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Four Faculty Members Awarded Sabbaticals for Upcoming Academic Year

Quick Facts

 Their research interests include same-sex marriage, leadership in advertising, a Japanese composer and ambitious musical works.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Four Winthrop University faculty members have been awarded sabbaticals for the 2015-16 academic year.

Their research interests cover same-sex marriage, advertising leadership, Japanese composers and a musical work based on James Joyce’s famous novel “Finnegan’s Wake.”

Have a closer look:

Scott Huffmon, professor of political science, full academic year
Because of recent current events, ministers in the Presbyterian Church-USA (PCUSA) will be permitted to perform same-sex marriages in a widespread denomination-wide change. PCUSA Members will vote next summer on a proposed change to the organization’s constitution, which would alter the definition of marriage “between a man and woman” to “between two people, traditionally between a man and woman.” Huffmon will conduct a survey regarding these changes of the executive Presbyters of the 173 PCUSA Presbyteries as well as face-to-face interviews from executive Presbyters from the Synod, who have voiced opposition to these changes.

Padmini Patwardhan, professor of mass communication, fall 2015

With her proposal entitled “Leading From the Front: Leadership in Advertising,” Patwardhan will explore leadership qualities and styles as well as factors impacting leadership development in American advertising agencies. She will travel and talk with professionals in the field, gathering exploratory data through a pilot study, and hopes to expand global study on leadership in advertising, identify a team of international collaborators and obtain grant funding. This is an extension of Patwardhan’s recent work as country director on a global project studying public relations leadership, which led to journal articles, a book chapter and a conference presentation this past year.

Mark Lewis, associate professor of music, fall 2015
The Joseph Campbell Foundation has asked Lewis to compose the musical score for a collaborative work involving opera, dance and the theatre in honor of the late Martha Graham dancer and famed choreographer Jean Erdman. The work is based on novelist James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake” and explores the question, What is the past and what is its meaning? The project has drawn collaborators nation-wide and will result in several 2016 performances. Additionally, Lewis will orchestrate a 25-minute percussion concerto he is preparing for the Amarillo Symphony and hold a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a professional recording of his music, which he hopes will be picked up by a major label.

Tomoko Deguchi, associate professor of music, spring 2016
Deguchi will complete a monograph—a series of analyses of the music of internationally recognized Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Deguchi noted that Takemitsu’s compositional style is unique, often defying the existing analytical methods for full interpretation. She intends to investigate how his music coincides or parallels the underlying Japanese cultural aesthetics and philosophical background.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari at 803/323-2236 or

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