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Academic News Brief June 9th

June 9, 2014

Round up of what is new in the world of Academic Affairs published by the Office of the Provost at Saint Francis University. June 9, 2014 Edition


Education - Dr. Glenna Zeak, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, visited a mission school in Santiago, Chile May 23 - June 2, 2014. She provided professional development and support to students in grades pre-K to grade 4. The school serves 120-150 students pre-K to 12. Class size is 10-15 students. The school limits enrollment to ensure class size is no more than 15. Dr. Zeak observed in each of the classrooms and met with teachers to discuss strengths and recommendations for improvement. There is much diversity in the school, in language, culture, and ability. At the end of the week, Dr. Zeak held a round table discussion with all pre-K to grade 4 teachers to engage in sharing of classroom activities and to answer questions that remain. In the coming weeks, Dr. Zeak will be send links to resources and articles to continue in their professional development. Glenna will communicate with the teachers regularly to provide additional support as needed.

Literature & Languages – Dr. Robin Cadwallader chaired two panels and co-chaired one panel at the recent American Literature Association in Washington, D.C. on May 22 – May 23, 2104. As chair of the panels, Dr. Cadwallader selected the essays for presentation. Two of the panels were on Rebecca Harding Davis, one of Dr. Cadwallader's research interests. The co-chaired panel was organized in conjunction with the Children's Literature Society and will act as the springboard for Dr. Cadwallader's co-edited collection of essays, Saving the World: Girlhood and Evangelicalism in the Nineteenth Century. Dr. Cadwallader and Dr. Allison Giffen, of Western Washington University, are accepting essays for the collection until the end of June.


Business Administration – Dr. Edward Timmons, Associate Professor of Economics, presented his paper "More Battles Among Licensed Occupations: Estimating the Effects of Scope of Practice and Direct Access on the Chiropratic, Physical Therapist, and Physician Labor Market" on May 26, 2014 at the Monday Lunch Seminar at the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Turin, Italy. The paper was joint work with Jason Hockenberry (Emory University and National Bureau of Economic Research) and Christine Piette-Durrance (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill). Dr. Timmons applied for and received a month-long visiting research fellowship at the Collegio Carlo Alberto and will return to Saint Francis on June 16, 2014. During his time working at the Collegio, Dr. Timmons continued his ongoing research collaboration with Mario Pagliero, an affiliate at the Collegio Carlo Alberto and an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Turin. The Collegio hosted several seminars in May and June including the Review of Economic Studies European tour - an annual event featuring research talks from the top economics Ph.D. graduates in the United States and abroad of 2014.


Exercise Physiology - Drs. Patricia Fitzgerald, Kris Wisniewski, and Stephen LoRusso, along with students Brandt Beck, Steve Mosey, Elise Schall and Katrina Wilhite, attended the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Orlando, Florida May 28 - June 1, 2014. Dr. Wisniewski gave a talk entitled: Validation of OMNI-Walk/Run RPE in overweight and obese adults, while Dr. Fitzgerald presented a poster entitled: The Relationship between Measures of Perception and Muscular Performance while at Very High Altitudes, and Dr. LoRusso presented a poster entitled: Do Changes In Predicted Isotonic 1RM and Isometric Peak Torque Demonstrate Cross Education? Additionally, students Brandt Beck, Steven Mosey and Katrina Wilhite competed in the College Bowl competition, our second straight appearance in the national finals representing the Mid-Atlantic ACSM Regional Chapter. We placed 3rd out of 11 other schools. Last year, we placed 5th. This year’s national Champion was Texas A&M.


Statistics Poster Competition – The results of the National Statistics Poster Competition were released this week. The Pennsylvania Statistics Poster Competition is coordinated by Saint Francis University, and sends its winning posters each year onto the national competition, that is coordinated by the American Statistical Association. The national competition awards money prizes for the top three posters in each of the four grade levels, and honorable mention certificates. Posters from the Pennsylvania competition were honored with six of the 12 national awards, and including honorable mention Pennsylvania posters claimed 11 of the 20 honors. In the national competition, Pennsylvania posters claimed 3rd place and honorable mention in the K-3 grade category; swept the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and the two honorable mention prizes in the 4-6 grade category; had the 3rd place prize in the 7-9 grade category, and had the 2nd place and an honorable mention prize in the 10-12 grade category. The event on campus is coordinated through the Science Outreach Center. Recently, Dr. Joel Bandstra visited Mount Lebanon High School to present to student winners in the high school level of the state competition, and Dr. Peter Skoner visited Westmont Hilltop Elementary School to present awards to a student who won first place in the state competition and third place in the national competition.


At the May 27, 2014 meeting of the Executive Committee, the following promotions were approved in the Academic Affairs division: Ms. Sherri Toth was promoted from Graduate Education Programs Coordinator to Associate Director of Graduate Education Programs and Mr. Michael Blaisdell was promoted from Network Administrator to Director of Network Services, effective July 1, 2014. See all promotions: http://francis.edu/May-2014-employee-promotions/


The University welcomes Mr. Samuel Heikinen to the position of Director of International Student Programs beginning May 27, 2014. Mr. Heikinen received his B.S. from Oakland University and his M.Ed. from Saginaw Valley State University. He most recently worked as Director for the Center for Global Engagement at Snow College in Utah.


Costa Rica - After about an hour on the road, we stopped at Sarchi. It’s known for production of the famous Costa Rican oxcarts that used to carry the coffee beans from the mountains to the ports for exportation. We visited one of the oldest factories there. From there we visited a charming little town with a red church, one of the most famous in Costa Rica. It was constructed entirely of materials, mostly metal, that were imported from Belgium. It houses the image of Costa Rica’s Lady of the Angels, a black Virgin Mary. Once a year, over 2 million pilgrims visit this
church on her feast day.

The next town was La Fortuna, with another beautiful church and a perfect view of the Arenal volcano. The next morning was a hike in the rain forest at the foot of the volcano. Our guide for the weekend was very knowledgeable about all of the different species of animals and plants, many of them with medicinal uses. At the end of the trip was the town of Brasilitos, where the students met their new host families. Bright and early on Monday morning (7:30 am), they were picked up and taken to the Playa Flamingo CPI campus. Classes at this campus are from 8:00-12:00, giving them time for afternoon activities.

Saturday was a day none of us will soon forget. Pin-balling through rocky rapids on individual inner-tubes, zipping over and through the beautiful tree canopy, horseback riding in a torrential rainstorm that transformed the narrow path into a passable imitation of the river we had tubed. . . these were not activities for the faint of heart. (Or, my body reminds me three days later, for the old of age.)

To be truthful, I was relieved when it began raining, as we finished zipping, as we would have to skip the horseback riding and head for home. Ah, but I underestimated the adventurous spirit of Saint Francis students. They insisted that we canter through the curtains of rain. And so we did. Any one of these adventures would have made for a memorable experience. (Even bouncing in an old school bus down a narrow forest path to the river could probably qualify as a thrill ride in itself.) Put them all together, and it was a day of thrills, laughs, and the occasional primal scream…submitted by Brent Ottaway