People & Places: October 2019

People & Places is published monthly during the academic year by the Office of College Relations. It reports on the professional activities of members of the College community and highlights student achievement.


In July 2019, Associate Professor of Biology Lisa Whitenack attended the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology in Prague. She, along with colleagues from McDaniel College, the University of San Francisco, and Royal Veterinary College, organized and presented in a symposium named “Educating the Vertebrate Morphologists of the 21st Century: Teaching, Pedagogy, and Core Concepts.” Whitenack was also interviewed for the podcast “People Behind the Science,” where she talked about her life inside and outside of science. Lastly, she won 2nd place in a baking competition at the Crawford County Fair, for her grapefruit ginger honey cupcake.

Jane Ellen Nickell, chaplain/religious studies faculty, presented at a gathering of United Methodist Scholars for an Inclusive Church in August at Lovers Lane UMC in Dallas. Her presentation, “Defining Moments: Resistance to Changing Social Structures,” was live-streamed and, with others from the conference, archived as a resource for churches seeking to be inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons. Watch her presentation here.

Matthew FerrenceAssociate Professor and Chair of English Matthew Ferrence‘s memoir Appalachia North was recognized as the 2019 Book of the Year by the Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia, held Sept. 6-8 in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Christianity, Politics, and the Predicament of Evil: A Constructive Theological Ethic of Soulcraft and Statecraft
Bradley Burroughs ’02
, visiting assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies, recently published Christianity, Politics, and the Predicament of Evil: A Constructive Theological Ethic of Soulcraft and Statecraft with Lexington Books/Fortress Academic. The book examines various understandings of politics in Christian thought and constructs an alternative vision based on the life and thought of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tessa Lutterman
’19 and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Rod Clark presented a poster, “The Effects of Increased Serotonin on Aβ Production in BACE-1 KO Alzheimer’s Disease Model Mice,” also co-authored by Professor Emeritus of Biology and Neuroscience Lee Coates. Additionally, Susannah Chilton ’19 and Professor Clark presented a poster titled “Genistein as a Preventative Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in the Female Rat.” Both posters were presented at the 42nd annual meeting of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB) conference held in Chicago in May 2019. Vanessa R. Thomas ’19 and Professor Clark presented a poster titled “Emoji as Compound Discriminative Stimuli for Text Messaging.” Spencer Garrison ’18 and Professor Clark presented a poster titled “Drug Effects on ADHD Symptoms: Treatment Differences between Spontaneously Hyperactive Rats and Conditioned Wistar Rats.” Both posters were presented at the 45th annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) held in Chicago in May 2019.

Pictured above:
Top row (from left), Tessa Lutterman and Susannah Chilton
Bottom row (from left), Vanessa R. Thomas and Spencer Garrison

Essays in Financial Economics
Michael Michaelides
, assistant professor of economics, co-edited with Rita Biswas the most recent volume 35 of the series Research in Finance. This volume, dedicated to John W. Kensinger, explores a variety of topics in financial economics, including firm growth, investment risks, and the profitability of the banking industry.

Associate Professor of History Guo Wu had a chapter “The Chinese Communist ideology and policy on minzu (1922-2013)” included in a collected volume, Words of Power, the Power of Words: the Twentieth-Century Communist Discourse in International Perspective, to be published by the press of University of Trieste, Italy.

Assistant Professor of Economics Tim Bianco opened the fall semester faculty seminar series on September 26, presenting his paper “The Effect of Unconventional Monetary Policy on Credit Flows,” prepared jointly with Ana Maria Herrera, professor of economics at the University of Kentucky. Bianco will be presenting this paper at the Ohio State University Department of Economics 29th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Econometrics Group (MEG 2019). Their paper evaluates the quantitative effects of unconventional monetary policy in the late 2000s and early 2010s when the federal funds rate hit the zero lower bound (ZLB). They compute credit flows using Compustat data and employ a factor augmented vector autoregression to analyze unconventional monetary policy’s impact on the allocation of credit among firms. They show that the impact of unconventional monetary policy on credit reallocation was substantial, especially for long-term credit. They then inquire what groups of firms accounted for this increased credit reallocation finding that, during the ZLB, unconventional monetary policy reshuffled credit towards firms typically viewed as financially constrained: small, young, high-default and highly leveraged firms. They also show that, during the ZLB, unconventional monetary policy brought about higher credit creation for firms of relatively high investment efficiency, suggesting this policy was key to fueling future economic growth.

Each year the Revista de Ciencia Política publishes an annual review of articles about major countries in Latin America, highlighting the most important political and social events during the previous year. Professor of Political Science Shannan Mattiace‘s essay “Mexico 2018: AMLO’s Hour” was published this month.

