Faculty Notes: Spring 2013


Congratulations to faculty members who were promoted recently to full professor by the Board of Trustees:

Kristie Foley, Medical Humanities
Ann Fox, English
Karen Hales, Biology
Laurie Heyer, Mathematics
Barbara Lom, Biology
Fuji Lozada, Anthropology
Michael Mossinghoff, Mathematics
Fred Smith, Economics

Arab Studies
Adjunct Lecturer Basma Botros coauthored a chapter titled “Collectively We Unite: A Case Study of Social Networking for a Cause” in the new book Social Media Go To War: Rage, Rebellion and Revolution in the Age of Twitter.

Assistant Professor Tyler Starr was one of four University of Connecticut alumni artists selected to display their work in an exhibition at that university titled “4 Decades/4 Generations.” Starr exhibited an animation and five new mixed-media works on paper that are part of a series titled “Hell and Highwater” that explores geographical sites associated with signs of spiritual and social conundrums.

Associate Professor Karen Bernd participated as a principal investigator in the National Science Foundation/American Association for the Advancement of Science conference on “Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM Disciplines” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Professor and Martin Program Director of Genomics Malcolm Campbell was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Earlier this fall, the Genetics Society of America awarded him its Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education.

Associate Professor Karen Hales received a three-year major research grant from the National Institutes of Health to enable additional studies of gene function during the shaping of mitochondria in developing sperm cells of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The grant funds travel to conferences, lab supplies, and a full-time technician and summer student researchers. Hales also attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology to present research performed collaboratively with Yihharn Hwang ’12, Lauren Ivey ’11, Olivia Brown ’13, Eric Sawyer ’14, Kelsey Sheaffer ’13, Taylor Gunnell ’11, and Melissa Lorenzo ’12.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Jennifer Round has accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Ursinus College beginning in the fall term. She credits her training as a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow at Davidson, where she learned to balance innovative teaching and undergraduate research. Also, Round and her departmental colleague Professor Malcolm Campbell presented their pedagogical research on teaching students to read primary literature at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Professor Mark Stanback has been named a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union. He also published a paper with former students David Millican ’10 and Pat McGovern ’10 in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. Titled “Effects of conspecifics on feeder choice by Northern Cardinals,” the paper demonstrated that even in winter, interactions between male and female cardinals result in significant deviations from optimal foraging predictions. It was based on an experiment performed by Millican, McGovern, and other students in Stanback’s “Vertebrate Zoology” class.

Morton Professor Felix Carroll published a paper in the Journal of the Chemical Society of Brazil with Justin Godinho ’11 and a colleague at the University of São Paulo. The paper concerned a new and highly accurate method to predict some physical properties of alkynes, which are hydrocarbons containing carbon-carbon triple bonds.

At the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Grey Professor Peter Krentz accepted the official charter for the organization’s new Central Carolinas chapter, which currently meets at Davidson College. The chapter has grown in the past few years from 15 to 70 members, including about 20 Davidson students. Seventeen of the new members joined through an “Archaeology 101” short course taught by seven Davidson faculty members through DavidsonLearns.org, a new lifelong learning initiative in town.

Assistant Professor Darian Totten presented her research on the medieval Italian village of Villamagna at a conference at the British School at Rome, and also presented a poster on the ceramic wares of Villamagna at a conference in Spoleto, Italy. She delivered a paper on “Building Regional Connections in Roman Apulia” at a University of Edinburgh conference about the archaeology of Roman Southern Italy.

Professor Michael Toumazou reported on the results of Davidson’s summer 2012 archaeological excavations on Cyprus at the annual meetings of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Archaeological Institute of America. Professor Derek Counts ’92 and Clay Cofer ’99 coauthored the report.

Communication Studies
At the National Communication Association convention, Professor Kathie Turner received the 2012 Hobgood Service Award for her “dedication to excellence, commitment to the profession, concern for others, appreciation of diversity, and vision of what could be.” She also served as the external reviewer for the Department of Communication Studies at Carroll College, as well as the Mass Communication program at Benedict College.

Amanda Martinez, assistant professor of Communication Studies, Education and Sociology, was elected vice chair-elect in the Latino/a Communication Studies and La Raza Caucus at the annual conference of the National Communication Association. Martinez will serve through November. The division promotes the study of communication issues as they concern Latino/a communities throughout the Americas, including the ways in which racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, national, and sexual identities shape Latino/a experiences.

Professor Suzanne Churchill presented a talk titled “Talk about Silence: Race Issues in Contempo and in Modernist Studies,” at a conference on modernist magazines at the Rothermere American Institute of the University of Oxford, England. Her talk concerned research conducted with her students about a case of racial silencing in the 1930s Chapel Hill-based little magazine, Contempo. Churchill applied lessons from this case study to the neglect of race issues in modernist studies.

