Faculty forum preview

By James Crowell
October 27, 2010

Featuring three faculty members presenting the product of their research resulting from grants received over the summer, a faculty forum will be held on Monday, Nov. 8 at 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. in the Grace Hall Boardroom.

Dr. Melinda Harrison, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the committee that oversees the Faculty Forum, said that faculty forums happen once in the fall semester and at least twice in the spring semester.

Dr. Leonard Primiano, professor and chair of the department of the religious studies and co-director of Cabrini’s honors program, said his forum presentation will be on how photography affected Father Divine’s Peace Mission movement and how the movement saw itself as a religion. In particular, Primiano’s grant money was devoted to the investigation of why Father Divine allowed Addison Scurlock, a famous African American in Washington D.C. , to photograph him instead of a local photographer in New York state where he lived in 1932.

Dr. Sheryl Fuller-Espie, associate professor of biology, said she would be presenting on the study of immune systems of invertebrates, especially earthworms, and how their immune responses differ from a human’s immune response.  The quest to unravel the immune cell biology of an invertebrate is what Fuller-Espie and Spaeder tried to accomplish.

“The faculty forum showcases the scholarly work of faculty,” Fuller-Espie said. “It shows that we’re not just teachers, we’re scholars.”

Fuller-Espie said that Cabrini faculty are given the opportunity to write a grant proposal each spring to obtain a funding to support their summer research projects.  The Faculty Grants, Initiatives and Sabbaticals Subcommittee reviews and chooses who will be given a grant or salary to do their research in April of each year.  As part of each grant reward, the subcommittee expects the faculty member to present at an open forum during the school year.

Primiano said that the faculty forum is an opportunity for faculty to present to the college community.

Harrison said that she is the chair of the committee that plans the faculty forum as a whole and her committee’s responsibilities include reviewing and distributing the grants that faculty members request to be given.

“The exploration of ideas and of new perspectives is what an evert like the faculty forum is all about,” Primiano said.

“The faculty forum is a great way to learn of new research and new research methods,” Harrison said.

Harrison said all faculty do research outside of the classroom and by doing so they are able to better themselves and their students at events such as the faculty forum where they present what they have been working on.

Fuller-Espie said that if student collaborator is involved and assists a faculty member with their research during the summer, then often that student will present with the faculty member at the forum.  For instance, Fuller-Espie said that one of her research students, Linsey Spaeder, a junior biology major, would be presenting with her at the upcoming faculty forum.

Primiano said that every college or university is stimulated when its faculty do research and present their work.

Primiano and Fuller-Espie both stressed that more needs to be done in terms of more money for additional financial grants and said more advertising for the faculty forums needs to be shown around campus.

“We never have enough funding,” Primiano said. “As a faculty member, I would be remiss if I didn’t say we want more funding for our research.”

Harrison said she wishes there were more that could be done with publicity for the faculty forum, but due to the lack of enough committee members she knows that she cannot reach every student.

Fuller-Espie and Primiano said that more advertisements and more awareness of the faculty forum needs to be addressed.

Harrison said that more student involvement and more community attention towards the faculty forum is always welcome.

Fuller-Espie said that in past years, she would give out extra credit for attending a faculty forum.  Instead of that, Fuller-Espie said that students should want to attend out of pure curiosity and interest instead of a grade boost.

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James Crowell

Senior com major at Cabrini College. Technical Director for LOQation. On-Air personality on WYBF-FM. Past News editor for The Loquitur, 2011-12. Passion for videography, tech news & quantum mechanics. Follow me @JamesCrowellJr

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