The left-right divide

While most people think environmental regulation is tied to the left-right divide, with left leaning states desiring more regulation and conservative states less, Dr. JoyAnna Hopper, Assistant Professor of Politics, has found that “organizational cultures, beliefs, structures, and norms have profound impacts on environmental agency activities, and yet these factors are rarely considered.”

When history hits home

Research and scholarship can take many forms. For Kelsey Arbuckle, C’19, and Alexa Fults, C’21, both politics majors from Grundy County, it has involved uncovering information about a coal mine disaster that was personal for both of them even though it occurred long before they were born. In 1981, Mine 21, near Whitwell, Tennessee, exploded, killing 13 workers. During her sophomore year at Sewanee, Kelsey read a newspaper story about the tragedy and realized that her grandfather had been one of the victims.

Remarkable strides in the laboratory

Dr. Clint Smith is dedicated to students and mentorship in the laboratory. Few opportunities for virology research exist at liberal arts colleges, and Sewanee is one of only two liberal arts colleges in the country with the capacity to utilize the CoV reverse genetics system. Thus, the collaborative research experience in Dr. Smith’s lab provides his students with a truly remarkable opportunity, and might end up saving lives in the process.

Devices of Rhetoric

Four Sewanee students presented rhetorical criticism papers at an Honors Conference in Nashville. The Clevenger conference is one of the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate research forums in the field of rhetoric. All papers are competitively selected for presentation. The Sewanee contributions emerged from research projects in RHET 311: U.S. Public Address, 1620-1865, a course that surveys American rhetoric and oratory of the period. Each paper offers a close reading of a speech or rhetorical controversy in its historical context.

Flourishing on campus

University Wellness Center Director and Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Nicole Noffsinger-Frazier recently received a grant from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) which will help her develop a comprehensive and sustainable infrastructure for campus suicide prevention. The new project, Sewanee Flourish, is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and techniques to promote well-being.

Comfort Food and Psychology

Julian and Dr. Jordan Troisi published an article in Teaching of Psychology entitled “Comfort Food: Nourishing Our Collective Stomachs and Our Collective Minds.” It examines food as a powerful motivator in human functioning—as biological need, emotional support, and cultural symbol. The article seeks to correct popular misconceptions about the concept of comfort food by describing how it serves as a social surrogate and as a cognitive/emotional representation of others.

Holy Wells and Folklore

Dr. Celeste Ray of the Environmental Arts and Humanities Program recently completed a research leave in Ireland. Her research focused on sacred landscapes and specifically holy wells. These holy wells can have a range of attributes. Some involve specific prayers or cures, others are dedicated to saints—canonized and non-canonized. She studied patterns in well dedications and in the folklore associated with cures the well waters are believed to possess.

Discerning the Shape of Water

A recent $350,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will support water-related research on the Domain. A key part of the grant is hiring a research manager who can both assist faculty in research design and implementation and who will disseminate findings to the public. Research can be related to water, water quality, wastewater treatment biodiversity, and other topics and should be readily translatable to the public or respond to public interest.