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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



Hosterman Publishes Book Chapter on Journals in Comics Studies

Dr. Alec Host618nmT1ueRL._SX349_BO1,204,203,200_erman’s chapter entitled “The Journals” appears in a new edited collection called The Secret Origins of Comics Studies by Mathew J. Smith and Randy Duncan, published this month by Routledge. The chapter examines the journals that gave rise to the scholarship and field of comics studies.

Heather Lettner Rust and Elif Guler at the 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication

Drs. Heather Lettner-Rust and Elif Guler of the Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program at Longwood recently presented their research at the 2017 Conference on College Composition Communication (CCCC), which took place from March 15-18 in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Lettner-Rust (Composition Coordinator) collaborated with Dr. James Holsinger (Director of the Writing Center) in facilitating a workshop with faculty from other universities entitled, “Cultivating Consensus Among Teachers: Collaborative Leadership Strategies in Writing Program Administration.” Dr. Lettner-Rust also presented a paper entitled, “Writing our Students into the Right Places: Social Activism as the Curriculum” in the panel, “Cultivating Social Activism in the Classroom.”

Dr. Guler (Coordinator of Rhetoric and Professional Writing) presented her paper entitled, “Rhetoric as the Study of Finding Happiness,” in the panel, “Searching for Global Rhetorics, Recovering Alternative Discursive Communities.” The cross-national panel included scholars from Canada, Turkey, and Ghana.

Since 1949, CCCC has been the world’s largest professional organization for researching and teaching composition, from writing to new media.


Franssen Labs attend SYNAPSE 2017

Adam Franssen (Biology) and Catherine Franssen (Psychology) took six students to Presbyterian College on March 25, 2017 for the annual Symposium for Young Neuroscientists and Professors of the SouthEast (SYNAPSE).

Keaton Unroe (’17), Theresa Fruchterman (’18), and Abbey Ripley (’18) presented work with Dr. A. Franssen entitled “Maternal Estrogen Receptor Levels Higher in “Bad” Maternal Rats than in “Good” Maternal rats”.

Kate Ratliff (’18), Allison Eagle (’18), and Carrie Zimmerman (’18) presented work with Dr. C. Franssen entitled “Working in Nature: Changes in Stress and Wellbeing”

Catherine and Adam also gave a joint presentation for the largely undergraduate audience on Careers in Neuroscience.

Chris Bjornsen’s research with Longwood students and international colleagues

Chris Bjornsen’s two programs of research (social media use, overdiagnosis of psychological disorders) have recently led to presentations that will be given at 1 national and 2 international conferences:

Bjornsen, C., Poredoš, M., Puklek Levpušček, M., Zupančič, M., & Kavčič, T. (2017, September). Positive and Negative Social Media Use and Personality Traits Across Cultures. Poster presented at the 18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (Peer reviewed and accepted.)

Bjornsen, C., Simpkins, K., Sparrock, L., & Verstraete, L. (2017, July). There’s Someone in My Head But It’s Not Me: Attitudes Regarding Different Approaches to Psychological Disorders. Poster presented at the 15th European Congress of Psychology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Peer reviewed and accepted.)

Bjornsen, C., Simpkins, K., Burgess, S., Dunbar, H., Vanhook-Davis, T., & Hackett, B. (2017, May). Friend or Faux? Personality Traits and Types of Social Media Use. In C. Bjornsen (Chair), The Times They Are a-Changin’ Us: Living and Learning in the Age of Social Media. Symposium conducted at the 29th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Society, Boston, MA. (Peer reviewed and accepted.)

Bjoern Ludwar’s project featured by MathWorks

MathWorks, the maker of the market leading mathematical computational software MATLAB, is now featuring Longwood University on its website.  The company contacted us after it learned from news reports about our project which uses wavelet analysis of fingerprints to assess a person’s risk for diabetes mellitus. MathWorks was impressed by the innovative use of their mathematical programming language which more typically finds applications in engineering and they decided to highlight the project on their website.