Rev. John F. Wrynn, S.J. is the Donald I. MacLean Chair this year

Rev. John F. Wrynn, S.J. will hold the Donald I. MacLean Chair for the 2012-13 academic year in the Department of History.  Fr. Wrynn is currently Professor and Chair of History at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, N.J.    He is currently teaching a course on the history of the Middle East and will teach a course on Irish history in the spring 2013 semester.

Fr. Wrynn’s research interests focus on early modern Irish history.  He earned his D. Litt. (History) at Universiteit van Amsterdam;  S.T.L. (Theology) at Canisianum, Maastricht-Amsterdam;  B.D. (Theology) Katholieke Theologische Hogeschool; M.A. (Modern European History) at Fordham University; Ph.L. (Philosophy) at Woodstock College and his A.B. (History) at Fordham University. Fr. Wrynn will present a public lecture entitled “Background and Vicissitudes of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” on Monday, November 12 at  3 p.m. in the Haub Executive Center.

The College’s Advisory Board Grows

Dean Madges is pleased to announce that five new members have joined the Advisory Board of the College:

  • Paul Bosco, Vice President for Cisco Systems, Video and Broadband division
  • Ken Dutcher ’79, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of HealthSTAR Communications
  • Mike Nesspor,’80, Managing Director of iNautix, an affiliate of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation Inc.
  • James Sefcik ’64, former director of the Louisiana State Museum and Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism
  • Linda Stone, ’78, former East Region Retirement Business Leader for Towers Watson

Board members support the College in a variety of ways, such as providing internships for our students, recruiting new students, contributing money to support the Summer Scholars Program and other programs, and sharing their insights and counsel.  They also contribute to a newly created Dean’s Fund, which will provide resources to support both new academic initiatives and continuing needs in the College.

Dr. Paola Giuli Receives Second Grant for the Promotion of Italian Culture

Dr. Paola Giuli Paola Giuli (Modern and Classical Languages) has received a grant from the General Directorate of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the amount of 3000 Euros. The goal of the grant is to enhance the learning of Italian language and culture in our local environment. This is the second such award that Dr. Giuli has received from the Consulate, which awards these grants on a competitive basis. Other recent recipients include the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University.

Dr. John Berberian Receives Major Grant from the National Science Foundation

Dr. John BerberianJohn Berberian (Chemistry) has been awarded a $302,228 grant from the National Science Foundation for his proposal entitled “The Study of Molecular Motion in Simple Glass Forming Liquids.” The objective of the proposed research is to further understand the forces involved in the amorphous-crystalline behavior of simple glass-forming materials above and near the glass transition temperature. Understanding the structure of glass-forming liquids can impact a number of areas (e.g., the drug industry, construction industry,  and the health industry) with the potential to increase the quality of life.

CAS Faculty Experts Explain the Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea ScrollsThe SJU College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with SJU Alumni Association and the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, invites the university community to a faculty-led exploration of the Dead Sea Scrolls on September 24, 2012 from 6:00p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Arguably the greatest trove of ancient texts ever discovered, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the earliest copies of biblical materials that exist. They have transformed our understanding of the development of the Hebrew Bible, the history of early Judaism, and the origins of Christianity.

Dr. Phillip A. Cunningham, Dr. Allen Kerkeslager, and Dr. Bruce Wells of the Theology and Religious Studies Department will explain the significance of the scrolls and guide participants through the exhibit, which will be open exclusively for SJU that evening.

Dr. Phillip A. Cunningham, Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations,  serves as secretary of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations and manages its resource website at www.dialogika.us.  A vice-president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, Dr. Cunningham has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Catholic-Jewish Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dr. Allen Kerkeslager, Associate Professor,  researches religions of the Ancient World with specialization in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Most of his publications focus on Judaism in Greco-Roman Egypt and they make frequent use of archaeology, papyri, and inscriptions.

Dr. Bruce Wells, Associate Professor, is the author of The Laws of Testimony in the Pentateuchal Codes (2004) and the co-author of Everyday Law in Biblical Israel (2009). He has lectured on his work at universities in Germany and Austria, as well as in the U.S, and has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany.

The evening begins with a light supper (and cash bar) on the Rooftop Deck and Conference Center at The Franklin Institute. Registration fee is $25, reduced rate parking is available; space is limited.

