Faculty Making News

Wendy Ashcroft

Left to right : Angie Delloso, Wendy Ashcroft, Anne Marie Quinn

Dr. Wendy Ashcroft, Ed.,D, BACB-D presented at the international conference of the Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Ashcroft and her public school colleagues have presented at this prestigious conference regularly since 2001.

This year’s presentation, entitled Social Skills for Exceptional Children: Effective Instruction With Tiered Interventions, was developed through collaboration with Angie Delloso, M.S, BCBA, and Anne Marie, Quinn, M.A. Both Ms. Delloso and Ms. Quinn completed their Beginning Administrative Leadership licences at CBU and are now Exceptional Student Education Coordinators for the Germantown Municipal School District.

This three-member team has also authored both a book (Social Skills Games and Activities for Kids with Autism, published by Prufrock Press, Inc.) and a laminated guide for teachers (Social Skills: Effective Instruction for Exceptional Learners). As a part of April’s Autism Awareness Month, they were actively involved in sharing their work and in learning about the latest evidence-based practices at the CEC conference in St. Louis.

Dr. Karen B. Golightly presented her paper “The Writing on the Wall: an Analysis of Dublin Street Art” as part of the “Visualizing Dublin in the 21st Century” panel of the American Conference of Irish Studies on April 15. Her paper examines the rhetoric of Dublin murals and how they are both a reflection of and an influence upon Irish past and present.

On January 10, Dr. Emily Holmes (Dept. of Religion and Philosophy) gave a lecture on “The Meaning and Practice of Mindfulness in the Christian Tradition” at the Harpswell Symposium for Mindfulness in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Dr. Holmes and Dr. Mary Campbell (Dept. of Behavioral Sciences) visited Cambodia as part of a partnership between CBU and the Harpswell Foundation, whose mission is to empower a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia and the developing world.

Dr. Kristian O’Hare has been accepted into Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. Lambda’s Retreat is among the country’s most competitive writer’s residencies and the only one specifically for LGBTQ writers. Lambda Retreat Fellows have a remarkable reputation of publishing, winning other fellowships and awards, and of active involvement in local and national literary communities. The Retreat will be held July 24– July 31, 2016 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

In addition, Dr. O’Hare and Dr. Golightly recently took several of our Creative Writing students to the Southern Literary Festival at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, where students participated in workshops and master classes in screenwriting, playwriting, memoir writing, and bookbinding.

Associate Professor Nick Pena’s work was selected, by the board of LOCATE Arts, for inclusion in their online registry. LOCATE Arts serves Tennessee by anchoring and spotlighting the contemporary visual art scenes in each region and fostering a unified statewide art scene. Our programs promote art dialogue between the different cities in the state, and between the state and the world. You can find the online registry at to find contemporary artists of Tennessee including Professor Pena’s located on the first page of the registry.

Professor Peña also recently participated as a panelist for Hustle: Fine Tuning your Studio Practice, on Tuesday, April 12 at Crosstown Arts. The talk highlighted ways to make your work needs the highest item on your priority list – how to get there and keep it there with all of the other pressures and obligations in your life.

Hustle: Professional Development for Artists is a series of free programs organized by ArtsMemphis, UrbanArt Commission, and Crosstown Arts. The series will provide visual artists with information, resources, and opportunities to support them in the development of their professional careers. Workshop topics will range from positive studio practices to pricing work and navigating gallery representation.

Dr. Jeff Sable, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences, took part in a session on Teaching Neuroscience at the Southeast Conference on the Teaching of Psychology (SETOP) in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 5, 2016. He and three colleagues were invited to plan and conduct the session, which included hands-on activities they conduct in their classrooms. Dr. Sable led the attendees through “The Quad is a Neuron”, an activity he does in PSYC 225 Biological Psychology, in which students spread out in the Buckman Quad and each plays the role of a single input to a nerve cell. The activity demonstrates some of the characteristics of communication inside a nerve cell.

