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IUP Professor Uncovers the "Real" Dr. Livingstone

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The Scottish explorer and abolitionist Dr. David Livingstone was immortalized by the words fellow explorer Henry Morton Stanley uttered on a chance encounter in Tanzania in 1871: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

As it turns out, Livingstone was not quite as historians have presumed.

wisnicki_table_280.jpgA team of experts led by IUP's Adrian Wisnicki, assistant professor of English (left, photo), has used spectral imaging to recover text from Livingstone's original journals that disputes the edited official journals and helps historians to know the REAL Livingstone.

On February 29, 2012 at 5:30 p.m., Wisnicki and his team, which includes two scientists and IUP doctoral student A.J. Schmitz (right, photo), will present a panel discussion on how they recovered the text from the original journals.

This will be the first time the team presents about the project in the United States. When they presented their findings in November in England, they made international news headlines. 

"The Livingstone Spectral Imaging Project: Behind the Scenes" panel discussion is free and open to the community. It will be held in the IUP Libraries (ground floor).  

In 2009, Wisnicki, who specializes in British literature, found pages from Livingstone's original diary in an unmarked box in Scotland. He worked with a team of scholars, including Roger L. Easton Jr. from the Rochester Institute of Technology and Mike Toth from R.B. Toth Associates, to make the original journal pages legible. Easton and Toth will speak as part of  the panel at IUP.

Wisnicki compares the technology they used to the science in the movie National Treasure, in which Nicholas Cage recovers the "real" Declaration of Independence.

Of course, the science to recover the Livingstone journals is real.

As a great story in Pittsburgh Post Gazette notes, "Besides providing scholars with new information about Livingstone's adventures, reactions and comments about African culture, the project also advertises the potential of spectral imaging to transcribe illegible manuscripts written on paper, parchment, animal skins or other surfaces."

"It's been an extremely exciting project, not only because of what we have learned about Livingstone, but because of how technology and science have helped us to make this discovery," Wisnicki says.

At noon on Wednesday, March 1, the day after the panel discussion, Easton will present a program in the IUP Libraries about his work to recover text written by the philosopher and scientist Archimedes.

In addition to teaching, Wisnicki is codirector of IUP's Center for Digital Humanities and Culture. He believes that his work with the Livingstone journals fits into the work being done by the center.

"Projects like this show the importance of centers like this, recognizing that technology is part of academic work across all disciplines."

It's especially exciting to see how experts from the humanities and sciences, by working together, literally rewrite history.

Welcome to Northern Appalachia!

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Center Appalachian Studies 81111D_0181_crop260.jpgFor the first time, the Appalachian Studies Association has selected a location north of the Mason-Dixon Line for its annual conference of hundreds of scholars and artists. That location is IUP.

Thanks to the work of English professor Jim Cahalan and sociology professor Jim Dougherty, and the strong reputation of IUP's Center for Northern Appalachian Studies, the university will host more than 500 people for the ASA's 35th annual conference, "The Wide Reach of Appalachia," on March 23-25.

All are recognized experts on various topics associated with Appalachia and will be making presentations and participating in panel discussions.

Some 50 IUP faculty, staff, graduate students, and retired faculty will showcase their expertise as presenters.

While most presentations are open only to conference registrants, there are four presentations free and open to the community:

  • "Pennsylvania as Greater Appalachia: Historical Perspectives" 
  • "Appalachian Impacts of Global Warming: Reasons for Hope"
  • "The Significance of Powwows to Native Americans in Pennsylvania's Appalachia"
  • "Uncovering Racist Sundown Towns in Appalachia and Beyond"

si kahn.jpgInternationally known folk singer and songwriter Si Kahn will present a concert, open to the public, on March 24 at 8 p.m. in Fisher Auditorium. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students, and will be on sale starting February 20 at the Hadley Union Building or at the door immediately before the concert.

Kahn has worked for more than 45 years as a musician and civic rights, labor, and community organizer. He was named the 2010 top folk artist by the Folk Alliance. 

AND, to set the mood, Dougherty will be the presenter for the Six O'Clock Series program this Monday, February 20. His presentation, "You Are Living in Appalachia," offers a "myth busters" perspective on Appalachia.

"People don't realize that being in Indiana, Pa., you're smack dab in the northern tier of Appalachia. Our goal is to raise awareness about this region and its connection to larger society," Dougherty says.

The Fear Never Goes Away, IUP Sociologist Says

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Boxing_260px.jpgProfessor Christian Vaccaro's recent study of men's fear management continues to attract media attention, with a profile in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on January 30, 2012.

