Centre faculty explore interests with sabbaticals and Stodghill professorships

Posted by Centre News in Academics, Experts, News, Research 05 Dec 2013

As the fall semester comes to a close, Centre faculty are preparing for a wealth of academic endeavors and investigations through sabbatical leave and the Stodghill Professorship program for 2014-15.

Stodghill Research Professorships originated in 2005 with a generous gift from H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill. The gift funded several college initiatives, including the research professorships—competitive, two-course release awards for faculty members to pursue research, intensive practice of their art or some other special project.

fabritius_stephanie“The Stodghill Research Professorship program allows faculty with the most promising projects (at the right stage of development) to be completed,” explains Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Stephanie Fabritius (right), “especially when the process of completion might be more drawn out if done while teaching a full complement of courses.”

Importantly for Fabritius, having some time dedicated to research and other scholarly pursuits is a vital part of maintaining Centre’s unique academic culture and contributes to professors’ success in the classroom.

“Our teaching and scholarship are related,” she says. “Centre faculty incorporate their scholarly work in their understanding of their disciplines and the teaching of their classes, and they are also influenced in their scholarly work by their classes. The Stodghill Research Professorships are one way to maintain and strengthen the teacher-scholar model that we hold dear.”

Another way for faculty to explore their intellectual and research interests is with sabbaticals, which tenured faculty members are eligible for every six years of full-time teaching. Sabbaticals typically allow for a half-year release of three courses, but some faculty elect to take a full-year sabbatical.

“It’s important to stop periodically and take stock of your professional direction,” Fabritius explains. “It’s also important to have the time to engage in the work of ‘doing your discipline’; sometimes this means finishing a project that has been on hold, and other times, it means moving forward in a new direction.

“Faculty members find these sabbatical experiences both invigorating and restful,” she continues. “They are restful because they have the opportunity to focus on one or two big projects rather than juggle a number of activities. Sabbaticals, while very much being a refreshing experience, are far from lacking a flurry of activity.”

Stodghills

Jenn Goetz – Assistant Professor of Psychology
Goetz will write and submit two journal articles on comparative research that she and several students conducted both at Centre and at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.
Goetz’ first article presents data on how American and Chinese individuals conceptualize sympathy and differentiate it from emotions like love and sadness. The second article investigates two of her experiments that show how culture influences when individuals feel sympathy and for whom they feel sympathetic.

Chris Paskewich – Assistant Professor of Politics
Paskewich will be working on an interdisciplinary book about global citizenship, co-authored with Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy David Hall. The duo argue that current theories of the state/citizenship are incomplete and offer their own theory, encouraging hospitality and cosmopolitanism as the basis for a different form of societal organization.

Lee Jefferson – Assistant Professor of Religion
Jefferson will be pursuing two projects in the spring semester. He’ll be editing a volume of collected essays on Late Antiquity art and its imperial context, as well as writing an introduction and chapter within the book.
His second project is to write a manuscript proposal and chapter in his latest book project on the figure of Judas in Christian art.

Joel Kilty – Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Kilty will complete a book tentatively titled Lp Boundary Value Problems for Elliptic Equations and Systems on Lipschitz Domains in collaboration with two prominent researchers in the field: Zhongwei Shen at the University of Kentucky and Carlos Kenig at the University of Chicago.

Jay Bloom – Assistant Professor of Art History
Bloom will be finishing the final chapter in his book The Social Image: Essays on the Geneology of Easel Painting in Early Modern Flanders. Once finished, he will prepare his manuscript for publication.

Sabbaticals

FALL

Mike Barton – H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Biology
Barton will use his one-term sabbatical for two big projects. The first is the completion of several years of research on the population of pupfishes in the Bahamas. The second is the research and writing of a book on flatfishes.

John Kinkade – Associate Professor of English
Kinkade’s fall sabbatical will be dedicated to finishing Self-Help: The Biography of an Idea, a trade book that traces the roots of self-help to 18th- and 19th-century Britain, when the ideas of capitalism became more fully articulated.

FALL AND CENTRETERM

Brian Cusato – Elizabeth Molly Dowling Associate Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience
Cusato will be preparing two manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals during his sabbatical. These manuscripts describe the results of four recently-completed experiments that explore Pavlovian conditioning of sexual behavior and fertility in male and female Japanese quail.

Judith Jia – Charles T. Hazelrigg Associate Professor of Art
Jia will be busy in her studio during her sabbatical, creating work for a regional exhibit as well as several national group shows. Her first series of pieces is inspired by a recent faculty development trip to Asia, where she encountered congs (rectangular vessels with round bases and mouths). She will also continue work on a series of more recognizable glazed forms.

CENTRETERM AND SPRING

Allison Connolly – NEH Associate Professor of French
Connolly will spend the spring writing an article on Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga, whose fiction blends the natural beauty of Rwanda with its shocking genocide and its aftermath. Connolly’s article will focus on how trauma and exile inform the author’s work.

Tony Haigh – Professor of Dramatic Arts
Haigh will be both behind the scenes and center stage during his sabbatical, when he intends to both act and direct. He is currently in discussion about roles in Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll at the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, N.C., and Goodnight Mr. Tom at Lexington Children’s Theatre. He plans to direct The Mare Rider at Actor’s Guild of Lexington and direct a production at Centre’s exchange school, Rose Bruford College in London, England.

John Perry – Associate Professor of Economics
Perry will be hard at work finishing two submission-ready journal articles and making good headway on a third. He will also be pursuing the Chartered Financial Consultant designation to satisfy his professional interests in personal finance and financial planning.

Philip White – Associate Professor of English
White will finish a book on character psychology and thought in the late plays of Shakespeare, as well as translations of ancient Chinese poetry, which he intends to publish in the near future.

FULL YEAR

Jeff Heath – Associate Professor of Mathematics
Heath’s sabbatical will focus on researching how a pitcher/hitter matchup affects the probability that a batter gets a hit in baseball. This research is intended to develop new metrics that improve the way both player and team performances are measured. He intends to collaborate with the Director of Baseball Research and Analysis of the Cincinnati Reds in the process. He is also planning to produce a new metric for American football that finds the probability of scoring from any down, yards to go and field position.

Joe Workman – Professor of Chemistry
Workman will be collaborating with Dr. Ilya Bindeman at the University of Oregon on two projects. The first involves single crystal laser fluorination analysis of volcanic rocks for oxygen isotopes from Iceland and the Cascades to investigate magma origin. The second is an investigation of mass independent isotope effects of oxygen and sulfur isotopes in volcanic sulfate as a tool to understand the fate of volcanic plumes and their interactions with the upper atmosphere. He will be involved in both sample collection and analysis, his first introduction to geochemistry and igneous petrology.

By Mariel Smith