Dr. Sable also recently attended the International Conference on Nutrition and Growth in Vienna, Austria. He presented a poster, Development of Event-Related Brain Potentials in a Pig Model of Preterm Birth and Nutrition Support, which he co-authored with collaborators at the University of Memphis and Enzymotec Ltd. (Kfar Baruch, Israel). The research was also presented along with other results as a poster, Brain Development after Preterm Birth is Enhanced by Including Phosphatidylserine in Formula: Evidence from Preterm Pigs, at the recent Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California.

A volume entitled The Holy Spirit and the Church according to the New Testament, co-edited by Dr. James Wallace, Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, containing the papers from a Symposium he attended in Belgrade, is now out.

It contains his essay, “Spirit(s) in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.” The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is an ancient, pseudonymous text that was probably written by Jews but later edited and preserved by Christians. It offers rich discourse about “spirit” (Greek: pneuma) from around the time of the birth of Christianity. The essay explores the text’s presentation of human spirits, evil (demonic) spirits, and benevolent spirit, focusing on the last of these. Dr. Wallace argues that ultimately, despite various terms for a good spirit (e.g., “Spirit of Truth,” “Spirit of Understanding”), the author(s) of the text ultimately understands there to be only one good, divine spirit. The essay explores the role of this divine Spirit in promoting virtue and obedience to God’s law, as well as the eschatological role of this Spirit. In the essay, Dr. Wallace also examines the influence of Stoicism on this text and the similarities between the Testament’s discourse of “spirit” and what we find in certain Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the Rule of the Community. Finally, the essay offers conjectures as to why the pneumatology of the text may have been one factor that led early Christians to treasure and preserve this text.

As far as the edited volume as a whole, it contains papers around the central theme (“The Holy Spirit and the Church According to the New Testament”) from Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox perspectives. Topics include the Holy Spirit in: Luke-Acts, Paul, the Gospel of John, the Church Fathers, and the liturgy. Typically, there is one essay from a “Western” (Protestant or Roman Catholic) perspective, and one from an “Eastern” (Orthodox) perspective. There are also papers from the seminars on the Holy Spirit in: the Gospels, the second-century Christian writings, and ancient Judaism (my paper was from this last seminar). Other highlights include an essay (with illustrations) on the Holy Spirit in Orthodox iconography and essays on New Testament Scholarship in Serbia. The volume also contains an essay by N. T. Wright: “The Glory Returns: Spirit, Temple and Eschatology in Paul and John.”

Dr. Wallace also attended the Society of Biblical Literature conference in Atlanta back in November. I attended some great sessions, including one on “Luke-Acts and Ethnicity” and one on biblical interpretation in C.S. Lewis, as well as a session on the Gospel of John. While there, I caught up with our former colleague, Dr. David Dault, who continues to thrive in Chicago as president and CEO of the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. He also continues to run his radio program, “Things Not Seen: Conversations about Culture and Faith.”

Fr. Bruce Cinqeugrani and Dr. Wallace both attended Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s lecture here in Memphis entitled, “How Do We Read the Bible Faithfully Amidst a Predatory Economy?” They both report to have found the lecture engaging and inspiring, as Brueggemann elucidated the ways the Bible offers resistance to “economies of extraction” that seek to transfer wealth from the common people to the wealthy. He highlighted the Christian liturgy of the Eucharist – a term which means “Thanksgiving”! – as an alternative script for church communities, because the Eucharist highlights God’s abundance (as opposed to the rhetoric and fear of scarcity) to foster communities of neighborliness instead of competition.

The following faculty were awarded promotion effective starting the 2016/17 academic year:

Dr. Ben Jordan, promoted to Associate Professor of History and Political Science
Dr. Jeffery Gross, promoted to Associate Professor of Literature and Languages
Dr. Samantha Alperin, promoted to Professor of Education

The following faculty were awarded tenure effective starting in the 2016/17 academic year:

Dr. Ric Potts, Associate Professor of Education, Director of MSEL Program
Dr. Jeffrey Sable, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences

The following faculty were awarded tenure effective starting in the 2017/18 academic year:

Mr. Matthew Hamner, Assistant Professor of Visual and Performing Arts
Mr. Nicholas Pena, Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts
Dr. Benjamin Jordan, Associate Professor of History and Political Science