Faculty Shop Talks

Fall 2017 Schedule

Presenter: Martin Lang

Title: "The Making of (Mid)West of Somalia: Some Whys, Hows, and Never-Agains of a Community-Based, Student-Inflected, Cross-Cultural Collaboration in Documentary Filmmaking"
Time and Place: October 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

(Mid)West of Somalia is a documentary short offering a glimpse into the experiences and ideas of several Millennial-era Somali immigrants living in the U.S.—a perspective generally erased in mainstream media. Co-producing another documentary short (this one with Noah O’Ryan ’17) has provided a useful data point to help me triangulate some new thinking about long-vexing questions across a swath of topics both theoretical and practical: What are the ethics of telling someone else’s story? How do we practice effective community-based research (and why)? Can media shape social change? Must productivity and teaching necessarily be in tension during student collaborations? Is ice cream an appropriate reward after every successful field shoot? This Shop Talk will include a short introduction to the film (with video!), my musings about some of the issues above, and lots of opportunity for you to help me do everything better next time. 

Presenter: Michele Koomen and Lisa Dembouski

Title: Voices of students with dis/abilities in science education: Preparing teachers to meet varying learner needs.

Time and Place: November 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Privileging the voices of students with dis/abilities who were included in science classrooms, this session re-presents a variety of perspectives of school experiences in science learning. These narratives were then used to illuminate stronger and more effective ways to prepare teachers for more inclusive teaching practices, particularly in K-12 science education. This Shop Talk includes excerpts from: (1) “D/HH Voices,” and (2) “A Good Teacher Makes Science Light-Hearted: Experiences in Learning Science from Alejandro,” chapters forthcoming from Toward Inclusion of All Students Through Science Teacher Education, which will be released by Sense Publishers in late 2017. The goal of this Talk is to share highlights of our work, discoveries we made, and ways we apply this research to our work as teacher educators who care about inclusion, educational equity, and removing barriers for student success in school.

Presenter: Paschal Kyoore

Title: “Immigration in Europe: Past and Future”: IES Faculty Seminar in Vienna and Berlin
Time and Place: November 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

I had an opportunity to attend an IES seminar on immigration in Vienna and Berlin in April 2017. This presentation will have three parts. In the first part of the presentation, I will focus on readings and discussions that I had in a course on immigration that I taught for the first time in fall 2016. I will discuss some of the issues that I raised in that course, and students’ reactions during the discussions and in papers that they wrote for the course. The second part of my presentation will focus on what I learned in the Vienna portion of the seminar in Europe, and that will include key issues raised by presenters, and testimonies of NGOs on what they did in 2015 when Vienna had to deal with the challenge of waves of refugees pouring into Austria and specifically into Vienna. In this second part of the presentation, I will also share the experience I had in site visits that were relevant for participants to be able to put into a historical context current trends in immigration. The third part of my presentation will focus on the experience in the Berlin part of the seminar, addressing the same issues that were the focus in Vienna. I will conclude the presentation by discussing how the experience in the seminar will shape my future plans for research on literary works on immigration, and my plan to make the course on immigration in France a permanent course in my department’s curriculum.

Presenter: Hayley Russell

Title: Sport Participation and Injury Risk: Implications for Life-long Physical Activity 
Time and Place: December 8, 2017 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Participation in competitive sport is often associated with high levels of physical activity (Sorenson, Romano, Azen, Schoeder, & Salem, 2015) which we, as athletes or fans, may assume continues after retirement from sport. Research evidence, however, does not suggest that such a clear relationship between sport participation and subsequent physical activity behavior exists (Reifstek et al., 2013; Sorenson et al., 2015). One proposed reason why competitive sport may not be associated with life-long physical activity is the high risk of sport related injuries and the long-term consequences of these injuries (Russell, Tracey, & Wiese-Bjornstal, in press; Tracey & Elcombe, 2004). My research focuses on the physical and psychological consequences of sport related injuries and how these injuries may impact retired athletes’ well-being with particular attention to physical activity behavior. In this talk I will present some conceptual work explaining the relationship between sport related injury and long-term physical activity behavior and share a recent study in which I examined physical activity behavior and well-being in college students with a history of serious knee injuries. 

Presenter: David Obermiller

Title: Why East Asia Matters: Economic Power, Environmental Degradation, and the Global Order
Time and Place: February 23, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


For the past three decades, American consumers have had their standards of living increase due in part from the influx of goods made cheaply in China and the rise of Walmart, Amazon and other US businesses would not have been as possible without the impact of "made in China." In addition, US politicians, economists, and business leaders have lauded China's double-digit economic growth rate, some going as far that the US should model itself after China for a better business climate. Few, however, have realized that China's "impressive" economic growth has hidden a tremendous cost to China's environment and its 1.4 billion citizens. The degradation of China's ecology not only imperils its future economic growth but fundamentally threatens the political and social stability of China and the global community.

Spring 2018 Schedule

Presenter: Anna Versluis

Title: Counter-Plantation, Remittance Economy, Sweatshops: Contrasting Visions of Haiti
Time and Place: March 9, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

To demonstrate some of the contrasting visions of Haiti, I review studies of Haiti’s history and future by four scholars. The three Haitian scholars argue that agriculture and food sovereignty are fundamental to Haiti’s past and future, while the foreign scholar dismisses agriculture in favor of an economic model not unlike the plantation economy Haiti has repeatedly resisted.

Presenter: Dwight Stoll

Title: Analytical chemistry in support of next-generation therapeutics and personalized medicine
Time and Place: March 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

The pharmaceutical industry is currently transitioning from a past that was focused on small molecule therapeutics (e.g., ibuprofen) in a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment to one that is focused on large molecule therapeutics inspired by biology (e.g., protein-based drugs known as ‘biologics’), and is becoming increasingly personalized. In this presentation I will briefly review some of the details of these developments, and then turn to the research we do in my laboratory that is focused on development of instrumentation and methodology to support this transition in medicine and therapy. In my lab we specialize in a technique called two-dimensional liquid chromatography (2D-LC). I will briefly describe the principles of this technique, and describe the ways my work with Gustavus students is accelerating the adoption of 2D-LC for analysis of biologics across the globe in a range of applications from drug discovery all the way through to manufacturing.

Presenter: Scott Bur

Title: Setting students up for research success
Time and Place: April 13, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

This talk will describe efforts to engage students in authentic chemistry research early in their careers. This project started with raising student awareness and providing early research opportunities (2008 HHMI grant). Building upon these successes, research infrastructure was then enhanced (2010 NSF grant). Research capacity was developed in the students through concerted curricular changes to the first four semesters of the chemistry course sequence. Ultimately, an “Introduction to Research” course, which replaces the traditional CHE-251 laboratory section, was designed, piloted during J-term, and implemented in the fall of 2017.

Presenter: Laura Boehm Vock

Title: What can baseball tell us about diabetes? Nothing, but both need statistics!
Time and Place:
April 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Major League Baseball’s PitchF/X system captured the speed, trajectory, and outcome of every pitch thrown in MLB play in the 2007-2016 seasons (when it was replaced by a new system). This publicly available data source is a gold mine for sabermetricians - but also a playground for developing and implementing rigorous new statistical techniques. In this study, we isolate the effects of plate discipline (choosing when to swing) on a player’s offensive performance. We can separately identify this effect from other correlated factors including the pitches the batter faces and the batter’s hitting ability. The “causal inference” framework used here was originally developed for biomedical research. In this application, we are able to extend the methodology to examine the impact of multiple time-varying factors, which could also be used to study the management of chronic co-occurring diseases like diabetes and hypertension.