‘Tis better to have a new curriculum done …

A labor of love?

Members of Francis Marion University’s Department of English might or might not wax poetic about the recent journey to a new departmental curriculum. But that labor part? That sounds about right.

For four long years, various groups and committees from all facets of the English Department have wrestled with the first re-design of the department’s curriculum in years. Re-writes and re-dos, red lines and redactions have burned up the hours. Syllabi and reading lists were created, eyes have stared down word processor screens until both went blurry.

“This,” says FMU’s Dr. Pamela Rooks, who chaired the curriculum committee during much of the process, “represents a lot of work. … By a lot of people.”

In the end, most would agree it’s been worth it. Twenty-five years after the last major re-working of the curriculum, one of FMU’s largest departments now has a modern set of courses and course sequences. That puts the department ahead of the departments at many of FMU’s sister institutions, and offers the university’s English majors a more logical and comprehensive course of study.

The most noticeable changes in the new curriculum, which is being phased in beginning this academic year, is the reduction in 300-level survey courses (English majors will now be required to take just two surveys, one each in American and British literature), and an increase in the total credits required for a major, from 34 to 37.

Other changes may seem less substantive from the outside, but could make more difference academically. Both Rooks and Dr. Christopher Johnson, chair of the Department of English, say two important considerations were “balancing” the curriculum so that all majors are introduced to a variety of literary styles and geographies; and adding more specificity to course listings so that a student’s transcript would better reflect the work they’d done. Under the old system, many upper division classes were simply listed as “Advanced Topics,” or “Advanced Studies.” In the new system, the courses will have specific titles. And previously, majors could earn a diploma with, for example, just three British literature courses and no world literature studies under their belt. That seemed like a misstep to some in the department, and indeed, the imbalance between British and American Lit, a longstanding issue in English departments across the country, was actually the starting point for FMU’s curriculum redesign project.

The added specificity in the upper level courses will decrease flexibility a bit, but majors looking to move on to graduate programs will find their path much easier because their transcripts will be easier for outsiders to decipher.

“(The Department of English) has had a good record of making small changes all along the way,” says Johnson. “It was just time to make some larger ones. We’re moving away from what has been tradition here, and at many other universities, for more than 25 years. You just reach that point eventually.”

Johnson and Rooks say a variety of indirect benefits will also accrue from the new curriculum.

Many specialty courses were tailored to align with developing new collaterals at the university, like Gender Studies and African-American Studies; and the overall curriculum re-design process gave impetus to a department-wide reflection on course, and even career, content.

“As part of the process, we polled the department as to who’d like to teach what,” says Johnson. “I think it really gave us a chance to consider what we were doing and create better alignment between our research and our teaching, where that may have made sense. I think that’s a good thing.

There was a lot of that as the project developed and grew from its nascent stage, Johnson said.

“It really reminded me of a home remodeling project,” says Johnson. “You start with some wallpaper and pretty soon you’re knocking down walls and re-doing rooflines. The committee was looking at one particular situation, and then it started asking some big questions and … well, here we are.”

 

School of Education moves graduate programs online

 Francis Marion University’s School of Education has joined the online era in higher ed instruction.

The School’s three graduate level degrees, the Master of Education in Learning Disabilities (LD), the Master of Arts in LD (M.A.T.-LD), and the LD Instructional Accommodation programs, are now available as (mostly) online courses.

It’s the culmination of several years or work and a desire to move smoothly from traditional classroom education to the kind of online offerings that advanced degree seekers in many disciplines have come to expect. Most of FMU’s graduate offerings are now available online. The School of Business launched an online MBA program this spring and the Department of Nursing’s graduate programs have been online since inception a few years ago.

Dr. Shirley Carr Bausmith, Dean of School of Education, says new online programs are what working educators want. By offering the degrees in this manner, FMU is meeting a need within a need.

“This is how teachers and educators have told us they want the courses delivered,” says Bausmith. “So there was that need. And then there is the need for these programs. There’s a tremendous local shortage, and a national shortage, of teachers in the special education area.”

The Francis Marion program addresses several needs. Licensed LD teachers are needed to teach in highly specialized LD classrooms. But Bausmith and Dr. Tracy Meetze, Director of Graduate Programs for the School of Education, say teachers in traditional classes are signing up in droves for the courses as well. Among the regular participants are recruits from South Carolina’s Teach for America office.