Event related questions? Please contact Tom Fithian in Alumni Relations at tfithian@sju.edu or by calling 610.660.2301
Registration questions? Please contact Patty Newby in Alumni Relations at mnewby@sju.edu or by calling 610.660.2997

Faculty Publications and Presentations, Summer 2012

Over the summer, CAS faculty expanded the boundaries of knowledge and imagination by giving many presentations, performances, publications, and exhibitions.

Matthew J. Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology,  published a paper titled, “Preliminary evidence of behavioral lateralization in the Northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita,” in Avian Ecology and Behaviour (2012:3-12).

Lisa Baglione, Ph.D., professor of political science, gave four lectures in late May and early June as part of American University’s IMI-Libya Diplomatic Training Program.   These included “American Perspectives on Contemporary Global Politics,” “Globalization, Development, and Economic Crisis,” “Security Challenges in the 21st Century,” and “Post-Conflict Peacebuilding:  Living Together after Violence.”

Tetyana Berezovski, Ph.D, assistant professor of mathematics, presented a poster “The NOYCE Program at Saint Joseph’s University, PI – Dr. Sandy Fillebrown.” Poster presented at 2012 NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference, Washington, DC. (May 24, 2012). (Abstract can be retrieved from http://nsfnoyce.org/files/2012/05/Noyce-Conference-Program-2012.pdf p. 76).

Tetyana Berezovski, Ph.D, assistant professor of mathematics and co-founder (with Dr. Rash) of CoMerg (Collaborative Mathematics Education Research Group), presented a talk entitled, “Teaching Geometry for Teachers: from Problem Solving to Proof” at the CoMerg Meeting, at SJU, May 16, 2012. (CoMerg website link http://math-ed.sju.edu/comerg/index.html).

Tetyana Berezovski, Ph.D, assistant professor of mathematics,  with Cheng, D. and, Farrington, C., published a paper titled “Mathematical Eyes on Figure Skating”,  in conference proceedings of the BRIDGES Art and Mathematics Conference in Towson, MD. The paper was presented at this conference on July 26, 2012.

Tetyana Berezovski, Ph.D, assistant professor of mathematics, “Geometry for Inservice Teachers – Course Focusing on Specialized Content Knowledge,” Pennsylvania Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Newsletter, Fall 2012. (retrieved 08/22/2012 from http://academics.sru.edu/pamte/teacher/education.htm).

Gerald J. Beyer, associate professor of theology, published an article entitled “What Paul Ryan Missed: What Catholic Social Teaching says about Solidarity and Subsidiarity” in America (June 4, 2012).

John M. Braverman, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, has published a review of the following book: Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical Appraisal 150 Years After The Origin of Species, G. Auletta, M. Leclerc, and R.A. Martínez, Eds. in Theology and Science 10.3 (2012: 333–334).

Audre Brokes, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, presented a paper at the Sellars Centenary Conference and Workshop in Dublin, Ireland on June 5, 2012.  The paper is entitled, “Keeping it Implicit: A Probablistic Case for the Primacy of Material Inferences.”

Jim Caccamo, Ph.D., associate professor of theology, presented “Mediating God in a New Media World” at the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America on June 8, 2012. In the same month, he also took part in the Theology and Communications: In Dialogue international consultation, co-sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on Social Communications and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Peter Clark, Ph.D, professor of theology, published “Ethics Training for Medical Interns/Residents in the Mercy Health System,” Health Progress 93 (3) May-June 2012.

Peter Clark, Ph.D., professor of theology, together with Pinedo, C., Fadus, M. Capuzzi, S., published “Slow-Sand Water Filter: Design, Implementation, Accessibility and Sustainability in Developing Countries,” Medical Science Monitor 18 (7) July 2012.

Peter Clark, Ph.D., professor of theology, together with Eisenman, J. and Szapor, S., published “Surgical Vaccine: Should Male Circumcision Be Mandatory in Sub-Saharan Africa,” in Ethics Research Compendium, Peter M. Roberts & Emily O. Perez [eds] (New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2012).

Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., professor of theology and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, organized the initial gathering of a multi-year research project, “Promise, Land, and Hope: Jews and Christians Seeking Understanding to Enable Constructive Dialogue about Israeli-Palestinian Issues,” funded by the International Council of Christians and Jews with additional support from Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Center, Catholic Theological Union; Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, Saint Joseph’s University; Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding, Muhlenberg College; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; and Lund University. Consultation occurred at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, August 7-9, 2012.

Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., professor of theology and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, participated in a panel discussion, “Reflections on Kairos Palestine” (with Edward Kessler) at the annual meeting of the International Council of Christians and Jews, Manchester, U.K., July 2, 2012.

Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., professor of theology and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, published “A Tectonic Shift in Relations with Non-Catholics: Witnessing a Transformation,” William Madges and Michael J. Daley, eds., Vatican II: Fifty Personal Stories (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 2012), 183-187.

Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., professor of theology and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, published “Paul’s Letters and the Relationship between the People of Israel and the Church Today,” Reimund Bieringer and Didier Pollefeyt, eds., Paul and Judaism: Crosscurrents in Pauline Exegesis and the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (London/New York: T & T Clark, 2012), 141-162.

Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., professor of theology and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, published “Discerning the ‘Stumbling Block,’” Cardinal Koch Symposium. Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, May 2012. http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/scjr/article/view/2073/1767

 Joseph J. Feeney, S.J., Ph.D., professor of English, presented a paper on June 24, 2012, at the “Belmont Abbey Literary Conference: Transformations in Literature” at Belmont Abbey College, near Charlotte, NC.  His paper was entitled “From Nature-Lover to Environmentalist: The Transformation of Gerard Manley Hopkins.”

Joseph J. Feeney, S.J., Ph.D., professor of English, published a review in the journal KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time (vol. 12, 2012: 111-14) of Don Gifford, Zones of Re-membering: Time, Memory, and (un)Consciousness.  Ed. Donald E. Morse.  Consciousness, Literature and the Arts Series #28.  Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011.  157 pp.

Susan Fenton, MFA, Associate Professor of Photography in the Art Department, will be exhibiting 14 pieces at the Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA, in an exhibition titled Creative Hand, Discerning Heart: Story, Symbol, Self from September 8 – December 30, 2012. In conjunction with this exhibition, she will be giving a professional presentation of her work to the public at the Michener on September 12, 2012.

Babak Forouraghi, Ph.D.,  professor of computer science, with Li Ma, has published a paper entitled, “A Modified Particle Swarm Optimizer for Engineering Design,” in the 25th International Conference on Industrial, Engineering and Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (IEA/AEI), June 2012, pp. 187-196.

Joseph J. Godfrey, S.J., professor of philosophy and the Joseph S. Hogan, S.J., Chair in Philosophy, has published Trust of People, Words, and God: A Route for Philosophy of Religion (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press,  2012). More info: http://undpress.nd.edu/book/p01533.

Richard Haslam, Ph.D, associate professor of English, presented a paper on  June 2, 2012 at The Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Drew University, Madison, N.J; the paper, entitled “Hermeneutic Hazards in the Hibernicization of Wilde’s Works,” formed part of the international and interdisciplinary conference “Who Owns the Legacy of Oscar Wilde?” In addition, Dr. Haslam published in July 2012 an essay entitled “The Inquisitional Impulse: Bernard MacLaverty’s ‘Walking the Dog’” in the 57th issue of the Journal of the Short Story in English.

Sally Kuykendall, Ph.D., associate professor of health services, presented “Theories Related to Actions and Reactions to Bullying” at the 8th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, June 14th, 2012.

Althier Lazar, Ph.D. professor of teacher education,  published a book titled Bridging Literacy and Equity:  The Essential Guide to Social Equity Teaching (Teacher College Press, 2012) with co-authors Patricia Edwards and Gwendolyn McMillon.  Also with these co-authors, she recently published a paper for the journal Reading Today titled, “Literacy Beyond the Mainstream: Bridging Pedagogy and Social Equity.” Her article titled, “The Possibilities and Challenges of Developing Teachers’ Social Justice Beliefs” is soon to be published in the Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research Yearbook.

Susan Liebell, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science,  published a paper entitled, “Rethinking Dover: Religion, Science, and the Values of Democratic Citizenship” in Politics & Religion, August 2012.  She will co-direct the Association for Political Theory annual national conference in October 2012.

William Madges, Ph.D., dean of the college, together with co-editor Michael J. Daley, published Vatican II: Fifty Personal Stories (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2012).

Randall M. Miller, professor of history, published a book, Lincoln & Leadership: Military, Political, and Religious Decision Making (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012), in August, and an essay, “On a Treasure Hunt in the Library,” Phil Lapsansky: Appreciations, A collection of Essays Honoring Phillip S. Lapsansky (Philadelphia: Library Company of Philadelphia, 2012), in June.

Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., professor of psychology,  published a paper titled, “Effect of current breastfeeding on sleep patterns in infants from Asia-Pacific region” in Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health (2012): 669–674.

