Faculty Updates


School of Architecture

Dan Pitera, associate professor of Architecture, was named in his role as director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at UDM as one of the top 100 most influential people/organizations in the country in the area of "public interest design."  Find out more in the School of Architecture news article.

Stephen Vogel, co-director of the Master's of Community Development program,  and Dan Pitera, associate professor of Architecture, were quoted in the Metro Times feature article, "Detroit's vision and revision," published Jan. 16.

College of Business Administration

Michael Bernacchi, professor of Business Administration, was quoted in a March 31 Detroit News article about the recent introduction of a "Detroit-style" pizza product by Detroit-based Little Caesars Pizza.

Gerald F. Cavanagh, S.J., professor of Business Administration, Jeanne M. David, associate professor of Accounting and Simon J. Hendry, S.J., director of the Catholic Studies Program, authored the article, "Using principles of Catholic social thought to evaluate business activities," which was published in the winter 2013 issue of Journal of Catholic Social Thought. The article introduces the principles of Catholic social thought and compares the worker and environmental policies of Walmart and Costco. It also presents those Catholic principles in a table that eases similar evaluation at other business firms.

Mary Ann Hazen, professor of Business Administration, was a member of the panel, "Cases three ways: Re-framing the use of cases in business administration," at a conference of the North American Management Society, Feb. 28 in Chicago. Also at the conference, Hazen chaired the session, "Teaching and learning styles," March 1.

Omid Sabbaghi was promoted to associate professor of Business Administration and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

College of Engineering & Science

Professor Nizar Al-Holou and Assistant Professor Chaomin Luo of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department have been named vice chairs, respectively, of the Computer chapter and the Computational Intelligence chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers of Southeastern Michigan.

Stokes Baker, associate professor of Biology, gave the refereed presentation, "Using digital image analysis to integrate mathematics and computers into inquiry laboratories," at the first annual "Life Discovery - Doing Science" conference, held on March 15-16 in St. Paul, Minn. The conference is an intersocietal event sponsored by the Botanical Society of America, Ecological Society of America and other organizations. The presentation can be downloaded from the conference site.

Rachelle Belanger, assistant professor of Biology, co-authored a paper, “A comparative analysis of setae on the pereiopods of reproductive male and female crayfish Orconectes rusticus” in the Journal of Crusteacean Biology in 2013. Belanger involved a number of undergraduates in this research.

Nihad Dukhan, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, was promoted to professor of Mechanical Engineering, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year. He is also the primary editor on a reference book, Metal Foam: Fundamentals and Applications. He presented a paper entitled "On Teaching Non-Technical Skills for the Engineers of 2020" at the World Congress on Engineering Education in Doha, Qatar in January 2013.

Utpal Dutta, professor of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering, and Kathy Zhong, associate professor of Mathematics, Computer Science & Software Engineering, gave the presentation, "An LRT operation and maintenance cost model to perform sensitivity analysis," at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C., as part of their ongoing transit research work.

James Graves, associate professor of Biology, gave a lecture on encephalitis viruses and poliovirus for 22 University of Detroit Jesuit High School science students accompanied by teacher Dominic Coccitti. He also served as a judge in the areas of microbiology and biochemistry at the 19th annual Michigan Science and Engineering Fair, held at Kettering University in Flint, Mich., April 13. The conference was also attended by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was.

Richard Hill, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, was promoted to associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year. He also presented a webinar on using tutorials that he created to teach controls fundamentals, as part of the MATLAB Virtual Conference in March.

Darrell Kleinke, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, was promoted to associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Matt Mio, associate professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was selected as chair of all undergraduate programming at the American Chemical Society national meeting, which took place in April in New Orleans.

Liz Roberts-Kirchhoff, associate professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mark Benvenuto, professor of Chemistry, and two undergraduate students, Nic Stroeters and Jessica LaBond, were selected to coordinate and lead the symposium, "Food and Its Environment: What’s In What We Eat?" at the same ACS meeting.

Shulamith Schlick, professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, gave the invited talk, "Spin trapping in materials: Focus on the hydrogen economy," at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, April 10 in New Orleans. The talk was part of the Polymer Division Symposium, "Understanding complex macromolecular and supramolecular systems using innovative magnetic resonance strategies."

Mary Tracy-Bee, associate professor of Biology, was promoted to professor of Biology, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty and students presented talks at the Detroit section of the American Chemical Society "Brewing Chemistry" meeting, March 19. The Brewing Chemistry meetings are coordinated by UDM Chemistry Storeroom Manager Meghann Murray. The two talks were, "Examination of the patent medicines and nostrums archived at the Henry Ford Museum via energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence," by student Andrew Diefenbach and Professor Mark Benvenuto, and "Analysis of various dietary clay and protein supplements via energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectrometry," by students Nic Stroeters and Jessica LaBond, with Associate Professor Elizabeth Roberts-Kirchhoff and Professor Mark Benvenuto.

