New grant awards assist women in leadership roles and in interdisciplinary collaborations

July 30, 2012
Alynna Lyon and Mary Stampone

Alynna Lyon (left) and Mary Stampone (right)

Excerpted from a story by Beth Potier in the Campus Journal.

New grants will help female faculty members maintain critical research while assuming leadership roles within the university. Three Karen Von Damm Leadership Development Grants from the UNH ADVANCE program were awarded this year, one of which went to Alynna Lyon, associate professor of political science.

The grants, funded with support from the National Science Foundation, are part of an ongoing effort to support the advancement and leadership of women faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at UNH.

Lyon, a political scientist whose research strives to make bridges between hard science and social sciences, recently assumed a leadership role as graduate director for the Master of Arts and Master of Public Administration programs in the political science department. The grant will provide support for her teaching while she fulfills this role and completes a book examining “United States Relations with the United Nations in an Era of Globalization.”

In addition, the UNH ADVANCE program awarded four Collaborative Scholarship Advancement Awards designed to enhance collaboration between research and tenure-track faculty in the STEM disciplines. One award was given to Mary Stampone, assistant professor of geography, and Cameron Wake, research associate professor of Earth sciences and the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space (EOS), to enhance scholarly collaboration on New England climate change. They will establish a research, teaching, and engagement program on New England climate change.

Read full story in the Campus Journal.

Alum remembers power of faculty mentoring

July 25, 2012
photos of Max Mehlman and Brett Gibson in Gibson's lab

Max Mehlman with his mentor Dr. Brett Gibson in 2009, discussing honors thesis research on spatial learning and memory in pigeons.

A UNH alumnus remembers how his love of psychology and biology perfectly merged when he met Psychology Professor Brett Gibson. Max Mehlman ’09 spent two years under Gibson’s mentorship, studying navigational strategies in rats and spatial learning and memory in pigeons. With Gibson’s help, Mehlman obtained over $5,000 of research funding from UNH’s Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research.

“I attribute much of my success to the fantastic mentorship of Dr. Gibson,” says Mehlman, “a close friend whose guidance has been tremendously valuable not only during my undergraduate career but also throughout all my subsequent endeavors. With Dr. Gibson, my training was just as important as the research itself. He treated me as a genuine collaborator, and I ultimately learned how to function as an autonomous scientist.”

After graduation, Mehlman conducted research in the Australian outback on Spotted Bowerbirds and in California on Acorn Woodpeckers. He joined an environmental nonprofit organization to work on habitat restoration along California’s central coast. This spring, he entered a Ph.D. program in neuroscience at Dartmouth College.

Now Mehlman looks forward to providing guidance and mentoring to undergraduates at Dartmouth, helping younger students find their way.

Read the full story in the Inquiry Journal.

Where can undergraduate research take you?

July 23, 2012

Christopher Foss pointing to map of Italy

Christopher Foss, a music major from Stratham, NH, is in Italy this summer studying bassoon reeds with an Italian reed maker.  The trip was made possible by an International Research Opportunities Grant. Foss hopes not only to add to his knowledge of reed-making, but also to visit the fields in France and Italy where the cane used to make bassoon reeds is grown.

Read more in the Inquiry Journal.

Moving up

July 20, 2012

Murkland Hall column
Dean Kenneth Fuld of the College of Liberal Arts is pleased to announce this year’s faculty promotions in the College.

Promoted to the rank of professor are Eliga Gould (Department of History) and William Kempster (Department of Music).

Promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure are Holly Cashman (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures/Spanish), Julee Holcombe (Department of Art and Art History), Mary Fran T. Malone (Department of Political Science), Jeannie Sowers (Department of Political Science), and Sarah Stitzlein (Department of Education).

Promoted to Murkland Lecturer are Jennifer Armstrong (Department of Philosophy), Pamela Barskdale (Department of English), Timothy Churchard (Department of Education), Richard Clairmont (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures/Classics), Carol Fisher (Department of Theatre and Dance), Arlene Kies (Department of Music), Sarah Marschner (Department of Theatre and Dance), Daniel Raymond (Department of Theatre and Dance), Janet Schofield (Department of English), and Peter Yarensky (Department of Psychology).

Promoted to Senior Lecturer are Robert Eckstein (Department of Psychology), Michael Mangan (Department of Psychology), and Catherine Moran (Department of Sociology).

Congratulations to all!

West meets east

July 16, 2012

UNH students at Chengdu University in China

Equipped with passports, a smattering of Chinese, and a great sense of adventure, eight UNH students set out for Chengdu University in Sichuan Province, China, for a three-week summer study program. Led by UNH Confucius Institute co-directors Yuexing Xu and Yige Wang, the trip offered an intensive classroom experience—and plenty of trips outside of Chengdu to sites like Beijing’s Great Wall and Forbidden Palace and Xian’s terra cotta warrior museum.

Check out the slideshow in UNH Today.

Can an army of teachers replace an army of soldiers?

July 5, 2012
Keper Connell '12 and Prof. Mary Malone

Keper Connell ’12 and Prof. Mary Malone

Keper Connell ’12 traveled to Costa Rica to learn how a country with no military spends its money.

A Spanish and international affairs major, Connell grew interested in the concept of a country without soldiers during his Politics of Cost Rica class, taught by Prof. Mary Malone. Following a brief but horrific civil war, the Latin American country abolished its military in 1949. During the decades that followed, Costa Rica chose to invest its money on education and health care instead of bullets and guns.

As part of their research, Connell and eight classmates traveled with Malone to Costa Rica in January. During their three week-long trip, they toured research centers, congressional offices, banana and coffee bean plantations. Each student also lived with two different Costa Rican families during part of their stay.

Connell learned that Costa Rica has a strong health care system and boasts a 96 percent literacy rate—the highest in Central America. Costa Rica is one of the few Latin American countries where a large percent of students pursue higher education. Students who do well and cannot afford college can attend at no cost and sometimes receive money to cover books and living expenses.

Though Costa Rica has a population of 4.6 million compared to the United State’s 300 million, Connell still believes the country has important lessons and successes to share.

“In the United States, we spend enormous amounts of money on defense and it seems like when it comes to education, teachers have to fight for every penny,” Connell said. “Using Costa Rica as an example, there should be movement for us to spend less on our military and more on our health care and educational systems.”

~by Barbara Walsh ’81

Read the full story in UNH Magazine.

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