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Friday, February 15, 2013

Pitt-Bradford Faculty Have Busy Semester

Faculty from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford spent the fall semester not only teaching, but also conducting and presenting research.

Dr. Wayne Brinda, assistant professor of education, presented a session titled “Teasing Your Students to Read: Create Teasers to Engage and Motivate Students to Read” at the 2012 Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in Las Vegas.

The presentation discussed the use of a “teaser” like those given on the nightly news to present students with a context for a story and get them interested before they began reading.

Brinda also had a paper, “Engaging Students in Inquiry through Field Trips in Your Classroom,” accepted for publication by the Middle School Journal.

Dr. Donna Dombek, associate professor of education, participated in a panel discussion titled “Building Bridges between Theory and Practice: Strategies to Forge Connections between Foundations Courses and Clinical Experience” at the Pennsylvania Association of College and Teacher Educators in Grantville.

Dr. Michaela-Christina Drignei, associate professor of mathematics, made a presentation titled “Numerical Reconstruction for the Potential of an Inverse Sturm-Liouville Problem with Mixed Boundary Conditions” at the American Mathematical Society Eastern Sectional Meeting in Rochester, N.Y.

Dr. Tony Gaskew, associate professor of criminal justice, presented “Police Officers, Free Speech and the Social Media: Misconduct in the 21st Century” at the American Society of Criminology annual conference in Chicago.

Dr. Tammy Haley, assistant professor of nursing, was co-author of the study “Condom use Among Sexually Active Rural High-School Adolescents: Personal and Environmental, and Behavioral Predictors” published in the Journal of School Nursing.

The study looked at the predictive value of selected personal, environmental and behavioral factors for condom use among rural adolescents in grades 9 through 12.

Haley and her colleagues surveyed more than 1,100 students in three school districts in northwestern Pennsylvania in 2011 and found that the strongest predictor for condom use was whether or not teens thought they should use them.

Dr. Tracee L. Howell, instructor of American literature and composition made two presentations during the fall semester.

She was chairperson of a session, “Writers in Hollywood: The Migration to Screenplay,” at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association 2012 Conference at Seattle University. Howell designed the session, which explored the work of 20th century American writers such as Raymond Chandler, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker who wrote in Hollywood.

She also presented “Thicker than Water: Jewish Identity in Vera Caspary’s Early Fiction” at the 2012 Association for Jewish Studies Conference held in Chicago. The paper explored the presentation of Jewish identity in the first four novels of Vera L. Caspary, a 20th century writer known primarily for her 1942 detective novel “Laura,” upon which the 1944 film noir classic “Laura” was based.

Dr. Om Singh, assistant professor of biology, performed research on campus titled “Electromagnetic Field Mediated Bio-Stimulation and Characterization of Indigenous Extremophiles.” One of Singh’s research specialties is examining organisms that exist under extreme conditions to determine how their survival tricks could benefit on biological, chemical or industrial processes.

Dr. David Soriano, associate professor of chemistry, performed research on campus titled “Semiochmicicals: A Chemical Ecology Research Project.” Currently, he is developing biodegradable citric acid polymers that will release bird anti-feedants and the German Cockroach female sex pheromone. This activity is within the domain of Chemical Ecology. Soriano is also writing a book manuscript under contract with Nova Science in Long island, N.Y., on introductory chemical ecology.

Dr. Jean Truman, assistant professor of nursing, presented a workshop, “Assessing Basics: Standardized Patients,” at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Human Patient Simulation Network 2012 Conference in Charlottesville, Va.

Truman told an audience of physicians, pharmacists, anesthesiologists and nursing educators how simulations allow nursing faculty the opportunity to assess the competency of student nurses in a controlled environment.

Finally, Dr. D. Reece Wilson, assistant professor of education made a poster presentation on the effects of text genre on students’ ability to understand scientific content. The presentation was made at the Hawaii international Conference on Education in Honolulu last month.

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