Faculty Updates


School of Architecture

Aldo Colandrea, adjunct faculty and member of the Dean's Advisory Board in the School of Architecture, passed away on April 16, 2014.

John Mueller, professor of Architecture, retired at the end of the 2014 academic year.

Associate Professor of Architecture Dan Pitera was quoted in the New York Times article, "Developer from Peru has eye on Detroit," Feb. 4. Pitera will also receive the President's Award at the 2014 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Michigan Honor Awards ceremony, to be held Saturday, June 7 in East Lansing, Mich. He will be honored for his outstanding contributions to architecture through education.


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College of Business Administration

Michael Bernacchi, professor of Business Administration, was featured in two stories on WDIV-TV's Local 4 News, March 18: one about the possibility of winning the "Perfect Bracket Challenge;" and another about the current GM recall situation. Watch both segments on UDM's YouTube channel.

Suk Hi Kim, professor of Finance, presented a special lecture entitled "North Korea: A Wildcard in US - Northeast Asian Relations?" to the University community last semester.

Evan Peterson joined the College’s faculty as a fulltime lecturer in Business Law. He earned his M.B.A. and J.D. from UDM, and has practiced law in Michigan and Florida. Peterson has taught business law to MBA and undergraduate students at the College on a part-time basis since 2009. In addition, he has published several scholarly articles in professional journals, including his most recent article, “Compliance and Ethics Programs: Competitive Advantage Through the Law” in the Journal of Management and Governance in November 2013.
 
Yuping Yang recently joined the College as the International Student Counselor. Yang earned a master's degree in Education at Michigan State University. Prior to joining the College of Business Administration, she worked for the UDM College of Health Professions.

School of Dentistry

Sanjay Chand, clinical assistant professor of Biomedical & Diagnostic Sciences in UDM's School of Dentistry, was interviewed on Fox 2 News on March 28. Health reporter Deena Centofanti asked Chand about "oil pulling," the practice of rinsing one's teeth with oil to supposedly make them feel and look better.

School of Dentistry Dean Mert Aksu and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Pamela Zarkowski co-presented the talk, "Dental licensure: Pathways, potholes and possibilities," at the American College of Legal Medicine meeting in Las Vegas, Feb. 28.

College of Engineering & Science

In the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department, Professor Mark Benvenuto and Associate Professor Prasad Venugopal gave the presentation, "Teaching the periodic table: Connections between the sciences and geography," at the annual conference of the Michigan Science Teachers Association, held March 7-8 in Lansing, Mich.

Abhijit Dasgupta, associate professor of Mathematics & Software Engineering, presented the seminar, "Topological compactness and Stäckel finiteness," at University of Michigan, Feb. 20.

Nihad Dukhan, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to do research at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey during the 2014-2015 academic year. The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board recently announced the grant, which will allow Dukhan access to research equipment at one of Turkey's top universities while he employs and assesses a new approach for enhancing learning of thermodynamics. See the news release.

The Association of Analytical Chemists (ANACHEM) honored Kendra Evans, assistant professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, with the ANACHEM Fellow Award, May 14. The award honors her exceptional service to the Association, which Evans currently serves as vice president.

Associate Professor of Biology James Graves served as a judge in the areas of microbiology and biochemistry at the 20th annual Michigan Science and Engineering Fair for future college students, held April 5 at Kettering University in Flint, Mich.

Associate Professors of Mechanical Engineering Richard Hill and Kirstie Plantenberg received the best paper award for "Assessing a conceptual approach to undergraduate dynamics instruction," at the American Society for Engineering Education North Central Conference, held April 4-5 at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

Associate Professor Matt Mio and Professors Mark Benvenuto and Liz Roberts-Kirchhoff of the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department organized the symposium, "Service-learning focused on chemistry and the environment," held during the American Chemical Society's 2014 national meeting and exposition, March 16-20 in Dallas, Texas. Among the seven symposium presentations, Benvenuto and Mio co-presented "Connections between service-learning, public outreach, environmental awareness and the Boy Scout chemistry merit badge" and Roberts-Kirchoff presented "Service-learning project for students in a General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry course focused on the theme of National Chemistry Week: 'Energy now and forever.'"



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College of Health Professions

Professor Carla Groh, Assistant Professor Jean Gash and Associate Professor Maureen Anthony of the McAuley School of Nursing co-presented the poster, "Exploring the perceptions and work experiences of Guyanese nurses," at the Nursing Leadership in Global Health conference, held Feb. 27 in Nashville, Tenn.

Andrea Kwasky, clinical associate professor of Nursing, was awarded the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses Division Award at the Society's annual conference, held March 25-29 in Greenville, S.C.

Christine Pacini, dean of the College of Health Professions and McAuley School of Nursing, was recently appointed to the board of trustees of St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital.

Associate Professor of Nursing Mary L. White wrote two articles published in December 2013: "Development of a spiritual self-care practice scale," published in the Journal of Nursing Measurement, and "Spirituality self-care effects on quality of life for patients diagnosed with chronic illness," published in Self-Care, Dependent Care & Nursing. Also, White has been asked to serve as associate editor of Self-Care, Dependent Care & Nursing, which is the official journal of the International Orem Society.

School of Law

Associate Professor of Law Julia Belian presented, “The ‘Sport’ of Lawyering: Using Visualization to Improve Performance” at the Psychology and Lawyering Conference, University of Nevada Las Vegas Boyd School of Law, Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 21, 2014.

J. Richard Broughton, associate professor of Law, presented his paper, “The Ineludible (Constitutional) Politics of Guns” at the University of Connecticut School of Law in November 2013, as part of a national symposium on gun rights and gun control. The paper will be published in the Connecticut Law Review later this year. Broughton presented on the politics of federal gun crime at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters. He has also been cited as a legal expert in several national news stories about the prosecution of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, and last summer, he appeared on WXYZ-TV in Detroit to discuss the high-profile trial of George Zimmerman in Florida. In addition, Broughton’s paper, “The Criminalization of Consensual Adult Sex After Lawrence,” is being published this year in the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. He was also recently honored as the 2013-14 Professor of the Year at the School of Law.

Professor of Law Larry Dubin was interviewed for the Feb. 7 Voice of Russia article, "Bankruptcy threatening to bankrupt Detroit even more." He was quoted in the media several times recently after a U.S. district judge declared Michigan's ban on gay marriage and adoption unconstitutional, including in the March 25 Detroit News column, "Attorney general doubles down on state's weak case against same-sex marriage." He was interviewed in the WDIV-TV Local 4 report, "Affirmative action ruling could impact Michigan's same-sex marriage fight," which was broadcast, April 22. This Spring, Dubin will have two revised publications of his books published by Lexis-Nexis: Michigan Evidence Courtroom Manual, a book for both lawyers and law students, as well as Trial Practice, a book for law students.

Associate Professor of Law David C. Koelsch, who also directs the School of Law's Immigration Law Clinic, co-presented, "Be in the know: A briefing on the rights of the worldwide LGBT community," March 5 at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Mich. The presentation was given in conjunction with a special exhibit at the Center, Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945. He also discussed immigration reform issues in three venues, including in a radio interview on The Craig Fahle Show on March 28 on WDET (101.9 FM). Koelsch also addressed the topic on March 27 at the Community House in Birmingham, Mich. and on April 1 at Monroe County Community College.

Professors Andrew Moore, Peggy Costello, and Cara Cunningham Warren co-authored an article in the November 2013 Michigan Bar Journal titled, “The Globalization of Legal Education.” It highlighted our dual programs.

Professor Cara Cunnningham Warren was the invited plenary speaker at the Association of Legal Writing Directors’ national Innovative Teaching Workshop at Marquette Law School summer 2013.

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College of Liberal Arts & Education

Libby Balter Blume, professor of Psychology, wrote the introduction, "Making connections: Toward a transdisciplinary family science," published in the March 2014 special issue of Journal of Family Theory & Review, which Blume also edited. The issue features invited articles and commentaries by scholars of human development, biopsychology, sociology, political science, philosophy, health care, communications and narrative studies.

Rita Barrios, assistant professor of Computer & Information Systems, was invited to join the Mobility in Education Advisory Board for the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan. She was also appointed to the Board of Directors for Ballet in Cleveland.

Assistant Professor of Counseling & Addiction Studies Jocelyn Bennett-Garraway presented "Evidence-based, data-driven comprehensive school counseling," at the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling's Urban Counselor Workshop, held March 18 at University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Laurie Ann Britt-Smith, associate professor of English, gave the plenary address, "The portrayal of Jesuits in contemporary media," at the Heartland/Delta Faculty Conversations Conference at Xavier University (Cincinnati), Feb. 15.

Professor of Counseling & Addiction Studies Nancy Calleja co-presented "A long, hard road: The transformation of a program for youth with sexual behavior problems" at the joint conference of the Massachusetts Adolescent Sex Offender Coalition and the Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, April 11 in Marlborough, Mass.

Professor of History Roy E. Finkenbine presented the paper, "'He will make for Detroit': How the Detroit River borderland became a destination for fugitive slaves from the American South," on March 28 to the Metro Detroit Historians Collegium at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich. On March 29, Finkenbine presented "The Colored Vigilant Committee of Detroit" to the Michigan in Perspective: Local History Conference meeting in Sterling Heights, Mich. On April 2, he gave the talk, "Solomon Northup's America," to the Detroit chapter of the Women's National Book Association. Finkenbine also wrote the article, "Why racists always make this claim," published by the History News Network, May 11.

Greg Grobis, assistant professor of Performing Arts, served as a judge for the regional one-act competition for the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association, Feb. 8 in Novi, Mich.

Associate Professor of English Mary-Catherine Harrison wrote "Reading the marriage plot," published in the March 2014 issue of Journal of Family Theory and Review. Harrison presented the paper, "'Am I not a man and a brother?': De/humanizing blackness in abolitionist poetry," at the International Society for the Study of Narrative, held March 29 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also was recently elected executive secretary for the Midwest Victorian Studies Association.

