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October Spotlights

Recent News from the College of Arts and Sciences


Alumni Update: Biology alumnus Chuck Reddinger (B.S., ‘94) was named director of leisure services for the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department.  Having served as manager for the parks department’s community center for five years and an employee since 1991, Reddinger hopes to offer new programs and reach new groups of people.

Student Success: Bruce Kingsbury, professor of biology, recently had four graduate students complete their theses. Savanna Vaughn, now an assistant property manager at Pigeon River State Fish and Wildlife Area, wrote “Short-term Response of Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and White-footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus) to Invasive Shrub Control.”  Emily Stulik, now working as an ecologist for ASC Group, Inc, wrote “Amphibian Occupancy and Habitat Use in a System of Restored Wetlands.” Sasha Tetzlaff, currently applying to Ph.D. programs, wrote “To Forage, Mate or Thermoregulate? Influence of Food Supplementation on Behavior of the Rattlesnake Sistrurus catenatus.” Finally, Kevin McLane, now working as a wetland ecologist at Green 3 LLC, wrote “Ecology of the Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) in a Suburban River.”

Faculty Publication: Kingsbury also recently published a paper in Herpetological Conservation and Biology entitled “Experimental Evaluation of Captive-Rearing Practices to Improve Success of Snake Reintroductions.” Read the full article here.

Faculty in the News: Mark Jordan, associate professor of biology, was featured in a Journal Gazette article, “IPFW Professor, Students Researching Virgin Snake Birth Long before Last Week’s News Splash.” In it, Jordan talks about his research on virgin snake births in Indiana and how it compares with the recent case from Missouri.

Faculty in the News: Frank Paladino, chair and professor of biology, was interviewed on KCBS, a radio station in San Francisco, on September 20th. He spoke about tourism and its widely reported impact on nesting marine turtles in Costa Rica. Listen to the interview here.


Alumni Update: Raquel Allen (B.A., interpersonal and organizational communication, ’12) was hired as the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at McKendree University in August. With her previous recognition as two-time Coach of the Year in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference and her success as an IPFW Mastodons, McKendree is excited to add Allen to their team.

Faculty Publication: Sarah LeBlanc, visiting instructor in communication, co-authored a chapter on the effects veterans’ identity negotiation has on family communication. The chapter discusses a study of how 22 veterans worked to rediscover the identity they had before leaving for combat. The chapter will appear in the forthcoming book A Communicative Perspective on the Military, set to be published in 2016.

Alumni Update: Sonya Snellenberger (B.A., interpersonal and organizational communication, ‘12) was recognized as one of 2015’s Top 20 Millennials Making a Difference in Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly. Snellenberger was profiled about her work at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership as a Millennial 2020 Specialist and her perspective as a member of the millennial generation.

Faculty Presentation: Seven communication faculty members and two alumni will give presentations at the National Communication Association Convention in Las Vegas, November 19–22. Speaking alongside dozens of presenters from all across the country, they will present papers and speeches on the theme of “Embracing Opportunity.”


Faculty Grant: Mary Ann Cain, professor of English and linguistics, received an Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist grant of $2000 toward her research for a book on Margaret Burroughs, cofounder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.  Cain will use the grant to complete archival work and interviews for the book, which is under advance contract with Northwestern University Press.

Faculty Feature: Curtis Crisler, associate professor of English and linguistics, will be featured in the American Root Reading Series’ 2015 Fall Reading on October 6th. The line-up also includes poets Elena Radulescu and Bryan Owens.

Faculty Presentation: Crisler will also present at the Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference on Saturday, October 10th. He will be part of a session on work inspired or influenced by the cities, townships, and rivers on the Indiana–Illinois state line. Crisler will read from his poetry book, Tough Boy Sonatas, and other poems inspired by his childhood in Gary, Indiana. See here for more details.

Faculty News: Dawn Wooten, adjunct instructor in English & linguistics, announced that she is running for office to become Indiana’s next superintendent of public instruction. Looking to restructure educational standards, Wooten hopes to oust the incumbent, Glenda Ritz.


