Monthly Archives: September 2015

Get to Know Karen Bedell, Lec III in Psychology


Karen Bedell of Psychology

Name: Karen Bedell
Title: Lecturer III
Department: Psychology

Classes I teach: Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Principles of Research Design and more! I’ve also taught Organizational and Group Behavior, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Human Relations, and Death & Dying.

Professional Interests, Activities, or Publications: This year I presented at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference in Chicago. Before studying Educational Psychology and Education Technology, I earned a master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and worked in institutional research. Therefore, my publications (see below) are in employment selection, memory, student engagement, and online cooperative learning. I also enjoy reviewing psychology textbooks (for publishers), developing curricula, and instructional design.

Research or Specific Areas of Interest: My research interests are in educational psychology, specifically factors affecting adult student engagement and motivation. I am interested in how the presence of other people (physically or virtually) affects learning and motivation. Finally, I am interested in factors that support online cooperative learning, as well as the educational and psychological outcomes associated with cooperative learning.

Awards: Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Graduate Student of the Year

Degree(s)/Education: I am a member of the first hybrid PhD cohort in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) at Michigan State University. I’m currently conducting research for my dissertation on the effects of exclusion and communication synchrony on online cooperative learning.

Memberships: I am a member of the American Education Research Association (AERA), the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO), and the American Psychological Association (APA).

How I fell in love with my field: I have been interested in people, teaching, and human psychology since I was a child. I worked in Human Resources after finishing my Master’s degree in 1994. After I started teaching college courses in 2001, I developed an interest in educational psychology which led to going back to school for in 2010. Teaching is my first love!

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint: My hope is to be the best teacher I can and serve the university in as many ways possible. I look forward to meeting people and becoming an active member of the university community through my work and service.

What I hope for students in my field: I hope they will come to appreciate the complexity, breadth, and depth of psychological research and the value it brings to every aspect of human life. I hope studying psychology will foster critical, reflective thinking, and a deeper appreciation for similarities and differences among people.

Three things you should know about me: I live in Fenton, I’m married with 2 daughters in high school, and I’m always learning!

Bedell, K., Peterson, A. & Roseth, C. (2015). Effects of Student Context and Synchronicity in a Hybrid Course. In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2015 (pp. 3074-3081). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Bedell, K. & Roseth, C. (2015). Effects of computer-mediated communication and synchronicity in a hybrid course. In Proceedings of the 2015 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, USA. April 16-April 20, 2015.

Bedell, K.V. (2013). From research to practice: Student engagement. Educational Technology and Management Academy, 1, 8-11.

Hazer, J.T. & Bedell, K.V. (2000).  Effects of seeking accommodation and disability on pre-employment evaluations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30, 1201-1223.

Bottrill, K.V. & Borden, V.M.H. (1994).  Appendix: Examples from the literature. In V.M.H. Borden & T.W. Banta (eds.) Using performance indicators to guide strategic decision making.  New Directions for Institutional Research, 82.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bottrill, K.V. & Hazer, J.T. (1995, May). Effects of disability and seeking accommodation on pre-employment evaluations.  Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Highhouse, S. & Bottrill, K. (1995).  The influence of social (mis)information on memory for behavior in an employment interview. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 62, 220-229.

Bottrill, K.V. & Borden, V.M.H. (1994).  Performance indicators: History, definitions, and methods.  In V.M.H. Borden & T.W. Banta (eds.) Using performance indicators to guide strategic decision making. New Directions for Institutional Research, 82.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Political Science Department to Hold Constitution Day Event on Sept. 17


2015 Constitution Day event – CLICK TO EXPAND

On Thursday, September 17, faculty of the UM-Flint Political Science Department will answer the question “What did the Supreme Court Say about the Death Penalty in 2015?”

The event, celebrating Constitution Day and coinciding with Common Read 2015-2016, will feature a panel discussion covering different facets of the death penalty question. This academic year’s Common Read book is Dead Man Walking, a memoir by Sister Helen Prejean.

Peggy Kahn, Professor of Political Science and the department chair, will discuss the history of the death penalty in the United States. Kim Saks McManaway, Lecturer in Political Science, will discuss Supreme Court jurisprudence on the constitutionality of the death penalty. Jeremiah Olson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, will talk on the impacts of the death penalty with respect to crime and punishment. Dauda Abubakar, Associate Professor of Political Science, will cover the death penalty in  a comparative and international perspective.

Says Saks McManaway, “A discussion of the death penalty’s position in Supreme Court jurisprudence is not only timely but exemplifies the trajectory of case law generally in the 20th and 21st centuries. The death penalty has had a storied history at the Supreme Court in the last 50 years and that history continues to this day. Just this past term, the Court dealt with an issue of method of execution and did so by relying on 50 years of active and relevant precedent. Few other areas of the law have held such a place in the Court’s jurisprudence over the past century as the death penalty. Few students realize the parameters of the death penalty let alone its history. Even fewer know that there was a period in the past century when the death penalty was temporarily halted by the Court because of concerns over its constitutionality. These are important issues to talk about in an ever-changing legal landscape and the legal definition of one of our hallmark civil liberties deserves regular and robust discussion.”

