Faculty Activities

Activities for Academic Year 2018-2019

Associate Professor Brent Campney, Department of History, published his peer-reviewed journal article titled “What we need here is another Crystal City”: The Mexican American Civil Rights Movement in South Texas, 1963, in the New Mexico Historical Review, based upon research funded by OGE.

Professor Aziza Zemrani, Public Affairs and Security Studies, presented her paper titled “Deep Cultural diversity as a governance challenge: the need for leadership training using assessment” at the International Association and the Euro-Mena, Granada, Spain.

The School of Music’s Professor Joel G. Pagan gave a viola performance at the Habana Contemporary Music Festival, and gave master classes in the Universidad de las Artes, both in Havana, Cuba.

Professor Mounir Ben Ghalia of Electrical Engineering traveled to Valencia, Spain to present his paper titled “A Pedagogical Model for Teaching MATLAB Programming in an Undergraduate Engineering Laboratory” at the 2019 International Technology, Education, and Development Conference.

The Chemistry Department’s Associate Professor Wei Lin, visited and conducted collaborative research using the Fourier transform microwave spectrometer to study unstable radicals produced from electrical discharges, at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan.

Associate Professor David Sadler, School of Music, was in residence as a teacher and performer in Lucca, Italy at the Accademia Europea dell’ Opera.

Dr. Mònica Clua-Losada, Associate Professor in the Political Science Department, created an organizing committee for the Historical Materialism Conference in Barcelona, Spain. She also presented her conference paper titled: “Marx and the surplus population: precarious lives in the 21st century.”

Assistant Professor Karin Ann Lewis, Teaching & Learning Department in the College of Education, presented her paper titled: “Celebrating Disparate Experiences on the USA-Mexican Frontera: Three Colleagues at a Hispanic Serving Institution” at the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies in Melbourne, Australia.

From the Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Assistant Professor Lakshman Chandrashekhar served as an International Business Expert on the Nordic-India Business Research Group established recently at the Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, Sweden. The activities of this research group involve an annual business research conference, business presentations by practitioners working in the Nordic-India region.

Assistant Professor Katherine O’Donnell Christoffersen, Writing and Language Studies, was in Valladolid, Spain to present her paper titled: “‘Aqui também é assim’: Code-switching for Humor in Spanish-Portuguese bilingual conversations.” She presented at the international conference on Applied Linguistics, the 37th International Conference of the Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics.

The UTRGV School of Music in conjunction with the ITEA Chapter at the UTRGV student organization and under the leadership of Associate Professor Scott Roeder, hosted the International Tuba and Euphonium Festival. The festival featured guest artists from Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia.

Associate Professor Alfonso Mercado, Psychological Science, organized a collaborative symposia at UTRGV with community organizers from Texas to advance research directly assessing the relation between Latino sociocultural values and physical health in recent immigrants.

The 6th National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language was hosted at UTRGV thanks to the leadership and efforts of Jose Esteban Hernandez, Professor in the Writing and Language Studies Department.

Under the auspices of Assistant Professor Mi-Seon Kim, the Political Science Department hosted their annual Colloquium Series. Open to all members of the UTRGV community, this series sponsored 12 talks, including speakers from the Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico; Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico; and Texas A&M.


UTRGV Professor Zhijun Qiao and Visting Scholars from China join together in publishing a paper in Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications, "Continuity for a generalized cross-coupled Camassa-Holm system with waltzing peakons and higher-order nonlinearities".



  • Activities for Academic Year 2017-2018

    Brent Campney

    Dr. Brent Campney, Associate Professor in the Department of History, was a 2017-2018 recipient of a research grant from the Office of Global Engagement for his study of the Anglo, Mexican American, Mexican, Japanese, and Chinese populations and their inter-relationships in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands during in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dr. Campney has just published his first article on the region, in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and titled “‘The Most Turbulent and Most Traumatic Years in Recent Mexican-American History’: Police Violence and the Civil Rights Struggle in 1970s Texas.” Building on previous studies focused on the Texas Rangers and the 1910s, Campney documents the centrality of police violence against Mexican Americans in Texas and the Southwest in the decades after World War II. Focusing on the years 1977-1978, he identifies nearly twenty questionable killings of unarmed Mexican Americans by local police officers. Funding was provided by the Office of Global Engagement.  

