Professors Prepare for ‘Connectivity’ Conference in Salzburg, Austria

October 8, 2012 by University of La Verne

Professors Kim Martin and Sharon Davis will be connecting with other experts at the Connectivity in the 21st Century conference in Salzburg, Austria this November.

Professor of Anthropology and Department Chair, Martin, organized a panel comprised of five experts who were all chosen to speak at the exclusive conference.

“Our panel looks at how, why and what kind of interpersonal and social connections develop at the individual, community and global levels,” Martin said.

All of the papers written and submitted for this conference were peer-reviewed and only 25 experts were chosen to participate in the event sponsored by Inter-Disciplinary Net, an international research organization in England.

“Clearly, for the University of La Verne, it allows us international exposure and an opportunity to gain status, prestige, and name recognition,” Professor of Sociology Davis said. “For me, it also allows for international exposure, but additionally, it is an opportunity to connect with other scholars and share perspectives, ideas, and experiences.”

Davis’ paper focuses on how gangs work and act as a tool of connection for those involved with the gangs.

“One of the main functions that gangs provide is greater connectivity,” Davis said. “These connections extend to peers ‘homies’, community, (gang name identification and claiming turf, as in ‘who you representin’ or ‘where you from?’), region or state, (East Coast v. West Coast), and country.”

Martin’s paper, “Cooperation Vs Competition: The Implications of Contrasting Cultural Models of Connectedness”, focuses on connectedness through competition and cooperation.

The three other members of the panel Martin organized are Susan Miller, Sasha Silveanu and Laura Porter from the ACE Interface Foundation in Washington.

“It’s a cool opportunity and a very big complement that we were the five selected,” Martin said.

Martin was aware of the work ACE Interface does in Washington helping adults understand the correlation between their childhood experiences and their current struggles, and included three members of ACE in the panel.

“Neural Adaptation: Alternative Forms of Connectedness”, by Miller, “Dealing with Trauma in Native American Communities: A Visual Exploration of Isolation and

Connection”, by Silveanu and “Building Community Capacity through Connectedness: A Natural Experiment Conducted by the Washington State Family Policy Council”, by Porter are the other three papers that were accepted for the conference.

“The University of La Verne provides faculty a wonderful opportunity to connect with our colleagues and other scholars regionally, nationally, and internationally,” Davis said. “I find that international conferences and experiences challenge me to look at the assumptions I make about the world.”

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