Weekly News for Faculty, Staff and Friends of the Worcester State College Community

NEWS

WSC Theatre UpClose Presents An Evening of
Six One Act Plays

WSC to Host Local Educators for Workshop on
Poverty in Worcester County

Mary Lightfine of Nurse Without Boundaries
Speaks of International Volunteer Efforts


NOTEWORTHY


AROUND CAMPUS

Professor Martin Finds Alternative Teaching Tool With iPods

Dr. Kerr Publishes Article on Green Chemistry

Student Center Celebrates 30 Years

Women's Studies Host Inaugural Mini-Conference

Professor Barnard Chosen for Biology Scholars Program

Students Want Credit Card Marketing Under Control

Dr. Susan Rezen Hosts Former Student from Japan


TRANSITIONS


WSC IN THE NEWS

WSC e-news General Info


 

NOTEWORTHY

Richard Bisk (Mathematics) is helping to organize the Mathematics Content Courses for Elementary and Special Education Teachers program to be held on April 3 at Framingham State College. Three meetings on this topic have been held at WSC in the past year. The meeting is being funded by a Board of Higher Education grant. During the meeting Professor Bisk will discuss the new three semester sequence for Elementary Education majors at WSC. Over a 100 mathematics and education faculty members are expected.
 

Lynn Bloomberg (Health Science) and Barbara Zang (Communication) presented the panel discussion, "Approaches for Engaging Learners and Fostering Independent Thinking," at the annual conference on Teaching for Transformation, sponsored by the Center for the Improvement of Teaching at the University of Massachusetts-Boston on January 25, 2008.

Steven Corey (Urban Studies) served as a panelist for the roundtable "Tradeoffs and Compromises: Environmental Historians in Environmental Studies Programs -- Institutional Settings," at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Environmental History in Boise, Idaho, March 12-15.

Eihab Jaber (Chemistry) and collaborators from Stony Brook University prepared a poster titled "Interfacial Slip in Polymer Blends with Nanoparticles" that was presented at this year's American Physical Society national March meeting held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stephen A. Morreale (Criminal Justice) recently returned from Cincinnati where he participated in the Annual Conference of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). He chaired and presented papers in a panel on Leadership in Police Administration. The topic of the first paper was Police Leaders: Watch Your Language! The focus of the paper was how leaders can benefit from adapting business practices in the service sector. He also co-presented a paper on Leadership Development for Police and other Public Safety Personnel Across the World, along with Dr. P.J. Ortmeier, Grossmont College, El Cajon, Cal., and Dr. Maki Haberfield, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At a panel on Public Perceptions of Police, Professor Morreale co-presented a paper titled The Importance of Marketing and Transparency in Police Organizations with Dr. Jeffrey Rush from the University of Louisiana (Monroe). The ACJS Annual Conference will be held in Boston in March 2009, where he will serve on the Host Committee.

Rosemary Naughton (College Police) received an award for Outstanding Personal Contribution to Campus Public Safety from the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Naughton was recognized for her dedication in delivering the Incident Command Simulation program at WSC and at other institutions of higher education around the United States.

Amaryllis Siniossoglou (Visual and Performing Arts) has been accepted to exhibit her prints at the International Contemporary Engraving Biennial Exhibition at the Ion Ionescu Art Museum in Bulgaria.

The Economics Department was well represented at the Eastern Economics meetings in Boston, Mass, last month. They were all involved in the session "Community and Economic Development" which was chaired and organized by Janice Yee. Among the paper presenters were Bill O'Brien - "Local Airports and Economic Development; Weipang Lee - "People and Jobs: A System-Wide Study of Regional Economic Growth in the State of Massachusetts"; Bonnie Orcutt - "Democracy and Oil Prices" and Janice Yee - "Social Capital and Rural Development." Elizabeth Wark, Bonnie Orcutt and Shiko Gautho served as discussants for the session.


 

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AROUND CAMPUS

Professor Martin Finds Alternative Teaching Tool
With iPods in the Classroom

Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

Kyle Martin (Visual and Performing Arts) knows what it's like to haul 15 CDs into a class. In his music theory course, he might play excerpts from classical, rock, jazz and country  during a single class to illustrate the continuum of music's constituent parts.

"Students are learning these concrete components, " he said, and he likes to have them listen to a variety of musical styles so they can learn to indentify them. "And they're impatient with the loading time for each CD."