    On March 1, 2018, Professors Linda Belau and Andres Amado, Literatures and Cultural Studies and Music, will host a talk by Dr. Michael Austin, Assistant Professor of Media, Journalism, and Film from Howard University, in Washington D.C. He will discuss his trans-national and interdisciplinary research on the intersections between Japanese culture, mariachi music, and video games. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement.

    Associate Professor Brent Campney, Department of History, will travel and conduct research at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. His research is titled Race, Mob Violence, and International Diplomacy in the U.S. West, and focuses on racist violence by white Americans against non-white minorities in various parts of the U.S. West and the implications of this violence for American diplomatic relations with China, Japan, and Mexico. His has completed the research and the initial drafts of two of the chapters which pertain to the racist violence against Japanese and Mexican nationals in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in 1921-1922. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, Department of History, and the College of Liberal Arts.

    In November, 2017, Assistant Professor Sarah Rowe, Sociology and Anthropology, will present her research at the 50th Chacmool Conference at the University of Calgary, Canada. Her paper, titled “Community Archaeology and Everyday Activism”, is part of the conference panel titled “Archaeological Activism for the 21st Century”.  The panel examines the practice of archaeologists as advocates for past heritage as well as living populations whose histories are often fabricated based on ‘alternative facts’ and colonial stereotypes. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement.

    Assistant Professors Ping Xu and Robert Gilbert, School of Art, will help host an international photography exhibition called “U.X.M. International Contemporary Photography Exhibition”. The exhibition will feature seventeen student photographic works from UTRGV and two faculty photographic works from UTRGV School of Arts in the FUJIFILM Taiwan Gallery in Taipei, from December 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018. All artwork were created from the trip of Study Abroad China 2017 in mainland China and Taiwan. The entire exhibition will display 102 photographic works from UTRGV, MCU, and XMUT. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement.

    On November 14 & 15, 2017 Professors Minhee Eom, Mijin Oh, and Regine Pellicer present the 3rd Annual Multilingua Fest at the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses as part of International Education Week. The event celebrates and promotes multiculturalism at UTRGV and provide UTRGV with an impressive diversity of language and culture at UTRGV. In terms of experiential learning, program recruitment, and international celebration, the event is an important event and contributes directly to the internationalization of UTRGV. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, College of Liberal Arts, the Texas Korean Women’s Network, and Writing and Language Studies. 

    Professor José M. Martínez, Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies, has been conducting research on the organization of Las fuerzas extrañas, a book hailed as the first masterpiece of Spanish fantastic literature and published in 1906 by Argentinean author Leopoldo Lugones. He will present the preliminary results of my research at the II International Conference on Fantastic Literature that will be held at the University of Leon, in Spain, from October 16 to October 18, 2017. Dr. Martínez received funding from the Office of Global Engagement and the Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies.

    George Atisa, Assistant Professor, Public Affairs and Security Studies, presents his research paper titled “Global Dynamics, National Differences and Environmental Sustainability Frameworks" at the Sustainable Innovation Forum at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Boon, Germany in Novembers, 2017. In addition to sharing his research at the UN conference, Dr. Atisa will include it in his classes, thereby increasing the global awareness of this topic among our students. Funding comes from the Office of Global Engagement and Public Affairs and Security Studies.

    Mi-son Kim, Assistant Professor, Political Science, will conduct research in South Korea in October, 2017 on the topic of political party branding/re-branding in the Republic of Korea. She will also present her research at the 2017 Asian Election Studies International Conference in Incheon, South Korea. Funding comes from the Office of Global Engagement, Political Science, and the Southwest Texas Asian Symposium. 

