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In | sight How Marquette researchers use imaging technology to deepen our understanding of the world around us.

Enhancing health, healing and more through cutting-edge research Welcome to the 2013 edition of Discover, highlighting some of the outstanding research and scholarship of Marquette University’s faculty. As you will see from the range of work featured this year, our faculty live out Marquette’s mission by being actively engaged in exploring enduring questions, working at the cutting edge of their disciplines and across disciplinary boundaries, and striving to solve critical problems that impact the lives of people in our local community and across the globe. This year we have a focus on health and healing in our featured profiles. Dr. Gerald Harris, professor of biomedical engineering, leads a consortium designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a national Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center dedicated to improving the quality of life of children with orthopaedic disabilities. Dr. Murray Blackmore, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, is investigating the mechanisms of neuron regeneration that may ultimately lead to new gene therapies to improve spinal cord injury recovery. Dr. Angelique Harris, assistant professor of social and cultural sciences, explores how minority groups work to reduce health inequities in their communities. Dr. Craig Andrews, professor and Charles H. Kellstadt Chair in Marketing, examines the impact of graphic labels on tobacco packaging on adult smokers. Dr. Theresa Tobin, associate professor of philosophy, examines the impact of clergy abuse on victims’ faith lives and how spiritual reconciliation and renewal can be part of the healing process. In addition to profiling the work of individual faculty, we also feature some of the many ways in which imaging and visualization techniques are being utilized by our researchers to explore our world from the atomic scale to imaging the human brain to extending out into astronomical distances of the universe. Short features and the bookshelf section provide other great examples of the broad scope of our faculty’s research. I invite you to also explore for more examples of Marquette research and scholarship.

Dr. Jeanne M. Hossenlopp Vice Provost for Research


2 In | sight Marquette researchers are using imaging technology to solve problems and deepen our understanding of the world around us.

6 “My community’s dying.” African-American women are leading the fight against HIV and AIDS, and Dr. Angelique Harris wants to understand why.

8 Stepping forward Dr. Gerald Harris and the Tech4Pod consortium are engineering better devices for children with orthopaedic disabilities.

12 Healing the broken spine Dr. Murray Blackmore is making progress in understanding how to reverse the condition physicians once considered untreatable.

14 Unfiltered images Dr. Craig Andrews’ research shows graphic visual health warnings influence intentions to quit smoking.

16 The spiritual toll of abuse Dr. Theresa Tobin explores the idea of “spiritual violence” — and how its victims can recover.

In Brief 18 Improving rural health care — one nurse at a time The intersection of culture and new media 19 Predicting the next big disaster 20 Improving ADHD treatment for Latino children 21 Understanding the relationship between terrorists and society A 2-minute lifesaver 22 Crime and (differing) punishment Halo Project ignites meaningful student research 23 Reading your way to kindness 24 Marquette Bookshelf 25 Research and scholarship at Marquette

Discover: Marquette University Research and Scholarship is published annually by the Office of Marketing and Communication. Editor: Nicole Sweeney Etter Designer: Joan Holcomb Contributing writers: April Beane, Becky Dubin Jenkins, Stephen Filmanowicz, Chris Jenkins, Brigid Miller, Joni Moths Mueller, Lynn Sheka, Christopher Stolarski Illustrators: Melissa McGill, Mikela Prevost and James Steinberg Photography: Dan Johnson, Ben Smidt and Alan Fethiere Stock images:



By Nicole Sweeney Etter

Imaging plays a key role in research across Marquette’s campus, with faculty focusing their sights on everything from the tiniest nanostructures to supernovae light years away. “We’ve had faculty working in the area of imaging in a wide variety of STEM disciplines for a number of years,” says Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice provost for research. “Development and use of new imaging tools will continue to be crucial in work across disciplines, ranging from atomic-level imaging for nanoscience to imaging on the human scale for biomedical applications to exploring the universe.” Read on to learn how Marquette researchers are using imaging technology to solve problems and gain new insights about our world.



Exploring proteins at the atomic level This colorful image depicts pyruvate carboxylase, a complicated protein studied by Dr. Martin St. Maurice, assistant professor of biological sciences. “This is an important enzyme in our bodies that plays a role in insulin secretion and glucose biosynthesis and that also contributes to the synthesis of all kinds of building blocks for the cell,” St. Maurice explains. “As a result, this enzyme may be a target for the treatment of a number of diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer.” St. Maurice uses an X-ray diffractometer to create three-dimensional maps of molecules — in this case, to determine the exact location of all atoms in this protein to gain insight into how it functions, including how one part moves as it catalyzes a chemical reaction. “By understanding how this region of the protein moves during a chemical reaction, we may

Dr. Martin St. Maurice

ultimately be able to alter the way the enzyme functions, leading to possible therapies directed against this enzyme,” he says.

Marquette University


Understanding the aging brain Dr. Kristy Nielson, a professor of psychology, was one of the first in the nation to use functional MRI technology for aging research. She uses fMRI images to examine what parts of the brain function differently in older versus younger people or people at high versus low risk for disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. “Imaging is starting to allow us to see differences or changes before we can measure them with traditional tests, so it has both the potential to help us better understand the mechanisms of aging or neurodegenerative diseases and the potential to help us predict impairments before they occur so that we might be able to prevent them,” says Nielson, who is also the editor-in-chief of the journal Ageing Research. The image above depicts areas of the brain active during a semantic memory task (identifying if a name is famous or not) and an episodic memory task (knowing whether a name was read earlier or not). The images show snapshots of the brain from its base on the left to its top on the right. People who showed less brain activity during the semantic task and who had the gene APOE-E4, which is linked to Alzheimer’s, were more likely to experience cognitive decline just 18 months later. “Research in Alzheimer’s is usually focused on episodic memory — that is, what patients have the most difficulty with is remembering what they did last week, yesterday or earlier today,” Nielson says. “Although factual memory get less attention, how the brain does this simple

Dr. Kristy Nielson

task is very telling about who is likely to experience Alzheimer’s-like cognitive decline later on.”


