McCalla Abstracts 2016-2017

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 2016-2017 awards provide funding for 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 2016-2017 McCalla Professors.

Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

SIMON LANDHAUSSER (Renewable Resources)

Plants play a fundamental role in sustaining life on earth. Humanity relies directly on a large diversity of plant species for food, energy, and shelter or indirectly through ecosystem services and function. Being able to identify and monitor plant species is a crucial first step in recognizing and understanding the impact and potential of plants in our lives.

The McCalla Professorship will be used to develop an interactive approach that allows students to learn and practice the proper universal techniques of how to identify plants through observation and decision making using detailed picture plates and keys. The development of this approach is particularly useful for long distance learning or in regions where fresh plant material is not available during the time the course is being taught.

Faculty of Arts

WENDY HOGLUND (Psychology)

For the past decade my research and teaching scholarship have been in area of social and emotional development (e.g., social competence, emotion regulation, aggression, anxiety) in childhood and adolescence. Community-based research is the cornerstone of my scholarship that aims to inform evidence-based programs and practices to enhance the development of vulnerable children and adolescents. My research specifically examines how social settings and conditions can enhance or undermine the development of vulnerable children and adolescents. A McCalla Professorship will help document student learning outcomes through their informal and formal learning about children's social and emotional development and engagement with community partners.

Augustana Campus

KIM MISFELDT (Fine Arts and Humanities)

After Coming Home: Study Abroad Returnees

This project will investigate the experience of former study abroad students and incorporate their responses and advice into the future programming, teaching and assessment of the Canadian Summer School in Germany and its articulation with domestic programs. More broadly, it will generate original knowledge about the sustained, positive linguistic and intercultural effects of study abroad in post-sojourn domestic settings as well as identify barriers to this integration. Kim Misfeldt is a 3M National Teaching Fellow and has recently received the Charles Dunn COPLAC (Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges) Award for Outstanding Faculty Commitment to Student Success.

Alberta School of Business

DEVEREAUX JENNINGS (Strategic Management and Organization)

Recognized editor and researcher, P. Devereaux Jennings, intends to use his McCalla Professorship to enhance his current clean technology course, to design a new course on organizational resilience, and to support other teaching initiatives around sustainability in the Alberta School of Business. As part of these efforts, Dr. Jennings will draw more heavily on sustainability and organizations research in his classroom and workshops in order to generate more unique value for local sustainability-related projects. In addition, he will use part of his funding to train and support business students interested in environmental and social sustainability, particularly in clean technology and organizational resilience.

Faculty of Engineering

JIE CHEN (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Professor Chen is an expert in biomedical devices. He has received prestigious awards including IEEE distinguished Lecturer, Killam Professorship, and Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He will use the McCalla Professorship to integrate his teaching, research, and community service. The activities include: (i) writing a textbook, "Nanobiotechnology for Engineers". (ii) Performing research on impedance-based biosensors for metabolic sensing, nutrient deficiency monitoring, and cancer screening. This companion diagnostic device can help change recipients' dietary habits, lifestyle or exercise routines for disease prevention. (iii) Outreach to Edmonton area high schools to encourage students to study in the field of engineering.

Faculty of Extension


McCalla Professorships recognize the integration of teaching and research. The proposed teaching and research plan is to develop and pilot a Joint Education and Training Initiative (JETI) in collaboration with core partners at the University of Alberta and elsewhere. The JETI will integrate teaching with an ongoing action research project to study technology stewardship as a social practice model for promoting digital literacy and grassroots innovation with resource-challenged communities and organizations. This initiative builds on a program of experiential and service learning that Dr. Gow has been facilitating through his MARS Lab and SSHRC-funded research since 2010.

Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry


Basics of Nuclear- and Radiochemistry: radionuclide handling, radiation safety and radionuclide applications

The proposed program includes the setup of a beginner's practical course in nuclear- and radiochemistry and their application in life science. This hands-on introduction into radio-nuclide handling, measurement of radioactivity as well as the radio-labeling of biologically active compounds for in vivo imaging and therapy will provide the essentials necessary to become proficient in this field of research. Teaching nuclear- and radiochemistry is currently underrepresented at Canadian Universities. With the installation of the Medical Isotope and Cyclotron Facility (MICF) and the radiochemistry facilities at the Cross Cancer Institute, UofA is in a favorable position to advance the teaching in this evolving field of research.

Faculty of Science

JOHN WALDRON (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)

Field research and three-dimensional thinking are fundamental to understanding the structure and evolution of the Earth's crust, in both teaching and research. A remotely controlled aircraft and camera (UAV or "drone") with a low-distortion lens will be purchased. This will allow still and video imaging of classic geologic structures in locations that are inaccessible to large classes (for teaching) and inaccessible to the applicant and graduate students (for research). The teaching component will be complemented by outcrop-based video segments. Combined, these elements will bring field-based understanding to the classroom environment, and will complement advances achieved through the Geoscience Garden.