University UpdatesWinter 2015

Winter 2015: Anthropology, Art & Design, Biology, CELL, Chemistry, Communication, English, History & Political Science, Kinesiology

Anthropology: International research

Bioarchaeology graduate student Heidi Miller received a grant from the Indiana Academy of Science for her study of French skeletons in Canada. In October graduate students Miller, Rebecca Brower, and Lizzie Oakley presented papers at the annual meeting of the Midwest Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Association in Allendale, Mich.

In April Christopher Schmidt gave a presentation at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, funded by a grant from the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust. In May he gave a presentation to the school of medicine at the Universita degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara in Pescara, Italy. His trip to Italy included a week-long study of the people of Herculaneum; for that analysis he took three graduate students (Brower, Oakley, and Ashley Remy). Funding for the project came from a UIndy Summer Research Grant. In September Schmidt had a book chapter published with former graduate student Amber Osterholt, titled, “Middle and Late Archaic Trophy Taking in Indiana” in Violence and Warfare Among Hunter Gatherers (edited by Allen and Jones, Left Coast Press).

Art & Design: Art in the house

Professor emeritus Dee Schaad presented a ceramics workshop at the Dunedin Fine Art Center in Tampa, Fla., in October. He also has work included in the permanent collection of the Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art in Lafayette, Ind.

Biology: Leaping lizards!

In July Kevin Gribbins gave a presentation on spermatogenesis and testis architecture in lizards at the national meeting of the Society of Reptiles and Amphibians in Chattanooga, Tenn. He was an invited author in the book Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Lizards, scheduled for publication next summer. Gribbins is also serving as an invited chief editor of the December special issue of the journal Spermatogenesis. Four of his articles have also been accepted for publication this fall, including an invitation to provide the cover image for the December issue of Spermatogenesis.

Krista Latham ’03 (Biology & Anthropology), Stephen Nawrocki (Biology) and twelve Human Biology graduate students traveled to the Forests, Lakes and Grasslands Forensic Anthropologists meeting in Roscommon, Mich., in September. UIndy gave eight presentations at the conference, which included Latham, Nawrocki, Justin Maiers, M. Teal Ketchum, Jessica Campbell, Ryan Strand, Madison Earll, and Amanda Khan as presenters.

Marc Milne published “Size Matters: Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia Purpurea) Pitcher Size Influences the Presence of Aedes Albopictus Larvae” in the journal American Midland Naturalist, with Marcelo Schwarz as co-author.

Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning: ISTEP scores on the rise

Many of the Indiana schools that have implemented TAP: the System for Teacher and Student Advancement, showed positive improvements in ISTEP scores for the 2013–14 school year. TAP is a nationally renowned, comprehensive school improvement model that is being used by 45 schools across the state at all grade levels. Twenty-six of the 38 (68.4 percent) elementary and middle TAP schools earned higher pass rates for the ELA portion of ISTEP than the year before. Over half of the 38 elementary and middle schools showed an improved pass rate for the English Language Arts and Math portions combined, resulting in an average combined pass rate improvement of 5.5 percent for the 2013–14 school year.

Gina Mosier, Jill Bradley-Levine, and Tyonka Perkins ’14 co-authored “Relationships Between Project-Based Learning and Students’ Perceptions of Learning Within the New Tech School Model,” which was published in the International Journal of Educational Reform. The study used survey design to investigate how high school students perceive the implementation success of a school reform called the New Tech School model, which is organized around project-based learning, a democratic school culture, and technology integration.

Chemistry: A summer of science

The inaugural interdisciplinary Summer Research Institute was held at UIndy this past summer and was organized by John Langdon. Two students engaged in summer research: senior Chris Otolski ’14 worked with David Styers-Barnett to investigate dye-sensitized solar cell efficiency by changing electrolyte solutions, while sophomore Reed McKinney collaborated with Brad Neal to synthesize small molecules for potential application in molecular electronics. Both students presented their findings at the end of the institute.

