Faculty Recognition

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The Scholar & Grants Development Office would like to recognize three faculty members at Brockport this semester for their contributions to their respective fields. 

Laurell Mcnall

Dr. Laurel McNall

Dr. Laurel McNall of Department of Psychology and has been at The College at Brockport for 13 years. Recently, McNall was awarded the Post-Tenure Fellowship for her research on psychological principals, and is currently working with her colleague, Dr. Melissa Brown, on better understanding the underlying mechanism by which mindfulness may positively impact individuals. In the past, McNall was also awarded the 2018 Scholarly Incentive Award, the 2016 Scholarly Incentive Award, the 2008 UUP Individual Development Grant, and the 2007 UUP Individual Development Grant.
In our interview below, McNall offers insight on the work she is conducting and offers feedback on the importance of applying for scholarships and grants.

Interview

Q) As a recipient of the Post-Tenure Fellowship Award, what were the projects and/or research you were conducting at the time you applied for the grant?

A) I’m an organizational psychologist so I study the application of psychological principles to the world of work. In particular, I am interested in how people balance multiple roles. We often hear a lot about how work conflicts with other areas of life, but my research examines how the work role can enrich other life domains, and vice versa. By extension, I have studied how personality variables contribute to perceptions of work enriching the school role among working college students here at Brockport. Currently I am collaborating with my colleague, Dr. Melissa Brown, to study whether trait mindfulness, or the ability to be present in the moment through attention and awareness, might be related to perceptions of work-school enrichment and important work outcomes. One of our undergraduate students was interested in mindfulness in the workplace and this brought our labs together to investigate this issue.

Q) How do you anticipate your work adding to your field of study and/or profession?

A) We are currently working on better understanding the underlying mechanisms by which mindfulness may positively impact individuals and organizations, which may guide future interventions at organizations and universities.

Q) How does the award assist with the new projects you are participating in?

A) This award will help me disseminate our initial findings at the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology Annual Congress in Turin, Italy. In addition, I’ll be attending a pre-conference workshop on a statistical technique that might be helpful for data analysis and subsequent publication.

Q) In your opinion, why is it important that professors continue to apply for grants/scholarships?

A) Grants can provide the support to help professors accomplish a variety of research tasks, which ultimately will help the project to fruition – and that is rewarding! In my case, the grant is helping to increase the visibility of my research at Brockport with an international audience and giving me an opportunity for further professional development.


Jacques Rinchard

Dr. Jacques Rinchard

Dr. Jacques Rinchard works in the Department of Environmental Science and Ecology and has been at the College for 12 years. Recently, Rinchard was awarded the 2018 Roland Fontaine Award for Faculty-Student Engagement and the 2016 Post-Tenure Fellowship award. His accomplishments are directly related to his active engagement with students, and his recent scholarship on thiamine deficiency in salmon fish within the Greater Lakes Region. In the past, Rinchard was also awarded the 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity.
In our interview of Rinchard for our newsletter he provides insight on his current scholarship, and also makes a compelling argument for further engagement with undergraduate and graduate students.

Interview

Q) As the recent recipient of the Roland Fontaine Award and the Post-Tenure Fellowship Award, what were the projects and/or research you were conducting at the time you applied for the grants?

A) My current research is on thiamine deficiency in salmon fish in Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes Region. I am interested in the use of fatty acids to assess fish diets. The concentration rates will tell us about their survival rates, and provide more information about the relationship with predators and prey. For instance, the mother fish are having issues passing down these acids to their offspring because of the current diet of the fish.

Q) How do you anticipate your work adding to your field of study and/or profession?

A) Currently, there is no mechanism used to analyze the thiamine deficiency in fish. We hope that this research works toward a standard mechanism that is used by other environmental scientists.

Q) How do the awards assist with the new projects you are participating in?

A) The awards assist with continuing research and networking. I have published over eighty peer-reviewed publications and have received over 4.2 million dollars in grant and scholarship funding. Without these awards my research could not continue to grow every year.

Q) In your opinion, why is it important that professors continue to apply for grants/scholarships?

A) The awards not only fund conferences among other scholars and researchers in the field of environmental science, but they also offer a change to engage more students and provide hands-on opportunities. While open discussions among those currently in the field foster discussions on current research, including students provides new insights and allows them a chance to network. Currently, I hire students to work in the lab with me to allow them time in the lab to foster a curiosity in research. It is important that we continue to apply for these grants and scholarships to keep communication open among faculty, scholars, and students.


Dr. Nandini Kar

Dr. Nandini Kar, is a new faculty member in the Department of Earth Sciences at the College. In her first year with the college she was awarded the Pre-Tenure Fellowship Award for her research with the geological program where she studied the climate conditions, organic matter, and sediment tracts in the Himalayas. Her most recent publication in on organic extractions. In the past, Kar was also awarded the Graduate Student award from the Geological Society of America, and the National Geographic Award at the University of Rochester.
Kar provides generous information about her current research and speaks about collaborating with students on research projects in our interview.

Interview

Q: As the recent recipient of the Pre-Tenure Fellowship Award, what projects and/or research were you conducting at the time you applied for the grant?

A: I was working on expanding previous statistical data that I began while working with the geological program. I traveled to the eastern part of the Himalayas in order to study rock deposits, sediment tracts, and the organic matter preserved in the sediment. This information can tell geologists whether the foundation held land based plants, water based plants, the bacteria that lived there, the climate they flourished under, and the environmental conditions from thousands of years ago. I am hoping to compare previous research with this new data to prove a new idea of what type of sediment and rock deposits exist there. This research also speaks to the climate of the Himalayas. It can tell me the history of monsoons in that area and what the climate conditions were millions of years ago in order to compare it with the modern day climate conditions.

Q: How do you anticipate your work adding to your field of study and/or profession?

A: As a geochemist, I anticipate adding to the studies about how mountains form and regulate climate. I have previously studied the Andes Mountains under the same area of interest. While the Andes face a different set of climate issues, the research and data collection process is largely similar. After the data is analyzed I hope to publish a collaborative article about the conclusions founded from the extractions.

Q: How do the award assist with the new projects you are participating in?

A: The award assists in multiple aspects of the project. First, it allows me the opportunity to travel and collect data. Second, it offers me a change to work with students and bring them along for hands-on experience. And last, it provides the funds to write a bigger grant and submit new proposals on future projects. For instance, while I am currently focused on the Himalayas I hope to look at other areas in the future to compare the different climates, rock sediments, etc.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important that professors continue to apply for grants/scholarships?

A: It is important to continue to apply for grants and scholarships because it not only provides funds for research and projects, but it also pushes you to work with other people in your field. Without the ability to travel I would have to rely on data collected via outsourcing and would not meet other researchers in my field. This also applies to students who are new to the field. Scholarships and grants allows them the chance to network and go collect data outside of Brockport. For example, I have worked with students in the Catskills which teaches them to work with real samples. While lab work is important, it is equally valuable that students get out into the field to see what goes into the collection of data. I hope with continued funding to bring students to India with me for even further exposure.

Last Updated 10/9/19

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