IU East Faculty News and Notes

November 29th, 2010

Humanities and Social Sciences faculty receive funding for research
Wazir Mohamed
, assistant professor of sociology, received an award from Indiana University’s Summer Faculty Research Support Fund to facilitate the completion of field research for a book in progress, Sugar, Land, and Marginalization: Guyana and the World Economy, 1838-2010, to be completed by December 2011.

New field research will allow Mohamed to give important and significant contemporary relevance to the historical research and analyses contained in the dissertation. The purpose of the research is to gauge the extent to which small landholding farmers are being displaced today by large landholding farmers, information that he hopes will enable him to develop new approaches and parameters within which social and land reform policies may be developed to address congruent changes in the agricultural landscape.

Elvinet Wilson, assistant professor of communication studies, is working on a research project, “Campus Citizenship and Intergroup Conflict: Focus Group Assessments at Two Regional University Campuses.” This project will enhance and supplement a current and ongoing collaborative research project titled “Changes in Diversity-Related Attitudes at Two Small University Campuses: Is Diversity Training Associated with Attitude Change Campuswide?”

The original three-year study is currently being conducted by Christina A. Downey of IU Kokomo and Wilson. That project utilizes a quantitative research approach and has already begun to collect data through the administration of an online survey directed to faculty, staff and students at both IU Kokomo and IU East.

This proposed study seeks to qualitatively assess how faculty, staff and students make sense of diversity and intergroup conflict at the same two regional campuses of Indiana University. This study will utilize qualitative methodologies to capture a more vivid picture of how both campus communities have come to understand cross-cultural interaction and intergroup conflict based on diversity-related constructs like race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, etc. The project will involve students as research participants and research assistants from the outset.

English professor receives fellowship
Jean Harper
, assistant professor of English, recently received a New Frontiers Traveling Fellowship grant for $2,500.  Harper plans to use the grant to support her poetry writing, including travel to a workshop where she will work with Mark Doty in January 2011, and a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in the spring.

Faculty present at conferences
Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of history Joanne Passet presented a paper, “Hidden in Plain Sight:  Gay and Lesbian Books in Midwestern Public Libraries, 1900-69,” at Library History Seminar XII.  The theme of the international seminar, which meets every five years, was “Libraries in the History of Print Culture.” Passet also moderated a session on “Reaching Remote Readers,” and was interviewed by a filmmaker who is preparing a documentary, “Free for All,” which focuses on the history and spirit of the American public library.

Sheila Armstead, assistant professor of social work, and Lee Ann Goeke, freshman social work major, presented “Teaching Diversity Through Theater and Current Communication” during the Office of Diversity’s 2010 Diversity Research & Teaching Symposium. The symposium was held on November 6 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind.

Armstead and Goeke’s presentation explored themes in the media and the different means of communication; the media stigmatization of various populations and issues; individuals socialization by family, institutions and communities; “ism’s” as a part of everyday life, and how the above themes influence our understanding and perception of people, issues and personal beliefs.

Mort Seddighin, professor of mathematics, presented an invited plenary talk at the 12th Annual Optimization Conference which was held at Wane State University in Detroit, Mich., on October 8. The title of his talk was “A Survey of Optimization Problems in Statistics.” He has been an invited speaker to this conference for the last five consecutive years.

Tim Scales, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at IU East and lecturer of business administration, Brenda Buckner, assistant professor in the School of Education, and students, Morgan Imhoff and Rick McKinney, presented at the Sixth Annual Gulf Coast Conference on October 21, in Memphis, Tenn. The presentation was “Creating an Economy.”

Reading and Book Signing
Vickie Weaver
, IU East adjunct faculty for composition and creative writing, had a book signing on campus for her novel Billie Girl on October 28. Her novel won the 2009 Leapfrog Fiction Contest.

The book signing was sponsored by Mindful Explorations and Friends of the Library.

Weaver received her B.A. in English with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from IU East in 2000.  In 2005, she received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Spalding University.

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