Desire Miller, excels as change-agent, earns prestigious Travis Scholarship

Desire Miller, College of Professional Studies student

Desire Miller, College of Professional Studies student

Psychology major Desire Miller is a true success story in the Evelyn T. Stone College of Professional Studies.

Miller, 33, recently received the prestigious Mittie, Moselynne and Dempsey J. Travis scholarship based on an impressive record of academic excellence, a fervent commitment to social justice and volunteer service as a Roosevelt University student.

Miller, who came to Chicago from her native Belize at 11 years of age, believes in standing up for the less fortunate. She currently is a permanent resident and will become a U.S. citizen in the very near future.

“When I get my degree I hope to help in the fight against drug addiction, crime and disparity and I believe that I can be an advocate who is not afraid to reach down and pull my community up one person at a time,” said Miller, a resident of Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood.

Miller, who hopes to graduate in 2016, has been a volunteer with the CARA, a job readiness program for disadvantaged adults in Chicago. She also collects clothing and medical supplies for the needy in Belize.  She hopes to work in the non-profit sector for organizations helping women, children and immigrants after graduation.

“Desire is one of the most justice-oriented students I have taught at Roosevelt,” added Laura Evans, professor of organizational leadership. “She is an intelligent, inquisitive and learning-motivated student who already is a change agent and community activist.”


Natural Sciences Professor Accepts Fulbright Scholarship in Eastern Africa

Professor Julian C. Kerbis Peterhans with a bat (Rhinolophus sp.) that was captured in Mozambique on Mt Gorongosa.

Julian Kerbis  Peterhans, Professor in the College of Professional Studies, accepted a Fulbright Scholarship for a full academic year at Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda, eastern Africa) one of the premier sub-Saharan academic institutions. He will be engaged in training African students in biodiversity survey techniques . This project follows on the heels of a 5-year award from the MacArthur Foundation in the mid 1990’s, when Kerbis Peterhans contributed to a program to train over 60 African students  in similar techniques  in Ugandan National  Parks. Uganda lies at the forefront of continental biological diversity as well as environmental awareness, positioning it as a major player in African conservation initiatives. The existing infrastructure at Makerere University gives Kerbis Peterhans a platform to continue these efforts.  In particular, the mid elevation forests of Uganda are both understudied and are severely threatened due to their proximity to people and attempts at commercial development. These forests today are small remnants of a formerly pan-equatorial forest that has since fragmented due to climate change, With support from the Department of Biology and Museum of Zoology at Makerere University, Kerbis Peterhans proposes to train a new cadre of African field biologists. His activities will include the training of students in the field, the survey of threatened forests, and the submittal of a major proposal for the development of a Master’s Program in Conservation Biology at Makerere.

Professor Gary Wolfe Wins Locus Award, Up for Hugo

Professor Gary K. Wolfe

This past weekend, Professor Gary Wolfe won a Locus Award in the nonfiction category. Wolfe won for his book, Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature, Published by Wesleyan, the book discusses  science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and how the boundaries between these genres merge and eventually “evaporate” as they create new forms. Peter Straub, author of A Dark Matter, says this: “Profoundly knowledgeable about science fiction and fantasy fiction, the award-winning critic Gary K. Wolfe possesses both the wisdom and generosity of spirit necessary to consider these genres within the context of the wider literary culture; by doing so he miraculously illuminates them from within.”

Additionally, Wolfe has been nominated again for a Hugo Award for Best Fancast–for the Coode Street Podcast which he does with Jonathan Strahan. The winners will be announced at Chicon 7  in Chicago, August 30-September 3, 2012.

Professor Emeritus Metzgar Speaks to AAUP Members

Professor Emeritus Jack Metzgar shares information with AAUP members last Friday.

Last Friday, Jack Metzgar, professor emeritus of humanities and former president of Roosevelt University’s chapter of American Association of University Professors, discussed the history of faculty leadership and shared governance at RU to a group of about 25 faculty members and administrators. Metzgar followed Howard Bunsis, a professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University and secretary-treasurer of the Executive Committee of the AAUP Governing Council, who presented an analysis of Roosevelt’s financial documents. Metzgar shared ideas about ways that RU faculty can bond together to help guide the university. Metzgar is a beloved professor from the College of Professional Studies and it was a treat to see him in action again.

Wolfe Publishes New Essay, Honors Gene Wolfe

Professional and Liberal Studies Professor Gary Wolfe recently published a new essay, “Fantasy from Dryden to Dunsany,” in The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy, edited by Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James, from Cambridge University Press (January 2012).

On March 17th, Gary Wolfe also served as Master of Ceremonies as the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame presented Gene Wolfe with the first “Fuller Award,” acknowledging an outstanding lifetime contribution to literature.


SUST Professors Discuss “Costs” in Loop Value Exhibit

RU’s Sustainability Studies co-founders Associate Professor Mike Bryson and Assistant Professor Carl Zimring both serve on the advisory board to the Chicago Architecture Foundation for the Loop Value exhibit, which opened recently in the CitySpace Gallery. The exhibit shares information about the real environmental costs of a variety of goods and services, including household items and even pets.

Here, Bryson discusses how much the “highly transformed” Chicago river costs and Zimring evaluates how much a cell phone costs, especially those that are “hidden.”

The exhibit is free, and open seven days a week from 9:30am-5pm.

RU Professor Part of International Surveying Team on Gorongosa Mountain

During August 2011, Professor Julian C. Kerbis Peterhans, along with researchers from Loyola University and the Field Museum of Natural History, combined efforts with the University Eduardo Mondlane (in Maputo, Mozambique) and the scientific department of Parque Nacional da Gorongosa to conduct surveys of birds, mammals, and their parasites on Gorongosa Mountain.
Valuable specimens of birds and mammals were collected and surveyed for the diversity of organisms that live on and within them. The parasites found in the fur, feathers, blood, intestines, and other organs of these animals will provide an important measure of the presence of diseases in these wild populations. Many of the diseases that affect humans often are derived from pathogens that infect other species so these data on the natural prevalence of these pathogens will be useful in the future to understand how disease-carrying agents might shift hosts to infect other species.

Professor Julian C. Kerbis Peterhans with a bat (Rhinolophus sp.) that was captured in Mozambique on Mt Gorongosa.

Despite a short time on the mountain, more than sixty species of birds, twenty-seven species of mammals, and thousands of ecto- and endo-parasites were sampled.  Some of the birds observed during this survey were species not known to occur in this region before, therefore expanding the geographic ranges of these species.

Another goal of the expedition was to train local students and technicians in these surveying techniques.  Students from the forestry college in Chimoio and technicians in the scientific department of the Gorongosa Restoration Project learned the methods used to collect and prepare specimens of birds and mammals.

A real treat during the expedition was to have a videographer to document the entire process.  Federico Pardo was on hand to take photos and videos and conduct interviews.  He will be producing these into short videos to appear on the FMNH and PNG websites in both English and Portuguese.

The trip was also worthwhile in building collaborations and fostering future research opportunities across multiple institutions and countries.  Specimens collected on this trip are crucial to study the fauna on Mt. Gorongosa and will be valuable for decades to come.