Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series

The Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series/IRSS program is designed to build interdisciplinary capacity in areas of growing research strength by (1) fostering communication and promoting collaborations among UNCW investigators and (2) connecting our local community with the national knowledge network and creating an intellectual community of peers. IRSS focuses on a theme, problem, or broad question where UNCW has existing research capacity and a clear opportunity to grow its research contributions and overall success.

Mindfulness : Promoting Research-informed Practice and Practice-informed Research

2021 Events:

2020 Events:

UNCW’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series (IRSS) on Mindfulness welcomes Nick Barr, PhD, assistant professor of social work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for a webinar presentation and discussion about the state of the science of mindfulness. As a student of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Barr brings an understanding of the applicability of mindfulness from both Eastern and Western perspectives. Our discussion will be relevant to a variety of disciplines as well as intended for scholars, practitioners, students, and others interested in the science and practice of mindfulness.

The webinar is free and open to faculty, students, staff and community members.

UNCW’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series (IRSS) on Mindfulness welcomes Patrick Foo, PhD, professor of psychology and coordinator of both the neuroscience minor and the Contemplative Inquiry Certificate Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Dr. Foo will guide us in learning about a quiet revolution growing within the young field of neuroscience---contemplative neuroscience. Recent advances allow us to ask big questions such as, “how does the brain generate one’s sense of self?” and “what is consciousness?” Only 15 years ago, the Dalai Lama’s invited talk at the annual Society for Neurosciences conference was met with considerable opposition, which was perhaps unsurprising given the lack of empirical evidence outlining the benefits of meditation and mindfulness at the time. In the subsequent decade, EEG and fMRI recordings of expert-level Tibetan monks have verified significant structural and functional adaptations associated with lifelong meditation practice. We will discuss these and other recent findings that form the basis of contemplative neuroscience. This IRSS on Mindfulness seminar will be relevant to a variety of disciplines as well as intended for scholars, students, practitioners, and others interested in the science and practice of mindfulness.

The webinar is free and open to faculty, students, staff and community members.

UNCW’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series (IRSS) on Mindfulness welcomes Beth Berila, Ph.D., Director of the Gender & Women’s Studies Program and Professor in the Ethnic, Gender, & Women’s Studies Department at St. Cloud State University, to help us explore how mindfulness can support us in skillfully engaging anti-racist teaching, learning, and community-building. Mindful practices, when situated within a social justice frame, can support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities in healing from oppression and unlearning internalized oppression, while helping White people overcome common reactions and barriers to dismantling the power dynamics of institutionalized racism. The seminar will offer practical strategies for anti-racism in our lives, our classrooms, our campus work, and our communities.

The webinar is free and open to faculty, students, staff and community members.

IRSS on Mindfulness Team:

Jacquelyn Lee (Social Work)
Beverly Foulks McGuire (Philosophy and Religion)
Julian Keith (Psychology)
Kristen DeVall (Sociology and Criminology)
Anne Pemberton (Randall Library)
Meen Lee (Nursing

Digital Soundings:

  • Digital Soundings: Expanding Digital Networks and Scholarship at UNCW
    Digital Soundings: Expanding Digital Networks and Scholarship at UNCW is a seminar series designed to foster and build on interdisciplinary research success at UNCW by providing faculty with opportunities to participate in hands-on workshops, collaborative working groups, and lectures with leading practitioners in the fields of computational text analysis and data visualization. The seminar series is supported by funding from the Office of the Associate Provost for Research and Innovation's Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series (IRSS) grant program and is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and Randall Library. Programming for fall 2020 includes a recorded lecture by Paul Fyfe (NCSU) on “The Boundaries of Digital Humanities” and an Introduction to Computational Text Analysis workshop led by Nathan Kelber (JSTOR Labs). Information about these events and the full slate of programming for AY 2020-21 is available at

    The Boundaries of Digital Humanities - Paul Fyfe (NCSU)
    This talk considers the boundary trouble of digital humanities—specifically, who recognizes, misrecognizes, or doesn’t recognize the field. These disagreements arise at the moment digital humanities gets defined and institutionalized. A better approach might be to think about DH instead as a “boundary object” in which different groups can work together even in the absence of consensus. In this context, I share lessons learned from my own experiences implementing DH at NC State. Ultimately, seeing DH as a boundary object may help to imagine its institutional success in terms of interdisciplinary, collaboration, and curricula. There will be a virtual, synchronous Q&A event with Paul Fyfe in November. Information about this event will be shared closer to the time of the event. You can stream the lecture here:

    Introduction to Computational Text Analysis - Nathan Kelber (JSTOR Labs)
    This workshop will introduce participants to text analysis with Python using Jupyter Notebooks. The workshop will introduce and demonstrate methods such as word frequency, significant terms, and topic modeling. Not sure if computational text analysis is for you? Check out this FAQ resource from JSTOR Labs to learn more about the ways computational text analysis can further your research. This workshop will consist of four synchronous instructional sessions via Zoom and independent exercises. The workshop is open to all UNCW faculty, and no prior knowledge or experience is necessary. Registration is capped at 15 participants and is open on a first come, first served basis. Registration opens on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. To register, visit

    Workshop schedule

    • Session #1: Monday, October 5, 2:00-3:30 pm
    • Session #2: Monday, October 12, 2:00-3:30 pm
    • Session #3: Monday, October 19, 2:00-3:30 pm
    • Session #4: Monday, October 26, 2:00-3:30 pm

Coastal Resiliency Seminar Series:

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Health Series: