Bryant University College of Arts and Sciences Spring 2022 Magazine

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BRYANT C O L L E G E O F A R T S & S C I E N C ES M A G A Z I N E

SPRING 2 0 2 2

ISSUE NO. 11

The Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences Page 17

Visiting Writer Series Marjan Naderi Page 18

Public Humanities and Social Impact Research Page 20


inside the issue

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AROUND THE DEPARTMENTS What’s New in Arts & Sciences

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THE CENTER FOR HEALTH AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES Providing a holistic approach to education and research for today’s complex health issues

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VISITING WRITER SERIES

Lending new perspectives and inspiring direct engagement

Public Humanities and Social Impact Research

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Confronting the realities of the world and educating to address them

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VISION 2030 STRATEGIC PLAN

President Gittell on Bryant University’s Vision 2030


facing our local, national, and global communities. Further, the COVID 19 pandemic has taught us all the importance of flexibility, agility, and adaptability. I am proud to have joined the Bryant family at this key moment in time.

Message from the Dean As a new member of the Bulldog community, I am delighted to greet you as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences! I joined the Bryant family in July of 2021. I was drawn to Bryant because of its mission: “to educate and inspire students” to become “global citizens with character.” These difficult and uncertain times have highlighted how essential this mission is today. Our world needs purpose-driven leaders with technical, intellectual, and social skills to guide us through the pressing challenges and opportunities

As a mission and purpose driven leader, I first familiarized myself with the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences, drafted in 2015. In consultation with the Department Chairs, we elected to update the mission to emphasize values, purpose, and essential skills. I invite you to explore this statement on page 27 and watch as the college pursues its next steps to live into its mission. In short, the College of Arts and Sciences supports and guides students in the development of their purpose as they pursue personal and career success that will contribute to a more just and equitable world. The College of Arts and Sciences is also in the process of developing its strategic plan as its contribution to the University’s Vision 2030. The goal of this plan is to emphasize growth and transformation of CAS, highlighting its distinctive programs and experiential learning opportunities. With a focus on teaching and learning; faculty development; visibility and awareness; and outreach and partnerships, we are planning remarkable things for the college that will elevate Bryant’s reputation as well as strengthen and fortify our student outcomes. To say these are exciting times, would be an understatement! I look forward to sharing more about our progress in future issues. For now, please enjoy the amazing stories, successes, and opportunities in the pages of this year’s edition. Regards,

Dr. Veronica S. McComb, PhD Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

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AROUND THE

DEPARTMENTS Communication Page 5 Economics Page 6 English and Cultural Studies Page 7 History and Social Sciences Page 8 Modern Languages

Mathematics Page 10

Page 11 Psychology Page 13 Science and Technology Page 14


your brand, become a PR ‘nightmare’ or result in some other type of crisis,” says Chris Morse, Ph.D., Director of the Digital Communication Program, Department Chair and Professor of Communication and Executive Bryant University’s College of Arts and Sciences has Faculty Fellow for the Center for Health and Behaviorannounced it will offer a Digital Communication major al Sciences. “The creation and use of digital messages is for its Bachelor of Arts degree starting in Fall 2022. an important trend in the communication field that is The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projected in May here to stay.” 2020 that digital communication occupations will grow 14% over the next decade. There are already signs of Bryant’s new major focuses on digital content, and its growth. With more people, businesses and communica- design, creation and management. The fact that stution moving online, hastened by a period of upheaval dents also acquire a complementary business minor as a that began in 2020, today the demand for professionals fourth element will make these graduates truly unique with digital media skills is rapidly increasing. compared to any other programs and positions them for superior education outcomes. Building on Bryant’s unique academic curriculum, which integrates the liberal arts, STEM, and business “The business minor will help students by providing with an emphasis on real-world prepathem with a real business acumen that ration and a global mindset, the Digital allows insight into the management and Communication program will create “At Bryant, we integrate financial side of the organizations or skilled graduates who are real-world knowledge with practice. contexts that they will find themselves ready to meet rising demand and make Students in this program working in. What are the markets in a difference in a field that is central to this content area? How might the comexperience hands-on petition impact decisions? They'll have organizations today. practice for a variety of that frame of mind in the background,” “Communication markets and medisays Morse. ums are changing as a result of today’s contexts and careers.” ongoing digital transformation, calling Program graduates will be effective at for increased curricular integration at the university lev- creating content, determining what content is appropriel. By combining traditional training with technology ate for which platform, and managing that content for and the liberal arts with business, Bryant is answering both themselves and organizations. They can be sucthe call with our Digital Communication program, cessful in a range of roles, such those centering on uswhich prepares our graduates with the knowledge and ing digital content to sell or promote a product, proskills needed to support the vital role of communication ducing shows for subscription streaming companies in society,” says Wendy Samter, Ph.D., Bryant’s Inter- such as Netflix, managing digital campaigns for initiaim/Associate Provost. tives within organizations or communities, increasing readability or usability of web content for companies Meeting digital demand such as Google or Amazon, being a social media conDigital communication is a specific area within the field tent manager and more. of communication focusing on digital content and digital message design. From social media to podcasts to Unique program features engaging online communities to subscription streaming “One of the reasons why we’re excited to offer this shows and movies, all require specialized skills and program at Bryant is because we feel we have a unique knowledge to design, create and manage them if they mixture of elements to offer students,” compared to are to be successful. programs at other schools, says Morse.

