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Research and Creativity at Adelphi May 2022
Message From the Provost

Welcome to the May 2022 edition of Scholars and Artists of Adelphi University.

Global events of recent weeks, months and years continue to highlight the critical role of universities in shaping an educated and informed citizenry. The importance of engaging in the historical and political contexts of current events is especially clear as we navigate tumultuous times. 

Our faculty members have led the way in framing questions and leading dialogues on world events for our students and the public. They held a valuable and well-attended teach-in on the crisis in Ukraine and have shared their expertise in media coverage reaching the world beyond our campus. In the process, they provided insights on domestic and international policy, the role of the United Nations, the potential geopolitical and economic effects of conflict, and more.

This is just one example of how Adelphi University's scholars and artists seek to positively impact our world and its people. Our research and creative programs explore a vast array of topics that further knowledge and explore new ideas, from archaeology and exercise science to military life and Shakespeare.

Today, I’m pleased to share with you a selection of new scholarly and creative work from across Adelphi University.

Christopher Storm, PhD
Provost and Executive Vice President
Adelphi University Faculty Apply Cutting-Edge Archaeological Methods to Learn From the Past
For many people, the term archaeology conjures visions of khaki-clad researchers digging up ancient tools or dinosaur bones. But there are many other archeological finds that can teach us about our past. When Adelphi archeologists found a single strand of hair buried about two feet underground, their radiocarbon testing revealed it to be approximately 12,000 years old. This find led Brian Wygal, PhD, associate professor and director of the Environmental Studies and Sciences program, and Kathryn Krasinski, PhD, assistant professor of anthropology, to embark on a multidisciplinary journey to see what the DNA in this ancient hair could tell them. Their article “Archaeological Recovery of Late Pleistocene Hair and Environmental DNA from Interior Alaska” was recently published in Environmental Archaeology: The Journal of Human Palaeoecology.
Catch 22: How Can We Become Healthier if Carrying Extra Pounds Causes Us to Avoid the Gym?
Feelings of stress and anxiety due to excess weight can cause some individuals to avoid exercise altogether. Paul Rukavina, PhD, professor of health and sport sciences, authored a paper delving into this topic titled “Inclusion of Individuals With Overweight/Obesity in Physical Activity Settings,” which was recently published in the journal Kinesiology Review. The article reviews the literature on the deleterious effects of weight bias in physical activity spaces and makes a case for employing initiatives to create inclusive physical activity spaces where all feel comfortable to be physically active.
Locked and Loaded, With Nowhere to Go
Christina M. Marini ’11, PhD, assistant professor in the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, uncovered a previously under-researched area of concern for military families: how they cope with the cancellation of an overseas deployment. “Military couples’ experiences in the aftermath of a cancelled deployment,” which Dr. Marini co-authored with fellow scholars, was published in the journal Family Process and shares insight into this occurrence that elicits surprisingly varied reactions from service members and their partners.
Adelphi Scholars Examine the Style and Legacy of Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Tool Kit: 10 Vital Tips for Actors
Shakespeare’s language can be challenging for speakers of today’s modern English. Based on his years of acting and teaching Shakespeare’s works, Brian Rose, professor in the Department of Theatre, authored a book titled The Shakespeare Toolkit: A Nuts-and-Bolts Approach to Speaking Shakespeare, published earlier this year by Waveland Press, in which he condenses his experience into a set of tools designed to increase actors’ confidence in playing The Bard’s characters more truthfully.
Shakespeare Is Alive and Well: Understanding Fandom in the 21st Century
The work of playwright and poet William Shakespeare continues to attract fans more than 400 years after his death. The timelessness of his contributions was on display at the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, with nominations for The Tragedy of Macbeth and West Side Story, which is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Louise Geddes, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of English at Adelphi, and a colleague at Arizona State University explore the activities and passions of “Shakesfans” from the 1600s to the present day in their fascinating book, The Shakespeare Multiverse: Fandom as Literary Praxis, published in 2021 by Routledge.
The Arts
Two Films Created by Adelphi Professors Are Receiving Celebration and Acclaim

