Recent Faculty Accomplishments, Academic Dean | Earlham College
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Recent Faculty Accomplishments

January 2019

Agabime -120Melis Agabigum, visiting assistant professor of 3D fabrication/metals, was selected for nine exhibitions in countries that include Portugal, Greece and the U.S. Agabigum published “Athens Jewelry Week in Review” in Art Jewelry Forum. Her work was included in Athens Jewelry Week 2018 Catalog, Antiquemania, Collectiva Meeting: International Exhibition, Body Adorned/Altered Catalog, and Refined Biennial Catalog. She was an invited panelist at Applications + Implications 3D printing + Design conference at Indiana University Bloomington at the J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program. Agabigum is also the faculty adviser for Woodman House.

Munozan -120Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Angel Munoz Gomez Andrade taught a Motivation class this fall and submitted the syllabus to be peer-reviewed for inclusion to Project Syllabus, a resource created by American Psychological Association Division 2: The Society for the Teaching of Psychology. The syllabus is now accepted and published online. Syllabi published in this site are considered exemplary.

Patrick BarberAssistant Professor of Chemistry Patrick Barber copublished “A critical analysis of L-asparaginase activity quantification methods – colorimetric methods versus high-performance liquid chromatography” in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, and copresented “Design, synthesis, and characterization of lanthanide ion coordination complexes for arsenic detection” at the Glass City Chemistry Conference in June in Toledo, Ohio. Along with other co-owners, he was granted a U.S. patent for “Chemical Pulping of Chitinous Biomass for Chitin” in October.

Marc BenamouIn May, Professor of Music Marc Benamou gave an invited talk on his NEH-funded research into Javanese song lyrics and taught a class on musical transcription for ethnomusicology students at the Sapienza Università in Rome, Italy. His talk was titled “Do Words Matter? Music and Textual ‘Content’ in Javanese Gamelan Music.” In July he participated as a performer and workshop leader in the inauguration of Goshen College’s newly arrived Javanese gamelan. In August he was invited to serve on a panel as part of the conference Gamelan Culture: Roots, Expression, and World View, held in conjunction with the International Gamelan Festival in Surakarta, Indonesia. His paper for the panel was presented in Indonesian. In translation, it would be titled “Is there an ‘about’? Musings on the lyrics of Javanese gamelan music.” While in Surakarta, he performed as guest vocalist with the London-based Southbank Gamelan Players as part of the opening ceremony of the festival.

Walt BistlineAssociate Professor of Art Walt Bistline’s photographs have been included in three regional juried art exhibitions: “Art About the Land” at Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie, Indiana; “The Whitewater Valley Juried Art Exhibition” at Indiana University East in Richmond; and “The 120th Richmond Art Museum Annual Exhibition.”

Peter BlairProfessor of Biology Peter Blair, Hannah Franklin ’17, Noah Kelner ’18, Peregrine Ke-Lind ’16, Malia Paulmier ’17 and Maleeka Shrestha ’19 co-authored “Targeted rDNA sequence determination from geographically isolated populations of Proterometra macrostoma (Trematoda: Azygiidae)” in the Indiana Academy of Sciences.

Matt BrownMatt Brown, director of the Quantitative Reasoning Center, presented at the National Numeracy Network Conference in East Lansing, Michigan, in October. The title of the presentation was “Quantitative Assessment for New Students: Effectively Measuring Quantitative Literacy Across the Curriculum.”

Amy BryantAssociate Library Director Amy Bryant presented “Faculty, Librarian, and Student Research at the Library of Congress” during the poster session at the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana’s annual meeting in Indianapolis in June. Bryant copresented “Building Competencies, Connections, & Persistence with First-Generation Students” with former Earlham librarian Kate Blinn during the Workshop for Instruction in Library Use Conference in Ottawa, Canada, in June.

Andy CliffordJay RobertsIn November 2018, Andy Clifford, director of outdoor and environmental education, and Jay Roberts, associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of education, copresented the keynote address for the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium at the combined Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education and Wilderness Education Association national pre-conference. Their presentation titled “Orienting Your Administrative Map” addressed working effectively with college senior administrators regarding outdoor programs.

