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Kim Jaussi, right, associate professor in the School of Management and Dickinson faculty master, leads a group of students and parents through the residential community during a summer tour.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Jaussi makes research part of the Dickinson experience
October 20, 2015Tweet
As a new collegiate professor, Kim Jaussi is bringing undergraduate research into a Binghamton University residential community for the first time.
Jaussi, an associate professor in the School of Management, became collegiate professor in the Dickinson Community during the summer. She replaced Jeff Barker, associate professor in the Geology Department, who had served in the position since 2008.
“This is a new layer to the faculty master experience,” Jaussi said. “My vision was to have a research space and undergraduates living here doing research with me – and we are doing it.”
Jaussi, who has been a faculty member at Binghamton University since 2001, said she has been intrigued by a collegiate-professor position for years.
“I’ve thought about it since I first came here,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to do it but couldn’t figure out how. There has never been someone from School of Management to do this.”
When the Dickinson position opened, Jaussi decided that the time was right to align two of the University’s key objectives: undergraduate research and expanding academic engagement in the residential communities. Jaussi, who specializes in organizational behavior, strategic leadership, and leadership and change, presented her vision to Donald Loewen, vice provost for undergraduate education and enrollment, and Suzanne Howell, associate dean of students and director of residential life and University housing.
“My goal is to create a (Dickinson) identity around research, in addition to our sustainability theme,” Jaussi said. “With ‘research raps,’ we will bring in professors from all over the campus for fireside chats with us about their work. We want to bring faculty in and translate the research that’s being done into something the students can understand and be proud of.”
The research visits will also include students learning about the faculty member and writing and performing a rap song about him or her.
Jaussi also has a research lab space adjacent to the Fireplace Lounge of the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center. The lab is a large room where Jaussi, graduate assistants and undergraduate students use computers, run statistical analysis and work on research projects. The Fireplace Lounge itself will be used for in-depth research discussions and will also highlight current student and faculty research around the University.
“When (campus) tours come through here, I want them to feel the research,” she said. “We want to celebrate the unique talent here.”
Freshman-orientation tours in late July provided Jaussi with an opportunity to test her research initiative. She passed out information to incoming Dickinson freshmen asking if they would be interested in doing research in the residential community. About 100 students expressed interest. At least 40 eventually signed up when they returned in the fall.
“They filled it out on the spot – in the 22 minutes I met with them!” she recalled. “When I saw the demand, I said: ‘Wow!’”
Jaussi is also excited to work with Dickinson’s faculty-member-in-residence: Tomonari Nishikawa, an assistant professor in the Cinema Department.
“I love that he’s here now,” Jaussi said. “The old Dickinson was quite eclectic and arts-oriented. Now we can continue that tradition.”
Nishikawa is planning to create Dickinson-oriented films and set them to music. This idea links to the new Dickinson, which is part of the East Campus Housing complex, with the former Dickinson, the first residential area built on campus.
Jaussi is even going back to her own college days for ways to make students feel like they are part of a community: A table with tea, hot chocolate and cookies sits in the Fireplace Lounge near her office.
“I got that from a tradition I had as an undergraduate at Smith College: We had tea every Friday at 4 p.m.,” she said. “It was a wonderful gathering time. There is something comforting about it.”
Jaussi, who continues to teach School of Management courses, said she looks forward to bringing “the outside in” at Dickinson. For example, she hopes to engage parents and Dickinson Community alumni and have them network with current students.
For two decades, Jaussi has seen strong Binghamton University students in the classroom. Now she gets to see them in a different environment.
“It is a great mix of different ages,” she said of Dickinson residents. “The students are serious, bright, filled with ideas and hungry to be here.”