Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Political Science students visit PA's Coal Region

Dr. Peter Doerschler's First-Year Seminar on the PA Coal Region, which looks at the history and culture along with recent social and political issues of the coal region, went on a field trip on Saturday, Nov. 9 through the southern and eastern coal fields that stretch as far south as Pottsville up to Hazelton, PA.

Students are standing with tour guide Bob Zimmerman (Class of 1968) at Eckley,
courtesy of Dr. Doerschler

Along the way, Doerschler and his students took a walking tour of Mount Carmel and toured Centralia, where an underground mine fire has been raging for over 50 years, forcing all but a handful of the 2,000 or so residents to abandon the town.

Students also discussed religious and ethnic communities with Fr.Frank Karwacki in Mount Carmel, learned about the mining history of Shenandoah from several local citizens, and took a walking tour of Eckley Miners’ Village in Eckley, PA, a former “patch town” that has been converted into a historical site where visitors can observe how miners lived and worked in the mid- and late 1800s.

Students with Fr. Karwacki (Class of 1967)
and Kyle Grybos (Class of 2010) in Mount Carmel,
courtesy of Dr. Doerschler

Monday, November 25, 2013

Students present research projects at PA Sociological Society

On October 12, two BU students in the department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice successfully presented their research projects, supervised by Dr. Megumi Omori, at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society held at Penn College in Williamsport.

Ethan Minier and Stephen Staats at the Pennsylvania Sociology Society,
courtesy of Dr. Omori

Ethan R. Minier, a senior sociology major, presented research titled “An Assessment of Mortality for Pennsylvania’s Aging Population” and Stephen Staats, a senior criminal justice major, presented his presentation on “Low Abortion Rates in Wyoming.” Congratulations to both!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

English Classes Take Learning Outside the Classroom

Dr. Christina Francis' English 288 – Feminist Reading of Culture traveled to New York City on September 18th to visit the New York Public Library exhibit entitled “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter” as part of their exploration of fairy tales and gender representation this semester. 
Students on the steps of the New York Public Library,
courtesy of Dr. Francis

Student particularly enjoyed learning about banned children’s books and children’s literature from other cultures, and they also attended a performance of the newly adapted Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway, which offered a Cinderella more in control of her own glass slipper. The trip was sponsored by a College of Liberal Arts Curriculum Enhancement Grant and the English Department.

Students in Dr. Francis' English 341 – Medieval Literature traveled to the PA Renaissance Faire from October 11 - 13 in order to experience some approximation of the material culture and activities associated with the Middle Ages. Students have been studying the original stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by writers such as Chretien de Troyes and Sir Thomas Malory.  

courtesy of Dr. Francis
At the Faire, students witnessed a game of human chess--a board game invented during the Middle Ages--listened to talks on archery, sword-making, glassblowing, and falconry and watched several sessions of tournament and combat jousting, a form of military training common in the medieval period. Medieval and Renaissance torture devices were on prominent display during this Halloween season.

Students standing with a replica guillotine,
courtesy of Dr. Francis

Friday, November 8, 2013

What We Did Over Summer "Break": Philosophy Professors Attend Conferences in Greece & Scotland

Dr. Steven Hales of the philosophy department participated in two conferences this past summer. The first was a "Workshop on Luck" at the Department of Philosophy of University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Hales delivered an invited talk entitled "Some Analyses of Luck and their Failures."

The second conference was the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy in Athens, Greece, where Dr. Hales gave three talks. His invited addresses were "Motivations for Relativism as a Solution to Disagreements" and "Synchronic and Diachronic Luck." He also contributed a paper entitled "Virtue Epistemology and the Value Problem."

"Both conferences were an outstanding opportunity to hear other researchers from around the world, as well as engage more broadly in the community of scholars," said Hales.

Dr. Lee and Dr. Hales at the remains of Poros,
courtesy of Dr. Hales
Dr. Wendy Lynne Lee, professor of philosophy, also gave a talk at the Athens conference. Together, they visited the remains of the Poros, the state prison of ancient Athens. Located in the ancient Agora, it is the likely location of the imprisonment and death of Socrates.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Five Gender Studies Students to Present Research in Andruss Library

Five students minoring in Gender Studies will present their research projects to the university community on Tuesday, November 5, at 10 a.m. in the Andruss Library's Schweiker Room.

Michelle Mattar will present “Digging Deeper: Why Does Archaeology Continue to Struggle With Gender?” The purpose of this research is to investigate the reasons for the field of archaeology to continue struggling with the topic of gender equality. When compared to the other sub-fields of anthropology, it is obvious that archaeology remains unsettled in the acceptance and acknowledgment of gender.

Venyamína McIvor will discuss "Transmisogyny: the Assumptions We Make about Female Bodies, And How They Subjugate Our Sisterhood" which describes the vitriolic misogyny that transgendered women experience and how essentialist notions of gender have a caustic effect on the wellbeing of all women.

Karli Miller's presentation, "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Progression of LGBTQ* Rights in the World," will explore the progression of rights of LGBTQ people all over the world, including the most current events regarding law.

Katelyn Shoemaker's presentation, entitled “Women in Politics,” focuses on the central question, if Americans are open and willing to elect a woman as president. The project looks into the gender gap in voting that exists in the United States and how that affects women's ability based on gender to be elected to the executive office.

Albra Wheeler will present "The Wonderbra: Oppression vs. Liberation in Capitalistic Patriarchal Society" which examines the rhetorical implications of the Wonderbra. The critique offers a polysemic reading of the bra through diverse feminist lenses. The project seeks to determine whether the Wonderbra functions rhetorically as a form of bondage to, or as a form of liberation from, a patriarchal society.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What We Did Over Summer "Break": Piano Professor Performs for Foreign Diplomats

Dr. Charisse Baldoria, assistant professor of piano, gave three piano recitals in Buenos Aires, Argentina this summer. All performances were very enthusiastically received, with ambassadors, Argentine government officials, and important musicians in the audience.