“They want this same knowledge, just to help them with students who might be on the border of this designation,” says Meetze. “Students who simply exhibit some tendencies (towards learning problems) can be a real challenge to teach. Instruction is needed to help with divergent, or non-traditional learning, too.”

The Instructional Accommodation (IA) program and the two Learning Disabilities program share some classes.  The Master of Education program does require that students be licensed teachers. The bulk of the classwork in both programs is online.  The entire IA program is online, while students in the two LD programs meet on five Saturdays during the given semester to complete the capstone course. Because the M.A.T.-LD is an initial licensure program, the last semester includes the student teaching block. Both programs can be completed in about a year.

“This is about meeting the teachers where they are in life,” says Bausmith. “They need  quality programs that are convenient and that deliver instruction that they can apply in their classrooms on a daily basis. Now we can do that.”

Jokisch earns joint appointment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

For Dr. Derek Jokisch, associate professor of Physics at Francis Marion University, accepting a joint appointment with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a dream come true.

The Oak Ridge lab, located on 10,000 acres in the eastern Tennesse hills, is the birthplace of America studies in radiation and neutron science and was once part of the famed Manhattan Project. The field now known as Health Physics – it’s Jokisch’s speciality – originated through research at Oak Ridge.

“The appointment [at ORNL] will allow me to work at the birthplace of my field,” says Jokisch. “I feel unbelievably fortunate to work with people that I admire in a facility that I have only dreamed of.”

Jokisch will be part of a six-person team focusing on revising United States law related to acceptable radiation dosage in the workplace and beyond.  The team will use computational dosimetry  to determine acceptable amounts of radiation in the environment.  Computational dosimetry is a mathematical approach to calculating the limits of radiation exposure that are considered safe.

“I always wanted to learn more about radiation and the impact that it has on people,” Jokisch says.  “The guidelines for these laws should be based on the best available science offered.”

ORNL is affiliated with schools all over the nation.

Jokisch began working with ORNL through the Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) program where he worked with a team to expand the field of Health Physics through research.  Out of this experience, he was offered the two-year joint appointment for computational radiation dosimetry. The appointment is renewable each year.

Jokisch took a non-traditional path to the Health Physics field.  Unlike most in Health Physics, he was trained in Nuclear Engineering.  It was not until after receiving his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering that he discovered the world of Health Physics.  He became interested in radiation exposure and radiation safety. Jokisch uses both fields in his work at ORNL. That dual expertise is one of the reasons he received the appointment.

Jokisch’s appointment requires him work out of ORNL during the summer months – a schedule that began last summer. He will also travel to ORNL for three days each month during the fall and spring semesters. This joint appointment schedule allows him to focus on his research at ORNL while still engaging students at FMU.  

Jokisch says he expects the appointment to make him a better teacher as well. He’s already working with ORNL to allow FMU students to travel with him to the facility and experience hands-on research.

— Lauren Cole

FMU selected as home for new Center of Excellence

By Angela Crosland

Preparing students for college and career is the goal of much of the public education system, but the new Center of Excellence for College and Career Readiness at Francis Marion University is designed to tackle that always challenging task with particularly challenging student population.

The new center, the second COE placed at FMU by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, is designed to enhance college and career readiness for middle and high school students from across the state, but especially for those students associated with certain risk factors that have been shown to hinder their chances of attending a post-secondary educational institution. The center will operate a variety of programs that will train middle and high school teachers in techniques to better prepare those students, and it will also sponsor programs addressed at the students themselves.

FMU professor Dr. Meredith Love-Steinmetz, on the center’s co-directors,  says the combination of specially trained teachers and an environment designed to foster educational aspirations will be a powerful tool for the state’s children.

“We’d like to work with teachers and students in South Carolina to help students develop the mindsets and skills that will prepare them to meet their goals after high school,” says Love-Steinmetz. “Are more students believing that they can go to college? Do more students have the tools to attend college, if that’s their choice?”

The CHE is funding the establishment of th enew COE with an annual grant of  $250,000 in each of the next seven years. The grant will pay for staff for the center, for training and travel expenses for teachers and for research data collection and analysis that’s already underway. The co-directors of the center are Dr. Love-Steinmetz and Dr. Matt Nelson, both of the English Department at Francis Marion.

