April 2007


Honors and more honors
John Contreni

April brings more than showers to campus. It's also the month in which we recognize some of the outstanding achievements of our students and faculty.

The 2007 Annual Liberal Arts Honors Colloquium on April 11 from noon to 5 p.m. in PMU Anniversary Drawing Room will showcase the work of 14 students. A poster session from noon to 1 p.m. will provide the Purdue community with an opportunity to learn about the students' individual honors projects. From 1-5 p.m., the students, from almost every department in the College, will present 10- to 12-minute talks about their work and answer questions for a few minutes afterwards.

The Honors Program serves as a portal into a rich, but often hidden, resource of Purdue. Our University excels in discovery, the generation of knowledge, yet many of these activities occur outside of the classroom — in the laboratory or behind office doors. Honors students, guided by their faculty mentors, expand the range of academic opportunity available to them in the classroom by crossing through that portal to experience first hand how knowledge and scholarship are generated. They make that wonderful transition from passive learners to active collaborators and producers of knowledge and art.

On April 15, the University Honors Convocation will take place in the Elliott Hall of Music at 1 p.m. The convocation will recognize outstanding academic achievement in a wide range of fields and individual achievement in specific areas. This year's recipients of the coveted Murphy Award for excellence in teaching will be announced.

On the same day (when it rains in April, it usually pours!), the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Preschool Language Program with an open house at the preschool's location in the Redeemer Lutheran Church at 510 Lindberg Road from 2 to 4 p.m. An entire generation of preschoolers and students in SLHS have benefited from this innovative program.

I am pleased to announce that the distinguished professorships held by Charles Stewart (Communication) and James Nairne (Psychological Sciences) are now named professorships. Professor Stewart is now the Margaret Church Distinguished Professor of Communication. Professor James Nairne is now the Reece McGee Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences. The professorships honor two longtime College faculty members who contributed significantly to teaching and scholarship, Margaret Church in English and Comparative Literature and Reece McGee in Sociology. It is fitting that Charlie and Jim, in our day, hold these important honors in recognition of their accomplishments.


John J. Contreni
Justin S. Morrill Dean


Research identifies causes contributing to poor development of over 200 million children worldwide

Inadequate intellectual stimulation and poor nutrition, especially iodine and iron deficiencies, are likely to blame for hindering more than 200 million children in developing countries from meeting their full potential, says a Purdue University researcher.

Theodore Wachs

"These problems are robbing children under age 5 of full development, contributing to a cycle of low educational attainment and poverty later in life," said Theodore Wachs, a professor of Psychological Sciences and a lead researcher on the project. "We're not talking about genetics here. These are all preventable risks, which makes the situation that much more urgent."

Child Development: Risk Factors for Adverse Outcomes in Developing Countries, is the second in a three-part series from Wachs and colleagues across the globe aimed at identifying the scope, causes and current prevention efforts regarding the loss of developmental potential among children in countries from Brazil to Vietnam. The series appeared in successive January editions of The Lancet.

The researchers drew from data in studies performed from 1985 to February 2006 by searching eight databases using keywords such as "developing countries," "cognitive development," and "educational attainment." They also worked with documents published by the World Bank, UNICEF, and UNESCO's International Bureau of Education. More

Galleries exhibitions to link visual art, written word

Purdue Galleries will bring the academic year to a close with exhibitions that feature the relationship between visual art and the written word.


Ekphrasis: Writing on the Collection will be presented through April 22 in the Robert L. Ringel Gallery in Purdue Memorial Union.

"Ekphrasis" is a term used to denote poetry or poetic writing concerning itself with the visual arts, artistic objects and/or highly visual scenes, such as John Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn, said Galleries director Craig Martin. Poetry about works of art is the most obvious form, but ekphrasis can be essays, short stories and other literature about any visually powerful scene or subject, he said. More

Wikipedia won't go away, so learn how to use it

The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research rather than as the final word, says a Communication expert.

"Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. "But Wikipedia is here to stay and, despite penalties, people are likely to continue using it."

Begun in 2001, Wikipedia is a popular online reference tool that allows Internet users to add and edit entries.

Matei recommends Wikipedia be used as a search engine that acts as a springboard to other resources and that it never be cited as a primary source of information. But before starting an Internet search, Matei urges users to consult with a professional who can help focus their research topic. After narrowing the topic, those in an academic environment should then search for more literature on major article databases from institutional organizations, such as ProQuest or LexisNexis. More

Student hits stage in national tour of Legends!

A theatre graduate student is jumpstarting his acting career with a role in the national tour of Legends! a production starring former Dynasty divas Linda Evans and Joan Collins.

Matthew Erickson
Matthew Erickson, 25, who changed his name to Ethan Matthews for his professional career, is simultaneously finishing his master of fine arts degree in acting and traveling across the country with the national tour of Legends! He plays the role of the "cop" and acts as the standby of the producer Martin Klemmer in the play, which centers on two somewhat desperate and waning movie stars who are courted by an unscrupulous young producer to star in a Broadway show together, despite the fact they hate each other.

