Sharon B. Megdal, director of the UA Water Resources Research Center, WRRC, has been elected president of the National Institutes for Water Resources, NIWR.
Effective in October, Megdal will serve as president-elect for a one-year term, after which she will serve as president for a year.
"It is an honor to represent the Arizona WRRC at NIWR," said Megdal, whose duties as president-elect include planning and presiding over the organization's 2014 annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
"This is a great opportunity to work in a leadership role within an important network of water research and information transfer centers across the country," Megdal said. "Our work helps build an understanding of real-world water challenges while developing solutions to them."
Megdal is the C.W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and also holds the titles Distinguished Outreach Professor and professor in the department of soil, water and environmental science.
NIWR is a national organization of Water Resources Research Institutes established under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.
Its 54 member institutes – one located in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam – work closely with the U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, and other partners to carry out their mission of objective research and communication of information on issues relating to the nation's water supplies.
NIWR provides a national platform for researching efficient and responsible water resource management and water quality, infrastructure, technology and policy. The member institutes also provide scientific and engineering education opportunities to help create a skilled workforce able to create and maintain sustainable management of water resources.
"I look forward to working with my NIWR colleagues, the USGS and others as I assume the responsibilities of president-elect,” Megdal said. "Our nation is facing critical water challenges that NIWR will play a key role in addressing. We will be considering all aspects of emerging and long-term problems within our water systems, including institutional and technological issues, which calls for an understanding of local cultures, physical conditions and regional socioeconomics."
Megdal sits on NIWR's board and has served as a member since 2004, when she was named director of the UA's WRRC. She has also been elected to the Board of Directors for the Universities Council on Water Resources and serves on the Board of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District.
Her current water resource projects emphasize achieving water policy goals within institutional structures and include: comparative evaluation of water management, policy and governance in water-scarce regions; meeting the water needs of the environment; groundwater management; water pricing; and transboundary aquifer assessment. She holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.
The WRRC is a unit within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and promotes understanding of critical state and regional water management and policy issues through research, community outreach and public education.
Contact: Jessica Schlievert, WRRC Communications Specialist: 520-621-1472; email@example.comCategories: Campus NewsScience and TechnologyThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: FacultyScienceByline: Jessica SchlievertUANow Image: Editor: La Monica Everett-HaynesInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Monday, May 6, 2013Feature on Front: No
A life-like robotic fish, a lightweight mammal GPS tracker, a hybrid rocket engine test stand and a competitive autonomous underwater vehicle were among about 60 projects presented by several hundred UA engineering students during last week's Engineering Design Day.
UA students developed a life-like robotic fish that could be used mainly for entertainment.
During the 11th annual premier showcase of student design, more than 300 engineering students presented their senior capstone projects, which were supported and sponsored by UA faculty, clubs and also those in industry.
Organized and sponsored by the College of Engineering's Interdisciplinary Design Program, the event also is co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.
Students were up for prize money.
The design team that produced a robotic fish earned this year's first-place prize for Best Overall Design at $1,000.
"This year's quality of projects was outstanding," said Robert Laity, who does marketing for the robotic fish's sponsoring company, MediaMation Inc., and who was one of the team's mentors. "This team was incredible. They worked together really well and produced an excellent product."
Yasmine Straka of mechanical engineering presents her team's high-force damper test, which won the Best Physical Implementation of an Analytically Driven Design award at $500.
The design team members on the project were UA seniors Yi-Chieh Chen of industrial engineering, Mohamed Khairy of electrical engineering, Robbie Laity of electrical engineering, Hannah Grant of optical engineering, Charles Leichner of computer engineering and Clayton Stewart of mechanical engineering.
At $750, second place in Best Overall Design went to the portable thermal optical test chamber for aerospace technologies, which was sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratories.
All told, cash prizes for this year's awards totalled $11,400.
And much like the first and second prize winners, many of the year-long, client-driven Engineering Design Day projects are only steps away from the consumer market or industry use.
College Dean Jeff Goldberg described the event as "an exciting time that validates all the work we have done with the students during the preceding four years. What I like about it is that it's a warm-up. These students are about to go out into industry and do this for real. It massively increases their chances of being successful in the next project."
One team created a portable weather chamber to simulate the effectiveness of Gore products. The team members, all UA seniors studying either mechanical engineering or electrical engineering, are (left to right) Bradley Williams, Micah Kurtz, Zachary Anderson, Parker Dunbar and Gladys Amaya. (Photo credit: Beatriz Verugo/UANews)
Other projects included an environmentally sustainable hydroponic barley fodder system, which won the Innovation in Engineering Award at $1,000 and was sponsored by Bosque Engineering LLC. It is on its way to helping feed a herd of about 30 alpacas.
A disposable, low-power blood glucose meter, sponsored by Texas Instruments, won a number of awards, including Best Team Leadership at $250 and Most Innovative Systems Integration at $500. If the product goes to market, it could one day give people with diabetes another way to track their blood glucose levels via mobile devices.
Also, a portable incubator for antimicrobial susceptibility testing in resource-limited areas won Best Design Documentation at $750. The incubator could one day help physicians rapidly and cost-effectively identify the best antibiotics for treating various bacterial infections.
Among the project sponsors were Airtronics Inc., BAE Systems B/E Aerospace, Boeing, Bosque Engineering, Caterpillar, Continental Automotive Systems, General Electric, Honeywell, NASA, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, Tucson Embedded Systems, Ventana Medical Systems and W.L. Gore and Associates.
"Our sponsors are really figuring out what makes the best types of projects," said Ara Arabyan, UA professor of mechanical engineering and coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Program, which organizes Engineering Design Day.
To learn more about the Engineering Design Day Projects, read "Nothing Fishy About Success of UA Engineering Design Day 2013" on the College of Engineering's site.
Contributors to this article are Beatriz Verdugo and La Monica Everett-Haynes of University Communications and Karina Barrentine and Pete Brown of the College of Engineering.
