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'Buried Book' author, Harvard Scholar David Damrosch to Speak
8/31/2011

Harvard University’s David Damrosch, the Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature, Department of Comparative Literature, will discuss contemporary transformations of Gilgamesh and other classic heroes in visual art, at Ursinus College Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. Dr. Damrosch will speak in Olin Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Annenberg Learner and the Berman Museum of Art.

His lecture topic is: “The End of the Book? Gilgamesh in the Internet Age.” Damrosch, the author of The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh, is speaking in conjunction with the Berman Museum of Art’s current Main Gallery exhibition “‘Make a statue of my friend’: Presenting Enkidu, Re-presenting the Gilgamesh Epic – Sculpture by Joe Mooney.”

Dr. Damrosch will address contemporary transformations of Gilgamesh and other classic heroes in visual art -- including internet-based forms – as a means of investigating the enduring value of classic works today, both in new forms and in the original forms to which we keep returning.

The Buried Book begins with the rediscovery of the epic and its deciphering in 1872 by George Smith, who discovered Gilgamesh among the thousands of tablets in the British Museum's collection.
Damrosch studied a wide range of ancient and modern languages and literatures as an undergraduate and doctoral student at Yale University, and taught for three decades at Columbia University before moving in 2009 to Harvard. A past president of the American Comparative Literature Association, he has written widely on comparative and world literature, and his work has been translated into Chinese, Estonian, Hungarian, Turkish, and Vietnamese, among other languages.

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. -- W.G.

President Fong Welcomes Faculty,Staff; Outlines Strategic Vision
8/24/2011

President Bobby Fong addressed the Ursinus campus Tuesday and outlined his plan and strategic vision for the College. Faculty and staff filled Bomberger Auditorium to listen to Dr. Fong highlight priorities for the future, such as improvements in retention rates, a focus on academic strengths and a renewed engagement with alumni.

“Liberal education enables students to master different ways of knowing: creating knowledge in the sciences is different from creating meaning in literature,” said Dr. Fong. “It is insufficient in our College for a student only to learn a particular body of knowledge; the goal is to learn how to know. Moreover, liberal education forms the dispositions as well as the intellect. We aspire to teach students how to think critically and communicate effectively, but also to work cooperatively and act ethically.”

The new president congratulated the Ursinus community on the success of its distinctive qualities, including the CIE program, and spoke of the role of the arts as the College moves forward under his leadership. “A liberal arts education would provide the sense the arts are a universal inheritance that help to provide a moral center,” he said.

"While we will seek some new initiatives, much of our work is in better coordinating and highlighting what we already do well. We need to consolidate our gains and sharpen our sense of selves so as to enunciate the Ursinus difference,” said Dr. Fong.

The address launches a series of informal conversations which will begin Sept. 1 in  Wismer Lower Lounge  during the lunch hour. The address was followed by a baseball-themed picnic, complete with hotdogs, Crackerjacks and perfect weather conditions. Dr. Fong, who has a passion for baseball, was presented with an Ursinus baseball cap and ball and staff members enjoyed a raffle that included Phillies tickets.

Read text of President Fong's State of the College Address

Ursinus Welcomes Class of 2015 During Welcome Week Activities
8/18/2011

Ursinus College welcomes its first-year class of 440 students, who will move into designated freshman residence halls on Thursday (Aug. 25).

The Class of 2015 will be the first class fully under the presidency of Dr. Bobby Fong, who was formerly president of Butler University in Indiana. Dr. Fong, who took office at Ursinus July 1, returns to his roots at an undergraduate residential liberal arts school. He had been on the faculty at schools such as Berea, Hope and Hamilton College, where he had also been Dean.

Dr. Fong will launch the academic year for faculty and staff Tuesday with a special State of the College address, which will be posted on the Ursinus web site  that afternoon. The address wil kick off Welcome Week.

New and returning students will find a freshly installed artificial grass football field with lights, and a newly resurfaced track. The first night game ever played at Ursinus College is scheduled for Sept. 3 against Albright College at 7 p.m. The community is welcome to attend.

Between practices the football team will do the heavy lifting for incoming freshmen students and their parents, in what has become an annual service day for team members. “Our kids really understand what it means to be a part of a community,” says Coach Peter Gallagher. “They also understand if you want to be supported you need to give support yourself.”

Students mark the start of academic life Friday (Aug. 25) with the annual Convocation, a ceremony which signals the official start of the academic year and introduces them to some college history and rituals. They follow Convocation with their first class, the Common Intellectual Experience (CIE), a required first-year course which uses common texts to explore, examine and discuss human existence. All first-year students have read The Epic of Gilgamesh and an excerpt from Plato’s The Republic over the summer. This year the reading will be enhanced by a special CIE reception at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art for the exhibition: “Make a statue of my friend:” Presenting Enkidu, Re-presenting the Epic of Gilgamesh, Sculpture by Joe Mooney.

The Ursinus move-in will be a sustainable one, as the Ursinus Sustainability Program ensures that styrofoam and cardboard packing and other trash gets recycled. Cardboard is taken to a composting site and styrofoam is sent to a facility where it is made into archery bales.

As part of their orientation, the new class goes to Philadelphia Saturday, with the option to volunteer at Urban Tree Connection to revitalize and restore community gardens.

Forty-eight percent of the Class of 2015 are from states other than Pennsylvania. Forty-five percent are in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. 

In this class are 24 National Honor Society officers and 143 NHS members, 25 class officers, four valedictorians, some 70 student government officers and representatives, a National Merit Finalist, six Eagle Scouts, 110 varsity athletic captains and 45 band members. The class of 2015 boasts nine competitive chess players, a nationally ranked tuba player, two opera singers, an AJROTC drill commander, six published writers, two figure skaters, two robotics builders, two National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine members two scuba divers, a theater director and choreographer and a licensed pilot. -- W.G.

Grant to Berman Museum Provides Conservation of Fraktur Folk Art
8/14/2011

Some of the colorful, decorated manuscripts called fraktur which are part of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art collection, were selected to undergo cleaning and conservation at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia.

The Museum holds nearly 130 fraktur, including birth and baptismal certificates, confirmation certificates, marriage certificates, religious texts and memorial pieces. The collection contains freehand fraktur by at least 30 artists who practiced during what is called fraktur’s Golden Age (1790 to 1830), and examples of machine printed fraktur, many of which were personalized by artists. The Museum staff selected 32 fraktur for conservation based on historic and artistic value, some from Ephrata Cloister, a leader in early American printing.

Through a Save America’s Treasures grant, CCHA conservators will clean each fraktur with special grated and sold vinyl eraser, consolidate media and glazes and other conserving techniques, and reduce stains. They will mend and fill losses and humidify and flatten each document, and hinge each fraktur to an alkaline mat. Once returned to the Museum, they will be stored in the new flat files in the “works on paper” room that was built with the new museum addition. The process was featured in the CCAHA July newsletter. – W.G.

Ursinus designated one of Princeton Review’s "Best 376 Colleges”
8/3/2011

Ursinus College is one of the country's best 376 colleges for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, for its academic rigor and campus culture.

Included in the new 2012 edition of the annual college guide, "The Best 376 Colleges" (Random House / Princeton Review), Ursinus is one of only 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges (and three colleges outside the U.S.) profiled in the flagship guide.

The book lauds the strength of the academic programs, and notes that the Ursinus culture is "about creating free-thinking, intelligent, [and] contributing members of society" and "letting people be who they are without fear and while accomplishing learning beyond the classroom."

Outstanding academics is “the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book,” says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior Vice President and publisher and author of "The Best 376 Colleges.” An 80-question student survey asks students to rate their own schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them.

Based on student response, the guidebook describes Ursinus as a “close-knit college community" which “offers an exceptional academic record.” The culture "provides accessibility to professors” . . .enabling a better learning experience." This is "a campus filled with motivated students and professors who worked toward every student's success."

It goes on to state: "Academic integrity" is "high," "yet fostering leadership, community and personal growth" is also a periority. The "greatest strengths" of Ursinus's program are "the focus on community service, the strength of the academic programs, and programs such as CIE (Common Intellectual Experience, an entire class [where the focus is on] the whole campus reading and discussing the same books or movies." Ursinus is also known for its "strong biology and science program," which "allows students to maintain strong connections in other fields, from art to education." Classes "are small," and professors "are accessible and have extensive knowledge in their fields."

The schools in "The Best 376 Colleges" also have rating scores in eight categories that The Princeton Review tallies based on institutional data collected from the schools during the 2010-11 academic year and/or its student survey for the book. All schools are scored from 60 to 99 in eight categories including Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green: a rating based on environmental commitments. All of the book's school profiles and ranking lists can be found on www.PrincetonReview.com.

Additionally, Ursinus College has been included in the 2012 revised and updated edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges, compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012 is known as a subjective look at upward of 300 of the best and most interesting colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Colleges featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012 were selected with academic quality in mind, according to the publisher. -- W.G.

Math and Computer Science Department Professor Awarded Grant; Summer Fellows Project Accepted by International Conference
8/2/2011

A professor in the Math and Computer Science Department has been awarded a prestigious grant, and a faculty mentor and student were notified that a proposal was accepted for presentation at an international conference.

Akshaye Dhawan, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, was awarded a curriculum initiative grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the IEEE Technical Committee of Parallel Processing (TCPP). It is one of 17 awards made worldwide, 11 to U.S. institutions.

In the past decade parallel and distributed computing has become commonplace, Dhawan explains.  “Most people now have a multicore processor on their laptops, desktops and even their phones. However, little has changed in the undergraduate computer science curriculum in order to keep up with these technological advances.” The NSF along with the IEEE TCPP is putting together a new curriculum recommendation in computer science that strives to introduce these topics to undergraduates.

Professor Dhawan's grant looks at how existing courses in the computer science curriculum can be redesigned to introduce students to the complexities of working with machines that have multiple processors. His work will also look at how the curriculum initiative can be adopted within the liberal arts model. As one of these early adopters, Professor Dhawan will introduce some of his ideas in two courses at Ursinus over the next year and his feedback will be used to develop the proposed curriculum recommendations. The title of the proposal is “Incorporating the TCPP Curriculum Recommendations in a Liberal Arts Setting.”

Summer Fellows Leads to International Conference
The 6th International Conference on Design Principles and Practices has accepted a proposal by senior Sam Snodgrass of Taylor, Pa., and his faculty mentor April Kontostathis, as a result of a Summer Fellows project, “Building a 3D Frame in Multiple Environments.”

The conference will be at UCLA in January. The Design Conference is held annually in different locations around the world and addresses themes relating to current design, bringing together researchers, teachers and practitioners.

Snodgrass would be among the handful of undergraduate students presenting papers, indicates Dr. Kontostathis. “I think the dual focus of the proposal made it more interesting to the reviews,” she notes. “The compare/contrast between two well-known tools will be interesting to some members of the audience.  Others will be more interested in the game itself.”

The Summer Fellows Project used the programs Blender and 3D Studio to build a 3D game, and explored the advantages and disadvantage of the two programs. The game, a chess-based  role playing game, gives each piece special attacks and abilities that can be activated by the player. Instead of a piece being removed from the board, a player must defeat the other piece in battle in order to capture it. Snodgrass identified the best tools to use to complete the game, and will continue working on it as an honors research project in computer science. -- W.G.

Dramatic Sculpture at Berman will Complement Classroom Text
7/24/2011

A sculpture exhibition at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College will enter into dialogue with a flagship first-year course at Ursinus.

“Make a statue of my friend:” Presenting Enkidu, Re-presenting the Epic of Gilgamesh, Sculpture by Joe Mooney will be shown in the Main Gallery Aug. 29 through Dec. 11.

A reception for student and faculty participating in the course, The Common Intellectual Experience (CIE), will be held Aug. 31. A reception in honor of the artist will take place Sunday Sept. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. 

(Credit Line: Joe Mooney, Wounded Enkidu, steel and pine, 34 x 76 x 38”, courtesy of the artist)

In the exhibition “Make a statue of my friend:” Presenting Enkidu, Re-presenting the Epic of Gilgamesh, Philadelphia sculptor Joe Mooney interprets the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is the book that all incoming Ursinus students read over the summer and discuss during their first Common Intellectual Experience (CIE) class. The two-semester CIE course explores questions such as “What does it mean to be human?,” “What is our place in the universe?,” and “How should we live our lives?” through discussion of diverse foundational texts from around the world.

Mooney’s work visualizes the experiences of Gilgamesh’s companion in the story, Enkidu, at signal moments in the narrative.. The artist’s monumental steel and stainless-steel sculptures capture the weight and drama of this story of the ancient Sumerian superhero Gilgamesh who first battled, then befriended and was ultimately transformed by the “uncivilized” and yet strangely civilizing Enkidu.

Just as the Epic of Gilgamesh itself juxtaposes such seemingly conflicting elements as the lure of the “road trip” (in ancient Sumerian  terms) with the yearning to return home, and the grandiose desire for fame and immortality with the intimacy of close friendship, Mooney’s sculptures juxtaposes the power and might of industrial materials with the delicacy and beauty of those materials finely worked and tempered. His use of repeating visual motifs  in the forms and structures that he fabricates evokes in visual terms the verbal narrative signposts of the story itself.

Mooney is a graduate of Villanova University, received his bachelor of fine arts degree from Penn State and his master of fine arts degree from Alfred University. His work appears in a number of museum, university and corporate art collections, including Woodmere Art  Museum, Philadelphia; American University, Washington, D.C.; First Union Bank, Philadelphia; LaSalle University Art Museum, Philadelphia; Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; University of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala.; and Blue Cross, Independence Place, Philadelphia. He has had solo shows at various venues, including Woodmere, the James A. Michener Museum.; The State Museum, Harrisburg.; and Villanova and Alfred Universities.

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. -- W.G.

President Fong Recipient of National OCA Pioneer Award Aug. 6
7/17/2011

Ursinus College President Dr. Bobby Fong was the recipient of a prestigious 2011 Pioneer Award from OCA, a national organization which advances the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans.

The award, which was presented Aug. 6 in New York City at the organization’s national convention, will also be presented to actor BD Wong. The Hon. Tammy L. Duckworth will be receiving the Outstanding Citizen Award.

The award recognizes President Fong’s family’s immigration history “entering the U.S. through the Angel Island Immigration Station, growing up in Oakland and never forgetting your roots, and making a mark in higher education as one of our nation’s few Asian American Higher Education leaders,” according to Ken Lee, OCA National President, who add that Dr. Fong’s background and achievements exemplify the citizen that OCA seeks out to award the Pioneer Award.

Founded in 1973 as the Organization for Chinese Americans, OCA is headquartered in Washington, DC. The Pioneer Award was created to recognize Asian Pacific Americans who are trailblazers. Past recipients of the award include former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Bill Lann Lee, architect I. M. Pei, Asian American Studies  Pioneer Betty Lee Sung, Nobel Laureate in Physics C. N. Yang, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and astronaut Leroy Chiao. -- W.G.

See President's Page for full bio 

Berman Museum Presents Landmark Exhibition on Pa. Muhlenberg Family
7/7/2011

A landmark exhibition at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College is one of many events associated with the 300th anniversary of the birth of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg on Sept. 6, 2011. Pastors & Patriots: The Muhlenberg Family of Pennsylvania will open Aug. 20 and will run through Dec. 18 in the Upper Gallery. An opening reception is scheduled for Sunday Sept. 25, 2 to 4 p.m.

Pastors & Patriots is being curated by Lisa Minardi, a Muhlenberg historian and assistant curator at Winterthur Museum, Ursinus Class of 2004.  Minardi was a History and Museum Studies double major at Ursinus, and curated several exhibitions while she was a student. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg was the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America and progenitor of one of the most influential Pennsylvania German families in history.

The first major exhibition to focus on the Muhlenbergs, Pastors & Patriots will bring the family to life using historical portraits, furniture, needlework, firearms, photographs, and many other artifacts—most of them never before exhibited or published.  Highlights include a pair of chairs owned by Henry Muhlenberg; two wrought iron weathervanes, dated 1743, from the roof of Augustus Lutheran Church in Trappe; and the pair of pistols stolen from his son, General Peter Muhlenberg during the Battle of Germantown in 1777.  The exhibition is supported in part by The Shelley Pennsylvania German Heritage Fund.  A fully-illustrated catalogue published in collaboration with the Pennsylvania German Society will accompany the exhibition.

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (1711–87) was a Lutheran minister sent from Germany to Pennsylvania in 1742 to serve three congregations. During his 45-year ministry, he helped establish numerous Lutheran churches and served congregations in Trappe, New Hanover, and Philadelphia.  From his arrival in 1742 until 1761, and again from 1776 until his death 1787, he lived in Trappe, Montgomery County.  Henry and his wife, Anna Maria Weiser, who was the daughter of legendary Indian treaty negotiator Conrad Weiser, had seven children, including Peter Muhlenberg, a general during the American Revolution; Frederick Muhlenberg, the first Speaker of the U.S. House; and Henry Muhlenberg Jr., a renowned botanist who was the first president of Franklin & Marshall College.  A grandson, John Andrew Schultze, was governor of Pennsylvania from 1823–29.  Other descendants were active in politics, the military, medicine, the church, and education.
           

Pastors & Patriots  is one of many undertakings to celebrate the anniversary of Muhlenberg’s birth.  Muhlenberg’s longtime home of Trappe, Montgomery County, will be the focus of many activities, which have inspired the formation of the Historic Muhlenberg Partnership—an alliance of Augustus Lutheran Church, the Historical Society of Trappe (Henry Muhlenberg House), The Speaker’s House (Frederick Muhlenberg House), and Trappe Borough—to offer coordinated tours and programming.  For more information, visit www.hmp300.org.

(Pictured above: Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, 1711-1787. Preservation Society of Newport County; Left, Augustus Lutheran Church, 1743, Trappe, Pa)


The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. -- W.G.

URsinus Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service
6/26/2011

Ursinus students have been recognized for community service. The Corporation for National and Community Service has honored Ursinus College with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, for exemplary service to the communities it serves.

At Ursinus, more than one-half of the student body is involved in community service, and one quarter of the students spend 20 hours or more a week on community service activities.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and other factors.

One of the community service opportunities at Ursinus is the Bonner Scholars/Bonner Leader Program. Bonner Scholars and Leaders transform their campuses and communities through service and leadership.

Through the UCARE Office, -- the Ursinus Center for Advocacy, Responsibility and Engagement -- service opportunities include Habitat for Humanity, food drives, blood drives, campus fund-raisers, support of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and tutoring for America Reads. Each spring hundreds of students raise $40,000 to $50,000 for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life.

Ursinus students respond to disaster relief efforts around the world, and recently have raised funds for citizens in Japan, Haiti and areas affected by natural disasters. UCEMS, a team of students who are certified EMTs, provide a first-response team for emergency first aid on campus. A Best Buddies chapter actively works with developmentally delayed adults in the community. – By Kaitlyn Ott 2013.

UC Faculty and Students Present at National Environmental Studies Conference
6/17/2011

Ursinus College will be well-represented at the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences 2011 Conference, "Confronting Complexity," at the University of Vermont June 23 to 26.

Ursinus Environmental Studies faculty Leah Joseph, Patrick Hurley, Jonathan Clark and Richard Wallace are presenting papers and two recent graduates and a current student are presenting posters that were accepted through a competitive selection process. Wallace is the program chair of the conference, which will host 400 academics, students, and other professionals from the US and Canada, and many other countries.
 
Faculty presenter Patrick Hurley notes that students have the opportunity to meet "prominent environmental scholars from around the world. It’s a great arena in which to discuss a wide range of issues, including the newest thinking on key environmental challenges and innovative ways of  teaching, and to learn from a knowledgeable group," he said.

From topics ranging from campus farms to land management, Ursinus May graduates presenting posters are:

Martina Dzuna: Suburban NTFP Gathering in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area: Practices and Perspectives of Land Managers in Public Parks and Private Natural Areas;
Vinnie Dombay: Analysis of Suburban Forest Species Composition in Land-use Policies in Montgomery County, Pa.;

The Ursinus rising senior presenting a poster is:
Julia Bull: The Importance of Campus Farming.

Ursinus faculty and their presentations include:
Richard L. Wallace, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies: Teaching Interdisciplinary Critical Thinking in Environmental Studies: Lessons from Carson and Leopold;

Patrick Hurley, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies: Engaging Urban Greening: The Role of Student-Led Oral History in Assessing the Success of Urban Tree Connection in the Haddington Neighborhood of West Philadelphia; and Navigating Transitions: An Early Career Perspective on Academia;

Leah Joseph, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies: Pass It On: Empowering Students to Educate Others on Climate Science Basics;

Jonathan Clark, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology: The Political Ecology of the (Nonhuman) Body;

The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) serves the faculty, students and staff of the more than 1,000 interdisciplinary environmental programs in North America and around the world, seeking to strengthen teaching, research and service in environmental studies and sciences, and improving the communication across academic disciplines. The association works to support the professional development of Association members not just as individuals but also to advance Environmental Studies and Sciences as a whole.

Dr. Wallace helped to establish the national organization, and is a member of the editorial board of its professional journal. More information is available at www.aess.info.

Jessica McIlhenny 2011 Wins Critical Language Program Scholarship
6/6/2011

Jessica Mcllhenny 2011 has won the Critical Language Program Scholarship.  A program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers intensive summer language institutes overseas in thirteen critical need foreign languages. Mcllhenny will travel to Washington D.C., for orientation and then to Turkey for two months of language classes. The program is the equivalent of taking a year of Turkish. She is the second Ursinus student to win a Critical Language Program Scholarship, Whitney Mayer 2012 learned earlier this year that she will study in China.

 “I will have class at least 20 hours a week and some mandator

y excursions,” she says.  “It’s a very intense and rewarding program where I will be learning, not only in the class room, but almost all the time with the other CLS participants, with my host family, at my learning institute, and with my peer tutor,” says Mcllhenny. “ Being given the opportunity to actually go to Turkey after studying it for so long is really rewarding. It’s going

to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With all the opportunities I will have overseas and when I get back home, I’m so thankful.”

As a Summer Fellow in 2010, Mcllhenny worked with Ambassador Melrose on the Turkish role on the National Security Council. Her Summer Fellows project expanded into a Distinguished Honors Project on Turkish politics. Then Professor Melrose introduced her to several contacts, including UC alumnus Aaron Ranck, who went to graduate school in Turkey.  “Aaron was extremely helpful in answering my questions, giving me resources, and sending me articles that would interest me. He also told me about the CLS program and encouraged me to apply if I was serious about learning Turkish. After studying Turkish politics that summer, I knew I wanted to continue studying this country and eventually learn the language,” says Mcllhenny.

The program provides for additional costs such as extra meals, local transportation, and travel to and from the host country. “It’s a really amazing experience with everything they provide and all the education I will be receiving,” she says. The scholarship allows her to pursue a passion for Turkish language and culture that began when she was in high school. During her freshman year at Ursinus, she took Middle Eastern History. And when she went abroad to France, Mcllhenny had an internship with a research-based institute and had to submit a research paper at the end of the semester. “I wrote about some of the European Court of Human Rights cases that focused on the veiling of Muslim women – one of which was Leyla Şahin v. Turkey.  When it was time to think about Summer Fellows, I knew that I wanted to work on something that allowed me to explore Turkey more in-depth. I was fascinated by how the Turkish government seemed to play more of an international role in the world. I explored for Summer Fellows and for my distinguished honors project why it has taken on a more international role within global politics.”

Her experience studying Turkish politics at Ursinus and participating in the CLS program have shaped her goals. “Going to Izmir, Turkey, this summer is a great next step to take after studying this country for a year,” she says. “Learning the language will be a great tool for me to use to expand my studies of the country. I’m hoping to come back from Turkey and getting more involved with the Turkish community in Philadelphia. Hopefully, I’ll start a book club in Philadelphia when I return that focuses on Turkish literature, history, and culture.” By K.C. 

 

Biology Professor Dale Cameron Wins Prestigious Cottrell College Science Award
5/24/2011

Ursinus Biology Professor Dale Cameron grew up in Gol Gol, Australia, on his parents’ farm. While they were busy harvesting grapes and running a vineyard, he was raising and breeding chickens to show at local agriculture shows.  The experience as a young student officially sparked his fascination in the basics of biology and genetics.

Dr. Cameron, who went on to earn his Ph.D., at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, is now celebrating a $35,000 grant by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) to support his continued research in yeast prions. The prestigious Cottrell College Science Award, announced on May 18, is designed to fund cutting-edge research for early career scientists who work with undergraduate students.  Only 48 scientists are awarded grants each year by the RCSA, the oldest foundation for science advancement.

His work in molecular biology at Ursinus focuses on the role of self-propagating misfolding proteins – or prions – in yeast. Yeast cells are a powerful (not to mention cheap and easy to grow) genetic model organism wherein he and his students can observe, and often manipulate, the consequences of misshapen proteins that accumulate in cells.

The long-term implications of his research could help illuminate why diseases like “mad cow” disease and Alzheimer’s happen and might even show that these complicated misfolding proteins possess, not just a destructive and infectious quality, but a yet undiscovered role that may be beneficial to cells.

“This is a great opportunity and will provide two years of funding, as seed money, with the goal to demonstrate that we have good ideas worthy of federal funding in the future,” says Dr. Cameron. His research students are also at work developing a new approach to measure the growth rate of yeast cells in order to detect subtle differences in those rates. “This grant supports  work that will examine how mishappen proteins are handled by a particular quality control system within the cell,” says Dr. Cameron. “Millions of proteins are always being made in our cells, and sometimes they twist into the wrong shape. Yeast cells, which are organized much like human cells, can help us understand protein misfolding, which is associated with diseases of aging.”

In each cell, proteins that are damaged or no longer needed are eventually degraded through a system called the ubiquitin  proteasome system, or UPS for short. This helps to minimalize the damaging effects of having misfolded proteins build up within a cell.

Functioning as the “garbage disposal system” of the cell, the UPS is a focal point of Cameron’s research. “Part of what we are studying is whether the UPS simply degrades misfolded proteins, including prions, or if  it is  involved in a more complex way.”  

By K. C.

 

Commencement Speaker Lauds UC Education as President Corson Confers Degrees
5/14/2011

Ursinus College graduated some 400 students earning Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, at its 138th Commencement May 14 on the campus front lawn. The graduates included 19 non-traditional students earning Bachelor of Business Administration degrees.

A Baccalaureate service was held May 13 in Bomberger Auditorium. The Baccalaureate speaker, the Rev. Dr. Shawn Zambrows, director and pastor of the Baptist Foundation at Purdue University, received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree during Saturday's Commencement ceremonies. Also, choral composer, musician and conductor Alice Parker, whose anthems were performed during the Baccalaureate service, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the commencement.

The Hon. Kimberly Guadagno, Ursinus Class of 1980, who is currently the Lt. Gov. of The State of New Jersey, warmly addressed the graduates. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws.