Nina Nilsson, Ph.D., associate professor of teacher education, served as editor of the book (in press), Considerations for Struggling Readers and Writers: Linking Research to Practice, with S. Gandy. She also authored a chapter in the book entitled, “Changing Preservice Teachers’ Deficit Beliefs and Attitudes Toward the Literacy Abilities of Tamika and Susana.” Dr. Nilsson also served as Theme Editor of the journal, Reading & Writing Quarterly, 29, entitled “Using Informal Reading Inventories in Research and Practice” [Special Edition] and authored an article in the journal entitled, “The Reliability of Informal Reading Inventories: What has Changed?,”  to be published in 2013.

Katie Oxx, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology and religious studies, was invited to participate in an NEH Advanced Institute on Spatial Narratives and Deep Maps, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis from June 18-29, 2012.

Robert Palestini, Ed.D, associate professor of educational leadership and founding director of the Educational Leadership Institute at SJU, recently had his latest book, A Commonsense Approach to Educational Leadership: Lessons from the Founders, published by Rowman & Littlefield Education, June 2012.

Philip Schatz, Ph.D., professor of psychology,  published a paper titled “Incidence of invalid computerized baseline neurocognitive test results in high school and college students” in the Journal of Athletic Training (2012; 47:(3), 289-296).

Philip Schatz, Ph.D., professor of psychology,  published a paper titled “Clinical utility of ImPACT assessment for postconcussion return-to-play counseling: Psychometric issues” in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology (2012; 34(4), 428-34).

Elaine Shenk, Ph.D., assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics, published a paper titled “Puerto Rico’s Language Officialization Debates: Perspectives from a Mountain Corridor Community” in CENTRO Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (2012:90-119), and presented a paper, “¿Qué aprendemos en las clases?: Dos módulos de aprendizaje hacia la interculturalidad en la enseñanza del español” at the SICELE Conference in San Juan.

Josephine Shih, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology,  published a paper with her graduate student Megan White entitled “A Daily Diary Study of Co-Rumination, Stressful Life Events, and Depressed Mood in Late Adolescents” in the August 2012 issue of Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2012.706518).

Sam Smith, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, gave a lecture entitled “Fibrewise rational homotopy theory” at the Rational Homotopy Theory conference in Ottawa, Canada, June 2012.

Sam Smith, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, was a visiting scholar in June at Nankai University, Tianjin, China  giving several public lectures on rational homotopy theory.

Sam Smith, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, gave a lecture entitled “Fibrewise Rational H-spaces” at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, June 2012.

Sam Smith, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, with Greg Lupton, published a paper entitled “Fibrewise Rational H-space”   in Algebraic and Geometric Topology (2012: vol 12, 1667-1694).

Julia Y. Lee-Soety, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, has completed a paper titled, “Yeast hnRNA-related proteins contribute to the maintenance of telomeres,”  accepted for publication in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Publication date has yet to be determined.

Suzanne Sorkin, Ph.D., associate professor of music, was a composer in residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in May.  This summer her composition, “Piano Trio”, was performed several times by the Mendelssohn Trio on their European Tour at the Mendelssohn Remise in Berlin, in Scharnstein, Austria, and in Vienna.

John J. Tudor, Ph.D. , professor of biology, gave a research presentation at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in San Francisco, CA, June 18, 2012.  The presentation, entitled “A transcriptional analysis of predatory gene expression in Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus,” was co-authored by two students, Laura Bentson and Lena Lupey.

Bruce Wells, Ph.D., associate professor of theology and religious studies, presented two papers at the international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Amsterdam, July 23-26, 2012, entitled, “Guilt and Liability in the Bible’s Priestly Texts and the Eanna Temple Archive” and “Review of S. Greengus, Laws from the Bible and in Early Rabbinic Collections: The Legal Legacy of the Ancient Near East.” He also published two entries in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, entitled, “Birthright: Ancient Near East” and “Birthright: Hebrew Bible” (de Gruyter, 2012:57-61).

David White, Ph.D., professor of health services, presented a poster entitled “Embracing Transformation Through Providing A Baccalaureate Interdisciplinary Health Services Curriculum” at the Association of University Programs in Health Administration’s Annual Meeting held in Minneapolis, MN, May 30-June 3, 2012. The poster was developed by Dr. White and Dr. Jack Newhouse, assistant professor of health services.