At the Universidad de Buenos Aires Law School rehearsing for the concert,
courtesy of Baldoria
At a concert at the University of Buenos Aires Law School’s Ciclo de grandes conciertos concert series, Dr. Baldoria played a solo recital, also performing Filipino and Argentine pieces with Argentine cellist Nestor Tedesco. The audience gave a standing ovation and asked for an encore.

On June 17, Dr. Baldoria gave another solo recital at the Foreign Ministry’s Auditorio Belgrano, also with Nestor Tedesco as special guest. It was an audience of luminaries which included diplomats, government officials, and famous Argentine musicians such as Rodolfo Mederos.

At the Auditorio Manuel Belgrano with Argentine cellist Nestor Tedescoon,
courtesy of Baldoria
Dr. Baldoria presented a lecture-recital titled “Gong-Chime Music of Southeast Asia:  Pianistic Interpretations” at the Centro Cultural Borges on June 20. Along with piano demonstrations and a brief recital, Dr. Baldoria gave an animated digital presentation using audio, video, photographs, maps, scores, and diagrams to illustrate and clarify concepts related to these rarely performed piano pieces and the unique Southeast Asian music that inspired them.

After the concert, with the legendary tango composer Rodolfo Mederos
and Philippine Ambassador Rey Carandang,
courtesy of Baldoria
The conference also featured numerous presentations about Hispanic, Latin, tango, Asian, and piano music, as well as concerts of modern music. Dr. Baldoria attended various cultural and educational events and met Argentine musicians.

Dr. Baldoria also acquired various tango and Argentine piano scores which her students will use in their upcoming spring recital. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

2012 Graduate Makes a Difference Through Teach for America

“It was not that long ago that I was sitting right where you are,” said Adrienne Lombaerde. 

A 2012 Liberal Arts graduate, Lombaerde visited Bloomsburg on Monday, Oct. 14 to speak with education majors about her experience with Teach for America, a nonprofit organization that places recent college graduates in teaching positions in low-income areas to eliminate educational inequality throughout the country.
Lombaerde in her 5th grade classroom at Monroe Elementary School,
courtesy of Adrienne Lombaerde

It was clear that her opening statement was true as she chatted enthusiastically with students before her presentation, subconsciously reminding everyone in attendance of her youth despite her mature composure. 

A political science major from Milford, PA, Lombaerde was never sure she wanted to teach. “I knew that I liked working for youth efforts but I always thought it would be done at a conservation policy level. Then, just through random Google searches and friends, I heard about Teach for America,” said Lombaerde. 

After a series of phone and in-person interviews, Lombaerde was one of the 5,800 incoming corps members selected out of almost 50,000 applicants in 2012. Once accepted, she was able to choose either what grade level she would like to teach or her top 10 location preferences for her assignment. She selected a high school teaching assignment but was placed in 2nd grade in Oklahoma City. “I know, why couldn’t I have gotten Hawaii?” she joked. 
Lombaerde with two of her former 2nd grade students,
courtesy of Adrienne Lombaerde
After persevering through her first year in the program, which Lombaerde says was “literally the most difficult thing I've ever done,” she was moved to 5th grade with 34 students in one classroom. While she wasn't thrilled about her initial assignment, she admitted that “sometimes it’s good to be pushed to that uncomfortable limit and you get to see where you really can be effective.”

Halfway through her presentation, you would have never known Lombaerde never took an education class in college. Rattling off jargon and using her “teacher voice,” she could have been a seasoned professional. Her passion was undeniable as she became emotional talking about her students, the adversities they've overcome and the bonds they have with each other. 

Lombaerde acknowledges that her presence in her students’ daily lives may be the only consistency they experience, asking her students frequently “how are you going to make your parents proud today?” It is this sense of responsibility that keeps Lombaerde in the teaching or education system once her TFA duties are fulfilled.
Lombaerde with her students,
courtesy of Adrienne Lombaerde

Comparing her current status to her senior year of college, Lombaerde is faced with endless opportunities. When asked if she would rather transfer to a more middle-class district, she confessed to thinking about it. “It’s definitely crossed my mind but it comes down to ‘would I still be effective?’ My students are growing in ways I couldn’t even imagine and when I see a higher-income school district, it’s just so surface level,” said Lombaerde.

Recently offered a job to be an education specialist, Lombaerde can definitely see herself staying in the education world, though it might be more in the policy realm rather than being in a classroom.

Her advice for current Bloomsburg students is simple. “Take advantage of the small class sizes. Take advantage of the relationships you have with professors because that really helps your personal skills. That has really transcended into my classroom with things like building relationships with my kids and greeting them with a handshake,” said Lombaerde.

Though she faces many choices after this academic year, there is no doubt that Lombaerde finds her work rewarding: “I’m actually making a difference. I’m actually changing lives.”

Monday, October 21, 2013

Anthropology Students, Interns and Alumni brought Camp Aspen back for Summer 2013

Dr. Susan Dauria of the Anthropology department and Quest teamed up with the town of Bloomsburg again this past summer to offer an archaeology program known as Camp Aspen.

Anthropology interns Laurel Downs, Michael Grevera, and Natalie Wagner
created and developed curriculum and programming for the archaeology camp in 2012
This innovative program is an educational anthropological and archaeological experience developed using land owned by the town of Bloomsburg and equipment and facilities provided by Bloomsburg University. The purpose of the program has been to involve college students in the preparation, planning and execution of an archaeological and anthropological learning program for children by showing area youth how to do archaeological fieldwork, cultural resource management and anthropological analysis.

