Pitt-Bradford Faculty Present, Direct, Write,
Research During Spring Semester
Members of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford faculty had far more on their plates than their regular teaching loads during the spring semester. Faculty members presented papers, directed a play and wrote. Dr. Helma de Vries-Jordan, assistant professor of political science, traveled to Atlanta; Columbia, S.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Asheville, N.C., to conduct interviews for an upcoming book on the marriage equality movement in the United States and Europe. Dr. Donna Dombek presented a paper titled “What is Wrong With These Students and How Can We Fix Them: The Changing Face of Motivation and Engagement Strategies in the College Classroom” at the 21st Century Academic Forum Conference at Harvard University in Boston. Dombek argues that today’s students are not “broken,” but rather have adapted to a new environment for learning and living – one that is not reflected in a traditional college classroom. In addition to working on her forthcoming book, “Talking Girl: A Memoir,” Dr. Carys Evans-Corrales, professor of Spanish, read from the book at the annual faculty reading on campus. She also gave a workshop on travel writing sponsored by the New York Council on the Arts at the Olean (N.Y.) Public Library. Dr. Kevin Ewert, professor of theater, directed a production of “Celebration (Festen)” for the Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern at The Shadowbox in Durham, N.C. The Five Points Star called it “an extraordinary piece of theatre” and the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer praised it as a “well-cast, highly creative production [that] packs an emotional, visceral punch.” Dr. Tracee Howell, executive associate to the president, presented a paper titled “The Trope as Meta-Narrative: Authorial Identity in Vera Caspary’s 1929 Passing Narrative, ‘The White Girl’” at the Northeast Modern Language Association’s 2014 Conference in Harrisburg. She argued that the overlooked novel is a critical addition to “passing” narratives of the 20th century. At the same conference, she served as a panelist for a roundtable discussion on “Alternative Career Paths for the Ph.D.” Dr. Ronald E. Mattis, associate professor of engineering, made a poster presentation of a paper titled “Incorporating 3-D Printing Into an Introductory Mechanical Engineering Design Course” at the International Journal of Arts & Sciences conference in Valletta, Malta. Mattis explained how students used a three-dimensional computer-aided design program to draw solid models and print them as part of an introductory mechanical engineering design course. The experience familiarized students with the details of 3-D solid modeling and provided the opportunity to use a popular and growing technology. Dr. Dani Weber, assistant professor of composition and director of the Writing Center, presented as part of a panel, “Access Denied: Opening the Online Community by Rethinking and Revising Our Discussions With Students,” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication held in Indianapolis. Weber’s portion was titled “Hello, Mr. Chips: Maximizing Student Engagement and Response to Online Feedback.” The panel examined shifts in teacher-student interaction when moving from on-site to online teaching. Dr. James Carlson, visiting assistant professor of business management, presented on the topic of “Understanding and Exploiting Your Strengths” at the National Grocers Association annual meeting in Las Vegas. Danielle Frownfelter Michel, an instructor of composition, presented a paper, “The Other Hero: (Re)Framing Female Characters in Alternative Comics,” that explored the problems of gender representation in survivalist comics like Y: The Last Man and The Walking Dead while also acknowledging the progress of well-developed female leads in the same genre and the implications for a growing female audience.