Celebration of Learning, concurrent sessions I
9-9:50 a.m. Creative Writing Readings I
(Old Main Forum, second floor), Amber Whittle, Jessica Siverly, Tyler Spellious, Kaylee Wagner, Lauren Anderson; project advisor, Dr. Kelly Daniels.
Description: Studying writing is a difficult thing in a world that does not value art. We hope that our work will show how necessary literature is to society. We also hope it will show the value of this field at Augustana.
10-10:50 a.m. Creative Writing Readings II
(Old Main Forum, second floor), Alexandria Petrassi, Carrie Reitz, Jaime Perpich, Gary Miller, Laura Seeber; project advisor, Dr. Kelly Daniels.
Description: The creative writing department presents the work of five stylistically diverse students presenting pieces from their Senior Inquiry work from throughout the year. The reading contains poetry and prose written by students, spanning multiple genres.
11 a.m.-noon: Concurrent Sessions IA
11 a.m., Old Main 117, Christina KunkelCommunication Studies: "Game of Thrones: Are Women Simply Pawns? Project advisor: Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow
Description: "Throughout television history, women typically have been represented as beautiful, passive, submissive, dependent on others and defined in relation to father, son, boss or man. However, contemporary television shows feature increasingly independent and powerful women. Because television texts serve as legitimate influences in shaping social values and role expectations concerning gender, studying how texts depict women to viewers is important. The fantasy genre, which has gained popularity in media outlets this past decade, focuses on themes of grand struggle against supernatural or evil forces and is often set in an alternate world that resembles the extremely patriarchal society of Medieval Europe. Attracting an average audience of 13.6 million viewers per episode, almost half of which are female, Game of Thrones is a relevant and ideal text to see how women in this genre are being portrayed, particularly through several main plotlines revolving around female characters. This presentation will focus on the constructions of gender, femininity and power relations within the hegemonic context of Game of Thrones through feminist critique and media analysis. Major female characters in the show each experience striking moments of empowerment in their own individual ways, but ultimately they are treated as objects that are only valued for their ability to produce heirs and forge alliances through marriage. It is only through transformation and leaving behind one’s womanhood—through supernatural means or denying one’s sex—that a female character may escape oppressive subordination and gain true independence."
11:15 a.m., Old Main 117, Simone Roby, Women’s and Gender Studies: "Sexual Assault Prevention: Beyond What Not to Do." Project advisor: Dr. Jennifer Popple
Description: "I would like to present information about sexual assault prevention, particularly on college campuses. Sexual and gendered violence continue to be some of the most frequently committed types of violence on college campuses, including Augustana. Although strong attempts have been made to reactively protect students from sexual assault and gendered violence, I would like to present about proactive methods of prevention. I would specifically like to present about the social psychology associated with the willingness to intervene, community-oriented aspects of prevention, and bystander intervention strategies. I would also like to talk about current sexual assault prevention programs and what makes them effective, as well as explore which program might be most effective for sexual assault prevention at Augustana. Lastly, I hope to engage listeners with a few interactive exercises, in which they practice community-building and apply prevention techniques to scenarios."
11:30 a.m., Old Main 117, Jalayna Walton, English: "Nikki Giovanni: Black Female Voices in Poetry of Witness." Project advisor: Rebecca Wee
Description: " 'Poetry of witness' is artistic expression with political implications. While the political implications may or may not be intentional, they are expressed in times of great need for such. While the poet writes, creates and speaks out from a place of personal desire and need, his or her work often ends up speaking to the experiences of many and representing a collective. Nikki Giovanni has always had a massive following from the publication of her first book through the present day. Her voice poignantly speaks to the experiences of hundreds of black people in regards to black life and leadership. However, during her time of emergence she was rejected from the elite circle of poets. Here, I break down the reasons behind Giovanni’s rightful place as an influential poet of witness during the Black Power Movement and the impacts she’s made for black women in today’s world in topics such as racism, sexism, feminism and the intersections of these topics."
11:45 a.m., Old Main 117, Madison Wynes, History: "A 500-Year-Old Problem: Colonialism, Sexualization, and Violence Against Native American Women." Project advisor: Dr. Jane Simonsen
Description: "My project consists of a study regarding the depictions of Native American women throughout history as a way to understand the ways in which domestic violence affects them today.