Organization Development and Leadership is a Global Laboratory

SJU faculty and students from the M.S in Organization Development and Leadership (ODL) graduate program welcomed eight students from Shanghai, China, during July and August, as part of their course work toward a University Master’s degree. The study visit followed a spring trip to Shanghai by ODL Director, Felice Tilin, Ph.D., and faculty colleague, Claire Conway, Ph.D., to team-teach two graduate-level program courses in adult learning theory and organizational leadership.ODL_Experiential Learning

The Chinese student cohort completed three courses while at SJU. At the students’ request, two of the courses integrated the visitors with their American counterparts. One of the courses, The Change Leader, is unique to the online ODL program in that it incorporates a face-to-face residency experience, encouraging both social interaction and deep learning. In Dr. Tilin’s view, for students focused on developing the knowledge and skills associated with facilitating organizational change, the time working together in intercultural groups created a true “global laboratory.”

The shared learning experiences truly were transformative. The Chinese students noted that the insights gained would have a real effect upon the ways in which they do training and development in their work places. Their SJU co-learners came away with an increased empathy for and understanding of the need to slow down and develop relationships rather than just focusing on getting the job done when working in the new world of multicultural business.

Apart from the obvious benefits that resulted from their course work, all of the students involved were most grateful for the opportunity to contribute in a small way to bridging the gaps between Chinese and Western business cultures. ODL faculty and students especially were happy to increase their LinkedIn contacts by eight international colleagues.

The ODL program will continue to expand global learning opportunities for graduate students with a study tour in spring 2013, during which students and faculty will visit multinational Training and Development Departments in a group of Italian corporations.  Future study tours and student/faculty exchanges in Africa and Asia are also under consideration.

Renovations of Boland Hall and Fine Arts East

Continuing efforts to provide excellent facilities for teaching and learning, the University this summer undertook a major renovation of Boland Hall and the Fine Arts East building on the Maguire campus. This work will serve not only Art majors, but also the many students who fulfill their Art/Literature graduation requirement through studio art classes.

Boland Hall Renovations

Jury Smith in Boland Hall, where the new ceramics studio arrangement creates a more open space, enhancing student engagement, experience, and learning. The wheel deck elevates overall studio safety, and the studio tables will improve daily studio operations. Together, these improvements will surely energize the ceramics area.

The third floor of Boland Hall has been modified to expand dark room capacity for traditional photography. The second floor has been transformed into a photography studio, which will be utilized by faculty and students in both traditional and digital photography courses. The first floor has been reconfigured to provide more room for digital photography on the west side. The Mizner Room – formerly the “music room” – has received a new audio-visual package. The ceramics studio had its electrical system updated, while both the ceramics studio and the seminar room have received new cabinetry for storage. Fresh paint and refinished floors complete this major refurbishment.

The Fine Arts East building has been thoroughly reconfigured. The second floor has been divided into two spacious studios with audio-visual teaching aids and new “half-moon” windows. The first floor opens to a large 3-D studio, and provides faculty office space as well. New workbenches will enable the students to work on their projects in a well-designed, professional environment.

Classics Students Publish a New Commentary on Catullus

Dr. Maria S. Marsilio, Professor of Classics, mentored eight Saint Joseph’s University students as they prepared and published a new Latin text commentary of Catullus, Carmina 3 in the Companion to the Worlds of Roman Women (edited by Ann R. Raia and Judith L. Sebesta): http://www2.cnr.edu/home/araia/catullus3.html.  Alyssa Beck, Katherine Dodel, Stephen Gilbert, Andre Mai, Jordan Malpass, Jon McCrosson, Brian Szmak, and Michael Sokolowski are all Classics majors and minors; two are in the Honors Program.

The online Companion to the Worlds of Roman Women introduces undergraduate Latin readers to Roman women, through un-adapted Latin texts, essays, and illustrations from the early Roman Republic to the late Empire. Each Latin passage is introduced by its own image and essay which contextualize the reading. Latin expressions are hyperlinked to glosses that appear in small pop-up windows; they contain lexical, rhetorical, poetic and syntactic aids.  SPQR links provide vivid images of ancient artifacts.

Roman Women

Homepage of the Companion to the Worlds of Roman Women website

Each student individually prepared Latin glosses and commentary for assigned lines of Catullus 3, which they submitted to Dr. Marsilio with their ideas for the introductory essay.  Dr. Marsilio made critical comments and suggestions that she discussed and debated with her students in class.  The students then revised their work which they shared and critiqued in collaboration.  The editorial review process entailed the submission of the Latin text commentary and introductory essay, critical review by the Companion editors and other experts in Latin literature, revisions, and final editing.  The students were delighted to see their work published in July 2012.

