Academic News (News2Note) — September 2018

News2Note, the academic newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is published monthly during the academic year by Debra Stoudt, associate dean for academic policies and procedures. Academic news can be submitted to her directly at

Academic News

Nicholas Copeland, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, was awarded a Core Fulbright Scholar Program grant to study sustainable food programs in Guatemala. The University of San Carlos in Guatemala City serves as his Fulbright host institution, and he works as a consultant for FUNDEBASE, a nongovernmental organization that promotes sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty in the region. Copeland has expanded his research into a multiyear project, which includes collaborations with colleagues in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Natasha Cox, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, received the 2018 Jessie Bernard Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective Award for her dissertation proposal, “Becoming a Black Man: A Qualitative Examination of Identity Management, Sense of Belonging, and Informal Support Systems of Black Transmen.” The competitive award is sponsored by the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR); it includes a cash prize, a plaque, conference registration funding, travel allowance, and complimentary books. Cox will present her research findings at the 2019 NCFR Annual Conference.

Roger Ekirch, a professor in the Department of History, published “Sleep: Historical and Cultural Perspectives,” Sleep, Health, and Society, ed. Francesco Cappuccio et al., second edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 163–70.

In addition, he presented two plenary addresses: “Night Dreams: A Cage of Unclean Thoughts,” at Tel Aviv University on January 8 and “Sleep in Early Modern History” at a conference on “The History of Nighttime in the Early Modern World,” which took place at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence on June 13.

The Department of Communication was the recipient of a $100,000 pledge from alumnus Will Stewart to create an endowed scholarship to support students in the department’s sports media and analytics program. Stewart is the founder of, a website devoted to Virginia Tech athletics. Sports Media and Analytics was approved as a degree option in Multimedia Journalism in 2017.

Su Fang Ng, Cutchins Professor of English in the Department of English, published “Genealogical Memory: Constructing Female Rule in Seventeenth-Century Aceh,” Gendered Temporalities in the Early Modern World, ed. Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press, 2018), pp. 135–58.

The composition “The Book of Strange Positions” and several rock arrangements for two violins by Eric Lyon, an associate professor in the School of Performing Arts, were performed by String Noise as part of the “Artists at Noguchi/Bang on a Can” series in New York City on August 12.

The compositions of Charles Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, were presented in three venues in August. On August 9 he performed his compositions Anselmo and What Bends, for electric violin, interactive computer music, and processed video, in collaboration with video artists Jay Bruns/noway and Zach Duer, and presented a workshop on composing for spatial audio at the Audio Engineering Society International Conference on Spatial Reproduction, through the 5.1.4-channel immersive audio system in the 100th Anniversary Hall of Tokyo Denki University in Tokyo, Japan. At the same conference, his Shakespeare’s Garden, for processed environmental sounds, recited poetry, and video of the art installation, a collaboration with directors Amanda Nelson and Natasha Staley and lighting designer John Ambrosone from the School of Performing Arts, was played continually through the 22.2-channel immersive audio system in Studio B of Tokyo University of the Arts on August 8 and 9. Nichols’ composition Beyond the Dark, for computer music and video of the Dense Space art installation, a collaboration with architect Paola Zellner Bassett, was also played continually at the International Computer Music Conference, on the Lotte Facade jumbotron in Daegu, Korea, August 6–10.

Ashley Reichelmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, was awarded an NSF RAPID Grant of $50,000 to study the impact of a newly developed large-scale memorial. Through a survey of the residents of the surrounding community, the project focuses on understanding how this memorial to victims of past collective violence affects individuals socially, emotionally, and politically as well as impacts interactions between group members at the individual and the community level. Nationally, the results provide the opportunity to determine the role and use of memorialization in intergroup relations. Co-principal investigators are Sociology faculty members James Hawdon, Director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, and John Ryan, department chair.

Christine Labuski, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, and Philip Olson, an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, published “‘There’s Always a [White] Man in the Loop’: The Gendered and Racialized Politics of Civilian Drones,” Social Studies of Science 48.4 (2018): 540–63.

Aarnes Gudmestad, an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “Advanced-level Mood Distinction,” Handbook of Advanced Proficiency in Second Language Acquisition, ed. Paul Malovrh and Alessandro Benati (Malden, Massachusetts: Wiley, 2018), pp. 343–60.

