Brad Rabquer

May 9th, 2016

Tsou, P.-S., Rabquer, B. J., Ohara, R. A., Stinson, W. A., Campbell, P. L., Amin, M. A., et al. (2016). Scleroderma dermal microvascular endothelial cells exhibit defective response to pro-angiogenic chemokines. Rheumatology, 55(4), 745-754.


Objectives. Angiogenesis plays a critical role in SSc (scleroderma). The aim of this study was to examine the expression of growth-regulated protein-γ (Gro-γ/CXCL3), granulocyte chemotactic protein 2 (GCP-2/CXCL6) and their receptor CXCR2 in endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from SSc skin and determine whether these cells mount an angiogenic response towards pro-angiogenic chemokines. The downstream signalling pathways as well as the pro-angiogenic transcription factor inhibitor of DNA-binding protein 1 (Id-1) were also examined.

Methods. Skin biopsies were obtained from patients with dcSSc. ECs were isolated via magnetic positive selection. Angiogenesis was measured by EC chemotaxis assay.

Results. Gro-γ/CXCL3 and GCP-2/CXCL6 were minimally expressed in both skin types but elevated in SSc serum. Pro-angiogenic chemokine mRNA was greater in SSc ECs than in normal ECs. SSc ECs did not migrate to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), Gro-γ/CXCL3, GCP-2/CXCL6 or CXCL16. The signalling pathways stimulated by these chemokines were also dysregulated. Id-1 mRNA in SSc ECs was lower compared with normal ECs, and overexpression of Id-1 in SSc ECs increased their ability to migrate towards VEGF and CXCL16.

Conclusion. Our results show that SSc ECs are unable to respond to pro-angiogenic chemokines despite their increased expression in serum and ECs. This might be due to the differences in the signalling pathways activated by these chemokines in normal vs SSc ECs. In addition, the lower expression of Id-1 also decreases the angiogenic response. The inability of pro-angiogenic chemokines to promote EC migration provides an additional mechanism for the impaired angiogenesis that characterizes SSc.

Vicki Baker

April 27th, 2016

Pifer, M. J., & Baker, V. L. (2016). Stage-Based Challenges and Strategies for Support in Doctoral Education: A Practical Guide for Students, Faculty Members, and Program Administrators. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 11, 15-34.

Abstract: Studies of doctoral education have included an interest not only in processes, structures, and outcomes, but also in students’ experiences. There are often useful recommendations for practice within individual examinations of the doctoral experience, yet there remains a need to strengthen the application of lessons from research to the behaviors of students and others engaged in the doctoral process. This paper is the first to synthesize research about doctoral education with the particular aim of informing practical strategies for multiple stakeholders. In this article, we summarize findings from a literature review of the scholarship about doctoral education from the past 15 years in a stage-based overview of the challenges of doctoral education. Our aim is to apply theory to practice through the systematic consideration of how research about doctoral education can best inform students and those who support them in the doctoral journey. We first present an overview of the major stages of doctoral education and related challenges identified in the research. We then consider key findings of that research to offer recommendations for doctoral students, faculty members, and administrators within and across stages.

David Wilson

April 11th, 2016

Wilson, D. P. (2016). Protruding Features of Viral Capsids Are Clustered on Icosahedral Great Circles. PLoS ONE, 11(4), e0152319.

Abstract: Spherical viruses are remarkably well characterized by the Triangulation (T) number developed by Casper and Klug. The T-number specifies how many viral capsid proteins are required to cover the virus, as well as how they are further subdivided into pentamer and hexamer subunits. The T-number however does not constrain the orientations of these proteins within the subunits or dictate where the proteins should place their protruding features. These protrusions often take the form of loops, spires and helices, and are significant because they aid in stability of the capsid as well as recognition by the host organism. Until now there has be no overall understanding of the placement of protrusions for spherical viruses, other than they have icosahedral symmetry. We constructed a set of gauge points based upon the work affine extensions of Keef and Twarock, which have fixed relative angular locations with which to measure the locations of these features. This work adds a new element to our understanding of the geometric arrangement of spherical viral capsid proteins; chiefly that the locations of protruding features are not found stochastically distributed in an icosahedral manner across the viral surface, but instead these features are found only in specific locations along the 15 icosahedral great circles. We have found that this result holds true as the T number and viral capsids size increases, suggesting an underlying geometric constraint on their locations. This is in spite of the fact that the constraints on the pentamers and hexamer orientations change as a function of T-number, as you need to accommodate more hexamers in the same solid angle between pentamers. The existence of this angular constraint of viral capsids suggests that there is a fitness or energetic benefit to the virus placing its protrusions in this manner. This discovery may have profound impacts on identifying and eliminating viral pathogens, understanding evolutionary constraints as well as bioengineering for capsid drug delivery systems. This result also suggests that in addition to biochemical attachment restrictions, there are additional geometric constraints that should be adhered to when modifying protein capsids.

