People & Places: June/July 2023

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

Kirsten Peterson, Senior Assistant Dean of Student Success for Health Professions Advising, presented at the NEAAHP (Health Professions Advisors) meeting held in June 2023 at Niagara Falls.

Her topic was “Speaking of Competencies,” and she described the Intro to Medicine course she taught for the first time for the fall 2022 semester. The course is arranged around the cognitive and non-cognitive competencies required by the AAMC (MD medical schools).

This past April, Travis Dear ’24, Julia Desanto ’25, Hannah Heutsche ’23, Heather Landis ’24, and Emmett Manning ’24 obtained small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) remote pilot certification by successfully passing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 exam.

The students spent the spring semester learning about FAA rules and regulations, the national airspace system, reading sectional charts, airport operations, weather and micrometeorology, drone flight operations, and more as part of an ES 590: Independent Study opportunity offered by Chris Shaffer, GIS Manager/Instructor for the Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability.

The students have the knowledge, skill sets, experience, and required licensing to conduct aerial surveys for research while at Allegheny, as well as a valuable qualification they can take with them after graduation.

Ken Pinnow, Professor of History and Henry B. and Patricia Bush Tippie Professor, presented part of his research at the annual American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) meeting on May 12 in Ann Arbor, MI. 

His presentation, “Bad Doctors, Bad Patients: Law, Ethics, and the Negotiation of Medical Authority in the Early Soviet Union,” examined the Soviet medical profession’s turn to law and the state for protection, given the erosion of its moral authority following the Bolshevik Revolution.

Ryan Pickering

Ryan Pickering, Associate Professor of Psychology, attended the national convention of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), where he presented the poster, “Social Class Disclosure May Be Good for Your Health,” featuring Allegheny student co-authors Megan Aaron ’23, Alexus Fisk ’23, Steffi Puthenpurayil ’24, and Anna Kwasnica ’23.

This project utilized a social class disclosure scale that Pickering’s lab has been developing over the last three years, which included an exploratory factor analysis project last year and an online study involving self-reported psychological and physical health measures.

Pickering also co-facilitated an interactive discussion titled “The Past, Present, and Future of Social Class at APA” with Dr. Darren Bernal at Howard University. This included a discussion of their ongoing work on the Psychology of Social Class Organization (POSCO) to create a new division of APA focused on economic justice, poverty, and social class issues.

Alexis Hart, Professor of English and Director of Writing, and her international team of research partners, presented “Tracing Students’ Lifewide Writing: Implications for WAC Programs” at the International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference held at Clemson University in June.

The team’s research findings were also recently published in Volume 33 of The WAC Journal in an article titled “Lifewide Writing Across the Curriculum: Valuing Students’ Multiple Writing Lives Beyond the University.”

Immediately following the IWAC conference, Professor Hart participated in the first session of a three-summer research seminar focused on “multi-institutional research on mentoring meaningful learning experiences” at Elon University.

Tomas Nonnenmacher, Professor of Business & Economics and Patricia B. Tippie Professor, presented at The National Association of Scholars’ roundtable: “American Innovation: The Invention of the Telegraph.”

He discussed how early telegraph entrepreneurs, customers, and regulators contended with some of the same issues faced by modern-day network and communications industries.

Shannan Mattiace, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, and Carla Alberti published the second of two research papers that are the fruit of Mattiace’s Fulbright scholarship to Chile in 2019.

“State Responses to Autonomy Demands” examines why robust Indigenous autonomy was granted in Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution and not in Bolivia’s 2009 Constitution. The article was published in the Journal of Politics in Latin America and is available here.

In addition, Mattiace was recently named to the Central College Board of Trustees. View the full news release here.

Ryan Sesler ’23 and Lisa Whitenack, Associate Professor of Biology & Geology, presented their research, “The effect of wear on the morphology & puncture force of shark teeth,” at the American Elasmobranch Society annual meeting in Norfolk, VA. The talk summarized Sesler’s summer research and Comp research, where he examined how shark teeth wear down with use and how that affects their efficiency.

In addition, Whitenack was elected to the board of directors of the American Elasmobranch Society for the second time. Her service on the board begins in January 2024.

Guo Wu, Associate Professor of History, was invited by the Journal of Chinese Philosophy (Brill) to review a two-volume anthology titled “Portraits of Confucius: The Reception of Confucius from 1560 to 1960,” edited by Kevin Delapp and published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2022. 

The book review appears in vol. 50, no.2 (2023) of the Journal of Chinese Philosophy and can be accessed here.