A&S Faculty News
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Cunningham on Firing Sally Yates
Sean Cunningham, Chair of the Department of History, has been quoted Jan. 31 in mainstream news outlets such as USA Today, CNBC, Newsmax, and Yahoo.com regarding President Donald Trump's firing of Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce his immigration policy. Some Trump critics compared the Yates firing to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre," when in 1973 then-President Richard Nixon fell out with the Attorney General's Office—an event that ended with the resignations of the attorney general and deputy attorney general. Cunningham's take on the comparison: "Clashes between presidents and attorney generals aren't unprecedented, but neither are they common," he told USA Today. Cunningham did not compare Yates' firing to the "Saturday Night Massacre," the story reported, but he did say that "One of the important takeaways is that Nixon's efforts to control the attorney general and control the Watergate narrative, backfired badly."
Sievert Weighs in on Voter Fraud
Joel Sievert, a Visiting Faculty member in the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a FOX-34 news item about President Trump's call to investigate voter fraud. The Jan. 25 story said that some people think the investigation might be used to expand voter identification laws. "One would imagine that the line of attack the administration is likely to follow is the way we're going to get around voter fraud is that we need stricter laws," Sievert was quoted as saying. Sievert will join the Department of Political Science as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2017.
Ramkumar on India's Cotton Market
Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology/The Institute for Environmental & Human Health, wrote an article about India's cotton crop that was published Jan. 24 in Cotton Grower and Jan. 25 in Cotton Association of India. In the report, "Indian Cotton Crop Estimated at 34.1 Million Bales," Ramkumar compares the estimated crop for the October 2016-September 2017 season with the previous year and evaluates the factors—such as mill consumption and supply delivery times—that may cause price volatility.
Perkins Finds Speech Non-Partisan
Jared Perkins, Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a Jan. 20 FOX-34 news segment about Donald Trump's inauguration speech. Perkins was quoted as saying that Trump's speech was non-partisan in many ways, reflecting the president's approach to his campaign. "He was really speaking to the Americans that invested a lot of their hope in him, and voted for him, and really felt left out of the political process," Perkins told the Lubbock television station. "The first few minutes were really targeted towards politicians, and elites on both sides of the aisle who he says haven't been doing anything for the American people."
Forbis on Pick for Energy Secretary
Robert Forbis, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a Jan. 19 FOX-34 news story about former Texas Governor Rick Perry, now in his confirmation hearing as President Trump's nomination for secretary of energy. Forbis was quoted in the story as saying that Perry would have to work with scientists to address climate change and the burning of fossil fuels. In the past, Perry was skeptical about human activity's influence on climate change, a position the former governor has since changed. "You do not address climate change without addressing energy policy," Forbis told FOX-34. "The two go hand in hand. And in terms of Governor Perry's remarks today and in the past, those of us who do this research are a bit concerned."
Martin Tapped for EPA Advisor
Clyde Martin, a Horn Professor emeritus in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, has been selected as a member of the Science Advisory Board for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as reported Jan. 19 in Texas Tech Today. He will serve as a special government employee and provide independent expert advice on technical issues underlying EPA policies and decision making. Martin's background includes applying stochastic modeling to environmental problems, in particular to the problem of climate change.
Tang Quoted on Smoking Cessation
Yi-Yuan Tang, Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute, was one of 10 experts consulted for WalletHub's Jan. 17 article, "The Real Cost of Smoking by State." The story showed the costs of smoking over an individual smoker's lifetime and over a year, state-by-state. Total costs per smoker took into account factors such as out-of-pocket expenditures, health-care costs, income loss, and higher insurance rates. Lifetime total costs per smoker ranged from the low of $1.1 million for Kentucky residents to the high of $2.3 million for New York State residents. Tang was quoted as saying that the most effective strategies to quit smoking rely on brain-based treatments that target self-control combined with intention to quit. "If smokers only rely on intention or motivation, it often fails," he told WalletHub. Tang is known for his research on mindful meditation to quit smoking. The article also prompted Tang to weigh in on e-cigarettes and the legalization of marijuana: "Since e-cigarettes have nicotine, the same chemical that induces craving and addiction with cigarettes, in principle they should the treated as cigarettes." And, "Although several surveys and studies have suggested that marijuana legalization leads to increased use of marijuana, while tobacco use decreases in some degree, more rigorous research is warranted."
Hayhoe Blog in Long Beach Paper
Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was featured in the Jan. 6 edition of the Long Beach College Viking for her video blog called Global Weirding, produced in conjunction with KTTZ-TV.
