Sabbaticals are traditionally a time to explore, discover and learn. A time to deepen or broaden one’s scholarship. Three Gonzaga professors describe their experiences from the 2009-10 year:
Professor Randy Williams, who teaches special education, took a year’s sabbatical to complete writing and editing his new book, “Effective Programs for Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder: Applied Behavior Analysis Models,” co-authored by his wife, Betty Fry Williams, and published by Routledge.
Williams began research on the project several years ago. In 2006, he and Betty made visits in the United States and England to nine of the strongest programs treating individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The result is a book suitable for teaching, as well as for parents and professionals. Williams came away from the experience feeling as if he had participated in a terrific post-doctoral program.
“The directors and professionals at each program opened their doors and shared everything – their research, procedures and insights. Our research brought us up-to-date with state-of-the-art procedures, but the site visits allowed us to see these procedures being used effectively,” Williams said. Not only is he primed for teaching this new material, but he has a vibrant new group of contacts that should prove invaluable for students seeking doctoral fellowships or jobs.
Human physiology Professor Christina Geithner accomplished several projects during her year of sabbatical, traveling in Europe, presenting in three conferences and writing four papers on topics ranging from Hatha yoga to body composition of young athletes, strategies for aging well, and the education and training of future health and fitness professionals using an experiential approach and a community service emphasis. Each project drew on knowledge Geithner gained over several years of experience and research. She said she enjoyed being a learner again and relished having time to be with and do things for family members.
While on sabbatical, math Professor Gail Nord presented at international, national and local conferences. Much of her work focused on a user manual she developed for Microsoft Word 2007’s Math Add-on application. At a conference in Denver, after working one-on-one with a participant, Nord turned around to find a board member of the International Society of Technology for Education waiting to shake her hand and compliment her work. Nord also kept a whole range of activities buzzing at home. She captained Gonzaga’s Corporate Bloomsday Team (as well as archiving GU Bloomsday material), volunteered at St. George’s School and Math is Cool, and kept up on committee work on campus.