El Padrino, the award-winning feature film written and directed by Terrence Ross, professor of communications, was accepted into the film festival Global Film Market, a competitive online event designed to meet the internet’s need for high-quality content by discovering fresh ideas and talent and connecting them with the right content provider. El Padrino (viewable online here) is the story of Eduardo, a 16-year-old boy with a disability who is facing entanglements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after his parents’ deportation. The film stars Christopher Alvarez ’20, who also served as co-producer, and a number of current Adelphi faculty members helped produce it:
  • Zachary Borst '07, adjunct professor of communications (video logo)
  • Chris Kovarik, PhD, adjunct professor of music (original score)
  • Maggie Lally '82, associate dean of faculty programs in the College of Arts and Sciences (actor)
  • Brian Rose, professor of theater (actor)
  • Mehdi Salehi, adjunct professor of communications (drone footage)

Saeed, the award-winning short film directed by Joan Stein Schimke, professor of communications, about a Syrian refugee family that settles on Long Island, continues to play at human rights film festivals around the world. Developed and created in collaboration with John Drew, associate professor of communications, and Adelphi students, the film has been screened at the Berkshire International Film Festival, LIIFE - The Long Island International Film Expo, the North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival, the Muslim Film Festival (Australia), the Global Peace Film Festival (Orlando, Florida), and the Hebden Bridge Film Festival (United Kingdom). The film won the Best Narrative Short Film Award at the Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston and was a finalist at the Blackbird Film Festival in New York.
Adelphi Faculty in the News
Adelphi University faculty members continue to be highlighted as subject matter experts in the media, contributing their valuable knowledge and expertise to news stories on the local, regional and national levels.

Matthias Foellmer, PhD, professor of biology, was quoted in an April 25 article in Scientific American titled “These Spiders Spring Off Their Mates To Avoid Sexual Cannibalism.” Dr. Foellmer commented on a recently published paper about a novel trait that has evolved in male spiders to avoid cannibalism.

Aaren Freeman, PhD, professor of biology, was featured in a CBS News New York segment on April 13 titled “Nassau County swaps pesticides for organic kelp to treat golf course fairways.” Dr. Freeman shared his grant-funded initiative to utilize organic kelp to treat golf course fairways instead of pesticides and the environmental benefits of the project. 

Katie Laatikainen, PhD, professor and acting chair of the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a March 26 article in Newsweek titled “We Overestimated Russia.” Dr. Laatikainen contributed her insights on the poorer-than-expected performance of the Russian military in their invasion of Ukraine.

Kees Leune, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science and information security officer, was quoted in a March 27 article in Newsday titled “LI schools hit with 29 ransomware attacks, hacks, other cyber incidents in past 3 years.” Dr. Leune discussed how school districts can protect themselves against cyberattacks, gives advice on handling demands for ransom, and shares implications such as student identity theft.
Grant Recognition for Research Excellence
Nicole Daisy-Etienne, PhD '05, clinical director and supervisor in the Center for Psychological Services in the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, was awarded the American Psychological Foundation’s 2021 Marsha D. McCary Division 39 Fund for Psychoanalysis Grant. This grant supports efforts in education, research and service that advance and encourage the field of psychoanalysis.

Ednah Madu, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Public Health, successfully applied for a $10,000 National Institutes of Health grant for a research project through the University of Miami-NYU PRIDE Program. Her study will involve secondary analysis of data from the African Immigrant Health Study with the purpose of examining associations between social determinants of health and psychosocial factors with hypertension diagnosis, treatment and control among Black African immigrants. 

Ryan Wallace, PhD, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies and sciences, received a $30,000 grant from The Research Foundation for the State University of New York to support the expansion of Stony Brook University's water quality monitoring array. This subaward is part of a $240,000 grant, titled Stony Brook University Water Quality Monitoring: Telemetry Array Development and Maintenance, which funds an ongoing effort to monitor real-time environmental perturbations in Long Island's coastal ecosystems. The project is part of the Stony Brook Southampton Coastal and Estuarine Research Program with funding provided by the Renaissance Charitable Foundation.

Clara Vaz Bauler, PhD, associate professor of education, was awarded a $58,976 grant from the Spencer Foundation for the project CRIT-TEP: Challenging Raciolinguistic Ideologies in Transatlantic Teacher Education and Policy. Dr. Bauler and a colleague in the United Kingdom will examine how educational policies, practices and preservice teacher preparation is affected by raciolinguistic ideology, which in turn disproportionately affects learning for students of color.
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