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


Nursing Students and Faculty Raise Dollars,
Food and Coats with Cardboard Village



LASC News Update


Student from Thailand Works on Biodiesel Project at WSC

   High Performance Computer Cluster to Aid
      Faculty and Student Researchers




WSC e-news General Info



Michael Hachey (Visual and Performing Arts) and Erika Sidor (Public Relations & Marketing) were chosen for The 20 Artists of Worcester. The editorial style photography book, by Scott Erb, captures some of the most talented artists in Worcester County in their creative environments. On November 14, from 5 - 7:30 p.m. there will be an exhibition of the artists chosen for the book at the Davis Gallery at 44 Portland Street, Worcester, Mass. It will be an enjoyable evening of fun, food, and art. Youll meet and greet not only the photographer and writer of the book but also the artists themselves at this exhibition. The show will close on January 23, 2009.

Stephen A. Morreale (Criminal Justice) recently presented for the Rhode Island Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners in Cranston, Rhode Island.  The lecture was titled: An Open Discussion on Organizational Ethics. In attendance were risk managers, college educators, compliance officials, internal auditors, directors of insurance special investigations units, and members of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. 

Amaryllis Siniossoglou
(Visual and Performing Arts) has been accepted to exhibit her prints at the Seventh Lessedra World Print Annual at Lessedra Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria. Professor Siniossoglou was awarded a special prize during that show for her polymer gravures. Polymer gravure is the latest development in printmaking. Plates, equipment and paper were supported by a Faculty Mini Grant. This equipment is also shared with Professor Siniossoglou's students in her AR 307 - The Computer in Studio Art II course and her new course for spring 2009 AR 350 - Special Topics: Intermediate Printmaking offered by the VPA department.



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LASC News Update

Upcoming LASC Workshops:

Zen and the Art of Curricula Reform:  The Eightfold Way 
Monday, October 6, from 2:30 5:30 p.m., Sullivan Faculty Lounge

The Center for Teaching and Learning and LASC would like to invite you to attend the second part of a two-part workshop series led by Dr. Andrew G. De Rocco.  Attendance at the first session is not necessary for participation in session two.  Discussion will include examination of a multidisciplinary approach to LASC at the program versus course level and course design for LASC versus the major.  Breakout sessions and exercises will be focused on the design and/or redesign of student-centered courses not driven by the needs of the major or course content but focused on alignment of course specific SLOs with the overall learning objectives of LASC as well as the more detailed student learning objectives in one or more of the LASC content areas.

DAC:  Diversity Across the Curriculum
Wednesday, October 15, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
South Auditorium, Student Center
Details will be forthcoming.

MAC:  Math Across the Curriculum
Wednesday, November 19, 3 - 4:15 p.m.
South Auditorium, Student Center
Details will be forthcoming.

If you have a specific LASC related topic(s) you would like addressed or are interested in leading or co-leading a workshop on a specific LASC area, please contact Bonnie Orcutt at borcutt@worcester.edu or extension 8750.

LASC Team Site:

LASC documents and other LASC related information will be available at www.worcester.edu/teamsites/LASC/default.aspx.

Please visit the site to find the latest version of the LASC document dated August 2008 and the application forms to be used when seeking funding from the Davis Foundation Educational Grant for on-campus and off-campus activities related to LASC.  Information regarding the course approval subcommittees, the course approval process, and the course approval forms should be available in October.

The LASC Advisory Board is working on finalizing the term, purpose and role of the advisory board.  A call for new advisory board members along side the release of this document will be forthcoming in October. 

Davis Educational Foundation Grant:

Worcester State College received a $248,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to support the continued development and implementation of LASC.  The three-year grant funding period began November 2007.  The grant provides funds to support the First Year Experience Co-Directors and the LASC Area Program Chair, faculty enrichment, course development, assessment and advising activities and programs, and the acquisition of registration software and other supplies.

Departmental and Faculty Support: 

Please contact Bonnie Orcutt, LASC Coordinator/Area Program Chair, to discuss departmental needs or concerns regarding LASC.  Every effort will be made to address your concerns and provide the support needed for your department to continue to move forward in the design, redesign and submission of courses for LASC. 

Summer Workshops:

Kris Waters and Bonnie Orcutt would like to once again thank you for your willingness to participate in the Davis funded summer workshops.  The final reports are continuing to be submitted and reflect effort, energy, and a clear willingness by participants to embrace and participate in LASC.  Please feel free to contact Bonnie Orcutt and/or Andrea Bilics, director, Center for Teaching and Learning, to explore support for continued departmental and interdepartmental dialogues.  



