March 17, 2023

Faculty Activities

Roger Adkins, executive director of the Center for Global Education, attended the 2022 Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning meeting held in Vermont in October 2022. They were an invited guest and gave a presentation about Earlham’s innovative approaches, including the Epic Journey framework and our Quaker context. In the fall semester of 2022, Adkins served as the interim Fulbright program adviser at Earlham. During this stint, they were able to attend a national selection committee meeting in November 2022 as an observer.

Biology Laboratory and Stockroom Manager Chris Angell published an article in the American Naturalist journal in March based on his doctoral research, Maternal and Paternal Age Effects on Male Antler Flies: A Field Experiment.

Anthropologist Gerry L'Etang standing at the Tivoli temple with students.
Anthropologist Gerry L’Etang standing at the Tivoli temple with students.

French Professor Emeritus Annie Bandy had two book reviews accepted for publication by the American Association of Teachers French Review. One on the graphic novel Le poids des héros by David Sala, the second on La désapparition by Martinican anthropologist Gerry L’Etang. L’Etang came to Earlham in the spring of 2010 to offer guidance for students of a Ford/Earlham project on Indian indentured workers in the French West Indies. He also taught the component on Indianité for the 2012 May Term in Martinique.

Nelson Bingham, emeritus professor of psychology, was recently recognized by the Higher Learning Commission for more than 30 years of service as a peer reviewer and team chair for accreditation reviews of higher education institutions in the Midwest. Over those years, Bingham has been involved in more than 60 reviews and continues to do two to three each year. 

An image of Carpenter Hall that Walt Bistline took and sold to Earlham College.
Walt’s image entitled “Carpenter Hall” from the “Old Friends” exhibit. This image was acquired by Earlham.

Walt Bistline, emeritus professor of art and photography, had one of his photographs included in the exhibition “Recent Museum Acquisitions” at the Richmond Art Museum. He was honored, alongside Nancy Taylor, emeritus professor of art, by the Art Department with a two artist exhibition of their works in Leeds Gallery entitled “Old Friends.” Bistline was also included in the 2022 juried Whitewater Valley Exhibition at IU East and the 122nd Richmond Art Museum juried art exhibition.

In May 2022, Geoff Boyce and Mari Galup (who were both part of the Border Studies Program faculty at that time) and Roger Adkins, executive director of the Center for Global Education, attended the national conference of NAFSA: The Association of International Educators, held in Denver. The three staffed an Expo Hall booth to promote the Border Studies Program to colleagues from thousands of other colleges and universities.

Director for Quantitative Reasoning Center Matt Brown was named to a three-year term on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for DIII Men’s Golf by the coaches and Commissioner of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Earlham is a part of Region V which includes schools in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, northern Kentucky, Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The committee aids in the selection of the at-large bids for the NCAA tournament and develops and oversees the ranking system for DIII men’s golf.

Amy Bryan posing with colleague in front of Harvard backdrop.
Amy Bryant (left) completed the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.

Amy Bryant, library director, completed the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians. She attended the institute in July at the Harvard Graduate School of Education campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A Leadership Grant from the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana funded this opportunity. Read more about her accomplishments.

Diego Bustos, director of the Spanish Program and the Border Studies Program, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, Writing Development, Unfolding Culture: Histories of Economic Imagination in Colombia and Brazil, in October at the University of New Mexico. He graduated with his doctoral degree in December. He also presented the paper, “The work of the artist and the creativity of the work in Aguas de Estuario and Guia Afetivo da Periferia, by Velia Vidal and Marcus Vinicius Faustini: Neoliberal Intersections in Colombia and Brazil,” at Colibra (II Congreso Internacional de Literatura Brasileña), held in hybrid form in Salamanca from Dec. 12-15.

Stephen N. Butler, emeritus professor of sociology, made a presentation on April 13, 2022 at the 25th Annual Celebration of the Jackie Robinson School Project sponsored by the Jackie and Rachel Robinson Society at George Washington University. Butler has been associated with the project since its inception in 1996.   

Assistant Vice President of Development Gail Connerley has been elected to the board of Charitable Gift Planners Indiana. Charitable Gift Planners Indiana (CGPI) is a professional association for nonprofit development officers and allied professionals. Its purpose is to educate members about charitable gift planning, advance the mission of nonprofit organizations that employ them and better serve the philanthropic goals of donors. As one of the earliest councils, formed in 1988, CGPI is the Central Indiana affiliate of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP), the professional association for those whose work involves developing, marketing, administering and advising charitable planned gifts.

