On Friday, March 13 (yes, Friday the 13th) Deborah Bracke successfully defended her dissertation entitled, "How No Child Left Behind has Influenced Educators' Perceptions Regarding the Quality of Instructional Experience, the Nature of School-Based Services, and the Frequency of Extra-Curricular Opportunities in the Moline School District." Her study explored stakeholders' perceptions of "change" as they related to the constructs of "responsiveness," "comprehensiveness," and "reading instruction." Perceived changes in school-based services (such as the quality of school counseling services) and extra-curriculum opportunities (such as the frequency or after-school sports activities) were also analyzed. Additiona comparisons were made between Title I and non-Title I schools, a variety of grade levels, and differences between principal and teacher assessments. Deb will graduate in May with a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning (Curriculum and Supervision) from the University of Iowa.
Librarians Anne Earel and Amanda Makula presented their poster, "Enhancing Pedagogy Through Technology: Using Beyond Question and RefWorks to Engage Students in Information Literacy Across the Curriculum" at the biannual Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference in Seattle on March 14th. The poster shared Amanda's work incorporating an audience response system ("clickers") into LSFY 103 instruction and Anne's use of Ref Works to build a class-wide collaborative bibliography in a section of ANTH 410 taught by Adam Kaul.
Steve Hager's research into the factors influencing bird-window collisions was recently highlighted in the "Science in Short" section of The Wildlife Professional (Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 13), a magazine of news and analysis about critical advances in wildlife science, conservation, management, and policy.
On Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 6:30 PM, Randall Hall performs at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, with the contemporary improvisation ensemble Pendulum and students from the Augustana Improvisation Ensemble. The concert will be presented among the art in an exploration of the acoustic possibilities of the Museum itself. The evolution of sounds and the motion of the listener will create a constantly changing frame of reference, which interacts with the visual images on display. The visual-sound experience will be unique to each specific moment in time and space.
Adam Kaul's article "The Limits of Commodification in Traditional Irish Music Sessions" published in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 2007 has been selected to appear as a chapter in the new edition of the reader Tourists amd Tourism (edited by Sharon Gmelch for Waveland Press). The reader is widely used in courses on the social scientific study of toursim at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The new edition of the reader will hopefully be published as early as next November.
Augustana College was well represented at the 2009 ASIANetwork Conference held in Lisle, IL between March 14-16. The following Augustana faculty and Augustana-related guests attended: Dr. M. Vallianmmal (United Board Scholar), Dr. Ann Ericson, Dr. Norm Moline, Dr. Marsha Smith, Prof. Xiao Bao Tian (CCNU professor of music), Prof. Ying Yuan, (CCNU professor of English), Dr. Van Symons, and Dr. Xiaowen Zhang.
Many of those who attended played vital roles during the conference. Dr. Norm Moline organized a roundtable session entitled "Geographic Perspectives on Asia." In this roundtable, conversations about the role of geographic perspectives (in both natural and social sciences) and possible field experiences relevant to the Asian Studies programs of member institutions were discussed.
Both Drs. Xiaowen Zhang and Marsha Smith presented papers in a panel titled: "The Impact of Asian Studies on the Practice and Teaching of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Xiaowen Zhang's paper titled: "The Study of International Relations Challenged by a Rising Asia" tells the story of how the experiences of a rising Asia have changed the scholarship of IR and changes teachers of IR may bring to the classroom as a response. Marsha Smith's paper titled: "From Chicago to Chongqing: How Asia has impacted American Sociology" explores the ways the study of Asia and Asian Americans in the U.S. is changing sociology in the U.S. as well as the ways sociology is emerging/developing in Asia.
Congratulations to Doug Parvin, who has successfully defended his dissertation at Rutgers. Doug sends the following description of his work:
"When we think about what it's like to taste chocolate, smell a rose, or swoon with love, we consider the experience from an irreducibly subjective viewpoint. My work explores the distinctive features of such thoughts and their implications for both scientific accounts of consciousness and philosophical accounts of the relationship between mind and body.
The scientific viewpoint seems to suggest that there is nothing to conscious experience over and above neural activity. Yet no matter how well we understand a neural event, we don't seem to find any reason why it should be associated with some particular experience, or even any experience at all. My work tries to explain why this is so: leaving room for both a scientific account of consciousness and an equally true but irreducibly subjective account as well."
Dr. Van Symons organized an orientation session for the Faculty recipients of the 2009 ASIANetwork/Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows program who will be traveling to Asia in the summer of 2009 to conduct undergraduate student research. Dr. Symons also conducted the annual poster session for the recently returned undergraduate students that participated in the 2008 ASIANetwork/Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program.