Alumni Update: Geosciences alumnus Michael Blair (B.S., ‘13) rode his bike across the country “in search of interesting scientists, interested athletes, tons of geology, and great climbing.” He has invested almost three months and 3,500 miles into the trip, and was recently spending time climbing at the New River Gorge in West Virginia. To read more or see pictures from his trip, see Blair’s blog, Adventures in Deep Time.

Faculty Presentation: In November 2015, Aranzazu Pinan-Llamas, associate professor of geology, will present a paper entitled “Structural Characterization of the Southern Section of the Mylonite Zone and the Eastern Segment in the Bua Area, Sveconorwegian Orogen, SW Sweden” at the national Geological Society of America conference.  See presentation's abstract for more details.


Faculty Initiatives: Associate Professor Suin Roberts and Continuing Lecturer Farah Combs are teaming up to produce a series of language learning videos for Arabic-speaking refugees in German-speaking countries. They will cover basic language lessons in German and Arabic (with English and Arabic subtitles) that Arabic-speaking refugees would find helpful in everyday life. These videos will deal with topics, such as: greetings, introductions, doctor’s visits or emergencies, shopping, housing, finding work, German culture, manners and etiquette, and so on.


Faculty News: John LaMaster, senior instructor of mathematical sciences and national T3 instructor (Teachers Teaching with Technology) for Texas Instruments Inc. , authored curriculum activities for the T3 professional development program this summer and recently copresented his work in two national online webinars, both drawing record breaking audiences:  472 participants registered for “Success on Day One with the TI-84 Family” and 208 attended live on August 5. This record was smashed by his second webinar “The Top Ten Overlooked TI-84 Plus Features” on September 2nd, with 941 registered participants and 423 live attendees.


Faculty Publications: Andrew Downs, associate professor of political science, wrote an article for NIPR entitled, “Don’t Forget the 2015 Elections.” In it, he discusses the massive outside spending associated with prominent elections and encourages citizens to take an interest in off-year elections as well. Downs also wrote an article for the Journal Gazette entitled, “Polls: Accurate Analysis Requires Understanding Their Utility - and Limits.” The article addresses the need for polls to be used responsibly and conducted effectively, and describes the challenges to both. Finally, Downs was quoted in a Journal Gazette article, “Pence Defies EPA, Pleasing Donors,” about Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s refusal to follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines.

Faculty Initiatives: The Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW has been asked to help organize public forums to discuss ways to preserve or reuse the now vacant General Electric campus in Fort Wayne. Andy Downs, associate professor of political science, has indicated that the Downs Center will submit a proposal that includes contributions from IPFW students. More details.

Faculty Publications: James Lutz, professor and chair of political science, and Brenda Lutz published “Tourists as Targets in the Middle East and North Africa” in the edited collection, Terrorism and the Economy: Impacts on the Capital Market and Global Terrorism. The article concerns the impact terrorism has on tourism in the Middle East and North Africa.


Faculty Publications: Abraham Schwab, associate professor of philosophy, wrote an article for the Journal Gazette entitled, “The False Promise of Defunding.” The article discusses the demand for Planned Parenthood to be defunded and the likely results doing so would produce. Schwab also wrote an article for NIPR entitled, “Role of Religion in Pluralistic Society.” The article discusses religious exemptions or obligations in a country that hosts multiple religions. Using Kim Davis as a springboard, it examines the circumstances that allow for one’s religion to excuse them from certain activities or decisions.


Faculty Presentation: Stephen Gillam, assistant professor of physics, presented at the 29th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu, Hawaii. The presentation included a poster displaying his findings contrasting two clusters of stars within the Milky Way.

Faculty Initiative: The physics department’s new observatory was recently featured in an article for IPFW’s The Communicator entitled, “IPFW Builds Own Observatory.” The article details the plans for the observatory’s construction under the direction of Gillam and undergraduate Mike Perkins.