ALUMNI PROFILE"I try to live the vision of Soka. My life would be worthless if it wasn't dedicated to world peace and caring for other people." More
Class of 2006
Michael David Golden - Professor of Music Composition and Theory
Professor Michael Golden has had his paper, "On Music, Interconnection and Consciousness," accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of the journal Peace and Policy. In early April, Dr. Golden presented a guest lecture at the Saddleback Emeritus Institute in Laguna Woods, entitled "Being Human: Music of the Whole World."
James Spady - Assistant Professor of American History
Dr. James Spady's research essay "To Vie with One Against Another: Race and Demand for Non-elite White Education in an Eighteenth-Century Colonial Society" has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by Early American Studies, a journal published by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania. The essay is taken from his book manuscript in progress, entitled "Like the Spider from the Rose: Learning Race and Discovering the Poor School in a Colonial Society (Georgia and South Carolina, 1720s-1820s)." The essay will appear in 2011. Dr. Spady also attended the third annual meeting of the California American Studies Association (CASA), held this year in Long Beach, April 16-17. This is the third consecutive meeting of CASA since Dr. Spady led a program committee that revived the annual meetings in 2008, when the conference met here at Soka University of America. He attended as an officer (the CASA representative to the national level American Studies Association) and as a presenter.
Michael Weiner - Professor of East Asian History & International Studies & Director of International Studies
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has invited Dr. Michael Weiner to serve as a Research Proposal Evaluator as part of a national Innovational Research Incentives Scheme supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education. Under the scheme (annual budget 150 million euros),. Research grants are awarded in three broad categories: Veni grants are for excellent researchers who have recently obtained their doctorates and are starting out on their careers, but who have already demonstrated an outstanding talent for academic research; Vidi grants are for excellent researchers who have completed their doctorates and already conducted post-doctoral research for some years, thereby demonstrating the ability to generate new ideas and bring them independently to fruition; and Vici grants are for excellent senior researchers who have shown that they have the ability successfully to develop their own innovative lines of research and to act as coaches for young researchers. Among the participating universities and institutes are:
Delft University of Technology
Eindhoven University of Technology
Erasmus University, Rotterdam
Free University of Amsterdam
University of Amsterdam
University of Groningen
University of Leiden
University of Maastricht
University of Utrecht
Open University of the Netherlands
Theological University Kampen
University for Humanistics
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Arie Galles - Professor of Painting/Drawing & Director of Creative Arts Program
Professor Arie Galles' Reflected-Light Painting, "Lake Front," is included in the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art's (OCCCA in Santa Ana, CA) exhibition "REVISITING BEAUTY." The exhibition, curated by Peter Frank, runs from April 29 through May 29, 2010.
Robert Elliott Allinson - Professor of Philosophy
Cambridge University Press online journal, Philosophy, has published a review of Dr. Robert Elliott Allinson's, single-authored book, "A Metaphysics for the Future in Philosophy," Volume 76, Issue 04, pp. 487-488 by Jenny Teichmann of Cambridge University. "...A Metaphysics for the Future is a work of original philosophy and a humanistic commentary on the moral malaise of our times...." Philosophy, the journal published by the Royal Institute of Philosophy at Cambridge University, has been in existence for more than 80 years and "features the work of both established scholars and rising stars in philosophy. Philosophy's international standing enables it to attract articles of the highest quality from around the world." Other scholars whose contributions have been selected by the journal include Noam Chomsky, Jurgen Habermas and Bernard Williams.
Ryan Ashley Caldwell - Assistant Professor of Sociology
Dr. Ryan Ashley Caldwell attended The VII Annual Social Theory Forum, Critical Social Theory: Freud and Lacan for the 20th Century
at University of Massachusetts, Boston and presented a paper entitled,
"Freud, Erickson, and the Sadistic Parent: Bi-Aggression and the Reverse Oedipus Complex." Dr. Caldwell also attended The 73rd Annual Meeting of The Southern Sociological Society, Atlanta, Georgia and presented a paper entitled, "Smokescreens and Shadows: Baudrillard, Jung, and The Enemy Within."
Aneil Rallin - Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition
Dr. Aneil Rallin organized a panel "Queer and Now" at the annual convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Louisville, Kentucky commemorating Eve Kofosky Sedgwick, one of the founders of queer theory, who died last year of breast cancer, and reflecting on her contributions to and value for the field(s) of rhetoric and composition. He also gave a talk titled "Queer Unsettlings."
Nalini Rao - Associate Professor of World Art
The 43rd Annual Conference of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (ASPAC) was hosted by Soka University of America, California, June 19-21, 2009. Organized by Dr. Nalini Rao, the conference was a success that drew ninety academic papers from a variety of universities and colleges. Supported by funding from SUA, Pacific Basin Research Center, Humanities, Environmental Studies, and International Studies Concentrations in SUA, and faculty assistance, it has earned SUA a place of honor in Asian Studies. The theme of the conference was the Dynamics of Culture and Environment in Asia-Pacific. It examined how cultures and societies have positioned themselves in relation to the environment at various historical junctures. It sought to understand the complex relationships among culture, nature, and humans and to re-conceptualize and reconstruct the boundaries of the Asia-Pacific in an era of globalization. It also investigated cultural and historical influences on economic change, social movements, public policy, arts, and ecological upheavals among other facets of society.
