “Spirituality in Education in a Global, Pluralized World” in the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, Vol.21, No. 2.(2016). She also presented  two papers, one at the 14thInternational Conference on Childhood Spirituality, Lincoln, England, July 2016, and the other at the American Educational Research Association Conference, Washington, D.C., April 2016.

Nicholas Kahm, Henry G. Fairbanks Visiting Scholar-in-Residence (Humanities), presented at the Symposium Thomisticum in Paris this summer, and had a book review published.

Ari Kirshenbaum, associate professor of psychology, recently collaborated with three students, on a paper, “Nicotine enhancement and reinforcer devaluation: Interaction with opioid receptors,” that was published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior. Also, Ari and a student presented a paper in May on the same topic at a major conference in Chicago, IL. The experiment behind both the paper and presentation was performed on rats to assess the degree to which opioid receptors are involved in tobacco dependence and withdrawal.

Richard Kujawa, professor of geography, received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the New England-Saint Lawrence Valley Geographical Society at its annual meeting at Bishops University in Quebec. Richard was particularly recognized for his work representing the organization on the National Council of the American Association of Geographers.  He also presented a paper at the meeting and chaired the session focused on “Geography, Maps and Education.”

Susan Kuntz, professor of psychology, and Carey Kaplan, professor of English emeritus, delivered a paper at Storytelling: Global Reflections on Narrative conference in Oxford, England on July 11, 2016. The paper was entitled: “Scholarly personal narrative makes learning possible.”  Sue also chaired a panel titled “Storied approaches to illness and health.”

Crystal L’Hote,associate professor of philosophy, was interviewed by Elaine McMillon Sheldon for her Lifetime/TED Women short called “The Experience of Time.” This short film “explores the history of humans’ complicated relationship with time, deconstructs our obsession with controlling it, and contemplates how to be more mindful of this valuable resource.” Crystal’s comments (and a nice drawing of her) appear on the film briefly.

Dagan Loisel,assistant professor of biology, presented work from his undergraduate researchers at the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease conference at Cornell University in June 2016. He also spoke in the Environmental & Health Sciences Speaker Series at Johnson State College in August 2016

Carolyn Lukens-Olson, professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, has written an essay titled “The Dangling Knight: Don Quixote, Puppet,” which will be published this spring in the collection Liberal Arts and Core Texts in our Students’ World, a volume produced by the American Association of Core Texts and Courses, of which Saint Michael’s College is an institutional member.

Ron Miller, professor of psychology presented “Mental Illness in the 21st Century: Brain Disorders of Moral Injury” at the Saint Michael’s College Psychology Department Colloquium, February 16, 2016. In May, Ron presented the Keynote address at the MetroHealth County Hospital, Cleveland, OH. Ron also published an article, in a professional journal and continues to chair The Vermont Board of Psychological Examiners as a gubernatorial appointment.

Robert Niemi, professor and chair of English, learned recently that his sixth book, The Cinema of Robert Altman, Hollywood Maverick, is one of the Top 75 Community College Titles named by Choice, a review journal of new academic titles. Bob also chaired and commented on the panel titled “Performance, Memory, and Representation in Modern British ‘Mass’ Media,” at the Northeastern Conference for British Studies, hosted at Saint Michael’s and organized by Jennifer Purcell of the College’s history faculty.

Paul Olsen, assistant professor, and Karen Popovich, associate professor, both in the Business Administration and Accounting Department, recently wrote a business “critical incident case” in collaboration with their former student, Tiffany Thompson ’16, that  was accepted for publication in the 2016 edition of the Journal of Critical Incidents. Their case was titled “WTF? McDonald’s minion unhappy meal.”

John O’Meara, associate professor and chair of physics, reports three new publications in recent months, one in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society; and two in Astrophysical Journal. John also recently was an invited Physics Colloquium speaker at the University of Connecticut.

Susan Ouellette, professor of history, has written a book, due for release in June 2017 by SUNY Press, titled An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman: The Journal of Phebe Orvis, 1820-1830.  Susan also was a commenter at the New England Historians Association conference in Nashua, NH, on October 22, 2016, for a panel entitled “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History … Sometimes They End up Dead.”

Jennifer Purcell, associate professor of history, spent June in the final phase of her research on Mabel Constanduros as a Richmond University (London) Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures Summer Research Fellow consulting London-area archives. She also organized the Northeastern Conference on British Studies (NECBS) Annual Meeting on campus Oct 14-15, and presented a paper. Jen will be a commentator at a Washington, D.C., history conference in November.

Doug Slaybaugh, professor of history, presented at the New England Historians Association conference in Nashua, NH, on October 22, 2016. His paper was titled “Race at Oberlin College: The Limits of Toleration in the Progressive Era.”

Jeffrey Trumbower, professor of religious studies, will lead a panel discussion of his paper “Closing the Door on Reincarnation in Early Christianity: Limiting the Options” at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX, November 20, 2016.

Catherine Welch, assistant dean of students joined with three students — Mike McCarthy ‘17, Active Minds President; Justin McKenzie ’17, Hope Happens Here Co-President; and Dan Divis ’17, Hope Happens Here Co-President — in presenting at the University of Vermont Mental Health Matters Conference on October 28.  All three of these students also are graduates of the Student Support Network (SSN). The Saint Michael’s presenters’ focus was on building self-efficacy & resiliency through strengths-based campus programming.

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