California State University, Northridge showcased a sample of its wide variety of faculty research Oct. 11 at the university’s eighth annual Research Fellows Colloquium. The annual panel event is the culmination of a yearlong faculty research fellowship funded by the Office of the Provost and administered by the university’s colleges and the Delmar T. Oviatt Library.
Eight CSUN professors earned the 2015-16 faculty research fellowship, which supports faculty members in their pursuit of compelling research or a creative activity — often in collaboration with CSUN colleagues and student research assistants. The fellows share their findings in presentations, manuscripts and published papers around the world.
The event was open to the campus community and the public, and held in the Oviatt Library’s Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room. Each research fellow shared a brief synopsis of their research topic, which ranged broadly from helping teachers use technology in secondary education classrooms to how Chinese-American young adults learn about money and values from their parents.
“The research and creative activities at CSUN come in all shapes and forms,” said Yi Li, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Getting together and sharing our research and how we can enhance our students’ experiences can make this campus a more vibrant place.”
Li encouraged faculty at the colloquium and beyond to listen and seek out opportunities for collaboration.
“When you put two people’s research together, very often you push the boundaries of science or art,” he said.
The research fellows are selected through a competitive application process. The fellowship was launched in 2007 to shine a light on the diversity of faculty research across the CSUN campus, said Mark Stover, dean of the Oviatt Library, who welcomed attendees to the colloquium.
The program has succeeded on that count, judging from the array of research topics presented at the event:
Vahab Pournaghshband, professor of computer science, spoke about his research project, Detecting Net Neutrality Violators in a Dynamic Environment. He explained the principle of net neutrality — that all data transmitted across the internet is treated equally in terms of speed — and how violations can be detected.
Debbie Ma, professor of psychology, talked about her project, Understanding Perceptions, Evaluations and Trait Ascriptions of Biracial and Multiracial Individuals: Toward a Unifying Theory. She discussed the very timely topic, including her research team’s studies into the difficulty people have in recognizing individuals who belong to different racial groups.
Laurie Borchard, digital learning initiatives librarian at the Oviatt Library, presented her research topic, Assessing Online Information Literacy Instruction, and shared her experiences helping CSUN students find and use online information.
Alexis Krasilovsky, professor of cinema and television arts, spoke about her research project, Great Adaptations: Strategies for Screenwriters in Today’s World. She noted the explosion of films being made around the world and shared her research on works from countries such as China, Egypt, Mexico and India.
Yoko Mimura, professor of family and consumer sciences, talked about her project, Perceived Ideal Financial Literacy and Practices Among Immigrant Young Adults. In particular, Mimura focused with colleagues on “filial piety” among Chinese-American CSUN students.
“Filial piety is a Confucian moral value among the Chinese and the primary parenting goal among Chinese-American parents,” she said. “It means you have to bring honor to the family by doing well in school and achieving social recognition.” Mimura and her colleagues are expanding their research to Mexican-American, Iranian-American and Armenian-American young adults.
Brian Foley, professor of secondary education, presented his research topic,Preparing Teachers to Use Technology in the Classroom. Foley and his team of colleagues looked for and developed an alternative model of professional development that they hoped would be most helpful for teachers, Foley said.
Sandy Green, professor of management, spoke about his research topic, The Management of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Management, — in practice, a study of the digital system Blockchain and how it could be used as a public ledger to reform the U.S. prison system, tracking data such as prisoner hours worked, wages and corporate profits from prison labor.
Finally, Joseph Wiltberger, professor of Central American studies, talked about his project, Making our Way: Dis/connected Lives in Transnational El Salvador, which shed some light on “the driving forces of migration of Central Americans to the U.S.,” Wiltberger said.
Kathy Dabbour, associate dean of the Oviatt Library, served as moderator at the event. All of the presenters expressed gratitude for the fellowship’s support of their research, and the opportunity to collaborate and share their findings.
“The most important part of being a research fellow at CSUN was the opportunity to work with such a powerful team,” including colleagues at CSUN, universities around the country and CSUN student research assistants, Mimura said.
For more information on the fellowship and application process, visit http://library.csun.edu/research-fellows