People & Places: February 2023

People & Places is a monthly highlight of the ongoing professional activities and achievements of faculty, staff, and students of the College.

Casey Bradshaw-Wilson, Associate Professor of Environmental Science & Sustainability and Co-Director for Allegheny’s Watershed Conservation Research Center (WCRC), was invited to be the plenary speaker at the Pennsylvania Chapter of American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in February at Lock Haven University.

Her talk, titled “Collaborations and Conservation: What we know about Invasive Round Gobies in the Upper Allegheny Watershed” highlighted the importance of partnerships for meaningful conservation to take place and how collaborations have led to the success in gaining 10 years of knowledge regarding long-term research on the impacts of an invasive fish in the French Creek watershed.

Her presentation followed the theme of the meeting “After the Confluence,” as many colleges and universities have combined in the past few years.

Dr. Mark Kirk, Research Scientist for the WCRC, also presented work on “Evaluating the thermal integrity of streams in NWPA based on water temperature and fish community data” and Briana Sebastian, Assistant Research Scientist, presented a talk titled “Instream habitat improvement, monitoring, and future plans for the French Creek watershed.”

Both projects have been worked on within the WCRC in collaboration with Allegheny students and WCRC partners.

Christopher Normile, Assistant Professor of Psychology, along with his colleague Kyle Scherr of Central Michigan University, recently had their paper “False Confessions Predict a Delay Between Release from Incarceration and Official Exoneration” featured in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Journals Article Spotlight.

The spotlight provides a summary of the article, which discusses how false confession evidence is associated with a meaningful delay between when a wrongly convicted individual is released from prison and officially exonerated.

This delay has far-reaching consequences as it prevents wrongly convicted individuals from accessing crucial reintegration aids such as financial compensation and housing assistance.

Former Allegheny students assisting with soil collection at the Bousson Environmental Research Reserve. Photo by Rich Bowden.
Former Allegheny students assisting with soil collection at the Bousson Environmental Research Reserve. Photo by Rich Bowden.

Richard Bowden, Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability, and colleagues from the Southern University of Science and Technology (Shenzhen, China), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (WA), Oregon State University, and U. Toronto recently published the paper “Characterization of sequentially extracted soil organic matter by electrospray ionization and atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry” in Environmental Science and Technology.

The work explored a new method to determine the diversity of organic compounds in forest soil. Using soil from Allegheny’s Bousson Environmental Research Reserve, the study found more than 11,000 organic compounds, 34% more than could be identified using previous techniques. Importantly, this technique identified numerous and unexpected chemical transformations of soil molecules in response to a long-term air pollution study at Bousson.

Guo Wu, Associated Professor of History, was invited by the Journal of Early Modern History – Brill to review a book entitled “Jesuit Mission and Submission: Qing Rulership and the Fate of Christianity in China, 1644–1735,” written by Litian Swen.

The book review appears in the journal’s 1st issue of 2023. The full article can be read online here or here.

Sami Alkyam, Assistant Professor of Arabic and Cultural Studies, took nine Allegheny students (from Model-UN Club) to Boston. The group participated in the 69th Annual Session of Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) at the Boston Marriott Copley Place from February 16 to February 19, 2023.

This year’s conference featured twenty-five unique committees, each led by a team of passionate directors and assistant directors in the General Assemblies, Economic and Social Councils and Regional Bodies, and Specialized Agencies, which gave our students access to a broad range of committee forms and topics.

For nearly seven decades, HNMUN has been an annual forum for thousands of college students from all over the world. It was really impressive to see Allegheny students discuss pressing international issues and defend their positions passionately while also learning how to negotiate with other people and collaborate with like-minded representatives.

A big thank you and a round of applause to the board members of the Model UN Club at Allegheny College for all their hard work throughout:

  • Rutendo Mavunga ’24
  • Tergel Buyanbat ’25
  • Ray Colabawalla ’25
  • Ayah Sham ’23

Michael Dolan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, presented “An Unexpected Perk: Lessons in Score Study for Ensemble Musicians Post-COVID” at the 2023 Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference, held in Columbus, OH in February.

The talk was based on an assignment Dolan developed for the student members of the Allegheny Civic Symphony Orchestra, encouraging them to further explore the music they perform in a structured project.

Michael Dolan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, participated in the 2023 Winter International Conductors Workshop and Competition outside Atlanta, GA in January.

Dolan was one of eleven conductors from around the country and world to work with a professional orchestra and present a performance for members of the community.