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Omolo to contribute to research projects at Strathmore University in Kenya

April 11, 2013 at 10:32 am

Bernard Omolo has been invited to visit the Centre for Applied Research in Mathematical Sciences (CARMS), Strathmore University, Kenya, under the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Visiting Scholar Programme. ICTP has generously granted a total of Euro 4,500 to partially cover his travel for three visits, each lasting at least one calendar month, over the next three years (2013-16). During the visit, he will be involved in  current research projects and new research initiatives at CARMS and help with capacity building. For more information about the scientific programs at ICTP, visit the ICTP website. Omolo is an associate professor of mathematics in the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science at USC Upstate.

The Last Balladeer nominated for Jazz Book of the Year

April 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

Gregg Akkerman’s book, The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story (Scarecrow Press, 2012), has been nominated as “Jazz Book of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association. Nominees were chosen by the votes of the professional journalist members of the Jazz Journalists Association and made on the basis of work done in calendar year 2012. Winners will be announced May 1. More information is available online on the Jazz Journalists Association website. Akkerman is the director of the Jazz Studies program and an associate professor of music in the Fine Arts and Communication Studies Department at USC Upstate.

Recent presentations and publications by Stacy Burr, PhD, assistant professor of early childhood education

April 4, 2013 at 9:54 am

Recent presentations and publications by Stacy Burr, PhD, assistant professor of early childhood education, School of Education at USC Upstate:

Professional Presentations:                     

Beck, J., Burr, S., & Kaufmann, L. “Preservice teacher dispositions”. A roundtable session at the Association of Teacher Educators Conference, Atlanta, GA., February 16-19, 2013.

Gentry, R., & Burr, S. “TeachLIVE and the simulated teacher preparation world”. A presentation at the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC., February 8-9, 2013.

Beck, J., Burr, S., & Kaufmann, L. “Preservice teacher dispositions assessments”. A presentation at the South Carolina Association of Teacher Educators Conference, Hartsville, SC., September 28-29, 2012.

Burr, S. “Virtual Child Development Center for Training Caregivers”, SC First Steps County Partnership Summer Symposium, Columbia, SC, July 26, 2012.

Burr, S., & Lewis, D. “Kids Drive Greenville Web Portal”. A workshop presented at the Upstate Technology Conference, Greenville, SC, June 12, 2012.

Burr, S., & Lewis, D. “Spinatours”. A workshop presented at the Upstate Technology Conference, Upstate Technology Conference, Greenville, SC, June 12, 2012.

Burr, S., & Lewis, D. “Developing Virtual Child Development Center with the SimHub”. A workshop presented at the Upstate Technology Conference, Greenville, SC, June 12, 2012.

Beck, J., Burr, S., Kaufmann, L., & Toole, C. “A Journey to Programmatic Technology Integration”. A roundtable session at the Association of Teacher Educators Conference, San Antonio, TX., February 11-15, 2012.

Knotts, J.D., Angel, C., Shank, J., Beck, J., Burr, S., Kaufmann, L., & Toole, C.  “Building Teacher Disposition Assessment Into a Dynamic Tool”. A presentation at the Association of Teacher Educators Conference, San Antonio, TX., February 11-15, 2012.


Burr, S. (2012). Enhancing literacy development through the social environment of early childhood classrooms. Reading Matters, South Carolina International Reading Association Journal.

Nicholas Roberts’ article accepted for publication in journal Health Systems

March 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Nicholas Roberts (assistant professor of management, George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics) and colleagues Mark Mellott and Jason Thatcher had their article “Electronic Medical Record Compliance and Continuity in Delivery of Care: An Empirical Investigation in a Combat Environment” accepted for publication in Health Systems, a Palgrave-Macmillan journal sponsored by the Operational Research (OR) Society. This research was supported by a grant from the USC Upstate Office of Sponsored Awards and Research Support.

The article abstract:
Electronic medical records (EMR) are central to continuity in delivery of care in a combat environment.  Yet despite their benefits, technological advances, and legislation mandating their use, EMRs are not widely diffused in the U.S. military.  Several contextual factors, such as armed conflict, multiple layers of bureaucracy, inconsistent rotation schedules, and competing goals, contribute to the complexity and difficulty of EMR implementation in a combat environment.  This study applies a principal-agent perspective to understand barriers to EMR policy compliance in the U.S. military.  Using a unique data set collected over a 105-week period, we investigate the implementation and effect of monitoring and sanctions on EMR compliance in combat support hospitals.  Our results show that monitoring and sanctions positively impact the rate of EMR completion, yet they have no effect on the rate of EMRs started.  Our results have implications for research and policy on EMR compliance and implementation in vertically integrated healthcare systems.

Ben Montgomery publishes article in journal Biological Invasions

March 19, 2013 at 7:42 am

Shi-Guo Sun, Benjamin R. Montgomery, and Bo Li.  Contrasting effects of plant invasion on pollination of two native species with similar morphologies. Biological Invasions. DOI 10.1007/s10530-013-0440-0
Montgomery is an assistant professor of biology in the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering.

Jennings’ article to be published in journal Fat Studies

March 15, 2013 at 8:14 am

Laura Jennings will have an article titled “Visual Representation of Fatness and Health in High School Health Texts” published in the journal Fat Studies volume 3(1) that will appear in early 2014. Jennings is an assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies.

