Associate professor – Xing Wu Fri, 13 May 2022 17:58:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Associate professor – Xing Wu 32 32 Sustainability Awards Recognize Six People Who Have Made a Substantial Impact | University time Fri, 13 May 2022 17:58:50 +0000

On April 22, six members of the Pitt community were honored with Pitt Sustainability Award. Launched in 2015, the awards recognize Pitt faculty, staff, students, and groups who are making a substantial impact in one or more of the three areas of sustainability: stewardship, exploration, community, and culture.

Sustainability Award Winners

Danielle Andrews-Brownlecturer in the Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences at the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and Cassie QuigleyAssociate Department Head and Associate Professor in the School of Education’s Department of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, were recognized for their work in creating the Freedom of Environmental Justice Seminars.

Mei Yu-Kephalogianis has worked for Pitt Housing Services since 2010 and has been the lead housekeeper at Nordenberg Hall since it opened in 2013. A champion of sustainable practices in the residence, Yu-Kephalogianis received the department’s Harvie Keppler Award in 2015 for going beyond the Pitt’s mission, vision and values.

Brandon Brewer, an environmental science major with minors in environmental engineering and studio arts, used a new technique involving an XD fluorescence spectrometer to study the effects of green infrastructure on the soil around campus . Brewster also helped lead a team of Pitt students to second place in the US EPA Rainworks Challenge Last year.

Aaron Carrmajor in environmental science, developed a host of educational programs, created a construction waste audit methodology, and expanded the Pitt Green Resident Programduring his three years as Pitt EcoRep. Carr is also the transportation coordinator for the Pitt Student Chapter of the Food Recovery Network.

Felicity Shaferdegree in environmental studies, worked for the Office of Sustainability as an intern in sustainable development communication for two years, chaired Pitt’s Earth Month 2022 Planning Committee and is the secretary of Plant2Plate. Shafer also created the University’s Sustainability Learning Community, launched in the fall of 2023, and developed and ran the newest student sustainability showcase.

In addition, several students have been named sustainability champions:

Annalize Abraham, English Writing and Urban Studies

Emily Albrecht, psychology

Suchi Attota, IT

Anita Bargaje, computational biology, chemistry and global health

Jared Deluccia, economics and history

Matthew Hess, environmental studies

Lucy Klug, environmental studies

Taylor Laing, Environmental Studies

Danny Nigh, Business Administration

Meri Raughley, ecology and evolution

Madison Stanley, political science

Abby Zolner, environmental studies

Examination of a forewarned future in Ukraine Wed, 11 May 2022 00:55:54 +0000

At the start of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, colleagues from cultural institutions elsewhere in Europe began contacting contemporary art curator Vasyl Cherepanyn, asking if he was organizing or designing new projects. in response to the crisis.

Normally, such inquiries would be understandable to Cherepanyn, director of the Kyiv-based Center for Visual Culture Research, which promotes work that engages art and political activism. But right now, he says, art projects aren’t a top priority for many in his beleaguered homeland.

They just don’t understand what’s really going on,” he said, at a Yale-hosted online event in early March, of these well-meaning requests from colleagues. “I still hold out hope, but I doubt that we will be able to conceive artistic projects in the near future. This that’s what war brings.

This raw expression of frustration and a foregone future in Ukraine was the theme of a series of online conversations launched by the Yale Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES) program at the Yale MacMillan Center just after the start of the invasion. . During the series, titled “The Humanity Dialogues,” experts from Yale and other academic institutions were joined by artists, activists, and scholars who live in Ukraine, or have emigrated or fled, for conversations about the crisis through the prism of the arts. and the humanities.

For the first conversation, Cherepanyn, the Ukrainian curator, was joined by Timothy Snyder, Richard C. Levin professor of history, to discuss the tyranny and agency of artists. For a conversation about cyber resistance, Scott Shapiro, Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Philosophy Professor, spoke with Yuliana Shemetovets, a Berarussian activist and spokesperson for Cyber ​​Partisans, a pro-democracy group in Belarus, as well as Ivan, a cyber-activist from Ukraine (who kept his last name hidden for security reasons).