Love-Steinmetz and Nelson will teach area teachers at the center. The first crop of teachers will, in turn, serves as the primary instructors at a new Eighth Grade Academy scheduled to begin in the Summer of 2015. The Academy will be housed at FMU.

Nelson and Love-Steinmetz will work with other FMU professors and faculty members from universities and technical colleges to spread the Center’s work and influence statewide.

Francis Marion University is already the home of The Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty.

Angela Crosland is DIrector of Communications at Francis Marion University.

FMU announces tenure and promotion of faculty

FMU President Fred Carter awarded tenure and promotion of faculty members for the 2014-15 academic year.

Receiving promotions to professor are: Dr. Fangjun A. Arroyo, mathematics; Dr. Philip C. Fulmer, physics and astronomy; Dr. Timothy E. Shannon, biology; and Dr. Ann M. Stoeckmann, biology.

Receiving promotions to associate professor are: Dr. Kenneth M. Araujo, business; Dr. Brandon D. Goff, fine arts; Dr. Hrishikesh J. Goradia, business; Dr. Paolo A. Gualdi, fine arts; Dr. Shawn E. Miller, English, modern languages, and philosophy; Dr. Jonathan G. Munn, business; Dr. Nicholas Newman, mathematics; Dr. Hubert H. Setzler, business; Dr. Yong B. Shin, business; Allison M. Steadman, fine arts; Dr. Nancy L. Zaice, English, modern languages, and philosophy.

Earning tenure are: Dr. Kenneth M. Araujo, business; Dr. Brandon D. Goff, fine arts; Dr. Hrishikesh J. Goradia, business; Dr. Paolo A. Gualdi, fine arts; Dr. Shawn E. Miller, English, modern languages, and philosophy; Dr. Jonathan G. Munn, business; Dr. Nicholas Newman, mathematics; Dr. Cynthia A. Nixon, education; Dr. Hubert H. Setzler, business; Dr. Elizabeth Sharer, business; Allison M. Steadman, fine arts; Dr. Louis E. Venters, history.

 

Warters takes the stage 

Dr. Alissa Warters, associate professor of political science and director of The Robert E. McNair Center for Research and Service at FMU, took her place among the top five political scholars in the state to open discussion about the gubernatorial campaign and election at the University of South Carolina this fall.

The rematch between incumbent S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and challenger Sen. Vincent Sheheen was the focus of the symposium hosted by USC’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Political Science. The event took place in the campus room of Capstone House.

Charles Bierbauer, dean of the College of Mass Communication and Information Studies and former White House correspondent, moderated the panel, which included Scott Buchanan, professor of Political Science and the Executive Director of The Citadel Symposium on Southern Politics; Scott Huffmon, professor of Political Science as well as the Founder and Director of the Social & Behavioral Research Laboratory at Winthrop University;  Todd Shaw, professor of Political Science and African-American Studies at the University of South Carolina; David Woodard, professor of Political Science at Clemson University; and Warters.

Stars, planets, students align 

The unusual pairing of Astronomy and classic music highlighted the fall concert by the FMU Concert Band at the FMU Performing Arts Center this winter.

The program was entitled “A Musical Journey through the Solar System,” and the idea, said Jokisch, was to connect music and visual graphics through a piece of music that is a long-time favorite Jokisch and many other classical music fans.

The band, led by Kelly Jokisch, performed selections from Gustav Holst’s famous “The Planets,” a seven-movement orchestral suite. The various movements, each a musical interpretation of a planet, were accompanied by visuals developed in Dr. Ginger Bryngelson’s FMU Honors Astronomy Class, “Our Place in Space.”

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS

Dr. Jeff Steinmetz, associate professor of Biology, and Dr. George E. “Buck” Schnibben, professor of Mathematics, were inducted into Francis Marion University’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi this fall. Phi Kappa Phi is a national honor society whose  general objective is to unite university graduates of high academic achievement without regard to department, course of study, or sex, for the advancement of the highest scholarship. It is the preeminent academic honor society at FMU. Steinmetz and Schnibben join a distinguished list of FMU faculty, past and present, in the society. …