Writing Center Director Matthew Duffus presented two papers at the Midwest Modern Language Association conference in Minneapolis. One was entitled “Kelly Link, Ben Loory, and the New Fabulism of the American Short Story,” and the other was “The Caretaker: Coming to the End in Higher Ed.”

Instructional Technologies Director Karla Fribley ’03 and Professor of Chemistry Lori Watson were featured in Richmond’s Palladium Item in August for their efforts to reduce student textbook costs at Earlham. Watson was awarded a 2022 Open Educator Award through the PALSave Affordable Learning initiative. Fribley serves on the administrative team for PALSave.

Joe Green, McNair program directorearned his doctoral degree last December (2021) from Grand Canyon University. He earned his Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) in organizational leadership with a focus on organizational development (quantitative). His dissertation was titled Implicit Leadership Theory and Narcissism.

The cover of the book edited by Thomas Hamm, entitled, The minutes of Dartmouth, Massachusetts Monthly Meeting of Friends 1699-1785.
Tom Hamm edited The Minutes of Dartmouth Monthly Meeting of Friends, 1699-1785

Tom Hamm, professor of history, has recently edited a two-volume editor of The Minutes of the Dartmouth Monthly Meeting of Friends, 1699-1785, published by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. He also has a publication due out by the end of the year, a chapter, “Early Quaker Missionary Activity and Japan,” in the volume Friendly Connections: Philadelphia Quakers and Japan since the Late Nineteenth Century, published by Lexington Books.

Curator Shannon Hayes completed the semester-long Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy and earned a Certificate of Watershed Management.

Since the last Earlhamite, Biology Research Professor John Iverson has published 10 papers in the following journals: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, the Journal of Experimental Biology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Science, Herpetological Review, and Chelonian Conservation and Biology. In addition, he co-authored a petition to uplist the Puerto Vallarta Mud Turtle to Critically Endangered status and the proposal was accepted and published by the IUCN Red List. Finally, a co-authored proposal to uplist 37 threatened turtle species to Appendix I or II under CITES protection was also accepted. 

In November, Sociology/Anthropology Research Professor Deborah Jackson presented a paper titled “Sarnia’s Toxic Blob: Geosocial Formations of Environmental Injustice in Canada” for the session titled Geomorphologies for Living with a Changing Planet at the annual meeting of the American Anthropology Association in Seattle, Washington.

Michael Jackson, research professor of psychology, published a review of John McWhorter’s book Woke Racism. The review appeared in the fall 2022 issue of Logos, and is currently available online under the title “We Need a Good Critique of Wokeness – But This Isn’t It.” 

Simran Kaur-Colbert headshot
Simran Kaur-Colbert

Director of Student Engagement and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Simran Kaur-Colbert co-authored an article titled “Recognizing Christian Hegemony as Broader than Christian Privilege: Critical Religion Scholars Respond to Glanzer” that was published this fall (2022) in Religion & Education. She also presented a co-authored paper with Dr. Sachi Edwards (Soka University, Japan) at the Association for the Study of Higher Education conference this November. Kaur-Colbert was also honored to be a keynote speaker at this year’s Golden Rule Interfaith Community Gathering at First Friends-Quaker Meeting Church in November 2022.

Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Andy Moore, Geology Curator Shannon Hayes,Karol Gaona Chong ’24 and Meeghan Kersten ’23 presented “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a brand new field site: Using uncrewed aircraft systems to discover and digitize fossil localities” with colleagues from the Western Science Center at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Denver in October. Their ongoing collaborative research was featured on NPR’s Focus on Technology program.

Javier Orduz, visiting assistant professor of computer science and mathematics, recently published the article “Supercomputing leverages quantum machine learning and Grover’s algorithm” in The Journal of Supercomputing. Other accomplishments include his role as a guest editor in a special issue of Advances in Quantum Machine Learning and Quantum Information. 

Photo taken during the rehearsal of The Further Misadventures of Martin Hathaway: Shipwrecked Off Heramathea’s Cove.

