Faculty summer at a glance...

A woman admires the majesty of the Black Canyon

Faculty summer at a glance...

Date: Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 10:00am

See what Western’s faculty got up to when they went on summer break.

jay whitacre hiking
Jay Whitacre, Recreation & Outdoor Education

Risky research: Whitacre has been working on finishing his dissertation, which looks at how technology can influence decision-making in the backcountry. “This has really been a six-year process,” Whitacre says. “I could theoretically turn this study into a 16-week class about decision-making and risk-taking.”



david rothman speaking
David Rothman, Creative Writing

Poet in residence: Rothman co-edited “Belle Turnbull: On the Life & Work of an American Master.” The book went to press in June and is garnering considerable attention across Colorado. Listen to David’s interview on Colorado Public Radio.



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Brian Dalton, Biology

Revitalizing biology education: Dalton received a Macmillan travel award to attend the California Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching. There, he worked with educators from across the country on curriculum development in the sciences, particularly relating to active learning. “It is important for our citizens to reason on their own,” Dalton says. “My goal is to make all students—regardless their major— scientifically literate.”



tom miller headshot
Tom Miller, Business

Change leader: Miller has been preparing for the 15th Change Leaders Conference at the University of Oxford—his alma mater. He has invited the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Ian Billick, Ph.D., to open up the conference, which will follow a theme of sustainability. Miller says he hopes that the attendees will “all move forward with a better understanding of how to impact communities, classrooms and organizations.”



suzanne taylor at gunnison valley obersvatory
Suzanne Taylor, Physics

Serious stargazing: Taylor took advantage of the warm, clear weather over the summer to collect data on cataclysmic variable stars at the Gunnison Valley Observatory. Her goal is to collect enough data to present a poster at the American Astronomical Society Conference in January. “I’ve really got this project off the ground,” Taylor says.



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Chelsea Dalporto-McDowell, Career Services

Academic adventure: Dalporto-McDowell traveled to Costa Rica with eight Business students for a cross-cultural leadership course. They spent their time working on a service project, visiting eco-businesses and hiking in the jungle. “I’ve wanted to do this for years,” Dalporto-McDowell says. “I learned that if you give students a framework, you can trust in them to do almost anything.”



alndrew sellon headshot
Andrew Sellon, Performance Coach

All-Access actor: Sellon recently appeared as Nicolas Haight in the new CBS All Access drama, “The Good Fight.” He is currently shooting a new role in a hit network drama, although he can’t release any details due to non-disclosure agreements (typical Hollywood stuff). His signature course in the Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Poetry in Performance, helps creative writing students perform their written work. Sellon says: “When I encourage my students to allow a bit of performance into their readings, the works transform and become something new, even to the writers.”


kate clark teaching
Kate Clark, Environment & Sustainability

Academics and activism: Clark gave a talk at the Chicago Field Museum in June. The talk highlighted her findings from research which examines what she distinguishes as “neoliberal” and “structural” paths to environmental policy reform. “The nature of these categories are often very complex, heady and conceptual,” Clark says. “I try to make these topics more accessible and relevant in people’s own lives.”



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Brian Bernhardt, Politics & Government

Intellectual overload: Bernhardt attended a weeklong seminar at Stanford Law School in July. The conference focused on “The Lochner Era”—a period of laissez-faire Supreme Court jurisprudence spanning the 1880s to 1930s. “It was complete intellectual engagement … there were 300-400 pages of reading per day,” Bernhardt says. “I’ve gained all sorts of amazing stories that will help bring my course material to life.”



john hausdoerffer speaking
John Hausdoerffer, Environment & Sustainability

National book tour: Hausdoerffer traveled on a nationwide book tour for the book he co-edited, “Wildness: Relations of People and Place.” “Wildness is a bigger idea than wilderness,” Hausdoerffer said in an interview with Santa Fe Public Radio.  “We need to learn how wildness is on a continuum that ranges all the way from our wilderness to urban areas with working landscapes like farms and ranches in between.” 



Story by Peter Noon, Marketing Communications. Photos provided by faculty.