Centre faculty recognized for latest publications and research

Posted by Centre News in Academics, News, Religious Life 26 Sep 2013

faculty_presentationThough Centre professors are known for their engaged and passionate work in the classroom, most of them also devote significant effort to research and publication, garnering awards and honors along the way. And while these achievements might otherwise remain isolated to specific departments or professors, Centre’s Professional Recognition receptions give faculty an opportunity to be recognized for their excellent work and, more importantly, share it with the rest of Centre’s academic community.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Stephanie Fabritius organized the receptions beginning in 2008. At least six receptions are held each year, with six to seven faculty members presenting at each one—this translates into 36 to 42 faculty presentations per academic year. On Tuesday, September 24, the faculty met for their first reception of the term in the Ewen Room of the Campus Center.

“This is an event we sponsor to recognize our colleagues who’ve made great contributions to their field in the past year,” Fabritius said in her opening remarks on Tuesday.

“Knowing how active our faculty really are is a treat,” she continued. “It’s like dining at a buffet—to see what all the different disciplines are involved in and what all of our research and creative works look like across our many disciplines.”

Featured presenters included Professor of Dramatic Arts Tony Haigh; H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of French and German Ken Keffer; Nelson D. and Mary McDowell Rodes Professor of Religion Tom McCollough; Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kerry Paumi; Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics Forrest Stonedahl; and Gordon B. Davidson Associate Professor of History Amos Tubb.

Tony Haigh, who recently directed a 50th anniversary production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, reenacted its opening scene with the help of Assistant Professor of Music Jaemi Loeb. The short vignette demonstrated the alcohol-fueled, aggressive relationship between the married couple.

For Haigh, the play is important as “an examination of the American scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values.”

Tom McCollough spoke about his most recent archaeological excavations in Khirbet Qana in the Galilee region of Israel, where new evidence suggests a very different Biblical context for Jesus’ life and sermons.
Specifically, he mentioned the clear evidence of economic and social differentiation in Khirbet Qana and other sites previously thought to be small, rural subsistence villages.

“This gives a new context for Jesus,” McCollough explained. “His critique is no longer between ‘Rome and us,’ it’s actually within the network of Jewish villages themselves, where he sees social and economic disparities.”
Kerry Paumi discussed her important work studying how biological systems engage with toxins, research that has significant implications for drug treatment and chemotherapy.

“If we can learn how these toxin systems are regulated and what turns them on and off, we can make huge gains in understanding chemotherapy and detoxification processes,” she said.

Her study examined proteins in human breast cancer and common bread yeast cells in an effort to understand how they control toxin regulation within a given cell.

“We used fluorescent tags on the toxins and then looked at them under a microscope,” she explained. “It was fascinating to see how the tags moved throughout the cells.”

Each faculty presentation is limited to approximately five minutes for a very specific reason.

“The idea is that the short presentations generate questions, so that afterwards, you can initiate a conversation about what you’ve heard and learn even more,” Fabritius says. “As members of an academic community, I think it’s important for us to know the kinds of intellectual achievements our colleagues are making—and to have enough information to start some really engaging conversations.”

Faculty Presenters:

Anthony Haigh
Directed fiftieth anniversary production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for Banta Productions in Lexington.

Ken Keffer
“Le Triste Outilage de la Société des Amis de Montaigne,” Bulletin de la Société des Amis de Montaigne 2012.2, 41-54.

Benjamin Knoll
“When Plato Meets Popkin: Combining Political Philosophy and Empirical Content in the Classroom.” PS: Political Science and Politics 45(4): 748-752.

Tom McCollough
“City and Village in Lower Galilee: The Importance of the Archaeological Excavations at Sepphoris and Khirbet Qana (Cana) for Framing the Economic Context of Jesus,” in The Galilean Economy at the Time of Jesus. Edited by D. Fiensy and R. Hawkins. Early Christianity and Its Literature Series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012.

Kerry Paumi
Jaarrar, R., Herren, C.K.++, Cowley, S.T.++, Pickin, K.A., Paumi, C.M. Ycf1p Attenuates Salt-Induced Oxidative Stress response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEBS Lett. 2012, 586, 847-53.
Stolarczyk, E.I., Reiling, C.J., Pickin, K.A., Coppage, R., Knecht, M.R., Paumi, C.M. Casein Kinase 2a Regulates Multidrug Resistance-associated Protein 1 Function via Phosphorylation of Thr249. Mol. Pharmacol. 2012, 82, 488-99.

Forrest Stonedahl
Stonedahl, F. & Stonedahl, S. H. (2012). Darwinian Rivers: Evolving Stream Topographies to Match Hyporheic Residence Time Distributions. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (GECCO ’12). July 7-11. Philadelphia, PA.

Stonedahl, F. & Rand, W. (2012). When Does Simulated Data Match Real Data? Comparing Model Calibration Functions using Genetic Algorithms. Proceedings of the 4th World Congress on Social Simulation (WCSS 2012). Sept. 4-7. Taipei, Taiwan.

Amos Tubb
“Independent Presses: The Politics of Print in England during the late 1640s.” The Seventeenth Century, Vol. 27. No. 3, Autumn 2012, pp. 287-312.

By Mariel Smith

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