I will first examine early depictions of Native American women from travel narratives (notably those by John Smith and Hernan Cortes) dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. These early narratives depict Native American women as sexual and subjects of conquest by European men. I will then show how these characterizations have continued throughout history by examining several Western films from the mid-20th century. Generally speaking, Western films depict Native American women in essentially the same way as the early travel narratives. I will then show how those same themes are evident today, through popular films (namely “Pocahontas” and “The New World”). Finally, I will show how this linear view of Native American women as sexual objects has manifested itself as a key component of the group’s high rate of suffering from domestic violence, which is 2.5 times higher than any other group, according to the United States Department of Justice."
11 a.m.-noon: Concurrent Sessions IB
10:45 a.m., Olin Center 202, Tara Cullison, Anthropology: "Residential Landowner Perceptions of Storm Water Issues: An Ethnographic Study in Rock Island and Moline, Illinois." Project advisor: Dr. Adam Kaul
Description: "Environmental issues in urban areas are more effectively studied using a multidisciplinary approach. To manage urban environmental issues, an overall assessment must take place in order to implement best management practices. A study of storm water in Rock Island and Moline, Ill., revealed that humans are one of the leading causes of poor water quality in urban streams. To understand this underlying behavior in the urban social sphere, we must first assess people’s awareness and overall values on storm water and more generally, the health of their environment as a whole. Recent studies across income levels and ethnic groups in urban areas have found that environmental awareness and perceptions of concern are equally important to residents of all levels of socioeconomic status. A combination of a quantitative and qualitative approach is used to explain the underlying social implications driving water quality in Rock Island and Moline, Ill."
11 a.m., Olin Center 202, Chelsea Bankes, Anthropology: "Immigrant Aid and Awareness Insufficiency in the Quad Cities: The Case of Togo." Project advisor: Dr. Adam Kaul
Description: "This paper looks at the Togolese community of the Quad Cities and the issues that the community faces as immigrants in a world dedicated to focusing on and assisting refugees. I write about the similarities of the issues that both immigrants and refugees experience and how these similarities suggest that more attention needs to be paid towards immigrant groups such as the Togolese. To do this, I researched Togolese history in West Africa, their independence as a nation, and immigration trends and experiences of the Togolese. This is essential context to the understanding of the motives of Togolese immigrants. My ethnographic research includes interviews of Togolese immigrants within the Quad-Cities community and their experiences, struggles with immigration, and current lifestyle in the Quad-Cities area."
11:15 a.m., Olin Center 202, Morgan Drake, Anthropology: "En medio: Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging in DACA-Approved Mexican Immigrants." Project advisor: Dr. Adam Kaul
Description: "DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a huge milestone in immigration reform and has helped thousands of individuals. However, it is not enough, and its effects are both disparate and temporary. In researching themes of identity, citizenship and belonging in DACA-approved Mexican immigrants, I have found that while DACA-approved individuals experience a subsidence of fear and definite legal benefits, they also experience increased complexity in identity and belonging as a result of their unstable legal status. I analyze my data in terms of cultural citizenship and liminality to produce a picture of the effects of immigration reform on identity and belonging as well as to give suggestions for moving forward."
11:30 a.m., Olin Center 202, Elizabeth Johnson, Anthropology: "The Struggles and Victories of Life as a Refugee in America as Revealed through Burmese, Nepali and Sudanese Refugees." Project advisor: Dr. Adam Kaul
Description: "This presentation investigates the hardships that Burmese, Nepali and Sudanese refugees endured in their home countries as well as the emotions and issues they have since arriving in the United States. I conducted semi-structured one-hour interviews with male and female refugees where we discussed the reasons they left their home countries, their opinions on the trials refugees have in America and the areas in which they could use more help from the organization World Relief. I conclude that although they have a low economic standing in America, their lives have improved, and despite the struggles, they are grateful for the aid that has been given. Language barriers, lack of employment and not understanding the medical system were the major complaints, revealing that they are mostly happy with the aid that World Relief has given them."