Students build a turbine engine to understand and improve its performance. Team members are UA seniors (left to right) Jonathan Taylor of systems engineering and Gustavo Torres, Andy Nguyen and Jonas Adua, all of them of engineering management.Categories: Science and TechnologyTeaching and StudentsThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: StudentsResearchOutreachByline: University Communications |UANow Image: UANow Summary: UA students have presented their Engineering Design Day projects, many of which are close to being ready for the consumer market or industry use. In addition to UA faculty and clubs support, industry representatives sponsored the projects, which include a life-like robotic fish, a lightweight mammal GPS tracker and a competitive autonomous underwater vehicle. Editor: La Monica Everett-HaynesInclude in UANow: yesDate of Publication: Monday, May 6, 2013Feature on Front: No
Researchers at the University of Arizona have successfully determined the genetic mutations causing severe epilepsies in seven out of 10 children for whom the cause of the disorder could not be determined clinically or by conventional genetic testing.
Instead of sequencing each gene one at a time, the team used a technique called whole-exome sequencing: Rather than combing through all of the roughly 3 billion base pairs of an individual's entire genome, whole-exome-sequencing deciphers only actual genes, and nearly all of them simultaneously."My initial hope was that we would find something in one out of the 10 children in our study. But a 70 percent success rate is beyond anyone's imagination," said study leader Michael Hammer, who is a research scientist in the UA's Arizona Research Labs Division of Biotechnology and a member of the UA BIO5 Institute. For Hammer, the research hit very close to home. Just last year, his lab tracked down the mutation that had caused the severe – and ultimately fatal – epilepsy in his teenage daughter. "I figured, if we could do this for one child, we could do it for others." Hammer explained. "These are children who have had every test imaginable and tried every possible drug combination, and nobody has figured out where their seizures come from and how to stop them." The children who participated in the study, published online in the journal Epilepsia, all suffered from severe seizure disorders, and most of them started having seizures within the first year or two after birth. Unlike individuals afflicted with epilepsy later in life, many of whom can live normal lives with the right medical oversight and medications, early-onset epilepsy can be devastating. Children often develop other severe complications such as intellectual disability, autism and loss of muscle tone or coordination. Early death is not uncommon. "Because their seizures are not well controlled, and that firestorm of electrical activity in the brain is bad for brain development, the damage can be extensive," added Linda Restifo, a professor in the UA department of neurology and a BIO5 member who co-authored the study. "The earlier the seizures start and the more severe and frequent they are, the more likely they are to leave the child with permanent developmental disability." "The sooner we can catch problems in children and understand what is causing them, the better the chance we have to try and correct them," Hammer added. To identify changes in the DNA that are the most likely cause of the disorders, the team focused on a class of mutations called de novo mutations: "typos" in the DNA sequence that are present only in the child. In order to find such mutations, the study included both parents and their child. Overall, the team found 15 mutations in nine children, seven of which are known or likely to cause epilepsy. No mutations could be found in one of the children. "In four of the patients. we found mutations that were already known to be associated with epilepsy," said Krishna Veeramah, a postdoctoral fellow in Hammer's group and the study's first author. "However, three patients had mutations in genes that were not previously associated with epilepsy in humans but presented plausible explanations for the disorder." "The fact that we found three genes – in a study involving only 10 subjects – that had never been implicated in epilepsy before suggests that many more genetic defects related to developmental brain disorders remain to be discovered," Veeramah said. One of the participants in the study was Ashley Wilhelm, a 14-year-old girl from Phoenix, Ariz., whose seizures started when she was only 5 months old. Her first seizures appeared to be triggered by fever, leading doctors to believe they were just that – a side effect of the fever. "But she soon began to have more and more seizures, and they would last half an hour or longer," said her mother, Ann. "We had all sorts of tests done, but the doctors kept saying her brain was normal, and that they didn't see any reason she'd have those seizures." Ashley, whose development has severely suffered as a consequence of the repeated seizures, was enrolled in the study through her neurologist, Dinesh Talwar, who co-authored the paper. Even though her treatment is unlikely to change with the new information, the family said the results brought "more relief than we can explain." "Since insurance wouldn't pay for the testing, and we couldn't afford it on our own, we were very grateful we were able to participate in the study," said Jeff Wilhelm, Ashley's father. "If such a test could be done much earlier, it would ease the pain for everyone involved. What if our son had decided not to consider having children of his own out of concern they might have the disorder?" "The results from this study have at last given us a breakthrough," said the mother of another participating teenager. "We had pursued every possible avenue to understand what might be responsible for his epilepsy – magnetic resonance imaging, CT scans, searches for gross chromosome abnormalities or markers associated with epilepsy – with no success." "Although the discovery doesn't yet give us a treatment, it gives us hope for finding one," she said. "As more research is done on this mutation, drugs to control our son's seizures will be identified. If more children with epilepsy can be studied and families with children with similar mutations can organize and share resources, there will be more progress." Hammer said the approach is applicable to other conditions in which conventional genetic testing has failed to reveal the cause. "Our work bridges research and clinical practice," he added. "We can sequence all the genes in your genome in a matter of days and report it to the patient's family and the physician. That may make a difference in the treatment and management of the disorder in question." Centers with the capabilities to do this kind of analysis are few and far between. "Other centers that do this kind of work will sequence your genome and tell you where and what the mutation is in the DNA sequence, but it's not that simple," Hammer said. "In most cases, we find a mutation in a gene not previously known to cause disease, so we need to perform a follow-up study to find out what that mutation actually does." To perform these follow-up studies, the UA team has established collaborations with leading scientists at the UA and at other institutions. "Right now, the benefit to families is primarily to get answers," said Restifo. "The long-term goal is to collect this kind of information from more children, which will hopefully lead to new research into medications that improve brain development and function." Hammer added: "In the meantime, a molecular diagnosis provides immediate relief to the unnecessary guilt parents might feel for their role in causing their child's suffering. They want answers, not endless doctors visits and tests with negative results, or to have their hopes raised and dashed over and over." Encouraged by the success of their approach so far, Hammer and his colleagues already have bigger plans. "We hope to involve other clinical areas such as cardiology, immunology, gastroenterology – anything that we can apply molecular diagnostics or clinical genomics to at the UA, we want to explore. We want to make the University the core for clinical diagnostics using new sequencing technologies for at least the entire Southwest." UA pediatric geneticist Robert Erickson, another co-author and member of the UA Steele Children's Research Center added, "these efforts will be very important in the diagnosis of newborns with unusual birth defects." Editor: Jennifer FitzenbergerWriter: Daniel StolteByline: By Daniel Stolte, University CommunicationsExtra Info:
Once the UA Genetics Core has obtained CLIA certification by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, this sequencing technology can be offered on a fee-for-service basis and may be covered by health insurance.
