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: