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Faculty Presentations

Faculty-Student Research

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Faculty Research Days Presentations


On November 1, 2017, ORSP will begin accepting submissions from faculty to present their research, scholarship, or creative activity during Kean University Research Days 2018.
Research Days 2018 will be held on Tuesday, April 24th and Wednesday, April 25th. Faculty presentations are scheduled for Tuesday, April 24th. Each year, this event is an opportunity to demonstrate the diversity and quality of research being conducted by our faculty and students.
Note that preference will be given to faculty presentations in which students have been involved in the research and will also participate in the presentation. 
The deadline to submit is November 30th, 2017.

Faculty Research Presentations – Research Days 2017


Dr. John Burke

“A Preference for Simple versus Complex Stimuli: A Possible Precursor to a Pivotal Disturbance in Autism”

Dr. John Burke, College of Education

Typically developing infants beginning at two months of age demonstrate a preference for increased stimulus complexity. As they advance in age they show a preference for greater complexity. Older children with autism often demonstrate a disturbance in responding to complex stimuli and commonly show greater responsiveness to relatively simple stimuli. It is hypothesized that a core difference may exist in infancy between those who are typically developing and others who eventually receive the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This paper unites diverse areas of research as a foundation to better understand this pivotal area of need and its possible origin. Additional research is being initiated at Kean to directly compare infants at-risk for autism with typically developing peers to determine whether a pivotal difference may exist.


Dr. Paul Croft

“Climate CHANGE in NJ”

Dr. Paul Croft, College of Natural, Applied and Health Sciences

A student/faculty research team has begun an examination of the records available at Kean University to determine the level and types of environmental, weather and climate information that may be available from historical data and information based upon written, depicted, and inferred evidence and artifacts. Working with the Kean University Archives and a developing partnership with the Department of History, initial investigations have identified several key foci for work that is in-progress. These include the role of Florence Dwyer in environmental awareness and protection in New Jersey related to the Sustainability Science movement; the nature of climate change, and the Great Swamp considered within the context of sustainable development.


Dr. Vikas Grover & Dr. Mahchid Namazi

“Preschool Speech Language Screenings: A Faculty-Student-Community Partnership”

Dr. Vikas Grover & Dr. Mahchid Namazi, Nathan Weiss Graduate College

The Kean University School of Communication Disorders and Deafness was approached by several child care centers in West Orange, East Orange, Elizabeth, Union, and Montclair during the early fall of 2016 requesting speech, language, hearing screenings for children aged 2 to 6 attending their centers. To respond to this need, we developed a pilot project with the assistance of a junior in our BA program in speech-language-hearing sciences. 11 MA-SLP students were recruited to participate in two 2.5 hour training sessions to learn how to use the Preschool Language Scale-5 screening tool as well as how to administer a hearing screening. Students also received training about management of behavior in preschool children. To date we have screened 50 children across three centers in Union and Elizabeth.


Dr. David Joiner

“World of Data: Using Unity Game Engine for Scientific Visualization”

Dr. David Joiner, NJCSTM

A Research-First Initiative project held during Fall 2016 through Spring 2017 focused on the use of Unity Game Engine for Scientific Visualization. Our team is developing a scientific visualization tool for use in virtual reality environments. World of Data is a multi-user virtual reality data environment. Initial work has focused on the development of reusable assets for Unity, including data constructs for multi-dimensional unstructured and structured data, and tools for 2 and 3D line, scatter, and quiver plots, 3D surfaces of 2 independent variables, and 3D isocontours of 3 independent variables. Our test environment is the Occulus Rift Virtual Reality headset and the CAVE immersive environment. Continued work involves development of multi-user capacity, user interface for selecting datasets and applying a visualization 


Dr. Craig Konyk

“Digital Hand Skills Toward Enhanced Productivity”

Craig Konyk, Michael Graves College

The interface with current design & productivity software (Autocadd, Revit, etc.) used by Architects, Engineers and Designers typically relies on a command/input structure that is keyboard/mouse based. While certain individuals are quite proficient in the speed and accuracy of this way of interfacing with the software (think 80 wpm typists) the present generation of students have been educated on iPads and are quite proficient with multi-touch touchscreen interfaces. The new School of Public Architecture within the newly christened Michael Graves College has an unique opportunity to exploit this youthful proficiency in our new students. Working with existing software that has been adapted to work with a touch screen input, these students can be more intuitive in how they work with the software and thus be more productive. This proposal sets out to prove this thesis.