At another event, Olga Kopenkina, curator and art critic of Belarusian origin, Yulia Krivich, Ukrainian artist living in the United States, and Kuba Szreder, researcher and independent curator at the Academy of Fine Arts Warsaw Arts, joined Ukrainian curator and anthropologist Asia Tsisar for a discussion of the modes of action and action that emerged in networks of Central and Eastern European artists in response to the Russian invasion of the ‘Ukraine. In the most recent discussion, William N. Goetzmann, Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Financial and Management Studies, Daniel Glaser, former Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Simon Johnson , professor of entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management, examined how the international art market can be used by those who finance the war effort to evade financial sanctions, and what can be done to fill this escape.

Immediately after the Russian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia and Chernobyl nuclear power plants, the organizers invited Kate Brown, professor of the history of science at MIT; Oleksiy Radynski, Ukrainian filmmaker and writer who co-founded the Visual Culture Research Center in Kyiv; and Svitlana Matviyenko, assistant professor of critical media analysis at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, to discuss the threat.

During this discussion, the group considered the dangerous and unprecedented implications of military forces targeting nuclear facilities and the threat they pose to the region and far beyond.

As noted by Matviyenko, it is not even known how dangerous the situation is, because international monitoring is not possible in these factories – and the plant operators must obtain approval from the Russian army even for minor measurements. Yet this militarization of nuclear power plants, she said, is only the latest chapter in a decades-old story of “nuclear colonialism” in Ukraine. People living near the Chernobyl power plant, for example, faced serious public health threats due to the plant’s mismanagement long before the 1986 disaster that released huge amounts of radioactive material into the environment.

And that’s just part of a narrative of exploitation and militarization that has spanned decades.

Part of that history has to do with the imperial and colonial appetites that are so present in the narrative we hear from Putin, and all of his pseudo-historical interpretations of Russia-Ukraine relations,” Matviyenko said.

The series was curated by Molly Brunson, REEES faculty director and associate professor of Slavic languages ​​and literatures and art history, and Marta Kuzma, professor of art and former dean of the Yale School of Art, who felt the urgency to react after the invasion, to reflect on how war reveals the fragility of humanity and the “contingency of existence”, and to address the interdependence of art and of politics in societies at war.

Kuzma, who spent the 1990s in kyiv, where she was founding director of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, tapped into her own personal network to create these events and moderate each of the discussions. Kuzma’s intention was to address the responses of the artistic, academic and intellectual community within war-torn Ukraine with networks of solidarity across disciplines and countries with the aim of conveying the revised role of the artist. and of the cultural producer in such a precarious context.

We felt it was necessary to bring people together in conversation to address these issues as they arose,” Brunson said. “Furthermore, the dialogue structure allowed us to respond quickly to pressing topics as they arose, meeting the critical education needs of the Yale community and general public, amplifying the voices of Eastern Europe and encouraging the community during such a difficult time. .”

For more information on upcoming events and to watch all the conversations in the series, visit the Humanity Dialogues website.

The 10 best and worst states for working mothers in 2022, according to a new report Sun, 08 May 2022 14:00:01 +0000

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, women taking on work and childcare responsibilities have suffered adverse effects on their careers.

Recent research by the US Census Bureau, based on information from the Current population surveyfound that about 10 million American mothers living with school-aged children were not actively working in January 2021, an increase of 1.4 million from pre-pandemic levels.

As working mothers re-enter the workforce, there are places where they can better balance work and family life, according to WalletHub. last reportwhich ranks the best and worst states for working moms in 2022.

To compile the list, WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared 50 states and the District of Columbia on three key dimensions: childcare, career opportunities, and work-life balance.

Seventeen metrics were used, including childcare costs, gender pay gap and parental leave policy score, and the metrics were weighted differently. The overall score was calculated using weighted averages for all parameters in each state.

According to WalletHub’s report, here are the top 10 states for working moms:


Total score: 62.99

Child care rating: 4

Work-life balance ranking: 1


Total score: 62.95

Child care rating: 5

Work-life balance ranking: 5

3. Rhode Island

Total score: 61.99

Child care rating: 7

Work-life balance ranking: 2

4. Minnesota

Total score: 59.79

Childcare Rating: 1

Work-life balance ranking: 15


Total score: 57.57

Child care rating: 6

Work-life balance ranking: 10

6. District of Columbia

Total score: 57.35

Childcare Ranking: 11

Work-life balance ranking: 7

7. Vermont

Total score: 55.40

Child care rating: 9

Work-life balance ranking: 9

8. New Jersey

Total score: 55.26

Child care rating: 15

Work-life balance ranking: 8

9. New York

Total score: 53.53

Childcare Rating: 3

Work-life balance ranking: 13

10.New Hampshire

Total score: 52.19

Child care rating: 8

Work-life balance ranking: 34

WalletHub also identified the 10 worst states for working moms in its report: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Idaho, Nevada, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, and California.