On April 8, UDM faculty and students presented the research poster, "Efficacy of transition metals as Sonogashira co-catalysts: Computation and experiment," at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans. The poster, which was selected by the Division of Computational Chemistry for one of five Undergraduate Research Poster Awards (out of 50 presentations), was presented by UDM students Mercedes Black, Talia Fanelli, Alexis Konja, Mariam Saco, Michelle Smith, Ciara Viola and Jenna Wonsowicz, with Associate Professors of Chemistry & Biochemistry Matt Mio and Jon Stevens.

College of Health Professions

Mike Dosch, associate professor and chair of Nurse Anesthesia, published the results of his dissertation research on computer-based testing in the August 2012 AANA Journal. Dosch also was elected to the board of directors of the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Other faculty are notably active in state and national professional associations. In 2013, UDM Nurse Anesthesia faculty are onsite reviewers for the specialty accrediting body; helped write the national certification examination for nurse anesthetists; and chaired the state association committees on Wellness, Publication, and Government Relations.

Lori Glenn was promoted to clinical associate professor of Nursing and granted continuing employment, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Carla Groh, professor of Nursing, appeared with Health Services Administration (HSA) students Courtney Gignac and Aaron Tomaszewski on the Let's Talk Family community TV program, produced by Detroit-based Sisters United Outreach. The appearance was an opportunity to help increase health insurance benefits awareness among Medicare enrollees in the Detroit area. HSA Assistant Professor Maia Platt and graduate student Tiffany Dobbins designed the project as a part of undergraduate HSA students' service-learning experience, with financial support from the Ford Community Corps Partnerships. The show first played March 16. You can watch the program on YouTube.com

Andrea Kwasky was promoted to clinical associate professor of Nursing and granted continuing employment, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Mary O’Shaughnessey, chair and associate professor of the Health Services Administration, was selected to chair the Council on Student Activities for the local chapter of ACHE. The first event of the council is to coordinate the annual job shadow program which was initially developed in 2003 and implemented in 2004. The program involves more than 35 healthcare executives who volunteer to have a graduate student from one of the three Higher Education Network universities shadow him/her for a day. Evaluations from students and executives report that the experience has been very worthwhile and led to an increased understanding of the demands on healthcare executives.

Molly McClelland was promoted to associate professor of Nursing and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Becky Ann Nauta was promoted to assistant professor of Nursing, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Maia Platt, assistant professor of Health Services Administration, Maia Platt was promoted to associate professor of Health Services & Health Services Administration and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year. Platt was awarded a second grant to educate seniors living in Detroit about the new healthcare benefits that are part of the recent healthcare reform. Platt and two graduate students are coordinating teams of undergraduate students in the development of educational materials. The materials will be delivered to local churches, community centers and other organizations where seniors will listen to the students’ presentations and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Carmen Stokes was promoted to clinical associate professor of Nursing and granted continuing employment, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

College of Liberal Arts & Education

Rita Barrios, assistant professor of Computer & Information Systems, presented the article, "Intrusion detection for the database: Detecting the insider threat," at the seventh International Conference on Digital Society (ICDS 2013) in Feb. 2013 in Nice, France. Her article, "A multi-leveled approach to intrusion detection and the insider threat," was published in the Journal of Information Security in Jan. 2013. In addition, Barrios was named one of "10 Top Michigan Tech Leaders" in the publication The Michigan Tech 100: The People, Companies, and Resources You Need to Know in 2013. The Michigan Tech 100 is a publication of, and can be downloaded from, BigTentJobs.com.

Michael Barry was promoted to professor of English, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Laurie Britt-Smith, assistant professor of English, Laurie Britt-Smith was promoted to associate professor English and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year. She is the co-author of the article, "Conversations and collaborations: Eloquentia perfecta on 21st century Jesuit campuses," in the latest volume of Conversations in Higher Jesuit Education. The article can be downloaded from the Conversations website. She also wrote the chapter, "Faith, rhetoric, rock 'n' roll: The boundary crossing influence of Bono's prophetic vision," included in the new text, Prophetic Critique and Popular Media: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications. On April 27, Britt-Smith presented the paper, "More than shopping our way to a cure(?): The (perceived) transgressive nature of the RED campaign and its affect on U2's ethos as social justice advocates," at The U2 Conference 2013. This unique academic conference, which explores the music, work and influence of the band U2, was held in collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Nancy Calleja, professor of Counseling & Addiction Studies, will lead the project, "Creating zero tolerance cultures in juvenile detention facilities," on behalf of Wayne County. The $100,000 grant awarded by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency will provide for the development and implementation of new policies, procedures and systemic changes in the county's detention facilities, in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Graduate student Ann Dadah will serve as research assistant on the one-year project.

Barry Dauphin, associate professor of Psychology, wrote the article, "Therapists' resistance to understanding the importance of technology for child and adolescent psychotherapy," which was recently published in the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

Michael DiGiovanni, economics instructor, was quoted by Xinhua, the Chinese news service, for a March 31 article about the recent economic history and population shifts in Detroit.

