Faculty Focus–June 2023
Faculty members put their knowledge into action so students and others are able to benefit from it. Recently, faculty presented at conferences, published research articles with colleagues and St. Lawrence alumni, and shared their expertise as podcast guests.
Professor of Biology and Director of the Nature Up North Program Erika Barthelmess presented a talk on managing data in camera trapping studies during the 2023 Northeast Natural History Conference held in Burlington, Vermont. The talk was co-authored by Brett M. Ford ’14, a data scientist at Embark Veterinary, Inc, and together, their research supports the Nature Up North North Country Wild citizen science effort.
Barthelmess is a vertebrate ecologist and conservation biologist. Her research interests include the biology of small, isolated populations, the intersection of behavioral ecology and conservation, road ecology, and the ecology and natural history of porcupines. At St. Lawrence, Barthelmess regularly teaches General Biology, Mammalogy, Behavioral Ecology, Vertebrate Natural History, and Conservation Biology. She holds a B.A. in Biology from Earlham College and a Ph.D. in Systematics and Ecology from the University of Kansas.
Visiting Assistant Professor of World Languages, Cultures, and Media, and Co-coordinator of the Caribbean, Latin American, and Latino Studies Rafael Castillo Bejarano published an article that examines the Transatlantic rewritings of an anonymous courtly sonnet, imitated by the the count of Villamediana in Spain and Bernardo de Balbuena in Mexico, titled "Collage Imitations of a Courtly Sonnet: Villamediana and Balbuena Rewrite «Dejadme sospirar, desconfianza."
He also presented his paper, “Una fuente portuguesa del Viaje del Parnaso: La primeyra e segunda parte dos romances (1596) de Francisco Rodrigues Lob," during the first joint conference of the Cervantes Society of America and the Asociación de Cervantistas at Princeton University.
Castillo Bejarano’s research focuses on medieval and early modern Iberia, early modern subjectivity and transatlantic connections, 16th and 17th Hispanic poetry, theory of the lyric, relations between poetry and music, and courtly culture.
Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Assessment Jeff Frank discussed ways to reframe boredom as a guest on the Boston College podcast, Pulled Up Short.
Frank has taught a First-Year Seminar (FYS) titled What Does it Mean to be Educated and courses such as Contemporary Educational Policy, Teaching and Teachers, and American Philosophies of Education. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and education from Columbia University and a B.A. in philosophy from Middlebury College.
Professor of Mathematics Patti Frazer Lock and George Ashline ’89 published the article, “Career Paths and Suggestions: Alumni Reflections from Two Undergraduate Programs,” in the journal, Math Horizons. The collaborative project leverages the strength of St. Lawrence’s alumni network to examine the paths Dennis Lock ’08, Laura Byer ’11, and Francisco Rodriguez-Tineo ’19 took after graduating with a degree in mathematics.
Frazer Lock teaches courses across the spectrum of mathematics and statistics at St. Lawrence and collaborates with undergraduates on her research in graph theory. She has served on or chaired national committees on statistics and math education, and is currently the co-chair of the committee to revise the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE). Frazer Lock holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Peter Pettengill's co-authored book, “Studies in Outdoor Recreation,” was featured in Parks Stewardship Forum-The Interdisciplinary Journal of Place-Based Conservation. The excerpt from the book highlights ten principles of outdoor recreation and is available through the University of California's eScholarship platform as well as the University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity
Pettengill has worked for the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management and conducted fieldwork in Acadia, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Zion National Parks. He holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, an M.S. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School, and a B.S. in Environmental & Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire.
During the Western States Communication Association Conference, Assistant Professor of Performance and Communication Arts Tyler Rife received the Top Paper Award for his co-authored article, “The Queer Political Potentiality of Collaborative Storytelling.” Along with co-author Lore/tta LeMaster, Rife presented the paper at the annual conference which was held in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rife is an interdisciplinary scholar of critical rhetoric, critical/cultural and environmental communication, and performance studies.
Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of Native American Studies Melissane Schrems has been selected to serve on the National Advisory Committee for the Native American Initiative at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. In this role, Schrems will work with other committee members to advise on the care and presentation of a collection of Native American art as well as the construction of a building “and integrated landscape designed to create a national resource for the study and care of Indigenous art.”
Schrems' research interests include Native American, European and African diasporic, and settler-colonial American history. She has taught courses on Native American history, colonial British America, African American, and Adirondack history. Schrems is currently working on a piece for Humanities NY for its Land, Liberty and Loss Project and holds a doctorate in history from Boston University.
Assistant Professor of Government James Sieja published an article examining partisan bias in the American Bar Association qualifications ratings for judicial nominees in the journal, Political Research Quarterly.
During the 80th annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association he presented his research and served as senior thesis adviser to Bridget McCann’23, who presented her research in an undergraduate poster session.
Sieja’s research interests center on the United States Federal Court System, specifically the selection, nomination, and confirmation process for lower court judges. At St. Lawrence, he regularly teaches introductory classes in American government, American legal systems, the presidency, and constitutional law.
St. Lawrence’s Faculty Focus is a new regular roundup that features noteworthy faculty news.