According to David Rothwell, an associate professor at Oregon State University and an expert featured in the report, the top five indicators when evaluating the best states for working moms include “cost of daycare, accessibility to daycare , state policy on paid family leave, state policy on sick leave, and housing costs.

New York took first place for best child care systems while Connecticut took first place for lowest gender pay gap. The District of Columbia claimed a No. 1 spot for the highest ratio of female executives to male executives.

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Celebrating our RIT College of Science retirees for 2021-2022 | college of science Thu, 05 May 2022 18:09:47 +0000

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 College of Science retirees! As faculty or staff, our retirees have played an essential role in the success of our college. Like all RIT retirees, they continue to be part of the Tiger family and have access to many things on campus, including:

Learn more about the role they played and their successful careers.

Joyce French retired after 23 years at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (CIS). As a senior personnel specialist, she was responsible for hiring students in the department. Joyce’s top priority was always to ensure that CIS’s 100+ students were paid in full and on time.

Prior to joining the CIS administrative staff in 2002, Joyce worked in the CIS Silver Halide Research Laboratory as a research scientist for eight years. This work resulted in five publications with Rich Hailstone. Prior to joining RIT in the early 90s, she was a research technician at Kodak Research Laboratories working with silver halide materials for use in conventional photography. Joyce’s strong work ethic and dedication to students will be missed!

portrait of retired Karin HarrimanKarin Harriman retired from RIT in April 2022 after assuming the position of Associate Registrar for Course Planning and Enrollment at St. John Fisher College. Karin has been the Planning Officer for the College of Science since 2018.

Prior to joining COS, Karin served as Administrative Assistant to the Dean and Operations Coordinator in her roles at Saunders College of Commerce from 2012 to 2018 and served as Curriculum Archivist/Sr. Personnel Assistant at NTID from 2006 to 2012. Karin’s long and distinguished service at RIT enhanced every unit she served and RIT owes her a debt of gratitude for her diligent and collegial service throughout her career at laughs. We will keep fond memories of her and wish her the best in her future endeavours.

portrait of retired Jeff LodgeJeffrey Lodge, Associate Professor at the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences (GSoLS), retired after a long and distinguished 35-year career at RIT. Dr. Lodge with Drs. Irene Evans, Jean Douthwright and Robert Rothman led the implementation of the BS in Biotechnology program. Specifically, Dr. Lodge has been instrumental in developing and teaching a plethora of courses integrating hands-on experiential learning with a laboratory component, such as Food Microbiology, Wastewater Microbiology, Bioremediation, environmental microbiology and bioenergy, among others.

Dr. Lodge has also served as director of the master’s program in environmental science. Dr. Lodge provided impactful and quality service to the GSoLS, College of Science and RIT, and will be greatly missed by his students and colleagues. We wish him a happy retirement.

portrait of retiree Don McKeownDonald McKeown was project manager and researcher emeritus in the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory (DIRS). Don earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1982. He spent 20 years in the industry at Eastman Kodak supporting operations and leading technology development programs for loads useful for satellite remote sensing. Since 2001

Don has supported the DIRS lab with program development, program management, and system engineering for a wide variety of projects with a focus on airborne imaging systems (manned and unmanned).

portrait of retired Navalgund RaoNavalgund Rao joined the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at RIT in the late 1980s. His teaching and research was in the areas of medical imaging, digital imaging, and signal processing, with an emphasis on ultrasound imaging. The main focus of his most recent research has been the development of photoacoustic imaging technology and its application to the management of thyroid, prostate and breast diseases.

This research was a collaboration between Rao and Vikram Dogra, MD, professor of radiology and urology in the Department of Imaging Sciences at URMC, where Rao held an adjunct position. RIT and UR hold a joint patent on Rao and Dogra’s prototype imaging device.

photo of retired David RossDavid Ross, Professor at the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences (SMS), is retiring after 16 years of teaching and research at RIT. David’s many contributions will leave a lasting legacy at the school. He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Ph.D. program in mathematical modeling as well as the school’s current strategic plan and is known as a caring mentor to his students and colleagues.

