Spring 2016 Events

Innovation in Teaching Grant Presentations

  • Tuesday, January 26 at 3:30 p.m. in the Postupak Room, McGowan

  •  Presenters: Bridget Costello and Corine Coniglio

Bridget Costello, Sociology Department, “Specs Grading and the Illusion of Choice”

For two sections of Core 157: Introduction to Sociology, I implemented a “specs” grading system, wherein each student chooses both the number and the difficulty of assignments to complete from a “menu” that directly corresponds to both the demonstration of specific course learning outcomes and the student’s desired course grade. In theory, specs grading results in greater course rigor without increasing either student or faculty workload, in that it does not reward partial effort on assignments and instead incentivizes full effort on a smaller number of assignments, while also ensuring that most students – even those earning C’s and D’s – have achieved at least basic competency in all course learning outcomes. As implemented, however, students did not seem to perceive any greater degree of choice in the volume, pacing, or challenge of their workload as compared to a traditionally graded course; relatedly, the system did not seem to substantially improve the quality of student work.

Corine Coniglio, English Department, “From Online to Inline”

While many teachers approach new online courses for the challenges they present–engagement, accountability, efficient use of tools–this discussion of course development focuses on suggestions for how to use the strengths of online courses in traditional and hybrid courses through backwards design. Participants will engage in discussion that aims to turn the usual discussions about online learning into pedagogical opportunities for traditional, face-to-face courses.

Faculty Research Colloquium

  • Tuesday, February 16 at 3:30 p.m. in the Postupak Room, McGowan

  • Presenters: Janine Janoski and Noreen O’Connor

Janine Janoski, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, “The Hidden Mathematics of Super Tic-Tac-Toe”

We all have played the beloved game tic-tac-toe. Now imagine in each square of the board, we draw a smaller tic-tac-toe board, making a 9 × 9 grid with 9 squares making a larger board. Impartial Super Tic-Tac-Toe (STTT) is a game where each player uses an “x” and their move dictates which larger square the other player must make their next move. In this talk we will explore the mathematical structure of impartial STTT.

Noreen O’Connor, Department of English, “Recovering Elizabeth von Arnim”

Elizabeth von Arnim, who wrote 22 novels between 1898 and 1940, was a witty and popular novelist who explored women’s lives in daring ways. Noreen O’Connor will discuss the writer, focusing on some of her most successful works. She will also address her recent work to help recover the writer, including the literary society, web site, and literary journal dedicated to the writer that were all established with her help during her sabbatical semester.

Faculty Research Colloquium

  • Thursday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m. in the Molewski Room, Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center

  • Presenters: Anne Szklarski and Frank Varriale

Anne Szklarski, Department of Chemistry and Physics, “Synthesizing Molecules Using Light”

Isoindolines are chemical structures that are commonly found in pharmaceuticals, natural products, and pigments. This research project was aimed at discovering a new way to make isoindolines using light as a main component of the chemical reaction. Since this photochemical strategy uses light instead of other chemicals, it has the potential to reduce the amount of harmful chemical waste this is currently generated by other known methods.

Frank Varriale, Department of Biology, “Dental Microwear as an Indicator of Jaw Action in the Dome-Headed Dinosaurs (Pachycephalosauria)”

Microscopic pits and scratches are formed on teeth whenever an animal chews its food. These features are termed dental microwear, and the orientation of scratches can be used as an indicator of jaw motion. Microwear was examined in the dome-headed dinosaurs Pachycephalosaurus and Stegoceras to determine jaw action, and the evolution of this behavior throughout the group Pachycephalosauria.

Faculty Research Colloquium

  • Monday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. in Postupak Room, McGowan

  • Presenters: Melissa Ciocco and Daniel Clasby

Melissa Ciocco, Department of Sports Medicine, “A Review and Compilation of Physical Examination Orthopedic Special Tests and Their Diagnostic Accuracy Values”

Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is becoming widely utilized in medicine. All evaluation techniques that an Athletic Trainer (AT) uses to diagnose an injury should be supported by evidence that they are both valid and reliable. Many tests that are used are not truly accurate at determining the implication that they state they are for. Many texts speak about how to perform a test, what it tests for, and diagnostic accuracy values, but all do not assess whether or not the test is truly a “good” test or “bad” test for evaluation purposes. A list of available orthopedic special tests was compiled, Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) results were analyzed, and these data values were used to help the clinician choose the best tests for clinical practice.

Daniel Clasby, Department of History, “Jewish Peoplehood in the Italian Diaspora”

 This paper examines Italian Jewish sites of memory, spaces where attempts are made to memorialize and curate Italian Jewish cultural heritage. Largely focused on the small, former ghetto environs of once populous and vibrant Jewish communities in Venice and Rome, the paper also reveals the conflicts and contradictions of contemporary Italian Jewish peoplehood and the way Italian Jewish history is and is not being marshaled for use in the post-Shoah present.