Three departments earn faculty development summer grants

By Olivia Torrence
November 8, 2010

Faculty members gathered on Monday, Nov. 8 in Grace Hall at Cabrini to  inform about 40 of their colleagues and students about grants that they achieved which was recieved from work done this past summer. The education, biology and religion departments received grants to put forth towards studies for their departments for summer research.

“This is something that inspires me and is dear to my heart, and I hope you feel the same,” associate professor of education, Dr. Carol Kessler said during her presentation.

Kessler presented a Powerpoint on “The Culture of Families, Schools, and Communities: An Anthropologic Study,” on Monday afternoon. This Powerpoint consisted of the different ways that Kessler wants to start character education at a young age in children.

Kessler used quotes from Robert Coles to help get her point across. She called on students and faculty and had them read the quotes aloud to get interaction with everyone attending the forum. “Children show moral hunger and this is evident in their various displays of moral loneliness…Adults have morally abandoned children.  They need moral guidance, a sense of purpose and direction on life, a set of values grounded in moral introspection, a spiritual life that is given sanctioned by their parents and others in the adult world.  They are born with that.”A quote from Robert Coles, a well-known child pyschiartrist, who specialized in moral development that was used by Dr. Kessler.

The anthropologic study has been created to teach morals and character to children at a young age. Kessler has developed a curriculum and lesson plans full of just character traits, such as thankfulness, self-control, kindness, sharing, respect, honesty and cooperation.

“I want the kids to have the courage to take good risks,” Kessler said.

She has conducted workshops with the teachers at the Children’s School of Cabrini. The teachers will do initial assessments and give them to Kessler to conclude the progress that is being made.

Kessler has received the lucky invitation to go to Cambridge University in England, this upcoming summer, to present her anthropology study. July 20-23,  Kessler will be speaking at her third international education conference. “This is an area that I feel really passionate about,” Kessler said.

Next to present were Dr. Fuller-Espie and Lindsay Spaeder. Dr. Fuller-Espie is the assistant professor of biology at Cabrini, and Lindsay Spaeder is a biology and chemistry double-major at Cabrini.

These two have been speakers at local, state and national conferences. They have also spoke at two international conferences. This collaborative summer project consisted of the establishment of immortalized cell lines using the earthworm eisenia hortensis.

The main objectives of this biology grant was to develop a method to generate stable long-term cell lines denied from coelomocyte tests from the earth worm. The other objective as to provide a summer undergrad with great research opportunity.

Towards the end of her lecture, Lindsay Spaeder was surprised with a $518 grant to continue their on-going experiments in the lab.

Ryan Juhring, sophomore pre-med and biology major, was in attendance at the forum. “I went for extra credit for my genetics class but I ended up learning how my professor and the undergraduate student are learning trying to immortalize earthworms.”

The last speaker of the afternoon was Dr. Leonard Primiano, chair and professor of religious studies.

“If you don’t have an open mind about religion then you can’t study it,” Primiano said. This is the Father Divine project. There is a huge mystery surrounding Father Divine. The mystery is why did Father Divine want his first official photograph to be taken by the famous photographer, Addison Scurlock, all the way in Washington, D.C, when Father Divine is from New York?

There are no documents pertaining to this information, and no one seems to remember. Primiano discussed how religious figures play into the Father Divine mystery. Many African Americans say that Father Divine is a reincarcination of God. The relationship between the second Mother Divine was strictly a spiritual relationship. Father Divine was part of the most important renaissance movement.

This presentation took Primiano many months of research. It involved field-work interviews, going to libraries to find archives and it took a lot of patience and motivation. Primiano’s motivation was not hard come to by. Father Divine is just one chapter in the book he is writing.

Primiano left the forum with words of advice to the students. “Research starts with many different small points. Be patient and take the time to examine each small thing.”

Dr. Marie George,college president and Sr. Mary Louise Sullivan, lecturer in history, attended the forum.

There were also many faculty members who attended the forum. “It’s a very good place to learn research conducted by family members. It is also a good place to gain knowledge,” Dr. Janice Xu, assistant professor of communication, said.

Two more teachers will be talking about the summer grants they earned in another faculty forum that will be held in the upcoming 2011 year, during March or April.

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Olivia Torrence

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