The awkwardness of dealing with all those CDs and their glacial loading time gave Martin the idea for his 2007-08 mini-grant proposal, "Apple iPod in the Classroom." He's creating music libraries on the iPod.

"It's portable," he said, "and I can create a variety of playlists with ease." He can pull up a playlist for a particular class, create new playlists based on the music on the iPod, and shuffle the playlists around to suit his pedagogical needs.

The iPod's ease of use is a selling point. "Everything is so easy to find," Martin said. "And I can quickly cross reference the material."

He'll use the mini-grant to buy iPods with 160 gigabytes of storage. His plan is to create two portable music libraries for his department's use. In historical survey classes such as Music Appreciation, the instructor will be able to have all Beethoven symphonies available in one class, for example.

Martin may also experiment with video on the iPod, which can be useful in a course he teaches, Music of the Cinema. "I can illustrate the use of certain musical techniques in film scores," he said. "And I could extract clips of video from movies to show using the iPod."

He has researched the iPod's use and points to another plus: He's able to augment the department's music holdings by downloading music to the iPod from iTunes. "These albums are $9.99 on iTunes," he said. "A CD costs much more than that."

Martin is also considering the iPod for storing students' musical compositions to use in other classes. It's a great way to share the music the students create, he said.

 

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Dr. Kerr Publishes Article on Green Chemistry

In 2007 Professor Margaret E. Kerr, Ph.D., was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Grant to go to Thailand to promote green chemistry curriculum development at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. In January, Kerr returned after five months in Thailand interacting with scientists and citizens. Below is an excerpt from an invited article she wrote for the Maejo International Journal of Science and Technology. The full article is available online at www.mijst.mju.ac.th.

Excerpt: "My perspective as an American might be somewhat different than that of a Thai, but the fundamental role of science in the future will be the same everywhere. As chemists, we are concerned about the future of our field and are worried about what will happen when petroleum based starting materials become scarce and more expensive. Scientists have both the burden and the privilege of being on the forefront in the development of solutions that will aid society in its progression into the future. As we work to train students and develop research programs, it is imperative that we teach students in concepts in sustainability. The practice of green chemistry, or sustainable chemistry, is a powerful tool that provides students with the opportunity to learn about how they can promote practices that are favorable to the environment and to humans when they get into the working world. Green chemistry, by definition, promotes the reduction or elimination of hazardous substances in chemical process."

 

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Student Center Celebrates 30 Years
Dana Lyford '08

Thirty years ago on April 3, 1978, the Student Center opened its doors for the first time. From that day on, the Student Center has proved to be an icon on this campus, welcoming students year after year to engage in an education outside the classroom. With this said, it's not hard to believe that the office of the Student Center/Student Activities has found reason to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this building and it' excellent service to students.

A birthday party for the Student Center will be held on April 3 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Exhibit Area. The campus community is invited stop by and enjoy 70's trivia contests, birthday chronicles and a giant cake with ice cream. The fun will continue in the evening for students to take part in one of the '70s most popular game shows - The Price is Right.

As part of the celebration, a special gathering will take place on April 5 from
5 - 10 p.m. with alumni who were student leaders and/or worked in the Student Center. This will be a great opportunity for alums to reminisce and see the many changes to the building and the campus.

Did you know...

  • The Student Center/Student Activities Office has provided over 2700 jobs for students since 1978. Different jobs over the years included student managers, print center, information desk, operations (now called conference and events staff), Living Room, and Pub staff.
     

  • Over 48,000 events have been held in the Student Center, including approximately 2400 speakers, 900 movies and 750 concerts, dances and coffeehouses.

     

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Women's Studies Host Inaugural Mini-Conference
Champika "K" Soysa, Ph.D.

The Women's Studies Program hosted its inaugural mini-conference on Thursday, March 6, 2008. The event was organized to celebrate International Women's Day (March 8) and Women's History Month (March). Director of Women's Studies Dr. K Soysa welcomed students, faculty and staff, and thanked her predecessors for bringing the Women's Studies Program to this point in its development. Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Julie Wollman commended faculty research in the area of Women's Studies in her opening remarks. Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Sibyl Brownlee voiced her appreciation of the event, stating that campus-based research conferences were rare in the field of Women's Studies amongst state schools in Massachusetts.