His non-traditional academic career path, working as an applied mathematician in industrial companies before joining RIT, gave him a unique perspective and contributed significantly to students’ learning experiences. David’s contributions to the field will not end with his retirement, as he plans to continue his work using mathematical modeling in research related to the study of Alzheimer’s disease and oncology. We thank David for his many years with RIT and wish him the best in his future endeavours. David, you will be greatly missed!

portrait of pensioner Kalathur SanthanamKSV Santhanam, a professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science, has retired after 24 years of excellent teaching, research and service. KSV has excelled in multidisciplinary electrochemistry/nanotechnology/sensor research, which has contributed to numerous on-campus collaborations.

He has held positions such as director of the graduate program in materials science and engineering (MS&E), coordinator of the RIT undergraduate summer research symposium, initiator of two five-year BS/MS programs of MS&E with Chemistry and Microelectronics, and creator of the RIT Materials Research Chapter. The Society’s Student Affiliate Program. Her research with undergraduate and graduate students has resulted in numerous well-cited publications and co-authorship of a number of textbooks, including “CLEAN ENERGY Hydrogen/Fuel Cells Laboratory Manual” and ” Introduction to Hydrogen Technology”. He was elected to the European Union Academy of Sciences as a Fellow in 2016 and has a US patent on graphene and another provisional patent on black brass. He will be missed at RIT and we wish him the best in his retirement.

We wish a very happy retirement to our retirees!

]]> The Vanderbilt Hustler | ‘A death sentence’: Vanderbilt professor sues university over in-person teaching tenure Tue, 03 May 2022 06:00:00 +0000

Associate professor of philosophy Idit Dobbs-Weinstein has filed a civil lawsuit court case against Vanderbilt on March 15, who claims she suffered “unlawful disability-related discrimination” because of the university’s imposed in-person instruction policies for faculty. She claims she has the right to teach remotely as a disability accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA) and the Tennessee Individuals with Disabilities Act (ADT).

Dobbs-Weinstein filed the lawsuit after Vanderbilt denied his request to teach remotely for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters as a disability accommodation. March 25, 2021, Vanderbilt announcement that in-person classes would resume at the start of the fall 2021 semester.

“The main thing to ask is the question ‘cui bono’ [who benefits]?… Why are they punishing me for being disabled? says Dobbs-Weinstein. ” For me, it’s [COVID-19] would be a death sentence.

In the lawsuit, Dobbs-Weinstein seeks compensation for lost income and benefits, as well as damage to reputation, emotional distress and mental anguish.

“It affected me psychologically and physically. It really does a lot of damage,” Dobbs-Weinstein said. proof of Vanderbilt’s arrogance.”

Request for accommodation and response from the university

Dobbs-Weinstein is 72 years old and suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung conditions, according to the lawsuit. Therefore, the lawsuit says Dobbs-Weinstein qualifies under ADA Section 101 and faces heightened risks from COVID-19.

“I believe that I have been discriminated against because of my medical disabilities and retaliation for making accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the lawsuit states.

According to court documents, Vanderbilt’s reasonable accommodations manager, Caitlin Bird, asked Dr. Melissa Warren, assistant professor of allergy, pulmonary medicine, and critical care at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (SUVM), to complete a medical information request form for Dobbs-Weinstein on February 3, 2022, to verify Dobbs-Weinstein’s claim for accommodation. That same day, Warren wrote to the Vanderbilt administration approving Dobbs-Weinstein’s request for accommodation. Warren did not respond to The Hustler’s request for comment.

“I am writing to inform you that Ms. Dobbs-Weinstein should continue to teach remotely or be granted a new in-person teaching exemption after 2/4/2022,” Warren wrote in her statement included in the lawsuit. “She is seen in my office for chronic lung disease as well as additional comorbidities that put her at increased risk of developing disease.”

According to an email obtained by the Hustler, Bird offered temporary distance learning to Dobbs-Weinstein until February 11, 2022. On February 19, 2022, Bird informed Dobbs-Weinstein in an email that his extension of distance learning was over. The email asks Dobbs-Weinstein to return to in-person teaching by Feb. 21 or consider taking unpaid leave for the remainder of the semester.

“An additional accommodation option we could discuss is unpaid leave for the remainder of the spring 2022 semester,” Bird said in the email.

The lawsuit says that on March 8, Bird offered Dobbs-Weinstein paid leave until August 15, 2022, as an accommodation. Bird acknowledged Warren’s medical opinion regarding Dobbs-Weinstein’s need for accommodation, but cited Vanderbilt’s in-person teaching policies as the basis for his decision. Bird did not respond to The Hustler’s request for comment.