Patrick Ridge, an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “A ‘Friendly’ Game: Homoaffectivity in Club de Cuervos,” The Routledge Companion to Gender, Sex and Latin American Culture, ed. Frederick Luis Aldama (New York, New York: Routledge, 2018), pp. 287–99; and “Football (Soccer) in Latin America,” Oxford Bibliographies: Latin American Studies, online, June 27.

James Hawdon, director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention in the Department of Sociology, was awarded $170,000 over three years from the National Science Foundation for “ATD: Forecasting Threats Due to Polarization Using Patio-Temporal Topic Flows.” Shyam Ranganathan, Statistics, serves as Principal Investigator, with Hawdon, Peter Hauck, and Scotland Leman as co-Principal Investigators. The project is aligned with the Integrated Security Destination Area.

Karen Roberto, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and director of the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment, published Community Resources for Older Adults: Programs and Services in an Era of Change, fifth edition (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2019), with Robbyn Wacker. Roberto and Wacker also received the 2018 Cornerstone Author award from Sage, which honors first-rate scholarship, quality writing, and lasting impact of the work.

The Center for Humanities celebrated its official launch on August 31 at The Inn at Virginia Tech. The center, directed by Sylvester Johnson, a professor in the Department of Religion and Culture and assistant vice provost for the humanities, serves to elevate the presence and profile of humanities disciplines across the university. It will provide programs that support faculty fellowships, departmental grants, and events in the humanities and is committed to building on collaborations across the university.

Matthew Heaton, an associate professor in the Department of History, published “The Politics and Practice of Thomas Adeoye Lambo: Towards a Post-colonial History of Transcultural Psychiatry,” History of Psychiatry 29.3 (2018): 315–30.

Ariel Gunn, a senior majoring in German and industrial and systems engineering, was selected as a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) 2018-2019 Young Ambassador; she is one of 33 undergraduates in North America chosen for this honor.

Young Ambassadors have studied or interned recently in Germany and are interested in promoting study in Germany at their home universities and colleges. Gunn, who spent the 2016–2017 academic year at the Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie, is the sixth Virginia Tech student to be selected to participate in this program; Virginia Tech has had continuous participation since 2011.

ASPECT doctoral student Mary Ryan published “Insider Job,” Oasis: An Anticapitalist Journal of the Desert, Issue 3 (Spring 2018): 13–16; and “Government Surveillance: Racism and Civic Virtue in the United States,” Surveillance, Race, Culture, ed. Susan Flynn and Antonia Mackay (Basingstoke, United Kingdom, and New York, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 43–59. In addition, Ryan presented “The Women’s March as a Testimony for Utopian Democracy” at the 2018 Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting, which was held August 10–12 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Richard Hirsh, a professor in the Department of History, published “Shedding New Light on Rural Electrification: The Neglected Story of Successful Efforts to Power Up Farms in the 1920s and 1930s,” Agricultural History 92.3 (2018): 296–327.

Emily Satterwhite, an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, published “Mapping Appalachia’s Boundaries: Historiographic Overview and Digital Collection,” Journal of Appalachian Studies 24.1 (Spring 2018): 89–100, as well as “Mapping Appalachia: A Digital Collection,” both with Abigail August and Stewart Scales.

Nick Gowen, a master’s student in the counselor education program in the School of Education, published “Vocational Wellness in Older Adulthood: Research and Practice” on August 1 in Career Convergence, an online web magazine published by the National Career Development Association.

Matthew Gabriele, a professor of the Department Religion and Culture, has been appointed chair of the Department of Religion and Culture.

Gabriele co-edited Apocalpyse and Reform from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (Oxon, United Kingdom, and New York, New York: Routledge, 2018), with James Palmer.

His individual contribution to the volume was “This Time. Maybe This Time. Biblical Commentary, Monastic Historiography, and Lost Cause-ism at the Turn of the First Millennium,” pp. 183–203.

University Distinguished Professor, Timothy Luke, in the Department of Political Science, published “The Anthropocene as Eco-Futurology,” Frontiers of Global Sociology: Research Perspectives in the 21st Century, ed. Markus S. Schulz (Berlin, Germany: ISA Research, 2018), pp. 11–18; and “Reflections from a Damaged Planet: Adorno as Accompaniment to Environmentalism in the Anthropocene,” Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 183 (Summer 2018): 9–24.

