QC Research Highlights: Thinking about Science 

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Welcome to the April 2022 edition of QC Research Highlights! As the weather warms (I hope) and the flowers on campus begin to bloom, it’s time to bring you another collection of faculty research available in CUNY Academic Works.  

I’m including some articles from the sciences in this post, but I also wanted to include some works from other fields with a relationship to the scientific. All the works featured in this post deal with either physical or mental processes, or both.  

(I’ll also note that all these works are a few years old; if you’re intrigued, you should also check out the authors’ more recent work!) 

All the works featured in this series are available to read and download for free from CUNY Academic Works. 


Humanities 

Jason Tougaw (English) works in Consciousness Studies, and is specifically interested in the sense of the self and the relationship between the mind and the brain. His chapter, “The Self Is a Moving Target: The Neuroscience of Siri Hustvedt’s Artists,” analyzes the use of ekphrasis (the verbal description of works of visual art) in the works of Siri Hustvedt, a novelist who has also published academic research articles about neuroscience and memoirs about her own seizure disorder. Many of Hustvedt’s characters are artists who use visual media to portray the people around them. Tougaw argues that Hustvedt’s work explores the ethical implications of art’s power to “fix” a person’s identity at a specific moment in time, thus rendering them an artistic object. Ultimately, Tougaw sees Hustvedt’s work as arguing for a sense of identity rooted in subjectivity, change, and relationships. 

Math and Natural Sciences 

Cathy Savage-Dunn (Biology), along with at-the-time QC graduate students James F. Clark, Michael Meade, and Gehan Ramepura and co-author David H. Hall (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) published the article “Caenorhabditis elegans DBL-1/BMP Regulates Lipid Accumulation via Interaction with Insulin Signaling”. Savage-Dunn’s lab studies cell-to-cell signaling in nematodes (roundworms) – specifically, C. elegans. This article is about how cells regulate inputs to achieve metabolic homeostasis; specifically, it examines the role of a specific group of proteins (BMPs) in regulating lipids. BMP signaling was found to regulate lipid metabolism by signaling to the insulin pathway. Understanding this network is important to gaining a better understanding of metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes. 

Usha Barahmand (Psychology) and co-authors (Ehsan Tavakolian and Ali Khazaee from the University of Mohaghegh and K. Mohammadi of Shahrekord University) studied the cognitive effects of methadone treatment for opioid addition in their article “Hot and Cold Executive Functions in Pure Opioid Users Undergoing Methadone Maintenance Treatment: Effects of Methadone Dose, Treatment Duration, and Time Between Last Methadone Administration and Testing.” Methadone treatment can benefit opioid users but is also associated with executive function impairment. The researchers used various tests to better understand participants’ cognitive responses, including decision-making, emotion perception, cognitive flexibility, working memory, and response inhibition. (I would recommend looking at the article for further descriptions of each of these very interesting tests.) The participants who had taken higher doses of methadone had more difficulty with the tasks involving cognitive flexibility and emotion perception, especially anger, but the authors also point out that not all studies agree on these points. This article also finds a relationship between the duration of methadone treatment and the decline in cognitive flexibility and several other areas, but the other effects seemed to decrease over time.  

Education 

Finally, I’d like to feature an article that directly addresses cross-disciplinary thinking.  Bradley W. Bergey (Secondary Education and Youth Services), along with co-authors Joanna K. Garner (Old Dominion University), Avi Kaplan (Temple University), and Stephanie Hathcock (Oklahoma State University) write about concept mapping in professional development in their article, “Concept Mapping as a Mechanism for Assessing Science Teachers’ Cross-Disciplinary Field-Based Learning.”  Secondary teachers with deeper subject knowledge and an understanding of the connections between disciplines are able to adopt better pedagogical strategies. The researchers used concept maps in a summer institute for science teachers’ professional development. Over the course of the institute, teachers were able to create concept maps reflecting a more sophisticated understanding of the subject matter and the links among different concepts. This article suggests one possible model of enriching teacher professional development to promote constructivist pedagogy. 

Thanks for reading, and thanks to all the authors who have included their works in CUNY Academic Works.  


This is one of a series of blog posts featuring faculty publications in CUNY Academic Works. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship, and creative and pedagogical work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all. 

