Previous Speakers / Events

"What Can Teeth and Bones Tell Us About Stress? 3D Studies of our Fossil Ancestors and Primate Relatives"
Kate McGrath
Anthropology
April 7, 2022

Teeth and bones serve as permanent records of early life experiences long after individuals die. Because teeth grow in layers somewhat like trees, stressful events such as illness and injury disrupt normal growth and create grooves that are visible on the surface of teeth. Our work in primates has shown that more severe early life stressors create deeper grooves in teeth, which means that we can use this feature to better understand the childhood experiences of long-extinct human ancestors, as we have with Neanderthals and other groups. We’ve also studied facial asymmetry and found that more inbred gorilla species have more asymmetric faces. Greater asymmetry has been linked to more stressful childhood environments and/or genetic stress. Our study suggests that facial asymmetry might be a reliable indicator of genetic health, supporting previous studies showing that people prefer to date and mate with symmetric-faced partners.


"Advances in Lake Sciences: New Technologies Linking Local Observations to Discovery of Regional and Global Patterns"
Kiyoko Yokota
Biology
February 15, 2022

The combined effects of the changing climate patterns and other human-induced environmental changes are often first detected as alteration in lake and reservoir water quality and food webs. Early detection and prediction of these alterations are critical for sustainable management of our water resources. Technological advances over the last few decades in limnology (study of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds) and the broader lake science community, including physical and social scientists and engineers, have enabled us to learn what are happening in our lakes and reservoirs at much finer scales than before and allowing more sites to collect data that are comparable across around the globe. Examples of such technologies in use locally at SUNY Oneonta and their impact on experiential learning will be shared with the audience.


"Finding Neural Correlates to Restore Binocular Vision"
Elio Santos
Psychology
November 16, 2021

Convergence insufficiency (CI) is a binocular vision condition associated with double vision when doing near work (e.g., reading). This condition is not necessarily part of the screening eye doctors usually perform. However, this condition can prevent many who need to do near work to complete the task at hand. There are various ways to treat the condition raging from therapy to surgery, but the problem with these treatments is that they are not always successful, and the cause of the condition is not well known. A group of interdisciplinary researchers came together to design a clinical trial aimed to find the neural correlates of Convergence Insufficiency. fRMI showed that patients with CI and a group with normal binocular vision differed in the activation of the right cuneus (in secondary visual cortex), and oculomotor vermis when doing visual tasks in the scanner. These areas were found to be significantly correlated with the condition. Future studies designing therapeutic interventions may consider tasks that would activate the cuneus, and patients who suffer brain damage near the cuneus should be screened for CI.


"Peering Through the Lens of Indigenous Women Textile Artisans: An Ethnographic Journey into North-eastern India"
Bharath Ramkumar
Human Ecology (Fashion & Textiles)
October 6, 2021

In his theory of alienation, the 19th century philosopher Karl Marx asserted that in a capitalistic mode of production, “man is alienated from his product because the activity which produced it was alienated.” Fast forward to the 21st century, Marx’s prediction couldn’t have been better exemplified than by our relationship to our so-called “second skin” i.e., the clothes we wear. Rapid mass production methods that dominate the modern clothing industry provide minimal room for garment workers to form any real connection with the products they help produce. Moreover, with less than 3% of clothes sold in the US being made in the US, today’s American consumers are detached from the people and processes that produce their clothes. Upon learning these truths, I asked myself, has industrialization and commodification devoured every inch of this planet? Or are there any hidden remnants of traditionally sustainable apparel production practices existing in our modern world that we can learn from? These very questions drove my research agenda a few years ago, guiding me to the world of indigenous women textile artisans in rural north-eastern India who have preserved and sustained their traditional textile practices in its authentic, eco-friendly form. In this presentation, I revisit my ethnographic journey of uncovering a deep connection between these textile artisans and their art, to answer my research questions.


"Little Blue Ribbon: A Photographic Study of Rural County Fair Blue Ribbon Winners for Livestock"
Wesley Bernard
Art
April 27, 2021

Wesley Bernard, a Northern Arizona native, photographer and educator, is continuing his agricultural-themed work, widening its scope to include the rituals and life in an agricultural rural area and concentrating in particular on the County Fair and the young. The goal of the Blue Ribbon project is to continue to capture images of young farmers and, in this case, those who have won competitive exhibitions of livestock and farm products. “I am concentrating on photographing Blue Ribbon winners at the local county fairs in Upstate New York. The photographs were taken on location at county fairs shortly after the young farmers won the ribbons. I am intrigued at the dedication and devotion that is put into raising and showing livestock and agriculture at such a young age, and how important it is to the survival of us all. This is a great opportunity to work within my community in Upstate New York and showcase that very unique American grand prize of a blue ribbon.”
LINK HERE FOR VIDEO OF PROF. BERNARD'S CONVIVIUM


"Exploring the Gap: Differences in Perceptions of Mental Toughness"
Andrea Fallon-Korb
Sport & Exercise Sciences
April 1, 2021

“Kids today!” The common refrain said by older generations denotes a struggle to understand and relate to young people. With the generational divide, it is important to understand how differences in perceptions affect performance. Coaches and athletes frequently attempt to increase mental toughness (MT) to help improve performance. Many athletes report they have different MT beliefs than their coaches and this discrepancy negatively impacts them in their sport. Using qualitative research this talk will examine athletes’ and coaches’ views in what constitutes MT and how to develop it. Additionally, coaches believe that MT is stable while athletes consider it to be more easily changed. A variety of influences that are perceived to increase or decrease MT will also be discussed.
LINK HERE FOR VIDEO OF PROF. FALLON-KORB'S CONVIVIUM


"Farm Labor, Refugees, and U.S. Sponsorships after World War II"
Cynthia Falk
Cooperstown Graduate Program
March 2, 2021

After World War II, Europe faced a refugee crisis. In the United States, various groups, including religious organizations, worked with the United Nations to provide relief. Sponsorships to bring displaced persons to communities around the country proved a critical part of the solution. In upstate New York, churches organized efforts to sponsor refugees, combining altruistic and pragmatic motivations. For farm families, European refugees had the potential to meet labor needs as the agricultural landscape changed dramatically in the post-war era. Awaiting assistance in Europe, refugees recognized this need and emphasized agricultural skills on their applications for assistance.
LINK HERE FOR VIDEO OF PROF. FALK'S CONVIVIUM


"Finding Medea: Adapting Live Theatre to a Virtual World"
Kiara Pipino
Theatre
November 18, 2020

Theatre in the time of the pandemic? The how and the why theatre productions have changed to respond and adapt to the challenges of Covid19 and how a classic text, such as Euripides' Medea, written in 431 b.c. ultimately proved to successfully retain its original but evergreen message despite the innate lack of theatricality of the performing platform. The lecture will investigate the SUNY Oneonta production of Medea, with the participation of Kylee Thetga, the student actor playing the lead role and who will deliver the famous "Women of Corinth" speech, at the top of Scene 2.
LINK HERE FOR VIDEO OF PROF. PIPINO'S CONVIVIUM


"Confronting Historical Injustices in the US: What Can We Learn From the Rest of the World?"
Matt Murphy
Political Science
October 15, 2020

The United States is struggling with how to deal with past injustices dating back decades, generations, or centuries. While some aspects of American history are unique, particularly legacies of slavery and discrimination, the broader question is not: What can and should be done to constructively address injustices perpetrated in the past or by a previous regime? Since this issue is common around the world, what can the US learn from the many examples of historical or transitional justice? Although there’s no simple policy answer, there are clear patterns that characterize this process and suggest some guidelines. Dealing with past injustice is an integral part of founding or constituting a new political order, an ongoing process that can be managed but not necessarily ended. It is often difficult and disappointing because any action to address past injustice has multiple and sometimes contradictory effects on communities, norms, and symbols. It is always politically charged because those effects reshape existing status hierarchies. My presentation will illustrate these points with selected historical and comparative examples.
LINK HERE FOR VIDEO OF PROF. MURPHY'S CONVIVIUM


