Events · News

CHFA Showcase and Awards



On Tuesday, April 12th, the College of Humanities and Fine Arts held its Faculty and Staff Appreciation Reception and Showcase. The event showcased short presentations of faculty work before announcing faculty award winners

Award recipients were:

  • Excellence in Teaching:  Daryl Phillipy, Theatre
  • Staff Award for Excellence:  Stephanie Peck, Modern Languages
  • Excellence in Creative and Scholarly Activity:  Tanya Romero-Gonzalez, Modern Languages
  • Excellence in Service:  Jeff Osborne, English and Philosophy
From L to R: Stephanie Peck, Tanya Romero-Gonzalez, Jeff Osborne, Darryl Phillipy

For the second semester, CHFA Faculty members presented seven-minute presentations of about research and pedagogy. The event was attended by President Robert Davies and Associate Provost Renae Duncan. The event was organized and emceed by Special Assistant to the Dean, Nicole Hand.

CHFA Dean Staci Stone (L) and President Robert Davies (R)


Brief summaries of the presentations and a picture of the presenters are below:

From L to R: Jim Bryant, Jana Hackathorn, Sean Rife, Brent Menchinger, Paul Foote, Barbara Cobb, Martin Kane, Ho Ryong Park

Barbara Cobb – Shakespeare / Graphic Novel Performance: A Work Group Research Project

Since plays are challenging to teach, a play presented as a graphic novel splits the difference between action on a stage and images on a page. It’s another way to engage students across learning-style spectrums. Barbara used funds to buy copies of a graphic novel of Julius Caesar, and working with Fulton Independent and Murray Middle and several classes at Murray State. It is a Manga Shakespeare, a cut-text still in early modern English. The cuts were intriguing and provoked great classroom discussion, and Barbara focused on these cuts. The illustrator depicts events graphically, and uses the images to show flashbacks that are speculative and not textually supported. What is lost in depiction is made up in another visual descriptive depiction that isn’t in the original text. With seventh graders, Barbara reinforced the graphic novel experience with performance based experiences. This prepared students for seeing the play come to life at the Murray Shakespeare Festival.

Ho Ryong Park – Eight Critical Features in Technology Enhanced Education

Ho Ryong discussed the importance of communication, and the way he uses  communication to have real time conversations and spontaneous communications, which works well for students with a low English proficiency level. Ho Ryong described the way open source software allows community among students, by incorporating integrated technology to allow students to share ideas and knowledge for free. They can share knowledge and even whole classes. The technology allows students to collaborate, to work together, and to divide roles equally. Technology enhances such pedagogical values and virtues as community, collaboration, creativity, openness, motivation, and authenticity.

Jim Bryant – Typographic Personalities

Jim described the way font has the power to influence the meaning of a word and give it a backstory. Typography allows for personality. Fonts are situational – Serif, for instance, is one of the oldest typefaces in the English language. Because it’s old they come with history and gravitas. Script is the most human of typefaces because it mimics handwriting and is the most human. Comic Sans is neither knowledgeable or easier to understand. Jim describes experiments where readers associate ease of content with the qualities of the font. The way content is displayed is deeply linked to the way it is consumed.

Martin Kane – Challenging Students’ Perceptions of Competence Via Intense Self-Assessment

Many students don’t have entirely accurate perceptions of their abilities. Students need to contextualize their skills. Martin argued that we need to put students on the spot, to give them novel activities requiring ingenuity and ability without warnings. Martin noted that we accompany demanding situations with self-reflection, and think about the steps we need to take to improve.

Brent Mechinger – Designing an Event Publicly Viewed For Longer than Four Days: Guadalcanal Exhibit Design, Kalamazoo Air Zoo

In connection to his field of theater design, Brent described the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, where exhibits are expensive to run and run a long time. Much like theater design, the museums are given a space and a budget. Brent worked with the Guadalcanal exhibit. His experience came in making the exhibits look real, and allowing the audiences to walk through it and up to it. Several elements had to go through a process of redesign. Adapting design was his favorite part of the job, and dealing with the various building codes is where he learned the most. The process took two years instead of roughly twelve weeks as it would in a play. In addition, the exhibit had to have interactive elements that patrons would use.

Paul Foote- Bringing Learning to the Courtroom: The Mock Trial Experience

Paul discussed his experience leading mock trial for the last year and a half. He team teaches this as a course with a circuit court judge Jamie Jameson. Students who serve as attorneys have to not only learn the case problem but also the case law along with the federal rules of evidence. In the opening and closing arguments, they use a theme and promote a theory. Paul determines the knowledge of the student, the appropriate emotions used, and the poise that was demonstrated. He describes the purpose of mock trial as “a great experiential learning machine.”

Jana Hackathorn & Sean Rife: It’s About Me: Predicting Negative Perceptions of Ashley Madison Users

Sean and Jana discussed the hacking of Ashley Madison, and the way private information was released to the public. There was an interesting dichotomy in those who ridiculed the revealed names and acknowledging them as being victimized. Research shows that when negative things happen, the reactions of others is counter-intuitive. How were they demonized? Who were they demonized by? Why did people respond the way they did? The take-home is that if you feel jealous, you might ignore this data and evaluate adultery in privacy rather than publicly.

(All Photo Credits to Taylor McCord)


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