The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, November 18th at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!
Dr. Melissa Gibbs – Professor of Biology and Director of Aquatic & Marine Biology
Department of Biology
Impacts of an Invasive Armored Catfish in Volusia Blue Spring
Most people assume that invasive species have their primary impact on native species through competition for food or space, predation, and ecosystem disturbance. Although scientists have long been interested in nutrient contributions by invasive species (via excreta (urine) and egesta (feces)), the scope of the impact does not seem to have been fully realized. We have been investigating the ecological impacts of the extensive fecal deposits made by an invasive armored catfish (Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus) in Volusia Blue Spring for over 10 years, and in 2016 published a study (Rubio et al.) that clearly demonstrated that the ecological impacts of these fecal deposits were likely much more significant than anyone might have thought; just imagine more than half a million cm3 of feces in the spring run at any one time! The feces were essentially little nutrient “bombs” containing digested algae (fertilizer), live undigested algae, sand (weighing it down), and encased in a thin mucous sheath. We documented these deposits as lasting in the spring run for over 2 weeks and leaching out measurable amounts of nitrates and phosphates into the surrounding water – in other words, creating nutrient hotspots. Although the amounts of nitrates and phosphates leaching from individual fecal strands are small, once scaled up to the volume of feces we have found in the entire spring run, it cannot be ignored as a likely significant contributor to the spring run, perhaps even comparable to anthropogenic contributions. Today I will provide an update to the 2016 study and talk about what we have found and what we are still investigating.
Melissa Gibbs has been interested in marine biology since watching a National Geographic special on deep-sea hydrothermal vents when she was 13. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were earned on the central California coast, where she focused on deep-sea fish sensory systems. She attended the University of Delaware for her PhD, where she studied the visual systems of goldfish, and followed that with a post-doc position studying the lateral line system in fish and amphibians at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Since arriving at Stetson, Gibbs has focused her research interests on spring fish ecology, particularly the biology and impacts of a non-native armored catfish.
The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, November 11th at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!
Dr. Melinda Hall – Associate Professor of Philosophy & Dept. Chair
Department of Philosophy
Risking Ourselves: The Politics and Persons of Risk
Risk presents a special set of urgent bioethical issues. I offer a portrait of risk by which risk mitigation can be brought under novel moral evaluation. Risk management discourses, I argue, tend to marginalize those affected and, paradoxically, increase the harms to which some are subject. This is partly because responsibility for risk is substantially assigned to, and therefore borne by, individuals. I use tools derived from Foucault to analyze examples demonstrating these features of risk discourses. I argue that responsibility for risk, especially health risks, should be collectively shared. To open possibilities for collective responsibility for risk, risk must be read politically, and the language of risk must be interrupted. Finally, I make recommendations as to how we might risk ourselves, together, through collective responsibility.
Melinda C. Hall (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is an Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Stetson University. An active scholar, she specializes in bioethics, Continental philosophy, and the philosophy of disability. Hall is also the co-director of the Community Education Project, Stetson’s higher education in prison program, and the Director of the Gender Studies program.
The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. View some of the past spotlights and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!
The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, November 4th at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!
This presentation is focused on the process and results of my Fall 2019 sabbatical, “Liminality, Diaspora, and Performance of Identity in Native America,” the purpose of which was to conduct academic and field research on these aspects of Native American identity and utilize the results to author a dramatic work. Research was focused on the Cherokee Nation, of which I am an enrolled citizen. The resulting full-length play Becoming Cherokee covers key elements in the performance of identity and culture among the Cherokee, especially those who no longer reside within the “homeland” of northeast Oklahoma. These issues include those common in Native America: history, relocation, food, traditional stories and folklore, ancestry, land, and indigeneity in the modern world.
Hunter Murphy – Engagement and Learning Librarian
Business-based Information Literacy: Undergraduate Perceptions of Concepts and Practice in Library Instruction Sessions
In this grant-funded research, I collaborated with business faculty, created lesson plans to maximize library instruction, and administered surveys to assess current undergraduate perceptions and self-assessments of library instruction. The results of my study served as the basis for greater collaboration between professors in the business school and library. Moreover, the study illuminated student perceptions of the most effective portions of library instruction as well as what portions need to be enhanced in order to develop the information literacy component and prepare students for rewarding academic experiences as well careers in the business field. Attendees will review the research guide I created for the business students as well as the data collected on the guide’s usage and students’ perception of the guide.