11:45 a.m., Olin Center 202, Yasmine Nejdawi, Anthropology: "The Sociocultural Experiences of Iraqi Refugees: U.S. Resettlement Post-9/11." Project advisor: Dr. Adam Kaul
Description: "The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent occupation generated a massive humanitarian crisis that has displaced more than 4 million people with numbers continuing to build. While the war with Iraq has formally been declared over and U.S. troops have since returned home, the country remains in a state of perpetual discord that actively threatens the lives of its citizens. Under the guise of democracy, the government in post-Saddam Iraq serves only to exacerbate the instability and violence that has forced millions to flee its borders. While the majority of refugees have been taken in by neighboring countries, the United States has done little to provide refuge for the displaced. This presentation seeks to shed light on the experience of Iraqi refugees who resettled in the United States and work through the paradox of making a home in the place arguably responsible for taking your own."
11 a.m.-noon: Concurrent Sessions IC
11 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 327, Alex Blunier, Developmental Biology: “Characterization of Transcription Factors Expressed During Chicken Retinal Development: A focused inquiry into the roles of PAWR and POU6f2"
Description: The major focus of the field of developmental biology is to study the processes underlying the vast changes that occur during the growth and development of various organisms. This research examines these specific processes and mechanisms within the context of chicken retinal development. Among the major modulators of development are proteins known as transcription factors. These bind to sequences of DNA and in doing so promote or block the expression of the genes to which they bind. In the context of this research, I have focused on PAWR and POU6f2, two transcription factors known to be influenced by the expression of microRNAs. As such, my research has utilized bioinformatics, genetic sequencing, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in order to examine the changing expression of these genes as chickens develop. In this presentation, I will describe the data that I have collected using the aforementioned techniques, as well as generally hypothesize as to the overall impact that POU6f2 and PAWR have on the differentiation of cells and development of the retina.
11:15 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 327, Darshan Hullon, Health Science: “Sleep’s Effect on Heart Health”
Description: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has public health importance. OSA causes cylindrical, momentary cessations when the upper airway partially or completely collapses, leading to intermittent hypoxemia and sympathetic activation. These events will precipitate and/or exacerbate hypertension, atrial fibrillation (AF), coronary artery disease (CAD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). However, if OSA is screened early, then AF, CAD and CHF morbidity and mortality may decrease. This study took 300 patients with atrial fibrillation, CAD or CHF and administered the STOP-BANG survey to evaluate low, moderate or high OSA risk. Each result was sent to the patient's general practitioner (GP) where the GP could investigate further and discuss options with the patient. Every patient received a follow-up call: one, three and six months. The sample had 7%, 33% and 59% for low, moderate and high OSA risk, respectively. The high-risk group had 178 patients where 2% died, 21% already had treatment, 29% did not reply, and 48% visited a GP. Of the 85 high-risk patients who visited, 26% were investigated, 9% received treatment, and 60% did not discuss options. The diagnosis and treatment of OSA can lead to more efficient medical resource rationing and may decrease cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
11:30 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 327, Natalie Orsi, Biochemistry: “Characterization of a Potential Malarial Drug Target Molecule”
Description: The Plasmodium parasite is responsible for more than 200 million cases of malaria worldwide, resulting in more than 600,000 deaths. Plasmodium's resistance to the most common treatments is great cause for concern and brings about the quest to develop new drugs to counteract the spread of malaria. Identifying the function of transporter proteins closely related to drug resistance and drug delivery within the parasite is the first step towards finding molecules that could potentially be targeted by future treatments. PKH_050710 is a predicted P. knowlesi homolog to a confirmed dicarboxylate/tricarboxylate carrier in P. falciparum. Characterization of PKH_050710 using yeast as a model organism involved the purification of yeast expression vectors, cloning of the gene of interest, and the ligation of the vectors and inserts. The growth of large amounts of the recombinant plasmid in E. coli and transformation of the recombinant vectors into multiple yeast strains was successful. The function of the gene remains unknown; growth experiments have been inconclusive.