“The university’s educational model is based on in-person instruction, and distance education is no longer an option now that COVID-19 cases have declined to the average level per CDC guidelines, and the vaccination is available,” Bird said in the E-mail to Dobbs-Weinstein detailing the decision.

Concerns about the university’s housing offer

Dobbs-Weinstein said paid leave was not a satisfactory accommodation for his medical needs and his obligations as a professor. She and Braun filed a movement for a temporary injunction on March 16 to allow Dobbs-Weinstein to teach remotely until his case is heard. However, the temporary injunction was not approved.

“They wanted to force me to take medical leave, and initially they offered me unpaid leave,” Dobbs-Weinstein said. “I don’t do that to my students.

The Hustler was unable to independently confirm that Dobbs-Weinstein was offered unpaid leave by the university.

Richard Braun, Dobbs-Weinstein’s attorney, emailed Vanderbilt Associate General Counsel Allison Cotton in response to Bird’s decision to deny Dobbs-Weinstein a distance education option on March 9. Warren also wrote to Cotton about the decision, pointing to the previous medical necessity letter she wrote.

“I learned that she [Dobbs-Weinstein’s] accommodation request for distance learning during the ongoing COVID pandemic ascend is denied,” Warren wrote. “This letter of medical necessity supports Professor Dobbs-Weinstein’s continued distance education, as her multiple underlying health conditions predispose her to significant risk if exposed to COVID.”

Likewise, in his response to the university, Braun touched on issues he says aren’t addressed by the university’s accommodations, particularly regarding how Dobbs-Weinstein oversees a Ph.D. candidate and an undergraduate student pursuing an honors thesis, as well as attends conferences. Dobbs-Weinstein also alleges his salary increase for 2022-23 is based on factors affected by paid leave. The Hustler could not independently verify the impact of the decision on Dobbs-Weinstein’s compensation.

According to Dobbs-Weinstein, career development opportunities such as research funds and upcoming conferences also depend on her ability to continue teaching and advising students.

“She has already approved research funds for conferences in Paris and Rome,” Braun said in the email to Cotton.

Dobbs-Weinstein also alleges that Vanderbilt already has an infrastructure in place to zoom people into their classes, as guest speakers were zoomed into her classes throughout the semester. In the spring semester of 2022, she said guest lecturers Martin Schuster, Jay Bernstein and Espen Hammer spoke to his classes via Zoom.

“Why can other people zoom in and I can’t? asked Dobbs-Weinstein. “That’s when you see how punitive it is… It’s pure arbitrariness, and that’s what’s most disturbing.”

Dobbs-Weinstein also said she was frustrated with the university’s alleged lack of direct communication with her regarding her request and their alleged attempts to disconnect her from other faculties. The civil suit cites that Vanderbilt “failed or refused to engage in good faith in an interactive dialogue regarding” Dobbs-Weinstein’s accommodation request.

“They even inhibited my [department] president to talk to me except through the attorneys,” Dobbs-Weinstein said.

However, the university disputed those claims in an emailed statement to The Hustler.

“While this legal action is ongoing, the university and Professor Dobbs-Weinstein are communicating appropriately about these matters through their legal counsel,” a Vanderbilt spokesperson said in an email. at the Hustler. “Professor Dobbs-Weinstein and her department chair continue to communicate directly about other aspects of her research, teaching, and service.”

Alleged Effects of Decision and Virtual Learning on Student Education

In a academic statement emailed to The Hustler, Vanderbilt again said offering distance education and learning options is incompatible with the university’s mission and operations.

“As of fall 2021, the university has communicated to members of the Vanderbilt community that offering synchronous and remote options via Zoom or other tools is inconsistent with the university’s decision to return to in-person instruction and could potentially cause equity issues between students,” read the statement. “We are supporting faculty by providing asynchronous options for students in quarantine and isolation.

In a March 7 interview with The Hustler, Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said professors are allowed to hold Zoom classes if they are quarantined due to having contracted COVID-19 or being identified as a close contact. According to Diermeier, exceptions would be made for professors “because they are the ones who teach”. “We wanted to commit to a complete return to face-to-face teaching”

Dobbs-Weinstein hit back at the university’s assertion about distance education, saying it can be an important and effective option if needed.. In fact, she says the decision has had a negative effect on her students’ school experience. Per Dobbs-Weinstein, the replacement instructors assigned to his spring 2022 classes, while also being faculty members of the Department of Philosophy, do not have the same specialization as her. Dobbs-Weinstein further asserts that distance education cannot provide her students with the same “educational experience” that she could have given to her background and experience.

