Professors to present research at Cat Talk

Helen Lee, Editor-in-Chief

 Three Linfield College professors will give lectures presenting their research in an upcoming “Cat Talk.”

Professor and chair of psychology Tanya Tompkins, professor of music Joan Haaland Paddock, and assistant professor of nursing Henny Breen, will discuss findings from each of their research projects.

Tompkins’s lecture will feature information from a pilot study she conducted on 80 undergraduates.

“The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a humanizing approach that incorporates video-based contact and perspective taking in reducing stigma toward transgendered (TG) individuals,” Tompkins said in an email.

The study participants were divided into two groups, either the “humanizing condition” or the “education-only” condition.

“Participants in the humanizing condition evidenced less transprejudice and a greater desire for social contact following the intervention, whereas those in the education-only condition showed no significant change,” Tompkins said in an email.

Tompkins cites the pilot study as an opportunity to inform her teaching.

“As someone who teaches about the TG experience in both my introductory course and seminar course in abnormal psychology, I worry about how best to convey information in a way that recognizes that TG individuals who experience profound gender dysphoria can be categorized as suffering from a mental health disorder without overpathologizing gender variance in a way that heightens stigma,” Tompkins said in an email.

Paddock’s talk will include information on the origin of “Taps” as well as a performance of the song the way it was played 150 years ago during the Civil War.

Paddock’s presentation is titled “‘Taps,’ The National Song of Remembrance: A Short History of America’s Most Famous Bugle Call.”

“‘Taps’ is the song of remembrance for soldiers who have given their lives in the line of duty in war.

“There are only 24 notes in this song that stirs the souls of comrades and family and friends who remain.  I will speak of the history of ‘Taps,’ how it evolved, and some of the stories which are more mythical than true story,” Paddock said in an email.

The lecture relates to this year’s PLACE theme of “Legacies of War.” Paddock said, “‘Taps’ is a song of remembrance that has come out of war— it was born to commemorate and honor the fallen.”

Paddock expects a strong emotional response to her presentation.

“The audience for the lecture will learn about the history of ‘Taps’ including anecdotes; strong emotion may be evoked by audience members when understanding what is the meaning of ‘Taps’ and for whom it is sounded. Those present at the lecture will learn of the significance of ‘Taps’—what it means to veterans, to their families, and to Americans in general,” Paddock said.

Breen will present her findings in the field of collaborative learning.

“This faculty lecture will review the findings of a qualitative study using transcript analysis to clarify the value of Online Collaborative Learning Theory as a way to assess collaborative discourse in online courses,” Breen said in an email.

Breen commented on the results of her study: “The findings of this study support the use of the phases of the theory as a framework for assessing online collaborative discourse.

“The lecture will focus on the philosophy underlying the theory, findings and recommendations for teaching,” Breen said in an email.

Breen noted the importance of a distinction between cooperative work and collaborative work, and said in an email, “Collaborative work is more difficult to achieve.”

She stated her lecture’s application to students, saying in an email, “It is important to evaluate the student’s ability to collaborate to prepare them for today’s workforce. Collaborative discourse can lead to quality individual work as well as group work.”


Joan Paddock-1henny-breen-02Tanya Tompkins