(Read full text of commencement address)

“You’ve got to be able to write your life’s plan in pencil,” she advised, telling the Class of 2011 that her own parents would not have imagined she would be the first female Sheriff of Monmouth County in New Jersey, or the first Lt. Gov. of the state of New Jersey.”You’ve got to have a plan A and a plan B,” she said.

Parents might wonder,” said Lt. Gov. Guadagno, “Did we do the right thing by sending you to a four-year, liberal arts college in Collegeville, Pa.? I’m here to talk to the parents and tell you, ‘Rest easy, moms and dads.’  . . .  I can assure you that but for my Ursinus College education, I would not be standing before you as the Lt. Gov. in a state that I love, doing the things that I love. So rest easy, parents, because Ursinus College has served me and continues to serve me well.” She said her diploma is on the wall of her office in the Trenton, N.J. statehouse, and she looks at it every day.

Lt. Gov. Guadagno noted that when she entered Ursinus in 1976 there were no coeducatonal residence halls, cell phones or computers. “I lived in Paisley Hall when the Dean of Students still lived in Paisley Hall with us,” she said. She recalled that when she ran for Sheriff, she was told not to wear pink, because “sheriffs don’t wear pink. That was the first time in my life someone told me I couldn’t be whatever I wanted to be.” She donned a pink mortarboard to make the point that, “It doesn’t matter what your gender is, what your color is, what your socio-economic background is, because you have been raised for the last four years to wear the color pink if you want to wear the color pink.”

The former honors politics major who was in the pre-law program, was elected New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor in November 2009. She has been a lawyer for more than 28 years and began her career in public service as a federal prosecutor with the Organized Crime & Racketeering Strike Force in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was elected the 75th Sheriff of Monmouth County in 2007, the first woman elected as sheriff in that county’s history, managing a 650-member law enforcement agency. Lt. Gov. Guadagno received her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Ursinus President John E. F. Corson conferred the degrees. He thanked the alumni who are Class flag bearers, and announced three faculty awards:

The  H. Lloyd Jones Award, established in honor of H. Lloyd Jones Jr., professor of English from 1947 to 1988, awarded to a faculty member for distinguished advising and mentoring: to Associate Professor Politics Dr. Rebecca Evans;

The Lindback Award given for distinguished teaching: to Associate Professor of Biology Beth Bailey;

The Laughlin Professional Achievement Award endowed by Henry P. Laughlin M.D. 1938 for a faculty member who has made significant contributions to scholarship: to Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion Nathan Rein.

Corson congratulated three retiring faculty, Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Donald Camp, Professor of Mathematics Dr. Roger Coleman and Professor of Media and Communication Studies Jeanine Czubaroff, and also noted that the evening division graduating class is the last for Ursinus.

Corson took office last Jul,y 1, upon the late President Strassburger's retirement. He will end his term this June 30 as President-elect Bobby Fong takes office. “Thank you for accepting me so graciously,” he said, before receiving a rousing standing ovation. -- W.G.

Alumna Curates Berman Museum Summer Exhibition
5/10/2011

An exhibition featuring art from recent graduates of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will open at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College June 1 and run through Aug. 14 in the Main Gallery.

Menaka Gopalan, an Ursinus College alumna, Class of 2007, is guest curator of the exhibition Liminality and the Ephemera: To Enter and Exit, Mark Unmark. A reception to meet the artists and a Gallery Talk is planned for June 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.

This exhibition includes works by 2011 graduates of the Master of Fine Arts program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and offers an explorative vision into the process of making art and its ephemeral nature. Artists participating in this exhibition are Matej Branc, Mary Coyle, James Fisher, Jessica Gamble, Menaka Gopalan, Elizabeth Hamilton, Olive Thomas, and Ted Walsh. They work in the disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, collage, photography and digital video, while engaging in the discourse of liminality in medium, ritual, space, time, identity, gender, body, and consciousness.

According to Gopalan, “We exist in the threshold. We are constant passengers of the in-between. We practice in the rituals of deconstructing and reconstructing, veiling and revealing. There is the tangible and the intangible, the permeable and the impermeable, which cease to be one or the other in the space of transition.”

Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising.

Ursinus Unites for Aid to Japan
5/6/2011

The news of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami was met with grief on the Ursinus campus and an urgent desire to help. Ursinus students, faculty and staff worked to raise awareness and funding for our sister school, Tohoku Gakuin University, located in Sendai, Japan, near the epicenter of the earthquake.  Although Tohoku Gakuin University (TGU) is too far inland to have been directly affected by the tsunami, its community suffered great losses. Ursinus and TGU have had a long and productive partnership involving student exchanges, summer programs at both institutions, and faculty exchanges. 

 “Many of us in the Ursinus community, including current and retired faculty, college staff, and current students and alumni, were shocked and saddened by the news and images of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, the worst in Japan’s history,” says Professor and History Department Chair Ross Doughty, who was Director of the Ursinus-TGU Summer American Studies Program at Ursinus from 1980 to 1990 and again in 1993. “Those of us who have a long relationship with Tohoku Gakuin University knew that, if the situation were reversed, and it had been our region that was suffering such a catastrophe, our friends in Sendai would immediately help us in any way they could.  That spurred many faculty, staff, and students to organize the Ursinus Fund for TGU Relief and contribute their own money and time to the relief effort,” says Doughty, who also led the Ursinus Summer Study in Japan program at TGU in 1985 and was an Ursinus Exchange Professor at TGU in 1987.

“As a result of Tohoku Night and subsequent fund-raising activities, the Fund for TGU had reached a total of $5,000 as of the first of May,” says Associate Professor of Japanese and East Asian Studies Matthew Mizenko. “That night, faculty and students talked about their personal experiences associated with TGU.”  A UCARE event will be held in May for the TGU Fund.   

Seika Ueda 2011 is from Tokyo. “I have my family and all my friends in Japan so my greatest concern was their safety,” Ueda says. “I learned they were safe, but I was still shocked at the horrible news about the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear power plant accident.  So much of the country was damaged and so many precious lives were lost, I couldn’t help thinking about the role of myself as Japanese.”

Ueda, president of Japanese Club at Ursinus, brainstormed with Dr. Mizenko on fund-raising ideas including the plan to sell t-shirts when the students of Tamagawa University came to the campus from Tokyo for the drum and dance performance. All the funds were sent to Japanese Red Cross and Tohoku Gakuin University. “I hope our help supports people in Japan and the country restores as soon as possible,” says Ueda, who is a Media and Communication Studies major.

As of April 25, the New York Times reported the official death toll in Japan had been raised to 14,133, and more than 13,346 people were listed as missing. The final toll is expected to reach nearly 20,000. More than 130,000 people remained housed in temporary shelters. By K.C.

138th Ursinus Commencement Ceremony Set for May 14
4/22/2011

Ursinus College plans to graduate close to 400 students at its 138th Commencement May 14 on the campus front lawn. The graduates will include those earning Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, and 18 non-traditional students earning Bachelor’s of Business Administration degrees.

The public is welcome to attend. No tickets are necessary for the tented ceremony, and seating is on a ‘first-come’ basis. During the two-hour commencement ceremony, traffic on Main Street in front of the College, will be detoured. The road will reopen when the ceremony concludes.

A Baccalaureate service will be held May 13 at 5 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium for students and their guests. Tickets are necessary for this ceremony. The Baccalaureate speaker, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity, is the Rev. Dr. Shawn Zambrows, director and pastor of the Baptist Foundation at Purdue University.

The speaker for the commencement ceremony is The Hon. Kimberly Guadagno, Ursinus Class of 1980, who is currently the Lt. Gov. of The State of New Jersey. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws. Additionally, choral composer, musician, conductor and teacher Alice Parker will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
The student speaker selected for the ceremony is Danielle Chmelewski, of West Chester, Pa. Co-valedictorians for the Class of 2011 are Danielle Kimmel of Jamison, Pa., and Melissa Pankake. of Lebanon, Pa. Co-salutatorians are Calla Mattox of Woods Hole, Mass, and Carina Brown of Lewisburg, Pa.

Lt. Gov. Guadagno was elected New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor in November 2009. She has been a lawyer for more than 28 years and began her career in public service as a federal prosecutor with the Organized Crime & Racketeering Strike Force in Brooklyn, N.Y. She became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Newark, N.J., and in 2001, left the public sector to practice law, and also became a teacher at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark. In Monmouth Beach, N.J., where she lives, she was appointed a volunteer planning board member and in 2005 was elected a Borough Commissioner there.
She was elected the 75th Sheriff of Monmouth County in 2007, the first woman elected as sheriff in that county’s history, managing a 650-member law enforcement agency.

As Lt. Gov. under Gov. Chris Christie, she chairs the state Red Tape Review Commission, and operates the Business Action Center. As New Jersey’s Secretary of State, she oversees the tourism industry and is the state’s chief election official.

Lt. Gov. Guadagno was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and is a cum laude graduate of Ursinus. She received her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law and with her husband, Superior Court Judge Michael Guadagno, is raising three sons.

Commencement Home page:

http://www.ursinus.edu/netcommunity/page.aspx?pid=1970

Moot Court Competition Finals Open to All
4/21/2011

Come root for your favorite legal team! The Ursinus community is invited to the finals of the Moot Court competition Monday April 25 in Musser Auditorium of Pfahler Hall at 6 p.m.  Students interested in attending law school will find it particularly interesting.
 
This semester students in the Legal Writing and Legal Argument (Moot Court) class have been studying cases, preparing briefs and arguing the case of Manuel Ursinus v. The State of Texas. The case, based in part on a case heard by The Supreme Court of the United States, Medellin v. Texas, is a case that a constitutional law professor at Georgetown University has referred to as one having all of the elements of what is taught in Constitutional Law at the law school level. It involves the right of a foreign national to be advised of his right to contact the consulate of his native country upon his arrest in the United States. More broadly, it involves the enforceability of a decision of the International Court of Justice in the state courts of the United States and the President’s ability to enforce ratified treaties. Ursinus students have used sources as diverse as the Federalist Papers and the Guantanamo court case of Hamden v. Rumsfeld.

The semi-final competitions were held on April 19 and the following teams advanced to the Finals. For Ursinus, Holly Smith, 2013 and Katherine Lechleitner, 2012; for Texas Alaina Gaines, 2012  and Ronak Darji, 2013.

The finals will be judged by three practicing attorneys who are also Ursinus alumni, Susan Smolens, Robert Brant and Francis Correll. Brant and Correll are members of the Ursinus Board of Trustees. 
 
 

Ursinus Students Are Partners in New Local Farmer's Market
4/21/2011

Ursinus students have been in the forefront of the start up of the new Collegeville Farmer’s Market, a partnership with the community, which will open April 30.

Students in Environmental Studies classes have prepared for the late April launch of the Market, a project of the Borough of Collegeville Main Street Program, which will provide locally grown, fresh food. Students in the classes, “Food, Society and the Environment,” and “Environmental Issues” developed a layout for the site and developed criteria for selecting vendors, and created a marketing program and an activities plan. An Environmental Studies major, Julia Bull 2011 (Pictured) was just hired as the Farmer’s Market Manager. “Students played substantial roles,” said Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Richard Wallace.

The market will be held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot behind the gas station at 460 E. Main St. A “Special Early Spring Market” will open April 30, and will offer bedding plants, early spring vegetables and year-round items (poultry, meats, eggs, cheese, honey, homemade and prepared food products, baked goods, crafts, etc.). A Grand Opening is tentatively scheduled for June18, with about 20 local farmers/vendors participating. 

That market will include virtually all fruits in season, and all vegetables in season, a range of baked goods, cheeses and dairy products, local wines, jams, jellies, fruit butter, honey, herb vinegars and other home-made food products, fresh flowers and herbs, bedding plants, cage-free fresh eggs, organically grown poultry and products (sausage, burgers, pot pies, etc.), grass fed beef, pastured pork, grass fed lamb, and prepared food, including soups, salsa, homemade caramel corn and flavored popcorn, fudge, gourmet teas, and candles, soaps and crafts.

The market will remain open throughout the summer and fall, with the last market day being the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 19th, 2011. Additionally, there will be entertainment for adults and activities for children, and hope to foster a sense of community and encourage people to linger.

URSINUS IS ONE OF 311 ‘GREENEST’ COLLEGES
4/20/2011

Ursinus College is among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review, which selected Ursinus for inclusion in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition.

The guide is released this week in conjunction with Earth Day, April 22. Created by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (www.usgbc.org), the guidebook profiles institutions of higher education that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges that the Company polled in 2010 about their school's sustainability initiatives.

The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide

 The Princeton Review first created this resource for college-bound students in 2010 with the U.S. Green Building Council, which is best known for developing the LEED standard for green building certification. This past fall, USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools (www.centerforgreenschools.org).

The Princeton Review chose the 311 schools based on a survey it conducted in 2010 of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and in Canada to tally its annual "Green Rating" scores (scaled from 60 to 99) of colleges for its school profiles in its college guidebooks and website. The survey asks administrators more than 50 questions about their institution's sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. The company tallied Green Ratings for 703 institutions in summer 2010. The 311 schools in this guide received scores of 80 or above in that assessment.

Ursinus Wind Ensemble to Present Concert
4/18/2011

The Ursinus College Wind Ensemble will present a concert on Saturday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater on the Collegeville campus.  The program is free, open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are required.

Conducted by Holly Gaines, associate professor of music, the Wind Ensemble will perform a program of traditional and modern works for band, including two new compositions, Elements by Brian Balmage and Ghost Dances by Roland Barrett.  Also featured will be a movement of Mozart’s Concerto in B-Flat Major with senior Jeffrey Centafont on bassoon, and a collection of traditional Irish songs spotlighting the Ursinus Chamber Winds and the Chamber Choir.

UC SIFE Students Advance to Nationals, by empowering others
4/6/2011

For the second consecutive year members of UC Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) are Philadelphia Regional Champions, and will advance to the National Exposition.

(Pictured left: The SIFE team with Faculty Advisor Executive-in-Residence Stephen Bowers.)

SIFE has been on the Ursinus campus for a relatively short four years, but during that time the students have impacted the lives of others. Senior Ty Wetzel of Coopersburg, Pa., the group’s president, explains that SIFE is not specifically a business or management group. It is an organization empowering diverse populations through the principles of free enterprise.  For example, “Students Today Leaders Tomorrow,” a project at a middle school, targeted students who are from low income families whose members rarely continue on to higher education.

Members of the presentation team Ty Wetzel, Rebecca Kamm, Kaitlyn Myers, Darya Piatrova, Tim Jordan, and Janel Melnick (with A/V director Kevin Zufelt), will be presenting the results of their community outreach efforts in Minneapolis, MN, May 9 -12, with 175 of the best groups in the nation. The team hopes to advance to the World Championship in Kuala Lumpur.

(Pictured right: UC Sife team with trophy)

"The judges don’t necessarily look for the projects with the most’ wow’ factors,” Wetzel says, but “judge which teams most effectively empowered individuals teaching them how to raise their standard of living and making a difference in their lives.”  The presentation at the competitions covers projects affecting diverse ages and populations that were spearheaded by Ursinus SIFE students.

“Through being a part of SIFE, members learn the organizational, communication and networking skills needed to make each project possible,” Wetzel says. “It is not only for business majors, but for all students who will need these basic skills one learns by executing each project.”

UC SIFE considers the project, “Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow” their flagship program this year. They worked with students at Norristown’s Stewart Middle School to help them develop as leaders, demonstrating to them the importance of team work and communication.  Many of the Norristown pupils attended a college fair soon after the program, and declared they would take on greater leadership responsibilities.

(Pictured right, L-R: Ty Wetzel 2011 SIFE President 2010-2011; Bindu Pirlamarla 2010, SIFE President 2009-2010; and Leah Sakowski 2009, SIFE President 2008-2009)

“That project probably meant the most because you could see in the students that you made a change in their lives,” said SIFE Vice President Rebecca Kamm of St. John’s, Fla. “We went back two weeks later and the teachers said the students were still talking about it.”
The other projects included a pre-K recycling team, a program to prepare college students for the financial challenges of living on their own, and providing data management consultancy for the community organization; Amigos de ACLAMO, that assists Spanish-speaking residents. The students also designed and coordinated a program to build skills for women seeking employment, and a project to enhance communications for adults with developmental disabilities at the Pottstown, Pa., human services agency, KenCrest.

The first revenue-producing activity, an organic lunch, had the goal of demonstrating the benefits of moderation in eating and of organic food. Attendees received a booklet with recipes and information.
Kamm said she is also partial to the KenCrest project, because it was a different population. “People are usually hesitant to work with disabled adults,” she points out. “This population is sometimes pushed aside. But this was our second year, and it was gratifying. We focused on teaching communication and collaboration skills.”
The trip to Minneapolis will be funded with $1,000 from the regional prize, some Ursinus activity fee allocations, donations from SIFE alumni, and upcoming fundraising activities. SIFE is a world-wide organization that encourages students to teach and practice the principles of entrepreneurship, sustainability and life skills.

"When we won the regional competition, I was so nervous,” recalls Kamm. “When you hear your name it is the best feeling because the team accomplished something. But even better,” she adds, “is that we made an impact on people’s lives.” -- W.G.

For a look at SIFE's award-winning Annual Report, see this link:

http://webpages.ursinus.edu/tywetzel/images/2011%20UC%20SIFE%20Annual%20Report.pdf

Jazz Quartet is Free in Bomberger auditorium
4/6/2011

A Jazz concert will take place Friday night (April 8)  at 7:30 in Bomberger Auditorium on the Ursinus College campus. It is free with no ticket needed.  

Performers include saxophonist, teacher and composer Charles Davis; pianist, educator Barry Harris, who worked with Clifford Jordan in the Barry Harris/Clifford Jordan Quartet; drummer Leroy Williams, who played with Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp, Clifford Jordan and Barry Harris; and composer, arranger, bandleader and educator Ray Drummond, who has collaborated with Betty Carter and other jazz greats.

Berman Peer-to-Peer Program Promotes Viewer, Art and Artist Relationship
4/6/2011

Susan Shifrin, Associate Director for Education at the Berman Museum of Art, was looking for a way to get Ursinus students more engaged with the photographs currently on display in the galleries. She set about recruiting and training twenty-one so-called “peer docents,” schooling them on the multiple ways to look at art. The ultimate goal of the program is to produce a ready corps of students who will be able to guide small groups of their peers through the viewing process.

During several short training sessions, Dr. Shifrin explained what exactly it means to be a “docent.” Docent comes from the Latin “to teach,” and she made clear to the student guides that teaching someone to look at art does not involve telling them what to think. Instead, the peer docents are there only to provide relevant context and ask thought-provoking questions. In doing so, the hope is that the students viewing the work of art will be able to develop their own ideas and build a personal connection with the piece. 

This spring, the peer docents shared what they had learned about the current photographic exhibitions on display in the Berman, Robert Frank’s Spaces, Places, and Identity and Don Camp’s Dust Shaped Hearts. On a dreary Wednesday morning, peer docents Pamela Horn 2013 of Stratford, N.J., and Shama Gupta 2014 of Cranbury, N.J., guided freshmen from Professor Rebecca Jaroff’s Common Intellectual Experience class through the galleries. The docents did a great job of encouraging the CIE students to get up close to the photos and focus on the little details that help to reveal the narrative of the image. Many of the students seemed genuinely curious, craning their heads and bunching together to get a closer look.

As the CIE class gathered around a photograph of a somber funeral scene, one student observed that the shoulders and heads in the foreground really made him feel like a part of the photograph, almost like he was lost in the crowd. This type of reaction is one that peer docent Shama encouraged when she emphasized the importance of finding something that you like and really becoming absorbed in the art.

After the session, Dr. Jaroff noted that the she thinks the peer docent program is a great idea since it fits well with the Common Intellectual Experience. The core of both programs is “students engaging students” in conversation, allowing the professor to step back and let the students build off of one another’s ideas. 

The peer docents have completed sessions with five CIE classes and two residence halls so far this year. Dr. Shifrin hopes that more student groups will take advantage of the peer docent program because it helps people “to find a way in” when it comes to approaching art. She pioneered this type of student program in the area in 2004 when she implemented it for a multi-venue exhibition called “Picturing Women,” and is excited about bringing it to Ursinus.

The photos are there to be viewed, and as Robert Frank puts it, the viewer “must have something to see. It is not all said for him.” The reactions that the peer docent program attempts to provoke are therefore an integral part of the art itself, and the program promotes a relationship between viewer, art, and artist.  -- By David Hysek 2011

Berman Annual Student Exhibition Showcases Student Works
4/6/2011

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art will host its Annual Student Exhibition, which showcases the work of art students and art majors. The exhibition opens April 27 and runs through May 14. An opening reception is planned for Wednesday April 27 from 3 to 5 p.m., with an award ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in the Museum Main Gallery. An “after party” will take place in the Ritter Art Studio Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m., where refreshments will be available.

Art students and majors in the disciplines of painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installations, mixed media, and photography will have their work showcased in the exhibition. They will be recognized for their excellence in specific media with special awards such as, the Rinde Award for Environmental Awareness, the Beadle Marple Art Award for Creativity, the Lawrence Reichlin Award for Understanding, and Director’s and Popular Choice Recognition. Other awards and prizes will be given out as well. A major purchase prize is funded by Winnifred Cutler 1973, and additional purchase prizes are offered by the Myrin Library.

Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays. 

The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising.

Ursinus Is Talking About....Offers A Broader Look at Books, Photography, Art, Music, Film . . . .
4/6/2011

Ursinus is Talking About... an extracurricular program that invites the campus community to engage with a text and take a broader look at it, whether it is a work of art - music, book, film or photography -- has announced its focus for the 2011-2012 academic year: the series Battlestar Galactica, and Edmund White's book, A Boy's Own Story.

A Boy's Own Story follows one boy's sexual awakening and coming of age in 1950s America, and the struggle to form a positive gay identity in an intolerant society. The recent television show Battlestar Galactica is an examination of the aftermath of genocide, heavily influenced by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A remake of an earlier show, this version eschews gender stereotypes.

This spring semester UITA focused on the photogrpahy of Robert Frank,  which was exhibited in the Berman Museum of Art, and the events and cultural icons of the time which inspired him.

UITA presented a performance talk by National Book Award winner Patti Smith. In 1970, Smith, who is a friend of photographer Robert Frank, wrote in her notebook: “I keep trying to figure out what it means to be American. When I look in myself I see Abyssinia, nineteenth-century France, but I can’t recognize what makes me American. I think about Robert Frank’s photographs – broke down jukeboxes in Gallup, New Mexico, swaying hips and spurs, ponytails and syphilitic cowpokes, hash slingers, the glowing black tarp of U.S. 285 and the Hoboken stars and stripes.”

Smith is the winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Just Kids. While on campus, she visited the Berman Museum of Art exhibition, Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank "Portraits," on view until April 17. Frank directed the video for Smith's "Summer Cannibals."

For the inaugural year, campus participants read Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in the fall, and Diaz’s visited in October. One semester is based on a book and the other semester on a form of expression. Teh campus votes on the texts.

Business Students from Area Colleges Present Research at Annual Conference
4/5/2011

Students from Ursinus and other area colleges will present their research to peers and faculty at the 22nd annual Omicron Delta Epsilon Business and Economics Undergraduate Research Conference at Ursinus College April 15.

Author Saly A. Glassman, managing director of investments at Merrill Lynch in Blue Bell, Pa., will be the keynote speaker.

Ursinus has hosted this conference for 21 years, as a venue highlighting undergraduate research  from Business and Economics majors. Many of the student papers, said Professor Heather O’Neill, are published, and many students and their faculty mentors spend time following the conference refining the research.Last year Professor Jennifer Van Gilder’s paper with her student on whether looks affect NFL salaries was noted in the Wall Street Journal and on Inside the NFL. This year Van Glider is continuing similar research in a different direction, to be presented at the conference.

Participating colleges include Bryn Mawr College, The College of New Jersey, Haverford College, Lafayette College, St. Joseph’s University, Villanova University and West Chester University in addition to Ursinus.

Keynote speaker Glassman joined Merrill Lynch in 1980 after graduating from Cornell University, where she studied psychology. Over the last 30 years, she has been a speaker, author, instructor and facilitator for Merrill Lynch and the financial services industry. As a Managing Director, she invests more than $3 billion for high net worth individuals, corporations, and institutions, delivering advice to clients which is built on investment performance.

Glassman has been listed consistently in the top rankings of the Barron’s 100 Best Brokers since the initiation of The Barron’s Winner’s Circle.  She is listed as one of America’s Top Female Financial Advisors, holding the number one position on the Barron’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors list in 2006 and 2008. In state by state rankings, she has consistently been in the top three for Pennsylvania.

She is the author of the book, It’s About More Than The Money (FT Press, June 2010) She is now involved in a new project, Ebooks, a collection of fairy tales with business lessons and applications.

A dedicated athlete and equestrian, Glassman has been competing nationally for 40 years. Reflecting her commitment to land conservation in her community, she owns a thriving fitness center and wellness store.

For more information on Business and Economics: http://www.ursinus.edu/netcommunity/document.doc?id=1575

 

Donald E. Camp Offers Gallery Talk on his Photography Exhibition
4/3/2011

Ursinus College Artist-in-Residence Donald E. Camp will offer a Gallery Talk in the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art Wednesday April 6, at 7 p.m., relating to his exhibition, “Dust-Shaped Hearts: The Photography of Donald E. Camp.” The free talk, open to the public, will be in the Upper Gallery. Refreshments will be served.

With his ongoing series, Camp, assistant professor of art, seeks to counter stereotypes,  presenting images of those who have quietly, yet profoundly, enriched our culture.  The series acknowledges that the struggle against ignorance and intolerance is a universal one.  Camp’s work is characterized by both the unique process he uses to produce his prints as well as by his in-depth exploration of the dignity and nobility that can be found in the human face. Camp’s work has been recognized with a number of awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and NEA and Pew Fellowships in the Arts.

(Photo of Camp by Liora Kutler 2010)

UC Dance company Will Perform Varied Works
4/1/2011

The Ursinus College Dance Company will be performing Thursday, April 14 through Saturday 16, at 7:30 pm in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater on campus. There is a $5 general admission and $2 student and senior citizen admission. For more information and ticket reservations call the box Office at  610-409-3795.

The performance will feature new works by guest artists Melissa Chisena (contemporary ballet), Marilyn and Sekou Sylla (African dance), and Ursinus Dance faculty Chris Aiken, and Cathy Young. Young’s piece will feature music performed by Music faculty Holly Gaines and John French. A reprisal of the final of the fall concert, Joe Chvala’s percussive dance theater work, Red Walls, will also be performed. – By Kaitlyn Ott 2013

Tohoku Night: An Event for Japan, to Share Our Concern
3/30/2011

Ursinus College is presenting TOHOKU NIGHT: An Event for Japan, Thursday, March 31, 7:30 pm, in Wismer Lower Lounge.

