Faculty members put their knowledge into action so students and others are able to benefit from it. Recently, faculty published journal articles with alumni, provided insight into personal finance options, and were selected to give the keynote address at an international conference.
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Sara Ashpole published collaborative research with Sophia Nikolenko ’21 in the online, open-access journal, Herpetology Notes. The study, which stems from Sophia’s Senior Year Experience research, examines the occurrence of twinning in Common Snapping turtles from the Great Lakes region of North America.
Sophia is a member of St. Lawrence’s Class of 2021 and was an environmental studies major. Sophia currently works as an Explore! Education Assistant at AmeriCorps.
Ashpole is the faculty director of St. Lawrence’s Sustainability Program and will instruct a Sophomore Success Initiative seminar and First-Year Program seminar about the sustainability of Chocolate as part of the Chocolate Passport Project. As the Canadian co-chair for the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group and a member of the independent advisory panel for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada Amphibian and Reptile Subcommittee, her research has informed international and national policy.
Associate Professor of Education Jeff Frank will give the keynote address at a conference organized by the John Dewey Center in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in June 2022. The conference will bring together an international team of experts on the American philosopher and educator John Dewey to address issues related to democracy and education.
Frank has taught a First-Year Seminar (FYS) titled What Does it Mean to be Educated and courses in 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.
Assistant Professor of Sociology Alanna Gillis published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Journal of Postsecondary Student Success. The article explores the orientations students have for choosing college majors, how those orientations vary among students and change during their first year at college, and provides advice for academic advisors on how to guide students through the major selection process.
Gillis is the author of several scholarly articles which examine race, class, and gender inequality in higher education and inclusive pedagogy. At St. Lawrence, she teaches Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Sociology: Inequality, Sociology of Education, and a community-based learning course of Sociology of Family–all of which supported her research on hyflex courses. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a B.A. in Sociology from Furman University.
Professor of Gender Studies Valerie Lehr has been named to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Executive Committee for 2022. Her term as a Commissioner for MSCHE began in January 2018, and in 2022, she will begin her second year on the Executive Committee. She has previously served MSCHE as a Team Chair, Peer Evaluator, and Periodic Review Report Reviewer.
Lehr’s research focuses on the intersection of political theory, feminist theory, gay/lesbian/queer theory, and political activism, as well as human rights and queer youth. At St. Lawrence, she has taught courses related to gender and family politics in the U.S., gay and lesbian politics, welfare policy in the U.S., feminist political theory, gender and science, and business and ethics. Lehr has also taught courses in the London First-Year Program, directed the New York City Program, and regularly teaches summer courses in Ireland.
Associate Professor of Economics and Flora Irene Eggleston Faculty Chair Sahar Milani has been involved in personal finance education for over a decade. She used her expertise to weigh in on the costs and benefits of transferring credit card balances and the implications for rewards points across different credit cards with MoneyGeek.com, a personal finance website dedicated to making personal finance approachable and accessible.
Milani is an innovation economist with research interests in environmental economics, macroeconomics, and the financing of innovation. In the summer of 2021, she taught a personal finance sophomore seminar at St. Lawrence called Money Management Matters: Financial Literacy in a Dynamic World. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics, an M.S. in Management Science (Financial Analysis), and a B.B.A. in Finance, Investment, and Banking from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Director of International Student Academic Support Robin Rhodes published a peer-reviewed book chapter in the “Handbook of Research on Policies and Practices for Assessing Inclusive Teaching and Learning.” The chapter, “Equitable Design and Assessment: Exploring Multilingual Perspectives and Bakhtin’s Dialogism in English Writing Pedagogy,” focuses on linguistically sustaining pedagogy and recommendations for equitable assessment while also increasing student investment in language learning.
Rhodes specializes in learner-centered education, instructional methods for English language learners with different cultures and backgrounds, and teaching in difficult circumstances. She is the director of English language learning for the Ubushobozi Project in Musanze, Rwanda. She teaches academic English to multilingual students, courses on teaching English internationally, and has taught courses in the First-Year Program.
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