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Recent Faculty Research (by Discipline)


Arts & Humanities | Education & Human Ecology | Evolution, Ecology, & Organismal Biology and Microbiology | Social & Behavioral Sciences | Math & Physical Sciences



callahan_cynthia1Callahan, Cynthia
Associate Professor of English

Dr. Callahan has recently published Kin of Another Kind: Transracial Adoption and American Literature, with the University of Michigan Press. Kin of Another Kind examines the appearance of transracial adoption in American literature at certain key moments from the turn of the twentieth century to the turn of the twenty-first to help understand its literary and social significance to authors and readers alike. In juxtaposing representations of African American, American Indian, and Korean and Chinese adoptions across racial (and national) lines, Kin of Another Kind traces the metaphorical significance of adoption when it appears in fiction. At the same time, aligning these groups calls attention to their unique and divergent cultural histories with adoption, which serve as important contexts for the fiction discussed in this study.




Cavender, Molly
Associate Professor of History

Professor Cavender is a specialist in Russian history, with interests in 18th- and 19th-century Russian cultural, social and intellectual history. She is the author of Nests of the Gentry: Family, Estate and Local Loyalties in Provincial Russia (University of Delaware Press, 2007), as well as several articles and reviews, and edited, with Choi Chatterjee, David Ransel and Karen Petrone, Everyday Life in Russia Past and Present (Indiana University Press, 2014).  Dr. Cavender offers individual studies courses and works with seniors majoring in History to complete a research project.


Susan DelagrangeDelagrange, Susan
Associate Professor of English

Research Spotlight

Dr. Delagrange specializes in digital media and rhetoric. She won the 2010 Kairos Best Web Text Award for her article, "Wunderkammer, Cornell, and the Visual Canon of Arrangement," in which she demonstrated how inquiry and argument change in nonlinear digital media. Her most recent work is a book titled Technologies of Wonder: Rhetorical Practice in a Digital World, the first born-digital book put forward for tenure at a Big 10 university. Professor Delagrange’s current research project is an abecedary piece in which she will represent each letter of the alphabet with an example of visual rhetoric. Professor Delagrange is available for independent studies. She is currently recruiting students for a research project collecting literary narratives for the national Digital Archive of Literary Narratives

Joseph FaheyFahey, Joseph
Associate Professor of Theatre

Professor Fahey is not currently involved in a research project. Although he is not currently conducting research with students, he is interested in starting a project.


Glenn HartzHartz, Glenn
Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Hartz has studied intensively the historical philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly Leibniz. Leibniz's Final System (Routledge, 2007) is a book devoted to the mature system. He also has articles on audience response to fiction, humor, and teaching. Dr. Hartz recently published an article, "Leibnitz's Animals: Where Teleology Meets Mechanism," in an anthology (Springer, 2011). He is currently working on skepticism in Descartes' Meditations and on the role of online education in the university. Dr. Hartz has worked with an advanced undergraduate student who presented her research at the Denman Forum in Columbus.

jones_normanJones, Norman
Associate Professor of English

Dr. Jones studies 20th- and 21st-century U.S. literature, the influence of the Bible in modern and contemporary literature, and representations of sexuality in literature. His latest publication, The King James Bible after 400 Years: Literary, Linguistic, and Cultural Influences, explores the King James Bible and its influence. He is now working on a research project involving the study of William Faulkner and how the Bible influenced this 20th-century writer. Dr. Jones has advised students in independent studies which focused on 20th-century U.S. literature and explored the works of renowned authors, such as Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway. Dr. Jones also welcomes students who wish to undertake research projects pertaining to sexuality studies, film, and the history and development of religion.

joyce_stevenJoyce, Steven
Associate Professor of German

Dr. Steven Joyce is the recipient of several Fulbright awards to Austria and Germany. His research combines and reflects his interests in both German and Comparative Studies. Currently, Dr. Joyce is researching Thomas Bernhard, Judith Hermann, and Susanna Piontek and planning to write monographs on the latter two German authors. His latest book, The Winds of Ilion, brings together various writing styles to reflect on both literary topics and everyday life. His next book, tentatively titled Strange Returns, is based on Odysseus’ return to Ithaca and will be written in much the same style. Dr. Joyce looks forward to beginning research with undergraduate and graduate students.


kolkovich_elizabeth_001Kolkovich, Elizabeth
Assistant Professor of English

Dr. Kolkovich's research focuses on the literature and culture of 16th and 17th century England. Specific interests include Shakespeare and other Renaissance drama in text and performance, Elizabeth I, and women writers. She is currently at work on a book manuscript, "The Elizabethan Country-House Entertainment in Performance and Print," and she has recently written about women and pageantry in Middleton's Women Beware Women and Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. Dr. Kolkovich welcomes students interested in pursuing their own research projects on English Renaissance literature, either as independent studies or as work toward a research thesis.