Heather Hill-Vasquez, associate professor of English, presented "Griselda's patience, Walter's ego, and the representation of lay interpretive practices in Chaucer's Clerk's Tale" at the 2014 conference of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters, Feb. 28 in Rochester, Mich.

Associate Professor of Religious Studies Hsiao-Lan Hu's research project, "Contemporary Chinese Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist-feminist social ethics, with focus on the works of Bhiksuni Chao-Hwei," won the Short-Term Research Grant on Current Issues in Chinese Buddhism provided by the Shengyan Educational Foundation and hosted by the Center of Studies on Chinese Religions at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Assistant Professor of Computer & Information Systems Jeff Ingalsbe led a session on the global cyber security skills gap and potential solutions during the World Bank's Sustainable Development Forum, Feb. 27. The session is intended to provide recommendations to world governmental leaders on how to incentivize the development of a cyber security workforce.

On March 14, Associate Professor of Religious Studies Justin Kelly, S.J., gave the talk, "Pope Francis and Karl Rahner: A revolution in process?," at the New American Lyceum in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Daniel Kennedy, professor emeritus of Criminal Justice, was quoted in The Detroit News article, "Crime-fighting policies, bad weather combine for low Jan. homicides," Feb. 8.

Professor of Philosophy David Koukal gave the keynote address, "Embodied politics in the age of the virtual," at the annual Essays of Significance Conference, March 21 at the University of Windsor. Koukal also gave the presentation, "Reflections on the debris of Detroit: A philosophical provocation," to the Economic and Global Affairs Alliance, April 12 at the University of Michigan.

Associate Professor of Education Joslen Letscher was invited as a delegate to the 2014 World Ocean Summit, hosted by The Economist magazine in association with National Geographic, Feb. 24-26 in San Francisco. Delegates contributed interdisciplinary insights and formulated action ideas for understanding challenges, building solutions and forming partnerships to address the economic, natural and educational challenges inherent in using oceans as global resources.

Associate Professor of Political Science Stephen Manning served as chairperson for the panel, 'Regime and the public in the People's Republic of China,' at the 72nd Annual Conference of the Midwest Political Science Association, held April 3-6 in Chicago.

Victoria Mantzopoulos was appointed as associate dean and Academic Coordinator for International Program sof CLAE. She returned to the dean’s office after spending 28 years at the University in a variety of leadership positions, including chairperson of Political Science, director of Pre-Law and chairperson of Economics.

Isaiah McKinnon, associate professor of Education, currently on leave to serve as deputy mayor of Detroit, was part of a roundtable discussion on homeland security, held May 2 in Detroit. The event, presented by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, was led by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Jeh Johnson and focused on the New International Trade Crossing and northern U.S. border infrastructure. Also in attendance were officials including U.S. Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Gil Kerlikowske, Senator Debbie Stabnenow and Congressmen John Conyers Jr., John Dingell and Gary Peters. McKinnon was also recently appointed to a four-year term on the Wayne County Stadium Authority, which approves any significant changes to the Detroit stadia.

Gail Mitchell, associate professor of Performing Arts, sang three songs by African American composer Rosephanye Powell, Feb. 13 at the Congregational Church of Birmingham in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The songs, on the poetry of African American women, are in a grouping titled "Miss Wheatley's Garden."

Associate Professor of History Diane Robinson-Dunn gave the keynote address, "Oriental and African slavery as reflected in French and English literature, 18th-20th centuries," at a conference of the Humanities Institute at the University of Lyon (France), Feb. 6.

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Jason Roche's documentary film, "Stealing Home," was honored with the "Best of Fest" award, determined by a vote of the audience members at the inaugural Freep Film Festival, March 23 in Detroit.

Professor of English Nicholas Rombes wrote the book, 10/40/70: Constraint as Liberation in the Era of Digital Film Theory, which was recently published by Zero Books. Rombes also gave a reading from his forthcoming novel, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing, at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Mich., March 29.

Director of Islamic Studies Achmat Salie was quoted in the Religious News Service article, "Supernatural thriller Jinn features creatures from Muslim folklore," published April 16.

Professor of History Gregory Sumner's essay on Kurt Vonnegut's writing method is included in Welcome to the Monkey House: The Special Edition, to be published by Dial Press/Random House in April.

Rosemary Weatherston, associate professor of English and director of the Dudley Randall Center for Print Culture, was quoted in The Michigan Citizen article, "Celebrating Detroit's Dudley Randall, poet and publisher," Jan. 9. Weatherston and Associate Professor of English Mary-Catherine Harrison organized and co-chaired the panel, "Fiction as pedagogy," April 4 at the Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, held in Harrisburg, Pa.

Joseph A. Weglarz, lecturer in Economics, recently delivered the paper, "Hesiod and the economic significance of his Works and Days," at the 2014 Austrian Economics Research Conference held March 20-22 in Auburn, Ala.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Michael Witkowski was quoted in the April 8 Detroit News article, "Retired nurse gets mob in Detroit to back off, stop beating driver."


For more information about UDM, or to apply online, go to www.udmercy.edu/apply.


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