The Japan Club and UCARE invite the Ursinus community and friends to attend the program, during which participants can express concern for the people of the Tohoku region of Japan, home to our sister school Tohoku Gakuin University (TGU) in Sendai. Attendees will hear personal stories about Ursinus connections with Tohoku; learn about the distinctive Tohoku culture; and fold paper cranes to be sent to TGU as a symbol of our concern and support.  The entire eastern part of Tohoku suffered horrendous damage from the tsunami and earthquake.

Ursinus and TGU have had a long and productive partnership involving student exchanges, summer programs at both institutions, and faculty exchanges.  Although the earthquake and tsunami have affected some of the programs this year, Ursinus looks forward to continuing our deep and strong relationship now and into the future. 
Donations to The Ursinus Fund for TGU will be accepted at the event. Ursinus has established this special fund in response to the devastation in Japan. All of the donations made to this fund will be sent directly to an account that TGU has established for this purpose. Ursinus cannot guarantee the tax-deductibility of the donations sent to The Ursinus Fund for TGU. 

Persons who want to donate can make out checks to “Ursinus College” and in the memo area please write “Ursinus Fund for TGU.”  The check can be brought or sent to the Business Office in Corson Hall.  Or, donations can be mailed to: Ursinus College, c/o Business Office, The Ursinus Fund for TGU, P.O. Box 1000, Collegeville, PA 19426-1000. We will keep a record of all donors, and will send a list to TGU. 

For further information about the fund, or Ursinus’ response to the disaster in Japan, please contact Professor Matthew Mizenko, associate professor of Japanese and East Asian Studies,  at mmizenko@ursinus.edu.
 

Japanese Drum & Dance Group To Perform; Ursinus to Collect Funds for Japan
3/24/2011

Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Group will be performing on the Ursinus Campus Monday, April 4 at 7 p.m. at The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater.  The event is free, however, tickets are required. For more information and to place your name on a waiting list for this sold-out event, call the Kaleidoscope Box Office at 610-409-3795.

At this performance, members of Ursinus student groups will collect funds to assist in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11.  Funds will be collected on behalf of the on behalf of the Philadelphia Japan Disaster Relief Fund, which is administered by the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia. <http://jasgp.org/>, which is sponsoring the Tamagawa University Taiko and Dance Ensemble. These donations will be sent in entirety to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

This Japanese-based group contains nearly 30 drummers performing taiko drumming and Japanese folk dance in both traditional and modern styles. It is one of Japan’s top ranking taiko groups, and comes from the top performing art’s university, The College of Arts at Tamagawa University in Tokyo.

In addition, a special fund is being developed at Ursinus to accept donations on behalf of its sister institution, Tohoku Gakuin University (TGU), located in Sendai, Japan -- a region hard hit by the earthquake and tsunami. Many families in that area have hosted Ursinus students during the Japanese Summer Study Program. TGU, which has suffered substantial damage to its facilities, has delayed the start of its spring semester, and has cancelled  the Summer Study in Japan program scheduled for mid-May through June, which was to celebrate 30 years sending Ursinus students to Japan. -- W.G.

Turf Field Groundbreaking Enthuses Crowd
3/21/2011

A celebratory groundbreaking for the new artificial turf at Patterson Field enthused Trustees, alumni, student athletes, faculty and staff March 17 in a festive ceremony as the Ursinus Bear cheered on.

President Jef Corson noted that almost two-thirds of Ursinus students play on a team or in an intramural sport so use of the field is high. President-elect Bobby Fong spoke on the importance of balance in Division III athletics.

The Turf Field and Stadium Improvement Project will enhance Ursinus Athletics, Director of Athletics Laura Moliken explained. It will allow for year-round use of the field for football, lacrosse, rugby and soccer, as the NCAA now permits non-traditional seasons. The track will be resurfaced, lights will be added and the stadium will be renovated.

Senior Vice President of Advancement Jill Marsteller and Committee Chair Michael Marcon 1970 emphasized that artificial turf has become integral to the current football and lacrosse cultures, and Ursinus needs to remain competitive with our Centennial League colleagues. W.G. (Right: Trustee Michael Marcon)

A current student’s viewpoint:  Jovani Water is a freshman who plans to major in Business and Economics.  But for at least one hour every day, in and out of season, he is devoted to playing football.  For this young athlete, the idea of a new turf field is an exciting prospect. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony signifies an important part of staying competitive for Ursinus athletes. Most of the Division III schools they play against have turf fields.

“Having turf fields are very important in many different aspects,” says Waters, who attended Perkiomen Valley High School where the team played on grass fields.  “Turf is much safer to play on since it can reduce the tough collisions and impacts with the ground overall reducing injuries as a whole.” 

As an athlete, Waters likes turf fields because it eliminates problems when dealing with bad weather.  “The frustration of having games postponed or cancelled will be relieved and I feel that each player can perform close to his or her max ability in any weather. Turf fields definitely help with traction and quick movements such as cuts, jukes and spins. From the economic side, it probably can reduce maintenance cost when watering, mowing, and applying fertilizer to a grass field is eliminated. It will also be a bonus to have practice on the turf.” -- K.C.

Top Photo Caption: (from left): Track and Field Coach Chris Bayless, Amanda Laurito 2013 (women’s track and field), Turf Field Committee Chair Michael Marcon 1986 , Senior Vice President for Advancement Jill Leauber Marsteller 1978, Football Coach Pete Gallagher, Shane Eachus 2012 (football), David Kraus 2102 (men’s lacrosse), President-elect Dr. Bobby Fong, Tyler Gofus 2013 (men’s track and field), President Jef Corson, Turf  Committee member Robert Keehn 1970, Turf Committee member Bill Helfferich 1975, Caitlin McGee 2012 (women’s soccer), Soccer Coach Kyle Rush, Garrett Shanker 2013 (men’s Soccer),Director of Athletics Laura Moliken, and the Ursinus Bear!

Ursinus College Choir to Present Concert
3/17/2011

The Ursinus College Choir will present a concert on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium on the Collegeville campus.  Haydn’s The Seasons:  Spring and Summer will be performed.  The program is free and open to the public.

John French, the William F. Heefner Professor of Music at Ursinus, will conduct the choir.  Rebecca Siler, soprano; Kenneth Garner, tenor; and Reginald Pindell, bass, will be soloists.  Organist Paul Fleckenstein will be accompanist. - BA

Ursinus Jazz Ensemble to Present Concert
3/17/2011

The Ursinus College Jazz Ensemble will present a concert on Saturday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater on the Collegeville campus.  The program is free, open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are required.

Conducted by Holly Gaines, associate professor of music, the Jazz Ensemble will perform a variety of classic and modern jazz pieces.  Louis Prima’s Sing Sing Sing (with a swing), made famous by popular jazz drummer Gene Krupa, will be featured.  Other selections will include Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly with Me, Charles  Mingus’s Gunslinging Bird and the classic jazz ballad God Bless the Child. --BA

Acclaimed Human Rights Activist John Prendergast To Speak on Campus
3/17/2011

John Prendergast, a human rights activist and best-selling author who has worked for peace in Africa for over 25 years will speak on campus March 22. He is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity affiliated with the Center for American Progress. His presentation at 6:30 in the Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater will center on issues in Sudan. Prendergast has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.  He is the author or co-author of ten books. His forthcoming book, Unlikely Brothers, due in May 2011, is a dual memoir co-authored with his first little brother in the Big Brother program. His previous two books were co-authored with Don Cheadle:  Not On Our Watch, a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year, and The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes.

He has appeared in four episodes of 60 Minutes, and helped create African characters and stories for two episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, one focusing on the recruitment of child soldiers and the other on rape as a war strategy. Prendergast has also traveled to Africa with NBC’s Dateline, ABC’s Nightline, The PBS NewsHour and CNN’s Inside Africa. He has appeared in several documentaries.

Prendergast has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of San Diego, Eckerd College, the University of Maryland, the American University in Cairo, the University of Pittsburgh, and St. Mary’s College.  He is a board member and serves as Strategic Advisor to Not On Our Watch, the organization founded by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt.

Ursinus Students Help The Butterfly Project Take Flight
3/17/2011

Eager to present a hands-on nature lesson, Meg Maccaroni 2014 got involved with an innovative project to mentor middle school students. Maccaroni, an Environmental Studies and Spanish double major, has just finished guiding sixth graders at Perkiomen Valley Middle School in creating a butterfly garden. “It was an opportunity for UC students to help sixth graders design a butterfly garden at Rambo Park in Trappe,” says Maccaroni. The goal was to teach about gardening and native species.

Fellow Ursinus students Hillary Anderson and Marina Campo worked with Maccaroni by volunteering to visit the students every Tuesday for three weeks to help them with the designing process. Together they organized a list of native plants that attract butterflies and support other wildlife. During each of the design sessions, the UC students mentored two competing teams.

“The teams were working to have their design chosen by town officials and eventually planted in the spring,” says Maccaroni, a native of Berlin, N.J. “The designs were judged on elements including plant diversity, strategic placement of plants, and creativity.”

Creative and enthusiastic, is the way Maccaroni describes the students. “They planned beautiful designs, and we emphasized the importance of choosing the right plants to help make the designs a reality.” The winning team will take a trip to Rambo Park soon to begin planting.

Now Maccaroni is preparing for Earth Day. Events at Ursinus will include tours to the organic garden, music, volleyball and Frisbee games, all-natural tie-dying, and food from local vendors. “We hope Collegeville families come to visit, and we are planning recycled crafts and face painting stations for kids,” she says. “We are aiming for a fun-filled celebration, but we're also hoping the day reminds everyone of the importance of living sustainably and gives them some ideas on how to do so.”

Maccaroni is an admissions tour guide, part of Project Delphi, and just joined Escape Velocity.

 

Ursinus Is Talking About....Offers A Broader Look at Books, Photography, Art, Music, Film . . . .
3/17/2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patti Smith will appear at the Lenfest Theater April 5 at 7 p.m. as part of Ursinus is Talking About, a program that invites the Ursinus community to take a broader look at a work of art, including books, film, photography and other formats.

This spring semester UITA focused on the photogrpahy of Robert Frank,  which was exhibited in the Berman Museum of Art, and the events and cultural icons of the time which inspired him.

UITA presents a performance talk by National Book Award winner Patti Smith. In 1970, Smith, who is a friend of photographer Robert Frank, wrote in her notebook: “I keep trying to figure out what it means to be American. When I look in myself I see Abyssinia, nineteenth-century France, but I can’t recognize what makes me American. I think about Robert Frank’s photographs – broke down jukeboxes in Gallup, New Mexico, swaying hips and spurs, ponytails and syphilitic cowpokes, hash slingers, the glowing black tarp of U.S. 285 and the Hoboken stars and stripes.”

The Berman Museum of Art, on the Ursinus campus, is showing Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank "Portraits" until April 17. Robert Frank directed the video for Smith’s “Summer Cannibals”.

Smith is the winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Non-Fiction for Just Kids. She will be sharing more thoughts on Robert Frank, talking about Just Kids and playing songs.

Born in Chicago and raised in South Jersey, Smith’s 1975 debut album, Horses, has been ranked one of the great albums. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Patti Smith and her band have released eight studio albums on Arista Records from 1975-2002. (Patti Smith photo courtesy Edward Mapplethorpe.)  

President's Statement on Sister School in Sendai, Japan
3/15/2011

Updated 3/23/11

Dear Ursinus Family,

As we watch the news from Japan in sympathy and sadness, our compassionate campus community is eager to provide assistance. I am pleased to tell you that a campus committee will assist in fundraising efforts. The funds will be collected on behalf of the Philadelphia Japan Disaster Relief Fund, which is administered by the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia. <http://jasgp.org/> These donations will be sent in entirety to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

This organization is sponsoring the Tamagawa University Taiko and Dance Ensemble, which will perform at Ursinus College as planned April 4. The Ursinus Japan Club and other students will be collecting donations at this event. UCARE, the Japan Club and other student groups are exploring other collection locations and events, and additional fundraising initiatives and informational programs.

In addition, a special fund is being developed at Ursinus to accept donations on behalf of our sister institution, Tohoku Gakuin University (TGU), located in Sendai, Japan -- a region hard hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. We have many colleagues and friends at TGU and in Sendai, including gracious families who have hosted Ursinus students during the Japanese Summer Study Program. TGU, which has suffered substantial damage to its physical facilities, has delayed the start of its spring semester, and has cancelled the Summer Study in Japan program scheduled for mid-May through June, which was scheduled to celebrate 30 years sending Ursinus students to Japan.

Ursinus has been asked to join a group of colleges with connections to the Tohoku regional of Japan, in which TGU is located, to look into scholarships or exchanges that would benefit students and faculty from those institutions. We look forward to working with our colleagues to make this happen.

Inquiries with regard to these efforts on behalf of TGU and the Tohoku region may be directed to Professor Matthew Mizenko, associate professor of Japanese and East Asian Studies, at 610-409-3668 (mmizenko@ursinus.edu).

We are grateful that we keep hearing from our friends and colleagues in Japan, who, although enduring great hardship, are safe. We also appreciate the efforts of officials at Akita International University and International Christian University to make our students studying there as comfortable as possible. We have offered to allow our students to complete the semester on the Ursinus campus but most have elected to stay in, or return to, Japan.

I appreciate the efforts of the campus committee, which includes Emerita Professor Judith Fryer, Associate Dean of Student Life Todd McKinney, Professors Christian Rice and Mathew Mizenko, UCARE’s Elizabeth Cannon, and Japanese Club President Seika Ueda.

We know that the caring, Ursinus community will enthusiastically do whatever we can to help our neighbors and friends. We will continue to monitor the situation and to bring you updates.

Sincerely,
John E. F. Corson,
President, Ursinus College

Updated 3/18/11
Colleagues and Friends,

We have learned through correspondence that the Japanese Summer Studies Program between Ursinus College and Tohoku Gakuin University has been cancelled. This program offers Ursinus students five weeks studying in Sendai with an Ursinus faculty member. Although the international affairs program members are safe, many buildings are damaged and classes and programs are cancelled at least until the end of April.

We have also received a letter from the President of Akita International University, where Ursinus students are currently studying. He assures us that while they continue to monitor the nuclear energy situation, all students have food, water and heat, and are safe. Classes will begin two weeks late.

An Ursinus student is also at International Christian University in Tokyo. At this campus, classes will begin April 8, but they are accommodating to international students who may wish to leave temporarily.

We have communicated with our students in Japan, and those on semester break who had planned to return to Japan, to offer housing and spring semester academic studies on the Ursinus campus. We are awaiting their decisions.

In the midst of all the disaster reporters, the Tamagawa University Taiko and Dance troupe members have been given permission to leave Japan, and perform at Ursinus College as planned April 4.
The Japan-America Society of Greater Philadelphia, which is the sponsoring organization for the drummers tour,  has established a relief fund from which donations will be sent in entirety to organizations designated by the Japanese government.  Donations will be collected t this performance with the help of our East Asian Studies students and club members. 

Again, we are monitoring the situation and noting where we can be of help. We continue to be deeply concerned for our friends and colleagues in Japan, and for the entire Japanese nation, as the crisis continues.

Sincerely,
John E.F. Corson,
President, Ursinus College,

3/15/11

Dear Friends,

Ursinus College students, faculty and staff have been greatly concerned about our colleagues at Tohoku Gakuin University, in Sendai, Japan. Sendai was particularly hard hit by last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

Many of the Ursinus faculty and staff have been to Sendai and TGU and have lived with families there. Also, TGU students and faculty/staff have been our guests on the Ursinus campus.

Considered our “sister school,” an American Studies Program has brought TGU students to campus since 1973. Each year in a companion program, Ursinus students spend five weeks in May and June in a Japanese Studies program at TGU.

Over the past weekend, TGU’s web site was down and e-mails were not answered. However, thankfully, we have begun to get reports from our Sendai friends that tell us that although there is little or no power, transportation or water, and they live among extensive building damage, their spirit is strong and they seem to be coping. As a relatively inland school on a plateau, TGU was at least spared the tsunami. As each day goes by, more Ursinus students are hearing that their former host families are safe, and our professors have heard from a few colleagues. We have heard that the 2009 American Studies Program members are safe, and we have heard back from almost all from 2010. There are also reports that TGU is helping others who need housing.

In the coming days, our faculty, staff and community service leaders will encourage our campus to consider outreach that will help our TGU counterparts, and other earthquake victims in Japan. The students in our Japanese Club and other groups are exploring what they can do to help. Our deepest sympathy goes out to our TGU colleagues, including my counterpart, President Nozomu Hoshimiya, and to the people of Japan and elsewhere who have been affected by this horrendous disaster.

Sincerely,
John E. F. Corson
President,
Ursinus College

 

Scholar on Yiddish Literature Offers Lecture at Ursinus
3/14/2011

Celebrated scholar of Yiddish and American culture and Yiddish literature Dr. Ruth Wisse will present a lecture at Ursinus College March 27 at 3:30 p.m. The lecture is titled, “The New York Intellectuals: Will We Ever See Their Like Again?” Dr. Wisse is the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University.

The lecture will be held in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center’s Lenfest Theater, followed by a reception in the Kaleidoscope lobby. The lecture is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested by March 11 by calling 610-409-3172. (Pictured Left: Ruth Wisse)

The special event is in honor of Werner Dannhauser, who was a professor at Ursinus College from 2007 to 2009, and the author of Nietzche’s View of Socrates.

Dr. Wisse’s books include The Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey Through Language and Culture (2000) and Jews and Power (2007). In 2007 she was awarded a National Humanities Medal for “scholarship and teaching that have illuminated Jewish literary traditions,” and “insightful writings” that “have enriched our understanding of Yiddish literature and Jewish culture in the modern world.” Wisse is well known in literary circles for her collaborative anthologies with Irving Howe, The Best of Sholom Aleichem (1979) and, together with Khone Shmeruk, The Penguin Book of Modern Yiddish Verse (1987). She was also the first editor-in-chief of the Library of Yiddish Classics, and an essayist in the magazine, Commentary.

Dr. Dannhauser came to Ursinus after a long and distinguished career as a Professor of Government at Cornell University, and was an editor and writer for the magazine, Commentary. He was a translator of the great scholar of Jewish mysticism, Gershom Scholem. He is also a commentator on the German-Jewish political philosopher Leo Strauss, and an authority on German thought and contributor to Jewish studies. He has donated his considerable book collection to Ursinus College. (Pictured Right: Werner Dannhauser)

Ursinus Meistersingers to Present Concert
3/11/2011

The Ursinus College Meistersingers will present a concert on Saturday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium on the Collegeville campus.  The program will include works performed on a recently completed tour to Ireland.

The program is free and open to the public.

The Meistersingers are conducted by John French, the William F. Heefner Professor of Music at Ursinus.  French is organist/choirmaster at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square and associate conductor of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.

Ursinus Student Artists to Exhibit at Kimmel Center
3/10/2011

Ursinus student artists Brittany O'Dowd, Emily Feldtmose, Ian Dykstra, Magdalena Parks, Mara Berzins and Warren Mayer will be featured artists in the College Art Night Exhibit on March 24 at the Philadelphia Orchestra’s French Connections concert at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Their work will be exhibited with student work from Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Rutgers-Camden University, Saint Joseph's University and Rowan University.  More information can be found at http://www.philorch.org/collegeart/

Four of the Ursinus students exhibiting at the special orchestra program are also exhibiting in the Annual Student Exhibition at Ursinus’s Phillip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art. April 27 through May 14 in the museum’s Main and Upper Galleries. The opening reception is April 27 from 3 to 5 p.m.

 

Berman Museum Explores Arts-Based Education in Medical Schools
3/8/2011

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College will present a symposium, “Look Again: Strategic Arts-Based Education in Medical Schools," as part of its  ongoing series of public forums and discussions on arts-based learning.

The symposium will be held March 26 from 1 to 4 p.m., in the Museum’s Main Gallery, and has been organized in conjunction with an exhibition of photographs by the artist Robert Frank that were loaned to the Museum by Thomas Jefferson University medical school in Philadelphia. The proceedings will encompass hands-on (eyes-on) workshops and panel discussions, as well as a Q&A session.

This program is one of several collaborative projects between the Museum and Thomas Jefferson University taking place throughout the semester. A reception is planned for 5 to 6 p.m. Reservations are recommended, as seating will be limited. For reservations, call Sue Calvin at 610-409-3500.

Panelists will include:
Sandra Bertman, Ph.D., National Center for Death Education at Mount Ida College, Newton, Mass.;
Laura Ferguson, artist; Artist-in-Residence, Master Scholars Medical Humanism Program, New York University School of Medicine; instructor, “Art and Anatomy” seminar, leading drawing sessions for medical students in the Anatomy Lab;
Barry Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., photographer; University of Rochester Medical Center, Departments of Biochemistry and Medical Humanities;
Alexa Miller, M.A., artist; Arts Learning Specialist, museum educator, Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) consultant, and course facilitator for Harvard Medical School’s “Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis” curriculum;
Charles Pohl, M.D., Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Pediatric Medicine, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Director of Applied Arts Program.

Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

AUTHOR MARY CAPPELLO TO LECTURE ON DR. CHEVALIER JACKSON
3/2/2011

 Nonfiction author Mary Cappello will lecture at Ursinus College on Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them, her recently-released biography of Dr. Chevalier Jackson, inventor of the life-saving bronchoscope.  The free event will be held on Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Main Gallery of Ursinus College’s Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, and is open to the public. 

Following the program will be a book signing, reception and performance by Ursinus students in Associate Professor Nzadi Keita’s Spoken Word class.  They will respond to photographs taken by Dr. Jackson of “foreign bodies” he extracted from his patients over the years of his practice. 

Jackson’s invention of the bronchoscope greatly advanced the field of laryngology and saved countless lives, by providing a nonsurgical way to extract pins, coins, teeth and other items that had been swallowed or inhaled.  A woodworker and artist, Jackson served as a professor at Philadelphia medical colleges, including Jefferson Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Medical College.  In addition to the bronchoscope, he invented a number of other surgical instruments in his workshop at Sunrise Mill, his home in Montgomery County.  The Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection is a popular attraction at Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.

Mary Cappello is a professor of English at the University of Rhode Island and the award-winning author of the books Night Bloom, Awkward: A Detour, and Called Back:  My Reply to Cancer, My Return to Life.  Her essays have appeared in The Michigan Review, The Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Western Humanities Review, Raritan and numerous anthologies. -- B.A.

Ursinus Students Bring Music to Ireland
3/2/2011

Ursinus students will take their talents to  Galway and Dublin, Ireland with the Ursinus College Music Department during spring break March 3 to March 10.

The Ursinus Chamber Winds and Chamber Singers will bring not only their voices but piccolo, flute, clarinet, bassoon euphonium and other instruments. Holly Gaines, Associate Professor of Music, conducts the Chamber Winds and John French, William F. Heefner Professor of Music, conducts the singers.

The program includes Suisato’s Renaissance Suite, Vivaldi’s  “Allegro” from Double Concerto, Faure’s Messe Basse and the traditional Irish hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.”

The group will do some touring, including visits to Trinity College, the National Museum of Ireland,  St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Kylemore Abbey and other sites .

The will perform at St. Augustine’s Church in Galway and the Unitarian Church in Dublin.

Professor Romano Selected to Chair Jury for Literary Excellence Award
3/2/2011

Ursinus Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Carlin Romano has been named Chair of the Jury for the 2011 "J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award," which is jointly administered by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard and Columbia University.

The $30,000 prize goes to the author of a nonfiction book already underway and contracted for by a publisher, that exhibits the literary excellence and concern for social justice exemplified by J. Anthony Lukas (1933-97), the Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times journalist and author. Lukas's acknowledged masterpiece, Common Ground (1985), won five major national prizes: the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the National Book Award in Nonfiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and the Poliltical Book of the Year Award.

Romano, the Critic-At-Large for The Chronicle of Higher Education, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, holds degrees from Princeton and Yale, and a law degree from Columbia University. As a Fulbright Scholar he lectured in St. Petersburg, Russia, and also served as President of the National Book Critics Circle in 1994. He is the author of numerous reviews, commentaires and articles.

This year's J. Anthony Lukas Work-in Progress Award will be presented at a ceremony at Columbia University in May, 2011.

The Films of Robert Frank to Be Shown at the Berman Museum
3/1/2011

The extracurricular program “Ursinus is Talking About…” will continue with a showing of the films of Robert Frank in the Berman Museum of Art on Wednesday March. 16. The films will supplement the current exhibition of Frank’s photographs, Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank “Portraits,” which is the subject of this semester’s “Ursinus is Talking About…” program.

The films will be shown starting at 7p.m. in the Berman Museum's room 016 and a discussion led by Ursinus faculty will follow. The public is invited and the showing is free.

Robert Frank launched his career into filmmaking shortly after the release of his pivotal book of photography, The Americans, in 1959. He produced over 27 films which span the genres of fiction, documentary, and autobiography and used innovative cinematography to tell their stories. The films are at times experimental and improvisational, but they provide another important window into understanding Frank’s vision of American culture.

The Berman Museum of Art, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. -- David Hysek 2011

Two Woody Allen Comedies To Be Performed at Ursinus
3/1/2011

Domenick Scudera, Associate Professor of Theater at Ursinus College, is directing Ursinus theater students in two one-act comedies, God and Death Knocks, written by Woody Allen. The double bill shows are set to open Wednesday March 30, and run through Saturday April 2 at 7:30 in the Black Box Theater Studio theater in The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be $5 for general admission and $2 for students and senior citizens. For more information and reservations, contact the Box Office at 610-409-3795.

The play God is about two Greeks trying to find an ending for their play in time for a drama festival. During the action, they realize they are in a play trapped within another play. In Death Knocks, death comes knocking at a man’s door, and in order to try and cheat death, he challenges death to a game of gin rummy. Comedy writer Woody Allen is at his existential best with these hilarious, irreverent plays that deal with the meaning of life, death, God, and the universe. -- Kaitlyn Ott, 2013

Curatorial Talk on Photographer Robert Frank Set for March 2
2/17/2011


Art Historian and Associate Director for Education at the Berman Museum of Art Susan Shifrin will give a curatorial talk on the exhibition Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank Portraits on March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Main Gallery. Refreshments will be served following the program.

(Pictured: Frogmore SC 1955, gelatin silver print, 8 1/3 x 13 1/4 in, Penn Family Collection, Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University Archives and Special Collections)

Dr. Shifrin, who is also an Assistant Professor of Art History specializes in early modern art and culture and has a particular interest in textual and visual representations of women from the sixteenth century to the present day. Recent publications include “The Wandering Life I Led": Essays on Hortense Mancini, Duchess Mazarin and Early Modern Women’s Border Crossings (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009); Re-Framing Representations of Women: Figuring, Fashioning, Portraiting and Telling in the “Picturing Women” Project (Ashgate Publishing, 2008); and ‘Subdued by a Famous Roman Dame’: Picturing Foreignness, Notoriety, and Prerogative in the Portraits of Hortense Mancini, Duchess Mazarin” in Politics, Transgression, and Representation at the Court of Charles II, eds. Julia Marciari Alexander and Catharine MacLeod (Yale University Press, 2008), 141-174.