Building better nanodevices


These images show a grown nanostructure created by Dr. Chung Hoon Lee, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Marquette’s Nanoscale Devices Laboratory. The images were published in the journal Applied

200 nm

Physics Letters in November. Lee uses a high-powered microscope to learn about the


nanostructure growth mechanism, and in 2012 he succeeded in growing atomically


sharp tips at nanoscale, which could be used in materials such as metals, metal-oxides and polymers. “The applications of this technology are broad in science and engineering,” Lee says. One possible application: using a single molecule as an electric device such as an electronic computer chip, which may be more

200 nm


efficient than current computer chips, he says. Working within spaces less than 1/10,000th diameter of a human


hair, Lee builds his nanostructures with an unusual method, using an optical lithography that is common in industry and an electrical field.

200 nm



Dr. Chung Hoon Lee

Improving cancer detection and water safety Dr. Chieu D. Tran, Pfletschinger-Habermann Professor of Chemistry, uses near-infrared multispectral images in his research. Tran’s NIR imaging instrument takes tens of thousands of pictures, each picture at a different wavelength within one millionth of a second. Until 15 years ago, infrared technology was restricted for military reasons, and Tran began working with it as soon as it became available. “It took us a long time to build this field-deployable, rapid-scanning and high-throughput NIR imaging instrument,” Tran says. He also created a special NIR multispectral imaging microscope, which allows him to perform studies and measurements that are impossible with other existing techniques. For one study, he makes a molecule that is one micron in diameter and heats it up in water, shrinking it and making it less water soluble. The technique could be applied to drug delivery, Tran says. For example, researchers could encapsulate a drug in a molecule and heat it up with a laser so that it shrinks, thus expelling and injecting the drug into a cancer cell. Tran’s NIR imaging system could also be used to detect cancer noninvasively and to very quickly detect biological agents and other

Dr. Chieu D. Tran

impurities in water.

Studying the life and death of stars This radio image shows the spiral galaxy M83, one of the systems studied by Dr. Christopher Stockdale, an associate professor of physics who specializes in stellar explosions called supernovae. M83, which has had at least six supernova explosions in the past century, is about 10 to 15 million light years away. “It’s actually relatively close — it’s in the neighborhood,” Stockdale says. The spiral arms extending out in this image are emissions from hydrogen gas, and the bright spots are areas where new stars are forming or where stars have died. Stockdale uses images from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, a radio observatory in New Mexico. Until the observatory’s recent upgrade, researchers could only look at 10 percent of the L Band of the spectrum. “With the new telescope, we can now get up to 10 times the data we could before,” he says. Supernovae that astronomers first saw explode decades ago are still visible in the radio, allowing Stockdale and others to piece together hints of what happened to the stars before they died. “It give us a way to measure star formation,” Stockdale explains. “Then we can learn more about the dynamics of this galaxy.” Dr. Christopher Stockdale

Marquette University


“My community’s dying”


How African-American women are leading the fight against HIV and AIDS In three decades since the dawn of the HIV/AIDS crisis,

Her book traced the work of an activist organization, the

there have been significant changes in the way society thinks

Balm in Gilead, which prompted churches in the African-

about its victims and advances in what medical science can do

American community to become more involved in the fight

to treat them.

against AIDS.

But much of that progress has bypassed the African-American

“Now it’s not weird, really, for churches in the United States

community, where social stigma presents roadblocks and new

to address HIV,” Harris says. “In fact, many of them are expected

infections continue to skyrocket.

to in some way, shape or form.”

A small group of activists, almost exclusively women, is trying

to change that. Dr. Angelique Harris, an assistant professor of social and cultural sciences, wants to know what motivates them.

And women led the way, a phenomenon Harris says holds true for most social justice issues in the African-American community. “That’s just seen as being the responsibility of black women

“When you’re asking them about how they see their work,

within the culture to do that,” she says. “I thought that was inter-

all of them say something along the lines of, ‘My community’s

esting in terms of linking that to the AIDS work that I was doing

dying, the people are sick and I need to do something about

because there were very few heterosexual black men involved

it,’” Harris says.

in the AIDS movement. It’s just incredibly, incredibly rare, in

Harris has conducted extensive interviews with 36 female

large part because of the stigmas associated with it.”

African-American HIV/AIDS activists around the country. After

For her latest research project, Harris spoke with a wide

analyzing the data, she plans to publish her findings in several

variety of female AIDS activists facing different challenges. In

papers and, eventually, a book.

rural areas, victims might not have access to the latest medical

It’s an extension of work she did earlier in her career, when

advances. And in urban areas, it can be a struggle for an activist

she examined how churches in the African-American community

to have her voice heard — quite literally, in the case of one

initially responded to the HIV and AIDS epidemic — or, as

New York City activist she interviewed.

often was the case, didn’t respond at all. Her first book, AIDS, Sexuality, and the Black Church: Making the Wounded Whole, was published in 2010. Harris’

“There’s even one woman who walks around in Harlem on 125th Street with a bullhorn, just yelling about HIV and handing out condoms,” Harris says.

research on the often-precarious intersection of AIDS awareness

What drives them all to act?

and religion has made her a sought-after speaker at conferences.

“A lot of them are infected themselves — but a lot of them

In examining the church’s role in the African-American

aren’t infected,” she says. “They just got involved because some-

community, Harris found that stigmas against HIV and AIDS

body was sick years ago that got them really upset, a sister got

victims — including the initial perception that it was a disease that affected only

Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans comprised 14 percent of the U.S. population in 2009 but accounted for

there’s still a lot of ignorance in terms of


They still face an uphill fight. According to the Centers for

— kept churches from addressing the crisis. says. “And it still exists in large part, because

Dr. Angelique Harris

sick or a friend. And they wanted to do something.”

homosexual men and intravenous drug users “A lot of that was the church,” Harris


By Chris Jenkins

how people actually become infected.”

44 percent of all new HIV infections. “It’s a massive problem,” Harris says. “And the numbers aren’t going down.”

Illustration by Mikela Prevost

Marquette University





ORWARD Dr. Gerald Harris and the Tech4Pod consortium are engineering better devices for children with orthopaedic disabilities.