Last summer, Lynne Perkins Socey, associate professor of theatre arts, served as directing collaborator and acting coach for Ted & Company’s production of Alison Casella Brookins’ We Own This Now, a new play that explores the love of land, loss of land and what it means to “own” something. She adapted William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost during the spring of 2022 and then directed and produced that script for the Theatre Arts Department’s November production in Runyan Center’s Wilkinson Theatre. Perkins Socey also adapted the second novel of Kathryn Clare Glen’s Misadventures trilogy for the stage during the summer. The Further Misadventures of Martin Hathaway: Shipwrecked Off Heramathea’s Cove was workshopped and rehearsed by 14 students during a spring 2023 collaborative research course. From April 13-15 campus performances will inform improvements for the four August performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland; there will be an encore performance during fall semester. An Earlham College Professional Development Fund grant allowed Perkins Socey to spend two months in Chicago to learn about post-pandemic changes to industry as well as current internship and early career employment opportunities for Earlham graduates focused on theatre, film and/or television and related fields (applied theatre, arts-in-education, simulated consumer training, arts administration, events planning & production, marketing, advertising, community building, etc.). She participated in the 25th Annual Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed Conference: Popular Power. She also took a voice acting business development course through Acting Studio Chicago, attended 16 performances at theaters throughout the city and interviewed former classmates, colleagues and students to learn their advice for Earlham grads about Chicago market opportunities and possibilities for creating a healthy work/life balance (especially as compared to New York and Los Angeles). Perkins Socey also presented an Improv Skills for Job Interviews workshop for the Epic Center’s Career Coach Training of peer mentors in September and served as a Sapphire Theatre Company workshop leader for the Kirby Risk Women’s Conference Team Building session in Indianapolis.

Vince Punzo, professor of psychology, published an article in the winter issue of National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly on refugee health care ethics.

A group of faculty stand together at a conference, including Elliot Ratzman.
Elliot Ratzman (middle back row)

Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Chair in Jewish Studies Elliot Ratzman spoke at the Dayton Peace Museum as part of their “Building Peace” lecture series in October. He spoke on how Judaism has thought about war and peace, and how the 20th century Jews articulated a distinct Jewish pacifist tradition different from their Christian interlocutors. He also organized and spoke on a liberation theology panel in November at the American Academy of Religion conference in Denver. This panel honored the thought of social justice physician and activist Paul Farmer. In January, he was the first speaker for Lawrence University’s MLK “teach-in” series, speaking on “King, the Jews, and Antisemitism” and in February addressed the Cincinnati Jewish Film Festival after a documentary about an Israeli photographer. Last month, University of Florida hosted an international conference, Universalizing the Holocaust, where he presented a paper entitled “The Holocaust of White Supremacy and the Supremacy of the White Holocaust: Black Suffering and Jewish Privilege in Recent Critical Thought” examining how some radical Black and Arab thinkers have recast the Holocaust in racial terms, seeing Holocaust memory as a tool for white supremacy. Last spring, Ratzman delivered the Gates Lecture at Grinnell College, speaking on “Jewish Anti-Racism: From the Bible to Whoopi Goldberg.” He is finishing his first book titled Zipporah’s Knife: A Jewish Reckoning with Race.

In December, Doug Shafer-Johnson, director of choral activities and instructor of music at Earlham College, directed Indianapolis-based professional chorus Circle City Chamber Choir in a collaborative performance with Circle City Orchestra. The two ensembles performed jointly in downtown Indianapolis at the historic venue, the Athenæum; presenting a cappella selections by contemporary composers Phillip Stopford and Ily Matthew Maniano, and treasured choral/orchestral repertoire by WA Mozart and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Yasumasa Shigenaga, associate professor of Japanese language and linguisticspresented “Exploring the effects of the Maze Task on L2 Japanese learners’ phonological decoding” at the Annual Fall Conference of the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association (IFLTA) in Indianapolis on Nov. 5, with Ms. Kazuyo Keller of Pima Community College (Tucson, AZ).

Mia Slayton cutting red fabric.
Mia Slayton designing costumes for a production.

Mia Slayton, assistant professor of theatre arts, designed costumes for Phoenix Theatre’s The Rise and Fall of Holly Fudge. She also designed costumes and set for Richmond Civic Theatre’s Miss Holmes.

Artwork featuring three swallows and a birdhouse with a baby bird.
Brent Smith’s portrait, “Professor Tori’s Tree Swallows.”

Emeritus Professor of Biology Brent Smith is continuing his woodworking after retirement. His most recent hardwood portrait, “Professor Tori’s Tree Swallows,” was accepted into the Richmond Art Museum’s 2022 Annual Exhibition and won a Merit Award. This portrait was made as a gift to his friend and colleague, Wendy Tori, in celebration of her promotion to full professor in the Biology Department at Earlham, and in recognition of her long-term research on the nesting ecology of tree swallows.

