Faculty notebook - April 2022

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Vol. XXVII, No. 1


Yasemin Akbaba, Professor of Political Science, published “On Campus and Online: Evaluating Student Engagement in the Covid-19 Era” in Active Learning in Political Science for a Post-Pandemic World: From Triage to Transformation, edited by Jeff Lantis (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022). This chapter discusses how student engagement changed in the spring 2020 semester as a result of transitioning to remote learning in three undergraduate courses when the pandemic struck. 

Paul Austerlitz, Professor of Ethnomusicology, Sunderman Conservatory of Music and Department of Africana Studies, published The Urban Maroons of Afro-Dominican Music (New York: City University of New York, 2022). This research monograph, part of the Dominican Studies Institute Monograph Series, documents the use of Afro-Dominican music in the struggle for racial liberation.

Austerlitz wrote the introduction to Mujeres en el Jazz … en dominicana (Women in Jazz … in the Dominican Republic), by Fernando Rodríguez de Mondesert (Ukiyoto Publishing, 2021).

Austerlitz, with April J. Mayes, contributed “Interview with Paul Austerlitz: Engaged Scholarship and Engaged Creativity in the Dominican Republic and Haiti” to Transnational Hispaniola: New Directions in Haitian and Dominican Studies, edited by April J. Mayes and Kiran C. Jayaram (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2018). This anthology paves the way for new modes of scholarship connecting the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Abou B. Bamba, Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, published “Courting American Capital: Public Relations and the Business of Selling Ivorian Capitalism in the U.S., 1960–1980” in Capitalism and Diplomacy: The Political Economy of U.S. Foreign Relations in the Twentieth Century, edited by Christopher Dietrich (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). This chapter is an invitation to reimagine the roles assigned to players from the Global South in the history of capitalism. Focusing on the activities of Ivorian diplomats and their public relations experts in their efforts to court U.S. capital for development purposes, I argue that Africans remained instrumental in the operation and the global reach of U.S. capitalism, and not necessarily as its victims.

Megan Benka-Coker, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, with co-authors Maggie L. Clark, Sarah Rajkumar, Bonnie N. Young, Annette M. Bachand, Robert D. Brook, Tracy L. Nelson, John Volckens, Stephen J. Reynolds, Ander Wilson, Christian L’Orange, Nicholas Good, Casey Quinn, Kirsten Koehler, Sebastian Africano, Anibal B. Osorto Pinel, David Diaz-Sanchez, Lucas Neas, and Jennifer L. Peel, published “Household Air Pollution from Wood-Burning Cookstoves and C-Reactive Protein among Women in Rural Honduras” in International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 241 (April 2022): 113949. This paper explores the impact of cooking with biomass (firewood) on systemic inflammation (a precursor to cardiovascular disease). We explored differences in pollution and markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein and six others) among women in Honduras who used a traditional biomass stove compared to those who used and improved biomass stove.

Anne Douds, Assistant Professor and currently Chair, Public Policy Program, with colleague Eileen J. Ahlin, co-edited Taking Problem-Solving Courts to Scale: Diverse Applications of the Specialty Court Model (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021). This volume critically examines the effectiveness and appropriateness of three sets of problem-solving courts—those based on criminogenic need; those based on offense type; and those based on offender characteristics.

Douds, with student co-author Jared Michaels ’22, published “A Trifecta of Challenges for Veterans Treatment Courts” in Taking Problem-Solving Courts to Scale: Diverse Applications of the Specialty Court Model (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021). This chapter examines veterans treatment court operations 15 years after the first veterans court appeared, and recommends three areas of focus for development to improve procedural justice and increase implementation fidelity.

Douds, with student co-author Ella Warburton ’22 and alum co-author Kealy Cassidy ’20, published “Restoring Humanity through Human Trafficking Courts?” in Taking Problem-Solving Courts to Scale: Diverse Applications of the Specialty Court Model (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021). This chapter is the first known synthesis of the array of local-level evaluations on human trafficking courts. The chapter also makes recommendations for operational improvement and increased program fidelity.

Douds, with alum co-author Kyle Troeger ’21, published “Creating a Home Base for Treatment in Homelessness Courts” in Taking Problem-Solving Courts to Scale: Diverse Applications of the Specialty Court Model (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021). This chapter situates homelessness courts in their large socioeconomic context, synthesizes existing knowledge on these courts, and makes recommendations for improvements.