Roger Albertson

March 24th, 2016

DeBruhl, H., Albertson, R., Swider, Z., & Sullivan, W. (2016). Rop, the Sec1/Munc18 homolog in Drosophila, is required for furrow ingression and stable cell shape during cytokinesis. Journal of Cell Science, 129(2), 430-443.

Abstract: Physically separating daughter cells during cytokinesis requires contraction of an actin-myosin ring and vesicle-mediated membrane addition at the cleavage furrow. To identify vesicle trafficking proteins that function in cytokinesis, we screened deficiencies and mutations of candidate genes by live imaging the mitotic domains of the Drosophila embryo. In embryos homozygous for some of these deficiencies, we observed several cytokinesis phenotypes, including slow furrow ingression and increased membrane blebbing. We also found that cytokinesis required the Sec1/Munc18 homolog Rop, which interacts with syntaxin and mediates exocytosis at the plasma membrane. In a temperature-sensitive Rop mutant (Rop(TS)), the contractile ring disassembled during furrow ingression, indicating that maintenance of the ring required vesicle addition. Furthermore, in some dividing Rop(TS) cells, the shape of the daughter cells became unstable, causing cytokinesis failure. These results further highlight the importance of vesicle trafficking in animal cytokinesis and show that vesicle fusion influences cell shape during cytokinesis.

Midori Yoshii

February 24th, 2016

Yoshii, M. (2014). The U.S. Stance Toward the 1962 Sino-Japanese Trade Agreement. Crossroads: Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World, 10, 197-212.

Abstract: On November 9, 1962, Japan concluded a five-year trade agreement with China, promising an exchange of $50 million worth of goods during 1963. U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, sent a message to Tōkyō criticizing Japan’s approach to Beijing especially as the timing of this deal coincided with the Sino-Indian border war. This paper examines the Kennedy administration’s policy toward Japan’s approach to Beijing. Rusk’s preoccupation with the Cold War and lack of a grasp of East Asian conditions led him to believe that the agreement was Japan’s first step toward recognizing Beijing. In contrast, the department’s East Asian specialists, particularly Ambassador Edwin O. Reischauer, had a better comprehension of the Sino-Japanese relations in the early 1960s based on their historical, cultural, and economic considerations. This paper provides not only the complex layers of the U.S. policy makers’ intentions, but also a fresh new look at the historical relations between Beijing and Tōkyō a decade before China’s mending of relations with the U.S. and Japan.

Ola Olapade

February 15th, 2016

Rasmussen, L., & Olapade, O. A. (2016). Influence of zinc on bacterial populations and their proteolytic enzyme activities in freshwater environments: a cross-site comparison. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1-9.

Abstract: Temporal responses of indigenous bacterial populations and proteolytic enzyme (i.e., aminopeptidase) activities in the bacterioplankton assemblages from 3 separate freshwater environments were examined after exposure to various zinc (Zn) concentrations under controlled microcosm conditions. Zn concentrations (ranging from 0 to 10 μmol/L) were added to water samples collected from the Kalamazoo River, Rice Creek, and Huron River and examined for bacterial abundance and aminopeptidase activities at various time intervals over a 48 h incubation period in the dark. The results showed that the Zn concentrations did not significantly influence total bacterial counts directly; however, aminopeptidase activities varied significantly to increasing zinc treatments over time. Also, analysis of variance and linear regression analyses revealed significant positive relationships between bacterial numbers and their hydrolytic enzyme activities, suggesting that both probably co-vary with increasing Zn concentrations in aquatic systems. The results from this study serve as additional evidence of the ecological role of Zn as an extracellular peptidase cofactor on the dynamics of bacterial assemblages in aquatic environments.

