Spring 2012 Faculty Notes


Vice President for Academic Affairs Clark Ross announced that trustees have approved promotion to the rank of full professor for five faculty members. They are Daniel W. Aldridge III (History), Mario Belloni (Physics), Vivien E. Dietz (History), Richard R. “Rick” Gay (Education) and Gayle Kaufman (Sociology).


Associate Professor Fuji Lozada has been elected president of the Society for East Asian Anthropology.


Along with colleagues Chris Paradise, Mark Barsoum, Laurie Heyer, and Pat Sellers, Professor Malcolm Campbell presented introductory biology assessment data at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB ) annual meeting. The data show that students using the new introductory book written by Campbell, Heyer, and Paradise retained information longer and were better able to analyze novel data than students using a traditional textbook. Campbell also began serving a three-year term as ASCB council member, joining the governing body for the 10,000-member international organization.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Jennifer Round has been selected to the National Institutes of Health Early Career Reviewer Program. The purpose of this new initiative is to train qualified scientists to review proposals from researchers seeking NI H funding. The program will enrich the existing pool of NI H reviewers by including scientists from less researchintensive institutions.


Morton Professor Felix Carroll has published two papers with Davidson students. Justin Godinho ’11 coauthored both papers, and Chung-Yon Lin ’10 coauthored one. The papers present new and highly accurate methods for predicting the boiling points of organic hydrocarbons as well as their flash points (an important measure of their fire hazard). One presents the method of prediction for benzene derivatives, while the second paper does so for hydrocarbons having a carbon-carbon double bond.

Assistant Professor Jeff K. Myers presented a poster titled “Folding and Misfolding of Myelin Protein Zero, a Membrane Protein Implicated in Peripheral Neuropathies” at the southeastern regional meeting of the American Chemical Society. Four Davidson students coauthored the poster—John Radcliffe ’11, Ruel Neupane ’11, Colton Mojesky ’11, and Matthew Fore ’11. Myers also published an article in the peer reviewed journal Chimica Oggi (Chemistry Today) titled “Measuring Globular Protein Stability,” coauthored with a colleague from Houston Baptist University.


Grey Professor of Classics and History Peter Krentz has published Il battaglia di Maratona, an Italian translation of his book on the Battle of Marathon.

Communication Studies

Professor Kathie Turner was the inaugural winner of the Kathleen J. Turner Award for Advocacy, an award named in her honor from the National Communication Association.


Johnston Professor Clark Ross, Dean of Faculty, is again taking a lead role in the national assessment of economics. Recently he was appointed by the Educational Testing Service to chair the faculty committee that will revise the Major Field Test, which thousands of undergraduate senior economics majors take annually. Ross played a similar role in a prior revision six years ago. He also continues to chair the College Board’s Advanced Placement macro-economics test development committee for that introductorylevel economics course.

Assistant Professor Alica Sparling has been selected to the National Institutes of Health Early Career Reviewer Program.


Assistant Professor Hilton Kelly’s book Race, Remembering, and Jim Crow’s Teachers is among 23 selected to receive the 2011 Critics Choice Book Award of the American Educational Studies Association. Kelly also gave a presentation titled “Too Heavy a Load: On Writing a Critical Race Biography of Marion Thompson Wright (1905–1962)” at the Society for Educating Women. He has been working on this biographical project as a research fellow and visiting scholar in the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University.


As the 2011 Patricia Rooney International Scholar at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Armfield Professor Brenda Flanagan was invited to deliver several readings and lectures on African American and Caribbean literature. She has also produced several recent publications. They include an article in the Brazilian journal ILHA DO DESTERRO titled “Soul Hands Clap in the ’60s,” which concerns the poetry of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. She also published short stories in the literary journals OBSIDIAN and Barely South Review. Finally, Flanagan delivered several readings and lectures in Dublin at the invitation of the American Embassy in Ireland.

Dana Professor Cynthia Lewis’ essay “Crazy in Love (Women and Shoes)” has been named a Notable Essay for 2010 by the editor of The Best American Essays series. This is the third of her creative nonfiction essays that has been included in that annual list since 2005.

German & Russian

Professor of German Maggie McCarthy presented a paper on Uschi Obermeier, the German student movement “It Girl,” at the German Studies Association annual meeting. The paper examined Obermeier’s autobiography and its filmic adaptation, as well as links between her iconic photographic images and self-portraits by female pop artists of the 1960s.


A chapter by Professor Robin Barnes has been published in The T&T Companion Guide to Reformation Theology. Barnes’s contribution, titled “Eschatology, Apocalypticism and the Antichrist,” discusses ways in which 16th-century Protestant conceptions of time, death, history, and eternity helped to form characteristically modern Western outlooks.

Babcock Professor Sally McMillen is a contributor and editor of Major Problems in the History of the American South, Volume I: The Old South. The book has recently appeared in its third edition.

Professor John Wertheimer has been appointed to a five-year term on the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee.


Associate Professor Tim Chartier has been selected to serve as a section lecturer for the southeastern section of theMathematical Association of America, and he has been named chair of the Advisory Council for the Museum of Mathematics, which will be the first museum of mathematics in the United States and is slated to open in New York City in 2012.

