Faculty Panel to Discuss "Interconnectedness Part II"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate will host a panel discussion titled “Interconnectedness Part II” from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, in Multi-media Room A of the Ruth Ann Musick Library.

Moderated by Dr. Tad Kato, Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee, the panel discussion is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts. The panelists will discuss the positive values of the “Interconnectedness” in various disciplines, as encompassing human-to-human connectivity as well as human-to-nature connectivity, and will further address the notion of “Interconnectedness” as a key to survival of humanities in the 21st century. It will be the second of the series of panel discussion with the theme of “Interconnectedness” and also will become the 12th panel discussion organized by the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee since 2010.

Students, faculty and staff at FSU and Pierpont Community & Technical College and members of the local community are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served, and a question-and-answer session will take place following the presentations by panelists.

Kato will serve as the moderator for the panel. An Associate Professor of Psychology at Fairmont State, Kato received his Ph.D. from the Ohio University and has taught at Fairmont State since 2003. He has numerous publications and professional presentations in the field of psychophysiology, including the brain physiological investigation on the effects of various auditory stimuli.  His most recent research interest is on psychophysiological examination of “empathy” through electroencephalogram (brain wave) as well as through electrocardiogram. 

The following will be panelists for the event:

  • Dr. Nazia Arbab holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Economics from West Virginia University, as well as an M.S. in Applied Sociology from University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson. She completed her dissertation in December 2014, titled “Application of a Spatially Explicit, Agent-Based Land Use Conversion Model to Assess Water Quality Outcomes under Buffer Policies.” She is starting her post-doctoral appointment beginning May 2015 at the Center for Resilient Landscapes, Rutgers University, where she will be working with Rutgers faculty and USDA-FS scientists to develop interdisciplinary research focused on the study of social-ecological system resilience and processes. Her presentation title is “The interconnectedness of Socio-ecological Factors in Natural Resources Systems.”
  • Dr. Julie Brefczynski-Lewis received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan Medical School and currently serves as a Research Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at West Virginia University. Her ongoing research projects include, but are not limited to compassion meditation study, verbal aggression study and grudge-forgiveness study, in which she utilizes the measurement through fMRI and Event Related Potential. Her presentation title is “Neuroscientific Investigation on Compassion.” 
  • Dr. Christopher Kast is a Temporary Assistant Professor of Sociology at Fairmont State.  He received his B.A. from Concord University, an M.A. from the Ohio University and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. His presentation title is “Social Capital and Community Engagement.”
  • Dr. Eric J. Schruers is an instructor of Art History at Fairmont State. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Penn State University. His recent research has focused on aspects of public art, street art and performance that reflect a growing trend of the contemporary art world viewing the production and experience of art moving beyond the traditional realm of academy, gallery and museum, and thus having a greater emphasis on socially engaged artworks in the context of direct interaction between artists and audiences. His presentation title is “Public Art and Radical Self-Expression in the Age of Burning Man.”
  • Dr. Michael B. Vercelli is the director of the World Music Performance Center at West Virginia University. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance with a minor in Ethnomusicology from the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the transmission and performance practice of percussive traditions of Africa and African Diaspora. He has conducted long-term fieldwork on the xylophone traditions of Ghana and has studied in Brazil, Uganda, Cuba and Bali. He has received the Snowshoe Institute Award of Excellence for Scholarship in the Arts and the WVU College of Creative Arts awards for Outstanding Service and Internationalizing the College. He has also published in the Percussive Arts Society’s journal, Percussive Notes, and in the third edition of Gary Cook’s Teaching Percussion. Further, he is a participating member in the Society for Ethnomusicology and Percussive Arts Society, where he serves on the World Percussion Committee. His presentation title is “Interconnectedness through Ethnomusicology.”

For more information about the panel discussion, contact Dr. Tad Kato at (304) 367-4759 or Tadashi.Kato@fairmontstate.edu.