11:45 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 327, James Wiebler, Biology: “Characterizing the Cold-Conditioning Response in a Vertebrate Ectotherm”
Description: In winter, ectothermic animals experience low body temperatures and must physiologically adapt to withstand the stresses of cold. Seasonal increases in cold hardiness have been well studied; however, a more rapid and supplementary increase in cold hardiness recently was reported in hatchling painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). This cold-conditioning response, induced by brief exposure to subzero temperature, increased cold hardiness and increased blood concentrations of glucose and lactate. To determine the thermal dynamics necessary to elicit this response, winter-acclimated turtles were chilled to modest subzero temperatures (-3.5, -7 or -10.5°C) gradually over five days or were repeatedly chilled to those temperatures in 24-hour cycles over five days. Turtles from both experiments were then cold-shocked to -12.7°C during the subsequent 48 hours to assess their cold hardiness. Turtles gradually chilled to -3.5 or -7°C and those repeatedly chilled to -3.5, -7 or -10.5°C had significantly higher survival after cold shock than did turtles from a control group. My results suggest that the cold-conditioning response can be elicited by a range of subzero temperatures and that naturalistic temperature fluctuation may further enhance cold hardiness. Generally, cold conditioning was accompanied by elevated glucose and lactate in the liver, blood and brain, suggesting the turtles mounted an adrenergic
11 a.m.-noon: Concurrent Sessions ID
11 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 102, Joshua Eisenberg, Biology: “Identification of Evolutionarily Conserved Proteins Required for Ras Localization”
Description: The Ras protein is a GTPase that acts as a switch to regulate many signaling pathways. In response to external stimuli and receptor activation, Ras can be activated through the exchange of GDP for GTP at the plasma membrane. At the plasma membrane it can interact with many effectors to mediate complex processes such as growth, differentiation and apoptosis. Ras has gained significant attention because it is mutated in about 30 percent of cancers leading to its hyperactivation and misregulation of downstream pathways. The purpose of this study was to investigate how Ras travels to the plasma membrane in order to promote its signaling pathways. Utilizing the model organism S. Pombe, a type of fission yeast, I searched for genes that may be responsible for the localization of Ras to the plasma membrane. Using human fibrosarcoma cells, I also investigated the role of the GCP16 gene in the localization of Ras.
11:15 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 102 Sara Strever, Psychology: “Psychosocial Functioning in Cancer Patients Prior to Facial Reconstruction”
Description: Body image is a critical psychosocial issue for patients with facial cancers, as treatment can significantly affect physical appearance and functioning. However, there is limited research conducted in this area focusing specifically on patients undergoing reconstructive treatment. This study aims to evaluate body image perceptions, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life in patients about to undergo facial reconstruction. Ultimately, this information will be critical for identifying factors that place individuals at the highest risk for adverse psychosocial functioning during survivorship. Patients with facial cancers about to undergo reconstructive surgery completed a battery of self-report questionnaires (n=140). Our sample typically reported significantly better body image perceptions than available norms. Females reported significantly worse body image perceptions than males on most measures. Adequate psychometric properties were demonstrated on a range of body image measures. Although our sample generally had better body image perceptions than available norms, some participants reported significant body image concerns. Our findings will be critical for serving as a baseline comparison for patients with facial cancer throughout the reconstructive process and developing targeted psychosocial intervention programs.
11:30 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 102 Katie Vonderheide, Elementary Education: “Making Lives Better For Children With Cancer”
Description: Children's Art Project (CAP) is a company created to implement art into a child's life while they are undergoing the hardships of cancer. Not only is art used to brighten the children's spirits, but this unique company helps in a various other ways. CAP creates products using these pieces of art made by the children, to then sell to the public. The money raised from these sales is then used to provide many opportunities for the children at the hospital, from summer camp to college scholarships.
11:45 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 102, Kelsey Winter, Biology: “A Clinical, Pathological and Immunohistochemical Analysis of Low, Intermediate and High Grade DCIS”
Description: The increasing use of mammography as a screening tool and recent advances in breast imaging techniques have resulted in in situ lesions, namely ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), to be diagnosed with increasing frequency. Traditionally the nuclear grade of the DCIS has been considered as one of the significant prognostic markers of clinical outcome; the higher the nuclear grade, the worse the clinical outcome, and increased risk of recurrence or progression to invasive carcinoma. In spite of the increasing diagnoses and clinical relevance, the criteria for nuclear grading of DCIS have been a matter of contention. Currently there are eight different schemes of classification of DCIS depending upon a combination of factors. These criteria can be very subjective with moderate to low inter-observer reproducibility. Although the natural history of DCIS still remains an enigma, there is a consideration that half of the untreated DCIS will either recur or progress to invasive carcinoma. It is believed that many cases are being over-treated. Hence there is a need to understand the biology of the disease and seek clinical, histologic as well as molecular criteria for risk assessment of DCIS for appropriate treatment. Evaluation of the protein expression at subcellular levels in the different grades of DCIS will help us develop objective criteria to define the various grades of DCIS. Also it will facilitate the understanding of the biology of disease progression from low to high grade.
