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Sabbaticals Awarded for 2015–2016 Academic Year

Posted 02/10/2015
Submitted by Cheryl MacMath
Category: Campus Announcements

President Walter Harrison and Provost Sharon L. Vasquez are pleased to announce that the following faculty members have been awarded sabbaticals for the 2015–2016 academic year.

Associate Professor Ellen Carey (Fall Semester 2015)
Department of Photography
Hartford Art School
Professor Carey will use her sabbatical for four projects: an exhibition of her large abstract and minimal Polaroid work; serving as artist and curator for a one-person exhibition of new Polaroid 20 X 24 self-portraits, done using the large camera; continue her study of color in art (general) and photography (specifically) for scholarship and research under Women of Color: Anna Atkins, Color Photography and Those Struck by Light on the Victorian, Anna Atkins (1799-1871), photography’s first woman practitioner and its first in color; and research for an essay and a book project that includes her recent discoveries on the work of Man Ray.

Associate Professor Jonathan Daigle (Fall Semester 2015)
Department of English
Hillyer College
Professor Daigle will use his sabbatical to work on his book project, titled The Difference Progress Makes: Evolutionary Realism and the Racial Limit. The primary focus of the project is a more nuanced idea of race and its complex connections to ideas about national identity, social change, and cultural production. This project also makes an important contribution to our understanding of literary realism and of the literature-science relationship during the formation of the modern social sciences.

Associate Professor Robert Decker (Spring Semester 2016)
Department of Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Decker will use his sabbatical work with undergraduate mathematics, science, and engineering students on research in nonlinear partial differential equations.   He will also complete and submit a journal article, tentatively titled A Single Neuron Equation With Arbitrarily Many Stable Periodic Solutions.

Professor Maria Frank (Spring Semester 2016)
Department of English and Modern Languages
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Frank will use her sabbatical to complete a book project titled Boccaccio’s Jews. The book discusses the presence of Jewish characters and references in Boccaccio’s Decameron, as well as in other minor writings of this author in order to show the actual history and meaning of Boccaccio’s own depiction.

Associate Professor Benjamin Grossberg (Spring Semester 2016)
Department of English and Modern Languages
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Grossberg will use his sabbatical for two projects. He plans to complete a chapbook of poems, a series of rhymed and metered elegies. Second, in collaboration with a colleague from Trinity College, he plans to edit an anthology of poetry and short prose pieces. This anthology, an exploration of the role of money in poetry and in the lives of poets, will include work solicited from some of the most prominent poets writing today.

Associate Professor Wei (Andy) Hao (Fall Semester 2015)
Department of Management and Marketing
Barney School of Business
Professor Hao will use his sabbatical to study Consumer Animosity, an important consumer characteristic for international marketing research. This research project focuses on the associations of cultural-level values to consumer animosity dispositions. It also examines the impact of cosmopolitanism and materialism as antecedents to consumers’ animosity toward products produced in foreign countries. Data collection for this project will be conducted in three countries: the United States, China, and Russia. In spring 2016, the manuscript based on this project will be submitted to a top-tier peer reviewed journal -- Journal of International Marketing -- for publication and for presentation at a national conference -- the American Marketing Association annual conference.

Professor Harvey Jassem (Academic Year 2015–2016)
School of Communication
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Jassem will use his sabbatical to complete three projects.  The first is a book on Connecticut’s storefront signs; he proposes to take photos of signs throughout the state and document their significance. Second he will co-edit a book on legal and policy issues that impact communication in urban contexts. Finally, he will work on a journal article focusing on the digitization of movie theaters.

Associate Professor Barbara Lamberton (Fall Semester 2015)
Department of Accounting and Taxation
Barney School of Business
Professor Lamberton will use her sabbatical to advance a research agenda which examines current and emerging technology in the accounting workplace and the implications of technology on the accounting curriculum. The expected output of the project includes several high quality co-authored peer reviewed journal articles as well as development of a case that integrates technology in managerial accounting curriculum. This sabbatical will give her time to develop a case study that will give students an awareness of technology’s capabilities and may generate interest in pursuing the new concentration in Business Analytics.

Professor Robert Lang (Academic Year 2015–2016)
Department of Cinema
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Lang will use his sabbatical to continue his work on a book to be entitled, Anxious America: Mapping Social Reality in Cinema of the New Millennium. The book will examine a variety of sources of anxiety in contemporary American society linked to the theme, or trope, of trauma. Through detailed analyses of his chosen texts, this study will examine the struggle we often see in films now between the seductive simplifications of melodrama and the recognition that we need to consider some of the ways social and class relations have to be rethought in a world where local no longer drives social, political, and cultural structures.

Associate Professor Robert Leve (Academic Year 2015–2016)
Department of Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
The major goal of this sabbatical is the completion of a final draft of a book detailing Professor Leve’s research in the area of Complexity Theory and integrating that work with the writings of other Complexity theorists. The preliminary title is Predicting Chaos and Emergence in Scientific Thought and attempts to integrate the concepts of Complexity Theory with the creative process of scientific thinking. The preliminary research that he has completed has been referred to as the development of a new field of study within the area of Complexity Theory by Alfred Hubler, the executive editor of the journal Complexity.

Associate Professor Aime Levesque (Spring Semester 2016)
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Levesque will use her sabbatical to continue her research on breast cancer, focusing on mutations in key genes that are involved in protecting normal cells from aberrant cell divisions in the face of DNA damage. The primary goal of her research is to increase understanding of how p53 protects normal cells from DNA damage.

