Fall 2018


Thursday, September 6
Gorecki GDCC Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Valerie Doze

Interdependence of Vascular and Neural Stem Cells: Relationship to Neurological Disorders:

Scientists think there may be a molecular link between brain and blood vessel development as the two systems form along similar timelines during embryonic development. The possible interconnection of the neural and vascular environments could play an important role in both developing and adult brains, elucidating the mechanisms in developmental disorders, such as Down syndrome, and also have a role in brain recovery fromstroke and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This study examines results from this phase of the project, which is to ensure the cell populations being used, particularly the vascular cells, are expressing appropriate markers when grown in culture. This forum will cover the background and then explain how the vascular populations used are appropriate. It will continue to elaborate on the comparison of other factors expressed by vascular cells and will also look at future research directions, which will assess additional cell-type specific markers at the gene expression level and at the protein level. If there is an interdependence between the vascular and neural environments, differences in the vascular microenvironment could have an impact on neural development and adult neural stability and repair. This could affect the development of new therapeutics and testing assays at the intersection of basic and translational research as well as on the understanding of neural diseases overall.

Thursday, September 13
HAB 107 at CSB
Sophia Geng

Songs of Courage and Compassion: Missionaries in Occupied China During WWII:

In April 1938, under the hovering Japanese bombers, hundreds of Chinese nationalist soldiers were singing patriotic army songs at Kaifeng railway station in Henan Province, China. This was the only way left for the wounded Chinese soldiers to show their gratitude to the approximately seventy missionaries from the U.S. and Europe, who were treating their wounded, burying their dead and caring for their weak. Among these international missionaries were six sisters from St. Benedict’s Convent of St. Joseph, Minnesota. From April to June 1938, the missionaries helped 50,000 to 55,000 wounded Chinese soldiers. After Kaifeng fell into the hands of the Japanese army in June 1938, these missionaries took 15,406 women and children into their refugee camps, hastily converted from convents or mission schools, to prevent tragedies like the Nanjing Massacre. Inside these temporary sanctuaries, hymns echoed in the sky of Kaifeng. In the winter of 1941, these missionaries became “enemy nationals” themselves and were put into concentration camps. From 1941 to 1945, over 2000 missionaries from the four corners of China were grouped into a concentration camp in Weixian town of Shandong Province. Here, every Mass and each hymn voiced their courage to survive occupation and their hope for a peaceful China. Amidst aggression, destruction and death, their songs became a voice of courage, compassion and hope for the suffering. Among all the sounds of occupation, these international missionaries struck a unique tone that transcended the boundaries of personal welfare, political entanglements and nation states. This research project uses the missionaries’ correspondence, personal letters, memoirs, and oral histories to re-create the multifaceted sounds of occupation in different geographic and temporal contexts from the West to Beijing, Kaifeng, Weixian, Shanghai and then to Taiwan and Tokyo.

Thursday, September 20
Gorecki 120 at CSB
Mary Stenson, Mark Glen, Nicole Lang, Julie Strelow

Interdisciplinary Collaboration During Student Health Fair Volunteer Experiences:

The purpose of our project was to identify student perceptions of interdisciplinary collaboration in healthcare professions before and after interdisciplinary community health fair experiences. Three community health fairs, sponsored by local aging services and health promotion organizations, provided an opportunity to introduce pre-healthcare students to interdisciplinary collaboration. We will talk about the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration for students studying pre-healthcare fields, present the results of our study, and provide insight into how we might improve interdisciplinary student experiences.

Thursday, September 27
HAB 107 at CSB
Pedro A.G. dos Santos

The Election and Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's First Woman President:

In October 2010 Dilma Rousseff broke Brazil highest glass ceiling by becoming the country's first woman president. After her re-election in 2014, her government suffered strong opposition both in Congress and on the streets, culminating in her 2016 impeachment. In this talk, I will discuss the role gender played in the election of Dilma Rousseff, how being a woman influenced the nomination of cabinet members and policymaking, and the ways in which her gender affected the 2016 impeachment process. By comparing Dilma Rousseff’s presidency with her predecessor and successor, I will elaborate on how Brazilian formal political institutions are gendered in a way that benefits men in the electoral process, how women’s leadership is often undermined by the masculine spaces where policymaking is discussed, and how the Brazilian political system undermines the proposal and implementation of feminist and women-centered policies.