    Drs. Minhee Eom (Writing and Language Studies), Xi Chen (Political Science), and Yanrong Chang (Communications) will organize and host the Inaugural Southwest-Texas Asian Symposium in Social Studies, Science, and Engineering on November 8, 2017. The 2017 Southwest Texas Asian Symposium is to bring scholars, researchers, practitioners, and students together to discuss issues related to teaching and researching in the Asian contexts. Specifically, it aims to provide a forum that allows participants to explore Asian issues in the global contexts, to exchange ideas that help foster the professional development of Asian scholars as well as professionals specialized in Asia-related disciplines, and to share teaching experiences of Asian language teachers in the U.S. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science. Joining in the organization of this event are the UTRGV Asian Studies Minor program at UTRGV (http://www.utrgv.edu/oge/explore-the-world/asian-studies/) and Texas Costal Bend of Korean Scientists and Engineering Association (KSEA https://ksea.org/main/). 

    In October, 2017, Associate Professor Yong-Kang Wei, Writing and Language Studies, presents his paper titled “What is the Right Thing to Do?: A Survey of Students on Business Communication Ethics” at the 82nd Association for Business Communication Conference in Dublin, Ireland. Funding comes from the Office of Global Engagement and the Department of Writing and Language Studies

    Assistant Professor Guy Duke, Sociology and Anthropology, will attend and present his research paper at the Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food in November, 2017. The paper’s title is “Making Sense of Taste.” My paper, entitled “The Lingering Taste of Colonialism: Flavour and Status in a South American Archaeological Context.” In his paper, he argues that the studies the foods consumed by lower status peoples in a variety of stratified societies around the world often are rooted in a presumption of utilitarianism – food was by and large a functional part of everyday life that was necessarily limited in variety and seasonings, mainly due to circumscribed levels of access to a wider variety of foodstuffs as a result of elite control over the food supply. However, in various parts of the world during particular points in history, applying this assumption as a universal element of lower status foods erases much of the diversity of flavours present in the daily foods of non-elite people. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

    Assistant Professor Dongkyu Kim, Political Science Department, presents his research on foreign direct investment’s role in economic growth and development for developing countries at the Annual Conference of the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) on January 4-6, New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition, he will work with UTRGV students on conducting his research and share his finding in his classes. Funding support comes from the Office of Global Engagement and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity.

    Michael Abebe, Associate Professor of Management and Director of the Business Administration Ph.D. Program, Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship, will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and present his conference paper titled: “Social Network Ties as Drivers of Entrepreneurial Ventures in Sub-Saharan Africa: Substitutes or Complements?” The presentation will be at the 4th Biannual Conference of the African Academy of Management in January, 2018. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the  Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

    Professors Marian Alessandri, Cynthia Paccacerqua, Alexander Stehn, and Ian Werkheiser, all of the Philosophy Department, will lead a jointly-organized Philosophy Conference in November, 2017. The conference, "Philosophy Across the Americans – Thinking La Frontera,” will internationalize UTRGV by bringing in high-profile national and international scholars who work on North American, Latin American, and European philosophies as they intersect with questions of immigration and borders, both locally and globally. This conference engages faculty members, students, and community members in a discussion on Borderlands philosophy. Funding has been obtained from the Office of Global Engagement, Philosophy Department, College of Liberal Arts, B3 Institute, and the Center for Mexican American Studies.

    In December, Scott Roeder, Associate Professor in the School of Music, will host visiting euphonium soloist Steven Mead. Steven Mead is perhaps the most well-known euphonium soloist in the world and has recorded over 30 solo albums. Associated with this event, Steven Mead and Professor Roeder will give private lessons and masterclasses to UTRGV students. Funding for these activities comes from the Office of Global Engagement, the International Tuba Euphonium Association, Buffet Musical Instrument, and the ITEA chapter at UTRGV.

    Drs. Linda English and Friederike Bruehoefener, Department of History and Women’s and Gender Studies Program, have organized a speaker series titled “Creating New Opportunities and Enhancing Faculty Knowledge.” This important series will be held from September, 2017 to April, 2018. Funding for the speaker series comes from the Office of Global Engagement, College of Liberal Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Amy M. Hay, Associate Professor, Department of History, joins with Environmental and Disaster Studies Programs, in cooperation with the University Library, to hold a number of activities during the week of September 18-22, 2017. The planned event, “Behemoth of a Storm: Hurricane Beulah and the Rio Grande Valley” will commemorate the disaster with speakers, movies, student research, an oral history project, and exhibit at the Library. The Office of Global Engagement, Summerly Foundation, and UTRGV Library have provided support for this project.