Despite her scholarly focus on early modern art, she has curated a number of exhibitions of contemporary art in recent years, including "Picturing Women: Historical Works and Contemporary Responses at Three Philadelphia-Area Institutions, "Exotica: Photographs By Sally Grizzell Larson;" "Is There Still Life? Works by Debrah Jospe, Constance Moore Simon and Enid Mark," and "Tamar Stone and Christine Lofaso: Women’s Bodies Of/As Work.”

This exhibition explores Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank’s  redefinition of the notion of portraiture through his work before, during, and following the production of his most well-known collection, The Americans (1958/59). The works featured in the exhibition are borrowed from the Archives and Special Collections at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Many of the images have never before been published or exhibited.

Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising.

Comic Curator and Artist John Jennings to Speak at Ursinus
2/16/2011

Comic curator and comic book artist John Jennings will examine the growth, development and current state of underground Black comics in a presentation on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in Ursinus College’s Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall.  Jennings will focus on how Black artists have used the medium to counter mainstream images and portrayals of Africa and African Americans.

Jennings is the author of the graphic novel The Hole: Consumer Culture, Vol. 1, which was nominated for two GLPY Comics Awards in 2009.  The GLYPHS are awarded each year at the East Coast Black Comics Convention for outstanding work in the comics medium that pertains to the depictions and concerns of African Americans.

Jennings is an associate professor of visual studies at SUNY – Buffalo.

Organist Colin Howland in Concert at Ursinus
2/16/2011

Colin Howland will present a Heefner Organ Recital on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium on the Ursinus College campus.  The event is free, open to the public and no tickets or reservations are needed.

A native of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Howland currently serves as Director of Music and Arts of the Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, where he plays the organ for services and concerts, and oversees a comprehensive music program.

Former church positions include the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. where he was the organist from 1992 to early 1998. While at Coral Ridge, he could be seen on the church's weekly television broadcast, The Coral Ridge Hour.

Howland has been active as an organ recitalist for over 20 years, playing concerts throughout the United States. He has appeared as soloist with the Florida Symphonic Pops Orchestra and the Irving Symphony Orchestra in such works as Joseph Jongen's Symphonie Concertante, Camille Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3, and Francis Poulenc's Organ Concerto.  

His recital career has taken him to England and China. As a soloist and accompanist, he has worked with several distinguished conductors including Sir David Willcocks, Anton Armstrong, Paul Salamunovich and Constantina Tsolainou.

A participant in the Allen Organ Company’s Allen Artists Program, Howland is a founding member of the Philadelphia Organ Quartet, a unique ensemble which arranges and performs music for four organs and organists.

Guest Artist Bobbi Block to Direct Improv at Ursinus
2/14/2011

Bobbi Block, Founder and Artistic Director of the improvisational  theater group Tongue & Groove, will direct Ursinus students in a comedic improv theater production Feb. 23 through Feb. 26 in the College’s Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.  Tickets will be $5 for general admission and $2 for students and senior citizens. For more information and reservations, call 610-409-3795.

Block teaches improvisational theater at Drexel and Temple Universities, and has a side career coaching executives in leadership and creativity.  She founded Tongue & Groove in 2006 and has performed serio-comic, realistic improv throughout the Philadelphia area. Formats include one in which the actors are inspired by real-life secrets shared by the audience.  Another theme is “unspoken,” exploring nonverbal communication. Block was also a founding member of ComedySportz, a successful acting company that puts on a weekly show of improv comedy played as a sport.

W.J.T. Mitchell to Speak on the Photography of Robert Frank
2/8/2011

Scholar and theorist of visual art and literature W.J.T. Mitchell will deliver a lecture on Robert Frank and photography on Thursday Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. in Olin Auditorium. An exhibition of Frank’s work at The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art is the subject of the extracurricular program Ursinus is Talking About...  

Mitchell, currently the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago, has written on art, literature and media. He is the editor of the interdisciplinary journal Critical Inquiry, a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences. A scholar and theorist of media, visual art and literature, Mitchell is associated with the fields of visual culture and iconology (the study of images across the media). He is known especially for his work on the relations of visual and verbal representations in the context of social and political issues. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Morey Prize in art history given by the College Art Association of America. Mitchell’s writings in books such as Cloning Terror, What do Pictures Want?, and Picture Theory focus on the nature of images and the interplay of visual and verbal representations, how images convey meaning, and how often these images are tied up in questions of identity and political ideology.

Places, Spaces and Identity: Robert Frank “Portraits,” is on view at the Museum, as well as Dust Shaped Hearts, the photography of Donald E. Camp.

Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Poet Laureate visit Rescheduled to Feb. 23
2/7/2011

Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States, will be on the Ursinus campus Feb. 23 at 7 p.m., for a poetry reading followed by a book signing, in the Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. (A previously announced visit was cancelled due to weather conditions).

Pinsky, who was the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000, is also a translator, essayist and teacher. His first two terms as United States Poet Laureate were marked by such national enthusiasm that the Library of Congress appointed him to an unprecedented third term. Throughout his career, Pinsky has been dedicated to identifying and invigorating poetry’s place in the world.

As Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky became a public ambassador for poetry, founding the Favorite Poem Project (FPP), in which thousands of Americans of varying backgrounds, all ages, and from every state, shared their favorite poems. Pinsky believed that poetry had a vigorous presence in the American cultural landscape. The project sought to document that presence, giving voice to the American audience for poetry. The anthology, Americans' Favorite Poems, which include letters from project participants, is in its 18th printing. The most recent anthology, An Invitation to Poetry, comes with a DVD featuring 27 of the FPP video segments, as seen on Public Broadcasting stations. In April 2009, W.W. Norton published Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud, with a CD of Pinsky reading aloud.

Described as elegant and tough and vividly imaginative, Pinsky’s poems have earned praise for their musical energy and ambitious range. Gulf Music (FSG, fall 2007) is his most recent volume of poetry. His The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and received both the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union.

Pinsky’s Tanner Lectures at Princeton University were published as Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry (Princeton University Press, 2002).  His other books about poetry include Poetry and the World, nominated for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, and The Sounds of Poetry.

Robert Pinsky’s landmark, best-selling translation of The Inferno of Dante received the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Howard Morton Landon Prize for translation. He is also co-translator of The Separate Notebooks, poems by Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz.  Pinsky’s prose book, The Life of David, is a retelling and examination of the David stories. He also wrote the libretto for Tod Machover’s opera Death and the Powers: A Robot Pagaent.

The poetry editor for the online magazine Slate, Pinsky appeared regularly on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He was elected in 1999 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His poems appear in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review,  American Poetry Review, and frequently in The Best American Poetry anthologies. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. He is also the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 2006 Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Literary Arts, and the 2008 Theodore M. Roethke Memorial Poetry Award. He is one of the few members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on “The Simpsons” and “The Colbert Report.”

Talking with Bobby Fong: A USGA-sponsored Event with the President-elect
2/4/2011

Giving President-elect Dr. Bobby Fong a chance to meet and talk directly with Ursinus students, the Ursinus Student Government Association hosted a Town Meeting in Bomberger Auditorium this week.

Following an introduction by USGA President: Jervis Hudson, the two students who served on the Presidential Search Committee, Bridget Resetco and Ty Wetzel, explained that one of the many reason Dr. Fong was selected is that he is interested in the lives of students.

Dr. Fong, who is currently President at Butler University in Indiana, told the students that colleges exist to foster opportunities for individuals to find themselves, and to service the world. Ursinus, he said, is a place where “we can be truly ourselves.”

The issue of diversity was on students’ minds, following a special campus meeting on the topic. Dr. Fong said he appreciates the determination of Ursinus students, and sees the current conversations as a time for “reflection and self searching.”

Lauren DiCairano. Vice President, Class of 2013 and Secretary of the USGA, said she was extremely impressed with Dr. Fong. “I was thrilled that he made time to talk to the students,” she said, “it shows that he really does care about us. Even after the meeting ended Dr. Fong stood around for almost another hour just talking to students. That really meant a lot to me personally.“

One goal Dr. Fong sees for Ursinus is to enrich the Ursinus liberal arts curriculum, especially adding more opportunities for employment and other post-undergraduate options. It is possible, he said, to “teach professions liberally, to prepare us for life, while preparing us for a living.”

He also said he is pleased to be coming back to Division III athletics, despite having been through an NCAA championship at Butler. Division III offers a balance between athletics and academics, he noted.

Other topics addressed were Greek Life, tenure, admissions recruiting and the college’s relationship with the community. Greek life should strengthen students personally and academically, he explained. He will support students taking an active role in the community.

In response to a question, Dr. Fong indicated that he is an ally to the campus gay community. At a previous college, he resigned when the top candidate was not hired because the candidate was gay.

Dr. Fong is proud that at Butler, he told students, he restored confidence in leadership and that college gained a reputation as an academically serious place. -- W.G.

His presidency at Ursinus starts July 1, and he will be visiting on a regular basis until that time. During his presidency, students will have more opportunities to engage in dialogue with Dr. Fong, as he hopes to hold open hours every week over coffee, to speak with students.

Jazz Flutist to Perform at Ursinus College
2/4/2011

As a part of Ursinus’ continuing celebration of Black History Month, flutist Galen Razzaq will give a jazz performance on Feb. 16 in Wismer Lower Lounge at 7 p.m. Born in Montclair, N. J., Razzaq is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and Rutgers University, and holds a master’s degree in fine arts and education. He is also an arranger, composer, director, educator, and writer.

In his thirty years of performing and recording internationally, Razzaq has collaborated with some of the jazz and blues greats such as Billy Taylor, Sonny Phillips, Gwen Guthrie, Jimmy Heath, and many more. He has been lauded for his ability to transform an audience with his smooth, rich sound.-- David Hysek 2011

Saxophonist Denis DiBlasio to Appear at Ursinus College
2/4/2011

World-renowned saxophone and flute player Denis DiBlasio will appear in concert at Ursinus College on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium.  The event is free, open to the public and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Former musical director for trumpeter extraordinaire Maynard Ferguson and executive director of The Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz at Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J., DiBlasio has jammed with some of the biggest names in jazz and has performed around the world,  from the Hollywood Bowl and the Playboy Jazz Festival to the private court of the King of Thailand. He is director of the Jazz Program at Rowan University, tours with The Denis DiBlasio Quartet, and has 10 CDs to his name.

A clinician for the Yamaha Musical Corporation, he has taken his “education as entertainment” style around the world, making music fun with his combination of positive motivation and witty sense of humor.  Prior to the Ursinus concert, DiBlasio will conduct a clinic with the Ursinus Jazz Ensemble, with the student musicians joining him in concert.-- B.A.

Photographer David Graham to Deliver Artist Lecture
2/2/2011

Photographer David Graham will deliver a Distinguished Artist Lecture in the Berman Museum of Art on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. Graham is currently a professor of media arts, photography, film and animation at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

Graham’s photography has been exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other institutions. He has published numerous book collections of his photography and done work for Harper’s, The New York Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Most of his work consists of scenes across the American landscape, and it embraces popular photography in its use of the snapshot, the family portrait, and the vacation photo.

The photographer’s most recent work, Almost Paradise, envisions an American landscape overrun with commercialism and wrought with destruction. The collection of photos includes such startling juxtapositions as a row of Port-O-Potties in front of a historic building and a canon aimed at a mural of the Statue of Liberty. It also portrays the American dream in a state of decay, with buildings in rubble and a gas station awning twisted and fallen to the ground in a rusted heap. However, this bleakness is mitigated by quirky, bizarre subject matter and wildly intense colors that celebrate the liveliness of American cultural expression. -- David Hysek, 2011

Berman Photographers' Roundtable Feb. 8 asks Public to 'Look Again'
1/29/2011


As a part of the Berman Museum of Art’s “Look Again” series in conjunction with the current exhibitions, a panel of world-class photographers will meet in the Berman Museum of Art Feb. 8 for a roundtable discussion of their work. The discussion will run from 4:30 to 6 p.m., in the museum’s Main Gallery. There will be a reception in  from 6 to 7 p.m.

The public is invited to listen, and “look again,” or reconsider the issues evoked in the photography of  celebrated photographer Robert Frank, whose work is the subject of Places, Spaces and Identity: Robert Frank “Portraits,”  on view at the Berman Museum, and the photography of Donald E. Camp, also on view.

Panelists will include Camp, Ursinus Artist in Residence and Assistant Professor of Art, whose prints comprise the Upper Gallery exhibition, Dust Shaped Hearts.

Other participants will include Amie Potsic, Ronald “Rusty” Kennedy, William Williams, and Andrea Baldeck.  In addition to being a photographer, Potsic is also a curator, writer, and director of the Career Development Program at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia. Kennedy is a long-time photographer for the Associated Press. Williams is a professor of Fine Arts and Curator of Photography at Haverford College, whose personal repertoire explores African American History.  Baldeck is a former physician who in the 1990’s decided to dedicate herself to fine art photography and create a body of work the explores landscapes and portraiture, mostly of foreign locales. Her work has been the subject of a past Berman exhibition.

Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Fulbright Scholar from Mauritania Offers Lecture on Slavery
1/25/2011

A political science scholar from Mauritania, currently the Fulbright Visiting Scholar at University of Florida’s Center for African Studies, will speak on the Ursinus College campus Feb. 3 in the Wismer Parents’ Lounge, at 3 p.m.

Dr. Zekeria O. Ahmed Salem Denna Professor of Political Science at the University of Nouakchott, Mauritania, the Fulbright Visiting Scholar for the 2010-2011 academic year at University of Florida, Center for African Studies will offer a public talk  on slavery, “Fighting Stigma, Building Citizenship: Leaving the Legacy of Slavery in West Africa.”   The public talk is being sponsored by the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter of the Fulbright Association.   Dr. Denna also will visit classes and meet with students over several days.

He holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the Institute of Political Studies at Lyon 2 University, France. He is also the editor of the volume: Trajectories of a Frontier-States: Spaces, political evolution and social transformations in Mauritania (in French, Dakar, Codesria, 2004). His latest publications include, “Bare-Foot activists: Transformations in the Haratines Movement in Mauritania” in S. Ellis, I.V. Kessel, Movers and Shakers: Social Movements in Africa (Leiden, J. Brill, 2009); “Islam in Mauritania between Political Expansion and Globalization: Elites, Institutions, Knowledge, and Networks,” in B. Soares and R. Otayek, eds., Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). His forthcoming book chapter is titled ”The Paradoxes of Islamic Radicalization in Mauritania” in George Joffe (ed.), Islamic Activism and Radicalization in North-Africa, (London, Routledge, May 2011). He is working  on a book about social change in contemporary Mauritania.

Francophone Film Festival Kicks Off Thursday Feb. 10
1/24/2011

Ursinus’ annual festival celebrating French-language cinema begins on Feb. 10 with the showing of Un Secret, directed by Claude Miller. The film chronicles the life of a Jewish family in post- World War II Paris whose family secret is unearthed by Francois, their youngest son.

The festival will continue on Mar. 23 with Games of Love and Chance, which takes its name from an 18th century play by Marivaux. The plot centers on a production of Marivaux’s play by a group of immigrant teenagers in an underdeveloped section of the Parisian suburbs.

Finally, on Apr. 6 there will be a showing of Night of Truth, directed by Fanta Regina Narco. The film is set in a fictional West-African nation and narrates the attempts of two warring ethnic factions to finally put an end to their violence and bring peace to their land.

All films will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Auditorium. The films are subtitled in English. Light refreshments and conversation will follow. For more information, please contact Colette Trout at ctrout@ursinus.edu or 610-409-3000 ext. 3432.

Performance, Films, Mark Black History Month at Ursinus College
1/24/2011

The one-man play James Baldwin: Down from the Mountaintop, written and performed by Tony Award-nominated actor Calvin Levels, will open several special events at Ursinus College in observance of Black History Month.

The biographical play sketches the complex life of novelist, playwright, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin. It deals not only with Baldwin’s personal difficulties as a black and homosexual male in pre-civil rights era America, but also with his historic relationships with other activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medger Evers, and Malcolm X.  The play will be performed on Tuesday Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Kaleidoscope Blackbox Theater.

Ursinus’s first African American graduate, W. Robert Crigler, will deliver an address in Bomberger’s Meditation Chapel on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. His scheduled talk “Here Am I, Send Me” is a reflection on Isaiah 6:8.  Renaming the former Summer Bridge Program, now The W.R. Crigler Institute, will be formally announced. (See more on Dr. Crigler below).

The later half of the month will feature discussions based on  two films of historical significance presented by Ursinus faculty members: Dr. Carlita Favero, faculty in Biology, and Dr. Jane Jones, faculty in Anthropology and Sociology. The first, African American Women in Medicine, will be discussed in Unity House at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 16. The following Wednesday, Feb. 23, there will be a discussion of the PBS documentary, Race – The Power of an Illusion in Unity House at noon.  That same evening, Galen Razzaq, a jazz flutist will be performing in Wismer Lower Lounge at 6 p.m.

Finally, the month will wrap up with a guest lecture by John Jennings, Associate Professor of Visual Culture at SUNY Buffalo. The talk, titled “Middle Panels: Black Visual Expression as Resistance in Comics and Sequential Art,” will take place at 7 p.m. in Pfahler Auditorium on Feb. 23. - David Hysek, 2011

 

First Black Ursinus Graduate To Be Honored During Black History Month
1/24/2011


Ursinus College is honoring its first African American graduate, Dr. Robert Crigler, by naming The W. R. Crigler Institute, which was previously called the Summer Bridge Program.

“Bob” Crigler graduated in 1956. He was a psychology major and a student athlete at Ursinus. Much of his career was spent as the executive director of the Chaparral Treatment Center in Colton, Calif., a multi-disciplinary residential care therapy and education center for severely emotionally disturbed children.

Crigler will be honored at a reception on campus on Friday, February 4. He will also deliver an address in Bomberger’s Meditation Chapel on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. as part of Ursinus’s Black History month programs. His scheduled talk “Here Am I, Send Me” is a reflection on Isaiah 6:8.

Crigler was the first person from his family and the first African American from his hometown of Orville, Ohio to attend college. He excelled at Ursinus, lettering in both baseball and football. He is now retired and lives in California with his wife, Sheila. He had considerable success after graduating from Ursinus, receiving his master’s degree in public administration from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles and his Ph.D. in government from Claremont Graduate School. His work helping troubled families and children led Ursinus to award him the Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award in 1998.

(Photo above, L-R: Admissions Counselor Erin Dickerson 2003, Professor of Media and Communication Studies  Dr. Lynne Edwards 1988, Dr. W.R. Crigler 1956 and Director of Multicultural Services Paulette Patton.)

(Photo at right: “Bob” Criger with former Bridge Program students.)

 “Whenever he is called to serve Ursinus, he asks, ‘When and how long do you want me?’” says Paulette Patton, Director of Multicultural Services, who has worked with Crigler over the years on behalf of Ursinus students. “In this same spirit of academic excellence, leadership and social consciousness, how appropriate it is to honor Dr. Crigler in this manner.”

The W. R. Crigler Institute is a three week summer, residential program which provides a unique opportunity for invited students to participate in the rigors of academic excellence, combined with leadership and social consciousness development. In addition to course work, students are given the opportunity to participate in a community service project, connect with Ursinus alumni and attend leadership workshops. -- W.G.

Ursinus Hosts Recital Featuring Organ, Cello & Flute
1/20/2011

Alan Morrison, The Haas Charitable Trust Chair in Organ Studies at The Curtis Institute of Music and the Ursinus College Organist, will present a Heefner Organ Recital on Sunday, Jan. 30, at 4 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium on the Ursinus College campus.  The event is free, open to the public and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Mimi Stillman, flute, and Yumi Kendall, cello, will be featured performers.  Stillman is the founder and artistic director of the Dolce Suono Chamber Music Concert Series.  Kendall is assistant principal cellist of the Philadelphia orchestra.  The program will include works by Jehan Alain, Marcel Dupré, and Frank Martin.

Morrison is one of the most sought-after American concert organists, performing in Alice Tully, Jacoby, Verizon, Benaroya, and Spivey halls; the Crystal Cathedral; National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; and colleges, cathedrals, and churches throughout North America, Europe, and Brazil. He has been a featured artist for four national conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He has won first prize in both the Mader (Calif.) and Poister (N.Y.) National Organ Competitions, as well as the silver medal at the 1994 Calgary International Organ Festival.

Morrison’s numerous recordings are regularly featured on radio stations worldwide, and his television appearances include two episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as both organist and pianist. A graduate of Curtis (organ and piano accompaniment) and Juilliard (organ), he also teaches at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. -- B.A.

Scholar Beth Bailey To Speak on Sexual Revolution and Aftermath
1/14/2011

Temple professor and American historian Dr. Beth Bailey will speak in Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall, at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 9. (This is a new date, previous lecture was cancelled due to weather.) 

Bailey received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and previously taught at the University of New Mexico and Columbia University.

Bailey will speak on "Love, Sex and Revolution"  - the sexual revolution and its aftermath, as a historian of relationships in America. In her book, From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in 20th Century America, Bailey traces the evolution of romantic rituals from parlor calling to dating to the dissolution of the dating system altogether. The author also reflects on how changing cultural values manifested themselves in shifts in courting practices. Bailey takes an in-depth look at one of the most dramatic of these cultural shifts in her later book, Sex in the Heartland, which examines the forces that produced the sexual revolution in the 60’s and 70’s.

Her talk coincides with a new Ursinus’ philosophy course, “What is love?” The course, taught by Professor Jonathan Marks, is being funded by the National Endowment for Humanities Enduring Questions Grant. The Enduring Questions program supports the development of a course that will encourage undergraduate students to “grapple with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities, and to join together in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential thinkers over the centuries and into the present day.” – By David Hysek 2011

NEH-Supported Pilot Course Asks, 'What is Love?'
1/11/2011

What is love? Rousseau, Freud, and Plato are among those who have explored the age-old question, and now Ursinus College students will study it too, appropriately, during the spring semester, when thoughts tend to turn to love, to paraphrase Lord Alfred Tennyson.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a two-year Enduring Questions Pilot Course Grant to Associate Professor of Politics Jonathan Marks to explore the concept of love. The Enduring Questions program supports development of a course that will encourage undergraduate students to “grapple with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities, and to join together in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential thinkers over the centuries and into the present day.”

Why the question of love? “We have strong feelings about it and are perplexed by it,” explains Marks. “Students need no encouragement from their instructors to wonder how they can know whether they're in love, for example, or what sex has to do with love.” He added that students will also “try to learn whether falling in love is a trick that evolution plays on us, or a spiritual experience that defies biological explanations, or something else.” (Pictured: Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

Senior John Moriarity of Glen Mills, Pa., hopes the course will help him acquire the wisdom to navigate questions like: “Does love supply the capacity to build or destroy? Does love complete human beings or tear them apart?” Love, he notes, “remains integral for fulfilling personal relationships and successful communities,” and understanding it may lead to a more  fulfilling life.

The small-group class, to be offered in 2011 and 2012, will introduce contemporary and classic readings to students from a wide variety of disciplines, because, Marks explains, the subject oversteps the bounds of any one discipline. As in the Common Intellectual Experience, Ursinus’s first-year core course, students will benefit from the insights of their peers from across the College. Students will read the works of Plato, Augustine, Rousseau, Jane Austen, Freud, and C.S. Lewis, among others. They will also hear from speakers, including Beth Bailey, author of From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth Century America (1989). Marks was inspired to apply for the grant after attending the 2009 Jack Miller Summer Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Pictured: Professor Marks)

Marks, who did his undergraduate work and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, is the author of Perfection and Disharmony in the Thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, (Cambridge University Press, 2005). He has also written articles on Rousseau’s thought for several publications, including the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science, and reviewed books for Commentary and the Weekly Standard.

Students are eager to learn about love. “Love is overwhelming proof that humans are not rational actors,” offers senior Thomas Nucatola of Wading River, N.Y. “An understanding of this perplexing concept will without a doubt, improve my ability to understand human political, economic and social actions. “

Robert Vogt, a senior from Basking Ridge, N.J., views love “as a fundamental aspect of the human condition, and therefore deserving of philosophic contemplation.” But he is most excited about the opportunity to engage in dialogue that offers different viewpoints. -- W.G.

Student Affairs Group Honors Ursinus President-Elect Bobby Fong
1/5/2011

INDIANAPOLIS — Butler University President Bobby Fong’s efforts to advance the quality of student life at Butler and throughout higher education will be recognized with a national award from NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Dr. Fong was named the 13th President of Ursinus College and will take office sometime after the spring semester.

The organization will present Fong its 2011 President’s Award on March 15 in Philadelphia.  NASPA is a leading professional association for student affairs administrators, faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students, with more than 11,000 members at 1,400  campuses, and representing 29 countries.

Butler alumnus and former Trustee Clarence Crain nominated Fong for the award, crediting Fong with fostering “a university-wide recommitment to values upon which Butler was founded — namely inclusion, diversity, the championing of educational access and active service to the greater community.” Crain noted Fong’s efforts to involve Butler students and staff in University-wide decision making, particularly in the planning of new residence and academic facilities and the campus’ Health and Recreation Complex.

Fong won the NASPA Region IV-East President’s Award in 2009, according to Levester Johnson, Butler’s vice president for student affairs since 1997. “So, we were very gratified that the national board reconsidered his nomination for the top honor this year,” he said.

Fong has been exceptionally supportive of the programs and initiatives developed by student affairs personnel for Butler students, Johnson said. “He has not only attended events, but been an active participant. He’s served as a judge for contests, sought out student opinions and provided opportunities for students to be actively engaged on campus.

“Having seen the transformative effects of education in his own life, Dr. Fong has been dedicated to building an educational community at Butler that, in his own words, ‘assists students in the development, not only of their minds, but also of their aesthetic sensibilities, their moral compasses and their relations to the community of humankind.’ ”

Fong has served as Butler University’s president since 2001. - C.T, Butler U., W.G.

 

Berman Museum Showcases Photography of Robert Frank and Don Camp
1/3/2011

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art showcases photography in two exhibitions this spring.

Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank “Portraits” will open Jan 18 in the Main Gallery, and run through April 17.

Also opening Jan. 18 and running through April 17 in the Upper Gallery is the exhibition, Dust Shaped Hearts: Photographs by Donald E. Camp.

(Pictured: New Henry W. '48 and June Pfeiffer Wing, and Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation Sculpture Terrace)

Artist and opening receptions are planned for both exhibitions Sunday Jan. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The exhibition Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank “Portraits” explores Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank’s  redefinition of the notion of portraiture through his work before, during, and following the production of his most well-known collection, The Americans (1958/59).  The works featured in the exhibition are borrowed from the Archives and Special Collections at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Many of the images have never before been published or exhibited."