Several faculty presented their work at the mini-conference: Dr. Lisa Krissoff-Boehm, Dr. Lori Dawson, Dr. K Soysa, Dr. Kristen Waters, Dr. Judy Jeon-Chapman, and Dr. Cathy Wilcox-Titus. In addition, Manoj Jonna, a WSC undergraduate, presented Dr. Bonnie Orcutt's microfinance project with Nicaraguan women. The event was well attended throughout the day by students, faculty, and staff, including two distinguished guests, President Janelle Ashley and Director of Affirmative Action Edna Spencer.

The Women's Studies Program is interdisciplinary and its faculty members represent many departments, including Biology, Business Administration, Communication, Health, History, Languages and Literature, Music, Nursing, Philosophy, Physical and Earth Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Urban Studies and Visual and Performing Arts. The program offers 25-30 classes each semester and students can complete the Women's Studies Concentration by taking just five classes. Many of these classes also count towards distribution requirements, so students can add a concentration without having to take extra courses.

As pre-registration for Fall 2008 approaches, the Women's Studies Advisory Board will call on advisors to recruit students to the concentration. Please address your questions about the program to K Soysa at 508-929-8703 or csoysa@worcester.edu. The Women's Forum is a student organization on campus that welcomes new members. If you know of any students who are interested in joining, please have them contact Rita Franz at rfranz@worcester.edu or Faculty Adviser Kristen Waters at kwaters@worcester.edu.

The Women's Studies Advisory Board would like to thank the campus community for their support of this event and the Program in general.

 

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Professor Barnard Chosen for Biology Scholars Program
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

One problem all college faculty face is this: Do the teaching methods we use actually improve student learning? For faculty in the sciences, this may be even more vexing. Experimental design at the bench is familiar. Experimental design to measure student learning may not be.

This week, Professor Daron Barnard, Ph.D., learned that he is one of 16 college biology professors selected to spend the next year focusing on the scholarship of teaching and learning in biology. The Biology Scholars Research Residency Program is an offering of the American Society for Microbiology's undergraduate education division.

"It's a virtual residency," Barnard explained. This combines intensive, face-to-face, multi-day training institutes followed by on-going learning communities using electronic communication.

The Biology Scholars will meet in Washington at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Institute July 16-19 then will spend the year working on problems each has indentified. They'll meet again in May 2009 to evaluate their fellowship year.

For Barnard, this means examining his current interest: Could a project-based lab for genetics or a development course, with reduced breadth but greater dept and continuity, lead to enhanced student involvement and learning?

It's important that students learn the process of science, he says, as our knowledge of biological processes is constantly changing as new information emerges. He wonders whether devoting more time to the teaching of practical experiments, of teaching scientific inquiry, will result in increased student learning.

That's one point of this program. The Biology Scholars will learn to employ rigorous evaluations of their own teaching. The program's other goals are to have the fellows publish their results demonstrating improved student learning in the laboratory or classroom. They'll then be expected to lead biology colleagues in national efforts to sustain undergraduate biology education reform.

Barnard, who holds a doctorate in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University, was a postdoctoral fellow in the program in molecular medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School and a teaching postdoctoral fellow in the biology department of the College of the Holy Cross.

As a scientist, Barnard recognizes the need to address student learning in the same way he approaches bench experiments. He's looking to develop a more systematic examination of student learning as he tries different teaching methods.

He has already invested a lot in the improvement of his teaching since coming to Worcester State College two years ago. He completed the Consortium's Certificate in College Teaching Program. This year has named an Alden Teaching Fellow in the WSC Center for Teaching and Learning. He shares the responsibility for facilitating the 'technology in teaching" working group with Karl Wurst (Computer Science).

"I'm eager to start research on the teaching of biology," Barnard said. "I always want to improve my own teaching." This Biology Scholars fellowship will give him just that opportunity.

 

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Students Overwhelmingly Support Fair Campus Credit Card Marketing Principles to Rein In "Out-of-Control" Credit Card Company Marketing, Nationwide Survey Finds

Students overwhelmingly support limits on campus credit card marketing, according to the results of a nationwide USPIRG survey of over 1500 students at 40 colleges in 14 states including Worcester State College.

"Campus credit card marketing is simply out-of-control," said Kat Ryan, Worcester State MASSPIRG chapter student, "At tables on or off campus, or on your phone or in your mail, there's a credit card company making a pitch to get into your wallet, even if you cannot afford to pay the bill."

The survey findings come as state attorneys general and Congress are also investigating the enticements that the credit card companies rely upon to trap college students into applying for credit cards that have bad terms and conditions, Ryan said.

