Faculty Notes, March 20, 2012

Jeff Cogan, associate professor of music, Conservatory of Music, was invited by the University of Texas, Dallas, to give a lecture on the guitars built by French luthier Daniel Friederich.  Professor Cogan purchased one of his instruments in 2005, leading to an ongoing relationship with the builder.  He will give the talk again in Charleston, South Carolina, in June for the Guitar Foundation of America convention where Mr. Friederich is being honored for his lifetime of service. In addition to the presentation in Texas, Professor Cogan will perform a program of contemporary guitar music and serve as a judge for the 11th Annual Texas Guitar Competition and Festival.

The Buried, a film directed by Jonathan Pope Evans, instructor, Department of Theatre, College of Performing Arts, has been accepted for showing this year at The Nashville Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and The Berlin International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, having already been seen this winter at The University of Illinois Queer Art and Film Symposium, Big Muddy Film Festival, and Prague International Film Festival.  The film tells the story of the brutal murder of Scotty Joe Weaver in rural Alabama on July 22, 2004, by his closest friend.  One of most vicious and baffling hate crimes of the decade, the story of Weaver’s murder haunted filmmaker Evans, an Alabama native.  After interviewing family members and meeting one of the murderers in an Alabama prison, Evans chose to make an experimental narrative about the crime, a fractured, stark, and startling re-imagining of the event looking into the root of “gay panic.”  It is a taxing and confrontational film, investigating gender identification and violence against gay men.

Hugh Hewitt, professor, Chapman University School of Law, has been named to a top 50 list of the most influential Law professors on Twitter by WorldWideLearn.com, an online guide to higher education resources. The selected law professors were chosen for their knack to dominate the “Twitter-verse either through the wit, volume or audience,” according to the website.

Wenshan Jia, Ph. D., professor, Department of Communication Studies, Wilkinson College, has published “Ethno-Political Conflicts in China” (pp. 177-198) in the Handbook of Ethnic Conflict International Perspectives edited by Dan Landis and Rosita Albert and published by Springer. Jia is the lead author of the chapter (with Yueh-Ting Lee, Ph. D. and professor of Ethnic Psychology from University Toledo and Haiyang Zhang, professor of Ethnic Relations from Minzhu University of China as the second and third authors).

Jia also attended The Santa Barbara Global Studies Conference sponsored by Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies of UCSB Feb. 24-25, 2012. He made a presentation titled “Ameri-globalization and its Relationship with Regionalization” as part of the panel, “The Impact of the Global Economy.”

In addition, Jia was interviewed by China Social Science Weekly for its news report titled “The Report on Foreign Scholars’ Comments on the International Media’s Coverage of the 2012 China’s National People’s Congress and The 2012 Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.”

Jason Keller, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science and Technology, is a co-author on a paper entitled “Soil carbon and nitrogen cycling and storage throughout the soil profile in a sweetgum plantation after 11 years of CO2-enrichment,” which has been published in the journal Global Change Biology.  This work is the result of collaborations with researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and demonstrates that soil carbon storage increased to depths of 90 cm following increased root activity in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 in this forest ecosystem.  A copy of this article is available online.

College of Educational Studies faculty members Kelly Kennedy, Ph.D., assistant professor, and Michael Hass, Ph.D., professor, attended the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists in Philadelphia.  In addition, 25 of CES’ students in the educational specialist in school psychology program also attended.  With mentoring help from doctoral student Stephanie Domzalski, several students also made presentations at the conference, including:

  • “Writing Consumer Driven Psychoeducational Reports” — Michael R. Hass, Ryan McGillivray, Brianna Sullivan;
  • “Trichotillomania: prevalence and solution-focused intervention within an academic setting” — Stephanie Domzalski, Courtney Matz, & Michael R. Hass;
  • “Interventions in Gifted Education: A Three-Tier Approach” — Rachel Round, Christina Veatch, Stephanie Domzalski, & Brianna Sullivan;
  • “Proactive Approaches to Healthy Body Image Development in Elementary Students” — Christina Veatch, Rachel Round, Stephanie Domzalski, & Brianna Sullivan;
  • “Friendship Initiation and Maintenance Training: Early Childhood Aggressive-Disruptive Behavior” — Mike Doria, Stephanie Domzalski, & Brianna Sullivan;
  • “Strategies for students with executive functioning difficulties” — Tanya Perez, Molly Siprasoeuth, & Michael R. Hass;
  • “Making counseling count” — Jaime Flowers, Ryan McGill, & Stephanie Domzalski.

Michael Nehring, professor, Department of Theatre, College of Performing Arts, recently played the character of Bottom in a 40-minute selection from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra in Florida.   He and four other professional actors rehearsed for two days to perform several scenes placed within the orchestra’s performance of Mendelssohn’s interpretation of the play.  Professor Nehring also has numerous activities lined up for the summer.  He will be performing in the staged version of the Shakespearean poem Venus and Adonis with Shakespeare Orange County, directed by Thomas Bradac, associate professor of theatre, at the 2012 Prague Shakespeare Festival.  He has also been cast in the leading role of Benedick for Shakespeare Orange County’s summer production of Much Ado About Nothing under an Actor’s Equity union contract.  Finally, Professor Nehring has been hired by Portland, Oregon’s “Portland Shakespeare Project”, a production/education company that stages Shakespearean productions and holds a season of master classes each summer, to teach a three day master class titled “Personalizing Shakespeare:  using text analysis to create intimate and emotionally powerful Shakespearean performances.”

Tamiko Washington, associate professor, Department of Theatre, College of Performing Arts, has received certification as an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, a select group of voice specialists that train actors in this highly respected vocal methodology.  Fitzmaurice Voicework involves de-structuring and restructuring vocal/body exercises which allow actors and singers to experience a healing response of the body, mind, and spirit through the release of breath and sound, enabling performers to effectively communicate the ideas, images, and words of a playwright and/or poet in performance.

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