The Knowledge Exchange serves as a forum for faculty, staff, and students to share their research, practice-based work, and creative work. This program affords productive sharing and networking, encourages mentoring and modeling, and promotes an interdisciplinary atmosphere that enriches our campus community of teacher/scholars, teacher/practitioners, and learners. Attendance is open to all.
For more information, contact Professor Raju Parakkal
2020 Knowledge Exchange Talks
1/29 3:00-4:00 Roxboro House
Dr. Charlotte Legg is a historian who specializes in modern and contemporary history of France and the francophone world. She joined the University of London Institute in Paris in 2012, having previously taught as a postgraduate student at New York University and the University of Southampton, UK. Her research addresses the European settlers in French colonial Algeria during the 19th and 20th centuries. Dr. Legg researches and writes about the role of the colonial press in the creation of settlers' culture and identity within the economic and racial spaces of this francophone colony, and recently is examining the role of colonial medical research in the development of theories of racial hierarchy.
Presenter: Dr. Charlotte Legg, Lecturer in French Studies and Head of Department, University of London Institute in Paris, Paris, France
2019 Knowledge Exchange Talks
11/7 12:30-1:30 Roxboro House
The Arlen Specter Center offers annual competitive research fellowships to aid scholars in their study and research of an area significant to the late Senator Arlen Specter’s legacy. Both of our fellows for the year 2019-20 examine the U.S. prison system and undertake research to gain deeper insights into the issues of prison overcrowding and judicial fairness.
The working titles of their presentations are as follows:
“Lock Them Up, but Where?: Making Sense of the Armed Career Criminal Act and the Late Twentieth-Century Crisis of Prison Overcrowding”
Presenter: Charlotte Rosen, Ph.D. Candidate in History, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
“You Can’t Win When You Can’t Get Out of the Cage: Understanding the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and its Role in Expanding the Modern Prison Industrial Complex”
Presenter: Timothy N. Welbeck, Esq., Adjunct Faculty Member, Thomas Jefferson University (East Falls) and Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Funding for the fellowships is provided by Shanin Specter, Philadelphia trial attorney and son of Arlen Specter, and his wife, Tracey Specter.
GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple), Digital Dominance, and our Democratic Futures: Should Antitrust Battle Big Tech?
10/1 12:30-1:30 Roxboro House
The digital era and the global dominance of the Big Four—Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, or GAFA—in the twenty-first century present new and unanticipated challenges for democracy and socio-economic outcomes such as personal privacy and labor rights. Big data, especially of the personalized variety, at the disposal of a few major firms is a cause for concern. With regard to labor rights, the monopsony power of these digital behemoths does not augur well for the future of labor mobility. However, the greatest danger of Big Tech’s digital dominance is perceived to be for one of humanity’s greatest political inventions—democracy. Data dominance and concentration of economic power allow Big Tech to manipulate the news stories we read, the candidates we vote for, and the democratic freedoms we enjoy. Antitrust laws have traditionally targeted this concentration of economic power but has been slow in facing up to Big Tech. This talk provides a broad overview of this political-economic scenario, explains the nature and functions of antitrust laws, and explores whether antitrust should battle Big Tech to secure our democratic futures and personal freedoms.
Presenter: Raju Parakkal, Associate Professor of International Relations, College of Humanities and Sciences, Thomas Jefferson University
The Debate Over the Efficacy of Federal Hate Crime Legislation: A Look at Arlen Specter’s Senatorial Efforts and its Legacy
9/3 12:30-1:30 Roxboro House
Bias-motivated violence is considered especially heinous in the U.S. This research examines the federal legislation that cemented that value into law. Hate crimes are criminal acts where the target is specifically chosen because of their race, sexual orientation, gender expression, ethnicity, or religion. These crimes, whether intentional or not, have a ripple effect on societal values, and especially spread fear within oppressed minority groups. This talk presents research that examined the context that precipitated a need for hate crime laws and that looked at federal developments as a reaction to landmark hate crime cases. One of Senator Arlen Specter’s key areas of policy impact lies right here in hate crimes. Through means of the Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, the late Senator’s contributions in both Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania are explored. The talk analyzes bias-motivated crime through the contextualizing historical lens of Arlen Specter’s work and then uses that analysis to discuss the current debate over hate crime legislation.
Presenter: Sierra Reddi; Junior, Law and Society Program; College of Humanities and Sciences; Thomas Jefferson University
4/26 12-1 pm Roxboro House
Designers utilize drawings in a variety of ways to interrogate the world and illustrate the creative process. Drawing can cast an image of the imagination or uncover unseen relationships. From fantastical Roman excavations of Piranesi, to the eccentricities of Miguel De Cervantes’ Don Quixote, to Italo Calvino’s poetic fiction, to the act of a first-ear design student, the drawing craves a leap of imagination to document what is and imbue it with what might be. This presentation will explore the possibility of drawing as a method beyond communication – of a shared exploration, drafted dialogue, and collective imagination. This presentation will share imagery from College of Architecture students and professional work, including imagery from the work on Richard Neutra’s Hassrick House and new creative work which will be presented at Andrew Hart’s exhibit, "Visible Cities," which will be on view at the Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catherine Street, Philadelphia, during June 21-30, 2019.
Presenter: Andrew Hart; Assistant Professor of Architecture; College of Architecture and the Built Environment; Thomas Jefferson University
3/29 12-1 pm Roxboro House
Marrying a doctor became an aspirational goal for many young women in modern America. For those who succeeded in securing a physician husband, however, married life was often hard work. From fundraising for hospital construction to answering patients’ phone calls, the doctor’s wife was an essential part of modernizing medicine. Contributing uncompensated and largely unacknowledged labor, these women were instrumental in their husbands’ professionalization and in the making of medicine into a big business. Doctors’ wives also worked to spread new ideas about medicine and health policy through their social networks. From campaigning against socialized medicine in the 1950s and 1960s to criticizing women’s health providers with feminist rhetoric in the 1970s, they helped reshape cultural expectations of the medical profession. “Mrs. MD” was not merely the support behind a great medical man, but a powerful force in her own right.
Presenter: Kelly O’Donnell; Adjuct Professor of History; College of Humanities and Sciences; Thomas Jefferson University
2/22 12-1 pm Roxboro House
Opioid involved deaths increased by 15.6% between 2014 to 2015, driven in large part by synthetic opioids other than methadone (e.g. fentanyl). While treatment is shown to be highly cost effective in reducing opioid abuse, only 1 out of 10 individuals with substance abuse disorders gets the treatment they need. This study examines how Medicaid expansions under the Affordable Care Act have affected insurance coverage and treatment utilization for opioid abuse. As of January 2016, 31 states had chosen to expand Medicaid. We use a difference-in-difference design to compare treatment admissions for opioid use in expanding and non-expanding states using Treatment Episode Data Sets (TEDS) data from 2006-2015. We found that the Medicaid expansions were associated with large increases in Medicaid coverage and corresponding decreases in the proportion uninsured. There was relatively little change in private insurance coverage, although the expansions tended to decrease such coverage slightly. We find a statistically significant increase in total admissions for substance abuse and also specifically for opioid use in the expanding states.
Presenter: Anusua Datta; Robert P. and Kathleen F. Smith Term Chair & Associate Professor of Economics School of Business Administration; Thomas Jefferson University
2018 Knowledge Exchange Talks
11/16 12-1pm Roxboro House
Presentation 1: “Safe Streets, Inc.: The 'Hustle' to End Black Gang Violence in Philadelphia, 1969-1976”
From 1962 to 1968, gang stabbings and murders in Philadelphia drastically increased, inspiring Philadelphia District Attorney Arlen Specter (from 1965-1973) to establish Safe Streets, Inc. in August 1968 as a non-profit, anti-gang program designed to reduce gang violence, end turf wars between rival gangs, and provide social services like job training and academic tutoring to juveniles. Since the program came into existence amidst the Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968), numerous cases of police brutality, and over 200 race riots in post-industrial cities, the yearly Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) grant from the federal government offered to cities under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 became appealing to liberal and conservative politicians alike. From 1969 to 1976, Specter competed with Mayor Frank Rizzo for funding to rehabilitate youth at Safe Streets, Inc. centers in North and West Philadelphia while Rizzo proposed to utilize the grant to strengthen crime-fighting techniques within the police department. Nevertheless, the battle over federal funding between liberal and conservative politicians influenced police-community relations in the 1970s when violence between police and citizens was at its highest since 1930.
Presenter: Menika Dirkson; PhD Student; Department of History; Temple University
Presentation 2: “The Effectiveness of Clery Act Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings”
What would you do if you knew you were about to be robbed, assaulted, or even murdered? You would certainly take action to prevent the crime. That was the sort of question Connie and Howard Clery considered in proposing legislation making campus crime data publicly accessible. The Clery Act was passed following the rape and murder of their daughter Jeanne Clery in 1986. Senator Arlen Specter was a sponsor of the legislation and took an ongoing interest in its effectiveness during Senate oversight hearings. Clery Act emergency notifications and timely warnings have great potential in promoting campus safety. But Clery Act messages can be perceived as victim blaming, lead to retaliation, or reinforce racial stereotypes. This can result in a chilling effect, limiting crime reporting. This session will present data from a national study of this issue and provide a framework for understanding the conflict between the intent and real-world effect of the law.
Presenter: Travis Douglas; Assistant Vice President for Residential Learning & Inclusion Programs; Rowan University; Doctoral Candidate; Doctor of Management in Strategic Leadership; Thomas Jefferson University
Symbolism and Resilience: The Aftermath of a Destructive Volcanic Eruption in Cape Verde, West Africa
10/26 12-1 pm Roxboro House
In this presentation, I will address the November 2014 eruption of the volcano on the Island of Fogo in Cape Verde, West Africa. Even though no lives were lost, the resulting lava flows destroyed the homes and farmland belonging to the village of Chã das Caldeiras (population 700). To focus attention on how Chã’s residents have made sense of a calamity that has brought them such anguish and suffering, I will highlight themes that have recurred in the responses to the eruption by locals and observers alike. I will also address a number of the frameworks they have employed to not only describe the recent tragic events but also offer some explanations for them. Taking together these recurring themes and frameworks, I will argue that they point to the struggle among Chã’s residents to situate the eruption — an incident challenging both experience and comprehension — within a conceptual system that can provide some “reasons” for its occurrence.
Presenter: Samuel Weeks; Assistant Professor of Anthropology; College of Humanities and Sciences; Thomas Jefferson University
9/28 12-1 pm Roxboro House
The criminal justice system in the U.S. has been in peril since the beginning of the 1960s, spiraling downward as the rates of crime shot upward across the country. Such drastic changes to a major system within the U.S. brought the issue of criminal justice to the forefront of nearly every political agenda of politicians in office. This presentation examines the work one such politician, the late Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, performed in his fight against the crippling system. The presentation will evaluate the actions and policies Specter introduced, from his controversial Armed Career Criminal Act to the Bipartisan Justice Integrity Act, in order to fix and protect those affected by the criminal justice system.
Presenter: Kaitlyn Brown; Senior; Law and Society Program; College of Humanities and Sciences; Thomas Jefferson University
4/27 12-1 pm Roxboro House
It has been nearly 50 years since the Kerner Commission declared that news about communities of color gets presented to the public “through white men’s eyes” and with a “white perspective.” In the years since, despite the news industry’s efforts to improve news coverage, studies of news coverage have consistently demonstrated the persistence of bias and stereotyping of communities of color. One reason for the absence of change may be related to the lack of agency given to news workers of color within mainstream newsrooms. This study attempts to assess the inclusivity of Pittsburgh-area newsrooms through a series of in-depth interviews with current and former journalists of color, newsroom managers, and community leaders of color who often interact with the media. This presentation will attempt to gain perspective on various issues impacting diversity, inclusion, and representation as they pertain to the Pittsburgh-area media ecosystem.