    Associate Professor Yanrong Chang, both Department of Communication and Asian Studies, will be presenting her research on intercultural communication at the 12th Annual International Conference of the Chinese Association for Intercultural Communication in China. She will also seek and initiate ties with Chinese scholars to promote teaching and research that focuses upon Chinese culture. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, Asian Studies, and the College of Liberal Arts.

    Ruby Charak, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Science, will present her research titled “Assessing the factor structure of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and multiple types of maltreatment among adolescents in conflict affected Burundi” at the 15th European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies in Odense, Denmark. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the College of Liberal Arts. http://www.utrgv.edu/actlab/

    Assistant Professor Guy Duke, Anthropology, will undertake analyses of archaeological plant remains as part of a larger archaeological project. This is the first year of a two-year research program funded by a Fulbright Scholar grant. Additionally, this research trip will begin laying the groundwork for a longer term, multi-institutional research project in coastal Ecuador which will incorporate the training of UTRGV undergraduate and graduate students in archaeological methods as a study abroad program. Additional funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement.

    Raheleh Filsoofi, Assistant Professor in Ceramics in the School of Art, give a lecture, “The Issue of Art, Craft and Aesthetics in Contemporary Ceramics” on August 3rd in the Iranian Artists’ House the hub for the contemporary and traditional arts in Tehran at the closing reception of the International Ceramics Exhibition, and another lecture at the Abad gallery, “Create Locally, Promote Globally; Connectivity of Ceramic Artists in the World,” on August 12, 2017. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the Dave Bown Project Award.


  • Activities for Academic Year 2016-2017

    Professors Mijin Oh and Minhee Eom, Writing and Language Studies, will be using Korean farmer musical instruments to demonstrate traditional music to the UTRGV community. She and UTRGV students will perform at a range of events, including: Mid-Autumn Festival, MultiLingual Fest, Lunar New Year, and the Asian Spring Festival. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement.

    Associate Professor Kristine Wirtz, UTRGV History Department, will travel and conduct research on her book project titled: The Peddler: The Trials and Tribulations of Jean Giraud and his Religious Community, 1670 - 1705. During the summer of 2017, she will travel to the regional archives of southeastern France and western Switzerland, namely the Archives départementales de l’Isère, (Grenble, France), the Archives départementales des Hautes-Alpes (Gap, France), the Archives d’Etat (Genève), the Archives de la ville Genève, the Archives cantonales vaudoises, the Archives de la Ville Lausanne, and the Archives communales de Vevey. Funding for her research travel is provided by the Office Global Engagement, American Philosophical Society, and the Center of European Studies in Austin.

    Dr. Alfonso Mercado in Psychological Science is conducting a research project titled: “New Questions for the Hispanic Health Paradox: Investigating the Roles of Cultural Values and Trauma in the Immigrant Population.” This research examines the sociocultural resilience factors of familismo, simpatia, and respeto in relation to the self-reported physical health of Central American immigrant mothers and the parent-reported physical health of their children. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, the American Psychological Foundation, and the Bruce & Jane Walsh Grant.

    David Sadlier, Assistant Professor of Music, will join the faculty of the Academia Europea dell'Opera in Lucca, Italy. He also has received an invitation to present a solo recital while in residence in July, 2017. By joining the faculty there, Dr. Sadlier will enhance the international reputation of UTRGV and open further opportunities for future collaborations between our institutions. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, School of Music, and the Vice President of Faculty Affairs.

    On July, 2017, Dr. D Elizabeth Turner will present her paper titled: "Liability of Foreignness: The impact of Elimination of the Reconciliation Requirement on International Asset Allocation by US Investors" at the Journal of International Accounting Research Conference. The conference will be held in Adelaide, Australia. Funding comes from the Office of Global Engagement and Department of Accountancy. 

