Fall 2011 / Spring 2012

Faculty News

Steve Asma (HHSS)

Steve Asma (HHSS) was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune for a story that examined our society’s fascination with Karl Rove, a controversial figure and senior adviser to former President George W. Bush, and how he is often portrayed as the “go-to villain” in pop culture.


Jenny Boully (English)

Jenny Boully’s (English) new book, not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, was published through Tarpaulin Sky Press. In March, she was a featured reader and panelist at the Women Writers’ Festival at the University of Notre Dame. Her essay, “A Short Essay on Being,” was recently published in TriQuarterly and nominated for the Essay Prize.


Kris Brailey (First-Year Seminar)

Kris Brailey (First-Year Seminar) displayed a photograph in the group exhibition, “Returning the Gaze: Contemporary Portraits by Women Photographers,” hosted at the Northern Trust Bank in downtown Chicago. She also juried the 20th annual art exhibition at the Art Barn in Valparaiso, Indiana, and she was part of the three-panel jury for the annual photography exhibition at the Union League Club of Chicago (ULC). While at the ULC, she gave a lecture entitled, “How to Compose a Great Photo.”

Anne Becker (Education)

A painting by Anne Becker (Education) was selected for the Vicinity ’10 show at the Norris Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois. She was also honored as the Illinois Art Educator of the Year in Higher Education by the Illinois Art Education Association (see our LAS News section for more information about her award); she also presented two workshops at the state IAEA conference.

Beatrix Büdy and Weihua Li (Science and Mathematics)

Beatrix Büdy and Weihua Li (Science and Mathematics) presented “The Challenge of Basic Mathematics in Liberal Arts Chemistry” at the American Chemistry Society’s 241st National Meeting.

Andrew Causey (HHSS)

Andrew Causey (HHSS) was invited to speak at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in October 2011. Dr. Causey’s paper, “Getting a Bargain? Some Lessons from a Toba Batak Marketplace,” uses an ethnographic example from his North Sumatra research as a way to critically examine the recent subprime loan and derivatives debacle and the resulting global economic crisis. Dr. Causey also has been invited to be part of the editorial board of Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy, and Practice, which is the official journal of the Society for the Arts in Health.

David Dolak (Science and Mathematics)

David Dolak (Science and Mathematics) displayed four new handmade musical instruments at the Convention of the Guild of American Luthiers. (The term “luthier” denotes one who is a string instrument artisan.) He also displayed photographs of student projects from his Honors class, “The Physics of Musical Instruments.”

Jennie Fauls (English) and Regina J. Wellner (HHSS)

Jennie Fauls (English) and Regina J. Wellner (HHSS) presented “Designing Innovative Practices in the Professional Development of Adjunct Faculty” at the Association of American Colleges & Universities General Education and Assessment Conference.

James Falzone (First-Year Seminar)

James Falzone (First-Year Seminar) was featured in an article in DownBeat Magazine. Titled “Subtle Infusions,” the article delved into Falzone’s work as a professional musician and his work in the college’s First-Year Seminar program. The magazine calls him a “gentle soul” who is a “virtuoso and a brilliant strategist” in music. Falzone’s newest release is Lamentations.

Lisa Fishman (English)

Lisa Fishman (English) published a book of poems entitled Flower Cart (Ahsahta Press, June 2011). Publishers Weekly writes that that, “Her pages of untitled, fragmentary utterance, mixed with what sound like quotations from childhood diaries, make the whole project seem like a single poem, moving between fact and dream.”

Angela Fowler (Education)

Angela Fowler (Education) was invited to speak at the World Forum on Early Care and Education. She presented on the topics of “Innovative Teacher Education” and “Technology in Education.” She has also been selected to serve on the Children’s Rights World Forum working group, which will consist of participants from around the world. Fowler has also collaborated with a student on an LAS technology Undergraduate Research Mentorship Initiative (URMI) project that has grown into a collaboration with the Department of Interactive Media and that will likely roll out as a piloted program in Chicago schools this fall.

