Faculty Notes: Summer 2013


The Board of Trustees this spring awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor to:

Caroline Beschea-Fache, French and Francophone Studies
Maria Fackler, English
Hilton Kelly, Education

There were several awards presented to faculty during Spring Convocation as well:

Fred Smith, associate professor and department chair of economics, received the ODK Teaching Award.
Kathie Turner, professor of communication studies, received the SGA Teaching Award.
Samuel Sanchez y Sanchez, associate professor and acting chair of Hispanic Studies, received the SGA Pre-Major Advising Award.

Three faculty members received named professorships:

Associate Professor of Psychology Scott Tonidandel received the Wayne M. and Carolyn A. Watson Professorship.
Assistant Professor Jessica Good received the L. Richardson King Professorship.
Assistant Professor Andrew J. O’Geen received the MacArthur Professorship.

Assistant Professor Matt Samson continues his work on ethnicity, human rights and religious change in Latin America with support from college grants. In 2012 he published “Interrogating Religion and Human Security in Guatemala,” in the edited volume Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective, Oxford University Press, and “Searching for the Spirit: Researching Spirit-Filled Religion in Guatemala,” in the edited volume Building Bridges in Anthropology: Understanding, Acting, Teaching, and Theorizing. Samson also spent 10 days in Bolivia last summer to begin work on mining issues and indigenous rights in that country.

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow May George published articles titled, “Scaffolding Learners Through Activities: A Case Study” in the Journal of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research. It discussed the support teachers should render to students as they strive to speak whole sentences in Arabic. She also discussed teacher support in a presentation at meetings of the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research, and the annual International Bilingual Education Conference. George wrote another article titled, “Teachers Instruction and Class Intervention,” which appeared in the Journal of the Macro-Theme Review. That paper discussed steps teachers can take to efficiently deal with planned and unplanned interruptions in the classroom. George also presented a paper at the annual Chicago Ethnography Conference on written practices a teacher can use to strengthen students’ writing skills.

A panel of artists, urbanists and activists selected Assistant Professor Tyler Starr to be a Researcher in Residence in the pragmatically utopian community of Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark. The appointment provides five weeks of housing and research support for Starr to conduct a workshop on contemporary approaches to the Japanese woodblock technique, and create artwork for a project based on the community’s archives.

Professor Malcolm Campbell presented his students’ synthetic biology research to colleagues at the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras. He also has been named Course Director for iBiology’s online education project to help new faculty become more effective teachers.

Associate Professor Karen Hales attended the annual Drosophila Research Conference, sponsored by the Genetics Society of America, with three students and a lab technician. The Drosophila work at Davidson involves characterizing genes that control the shaping of mitochondria (cellular harnessers of energy) in developing cells.

Professor David Wessner has teamed with two colleagues at the University of Waterloo to coauthor the new textbook Microbiology. Over six years in the making, the textbook takes a holistic approach toward teaching microbiology. It focuses on the interactions of microbes with each other and their environment, while also introducing undergraduates to the world of scientific literature and experimentation.

Assistant Professor Nicole Snyder co-authored two book chapters in Heterocyclic Chemistry in Drug Discovery, a textbook designed for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate medicinal chemistry courses. Snyder also served as programming co-chair for the Chemical Education Division at the annual national meeting of the American Chemical Society. More than 1,700 papers and posters were presented in the division. In addition, Snyder developed and co-organized the first official forum for undergraduate students to present oral papers at the meeting, and she has been invited to organize the symposium as an annual event beginning in 2014.

Grey Professor of Classics and History Peter Krentz was elected to the Personnel Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Assistant Professor Darian Totten presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America titled, “Ceramics, Shepherds and the Regional Economy in Late Antique Southern Italy.” She also presented a session in a collaboratively taught archaeology course for Davidson Learns, a local adult education program.

Associate Professor Keyne Cheshire published an article in The Classical Journal titled, “Under the Plane Tree: How Would Socrates Grade Papers?” The paper discusses his dissatisfaction with traditional grading, and describes a pedagogical response to it inspired by Plato and Davidson alumna Andrea Applebee ’06. Specifically, Cheshire has begun to evaluate papers not by reading and commenting on them in isolation, but by holding one-on-one sessions in which students read their work aloud and discuss it with him.

Communication Studies
Professor Kathie Turner received the 2013 Student Government Association Faculty Award, which recognizes the positive involvement of professors in the lives of students outside the classroom setting. In addition, her senior seminar developed and presented a proposed communication plan to Social Venture Partners-Charlotte, with leadership from alumni Debbie Darden ’78 and Phelps Sprinkle ’93.

Doe Professor Peter Hess has published a textbook, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development, through Routledge Press. The interdisciplinary work uses a blend of formal models, empirical evidence, history and statistics to provide a coherent and comprehensive treatment of economic growth and sustainable development.

