How I Spent My Summer Vacation

August 30, 2010
Summer isn't only a time for family trips and relaxation. It's also a break from normal routine that allows many Baylor faculty and staff to pursue research, teaching abroad or personal intellectual goals. For the sixth summer in a row, we asked a number of faculty and staff how they spent their time off, and the responses reveal a varied mixture of activities.


Dr. Heidi L. Bostic

Chair of modern foreign languages and professor of French

"I participated in the Baylor New Faculty Retreat at Laity Lodge sponsored by the Institute for Faith and Learning. I also attended a summer seminar for department chairs sponsored by the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages, held this year in Colorado Springs. I made progress on various scholarly writing projects on the topics of French philosopher Luce Irigaray and narrative identity (or, how the stories we tell help to shape who we are)."

Soon Cho

Assistant professor of voice

"I spent my summer singing up in the mountains and the beach. After the spring semester ended I traveled to Denver, Colo., to sing the alto solo in Handel's Messiah with the Colorado Korean Chorale Society and Symphony. It was the organization's premiere performance of the work, since we performed all three parts of the Messiah. The soloists were taken up to see snow up in the mountains in the month of May! Later I was in Honolulu, Hawaii, to perform the alto solos in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Verdi's Requiem with the Honolulu Symphony Chorus and *The Junge Kammerphilharmonie Freiburg. I was surrounded by tropical beaches that were full of sand as fine as snow!"

*(The Junge Kammerphilharmonie Freiburg is not a "youth orchestra," as a literal translation of the name might suggest. The word "Junge" in the name means "new," because when the orchestra was founded in 1995, it was new in Freiburg's orchestral scene. Originally specializing in chamber works, the orchestra's size has increased in recent years and now has about 80 musicians, including students of the University of Freiburg as well as experienced amateur and professional musicians. The average age in the orchestra is 35, ranging from 25 to 55 years. In the summer of 2002, Andreas Winnen became the orchestra's musical director).

Dr. Andrea L. Dixon

Associate professor of marketing and The Frank M. and Floy Smith Holloway Professor of Marketing

"Having been recently appointed to head up Baylor's Center for Professional Selling, I spent my summer planning two celebrations.

Twenty five years have passed since Baylor's Hankamer School of Business opened the doors to the nation's first sales center in January 1985. We will be commemorating the 25th anniversary of Baylor's Center for Professional Selling with a series of events taking place Sept. 16-20, 2010, including a research symposium, a luncheon focused on 'The Future of Sales and the C-suite,' hosting the annual meeting of the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA) meetings, a student-focused panel and a closing luncheon address by Baylor's new president, Judge Ken Starr.

The research symposium will involve more than 45 scholars from within and outside the U.S. focusing on buyer-seller relationships. The results of the symposium will be published in the 30th anniversary special issues of the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management and presented as a special pre-conference 40th anniversary celebration of the Academy of Marketing Science. Academic leaders of sales centers from other universities will visit Baylor and leverage the annual USCA meeting for best practices sharing. Some of the anniversary events are designed to give Baylor business alumni a reason to visit campus and reconnect with former faculty and friends.

In the midst of planning this large-scale event that celebrates many important anniversaries, my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in August. We are planning to celebrate with a trip to Italy at Thanksgiving."

Thomas M. Featherston Jr.

The Mills Cox Professor of Law

"I had probably one of my most interesting professional experiences in June. I had been asked to serve as the state law expert by a Roman Catholic diocese during a church arbitration proceeding to be held in Chicago. The dispute with another Roman Catholic diocese was essentially over the interpretation of a decedent's will and involved an interesting mix of state law, canon law and Constitutional law concepts. The process called for a three-day proceeding presided over by an arbitration panel, consisting of a Roman Catholic bishop, a priest who was an expert of canon law, and a Catholic university law school professor. The panel had also retained a state law expert to advise them. Each diocese had its own state law expert and canon law expert.