Barb McGovernMcGovern, Barbara
Associate Professor of English

Barbara McGovern specializes in 18th-century British literature and Women's Studies. She is author of the book Anne Finch and Her Poetry: A Critical Biography, and co-editor of The Anne Finch Wellesley Manuscript Poems: A Critical Edition. She has published articles on such women writers as George Eliot and Margaret Tyler. She received the Ohio State University 1994 Excellence in Scholarship Award and the College of Humanities 2001 Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring Award. Dr. McGovern has directed a number of Individual Studies (693) projects on 18th- and 19th-century women authors and has served on a couple of undergraduate thesis committees for students working towards graduating with research distinction in English.

Scopas PoggoPoggo, Scopas
Associate Professor of African American/African Studies

Dr. Poggo specializes in the Sudanese Civil War in the 20th and 21st centuries as well as the history of the Kuku people of Sudan. His book, The First Sudanese Civil War: Africans, Arabs, and Israelis in the Southern Sudan, 1955-1972, has received great praise. He continues his research with a current project with a former student in which they will be interviewing African-American law enforcement officers (including the first African-American police chief) in Mansfield, Ohio. Professor Poggo is open to undergraduate research as well as independent studies with students.



shannon_kateShannon, Kate
Assistant Professor of Art

Research Spotlight

Kate Shannon explores notions of loss, damage, consumption, and desire through photography and new media technologies. Her recent project involves a collection of glass plate negatives taken by Orville and Wilbur Wright that were damaged during the Great Dayton Flood of 1913. This and other recent projectscan be viewed at Prospective applicants should have completed the following courses: Art 200, Art 208, Art 300.02, Art 350.


skinner_carolynSkinner, Carolyn
Associate Professor of English

Dr. Skinner is currently working on a book in which she examines the speech and writing of 19th-century American women physicians. In analyzing their reform rhetoric, their health information and advice texts, and their medical journal articles, Dr. Skinner describes ethos (the persuasive appeal of a speaker’s or writer’s character) in a way that reflects the rhetorical practices of historical women, who have largely been unaccounted for in descriptions of ethos. One of Dr. Skinner's students published an article in Young Scholars in Writing, a peer-reviewed journal for undergraduates. Two other students presented papers at a regional Writing Center conference.


tanner_heatherTanner, Heather
Associate Professor of History

Dr. Tanner is a medieval historian (8-13th centuries) of primarily northern Europe. She is working on her second book, which focuses on women who inherited counties in northern France during the mid-12th century to early 13th century. Her research explores the question of whether women were pushed out of roles of direct power or not. One related project that has grown out of this research is the development of the concepts of rebellion and treason during the late 12th century. The overall focus of her current research project, as well as her first book, deals with the use of power and how people understand it. Dr. Tanner's third publication will be an analysis of a reform monastic order of the late 11th and early 12th century. Dr. Tanner enjoys working with students in pursuit of their own research projects in ancient, medieval, and early modern topics. In the past, she has helped three undergraduates with their honors theses and is currently planning a fourth. She has also advised students in independent studies.

John ThrasherThrasher, John
Associate Professor of Art

Professor Thrasher specializes in ceramics and drawing. His current research project is an ongoing show of framed pastel drawings (one of which won the Libby Duncan Award for Creativity at the Mansfield Art Center) and ceramic pieces that are always evolving. Professor Thrasher also works with Professor Shannon to prepare exhibitions for the Ohio State University-Mansfield Pearl Conard Art Gallery. Professor Thrasher is open to and involved with undergraduate and graduate research, as well as independent studies.

David ToveyTovey, David
Associate Professor of Music & Associate Dean

Dr. Tovey specializes in historical research in music education and, more specifically, multi-cultural music education. He conducted his research in Mexico for eighteen years and has published studies in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. In the past year, he contributed five entries for the new edition of the Amerigrove Dictionary of American Music—the leading English reference source on the history of American music. Because of his new position as associate dean, Dr. Tovey’s research has been put to the side until he can once again get involved with music education. He is an organist who is currently involved with musical performances and choral productions. Dr. Tovey does not work with students in his research because the only music classes offered on the Mansfield campus are beginning music courses. His research also requires being very fluent in Spanish.