Dr. Peter King, professor of Biology and Associate Provost at FMU, had an article published with co-author John Ludlam (a former assistant professor of Biology at FMU) entitled “Status of Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) in North Inlet-Winyah Bay, South Carolina,: in Chelonian Conservation and Biology. … Associate Professor of Biology Travis Knowles presented a paper, “Temperate mountain grasslands as ghosts of megafauna past,” at the Megafauna & Ecosystem Function conference at Oxford University, St. John’s College, UK, last spring. The conference, “Megafauna and Ecosystem Function: from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene,” was attended by academic specialists from around the world. … Dr. Shayna Wrighten, assistant professor of Biology, was selected through a competitive application process to be a participant at the 2014 BRAINS (Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroScience) symposium. This is a national program to accelerate and improve the career advancement of neuroscience postdoctoral researchers and assistant professors from underrepresented groups. Wrighten attended the multi-day professional development symposium the fall. She also receives $2,000 for research or additional travel. … Dr. Ann Stoeckmann, chair of the Department of Biology, was appointed to the grant committee for Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund.  Stoeckmann is also the co-author of a chapter  entitled, “Limiting environmental factors and competitive interactions between zebra and quagga mussels in North America” in the book: Quagga and Zebra Mussels: Biology, Impacts, and Control. … Dr. Lori Turner, assistant professor and Stoeckmann accompanied FMU students to the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) on November 12 – 15 in San Antonio, TX. … Dr. Tamatha Barbeau, associate professor of Biology, is the advisor for the newly formed Pre-Vet (Veterinarian) Club at FMU. …

The FMU Herbarium, under the direction of Dr. Gerald Long, is part of four-year National Science Foundation grant that will fund the creation of digital images of its 100,000-plus preserved plant specimen collection. The project, which is being conducted in conjunction with Clemson University, aims to build a digital inventory highlighting the southeastern United States as a “global hotspot of plant diversity.” FMU’s herbarium will receive some funding to support a student worker. … FMU’s Department of Biology has joined the new “Bench to Bedside (B2B)” initiative sponsored by the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium and supported by the Duke Endowment. The program is designed to provide undergraduate students  who are disadvantaged, or from under-represented populations, with pre-healthcare career training activities and experiences. The B2B program uses videoconferencing to provide guidance and support the students, who come from across the state, and who aspire to careers in healthcare.  FMU is joining College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina, Winthrop, South Carolina State, Clemson, and Claflin Universities in the B2B collaboration.  Dr. Shayna Wrighten, assistant professor of Biology, will coordinate program at FMU.  Students at Francis Marion, and the other participating colleges, teleconference once per month. Some FMU students will be travelling to MUSC for the annual two day B2B Summit that coincides with MUSC’s Research Day.  The B2B program provided the necessary teleconferencing equipment (including a 55-inch monitor housed in the Department of Biology) and will cover all of the trip expenses for the students and faculty attending the summit. …

Six scholars, one poet, and two alumnae from the Department of English, Modern Languages, & Philosophy presented their work at the 2014 conference of the Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South in New Orleans this fall. The group included Dr. Christopher Johnson, chair of the Department of English, on comedic narrative and cycle of violence theory; Dr. Pamela Rooks on masculinity in the Jeff Nichols’ film Mud, Dr. Rebecca Flannagan on teaching Emerson and The Hunger Games, Dr. Meredith Love on teaching with memes, Dr. Lance Weldy on Katniss Everdeen in the film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Dr. Shawn Miller on the Daniel Woodrell novel Give Us a Kiss. A special evening session featured poet Dr. Jo Angela Edwins reading from her collection Embarrassing Ways to Die. These English faculty were especially delighted to be joined the conference by two alumnae, 2010 graduate Kimberly Turner, who presented her work on YOLO (or You Only Live Once) culture, and 2014 graduate Melody Knight Pritchard, who examined the influence of Mark Twain on the Jeff Nichols film Mud. …

Dr. Eddy Harding presented a paper on the use of darkness in three 19th-century German novellas at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association convention in Atlanta, Georgia the fall, and is expected to present a paper on the possible influence of the Book of Jeremiah on the 9th-century Old High German poem “Das Ludwigslied” at the convention for the Philological Association of the Carolinas in Wilmington in March 2015. Harding is also chair of this year’s SAMLA Studies Award Committee, and presented the prize for the winning research publication at the Awards Luncheon at the SAMLA convention in November … Dr. Jennifer Kunka, professor of English and director of the FMU Writing Center, co-authored the recently released, 9th edition of the Prentice Hall Reference Guide. College students across the country use the Prentice Hall Reference Guide for literature, English composition and many other writing courses. Kunka was added as a collaborator for the 7th edition of the Guide. For the 8th and 9th edition she became a co-author. Kunka also co-authored the 4th and 5th editions of Writer’s FAQ. …

