Thursday Forum Presentations

Spring 2019

Thursday, January 17
Gorecki GDCC Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Mary Stenson

Lessons in Productivity: What I Learned by Writing for 30 Minutes  a Day

Too often our scholarly and creative work takes a back seat to components of our jobs with built in accountability like teaching and service. During the fall 2018 semester, I participated in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity's Faculty Success Program. The program emphasizes scholarly productivity and encourages work-life balance. The core component of the program is developing a daily writing practice. The program encourages participants to write for 30 minutes per day. NCFDD founder, Kerry Ann Rockquemore defines writing as "anything between the spark of an idea and a manuscript out the door." In this forum, I will share how 30 minutes per day changed my approach to scholarly work and describe what I learned about improving productivity by engaging in a daily writing practice.

Thursday, January 24
Gorecki GDCC Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Elisheva Perelman

Babysan's Burden: An Analysis of the American Occupation of Japan through Cartoons

Babysan appeared in 1951, arguably intended as an everywoman in Occupied Japan, yet a uniquely American abstraction. Babysan offered a humorous take on the Occupation by one of its own serviceman. But she became a way to approach an indigenous and occupied population and a representation of what occupation does to a former enemy. With enough cartoons to fill multiple volumes, Bill Hume entertained his compatriots in peacetime. His was a Japan devoid of starvation and devastation. Rather, it was a thriving society of attractive women, enthusiastic to interact with the occupying American servicemen. Indeed, by creating an innocuous and eager feminized image, American soldiers could find postwar Japan nonthreatening and even welcoming in the face of defeat in total war. Yet Babysan was not just a racist and misogynist portrait. What Babysan now tells us about relations between two unequal powers in the aftermath of destruction is far more than that for which her broken English could then account.

Thursday, January 31
Gorecki GDDD Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Karlyn Forner

SNCC Digital Gateway: Learn from the Past, Organize the Future, Make Democracy Work

During the 1960s, young activists in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC - pronounced "snick") united with local people in the Deep South to build a grassroots movement for change that empowered Black communities and transformed the nation. Since 2013, veteran SNCC activists have been collaborating with Duke University Libraries and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University to build the SNCC Digital Gateway: Learn from the Past, Organize for the Future, Make Democracy Work (snccdigital.org), a documentary website that tells the history of the Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of the activists themselves. With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the SNCC Digital Gateway documents SNCC's work building democracy from the ground up and makes those experiences and strategies accessible to activists, educators, and engaged citizens today. It allows veteran activists to pass on the "how-to's" of the freedom movement-- the knowledge and tactics of grassroots organizing -- to the next generation. Throughout the project, SNCC partners have been central in shaping the telling of SNCC's story. This unprecedented collaboration between activists and the academy has revealed important insights into forging relationships between universities and community partners, relationships built on equity, mutual respect, trust, and a common vision.

Thursday, February 14
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
James Hofmann

The Legacy of Natural Species and Substantial Form for Thomistic Evolution

Exploration of theistic evolution within a Thomistic framework has taken on the label of Thomistic evolution. Although the conceptual boundaries of this approach are not precise, a historical trajectory of its scholastic methodology can be traced back to the views of Aquinas himself. An enduring central concept in this tradition has been the idea of substantial form. For Aquinas, distinct substantial forms were associated with the kinds of animals and plants that have no prior ancestry and are ascribed to God's production during the Genesis days of adornment. Later in the tradition, the early twentieth century Jesuit Erich Wasmann referred to these taxa as "natural species" with human beings serving as his paradigmatic example. As the evolutionary history of life becomes known in more and more detail, the existence of natural species and Wasmann's associated concept of polyphyletic evolution have become increasingly difficult to sustain. The historical linkage between substantial forms and natural species highlights the fact that, even if the idea of natural species is abandoned, the incorporation of substantial forms into the evolutionary process is problematic. Although recent philosophical reassessments of Aristotelian essentialism are relevant and intriguing, discrete substantial forms are not easily embedded within the evolutionary continuum of genetic mutation and phenotypic change.