Bernard Omolo authors paper for journal Cell Cycle

February 26, 2013 at 7:30 am

Bernard Omolo has co-authored a paper entitled “A prognostic signature of G2 checkpoint function in melanoma cell-lines,” to appear soon in the journal Cell Cycle.  DNA damage checkpoints are barriers to carcinogenesis. The paper discusses how gene expression profiling of primary melanomas, through the quantitative trait analysis of the G2 checkpoint function, could be clinically useful in melanoma prognosis. Omolo is an associate professor of mathematics.

Jim Charles announces publication of book review

February 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Jim Charles, interim dean of the School of Education and professor, English education, announces the publication of a major book review — a review of four new and reissued books related to or by N. Scott Momaday.

Charles, Jim.  “A Review of Phyllis S. Morgan’s N. SCOTT MOMADAY: REMEMBERING    ANCESTORS, EARTH, AND TRADITIONS: AN ANNOTATED BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHY (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010) and N. Scott Momaday’s THE JOURNEY OF TAI-ME (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009), IN THE BEAR’S HOUSE (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010), and AGAIN THE FAR MORNING: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico      Press, 2011) in STUDIES IN AMERICAN INDIAN LITERATURES, 24:2, Winter 2012, 126-134, 143.

Searching Beyond the Sound: Measuring the Emotional Impact of Music

February 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

If, as the philosophers believe, there is a rhythm to life, then there must be an algorithm to detect the emotions of the music in life.

So outlines the theory behind the latest research project of informatics expert and University of South Carolina Upstate professor Dr. Angelina Tzacheva and her colleagues Dr. Dirk Schlingmann and Keith Bell.

“Music is not only a great number of sounds arranged by a composer,” said Tzacheva. “It is also the emotion associated with these sounds.”

The theory’s basic premise is that while certain pieces of music have a relaxing effect, or can cause a change in mood while others stimulate people to act, the quantity of sounds is also rapidly increasing and the access to the music files available on the Internet now is constantly growing.

That being acknowledged, the team notes, too, that music is now so readily accessible in digital form that personal collections can easily exceed the practical limits of time people have to listen to them, which may create a problem in building music recommendation systems.

Though these music recommendation systems, such as Pandora, Spotify, even the earlier Napster or mp3s, have been around for some time, the common denominator of all of them is their inability to recognize or truly grasp the emotion of the songs.

“In this work, we present a new strategy for automatic detection of emotions with musical instrument recordings,” said Tzacheva.

The team’s approach, called music emotion classification (MEC), divides the emotions into classes and applies machine learning on audio features to recognize the “emotion embedded in the music signal.”

What they are beginning to discover is that certain information is present within the signal which can be linked to the emotion that is invoked within a human while listening to the music recording at hand.

Such a link could then help users create playlists in music recommendation systems that reflect the emotions stimulated by different music instead of just identifying them by general genres.

The team sees this as a useful tool not only for individuals, but commercially, as well, in radio and television programming, or even in the area of music therapy.

For further information about this research project, contact Dr. Tzacheva at

Moss and Montero to receive prestigious Palmetto Gold nursing awards

February 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

A faculty member and a nursing student from the Mary Black School of Nursing at University of South Carolina Upstate will be recognized on April 6 with prestigious awards from the South Carolina Nurses Foundation.

Dr. Julie Moss, assistant professor of nursing, will receive the prestigious South Carolina Palmetto Gold nursing award. Moss earned a RN-BSN degree and a Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN. She earned a Ph.D. in nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and defended her dissertation April 2010 with a research study conducted in rural Ecuador regarding the health beliefs and practices of rural Ecuadorians. At USC Upstate, Moss is leading international community health classes to international destinations such as South Africa and Ecuador.

Palmetto Gold is the premier statewide nurse recognition program that annually salutes 100 registered nurses for exceptional nursing practice and commitment to the profession.  Nominations are received from nursing employers and peers from a variety of nursing education and health care facilities across the state. Selection criteria includes: promotes and advances the profession of nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community; displays caring and commitment to patients, families and colleagues; demonstrates leadership and assists others in growth and development; and contributes to overall outcomes in the practice area/setting.

Jane Montero, a nursing student at USC Upstate Greenville Campus, will receive a Palmetto Gold Scholarship. Montero, a native of York, PA, is currently pursuing her bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN). She works at St. Francis downtown in Greenville as a cardiology technician.

The Palmetto Gold Scholarship recognizes the student’s caring and commitment to patients, families and colleagues; leadership; assistance to others’ growth and development; positive promotion of the nursing profession; and high level of academic success. First established in 2002 to recognize and promote nursing as a profession across the state, the Palmetto Gold Scholarship now awards one undergraduate registered nursing student in each of the nursing programs in South Carolina with a $1,000 scholarship.

Moss and Montero, along with the other recipients, will receive their awards at the 12th annual Palmetto Gold Gala on Saturday, April 6 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Net proceeds from the gala are used to endow scholarships for students in state-approved registered nursing programs in South Carolina, thereby continuing the legacy of excellence in nursing practice for South Carolina citizens.

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