People & Places: October 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 H-Diplomacy to contribute a review of a research article published in The Journal of American-East Asian Relations, and the review was published online on June 9, 2021. He was invited by the Ministry of Education of Italy as an international scholar to evaluate Italian scholars’ research “products” in the fields of China and East Asian Studies.

As a new member of the Sustainability Committee, Wu took part in the fundraising campaign for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship to help with Meadville area high school students’ education, and he was involved in the planning of the Savor for Scholars fundraising dinner in 2022.

In August, Assistant Professor of Psychology Ryan Pickering and four students, Samantha Piso ’21, Kara Travers ’21, David Rogers ’21, and Ashlie Gariepy ’21, presented their research at the national convention of The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). They presented three posters: “Learning pay secrecy: Income disclosure (un)acceptability and higher education”; “Gender, political orientation and religion and income disclosure acceptability”; and “Recreation moderates the relationship between global warming concerns and education”. Dr. Pickering also facilitated a discussion session called “Class discussion: The unique experiences of faculty from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds” and a talk titled “High impact teaching and mentoring, a social justice approach” during a session recognizing him and the other SPSSI Teaching Award winners. Also in August, Pickering presented a talk called “Trauma-informed teaching in the time of COVID-19: Lessons and limitations” at the convention for the American Psychological Association. Sean Parenti ’20 presented a poster he co-authored with Dr. Pickering titled “A wealth of information: Examining impressions based on income.”

Associate Professor of Environmental Science & Sustainability Beth Choate and Assistant Professor of ESS Matthew Bethurem, along with Stephanie Bramwell ’21, recently published the article “Stop Piling On: Assessing Efforts to Reduce Single-Use Water Bottles at Allegheny College“. The article was published in the fully open access journal Sustainability as part of the Special Issue Sustainable Citizenship and Education. The article discusses the success of the College’s efforts to reduce disposable bottled water use among students by installing refill stations that chill and filter water throughout campus and providing reusable water bottles to all incoming students. A large portion of the research was conducted by an ENVSC 210: Environmental Science Research Methods course in the fall of 2018.

Assistant Professor of Economics Tim Bianco will have his paper “Monetary Policy and Credit Flows” published at the Journal of Macroeconomics. In his research, he finds that monetary policy is transmitted through mechanisms that cause lenders to search for yields, that reduce lenders’ perceptions of risk, and through easing of borrowers’ financial constraints.

Creek Connections presentation slide
Creek Connections Director Wendy Kedzierski presented along with NOAA staff at the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center’s (21st CCLC) Grant Program 2021 Summer Symposium on July 20, 2021. Their presentation was titled “Using a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience to develop a learner-centered after school program.” Kedzierski shared Creek Connections’ work with the local Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center at Meadville Area Middle School that was funded by a grant from North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and supported by the U.S. Department of Education in support of STEM watershed education.

Valuing Lives, Healing Earth: Religion, Gender, and Life on Earth book cover
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Adrienne Krone’s research was published in the edited volume Valuing Lives, Healing Earth: Religion, Gender, and Life on Earth in a chapter titled “Humans and Honey Bees: Bee-Human Relations, Sacred Space, and Environmental Sustainability at Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs.” Krone’s chapter explores the innovative blending of Jewish ethical teachings and sustainable practices that the Shoresh staff use in their Community Supported Beekeeping program to rebuild pollinator populations and address the challenge of an environmental crisis.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Matt Mitchell presented “Hitting the Road with the Buddha: Traveling Displays of Temple and Shrine Treasures and Their Representations in the Works of Koriki Tanenobu in Early Modern Japan” at the international symposium “Travel in a modernizing world (1700-1840): Materiality, Transformation and Representation”. This symposium was held “at” the University of Manchester, but due to Covid it took place virtually, and Mitchell attended the international symposium on travel from his office in Meadville.

Research in a forest
Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability Richard Bowden and colleagues at Oregon State, U. Michigan, and U. Toronto coauthored the paper “Mineral stabilization of soil carbon is suppressed by live roots, outweighing influences from litter quality or quantity.” The paper, based on twenty years of study in an old-growth forest at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, confronts the paradigm that root and leaf quality alone control soil carbon, and shows instead that tree root activity and physical soil conditions are also important. Forest managers are increasingly advised to seek ways that forests can remove carbon from the atmosphere as a means to reduce climate change. The paper was published in the journal Biogeochemistry Letters, a fast-track journal for high-profile manuscripts that substantially advance the field or challenge entrenched ideas.

Brian M. Harward, Robert G. Seddig Chair in Political Science, presented a paper, “Congressional Responsiveness to Presidential Unilateralism in Defense Policy,” at the American Political Science Association’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA. The unimaginatively titled paper, with coauthors from the University of Georgia and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, explored the dynamics of interbranch competition over defense policy, with particular attention to congressional oversight following presidential unilateral actions such as executive orders, memoranda, or signing statements.

I Was a Bell book cover
Professor of English M. Soledad Caballero‘s debut collection of poetry, I Was a Bell, was published by Red Hen Press on September 7, 2021. This collection won the Benjamin Saltman Poetry prize sponsored by Red Hen Press and her work was selected by poet Allison Joseph. Poems for this collection have appeared in The Missouri Review, Memorious, and Crab Orchard Review among other literary journals.

Judson Herrman, the Frank T. McClure Professor of Greek and Latin, has been invited for an in-person visit to Princeton University in April 2022, to meet an advanced Greek course in which students are working through his recent book, Demosthenes: Selected Political Speeches; the first review is here. Since its publication in 2019, several institutions have offered courses based on the book, including Brown, Harvard, the University of Virginia, and William and Mary.

Assistant Professor of Marketing and Neuromarketing Gaia Rancati‘s paper “Applying Implicit Association Test Techniques and Facial Expression Analyses in the Comparative Evaluation of Website User Experience” was published in Frontiers of Psychology, in a special issue on Neuromarketing and Neuromanagement. This paper comes from an international collaboration with Allegheny College and Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cruore Milano. Two Allegheny students, Victoria Vranderburg ’21 and Danae Fowler ’22, collaborated on the study. The study has been partially funded by Allegheny College.