Penn State Schuylkill's Faculty Research Series provides an opportunity for faculty to discuss their current research projects. Seminars will be held monthly and delivered via Zoom.
Rhetorical Criticism of Musical Theatre: Communication Theory in Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, and Six
Presented by Valerie Schrader, Courtney Weikel, and Adam Moyer
In this interdisciplinary research presentation, Dr. Valerie Schrader, associate professor of communication arts and sciences, and Corporate Communication honors students Adam Moyer and Courtney Weikel will discuss their work applying communication theories to musical theatre texts using rhetorical criticism as a method. All three presenters will be presenting papers that were selected as top papers in the National Communication Association's Theatre, Film, and New Multi-Media Division for the 2020 virtual conference in November. Adam Moyer's work explores relational dialectics in the musical Chicago, Courtney Weikel's paper examines Burkean identification in the musical Dear Evan Hansen, and Dr. Schrader's research project applies public memory, feminism, and Burkean identification to the musical Six.
Hungry, hungry microbes: How carnivorous algae can change the microbial landscape
Presented by Sarah Princiotta
Aquatic ecosystems are home to a diverse community of microscopic organisms that form the base of our food web. Cyanobacteria, or “blue green algae,” are a natural component of the aquatic community and are among the most ancient evolutionary lineages. Despite their ecological significance, dense proliferations of cyanobacteria are increasingly common in freshwater ecosystems across the globe. These “bloom” events pose serious public health risks, as many cyanobacteria can produce harmful toxins. Dr. Sarah Princiotta, assistant professor of biology, will discuss her research into the dynamics and drivers of cyanobacteria blooms. Her current work explores ways in which trophic interactions between microbes can promote the reduction and biodegradation of cyanobacterial toxins. During this presentation, Dr. Princiotta will highlight the future of her research program at Penn State Schuylkill and address potential projects for undergraduate students.