Douds, with co-authors Eileen M. Ahlin, Cassandra Atkin-Plunk, and Michael Posteraro, published “Noble Intent is Not Enough to Run Veterans Court Mentoring Programs: A Qualitative Study of Mentors’ Role Orientation and Responsibilities” in Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology 10.2 (April 20, 2021, online). This qualitative evaluation of mentoring programs in veterans treatment courts offers insights into operations and ideas for policy reform within those courts.

Douds, with alum co-author Haley Shultz ’21, published “Are Victims’ Rights Honored in Veterans Courts? A Statewide Assessment of Law on the Books versus Law in Action” in Victims & Offenders 16.6 (2021): 912–930. This statewide evaluation of implementation of victims’ rights in veterans courts discovered that almost no veterans courts integrate the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Bill of Rights into their operations and makes recommendations for reform.

Douds, with co-author Eileen M. Ahlin, published “If You Build It, Will Vets Come? An Identity Theory Approach to Expanding Veterans Treatment Court Participation” in Criminal Justice Review 45.3 (2020): 319–336. This qualitative study among veterans treatment court participants and their mentors considers the role of military identity in veterans court involvement and successful completion.

Douds, with student co-authors Nicholas Fiori ’22 and Nicholas Barrish ’22, and co-author Eileen M. Ahlin, published “Why Prison Dental Care Matters: Legal, Policy, and Practical Concerns” in Annals of Health Law 29.2 (Summer 2020): 101–126. This synthesis of law and policy surrounding prison dental care builds upon a prior qualitative study among prison inmates to recommend improvements in prison dental care and related reintegration issues.

Tim Good, Professor of Physics, with co-authors Matthew J. Lazo, Thomas E. Steinberger, and Earl E. Scime, published “Measurements of the 5Do45P3 Transition of Singly Ionized Atomic Iodine Using Intermodulated Laser Induced Fluorescence” in Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer 277 (January 2022): 107960. Iodine has been an element of recent interest for commercial use as fuel in electrostatic propulsion systems. It is the aim of this work to determine the hyperfine structure of an iodine ion transition lineshape in order to develop a spatially resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy diagnostic technique capable of ion flow and temperature measurements. 

Good, with co-authors Earl Scime, Evan Aguirre, Culyer Beatty, Risa Beatty, Jacob McLaughlin, Ethan Scime, and Thomas Steinberger, published “Structure of Spontaneous Ion Acceleration Regions in Expanding Plasmas” in 2019 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA) (2019). In expanding, low-pressure, high-density plasmas, spontaneously-forming ion beams reach speeds in excess of 10 km/s, and are confined to a narrow region in the center of the expansion region. Prior experiments have demonstrated a strong correlation between formation of the ion beam and large electrostatic instabilities. The study’s measurements suggested that such instabilities might result in significant perpendicular ion heating. The findings were that the flow field of the ions is consistent with a detached ion beam, i.e., the ion beam does not appear to be tied to the expanding magnetic field.

Caitlin Hult, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, with co-authors Joshua T. Mattila, Hannah P. Gideon, Jennifer J. Linderman, and Denise E. Kirschner, published "Neutrophil Dynamics Affect Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Granuloma Outcomes and Dissemination” in Frontiers in Immunology 12 (2021): 712457. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death due to infectious disease in the world, but the role of neutrophils during the immune response to infection remains poorly understood. In this study, we use a systems biology approach pairing mathematical modeling with experimental data to investigate whether neutrophils contribute to protection or help drive pathologic outcomes.

Ryan Kerney, Associate Professor of Biology, published “Developing Inside a Layer of Germs—A Potential Role for Multiciliated Surface Cells in Vertebrate Embryos” in Diversity 13.11 (2021): 527. This is a review of the fetal microenvironment across vertebrates. Most are sterile, with a few notable exceptions.

Rachel Lesser, Assistant Professor of Classics, published “Sappho’s Mythic Models for Female Homoeroticism” in Arethusa 54.2 (Spring 2021): 121–161. This paper takes on the question of how the Greek poet Sappho conceived of love between women or girls. I argue that Sappho draws upon mythic models in Fragments 16, 31, and 58 to depict female homoeroticism as non-normative and shadowed by loss, while also symmetrical and idealized. 