Each day the proceeding was preceded by a Mass lead by one of the three bishops involved. On the third day, I was asked by a bishop to participate in the liturgical readings. In view of there being three bishops and about five other priests sitting behind me as I read, I was more nervous doing that than testifying during the proceeding.

The arbitration procedure required the arbitration panel to make a recommendation to the Vatican, and the ultimate decision was to be made by the Pope. Fortunately, the dispute resolution process worked and the bishops of the two dioceses reached a settlement the evening following the second day of the proceeding. About the same time, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and the fans of Chicago went wild on Michigan Avenue as we were walking back to our hotel from dinner."

Christopher J. Hansen

Assistant professor of communication studies and director of the film and digital media division

"I had my film titled 'Endings' screened June 11 at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival in Seattle, Wash. It also was screened at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival in August. Also, I presented 'The Business Interests Behind Film Violence' June 24 at the World Council of Church's International Consultation on Violence in Media in Boston, Mass."

Dr. Julie K. Ivey

Assistant professor of educational psychology

"I joined the Baylor Autism Resource Center at its second Annual Autism Camp June 7-11. We had 24 campers ages 4-16. We had water activities, watercolor painting, tie-dye art, reading time at Moody Library and a social scavenger hunt.

In addition, with Dr. Beth A. Lanning, associate professor of health, human performance and recreation, I implemented a research project, "The Effect of Extreme Camps on Self-efficacy, Self-Perceptions and Behaviors of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders" in Aspen, Colo., which was funded by the Baylor University Research Committee. I also got married over the summer."

Dr. Thomas S. Kidd

Associate professor of history

"This summer I finished the final edits of my book God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution, which is due out this fall from Basic Books. The most unexpected event of the summer came just before May graduation, when I appeared on Glenn Beck's television program on Fox News Channel to discuss George Whitefield, the evangelist of the 18th century. I also spent three weeks at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., participating in a seminar on "Religion, War and the Meaning of America," led by historian Harry Stout of Yale University."

Dr. Robert B. Kruschwitz

Director of the Center for Christian Ethics and professor of philosophy

"With Rebecca DeYoung of Calvin College I co-directed 'Seven Deadly Sins (Capital Vices) in the Christian Tradition,' a two-week seminar in Christian scholarship at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., June 21-July 2. Sixteen university and seminary professors had a great time exploring a philosophical understanding of the vices as moral concepts that played a central role in spiritual formation and cultural critique from the 4th to the 13th century.

Ours was a recovery project -- to pursue a rigorous conceptual analysis of the vices within their historical and theological tradition and the Christian practices that gave them shape, in order to more accurately and winsomely articulate for contemporary audiences what is valuable in the vices tradition, counter contemporary secular treatments (or mistreatments) of the sins, and enrich impoverished Christian conceptions of their own traditions and practices in the church and community.

The seminar was great time of fellowship with many new friends and with several other Baylor faculty and former graduate students in attendance. I confess, a highlight for me was getting to operate the college's research telescope during an observatory open house.

Here's the link to the seminar's website."

Rita S. Patteson

Director of Armstrong Browning Library, curator of manuscripts and associate professor

"I joined two other Baylor librarians -- Cynthia A. Burgess, curator of books and printed materials at Armstrong Browning Library, and Jennifer H. Borderud, the rare books catalog librarian at Moody Library -- to spend a week in Philadelphia June 21-25 attending the 51st annual Rare Books and Manuscripts Pre-conference of the American Library Association.

The theme of the conference, 'Join or Die: Collaboration in Special Collections,' was especially timely in today's economic climate as it explored collaborative relationships between special collections, with coworkers and colleagues, with scholars and students, and with donors, funders and vendors. There are many instances where more can be accomplished by working together rather than alone, and practical and creative collaborative solutions were offered by the plenary speakers and by the seminars and discussion groups as participants reflected upon the challenges that all libraries are facing.