Presenter: Letrell Crittenden; Assistant Professor of Communication; Program Director, Communication; College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts; Thomas Jefferson University – East Falls Campus
Italian Style on Screen: The Fashion of the 1950s and 60s in the commedia all’italiana (Italian comic films)
3/30 12-1 pm Roxboro House
The Italian economy expanded dramatically in the 1950s and 1960s at the same time as the Italian film industry experienced growth particularly in comic films (the commedia all’italiana). The popular character and immediacy of these comic films makes them a valuable medium for examining Italian society and the impact of the new consumer culture. The 1950s and 1960s were also a period of significant developments within the fashion industry as ready-to-wear lines made new styles quickly accessible to a larger audience. Fashion is a powerful signifier, representing an exterior narrative of social and economic change. In Italian comic films the main characters’ dress displays the possibilities of a novel, modernized lifestyle. At the same time, the different styles of dress between those considered successful and society’s losers (perdenti) throw into relief the disparities of class and status engendered by the economic miracle. This presentation examines this unsettling, highly visible aspect of the intersection between fashion and film to reveal the tensions and contradictions in Italian society of the time.
Presenter: Meriel Tulante; Associate Professor of Italian Studies; College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts; Thomas Jefferson University – East Falls Campus
Does the Importance of Apparel Product Attributes Differ by Country? Testing Kano’s Theory of Attractive Quality in India, China, South Korea, and the US
2/23 12-1 pm Roxboro House
Built on Kano's theory of attractive quality, this study hypothesizes that apparel attributes contributing to customer satisfaction differ by a country’s level of economic development since consumers’ expectations toward apparel products change with changes in their economic status. Data was collected in four countries (India, China, South Korea, and the U.S.). Attributes classified as performance and attractive categories contributed to satisfaction more than the attributes classified in the other categories, regardless of country. Collectively, the findings suggest that as a country's economy advances, the role of brand is diminishing and attributes such as fashionability and versatility become more important in creating customer satisfaction. By discovering the life cycle of each attribute and tracing the path from developing countries to developed countries, this study provides an initial tool to predict how consumers' expectations toward an apparel product shift as a country advances economically.
Presenter: Shubhapriya Bennur; Assistant Professor of Global Fashion Enterprise, Fashion Marketing Management; School of Business Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; Thomas Jefferson University – East Falls Campus
1/19 12-1pm Roxboro House
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that has received much press in the last 10-15 years with its drastic increase in prevalence. Individuals with ASD have even been portrayed in television shows such as The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Atypical (Netflix), and most recently, The Good Doctor (ABC). But what really is ASD? Why do people with autism, even with average or above average intelligence, struggle with day-to-day activities? What can each of us do to facilitate the participation in daily activities of those with ASD? This presentation will briefly describe the research being conducted at Thomas Jefferson University to promote the full participation of those with ASD in the occupation of living.
Presenters Roseann Schaaf, PhD, and Marie-Christine Potvin, PhD, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Professions Occupational Therapy, College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts Thomas Jefferson University
Watch the presentation on YouTube:
Knowledge Exchange Archive
The Power of Sound: Harnessing Acoustics for Improving Patient Care
11/17 12-1 pm Roxboro House
At the conclusion of World War II, researchers (many of whom were located in Philadelphia) began applying techniques developed for sonar to image living tissue. Today, ultrasound imaging is synonymous with monitoring fetal development and cardiac imaging. However, ultrasound continues to evolve, with Philadelphia remaining a hot bed for research and development. This talk will cover more recent developments in ultrasound including using ultrasound to identify and track the treatment of cancers, measure tissue stiffness, monitor tissue oxygenation, locally deliver drugs, eradicate bacterial infection, heat tissues in order to treat cancers or brain dysfunction, noninvasively measure pressures within the body, using micro-ultrasound to image organisms as small as fruit flies, and wearable ultrasound.
