Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

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Dr. Doug Kane, Associate Professor of Biology, attended and presented at the 5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Madison, Wisconsin.  His talk “Thoreau Wildlife Sanctuary: Ecological Restoration in the Historic Great Black Swamp (NW Ohio)” detailed ecological restoration conducted at the Thoreau Wildlife Sanctuary (a joint venture with the Diehl Family Foundation) over the last 20+ years.  Dr. Kane also participated in a workshop on how to teach restoration ecology.

Dr. Kane was an invited participant at the National Estuaries Day Research Forum at Old Woman Creek in Huron, Ohio. Researchers from around Northern and Central Ohio discussed future collaborations and programming at this National Estuarine Research Reserve.  He also contributed posters featuring both his and Defiance College students’ research on Lake Erie and its tributaries to a public open house held at Old Woman Creek.

Dr. Kane gave an invited, hour-long talk in the technical sessions at the 2013 Keystone Power Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His talk “Algae Propagation in Lake Erie and its Watershed: Consequences and Control” was attended by power plant professionals from throughout the eastern and midwestern United States.

Dr. Kane presented at the Water Management Association of Ohio (WMAO)/ Ohio Lake Management Society (OLMS) Annual Meeting in Columbus, OH.  His presentation "The Importance of Long-term Lake Data" was co-authored by collaborators from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Heidelberg University, The Ohio State University, and F.T. Stone Laboratory.  Doug was also re-elected to the Board of Directors at the annual OLMS business meeting.

Dr. Kane became President of the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) at the 57th Conference on Great Lakes Research in Hamilton, Ontario.  He also presented  "Microcystis blooms and phosphorus dynamics in two of Lake Erie's agricultural tributaries (Maumee and Sandusky rivers)" based on research conducted with scientists from The Ohio State University and the Ohio Division of Wildlife.


Dr. Marian Plant, Professor of Religious and Ministry Studies, was invited to present her workshop “When Religious Identity Formation Calls for Being Good Neighbors to the ‘Other’: Using Problem-based Learning to Help Religious Education and Ministry Studies Classes Respond to Local Congregations’ Challenges” at the Religious Education Association’s Annual Meeting in Boston. All paper and workshop proposals for the conference went through a rigorous review and selection process.  The workshop proposal grew out of a problem-based learning project used in the RL 250 Program Development and Resource Theory course taught Spring 2013 by Dr. Plant.


Dr. Plant participated in a pre-conference session of the Religious Education Association’s Annual Meeting, addressing the theme “Coming Out Religiously.”  The pre-conference session included a preview of the film “Gaining Ground” and continued with an on-site visit to The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative - one of the best known, most creative neighborhood revitalization initiatives in the country – that partners with religious institutions, businesses, nonprofits, community development corporations, government agencies, and other entities to implement resident-driven plans in this highly diverse community.


Dr. Mary Catherine Harper, Professor of English, has been awarded the 2013 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize by the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. The winning poem, Muddy World, is a reflection on the vast differences between life in Cambodia and life in the U. S. Midwest. It will be published in the journal MidAmerica. Gwendolyn Brooks is notable as the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize. She became a central figure of the Black Arts Movement beginning in 1967 and is known for her poems of south-side Chicago.


Collette Knight, Pilgrim Library Circulation Coordinator,was awarded the 2013 OPAL Service Award by the OPAL library consortium. The consortium recognized her for her generosity and willingness to help in all areas.


Tim Wedge, Assistant Professor of Practice of Digital Forensic Science, was quoted in a Forensic Magazine article: http://www.forensicmag.com/articles/2014/01/finding-missing-link


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Joshua Francis, Assistant Professor of Education, was elected to the executive committee of the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education as treasurer. The purpose of OACTE is to advocate for and provide leadership in teacher education in the State of Ohio by working collaboratively with member institutions to achieve the group’s goals and objectives.


