Faculty Accomplishments: December 2019 - April 2020

Marian Brown, director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment, was selected to co-present with Bob Hinkle, president and CEO of Metrus Energy, on “Bringing Higher Efficiency to Higher Education” at the 2020 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit in Atlanta in February. The pair presented on the unique “energy-as-a-service” financial model the College employed to fund energy efficiency upgrades that reduce utility costs and carbon emissions. Brown was also asked to chair the Educational Events committee for the recently formed Cayuga Climate Action group.

  • She has also begun writing a monthly column for the Auburn Citizen that showcases area businesses and organizations that have successfully integrated sustainability thinking and practice.  
  • Because of her subject matter expertise in both sustainability and procurement, Marian was invited by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) to review presentation proposals related to sustainable purchasing, evaluating them for potential delivery at the fall 2020 AASHE conference.

Thank You, Daddy, for Football,” an essay by Catherine Burroughs, professor emerita of English, has been reprinted in Sharing Gratitude: Daily Reflections (Mary Dalton, ed. Library Partners Press. 84). She was invited to give a lecture, “Fanny Kemble’s Journal of a Residence on Georgia Plantation, 1837 for the Linger Longer Lecture Series in Lake Oconee, Ga.

  • In addition, Catherine was scheduled to perform in The Dixie Swim Club, a play produced by the Edisto Arts Guild in South Carolina; it was scheduled to debut in March but was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.
  • Catherine also gave a lecture for the course, “Be Dangerous: A Collaborative Classroom,” at Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C. The course focuses on women, nonbinary and transgender artists, critics and theorists whose work has transformed, challenged or shifted the arts.

Gehan Dhameeth, associate professor of business, appeared in a live talk show on Channel Eye's Business Today program talking about the use of artificial intelligence and marketing analytics for efficient business decisions in Sri Lanka on Dec. 18, 2019. The following day, he appeared on another live Sri Lankan talk show, produced by the Rupavahini TV Corp., sharing the relationship between artificial intelligence and marketing analytics.

  • Professor Dhameethalso conducted a faculty training on “Case Method Teaching Techniques” for the NSBM Green University faculty on Dec. 14, 2019 at the Tangerine Hotel in Kalutara, Sri Lanka.
  • He also conducted a workshop on artificial intelligence and business decisions for senior IT and business students at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka on Dec. 23, 2019. ​

Siouxsie Easter, professor of theatre, directed the world premiere of Miss Valentine by Nadine Bernard on Feb. 14 and 15, 2020. The play won four awards from the Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) for directing, ensemble acting, lighting and sound design, and costume design. Siouxsie also brought in Ivy Austin, a playwright and Broadway producer, to speak to Wells students about the theatre business. 

Phillip B. Guingona, assistant professor of history, published a short satire comparing the Conservative Revolution in America to the Great Leap Forward in China in the South China Morning Post. You can view it at this link. ​

Kent Klitgaard, professor of economics and sustainability, published two articles, one with collaborators, in a special issue of Sustainability, entitled “Advances in Sustainability Education: Higher Education as an Avenue for Social Change”:

  1. Kent Klitgaard. 2020. “Sustainability as an Economic Issue: A Biophysical Economic Perspective.” Sustainability 12(1): 364.
  2. Salvador Peniche Camps, Charles A.S. Hall and Kent Klitgaard. 2020. “Biophysical Economics for Policy and Teaching: Mexico as an Example.” Sustainability 12(7): 2580.

On March 9, Laura McClusky, professor of sociology and anthropology, was a guest on the WBNY radio show Talking Peace with Vicki Ross to discuss her Anthropology at the Southern Border course. Topics ranged from the role of higher education in creating a more peaceful and equitable world, the mission of Wells College, generalizations about the field of anthropology, and more specific information about the effects of U.S. policy on the lives of migrants and deportees during this period of the rising militarization of the southern border. She also briefly discussed the danger those held in detention face with the spread of the coronavirus. 

Kerr Mesner, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies, has been invited to serve on the Board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (CMind). The center’s mission is to “transform higher education by supporting and encouraging the use of contemplative/introspective practices and perspectives to create active learning and research environments that look deeply into experience and meaning for all in service of a more just and compassionate society.” For more information on CMind, including excellent resources, visit contemplativemind.org.

  • Professor Mesner also accepted an invitation to serve as the chair for CMind's Summer Session on Contemplative Practices in Education in August 2020. The summer session draws together higher education educators, staff, and administrators seeking to explore ways to integrate contemplative practices in their classrooms and institutions. Kerr will be chairing the session with a group of leading contemplative educators from across the country. Click here for more information about Summer Session.

Niamh O’Leary, professor of environmental science, continues her term as an associate member of the Tompkins County Water Resources Council, a group that advises the county legislature on matters related to water resources management and planning. She is also a member of the Cayuga Lake Monitoring Partnership, a forum that convenes agencies and organizations that monitor the health of Cayuga Lake.

Duncan Overton, visiting assistant professor of psychology, presented a research paper, “Reinventing the Wheel: Creating a Theoretical Framework,” at the Ethnographic Qualitative Research Conference, held Feb. 24–25, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nev. His paper and presentation outlined potential steps to follow in the creation of theoretical frameworks. It is designed as a dialogue for students and researchers to connect their interests in research to the existing models and — if inadequacies arise in those models — striking out on their own paths. He also gave the presentation at the Wells Faculty Club meeting on Feb. 28, 2020.

Jackie Schnurr, professor of biology and environmental science, served as a graduate research fellowship program reviewer for the National Science Foundation, reviewing 30 applications in the “Ecology” section.

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