Mr. Lynn Kostoff’s novel, Words to Die For, has been accepted for publication by New Pulp Press and will be released in late spring/early summer. … Dr. Paolo Gualdi, assistant professor of music, has just published his first solo album, Franz List: Works for Solo Piano. It’s available through the online independent music story cdbaby.com, and at iTunes. …

Tim Hanson, chair of the Department of Mass Communications, continues to publish freelance stories in assorted general interest publications. His latest: a piece of female clay target shooters in S.C. Life, and a feature on Darlington Speedy in S.C. Living. Both were published last summer. …  Dr. Alissa Warters, associate professor of political science, delivered a paper at the Annual Meeting of the Popular Culture in the South/American Culture in the South Conference, held last fall in New Orleans, La., entitled “Michelle Obama and the Role of the Modern First Lady.” …

FMU Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (The History Honors Society) has once again won the Best Chapter Award in the Nation in their enrollment Division, beating out 622 other colleges and universities.  This marks the fifth straight FMU has received top honors. … Dr. Jackie Campbell, associate professor of history, gave a public talk and an academic lecture last fall as part of a Civil War lecture series at UNC Pembroke. Her topic was, “Terrible has been the Storm: Sherman’s Campaign through NC.”   …. Dr. An article by Alena Eskridge-Kosmach, associate professor of history, was published in the Journal of Slavic Military Studies in December 2014. It was entitled: “Russian Press and the Ideas of ‘Yellow Peril’ and The Special mission of Russia in Asia.” … Dr. Chris Kennedy, chair of FMU’s Department of History, has a book review and a comparative historical essay coming out in the upcoming edition of New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century, this spring. … An essay by Dr. Scott Kaufman, professor of History, was published in the anthology, Georgia Women: Their Histories, The book is edited by Ann Short Chirhart and Kathleen Clark, and is published by the University of Georgia Press. Kaufman’s piece was on former first lady Roslynn Carter. Kaufman is also expected to participate in the symposium titled “Reassessing the Global  Nuclear Order – Past, Present, and Future,” to be held in Melbourne, Australia, in January 2015. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is hosting  the event. …

Dr. Mary Louise Nagata, associate professor of History, participated in a workshop sponsored by the International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam in December, where se presented a paper entitled, “Gender, Property Transfers, Labour Relations and the Family Firm in Early Modern Kyoto.” … Dr. Louis Venters, assistant professor of History, will be presenting in a panel on “The Church and the Civil Rights Movement” at the Penn Symposium on Civil Rights, Penn Center, St. Helena Island, SC. …Dr. Jeremiah Bartz, assistant professor of Mathematics, co-authored a paper with S. Yuzvinsky entitled “Multinets in P^2” which has been accepted to appear in Experimental and Theoretical Methods in Algebra, Geometry and Topology, Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics. He also presented “Induced Multinets in P^2” in Configuration Spaces: Geometry, Topology, and Representation Theory at Istituto Nazionale di Alta Matematica in Cortona, Italy this fall. … Dr. Sharon O’Kelley, assistant professor of Mathematics, is expected to present “Writing in Mathematics: Finding a Voice” at the annual conference of The Association of Teacher Educators in Phoenix, Arizona, in February. … O’Kelley also served on the review panel for the Improving Teacher Quality grant program for the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. The grant is designed to fund partnerships between institutions of higher education and school districts for the professional development of teachers. Projects can be funded up to $150,000.  …

Dr. Thomas Fitzkee, chair of the Department of Mathematics, was a national judge of the Modeling Competition in Modeling (MCM) sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) in Carmel, CA, in March 2014. MCM is an international contest where teams of undergraduate students use mathematical modeling to present their solutions to real world problems.  Dr. Fitzkee also taught, with Mrs. Vicki Carter from West Florence High School, an AP Calculus Summer Institute for Teachers.  The institute, funded with a grant from the South Carolina Department of Education provides, certification to teach high school AP calculus. … Dr. George “Buck” Schnibben, Dr. James Ramey, Jr.,professor of Mathematics, and the aforementioned O’Kelley all delivered presentations at the 2014 South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference in Myrtle Beach. Dr. Bill Whitmire, professor of Mathematics, is President Elect for South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  …

