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Sabbatical Announcements 2017-18

Posted 01/24/2017
Submitted by Tracey Andrews
Category: Campus Announcements

President Walter Harrison and Interim Provost Fred Sweitzer are pleased to announce that the following faculty have been awarded sabbaticals for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Associate Professor Jilda Aliotta (Fall Semester 2017)

Politics, Economics and International Studies

Professor Aliotta will use her sabbatical to complete the manuscript for a biography of Judge Jennie Loitman Barron (1891-1969), the first woman to serve as a full-time judge in Massachusetts, a post she held for 30 years. Judge Barron was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement and member of the Boston School Committee, the governing body of the Boston Public Schools. Professor Aliotta’s time will be used to focus on revising and readying the seven-chapter book for publication.

Associate Professor Caryn Christensen (Fall Semester 2017)

Psychology Department

Dr. Christensen will use her sabbatical leave to revisit research focused on the heuristics and biases in professional decision-making, primarily in the health area. She will be investigating hypotheses related to health policy decisions as they pertain to the use of medical tests and avoidance tendencies. Subjects for her investigations will be patients, medical students, residents and physicians. In addition, students enrolled in University of Hartford cognitive psychology courses will have the opportunity to serve as research assistants.

Associate Professor Douglas Eichar (Fall Semester 2017)

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Professor Eichar will use his sabbatical to continue work on a new book The Racial Foundations of American Exceptualism exploring racist underpinnings in American ideology. He examines how racism, in addition to individualism, egalitarianism and volunteerism, has played a role in the origin and maintenance of many of America’s institutions.

Professor Warren Goldstein (Spring Semester 2018)

Department of History

Professor Goldstein will use his sabbatical to complete the manuscript of a book Passing the Baton: A New History of the African American Freedom Movement. It will be a reinterpretation of themes and events currently held in historical mythology. It is meant to be a book of interest to a general audience with information to transform long held views of the African-American freedom movement.

Professor Leonard Milling (Spring Semester 2018)

Department of Psychology

Professor Milling plans to complete two projects. The first will involve continued research on hypnosis with a focus on understanding its use in controlling pain. He is specifically interested in examining what particular personality traits are most (or least) likely to benefit from hypnosis as a treatment for relieving pain. His second project aims to improve procedures associated with the subject pool registry and selection within the Psychology Department and will involve converting from a paper process of candidate selection to an online process.

Assistant Professor Beth Richards (Academic Year 2017-2018)

Department of English and Modern Languages

Professor Richards will use her sabbatical to conduct research for a book-length project that combines two writing forms: memoir/personal essay and science writing. The topic – the science of water – will be approached from the standpoint of a reflective adult (rather than a scientist) who observes how the Florida aquifer shaped her existence as a native of Florida. It will be an intimate examination of mysterious blue holes, sinkholes, underground springs and rivers.

Associate Professor Natasha Segool (Spring Semester 2018)

Department of Psychology

Professor Segool will use her sabbatical to pursue three separate projects. The first project is the completion of two manuscripts for publication based on research that examines effective and ineffective instructional practices, accountability pressures, teacher wellbeing and student experience. The second project is the preparation of a grant application to seek funding for two graduate psychology students to train and work in underserved communities in Connecticut. Project #3 involves developing an undergraduate course to acquaint and support the recruitment of students into the field of school psychology.

Associate Professor Erin Striff (Academic Year 2017-2018)

Department of English and Modern Languages

Professor Striff will use her sabbatical to complete drafts of two different novels. The first novel The Smell of Last Year, intended for middle-school aged students, is the story of a 12 year-old girl who lost her sense of smell and how it amplifies the angst typically associated with that age. The larger theme of the work is the way smell is linked with memory and connections to people and experiences. Erin will also be completing a novel for adults The Ghost Archive about a woman who wants to use photographs as a way to uncover the truth about a family secret. It is an exploration of memory and identity from a completely different angle.


Associate Professor Adam Goodworth (Spring Semester 2018)

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Professor Goodworth will use his sabbatical to further his ongoing studies in balance control in infants and children with severe neurological deficits. He will be completing analysis of three years of collected data and begin study of therapeutic horseback riding (hippotherapy) for children with disabilities. He will be focusing on how additional trunk support can be developed to benefit children with more severe impairments.

Associate Professor Claudia Oakes (Spring Semester 2018)

Department of Health Sciences and Nursing

Professor Oakes will use her sabbatical to complete a variety of related projects. The first is centered on the creation of a certificate or minor course of study in the area of Gerontology. After researching curricular offerings at other institutions and consulting with colleagues, specific program requirements will be proposed. Professor Oakes also plans to complete a certification as a Dementia Care Trainer and develop a 3-credit undergraduate course in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, she will be investigating a possible service-learning partnership with an assisted living facility that specializes in dementia care. Moreover, she plans to complete work on a research manuscript reporting data from several service-learning course projects.   


Associate Professor Cat Balco (Academic Year 2017 - 2018)

Department of Fine Arts

Professor Balco will use her sabbatical to complete a series of large abstract paintings called Strike Zone, in which she will use color and painterly gesture to reflect the mechanical and human rhythms of manufacturing. The paintings will be developed from drawings, photographs and interviews taken from Connecticut factories. In addition, Professor Balco will be creating an online blog of writings about contemporary abstract painters.

Professor Alexandra Onuf (Academic Year 2017 - 2018)

Department of Art History

Professor Onuf will use her two-semester sabbatical to work on two projects. The first is completion of a book project entitled The ‘Small Landscape’ Prints in Early Modern Netherlands, which is under contract with Routledge Press. The first half of the sabbatical will be used to complete final edits on the manuscript and to acquire reproduction rights for approximately 100 illustrations. The second project will be the undertaking of new research focused on print publishing in Antwerp in the second half of the 16th century.


Professor Kenneth Nott (Spring Semester 2018)

Division of Academic and Contemporary Studies (Music History)

Professor Nott will use his sabbatical to complete two projects that focus on the critical analysis of oratorio compositions (orchestra, chorus and soloists) of composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). His first project is to put into form suitable for publication two previously delivered conference papers that examine oratorios that Handel composed in collaboration with librettist Thomas Morell. The second project is to produce a paper on Handel’s oratorio Alexander Balus specifically examining the use of “Orientalist” scorings in the orchestra, the challenges of integrating operatic-style elements in a biblical oratorio and interpretation of the Morell libretto.


Associate Professor Joyce Ashuntantang (Spring Semester 2018)

Department of English

Professor Ashuntantang will use her sabbatical to complete poems and prepare for publication a bilingual book of poetry in English and Kenyang languages. Inspiration for the poetry comes from the folklore (traditional art work, songs, tales and legends) of the Banyang ethnic group in the South West Region of Cameroon. Underlying her work is the idea to use poetry to preserve Banyang culture and Kenyang language by bringing indigenous voices into the classroom and university community.

Professor Robert Dryden (Fall Semester 2017)

Department of English

Professor Dryden will use his sabbatical to complete work on a book manuscript: Deride and Prejudice: Using Film to Counter Resistance in the Jane Austen Classroom (working title).  The book seeks to discover methods and strategies for using major motion picture films of Jane Austen novels used effectively in teaching. Ultimately, forty high school teachers and college professors will be interviewed for the book, providing examples of specific lessons and teaching approaches. The ultimate goal is to show how the traditional boundaries of curriculum and instruction are being reshaped by the use of film.