Dr. Donald Marks & Dr. Jennifer Block-Lerner

“Rendezvous with Rhetoric: Recontextualizing (and Reconceptualizing) Diagnosis in Behavioral Health Practice” 

Dr. Donald Marks & Dr. Jennifer Block-Lerner, Nathan Weiss Graduate College

Review of the changing methods employed across the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) reveals that: (a) social, political, and economic considerations have influenced the creation, deletion, and reformulation of diagnostic criteria over time, (b) empirical evidence supporting many widely employed diagnostic categories is weak or contradictory, (c) interrater reliability among trained evaluators is startlingly low for frequently assigned diagnoses, and (d) the construct of “mental disorder” is insufficiently defined and the consequences of its medical and social use are largely unexplored. This presentation considers the DSM’s function as a rhetoric of mental health, which reflects the values and advancing the priorities of particular social interests. Awareness of the rhetorical strategies employed in the DSM, and in the discourse of psychopathology as a whole, could offer behavioral health practitioners an opportunity to consider novel theoretical perspectives and less pathologizing alternatives to nomothetic or reductionistic conceptualizations of psychological distress.


History/Liberty Hall Presentation

“Alexander Hamilton at Liberty Hall”

     Dr. Jonathan Mercantini, Dr. C. Brid Nicholson, William Schroh & Rachel Goldberg

College of Liberal Arts

From his arrival in the North American colonies in 1772, Alexander Hamilton spent much of his early days in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He was a regular guest of William Livingston at his new home, Liberty Hall. There he flirted with Livingston’s daughters while furthering his education at the Academy in Elizabeth. During the American War for Independence, he very likely spent more time at the home of the NJ Governor. Later, during the 1790s, he collaborated with John Kean, the Cashier of the First Bank of the United States, founded by Hamilton and central to his vision for the new American nation. These presentations by experts from Liberty Hall and Kean’s Department of History will explore some of the intimate connections between America’s current Superstar Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, and the Livingston and Kean families.


Dr. Kai Wang

“Crowdsourced Idea Generation: The effect of exposure to an original idea”

Dr. Kai Wang, College of Business and Public Management

Crowdsourcing innovation tasks is an increasingly popular option in open innovation. It is quite common that crowd members are exposed to each other’s ideas in such tasks. However, the effect of idea exposure in such context is not well understood. In this study, the effect of exposure to an original or common idea on crowdsourced idea generation was studied by asking crowd workers to design a public service advertisement. As compared to having no idea exposure, exposure to an original idea decreased fluency and increased the average originality of ideas generated by each person. By contrast, exposure to a common idea had no effect on either idea originality or fluency. However, the two exposure conditions showed no significant difference in either fluency or idea originality. The semantic similarity between a stimulus idea and the first idea generated was higher when the stimulus was common, as opposed to original, as measured by latent semantic analysis. The implications of these results for research and practice are discussed.


Assessment Panel Presentation

Assessment Update: Exploring Assessment of “Active Citizenship

Dr. JUYOUNG HA, BRIDGET LEPORE & Dr. JULIA NEVAREZ

 Moderated by: Dr. KARIN BECK

 Three faculty members will discuss the challenges of assessing GE-SLO6, “Active Citizenship”, and KU-SLO3, “Serve as active contributing members of communities”. Juyoung Ha will present examples from the School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences programs to show how they assess KU-SLO3. Bridget Lepore will address “grading versus assessing” using T2K and GE3000 as examples of how GE assesses GE-SLO6. Dr. Julia Nevarez will use examples from Sociology to address why it is important that our students understand the need to be active citizens.


History/MAHGS Panel Presentation

“Are Millennials Concerned About Genocide?”

Frank J. Esposito, History, Program Moderator

Dennis B. Klein, History, and Program Director, as Faculty Panelist,

Sue Gronewold, History, as Faculty Panelist,

Gilbert Kahn, Political Science, as Faculty Panelist,

Brid Nicholson, History, as Faculty Panelist

Isabella Costa, MAHGS student.

Millennials now have become the largest part of the nation’s workforce eclipsing Generation X (Pew Research Center). They are also the most highly educated generation ever. Increasingly, Millennials are beginning to exercise their political clout. Their numbers will reach approximately 40% of the electorate by mid-century. Even now they are beginning to have a significant political impact in local, state and national politics. Their growing influence poses many challenges as we try to determine their views on the Holocaust and historic and ongoing genocides. One thing is certain: Millennials will increasingly influence the future positions on these issues as taken by political leaders. It is important that we begin to examine what their views are now  and likely to be in the future.

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