“We hope to be able to ... increase their physical function, their integration with their peers and community, their

By Chris Jenkins

Wearing futuristic-looking light-reflecting markers as 14 video cameras record her movements at 120 frames per second to generate real-time animation on a nearby computer, Lillie Wacaster could be modeling for the next big video game. Instead, she’s helping researchers in the gait laboratory at Shriners Hospital in Chicago study how children with orthopaedic challenges walk — and, as part of a multimillion-dollar research project led by Marquette biomedical engineering professor Dr. Gerald Harris, help improve their lives.

mobility — and, ultimately, their quality of life.”

Dr. Gerald Harris with a patient. Photographs courtesy of Shriners Hospital

Marquette University


By wearing an array of sensors that feeds live data into a computer, Lillie Wacaster helps researchers at Shriners Hospital in Chicago study how children with orthopaedic challenges walk. The analysis is part of a multimillion-dollar research project led by Marquette biomedical engineering professor Dr. Gerald Harris.


Lillie, 15, has osteogenesis imperfecta,

a rare condition also known as brittle bone disease that makes her especially

For Harris, who spends a few days each month at Shriners, it’s the latest step

less severe form of the disease, lab workers

in a career-long commitment to helping

at Shriners recall one OI patient who broke

children with orthopaedic challenges. He

both femur bones simply by sneezing.

says helping kids is a driving force for

aged 20 or so, have many fractures. Some

everyone involved. “That’s what motivates them, the fact

have had as many as 50 or more,” says

that they’re really having a positive impact

Harris, who co-authored a new book

on these children and their families,” says

on OI that will be published this spring.

Harris, who also directs Marquette’s

“They represent a very fragile patient —

Orthopaedic Research & Rehabilitation

but a patient that has tremendous capacity

Engineering Center. “At Shriners, they

for increasing the quality of life.”

care for those kids for 18 or 19 years. The

Harris and Marquette are part of a

children keep coming back. We have a long

research consortium that includes higher

history of quantitative assessment, and

education and health care partners in

it’s sort of like the well that you can keep

Milwaukee and Chicago. The group,

going back to for more encouragement.”

called Tech4Pod — technologies for

Harris’ team uses a relatively new

pediatric orthopaedic disabilities — was

technology, called nanoindentation, to

designated a national Rehabilitation

measure bone fragments removed from

Engineering Research Center by the U.S.

OI patients during surgery. In the past,

Department of Education in 2010 and is

those fragments simply were discarded.

funded by a five-year, $4.75 million grant. The consortium also includes Shriners


and other orthopaedic issues.

vulnerable to fractures. Though Lillie has a

“These children, by the time they’re


clubfoot, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries

“But now, we can take those tiny little fragments and we can actually

in Chicago, the Rehabilitation Institute

get the material property information,”

of Chicago, the Medical College of

Harris says. “We’ve put that into a series

Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin–

of models so we can predict fracture in

Milwaukee and the Milwaukee School of

these children.”

Engineering. Together, they’re developing

By combining data gathered from

new tools and improved treatment strate-

bone fragments with gait analysis —

gies for children with cerebral palsy, OI,

plates in the floor of the gait lab at

Other Tech4Pod initiatives In addition to the work overseen by Dr. Gerald Harris, other Marquette researchers are taking lead roles in Tech4Pod projects. Dr. Brian Schmit, a biomechanical engineering professor, is tracking the brain activity of children with cerebral palsy. Some patients have hamstring-lengthening surgery, in which the hamstring muscle/ tendon is cut in a way that allows it to better stretch out. Others have a surgical

Shriners measure the forces applied as

close to thresholds of acute injury at the

a subject walks — Harris and his team

shoulder joint, depending on what their

hope to help prevent fractures in OI

patterns look like,” Harris says.

patients by modifying children’s activities

Harris also is studying children with

and designing better assistive walking

flatfoot who have had implants, hoping

devices to absorb forces.

to improve treatment planning and post-

“It’s really cutting-edge,” Harris says.

treatment follow-up.

transfer of wrist tendons to help restore muscle function. The team measures patients’ brain activity before surgery and tracks how that activity changes as patients go through robot-assisted rehabilitation exercises after their procedures. Researchers are looking for signs that patients’ central nervous

“And what it means to us is we hope to

The research being carried out by

be able to take a child with OI, do a couple

Harris and the rest of the Tech4Pod team

of assessments, and then be able to

requires the participation of families like

longer-term outcomes by influencing the

prescribe safe activities that would

the Wacasters, who hope to contribute

development of central nervous system

increase their sports, their physical

to something that helps other kids in

tracks,” Harris says.

function, their integration with their

the future.

peers and community, their mobility — and, ultimately, their quality of life.” Researchers also are studying cases of

systems are adapting. “It means you might be able to impact

The project involves developing robotic

“There was so little research in

therapy devices that patients could use at

this area,” says Lillie’s mother, Priscilla

home. Schmit is leading the development

Wacaster, who also has OI. “And how you

of a device for lower-body therapy. Dr. Taly Gilat-Schmidt, an assistant

severe clubfoot, a congenital condition

walk, how you play, how you interact

that causes an infant’s foot to turn inward

with people — this is everyday stuff. The

and downward. Clubfoot often is treated

surgeries are important, but the orthotics

with corrective casts. By analyzing the

in your shoe make a difference in how

tissue of deformed feet and the types of

you walk, which makes a difference in

move inside the foot as a patient walks.

casts used to correct them, Harris and

how you go to school. It’s affecting your

The system would be significantly more

his team hope to identify treatments that

day-to-day life.”

accurate than the current method of using

best keep the condition from recurring. Another part of Harris’ research focuses on studying the strain children

Lillie, fortunately, has a more mild

professor of biomedical engineering, is leading the development of a system that uses multiple X-rays to create a three-dimensional image of how bones

reflective sensors mounted on the outside

form of OI. And it doesn’t seem to hold

of a patient’s foot to track movement and

her back much.

could help produce better shoes and braces.

