The Faculty/Academic Staff Forum highlights research performed by UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff. It has been in session since 1992. More recently, we have hosted our colleagues from UW-Eau Claire-Barron County and Mayo Clinic. Some Forum presentations are recorded and included below. Any Forum presentations 2 years and older can be found on our YouTube channel.
Spring 2023 Forum
Dr. David Shih (English) February 15
"Writing a Memoir in Essays: A Reading from Chinese Prodigal: A Memoir in Eight Arguments"
David Shih will discuss the process that led to the development of his first book, a memoir in essays entitled Chinese Prodigal: A Memoir in Eight Arguments, to be published in August 2023. He will begin by describing how the book developed from his earlier blogging days and need to write for the general public about race and racism in a way he hadn’t yet seen. His book belongs to an emerging genre popular among writers of color that combines memoir with cultural criticism. He will finish with a short reading from Chinese Prodigal.
Dr. Andrew Sturtevant (History) February 22
"Pontiac's Other War: Imperial and Indigenous Politics, 1701-1766"
My research seeks to situate Pontiac’s War, a war waged by Native Americans in the Great Lakes Region against British in the 1760s, in two distinct frames. In the first of these frames, Pontiac’s War, the Odawaa leader Pontiac and his allies waged an anti‐imperial war against the British Empire. In the second, Pontiac’s other war, Pontiac continued a long‐running power struggle with the Odawaa’s rivals, the Wyandots, and sought to advance Odawaa interests. The project argues that these parallel conflicts unfolded in tandem, and that conflicts like Pontiac’s War must be understood in both imperial and Indigenous contexts.
Mykola Haleta (Art & Design) March 1
"Pattern Systems and Visual Illusions"
Mykola Haleta gives a brief presentation into his family history, influences, research, work and play.
Dr. Sudeep Bhattacharyay (Chemistry and Biochemistry) March 8
"Supercomputer Simulations Reveal How a Simple Redox Chemistry is Behind COVID-19 Severity"
Work in my research group took a dramatic turn during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. In collaboration with Dr. Hati and her research students, we started investigating the main players behind COVID-19 severity. We noted several disulfide bridges on the tip of the viral spike protein surface that binds to our cell surface receptors. Disulfide bridges are formed during elevated oxidative stress in our body. Eventually, our students used supercomputer simulations to show that the oxidation-reduction chemistry at the center of the spiraling oxidative stress is causing severity of the disease. The effort resulted in three highly cited peer-reviewed articles in 2020-2021.
Fall 2022 Forum
Dr. Jennifer Muehlenkamp (Psychology) September 21
"Coping with COVID and UWEC Student Self-Harm: Risks and Resilience"
Concerns about how the COVID pandemic impacted student mental health abound and current narratives emphasize the toll the pandemic has taken. Part of this talk will share longitudinal data collected before, during, and after the pandemic on UWEC student well-being and engagement in self-harm behaviors. Data sharing potential growth in resilience due to the pandemic will also be shared and how such resilience also impacted student mental health. Thoughts on how the narrative of the pandemic’s effect on mental health will be discussed.
Dr. Ezgi Akar (Information Systems) September 28
"Let's Get United and #ClearTheShelters: The Factors Contributing to Users' Network Centrality in Online Social Networks"
This study explores the factors contributing to online users' network centrality in a network on Twitter in the context of a social movement about the "clear the shelters" campaign across the United States. First, we extracted users' various features and network centralities (betweenness, closeness, eigenvector, in-degree, and out-degree) from a Twitter network of 13,270 users and 24,354 relationships. Then, we developed a research model and tested the impact of various user-related features on users' network centralities.
Dr. Wayne Carroll (Economics) October 5
"The Economic Progress of Hmong Refugees in the U.S."
Hundreds of thousands of Hmong refugees arrived in the U.S. starting in 1975. Using large, richly detailed U.S. Census microdata samples, we can describe the economic progress of Hmong Americans over the subsequent forty-five years. Most Hmong refugees arrived with low levels of education and English language fluency, so it was difficult to find work at first, and many took low-skill jobs at low wages. Over time, Hmong refugees achieved slow but steady economic progress, with their median household incomes rising to the level of native-born families after about 2000. Second-generation Hmong Americans have far surpassed their refugee parents in socioeconomic status.