Zack Furness (HHSS)

Zack Furness (HHSS) is currently finishing a book manuscript for an edited collection of essays entitled Punkademics (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia: 2011), and he has two additional book proposals that have been accepted for publication: Critical and Cultural Perspectives on the National Football League, co-edited with Tom Oates (Temple University Press), and a revised version of his first book, tentatively called Biking in a Car Culture (Cantankerous Titles). Recently, Dr. Furness was invited to serve as a national delegate for the National Building Museum’s Intelligent Cities project, and he was solicited to contribute to two forthcoming books published by Routledge: Handbook of Mobilities (2012) and Routledge Companion to Alternative Organisation (2013).

Rami Gabriel

Rami Gabriel’s (HHSS) book manuscript, “Why I Buy: Self, Taste, and Consumer Society in America,” has secured a contract for publication from Intellect UK (distributed in America by University of Chicago Press). During Fall semester, Dr. Gabriel had two papers on the philosophy of affective neuroscience accepted for publication in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. In April, he presented a paper entitled, “Advertisements and the Self” at the Popular Culture Association and American Studies conference. The paper was based on research completed as part of the LAS Undergraduate Research Mentorship Initiative (URMI).

Tania Giordani (Science and Mathematics)

Tania Giordani (Science and Mathematics) published an article, “Advocates for All Children, Mothers Fighting for Educational Reform,” in the Journal of Women’s Intercultural Leadership. She also presented at the National Coalition of ESEA Title I Parents conference, where her lecture was entitled, “Parents’ Theatre.” She presented at the 17th Annual Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference, where her lecture was entitled, “The Harvest of Mother Work.”

Diana Gorman (ASL)

Diana Gorman (ASL) was the lead presenter of a paper, “Teaching Students to Decipher Fingerspelling through Context: A New Pedagogical Approach,” at the 2010 Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Gorman also presented her research on “Sight Translation” at the 2011 National Conference of the Registry of Interpreters. Her workshop was entitled, “Sight Translation: What, Why, and How?”

Re’Lynn Hansen (English)

Re’Lynn Hansen (English) was nominated for a Pushcart award for The Real Estate Renaissance, which appeared in New Madrid Review. Her chapbook, 25 Sightings of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, is forthcoming through Firewheel Press.


Ames Hawkins (English)

Ames Hawkins (English) published three creative nonfiction pieces in Water~Stone Review, Off the Rocks, and Better Book Project, respectively. She premiered her video essay/research design, “All the Write Moves,” at the Computers & Writing conference. In addition, she has been selected to be a member of the board of The Art of Revolution, a nonprofit art activism organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Michele Hoffman-Trotter (Science and Mathematics)

Michele Hoffman-Trotter (Science and Mathematics) was the recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award for part-time faculty members at Columbia. She also authored a six-book series of lesson plans that accompany the award-winning DVD series, What Makes a Fish. The books are for Pre-K through third grade educators, home school educators, and caregivers who want to educate young kids about the ocean and themselves.

Deborah H. Holdstein (School of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

Deborah H. Holdstein (School of Liberal Arts and Sciences) presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS). Dean Holdstein’s paper concerned Columbia College Chicago’s methods for evaluating faculty members—specifically, the Faculty Annual Activities Report (FAAR). Dean Holdstein also presented on the topic of rhetorics of adoption at the Association For Jewish Studies and at the conference on College Composition and Communication. Her article, “Notes from an Editorship,” is forthcoming in Pedagogy, published by Duke University Press.

Allan Johnston (English)

Allan Johnston (English) delivered his paper, “Some of the Dharma: The Human, the Heavenly, and ‘The Real Work’ in the Poetry of Gary Snyder,” at the Religion and Spirituality in Society Conference 2011. This paper described Snyder’s “The Real Work” as a Dharmic practice.


Keith Kostecka (Science and Mathematics)

Keith Kostecka (Science and Mathematics) published two papers: “Krypton, Neon and Xenon—Their Discoveries,” and “Determination of Cadmium in Organic and Non-Organic Lettuce Using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy,” which he coauthored with Bryce Wolfe. Both papers were published in Chemical Educator.

Michael Lawrence (First-Year Seminar)

Michael Lawrence (First-Year Seminar) coauthored a book chapter about his experiences with early college pedagogy, “Early Ever After: Alumni Reflect on Life after Simon’s Rock,” in Educating Outside the Lines: Bard College at Simon’s Rock on a “New Pedagogy” (Twenty-First Century, 2011). His dissertation, Signature Remembrance: The Names of the 9/11 Dead and the Play of Rhetoricity, won the top dissertation award from the Critical Cultural Studies division of the National Communication Association.

