Monday, August 29, 2016

Making Connections to Professional Actors in NYC

Nicolai and Nadia after The Robber Bridegroom

During the spring semester senior Theatre major Nicolai Kabana was assigned a 30-minute phone interview with New York City-based professional actor Nadia Quinn as part of Theatre 412: Advanced Acting. That phone call led to a meaningful connection and an in-person meeting over the summer. We asked Nicolai to answer the question, “What was it like to interview and to meet Nadia Quinn?”

When we first got the assignment that we would be picking out of a hat a professional theatre artist to do a phone interview with I was pretty excited. I never really had the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with someone in the professional world. I knew right from the start of the interview that she was going to be completely honest with me about how things worked in the real world.

Before the interview took place I wrote out about fifteen questions that I wanted to ask her. However, we really only made it through about five of them. The reason for this was due to there being a great flow of conversation to the point that questions became more expanded than I ever thought they would be. Even though we didn’t get through all my questions she assured me that if I ever needed someone to talk to about the world of theatre that I could always talk to her. I found this to be very helpful that I could have someone to just talk to outside of the class assignment that knows about what might be ahead for me. I really took away from her how much she doesn’t limit herself in anything that she does. She's not only an actor but also a singer, photographer, and writer. So it was very nice to hear that you can do all these things and still act.

After the interview took place I found myself drawn to wanting to see her in action while she worked. From this I found myself starting to make plans to have her take my headshots. I figured she would know best since she is not only the photographer but an actor as well. Shortly after the interview took place I was once again drawn to her work. So I decided I would go see the closing performance of The Robber Bridegroom [at Roundabout Theatre Company, an Off-Broadway production]. The show overall was fantastic but getting to see her work first hand was by far the best part for me.

Nadia Quinn and the ensemble of The Robber Bridegroom (credit: Joan Marcus)
After the show came to a close I went to the stage doors and even though I wasn’t on the list she made it possible for me to meet her. It was by far one of the coolest meetings I’ve ever had. She is such a talented woman and now one of my inspirations. I look forward to seeing her work in the future because of her talent but also for who she is as a person. I’ve learned a lot here at Bloomsburg about what a professional really is but this experience with Nadia overall will be something I will never forget. This project was such a great way to make new contacts that I really hope this project becomes a yearly thing. I am super thankful that David [Miller] created this project and for the chance to get to know as well as meet such an amazing theatre artist.”

Nicolai Kabana

For more about Nadia Quinn, visit Nicolai graduated in May 2016, but will return to Bloomsburg as an intern with Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble this coming season. To learn more about the Theatre program at Bloomsburg University, visit

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Scholarship Recipient Conducts Summer Research in Mexico

Lydia Stebbins, double majoring in French and Anthropology with a double minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies, is the 2016 recipient of the Wymer and Warner Scholarship in Anthropology.  Lydia will apply the scholarship to her summer 2016 URSCA-supported ethnographic research in Xalapa, Mexico, where she will be studying Spanish and Mexican culture and history at the Universidad Veracruzana-Xalapa.  

Lydia's ethnographic research focuses on the impact of socioeconomic globalization on local markets in Mexico.  Lydia will investigate local perceptions of the effects of global supermarkets on traditional markets, the economy, health, and culture.  While in Mexico, Lydia will also tour archaeological ruins, participate in the Cultural Immersion Program, and take a course on traditional Mexican cooking.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Student Spotlight: Iliana Anapolsky Earns Scholarship to Summer Institute

Junior Russian and East European Studies / Political Science major Iliana Anapolsky was recently selected to receive the Russian and East European Institute Scholarship for Summer 2016. Iliana will use this award of more than $5000 to take summer intensive classes in Russian at the Indiana University Summer Language Workshop (Bloomington, IN). 

Established in 1950, the program is one of the oldest in the country--and one of the most prestigious. Over the years, the Summer Language Workshop has enabled thousands of students and professionals to intensively study languages critical to academic research, economic development, human rights, diplomacy, national security, cultural exchange, scientific advancement, and other global issues.

Upon graduation, Iliana plans to apply to law schools and eventually to become a lawyer specializing in international law. During the Winter 2015 semester, she travelled abroad to Poland and the Czech Republic, where she studied at the Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland).