Dr. Doug Kane, Assistant Professor of Biology, presented an invited talk at the 2012 Keystone Power Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa. Kane’s talk “Algae and Microbe Propagation and Control in Water Systems or Turning a Problem into a Solution” was presented to power plant professionals, including chemists and managers from throughout the eastern U.S.

In February 2012, Dr. Kane presented at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography’s Aquatic Sciences meeting in New Orleans. His talk was titled “Lake Erie as a Sentinel for Climate Change: Weather affects Stratification and Hypoxia Formation” and included co-authors from Westminster College, Ohio State University, F.T. Stone Laboratory, Ohio Division of Wildlife, and Defiance College (senior Phoenix Golnick).

Dr. Kane has also been selected as part of the editorial board for the new, online, open-access, peer-reviewed Open Journal of Ecology, and was recently elected to the Ohio Lake Management Society Board of Directors.

Dr. Kane was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) (http://www.iaglr.org/) and then chosen by the Board as its next Vice President, with the expectation that he will then serve as President and Past President.

Dr. Kane also co-chaired a session at the recent 56th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research (http://www.iaglr.org/iaglr2013/) at Purdue University.  This session was titled “The Re-Eutrophication of Lake Erie: Improving Understanding and Developing a Management Framework.”  He also presented in this session on “HABs, Hypoxia, and History: The Re-Eutrophication of Lake Erie: with co-authors from ODNR, OSU, F.T. Stone Laboratory, and Heidelberg University.


Dr. Sandra Golden, Assistant Professor of Education and Master of Arts in Education Program Director, was a presenter at the 33rd annual conference of the American Reading Forum held in December. She presented an examination of content area pre-service teachers’ attitudes on using various forms of texts. She also discussed investigating ways to actively engage students through science ethics and academic literacy. Dr. Golden was also invited and selected as one of the 2013 American Reading Forum annual yearbook associate editors and one of the 2014 American Reading Forum yearbook managing editors. In addition, she was invited to present at the 2013 Ohio Student Education Association spring conference where she will discuss using multicultural literature in the classroom.


Tim Wedge, Assistant Professor of Practice of Digital Forensic Science, had his paper “The Basics of Digital Forensics: The Primer for Getting Started in Digital Forensics” published in the journal Computers & Security.


Dr. Gregg Gunsch, Professor of Digital Forensic Science, gave his Distinguished Faculty presentation recently. Titled “One Man’s Journey: Bobbing Along the River of Education – or Serendipity Has Been My Friend,” Dr. Gunsch’s presentation was a reflection on education and how he has moved from one opportunity to the next without anything that could really be called a plan. The lessons afforded through serendipity have shaped the turns of his wandering path, but at the same time prepared him for technologies and fields of study that simply didn’t exist when the learning first occurred. He hopes to inspire others to realize that the payoffs in all dimensions of education are consistently great, but sometimes far from immediate.


Mary Ann Studer, Dean of the McMaster School, had an article published in the Winter 2013 Diversity & Democracy, a publication of the association of American Colleges and Universities. The article is titled, “Developing Sustainable Partnerships for International Community-Based Research.” a web version of the article can be found at http://www.aacu.org/diversitydemocracy/vol16no1/studer.cfm.


Brad Harsha, Defiance College Director of Admissions, has been invited to serve on the advisory committee for the Council of Independent Colleges’ Campaign for the Liberal Arts and Liberal Arts Colleges. The committee will embark on a nationwide public information campaign to promote the advantages of a liberal arts education. Brad recently attended a meeting of the committee in Washington, D.C. Members include administrators and presidents from 13 liberal arts colleges across the country. The Council of Independent Colleges is the major service organization for all small and mid-sized independent, liberal arts colleges and universities in the U.S.


