Martina Nieswandt

Message from the Vice President for Research Martina Nieswandt, Ph.D., reflects on a year at Chapman.

Over a year has passed since I became vice president of research at Chapman University, and what an exhilarating journey it has been. As an R2 institution rooted in the teacher-scholar model, my initial sense of awe and wonder has only continued to grow as I’ve witnessed the Chapman faculty’s creative endeavors, germinal scholarship and groundbreaking research augmented by their commitment to Chapman’s mission of providing a personalized education of distinction. 

Our new strategic plan, the “Our Path to Greatness,” stands as a declaration of Chapman’s unyielding commitment to pushing the boundaries of research, scholarship and creative ventures. New graduate programs bursting onto the scene, such as the MS in electrical engineering and DS in mathematics, philosophy and physics, are just the beginning.

In this issue of Chapman Forward, you’ll read about breakthroughs from the frontiers of quantum physics, radar technology and the cutting-edge of climate research using NASA thermal imaging and fieldwork deep in the Amazon. Chapman scientists discovered that canopy temperatures in the rainforest are reaching critical temperature thresholds that could critically impact carbon sequestration, water and biodiversity.

Advances in the biomedical field abound, from groundbreaking drug discovery to championing medication safety and redefining pharmacy practices. Chapman’s research and programs improve care across the lifespan from bench research to bedside practice and out into the community.

Humanistic inquiry shines new light on how we understand our history—and our present. Stephanie Takaragawa’s research and exhibition, “Images and Imaginings of Internment,” draws from her own family’s experience in American Japanese incarceration and tells the history anew through images and comics created within the camps themselves. And Shira Klein’s deep dive into intentional Holocaust misinformation on Wikipedia has resulted in news coverage of her research in 12 countries, showing the outsized role that digital humanities will play in a future of AI and the continued onslaught of disinformation.

At Chapman, we’re not just on a journey; we’re on the “Path to Greatness.” In this issue of Chapman Forward, you’ll learn about the research enumerated above and more, all of which is driven by an abiding dedication to solving real-world problems and addressing critical needs locally and globally. 

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