Bucci, Terri
Associate Professor of Education




Farland-Smith, Donna
Associate Professor of Education

Dr. Farland-Smith's particular research interest is that which focuses on students’ perceptions and attitudes toward science and scientists. She was the director of the Side-by-Side with Scientists Camp at OSU-M which served over 350 girls in the local community.  Her research at the camp focused on middle school girls’ attitudes and perceptions of scientists who are working ‘side-by-side’ with scientists as well as the characteristics of scientists that most positively affect the girl’s perception of scientists. She previously taught science all grades K-12. She has written and published books that inspire children to understand and appreciate scientists and their work, Her books include: Jungle Jane, It Takes Two: The Story of the Watson & Crick Team, It Takes All Kinds of Scientists and The Simple Truth about Scientists. Dr. Farland-Smith is also the Founder of The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum which is a stimulating and fun place for families of all kinds to enjoy playing and learning together. It has reached out to all members of the community through educational programs for teachers and students and strives to serve children who might otherwise miss such important opportunities for constructive play.  The museum was built in 2010 and currently has over 100 sponsors and over 30 exhibits. Any student interested in research science education or play should contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


gavazzi_stephenGavazzi, Stephen
Professor of Human Development and Family Science & Dean/Director

Dr. Gavazzi’s research focuses on how families influence the development and well-being of children and adolescents. Currently, Dr. Gavazzi has established a research program that identifies the impact of family dynamics on child and adolescent development, psychopathology, and problem behaviors. Dr. Gavazzi has been involved in the development and evaluation of a number of family-based programming efforts, including a multifamily psycho education group for families containing children with mood disorders. This effort has been implemented and evaluated through a grant from the National Institutes for Mental Health. Dr. Gavazzi has been an advisor to 24 students who have completed theses and doctoral dissertations over the last twenty years. This includes 10 undergraduate students who completed an honors thesis as part of their scholarly work in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. These undergraduate students worked in a variety of interest areas, most of which surrounded the impact of family factors on the development and well-being of adolescents. Currently, however, Dr. Gavazzi is unable to conduct research projects with undergraduates.

lehman_barbaraLehman, Barbara
Professor of Teaching and Learning

Dr. Barbara Lehman specializes in children’s literature, most specifically South African, international, global, and multicultural children’s literature. She is currently a reviewer of children’s literature for Africa Access and has written four books since 1995. Dr. Lehman is working on her fifth book in which she and three other South African children’s literature experts will analyze the work of South African children’s literature authors and illustrators. A Fulbright scholar who studied in South Africa, Dr. Lehman is taking her second group of students on a two-week study tour in South Africa in May 2013. This trip is offered in conjunction with her graduate-level South African children’s literature course and is open to students in all majors. On this trip, students will have individualized experiences within which they may engage in research. Students who choose to study South African authors and illustrators may be given the opportunity to be published in Dr. Lehman’s upcoming collaborative book. While Dr. Lehman has previously worked mostly with graduate researchers, she welcomes the opportunity to work with undergraduates on children's literature projects that may arise in the future.


winterbottom_christianWinterbottom, Christian
Assistant Professor of Teaching and Learning

Research Spotlight

Dr. Winterbottom conducts research in the field of education, specializing in working with immigrant and ethnic minority groups, and service-learning. Dr. Winterbottom recently presented on the experiences and barriers that Japanese immigrant families face in Florida’s early childhood education system at the British Early Childhood Education Research Association Annual Conference. In the summer, 2012 he will be conducting similar research with Bangladeshi and Pakistani families in England. Dr. Winterbottom also researches how teachers’ beliefs about service-learning effect pedagogical practices and children’s learning. Moreover, Dr. Winterbottom is also studying the differences between nationally accredited and unaccredited preschools in relation to child outcomes. In the fall 2012, Dr. Winterbottom will begin research at the Mansfield campus Child Development Center. Students who conduct research with Dr. Winterbottom are involved in data collection, data analysis, and literature collection. He welcomes undergraduates and graduates alike to join him in his work.



abedon_stephenAbedon, Stephen

Associate Professor of Microbiology


Pharmacology and evolutionary ecology of bacteriophages, a.k.a., phages, which are the viruses that prey upon as well as parasitize bacteria.


