Faculty and Staff Highlights: Carter, Curtis, Hoover, Kaiser, Li, Werfelmann

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Webster University faculty and staff highlights offer a roundup of recent Webster faculty and staff activity and achievements.

Carter Premiers New Composition, Directs Summer Camp Concerts

Jeffrey Richard Carter

A new composition by Jeffrey Richard Carter, professor of music in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, was premiered on June 9 as part of the Diocese of Missouri (Episcopal) Pride Evensong at Trinity Church, Central West End. 

Carter’s setting of the Preces and Responses from the Book of Common Prayer was sung by a diocesan choir led by Connor Scott, BME ’16, director of music at Christ Church Cathedral. The choir also sang, as part of the service, an Anglican chant psalm setting composed by Carter in the mid 1990s.

Earlier that same week, Carter served as music director for Sing Out!, the summer vocal camp program of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. After five days of rehearsal, the camp culminated in two concert performances including four musical theatre group numbers sung by all campers.

Curtis To Present at 2024 National Cyber Security Summit

James Curtis

James (Jim) Curtis, associate professor and chair in the Computer and Information Sciences Department will present at the 2024 National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Alabama, this September. 

This is one of the “big three” cyber programs each year. He will be presenting “The Triad of Disruption: A Framework for Social Media Information Manipulation and Warfare” as he continues to travel the country to educate citizens on the threats to democracy. 

Hoover Wins Literary Award

Elizabeth Hoover

Elizabeth Hoover, a professor in the English Department at the Webster Groves campus, won a Lambda Literary Award — the Pat Holt Prize for Critical Arts Writing on June 11.

The Pat Holt Prize for Critical Arts Writing, new this year, is presented in memory of the celebrated author and long-time SF Chronicle book review editor Patricia Holt and honors LGBTQ Critical Writing on Arts & Literature. The award will go an LGBTQ arts critic or literary reviewer committed to examining queer works of art and culture.

Kaiser Presents at Conference in Egypt

DJ Kaiser

DJ Kaiser, director and professor of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the Webster Groves campus, presented at the Africa ELTA 2024 Conference in Cairo, Egypt, at the eighth Africa English Language Teachers Association (ELTA) International Conference at the end of May.

His presentation explored taking a systematic approach to curriculum development for a large TESOL program. Webster's TESOL program served more than 900 students this past academic year, with the majority of those students being in Uzbekistan.

“Africa ELTA was a great experience to hear how English language teachers in Africa are addressing challenges in their classrooms to provide engaging instruction,” said Kaiser. “Many of the sessions focused on working in lower-resourced classrooms, which is similar to the contexts where many of our Webster TESOL graduates are or will be teaching.”

Kaiser has presented at numerous international conferences including BRAZ-TESOL in Brazil, TESL Ontario in Canada, TESOL Arabia in the United Arab Emirates, Asia TEFL in Macau, VietTESOL in Vietnam, and last year at CamTESOL in Cambodia.

IEEE Cloud Summit Selects Li for Best Paper

Xue Li

Xue Li, an assistant professor in the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, recently had her workpaper chosen as best paper of the IEEE Cloud Summit 2024.

With this recognition, she will present it at the summit and receive grant money up to $1,250 to cover the expenses to attend the conference.

Her paper, “Towards Quality of Experience Fairness for Serverless Functions,” explores serverless computing that represents an innovative cloud computing model where the intricacies of server management are entirely concealed from users. Cloud providers enhance resource efficiency by grouping containers from various users on a shared hardware infrastructure to offer function as a service (FaaS). However, this approach can result in significant disparity in the quality of experience (QoE) for end users. 

“In this paper, we present Mable, a dynamic resource allocation technique for serverless FaaS platforms to address the challenges of achieving QoE fairness in the presence of shared resource contention and inter-function interference,” Li briefly explained.

The paper link will be available on IEEE after the conference has been held.

IEEE Technical Committee on Cloud Computing initiated the Cloud Summit conference in 2017. After seven consecutive successful years, Cloud Summit has grown to become a flagship conference with high-quality academic research presentations and industrial best practices. Cloud Summit conference features close interactions between industry and academia.

Werfelmann Featured in Upcoming Music Album Release

David Werfelmann

David Werfelmann, associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Music, will have his work featured on the upcoming album "Dreamspace" on the Sono Luminus record label. The album, showcasing premiere recordings of new works for piano, includes Werfelmann's composition Suite à l'antique, highlighting his contributions to today's musical landscape. This recognition underscores the exceptional talent within our Department of Music.

"I am thrilled to have my work featured on this album. Michael Mizrahi is a truly remarkable pianist and has done a wonderful job recording and producing this project. It's an honor to have my work included alongside several composers whom I deeply respect and admire. This album captures the beauty and originality of contemporary music, and I am excited to share this creative journey with such talented artists," said Werfelmann.

The album will be available in CD and vinyl formats, and its release was set for June 14. For more information, visit Dreamspace on Sono Luminus.

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