Twelve Professors Prepare for Sabbaticals

Whether they’re writing publications from the four walls of their home, visiting parks and forests along the Pacific Northwest, tracing the footsteps of the apostle Paul in Greece and Turkey, or collecting family stories in South Korea, several Nebraska Wesleyan University faculty are looking forward to upcoming sabbaticals that will inevitably re-energize them as professors.

Twelve professors will take a sabbatical for all or part of 2010-2011. The following are short descriptions of their research:

Linda Barnett, Associate Profesor of Education Fall 2010: Linda will visit South Korea, Ireland, Chicago and possibly France to collect family stories. She’s exploring the types of stories that parents hand down to their children. They may be folktales, myths or "when I was your age" stories. She will then do a cross-cultural qualitative analysis of the data.

Dale Benham, Professor of Biology All year: Dale plans to characterize airborne pollen in Lincoln and investigate climatic change on pollen patterns based on his 18-year data set for pollen counts from Lincoln. Global climate change is well known, but the biological effects of the changes are more difficult to document. Secondly he will explore other ways to incorporate outdoor-based experiential learning into his courses. Additionally, he will give a presentation, along with Sandra Mathews, on engaged learning to the Western History Association meeting in Lake Tahoe in October.

Lisa Borchardt, Associate Professor of Social Work All year: Lisa will use the time during her sabbatical to move forward in her new journey of researching and understanding loss and grief specific to college-aged individuals. She plans to visit grief centers and attend several scheduled trainings in Colorado, Oregon, and Nebraska. Information gleaned from these experiences will be used to develop a new course focusing on this area of social work practice. She will work with individuals on and off campus to form a triage team that will be available to respond to traumatic events affecting Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Sandra Mathews, Associate Professor of History All year: Sandra will work on a variety of projects, most of which will result in publications. All of them involve research that she will incorporate into the classroom. Book projects include: finishing copy edits/pageproofs on co-edited book, Women’s Experiences on the North American Plains; finishing final editing and submitting for publication the letters of Donna Joy McGladrey; revising her dissertation on Pueblo Indian land grants for publication; completing final edits on a co-authored textbook, New Mexico!; and beginning an anthology entitled Sacred Spaces: The Quest for American Indian Rights. She will also travel throughout the west to explore potential outdoor-based experiential educational opportunities for students and scope out locations for a camping-based course on Nebraska history.

William McClung, Professor of Math and Computer Science All year: Bill will be a guest of the Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg in Germany. The Hochschule prepares teachers for the middle-level Realschule, grades 5-10. He will work with their computer science education group to prepare pedagogical materials for that school system. He has also been invited by Professor Guide Rößling of the Technische Universität Darmstadt to work with his computer science education group to prepare algorithmic animation modules to use in university computer science classes.

David Peabody, Professor of Religion, and Jeri Brandt, Professor of Nursing Spring 2011: David and Jeri will co-lead a pilgrimage and study tour titled “The Footsteps of Paul in Greece and Turkey.” The travel group will visit museums and archaeological parks in Athens, Corinth and Epidaurus in Greece; travel by boat to the Aegean islands of Mykonos, Rhodes and Patmos, where John wrote the New Testament book of Revelation, and on to the remains of ancient cities on the western coast of Turkey. The pilgrimage-tour will conclude in Istanbul where the group will visit the ancient churches of Hagia.

Rachel Pokora, Professor of Communication All year: Rachel will travel to Ireland to finish a book on Call To Action Nebraska and learn about Irish culture. Call To Action Nebraska is an organization that advocates for social justice in and outside the Roman Catholic Church. How CTAN members have been and continue to be treated and how the members respond to that treatment has implications for the future of the Catholic Church in the United States. Her research will help demonstrate a need for dialogue. She plans to live in Ireland because the international experience is invaluable to her professionally and personally. Professionally she can draw on countless examples of another culture as she teaches. She will also consider the possibility of teaching a culture of Ireland class.

Loy Watley, Professor of Business Administration All year: Loy will study international marketing at the University of Huddersfield in Huddersfield, England. In addition to participating in graduate-level courses in international marketing, he hopes to engage in research and/or writing with some of the faculty.

Lisa Wilkinson, Associate Professor of Philosophy All year: Lisa will research and write a monograph titled Nonagonistic Speech: The Origins of Philosophy. She will present abbreviated chapters as papers at conferences in October and April. Her thesis is that western philosophy did not emerge, nor was intended as, an intellectual agon. To the contrary, the type of speaking and thinking characteristic of historically 'first' philosophy is modeled upon the Greek oral tradition, which is inherently nonagonistic. The purpose of her book is to theorize some of the writings of Plato and the sophoi who precede him to develop an answer.

Sam Zitek, Associate Professor of Music Spring 2010: Sam will spend the spring semester attending conducting symposiums. He will also spend a week at George Mason University, where Anthony Maiello and Mark Camphouse work and teach. Maiello is a world-renown conductor, and Camphouse is an often-played composer and conductor. Sam will also spend time in various public and private high schools to gather information on the needs of first-year music teachers.

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