Michael DeibelCorinne DeibelCorinne and Michael Deibel, professors of chemistry, partnered with Dr. Bonnie Sampsell to investigate pigments used on the ancient Egyptian coffin at the Wayne County Historical Museum. This work included elemental analysis using X-ray fluorescence and visible/NIR fluorescence with a camera system built by students as part of the Chem 431, Instrumental Analysis Course. These analyses provided information which will allow for a better understanding of the history of the coffin.

DimicreBecky Dimick Eastman, assistant director of Graduate Programs in Education, recently presented “Lessons from the Experiences of First-Year Teachers in Rural Schools: The Benefits and Challenges of Teaching in a Rural Environment” at the Association of Teacher Educators: Indiana Conference. The presentation included findings from her doctoral dissertation.

Cynthia FademThe Geology Department attended the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in November in Indianapolis. Associate Professor of Geology Cynthia Fadem presented “Taphonomic Investigations at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania: Current Progress and Directions” with Andrew Fishback ‘19 and “Geoarchaeology and Paleohydrology of the Northern Chaco Outliers Project: Preliminary Results” with Cora Johnson ‘19 and Nishchal Shrestha ‘19.

Andy MooreAssociate Professor of Geology Andy Moore, Melody Che ‘18 and Ai Lena Tomioka ‘19 presented two papers documenting the work they did in collaboration with researchers from the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dar es Salaam on tidal delta sediment flux in Tanzania. Moore also presented “Use Your Neighbors Wisely: Sharing Best Practices in Sedimentary Geology” with a group of Indiana professors. 

Shannon HayesMeg Streepy-SmithFive additional students along with Associate Professor of Geology Meg Streepey-Smith and Shannon Hayes, geology department curator, also attended the meeting. Fadem also lead a field trip, “Geoarchaeology of the Eastern Indiana Glacial Plain,” with Laura Murphy of Washburn University and Ed Herrmann of Indiana University. After serving two years as vice chair and two years as chair of the Geoarchaeology Division of the Geological Society of America, Fadem is now serving in an advisory capacity to the current chair and vice chair. She is on the Development Task Force in GSA’s Decadal Strategic Planning initiative at the invitation of the GSA President and is chair of the Geoarchaeology Awards Committee of the Society for American Archaeology. In April Fadem was invited to give another lecture on the climate system and climate change at First Friends Meeting in Richmond. Her 2017 May Term Archaeology course was part of a U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region/Northeastern Area Honor Award. Along with our Indiana University & IU-Purdue University Indianapolis partners, she received an Honorable Mention in Volunteerism and Service for archaeological survey work in the Deam Wilderness near Bloomington, Indiana.

Carol Anne FerlautoAssistant Director of the Newlin Quaker Center Carol Anne Ferlauto delivered workshops to Quaker Voluntary Service fellows in Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, and Portland, as well as to New England Yearly Meeting’s Young Adult Friend Spring Retreat during the months of May through July. Her workshop on Intersectional Feminism in the book of Genesis as it pertains to activism stemmed from her 2017 scholarship on the subject. Ferlauto was awarded a 2018 Pickett Fund grant for her workshop series.

Alex GrabarchukIn January of this year, Alex Grabarchuk, visiting assistant professor of music, conducted the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir at its annual Conductors’ Symposium. In February a recording of Grabarchuk’s was used in a memorial film for a Polish Holocaust survivor. In March she conducted a concert of all English-language music called “Mother Tongue” with the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company in Monrovia, California. In April Grabarchuk premiered a one-woman opera at Cal Poly Pomona called “Before Going to Work.” In May Grabarchuk conducted a concert about mental health awareness called “Conversations with Strangers” with the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles. In June Grabarchuk conducted a Taste of Broadway concert with the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company. In July Grabarchuk participated in the 2018 International Saito Conducting Workshop sponsored by the Saskatchewan Orchestral Association. In November Grabarchuk presented her first full-length concert, “The Living Voice,” at Earlham, featuring the music of living composers. In addition, Grabarchuk recently became the faculty sponsor of Earlham’s Contra Club.

