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Dr. Lisa Johnson Announces Publishing Accomplishment

July 16, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Johnson headshot April 2014JLCDS 8.2 coverDr. Lisa Johnson and Dr. Robert McRuer announce that the first of two special issues of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies is now available.

JLCDS 8.2 and 8.3, edited by Johnson and McRuer, are both on the topic of Cripistemologies.

The volume includes essays by Mel Chen, Anna Mollow, and Aly Patsavas and “Comments from the Field” by Margaret Fink and Cassandra Hartblay.

Following the introduction, a virtual roundtable brings into conversation such renowned scholars of disability studies, critical race theory, and gender studies as Lennard Davis, David Serlin, Emma Kivisild, Jennifer Christine Nash, J. Jack Halberstam, Margaret Price, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Jasbir Puar, Susan Schweik, Jennifer James, Lisa Duggan, and Carrie Sandahl.

Johnson has been developing a specialization in this field over the past five years, and as director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, she has integrated disability studies into the WGS minor curriculum. She serves on the editorial board of Disability Studies Quarterly and received an Access Leadership award from Disability Services in 2012 for offering several courses on this topic at USC Upstate.

JLCDS can be accessed through our library databases.

Judy Beck Elected to Association of Teacher Education Board of Directors

July 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Beck JudyThe University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to announce the election of Dr. Judy Beck to the Association of Teacher Education’s Board of Directors.

Beck is the interim executive director of the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Greenville Campus, where she also is a professor and director of Teacher Education Programs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and both her Master’s and Doctorate from the University of Toledo.

Beck has served as president of the South Carolina ATE, a member of the Delegate Assembly, and co-chair of the 2012 Boston Summer Conference. She currently serves as a member of the Legislative and Niagara Falls Planning Committee, executive director for SCATE and president-elect for the SRATE.

Beck will join the board as a college-university voting representative and will attend all board meetings and the 2015 annual meeting.

Newberry to Catalog Plants, Shrubs and Vines on Rail Trail

July 15, 2014 at 8:02 am

A unique partnership between non-profit groups and botanists aims to rid the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail of non-native, invasive plant species.

The Trees Coalition, formerly known as the Kudzu Coalition, Partners for Active Living and the Mary Black Foundation teamed with local botanists Drs. Gillian Newberry and Ben Montgomery to catalog specific plants, shrubs and vines on the Rail Trail.

Read more in the Herald-Journal.

Dr. Colleen O’Brien Receives Bank of America Annual Award for Faculty Scholarly, Creative Pursuits

April 21, 2014 at 6:10 am

O'Brien CollenThe USC Upstate Committee for Faculty Excellence has selected Dr. Colleen O’Brien, associate professor of English, as the 2014 winner of the Bank of America Annual Award for Faculty Scholarly and/or Creative Pursuits.

O’Brien has made substantial interdisciplinary and international contributions to the fields of American literature, history, American studies, and African American Studies. In the past three years alone, O’Brien has published one book, two book chapters, and four scholarly articles in some of the most competitive journals in American studies and American literature. She has also been awarded a Fulbright Research Chair in North American Studies at the University of Western Ontario, a National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute grant, and a fellowship in the Mellon Foundation American Literatures Initiative — all since 2011.

O’Brien’s book, Race, Romance, and Rebellion: Literatures of the Americas in the Nineteenth-Century (University of Virginia Press, 2013), has already received international recognition from the British Association for American Studies.

As Ronald G. Walters, professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, noted, O’Brien’s work uncovers under-examined materials from across a range of fields — philosophy, history, literature, journalism, politics, and letters—and brings these materials to bear to answer major questions about links between various reform movements in the 19th century.

“Part of my excitement about this line of analysis is that it helps reconsider a criticism some of us have made about white abolitionists — that they were unable to articulate clearly what a free, racially egalitarian society might look like,” Walters added. “Dr. O’Brien suggests that many African Americans and people of First Nations were able to do so, thanks in part to the circulation of people and ideas from the U.S., Haiti, Canada and elsewhere.”

Through this research, O’Brien is changing understandings of the nineteenth century by breaking down the barriers of race, gender, nation, and region and tracing the cross-boundary networks that shaped the foundations of the nineteenth century throughout the Americas.

Her second book, Metaphors of Heart’s Blood and Home, already in progress, explores the nineteenth-century concept of freedom rooted in land-ownership and agricultural self-sufficiency that spread throughout North and South America and emerged from African and Native American rhetoric about land and liberty.