Three scientists work in a field.
Emmett Smith, Charlie Peck and Faith Jackobs working in the field.

Assistant Professor of Biology Emmett Smith, Professor of Computer Science Charlie Peck ’84 and Faith Jackobs ’18 recently published their paper, “The PortaLyzer, a DIY tool that allows environmental DNA extraction in the field,” in Elsevier’s journal HardwareX, which is focused on the open source design and construction of scientific instrumentation. The gear they designed grew out of their work together extracting DNA from soil samples while still in the field in Iceland. Jackobs has continued working on the bioinformatics projects with Smith and Peck since she graduated. 

Womai Song, assistant professor of African and African American studies and assistant professor of history, participated in two panels at the November 2022 African Studies Association Conference in Philadelphia, one entitled The Cameroon Anglophone Political Crisis in Historical Perspective with his paper, “Problematizing the Intelligentsia in the Anglophone Cameroon Freedom Struggle.” He organized the other panel, titled A ‘hustler’ Wins Kenya’s 2022 Presidential Elections: Meanings and Implications for Africa, with “Contextualizing & Historicizing the Victory of an African ‘hustler’ Campaign” as his contribution. Song was also elected in November as the secretary-general of the North American Association of Scholars on Cameroon.

A tapestry of many different colors interwove.
One of Nancy Taylor’s tapestries.

Nancy Taylor, emeritus professor of arts and fibers, had two tapestries accepted into the 44th Annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition at IU East and has received the Chancellor’s Purchase Award for “Midday Market,” a piece inspired by Earlham’s off-campus program in Tanzania.

Professor of Music Forrest Tobey composed a new work for modular synthesizers and ensemble called “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.” This represented the expanding role of analogue synthesis in his work, and featured three Moog Mother-32s, one Moog Subharmonicon, one Moog DFAM drum synthesizer, the Moog Matriarch, a Theremin, plus the first iteration of the growing Earlham Eurorack Modular Synth, centered around the René 2 Cartesian sequencer and the Plaits and Beads modules from Mutable Instruments. Tobey is also finishing two recording projects. The first is “Riversongs,” an acoustic album of Lynnell Lewis’s songs and chants, and the second is an album of his solo piano improvisations. These will appear on all streaming media sometime in the spring of 2023.

Professor of Biology and Martha Sykes Hansen Endowed Chair in Biology for Ornithology Wendy Tori published two papers in collaboration with Earlham alumni and students, one titled “Ecological factors driving the feather mite associations in tropical avian hosts” in the Journal of Avian Biology and the other titled “Identity and characteristics of feathers used as lining in Tree Swallow nests in Indiana and Ohio” in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. Tori also completed a poster in collaboration with fellow faculty member Jaime Coon entitled “Caught on camera: effects of invasive grasses and brood parasitism on Dickcissel food provisioning and reproductive success” at the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution and the Ecological Society of America.

Earlham professor Wendy Tori working with students during ornithology class.
Professor Wendy Tori working with students.

Earlham College was awarded approximately $750,000 from the National Science Foundation STEM program for a grant entitled “Increasing Success of STEM Students through Cohort Building, Mentoring, and Career Discerning Experiences: an Interdisciplinary Collaboration.” Professor of Chemistry and Teaching and Learning Consultant Lori Watson, along with Assistant Professor of Mathematics Malik Barrett, Senior Associate Vice President, Professor of Chemistry and Pre-health Adviser Michael Deibel, Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering Michael Lerner, Professor of Computer Science Charlie Peck ’84 and Professor of Biology Wendy Tori, were the Principal Investigators and co-principal investigators on this project that will provide scholarships, research experiences and intensive advising for three cohorts of academically talented income-eligible students.

Lori Watson, professor of chemistry, and Lexie Kuzmishin Nagy, assistant professor of biochemistry, attended the 27th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in August 2022. Kuzmishin Nagy presented a talk entitled “Adaptive Learning in the Time of COVID: Lessons Learned from an Asynchronous ALEKS Introductory Chemistry Course” and Watson was a conference exhibitor for IONIC: the Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemistry, a national community of Inorganic Chemistry educators currently supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Additionally, both Watson and Kuzmishin Nagy attended a number of workshops and conference sessions on working to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in chemistry courses and research programs.

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