"Credit card companies aim to increase company earnings by targeting the college student demographic. Some companies try to use fine print and hidden fees to further increase interest rates," added Brian Patacciola, Student Government Parliamentarian. "These companies often use gimmicks upfront like free food, free t-shirts, and other free offers. The catch is sometimes they get a card they don't need or cannot afford."

"Worcester State is very concerned about protecting our students from aggressive marketing techniques that the card companies use to get into young people's wallets," said Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Sibyl Brownlee. "That's why we discourage credit card companies from marketing on our campus."

Among the key findings of the "Campus Credit Card Trap," were the following:

  • Three of four students (76%) reported stopping at tables to consider offers or apply for credit cards. Of students who reported stopping or applying at on-campus tables for credit cards for free gifts ranging from t-shirts to blankets to "sandwiches" or "pizza" or even "an iPod shuffle."
     

  • Four in five (80% of students) supported one or more fair marketing principles. Nearly three-in-four students (74%) asserted that only cards with fair terms and conditions should be marketed on campus. Students also overwhelmingly (67%) opposed the sale or sharing of student lists (which can include home and dorm addresses, email addresses and land line and cell phone numbers) with credit card companies.
     

  • Nearly two in three students (66%) reported that they had at least one credit card. Of these, 30% reported that their parents paid the bill. Thirty-six percent (or just over half of the remainder) reported that they paid the full balance on their primary card each month and just under half (34%) reported carrying a balance from month-to-month.
     

  • Of all respondents, whether had a card currently or not, one in four
    (25%) reported paying at least one late fee; 15% reported paying at least one over-the-limit fee and 6% reported that a card had been cancelled for non-payment.

Sasha Rosen, MASSPIRG organizer at Worcester State said that the release of the survey was part of MASSPIRG's ongoing truthaboutcredit.org campaign to rein in unfair campus credit card marketing. In addition to the release of this survey and other future reports, the group's activities include:

  • A FEESA (Sounds like VISA) campus credit card counter-marketing campaign. "Our representatives dress like credit card vendors and set up tables, too, but instead of handing out free gifts, we give out credit education factsheets and "don't be a sucker,"" lollipops," Kat Ryan said.
     

  • Ongoing efforts to urge college administrations to adopt the MASSPIRG campus credit card marketing platform, which calls for a ban on free gifts, a ban on selling or sharing student lists, a ban on campus sponsorship of marketing and increased financial education.

"Even though some schools or states have restricted campus credit card marketing, it's clear that more needs to be done," concluded Kat Ryan. "With out concentrated efforts to keep the marketplace on campus fair, then banks will keep finding new ways to get bad credit products into students' wallets."
 

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Dr. Susan Rezen Hosts Alumnus and Students from Japan

On March 24 and 25, Dr. Susan Rezen (Communication Sciences & Disorders) was host to a former student, Dr. Tatsuya Yamagishi '94, a professor from Niigata University in Japan, and four of his students. During their stay, Dr. Yamagishi and his students explored the Communication Sciences and Disorders program and attended a gathering where they received gifts from Dr. Janelle Ashley and met other college officials. In the picture they are all flashing the international sign for peace. Picture: Front Row L-R: Chihiro Kozakura,
Mutsumi Ando, Yuki Hata and Dr. Yamagishi. Back Row L-R: Ryotaro Kimura
and Dr. Suszan Rezen.

 

 

TRANSITIONS

Welcome to Jason S. White who is joining the WSC community as an Institutional Security Officer II in the College Police department.

 

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WSC IN THE NEWS

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


Hanover rings with art and laughter
ARTSWorcester Gallery opens at theater

Telegram & Gazette (3-14-08)
ARTSWorcester has opened a 1,200 square foot gallery space in the new Hanover Theater. The first exhibit, "Scratching the Surface," is curated by Jonathan Lucas (Communication) and features work from local artists including Professor Michael Hachey (Visual and Performing Arts).

College Town
Telegram & Gazette (3-23-08)
Excerpt: Congratulations to the Worcester State College Student Government Association for meeting its goal of $21,500 with the 17th annual Auction to Benefit the Homeless on March 6.
College Town is a new weekly column written by Lisa Welsh. The goal of the column is to put the spotlight on all the great things the local colleges are doing.

