OU Soundings Series returns to campus

Patrick Sullivan, Web Editor

Professors around Oakland University are constantly involved in research work both on and around campus, but sometimes that work goes unnoticed by others. OU’s Soundings Series seeks to fix that problem, and bring new information to new audiences.

The kickoff for the second annual OU Soundings Series was on Wednesday, Oct. 10, with the first of two announced presentations for 2018.

“The goal of the Soundings Series is to help faculty take the research work they do and communicate it to different audiences, like people outside their field or the general public,” said David Stone, the chief research officer and professor of philosophy at Oakland.

Stone introduced Professor Jennifer Lucarelli, an associate professor and chair of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences department here on campus. Lucarelli then presented to an audience of 30 people, a mix between students and faculty, all curious about her work.

The main topic of the presentation was Lucarelli’s work with the Healthy Pontiac We Can! Coalition for the past seven years, and the benefits of community-based participatory research.

“Community-based participatory research is about going to a community and telling them, ‘you are the expert here,’” Lucarelli said.

She talked about her work in and with the City of Pontiac, from her work to creating bike lanes and racks in different locations around the city, to interactive programs such as the create of an athletic league for kids.

The Soundings Series not only allows professors to get their research out to the public, it also provides presenters with the ability to find connections for their research.

“It’s such a good opportunity to meet people who do similar work or want to do similar work,” Lucarelli said. “The entire theme of the presentation was about partnerships, and the presentation was a good example of people coming together to accomplish that.”

As for future Soundings Series events and who she would want to hear from, Lucarelli talked about how she would “want to hear from everybody.”

“You find out about really cool stuff that you had no idea about from these presentations,” she said. “You can take other people’s knowledge and expertise, and build it into what you are doing.”

Professor David Dulio, chair of the Political Science Department, is the next in line to give a Soundings Series presentation. Dulio has been involved in the Soundings Series almost since it began, attending a majority of the events and almost being a part of the committee that reviewed applications.

“The whole idea of these presentations is to give tips to other faculty members that are interested,” Dulio said.

One of the benefits of the Soundings Series is that it tells other faculty members how professors go about performing their research, and how others can use those methods themselves.

Past Soundings Series presentations include a presentation from Barbara Oakley earlier this year about growing your public impact, and presentations last year which included scholarly use of social media, Parkinson’s disease and being a public scholar.

The next Soundings Series is scheduled in the Lake Huron room of the Oakland Center on Monday, Nov. 12.