Kahn added, “In an international era of death penalty abolition, state executions in the U.S. remain a key issue of public discussion. Is the death penalty appropriate in an age when human rights and dignity have become basic democratic standards, and is it necessary in an age of modern prison systems? Is the death penalty applied ‘fairly,’ underpinned by careful and adequate judicial processes and applied consistently in proportion to the severity of the crime? As the University of Michigan-Flint Common Read focuses on Sister Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking and prepares to welcome her to campus October 8, the Political Science Department invites students, staff, faculty, and community members to a roundtable on the death penalty in the U.S.”

This event is free of charge and open to the public. It will start at 6:30pm and will be held in the UCEN’s Michigan Room A.

For information, visit or call 810.762.3470.

Shelby Newport Announced as Director of the International & Global Studies Program

U-M flint faculty staff portrait on Sept. 9, 2013. Shelby Newport

Shelby Newport: Assoc. Professor of Theatre & Dance and newly announced Director of the International and Global Studies (IGS) Program

On Thursday, September 10th, Vahid Lofti, Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Programs, announced that Shelby Newport had been appointed the new Director of the International and Global Studies Program. Following is his announcement to campus:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Shelby Newport as the Director of the International and Global Studies (IGS) Program, effective September 1, 2015.  Shelby has been serving as the Interim IGS Director since March 2015.

Shelby is associate professor of Theatre and Dance. She has been actively involved in international education, including serving on the IGS faculty since 2012.  Shelby has led two IGS endorsed study abroad courses to England that focus in her content area of British Performance and Design. She also serves as the resident costume designer for the Department of Theatre and Dance and has designed costumes in England. Shelby has an interest and passion for global education and is looking forward to working with the departments that contribute to the International and Global Studies minor.

In the relatively short period of time that she has served as the Interim Director, Shelby has already made a number of procedural improvements to the program. She has worked closely with the Office of Education Abroad over the summer and assisted course leaders for the 2015 Spring & Summer IGS endorsed study abroad programs.

Shelby’s appointment was based upon unanimous recommendation of the interview panel and in consultation with Provost Knerr.  I would like to thank and acknowledge the members of the interview panel for their excellent work: Professor Derwin Munroe, Mr. Daniel Adams, and Ms. Asinda Gadzama.

I believe IGS will continue to achieve even greater accomplishments with Shelby at its helm and look forward to working with her.  Please join me in welcoming Shelby to this important position.

For more information on the IGS program, visit


CAS Faculty Welcomed and Honored at 2015 Convocation

On Monday, August 31, both new and seasoned faculty gathered together for two events: the Academic Affairs Convocation that welcomes new faculty and celebrates our award-winning, promoted, and long-serving faculty members, and the Thompson Center for Learning & Teaching‘s pre-convocation workshop titled “The Actual and the Possible: Cultivating Learning at UM-Flint.”

The workshop featured sixteen faculty presentations, with representatives from each school or college at UM-Flint, focused on innovative and effective teaching methods used in (or out of) classrooms.

The College of Arts & Science was well represented with six faculty speaking on topics ranging from technology to storytelling.


Brian DiBlassio discusses teaching musical elements online.

Brian DiBlassio, Associate Professor and Chair of Music and recipient of the Provost Teaching Innovation Prize, was the first CAS faculty member to present. He discussed the ways in which he brings music alive for online students–where formerly they had only static words on a screen to inform their lessons. By incorporating video, moving graphics, sound, voiceover, and popular media, DiBlassio is able to answer the “challenge of teaching arts purely through text.”

Nicholas Kingsley, Assistant Professor from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and recipient of the Lois Matz Rosen Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, spoke to his peers about technology that works for both his teaching style and his students’ needs. From interactive digital presentations to a pen that allows recording and playback of his method for working through complex problems, Kingsley demonstrated how his technology choices serve students in the classroom and create resources for future use.


Pat Emenyonu from the departments of English and Africana Studies listens to a presentation at the TCLT pre-convocation workshop.

Jill Slater, Lecturer of Biology, presented on this past spring’s Cell-ebration: a science symposium she created to inform and inspire students from all of her classes. Slater combined more seasoned students’ experiences and newer students’ questions to present cellular research being done across her courses. Her event engaged students in new ways and allowed there to be a focus on what happens after they learn research methodologies in lower level courses. All students came away with skills they can use later in their academic studies and in their professional and research careers.

Thomas Henthorn, Assistant Professor of History, spoke on an oral history project from his class Gods in the City. Henthorn uses the lesson to emphasize listening and communication skills while students explore new topics and religion through their interviews with community members. He spoke about the value of an assignment that can’t be simply gathered from online sources. Said Henthorn, “as wonderful as technology is . . . most of the world’s important business happens face to face.”


Erica Britt talks about Vehicle City Voices and the stories of Flint residents.

Erica Britt, Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the English Department, continued with the storytelling theme by talking about her Vehicle City Voices project. Britt has utilized both graduate and undergraduate students in her collection, coding, and presentation of stories from residents around the city of Flint. In addition to being a documentation of memories, her project is a study in the vocal patterns of speakers in Flint. Students created transcripts and developed word-level, phrase-level, and sentence-level analysis on their collected stories.

