Around the hilltop, faculty at St. Edward’s are best known for their dedication to teaching, but their work often overflows to educating the greater community through research, expertise and publications. We’re proud to showcase a few of our outstanding faculty making headlines who are impacting society and connecting it back to the classroom.
The STEM Expert: Andrea Holgado
The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us, and Andrea Holgado, the chair and a professor of Biological Sciences, is doing her part to make sure that a diverse workforce will be prepared for those highly-skilled jobs. In addition to conducting scientific research, Holgado attracted a $1.5 million National Sciences Foundation grant establishing the Institute for Interdisciplinary Science, or i4, at St. Edward’s.
The 4th industrial revolution and i4 focus on many emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Research and i4 make me a better teacher because at my research lab we are continuously learning new things that are immediately relayed in the classroom.” Holgado adds that i4 provides funding for professional development aimed at inclusive teaching and culturally responsive pedagogies. This professional training has “been instrumental in increasing my sense of belonging in STEM. I am a better teacher because I no longer choose between being Hispanic or scientist, woman or professor, immigrant or public image. I hope that my increased understanding of intersectionality inspires my students that struggle with the same conundrums"
Catch Holgado in the news:
Interested in studying Biological Sciences? Get started here.
The Political Science Expert: Brian Smith
It’s no surprise that at a time when all eyes are on Texas as a bellwether for what might be next in national politics and culture, Brian Smith, associate dean of the Behavioral School of Social Sciences and a professor of Political Sciences, is in high demand as a political pundit for the media. That work naturally spills over into his classroom, often leading to more timely, engaging conversations.
“My work as a media expert requires me to become a voracious reader of local, state and federal political news,” Smith said. “In doing this I am able to bring the exciting world of politics into the classroom by presenting current examples of the theories we discuss in class.” When doing his research for an interview, he often uncovers information that isn't relevant to the interview, but pertinent to class. “Some of my best lecture material came from trying to find information for an unrelated interview,” Smith said, adding, “Before Covid, reporters would often interview students to get their perspectives on politics, giving them a chance to shine in front of the camera.”
Catch Smith in the news:
Interested in studying Political Science? Get started here.
The Addiction Recovery Expert: Kelly Green
There are a number of supportive approaches for addiction recovery, but none were focused explicitly on helping people in recovery fix their strained relationships with family, friends, and coworkers — until now. Kelly E. Green, associate professor of Psychology and Licensed Psychologist, is filling a gap with an evidence-based workbook focused on skills and strategies to improve relationships. Her self-help workbook, titled Relationships in Recovery: Repairing Damage and Building Healthy Connections While Overcoming Addiction, is a tool for people in recovery, their families and counseling professionals.
Green is incorporating the Relationships in Recovery workbook into several courses she teaches. “I look forward to using it as an example of evidence-based interventions for addiction as well as a resource for students wanting to better understand the complex interactions between addiction, recovery and relationship functioning,” Green said.
Catch Green in the news:
Interested in studying Addiction Recovery? Get started here.
The Marketing Expert: Sarah Mittal
Sarah Mittal, an assistant professor of Marketing, finds the freshest inspiration comes from her own experiences as a consumer. So when she and a friend noticed that they were humblebragging about discount purchases, she wanted to know more about what drives even the most frugal shoppers to make impulsive purchases. She published her findings on frugal consumers’ responses to deep discounts in a peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Business Research.
Mittal incorporates her frugality and deep discounts research into lessons for her Buyer Behavior class. A class exercise on Groupon deals leads to a discussion about pricing and promotion strategies from a consumer perspective. “My hope is to demonstrate how the deep discount acts as a trigger to buy, especially for those who self-identify as frugal,” Mittal said, adding that during the class exercise, “It’s a bit of an open discussion, so it takes different turns each semester, but it definitely is a fun one I use in my course.”
Catch Mittal in the news:
Interested in studying Marketing? Get started here.
The Criminal Justice Expert: Carsten Andresen
Criminal Justice Associate Professor Carsten Andresen’s research on pressing social justice issues, including bringing to light the 100-year racist history of the News Jersey State Police, is helping to drive conversations forward in the legal system and greater public. He recently published a peer-reviewed paper in the journal Women & Criminal Justice on the gay/trans murder defense, a victim-blaming legal strategy that is banned in 15 states so far.
Andresen draws parallels between his research and the classroom. “In conducting research, I ask questions, analyze data, build databases (or evidence bases), and report on my findings,” Andresen said. “Teaching draws on many of the same skills, in that I am bringing the students into the process of inquiry and research, and asking them to bring their own experiences (and to identify their own potential blind spots) as co-researchers.”
Catch Andresen in the news:
Interested in studying Criminal Justice? Get started here.
The Writing Expert: Timothy Braun
In the last few years, Author Timothy Braun, a visiting assistant professor of Writing, has put his own insightful, creative spin on many of our collective life experiences— including the Texas winter storm, the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, and our relationships with dogs — through a string of personal essays.
His approach to the classroom mirrors his approach to writing. “I do as I teach. My lectures, syllabi and writing labs are designed the exact same way I write and essay,” Braun said. “First, I brainstorm, take notes on what I want the students to learn, then I reverse engineer the semester, let alone class sessions, to see where I want the students to land and what I want them to walk away with when the classes and courses are over. Then I approach the introduction, the first day of class, and see what way I wish to grab their attention, and, hopefully, keep them wanting more.”
Read Braun’s essay:
Interested in studying Writing and Rhetoric? Get started here.