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Student from Thailand Works on Biodiesel Project
at Worcester State College
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

Erika Kubota, a senior in industrial management at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, is the first student from that institution to accept Worcester States invitation for an academic exchange. Shes here for the fall semester working on her senior thesis under the direction of Margaret Kerr.

Kubota is researching ways to extract biodiesel from soybean oil using ferric chloride as a catalyst. Ferric chloride eliminates a corrosive component in the process, potassium hydroxide, which is better known as lye.

No one has used this catalyst before, Kubota  said. My adviser in Thailand wants me to find out whether it works.  

Her academic major entails equal parts of accounting, economics and management, and chemistry. She's sitting in on Kerr's organic chemistry class as a refresher. Her thesis project is rooted in chemistry and economics. What's the cost effectiveness of the materials used in biodiesel production? What's the cost of the process itself?

She will present her research results when she returns to Chulalongkorn University in December. She envisions doing some sort of chemistry for a multi-national corporation after graduation.

In Thailand, there's not much green chemistry, Kubota said. Her thesis adviser therefore wanted her to do her research here. Kerr, whose specialty is green chemistry, spent the fall 2007 semester as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Chulalongkorn and began discussions about such an exchange program then.

We may have four Thai students from Chulalongkorn here next fall to do research projects with our faculty, Kerr said.

The chemistry department is creating an upper level research course that will allow faculty to teach in their research specialties; students will do research under their supervision. They envision a mix of Chulalongkorn University and Worcester State students in such a course.

Kubota may have an opportunity to try her biodiesel research using a new processor at the college.  Bob Daniels, the colleges environmental health and safety officer, says that this biodiesel processor will turn waste cooking oil from Chartwells into fuel for the campus tractors. These do lawn mowing in summer and snow blowing in winter.

Daniels is scouting out a place to house the biodiesel processor. He estimates it will be up and running in four to six weeks. Those interested in how the processor works can stop by the display van parked outside the Student Center on Oct. 2 during the Sustainability Fair.



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High Performance Computer Cluster to
Aid Faculty and Student Researchers

Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

Eihab Jaber spent his summer refurbishing 18 computers that AstraZeneca donated to the chemistry department. These computers, plus two servers that IBM donated, have enabled the department to have a high performance computing cluster, known as a HPCC.

Jaber is an assistant professor in the chemistry department. Computational chemistry is his specialty.  A 2008-09 mini-grant from the college supported his work on these computers this summer.

I worked with Jason Kost, a brilliant student, to get these computers up and running, Jaber said. He's been an undergraduate researcher for me for a couple years. I'm very fortunate to have him work with me.

The two placed the computers in a chemical hood in a lab, the only available space for them. They couldn't move the hood, so they adapted it to their needs.

Turns out, this was a smart move.

Its a good place to store the computers because they give off heat, Jaber said.

The WSC Information Technology (IT) department helped get the $11,000 worth of donated equipment to function in the lab.

Nancy Ramsdell and the whole IT department were extremely helpful, Jaber said.

The computers form a Beowulf cluster, which means that all of them work together in parallel to solve a computational problem.  The kinds of problems the cluster works on fall into three categories at the moment: nanotechnology, material science and green chemistry.

Students will continue their work under Jabers direction to develop nanoparticles for cancer research. Others will work on the development of smart, field-responsive polymers. Still other students will work on the prevention of ozone destruction by researching the effects of hydroxyl radicals on ozone.

The computer cluster will also be used in an upper level undergraduate research course the department is creating.

Jaber and Kost are currently at work on a manuscript, Beowulf Computing Constructing a HPCC to Promote Undergraduate Research, which they will submit to the Journal of Undergraduate Research.

In addition, Jaber envisions using the cluster in his work with Upward Bound students. He's a science instructor for the program, and he tries to interest these high school students in science careers as he works with them throughout the school year.

They'll present their work at a mini-conference in the spring for their teachers and parents, he said.  

The new computational computer cluster will be getting quite a workout. Good thing its housed in that hood.   



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The WSC Chorale would like to invite faculty, staff, administration and friends to accompany them on the next Chorale concert tour, May 19- 26, 2009.  Many people keep coming back on these trips because we have such a fabulous time, both singers and non-singers alike. The Chorale is a fun-loving bunch!

This time our travels take us to Portugal, for 9-days/7 nights.  Included are round-trip airfare, accommodations, breakfasts, 3 dinners, sightseeing, a luxury tour-bus, and an English-speaking guide.  We will be spending all our evenings in Lisbon(at the same hotel throughout), and fan out from that central locations for daily excursions to such places as Evora, Sintra, Estoril, and Palmela.  Portugal is warm and sunny at that time of year, and quite beautiful!