Dr. Celena Kusch Named Co-Chair of H.D. International Society

March 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Kusch CelenaDr. Celena Kusch, associate professor of American Literature in the department of Languages, Literature, and Composition, has been named co-chair of the H.D. International Society, a society dedicated to the study of the writer H.D. (Hilda Doolittle).

Kusch’s co-chair is Dr. Rebecca Walsh, assistant professor of English at North Carolina State University.

H.D. was one of the pioneers in literature in the first half of the 20th century and she played an important role in bringing issues of gender to the forefront of the global literary, film, and artistic communities of the time.

The H.D. International Society works to assist scholars, students, artists, and the general public in sharing resources and information, establishing collaborations, and supporting the production of scholarly and creative responses to H.D. and members of her circle.

The H.D. International Society recently launched a new website.

Vincent Connors Co-Authors Paper for Compartive Parasitology

March 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

Connors VincentDr. Vincent A. Connors, professor of Biology, has co-authored a paper for “Comparative Parasitology,” titled “Distribution of Kudoa inornata Plasmodia in the Musculature of its Host, the Spotted Seatrout Cynoscion nebulosus,” with Sharamie Ware and William A. Roumillat.

The article is published in Volume 81, pages 10-14.

Connors is also the executive editor of “Comparative Parasitology,” which is one of the leading journals in the field of parasitology and serves as a venue for the publication and dissemination of information on the classification, pathology, evolution, and ecology of primarily non-human parasites and parasitic diseases.

Dr. Ron Fulbright Featured Speaker at American Society of Training, Development in Greenville

March 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

Dr. Ron Fulbright was the featured speaker at the February meeting of the Upstate South Carolina American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) held at the University Center of Greenville.

Fulbright spoke about informatics, the value of information, and how information is transformed into knowledge. He explained as the US economy has shifted from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy, the most important unit value is information. It is no longer what we make, but what we know that is the most valuable. In fact, over one-third of the US gross domestic product, over $5.5 trillion, is contributed by industries heavily vested in intellectual property. Over 80% of the value of the S&P 500 is due to intellectual property, exactly opposite from what it was just 40 years ago.

Fulbright gave examples of how data scientists are using data mining and “big data” analysis techniques to search for patterns in enormous collections of information. Finding patterns in data gives companies marketing advantage translating into millions or even billions of dollars. For example, Wal-Mart, customizes each one of its stores to its local demographic which is why it seems to us that Wal-Mart has everything. The truth is, by studying the buying habits of its customers, Wal-Mart knows what you want and need even before you do and makes sure those items are there and easy to find when you walk into the store.

Fulbright also explained how one of the most important shifts coming in the near future is in the area of personalized medicine. Using big data analysis techniques to find patterns hidden in genomic data stores, the medical industry is moving toward prescribing drugs and treatment regimens custom designed for each patient and each ailment. The personalized medicine market is forecast to be worth several billion dollars within a few years.

Fulbright closed the talk by telling the audience about the informatics program at the University of South Carolina Upstate featuring a B.A. in information management & systems, a M.S. in informatics, and a continuing education offering resulting in a certificate in innovation. The IM&S program at USC Upstate prepares graduates for several dozen job roles in information technology, knowledge management, content management, and other fields related to informatics. According to a recent survey, by IT-Ology, companies in NC, SC, and GA are hiring for these positions now.

Jim Charles, English Education, Presents Paper at Southwest Popular/American Culture Association

February 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Charles JimJim Charles, English Education, presented a paper titled “Things Change; Things Remain the Same: Johnny Depp, Tonto, and Disney’s The Lone Ranger,” at the 35th Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference held Feb. 22, 2014 in Albuquerque, NM.

Laura Jennings, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Publishes Paper on “Fatness”

February 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Jennings LauraLaura Jennings, an assistant professor of Sociology, has published a paper titled, “Visual Representation of Fatness and Health in High School Texts.”

The article was published in “Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.”

Dr. Bernard Omolo, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Mathematics, Has Co-Authored A Paper on “Development of DNA Damage”

February 25, 2014 at 7:04 am

Omolo Bernard 2013Dr. Bernard Omolo has co-authored a paper entitled “Development of DNA Damage Response Signaling Biomarkers” in the Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry.

An abstract of the paper is available online in PuBMed (

Dr. Omolo is an associate professor and assistant chair of the division of mathematics and computer science.