The locations for the camp included several archaeological sites along Fishing Creek in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

The children enjoy combining outdoor adventure with archaeology through the annual Camp Aspen, making each child feel like a real life "Indiana Jones." Over the years the artifacts found have included several lithic cores, arrowheads (lithic biface tools), sinkers, grinding tools, historic and prehistoric features, colonial pottery, metal tools and many flakes left from someone making stone tools thousands of years ago.

Support for this program has come from multiple offices including the College of Liberal Arts, the Anthropology department, the Quest office, URSCA grant funding and a grant from the Presidential Strategic Planning  intended to support key initiatives in the Bloomsburg University Strategic Plan, Impact 2015.

For more photos of the camp's activities, visit Bloomsburg's Facebook page.
For more information about Quest, visit their website.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spanish Students Translate Texts to Benefit Community and Military Families

BU Spanish students Avery Bingaman and Matthew Sullivan were sought out to help translate texts from English to Spanish to serve their communities and military families.

Avery Bingaman,
courtesy of Dr. Dórame-Holoviak
Ms. Rose Stolz, Education Manager at Columbia Sullivan Head Start in Bloomsburg PA., contacted the Department of Languages and Cultures seeking help to translate documents into Spanish to better the opportunities for Spanish-speaking families in the community. Dr. Patricia Dórame-Holoviak invited Avery Bingaman, a double major in Spanish and Biology, to translate several forms including questionnaires, welcoming letters, and technical documents (child assessment rubrics). 

“We believe we were able to successfully serve the community making state and federal government opportunities available to Spanish-speakers,” said Dr. Dórame-Holoviak.

Matthew Sullivan,
courtesy of Dr. Dórame-Holoviak
While serving in the Army, Matthew Sullivan did an internship in Washington, D.C. last summer under COL Stephen Bowles, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science at the Eisenhower School, National Defense Institute in Washington D.C. When COL Bowles asked him to translate "Building Resilience in the Military Family During Deployment," chapter 7 of the book When the Warrior Returns: Making the Transition Home (edited by Nathan D, Aispan and Walter Penk, and published by the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2012), Mathew contacted Dr. Dórame-Holoviak and invited her to translate the chapter with him.

“After couple of months of intense work and multiple correspondences, we completed and reviewed the chapter (17,126 words) and he submitted it to COL Bowles,” said Dr. Dórame-Holoviak.  

Both Sullivan and Dórame-Holoviak’s names were included as a collaborative translation. The chapter will be published individually in the near future.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Music Professor's Arrangements Chosen for Publication

Dr. Stephen Clickard, professor of music, has had three of his "little big band" arrangements chosen for publication by Walrus Music Publishers. Based out of Pismo Beach, California, Walrus publishes some of the most prestigious composer/arrangers in the jazz world. Walrus recently began a project to arrange classic songs from the American songbook that have moved into the public domain.
Dr. Clickard rehearses with the BU Jazz Ensemble
Dr. Clickard was asked to contribute to the project. His newest arrangements are of "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," which he set as an up-tempo swing, and "There'll Be Some Changes Made," which is done in a funk feel.

In addition to those arrangements, Walrus has also recently selected to publish his original composition, "Strollin' With Miss J," a tribute to his wife Janel.

To listen to Dr. Clickard's arrangements, visit Walrus Music Publishing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Anthropology Students Present Research at Women's Consortium Conference

Anthropology students in Dr. Faith Warner’s Methods in Cultural Anthropology course presented original ethnographic research at the 2013 PASSHE Women's Consortium Conference at Mansfield University on September 21. The theme of this year’s conference was “Women as Heroes."

Katelyn Shoemaker presented the poster "Women and Politics in the United States" based on research addressing American college student attitudes towards women political leaders, and in particular, the possibility of woman president of the United States.

from left to right: Mattar, Warner, Shoemaker, and Downs
courtesy of Dr. Faith Warner
Laurel Downs presented "Women and Fracking in Pennsylvania: Risks, Perception, and Power," revealing data that demonstrates how women and men differ in their attitudes relating to energy use and the environment in terms of risk, perception and power, with an emphasis on differences of opinion on fracking, climate change, and conservation.

Michelle Mattar presented "The Future of Women Who Define Our Past" based on an investigation of the gender distribution among today’s archaeologists and an exploration of the reasons for the gender gap in this subfield of anthropology.

Congratulations to all who participated!

Monday, September 30, 2013

BU Grad Featured on the Cover of Soundboard Magazine

courtesy of the University of Delaware's Dept. of Music
Kevin J. Cope, a recent graduate of the Bloomsburg University music program, is featured in the August issue of Soundboard magazine, the publication for members of the Guitar Foundation of America. The magazine also highlights two movements of Cope's Suite No. 2 for Solo Guitar, "Bomba III" and "Lullaby."

Cope, who earned a Masters of Music in Composition and Guitar from University of Delaware, wrote the suite as a gift to his family for Christmas 2011. "The movements included in the issue are a Puerto Rican dance written for my sister-in-law (who is from Puerto Rico) and a Lullaby written for my brother’s first daughter (and my first niece).  All movements of the set were written in order to either be enjoyed by the dedicated family member or to reflect some aspect of their personality or history that would make them emotionally connect with the piece," said Cope.

Dr. Matthew Slotkin, an assistant professor of music at BU, recently commissioned a new composition from Cope for his guitar-saxophone duo, Duo Montagnard, which he will be premiering in October at the University of Delaware and performing on their concert tour of Poland and Germany in November.

You can hear and purchase Kevin J. Cope's music on his website, www.kevinjcope.com, or through www.stringsbymail.com.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dean's Salute to Excellence 2013

Recently the College of Liberal Arts recognized five individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the life and students of Bloomsburg University.

Their teaching, scholarly/creative work, service and leadership have improved campus culture and enhanced the visibility and reputation of the university 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, presenting them with a glass apple, a traditional symbol of teaching and learning.

