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3 faculty members awarded time off to pursue scholarly projects

Austin Peay State University officials have announced three faculty members will take a leave of absence next spring to pursue scholarly work.

The following faculty members have been granted Faculty Professional Development Assignment (FPDA) awards for the Spring 2008 semester: Dr. Najmul Abedin, professor of public management; Dr. Phyllis Camilleri, professor of geology; and Dr. Ann Silverberg, professor of music.
Austin Peay State University officials have announced three faculty members will take a leave of absence next spring to pursue scholarly work.

The following faculty members have been granted Faculty Professional Development Assignment (FPDA) awards for the Spring 2008 semester: Dr. Najmul Abedin, professor of public management; Dr. Phyllis Camilleri, professor of geology; and Dr. Ann Silverberg, professor of music.

The University's FPDA award program enables a faculty member to concentrate on a particular research project for an entire semester without any other responsibilities while receiving full pay for the semester.

To be eligible for a faculty professional development assignment, an applicant must be an associate professor or professor, be a tenured member of the full-time teaching faculty for seven years at Austin Peay and able to demonstrate scholarly or creative performance in the faculty member's discipline.

Abedin's research project is a book-length study, titled “The Ombudsman Institution and Its Contribution to Democratic Values.” In the past 22 years, he has demonstrated interest in the ombudsman institution — an independent and nonpartisan representative of the legislature — in various parts of the world.

According to his research proposal, Abedin plans to examine the multidimensional implications and ramifications of the role the ombudsman institution and assess the extent of its contribution to the public sector.
Abedin has published a book through the Oxford University Press and about 40 articles in scholarly refereed journals and presented research papers at a number of conferences and seminars.

Abedin earned a doctorate from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom and both his master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh.

During her sabbatical, Camilleri will focus on two projects, both in Nevada. The first one involves analyzing faults formed during shortening and subsequent extension of the Earth's crust during the last 400 million years in the Knoll Mountain region of northeastern Nevada. Her study will help to achieve a better understanding of the tectonic (faulting) history of the region. The project will include mapping and structural data collected in Nevada during the last seven summers.

For her second project, Camilleri will analyze microscopic-scale structures that record the growth and strain history of large biotite crystals, called porphyroblasts, which grew in metamorphic rocks in the Pequop Mountains region in Nevada. There, the crust thickened in response to convergence of tectonic plates. In her proposal, Camilleri said the microscopic-scale structures in the rocks are unusual, appearing to have contrasting or contradictory growth and strain histories over small areas. An analysis of the crystals should shed light into the complexities of strain distribution as the crust thickens.

Camilleri earned a doctoral degree from the University of Wyoming, master's from Oregon State University and bachelor's from San Diego State University. Her research interest is the structure, tectonics and metamorphism of continental rifts and convergent orogens.

Later this year and in Spring 2008, Silverberg will conduct research at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China for her professional assignment, titled “The Guzheng in Contemporary China.” The music of the guzheng, a traditional Han Chinese-plucked zither, is prominent in China, Silverberg said in her proposal.

Through her research, Silverberg said she hopes to shed new light on governmental influence on the arts and suggest how the nation's cultural and musical heritage has been highlighted in recent years.

Silverberg currently is president of the board of directors for the Clarksville Community Concert Artist Series Association. She earned a doctorate in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, master's in musicology from Indiana University-Bloomington, master's in anthropology from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, master's in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor's in music from Ithaca (N.Y.) College.

For more information about the Faculty Professional Development Assignment awards, contact the Office of Academic Affairs by telephone at (931) 221-7676. -- Melony Leazer