“It’s not just that they’re punishing me; they punish my students,” Dobbs-Weinstein said.

A same-sex marriage kings Calvin University Sat, 30 Apr 2022 20:46:00 +0000

In December, officials at Calvin University, a Christian school in Grand Rapids, Mich., voted to renew a two-year teaching contract for Joe Kuilema, an associate professor of sociology. Eight days later, the provost received photos of Kuilema officiating a same-sex wedding.

One of the women in the Oct. 15, 2021, ceremony, Nicole Sweda, was also a Calvin employee, school officials later learned. She has since resigned.

Now the private university affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC) is rescinding its recommendation to reappoint Kuilema. In a seven-page memo sent to Kuilema by Provost Noah Toly, school officials cited the professor’s failure to consult his department dean, the provost, or the president about officiating the same-sex wedding. The memo, obtained by Calvin’s student newspaper chimes, included a summary from the dean of Kuilema’s department, Benita Wolters-Fredlund, who called his decision “a serious lapse of judgment.” She added that Sweda and Kuilema both were “clearly and unambiguously accountable to Calvin’s staff handbook, which only condones sexual relations within the confines of marriage between one man and one woman.”

Kuilema has taught at Calvin since 2008. The Board of Trustees previously denied his tenure in 2018 due to his “tone and strategy” regarding LGBTQ advocacy. But the board gave him a two-year renewable contract that was up for approval for a second time last fall.

Now, the university’s decision to terminate Kuilema’s contract has sparked complaints and petitions among some students who chalked “Keep Kuilema” on campus sidewalks and handed out LGBTQ flags. An April 19 faculty letter to the Board of Trustees urged members to reappoint Kuilema. It stated his actions mirror those of local CRC congregations, including the one where Kuilema serves as an elder, that have determined the denomination’s policy on Biblical marriage is “unacceptably narrow.” The letter included 88 signatures—64 from current faculty members and 24 from staffers and professors emeriti.

Calvin’s Board of Trustees sent an email to students and staff on April 23 stating that while LGBTQ people “should be welcomed and included,” the university must abide by CRC positions stating “that sexual orientation is not something that anyone decides for themselves, that sexual acts are a choice, and that those that fall outside of a covenantal union between one man and one woman do not reflect God’s intentions or desires for God’s people.”

The controversy over how the school handled Kuilema’s reappointment has highlighted growing tensions among faculty and students. The university seeks to welcome LGBTQ-identifying students and diverse perspectives while upholding its denominational standard that homosexual activity is sinful but homosexual orientation is not.

Provost Toly said Calvin is not unique as it grapples with a “changing landscape of pressures and new opportunities” in caring for the school’s LGBTQ students. “These include increasing pressures from all sides, pressures to loosen our approach, and pressures to become even more restrictive,” he told me.

Other Christian colleges and universities face similar pressures. Faculty and students at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian school affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, clashed with the school’s Board of Trustees after it declined to change its policy of requiring faculty members to affirm a statement upholding marriage as between a man and a woman. In April 2021, after the board’s decision, 72 percent of faculty members voted “no confidence” in the trustees.

Two Mennonite schools, Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College, updated their nondiscrimination policies in 2015 to permit the hiring of faculty in gay marriages.

At Calvin, one problem is that a number of local CRC-affiliated congregations, including the one where Kuilema serves as an elder, Sherman Street Church of Grand Rapids, have veered from abiding by the denomination’s positions on sexuality and Biblical marriage.

Sherman Street Church states that in November 2020, it decided to permit LGBTQ people “to receive the Lord’s Supper, be ordained to all offices of the church, preach, be married, have their children baptized, and fill all leadership roles.” Another Grand Rapids church, Neland Avenue CRC, appointed a deacon in a same-sex marriage in 2020.

Kuilema did not respond to WORLD’s email request for comment.

The CRC’s annual synod meets at Calvin in June. It is expected to approve a report affirming the church’s Biblical beliefs, including about same-sex marriage and gender identity.