"Coalitions Don't Always Happen On The Street: One Undocumented Woman's Story and the Black Community During Katrina"
Maria Chaves Daza
Africana & Latinx Studies
September 23, 2020

Drawing from Mary Louise Pratt's theorization of the "contact zone," and Gloria Anzaldúa's concept of the "borderland" I propose the concept of the "horizontal contact zone" as an analytical framework to identify modes of solidarity among communities of color. I develop this concept to explore how immigrant Latina/o/x and Black communities weathered the hurricane Katrina via everyday coalitional practices. My aim is to expand the narrative of Katrina to include undocumented Latina immigrants and understand how inter-ethnic coalition is necessary for communities of color survival and storytelling.
LINK HERE FOR VIDEO OF PROF. CHAVES DAZA'S CONVIVIUM


"Run, Hide, Fight: The Evocative Discourse of School Shootings in Teen Literature"
Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs, Jenna Turner (Faculty Center)
Sarah Rhodes (Milne Library)
February 19, 2020

Literature can serve as a lens into difficult life situations, allowing the reader to process emotions in a safe and constructive way; young adult literature (YAL) is no different. As school shootings have become more prevalent in the media since Columbine, YAL has come to reflect this trend by incorporating school shootings in the plot. This increased production of YAL about school shootings is instructive in the cultural scripts that are now woven into the narrative of teen life and the school experience. Through a qualitative study using focus group interviews and an online Qualtrics survey, the researchers were able to gather data into the perceptions of librarians and educators in the use of YAL about school shootings in educational settings. We will explore the results of the study, discuss some of the literature in this landscape, the potential uses for these texts, and the impact this has for the professions of education and librarianship.


"Chemically-making Smart Hormonal Analogs to Detect and Cure Neuroendocrine Cancers"
Antoine Blanc
Chemistry & Biochemistry
December 4, 2019

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) arise from neuroendocrine cells, part of the endocrine system, with vague to complex symptoms depending on the tumor's type, level of hormonal secretion, size, and location. NETs are often hard to diagnose until the tumor spreads to the liver and/or impairs the function of an organ or system, leading to a poor prognosis. At first, detection and treatment of such cancers were based on an important natural hormone called somatostatin-14 (SST-14) which is produced by the endocrine system. SST-14 is diffused through the human body and involved in the regulation of a wide array of critical physiological functions. Unfortunately, SST-14 and synthetic somatostatin analogues (SSAs) such as Tyr-octreotate (TATE) present several clinical limitations such as low oral bioavailability, a relatively short serum half-life, tachyphylaxis (rapid reduction of the therapeutic effect with repeated administration), lack of organ selectivity leading to side effects during treatment, and background signal during diagnostic imaging. Thus, developing potent SSAs are of significant interest to improve new diagnostic and therapeutics for treating NETs. This convivium talk will describe the promising biological activity of a homemade SSA, in view of addressing the poor selectivity and serum half-life of SSAs presently used in clinics.


"Visualizing the Cosmos"
Joshua Nollenberg
Physics & Astronomy
November 7, 2019
The SUNY Oneonta Planetarium is a unique platform that can offer a wide array of audiences visual and aural experiences which range across a number of disciplines, though it is primarily used to teach astronomy. One of the things that makes this planetarium unique is that we generate much of our own content and presentations for live shows given to visiting school groups, on-campus groups and classes, community groups, and more. This offers our students to collaborations between disciplines while learning about coding, about astronomy, and thinking creatively about their presentations. One such collaboration involved Astronomy students working alongside Music Industry students to generate visualizations that were paired with soundtracks and sonifications of some of the data that the Astronomy students aimed to present. During this convivium presentation, I will demonstrate some of the capabilities of our digital planetarium system, which has been newly upgraded thanks to support from the School of Natural Sciences as well as from the Grants Development Office, and I will take the audience on a voyage to the edges of the observable Universe.


"Condom, Promiscuity, and HIV Infection: Evidence from Southern Africa"
Kpoti Kitissou
Economics, Finance & Accounting Department
October 2, 2019

In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV transmission rates are high despite popularization of condoms. A suspected reason for this condom paradox is that condoms may encourage promiscuity leading to risky sexual behavior. To examine the validity of this behavioral change, we estimate the effects of condom use on promiscuity in a model of promiscuity that incorporates the endogeneity of condom use. Based on the latest round from the Demographic and Health Survey data for four Southern African countries, our simultaneous equation estimates confirm the promiscuity effect of condom use. We also find that condom use does not necessarily lower HIV infection rates. What our findings imply is firstly that the HIV prevention effect of the condom promotion policy in the long run may not be as large as its initial clinical effect. Secondly, in order to overcome the HIV epidemic, condom promotion must accompany the policy measures to alleviate its unintended side-effect, an increase in promiscuity.


"Finding Infinity"
Keith Jones
Mathematics, Computer Science & Statistics Department
April 17, 2019

When Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear said, "To infinity, and beyond!" he voiced an important truth: Infinity is not just a concept describing boundlessness or being larger than any number. To him, infinity is a place. In this talk, we'll describe how mathematicians interpret infinity geometrically, and how mathematicians may distinguish points "at infinity" in strange and interesting spaces. (We will have to leave the “…and beyond” part to the imagination.)


"Towards a Sociology of Purposeful Simulations: Building Plausible Realities for Societal Influence"
Brian Lowe
Sociology
March 14, 2019

Link here for PowerPoint presentations


"Public Discourse and the Rise of American Protectionism"
Gayane Torosyan
Communication & Media
February 7, 2019
The 2016 election of Donald J. Trump and the “Brexit” vote both caught many pundits off guard for outcomes that seemed improbable, because many analysts did not consider the skewed rewards of the contemporary economic order. Both events suggest the resurgence of a form of economic nationalism in which aspiring and elected political leaders attack the inequalities generated by current conditions through promises to end or curtail practices that are “unfair” or otherwise disproportionately burdensome to their domestic interests. This project investigates American perceptions of “protectionism,” and their intersections with the discernible and imagined economic trends. Through a survey of more than 600 Americans concerning protectionism and neoliberal economic policies, this study examines how the discussion of current economic trends in news and social media, in addition to personal encounters with factors supporting or stifling their own economic aspirations, inform the way Americans perceive economic reality. Keywords: protectionism, media, migrants, survey methodology.


"Made, not Born: Perspectives on Fetuses and Personhood from Bioarchaeology and Culture Anthropology"

Tracy Betsinger & Sallie Han
Anthropology
December 6, 2018

Fetuses are important political, sociocultural, and biological entities in modern society. They are the source and focus of much debate surrounding a number of important questions, including whether fetuses are persons or even considered human at all. The implications of these questions are far-reaching not only within modern contexts, but also across populations and throughout human history. In this talk, the co-presenters will argue for methodological and theoretical frameworks that approach the human fetus as always biological and cultural and social. The co-presenters will discuss their research in bioarchaeology and cultural anthropology and how that informs our current understanding of the social status of fetuses today. Bioarchaeological research on fetal remains drawn from post-medieval Poland and from prehistoric southeastern United States sheds light on the health and well-being of the overall populations as well as how they were viewed, valued, and understood. Ethnographic research on the expectations and experiences of pregnancy in the contemporary United States enables anthropologists to document and detail the cultural ideas and social practices surrounding fetuses, which are material and metaphorical and are ascribed with private, public, moral, and political significance. In sum, the co-presenters will demonstrate that persons are made, not born. The personhood of fetuses is both negotiated and ascribed and that the identity of these young individuals varies across populations and throughout time, reflecting their liminal role in human society.