Summer Scholars Program: Helping Students Refine Career Interests

Brian Hennessy

Brian Hennessy (B.S. in Biology, ’12, five-year secondary education program, ’13) working in the lab of Dr. Catalina Arango, presented a poster on his research at the American Society for Microbiology national meeting. He is combining his interest in research with his passion for teaching by serving as a fellow in the GeoKids LINKS program. (see for more information)

Now in its seventh year, the Summer Scholars Program continues to enable more than 90 students from both colleges to engage in faculty-mentored research or creative work for a ten-week period. This summer students worked with faculty mentors from 17 departments in the College of Arts & Sciences on projects as diverse as “Nineteenth Century Irish Immigrants of Philadelphia,” ” Gendered Visions of Family and Careers,” “The Study of Jesuit Influence in El Salvador,” and “An Analysis of Behavior in a Fungal Pathogen of Corn.” As in the past, the single largest group of Summer Scholars pursued projects in the natural sciences.

A unique feature of the program is that students pursue their own creative or scholarly interests rather than simply assisting faculty with their research. By engaging in scholarly or creative projects full-time, Summer Scholars experience the work that professionals do in different academic disciplines on a daily basis. For many, these experiences confirm their career interests and professional goals. Surveys of past Summer Scholars in recent years have shown that a majority become more deeply engaged in the discipline as a result of their Summer Scholars experience.

Faculty mentors, embodying the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis (care for the individual), do not receive monetary compensation for mentorship.  They participate in the program to help some of our best and brightest students to further their intellectual development while having the opportunity to explore with the students new areas within their own scholarly field. Because of this close collaboration between faculty and students, many Summer Scholars co-author professional papers and present their work at regional, national, and international conferences.

patrick bishop_2

(L) Patrick Bishop, Class of 2013

Some examples of Summer Scholars Projects

Patrick Bishop, ’13, major in the new Music, Theatre & Film Department, embarked on a unique Summer Scholars project when he auditioned and was cast in the professional production of Miss Saigon at The Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His project involved an intensive three-week rehearsal process, rehearsing six days per week, eight hours per day and learning an intricate score vocally as well as challenging choreography.   In addition, he researched the war in Vietnam, meeting with his faculty mentor once per week to discuss the research and how the research applied to his process as an actor in the piece. The production ran a full professional schedule of five weeks of performances at eight performances each week, which can be grueling even for the seasoned actor.  Patrick was invited to join the Equity Membership Candidacy program, which allows him to receive credit toward his membership in Actors Equity Association, the professional union of actors in the United States.

Leigh Anne Tiffany_2

Leigh Anne Tiffany, Class of 2015

One of the primary functions of the Biodiversity Laboratories is the maintenance of endangered turtle species. As part of this work, Dr. Scott McRobert and his team constantly analyze their methods for the care and housing of these rare and complex animals. This summer Leigh Anne Tiffany worked on a study to investigate tank design as well as enrichment of the captive housing for the turtles. As part of this work, Leigh Anne examined the use of a plastic platform that provided adequate basking space while increasing the size of the swimming area and enhancing filter performance. The enrichment project involved the addition of colored balls to the tanks to determine whether the turtles demonstrated play behavior, but the results did not indicate true play.

Robert Carden_ James Ohanet

Robert Carden and James Ohane, Class of 2014

This summer Robert Carden and James Ohane synthesized new tungsten and molybdenum complexes of carbon dioxide. These unusual compounds will help scientists develop new catalysts that can use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as a starting material for making useful chemicals. Such catalysts would allow greener chemical products since inexpensive, abundant, and unwanted atmospheric carbon dioxide would replace petroleum starting materials in the production of everything from pharmaceuticals to plastics.

Kostelnik

Kelsey Kostelnik, Class of 2014

Kelsey Kostelnick ’14, worked with Dr. Richard Warren, Associate Professor of History, to analyze the state of contemporary research on the cognitive dimensions of learning with a focus on developing tools to improve understanding and retention of historical information.  Kelsey is pictured here with some of the sketches that he integrated into a set of visual learning aids and concept maps applicable to the University’s new General Education Program course in History, entitled “Forging the Modern World.”  Extra credit for each face the reader can identify!

More information about the program and descriptions of student projects from previous years are available at the Summer Scholars Program web site at www.sju.edu/ssp.