Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ken Wilson, Faculty Emeritus, 1931-2015

I am sorry to report the passing of Professor Ken Wilson, who retired from the department of Art and Art History in 1996 as Professor Emeritus after 33 years of service.

Since his retirement, Professor Wilson remained active as an artist, and his works hang in museums, galleries, and private homes throughout the nation. A full obituary is available at this link.
We wish his family peace during this difficult time.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Independent Study leads to Online Literary Magazine

Fledgling Literary Magazine is the brainchild of senior Bloomsburg University English major Sean Williams, who created the magazine as part of a Spring 2015 independent study under the direction of poet and creative writing professor Jerry Wemple.

According to Williams, the goal of the project is "to create an online workshopping experience for young/ aspiring writers, to provide a safe, no-cost, no-judgment outlet for them to publish their creative writing, and to give visitors of the site resources with which to improve their writing."

Williams, who studies English and creative writing with minors in professional writing and French, describes the process that led to Fledgling Literary Magazine as follows:

"To complete this independent study, I basically divided the project into two halves this semester. I devoted the first half of the semester to website creation--creating the elements, organizing, writing the content for pages, etc. The second half was devoted to publishing content and spreading visibility. That meant advertising on social media, spreading the word to different audiences, and actually having content up for people to see."

While he encourages participants to permit online publication of their work, Williams says, "I also welcome the opportunity to just read the pieces writers send me so that I can give feedback to them to the best of my ability. Sometimes the best thing a writer can do is ask someone to look at the piece with fresh eyes. I do that for no charge."

Visitors to the site can read published pieces and offer constructive criticism via moderated comments. Williams also offers writing tips, prompts, and links to external resources.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Storytelling – A student art exhibit blending together art and psychology

Senior Nicole Updegrove is currently showcasing work on the second floor of Centennial Hall from her Independent Study—Storytelling.  The project she did with guidance from Art professor Vera Viditz-Ward is a mix of her two loves, Art and Psychology.

Updegrove, a double major in both fields, visited Balanced Care Bloomsburg every Friday during the Spring 2015 semester and worked with speech therapist Carrie Vitko.  She had Updegrove bring in original narrative portraitures, simple images of people that could create a story.  The photographs were then shown to the elderly onset dementia patients at the assisted living center, where Vito would elicit the residents to talk.

Updegrove said the project helped the residents express themselves.

“The idea is to create a free flowing environment, instead of pulling out memories which can be painful,” she said.  “It also gets them out and makes them feel like they are contributing to something.”

She said when she arrived at the beginning of a session the residents would be quiet and uncomfortable, but after the hour-long class they would feel more confident around others and feel open to express themselves.

In the art exhibit, you will see the original photograph, a poem or story that was created directly from the residents’ reactions, and then a second photograph to represent what was seen by the storytellers.  The second photograph is a negative sandwich, a mixture of two different images, a medium Updegrove has enjoyed working with throughout her undergraduate career.  The photos are laid together, then the exposure of light blends them together when they are put to paper with the darkroom chemicals.  It’s not until the image is finalized that she would know what parts of an image would be visible in the finished photographic image.

Updegrove, a native of Carson City, Nevada, will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy at Drexel University in the fall.  Storytelling will be on display until Friday, May 8.

--Jackie Sadock, College of Liberal Arts

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mass Communication Students win On-The-Spot Competition

Nineteen Mass Communications students and members of the BU chapter of the National Broadcasting Society (NBS) recently traveled to Atlanta, GA for the annual NBS Convention capturing first place in the Society's prestigious “On-the-Spot” (OTS) competition. The OTS competition provides an opportunity for students to show off writing, performance and production skills. Bloomsburg’s contingent produced an NBS promo on deadline.

You can watch their production on the Bloomsburg NBS Chapter’s YouTube channel. This was the second consecutive year Bloomsburg won this particular competition, which includes submissions from dozens of schools nationwide. This year, NBS leadership was so impressed by the students’ work they may adopt the spot as the organization’s official promotional commercial.

In addition to honing their production skills, the students toured CNN and the set of the television show The Vampire Diaries and networked with students, professors and industry professionals. The mission of NBS is to enhance the development of college students preparing for careers in electronic media industries.

Monday, April 20, 2015

College of Liberal Arts Research and Creative Projects Day

Hundreds of student scholars from the College of Liberal Arts will present their work Friday, April 24 at Research and Creative Projects Day.

Posters will be on display throughout McCormick Center for Human Services from various humanities, social sciences and arts disciplines.  One-hour poster sessions will start at 11 am and 2 pm. Students will conduct oral presentations and performances starting at noon.

The Percussion Ensemble will perform “Traditional Middle Eastern Percussion Ensemble” at 11:50 am in McCormick Room 1303. The Jazz Band will play live music 3:15 pm near the Quad at the University Wall of Distinction.

Art Professor Ron Lambert and the seven students in his Time Sculpture class will start an interactive art sculpture, made of precut 2-inch by 4-inch wooden boards, connecting them together with zip ties. The art will be placed outside McCormick Hall Friday morning and the community is encouraged to participate throughout the day by adding more wooden boards to the original structure.

Digital Video Editing and Advanced Video Editing students will stream videos in the Media Hub, McCormick Room 1229, from 11 am to 4 pm.

Concurrently the Art and Art History Department will hold their annual Art History Symposium starting at 11 am in Centennial Hall Room 239.  Five students will present research about World War I.  The symposium is part of the Institute for Culture and Society Great War Lecture Series.  The Senior Exit Show will also be open 9 am to 4:30 pm in the Haas Gallery of Art.  The show runs through Saturday, May 9.

The day will conclude with a lecture at 4:15pm from George A. Reisch, Series Editor of Popular Culture and Philosophy in McCormick 1303.  His presentation is titled “Teacher, Savior, Philosopher, Spy?  On Philosophy and Popular Culture.”

A full schedule of events will be available.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Students Present Research at Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting

BU Students and faculty dine after
presenting their research
Guest blogger: Sociology student Paul Deppen

In March I was fortunate enough to have been able to travel to New York City with a group of professors and peers and attend the Eastern Sociological Meeting.  The experience of presenting my own research and engaging with other scholars was a rewarding and encouraging one.  I also learned a lot by listening to other students and professionals present their research.  Their presentations were thought-provoking and greatly enhanced my interest in a variety of topics.  From education to drug policy to gender issues, the breadth of subjects discussed made for an academically fulfilling weekend.  I look forward to applying the benefits of this trip to my own research here at Bloomsburg University and beyond.

For my research project, I decided to look at attitudes towards marijuana legalization.  I chose this topic because of its relevancy to current events in this country with regard to the number of states that have recently legalized cannabis for recreational (not to mention medical) use.  Also, as president of the Bloomsburg University chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), I was interested in identifying particular segments of society that are more supportive of marijuana policy changes, as well as those who are not.

Using data from the 2012 General Social Survey, I analyzed the demographics of people who responded either yes or no to the question, “Should marijuana be made legal?” My results showed that there does exist a significant difference of opinion towards marijuana across race, gender, and level of education. Overall, whites are more supportive of legalization than minorities, as were men regardless of their racial classification. Level of education also affected these attitudes, as the data shows, in that respondents with a bachelor degree or higher were more supportive, especially among males. One unexpected finding was that the gap in support between males and females increased as the level of education increased. Reasons for these differences are unclear, but they could be related to the experiential variation among racial and gender groups in regard to the war on drugs and with marijuana usage itself.