CLIA stands for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, a federal certification enabling a laboratory to perform testing on human subjects.
To learn more about epilepsy research studies currently underway at the UA, visit the department of neurology website.Header image: YesNo Image: Subheading: Using a state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technique, UA researchers have discovered genetic mutations underlying seizure disorders in previously undiagnosed children. Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image:
Saguaro National Park in Arizona. (Photo credit: Hugh Mason, via Wikipedia)
What is a Ferocactus?
And why do weeds seem, at times, to grow annoyingly in abundance?
"One man's weed is another man's glory," said Jim Malusa, a principal research specialist in the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
The Sonoran Desert seems, at times, full of contradictions. It is marked by a season of tremendous heat during which nightfall can result in freezing temperatures, wildly variant landscapes and thorny, spiny plants that live near others that produce gentle flowers and succulent fruits.
Do you wonder why? Malusa has the answers.
"There are desert plants that are long lived because they spend much of the time dozing," he said. “They're not growing, not reproducing – they're simply waiting for better times."
But Malusa does not want to give up all the answers. There is a course for that.
The course serves as a general introduction to plant ecology with a focus on desert regions in the southwest, specifically the Sonoran, Mojave or Chihuahuan deserts.
In the course, students learn about vegetative and flower structure, invasive species, plant adaptations, plant physiology and the use of desert plants for culinary and medicinal purposes, among other things. Also, while learning about plant classification, students will produce a plant collection of their choosing.
"You can learn some plants by heart, but you need to know how to identify them," Malusa said, noting that students also will engage in lectures and field trips, with optional field trips to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Mount Lemmon.
"The act of collecting and writing allow you to have a closer look," he added.
The course began in 1950 under direction of the late UA professor Robert Hoshaw, who introduced the course on the main campus after it has been taught through the UA Extension.
"Hoshaw brought it to campus because he in fact liked desert plants, despite specializing in algae," said Malusa, who first met Hoshaw while a UA undergraduate in the late 1970s.
Dune buckwheat in the sands near Yuma, Arizona. (Photo credit: Jim Malusa)
So, why should you sign up?
Malusa said the course is not designed for strict botanists, but individuals who are interested in learning about the very environment in which they live. And good news: No prerequisites are required.
So, if you have ever taken a trip up Mount Lemmon and do not understand why the landscape changed drastically within a few hundred feet in elevation or if are curious about why the Sonoran Desert is so distinctive, consider signing up with Malusa.
And FYI: Don't tell Malusa, but a type of Ferocactus is shown below.
Contact: Jim Malusa at 520-621-6424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The flower of a fishhook barrel cactus, also known as Ferocactus wislizeni. (Photo credit: Susan Lynn Peterson via Wikipedia).Categories: Science and TechnologyTeaching and StudentsThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: ScienceOutreachEducationFacultyResearchByline: La Monica Everett-HaynesUANow Image: Editor: La Monica Everett-HaynesInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Friday, May 3, 2013Feature on Front: No
Tucson native Garrett Voge will graduate from the University of Arizona on May 10 with a bachelor's degree in accounting, with honors, and in management information systems – a program ranked No. 3 in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
"My double major with MIS has allowed me to better understand the information technology behind corporate America," said Voge, who will be honored with a Robert Logan Nugent Medal, which recognizes well-rounded individuals whose contributions through co-curricular and community activities and leadership have had a positive impact on the University and surrounding community.
"The MIS program has exposed me to many different digital communication devices, data security measures and an overview of the importance of databases for everyday functions of businesses. The faculty have been knowledgeable and helpful throughout my entire experience," he said. "In my future, my MIS degree will help me to better understand the inner working of a company and help me to be a vital link between managers and technology specialists."
Voge's thesis analyzed stock market returns to see whether institutional investors valued LGBTQ progressive policies differently than the common investor. His research and attendance at the Out for Undergraduate Business Conference in New York City made him aware of needed changes between corporate America and the LGBTQ community.
"There is much debate about if using firm resources to become more inclusive of the LGBTQ community enhances firm value or not. Thus, I examined whether different types of investors valued LGBTQ inclusive policies in the workplace differently and are consequently the reason for this ambiguity," Voge said. "I hope that my study as well as many others from prior research help to paint the picture that equality in the workplace is paramount, no matter your race, gender, religion or sexual orientation."
Voge believes that being tolerant of diversity is a step in the right direction, but it will take years to fully embrace it.
"Unique people bring unique ideas that will ultimately set us apart from other in the future," he said. "As for innovation, in order to stay competitive, we need to focus on education at a young age and foster an environment where new solutions for old and new problems are encouraged."
During his time at the UA, he participated in the Freshman Class Council, or FCC, of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, or ASUA, and the Freshman Fee Advisory Board. He also served on the Spring Fling business staff, and he was director of operations for the Yuma Hall Council.
His sophomore year, Voge was elected as one of 10 student body senators, representing 38,000 students in committees across campus and voicing student opinions on key issues.
His junior year, Voge became the FCC director, in charge of mentoring 49 first-year students. He was ASUA community development co-director, and he headed the ASUA Youth Basketball and Cheer League, giving 250 Tucson children a chance to learn about sportsmanship and higher education.
Voge was vice president of recruitment and president of Eller Ambassadors. At the Eller College of Management, he was a member of Eller Leadership in Excellence and Training, an Undergraduate Office social media intern and a member of the Order of the Sage and Silver Society.
Demonstrating scholarship, leadership and service, Voge was selected as a member the Mortar Board senior honors society and elected as an E-Board officer. Voge also was in Sophos Sophomore Honorary and Chain Gang Junior Honorary.
Voge was a McCord Scholarship recipient and attended the Eller London Internship Program. He has been awarded the William Barrett Senior Award for Eller, the Dean's List of Distinction, the Diversity Jobs National Scholarship and the Laura and Arch Brown Honors Scholarship.
This year, Voge worked as a desk assistant for Residence Life and an audit intern for Heinfeld, Meech & Co. After winning the 2011 UA PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC, UA Case Competition and completing an externship with the firm last summer, Voge was offered a summer internship with PwC in San Francisco.
He plans to join the UA Master of Accounting program in the fall and sit for the CPA exam before starting his career in public accounting.