 

Friday, March 28, 2008
 

 

THIS WEEK

 

Saturday, Mar. 29

Softball
vs.
Bridgewater State College
Double Header
MASCAC Conference Game

Noon

Baseball vs.
Bridgewater State College
Double Header
MASCAC Game

Noon

Tuesday, Apr. 1

Blood Drive
Student Center, Exhibit Area
ID required
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Community Based Forum:
Working with Youth

Student Center, Blue Lounge
Free and Open to the Public
10 a.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs.
Castleton State College
6 p.m.

Wednesday, Apr. 2

Public Forum:
Housing
Foreclosures in Worcester

Student Center, North/South Aud.
Free and Open to the Public
2 p.m.

Talk: A Framework for Understanding Poverty,
Student Center, Blue Lounge
2:00 p.m.

Thursday, Apr. 3

Baseball
vs. UMASS-Boston
3 p.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs.
Elms College
NEWLA Conference Game
4 p.m.


COMING UP


Sunday, Apr. 6


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

Tuesday, Apr. 8

Talk: Renewable Energy
for the 21st Century,

Student Center, North/South Aud.
Free and Open to the Public
8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.

Student Center
30th Birthday Party,

Student Center, Exhibit Area
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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

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

Thursday, Apr. 10

Talk:
Invited Artist
Richard Yard,

Ghosh Center, Room 102
Free and Open to the Public
3 p.m.

Film: Kilowatt Ours &
Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun

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

Women's Lacrosse vs.
Roger Williams University
NEWLA Conference Game
6 p.m.

Apr. 10-12

WSC Theatre UpClose

presents:
All in the Timing,
Six One-Act Comedies
Sullivan Auditorium
8 p.m.

Friday, Apr. 11

Talk: Hidden Destruction of the Appalachian Mountains,
Worcester Public Library
Free and Open to the Public
3:30 p.m.

Saturday, Apr. 12

POGIL Workshop in
Chemical Education

Sullivan Building, Room 310
Registration Required
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sunday, Apr. 13

Consortium Gerontology
Studies Program Annual Intergenerational
Dance & Food Drive

Hogan Ballroom @ Holy Cross
1 p.m.

Baseball vs. Nichols College
Fitton Field @ Holy Cross
1 College Street, Worcester
1 p.m.

WSC Theatre UpClose
presents:
All in the Timing,
Six One-Act Comedies
Sullivan Auditorium
2 p.m.

Monday, Apr. 14

Film: Invisible Children
Student Center, North/South Aud.
Free and Open to the Public
2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Apr. 15

Film: Invisible Children
Student Center, North/South Aud.
Free and Open to the Public
12:30 p.m.

Baseball vs.
Fitchburg State College
Double Header
MASCAC Game

2 p.m.

Softball vs.
Fitchburg State College
Double Header
5 p.m.

Wednesday, Apr. 16

Celebration of Service
Across the Ages

Student Center, Blue Lounge
Free and Open to the Public
2 p.m.

Baseball vs. Salve Regina
Fitton Field @ Holy Cross
1 College Street, Worcester
4 p.m.

Tuesday, Apr. 17

Baseball
vs. Suffolk University
Laska Gym @ Assumption College
500 Salisbury Street, Worcester
3:30 p.m.

Softball vs. Nichols College
Double Header
5 p.m.

Saturday, Apr. 19

Women's Lacrosse
vs.
Westfield State College
Noon

Sunday, Apr. 20

Baseball
vs. Eastern CT State
Laska Gym @ Assumption College
500 Salisbury Street, Worcester
1 p.m.

Monday, Apr. 21

Patriots' Day Holiday

No Classes, Offices Closed

Tuesday, Apr. 22

Golf
WSC Invitational @
Sterling Country Club

Softball vs. Becker College
5 p.m.

Wednesday, Apr. 23

Baseball
vs.
Rhode Island College
4 p.m.

Thursday, Apr. 24

Baseball
vs. Becker College
Double Header
2 p.m.

Talk: Invited Artist
Nina Fletcher

Ghosh Center, Room 102
Free and Open to the Public
3 p.m.

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

Women's Lacrosse vs.
UMASS-Dartmouth
7 p.m.

Saturday, Apr. 26

Baseball
vs.
Framingham State College
Fitton Field @ Holy Cross
1 College Street, Worcester
Double Header
MASCAC Game

Noon

Softball vs.
Framingham State College
Double Header
MASCAC Conference Game

Noon

Sunday, Apr. 27

Baseball
vs.
Colby-Sawyer College
Fitton Field @ Holy Cross
1 College Street, Worcester
Noon

 


 

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