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Faculty Friday Spotlight: October 2023

Dolly’s World

Harry L., Corinne Bryant and Cottie Beverly Slade Professor of Creative Arts Tracey Laird’s sixth publication will be released on October 10. Her latest project, “Dolly Parton: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life,” delves into 100 extraordinary moments of Dolly Parton’s life, including her iconic roles, hit songs and philanthropic endeavors. The book is illustrated with photos from throughout the star’s illustrious career.

Laird will be interviewed by award-winning writer and podcaster Kate Sweeney at Wrecking Bar on October 11 to celebrate the release. The event is sponsored by A Cappella Books. Charis Books & More will also host a book signing as part of their 49th birthday celebration on November 4, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Seminars and Publications

Qi’s Study Results

Professor Li Qi’s latest study, “Academic Profile of Chinese Economists: Productivity, Pay, Time Use, Gender Differences, and Impacts of COVID-19,” was recently released in the China Economic Review. Accompanied by co-authors Adam Chen and Yang Jiao, the project was made possible with support from the ASC PDA Award and research assistants Jiamin Li and Tai Min Tegeder from Agnes Scott. The study utilizes two survey data waves to provide insight into Chinese academic economists, including demographics, education, academic rank, wage, time use, research interests and productivity.

The study also reveals the prevalent gender disparities in the economics profession, with women experiencing challenges in career advancement and lower pay. According to the study, the COVID-19 pandemic had a different impact on male and female economists, with male economists with children having slightly more time for research and leisure during the pandemic. In contrast, female economists with children had reduced research time due to increased childcare responsibilities.

Scott Publishes Chapter on Tenure

Heather I. Scott ’99, PhD, assistant dean for inclusive leadership curriculum and co-curriculum, SUMMIT, is excited to share a recently co-authored a chapter in the book “When Will the Joy Come? Black Women in the Ivory Tower,” published by the University of Massachusetts Press. The chapter “Crossroads Post-Tenure: Should I Stay or Should I Go?” was inspired by Scott’s research on the impact of COVID and the promotion and tenure pause policy on Black women faculty. Heather conducted this research while on a post-tenure research leave.

See her research here, which summarizes her study’s initial findings and suggestions for additional context.

Building Relationships at Work

Amy Breidenthal, an assistant professor of business management, recently published an article in the Journal of Organizational Behavior that sheds light on how creativity at work can help new employees build stronger relationships with their coworkers over time. Through three research studies, it was discovered that this effect may be even more pronounced for individuals who have different genders or nationalities. This provides a valuable pathway for building relationships and becoming more influential in a workplace social network, particularly for those in a demographic minority.

Knowlton Publishes Third Poetry Book

Julia Knowlton, Adeline A. Loridans Professor of French, recently published her third poetry book, “Life of the Mind,” with Kelsay Books. Described as a book complete with poems that are “short, sharp and teeming with knowledge of heartbreak and reinventions,” Knowlton lyrically recalls her experiences living in Georgia and her months-long sabbatical stay in Paris.

Nell Ruby, Kathy ’68 and Lawrence Ashe Professor of Art, created the cover for Knowlton’s book using original visual art from the writer.

Signed copies are currently available at Charis.

Art-Based Learning Earns Cockrell-Abdullah Journal Publication

On September 27, the Journal of Intersectionality released a special issue titled “Teaching Intersectional Conflict Analysis Through Art,” highlighting the work of Agnes Scott students and Autumn Cockrell-Abdullah, visiting assistant professor of political science. The issue delves into creating the POL 303 Arts Approaches To Conflict course offered by the Department of Political Science and cross-listed with Anthropology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. It also explores the pedagogical approaches used in teaching intersectional conflict analysis through arts-based methods. The journal showcases the students’ final art projects and includes short essays from each student. It is an insightful and inspiring read that sheds light on the importance of intersectionality in conflict analysis and the power of art-based approaches to learning.

Kovacs, Students Present at Regional Conference

Jen Kovacs ’02, associate professor of biology, and a group of Scotties recently presented at the SouthEastern Population Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics Conference in Pembroke, Va.¬†They gave the following presentations:

  • Jennifer Kovacs ’02: Using Science Sprints to teach research skills: How is biodiversity affected by urban development?
  • Isabelle Grovenstein ’24: Digitizing the Agnes Scott Herbarium
  • Esther Okamoto ’24: Do environmental or maternal factors influence gut microbes?
  • Aom Juneau ’25: Toxicity of Pesticides Thiamethoxam and Sulfoxaflor on Bombus impatiens
  • Esther Okamoto ’24 presented a talk: Do environmental or maternal factors influence gut microbes?