|Five in the Davidson Family Accept Leadership Roles in Professional Organizations
July 25, 2011
Contact: Bill Giduz
by Cathryn Westra
Davidson College prepares undergraduates for lives of leadership and service, encouraging student involvement in opportunities for intellectual growth within and outside of the college. But faculty and staff inspire students not only through teaching and advising, but also by setting personal examples. Five faculty and staff members have done that recently, accepting appointment to leadership roles in professional organizations outside the college.
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Tim Chartier, associate professor of mathematics, has been named chair of the advisory council for a new mathematics museum, MoMath, designed to demonstrate exciting applications of mathematics that stimulate the minds of children and adults alike. Chartier leads the committee, comprised mostly of math educators who suggest and evaluate museum content and programs, or more generally, steer the museum intellectually. Currently, the council is evaluating proposed exhibits, carefully considering such criteria as feasibility of construction, cost, and whether the display's math application is exciting and clear.
One exhibition that visitors will be able to try is riding a tricycle that has square wheels! The trike rides smoothly on a rippling circular surface constructed to perfectly complement the wheels, demonstrating geometry at work.
Chartier says he values his experience as chair of the council because it allows him to contribute to an enjoyable mathematical learning experience. He believes that education through engaged minds will motivate people to want to learn and will keep them asking questions. Chartier is also trying to involve his Davidson students in the construction of exhibits. By contributing, his students can learn while teaching others about math and can become part of a greater math community outside the classroom.
MoMath will be located in Manhattan, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012. Chartier hopes to remain an active member of the advisory council when MoMath is up and running.
Leland Park Director of the Library
Jill Gremmels has been elected to a three-year position as vice chair, chair, and past chair for the College Libraries Section (CLS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
In her new role Gremmels hopes to emphasize the unique contributions college libraries make to higher education.
Librarians serving different populations have different missions, Gremmels says. While university librarians focus on the collection of a wide array of resource materials, librarians at small colleges see themselves as active participants in the educational enterprise, as well as providing support in the form of resources that cater specifically to their college's interests. This allows small college librarians to collaborate with students on research projects at a personal level. Gremmels strongly values her ability to work closely with Davidson students. She believes the liberal arts education is the best type available for undergraduates, in part because their libraries provide personal attention and education, along with resources.
As chair of the College Libraries Section of the ACRL, Gremmels will lead meetings and looks forward to planning the CLS national conference in 2013. She hopes to recognize college librarianship as a specialty, and to document the education impact of these libraries.
Gremmels appreciates college librarianship immediately in her position as director of the Davidson library, and looks at her involvement in ACRL as an opportunity to broaden her appreciation. Taking on the position of chair of the CLS requires a lot of work, but Gremmels is honored by the appointment. "It's wonderful to support your interests on a local level, for instance through your career, but when you're offered a position to make a difference on a larger scale it can be even better," she said.
Associate Vice President of Planning and Institutional Research
Davidson's associate vice president of planning and institutional research, Linda LeFauve, has been selected to serve as chair of the Board of Directors for the Higher Education Data Sharing organization. HEDS is a consortium of private, liberal arts colleges and universities that collaborate to share comparative data needed for effective strategic planning. LeFauve has been a member of HEDS for 14 years.
The information exchanged through HEDS allows member institutions to conduct benchmarking and other comparative studies related to institutional effectiveness.
"HEDS allows small liberal arts colleges like Davidson to know what areas are their strong points and where their weaknesses lie," said LeFauve. "I like being part of HEDS because it involves interesting research. It's a challenge to pull together information from a variety of sources and analyze it, but it's important."
As chair, LeFauve will work with board members to distinguish what information is most useful to institutions looking to evaluate and improve their performance. In addition to data exchange, HEDS hopes to become moreinvolved in original research in areas important to higher education.
Professor of Music
Neil Lerner, professor of music, was recently appointed editor of the scholarly journal American Music, published quarterly by University of Illinois Press. Now in its 30th year, the journal publishes articles on a wide range of topics relating to music and American history and culture.
"I take seriously the breadth of the title American Music, with all of the rich traditions that name invokes," said Lerner. "I look forward to including essays on music from all of the American continents, and not just from the United States, even though music of the U.S. has been the journal's primary focus."
Contributions so far under Lerner's direction have included work on a 1960s rock band, a 19th-century sacred cantata, and a Yiddish version of Mendelssohn's Elijah from the 1920s, and he has scheduled upcoming articles on rap, jazz, film music, Leonard Bernstein, and Charles Ives.
Lerner first became involved with the journal in 2006, when he was invited to serve on its editorial board. He assumed the role of associate editor in 2010 before taking over as editor.
His work involves forwarding submissions for publication to experts familiar with the article's subject matter, and an editorial board. Music major Steven Hummel '13 works with Lerner as a research and editorial assistant.
Since 1997, Lerner has taught a survey course, "Music of the United States," that covers both popular and concert hall traditions from the colonial era to the present.
"I was hired by the college as an Americanist musicologist, and the survey of U.S. music that I teach in MUS 122 has been a useful preparation for this work on the journal." said Lerner. "I expect my teaching of MUS 122 will also be improved through this intense exposure to the newest scholarship in the field."
Professor of Psychology
Professor of Psychology Kristi Multhaup was elected to the Executive Board of the American Psychological Association for the Experimental Psychology (APA Division 3). The largest organization of psychologists worldwide, the APA is a resource through which experimental and clinical psychologists can communicate and collaborate to advance the field.
Multhaup has been an active member of the APA for about 15 years. Most recently, she and her husband, Professor Mark Faust of UNC-Charlotte, served as co-editors of the APA Division 3 newsletter, transforming it from paper to electronic format.
As a board member in the Experimental Psychology Division, Multhaup hopes to raise awareness about the importance of experimental psychologists' participation in the association. Experimental psychologists are responsible for conducting research and furthering education in the field. Unfortunately, their participation in the APA tends to be low relative to applied psychologist involvement, Multhaup said.
"The APA advocates for the wide ranging areas of the discipline, from neuroscience to social psychology, and from positive psychology to clinical practice," Multhaup said. "With an organization that is designed to support both basic science and applied work, there are many needs to meet. APA lobbies Congress for funding of basic research through NIH and NSF, and it lobbies for healthcare regulations that cover clinical and counseling practices."
"One issue that Division 3 is currently facing," continued Multhaup, "is that many experimental psychologists are leaving APA and aligning with more specialized professional disciplines, such as the Psychonomic Society and the Society for Neuroscience. If experimental psychologists do not advocate for the basic science aspect of psychology, that voice in APA could go silent."
In her new position Multhaup will collaborate with other experimental psychologists to discuss policies and create opportunities for experimental psychologists to see how their participation in APA is vital to the health of the field as a whole.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.