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,, or through

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
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