This year the College continued this tradition, but with a twist. Because of the retirement of Bill Wise, the artist/alumnus who supplied these glass apples, awardees were presented hand-crafted maroon and gold pens in presentation boxes that read “Dean’s Salute to Excellence” on one side, and the recipient’s name on the other.

With the unanimous support of the College’s elected chairpersons, the final glass apple was awarded to the leader who as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences instituted the Dean’s Salute to Excellence and served as a tireless advocate for the college, its students, and its faculty during his fourteen-plus years as dean: Dr. Hsien-Tung Liu.

Dr. Richard Ganahl, Dr. Neal Slone, Dean Jim Brown, Professor Meredith Grimsley, Dr. Timothy Rumbough

Four current Liberal Arts faculty were also recognized:

Dr. Richard Ganahl is a senior member of the Department of Mass Communications who recently celebrated his 20 year anniversary at Bloomsburg University. His areas of specialization include New Media, Media Use, Advertising, and Public Relations. He is the co-editor of Webcasting Worldwide: Business Models of an Emerging Global Medium.

Dr. Ganahl is a popular and well-respected instructor. His student evaluation scores are consistently high, and his colleagues praise the effective blend of theory and practice in his courses as well as the extracurricular field experiences he and his students have organized, including fundraising campaigns in excess of $10,000 for local organizations. He speaks eloquently of his view of teaching, scholarship and service as manifestations of a unified overall enterprise, and he clearly conveys that worldview to the next generation of public relations professionals.

Dr. Ganahl is the founding faculty advisor of BU Now, a multimedia student-managed media blog site. He is also active in service to the broader community, serving on the school board at St. Joseph School in Danville, PA and on the planning committee for the Collegiate Media Summit hosted by Bloomsburg University in Fall 2012.

Professor Meredith Grimsley is a member of the Department of Art and Art History, where she teaches Fabric Design and 3D Design. Her work includes wearable art, installation, performance, two-dimensional and three dimensional forms. Her student evaluations are superlative, and she is an active member of the department, taking a lead role in assessment and other initiatives. Her annual PADME event—that’s Personal Adornment Day and Makeup Extravaganza—has become a Bloomsburg tradition.

In the five years since she was tenured, she has maintained a challenging agenda of scholarly growth, including five highly competitive and international solo or two-person exhibits.

Professor Grimsley has demonstrated great potential as a faculty leader at the department level as well as within the college and the university as a whole. She and her students are highly visible at our annual Taste of the Arts, helping young patrons create projects in a hands-on way that often involves blow-dryers. She organizes the department’s Lunch Bag Lecture Series and Review Week, and she’s active in the broader community as well.

Dr. Timothy Rumbough recently completed his twentieth year in the department of Communication Studies. He teaches a wide range of courses for the department, including the general education and core classes as well as courses like Communication in Relationships and Computer Applications for Professional Communicators. His research focuses on computer-mediated communication and the effects of technology like cell phones and the internet on interpersonal communication. He’s published articles in several respected journals, and his research has been featured in national and international media.

Dr. Rumbough’s student and peer evaluations are consistently exemplary, and he is known as a leader in the department who serves on and leads several departmental committees. He has also served very effectively as a summer chairperson and is known as a knowledgeable and effective advisor.
Dr. Rumbough has also been very active in APSCUF serving recently on a Meet and Discuss working group reviewing promotion policies and practices. His commitment to the department, the college, and the university can be held up as a model to his colleagues.

Dr. Neal Slone has also recently completed his twentieth year at Bloomsburg University in the department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice. He’s taught and advised in both the Criminal Justice and Sociology programs. He is a highly regarded instructor based on his student evaluations as well as the observations of his peers, who laud his passion for teaching and his natural rapport with students. One observer noted specifically his patience with students in Statistics. In one of his upper level courses students complete a research project where they develop and analyze a dataset in order to produce a scholarly paper.  Students who have gone on to grad school report that this experience has made them far more prepared than their peers from other institutions.

Perhaps Dr. Slone’s greatest strength is in the area of advising. He is an outstanding advisor who gets to know all of his advisees and offers the time, attention, and personalized advice they need.

In the area of scholarship, Dr. Slone has focused on projects that allow him to engage students in research, including a recent survey with a group of students that led to a local lawyer successfully arguing for a change of venue. He also worked closely with regional Criminal Justice professionals to help them develop an advisory board to help the region better collaborate.

The College of Liberal Arts is pleased to recognize these outstanding individuals!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summer Writers Retreat

The College of Liberal Arts' first Faculty Writers Retreat took place this past summer, running from July 22-26. Mary Katherine Duncan, Steve Hales, Jennifer Johnson, Ted Roggenbuck, Nancy Giles, Danny Robinson, Megumi Omori, Christina Francis, and Claire Lawrence participated in the retreat. The group gathered daily for the duration of the week to work on their individual writing projects and to discuss the joys and frustrations of the writing process, share their tips, and generally gain insight, motivation, and support from peers. All report that it was an extremely productive experience.

“The retreat came about when Dr. Julie Vandivere told me about a similar retreat that they were running at Bucknell University.  We began to wonder if our faculty would benefit from one,” said organizer Heather Feldhaus.

“The College of Liberal Arts agreed to fund the event so I convened a small planning group composed of myself, Dr. Ted Roggenbuck from the English Department and Dr. Lisa Stallbaumer from the Department of History and TALE Director. After much discussion, we chose some dates and opted to begin by hosting a fairly unstructured event to see what faculty prefer,” said Feldhaus.

It was a productive week. with all participants making significant progress on one or more substantial scholarly projects. Additionally, at least one idea for an interdisciplinary collaborative project was conceived. 