"Jim Crow's Children: Shaping Mississippi's Color Line"
E. Howard Ashford
Africana & Latino Studies
November 1, 2018

How did Afro-American women impact Mississippi’s color line? Jim Crow’s Children examines the interracial relationships between Afro-American women, white men, and white women and how these relationships complicated the notions of race and redemption in Mississippi’s post-Civil War society focusing primarily on Attala and Neshoba County. Using primary source material including governmental records, diaries, and photographs, the research explores the subtle yet important ways in which Afro-American women impacted Southern racial politics.


"Letter Writing as a Pedagogical Tool, Applied Learning, and Social Responsibility"
Alejandra Escudero
Foreign Languages & Literatures
September 27, 2018
For centuries, letter writing has been a way to convey ideas, share feelings, and establish relationships between peoples and nations. Today, we can say that thanks to technology, hand-written letters are a lost art with which many of our students are unfamiliar. In addition to being a venue for self-reflection, letters have become a great pedagogical tool in the foreign language classroom. Hand-written letters in Spanish to detainees in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, have made students practice their language skills in a genuine and authentic way while allowing them to learn about the life stories of those who have come to the United States in search of a better life. Professor Escudero shares how she stumbled upon this unusual teaching methodology, and how this project has become a life changing applied learning activity for her students. She also discusses how this activity has led her students to become better Spanish speakers and writers, at the same time they become agents of change in their communities.


"Flamenco: Co-Existence in Music"
Adam Kent
Music
April 11, 2018

Andalusia, Spain’s southernmost region, was the cradle of Roman senators, the birthplace of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides, site of the most extensive Islamic Caliphate outside the Middle East, and a gateway to Africa for the European continent. Since the Middle Ages, Andalusia has been characterized by the co-existence of diverse peoples, all of whom left their imprint on the area’s popular music. In the nineteenth century, the gypsy population of Andalusia developed a unique musical style known as Flamenco. Spain’s great classical composers—Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albéniz, and others—found their own personal paths to transmitting the sounds and sensations of this deeply expressive, participatory art form to musicians and music lovers the world over. In Flamenco: Co-Existence in Music, SUNY Oneonta Music Department member Adam Kent situates this musical phenomenon in an historical context, explores the cross-pollination between popular and classical idioms, and provides live performances of Flamenco-inspired solo piano works.


"The Longest War: Afghanistan and the New Great Game"
Theron Verdon
Communication & Media
March 15, 2018

For 16 years the western coalition of the United States and their fellow members of NATO have been in Afghanistan working to help provide security and stability leading to a sustainable and sovereign Afghanistan while combating an ever-changing insurgency. To better comprehend the current conflict in Afghanistan you have to look past the physical war and explore and analyze the influence war taking place. This influence war is not just between the western coalition and the Taliban but a multitude of interests including but not limited to the western coalition, Taliban, ISIS, Pakistan, Russia, and the Failed State Narrative. All of them battling it out for the future of Afghanistan and potentially Central Asia. This talk will explore and explain the current influence war in Afghanistan and its impact on the world.


"The Effect of Sustainability Commitments on College Admissions"
Philip Sirianni
Economics, Finance & Accounting
February 7, 2018

We investigate whether voluntary sustainability commitments made by institutions of higher education provide a private benefit to the institution by attracting more and better students. Our evidence comes from the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (PCC), a highly publicized initiative that has been signed by a large number of schools. Controlling for other factors that affect admissions outcomes, we find that, on average, signing the PCC is associated with an increase in the number of undergraduate applications received by an institution of about 6 percent, as well as an increase in SAT scores of the incoming class of 5-9 points. Our results also show that these increases are sustained in the years after signing the agreement. However, we find that these effects are seen only for public institutions. We find no significant effect for private institutions. These results suggest that commitments to sustainability may be a way for public institutions to close the gap in desirability between themselves and private institutions.


"Special Education in Rural Schools: Meeting the Challenge"
Frank Thornton
Educational Psychology, Counseling & Special Education
December 7, 2017

Ever since President Gerald Ford signed into law legislation granting equal rights to education for students with disabilities, rural schools have struggled to provide the services necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities. In the United States today, the majority of unserved children with special needs reside in rural areas. Studies have shown that there are many obstacles to providing high quality services in rural schools, including funding formulas, access to resources, and a shortage of qualified professionals. However, rural schools also have advantages their big city districts lack, such as community cohesion, a sense of place, and local school board control. The challenge for special education teacher preparation programs is ensuring candidates are able to meet the social, cultural, and academic needs of students in districts where these challenges and opportunities exist. SUNY Oneonta Special Education Graduate programs prepare our candidates to meet the challenges of rural schools. Through building community partnerships, working closely with schools, we prepare teachers to meet the special challenge of educating students with disabilities in rural schools.


"Follow Me into the World of Video Games, Applied Pedagogies, and Arts-based Learning"
Karen Stewart
Communication & Media
November 2, 2017

Video games are more than entertainment. In addition to being fun, they represent new ways of learning, sharing information, and facilitating creative expression. As such, video games offer rich and exciting connections to applied pedagogies and arts-based learning. In this talk, Dr. Stewart shares how she accidentally became a video game scholar, and how her research into visual novel video games is turning into a dynamic applied learning project that is attracting students from a variety of disciplines across campus. She also discusses different ways gaming can be a conceptual framework for creating a non-traditional learning environment.


"Why Do Parasites Matter?"
Florian Reyda
Biology
October 11, 2017

Parasites have had a great impact on nature and the human experience. They cause health problems in millions of people, economic loss to society, and they harm a diversity of plants, animals, and other organisms in natural systems. Given the extent of damage that parasites cause their hosts, it is understandable that parasites have a negative reputation and can be a loathsome topic, one to be avoided at the dinner table. But what would happen if parasites went extinct? Recent studies have suggested that global climate change and other human-induced changes on Earth could lead to massive extinction levels of parasites. At a local scale, in my own research I have encountered several examples in which parasites seem to have disappeared from areas where they occurred previously. In this talk I will discuss the roles of parasites in ecosystems, and how a reduction or shift in parasitism could have both positive and negative consequences.


"Consequential Arts: Native American Comics and Graphic Narratives"
Susan Bernardin
English / Women and Gender Studies
April 5, 2017

In November 2016, the first Indigenous Comic Con took place in Albuquerque through the efforts of Lee Francis IV, publisher of Native Realities Press, and Johnnie Jae Morris, founder of the social media hub, “A Tribe Called Geek.” This milestone gathering of Indigenous comics artists and graphic novelists registered dramatic shifts in recent years regarding the power and presence of contemporary indigenous visual storytelling. In digital spaces and in tribal places, Native comics and graphics artists are recognizing indigenous histories and imagining indigenous futures. In doing so, they draw on and extend a network of visual and verbal influences, ranging from US comics traditions and settler popular culture to indigenous cosmological, family, and community narratives.


"Refugees, Walls, and Checkpoints: Francophone Transnationalism at the Threshold"
David Fieni
Foreign Languages and Literatures
March 1, 2017

Refugees, checkpoints, and walls all feature prominently in the spectacle of the decline of the nation-state in the era of globalization. France’s unique position at the juncture of European and colonial histories inflects the ways that refugees, migrants, and migration have come to be represented in Francophone discourse. At the same time, Francophone Arab and Muslim populations are rewriting the narratives of their own mobility and immobilization. Dr. Fieni explores literature, cinema, as well as graffiti and street art in an effort to trace the interlocking networks of movement, stasis, and resistance that mark the limits of Francophone diasporas.


