Faculty Members Receive Sabbaticals to Develop New Scholarships – UMSL Daily


Vanessa Garry, Steve Bruce, James Campbell, Kara Moskowitz, Gualtiero Piccinini and Lauren Obermark have each been granted sabbaticals during the 2022-23 academic year. (Photos by August Jennewein)

Six University of Missouri-St. Louis’ faculty members have been granted sabbaticals for the upcoming academic year.

Professor Steve Bruce from the Department of Psychological Sciences, Professor James Campbell from the Department of Supply Chain and Analytics, Associate Professor Vanessa Garry from the Department of Educator Preparedness and Leadership, Associate Professor Kara Moskowitz from the Department of History, Associate Professor Lauren Obermark of Distinguished Professor Gualtiero Piccinini of the Department of English and Curators of the Department of Philosophy will each spend a semester or a year pursuing research work as part of the sabbatical program at the ‘university.

“This is an important part of higher education to enable our tenured faculty to resume their scholarship and teaching activities,” said Provost and Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Steven Berberich. . “We have a process in place to facilitate this across all colleges.”

Under University of Missouri system policies, tenured faculty members may request a sabbatical after six or more years of service.

The Berberich office will begin accepting applications this fall for sabbaticals beginning in the fall semester of 2023.

Learn more about how faculty members who took sabbaticals this year plan to use their time away:

Steve Bruce, Department of Psychological Sciences: Bruce will continue to expand his international clinical research on post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma in Central and Southeast Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, Thailand and Cambodia. He hopes the results of the projects will lay the foundation for expanding and sustaining mental health research and clinical care led by national leaders and U.S. partners dedicated to changing the current trajectory of mental health equity in parts of the world. a trauma-intensive, resource-constrained world. world. Accurate and culturally appropriate measurements are essential to improve diagnostic accuracy and to develop and implement trauma-focused and culturally-informed treatments. The absence of such treatment options and the lack of available clinicians to address mental health needs continue to fuel a cycle of violence and exposure to trauma. Bruce will travel and work closely with colleagues at the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan and the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia to develop culturally appropriate assessments of PTSD and trauma reactions.

James Campbell, Supply Chain and Analytics Department: Campbell’s research sabbatical will focus on optimizing the role of charging stations for drone delivery, a topic that hasn’t received as much attention as optimizing routing problems. He hopes his research can help expand the range of drones. Aerial drones offer new opportunities to improve deliveries of small quantities of products, due to their higher speeds, more direct movements, lower transport costs and limited infrastructure requirements for take-off and transport capabilities. vertical landing pads – all of which have the potential to revolutionize low-cost dispensing systems. weight items worldwide, including vaccines and other health-related deliveries to underserved countries. But drones have the disadvantage of limited range compared to other modes of transportation. Charging stations can be deployed to extend this autonomy, by recharging or replacing the batteries. Campbell wants to explore the usefulness of stationary charging stations, mobile charging stations and multiple charging. He intends to develop strategic models for continuous approximation of the total cost of the delivery system for various contexts.

Vanessa Garry, Department of Educator Preparation and Leadership: Garry will be working on a book about the first black teachers in St. Louis public schools. Children of free black men and women were not allowed to attend public schools in Missouri before the Civil War. The General Assembly lifted the ban in 1865, and black parents enrolled their children in separate public schools, where they were taught by white teachers. Black community leaders resisted the white power structure and fought for the hiring of black educators to teach their children beginning in 1877. The first 11 black teachers all immigrated to St. Louis, La most of Ohio where they studied at Oberlin College, one of the first institutions to enroll black students in the 1800s. Garry plans to conduct research for his book at Oberlin College as well as the at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University and locally at the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Missouri History Museum, and the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center.

Kara Moskowitz, Department of History: Moskowitz will conduct archival research for his second book, examining how externally imposed development policies – based on neoliberal ideologies – reshaped Kenya in the late 20th century. The book will follow Moskowitz’s first book, “Seeing Like a Citizen: Decolonization, Development, and the Making of Kenya, 1945–1980.” Rises in oil prices in the late 20th century led to rising unemployment and rising food prices, as well as soaring debt and inflation. Like other countries, Kenya undertook structural adjustment programs, including conditionality-linked International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans, based on liberal and neoliberal ideologies. There have been cuts in public spending and the Kenyan shilling has been devalued. As a result, in 1992 debt service was equal to 40% of export earnings. This led to a sharp increase in economic insecurity, which was further exacerbated by the withdrawal of state-sponsored social services. Kenya’s middle class and poor have faced immense hardship. Moskowitz aims to examine how structural adjustment has been applied in Kenya and how it has been experienced by people there.

Lauren Obermark, English Department: Obermark will continue his research on public memory and social justice, including his theorizing of the memory catalyst as more than a single act at a given time, but rather as a continuous, networked form of “resilient memory” that runs through space, time and mediums. The concept of memory catalyst is highlighted in his first book, “Engaging Museums: Rhetorical Education and Social Justice”. It was a shorthand attempt to describe the connection between the pursuit of social justice and memory. Obermark cites an example of this connection as the toppling of Confederate and Colonialist monuments in the summer of 2020. She looked at different efforts to remember Michael Brown since his death in 2014 and notes that one thing that unites them, on different levels and using different rhetorical appeals, is a link to the future, as a way to motivate continued action for racial justice. During her sabbatical, Obermark will travel to other locations in the United States, including Minneapolis, to understand how resistant memory works in other communities, both historically and more recently.

Gualtiero Piccinini, Department of Philosophy: Piccinini will spend the spring semester writing a book tentatively titled “Self-Measurement: How to Know Ourselves,” which he hopes will articulate and defend a new narrative of how first-person data, such as data from first-person reports provided by human subjects, can be used to advance knowledge of the spirit. First-person data generation is analogous to data generation using other scientific measuring instruments, but with first-person data, the human subject is both the measuring instrument and the measured object. Piccinini said the dual role of human subjects does not invalidate first-person data as long as proper methodological checks are in place. A self-measuring instrument must be calibrated and used correctly. The responsibility to do so lies primarily with the researchers setting up the experiment. Piccinini intends his work to advance both the methodology of first-person data and a number of debates surrounding the reliability of introspection, the epistemic status of phenomenology, and the possibility of self-knowledge.


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