Brian Meier, Franklin Chair Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology, with co-authors Adam K. Fetterman and Katherine French, published “Investigating Individual Differences in Metaphor Use and its Outcomes: Research Questions, Measurements, and Findings” in The Handbook of Language Analysis in Psychology, edited by Morteza Dehghani & Ryan L. Boyd (New York: Guilford, 2022). This chapter examines research questions, methodology, and outcomes surrounding individual differences in metaphor usage.

Meier, with co-author Adam K. Fetterman, published “Metaphors for god: God is High, Bright, and Human in Implicit Tasks” in Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 14.1 (2022): 43–50. In three studies, participants were faster to categorize God-related words when they were presented in a manner consistent with metaphor (high, bright, and with humanness). The results reveal that people think about God in implicit metaphoric terms.

Meier, with co-author Amanda J. Dillard, published “Trait Mindfulness is Negatively Associated with Distress Related to COVID-19” in Personality and Individual Differences 179 (September 2021): 110995. In two studies, we found that people high in trait mindfulness had less worry, stress, and depression related to COVID-19. People high in trait mindfulness also used more positive coping strategies during the pandemic. Trait mindfulness may be a protective factor in dealing with COVID-19.

Meier, with co-authors Adam K. Fetterman and Michael D. Robinson, published “Leveraging Individual Differences to Understand Grounded Procedures” in Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44 (February 18, 2021): e6. This paper provides commentary on the article by Lee and Schwarz, “Grounded Procedures: A Proximate Mechanism for the Psychology of Cleansing and Other Physical Actions” (2020).

Meier, with co-authors Michael D. Robinson, Adam K. Fetterman, Michelle R. Persich, and Michael R. Waters, published “Embodied Perspectives on Personality” in Handbook of Embodied Psychology: Thinking, Feeling, and Acting, edited by Michael D. Robinson and Laura E. Thomas (Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2021). This chapter examines the role of personality in embodied psychology.

Meier, with co-authors Corey L. Cook and Kate Faasse, published “Social Psychology and COVID-19: What the Field Can Tell Us about Behavior in a Pandemic” in Journal of Social Psychology 161.4 (2021): 403–407. This article examines some ways in which social psychology can be used to understand behavior in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meier, with student co-author Matthew Simmers ’22, alum co-authors Danielle Kupersmith ’20, Nevada Keyton ’20, and Sara Walker ’20, and co-authors Michael B. Kitchens, Kristie E. Houck, Nevada S. Keyton, Sydney E. Petrasic, Ethan H. Schultz, Sierra S. Sheriff, John O. Underwood, and Daymond N. Zweizig, published “Be Responsible? Priming ‘Responsibility’ and the Bystander Effect in a Field Setting” in Experimental Psychology 68.2 (March 2021): 107–112. This study replicates and extends the bystander effect in a field setting.

Meier, with co-authors Adam K. Fetterman, Nicholas D. Evans, and Julie J. Exline, published “What Shall We Call God? An Exploration of Metaphors Coded from Descriptions of God from a Large U.S. Undergraduate Sample” in PLoS ONE 16.7 (July 12, 2021): e0254626. This research provides an in-depth examination of the metaphors that a sample of 2,923 U.S. participants used to describe God.

Salma Monani, Professor and currently Chair, Department of Environmental Studies, published “Decolonial Possibilities in an Introductory Environmental Humanities Classroom” in Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media, edited by Cajetan Iheka (New York: Modern Language Association, 2021). This article discusses various teaching strategies I employ in an introductory Environmental Humanities class to engage students in the problematic entanglements of EuroAmerican environmentalisms with Indigenous lives. The book is part of the MLA’s Options for Teaching series.

Yoko Nishimura, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, published “Wealth (In)equality: Houses, Small Artifacts, and Pottery” in Anatolica 47 (2021): 29–33. Published in a special edition of the journal, titled Early Bronze Age Urbanism in Southeastern Anatolia and Upper Mesopotamia: Recent Analyses from Titris Höyük, this paper measures the degree of material wealth inequality among non-elite houses at the third millennium urban settlement of Titris, in modern-day southeastern Turkey. The result is in accordance with the expectation that the occupants of the houses shared a homogeneous economic status.

Nishimura, with co-author Timothy Matney, published “Late EBA Architecture and Urban Templates” in Anatolica 47 (2021): 22–29. Published in a special edition of the journal, titled Early Bronze Age Urbanism in Southeastern Anatolia and Upper Mesopotamia: Recent Analyses from Titris Höyük, this co-authored paper discusses architecture and urban layout at the third millennium settlement of Titris, in modern-day southeastern Turkey. Horizonal excavations and magnetometry surveys exposed a number of domestic structures within densely occupied neighborhoods which were built as part of a centrally planned construction of the settlement around 2300 BC.