Thanks to drug treatments that help

“Not only is there no error from skin

devices. By putting sensors on crutches,

strengthen her bones, she has had only

markers now, we’re actually seeing the

walkers and wheelchairs, Harris’ team

two recent fractures: She broke her arm

bones, we’re seeing the joints, we’re

has found that such devices put consid-

after falling off her bike and broke a verte-

erable stress on a patient’s upper body.

bra when she flipped an all-terrain vehicle.

experience when they use assistive

“They’re actually loading the upper extremities to high levels and coming

Or, as she puts it, “doing normal stuff.”

seeing the articulations — and we’re seeing them inside shoes, inside braces, inside the types of footwear that might be used to modify walking patterns,” Harris says. “That’s extremely exciting for us.” Marquette University




By Joni Moths Mueller

Few researchers bring more intimate experience to the problem of traumatic spinal cord injury and

paralysis than Dr. Murray Blackmore. The assistant professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Health Sciences was 12 years old when his mother suffered a C5 injury to her spinal column. The injury near the top of the vertebral column left her paralyzed from the shoulders down. “It wasn’t an abstract problem that can happen somewhere else,” he says, remembering time spent in

rehab with his mom. Count Blackmore among the scientists who are making progress in understanding how to reverse the

injury physicians once considered untreatable. Historically, science focused on repairing the injury site. But Blackmore’s research, funded in part with a Craig H. Neilsen Foundation grant of $300,000, breaks new ground, focusing instead on re-establishing the communication highway that connects the brain and spinal cord. Neurons in the brain send signals along millions of microscopic cables that run down to the spinal cord. These cables, called axons, deliver the brain’s instructions to tell the body when and how to move. If some of the axons are damaged, those that remain will team up to restore the flow of information and most functionality. Paralysis occurs when all the axons are damaged. “You can lose 90 percent of the axons, and the remaining 10 percent is enough to carry most of the functionality,” Blackmore says. “That means if we can just get 10 percent of the cables to regrow, that is enough to make a difference.” Species such as the adult salamander are able to regenerate and regrow axons. This growth machinery is also active in the human embryo, but it’s turned off once the axons reach their target growth. “There’s an evolutionary reason for shutting down additional growth to prevent aberrant connections,” Blackmore says. “That’s nature.” He believes gene therapy can be used to reactivate the growth machinery in adult human cells. “I try to understand what is different between an embryonic neuron and an adult neuron that explains this difference in their ability to grow,” he explains. “And then — this is where it gets really cool — ultimately you want to restore that ability in the older neuron. You want to change gene expression in the older neuron to mimic the young neuron.” Blackmore’s target: the approximately 1,000 genes in the young neuron that differ from the older neuron. His lab methodically changes each gene’s expression in a petri dish. With a high-throughput screening microscope, he can see whether the gene helps axons grow and by how much. Before he arrived at Marquette, Blackmore and researchers in Miami had identified one growth-promoting gene. His Marquette lab recently succeeded with a second gene. The lab has packaged these potentially therapeutic genes in a virus and injected them into rodents with spinal cord injuries. “What we’re really excited about is we’re seeing actual regrowth of axons as a result of this gene therapy,” he says. “That’s huge. That’s a first for the field. It’s the first gene therapy reagent that can be delivered to an adult animal that can result in improved growth of a really important set of axons.” Blackmore’s findings appeared in the 2012 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Moving forward, the goal is to identify a cocktail of genes that boosts growth even more and then eventually to move to clinical trial in humans. “I

Dr. Murray Blackmore 12


think it’s a matter of time,” Blackmore says, “but, yes, I believe we’ll have a cure.”

In this close-up scan of injured motor control nerve cells, a fluorescent red reporter identifies cells that successfully respond to gene therapy reagents applied in Blackmore’s lab.

Marquette University


UNFILTERED IMAGES Dr. Craig Andrews’ research shows graphic visual health warnings influence intentions to quit smoking.


By Christopher Stolarski

On a given day, approximately 45.3 million Americans will light up a cigarette, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This suffocating addiction will kill half of them prematurely. Experts widely agree that increased information about the severity of tobacco’s health risks is key to curtailing one of the nation’s most dire public health issues.



In the study, 511 adult smokers were shown one of four graphic visual health-warning labels that covered approximately 40 percent of a standard cigarette package. All labels contained the phrase, “WARNING: Smoking Causes Mouth Diseases.” Three of the labels also featured a different photograph depicting increasingly stronger degrees of mouth disease; the fourth label was a control that contained only the text. Among other measures, participants were asked their opinions about the labels, fear and their intentions to quit smoking.

For Dr. Craig Andrews, professor and Charles

contribution to the understanding of

H. Kellstadt Chair in Marketing, one answer

marketing and public policy issues.

lies with the graphic pictorial warnings

“This was a massive two-year review

Dr. Craig Andrews

that are now emblazoned on cigarette

process,” Andrews recalls. “What made

packages in more than 50 countries world-

this project challenging are the different

world to mandate text-based warnings on

wide. The United States is not one of them.

viewpoints on the topic. This is a contro-

cigarette packages, yet we’ll be one of the

versial area.”

last to have graphic images,” Andrews notes.

Andrews and collaborators from the University of Arkansas and Villanova

“The U.S. was the first country in the

Though the topic is indeed controver-

Though the project started more

University conducted an experiment with

sial, Andrews emphasizes that he and his

than four years ago, it continues to

more than 500 U.S. and Canadian adult

collaborators made no judgments.

evolve. Andrews, who also serves on

smokers and found that highly graphic

“The project was meant to be objective,

the FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory

images of the negative consequences

consumer research that could help inform

Committee in Washington, D.C., worked

of smoking have the greatest impact on

officials at the U.S. Department of Health

the research into his new book, the

smokers’ intentions to quit, and the more

and Human Services and the U.S. Food

ninth edition of the market-leading text

graphic the depictions, the stronger the

and Drug Administration,” he says.

