October 31, 2022

Data and discoveries: New faculty scholarship

In the past year, Goucher College faculty have made discoveries, published new research, and pushed forward new ideas in history and culture. From identifying the bacteria of the skin mucus of Zebrafish to examining the golden age of creature features, these professors are at the forefront of their fields.

Fishy Business

Professor of Economics Gina Shamshak cowrote “Market Opportunities for U.S. Aquaculture Producers: The Case of Branzino” for Marine Resource Economics, which was published in April 2022. The U.S. is the world’s largest seafood importer by value, while the domestic aquaculture sector is limited. In this paper, Shamshak examines the success of imported branzino, a white fish primarily farmed in the Mediterranean, over the last several decades.

Last year, Wren Wakeman ’19, Alyssa Long ’20, and Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Anna Jozwick published new research in Zebrafish in the article “Zebrafish, Danio rerio, Skin Mucus Harbors a Distinct Bacterial Community Dominated by Actinobacteria.” Wakeman and Long were undergraduate researchers at Goucher while working on this publication. Little was known about this fish’s skin mucus microbiome, particularly what was in it. The researchers discovered the most prominent bacteria in the skin mucus, and they also found a straightforward sampling method for the zebrafish skin mucus microbiome.

A Collegiate Audit

Professor of Sociology & Associate Provost Jamie Mullaney and Provost Elaine Meyer-Lee gave a presentation with colleagues from Northwestern University and North Central College at the American Conference of Academic Deans in Florida in February 2022, called “From Surviving to Thriving: A Holistic Approach to Mentoring Department Chairs.” The session was designed to give participants, made up of academic leaders, the tools to support department chairs, focusing on the complexity of the role, emotional labor, and communication strategies.

Mullaney and Director of Faculty Professional Development and Teaching Excellence Bill Harder led a presentation at the Morgan State University School of Education and Urban Studies Research Series in April 2022, called “Student Perceptions and Experiences of Study Abroad Disruption During COVID-19.” Mullaney and Harder used original survey and focus group data to examine how students made sense of these canceled and abbreviated cross-cultural experiences due to COVID-19.

Immersive Cinema

Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies Sonja Bozic is working on a virtual reality (VR) project that was accepted for development at the end of October 2022 in the John Hopkins’ lab Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund, a three-month program for creators to workshop projects made with underrepresented communities. Co-created with Jonathan Weiner, the VR film Chocolate Milk is a journey through Weiner’s memories and struggles as a person with Autism. Chocolate Milk also won an award for best project in development through a workshop with European Creator’s Lab and Stereopsia, a festival in Belgium dedicated to virtual and extended reality media.

Assistant Professor of Writing Katherine Cottle had an essay published in a special issue of Horror Homeroom in summer 2022. Cottle’s research-based evaluation, “The ‘Golden Era’ of 3-D Creature Features: Luring Humans Back to the Movie Theater With Interactive Fear,” dives into the horror trends of 3D movies, which began to be made in the 1950s as a way to bring suburbanites back to urban movie theaters.


Professor of Literary Studies Juliette Wells had a year full of Austen scholarship. She gave several virtual talks with the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), including “Sense and Sensibility as You’ve Never Seen It Before” with Grace Fischbach ’22. The two also gave the talk during JASNA’s October 29 event at Goucher College, which was billed as a day of learning, conversation, and discovery.

Wells also wrote the afterward for a new book, Jane Austen, Sex, and Romance: Engaging with Desire in the Novels and Beyond. Her essay, titled “Sex, Romance, and Representation in Uzma Jalaluddin’s Ayesha at Last” is about Austen-inspired love and romance depicted in fiction.