Faculty News and Notes

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Ayres Hall

Ayres Hall

Gordon Burghardt has received a research fellowship from Princeton’s Center of Theological Inquiry for the spring semester of 2014. The fellowship will allow him to pursue his research full-time. His research project, “Ritual, Play, and Animals as Formative Factors in Religious Experience and Moral Action,” focuses on snake handling in religious rituals.

Matthew Cooper, assistant professor of psychology, has received a $200,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify neural mechanisms that mediate stress resilience. Cooper and his team will investigate the mechanisms by which previous social experience, such as the formation of dominance relationships, protects individuals against future stressful events. The research team’s goal is to discover novel targets for the treatment of stress-related mental illness. They will use Syrian hamsters in their study because most hamsters respond to social defeat stress with increased fear and anxiety. The study will be conducted over two years.

Melanie Eldridge, research assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to carry out a research project in Brazil for the fall term of 2013. Eldridge will be studying ecotoxicology of silver nanoparticles on zebrafish and helping to establish a molecular biology lab in Limeira, Brazil, at the University of Campinas.

Scott Frey, professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for the fall term of 2013. He will study the adverse environmental, health, and socio-economic consequences of pesticide use under export-focused rice production in Vietnam. In addition to his research, Frey will lecture at the Vietnam National University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City on issues related to the environment and development. Frey is currently working on a book examining how and why hazardous products and wastes are displaced to the peripheral zones of the world economy.

Rebecca Klenk, lecturer in Interdisciplinary Programs and affiliated faculty with the Department of Anthropology and the Disaster, Displacement, and Human Rights Program, has been awarded a Fulbright grant for the spring term of 2014. She will lecture and work with graduate students in the anthropology department at the University of Delhi. Along with teaching, she will develop new research on global educational restructuring and collaborate with colleagues in India to plan a project on community experiences of, and educational responses to, Himalayan climate change.

Carole Myers, assistant professor of nursing, spoke to the Tennessee House of Representatives Health Committee and the Senate Health and Welfare Committee last month about the transformation of health care. She specifically spoke about the role of advanced practice nurse practitioners. Myers is the chairman of the Tennessee Nurses Association Government Affairs Committee.

Dean Karen M. Sowers has been elected as a Distinguished Scholar Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. Distinguished practitioners, scholars, and policy fellows are elected by their peers from ten different health professions including dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatric medicine, psychology, social work, and veterinary medicine. The induction ceremony will be held next month.

Kemper Talley, a graduate student in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, will expand his computational physics portfolio this summer when he attends the ten-week Computational Physics Student Summer Workshop at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), beginning in June. Talley will receive a generous fellowship from LANL to attend and is one of twenty-four students accepted to the program following a competitive selection process. He is a member of the inaugural class of the Bredesen Center and works with Physics Professor Witek Nazarewicz. Among this year’s workshop topics are turbulence modeling, algorithms for shock hydrodynamics, and energy minimization for nuclear fission. To read more, visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy website.

Carol Tenopir, School of Information Sciences Chancellor’s Professor, along with associate professor Suzie Allard and doctoral student Ben Birch, have published a comprehensive white paper, “Academic Libraries and Research Data Services: Current Practices and Plans for the Future.” This research was conducted in conjunction with the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The publication may be viewed on the ALA website (pdf).

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