May 29, 2015

Greenlaw Honored by OpenStaxCollege

Steven A. Greenlaw was recently honored when OpenStaxCollege, an affiliate of Rice University in Houston, named a conference room after him.  OpenStax is the preeminent publisher of free, open source textbooks for introductory college courses.  They currently have introductory texts in Physics, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Statistics, Precalculus, U.S. History, Psychology and Economics. By the end of 2015, they expect to have 25 books.

Greenlaw was one of their first authors.  He recently conducted a statistical analysis comparing the use of OpenStax’ economics text against the commercial text, and found there to be no statistical difference in student learning in his course. If you teach one of these introductory courses, you might want to save your students money and consider adopting an OpenStax or other open text.

Fallon Publishes Research on African Languages

Paul D. Fallon, Associate Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, published his chapter “Coronal ejectives and EthioSemitic borrowing in Proto-Agaw” in the Selected Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, edited by Ruth Kramer, Elizabeth C. Zsiga, & One Tlale Boyer.

Fallon’s paper examines the historical reconstruction of Proto-Agaw (PA, also known as Proto-Central Cushitic), the ancestral mother tongue of the languages Blin, Xamtanga, Kemantney, and Awngi, spoken in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Previous work on Proto-Agaw by David Appleyard claimed that ejective consonants in PA are attributable to borrowings, mostly from neighboring EthioSemitic languages. Expanding his earlier examination of velar (back of tongue) consonants, Fallon argues that coronal (tongue-tip) consonants must also be reconstructed for PA and provides 25 examples of native roots and 19 borrowings, and analyzes 18 other unclear cases. This study contributes to a more precise reconstruction of PA and a deeper understanding of the lexical strata and borrowings between Agaw and EthioSemitic.

The publisher, the Cascadilla Proceedings Project, is both open access online and publisher of library-quality bound printed volumes.

Gupta Writes Policy Brief for Think-Tank in Washington D.C.

Surupa Gupta, associate professor of Political Science and International Affairs, was invited to write a policy brief for The East-West Center, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

Gupta’s piece, “Slow Pace of Reforms Inhibits US-India Agricultural Trade,” was published online as part of their their Asia Pacific Bulletin series on April 21, 2015. A link to the piece can be found here.

Anthes Earns Doctorate of Education

Dre Anthes, director of graduate admissions, successfully defended her dissertation and will receive her doctorate in Education in Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University on May 9.

Anthes also will be leaving UMW to take a position as the director of admissions at Fredericksburg Academy. Her last day in the office is May 5.

Gately to Premiere Two Compositions

Doug Gately will be Artist-Composer in Residence in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. on April 27 and 28. He will perform and premiere two of his Concert Band compositions. Doug will be working with UMW Alumnus and Band Director, Hollie Writtenberry Lewis.

Long Performs Composition

Professor of Music David Long’s band piece, “Their Finest Hour” will be performed by the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony on Sunday, April 26, at 7: 30 p.m.

The performance will take place at the Susan & Donald Reed Theater of Fredericksburg Academy. The Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony is conducted by Aaron Noe.

Turdean’s Students Host Exhibit at Dahlgren

Senior students in Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Cristina Turdean’s Museum Design and Interpretation class hosted an exhibition, “The Road to Desegregation in King George County, Virginia,” at UMW’s Dahlgren Campus.

The exhibition provided the historical context of African American education in King George. Students recorded oral histories, interviewing Ralph Bunche alumni and others who had involvement in the historic school.

A full news article about the exhibit can be found here.


Larus Participates in World Book Day


Elizabeth Larus at the World Book Day Celebration

Elizabeth Larus, Taiwan Fellow and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, read an excerpt from “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the World Book Day Celebration at the National Central Library, Taipei, Taiwan, on April 18.

Dr. Larus was an invited guest of the library’s Center for Chinese Studies.

Al-Tikriti Discusses Recent Iraqi Developments, Military-NGO Relations

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti appeared on Los Angeles-based KPFK’s “Radio Uprising” program on Wednesday, April 15, to discuss the latest developments in Iraq and the region. Al-Tikriti has now appeared on this program, hosted by Sonali Kolhatkar, at least three times in the past two years.

The segment lasted just over five minutes, and can be screened via this podcast link. (Direct video link here.) In the course of this discussion, Al-Tikriti compared the current Iraqi Prime Minister to the previous officeholder, and commented on the state of the Iraqi military, as well as American media coverage of Iraq in general.

On Monday, April, 20, in his capacity as a member of the Board of Directors for MSF/Doctors Without Borders USA, Al-Tikriti represented MSF on a joint panel addressing military-humanitarian cooperation. The panel was part of the Marine Corps University’s “Nine Innings” exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief at Quantico, Virginia. In the course of this panel, Al-Tikriti joined representatives from ICRC, IMC, OCHA and Islamic Relief to provide institutional perspectives on these and related concerns.

Chiang Publishes in American Mathematical Society Journal

Yuan-Jen Chiang, Professor of Mathematics, publishes a joint article “Paying Tribute to James Eells and Joseph H. Sampson: In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Their Pioneering Work on Harmonic Maps” in the Communications section of the April issue of the Notices of American Mathematical Society, 2015.