"Driving While Black: African Americans on the Road in the Era of Jim Crow"
Gretchen Sorin
Cooperstown Graduate Program
December 8, 2016

The Chronicles of the history of African Americans and their automobiles from the 1930’s to the 1960’s – a crucial and transformative period in American racial, cultural, and social history. As African Americans navigated the brave new world of the automobile and the highway in the last four decades of Jim Crow America – from the depths of the Depression to the heyday of the Civil Rights movement, they seized opportunities for mobility and freedom in the American landscape as never before. They also confronted challenges and dangers unknown to white drivers and travelers. The automobile and the highway were dramatically changing the external and internal geography of America – socially, economically, politically, culturally, and technologically – beyond recognition. Based on Dr. Sorin’s doctoral dissertation and soon to become a two-hour documentary film, Driving While Black is a history that shines a bright light on today’s relationships between African Americans and law enforcement.


"An Early History of the Atomic Bomb"
John Schaumloffel
Chemistry and Biochemistry
November 2, 2016

As scientists solved the mysteries of the structure of the atom from the late 19th into the early 20th century, the concept of the nucleus, nuclear structure and the enormous amount of energy contained within it became clear. Equipped with more advanced and powerful scientific tools, chemists and physicists soon realized that the nucleus could be manipulated to release enormous amounts of energy. The rate at which that energy is released distinguishes between the peaceful exploitation and weaponization of this enormous source of energy. As World War II approached scientists across the globe began to separate across the Allied/Axis divide, realized the dangers of openly publishing their work, and pursued both controlled and uncontrolled nuclear fission using different approaches. They also had available to them very different resources and worked under different leadership priorities. For the Allies, this led to the Manhattan Project, the first controlled and sustained fission reactor and eventually the first detonation of a nuclear device. This talk will explore some of the important scientific achievements, political realities and organizational challenges that lead to the detonation of the “Gadget” near Alamogordo, NM in July 1945.


"Preserving our Heritage Languages"
Maria Montoya
Foreign Languages and Literatures
September 26, 2016

Dr. MC Montoya has been teaching Spanish for Bilinguals for the last 16 years at SUNY-Oneonta. This pedagogical practice has grown into her main research interest in the field of heritage languages and linguistic ideologies about bilingualism in the United States. The course enrolls Hispanic students with diverse oral and written proficiency levels. They engage in an autobiographical writing process in a college course designed for heritage language learners only. They share common experiences growing up with two languages and two cultures, and similar life struggles. The development of a step-by-step writing process motivates them to write fluently while turning an oral private language into a written public one. This methodology promotes creativity and discussions about dual identity, future goals and responsibilities as a growing minority in the U.S. Students also learn syntactic rules, orthography and stylistics. By collecting this student work, Dr. Montoya has gathered rich data to examine motives and strategies used in private environments to maintain a minority language, even in the absence of community support. This research within the classroom practice has also expanded to a current interdisciplinary study between sociology and foreign languages about the maintenance of heritage languages in rural New York State. Dr. Montoya’s research in heritage language maintenance has been the theme of various conference presentations and published works. Most recent is the book entitled “Mi vida en los Estados Unidos, jóvenes de herencia hispanohablante escriben sus experiencias” [My Life in the United States, Young Spanish Heritage Language Speakers Write About Their Experiences], which is a finalist for two awards (Most Inspirational Non-fiction and Best Autobiography) from Latino Literacy Now’s International Latino Book Award (the largest awards in the U.S. celebrating achievement in Latino literature). Proceeds from sales of the book are being used to create a student scholarship within the College at Oneonta Foundation for the recovery of heritage languages.


"Relational Autonomy and Poverty: Low-income Rural White Women in South Central NY"
Elizabeth Seale
Sociology
March 23, 2016

Rural service providers often encounter clients who live in poverty and who additionally experience challenges that inhibit their ability to make decisions about the course of their lives. In this talk, I will attempt to reframe these challenges from being individual problems to thinking of them as problems inhabiting the relational. Ultimately, expressions of autonomy or experiences of limits to autonomy are relational matters, and better understood as such rather than as characteristics of individuals that need to be changed. For instance, being too intimidated by a physician to ask for clarification is less about the individual (i.e., being somehow more susceptible to intimidation as an individual) and more about the context in which an interaction occurs. In our assessments of the lives of the poor, people in general—not just service providers—too often find justification for their lesser status, alienate them further, and fail to make connections that could otherwise empower those who are economically insecure. I draw from interviews with a dozen women living in poverty in Delaware and Otsego counties in addition to case files and observations to examine the ways in which these women struggle to exercise autonomy in their lives, particularly in reference to family planning and health. The troubles of the poor, as they describe them and as I analyze them, come down to relational challenges, not merely individual problems such mental health issues, addiction, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, lack of social skills, etc. It is how we relate to the poor and how they find themselves relating to other people that render these issues real roadblocks to autonomous decision-making.


"Changing Legal Approaches to Sex Crimes in 13th Century England: The Evidence of Domestic Violence Cases"
April Harper
History
February 17, 2016

This presentation will focus on the dramatic changes that took place in the definition and prosecution of sex crimes in thirteenth-century England. The use of Roman Law in England after 1066 imposed Roman legal vocabulary and custom, including the use of the term raptus to describe any extramarital sex, including rape, abduction, adultery, and/or fornication. Women's legal status as property meant that the idea of consent was not relevant; it was the seizure of another man's (father or husband) property that was key to the legal case. However, secular law at this time functioned along side, and occasionally in opposition to, ecclesiastical law that defined marriage as a sacrament and so within the Church's legal jurisdiction. This conflict resulted in a slow redefining of sex crimes and a gradual change in women's status from property to individual, which has been hailed as a positive and transformative change. However, that change accompanied an unprecedented rise in cases of domestic and community violence. This presentation will examine the reasons behind this rise and its connection to the partial revocation of women's legal status in 1285.


"Bringing Minangkabau Culture to My Music Classroom: It's about more than just music..."
Julie Licata
Music
December 3, 2015

Music and culture across the world is dynamic and fluid. With the ever-present and fragile balance between tradition and innovation, the Minangkabau music culture in West Sumatra, Indonesia is no exception. A snapshot of Minangkabau music culture today will show, among other things, a tireless excitement for innovation, the integration of Western music styles and tunings with ancient instruments, the expanding definition of what it means to be a musician, a lively culture of music criticism, and a strong desire to preserve traditions and cultivate national and regional identities. This presentation will show how I have attempted to incorporate my research of and experience with Minangkabau music (West Sumatra, Indonesia) into a student-led semester-long classroom activity that teaches students not only about the sounds of Minangkabau music, but what it means to participate in music-making and music-listening in West Sumatra, Indonesia. As part of the presentation, you will see several short videos of musical styles from West Sumatra, and a performance of an original composition by students in my World Percussion Ensemble.


"Nanotechnology at SUNY Oneonta"
Heike Geisler
Chemistry and Biochemistry
November 3, 2015

This presentation will show how SUNY Oneonta undergraduate students can be involved in current nanotechnology research. The students in my group are participating in growth studies of graphene on copper surfaces. Graphene is a one atom thick two-dimensional layer of carbon that has crystallized in the honeycomb structure. Because of its many extraordinary properties it has in the last decade received a lot of attention in both in the scientific community and within industry. It has been hailed as a "new material" because it is one of the best conductors of heat and electricity and is about 200 times stronger than steel. Up to this day, the defect-free mass manufacturing of graphene has been difficult. Our studies involve the growth of graphene on single-crystal copper surfaces and show that graphene films with low number of defects can be grown if the appropriate growth conditions are used.


"Arteology: Visual Research in the American Southwest"
Rhea Nowak
Art
Wednesday September 30, 2015

No abstract.


