Faculty Research Symposium

The Faculty Research Symposium is an annual event held in February. Members of the Academic Climate Committee (now the Academic Enhancement Committee) created this Mindscape month event to complement the Student Research Conference. The Symposium enables students and faculty to hear about faculty research activities. Presenters show students how to present research in various disciplines so that students may incorporate faculty techniques into their own presentations.

2012 Presentations

3:30 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 201

Rem Confesor, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, NCWQR

Modeling Pollutant Exports from Lake Erie Watersheds

The recurrence of massive harmful algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie since the mid-1990s is largely attributed to excessive inputs (loads) of sediment and phosphorus (P) from the Maumee and Sandusky rivers. Land uses in these watersheds are mainly agricultural. Long-term data from the National Center for Water Quality Research (NCWQR) show that the sediment, particulate P, and dissolved P loads from these watersheds have been reduced since the 1970s. However, the dissolved P load has been increasing since the mid-1990s corresponding to the reappearance of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Researchers have been exploring the selection and optimal placement of best management practices (BMPs) to reduce pollution from agricultural lands. The basics and importance of watershed modeling in this research area are discussed in this presentation. Emphasis is placed on the use of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and geographic information systems (GIS) as aids in reducing sediments and nutrient exports to Lake Erie.

3:30 p.m. - Frost Lecture Hall

Chris Tucci, M.F.A.
Assistant Professor of Theatre, Director of Theatre

Playing the Part, Playing the Madness

How does an actor bring to life a character consumed by madness while protecting themselves? The Method Technique is often misunderstood by the masses and misapplied by actors. A thorough script analysis and discussion of applied technique precede a viewing of “Through the Flowers,” a short independent film starring Professor Tucci.

3:30 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 104

Leslie Haley Wasserman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education

The Twice Exceptional Learner

Twice exceptional students are classified as being identified gifted and/or talented in one or more areas, along with being diagnosed with a developmental, social, emotional, physical, sensory, and/or learning disability. Research into neuroscience and brain based learning supports the various accommodations, adaptations and interventions needed for these misunderstood students. Their learning is often fuelled by inconsistencies and unpredictable learning environments. Teachers and parents alike do not comprehend this unconventional learner. This presentation will delve into the various strategies and approaches that classroom teachers need to implement as they differentiate their teaching to meet the needs of this unique group of young learners in the early childhood classroom.

4:00 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 204

John Bing, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science and Anthropology

Retention at Heidelberg University

An examination of a Heidelberg retention database for the past four years, to explore various explanations for changes in the Freshmen to Sophomore retention rate.

4:00 p.m. - Frost Lecture Hall

Courtney DeMayo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History

The Theory and Practice of Education in Medieval Cathedral Schools

This research explores the theoretical and practical applications of teaching and learning around the year 1000 C.E. Specifically, this research analyzes the work of Gerbert of Aurillac, a famous scholar at the Reims cathedral school, who dominated the intellectual landscape in northern France and Germany. A thorough analysis of Gerbert's pedagogy reveals the deep connection between teaching and learning, as well as theory and practice, in Medieval education.

4:00 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 104

Ken Krieger, Ph.D.
Director of the NCWQR, Professor of Biology

Heidelberg’s National Center for Water Quality Research: History and Current Programs

Founded in 1969 as an outgrowth of introductory biology laboratory exercises, the River Laboratory became the Water Quality Laboratory in 1974 and was renamed the National Center for Water Quality Research (NCWQR) in 2002. The name changes reflect the growth and the broadening scope and impact of the Center’s research and monitoring programs. The NCWQR focuses on major environmental issues related to the impacts of food production on water quality and is staffed by ten permanent employees assisted by student trainees. Research activities include multidisciplinary studies that often combine stream and lake water chemistry, biological monitoring, and watershed modeling. Most NCWQR studies are collaborative with federal and state agencies, environmental organizations, industry groups, private foundations, and other universities. This presentation highlights the history of the Center, current projects and activities, funding sources, and the NCWQR’s role in the educational mission of Heidelberg University.

4:00 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 201

Daryl Close, Ph.D.
Professor of Computer Science and Philosophy

Faculty Productivity

The concept of “faculty productivity” is now part of the lingua franca of higher education administration. This presentation analyzes the faculty productivity controversy and seeks to expose some of the serious conceptual issues that surround it. I review the “7 Solutions,” a recent attempt by a Texas think tank to force faculty work into a full market model in which faculty are evaluated by their credit-hour costs, the tuition revenue they generate, and the student “satisfaction” reviews they receive. I examine other attempts to “corporatize” colleges and universities and argue that faculty work cannot be measured by means of financial accounting alone.

4:50 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 204

Kristen Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education

From Aspirations to Access: An Exploration of the Facilitators of and Barriers to Postsecondary Education Attendance

Using data from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002, sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics, this study presented an ecological approach to examining the individual, family, and school factors that facilitated or impeded postsecondary education attendance. Historically, a core of factors including, academic achievement, parents’ educational attainment, parents’ educational aspirations, and household income, has been consistently identified as predicting college attendance. In addition to those variables, this study revealed three additional factors, which provided a unique contribution above that of the aforementioned core factors to the outcome of college attendance. The findings may be used to inform the development of policies on higher education and intervention programs, such as the Higher Education Act, in order to ameliorate existing disparities in postsecondary education attendance.

