Faculty news recap in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, April 26-May 31

June 2, 2016

Clemson English professors David Blakesley and Victor J. Vitanza have been named Fellows of the Rhetoric Society of America. Blakesley has also received the organization’s 2016 George E. Yoos Distinguished Service Award. The awards were presented at the 17th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference on May 29th in Atlanta. The society is the umbrella organization for scholars and teachers in every academic discipline who are interested in rhetoric. In its recognition of Blakesley, the Rhetoric Society of America praised his “distinguished research and publication record, and also his outstanding and formative contributions to the profession, including Parlor Press, his editing of KB Journal and the Rhetorical Philosophy and Theory series at Southern Illinois University Press. In honoring Victor Vitanza, the society writes, “Professor Vitanza is recognized for his singular and trailblazing scholarship, for his founding and decades-long editorship of the journal PRE/TEXT, and for the truly innovative and thoroughly rhetorical Ph.D. programs he has designed at two different institutions.”

Landscape architecture faculty members and instructors presented their peer-reviewed research at the annual Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference held in Raleigh, N.C. May 18th-21st. Hyejung Chang gave two presentations: “Sacredness as a Public Value: Home, Habitat, Heaven, and Healing” and “Transformative Forces in Democratic Design: Emancipation, Representation, and Participation.” Matt Powers gave a presentation entitled “Self-Regulated Design Learning: A Framework for Design Teaching and Learning” and was second author to principal investigator, Yang Song who presented “Landscape Manipulatives: A Study of Mathematics Gardens and Learning Outcomes. Jessica Fernandez presented “The Pedestrian-Oriented Campus: A Study of the Effectiveness of Design Transformations on Safety and Aesthetics.” Song and Fernandez are PDBE Ph.D. students who are also instructors of record for the BLA and MLA programs.

Abel Bartley’s (Pan African Studies) book In No Ways Tired: The NAACP’s Struggle to Integrate the Duval County Public School System has received the Stetson Kennedy Award from the Florida Historical Society. The award is given for a book based on investigative research that casts light on historic Florida events in a manner supportive of human rights, traditional cultures or the natural environment. Bartley received the award in May at the 2016 Florida Historical Society Annual Meeting and Symposium in Orlando.

The United States Army Soldiers Chorus performed an original composition by Anthony Bernarducci (performing arts) titled “Veni Creator Spiritus” in Gettysburg, Pa. on May 15th. It was an all-American composer program.

Lucian Ghita (English) presented the paper “Marionette Shakespeare: A Modern Perspective” at the 2016 American Comparative Literature Annual Meeting at Harvard University. He was also invited to Romania to speak on “Gothic Macbeth: The Avant-Garde Return of the Elizabethan Repressed” at the Shakespeare in the World – Shakespeare in Romania International Symposium in Bucharest. Along with Richard St. Peter (performing arts), he participated in the International Shakespeare Festival held in Craiova, Romania, where he gave a talk about the influence of the French theater-maker Antonin Artaud on Andrei Serban’s early stage productions at the La Mamma Experimental Theatre in New York.

Elizabeth Jemison (philosophy and religion) was an invited speaker at a symposium “Memories of a Massacre: Memphis in 1866” hosted by the University of Memphis on the 150th anniversary of one of the most violent events to follow the Civil War. Jemison spoke on the role of African American and white Christianity in the massacre, where a rioting white mob killed dozens of African Americans.

Hala Nassar (landscape architecture) was promoted to full professor this spring. She and Robert Hewitt (landscape architecture) have a chapter titled “The sovereign global city: Omani post-traditional landscape urbanism” in the book “Contemporary Urban Landscapes of the Middle East: Routledge Research in Landscape and Environmental Design.”

Mary G. Padua, ASLA, (landscape architecture) along with Sara Griffin (public health sciences) participated in a workshop on May 12-13 that kicked off a pilot research project for five daycare facilities in Spartanburg County. This new research initiative, in collaboration with N.C. State’s Natural Learning Initiative, is sponsored by a grant from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control. Researchers are searching for ways to improve the quality of South Carolina’s childcare outdoor environments to support children’s physical activity and healthy eating through the design and management of outdoor learning environments.

Kate Schwennsen (architecture) spoke at the Leadership Forum on Design Education sponsored by the Design Futures Council in Philadelphia on May 18th. She spoke on “Establishing the Business Case for Women in Architecture” at the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Philadelphia on May 19th. Her mentoring and teaching were recognized with two Clemson University awards this spring. She was recognized as the Outstanding Woman Distinguished Contributor by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, and she received an Award of Distinction from Clemson’s National Scholars Program for commitment to the intellectual, professional and personal development of Clemson’s National Scholars.

Kerrie Seymour (performing arts) is appearing as Phyllida in The Explorers Club by Nell Benjamin at CentreStage in Greenville, S.C. The production runs until July 2.

Michael Silvestri (history) was interviewed for a short documentary on New Orleans’ connection to the 1916 Irish Rebellion with a focus on the visit by Eamon de Valera to the city in 1920. The feature, funded by the Emigrant Support Programme of Ireland, will be shown at the Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans as part of the worldwide commemoration marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Mark Spede (performing arts) was recently elected Vice President of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). The organization, which is “devoted to teaching, performance, study, and cultivation of music,” is made up of college band directors from around the country. Spede will assist the organization’s president in administering membership activities before eventually assuming the presidency himself in four years. As president, he will appoint committee chairs and members, establish task force committees, and organize and run the national conference in 2021.

Rhondda Robinson Thomas (English) was invited to present “Recovering Jane Edna Hunter Digitally” for the Teaching Recovered Women Writers: Digital Options Roundtable at the American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco on May 27th.

Kathleen Thum (art) received a quarterly support grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. She will attend Jentel Artist Residency in Wyoming, May 15-June 13. This residency is competitive and awarded on professional and creative merit.