Monday, November 5, 2012

This Wednesday: Piano Concert with Poetry, Live Drawing, and Dance


Charisse Baldoria
Multi-awarded pianist Dr. Charisse Baldoria is giving a concert on Wednesday, November 7, 7:30 p.m. at Carver Hall, Bloomsburg University.

To top it off, renowned fellow professors from the College of Liberal Arts are joining in with poetry, live drawing, and dance, creating subtle interactions with the music:  Performance artist Hunter Fine will recite works by Federico García Lorca and Rainer Maria Rilke.  Artist Lisa Corine von Koch will create a drawing onstage.  Dancer Julie Petry will perform to arresting rhythms and harmonies.  It would be the first ever collaboration of its kind.

Performing warhorses of the piano repertoire, Dr. Baldoria will play classical works inspired by the world’s varied musical traditions:  Spanish pieces from Albéniz’ monumental Iberia, two Scarlatti sonatas (one in fandango style), three Cuban pieces, and a set inspired by Southeast Asian gongs—featuring works by Debussy, Filipino composer Ramón Santos, and New Zealander Gareth Farr.

Julie Petry
In creating her programs, Dr. Baldoria taps into her complex Filipino identity.  She juxtaposes the indigenous with the colonial, performing music from and inspired by Southeast Asia and Spain, of which the Philippines was a colony for 333 years.  A seasoned performer, Charisse has performed in four continents and won awards in international competitions, including the San Antonio, Hilton Head Island, and Sydney international piano competitions.  She first came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar from the Philippines and got her masters and doctorate from the University of Michigan.  She directs the piano program at Bloomsburg University.

Julie Petry is a multi-Emmy nominated dancer-choreographer formerly based in the Chicago area.  She has worked with PBS/Heartsong Communications; Dance Chicago; and the Summer Palace, Centerlight, and Metropolis Performing Arts Center theatres, among others.  She earned her masters at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Lisa Corine von Koch

Lisa Corine von Koch’s work features sculpture, performance and installation, incorporating ecological practices into art making, and expressing intersections between nature and culture.  She received her masters in Painting and Drawing from Arizona State University and has done numerous exhibitions around the western United States.




A performance artist and communication scholar, Dr. Hunter H. Fine has worked on solo and ensemble shows in the Marion Klineau Theater in Southern Illinois, the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, and the Marsh in San Francisco.  His recent scholarship has revolved around the performative constructions of everyday social and civic spaces.

     The concert is free and open to the public.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Social Work Internship Expo a Success


On September 26th, the semi-annual Social Work Internship Expo was held on the Bloomsburg University Campus in the Kehr Union building. Internships and field work are key elements of the Social Work major at BU. 

Social work students engaged in dialogue with agency representatives and were able to learn about the services offered to various clients. Social work students also learned about a variety of potential volunteer, internship and job openings at these social service agencies. The next social work internship expo is being planned for Spring 2013 in conjunction with Social Work Month in March. Contact the department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice for details!

--Submitted by Marietta Scalise-Warnitsky, Social Work Instructor & Coordinator of Field Education


Stephanie Sprenkle from Diversified Treatment Alternatives talks with several students about the services and internship opportunities offered at her agency.
Social work students are busy looking at the internship expo maps and are beginning to engage in dialogue with agency representatives.

Social work students and agency representatives engage is dialogue about services and various volunteer, internship and job opportunities.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Arts in Autumn



Bloomsburg University's Center for Visual and Performing Arts is hosting a fundraising dinner on October 21, 2012 featuring a delectable menu as well as an art exhibit and literary, musical, theatrical, and dance performances featuring some of BU's most talented students. Seating is limited and by advance ticket only. Join us!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Achievements

Mass Communications major Natalie Wagner is one of four students across the PA State System of Higher Education to receive one of the first William D. Greenlee Scholarships. Ms. Wagner, of Milton, is dual majoring in anthropology. Congratulations!

Anne Dyer Stuart, English Department, won the 2012 New South Prize Prize for her essay "Idiopathic." She received a $1000 award, and her essay will be published in the Fall 2012 issue of New South. She recently read from her novel at the KGB Bar in New York City as part of Columbia Faculty Selects. She also has poems forthcoming in Third Coast, Midway Journal, and Earth's Daughters

The BroadwayWorld Student Center recently featured the students and faculty of BU's Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance on its website, providing valuable national exposure. 

In April, Stephen Whitworth, department of English, delivered a paper on "Psychoanalysis and Teaching" at the Transitions and Transactions Conference at CUNY; he delivered another paper at Fordham in New York in April on Baroque poetry and psychosis at the annual conference of the Affiliated Psychoanalytic Workshops. Two of his articles on psychoanalysis are now featured at on the online journal of the Washington D.C. Lacanian Forum.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tradition and Excellence

For many years the Dean's Salute to Excellence award has been represented by a glass apple given to the awardee. This year, the College of Liberal Arts had the privilege of presenting the recipients with glass apples that carried special significance, in that they were individually hand-crafted by Bloomsburg artist and 1969 BU alumnus Bill Wise.

Several members of the College of Liberal Arts staff visited Bill's Bloomsburg studio in August to learn about glassblowing and watch as he created one of these beautiful apples. The visit was filmed and edited by Mass Communications major Matt Benek.



What could be a more fitting salute to excellence in the Liberal Arts than these apples, traditional symbols of knowledge and learning, created by hand, individually, through a two thousand year-old process augmented by the latest technologies? What better metaphor for the excellent work of our faculty?

Thank you, Bill Wise, for your generous gift!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 Dean's Salute To Excellence Awards

Dr. Janet Bodenman, Communication Studies; Dr. Luke Springman, Languages and Cultures; Dr. Jim Brown, Dean, College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Ted Roggenbuck, English. Not pictured: Dr. Faith Warner, Anthropology. Photo by Eric Foster.


Many faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts are excellent teacher-scholars who contribute greatly to the well-being of our students and the university community. By virtue of their teaching, scholarly/creative work, and service, campus culture is improved and the visibility and reputation of the university is enhanced nationally and internationally.