Voge would like to thank his parents, sister, friends, Ms. Frizzle (cat) and all of his extended UA family.Editor: Alexis BlueByline: University CommunicationsExtra Info:
This feature is part of a multi-story series previewing UA commencement May 10-11. The ceremony for undergraduates and master's degree candidates will be held May 10 in Arizona Stadium. The doctoral ceremony will be held May 11 in Centennial Hall.Header image: YesNo Image: Subheading: Garrett Voge’s honors thesis analyzed stock market returns to see if institutional investors value LGBTQ progressive policies differently than the common investor. His research generated awareness of the need for changes between corporate America and the LGBTQ community. Include in UANow: 0Include in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image:
Lexi Shinn will graduate Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona on May 10 with a degree in accounting from the Eller College of Management and a minor in French. During her time at the UA, Shinn was involved in several organizations, including academic honoraries, the Honors College and Greek Life.
With the Honors College, she joined Xtreme Discovery Teams, a program dedicated to inspiring local middle and high school students to pursue higher education. After a year of volunteering in Tucson classrooms, Shinn transitioned into the role of undergraduate coordinator, and she has been overseeing the program's operations since 2011.
Under her leadership, the program has impacted more than 750 students in the community. The program features workshops in chemistry, physics, astronomy, linguistics, psychology and other disciplines.
"I saw so many younger students who truly did not think that college was a feasible option for them. They lacked self-confidence, and many felt like their socioeconomic status would hold them back," Shinn said.
"Xtreme Discovery Teams has taught me that every child deserves the chance to obtain a college degree and pursue their ambitions. It is necessary to foster interest in higher education at an early age in order to inspire students to continue setting goals."
Shinn also worked as a program assistant for the Honors College's Summer of Excellence. She served as the resident assistant for more than 100 high school students who took classes at the University over the summer, and she coordinated activities and presentations to enhance the the participants' confidence and interpersonal skills.
Since joining Chi Omega, Shinn displayed her passion for the Greek system through leadership positions within the Panhellenic Executive Council, the governing body of 14 sororities on campus. As vice president of internal affairs, she collaborated with chapter academic chairs to boost the scholastic success of the sorority community.
After her term, Shinn was elected president of the Panhellenic Council. During her tenure, she advocated for the values of Greek organizations.
While working alongside sorority presidents, Shinn initiated a wave of change, inspiring chapter leaders to focus on providing academic support and philanthropic opportunities to members. Shinn's contributions to Greek Life resulted in her being honored as Greek Woman of the Year.
Shinn's involvement in honoraries has strengthened her bonds with fellow Wildcats. She is a member of the Mortar Board national senior honors society, and she plans to stay active with the organization as an alumni.
Upon graduation, Shinn will complete an audit internship in Seattle with Deloitte & Touche, a public accounting firm. In the fall, she will return to the UA to obtain a master's degree in accounting. From there, she plans to take the CPA exam and join the Deloitte team full-time in the audit practice.
"Public accountants are responsible for maintaining public trust by verifying the legitimacy of company financial statements," Shinn said. "I believe that accountants possess integrity, independence and an appreciation for fair business practices, and that is why I want to be a part of public accounting."
During commencement, Shinn will recieve a Merril P. Freeman Medal, recognizing well-rounded individuals whose contributions through co-curricular and community activities and leadership have had a positive impact on the University and surrounding community. Shinn dedicates her award to her family, friends and mentors for their unconditional support and guidance.Editor: Alexis BlueByline: University CommunicationsExtra Info:
This feature is part of a multi-story series previewing UA commencement May 10-11. The ceremony for undergraduates and master's degree candidates will be held May 10 in Arizona Stadium. The doctoral ceremony will be held May 11 in Centennial Hall.Header image: YesNo Image: Subheading: Graduating senior Lexi Shinn was part of Xtreme Discovery Teams, a program dedicated to inspiring local middle and high school students pursue higher education. Under her leadership, the program has impacted more than 750 students, introducing them to chemistry, physics, astronomy, linguistics, psychology, and other disciplines.Include in UANow: 0Include in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image:
May 1 was the 12th annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
During this time, we are being asked to remember that teenagers are too immature, poor, uneducated or unstable to carry healthy pregnancies or raise children with positive outcomes.
At the same time, we may not realize that researchers have long questioned the statistics that suggest that teenage pregnancy is the cause of societal ills, frequently pointing out that the so-called consequences of teenage pregnancy are actually the consequences of living in poverty.
In addition, we may fail to see that negative depictions of teenage pregnancy often stigmatize pregnant and mothering young women.
As a rhetorician and woman who had her first child at the age of 17, I study the power of images and words to shape what we know and do about teenage pregnancy and how this affects young mothers. Because of the nature of my research, I was invited to be a funded scholar with the Crossroads Collaborative, a research project funded through the Ford Foundation.
I work with academics at the UA, youth-serving organizations in Tucson, and local youth to conduct action-oriented research on issues of youth, sexuality, health and rights in Arizona.
Recently, I collaborated with Sally Stevens, the executive director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, SIROW, on the My Pregnancy Story Project (executed in PDF format) to learn more about how to better support young mothers in our community. We asked 27 young women how they feel about being pregnant, how much family and social support they receive, how they feel about representations of teen pregnancy in the media, and how they perceive other people’s reactions to their pregnancy.
Contrary to messages you might hear on the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, we found that pregnant and mothering young women in our community are doing difficult, good work to care for themselves and their children as they balance many obligations.
However, we also learned that:
- We need to challenge stereotypes and misinformation about teenage pregnancy and young parenthood that create a hostile environment for young mothers in which strangers, peers, and even teachers often say insulting things. For example, one young mother was told by a boy that she “shoulda wore a condom" while she strolled her son to the campus daycare; another participant was humiliated by a teacher who used her as an example of why students need to prevent teen pregnancy; others were approached in grocery stores by people they did not know who said something about their pregnancy like, “Oh! You are too young to be having a child!”
- We need to challenge dual gender standards for sexuality and reproduction. Participants lamented “it is not on the guy!” They noted that fathers of teen pregnancies often escape judgment for their actions or get congratulated if they seem to stick around to raise the child.
- Finally, we need to promote respect of the hard work young mothers do and recognition of the sources of support that they have developed to raise their children. One participant explained, “I think they should – since we are continuing with school, and we’re trying our hardest to give our kids a good life and a good future – they should give credit to the ones that are still trying to, you know, do what they can and get their education and stuff like that. Instead of just jump and judge all of them in general.”
