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Koski and Gutiérrez on With Good Reason

Farmville, Virginia, population 8,140, is home to the largest private immigrant detention center on the East Coast. Connie Koski and Renee Gutiérrez (Longwood University) bring their students to the detention center to teach English, but the students are also learning a valuable lesson about the people who come to this country looking for a better life. The full interview airs this weekend on With Good Reason. The preview is here.

Gena Southall in Literacy Research and Instruction

The most recent volume of Literacy Research and Instruction includes an article by Dr. Gena Southall, Director of Liberal Studies, and, from JMU’s College of Education, Dr. Kristina Doubet. “Integrating Reading and Writing Instruction in Middle and High School: The Role of Professional Development in Shaping Teacher Perceptions and Practices” examines the extent to which middle and high school English teachers integrate reading and writing instruction as complementary processes. Using qualitative research methods, the researchers investigated the following: (a) Do middle and high school English teachers conceive of and enact the teaching of reading and writing as integrated disciplines? and (b) Might staff development experiences modeling integrative techniques affect teachers’ perceptions and practices? The study’s results indicate participants (N = 55) believe the various facets of reading and writing instruction are connected and should be integrated; however, many do not feel equipped to deliver instruction in an integrated fashion. Findings also indicate that focused professional development featuring strategy-modeling has the potential to shape teachers’ beliefs and practices; however, teachers may not sustain these changes without embedded, long-term support.

Alec Hosterman presents 48 Hours of Chaos: Charlottesville at the Front Lines

Alec Hosterman, an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, will be giving a public presentation entitled 48 Hours of Chaos: Charlottesville at the Front Lines on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in Wygal Hall auditorium.

Alec was in Charlottesville to photograph and document the torch rally on Friday, August 11th and the events that unfolded at Emancipation on Saturday, August 12th. His presentation is a chronology of how he saw the events unfolding and is presented through his photography and narrative. Images are of the different white supremacist groups that attended, the counter-protestors, at the aftermath, and the memorial for Heather Heyer.

Provost Joan Neff will be giving the opening remarks for the evening and Naomi Johnson (Communication Studies) will be moderating the program. Following the presentation will be a Q&A session with Alec, Jonathan Page (Citizen Leadership and Social Justice Education), Virginia Beard (Sociology), Dave Magill (English), and Jenny Glass (CAPS). Pam Tracy (Communication Studies/CAFE) will facilitate questions from the audience.



Dr. Elif Guler publishes in the Journal of Public Rhetoric

A manuscript Dr. Elif Guler completed based on a study she conducted in an advanced “rhetoric and professional writing” course at Longwood University has been slated for publication in the fall issue of Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service Learning. Dr. Guler’s manuscript, “The Pedagogical Implications for Teaching Ataturk’s ‘Address to the Youth’ for Global Public Rhetorics and Civic Action in the U.S. Writing Classroom,” proposes that the public work of rhetorical instruction includes helping students develop as global citizen leaders by allowing them to explore and critically become aware of various national cultures and rhetorical traditions across the world. Co-authored with Iklim Goksel of Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne, the manuscript argues that instructional activities that build on cross-national texts enable the writing classroom to function as a microcosm of larger contexts where public rhetorics are practiced. Such activities encourage students’ engagement with cross-national cultures and help them come to terms with contextual-knowledge constraints of a rhetorical situation as well as with the affordances of such situations for making meaning out of texts. Contextually influential cross-national texts can provide guidance for instructors in a systematic introduction of rhetorics for civic action and change.

Ataturk’s Great Speech (including the ‘Address to the Youth’), Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Elif Guler presents at the Rhetoric Society of Europe

Dr. Elif Guler, Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing and Rhetoric at Longwood, has recently presented her study, “What Yusuf Has Hacib’s Kutadgu Bilig [Wisdom That Brings Happiness] Can Teach Us About Using Language for Unity,” at the 2017 Rhetoric Society of Europe Conference held at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK (July 3-5).

Researched in collaboration with Longwood English/Professional Writing student Chris Crider (https://blogs.longwood.edu/rhetoric), Dr. Guler’s study focuses on the ways in which Yusuf Has Hacib’s Kutadgu Bilig, an 11th-century Turkish text, treats rhetoric as a means to reach happiness and the implications of this approach for harmony and unity within a society. Written for the Prince of Kashgar of the Karanhaid Empire using the old Uyghur alphabet, Kutadgu Bilig [translated roughly as Wisdom that Brings Happiness] is a didactic work in the masnawi style. This extensive allegorical poem deems the appropriate use of language essential to living a fulfilled life—both individually and as a society. Dr. Guler’s presentation explored what Kutadgu Bilig could teach us about alternative definitions and purposes of rhetoric (i.e., communicating to attain happiness) as well as this historical text’s teachings about principles of an effective rhetoric applicable to contemporary global contexts.