Dr. Nora Mitchell (Biology) October 12
"Diversity of Native Wiscon-sunflowers"
Wild sunflowers are an excellent system for studying ecology and evolution. Here I discuss the diversity of the sunflower family and what we can learn from this charismatic group of plants. I will then discuss some specific examples of our work examining patterns of trait diversity and genetic diversity in some of our regional species.
Dr. Amanda Profaizer (Music and Theatre Arts) October 19
"Historical Costume Patterning"
In 2021-2022, Amanda Profaizer (Professor) and Abby Alvarez (Student) worked on a collaborative summer research project. Through this funding support, Abby had the opportunity to learn graduate level and industry professional skills in costume patterning and construction. Abby also researched historical costume patterning techniques to assist with the design and development of half-scale costume patterns covering at least five major historical periods. In addition to the above tasks, Abby served as the cutter/draper where she patterned five complete costumes used in the UWEC theatre production of Silent Sky, historically set in the 1890’s and in 1911 specifically.
Dr. Xinruo (Emma) Wang (Accounting and Finance) October 26
"Share Pledge and Earnings Persistence: Evidence from China"
This study examines the effect of share pledge on earnings persistence and the mechanism explains the effect using Chinese data. We find that both the existence of share pledge and the percentages of pledged shares are negatively related to firms’ earnings persistence and the results are robust to the Heckman two-stage model and propensity score matching method. Our results indicate that firms with share pledge are more likely to engage in earnings management, ultimately resulting in diminished earnings persistence. We further find that the negative effect of share pledge on earnings persistence is mitigated when firms have good disclosure quality or are subject to better audit monitoring.
Dr. Jason Beckermann (Mayo Clinic) November 2
"Optimizing Outcomes in Trauma Resuscitation"
It is well known that hemorrhage secondary to injury is the leading cause of potentially preventable death. We will review the history of blood transfusion for treating trauma patients. Current strategies to improve transfusion at Mayo Clinic Health System will be discussed.
Dr. David Tschida (Communication and Journalism) November 9
Communicating Heritage Tourism and the Environment on Minnesota’s 'North Shore'”
Grand Portage National Monument is located on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation on Minnesota’s shores of Lake Superior. The reconstructed trading post and museum recognizes the relationship between the Anishinaabe and the British fur traders in late 1700s. The heritage tourism and increased visitation to the community it encourages compliments and clashes with the other “North Shore” tourism practices in significant ways for the monument and the community. This presentation explores the material rhetoric of/communication for the intersection of heritage and environmental tourism occurring at the monument and along the North Shore.
Dr. Kaishan Kong (Languages) November 16
"Building a World Classroom Between UWEC and Malaysia"
This presentation will share a global collaborative project that brings students from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the United States and students from Taylor’s University in Malaysia together to explore culture and identities through virtual exchange. The purpose of this collaborative class project is to extend language education beyond the classroom and broaden students’ cultural awareness through interacting with peers from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The presenter will share the design of the project, activity examples, videos of students’ communication and feedback from the students.
Spring 2022 Forum
Dr. Abby Hemmerich (Communication Science & Disorders), Dr. Thomas Kemp (Economics), and Dr. Rahul Gomes (Computer Science) Feb. 16th
"Exploring Avenues for Embedding Research in Your Curriculum"
Dr. Hemmerich: The department of Communication Sciences & Disorders implemented a bundled course pair in undergraduate research. An information literacy IDIS course, taught by a library faculty member and a research CSD course, taught by a CSD faculty member, were offered as co-requisites in fall 2021. This presentation will outline the planned learning outcomes and preliminary student response to this course bundle.
Dr. Gomes: Comprehensive programming provides a rigorous, broad-based computer science education for students seeking industry careers or further graduate study. Through collaborative effort, our work focusses on promoting student-faculty collaborative research and incorporate research in the Computer Science curriculum.
