Spring 2015 Kudos

Donimique Laurent was one of several Dickinson faculty experts to weigh in on the Paris attacks.


Julie Vastine ’03, director of the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), received $422,000 for six years from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ALLARM is partnering with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (ACB) on their project “Integration of Citizen-based Monitoring and Nontraditional Monitoring Partners Into the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership.” ALLARM’s role is to help develop monitoring protocols, create quality-assurance project plans, develop monitoring training tools from chemical monitoring to data interpretation workshops and identify and coordinate volunteer monitors and watershed associations in Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York.

ALLARM also received $20,000 from the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds for its project “Shale-Gas Monitoring Data Portal.” This grant will enable ALLARM to work with CitSci.org to support the development of a shale-gas monitoring data portal that will help volunteer monitors who are collecting and analyzing water-quality data in small streams throughout Pennsylvania’s shale-gas basins. The goal of the data portal is to motivate volunteers to continue monitoring and to make it possible for volunteers to easily manage, visualize, communicate and share data.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Sarah St. Angelo received $1,000 from the American Chemical Society, Division of Chemical Education, Dorothy and Moses Passer Education Grant, to support travel to an IONiC VIPEr workshop on inorganic catalysis to be held at the University of Washington during the summer. This week-long workshop combines teaching and research activities related to the field of inorganic catalysis.

The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation awarded Dickinson $520,000 to supplement the college’s existing Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund provides additional tuition assistance to worthy students in support of their pursuit of a Dickinson education.


Saudi Arabia is often portrayed as a country where religious rules dictate every detail of daily life. Yet everyday life in the kingdom does not entirely conform to dogma. In Islam in Saudi Arabia (Cornell University Press), David Commins, professor of history, challenges the stereotype of Saudi Arabia as a country immune to change, places the Wahhabi movement in the wider context of Islamic history and considers Arabia’s heritage of diversity (where Shi’ite and Sufi tendencies predating the Saudi era survive in the face of discrimination) and the effects of its exposure to Western mores.

Professor of Music Blake Wilson notes several recent publications: “Sound Patrons: the Fifteenth-Century Medici as Patrons of Music,” in The Medici: Citizens and Masters, ed. Robert Black and John Law (2015); “Canterino and Improvvisatore: Oral Poetry and Performance,” chapter in The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music (2015); “Jannes, Jean Japart, and Florence,” in Firenze e la music: Fonti, protagonisti, commitenza, scritti in ricordo di Maria Adelaide Bartoli Bacherini (2014); “Dominion of the Ear: Singing the Vernacular in Piazza San Martino,” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 16 (2013); “Dante’s Forge: Poetic Modeling and Musical Borrowing in late Trecento Florence,” Beyond 50 Years of Ars Nova Studies at Certaldo, 1959-2009, proceedings of the Convegno internazionale di Studi, Certaldo, Palazzo Pretorio, 12-14 June 2009 (2013).

David Jackson, associate professor of physics & astronomy, along with Professor Emerita Priscilla Laws, Kathleen Koenig and Robert Teese, published “Using Research-Based Interactive Video Vignettes to Enhance Out-of-Class Learning in Introductory Physics” in The Physics Teacher 53, 114 (2015).

In Living Quarters: Poems (Manic D Press) by Adrienne Su, associate professor of English and poet-in-residence, Su uses both the structure of a domestic space and the rhythms of the seasons to seek, but not reliably find, order and consolation in life’s seeming disorder. Relationships dissolve; deaths come too soon; the past vanishes; the earth that gives beautiful and nourishing foods swallows up the creatures for whom it provides. These poems struggle with that mix of affirmation and destruction, celebrating nature’s generosity while trying to make peace with its cruelty.

In the News

Dickinson has partnered with the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) to offer a dual-degree program in international studies, becoming the only liberal-arts college among SAIS undergraduate partner institutions to do so. The new program presents an opportunity for qualifying students to receive a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson and a master’s degree from JHU’s SAIS in five years. Learn more at dson.co/SAISpartner.

Professor of History Karl Qualls discussed claims on Crimea, Putin politics and more with Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty and St. Petersburg News.

Providing analysis on the Paris attacks for a national television viewing audience were Dominique Laurent, associate professor of French, who appeared as a live guest on Fox News, and Jeff McCausland, visiting professor of international studies, who appeared live on CBS News. Kimberly Dozier, the 2014-15 Gen. Omar Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership, discussed the attacks’ aftermath live on CNN.

Associate Professor of Earth Sciences Ben Edwards’ research on lava-flow interactions in far eastern Russian was published in Nature Communications and written about in New Scientist, Volcano News Today and Yahoo! News.

Ted Merwin, director of the Asbell Center for Jewish Life and associate professor of religion, discussed the blending of Hanukkah-themed products and Christmas traditions with the Associated Press. The story ran in The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle as well as many other newspapers and television websites.

Read more from the spring 2015 issue of Dickinson Magazine.

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Published April 14, 2015