The College of Liberal Arts will host another retreat January 13-17.  We have also set up a BU COLA Faculty writers group on Facebook and any member of the COLA faculty can join.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What We Did Over Summer "Break": Part 3

WMC logo
courtesy of wmc.nl
Another one our faculty who had a busy summer was Dr. Gifford Howarth of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance, who spent three weeks as a judge at the 17th World Music Contest in Kerkrade, Netherlands. Hosted by the artistic council of The Netherlands, the event takes place every four years in which musical groups from throughout the world come to perform and compete. A majority of the groups are from The Netherlands and Germany as well as from Singapore, Thailand, Japan, China, France, Spain, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil, among others.

Howarth was one of nine international judges who adjudicated the Marching and Show Band Contest along with a Concert Percussion Contest. “Back in 2005, I met two gentlemen from The Netherlands who were attending a national percussion competition which I was judging. They brought me over to The Netherlands a couple of times between 2006-2008. I was invited to adjudicate the 2009 World Music Contest. I was then invited back to the 2013 WMC,” said Howarth.

The judges being introduced before the contest
(photo courtesy of Dr. Howarth)
“One of the most interesting aspects of the 2013 event was how much better the percussion ensembles were from 2009 to 2013. The growth was impressive. I have been fascinated with the different style of music from the different countries present in the Marching and Showband contest. Some of these groups are similar to our ‘marching band’ or drum corps and some of them are very similar to traditional military bands,” said Howarth.

Dr. Howarth (left) with fellow judge Ruud Böhmer
(photo courtesy of Dr. Howarth)

“In my view, this is a real ‘melting pot’ of different styles of music from throughout the world. Several of the groups compete using a very traditional approach which has been around for hundreds of years. Some groups have a more contemporary approach,” said Howarth.

Hopefully, we will see Dr. Howarth return to the World Music Contest in 2017!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

History Professor to Appear on TLC

Please pardon the wholesale cut and paste job from Bloomsburg University's Today page, but this is too good to pass up:

Professor to appear on TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are

Jeanette Keith, professor of history, will appear on the Tuesday, Sept. 10, episode of TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are” featuring Emmy-winning actor Jim Parsons of TV’s “The Big Bang Theory.” The documentary-style series pairs celebrities with history experts to discover their ancestral roots. Keith indicated she will appear on the show, which will air at 9 p.m., however she could not reveal more details.

Don't miss it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What We Did Over Summer "Break": Part 2

While many of the Bloomsburg University's College of Liberal Arts students had productive summer vacations, members of the faculty also managed to keep themselves busy as well. David Miller, assistant professor of Theatre in the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance filled his time away from the classroom by writing, producing, and directing three new plays and musicals.

courtesy of The Artful Conspirators
Sisters of the Eternal Knot is a new, original play that Miller wrote and worshopped over the course of a week with his New York City-based theater company The Artful Conspirators. The play revolves around warring nuns in Medieval France. As the leaders of abbeys Ciel Bleu and Rouge, the nuns' life-long antagonism with one another grows dangerous and the choices they make may result in the life or death of the nuns they serve.

"I don’t set out to communicate a message, per se, but when I reflect on my plays and how they reflect my values, I see that in many of my plays I am interested in the complicated role of leaders and teachers. There are good leaders and teachers and there are poor leaders and teachers. But it’s not as cut and dried as that. One of the questions I want to pose to audiences is 'What are the qualities of a good leader?' There’s something of that in this play, I think," said Miller in an interview with The Artful Conspirators.

courtesy of The New York Musical Theater Festival
Miller also directed the developmental reading of Alice Unraveled, a new rock/electronica musical about a young woman struggling to find her identity in the wake of traumatic experiences, at the New York Musical Theater Festival in July. 

Using characters from Lewis Carroll’s classic novel in a contemporary world, Alice is a teenage girl struggling with the post-traumatic stress. Alice is pulled “down the rabbit hole” and into a nightmarish world in which she cannot separate reality from memory.

courtesy of The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival
Rounding out his summer "break," Miller directed the premiere of In The Early Dark, a 10-minute play about a close-knit family celebrating the first snowfall of winter as part of the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival. The play was selected as a finalist and was one of thirty plays selected for performance selected out of more than 800 submitted.

Currently, Miller is directing the BU Player's fall production of Avenue Q which will run November 7-10. 

To see more of Miller's upcoming work, visit www.mrdavidamiller.com.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What We Did Over Summer "Break": Part 1

It's the first day of the Fall semester, and summer has gone by quickly, but for many College of Liberal Arts students and faculty, summer has been an eventful and highly productive period. Take, for instance, Criminal Justice major Carl Frauenpreis, who completed an internship with the U. S. Secret Service under the direction of Dr. Babak Mohassel and had the opportunity to meet with former president Bill Clinton.

Carl Frauenpreis, left, with former president Bill Clinton
Carl writes: 

"On the last day of my work week, we went on a protection detail to escort former president Bill Clinton to a private airport. I was very excited because he was at one time one of the most powerful men in the world and not many people get to privately meet him... We all spoke briefly and he even allowed us to take a picture with him... At the end of the day it was a great experience and a great close to my first week interning."

Internships provide great opportunities to synthesize and apply the concepts students are introduced to in their general education and major courses. They also promote confidence and can greatly facilitate the transition from school to employment--in fact, may internships lead directly to offers of permanent employment. Whatever your major, it's never to early to start planning for an internship. 

In the coming days this blog will feature the summer work of BU College of Liberal Arts students and faculty here on campus and around the world. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Professor and Students Reflect on Panama Trip

Today’s commonly marketed second language text books so overflow with glossy color photos of peoples and places, and are so saturated with cultural information related to those peoples and places, that the understanding is not lost on anyone: learning language is learning culture.

Anyone who has studied another language acknowledges that the single most significant component to language/culture learning is immersion. What one cannot learn “here” about peoples and places that are “not here” is immeasurable.

