Dr. Thomas J. Bushlack, Theology Department, College of Arts and Sciences, is the author of “Mindfulness and the Discernment of the Passions: Insights from Thomas Aquinas,” published in Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, vol. 14, no. 2 (Fall 2014): 141-165.
Margaret Cahill, Campus Life, and Vern Klobassa, Student Engagement, presented “Gender Matters: A Theory to Practice Program” at the Minnesota College Personnel Association Fall Conference.
Dr. Robert G. Kennedy, Catholic Studies Department, College of Arts and Sciences, is the author of Il bene che fanno gli affair (“The Good That Business Does”). An Italian book launch was held Oct. 23 at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy, and hosted by the Acton Institute.
Father David Smith, professor emeritus of theology, and Dr. Elizabeth (Liza) Burr, Theology Department, College of Arts and Sciences, are the authors of the revised second edition of Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace (Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, 2014).
Dr. John A. Spry, Finance Department, Opus College of Business, presented a paper, “The Revenue Estimator’s Curse and the Budget Process” at the 30th Annual Minnesota Policy Conference, Oct. 15, at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. AnnMarie Thomas, School of Engineering, gave the opening keynote to the Library Information Technology Association (a division of the American Library Association) 2014 forum: “from Node to Network” on Nov. 6. Thomas’ talk was on “Playing to Learn: A Maker’s Perspective.” She also gave the keynote address at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Women in Science and Technology conference. Her talk was on “Engineering +” and looked at unexpected applications of engineering.
Dr. Kimberly Vrudny, Theology Department, College of Arts and Sciences, is the author of a critical essay, “Artists as Prophets and Visionaries: An Ubuntu-Inspired Renewal of Christianity,” which was published in the catalog of images accompanying the traveling exhibition, Between the Shadow and the Light (Grand Rapids: Calvin College, 2014), pp. 31-41. The exhibit is the culmination of a project launched by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, which funded a travel seminar and studio in 2013 for 10 scholar-artists from North America to study in an intentional community for two weeks in Johannesburg and Cape Town with scholar-artists from varying countries in Africa (Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa). The group of artists from North America, selected after a highly competitive process, met with South African artists, commissioners from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to learn about issues with which South African artists have been wrestling in the decades since apartheid was overturned. Coined the “R5” seminar and studio in South Africa, the group focused on remembrance, resistance, reconciliation, representation and re-visioning. Upon their return to their respective countries, each artist created a work in response to their experience. The exhibit, curated by Dr. Rachel Hostetter Smith, and which includes Vrudny’s photographic collage printed on metal, “Beauty’s Vineyard,” opened in September at Xavier University and the George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art in New Orleans. It will be traveling throughout the United States and Africa into 2018. Satellite pieces will be shown at the University of St. Thomas in 2016, directing viewers to the full exhibit, which will be shown in the gallery at Bethel University. To see a video about the seminar, click here.
Dr. Christian D. Washburn, The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, is the author of “The Theological Priority of ‘Lumen gentium’ and ‘Dei verbum’ for the Interpretation of the Second Vatican Council,” published in The Thomist 78 (2014): 107-134, and a book review of Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations on Matters of Faith and Morals by Peter Hünermann, published in Nova et Vetera 12 (2014): 597-600. Washburn also participated in the Evangelical-Catholic Dialogue of the United States, held Oct. 9-12, at the University of St. Thomas, and which examined the topic of original sin.
Dr. John Wendt, Ethics and Business Law Department, Opus College of Business, and Dr. John Miller of Troy University are co-authors of an article titled “The Concussion Crisis in the National Hockey League,” which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Contemporary Athletics.
Four St. Thomas undergraduates (two from geology, one from environmental science (biology track) and one from biology) presented the results of their research at the Geological Society of America National Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, in mid-October. The meeting was held Oct. 19-22 at the Vancouver Convention Center and was attended by 6,700 scientists from 52 countries.
- Geology major Francesca Bernardi presented research she conducted with Dr. Thomas Hickson, Geology Department, College of Arts and Sciences, on ancient lakes and microbes that survived under harsh environmental conditions in them. Using standard microscopy techniques, she was able to show how a very diverse microbial community inhabited a relatively hospitable ecological niche near a spring center in what was otherwise a very harsh lake ecosystem. This work has implications for evidence for life on Mars, interpreting past environmental conditions in the southwestern United States and oil exploration offshore of Brazil and Nigeria.
- Environmental science, bioscience major April Terres worked with Eric Stevens, geology lab coordinator, and Hickson on a project to determine the microbial biodiversity of a modern hot spring in central Nevada. This spring feeds water to the lower Pahranagat Lake, a site that might be a strong modern analog for the ancient lakes that Bernardi is investigating.
- Geology major Jacob Frahm presented a poster on ecological changes in the Pahranagat Lake area of east-central Nevada based on sediment cores taken from one of the lakes. Working with Geology Department faculty member Dr. Kevin Theissen, Frahm showed how the lake system changed over that past 2,000 years, providing an important record of environmental change in an area sorely lacking in such data.
- Biology major Cassandra Clark, working with Biology Department faculty member Dr. Jennifer McGuire, gave an oral presentation on processes of hydrocarbon biodegradation in wetland sediments. Her work is crucial to understanding the natural processes that break down groundwater contaminants in wetlands that are impacted by oil spills from pipeline breaks, railroad accidents or other spills.
Dr. Jeni McDermott, Geology Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Hickson and Stevens presented lead or co-wrote work on these topics as well as their leading work in geoscience education. Student Michael Kolles, and faculty Drs. Lisa Lamb and Kevin Theissen were co-authors on presented work but did not travel to the meeting.