Scholarly Achievements

December 18, 2019

Here are the latest accomplishments in scholarship, research, and craft by MBU faculty and staff.

Ralph Cohen, professor of Shakespeare and Performance and English

A festschrift published in his honor entitled Shakespeare in the Light: Essays in Honor of Ralph Alan Cohen, sixteen essays written by his teachers, colleagues, former students, and actors. Among the essayists were MBU professors Mary Hill Cole and Marlena Hobson who co-authored “‘What Would’st Thou Do Now’: The Visionary Impact of Shakespeare on a Small College Town,” Matt Davies who wrote “‘And Practice Rhetoric in Your Common Talk’: How Ralph Made Rhetors of Us All,” and Paul Menzer, who edited the book and wrote the Introduction titled “Being Ralph Cohen.”

Matt Davies, associate professor of Shakespeare and Performance

Chapter “And practice rhetoric in your common talk: How Ralph Made Rhetors Of Us All,” included in Shakespeare in the Light: Essays in Honor of Ralph Alan Cohen, published by Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and launched at the November 2019 Blackfriars Conference.

Deborah Diaz, associate professor of physical therapy

Chapter “Examination and evaluation of functional movement activities, body functions and structures, and participation” published in Lazaro R, Reina-Guerra S, Quiben M. eds. Umphred’s Neurological Rehabilitation Expert Consult, 7th Edition. New York. Elsevier, 2019.

Kent Diduch, associate professor, physician assistant program

Presented “An Update on Concussions” at the Art of Medicine fall conference of the Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants in Richmond Virginia in November.

Bruce Dorries, associate professor of communication

Co-authored “How National Media Framed Coverage of Missing Black and White Women”, a study with Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez of Baylor University, and MBU alumna Harriet Blackwell. The chapter appears in the newly published Readings in Cultural Diversity and Criminal Justice.

Allison Ellington, program director, doctor of occupational therapy program; assistant professor

Co-presented two posters with MDCHS OT students at the Virginia OT Association conference: Cultural Perceptions and OT: How Culture Influences the Occupational Therapy Process with student Kaytlan Sweetman, and Occupational Therapy’s Role in Pediatric Oncology and Palliative Care with student Rachel McDaniel.

Janet Ewing, director, Q Center

Chaired the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Quadrennial Meeting of Sigma Beta Delta in Philadelphia, PA. Four current students and three MBU alumni accompanied her to the meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

Louise Freeman, professor of psychology

Presented a poster at the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis meeting in October: “Reducing disruptive vocalizations through noncontingent and differential reinforcement in a client with Rett Syndrome.”

Presented two papers at the 8th Annual Harry Potter Academic Conference at Chestnut Hill College in October: “Hermione Granger and Tris Prior: a Case of Twin Personalities” and “Phantoms, Brains, Rowling and Ramachandran.”

Her paper “The Ghost of His Last Laugh: Evolving Humor in Harry Potter” has been accepted for the edited volume The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter, vol. 2, to be published next summer by University of Missouri Academic Press.

Christopher Harnish, founding director, exercise science program

Served as second author on “Fundamental Movement and Dynamic Balance Disparities Among Varying Skill Levels in Golfers” published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.

Served as first author on one abstract, and a contributor on three collaborative abstracts with Oxford and Queens Universities that were submitted to the 2020 American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting.

Lise Keiter, professor of music

Performed on several concerts as part of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival in Harrisonburg.

Pianist for a benefit concert for the Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, “Nightingales of the Shenandoah Valley.”

Featured piano soloist in Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto in two concerts with the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra. This special event was in honor of Clara Schumann’s 200th birthday.

Performed with several other musicians on a benefit concert for Walk for Alzheimer’s in Harrisonburg.

Daniel Metraux, professor emeritus and adjunct professor of Asian studies

Published article “Wakamatsu Farm and the Creation of Japanese America” in 2019 issue of the journal Japan Studies Review (Pub. by Southern Japan Seminar and Florida International Univ.)

Brenci Patiño, associate professor of Spanish

Moderated the panel “The Borderlands of Identity in the Nuevo South” at the 2019 El Mundo Zurdo Conference (an international conference on the border theory and the work of Gloria Anzaldúa) at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Undergraduate students Angie Contreras and Tamera Skye Phinizy were presenters on the panel.