By juxtaposing more traditionally-understood portrait images of Frank’s family members, friends, and colleagues with more broadly, less conventionally-conceived “portrait” images of people and places, the Berman Museum will be able to show a selection of photographs never published and never before exhibited, and will also add a new set of scholarly perspectives and ideas to the discourse about Frank and his work.  The Berman Museum’s Associate Director for Education, Susan Shifrin, will co-curate the Frank exhibition with F. Michael Angelo, the University Archivist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. (Photo shown: Robert Frank: Frogmore SC 1955," gelatin silver print, 8 1/3 x 13 1/4 in, Penn Family Collection, Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University Archives and Special Collections)

With his ongoing series Dust Shaped Hearts, Don Camp, Ursinus Artist in Residence and professor of photography, seeks to counter stereotypes of African American men and women, presenting images of those who have quietly, yet profoundly, enriched our culture.  The series has expanded to include men and women of all races, acknowledging that the struggle against ignorance and intolerance is a universal one.  Camp’s work is characterized by both the unique process he uses to produce his prints as well as by his in-depth exploration of the dignity and nobility that can be found in the human face. (Pictured: Donald Camp, Ursinus Artist-in-Residence, with image from Dust Shaped Hearts - photo by Liora Kutler 2010)

Camp’s work has been recognized with a number of awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and NEA and Pew Fellowships in the Arts. He is an Assistant Professor and Artist in Residence at Ursinus College.

Related to both exhibitions is Look Again, a multi-event public program designed to engage audiences in looking closely -- and then looking again -- at the images on display in the Museum’s two photography exhibitions.

Some of the events are as follows:

Tuesday February 8,: Photographers’ Roundtable Discussion, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Lecture Hall, Pfeiffer Wing. Reception to follow in Main Gallery from 6 to 7 p.m. Participating artists: Donald E. Camp, Artist in Residence and Assistant Professor of Art, Ursinus College; Ronald (Rusty) Kennedy, Photographer, Associated Press; Amie Potsic, artist/photographer,  curator, and writer, and Director of the Career Development Program at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia; Andrea Baldeck, physician and photographer; and William Williams, photographer, professor of Fine Arts and Curator of Photography, Haverford College. Moderated by Susan Shifrin, Associate Director for Education, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art.

Wednesday March 2: – Curatorial Talk: Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank ‘Portraits’ by Susan Shifrin, Main Gallery, 7:p.m., Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, March 16: Screening of Robert Frank films in conjunction with the semester-long Ursinus is Talking About… initiative focusing on the photographs of Robert Frank on view in the Main Gallery.  Location: Lecture Hall, Pfeiffer Wing, 7 to 9 p.m. with discussion led by Ursinus faculty.

Tuesday March 22:  7 p.m., Main Gallery, Lecture by award-winning author Mary Cappello, on her biography of Dr. Chevalier Jackson titled Swallow. Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum holds a remarkable collection of neatly-stored small objects meticulously saved on white cards -- hairpins and nails, wire and padlocks, tiny toys, jacks, string, peanut kernels, a poker chip, and more were the life’s work of Dr. Chevalier Jackson, Renaissance man, painter, and inventor of the bronchoscope. He perfected a method of safely removing objects from the throats, stomachs, and bronchial areas of patients in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Lecture will be followed by a book signing and reception.  This event is in conjunction with a collaboration with the Ursinus College Department of English: The Spoken Word, which will focus on the photographs taken by Jackson of various objects he “extracted” from his patients and in relation to the Robert Frank photographs on view.

Wednesday April 6: Artist Gallery Talk, Dust Shaped Hearts: Photography by Donald E. Camp 7 to 8 p.m., Upper Gallery, Refreshments will be served.

April 2011 "'Look Again’: Strategic Arts-Based Education in Medical Schools” Symposium.Main Gallery, more information TBA.

In addition, located in the new Henry and June Pfeiffer Wing is The Urban Landscape: Ancient to Contemporary from the Permanent Collection  This exhibition features works by Joseph Pennell, Giovanni and Antonio Martino, Albert Jean Adolphe, Dong Kingman, Walter Emerson Baum, Colin Campbell Cooper, Fernand Leger and others.

Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. -- W.G.

Ursinus Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 17-22
12/20/2010

In honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ursinus will host a week’s worth of events to further advance his vision of equality. Martin Luther King Week will kick off Monday, Jan. 17 with an ecumenical service at noon in Bomberger Hall, followed by a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. in Unity House. Later, at 7:30 p.m. in Bomberger, Dr. Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani will deliver a keynote address titled “Can You Hear the Sound of the Drum?” Okembe-RA Imani, a veteran of more than 18 years in the Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist movements, will illuminate the ways in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a self-described “drum major for justice.”

The following day, Tuesday Jan. 18 at 5 p.m., Ursinus students will perform monologues about their experiences of diversity and difference in the Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater. The Diversity Monologues are meant to foster a community ethos that nurtures and appreciates diverse identities.

The week will continue with a panel discussion on “Race and the Sciences” on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at noon, led by Dr. Mark Ellison, Dr. Rebecca Kohn, and Dr. Lew Riley. Later that day at 7 p.m., there will be a showing of the film Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority. Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress and co-author of the landmark legislation for gender equality in athletics and education, Title IX. Both events will take place in Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall.

On Thursday Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in Olin Hall, there will be a discussion titled “Freedom School: Classical Liberalism as the Foundation for Civil Rights” which will be led by Dr. Susanna Throop, Dr. Paul Stern, Dr. Greg Weight, and Rabia Harris, member of philosophy and religion faculty, and will explore the history of freedom in Western society.

Dr. Christian Rice will lead a discussion of Martha C. Nussbaum’s recent work Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities on Friday in Bomberger Conference Room at noon. The book criticizes current educational practices that attempt to mold economically productive workers instead of shaping students to be thoughtful and knowledgeable citizens. Nussbaum, who holds an honorary degree from Ursinus, is currently Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.

Finally, the week will be capped off with a performance, “The Substance of Our Soul,” in the Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater on Saturday Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. Ursinus students will perform song, dance, music, and oratory that are inspired by and further the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. --David Hysek 2011

Winter Break Hours for Berman Museum of Art
12/14/2010

The Philip and Muriel Museum of Art will close Dec. 23 and will reopen to the public on Jan. 4, while Ursinus College is closed for winter break.

The Museum also will be closed Dec. 18 and Dec. 19.

Works from the permanent collection will be on view in the Henry W. and June Pfeiffer Wing. The exhibitions Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank Portraits, and Dust Shaped Hearts: Photographs by Donald E. Camp, both will open Jan. 18.

 

Highly Anticipated Winter Ball at the Berman Museum Set for Dec. 11
12/3/2010

After a very successful sold-out event last year, campus groups V-Day International and The Art Exhibitionists have teamed up again to host the Third Annual Winter Ball at the Berman on Dec. 11 from 8 to 11 p.m. This year’s festivities will include performances by The UC Jazz Ensemble Combo, The Meistersingers, and Escape Velocity, and entertainment by WVOU. Catered hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served throughout the night, and guests can play blackjack, and cash in their chips for raffle tickets.

The keynote speaker will be Mara Tekach, Deputy Director of Communications for the US Mission to the United Nations. Tekach has done a great deal of work in Haiti and will open the evening with a few words about the importance of supporting women there. 

The Berman Ball is being hosted with support from local businesses, STAR, WeCAN, and SAO/UCARE. All proceeds will go towards Montgomery County Women’s Center and V-Day's 2010/2011 international beneficiary, the women of Haiti.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members are all invited to attend. You can reserve your spot at the Ball on Tuesday Dec. 7, Wednesday Dec. 8 and Friday, Dec. 10 during lunch and dinner outside Wismer Center. The suggested donation is $20 per guest. Those over 21 should bring I.D. to the event. Please e-mail krdalybarnes@ursinus.edu or stbrodish@ursinus.edu with any questions. -- David Hysek 2011

Students Host "Solstice" Performance in Honor of John Strassburger
12/1/2010

“Solstice,” a show including performances by The Bearitones, Escape Velocity, B’Naturals, Breakaway Student Productions, Seismic Step, and Z.B.S. Improv Troup, will take place in Bomberger auditorium on December 10.

The show is being produced by the Agents of Change Marketing Group, which includes Davis Howley, Jeffery Ocampo, Corey Barkers, Taylor Manferdini, and Tyler Lovelace, a group formed for a class in Business and Economics. UC Ambassadors are also assisting in production and helped with the concept development.  The groups have been working on developing marketing strategies and promotion. They have also been working specifically with the Bearitones, who have been assisting with marketing strategies. The AOC Marketing Group has also been working collaboratively with the presidents of each of the  performance groups.

The show is meant to honor the legacy of former President John Strassburger and all proceeds from the event will be added to funds named in honor of the Strassburgers. Davis Howley, CEO of AOC Marketing Group, says, “Recognizing John and Trudy's efforts to instill such a unique environment for the arts at Ursinus, and specifically student-led performance arts, is very important to every group involved.”

The event is open to the public. Tickets will be sold outside of Wismer all this week and next week and they can also be purchased at the door. For more information contact Davis Howley at dahowley@ursinus.edu   - Allison Cavanaugh, 2013 

Human Rights the Focus of Recent Visit to United Nations
11/23/2010

The Hon. Joseph H. Melrose recently accompanied several Ursinus students to the United Nations in New York City. The trip, the Fifth Annual Emilio Mignone Lecture, was an opportunity to learn more about the topic of transitional justice and featured speakers Radhika Coomaraswamy and Richard Goldstone.  “This was a great opportunity for a group of Ursinus students interested in Social Justice to hear from two of the leading practioners in the field of Human Rights about some of the probelms they have encountered in their careers,” says Melrose, Acting U.S. Representative for Management and Reform at the United States Mission to the United Nations. 

Jessica McIlhenny 2011, who is majoring in International Relations and French, wanted to better understand transitional justice and what type of role it plays in places that have been plagued by violations of human rights. “Because the subject of the discussion focused on the dilemmas of human rights fact finding, I learned just how difficult it can be for fact finding missions to report objective information that can then be later used to analyze the situation at large. Many factors come into play when human rights violations occur. Producing information that is not only valid but also pertinent is more difficult than one would hope.”  

McIlhenny is working on an honors thesis in which she is analyzing current Turkish politics. “I’m writing three chapters, each with a different focus. For my third chapter, I’ll be writing about Human Rights in Turkey. I would love to eventually work for an NGO that works to promote human rights.”

The discussions included the speakers’ experiences with Truth Commissions and International Criminal Tribunals (such as the one set up for the former Yugoslavia). The two speakers, Radhika Coomaraswamy and Richard Goldstone, had very different experiences with transitional justice, says Carolyn Smith 2011, an International Relations and French major. Smith was selected to attend as president of the International Relations Club. She is working on an Honors Thesis in International Relations and an Honors Paper in French on the exotic in 19th century French literature. 

Radhika Coomaraswamy, is an Undersecretary General and the Secretary General's Special representative for Children in Armed Conflict. Richard Goldstone has often worked for the international community as a judge in these trials, or heading commissions to fact-find about some of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. “Their dialogue was rich and interesting, especially since their experiences and viewpoints were often different,” says Smith.  - KC , Photo by Allison Cavanaugh, 2013 

2010 Grad Aakash Shah Is Ursinus's First Rhodes Scholar
11/21/2010

2010 Ursinus graduate Aakash K. Shah, of Cliffside Park, N.J. is Ursinus’s first Rhodes Scholar, it was announced by the Rhodes Trust. Shah is now in his first year at Harvard Medical School.

Shah graduated in May with distinguished honors research in sociology and honors research in biology and neuroscience. He received bachelor’s degrees in Biology, Neuroscience and Inequality Studies, with minors in Chemistry and Sociology. He was a Goldwater Scholar, Zacharias Scholar, Bonner Scholar and junior member of Phi Beta Kappa. He also participated on the varsity track team.

Shah’s address to his classmates at Commencement last May described how during his work at a rural medical clinic India, he was able to connect to texts he read in his Common Intellectual Experience freshman coursework. As a biology and neuroscience major, he became interested in the applications of medicine and public health. He plans a career combining clinical and academic medicine with global health policy.

He joins 32 American men and women chosen as Rhodes Scholars representing the U. S. Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. This group will enter Oxford in Oct. 2011. Shah plans to pursue the MSc. degree in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford.

Possibly the most celebrated academic award, the Rhodes scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes.  The newly announced scholars were selected from 209 finalists from 88 different colleges and universities by Committees of Selection in each of 16 U.S. districts.

Ursinus Interim President John E.F. Corson and President-elect Bobby Fong both spoke to the ideals that the Rhodes organization emphasizes. 

"You represent the high ideals of Ursinus and liberal education: preparation for citizenship and leadership,” wrote Fong, who is currently President of Butler University in Indiana.

Corson noted that Shah’s civic engagement activities at Ursinus spoke to his desire to be of service to others, and that Shah has credited his faculty mentors at Ursinus. “Aakash is a wonderful first-time Rhodes representative from Ursinus,” he said.

According to the organization, the criteria are “high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor." -- W.G.

America Reads Tutors Offer Holiday Extravaganza
11/19/2010

Norristown area middle school students will be treated to the annual Holiday Extravaganza at Ursinus College as part of the America Reads tutoring program. The event is Dec. 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.in Wismer Center lower level.

It brings together students from the Christian Network Outreach Church after school program and the 34 Ursinus students who tutor them Monday through Friday in Norristown. After enjoying dinner together, the students and their Ursinus mentors plan to make gingerbread houses and decorate stockings, holiday ornaments, and sugar cookies. The students will receive school supplies and other gifts that have been donated.

The mission of the America Reads tutoring program is to inspire young students to achieve through the example of their mentors. A college education may seem out of reach to many, but a goal of the program is that interaction with Ursinus students will motivate the young students and make their dreams seem more tangible. The visit to Ursinus also provides the group with the rare opportunity to experience the atmosphere of a college campus.

Transportation, food, and financial assistance have been generously donated in order to make this event possible. The tutoring initiative between Ursinus and Norristown students is entering its 13th year. This event is coordinated by Jasmine Harris 2011 and Audrey Burger 2011.

 

Professor Edits 'Philadelphia Noir' Collection; Writers to Gather at Ursinus
11/18/2010

Ursinus Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Carlin Romano guides us through Philadelphia’s dark side, as editor of Philadelphia Noir (Akashic Books), a just-published collection of original short stories set in Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Events launching the book are taking place around the Philadelphia area, including Ursinus College on Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Berman Museum of Art, where Romano will host a number of his contributors at a symposium titled, "What is Noir?" The public is invited to the free event; no reservations are necessary.

Kirkus Reviews, one of the book industry’s most important publications, has praised it for “an unerring sense of place. . . that will please the most discriminating lovers of the dark side.”

The critically-acclaimed 41-volume Akashic Noir series now finally includes Philadelphia, which joins locales from Copenhagen to Haiti, and Istanbul to Moscow, as well as numerous cities in the United States. According to Romano, Philadelphia “is widely considered one of American’s great noir cities, in part because it was the home of classic noir writer David Goodis, who set many of his novels there.”

Editor Romano has been Critic-at-Large of The Chronicle of Higher Education for the past ten years, and was Literary Critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty-five years before leaving the paper in 2009. In 2006, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, cited by the Pulitzer Board for "bringing new vitality to the classic essay across a formidable array of topics.”

Romano notes in his introduction that Ben Franklin, the Constitution framers, “George I-Cannot-Tell-A-Lie Washington” and noir might not seem like likely cohorts: “According to the national mythology,” he writes, “and even our local creation tale about William Penn’s “Greene country towne,” Philadelphia Blanc makes a more sensible title for a volume of local stories than Philadelphia Noir.” Yet, he notes that Philadelphia’s history is anything but all Brotherly Love. Moreover, unlike more glamorous cities, Romano explains, “in Philadelphia we do ordinary noir- the humble killings, robberies, collars, cold cases that confront people largely occupied with getting by.”

The collection of 15 original short stories includes Meredith Anthony, Diane Ayres, Cordelia Frances Biddle, Keith Gilman, Cary Holladay, Solomon Jones, Gerald Kolpan, Aimee LaBrie, Halimah Marcus, Carlin Romano, Asali Solomon, Laura Spagnoli, Duane Swierczynski, Dennis Tafoya, and Jim Zervanos.

Philadelphia Noir includes a story by Romano -- "Cannot Easy Normal Die,”  -- set in West Philadelphia. Publishers Weekly notes that “The 15 stories in this Akashic noir anthology mostly support Romano's thesis in his introduction:  “Philadelphia noir is different from the mood, the sensibility, the dimensions, of noir encountered in more glamorous American cities  such as New York or L.A."
Other area events are listed on the web site: <http://www.akashicbooks.com/>. -- W.G.philadelphianoir.htm

Grants Help Restore Clamer Hall Streetscape
11/16/2010

Clamer Hall, one of Ursinus’ Main Street houses that has served as a dormitory since 1936, is the focus of improvements supported by two community-based grants: The State Farm Good Neighbors Curbside Appeal Program, and the Façade Challenge Program.

“This is a tremendous boost to that stately building and we hope, with the help of future grants, to continue the work by repointing the porch stone, replacing the front walk and steps, installing a period-appropriate porch light and landscaping,” said Andy Feick, Ursinus’ Director of Facilities.

The decorative fence and gates at the sidewalk have been restored and reinstalled. Authentic, radius wood porch railings are in production and will be installed this fall to enhance its appearance on Main Street (409 Main St.) This will also be beneficial to Collegeville borough’s Main Street Program as it continues to work toward enhancing the historic appearance of Main Street.

 – By Allison Cavanaugh 2013

 

Tickets On Sale for Handel's "Messiah"
11/12/2010

The Ursinus College Choir will present its annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, in Bomberger Auditorium on the Collegeville campus. John French, holder of the Heefner Chair of Music, will conduct, and featured soloists will include Leslie Johnson, soprano; Robert O’Neill, countertenor; Kenneth Garner, tenor; and Reginald Pindell, bass.

Admission is $15. To reserve tickets in advance, please send a check, made payable to Ursinus College, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Music Department, c/o John French, Ursinus College, Box 1000, Collegeville, PA 19426-1000. Include the number of tickets you wish to reserve along with your name, address, city, state, zip, and phone number. Mail orders will be processed in the order they are received, and tickets will be mailed after Nov. 20. Tickets ordered after Nov. 20 will be held at the door. - BA

Ursinus College Theater to Present "The Merchant of Venice"
11/12/2010

Ursinus College Theater will perform William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice Wednesday, Nov. 17, through Saturday, Nov. 20.  The shows will take place at 7:30 p.m. at The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater.

The play tells the story of Shylock, a money-lender, and Antonio, a merchant who borrows money from Shylock for his friend.  The friend is unable to pay Antonio, and Shylock demands a “pound of flesh” from Antonio if the debt is not repaid.
 Directed by Beverly Redman, assistant professor of theater at Ursinus, the comedy was read by students taking the “Common Intellectual Experience” course, linking the performance to the curriculum.  The play addresses issues of self-knowledge and tolerance. 
  
Tickets are $5 for general admission and $2 for students and senior citizens. For more information or to make reservations call (610)-409-3795 or e-mail boxoffice@ursinus.edu  -BA

 

Ursinus Dance Company Concert
11/12/2010

The Ursinus College Dance Company will present its fall semester concert, Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 2 through 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater on the Collegeville campus.

Tickets are $5 for general admission and $2 for students and senior citizens.  For more information and reservations, please call 610-409-3795.

New works by David Brick, co-director of Headlong Dance Theater; Joe Chvala, percussive dance theater artist; and Duane Holland, Hip Hop artist, will be featured as well as new works by Chris Aiken and Kathy Young, associate professors of dance at Ursinus. BA

Community Partnership Parade Winds through Collegeville Borough
11/8/2010

The Berman Museum of Art joined forces with the Collegeville community and nationally acclaimed group Spiral Q Puppet Theater to produce a successful Partnership Parade on Sunday, Nov. 7. The parade showcased the evolving partnership between the campus and the Collegeville community, facilitated in this project by the Berman Museum and expressed through community-based art.

Members of the Collegeville community, Berman Museum’s educational partners and Ursinus students, faculty, and staff met at Collegeville Park to decorate “Partnership T-shirts” and banners before the parade got underway. Student groups from Ursinus had created banners and “helping hands trees” that communicated the themes of collaboration and partnership.

“Community partnership grows from the ground, up.  It is an organic, collaborative project made all the richer by the making and displaying of community-based art,” said parade organizer Susan Shifrin, Associate Director for Education at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art.

Ursinus groups who contributed included UCARE, Art Exhibitionists, Gay Straight Alliance, UC Environmental Action and the Art Department.

Perkiomen Middle School East, Lakeside Girls Academy and the Junior Girl Scout Troop 741 from the Freeland hills Service Unit also participated in the festivities. Spiral Q, the community arts organization with whom the Berman partnered for this project, had demonstrated how to create props on a large scale. Some of the props carried in the parade will be on display in the Myrin Library on the Ursinus campus.

The group marched along the streets of Collegeville and then gathered for a finale on the lawn in front of the Berman Museum, where they were greeted by Ursinus Jazz Band musicians and one of Spiral Q’s super-sized puppets, holding out its arms to embrace the crowd. The parade reached its fitting end with participants mingling and enjoying food and festivities together, demonstrating the power of art and arts-based partnership. -- By David Hysek 2011

Ursinus Jazz Ensemble Concert
11/5/2010


The Ursinus Jazz Ensemble will present its fall concert on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium.  Please note this concert will take place in Bomberger Hall, instead of The Kaleidoscope, the usual venue.  The concert is free, open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Holly Gaines, associate professor of music, will conduct a program that will feature a mix of swing, Latin jazz, fusion, and funk styles. Senior vocalist Carly Freedman will sing the classic ballad When I Fall in Love and vocalist Peggy Lee’s hit Fever. Other works will include Sammy Nestico’s barn-burning Wind Machine, Chick Corea’s Spain, and Ease on Down the RoadThe Wiz from the movie,. - BA

Investigators Discuss The Ghosts of Duffy's Cut
11/3/2010

 
In 1832, 57 Irish immigrant laborers arrived in this country to help construct the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, later to become part of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Main Line.  Within six weeks, all were dead of cholera and possible violence and buried anonymously in a ditch outside of Malvern, Pa.
William E. Watson, J. Francis Watson, and Earl H. Schandelmeier III, archival and archaeological researchers into the on-going mystery surrounding the deaths, will discuss their research in a program at Ursinus College on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. in Pfahler Hall’s Musser Auditorium (Room 100).  The program is free, open to the public and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Immigrants from Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry, Ireland, the men were hired by contractor Philip Duffy to lay a rail line through densely-wooded hills and ravines.  After their deaths, no death certificates were issued, and no one notified their families of their fate.  In 1990, papers pertaining to Duffy’s Cut came to light, and the investigation began.

The Ghosts of Duffy’s Cut, by William E. Watson, J. Francis Watson, John H. Ahtes III, and Earl H. Schandelmeier III, was published in 2006 by Greenwood Publishing Group.  A documentary on the story, by Tile Films LTD of Dublin, is broadcast periodically on the Smithsonian Channel, and the site in Malvern is marked by a Pennsylvania State Historical Marker.

Jennifer finney Boylan to Read from Works at Ursinus Nov. 10
11/1/2010

Widely praised author Jennifer Finney Boylan will read from her works at Ursinus College on Nov. 10. 7:30 p.m. in Musser Auditorium in Pfahler Hall.

Boylan grew up in the Delaware County area as James Boylan and is teaching at Ursinus this semester as the college’s first Updike-Hoyer Distinguished Visiting Writer. She is the author of eleven books, including She's Not There: a Life in Two Genders, one of the first best-selling books by a transgendered American, and I'm Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted.

In She’s Not There, Boylan movingly and skillfully tells of her gender journey in three narratives, including her life story, her marriage to the same woman she married when she was a man, and her friendship with Colby College teaching colleague and fiction writer Richard Russo.

A novelist, memoirist, and short story writer, she is also a nationally known advocate for civil rights, and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Live with Larry King, the Today Show, the Barbara Walters Special, NPR's Marketplace and Talk of the Nation. She has also been the subject of documentaries on CBS News' 48 Hours and The History Channel. She is a regular contributor to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Her new young adult series starts with Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror aimed at those in middle grades, and examining whether it is better to embrace one’s true self or to fit in, possibly suppressing your truth. The second Falcon Quinn book is expected to be published in 2011, and another novel for adults in 2012 by Random House. Since 1988, she has been Professor of English at Colby College in Maine.

A reception and book signing at The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art will be held after the reading. Books will be available for purchase. All are welcome to enjoy refreshments. The reception is co-sponsored by the Ursinus Gay-Straight Alliance, and The Lantern, the literary magazine.  -- W.G.

Concert by Ursinus Choir and Meistersingers
10/29/2010

The Ursinus College Choir and the Meistersingers will perform on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium.  The event is free, open to the public and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Professor John French, holder of the Heefner Chair of Music, will conduct a program of French choral and organ music.  Messe Basse and motets by Gabriel Faure and Solemn Mass by Louis Vierne will be presented, featuring Alan Morrison, Ursinus College Organist.-BA

Breakaway to Present MacIvor's "Never Swim Alone"
10/29/2010

Ursinus’ Breakaway Student Productions will present Daniel MacIvor’s “Never Swim Alone” Nov. 4 through 6 at 7:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Blackbox Studio Theater.  Admission is $2 for all.  Please call 610-409-3785 for reservations or more information. 

Never Swim Alone exposes the nature of two outwardly similar middle-aged men. Frank and Bill seem to be the oldest of childhood buddies, best of pals, greatest friends… but their relationship is underscored by a dubious past. Their resultant day-to-day fight for redemption, reconciliation, and self-acceptance of childhood sins is moderated by the ever-looming Referee.  Her insistence that the men realize “the point” and their blatant refusal of her pleas drives the action of the play.

Breakaway Student Productions are produced, directed, designed and performed by Ursinus students.  The organization is devoted to theater, and its goal is to develop a community that is fully committed to theater and live arts on campus. - BA 

Ursinus Is Among Kiplinger's Top Picks
10/28/2010


Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has announced its annual rankings of the best values in private institutions, listing private liberal arts colleges and universities that exemplify excellent academics while keeping costs to a minimum.

Ursinus College is included in the top 100 liberal arts schools, at Number 59. Swarthmore College tops the liberal arts list, and Princeton University tops the universities list.

The annual Kiplinger 100 rankings appear in the December 2010 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine on newstands in November. For the first time, Kiplinger ranks an additional 100 private institutions on its website. The expanded list, totaling 200 schools, is accessible at www.kiplinger.com/links/college.

The list takes into consideration  net price – the cost after financial aid. Selected from a pool of more than 600 private institutions provided by Peterson’s, schools on  the Kiplinger list were ranked by academic quality and affordability—with quality accounting for two-thirds of the total. Because liberal arts colleges focus on undergraduates and universities include graduate students, Kiplinger's divides the schools into two categories.

