UNH Celebrates Faculty Scholarship at Academic Convocation
Contact: Lori Gula
UNH Media Relations
Sept. 29, 2003
DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire will celebrate
the scholarly and creative work of its faculty at the 2003 Academic
Convocation Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2003, from 12:30 to 2 p.m., in the
Piscataqua Room of Holloway Commons.
The convocation, “Dialogue on Discovery: Works in Progress
by UNH Faculty” is free and open to the public. It will include
remarks by Provost Bruce Mallory, Faculty Senate Chair Tom Laue,
and President Ann Weaver Hart. Light refreshments will be available.
Cosponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate,
the convocation provides a forum for faculty members to present
their scholarly pursuits by describing a particular project that
is underway and near completion. The convocation also marks a number
of important developments at the university, including the appointment
of a new provost, the integration of academic affairs and student
services, the shift from design work to implementation for the
Academic Plan, and the initiation of pilot courses.
“The focus will not be on finished products; rather the
focus will be on how key research questions are conceptualized,
what the challenges are of pursuing those questions, how the work
is connected to the broader body of scholarship within the respective
disciplines, and how the work reflects the vision and mission of
UNH as articulated in the Academic Plan,” Mallory said.
The faculty presenters will be:
Jessica Bolker, associate professor of zoology, "From Lecture
to Pond to Lab: The Journey of the Daphnia Girls"
Sarah Sherman, associate professor of English, "Sacramental
Shopping: United States Fictions and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism,
Robert Macieski, associate professor of history, UNHM, "Seeing
is Believing: A Photographic Journey into the World of Child Labor"
Steve Calculator, professor of communication sciences and disorders, "Unlocking
the Door to Communication Through Enhanced Natural Gestures"
The impact of faculty research and scholarship is significant,
particularly the impact on students. Sherman’s past research
has resulted in the development of two new interdisciplinary
courses. “My aim is to provide students with fresh approaches
to well-known American writers, and to show how reading their
work within the framework of modern consumer culture can illuminate
issues ranging from Americans’ construction of racial identities
to their pursuit of an often elusive happiness,” she said. “Finally,
an important goal of these courses is to teach my students how
to think critically about the consumer culture in which they
live, and to raise their awareness of its subtle and not-so-subtle
effects on their own values and choices.”
Her current research project is a book placing three well-known
U.S. novels – “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, “The
House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton and “The Great Gatsby” by
F. Scott Fitzgerald -- at the intersection of modern consumer culture
and Protestant conceptions of materialism and identity.
Calculator’s findings have a direct impact on the education
of children. His research primarily has been in the area of augmentative
and alternative communication as it relates to children and adults
with severe disabilities and their inclusion in schools and community
“My most recent research has examined the efficacy of teaching
children with Angelman Syndrome, a disorder that results in severe
communication deficits, to use a system of natural gestures, Enhanced
Natural Gestures, to supplement communicative behaviors they are
already using. By making parents, teachers and other professionals
aware of children's communicative behaviors, and instructing them
to use a variety of incidental teaching procedures, they have been
able to teach their children to use a modest array of enhanced
natural gestures,” he said.