Joe Burnell ’83 was the technical editor for the recently published second edition of Organic Chemistry I for Dummies by Arthur Winter (John Wiley & Sons). This is the third volume of the Organic Chemistry for Dummies series to which Burnell has contributed.

Levi Mielke was co-author on two peer-reviewed articles: one published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, and the other in the Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres, both describing aspects of ozone pollution in Los Angeles, Calif.

Kathy Stickney, Jonathan Stack, Styers-Barnett, Neal, and Mielke presented their research in chemical education at the Conference on Chemical Education in Grand Rapids, Mich. Stickney presented “Teaching Chemistry Content & Pedagogy With an Innovative Approach: The University of Indianapolis Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship Program”; Styers-Barnett presented “Increasing the Depth of the Nuclear Decay Dice Analogy Through Connecting Kinetics and Equilibrium”; Neal presented “Use of Google Drive in General Chemistry Labs”; and Mielke, Stack, and Stickney presented “Introducing Inquiry-Based Laboratory Modules into an Introductory Chemistry Discussion Section.” The conference attendees also reconnected with Taylor Owings ’11, who spoke on advances in chemical education.

The department acquired several new pieces of hardware, including a high-pressure liquid chromatography instrument, a microwave-induced plasma atomic emission spectrometer, and a UV-visible spectrophotometer. With these, the Chemistry faculty will be embarking on new research opportunities with students.

Styers-Barnett and Burnell accompanied five students from the Rho Chapter of the Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society to the National Sigma Zeta Convention at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. Three students gave research presentations: Harleen Athwal, Megan Birchmeier ’14, and Chris Otolski ’14. Otolski received a chapter Honor Award for conducting and presenting on research in two different areas, speaking on iron pyrite structure formation in the presence of different iron halide compounds (work completed at the University of Kansas in the summer of 2013), and ionic liquids as conductors in dye-sensitized solar cells, a research project conducted at UIndy during the 2013–14 academic year.

Chemistry students successfully completed undergraduate summer research experiences in preparation for professional careers. Chemistry Department faculty, staff, and students also helped to host the inaugural UIndy Homecoming Hound Hustle 5K and Ace Chase, with Stickney and Lisa Battiato ’06 serving as race organizers.

jumping-spidersSeveral Greyhounds conducted some serious lab work over the summer through the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, which allows students to participate in cutting-edge research around the country. UIndy faculty members encouraged them to apply for the competitive program and in some cases employed their professional connections to help the students find projects in their fields of interest. Senior chemistry and psychology major Sarah Fantin (pictured, with microscope) patiently described her research project at the University of Kansas, which involved applying electric potential to thin slices of mouse brain to generate a current, which can be measured to determine the levels of neurotransmitters present. Having never used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to quantify serotonin release in mice with Huntington’s Disease, we had to ask Sarah Fantin to explain how she spent her summer break.

“Brain chemistry is kind of a weird thing to be interested in,” she admitted. “But it’s not as hard as it sounds, especially when you think it’s interesting.”

Other NSF-REU participants included:
—Senior biology/chemistry/pre-dentistry major Harleen Athwal, who studied the elaborate courting behaviors of male Habronattus clypeatus jumping spiders at the University of California, Berkeley.
—Senior biology and chemistry major Clinton Knapp, who joined a study at the Georgia Institute of Technology on how cholera bacteria absorb DNA from their environment.
—Junior biology/chemistry/pre-med major Hannah Vormohr, whose work at the University of North Carolina involved using ultrasonic waves and a high-speed camera to study elastic properties of various materials.

Communication: Hard work pays off nationally
In August Jeanne Criswell presented “The Arizona Republic and the Indianapolis Star: A Comparative Analysis of Content Changes after Purchase by Gannett” at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication national conference in Montreal, Canada. The paper, with co-authors Robert Gobetz and Frederick May (School of Nursing), was blind-reviewed and selected in open competition from among a record number of submissions for presentation in the Newspaper and Online News Division. Criswell also served as a discussant for five papers and as Professional Freedom and Responsibility Chair in the Cultural and Critical Studies Division. She was reelected as the chair for the 2014–15 academic year.

