Eight Professors to Immerse Themselves in Research During 2012-2013 Sabbaticals

Eight Nebraska Wesleyan University professors will go on sabbatical for all or part of the 2012-2013 academic year.

Here’s a glimpse of what their sabbaticals will include:

David Whitt, Associate Professor of Communication
Whitt will be on sabbatical during the fall semester when he will be editing and contributing to a third book on comparative mythology. This month he is traveling to Taiwan to present a paper at the 15th Annual CALL Conference (Computer Assisted Language Learning). In September he will travel to Karlovac, Croatia, where he was invited to be a juror for the 17th Annual Youth Film Festival and Fifth Annual Four River Film Festival. This festival attracts hundreds of high school students from around the world to present their original short films.

Jeff Mohr, Associate Professor of Social Work
Mohr will spend a year working to become a better ally with Native and Indigenous people. This will include working with members of the Winnebago Tribe in Northeast Nebraska. Other activities will include collaborating on a research project with Dr. Michael Yellowbird at Humboldt State University in California on the positive aspects of life on Native American reservations and visiting with members of three different Native tribes in the Spokane, Wash. area. In addition, he will visit a colleague active in the Occupy movement in New York City and make a trip to Liverpool, England, to gather more information for the next teaching of his Liberal Arts Seminar, "The Beatles."

Larry Jones, Professor of Music
Next spring Jones will live in London where he will attend concerts and research late 18th and 19th century pianofortes. He will visit the historical instrument collections at the Royal Academy of Music, London, Finchcocks Collection in Kent, the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands Park in Surrey, and the historical keyboard collection at the University of Edinburgh. He will also study and play on historic pianofortes to learn about the performance characteristics of keyboard instruments used by composers of the classic and romantic style periods.

Jo Ann Fuess, Professor of Spanish
During her spring sabbatical, Fuess will streamline courses for the German major and minor programs. She also plans to read recent German literature that has been written since reunification, and will visit Germany to gather instructional and cultural materials to enhance all of her German courses. She will create a new upper-level course on German literature and culture since 1990.

Scott Stanfield, Professor of English
Next spring Stanfield hopes to finish a first draft of articles on works by Wyndham Lewis regarding homophobia. Beyond spending more time with Lewis’s texts and the secondary literature on him and his work, Stanfield hopes to improve his acquaintance with queer theory, especially its accounts of homophobia.

Tim Anderson, Professor of Education
Next spring Anderson will be at UNL collaborating with their international student teaching supervisors to develop additional international student teaching experiences for NWU and UNL student teachers. Together they also hope to develop additional shorter international education experiences for pre-service teacher education students who cannot spend the usual student teaching time overseas.

Cody Arenz, Associate Professor of Biology
Arenz will spend the year in Plymouth, England, where he will collaborate with colleagues at the University of Plymouth. His research will focus on conservation biology, specifically on the increasing biodiversity and conservation value of highly modified land such as farmland and city parks. 

Mike McDonald, Associate Professor Education
McDonald will spend the 2012-2013 academic year concentrating on school improvement, student achievement, and research to better enhance his most challenging education classes. His sabbatical will include collaborative research with the co-director of the Nebraska Assessment Cohort for Teachers and Administrators, collaborative research with a University of Northern Illinois professor on the role technology plays on students' development, and further training in the Nebraska Department of Education's School Improvement Research and Initiative. 

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