In addition, the conference was complemented by preliminary workshops that we attended: 'Building Collections: Acquiring Materials and Working with the Antiquarian Book Trade' and 'Reference Sources for Rare Books.' Although it was a busy and productive week, we three still found time to visit several of the historic sites and dine at fine restaurants in Philadelphia -- one, in particular, the City Tavern, where we enjoyed 18th century cuisine and talked with Benjamin Franklin!"

Dr. Cynthia K. Riemenschneider

Associate professor of information systems

"In May 2010 I participated as a faculty mentor in a doctoral student consortium at the Special Interest Group Management Information Systems (SIGMIS) Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. I also served on an invited panel titled 'Taking Stock of Research on Gender and the IT Workforce' at the conference. In August, I presented two papers at the 2010 Americas Conference for Information Systems in Lima, Peru.

During the summer I had three co-authored papers accepted for future publication. They are: 'Work Exhaustion in IT Professionals: The Impact of Emotional Labor' in The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems, written with Paige Rutner, Bill Hardgrave and Anne O'Leary-Kelly; 'IT Professional Identity: Needs, Perceptions and Belonging' in European Journal of Information Systems, written with Nita Brooks, Bill Hardgrave and Anne O'Leary-Kelly; and 'Perspectives on Challenges Facing Women in IS: The Cognitive Gender Gap' in European Journal of Information Systems, written with M. Reid, M. Allen and D.J. Armstrong.

I also attended two different multi-day training sessions during the summer. One was a training session on SAP, an enterprise-wide system. The other was a training session on using AMOS, a structural equation modeling tool.

During the summer, I worked with a Management Information Systems doctoral student, Janice Lo, on two different research projects. One paper titled 'Heterogeneity of IT Employees: An Analysis of a Model of Perceived Organizational Support by Job Type' is under review at The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems. Another project with Janice examines both trust and privacy regarding individual willingness to share personal information on a social networking site and a paper is in draft form for submission to a journal.

In July I went on a mission trip to Dulce, N.M., and taught Vacation Bible School to children from the Jicarilla Apache Reservation."

Dr. Mary E. Simpson

Lecturer in family and consumer sciences

"The summer of 2010 was a memorable event, both personally and academically. During the month of June I had the unique opportunity to represent Baylor University at two different conferences, one in Washington. D.C.. and the other in Cleveland, Ohio. At both conferences I was privileged to present information on three main topics.

The first theme focused on how to develop team learning in the classroom using the cooperative methodology. The second subject discussed summative versus formative assessments, with a specific focus on creating effective formative assessments. The third theme presented information on the value of developing a student's creativity in our classroom and ways to help them to be more confident and taking greater intellectual risks. The interest in and the development of each of these three areas was very well received and created stimulating discussions both during and after the presentations. Additionally, I continued to research each of these areas and formulate articles for publication.

Personally, I achieved an academic milestone. In August I received my doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the Baylor School of Education. The journey to my degree would not have been possible without the support of my daughters, Jacqueline and Kathleen. They celebrated every milestone, encouraged me during the rough times, and sacrificed not having a parent available when working on my dissertation and coursework was all I could do. Their optimism, positive mentality and belief in my success helped me realize a goal that they never doubted. To them, I say thank you with all of my love.

Obtaining my doctorate also gave me the opportunity to work with the amazing professors from the School of Education. Each of these individuals is incredible and enough cannot be said for them. While their standards are high, they constantly challenge you to do your best, challenge your curiosity, and they have inspired the learner within me. If you ever get the chance to work with them, do so!"

Dr. Bennie F.L. Ward

Distinguished Professor of Physics

"During May 17-27, 2010, I traveled to CERN to visit the CERN TH Unit to continue the development and implementation of my new Monte Carlo (MC) HERWIRI1.031 for precision LHC physics. Both a short and an expanded discussion of my research on this new precision parton shower QCD MC were recently published in Phys. Lett. B 685 (2010) 283 and Phys. Rev. D81 (2010) 076008, respectively, with co-authors Drs. S. Joseph, S. Majhi and S. Yost.

