Some schools market low student-to-faculty ratios and small classroom sizes, showcasing their emphasis on qualitative teaching. Other universities encourage faculty to explore research. Bradley holds a middle ground between the two aspects.
Faculty have expectations to produce scholarly work, whether its empirical research in psychology or publishing comprehensive books in the history department.
The psychology department researches topics ranging from narcissistic personality behavioral patterns to how children interact with their parents at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum and as well as many other topics.
Of the faculty conducting research in psychology is associate professor Amy Bacon. She said her research efforts, as someone specialized in clinical psychology, are on the various factors that contribute to the development of alcohol-related problems.
“The research I have going on right now involves trying to understand some of the social factors, personality factors [and] atmospheric factors that might tell us when students are going to drink more or less often,” Bacon said. “College is when there is a lot of drinking and can be a time when people actually start to develop problematic behaviors. My goal is to reduce the harmful consequences that may occur.”
Bacon said the psychology department has hosted some interesting studies including a study done by assistant professor Lane Beckes.
“Dr. Beckes is a social neuroscientist, so he looks what the brain might behave differently or look differently depending on the social relational contexts,” Bacon said. “He’s got a haunted house set up. He’s having people go through that and measuring how their brain or body reacts to this kind of scary stimuli and changing up the social context by having people go alone or in groups.”
In addition to the psychology department, others at Bradley continue to reinforce academics through research.
History department chairman Brad Brown said in an email that research could reach a variety of broad ideas, even within a single department, such as Bradley’s history department.
“[Faculty works] on all sorts of research projects about recent history and the ancient past: they review current books and edit forthcoming articles, they travel far and wide to burrow into libraries and attend conferences, they present their conclusions to both elite and general audiences,” Brown said via email.
According to Brown, like most departments, the history department has remained busy by having completed a variety of work throughout 2017.
“If you grew up in the suburbs or city, you definitely need to read [Associate Professor and Director of the Women’s Studies Program] Amy Scott’s fresh article on ‘Cities and Suburbs in the Eisenhower Era,’ in ‘A companion to Dwight D. Eisenhower,’ which lays bare the unfair public policies that created the way we live today,” Brown said. “You could travel back 3,000 years with [Adjunct Associate Professor] John Nielson. He just finished his new book about the ancient Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar I [expected to be released next year].”
According to Bacon, research is both intrinsically gratifying and necessary to keep the classroom updated on current information.
“Research keeps me active in my field,” Bacon said. “It keeps me aware of the most up to date things that are happening, so that my research is competitive … So that I can bring that information back to the classroom, so I can talk about the research that is happening right now.”