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Faculty Updates


School of Architecture

Associate Professor of Architecture Dan Pitera was invited to speak Oct. 2 to a group at the Detroit Institute of Arts about Detroit’s re-envisioning and the activities of Detroit Works. Pitera, related to his role as director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center housed in the School of Architecture, was involved in developing the Detroit Future City plan through the Detroit Works Long Term Planning project.

Professor of Architecture Stephen Vogel was interviewed for the July 11 TV segment, “Tarnished jewels: A look at Detroit architecture,” produced by WXYZ-TV Channel 7, as part of its Detroit 2020 series.

Will Wittig, School of Architecture dean, appeared on the “Damian On Design” segment of the Lucy Ann Lance Show on WLBY 1290 AM, June 29. Wittig was interviewed on the topic of “Michigan as state of design: A blueprint for Detroit’s new reality.” Wittig was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Michigan Regional Board of Directors. He will serve initially as secretary in 2014. Former Dean and current Professor of Architecture Steve Vogel is also a member of the Executive Committee. Vogel will represent Michigan as regional director on the AIA’s national Board of Directors.

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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

Stokes S. Baker, associate professor of Biology, has been named an editor for the Botanical Society of America’s Life Discovery Digital Library, a peer-reviewed online resource for educators.

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Mark A. Benvenuto ran the Inorganic Chemistry symposium at the 44th Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, May 15 at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. He also presented the seminar, “Synthesis of a series of multi-dentate ligands, all incorporating 2,6-diaminotoluene or 1,3-diaminobenzene, and ligand-metal complexes incorporating them.” And for the fourth year, Benvenuto led the “New chair orientation” session during the annual meeting of the Council for Chemical Research, held May 19 in Arlington, Va.
Benvenuto co-hosted and ran the symposium, “What you need for the first job, besides the PhD in chemistry,” at the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting, held Sept. 8 in Indianapolis. The symposium was co-hosted by Paul Mendez, the executive director of the Council for Chemical Research. During the symposium, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Matthew Mio presented the seminar, “Don’t know much about pedagogy: Your first job in chemical academe.”

Jeffery J. Boats, associate professor of Mathematics, Computer Science & Software Engineering, presented the lecture, “Magic as protoscience,” Oct. 17 at the Dow Chemical Tech Exchange Society in Midland, Mich. Boats also gave this lecture last February at the University of Toledo’s Saturday Morning Science Symposium, where it was recorded for PBS. The talk gives an entertaining overview of the overlap between early science, religion and alchemy, relating it to modern math and science.

Associate Professor of Biology James Graves gave the presentation, “Antibiotic-producing streptomyces griseus and biodiesel glycerol byproduct in undergraduate research,” co-authored by students Kyle Carrizales and Ali Zeitoun, at the fall meeting of the Michigan branch of the American Society for Microbiology, Oct. 19 at the Delta College Planetarium in Bay City, Mich.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Leo Hanifin was appointed to the Citizens Advisory Committee of the newly-created Regional Transit Authority. The appointment relates to Hanifin’s involvement with the UDM Transportation Center, which focuses on transit research, public opinion surveys and public education, K-12 summer camps, transit workshops and curriculum development.

Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Jon Stevens and student Alexia Konja were awarded for the best poster at the Midwestern Symposium on Undergraduate Research in Chemistry, held Oct. 5 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. The poster was titled “Studies of iron (III) complexes with ab initio and density functional methods.” See the conference site.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jonathan Weaver has been named as one of the “Top 25 STEM Professors in Michigan” by StateStats.org in conjunction with its partner website, Onlineschoolsmichigan.com. Weaver was selected among other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educators for “excellence in the classroom, on campus and in the community.”

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College of Health Professions

Associate Professor of Nursing Maureen Anthony has been named editor-in-chief of Home Healthcare Nurse, a journal for home care and hospice professionals.

Associate Professor of Nurse Anesthesiology Mike Dosch was appointed associate editor of the AANA Journal. Dosch has served as a peer reviewer of the journal for 20 years. Also, Dosch gave a presentation on the topics of new anesthesia equipment and patient safety, May 5 during the Charleston Anesthesia Conference at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.