Thursday, October 4
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Lisa Lindgren

Students’ Usage of and Attitudes Toward Social Media:

This study examines the extent of usage of a group of college students of six social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube. The results confirm a shift to Instagram and Snapchat, but more than 60% of respondents use Facebook at least daily. The reasons to engage are largely social or to gain information. Respondents’ agreement with various statements related to privacy demonstrate a nuanced reality. In particular, respondents engage regularly with social media platforms while disliking the personalized advertising business model upon which social media platforms are based, and they largely do not trust the sites.

Thursday, October 11
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Maggie Weber Utsch and Raj Chaphalkar

How a Culture of Philanthropy Impacts All of Us:

As our institutions come to grips with the reality of tight budgets, we all face new challenges to our work, teams and pocketbooks. How do two colleges with relatively small endowments compete for talent, attract top students, and maintain our sense of community? Our presentation offers another way of thinking about the roles staff, faculty and students play – one that embraces and encourages philanthropic giving. We will describe why donors say they give to CSB and SJU, how the two Institutional Advancement offices work, and what community members can do to support a culture of donor engagement that helps all areas of campus.

Thursday, October 18
Gorecki 120 at CSB
Michael Opitz

Musical Performance as Cultural Theory:

In the early 90’s, Dr. Thomas Daddesio and I began the serious study of reggae music—using methodology drawn from semiotics and contemporary cultural theory. After a while, we decided to try to play the music. This gave birth to The One Drop—a reggae, ska, soca, rock band that played around campus for 8 years and released one album (The One Drop, 1998). A few years later, I ran into Tom at a conference, and decided to get together to
record music in the summer. We named ourselves “The Karma Refugees” after one of the first songs I wrote for the band. We’ve had these summer music sessions for the past several years. For this forum, The Karma Refugees (Tom Daddesio, bass; Kathleen Regan (CSB, '99), vocals, guitar, Caitlin Brutger (CSB, 2010), keyboards, vocals and me (guitar, vocals) will play a set of original music. My background has been in modern poetry, critical theory and cultural studies as reflected in my website.


This web page will be devoted to providing a kind of song that has intellectual
content and theoretical overtones.

Thursday, October 25
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Abigail Borgmeier

Cover Crops: A Sustainable Practice in a Corn-Wheat Cropping System:

In South Central Nebraska, cover crops grown after winter wheat harvest help prevent soil erosion, run-off and nitrate leaching. They are an important step toward more sustainable corn production in the Midwest. However, farmers are hesitant to grow cover crops because they use considerable amounts of soil water, tie up nitrogen, and offer habitat for crop pests, all of which may reduce the performance of subsequent corn crops. We wanted to investigate the effects of grass cover crops on the growth, development and yields of the following rain-fed corn crop. Cover crops (cereal rye, oats, and a mix of rye and oats) were planted following winter wheat on non-irrigated no-till plots at the University of Nebraska South Central Ag Laboratory (SCAL) near Clay Center in late summer 2017. Corn plant density, height, stalk diameter, and developmental stage were measured weekly from June through July 2018, and were compared to a control (corn grown without a previous cover crop). This research is important for farmers in rain-fed winter wheat and corn systems that are considering adding cover crops into their rotation. Farmers adopting more sustainable cropping systems, such as adding cover crops to a wheat-corn rotation, is essential to protecting the surrounding human and natural environments. 

