University of Delaware

For the Record, Nov. 16, 2012

Campus community reports recent presentations, publications


10:16 a.m., Nov. 16, 2012--For the Record provides information about recent professional activities of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Recent presentations, projects and publications include the following:

Campus Stories

From graduates, faculty

As it neared time for the processional to open the University of Delaware Commencement ceremonies, graduating students and faculty members shared their feelings about what the event means to them.

Doctoral hooding

It was a day of triumph, cheers and collective relief as more than 160 students from 21 nations participated in the University of Delaware's Doctoral Hooding Convocation held Friday morning on The Green.


Rudi Matthee, John and Dorothy Munroe Professor of History, presented "The Decline of the Safavid Empire in Comparative Perspective," at the Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, Nov. 12.

David Wunsch, director of the Delaware Geological Survey and state geologist, and Peter McLaughlin, senior scientist with the Delaware Geological Survey, attended the annual meeting Geological Society of America in Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 4-7. Wunsch gave a presentation titled “Career Opportunities for Geoscientists in the Policy Arena and Related Sectors.” McLaughlin gave a presentation titled “Miocene Lithostratigraphy, Sequence Stratigraphy, and Aquifer Mapping and in the Central Delmarva Peninsula,” and three poster presentations, “Facies and Depositional Environments in the Non-Marine Cretaceous Deposits of the Potomac Formation, Northern Delaware: Implications for Aquifer Sand Connectivity,” “Seismic Imaging and Hydrogeologic Characterization of the Potomac Formation in Northern New Castle County, Delaware,” and “Paleosols and Pedogenesis of the Potomac Formation in Delaware and New Jersey.”

Gabriele Bauer, associate director, Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning, presented a session titled “Pixels for Future Faculty: The Role of the Academic ePortfolio” at the annual conference of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, Seattle, October.

Doctoral students Lauren Clay and Jim Goetschius participated in a panel presentation on “Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Response for Vulnerable and Diverse Populations” at the American Public Health Association’s annual conference in San Francisco on Oct. 29. Their analysis of data gathered in Louisiana, Mississippi and New Hampshire by the Centers for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System indicates serious psychological distress and frequent mental distress were associated with a lack of overall preparedness. This association suggests that public health and emergency management interventions need to focus on preparedness of individuals with poor mental health in order to improve outcomes in future disasters and public health emergencies. Clay and Goetschius are doctoral students in the disaster science and management program in the School of Public Policy and Administration and research assistants at the Disaster Research Center (DRC). Their presentation was on the effect of mental health on disaster preparedness, a research project conducted with James Kendra, associate professor and DRC director, and Mia Papas, assistant professor of behavioral health and nutrition.

Laurie Rizzo, assistant librarian, Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, served as a panelist on the program "Beyond Boutique: Building a Sustainable Digital Infrastructure," Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, Oct. 26, Richmond, Va.

Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow, Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, presented "Collecting Browning," which was complimented by the exhibition "Robert Browning, 1812-1889: A Bicentenary Exhibition from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection," both for the Victorians Institute Annual Conference entitled "Victorian Mixed Media," sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University, Oct. 19-20, Richmond, Va.


Ali Poorani received a University of Delaware 2012 IT Transformation grant for his project, "Achievement Stories," which aims to answer questions like "how do we know if student learning has produced results?" and "how do we know if learners have really applied their learning to a real-life scenario?" To provide answers to these and similar questions, Poorani asserts that students and faculty, with the support of existing learning technologies, can transform student learning to Achievement Stories. The software enables students to post their achievement stories; asks students to rank best practices to create impact; share outcomes with all students; and use the best practices for teaching and reinforcing in the classroom. The grant is supported by UD’s IT Academic Technology Services.


Gabriele Bauer, associate director, Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning, authored a chapter “Effects of Classroom Environments” in Practically Speaking: A Sourcebook for Instructional Consultants in Higher Education (second edition), edited by K. Brinko, New Forums Press, 2012.

Louis L. Hirsh, former director of admisisons, is the author of "The Costs of Early-Admission Programs Are Many," a blog-post at The Chronicle of Higher Education, published Nov. 15.

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