Sweet Leads Trip to San Salvador
Dustin Sweet, Assistant Professor of Geology in the Department of Geosciences, leads a field trip to San Salvador, where graduate students study carbonate sediments, better known as limestone. Sweet's most recent trip was the subject of a Jan. 6 story in Texas Tech Today: "San Salvador Helps Geologists Connect the Past with the Present." Sweet is quoted in the story as saying that he hopes students learn by getting to "take modern carbonate sediment and run it through their fingers, look at the different constituents—there's a snail, there's a clam and there's all this fine-grain sediment—and picture that mass of sediment in their hand being turned into a rock." Sweet explained that carbonate sediments are most commonly created directly from sea shells or are created as a result of erosion caused by fish chomping on corals. Other types of sediments are inorganic and created through physical or chemical erosion that find their way out into the ocean. Living creatures adapt to changing conditions in ways that inorganic sediments cannot, Sweet told Texas Tech Today, so carbonate sediments—and the rocks they form into—can tell geologists about the environment at the time they were created.
Noel Talks Gas Prices on Local TV
Michael Noel, associate professor in the Department of Economics, was consulted for a FOX-34 story, "Gas Prices Continue to Rise," broadcast Jan. 2. "Right now, OPEC is getting together some non-OPEC countries and they've agreed to cut [oil] production by a good two percent of world production," Noel told the Lubbock TV station. As a result, "It's possible you could see prices jump, to between $2.50 and $3 a gallon," Noel said. "Keep in mind now with the technology that we have in the oil wells and the Permian Basin, Midland, North Dakota, there is a natural break on gasoline prices now. Once they get to $60, $70, $80 production, the U.S. starts pumping right up and slows down any increasing prices after that," Noel said, adding that the United States consumes less gasoline now than it did 20 years ago, and that Europe consumes less than it did 50 years ago. Now, demand from other parts of the world—China, India, South East Asia—has a large effect on crude prices," Noel explained.
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2016 FACULTY NEWS
"True Sex: the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century"
Emily Skidmore, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, uncovers the stories of 18 trans men who lived in the United States between 1876 and 1936 in "True Sex, the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century." At the turn of the 20th century, trans men were not necessarily urban rebels seeking to overturn stifling gender roles. In fact, they often sought to pass as conventional men, choosing to live in small towns where they led ordinary lives, aligning themselves with the expectations of their communities. They were, in a word, unexceptional. Despite the "unexceptional" quality of their lives, their stories are nonetheless surprising and moving, challenging much of what we think we know about queer history. By tracing the narratives surrounding the moments of "discovery" in these communities—from reports in local newspapers to medical journals and beyond—this book challenges the assumption that the full story of modern American sexuality is told by cosmopolitan radicals. Rather, "True Sex" reveals complex narratives concerning rural geography and community, persecution and tolerance, and how these factors intersect with the history of race, identity and sexuality in America. (NYU Press, September 2017)
"The Restless Indian Plate and Its Epic Voyage from Gondwana to Asia"
Sankar Chatterjee, Horn Professor in the Department of Geosciences, writes that the fossil history of animal life in India is central to our understanding of the tectonic evolution of Gondwana, the dispersal of India, its northward journey, and its collision with Asia in "The Restless Indian Plate and Its Epic Voyage from Gondwana to Asia" . According to a review in Phys.org, "This beautifully illustrated volume provides the only detailed overview of the paleobiogeographic, tectonic, and paleoclimatic evolution of the Indian plate from Gondwana to Asia," and quotes Chatterjee and his colleagues as saying, "The tectonic evolution of the Indian plate represents one of the most dramatic and epic voyages of all drifting continents: 9,000 kilometers in 160 million years. ... The extensive reshuffling of the Indian plate was accompanied by multiple temporary filter bridges, resulting in the cosmopolitan nature of tetrapod fauna." The review goes on to conclude that "This thorough, up-to-date volume is a must-have reference for researchers and students in Indian geology, paleontology, plate tectonics, and collision of continents." (The Geological Society of America, July 2017)
"Modern Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition"
Angela Lumpkin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, offers, in "Modern Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition," descriptions and examples of unethical behaviors in sport that will challenge readers to think about how they view sport and question whether participating in sport builds character—especially at the youth and amateur levels. Sport potentially can teach character as well as social and moral values, but only when these positive concepts are consistently taught, modeled, and reinforced by sport leaders with the moral courage to do so. The seeming moral crisis threatening amateur and youth sport—evidenced by athletes, coaches, and parents alike making poor ethical choices—and ongoing scandals regarding performance-enhancing drug use by professional athletes make sports ethics a topic of great concern. This work enables readers to better understand the ethical challenges facing competitive sport by addressing issues such as gamesmanship, doping, cheating, sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for the game. A compelling read for coaches, sport administrators, players, parents, and sport fans, the book examines specific examples of unethical behaviors—many cases of which occur in amateur and educational sports—to illustrate how these incidents threaten the perception that sport builds character. It identifies and investigates the multiple reasons for cheating in sport, such as the fact that the rewards for succeeding are so high, and the feeling of athletes that they must behave as they do to "level the playing field" because everyone else is cheating, being violent, taking performance-enhancing drugs, or doing whatever it takes to win. Readers will gain insight into how coaches and sport administrators can achieve the goals for youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, and Olympic sport by stressing moral values and character development as well as see how specific recommendations can help ensure that sport can serve to build character rather than teach bad behavior in the pursuit of victory. (ABC-CLIO, December 2016)
"Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport" 10th Edition
Angela Lumpkin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, gives college students a wide-angle view of physical education, exercise science, sport, and the wealth of careers available in these fields in the 10th Edition of "Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport." The textbook provides the principles, history, and future of physical education, exercise science, and sport. Lumpkin's clear writing style engages the reader while covering the most important introductory topics in this updated introduction to the world of physical education. (McGraw-Hill, July 2016)
William Wenthe, Professor in the Department Of English, explores painful and fleeting emotions within the 96 pages of "God's Foolishness." Here, he mines the feelings of human uncertainty in matters of love and desire, time and death, and uncovers difficult truths with transformative insights. These are poems of crisis. Wenthe examines our conflicting urges to see nature as sustenance and to foolishly destroy it. His poems shift from close observation to panorama with cinematic fluidity, from a tea mug to an ancient monument, from a warbler on an elm branch to the specter of imminent natural disaster. Offering passion and intellect balanced with a careful concern for poetic craft, Wenthe's "God's Foolishness" gives us fine poems to savor and admire. Watch the YouTube video here. (LSU, May 2016)
"Before the Gregorian Reform: The Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium"
John Howe, Professor in the Department of History, challenges the familiar narrative that the era from about 1050 to 1150 was the pivotal moment in the history of the Latin Church. The status quo states it was then that the Gregorian Reform movement established the ecclesiastical structure that would ensure Rome's dominance throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. In "Before the Gregorian Reform," Howe examines earlier, "pre-Gregorian" reform efforts within the Church—and finds that they were more extensive and widespread than previously thought and that they actually established a foundation for the subsequent Gregorian Reform movement. The low point in the history of Christendom came in the late ninth and early tenth centuries—a period when much of Europe was overwhelmed by barbarian raids and widespread civil disorder, which left the Church in a state of disarray. As Howe shows, however, the destruction gave rise to creativity. Aristocrats and churchmen rebuilt churches and constructed new ones, competing against each other so that church building, like castle building, acquired its own momentum. Patrons strove to improve ecclesiastical furnishings, liturgy, and spirituality. Schools were constructed to staff the new churches. Moreover, Howe shows that these reform efforts paralleled broader economic, social, and cultural trends in Western Europe including the revival of long-distance trade, the rise of technology, and the emergence of feudal lordship. The result was that by the mid-eleventh century a wealthy, unified, better-organized, better-educated, more spiritually sensitive Latin Church was assuming a leading place in the broader Christian world. "Before the Gregorian Reform" challenges us to rethink the history of the Church and its place in the broader narrative of European history. Compellingly written and generously illustrated, it is a book for all medievalists as well as general readers interested in the Middle Ages and Church history. (Cornell University Press, March 2016)
"New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures"
Ronald J. Kendal, Professor of Environmental Toxicology; Steven Presley, Professor of Immuno-toxicology; and Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor of Countermeasures to Biological Threats, all from the Department of Environmental Toxicology, have co-edited the newly published textbook, “New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures.” The volume compiles a decade's worth of research through TTU's Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats, and updated many changes in the field since an earlier book, “Advances in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures,” came out in 2008. “It's not just for college students,” Ramkumar said. “It's a tool for people in the field, from first responders all the way to policy makers.” (CRC Press, February 2016)
"Psychoanalytic Treatment in Adults: A Longitudinal Study of Change"
Rosemary Cogan, Adjuct Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, is co-author of "Psychonalytic Treatment in Adults: A longitudinal study of change." The book draws from 60 first-hand case studies to explore the outcomes of psychoanalytic treatment, providing examples of the long-term effectiveness of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic work as it delineates negative therapeutic treatment and discusses crucial changes in care. Outcomes of psychoanalysis, as with other psychotherapies, vary considerably. Cogan and her co-author, J.H. Porcerelli, used the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure to describe a patient at the beginning of psychoanalysis and every six months until the analysis ended. This allowed the authors to learn about changes over analysis and, in turn, improved treatment planning and practice for the well-being of other patients. Findings will be of interest to researchers and academics in the fields of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalytic education, psychiatry and psychology, and should also help clinicians recognize potential problems early in analytic treatments in order to work more effectively with patients. (Routeledge, February 2016)