Douglas Page, Assistant Professor of Political Science, with student co-authors Matthew Montes ’22 and Taylor Paulin ’22, alum co-author Catharine Arranz ’20, and co-author Phillip Ayoub, published “Reassessing the Relationship between Homophobia and Political Participation” in European Journal of Political Research (February 21, 2022, online). Existing research is often optimistic that proponents of gay rights will steadily out-participate their opposition, but anti-gay mobilization remains ubiquitous in many countries. In analysis of global public opinion data, we find that outside of gay rights-respecting countries, homophobic individuals are more likely to vote than tolerant individuals.

Page, with co-authors Phillip Ayoub and Sam Whitt, published “Pride amid Prejudice: The Influence of LGBT Rights Activism in a Socially Conservative Society” in American Political Science Review 115.2 (2021): 467–485. We consider how the first-ever LGBT+ Pride in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina influences ordinary citizens’ attitudes and behavior regarding LGBT+ support. Using nationwide and local panel surveys, we find that support for LGBT+ activism increased locally after the Pride but did not diffuse nationwide, signaling how proximity to the Pride influences its effects on public opinion.

Page, with co-author Ridvan Peshkopia, published “Blurring Lines of Responsibility: How Institutional Context Affects Citizen Biases Regarding Policy Problems” in Political Studies Review 20.1 (2022): 148–157. In existing research, it is not clear whether political institutions with blurry lines of responsibility elicit biased evaluations of policies/performance among citizens. In surveys of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, we examine responsibility-assignment to governments for inequality in pay between women and men. We find that biased attributions of blame for pay inequality are strongest in the Bosnian regions where multilevel governance is the most pronounced, while the unitary governments of Albania, Bosnia’s Republika Srpska, and Kosovo do not yield biased responsibility-assignment.

Page published “Coming Out and Political Attitudes among Sexual Minorities” in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics (December 17, 2020, online). This article digests research that engages (a) the political attitudes of those reporting their sexual identity, and (b) the social conditions that lead people to express different forms of sexual identity. For example, people who come out tend to be socially liberal, but the reasons behind this pattern remain unclear. The causal relationships between social conditions, coming out, political outcomes, and health outcomes elude existing research.

Kevin Pham, Assistant Professor of Political Science, published “Violence and Vietnamese Anticolonialism" in New Political Science (January 10, 2022, online). This essay shows how French colonial violence in Vietnam inaugurated new "exploratory" and "committed" forms of politics among the Vietnamese.

VoonChin Phua, Professor of Sociology, with alum co-author Jesse E. Shircliff ’19, published “Hosting a Virtual Research Site for Data: Collecting Participants’ Voices on Bargaining during Tourist Shopping” in SAGE Research Methods Case Studies (2022, online). In this case study on bargaining during tourist shopping, we discussed major considerations and choices that we had to make as we hosted a virtual research site. We paid special attention to the need to follow IRB (Institutional Review Board) guidelines, the choice of language, and how the site was formatted.

Phua, with co-author Desirée Ciambrone, published “Informal Strategies for Risk Assessment among Brazilian Male Sex Workers and their Clients” in Sexuality and Culture 25.1 (2021): 275–287. We found that sex workers and their clients in Brazil attempt to make risk assessments even though their methods are not scientific or necessarily reliable. Three common strategies engaged by both parties include playing defensive, relying on visual verification, and using gossip as a source of information.

Phua published “Brazilian Male Sex Workers: In and Out of Termas” in The Routledge Handbook of Male Sex Work, Culture, and Society, edited by John Geoffrey Scott, Christian Grov, and Victor Minichiello (London: Routledge, 2021). Using interviews with Brazilian male sex workers, I examined their trajectories of sex work and their movements in and out of that line of work.

Jennifer Powell, Associate Professor of Biology, with alum co-author Leah Gulyas ’19, published "Cold Shock Induces a Terminal Investment Reproductive Response in C. elegans” in Scientific Reports 12 (2022): 1338. This article provides the first evidence that the widely-studied genetic model organism C. elegans responds to severe cold stress by activating a process called terminal investment. Rather than using their resources to repair stress-induced damage and promote recovery, the stressed C. elegans sacrifice their own chance of survival by investing in the fitness of their offspring.