Recently, Iliana participated in the CoLA Symposium, where she passionately talked about her majors to the audience of BU students. She is an active member of Russian Conversation Club and BU Linguistic League. In addition, in April, Iliana was an organizer and a presenter at the Tongue Fest, an event that brought together students interested in matters linguistic and intercultural.

Dr. Mykola Polyuha, assistant professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures, provided this entry. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mass Communication Students Develop Websites for Community Organizations

By Dennis Frohlich, Department of Mass Communications

In the spring semester, mass communication students put their web design skills to the test, developing websites for local organizations and non-profits. The project was part of MASSCOMM 220: Multimedia in Mass Communications I, and students worked in groups to create or update nine websites.

The goal of the project was to help community organizations either establish an online presence or update an existing website. All of these agencies have small staffs, and some are only staffed by one person! As such, it can be difficult for organizations to devote time to creating a website.

I worked with the Berwick Area United Way to identify suitable clients. Students worked in groups of 4-5, and met their clients in mid-March. They worked with clients to identify their needs and strategized the best way to meet those needs with a website. The groups then had five weeks to deliver the project outcomes.

Most of the clients did not have experience with web design, so it was imperative that students create a website that would be easy to update. In some cases, students also made social media accounts for the clients on platforms such as Facebook. Many of the clients wanted an easy way to accept online donations, so most groups also helped clients set up donation accounts with Paypal.

The following is a sampling of the work students completed.

The Berwick Area United Way’s website was drastically in need of updating, as it looked like it hadn’t been touched in ten years. Students not only gave the website an aesthetic update, but reorganized the content so that it was easier to navigation, and optimized the site for mobile devices.

The Berwick Area Swimming Pool Association has been preparing for years to reopen the Ber-Vaughn Swimming Pool. The pool fell into disrepair and was closed in 2012. Since then, the Pool Association has been working hard to reopen the pool. The pool previously had a single page website that was more of a placeholder than anything. Students created a whole new website for the pool. The pool is reopening this summer, so the website came just in time!

One group even developed a website for the Salem Township Police Department. At first they thought it would be intimidating working with the police, but they ended up having a great time and had a good working relationship with the department.

I could go on with stories like these. The students stepped up to meet their clients’ needs, and all of the clients were pleased when the students presented their work at the end of the semester.

One client sent me an email, saying in part:

“The students were pleasant, responsive and very professional to work with.  The clinic director and I are happy with the design, colors and format of the website they created. … They even offered to help me out via email if I get stuck! … Thank you for encouraging your class to perform this community service!”

The assignment partially fulfilled students’ Citizenship MyCore requirements, but the assignment was more than just a General Education Point (GEP). Students got real-world experience working with clients, and each group faced unique challenges as they tried to meet their client’s needs. The students got to give back to their community, and through this project they gained a newfound confidence in their design abilities.

Students will do this assignment again in the Fall semester, so we are in need of new clients! If anybody knows of a local organization, agency, non-profit, church, club, or other group that needs a website, please contact me at

List of Community Websites, along with the students who worked on them

Ber-Vaughn Pool
Laura Campbell, Matthew Delviscio, Erik Falcone, Cathy Quinones, Rebecca Ward

Berwick Area United Way
Ethan Baker, Nicole Keiser, Frank Kucharski, Angela Marchese, Hannah Young

Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine
Keely Cahill, Chelsea Kennedy, Carrie Mann, Audra Ortiz

Danville United Way
Francesca Fortunato, Jayne Gac, Dashiyah Green, Victoria Notte, Anna Wegrzyn

The Dental Health Clinic of Berwick
Monica Grater, Anastasia Scott, Andrijana Stamenkovic, Erin Winkler

The Gate House
Amanda Blasco, Malik Sneed, Eddie Weldon, Daneisha Williams

Mission Mall Alternative Gift Fair
William Breinich, Rachel Moogan, Alexandra Offor, Luke Rimmer

Salem Township Police Department
Devon Downes, Kyle Klosinksi, Lauren Messam, Alexandria Soller

Young's Funny Farm
Evan Brown, Seulgi Shin, Corey Shirk, Taylor Yandle