Advertising, Promotion and Other Aspects

effects. Further, the researchers found

Those are the two agencies ultimately

that the images evoked fear, which in

responsible for enforcing the 2009 Family

which he co-authored with his dissertation

turn served as the primary underlying

Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control

adviser, Dr. Terence Shimp.

mechanism driving smokers’ attitudes

Act, a now-stalled U.S. law that requires

toward quitting.

graphic pictorial warning labels on

focus to adolescent and young smokers,

cigarette packages. One federal appeals

and they’ve discussed international studies

by the Journal of Public Policy and

court has since agreed with the tobacco

that may include the European Union.

Marketing. Two years later, the team was

industry’s assertion that the law violates

Andrews is also turning his attention

awarded the journal’s prestigious Thomas

First Amendment rights for commercial

to a separate project on the efficacy of

C. Kinnear Award, which honors the

speech. Meanwhile, the Justice Department

color-coded nutrition disclosures on food

journal article published between 2008

has appealed and tobacco companies

labels, a practice that’s gaining traction in

and 2010 that made the most significant

still haven’t added the warnings.

the United States and United Kingdom.

Their research was published in 2010

of Integrated Marketing Communications,

The original research team has shifted

Marquette University


The spiritual toll of abuse


By Stephen Filmanowicz

When a case of clergy sexual abuse comes to light — as it did for Ann Hagan Webb, who was 5 when

she recalls her ordeal beginning in a suburb of Providence, R.I. — thoughts often jump to the physical and emotional suffering of the victim. After all, it’s hard to imagine anything harder on a child physically and psychologically than molestation by a trusted authority figure — in Hagan Webb’s case, a monsignor described as singling her out both for sexual abuse and for special roles helping with church activities. But what about the toll such abuse takes on a victim’s spiritual development? What does it take for him

or her to recover spiritually? Those questions are more likely to be overlooked by family and friends, just as they are largely ignored by the academic research on the topic. This spiritual legacy of abuse, however, is of deep interest to Dr. Theresa Tobin, an associate professor

of philosophy specializing in the interaction of gender, culture and religion in contemporary ethics. And it was victims themselves, through their testimonies, who led her to the issue. “The victims were talking about something they were naming ‘spiritual harm’ … or, in some instances, ‘spiritual violence,’” she recalls. “I was really struck by that because it seemed an undertheorized or underexplored dimension of this harm.” In her role as scholar, theorist and ethicist (she is also the first faculty fellow of Marquette’s new Gender

and Sexuality Resource Center), Tobin began plumbing the related research from a range of disciplines. Psychological scholarship provided interviews of victims of clergy sexual abuse, studies of the aftereffects of abuse, and explorations of the unique part spirituality plays in an individual’s search for meaning and connectedness. In theology, she found scholarship such as Jennifer Beste’s book God and the Victim that explores trauma’s damaging effects on human spiritual capacity, but that research didn’t look at trauma delivered in religious settings, where it may be even more intertwined with a victim’s spirituality. Soon, Tobin was addressing a fundamental question: Are those describing “spiritual violence” — a group that extends beyond abuse victims to include members of the LGBT community and others — identifying a unique harm, distinct from other forms of psychological injury? They are, she concluded, to the extent the violence involves spiritual sources such as teachings, symbols and leaders and impacts a person’s capacity for healthy spirituality. “It is distinctively spiritual in both its means and its target,” she says. Tobin also looked at whether spiritual violence can be delivered not only through violent acts but through institutional conditions, such as the climate that results when a religious order protects the accused or fails to respond to reports of abuse. In a paper recently submitted for publication, she examines printed reports from a number of Catholic women describing spiritual fallout resulting from a 2010 Vatican statement that identified both clergy sexual abuse and attempts to ordain women as delicta graviora, or grave sins. As she works to turn her current research into a book-length project, Tobin is broadening her focus to include the moral dimensions of spiritual harm and the long-term experience of victims such as Hagan Webb. In the wake of her abuse, Hagan Webb reported an awareness of herself as “a spiritual being” but also a sense of being cut off from full spirituality, until she ultimately found a home in the Unitarian Church. Ultimately, Tobin is interested in how people rebuild their spiritual lives after crises of faith. “I’m really interested in understanding how people recover. What does it take? What does it look like?” Tobin asks. “Spirituality is an important part of ethics, an important part of a good life, so how do we recover access Dr. Theresa Tobin



to that good?”

Illustration by Melissa McGill

Marquette University


Marquette Research IN BRIEF Improving rural health care — one nurse at a time As a 22-year-old nurse at a 40-bed hospital in northern

two-year retention rates by as much as 50 percent and

Wisconsin, Dr. Marilyn Meyer Bratt had to make critical

saving Wisconsin hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars

decisions for patients experiencing everything from frostbite

in nurse replacement costs.

to childbirth to cardiac arrest, with only intermittent access

Bratt hopes her new rural-focused nurse residency program

to experienced nurses to validate her clinical judgments and

can build on that success. Funded by the Health and Human

guide her professional development. Feeling isolated and

Services Administration, the year-long SOAR-RN: Supporting

overwhelmed, she took a job at another hospital after only

Onboarding and Retention of Rural Nurses transition-to-practice

six months.

program is being implemented at hospitals across rural

“It was a steep learning curve, and I needed more support than I was getting,” says the assistant professor of nursing. Improving young nurses’ transition to the bedside — especially in urban and rural hospitals — was Bratt’s goal

The Wisconsin Nurse Residency Program has improved average two-year retention rates by as much as 50 percent.