kitchen_dawnKitchen, Dawn
Associate Professor of Anthropology

Research Description: Dr. Kitchen studies the social behavior and communication of monkeys and apes but she would be interested in mentoring student projects on the behavior of any animals. She also currently has a research opportunity for data entry based on a long-term study of baboons collected at Jane Goodall's Gombe site in Tanzania. Familiarity with Excel is a plus but not required. Contact her at 355 Ovalwood or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 419-755-4027.



landry_carolLandry, Carol
Associate Professor of Biology & Plant Ecology

Research Spotlight

Dr. Landry studies all aspects of plant reproductive ecology, with an emphasis on insect-pollinated plants. She conducts field research in south Florida and the Bahamas, but laboratory and greenhouse studies take place in Ohio. Students working with her begin with experiments on campus. Interested students should contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .Course pre-requisite: Biology 101, Plant Biology 101, or equivalent.  Here is more information about Dr. Landry's research and how students can get involved - view PDF (5 MB).





Bowen, Rachel
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Dr. Bowen is currently working on a book that is a comparative analysis of judicial politics in five Central American countries. This book is based on research that she conducted in Guatemala and Costa Rica from 2009-2010. During this research, she interviewed and surveyed judges and lawyers about infringements on their independence and personal security. Dr. Bowen has worked with a student to help with her interview transcription. In the future, she would like to employ a student who is fluent in Spanish to help with her research, but she is also open to helping anyone who wishes to research politics or Latin America in general.

brunell_amyBrunell, Amy
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Brunell's primary line of research concerns the role of narcissism in social contextes. She has published papers about the role of narcissism in predicting emergent leadership, greed, academic cheating, and romantic relationship behaviors. Her second line of research examines intimacy and relationship satisfaction in dating couples. She regularly works with undergraduate research assistants and collaborators, who can sign up for Psych 4998 for this opportunity.

Research Spotlight 



constantinouConstantinou, Stavros
Associate Professor of Geography

Dr. Constantinou's research focuses on the study of ethnic identity and migration.


Terri FisherFisher, Terri
Professor of Psychology & Assistant Dean

Dr. Fisher's primary area of research is on gender and personality differences in sexual behavior and attitudes. While administrative duties are keeping her from doing as much research as in the past, psychology majors who have taken Psych 1100 and Psych 2300 are eligible to be research assistants when there is a need. In addition, Dr. Fisher is willing to serve as an advisor for research thesis students. Two of her research thesis students recently presented their work at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.


kitchen_dawnKitchen, Dawn 
Associate Professor of Anthropology

Research Description: Dr. Kitchen studies the social behavior and communication of monkeys and apes but she would be interested in mentoring student projects on the behavior of any animals. She also currently has a research opportunity for data entry based on a long-term study of baboons collected at Jane Goodall's Gombe site in Tanzania. Familiarity with Excel is a plus but not required. Contact her at 355 Ovalwood or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 419-755-4027.


Delwin LindseyLindsey, Delwin
Professor of Psychology

Dr. Lindsey’s research focuses on human vision, with particular emphasis on color vision. Currently, he is conducting cross-cultural research on how language and perception both affect how humans think about color. Undergraduate students are welcome to join Dr. Lindsey in his research and even serve as participants in his experiments.

mazzocco_philMazzocco, Phil
Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Mazzocco is generally focused on the factors that give rise to racial colorblindness. In his current work, he is examining the link between perceptions of ongoing racial disparities and support for racial colorblindness. He hypothesizes that people who believe that racial disparities are minimal will be more likely to support racial colorblindness than those who believe disparities are extreme. Dr. Mazzocco typically has two to three undergraduate students working in his lab (as Psych 4998 students). In addition, he has advised two students on honors theses. Finally, one of his recent journal publications included two undergraduate student coauthors.


Ruthsatz, Joanne
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Research Spotlight


Dr. Ruthsatz specializes in research on child prodigies. She has found a link between autism and the exceptional behavior displayed by child prodigies, and hopes to better understand their talents by examining this link. Currently, she is preparing to collect DNA from the child prodigies and their biological relatives, many who have autism, in the hopes of identifying the first strong candidate gene for autism. Students can work with Professor Ruthsatz on her research by helping with literature reviews.

Dennis ShafferShaffer, Dennis
Associate Professor of Psychology

In one line of research, Dr. Shaffer is investigating whether sighted and blinded observers use common mechanisms to pursue moving targets in their environment. In another line of research, he is investigating the mechanism involved in estimating the slope of hills in our environment. Dr. Shaffer currently has students involved in every aspect of his research. This past year, Dr. Shaffer published two scholarly articles in top-tier journals with students as coauthors.