During May 27-28 I visited the Department of Physics at the University of Madrid in Madrid, Spain, where I was scheduled to present a seminar on May 27 on my new approach to quantum general relativity with the title 'Asymptotic Safety and Resummed Quantum Gravity.' Due to an unexpected strike by French air controllers, I was unable to make the presentation as scheduled. The presentation will be given on my next trip to Europe during the coming academic year.

I was informed recently that my progress report for my contract DE-FG02-09ER41600 with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of High Energy Physics was accepted and that my funding would be renewed at the base level of $48,000 for the funding period June 1, 2010, to May 31, 2011, with the consequent release of my DOE American Recovery Act Funding of $22,523 for the purchase of two super workstations and of one portable video conferencing unit that is essential for efficient worldwide collaboration in the LHC era. I am grateful to the Office of the Dean of the Baylor College of Arts&Sciences for its matching of the workstation component of the DOE American Recovery Act funding. I was then subsequently informed that we have been granted an additional $10,000 in supplemental funding for his contract, so that this year I will have a total DOE Office of High Energy Physics theory budget of $80,523.

During July 20-Aug. 2 I traveled to Paris, France, as a part of the U.S. delegation to the 35th International Conference on High Energy Physics. I and my collaborators presented two parallel session talks and one poster in the poster session as follows: In the 'Beyond Quantum Field Theory Approaches (including String Theories)' session on July 22, I presented a talk titled 'Planck Scale Cosmology and Asymptotic Safety in Resummed Quantum Gravity' in which I explained my new approach to quantum gravity as noted. I made what appears to be the first realistic estimate of the cosmological constant in the talk.

In the 'Perturbative QCD, Jets and Diffractive Physics' session on July 23, I presented a talk entitled 'HERWIRI1.031: New Approach to Parton Shower MC's in Precision QCD Theory' on the new MC which I have developed with Drs. Joseph, Majhi and Yost as noted.

In the 'Perturbative QCD, Jets and Diffractive Physics' poster session on July 22, Dr. Scott Yost presented a poster titled 'Differential Reduction Techniques for the Evaluation of Feynman Diagrams' in which he explained the new hypergeometric function methods recently developed in collaboration with Drs. M. Kalmykov, B. Kniehl, and myself for evaluating higher order and higher point Feynman diagrams for precision ElectroweakQCD theory. This work originated at Baylor in my research group and now continues in a collaboration between myself and Drs. Kalmykov and Kniehl at the University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany, and Dr. Yost at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.

The highlight of the conference was the address by French President Nicholas Sarkozy on July 26. The French president stressed the importance of the most fundamental research such as high energy physics at a time of economic crisis. He emphasized that France, unlike some other countries, is increasing its investment in high energy physics research as a part of the solution of the economic crisis. His address is available here.

Recently, three other of my papers appeared in print. In the paper in Mod. Phys. Lett. A 25 (2010) 607, I explained the very subtle meaning of the running of the cosmological constant in the field theoretic formulation of quantum general relativity. In the paper in Eur. Phys. Jour. C 66, 585 (2010), using my BHWIDE MC (see Phys. Lett. B390 (1997) 298), I helped to develop 0.12 percent-0.14 percent precision theoretical predictions for the normalization of the cross sections at the DAPHNE e+e- colliding beam accelerator in Frascati, Italy. These precision cross sections are needed to understand properly the hadronic uncertainties in precision comparisons of the Standard Model of elementary particles with the recent measurements of the muon magnetic moment anomaly at Brookhaven National Laboratory as a probe of new physics.

In addition, the summary letter form of my presentation at the RADCOR 2009 Symposium on my new MC HERWIRI1.0(31), 'MC Realization of IR-improved DGLAP-CS Parton Showers: HERWIRI1.031,' has been published in Mod. Phys. Lett. A 25 (2010) pp. 2207-2214. The editor-in-chief of Mod. Phys. Lett. A, Dr. K.K. Phua, requested that I submit this article as he (the editor-in-chief) feels the results therein are seminal. This is very encouraging, of course.

These developments show that the summer has been very productive indeed."
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