Wisconsin, Illinois and Idaho. “More than 50 million people in the United States live in rural areas,” says Bratt. “There are huge challenges in terms of access to quality health care, higher rates of poverty and disease, and fewer resources.” SOAR-RN nurse participants attend monthly educational seminars and progress through the program as a cohort, learning from their peers at other rural hospitals, as well as their professional mentors. “Rural nursing is not on many people’s research or policy

when she launched the Wisconsin Nurse Residency

radars,” says Bratt. “I want to influence rural health care

Program. During the last seven years, nearly 2,000 newly

policy to improve the quality of care in communities like the

licensed nurses completed the program, improving average

one where I started my nursing career.” — LS

The intersection of culture and new media A year after he launched the Center for Intercultural New Media Studies, Dr. Robert Shuter, professor of communication studies, is fostering collaboration with more than 200 researchers in 35 countries. And the effort has already borne fruit: Shuter and a Danish partner recently teamed up to examine and compare smartphone usage in the United States and Denmark. Using an observational study and subsequent surveys, the researchers uncovered fascinating differences between how U.S. and Danish consumers call, text, and access apps and the Internet in public settings, such as coffeehouses. “American females are the most cell phone happy, followed by Danish males, Danish females and lastly American males,” says Shuter, who presented his results at the National Communication Association. “It’s hard to argue that phone usage is gender based. There’s definitely something cultural at play here.” Those cultural dynamics within new media communication are at the heart of the center’s and Shuter’s research. He guest edited the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research and wrote its lead article, “Intercultural New Media Studies: The Next Frontier in Intercultural Communication.” The online version of the article garnered nearly 1,400 views in one month, the most in the journal’s history. Next, Shuter and center collaborators will look at what he calls “the distracted student.” “There’s a lot of technology in classrooms now,” he says. “We want to know, what are these students really doing on their laptops, tablets and smartphones?” — CS 18


Illustration by James Steinberg

Predicting the next big disaster Standing next to a house that had been buried up to its second floor in debris, Dr. Elaine Spiller got a firsthand look at how years of volcanic eruptions forever changed life on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. The capital city of Plymouth and a nearby airport are buried. Significant portions of the island remain unsafe for evacuated residents. But as the destruction piled up, so did the data. Now, Spiller, an assistant professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science, is part of a team that is using measurements from the island’s observatory to build a computer model capable of projecting potential damage for future eruptions. “The goal is to have ‘mañana maps’ — which basically means, something comes up, we can just produce a map based on the information we have,” Spiller says. That might not have been possible before Montserrat’s Soufrière Hills volcano came to life in 1995, beginning a series of eruptions that lasted through 2010. Gathering a steady stream of data on the eruptions was a rare opportunity for researchers in a field where major events are unpredictable and sporadic. By feeding data into a physics-based computer model, Spiller and the team hope to map at-risk areas for other volcanoes that threaten populated areas. Their research represents a philosophical shift in disaster projections, which often have focused on the most likely scenarios instead of the most dangerous ones. Spiller points to the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in Japan as an example. “They had done these sorts of computer model simulations of tsunamis, but they never did it at a scenario that was big enough,” she says. “So they effectively missed it.” Instead, Spiller believes that projecting the worst-case scenario should come first. With volcanoes, that scenario is a “pyroclastic flow” of superheated, fast-moving debris that can carry boulders the size of a garage and destroy anything in its way. “You can’t outrun it, basically,” she says. “If you’re in its path, you’re in its path.” On Montserrat, assessing the risks associated with future eruptions is critical for evacuated residents who want to move back to their homes. Damage projections also could impact the island’s financial future. Deposits left behind by the volcano contain valuable minerals that could boost the island’s economy if they can be mined safely. “Then, the question is, is it safe to be working there? If you have expensive equipment, where should you put it? Because you’re not going to be able to move it quickly if something happens,” Spiller says. During her visit to Montserrat in 2011, Spiller heard stories about how the island inspired Jimmy Buffett’s song “Volcano” — where the tropical rocker sings about not knowing where to go when the volcano blows. With Spiller’s help, those who live in the shadow of a volcano may have a better idea of where to seek safety. — CJ Marquette University


Marquette Research IN BRIEF

Improving ADHD treatment for Latino children Almost 10 years ago, a school social worker contacted Dr. Alyson Gerdes, an associate professor of psychology who directs Marquette’s Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder Clinic. The social worker wanted to know: Could Gerdes work with a couple of Spanishspeaking families? That simple question launched Gerdes’ research in a new direction. Gerdes has since studied mental health disparities in Milwaukee’s large Latino population and created culturally appropriate diagnostic tools and interventions for Latino children with ADHD. “I think it fits very well with Marquette’s

Illustration by James Steinberg

mission of social justice and trying to make state-of-the-art treatment available to all families,” Gerdes says. “I think we have a lot to offer the Latino community that wasn’t available before.” An estimated 5 to 9 percent of school-age children suffer from ADHD, Gerdes says. Though ADHD affects Latino children at least as much as the population as a whole, there had been little research on those families’ needs. Most ADHD research studies involve middle-class Caucasian children, notes Gerdes, whose work has been published in the Journal of the Abnormal Child and the Journal of Attention Disorders. Latino children are also less likely to be diagnosed and to receive help for mental health disorders. Although Gerdes speaks only a little Spanish, she works with Spanish-speaking graduate students and has developed community connections with Latino churches and schools. Together, they have translated and validated some of the diagnostic tools used with ADHD children. Along the way, Gerdes discovered that some tools aren’t culturally valid. For example, she noticed that many Latino students were referred for psychological assessment by teachers, not parents, and learned that Latino families are more likely to see their child’s behavior as part of their personality instead of as a problem. So instead of the traditional focus on symptoms, she and her graduate students designed a new measure around functional impairment, asking questions such as “Is your child having peer problems in the classroom?” and “Is your child having trouble getting homework done?” Time outs, a mainstay of traditional ADHD treatment plans, were another idea that didn’t translate well. “The whole concept of time out is something that our Latino families don’t really understand,” Gerdes says. “They don’t really get why somebody would do this.” So she found a tool that does appeal to many Latino parents: natural consequences. For example, if a child resists getting dressed in the morning, send him to school in his pajamas (with his clothes in his backpack, of course). Gerdes, who has funding from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, will test the modified treatment plan with Latino families in a pilot study this spring. “For me, the real question is not only does the modified treatment work, but is it better?” she asks. “Because it takes a lot of work and time to modify treatment, and if it doesn’t outperform standard treatment, then there’s really no point in doing it.” — NSE



Understanding the relationship between terrorists and society Dr. Risa Brooks knows what it’s like to be mistaken for

and sometimes focuses on anthropological elements, such as

a U.S. government operative. It’s an occupational hazard, of

graffiti markings and attendance at militants’ funerals. That

sorts. That’s because the assistant professor of political science

influences her assumptions about how tolerant a society is

asks a lot of questions about terrorists and their role in society.

for a group’s violence, but it’s not an exact science.