Professor of Nursing Carla Groh was inducted as a Fellow by the American Academy of Nursing (ANA), at the Academy’s annual meeting, Oct. 19 in Washington, D.C. Selection for fellowship in the Academy, which is composed of more than 2,000 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research, is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing.

Associate Professor of Nursing Molly McClelland has been appointed editor-in-chief of MedSurg Matters!, the official member newsletter of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses.

Mary S. O’Shaughnessey, associate professor of Health Services Administration, has been selected to serve on the AUPHA/HAP Editorial Board for Graduate Studies, sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives. The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) and Health Administration Press (HAP) are longstanding partners in publishing textbooks for health administration courses.

Maia Platt, associate professor of Health Services Administration, presented the paper, “Filling the gap: Developing health economic competencies for baccalaureate nursing programs,” at the annual West Michigan Interprofessional Education Initiative & Collaborative Practice Conference, held Sept. 20 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The research was a joint project with Andrea Kwasky, associate professor of Nursing.

In April, Nurse Anesthesiology Affiliate Clinical Coordinator Andrea Teitel attended the mid-year assembly of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in Washington, D.C. She and a group of five UDM students heard presentations on current issues and, with hundreds of other attendees, lobbied on Capitol Hill for patient safety and access to care.

College of Liberal Arts & Education

Libby Balter Blume, professor of Psychology, and Menatalla Ads, Clinical Psychology doctoral student, presented the research poster, “Dialectics of ethnicity: Ethnic identities of adolescents and mothers in Arab American transnational families,” at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Honolulu, Aug 2. The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) named Balter Blume as the new editor of the Journal of Family Theory & Review (JFTR), one of NCFR’s three family-research journals. She will begin her four-year term as editor of the peer-reviewed, quarterly journal — which publishes original contributions in all areas of family theory — with the publication of its March 2015 issue.

Nancy Calleja, professor of Counseling & Addiction Studies, co-presented with a team from several institutions the research findings, “Professional identity development in the counseling profession: Similar and diverse perspectives,” at the Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors conference, Oct. 18 in Denver.

Claire Crabtree-Sinnett, professor of English, wrote two poems on William Faulkner, which were dramatized at the International Faulkner Conference, last July at the University of Sibiu, Romania. One poem by UDM student Michael Basha was also performed.

Barry Dauphin, associate professor of Psychology, presented the poster, “Relationship between identification with theorists and clinical listening,” with lead author Adnan Jaber, doctoral student in Clinical Psychology, at the American Psychological Association Convention, Aug. 2 in Honolulu.

Daniel Duryea, assistant professor of Counseling & Addiction Studies, wrote the article, “Cultural competence and the addiction counselor,” published in the December issue of Counselor.

Ann Eskridge, adjunct English faculty member, was chosen as a 2013 Summer Fellow with the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago. The Consortium maintains archival holdings and material from 14 universities and institutions about African American and African diasporic culture in Chicago. Eskridge researched the role of the black-owned Pekin Theater in the creation of a African American Tin Pan Alley in Chicago during the early 20th century.

Professor of History Roy E. Finkenbine presented the paper, “Fugitive migrants: Runaway slave advertisements in the Detroit Gazette, 1818-1827,” at the Great Lakes History Conference, held Oct. 11 in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was also elected vice chair of the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission, May 15. Appointed to the Commission by Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2009, Finkenbine was reappointed by Governor Rick Snyder in 2012.

Assistant Professor of Education Alan Grigg was invited to become a member of the newly created Walten University Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society. The invitation recognizes accomplishments in academics, community service, social change and leadership.

Greg Grobis, assistant professor of Performing Arts, was selected to perform at the Shower of Roses Gala Benefit for the National Shrine of the Little Flower, held Sept. 30. At the concert, Grobis performed a duet and the only solo performance at the end of the gala.

Associate Professor of English Mary-Catherine Harrison wrote “Empathy and alterity in Victorian realism,” published in Journal of Victorian Culture.