"Fleece to Fig Leaves: Designing for the Theatre Using Sustainable Materials"
Barbara Kahl
Theater
Wednesday April 29th, 2015

We, in the United States, like our chemicals. We use them to reduce insect populations, medicate ourselves, clean our homes and make our clothing wrinkle free. A 2008 lawsuit against the lingerie company, Victoria's Secret, alleged that women were being diagnosed with formaldehyde clothing dermatitis after wearing two styles of the company's bras. Formaldehyde, that same chemical used to preserve frogs in biology class and embalm dead bodies, is often added to fabrics as a surface treatment. When designing for the stage, the first consideration is rarely the eco-friendly qualities of the materials although perhaps it should be. Cost, color, and the drape of the fabric are the major considerations as are the price and durability. The uncertainty of international petroleum output and the rise in allergies should force our industry to look towards renewable, natural textiles and fibers as well as natural, renewable dye sources. The discussion of the day will focus on how theater designers are addressing these issues.


"The Surprising Science of Yawning"
Andrew C. Gallup
Psychology
Thursday March 5, 2015

Yawning is characterized by a large gaping of the mouth with a deep inspiration, a brief acme period with peak muscle contraction, and passive closure of the jaw with a shorter expiration of air. This behavior appears highly conserved evolutionarily, which suggests it has important and basic function(s). While many hypotheses have been proposed for why we yawn, few have been empirically supported. This talk will briefly describe recent research on yawning, address some popular misconceptions about this behavior, and highlight the practical importance of continued study in this area.


"Race, Space, Policing and the Making of the Ferguson Rebellions"
Mike King
Sociology and Criminal Justice
December 9, 2014

The militant protests that followed the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014 and the aggressive response from police to those protests have helped to make "militarized policing" a national issue. How did Ferguson - a suburban enclave on the northern outskirts of Saint Louis County with a population just over 20,000 - become the center of escalating debates and conflicts about race and policing in the U.S.? I will examine the local history, politics and economics as well as specific social conditions related to housing, education and employment in Ferguson and the greater Saint Louis area. A clear picture of segregation, racialized economic inequality and poor police-community relations emerges to serve as more than just a backdrop, but a catalyzing set of social factors and political grievances, beyond the killing of Mike Brown, which the militant protests in the street are trying to draw attention to. My presentation will integrate analysis of recent events in Ferguson into the social conditions I am highlighting, as well as the history of the movement in past four months.


"Rethinking the Ethics of Human Subjects Research (Again): Alternatives to Research, Pediatric Oncology, and the Researcher-Physician Problem"
Daniel Patrone
Philosophy
November 5, 2014

Pediatric oncologists have been particularly successful in aligning clinical and research practice in response to serious obstacles to conducting research in this field. While this success has created significant benefits for children with cancer by promoting much needed research, it also raises serious ethical questions about how this research is conducted and how the needs of current patients are being understood. This paper argues that, as a result of the researcher-physician model at the center of pediatric oncology, nearly all of the clinical research in this field is conducted in violation of the federal regulations that govern human subjects research. Surprisingly, these violations occur in full-view of the physicians who are in charge of the care of these children and the IRBs that are supposed to oversee this research. I then examine the main ethical arguments that attempt to defend the this shift in thinking about human subjects protections and argue that each of these defenses violates the fundamental ethical principles upon which the responsible conduct of research is based.


"Emotional Attachment to Mobile Devices"
Yun-Jung Choi
Human Ecology
October 2, 2014

Through technology, individuals are experiencing the transformation of human interactions. Consumers utilize mobile devices to stay connected with the world and other consumers. With the guidance of attachment theory, Yun-Jung Choi examines psychological attachment and its impact on purchasing behavior. A conceptual model is developed to explain consumer emotional attachment to mobile devices and the relationship to purchasing and word of mouth behavior in the mobile shopping environment. Few studies have addressed links between emotional attachment to mobile devices and purchasing behavior with the devices. This study provides new insight regarding the emotional attachment to technology and purchasing behavior in the mobile world.


"Star Clusters as Building Blocks for Galaxies"
Jason Smolinski
Physics and Astronomy
April 24, 2014

The serene beauty of today's galaxies masks a turbulent past involving billions of years of extensive star formation. Globular star clusters exist as the most massive single structures within galaxies and have ages dating back to the formation of the host galaxies themselves. For this reason, they have much to tell us about the chemical history of the Universe, and evidence recently uncovered suggests that clusters have even made significant contributions to the formation of galaxies. This talk will briefly summarize this story, highlighting the scientific importance of these clusters and dismissing the notion that they are strictly "simple stellar populations."


"The Aesthetics of Empty Landscapes: America's Sagebrush Steppe"
Tyra Olstad
Geography
March 20, 2014

From the forested peaks of the Adirondacks to the sulfurous geysers of Yellowstone, Americans have long cherished and protected places we consider curious, unique, ecologically important, and/or beautiful. What about the plain old plains, though - the "dull," "desolate," "scenically challenged" corners of the country? Why do we, at first glance, see wide open landscapes as alienating, "empty," or worthless, and how do conventional perceptions and pejoratives affect how we use, abuse, and/or ignore great swaths of space in the Western United States? After describing traditional approaches to landscape aesthetics and land management, I'll discuss emerging appreciation for the unique beauty of wild, wind-swept sagebrush steppe.


"Our Earliest Memories of Life and What They Tell Us About Human Memory: A Lecture Honoring Dr. Mary Howes’ Contributions to the Field of Memory Research"
Geoff O’Shea
Psychology
December 12, 2013

Dr. Mary Howes had a special fascination with human memory, how and why it works, and how it ultimately enriches our lives by enabling us to revisit past experiences, imagine future states and goals, and construct our identities. During her career at SUNY-Oneonta, Dr. Howes introduced generations of students to the wonders of human memory through her gifted teaching and the insightful textbooks and research she published in this area. The main focus of Dr. Howes’ work was the earliest memories of life and what they can tell us about the way in which memory works when it is just beginning to function in storing the memories of a lifetime. The present lecture will examine what we know about the nature and content of our earliest memories, the theories accounting for how memory works at the beginning of life, and Dr. Howes’ specific contributions to knowledge in this area.


"Confessions of a Torturer: Honduras During the Cold War Era"
Yaser Robles
Africana and Latino Studies
November 7, 2013

During the Central American Conflicts of the 1970s and 1980s, Honduras played a central role by becoming both the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) lead training ground for the Nicaraguan Contras and the American central command of all major military operations to suppress revolutionary movements in Central America and the Caribbean... The people’s experiences show a reality very similar to that of a country at war. However, very little is known about the internal political and social effects the wars had on the Honduran population, and popular perceptions of this period are absent from scholarly works. Yet, everyday Hondurans played a critical role in shaping events in the 1970s and 1980s... Unfortunately, scholarly work has so far largely ignored this aspect of Honduran history, and has based historical accounts solely on facts and events officially documented by the media and governments. This not only leaves Honduran history incomplete, but it also obviates the implications of the Central American conflicts of the 1970s and 1980s on today’s political landscape, and leaves room for misinterpretations of current political events by the international community. The common stories of the Honduran citizens included in this research (e.g. confessions of a torturer).


"Brains and Behavior"
Jean-Paul Orgeron
Philosophy
October 3, 2013

Few of us would accept the claim that our behavior provides an accurate account of the mental workings of our brains. We tend to view these workings as privileged. Join us for a discussion about brains and behavior. Dr. Jean-Paul Orgeron will outline some of the history and some of the recent developments on this issue.


"Disparate Perceptions of Environmental Change: Who’s right and does it matter?"
Naomi Shanguhyia
Geography
April 4, 2013

Incorporating perceptions and experiences of local communities has become an important aspect in studying environmental change processes and their impacts. This approach is predicated on the assumption that communities in a given locale will have similar or complementary perceptions that will provide a general picture of the nature of changes that are occurring. But what happens when these perceptions are disparate? Whose perceptions should be viewed as being representative of the reality? Based on research that was conducted in rural western Kenya, this presentation will highlight some of the divergent views held by community members on the changes occurring in this region. Land cover change detection done using Landsat images shows loss of forest cover between 1985 and 2001. However, community members have contradictory views of how the loss of the forest cover has affected the region’s rainfall regime. I will discuss some of the historical and political-economic dimensions that shed light on this and point to a case of misreading environmental change by some community members.