Dr. Kemp: Department of economics has launched a comprehensive and scaffolded effort to integrate research into the department curriculum. This has involved a collaborative effort to better understand how we can build basic research ideas such as hypothesis construction and data acquisition into first year courses and independent and group student led research into upper division courses.
Dr. Jidong Zhang (Accounting and Finance) Feb. 23rd
"The Strategy of CPA Firms in Merger & Acquisition: Greed or Ethics?"
CPA firms played essential due diligence roles during M&A transactions for the acquirer and the acquiree. Our research examined the effect of the choice of CPA firms on post-merger performance. We found that the M&A long-term performance showed a significant decline if the acquirer and acquiree hired the same CPA firm, but M&A short-term performance demonstrated a significant increase. This result would be most meaningful if this same CPA firm were one of the Big4s. We explained the results through Social Network Theory. We suggested separating CPA firms from the acquirer and acquiree was necessary to reduce CPA firm rent-seeking opportunities, resulting in ethical behavior from CPA firms.
Dr. Lesley Mayne (Communication Sciences & Disorders) March 2nd
"Autism Spectrum Disorders: Understanding the Mask of Attention"
Why does it seem like attention is so challenging for a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Come learn about what researchers are discovering about the neurobiological basis of attention. See how this research and field experience yielded a protocol designed by Dr. Mayne, titled the Autism Spectrum Disorder Attention Profile. By attending this presentation, you will learn about ASD, the factors contributing to the mask of attention, and a framework professionals may add to their repertoire to analyze communication behaviors including attention for a person with ASD.
Dr. Analisa DeGrave (Languages, Latin American and Latinx Studies, & Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies) March 16th
"Expressions of Protracted Trauma and Resistance to Authoritarianism and Patriarchy in 21st Century Nicaragua"
With roots that revealed their grit in and beyond Nicaragua during the Sandinista Revolution, Nicaraguan women continue to work across multiple spheres—activism, the arts, education, grassroots resistance, law, public policy, and transnational alliances—to defend “women’s human rights [and those of] all people that experience any kind of discrimination or injustice” (Meza 2019). This presentation will discuss some of the ways in which women’s human rights organizations in Northern Nicaragua employ art and performance in the public sphere to express the protracted trauma of living under authoritarianism and patriarchy in 21st Century Nicaragua.
Dr. Lenita Davis (Management and Marketing) March 30th
"Mass Incarceration and Consumer Financial Harm: Critique of Rent-Seeking by the Carceral State"
This research highlights the rent-seeking behavior and the pursuit of extra-budgetary revenues by carceral agencies. The presentation will discuss the factors that contribute to the unethical practice of leveraging the government's market-making authority to seek rent from incarcerated persons.
Dr. Bradley Carter (Biology) April 6th
"Exploring the Impact of Environmental Factors on Brain Formation Using Zebrafish"
Brain development is the result of complex genetic and environmental interactions. My research team investigates the impact of environmental exposure to chemicals during brain development using zebrafish. Our current projects focus on (1) environmental factors associated with autism spectrum disorders and (2) freshwater contaminants in Wisconsin. I will discuss the usefulness of zebrafish in these investigations, the phenotypes we measure (growth/morphology, behavior, gene expression), and data generated by UWEC students on the impact of specific chemicals on brain formation.
Dr. Ryan Weichelt (Geography & Anthropology) April 13th
"Observations and Analyses of the 2020 Elections: A Spatial Approach"
The 2020 Election was by no means a normal election. From COVID-19, to race relations, to defunding police, and claims of voter fraud, these were but a few of the many issues voters faced in 2020. This presentation will focus on spatial perspectives of the 2020 Election using maps and information from the forthcoming 2020 Atlas of Elections.
Fall 2021 Forum
Roderick Jones & Angela Passero Jones, Special Education & Inclusive Practices (Sept. 22)
"Reimagining Early Education Leadership: Spiritual-Based Leadership Meets Democratic
We present a critical disability case study conceptions of normality were ensnared in enrollment and disenrollment decisions made by private preschool leaders in publicly funded prekindergarten programs. Findings unveiled ways preschool leaders utilized discourses—policy and otherwise—and deferred to their sense of identity to engage in practices which created an education consumer. Through policy enactments and various organizational practices conducted by private preschool leaders, the child(ren) and parent(s) were (re)constructed as a consumer of and a commodity on the local preschool education market. For some leaders in this study, spirituality offered a counter-discourse to inclusionary practices that were in direct conflict to the exclusion of children with disabilities utilized within the local market. We reimagine early education for all children and families through the leadership within framework for school leaders and a democratic experimentalism market framework.