Albion College Student Co-Author: Lauren Rasmussen, ’17

Anne Mills McCauley

February 4th, 2016

McCauley, A. M. (Artist). (2016). passage 24. Americas 2016: Paperworks Exhibition, Minot State University, January 12-February 19, 2016.

Marcy Sacks

January 25th, 2016

scott-boxing-coverSacks, M. (2015). Speaking Through Silence? Whites’ Efforts to Make Meaning of Joe Louis. In D. Scott (Ed.), Cultures of Boxing (pp. 47-59). Bern: Peter Lang.


Mareike Wieth, Andrea Francis and Sam McIlhagga

January 11th, 2016

Sovansky, E. E., Wieth, M. B., Francis, A. P., & McIlhagga, S. D. (2016). Not all musicians are creative: Creativity requires more than simply playing music. Psychology of Music, 44(1), 25-36.

Abstract: Musical training has been found to be associated with increased creativity. However, it is not clear whether increased creativity, particularly divergent thinking, is associated with music expertise due to knowledge and skill, or if increased creativity arises from participation in the creation of music through practices such as improvisation and composition. This study investigated how level of music expertise and engagement in the creation of music relate to divergent thinking in musically trained adults (musicians). Sixty participants of varying music expertise were tested for divergent thinking using a modified version of Guilford’s (1967) alternative uses task, in which participants listed creative uses for two music items and two non-music items. Results indicate that musicians who create music listed more creative uses for music items than non-musicians and musicians who do not create music. For non-music items, participants did not display differences in divergent thinking.

Albion College Student Co-Author: Erin Sovansky, ’13

Drew Christopher

December 17th, 2015

Walker, R. J., & Christopher, A. N. (2016). Time-of-day preference mediates the relationship between personality and breakfast attitudes. Personality and Individual Differences, 91, 138-143.

Abstract: Personality and time-of-day preference (i.e., chronotype) are two reliable predictors of breakfast behaviors. The current study examined if time-of-day preference mediates the relation between the Big Five personality traits and breakfast-related attitudes and behaviors. Results revealed that conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness predicted healthy breakfast attitudes and behaviors, whereas neuroticism predicted unhealthy breakfast attitudes and behaviors. Importantly, time-of-day preference mediated most of these relationships (except for the agreeableness models). Even when the direct effect of personality on breakfast attitudes and behaviors was not significant, all of the indirect effects through time-of-day preference were significant. Together, these findings indicate that personality differences in breakfast attitudes and behaviors are accounted for by time-of-day preference. These findings also suggest that future work should examine more integrative models of eating behavior to better understand how various individual differences relate to specific attitudes and behaviors.

Albion College alumnus co-author: Ryan Walker, ’12

Deborah Kanter

December 15th, 2015

Kanter, D. E. (2015). Truly In-between People: Situating Latinos in Twentieth-Century Urban History. Journal of Urban History, 41(6), 1143-1151.

Vicki Baker

November 13th, 2015

Baker, V. L., Lunsford, L. G., & Pifer, M. J. (2015). Systems Alignment for Comprehensive Faculty Development in Liberal Arts Colleges. To Improve the Academy, 34(1-2), 91-116.

Abstract: Using an alignment framework, the authors explore faculty development initiatives in liberal arts colleges in order to understand the connection between organizational priorities and processes as connected to faculty members’ stated needs. The study draws on mixed-methods data from The Initiative for Faculty Development in Liberal Arts Colleges (IFDLAC), including survey and interview data from the 13 member institutions of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA).The authors offer future implications for faculty development practice.

Mareike Wieth

November 5th, 2015

DeCaro, M. S., Van Stockum, C. A., Jr., & Wieth, M. B. (2016). When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 42(1), 39-49.