"Historical Analysis of Oil and Gas Well Plugging in New York: Is the Regulatory System Working?"
Ron Bishop
Chemistry and Biochemistry
February 14, 2013

Ron conducted an evaluation of New York State’s regulatory program for plugging inactive oil and gas wells. Analysis of reports from the Division of Mineral Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, reveals that three-fourths of the state’s abandoned oil and gas wells were never plugged. Inadequate enforcement efforts have resulted in steady increases of unplugged oil and gas wells abandoned since 1992. Further, no program exists or is proposed to monitor abandoned wells which were plugged. These results strongly suggest that comprehensive reform and increased agency resources would be required to effectively regulate conventional oil and gas development in New York. Industrial expansion into shale oil and gas development should be postponed to avoid adding stress to an already compromised regulatory system.


"Hope: Just What the Doctor Ordered"
Anita Levine
Elementary Education and Reading
December 5, 2012

We all know that teaching, whether in a K-12 or higher education setting, is chockfull of all kinds of stressors that can wear us down, even make us wonder if we’re in the right profession. But what enables teachers to stay? What fuels us to continue “in spite of it all?” Realistic hope is considered that essential ingredient. Based on research conducted, this presentation will share findings on what hope is (and is not), and teachers’ perspectives on what nurtures their hope.


"Islands of Poetry in a Sea of Calculation"
Toke Knudsen
Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics
November 8, 2012

Poems of seasonal description are found as chapters in some Sanskrit astronomical treatises, in particular those of Bhāskara II (b. 1114 CE) and Jñānarāja (fl. 1503 CE). Refined and complex, these poems stand out in treatises that details the formulae of mathematical astronomy and the technicalities of cosmology. Sophisticated poetic techniques went into their composition, such as the creation of multiple layers of meaning within a given verse. For example, a verse may simultaneously describe the spring season as well as the activities of the god Ka during that season. In addition to discussing the structure of the poems, the talk will also explore the reasons for including them in astronomical treatises by an investigation of the texts and their contexts.


2012 College at Oneonta Foundation Awards for Excellence in Student Research & Creative Activity
Student Recipients
May 9, 2012

AWARDEES
Alyson Marmet / Faculty Mentor: Jacqueline Bennett (Chemistry & Biochemistry)
"Quantitative Comparison of the “Greenness” of the Ethyl Lactate Method of Imine Synthesis with Other Published Methods"

Danielle Willsey / Faculty Mentor: Florian Reyda (Biology / Biological Field Station)
"A New Tapeworm Species from Dasyatis zugei (Pale-edged stingray) from Coastal Malaysian Borneo"

Dustin Smith / Faculty Mentor: Kenneth Walters (Psychology)
"Predicting College Student Binge Drinking Using the Five-Factor Model"

Erin Potter / Faculty Mentor: Melissa Godek (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)
"Assessing the Impact of Air Mass Frequency on Major Flood Events"
in the Susquehanna River Basin

Christina Craft, Christianna Marron (co-awardees) / Faculty Mentor: Keith Schillo (Biology)
"Effects of Wheat Grass Juice on Blood Oxygenation"


"Public Art Defines Our Landscape"
Thomas Sakoulas
Art
April 12, 2012

Public art began its development the moment humans began organizing in cities, and has been defining our urban landscapes ever since. Its development parallels the advance of human cultural progression through history by transforming physical environment into a cultural one. Public art has been a powerful political tool in the hands of authority, a coveted commodity, a conduit of economic development, a source of controversy, as well as the subject of hate and ridicule. Through it all, art in the urban landscape has been an effective agent of cultural transcendence. I will discuss the brief historical perspective of public sculpture through the use of some well-known public art, and I will reflect on the culturally austere landscape of our campus.


"Movement Culture and the Future of Media: Lessons from U.S. Working Class"
Brian Dolber
History
December 8, 2011

This past year has seen the growth of resistance to the current political economic order internationally, in the Middle East and North Africa, in Europe, in Wisconsin and on Wall Street. Previously successful efforts to address extreme inequality and economic instability were shaped by and assisted through movement cultures, as in the 1930s and the 1960s. What are the prospects for developing a movement culture in the wake of the current economic collapse and transformations in media systems? Brian Dolber will discuss his research on the power and problems of the Jewish labor press of the 1920s and 1930s in order to point towards possibilities for progressive change today. He argues that contemporary union leaders need to commit themselves not simply to contract gains and protecting members short terms interests, but to a philosophy of broad social unionism in order to make lasting change in our hypercommercial, neoliberal environment.


"Dangerous Waters: Why Millions of People Die Every Year in Developing Countries"
Tracy Allen
Geography
October 20, 2011

Water-related illnesses are the leading cause of human sickness and death. Worldwide, nearly one in six people lacks access to safe drinking water and more than one in every three people does not have improved sanitation. The health and economic impacts in less developed countries are staggering. Water is a basic human necessity and should be a basic human right. From the rain-drenched tropics of Bangladesh and Panama to the parched deserts of Kazakhstan and Tibet, this presentation will explore the actuality and consequences of the world's most serious, yet often ignored, crisis.


Student recipients and nominees of the College at Oneonta Foundation Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creative Activity and Recipients of 2010/11 Student Grant Awards for Research and Creative Activity
May 2, 2011
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Morris Conference Center, Otsego Grille

2011 Award Winners
Christopher Aucoin
Faculty Mentor: Leslie Hasbargen (Earth Sciences)
"Using GPR, GPS and Close-Range Photography to Map and Characterize Dinosaur Tracks in the Connecticut River Valley"

Tami LaPilusa
Faculty Mentor: Jeffrey Heilveil (Biology)
"Genetic Diversity of the Commodity Species Cardisoma guanhumi Latreille (Decapoda: Gecarcinidae) on Andros Island, Bahamas"

Steven Piteo
Faculty Mentor: Caitlin Smith Rapoport (Theatre)
"Sound Designer in Collaboration with The Deconstructive Theatre Company and Strong Coffee Stage on an Adaptation of Antigone"

Tyson Robb
Faculty Mentor: Martha Growdon (Earth Sciences)
"Alternative Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage"

BLONDES Research Group: Marykate Kalotschke, Anyango Kamina, Samantha Kamp, Michelle Linder, Alyson Marmet, Nicole Mihou, Carolyn Nasr, Megan Record
Faculty Mentor: Jacqueline Bennett (Chemistry & Biochemistry)
"Lactic Acid as a Green Catalyst for Imine Synthesis"
"Green Synthesis of Imines from p-Ethoxyaniline and Various Aldehydes"
"Green Synthesis of Imines Derived from a Common Topical Anesthetic"
"Cell Imaging using Fluorescent Imines"


"Conservative Christian Anarchism: Henry Adams and the Right"
Michael Koch
Philosophy
April 12, 2011

In The Education of Henry Adams Henry Adams, grandson of John Quincy Adams, great-grandson of John Adams, introduces the reader to a manikin. He names this manikin “Henry Adams.” The manikin, Henry Adams, creates a political party, “conservative Christian anarchism.” I will discuss conservative Christian anarchism as a political philosophy and contrast it with the implicit political philosophies of the contemporary American right. Concluding, I will argue that Adams’ ironic presentation of this form of anarchism is important for understanding our political situation.


