McCalla Abstracts 2012-2013

The McCalla Professorships, named after the first Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, provide faculty members with an opportunity to explore and implement strategies integrating their research and teaching. Recipients, nominated by their Faculty, are outstanding academics who have made significant contributions to their field of research, teaching and learning. The 2012-13 awards provide funding for teaching release, and research and teaching initiatives. These awards are tenable at the University of Alberta.

The following is a brief description of the work being conducted by the 2012-13 McCalla Professors.

Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences

LLOYD DOSDALL (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)

Professor Dosdall's teaching, research, and community service focus broadly on integrated crop protection, with a specialization in agricultural entomology. Lloyd will synthesize research to date on the entomology of canola cropping systems with a worldwide perspective, and so identify needs for future research in this field. Dr. Dosdall will also work with his research group to develop a series of videos that illustrate important events in the mating and host-seeking behavior of parasitoids of crop pests and integrate these with his research, teaching, and community service activities. One component of the McCalla Professorship will involve updating undergraduate Plant Science courses to provide more interactive offerings, with larger experiential learning components.

Faculty of Arts

NORA STOVEL (English and Film Studies)

Professor Stovel's teaching and research plan on Women's Writing involves three interrelated objectives: a new graduate course, a monograph, and a community outreach program. First, a new graduate course involving Carol Shields will enable her to supervise graduate students' theses, MA projects, conference papers, and publications on women's archives. Second, she will complete her SSHRC-funded research project, a monograph entitled "Sparkling Subversion": Carol Shields' Vision and Voice, and related conference papers and scholarly articles. Third, she will liaise with Edmonton-area high school English teachers to develop educational programs involving her students with Edmonton high school students to research Alberta women's archives.



The goal of the proposed classroom-based research is to develop learning objectives outlining the skills achieved through collaborative learning practices and strategies for their assessment. The articulation of objectives for skill development is intended to enhance the learning experience of students by clarifying the value of the skills required to master course content. According to the Conference Board of Canada, collaboration and teamwork are key employability skills. Students will be better able to convey their achievements if we support them by specifying the skills needed to succeed in collaborative work, and helping them monitor their development in this area.

School of Business

MARVIN WASHINGTON (Strategic Management and Organization)

An award winning scholar, Professor Washington will utilize the McCalla Professorship to translate his 12 years of action research helping government officials in Botswana into projects that could inform his teaching and research. Professor Washington has spent the past 12 years helping government leaders develop strategic plans to implement Botswana's Vision 2020. He plans on utilizing the McCalla Professorship to develop additional research manuscripts as well as teaching cases that could be used in the graduate level strategic management class that he teaches. This Professorship will also fund two graduate students that will help him with this endeavor.

Faculty of Education

ELAINE SIMMT (Secondary Education)

Professor Simmt scholarship emerges from her curiosity about how people come to know mathematics and how mathematics emerges from our collective activity. Her scholarship includes her teaching which is guided by her belief that professors, out of respect for learners and the content they teach are responsible for creating opportunities which will enlarge learners' worlds at the same time as enhancing possibilities for the collectives of which they are a part. In the proposed project, graduate and undergraduate students will work with a research group of Canadian educational researchers to develop techniques for observing collective knowing in action and to find appropriate ways of documenting, displaying and communicating complex data from classroom contexts.

Faculty of Engineering

CHINTHANANDA TELLAMBURA (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Today's cellular wireless networks are homogeneous, having functionally identical base-stations, each serving a collection of user terminals in a macrocell. Consequently, they fail to provide adequate data rates at the hot spots and suffer from dead spots. The solution is making the future networks heterogeneous, with picocells, femtocells and relays. However, this paradigm shift requires more advanced techniques of resource allocation, interference mitigation and others, for achieving higher data rates. Added to this research, the main outcome of the McCalla Professorship is a text book on wireless communications systems, leading to the improvement of the teaching of several graduate and undergraduate courses.

Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

KARIM DAMJI (Ophthalmology)

High quality and timely eye care can prevent blindness from glaucoma, a leading cause of vision loss throughout the world. We have developed and tested an innovative collaborative care model that includes 'teleglaucoma', the adaptation of telehealth for detection and management of glaucoma. The McCalla Professorship will enable Professor Damji's team to develop a series of high quality web based learning modules for their teleglaucoma program that will be predicated on adult learning principles and serve to train individuals at the front line of glaucoma care in Canada as well as other parts of the world.

Faculty of Science

JANICE COOKE (Biological Sciences)

Plants are the underpinnings of natural ecosystem health and intergrity, and also of the emergent bioeconomy as sources of food, fibre, energy, chemicals including pharmaceuticals, and phytoremediation. Plants are also ideal systems for inquiry-based experiential activities that allow real linkages to be made between learning, doing, research and practical application. Transforming Plant Physiology through introduction of innovative, progressive, and contemporary activities that explore the continuum of learning, research and the real world will equip students with a "critical skills toolkit" that enables these citizens to make meaningful, productive and positive contributions to environmental stewardship and the nascent knowledge-based bioeconomy.