Ursinus is ranked in many other publications, including U.S. News Best College’s “Up and Coming” colleges and “Schools with a Strong Commitment to Teaching;” the Princeton Review’s “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” and the Princeton Review’s “Best Value” list; Parade Magazine’s list of top pre-medical schools, in Loren Pope’s book Colleges That Change Lives, and in other publications. -- W.G.
 

Tutors Share Writing Talent in Philadelphia, Gaining as Much as They Give
10/27/2010

Tutoring helps Holly Smith see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Smith is one of 17 Ursinus students volunteering to work weekends at the Spells Writing Lab in Philadelphia. “I loved it,” says Smith 2013, who spent helped a high school senior write his college entrance essay. Founded in Spring 2009, Spells Writing Lab launched a series of writing workshops at donated spaces such as bookstores, community centers, other non-profit organizations, and schools. In January, 2010, Spells opened its permanent center at 2526 N. Alder Street. The programs and tutoring offered are free.

The high school student’s essay, titled “Filthadelphia,” was about his aspiration of becoming a landscape architect. “He wants to prove to the world that the city is not a gross place by starting up his own landscaping business that will clean up the city. I helped him articulate his own thoughts, and he wrote a magnificent essay,” says Smith, who is from Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

The partnership between Ursinus and the Spells Writing Center began when Erec Smith, Assistant Professor and Director of Ursinus’ Center for Writing reconnected with alumna Jill Schiller 1998. Schiller, founder of the nonprofit writing center and tutoring lab, studied creative writing at Ursinus.

 “I reached out to offer my services and a possible partnership that would have Ursinus students work with Philadelphia-based students,” says Professor Smith, a friend and former classmate of Schiller. The experience has been a success, says Professor Smith. “Both parties have expressed interest in future collaboration. We hope we can maintain and enhance the Ursinus-Spells alliance.”

 Though Holly Smith has tutored peers before, this was her first experience working with younger students. “I was moved by how hard my tutee worked,” says Smith, a Politics major with a Middle Eastern Studies minor. “Anyone who has the initiative to get help from a center of writing over the weekend is going to go far in life. My tutee was driven and determined. Sometimes I wish I had as much motivation to get ahead in life.”

  She’s gained as much from the tutoring sessions as her tutee. “We both learned about communicating and working hard,” she says. “I’ll never forget the look on my tutee’s face when he finished reading his final draft out loud to the entire room. We were both so proud of his work.”

 Alex Niedmann 2013 also tutored at Philly Spells. “I put what I'd gleaned from our writing fellows class readings and discussions, as well as from tutoring sessions here at Ursinus, into practice by taking a non-directive, conversational approach in engaging the student's writing,” says Niedmann, who is from West Hartford, Connecticut. “The intent is to non-editorially provoke the student into developing their own writing skills.”

The one-on-one tutoring experience reaffirmed his “sympathy with non-directive tutoring methods.

 “Beyond my appreciation for the methodology and its apparent successes, it’s quite rewarding to see someone excited not only with the work they’ve done with your help, but with the intellectual muscle they’ve built by developing their writing skills so independently,” says Niedmann, a Philosophy major with Neuroscience minor.

Urban Farmer, Author Manny Howard to Visit Ursinus
10/27/2010

Urban farmer Manny Howard, the author of the recent novel My Empire of Dirt, will be in Pfahler Auditorium on Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Howard is an accomplished magazine writer who has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Food & Wine, Travel and Leisure, Rolling Stone, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications, and recently was a guest on The Colbert Report.

My Empire of Dirt is an account of how Howard decided to build a farm in his backyard as a way to test how “local” he could go while living in an urban environment. In line with the recent movement to eat as locally as possible as a way to reduce the impact that transporting food has on our environment, Howard figured that his backyard would be as local as he could get. He calls the local movement a way “to save our planet and redeem our twinkie-gorged souls.”

Howard’s book is full of wry observations and tales of the miscues that one might expect from a city boy who had never farmed in his life. The narrative includes the harrowing intrusion of a rare Brooklyn tornado that destroyed his crops, the accidental severing of half of Howard’s little finger, and the battle with a hen that would eat her own eggs before Howard had a chance to retrieve them. These difficulties, Howard says, are just a testament to the challenges of eating local, which he calls “a willful abstinence from convenience and plenty.”

A book signing will follow the event, and books will be available for purchase. --David Hysek 2011

Scholars Absorbed Culture of Madagascar
10/25/2010

Acute poverty is a daily reality in Madagascar. But Ursinus sophomores, Liam Marston and Madeline McEvily say after five weeks in the small African country, they left with a sense of deep inspiration. As Bonner Leaders, they, along with senior, Amanda Finch, lived and worked this summer in Toliara, one of the poorest areas of Madagascar.

Their time was divided between teaching English and researching ways in which the country could improve its tourism economy. Finch 2011 led the Madagascar project, focusing on ESL (English as a Second Language) and guiding Marston and McEvily in teaching practices.  Christian Rice, Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion (Visiting) at Ursinus, accompanied the students on the first half of their visit.

In Madagascar, Finch says she learned “how beautifully” a community can work together.  “We were accepted into an economically poor community which was warm, welcoming and full of rich relationships,” says Finch. “I was immersed in poverty, laughter, music, language differences, exotic foods, different sounds, smells, foliage and animals. I was challenged to develop a curriculum to teach English and to live completely outside of my comfort zone. In Madagascar, I discovered my values, beliefs and who I am as a person.”

Marston says he gained a humbleness and appreciation for his own circumstances. “The experience helped to renew my drive to follow my dream of working in international development,” he says. “The people were so poor, but so inclusive and generous. They showed me the best community I have ever been a part of,” says Marston, a business major from Needham, Massachusetts.

Five weeks, and a world away, from home was a life changing experience, says McEvily, 19. “I knew going into the trip that as one of the poorest countries in the world, we were going to poverty that is unheard of in the United States. No matter how much you prepare for a trip like this, there is no way that you can be completely ready,” says McEvily, a business major from Interlaken, New Jersey.

But, she says, she was most stirred by the happiness of the people they met.  “The people were so kind,” she says. “The way of life and set of values was so different from things we see in the United States.”

Although much of their time was spent teaching in Toliara, they did have the chance to explore the natural beauty of the country. They got within touching distance of Madagascar’s famous lemurs. During a trip to Isalo, a national park, the students visited a resort and examined ways in which workers there were supported through education.

Throughout their stay, the Ursinus students lived with Ursinus alumna, The Rev. Patricia McGregor and her husband, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd McGregor. The McGregors have lived in Madagascar since 1991, with a five-year hiatus in Kenya, says Patsy McGregor. In 1999, they welcomed three Ursinus students who taught English at a local school.

More about Bonner Leaders: Bonner Leaders at Ursinus are expected to complete 10 hours of community service per week during each semester. The Bonner Foundation is a national philanthropic organization based in Princeton, New Jersey and founded by Bertram F. Bonner and his wife, Corella Allen Bonner. 

McEvily volunteers at a non-profit called Partners for Families in Norristown. “Their goal is to use their facilities to bring the Norristown community together through programs and workshops,” says McEvily. “They act as the coordinator for all other non-profits in the area to bring the resources together to help the people of Norristown.”

Marston coordinates two local service programs. In his work for Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, he takes students every weekend to help out with the dogs and cats at the shelter. At ACLAMO, an after-school program in Norristown, Marston brings students to tutor the children there with homework and other lessons.  

The mission of the Bonner Scholars and Bonner Leaders Programs is to transform the lives of students and members, the life of their campuses, their local communities, and the world through service and leadership. The Bonner Program is designed to heighten the overall education students and members receive by asking them to engage in ongoing service work and helping them develop the experience, skills, knowledge and values necessary to make that work meaningful and lasting. 

 -KC

Ursinus Wind Ensemble Concert
10/21/2010

The Ursinus Wind Ensemble will present a concert on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater.  The concert is free, open to the public and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Holly Gaines, associate professor of music, will conduct a program that will feature a mix of transcriptions and original works for band, opening with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture. Original pieces by young band composers Samuel Hazo (Our Yesterdays Lengthen Like Shadows) and Qunicy Hilliard (Variations on an African Hymnsong) will follow. 

Other highlights include bassoonist Jeffrey Centafont (Class of 2011) and clarinetist Patrick Skelton (Class of 2012) performing a transcription of an Antonio Vivaldi double concerto and the ensemble’s presentation of a medley of songs by George Gershwin. -BA

Baseball Author Joseph Wallace To Read at Ursinus
10/18/2010

NOTE: DUE TO ILLNESS, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. LATER POSSIBLE DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED.

Diamond Ruby author Joseph Wallace will read from his works at Ursinus College Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Musser Auditorium in Pfhaler Hall. He is the author of several short stories and non-fiction books, four of which are on baseball history, including Baseball 365 Days.

Diamond Ruby was inspired by the true story of Jackie Mitchell, organized baseball’s first female pitcher. She struck out baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig but was banned by the sport’s commissioner who claimed that baseball was “too strenuous” for women.

In Wallace’s book, Ruby Thomas, a girl who becomes responsible for her two young nieces after a flu epidemic devastates her family, in New York City in the 1920s, is based on Mitchell. She rises from poverty to fame with her ability to throw a baseball as hard as the major league pitchers, but this distinction comes with a price. The book, which moves from colorful settings such as Coney Island sideshows to the then-new Yankee Stadium, chronicles her journey.

Diamond Ruby, published by touchstone of Simon and Schuster, has received positive reviews by critics from publications such as The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. According to Library Journal, “Ruby is a keeper – a believable heroine living in a full re-created New York world of baseball and prohibition.” Laura Lipman, a New York Times bestselling author, said, “Diamond Ruby is a very special book…Ruby is a wonderful, memorable character and Wallace’s prose is a perfect match for her.”

Writer Wallace, who lives in northern New York, runs storytelling and creative-writing workshops for elementary-and middle-school students, and mentors high school students who want to write.

A book signing after the reading at Ursinus will be part of the event, with questions and comments. -- Allison Cavanaugh 2013

Ursinus Hosts an Evening with 'Eco-friendly' Author Anna Lappé
10/11/2010

Bestselling author and television host Anna Lappé will come to speak at Ursinus on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. in Pfahler Auditorium. A book signing will follow the event and books will be available for purchase. (PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE FROM 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

Widely respected for her work on eco-friendly dietis and climate crisis, Lappé has been named one of Time Magazine’s “Eco” Who’s Who, and has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, O-The Oprah Magazine, and Food & Wine, among other publications. She also currently hosts MSN’s Practical Guide to Healthier Living and The Endless Feast, a public television series about the connection between food and community.

In her most recent book, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, Lappé investigates the relationship between the food industry and global warming. She points out that nearly one third of all greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to food and agriculture, and insists that “If we are serious about addressing the climate crisis, we’ve got to talk about food.”

Lappé’s dedication to the issue of climate change goes beyond writing, as she is also the co-founder (along with her mother, author Frances Moore Lappé) of the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund, which support democratic social change and the alleviation of poverty and hunger worldwide. Since 2002, the fund has raised $500,000 and two of its grantees have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  For more information visit www.takeabite.cc. --David Hysek 2011

Project Pericles Hosts a Leadership Workshop at Ursinus College
10/4/2010

Project Pericles hosted a six-hour workshop Sept. 24 in the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art to give students the tools to initiate change and to motivate them to pursue their political goals. The workshop was titled “D4D on the Road," which stands for “Debating for Democracy." It teaches students to apply values to the discussions fostered by democracy. Project Pericles is a non-profit organization that helps educate and encourage college students to be active and engaged citizens. 

Kristin Daly-Barnes, an Ursinus student who participated in the workshop, praised the organization’s commitment to inspiring young adults: “I had expected to - and truly did - find the conference productive and interesting, but I did not anticipate to so greatly benefit from meeting Jan Liss, Executive Director of Project Pericles.  Her dedication to fostering civic engagement and student leadership is inspiring.  She illustrates the importance of incorporating personal values into her work, rather than living a life motivated solely by financial or material gains.”

Ursinus’ community service organization, UCare, organized the event. Professor Christian Rice, director of the Bonner Leader and Pericles programs, commented on what the conference was able to present to students, “D4D at Ursinus was a great opportunity for our students to learn the tools and skills necessary to engage the political process and affect change on an issue they care about.  I was also pleased that students from Widener University, a fellow Periclean institution, participated in the workshop.” The event united students who were interested in being active and influential members of society. 

During the workshop, students were encouraged to consider morals and methods associated with lobbying, organizing, and campaigning. Students shared their own ideas about important ethics in a society and ways that they could start making a difference. They discussed values and how they unite us as individuals despite differing political views. They participated in a mock debate and voting session concerning a bill that had recently been presented to the senate. This gave them the chance to not only learn about persuasive communication, but to start putting it into practice as well.

The conference seemed to encourage and impact the students who attended. Kristin Daly-Barnes saw the workshop as motivational and informative, “The most noteworthy lesson I took from D4D is that we students have the power to effectively affect change in society – be it through community service, voting, writing to local representatives, or spreading awareness about important societal issues.  What’s more is that with this knowledge of our ability comes a responsibility to act upon it.  The Ursinus community is filled with intelligent, forward-thinking leaders, and we cannot take the opportunities we have both been bestowed and earned for granted.”

Students were clearly able to recognize the tools that the workshop discussed as applicable to everyday life as both students and citizens. -- Photos and Story By Allison Cavanaugh, 2013

 

John French and Friends to Perform at Ursinus
10/1/2010

The Heefer Organ Recital Series will present John French & Friends on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium.  The free performance is open to the public.  It is also a feature of Ursinus’ Homecoming activities.

John French is the William F. Heefner Professor of Music at Ursinus and organist/choirmaster at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia.   He is also the associate conductor of the Mendelssohn Club Chorus of Philadelphia.

French will be joined by Holly Gaines, associate professor of music at Ursinus, on saxophone; Darin Kelly, trumpet; Reginald Pindell, baritone; and the Danoff String Quintet.

Works to be performed include a trumpet suite by Telemann, a Handel Organ concerto and the Marcello oboe concerto, transcribed for soprano saxophone.

French has degrees from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, Westminster Choir College and the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. In addition to other grants and awards, he has received two fellowships, ,from the National Endowment for the Humanities. - BA

 

Berman Museum Hosts Community Open House Oct. 24; Leads Partnership Parade
10/1/2010

Ursinus College’s Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art invites the Collegeville community to join in celebrating the museum’s 20th year, and the opening of the Henry W. ’48 and June Pfeiffer Wing with an Open House on Sunday Oct. 24.

The public can enjoy tours of both the permanent collection and two exciting current exhibitions between 1 and 4 p.m. There will also be live music provided by the UC Jazz Combo, refreshments, and activities for all ages, including a workshop in advance of a November community parade.

(Pictured: Berman workshop for Partnership Parade)

Further fostering the interrelationship of art and community, the Berman Museum’s Community Open House will incorporate a workshop inspired by the nationally acclaimed group Spiral Q (www.spiralq.org). Members of the community can collaborate with members of a partnership team made up of Collegeville residents, local K-12 teachers and their students, and Ursinus students, faculty and staff to create banners, flags, and masks for the Collegeville Community Partnership Parade scheduled to take place Sunday November 7, at 1 p.m., with a rain date of Nov. 14. Members of Spiral Q will join the November parade festivities.

All My Places: Landscapes, Portraits & Whimsy – The Art of Karl J. Kuerner, currently in the Main Gallery, shows the exceptional work of Chadds Ford, Pa. native Karl J. Kuerner. Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Legacies of Baseball from the Alan Novak Collection, showcases commissioned baseball-themed paintings and unique baseball memorabilia.

Visitors can also take in the new Pfeiffer Wing, which houses works from the permanent collection in open storage vitrines. The new wing features a rooftop sculpture garden and a glass façade that encourages a relationship between art and the community.

The symposium originally planned for Oct. 30 has been postponed to a later a date to be announced.

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. -- David Hysek 2011

Passports Made Easy on UC Passport Day
9/30/2010

The Philadelphia Passport Agency welcomes the Collegeville area community to submit a passport application on the Ursinus campus Wednesday October 27, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wismer Center Parents’ Lounge.

Federal regulations now require that all persons traveling internationally by air must have a passport book, and that persons traveling by land or sea must have either a passport book or a passport card. More information on the passport card is online at www.travel.state.gov.

Interested persons can download and complete an application at www.travel.state.gov or fill one out on site. Applicants must also bring the following:
• Proof of citizenship through a certified birth certificate (under age 16 must show parents’ names), most recent passport, or Naturalization or Citizenship Certificate,
• A current photo ID issued on government authority such as a state-issued driver’s license, government work ID, military ID, or prior passport,
• A clear photocopy of the front and back of a current drivers license or acceptable ID,
• Two color passport photos taken within the last six months, 2” X 2” in size, front view with a plain light background,
• Fee payment by check or money order: Age 16 or older, first-time application $135 (renewal $110.00); age 15 or younger, $105.00.

Children under the age of 16 must appear in person with both parents and present a birth certificate that lists the parent(s)’ names. If one parent cannot be present a notarized statement of consent to the issuance of a passport made by the non-applying parent must be submitted with the application.

Further questions can be addressed by calling 610-409-3749. -- David Hysek 2011

UC Students Explore Nature in the City
9/29/2010

Some may think of New York City as just a mess of taxi cabs, concrete, and steel high-rises. However, Assistant Professor Patrick Hurley’s Urbanization and Environment class recently got the opportunity to explore the complex interplay between this human-made cityscape and the living environment which grows in and all around it. As Professor Hurley put it, it was a chance “to explore the ways nature is woven into the urban fabric of a city like New York.”

The group first visited Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, where they experienced the open meadows, wooded walks, and trickling waterfalls designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Ethnobotanist and locavore Leda Meredith also introduced the students to the park’s array of wild edible plants, which includes dandelions and plantains. The class then explored the “Woodlands,” where they discussed the influence of urbanization on local ecosystems amongst the black raspberries, sassafras, and highbush cranberries—further edibles—that inhabit the space.

The students later met with officials from the U.S. Forest Service’s New York Urban Field Station for a tour of the new Brooklyn Bridge Park and Red Hook neighborhood. There they learned about the creation of Brooklyn’s newest park, the influence of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway on the neighborhood in the 1960s, urban weather effects, and local street tree care. Finally, the class visited community gardens and ended their trip at an urban farm run by “Added Value,” a local not-for-profit dedicated to educating local youth in food production and providing fresh food to nearby low income communities.

This abundance of sites allowed the students to examine both the living, natural world and the world that humans have created.  According to Hurley, the experience prompted them to “consider the multiple relationships that we have with nature and the ways that our technologies mediate and alter our experiences of our surrounding environments.” -- By David Hysek 2011

President Emeritus John R. Strassburger: In Memoriam
9/22/2010

John Robert Strassburger, the President Emeritus of Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., who served as president for more than 15 years, died early Wednesday Sept. 22, 2010.

Visit John Strassburger: In Memoriam Page for video of Memorial Service and more information>

  

New Venue for One-Woman Show on Mrs. Benjamin Franklin
9/17/2010

Director, actress, teacher and theater administrator Roberta Sloan will present her one-woman show on the life of Mrs. Benjamin Franklin at Ursinus College.  Titled First Lady of Philadelphia:  The Life and Times of Deborah Franklin, A Personal Story, Sloan’s work is praised for its historical accuracy and theatrical presentation.

The performance will be held on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center’s Lenfest Theater. Because of the popularity of the show, it will be performed in this larger venue.  The event is free and no tickets are required.  For more information, please call 610-409-3795.

Sloan conceived, researched, co-wrote (with Dennis Moritz), and has performed First Lady of Philadelphia to rave reviews. The play explores the feisty, opinionated, strong, and feminist (before there was feminism) wife of Benjamin Franklin, Deborah Read Franklin, who though little known, helped her husband achieve success and become a national hero and founding father. 

Sloan has directed and acted in more than 200 productions.  She currently serves at Temple University as Head of the Theater Education Concentration and supervisor of all theater department internships.  Formerly a professor and chair of the Temple University Theater Department, she was executive producer of all of the Temple Theaters Productions.

 

Ursinus Theater to Present "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest"
9/17/2010

Ursinus College Theater’s first fall production will be One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Oct. 6 through 9, at 7:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center’s Blackbox Studio Theater.

Tickets are $5 for general admission and $2 for students and senior citizens.  For information and reservations, please call The Kaleidoscope Box Office at 610-409-3795.

Domenick Scudera, associate professor of theater at Ursinus, will direct Dale Wasserman’s play, which is based on the novel by Ken Kesey.  Set in a mental institution, the plot pits Randle P. McMurphy against Nurse Mildred Ratchet.  McMurphy is a rebellious man who contrives to serve a short sentence in a mental institution rather than in prison.  He convinces other inmates to stage a revolt against Ratchet and the establishment, resulting in a power struggle between freewill and order. - BA

Watson Fellow Kelsey Threatte 2009 Back from Middle East
9/15/2010

Kelsey Threatte 2009, recipient of the prestigious Watson Fellowship, recently returned to Ursinus to share her experience with students interested in the program.  Every year the Watson Foundation funds motivated students like Kelsey to pursue a full year of independent study in an area about which they are deeply passionate. Kelsey’s project was entitled “Voice and Veil: The Power and Impact of Arab Women Poets on Society” and she set out to discover and interview women poets in the countries of United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Oman, and Spain.
Her goals certainly don’t sound easy to attain, especially when you consider that Kelsey knew just a little Arabic. However, Kelsey happily reported that most of the attention she garnered as a young American girl was more positive than not. She especially noted the hospitality of the people in her host countries, having stayed with 15 different families who invited her into their homes out of compassion for a lonely traveler. 
According to Kelsey, this loneliness is all a part of the Watson experience, as fellows are required to stay out of the U.S. for an entire 365 days. Although being isolated from her family and home culture led to some of her “darkest moments,” Kelsey lent some advice to the Watson hopefuls present at the talk: don’t shut down who you are just because you are the only one like you around. By being strong, extroverted, and not afraid to reveal her heritage, she was able to connect on a human level with people she didn’t know at all. 
Her journey led her to a 24-hour poetry session in the basement of a library in Oman and to a crowded family of nine living in a two-bedroom house in Jordan. By sitting in cafes with a book of poetry, seeing who might pop up, Kelsey found an incredible diversity of personalities and viewpoints. What’s more, Kelsey discovered not just the typical “veiled” Arab woman, but women with voice, women who were educating themselves, and women who represented “the future of the Arab world.”
Kelsey Threatte is currently teaching special education high school English for Teach for America. 

Kelsey Threatte 2009, recipient of the prestigious Watson Fellowship, recently returned to Ursinus to share her experience with students interested in the program. Every year the Watson Foundation funds motivated students like Kelsey to pursue a full year of independent study in an area about which they are deeply passionate. Kelsey’s project was entitled “Voice and Veil: The Power and Impact of Arab Women Poets on Society” and she set out to discover and interview women poets in the countries of United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Oman, and Spain.

Her goals certainly don’t sound easy to attain, especially when you consider that Kelsey knew just a little Arabic. However, Kelsey happily reported that most of the attention she garnered as a young American girl was more positive than not. She especially noted the hospitality of the people in her host countries, having stayed with 15 different families who invited her into their homes out of compassion for a lonely traveler.

According to Kelsey, this loneliness is all a part of the Watson experience, as fellows are required to stay out of the U.S. for an entire 365 days. Although being isolated from her family and home culture led to some of her “darkest moments,” Kelsey lent some advice to the Watson hopefuls present at the talk: don’t shut down who you are just because you are the only one like you around. By being strong, extroverted, and not afraid to reveal her heritage, she was able to connect on a human level with people she didn’t know at all.

Her journey led her to a 24-hour poetry session in the basement of a library in Oman and to a crowded family of nine living in a two-bedroom house in Jordan. By sitting in cafes with a book of poetry, seeing who might pop up, Kelsey found an incredible diversity of personalities and viewpoints. What’s more, Kelsey discovered not just the typical “veiled” Arab woman, but women with voice, women who were educating themselves, and women who represented “the future of the Arab world.”

Kelsey Threatte is currently teaching special education high school English for Teach for America. -- By David Hysek 2011 

A Gift of Bees
9/9/2010

A hive of local honey bees are the newest residents of the Ursinus organic garden. The bees were donated by alumna, Suzanne King 1966, and will be cared for by Environmental Studies students. King took up beekeeping as a hobby with her grandchildren, including Kimberley Bullock, a freshman this year.

The hobby has become a passion for King who contacted the Environmental Studies Department about sharing one of her hives with Ursinus. On this visit, King asked beekeeper, Warren Graham Jr., to help the bees adjust successfully to the garden. Graham, a longtime beekeeper and master gardener in Delaware County, was optimistic. The bees settled and began navigating in and out of the hive. King, Graham, Joseph and several students toasted their arrival with a spoonful of fresh honey.

Keeping the bees is important for many reasons, says Associate Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies Leah Joseph. “There are environmental issues going on with bees right now, including Colony Collapse Disorder, which has many of them dying and can have a major impact on agriculture,” she says. The lush garden is quickly becoming home to the locally-raised bees. They will create their own comb and the honey will not be harvested.

“The bees are adjusting wonderfully,” says student Julia Bull 2012. “It took them two days or so to get the lay of the land, but they seem to be doing great.”  Bull feeds them daily with "bee tea" - a mixture of sugar, water, and a variety of herbs. King brought a container of the tea with her and a recipe for the students to follow when it runs out. 

“The bees love the orchard and the herb garden. I may have even seen a few of our bees around campus,” says Bull, who is from Media, Pa. “I am so happy to be a part of this project. Bee keeping is extremely important, seeing as the honey bee population continues to dwindle. The bees give us so much. They pollinate our food sources, and without them, to put it quite frankly, we could not survive. The least we can do is make an attempt at helping them to survive.” - KC

Traditional Japanese Folk Music
9/8/2010

Joshua Solomon 2008 is a graduate student at The University of Chicago’s East Asian Literatures and Civilizations Program. After graduation from Ursinus, Solomon was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study the history of a Japanese instrument called a Tsugaru-jamisen. He describes it as, “a kind of three-stringed Japanese banjo.”On a recent visit to his friend and mentor, Dr. Matthew Mizenko, he performed on his own Tsugaru-jamisen. The song is called "Tsugaru Jonkara Shin-bushi," which he says is the most popular and widely- performed song in the genre of traditional Japanese Folk Music.

Listen to Joshua Solomon’s amazing Bomberger Hall performance

Read more about his personal reflections on life and music in Japan in the fall issue of Ursinus Magazine.

Author of 'What the Best College Teachers Do' on Campus Sept. 16
9/8/2010

 Educator and writer Ken Bain, author of What the Best College Teachers Do, will be on campus Sept. 16, speaking in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater, from 10 a.m. to noon.

His talk, titled, “Promoting Deep Learning, or How The Best Teachers Promote Deep Learning,” is sponsored by the Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Grant, which will sponsor a number of talks and workshops on pedagogy, scholarship and nurturing faculty leadership over the next two years. All are welcome to the free program.