Vaccaro, a visting faculty member in IUP's Department of Sociology, conducted a two-year ethnographic study of mixed martial arts fighters to further understanding of how men manage their fears. The study was published in the December 2011 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

The PPG profile, "Study of martial arts fighters attempts to shed light on how men manage their fears,"  quoted Vaccaro as saying that most fighters never fully overcome their fear of losing or getting injured. However, they learn to manage it through "a number of mental strategies to exude dominance and maintain their masculine identity."

Vaccaro's research included interviews with more than 100 persons. He calls the process used by men "managing emotional manhood." His article also suggests that this ability may "create an emotional orientation that primes men to subordinate and harm others."

Vaccaro describes himself as a sociological social psychologist and symbolic interactionist interested in the study of gender, emotions, identity, and enbodiment.

The PPG article follows a number of mentions in national media, including in the Huffington Post and Men's Health News.

Thumbnail image for kopchick_lab.widea.jpgJohn Kopchick '72, M'75 recently learned that Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine's newest endowed research chair would be named for him.

Kopchick, the Goll Eminent Scholar and Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology at OU, is widely admired as an inventor of Somavert, a drug that treats acromegaly. Somavert has saved the lives of millions of people with this disorder, which can cause excessive growth of organs and bones and lead to premature death. It has also brought millions of dollars to Ohio University.

The new chair was established in recognition of Kopchick's extraordinary contributions to the medical field and the university. 

"This position is such an honor," he said. "The John J. Kopchick, Ph.D., Osteopathic Heritage Foundations Endowed Eminent Reseach Chair -- those words are very special. Thank you."

His stature notwithstanding, Kopchick's colleagues and students refer to him fondly as a down-to-earth friend and mentor who has a knack for building research teams, makes research fun, and is an inspiration. 

The new Kopchick Chair is funded by a $5 million endowment supported by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and Ohio University. It will be held first by a researcher recruited into the college's Department of Biomedical Sciences in 2016.

"I would hope whoever is the recipient would do their research with the same philosophy that I had, which is to do something that's going to change the world," Kopchick said. 

A recipient of IUP's Distinguished Alumni Award several years ago, Kopchick returned to campus in 2008 to receive an honorary doctoral degree and give the Commencement address.

See a story from the Athens (Ohio) News that explains the how the sale of partial royalty income rights of Somavert will help Ohio University.

Photo credit: Ohio University 


Rigorous Research = Successful Students

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James Jozefowicz

James Jozefowicz and Stephanie Brewer Jozefowicz are committed to helping students be successful in the field of economics.

The pair, both faculty members in IUP's Department of Economics, created a specialized economics research project and required it of their students. And, like good economists, the Drs. Jozefowicz collected and analyzed data related to students who had completed the project.

In reviewing the work of students post-project, they found that they were correct--this project HAS made a difference.

The Jozefowiczes' findings were the subject of a presentation at the 2011 Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees fall conference. "Ten Years of Learning by Doing: The Benefits of Undergraduate Research for IUP Economics Students" documented that students who completed the project have won many awards for research and have secured competitive jobs at national companies and organizations.

Stephanie Brewer Jozefowicz

For example, their students have won "best paper" awards at competitive regional competitions, the "best undergraduate student paper" award at the Pennsylvania Economic Association Conference, and seven "best presentation" awards at IUP's Undergraduate Scholars Conference.

Altogether, 80 students have done presentations at local and regional conferences, and 34 students have been published in national and international journals, including Applied Economics, Atlantic Economic Journal, International Advances in Economic Research, International Journal of Applied Economics, and New York Economic Review.

Students have found employment at places like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Science Foundation, Federal Reserach Bank of Philadelphia, Bank of New York Mellon, and many local and regional financial organizations.

Research papers are pretty routine for college students--what makes the Jozefowiczes' project different?

First, it's a 10- to 15-page paper, much more rigorous than most required writing. Students must select a topic of personal interest, build a data set, review economic literature, analyze and interpret the data using statistical methods, write a referred report for their peers, and then give an oral presentation. On top of it all, the paper has to be formatted like a professional journal article.

"The project is very student-focused," Stephanie Jozefowicz said. "We believed, and our research and the student evaluations confirmed this, that our 'let me show you how to do econometrics and send you out to do it' approach engages students and challenges them intellectually better than a more traditional instructor-focused 'let me tell you about econometrics' approach."

James Jozefowicz agreed.

"Not only did the students develop a positive attitude about learning because they could be creative in their choice of topic, but this type of project helps students to build a lifelong ability to 'do economics,'" he said.

