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Faculty News - Winter 2016

Published Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Randy Bertolas
Dr. Randy Bertolas recently published the “Student Atlas of Nebraska” intended for use in fourth grade classrooms.

Faculty news from the winter 2016 alumni magazine.

Dr. Lidice Aleman

Dr. Lidice Aleman, assistant professor of Spanish, published “Prólogo.” Serpientes y escaleras. José Carreño Medina. México: Verbum, 2015, and “¿No es la misma de siempre esta mujer? Género, raza y la poesía cubana de los ochenta en la obra poética de Soleida Ríos.” [Isn’t His Woman Always the Same Woman? Gender, Race, and Cuban Poetry of the 1980s in the Poetic Works of Soleida Ríos] Literatura: teoría, historia, crítica 17.1 (2015): 263-295. Aleman presented “Identidad racial en Cuba: estereotipos decimonónicos y retórica de la igualdad en Los dioses rotos” at the 4th Conference on Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous People, at Virginia Commonwealth University, Oct. 15-17 in Richmond, Va., and “Oriki para Georgina Herrera: entre identidad racial y discurso hegemónico” at the XXXIII International Conference of Latin American Studies Association, May 27-30 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Aleman organized the college’s first Spanish undergraduate conference this past fall.

Dr. Johanna Barnes

Johanna Barnes

Dr. Johanna Barnes

Dr. Johanna Barnes, an associate professor of education, presented her action research titled “Reducing Math Anxiety in Pre-Service Teachers” at the regional conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics held in Atlantic City, N.J. Barnes discovered that after a semester of math methods in which candidates were offered the opportunity to use manipulatives, journal, and discuss throughout the learning experiences, and have an instructor who was enthusiastic about math, the candidates felt less anxious about math.

Dr. Randy Bertolas

Dr. Randy Bertolas, professor of geography, recently published the “Student Atlas of Nebraska” intended for use in fourth grade classrooms. The 56-page atlas took a year to research and create, involving input from K-12 teachers across the state. Classroom sets are distributed free to fourth grade teachers who attend atlas training workshops taught by Dr. Bertolas.

Dr. Meenakshi Dalal

Dr. Meenakshi Dalal, professor of economics, served as president-elect of Nebraska Economic and Business Association (NEBA) in 2014-15 and is the president of NEBA in 2015-16. WSC hosted the NEBA Conference in October 2015.

Dr. Randa Lumsden Garden

Randa Garden

Dr. Randa Garden

Dr. Randa Lumsden Garden, associate professor of communications at Wayne State College, and Dr. William Seiler, professor of communication studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, coauthored a research paper titled “Serious illness conversations with doctors: Patients using information from sources other than their doctors.” This manuscript, which is officially “in press” in the Health Communication Journal, is based on Garden’s dissertation directed by Seiler at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  

The purpose of this study was to examine how people with serious illnesses communicate information they have acquired about their illness from the internet, social media, or mass media, to their doctors. Twenty-two in-depth interviews of patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses were conducted and analyzed. Street’s ecological perspective of communication was used to understand the processes that influence when and how patients bring information that they have learned from external sources to their doctors. The reactions that patients received affected their future communication encounters with their doctors. Results indicate that doctors who have a dominant communication style often discourage patients from bringing outside information to discuss, and in some cases result in patients changing doctors. On the other hand, doctors who are more attentive make patients feel more comfortable about bringing in outside information to discuss, and leads to more beneficial and meaningful conversations about their serious illnesses.

Dr. Allyn Lueders

Dr. Allyn Lueders, assistant professor of speech communication, joined the department in August and said she already feels at home. Her paper, “Defining anorexia recovery online: A patient’s perspective” won a Top Paper award in the Health Communication division and will be presented at the Central States Communication Association conference April 13-17 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Lueders will be traveling to Grand Rapids with other communication faculty and students, who will also present at the conference.

Joshua Piersanti

Big Dipper

Big Dipper

Joshua Piersanti, assistant professor of graphic design, and 22 of Wayne State College’s graphic design students collaborated with the Fred G. Dale Planetarium this past fall semester to create artwork illustrating 41 Native American constellations. The work includes art from several Native American tribes, for such constellations as the “Bear and Hunters,” the “Council of Chiefs” and “Seven Bison.” The works will be on display in upcoming planetarium shows. Piersanti and Dr. Eric Colvard, WSC assistant professor of history, and 35 of Wayne State’s graphic design and history students collaborated with the Wayne Public Library to create a large-scale timeline, illustrating the “History of the City of Wayne.” Thanks to funds from WSC Service-Learning, the three-wall, 40’ x 4’ timeline was professionally printed on museum-quality polyvinyl and is on permanent display in the library.