Ten Faculty Prepare For Sabbaticals

Ten Nebraska Wesleyan University professors will be on sabbatical for all or part of the 2011-2012 academic year. Research, travel, and course development will fill much of their time.

The following is a brief description of what some of our faculty will be exploring next year:

Larry McClain, Associate Professor of English
Larry McClain will remain in Lincoln to work on several projects including research and planning for a new Liberal Arts Seminar on atheism. He also plans to revise a lecture he was invited to present at Pittsburg State University two years ago titled, “Fighting in the Closet: Fight Club and the Language of Same Sex Desire.” Additionally, McClain plans to conduct new research on contemporary Chicano. He plans to revive and update a course on the Chicano Novel that has not been taught for 10 years.

Cathy Nelson, Associate Professor of Spanish
Cathy Nelson’s sabbatical will include work at home and abroad. She plans to develop new advanced-level courses in translation to be offered through the Department of Modern Languages. Nelson has been accepted into the NYU Professional Certificate in Translation Program, a program that will allow her to take online courses for further development in this field. She is pursuing her own practice of literary transition, which includes work with Bible Study Fellowship, an international organization. Her work is currently being distributed to Spanish speakers in 38 countries. She will also travel to Queretaro, Mexico, to attend a workshop. Nelson was awarded an Ameritas Fellowship, which is awarded to faculty to assist them with completing projects related to teaching strategies, individual research, curricular initiatives and professional growth.

Dan Strydom, Professor of Chemistry
Dan Strydom will spend October 2011 to March 2012 visiting crime laboratories and other graduate forensic science programs. During his sabbatical, he plans to develop two new tracks for the Masters of Forensic Science Program including forensic laboratory chemistry and forensic DNA analysis. Strydom also looks forward to increasing and renewing his knowledge with the newest developments in forensic science.

Thom Jackman, Associate Professor of Business Administration
Next spring Thom Jackman will perform research extending from his research of his doctoral dissertation, completed last month. He will also travel to St. Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota and Boston, Massachusetts to establish contacts for future student trips. He has previously led student trips to Chicago, Dallas, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

David Gracie, Associate Professor of Art
David Gracie will move to New York City for his year-long sabbatical. While there he will complete several projects including a complete work of paintings for exhibitions in New York City and Lincoln. He will develop an alternative artistic practices course and work on critical writing practices for use in his classroom. He looks forward to being in the center of the art world and hopes to change his artwork as a result of his time in New York City. Gracie was also awarded an Ameritas Fellowship to assist with his research and professional growth.

Jerry Bricker, Associate Professor of Biology
Jerry Bricker will spend the fall semester in central Guyana. While there he will spend time at the Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Center where he will explore use of the facility for future study abroad trips. He will also collect endophytic host plants for inclusion in his INBRE-funded undergraduate research program. Bricker has been awarded an Ameritas Fellowship to assist with costs of his research.

Joan Gilbreth, Associate Professor of Sociology
Joan Gilbreth will spend the 2011-2012 academic year in Spain and Ireland. This summer she is attending a study program at the Academic Language Institute in Alicante, Spain. Her language and social immersion experience will better prepare her to help students see how they can play an active part in directed social change. Joan was awarded an Ameritas Fellowship to assist with costs of her project.

Meghan Winchell, Associate Professor of History
Meghan Winchell will spend the year in Tartu, Estonia, where she will teach women’s history, help build the University of Tartu’s gender studies initiative, and help create a program similar to NWU’s I-Pal Program. Winchell was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and an Ameritas Fellowship.

Jean Henderson, Professor of Music
Jean Henderson will be on sabbatical this fall and will work on several music compositions, including a short opera based on a Welsh legend. The opera will eventually be performed by NWU students. English professors Rick Cypert and Scott Stanfield have written the libretto. Henderson may also travel to Ireland and Wales.

Jan Vermer, Professor of Political Science, will also be on sabbatical during the 2011-2012 academic year.



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