Spring semester lunchtime speaker series being held in ISE Lab

9:17 a.m., Feb. 6, 2014–The University of Delaware’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory will hold a free lunchtime speaker series during spring semester featuring a variety of community engagement activities in which UD faculty, staff and students are involved.

The series, “People, Projects and Partners,” begins Monday, Feb. 10, and will be held on Mondays from 12:30-2 p.m. in Room 110. Each session will focus on two projects, with each speaker presenting a TED-style talk, followed by a discussion period.

To register, send an email to isll-info@udel.edu and provide your name, department and email address. Sandwiches and beverages will be available to the first 30 attendees who register. For more information on the series, contact Kimberly Doucette at 831-6400.

The speakers in February and March are:

Feb. 10: April Veness, associate professor of geography, will discuss “Global at Home: An Alternative Semester Abroad,” in which 10 students from across the University were enrolled in anthropology, political science and Latin American studies courses taught entirely in Spanish by bilingual professors, as well as a geography course, taught in English. The students visited southern Delaware six times over the course of the semester to get a firsthand account of the social, economic and political issues faced by the largely Guatemalan residents of Georgetown.

Douglas J. Buttrey, professor of chemical engineering; Elaine Salo, associate professor of political science and international relations at UD and professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Pretoria in South Africa; and Colin Miller, who works in the Institute for Global Studies as UD’s liaison for sub-Saharan Africa and who will also be teaching world music this spring, will present on their work in Africa. Buttrey works with the Nelson Mandela Institution and the African University of Science and Technology in Nigeria, and Salo works on water governance in Africa.

Feb. 17: Jon Manon, director of UD’s Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center, and Rakesh, professor of mathematical sciences, lead the University’s chapter of the National Association of Math Circles. The Math Circles program is geared to students in grades 8-12 who understand fundamental algebraic and geometrical ideas and are open to experiencing new and challenging mathematics.

Vicki Cassman, director of Undergraduate Studies and associate professor of art conservation, advises Service Learning Scholars in collaborative projects with Winterthur, the New London Road Community and the UD Program in Art Conservation. Cassman has been an itinerant textile conservator and an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Feb. 24: Lynnette Overby, professor of theatre and former faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, will discuss ArtsBridge, a network of 31 universities that confronts the problem of the elimination of the arts from K-12 schools. One research project, “Poetry in Harmony,” explored how music can enhance both literacy and poetry curricula in an elementary school classroom.

Jules Bruck, associate professor of plant and soil sciences, teaches multiple courses with diverse subject matter ranging from landscape design process and digital design technology to landscape construction materials, and always includes an outreach component. She will highlight several different projects and discuss the ups and downs of working with clients and students.

March 3: Jon Cox, assistant professor of art, will discuss the Dorobo Fund, a nonprofit organization fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples of Tanzania. The Dorobo Fund supports its vision for a sustainable future by a variety of means, including helping indigenous and local communities to secure rights to their land and natural resources; facilitating sustainable resource management by communities directly dependent on land resources; and promoting wilderness as an economic option for communities but also for its inherent value.

Jenni Buckley, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will speak about two of her projects. The Perry Initiative is a nonprofit organization that conducts hands-on, daylong outreach programs for high school women to encourage them to pursue careers in underrepresented subfields of engineering and medicine. The Mechanical Engineering Student Squad is a student-faculty partnership in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with the mission to recruit, retain and advance students in mechanical engineering in the UD community.

March 10: P. Gabrielle Foreman, Ned B. Allen Professor of English and professor of Black American studies, will discuss the “Colored Convention Project: Bringing 19th Century Black-Organizers to Digital Life” with her collaborators, Jim Casey and Sarah Patterson, who are both doctoral students in English, and Colette Gaiter, associate professor of visual communications.

Louis Rossi, professor of mathematical sciences, will speak about the FIRST (U.S. Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League, an international STEM competition organized by FIRST for elementary and middle school children that celebrates scientific investigation, problem solving skills and the practical application of math and science to contemporary problems.

March 17: Carlton Cooper, assistant professor of biological sciences and of Black American studies and health disparity and community outreach coordinator for the Center for Translational Cancer Research, will co-present with nurse Renee Beaman, the founder and executive director of the Beautiful Gate Outreach Center, about their community health outreach work as counselors and testers of primarily African-Americans for HIV/AIDS.

Yasser Payne, associate professor of Black American studies, will speak about “The People’s Report: The Link Between Structural Violence and Crime in Wilmington, Delaware.” The report is an ethnographic community needs assessment of two of Wilmington’s oldest and most violent neighborhoods, which organized 15 residents with experience in the streets and/or criminal justice system as participatory action researchers to empirically document the impact of community violence.

March 24: Lori Pollock, professor, and Terry Harvey, associate professor, both of computer and information sciences, will discuss “Undergraduate Field Experience: Sharing Expertise to Strengthen Expertise and ‘Soft’ Skills (and promote the major!).” They have been sending computer science students into local schools since 2009, where they have developed projects collaboratively with teachers, delivered lessons to classes and worked as class assistants.

Jennifer Naccarelli, academic coordinator of the Domestic Violence Prevention and Services Program and an instructor of women and gender studies, will speak about the program. The only one of its kind available to undergraduates in the United States, the program trains students to become advocates for domestic violence survivors, combining coursework with practical experience by partnering with local domestic violence service agencies.

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