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


WSC Nursing Students to Build Cardboard Village:
A Glimpse Into Homelessness


Renowned Journalist Advises Students to
Beware of "Weapons of Mass Distraction"

Speaker to Discuss Teaching for the
Liberal Arts at Faculty Workshop


  WSC Professor's Research Featured at Harvard
and in PBS Documentary Companion Book


WSC e-news General Info




Renowned Journalist Advises Students to
Beware of "Weapons of Mass Distraction"

Renowned journalist David Barsamian told a crowd of more than 80 Worcester State College students to be careful consumers of information when he delivered the lecture What We Say Goes: Pakistan, Iran, and US Foreign Policy, Friday, September 12.  The Center for the Study of Human Rights sponsored the lecture and in addition a second talk Imperialism Old and New, later that evening. 

According to Barsamian, the number of corporations controlling U.S. media sources has declined from 50 in 1978 to only five today.  This loss of diversity in the marketplace of news, he says, has resulted in little attention paid to world news and weapons of mass distraction.  He describes this as a mass news market that places more emphasis on platitudes than facts.

He challenged students to question all information.  You should not accept everything at face value, including what I say.  You should go out and investigate.  You should own your information.

One example he addressed is Iran. This nation has a complicated history in U.S. news, according to Barsamian. Because the nation has the second largest oil reserve in the world, he maintains, U.S. interests worked to undermine a democratic government elected in the 1950s that sought to nationalize oil to return more of the nations resources to the country rather than international oil interests. This, he said, coupled with U.S. support of Iraq in an armed conflict with Iran contributed further to tension in the region.

He also had harsh criticism for profiteers.  He stated that Exxon posted record profits, beginning in 2005 of $38 billion and growing to $40 billion in 2007.  This part of the economy is doing very handsomely, he said, while other parts of the economy, including housing, are seeing conditions similar to the Great Depression.

Barsamian is the award winning founder and director of Alternative Radio (AR), the independent weekly series based in Boulder, Colorado. AR presents information and perspectives that are ignored or distorted in the corporate-controlled media. The one-hour program is broadcast on more than 125 public radio stations around the world. Barsamian is also national producer of Making Contact, another weekly radio program. His interviews and articles appear in The Progressive, The Nation, Z and other journals and magazines.

Barsamian is the author of numerous books with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Eqbal Ahmad, and Edward Said. His series of books with Chomsky, America's leading dissident, have sold in the hundreds of thousands and have been translated into many languages. His latest books are What We Say Goes with Noam Chomsky and Targeting Iran.



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Speaker to Discuss Teaching for the
Liberal Arts at Faculty Workshop

Dr. Andrew G. De Rocco will lead a two part faculty workshop series focused on teaching for the liberal arts.  He will speak directly to the challenges and rewards for the college, its faculty and students, as implementation of Worcester State Colleges Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum progresses.  Participants will be challenged to explore the opportunities for curricula coherence as they reexamine the meaning of liberal learning and teaching and embark on the design or redesign of courses. 

The first of the two workshops will be held on Tuesday, September 23, from 2:30 5:30 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge, located on the third floor of the Sullivan Academic Building.  Part two of the series will be held on Tuesday, October 7, from 2:30 5:30 p.m., in the same location.  Refreshments will be served and workshop participants will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. De Rocco one-on-one.  This workshop series was funded by a generous grant from the Davis Educational Foundation.

Dr. De Rocco has a long academic history ranging from Professor of Physics at the Universities of Michigan and Maryland to Dean of Faculty at Trinity College to President of Denison University.  He is a former Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Connecticut, has served as chair of the New England Board of Higher Education, and as senior moderator for the Educational Leadership Program, a national seminar that over two decades brought together college and university faculty and administrators to examine foundations of the liberal arts and sciences and their relationship to the curriculum.



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WSC Professors Research Featured at Harvard and in PBS Documentary Companion Book
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

When she was about 11, Lisa Krissoff Boehm (Urban Studies) sat down with her great grandparents, who had emigrated from Russia, and asked them questions about their lives. The tape recorder was on.

This wasn't a school project, she said. I was curious about their lives and wanted to record their stories.

This curiosity about other peoples lives has paid off professionally for Krissoff Boehm. The Schlesinger Library for the History of Women at Harvard University recently requested that she contribute to the library the tapes and transcripts from her recent project, a book called Making a Way Out of No Way: African American Women and the Second Great Migration.  

The Schlesinger will make these available to scholars in the future, she said. This is a way to extend the voices of the 40 women beyond the book.

An old family friend in Grand Rapids was her first interviewee for this project in the summer of 2000.  Krissoff Boehm joined the WSC Urban Studies faculty that fall. She completed the last interview in the summer of 2007.

Finding women to interview was tough.  I wrote churches and interest groups, Krissoff Boehm said. No one got back to me.

So she used word of mouth to get the word out about her work. Friends told friends. She interviewed women in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Worcester and Boston as well as women from other cities visiting family or friends in these areas.

The oldest interviewee was 100 and in Worcester, Krissoff Boehm said. The younger women were in their 60s.

The book, which the University Press of Mississippi will publish in March, is an example of the shared authority of oral history. You're creating the document together, Krissoff Boehm said.