In these moments when the public rallies to prevent teen pregnancies, it is always important to remember how this rhetoric affects the lives of young parents.
Jenna Vinson, is a doctoral candidate and a graduate associate in teaching in the Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English program at the UA graduating in May 2013. Vinson also is a Crossroads Collaborative Scholar. Vinson's dissertation “Teenage Mothers as Rhetors and Rhetoric: An Analysis of Embodied Exigence and Constrained Agency” investigated how visual and verbal rhetoric about teenage pregnancy constructs and constrains experiences for young mothers. Contact: Jenna Vinson at email@example.com.Categories: Social Sciences and EducationThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: ResearchEducationStudentsGuest PostByline: Jenna Vinson, the UA Crossroads CollaborativeUANow Image: Editor: La Monica Everett-HaynesInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Friday, May 3, 2013Feature on Front: No
This was one of the moments William Aguayo had been waiting for – the public unveiling of his design for the UApresents 2013-2014 season.
Alongside his UA School of Art peers in a course taught by UA art professor Jackson Boelts, Aguayo learned in November 2012 that his illustration would mark the UApresents season. The class had been involved in a design competition during the fall semester.
"The terrific graphics you see are part of an activity produced as part of a class," Chuck Tennes, executive director of UApresents, told the audience of nearly 200 people at Centennial Hall this week during the unveiling of both the 2013-2014 season and illustration.
"The students come up with some amazing, creative and well-executed work, and this case is no different," Tennes said, to which the audience gave Aguayo a round of applause.
In producing the design for UApresents, Aguayo drew inspiration from a class assignment in which Boelts asked students to illustrate a scene from a story set in the 1950s.
He said the subsequent recognition has been especially pleasant.
"Right before, I was in a studio art class of mine and everything was going very normal, then I was like, 'I have to run down to UApresents,'" said Aguayo, a UA senior graduating in 2014. "It was just a sudden change of atmosphere. I have never been recognized like that. It was different, almost surreal."
Aguayo, whose parents and sister attended the event, said he is grateful that he would be able to include the work in his portfolio, saying it adds validity to his work. He also thanked Boelts for his support.
"I always look for Dr. Boelts' recognition," he said. "He's one of my favorite professors, and I really look to him for inspiration. He has been supportive of my personal and artistic growth."
In an era of increasing climate instability, the southwestern region in the United States faces strained water resources, greater prevalence of tree-killing pests and potentially significant alterations of agricultural infrastructure.
Such threats and challenges, as well as others, are detailed a new book, "Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States," published by Island Press. The book is a landmark study that includes major contributions from 13 UA scientists and is edited by University climate expert Gregg Garfin and colleagues from across the UA campus.
A hotter future is projected for the southwestern region of the United States – a region stretching from the California coast to the plains of eastern Colorado and New Mexico – and future heat and changes in precipitation will present challenges for managing natural resources, water, infrastructure and threats to human health.
“According to our research, we are already witnessing the effects of climate change on snowmelt, and increased temperatures are strongly associated with increased wildfire risk, extensive forest mortality, and longer, more severe heat waves,” said Garfin, the book’s chief editor.
Climate change experts will deliver an overview of the book’s findings, including regional climate impacts, projected impacts and solutions for society on May 2 at 7 p.m. The event, "Climate Change in the Tucson Region: Sustainable Living or Abandoned Wasteland?," will be held at the UA's Center for Creative Photography, is free and open to the public.
- Garfin, the report's co-editor and a UA assistant professor and assistant extension specialist in climate, natural resources and policy, in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment
- Ardeth Barnhart, program director for the UA Renewable Energy Network
- Dan Cayan, a researcher for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- UA Provost Andrew Comrie
- Diana Liverman, co-director for the UA Institute of the Environment
- Glen MacDonald, director of the University of California, Los Angeles Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
- Ken Seasholes, the Central Arizona Project's resource planning and analysis manager
The discussion will conclude with a question and answer session, and the event will be webcast live online.
The new book focuses on current climate conditions in the region, the environment of the past, what is projected to change over the 21st century and how this will impact ecosystems, water resources, agricultural production, energy supply and delivery, transportation and human health.
Also, the book stresses the choices and opportunities available to society in order to reduce the causes and effects of climate change in the region. It notes the steps governments, businesses, organizations and individuals are taking to improve energy efficiency, improve water supply reliability, decrease wildfire risk and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A consortium of researchers from the Southwest Climate Alliance coordinated the assessment; these scientists are affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment Program and the U.S. Department of the Interior Southwest Climate Science Center.
The book blends the contributions of 120 experts in climate science, economics, ecology, engineering, geography, hydrology, planning, resource management and other disciplines. Also, the book is one of 10 regional technical inputs to the 2013 National Climate Assessment released in draft form earlier this year.
Besides Garfin, UA contributors include Heidi E. Brown, Chris Castro, Karletta Chief, Andrew Comrie, George B. Frisvold, Christina Greene, Eric Holthaus, Angela Jardine, Diana Liverman, Jonathan Overpeck, Joellen Russell and Margaret Wilder. The researchers contributed to chapters on human health, extreme climate, tribal challenges, agriculture, sustainability and climate impacts on U.S. and Mexico border communities.
Contact: Gregg Garfin, deputy director for science translation and outreach for the UA Institute of the Environment, at 520-591-9543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Science and TechnologyThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: FacultyStaffResearchOutreachByline: UA Institute of the Environment |UANow Image: Editor: La Monica Everett-HaynesInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Thursday, May 2, 2013Feature on Front: No
Several themes are evident in the newly announced UApresents 2013-2014 season, with more shows being offered in the Tucson community and many presentations geared toward young adults and families.
As always, the calendar is full of a diverse range of nationally and internationally known performers and artists, with some having selected the University of Arizona campus as one of only a few locations for touring appearances in the coming year.
Also, Broadway in Tucson, which recently unveiled its new season, announced it will be moving to Centennial Hall and will present, among other events, "Sister Act," "The Wizard of Oz" and Green Day's two-time Tony Award-winning "American Idiot," a co-presentation with UApresents.
UApresents, the UA's professional performing arts presenter, will open its next season on Sept. 7 with powerhouse rock vocalist Melissa Etheridge.
"We have seen a tradition in recent years that the season begins with a strong female vocalist," UApresents executive director Chuck Tennes said during the April 30 unveiling of the season at Centennial Hall. "I think it's going to be a great opening."
