From the American Civil War to Women Soldiers in Afghanistan

Faculty and Students Present Their Work

Students and faculty at Allegheny College have recently presented their work or participated in professional activities on a broad range of subjects.

Allegheny College junior Ian Lim Bonner and Associate Professor of Political Science Shannan Mattiace contributed three pieces to an Ernst Field Series in the Meadville Tribune. Bonner wrote the first two articles, “Manual labor in the seed fields brings unexpected rewards” and “Labor Relations: Migrants work hard and face stereotypes,” which were published on January 9 and 10. Mattiace’s article, published on January 11, was titled “Moving for Work: Seasonal workers vital to Ernst Conservation Seeds.”

Seniors Ava Carvour and Rachel Moore and junior Desiree Niccoli have had papers accepted for the 3rd Annual Undergraduate Conference “Corpus: the Body in the Middle Ages and Renaissance” at the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The article “Whitehead graphs and separability in rank two” — authored by 2012 graduate John Conant, senior Nivetha Ramasubramanian, and former assistant professor of mathematics Matt Clay — was accepted for publication by the mathematics journal Involve in December 2012. As described by the publisher, Involve “bridg[es] the gap between the extremes of purely undergraduate-research journals and mainstream research journals, provid[ing] a venue to mathematicians wishing to encourage the creative involvement of students.”

Assistant Professor of Biology Lisa Whitenack presented two studies at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting in San Francisco. The first was a poster titled “Thermal effects of jumping kinematics in plethodontid salamanders,” which is a continuation of the work started with 2012 graduate Anthony Hessel. The second was a talk titled “Handedness and predation success in the stone crab Menippe mercenaria-adina,” which examines the effect of stone crab fishing practices on the ability of the crabs to catch and process prey.

Associate Professor of History Ian Binnington presented an invited lecture at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Southern Intellectual History Circle at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. His paper “Confederate Americanism; or, the Imagined Nationalism of the South in the American Civil War” comes from his book Confederate Visions: Nationalism, Symbolism, and the Imagined South in the Civil War, forthcoming later this year from the University of Virginia Press.

Professor of Environmental Science Richard Bowden presented a poster, “Temperate Forest Soils Sequester as much Carbon as Trees in Response to Nitrogen Deposition,” at the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research Program All-Scientists Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. This 20-year project at the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Site—which includes colleagues from the University of New Hampshire, the University of Michigan, Boston University, the University of Hawaii, Michigan Tech, the University of Massachusetts, Oregon State, the University of California-Santa Cruz, and Cornell—indicates that in temperate forests, nitrogen deposition from acid rain can increase storage of soil organic matter by decreasing rates of decomposition, thus influencing the chemistry of the atmosphere. However, reductions in rates of organic matter decomposition may ultimately reduce forest productivity.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science TJ Eatmon has received an honorable mention in the 2013 Carnegie Science Awards. The program honors individuals and organizations from more than 15 categories who have distinguished themselves by making unparalleled contributions to science and technology in various disciplines. Eatmon was one of two teachers who earned an honorable mention in the category of University/Post-Secondary Educator.

Allegheny College ranks No. 23 on the Peace Corps’ 2013 Top Colleges in the small schools category. The annual list recognizes the colleges and universities in the U.S. that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers. Fourteen alumni from Allegheny College are currently serving overseas. For the past eight years, Associate Director of Career Services Jim Fitch has served as the lead in connecting with the Peace Corps and arranging visits to campus, connecting the recruiter with faculty, securing spaces for presentations and overseeing marketing to promote their visit to our students. Director of Career Services Michaeline Shuman, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), mentors our students as they complete their applications and prepare for their interviews.

The exhibit “The Cup,” created by Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Valerie Gilman, is on view at the Erie Art Museum’s Holstein Gallery. While most of the show comprises discrete sculptural objects, part of the show is a collaboration with local dancer, slate roofer and Allegheny alumnus Doug Lodge. A reception for the two will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 1 after they create a second site-specific sculpture in the context of an all-day (9-5) performance event. The public is encouraged to drop by during the day to see the work in progress as well as talk to the artists at the opening.

When Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women in combat, Visiting Assistant Professor Cheryl Hatch’s recent photographs of women soldiers in Afghanistan were distributed worldwide. Hatch embedded with the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment 1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team in southern Kandahar Province. Throughout her career, she has focused on women in war zones: civilians and soldiers. In Afghanistan, she documented the work of the soldiers of the Female Engagement Team, who join the infantrymen on patrol in order to make contact with Afghan women. Hatch’s photographs have been published in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Images published in the Christian Science Monitor last year can be viewed here.

Associate Professor of Political Science Shannan L. Mattiace’s chapter “Multicultural Reforms for Mexico’s ‘Tranquil’ Indians in Yucatan” was published in an edited volume published by Oxford University Press (2013). The volume is titled Latin America’s Multicultural Movements: the Struggle Between Communitarianism, Autonomy, and Human Rights.

The National Park Service has published “Assessment of natural resource conditions in and adjacent to Biscayne National Park” (Natural Resource Report NPS/BISC/NRR/-2012/598, National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado). Jack Meeder, who teaches restoration ecology in the Department of Environmental Science, is a co-author, along with P. W. Harlem, J. N. Boyer, H. O. Bricèno, J. W. Forqurean, P. R. Gardinalli, R. Jaffè, and M. S. Ross.

Oxford University Press has published the latest book by Professor of Religious Studies Carl Olson, The Allure of Decadent Thinking: Religious Studies and the Challenge of Postmodernism. The book is essentially about the use of postmodern philosophy as a tool for interpreting religious phenomena and the pros and cons for doing so.

In Fall 2012 Robert Seddig, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, taught “Constitutional law: Civil rights and liberties” at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine. In June at Carleton College reunions, Carleton’s Alumni Association will present Seddig with a 2013 Award for Exceptional Service to Carleton College.

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