The study is part of Dr. Guler’s ongoing research on the Turkish rhetorical tradition, part of which she conducted in the Turkish and Ottoman archival holdings of The British Library during the summer of 2017.


Virginia English Journal cited

ncte_logoThe National Council of Teachers of English has named the Virginia English Journal, edited by Sean Ruday, associate professor of English education, one of the six outstanding affiliate journals for 2017.  According to the announcement, judges found the journal’s most recent issue “outstanding in every way,” a model of strong writing, enriching research-based articles, “crisp editing,” and practical scholarship with clear ties to classroom instruction. The journal will be officially recognized at the NCTE Annual Convention in November.

“Finite element models of crystallized white dwarf cores,” by Dr. Kenneth Pestka II, Robert Highley (18) and Laura Deale (17) presented at 173rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the 8th Forum Acusticum

Assistant professor of physics Kenneth A. Pestka II and Longwood undergraduate physics major Robert Highley (18) presented the poster, written in collaboration with recent Longwood physics graduate Laura Deale, “Finite element models of crystallized white dwarf cores: A gateway to undergraduate physical acoustics and computational modeling of complex systems,” at the 173rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the 8th Forum Acusticum on June 27th, 2017.

The project involved details of several finite element models generated on a computer of white dwarf stars with cores composed of layered crystalline carbon, oxygen and neon, which can be used to understand variations in the luminosity output of these unusual stellar remnants. The abstract is now available at the Acoustical Society of America website, http://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/1.4988226 and more information about the project can be found at the Longwood News website, http://www.longwood.edu/news/2017/physics-majors-modeling-white-dwarf-stars/ .

Ludwar Lab presents at the meeting of the of the American Diabetes Association

Bjoern Ludwar presented a new study on the use of fingerprint symmetry (dermatoglyphics) for the early detection of diabetes mellitus at the 77th Scientific Session of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.

Dr. Ludwar, Longwood student Saarah M. Holayel, and their collaborators from Ohio University and Touro University CA looked at an ethnically diverse population from Northern California (41% White/Caucasian, 26.5% African American, 14.5% Asian American, 18% Hispanic) to see if they can confirm the findings of their previous study which suggested a correlation between how similar the fingerprints on right/left hand are and the risk of suffering from either type I or II diabetes mellitus.




Mark Baldridge designs featured in American Craft Magazine

Mark Baldridge, Professor Emeritus of Art, continues his amazing design work in retirement. American Craft magazine (produced by the American Crafts Council) published a six page article on his house in the April/May issue.  ACC is the national craft organization and American Craft magazine is the most respected craft magazine in the world. Baldridge states that this is  “probably the most prestigious thing that could have happened so far, so we are very delighted.” A link to the article can be found here: www.MarkBaldridgeDesign.com

Mark Baldridge, with family, will be residing (and painting) at the art center in Paris again for July and August of 2017.

Bjoern Ludwar publishes article in the Journal of Neurophysiology

Biology text books explain that the brain’s neurons talk to each other via action potentials. These electrical all-or-none impulses are a form of digital information transmission – just like introfig-CaImga CD player digitally decodes music. In a recently published paper* we describe how some sensory cells employ a very different form of information transmission. This transmission is analog and signal strength can vary over a wide range. We discovered that neurons in the nervous system of the sea slug Aplysia californica use analog fluctuations in global calcium concentration to determine when and how much sensory information the brain receives. While such analog forms of transmission have been described in a variety of organisms – including mammalian nervous systems – their underlying mechanisms have so far been elusive. With this new study we for the first time were able to visualize the calcium signals and to determine their origin within neurons. This newly described mechanism has great significance for understanding how nervous systems can control which sensory information reaches the central nervous system and which information is filtered out and ignored.

* Bjoern Ch. Ludwar, Colin G Evans, Monica Cambi, Elizabeth C Cropper (2017) “Activity-dependent increases in [Ca+2]i contribute to digital-analog plasticity at a molluscan synapse” Journal of Neurophysiology, ePub ahead of print, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00034.2017