Yongmin SunSun, Yongmin
Professor of Sociology

Dr. Yongmin Sun researches sociology, focusing on how parental divorce and other nontraditional family structures affect children. He is currently working on a study that looks at the effect of nontraditional family structures on the cognitive development of nine-month-olds. His research shows that certain factors, like single-parent households, make significant impacts on the cognitive development of children. Dr. Sun welcomes the opportunity of working with graduate and undergraduate students.


winnick_terriWinnick, Terri
Associate Professor of Sociology

Dr. Winnick's research interests are in deviance issues and Medical Sociology, and she is currently looking at gender differences in the stigma of incarceration. She is also interested in Islamophobia and its correlates, and in the post-release adjustment of military veterans. Dr. Winnick involves undergraduate students in her work on the Islamophobia project and the incarcerated veterans project.





Caibar, Mirel
Associate Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Caibar's research is in algebraic geometry, singularity theory, and Hodge theory. Currently, he is collaborating with Professor Herb Clemens of OSU-Columbus on questions about height pairings, Hodge theory, and algebraic cycles. He is also collaborating with three other professors of mathematics (Manuel Gonzalez Villa, Lee McEwan, and Gary Kennedy) on questions about motivic invariants of singularities. Dr. Caibar is not conducting research with students at this time.



Chmutov, Sergei
Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Chmutov's research is in low-dimensional topology, knot theory, combinatorics, graph theory, theory of singularities of algebraic varieties, and algebraic geometry. He collaborates with many people around the world, including England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy,and Russia. Dr. Chmutov conducts an undergraduate research for math honors students through his summer program, "Knots and Graphs" in Columbus.


costa_ozeas_001Costa, Ozeas
Associate Professor of Earth Sciences

Research Spotlight

Dr. Costa’s research focus on the biogeochemistry of nutrients (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus) in aquatic systems. He seeks to understand the processes (both natural and anthropogenic) that drive and influence the biogeochemical cycles of these nutrients, including: sources and transport of nutrients within watersheds, the effects of nutrients on aquatic ecosystems, and how these systems retain nutrients and control their transformations. This is done by conducting measurements in the field, running experiments in the laboratory, and developing and applying models. Dr. Costa has conducted nutrient research in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Panama, Qatar and the United States. Since Moving to Ohio, in 2006, Dr. Costa has supervised graduate and undergraduate research by 21 OSU students, 16 of which were from the Mansfield Campus.  Student research opportunities with Dr. Costa     



katsaounis_tenaKatsaounis, Tena
Department of Mathematics

Research Description: Dr. Katsaounis is interested in the design of physical experiments (factorial experiments) to study the effect of multiple input variables (factors) on an experimental outcome. Her research deals with the appropriate selection of the combinations of settings of input variables that yields a ‘target’ response. She is working on construction methods and properties of economic factorial experiments for complex physical processes and develops mathematical criteria that can detect whether two seemingly different factorial designs have the same statistical properties (called equivalent designs). She is also interested in designs for computer experiments, and is currently working on evaluating the performance of designs used in coding theory for computer experiments.

Gary KennedyKennedy, Gary
Professor of Mathematics

Research Spotlight

Dr. Kennedy's research is in algebraic geometry, particularly intersection theory and enumerative geometry. Currently, he is collaborating with his colleagues Dr. Mirel Caibar and Dr. Lee McEwan. Dr. Gonzalez Villa, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, is also participating in the research project. Their anticipated publication follows up on Dr. Kennedy's prior work with Dr. McEwan in the mathematical study of singularities.  



Lee McEwanMcEwan, Lee
Professor of Mathematics

Currently, Dr. McEwan is collaborating with three other professors of mathematics (Mirel Calibar, Manuel Gonzalez Villa, and Gary Kennedy). Their anticipated publication will discuss the process of singularity.

putikka_williamPutikka, William
Professor of Physics/Astronomy 


Faith WyzgoskiWyzgoski , Faith
Associate Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Wyzgoski specializes in studies of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) at high field to identify and quantify chemopreventive components in black raspberries. She is also involved with advanced NMR studies of synthetic polymers and is currently working collaboratively with DuPont on fluoropolymer NMR analysis. Dr. Wyzgoski has published entries about this research in various scientific journals including the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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