The Reflector and the Reflector Online have had two students named as national finalists for the 2014 Associated Collegiate Press Photo Excellence Award in sports photography: photo editor Zefeng (Ben) Zhang and editorial assistant Kameron Casey. Entries are judged based on technical quality, artistic value, and journalistic content. National winners in the competition will be announced in November.

In October Criswell and Kylee Crane, managing editor of the Reflector and the Reflector Online, presented their work in the panel session “The Student Newspaper Course: Putting the Pieces Together” at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association National College Media Convention in Philadelphia. Criswell served as organizer and moderator of the panel, which was selected for presentation in open competition. Crane also served as a research associate, working with Criswell, and her presentation grew out of their project. Reflector editor-in-chief Anna Wieseman and Reflector Online editor Quiaira Johnson also attended the convention.

Rebekah Watson Gaidis ’03 attended the Central States Communication Association’s conference in Minneapolis, Minn., in April, and served as the chair of the Public Relations Division. She presented “In Pursuit of a ‘Winning’ Balance: Perspectives on Acclaiming Individual and Team Success within a Single Forensic Program,” was on the discussion panel “Elevating Course Communication & Content: Traditional, Online, & Hybrid Use of Course Management Software,” and presented “‘A New Kind of Family’: ABC Family’s Deconstruction of Disney’s Family Values.”

English: Elementary, my dear Watson

In March Toni Morris and Sue Blackwell (School for Adult Learning) presented “Challenging the One-Shot Professional Development Model in Higher Education” at the LERN Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. In May, Morris presented “Culture in the Classroom: Enrichment Assignments for the ESL Classroom” at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Mich. In September Morris presented  “Elementary and BBC Sherlock: Recent Adaptations of Sherlock Holmes” at the Association of Adaptation Studies at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. Morris is also serving as director of the Teaching English as a Second or Other Language program at UIndy.

Michael C. Milam was the general editor for Beyond the Voices: Yiwu, Here I Am by Byron Cai, published by Zhejiang University Press, Hangzhou, 2014.

History & Policial Science: World War I on the water

Lawrence Sondhaus had two books published in the summer of 2014: The Great War at Sea: A Naval History of the First World War (Cambridge University Press), and Prima guerra mondiale: La rivoluzione globale, an Italian translation of his 2011 book World War I: The Global Revolution. In October 2014 he served as keynote speaker for a conference in Vienna, hosted by the Austrian National Defense Academy, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

A. James Fuller published “Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of Historical Memory” in the December 2014 issue of the Indiana Magazine of History. He also chaired a panel on the “Cultural Aspects of War and Conflict” at the Midwest American Culture Association meeting in October. Fuller also published four book reviews in scholarly journals in the summer and fall of 2014.

Kinesiology: Giving a boost to self-esteem

Desarae Davis ’14, Jill Cain ’19, Mindy Hartman-Mayol, Brianna Scott, and K. Lee Everett presented “The Relationship Between Male and Female Body Esteem Perceptions Amongst Division II Collegiate Athletes” at the American College of Sports Medicine Midwest Chapter meeting in Merrillville, Ind., in November. Maggie Paul ’15, Cain, Hartman-Mayol, Scott, and Everett presented “Factors That Influence Self-Esteem Levels in College Athletes” at the meeting.

Jordan Sharp ’14, Koby Orris ’15, Hartman-Mayol, Scott, and Everett presented “Comparison of Levels of Sport Confidence and Nine NCAA Division II College Athletic Teams.” Shelbie Whitaker ’15, Brianne Burkhart ’15, Hartman-Mayol, and Everett presented “The Effect of a Health and Wellness Program on Multi-Dimensional Wellness in University Faculty.”

Lisa Hicks (chair), Hartman-Mayol, Roberta Sipe, Cori Eckerle ’14, Dalton Herendeen ’16, and Brandon Bixler ’15 presented “Kettlebells: Increasing Strength and Burning Calories in your Program” at the Indiana Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance State Conference in Indianapolis in November.

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