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Professional and Academic Notes: Winter 2016-17

A round-up of appointments, awards, presentations and papers for SLU faculty, staff and students.



Ruth Evans
Ruth Evans, Ph.D.

Ruth Evans, Ph.D. (English), Dorothy McBride Orthwein Professor of English, was named a prestigious Beaufort Visiting Scholar at St. John's College, University of Cambridge for the Michaelmas Term of 2016.

This award, which includes accommodation in Cambridge and participation in the intellectual life of the College, will support Evans' ongoing research in archives in the United Kingdom. She is currently completing a scholarly monograph on the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and medieval notions of fiction-making and memory.


Verna L. Hendricks-Ferguson, Ph.D.

Verna L. Hendricks-Ferguson, Ph.D. (Nursing) was the 2017 recipient of the Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse of the Year Award, which was given by the Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center. These annual awards recognize the work of all hospice and palliative care professionals from across the country.

In her work, Hendricks-Ferguson seeks to further the science regarding clinician-patient communication about pediatric palliative cancer care.

Thomas Olsen, M.D. (General Internal Medicine) was selected for mastership in the American College of Physicians, for excellence and distinguished contributions to internal medicine. He will be presented with the mastership during the 2017 Internal Medicine meeting in the spring.

Sameer Siddiqui, M.D. (Urology) was selected as a member of St. Louis Business Journal's 40 under 40 class for 2017.


Lisa Cannada, M.D., was named the chair of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Board of Specialty Societies in March at its annual meeting. Cannada is the first woman to hold this position.

Article/Book Publishings

Research by Saleem Abdulrauf, M.D. (Neurology) was published in the Journal of Neurosurgery about the outcomes of conducting brain aneurysm surgery while the patient is awake. The preliminary findings revealed a lower risk of stroke after surgery and a shorter length of hospital stay for patients who were awake during the surgery, as compared to other national studies on brain aneurysm surgery outcomes. Abdulrauf, chair of the department and a lead collaborator on the study, called this a “landmark article” for SLU and for the “awake” technique.

Jennifer Buehler, Ph.D. (Education) published a book Teaching Reading with YA Literature: Complex Texts, Complex Lives in October 2016.

Speaking Engagements

Elizabeth Blake, Ph.D. (Russian) presented "Petrashevtsy Dostoevsky and Pleshcheev on Human Rights After Their Contact with Intercultural Communities in Siberian Captivity," at ASEEES in Washington, D.C., November 2016. Blake also presented "The Intersection of Cultures in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment: Reflections on Teaching for the Core at a Jesuit Institution," at Crime and Punishment at 150 in Vancouver, October 2016.

Simone Bregni, Ph.D. (Italian) presented “Assassin’s Creed Taught Me Italian: Teaching Foreign/Second Languages through Video Games” on Nov. 3, at the Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
Bregni also presented, “Teaching Languages with Video Games? Intensive Italian for Gamers, Spring 2017 – A Work In Progress," at the MMLA 2016 Conference on Nov. 10, St. Louis.

Elsy Cardona, Ph.D. (Spanish) presented "Connecting ancient and modern traditions, how scholarly footnotes and digital scholarship work together in discussing literary translation in the graduate classroom" at the 39th Conference of American Literary Translators Association (ALTA 39) held in Oakland, CA., Oct. 8-10.

Arline Cravens, Ph.D. (French) gave two presentations at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference in Salt Lake City, UT, on Oct. 7: "Echos of George Sand in Virginie Despentes: Rewriting the Feminine" and "Let’s Make Some Music: the Musical Mind in the Language Classroom."
Cravens also gave a presentation at the Nineteenth Century French Studies Colloquium in Providence, RI, on Oct. 27: "Landscaping the feminine in George Sand's Laura ou le voyage dans le cristal."

Gregory Divers, Ph.D. (German) read from his translations of the Variété cycle of poems by the German poet Jakob van Hoddis at the American Literary Translators Association conference in Oakland, CA on Oct. 7.

Kelly Lovejoy, Ph.D. (Spanish) gave a research presentation titled "Is it always necessary to mitigate a disagreement?: Pragmatic variation in NS-L2 interactions as problem solving talk" at the Third International Conference of the American Pragmatics Association, Nov. 4, at Indiana University.

Dan Nickolai, Ph.D. (French) presented "Online Speech Recognition for Pronunciation Development" at the FTCC (Focus on Teaching and Technology) 2016 annual conference.  University of Missouri-St. Louis. Saint Louis, Missouri. November 2016.
Nickolai also presented "Innovative Tools for Individualized Pronunciation Development" at MIDTESOL 2016, "Innovation and Improvisation in TESOL," Kansas City, Missouri, October 2016.

Sydney Norton, Ph.D. (German) presented the paper "Creating a German Language Newspaper through Collaboration and Community-Based Learning" on Nov. 20 at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Boston. She also presented this research at SLU's Annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium on Oct. 28.

Pascale Perraudin, Ph.D. (French) organized and chaired two sessions of Women in French: Legacy, Mediation and Experience; Writing Transgenerational Memory in Contemporary French and Francophone Literatures.  She also presented a paper: "L'Algérie et la mémoire (in)hospitalière chez Cixous," (Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Salt Lake City, Oct. 6, 2016).
Perraudin also presented "Cherchez la femme! Film, Postcolonialisme et Histoire," in a Women in French Teaching Roundtable, at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language association, Salt Lake City, Oct. 7.

Rubén Rosario Rodríguez, Ph.D. (Theological Studies) gave the 12th Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions on Jan. 25, at Concordia Seminary. Titled "Luther and Calvin on the Cosmopolitan Church," it commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and underscored its contemporary relevance.

Annie Smart, Ph.D. (French) presented a paper on French ecocriticism at the 42nd Annual 19th-Century French Studies Colloquium (Oct. 27-29), held in Providence, RI:  "Vers une écocritique française:  Harmony and Scientific Motherhood in Bernardin de Saint-Pierre and Robert-Gustave."


Doctoral student Shahram Ahmadi Nasab Emran, M.D. (Albert Gnaegi Center for Healthcare Ethics) published an article in Johns Hopkins University's Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 59, Number 2. The article is about how cosmetic practice has transformed medicine and added the goal of beauty to medicine and is titled "Cosmetic medicine revolution, the goals of medicine, and bioethics."

Freshman Mirna Lopez won the Just Mercy multimedia contest with her original drawing “Forgive, Forget, and Show Mercy,” which captured her own experiences of the building strength through forgiveness.

An article by doctoral student Ruaim Muaygil, M.D. (Albert Gnaegi Center for Healthcare Ethics) titled "Re-examining the Prohibition of Gestational Surrogacy in Sunni Islam," was published in the online version of Developing World Bioethics and also will appear in print.

Doctoral student Patrick O’Sullivan (School of Education), principal at Christ the King Catholic School in Dallas, Texas, was selected to receive the 2017 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for dedication and commitment to excellence.
O’Sullivan was chosen from more than 150,000 teachers and administrators, as well as diocesan leaders and organizations dedicated to the nation’s Catholic schools. He will be recognized during the annual NCEA 2017 Convention & Expo in April. The annual award honors those whose ministry is Catholic school education and who have demonstrated a strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional ability, dedication and results.