Presenter: John Eisenbrey, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University – Center City Campus
Trick or Treat? Sucralose is More than Sweet: The Active Ingredient in Splenda Changes the Way Bacteria Process Natural Sugars
10/27 12-1pm Roxboro House
Sucralose, first made in 1975, was included in U.S. food products for the first time in 1999 under the tradename “Splenda.” Sucralose tastes about 600 times sweeter than table sugar, because the sweet-taste receptors on our tongues mistake it for natural sugar. If sucralose tricks our sweet taste receptors into thinking it’s natural sugar, the question arises whether sucralose can trick other proteins that use natural sugars. And, does sucralose have other effects besides tasting sweet? Studies on sucralose have increased in the past few years, and it's becoming clear sucralose does do more than just taste sweet. Sucralose might cause these “non-sweet” effects by interfering with how living things use natural sugars. This talk presents findings from work that examined the effects of sucralose on bacteria.
Presenter: Mary Ann Wagner-Graham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of Health Sciences Program, College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts (CSHLA)
Turkey Feathers, Peanut Fibers, and Hemp Waste: One Person's Trash, Another Person's Treasure
9/29 12 pm Roxboro House
In the US, there are 2-4 billion pounds of poultry feathers produced annually as a by-product of meat production. Much of this is landfilled as issues arose when using it as animal feed. In Canada, hemp and flax waste by-products are often burned in the field to avoid paying for disposal. As such, there is a tremendous amount of low cost materials that may be suitable for replacing traditional textile materials such as wood pulp, cotton, and polyester in various applications. This presentation will discuss the processing, evaluation, and comparison of these materials for different applications such as erosion control, absorbent diaper cores, and wipes.
Presenter: Brian R. George, PhD, Associate Professor, Engineering, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce
Chemistry in Your Cup: Kinetic Study of Cold Brew Coffee
4/28 12pm Roxboro House
Both small and large commercial coffee brewers have recently begun offering cold-brew coffee drinks to customers with claims that these cold-water extracts contain fewer bitter acids, due to brewing conditions, while still retaining the flavor profile. Dunkin Donuts’ website suggests that the cold-water and long brewing times allow the coffee to reach “... its purest form.” With very little research existent on the chemistry of cold- brew coffee, consumers are left to the marketing strategies of Starbucks and other companies regarding the contents of cold-brew coffee. The present research employs a simple cold-brew set-up to brew coffee. Samples of coffee were analyzed over time to evaluate the kinetic and equilibrium behavior of caffeine and antioxidants during brewing. We tested both medium and dark roast coffee sourced from the Kona region of Hawaii prepared in both medium and coarse grind grounds in hopes to provide some scientific information about this new coffee trend.
Presenters: Niny Rao and Megan Fuller, Assistant Professors (both), College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts (CSHLA) (both)
Rewilding Philadelphia, Empowered Collaboration
3/31 12pm Roxboro House
Research indicates that children gain multiple benefits from out-of-doors’ experiences, yet these occurrences are often isolated and exclusive. Our design efforts seek to bring nature into the everyday life of urban youth by using contiguous vacant lots to create a network of easily accessible, safe, and natural outdoor spaces. Out-of-door experiences provide a fertile environment for acquiring these skill sets, but unfortunately children in poor urban communities have little access to them. Although there is a growing movement to “green” urban school playgrounds, these spaces still remain isolated experiences. However, these individual spaces would benefit by being integrated into a contiguous green network where children can be immersed in nature. This would have significant implications for combating poverty by empowering children to achieve self-sufficiency and a sense of community through contact with nature, their neighbors, and their neighborhood resources.