Margaret Ware, Lecturer in Biology, was the final CAS speaker of the day. In her discussion she showed how combining factual health histories with fictional characters allowed her students to have a more involved and engaged experience when completing a case study project. Students worked individually to create a story from lab data and then as a small group selected their favorite story or combined elements to create a new one. Ware noted the students were able to utilize a wide variety of skills, including the unusual combination of creative writing and scientific data collection.


UM-Flint faculty, staff, and administrators listen to presentations at the TCLT’s 2015 pre-convocation workshop.

After all the presentations were made, participants had small table discussions to talk about their favorite methods from the day and also to share their own unique methods of teaching. The event was closed by TCLT’s Tracy Wacker who spoke to the joy of teaching and learning as she wished all a successful Fall 2015 semester.

The focus on UM-Flint’s teaching excellence continued later that afternoon at the Academic Affairs Convocation in the UM-Flint Theatre.


Provost Doug Knerr welcomed faculty back to another year of excellent teaching.

The event began with an introduction by Chancellor Susan E. Borrego and a warm welcome from Provost Doug Knerr.

Faculty Awards were announced, with CAS faculty claiming eight of the nine honors:

Lois Alexander, Professor of Music: Teaching Excellence Award

Lixing Han, Professor of Mathematics: Scholarly or Creative Achievement Award

Kathy Schellenberg, Associate Professor of Sociology: Distinguished Service Award

Ernest Emenyonu, Professor of Africana Studies: Alvin D. Loving Senior Faculty Initiative Award

Karen Salvador, Assistant Professor of Music: Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Junior Women Faculty Award

Peggy Kahn, David M. French Professor and Professor of Political Science: Dorthea E. Wyatt Award

Nicholas Kingsley, Assistant Professor of Chemistry: Dr. Lois Matz Rosen Junior Excellence in Teaching Award

Traci Currie, Lecturer of Communication and Visual Arts: Collegiate Lecturer Award

Ricardo Alfaro, David M. French Professor and Professor of Mathematics, was also honored as the UM-Flint nominee for the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award.


Traci Currie receives a congratulatory hug from Chancellor Susan E. Borrego


Professor Ricardo Alfaro receives his Presidents Council Sponsored Faculty Award from Provost Doug Knerr


Assoc. Professor Kathryn Schellenberg receives her Distinguished Service Award from Provost Knerr as Chancellor Susan E. Borrego looks on

Services awards were given to those who have been at the university for 10, 20, or 40 plus years:

Ten years or more: 
Jacob Blumner, English; Traci Currie, Communication & Visual Arts; Michael Farmer, CSEP; Janet Haley, Theatre & Dance; Terrence Horgan, Psychology; Jason Kosnoski, Political Science; Maria Pons-Hervas, Foreign Languages & Literatures; Jie Song, Chemistry & Biochemistry; and Jeannette Stein, Psychology

Twenty years or more:
Jamile Lawand, Foreign Languages & Literatures; Paula Nas, Economics; Stevens Wandmacher, Philosophy


Assoc. Professor Jason Kosnoski receives his Faculty Service Award for 10 years or more of service


Interim Dean Susan Gano-Phillips announced new and promoted faculty of CAS.

Promoted faculty were celebrated (click here for a full story), with those moving from assistant to associate or associate to full professor being named by Interim Dean Susan Gano-Phillips.

From associate professor with tenure to professor with tenure:
Lois Alexander, Music; Jami Anderson, Philosophy; Roy Barnes, Sociology; John Stephen Ellis, History; Michael Farmer, Computer Science and Information Systems.

From assistant professor to associate professor with tenure:
Dauda Abubakar, Africana Studies and Political Science; Julie Broadbent, Psychology; Daniel Coffield, Jr., Mathematics; Rajib Ganguly, Physics; Christopher Heidenreich, Music; Daniel Lair, Communication; Vickie Jeanne Larsen, English; Shelby Newport, Theatre and Dance; Greg Rybarczyk, Earth & Resource Science.

In addition to honoring our more seasoned faculty, the convocation also serves as a welcome to new faculty. The College of Arts & Science welcomed ten new faculty members:

Karen Bedell, Lecturer of Psychology; Halil Bisgin, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; David Duriancik, Assistant Professor of Biology; Jason Jarvis, Lecturer of Psychology; Jacob Lederman, Instructor cum Assistant Professor of Urban Sociology; Jeffrey Livermore, Lecturer of Computer Science; Brian Schrader, Lecturer of Communication; Amanda Kahl Smith, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice; Matthew Spradling, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; and Amanda Taylor, Lecturer of Psychology.

Each of the new faculty will be more thoroughly introduced to the campus and community through CAS Faculty Spotlights, located on the CAS website, throughout the Fall 2015 semester.

The College of Arts & Sciences would like to offer sincere congratulations to all of our faculty on their awards, recognition, promotion, or introduction to the University of Michigan-Flint. We are looking forward to a wonderful academic year of service and teaching.