Faculty & Staff: Celebrating scholarly work and honors


Claudia Berlinski

Claudia Berlinski, assistant professor, Art, recently curated an art exhibition titled “Sense of Place: A Mixed Media Invitational,” which ran Sept. 3 through Oct. 16 at The College at Brockport in upstate New York. She also presented a curator’s talk on the exhibit and her artwork Sept. 28 in the college’s Tower Fine Arts Gallery included work by the following other YSU faculty members and alumni: Christine McCullough, professor, Art; Terre Brock Davis, part-time instructor, Art; Debra DeGregorio, part-time instructor, Art.

Martha I. Pallante, professor and chair, History, and Donna M. DeBlasio, professor, History, presented at a conference Sept. 11-12 commemorating the 20th anniversary of Teesside University’s Centre for Regional and Local History, located in Middlesbrough, UK. The conference was titled “Who’s Regional and Local Histories.” Pallante and DeBlasio presented a talk titled “Shout Youngstown! Preservation, Interpretation and Planning in Ohio’s Steel Valley.” They examined YSU’s management relationship with the Ohio History Connection at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, also known as the Steel Museum.

Valerie O’Dell, associate professor and MSN director, Nursing, received a $16,684 Nursing Anesthesia Traineeship grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Nursing. The grant offers scholarship assistance to nurse anesthetist students who intend to work in health professional shortage areas after completion of the MSN anesthesia program. Since 2011, YSU Nursing faculty have been awarded more than $95,000 for student scholarships through the grant program.

Amy Plant, part-time faculty, Gerontology, recently collaborated with the National Council on Aging and Mercy Health System to facilitate activities in a national program observing National Fall Prevention Day on Sept. 23. The event included a group demonstration on proper procedures for falling, fall prevention exercises and tips for home and travel safety. Attendees also participated in 10,000 steps for Fall Prevention and a one-mile walk that was co-led by an 86-year-old power walker.

Thomas P. Wakefield, associate professor, Mathematics & Statistics, has been recognized as a Fellow by the Society of Actuaries, the society’s highest honor. YSU will receive $7,500 from the society on his behalf. Wakefield was recognized as an Associate in the society in 2011, an unusual accomplishment for an academic. To achieve status as a fellow, Wakefield was required to pass three rigorous examinations and to demonstrate substantial knowledge in a particular area related to actuarial science.

Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, distinguished professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and director, Dr. James Dale Ethics Center, and Deborah Mower, professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies, played essential roles at the 17th Annual International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum in Greenville, S.C. Mower is the president of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum, and Palmer-Fernandez was co-director of the conference, titled “Ethics without Borders” at Clemson University. Palmer-Fernandez also gave the keynote address, titled “Language Matters,” for the opening of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Mahoning County Courthouse in September.

Robert J. Thompson, assistant professor, Graphic + Interactive Design, was asked to present a webinar on his research in mobile app design for Try My UI, a tech startup company in Silicon Valley, Calif. The webinar was designed for educators. Previous events sponsored by the company have attracted as many as 400 people. Thompson created his own iOS mobile phone and tablet apps for his interactive design classes at YSU to have a more direct method of communicating with his students and will discuss his views on best practices for creating a mobile learning app and integrating it into classroom learning.

Employees are encouraged to submit information about their professional activities for the Faculty & Staff column. The information will also be shared with news media throughout the region. Submit your name, position title, department, details about your professional activity, information on your educational background (degrees and where from), the year you joined the YSU faculty and any other appropriate information to: Cynthia Vinarsky, cevinarsky@ysu.edu.