Jonathan GrahamJonathan Graham, associate vice president for marketing and communications, had a production of his play, “The Snow Queen,” at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The play, published by Playscripts Inc. in 2010, has been produced 20 times at theatres across North America.

Welling HallOn November 14, Welling Hall, research professor of the liberal arts, had an exhibit and gave a talk titled “Art Transforming Violence” on Capitol Hill hosted by the Friends Committee on National Legislation in conjunction with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The exhibit featured Hall’s works in metal and wood and emphasized the role of the arts in engaging effective advocacy. 

Thomas HammThomas Hamm, professor of history and curator of the Quaker Collection, was the speaker for the 150th anniversary celebration of the Wilmington, Ohio, Friends Meeting in October.

Scott HessProfessor of English Scott Hess delivered a scholarly paper on “The Romantic Work of Genius: Author, Nature, Nation,” at the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism conference at Brown University, Providence, R.I., in June. Hess also published a book review of Simon Kövesi’s John Clare: Nature, Criticism and History in the John Clare Society Journal.

Susan Hillmann de CastanedaSusan Hillmann de Castaneda ‘93 was promoted to director of admission in October. She has been a part of the admission office since 2000, serving in such roles as counselor, director of the Explore-A-College Program and director of the Admission Volunteer Program. For eight years she served as the director of international admission. She will use that wide experience to guide a staff of eight counselors while continuing to recruit international students and representing Earlham at conferences and events. “I took on this new challenge with the goal of continuing to build an effective and robust strategy for recruiting the best future Earlhamites possible!” she says.

John IversonAs a board member of the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Turtle Conservation Fund, John Iverson, professor emeritus of biology, attended the annual meeting in Ft. Worth, Texas, in August. Also as a board member of the IUCN Iguana Specialist Group and the International Iguana Fund, he attended its annual meeting in Ft. Worth, Texas, in November. Iverson had eight recent publications, five involving three Earlham students, in journals that include Ecology and Evolution, Herpetology Review and Chelonian Research Monographs.

Deborah JacksonIn December of 2017, Deborah Jackson, professor emeritus of sociology/anthropology, served as discussant for a session of the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The session, “Matter of Contention: Materialities of Ethical Claim Making,” was co-organized by John Doering-White ’10 who is completing an anthropology and social work joint Ph.D. degree at the University of Michigan. In April, Jackson presented a paper at the Society for Applied Anthropology’s annual meeting in Philadelphia. Titled “Skin in the Game: Embodied Workers, Corporate Persons, and Risk in Canada’s Chemical Valley.”

Xunfei JiangCharlie PeckAssistant Professor of Computer Science Xunfei Jiang copublished with Tuguldur Baigalmaa ’17, Lam Nguyen ’18, Daiki Akiyoshi ’18, Eli Ramthun ’19, Niraj Parajuli ’18, and Professor of Computer Science Charlie Peck, “High Performance Cluster Monitoring System,” at the Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association Annual Summit and Conference in November in Hawaii. And with Baigalmaa, Nguyen, Akiyoshi and Peck listed as authors, Jiang presented “Energy Modeling of Cluster System” at the IEEE Workshop on Signal Processing Systems in October in Cape Town, South Africa. Jiang copublished “Recovery Support for Real-time Distributed Editing Systems” in the Journal of Internet Technology in July, and presented “Improvement of Chord Algorithm for P2P IMS Systems” at the ACSIC Symposium on Frontiers in Computing in Dallas in June. At the same Symposium, Jiang also gave a poster presentation “Energy Efficient Cluster Systems: A case study of energy consumption with PBS and Hadoop” with Ramthun and Phuc Tran ’18 and Peck included as authors.

