Weekly news for faculty, staff and friends of the Worcester State College Community

Friday, March, 14, 2008


Lt. Governor Murray to speak at Commencement

More than 1100 Attend Cornel West Lecture

WSC Named to President's Honor Roll

In This Issue



SGA Auction Meets Fundraising Goal

Professor Lamelas Explores Crystal Growth

VITA/EITC Tax Site Has New Home

Mathematics Summer Employment Program

Coffees at the Center Serve Up Much More





WSC e-News General Info





Mar. 17-22

Spring Break



Tuesday, Mar. 25

Softball vs.
Rhode Island College
3 p.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs.
Western CT State
7 p.m.

Wednesday, Mar. 26

Consortium Career Fair
DCU Center
1 - 4 p.m.
Free for Students

Thursday, Mar. 27

Nurse Without Boundaries
Diversity Lecture w/ Mary Lightfine
Student Center, Blue Lounge
Free and Open to the Public
11:30 a.m.

Film: The Power of Community:
How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Ghosh Center, Room 318
Free and Open to the Public
4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 29

Softball vs.
Bridgewater State College
10 a.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs.
Becker College


Tuesday, Apr. 1
Women's Lacrosse vs.
Castleton State
6 p.m.

Wednesday, Apr. 2
Softball vs.
Elms College
5 p.m.

Thursday, Apr. 3
Baseball vs.
3 p.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs.
Elms College
4 p.m.

Sunday, Apr. 6

Recital for Cello and Piano
featuring Christie Nigro
Clark Univ., Razzo Hall
Free and Open to the Public
3 p.m.

Tuesday, Apr. 8

Caterpillar Soup
Diversity Lecture w/ Lyena Strelkoff
Student Center, Blue Lounge
Free and Open to the Public
11:30 a.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs.
Fitchburg State
6 p.m.

Thursday, Apr. 10

Film: Kilowatt Ours & Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun
Ghosh Center, Room 318
Free and Open to the Public
4:30 p.m.

Apr.10 - 12

Worcester Theatre UpClose:
All in the Timing - Six One-Act Comedies,
Students - $6
General Admission - $12
Sullivan Auditorium
8 p.m.

Sunday, Apr. 13

Worcester Theatre UpClose:
All in the Timing -
 Six One-Act Comedies
Students - $6
General Admission - $12
Sullivan Auditorium
2 p.m.

Sunday, Apr. 13

Consortium Gerontology
Studies Program Annual Intergenerational
Dance & Food Drive

Free, Open to Elders and
COWC College Students
Holy Cross, Hogan Ballroom
1 College Street, Worcester
1 p.m.
















































































































Nancy Brewer (Health Sciences) recently reviewed the text Environmental Health: Ecological Perspectives for Jones and Bartlett Publishers. The text is currently being prepared for a revision with the new edition available in the spring.  

Shiko Gathuo (Urban Studies) was featured in an article in the November 30, 2007, issue of The Clinton Item. The article discussed her visit to Sterling, Mass. to promote her latest novel, Tay and the Form 1A's at St. Claire's.

Peter Holloran (History) published articles on Governor James Michael Curley, Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, and novelist Edwin O'Connor in Ireland and the Americas (ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2008) edited by James P. Byrne.

Kenneth Sanderson, a junior mathematics major, has accepted a position in the Mathematics Summer Employment Program (MSEP) at the National Security Agency (NSA) for summer 2008.

Erika Sidor (Public Relations and Marketing) had three photographs accepted into the Going to the Dogs art exhibition at the Brush Art Gallery in Lowell, Mass. This exhibition, which runs from April 13 - June 15, is a collaborative effort between the Brush Art Gallery and Greyhound Welfare. The Brush will be hosting fundraisers in conjunction with the exhibition, the proceeds of which will be shared with Greyhound Welfare.

Amaryllis Siniossoglou (Visual and Performing Arts) was accepted to exhibit one of her artist’s books at the IX  F.I.R.A. Forum International de la Reliure d’Art in Switzerland. The exhibition took place in Freiburg and was hosted by the Gutenberg Museum and the Municipal Public Library. The Gutenberg Museum is a building dating from the Middle Ages. A shrine to the bookbinding and printing arts, it is a fitting place for hosting a collection of some of the finest contemporary book bindings. The exhibition took place from September 11 to December 31, 2007. A catalogue has been published including all accepted bindings.

Kristin Waters (Philosophy) was featured in an article in the Telegram & Gazette (Living section) on March 11. The article focused on the award-winning book she co-edited, Black Women's Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds (University of Vermont Press).

Catherine Wilcox-Titus (Visual and Performing Arts) delivered a talk at the College Art Association conference in Dallas on February 21. Professor Wilcox-Titus participated in the panel entitled “Cute.” Her talk, titled “It Always Floats: Cuteness as the Aesthetic Frame,” examined the way the presence of cuteness in contemporary art has been gendered as a feminine attribute. She traced the origins of this aesthetic through American popular culture, Pop Art, and contemporary Japanese popular culture where it is known as kawaii. Her discussion centered on the art of contemporary artists Lily van der Stokker,
Chiho Aoshima, and Lisa Yuskavage.