Ken McCoy is in his twenty-seventh year as a member of the Stetson Theatre Arts faculty. A theatrical actor and director since 1978, he earned degrees in Theatre from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (BA 1982), Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (MFA 1984), and Bowling Green State University, Ohio (PhD 1994). His primary area of creative activity is as a director of over 50 productions for the stage and actor in nearly as many roles for stage, film, and television. Capable in Spanish, he is a long-term member of Stetson’s Latin American and Latino Studies and Undergraduate Research Committees. He also serves on the Board of the NGO Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR), which addresses issues of health and sustainable agriculture among the indigenous peoples of rural Guatemala.
Hunter Murphy is the Engagement and Learning Librarian at Stetson’s duPont-Ball Library. He teaches information literacy skills and research strategies to various library constituencies and works with faculty to develop course-specific instruction sessions. He also assists with the library’s promotional efforts.
The Stetson Teacher-Scholar, published by the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence, is a monthly electronic newsletter that contains important updates about programming and other professional development opportunities for members of the Stetson teaching community.
This month’s newsletter is the last of the fall semester and features updates about programming related to: • Faculty Spotlight • Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort • Grants, Sponsored Research and Strategic Initiatives • Reminders • Upcoming programming
Announcement The Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence is seeking applications to the 2020 Brown Innovation Fellows Cohort.
Program focus Diversity, Equity and Multiculturalism in the Curriculum
Today’s society faces numerous complex issues that require years of work, collaboration among individuals from different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds, and innovative, creative thinking to solve. Inclusion is a key to learning. Those who feel excluded struggle to learn compared to those who feel represented. How do we help Stetson’s students realize their full potential as informed citizens of local communities and the world with the capacity and desire to address societal issues? How can we design courses that prepare students to meet the challenges presented by a world that grows ever more complex, create more equitable opportunities for students from marginalized groups to more fully participate in higher education, and promote learning outcomes that employers and society seek (e.g., complex thinking skills, an ability to work across difference, a preparedness to engage in civic participation, reduced bias, and appreciation of intersectionality)?
To create an inclusive learning environment throughout the curriculum across all fields, all community members actively teaching need to consider how they are incorporating diversity into their courses and how they can be more inclusive in their teaching. Incorporating diversity, equity and multiculturalism into one’s teaching takes time and commitment. As Stetson’s student body becomes more diverse, it is imperative that faculty be enabled to design courses designed around a more equitable pedagogy centered on diversity, equity and multiculturalism.
The 2020 Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort program will provide participants the tools to design or redesign a course using a more equitable pedagogy, so that Stetson students can be better positioned to realize their full potential as informed citizens of local communities and the world with the capacity and desire to address societal issues.
Upon successful completion of the program, participants will:
have undertaken a reflective assessment of their social and disciplinary identities influence their teaching
have expanded appreciation for diversity, inclusion, cultural competency and intersectionality
incorporate a variety of perspectives into their teaching and offer students new ways of looking at their discipline
have a heightened awareness of diversity through the lens of intersectionality
be better able to create a more inclusive learning environment
use multiple methods to convey course content and provide students with a variety of opportunities to share what they know, recognizing students learn in different ways
Share their experiences with the campus community via a workshop at the annual Teaching and Learning Colloquium in April 2021
Any Stetson University faculty or staff person is eligible for this program if they meet the following criteria:
Are currently employed full-time by Stetson University
Are able to attend bimonthly face-to-face meetings on the Stetson DeLand campus or remotely during Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters. (Visiting faculty are only required to commit to attending Spring 2021 meetings.)
Will be teaching at least one course in either Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 semesters
Commits to attending the Brown Innovation Summer Institute, May 2021
Has received approval from their chair or direct supervisor to participate in the cohort
Benefits to Participants
The Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort will build knowledge together as a cohort and engage in diverse experiences to expand skill sets for designing courses that enhance student learning over the course of a year. Successful applicants will design (or redesign) a course through participation in a year-long cohort program. Programming will engage participants in diverse experiences to expand skill sets that foster an enhanced awareness of the importance of diversity, equity and multiculturalism in the classroom. Each Fellow will receive a stipend of $1,000 (Subject to change) to be issued upon completion of the two-day Brown Innovation Institute (May 2021) and submission of a reflective report and draft syllabus (before June 30, 2021). Additionally, each Fellow will receive a stipend of $1,000 to be issued upon completion of the Brown Innovation Institute and submission of a reflective report on their experience.
As a cohort, Brown Innovation Faculty demonstrate cutting edge innovation across diverse aspects of the teacher-scholar role to foster lifelong excellence in learning. The cohort participates in a series of hands-on experiences over the course of a calendar year designed to help innovate or refine teaching techniques and learning activities. Successful applicants participate in a multi-day course building institute in May.