The cost of the trip is $2299, excluding mandatory insurance and airline taxes, which will be assessed later.  Also not included is the cost of lunches, a few dinners and tips.  A payment schedule is available.  While we encourage our fellow-travelers to come to our concerts, it is not mandatory.

If you would like to see a preliminary itinerary, please contact Dr. Christie Nigro at cnigro@worcester.edu or call 508-929-8824. Spots are going fast, so register soon.

Worcester State Theatre UpClose enjoyed a record turnout at auditions for the Fall production, Lysistrata.  Twenty-six students auditioned, seventeen of whom were cast in the play. 

The cast includes: Emily Chestna, Rebecca Belmont, Danielle St. Amand, Lynn Ranahan, Laura McGill, Sarah Nydam, Trang Le, Kelly Sheen , Lora Newman, Emily Kiesiner, Kyle Maxwell, Johnny Sanderski, Robert Anderson, Ryan Purcell, MikeDalessandro, John Blanton and Declan Murphy.

SAVE THE DATE: Lysistrata, the classic Greek satire about women, power, war and sex, will be performed November 13, 14, 15 at 8 p.m. and November 16 at 2 p.m. in Sullivan Auditorium.

Join us on Tuesday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Eager Auditorium to learn more about how you can increase energy efficiency in your home.  Save cash while reducing your energy consumption. Well have dynamic presentations from:
-- Michael Berry: Home Energy Efficiency expert and contractor
-- Citizens Bank: Efficiency low-interest loans
-- Percys: Discounted and rebated efficiency appliances
-- The Solar Store: Specializing in efficiency products for your home

You can connect onsite with these presenters to get the upgrades you need in time for winter.

Worcester State College is proud to host the 15 annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Breakfast on Saturday, January 17. The breakfast brings together children and adults from local communities and celebrates the creative talents of area school children and honors the memory of Dr. King.

At the breakfast, theme gift baskets will be raffled off and judged. Each WSC office has the opportunity to create a basket. The winning basket, as judged by those at the breakfast, will receive a $100 gift certificate to Jumpin' Juice and Java, a brand new cafe on Chandler Street that is owned by two WSC seniors. All proceeds from the basket raffle will go towards the MLK Youth Breakfast. Each office can be as creative as they'd like with their basket. Some suggestions: a movie theme, art, camping, snow day basket, tropical getaway basket, etc.

Baskets can be dropped off on or before Friday, November 14, in the Diversity Office (Admin Village-Room 107). Please include the departments name. The winning office will be notified January 20, 2009. If you have any questions, call Robyn Marcin at ext. 8117.

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 plus 25% off list prices of books, CDs, DVDs, etc. Free tote with $40 purchase. *Certain exclusions apply. **Receptions not held at Borders Express or Waldenbooks. Visit www.borders.com/educators


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

College Town - More Shades of Green
Telegram & Gazette (9/28/08)
Excerpt: Worcester State College will highlight green career opportunities and practices at ...

College Safety 101
Telegram & Gazette (9/28/08)
It could have been any one of our colleges, Worcester State College Police Chief Rosemary F. Naughton said. These seemingly random acts of violence are ...

Giving Back
Seniors in encore careers a welcome service

Telegram & Gazette (9/24/08)
Excerpt: When the last one died two years ago, Ms. Wood went to Worcester State College to earn a certificate in gerontology. Now she helps seniors at St. Pauls ...

Monday, September 29, 2008



Tues., Sept. 30

Volleyball vs. Newbury
6 p.m. - Gym

Wed., Oct. 1

M. Soccer vs. Plymouth State
4 p.m. - Athletic Field - Live Stats

W. Soccer @ Keene State
5 p.m. - Directions to Keene State

Field Hockey vs. Southern ME
7 p.m. - Athletic Field - Live Stats/Video

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.

Volleyball @ Becker
7 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 4

M. Soccer @
Framingham State
10 a.m. - Directions to FSC

W. Tennis @ Nichols
11 a.m. - Directions to Nichols

Football @
Framingham State

1:30 p.m. - Directions to FSC

W. Soccer vs.
Framingham State

11 a.m. - Athletic Field - Live Stats

Field Hockey vs.
Bridgewater State
2 p.m. - Athletic Field - Live Stats


Mon., Oct. 13

Columbus Day Holiday
No Classes, Offices Closed

Fri., Oct. 17

Andres Torres presents
"Latino Identities, Latino Futures"

Student Center, North/South Auditorium
11:30 a.m.

Tues., Oct. 21

Native American Storytelling
and Music with Bill Miller

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

An Evening of Music
with Bill Miller

Student Center, Blue Lounge
7 p.m.

Tues., Oct. 28

Energy Efficiency Workshop
Sullivan Building, Eager Auditorium
6:30 p.m.

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