UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | October 01, 2022

Prominent professors recognized for published work

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Whether they are seasoned veterans of the field or fresh out of graduate school, professors at Dixie State University have many works to be proud of.

It’s common for faculty members at colleges and universities to publish in scholarly journals or other publications, and instructors at DSU are no different. Various areas of expertise are abundant, and each faculty member is using knowledge and experience to help make Dixie State a better environment for students to publish their own work.

Three faculty members, each from separate departments, have stood out to their students and supervisors for their great achievements. Each is at a different point in his career and adds something unique to the university.

The English Enthusiast

Stephen Armstrong, an assistant professor of English, has had his work published in scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines and books. Much of his work focuses on filmmaking and movies, but he is not a one-trick pony. 

One of the creative works Armstrong is proud of is “Pictures About Extremes: The Films of John Frankenheimer,” which can be purchased from amazon.com.

Armstrong said the publishing process starts with an idea, and the delivery of the idea is what helps push the process.

“It always goes to the pitch,” he said. “You have to come up with a concept that an editor or publisher will respond to.”

Armstrong also said traits that have helped him get published are initiative and persistence.

“You’re generally sending stuff out unsolicited,” he said. “No one has asked you for anything. You need to be prepared for rejection.”

Armstrong said he once attempted to publish an article, only to get shot down multiple times. He finally received an acceptance from a school in Kentucky, which was a surprising location for his work.

Armstrong is now working to ensure students have the same opportunites he has had. 

“I’m shifting away from my own production as a writer to the role of being a mentor,” he said. “My hope is that eventually…we can have [students] publishing as well.”

The Science Guy

Rico Del Sesto, an assistant professor of chemistry, is in his second year at Dixie and has brought his knowledge and expertise of science and research to the school. He has published more than 40 articles in scholarly journals, and almost all of them are based off research he has done.

Del Sesto said in the field of science, the publishing process is a slightly different from other areas of study. The work is peer-reviewed to ensure the scientific research method has been followed correctly and all the data are correct.

“They want you to fill in holes in the [work],” he said. “You’re getting different perspectives of the integrity of the work and how it’s compiled.”

Del Sesto is now working with students to conduct research that will be presented at the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research at BYU in February. He said researching with students has advantages over government-based research because it is too expensive.

“The undergraduate setting is ideal to tackle the scientific problems [and] come up with the solutions,” he said.

This semester eight students are researching with Del Sesto, and he is encouraged by their work and what it means for the future of Dixie.

“The more time we can spend in the lab doing research, the more results we’ll get,” he said.

The New Guy

Xi Cui, an assistant communication professor, is the new guy on the block, having graduated with his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 2011. Although he is relatively new to his profession, he has had many of his works published. He published several while he was still in graduate school.

One work that Cui is proud of is an article that was published earlier this year.

“A piece that I’ve published is a textual analysis of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games,” he said. “I presented it in a conference, and one of the professors encouraged me to submit it to a journal, (and) so I did.”

He wrote the article in 2008, which demonstrates the lengthy process of publishing a scholarly article.

Although he is young and has the potential to do a lot of work for himself, Cui understands that DSU students come first.

“Teaching is definitely my first priority,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do.”