Also performing during the new season is acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming, who won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. She will perform at Centennial Hall on May 4, 2014.
In addition to performances at Centennial Hall, UApresents will host a number of performances off campus at the Rialto Theatre, Fox Theatre, Club Congress and Reid Park.
Some of the other artists and performers include:
- Oct. 19: Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, Dizzy Gillespie protégé, returns to the Fox Tucson Theatre.
- Oct. 20: During Cesar Millan Live!, Cesar Milan, host of National Geographic's "Dog Whisperer" series, will perform demonstrations with one of his dogs. He will donate $1 for every ticket sold to the Cesar Millan Foundation.
- Nov. 2: The UA School of Dance's "Premium Blend" will be presented, celebrating 10 years of dance at UA's Stevie Eller Dance Theatre.
- Nov. 9: Diavolo Dance Theater marks its return to Centennial Hall with two signature works.
- Jan. 18, 2014: Compagnie Kafig, a French-based hip-hop company featuring Brazilian dancers, is making its Tucson debut, performing at Centennial Hall.
- Feb. 1, 2014: The dance series includes a performance by the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, which Tennes describes as "the most important American dance company that has never been to Tucson."
- Feb. 9, 2014: Making his solo Tucson debut, mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers will appear at Crowder Hall.
- Feb. 22, 2014: Another highlight of the classical series will be a performance of the luminous work "Quartet for the End of Time," originally composed and premiered in a prisoner of war camp.
- March 23, 2014: The Joffrey Ballet will perform a program entitled "American Legends." It was the first dance company to perform at the White House, having been invited by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
In addition, as part of the classical series, superstar pianist Lang Lang, whose UApresents performance was cancelled last season due to hurricane Sandy, will perform Oct. 22.
"I can confidently tell you that his performance will be better than it would have been last year," Tennes said, noting that UApresents was able to purchase a Steinway grand piano thanks to a donation from the Margaret E. Mooney Foundation.
In the new season, family-friendly offerings are especially strong.
The Zoppé Family Circus returns for a third consecutive year in January 2014 with six performances. The circus coincides with the UApresents sixth annual Children's Festival, which will be held Jan. 11, 2014.
Also, animal expert Jungle Jack Hanna will bring nearly 30 animals to the Centennial Hall stage Jan. 26, 2014.
And for the Bahia Youth Orchestra classical event, UApresents is offering patrons under the age of 18 the opportunity to attend free with the purchase of one adult ticket. Youth seats will be available until UApresents reaches capacity for the Feb. 7, 2014 performance.
UApresents' "An Evening With…" series will include a variety of artists, including Bobby McFerrin with a program of spirituals and American balladeer Michael Feinstein, who will reflect on his work with Ira Gershwin on April 27, 2014.
This season, the jazz series features tributes to Ella Fitzgerald with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Ramsey Lewis and his trio and John Pizzarelli – who received raves from audience members last season – will pay homage to Nat King Cole.
Audiences also will be introduced to Jonathan Batiste, who has appeared at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center, and his Stay Human Band for a series of shows to be held in November at Club Congress in downtown Tucson. Only 99 seats and 26 standing room spots will be sold for each show. "It is likely that this will be our first sell-out show this season," Tennes said.
In November, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with conductor Keith Lockhart will make a rare appearance with a program featuring works by John Williams and George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue."
The world music lineup includes: Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, featuring many of the original members; the only bhangra brass band in North America, Red Baraat, which makes its Tucson debut; French-Argentinian tango company Unión Tanguera presenting "Nuit Blanche;" Danú, which will bring the music of Ireland; and Soweto Gospel Choir, which will inspire with its uplifting and soulful harmonies.
UApresents will host school matinee performances for three shows at Centennial Hall for K-12 students: Jonathan Batiste, Compagnie Kafig and the Bahia Orchestra Project.
For the school matinee performances, tickets are $6 per student. UApresents' education and outreach programs, which include master classes, in-school performances and artist residencies, reach more than 15,000 annually.Editor: Alexis BlueWriter: Darsen Campbell and La Monica Everett-HaynesByline: Darsen Campbell and La Monica Everett-HaynesByline Affiliation: University CommunicationsExtra Info:
To read about UA School of Art student William Aguayo's illustration for the new season, read "Student Design for UApresents 2013-2014 Season Unveiled," at UANews.org/blog.
Want to buy tickets or make a contribution to the UA's professional performing arts presenter?
- Renewals began April 30 for donors.
- For current subscribers, subscription renewals will begin May 2 at 10 a.m.
- For new subscriptions, sales will begin May 20 at 9 a.m.
- Group sales begin on May 20 at 9 a.m.
- Individual tickets go on sale June 10 at 9 a.m.
- Student tickets will continue to be offered at $15, while supplies last, for each show. UA faculty and staff tickets will be offered at $20 for each show. Student and employee tickets will be on sale during the fall of 2013.
- Also, UApresents offers senior, military and group discounts.
- Learn more online about how to make a donation to benefit UApresents.
For more information, contact UApresents online or by phone at 520-621-3341.
UApresents, the UA's professional performing arts presenter, brings the world's finest classical, jazz, dance and world music events to Southern Arizona each year. The 2013-2014 season features Melissa Etheridge, Lang Lang, Renée Fleming, The Joffrey Ballet, The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Green Day's Broadway musical "American Idiot," Soweto Gospel Choir, Jungle Jack Hanna and more. Most performances are held at historic Centennial Hall, a cultural landmark for live performing arts for more than three-quarters of a century. Since opening in 1937, greats such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Jackie Robinson and Liza Minnelli have graced the stage.
Related UANews.org coverage:
Disney movies typically show princesses being rescued by princes and, recently, Marvel "Avengers" T-shirts caused a nationwide stir after those marketed to boys read "Be a Hero" while those for girls read "I Need a Hero."
This shows girls that "we can't be heroes; we need people to rescue us," said Hannah Lozon, University of Arizona Residence Life coordinator for social justice education, who spoke during a recent TogetHER Girls Empowerment and Leadership Program summitt held on campus.
"What about instead of 'I am a princess,' 'I am a leader?' We need to work together with men," Lozon told dozens of young girls who attended.
Created by UA senior Ashely Dickerson, the empowerment and leadership summit, called "Dream Without Limits," was designed for girls in the fourth to eighth grades to counter negative, gender-based stereotypes and to empower young girls.