Craig Robertson, assistant professor of music, choir director

Successfully defended his dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Aimee Rose, vice president of integrated communications and chief strategy officer

Received the National Higher Ed Marketer of the Year award from the American Marketing Association (AMA), presented at the 2019 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in Las Vegas in recognition of the impact she has had on MBU and the industry. The AMA Marketer of the Year award honors extraordinary leadership and achievement in the field of higher education marketing and is given annually by the AMA Foundation and its founding sponsor, Chicago-based marketing and communications agency Lipman Hearne.

Melissa Scheiber, assistant professor of biology

Attended the 21st Annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS) this past October at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA.

Students Lindsey Evans ’20, Parker Moore ’22, and Zemariah Sanders ’22 presented a poster on the data they collected this past summer in the CURE course: “The effect of levonorgestrel on breast cancer progression

Molly Seremet, assistant professor of theatre

MBU theatre department in collaboration with the Shakespeare and Performance program held a successful Symposium on Staging Gendered Violence in November. This event was organized by Kerry Cooke, Doreen Bechtol, and Molly Seremet and brought a stellar line-up of practitioners, scholars, and artists to MBU at the Wharf for an engaging weekend of insight and activism on the cutting-edge of the field.

Her essay, “The Collectible Ofelia: Object-Oriented Feminisms and the First Quarto’s Un-Human Corpus,” will be included in an upcoming edited collection titled Variable Objects: Shakespeare’s Dispossessed Agency. This collection is edited by Dr. Louise Geddes and Dr. Valerie Fazel and is published through University of Edinburgh Press.

Lisa Shoaf, director, School of Health and Human Performance; professor of physical therapy

Co-presented an educational session with Judith Steel from Virginia Commonwealth University entitled “Utilizing Strategies from Motor Learning to Enhance Verbal Cueing in Dancers” at the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science annual conference in Montreal, Canada, in October.

Pam Stephenson, assistant professor of occupational therapy

Presented poster at the American Occupational Therapy Association Education Summit in New Orleans: “Fostering Student Resilience in an Interprofessional Context.”

Presented multiple projects at the Virginia Occupational Therapy Annual Conference in Reston, VA.
Poster presentations: “The hidden benefit of everyday leadership: Reducing burnout in occupational therapy practice,” presented with Dr. Lisa Burns, and OT students Nikki Glowatsky and Melanie Blank; “Occupational therapy’s role in promoting positive mental health across the lifespan,” presented with OT students Miranda Montgomery, Brandi Johnson, and Danielle Hale.
Short course presentations: “Occupational therapy’s role in suicide prevention across practice settings,” presented with OT students Asma Judda and Julianne Boggs; “Occupational therapy’s role in literacy: Improving outcomes and promoting community participation,” presented with OT students Haley Aducci and Taylor Bruno.

Virginia Trovato, director of advising, MBU Online; and Sharon Barnes, director, MBU Online – Roanoke

Served as presiders at the Association of Continuing Higher Education conference in Denver, CO this October. Virginia Trovato is the Virginia Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Sharon Barnes is the past President of the Mid-Atlantic region and chair of the nominating committee.

Sandy Wagoner and Greg Hansen, assistant professors of occupational therapy

Co-presented occupational therapy simulation at the annual Virginia Occupational Therapy Association Conference: “Do students prefer simulated learning experiences interacting with a ‘real man’ or a high-fidelity mannequin?”

The presentation shared the outcomes of an OT simulation study completed at MDCHS in the fall of 2018 where half the student participants completed a lab experience with a simulated mannequin and the other half a real man.

Wesley Wilson, adjunct faculty, College of Education

Co-Principal Investigator for the examination of San Jose City College Continuing and Technical Education Division’s excessive credit students, resulting in a $49,000 contract from May to December and a conference presentation at the November 2019 California League for Community Colleges: “79 Plus Model Ensuring Student Success.”

Co-Principal Investigator for the effectiveness evaluation of the “Tee Up the Skills/21st Century Workforce Transferable Skills,” resulting in $48,000 contract from September 2019 to September 2021.