11 a.m.-noon: Concurrent Sessions IE
11 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 305, Dr. Michael Reisner, Environmental Studies: “Defoliation Decreases Dompetitive Ability of Resident Plants, Alters the Outcome of Interactions, and Increases Invader Success”
Description: Biotic resistance induced by competition from resident plants is especially important in limiting the abundance of exotics invaders. Grazing may decrease such resistance by reducing the competitive abilities of resident plants and altering outcomes of interactions between natives and invaders, and thereby increasing invader success. We tested these predictions in Great Basin Artemisia tridentata ecosystems that are especially vulnerable to cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion. We conducted a factorial experiment to test interactions between treatments in small un-invaded patches within extensively invaded communities. Treatments included: (1) defoliation timing/frequency (control, spring, spring twice, spring/fall, fall), and (2) preference (native bunchgrasses, bunchgrasses and B. tectorum). Treatments involved clipping plants to a 5cm stubble height. Since competition is predominately belowground for water and nutrients, competitive abilities of two native bunchgrass species, Achnatherum thurberianum (Thurber's needlegrass) and Elymus elymoides (squirreltail), were assessed by measuring fine root biomass from root cores (0-15cm depth) at 5, 15, 30 and 45cm from bunchgrass bases and measuring fine root biomass growth in ingrowth cores and nitrate uptake rates. B. tectorum collected from the study site was planted in transects between bunchgrasses at 2cm increments. Established plants were harvested prior to seed maturity and weighed.
11:15 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 305, Dr. Reuben Heine, Geography: “Reading the Riverbed—Coaxing a 90-year Story From the Sediments in the Upper Mississippi River”
Description: This research aims to understand how 90-plus years of river engineering activities have impacted the characteristics of the bed sediments of the Upper Mississippi River. This study builds upon historic bed sediment data that were published in a rare (and under-utilized) volume that is owned by Augustana College's Special Collections (Lugn, 1927). In 1925, Alvin Leonard Lugn (Augustana 1916 graduate) commissioned a small research boat to collect more than 500 sediment samples from the Mississippi River from Rock Island, Ill., to the confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill. The results were published as Augustana Library Publications Number 11 in 1927. To build upon Lugn's work, Augustana students digitized the sediment data and used modern GIS technology to geo-locate Lugn's sample sites. In the summer of 2011, samples were collected from the same locations along the 400-plus miles of river length from Rock Island to Cairo. Using modern plotting software and by isolating only main-channel samples, new patterns have been gleaned from Lugn's work, including a distinct downstream fining of sediments that was not previously recognized. In addition, our 2011 data permit site-by-site comparisons for how the sediment characteristics have changed in the 90 years in relation to the installation of lock and dams, wing dams and other river engineering modifications.
11:30 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 305, Dr. Steve Hager, Biology: “Evaluating the Drivers of Bird-Window Collisions Across North America”
Description: Bird-window collisions (BWCs) are an important human-related threat to bird survival in developed landscapes. BWCs are thought to be affected by building structural features and land use at local and landscape scales, but we know little about whether the drivers of BWCs are consistent among urban areas. In 2013, the EREN network enabled collaboration among 13 sites in the eastern United States and central Mexico to assess the drivers of BWCs. Our short-term goals were to complete a pilot field season in fall 2013 to (1) test project methods and protocols and (2) conduct a preliminary analysis of the data collected. Selection of study buildings, measuring environmental and structural factors, and carcass survey methods were standardized to make data comparable among sites. Carcass surveys were completed at all buildings (N = 87) for 21 consecutive days. We used generalized linear mixed models to assess the relationship between the number of carcasses resulting from window collisions and four environmental and structural factors. We found 91 bird carcasses (N = 39 species) resulting from window collisions. The most supported model explaining the number of carcasses included window area, local vegetation and broad-scale development. Thus, most BWCs occurred at large buildings constructed in quality bird habitat (both at the local and landscape scale). Project methods and protocols performed well, but will be modified for the fall 2014 field season to include, for example, a more effective carcass survey protocol that improves detection of carcasses by field workers. Recent recruitment efforts for additional collaborators has increased participation for 2014 to 45 college/university campuses in North America. To date, the project has provided inquiry-based educational opportunities for 189 undergraduate students and 21 faculty/professional researchers at collaborator sites. Students at three campuses participated in professional development activities, e.g., poster presentations at local scientific meetings, which stemmed from their research on bird-window collisions. Results from the 2013 pilot field season are preliminary, but suggest strong potential to assess the drivers of BWCs at the continent scale in future field seasons. This information is crucial for predicting local and regional mortality, which would focus future conservation efforts aimed at reducing collision-related impacts.