“People assume you’re a CIA operative. Or there’s always

“It’s quite a different process than going in with a survey

that possibility,” she says. “Maybe it’s paranoia, but there’s a

and hiring a consulting firm,” she says. “It’s an informal,

sense of wondering about who you are.”

developing process, but it’s fun, too.”

Brooks, who specializes in the Middle East, focuses her research on societal-militant group relations, specifically relationships between militant-terrorist groups and the societies in which they live or with which they identify. “How are these kinds of groups that we often think of

“How are these kinds of groups that we often think of as extremely violent and extremely vile responding to cues from society?”

as extremely violent and extremely vile responding to cues from society?” she asks. “When do they care? Do some groups care more than others?” Some do, especially ethnonationalist ones, like a few

And a bit anxiety-inducing. There’s the time she met privately with a former Egyptian military officer to discuss the country’s wars with Israel during the 1960s and ’70s. Or

Palestinian nationalist groups and the Provisional Irish

when she was followed after she deviated from the usual

Republican Army. “They see themselves as representing a

tourist sites to visit a military museum in Egypt.

constituency,” says Brooks, who authored Shaping Strategy:

“Those moments were like, ‘Am I getting myself in a little

The Civil-Military Politics of Strategic Assessment and co-

bit of trouble here? This is a little too much like a spy novel,’”

edited Creating Military Power: The Sources of Military

she says.

Effectiveness. On the other hand, as a foreign-led terrorist group, al Qaeda in Iraq does not. Because Brooks can’t easily interview heads of these militant

Brooks’ current research project, “Terrorist behavior as a function of societal tolerance for violence,” is funded by the Department of Homeland Security through a grant supported

groups, she studies the features of their organizations and

by the University of Maryland-based National Consortium for

violent activities. Her work also has interdisciplinary aspects

the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. — BDJ

A 2-minute lifesaver Who knew taking 2 minutes to complete a form could help save your life? More than 8,000 Americans die from oral cancer each year — roughly one person every hour. But Dr. Amir Seifi in the Marquette School of Dentistry is working on an oral cancer risk assessment form that has the potential to catch this deadly disease at early stages and reduce the number of fatalities. “Finding a way of assessing the risk in our patients and catching the disease early with good diagnostic tools is our goal,” says Seifi, an assistant professor of oral medicine and diagnosis. The assessment form asks patients about their medical history, ethnicity, age and personal habits. Dentists routinely do comprehensive soft tissue exams, but Seifi says his form would help make the risk assessment a standardized practice — helping dentists educate their patients on avoiding risk factors and determine how aggressively they should treat a patient based on his or her risk factors. “If I see a discoloration or ulceration and my patient is at high risk, I would biopsy it,” Seifi says. Early detection is critical. Caught early, oral cancer has an 80 to 90 percent survival rate, and patients can typically avoid surgery (which can involve removing part or all of certain head and neck structures, such as the tongue or soft palate). “When you know you’re adding to this person’s life quality and life strength, it feels amazing,” Seifi says. Starting this spring, patients at the campus clinic will be asked to complete the new form. Seifi will use the data collected to compare the diagnoses and treatments received by high-risk patients against those with low risk factors to determine the form’s effectiveness. — AB Marquette University


IN BRIEF Marquette Research IN BRIEF

Crime and (differing) punishment Why is a black man arrested for marijuana possession in

the United States during the past 40 years has affected the

one state more likely to serve prison time than in another?

three states differently, he looked at several factors, includ-

That, and a proliferation of similar disparities nationwide, is

ing changes over time, differences in incarceration rates for

what led Marquette University Law School Professor Michael

violent crimes, the war on drugs, use of probation and race.

O’Hear to begin examining specific state criminal justice systems, an area of research he says has been lacking.

His research does not make policy recommendations but aims to challenge the notion that high incarceration rates are

“What engaged me was one statistic: that Wisconsin’s percapita incarceration rate was twice as high as Minnesota’s, a

an unavoidable product of high crime rates. “There are clear policy and practice differences between

state remarkably similar in crime rate, population size and

states and within states over time,” says O’Hear. “My hope is

culture,” says O’Hear, a nationally recognized authority on

that this research will have the effect of opening up criminal

sentencing and federal criminal law who is also an editor of

justice policy discussion in a new way and dispel the sense

Federal Sentencing Reporter.

of inevitability about the status quo.”

O’Hear began comparing the criminal justice systems in

The next phase of O’Hear’s research will be to assess

Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana — three similarly sized

the politics surrounding crime and justice in the three

Midwestern states. To learn how the incarceration boom in

states. — BOM

Halo Project ignites meaningful student research Does the presence of a faith community offer a protective “halo” around a neighborhood? To find out, Dr. Noreen Lephardt turned to Milwaukee Police Department crime statistics. But without granular, congregation-level data, the adjunct associate professor of economics found no such statistical relationships. “I was disappointed,” she says. “I needed better data sets. The available data didn’t reflect the depth and complexity of services that many inner-city faith communities provide to the community.” Research suggests that this type of contextual information, known as bridging and bonding, is important to understanding faith communities’ civic engagement and influence on societal dynamics, such as crime. By chance, Lephardt met Dr. Susan Mountin from Marquette’s Center

“The available data didn’t reflect the depth and complexity of services that many inner-city faith communities provide to the community.”

for Teaching and Learning at a retreat, and the Halo Project — as it is now known — was reignited. Mountin, who teaches a course on Christian discipleship, offered to get her sophomores involved in the ethnographic research needed for the project. “I thought this could be a great opportunity for an interdisciplinary study,” Mountin says. Mountin’s students immersed themselves in Milwaukee’s faith commu-

nities, conducting interviews, gathering marketing materials, and observing the faith leaders and followers. The project earned the researchers an invite to the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge at the White House in 2011 and ’12. Lephardt says the results of the pilot study were promising. However, the most important value was the students’ research experiences and learning. “These young students were really stretched in terms of ethnographic research,” she says. “What’s more, it also enriched their awareness and understanding of different faith traditions. This is a model for interdisciplinary undergraduate learning and research at Marquette.” — CS