In 1998 Dean Hsien-Tung Liu established the Dean’s Salute to Excellence award to recognize distinction in the areas of teaching and professional responsibilities, scholarship, and service. Since then, the college has recognized a few select faculty members each year for their achievements, with selection based on performance reviews.

Dr. Janet Bodenman, Department of Communication Studies

Dr. Bodenman recently completed her fifteenth post-tenure year at Bloomsburg University. She is well known as an enthusiastic, rigorous, conscientious and creative instructor and—quoting her department chairperson here—“outstanding faculty mentor inside and outside the classroom.” Her peer observers made particular note of “her ability to create a supportive learning environment, and her confidence and enthusiasm which invite students to participate as active learners.”

In her most recent evaluation period she published one article and presented twelve competitively selected papers at regional and national conventions. Her scholarship is closely integrated with her teaching, mentoring, and community engagement. Within her department she has served on no fewer than eight committees during the evaluation period and has served on fifteen university-wide committees; additionally she has guest-lectured or provided workshops to student groups on nineteen occasions. And she is furthermore very active in the community. The quantity of these activities is matched by the quality and diligence she brings to every endeavor.

Dr. Ted Roggenbuck, Department of English

Dr. Roggenbuck is in his fourth year at Bloomsburg University, and his duties are divided between teaching in the English department and directing the university’s writing center. His student evaluations for last year were stellar. His peer observations were similarly full of superlatives. One observer described the class presentation as “one of the most interesting and thought provoking I have seen at Bloomsburg University.” Another described Dr. Roggenbuck as “an exceptional professor” who “teaches extremely important content while modeling how to listen carefully, communicate clearly and logically, and tutor with compassion and humor.”
As a scholar, Dr. Roggenbuck has been extremely active in a diverse array of projects. He has studied and presented on the topic of student writing with sources and collaborated with Dr. Amy Covill in Psychology in her work on peer review. He also works with undergraduate writing consultants and a teacher at Berwick Area High School on an ongoing project. In his spare time, he serves on the Liberal Arts Curriculum Committee and has presented a redesign of the first-year writing curriculum that will have a lasting impact on the whole university.

Dr. Luke Springman, Department of Languages and Cultures

Dr. Springman recently completed his fifteenth post-tenure year at Bloomsburg University. Dr. Springman is known as a conscientious and reflective instructor who is known for his willingness to explore technology and other innovative teaching strategies. His chairperson and peer observers made special mention of his “integration of culture and language, emphasis on communicative ability, and well-structured lectures.” His evaluation committee describes him as “the pillar of the Bloomsburg University German program,” and he is well known beyond the boundaries of Bloomsburg University as a strong advocate for language study in general and the study of German in particular.

Dr. Springman’s is a successful and prolific scholar. His book on youth culture in the Weimar Republic was published in 2007, and he has continued to write on that and related topics. He has achieved international recognition as an authority on this topic, as evidenced by the number of invitations and requests he has received to reprint and expand upon these topics. Dr. Springman served for many years in the capacity of department chairperson, and he has been active in developing a system-wide consortium to sustain and enhance the study of German. He has served on a wide variety of university and college communities and has been an active participant in APSCUF.

Dr. Faith Warner, Department of Anthropology

Dr. Warner recently completed her tenth post-tenure year. Her passion for teaching is effectively reflected in her student evaluations, which are exemplary, as well as in the observations of her chairperson and peers, who write that her “success is evident whether she is in front of over 200 students in a mass lecture introductory course, guiding anthropology majors through graduate and career preparatory upper level courses, or individually crafting research projects one-on-one with a single student.” Her commitment to mentoring and student success is evident throughout everything she does.

During the evaluation period she offered eight scholarly presentations and two additional posters in collaboration with students. Additionally she published three articles as well as a film on the discipline of anthropology. She is very active in service to her department and has served as interim director of the Frederick Douglass Initiative, as well as working with that organization in a variety of capacities. She has also been a productive member of the college’s Assessment Committee, and she has been asked to serve as chair of that group as well.

It is my great pleasure to recognize these four outstanding Liberal Arts faculty members with the Dean's Salute to Excellence. In a future post, I'll tell you about the very special origins of the glass apples awards each received. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"My Summer Vacation": One Professor's Work

Recently I spoke with Dr. Wendy Lynne Lee, professor of Philosophy, about the application of her academic discipline to the contemporary world. The very day she wrote the following piece, she was interviewed by Alex Chadwick of the series Burn, for National Public Radio. Lynn Johnson, photographer for National Geographic, made Dr. Lee one of the subjects of her piece documenting the women of the anti-fracking movement in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Her work in this area has also received positive critical attention in a variety of online and print media. --JSB




Philosophy is no mere profession, but a way of life committed not only to discovering the truth but to acting on it for the sake of the public good. Such, at least, is the upshot of Karl Marx' famous remark that the point of philosophy is not merely to understand the world but to change it. I have sought for all of my now 20 years at Bloomsburg to practice that commitment--often failing, but always with renewed vigor when conditions called for it. 

No conditions have called more loudly to me to muster both my philosophical resolve and a bit of courage than my involvement over this past year with the anti-fracking movement in Pennsylvania. One of my areas is environmental philosophy; another is bioethics. But neither of these was necessary for galvanizing my resolve to become involved in the resistance to what can be clearly shown on the evidence to be a serious danger to health, environmental integrity, and community sustainability than slickwater hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. All that was required was being a moral person--and one fortunate enough to be in an economic position to DO something. My hero--like that of virtually all philosophers who endeavor to act as public intellectuals--is Socrates, who gave up comfort and ultimately life to pursue the true, the good, and the beautiful. For him, there was no artificial distinction to be drawn between his "professional" life and his life, between "theory" and "action." So too it has always been for me. Note--I am not comparing myself to this master--far from it. But I can aspire to his example, and I think that his example is precisely what a university ought to encourage in its faculty.

All the while I have been engaged in research for my new book (Lexington/Rowman and Littlefield), "The Rhetoric of the Apocalypse"--a critique of both the far Left and the far Right with respect to environmental ideology, I have also been writing a series on the processes, dangers, infrastructure, politics, corporate influences, and implications of fracking, compressor stations, water withdrawals, water impoundments, transmission lines, and export depots for a small but growing PASSHE Institution zine (Kutztown, editor Kevin Mahoney) called Raging Chicken Press

So, I am tempted to say something cheesy, like "This is what I did on my summer vacation." But, in fact, this is what my life both in and out of the university has always looked like. This summer, it just got more media attention. I believe that these are the sorts of things academics ought to be pursuing consistent with their disciplines. And I think that this is precisely what the university ought to encourage and support in any of us.

