Professors who appeared on Academic Minute with NPR

St. Thomas Faculty Share Research in Takeover of NPR’s Academic Minute

The week of Sept. 25 kicked off the University of St. Thomas takeover of NPR’s “The Academic Minute series. The segment is a two-and-a-half-minute daily segment that features researchers from schools around the world. NPR invited five groundbreaking researchers from St. Thomas to share their findings to help listeners better understand the world. Each segment was also published on Inside Higher Ed.

Bryana French: Radically Healing Racial Trauma 

Dr. Bryana French, the associate chair in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, shares her research about radically healing racial trauma. “The psychology of radical healing asserts that resisting oppression and creating better possibilities are both necessary to heal from racial trauma,” French said. “In essence, the psychology of radical healing is designed to address the root causes of racism while helping BIPOC live joyful, thriving lives.” Her research and expertise consist of multicultural counseling development, social justice advocacy, sexual violence recovery, radical healing for Black, Indigenous and people of color, and also intersectionality of race/racism and gender/sexism.  

Chelda Smith: Pedagogy of Humanization 

Dr. Chelda Smith is an associate professor of education specializing in culturally sustaining pedagogy. Her main focus emphasizes the fact that who you are affects how you teach. “Pedagogy of humanization requires an assumption of each individual’s worth, goodness, intelligence, beauty or morality, including the self,” Smith said. “When teachers practice a pedagogy of humanization, students’ cultures, identities and strengths are appreciated, and more importantly (that) the teacher invests in children to set them up for success by meeting their equitable needs.” 

Mahmoud Kabalan: What Is a Microgrid?

Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan is an assistant professor of electrical engineering, with a primary focus on microgrids. He is also the director of the Center for Microgrid Research at the University of St. Thomas. Kabalan led and supervised the St. Thomas Microgrid, a $3 million real-world industry-grade microgrid. “Microgrids are increasingly being recognized as a key solution for ensuring resilient power at critical facilities such as hospitals, military bases and community centers,” Kabalan said. “As the need for resilient and sustainable energy systems continues to grow, microgrids are likely to play an increasingly important role in meeting these needs.” 

Roxanne Prichard: Changing Students’ Lives Through Better Sleep 

Professor of Psychology Dr. Roxanne Prichard strives to change the lives of students by bettering their sleeping habits. Prichard has designed popular courses on sleeping and dreaming, has led workshops for college professionals on sleep, and has served on the NCAA Taskforce for Sleep and Well-being. “The adolescent mental health crisis could have a surprisingly simple remedy: help students get better sleep,” Prichard said. “These are problems we must address so that students can protect their mental health through good sleep.” 

David Grenardo: Compensating College Athletes for Playing  

David A. Grenardo is a professor of law and the associate director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions. He looks into the reality of how college athletes should be compensated for playing a sport. “One option for the inevitable pay-for-play is the Duke Model, which is a completely performance-based model,” Grenardo said. “The more an athlete plays and produces on the court or field, the more they would earn. The Duke Model provides great flexibility in which conferences and schools could add or delete categories of compensation and adjust the compensation levels based on available funds.”