Fariba Khoshnasib-ZeinabadMalik BarrettVisiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Fariba Khoshnasib-Zeinabad has a journal paper preprint, “On Some Integral Means,” on She is the faculty advisor for Global Females in STEM club organized by Megan Bennett ’19. Khoshnasib-Zeinabad organized, with the help of faculty and staff in science division, an REU informational session for students. In the math department, Malik Barrett, postdoctoral teaching fellow in mathematics, and Khoshnasib-Zeinabad advised and accompanied Krystal Lee ’20, David Li ’20, Haylee Nguyen ’20, Sebastian Slavinskas ’20 as they presented their summer research at conferences at Miami University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Patty LamsonPatty Lamson, director of the Center for Global Education, Christine Swafford, professor of Spanish and Hispanic studies, and Cristen Poynter, director of the Spanish Language Curriculum in Earlham’s Border Studies Program, made a presentation at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference on Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice in October in Seattle, Washington. The presentation was titled “Classroom and Community: Global and Local in Spanish Courses.” Lamson and Geoff Boyce’s article, “Global Learning in Homogeneous Soil,” was published in the Winter issue of Peer Review (Association of American Colleges and Universities). Boyce is the Academic Director and Instructor in the Earlham Border Studies Program.

Ying LiuVisiting Assistant Professor of Chinese Ying Liu presented a paper, “The Floating Flower: The City, the Migrant Woman, the Controversial Chinese-ness and the Contested Identity,” at the 14th Biennial Conference of Asian Studies in Israel at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in May. 

James LoganJames Logan, associate academic dean and professor of religion and director of African and African American studies, delivered the reunion keynote lecture “The Ground of Covenant Community & The Righteous Scandal of Christian Love for the World,” at Princeton Theological Seminary in May. The lecture was published in Theology Today. Logan was Fall Special Issue Editor of The Journal CrossCurrents. The theme was “Religion, Political Democracy, and Specters of Race in America.” Logan published “The Politics, Ethics, & Public Life of African American Theological Production,” in T&T Clark Companion to African American Theology and “Mass Incarceration,” in T&T Clark Companion to Christian Ethics, both of which have a projected release of winter 2019. His book review of Drew G. I. Hart’s Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism was published in Mennonite Quarterly Review.

Alexander R. PainterThe Baseball Heritage Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, has asked Alexander R. Painter ‘10, senior assistant director of admissions, to present his research about former Negro Leagues and Cleveland Indians baseball player Luke Easter. The research is part of his recently published book, Folk Hero Forever: The Eclectic, Enthralling Baseball Life of Luke Easter. The presentation will take place in the spring. The book was published in July.

Jamey PaveyJamey Pavey, director of the Environmental Leadership Program, and Eli Ramthun ’18 presented “From Theory to Practice: Applied Community Projects in Environmental Capstone Courses” at the Association for the Advancement Sustainability in Higher Education Conference in Pittsburgh in October.

Seth PowlessSeth Powless, assistant professor of global management, and Josie Burton ’20 presented “e-Commerce and Retail Delivery Systems: Examining Consumer Perceptions of Omni-Channel Technology” at the 2018 Decision Sciences Institute Annual Conference in Chicago in November. Powless gave a workshop on Teaching Undergraduate Global Supply Chain and Operations Management: Impacting Recruitment, Retention, and Satisfaction. In October Powless and global management and computer science students Aakarsh Sinha ’20, Aleksa Topalovic ’19, Son Tran ’19 and Daniel Kibet ’19 won first place in the Conexus of Indiana Supply Chain Case Competition in Indianapolis. The team outpaced teams from 17 other colleges and universities, including Indiana, Purdue and Ball State universities. The competition included a $5,000 prize and an opportunity for students to network with leaders from various corporations. In November Powless presented at the Ohio School Boards Association in Columbus, Ohio, to statewide educators on social media and the role it plays in K-12 education.

Jay RobertsJay Roberts, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of education, has been invited to speak at several colleges and universities about his book, Experiential Education in the College Context, including most recently Hampden-Sydney College, Brigham Young University and St. Norbert College. 

