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Faculty/Staff Professional Activities
Dr. Aruna Kilaru (third from right) and her students at the Southern Section of the American Society of Plant Biologists meeting

Dr. Aruna Kilaru, Biological Sciences, and five of her graduate students attended the 2016 annual meeting of the Southern Section of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Denton, Texas.

While Kilaru moderated one of the sessions at the three-day meeting, her students Mahbubur Rahman, Vijay Tiwari and Jedaidah Chilufya gave oral presentations and Shina Bhatia and Imdadul Haq participated in poster presentations.  Travel funds were provided by ETSU’s departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, Office of Equity and Diversity and Graduate and Professional Student Association, along with a National Science Foundation grant to Kilaru.


Herb Parker, Communication and Performance, was interviewed for an article, “How to Determine if an Audition Monologue is Right for You,” which appeared in a recent edition of Backstage magazine.  Parker, author of A Monologue is an Outrageous Situation: How to Survive the 60-Second Audition, offers suggestions in the article on choosing monologues and identifying those that are “outrageous.”


Dr. Kurt Maier, chair, Environmental Health, has been elected to serve as president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), a nonprofit, global professional society with approximately 6,000 members, starting in 2017.  In this role, he will strengthen the international reach of SETAC and continue the society’s well-established history of addressing environmental issues using science-based methods and objectivity.


Dr. Lynn Williams, associate dean, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, recently visited Washington, D.C., to discuss issues related to speech-language pathology and audiology with legislative staffers.

Through her role as vice president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Williams visited with legislative staff for several members of Congress, including Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. Phil Roe and Rep. Diane Black.  She participated in a legislative briefing before visiting with leaders on Capitol Hill to discuss a variety of topics, including the reauthorization of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act, increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, repealing outpatient Medicare therapy caps, Medicare telehealth coverage for speech-language pathology and audiology services, Medicare coverage of audiology services and more.


Dr. Stephen Geraci, Internal Medicine, was awarded the Mentor of the Year Award in the Junior Faculty Mentorship category from the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (SSCI) at its recent annual meeting in New Orleans.

The Mentor of the Year awards were established by the SSCI last year to reflect the organization’s commitment to develop the next generation of academic physicians.  Two mentoring awards are given annually – one in the category of mentoring students and postdoctoral trainees, including interns, residents and subspecialty fellows, and the other in mentoring junior faculty.

“Dr. Geraci’s longstanding commitment to the mentoring of young faculty, with its proven positive impact on their subsequent professional and personal success, is emblematic of the academic mission of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation,” said Dr. Daniel Villareal, chair of the SSCI’s Mentoring Tech committee.


Dr. Ken Silver, Environmental Health, has been named to the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, which was recently established by President Barack Obama pursuant to congressional legislation adopted in December 2014.  The group will advise the U.S. Secretary of Labor on technical issues related to the government’s compensation program for sick nuclear workers.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs provides compensation and medical benefits to nuclear weapons workers who were diagnosed with medical conditions related to exposure to toxic substances at covered nuclear facilities.

“We will be focused on finding systemic solutions to the problems that claimants with occupational illnesses face when trying to document exposures in the past,” Silver explained.  “We’ll translate concerns into advice and recommendations.”

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