Abstract: Higher working memory capacity (WMC) improves performance on a range of cognitive and academic tasks. However, a greater ability to control attention sometimes leads individuals with higher WMC to persist in using complex, attention-demanding approaches that are suboptimal for a given task. We examined whether higher WMC would hinder insight problem solving, which is thought to rely on associative processes that operate largely outside of close attentional control. In addition, we examined whether characteristics of the insight problems influence whether this negative relationship will be revealed. In Experiment 1, participants completed matchstick arithmetic problems, which require a similar initial problem representation for all problems. Higher WMC was associated with less accurate insight problem solving. In Experiment 2, participants completed insight word problems, which require substantially different representations for each problem. Higher WMC was again negatively associated with insight, but only after statistically controlling for shared variance between insight and incremental problem-solving accuracy. These findings suggest that WMC may benefit performance on fundamental processes common to both incremental and insight problem solving (e.g., initial problem representation), but hinder performance on the processes that are unique to insight (e.g., solution and restructuring). By considering the WMC of the individual, and the nature of the insight task, we may better understand the process of insight and how to best support it.

James Davidson

October 23rd, 2015

Horch, E. P., van Belle, G. T., Davidson, J. W., Jr., Ciastko, L. A., Everett, M. E., & Bjorkman, K. S. (2015). Observations of Binary Stars with the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument. VI. Measures During 2014 at the Discovery Channel Telescope. arXiv:1509.03498.

Abstract: We present the results of 938 speckle measures of double stars and suspected double stars drawn mainly from the Hipparcos Catalogue, as well as 208 observations where no companion was noted. One hundred fourteen pairs have been resolved for the first time. The data were obtained during four observing runs in 2014 using the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument (DSSI) at Lowell Observatory’s Discovery Channel Telescope. The measurement precision obtained when comparing to ephemeris positions of binaries with very well-known orbits is generally less than 2 mas in separation and 0.5 degrees in position angle. Differential photometry is found to have internal precision of approximately 0.1 magnitudes and to be in very good agreement with Hipparcos measures in cases where the comparison is most relevant. We also estimate the detection limit in the cases where no companion was found. Visual orbital elements are derived for 6 systems.

Albion College student co-author: Lindsay Ciastko, ’15

Craig Streu

October 15th, 2015

Engdahl, A. J., Torres, E. A., Lock, S. E., Engdahl, T. B., Mertz, P. S., & Streu, C. N. (2015). Synthesis, Characterization, and Bioactivity of the Photoisomerizable Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitor azo-Combretastatin A4. Organic Letters, 17(18), 4546-4549.

Abstract: Combretastatin A4 is a stilbenoid tubulin binding mitotic inhibitor whose conformation greatly influences its potency, making it an excellent candidate for adaptation as a photoactivatable tool. Herein we report a novel synthesis, the facile isomerization with commercial grade equipment, and biological activity of azo-combretastatin A4 in vitro and in human cancer cells. Photoisomerized azo-combretestatin A4 is at least 200-fold more potent in cellular culture, making it a promising phototherapeutic and biomedical research tool.

Benjamin Biermeier-Hanson

October 8th, 2015

Biermeier-Hanson, B. (2015). What About the Rest of Us? The Importance of Organizational Culture in Nepotistic Environments. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 8(01), 27-31.

Abstract: To date, empirical investigations into whether nepotism, specifically, or social connection preference (SCP), generally, is positive or negative within the realm of organizational scholarship has been limited. Indeed, most of the early discussions in this field on the subject have focused on previous work done outside the organizational area (i.e., Bellow, 2003). A recent Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Organizational Frontier Series book on the subject has brought some initial attention to the subject by approaching it from multiple domains within the organizational literature (Jones, 2012). Jones and Stout (2015) have highlighted the possible advantages and disadvantages of SCPs and have taken the stand that SCPs might in fact provide more benefits than drawbacks, particularly given that formalized policies may lead to unfair discrimination.

Ellen Kamischke

October 2nd, 2015

De Winter, S., Kamischke, E., & Wang, Z. (2015). Automorphisms of strongly regular graphs with applications to partial difference sets. Designs, Codes and Cryptography, 1-15.