Dr. Todd Comer, Associate Professor of English, has co-edited the book Terror and the Cinematic Sublime (McFarland, 2013). The publisher writes: “This collection considers film in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Eleven essayists address Hollywood movies, indie film, and post-cinematic media, including theatrical films by directors such as Steven Spielberg, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee, and post-cinematic works by Wafaa Bilal, Douglas Gordon and Peter Tscherkassky, among others. All of the essays are written with an eye to what may be the central concept of our time, the sublime. The sublime--that which can be thought but not represented (the “unpresentable”) - provides a ready tool for analyses of trauma, horror, catastrophe and apocalypse, the military-industrial complex, the end of humanism and the limits of freedom. Such essays take the pulse of our cultural moment, while also providing the reader with a sense of the nature of the sublime in critical work, and how it continues to evolve conceptually in the 21st century.”


Dr. Deborah Dalke, Professor of Psychology, presented a poster at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Pre-conference held in New Orleans. The pre-conference session was on Social Psychology and the Law. The title of the poster was: “Mock Jurors are More Likely to Convict a Defendant with Eyewitness Testimony than with DNA Evidence but the Reason for the Conviction is Less Obvious.” Students from her research methods class who helped to design the project included: Kellie Cooper, Bryant Green, Amanda Johnson, Amanda Mansfield, Megan Nicholson, Daniel Samuels, Courtnie Vaughan, and Brooke Zachrich.


Dr. Tim Rickabaugh, Professor of Exercise Science, is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and renewed his certification in 2012. He has seen significant student interest in obtaining professional certifications in order to become more competitive for jobs or graduate assistantships upon graduation.


Dr. Jo Ann Burkhardt, Professor of Education, and Dr. Fred Coulter, Associate Professor Education, presented “Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders” as part of a Nov. 2012in-service workshop sponsored by the Behavioral Health Professionals of Northwest Ohio at the Northwest State Community College, Archbold, Ohio.

Drs. Burkhardt and Coulter also gave a report at the October 2012 regional meeting of Zonta International in Marietta on the delivering of birthing kits and training health professionals in addition to Buddhist nuns on the kits’ use. Five-hundred kits were donated by Zonta International. 

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Dr. Doug Kane, Assistant Professor of Biology, presented on service-learning dealing with the Maumee River at the 54th Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE) conference at Lourdes College in Sylvania. His presentation was titled “Making the Maumee River GLISTEN: Undergraduate Service Learning through Water Quality Monitoring at Defiance College” and included co-authors

Dr. Spiro Mavroidis, Biology undergraduate student Jessica Maxcy, and Sister Marya Czech, Assistant Professor of Biology at Lourdes College. For more information on the conference and the association, please visit http://acube.org/. Professor Kane was featured in an article in The Crescent-News (Defiance) about a service-learning project he is working on dealing with Great Lakes’ water quality. A number of classes and several student liaisons (Jessica Maxcy, Biology major, and Phoenix Golnick, Restoration Ecology major) have also been an important part of the GLISTEN (Great Lakes Stewardship Through Education Network) project that links colleges and universities with community groups.


Dr. Somnath Dutta, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, volunteered his time to perform demonstrations for young scientists at an event hosted by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the largest scientific organization in the world. ACS celebrated National Chemistry Week, Oct 23, at Imagination Station in downtown Toledo. The event was hosted by the Toledo section of ACS. Dr. Dutta demonstrated “Polymerization of Liquid Latex: Bouncy Balls.” This is his second year of involvement with National Chemistry Week.


Dr. Sandra Golden’s First Year Seminar class collaborated with Citizens in Action (CIA) to collect food items and donations for Thanksgiving meals for families in need. The class hosted a Thanksgiving food/toy/cash drive at the Northtowne Mall. They also walked the campus neighborhood to collect donations and received a donation of $500 from their involvement in the Chief Supermarket’s Make a Difference Day. The donation went toward purchasing Thanksgiving meals for families in need identified by Sara’s House. The class also worked with CIA on Secret Santa Serves 4, a drive to collect new and gently used toys as well as a coin drive to help purchase clothing items. Both drives served families in Defiance County.