QC Research Highlights: Exciting Research

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Welcome to the March edition of QC Research Highlights! This mid-semester blog post seems as good a time as any to feature some odds and ends; exciting, interesting, or important research that doesn’t necessarily follow any particular theme. Enjoy!

All the works featured in this series are available to read and download for free from CUNY Academic Works. 


Math and Natural Sciences

Sung-Eun Choi (Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Science) researches taste perception, food sensory science, and the relationship between taste preferences and culture. She and co-author Jeff Garza wrote “Consumer Likings of Different Miracle Fruit Products on Different Sour Foods.” Miracle fruit is a plant which, when eaten along with sour foods, makes them taste sweet!  As such, it has potential as a healthy sweetener. Dr. Choi and Mr. Garza wanted to test consumer reactions to miracle fruit, in order to understand whether it would be accepted as a sweetener by the public. Participants in the study ate miracle fruit products along with several popular sour foods (sour apples, goat cheese, lemonade, pickles, and plain yogurt) and evaluated whether they liked the flavor, texture, and aftertaste. Participants liked yogurt, goat cheese, and apples more when using miracle fruit as a sweetener, but they liked lemonade and pickles less.

Valentina Nikulina (Psychology) studies the developmental effects of childhood adversity. She and her co-authors (Anthony Carpi, Xuechen Li, and Cathy Spatz Widom, all from John Jay College) wrote “Childhood Maltreatment and Lead Levels in Middle Adulthood: A Prospective Examination of the Roles of Individual Socio-economic and Neighborhood Characteristics.” In this article, they studied whether children with histories of child abuse and neglect are also at increased risk for environmental hazards, specifically lead. This study matched participants around the age of 40 who had been maltreated as children with a control group who were similar in terms of social class and other characteristics (race, sex, and age), but who had not been maltreated.  Lead exposure in the blood was not correlated to maltreatment, however, there was a correlation between maltreatment and exposure to lead dust, as well as poverty and neighborhood disadvantage.

Education

Sara B. Woolf (Education and Community Programs) teaches in the Graduate Programs for Special Education. One of her research interests is action research. Her article, “Exploring Pedagogies to Elevate Inquiry: Teaching Action Research in the Third Space,” documents the pedagogical strategies Dr. Woolf used to teach action research over the course of a semester, along with the impact of these strategies. Her teaching in this class is informed by third space theory, which allows students to reflexively examine cultural biases as a means of generating knowledge and working toward social progress. The article details how Dr. Woolf established trust in the classroom, increased students’ authority in the class, promoted authentic inquiry, and elicited student feedback. While students were initially uncomfortable or skeptical of this approach, over the course of the semester, they were better able to engage critically and to work collaboratively.

Arts and Humanities

Ala Alryyes (English) studies the literature of empire and exploration. His article, “Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe: “Maps,” Natural Law, and the Enemy,” examines the role of navigation in Robinson Crusoe. Dr. Alryyes argues that Crusoe is a “user and interpreter of space and the knowledges of space.” He reads Defoe’s novel through the lenses of natural law and cartography, two imperialist discourses that allow Crusoe to accomplish nearly impossible feats of navigation while also upholding the European reader’s sense of mastery over geography. Ultimately, the novel “ties place, enmity, and selfhood.”

Gregory Sholette (Studio Art) teaches sculpture and social practice; his research is on activist art. In the short piece “Tactical Tutorial for the Post-Internet Era,” he defines “samiZine” as a portmanteau of “samizdat” (underground publications from the Soviet era,  which were self-published and manually distributed to evade Soviet censorship) and “zine” (a different type of self-published work, with a history based partially in fan cultures, reproduced by photocopy). This piece cites some examples of samiZines and also, as the title says, a little bit of a “tactical tutorial” of anti-surveillance practices. 

Social Sciences

Kristina Richardson (History) studies non-elite peoples of the medieval Middle East. In “Invisible Strangers, or Romani History Reconsidered” she examines how the “Strangers,” or Yenish, have been rather arbitrarily seen as separate from the Roma because they use a different language. Dr. Richardson is particularly interested in the conflation of language with ethnicity, which has obscured the relationship between the Roma and the Yenish. From this perspective, she critiques the racialized myth of language, in which languages may be seen as “pure” or “bastardized.” Additionally, she addresses Romani calls for aid during the Holocaust and how the modern understanding of Roma identity was reified. Dr. Richardson suggests that acknowledging the Strangers and the existence of mixed languages in and histories may pave the way for more complex understandings of European and Middle Eastern history.

