What Oakland Professors have done over the summer

With the beginning of the school year, summer vacation is officially over and it’s time to hit the books once again. Oakland’s professors however, have been keeping busy over the past few months across the country and by extension, the globe.


Data analysis in D.C.  

Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, Dana Driscoll spent a week in D.C. with “The Writing Transfer Project” doing data analysis with thirty raters and coders.

While in D.C., “The Writing Transfer Project” analyzed documents, interviews and student papers that were collected over a span of two years.

“Our project’s goal is to investigate how certain approaches to teaching writing improve students’ knowledge and allow them to take and adapt knowledge beyond our writing courses,” Driscoll said.


Presenting in North Carolina

The work that Driscoll and her group accomplished in D.C. was then presented at the Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer conference in Elon, North Carolina.

Though “The Writing Transfer Project” isn’t finished, Driscoll reflects on how her summer experiences will impact the classroom.

“This project has taught me a lot,” Driscoll said. “It has me thinking about how to better teach with transfer in mind, as well as how to better encourage my students to be reflective, thoughtful writers.’


Studying in Greece

Karen Sheridan, Professor of Theatre in the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, along with Associate Professor of Theatre, Kerro Knox III, spent three weeks with their Classical Theatre Study in Greece class on the islands of Hydra and Poros in the Saronic Gulf.

“This year I adapted Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ and they (the class) performed the play in English for an international audience on Hydra and again on the island of Poros,” Sheridan said. “The experience of being in the cradle of Western Theatre, working on those epic stories and discovering their unique context together-priceless.”

Sheridan believes that, “spending that quality of time together certainly makes me want to create more community in the classroom,” and it’s essential in order to, “find a way for all of us to move together.”

Her students will be performing ‘Antigone’ Sept. 5 at 6 p.m., Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Varner Studio Theatre.


Researching in Romania

Adina Schneeweis, Assistant Professor in Communications and Journalism, traveled to Romania in June. Schneeweis spent three weeks conducting research by working with women of the Roma ethnicity who work as health mediators in the local communities. 

During her time in Romania, Schneeweis spoke to a high school about careers in the fields of communication and journalism. 

“The students were responsive, interested and engaged,” Schneeweis said. “I related many personal stories to them, to show them how life can be unpredictable, surprising and testing you at the same time, all for your own growth.”

At Babes-Bolyai University in Clui-Napoca, Schneeweis talked to a journalism class about research methods, living in the U.S., and the gap between journalism and academic jobs. 

Schneeweis attended conferences this summer in London and Washington, D.C., as well presenting her works to academic audiences.

In London, at the International Communication Association conference, she presented her work, “Just Another Gypsy Dancer, Just Another Refugee: Constructions of Gypsies in Musical and Real World Publications.”

While in D.C. at the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications conference, Schneeweis presented two of her works, “We Are Rom. We Are Gypsies: Constructions of Gypsies in American Reality Television” and “To Be Romanian in Post-Communist Romania: Entertainment Television and Patriotism in Popular Discourse.”


Mentoring in Europe

During her 2 1/2 months in Europe, Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies, Courtney Brannon Donoghue, served as a faculty mentor to the American Pavillion at the Cannes International Film Festival.

At the festival, Brannon Donoghue explored the film market, where most of the business deals took place. 

“Cannes is a whirlwind of activity and people,” Brannon Donoghue said. “Definitely one of the most rewarding experiences of the summer.”  

After Cannes, Brannon Donoghue then spent some time interviewing executives at Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal on how their markets operate at a much more “on-the-ground” level.

“My goal is for students to have a more nuanced and critical understanding of the film business,” Brannon Donoghue said.

Since most of her Cinema Studies students desire to work in the media, “my summer research trip will be invaluable for my teaching,” Brannon Donoghue said. “Many of my courses are industry-focused” and for the students, “knowing how a film festival operates or how a movie gets distributed across theatrical and home-entertainment platforms is vital.”

For more information,  www.oakland.edu/summertravel