Dickerson developed the organization and summitt after being one of 150 people from across the U.S. chosen to participate in the 2012-2013 Young People For Fellowship.
"I designed TogetHER, a girls empowerment and leadership group, from the ground up, including grassroots organizing, fundraising, recruitment of sponsors and more," said Dickerson, also the recipient of the UA's 2013 President's Award for Servant Leadership.
Lozon noted research indicating that age 8 is the peak age for leadership ambitions among girls. She also noted that this is about the same time that girls begin to question their capabilities, especially in a world in which negative gender stereotypes are pervasive in popular media.
Lozon also said that while women comprise 51 percent of the global population, they only represent 17 percent of those serving in Congress. She and others at the summit encouraged girls not only to dream of college, but to consider serving as elected officials and leaders in the fields of law, medicine and education, among others.
Many of the girls who attended the summit seemed well aware of the barriers they face.
"Girls and women are treated badly and they're not able to express themselves because of the way they are treated," Ariana Bustamante, a fifth grader, said.
Dickerson designed the program to have five core values: personal empowerment, encouragement for college going, community service, leadership development and life skills development. In particular, the program targets low-income girls who are of color and live in urban settings.
During April's summit, the young girls heard from professional women on and off campus and also participated in leadership and esteem building activities and workshops. Also, each girl received a postcard that read: "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
Life and decision making skills development is essential, Dickerson said, adding that such development enables participants to "make choices that will further her goals."
Mary Atkinson, director of Girls on the Run of Tucson, who was among the featured speakers at the summit, urged the young women that they should not change themselves simply because others tell them to; that they should remember that they are intelligent, strong and talented.
"We are who we are meant to be," Atkinson said. "Don't go being cookies and cream when you want to be vanilla."
Lozon left the girls with a comparable message, urging them to consider the many ways they can and do make a difference.
"We write our own history, but what about instead of HIStory, we write HERstory? We need you and we need your brilliance and we need you to be able to go out into the world and shine it among others."Editor: Alexis BlueWriter: Leah Cresswell and La Monica Everett-HaynesByline: Leah Cresswell and La Monica Everett-HaynesByline Affiliation: University CommunicationsHeader image: YesNo Image: Subheading: Developed by UA senior Ashely Dickerson, the TogetHER Girls Empowerment Program is designed to counter negative gender-based stereotypes, which girls begin to perceive at elementary school age, research shows. Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image:
Felled mesquite beans – you see them most everywhere around the UA campus during the summer months.
In its third year, the UA mesquite harvesting project has worked to gather the beans, creating flour milled from the pods. Now, organizers are ready to launch a new passive harvesting design in an effort to even further reduce the littering of mesquite bean pods, using them in UA Dining Services menu items.
But mesquite trees not only decorate the UA campus. They also provide tasteful bean pods that can be stored, harvested and used for cooking. When mesquite trees bloom in the summer they dispose their bean pods, essentially littering the campus and ruin any potential of being harvested. Also, the pods create a risk of developing aflatoxin, a life threatening toxin produced by mold, once exposed to the ground.
After two years of actively hand picking mesquite pods, the UA Office of Sustainability has partnered with the UA School of Architecture to a create an efficient, low-tech net-based system for gathering the pods.
The design will be presented May 4, during a workshop to be held 9-10:30 a.m. at the UA Community Garden, 1407 E. Mabel St. During the event, harvesters in the community will be able to try out their own nets and harvesting techniques while learning about the new passive mesquite pod harvesting system.
In the past, Facilities Management at the UA would regularly sweep the littered pods. Since it required so much extra work, the staff encouraged the UA Office of Sustainability to see if these pods could be harvested.
With the support of the UA Green Fund committee a project to preserve and harvest mesquite pods came into play.
Volunteers were organized to began picking and harvest mesquite pods, which were then used in the UA Dining Service menu items. However, volunteers would often run short and this active method became tedious.
With the new partnership between the UA Office of Sustainability and UA School of Architecture, efforts to create a netting system were then introduced to passively collect bean pods.
A universal net was created to mold to each mesquite tree and is able to collect most of the pods that fall from the trees. In addition to its efficiency, this netting system also reduces the risk of any aflatoxin.
Up to 10 workshop participants, a subset of those invited will be recruited to test the netting system, were given materials and instructions to construct their own passive system in their yards over the summer and the feedback provided will help finalize the design of the plans in the fall.
Liza Pluto is a communication major in the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences who is slated to graduate from the University this month. The campus project is part of the statewide Linking Edible Arizona Forests (LEAF) Network. In order to create and maintain a network, this project will unite sites and people involved with planting, conserving and harvesting native and nonnative trees in Arizona. In addition this project will increase the use and sustainability of edible trees in the state’s urban and community forests.