Abstract: In this article we generalize a theorem of Benson (J Algebra 15:443–454, 1970) for generalized quadrangles to strongly regular graphs, deriving numerical restrictions on the number of fixed vertices and the number of vertices mapped to adjacent vertices under an automorphism. We then use this result to develop a few new techniques to study regular partial difference sets (PDS) in Abelian groups. Ma (Des Codes Cryptogr 4:221–261, 1994) provided a list of parameter sets of regular PDS with k≤100 in Abelian groups for which existence was known or had not been excluded. In particular there were 32 parameter sets for which existence was not known. Ma (J Stat Plan Inference 62:47–56, 1997) excluded 13 of these parameter sets. As an application of our results we here exclude the existence of a regular partial difference set for all but two of the undecided parameter sets from Ma’s list.

Cliff Harris

September 25th, 2015

Sakulthaew, C., Comfort, S. D., Chokejaroenrat, C., Li, X., & Harris, C. E. (2015). Removing PAHs from urban runoff water by combining ozonation and carbon nano-onions. Chemosphere, 141, 265-273.

Abstract: Ozone (O3) is a chemical oxidant capable of transforming polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban runoff within minutes but complete oxidation to CO2 can take days to weeks. We developed and tested a flow-through system that used ozone to quickly transform PAHs in a runoff stream and then removed the ozone-transformed PAHs via adsorption to carbon nano-onions (CNOs). To quantify the efficacy of this approach, 14C-labeled phenanthrene and benzo(a)pyrene, as well as a mixture of 16 unlabeled PAHs were used as test compounds. These PAHs were pumped from a reservoir into a flow-through reactor that continuously ozonated the solution. Outflow from the reactor then went to a chamber that contained CNOs to adsorb the ozone-transformed PAHs and allowed clean water to pass. By adding a microbial consortium to the CNOs following adsorption, we observed that bacteria were able to degrade the adsorbed products and release more soluble, biodegradable products back into solution. Control treatments confirmed that parent PAH structures (i.e., non-ozonated) were not biologically degraded following CNO adsorption and that O3-transformed PAHs were not released from the CNOs in the absence of bacteria. These results support the combined use of ozone, carbon nano-onions with subsequent biological degradation as a means of removing PAHs from urban runoff or a commercial waste stream.

Jocelyn McWhirter

September 18th, 2015

McWhirter, J. (2015). Luke 16:19–31. Interpretation, 69(4), 463-465.

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31) forces its listeners into an awkward position. We find ourselves suspended between the rich man’s table and his gate, Abraham and Hades, this world and the next. How can we interpret such a parable? How can we invite our congregations into its disorienting landscape? I suggest that we start by extending its boundaries by understanding it within the context of Luke’s larger story of wealth and poverty, blessings and woes, and the prophet whom God raised from the dead. Then, when we have our bearings, we can start locating ourselves within the parable. Perhaps we recline at the rich man’s table; perhaps we lie at his gate. Either way, the parable challenges us to listen to God’s prophets and adopt God’s values.

Dan Skean

August 24th, 2015

Majure, L. C., Neubig, K. M., Skean, J. D., Bécquer, E. R., & Judd, W. S. (2015). Evolution of the Sandpaper Clade (Miconieae, Melastomataceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences, 176(7), 607-626.

Abstract: The Sandpaper clade comprises a group of taxa endemic to the Greater Antilles and forms a subgroup of a larger Caribbean assemblage of Miconieae. Numerous species within this monophyletic group share striking morphological characters and thus traditionally have been considered close relatives. Recent phylogenetic work has shown that not all of these species are each other’s closest relatives, and they actually form three distinct clades: the Lima, Paralima, and Pseudolima clades. We reconstructed a phylogeny of these poorly known species to test patterns of morphological evolution and the biogeographic history of the clade.

Vicki Baker

August 12th, 2015

Baker, V. L. (2015). People Strategy in Human Resources: Lessons for Mentoring in Higher Education. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23(1), 6-18.

