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Faculty and Staff Scholarly Research at OCU

August 31, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The Oakland City University website will soon be featuring interviews with OCU faculty and staff regarding their scholarly research, especially research work that has led to professional publications or presentations. Such academic research is essential to the vitality of any university. Not only do research findings add to the knowledge of particular fields; an instructor’s interesting and important discoveries can also serve to liven up a classroom.

Many Oakland City University faculty and staff are presently engaged in research, and much of their previous work has found its way into academic books and professional journals. For example, some have had scholarly books and chapters in scholarly books published by academic presses such as Fordham University Press, the Indiana Historical Society Press, Indiana University Press, Naval Institute Press, Paternost Series Press, and Thomson Press. Professional articles written by OCU faculty and staff have also appeared in a wide variety academic journals, including, among other journals, American School Board Journal, American Secondary Education, College Student Journal, Computers in the School, Education, Educational Leadership, Indiana Law Review, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Internet and Higher Education, Journal of Basic Microbiology, Journal of Instructional Psychology, Magazine of History, Practice in Social Studies Education, Social Education, The Social Studies,  Social Studies Research and Practice, The Teacher Educator, and Valparaiso Law Review.

But there is even more to this exciting story of research at OCU. Several years ago, Oakland City University began to sponsor an academic journal, the Journal for the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Initially, the journal was to serve as an outlet for the scholarly work of the University’s faculty and staff, especially those teaching in education. The journal’s mission, however, has greatly evolved in the last few years.

In the spring of 2008 the formatting of the journal changed as did the journal’s focus.  A larger editorial board of scholars from other colleges and universities was developed.  While still offering the works of the University’s faculty and staff, the journal also began to seek out the scholarly work of cutting edge thinkers from other colleges and universities, not only in education, but in the various fields of the arts and sciences. Scholars from a variety of universities and colleges have contributed to the JLAS, including, among many others schools, Indiana University, University of Missouri, University of Maryland, University of Iowa, University of Notre Dame, The Ohio State University, University of Toledo, Georgetown University, Northern Illinois University, St. Louis University, Texas A.&M. International University, and United International College, China.

As a part of the journal’s commitment to sharing new scholarship in many areas of the arts and sciences, several special issues with guest editors have been produced. The summer issue for 2008, for example, focused upon regional labor history and offered some of the latest national scholarly endeavors in that particular area. Scholars featured in this issue included labor historians Dr. Rosemary Feurer from Northern Illinois University and Dr. Sam White at the University of Missouri. Feurer’s important study of the struggles of the United Electrical Workers in the region in the late 1940s and early 1950s was recently published by Illinois University Press and received critical acclaim from several sources.

The fall 2008 issue of the JLAS focused upon some of the latest ideas in literary theory as well as examining some of the latest research in teaching English. Dr. Jason Corner, from the Ohio State University was the guest editor. The summer 2009 issue featured a special religious studies edition with Chapman Seminary associate professor, Dr. Thomas Leuze, as guest editor. This issue contained several articles from professors in the Chapman Seminary at Oakland City University and a number of other religious studies scholars from schools such as Saint Meinrad School of Theology, Christian Theological Seminary, and the University of Evansville’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. The fall 2009 issue featured military history and was guest edited by Dr. Brian McKnight, a military historian from Angelo State University. The lead article in this edition was an interview with Dr. John Guilmartin from the Ohio State University regarding the present state of the field. Guilmartin is considered to be one of the leading military historians today. Future special topics planned with academic guest editors include the areas of popular culture, Hoosier heritage, and philosophy.

To read more about the Journal for the Liberal Arts and Sciences, click on Academics in the left menu bar of the University website and then click on JLAS in the right menu bar.  Archived issues of JLAS can be found in the same location.  Be sure to check back for upcoming articles featuring our talented OCU faculty and staff and their research efforts.

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