CSUN Fellows Present Research at Annual Colloquium

  • Six faculty members have been selected for the California State University, Northridge Research Fellows Program for the 2014-2015 academic year in support of their research and academic development in their fields of study. Top (left to right): Brian Burkhart, J’aime Morrison and Ani Nahapetian. Bottom (feft to right): Carrie Rothstein-Fisch, Hélène Rougier and Cristina Rubino.

Examining morals and ethics from an indigenous philosophy, cellphone security and how culture impacts problem-solving and learning are all topics expected to be discussed at California State University, Northridge’s annual Research Fellows Program on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The seventh-annual colloquium will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room, located on the Garden Level of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library. The presenters are faculty who did research on selected topics during the 2014–2015 academic year.

The program, founded in 2007, was created and is funded by the Office of the Provost — and administered by the university’s colleges and the library — to offer faculty an opportunity to pursue compelling research or creative activities.

“The Research Fellows program gives faculty members across the spectrum of disciplines at CSUN the opportunity to focus intently on their proposed research topic for an entire year,” said Mark Stover, dean of the Oviatt Library. “Since the inception of this fellowship in 2008, [more than] 50 CSUN faculty members have benefited from release time that has allowed them a season of intensive research.

“Research fellowships in many cases find fruition in professional conference papers and scholarly journal articles,” Stover continued. “In addition, the culmination of the yearlong CSUN Research Fellowship is a symposium where the Fellows present their research to peers, students, staff and members of the community.”

Six research fellowships were awarded last year, based on the extent that the proposed activity explores creative or original concepts; the likelihood of achievement of the stated outcomes in the proposed time frame; the benefits of the research or creative activity to society; the organization of the proposal; the ability to disseminate the results widely to advance understanding; and the contribution to the field of study or across other fields.

The fellows and their projects are:

Brian Burkhart (College of Humanities) – Burkhart, faculty in the American Indian Studies program, focused his research on the “American Indian/Indigenous Philosophy and Environmental Ethics.” His goal is to reshape the way society thinks about the environment and create a different context for how human beings think about what is moral in environmental ethics, animal ethics and the like. In presenting an indigenous philosophy of the environment, he must counter the deeply held stereotypes of native people’s relationship to the environment as something animalistic and magical, and not rational and reasonable. He has been teaching at CSUN since 2010.

J’aime Morrison (Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication) – Morrison, faculty in the Department of Theatre, will develop a theater piece based on the history of Los Angeles. Her work involved “performative research,” a way of engaging with history, landscape and memory that includes texts, documents and images but also involves site visits to downtown Los Angeles and other historic areas. She has been teaching at CSUN since 2001.

Ani Nahapetian (College of Engineering and Computer Science) – Faculty in the Department of Computer Science, Nahapetian’s research focused on “Mobile Sensing-Based Stealth Computer Monitoring.” She examined mobile system security and used sensors, readily available on most mobile devices — namely accelerometers, microphones and ambient light sensors — for the recovery of users’ computer usage activity with keyboard, mouse and screen emanation sensing. She has been teaching at CSUN since 2011.

Carrie Rothstein-Fisch (Michael D. Eisner College of Education) – Rothstein-Fisch, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, focused on “Connecting Cultures: Problem-solving in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).” It examined the framework of individualism and collectivism in exploring how teachers can use knowledge of students’ home culture to shape their curricula. She used an ethnographic approach. She has been teaching at CSUN since 1986.

Hélène Rougier (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Faculty in the Department of Anthropology, Rougier’s research is titled, “Saint-Césaire (France): Reassessment of a Prominent Neanderthal Site.” She re-examined and sorted the faunal collections from the site of Saint-Césaire, in southwest France, to check for the presence of Neanderthal remains that may have been overlooked. Her project has the potential to shed new light on the disappearance of neanderthals and their replacement by early modern humans, our direct ancestors. She has been teaching at CSUN since 2009.

Cristina Rubino (David Nazarian College of Business and Economics) – Department of Management professor Rubino focused her research on “What Do You Bring to the Table? Examining the Role of Personal Resources in Various Work Contexts.” Her goal was to expand employee well-being and diversity research by investigating how individual factors help employees manage stressful situations that can contribute to strain, burnout and turnover. She has been teaching at CSUN since 2011.

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