11:45 a.m., Hanson Hall of Science 305, Dr. Jason Koontz, Biology: “Why I Went to Southern California in the Summer, of All Times”
Description: I received funding from the Faculty Research Committee to spend one month in southern California during the summer of 2013 to continue my work on larkspurs from my 2012 sabbatical. I focused on higher elevation species and those that flower later in the growing season. I was able to add four species to my list of species to see.
11 a.m.-noon: Concurrent Sessions IF
11 a.m., Old Main 132, Phidlynn Augustin, Virginia Aumann, Alexandra Blust, Alexandria Bruozis, Sarah Colette, Elizabeth Cowan, Carlisle Evans Peck, Amy Fagan, Meghan Grahs, Isaac Lauritsen, Thanh Le, Michalina Malysz, Kirsten Mathisen, Eleanor Nolan, Anna Novotny, Vanessa Reyes, Rosalie Starenko, Clair Wright, (Holden Village winter term):“Representing Learning in Community: A Holden Village Musical”
Description: During the recent Holden Village term, all 18 students wrote, directed and filmed We Are One: A Holden Village Musical, an hour-long musical that sought to explain Holden Village by utilizing the course concepts from the three courses taught in the Learning Community: History of American Consumerism; Environmental Ethics; and Communication, Time and Technology. In this presentation, the Holden Village term students will explain course concepts and Holden Village by showing part of the film that they made while living and studying in the wilderness of the Cascade Mountains this past January and February.
11 a.m.-noon: Concurrent Sessions IG
11 a.m., Olin Center 307, Dr. Janis Lonergan, Business Administration: “Teaching SAS to Undergraduates”
Description: I revised the SAS Tutorial Manual for use by students during their first statistics class: BUSN211 Business Statistics I. The manual is designed so that students can learn the basics of programming in SAS by reading the manual and doing the examples provided. Little, if no, faculty instruction should be needed. SAS is the market leader in providing a new generation of business intelligence software and services that create true enterprise intelligence. SAS solutions are used at 40,000 sites, including 96 of the top 100 companies on the FORTUNE Global 500.
11:15 a.m., Olin Center 307, Dr. Brian Katz, Mathematics: “Understanding Student Inquiry”
Description: Student inquiry has become an important topic on campus; we must prepare our students for Senior Inquiry, inquiry is often a high impact learning experience, and, more fundamentally, the goal of a liberal arts college is to teach students to ask and explore their own questions. This project is an attempt to understand how students inquire in a mathematics course. How do they use an understanding of questions asked in one content domain to inspire questions in a new domain? What kinds of exploration approaches do students use? How do students engage in peer-supported inquiry?
11:30 a.m., Olin Center 307, Dr. Ian Harrington, Psychology: “Can You Change a Student's Mind With a Course About the Brain?”
Description: We know that our students come to us with deeply entrenched beliefs on a wide range of subjects, and that these beliefs are often difficult to change within our courses and programs. In addition to my standard assessments of course content, I also have also assessing student beliefs about course-relevant topics like the veracity of their sensory experiences, the predictability of behavior, the nature of the mind-body relationship, and others. After five years of data collection, it appears that students, on average, do tend to shift (if modestly) what they report to be their positions on issues like these, and that these changes are generally consistent with the themes of the class. However, beyond the abstract notion of a "student on average," there are many students who change profoundly and others who don't change at all. I will describe the use of these assessments in my class and how they have given me greater insight into my students as they arrive at the beginning of a term, and how they might be at the conclusion of the term.
11:45 a.m., Olin Center 307, Dr. Mike Schroeder, Education: “Engaging Teaching Methodologies: Advice from the Frontiers of Cognitive Science”
Description: During my fall 2012 sabbatical, I investigated some of the latest research regarding teaching methods and techniques which impact student learning. In essence, the research involved an extensive review of recent journal articles and books from fields associated with cognitive science. I undertook this effort with an eye towards completing the 2nd edition of my teaching methods book Constructivist Methods for the Secondary Class: Engaged Minds, which I co-wrote with Ina Gabler in 2003.