Lindsay Richwine, Class of 2021, published "Comity at the Crossroads: How Friendships between Moravian and Native American Women Sustained the Moravian Mission at Shamokin, 1745–1755” in Pennsylvania History 89.1 (Winter 2022): 74–101. Completed for Lindsay’s History senior seminar, this article examines personal relationships forged between German and Native American women at the Moravian mission in Shamokin, an Indian community located at the forks of the Susquehanna River in the mid-eighteenth century. Lindsay received the Pencak Award from the Pennsylvania Historical Association for best undergraduate manuscript on a topic related to Pennsylvania history.

Richard Russell, Professor of Psychology, with alum co-author Carlota Batres ’21, and co-authors Aurélie Porcheron and Sandra Courreges, published “Professional Versus Self-Applied Makeup: Do Makeup Artists Add Value?” in Perception 50.8 (August 2021): 709–719. We photographed women wearing no makeup, self-applied makeup, and professionally applied makeup. Two separate groups of participants rated the women as looking more attractive and feminine and as having higher status when wearing professionally-applied makeup than when wearing either self-applied makeup or no makeup.

Patturaja Selvaraj, Assistant Professor of Management, with co-author Nisha Nair, published “Using a Cultural and Social Identity Lens to Understand Pandemic Responses in the U.S. and India” in International Journal of Cross Cultural Management 21.3 (2021): 545–568. This paper offers a cross-cultural and social identity perspective based on group categorizations to understand the variation in pandemic responses in the context of two different countries, India and the United States. Relevant cultural dimensions of difference shaping behavior such as individualism-collectivism, power distance, and other cultural norms shaping divergent behavioral responses in the U.S. and India are examined.

Megan Adamson Sijapati, Professor and currently Chair, Department of Religious Studies, published "Islamic Meditation: Mindfulness Apps for Muslims in the Digital Spiritual Marketplace” in Cyber Muslims: Mapping Islamic Digital Media in the Internet Age, edited by Robert Rozehnal (New York: Bloomsbury, 2022). This book chapter analyzes three digital sites—mobile apps—that offer guided meditations curated by and for Muslims (Sakeenah, Sabr, and Halaqah), and identifies resonant themes and questions fruitful for the study of religion in digital landscapes and for mapping the shifting contours of lived Islam. It argues that these apps demonstrate Muslim efforts at carving out distinctly Muslim spaces, not just within the digital meditation and wellness marketplace, but also apart from the already well-established genre of Islamic religious apps.

Carolyn Snively, Professor Emerita of Classics, published “Ecclesiastical Architecture in the Late Antique Province of Dardania” in Monumenta (In honorem Vera Bitrakova Grozdanova) 5 (Skopje, 2021). This article is a survey of the Early Byzantine churches, 5th–7th century, known in the Late Antique province of Dardania, a region now located in North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Serbia. In contrast to the situation in the provinces of Macedonia, most of the churches in Dardania were built in the 6th century; with few exceptions, they are single-aisle churches or three-aisle basilicas.

Snively published “Secular Architecture: Domestic” in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Art and Architecture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021). This article is a survey of housing from the 4th to the 15th century, mostly in the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor. An attempt is made to include middle-class and poor domestic architecture as well as the elaborate residences of the wealthy.

Divonna Stebick, Associate Professor of Education and Director of Community Based Learning, with alum co-author Jonathan Hart ’04, published “Systematic Anecdotal Records: An Unexpected Journey into Teacher Inquiry” in i.e.: inquiry in education 13.2 (2021): Article 8. Educators need to implement effective formative assessments in order to deepen learning through more critical thinking and reflection. Teachers who monitor student progress and make instructional adjustments based on gathered information implement formative assessment. Teachers in this study used teacher inquiry to reflect upon their practice in order to design a reflective record tool.