--Wendy Lynne Lee

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Examines Retellings of Classic American Stories

Dr. Betina Entzminger's new book, Contemporary Reconfigurations of American Literary Classics:  The Origin and Evolution of American Stories, will be published by Routledge in late August or early September. 

The number and popularity of novels that have overtly reconfigured aspects of classic American texts suggests a curious trend for both readers and writers, an impulse to retell and reread books that have come to define American culture. This book argues that by revising canonical American literature, contemporary American writers are (re)writing an American myth of origins, creating one that corresponds to the contemporary writer’s understanding of self and society. 



Informed by cognitive psychology, evolutionary literary criticism, and poststructuralism, Entzminger reads texts by canonical authors Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Alcott, Twain, Chopin, and Faulkner, and by the contemporary writers that respond to them. In highlighting the construction and cognitive function of narrative in their own and in their antecedent texts, contemporary writers highlight the fact that such use of narrative is universal and essential to human beings. This book suggests that by revising the classic texts that compose our cultural narrative, contemporary writers mirror the way human individuals consistently revisit and refigure the past through language, via self-narration, in order to manage and understand experience.


Dr. Entzminger is a professor of English at Bloomsburg University, where she teaches courses in composition and American Modernism.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Walrus Publishes BU Composer

Dr. Stephen Clickard, professor of music and chairperson of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance, was recently signed by music publisher Walrus Music Publishing of Pismo Beach, California to publish his original jazz ensemble compositions and arrangements. Walrus Music boasts some of the biggest names in jazz arrangers.

Dr. Clickard currently has six tentet works in the Walrus Music catalog: "Remembrance," "Always And A Day," "Sunset Drive," "Gentle Breeze," "I Sometimes Think..." and "Bazinga For The Boys."  A number of these compositions premiered on his recent CD release: The Clickard Consortium-Remembrance. More information about the Clickard Consortium is available on their website.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recent periodical publications

Student creative writing, scholarship, art, and production are featured in two recent publications from departments within the College of Liberal Arts. 

Warren 2012 was produced under the direction of faculty advisors Jerry Wemple, English, and Sue O'Donnell, Art & Art History, and student editors-in-chief Erik Kile, Annie Reno, and John Shilpetski. 
The Bohling Economist was produced by the Bloomsburg University Economics Club under the direction of advisors Abdullah Al-Bahrani and Arian Moghadam. 

Congratulations to the staffs of both publications!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Good Work followup

As recently reported, a team of BU faculty and students visited Harvard University last month to share findings  from the Fall 2011 BU Good Work Initiative with Good Work leaders at Project Zero including Dr. Howard Gardner. Ellie Lucas, one of the students whose trip to Cambridge was sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, wrote an entry for the Good Work blog at Project Zero. 

You can read her entry, as well as responses by project leaders, here. Great work, Ellie!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Liberal Arts notes


  • Dr. Chris Podeschi, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice, was recently featured in an article on the Mother Jones website titled "How Do You Teach Your Kids About Climate Change?" His video interview is partway down the page.
  • An article by recent Political Science grad Zachary K. Pearce titled "What Lies Ahead for the Modern Dragon" appears on the Huffington Post website. 
  • Dr. M. Safa Saraçoglu, Department of History, was an invited speaker at the 16th Annual International Workshop of the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Israel Science Foundation (June 4-6, 2012, Beer-Sheva, Israel). The title of the workshop was "Socio-Legal Perspectives on the Passage to Modernity in and Beyond the Middle East." He presented a paper titled “Historicizing Düstur: A Preliminary Look at the Early Compendia of Laws in the Nineteenth Century Ottoman Empire.” The workshop was discussed in an op-ed piece in one of the most circulated English dailies in Israel, the Jerusalem Post. The participants' response to the op-ed article was published on June 11, 2012.
  • Dr. Amarilis Hidalgo de Jesus, Department of Languages and Cultures, recently published the critical anthology La escritura de mujeres en Puerto Rico a finales del siglo XX y principios del XXI (The Writings of Puerto Rican Female Writers at the end of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st Century) (editor and co-author). The anthology is a collection of essays written by Latin American studies scholars and Dr. Hidalgo de Jesus (Part III: six essays)  teaching in American and Puerto Rican universities, among them Dr. Patricia Dorame-Holoviak, also of the Department of Languages and Cultures. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Language News


Last spring, students in Dr. Hidalgo de Jesús’ Spanish Conversation and Composition class prepared the following  service community learning projects:

  1. Amnesty International:  The group wrote letters to the government of Mexico describing their disgust with the violation of two Mexican women's human rights who were raped and abused few years ago.  It was also an option for the class to write a letter to the two women telling them of their support and hope for justice for them.
  2. Habitat for Humanity: Students prepared an informative PowerPoint in which they presented the program, the function of the program, and how it helps families and also helps the students to gain experience in social community issues. Students prepared a skit about helping in the construction of houses in Central America. 
  3. Public Health and Clinics in the community: Students researched public clinics offering language interpretation services. They also prepared a skit about a family (daughter and widowed, American father) along with 2 receptionists at a clinic, acting out the process of scheduling an appointment. In the end, each person gave his or her opinion on the importance of having a public clinic in the community that a person lives in. 
  4. Coffee in San Lucas Guatemala and the Juan Ana’s Coffee project: The Juan Ana project is a way to help poor farmers grow coffee crops so that they can afford to pay for their homes, food, clothes and to send their children to school. Students gave a PowerPoint presentation on the importance of coffee to the people of Guatemala and also how the Juan Ana project helps them. They also used a TV “interview” to answer questions about the Juan Ana project 
  5. Heifer International: Students informed the class what the Heifer International Organization does, how it helps others and what they can do to help.They created a "contest" in a local elementary school to see what class can raise the most money to help us send a cow to another country at the cost of $500. They filmed a brief segment on what a heifer is and how it can help a community with a real heifer.

