The Research Center at Pacific University

Recent Work

Jim Sheedy - Director of Vision Ergonomics Research Laboratory, Professor of Optometry - Pacific University

Jim Sheedy - College of Optometry

Director, Vision Ergonimics Research Laboratory; Professor of Optometry

The human eye is a marvelous, complex organ, with amazing versatility. It’s safe to say, though, that our eyes were never designed for artificial lighting and computer screens. Optometry Professor Jim Sheedy has made a career studying how the work environment affects vision. Sheedy and a team of researchers explore how different lenses, lighting and computer screens affect comfort, work efficiency and vision performance in the work place. The research, which has also looked into the readability of different type fonts and pixel density, is funded by Microsoft, among others.


Sarah Phillips - Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, Professor of Sociology - Pacific University

Sarah Phillips - College of Arts & Sciences

Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences; Professor of Sociology

Sociologist Sarah Phillips was taking a sculpting class when she suddenly became aware that the female nude model posing in the class was one of her Yale students. The chance encounter and her uncomfortable reaction to it resulted in ten years of research on models in the Western art tradition, and the book "Modeling Life" from the State University of New York Press, 2006. Told through the experiences of the models themselves, the book explores how society views nudity, sexuality and the creative process, part of Phillip's ongoing drive to better understand human behavior.


See more faculty:   Arts  |  Humanities  |  Natural Sciences  |  Social Sciences

Student/faculty research: 2011 Pacific University Undergraduate Research Conference


Amber Buhler - Assistant Professor of Pharmacy - Pacific University

Amber Buhler - College of Health Professions

Assistant Professor of Pharmacy

It’s a painful world out there and Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Amber Buhler is out to make things better. Her specialty: understanding the pathways involved in blocking pain transmission in humans. Employing a subfield of cell chemistry called immunohistochemistry and fluorescence microscopy to study the anatomy and neurotransmitter receptors of pain modulating neurons, she hopes to better identify pain pathways in order to make them better pharmaceutical targets for pain relief. The work could be useful in the treatment of a variety of chronic pain disorders.


Amber Buhler - Assistant Professor of Pharmacy - Pacific University

Donna Kalmbach Phillips - College of Education

Associate Professor of Education

For ten years Donna Kalmbach Phillips has been researching how preservice teachers acquire teacher identity, with her most recent project focusing on a linguistically and culturally diverse group. With fellow researchers Robert Nava and Kristin Dixon, she asks: How do students of color identify with teachers when surrounded by overwhelming "whiteness?" How do they keep their sense of self? Does a truly diverse classroom allow more space for this to happen? Employing such questions and discourse analysis (analysis of language use), she examines the confluence of race, gender and learning.