Professor Ladimer Nagurney (Academic Year 2015–2016)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture
Professor Nagurney will use his sabbatical to implement real-time Digital Signal Processing for audio signals and effects, to implement simple Software Defined Radio systems, and to investigate new applications of Digital Signal Processing.

Professor Dennis Nolan (Academic Year 2015–2016)
Department of Illustration
Hartford Art School
Professor Nolan will use his sabbatical to serve as guest curator and catalog author for an exhibition tentatively titled Wyeth, Parrish, and Rockwell: Narrative Artists and Their Teachers, to be held at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The exhibition will concentrate on the artwork of three of America’s most recognized illustrators, Maxfield Parrish, N. C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell, and the artwork of their teachers from the National Academy of Design, Art Students League, the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, and the Howard Pyle School in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Associate Professor Avinoam Patt (Spring Semester 2016)
Department of Judaic Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Patt will use his sabbatical to continue work on three separate projects.  He will continue current research (conducted this summer at the Ghetto Fighters House and Yad Vashem in Israel) on the construction of the category of resistance in the immediate postwar period. He will also continue work analyzing the findings of the “In Our Own Words” Interview Project to collect testimonies from survivors of genocides and their 2nd and 3rd generation descendants -- a project they are working to create with colleagues at the University of Hartford and partner institutions nationally and internationally.  Finally, he will edit a volume of articles on the history of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee based on conference papers.

Professor Larry Alan Smith (Academic Year 2015–2016)
Department of Composition
The Hartt School
Professor Smith will use his sabbatical to focus on five different creative projects, including two musical compositions, two pedagogical books (textbooks) and a book of poetry. The compositions will be an orchestral work, Symphony No. 4, and a large-scale work for choir. One of the textbooks was written in 1980, but in order to be considered for publication, it needs to be completely revised and updated. The other textbook will be new, requiring significant research.  Finally, Professor Smith will create a book of poetry inspired by the life and work of Gabriele D’Annunzio.

Associate Professor Mihai Tetel (Spring Semester 2016)
Division of Instrumental Studies (Cello)
The Hartt School
Professor Tetel will use his sabbatical to videotape a study guide of the complete set of 40 Etudes opus 73 by David Popper, and the creation of a new website that would serve as a source of information for serious cello students around the world. The website would be called Cello Solutions and would contain mini-lessons not only on how to approach and practice these etudes, but other standard compositions from the cello repertoire.

Professor Benjamin Toth (Spring Semester 2016)
Division of Instrumental Studies (Percussion)
The Hartt School
Professor Toth will use his sabbatical for several activities: he will teach and perform at the Vienna Conservatory and the Academy of Music in Novi Sad, Serbia; he will undertake a solo tour, including residencies at universities in Pennsylvania and Ohio, presenting master-classes, private lessons, and recitals; he will spend three weeks in Beijing, China, studying various traditional Chinese drumming traditions, and teaching and performing; he will study Cuban/Haitian hand-drumming with John Amira, Brazilian percussion lessons with Rogerio Boccato, and Middle Eastern drumming with Shane Shanahan.

Associate Professor Mark Turpin (Spring Semester 2016)
Department of Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Turpin will use his sabbatical to work on preparing a paper which will collect a set of results he has proven in past years, but has not yet published.

Associate Professor John Williams (Fall Semester 2015)
Department of Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Williams will use his sabbatical to work on two projects, one academic and one pedagogical. The academic project will be a literature review on the problem of determining how thick the boundary of the Mandelbrot set is. The pedagogical project would be to write problem sets and produce screen casts to support flipping Discrete Math II. The course is a writing intensive course for math majors and he thinks it will lend itself to this instructional method. The goal would be to use the material to teach the course in the Spring of 2016, and make the material available to others both in the department and in the mathematics community.

Associate Professor John Willis (Spring Semester 2016)
Department of Printmaking
Hartford Art School
Professor Willis will use his sabbatical to produce drawings and prints for his first solo exhibition at the Davidson Gallery, Seattle, Washington, in May 2016. He will create 15 to 20 new prints for the exhibition as well as the drawings that are the basis for the print images.

Associate Professor Fei Xue (Fall Semester 2015)
Department of Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Xue will use his sabbatical for a deep study of  the pedagogy, “flipping the classroom,” which includes how to flip a large class (more than 50 students), how to run online courses in flipping style, the characteristics of good videos for flipped mathematics courses, and how to make said good videos efficiently using technologies. This project will include collaborations with Shenzhen University and Guangdong University of Technology in China.

Associate Professor Ke Yang (Academic Year 2015–2016)
Department of Economics, Finance, and Insurance
Barney School of Business
Professor Yang will use his sabbatical for two projects; both involve developing novel statistical procedures for panel data and their applications in empirical economic researches. The first focuses on the theoretical properties of a nonparametric estimator that is designed to improve the estimation accuracy on panel data, over currently existing methods. The second project will focus on applying nonparametric methods in studying the effects of public infrastructure investment on the costs and productivity of private enterprises.

Professor Cy Yavuzturk (Fall Semester 2015)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture
Professor Yavuzturk will spend his sabbatical at the University of Wismar in Germany. He will be associated with the Kompetenzzentrum Bau in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (KBauMV), and collaborate with the Center Director Professor Dr. Olaf Niekamp and Professor Dr. Georg-Wilhelm Mainka. His research work will focus on the development and experimental validation of mathematical models to describe the thermal behavior of energy-efficient building envelope systems with specific attention to system operating and control strategies in the presence of integrated renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar applications.