Lightning Talks provide early-career faculty members opportunity to network, collaborate

Presentations represented a variety of disciplines, including sustainable plant production and street art in virtual reality

Fang Jiang, assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts' Department of Psychology, was one of eight early-career faculty members who presented at the Future Collaborators Lightning Talk event Tuesday, Nov. 28. She is shown here studying images created by fMRI technology at Renown as part of a University project. This brain imaging equipment has enhanced brain imaging capabilities for researchers.


11/30/2017 | By: Natalie Fry |

The Faculty Senate Early Career Academic Faculty Committee hosted its biannual Meet Future Collaborators Lightning Talks event Tuesday, Nov. 28. The event was held from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center's Knowledge Nook. It is an event designed to provide an opportunity for new faculty to share their current research with colleagues from around campus in a friendly environment.

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"I'd like to express our great thanks for the wonderful presentations," Maggie Ressel, committee chair and director of access services for University Libraries, said. "We received many positive comments from attendees, and it seemed to result in a lot of good discussion after the event."  

Committee member Amy Hunsaker, digital initiatives librarian, introduced the event and welcomed nearly 35 attendees.  This event featured five-minute research presentations from eight early-career faculty members representing a variety of disciplines across the University. 

Presenters and Projects 

  • Heather Holmes, assistant professor, Department of Physics, College of Science 
    Atmospheric Turbulence and Air Quality (ATAQ) Lab  
  • Michael Taylor, assistant professor, Department of Economics, College of Business
    Economics Department Seminar Series, including projects on Water and Wildfire in Nevada, Lake Tahoe and Cooperative Extension Projects  
  • Samuel Ehrenreich, assistant professor, Human Development & Family Studies, College of Education
    Digital Communication in Adolescent Development  
  • Samuel Odoh, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science
    Computational Chemistry for Converting Natural Gas to Methanol  
Samuel Odoh presents at the Early Career Faculty Future Collaborators Lightning Talk event

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Samuel Odoh, talks to a group of early-career faculty during the Future Collaborators Lighting Talk event Tuesday, Nov. 28.

  • Ignacio Montoya, assistant professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
    Morphological modes in Native American languages
  • Laura Rocke, librarian, University Libraries 
    New Scenes: Street Art in Virtual Reality  

  • Fang Jiang, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
    Multisensory perceptual training in the elderly  
  • Ian Wallace, assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular biology, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources
    Tuning plant energy outputs for sustainable product production  

Following the presentations, attendees had an opportunity to network and develop connections with other faculty as well as try out a virtual reality headset brought in by Knowledge Center staff from the @Reality Studio. Light refreshments were also served.  

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"I did have one faculty member say, 'I'd come to these every month,' - that was incredible," Ressel said.  

The Early Career Academic Faculty Committee promotes the success of early career academic faculty, conducts studies on University practices, policies and procedures and makes recommendations to the senate and administration on matters that affect the welfare and success of Early Career Faculty.  

"If anyone has any observations, comments or suggestions for improving future events, we'd gratefully accept input," Ressel said. "We are open to suggestions for future speakers as well. Thanks again to those who attended; we hope to see more our next event."  

The next Lighting Talks event will be planned for the spring semester and scheduled soon.


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