Faculty Approved for 2022-23 Sabbaticals

Congratulations to the following faculty members who were approved for sabbaticals in 2022-23 by Meredith’s Board of Trustees.

Professor of Sociology Amie Hess
Dr. Amie Hess plans to accomplish two projects during her sabbatical.  The first is to digitize the current Status of Girls in North Carolina report.  The College has already produced two complete reports; the first was released in 2013 and an update in 2017.  There had been an updated planned release in 2020; however, the pandemic derailed this plan.  The delay has highlighted the need for a more flexible, immediate, and nimble report format.  A digital format will allow the content to be incrementally updated and released quickly.  The second project will build on research Dr. Hess conducted several years on gay-straight alliance organizations in schools.  Dr. Hess plans to expand this area of study to focus on queer youth’s understanding of allyship, asking what they want and need from straight allies and how institutions (such as schools, religious organizations) can, do, and should function as allies.

Professor of Communication Teresa Holder
For this sabbatical, Dr. Teresa Holder plans to produce a video project to promote and support the work of Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC).  This project will enhance Holder’s video production and editing skills and will help bring more visibility to CRC.  Although the CRC is in its 53rd year and is a rich resource for the six partnering organizations, it remains a hidden gem and lacks visibility both on the member campuses as well as in the larger Raleigh business and government community.

Associate Professor of Marketing & Law Jeff Langenderfer
During his sabbatical, Dr. Jeff Langenderfer will focus on the use of myths across a variety of organizational contexts.  He will explore the use of abuse of myth in commercial and political spheres. His research will address what myths are most important for commercial and political purposes, the effects of those myths, how they are disseminated, and what factors led to the success or failure of myths. The end goal of the project is a research paper, targeted to the Journal of Macromarketing, an A-level journal according to the Australian Business Dean’s List (an internationally recognized arbiter of academic journal quality for AACSB-accredited School of Business).

Professor of Art Dana Lovelace
Professor of Art Dana Lovelace will explore and create a new body of creative work, Typographic Tessellations, during her sabbatical.  This process will include: 1) research and study of visual patterns; 2) research, study, and documentation of the visual forms of containers she has collected and experimentation with how these forms create visual relationships with typography; 3) research and study of visual metamorphosis and tessellation (e.g. M.C. Escher’s visual work); 4) reading and writing about Professor Lovelace’s visual interests, and 5) creation of a new extensive body of visual work.  The end result will take multiple forms to include a visual body of work (consisting of no less than six substantive pieces), a gallery exhibition of the proposed work, and a self-published book prototype.

Associate Professor of Political Science Whitney Ross Manzo
Dr. Whitney Ross Manzo plans to complete one research paper that is already in progress and begin work on two more papers. The first paper, already in progress with Dr. David McLennan, titled Gender Balance Laws for Board and Commissions: How Do They Stack Up?” is to determine whether the presence of laws mandating or recommending gender balance on state-appointed boards and commissions actually affects the number of women serving on them.  Once the paper is complete, Dr. Manzo hopes to present the paper at a political science conference for feedback before submitting it for publication.  This project, however, is a jumping-off point for a larger study on the impact of gender balance and quota laws on women. 

The next paper currently in the idea/data collection stage is “The Relationship Between Gender Quota Laws and Women’s Political Ambition.”  Dr. Manzo learned about gender quota laws that other countries have in order to increase the number of women serving in elected office. She hopes to determine whether the presence of a gender quota law increases young women’s political ambition since research in the American context has demonstrated that women in elected office serve as important role models for younger women. 

The last paper currently in the idea/data collection stage is “Weaving Intersectionality Into American Public Courses.”  Dr. Manzo wants to see whether adopting explicit intersectional pedagogy in a public policy course increases student understanding of privilege and how policies differentially impact marginalized groups.  This is especially important to study right now, as both our campus and the nation as a whole wrestle with a painful past and how to undo decades of structural inequalities. 

Professor of English Kelly Roberts
For this sabbatical, Dr. Roberts will explore the intersection of current young adult literature (YAL) and literature with an anti-racist focus.  Her plans include coordinating a partnership and research effort with a former English teacher and current DEI coordinator in a K-12 school system, in an effort to exchange scholarship, learn, and build the learning community necessary to explore effectively and deeply – with emphasis on building a long-term relationship and mentoring pipeline that may result in co-authored presentations and publications. She will attend research-related mini-courses to update skills in qualitative research and will attend at least one workshop/training on antiracist pedagogy and initiatives. 

Dr. Roberts plans to collect and read a wide range of YAL books that have themes in antiracism, inclusiveness, and/or empathy building.  She will explore these intersections using tools from qualitative research methods, and will begin booklists based on these intersections and targeted populations (for example teens, service learning, justice-oriented groups, K-16 students, children, working professionals, and teachers). She will research current trends and scholarship in YAL;  empathy-building through literature; ethical theories and issues surrounding empathy/empathy-building, empathy and human development; and anti-racist frames and initiatives – particularly in working with teens through young adults/young professionals.

Using the information learned, Dr. Roberts will develop at least two courses for Meredith’s English department, apply to present her findings at professional conferences, and publish an article for a peer-reviewed journal. She also intends to build a plan for anti-racist YAL reading groups that students can opt into through future academic years and to build a website of resources, booklists, and other background materials.

Melyssa Allen

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