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December Spotlights


Faculty in the News: James Lutz, professor and chair of political science, and Lawrence Kuznar, professor of anthropology and U.S. Defense Department consultant, were both featured in an article in IPFW's The Communicator entitled “Professors Delve into Global Terrorism.” Lutz discussed the economic impact of terrorist attacks—the subject of a recent contribution he made to an anthology entitled Terrorism and the Economy: Impacts on the Capital Market and the Global Tourism Industry. Kuznar explained the motives and goals of ISIS based on analysis he has conducted on the group’s use of language.

Kuznar spoke on a WBOI radio show on the subject of ISIS and the recent attacks in Paris. He discussed potential responses by France, the United States, and their allies. Kuznar was also featured in a 21Alive piece entitled “IPFW Professor Helps Defense Dept. Prepare for ISIS Threat” and a article, “Local Terrorism Expert Weighs in on Paris Attacks.” The first of the two articles highlights Kuznar’s role as an ISIS analyst and consultant for the Pentagon. In the second article, Kuznar examines the ongoing struggle between ISIS and Western countries like France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Kuznar demonstrates that ISIS has been calling its enemies out and has changed its strategy to confront them directly.

Faculty Publication: A paper coauthored by Richard Sutter, chair and professor of anthropology, on the demise of the Moche was recently published in Current Anthropology. The paper examines the effects of climate change on population dispersal and the collapse of prehistoric states.

Alumna Presentation: Shelby Putt (B.A., ‘09), who is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa, gave a presentation on December 2nd on “Working Memory and the Evolving Hominin Brain.” Putt has previously researched brain activity and development during the creation of tools and development of language.


Faculty Grant: Art Herbig, assistant professor of communication, and Bernie Lohmuller, director of IPFW’s CollegeTV, secured a media grant from the City of Fort Wayne. The $12,500 grant will be used to supply new media production equipment on campus, which will help students create innovative projects.

Faculty Appointment: Marcia Dixson, assistant vice chancellor for teaching and learning and associate professor of communication, has been elected to the leadership of the National Communication Association's Scholarship of Teaching and Learning initiative.  She will serve as secretary in 2016, program planner in 2017, and chair in 2018.


Student Success: Undergraduate student Olivia Hahn earned her third Summit League Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week award for her performances during the week of Nov. 9-15.


Faculty Publication: Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, associate professor, recently published an edited collection, Rereading Appalachia: Literacy, Place, and Cultural Resistance. Publishers and reviewers have received the collection that opens new areas of research and challenges old stereotypes positively: "In this innovative volume, a multidisciplinary team of both established and rising scholars challenge Appalachian stereotypes through an examination of language and rhetoric. Together, the contributors offer a new perspective on Appalachia and its literacy, hoping to counteract essentialist or class-based arguments about the region's people, and reexamine past research in the context of researcher bias. A call to arms for those studying the heritage and culture of Appalachia, this timely collection provides fresh perspectives on the region, its people, and their literacy beliefs and practices."

Faculty in the News: Professor of English and Linguistics and Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamaras was featured in a Northwest Indiana Times article entitled “Indiana's Poet Laureate Shaped by Region Roots.” The article details Kalamaras’s work on the collaboration “Project 441,” and his efforts to raise awareness for it in Indiana. The article also includes a brief history of Kalamaras’s career as Indiana poet laureate.


Paleo TripInnovative Coursework: Associate Professor Ben Dattilo took his Geology 211, Introduction to Paleobiology class on a multi-day field trip in October. The trip also included IUPUI students and their professor, William Gilhooly III, and IPFW's Associate Professor of Biology Winfried Peters. On Saturday, the students went to a quarry, where they excavated trilobites and collected other samples from different rock layers. Employing standard methods used to collect dinosaur fossils, the students dug around the objects, covered them in plaster, removed them, and covered the bottom in plaster. On Sunday, the group explored a large road-cut (an area where a hill or mountain is cut out to make way for a road) near Madison, Indiana. Here, they learned how to read stratigraphic charts and to collect and mark rock samples. The specimens from the trip were collected and transported back to IPFW and IUPUI for further study.

