WESTMINSTER — Five Western Maryland College professors are in Europe this year furthering their education and sharing their knowledge with others.
The faculty members received financial help for their work from WMC's Faculty Development Grants Program, which selects the winning projects among those competing for the awards.
"The program is set up to increase the instructor's knowledge, renew his desire to teach, and put him in touch with others in his field for him to bring back to campus and pass it on to his students," said Chris Hart, public information officer.
The winning professors and their fields of interest are: Theodore Evergates, history; Colette Henriette, foreign languages; Howard Orenstein, psychology; Wasyl Palijczuk, art; and Ray Stevens, English.
In Reims and Chalons-sur-Marne, France, for part of the summer, Evergates is delving into archives for medieval material as part of his research into the families of crusaders.
The project is part of work begun several years ago
to reconstruct genealogies and family histories of crusaders' families. He has traced families back as far as 1100 -- several generations before the Fourth Crusade, which captured Constantinople and destroyed the Byzantine Empire in 1204.
Evergates plans to write a group biography of the families from the county of Champagne who settled in Greece, focusing on the crusaders and their families.
In her study of 18th-century women of letters and their private correspondenceas a new literary genre, Henriette is taking her research to the Eighth International Congress on the Enlightenment at the University of Bristol, England.
She will read her paper to about 1,000 18th-century specialists who gather from all over the world once every four years. A summary of her paper will be published in "Studies in Voltaireand the Eighteenth Century."
Orenstein will present a paper in September on sleep disorders to the First Meeting of the World Federation of Sleep Research Societies in Cannes.
"We looked at a lot of specific things at the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders Center in Detroit," he said. "We examined about 2,100 patients evaluated for a sleep complaint between 1987 and 1990."
Patients were analyzed by age according to their sleep complaint, Orenstein said. The two major complaints studied were daytime sleepiness and insomnia.
"One thing we attempted to find out was how often these things occur and by age," he noted.
One finding was that 80 percent of the people evaluated complained of daytime sleepiness, and the rest suffered from insomnia, Orenstein said.
Those over 60 were most likely to suffer insomnia, while the chief complaint of those between 21 and 40 was chronic insufficient sleep.
He and four Henry Ford colleagues will share their findings with other researchers from around the world and bring back information from others.
Palijczuk is taking a sabbatical to return to his homeland in the Ukraine for the first time since he left in 1942. He plans to meet with other artists and educators to exchange ideas, while keeping a daily journal, making sketches and taking photographs.
On his return, Palijczuk plans to sponsor an exhibit of 50 photographs and show oil and watercolor paintings at area galleries.
A leading scholar on the Polish-born writer, Joseph Conrad, Stevens will deliver a paper at the International Joseph Conrad Conference at the Institute of English Philology in Lublin, Poland.
Stevens will present a serio-comic discussion, "A Milch-Cow's Eye View of Sailing Ships, and Other Conradian Perspectives in the Lighter Later Essays."
He said the conference in Poland is significant because for years, Conrad societies refused to participate until Gen. Jaruzelski's government, now disintegrated, rescinded a death sentence on Poland's most distinguished Conrad scholar-dissident, Zdzislaw Najder.