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Faculty News - Winter 2018

Published Monday, February 12th, 2018

See what our faculty have accomplished within the last year! As published in the Winter 2018 edition of the alumni magazine.

Dr. Lidice Aleman, assistant professor of Spanish, published a literary criticism book in Spanish, “Construcción racial y de género en la poesía de la Revolución Cubana [Racial and Gender Construction of the Cuban Revolution Poetry], 1959-1989: Georgina Herrera, Excilia Saldaña y Soleida Ríos.”Universidad de Antioquia, 2017.

The book examines the identity categories of gender and race in the Cuban context of the first 30 years of the revolution and focuses on black and mulatto women, in which both categories converge. This work analyzes the literary discourse of the Afro-Cuban female poets between the 1960s and  1980s and discerns the role of self-representation that each of these poets constructs within the framework of being a black or mulatto woman. Also, since gender and race are redefined bythe dominant power, the book analyzes the political hegemonic discourse of the period in relation to race and gender, and illuminates its role in preserving racial stereotypes as well as the patriarchal normative of gender.

Aleman also presented a paper at the XXVII Annual Conference of the International Association of Female Hispanic Literature and Culture entitled “Caridad Atencio: desencanto social y transgresión en su discurso poético de los noventa [Social Dissatisfaction and Transgression in Caridad Atencio’s Poetic Discourse of the Nineties].” The conference was held Nov. 9-11 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 

Brian Begley, assistant professor of theatre, was awarded a South Dakota Arts Council Touring Grant for the 2018-20 granting cycle. His performance company, Discovery Movement Theatre, has been endorsed by the SDAC Touring Program since 1984. They have toured across the U.S., and in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

Dr. Randy Bertolas, professor of geography and chair of the Department of History, Politics, and Geography, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Pi Gamma Mu at the organization’s triennial student convention Nov. 2-4 in Kansas City, Mo. Founded in 1924, Pi Gamma Mu is the international honor society in the social sciences. 

Bertolas became the faculty sponsor of the Nebraska Delta chapter of Pi Gamma Mu in 1998, and the chapter has been cited on PGM’s International Rolls of Merit or Distinction during every year of his tenure. Dr. Bertolas also served the International Executive Committee of Pi Gamma Mu as Chancellor of the North/Northwest Region from 2005 to 2008. More information about the Pi Gamma Mu Hall of Fame can be found at: http://pigammamu.org/hall-of-fame/index.html 

Bertolas also serves as faculty advisor of Gamma Theta Upsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Explorers Club. Bertolas received his PGM Hall of Fame plaque from WSC professor emeritus Dr. Jean Karlen, former international president of Pi Gamma Mu.

Dr. Barbara Black, professor of education, is working in conjunction with Gloria Christiansen of Neligh, and Dr. Sam Herley, the Director of Oral History at the University of South Dakota and Black’s youngest son, on a one-room country school project for Antelope County. Together they are raising funds to move an old one-room school building, Antelope County District No. 70, to join the Neligh Museum Complex, which includes a pioneer church and the Pierson Wildlife Museum Learning Center. 

Black and Christiansen have given numerous presentations throughout the surrounding communities (Neligh, Elgin, Clearwater, Oakdale, and Orchard) to gather stories and information from teachers and students who taught or attended the one-room country schools in Antelope County.

The schoolhouse is currently in the process of moving to Neligh. By January, the basement was dug, and the cement was poured and set. Also as of this time, the schoolhouse was planned to be moved in February.

Neligh is Black’s hometown. She hopes to publish a book after she retires.

Christiansen’s husband, Brian, who is also involved with the project, is an alumnus of Wayne State College (B.S. ’68, MSE ’74). Gloria also began her education at WSC before moving with Brian for his Air Force tour during the Vietnam era.

Dr. Alan Bruflat, professor of modern languages, presented a paper, “Buried Past, Uncertain Future in the Poetry of Alvaro García,” at the European Studies Conference on Oct. 6 at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. 

Dr. Sally Clark, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Barbara Hayford, professor of life sciences, published a paper titled “Linking Taxonomic Diversity and Trophic Function: A Graph-Based Theoretical Approach” for the National Academy of Sciences.

The work for the project began during the 2015-16 school year with Hayford and Marcella Jurotich (who was in high school at the time) as a science fair project / junior research experience. The project is an analysis of ecological / biodiversity data from streams. Clark served as a math consultant for
Jurotich as she developed an understanding of graph theory tools to apply to her project. Jurotich then presented her project for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Washington, D.C.

In 2016-17, the project expanded to include Kaitlyn Dougherty, a Wayne State honors student. Jurotich and Clark also participated in weekly honors meetings with Dougherty and Hayford. Dougherty contributed some statistical analysis of the data and presented the findings in April at the Math on
the Northern Plains Undergraduate Conference at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. Following the presentation that day, Dougherty was recruited by the University of South Dakota to attend graduate school for mathematics. She is currently in her first year of graduate study there.

Dr. Donovan Conley, professor of exercise science, along with Dr. Kevin Hill, associate professor of health and physical education, Dr. Tammy Evetovich, dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences, and former exercise science graduate student, Shane Warehime, co-authored a research paper titled “Effects of Footwear on Running Economy and Preferred Foot Strike Pattern in Collegiate Distance Runners.” This paper was presented at the national meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) held in Denver in May, and the abstract was published in “Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise.” In addition, Conley, Evetovich, and former exercise science graduate student, Daniel Flahie, have submitted a paper titled “Acute Caffeine Ingestion Enhances Upper and Lower Body Torque During Isometric and Isokinetic Muscle Actions” for presentation at the national ACSM meeting to be held in Minneapolis in May and June 2018.