Additionally, the Spanish Club, with Dr. Hidalgo de Jesús, advisor, visited the Geinsinger Hospital Ronald McDonald House on April 13, 2012. Students cooked a Puerto Rican pasta dinner for the residents. The students also had the opportunity to practice their Spanish with Spanish-speaking residents.   












Pictured are Language majors and minors who are studying this summer in Valladolid, Spain, on a trip organized by Dr. Hidalgo de Jesús. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Middle East Studies Minor announced

The College of Liberal Arts announces the approval of a new Interdisciplinary minor in Middle East Studies effective Fall 2012.  The 18-credit minor will be supported by several departments within the College and will provide a firm multidisciplinary grounding in the region, its history and culture, and its international relations. The Middle East Studies minor will respond to an increasing demand for a stimulating educational environment to examine the transformation of this region and its peoples in a global context as well as its relevance for US domestic and international policy. In doing so, it will prepare students for expanding job opportunities in related fields. 

The program will be housed in one of the participating departments on a rotating basis. It will be housed in the History Department for the first five years, with oversight provided by the Middle East Studies Advisory Board .  Students interested in pursuing the minor should contact Dr. Safa Saracoglu  or Mrs. Nawal Bonomo.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Good Work!


Jennifer Johnson, Mary Katherine Duncan, Joan Miller, Howard Gardner,
Danial Haverstock, Elizabeth Lucas, Lynn Barendsen, and Wendy Fischman

Have you ever thought about what it means to do good work as a faculty, staff, or student at Bloomsburg University?  Who are your role models of good work?  How have you demonstrated good work?  Elizabeth Lucas and Danial Haverstock accompanied Drs. Jennifer Johnson (Psychology), Mary Katherine Duncan (Psychology), and Joan Miller (Nursing) to Harvard University on May 22, 2012 to share findings from the Fall 2011 BU Good Work Initiative with Good Work leaders at Project Zero including Dr. Howard Gardner, Lynn Barendsen, Wendy Fischman, and Margot Locker.  Dr. Gardner and his colleagues commended BU’s Good Work team for its pioneering efforts to advance the banner of Good Work, offered valuable recommendations for furthering Good Work research and practice on our campus, and extended an invitation for continued collaboration through monthly conferencing.

Ellie wrote, “Over the last year I was a part of the BU Good Work Initiative. After conducting reflective sessions with students enrolled in the ACT 101 program, I decided to make the project the focus of my senior capstone independent study project. During the Spring 2012, I participated in a weekly research workgroup with Drs. Johnson, Duncan, and Miller. Today at Harvard, we met with a distinguished group of scholars and had the most natural conversation about what the BU Good Work Initiative has accomplished. It was very rewarding to voice my experiences and ideas.”\

Dan wrote, “Today we went to Harvard to meet with Dr. Howard Gardner and his colleagues. We discussed opportunities to advance the message of Good Work on our campus during the 2012-2013 academic year. I look forward to extending the Good Work Initiative through my role in the Psychology Association, Freshmen Orientation, and the Office of Student Standards.”

Drs. Johnson, Duncan, and Miller commented, “It was tremendously gratifying to learn that Dr. Gardner and his colleagues were ‘very impressed’ with the BU Good Work Initiative. Consultation with the Good Work team has prompted further reflection on the ways educators can nurture excellence and model responsibility at Bloomsburg University. We remain committed to our goal of creating a culture of good work at the university where all can excel as citizens in a complex society. We are looking forward to kicking off the 2012-2013 academic year with a Good Work-inspired Freshmen Summer Reading and Freshmen Orientation.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another Benefit for Learning a Foreign Language

From Dr. Jing Luo, chairperson of the Department of Languages and Cultures


Have you found that you tend to be more “outspoken” in a foreign language?  You are not alone.  In fact, the explanation is well accepted: we feel more distant from what makes us blush or sound offensive when we say those things in a foreign tongue.  


Fewer may have realized, however, that because of this distance, one tends to keep the mind cooler when formulating a judgment in a foreign language.  


A recent study by researchers from The University of Chicago, Boaz Keysar, Sayuri L. Hayakawa, and SunGyu An, tried to prove the “foreign-language effect” whereby thinking in a foreign tongue has the benefit of reducing decision biases.  Here is the article for curious readers:

http://psychology.uchicago.edu/people/faculty/ForeignLanguageEffect.pdf.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Employability and "Value"

Today did a piece today on the job market for this year's college graduates, and it did little to dispel common myths about the "value" of a liberal arts education.




Of course, the real value of a college education is only partly linked to the salary a graduate is likely to be offered immediately upon graduation. If you disagree, I would respectfully observe that today is Pennsylvania's primary election and that the very concept of democracy relies upon the responsible behavior of an educated and engaged populace. For this purpose I do not equate "educated" with "college-educated," but I think that the critical thinking skills and global perspectives students gain in pursuit of bachelor's degrees ought to matter in the democratic process, and at any rate they have plenty of value aside from increased earning power.

Still, increased earning power ... that's pretty important, right? Sure it is! Check out this recent USA Today article that argues that the skills and values most directly associated with the liberal arts are indeed directly related to increased earning power. It's predicted that today's graduates will change careers half a dozen times or more. The liberal arts prepare students for all of their jobs, not just the first one.

The Today spot does make two important points, though. First, canny liberal arts students can do a lot to maximize their employment opportunities through choices about second majors, minors, study abroad opportunities, internships, and other strategies. There are many ways to move a résumé to the top of the pile on a manager's desk. Second, students and their families must carefully consider the impact of debt--student loan debt as well as auto loan and credit card debt--on their quality of life in the present and the long-term future.

This is good advice. If your passion or your career goals lead you to study the humanities, arts, or social sciences, do so--and do it with your eyes wide open to the myriad opportunities to maximize your potential for gainful employment upon graduation, whether your major is philosophy or criminal justice. And if you want to keep your post-graduate debt to a minimum (who doesn't?), public higher education is still your best value.

