Featured Story: Faculty Development

Faculty development in the School of Sciences at CBU happens in many different ways. All faculty work on their courses, both keeping up with constantly expanding content and improving the course materials and delivery. Work on developing course web pages and web resources keeps many of our faculty active throughout the year. Work on new and improved laboratory experiments also keeps many of us busy and involved in the lab. Work on using the power of the computer to aid instruction also is a source of continued faculty effort. While many of our students do their senior research with researchers at local research institutions, some of the Sciences’ faculty are able to work with students on their student research. In particular, Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Dr. Stan Eisen, and Dr. James Moore, have worked with students in biology, Ms. Lynda Miller has worked with natural science students, Dr. Dennis Merat has worked with chemistry students, Professor Cathy Grilli has worked with math students, and Dr. John Varriano has worked with physics and even some engineering students on their senior research projects. In Computer Science, Dr. Arthur Yanushka oversees the Computer Science internships.

Dr. John Varriano, Professor of Physics, has worked to develop some web based resources for some of his physics courses, and was recently asked by the Educational Technology division of the Ministry of Education in Singapore to allow them to link to some of his on-line resources. Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, has also created impressive resources for the web and has received numerous requests for permission to use those resources. Br. Walter Schreiner, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has developed statistics manuals for the calculators we use and for SPSS that are regularly used by other schools. He has also developed several Maple worksheets including a new set for Calculus III.

Some of us are able to find the time to devote to the traditional form of faculty development: publishing our research. Listed below are some areas of active interest and some of the papers that were published by the Sciences faculty recently.

Dr. Leigh C. Becker, Professor of Mathematics, does research on Volterra integral equations.  Some of his recent results include theorems that allowed him to find closed-form solutions of integral equations that were previously unknown.  They are among some of the other results that appear in the following papers:
Resolvents for weakly singular kernels and fractional differential equations, Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications,75, Issue 13 (Sept. 2012), pp. 4839-4861. 
Singular integral equations, Liapunov functionals, and resolvents, Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications, 75, Issue 7 (May 2012), pp. 3277-3291 (coauthored with T. A. Burton and I. K. Purnaras).  Resolvents and solutions of weakly singular linear Volterra integral equations, Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications,74, Issue 5 (March 2011), pp. 1892-1912.  Seven of his papers are cited in a recently published book by T. A Burton entitled Liapunov Theory for Integral Equations with Singular Kernels and Fractional Differential Equations (amazon.com 2012). Dr. Becker also reviewed papers for two journals last year.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, writes:  “As a faculty member in science, it is important to stay current in my area of expertise, as developments progress so quickly.  One of the ways I am able to do this is to apply for summer faculty development funds.  These funds allow faculty to attend meetings, conduct research or update our classes.  I have been fortunate enough to receive summer support, which I used to attend an international meeting as well as a workshop, and it supported time to re-vamp my courses.  This past summer, I attended the International Congress of Eye Research in Berlin, Germany.  This was a small meeting by comparison to other meetings I normally attend: ARVO and Neuroscience that have 15-20 thousand people in attendance, and  ICER that has 500 attendees.  I was able to present my data and attend other sessions that were outside my field.  In this manner, I learned a lot about areas of research in the visual system that I would not normally read about.  I also had the opportunity to observe Dr. Felix Vasquez-Chon, Biology 1998, who is currently a post-doctoral fellow in Utah.  He moderated a session at the meeting and it was wonderful to see him ‘grow up’ in the scientific community.  It was not all work, Felix and I rented bikes and rode around Berlin.  It was a wonderful city. ”

Dr. James Moore

Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, had two papers published in 2012:  Water stress interacts with early arrival to influence inter and intra-specific priority competition: A test using a greenhouse study. Journal of Vegetation Science 23(4): 647-656;  and  Long-term population demography of Trillium recurvatum (Beck) on loess bluffs in western TN. AoB-Plants doi: 10.1093/aobpla/pls015.

Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology, attended the Annual Human Anatomy and Physiology Society http://www.hapsweb.org/ Conference in May 2012.  Annual HAPS meetings are attended by A&P professors from across North America and feature two days of update seminars followed by two days of hands-on workshops.  Dr. Ross reports, “Having students use clay to help learn human muscles is an idea I’ve had my eye on for several years… but the name brand versions of the skeleton model cost several hundred dollars each and sculpting muscles in clay seemed far too time consuming.  Then I attended a workshop at the May 2012 HAPS meeting and saw that a couple of A&P professors had developed a cheaper method… using the Tiny Tim model skeletons (about $20 each) and strings of clay (instead of having to sculpt more realistic looking muscles).  They even have a web site that shows  about 60 muscles constructed this way.  After trying it during the workshop I decided I could make this work for CBU’s A&P course.”  So, early last summer Dr. Ross purchased 14 of the skeletons (one per student), 4 clay extruders, and a few pounds of good quality plasticene clay.  She then modified the A&P Supplement and syllabus to include this hands-on lab activity in the Biol 217 lab course.  This fall, each A&P student constructed a few assigned muscles on a small model skeleton.  Then the students examined each other’s models and identified the names and actions of the muscles other students constructed.  Dr. Ross reports that students really enjoyed the hands-on lab activity and befitted from practice learning the names and actions of human muscles.  Here are some photos of the students in action http://facstaff.cbu.edu/aross/APIhome.htm#L8_9

new models in use

New models being used in Human Anatomy & Physiology

Dr. Johnny B. Holmes, Professor of Physics, and Dr. John Varriano, Professor of Physics, worked this year to update the physics computer assisted homework problem sets that they created. These 48 programs worked fine on the Windows XP and older windows operating systems, but the recent versions of Vista and Windows 7 required the use of a third-party DOSBOX routine. The updated programs now run directly on all of the windows operating systems.