Faculty Travel Program encourages, supports conference partnerships
DECEMBER 17, 2019 BY SHEA STEWART
Thirteen University of Mississippi professors are taking part in this year’s SEC Faculty Travel Program, strengthening the university’s collaborations with fellow Southeastern Conference institutions and offering UM professors an opportunity to interact with their counterparts.
Established in 2012 by the SEC presidents and chancellors, the program provides financial assistance from the SEC office for participants to travel to other SEC universities to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals, conduct research and deliver lectures or performances.
Travel of the Ole Miss faculty is made possible partly through a $10,000 award from the SEC.
“Being a member of the SEC means more than being in the most competitive athletic conference in the country,” UM Provost Noel Wilkin said. “It also means we are part of a conference made up of excellent research universities that are creating cutting-edge knowledge, developing innovative technologies and providing outstanding educational experiences.
“These travel grants enable our faculty to develop inspiring collaborations across the conference that advance research and creative achievements that otherwise may not occur. As a result, they make our faculty better, make our university stronger and, ultimately, improve what we offer to our students.”
The program has supported the efforts of more than 700 faculty from across the conference since it started. Last year, 10 Ole Miss professors participated in the program.
“We are again excited that the SEC has provided funds that allow our faculty to visit other SEC universities to share their scholarship and collaborate on research and teaching initiatives,” said Donna Strum, UM associate provost.
The 13 UM travelers have visited or will visit a collective total of eight SEC institutions between August 2019 and July 2020. Areas of interest for this year’s Ole Miss class include disciplines from biology and biomedical engineering to science education and secondary education.
Participants from UM for the 2019-20 academic year are:
- Joel Amidon, associate professor of secondary education, visiting Vanderbilt University to collaborate on best practices for preparing mathematics teachers
- Rich Buchholz, associate professor of biology, visiting the University of Florida to continue a collaboration on explaining the role of sexual ornamentation in the mate selection of birds
- Yunhee Chang, associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management, visiting the University of Georgia to conduct a graduate research seminar presentation, conduct a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey data analysis consultation and collaborate on a manuscript
- Lainy Day, associate professor of biology, visiting Louisiana State University to access the LSU Museum of Natural Science’s ornithology collection and X-ray resources to measure endocranial and skeletal properties of avian specimens
- Micah Everett, associate professor of music, visiting the University of Alabama to conduct a low brass recital with University of South Carolina trombone professor Michael Wilkinson
- Toshikazu Ikuta, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, visiting the University of Alabama to collaborate on an analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data on language processing and an assessment of entropy processing in language
- Samuel Lisi, assistant professor of mathematics, visiting the University of Georgia to explore establishing a new collaboration in homology
- Jeremy Meuser, assistant professor of management, visiting the University of Alabama to collaborate on process personality and management models
- Tamara Warhol, associate professor of modern languages, visiting the University of Kentucky to present her research on the sociolinguistics of writing to students and collaborate with UK linguistics professor Allison Burkette on a volume in Interdisciplinary Approaches to Language
- Thomas Werfel, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, visiting the University of Florida to strengthen a collaboration in immunoengineering and develop a new collaboration in cancer immunotherapy
- Brooke Whitworth, assistant professor of science education, visiting Auburn University to collaborate on a research idea involving the intersection of science education, engineering education, and the arts and crafts
- Caroline Wigginton, associate professor of English, visiting the University of Tennessee to present on her in-process book at the UT Humanities Center’s Transatlantic Enlightenment seminar and give a talk on best writing practices
- Yael Zeira, Croft Institute for International Studies assistant professor of political science and international studies, visiting Vanderbilt University to participate in the Vanderbilt-SEC Workshop on Development and Democracy, where she will present a working paper related to the comparative politics of developing countries
The SEC Faculty Travel Program is one of several academic endeavors designed to support the teaching, research, service and economic development focus of the SEC’s 14 member universities. Past program participants have been invited to present their research at conferences, been awarded competitive grants and secured publications in leading journals.