||Faculty members honored for publications, other achievements
RELEASED: October 29, 2009
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY—Each year, Centre College professors embark on an array of academic endeavors. Last month, the first faculty recognition reception of the term honored six professors for their recently published works, and on Monday, Oct. 26, six more were honored with a reception for books and articles published in 2008.
Michael Barton, Stodghill Professor of Biology, was recognized for two articles published in 2008. Co-authored by Chris Barton, "Pupfishes of the Bahamas" was the cover article for the Journal of American Killifish Association.
The second article, "Reproductive isolation among endemic pupfishes (Cyprinodon) on San Salvador Island, Bahamas: Microsatellite evidence," appeared in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
"The two papers are based on studies we've been doing on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas for the past several years," Barton says. "We've been looking at ecology and behavior of a group of fishes, pupfishes (family Cyprinodontidae), as they inhabit ponds and lakes in remote areas where most other fish species can't reach or can't tolerate the harsh conditions."
Recently, Barton's studies have focused on the "evolution of species flocks in these lakes and ponds. More specifically, we've documented the restriction of gene flow between different forms of the fish. Our field studies—essentially making snorkeling observations of courting behavior by males of the different morphs [various distinct forms of a species]—demonstrate that the males preferentially court females of their own morph and exhibit aggressive behavior toward females of other morphs."
Renowned trumpet soloist and Matton Professor of Music Vince DiMartino was honored for having received the 2008 Governor's Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award.
Upon hearing the news that he had received the award, DiMartino says he "was surprised, as there are so many wonderful people in the arts who do remarkable things. The award is a credit to all who do these things."
In his lifetime of achievement, DiMartino has performed worldwide both as a trumpet soloist and with fellow musicians. The list of legendary artists he has performed and/or recorded with includes Stevie Wonder, Doc Severinsen, and Ella Fitzgerald, among many others.
DiMartino was co-founder of the New Columbian Brass Band, is a featured soloist with the Advocate Brass Band, and frequently showcases his talent at the annual Great American Brass Band Festival, which is held on Centre's campus each summer and typically draws crowds of around 40,000 people.
Although DiMartino receives much joy from playing music, he also greatly enjoys sharing his musical knowledge with students. His devotion to teaching, in fact, led to him being named 2004 CASE Kentucky Professor of the Year.
"I enjoy seeing young people engaged in progress toward knowing more about their passions in learning, including music," he says. "They go on to a future where every day is not work—it's another day of new discoveries about themselves and their endeavors. My performance career will at some point have a well-defined end, but our teaching travels through time, through the experiences our students have because of our work with them. And they will do the same for others as the cycle continues."
Bruce K. Johnson, James Graham Brown Professor of Economics, was recognized for two publications in 2008. One, "The Valuation of Nonmarket Benefits in Sport," is a chapter in the book Business of Sport: Economic Perspectives on Sport (Praeger Press, 2008).
"The chapter is a survey of scholarly research attempting to determine the dollar value of non-market benefits of sports," he explains, "i.e., the value of benefits that people receive but do not have to pay for; they get the benefits for free. These benefits include such things as civic unity and camaraderie, community pride, vicarious thrills, and more. Most of the literature uses a survey method called the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), in which people are asked their willingness to pay for environmental amenities such as clean air, scenic vistas, protection of endangered species and other important things for which markets do not exist."
The editors of the book invited Johnson to write the chapter because he, along with John C. Whitehead '85, "were the first to apply CVM to sports about 10 years ago, and consequently, our research is cited by the many other scholars who have followed our lead."
Johnson, whose research has been published in numerous media outlets throughout his career, was also recognized for the 2008 article "The End Doesn't Always Justify the Means: Public Support for Funding Amateur Sports and Recreation Using Alberta Lottery Fund Monies." The article, written in collaboration with Gordon Walker, Daniel Mason and John C. Whitehead, appeared in World Leisure Journal, a British sociology journal.
Professor of chemistry Ed Montgomery was honored for the 2008 article "Statistical complexity and Fisher-Shannon information measure of H2+, H.E," which was published in the journal Physics Letters A.
Written in collaboration with Professor K.D. Sen from the University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad, India, the paper "extended some ideas developed with Adam Watson '05 and published in the Journal of Physics B in 2007," Montgomery says. "Most of the work was done in about 10 weeks during the spring of 2007, but the idea had been under consideration for a couple of years before that."
The research focused on "two information theoretic measures, statistical complexity and Fisher-Shannon information product," Montgomery says, "which were used to study bonding in the hydrogen molecular ion. This was the first application of complexity theory to analysis of chemical bonding. Both measures gave results that are quite similar to the curve of H2+ binding energy found in general chemistry texts. This is consistent with our idea that bonding implies lowered complexity."
In years past, Montgomery has collaborated with research groups in India, Mexico, Russia and Hungary and is recognized around the world as an expert on computational methods. His research, concentrating on theoretical chemistry, emphasizes accurate calculation of the electronic structure of small systems.
He says that he and his collaborators are currently "developing a finite element method to study the response of atoms in a plasma to an applied electric field."
Sarah Murray, assistant professor of education, was recognized for the publication of her book titled Effects of Peer Coaching on Collaborative Interactions and Student Achievement (VDM Verlag, 2008).
"My book examined the effects of peer coaching on teachers' collaborative interactions and student achievement in the context of the Appalachian Mathematics and Science Partnership’s Mentored Implementation Program," Murray says.
The research was from Murray's dissertation, which was completed during her first year at Centre and "focuses on peer coaching as a form of professional development for teachers," she explains.
Stodghill Professor of Art Sheldon Tapley was recognized for his 2008 solo show of 19 paintings in Sacramento, California.
A nationally recognized artist, Tapley has had his work exhibited around the country in a variety of venues, including museum, academic, corporate and private collections. He has been featured on Kentucky Educational Television's series "Looking at Painting" and continues to exhibit at Tatistcheff Gallery in Manhattan.
Although at the beginning of his career, Tapley was a printmaker and abstractionist working with bold colors and textures, the desire to illustrate the environment around him soon led him to paint mostly landscapes. A few years later, Tapley changed his focus again and began creating energetic still-life images for which he is now well known.
From articles to books to artwork, Centre College professors continue to share their work not only with their students but the wider world as well.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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