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SGA Auction Meets Fundraising Goal

     The Worcester State College Student Government Association (SGA) met, and will likely exceed, their goal of $21,500 as donations continue to come in.  The 17th annual Auction to Benefit the Homeless was held, Thursday,
March 6 in the Student Center.

      Since the auction began, the SGA has contributed over $140,000 in proceeds to those in need.  This year’s proceeds will benefit the Mustard Seed Foundation, which provides food and emergency services for the city’s homeless; Abby’s House, a local shelter for homeless women and Sherry’s House, a place for Central New England families of children with cancer.  “This event has become a great tradition for Worcester State College,” said Worcester State College President Dr. Janelle Ashley.  “I am so impressed with the amazing contributions our student, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers have made these past 17 years.”

      The auction was made possible by a group of volunteer students, staff, and alumni of Worcester State College. All of the items for the auction are donated by area businesses and families.  Auction Chairs are Student Government President Tracy Pilch -  Class of 2008 Senator Dana Lyford and Commuter Senator Rob Bilotta. Auction Committee Members are Class of 2010 Senator/Senate Treasurer Liz Rooney; Student Trustee Brandon Huggon; Resident Senator Lauren Kender and Class of 2010 Senator Lindsay Durell. The Auction Advisor is Andrea Wamboldt.

     SGA is a student run government organization at Worcester State College that serves as a delegate for the entire population of undergraduate students. SGA serves as the primary advocate of students’ rights and is involved with forming College policy.


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Professor Frank Lamelas Explores Crystal Growth
by Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

     Ask Frank Lamelas, associate professor of Physical and Earth Sciences, about his research lab, and he’ll quickly tell you that he has a “distributed research laboratory.” That’s because his lab is wherever he’s found space for it in the Ghosh Center for Science and Technology. 

     A spare desk in his office on the fourth floor of S&T is laden with pieces of equipment. “This is my electronics and soldering area,” he said. In a physics teaching lab a few doors away, he’s secured a corner for wet chemistry. Here, he makes solutions and stores chemicals he needs for research.

     Down the hall, a room marked “Radiation Lab 423A” was a storage space that’s now Lamelas’ Crystal-Growth Research Lab. He’s studying epitaxial growth in crystals by examining their growth process in salt solutions, which are translucent and transparent, the better to observe them with a microscope. “If you want to study the growth process itself, this is a reasonable approach,” he said.

     The equipment in this small room has come from a variety of sources.

     “Some I’ve gotten from the department’s budget. Some I’ve scrounged from IT and other places. Some I’ve bought on e-Bay,” Lamelas says. “e-Bay is the world’s rummage sale. You can buy lots of stuff very cheaply.” He points out a $50 piece of equipment he found on e-Bay. On another counter is a green laser he bought directly from a Chinese manufacturer through a vendor in New Zealand.

     “I wanted to get going on my research,” he explains. “e-Bay has made this possible. Setting up a lab like this wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago.”

     Lamelas also builds equipment for his studies of crystal growth at home in his basement. “This is a temperature stage,” he said, holding a device no bigger than the palm of his hand. The temperature stage is used to heat and cool samples with a precision of 0.01 degrees Celsius. Working full time to make the temperature stage might have taken him a week, he said. “It would probably cost $10,000 to buy one.”

     His approach allows him to create custom-made experimental systems suitable for performing novel experiments in condensed-matter physics and materials science.

     Currently two undergraduates work with him. Tom Bosse, a natural science student, is developing programming to raise and lower temperatures for some of the crystal growth experiments. Deanna Lahey, a biology student, prepares samples and monitors data the experiments generate.                           

     Lamelas bought materials with his WSC mini-grant to create a moissanite-anvil pressure cell, which is used to study crystal growth at higher pressures than atmospheric pressure. In trial runs, the cell easily reached pressures of approximately 30,000 atmospheres.

     His mini-grant project, “Raman Spectroscopy at High Pressure,” also involves cameras and two spectrometers. These, plus the laser and other components, are part of an optical system designed to allow simultaneous measure of pressure and Raman spectra with samples that can be heated or cooled.

     The spectrometer enclosures he bought on e-Bay. Isn’t it tough to get the college to pay for such e-Bay purchases? “I do this out of pocket,” Lamelas said, “because I want to do it.” 


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Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement Offers Volunteer Tax Preparation Program

     The Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement (CSLCE), directed by Corey Dolgon, Ph.D., has teamed up with the IRS sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and the Worcester Earned Income Tax Credit coalition to house the WSC tax site.

     In its fourth year, under the supervision of Tim Hagopian, the VITA/EITC program has grown from serving 100 taxpayers in 2005 to an expected 400 this year. The service is available to any person who has a basic tax case with low to moderate income level. Federal and state taxes are prepared in about 30 minutes and e-filed for free. Direct deposit is available, bringing the typical refund turn-around time to three to nine days.