"Natural Climate Variability Impacts on Intra-Seasonal U.S. Winter Temperatures"
Melissa Godek
Earth Sciences
March 3, 2011

Across the country, seasonal weather is significantly impacted by natural climate variability patterns (like the well known “El Niño” and “La Niña”) that can be complex to forecast. Predicting these pattern impacts so that climatologists can determine if the Northeast will have a warm, dry winter or a cold, wet one is even more complicated. Nevertheless, recent decades have seen great advances in the science of forecasting weather based on climate oscillations. Seasonal outlooks of temperature and precipitation are now presented to the public for a region months in advance and as percent departures from average conditions. Of course, human-induced global change impacts on temperature certainly must be accounted for in order to improve the confidence with which these forecasts are issued and their overall accuracy. This presentation will address some of the limitations in our current understandings of these climate patterns. In addition, I will discuss one method for improving seasonal forecasts that accounts for global change signals and the complex day-to-day variability of maximum and minimum temperature that is related to large-scale climate patterns.


"Sustainability and Ethics: The Uncommon Tragedy of the Aral Sea. From Modern Disaster to Ancient Solutions: Central Asian gardens as paradigm ensuring ecological sustainability as alternative to desertification"
Achim Koeddermann
Philosophy
December 8, 2010

As UN declarations from Stockholm to Rio endorse sustainability, the Aral Sea is still the worlds largest environmental disaster zone: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon just called the depletion of the Aral Sea a "shocking disaster". The UN cannot provide the necessary framework for binding arbitration or international intervention. Environmental Ethics, not Law, can provide the necessary foundation for future solutions. Community bound agreements on transnational measures for rational use of water resources provide a solution as old as the ancient irrigation systems of Samarkand, Bukhara and the Fergana Valley, called the Garden of Uzbekistan. Water, by its very transnational nature, transcends the property bound legal concepts that falsely assume full command over a commodity. Possible avenues for answers that contradict the assumption of a necessary decline, or tragedy, of the commons can be found in the work of Nobel Price winner Elinor Ostrom, and the ancient community based Uzbek Water User Associations. Their successful models can be extended to the region, grant stability in the region, and provide an old/new concept for community based Sustainability to ensure success. Dangers come from trans boundary pollution, salination, and seismic risks.


"Portrait of the Teacher as a Writer"
Gustavo Arango
Foreign Languages
November 11, 2010

This talk explores the meaning of literary texts when the main characters are writers. Taking as a point of departure his novel El origen del mundo (The Origin of the World), Professor Arango reflects on the challenges of making a true and sincere portrait of life, when both the author and the character are teachers and writers. The presentation includes references to works by renowned Latin American authors, such as García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Julio Cortázar; and explains how a representation of a character as writer is also a representation of the readers in the acts of narrating and giving meaning to their own lives.


"The Community Speaks (and Sings!): Oral History and Folklife of Central New York"
William S. Walker
History, Cooperstown Graduate Program
October 14, 2010

This talk will provide an overview of folklife and oral history recordings held by the New York State Historical Association and collected by Cooperstown Graduate Program students since 1964. It will discuss the uses and abuses of oral history and detail efforts to make this collection available digitally on the internet <cgpcommunitystories.org>.


"Old Lessons for a New millennium: Nature Writing and Environmentalism in the 21st Century"
Daniel G. Payne
English
May 5, 2010

At the time of his death in 1921, John Burroughs (born in Roxbury, New York in 1837) was America’s most beloved nature writer, a best-selling author whose friends and admirers included Walt Whitman, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison. The popularity of his work encouraged his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, to publish or reissue the work of several other nature writers, including that of Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. Since 1992, SUNY College at Oneonta has hosted the biannual John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference & Seminar (“Sharp Eyes”), which honors the influence of Burroughs on American nature writing. The scope of the conference is not limited solely to Burroughs, however, as each year the writers and scholars in attendance focus on a theme of significance to modern nature writers and scholars of literary environmentalism. The theme of the 2010 conference is “Old Lessons for a New Millennium” and will examine the work of writers who contributed to the early conservation movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the work of contemporary writers who are influencing the development of early twenty-first century environmentalism. This presentation will give a brief overview of Burroughs’s life and work and introduce some of the topics that will be addressed at the 2010 “Sharp Eyes” conference.


"How Much Should Animals Matter in Biomedical Research?"
Keith Schillo
Biology
March 25, 2010

Our relationships with animals seem awkward and confusing. On one hand, we express an extraordinary amount of respect for them by attending to their needs and protecting them from harm. On the other hand, we also inflict pain and discomfort on them in order to satisfy our own needs and desires. For example, in 2009 Americans spent over $45 billion on goods and services designed to make life as comfortable as possible for their beloved pets. In contrast our government agencies spend an estimated $18 billion per year on animal experiments that involve practices that subject animals to varying degrees of pain and discomfort. While it is clear that animals matter a great deal in our society, it is also evident that society sanctions a significant amount of animal suffering. In this brief discussion I should like to analyze the prevailing social ethic on animal experimentation and argue that public support for animal research is contingent on the extent to which animal experiments yield tangible benefits to society. In addition, I shall discuss how such expectations have shaped current animal welfare laws and speculate on how such legislation is likely to impact future biomedical research.


"Life at the Extreme: Exploring the Mysteries of Antarctic Lakes"
Devin Castendyk
Earth Sciences
February 17, 2010

Between December 16 and January 13, Dr. Devin Castendyk, Earth Sciences, conducted research on the continent of Antarctica. He studied the circulation of liquid water in ice covered lakes located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. These lakes provide one of the most extreme habitats for life on the planet, and may resemble some of the first ecosystems that evolved on Earth, and possibly Mars. In addition to his research, Dr. Castendyk will discuss the unique history, biology, physical challenges, day-to-day life, and sheer beautify associated with the world’s coldest, highest and driest continent.


"Biodiversity Loss: A Global Challenge"
Ho Hun Leung, Matthew Hendley, Robert Compton, Brian Haley, Joseph Chiang, Shiao-yun Chaing, Hanfu Mi, Maria Montoya, Orlando Legname, Thomas Horvath, Thomas Sakoulas, Walter Little, and Joshua Rosenthal
December 8, 2009

This collection gives voice to the peoples and groups impacted by globalization as they seek to negotiate their identities, language use, and territorial boundaries within a larger global context. Rather than viewing globalization as one-dimensional, (i.e., cultural, economic, or political), the approaches taken by the authors reflect a nuanced and multifaceted discussion of globalization that integrates all three perspectives. The cases encompass the historical eras of colonization, Cold War, and post-Cold War and utilize multi- and interdisciplinary approaches. These approaches allow for the exploration of identity, boundaries, language use, and other issues in the context of specific temporal and spatial contexts. This book will appeal to both students and scholars interested in the globalization from a broader yet integrated perspective.

Table of contents
Prologue: Imagining Globalization through Changes in Place--Ho Hon Leung and Matthew Hendley *
PART I: LANGUAGE
Chapter1 English: A Globalized Language in Science and Technology—Joseph F. Chiang
Chapter 2 Global English in Asian Fiction--Xu Xi
Chapter 3 Globalization through Global Brand Transposition--Shiao-Yun Chiang and Hanfu Mi
PART II: IDENTITIES
Chapter 4 Maintenance of Spanish as a Heritage Language in a Global World--Maria Cristina Montoya
Chapter 5 Language Choice among Maya Handicrafts Vendors in an International Tourism Marketplace--Walter E. Little
Chapter 6 Making of Pacific Mall: Chinese Identity and Architecture in Toronto--Ho Hon Leung and Raymond Lau
Chapter 7 Citizens or Consumers – British Conservative Political Propaganda Towards Women in Two World Wars--Matthew Hendley
PART III: BOUNDARIES
Chapter 8 Capoeira and Globalization--Joshua M. Rosenthal
Chapter 9 Immigration and Indigenization in the Mexican Diaspora in the Southwestern United States--Brian Haley
Chapter 10 Construction, Deconstruction, and Reconstruction of State Legitimacy in South Africa and Japan--Robert W. Compton Jr.
Chapter 11 Searching for Semantics in Music: A Global Discourse--Orlando Legname
Chapter 12 Human Movements: Consequences to Global Biogeography--Thomas Horvath
Epilogue: Echoes from the Past Reflections--Thomás Sakoulas


"Biodiversity Loss: A Global Challenge"
Greg Fulkerson
Sociology
November 18, 2009
This presentation considers three macro-sociological theories that attempt to explain environmental outcomes at the global level. In this case, hypotheses from each are tested to examine how well they explain biodiversity loss. The first is human ecology, which is mainly concerned with the effects of population size; the second is ecological modernization, which focuses on the efforts of the state to solve environmental problems; and the third is political economy, which argues that the global capitalist system of stratification between countries creates and perpetuates environmental problems such as biodiversity loss. Results mainly support human ecological and political economic hypotheses. Support is not found for ecological modernization theory. Implications are considered with respect to policy making and state environmentalism.