Below, several students who traveled to Panamá over Spring Break share an example of what they leaned from their immersion experience. You won’t read about the long, overnight bus rides, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, and aimless wandering through hot, humid, big-city neighborhoods. But these were precisely the things that reminded me that, try as they may, the glossy photos and long selections of cultural information found in our students’ expensive text books only begin to scratch the surface.

Chris Donahue
Languages and Cultures


"I went on the Panama trip not because I was a Spanish major, but because I was interested in getting out and seeing the world beyond a textbook. This was my first trip out of the U.S. so I was preparing for a culture shock, and while I didn't get shocked, I learned quite a bit. Here in the U.S. we take so much for granted: homes with a roof and four walls, hot water, shoes and clothes, just to name a few things. And here in the U.S. we are busy running from one thing to another not truly taking time to notice the little things and the people around us. In Panama, people take care of each other. They may not all have hot water or even homes with four walls. There may be children walking around with one flip flop and clothes that are too small. But the one thing I really took notice of was how happy these people were. They took what they had and made a life for themselves and their family. They smiled and laughed and had a good time. People in the U.S. could learn a thing or two from them. Going on this trip has made me appreciate how much I have. I think anyone who has the opportunity to go on this trip should, it makes you see life in a new perspective.”

Kim Johnson


Katie Pyle and her home stay family
“There are many things you can read in a textbook or learn in a classroom and think you understand it, until you find out you really don’t until you experience it. That was the case for me numerous times. I had learned that Hispanic culture was laid-back when it came to time; they aren’t strict like Americans when it comes to the clock. They are very relaxed about it as I found out as I impatiently waited for things like boat rides and breakfast. When I see a sign stating that breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., I am up and ready by 7:15 (breakfast just happens to be my favorite meal.) To my dismay, breakfast was never served until 8:15. I was too busy grumbling along with my stomach to realize that I was indeed in another culture and had to remind myself that I was. I know it sounds trite, but even this little snippet of experience opens your eyes to others’ way of life.

Having to speak Spanish constantly especially with our host family was challenging but ended up building my speaking confidence. You really cannot experience another culture without immersing yourself in one.”

Katie Pyle


“Traveling to Panamá was an experience that I would never find in the classroom here, simply because I was completely immersed in the culture. Everything around me reflected the culture of the people there and I had to switch from English to Spanish for 10 days. While there, we lived with homestays in which the families spoke Spanish and had very little, if any, knowledge of English. I was forced to speak Spanish in the homestay in order to function. This is something that I would never experience in the classroom. In the classroom, we know we can always revert back to English, or as soon as we leave we can speak in English. In Panamá this was not the case and it resulted in a greater confidence in speaking Spanish.

It was interesting returning to the States trying to switch back to English. I remember saying, the day after we returned, to one of my co-workers, “I feel like I can’t function, everything is in English!” The motivation that I have gained from going abroad for a little over a week inspires me to go to another Spanish speaking country to study. It is an experience that will rock your world like no other, and I highly recommend it.”

Kaitlin Heimback


“The single greatest thing that I came back with from Panamá was a sense of preparedness. It was certainly a life-changing experience that I simply can't imagine receiving in any other context. I've been studying Spanish for roughly six years now, I took classes for four years throughout high school and have another two under my belt here at Bloomsburg University, and although I've studied hard and learned an incredible amount from all of my professors and classes throughout the years I still lacked the confidence that I could actually make it a part of my life; I never felt like I could "get there" with the language but rather I would always be stumbling through the conjugations and grammatical differences that we all strive to grasp.

The example I like to use to explain my transition to people after coming home is my experience with our guide in Panama City, Monolo. The first night he took us to a cafe where I struggled through ordering myself a plate of food in Spanish. I had never needed to do this before in my life so what is to be expected? Over the course of just a few days, however,  my Spanish was coming out of me more readily, more confidently and more correctly, and the thought of that first night crossed my mind many times. I wanted to see Monolo again, I wanted to show him my progress, I felt that I was better than what he saw and it just bothered me.

Well the opportunity arose on the last day of our journey, as he drove us from our hostel to the airport in Panama City. On the way we discussed some of what we saw in the city. The previous day my classmates and I had walked around Panama City, accompanied by a guide so we could make the most of our time. We saw a part of the city called Casco Antiguo. It was almost like being in Spain; all the buildings were hundreds of years old and beautifully crafted, yet in desperate need of repair. Our guide showed us some of the progress being made and explained to us that businesses are purchasing the old buildings and having them restored and repurposed. In fact, we had stopped for ice cream in a restored building without even knowing it. In nearly fluent (I think) Spanish I asked Monolo what was happening to the people living in those buildings. They were in disrepair but still housing families and it seemed like they wouldn't have much of a chance to stay in their homes if the property was being bought up by investors.

What Manolo explained to us was very impressive. The residents in those buildings were actually squatters. They didn't pay for their residencies or anything of the sort; they were just living there for lack of a roof to sleep under. But instead of simply throwing them out onto the street as the area underwent renovation, the president of Panama initiated a plan to construct low income housing projects for all of the displaced people in another part of the city. That was a very satisfying end to our trip. Discussing important things that were happening in the lives of the people there in their language with no barriers of communication felt like a huge accomplishment for me. The trip as a whole allowed me to grow as a person and as a student of this language and culture that I've grown to love. There's no substitute for this kind of cultural immersion. Whether you're a student or just curious about the world, it is an experience that I believe everyone should make an honest attempt to have.”