Dr. Tracy George, an instructor in the Department of Nursing, graduated from Doctor of Nurse Practitioner program at the Medical University of South Carolina. … Dr. Karen Gittings, assistant professor of Nursing, was a presenter at the Student Nurses’ Association of SC 63rd Annual State Convention, in North Charleston. Giddings’ topic: “It takes practice to excel: Analyzing common dysrhythmias.” … Dr. Deborah Hopla, assistant professor of Nursing, was a presenter at the South Carolina Nurses Association, State Convention, 21st Annual APRN Fall Pharmacology Conference in Hilton Head, SC. Her topic was, “Diabetes, A growing concern.”

Vicki Martin, instructor in the Department of Nursing, co-authored an article entitled, “What’s that sound? Alarm fatigue in Nursing,” in Nursing Made Incredibly Easy Magazine. … Dr. Ruth WIttmann-Price, chair of the Department of Nursing, served as series editor for Pediatric Nursing Test Success: An Unfolding Case Study Review. Vickie Martin, a Nursing instructor at FMU, was a contributor to the work. Wittmann-Price also published Impaired Emancipated decision-making for Panamericana, NANDA International, Brazil. And, Wittman-Price authored, co-authored four articles in professional journals. They included, “Feeding tolerance in preterm infants on noninvasive respiratory support,” in Journal of Perinatal Neonatal Nursing; “An 8-week Externship Program Designed for Recruitment and Retention,: in Journal of Professional Development (with Dr. Corey Remle, assistant professor of Sociology at FMU); “Creating a Culture of Accommodation Acceptance: Case by Case in Caputi, L. Innovations in Nursing Education: Building the Future of Nursing, Volume 2. Washington, DC: National League for Nursing. (peer reviewed publication); and “The  relationship between personal knowledge and decision self-efficacy in choosing trial of labor after cesarean.,” Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. The collaborative paper by Wittmann-Price and Remle was the result of a McNair Center grant that Drs. Remle and Wittmann-Price received in 2013.  …

Dr. Wittmann-Price and two members of the FMU Nursing faculty are among the chapter authors of Review Manual for the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) Exam, just out from Springer Publishing. The book is a scholarly review for simulation lab educators preparing for the simulation certification exam. But it will likely also serve as a textbook, says Wittmann-Price. Wittman-Price served as editor of the book, along with Dr. Linda Wilson, assistant dean for special projects, simulation and continuing nursing education accreditation at Drexel University. Wittmann-Price wrote one chapter in the book and co-authored three others. One of the co-authored chapters, “Special Learning Consierations in Simulation,” was written in conjunction with Crystal Graham, instruction and simulation coordinator for FMU’s Department of Nursing. A chapter entitled “Planning Simulation Activities,” was written by Dr. Karen Gittings, assistant professor of Nursing.

 

Dr. Jessica Burke, assistant professor of Sociology, presented the paper, “Psychological Distress among Black-White Interracial and Intraracial Relationships,” at the Association of Black Sociologists annual meeting in Charlotte, NC.  … Dr. Lisa A. Eargle (and Dr. Ashraf Esmail of Dillard University) received a contract from Green Legacy Publishing Company to write the book, Revival, Redemption, Recovery and Resilience: The Gulf Coast 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina. The expected completion date for the book is late 2015. Dr. Eargle has been asked to write the Foreword for three different book manuscripts: Bridging the Gap: A Look at the Relationship of Minority Communities and Police Relations by Catina Hightower; Professional Development in Community Corrections: A Case Study by Raymond M. Delaney, Jr.; and A Critical Assessment of Technical Violations in Criminal Justice: A Probationer’s Perspective by Julius C. Trimble. These books are forthcoming from Green Legacy Publishing Company. …  Dr. Russell E. Ward, Jr., professor of Sociology, is currently administering citizen satisfaction surveys for the Florence County Sheriff’s Office. This project is jointly funded by the Robert E. McNair Center for Research and Service and the Professional Development Committee at Francis Marion University. …