Thursday, February 21
Gorecki 204C at CSB
Emily Heying and Jonathan Nash

Food Insecurity and Barriers for CSB/SJU Students

Food insecurity affects college students' mental health, physical health, and academic performance. Existing research suggest that minority and first-generation students, whom CSB/SJU is enrolling in larger numbers, are at high risk to be food insecure. Most research regarding food insecurity on college campuses focuses on large universities. Little is known regarding the impact of food insecurity at liberal-arts colleges. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of food insecurity among CSB/SJU students and which factors lead to increased risk for student food insecurity. Results of our Spring 2018 study will be presented.

Tuesday, February 26
(rescheduled from Thursday, February 7)

Quad 252 at SJU
Kyle Rauch

Collegebound: Assessing the CSB/SJU Outdoor Orientation Program

Collegebound has been offered as an optional outdoor orientation program to incoming first-year students at CSB/SJU for over 30 years. The popular program is one of over 200 outdoor orientation programs being offered around the United States. Collegebound has increased in student-participation numbers in recent years to over 10% of the incoming class, however, little formal evaluation has been conducted. This research assesses the history, practices, and outcomes of Collegebound. Using a mixed methods design, academic and personal-social outcomes of Collegebound participation were studied to understand the impact of the program on students' college transition and career. As colleges and universities strive to attract and retain students of various backgrounds and interests, it is important to recognize and support programs that appeal to students, assist in their development, and support institutional goals.

Thursday, February 28
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Wei Huang

Industry Effects in the Dividend Initiation Decision

We examine the relationship between industry dividend structure and the likelihood and level of dividend initiations. We find that firms are less likely to initiate a dividend if dividend levels in the industry are high or growing, but those that do initiate seek to match industry peers in initiation levels. We also find that announcement returns to dividend initiating firms are lower when more industry peers are dividend payers and when industry dividends are increasing. Overall, the results are suggestive of an industry equilibrium dividend policy in that firms appear to incorporate industry expectations for dividend levels and growth into the initiation decision.

Co-author: Dr. Donna L. Paul (Washington State University)

Thursday, March 14
Gorecki GDCC Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Patricia Bolanos-Fabres

Kichwa Substrate in Ecuadorea Spanish

The lexical influence of Kichwa in Ecuadorean Spanish is obvious but not extensive according to Willem Adelaar, but there is some evidence provided in the existing colloquial expressions and words in the Imbabura region for example (Bolanos-Fabres 2015) that indicate that the reach of this indigenous language is more extensive than anticipated. A Fulbright grant facilitated this inquiry and the oral samples collected over the course of two years in Ecuador will be summarized in this presentation.

Thursday, March 21
Gorecki GDCC Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Vincent Smiles

Being human - our uniqueness - is about our knowing. All knowing is "tacit" (Michael Polanyi) and leads to "indwelling" of mind in reality, as of reality in mind. This is why we always "know more than we can tell," which corresponds with another old adage, "the whole is more than the sum of the parts." This presentation will try to show that the vast spectrum of knowing is continuous, running from discoveries of the inanimate world, through biology and the humanities and arts, and even to "the face of God."

Thursday, March 28
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Reid Lemker

More Than a Caged Bird: Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samoruai as Ethical Criticism

Though made 23 years after Paris's liberation, I contend Jean Pierre Melville's masterpiece Le Samouri (1967) is deeply tied to the events of the French occupation in World War II. This reading is grounded not only in elements of the film itself, but also in Melville's personal history and filmography. Melville's time in the Resistance manifests itself in themes of friendship, secrecy, and silence that are common to all of his films, though most overt in his films that deal directly with the Resistance. In Le Samourai traditional noir elements like an overwhelming feeling of suspicion, trench coats, hats and hitmen combine with these narrative elements common to Melville's resistance films to create a film that exists not only as a brilliant gangster picture, but also as a detailed representation of the relationship between individual and collective identity. Utilizing Simone de Beauvoir's Ethics of Ambiguity and the greater historical context of the occupation, I contend the film can be read as an in-depth study of one's subjective existence when fighting against oppression. Melville not only critiques the simplistic nature of the American interpretation of morality during the war put forth in American film noirs, but also provides the viewer with a much subtler understanding of ethics in the face of evil. More than just an exquisite stylistic exercise, Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai provides the viewer with a personal narrative, detailing the ambiguous nature of taking up arms against oppression.