Each chapter begins with the voice of one of the interviewees. Other voices appear throughout the chapter. There's no me in it, asking questions, Krissoff Boehm said. This is more like a Studs Terkel treatment of the material. There's an art to it. She does do the work of a historian, too. In each chapter, she analyzes the stories the women have shared.

The Schlesinger Library awarded Krissoff Boehm a grant to edit and copy the interview tapes for its collection. 

Another copy of these materials will go to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. She received a grant from the Bentley early in this project for archival research.

Krissoff Boehm has also contributed a chapter, Chicago as Forgotten Country Music Mecca, to The Hay Loft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance, Chad Berry, ed., which the University of Illinois Press published this summer.

The National Barn Dance, the nations most popular radio show in the 1930s and 1940s, broadcast from Chicago for more than three decades. The show defined country and western entertainment until it was supplanted by the Grand Ole Opry and rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, according to the University of Illinois Press website.  

When we think of Chicago and music, we think of the blues, Krissoff Boehm said. We don't think of country and western. Why is it that we don't remember this?

The Hay Loft Gang will be a companion book for a PBS documentary by the same name, which will air this fall.

Perhaps people will then begin to link country and western music with Chicago, thus altering our public memory of popular music in the United States.  




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    The 2008 WSC Annual Presidents Report was distributed during the Opening Day meeting on September 2.  If you did not receive your copy, please pick one up at the PR and Marketing Office, Room 107A.  This informative report highlights key accomplishments of the last fiscal year and features profiles of students, faculty, alumni, and donors. For the first time, the Presidents Report was combined with the Report of Giving and includes the honor roll of donors. Please note that we will no longer mail publications to the homes of faculty and staff, even if other household members are alumni of the College. Therefore, please be sure to take your copy home to share with members of your household who are WSC alums. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We hope you enjoy the report.

    THE INTERSECTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE and CIVIC ENGAGEMENT - The First 2008-2009 CSD/SLD Think Tank Gathering will be held on Monday, September 29, from 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the College of the Holy Cross. Schedule: 9:30-10:00 Check in and Continental Breakfast; 10:00-11:00 Welcome and Introductions- MACC and Campus Updates; 11:00-12:00 Workshop Presentation; 12:00-12:30 Lunch; 12:30-2:00 Resume Workshop, Closing. Open to ALL Community Service Directors, Service Learning Directors and any Faculty involved with Service Learning. Location: Room 402 (4th Floor), Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross,
    1 College Street, Worcester, Mass. Please RSVP by September 22 to Julian Brown-Myers, MACC Operations Manager, at julian.brown-myers@tufts.edu so we can plan a great breakfast and lunch for you.

    All PARKING INFORMATION FOR 2008/2009 can be found at

    PLANNING AN EVENT THIS YEAR? - Are you thinking about the following: How to get the media interested?; How to fill those seats?; On and Off-Campus Press?; The Best Day and Time to hold your event?; Photography? If so, get your event on our radar! Even if you are just thinking about holding an event, the Office of Public Relations and Marketing is here to help guide you through the process of promoting a successful event. Contact us as soon as possible at 508-929-8018 or pr@worcester.edu. Already have an event in the works? Contact us today with the details.


    Current and retired educators save on purchases for personal or classroom use. Just bring proof of educator status (librarians and school administrators also eligible). Special Reception on
    Friday, Oct. 3, 4-8 p.m. at Borders stores** food, fun and prizes
    25% off list prices of books, CDs, DVDSs, etc. Free tote with $40 purchase. *Certain exclusions apply. **Receptions not held at Borders Express or Waldenbooks. Visit www.borders.com/educators

    CAMPUS EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS: The college community can now dial 8911 for an on campus emergency. Chief Rosemary Naughton urges use of this number, rather than dialing 911. "The problem with dialing 911," explained Chief Naughton, "is that the call is sent to the State Police - then to Worcester Police, which creates some delay. Then, when officers do respond to an emergency at Worcester State College, they arrive on campus without knowing which location on campus is appropriate. By calling us, we work with local emergency personnel to ensure the most timely response." From a cell phone, dial 508-929-8911.

Monday, September 15, 2008



Thurs., Sept. 18

Red Cross Blood Drive
Student Center, Exhibit Area
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 19

International Day of Peace
Art Exhibit & Festivities

Ghosh Art Gallery - 1st Floor
Ghosh Science Center
1 - 3 p.m.


Tues., Sept. 23

"When Anchormen Attack.."
Free and Open to the Public
Student Center, Blue Lounge
11:30 a.m.

Film:  Celebrating the Life
of Gertrude Halstead

Free and Open to the Public
Sullivan Building - Eager Lecture Hall
Room 146
3-5 p.m.

Wed., Sept. 24

Latino Family College Fair
Free and Open to the Public
Student Center, Blue Lounge
6-8 p.m.

Thurs., Oct.2

Sustainability Career Fair
Student Center - Exhibit Area
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Dr. Robert Ross presents
"Slaves to Fashion"

Student Center, Blue Lounge
11:30 a.m.

Mon., Oct. 13

Columbus Day Holiday
No Classes, Offices Closed

Fri., Oct.17

Andres Torres presents
"Latino Identities,

Latino Futures"
Student Center, North/South Aud
11:30 a.m.


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