Abstract: In this article, I offer the notion of alignment, a human resources framework, as a conceptual tool for better informing the development of mentoring programming and policy in higher education. Alignment accounts for both individual and organizational factors as means for providing the necessary connections among human resources and organizational policies and outcomes. The three types of alignment: Vertical (connection between people strategy and business goals), horizontal (connection among individual HR policy areas), and implementation (the degree to which action is taken to put the people strategy into effect) have the potential to improve the efficacy of mentorships, the contextual factors that influences them, and the intended outcomes of these relationships.

Kyle Shanton

August 6th, 2015

Shanton, K. D. (Ed.). (2015). The Most Important Work: Stories of Sovereignty in the Struggle for Literacy. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

This book is a collection of essays that reflect the desire and determination guiding many practitioners and researchers as they work together in more meaningful and relevant ways for literacy. The essays are organized as three series of dialogues in which an academic scholar works with a practitioner, or community leader, on a particular struggle toward teaching, learning and literacy. Together they portray the reflexive relationships involved in their shared endeavor, the different struggles for sovereignty they encountered, what they accomplished together, and what they learned by honoring one another’s knowledge and skill.

The work presented in this book reflect intentional connections among practitioners and researchers in terms of how they engaged with children, youth and families to compose their language, lives and culture into literacy for personal, political and practical purposes that both pertain to, and transcend, contexts of school. Moreover, these narratives highlight a shared commitment to frame and forge such work in nuanced terms of solidarity and sovereignty, rather than as stark assertions of this is what needs to be done and this is how to do it.  (Publisher’s description)

Geoffrey Cocks

August 5th, 2015

Cocks, G. (2015). Hollywood uber alles: seeing the Nazi in American movies. Film & History, 45, 38-53.

Abstract: No figure in fact or in fiction embodies absolute evil as much as the Nazi. The American-movie Nazi drew its initial presence and force from the sheer enormity of Nazi destructive impact on the real world, the Nazis’ own projection of their dark drama onto the movie screens of that world, and the emigration of much German, European, and Jewish talent to Hollywood in the 1930s. Meanwhile, Hollywood largely avoided the subject of Nazism for political and economic reasons. From 1941 on, however, the Nazi figure assumed a place in a wide variety of movie genres, not only because of the fervor of war, but because the Nazi allowed Hollywood to engage American issues of class, race, and power without indicting American culture itself.

Brad Chase

July 31st, 2015

Rajesh, S. V., Shaikh, S., Chase, B., Rawat, Y. S., Patel, A., Abhayan, G. S., et al. (2014). Craft Production at Navinal: A Harappan Settlement in Kachchh District, Gujarat. Atulya Varso, 8, 30-31.

Ola Olapade

July 29th, 2015

Olapade, O. (2015). Phylogenetic Characterization and Community Diversity of Hydrocarbon-Utilizing Bacteria in Soil Microcosms Enriched with Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation, 6(4), 305.

Abstract: The phylogenetic identities and community diversity of indigenous bacterial populations in soil microcosms previously enriched with various mono-aromatic including benzene, ethyl-benzene and xylene (BEX) hydrocarbons were investigated using combinations of culture-based microbiological (phenotypic) as well as molecular (16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing) approaches. A total of 45 bacterial isolates belonging to 5 distinct phyla were phylogenetically characterized among indigenous bacterial populations with putative hydrocarbon-degrading potentials in the soil microcosms. In general, bacterial members belonging to the γ-Proteobacteria (mostly species of Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter) were found to numerically dominate {representing between 60 to 94%} among the isolates from the three BEX-polluted microcosms. While, bacterial members belonging to the β-Proteobacteria (Comamonas and Delftia spp) and Firmicutes (Bacillus spp) were also represented. Results obtained from the community diversity calculations revealed relatively higher species richness in the benzene-spiked soils as compared to the other microcosms. Overall, the differences observed in bacterial phylotypes among the microcosms are probably attributable to the direct effects of the chemical properties of each hydrocarbon pollutant on the indigenous
microbial community.

Heather Betz

July 27th, 2015

Alaimo, K., Carlson, J. J., Pfeiffer, K. A., Eisenmann, J. C., Paek, H.-J., Betz, H. H., et al. (2015). Project FIT: A School, Community and Social Marketing Intervention Improves Healthy Eating Among Low-Income Elementary School Children. Journal of Community Health, 40, 815-826.