"Energy for the Present, the Future, and Sustainability"
Joseph Chiang
Chemistry & Biochemistry
October 15, 2009

Energy for the present and the future is a major concern for all of us. What is energy? Energy is the power or capability to do work and is used in every part of our lives. With energy we can produce food, build transportation devices, build shelters, make weapons, prolong our lives, etc. The sun was the only energy source in early human life. People worked when the sun rose and rested when the sun set. Until fire was discovered by our ancestors, could humans work longer. The first use of fire was to produce heat by burning wood, which was the major energy source for a long time. By the middle of the 18th century, coal became the major source of fuel. This led England into a new era, the “Industrial Revolution”. Oil is now the cheapest, most readily available, and convenient source of energy for motor vehicles. The by-products from can be used to manufacture optical fibers, computer hardware, automobiles, televisions, building materials, fabrics/clothing, polymers, and even solar panels. Due to the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels and rising costs of energy, we have to search for alternative energy sources. We cannot eliminate the use of oil (one of the fossil energy sources), since it is a necessity for its by-products. We can reduce the dependence of oil, but we cannot eliminate it, as Nobel laureate Al Gore claims, in ten years.


"A Tasty Approach to Green Chemistry"
Jacqueline Bennett
Chemistry & Biochemistry
April 22, 2009

What do you think of when you hear the term "chemical?" Do images of scientists with crazy hair concocting toxic brews come to mind? If so, please come to the next convivium where Dr. Jacqueline Bennett will dispel these ideas (except for, perhaps, the crazy hair). She will discuss why chemicals are sometimes considered "good" or "bad" and how her research group has made significant advances in green chemistry. In particular, she will demonstrate how using FDA-approved food additives can improve the process of making pharmaceutically and environmentally important substances. This talk is being presented as part of SUNY Oneonta's Earth Day and Green Dragon Week activities and should appeal to anyone interested in environmental concerns.


"What You’re Really Saying: How Voice Production Communicates in the Classroom and the Workplace"
Andrew Kahl
Theatre
March 18, 2009

Challenges faced by professional voice users - actors, singers and public speakers - are also a familiar reality for teachers and business professionals who rely on vocal expressiveness and oratory skills to engage students and communicate effectively. Our voices are critical to our work, but fundamentals of breath support, resonance, articulation and vocal health are not simply tools of the trade; they are the basis of who we are in the classroom and how we are perceived in the workplace. More importantly, the shades of meaning we decode in the voices of our students and colleagues speak volumes. Paralinguistic signals - cues to which our ears are keenly attuned - often provide us with far more valuable information than the words that we hear. The human voice is not simply a conveyor of language. Its subtle harmonics have a profound effect on human relationships, perception and learning.


"Unconscious Currents in the Stream of Consciousness: The Paradox of Learning Without Awareness"
Geoffrey O’Shea
Psychology
February 19, 2009

What exactly is consciousness? How do we experience it? Can we localize it in any one region in the brain? Does too much of it make us sad? Can we bring it under our control? Can we get by without it? From the clinical studies of Freud to the work of modern neuroscientists who view the physiological patterns of activity generated by the brain, psychologists have had a longstanding interest in the elements of consciousness. One issue when considering questions of consciousness is that we are not conscious of the extent to which we rely on unconscious mechanisms to mediate our everyday experiences. We simply do not detect the presence of the unconscious in routine activities such as driving, conversing with others, making decisions, and even thinking about ourselves. Recent research in psychology, in a subfield known as implicit memory, has also demonstrated the presence of the unconscious in one of the most fundamental of human activities, learning. These studies have shown that a disconnection can sometimes arise between a previously stored memory of an event and the conscious acknowledgement of this memory. In other words, we can demonstrate the existence of knowledge of some event sans a recollection of its corresponding memory. In this convivium. Dr. O'Shea will discuss research techniques that he uses to examine the role of the unconscious in learning. Specifically, he will review recent studies from his laboratory that examine the portability of the unconscious or the extent to which unconscious mechanisms enable the conceptual transfer of a body of knowledge from the domain of the learning experience to a separate domain that has not been previously experienced. This is a talk that should appeal not only to psychologists, but also to philosophers, biologists, educators, and anyone interested in issues of consciousness.


"Regulating Bodies Through Rhythmic Rituals"
Joshua Frye
Communication & Media
November 13, 2008

In this presentation, I will explore the nature of rhythm (deployed in ritual) as a nonverbal symbolic instrument that influences human bodies to relate to the natural and supernatural, poetic and political, in certain ways The dialectic of sociobiology suggests that the very substance of our being is a negotiated flux between the realms of the symbolic and animalic and that human health, happiness, discipline, and liberation may be implicated in pursuing the right rhythms within the socially constructed physical self. The chief aim of this exploration is to provide a conceptual charting of how the rhythmic can bring into being fundamentally different experiences for the physical body of those identified with a specific rhythm- infused symbol-system. Examples will include Native American tribal ceremony, children's nursery rhymes, bardic and shamanic used of rhythm, the church litany, and political machinery of drum, bugle, and march.


"Why Nature Sings a Symmetrical Song"
Michael Faux
Physics & Astronomy
October 15, 2008

The laws of nature exhibit beautiful symmetries not evident in our everyday life. These manifest in curious patterns inherent in an emerging mathematical framework relevant to investigating various mysteries, such as how gravity works and what is the structure of the microcosm. Physicists view these patterns as clues and, like detectives, use them in an ongoing quest to understand what makes the world tick. In this talk. Dr. Faux will explain some surprising implications of such reasoning using pretty pictures only (no equations), and then discuss how research at SUNY Oneonta aims at resolving some outstanding contemporary puzzles related to aspects of this perspective.


"A Playback Experiment to Investigate the Unique Singing Behavior of the Stripe-Breasted Wren"
Louis Hall
and
"Oneonta Creeks Water Quality Assessment"
Jonathon Wasser

Student Research Poster Presenters
May 13, 2008


"The Laser Donut"
Monisha Kamala Mahanta
Physics & Astronomy
May 7, 2008


"An Evolving Portrait of Mozart: The Mass in C Minor"
Tim Newton
Music
April 9, 2008


"Campus Fitness and Outdoor Education"
Al Sosa
Physical Education
March 12, 2008


"Life After Work: The Personal Side of Retirement"
Arthur Dauria and Walter vom Saal
Communication & Media and Psychology
November 7, 2007


"Second Life:Teaching in Virtual Space, or Why Does Anyone Need a Second Life Anyway?"
Harry Pence
Chemistry & Biochemistry
October 10, 2007


"Determining the Onset of Turbulent Flow Using Video-Based Motion Analysis
Robert Barton
Student Research Poster Presenter
May 3, 2007


"The Sweat and Tears of Floor Relief: At Home and in the Gulf"
Linda Drake and Wendy Mitteager
Geography
March 8, 2007

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