Faculty Notes


Associate Professor Helen Cho presented a poster about “Intra-skeletal Variability and Bone Remodeling Dynamics in a Modern Mexican Cemetery Population” at a meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. She also published two articles in peer-reviewed journals. “Lessons
Learned: Teaching the Race Concept in the College Classroom” appeared in Multicultural Perspectives, and “Age-Associated Bone Loss and Intra-Skeletal Variability in the Imperial Romans” appeared in Journal of Anthropological Sciences.

Professor Malcolm Campbell met with chemistry, biology, and physics faculty members at North Dakota State University. He presented his students’ research in synthetic biology and assessment data from a new introductory biology course he developed with Associate Professor of Biology Chris Paradise and Associate Professor of Mathematics Laurie Heyer.

Associate Professor Karen Hales attended the annual Drosophila Research Conference with six senior biology majors—Tessa Campbell ’11, Dylan Coughtrey-Davenport ’11, Casie Genetti ’11, Lauren Ivey ’11, Chris Lima ’11, and Sarah Pyfrom ’11. The students presented four posters about their research projects, which focused on genes that control the shaping of mitochondria (energy-producing structures) within developing sperm cells of the fruit fly. The students also presented a separate project at the conference (funded by the Davidson Research Initiative) to assess how scientists prioritize communication with the general public.

Associate Professor and Department Chair Barbara Lom published a peerreviewed pedagogical article in the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education with colleagues at Wake Forest and College of Charleston describing the SYN APSE, a regional undergraduate neuroscience conference.

Associate Professor Dave Wessner coauthored a report titled “Vision and Changein Undergraduate Education: A Call to Action” published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science with support from the National Science Foundation. The report details new directions for undergraduate biology education based on feedback from regional conferences and a national meeting of undergraduate biology educators. Biology education, the authors conclude, should reflect the way biological research is practiced. That includes engaging students in research, emphasizing data analysis and interpretation, and encouraging biology students to communicate their scientific information with a broad audience. More information is available at www.visionandchange.org.

Morton Professor Felix Carroll, a colleague from the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and Chun-Yon Lin ’10 published an article in the American Chemical Society journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. It reports a simple and highly accurate method to predict the most widely cited measure of the
flammability hazard associated with the storage, transport, and use of organic compounds. The article was Lin’s third publication with Carroll in an American Chemical Society journal.

Associate Professor Keyne Cheshire and Jon Springfield ’11 co-presented a paper, “From Trachis to Jagged Rock: Sophoclean Song in the Wild West,” at the annual meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. The paper discussed their collaborative choral work, The Passion of Herman Kilman
(Son of God), a rendering of Sophocles’ tragedy Women of Trachis.

Yale University Press is publishing Professor Peter Krentz’s book “The Battle of Marathon” in paperback this summer. A two-page synopsis of the book appears in ad familiares, the journal of the Friends of Classics in Great Britain, vol. 40, under the title “Running in Armour at Marathon?”

Communication Studies
Professor Kathie Turner received the Michael M. Osborn Teacher-Scholar Award at the annual convention of the Southern States Communication Association, where she also gave presentations on women in the academy, women’s public discourse, communication centers, and media analysis.

Dana Professor Cynthia Lewis has published three articles. “Being District Attorney” in Charlotte Magazine recalls Peter Gilchrist’s 35 years as Mecklenburg County District Attorney. “Trail of a Kiss” in New Letters is a playful reflection about kissing in our culture. “Whodunit?: Plot, Plotting and Detection in Twelfth Night” appears in a new Routledge Press scholarly volume of essays about that Shakespearean play.

Professor Alan Michael Parker has been awarded a Pushcart Prize for his poem “Family Math,” which first appeared in The Kenyon Review. The same poem was also recently selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Best American Poetry, 2011.