David Lazar (English)

David Lazar (English) was published in a new anthology, Aspects of Robinson: Homage to Weldon Kees. He also participated in the Living Writers Project, which enabled students at Tennessee Tech University to meet the writers they have studied over the course of the semester.

Rob Lagueux (First-Year Seminar)

Rob Lagueux (First-Year Seminar) presented on Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” at two different conferences: the annual conference of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, and the Forum on Music and Christian Scholarship. He also co-led a pre-conference workshop, “Using Creative Artifacts to Assess Liberal Learning,” at the Association of American Colleges and Universities conference, and, at the same conference, co-presented on “Faculty Engagement and Integrating the Major with General Education in Arts Education.”

Virginia Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe (Science and Mathematics)

Virginia Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe (Science and Mathematics) received an educational grant from ADInstruments, a company that designs and manufactures data acquisition systems, and from the National Association of Biology Teachers. She plans to use the grant to build on and improve the Junior Research Scientists program, which is housed in the department’s Science Institute, and to offer physiology lessons to undergraduate students at the college.

Brian Mornar (English)

Brian Mornar’s (English) book of poetry, Three American Letters, was published through Little Red Leaves press.

RoseAnna Mueller (HHSS)

RoseAnna Mueller (HHSS) traveled to Mexico during her sabbatical to visit the University of Guanajuato and to Guatemala to visit Spanish language schools. Thanks to a Faculty Development Award, she spent March in Merida, Venezuela, where she continued her work translating and researching Teresa de la Parra’s work for her book project. She also reviewed El otro amor de Federico: Lorca en Buenos Aires for Letras Femeninas, and Mediated Ethnicity: New Italian-American Cinema for Annali d’Italianistica.

Luis Nasser (Science and Mathematics)

Luis Nasser (Science and Mathematics) was filmed by ABC7 Chicago for the show “Windy City Live.” In the segment, Dr. Nasser used quantum mechanics to debunk the myths behind the so-called curse of the Chicago Cubs.

Sarah Odishoo (English)

Sarah Odishoo’s (English) poem, “Gaining Weight by Losing,” appeared in Sierra Nevada Journal’s summer issue; her essay, “Tristan and Isolda: Love’s Devout Skeptics,” appeared in the online magazine, followmagazine.com; and her poem, “Merry-Go-Round Universe,” appeared in The Pedestal Magazine. In addition, she was invited to be the Book Award Judge in the Poetry Category for Poets’ First Published Book, 2011, for the Writers’ League of Texas, Austin.

Dominic Pacyga (HHSS)

Dominic Pacyga (HHSS) published “Responding to the Second Ghetto: Chicago’s Joe Smith and Sin Corner” in the Journal of Urban History (January 2011). In March, he gave a talk on his latest book, Chicago: An Urban Biography, for the UIC Alumni Authors series at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Richard J. Daley Library. Dr. Pacyga also gave a workshop on “Ethnic Chicago” at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, and he was the recipient of the 2011 Columbia College Excellence in Teaching Award. He now writes a blog: pacygainthecity.wordpress.com.

Neil Pagano (School of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

Neil Pagano (School of Liberal Arts and Sciences) presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS). His presentation reviewed the history of the assessment mandate in U.S. higher education, the challenges inherent in assessing general education programs, and three concrete examples of assessment achievements at Columbia.

Pan Papacosta (Science and Mathematics)

Pan Papacosta (Science and Mathematics) presented his paper, “Core Images and Their Cultural Significance,” at the 17th annual meeting of the Association of Core Texts and Courses. The conference was sponsored by Yale University and was attended by more than 400 scholars and academics. Dr. Papacosta also gave a public lecture on “The Science and Humanity of Einstein” at Harper College, and he received a Professional Development Grant from Columbia College to complete his documentary on Henrietta Leavitt, an astronomer at Harvard College Observatory, whose 1908 discovery enabled astronomers to determine that the universe is expanding.

Samuel Park (English)

Samuel Park’s (English) article, “All the Sad Young Men: Whiteness as Melancholic Haunting in Black Queer Independent Film,” appeared in the spring 2011 issue of the journal BLACK CAMERA: An International Journal of Black Film. He also presented at the meetings of the Asian American Studies Association and the Midwest Modern Language Association. His newest book, This Burns My Heart, was published over the summer by Simon & Schuster.