    Associate Professor Amy Hay, History Department, with the International Center for Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ICSAC), is helping to lead the faculty development workshop titled “Infusing Education for Sustainable Development into University Academics, Research, and Engagement through Faculty Training Programs.” The workshop will occur on May 19th and 20th, 2017. The workshops will create an international network of faculty who are engaged in sustainability pedagogy exploring the shift in instruction from a paradigm of teacher as expert to teacher as facilitator of learning, becoming co-learners with students and with each other. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, Office of Finance and Administration, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

    From April 19-20, 2017, Dr. Noe Vargas (Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science) along with the Offices for Sustainability and Global Engagement will present Earth Fest. Earth Fest is a collaborative effort to educate and encourage our campus family to develop environmental friendly practices in their daily lives and to learn about sustainable development and its influence worldwide.  The wide-ranging theme for Earth Fest 2017 is the global impacts of energy, water, and space and invitations have been extended to globally known speakers to share their expertise.  These international and national speakers include Dr. Isaac Azuz Adeath, Dr. Ricardo Pahlen Acuña, Mr. Humberto “Beto” Sanchez, and Mr. Matthew Garcia. Funding for Earth Fest is provided by Office of Finance and Administration and the Office of Global Engagement.

    On April 12-14, 2017, Assistant Professors Bonnie Lucero and Jamie Starling will lead Global Latin America, an interdisciplinary lecture and engagement series on the African diasporic, indigenous, and Asian influences in Latin American and its border lands. Also presenting will be Dr. Andres Resendez (UC Davis). Funding for this event was provided by the Office of Global Engagement, History Department, Mexican-American Studies, and the College of Liberal Arts.

    In March, 2017, Associate Professor Irving Levinson of the UTRGV History Department will present his conference paper titled “The Other Nationalization: Lazaro Cardenas’s Nationalization of Mexico’s Railroad.” The paper will appear as part of the Conference of the Southwest Council of Latina American Studies to be held in Campeche, Mexico. Funding comes from the Department of History as well as the Office of Global Engagement.

    On March 16-18, 2017, Associate Professor Scott Roeder of the School of Music hosts the 2017 South Central Regional Tuba/Euphonium Conference at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex. Featured will be performers from Portugal, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, Patron of the Arts, Conference Hotels Comps, and Instrument Manufacturer Sponsors.

    In February, 2017, Associate Professor Marci McMahon, Literatures and Cultural Studies, will present her paper titled “(Re) Sounding Las Américas: Listening to Transnational Latina/o Theater” at the 25th Annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT). The Festival will take place from February 2nd through the 5th at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Funding support comes from Literatures and Cultural Studies and the Office of Global Engagement.

    In January, 2017, Professor Sibin Wu of the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship traveled to Shandong Jianzhu University in Jinan, China and met with their President to discuss potential collaborations between UTRGV and SJU. Funding was provided by the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Office of Global Engagement.

    In December, 2016, Associate Professor Yong-Kang Wei will present a paper on Maoism and Post Modernism at the Center of Mao Zedong Studies at Xiangtan University, Hunan Province, China. Funding for travel was provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the College of Liberal Arts.

    In November, 2016, Dr. Aziza Zemrani presented her paper title “Mainstreaming people’s environmental concerns: the missing piece in ongoing political and administrative decentralization in Africa,” at Caddi Ayyad University in Marrakech, Morocco. Funding was provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the College of Liberal Arts.

    On November 16 & 17, 2016 Drs. Minhee Eom, Shannon McCrocklin, and Regine Pellicer presented Multilingua Fest at the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses. The event celebrated and promoted multiculturalism at UTRGV. Funding is provided by the Office of Global Engagement, College of Liberal Arts, and Writing and Language Studies.

    On October 7, 2016, Associate Professor of History Tamer Balci, presented his paper titled “An Examination of Gulen Movement after July 15 Coup Attempt” at the Turkish Studies Project at the University of Utah. Funding was provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the University of Utah.

    In June, 2016, Assistant Professor Rosalynn Vega served as a discussant for the panel titled “Antropología Médica: experiencias, retos y propuestas para la formación,” at the Latin American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Bogota, Colombia. Funding for travel was provided by the Office of Global Engagement and the College of Liberal Arts.