Scene from Legends

Along with learning lines, dissecting the script, working on character, and learning two roles for the production, Matthews, originally from Buffalo, N.Y., spent many late nights and early mornings at the beginning of the tour working on his thesis, which is about his experience while on tour with Legends! both on stage and behind the scenes.

"Getting this kind of experience at this point in my career is pretty crazy," he said. "I had expected to be in graduate school for three years, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. I didn't want to leave Purdue's program, so I was glad I was able to finish my thesis on the road." More


Theatre, Latino Cultural Center stage Living Out

Purdue Theatre, in association with the Latino Cultural Center, will present Living Out by Lisa Loomer through April 7 in the Carole and Gordon Mallett Theatre in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts.

Scene from Living Out

Anne Fliotsos, associate professor of Theatre, will direct the contemporary drama.

Living Out explores the relationship of a Salvadoran nanny and the Anglo-Caucasian mother who hires her. The women share a daily struggle to balance their families with the demands of their jobs, but the parity of their lives stops there. Through humor and dialogue, Loomer reveals the economic and ethnic divides of contemporary society. More

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan to speak

Cindy Sheehan, peace activist and the mother of a soldier who was killed in Iraq, will speak at 8 p.m. April 12 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall at Purdue.
Cindy Sheehan

The event is presented by Purdue Committee on Peace Studies with additional sponsorship by the Flora F. Roberts Bequest, Department of Political Science, American Studies Program, Women's Studies Program, the Lafayette Area Peace Coalition, Pax Christi, and the Indiana Peace and Justice Network. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Sheehan, the mother whose vigil against the Iraq war outside President George W. Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch captured the nation's attention in the summer of 2005, will talk on "Speaking Peace to Power." A resident of Vacaville, Calif., she is the mother of Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, a soldier who was killed outside of Baghdad on April 4, 2004. More

Native American author to speak at Literary Awards

Poet, fiction writer and performer Sherman Alexie will be reading and discussing his work on April 19 as part of the 76th annual Purdue Literary Awards.
Sherman Alexie

A public reading by the novelist and Smoke Signals screenwriter will be at 8 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The reading is free and open to the public.

Alexie is the author of 17 books, including the PEN/Hemingway-award winning short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which also won a Lila Wallace-Readers' Digest Writers' Award. He also will speak about the writing process during the Literary Awards Banquet from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on April 19 in the Purdue Memorial Union's North Ballroom. Banquet tickets, which are $15 for students and $21 for adults, can be purchased in Heavilon Hall, Room 324, or by calling the English department at 494-3740. April 16 is the last day to buy tickets for the banquet. More

Golden Taps ceremony to honor 8 Purdue students

Three students from the College of Liberal Arts will be among those remembered on April 23 during Golden Taps, one of the Purdue's most solemn traditions.

The brief outdoor ceremony will begin at 9:15 p.m. on the steps of Hovde Hall. Karen Chiang, a sophomore from Northbrook, Ill.; Morgan Imani Guice, a senior from Detroit, Mich., and Esther Jane Kaminski, a senior from New Carlisle, Ind., will be among those remembered.

The Golden Taps ceremony honors students who have died during the past academic year. More

Alumnus to talk about jobs in cable telecommunications

Purdue's Department of Communication will be the host April 3-4 of a Cable Mavericks Lecture Series presentation featuring a Purdue alumnus who will talk about the cable telecommunications industry.

Doug Hurst

The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be at 4:15 p.m. April 3 in Room 190 of the Electrical Engineering Building, and 1:30-3 p.m. on April 4 in Room 253 in Krannert.

The speakers will be Doug Hurst, senior vice president and general manager of non-linear distribution at Scripps Networks who graduated from Purdue with a bachelor's degree in management, and Annette Lindstrom, vice president of marketing for Home and Garden Television, known as HGTV. More

Other Events

– Christopher Day, professor of education and co-director of the Teacher and Leadership Research Center at the Univeristy of Nottingham, will present "Committed for Life? Variations in Teachers' Effectiveness in Climates of Reform: Report of a Four-year Mixed Methods Study in English Schools" on April 16. His talk is 1:30 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 218 A-B.

– April 21. 1-3 p.m. Book signing at Von's Books, 315 W. State St., West Lafayette. Donald Platt, associate professor of English, will sign copies of his third collection of poetry, My Father Says Grace. The collection was published in March by The University of Arkansas Press ($16).