All full-time faculty or staff who teach at Stetson University are encouraged to apply. Applications are available at Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort. Please note that a copy of your application will be sent to your chair or direct supervisor to confirm their support for your participation in the program.
Application Opens: Oct. 9, 2020
Application Deadline: Dec. 11, 2020
Award Notification: Dec. 21, 2020
Monthly Cohort Meetings: January – May 2021
Presentation at Colloquium on Teaching and Learning: April 2021
Brown Innovation Summer Institute: May 2021
Monthly Cohort Meetings: September – December 2021
Presentation at Colloquium on Teaching and Learning: April 2022
The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, October 21st at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!
Spanish Co-Instruction in Prison: A Dialogue on Language, Identity, and Pedagogy
In the summer of 2017, one of the co-founders and co-directors of the Community Education Project (CEP), Pamela Cappas-Toro, initiated the program’s first course that was co-taught by incarcerated students, Antonio Rosa and Ken Smith. This two month-long Spanish language course met three times a week and was initially conceived as a multidirectional class based on observation, conversation, co-teaching, and co-lesson planning (Cherian, 2007). Nonetheless, we encountered many barriers—both expected and unexpected—that limited incarcerated students’ ability to become teachers, researchers, and authors. This research interrogates how “explicit knowledge” such as curriculum, content development, and sociolinguistic training in Spanish is created, shaped, and negotiated in a maximum-security prison. It addresses specific challenges of creating concerted pedagogical ecosystems between incarcerated and non- incarcerated instructors, highlighting the power of the prison to limit learning outcomes. We also show how academic organizations reinforced barriers preventing incarcerated co-instructors from being considered equal producers of knowledge. This investigation highlights the importance of collaboration while also questioning how academic gatekeeping limits the critical knowledges produced by incarcerated people. It documents the fraught complexities of collaboration, and suggests how we reconceptualize and research the process of creating participatory knowledge in these learning communities.
Pamela Cappas-Toro earned a PhD in Spanish & Latin American Literatures and Cultures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she also taught and tutored at the Education Justice Project in Danville Correctional Center – a model college-in-prison program. At Stetson University, Dr. Cappas-Toro teaches Spanish language, Latin American and Caribbean literatures and cultures, Latinx studies, and she is one of the co-founders and co-directors of the Community Education Project -a higher education in prison initiative at Tomoka Correctional facility which provides liberal arts education to incarcerated men in FL. She is also the founder and the director of La Casa Cultural Latina – a cultural center that provides ESL courses for community members, extend educational opportunities into our community, serves as a satellite space for local non-profit organizations, and engages university students in community-based learning.
The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, October 28th at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!
Examining Turnover and Supporting the Wellbeing of PreK-12 Educators in High-Poverty Public Schools
Educator wellbeing and child poverty are social justice issues that merit our immediate attention. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of my summer grant project – Examining Turnover and Supporting the Wellbeing of PreK-12 Educators in High-Poverty Public Schools. My project focuses on supporting Pre-K 12 educator wellness, particularly in the context of high poverty public schools. It is rooted in the understanding that educator wellbeing should be prioritized because educators deserve to be healthy, nourished, and better supported. Additionally, when educators are healthy, nourished, and better supported, they can better support the diverse needs of students, families, and communities. Through civically engaged research, I discuss intersectional equity issues and articulate why it is imperative to support educators’ wellbeing and cultivate healthy schools (mind, body, and spirit), particularly in high poverty communities. As part of this presentation, I will highlight both the process and outcomes of my summer grant project, discussing the evolutionary process of my work, current accomplishments and further developments. By gaining a deeper and current understanding on the critical issue of educator turnover in the United States, my project aims to illuminate social inequalities and mindfully advocate for the wellbeing of PreK-12 public school administrators, teachers, and support staff.
Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and the Jessie Ball duPont Chair of Social Justice Education at Stetson University. She teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the College of Arts and Sciences, including action research. In addition, she is an Executive Board Member of the National Coalition for the Homeless, a member of the Nina B. Hollis Institute for Educational Reform, a member of the Volusia Homeless Education Leadership Committee, the Co-Director of Acts of Kindness and Justice, and the Co-Chair of Equity and Justice for the International Society for Teacher Education and Information Technology. Dr. Shankar-Brown is a publicly engaged scholar who embraces and embodies Boyer’s expanded model of scholarship, intentionally working to build bridges between theory and practice.