Michael Walsh, Materials Science & Biomedical Engineering (Sept. 29)
"Using Light to Improve Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Cancer and Fibrotic Disease."
We are developing a new label-free, automated and objective technique to improve diagnosis and prediction of disease outcome based on how tissues absorb and modify light. Using mid-infrared (IR) light to examine tissues for a wide range of diseases such as cancer, liver diseases, diabetes and organ transplant disorders, the mid-IR imaging is an attractive technique to interrogate cells and tissues as different regions of the mid-IR are absorbed by key biomolecules such as proteins, lipids, DNA, collagen, and glycosylation. This leads to the acquisition of an IR spectral signature or “biochemical fingerprint” which we have shown is unique to different cell types and disease states. Furthermore, we have shown in several diseases that the biochemical fingerprint of cells and tissue can be altered before there are any indications of disease using conventional medical techniques. Using mid-IR technologies coupled with advanced computational techniques, such as artificial intelligence, there is the exciting potential to improve disease diagnosis, better understand a patients disease course, and identify diseases earlier allowing for more timely treatment.
Elizabeth Glogowski & Dr. Jeremy McBride M.D., UWEC - Mayo Clinic Research Collaboration (Oct. 6)
"Injecting Biocompatible Foams for Ablation and Other Clinical Applications."
The collaboration between Dr. Jeremy McBride, an interventional radiologist at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire, and Dr. Elizabeth Glogowski, an associate professor in Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering at UW-Eau Claire, with undergraduate researchers has led to the development of an injectable biologic foam for use during percutaneous ablation. This procedure is one method for treating tumors guided by computed tomography (CT) using either ice or heat. The biologic foams are injected to separate and protect healthy tissue within the ablation zone and must be biocompatible, insulative, and stable over the course of the ablation procedure.
Damir Kovačević, Political Science (Oct. 20)
"Don't Cry No More: A Comparative Study of U.S. Domestic and Foreign Restrictions on Riot Control Agent Use."
What was the catalyst for the changing status of riot control agents use in wartime and is that same catalyst causing domestic policy change for RCAs today? We investigate the causes of this shift from permissive to restrictive normative applications. We use a comparative case study to analyze the normative shift for tear gas use in war and the ongoing shift that is occurring within domestic U.S. policing mechanisms. We seek to determine what role utility, norms, salience, and social pressures play in both cases. Particular attention is paid to major historical movements and the writing and understanding of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Dr. Nicole Ploeger-Lyons, College of Business (Oct. 27)
(Presentation starts around 3:40 marking)
"Confronting Idea Stealers in the Workplace: The Unfortunate Moral Credentialing Granted to Power Holders."
The focus of this research presentation is to explore experimental data about how and when employees confront one another for stealing their ideas. Moral
licensing theory is the theoretical lens used to explain workers' responses to an unethical actor who presented the worker's ideas as the unethical actor's own.
Rushit Dave, Computer Science (Nov.3)
"Continuous Authentication Using Mouse Dynamics Based on Machine & Deep Learning Algorithms."
One would think that with the current strength of general cybersecurity - such as encrypted passwords, two-factor authentication, and increased public knowledge about online safety – that devastating attacks of both small and large scales are rare and extremely difficult. However, as the field of cybersecurity has evolved, so have the attacks used by nefarious users to crack security protocols. Therefore, this research aims to utilize the strength and capacity of a deep machine learning algorithms for user classification and furthermore to exhibit its potential to improve the security of our volatile and ever changing cyberspace to classify distinct users based on their mouse dynamics.
Kristin Schaupp, Philosophy & Religious Studies (Nov. 10)
Risky Consensus: What Engineering Disasters Tell Us about the Epistemology & Ethics of Collective Decision-Making Procedures among Professionals.