Two ASPECT doctoral students, Leigh McKagen and Shelby Ward, presented papers at “Narrating International Relations: Exploring Narrative as Concept and Method,” a workshop sponsored by the British International Studies Association and held at the University of Hamburg in Germany, August 26–27. McKagen presented “Writing Imperial Futures: Domination Narratives in Science Fiction Television,” and Ward presented “Mapping as Narrative: Sri Lankan Tourist Maps as a Story of Neocolonial International Relations.”

Matthew Fullen, an assistant professor in the School of Education department, published “Ageism and the Counseling Profession: Causes, Consequences, and Methods for Counteraction,” The Professional Counselor 8.2 (2018): 104–14; and “Comparing Successful Aging, Resilience, and Holistic Wellness as Predictors of the Good Life,” Educational Gerontology 44.7 (2018): 459–68, with Virginia Richardson and Darcy Haag Granello.

Paula Seniors, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, co-edited Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls (London, United Kingdom, and New York, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), with Michelle Duster and Rose Thevenin. Seniors’ individual contribution to the volume was “Reconfiguring Black Motherhood: Michelle Obama and the ‘Mom in Charge Trope,’” pp. 175–208. In addition, she published “Mae Mallory,” Black Power Encyclopedia: From Black is Beautiful to Urban Uprisings, ed. Umoja Akinyele, Karin L. Stanford, and Jasmine A. Young (Santa Barbara, California, and Denver, Colorado: Greenwood, 2018), pp. 493–96.

Amy Azano, an associate professor in the School of Education, published “What Counts as Evidence in Rural Schools? Evidence-Based Practice and Practice-Based Evidence for Diverse Settings,” The Rural Educator 39.2 (2018): 33–37, with Karen Eppley, Patrick Shannon, and Devon Brenner.

Richard Masters, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, served from June 13 to July 22 as the associate head coach for the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, where he coached young singers and mainstage artists, played rehearsals, and performed in the orchestra for productions of Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Richard Strauss’s Arabella.

In addition, Masters was invited to be part of the faculty at the Druid City Opera Workshop at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa May 16–24 and to serve as music director for the Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival Production of Fiorello! from July 23 to August 11.

Megan Dolbin-MacNab, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, was elected by the Gerontological Society of America as a fellow in its Behavioral and Social Sciences Section. Fellows are nominated by peers for work advancing the study of aging through research, administration, and teaching. MacNab’s research focuses on grandparents who have to raise their grandchildren because of the impact of the opioid addiction epidemic. She will be recognized as a new fellow at the society’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston in November.

ASPECT doctoral student Leigh McKagen published “‘To Boldly Go!’ Adventure and Empire in Star Trek” on the “Imperial and Global Forum” on June 14 as part of a roundtable on Science Fiction and Imperial History.

Natasha Staley, an associate professor in the School of Performing Arts, served as voice and text director for the summer productions of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the New Swan Shakespeare Festival in Irvine, California; public performances took place July 13 through September 1.

María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, published “Symptoms of a Civil War: Affect, Disease and Urban Violence in Arturo Menéndez’s Malacrianza/The Crow’s Nest (2014),” Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas 15.2 (2018): 217–32.

Ananda Abeysekara, an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, published “Religious Studies’ Mishandling of Origin and Change: Time, Tradition, and Form of Life in Buddhism,” Cultural Critique 98 (Winter 2018):

Erika Meitner, an associate professor in the Department of English, published the following poems: “I’ll Remember You As You Were, Not As What You’ll Become,” Misrepresented People, eds. Maria Isabel Alvarez and Dante Di Stefano (New York, New York: New York Quarterly Books, 2018), p. 141; “White Earth” and “The Replication Machine,” Southern Indiana Review25.1 (Spring 2018): 11–12 and 13–14; “The Clock of the Long Now,” Poetry Northwest 12.2 (Winter and Spring 2018): 4; “Jackhammering Limestone,” Gulf Coast30.1 (Winter/Spring 2018): 137–38; and “A Brief Ontological Investigation,” online to more than 350,000 subscribers as part of the Academy of American Poets’ poem-a-day feature on July 19.

In addition, Meitner published the essay “HolyMolyLand,” The Fourth River 15 (Spring 2018): 33–37.

ASPECT doctoral student Emma Stamm published “Dimensionality Curses,” Oasis: An Anticapitalist Journal of the Desert, Issue 3 (Spring 2018): 21–31.