James S. Brown
Dean

Friday, April 20, 2012

Not Macro but Macho Economics


A leading scholar in the field of feminist economics is calling for more egalitarianism in both the home and the workplace.  Susan Feiner, professor of economics and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine, was the guest speaker at a public presentation on the Bloomsburg University campus last week.  She told a crowded auditorium of students, faculty, and staff that “there’s a macho bargain through the privilege of higher wages for men, who get off the hook when it comes to the responsibilities of the household.”   Feiner traced the phenomena of the nuclear family with the traditional roles of men as breadwinners and women as family caregivers to the 1830s in England and to the 1880s in America.   She said despite cartoon depictions of the Flintstones as a nuclear family with similar assigned roles, it has not always been that way.  Further, Feiner doubts that such division of labor will prevail in a “Jetsons” like future.

Feiner presented a model of labor and consumption that differs slightly from the accepted economic models, noting that the workplace increasingly is occupied by both parents.   Families with both parents working now comprise 64% of all households in America.  Yet as increased costs for housing, food, energy, and transportation send women into the workplace, Feiner says “there is not a commensurate shift in men contributing to the home and caregiving support.”  This imbalance is exacerbated by government cuts to elderly care, day care, and after school programs.  Feiner believes that such support programs are targeted because “macho economics” influence budget decisions.  “Cutbacks in these areas,” Feiner notes, “are based on the belief that there are always enough females to take care of children and elders.”  Feiner pointed out that in Europe, where the 35 hour work week is the norm, men and women are more likely to participate equally in family responsibilities.

How do we change a gender-influenced economy and provide better access to economic stability for both men and women?  Feiner told the audience, “one of the pressing problems is that mass consumption and sustainability are at odds with one another.   We need more socially responsible ways of consumption.  We need to think about what that might look like.”

Feiner is the editor, co-editor or author of publications including Race and Gender in the American EconomyRadical Economics, Out of the Margins, and her most recent book, Liberating Economics: Feminist Perspectives on Families. Here appearance was sponsored by Bloomsburg University’s Department of Economics and the College of Liberal Arts.

--Submitted by Kevin Clark

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strange Creatures in Old Science


“Make a Wish” by Jessie Kilby (Dandelion)



“ Shoemongous” by Melanie Ortiz

Your sense of reality may be challenged when you visit Old Science Hall, which houses the Department of Art and Art History.  Positioned throughout the building – at the entryway, in the lobby, and in the hallways—are oversized re-creations of usually familiar objects.  


Students in Professor Meredith Grimsley’s Three-Dimensional Design course are making replicas of everyday objects that are two to ten times their usual size.  The “larger than life” theme gives students a chance to experience and evaluate common everyday objects in a fresh, new way.  The assignment also causes them to be attentive to details and features that may be otherwise overlooked, and so sharpens their perceptions.  

 Finally, students are asked to interpret their object with one of these themes in mind: humor, fear, social consciousness, or identity.  Each piece is displayed with a brief essay by the student explaining his or her choice.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Around the College


Garry L. Hagberg, James H. Ottoway Jr. Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at Bard College, and guitarist for the Atlantic Jazz Trio, will present his talk, “Playing as One: Group Improvisation and Collective Intention” at 7:00 on Monday, April 23 in McCormick 1303. Professor Hagberg will give his talk guitar in hand, so jazz improvisation will accompany his talk…on jazz improvisation.

* * *

Here's another convincing argument in support of liberal eduation, though billionaire businessman Reid Hoffman doesn't actually use the term. The cofounder of LinkedIn's advice on making sure college is worth your investment? ". . . you have to be serious about what it is you're doing and think about [whether] this college expense is going to be the one that is right for me."

The essential skills gained in college "include communication, reading and writing, the ability to learn quickly, critical reasoning skills and how to use new technologies." Thank you, Dr. Jing Luo, for the link.

* * *

Last Saturday, students in Dr. Doug Karsner's US Business History class visited Bloomsburg Airport to hear local members of the business community, pilots, and others involved in general aviation present a series of talks on the importance of the Bloomsburg Airport and general aviation to the success of their enterprises. One of the course's major themes this semester is the growing impact that commercial and general aviation and airports have had on American business and the economy. The activity was designed to help students see how even small towns have been influenced and benefited from aviation/airport developments.

* * *

Dr. Nicole Defenbaugh has received two grants with Dr. Noreen Chikotas this past year to work with the Nursing Department on Standardized Patient sessions.  She also has two articles in press:

Defenbaugh, N., & Kline, K. Gendered construction of HPV: A post-structuralist critique of Gardasil. In T. Carilli & J. Campbell (Eds.), Women and the Media: Global Perspectives.

Defenbaugh, N. Revealing & concealing ill identity: A performance narrative of chronic illness disclosure. Health Communication. (*Won the 2011 Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award).

Dr. Defenbaugh continues to work with Internal Medicine at Geisinger as an actor and rater/reviewer for their Standardized Patient sessions. She will also be a guest presenter at Lehigh Valley Health Network and Einstein Healthcare Network in May. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's National Poetry Month


Jerry Wemple, professor of English, has four new poems in the recent issue of the literary Fledgling Rag. The work is from “The Artemas Poems,” a series that is part of a manuscript-in-progress. Wemple is the author of two poetry collections and co-editor of the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania. He has won several awards from his writing, including the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award and a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Here is a poem from among those published:

Happy as the day

Happy as the day is long, Artemas
begins his stroll each a.m., a’ nine ‘xact,
he claims when asked, though few do. Who would?
Those about know wastrels, and his stale act.

Artemas is the finest fellow in all
downtown. He knows all the old, long-gone stores,
and where each brick used to lie. Still keeps tokens
from the defunct bridge, ready in a drawer.

A broken bird in flight, a stain against
the night sky, that’s what Artemas sure sees
and falls from his perch. He walks until woods
thicken. Notices fences even here. Why? asks he.