– The Office of the Vice President for Research recently awarded 2007 Purdue Summer Faculty Grants to the following faculty members:

  • Christopher I. Eckhardt, Psychological Sciences, "Daily Reports of Alcohol Use and Intimate Partner Violence."
  • Jeffrey M. Haddad, Health and Kinesiology, "Can thinking be hazardous to your health? The effects of cognition and aging on postural stability."
  • Jessica E. Huber, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, "Influence of Planning and Syntax on Breath Pausing Patterns."
  • Michael A. Ryan, History, A manuscript revision of "A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology, Divination, and Rule in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon."
  • Juan Wang, History, "The Weight of Frivolous Matters: Shanghai Tabloid Culture, 1897 - 1911."

    Tammy Conard-Salvo, associate director of the Purdue Writing Lab, and Linda Bergmann, associate professor of English and director of the Purdue Writing Lab, were speakers at the Conference on College Composition and Communication annual convention in New York City in March. Conard-Salvo presented "Creating a 'Tipping Point': Using Images and Words to Represent the Writing Center's Internal and Public Identity" and "Grouping, Alignment, and 'Wasted Space': Prioritizing Users' Feedback." Bergmann's presentation was titled "Outcomes-Based Research: Rethinking the Identities of Peers and Experts." The Conference on College Composition and Communication's annual convention draws college faculty members from around the world.

    Sally Hastings, an associate professor of History, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for the spring semester of 2008. Hastings, who studies Japanese history and is the chair of the Asian Studies Program at Purdue, will travel to Tokyo, Japan to research "Gender and Japanese Politics: Women Legislators 1946-1974." For her project, she will examine how the women who held leadership positions during this time were chosen, how they were treated while in office, and what political goals they pursued.

    Caroline E. Janney, assistant professor of History, has received a Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellowship from the Huntington Library. She will use it next year to conduct research on her second book project that focuses on Civil War memory from 1861 to the present.

    – Purdue's Division of Dance was selected to perform March 16-20 at the Gala Concert of the American College Dance Festival 2007 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Students and faculty from 20 other schools, including the University of Michigan, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, met to take classes and have their choreography adjudicated.

    Thirteen out of the 41 pieces of adjudicated choreography were chosen to perform at the Gala Concert, including a piece from Purdue. Purdue Repertory Dance Company's "The Under-self" was honored for its outstanding choreography and performance. The choreographer was Michal Nevitt, a senior majoring in fine art with minors in art history and dance. Nevitt was one of five students to have their work chosen for this year's Gala Concert. This is also the first time a student from Purdue has had their choreography selected for gala honors. Performers include Joel Baughn, Shanna Daly, Scott Downs, Mandy Hampton, Joe Hayes, Kristina Katrus, Laura Korbiak, Ed Martin, Kendra Newton, Leslie Parrin and Leslie St. John. The Division of Dance at Purdue, its choreographers and dancers have been honored six times for their excellence in choreography and performance at the American College Dance Festival in the past 10 years. Purdue Repertory Dance Company is part of the Division of Dance in the Patti and Rusty Rueff Department of Visual and Performing Arts.


    Garrett Washington, a graduate student in the College of Liberal Arts, has been awarded a fellowship from the Social Science Research Council that will support research in Japan during the 2007-08 academic year. He will be working in Tokyo at Keio University.

    – Five College of Liberal Arts students were top finishers in the Miss Purdue Scholarship Pageant held on March 3. Fifteen students participated in the pageant, which is affiliated with the Miss America Organization.

    Amy Pflugshaupt, 21, of Hamlet, Ind., a senior, was first runner-up. Beth Gentry, 22, of Pittsboro, Ind., a senior, was second runner-up. Meghan Lamontagne, 19, of Pelham, N.H., a freshman, was third runner-up. Lisa Stanforth, 22, of Kokomo, Ind., a senior, was given the Boilermaker Spirit Award. Alicia Ellenberger, 19, of Valparaiso, Ind., a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts, was the winner of the People's Choice Award.



    Lafayette Journal and Courier
    Television may have impact on your relationships
    (Glenn Sparks, Department of Communication)

    Indianapolis Star, Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Grand Rapids Press,
    Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald
    A Q&A with author of Eating Budda's Dinner
    (Bich Minh Nguyen, Department of English)

    Christian Science Monitor
    Preemption option: A must for Israel
    (Louis Beres, Department of Political Science)

    The Washington Times
    Ballistic-missile defense and WMD
    (Louis Beres, Department of Political Science)

    Alcohol and hangover myths exposed
    (Julia Chester, Department of Psychological Sciences)

    Information Week, SooToday.com –
    IT confidential: What Web 2.0 will mean for workforce 2.0
    (Sorin Matei, Department of Communication)

    Lafayette Journal and Courier
    Do we all have a dark side? Professor says yes, we do
    (David Rollock, Department of Psychological Sciences)

    This edition of Liberal Arts eNews is available online.

    Previous editions of this newsletter can be found on the Liberal Arts eNews home page.


    Any story ideas can be sent to Amy Patterson Neubert at the Purdue News Service, (765) 494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

    Purdue News Service: 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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