Academic Minute Podcast

The Academic Minute for 2022.05.30-2022.06.03

The Academic Minute from 05.30 – 06.03

Monday, May 30th
Birol Yesilada Portland State University
Securing the Smart Grid
Birol A. Yeşilada is the Director of the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and is a professor of Political Science and International Studies at Portland State University (PSU). He also holds the holder of the endowed chair in Contemporary Turkish Studies and is Director of the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity at PSU. He served as past-Vice President of the International Studies Association and is a member of the Board of TransResearch Consortium. Previously he served as Director of the Middle East Studies Center at PSU (2014-17). Dr. Yeşilada came to PSU in September 1998 from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was Chair of the Department of Political Science. Dr. Yeşilada received his B.A. degree in 1977 in Neurobiology from the University of California at Berkeley, his M.A. in Political Science in 1979 from San Francisco State University, and his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1984 from the University of Michigan. His current research interests include Global power transition, Cybersecurity/Cyber Defense, the European Union, political and economic development of Turkey, radical Islam and terrorism, the Cyprus negotiations and international conflict resolution, and politics of economic reform in the emerging markets. He is the Principal Investigator for the World Values Survey Project in Cyprus.

Tuesday, May 31st
Graham Reynolds – University of North Carolina Asheville
Uncovering Hidden Biodiversity in the Tropics
Dr. R. Graham Reynolds is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina Asheville. His research is focused on characterizing vertebrate biodiversity, particularly in the Caribbean, using evolutionary genetics, field research, and computational biology. He has published over 50 papers and three books, as well as dozens of technical notes.

Wednesday, June 1st
Amal Alachkar – University of California Irvine
Why Parkinson’s Drug Improves, Then Diminishes Quality of Life
Dr. Amal Alachkar is a Syrian-American neuroscientist and pharmacologist whose research focuses on dissecting the genetic, molecular, and chemical mechanisms underlying cognitive and emotional functions. She is particularly interested in understanding how the dysregulations of particular brain circuits lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, autism, and depression. Her research aims to identify novel therapeutic strategies and molecular targets for the treatment of the neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Thursday, June 2nd
Mia Bloom – Georgia State University
How Women Are Doubly Victimized By Sexual Violence
Mia Bloom is the International Security Fellow at the New America and a Professor at Georgia State University. Bloom conducts research in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia and is the author of six books and 75 articles on violent extremism. She is coauthor of Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon with Sophia Moskalenko (Stanford 2021). Her next book, Veiled Threats: Women and Jihad is expected in 2022. Bloom is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has held appointments at Princeton, Cornell, Harvard and McGill Universities. She serves on the boards of the Counter-Radicalization working group of the Anti-Defamation League, Women Without Borders, and WASL – the Women’s Alliance and Security Leadership Network. Bloom has a PhD in political science from Columbia University, a Masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelors degree from McGill in Russian, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

Friday, June 3rd
Davida Smyth – Texas A&M University
What Municipal Wastewater Can Teach Us About COVID-19
Professor Smyth is the lead researcher of a multi-institutional team that detected at least four “cryptic” variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in samples of wastewater from New York City’s public sewer system.

She is devoted to undergraduate research and her students have presented their work at several national and international meetings including the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) annual conference. With her undergraduate team at Texas A&M University-San Antonio she researches the role of the built environment and anthropogenic activity in driving antibiotic resistance, a major global health threat. She also engages in pedagogical research on improving civic and scientific literacy in biology and integrating authentic research into the curriculum to improve student engagement and success in science. In 2020, she was appointed Deputy Director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. In 2021 she was awarded the Faculty Excellence in Advising award from The New School.


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