Presenter: Kimberlee Douglas, Associate Professor, College of Architecture and the Built Environment
What You Think about Survival from Sudden Cardiac Arrest is Wrong: Reframing This Complex Problem
February 24, 2017
Larry M. Starr, PhD
Director, Doctor of Management in Strategic Leadership
Director, Strategic Leadership Consulting,Research and Executive Education School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS)
Director, Special Task Force on Reframing the System of Survival for Sudden Cardiac Arrest MS in Disaster Medicine and Management College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts (CSHLA)
In the 1970s and 1980s in the US, the survival rate for a person who experienced sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) was approximately 3%. Now, after 40 years of enormous energy and resources, the survival rate is only approximately 8%. Why is it still so low? Are we doing the ‘right’ things? In this presentation, a new framework, methodology, and tools will be described that are drawn not from traditional medical or biological science but from systems and design thinking. Two studies directed by Dr. Larry M. Starr support the premise that SCA survival is a complex organizational problem and should be addressed using complex organizational methodologies.
Starr, L.M., Ballard, B., Bieter, J., Conroy, N., Frankel, S., Hash, S.F., Malone, K., Scott, J., Vival, A., Braslow, A., Field, J., Benau, D. A., & McLeod, L. M. (2013). A complete redesign of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) learning experience. University of Pennsylvania Scholarly Commons Working Paper 13-01
Starr, L.M., Braslow, A.B., Pourdehnad, J., & Bharathy, G. (2015). Systems and Design Thinking Applied to Out-of-Hospital CPR and AED Performance. Emergency Cardiac Care Update (ECCU) Conference, San Diego, CA, December 10.
The Impact of Genetic Self-Testing Exercises on Student Attitudes about Genetic Profiling
November 18, 2016
Ryan Long, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Frank Wilkinson, Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Genetic testing offers the possibility of tremendous benefits in medical risk assessment, diagnosis, treatment, basic biological research, and other areas. However, it also puts people at risk of harm. For example, knowledge of one’s own genetic information may cause distress. More significantly, genetic information that is not kept private exposes one to the risk of being harmed by third parties. Genetic testing, therefore, generates ethical, professional, and public policy problems. This presentation is based on our current research that examines how performing genetic self-tests and participating in classroom discussions on genetic testing impacts student attitudes regarding said problems. The project was implemented simultaneously in Hallmarks core and Biology major courses in both the fall and spring semesters during 2015-16. This talk presents the overall research agenda and the initial results from these investigations.
Do Business and IT Executives Still Talk At Each Other?
October 21, 2016
Irina Stoyneva, Assistant Professor of Management
The classic generalization is that IT executives often run IT organizations without a clear vision of the business while non-IT managers lack a general understanding of the importance, value and complexity of IT, and focus sharply on the bottom line. These stereotypical views describe a gap between the business and IT communities, also known as the IT-Business disconnect phenomenon. The disconnect remains a top issue for organizations and businesses because of its detrimental impact on organizational performance, culture and survival. In this study, we explore the underpinning mechanisms that predict the different mindsets of IT and business executives on the role of IT in organizations. We utilize an online focus group discussion among executives to examine how they view the IT-Business disconnects through the lens of their experiences. The contents of the discussion were analyzed using thematic analysis, construction of a co-occurrence matrix of themes, exploration, and mapping of the co-occurrence matrix. The respondents consisted of four groups: senior-level IT and business people and mid-level IT and business people. Fourteen themes emerged, with significant differences found in some, but not all, of these themes among the four groups. The results indicate that the disconnect between the IT and non IT executives is greater for the operational level executives than for the strategic level executives, implying that the gap is lessening at the strategic levels of business, but not among mid-levels of management.