Thursday, April 4
Gorecki 204B at CSB
Jennifer Schaefer

How Can Students Survive Anatomy and Physiology: Can Metacognitive Training Help?

Students both love and hate Human Anatomy and Physiology (and other challenging upper-division courses). Success in challenging courses requires metacognitive ability and self-efficacy. The research is unclear, however, regarding how metacognitive ability and self-efficacy influence each other. High self-efficacy may increase metacognitive performance because self-efficacy increases intrinsic motivation and improves use of effective learning strategies. The reverse relationship - a positive effect of metacognitive performance on self-efficacy - may or may not exist. If metacognitive training increases self-efficacy, the value of metacognitive training would be amplified by a synergistic effect of metacognition and self-efficacy on academic performance. The effect would be especially important in courses perceived as "challenging" because self-efficacy is situation-specific; general academic ability does not determine self-efficacy in course.

This study hypothesized that improved metacognitive performance would increase self-efficacy and academic performance. Results indicated that metacognitive training improved student metacognitive practices and attenuated decreases in student self-efficacy. Neither of these effects increased academic performance measures (exam scores and final course grades).

Thursday, April 11
Little Theatre (Q346) at St. John's
Matt Henzelman, Emily Kuffner, Yvette Piggush

Is There a Book Exhibit in this Class?: Experiential Learning at the Library

How can students, professors, curators, and librarians work together to collaborate in research and create exhibits? How does designing an exhibit enhance student learning and foster student engagement? The Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) and the CSB/SJU Libraries have a wide range of materials and display spaces that can provide experiential learning opportunities for a variety of classes. Matt Heintzelman (HMML), Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies), and Yvette Piggush (English) will share their experiences of the process of designing book exhibits with two very different classes: one focusing on eighteenth and nineteenth-century representations of Africa and the Black diaspora and the other on the early modern Spanish empire. We seek to provide librarians and faculty with ideas and practical plans for creating book exhibits as a form of experiential learning. We will discuss what students learned from exhibit design as well as the challenges and limitations we encountered. We will share strategies and advice for using exhibit design as a pedagogical tool and bring sample materials that illustrate our tactics. We will also discuss more broadly what students learn from engaging with the materiality of texts, a way of thinking that is often unfamiliar to them.

Thursday, May 2
HAB 107 at CSB
Richard Wielkiewicz, Amanda Jantzer, Stephen Stelzner

An Ecological Model for Building Multiculturalism and Social Justic in Institutions of Higher Education

How can we effectively create more diverse and inclusive colleges and universities? This is a pressing question facing institutions of higher education as they are challenged to comprehensively respond to rapidly changing demographics and urgent sociopolitical challenges in a way that will allow for all members of campus communities to thrive. In response to these common challenges and opportunities, the purpose of this presentation is to describe processes for moving an academic institution towards multiculturalism within a social justice context. We expand upon Wielkiewicz and Stelzner's (2005) theoretical framework for leadership and apply it to address multiculturalism and social justice in higher education. This leadership theory is based upon ecological principles that defines leadership as a process instead of the actions and decisions of a positional leader. The central element of the theory is this: "organizations are more adaptive when there is a diversity of genuine input into the decision-making processes" (Wielkiewicz & Stelzner, 2005, p. 326). In addition, this approach emphasizes the role of ecological principles of interdependence among organizational leaders and multiple stakeholders, open systems with an emphasis on feedback loops, and cycling of resources which involves broadly engaging talent across the organization. From our perspective, current models of how to infuse a multicultural perspective on college campuses do not adequately account for the systemic context in which such change must take place. We argue that an extension of this theoretical model to the domain of higher education will help practitioners move colleges and universities toward more diverse, inclusive, and just orientations. Finally, we will address potential applications of this theory to leading sustainable multicultural change on our campuses.