Information about National Poetry Month can be found at Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Valuable English Degree



Allison Hardy
What can you do with a degree in English? Four English Department alumni returned to Bloomsburg April 9 to share their experiences with current students. All say their English degrees are valuable in their careers.
Allison Hardy, a 2007 graduate, is an annual giving officer at the Mercy Health Foundation in Baltimore. Hardy notes a strong correlation between what she learned at Bloomsburg University and her professional life.
Marisa Peterson
"As an English undergrad, I spent most of my time reading, writing, and researching,” she said. “As a fundraiser, I spend most of my time reading, writing, and researching. Just the topics are different. From Shakespeare and Austen to donors and capital projects, the skill set remains the same. The flexibility of an English degree speaks to the importance of good communicators and clear writers.”
Likewise, Marisa Peterson, a 2010 graduate who works for the Jackson Hewitt corporate offices in New Jersey, credits the research and writing skills she learned as an English major as a key reason she was hired from the company’s temp pool. “As English majors, we are trained to view and interpret the world in a very different way,” Peterson said. “These skills set me apart from other young temps.”
Shawn Rosler
Panelist Shawn Rosler earned two Bloomsburg University degrees: a BS in Secondary Education/English in 2000 and an MS in Instructional Technology in 2002. Rosler is the lead analyst/project manager for the EHR Computer-Based Training Development Team at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. 
Grant Clauser


The fourth panelist was Grant Clauser, a 1991 BU alum who earned an MFA in English from Bowling Green State University. Clauser taught writing at several colleges, then moved to the publishing business as the editor of several magazines about technology. Currently, he is the technology editor of Electronic House magazine and the web site editor of www.electronichouse.com. Clauser also has a new poetry collection, The Trouble with Rivers

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Generosity of Spirit


Dave Dannenfelser from Theatre Arts shares his experiences with visiting artists John Clancy and Nancy Walsh, who are directing the next BU Players production, The Shape of Things.


My career as a theatre artist really began when the NYC International Fringe Festival hosted my play, When Words Fail. I’d been writing, directing and working as an educator in theatre arts for some time, but my Fringe experience made me believe that my future would be about making a life out of my work in theatre.

It happened when I met John Clancy and his wonderful wife and partner, Nancy Walsh. John and Nancy were busy forming the foundations for what would become the largest and one of the most prestigious theatre festivals in North America, the Fringe. But I never would have been a part of this event or the movement that grew out of it if not for the Generosity of Spirit John, Nancy and so many other fine artists possess.

Photo by Eric Foster
Back then, I approached my long-time collaborator, Kevin Kittle, with the idea of getting a bunch of actors together to “find” a play that I could go off and write. Kevin exercised his Generosity of Spirit and said, “Sure, let’s do it” and we were on our way. We didn’t know we were entering a process now known as Devised Theatre. We just called it fun.

Since rehearsal space in NYC can cost a small fortune, location was a problem. Enter John Clancy, his own Generosity of Spirit intact, with an offer of space he wasn’t using that summer on 45th Street.  And that was it. We had a space, gratis and enough naiveté to ask a group of actors to come and play with us. Because actors are also full of Generosity of Spirit, they did.

That play went on to a small, successful run Off-Off Broadway and was later published by Martin Denton of nytheatre.com. Recently there has been interest in using the play in a collection focused on artists working on the Independent Theatre scene. Independent Theatre or Indie Theatre is the movement to remove the geographical and class distinctions of the Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway Theatre structure. It’s being led by the League of Independent Theatres, with John Clancy as executive director and Nancy in the fight with him.

Generosity of Spirit. It’s a phenomenon created by the best impulses of a theatre artist and John and Nancy have it in abundance. These two fine artists have been spreading some GOS around Bloomsburg University as they prepare students through rehearsal for the BU Players’ production of The Shape of Things by Neill LaBute, which will be performed April 18 through 22 in Alvina Krause Theatre. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Join us for the play and see what a little GOS can do for you.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Undergraduate Research at the Capitol

 Last week Dr. Mary Katherine Waibel-Duncan and Psychology students Meghan Weeks and Ellie Benner participated in the 2012 Undergraduate Research Conference at the Capitol. Both students offer their views on the event below.

Meghan and Ellie with Senator John Gordner ...

My colleague (Ellie Benner, Psychology major), research advisor (Dr. Mary Katherine Duncan, Professor of Psychology, and I (Meghan Weeks, Psychology major) recently presented a poster on the “Development of Y.O.O. Rock Columbia County II: Youth Outreach Opportunities for Families, Children, and Youth” and distributed complimentary copies of the reference guide at the Undergraduate Research Conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA.  We were honored to represent Bloomsburg University and are most grateful to the College of Liberal Arts for sponsoring our travel.


During our time at the Capitol, we met with many legislators including Representative David Millard (Columbia County), Senator John Gordner (Columbia County), Representative Jerry Stern (Blair County) and Representative Rick Geist (Blair County). Representative Stern even posted our picture on his home page! All of these gentlemen graciously welcomed us, inquired about our project, and noted the value of undergraduate research in preparing young women and men for advanced study. In addition to presenting our research to a learned audience, we had the opportunity to speak with other students and faculty from colleges and universities across the Commonwealth about their research accomplishments. We also had the honor of being recognized by the Speaker of the House during an official House session.


--Meghan Weeks



... with Representative David Millard
The Undergraduate Research Conference at the Capitol was all of what I had hoped for and more. Meghan Weeks, Dr. Duncan, and I were pleased to have been able to meet with four legislators throughout the day, speaking with them about both our research as well as current political issues. We presented our poster and research project to numerous students from other Pennsylvania colleges as well as to faculty from various institutions as well. The student researchers were also given the opportunity to travel to the House of Representatives to be recognized in front of the Members of the House for our research accomplishments. Overall the day was a uniquely enriching experience that I will forever remember. I thank you for the opportunity to travel to the Capitol to have this monumental experience.


--Ellie Benner

... and with Representatives Jerry Stern and Rick Geist and Dr. Duncan


Monday, April 2, 2012

Author Stephen Elliott Visits Bloomsburg University


The following was written by Stasi Golembiewski, a sophomore Psychology major with a minor in Creative Writing. 

Acclaimed author Stephen Elliott recently visited Bloomsburg University. Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books, including the award winning novel Happy Baby and the widely acclaimed memoir The Adderall Diaries. In addition, Elliott is a film director, and he founded and edits the cultural and literary website The Rumpus. He came to campus on March 27 and 28.

