Faculty and staff at St. Edward’s are continually recognized for being leaders in their field and teaching. Their many achievements include ground-breaking research, prestigious grants and awards, innovative multimedia exhibitions, and expert views and analysis sought after by national media outlets. We’re proud to share this latest roundup of their honors and work.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Grant
Richard Bautch, professor of Humanities in Religious Studies, was awarded a $25,000 grant by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to support one of his research projects, the Anchor Yale Biblical Commentary on II Chronicles, currently under contract with Yale University Press. Bautch’s commentary will feature an exact translation of II Chronicles from the original Hebrew text, as well as insight into the historical and cultural context of this biblical book from the 4th century B.C.E.
Unpacking Transfer-Student Policy
Glenda Ballard, associate vice president of Graduate and Professional Studies, was featured on The Higher Ed Geek Podcast discussing the “core complete” transfer policy at St. Edward’s that adopts the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Texas Core Curriculum. Ballard also wrote an op-ed explaining this game-changing policy that gives community-college transfer students a seamless path to a private university.
First-Year Experience Insights
An article by Shelbee NguyenVoges, associate professor of Education and director of the MA in Educational Innovations, was published in the Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, Winter 2020 edition, titled “I’ll Be There for You – Comparative Insights on First-Year Experience Policies of Belonging in the 21st Century.” The article presents a novel discussion about the need for prioritizing social adjustment over academic adjustment when evaluating first-year programming, and examines the impact of social justice on building successful social skills as well as academic skills.
The Behavior of Listening
Teri Lynn Varner, associate professor of Communication, co-authored research on metacognitive listening strategies which was recently published in the International Journal of Listening. The research compares the strategies first language (L1) and second language (L2) students in the U.S. use in the classroom. The research findings have numerous implications for how to teach listening, future research and curriculum development. Varner also recently won the Outstanding Educator of the Year award from the International Listening Association.
NIH Research Grant
Santiago Toledo Carrion, associate professor of Chemistry, finished the first year of a three-year, $330,602 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study a metalloenzyme and the role it plays in the progression of cancer and other diseases. This is the first individual grant from the National Institutes of Health to a St. Edward’s professor. The grant is enhancing the ongoing undergraduate research programs in the School of Natural Sciences.
Human Trafficking: A Pervasive Human Rights Issue
Laurie Cook Heffron, assistant professor of Social Work, spoke with the National Association of Social Workers magazine about what’s being done to educate, raise awareness and aid victims and survivors of human trafficking. Heffron collaborated with two other professors of social work to co-write the first college textbook on human trafficking, published in 2018. The book won the 2019 Robert W. Hamilton Book Award, a prestigious literary prize from The University of Texas at Austin.
2020 AAAS Fellow Recognition
Richard Kopec, professor of Computer Science and Chemistry, was named a 2020 Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Kopec was recognized among AAAS fellows in the field of education for “distinguished contributions to transforming institutional STEM curricula and for leadership in the STEM institutional change community.” Kopec has received multiple NSF grants, allowing him to design and implement several projects intended to recruit and retain STEM majors, particularly students from underrepresented groups.
Relationship Skills Are Key to Addiction Recovery
Kelly E. Green, associate professor of Psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist, has completed an upcoming book to be published by The Guilford Press titled Relationships in Recovery: Repairing Damage and Building Healthy Connections While Overcoming Addiction. Green’s book expands on what she has learned as a researcher and clinician and shares ways to improve relationships at every stage of addiction recovery. Green recently spoke with USA Today about addiction and recovery for an article on Hunter Biden’s new memoir Beautiful Things, and wrote a commentary for Psychology Today on how Hunter Biden and singer Demi Lovato are helping to destigmatize addiction and recovery.
Andy Lemons, senior director of Recreation and Wellness, spoke with Campus Rec magazine about how St. Edward’s recreation and wellness services are contributing to the University’s mission to education the whole student – mind, heart and body. “No longer will it be enough to say a large majority of students utilize your services — you must be able to show how that usage translates to student success,” Lemons told the magazine.
Art and Poetry Collaboration
Artist Hollis Hammonds, professor of Art, and poet Sasha West, associate professor of Creative Writing, collaborated on the creation of a multimedia exhibition, A Dark Wood Grew Inside Me, which was on display at the Wright Gallery in the School of Architecture at Texas A&M University in 2020. Poems by West from her manuscript titled Solastalgia permeate the installation of drawings, paintings and sculptures by Hammonds. The exhibit is documented here.
Voices During the Texas Winter Storm
In February, a deadly winter storm crippled the state of Texas, shutting down access to electricity, heat and water for up to two weeks. Media outlets shared the experiences of three St. Edward’s professors as they struggled through the storm’s harrowing conditions.
Timothy Braun, playwright and visiting professor, turned his stressful experiences during the Texas winter storm into a humorous and poignant essay that drills down to the core of what truly matters in a crisis — human connection and kindness. His essay was featured in the Medium.com blog The Bigger Picture.
In true journalistic fashion, Jena Heath, associate dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, and associate professor of Journalism and Digital Media, documented her family’s taxing experiences during the winter storm. In a commentary published in USA Today, she discussed Texas politics, the flawed power grid system and the challenges faced by low-income Texans.
Vice News visited David Thomason, assistant professor of Political Science, as he melted snow for household purposes during the winter storm that left millions of people in Texas without power for days. Thomason shared his thoughts in a VICE News video on the state politics and power grid failure that had distressing consequences for Texas.