Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Anthropology and Psychology Students Present Research at Statewide STEM Conference

Three Bloomsburg University College of Liberal Arts students presented their 2014 Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) -sponsored summer original research at the PASSHE Undergraduate Research Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Conference at Slippery Rock University, November 21-21, 2014.

Laurie Ganey, Psychology,  presented "Development and Assessment of a Neuroscience-inspired Psycho-educational Workbook".  Her faculty mentor is Dr. Mary Katherine Duncan.

Lacy Marbaker, Anthropology, mentored by Dr. Conrad Quintyn and Dr. Faith Warner, was awarded second place in the Undergraduate Research Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics competition for her poster, “The Effects of Susquehanna River Water Pollution on Decomposition of Sus scrofa domesticus: An Application of Forensic Anthropology”.

Jaimee Saemann, Anthropology, also mentored by Dr. Warner, presented “The Cochlear Implant: A Technological Miracle or Cultural Supressor?”

Congratulations to all involved!

Laurie Ganey
Lacy Marbaker (photo courtesy John Nass)
Jaimee Saemann (photo courtesy John Nass)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gender Studies Minor Students Present Research

On Tuesday, November 11, five students minoring in Gender Studies presented their research projects to the campus community in the Schweiker Room of the Andruss Library.

In its second year, the research event was well-attended by about sixty students and faculty. 

English major Matthew Boyarsky delivered his presentation "Masculinity and Its Effect on Language" in which he reflected on the origins of gender-biased language and the way it perpetuates a dated and heavy-handed male culture. Through his research, he invited an open dialogue for any alternative ways of addressing language and using its power to create environments that are comfortable for all genders.

Next to present was Anna James, whose research entitled "Feminine Figures and Their Roles: Comparison between Ancient Society and Nineteenth Century Society" led her to many theories as to why women in the ancient society of Egypt were treated as equal to men. "Women in that society were breaking rules and becoming leaders, while women in the 1920s and earlier had lesser rights than those of a child or even a slave. One of the most credited theories relates to Egypt’s worship of many Gods and Goddesses and the reflection on how these Goddesses were seen; they mostly represented fertility and nurturing, while 1920s American society had Greek and Christian influences that has included the worship of male figures," said James in her abstract.
from left: Sarah Tessarvich, Anna James, Matt Boyarsky, Brian Molk and Albra Wheeler
(not pictured: Karli Miller)
photo courtesy of Ferda Asya
Anthropology major Bryan Molk presented research on gay and lesbian views from an African perspective at universities in the United States. His research assisted Molk in securing and completing an internship with Global Rights: Partners For Justice, where he helped to develop and support aspects of their Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) and Women's Rights programs.
His presentation "Gay and Lesbian Rights from an African Perspective: Applying The Research" included ethnographic research surveyed forty-one African students, who were studying in the United States, on their views and opinions of gay and lesbian rights. His data showed an overall positive receptiveness for gay and lesbian people, with a clear influence of Western ideology as a result of these students' studies and experiences at the institutions in the United States. 
Theatre major Sara Tessarvich's presentation "Portrayal and Representation of Transgender Individuals in Popular Media" dealt with how those who identify as transgender are portrayed in television and movies and how they are represented in media such as magazines and reality shows. Tessarvich discussed the overarching number and nature of the representations in recent television shows and by providing examples of media containing transgender individuals in Transparent and Orange is the New Black. She then discussed reality shows and magazines that feature transgender individuals such as Time magazine, Dancing With the Stars, and TRANSform Me.
Albra Wheeler, a Communication Studies major presented "Getting Bi in a Hetero World: Myths and Stereotypes of Bisexual Individuals." Wheeler's research and workshop are a celebration of bisexual identities. "In my presentation, I expose the audience of the diversity of the bisexual identity while covering stereotypes, myths, and misconceptions of the LGBTQA community; particularly those who identify as bisexual and non-monosexual," said Wheeler in her abstract.
English and Communication Studies major Karli Miller was unable to present her research "Fifty Shades of Grey: Unfortunate Facts about Unrealistic Fiction" due to illness.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

BU Theatre Grad Leaps from Academics to Professional Work through an Apprenticeship

Though I only just graduated from Bloomsburg this past May, I am lucky enough to be working in my field of study, especially a field as competitive as theatre.  I am currently employed as a Stage Management Apprentice at the People's Light and Theatre in Malvern, PA.  I am honored to be a part of their 40th anniversary season.

My main role as an apprentice is to serve as the assistant stage manager for half of the shows in this season.  However, in the downtime between shows, I am expected to put in time as a Production Assistant.  So far, I've assisted the carpenters, the scenic artist, and the props master.  Being able to transition seamlessly into the different departments is definitely a big asset and, I am sure, helped me to earn this position.

Becca Kestel (second from right) with the cast and stage management team
on the set of Row After Row at People's Light and Theat
I was able to gain these multi-disciplined skills during my time at Bloomsburg University.  While in school, I was fueled with a constant yearning to learn about every aspect of theatre, and I made a point of seizing any opportunity for a new experience. All of my professors supported my yearning and provided me with new challenges and guidance. I was blessed with incredible professors who not only guided me, but serve as examples of great theatre artists.

I took nearly every theatre production class offered (some more than once at an advanced level) and once I gained the basic knowledge I was able to use it through practical experience.  I was offered leadership roles in the form of stage managing or designing for the Bloomsburg University Players' (BUP) main stage productions. In addition, I held a work study job in the scene shop from my sophomore year until I graduated.

In my senior year, I was offered the role of stage manager of the BUP production of 30 Plays in 60 Minutes.  I accepted, not fully realizing the personal impact the show would have on me.  This show provided new challenges that appealed to me: working with a guest director from New York (Kevin R. Free), a collection of completely student-written pieces that were constantly being edited, and a staging that changed for each performance.  Though the work was intense at times, I loved every second I spent on this show.  It highlighted the beauty of theatre to me.  With my group of peers, underneath the fabulous guidance of Kevin R. Free, we created this truly unique theatre experience that was able to move the audience each night.  It was during this show that I made the decision to pursue stage management fully.  Also, my work on this show was honored with a Certificate of Merit from the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre.

It is so exciting to be able to put all that I've learned to use in the professional theatre world. I am so grateful to have my position here at People's Light and Theatre. To add to the excitement, I was surprised and delighted to see a familiar face during my first week of work here.  It turns out that my counterpart for the season is none other than Liz Nugent, another alumna from Bloomsburg University, whom I've had the fortune to work with during school. Clearly, Bloomsburg is doing something right in their training of stage managers.

—Becca Kestel, Theatre and Anthropology, BU Class of ‘14