Thursday, November 1
Gorecki GDCC Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Ted Gordon

Cahuilla Nation Activism and the Tribal Casino Movement:

In 1980, when the Cabazon Band first opened a small poker club on their Indian reservation in the isolated desert of California, they knew local authorities would challenge them. Cabazon persisted andultimately won, defeating the State of California in a landmark case before the Supreme Court. By fighting for their right to operate a poker club, Cabazon opened up the possibility for native nations across the United States to open casinos on their own reservations, spurring the growth of what is now a $30 billion industry.

This talk tells the bigger story of how the Cahuilla nations—including the Cabazon—have used self-reliance and determination to maintain their culture and independence against threats past and present. From California’s first governor’s “war of extermination” against native peoples through today’s legal and political challenges, this presentation shows that successful responses have depended on the Cahuilla’s ability to challenge non-natives’ assumptions and misconceptions.

Note: This presentation is based on Gordon's book, by the same title, which
will be published in November 2018 by University of Nevada Press

Thursday, November 8
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Stephen Saupe

Saint John’s maple syrup: the world’s best maple syrup

Saint John’s has been making maple syrup since 1942. Arguably, it is the best in the world. This presentation will describe the process by which we make maple syrup and the results of some of our research. In addition participants will have an opportunity to sample St. John’s syrup and learn how maple syrup is evaluated in contests such as the state fair. Several syrup samples will be available to taste and analyze.

Thursday, November 15
HAB 107 at CSB (location changed 11/1/2018 to HAB 107 from GDCC)
Madeline Krumel

Kaleidoscopic Allusions: James and Wharton on Modernity through Art, Convention, and the Kaleidoscope:

Henry James and Edith Wharton comprise two of the most successful turn-of-the-century American writers.  The two follow the progression of young men and women who attempt to navigate marital, social, and monetary concerns of high-society. Through my research, I’ve traced James and Wharton’s recruitment of art, convention, and the kaleidoscope (a cultural phenomenon that infiltrated nearly every social circle and spun its way into the literary sphere) to highlight their respective attitudes toward modernity.  Their language especially concerns females and their socially-assumed  decorative qualities. I have constructed a cultural and theoretical analysis on modernist literature and the kaleidoscope, followed by close readings of The Portrait of a Lady (James), The Age of Innocence (Wharton), The House of Mirth (Wharton), and The Custom of the Country (Wharton), to prove the valuable insight readers can glean from reading James and Wharton through a kaleidoscopic lens.

Thursday, November 29
Quad 264 at SJU
Thom Woodward

Rock and Roll’s First Decade - - A History and a Claim:

Looking at the early history of rock and roll with song snippets and supportive documentation from Billboard charts, Rolling Stone magazine “best of” lists and a rock-history compiler’s insights.

Thursday, December 6
Gorecki GDCC Pres. Dining Room at CSB
Deborah Pembleton

ASIANetwork Faculty Enhancement Program: Providing a Gateway to Collaborations in China and India:

The goal of this Thursday Forum presentation will be to discuss the outcomes of the summer 2018 ASIANetwork Faculty Enhancement Program(ANFEP). Funded by the Mellon Foundation through the ASIANetwork organization, the 2018 seminar was devoted to the topic of “Religion in National and International Affairs in China and India.” The seminar is part of the ASIANetwork Faculty Enhancement Program (ANFEP), which seeks to deepen Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. The seminar itinerary included travel to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and other colleges in Shenzen and Guangzhou, China; Kolkata, India and northeast India, including Darjeeling and Sikkim.
ASIANetwork encourages the study of Asian countries and cultures and enables students and faculty to experience these cultures first hand. This presentation as “gateway” for those interested in expanding their knowledge about this region. Potential collaborators within the region represented multiple disciplines in addition to Religion, including Information Technology, Agriculture, Social Justice and Anthropology, to name a few. The 2018 ANFEP participants, sought to create new research and to facilitate conversations among faculty and administrators within these and other disciplines This session will be highly interactive with discussion about the potential to collaborate with other professors and universities located in China and India for joint teaching and research opportunities.  The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss how the outcomes of the ANFEP Program may be applicable to CSB/SJU.