His recently-published book (Harvard University Press, 2004) won the 2004 Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for an outstanding book on education and society, and has been one of the top selling books on higher education. It has been translated into ten languages.

Bain is Vice Provost for Learning, Director, Research Academy for University Learning, and Professor of History, Montclair University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, 1976. He has been the founding director of four major teaching and learning centers: the Center for Teaching Excellence at New York University, the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University, the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, and the Research Academy for University Learning at Montclair.

Bain has won four major teaching awards, including a teacher-of-the-year award, faculty nomination for the Minnie Piper Foundation Award for outstanding college teacher in Texas, and Honors Professor of the Year Awards. A 1990 national publication named him one of the best teachers in the United States.

He has received awards from the Harry S. Truman Library, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the International Studies Association, among others. He is currently completing his third book on U.S. relations with the Middle East (The Last Journey Home: Franklin Roosevelt and the Middle East).

His historical scholarship centers on the history of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East (principal works include The March to Zion: United States Policy and the Founding of Israel, 1980, 2000), but his long interest in teaching and learning issues has led to scholarship in that area. Internationally recognized for his insights into teaching and learning, and known for a 15-year study of what the best educators do, he has presented  workshops or lectures at more than three

Organist Alan Morrison to Present Recital
9/7/2010

Alan Morrison, The Haas Charitable Trust Chair in Organ Studies at The Curtis Institute of Music and the Ursinus College Organist, will present a Heefner Organ Recital on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium on the Ursinus College campus.  The event is free, open to the public and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Morrison will perform works by J.S. Bach, J.C. Bach, Raymond Haan, Mary Beth Bennett and César Franck.

Morrison is one of the most sought-after American concert organists, performing in Alice Tully, Jacoby, Verizon, Benaroya, and Spivey halls; the Crystal Cathedral; National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; and colleges, cathedrals, and churches throughout North America, Europe, and Brazil. He has been a featured artist for four national conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He has won first prize in both the Mader (Calif.) and Poister (N.Y.) National Organ Competitions, as well as the silver medal at the 1994 Calgary International Organ Festival.

Morrison’s numerous recordings are regularly featured on radio stations worldwide, and his television appearances include two episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as both organist and pianist. A graduate of Curtis (organ and piano accompaniment) and Juilliard (organ), he also teaches at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. -BA

Ursinus Awarded nearly $1.3 Million NSF Grant for Lab Improvements
9/6/2010

Ursinus College is the recipient of a nearly $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the renovation of two labs in Thomas Hall, the life sciences building. The renovated facilities will foster student-faculty research by enabling more students to work collaboratively with faculty mentors on research projects in facilities that better support their research activities.

The renovation is part of a broader plan to re-envision and strengthen the sciences at Ursinus.

As a result of the $1,293,801 grant, two labs will be gutted and renovated for molecular and cellular biology research. The most significant proposed improvement will be the addition of a new environmental system for the two labs – rooms 110 and 212 -- and their support spaces. An air handler will provide centralized, efficient temperature and humidity control for both labs.

Additionally, the labs will have countertops wrapping two walls, new islands in the center of the labs with additional storage, as well as sinks, overhead lighting and shades for sun control.
One research lab will be used by two groups of students that study C. elegans worms. Research in Dr. Rebecca Kohn’s lab focuses on understanding how release of neurotransmitters at synapses is controlled by the protein UNC-13 using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Research in Dr. Rebecca Lyczak’s laboratory aims to understand the regulation of centrosome positioning in establishing anterior-posterior polarity in the one-cell Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.  In the second lab, Dr. Dale Cameron’s work focuses on the role of prion-like protein aggregation in the normal biology of the cell using the model organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

 In the C. elegans labs, the new spaces will allow for a series of genetic suppressor screens that could not be performed in the current space. Researchers in Dr. Cameron’s laboratory plan to carry out a series of experiments which will involve measuring the growth rates of mutant yeast strains at a range of temperatures, requiring multiple incubators and spectrophotometer operating simultaneously and in close proximity. -- WG

11th Annual Fringe Festival
9/3/2010


The 11th Annual Fringe Festival at Ursinus will be held Sept. 22 through 25 in The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center on the Collegeville campus.  Professional theater companies who have just appeared in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, along with student and faculty performances, make up a fun, unpredictable festival of creative, original theater performances.  All performances are free and open to the public.

A feature of this year’s festival is Nevermore Theater Project’s stage production of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart.  The show stars Barrymore-award winning actor John Zak and is produced and directed by Domenick Scudera, associate professor of theater at Ursinus.  It is also part of the festival in Philadelphia.

Another feature is the Waitstaff Sketch Comedy Troupe, called “Philadelphia’s hottest sketch comedy troupe” by The Philadelphia Inquirer.  Waitstaff will present its new show, The Real Housewives of South Philly, directed by Scudera, the troupe’s resident director.  The show will also be performed in Fringe Festivals in Philadelphia and Wilmington.

Additional performances in the Ursinus Fringe Festival are to be announced, and performance times and campus locations vary.  Please call The Kaleidoscope box office at 610-409-3795 for specific information. - BA 


Ursinus Presents Lecture on Endangered Manatees
9/2/2010


Dr. Katie Tripp will present a lecture titled Manatee Management or Human Management? Protecting an Endangered Marine Mammal in a Highly Developed Environment on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall (Room 100).  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Tripp is director of science and conservation for Save the Manatee Club, the preeminent organization devoted to the conservation of manatees in North America.  Previously she worked as a manatee consultant for a Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project and as a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory, where she conducted research and performed manatee necropsies and marine mammal rescue.

Tripp has co-authored multiple papers on manatees, and in 2008 she received the Reep-Bonde Florida Manatee Biology and Conservation Award for furthering knowledge of fundamental manatee biology. She has a bachelor’s degree in marine science, environmental policy, and chemistry from Eckerd College and a Ph.D. in veterinary medical sciences from the University of Florida.
-BA

Scientific Artist to Speak at Ursinus
9/2/2010


Scientist and artist Helen Wortham will speak on “Creating Scientific Art: Your Right and Left Brain Don’t Have to Fight Anymore” on Sept. 22 at 4:30 p.m. in Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall (Room 100).  The program is free and open to the public.

Wortham earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Texas A&M University, and she worked for six years as a research assistant at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Although she was engrossed in the details of her research, she still felt the call of art.

Relocating to Philadelphia, she enrolled at the University of the Arts, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration and found a job with an art studio that specialized in medical and scientific illustrating.  Later, Wortham joined a small group of artists to form Dragonfly Media Group, specialists in medical illustration and animation.
-BA

Photographer Jack Carnell to Speak at Ursinus
8/27/2010

Photographer and educator Jack Carnell will present a Distinguished Artist Lecture at Ursinus College on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in Olin Hall, Room 107.  The program is free and open to the public.

The owner and principal photographer of Jack Carnell Photography, Glenside, Pa., his work is included in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Coca-Cola Corporation in Atlanta, and the Musee d’art et d’histoire, Fribourg, Switzerland.  He is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, at Philadelphia University and has served on the faculty at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and the Tyler School of Art.

Carnell has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and National Endowment for the Arts and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts photographer’s fellowships.  His solo exhibitions include Jack Carnell: Road Trip, at Philadelphia International Airport, and Social Landscapes at Philadelphia’s Open Lens Gallery.  Philadelphia Professors of Photography, at the ADM Gallery in Philadelphia, Work from the Collection by Philadelphia-Area Photographers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and One Moment in Time, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, are among the numerous exhibitions to include Carnell’s photographs.

His work has appeared on the cover of Aperture and The Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine, and in Interview Magazine, This Sporting Life, 1878-1991, published by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and Artists Choose Artists, for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.
-BA

 

"Ursinus is Talking About..." Diaz Book, in Campus-Wide Initative
8/25/2010

Ursinus is Talking About….. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz, a multigenerational tale of a Dominican family that immigrates to the United States. The campus-wide initiative asks student, faculty and staff to participate in discussions and events based on a selected text, throughout the year. Diaz will be on campus Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater to join “Ursinus is Talking About . . .”, discussing his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Under the extracurricular program, each semester the Ursinus community will be invited to engage with a new text, which could be a book, film, performance art exhibition or musical composition. A series of events will encourage engagement with the text. Any campus community member is also free to organize an event.

“The purpose of the program is really to demonstrate the pleasure of intellectual engagement,” said Liberal Studies faculty member Elizabeth Kessler. “It doesn’t have to happen only in the classroom or only for a grade. It can be pursued for its own sake,” she says.

Diaz’s book, which is related to the complex political history of the Dominican Republic, is both serious and humorous, but ultimately asks us to think about what it means to live in a diverse community, she adds.

Free copies of the book are available for returning students, faculty and staff at various locations around campus, including the Student Life Office, Myrin Library, and the departments of Chemistry, Theater and Dance and Politics.

In addition to the Pulitzer, the book is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book, and Time Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year. -- WG

 

International Film Festival Announced
8/25/2010

The International Film Festival at Ursinus College will present six films during the fall semester. All films will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Auditorium. The films are subtitled in English, and each film is followed by light refreshments and conversation.

The Festival begins on Sept. 2 with the Chinese film Still Life (2006), directed by Jia Zhang Ke. The Three Gorges hydro project on the Yangtze River forces countless families from Fengjie to relocate to other cities. The town’s oldest section is torn down and submerged forever, taking with it 2000 years of local history. Sanming and Shen return to the area seeking people who were once a part of their lives, but soon they find they must decide what is worth salvaging and what must be let go.

The Arabic film A Perfect Day (2005), directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, will be shown on Sept. 22. A haunting drama about loss and reconciliation, A Perfect Day illustrates a day in the life of a Lebanese woman and her son who have been permanently scarred by fifteen years of Civil War (1975-1990). They confront life in Beirut after the war, where ghosts of the past linger among the hip nightclubs and gridlocked traffic.

The Japanese film Bashing (2005), directed by Masahiro Kobayashi, will be shown on Oct. 13. Loosely based on true events, it is the story of Yuko, a volunteer aid worker in Iraq, who was kidnapped and held hostage. After her miraculous release, she returns to Japan and endures humiliation and harassment from her coworkers, boyfriend, and strangers on the street.

The Spanish film Broken Embraces (2009), directed by Pedro Almodóvar, is scheduled for Oct. 27. Set in the present day, a blind screenwriter, Mateo Blanco, a.k.a. Harry Caine, reminisces about his favorite leading lady to his assistant, Diego.

The French film The Class (2008), directed by Laurent Cantet, will be screened on Nov. 4. At a tough inner-city school in Paris, a teacher challenges his students over issues both academic and personal, with each side getting an education they will never forget.

Metropolis (1927), the German classic directed by Franz Lang, will bring the festival to a close on Dec. 8. It is the future, and humans are divided into two groups: the thinkers who make plans (but don’t know how anything works) and the workers who achieve goals (but don’t have the vision). One man from the thinkers dares visit the underground where the workers toil and is astonished by what he sees.

For more information, please contact Colette Trout at ctrout@ursinus.edu or 610.409.3000, ext. 3432. - BA

 

Ursinus Fraternity is Tops, Internationally
8/19/2010

Delta Rho, the Ursinus Chapter of the international fraternity Phi Kappa Sigma, was the top honoree at the 2011 Grand Chapter meeting,(Philadelphia, PA, July 24th, 2010) held in Philadelphia in July. Winner of The Founder’s Cup, given to the chapter with the highest score year-end reports, the Ursinus chapter is considered the best in the world.

The chapter won the following awards recently and to qualify for the grand award:

Best newsletter 2008-2009 and Runner up newsletter, 2009-2010;

Dr. Ghery D. Pettit Scholarship Award, 2008-209 and 2009-2010, for having the highest GPA out of all of the fraternities on campus;

Patrick M. Estes Cup for Financial Management, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, awarded to the chapter that pays all bills on time and has a 100 percent dues collection rate;

Community Service Award Runner up 2009-2010;

Philanthropy Award, 2008-2009, with a $7,000 fundraising total;

Carroll K. Simons Outstanding Chapter 2008-2009, 2009-2010, which goes to the chapter that scores over 80 percent on its end of year report – the chapter scored a 93 in 2009 and a 94 in 2010;

Neal L. Hospers Award 2009-2010, to Michael Cafarchio as the outstanding undergraduate member of the fraternity.

On campus the fraternity is known for its spring Bike-a-thon, library tutoring, Main St. clean-up, Perkiomen Creek clean-up, voter registration drives and intramural sports. Last year, highly successful fundraising, academic scholarship and  community service activities  helped Delta Rho win the Carroll K. Simons Outstanding Chapter award.

Chapter President Brian Laraia said that it is "truly an honor to win the Founder’s Cup.  We’ve worked extremely hard the last two years in order to meet and exceed the requirements set before us by the national fraternity.  Being the best chapter in the world is a challenge to us.  We need to raise the bar even higher if we are to hold on to our title."

Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity was founded Aug. 16, 1850 at the University of Pennsylvania. The Ursinus Chapter was founded in 2003. Phi Kappa Sigma is an international fraternity with chapters in both the United States and Canada and currently has over 60 active chapters, colonies, and interest groups with over 2,000 active members and 40,000 living alumni.

 

Ursinus Designated 'Up and Coming' College; Cited in Princeton Review
8/17/2010

The Princeton Review has cited Ursinus as one the 50 “Best Value” private colleges, and, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, has for the first time included Ursinus College in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.

The Best Value list, which features 100 schools -- 50 public and 50 private colleges and universities -- was featured on the websites of The Princeton Review and USA TODAY, which partnered to present the lists. Ursinus is one of three schools on the list located in Pennsylvania, with Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr colleges.

In its profile of Ursinus on USA Today’s website, The Princeton Review editors commend the school for its student experiences. “Ursinus College has roots of reform that have translated into a college experience that makes serious changes in a student’s life,” according to the write-up. “Ursinus participated in the national Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices), and has received high laurels for its transformational experience. The First Year Experience includes excellent first-year advising by faculty, first-year clustering in guaranteed housing, a laptop, and the Common Intellectual Experience where first-year students read, write, and learn in small seminar-style classes.”

The Princeton Review also notes Ursinus’s commitment to environmental responsibility by including it in its Guide to 286 Green Colleges.

The “green guide” cites colleges and universities which have demonstrated an “above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.” The guide is online and can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.

According to the guide, Ursinus College “has made important strides in campus practices like recycling and waste diversion, and eco-friendly food purchasing. More advanced sustainability projects like a composting system and converting used cooking oil to biodiesel fuel are currently in the works. Several sustainability-related campus endeavors began as student projects and are sustained by student volunteers, like an organic garden and a constructed wetland ecosystem.”

The Best 373 Colleges: 2011 edition, published in August, notes that Ursinus is a “transformative experience.” And: “If you embrace liberal arts education, this is the institution to be at.”

For the third year in a row, Ursinus was designated an Up and Coming college by U.S. News & World Report. Ursinus is second in the National Liberal Arts list for 2011.

In this category, college administrators surveyed for the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings were asked to nominate colleges they think have made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities. Ursinus was Number 2 on the liberal arts list.

Ursinus was also on the list for Schools with a Strong Commitment to Teaching, ranking Number 25 on that list, tied with Centennial cohort Haverford College. Eighty-six colleges and universities were cited by college administrators asked to identify up to 10 schools where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching.

U.S. News ranks Ursinus overall in the top tier of 187 National Liberal Arts Colleges at Number 71.

The Fiske 2011 guide also praises Ursinus, noting its selectivity. It states, “At Ursinus, you can truly make a name for yourself.” The Fisk guide notes that “Professors draw praise for their skills in the classroom;” and “Ursinus is on the rise.”

The Yale Daily News Guide, which is popular with prospective students, says that the College is “known for the close realtionaships between faculty and students,” developed from the first days of The Common Intellectual Experience, the required freshman course. “This liberal studies seminar epitomizes the value that the staff at Ursinus puts on the development of conversational skills and well-roundedness of its students.” It cites “activities galore” and mentions everything from The Grizzly to the scuba club. Finally, it calls Ursinus “a place where tradition and history matter.”

Summer Fellows finding alternative strategies to reduce pesticide use
8/9/2010

During one of the hottest summers on record, Nate Simasek 2012 trudged through open fields at a local alfalfa farm. He was studying the impact of a lime-green colored insect, only 1/8 of an inch in size. The leafhopper eats by injecting its saliva into plants, which interferes with the growth of the plant. Though small, potato leafhoppers can ravage crops.

Simasek, Biology major and a Summer Fellow, was focused on finding alternative pest management strategies to reduce pesticide use. He worked with Professor Cory Straub and fellow student Regan Dohm to study the effects of polyculture (growing multiple plant types together) and predator presence on the potato leafhopper (PLH). They will present the results of their research in Pittsburgh at the Ecological Society of America conference next week.

Their research has potential to have an impact reaching far beyond Ursinus.

“One of the more interesting aspects of our project is its application outside of ecology,” says Dohm 2012. “The Potato leafhopper leads to millions of dollars in damages to alfalfa each year, which is particularly disruptive since alfalfa is Pennsylvania's second-most important crop. Our research could provide evidence for a pesticide-free solution to this problem, saving money and improving health. It's a tall order to fill in the remaining two years, but even if we set the groundwork for students to come.”

Simasek, who is from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, says Summer Fellows made it possible to devote eight weeks to a research project. “It is not an opportunity that is available to many people,” he says. “It was a learning experience regarding how the research world works.”

Though Summer Fellows lasts only two months, Simasek and Dohm will pick up where they left off and continue this research in the fall. “Ursinus builds a community that not only allows student research, but also provides the support to take the next step.”

- KC
 

Identifying sea life, Lauren McGrath works for conservation in New Jersey
8/9/2010

The male pipefish, a true egalitarian, carries eggs deposited by the female. And like its relative, the seahorse, male pipefish are equipped to shoulder most of the parenting tasks. Once the offspring are born, they hide from predators by attaching to sea grass and swaying with the grasses as the water rocks them back and orth. Such is the spectacle of nature. And Lauren McGrath 2012 spent her summer watching it unfold in the low tidal waters of Corson’s Inlet, New Jersey.

McGrath waded into the ocean, net in hand, to amass as much data as possible during her Summer research. The results of her research identifying the plant and animal life in Corson's Inlet State Park will be added to the state’s official record of ocean life. “With the help of Dr. Goddard-Doms, I am trying to survey the organisms at the park to compile a list that would be published on the State Park's website. Then visitors would be able to identify plants and animals that they find at Corson’s Inlet,” says McGrath, a biology and ENV major from Benton, PA.

“Some of the coolest organisms that we found included pipefish, horseshoe crabs, and diamond back terrapin,” she says. “The diamond back terrapin is on the state’s lists of special concern because it is endangered by habitat loss, traffic and other threats. I was lucky enough to see almost a dozen coming up onto the dunes to lay their eggs. There were also two types of hermit crabs (Pagurus longicarpus and Pagurus pollicaris), but unlike their cousins that are commonly seen in pet stores, these cannot live out of water for more than an hour.”

McGrath also observed some of the birds that are frequent visitors to the bay including the laughing gull, American crow and common tern, as well as, the boat tailed grackle, snowy egret, whimbrel, oyster catcher and brant.

“There were many different types of crustaceans including the lady (or calico) crab, white fingered mud crab, horseshoe crab and blue crab,” says McGrath. She also spied the green crab in the inlet, but McGrath says it is an invasive species and has been disturbing the local food chain.

“Through seining for fish, we have found summer flounder, Cypreinnadon veragotis and Fungalis heteroclitus (both are small, minnow like fish). Some of the plants included Virginia creeper, sea lavender, seaside goldenrod, bayberry, juniper and cedar,” she says. Though the list will continue to grow, it represents a variety of ocean plant and animal life. “I am still compiling and identifying!”

- KC

Ursinus Juniors Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa
8/9/2010

Seven member of the Class of 2011 were inducted into membership in Ursinus College’s Tau of Pennsylvania Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in May.  Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most widely known academic honor society.

Generally conferred upon graduating seniors, the honor is extended to select liberal arts and sciences undergraduates who meet requirements that include semester hours completed, grade-point average and the number and variety of courses taken outside the student’s major.

Among those inducted were Carina Murphy Brown, a biology major; Calla Elizabeth Mattox, a Spanish and history major; Melissa Bethanne Pankake, an English and classics major; Megan Nicole Sattazahn, a business & economics and anthropology/sociology major, and Zachary John Traino, a history major.  -- BA

 

Berman Celebrates 20 Years with Open Storage Wing, Exhibitions, Symposium
8/9/2010

 Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College is opening its collection to the community with the addition of a new, visible storage wing. A distinctive glass façade and its rooftop sculpture terrace foster renewed interaction between art and the community, and allow immediate accessibility of the permanent collection.

The public is welcome to a Community Day open House Sunday Oct. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Two exhibitions and a major symposium on museums and their role in the community, will mark the wing’s opening and the Museum’s 20-year anniversary.  (Pictured, Dr. Amy Meyers, see Sympoisum, below).

The 4,200 square-foot Henry W. and June Pfeiffer Wing caps a $4 million expansion and renovation project designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm Towers & Miller. The addition provides storage and lecture space, a works on paper study area and new galleries including the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation Sculpture Terrace. The visibility of the Museum’s permanent collection is enhanced through the addition of state-of-the-art open storage vitrines. Before the wing, there were more than 3,000 paintings, drawings, sculpture and cultural artifacts in the Berman permanent collection which had to be housed in basement storage.

“The new Pfeiffer Wing, an imaginative, welcoming space that is open, transparent, dynamic and light, echoes the philosophical foundation of the museum’s mission to capture and engage a diverse audience,” according to Director Lisa Hanover. “The magnificent wing, inside and out, truly makes the Museum a national model for academic art museums,” she said. “Our goal was that the collection would be visible beyond the walls of the museum.”

The historic stone building was originally constructed in 1921 as the Alumni Memorial Library and was later used as a student union. The Museum was dedicated in 1989, when the late Philip and Muriel Berman, business leaders and philanthropists, found a home for their extraordinary collections of contemporary sculpture, American paintings, works on paper and folk art, joining an existing collection of 18th and 19th Century American and European paintings. Twenty years later, the Museum houses more than 4,000 notable works of art and attracts more than 35,000 visitors annually. The new Henry W. and June Pfeiffer Wing is named for longtime Trustee and museum supporter Henry ‘Hank’ Pfeiffer, Class of 1948, and his late wife, June.

Two exhibitions will mark the anniversary and new wing opening:

All My Places: Landscapes, Portraits & Whimsy – The Art of Karl J. Kuerner, opened Sept. 1 and continues until Dec. 15 in the Main Gallery.

Kuerner’s compositions celebrate the rich tradition of the Brandywine Region. The Kuerner Farm and its inhabitants are captured in every season and the work are poignant analogies for the ebb and flow of life’s events. Kuerner was born in 1957 in Chadds Ford, Pa. in 1957 and he watched Andrew Wyeth paint some of his greatest works at his grandparent’s farm.  His artistic talent was recognized and nurtured by Carolyn Wyeth, sister of Andrew Wyeth and a renowned artist in her own right.  Under her tutelage, he discovered an art form that would provide him with the avenue with which he could add to the rich heritage of the Brandywine Valley.  His work has been exhibited overseas in Nigeria, Belgium, and Togo in connection with the Art in Embassies program, and exhibited in the state capitol in Harrisburg in 2006.  His first book, All in a Day’s Work-from Heritage to Artist, was published in 2008.  His work has been featured in many other publications such as The Mother of All Arts by Gene Logdan, Artist’s Speaking for Themselves—the Artist of Chester County by Daphne Landis, and The Land of Truth and Phantasy by Richard McLellan. 

Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Legacies of Baseball from the Alan Novak Collection, is on view through Dec. 15 in the Upper Gallery. An opening reception is planned Oct. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Novak’s collection of original works of art and material culture related to the game of baseball is focused and based on the historic and important figures of the game.  He began his collection primarily with memorabilia related to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees, and has since expanded his interests to the Philadelphia Athletics and to the context of major accomplishments by athletes such as Satchel Page, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Thurman Munson, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and many others. This exhibition will include original paintings by Dick Perez, Tom Moser, Stephen Holland and Gerry Dvorak.  Several original works by Arthur Miller, will be included. Complementing the paintings will be a diverse and significant collection of unique baseball memorabilia including 19th century Harper’s and Leslie’s woodcuts, T-3’s (Tobacco Cards) and silks, a 1927 Yankees signed ball, Joe DiMaggio’s 1937 Player of the Year Award, Thurman Munson trophies, a split bat from the 1941 All Star Game, signed by the respective teams from the National and American Leagues, a bat attributed to Lou Gehrig, and 1869 Red Stockings etching. The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Cooperstown, New York, will also be lending significant objects and memorabilia from its permanent collection. Novak, a 1971 graduate of Ursinus College, is an attorney with Conrad O’Brien, West Chester, Pa.

Amy Meyers, Director, Yale University Center for British Art, who will receive an honorary degree from Ursinus College, will be a keynote speaker. The symposium will address the themes of architecture and renovation and its impact on contemplative spaces; how physical space supports academic, educational and programmatic goals; and how the role of the museum has changed in communities. -- W.G.

 

Two Honored with First Flora A. Tortorelli Staff Service Award
8/9/2010

At a last campus meeting with President Strassburger June 10, two members of the Ursinus staff were announced as the first winners of the new Flora A. Tortorelli Staff Service Award. Lori Scharneck, secretary to the Biology Department, and Michael Degler, special events supervisor for Facilities Services, were the first winners of an annual honor which carries a $1,000 award. The award, endowed by Chemistry Professor Victor Tortorelli, and his wife Kathy, is named for Professor Tortorelli’s mother, an hourly wage employee at a public grammar school.

“You are the glue that holds the college together,” said President Strassburger, in announcing the award. “You ability to connect with students, your ability to work as a team, and your ability to stay late ad get the job done” is what makes the staff so important at Ursinus. He called the staff “partners in student achievement,” and noted that the entire staff was praised in the recent Middle States reaccreditation report. “I am delighted to have you as part of the team,” he said.

Moe than 60 staff members were nominated, and an anonymous committee under the direction of Kelley Williams oversaw the process. Because of  the volume of nominees, two winners were designated for this year. Winners must have more than 10 years of service on the  Ursinus staff. 

(Pictured from left : Mike Degler, ProfessorTortorelli, his wife Kathy, Lori Scharneck, and President Emeritus Strassburger)  

 

Ursinus Undergraduates Honored
8/9/2010
The following students are among Ursinus College undergraduates who received annually-given awards at the end of the academic year. 

Jennifer L. Bayzick, Class of 2011, was awarded the The Miriam and Irving N. Rosenthal Memorial Award at Ursinus College, given to a female rising senior who has clearly demonstrated an interest in pursuing graduate study in the mathematical sciences.

