Webster University Faculty Research Symposium session descriptions
Office of the Provost, Office of Research & Sponsored Programs, and Webster University Library present the inaugural Faculty Research Symposium

Thursday, December 8, 2016
2:00pm to 6:30pm
East Academic Building, 545 Garden Ave., Rms. 102, 253, and 262

Join us for a stimulating look at the research being conducted by Webster University faculty related to the Office of the Provost and Office of Academic Affairs Faculty Research Grants.


Profiles that Work: A Cross-Sectional Investigation of Who Pursues and Commits to Careers in STEM
Eric Goedereis, Associate Professor and Co-Director of Gerontology, Department of Psychology. College Arts and Sciences
Despite the clear need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-trained graduates and wide availability of well-paying, highly-satisfying jobs in the STEM fields, less than 40% of adults who initially (or intend to) pursue STEM-related majors actually graduate in these fields. Thus, identifying psychosocial factors associated with individuals' reasons for pursuing and committing to STEM careers, as well as how such factors are associated with well-being, represents an especially timely and relevant issue regarding our understanding of optimal aging and productive engagement across the lifespan. This project used an online survey design in order to identify age-related differences between employed (n = 238; M = 41.76 years) and not-yet-employed adults (n = 139; M = 26.00 years) in the domains of (1) well-being, (2) attitudes toward science, (3) psychological control, and (4) career-related self-efficacy. Independent samples t-tests indicated that participants employed in STEM careers reported greater life satisfaction (M = 26.31; SD = 7.12) and grit (M = 3.62; SD = 0.56) compared to those who were not yet employed (M = 23.84; SD = 7.12; M = 3.49; SD = 0.63, respectively), t (375) = 3.77, p < .001. Controlling for employment status, separate multivariate analyses of variance (MANCOVA) revealed age-related differences for grade-related self-efficacy in science (F [15, 1016.29] = 1.91, p = .02) and career-related self-efficacy (F [12, 976.5] = 2.14, p = .01), highlighting the dynamic nature of these constructs at different periods of the lifespan. Implications for individuals, educators, employers, and society will be considered.
Anton van den Wyngaerde’s City Views as Habsburg Courtly Propaganda
Ryan Gregg, Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Design, and Art History. Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts
Anton van den Wyngaerde (c. 1490–71) produced a prolific range of views of European cities over the course of at least three decades. Scholars have considered these views as recordings of the artist's journeys, despite their production for Emperor Charles V and his son, King Philip II. Yet through the artist’s depiction and employment of rhetoric, the cities become emblems illustrating expressions of sovereignty corresponding to other Habsburg programs.
Chemistry of the Organic Solid State From Photoreactions to Thermal Expansion
Ryan Groeneman, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences. College of Arts and Sciences
Over the last fifteen years, the ability to control varies aspects of the organic solid ranging from [2+2] cycloaddition photoreaction to thermal expansion has continued to gain greater attention in the chemical literature. In general, to achieve a photoreaction within solids a pair of olefins (i.e. carbon-carbon double bond) must be parallel and within a distance of 4.2 Å. In order to position these double bonds in the correct position to photoreact a template-based model has been utilized with great success. In my most recent Provost Grant, I suggested the utilization of polyfluorophenyl-phenyl interactions as a type of template to achieve a series of cross-photoproducts within co-crystals. In a second recent Provost Grant, I investigated the thermal expansion of organic co-crystals. In particular, I will present my work on determining the thermal expansion parameters within a series of isostructural co-crystals. The presence or absence of varies non-covalent interactions in these co-crystals was investigated and how these changes influence the overall thermal expansion parameters of the material.
Conspiracy Theory, Conspiracy Panic and Global Hegemony
Dan Hellinger, Professor, History, Politics & International Relations. College of Arts and Sciences
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as an Invisible Disability: A Comparison of American and Dutch College Students
Heather Mitchell, Department Chairperson, Department of Psychology. College of Arts and Sciences
ADHD is an invisible disability. The United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, article 24, is dedicated to full educational inclusion of persons with disabilities. In our interview studies of college students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder from the U. S. and the Netherlands, students voiced varying beliefs about the legitimacy of ADHD as a disability and their right to academic accommodations. We also asked students about their views of self, family, and their higher education experiences with respect to their diagnosis of ADHD. Our study yielded rich and descriptive information about how these students approach their world and how they view themselves. In the Netherlands, ADHD is not formally recognized as a disorder by the government, although public universities recognize and provide academic accommodations. In this paper, we will explore implications of perceived legitimacy of ADHD as a disability in American and Dutch institutions of higher learning.
'I began my Travels where I Purpose to End them': Going Full Circle with Defoe's Tour and Eighteenth-Century Maps
Sheila Hwang, Associate Professor, English Department. College of Arts and Sciences
Britain’s most famous guidebook of eighteenth century, A Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain, was first written by Daniel Defoe—author of the famous fictional travel narrative Robinson Crusoe—and published in 1724-7. The multi-volume text remained in print through the end of the 18th century, going through eight editions with significant changes, additions, and deletions.  I look at multiple editions of the Tour in tandem with then-contemporary maps and current theories of mapmaking. Tracking changes in mapping, text, and travel alters our view of how subjectivity and place inform each other in 18th-century British culture.
When Research Overlaps with Consulting
DJ Kaiser, Associate Professor, Department of Language, Literacy, and Leadership. School of Education
This talk will look at cases when academic researchers find themselves being asked to provide feedback, suggestions, and recommendations on projects that are the subject of research. The presenter will discuss two specific projects in Uruguay and Brazil where his role of observer and researcher also began to incorporate aspects of consulting. This presentation will address the clarification of project goals and objectives, collecting and presenting observations, articulating a perspective, and finding appropriate ways to provide feedback, suggestions, and recommendations. Real examples of changes anticipated and implemented in both programs will also be presented.
An Interactive, Digital, Tactile, Collaborative Learning Experience for Young Visitors to the Missouri Botanical Garden
Julia Griffey, Associate Professor, Program Coordinator - Interactive Digital Media, School of Communications
The Brookings Interpretive Center is a new exhibit space within the award-winning Missouri Botanical Garden that opened in the spring of 2016. It uses interactive digital technology to engage visitors with plants through sight, sound, and touch while facilitating collaborative interaction. One exhibit, “The Collection of Curiosities,” is an innovative interactive, digital learning experience that helps visitors better understand the species within the Garden. Using QR codes and responsive web technologies, visitors swipe real nature artifacts under a digital reader which triggers an interactive display of information about the object. By swiping the artifact, visitors can learn where the plant resides within the Garden and around the world. Visitors also learn information such as the artifact’s threats and dangers and what we are doing to protect it. This exhibit is as an example of a communication tool that delivers educational content via physical, collaborative interaction.
On-going roundtables with light refreshments
Roundtable topics:
- The Theatrical Life of Supreme Court Justices, Guterman
- The Use of Computers to Study the Interactions Between Molecules in Liquids, Krueger
- Animation Entrepreneurship, Sagovac
- Institutional Review Board
- Office of Research Sponsored Programs
- Gad Guterman, Assistant Professor, Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts
- Herman Krueger, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences. College of Arts and Sciences
- Chris Sagovac, Associate Professor, Electronic and Photographic Media Department. School of Communications

For more information, please contact Emily Scharf at (314) 246-7818 or ilsd@webster.edu



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