Two members of the Kutztown University faculty have been acknowledged for their exceptional work. Dr. Laura Sherrod, physical sciences, and Dr. Valerie Trollinger, music, were awarded the 2021 Chambliss Faculty Research Awards during the university’s Faculty and Staff Convocation and Celebration Friday, Aug. 27.
Sherrod is a geology professor and has been at KU since 2009. She earned her Doctorate in Geology with an emphasis in geophysics and hydrogeology from Western Michigan University. She also completed her Bachelor of Geology with minors in Spanish, physics and mathematics from Western Michigan. This fall marks Sherrod’s 12th year at KU. Sherrod regularly teaches five different courses, including Introduction to Geology, Water Wars, Physical Geology, General Geophysics and Hydrogeology, which often leads to her and her students being waist-deep in creeks with rubber-hip waders. Sherrod is extremely devoted to giving her students the best education possible and has successfully obtained a handful of research grants totaling $92,867.
In addition to teaching, Sherrod has tackled many research projects throughout her time. Her inquisitive endeavors have led her to perform detailed excavations during archaeological investigations. Her curious nature has influenced her to travel around the country to explore how water flows about the surface which has taught her to value each drop. Sherrod has presented more than 35 poster presentations in regional and national settings and was involved in the making of “Escobar’s Hidden Millions” by the Discovery Channel. During this experience, Sherrod spent nearly a month in Colombia applying geophysical techniques that were utilized in the series’ development.
In 2010, Sherrod was invited to present at Temple University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science Seminar Series and the Shippensburg University’s Geography and Earth Science Seminar Series the same year. She has also made guest speaker appearances at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area Annual Banquet (2015), SUNY Genesco Department of Geological Sciences Seminar Series (2017), the Charlestown Historical Society at Charlestown Elementary School (2018) and Augustus Lutheran Church in Trappe, Pa (2018). Sherrod is commended for her vast contributions in the academic arena and her research abilities.
Sherrod has more than 10 publications in scholarly articles that have reached both national and international audiences. She has completed a book review for the Journal Groundwater and positively influences the Department of Physical Sciences at KU.
Trollinger is a professor of Music and has been at KU since 2006. Her Doctorate in Music Education and Master of Music Performance (studies in bassoon and voice) were both earned at Indiana University-Jacobs School of Music, Bloomington, Indiana. She holds the chair of Principal Bassoon in the Reading Symphony Orchestra and regularly plays with other regional orchestras. Previously, she regularly performed with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Over the past decade, she has developed research in a new field of study that deals with diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating musicians, especially wind instrumentalists (teachers and students) who suffer from vocal and performance issues. While the field of professional vocal/voice care in singers and professional voice users has been around for a while, this area of wind instrumentalist voice care is extremely new. This research interest and her additional training as a singer and in voice pedagogy led her to work in the Performing Arts Medicine field which is highly unusual for a professor of music education.
Trollinger has assisted in the development of a new medical micro-specialty within otolaryngology (the branch of medicine dealing with issues and injuries of the ear and throat) and has been a part of the only medical practice in the world that is developing diagnostic and treatment methods related to this specialty. She also works with voice patients who are also wind instrumentalists who suffer from voice injuries and traumatic playing. Over the last seven years, Trollinger has become a master of this emerging specialty so much so that it has given her some extraordinary opportunities. Her research and knowledge in this specific field have landed her a position at Drexel University College of Medicine as an adjunct professor of Clinical Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, where she educates medical students and specialists on working with musicians/wind instrumentalists to care for their voices.
Not only is Trollinger an active performing musician, a professor of Music at KU, a professor of Surgery at Drexel and an incredible researcher, she also works Wednesdays at Philadelphia ENT Associates assessing patients, where she works alongside Dr. Robert Sataloff and other physicians and voice therapists in the practice researching and working with vocal problems in wind instrumentalists. Her collaboration with the prolific Sataloff has led the two of them in researching hearing loss in our own Kutztown University music majors, which is an ongoing venture.
Trollinger has made significant contributions to publications in various related fields. She has published articles and studies in The Double Reed Journal, The Journal of Singing, The Journal of Research in Music Education, General Music Today, The Music Educator’s Journal, and The Philosophy of Music Education Review. In addition, she has authored books on music education with her husband, Dr. John Flohr, and co-authored several chapters in “Professional Voice: The Science and Art of Clinical Care, 4th Ed” with Sataloff, and has provided several more book chapters to other books published by Plural Publishing and Springer Nature. She has traveled all over the world to places like Denmark, Germany, Greece and Malaysia to present her research and papers on various topics including various topics on performing arts medicine as they apply to teachers, students, and performers. In 2016, Dr. Trollinger was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and work for a semester at the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Selangor, Malaysia.
Trollinger is also the daughter of retired Kutztown University music department chair and professor of voice, Dr. Laree Trollinger.
The Chambliss award, inaugurated in 2004 through a gift from Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss, professor emeriti of physical science, is meant to recognize the very highest achievement in research and scholarship and can be awarded only once within a person’s career.