Posted 10/02/2019  |  Back

Welcome to the Library’s Spotlight on Fitchburg Faculty Scholarship!  Learn more about what our faculty are researching by reading below and also visit the main level of the library to see our display of their work. You can learn more by viewing this list of books published by other Fitchburg State faculty.

Charles H. Sides, PhD holds the rank of Professor and has directed the Internship Program for the Department of Communications Media at Fitchburg State University for nearly 20 years. A recognized scholar in rhetoric, technical and professional communication, he has published approximately 30 refereed articles and eleven books about professional communication, internship design and administration, and First Amendment rights, including most recently The Right to Write and How to Write and Present Technical Information, 4th edition.  For the past 25 years, he has been Executive Editor of the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (JTWC), a leading international scholarly journal in its field; he is also co-editor of The SUNY Series, Studies in Technical Communication, having previously co-edited The Routledge Series in Technical Communication, Rhetoric, and Culture. Prior to these appointments, he edited the Baywood Series in Technical Communication for 20 years. During his stewardship of that series, he edited to publication 44 books; several of these have won national awards of excellence, as have numerous articles published in JTWC.  A consultant to defense, high-tech, medical, and publications industries, he has worked with clients across the United States, the Middle East and Far East.

In his personal life, Charles and his wife, Nancy (both alumni of Clemson University—“Go Tigers!”), recently celebrated their 45th anniversary. Their son, Adoniram is a 2005 alumnus of the Department of Communications Media here at Fitchburg State and is an executive for UpServ in Providence, RI; Adoniram and his fiancée, Kara Zanni, live on the shores of Narragansett Bay in the Village of Pawtuxet, RI. His daughter, Hannah, a Radio City Rockette and dance captain for the New York City cast, recently married Johnnie Kazimir in Central Park, NYC. They live on the Upper West Side, in Manhattan.

Charles is an avid fly fisherman, bluegrass banjo picker, and crazy cat guy.

View a list of his books.


Dr. Daniel Welsh grew up in New York in the northwest suburbs of NYC. Early on, his parents encouraged him to pursue a job that “didn’t feel like work” and he took this advice to heart. He attended college at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY wanting to be a veterinarian, but eventually realized it was not the career path for him. After taking Ecology and Animal Behavior classes, he found the course material very appealing, and decided to apply to graduate schools in the general field of Biology.  

He ended up graduating from St. Thomas Aquinas College, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He later went to Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH for graduate school.  This was the first time he ever lived away from home, the first time traveling to the Midwest, and also the first time he ever started teaching (he was a teaching assistant and taught labs for an Anatomy and Physiology course).  It was also his first introduction to fish in a scientific sense. He finally obtained his Master’s Degree at BGSU, and based his thesis off of a research project on the reproduction of a particular fish species called the Smallmouth bass. His research looked at what influenced when a fish reproduced for the first time, because different individuals reproduce at different ages even though they were all found in the same lake.  The results of this research was published in the Journal of Zoology 2017 in a paper called “Condition-dependent reproductive tactics in male smallmouth bass: evidence of an inconsistent birthdate effect on early growth and age at first reproduction”. 

He knew he wanted to obtain his PhD and keep studying fish, but also wanted to explore a different areas of fish biology.  He later got accepted into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he spent six years working on his PhD in Biology.  He initially wanted to do research on mating behavior in fish, but after spending about a year and a half on a couple of research projects that ultimately ended up not working, he switched gears slightly and focused on how fish adapt to the habitats that they live in.  He now two papers published that show how, in a species called the Blackstripe topminnow, the sexes differ very dramatically in both their body shape and the shape of their fins, but that the body size of the fish is determined by the habitat that they live in. 

Despite initial trepidations, Daniel thoroughly enjoyed his graduate school experience and his hard work paid off. Not only was he exposed to many new ideas, he was able to travel to many interesting places and meet many wonderful people to whom he is close with even today. This experience also made him realize how much he enjoys teaching and working with college students. Lastly, he got to discover how awesome fish are and what amazing of creatures they are.

Daniel started at Fitchburg State University in 2013 and feels extremely fortunate to be here, especially getting to know the students and building relationships with his fellow colleagues. His research interests at FSU broadly focus on two topics of fish biology: adaptation and breeding behavior. These are important topics to study because they are two key aspects when trying to understand how organisms and species persist in their environment.  His research involves both studies in the field and in the lab with natural populations of freshwater fish species.  He has an on-going research project that has involved over a dozen undergraduate students studying variation in the size of scales on a local species called the Blacknose dace.  The work is still on-going, but they are finding some really interesting differences where different parts of the same fish have different sized scales.  Lately he has also been involved in a large collaboration with other faculty and students from a variety of departments on campus examining the environmental health of the Nashua River and the surrounding streams that feed into it.  Their team has found some interesting patterns, but just as importantly they have caught various interesting fish species.

Daniel's publications include:

 D. P. Welsh, D. D. Wiegmann, L. M. Angeloni, S. P. Newman, J. G. Miner, and J. R. Baylis.  (2017). Condition-dependent reproductive tactics in male smallmouth bass: Evidence of an inconsistent birthdate effect on early growth and age at first reproduction.  Journal of Zoology, 302, 244-251.  DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12454 

D. P. Welsh and R. C. Fuller.  2015. Influence of sex and habitat on the size and shape of anal and dorsal fins of the blackstripe topminnow, Fundulus notatus. The Journal of Fish Biology,  86, 217-227.  DOI: 10.1111/jfb.12564