Assistant Professor Daniel Duryea and Professor Nancy Calleja, Counseling & Addiction Studies, co-authored the article, "Current expectations and existing deficits among addiction specialists," which was published in the March 2013 issue of the international journal, Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly

Roy E. Finkenbine, interim dean of Liberal Arts & Education, gave the talk, "Before they called it the Underground Railroad," at the annual Freedom Landing Festival, held at the North American Black History Museum in Amherstburg, Ontario, Feb. 2. He was also quoted in the article, "Rumors of land: The unfulfilled dream of 'forty acres and a mule'," in the January-February issue of Washington Monthly.  On April 17, Finkenbine gave the lecture, "The Underground Railroad in the Detroit River borderland," at the Adult Learning Institute at Oakland Community College - Orchard Ridge in Farmington Hills, Mich. The Institute is affiliated with Elderhostel.

Juan Carlos Flores was promoted to associate professor of Philosophy and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Harold Greene was promoted to professor of Psychology, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Greg Grobis, assistant professor of Performing Arts, was the featured vocalist at the Lutheran Church of the Master (Troy, Mich.), during services on March 10.

Mary-Catherine Harrison, assistant professor of English, Mary-Catherine Harrison was promoted to associate professor of English and granted tenure, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year. She was also elected to the executive board of the Midwest Victorian Studies Association at the group's 2013 convention in Cleveland.

Heather Hill-Vásquez, CLAE associate dean for Academic Affairs, published her essay on and critical edition of the medieval N-Town Nativity Play in The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Drama.

Jeffrey A. Ingalsbe, assistant professor of Computer & Information Systems, was interviewed on WDET-FM about cyber security. In the eight-minute segment, Ingalsbe discussed his UDM classes and a variety of issues related to online security, including personal and governmental network security. Hear the interview on wdet.org

Justin Kelly, S.J., associate professor of Religious Studies, gave the talk, "'Mr. Darcy is all politeness': Civility and incivility in Pride and Prejudice," as part of a panel presentation at the March meeting of the Michigan Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), which took place in Lansing-Reilly Hall, March 3. This year JASNA is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen's beloved novel.

Martin Leever was promoted to professor of Philosophy, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year.

Lorri MacDonald, associate professor of Education, gave the presentation, "The process of implementing electronic portfolios into a teacher education program: Pitfalls and successes," at the National Technology and Social Science Conference in Las Vegas, March 24.

Stephen Manning, associate professor of Political Science, served as chair and discussant on the panel, "The influence of social factors on democratization," during the 71st annual conference of the Midwest Political Science Association, held April 11-14 in Chicago.

Isaiah McKinnon, associate professor of Education, appeared on WDIV-TV and NBC News, following the shooting of two Detroit Police officers on April 2. McKinnon (a former Detroit Police chief) explained the dynamics of the "police family," especially in such tragic situations.

Nicholas Rombes, professor of English, published his article on the Japanese film Doppelganger in the 10th anniversary issue of The Believer, a magazine that appears in print and on believermag.com. Also, he had two short stories published in January. "The Messiah Detective Agency" was published by Fiddleblack Press in the print anthology Apparitional Experience, and "The Aarspeth Imbroglio" was published by the online British journal 3:AM Magazine.

Achmat Salie, Religious Studies program developer, attended the launch of the Muslim Philanthropy Journal, March 5 in Doha, Qatar. The event was hosted by Shaikha Aisha Thani, a member of Qatar's Supreme Education Council, and the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists. Salie's article, "The democratization of philanthropy in Islam," was selected for publication in the journal. While in Qatar, Salie also attended a conference on Islamic ethics, organized by the Qatar Foundation University. Back in the U.S., Salie facilitated a discussion of Islamic art at the Rochester Hills Public Library, March 26.

Karen Selby, associate professor of Education, completed a Leadership Institute in Reading apprenticeship with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium/Wested research team. Reading Apprenticeship is an instructional and professional development model that draws together research-based practices in reading instruction for the purpose of creating social justice in the classroom. Professor of History Greg Sumner’s Unstuck in Time, a study of the life and work of author Kurt Vonnegut, was recently released as a paperback edition (Seven Stories Press).

Jiawen Wang, assistant professor of Education, co-authored two articles: "Asian American families," published in Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education, and "Human behavior in chatrooms," in Encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior.

Joseph A. Weglarz, economics lecturer, presented the paper, "The scholastic legacy of Murray N. Rothbard in the history of economic thought," at the 2013 Austrian Economics Research Conference, March 21 in Auburn, Ala.

Michael J. Witkowski, associate professor of Criminal Justice, was appointed to the ASIS International 2013 Academic and Training Programs Council and will serve on the group's Publications and Student Writing Competition subcommittees. Witkowski will also be a panelist at the ASIS International seminar in Chicago in September, to present on the topic of mitigating gang litigation.

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