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Drs. Adam and Catherine Franssen deliver four presentations at the annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting

Drs. Adam and Catherine Franssen deliver four presentations at the annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting November 11-15, 2017

SfN’s 47th annual meeting, Neuroscience 2017, is the world’s largest neuroscience conference for scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system.

The Franssens co-authored two presentations describing details of Longwood’s innovative Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Studies minor and the capstone experience. Undergraduate co-authors included Lindsey Sparrock & Megan Zens.

  • One brain, many possibilities: Exploring the value of an interdisciplinary neuroscience studies program
  • Interdisciplinary neuroscience applications: A capstone course

Catherine Franssen shared updates on her wilderness therapy research, with undergraduate co-author Allison Eagle.

  • Does nature benefit everyone? Salivary cortisol responses of wilderness therapy clients

Adam Franssen shared updates on his ongoing research in the maternal brain with undergraduate co-authors Abbey Ripley, Teresa Fruchterman, and Keaton Unroe.

  • Oxytocin and estrogen receptor alpha levels differ in “good” and “bad” maternal rats

Dr. Elif Guler to speak at the 2018 American Society for the History of Rhetoric Symposium

Dr. Elif Guler has been invited to present her study, “A Framework for Examining Non-Western Discursive Practices and Extracting Rhetorical Insights from The Turkish Rhetorical Tradition,” at the 2018 American Society for the History of Rhetoric Symposium on “Diversity and Rhetorical Traditions,” to be held in Minneapolis, MN. ASHR has selected 16 out of 65 submissions to feature on its competitive program for the symposium.

Dr. Guler’s presentation will focus on her co-authored book-length project on Turkish Rhetorical Tradition, which aims to further the efforts to examine rhetorical traditions of non-Western cultures by focusing on the conditions for which rhetoric was produced and practiced by Turks—a group whose social, cultural, and political presence in the world history spans centuries from their pre-Islamic origins in central Asia (the 6th century AD) to the foundation of the modern Turkish Republic (1923). Against the backdrop of this multifaceted history, Turkish rhetoric flourished and became an important aspect of Turkish intellectual and political life.

The American Society for the History of Rhetoric was organized, in 1977, as the American Branch of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric. Its mission is to promote the study of the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages and its relationship to poetics, politics, religion, law, and other cultural influences.

Dr. Elif Guler to facilitate workshop and present paper at the 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication

Dr. Elif Guler, Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, has been invited to facilitate a workshop and present a paper on transnational and transformative writing pedagogies at the 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Kansas City, Missouri. Since 1949, CCCC has been the world’s largest professional organization for researching and teaching composition, from writing to new media.

Dr. Guler’s workshop, “Cultivating a Transnational Praxis of Rhetoric in the U.S. Writing Classroom,” will focus on how a transnational praxis of writing can expand pedagogical resources that encourage students’ involvement in meaningful social action. Based on Dr. Guler’s scholarship of teaching and learning at Longwood University, workshop participants will explore the practical and actual processes of creating transnational and transcultural initiatives in the writing classroom. Her pedagogical application exposes students to rhetoric as it was historically practiced in her native Turkish context and prompts students to deploy the strategies drawn from non-Western texts at a local level. In addition, this workshop will provide the audience with other examples of international public rhetorics that can help students to critically explore and adopt alternative rhetorical models as new tools for participating in civic life.

Dr. Guler’s presentation, “Empowering Student Writing through the Rhetoric of Turkic Khans in the Orkhon Inscriptions,” will explore how the Orkhon Inscriptions (8th c.) erected for Turkic khans in the Orkhon Valley of Mongolia can be used to teach non-Western definitions and purposes of rhetoric (e.g., writing to achieve unity) in the composition classroom. Created in the old Turkic runic alphabet by the Göktürks, the Orkhon Inscriptions provide an account of the Göktürk Empire’s establishment, its social and political conflicts with the Chinese, and its military triumphs in securing its independence. The inscriptions are noted for their rhetorical qualities in using the word Türk for the first time and in describing the evolving unity among the Turkic tribes in central Asia. Dr. Guler will present how the inscriptions’ rhetoric can empower student writing for active citizen leadership.

Dr. Kenneth Pestka II and recent Longwood physics graduate Jonathan Buckley (16) publish paper in Scientific Reports.

The paper titled, “Elastic evolution of a self-healing ionomer observed via acoustic and ultrasonic resonant spectroscopy,” by Dr. Kenneth Pestka II and Longwood physics graduate Jonathan Buckley (16) along with collaborators Stephen Kalista Jr. and Nicholas Bowers was published today in Nature Publishing Group’s open access journal Scientific Reports.

The manuscript presents a relatively new approach, time dependent resonant spectroscopy, and solves an outstanding problem of healing timescales in a self-healing poly (ethylene co-methacrylic acid) ionomer. The article also presents a new experimental discovery of persistent time dependent spectral evolution in this unusual material. The results are likely to lead to an increased interest in the experimental approach, with application to other polymeric and ionomeric materials. The results also provide details needed to improved theoretical models of these and other related self-healing materials.

The paper is freely available for download at http://rdcu.be/xXET, and is available in an online format on the Nature.com website at http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14321-z.

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.