Assessing Claims of Green Roofs on Pollinator Biodiversity Through Agent-Based Modeling
September 30, 2016
Shane McFoy, Senior Year Biology Major (Co-Investigators: Dr. Jeffrey Klemens and Michael Gall)
Pollinators are an important component of both natural and manmade environments. Urban environments, however, present a complex and challenging situation for pollinator populations as these areas consist of a mixture of green space and hardscape. Increasing the biodiversity in urban areas through the installation of green roofs has been argued to benefit these pollinator populations. This project evaluated this claim by using an agent-based modeling approach. Using NetLogo, a programming language and modeling environment, we created a spatially explicit model of Roxborough, an urban suburb located in northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to examine to what extent the presence of green roofs in an urban environment changed the amount of time an organism spent in favorable versus unfavorable environments as it passed through a given area of interest. The simulation tracked individual pollinators and were adjusted for different variables that were proxies for finding green space. Model results were used to take a first-pass estimate of the range of conditions and situations under which green roofs may be a worthwhile means of increasing urban biodiversity. We expect this research to serve as a framework for modeling individual species dynamics on the urban landscape.
The Eye of the Beholder: When and Why Art Commercialization Leads to Marketing Success
April 29, 2016
Pielah Kim, Assistant Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Management
This study focuses on the rising trend in art commercialization, which refers to the phenomenon that occurs from the strategic incorporation of visual art in the marketing of consumer products. We explored how consumers’ heterogeneous perceptions of this practice influenced their evaluations of products that featured artwork (Pilot Study). That is, whether the extent of involvement (EI) with art undergirds the construction of consumers’ heterogeneous perceptions (Study 1) and what modifications are necessary to improve product perceptions according to their EI with art, which includes both cognitive (Study 2) and affective (Study 3) dimensions. In summary, our study addressed consumers’ perspectives with respect to the emerging phenomenon of art commercialization. We demonstrated the variability in individual traits that predicted different attitudes towards products featuring artwork. By accounting for the individual differences identified, we were subsequently able to recommend effective marketing strategies to achieve uniformly positive responses with respect to products featuring artwork.
Aerial Ambassadors: National Air Carriers and US Power in the Jet Age
March 25, 2016
Phil Tiemeyer, Associate Professor of History
This presentation outlines Phil Tiemeyer's next book project, detailing the expansion of air travel after World War II. As part of this expansion, countries in the developing world founded new national airlines of their own. Such airlines were intended to provide these countries with greater political independence from their former colonial masters, while also helping to modernize their economies. However, these airlines often had such close connections to the United States that they served less as vehicles for greater independence and more as mechanisms for increasing US influence (a form of "neo-imperialism"). Tiemeyer examines this tension between independence and neo-imperialism first in how these airlines were founded. But he also investigates how the flight attendants at these airlines dressed and performed their work, examining whether they embodied truly independent local norms of womanhood or manhood--or whether they instead reflected American-inspired norms.
Amidst Nanotechnology’s Molecular Landscapes:
The Changing Metaphor of Subvisible Worlds
November 20, 2015
By Valerie Hanson, Assistant Professor of Writing
College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts
We use metaphors every day to talk with each other and learn about the world around us: they help us express new knowledge in a recognizable form, or emphasize what’s important about a concept. Metaphors then also shape how we think and act within the world. How does our use of metaphors change and affect how we think of the world around us? This talk explores an example of a common scientific metaphor that compares what we see with microscopes to landscapes in subvisible worlds. As will be discussed, some images made with microscopes that can visualize at the atomic scale, or nanoscale, show a shift away from the metaphor’s association with microscopic worlds and towards participatory, computer-generated worlds. This shift becomes significant because the different associations point to different relations between ourselves and the nanoscale, relations that also affect how we understand the nanoscale, and how we communicate scientific knowledge.
The Motivation To Create: A Unitary Construct Or Task-Specific Phenomenon?
October 30, 2015
Richard W. Hass, Assistant Professor of Psychology College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts
Can beliefs about the nature of your own creative abilities and the abilities of others influence how you approach creative tasks? Recent evidence suggests that the answer is yes: viewing creativity as a fixed (possibly innate) ability negatively affects creative outcomes, while holding strong creative-self efficacy beliefs, along with the belief that creative goals are desirable positively affects creative outcomes. However, much of this research has focused on so-called domain-general creativity, rather than on examining performance on domain-specific tasks. That is, it remains unclear whether the relationship between social-cognition and creative performance changes according to the task at hand (e.g., designing a new building v. designing a better organizational structure for a small business). The focus of this talk will be on promoting broad interdisciplinary collaborations in order to better understand this phenomenon.