Lucas Thompson, Associate Professor of Chemistry, with co-authors Steven M. Hughes, Mark P. Hendricks, Katherine M. Mullaugh, Mary E. Anderson, Anne K. Bentley, Justin G. Clar, Clyde A. Daly Jr., Mark D. Ellison, Z. Vivian Feng, Natalia I. Gonzalez-Pech, Leslie S. Hamachi, Christine L. Heinecke, Joseph D. Keene, Adam M. Maley, Andrea M. Munro, Peter N. Njoki, Jacob H. Olshansky, Katherine E. Plass, Kathryn R. Riley, Matthew D. Sonntag, Sarah K. St. Angelo, Emily J. Tollefson, Lauren E. Toote, and Korin E. Wheeler, published “The Primarily Undergraduate Nanomaterials Cooperative: A New Model for Supporting Collaborative Research at Small Institutions on a National Scale” in ACS Nanoscience Au 1.1 (2021): 6–14. This perspective highlights a new collaborative effort from PUI faculty to share resources and discussions in the field of nanoscience broadly defined. This group meets regularly to discuss science as well as faculty related concerns. During the summer months we have regular meetings online where students present their work to the group.

Jill Ogline Titus, Associate Director, Civil War Institute, published Gettysburg 1963: Civil Rights, Cold War Politics, and Historical Memory in America’s Most Famous Small Town (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021). This book, part of the Civil War America series, explores the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address through the lens of contemporary events, namely the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War.

Kerry Wallach, Associate Professor and currently Chair, Department of German Studies, published “Buy Me a Mink: Jews, Fur, and Conspicuous Consumption” in Jewish Consumer Cultures in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Europe and North America, edited by Paul Lerner, Uwe Spiekermann, and Anne Schenderlein (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022). This chapter explores how Jews interacted with fashionable luxury objects made from fur. Cultural texts (to name a few: Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Bess Myerson’s "The Big Payoff," Mad Men) shed light on the gendered elements of depicting Jews and fur, with Jewish women often shown as social-climbing, selfish, voracious consumers. The book is part of the Worlds of Consumption series.

Janelle Wertzberger, Assistant Dean and Director of Scholarly Communications, Musselman Library, with staff co-author Amy Dailey, Associate Professor and currently Chair, Department of Health Sciences, published “Access Challenge for Public Health Students” in The Scholarly Communications Cookbook, edited by Brianna Buljung and Emily Bonglovanni (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2021). This is a “recipe” for a class activity designed to help students better understand information privilege through a problem-based, public-health scenario.

Andy Wilson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, with co-authors Roi Ankori-Karlinsky, Michael Kalyuzhny, Katherine F. Barnes, Curtis Flather, Rosalind Renfrew, Joan Walsh, Edna Guk, and Ronen Kadmon, published “North American Breeding Bird Survey Underestimates Regional Bird Richness Compared to Breeding Bird Atlases” in Ecosphere 13.2 (2022): e3925. We compared two different methods of large-scale citizen science data-gathering methods, and found that one method underestimates bird species diversity relative to the other.

Commentaries, blog posts, and general-audience publications

Scott Boddery, Assistant Professor of Political Science, posted "Justice Breyer’s Parting Political Act” at The Hill (February 4, 2022). This guest essay illustrates the history and political nature of Supreme Court departures, despite the Court’s apolitical framing. Justice Breyer’s retirement announcement highlights a stark irony: despite trying to protect the Court from continued politicization, Breyer’s last official act is a plainly political one, and his decision to cede to the political activists lobbying for his retirement—despite a staid judicial philosophy that has shown no sign of atrophy—further emphasizes the need for the type of court reform he advocated against.

Boddery, with alum co-author Ben Pontz ’20, posted “Don’t Pack the Court. Allow the Number of Justices to Float” at Politico Magazine (January 15, 2022). We advocate eliminating a defined Supreme Court size. In doing so, our proposed solution honors founding-era ideals by ensuring that justices remain insulated from political retaliation—a Federalist imperative—while making nominations to the court foreseeable, regular events—an Antifederalist imperative. Perhaps most crucial of all, this setup allows voters to make an informed decision at the ballot box while reducing the incentive for senators to treat the court as just another political springboard in their pursuit of reelection.

Professional papers and presentations

Yasemin Akbaba, Professor of Political Science, participated in a roundtable discussion titled “Reflections on Student Engagement in the Covid-19 Era” as part of the International Studies Association (ISA) Midwest Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO, November 19–20, 2021. The discussion focused on teaching approaches and learning from the Covid crisis.

Anne Douds, Assistant Professor and currently Chair, Public Policy Program, with student colleague Jared Michaels ’22 and alum colleague Logan Grubb ’21, authored a white paper titled “Best Practices among Certain Classes of Pennsylvania Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).” This qualitative study and white paper and subsequent public testimony examines local hotel tax ("pillow tax") revenue practices among Destination Management Organizations (DMO) across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and makes recommendations for best practices.

