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The Academic Minute for 12.8-12.12

Be sure to visit AcademicMinute.org for all the great research featured daily.

Monday, December 8
Steven Soifer - University of Memphis
Dr. Steven Soifer received his Ph.D. in Social Welfare Policy from Brandeis University in 1988, and his M.S.W. from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. His Ph.D. was on the socialist mayoral administration of Bernie Sanders, now one of the only independent U.S. senators hailing from the great state of Vermont. This led to his first book, The Socialist Mayor: Bernard Sanders in Burlington, Vermont.

Dr. Soifer has many research and teaching interest areas. Currently, his major research focuses on paruresis, or shy bladder syndrome. Dr. Soifer wrote the first book on the topic, entitled Shy Bladder Syndrome: Your Step-by-Step to Overcoming Paruresis. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the issue, having conducted hundreds of workshops for shy bladder sufferers all over the world, with thousands of people having participated. Moreover, he is the co-founder and CEO of the International Paruresis Association, Director of the Shy Bladder Center, and the Secretary of the American Restroom Association.

Tuesday, December 9
Jean M. Twenge - San Diego State University      
A Corrosion of Trust
Dr. Jean M. Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and the books Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before and The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (co-authored with W. Keith Campbell). Dr. Twenge frequently gives talks and seminars on teaching and working with today’s young generation based on a dataset of 11 million young people. Her audiences have included college faculty and staff, high school teachers, military personnel, camp directors, and corporate executives. Her research has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on Today, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Fox and Friends, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, and National Public Radio. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Wednesday, December 10
Radu Sporea - University of Surrey
Technological Nomenclature
Dr. Radu Sporea is Royal Academy of Engineering Academic Research Fellow in the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey. His current research focuses on power-efficient, cost-effective large-area electronics in organic and inorganic semiconductor technologies. Additionally, Dr. Sporea enjoys traveling, podcasting, photography and public engagement in science.

Thursday, December 11
James Pivarnik - Michigan State University  
GPAs and Gym Memberships
Dr. James Pivarnik is a professor at Michigan State University, in the Departments of Kinesiology and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and has been president of the American College of Sports Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Indiana University and completed an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, Department of Physiology.
Pivarnik has studied many aspects of physical activity, particularly during pregnancy, for over 25 years representing many different perspectives including physiologic, psychophysiologic and epidemiologic. He has published 124 peer reviewed papers, 10 book chapters, 190 abstracts and has been a primary or co-investigator on 45 research grants from federal, state and foundation sources. He was also responsible for writing the pregnancy section of the 2008 U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Friday, December 12
William O. Stephens - Creighton University                   
Stoic Philosophy and Death
William O. Stephens was born in Lafayette, and raised in West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Earlham College and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. Stephens has been on the Arts & Sciences faculty at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska since 1990. His publications include articles on topics in Stoicism, Epicureanism and friendship, ecology and vegetarianism, ethics and animals, sex and love, sportsmanship, and the concept of a person. His four books are an English translation of Adolf Bonhöffer’s work The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus (Peter Lang, 1996), an edited collection The Person: Readings in Human Nature (Prentice Hall, 2006), Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom (Continuum, 2007), and Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2012). Stephens has traveled widely. He has visited the isle of Rhodes, the isle of Crete, and mainland Greece, New Zealand, Iceland, the Bahamas, Cornwall, Scotland, Mexico, British Columbia, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Antarctica. Stephens is an avid tennis player, an ailurophile, and enjoys chess, hiking, and nature photography. He has long been a fan of the Chicago Cubs, which helps explain his interest in Stoicism.

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