Faculty Notes for February 2016: Publications, Quotes and More

Aaron Romanowsky

Aaron Romanowsky has been named a 2016 Cottrell Scholar.

Department of English and Comparative Literature Lecturer Sally Ashton and Professor Persis Karim were among the featured poets reading at a reception on Feb. 7 for the San Jose Quilt Museum’s “Earth, Water, Air, Fire” show. Ashton and Karim read ekphrastic poems specifically created for the exhibition and inspired by the fiber art on display. Ashton’s most recent poetry collection is Some Odd Afternoon (BlazeVOX 2010). Karim is co-editor of and contributor to Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers (University of Arkansas Press 2013).

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business Professor Emeritus Alvin Beckett, who taught at SJSU for more than 30 years, celebrated his 100th birthday on Feb. 10. His daughter, UC Davis Professor Dr. Laurel Beckett, reports: “Dad was a feminist and fighter for social justice for students and colleagues of color. Just one story: in the late 1950s, one of his top students got married and became pregnant and was going to drop out of college. My dad told her she needed to stay in school and helped her work out finances and childcare. She went on to graduate, get her master’s and have a very successful career. The baby boy grew up to be a doctor and he and his wife (also a doctor) are colleagues of mine here at UC Davis Medical School. Our families have stayed friends all these years.”

Professor Alison Bridger, chair of the meteorology and climate science, assured CBS SF Bay Area reporters that, despite a run of dry and warm weather this month, El Niño is still influencing weather patterns on the West Coast. The rain will return and, once it does, it will continue into April, Bridger explained. Regarding February’s mild spell, Bridger said she’s “telling all my friends: ‘Enjoy it while you can.’”

Professor Richard Craig, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, appeared on KGO Radio’s “Ronn Owens Show” to talk about the presidential primaries and his most recent book, Polls, Expectations and Elections: TV News Making in U.S. Presidential Campaigns (Lexington Books 2014). In researching the book, Craig analyzed transcripts of “CBS Evening News” broadcasts during the presidential election campaigns, 1968-2012.

Professor Emeritus Larry Gerston, political science, was guest speaker at Los Altos’s Morning Forum lecture series this month. His topic: “The 2016 Election: Why We should Care (and Why Few People Do).” Morning Forum series subscriptions are available to all. The lectures take place at Los Altos United Methodist Church on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Chair and Professor of Anthropology Roberto Gonzalez was featured on BBC’s Radio 4 on “From Savage to Self: Anthropology Goes to War,” on Feb. 1. Gonzalez discussed Cold War anthropology. “These areas were battlegrounds for ideas and the hearts and minds of people during the Cold War,” said Gonzalez, of Latin America, the Middle East and South East Asia, during the interview.

School of Information Associate Professor Lili Luo received the 2016 Association for Library and Information Science Education’s Best Methodology Paper award for a paper she co-authored titled “Vignettes: Implications for LIS Research.” The award carries a $500 honorarium and the opportunity to present a summary of the paper’s findings at the annual ALISE conference.

In January, former Assistant Professor Ralph McLaughlin, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, was promoted to chief economist of Trulia’s Housing Economics Research Team. He left academia in 2014 to join the company, an online home shopping marketplace. “As an economist and long-time house hunter, I understand what buyers, sellers and renters care about and why they need to know to successfully navigate today’s polarized housing market,” McLaughlin said. “Under my leadership, Trulia will continue to explore the growing divide between the ‘Costly Coasts’ in the booming West and Northeast markets versus the ‘Bargain Belt’ in the sluggish South and Midwest markets. It’s a trend that has important ramifications for the U.S. economy and housing policy.”

Professor Aaron Romanowsky, from the physics and astronomy department, has been selected as one of 24 scientists to be recognized as a 2016 Cottrell Scholars by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. He will receive a $100,000 to support his research and teaching. He is one of two CSU professor to receive the distinction since its inception in 1994. His most recent research article “Satellite accretion in action: a tidally disrupting dwarf of spheroidal around the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 253” was published in December 2015 in

Associate Professor Ryan Skinnell, who joined the faculty of the Department of English and Comparative Literature last fall, received the Theresa J. Enos Anniversary Award for the best essay published in Rhetoric Review in the preceding year. His essay, “Who Cares if Rhetoricians Landed on the Moon? Or, a Plea for Reviving the Politics of Historiography,” appeared in the journal’s April 2015 issue. His new book, Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition’s Institutional Fortunes, will be published in September by Utah State University Press.

Communications Studies Professor Matthew Spangler received the top paper award in performance studies from the Western States Communication Association in San Diego in Feb. 28. He presented his paper, “Fall and Recover: The Making of Modern Dance with Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Dublin, Ireland” about refugees who are working in the performing arts in Ireland, and specifically, are making live performances inspired by their migration experiences.