Dr. Kelly Dilliard, associate professor of earth science, presented a talk titled “Sequence Stratigraphy of the Upper Sekwi Formation: Implications for the Early Cambian of Western Laurentia” in June for the Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America conference at Mount Royal
University in Calgary, Alberta. 

Dr. Mary Elliott, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences (fashion merchandising), gave a keynote presentation Nov. 9 titled “Shifting Forward: Surviving the Decision to Become an Early Adopter of Educational Technology” at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, for National Distance Learning Week.

Elliott also had a case study accepted in September for publication to the Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases digital resource database, which will go live in fall 2018. 

Dr. Randa Lumsden Garden, professor of communication, and Dr. William Seiler, professor of communication 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 was previously published online by Taylor and Francis, is now available in print in the 2017 Health Communication Journal.

Dr. Brian Hanson, assistant professor of political science, served as a fellow for the National Rural Health Association and conducted research on how policy changes by Congress would help rural EMS providers better serve their communities.

Dr. Glenn Kietzmann, professor of biology, was presented the Nebraska State College System Teaching Excellence Award in May and was honored with a dinner in November. The award recognizes the importance of teaching to the mission of serving students, communities, and Nebraska by providing high quality, accessible educational opportunities. Each year a faculty member within the college system is awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the Board of Trustees. A faculty member who is held in the highest esteem by colleagues and students is nominated from each college, and a single recipient is selected by the board.

Dr. Karl Kolbeck, associate professor of music, was invited for a solo performance at ClarinetFest 2017 in Orlando, joining the ranks of the top clarinetists from around the world who were invited to perform at the conference in July. Kolbeck performed “Sonata in B-Flat for Bass Clarinet and Piano” by Owen Elton. The conference was hosted by the International Clarinet Association. Kolbeck’s travel was funded by a VPAA Grant.

Dr. Trisha Kolterman, assistant professor of business, presented “The WOW Factor of Emotional Intelligence: Taking Students from Classroom Concepts to Career Success” on April 12 at the National Business Education Association national convention in Chicago. The presentation engaged participants with interactive activities to demonstrate how to understand emotions, and to utilize emotions in business management situations.

Dr. Michael Marek, professor of electronic media and mass communication, presented in July at the 18th International Computer Assisted Language Learning Conference at the University of California Berkeley. 

He also had a peer-reviewed paper published on the subject of privacy in educational use of social media. Three of his articles have been accepted and are pending publication.

Marek was also honored with a prestigious Distinguished Service Award and medal from the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol, for his leadership in strategic planning for the national communications program of the organization. 

Marlene Mueller, professor of art and design, created a drawing titled “Blaze,” which was accepted into the twotiered juried exhibition for the 2017 Nebraska Artist Biennial at Gallery 1516 in Omaha. As a finalist for the drawing/printmaking award, the chalk and charcoal drawing was reproduced in the exhibition catalog and was purchased prior to the preview opening Nov. 2. The subject of the drawing is debris collected and stored from the 2013 Wayne tornado, which was ultimately set afire years later.

Dr. Jeryl Nelson, professor of business, presented a paper at the national meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute in Washington, D.C. The paper, “A Comparison Between Online and On-Ground Case Teaching in an Undergraduate Strategy Course,” was presented as a part of the teaching
innovations track. The Decision Sciences Institute develops scholars that produce, use, and disseminate knowledge primarily within and across information systems, analytics, and supply chain management to improve decision involving systems, technology, and processes.

Meghan O’Connor, assistant professor of print media, served as a faculty mentor to Briley Wiese and Elley Coffin, who completed the “Roost” roof mural project, in Concord. The mural was painted on a giant tarp measuring nearly 50 x 30 feet and affixed to a roof during the holiday season. 

In April, O’Connor was awarded first place at the annual Norfolk Arts Center Juried Show, in Norfolk. 

Also in April, she presented a paper titled “Talk-the-talk, Walk-the-walk, now Draw!” at the Foundations in Art: Theory and Education Conference in Kansas City, Mo. 

Dr. Mike White, assistant professor of electronic media, led electronic media students Oct. 20 in shooting and producing a music video as part of a service-learning project for the Sioux City Conservatory of Music (SCCM). The production was a reimagining of the U2 video “Where the Streets Have No Name” including a rooftop and drone footage. The work was shown Nov. 11 in conjunction with the student performance at the Annual SCCM Orpheum Show.

On April 5, White will host the first Wildcat Spirit Film Festival at WSC. The festival is open to high school and college students and is free to enter and attend. Categories include narrative, comedy, documentary, sci-fi/fantasy, and horror.

Josh Piersanti, associate professor of graphic design and chair of the Department of Art and Design, Meghan O’Connor, assistant professor of print media, and 18 graphic design students collaborated with the John G. Neihardt State Historic Site to restore damaged historical photographs of the Blackbird Family, Omaha Tribe. The project continues this spring. 

Piersanti and students Andrew Gelbart and Taylor Burbage collaborated with the Museum of Anthropology at Wayne State College to create large interior and exterior visitor signs for Connell Hall. The designs of graduating senior Andrew Gelbart were selected, professionally printed, and installed at Connell Hall. 

Piersanti and 11 graphic design students collaborated with the Fred G. Dale Planetarium and A. Jewell Schock Museum of Natural History to create visitor signs for Carhart Science. The designs were professionally printed and installed at the main entrances to the building.