Faculty Focus-Dec. 14, 2020 | St. Lawrence University

Faculty Focus-Dec. 14, 2020

St. Lawrence University faculty members put their knowledge into action so students and others are able to benefit from it. Most often their research is published in peer-reviewed journals and articles and through lectures, as well as through conference papers and presentations. Take a look at what faculty members recently shared.

Guanyi Yang

Guanyi Yang, assistant professor of economics

Assistant Professor of Economics Guanyi Yang and a co-author have had their paper accepted for publication in Research in Economics, a peer-reviewed journal.

The article by Yang and Ben Casner, an economist at the Federal Trade Commission, is titled "How Much Does Schooling Disutility Matter?

According to Yang, "the decision to attend college is risky. On the possible adverse risks, one may face college dropout, unexpected realized college costs, adverse subsequent labor market turnout, and more difficulty than expected college debt repayment. Mainstream economics research on college decisions has mostly focused on college returns in an ideal environment without uncertainty. This paper provides a theoretical account showing that even among individuals with the same risk preference, students from wealthier families may have a different risk tolerance level than students from less affluent families."

Yang, who holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in economics, has focused his research on the area of macroeconomics, with an emphasis on topics related to Labor Economics. His current research focuses on the impact of endogenous labor market frictions on business cycle outcomes and the interconnections between wealth and income inequality over the lifecycle.

Associate Professor of Mathematics Maegan Bos is stepping up to help high school students and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with the College Board as an AP Daily course lecturer. The College Board is working with college professors from more than 200 universities nationwide to provide free, online AP Daily videos available to millions of students around the world seeking to challenge themselves with college-level coursework whether they are learning in-person, remotely, or in blended learning environments. Bos’ course will focus on differential equations.

Bos earned her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

Maegan bos

Maegan Bos, associate professor of mathematics

Mert Kartal

Mert Kartal, assistant professor of government

Assistant Professor of Government Mert Kartal recently had an article titled "Facilitating Deep Learning and Professional Skills Attainment in the Classroom: The Value of a Model United Nations Course," published in the Journal of Political Science Education.

The article presents one of the few systematic assessments of the impact of the in-class Model UN experience on student learning. The literature commonly praises Model UN for its consistently positive impact on deep learning, but Kartal's findings are less definitively positive. Based on student surveys, assignments, and debriefing sessions, Kartal determined that while the overall Model UN experience has a substantial impact on students’ knowledge and professional skill levels by strengthening negotiation and public speaking skills dramatically, but the improvement in decision-making, research, and teamwork was more moderate.

Kartal earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 and served as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for five years. Besides contributing to the scholarship of teaching and learning, his primary research focuses on the impact of international organizations on good governance at the national level.

Brook Henkel, assistant professor of German and film studies, recently published a peer-reviewed book chapter titled “The Einstein Film: Animation, Relativity, and the Charge of ‘Jewish Science’” in the volume Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Cinema (Berghahn 2020). The chapter reconstructs and critiques the German antisemitic response to Hanns Walter Kornblum’s 1922 educational film, The Basic Principles of the Einstein Theory of Relativity, in which the supposedly destabilizing and disorienting effects of Einstein’s theories are linked to cinematic experience and abstract animation.

Henkel holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages from Columbia University and taught at Haverford College before joining the Department of Modern Languages in 2016. His research interests include German film, early and avant-garde cinema, literary modernism, media theory and history, and interrelations between science, literature, and visual culture.

Brook Henkel

Assistant Professor of German and Film Studies Brook Henkel

Alanna Gillis

Assistant Professor of Sociology Alanna Gillis

Alanna Gillis, assistant professor of sociology, recently participated in a podcast covering the October publication of her article "COVID-19 Remote Learning Transition in Spring 2020: Class Structures, Student Perceptions, and Inequality in College Courses."

The article and podcast were published by the American Sociological Association and included her co-author Laura M. Krull, assistant professor of sociology at St. Norbert College. Their findings reveal practical insights professors can use to enhance the remote learning experience and make it as rewarding as possible for their students. Gillis joined the St. Lawrence faculty this fall after earning her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2020. Listen to the podcast.

St. Lawrence’s Faculty Focus is a new regular roundup that features noteworthy faculty news. Submit news for an upcoming edition.