Shannon Egan, Director, Schmucker Art Gallery, presented a paper titled “The Prospects of ‘Across the West and Toward the North’” at a symposium organized by Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, March 25, 2022. The symposium was held in conjunction with the exhibition on display at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art titled “Across the West and Toward the North: Norwegian and American Landscape Photography,” co-curated by Egan and Norwegian photo-historian Marthe Tolnes Fjellestad.

Egan delivered an invited lecture titled “‘All Are Working Here’: Lewis Hine in Focus” at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, March 17, 2022. The lecture examined the issue of race and representation in Lewis Hine’s child labor photographs of the early twentieth century.

Mary Elmquist, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Musselman Library, with staff colleagues Natasha Gownaris, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Marta Maras, Assistant Professor of Management, Christopher Oechler, Assistant Professor of Spanish, and Alecea Standlee, Assistant Professor of Sociology, delivered a presentation titled “Real Talk about OER: The JCCTL OER Grantee Experience (so far!)” as part of the Friday Forum series, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, March 4, 2022. The Johnson Center for Creative Teaching and Learning (JCCTL) awarded seven OER (Open Educational Resources) Grants to eight instructors in 2021. The presenters described their projects, shared their experiences remixing and using these custom resources in their fall 2021 classes, and addressed the impact of open textbooks on classroom equity and student academic success.

Devin McKinney, Archives Assistant, Musselman Library, delivered a presentation titled “Signs of the Times: The Knoxville Exchange” as part of the Friday Forum series, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, March 18, 2022. Between 1965 and 1969, Gettysburg College conducted a student exchange program with the historically Black Knoxville College. Founded in the idealism of the Civil Rights Movement, the exchange struggled to remain meaningful, and then to survive, as white racism escalated and Black activism pivoted from non-violence to militancy. This presentation detailed the program’s beginnings, its ending, and the historical contexts that shaped it.

R.C. Miessler, Systems and Digital Initiatives Librarian, Musselman Library, and Kevin Moore, Research, Instruction, and Online Learning Librarian, Musselman Library, delivered (via Zoom) a presentation titled “From Bankers to Farmers: Finding a Sustainable Model for an Undergraduate Summer DH Program” at the Bucknell University Digital Scholarship Conference, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, October 19, 2021. Miessler and Moore provided an overview of how summer Digital Humanities programs at Musselman Library entered their last year of grant funding with an eye toward securing a commitment of institutional support. The presenters reflected on the overall sustainability of Musselman Library’s Digital Scholarship Summer Fellowship program, and shared their plans for ongoing management of the program.

Salma Monani, Professor and currently Chair, Department of Environmental Studies, with student colleague Sarah Gilsoul ’23, gave an invited lecture titled “The Potentials and Challenges of Digitally Mapping Indigenous Presence” as part of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, March 2, 2022. What does it mean to map Indigenous presence onto lands that have been appropriated by settler colonialism? This talk examines the challenges and potentials of re-inscribing Indigenous geographies onto the regions surrounding Gettysburg College through a digital mapping project. The project emerges out of the Land Acknowledgment Statement process recently instituted by the college, which is located in the traditional homelands of the Susquehannock/Conestago, Seneca and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Leni Lenape, Shawnee and other Indigenous Nations.

Yoko Nishimura, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, presented (via Zoom) a paper titled “Doing Archaeology Outside of the Trench: A Case Study from the Jomon period in Japan that Utilizes Museum ‘Diaspora’ Collections for Research” at the 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), April 16, 2021. This paper offers a heuristic tool for generating and examining archaeological research questions that address the sociocultural lives of ancient people utilizing the strength of existing museum collections. A case study to exemplify this approach is drawn from Jomon-period pottery data originally excavated near Tokyo and currently stored in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia.

Sarah Principato, Thompson Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies, with student colleague Halley Mastro ’22, presented a paper titled “Morphometric Analysis of Ice Scour Lakes in Northern Iceland: A Proxy for Ice Sheet Dynamics” at the Northeastern Section Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Lancaster, PA. March 21, 2022. In this project, we analyze the morphology of ice scour lakes in Iceland to interpret past ice sheet behavior. We compare lake morphology with streamlined landforms to evaluate the impact of paleo-ice streams on glacial erosion. This presentation was part of a session organized and co-chaired by Dr. Principato and her colleague, Dr. Greg de Wet of Smith College, entitled "Glacial Geology and Proxy Records in Northeastern North America and Beyond.”

