WATERTOWN – Joel F. LaLone, Professor at Jefferson Community College, will return to his Syracuse University alma mater on Tuesday to serve as a visiting researcher alongside the university's Associate Professor of Public Health, David Larsen, PhD, MPH. It will be used for data acquisition and research on the newly developed wastewater monitoring and detection system by Dr. Larsen contribute to the detection of coronaviruses.
The two were introduced by a mutual friend and sports analyst, and a friendship and professional relationship blossomed.
The two discussed the possibility of working together over a year ago, with Mr. LaLone then going to JCC to apply for a sabbatical year and Dr. Larsen went to the Powers in Syracuse to request Mr LaLone to join him on campus as a visiting scholar in December 2019 – long before everyone was talking about COVID-19. The proposals were accepted in March for his sabbatical year in the spring semester of 2021.
"I enjoy the idea of studying COVID," said LaLone. "It's going to be a cool and relevant topic, but my real goal was the same whether there was a pandemic or not."
"There are two things that I will theoretically provide and teach, and then I have a list of things that I can hopefully gain from it," he said. “In fact, the thing is, one project I might be working on has to do with COVID-19. The things I want to gain from this could be a project that explores every concept in the world, whether I'm studying COVID-19 or examining the relationship between screen time and misbehavior in 5 year olds. "
Mr LaLone said he hoped to learn spatial statistics and GIS methods for data visualization through his visit to Syracuse, in hopes of recovering machine learning, data visualization and data mining methods using the latest software. His main goal is to come back to two things: the ability to incorporate these into coursework at JCC, and to use them in the studies that continue at the JCC Center for Community Studies.
In return, he will give some seminars at the Faculty of Public Health in Syracuse, teaching courses on research methods and explaining best practices for teaching them. Second, and more importantly, according to LaLone, the JCC Center for Community Studies is what really intrigues them – the idea of how students can be involved in human research when at most universities like Syracuse it is reserved for graduate students. So he will essentially train you in the advantages and disadvantages, processes and methods.
“Nothing financial happens. The visiting scholar is an unpaid position and I have a sabbatical year in college that continues to be paid,” he said. “So they offer sabbaticals to encourage faculty to broaden their horizons and bring things back that improve the community, college, faculty, student experience and all that. "
Mr. LaLone, distinguished professor and research director of the JCC Center for Community Studies, has taught math in college for more than 30 years and has served as the center's research coordinator and director of applied hands for the past 15 years. for learning research activities from more than 400 students.
"I could go downstairs and next Tuesday David and I might decide there is a cooler study I'm working on," LaLone said. "I'm still going to give the benefits they want and I'm still going to win, as long as there is data, then there is an opportunity to learn all of these spatial and data mining techniques."
Dr. Larsen is an environmental epidemiologist with expertise in large data analysis, multi-level modeling, spatial statistics, geographic information systems, and study design. He is leading a team of scientists in the discovery of an early warning system to detect the novel coronavirus and help communities prepare for potential outbreaks.
Mr. LaLone is one of the first members of the JCC faculty to be recognized by the JCC with the title of Distinguished Professor conferred by the State University of New York. Under his supervision and guidance, JCC students at all statistical levels have the opportunity to participate in studies on research design, question formulation, data collection, data cleansing and analysis, interpretation, compilation and presentation of data to the entire community.
Mr. LaLone received two SUNY Chancellor & # 39; s Awards – Excellence in Teaching in 1991 and Excellence in Scholarships and Creative Activities in 2010. He also received a Jeffersonian Award in 2010 from the JCC Alumni Association. He holds an associate's degree from JCC, a bachelor's degree from SUNY Potsdam, and a master's degree from Syracuse University from his visit in the 1980s. He noted that it's really cool to be returning to university in this new role.
"I've had several capacities over the years. I hold a season ticket for basketball, I had a kid who went there too, but the idea of having an office now and becoming a professor there gives me a part that is says it comes full circle. "he said. "And who knows how long the relationship might last, because it's not at all uncommon for faculties at different universities to still be collaborating on research, so I could see David and I move on."
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