Abstract: Project FIT was a two-year multi-component nutrition and physical activity intervention delivered in ethnically-diverse low-income elementary schools in Grand Rapids, MI. This paper reports effects on children’s nutrition outcomes and process evaluation of the school component. A quasi-experimental design was utilized. 3rd, 4th and 5th-grade students (Yr 1 baseline: N = 410; Yr 2 baseline: N = 405; age range: 7.5–12.6 years) were measured in the fall and spring over the two-year intervention. Ordinal logistic, mixed effect models and generalized estimating equations were fitted, and the robust standard errors were utilized. Primary outcomes favoring the intervention students were found regarding consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain bread during year 2. Process evaluation revealed that implementation of most intervention components increased during year 2. Project FIT resulted in small but beneficial effects on consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain bread in ethnically diverse low-income elementary school children.

Vicki Baker

July 24th, 2015

Baker, V. L., & Baldwin, R. G. (2015). A Case Study of Liberal Arts Colleges in the 21st Century: Understanding Organizational Change and Evolution in Higher Education. Innovative Higher Education, 40(3), 247-261.

Abstract: We draw upon the evolutionary model of change in order to examine the organizational transformation of three liberal arts colleges (Albion College, Allegheny College, Kenyon College). Relying on our prior research (Baker, Baldwin, & Makker, 2012), we seek to continue our exploration and understanding of the evolution occurring in the important liberal arts college sector of higher education. We seek to understand why and how these colleges change, what changes occur, and, especially, what makes liberal arts colleges susceptible to change. The findings of this study have the potential to illuminate change in other types of higher education institutions.

Greg Saltzman

July 24th, 2015

Saltzman, G. M. (2014). The Economics of MOOCs. In H. S. Wechsler (Ed.), The NEA 2014 Almanac of Higher Education (pp. 19-29). Washington: National Education Association.


Carrie Booth Walling

July 23rd, 2015

Walling, C. B. (2015). The UN Security Council and the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights. In J. R. Pruce (Ed.), The Social Practice of Human Rights. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Publisher’s description: The Social Practice of Human Rights bridges the conventional scholar-practitioner divide by focusing on the space in between. In capturing this cutting edge research program, the volume proposes a perspective that motivates critical self-reflection of the strategies that drive communities dedicated to the advocacy and implementation of human rights. The social practice of human rights takes place not in front of a judge, but in the streets and alleys, in the backrooms and out-of-the-way places where change occurs. Contributors to this volume investigate the contexts and efforts of activists and professionals devoted to promoting human rights norms. This research takes as its subject the organizations and movements that shoulder the burden of improving respect for human dignity—and through a constructive critique of these patterns and practices, scholarship can have a positive impact on the political world.

Nels Christensen

July 16th, 2015

Christensen, N. A. (2014). Learning Where the Weather Is Real: Why Teaching in Bad Weather Is Good. Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, 1(3), 100-106.

Teach outdoors. Make your teaching outdoors make sense. And teach outdoors when the weather is bad.

For most educators, that first imperative—teach outdoors—probably isn’t such a hard idea to swallow. After all, it’s a rare teacher who hasn’t at one point or another succumbed to the pull of sunny skies, warm weather, and a classroom full of students pleading to “go outside.” Faced with this particular mixture of circumstances, it seems only right and natural to leave the indoor classroom behind, walk out to the quad, and circle up on a neatly trimmed lawn.

But there’s something about that second imperative—make your teaching outdoors make sense—that asks us to move beyond the basic impulse to escape the stuffy indoors in favor of fresh air, something that encourages us to think critically about the shaping influence of place in education. In the past decade, this interest in the relationship among where, what, and how we teach has motivated important work from child advocates, such as Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods (2006) and Christopher Cook’s Where Do the Children Play? (2007), a pbs documentary inspired by Elizabeth Goodenough’s Secret Spaces of Childhood (2003). The connections between self and place also form the common bond among those of us engaged in what is variously called environmental, outdoor, experiential, or place-based education.   (Excerpt from publisher)