Letter from Dean Pamela E. Jansma
A key underpinning of a liberal arts education is the importance of intellectual curiosity that embraces multiple perspectives within the appropriate cultural contexts. The activities described in each of the articles in this edition of Pinnacle might be termed unexpected, delving into areas not viewed as traditional for the respective disciplines. Yet, the results are astounding and touch our daily lives as global citizens. Associate Professor Mansour of Economics uses the Super Bowl to examine the effect of stress on infant health. Initial reactions might wonder how this is possible, but they change after reading about the logical processes that led to the innovative line of inquiry.
Associate C/T Professor Hartmann of Geography and Environmental Sciences studies the evolution of memorial sites dedicated to horrific events. He notes that commemoration is a relatively new trend that lends insight into cultural norms. Assistant Professor Caronan of Ethnic Studies explains how she came to focus on a comparison of the Filipino American and U.S. Puerto Rican experience for her first book by overhearing a conversation among fellow students. Her use of popular works from both cultures, such as novels, documentary films, and performance poetry, allows her to access the views of a larger audience. Professor Zaidins of Physics uses his over 50 years of expertise to mentor high school students, bringing a perspective to their education that they are unlikely to experience anywhere else. His involvement gives students opportunities not available in the formal classroom to encourage life-long learning; something which is near and dear to our hearts.
Pamela E. Jansma
- The Economics of Maternal Stress, Why Studying the Super Bowl Simplifies the Equation
Mansour and other CU Economists Use Large Datasets to Isolate an Important Variable in Infant Health Outcomes
Hani Mansour, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, understands why his research topics surprise people. He says, "It always surprises non-economists that economists are interested in topics like infant health and stress. But it's actually a really big field; a lot of people are interested in different aspects that affect fetal health, mainly because there is a growing body of evidence showing that poor fetal health is associated with adverse long-term economic outcomes." The ability to quantitatively analyze varied aspects of human behavior is where economists thrive, Mansour asserts, and it's exactly what attracted Mansour to economics in the first place.
In This Issue
- Frontlines - Hartmann Explores Dissonance in Heritage Tourism with a Visit to Hiroshima
This August, the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by American aircraft in 1945. Though the bombings arguably ended WWII, the attacks were responsible for the tragic deaths of more than 300,000 people, and remain among the most controversial acts of war in human history. While bringing up painful memories for both the Japanese and American publics, both cultures demonstrate a compelling urge to preserve and explore that memory.
- Frontlines - Caronan Lifts Up the Voices of an Alternate History in her New Book
"There is something about letting go of something you've been working on for so long and putting it out into the world," says Faye Caronan, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies specializing in Asian American Studies, about publishing her first book. Acknowledging the well-known metaphor of a first book being like a child on her first day of school she adds, "You just kind of want to hang on to it a little longer."
- Frontlines - Zaidins Mentoring Denver's Physicists of Tomorrow to Brighter Futures
When Clyde Zaidins retired from CU Denver in 2004 he moved to a quiet peninsula off the coast of Washington state and left the high-stress world of academia far behind … or so he thought. With research interests in astrophysics and nuclear physics, and the active mind of a true life-long-learner, Zaidins couldn't exactly sit still. He set up a website to stay connected to the physics community and tutored local k-12 kids in science and math, but generally kept a pretty low profile. Having graduated from the prestigious California Institute of Technology, and then following that up with nearly four decades of service as an educator teaching at CU Denver from 1967 to 2004, Zaidins was ready for a bit of well-earned rest and relaxation.