     The main goals of the program are to help low-income people save money on preparing and e-filing their taxes and increase the number of people eligible for EITC to actually receive the credit. Every year, many low-income residents (and therefore the local businesses) lose thousands of federal dollars by missing out on this credit which puts up to $4,000 extra in the pockets of working families.     

     This is the first year that the CSLCE has been involved in developing course content along with the service to create an actual service learning experience. This is also the first year that students from Holy Cross and two executives from AllCom Credit Union have joined the WSC class in this volunteer effort.

     Appointments can be made MWF 3 to 7 p.m. by contacting timothy.hagopian@worcester.edu or calling ext. 8635 or  ext. 8810.
The program is asking for help in attracting low-income clients.


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Mathematics Summer Employment Program

The Mathematics Summer Employment program runs from the end of May through the middle of August and is open to students majoring in Mathematics. This program gives students the opportunity to "earn while they learn," by providing hands-on experience during a 12-week paid work assignment, $12,000 for this year. Assignments are based on the student's experience and academic status. These intense 12-week programs give the brightest math students in America's colleges and universities the chance to put their problem-solving skills to the test and receive valuable work experience at the same time. Students participating in the programs have the opportunity to learn and develop crypto-mathematical theory and to apply the theory to operational problems.

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Coffees at the Center for Teaching and Learning
Serve Up Much More

by Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

     At 9:30 a.m. on a recent Tuesday morning, the conversation had turned to how to set up shared calendars to aid faculty-student research projects. By then, some nine faculty members had come for coffee and conversation, and had moved on to their classes in economics, criminal justice, biology and chemistry.

     “Coffee at the Center” happens every two weeks starting at
8 a.m. in the Center for Teaching and Learning, which is in room
S-117. Andrea Bilics, the center’s director, started these coffees
in the spring 2007 semester to bring faculty together to talk about teaching.

     “Our departments are silos, and we stay within them,” she said. “We’ve created a space for people to meet informally, so we have a chance to talk across disciplines.” This, she notes, is a plus on a campus moving toward more interdisciplinary courses.

     The coffees also serve a social function. Emily Soltano (Psychology) regularly drops by. “It’s the conversation,” she says about what draws her there. She says that people always have good suggestions about how to juggle work and life. “It’s also a way to check in and see what’s going on.” Jacqueline Brennan (Occupational Therapy) agrees. “Unless you’re on a college committee, you don’t know what’s going on. We’re an isolated department in OT.”

     The coffees are also an easy way for faculty to acquaint themselves with the resources of the center—the books, the journals, the examples of college teaching research---as well as its services, which include consultation services for faculty who request help with their teaching. “The library is great,” said Francis “Tuck” Amory (Urban Studies). 

     The coffees draw anywhere from 30-35 faculty to just a few, said Bilics, who confesses that she does not like coffee. She’s a tea drinker. Rest assured, if you are too, there’s always tea at these coffees. And by the next one, maybe someone will have figured out the shared calendar problem.

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  • If you have old cell phones why not donate them to 'Cell Phones for Soldiers?' They will be sent to our soldiers overseas, along with calling cards, so that they may call home. It's a really great cause and will help so many of our fellow citizens. The collection spots are in Sullivan 220 or in Wasylean Hall (Suite 210). The last day for collection will be April 4.

  • WPI Biotech and Bioengineering Career Fair has invited WSC students to their career fair on March 25 from noon to 4 p.m. in the WPI Campus Center Odeum.

  • The Colleges of Worcester Consortium is holding it's annual Career Fair,
    March 26 from 1 - 4:30 p.m., located at the DCU Center Ballroom, 50 Foster Street, Worcester, Mass. To learn more go to: www.cowcworks.org/cf2008

  • WSC Academic Scholarship Applications Due Apr. 1

  • $1,000 SPC Student Scholarship Available


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Congratulations to Shannon Kirshenbaum (Student Affairs) and her wife, Laura (Kirshenbaum), on the birth of their first child.  Hazel Margaret Kirshenbaum was born on February 1 (5lbs. 7oz, 19.5 inches long). 

In the February issue of the Communique it was noted that Michelle McGowan was promoted to Receiving Teller II in the Bursars Office. Ms. McGowan was promoted to Receiving Teller I.

The Retirement and Employee Service Recognition Program will take place on Monday, May 5 at 3 p.m. in the Blue Lounge. Click here to view the Retirement and Recognition list.



**Please Note - Links to online newspaper articles
 may no longer be available after a certain period of time.**

Restoring the words of black women writers
Worcester professor co-edits new book

Telegram & Gazette (3-11-08)
Part of my theme here is the erasing of the work of black women and trying to bring it back, said Waters, who teaches political theory at Worcester State College.

West takes on array of issues
Racism, hip-hop among speech topics

Telegram & Gazette (3-4-08)
Excerpt:  “It takes tremendous courage to love,” he told a packed Sullivan Auditorium at Worcester State College, describing love as “the most difficult and dangerous force in the world.”

Microfinance Given Major Boost
Telegram & Gazette (2-25-08)
  Microfinance may have been born in Bangladesh, but Worcester State College students are helping to spread the gospel of small loans to people as far away as Nicaragua and maybe others as close as Worcester.

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