The decision-making process that led up to the explosion of NASA’s Challenger Space Shuttle has long puzzled members of both the scientific and non-scientific communities. Recent work on disagreement and consensus provides new insight into how apparent consensus proceedings encouraged silence and obscured the nature and extent of the dissent, thus allowing its significance to be undervalued and dismissed. Not only does this research yield a more complete understanding of factors leading to disasters such as the Challenger, Columbia, and Boeing 737Max, it highlights what is at stake and helps us to identify specific guidelines for good epistemic practice among those who engage in collective decision-making.
Xiaoyu (Shawn) Yang, Management and Marketing, College of Business (Nov. 17)
"CEOs in the National People's Congress of China"
This study investigates the effects of Chinese business leaders’ membership in the National People’s Congress (NPC) on government subsidy, strategic change, and labor inefficiency. The results suggest that NPC membership has a positive effect on government subsidy, and negative effects on strategic change and labor inefficiency. After conducting a post-hoc analysis, we found interesting interaction effects of NPC membership and firm ownership upon strategic change and labor inefficiency.
Spring 2021 Forum
Nishant Saran, Mayo Clinic (Feb 17)
"Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: Current Trends and Conduit Selection"
Coronary artery bypass grafting is the most common heart surgery performed for blocked coronary arteries in patients who have chest pain of have suffered from heart attacks or now have poor heart function. The debate for more than 60 years has been about what conduit should we use to bypass the blocked coronary arteries and what risks it would involve for different patient groups.
David Schaffer, Economics (Feb 24)
"Time Flexibility, Women's Wages, and the Gender Wage Gap"
Women are paid less per hour than men, even after controlling for differences in occupations, hours worked, and education. this may be due to discrimination against women. Alternatively, many women (versus men) may put a higher value on finding jobs with "time flexibility" because women more often have a "caregiver" role at home. However, have found that workers given "flexible Hours" are less productive. Therefore, employers offer, and caregivers accept, time-flexible jobs, but only at lower pay. We did a large-scale empirical analysis that showed that the time flexibility idea explains only a small amount of the wage gap.
Matthew Haffner, Geography & Anthropology (Mar 3)
"Reproducible data Acquisition"
The ability to replicate findings is a major foundation of scientific research. Yet, many academicians simply cannot reproduce previous studies. In this presentation, I highlight one part of the "reproducibility crisis", that of data acquisition, with a focus on spatial data.
McKenzie West, Mathematics (Mar 10)
"Mathematics for Cryptography"
To protect our internet security, computer scientists and mathematicians are working together to build unbreakable cryptographic tools. Number theory is the field of mathematics used to study integers that are used to encrypt data online.
Roxanne Backowski (Mar 24)
"Curricular Choices, Library Resources, and Diversity Initiatives at UW-Eau Claire"
Instructors at UW-Eau Claire are assigning students more reading material related to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). This growth is partly explained by the introduction for the Responsibility outcomes in the Liberal Education Core framework, as well as University expectations of contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusivity. This research explores the use of library content since the implementation of the LE Core and EDI initiatives, finding concurrent demand for curricular and library content related to EDI. Audience members will learn how EDI content needs have affected course curricula, and how libraries are working to respond.
Yom Bui (Mar 31)
"Terrorist Attacks and Corporate Payouts"
Terrorist attacks have been a growing and intensified concern over time, especially in recent years both in the U.S. and around the world. While there has been extensive literature on the impacts of terrorist attacks at the micro-level. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to examine the impact of terrorist attacks on corporate payouts to shareholders.
Cheryl Jimenez-Frei (Apr 7)
"Sculpting the Past, contesting the Future: Monuments, Memory and Identity in Argentina"
While debates over monuments have recently made headlines in the US, contentions over public historical commemorations have long played out in areas across the globe. This presentation focuses on these issues in Argentina, with a discussion by Dr. Cheryl Jimenez-Frei of her book manuscript on monuments in the capital city of Buenos Aires. Her research examines the history, iconography, and debates behind key monuments in Buenos Aires, to demonstrate how these works served to construct and contest shifting notions of national identity and memory, based both in a particular vision of the past and of the future.