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Ahmed Lachhab

Faculty Recognized for Service to Susquehanna

Two Susquehanna University faculty members received academic awards for exemplary service to the institution at the school’s 2012 commencement ceremony.

Matthew Rousu, associate professor of economics, was awarded the John C. Horn Lectureship for outstanding scholarship and conscientious service to the university. The award is named for a former longtime member and chair of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees. As this year’s recipient, Rousu will deliver a public lecture during the 2012–13 academic year.

Rousu earned his doctorate degree from Iowa State University and joined the Susquehanna University faculty in 2004. As an economist, he uses experimental auctions to study agricultural and environmental economics, and public health topics, including how packaging affects cigarette purchases. He consults as an expert in experimental auction design and other topics for both governmental and nongovernmental agencies, and researches poker playing.

Glen Retief, associate professor of English and creative writing, was honored with the Susquehanna University Teaching Award. Retief earned his doctorate degree in English literature and creative writing from Florida State University before joining Susquehanna in 2007. Retief has worked as an instructor of homeless, HIV-positive substance abusers, a needle-exchange advocate, an English-as-a Second-Language teacher, and a teacher of high school students with learning disabilities. His many publishing credits include, most recently, his memoir, The Jack Bank: A Memoir of a South African Childhood. (See related story, p. 14.) published by St. Martin’s Press, the book was awarded the prestigious Lambda Literary Award in the category of gay memoir/biography. Retief also takes Susquehanna students to South Africa every other year as part of the university’s Global Opportunities (GO) program.

Award Sends Professor to Morocco to Research Water Pollution

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Ahmed Lachhab conducted research in Morocco this spring, as a result of a FINCOME award from the Moroccan government. The award brings together scientists from around the world to collaborate on research projects in this northwestern African country. Supervised by the Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) under the Moroccan prime minister, the research focuses on sustainable development.

His knowledge and background in hydrogeology, geophysics and water resources qualified him to work with other scientists on the bittit spring, a major source of drinking water. The spring is located in a karstic formation with multiple subvertical fractures, sinkholes and underground streams that the ground water travels through. It is normal for the water to have some pollution from the soil, but during certain times of the year, the water discharges with higher turbidity than usual. It is not clear how this type of pollution occurs, but Lachhab and his colleagues were determined to find out.

Using electromagnetic surveying techniques, Lachhab and local scientists sought to determine the source of the water’s turbidity. The team hopes their data will reveal the root cause of the pollution, and in turn, lead to a solution.

Roth Named Frankel Institute Fellow

Laurence Roth, professor of English and director of the Jewish Studies program at Susquehanna University, has been granted a fellowship with the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan for the 2012–13 academic year.

Roth is one of 14 fellows who will pursue research projects around the theme of Borders of Jewishness: Microhistories of Encounter. They will meet regularly with each other to discuss their work, interact with faculty and students, and enrich the intellectual life of the community. Roth’s fellowship will include work on his book, Unpacking My Father’s Bookstore: Collection, Commerce, Literature, based on the Los Angeles bookstore his father owned for 30 years, which for a time, he says, was the largest Jewish bookstore in the country.

Roth is the author of Inspecting Jews: American Jewish Detective Stories and editor of Modern Language Studies, the scholarly journal of the Northeast modern Language Association. At Susquehanna, he founded the Jewish Studies program and the publishing and editing minor, and teaches courses in Jewish literature, contemporary American literature, formula stories and popular writing, literary theory and book reviewing.

Contributing writers to The ’Grove section are Karen Jones, assistant director of media relations; Megan McDermott ’14, a creative writing and religion major from Lewisberry, Pa.; Dalton Swett ‘13, a creative writing major from Effingham, N.H.; and Elise Tomaszewski, a creative writing and German major from Selinsgrove, Pa.

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