Professor Vikram Kumar presented a paper titled “Generalized Purchasing Power Parity” at the annual conference of the Eastern Economics Association. Coauthored with Assistant Professor Shyam Gouri Suresh and a colleague at the University of South Carolina, the paper explores a new approach that generalizes purchasing power parity across exchange rates in an inter-temporal framework. Gouri Suresh also presented a paper on international migration and remittances that analyzes the impact of various immigration regimes on domestic, foreign, migrant, and global welfare and inequality using an agent-based general equilibrium model.

Houchens Professor Alan Michael Parker won the 2013 Randall Jarrell Prize in Poetry from the North Carolina Literary Network for his poem, “The Ladder.” His 2012 poetry collection, Long Division, was named a finalist for two national awards—the Eric Hoffer Award and the Rilke Prize. He has also recently published poems in The New Republic and Slate magazines.

French and Francophone Studies
Associate Professor Caroline Fache participated at the Pan-African Film Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She also presented an invited lecture at Meredith College.

Associate Professor Carole Kruger was elected vice president of the North Carolina chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French. She will serve for two years as the vice president, and then serve for two years as the president of the organization.

Hispanic Studies
Letras Peninsulares, the journal founded and edited by Conarroe Professor Mary Vasquez, will henceforth be published by the Anthropos publishing house in Barcelona. Anthropos will assume financial responsibility for publication, while Vásquez, the journal’s founding editor, will retain full editorial functions. This initiative by Anthropos ensures that Letras Peninsulares, once published through Davidson College, will have a second life after its initial 22 years of publication.

Associate Professor Jane Mangan has recently published a coedited volume entitled, Women of the Iberian Atlantic, published by Louisiana State University Press.

One of Babcock Professor Sally McMillen’s classes in “Fires, Famines, Fevers and Floods” was videotaped by a crew from CSPAN as part of its series on snapshots of history courses taught at colleges and universities nationwide. The program will air this summer.

Professor John Wertheimer delivered a paper titled, “The Rediscovery of the Market” at a Princeton University conference honoring the career of retiring Princeton History Professor Daniel T. Rodgers, Wertheimer’s dissertation adviser. Wertheimer’s paper concerned labor law in the post-Civil War South.

Associate Professor Tim Chartier co-organized the Carolina Sports Analytics Meetings. Keynote speakers were Ken Massey, who developed a math-based ranking method for the Bowl Championship Series, and Peter Keating, senior writer at ESPN the Magazine. Chartier also advised ESPN’s “Sports Science” show on the ranking methods used in its series of shows about the greatest athlete.

Medical Humanities
Work in translating science to tobacco control policies by Associate Professor and Associate Director Kristie Foley has appeared in Fogarty International Center’s online bulletin Global Health Matters. Foley also was invited to present her program as a model for translational science at a meeting of the Fogarty International Center’s advisory board.

Political Science
Professor Ken Menkhaus was selected to participate in the non-resident senior fellows program for The Enough Project. Founded in 2006, The Enough Project is focused on improving public policy on issues such as genocide and crimes against humanity, specifically in the Horn of Africa. As a senior fellow, Menkhaus will continue his writing, and will collaborate with other specialists, government and foreign policymakers, and celebrities.

King Assistant Professor Jessica Good coedited an e-book published by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. The book provides guidelines and curricular activities for new teachers of Psychology 101, corresponding to American Psychological Association learning goals. Good also coauthored two Davidson student presentations at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association.

In collaboration with several students, Professor Kristi Multhaup presented two posters at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA). One study found that positive words triggered autobiographical memories in older adults more than negative or neutral words, but negative words triggered more memories in young adults than the other cues. The data are consistent with suggestions that older adults are less likely than young adults to focus on negativeinformation. The other study revealed that portrayals of older adults in children’s pictures books are more often positive than negative. Multhaup and students also presented a poster at the N.C. Cognition Conference that reported that older and young adults show similar dating accuracy for news events from the past decade, or when adults were ages 30-49 years. However, older adults were more accurate than young adults in dating news events from when older adults were ages 15-30 years.

Professor Mark Smith coauthored a chapter in the new book, Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health. The chapter describes the neurobiological effects of exercise and how these effects may protect a person from developing problems with substance abuse.

Visiting Assistant Professor Lauren Stutts presented at the Save a Leg Save a Life Foundation conference on “The Psychosocial Issues, Depression, and the Holistic Approach to Healing.” She also received a faculty study and research grant to study posttraumatic growth in patients with amputations this summer.

Watson Professor Scott Tonidandel presented three papers with student coauthors at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Professor Gayle Kaufman served as an invited panelist to discuss “Interrogating Relational Inequality in Work-Life Policies and Practices” at a meeting of the Southern Sociological Society. Based on her time as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Leicester in England, Kaufman offered thoughts on Great Britain’s new paternity leave policy.

King Associate Professor and department chair Gerardo Marti was elected by the executive council of the Association for the Sociology of Religion to become the new editor-in-chief for the journal Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review, published by Oxford University Press.

Assistant Professor Jessica Taft has published a coedited volume titled, Youth Engagement: The Civic-Political Lives of Children and Youth in the annual series Sociological Studies of Children and Youth. She also has been awarded a visiting fellowship at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University for her 2013-14 sabbatical, during which she will develop her book on the Peruvian movement of working children.


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