Lukas E. Chaloupka, Class of 2011, was awarded the The American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry at Ursinus College, presented annually to a junior displaying an aptitude for a career in analytical chemistry.  The award is sponsored by the Analytical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society.

Brett W. Emery, Class of 2012, was awarded the The Faculty Prize for a Promising Sophomore in Mathematics at Ursinus College, established in 2006 by the faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and given to a promising sophomore in mathematics.

Anderson A. Garron, Class of 2012, was awarded the The Faculty Prize for a Promising Sophomore in Computer Science at Ursinus College, established in 2006 by the faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and awarded to a promising sophomore in computer science.

Colin G. Ottinger, Class of 2011, was awarded the The Margot and Richard P. Richter Prize at Ursinus College, given to a student who demonstrates excellence in both English and Music.

Amy K. Schaefer, Class of 2012, was awarded the The American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry at Ursinus College, presented annually to the student who has demonstrated excellence in inorganic chemistry at the undergraduate level and has future plans that include a career in chemistry.

Joshua L. Wonsidler, Class of 2012, was awarded the The Faculty Prize in Biology at Ursinus College, given to an outstanding biology or biochemistry molecular biology major in each class.
 -- BA
 
BP Spill Could Impact Air Quality, Says Ursinus Alumni Expert
8/9/2010

It makes sense that most media attention has focused on the environmental impact of the BP oil spill on marine life, especially on the coastal ecosystems, says Dr. Joseph Prospero 1956, Professor Emeritus at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. But the dangers from the petroleum outflow could extend beyond the sea and land, he says.
 
As an atmospheric chemist, Prospero studies the aerosol chemistry of the marine atmosphere and the biogeochemical effects of the long range atmospheric transport of materials from the continents to the ocean environment. “The oil spill could conceivably have an impact on air quality and possibly on human health,” says Prospero, who graduated from Ursinus with a degree in chemistry.

 “A large fraction of the oil mass is comprised of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). At the ocean surface, the VOCs rapidly evaporate when heated by the sun. Some of the compounds in the VOC fraction can have an impact on human health, for example benzene which makes up about 1 percent of the oil mass.  The EPA and other researchers has been actively monitoring for total VOCs, benzene and other potentially harmful compounds.  The EPA web site that reports on oil-spill related studies states that as of June 14th the air quality levels for ozone and particulates are  normal on the Gulf coastline for this time of year.”

According to Prospero, people along the coastline have reported smelling pollutants typically associated with petroleum products. “Some of these chemicals may cause short-lived effects like headache, eye, nose and throat irritation, or nausea,” he says. “Humans can smell some of these chemicals at levels well below those that would cause short-term health problems. However, the EPA reports that levels appear to be too low to be a threat to human health. One reason for the relatively low concentrations is probably related to the fact that most of the VOCs are emitted to the atmosphere relatively close to the spill site.

Prospero says that as winds transport these emissions to coastal regions, atmospheric processes will dilute VOC concentrations by mixing the polluted air with clean air. -- K.C.

 

Graduate Embarks on Fulbright Fellowship to Jordan
8/9/2010

Recent graduate Zina Habib was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to travel to Jordan to study early intervention methods for children with an autism spectrum disorder.

The second student from the Ursinus Class of 2010 to have been awarded a Fulbright, she will look into the current research and methods being used in Jordan, and determine what types of early intervention services are available for these children and their parents, and how these services are being delivered.

“By going to Jordan,” she says, “I will gain a better understanding of this disorder in a developing country where the services are fairly new, and will get to see the progression of these interventions.” She will conduct her research in Amman. 

As an intern at a program for children with autism in Upper Darby, while she was an Ursinus student, Habib learned and used the Applied Behavior Analysis method (ABA). ABA consists of an initial assessment of a child’s learning abilities, and community, social, self care, motor, play and leisure skills. With positive reinforcement of accepted and constructive behaviors as the goal, data is assessed to show behavior modification progression.

She will also explore other early intervention services such as workshops on social and communication skills and standard therapies such as speech, occupational, family therapy and play therapy. Autism spectrum disorders are neurological disorders that affect individuals in the areas of social interaction, communication, and sensory processing.

Autism therapies are relatively new in Jordan, Zina explains. “It will be an interesting comparison to the U.S., one that will provide me ample opportunity to research,” she says. The first independent special school to accommodate the latest teaching of therapeutic methods in Jordan was established in 2004.

Habib, who is from Philadelphia, will be working with a prominent physician in Jordan who collaborates with therapists, audiologists, nutritionists and special education specialists to diagnose and treat children with autism. She also plans to work directly with children and their families, and says she will get the opportunity to build friendships and connections that go beyond the walls of the clinics. “I care deeply about Jordan and about the children and families that are affected by autism spectrum disorders. From this experience, I will be gaining a unique cultural and research opportunity and at the same time I will help in benefitting the families and clinics with new ideas and techniques.”

Habib, who was born in Jordan and lived there until age 8, is proficient in Arabic. She graduated May 15 as a Biology major and Religious Studies minor from Ursinus College, where she was leader of the Arabic Language Club and Muslim Student Association, as well as a Resident Advisor, Director of Up 'til Dawn, a member of the Teagle Grant student team and Survivorship Chair for Relay for Life. -- W.G.

Amber Lee Spurka Awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship
8/9/2010


Amber Lee Spurka graduated from Ursinus College with a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish, cum laude, with minors in psychology and elementary education, departmental honors in Spanish and K-12 teaching certification during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 15, on the college campus. More than 340 students received bachelor’s degrees.

At Commencement, she received The Spanish Award, given by the Modern Language Department to honor an outstanding student in Spanish.

Spurka was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, and she will teach English in Spain during the academic year 2010-2011.  She will complete her Fulbright fellowship in a K-12 school in Valencia, Spain. She first became familiar with the country as a student studying in the Ursinus in Madrid program, and completed honors research in Spanish with Professor Xochitl Shuru. While in high school, she had been an exchange student in Costa Rica. “It changed my whole life,” said Spurka, who has visited her host family annually. “I’d rather speak Spanish than English.”

Spurka was a Resident Advisor for first year students, an Ursinus College Ambassador, president of the Campus Activities Board, an Admission Office Tour Guide, and a Spanish tutor. Also at Ursinus, she was a program leader in the ESL (English as a Second Language) program that instructed the Spanish-speaking custodial staff in English, and she supervised a group of 20 peer tutors.

She completed the TEFL/TESOL teaching certification program in Cusco, Peru.  She was an Ursinus Summer Fellow and a student teacher in the Spring-Ford School District.

During her time in Madrid, she had an International Language Assistantship at Colegio Santa Maria de La Hispanidad, where she taught English language and conversation classes to Spanish students at the elementary and high school levels. She also assisted in a Spanish immersion classroom to help young immigrants to Spain.

Digital Media is Focus of Berman Museum Exhibition
8/9/2010

Smooth Cartographies: Toward a Collective Becoming, will open June 1 in the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art Front Gallery, and run through Aug. 1.

 Due to technical difficulties at the Museum, we were unfortunately obliged to cancel artist Greg Scranton's July 14 gallery talk, but we hope you will be able to join us for the rescheduled talk by the artist and a closing reception to celebrate his work:

SATURDAY, JULY 31 from 3:00-4:30.

The talk will take place in the Front Gallery of the Berman Museum from 3:30-4:30. Light refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you there!

The artist, Greg Scranton, is a digital media artist working with locative technologies such as global positioning system (GPS), radio frequency identification (RFID) and other mobile platforms. His works take many forms including video, sound, print and interactive installation. He often seeks to challenge the original intended usage of the technologies themselves and aims to inspire new creative possibilities for their implementation and deployment.

He is an Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Ursinus College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For group tour information, call 610-409-3500.

Image Caption: Greg Scranton, ROUT(e)INE – Philadelphia

N40º4’24.348”,W75º27’44.028”

N39ºW75º19’39.396”

24”x24” (60.96cmx60.96cm) Archival Inkjet Print 2010

 

Hutton Family Art to be Showcased at Berman Museum of Art
8/9/2010

The Art Gene: The Hutton Family Legacy, opens June 13 at The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College. The exhibition features family members Hugh M. Hutton, Dorothy Wackerman Hutton, Elizabeth Hutton MacDonald and Susan Hutton DeAngelis. It runs through Aug. 8 in the museum’s Upper Galley.

The public is welcome to attend an opening reception in honor of the Hutton Family and The Philadelphia Sketch Club Legacy of Artists on June 20, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Hugh Hutton was an editorial cartoonist for The Philadelphia Inquirer for over 35 years. His wife, daughter and other family members are accomplished artists and their works, drawn from the extensive collection of Elizabeth Hutton MacDonald, will be presented. Three generations of the family have been actively involved as members of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays.  The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For group tour information, call 610-409-3500.

Seniors Graduate at 137th Commencement; Three Honorary Degrees Bestowed
5/17/2010

Ursinus College celebrated its 137th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. on the lawn in front of the campus. Some 340 students received Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees, and 26 students received Bachelor of Business Administration degrees. 

Andrew Delbanco, the Julian Clarence Levi Professor Chair in the Humanities and the Director of the American Studies Program at Columbia University received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters after he spoke on the distinctive character of liberal arts colleges, and why they are essential for democracy. He also reminded students to give back to Ursinus, for the education they received.

Delbanco (pictured at right) is the author of Melville: His World and Work (2005), which won the Lionel Trilling Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in biography. He is the author of The Death of Satan (1995), Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now (1997), and The Real American Dream (1999), which were all named notable books by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. The Puritan Ordeal (1989) won the Lionel Trilling Award. His essays regularly appear in the New York Review of Books, and other publications. The Harvard-educated scholar is also the editor of The Portable Abraham Lincoln (1992).

President John Strassburger also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Students wore small red bowties to honor their President, who is known for his penchant for bowties. Dr. Strassburger, who retires June 30, received appreciative standing ovations.

Professor of Politics Paul Stern echoed Dr. Delbanco in his citation: “John Strassburger had a revolutionary idea.  He believed that Ursinus should be the liberal arts college it claims to be.  In the realization of this idea he has exhibited rare virtues of mind and heart.  With wisdom, he has discerned the true meaning of liberal education.  With courage, he has acted on that vision.  Both virtues were required to achieve his goal.  . . . Against stiff social currents, he was determined that Ursinus would prosper only by becoming its best self.  He thus built this college into a home for that thoughtful reflection and for the pursuit of truth, a place where all students, of diverse means, can experience the satisfactions of a genuine liberal education.”

Student speaker Aakash Shah referred to a time when he worked in a clinic in India, and saw poverty firsthand. He told his classmates that with the education they received, they would better understand the world’s problems, and be more likely to find solutions.

The Baccalaureate speaker, Hollis Watkins, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. President and co-founder of Southern Echo, a leadership development and education organization, he is a longtime civil rights activist,. He was one of the participants in an historic sit-in at Woolworth’s lunch counter in McComb, Miss. He is the founder of the Civil Rights Veterans of Mississippi. Dr. Watkins led the Baccalaureate service attendees in stirring song.. 

Three faculty members received awards.

Tina Wailgum 1977, Associate Professor Exercise and Sports Science, received The H. Lloyd Jones Award. Established in honor of H. Lloyd Jones Jr., professor of English from 1947 to 1988, it is awarded to a faculty member for distinguished advising and mentoring.

Jonathan Marks, Associate Professor of Politics, received The Laughlin Professional Achievement Award. Endowed by Henry P. Laughlin M.D. 1938 it is given to a faculty member who has made significant contribution to scholarship. He is the author of  In Perfection and Disharmony in the Thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Sheryl Goodman, Associate Professor of Media and Communications Studies, received The Lindback Award. It is given at Ursinus College for Distinguished Teaching.

Environmental Studies Initiative: Move-Out Recycling Program
5/12/2010

Ursinus College students can now recycle their trash at the end of the semester, rather than create mountains of waste in campus dumpsters.
 
One person’s trash could be another’s treasure, as the Environmental Studies Program kicks off Move- Out 2010 to collect, recycle or donate end of year trash, much of which is re-usable, and some of which requires special disposal practices.
 
Starting May 7, students can bring the following to cardboard boxes that will be placed in campus dorms and collected periodically:

Electronics/cell phones; furniture; clothing in bags, books, shoes, unopened toiletries, printers, canned goods, plates, utensils, cups, batteries, cardboard and Styrofoam.
 
Centralized collection tents will be open for drop off -- and for browsing --from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 8 to 9:30 p.m. daily. There will be tents by Reimert, near Paisley between North and BPS, behind Olevian and 444 Main St.
 
The sustainable move-out project evolved from a class, Waste as a Resource, taught by Associate Professor Leah Joseph. Explains student Julia Bull: “In past years, we have seen trash piling up at the dumpsters during finals and  countless amounts of items in those piles can be recycled or reused, so we thought we would do something about it. We think this is an extremely important matter,” she says. “Ursinus has put forth a major effort in making green initiatives around campus.”
 
Kyle Rush, campus sustainability coordinator who is responsible for overseeing the collection, points out that the project also has “the free market approach, if students, or anyone on campus, needs can use what someone else disposed of.” Liberty Thrift shops will pick up the goods.
 
In addition to the regular collection, Resident Assistants will act as liaisons with students, and e-mail student coordinators when the boxes are full.  In addition to Rush, Joseph and Bull, project initiators also include students Carly Freedman, Thomas Jablonowski and Elan Avinoam. The students have worked on this a stewardship project in their Environmental Studies class, and have worked with Facilities and Residence Life Offices.
 

Ursinus Music Faculty Offer Recital in Rittenhouse Square Church
5/12/2010

Holly Gaines, Associate Professor of Music and John French, William F. Heefner Chair of Music, will give a recital at The Church of the Holy Trinity May 19 at 12:30 p.m.  Both are faculty at Ursinus College.

The duo will perform at the Brown Bag Lunch Series at the Rittenhouse Square church. Joining Drs. French and Gaines will be Carolyn Ellman on cello, with works by Astor Piazolla, Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Frideric Handel and Christopher Scinto.

Ursinus Commencement To Feature Delbanco as Speaker May 15
5/12/2010

Ursinus College will celebrate its 137th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. on the lawn in front of the campus. The Baccalaureate Service will be in Bomberger Chapel on Friday, May 14 at 5 p.m., followed by a reception in Olin Plaza.

Andrew Delbanco, the Julian Clarence Levi Professor Chair in the Humanities and the Director of the American Studies Program at Columbia University will be the Commencement Speaker and will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1973, and his doctorate in 1980. He began teaching at Columbia University shortly thereafter and was promoted to full professor in 1987. Professor Delbanco is the author of Melville: His World and Work (2005), won the Lionel Trilling Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in biography.

The valedictorians are Abbie R. Cichowski of Sellersville, Pa., and Amanda Joy Moyer of Pocono Lake, Pa.  The salutatorian is Aakash Kaushik Shah of Hackensack, N.J.

Approximately 340 Ursinus students earning bachelor’s degrees will graduate in an outdoor tent on the front lawn of the campus. The community is welcome to attend. Tickets are not necessary, but seating is on a ‘first come’ basis. During the two-hour commencement ceremony, traffic on Main Street in front of the College, will be detoured. The road will reopen when the ceremony concludes.

Delblanco is also the author of The Death of Satan (1995), Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now (1997), and The Real American Dream (1999), which were all named notable books by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. The Puritan Ordeal (1989) won the Lionel Trilling Award. His essays regularly appear in the New York Review of Books, and other publications.

The Baccalaureate speaker will be Hollis Watkins, president and co-founder of Southern Echo, a leadership development and education organization, that provides training and technical assistance to individuals and organizations throughout the South in the areas of politics, education, environmental programs, economic development, and law. A longtime civil rights activist, he was one of the participants in an historic sit-in at Wool¬worth’s lunch counter in McComb, Miss. He is the founder of the Civil Rights Veterans of Mississippi. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

President John Strassburger will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Commencement. Having served as President of the College for 15 years, he has announced he is stepping down June 30, and will hold the title President Emeritus. Commencement Home> 

Civic and Business Leader is Named Ursinus Interim President
5/12/2010

Business and civic leader John E.F. (Jef) Corson of Plymouth Meeting will become the interim president of Ursinus College when President John Strassburger steps down June 30 after 15 years as President. Corson currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery Hospital Medical Center in Norristown, and is Vice Chair of the Ursinus College Board of Trustees.

A committee charged with recommending a candidate for interim president unanimously recommended Corson to become interim President July 1. His service will continue until the next President of Ursinus College is inaugurated. A Presidential Search Committee chaired by Ursinus Trustee Robert Barchi, President of Jefferson Medical College, will recommend a candidate for President. President Strassburger, who announced on Feb. 11 that he asked to step down for personal and health reasons, will serve as President Emeritus, continuing his role as a national leader and advocate for liberal education.

“I am thrilled that Mr. Corson has agreed to accept this vital position,” said Spencer Foreman M.D.  of White Plains, N.Y., Chair of the Ursinus Board of Trustees. “He is uniquely qualified by his experience with business and non-profit organizations and his long history of active engagement with virtually every aspect of the operation of the College.  We are fortunate, too, that he already is so well known by the campus community and enjoys the friendship and respect of faculty, staff and students.”

Mr. Corson is President of the Corson Foundation and the Corson Investment Co., a group of family partnerships and a consulting firm. He also serves as a Principal and Board member of Abbott & Cobb, Inc., a vegetable seed company headquartered in Trevose, Pa. He previously held positions as Vice President of C.E.S. Associates, an independent specialty oil wholesaler and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of G & W.H. Corson Inc. until the company was sold to IU International, and he became Vice President of Operations.

In addition to serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Montgomery Hospital, he serves on the Boards of the Montgomery Foundation and The Montgomery County Lands Trust. He formerly served as a Trustee at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Boards of Progress Bank, The First National Bank of Atlanta, Carl A. Posse & Co., The Pennsylvania State Board of Examiners of Public Accounts, The Valley Forge Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation, the Superior Tube Scholarship Foundation and Central Montgomery County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Administration.

Corson is a graduate of Williams College and has served Ursinus as a Trustee since 1983.
He has served the Board as its secretary, treasurer and vice chair, as well as chair of key committees including Finance, Development, and Building and Grounds. In 1970 the College’s administration building was named in honor of his parents, Philip L. and Helen P. Corson. Mr. Corson and his wife, Carol, are the parents of an Ursinus graduate, Flynn, Class of 2004, in addition to children Samantha, Sean, Mary-Catherine, Chelsea and Johnna. The Corsons have four grandchildren.

PRINCETON REVIEW CITES URSINUS AS ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE
5/12/2010

The Princeton Review, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, has for the first time included Ursinus College in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”

 

This guidebook cites colleges and universities which  have demonstrated an “above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.”

The guide is online and can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.

 

According to the guide, Ursinus College “has made important strides in campus practices like recycling and waste diversion, and eco-friendly food purchasing. More advanced sustainability projects like a composting system and converting used cooking oil to biodiesel fuel are currently in the works. Several sustainability-related campus endeavors began as student projects and are sustained by student volunteers, like an organic garden and a constructed wetland ecosystem.”

 

The Princeton Review notes that projects at Ursinus involve students and their professors working together on research.

 

 “Research has shown that students and their parents are becoming more and more interested I learning about and attending universities and colleges that practice, teach and support environment responsibility,” says Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher at The Princeton Review.

 

At Ursinus, students can major or minor in Environmental Studies. Students and faculty work together in Sustain UC, to raise awareness and to take on projects such as a major campus recycling effort and working with the College’s dining services to purchase environmentally-friendly materials, use produce from the organic garden and initiate a composting program. Students work within the community with The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy and  can choose to live in a special interest house for environmental advocacy.

 

Since the establishment of the Environmental Studies Program, Ursinus Environmental Studies majors have received several national scholarships and fellowships, including the Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship (awarded five times), the Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunities Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study, as well as the Hollings Award through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Princeton Review selected its schools included in the Guide based on the Green Rating schools received in summer 2009 in its annual guidebook.


(pictured: Environmental Studies students, faculty, and staff planting a green roof on The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College)

 

 

Ursinus Students to Present a Series of 10-Minute Plays
5/12/2010
Ursinus’ Breakaway Student Productions will present a series of 10-minute plays directed by and starring Ursinus students.  More than 30 students will participate in the plays, which vary from comedy to drama and deal with a wide range of issues and emotions.

The plays will be presented April 29 through May 1 in The Kaleidoscope Rehearsal Studio.  On April 29 and 30, the performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, May 1, performances will be held at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Admission is $2 for all.  Please call 610-409-3795 for reservations or more information.
   
Breakaway Student Productions are produced, directed, designed and performed by Ursinus students.  The organization is devoted to theater, and its goal is to develop a community that is fully committed to theater and live arts on campus.

 
Ursinus Wind Ensemble Concert
5/12/2010

The Ursinus Wind Ensemble will present a concert on Saturday, May l, at 7:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater.  The concert is free, open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are needed.

Holly Gaines, associate professor of music, will conduct a program that will feature a mix of contemporary and traditional pieces for wind band. Samuel Hazo’s Arabesque, which explores Middle Eastern scales and modes, and Ryan Main’s Clash, a minimalist piece, were both composed in 2009. Traditional pieces on the program are Holst’s First Suite in E Flat and Robert Russell Bennett’s Suite of Old American Dances.

Completing the program will be Edward Elgar’s Sursum Corda and a Duke Ellington medley. The program’s intermission will feature a wind decet, comprised of ensemble members, playing Franz Schubert’s Little Symphony for Winds.

Annual Student Exhibition of Art at Ursinus
5/12/2010

The annual exhibition of the work of Ursinus studio art majors in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and photography runs through Saturday, May 15 in the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art. At the same time, work by students participating in a studio art course will be on display in Ritter Art Studio.

After opening receptions April 28, the following students received awards in recognition of their talents:

WINNIFRED CUTLER PURCHASE AWARD  
 Selected by Berman Museum of Art
Liora Kuttler “3 Kinds of Gold”
Liora Kuttler “5 Kinds of Red”
Deanna Hayes “Sampler”

POPULAR CHOICE AWARD – BOOK --Deanna Hayes
 Selected by audience

JAVA’S BREWIN AWARD ---Andrew Murray
 Selected by Bob Barretta, President

AWARD  FOR PAINTING ---Cathy Hauk “Still Life”
 Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR PAINTING  ----Katie Simmon “ Red One”
 Selected by Juror

BOOK AWARD FOR PAINTING---Katie Simmon—“Monstrosity”
 Selected by Juror

BOOK AWARD FOR PAINTING--- Justin Cunard “A Way Home”
 Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR PRINTMAKING  ---Mami Matsui “Kabuki”
 Selected by Juror

BOOK AWARD FOR PRINTMAKING --Rebecca Lineman---“Lady Liberty”
 Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR PHOTOGRAPHY ---Samuel Stahler
 Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR PHOTOGRAPHY —Bethani Zeller
 Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR RISK-TAKING IN PHOTOGRAPHY ---Liora Kuttler
 Selected by Juror

BOOK AWARD FOR PHOTOGRAPHY---Rebecca Lineman
 Selected by Juror

BOOK AWARD FOR PHOTOGRAPHY---Judith Peterson
 Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR SCULPTURE/INSTALLATION ---Jasmine Ellis
 “I Write Therefore I am”
 Selected by Juror

BOOK AWARD FOR SCULPTURE/INSTALLATION---Catharine Elias “Snap Shot”
 Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR DRAWING ---Justin Cunard “Self Portrait 06”
  Selected by Juror

AWARD FOR DRAWING ---Deanna Hayes “Tomatoes, Caged”
  Selected by Juror

BOOK AWARD FOR DRAWING-- Jasmine Ellis “9 Points & Remaining Evidence”
 Selected by Juror

PETER DRUCKENMILLER AWARD FOR PAINTING
Nora Noland   “Venice”
 Selected by Peter Druckenmiller

PETER DRUCKENMILLER AWARD FOR PHOTOGRAPHY --Catherine Elias  “At Peace* (Collection)
 Selected by Peter Druckenmiller

BEADLE MARPLE ART AWARD FOR CREATIVITY 
 Selected by Museum Director
Liora Kuttler “Exploring Hidden Worlds: Glitter Garden”

RINDE AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS 
 Selected by the Rinde family
Samuel Stahler “Welcome to the Machine”

PURCHASE PRIZES: MYRIN LIBRARY
 Selected by Charlie Jamison

Katie Simmon “Year of the Flower”

Katie Simmon “Year of the Flower”  Purple, Green, and Brown

Bethani Zeller  “Contra” 

 

Artist to Talk About her Multicultural Art
5/12/2010

Artist Siona Benjamin: a painter originally from Bombay, now living in the U.S., will present an artist’s talk and slide show of her work Tuesday, April 20th, at 7 p.m. in Olin Hall, Room 102.

Siona Benjamin’s work reflects her background of being brought up Jewish in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. In her paintings she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic inspired by both Indian miniature paintings and Jewish and Christian illuminated manuscripts. More work is on her web site,  www.artsiona.com

This event is sponsored by Ursinus Hillel and the Office of Multicultural Affairs

Martin Seligman, Pioneer in Positive Psychology, to Speak at Ursinus College
5/12/2010

Pioneer in positive psychology Dr. Martin Seligman will speak at Ursinus College, April 20 at 7 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium on the Main Street campus. The title of his talk is “The Search for Well-Being.”

Dr. Seligman is the Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at University of Pennsylvania.

Positive psychology focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions. Dr. Seligman was featured in a Time Magazine cover story in 2005 titled, “The New Science of Happiness.” In September 2009, he received the British Academy’s Wiley Prize, honoring his lifetime achievement. The citation calls Seligman “one of the world’s leading psychologists.” And in 2002, a study in the Review of General Psychology named Seligman among the 50 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. 

He is the author of more than 20 books and 200 articles on motivation and personality. Among his better-known works are Learned Optimism (Knopf, 1991), What You Can Change & What You Can't (Knopf, 1993), The Optimistic Child (Houghton Mifflin, 1995), Helplessness (Freeman, 1975, 1993) and Abnormal Psychology (Norton, 1982, 1988, 1995, with David Rosenhan).

His most recent book is the best-selling, Authentic Happiness (Free Press, 2002). He is the recipient of two Distinguished Scientific Contribution awards from the American Psychological Association, the Laurel Award of the American Association for Applied Psychology and Prevention, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Research in Psychopathology. He holds an honorary Ph.D. from Uppsala, Sweden and Doctor of Humane Letters from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Seligman received both the American Psychological Society's William James Fellow Award (for contribution to basic science) and the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award (for the application of psychological knowledge). For 14 years, he was the Director of the Clinical Training Program of the Psychology Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Seligman was named a "Distinguished Practitioner" by the National Academies of Practice, and in 1995 received the Pennsylvania Psychological Association's award for “Distinguished Contributions to Science and Practice." He is a past-president of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Seligman served as the leading consultant to Consumer Reports for their pioneering article, which documented the effectiveness of long-term psychotherapy. He is scientific director of Foresight, Inc., a testing company, which predicts success in various walks of life.