Faculty/Staff Accomplishments 4/27/22

In this issue, we celebrate the accomplishments of faculty and staff in chemistry, English, political science, and psychology.

Rebecca Duncan presented a paper, “Get Back or Come Together:  The Beatles, Culture, and the Creative Process,” at the Popular Culture Association Conference on April 13.   The paper was part of a special session on the Beatles, gender, and counterculture, and it explored each individual band member’s engagement with cultural movements and trends of their time.  Duncan is the Mary Lynch Johnson Professor of English.  

Laboratory Manager Cassie Lilly, Associate Professor of Chemistry Sasha Ormond, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Andrea Carter, and Professor of Chemistry Walda Powell published a journal article in the Journal of Chemical Education titled “Implementation of Recitations in General Chemistry I Laboratory Courses to Increase Student Performance”. The Chemistry, Physics, and Geoscience Department revised the laboratory chemistry curriculum to incorporate chemistry concept recitations into the lab course schedule. Activities for the following concepts were developed and incorporated into the course starting in Fall 2018: dimensional analysis, electromagnetic spectrum, quantum numbers, electron configurations, periodic trends, naming, and molecular modeling. Results of student performance in Fall 2018 and Fall 2019 were assessed using the ACS GCF2015 standardized exam with Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 as the controls. Analysis suggests that the incorporation of these recitation activities did enhance student learning as demonstrated by increased scores on the exam and decreased class DFW rates. Incoming student GPA, SAT, and ACT data were analyzed and showed that these factors were insufficient to solely explain the improvement observed in Fall 2018 and 2019. This article provides a strategy for PUIs to incorporate required supplemental instruction for students without the need for additional resources. Recommendations for implementation and student perceptions are also shared. 

Associate Professor of Psychology Joseph Mazzola will be presenting as part of a panel, “Mastering the job market: Career issues for master’s level industrial-organizational psychologists” at the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology conference in Seattle, Wash., at the end of April. He will also be presenting a poster, “Do Barriers & Facilitators of Healthy Choices Impact Work Outcomes the Next Day?,” at the same conference.

Professor of Political Science David McLennan spoke to the annual meeting of the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina on the political landscape in 2022. He also spoke to the Cary Rotary Club about the midterm elections. In addition, he published an op-ed in The News and Observer on the overuse of “inflection points” and how even the most outrageous comments of political figures like Madison Cawthorn do not impact their political futures. Among several media stories he was mentioned in, his quotes about the power of older women voters were featured in The 19th.

The final Campus Connections issue of the spring 2022 semester publishes on May 11. Submissions for that issue are due on May 3. Send items for Faculty/Staff Accomplishments to Melyssa Allen, Campus Connections editor, at

Melyssa Allen

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