Professor Catherine Slawy-Sutton presented a paper at the Conseil International d’Etudes Francophones in Aix-en-Provence, France. During a session about Islamic women in Francophone literature and film, Slawy-Sutton delivered a paper titled “La Colère et les éclats de Karima Berger, ou l’évolution d’un
itinéraire spirituel.” It examines how in her recent essay, “Eclats d’Islam,” Franco-Algerian writer Karima Berger negotiates a place for herself between Islam, secularism, modernity, and feminism.

German & Russian
After teaching in Davidson’s Humanities program for several years, Burkhard Henke has been named the new E. Craig Wall, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Humanities. The chair honors Craig Wall ’59 and his service to Davidson as chair of the Board of Trustees.

Professor John Wertheimer presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies. Titled “Domestic Abuse and the Law in Recent Guatemalan History,” it describes a series of legal reforms in that country designed to combat spousal abuse and violence against women. Commentary about the paper is available in this blog about the meeting: parezcoydigo.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/secolas-2011/.

Associate Professor Tim Chartier and Daniel Martin ’11 consulted with the social gaming Web site Prediculous.com to develop an authority and ranking algorithm. Two of the founders of the site are CEO Taylor McLemore ’07 and CFO Andrew Walker ’04. Martin and Chartier also aided the ESPN program Sport
Science about the feasibility of a “triple cork” snowboard move occurring in the X Games. The American Mathematical Society produced their conclusions on that project as a “Math Moment” and podcast called Putting Another Cork in It.

Associate Professor Michael Mossinghoff received a Collaboration Grant from the Simons Foundation. The five-year award supports traveling for mathematical research, as well as bringing visiting speakers to Davidson. He plans to use the grant this summer to visit some colleagues in British Columbia and Ontario to continue research efforts in number theory.

Kimbrough Professor John Swallow published an op-ed piece titled “Mathematical Community” in Notices of the American Mathematical Society. In it he urges his professional colleagues to write more about the community of mathematicians and their distinguishing common interests. That initiative, he says, would promote a more accurate view of mathematics and mathematicians than is presented in the media. It would also help prospective mathematicians
know what to expect from the profession, and it would further develop and celebrate the mathematical culture.

Professor Neil Lerner spent the spring semester as visiting professor at Duke University, where he taught a graduate seminar on the topic of music in horror films. He also presented his paper “The Origins of Musical Style in Video Games, 1975–1983” as part of the Duke Musicology Lecture Series.

An arrangement of Sky Dances, written by Professor and Department Chair Jennifer Stasack, was performed by Alaska’s Juneau Pride Chorus in the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Thatcher Professor Lance Stell coauthored a commentary with Professor Tom Stossel of the Harvard Medical School in the journal Nature Medicine. They challenge the proliferation of regulations designed to curb conflicts of interests between universities, physicians, and the medical products industry. They argue that these policies are having an unintended but destructive impact on collaborative relationships that have brought many beneficial medicines and devices to patients.

Brown Professor Wolfgang Christian has been elected to the presidential chain of the North Carolina section of American Association of Physics Teachers. He began his four years of service in May as vice president, and will serve subsequent one-year terms as president-elect, president, and past-president. Christian also presented a talk at the spring section meeting describing computer models he created for articles in The American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher. Titled “Journal Article Models,” the talk described his NSF-funded sabbatical year project.

Sam Snell ’10 and Associate Professor Scott Tonidandel presented Snell’s senior honor thesis titled “The Importance of Political Skill for Predicting Managerial Effectiveness” at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Watson Professor Ed Palmer enjoyed reconnecting with old friends from his alma mater, Gettysburg College, after publication of its alumni magazine included a back cover portrait photo of him sporting a 50th-reunion pin on his hat. The photo promoted the college’s alumni weekend event.

Associate Professor Greg Snyder will visit the American Academy in Rome this summer, researching a community of Gnostic Christians in the suburbs of Rome. One of his articles, “A Second-Century Christian Inscription from the Via Latina,” has recently appeared in the Journal of Early Christian Studies.

Professor Ann Marie Costa directed a professional production of Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte.


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