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


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