People & Places: October 2020

Assistant Professor of English John MacNeill Miller published an article on Charles Darwin and Thomas Hardy in Texas Studies in Literature and Language. The article, “Mischaracterizing the Environment: Hardy, Darwin, and the Art of Environmental Storytelling,” analyzes literary and scientific accounts of English heathland to demonstrate how particular formal features of narrative writing can work to overturn environmental misunderstandings and clarify the dynamics of ecological interdependence.

Director of Pre-Professional Studies in the Allegheny Gateway Kirsten Peterson, Class of 1978, received the Buck Hill ’68 Award from the Northeast Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NEAAHP) at their June 2020 annual meeting. She was chosen for her outstanding service to NEAAHP and NAAHP, demonstrating several key qualities that have earned the respect of her peers. This award recognizes a NEAAHP member of at least 10 years who has volunteered significant and arduous effort on behalf of NEAAHP in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Ability to bridge gaps and/or build strong partnerships;
  2. Commitment to improved access to Advising tools for all members;
  3. Commitment to broaden their own knowledge
  4. Promoting pride and action within the Health Professions Advising community.

She served on the NEAAHP Executive Committee from 2006 to 2019 as a member at large, one term as president, and two terms as secretary.

Francophone Literature as World Literature
Laura Reeck
, professor of French and international studies, has published an invited chapter in Francophone Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury, 2020). Scholars from around the world have contributed to the book that has been called “fascinating” and “timely.” Reeck’s chapter, “Questions of Diversity in the Global Literary Ecology and banlieue Literature,” asks how containing and restricting banlieue literature, which has been marginalized by the French literary establishment, might in turn undermine the sustainability of the French language as the only other “world language” to rival English in the global literary ecology.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy Irem Kurtsal‘s paper “Self-Determination In Plenitude” was accepted for publication in the journal Erkenntnis, and Kurtsal’s paper “Persistence Egalitarianism” was accepted for publication in the journal Res Philosophica.

Professor of Communication Arts Ishita Sinha Roy was invited by Mediators Beyond Borders International to give a webinar presentation based on her book Manufacturing Indianness. The webinar on July 29, 2020, was titled “Contested Bodies: Biopolitical Borders & Reconciliation” and drew from case studies in the U.S. and India to unpack how women’s bodies, as mediated borders, are being subjected to physical and symbolic violence in the name of cultural/national purity. Mediators Beyond Borders International is a network of scholars, professionals, and organizations involved in conflict resolution, truth and reconciliation efforts, and peace-building partnerships across the world. It recently won the 2020 International Advocate for Peace Award.

Professor of Global Health Studies Caryl Waggett has completed a multi-year study of undergraduate education in global and public health that was released this summer through the Annals of Global Health. In addition, she co-led a team of researchers from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) to evaluate the curricular models and learning objectives for undergraduate global health minors. CUGH has adopted a set of ten Recommended Undergraduate Global Health Student Learning Objectives developed from this work.

On October 7, 2020, Professors Ishita Sinha Roy (communication arts) and Caryl Waggett (global health studies) will lead a pre-conference workshop, “Creating Global Citizens and Employees: Incorporating the SDGs into Undergraduate Learning,” at the AAC&U Virtual Conference on Global Learning. This workshop is based on the work they are doing as co-leaders of the Global Citizen Scholars Program at Allegheny College (2020–23) on the theme of “Empowering Women Worldwide” and on incorporating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into global learning in the classroom. At the AAC&U session, Sinha Roy and Waggett will introduce a new learning rubric they are developing for global learning and facilitate a conversation in which participating institutions share other high-impact global learning programs that combine curricular and co-curricular approaches and incorporate elements of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in writing Studies
Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Alexis Hart‘s chapter “Access to Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies,” co-authored with colleagues Alexandria Lockett and Rebecca Babcock, appears in the edited collection titled The Naylor Report on Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies published by Parlor Press. In July, Hart participated in the second year of the Elon Center for Engaged Learning’s research seminar on Writing Beyond the University: Fostering Writers’ Lifelong Learning and Agency.

An essay by Cornell B. LeSane II, senior vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions, is featured in “The Post-Pandemic College,” a report published by the Chronicle of Higher Education in September. In the comprehensive report, the Chronicle of Higher Education asked leading experts to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic will shape higher education in the years to come and what the college of the future may look like. LeSane’s in-depth essay focuses on a plan of action and potential changes for enrollment after the pandemic. Colleges already struggling to meet enrollment challenges need to step up their games even more, he notes in the report. LeSane also writes that colleges exhibiting a high level of adaptability and decisiveness will have greater success in the long run. Those that survive in a hyper-competitive enrollment setting will hone their missions, remove admissions barriers and beware of recruitment “gimmicks.”

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science & Sustainability Casey Bradshaw-Wilson participated in filming a video with the Regional Science Consortium, which will be aired on the local PBS channel (WQLN) in October 2020. The short video will complement a new series, “Age of Nature,” with the over-arching topic on humans’ evolving relationship with the natural world. With the theme of fisheries, Bradshaw-Wilson was asked to talk about the idea of invasive species, specifically how Round Gobies have been introduced to the French Creek Watershed from Lake Erie and their impacts to native flora and fauna.

Professor of Mathematics Tamara Lakins has received the 2020 Meritorious Service Award from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). The Certificate of Meritorious Service, announced in a video ceremony in July, was presented for service at the national level, as well as service to the local section of the MAA. There were five award recipients honored nationwide. Lakins has been active in the Mathematical Association of America since arriving at Allegheny in 1995, serving in a variety of offices in the local MAA section and on national committees. She currently serves as treasurer of the local MAA Section and as an associate editor on the MAA Classroom Resource Materials Editorial Board at the national level.

Catherine Gillespie (Class of 2017), Ron Mumme (professor of biology), and the late Scott Wissinger (professor emeritus of biology and environmental science) recently published an article entitled “Pond drying cues promote cannibalism in larval Anax junius dragonflies” in the September 2020 issue of Freshwater Science, the journal of the Society for Freshwater Science. The paper is based on Gillespie’s  2017 senior project for her double major in biology and environmental science. Gillespie is currently an environmental specialist for Montauk Energy, a Pittsburgh-based company focused on renewable energy.

Guo Wu, associate professor of history, published a research article “Ritual, Reading and Resistance in the Prison and Cowshed during the Cultural Revolution” in The Journal of Contemporary China, Volume 29, 2020 – Issue 124. He published an article on ancient China titled “Context and Text: Historicizing Xuanzang and the Da Tang Xiyu Ji” in Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies E-Journal, Vol 3.1. This article has been arranged by the journal editor at the University of British Columbia, Canada, to be translated into Chinese, and the Chinese version appears in an edited volume published in Singapore. Wu also published an invited book review on The Spatiality of Emotion in Early Modern China: From Dreamscapes to Theatricality, and the review appears in The Chinese Historical Review, Volume 27, Issue 1, May 2020. The same issue of The Chinese Historical Review also published a book review on Wu’s 2019 book Narrating Southern Chinese Minority Nationalities: Politics, Disciplines, and Public History, written by a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oxford, UK.