Megan Adamson Sijapati, Professor and currently Chair, Department of Religious Studies, gave an invited talk to scholars of South Asia and Nepal at the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, February 18, 2022. The talk focused on my book Islamic Revival in Nepal: Religion and a New Nation (New York: Routledge, 2011) and my recent essays in the collection Muslim Communities and Cultures of the Himalaya: Conceptualizing a Global Ummah, co-written with Jacqueline H. Fewkes (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).

Carolyn Snively, Professor Emerita of Classics, presented (via Zoom) a lecture titled “The Episcopal Complex at Golemo Gradište, Konjuh (North Macedonia)” for the American Institute for Southeast European Studies (AISEES), March 9, March 2022. This 45-minute lecture summarized the knowledge we have gained during excavations at Golemo Gradište since 2000 as background for the episcopal complex located centrally in the lower town of the anonymous Late Antique city. The episcopal complex included a basilica, baptistery, residence, and an as yet unidentified structure that linked basilica and residence.

Digital projects

Paul Austerlitz, Professor of Ethnomusicology, Sunderman Conservatory of Music and Department of Africana Studies, authored the section of the online Carnegie Hall Timeline of African American Music about “Caribbean and Latin Connections in Jazz.” This essay with musical samples documents the Latin and Caribbean elements of jazz in the context of African American music.

Professional distinctions and awards

Kerry Wallach, Associate Professor and currently Chair, Department of German Studies, received the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Women’s Caucus Cashmere Subvention Award in Jewish Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. This grant was awarded to support the publication of Wallach’s biography of forgotten artist Rahel Szalit-Marcus (1888–1942), forthcoming from Penn State University Press. The project was also supported by two previous grants: the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award (2019) and the Sharon Abramson Research Grant of the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (2020).

Professional or creative activity

Paul Austerlitz, Professor of Ethnomusicology, Sunderman Conservatory of Music and Department of Africana Studies, with John Bimbiras, produced Rafael Petitón Guzmán: A Dominican Musical Treasure on the World Stage (2021). This scholarly CD revives the work of an under-documented but world-class musician from the Dominican Republic who was active internationally in the mid-twentieth century.

Austerlitz contributed to Practicing Music: How the Professionals Do It, edited by Brian Willson and Morris Lang (Chicago: GIA, 2021). This book presents insights on how to practice music by major figures in the field, including saxophonist Sonny Rollins and percussionist Morris Lang. 

Shannon Egan, Director, Schmucker Art Gallery, with Anthony Cervino, Professor of Art, Dickinson College, co-curated an exhibition titled Scatter Terrain at the HUB-Robeson Galleries, Pennsylvania State University, March 25–July 17, 2022. The exhibition features work by 25 national and international contemporary artists who create invented landscapes and abstracted spaces as a response to contemporary social and political issues, including the pandemic, the ongoing climate crisis, and technological changes.

Egan, with Cervino, co-curated Scatter Terrain at the John and June Alcott Gallery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, August 23–September 24, 2021. A 40-page catalogue with curatorial essay was published to coincide with the exhibition, and the co-curators presented a virtual gallery talk.

Christopher Kauffman, Professor of Theatre Arts, acted in We Own This City, a six-part limited HBO series written by David Simon and directed by Raimondo Marcus Green. Shot in fall 2021, the series debuts on April 25, 2022. Chris plays a defense attorney to real-life corrupt police officer Wayne Jenkins, portrayed by John Bernthal. Chris also acted in an indie short, Submergent, shot in Baltimore and due out in 2022.

Academic External Division Grant Awards

September 17, 2021 – April 7, 2022

Kate Buettner, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

  • National Institute of Health, “De Novo Mini-Metalloenzymes with Hydrolase Activity” ($382,063)

Natasha Gownaris, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

  • The Nisbet Award through The Waterbird Society, “Intraspecific Variation in Tern Foraging Plasticity in Response to Rapid Environmental Change” ($2,105)

Ryan Kerney, Associate Professor of Biology

  • Subaward through Bigelow Marine Labs, funded by the William Proctor Scientific Innovation Fund, “Drug Discovery from a Mutually Beneficial Biological Interaction” ($15,624)

R.C. Miessler, Systems and Digital Initiatives Librarian

  • Digital Preservation Outreach & Education Network, microgrant to pay for two online graduate classes ($2,500)