Professor Richard Neidinger was one of the two expert reviewers of doctoral candidate Sebastian F.Walter for the Department of Mathematics at Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin. Neidinger was invited to Berlin to be present for the dissertation defense, where Walter was approved at the Magna Cum Laude level for the equivalent of a U.S. Ph.D. The defense occurred in conjunction with the Twelfth European Workshop on Automatic Differentiation, and Neidinger was invited to give the opening talk in the series of 23 talks for the 55 workshop participants. He spoke on Comparing Arbitrary-Order Multivariable AD Methods, work done with Ben Altman ‘10 in his honors thesis at Davidson.


Professor Neil Lerner served as the fall resident for the University of Michigan’s Interdisciplinary Music Forum, presenting a paper titled “Towards Critical Readings of Early Video Game Music: Problems of Teleology, Subjectivity, and Masculinity.” Lerner also presented the Christian A. Johnson Interdisciplinary Lecture for the Integrated Studies Program at Colby College on the subject “The Influence of Early Film Music Conventions on Early Video Game Music.”

Associate Professor Tara Towson Villa guest conducted the Union Symphony Orchestra of Monroe, N.C., in a performance of H.K. Gruber’s Frankenstein!


Associate Professor Mario Belloni and Brown Professor Wolfgang Christian attended the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference. Belloni was elected to the association’s national nominating committee, and Christian organized and presided over a session on animation physics. Belloni and Christian also led a professional development workshop on using Open Source Physicsbased interactive curricular material. Brown Professor Wolfgang Christian and collaborators Francisco Esquembre and Lyle Barbato received acclaim from Science magazine, one of the world’s top publications on scientific issues. They received the magazine’s monthly SPORE Prize (Science Prize for Online Resources in Education) for development of a national digital library hosting a collection of interactive computer simulations. The publication honored the three physicists for their creation of the Open Source Physics (OSP) National Science Digital Library, and included a two-page essay describing the educational benefits of the system of online physics resources they are compiling there.

Associate Professor John Yukich was elected to the executive committee of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society. At the annual meeting of the section he presented results from research in molecular spectroscopy conducted with students Wade Morgan ’12 and Andy Muhich ’09.

Political Science

Associate Professor Russell Crandall has been elected a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


The Department of Psychology has been cited by the Board of Educational Affairs of the American Psychological Association for noteworthy contributions to interdisciplinary teaching. The award recognizes education and training programs that advance interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and interprofessional teaching, research, and practice in psychology. The award carried a $3,000 prize. Seniors from the two cognitive psychology labs presented their thesis research at the Southeastern Psychological Association meeting. Dan Keller ’12 and Professor Greta Munger found that viewing nature scenes reduces memory errors more than viewing urban scenes. Hannah Lawrence ’12 and Professor Kristi Multhaup found that the factors that predict the age of people’s first memory are different for young and older adults. Katherine Ness ’12 and Munger and Multhaup found that portions of people’s tendency to remember a wider angle of a scene than they were shown (boundary extension) may be accounted for by people confusing details they mentally “filled in” for what was shown. Jordan Starck ’12, Phia Salter ’05, Multhaup, and a student from Bennett College found that African American young adults showed greater preference for school displays created in majority schools over those created in minority schools, whereas African American children showed no preference. Nadia Brashier ’12 and Alex Wyse ’13 coauthored a poster with Multhaup at the North Carolina Cognition Conference. Their data suggest that, contrary to findings in other domains, older adults may be able to revise knowledge about medical conditions at least as well as young adults can, particularly when the information is presented in a positive way.

Assistant Professor Jessica Good gave a talk titled “Investment in Masculinity, Relationship Security, and Psychological Need Fulfillment” at the annual conference of the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists. The talk demonstrated that men’s perception that their female relationship partners highly value masculinity can predict negative relationship outcomes. Good also gave a talk at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology titled “Tips for Succeeding as an Early Career Social Psychologist,” based on a national survey of early career psychologists conducted for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

Professor Mark Smith has been elected to fellowship status in the American Psychological Association.

Associate Professor Scott Tonidandel has been appointed to a two-year term as head of education and training for the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.


Craig Family Distinguished Professor Douglas Ottati delivered a Robert Gunning Lecture at New College, University of Edinburgh, titled “A Reformed Theological Realism.”

Cannon Professor Karl Plank has published “Why Dead Men Don’t Praise God: A Post-Holocaust Reckoning in the Poetry of Glatstein and Osherow” in Religion and Literature. The article, an interpretation of Psalm 115 and its poetic revision, continues Plank’s work in biblical intertextuality and modern Jewish literature.

Professor Greg Snyder received a Research Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a sabbatical year devoted to a book project on Christian groups in second-century Rome.


Professor Gayle Kaufman, department chair, has been elected to the Associate Board of Work, Employment, and Society, a flagship journal of the British Sociological Association.

King Associate Professor Gerardo Marti presented the Frederick A. Shippey Lecture at Drew University, titled “Worship, Music, and Integration in Multiracial Churches.” The talk focused on how notions of race affect the liturgy of racially diverse congregations. Marti also presented similar research in public lectures at Furman University and Baylor University.


Associate Professor Kyra Kietrys organized and participated in an electronic digital roundtable titled “Digital Humanities and Hispanism” at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association. Kietrys featured her digital archive, Archivo Hildegart, alongside the teaching and research projects of six other Hispanic Studies scholars.


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