Matt Kucinski, assistant director of media relations, said that Calvin University allows faculty members and students to disagree with the CRC position but expects them to abide by it. The school sponsors a support group for LGBT students. Last year, Calvin students elected a student body president who announced she was gay in a chimes last fall item.

The faculty and staff members who opposed the university’s decision to terminate Kuilema argued his actions “occurred within the bounds of his personal life.”

“Same-sex marriage is legalized in all 50 states. … A legal, personal action has become an employment matter, which sets a troubling precedent,” they wrote. I reached out to several faculty members who signed their names. One religion professor emeritus, Kenneth Pomykala, responded that he agreed with the letter’s content.

According to the memo from Wolters-Fredlund, Kuilema said he received approval to officiate Sweda and her partner’s wedding from his program chair and director along with Sherman Street Church elders, pastors, and the leader of its church council. Kuilema plans to appeal the university’s decision about his reappointment, according to chimes.

Sweda resigned from Calvin in March. The university reached an agreement with the Center for Social Research, where Sweda was a research associate, for the center to become a separate legal entity, in part over its desire to include employees involved in LGBT relationships.

“I would not have come to Calvin if I knew the kind of things that were going to happen to me and what was going on,” Sweda told chimes.

MuseumTalks is hosting a paleontology conference on April 29 with Celina Suarez Thu, 28 Apr 2022 05:13:10 +0000

Photo submitted

Interested in paleontology? Looking for your next read? So join us for both at MuseumTalks: Fossils at 6 p.m. Friday, April 29 at Pearl’s Books, an independent bookstore here in Fayetteville!

Celina Suarez, associate professor of geosciences at the U of A, will talk about her recent research.

Suarez is the senior author of a publication on fossil discoveries from the Lower Cretaceous Holly Creek Formation of the Trinity Group in southwestern Arkansas. Discoveries include two new species from the Lower Cretaceous, a small skink Sciroseps pawhuskai and a fish Anomoeodus cadoias well as a variety of dinosaurs, mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles.

The fossils featured in the presentation were donated to the University of Alberta Museum last fall. A selection of them will be on display at the event for attendees to see in person. And while you’re there, take a look at the impressive selection of books at Pearl’s Books.

Suarez is the first speaker for MuseumTalks, a speaker series organized by the U of A Museum Advisory board and organized in partnership with Pearl’s books.

If attending in person, registration is appreciated. Send an email to with your name and the number of people present. Pearl’s Books is located just off the Town Center Square at 28 E. Center St., Fayetteville, AR 72701.

The conference will also be available on Zoom; Register online.

Suarez is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and an associate professor at Department of Geosciences at the U of A. She earned her BS in Geosciences from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, an MS in Geology from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Geology in 2010 from the University of Kansas. She was also an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Boise State University. Suarez’s research focuses on using trace element and stable isotope geochemistry of fossil vertebrates, invertebrates, and paleosols to understand fossil preservation, past greenhouse climates, and major climatic changes caused by disturbances. of Cycle C. Her research has taken her to the United States, China, South Africa and Lesotho.

Harouna Maïga, Ph.D. Wins Horace T. Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching – Crookston Times Mon, 25 Apr 2022 21:46:23 +0000

University of Minnesota Crookston

Since 1965, the Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching has been awarded to a select group of teachers who reflect the University’s emphasis on the importance of high quality undergraduate education. Those who receive this award become members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers (ADT). The title “Distinguished University Teaching Professor” or “Distinguished University Teacher” is conferred on recipients.

This year, Harouna Maiga, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Minnesota Crookston, is one of the recipients of this prestigious university-wide award. Maiga’s expertise is in animal and equine science and agriculture education. During his more than two-decade career at the University of Minnesota Crookston, he taught generations of students at Crookston and in his home country of Mali. He is more interested in the personal and professional growth of a student.

In typical UMN Crookston fashion, Maiga provides experiential and hands-on learning for its students. His former students appreciate the opportunities he has given them. Samantha (Lukas) Adams, a 2003 animal industries management graduate, wrote that visiting a dairy farm with 10,000 cows as part of a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) trip with Maiga allowed him to succeed in regulating feedlot operations. from a practical point of view. “Dr. Maiga is an innovative teacher and a strong advocate for undergraduate teaching and learning. He brings his wealth of international agricultural industry experience to the classroom,” said Anthony Kern, Ph. D., Head of Division for Agriculture, Natural Sciences and Technology.

