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Faculty share books and research

Professor of English Kenneth Scambray speaks about a chapter that he wrote called “Creative Responses to the Italian Immigrant Experience in California: Baldassare Forestiere’s Underground Gardens and Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers” in the book “Italian Folk: Vernacular Culture in Italian-American Lives.” Scambray’s presentation was part of faculty book day at the Wilson Library on April 12. / photo by Cassandra Egan

Robert Penalber
Staff Writer

More than 20 faculty members who presented their published works on Faculty Book Day in the Wilson Library surprised students and staff with their research.

The respective authors presented their pieces, which were published between 2010 and 2012, and shared their motivations for writing during Thursday’s hour-and-a-half event.

“Doing research is crucial for the mission of University of La Verne,” Psychology Professor Glenn Gamst said. “I think it’s crucial to the image of the University.”

Gamst presented “Handbook of Multicultural Measures” along with professors of psychology Chris Liang and Aghop Der-Karabetian.

The handbook was written to help those interested in multicultural studies by sharing theories and research in social and behavioral fields.

“The book is a product of the three of us, and for me, the need to promote social justice,” Liang said. “We put together all this information in the hopes that grad students and faculty have access to study all these issues.”

The event demonstrated the University’s diversity as each piece covered a different field of study than the previous.

Adjunct Professor of Education Margaret Glick presented “The Instructional Leader and the Brain” and shared how her motivation to write the book came after receiving her teaching credential from ULV.

“Every day I would go to work and try to figure out why some [kids] learned and why some didn’t,” Glick said.

“I hope my book does everything from lift people out of despair from their jobs to pushing them to further succeed.”

Many of the professors said that their work was also a sentimental reflection.

Professor of music Reed Gratz presented “American Music: Compositions by Reed Gratz” and spoke of how he was fortunate to have a job that was also his passion.

“I just keep writing music and putting it together, so to hear my music played is one of the greatest thrills,” Gratz said.

One segment that seemed to stand out to most of the audience, was “Redes Sociales de los Migrantes Mexicanos: Un Análisis sobre la Exlusión Social en los Estados Unidos de América” written by Adrián Velázquez Vázquez, professor of public administration, after he gained an interest in immigration during his graduate studies.

“I realized a lot of things said about us Mexicans tended to be inaccurate,” Velázquez Vázquez said. “Most people tend to have a perception against Mexican immigrants and I wanted look at it from an academic perspective.”

Velázquez Vázquez said he wanted to share his findings of a “Mexican immigration phenomenon” that pinned Mexicans against Mexicans, because of inaccurate stereotypes.

Professor of Organization Leadership Thomas Harvey made the audience laugh with his non-academic piece “The Character Compass,” a book that explores 13 court shows and 17 principles of bad behavior.

“It’s about judge shows on TV and their recurring themes,” Harvey said. “Remember, abuse of power is just another form of abuse.”

Some of the listeners were surprised to see so many ULV faculty members with published works.

“I didn’t even know so many of the professors wrote books,” sophomore athletic training major, Nadine Miranda, said. “I’m going to read my professors’ books and look at them all differently now.”

Robert Penalber can be reached at robert.penalber@laverne.edu.

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