People & Places: March 2021

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


Associate Professor of History Guo Wu was invited by Quansheng Zhao, Professor of International Relations and Chair of the Asian Studies Research Council at American University, to contribute an analysis of the Taiwan question and Sino-U.S. relations. Based on his three research and conference trips to Taiwan from 2014 to 2018, Wu’s Chinese-language essay summarized his observations of Taiwan society and people’s political attitudes toward the issue of unification. The essay was published in the internal Research Bulletin (Vol. 49, No. 3) of the Taiwan Research Institute, Peking University in February 2021, under the title “Zai Taiwan kan liang’an guanxi ji tongyi qianjing” [Perceiving The Cross-Strait Relations and the Prospect of China’s Reunification in Taiwan].

Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability Richard Bowden coauthored the paper “Chlorination of forest-derived dissolved organic matter: Long-term nitrogen deposition does not increase formation of toxic disinfection byproducts” published in the journal Water Research. The work, based on a long-term study conducted at the Bousson Environmental Research Reserve, shows that even though air pollution alters the content of organic compounds in forest soils, leaching of those organic compounds into streams may not increase drinking water toxicity through combination with disinfectants that are discharged by sewage treatment plants.

Sacred Writes public scholarship on religion logo
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Adrienne Krone was selected to participate in the 2021 Sacred Writes Public Scholarship Training Cohort. Sacred Writes: Public Scholarship on Religion is a Henry Luce Foundation-funded project hosted by Northeastern University that trains academics to translate their expertise for a broader audience and partners with established media outlets to facilitate collaborations with scholars.

LATINAS ON THE MARGINS QueerARTivism and TRANSdisciplinarity: Towards a Politicization of the Visual Autobiography of Invisible Women book cover
Assistant Professor of World Languages & Cultures Rosita Scerbo has published her first book, entitled LATINAS ON THE MARGINS QueerARTivism and TRANSdisciplinarity: Towards a Politicization of the Visual Autobiography of Invisible Women (original title in Spanish: LATINAS EN LOS MÁRGENES QueerARTivismo y TRANSdisciplinariedad: hacia una politización de la autobiografía visual de mujeres invisible). The book was published with Peter Lang, an academic publisher specializing in the humanities and social sciences. The book is an exploration of minority women artists and activists at the margins of mainstream Latin-America and Latinx Culture.

Visual Autobiography, as a means of expression and vindication of the self, offers female artists the opportunity to define their own identity. This research project attempts to bring together multiethnic voices and promotes an interdisciplinary resource that interests not only the discipline of literature and culture, but also other fields, such as history, sociology, and gender and disability studies. One of the main objectives was to dismantle traditional forms of identity and destroy social borders, adopting difference and alterity as a unique component of each individual. Through personal narratives, photographs, films, paintings, murals, and digital productions, these female works examine themes such as homophobia, political identity, native sovereignty, motherhood, lesbian identity, and different minority cultural identities.

Bailey Kozalla ’22 recently had a career profile article published in the Forest Stewards Guild’s March 2021 e-newsletter, Across the Landscape. This article was published in their monthly “Student Voice” column, which features a college student with career aspirations for the forestry field. This month’s writing prompt asked Kozalla to describe her goals and aspirations for working in the environmental and forestry sector, as well as the reasons why she decided to pursue working in the field. The full article can be found here.

Professor of Political Science Shannan Mattiace and Professor of Economics Tomas Nonnenmacher presented their recent work at the Rocky Mountain Council on Latin American Studies Meeting, held on computer screens around the world (!), on March 19. Their co-authored presentation is titled “Hit by the Booms: Migration and Security in Mérida, Yucatán.”

Director of Donor Relations Lisa Dixon was selected to serve on the Association of Donor Relations Professionals Big World Big Ideas Conference (to be held September 2021) content committee. She will be leading the review and selection process for the skill building track.

Revolution around the corner book cover
Assistant Professor of History and Black Studies Alyssa Ribeiro published a chapter on an alternative Bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia in a new edited volume on the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, Revolution Around the Corner: Voices from the Puerto Rican Socialist Party in the U.S. 

Wild Bee Species Diversity Supported in Conventional Soybean Fields Located in Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Isabella Petitta ’21
received a first-place award for a presentation at the Entomological Society of America’s Eastern Branch Meeting Student Competition in the BS/HS Division. Petitta’s presentation, “Wild Bee Species Diversity Supported in Conventional Soybean Fields in Crawford County, Pennsylvania,” was based on her Senior Comprehensive Project. Conventional agriculture and crop intensification can be detrimental to wild bee populations due to synthetic pesticide use and habitat destruction; however, there is a lack of research that identifies wild bee abundance, richness, and diversity in conventional, no-till agricultural fields. This study investigated the abundance, richness, and diversity of wild bees in conventional, no-till soybean fields in Meadville, PA. Wild bee populations were sampled in 2017 during soybean bloom. Bees were identified to species, and abundance, richness, and diversity were compared across sampling dates and areas within the field. At least 62 wild bee species were identified expressing that no-till methods may promote ground-nesting, solitary bees in soybean fields.