James Lowry (Library and Information Studies) researches records management for government information, especially in international and post-colonial settings. He and his co-authors (Alicia Chilcott, Kirsty Fife, Jenny Moran, Arike Oke, Anna Sexton, and Jass Thethi) wrote “Against Whitewashing: The Recent History of Anti-Racist Action in the British Archives Sector.” This article offers an account of anti-racist action in the archival sector of the UK between 2017 and 2020. The article describes organizations including the Black Cultural Archives, “the major site of Black archival representation in the United Kingdom,” which collects Black archival materials and counteracts whitewashing in representations of UK history.  The article discusses many other groups and activities, including the development of protocols for describing racist resources, the establishment of critical reading and discussion groups, and more. Finally, Dr. Lowry and co-authors dive into the repercussions of a racist incident on social media during the 2019 Archives and Records Association conference. Following this incident, there were more calls for specific action to address white supremacy within the profession; the article details some appropriate future steps.

Thank you to all the authors whose works are listed here!  


This is one of a series of blog posts featuring faculty publications in CUNY Academic Works. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship, and creative and pedagogical work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all. 

If you would like to share your research in Academic Works, please see this guide to Academic Works, or contact Nancy.Foasberg@qc.cuny.edu.  

QC Research Highlights: 2021 in Review

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Welcome to the New Year! As we move into the Spring 2022 semester, it’s time to reflect back on 2021.   

Last year was a great year for CUNY Academic Works; over the course of the year, 526 different works were downloaded from the QC Publications and Research series, for a total of 37,769 downloads. These publications span all disciplines – education, biology, English, history, and many more. New works were frequently downloaded, of course, but many works of research going back to the beginning of Academic Works and even long before are still relevant, judging by the number of them that people accessed this year.  

Since I opened this post with a little data, I’d like to use this month’s edition of QC Research Highlights to highlight some works that are doing interesting things with data! Each of these works is interested in finding and evaluating new ways of measuring and using data, whether that means getting new results from old data or developing modified scales for understanding the data. This type of research is exciting because it creates new possibilities for future research.  

Let’s start with an article from three authors from Queens College’s School of Earth and Environmental Science: Christine Ramadhin, Chuixiang Yi, and George Hendrey. In their article, “Temperature Variance Portends and Indicates the Extent of Abrupt Climate Shifts,” the authors used a paleotemperature dataset documenting the changes in temperature over time.  While this dataset has been used in many other studies, this article focuses on the variance in temperature, finding a correlation between high variance and quick temperature increase. Their data suggests that changes in temperature variance can predict abrupt climate changes. 

Similarly, our next article is interested in finding new ways to query data produced elsewhere. Using data from the financial website Seeking Alpha, Cuiyuan Wang (formerly of the QC and Graduate Center Economics departments, currently at Trinity College), Tao Wang (Economics), and Changhe Yuan (Computer Science) ask: “Does Applying Deep Learning in Financial Sentiment Analysis Lead to Better Classification Performance?.” Seeking Alpha is a crowdsourced website where experts of various types express opinions on stocks. The authors used a deep learning model known as LSTM (Long Short-Term Memory) to measure the accuracy of these opinions; the purpose of this experiment was to see whether this model was better than other tools which make similar assessments. They found that according to most metrics, LSTM outperformed more traditional measures. 

My colleague Joan Xu (Library) studied information searching and user engagement in visual information searching: “Validating and Developing the User Engagement Scale in Web-based Visual Information Searching.”  She considers the four-factor User Engagement Study model, a modified version of an earlier six-factor model, to measure users’ psychological involvement in visual searching, including in Google Image Searching and YouTube. She proposes a scale based on reward, focused attention, aesthetic appeal, and sense discovery. For visual searching specifically, sense discovery was shown to be important for cognitive-affective experience.  

Thank you to all the authors whose works are listed here!  


This is one of a series of blog posts featuring faculty publications in CUNY Academic Works. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship, and creative and pedagogical work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all. 

If you would like to share your research in Academic Works, please see this guide to Academic Works, or contact Nancy.Foasberg@qc.cuny.edu.  