American Revolution Meets Economic Theory: How the 1776 National Tragedy at Valley Forge (Pennsylvania) Informs Contemporary American Economic Policy
September 18th, 2015
Sue Christoffersen, Associate Professor of Economics and Finance
The tragedy at Valley Forge, PA during George Washington’s military encampment in the winter of 1777-1778 provides a vivid lesson in economics and economic history. Trade disruptions and price controls - mistaken policies of the nascent republic, but consistent with the political philosophy of the times - were contributing factors to the death of nearly two thousand soldiers camped at Valley Forge. In this paper, Sue Christoffersen employs a fundamental supply and demand analysis to illustrate a price ceiling and subsequent shortages. The glitter of British entertainments in Philadelphian society and the harshness of the Continental soldiers’ meager existence twenty miles away provide a sharp contrast and sparks the imagination for any student of economics and American history. This presentation is relevant for contemporary American economy as the nation attempts to turn the corner on the Great Recession of the twenty-first century.
The Dynamic Impact of Fan Sign-Ups and Word-of-Mouth on Sales – Evidence from a Social Networking Website
April 17, 2015
Hua Chang, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Social media empowers the consumer to become an active participant in a brand’s life. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of consumer empowerment strategies, managers would like to possess tools that help them analyze if social media metrics such as likes, fans, and comments are indeed related to a brand’s sales. We demonstrate that a model based on the vector autoregression (VAR) technique can be used to analyze a brand’s sales in a dynamic fashion, if we know a sufficiently long history of a brand’s sales, its fan-sign-ups and the extent of word-of-mouth (WOM) activity. We fuse secondary data, obtained over a period of 71 weeks, from three sources, and quantify the effect of fan sign-ups and WOM on product sales. We find that WOM has a larger short-term effect on sales than fan sign-ups. The long-term impact of WOM and fan sign-ups on sales may vary depending on the focal brand.
Why Names Matter—The Identification of Bones in the Snout of Palaeoniscoid Fossil Fishes
March 27, 2015
By Kathryn Mickle, Assistant Professor of Anatomy of the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts
Though Actinopterygian fishes are the most speciose vertebrates on the planet, their early evolution is poorly understood. Critical to forming an understanding of this group are fossil palaeoniscoid fishes. Unfortunately, palaeoniscoids have the distinction of being one of the least studied fossil vertebrates. We do not have a firm understanding of palaeoniscoid morphology. The bones of the snout illustrate this clearly. Currently, there is no standardization when it comes to how bones of the snout are identified and named and we are left with a situation where the same bone names are used to identify very different bones. This makes comparing previously described taxa difficult and presents problems for analyses that investigate the evolutionary relationships of palaeoniscoids. A new nomenclature scheme for the identification of the bones of the snout is presented here. The effects of this new nomenclature scheme are investigated with analyses into the relationships of palaeoniscoid fishes.
Implications of Digital Technology Innovations in Architecture
February 27, 2015
By Kihong Ku, Assistant Professor of Architecture
College of Architecture and the Built Environment
Digital technology has co-evolved with the changing needs of architecture, supporting the conception and implementation of novel complex forms, and offering opportunities for higher performance more efficiently to meet sustainability goals. A wide range of software, including BIM (Building Information Modeling), CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing), parametric modeling, and computer simulation technologies, have become commonplace tools in contemporary design practices. However, these tools have deeper implications for practice and collaboration as they impact the relationships and roles of various designers and specialists. In addition, there are gaps between the capabilities of current design tools and the constantly evolving needs of architectural design. What digital technologies are adopted in design practice today? How has technology impacted practice arrangements? What are the challenges and barriers of adopting digital technologies? And what are the implications for architectural education? These questions will be explored as part of this presentation which summarizes research and teaching activities conducted by the presenter.