Recent CASL Faculty Kudos - April 2021

April 15, 2021

Recent faculty awards, presentations and publications.

Sociology Associate Professor Kevin Early is quoted in the Courthouse News Service April 13 article "Man Falsely Arrested Because of Facial Recognition Software Error Sues Detroit." The article focuses on the arrest of Farmington Hills resident Robert Williams, a Black man who was taken to jail from the front yard of his home when a warrant for his arrest was issued based on facial recognition software. His driver’s license matched with a blurry image of a person who stole Shinola watches. Early said people of color are more likely to be misidentified by facial recognition technology because skewed algorithms create an unfair database. “It hasn’t been perfected in terms of shades, hues, colors. It’s much more effective when you are looking at people who are not of color versus people who are of color.”

Congrats to English Associate Professor J. Caitlin Finlayson, who was elected to the University of Michigan’s Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs for 2021-22. During the one-year term, which starts in May, Finlayson will serve as vice chair.

Associate Professor of Composition & Rhetoric Michael MacDonald had a book chapter, co-written with colleague Shereen Inayatulla from York College, CUNY, "Sans Papiers: Humanizing Documentation," published in Literacy and Pedagogy in an Age of Misinformation and Disinformation.  The book is open access and there are many great chapters in it about literacy and "disinformation."

Inside Higher Ed featured campus in the April 14 article “Rejecting Remote Proctoring,” which highlights how UM-Dearborn leadership took remote proctoring off the table because of privacy concerns for students — even when many colleges shifted to use remote third-party proctoring services — and how campus managed exams and grading for remote courses. Biology Lecturer Katherine LaCommare, HUB Instructional Designer Sarah Silverman, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs Mitchel Sollenberger, HUB Director Carla Vecchiola and Mechanical Engineering Chair Oleg Zikanov are quoted.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer established the Task Force on Forensic Science and appointed the Hon. Donald Shelton, Criminology and Criminal Justice director and Sociology associate professor, as a member. The advisory body within the Michigan Department of State Police is made up of people in the medical, legal and academic professions, government officials, private sector experts, and representatives from the Michigan State Police, Michigan Supreme Court and Attorney General’s office.

President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise of greater transparency, but UM-Dearborn Political Science Professor Mitch Sollenberger says the administration is coming up short in a few areas. In a recent co-authored opinion piece for Roll Call, Sollenberger argues that Congress should mandate the release of White House visitor logs — including virtual visitor logs — to “ensure transparency regarding who has access to and advice for the president.”

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