Pegeen Reichert Powell (English)

Pegeen Reichert Powell’s (English) book, Mothers Who Deliver: Feminist Interventions in Public and Interpersonal Discourse, was published by SUNY Press. The book is a collection of essays that center on “mothering as an intelligent practice, deliberately reinvented and rearticulated by mothers themselves.” Reichert Powell is also the first president of Columbia College Chicago’s Faculty Senate.

Brendan Riley (English)

Brendan Riley’s (English) essay, “A Style Guide to the Secrets of <style>,” appeared in a University of Minnesota Press edited collection, From A to <A>: Keywords of Markup, which won the Computers and Composition 2010 Distinguished Book Award. Another of his essays, “The E-Dead: Zombies in the Digital Age,” appeared in Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture (Mcfarland & Company, Inc., July 2011).

Michael Robins (English)

Michael Robins’s (English) second fulllength poetry collection, Ladies & Gentlemen, was published by Saturnalia Books. Robins’s first collection, The Next Settlement, won the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and was released by University of North Texas Press in 2006.


Albert Sergio Laguna (English)

Albert Sergio Laguna (English) has become the faculty adviser to the Latino Alliance—a student-run organization at Columbia that assists with academic and professional development, and that helps strengthen the Latino community on campus. His article, “Aquí Está Alvarez Guedes: Cuban Choteo and the Politics of Play,” was published in the December 2010 issue of the journal Latino Studies. Dr. Laguna also presented a paper on Latino/a morning radio programs at the XXIX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association.

Christopher Shaw (Science and Mathematics)

Christopher Shaw (Science and Mathematics) was inducted as a member of the Norbert Wiener Center (NWC) Society of Fellows in February 2011. The NWC is a center for mathematical research in applied harmonic analysis at the University of Maryland, and membership in the Society of Fellows is awarded annually to one person who has made significant contributions toward its academic mission.

Louis Silverstein (HHSS)

Louis Silverstein (HHSS) presented his paper, “Embodied & Experiential Spirituality,” at the Religion & Spirituality annual conference. His article, “And What Is the Worth of a Man?,” appeared in the Journal of Aging, Humanities, and the Arts.

Tony Trigilio (English)

Tony Trigilio’s (English) latest collection of poems, Historic Diary, was published in 2011 by BlazeVOX Books. Sixteen poems from Historic Diary were also published as a special mini-chapbook feature in Mid-American Review. Other poems also appeared in Conduit, Denver Quarterly, 5 A.M., The Laurel Review, 1913 a journal of forms, Puerto del Sol, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and in the anthology Brute Neighbors: Urban Nature Poetry, Prose and Photography (DePaul University Humanities Center). His essay, “Doing Things in Silence,” was published in Poets on Teaching (University of Iowa Press). He also published reviews in Resources for American Literary Study, The Beat Review, and Gently Read Literature.

Fereshteh Toosi (First-Year Seminar)

Fereshteh Toosi (First-Year Seminar) was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Illinois Humanities Council for the project GARLIC & GREENS: Accessible Soul Food Stories. She also presented a paper at the Open Engagement conference at Portland State University.

David Trinidad (English)

David Trinidad (English) was chosen as the college’s next Distinguished Faculty Scholar for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years. During the tenure of his fellowship, Trinidad intends to write a series of essays about poet Sylvia Plath.

Robert Watkins (HHSS)

Robert Watkins (HHSS) presented a paper, “Grieving Beyond Identity: Precariousness of Life and the Case of Melquiades Estrada,” at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting. His paper is part of a part of book manuscript titled, Precarious Lives on Film: Freedom, Vengeance, and the Limits of Sovereign Individualism. At the same conference, he participated in a roundtable on Samuel A. Chambers’ book, The Queer Politics of Television (I.B. Tauris, 2009).

Stan West (English)

Stan West (English) presented two papers on service-learning at the Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities in January in Honolulu. One presentation centered on Columbia’s Indian support group, through which students helped build a roof for a family living on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. A video was made in the process. The second presentation discussed his First-Year Seminar service-learning class on local Haitian art galleries, and how freshmen created Web sites and “found art” objects to promote and publicize the galleries and Haitian nonprofits as their way of creating awareness about reconstruction and recovery in post-earthquake Haiti.