Armfield Professor Brenda Flanagan delivered a lecture and dramatic reading of poetry from the modern civil rights period as a panelist at a celebration at the Harvey Gantt Center for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers who had participated in Charlotte Teachers Institute seminars, including Flanagan’s seminar on “The Literature of the Civil Rights Period.” Flanagan also traveled on a lecture and performance tour of Namibia and South Africa as a State Department cultural ambassador last summer.

Dana Professor Cynthia Lewis published an essay, “Secret Sharing: Debutantes Coming Out in the American South,” in the journal Southern Cultures. Illustrated with photographs by Susan Harbage Page, the essay focuses on Charleston and Dallas in exploring women’s motives for—and paternal oversight of—becoming debutantes.

Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow Shanté Paradigm Smalls will begin as a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of New Mexico in the American Studies Department beginning this fall. She has recently presented papers at Harvard University, Wake Forest University, and at the Modern Language Association (MLA) annual conference. She served on the MLA’s Crompton-Noll Essay Award Committee, and was selected as secretary for the MLA’s Gay/Lesbian and Queer Caucus. She is also co-editing a special issue of Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, and wrote a chapter titled “Queer Hip Hop: A Brief Historiography,” for The Oxford Handbook of Queerness and Music.

Environmental Studies

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Political Science Graham Bullock presented a poster on “Judging Sustainability Claims: Consumer Preferences for Product Eco-Labels” at the annual conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. The work used three different survey methods to identify what characteristics a sample of more than 400 consumers would like to see in claims about a product’s “environmental friendliness.” He found that independence and transparency were the most preferred characteristics, while claims made by manufacturers and the media were the least preferred.

Assistant Professor Brad Johnson published a paper, “Paleoclimate implications from a 12-meter bog core in the southern San Juan Mountains, Colorado,” in the journal The Holocene. The bog core in question is one of the longest ever recovered from an alpine area. Johnson and colleagues examined sediment, pollen, and diatoms within the core and determined that the paleoecology and climate of the San Juan Mountains varied significantly during the last 18,000 years. The variability of climate over that time has important implications for landscape and climatic evolution of the Rocky Mountain region.

German and Russian Studies
Dana Professor and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies Scott Denham gave a paper on identities and mountains called “Projecting National Identities onto the Alps from Daudet’s Tartarin to Mann’s Castorp and into the National Socialist Beyond” at the Thinking Mountains Interdisciplinary Mountain Studies Conference. Thinking Mountains is the first event of its kind: an interdisciplinary conference promoting dialogue about how mountains are understood physically, as ecosystems, in human history, and as part of cultures. Denham’s paper focused on three instances in which the Alps take on the potential for creating or eliminating national identity. Denham also gave a paper at the American Historical Association annual meeting on American representations and perceptions of Dresden in the twentieth century.

E. Craig Wall, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Department Chair and Chair of Humanities Burkhard Henke has been awarded the AATG/Goethe-Institut Certificate of Merit for outstanding achievement in furthering the teaching of German in the U.S.

Professor Maggie McCarthy presented a paper titled “Utopian Spaces Across Mother/Daughter, Multicultural Divides in Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven” at a statewide conference on German Transnational Film. The paper explained how the legacy of the German student movement portrayed in the film relates to contemporary forms of German feminism in a multicultural context.
Professor and Chair of the Self-Instructional Language Program Mark McCulloh and his collaborator T.H. Pickett have published “Sarah Austin’s Epistolary Affair Revisited: Clandestine Confessions to a German Prince,” in the edited book, “Es ist seit Rahel uns erlaubt, Gedanken zu haben”: Essays in Honor of Heidi Thomann Tewarson. Tewarson is a major scholar in German Women’s Studies, and Sarah Austin was an observer of, and commentator on, German literature during the Victorian Period.

Hispanic Studies
Associate Professor and Chair Kyra Kietrys has been invited to serve on the College Board Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture Development Committee for the 2013–14 academic year.

Associate Professor Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez presented a paper titled “Lost and Found: Materiality and Personal Transformation on El Camino de Santiago” at a symposium on “Traveling Traditions: Pilgrimage across Time and Cultures.” The symposium was organized by the Institute for Pilgrimage Studies and the International Consortium for Pilgrimage Studies at the College of William and Mary. Sánchez y Sánchez analyzed original interviews and pilgrims’ narratives about material possessions lost—and sometimes recovered—on the Camino de Santiago.

Associate Professor Thomas Pegelow Kaplan spent the summer as an invited visiting scholar at the Simon-Dubnow-Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University. He has written articles appearing in Rundfunk & Geschichte and the Themenportal Europäische Geschichte, and he presented papers at conferences and meetings of the German Studies Association, the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the Simon-Dubnow-Institute, the Stiftung Bundespräsident-Theodor-Heuss-Haus in Stuttgart, and the University of Toronto. He made a trip to Israel to speak at Bar-Ilan and Tel Aviv universities, marking the 80th year of Nazi seizure of power in Germany, and also served as the primary organizer of Black History Month events on the Davidson campus.

