Monday, January 30

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Sabbatical/Pre-Tenure Paid Leave Report Presentations
Lisa Seidlitz presents "CH stands for cheese, right? A SOTL study of a Swiss culture class" and Dara Wegman-Geedey presents (TBA)
Wilson Center 

5:00 PM - Faculty Research Proposals DUE

Tuesday, January 31

REGISTRATION FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Faculty Forum on Faculty Handbook
Olin Auditorium 

11:30 - 11:50 AM - Tuesday Reflection - Rebecca Kasa '12
Ascension Chapel, 2nd floor, Founders Hall

4:30 - 5:30 PM - Ekklesia Study Group
Old Main 121

5:00 PM - After Hours Prose and Poetry
Tredway Library, Room 518 

8:00 PM - Voice Faculty Recital
The program will feature an eclectic array of styles, composers and works.
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

Wednesday, February 1

9:30 - 10:30 AM - Coffee and Conversation
CEC Conference Room, Sorensen Hall, 1st floor

12:00 - 12:50 PM - Faculty, Staff & Administrators' Bible Study
New Bible Study Series: "Justice for the Poor" featuring a 10-minute DVD introduction to each of the six sessions by Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief of Sojourners Magazine."
Bring your lunch and a Bible
Chicago Room, College Center

4:00 PM - Diversity in the Classroom ACTL Workshop
3:45 PM - Refreshments
Wilson Center 

7:00 PM - Hispanic Film Festival: The Sky Turns
El Cielo Gira (The Sky Turns) covers a year in the life of a tiny village in northern Spain. After a 35-year absence, director Mercedes Alvarez returns to her native village. She was the last child born there, and now only 14 aged inhabitants remain (not rated).
Free Admission
Hanson Hall of Science 102 

Thursday, February 2

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM - Faculty Senate Meeting
Hanson Science 102

11:30 or 12:00 or 12:30 - I Heart Augustana Cadaver Lab
See Announcements for more information
Hanson Science 109 

7:00 PM - "Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War"
Steve Warren will lead this fourth session on the American Civil War.
For details or to register and obtain copies of program materials, visit 2nd fl. reference desk or call 309.524.2470. Free admission.
Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street, Moline, Illinois  

Friday, February 3

3:45 - 4:45 PM - Life as a Geoscientist in the 21st Century presented by Susan Hippler '86
Susan will talk with the Udden Geology Club about the science done by Exxon in its efforts to supply the world with oil and gas
Swenson Hall of Geosciences 106 

4:00 PM - Friday Conversation: Making History in Chicago, presented by President Steve Bahls
3:30 PM - Refreshments
Board Room, College Center, 2nd floor

7:00 PM - Honors Scholarship Recital
Music faculty will present a brief recital of diverse repertoire for a variety of instruments
Free admission
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building 

7:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets.
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall

8:00 PM - Jazz Ensemble Concert
The Augustana Jazz Ensemble plays a wide range of jazz big band repertoire
Free admission
Centennial Hall 

Saturday, February 4

4:00 PM - Augustana Four Choirs Concert
Cantilena Augustana, Wennerberg Men's Chorus, Jenny Lind Vocal Enemble, and Ascension Singers perform works by various composers and styles
Free admission
Centennial Hall

5:00 - 7:00 PM - 10th International Food Festival
Tickets are $12,50; $7 for children under 10. No tickets will be sold at the door
College Center Dining Room 

7:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall

Sunday, February 5

1:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall

2:00 PM - Low Brass Studio Recital
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building 

Volume 9, Issue 20 - January 30, 2012

Delicious Ambiguity

It's that time of the term again - lots to do and not nearly enough time to do it. Especially for students, at this time of the term the amount of time needed to meet academic and co-curricular obligations thunders past critical mass like a semi-truck blowing by a hitchhiker. Pretty soon basic health and hygiene behaviors get pushed to the side and our kids are riding a rollercoaster of super-sized energy drinks, junk food, and far too little sleep.

One of the outcomes that the Wabash National Study allows us to track is health behaviors. This set of variables includes measures of exercising, binge drinking, smoking, and sleep deprivation. Since the end of the term is often a time when students look like they are groggily stumbling toward the finish line, I thought we'd examine students' reports of sleep deprivation over the first year and see if anything faculty and staff do might impact it one way or the other.

Sleep issues are deceptively complicated because there are lots of reasons why someone might not get enough sleep. It might be too much homework all at once. Or it might be stress about something completely unrelated to school. Since we don't have the breadth of variables in the Wabash data to get at all of the potentially influential stress-related issues, I tried to focus this analysis on the factors that might shape students' allocation of time and thus influence the frequency of feeling sleep-deprived.

First of all, we found that average amount of times during a week that students felt sleep deprived increased from the beginning to the end of the first year - an increase that proved to be statistically significant. Now by itself, that isn't much of a surprise - and many of you might say that this is as it should be. So the next question is: What are the factors that are uniquely influencing this change?

(I'm glad to send you the full list of variables we examined and the output file if anyone is interested - Regression Modeling Geeks Unite!)

After accounting for basic demographic characteristics and pre-college behaviors, we found that both the number of hours students reported studying per week and the number of hours students spent in co-curricular activities positively influenced an increase in sleep deprivation. However, after adding greek membership into the mix, the impact of co-curricular involvement evaporated and was replaced by a similar sized impact of greek affiliation.

While that finding is interesting in its own right, I wanted to know more. Is there anything about the way that we interact with students that might also impact this increase in sleep deprivation? Interestingly, we found evidence that faculty teaching behaviors might mitigate this apparent increase. As our students' reports of experiencing instructional organization and clarity increased, the increase in sleep deprivation during the freshman year was REDUCED. In other words, the degree to which students report faculty are clear and organized in teaching their courses appears to influence healthier sleeping behaviors in our students. Moreover, I tested this analysis with the full Wabash data set (about 3000 students from 19 schools) and again, the impact of instructional clarity and organization was significant in reducing the increase in sleep deprivation over the first year.

I'm not sure I'm ready to suggest a direct causal relationship - but I think it's worth considering the legitimate possibility that the way we teach and organize our courses might indeed play an important role in fostering a positive learning environment beyond the academic sphere.

zzzzzzzzz . . . (make it a good day . . . shhhh),

Mark