Jim Rogers, research professor and professor emeritus of computer science, was an invited participant in the June and October Rutgers Computational Phonology Workshops at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Karim SagnaKarim Sagna, professor of French and Francophone Studies, presented his paper, “L’amitié du griot et de la parole,” part two, at the International Conference of the International Society for the Oral Literatures of Africa held at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria in July. In addition, Sagna presided over a panel on “Performance and Festivals” at the same conference. The theme of the conference was Oral Literatures and Festivals in Africa and the African Diaspora: Tradition and Globalization. Sagna has also presented part one of “L’amitié du griot et de la parole” at the African Literature Association annual conference in Washington, D.C., in May.

Betsy SchlabachBetsy Schlabach, assistant professor of history and African and African American studies, co-authored a journal article with Jamie Wagman, titled “Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom,” for Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy.

Lynne Perkins SoceyIn May, Lynne Perkins Socey led a student-faculty collaborative research project sponsored by the Center for Social Justice to explore what it means to be a responsible storyteller for contemporary audiences. Micaela Levesque ‘20 and Brianna Miller ‘21 and Perkins Socey created a website including information about their project and created a plan to provide more structured support for student voices by testing the new Chicago Theatre Standards during the fall semester. As a result, the new Earlham College Theatre Standards were implemented in January. In August, Perkins Socey provided the “Ten Commandments of Improv” for the new Dudas Inspiration Venue for the Arts that launched an improvisational comedy troupe that gives monthly performances in Richmond. There was a reading of Perkins Socey’s stage adaptation of Kathryn Clare Glen’s novel, The Misadventures of Martin Hathaway, in early November. This script will be developed during a student-faculty collaboration course in the spring and on-campus performances in April. The production will tour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in August as an EPIC Advantage research project.

Danielle Cozart SteeleDanielle Cozart Steele, adjunct instructor and conference coordinator, performed at the National Flute Convention with Jessica Raposo, presenting on the vocal/flute collaborations of Nellie Melba. Cozart Steele recently premiered composer Keiko Fujiie’s “NAGASAKI: Wilderness Mute,” a multi-disciplinary vocal work dedicated to nuclear disarmament, at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Her contribution to the book Queering Freedom: Music, Identity and Spirituality, was published in September. This spring, Cozart Steele continues her scholarly work in music and social justice by coordinating the 2019 Transgender Singing Voice Conference, hosted at Earlham in March.

Keith Cozart SteeleKeith Cozart Steele, percussion director, is working with Centerstone of Richmond, Indiana, developing a drum therapy group for in-crisis teenagers of Wayne County. The aim is to build pathways of communication, physical activity, community, fun and healing while building the group’s participation and instrument base with monthly additions and purchases.

Nora Taplin-KaguruIn September, Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology Nora Taplin-Kaguru’s article, “Mobile but Stuck: Multigenerational Neighborhood Decline and Housing Search Strategies for African Americans,” was published in City & Community. 

Nancy TaylorProfessor of Art Nancy Taylor had pieces accepted into the Whitewater Valley Art Competition and the Richmond Art Museum Annual Exhibit in the fall. Both are from her continuing series of tapestries created with dyes from the Earlham campus. She also exhibited tapestries and embroidery pieces at the joint Earlham - Indiana University fiber exhibit, “Place to Place,” in May and June.

Hong-Hong TinnAssistant Professor of History Hong-Hong Tinn’s journal article “Modeling Computers and Computer Models: Manufacturing Economic-Planning Projects in Taiwan, 1959-1968” will be forthcoming in Technology and Culture, the official publication of the Society for the History of Technology, and the flagship journal in the field.

Lori WatsonProfessor of Chemistry Lori Watson is a co-author of “Teaching from the primary inorganic literature: lessons from Richard Andersen” in Dalton Transactions.

Mingzhe ZhengIn November, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Chinese Mingzhe Zheng presented “Embrace it or Resist it? Internet Language in Second Language Teaching” at the 2018 Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association Conference in Indianapolis and copresented “Linguistic Knowledge and Language Teaching: An Experimental Approach to the Role of Tone Sandhi Rules in Chinese Classes” at the ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in New Orleans.

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