Babcock Professor Sally McMillen spoke on Neil Conan’s NPR program, “Face the Nation,” about the significance of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, a pivotal moment in women’s history that President Obama mentioned in his inaugural address.

Several Davidsonians played active roles in this year’s Joint Mathematics Meetings, a 5,000-person gathering advertised as the largest math meeting in the world. Associate Professor Tim Chartier gave four talks at the meeting, one of which was a major invited address, and also organized the invited paper session on “Thinking Linearly about Data in Research and Teaching.” It concerned the use of linear algebra in analyzing large datasets, and highlighted several research projects that included collaboration with Davidson undergraduates. Professor Stephen Davis co-organized the general contributed paper sessions, scheduling more than 380 talks across 17 sessions. Professor Michael Mossinghoff co-organized the special session on “Mathematics of Computation: Algebra and Number Theory,” and was a second author on a paper presented in that session. Students Karen Larson ’12 and Brian McGue ’13 presented posters on their research, and served as moderators for a couple of sessions.

Christopher Gilliam, director of choral activities, recently published choral compositions with two publishing houses—“Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life,” mixed chorus, a cappella, with Alliance Music Publications, Inc. and “Our Grateful Hymn of Praise,” mixed chorus, piano, with Beckenhorst Press, Inc.

Professor Neil Lerner presented his research on music in early video games at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society in New Orleans. He has recently been a guest speaker for the Louisiana State University School of Music’s Music Forum and also gave a talk as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series in Musicology at the University of Tennessee. An essay by Lerner titled “Hearing the Boldly Goings: Tracking the Title Themes of the Star Trek Television Franchise, 1966–2005” has been published in the book Music in Science Fiction Television: Tuned to the Future.

Professor Jennifer Stasack, department chair, had her composition, “Walkabout, Freesong and Dances for Bass Marimba,” performed in Argentina at the 2012 International Percussion Festival. “Walkabout” was a commission from the North Carolina Music Teachers Association when Stasack was selected as NCMTA’s 2005 Commissioned Composer.

Professor Mario Belloni recently published two papers in The Physics Teacher. “Teaching Astronomy Using Tracker” was written with Brown Professor and Chair Wolfgang Christian and described the use of video analysis to determine the sidereal day and the solar rotation rate from a series of still astrophotographs. “Astrophotography on the Cheap” described recent developments in the field of astrophotography, and focused on how to inexpensively add astrophotography to an introductory astronomy class. Christian and Belloni also attended a meeting of the National American Association of Physics Teachers. Christian organized and presided over a session on the use of video analysis for teaching physics, and Belloni read a paper titled “Using Open Source Physics, Moodle and iPads to teach astronomy.” Christian is serving a two-year term as the association’s secretary.

Political Science
Students from Associate Professor Russell Crandall’s seminar, “Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies,” travelled to Colombia with him in early January to study the country’s internal conflict. The group met with individuals and representatives of agencies in Bogota and Medellin, including the U.S. Embassy, Colombian Defense Ministry, International Red Cross, and the acting mayor of Medellin.

Assistant Professor Jessica Good co-edited an e-book published by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. The book provides advice for early career psychologists on a variety of career-related topics such as balancing teaching, research, and service, and establishing collaborative relationships.

Professor Kristi Multhaup has been invited to serve on the editorial board of Memory and Cognition, the pre-eminent journal for psychonomic science.

Dickson Professor Julio Ramirez has been appointed the co-director of the Neuroscience Scholars Program at the Society for Neuroscience. This 30-year-old program has been pivotal in providing mentoring and professional support for young neuroscientists from underrepresented minority groups.

Professor Mark Smith recently published an article with former Davidson students Kathryn Cole ’09, David Kerns ’08, Jordan Iordanou ’08, Geoff Peitz ’12, and Karl Schmidt ’08. The paper describes how nalbuphine, a pain-relieving drug commonly used during childbirth, can block some of the adverse effects produced by chronic cocaine use. It appears in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior.

Associate Professor Scott Tonidandel has been named associate editor of Organizational Research Methods, the


E. Craig Wall, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Department Chair and Chair of Humanities Burkhard Henke.

top-ranked journal in mathematical and statistical psychology according to impact factor.

King Associate Professor and Chair Gerardo Marti has been appointed to a three-year term as chair of the Religion and Social Sciences section of the American Academy of Religion. Marti will be responsible for recruiting and coordinating the AAR program committee and several sessions of its annual meeting. The AAR is an interdisciplinary organization with more than 10,000 members.

Professor Ann Marie Costa directed Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo for Festival Stage of Winston-Salem (a Lort D Equity theatre company). She also codirected a devised theatre piece titled The Voyage Untaken with Jeanette Plourde in N.Y.C.

Vann Center
Vann Center for Ethics Director David Perry was interviewed on KPBS radio in San Diego about ethics and torture portrayed in the film Zero Dark Thirty. The Vann Center also received a $4,000 grant from the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation in support of a lecture series on “Ethics in Professional Life,” which is featuring experts on ethics in journalism and the legal profession.


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