Josh Powell

Monday, May 6, 2013

History Students Shine

On April 13, BU hosted the annual Pennsylvania East Regional conference of the History Honors Society Phi Phi Alpha Theta.   The students in BU’s History Club and its Phi Alpha Theta chapter helped faculty member Dr. Jennifer Oast to organize the conference, which featured seventy-nine presentations by students from colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.   Four BU History students presented their history research papers:  Alison Huber, Michael Mock, Gary Stover, and Stephen Swicklik II.   A committee made up of faculty from several universities awarded an “outstanding paper” prize to Michael Mock for his research paper, “American Humanitarian Intervention in Turkey from 1914-1919.”  Congratulations to Michael and to all of the BU History students who presented papers and helped to organize this conference.

Kudos as well to Olga Bertelsen, one of the BU History Department’s many excellent alumni, who in April was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Columbia University.  Bertelsen, who completed her BA in History at BU in 2008, recently defended her dissertation at Nottingham University in the UK.  She joins a long list of BU History alumni who have gone on to complete PhDs, author important research studies, and win prestigious post-doctoral grants.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Short Article on the Value of Liberal Arts

This article from the website Backstage, written by Harvey Young of Northwestern University, makes some excellent points about the importance of the theatre degree. It's not too hard to imagine how similar arguments can be made about most liberal arts discipline. Thanks to Ethan Krupp for the link!

Incidentally, though Young identifies three reasons, he left off an important one: theater students learn how to use power tools.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

BU Anthropology Students Present at National Conference

Bloomsburg University Anthropology students participated at the 73rd Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings in Denver, Colorado March 19-25, 2013 under the theme-Natural Resource Distribution and Development in the 21st Century.  Students presented posters on research, internship, and applied projects.

They also attended a roundtable organized by Faith Warner and with DeeAnne Wymer and Gabrielle Vielhauer as discussants where they learned more about preparing for graduate school from representatives of the leading graduate programs in applied anthropology in the U.S.


STEFFEN II, Julie A. and WARNER, Faith (Bloomsburg U) The Perceived Costs and Benefits of Fracking in Central Pennsylvania
BARRILE, Gabriel and LEACH, Amanda (Bloomsburg U) Comparison of Time Budgeting between Free-Ranging and Captive Ateles Geoffroyi

BILDER, Shannon and DAURIA, Susan (Bloomsburg U) The Creation of a Multi-disciplinary Applied Research Program for Undergraduates within a Liberal Arts College, Using the Concept-model of an Anthropological Field-school
DOWNS, LaurelGREVERA, MikeWAGNER, Natalie, and DAURIA, Susan (Bloomsburg U) Bloomsburg University Students Create an Educational Anthropology/Archaeology Summer Camp Program for Community Children
SHAFFER, Krysta (Bloomsburg U) The Impact of Fracking on Rural Communities in Central Pennsylvania (travel supported by the College of Liberal Arts)
VIELHAUER, Gabrielle (Bloomsburg U) Industrial Archaeology within the Forest
(travel supported by the College of Liberal Arts)
Paper Presentation
MUWOMBI, Jimmy (Bloomsburg U) Disaster Anthropology, Assessment, and Support in a Flood-Prone Community of Central Pennsylvania (on a session entitled Disaster Perception and Preparedness)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Desperately Seeking Creativity?

"Many people see artists as shamans, dreamers, outsiders, and rebels. In reality, the artist is a builder, an engineer, a research analyst, a human relations expert, a project manager, a communications specialist, and a salesman. The artist is all of those and more--combined with the imagination of an inventor and the courage of an explorer."

--Steven Tepper, Associate Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University and Research Director of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP).

"Is an MFA the New MBA?" Check out this brief article from Fast Company to read more.

And while we're on the subject:

Please join Haas Gallery of Art and the Department of Art and Art History for an exhibition of student work:

Human Nature 
Student Art Show

Juried by Interim Professor of Drawing, Lisa Corine Von Koch

March 26 – April 9, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, March 29, 2013, 7 pm – 9 pm

Haas Gallery of Art 
Bloomsburg University

The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm and Saturdays Noon until 2pm.

For more information about Haas Gallery, this exhibition and future exhibitions, please refer to the Department of Art and Art History's webpage: http://departments.bloomu.edu/art/haas.html

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Themes in Art Exhibition on Display in Old Science Hall Lobby

There are many methodologies that can be employed in analyzing and investigating the meaning of art objects. One such line of investigation that affords insight and allows for a multi-cultural approach is to investigate cultural themes in art.

The current exhibition, now on display in the Old Science Hall lobby, is the final phase of a small group project assignment for the Art & Art History Department’s Museum Exhibition class.

View of Themes in Art Exhibition
Each group was assigned a theme in art – death, war, religion, pleasure, and survival –and provided with artifacts predetermined by the instructor, Professor Heath Patten. Their task was to create and install a display for their objects with appropriate lighting, props, and didactic signage. Each group was evaluated on their success in display preparation, installation, artifact documentation, and integration of their artifacts into the theme.

The assignment was intended to engage students with artifacts and to have them consider the ways in which art objects are presented and interpreted for the public. Additionally, this project was designed to teach students how to handle, conserve, inventory, and describe art objects through the lens of a museum curator. This assignment not only gave students experience with art objects, but it also provided lessons in group dynamics and problem-solving as well as issues of cultural sensitivity when dealing with foreign, past and present, art objects.

The exhibition will be on display through March 14, 2013. Come visit the exhibit and enjoy the students’ hard work.

--Contributed by Professor Heath Patten

Monday, March 4, 2013

Community Comes Together in "Flood Stories, Too."

Though the 2011 flood that devastated Bloomsburg and its surrounding areas has left us, members of the community are still strengthening bonds formed from the traumatic experience. Flood Stories, Too., a new play co-produced by the Bloomsburg University Players and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, is a community response to the devastation.

Written and directed by Gerald Stropnicky, Emeritus member of Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Flood Stories, Too. is a collection of personal narratives and stories of local residents’ experiences with the flood, artfully crafted into a two-act play.