College Technology DayFacebook, Twitter, PowerPoint, Google, the "Cloud," Prezi, D2L, podcasting, Photoshop, webinars, Moodle, tablets...

It's all part of teaching and learning today.

Confused? Don't worry. The College of Education and Educational Technology has your back.

January 18, 2012, is the second annual Technology Day, sponsored by the College of Education and Educational Technology. This event, held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Stouffer Hall's Beard Auditorium, is open to the entire IUP community and features faculty and staff members across the university sharing expertise on technology topics related to teaching and learning. It's free, and no registration is required--and you can come and go as your schedule permits.

Worried about best use of PowerPoint? Come to the 9:00 a.m. session with Cheryl Kohler.

Okay with PowerPoint but twitterpated about Twitter? Listen to John Lowery's program "Twitter Backchannels: Extending the Classroom Discussion," or Crystal Machado and Ying Jiang's "Don't Get Bitter... Just Twitter."

Facebook hater? Don't be. Come to Jennifer Forrest's "Using Facebook to Encourage and Monitor Students Working on Group Projects."

The programs all focus on how technology can advance teaching or the use of IUP's unique technology products, including IUP's new test-scoring system (presented by Joanne Kuta) and its new calendar system (co-presented by Todd Cunningham and Ben Dadson). In addition to the individual and group presentations, there will be a panel discussion about use of simulation in teaching and learning and one about "Teaching Online Courses--A Panel of Experienced Faculty."

These are just some of the presentations scheduled throughout the day. For a more detailed schedule, visit the College of Education website or contact Lloyd Onyett, assistant dean for technology.

There's No Place Like Home (Health Care)

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NursingSimLab111711PF34_260px.jpgOn Friday, December 9, the IUP Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions will introduce Red Yoder, Carl Shapiro, and Tamara Clark.

However, you probably won't see their biographies on the IUP website.

Red, Carl, and Tamara are residents of the new Nursing and Allied Health Professions Simulation Laboratory, located on the ground floor of IUP's Donna D. Putt Hall.

IUP will formally "cut the ribbon" for the new facility at 10:30 a.m. Friday. It will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This new simulation laboratory is designed especially to help prepare nursing students for careers in home health care. One of the areas in the laboratory is Red's "apartment," which includes a telehealth system. Telehealth allows the patient to work with a monitor at home that transmits health information to the home health care agency.

The simulation laboratory also includes training on electronic medical records.

Department chair Elizabeth (Lisa) Palmer was successful in 2010 in securing a $299,890 federal grant to create the new laboratory. She is the project director, and Julia Greenawalt, assistant chair, is co-director.

"Because of a shortage of nurses, there are an increasing number of home health care patients, especially in the rural areas, who are monitored by telehealth systems," Palmer explains. "This simulation equipment enhances undergraduate nursing education with opportunities to practice nursing care using electronic documentation and telehealth services prior to a student's on-site experiential work.

"The new simulated laboratory will advantage IUP students because a telehealth nurse must not only receive data from patients, but learn how to work with patients in the home."

The Putt lab manikins are designed with programs to mimic a rural patient with a common chronic illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, or obesity. 

During the open house, visitors will "meet" Red in his "home" at 11:00 a.m. At noon, visitors can observe a critical care situation with Carl. At 1:00 p.m., Tamara will be examined after having a baby. Then, at 2:00 p.m., Red is in need of additional care.

In addition to the simulations, tours of the new facility are available throughout the day, and visitors can also check their own blood pressure at a kiosk.

The department introduced its first simulation laboratory in 2007. This lab, in Johnson Hall, was renovated and expanded in 2009 and includes nine adult manikins, two adolescent manikins, a pediatric manikin, and other training equipment. (This lab has two hospital rooms that are so accurate in their resemblance to a real hospital setting that the lab was used by a national recording artist as the site for a music video!)

The best thing about these labs is that they are in constant use by students and faculty members. Nursing majors are initiated into use of the lab with medium-fidelity manikins in their sophomore year, and "by their senior year, our nursing students have become very skilled with hands-on care," Palmer said. In addition to the hands-on experience, the entire class has an excellent learning opportunity when it watches the simulation from the observation room.

Our nursing students continue to excel. For example, IUP's pass rate for the NCLEX, the national exam for nurses, is 96.1 percent for first-time test takers, compared to a national average of 87 percent. They also are in high demand by employers in all types of health care.

So, come congratulate them Friday and learn more about how our nation's future nurses are being trained. I think you'll breathe a little easier, thinking about your health care future.