4:50 p.m. - Frost Lecture Hall

Marc O’Reilly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science

Recalibrating: American Policy toward the Middle East in the Wake of the Arab Spring and the U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

This presentation examines American policy toward the Middle East, a region now revamped courtesy of the so-called Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia in December 2010, and the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Like previous Great Powers, the United States must adjust its strategy. Since World War II, Washington has favored various authoritarians to achieve, secure, and protect its political, economic, and military interests in the region. With dictatorship replaced in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, under duress in Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain, and contested in Jordan and Oman, Washington must adapt its policy. Although it ushered in a democratic transition in Iraq, America cannot be confident that democratization in the Middle East will redound to its geopolitical advantage. Others factors, such as Turkey’s and Qatar’s regional assertiveness, the Iranian regime’s anti-Western policies, the moribund Arab-Israeli peace process, and Iraq’s ethno-sectarian conflict, complicate Washington’s task. Furthermore, the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom foreshadows a very different kind of U.S. military posture in the region—one made more imperative by the Pentagon’s need for thrift.

4:50 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 104

April Beisaw, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Native American Hip Hop: Traditional Storytelling for Contemporary Youth

Storytelling has always been an integral part of Native American culture. Through these stories, elders passed on their knowledge of history, geography, and morality. Many traditional stories were lost or transformed with the arrival of Europeans as elders died from disease or warfare and the younger generation faced challenges for which there were few applicable tales. Now, many Native Americans live in urban areas and face the same problems as other inner city populations – poverty, crime, drug abuse, and suicide. They have also adopted urban forms of creative expression, such as hip hop, to express themselves. Native American hip hop can be seen as a new version of traditional storytelling that combines the past and present and offers a means of studying contemporary Native culture.

4:50 p.m. - Adams Hall Room 201

Kylee Spencer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology

Genetic Variation Associated with Age at Menarche in an African-American Cohort

Menarche, or the onset of menstruation, marks the beginning of the reproductive lifespan in women. Though the biological mechanisms are not fully understood, timing of menarche has been shown to influence a woman’s susceptibility to diseases later in life, especially cancers. For example, earlier age at menarche (AAM) is associated with breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, in addition to obesity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Later age at menarche is related to increased risk for osteoporosis, and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease. While several environmental factors, including nutritional status and body mass index, influence the timing of menarche, there is also strong evidence that genetic variation plays a role. Despite known differences in age at menarche by race-ethnicity, the majority of studies have been conducted in women of European or Asian descent. To our knowledge (this is a multi-author study), there have been no genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of age at menarche in an African-American cohort. We, as part of the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study, sought to replicate and generalize GWAS-identified menarche variants and discover novel associations in African-Americans. We used the Metabochip genotyping array, which contains approximately 200,000 genetic variants distributed across the genome. We tested for variants associated with AAM in a combined cohort of over 4,000 African-American women from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) studies. We replicated previously identified associations in several gene regions with age at menarche, including ESR1, IGF1, and CYP19A1. In the 9q31 region, three genes were significantly associated: ABCA1, IKBKAP, and C9orf5. We were unable to replicate the association with LIN28B, which has been recently identified in several GWAS of European-descent women, though MetaboChip coverage of this region is scant. These findings are a start to untangling the complex interplay between genetic variation and environmental exposures which influence the timing of menarche.

5:30 p.m. - Ohl Concert Hall

Doug McConnell, D.M.A.
Professor of Music Theory & Composition
Ioana Galu, M.M.
Instructor in Violin
I-Chen Yeh, D.M.A.
Assistant Professor of Piano

‘...for I don’t want to run this race in vain:’ Going the Distance in Composing/Performing a Large Work

While I Run This Race is a new composition for violin and piano written by Dr. McConnell at the request of fellow faculty member Ioana Galu. It will receive its first performance at his Faculty Artist Recital on Friday, February 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ohl Concert Hall. The piece, a series of extended variations on a theme, is based on an African-American spiritual that was also used as a freedom song during the Civil Rights era. The tune is short and repetitive; the text is simple but powerful. How does one expand brief material into an extended work while paying homage to the spirit of the original material and its cultural significance?

2011 Symposium Presentations

Drs. Ginny Gregg and Traci Stark, Psychology, "Generation XXX: Sexual Behavior, Self-Esteem, and Gender Differences among College Students."

Dr. Ken Baker, Biology, "The Round Goby in Lake Erie: A Summary of 11 Years of Scuba-based Research on the Invasive Fish Species' Distribution within the Lake's Western Basin."

Dr. Lesley Wasserman, Education, "Living with ADHD: Modifications and Adaptations for Success."

Dr. Ellen Nagy, German, "Impressions: First Year Students' Perceptions of College."

Dr. Dave Kimmel, English, "Listing the Classic Novels."

Dr. Pam Faber, Biology, "Fertility Control through the Ages."

Dr. April Beisaw, Anthropology, "Graves of the Susquehannock: The Enigmatic Giant Indians of Colonial Pennsylvania."

Dr. Daryl Close, Computer Science & Philosophy, "A History of the PARC System of Natural Deduction."

Dr. Marc O'Reilly, Political Science, "A New Middle East? The Transformed Dynamics of a Key Region."