Contact: Joe Abraham, director of the UA Office of Sustainability, at 520-621-2711 or email@example.com.Categories: Campus NewsTeaching and StudentsThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: StudentsStudent LifeEducationOutreachGuest PostByline: Liza Pluto, UA Community Garden |UANow Image: Editor: La Monica Everett-HaynesInclude in UANow: 0Date of Publication: Wednesday, May 1, 2013Feature on Front: No
The target of NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is an asteroid that has had the provisional name (101955) 1999 RQ36. Believing the asteroid deserved a more memorable name, the OSIRIS-REx team, led by the University of Arizona, partnered with The Planetary Society and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, which discoverered the asteroid, to sponsor a contest to rename the asteroid.More than 8,000 students from more than 25 countries entered the Name that Asteroid! contest. The International Astronomical Union approved the name, Bennu, in late April. Judges enjoyed reading through the imaginative and informative entries. Dante Lauretta, principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx mission and one of the judges said, "There were many excellent entries that would be a fitting name and would provide us an opportunity to educate the world about the exciting nature of our mission." The judges had to make a choice, however, and now the asteroid formerly known as (101955) 1999 RQ36 has a new name – (101955) Bennu. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch in 2016, rendezvous with Bennu in 2018 and take a sample in 2019. The spacecraft will return a small sample of the asteroid to Earth in 2023. Bennu was an important avian deity in ancient Egypt and one of the symbols of Osiris. Egyptians usually depicted Bennu as a gray heron. The dual nature of asteroids, bringers of life's molecules and sometime bringers of destruction, inspired the name. The contest winner, 9-year-old Michael Toler Puzio from North Carolina, suggested that the large heron-like Touch-and-Go Sample Mechanism (TAGSAM) arm and winged OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made him think of Bennu. Puzio stated, "The winged OSIRIS-REx and its heron-like TAGSAM also evoke attributes of Bennu, as does the egg shape of the asteroid itself." Bruce Betts, director of projects for the Planetary Society and another judge in the contest, said: "Bennu stuck a chord with many of us right away. While there were many great entries, the similarity between the image of the heron and the TAGSAM arm of OSIRIS-REx was a clever choice. The parallel with asteroids as both bringers of life and as destructive forces in the solar system also created a great opportunity to teach." The heron-TAGSAM and egg-asteroid parallels weren't the only similarities that struck the judges. The god Bennu was commonly associated with the gods Atum, the primeval deity, and Re, the sun god. Astronomers think that the OSIRIS-REx target asteroid is a primitive object that dates back to the creation of the solar system because earthly analogues for the asteroid Bennu are carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which have compositions very similar to that of the sun. Indeed, our own long-lived solar system was "reborn" from the remnants of stellar explosions more than 4.5 billion years ago. Therefore, origins, rebirth and duality are all part of the story of this asteroid. The naming contest was a partnership among the UA, The Planetary Society and MIT's Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) asteroid survey. Contestants submitted one name along with a short explanation for their choice. The partners assembled a panel to review the submissions and to submit a top choice to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Committee for Small Body Nomenclature, which approved the name. Names were required to comply with naming guidelines from the IAU. "We are so impressed with the quality of the contest entries that we have decided to recommend four runner-up submissions as names for other minor planets discovered by the LINEAR program," said judge Grant Stokes, head of the Aerospace Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and principal investigator for the LINEAR program. "The names Muninn, Nabu, Polymatheia and Ragnarok will be submitted to the IAU as recommended names." Students living in the United States and Brazil provided these four names. The OSIRIS-REx mission has also invited the contest winner and runners-up to provide messages on the microchip that will travel to Bennu and return. The microchip will contain names of thousands of people from around the world. Watch for more information about this activity in summer 2013. Editor: Alexis BlueHeader image: NoNo Image: Subheading: Inspired by the spacecraft's "heron-like" appearance, a 9-year-old submitted the winning entry for a more memorable name of asteroid 1999 RQ36, from which the UA-led NASA mission OSIRIS-REx will scoop up a sample and return it to Earth in 2023.Include in UANow: yesInclude in Olympic Coverage: noFeature on Olympic Page: noUANow Image:
Is there a connection between genius and madness? Some say the connection is evident, given examples of Vincent van Gogh, Hildegard of Bingen and Theresa of Avila.
But how can the study of mental illness and spirituality during the Middle Ages help us to come to a more conclusive answer? Researchers attending symposium to be held at the UA in May have a number of compelling ideas.
The labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, a medieval Roman Rite Catholic cathedral in France.
The 11th annual International Symposium on Medieval and Early Modern Studies will focus on mental health, spirituality and religion in the Middle Ages and Early Modern time periods. The May 2-5 event is free and open to the public. The program, along with abstracts of speaker talks, is available online.
"As the topic illustrates, only when medical researchers and humanities scholars begin to talk with each other will we be empowered to learn from each other for the true improvement of human life today," said University Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a professor in the UA German studies department.
Pre-modern examples in literature, the arts, philosophy and religion promise to shed old and new light on universal and perennial problems all humans must cope with. These, however, can also be studied more closely by medical researchers.
During the symposium, participants will share the latest insights into alternative medicine, combined with a critical examination of literary, artistic, philosophical and religious documents from the pre-modern world both with colleagues and with the public, Classen said.
"Medieval people seem to have had a much closer relationship to spirituality, since mysticism was a rather common experience," Classen said.
"Modern medical research has often demonstrated in a variety of methods and approaches that the healing process is improved and accelerated if an artistic background is involved, or if the individual patient can rely on a strong spiritual background," he said. "In the pre-modern world, the ideal aimed more for the salvation of the soul in the afterlife, but there are countless examples confirming the superseding relevance of spiritual health for physical health."
Classen noted that, despite the differences, modern medical research and investigations in humanities do share fundamental values and ideals.
"The symposium promises to bring the various voices, ideas and concepts together, offering new avenues for achieving human health in the widest range of meanings," he said.
- Eliza Buhrer of Seton Hall University will present "But What is to be Said of a Fool?: Evolving Understandings of Intellectual Impairment in Late Medieval England"
- Classen will present "Mourning Narratives as a Basis of Spiritual Healing"
- Rosemarie Danziger of Tel-Aviv University will present "St. Ignatius's Epistle to the Romans as a Model for Hagiographic Literature in the 11th Century"
- Maedhbh M. Nic Dhonnchadha of the National University of Ireland will present "Constructing the Early Irish Cult of Brigit"
- Martha Peacock of Brigham Young University will present "The Inner Cause and the Better Choice: Women Artists and the Attraction of the Labadist Religion"
- Lia Ross of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque will present "Body and Spirit: Martial Practices among Monastic Orders"
- Tom Willard, of the UA's English department, will present "Healthy and Diseased Imaginings: The Paracelsian Perspective"
Each presentation will be followed by an extra long period of discussions allowing good time both for the experts and the public.
Contacts: Albrecht Classen, a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of German Studies, at 520-621-1395; firstname.lastname@example.org; Ronald Grant, director of the Medical Humanities Program at the UA's College of Medicine, at email@example.com.
"The Lady and the Unicorn," is the contemporary name given to a series of six Flemish tapestries that depict the senses of taste, hearing, sight, smell and touch. The tapestries on on display at the on display in the Musée du Moyen-Âge in France.Categories: Social Sciences and EducationThis is a Wildcat Corner feature: Images: Tags: FacultyStaffResearchOutreachByline: University Communications |UANow Image: UANow Summary: An international group of scholars will convene at the UA to explore, from a pre-modern perspective, whether links exist between genius and madness, health and faith and between spirituality and physical well-being. The International Symposium on Medieval and Early Modern Studies connects mental illness researchers and spirituality scholars to lay the foundation for studies on how to improve human life today. Editor: La Monica Everett-HaynesInclude in UANow: yesDate of Publication: Wednesday, May 1, 2013Feature on Front: No