Faculty Highlights News

Graceland University Professor of Theatre Gary Heisserer has been named to the Artistic Committee of the Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT) Board of Directors. Heisserer will work with the KCAT team on a wide range of artistic projects, including season selection, directing and production management. KCAT’s mission is to “showcase the finest talents of Kansas City’s professional theatre community by bringing audiences exceptional artist-driven productions of classic and modern plays.”

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Art Karen Gergely has been awarded a six-week artist residency at Brickscape in Charlestown, West Virginia this summer. Gergely is one of 10 artists selected to create an immersive, socially engaged installation responding to the history and culture of the Charleston community. The residency culminates in an exhibition for FestivALL June 15-24.

Graceland University Professor of Psychology David Devonis' cross-cultural psych text, "Interactive Exercises for Cross-Cultural Psychology: Encounters With a Complex World," is slated for publication in May with Routledge. More information may be found here. The text emanates from the collective efforts of classes over the past three years to identify and give voice to personally important cultural issues.  The cover illustration is an adaptation of a diptych by Anne Simpkins (Graceland University BA Art, 1982), and the indexing was accomplished by Graceland University Honors student Madeline Glodowski.

An article by Graceland University Assistant Professor of Theology and Scripture and Paul E. Morden Seminary Chair of Religion Anthony Chvala-Smith titled "In Life and in Death": Barth, Bonhoeffer, and the Path from the Great War to the Confessing Church was  just published in the Mennonite Quarterly Review 92 (April 2018): 149-172.

Graceland University Professor of Information Technology Kevin Brunner and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Belmore attended the annual Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. They were accompanied by nine Graceland University Computer Science and Information Technology students. The students participated in a programming contest, and all participated in listening to presentations and posters on current topics.

Visiting Instructor of Percussion and Director of Athletic Bands Melinda Leoce will be a clinician at the Point Percussion Festival at the University of Wisconsin, Steven's Point Saturday, April 14. Leoce will present about Brazilian drumming and will perform a steel pan solo on the Guest Artist Recital at the end of the day.

Karen Gergely presented her research The Challenges and Triumphs of Curating Socially Engaged Works at the 106th College Art Association (CAA): Advancing Art and Design Conference in Los Angelos, California, Feb. 21-24. Gergely attended various sessions on pedagogy and began a three-year appointment on CAA's education committee, where she is co-charing a subcommittee on educational publications.

Graceland University Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Katie Bash and Dean of the Gleazer School of Education Lee Bash presented Graceland's model of program review to more than 300 attendees at the Higher Learning Commission annual conference Sunday, April 10.

The Open Education Consortium, a global nonprofit network promoting open pedagogy and the use of Open Educational Resources, recently announced the 2018 Open Education Awards for Excellence. This year’s best Open Textbook – "an openly licensed textbook of exemplary quality in its presentation of educational content" – was awarded to A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students, a 2017 collection containing essays from Graceland University Assistant Professor of English Tim Robbins, PhD, and English and art double major Matt Moore. Robbins and Moore are currently editing the Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature with support from the Rebus Foundation. Their essays discuss the anthology's genesis from a collaborative course project in Robbins' Early American Literature survey course at Graceland.

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Sociology Bradley H. Brewster, PhD, discussed his paper "Theorizing Social Capital: Contributions of Goffmanian Trust and the Interaction Order" and presented his paper "The Horror of Domestic Violence: An Analysis of the Feature Film 'The Shining' (1980)" at the annual meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 22-25.

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Philosophy Kristin Seemuth Whaley will present at the 22nd International Workshop-Conference on Teaching Philosophy in July 2018. The biennial conference is sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers. Seemuth Whaley's session will be entitled "Fostering an Active Learning Environment in the Philosophy Classroom."

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Philosophy Kristin Seemuth Whaley participated in the 115th American Philosophical Association Central Division meeting in Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 21-24. Seemuth Whaley chaired a symposium, Neo-Hylomorphism, which addressed contemporary interpretations of Aristotle's metaphysics by Anna Marmodoro with commentary from Robert Koons and Ross Inman. Seemuth Whaley also attended various sessions on metaphysics and a panel on inclusive pedagogy.