The focus of the conference was on the interaction between environment and culture around major rivers in Asia, such as the Yangtze, Yellow, Mekong, Indus, Irrawaddy and others. The conference especially invited papers with a consideration of the River Ganges from a multidimensional perspective that explored the geographical dimensions of the Ganges in relation to the movement of people, its banks as a confluence of cultures, political empires, pilgrimages, visual culture, mythology, literature and its waters as a site of historical and cultural transformations. A consideration of the intersections of various disciplines such as the interactions between civilizations and the natural environment, between biology and poetry as they meet in bio-poetics, was touched upon. Other themes included the relation between environment and economy; environment and society; nature and culture; nation and urban space; displacement and belonging; environmental philosophy; environmental literature; environmental ecology; and arts and built environment.
The highlights of the conference included the book exhibit, cultural shows of Japanese and Indian dances and Chinese music. Dr. Rao would like to thank Soka faculty members Gaye Christoffersen, Xiaoxing Liu, Hidemi Riggs, and staff members Lisa Polfer, Saeed FakhriRavari, Rakesh Patel, Rutvi Bhatt, and others.
Dr. Nalini Rao has directed the International Conference on Indus Valley and Vedic Civilization held in Loyola Marymount University in February 2009. She is presently in San Francisco giving guest lectures in the Asian Art Museum and conducting research in art history during her sabbatical leave until September 2010.
Alfred Lang - Adjunct Instructor - Music
Mr. Alfred Lang started the academic year by performing a joint organ/trumpet recital with Audrey Jacobsen. They opened the second season of Irvine Valley College's Organ recital series on September 25, 2009. Their recording for the Music Minus One Group (MMO), "Classic Solos for Trumpet & Organ," has moved into the top 10 best-selling pedagogical CD's in MMO's history.
Mr. Lang recently played in the pit for Long Beach Opera's production of John Adams' "Nixon in China." This was the first L.A. area performance of this major work in 20 years. He also recently performed at Concordia University as part of their Masterworks series. Additionally, Mr. Lang performed in over 24 Orange County elementary schools, from October '09 through March '10, as part of the Philharmonic Society's educational outreach program called Meet the Musicians. He has been participating in this program for 20+ years.
Joshua Nelson - Adjunct Instructor - Jazz Studies
Mr. Josh Nelson, about to conclude his second exciting year as Adjunct Faculty (Jazz Studies) at Soka University, has continued to tour the world with Natalie Cole. This summer, Natalie's touring will take Mr. Nelson to Japan, Australia, Asia, and all over Europe. He released his third album as a leader in July of 2009, called "I Hear a Rhapsody." He continues to tour, conduct interviews, and adjudicate music festivals all in support of that record. In addition, a number of Mr. Nelson's vocal jazz and pop songs have been recently arranged and released for sale with Sound Music Publications, who specialize in SATB choir arrangements.
Erica Turrell - Adjunct Instructor - Music
Besides her vocal/choral music position at Soka University, Ms. Erica Turrell is currently the music and choral director at The Center for Spiritual Living in Costa Mesa (since 2006), a vocal/choral teacher for the Irvine Unified School District (since 2004) and sings with two vocal groups, "Infinity" and "Oopsy Daisy." Ms. Turrell has spent the last two years writing a musicianship/theory textbook which is currently being used by her students at Soka University and in IUSD.
Ms. Turrell has recently worked in 2008 and 2009 with greats like Grammy and Oscar winner Paul Williams (currently President of ASCAP), Emmy-award-winner Faith Rivera in 2009 and she sung with Ellis Hall (with the Boston Pops and last artist to sign with Ray Charles) in April 2010. Last year, she made her first choral directing appearance at the Segerstrom Performing Arts Hall (Orange County Performing Arts Center) as conductor of IUSD's Elementary Honor Chorus (Spring 2009). Ms. Turrell looks forward to working with singer/song writer Judy Collins at the upcoming Peace Gala with Soka University in the Fall of 2010.
Wan-Chin Chang - Adjunct Instructor - Music
Dr. Wan-Chin Chang was featured as the soloist with Orange County Wind Symphony in Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" on September 27. In February, she performed solo piano in the Faculty Concert of MiraCosta College in Oceanside in their new Recital Hall. She was also involved in the grand opening concert for the MiraCosta College Recital Hall in March. In October, she accompanied a violin recital in Arcadia, another violin recital in Irvine in March, and a flute recital in Irvine in April. As principle 2nd violinist, Dr. Chang performed with Orange County Symphony in October, January, and March. She also performed with Montage Civic Orchestra in November, January, and April. Dr. Chang is the regional chair of the Certificate of Merit exam in her MTAC branch, and she was the evaluator for 3 branches for the exam during the months of February and March.