Elliott’s visit kicked off with a small screening of his new movie, Cherry, which he directed and co-wrote. The audience, which consisted mainly of students from upper-level creative writing nonfiction and seminar classes, was surprised by the announcement that only about one hundred people in the US have seen the movie so far. The film stars James Franco, Heather Graham, Dev Patel, Lily Taylor, and newcomer Ashley Hinshaw. It debuted at the Berlin Film Festival in Germany last month and will have its US premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival later this month. Elliott told the audience that IFC Films recently picked up the North American distribution rights for the movie.

After the screening Elliott, a few professors and I headed to Marley’s downtown for a late dinner. Elliott’s humanity is startling considering his fame. He was soft spoken and listened intently to what everyone had to say. He jotted down a few thoughts to remember. He twitched every so often. He ordered soda water and ate someone’s left over mozzarella sticks. The only real difference between him and anyone else at the table was his collection of awards and, perhaps, his persistence.

Wednesday’s events began with an afternoon talk held in Kehr Union, focusing on writing in the new media. Around fifty wide-eyed students and professors sat in an intimate setting and listened to Elliott reveal the secrets to his success. His main point was that the current media world is fractured. Having a fractured media was beneficial, he said, because authors now had many different forms to write in and could really own how their words could be delivered. To explain, he told the audience that “where once everyone used to read a book together, now there is a smaller audience, but it's more intimate and more specialized.”

At 7 that evening, Elliott read from The Adderall Diaries in 1303 McCormick. He broke his reading into sections, with short questions and answer sessions between each reading. The audience sat in silence as the soft-spoken Elliott read his memoir, and aspiring writers asked questions about his writing. What made the reading special was the content of his book. The feeling of excitement was palpable among the member of the audience, most never having been this close to someone as acclaimed and involved in big media as Elliott.

There was another dinner following the reading, where eight students and three professors repaired to Rose Marie’s to talk with Elliott in a more intimate setting. He offered advice to a student who was struggling with her writing. The student knew that her experiences in the world would make good content for a memoir, but she was aware of the personal nature of her experiences. Elliott’s advice was to write what she knew would make a good piece, regardless that it was not the most polite of topics. When the evening ended, everyone paid for their meal, the students got their copies of The Adderall Diaries signed, and I watched Stephen Elliott drive away in the back seat of a small, black car.

Special thanks must be given to Professor Jerry Wemple, Dr. Claire Lawrence and the College of Liberal Arts for orchestrating such a memorable event.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Students and Social Workers Attend Advocacy Day

Many Bloomsburg University Social Work students are among those pictured at the Legislative Advocacy Day that took place in Harrisburg on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Three BU faculty members--Dr. Ronnie Evans, Prof. Sylvia Costa, and Prof. Marietta Scalise-Warnitsky--accompanied 38 BU Social Work students to the day-long event, which is described in detail on the National Association of Social Workers-PA website.

The students who attended had a great time learning about advocacy through a policy lens. Attendees rallied in support of SB 922, which would create practice protection and bachelor-level licensure. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

CoLA Scholarship

The Diplomat, " the premier international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region," recently published an essay by Dr. Sheng Ding of the department of Political Science about President Obama's China policy. The article, "Don't Worry About the China Bashing," discusses "China bashing" as an election-year phenomenon.

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Dr. M. Safa Saraçoğlu of the department of History has been awarded an academic-year residency fellowship to conduct research on legal reform in the Ottoman Empire at the Institute for Advanced Study at Nantes, France, for 2012-2013. His recently published scholarship includes “Resilient Notables: Looking at the Transformation of the Ottoman Empire from the Local Level” in Contested Spaces of Nobility in Early Modern Europe, edited by Charles Lipp and Matt Romaniello and published by Ashgate (2011). He also published an article titled “Refugees, Biopolitics and Cattle Theft: Operation of Ottoman Governmentality in Nineteenth Century Vidin” in Toplum ve Bilim 121 (2011).

* * *

Dr. Jing Luo of the Department of Languages and Cultures has been been recommended for  Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Full Tester Certification in Chinese by The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Dr. Luo one of a very select group of language professionals who has demonstrated the ability to administer and rate oral proficiency interviews with a high degree of reliability through a rigorous certification process.

* * *

Dr. Mark Decker of the Department of English just published an article titled “(Re)model(ed) Towns and the Remodeling of American Ideology:  The Expansion of Middle-Class Hegemony in Allan Pinkerton’s The Model Town and the Detectives and Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest” in the spring 2012 issue of the journal Clues. The article argues that Hammett and Pinkerton’s novels helped shape the way the American middle class conceptualized itself.  Pinkerton’s nineteenth century text does this by portraying detectives as members of the propertied bourgeoisie while Hammett’s twentieth century text portrays detectives as the kind of trained experts corporations were increasingly dependent on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Marcellus Shale Programming Continues


A series of programs about the Marcellus Shale gas drilling is taking place on the Bloomsburg University campus this week. Kevin Clark, on assignment to the College of Liberal Arts, provided this report on a recent program: 

Bloomsburg University’s ten-day forum on the Impacts of Drilling for Natural Gas in the Marcellus Shale Region continued on Thursday, March 22, as Matthew Filteau, a specialist in agriculture economics and rural sociology at the Pennsylvania State University, provided details on his research of one drilling company’s employees in a talk entitled “Who Are Those Guys: A Qualitative Analysis of Transient Gas Workers in the Marcellus Shale Region."  

Filteau argued against the stereotypes of “bad guy roughneck and criminal deviant” which are commonly associated with these predominantly male workers.  While allowing that these transients are not “choirboys,” Filteau detailed his time spent among a drilling crew and its management team.  Often when boomtown economics fuel rapid development in the energy field, locals complain that outside workers are “ruining roads, fishing streams, and carousing with women."  However, Filteau says, while some of that “renegade” culture remains, the company he studied emphasizes safety and collective goals over recklessness and disrespect.  

Filteau explained the changing face of masculinity within the oil and natural gas industry and the unique problems caused by the industry’s demands for long hours, time away from family, and life on the road.  Filteau said, “these days, oil industry riggers see their co-workers as brothers” who share similar struggles to be breadwinners far from home.   While the industry does provide road repair for host communities, Filteau admitted that these same gas companies rely on meager county resources to provide social and mental health care for transient workers.  