QC Research Highlights: Local Context

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QC Research Highlights is a monthly blog series featuring work from Queens College (QC) authors in CUNY Academic Works. Fascinating, important research is happening here at QC and we want you to know about it! Sometimes (but not always) this series may feature several works on related topics; other times it will simply feature a few works of interest. 

All the works featured in this series are available to read and download for free from CUNY Academic Works. 


Local Knowledge, Universal (?) Applicability

Welcome to the November edition of QC Research Highlights! This month, I wanted to feature some articles that consider how things learned locally might be of interest both inside and outside that local context – and especially when we are learning about our local context, New York. 

In “Education Faculty as Knowledge Brokers: Competing for Access to New York State Print Media and Policy Influence,” Nakia Gray-Nicolas (Education and Community Programs) and co-authors consider how education researchers can reach a larger public, thus influencing public debates about educational policy and practice. This article focuses specifically on the media in New York State. This article considers the reasons it’s so difficult for academics to get access to the media.  

Communicating in different contexts is important to students as well as faculty. “Workin’ Languages: Who We Are Matters in Our Writing” is a book chapter by Sara Alvarez (English), Amy Wan (English), and Eunjeong Lee (formerly a member of the English department, now at the University of Houston).  In this chapter, Alvarez, Wan, and Lee consider how to ensure that students’ rich linguistic diversity is valued in the writing classroom. The authors suggest strategies for supporting students as they recognize their own work as “language architects” and come to understand that their language strategies are valuable in an academic context. 

We should all be interested in how the built environment of New York affects those who live and work here. Kara Schlichting (History) and coauthor Melanie Kiechle (Virginia Tech) consider how heat and ventilation can post health threats to city dwellers (and New Yorkers specifically) – during COVID, but also long before.  Their article, “Invisible Inequalities: Persistent Health Threats in the Urban Built Environment,” considers the history of health reform in New York City through the lens of environmental inequality, with a reminder to think of cities as collections of people and not just landscapes. This perspective allows for a larger-scale structural look at how urban planning and public health are deeply intertwined. 

Of course, New York is not just a built environment but also a natural one. César Castillo (Biology) worked with coauthors from the New York Botanical Garden and the US Department of Agriculture to describe a plant naturalized to New York in “First Report of Mummenhoffia alliacea (Brassicaceae) for New York.” This report includes information on how to identify this plant – one key is the scent!  

A little further afield, Fred Cadieu (Physics) examines rocky planets in his article “A Consistent Model of Terrestrial Planet Magnetospheres and Rotations in Our Solar System.” In this article, he explains how the presence or absence of magnetospheres has affected the atmospheres and tectonic behavior of the four terrestrial planets of the solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – and perhaps exoplanets as well.  

Having taken us from New York all the way into the depths of space, I wish you all a happy and productive November! 

Thanks to all the authors featured here for sharing their work in the repository!


This is one of a series of blog posts featuring faculty publications in CUNY Academic Works. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship, and creative and pedagogical work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all. 

If you would like to share your research in Academic Works, please see this guide to Academic Works, or contact Nancy.Foasberg@qc.cuny.edu.  

QC Research Highlights: Master’s Theses and Capstones at Queens College

This edition of QC Research Highlights features some of the important, fascinating research done by graduate students at Queens College. Academic Works, CUNY’s institutional repository, has a small collection of master’s theses and student capstones completed at Queens College.   This collection is still growing! See below if you’d like to participate. 

Social Sciences 

Thanks to our partnership with the History department, we have been able to add theses showing some of the breadth of this discipline, from anarchist education to the business of baseball to the history of environmentalism and ecofascism.  

Eric Anderson’s thesis, The Anarchist Classroom: A Test of Libertarian Education and Human Nature at the Modern School in New York and New Jersey, 1911-1953, examines the history of radical education in the early twentieth century, specifically in the “Modern School” movement.  

Patrick Spranger writes about the role that gentrification and white flight played in the former Brooklyn Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles in his thesis, Sadness in Brooklyn: The American Housing Act of 1949 and the Brooklyn Dodgers Move to Los Angeles.  

Santiago G. Lozada’s thesis, From Green Pastures to Scorched Earth: German Environmentalism and Ecology, C. 1800S-1945, outlines the history of environmentalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and its complicated relationship to the rise of Nazism. 

Arts and Humanities 

In his thesis, Sacred Music in Colonial Era Hispaniola: The Evangelization of the Taino PeopleTito Gutierrez discusses how sacred European music became a tool of colonialism and conversion on the island of Hispaniola. 