“You’ll see through different monologues that almost all of the actual events are taken from stories that people have given us,” said Phil Czekner, Bloomsburg University student and actor in the production.

Many stories were gathered by Mary Reinsburrow, another Bloomsburg University student and actress in the production. Characters featured in the multitude of stories range from unconcerned students to victims themselves to volunteers, even including Mayor Dan Knorr and Bloomsburg University’s President, Dr. David Soltz.

While Flood Stories, Too. is indeed based on dozens of people’s flood stories, they weave seamlessly together to create an all-encompassing sense of unity.

“Even though we all had our own experiences, as a community, we all had one shared experience as well,” said Reinsburrow.

Those involved in the production, such as Reinsburrow and Czekner, want to foster the healing process now that the devastation is subsiding. Considering the flood occurred during the fall 2011 academic semester, nearly every student was affected in one way or another. A crucial element in the healing process is the removal of barriers between the university and the town.

“There is a bond between the university and the town and even if it is edgy at times during events such as Block Party, there are good people on both ends and they should be connected,” according to Czekner.

Overall, the recollections that will be explored in Flood Stories, Too. are all connected with the underlying themes unity and recovery.

 “Bloomsburg is a flood place. But we need to understand that things do get better and you do recover and move on,” said Czekner.

Flood Stories, Too. (a “pay what you wish” performance) opens Thurs., Mar. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alvina Krause Theater in downtown Bloomsburg and continues Mar. 8, 14, and 15 at 7:30 p.m., Mar. 9 and 16 at 2:00 p.m., and Mar. 10 and 17 at 3:00 p.m.

Tickets for Flood Stories, Too. are general admission and are not available for online purchase.  If you would like to make advance reservations, please contact the Box Office, Tuesday - Saturday, 2PM - 6PM at (570) 784-8181, email boxoffice@bte.org, or obtain them in person at the BTE Box Office, 226 Center Street in Downtown Bloomsburg.

Contributed by Kathryn M. Saulinas

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bloomsburg Explores ... Community, Arts, and the 2011 Flood

From Dr. Christina Francis and Bloomsburg University's Institute for Culture and Society:

In conjunction with the BTE/BU Players upcoming “Pay What You Wish” performances of Flood Stories, Too, the Institute for Culture and Society (sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts) has organized a series of complementary talks and programs to take place March 8th through March 14th.  These programs will highlight some of the specific issues and people involved in the 2011 flood, as well as some perspectives on the value of art that responds to and includes its community in the creative process. Please join us! These events are free and open to the public.

Friday, March 8th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm, McCormick 1303
Arlene Goldbard, nationally-recognized author/speaker/activist, presents “Tell It! How Shaping Our Stories Shapes Our Lives and Communities”

Saturday, March 9th, 4:30 pm, Alvina Krause Theatre (AKT)
Arlene Goldbard, nationally-recognized author/speaker/activist, & Gerard Stropnicky, director/writer of BTE’s Flood Stories, Too., present
"What Happens When Communities Participate in Telling Their Own Stories"

Sunday, March 10th, 12:30-2:00 pm, Moose Exchange, Grille Room
Gerard Stropnicky presents “Flood Stories, Too.: Context and Process”

Tuesday, March 12th, 6:00 – 8:30 pm, Moose Exchange, Grille Room
Panel 1) Jennifer Whisner, PhD, Asst. Professor of Environmental, Geographical & Geological Sciences, presents “Climate Change and Flooding”
Panel 2) Rita Inklovich, Red Cross; Kathy Lowe, Agape; & Lee Sokoloski, Chief of Police, Bloomsburg, present “The Role of Response Services to the 2011 Flood”

Thursday, March 14th, 6:30 – 7:45 pm, Hartline Rm 108 (Auditorium)
“Psychological Responses to Natural Disaster: Stress, Community, Resilience”

  • James Dalton, PhD, Professor of Psychology
  • William R. Harrar, PsyD, BU Director of Counseling
  • Joseph G. Tloczynski, PhD, Professor of Psychology
  • Jennifer M. Yarnell, MCAT, PhD, Instructor of Psychology & private practitioner
  • Jodi Weiskerger, LSW, Private practitioner 
  • Moderator: Nancy D. Giles, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Organized by the Institute for Culture and Society
Sponsored by the BU College of Liberal Arts

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Euphonium and Piano at Carver Hall

One of the elite brass soloists of the world, euphonium player Adam Frey (www.euphonium.com) is presenting a recital with BU professor Charisse Baldoria (www.charissebaldoria.com) on the piano.  The concert is on Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Gross Auditorium, Carver Hall.  It is free and open to the public.

A native of Atlanta, Adam Frey has soloed with orchestras around the world, from the Boston Pops, to the US Army Orchestra, to Finland’s Vaasa Symphony Orchestra.  A champion of the euphonium, he has more than seventy works that have been composed or specifically arranged for him. 

Frey is the president of The Euphonium Foundation Inc., a non-profit, and artistic director of the International Euphonium Institute.  He has published articles internationally and served as assistant editor of the Euphonium Source Book, a text dedicated to all things euphonium.

An adjunct professor of Euphonium at Georgia State University and Emory University,   Frey received his musical training at the University of Georgia and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.

Dr. Charisse Baldoria, pianist, has performed in six continents and won awards in international competitions, including the San Antonio, Hilton Head Island, and Sydney international piano competitions.  A soloist and collaborative artist, she recently performed solo piano repertoire with a dancer, a painter, and a performance artist here at Bloomsburg University.   

Baldoria first came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar from the Philippines and earned her masters and doctorate from the University of Michigan.  She directs the piano program at Bloomsburg University.

The program includes the Concerto in C Minor by Telemann, The Yellow Rose of Texas Variations by Lewis Buckley, the Rule Britannia variations by John Hartmann, and other works for euphonium and piano.