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Office of Communications

Notable & Quotable

  • Isabelle Cherney, dean of the School of Education and Social Policy, was quoted in an Oct. 6, 2017, Fatherly.com article, “The Unexpected Case for Tough Toys,” about the case for children’s toy play having a positive impact on one’s maturation and development. “You can actually develop all kinds of skills by having the right toys and playing with those,” Cherney said. “It’s exciting. The brain is a wonderful organ.”

  • Melissa “Mish” Zimdars, assistant professor of communication, has received an international travel and research grant from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation. The grant supports travel to the U.K. and Ireland to conduct interviews with both media producers who create, and media audiences who watch, content exploring fat embodiment. This project will be the first in a series of international case studies comparing media industry practices and viewer perceptions of television in the context of the obesity epidemic.

  • Monica Cowart, vice provost, and Sean Condon, interim dean of the School of Liberal Arts, were quoted in a Sept. 13, 2017, North Andover Wicked Local story about the school’s new interdisciplinary institute, which will study the current political and cultural climate in the U.S., with a focus on bias. “Given recent events in our country, our focus on bias seems particularly relevant and powerfully important,” said Cowart, founding director of the institute. “This creation of the institute further underscores the college’s historical commitment to fostering social justice and to embracing diversity.” Condon said that faculty and students involved with the institute will have opportunities to become more effective problem solvers. “It will enable them to engage with others who have different perspectives and approaches, and in turn, both students and faculty will be motivated to take collaborative approaches to formulate and address complex and crucial questions,” he said.

  • Alison RussellAlison Russell, assistant professor of political science and international studies, was interviewed for the Center for International Maritime Security’s Sept. 6, 2017, “Sea Control” podcast, “Cyber Threats to Navies.” Russell said the rise of cyber capabilities, such as precision targeting and long-range attacks on systems, means that navies will be simultaneously more connected and more vulnerable at sea than ever before. “The modern Navy has so many capabilities that rely on cyberspace that it must not take access to cyberspace for granted,” she said. “As our ships grow smarter and we invest more and more in the high-end capabilities that allow this unprecedented array of actions, let us not forget to simultaneously ensure that the cyber-connected systems are protected so that our new technology can be used effectively when it’s called upon.”

  • Michael Stroud, associate professor of psychology, has been named an Apple Distinguished Educator for 2017. The honor recognizes K-12 and higher-education pioneers who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. Apple educators work with each other — and with Apple — to bring innovative ideas to classrooms, advise Apple on integrating technology into learning environments and share their expertise with other educators and policymakers.

  • Tom NolanThomas Nolan, associate professor and program director of the criminology and criminal justice graduate program, was quoted in an Aug. 29, 2017, Boston Herald article about President Trump’s decision to allow local police departments to become militarized again, reversing an Obama-era policy. “The very real concern is that when we see people exercising their constitutionally protected free speech right to protest, they are going to be met with police who are equipped like armed soldiers,” said Nolan, a 27-year veteran and former lieutenant in the Boston Police Department.

  • Father Rick Piatt, director of the Rogers Center for the Arts, was quoted in an Aug. 22, 2017, Burlington (Mass.) Union story about an interfaith peace and unity gathering at Temple Shalom Emeth in Burlington. Piatt said he attended the event “to listen, learn and be supportive.” He added that he is confident Americans will stand up against the type of bigotry that was on display in Charlottesville, Virginia, the previous week. “They (white supremacists) will not win,” he said.

  • Gretchen Grosky, adjunct lecturer in journalism and adviser to the student newspaper, The Beacon, completed two fellowships this summer — one at Columbia University’s Age Boom Academy, focusing on the international response to the aging workforce, and the other as a Journalists in Aging fellow at the Gerontological Society of America and New Media. As part of the latter fellowship, Grosky spent four days at the World Congress on Gerontology and Geriatrics in San Francisco, which attracted 6,500 experts in the field of aging from around the world. Grosky, who led a team of journalists in winning the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news, is a reporter at the Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire, with a beat focused on the state’s rapidly aging population.

  • Michael Mascolo, professor of psychology and academic director of the Compass program, gave a talk, “A Primer on Personal Construct Psychology,” and presented a paper, “The Failure of Objectivity: The Intersubjective Origins of Psychological Knowledge,” at the 45th International Congress of Personal Construct Psychology July 6-9, 2017, at Concordia University in Montréal. He also published several papers in 2017. They include “A Person Is Not an Object: Rethinking the Psychological Analysis of Persons” and “Understanding Personhood: Can We Get There From Here?” and “How Objectivity Undermines the Study of Personhood: Toward an Intersubjective Epistemology for Psychological Science,” all in New Ideas in Psychology.

  • Melissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication, was interviewed by the grassroots media website Weave News for the fourth part of its “Attack on Academia“ series with academics who have endured sustained campaigns of threats and harassment from the alt-right. Zimdars made national headlines when a document she created to help her students practice analyzing the credibility of various websites claiming to share news went viral and incurred the wrath of far-right organizations and individuals.

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Please send contributions for this page to:

Ken Gornstein
Director, Digital Media
gornsteink@merrimack.edu