“He (Maiga) is the driving force behind the internationalization of teaching and learning on the Crookston campus,” said Venugopal Mukku, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology. Maiga was one of the first faculty members to offer study abroad opportunities to his students. “I had never traveled abroad and immediately became addicted to Dr. Maiga’s inspiration and taste for inquisition and adventure,” said 2021 graduate Eleora De-Muth.

Maiga describes her relationship with students: “I care deeply about students and their achievements. I am passionate about advising and mentoring students, as I believe that advising is the key to a student’s success in college and in their future career. It’s no wonder he received a steady stream of accolades. The following awards testify to the high regard that his students, colleagues and profession have for his teaching and scholarship.

A number of his alumni have shared how his mentorship has played a crucial role in their academic and professional careers. One of Maiga’s specialties is her ability to guide students beyond their comfort zone to reach their maximum potential and be exposed to the global world. Many of his former students remember how he motivated and encouraged them to pursue studies abroad, participate in undergraduate research, publish the results, and apply for admission to graduate schools.

Maiga’s personal story inspires his students, many of whom are first generation students like him. They relate well to his struggles and how he overcame them through a constant search for a better education. His roots in animal science and agriculture go back to his childhood in Mali. He grew up on his family’s cattle farm, where he herded cattle. Maiga describes her opportunities for higher education as an extreme challenge. Thus was born a passion for her. “It has become a driving force in my life to encourage and facilitate the education and learning of students who are facing challenges in their academic and personal lives,” says Maiga.

League of Women Voters and Washburn professors will host a discussion on CRT Sat, 23 Apr 2022 18:17:00 +0000

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The League of Women Voters will host a presentation on Critical Race Theory at the Topeka Shawnee Co. Public Library with guest speakers hailing from Washburn University.

Members of League of Women Voters of Topeka and Shawnee County say they will host a presentation on Critical Race Theory at noon on Tuesday, May 3 at the Topeka Shawnee Co. Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave.

The League said attendees will hear from Dr. Tom Prasch, professor and chair of the history and geography department, as well as Dr. Kara Kendall-Morwick, associate professor of English. Both lecturers hail from Washburn University as distinguished faculty members.

The League also said residents will be able to join the meeting virtually for those who prefer not to attend in person. Those attending the event in person will be encouraged to wear a mask in the library.

Members said the meeting is free and open to the public, however lunch will not be offered as part of the event. Millennium Cafe will be open on site and will offer lunches for those who wish to purchase one.

The League said it is a nonpartisan political organization intended to empower residents to actively participate in their government at the local, state and federal levels. Both men and women are welcome to join the League and participate in volunteer activities.

Those wishing to participate online do not need to register for the event and can access the stream HERE.

For any questions, residents can email connect@tscpl.

Copyright 2022 WIBW. All rights reserved.

Climate change encourages owners to reconsider legacy towns Thu, 21 Apr 2022 11:50:01 +0000

Millions of Americans live in communities with precarious climatic conditions, in houses that seem too expensive.

There is, however, a solution for many of these people: moving to one of the so-called climate paradises.

Climate havens or climate destinations are located in places that avoid the worst effects of natural disasters and have the necessary infrastructure to support a larger population. Many of these legacy towns are located in the northeast.

Climate paradises, as defined by Jesse Keenan and Anna Marandi.


Jesse Keenan, associate professor of real estate at Tulane University, singled out the following cities as possible climate havens:

  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Madison, Wis.
  • Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Rochester, NY

Anna Marandi, who served as the climate resilience and sustainability program manager at the National League of Cities, added four more locations to the list of safe havens: Ann Arbor, Michigan; Charleston, South Carolina; Chico, California; and perhaps surprisingly, Orlando, Florida.

Orlando is making the cut, Marandi said, as the city introduced decarbonization measures. Although the natural environment, such as being a non-coastal city, is an advantage, cities can “earn” the designation by striving to provide benefits such as affordable housing and committing to economic sustainability.

“I see climate migration as an opportunity for these cities to avoid the mistakes of urban sprawl,” Marandi said. “They often have a bustling, walkable downtown area that might need a bit of revitalization.”

Keenan also stressed that climate refuge cities need to help their own residents, which in turn will attract more climate migrants.

“We are not the ones who are going to build a community for tomorrow,” he said. “We’re going to build a community for today. And that will be the foundation for building a community for tomorrow.”

Watch the video to learn more about life in climate paradise cities and how this new pattern of migration can help grow local economies.