Reading your way to kindness Two male graduate students on crutches hobble into a room where preschoolers are hanging out and “accidentally” drop a pen. The children recently read a book on helping others, but will they step up? That’s one of the ways two Marquette professors are trying to gauge whether exposing urban, low-income preschool children to books and activities about certain themes makes a difference in their social competence. “If you want children to exit K-12 and be leaders, you need to start early and build capacity in preschoolers,” says Dr. Kathleen Clark, associate professor of educational policy and leadership and director of Marquette’s Hartman Literacy and Learning Center. “People underestimate the importance of early childhood education,” adds her collaborator, Dr. Maura

Illustration by James Steinberg

Moyle, an associate professor of speech pathology and audiology and co-director of the Wisconsin Reading Acquisition Program. “It’s a huge time for language development.” The idea behind their latest project is to build empathy through literature. Children are given books designed to elicit a response — multicultural stories in which children can identify themselves in relatable circumstances — and learn to enhance their vocabulary with “feeling words” as they discuss the characters and their challenges. On the reading list: Molly Bang’s When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry, about how the title character responds when a sibling grabs her toy; Ezra Jack Keats’ Pet Show, about a boy’s tough decision after losing his cat; and Juanita Havill’s Jamaica’s Find, about a girl who initially keeps a toy she finds at a playground. The children are asked: “How would you do this differently?” “We’re using the stories as a vehicle, to get to those emotions and develop the ability to identify empathy and respond,” Clark says. But it’s about more than just developing good citizens. “There’s only so much time in the school day,” Clark notes. “Teachers have to maximize time for learning and not sacrifice teaching time. By focusing on empathy and pro-social behavior, will we see changes in literature comprehension and social competence?” The teacher reads the story aloud first, and then the children develop their narrative skills by retelling the story later in the week. The post-testing after the four-week intervention showed no overall difference in curriculum vocabulary and pro-social/empathy behavior between the control and experimental groups. But boys in the experimental group showed significantly greater growth in both measures than the boys in the control group. “These very preliminary results suggest that the boys benefited from this intervention, which could have interesting social implications,” Moyle says. Researchers hope to pursue funding for a larger study next year. Eventually, they hope to expand the study to older students. — NSE

Marquette University


Marquette Bookshelf Looking to dig into a new book? Check out the latest offerings written and edited by Marquette faculty. Be That Teacher! Breaking the Cycle for Struggling Readers

The Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature: Volume 1, A-G

By Dr. Doris Walker-Dalhouse, associate professor of educational policy and leadership, and Victoria J. Risko

Edited by Dr. Diane Long Hoeveler, professor of English, Frederick Burwick and Nancy Moore Goslee

Demonstrates how teachers can provide differentiated instruction based on students’ individual and cultural backgrounds to aid struggling readers.

A comprehensive reference resource covering British artistic, literary and intellectual movements from the late 18th century to the early 19th century.

Hungry Planet: Stories of Plant Diseases

Ethics in Marketing: International Cases and Perspectives

By Dr. Gail Schumann, adjunct professor of biological sciences, and Cleora D’Arcy Examines the effects plant diseases have had on human culture from ancient days to modern times.

The Trinity in History: A Theology of the Divine Missions By Rev. Robert M. Doran, S.J., professor and Emmett Doerr Chair in Systematic Theology The first volume in a new series that uses the thought of Bernard Lonergan to develop a unified field structure for systematic work in theology.

Social Psychology By Dr. Stephen Franzoi, professor of psychology The sixth edition expands coverage of social cognition and social neuroscience.

Schools for Marginalized Youth: An International Perspective By Dr. William Pink, professor of educational policy and leadership Discusses the lack of consensus about how to best improve the education of students marginalized by the current theory and practice of schooling, especially students of diverse ethnicities who attend metropolitanarea schools.

By Dr. Gene Laczniak, chair and professor of marketing, Patrick E. Murphy and Andrea Prothero Contains 20 international case studies on a variety of ethical issues that companies face, including questionable selling practices, exploitative advertising, counterfeiting, channel conflict, apparent bribing and product safety.

The Political Construction of Business Interests: Coordination, Growth, and Equality By Dr. Duane Swank, professor of political science, and Cathie Jo Martin Analyzes employers’ struggles to define their collective social identities at turning points in capitalist development and the history of tension between employers, government and labor.

The SAGE Handbook of Interview Research: The Complexity of the Craft Edited by Dr. James A. Holstein, professor of sociology, Jaber F. Gubrium, Amir B. Marvasti and Karyn D. McKinney The second edition provides an overview of how to conduct research interviews, including the history and conceptual transformations of the interview, and the main components of interview practice.

Perspectives on Family Communication By Dr. Lynn Turner, professor of communication studies, and Richard West The fourth edition includes the latest research in the area of family communication and the role communication plays in creating and solving family issues. 24


Research and scholarship at Marquette • In fiscal year 2012, Marquette faculty received $23.9 million in award dollars for research, instruction and other projects. • Marquette continues to play a critical role in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeastern Wisconsin, a collaborative effort among eight major institutions that is supported by a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. • The university supports research through several programs: three-year Way Klingler fellowships, sabbaticals for junior faculty and the Lawrence G. Haggerty Faculty Award for Research Excellence.

• The Department of Special Collections and University Archives houses more than 17,000 cubic feet of archival material and 11,000 volumes, including approximately 7,000 titles in the rare book collection. The J.R.R. Tolkien Collection features many of the author’s original manuscripts, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. • Marquette has more than 20 academic centers and institutes that foster research in the areas of end-of-life care, ethics, neuroscience, rehabilitation engineering, transnational justice, water quality, sports law and other areas. For more, go to

• Marquette faculty edit a number of scholarly journals, from the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy to the International Journal of Systematic Theology.

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Discover 2013  
Discover 2013  

Every spring DISCOVER: Marquette University Research and Scholarship showcases some of the most interesting research happening on Marquette'...