Faculty members put their knowledge into action so students and others are able to benefit from it.
Recently, faculty presented their research findings, published and earned awards for their papers, and participated in hands-on seminars.
Associate Professor of Francophone and African Studies Eloïse Brezault presented her paper on representations of racism in France titled “Debout-Payé or the pangs of French (in)hospitality,” at the Council of International Francophone Studies virtual conference. In her presentation, she discussed the novel “Debout-Payé” (2014) by Franco-Ivoirian writer Gauz, which offers an examination of the traps of French society through the eyes of a security guard who questions representations of alterity and racism using irony and sarcasm to better subvert the dominant/dominated narratives entrenched in the current French society.
Brezault’s research interests include Francophone African literature, cultural theory, postcolonial literature, and migrant identities in a globalized world. She has taught a wide range of material including French language and literature, cinema, essay writing, and cultural studies.
Associate Professor of Sociology Alanna Gillis, along with co-author Laura Krull of St. Norbert College, won the American Sociological Association's Teaching and Learning Award for Scholarly Contributions to Teaching and Learning for their paper titled COVID-19 Remote Learning Transition in Spring 2020: Class Structures, Student Perceptions, and Inequality in College Courses. The article, published in October 2020, has been downloaded nearly twice as many times as any other article in the journal’s online history and cited 37 times in works related to the humanities, STEM, and social science fields.
Gillis’ research focuses on inequality in higher education. She is currently working on multiple research projects about the pandemic's impact on higher education, including how the pandemic impacted first-year students' transition to college at St. Lawrence, the effectiveness of simultaneous remote and in-person teaching, and the impact of the emergency remote transition in Spring 2020 on classroom pedagogy and students' lives.
Professor of Geology Antun Husinec received the Springer Best Paper Award for his virtual presentation at the third Euro-Mediterranean Conference for Environmental Integration in Sousse, Tunisia. His presentation focused on the coral-reef degradation on the Bahamian island of San Salvador, a site famous for Christopher Columbus’ landfall on October 12, 1492. The study documented the present-day reef biota and assessed the decadal shift from previously recorded dominant reef-building species to more opportunistic, stress-tolerant species. Husinec also co-chaired a session on ecosystems and biodiversity conservation.
Husinec’s research focuses on the carbonate-rock record of a 540-million-year history of climate-induced sea-level changes, which provides a window into how similar modern tropical marine habitats might respond to global warming. His recent research projects include Mesozoic Periadriatic platform carbonates (Croatia), the Lower Paleozoic mixed carbonate-evaporite succession of the Williston Basin (USA); Permian-Triassic deposits (Persian Gulf); the Lower Paleozoic mixed siliciclastic-carbonate succession of St. Lawrence Lowlands (USA); and modern carbonate environments of the Caribbean Region (Bahamas, Jamaica, Honduras). Among the courses he has taught at St. Lawrence are Oceanography, Regional Field Studies in Jamaica, and Tropical Coastal Environments.
Assistant Professor of English Ann Hubert and Visiting Assistant Professor of European History Carolyn Twomey were selected to participate in a month-long National Endowment for the Humanities seminar where they will practice Renaissance letter writing, making ink and paper according to historical methods, discussing the latest research on recipe books, and developing their research projects within the seminar alongside other interdisciplinary faculty from the nearby Associated Colleges. Both professors will incorporate various experiential activities and lessons from the seminar into their upcoming 2021-2022 courses on medieval and early modern literature and history.
Hubert specializes in medieval and early modern British literature with a focus on drama and preaching in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England. She is currently working on a book project titled “Division of Parts: Preaching and Playing in Medieval East Anglia” and teaches classes in medieval and early modern literature and culture as well as in Greek and Roman mythology.
In addition to her participation in the local seminar, Twomey recently presented her paper titled “The Old Minster, Winchester, and its Baptistery” at the virtual biennial conference of the International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England. In her work, she connects the history and archaeology of the unique Winchester Old Minster porticus baptistery, the only baptistery surviving from the 7th century. in England, with the long history of Roman Mediterranean baptismal architecture and liturgy. This material will appear in a forthcoming print and digital database of baptismal architecture edited by Robin Jensen and Nathan S. Dennis, as well as in a series of forthcoming collected essays published with the Sorbonne in Paris.
Twomey’s research is interdisciplinary between the fields of history, art history, archaeology, and religious studies of the early Middle Ages. Her work focuses on the cultural and religious meaning of objects and places. At St. Lawrence, she teaches introductory courses on European studies that emphasize hands-on learning about physical and digital medieval objects.
Associate Professor and Chair of Geology Alexander K. Stewart published a paper with Dr. Trent Hubbard '94, Riley Whitney '20, Oscar Wilkerson '20, and Anabella Kowalski of Ryerson University titled “Resolving a One-Year Ecesis Interval for Alaska Paper Birch: Dating a Rockfall Event, Wishbone Hill, Southcentral Alaska.” In the work, they dated a rockfall event at Wishbone Hill, just outside of Palmer, Alaska. A key finding from this work is resolving a 1-year ecesis interval (the amount of time it takes for a landscape to stabilize and allow the growth of a particular organism) for Alaskan Birch trees. Until this work, the shortest ecesis for birch was three to four years. Their research is a first step in understanding landscape change and stability at a very popular summer recreational site outside of Anchorage, Alaska.
Stewart’s research covers all aspects of surface geology. He has worked with students on numerous geologic research projects such as dating rockfall events in Alaska, leaf-wax work in the Adirondacks, glacier-lake sediments in the High Andes, and the impact of geomorphology on the Battle of Sackets Harbor. Stewart is retired from the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Cold War and three foreign wars.
St. Lawrence’s Faculty Focus is a regular roundup that features noteworthy faculty news. Submit news for an upcoming edition.