An article by Dr. Larry Engelhardt, associate professer of Physics, was published in the November 2014 edition of American Journal of Physics.  This article is titled “Simple and synergistic ways to understand the Boltzmann distribution function.” Dr. Engelhardt is the lead author on this paper, which includes coauthors from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and Yale University (Connecticut). … An article by Dr. Ginger Bryngelson, assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy, has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.  The article is titled, “Early Observations and Analysis of the Type Ia SN 2014J in M82,” and relates to work performed by Bryngelson and others observing a new supernovae in the winter of 2013-14. … Bryngelson and Dr. Seth Smith, professor of Physics, accompanied 19 FMU students to the Southeastern Section of the American Physics Society Meeting in Columbia, last fall.  Six students presented posters at the event and one student gave a talk on research completed with the attending professors, along with Engelhardt. … The Physics & Astronomy department hosted 40 high school students (Juniors and Seniors) for the 12th annual South Carolina Engineering and Physics Scholars Institute on Nov 20 – 22. Around 20 FMU physics and engineering students led experiments for the high school students. …

Dr. Lorna Cintron-Gonzalez, assistant professor of Industrial Engineering, won an International Collaboration Grant for travel to Germany to meet  with faculty to establish an international exchange program for Industrial Engineering students.  Plans are to have this in place for the Fall of 2017. Cintron-Gonzalez organized the First Annual Industrial Engineering Student Symposium, which took place last fall. Five FMU students presented the work they accomplished at their respective summer internships at local companies including International Knife & Saw, Otis Elevator, and Honda.  …

Bernadette Johnson, reference librarian at FMU’s James Rogers Library, published “Academic Library Outreach to Minority Students: The Role the Library Plays in Meeting the Needs of Minority Students at Francis Marion University” in the journal South Carolina Libraries, Fall 2014 issue. …Tammy Ivins, head of reference at the Rogers Library, wrote “Upcycling MSLS Coursework into Publishable Content” for Endnotes: The Journal of the New Members Round Table, June 2014 issue. Ivins also participated in panels at the 2014 American Library Association Conference.

 

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 

Dr. Michael P. Hughes, associate professor of Finance in the FMU School of Business, made presentations at two recent national conferences. Hughes presented “The Effect of Monetary Policy Announcements on the Debt and Equity Markets,” at 78th International Atlantic Economic Conference; and he presented, “Zero-Bound Monetary Policy’s Effect on Financial Asset’s Correlations,” at The International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines. The second presentation was in conjunction with an academic colleague. Hughes also led graduating Finance students to the Rise 2014 Conference. Funding for the trip was provided by a REAL grant. … Dr. Neil Riley, professor of Finance in the FMU School of Business, published “Short-term Prediction of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) using Logistic Regression Generated Client Risk Profiles.” Journal of Finance and Accountancy. Vol. 14. Riley also presented at several recent national conferences, including, “The Legal, Income Tax and Estate Planning Implications of Strategies to Alleviate the Health Care, Financial Security and Asset Protection Concerns of U.S. Retired Elderly Persons,” Southeast Decision Sciences Institute; and “Factors Used to Determine Marketability Discounts in the Valuation of Closely-Held Corporation.” Academy of Economics and Finance.

 

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

The Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty was honored with the 2014 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence last fall. The competitive award included a cash prize. … Dr. Jeff Lee, professor of Education, and Dr. Erik Lowry, associate professor Eduction, presented a paper at the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (SRATE) 61st annual conference at Wild Dunes.  The their presentation, “Bridging the Gap Between Preparation and Practice”  elaborated on how elementary and middle level teacher candidates at Francis Marion University learn teaching techniques in courses where both the professor and the candidate work together with students in local elementary schools.   …

Dr. Tammy Pawloski, professor of Education, was the keynote speaker at the Carolina Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CTESOL) Annual Conference in Wilmington, N.C. last fall. Pawloski’s topic:Challenges and opportunities:  Why poverty matters and why teachers and schools matter more.” She presented on the same topic to the National Association of Elementary School Principals Annual Conference in Nashville last summer. Pawloski also made more than two dozen presentations to individual schools and groups during the past six months. …Dr. Claudia Wang, assistant professor of Education, presented at two conference last summer. She presented, “Improve quality of sleep for mind-body health. At Triangle Smarttalk at Duke University in Durham, N.C.; and “Great success starts from a healthy lifestyle at a young age,” at Tai Shan Miao Elementary School in Sheqi, Henan Province, P.R. China.

 

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