Associate Professor of English Heather Hill-Vasquez gave the presentation, “Finding common ground by reclaiming our territory: Faculty, student recruitment, and the pressure to sell the humanities,” at a meeting of the Michigan College English Association, Oct. 25 in Dearborn, Mich.

Associate Professor of Religious Studies Justin Kelly, S.J., gave the presentation, “Pride and Prejudice at 200: Why Jane Austen’s classic is still so good,” at a meeting of the New American Lyceum, July 19. Fr. Kelly also plans to give the lecture sometime this fall at the Grosse Pointe Library.

Associate Professor of Education Isaiah McKinnon was elected to the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities USA, headquartered in Alexandria, Va. McKinnon was interviewed in the July 22 New York Times article, “Cries of betrayal as Detroit plans to cut pensions.” McKinnon earned a pension from the City of Detroit by serving for many years as a police officer and as Chief of Police. McKinnon was one of three speakers at the celebration of Mike Duggan’s election as mayor of the City of Detroit, Nov. 5 at the Detroit Marriott hotel.

Cheryl C. Munday, associate professor of Psychology, was appointed by the Wayne County Commission as one of 12 directors of the new Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, an entity replacing the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency. Like the preceding Agency, the Authority will provide services to over 72,000 people and offer a culturally diverse network of community mental health programs, clinics, private therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists to adults with mental illness, individuals with developmental disabilities, children with serious emotional disturbances and persons with substance use disorders and their families.

Associate Professor of Education Lorri MacDonald wrote the article, “Implementing electronic portfolios into a teacher education program,” which was accepted for publication in the National Social Science Journal.

Associate Professor Sheri Pickover, Assistant Professor Jocelyn Bennett-Garraway and Assistant Professor Victoria Sepulveda of the Counseling & Addiction Studies Department, gave the presentation, “Client-centered counselor education: Shifting focus from student to client in clinical courses,” at the Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors conference, Oct. 19 in Denver.

Professor of English Nicholas Rombes gave the presentation, “The fourth meaning: Time inside the film frame,” at the workshop, Time Forms: Temporalities of Aesthetic Experience, held at McGill University in Montreal, Sept. 21. Rombes is also writing the five-part series, “Time frames: Cracking the archives of early cinema,” for the Filmmaker Magazine website. He also wrote the story “The pixel trade,” published Oct. 27 in the online journal Vol. 1 Brooklyn.

Tom Stanton, associate professor of Communication Studies and advisor to The Varsity News, has been appointed to the board of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government (MiCOG), representing the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. MiCOG aims to protect and expand citizen access to government records and meetings.

Lara Wasner, director of the Language & Cultural Training Program, and Victoria Marques, Portuguese and ESL language trainer, presented the paper, “What did you say? Linking working memory, the phonological loop and second language learning,” at the Michigan Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (MITESOL) Conference at Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.), Oct. 4. The paper will be published later this year in MITESOL’s annual publication.

Economics Lecturer Joseph A. Weglarz contributed three biographical essays on Friedrich A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Jacob Viner to Economic Thinkers: A Biographical Encyclopedia. The encyclopedia, published in August by Greenwood Press, chronicles the life and important ideas of more than 200 economists throughout history.

Professor Carol Weisfeld and Clinical Psychology graduate student Sarah Frost presented the poster, “Poster-within-a-poster: Improving male-female communication regarding sexual overtures,” at the Summer Institute of the International Society for Human Ethology, in Ann Arbor, Mich., Aug. 8. The research was based on an intervention implemented on the UDM campus with the help of a UDM Mission micro-grant.

On Nov. 11, Associate Professor of Psychology Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster gave a presentation to 150 students at a Student Leadership Conference to be held in Dearborn, Mich. Conference attendees will consist of members of anti-bullying clubs, diversity clubs and peer mediation teams from Dearborn’s three high schools. Also attending will be 20 members of Bishop Foley Catholic High School who are enrolled in UDM’s “Exploring Leadership” class. Zimmerman-Oster serves as director of Research, Evaluation and Leadership Development for UDM’s Institute for Leadership and Service.