Mark Cosdon and James Niblock
This past June, Mark Cosdon, professor of theatre, was a visiting faculty member at the University of Palermo in Sicily, where he lectured on the contemporary American musical. He will return to the University of Palermo to continue teaching in May/June 2020. This past summer Cosdon and James Niblock, associate professor of music, co-led a month-long student travel course in Italy on language, culture, and theatricality. And, at the August 2019 Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference in Orlando, Cosdon gave papers on teaching diversity in the Broadway musical and participated in a staged reading of Susan Glaspell’s “Free Laughter;” he also participated in a roundtable on the tenure and promotion process. Cosdon has been appointed co-chair of the American Theatre and Drama Society’s editorial committee.

Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Alexis Hart‘s co-authored chapter “Not Simply ‘Freeing the Men to Fight’: Rewriting the Reductive History of U.S. Military Women’s Achievements on & off the Battlefield” was published in the edited volume Remembering Women Differently: Refiguring Rhetorical Work. This summer, Hart was invited to participate in Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning’s 2019-2021 Research Seminar on Writing Beyond the University: Fostering Writers’ Lifelong Learning and Agency.

Arissa Spitalny ’19, Cassie O’Brien ’20, Sean Parenti ’20, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Allison Connell-Pensky and Assistant Professor of Psychology Ryan Pickering presented posters at the annual American Psychological Association national conference, which was held this August in Chicago, Illinois. Topics ranged from social class concealment, to first impressions, to consequences of interpersonal distance (“hovering”) during a logic task. Pickering also gave a talk about mentoring as an early-career faculty member who was a low-income/first-generation college student.

Bousson research
Richard Bowden
, professor of environmental science and sustainability, along with Susan Washko ’16, Sarah Wurzbacher ’11, and colleagues from Oregon State University, the University of Toronto, and Southern University of Science And Technology (China), coauthored the paper “Long-Term Nitrogen Addition Reduces Microbial Processing of Organic Carbon in a Forest Soil” published in the journal Biogeochemistry. The paper, based upon a 25-year study at the Bousson Experimental Forest, found that long-term atmospheric pollution could alter fundamental biological and nutrient processes that control forest productivity.

Pictured above: Allegheny student assistant Melissa Mattwig, study co-author Susan Washko, and a University of Toronto research assistant collected soil at Bousson.

Matt Carter Poster Presentation
Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology Matt Carter presented a poster in September entitled “An Image Log-based Geometrical and Textural Analysis of a Low-angle Normal Fault System Beneath the FORGE Site near the Mineral Mountains, Utah” at the National Geological Society of America Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kelly Pearce, visiting assistant professor of environmental science and sustainability, was a co-author on a chapter focusing on the North American River Otter in a recently published book, The Global Otter Conservation Strategy. The chapter identified causes of the historic decline of river otter populations that occurred during the late 1800s to mid-1900s and discussed the recent comeback of river otters throughout many portions of its historic range due to the success of reintroduction projects, improvements of aquatic habitat, and natural expansion of existing populations.

Ken Pinnow, professor of history and global health studies, gave an invited talk, “Their Bodies, Ourselves: The Criminal Personality as a Field of Technology and Self-Fashioning in the Early Soviet Union,” at the conference on Technologies of Mind and Body in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, University of Nottingham, UK, in May. The presentation is part of his continuing work on the role of science and medicine in the study and shaping of individuals within the collectivist framework of the Soviet regime.

How and Why We Teach ShakespeareProfessor Emeritus of English James C. Bulman and Professor of Theatre Beth Watkins published a chapter about their team-taught course “Shakespeare: From Script to Performance” in How and Why We Teach Shakespeare, edited by Sidney Homan and published by Routledge Press in 2019. Bulman and Watkins’ chapter, “Acting as Ownership in the Shakespeare Classroom,” examines the interdisciplinary value of combining literary and performance analysis with acquisition of acting skills to teach students to “embody” a Shakespeare text, while diminishing the gulf between twenty-first-century sensibilities and early modern texts and helping students to understand the plays not as alien artifacts from a bygone era, but as living documents whose immediacy is readily apparent.

Barbara Riess, professor of Spanish, presented “Bodies of Work: Lost Voices of the Cuban Revolution?” at the 2019 Modern Language Association (MLA) International Symposium in Lisbon, Portugal from July 23-25, 2019. Riess shared her summer interview with author Daura Olema, currently living in exile in Turin, Italy, whose 1962 prize-winning novel Maestra Voluntaria portrayed the ideals to which the 1959 Cuban Revolution aspired.