Maureen McHugh.jpgAdolescent bullying, for good reason, is a hot topic, and one of IUP's professors is in the forefront of the discussion.

Maureen McHugh of the Psychology Department this week caught the attention of LiveScience. McHugh studies bullying, sexual harassment, and especially "slut-bashing," the practice of peers labeling other peers as dirty and promiscuous, oftentimes in the absence of any sexual activity at all on the part of the victim.

"Their peers know what kinds of words to use to hurt them," McHugh told LiveScience, adding that sexuality becomes an Achilles heel in the beginning of adolescence.

"It is serious, and not only in terms of something as devastating as suicide, but also people not doing their best in school to live up to their potential," McHugh said. "They don't apply themselves, or they skip school because they can't bear to be there. [Bullying] has a huge number of consequences for a lot of people."

See the full article.

McHugh serves as the associate editor of Sex Roles and teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Students at International Conferences? You Bet!

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IUP students truly do have the best of all worlds.

Rockies2_260px.jpgFaculty are committed to teaching and being available to students, AND faculty are part of cutting-edge research. Because they understand the value of both worlds, faculty know how to push students "out of the nest" and give them opportunities they may not have thought possible.

Daniel O'Hara, a Geoscience and Computer Science major from Ebensburg, has been selected to present at the American Geophysical Union Annual International Conference in San Francisco in December.

I've been to Ebensburg. It's a lovely little town, population 3,091 as of the 2000 census, but my point is that it's a long way from there to presenting at an INTERNATIONAL conference with 20,000 geoscientists from all over the planet. That is not a typo--there will be 20,000 scientists at this event.

Graduate students, especially those at the Ph.D. level, often have research and presentation opportunities at other universities, but IUP excels at giving undergraduates the chance to do research worthy of international presentations and then helping them acquire the skills and confidence to be part of prestigious conferences and meetings.

IUP also commits its financial resources to making these kinds of opportunities possible--in Daniel's case, he received support from the Department of Geoscience, the School of Graduate Studies and Research, the dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the IUP McNair Scholars Program.

Daniel's presentation is just the tip of the iceberg in counting up research presentation opportunities for undergraduates. It happens in all disciplines, from Anthropology to Theater and Dance.

Meggie PaceFor example, Meghan Pace, an Anthropology/Archaeology Track major from Bucks County, presented her research at a national conference in Atlanta, and it resulted in her landing a summer job at a geophysical consulting firm. ... That's in addition to her doing archaeological research in China's Fujian Province--all as an undergraduate. She's now working on her master's degree at IUP.

For the past six years, IUP has offered undergraduates an opportunity to prepare and present research and creative works at the Undergraduate Scholars Forum. Last year, the School of Graduate Studies and Research coordinated a forum for graduate research.

Congratulations, Daniel, and all of our students selected for these types of presentations. You bring great pride to IUP!

wisnicki1.jpgUpdate, November 11: The BBC also featured this discovery, and the report can be seen on the BBC website. The Associated Press also filed a report, as did the New York Times.

The Google Alert I received in my in box yesterday morning made me say out loud, "Oh!" It was an article in the Washington Post about one of our own professors' hunt for special treasure.

Adrian Wisnicki, who joined IUP's faculty this fall, teaches British Literature in the English Department. His discovery and analysis of one of David Livingstone's journals led to the story, which appeared in the November 1 edition. See the story.

Wisnicki, who is the codirector of the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture at IUP, initially went in search of Livingstone's field diary for the insight it would provide on Central Africa's culture in 1871, and he found it with the help of an archivist at the David Livingstone Center in Scotland. Wisnicki worked with Library of Congress spectral imaging experts to decipher the makeshift journal fashioned out of old newspaper and ink made from berries, which Livingstone, who was low on supplies, was forced to use. Wisnicki found discrepancies between Livingstone's working journal--the tattered find from Scotland--and his ultimate published work.

The conclusion is that Livingstone may have chosen to bend the truth to hide a few details that, in hindsight, would have reflected badly on his pristine image, according to the article. The famous explorer, missionary, and physician published an account of a massacre that eventually led to the abolition of a certain slave market, but his diary tells a different account.

Not even after a hundred forty years can someone hide from a persistent person and spectral imaging. Facts are stubborn things, although Wisnicki is still analyzing the journal's contents.

Wisnicki and the colleagues who worked on the project have ensured the full text of the journal is available online, hosted at UCLA's library. See the David Livingstone Spectral Imaging Project.

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