University of Southern Indiana

Past Faculty Colloquia

Each fall and spring semester, USI faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts present individual public lectures featuring their current research.

Video Library button 2018-2019 presentations 2017 presentations

Fall 2020

Dr. Mary Lyn StollThe Perils of Plastics: A Primer for Business Ethics 

Dr. Mary Lyn Stoll
Associate Professor of Philosophy

November 2020 - Video

Thirty-two nations have instituted bans on single use plastic bags, yet, at current rates, the world’s oceans may well have more plastic than fish in them by 2050. Additionally, plastic pollution rates have increased even more in the midst of the pandemic. Present levels of plastics dumping into global ecosystems are clearly unsustainable.

To make matters worse, the global plastics industry is growing at a rapid pace, and so too the pollution that it generates. Half of all plastics ever produced were created in the past 15 years, and production is expected to grow as the oil industry shifts from providing for automobiles to focusing more on plastic. All too often, single use plastic is used in rich nations and then dumped as refuse in poor ones.

Stoll will examine how companies can take more proactive and systematic steps towards minimizing their role in the creation of plastic pollution. By taking comprehensive measures to address plastic as an environmental harm negatively impacting a wide range of stakeholders who could not in principle consent to the harms accrued, companies can begin to remedy and reform morally unjustified practices. As with any attempt to become more morally accountable in business practice, special care must be taken to avoid greenwash as well as measures that may be morally better in one way, but substantially morally worse in another.

Dr. Laura Lutgen-Nieves

Assessing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Needs in a Midwest County Jail

Dr. Laura Lutgen-Nieves
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

October 2 - Video

The presentation will center on Lutgen-Nieves’s work with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office to assess the substance abuse and mental health treatment needs at the Vanderburgh County Jail (VCJ) in late fall 2019. Over the course of two months, Lutgen-Nieves and colleagues interviewed and administered surveys to more than 200 people held at VCJ. From their research they found a substantial and elevated need in the realms of both substance abuse and mental health. The presentation will cover the basis for this study, the study's methodology and findings, as well as policy implications, current ongoing projects with the jail and next steps.

Dr. Amy L. Montz

Adapting Historical Time and Place in Young Adult Novels

Dr. Amy L. Montz
Associate Professor of English

September 4 - Video

Jennifer Donnelly’s 2015 novel These Shallow Graves and Katherine Howe’s 2015 novel The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen are both set in nineteenth-century New York (with Howe’s book spanning the 1830s and the 2010s) and both end with Author’s Notes or Acknowledgments that give credit to the Museums and Institutions of New York City for keeping the past alive.

Both authors, it seems, did excellent research into their subject matter, bringing the nineteenth century alive on the page. By refreshing this classic space, authors like Donnelly and Howe call attention to the significance of American history, and encourage their teen audiences to reclaim those spaces for cultural preservation.

Spring 2020

Dr. Crystal Steltenpohl

It's All Fun and Games 'til Somebody Gets Learnt: Exploring the Potential for Video Games in Education

Dr. Crystal Steltenpohl
Assistant Professor of Psychology

February 28, 2020
Video (coming soon)

The Entertainment Software Association estimates 60% of Americans play video games daily, and 64% of U.S. households own a device that they use to play video games, meaning most Americans have some familiarity with the medium. While video games are largely known for their entertainment value, educators have long explored using them as educational tools in the classroom, to varying levels of success.

Steltenpohl’s multidisciplinary team is working to develop an open access video game to teach high school and undergraduate students about the research process, including qualitative and quantitative methodology, research ethics, and open science. Throughout the creation of the game, they hope to learn more about how people learn by evaluating learning outcomes along the way, in line with educational best practices in psychology and beyond.

Dr. Jessica Rick

Dr. Jessica Rick
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Finding the Flexibility in Workplace Flexibility: Understanding How Workers Communicate About Work/Life Policies

February 7, 2020

Research has demonstrated many benefits of workplace flexibility for both workers and organizations. So it’s no surprise that more and more organizations are offering different types of workplace flexibility.

What is surprising though, is many workers do not use the policies that are supposed to make work/life balance possible. Dr. Rick’s presentation will focus on how workers communicate about work/life policies, why workers feel uncomfortable using flexibility policies, and things we can do to make workplaces—and employees—more accepting of these policies.

Fall 2019

Dr. Casey Pycior

Winning in Writing: Approaches to Drafting a Novel

November 22, 2019

The Streak is a novel-in-progress about a fictional Pecos League baseball team, the Dodge City (Kansas) Gunslingers, that, prior to the beginning of the novel, inexplicably go undefeated over the course of a season, and a Disneyfied “based on a true story” movie has been made about their streak. The novel explores the psychological effects the winning streak and the subsequent movie has on the players.

Dr. Pycior will read from his draft of work, talk about his process for writing, and take questions from the audience.

Dr. Cacee Hoyer

Innovative Approaches to Research: A Case Study for Social Media as Archives

November 8, 2019

The ‘Grey Street Casbah and Surroundings’ is a private Facebook group that focuses on the shared spaces of Durban’s commercial district by creating an informal archival repository that connects urban history, memory studies, and the digital humanities. This presentation urges an examination of such social media sites as a new way to examine urban history.

Often ripe with nostalgia and intimate portrayals of personal and family histories, this platform provides a new space to reify contemporary understandings of well-known historical spaces within the Durban CBD. The informal nature of this space allows the average layperson the ability to participate in historical inquiry and exhibits the diverse ways well-known, and obscure, spaces in Durban are remembered and memorialized. Hoyer argues the wealth of knowledge generated on informal online platforms, such as this Facebook group, should influence and inform historical interpretations of our urban pasts.

Mr. Joseph Uduehi

Colorblindness: A Visual Art Resource

October 18, 2019

Colorblindness or Color Vision Deficiency affects approximately 1 in 10 Caucasian men. Colorblindness is a condition where it is difficult for the individuals to differentiate actual colors of objects, with red and green being the most common type of colorblindness. My presentation will focus on the visual arts resource that I developed to assist colorblind individuals in dealing with the challenges posed by colorblindness. This resource can be integrated into classroom curriculum development and everyday life.

Dr. Melissa Stacer
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

My Time Behind Bars: Going to Prison and Jail for Teaching and Research

September 13, 2019

Since 2011, Dr. Stacer has been spending time in prisons and jails. What began as field trips for criminal justice students evolved into a large research project exploring the impact of correctional facility tours on students. After years of taking students to these facilities, Dr. Stacer was then able to attain her goal of conducting research with incarcerated individuals themselves via surveys and interviews. This presentation discusses these projects and focuses on her experiences going behind bars: the joys and difficulties of taking students on such trips, the preparations involved in going to a correctional facility, and the experience of sitting face to face with the convicted.

Contact Dr. Shannon Pritchard


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