Natural Sciences 

Finally, we’re delighted to share some of the scientific research being done by Queens College graduate students! Both these theses are in Earth and Environmental Sciences.  

Azlan Maqbool’s thesis, Investigating Distribution of Legionella pneumophila in Urban and Suburban Watersheds, assess the presence of the aforementioned bacteria – the cause of Legionnaire’s Disease – in New York City street water. These bacteria are indeed common in street water and increase in wet weather, and this is the first study to document that. 

Lisa Hlinka studied magma and explosivity in her thesis, Top-Down Control on Eruptive Style at Masaya Volcano Inferred from Melt Composition. Using the Masaya volcano in Nicaragua, Hlinka shows that explosivity is caused not by volatile contents, but pressurization from temporary sealing of the conduit. 

Help our collection grow! 

Thanks to all the authors featured here for sharing their theses in the repository! Thanks, also, to Grace Davie, David Lahti, Emily Wilbourne, and other faculty who have assisted in facilitating student deposits.  

The master’s theses in Academic Works currently represent only a small portion of the important research done by QC graduate students! If you’re interested in sharing your thesis, please see this Guide to Theses and Capstones in Academic Works.   

The library also holds many master’s theses in print. You can search for these works in OneSearch and, once you have the call number, request access by emailing the Borrowing desk

QC Research Highlights: Queens College and the Pandemic

Welcome to QC Research Highlights!  

QC Research Highlights is a monthly blog series featuring work from Queens College (QC) authors in CUNY Academic Works. Fascinating, important research is happening here at QC and we want you to know about it! Sometimes (but not always) this series may feature several works on related topics; other times it will simply feature a few works of interest. 

All the works featured in this series are available to read and download for free from CUNY Academic Works. 


Queens College and the Pandemic 

In the midst of the long public health emergency of COVID-19, scientists and scholars from all disciplines have done important research to help us better understand both the virus itself and the social effects of the pandemic. CUNY faculty have been very active in these efforts.  

CUNY Academic Works, CUNY’s institutional repository, has a collection highlighting COVID-19 research by CUNY Authors.   

Important research has been carried out across CUNY, but for the purposes of this blog post, I would like to point out some research by Queens College (QC) authors in particular. 

Medicine and Public Health 

John Dennehy (Biology), led a team of researchers developing a protocol to detect COVID-19 in wastewater, which was adopted by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to monitor the prevalence of COVID in New York City. Aside from John Dennehy, authors credited in these articles included QC graduate and undergraduate students Kristin Cheung, Anna Gao, Sherin Kanoly, Michelle Markman, and Kaung Myat Sun, as well as other researchers from across CUNY. This research was also featured in QC’s Big Ideas series, and the library has created a guide to further resources

Or, you can check out the articles here: 

Hongwei Xu (Sociology) worked with collaborators to study the relationship between the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s and the health behaviors of adults in China. This research has implications for the study of health behavior around COVID. 

Social Effects of the Pandemic 

QC faculty have also examined the social and economic effects of the pandemic.  

Cliff Chen (Education and Community Programs), along with graduate students Elena Byrne, and Tanya Vélez studied the impact of the pandemic on families with children, showing the greater impact of the pandemic on lower-income families and families of color: 

Daisuke Akiba (Division of Education) has written about anti-Asian racism in schools during the pandemic, recommending some steps schools can take to protect Asian-American students. 

The tech industry has profited during the pandemic. ShinJoung Yeo (Media Studies) examined the relationship between tech companies and health care in the context of COVID-19: 

Teaching and Learning during the Pandemic 

Of course, QC faculty have also spent the pandemic teaching.  

Bradley W. Bergey (Secondary Education and Youth Services) addressed remote pedagogy during the pandemic in: 

The library’s own Leila Walker wrote about how remote instruction combines the classroom with more private spaces in: 

Annie Tummino, also of the library, worked with partners at the Queens Public Library to host virtual events on social justice, including a roundtable on xenophobia during COVID-19. Together, they created a poster about this experience: 


This is one of a new series of blog posts featuring faculty publications in CUNY Academic Works. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship, and creative and pedagogical work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all. 

If you would like to share your research in Academic Works, please see this guide to Academic Works, or contact Nancy.Foasberg@qc.cuny.edu.