Bloomsburg University’s Green Campus Initiative (GCI), the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), the College of Science and Technology (COST),  the College of Liberal Arts (COLA), and the Institute for Human Rights and Social Justice are sponsoring the forum which continues on March 28.  For more information visit the Bloomsburg University Green Campus Initiative’s web page for the event.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling & The Region's Housing

A series of programs about the Marcellus Shale gas drilling is taking place on the Bloomsburg University campus this week. Kevin Clark, on assignment to the College of Liberal Arts, provided this report on Wednesday's program: 

Bloomsburg University’s week-long forum on the Impacts of the Marcellus Shale Industry on our Region continued today [Wednesday, March 21] with a discussion of the effects the natural gas drilling boom has had on the region’s housing.  Dr. Bonita Kolb investigated the strains on rental housing that Marcellus Shale drilling operations bring with them, noting that rental prices rose and housing shortages added new challenges for the non-working poor, seniors, the disabled, and the working poor.  

Kolb, who conducted the survey in both the northern tier counties of Bradford, Sullivan, and Lycoming counties, as well as in the southwestern Pa. counties of Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland, described the three waves of demand that have affected housing options for both locals and industry out-of-staters.  She described the first wave as industry representatives who clamored to the area to tie up land leases for potential drilling sites.  They needed short-term housing and occupied most of the existing hotel space.  The second wave came when drilling began; these tend to be long-time hires who need apartments and houses.  One consequence of the second wave has been to create more demand for rental units, rendering moderately priced housing a thing of the past in places like Williamsport.  “Gone,” Kolb says, “are the days of $300 to $400 apartments.”  She told the story of one recent graduate who felt lucky to find a new one bedroom apartment for $1,200 a month in Williamsport.  The third wave of industry newcomers are professionals who make good salaries and are demanding new houses where there are few new houses available.  Kolb noted that some of these professionals are commercially licensed drivers, who command 80,000 to 100,000 a year—and who “after purchasing big screen TVs and pickups, want to buy homes.” 

Lost in the din and dust of drilling are the elderly and working poor, who often count on Section 8 government housing vouchers to meet their residential need.  Kolb says this has led to people doubling up with other family members or “couch surfing” as they board with family and friends temporarily.  Tioga County is opening its first-ever homeless shelter, and Kolb found that more rural places like Sullivan County are receiving the displaced poor of neighboring Bradford County as rising rental prices force them out.   

Some bright spots associated with the boom include new incentives for developers to build additional housing.  Kolb pointed to a new Hilton Towers and Conference center slated for Williamsport.  Still, the downside is that those locals who used to be able to afford modest housing are forced to accept substandard housing, while the poor are being forced onto the streets.  A housing summit is slated for April 3 in Harrisburg for state and federal housing officials who will review Kolb’s study and discuss long range solutions to the housing situation in Marcellus Shale communities.

The series is organized by the Green Campus Initiative

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CoLA Notes

Remember Hannah Karena Jones? The May 2011 graduate just announced on her blog that she has signed her first book deal--with Arcadia Publishing. The book, Byberry State Hospital, will be part of their popular Images of America series. Congratulations, Hannah!

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On March 11, 2012, Dr. Mark Jelinek, professor in the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance, conducted the Southwest Symphony Orchestra's performance of works by Alexander Borodin and Johannes Brahms in his hometown of Hobbs, New Mexico. Dr. Jelinek has served as artistic director of the Southwest Symphony for seventeen seasons; he also conducts the Bloomsburg University Community Orchestra and the Bloomsburg University Chamber Orchestra.

The orchestra's performance featured violinist Lisa Liu, daughter of our respected former dean, Dr. Hsien-Tung Liu.

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Featured on BU's Internship web page is History and Political Science major Matt Albertson, who recently completed an internship at the National Museum of the United State Navy. The internship was offered under the auspices of the The Washington Center. He writes, "My tasks in the education department at the U.S. Navy Museum showed me how exciting and fulfilling a job at a museum may be."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

French Professor Reviews Novels


Dr. Nathalie G. Cornelius of the Department of Languages and Cultures has recently had three book reviews published in The French Review:

In December 2011 appeared her review of Chochana Boukhobza’s novel Le troisième jour, the story of Rachel and her impresario Elisheva, two Jewish cellists who return to Jerusalem after five years to give a concert. Amidst the violence and the beauty of politically charged Israël at the height of the first Intifada in 1990, the area’s history becomes a backdrop for a painful return to their origins.

In February 2012 was published her review of Agnès Michaux’s Les sentiments, a literary reconstruction of the onset and aftermath of the affair between Marilyn Monroe and French actor/singer Yves Montand. The novel distills the experiences to emotional states rather than factual incidents, where perspectives shift from one protagonist to another in an effort to propose an alternate view of the famous events.

In March 2012 appeared her review of Philippe Besson’s Retour parmi les hommes, the second installment in a tale of French society during and just after World War I. The protagonist Vincent de L’Étoile’s past is marked by his close relationships with author Marcel Proust and Arthur Valès, a soldier who loses his life in the war. Vincent’s present revolves around his relationship with eccentric writer Raymond Radiguet. Less of an adventure tale than a fictional journal of displaced identity and exile, the novel recounts the human condition and the memorialization of personal and universal suffering.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Poli Sci Grad Leads, Writes

December 2011 College of Liberal Arts top honor graduate Zachary Pearce is putting his Political Science degree to use. He's the youngest-ever member of the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley School District and the author of two recent articles published on the Huffington Post. Zach's articles can be found here and here.

Here's an excerpt from his most recent piece:

If true reform is to happen in our locally-structured educational system, then it is going to take a real push by all the stakeholders involved: parents, students, teachers, unions, administrators, school boards, and community leaders. These stakeholders can be the true super heroes we need in the United States. I refuse to believe that America is in a state of decline; however, if we do not make real strides towards better educating our students, then that is the reality we face.

Zach graduated from Delaware Valley High School with honors in 2008 and from Bloomsburg University summa cum laude with a BA in Political Science in December 2011.

During his college career, Zach was an active part of the community both in Pike County and in Bloomsburg, holding leadership positions in several different organizations.