Muskingum News


Laudations: Spotlight on Faculty Work

Laudations is an online collection spotlighting the professional contributions Muskingum University faculty and staff make to their respective disciplines.



Two paintings by Ruth Dorsey Neptune Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts Yan Sun were selected for the exhibition, "Harmony and Evolution: An Exhibition of the Chinese-American Art Faculty Association” at the Ruth Davis Design Gallery of the University of Wisconsin Madison.  The exhibition runs from February 26-April 5, 2020.

Professor Sun recently presented “The Challenge of Art Education in Liberal Arts Colleges,” at the Artistic Development in Cross-Cultural context: The Fifth Chinese-American Art Faculty Symposium. The November 2019 conference was held at The Center for Chinese Art at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. 


Professor of Biology Amy Santas and Animal Studies major Hannah Tillotson ‘20 secured grant funding to support four senior capstone research projects centered on The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cats Pawsitive initiative. Hannah and fellow team members Hope Babbitt ’20, Anna Mallett ’20, and Kelli Kinsey ’20 are training shelter cats to become more adoptable and more likely to adapt to their new homes.


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Seth Barrett was recently interviewed by Vernier Technology Company and featured in a Vernier Success Story article "Integrating Data-Collection Technology to Prepare College Chemistry Students for the Workforce."  He received the 2019 Vernier/NSTA (National Science Teaching Association) Technology Award for his proposal "Determining the Rate-Limiting Elementary Step in the Oxidation of Iodide by Iron(III)," and attended the 2019 NSTA Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri to accept the award and an equipment grant for the Chemistry department.

Dr. Barrett also organized and hosted the 2019 Computational Chemistry for Chemistry Educators (CCCE) Workshop on Muskingum’s campus. Thirty professors, postdocs, and graduate students participated in the week-long, residential workshop, focusing on computational calculations as applied to chemistry. The workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation through project XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment).

Along with fellow Chemistry faculty members Professor Lois Zook-Gerdau and Associate Professor of Chemistry Deepa Perera, Dr. Barrett is helping to organize and implement “H2O Q” a citizen science water quality project begun by Central Michigan University. A professional development training session was held at The Ohio State University on February 8, 2020, and Muskingum students will present posters at the 2020 Central Regional Meeting (CERM) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Columbus, Ohio.

Communication, Media & Theatre

Assistant Professor of Communication Shawn Starcher will deliver three panel presentations during the upcoming Central States Communication Association annual conference in Chicago, Illinois on April 14-19, 2020):

  • Research speed dating: Crossing academic boundaries to build research teams.
  • Breakthroughs and defining moments of difference in family communication: The journeys, turning points, and narratives that surround our research.
  • Health Communication Division Spotlight Panel: Breakthroughs in mental health research.

Health Science

Assistant Professor of Athletics Communication Tom Caudill authored a story about the University’s Athletics Communication major for CoSIDA 360 Magazine, the official publication of the College Sports Information Directors of America.  The feature in the Winter 2020 issue highlights Muskingum on the national level.


Professor of History Laura Hilton published "Postwar Food Rumors: Security, Victimhood, and Fear," in Food, Culture and Identity in Germany's Century of War, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Her analysis of food rumors provides a new perspective on postwar perpetrator/victim narratives that emerged post-1945, as she argues that German civilians effectively rewrote the Second World War past through the lens of their own hunger, an experience far more immediate for them than the crimes of the Nazis.

Bil Kerrigan, the Arthur G. Cole and Eloise Barnes Cole Distinguished Professor of American History, will be one of the four featured keynote speakers at the Ohio Settlements Conference at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio on February 21-22, 2020. His talk, "Johnny Appleseed, Apple Cultures, and the Settlements of the Old Northwest," will viewable via the conference live stream and in YouTube following the conference.

Mathematics and Computer Science

Associate Professor of Mathematics Matt Davis served on a team with faculty from The Ohio State University, College of Wooster, and Ohio Dominican to develop open-source educational materials for use in an Abstract Algebra course.  The summer 2019 effort was part of a state-wide project funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to facilitate the use of open-source textbooks in Ohio college classrooms.

Political Science

Associate Professor of Political Science Richard Arnold recently authored multiple publications, delivered a conference presentation, and received a grant:

  • "Notes from a Political Scientist: A Contribution to the Book Symposium on Mischa Gabowitsch's Protest in Putin's Russia" in Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity (2020).
  • “Kalmyks Angry at The Use of Their Republic to Bolster Donbas Separatism” on The Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor (11/15/19).
  • “Russian Youth Extremism: An Analysis,” on NYU's Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia News (11/07/19).
  • "Kalmyks Protest Donbas Separatist Who Was Appointed Mayor of Republican Capital" on The Jamestown Foundation’s Commentaries (10/21/19).
  • Conference Presentation “How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich: Are Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks One People?” at the Association for Slavic and East European Studies 2019 Annual Convention (San Francisco, CA).
  • Grant for OSU Russia Eurasian and Eastern Europe (REEE) program “What was the process by which Cossack movements in Rostov Oblast, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Zabaikalsky Krai, and Krasnodar Krai emerged at the end of the Soviet Union?” (received 9/30/19).

World Languages

Assistant Professor of French and Spanish Jose Parada-Ramirez published "Venezuela’s Francisco de Miranda, initiated Freemason after his Death?" in the Review of Caribbean and Latin American Masonic Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1 (December 2019-June 2020).

Professor of German Franz-Joseph Wehage has published three books in the past four years.  His most recent is DACHL. Unterwegs in deutschsprachigen Ländern: A Cultural Reader and Workbook for Advanced Intermediate German and Beyond. (Hackett Publishing, 2018).

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