Faculty Development Newsletter

2013-2014: issue #6 - November 14, 2013

Fac Dev Website

Faculty Corner

What is it?

Clayton, Copper dimer

Find out at the end of the Newsletter.

January 7 at 4 PM: Using Qualtrics to "Build the Better Survey"

All faculty and staff are invited to participate in a follow-up workshop to our Tuesdays @ Noon event on surveys (A PowerPoint from that event is here). This workshop will provide hands-on training in the use of Qualtrics, our new web-based, survey building software. Faculty who are planning to build surveys or use surveys in courses are especially encouraged to attend.

Mark your calendars. A formal invitation will be circulated after the conclusion of the current academic term.


Funding to Support Activities in Global Studies

The Stellyes Center for Global Studies offers financial support for faculty and student activities related to global education. Funding is available in a number of categories relating to curricular development, collaborative work, and student international travel. Faculty are encouraged to review the application form and instructions and contact Center Director Robin Ragan with questions and proposals for use of these funds.
(Requests for faculty research support on international topics should still go to facultydevelopment@knox.edu.)


Professional Development Funds in Religious Studies Still Available - Apply by November 19

Financial support is available for faculty projects in Religious Studies through a fund made possible by a gift from Knox Trustee Mary Kent Knight. Examples of fundable activities include designing or re-designing a course with a substantial religion component, research into topics related to Religious Studies, or other professional development to support religious studies education on campus. Fall Term deadline for proposals is Tuesday, November 19. Another call for proposals will be issued early in Winter Term 2014.

Details on supported activities and the application process are here..


Looking Ahead: Upcoming Faculty Deadlines during Winter break and early 2014

Sabbatical Requests for 2014-2015 Academic Year - Submit to the Dean's Office - December 20. Application is here.

Curriculum Vitae Updates - Submit to the Dean's Office and Department - January 10. Form is here.

Tenure, Renewal, and Promotion Files - Submit to the Dean's Office and Department - January 10.

Funds for Research / Creative Work and Conference Travel for Spring and Early Summer (through end of Fiscal Year, June 30, 2014) - Due January 31

Funds for Research / Creative Work for projects after July 1, 2014 (i.e. 2014-2015 Fiscal Year) - First Call: April 1, 2014


Reminder: iDEA DAY - Monday, Dec. 9, 9:30 AM to Lunch - Taylor Lounge

During the initial conversations of the strategic planning process about the components of a 21st Century Education--and how Knox can best capitalize on its strengths--several broad areas for innovation have continued to surface: immersive / independent / intercultural / interdisciplinary.

iDEA DAY will allow any available and interested faculty to begin to consider how these broad areas are or could be expressed in the educational program. Consider iDEA DAY as some time and the space to talk with each other for the purpose of exploring these ideas as curricular and co-curricular options, new programs or experiences. This is an informal brainstorming time, fueled with plenty of caffeine (and the satisfaction of having grades turned in for the Fall term); and concluding with lunch.

Faculty interested in participating, please contact nfennig@knox.edu by November 22.


Humanities Writ Large: Visiting Faculty Fellowship at Duke University

Proposals are now being accepted for the 2014-15 academic year for Visiting Faculty Fellows to join with Duke faculty in re-defining our common teaching and research approach to the humanities. This opportunity has been made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation called Humanities Writ Large.

Additional information is available at the program website: http://humanitieswritlarge.duke.edu/ The deadline for proposals is January 6.


Faculty Corner: What is it?

Clayton, Copper dimer

Photo: The birefringence (double refraction, in layperson's terms) of a crystalline copper dimer under cross polarized light at 40X magnification.

Created in Tom Clayton's lab through work with students Brad Musselman, Mike Sprinkle, and Gbenga Ojo.

"We have made novel liquid crystalline molecules based on copper dimers for years; this summer we learned how to chemically modify these compounds so they exhibit low melting liquid phases. This is unheard of for Copper(II) carboxylate dimers, which almost invariably have clearing points well above 200C and decompose at slightly higher temperatures. Our ability to synthesize stable liquids from our liquid crystalline species is very important for several reasons. First, sharp and well-defined textures of liquid crystals obtained by microscopy are usually the result of slow cooling from the liquid phase. If the liquid phase is not stable then such textures, which can stand as proof of the underlying organization at the molecular level, are simply not attainable. We have lived with this inability to obtain sharp textures for our liquid crystals for almost two decades. It seems we may have surmounted this barrier as a result of the exceptionally good work this past summer. This photo was obtained by polarized microscopy of one such liquid in the process of crystallizing. The red regions are liquid while the blue and gold regions are crystalline solids literally emerging from the melt while we watched. There are many other unexplored potential uses for such liquids, including growing X-ray quality crystals so that we can establish unambiguous molecular structures for our compounds and exploring solvent free (Green Chemistry) reaction chemistry between functional groups incorporated on the copper dimers; both of these are areas I would not have anticipated pursuing just three months ago." -- Tom Clayton