Alumnus Success: Michael Harrison (B.S., ’15) coauthored a paper published in Nature. The paper, “Simonsenia aveniformis sp. nov. (Bacillariophyceae), Molecular Phylogeny and Systematics of the Genus, and a New Type of Canal Raphe System,” examines a new biological structure discovered through the use of an electron microscope.


Faculty in the News: Esteban Coria, continuing lecturer in Spanish, was quoted in a Journal Gazette article entitled “Celebrating Dead with Song, Dance.” The article is about locals celebrating the Day of the Dead at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art with dancing, costumes, and music reflective of Mexican culture.


Faculty Award: Peter Dragnev, professor and chair of mathematical sciences, was awarded IPFW's 2015–16 IPFW Outstanding Research Award. Dragnev will present a lecture on his research in spring 2016 that will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.


Faculty in the News: Andy Downs, associate professor of political science, was quoted in many articles in November. Three of these articles addressed LGBT rights, including two Indy Star articles, “Legit Concern or Desperation? Video Suggests Statehouse 'Sneak Attack' on LGBT Protections” and “Growing LGBT Support Turns Conversation” and an Advocate article, “WATCH: After RFRA, More Indiana Residents Support LGBT Protections.”

Downs was also quoted in many articles concerning elections, two of which focused on the low voter turnout, “Expert and Student Encourage Involvement in Local Politics” and “Indianapolis Voting Hits Record Low.” Two others suggested ways to fix the low-turnout, “Election Oddity: Combining City Elections with State, Federal would Get More Hoosiers Involved in Local Races” and “Should We Go to Same-Cycle Elections?

In “Council Control Could Shape Indy's Future,” Downs commented on the need for unity within parties on the Indianapolis City-County Council and the effect a single defector could have on individual issues. He was also quoted in the Chicago Tribune article “Potholes Mean Pressure for Governors Devising Road Plans” about Governor Mike Pence’s recent plan to fund highway repairs and infrastructure.

Faculty in the News: Michael Wolf and Andy Downs, associate professors of political science, and Ann Livschiz, associate professor of history, were quoted in the Journal Gazette article “Democracy Inaction: Election Postmortem Seeks Reasons for Low Turnout.” Wolf explains that it is difficult to get voters interested in municipal elections because issues are less combative or controversial. Downs adds that easier voting access can help, but ultimately elections must be exciting and not have predetermined winners. Words from Livschiz close the article by discussing the importance of voter turnout even in the totalitarian Soviet Union in a comparison with current U.S. voting numbers.


Faculty Publications: Abraham Schwab, associate professor of philosophy, wrote an article for WBOI entitled “Different Kinds of Death: A Primer on Problems at the End of Life.” Schwab explains in detail Indiana’s recent legalization of physician-assisted suicide. He distinguishes the process from euthanasia by placing the responsibility of the choice on patients and encouraging respect for their decisions. Schwab also published the article “Moving from the Right to Refuse to the Responsibilities of Control.” In this article, Schwab discusses the high mortality rate and surgical needs of babies born between twenty-two and twenty-five weeks. He explains that decision-making power of whether to attempt surgery has shifted from the doctors to the parents, and that this unprecedented responsibility should be taken seriously.

Faculty in the News: Clark Butler, professor emeritus of philosophy, and his wife Rose-Aimee were featured in the Journal Gazette article “Local B&B Owner Says French Uniting.” Butler and his wife own a small apartment in Paris in the 14th Arrondissement and were interviewed about the recent Paris attacks.


Faculty Publications: Michelle Drouin, associate professor of psychology, coauthored the study “Sexting among Married Couples: Who Is Doing it, and Are They More Satisfied?” The study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and addresses the topic of sexting behavior as it affects relationship satisfaction or ambivalence. The publication was featured in an article entitled “How Common is Sexting among Married Couples?” in EurekAlert. Drouin was also featured in the KomoNews article, “Research Finds Sexting Depends on Whether You're Married.” In the article, Drouin discusses her findings that sexting represents either attempts to preserve a relationship by maintaining interest or as a means to keep partners at a comfortable distance instead of more intimate activities. Finally, Drouin gave a presentation on technology and dating at the TEDxNaperville conference in Naperville, Illinois. The talk was titled “Online Love: We’re Playing the Game, but What Are the Rules?”