The First Year Seminar Class taught by Brad Harsha ’99 & ’02, Director of Admissions, and Jennifer Stark ’03, Assistant Director of Admissions, planned and hosted a Christmas Party for foster children in the Defiance County area. The planning took place throughout the semester and involved making arrangements for food, entertainment, decorations, buying and wrapping gifts, and hosting the party. The class worked in conjunction with Amy Linebrink ’99 from Job and Family Services. In all, more than 85 people attended the event, and Santa delivered gifts to more than 35 children.


Dr. Fred Coulter, Associate Professor Education, was elected to the Autism Society of Northwest Ohio’s (ASNO) Board of Directors.  ASNO is a chapter of the Autism Society of America, the oldest and largest autism advocacy organization in the country. The mission of ASNO is to provide support, education, and advocacy to individuals, parents, family members, and professionals affected by autism across the lifespan and the entire autism spectrum in 12 counties in Northwest Ohio. For more information on the ASNO and its programs, please go towww.asno.org


Joshua Francis, Assistant Professor of Education, was elected to the Executive Committee of the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education as treasurer.  The purpose of OACTE is to advocate for and provide leadership in teacher education in the State of Ohio by working collaboratively with member institutions to achieve objectives.

Francis’s article, “Designing Teacher Education Programs for Human Rights,” was accepted for publication in In Factis Pax, an online peer-reviewed journal for peace education and social justice. (Francis, J.C. (2012).   Designing Teacher Education Programs for Human Rights.  In Factis Pax, 6(1), 36-50.)


Defiance College President Mark Gordon has a guest post in the April 25, 2012 online Washington Post section entitled College Inc. President Gordon writes about his views on the college rankings system that confuses excellence with exclusivity. You can read the entire blog post here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/do-colleges-court-those-least-in-need-of-education/2012/04/25/gIQA2L1sgT_blog.html#pagebreak

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Dr. Doug Kane, Assistant Professor of Biology, gave an invited presentation at the Sixth Biennial Lake Erie Millennium Network Conference in Windsor, Ontario.  The talk “Monitoring, Mechanisms, and Macronutrients: Microcystis in the Maumee and Sandusky Systems” included co-authors from Ohio State University, Kent State University, Niagara University and the University of Toledo.  Further, Kane was a co-author on the “Lake Erie Algal Source Tracking 2009 (LEAST)” talk given by Dr. Tom Bridgeman of the University of Toledo, with other co-authors from UT, OSU, and Heidelberg University.  These presentations dealt with research regarding the distribution and timing of blooms, factors influencing the distribution and timing of blooms, methods of detection and quantification, and toxin detection of Microcystis, a type of bloom-forming harmful alga found throughout the Maumee and Sandusky systems (from small tributaries to offshore Lake Erie).  These projects were funded by the Lake Erie Protection Fund and US EPA.  For more information about the conference please visit http://www.lemn.org/ and click under conferences and then click Sixth Biennial conference.


Lisa Marsalek was promoted to Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Career Development in July 2010.  In the new role, she will continue to direct all aspects of the Office of Career Development and will assume responsibility for the direction, leadership, and supervision of other functional areas of student life, including residence life, student activities, and intercultural relations and will also assume responsibility for student accessibility services and the Partnership for Jobs program.  A graduate of The Ohio State University, Lisa holds a B.S. in psychology, a master’s degree in labor and human resources, and an M.A. in higher education and student affairs administration. 


Several Defiance College-affiliated artists were recognized during this year’s June Art Exhibit at the Wassenberg Art Center in Van Wert, Ohio. They include: Professor Steve Smith, stoneware; alumnus Matthew Temple, linocut print; Mike Kozumplik, jewelry; Professor Doug Fiely, woodcut print and intaglio print; alumnus and instructor Julia Fiely, acrylic; Instructor Kathy Funderburg, acrylic; alumnus Brandon Knott, stoneware; and Marvin Thorp, glass, husband of faculty member Jo Ann Burkhardt

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