Graceland University Associate Professor of History John Franklin, PhD, attended the 61st annual Missouri Valley History Conference (MVHC) in Omaha from March 1-3, where he served as chair and commentator for a session on the history of the Cold War. MVHC, according to literature provided at the conference, is the longest-standing professional gathering of historians in the region.

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Communication Raquel Moreira, PhD was presented with the Organization for Research on Women and Communication's Feminist Scholar of the Year Award on Feb. 17 in Santa Clara, California. The award is given annually to recognize the best article published in the organization's peer-reviewed journal, Women's Studies in Communication, during the past year. Moreira's article explores the importance of embodied politics for marginalized women as a point of entry to instigate structural changes in sexist, racist and classist contexts.

Graceland University Professor of Psychology David Devonis, PhD will present on the current state of his research on punishment in the history of modern psychology, specifically on "Matters of Life and Death: Psychologists' Views of Capital Punishment, 1880-1930" at the upcoming 50th Annual Meeting of Cheiron, International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences, to be held at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, University of Akron, in June.

Graceland University Associate Professor of Business Administration Jeff McElroy participated in a “Shark Tank”-style event for mobile app development Saturday, Feb. 3, in Kansas City. The event, sponsored by mobile app developer PocketCake, was organized by Graceland graduate Terra Whipple ’08, founder and business strategist at Live By Change Consulting.

Two poems written by Isaac Pressnell, Graceland University Associate Professor of English and Division Chair, have been accepted for publication by The Laurel Review. The poems are titled, "Some Reasons" and "Man Searching for Immortality/Woman Searching for Eternity."

Graceland University Professor of Psychology David Devonis' review of what he calls the "curious counterfactual history of recent psychology, Skinner's Quests, by the Canadian environmental psychologist Richard Gilbert, has been published.

John Franklin, Graceland University Associate Professor of History, attended the 132nd annual national meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) in Washington, D.C. Jan 4-7. The AHA is the oldest and largest professional organization for historians in the United States. Franklin participated in numerous sessions and found presentations on increasing enrollments in university history courses and incorporating graphic histories, ie. comics into history courses, to be particularly valuable.

Inside Higher Ed ran a piece on the importance of student-faculty collaboration in the creation of OER textbooks, referencing essays written by Graceland University Assistant Professor of English Tim Robbins and English major Matt Moore in the recently-published collection A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students.

Graceland University Professor of History Steve Glazer attended “Reformations and Revolutions in World History,” the eighth annual conference of the Midwest World History Association, held this year at the University of Central Oklahoma from Sept. 22-23. Glazer chaired a panel on “Contested Revolutions in the Middle East: Islamization, Urbanization, Democratization,” and attended a roundtable on “Education for Native American Students: Then and Now,” as well as other panels and presentations.

Frizzell Book Review Published

September 26, 2017

Matt Frizzell, Dean, Community of Christ Seminary, attended the 45th annual meeting of the John Whitmer Historical Association in Nauvoo, Illinois, in September. Frizzell's book review of Dale Luffman's The Book of Mormon’s Witness to Its First Readers was published in the most recent volume of the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal (Fall/Winter 2017).

Graceland University Professor of Art Julia Franklin's newest and most personal exhibition, "Picking Up the Pieces," is now on view in the Farnham Galleries on the Simpson College campus in Indianola, Iowa. The solo exhibition runs from Aug. 24 to Sept. 21 and closes that evening with a reception and artist talk from 5-6 p.m.

An article titled “September Song,” by Anthony Chvala-Smith, Paul E. Morden Seminary Chair in Religion and Assistant Professor of Theology and Scripture, was featured in Herald 164 (September/October 2017). In his article, Dr. Chvala-Smith reflects on facing the boundary of mortality and the awareness of the impermanence of all things.

A paper proposal titled, “In Life and in Death: Barth, Bonhoeffer and the Path from the Great War to the Confessing Church,” by Anthony Chvala-Smith, Paul E. Morden Seminary Chair in Religion, has been accepted for presentation at a conference at the National World War 1 Museum in Kansas City, Oct. 19-22. The conference is titled Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War 1 through Today. Information about the conference can be found at https://www.theworldwar.org/learn/remembering-muted-voices . Chvala-Smith will argue in his paper that Karl Barth's and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's experience, memory and interpretation of the trauma of WWI substantially shaped their theological/ecclesial resistance to Nazism in the 1930s.