Faculty and Staff Notes

Qiusha Ma, Steven Wojtal, and Barbara Sawhill Present

May 13, 2015

Qiusha Ma, associate professor of Chinese; Steven Wojtal, professor of geology and associate dean for curriculum; and Barbara Sawhill, director of the Cooper International Learning Center, presented “Oberlin’s Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE) Grant: Connecting Languages with the Study of the Environment in Asia” at the Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum Annual Conference at Denison University on April 16, 2015.

Eve Sandberg Speaks for World Press Day

May 7, 2015

Eve Sandberg, chair of the politics department, was a speaker for World Press Freedom Day, an event hosted by the U.S. Embassy Information Resource Center. Sandberg's talk, titled "Zambian Voices in a Globalizing World," was delivered May 4 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Randal Doane Book Receives Independent Publisher Award

May 7, 2015

The book Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of The Clash by Randal Doane, assistant dean of studies, has received a 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award (silver) in the popular culture category. (See No. 65 on this website.)

Eric Estes Presents on Panel, Hosts Conference Gathering

May 5, 2015

Eric Estes, vice president and dean of students and assistant professor of comparative American studies, was invited to present on a panel of out LGBTQ chief student affairs officers at the recent annual American College Personnel Association conference in Tampa, Florida. In addition to discussing opportunities and challenges for LGBTQ-identified professionals in higher education administration, he and other leaders in the field hosted a social gathering for LGBTQ-identified professionals attending the conference. These events continue to foster a conversation about organizing by and mentoring for LGBTQ-identified administrators in higher education.

Crystal Biruk Delivers Invited Lecture

May 5, 2015

Crystal Biruk, assistant professor of anthropology, delivered an invited lecture titled "Cooking and Cleaning Data: Embodied Enumeration in a Malawian Research World" on April 30 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies.

Nancy Darling Interviewed on South African Radio

May 5, 2015

Professor of Psychology Nancy Darling was interviewed on Capetown South African radio by Abongile Nzelezele about her work on adolescent lying.

Darling has done research on adolescent lying and their decisions to share information with their parents in the U.S., Chile, Italy, Uganda, and the Philippines. She recently blogged about this work for Psychology Today in her piece “Why You Lied to Your Parents (and Whether They Believed You).” This work caught the eye of Nzelezele, who interviewed Darling about how accurate parents are at detecting lies, why and when adolescents lie, and what kind of parenting helps teens open up.

Cindy Frantz Gives Talks, Receives Grant

April 28, 2015

Professor of Psychology Cindy Frantz, currently a visiting scholar at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, has given two invited talks at her host university.

The first talk, titled “Environmental Dashboard: Combining public displays of real-time resource use with community voices to engage, empower, and celebrate stewardship” was given at University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability's seminar series on April 16. The second talk, titled “Why do humans benefit from nature? An argument for the need to belong.” was given at the University of Otago’s Psychology Seminar series on April 20.

Frantz—along with Paul Thibodeau, assistant professor of psychology; John Petersen, director of environmental studies and Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of environmental studies; and Rumi Shammin, associate professor of environmental studies—has also been awarded a National Science Foundation grant from the Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences program for $329,325.

The grant focuses on systems thinking, a way of conceptualizing reality and making decisions that emphasizes relationships and interdependencies. Their research will empirically test the contention that systems thinking improves decision making. It will also test whether mental models, such as metaphors, can induce a systems thinking mindset and whether decision makers must value the system in question for systems thinking to have beneficial effects on decision making.

Eve Sandberg Gives Talks in London

April 28, 2015

Eve Sandberg, chair of the politics department, has given two talks regarding her book Moroccan Women, Activists and Gender Politics: An Institutional Analysis while in London. The book was co-authored with Kenza Aqertit and published in September 2014.

The first talk took place April 20 at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) and was titled “Altering a National Institution: the Moroccan Case of Changing Gendered Norms, Procedures, and Practices." The second talk took place April 22 at City University London and was titled "Overcoming Constraints: Successful Women's Organizing in the Moroccan Case."

Greggor Mattson Presents at EU Prostitution Policy Conference

April 28, 2015

Associate Professor of Sociology Greggor Mattson was invited to present at the European Union-funded prostitution policy network conference Troubling Prostitution: Exploring Intersections of Sex, Intimacy, and Labour in Vienna, Austria, on April 18. Conference attendees, who included researchers, sex workers rights activists, and journalists from 52 countries, were welcomed in the town hall by representatives of the mayor and city council.

Mattson presented his paper, entitled "States of Vulnerability: Prostitution Reform as a Symptom of EU Integration," which was taken from his forthcoming book on the cultural politics of European prostitution reform. The book argues that the European Union funding mechanisms to create a European-wide civil society laid the groundwork for competing networks of prostitution policy advocates, polarizing reforms around two options and leading to a scramble of national reform proposals during the period of European expansion 1998-2004.

The contemporary struggle between advocates of prostitution legalization and those who support the criminalization of buying sex crowds out alternative policy solutions, obscures the national differences among those policies, and yet reflects the success of EU efforts to build a continental civil society.

Rebecca Whelan Presents Ongoing Research

April 23, 2015

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Rebecca Whelan presented ongoing research at the 2015 Pittcon Conference & Expo on analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy held in New Orleans. The title of her presentation was "Selection of aptamers for ovarian cancer biomarkers informed by next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics."

In addition, Whelan and members of her research group have co-authored a publication that will appear in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. The title of the paper is "Selection of DNA aptamers for ovarian cancer biomarker HE4 using CE-SELEX and high-throughput sequencing." The other co-authors—Rachel Eaton, Jamie Shallcross, Liora Mael, Kepler Mears, Lisa Minkoff, and Delia Scoville—are all current or recently graduated Oberlin College students.