COMMUNICATION

“As more people go ‘online’ and consume digital content across a variety of platforms, professionals who really understand how to use digital media effectively are going to become ever more important. Digital media tools require thought and planning to use effectively. Failure to do so can detract from your message or

The program’s distinctive focus on content combined with an emphasis on experiential learning, state-of-theart technology and studio production resources, personalized attention from Bryant faculty experts and a required business minor prepares students with the


knowledge and experience they need to become indemand managers of digital communication media and campaigns. All this from a College of Arts and Sciences that confers median earnings for its graduates in the top 10% nationally.

Faculty Highlights

Prof. Ramesh Mohan spoke with WPRI12 TV on the economic impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said the impact would depend on the scale of the fighting and the sanctions levied.

Students will benefit from coursework where they: Prof. Laura Beaudin was appointed as the Director of · Learn from a dedicated faculty of prominent scholars, the Honors Program. teachers, mentors and accomplished media profesProf. Xiafei Pan published five research papers in repusionals who serve as advisors. table academic journals in the 2021 – 2022 academic · Focus on digital communication techniques, both as year. They are the consumer and the creator and in respect to a variety of audiences and goals. 1. My risk, Your Risk, and Our Risk: Costly Deviation · Learn theoretical knowledge on how to design mesin Delegated Risk-Taking Environments, with Jason sages and persuade audiences, including writing techAimone (Accepted at Journal of Behavioral Finique. nance) · Utilize technology and state-of-the-art production 2. Jared Barton and Xiaofei Pan, Relative Accurate but facilities. Absolutely Off: Americans' Estimates of Relative · Understand features and benefits as well as best pracand Absolute Economic Mobility, (2022), Applied tices for a range of digital platforms. Economics · Create and mold digital content starting the very first 3. Jared Barton and Xiaofei Pan Movin' on up? A suryear, from social media to studio productions to podvey Experiment on Mobility Enhancing Policies, casts to digital narratives and scripts. (2021) European Journal of Political Economy, with · Learn how to manage digital media through hands-on online appendix. learning throughout the curriculum. 4. Xiaofei Pan and Sukki Yoon, Gym Membership · Gain real-world experience in Capstone course by Programs: Image Motivation and Conditional Dispartnering with a nonprofit and designing and implecount Framing, (2021) Journal of Current Issues & menting a digital media campaign that solves a probResearch in Advertising lem, providing knowledge, resume credentials and 5. Kai Ou and Xiaofei Pan. The Effect of Task Choice networking opportunities. and Task Assignment on the Gender Earnings Gap: An Experimental Study, (2021) European Economic A key emphasis throughout the program is real-world Review, 136. - included in the Gender Action Portal learning. “At Bryant, we integrate knowledge with pracby Harvard Kennedy School's Women and Public tice,” says Morse. “Students in this program experience Policy Program hands-on practice starting their very first year—and learn the ‘why’ and the ‘how’—so that they can apply Student Highlights what they’ve learned to a variety of situations, which An Applied Economics Major, Valerie Hartnett (class they’ll need to do in the real world.” of '22), will begin her Ph.D. in Economics at Clark University with an offer of full tuition remission and a teaching assistantship.

ECONOMICS

Her research interest is primarily developmental economics, focusing on developing human capital with consideration to environmental constraints. She wrote, "I have thorProfs. Laura Beaudin and Allison Kaminaga, with the oughly enjoyed my time at Bryant, and I look forward support of the Economics Department, offer our third to what the future has in store at Clark." Precollege Summer Economics Program this summer. The first-year Economics students present their research at the Applied Economic Competition (AEC) – Addressing Social and Global Issues on Wednesday, May 4 at 2 pm.


In the Fall 2020 semester, Valerie transferred from Commonwealth of Massachusetts has implemented to CCRI with an Associate of Science in Business Admin- help with the recovery. istration and a desire to study Applied Economics. The Center is also co-sponsoring with the Honors ProAt Bryant, she has become: gram for its second Lecture Series on March 30. The · the first female president of the Bryant Economic speaker, Dr. Talithia Williams, is a Big Data Expert, Student Association (BESA), Math Professor at Harvey Mudd College, and Host of · a member of the 2021 Fed Challenge team, NOVA Wonders. · a Student Fellow with the Center for Health and Behavioral Science, Prof. Ben Brewer of the University of Hartford will give · a member of the Senior Advisory Council, the third lecture (the last one for spring) on April 4 · a member of the Dean's Advisory Board. a research about racial bias in the enforcement of primary seat belt assistant, laws. · a member of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, · a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE) Honor Society, · a Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council intern, · a MyPath mentor, · an Information Systems and Mathematics minor, and · a peer tutor

ENGLISH AND

CULTURAL STUDIES

In its second year, our Visiting Writers Series, directed by Prof. Melissa Slocum, features events with four phenomenal professional writers. We welcomed DC Youth Poet Laureate Marjan Naderi for a slam poetry workshop and a reading in the fall. Our spring roster includes a talk on the writing profession and a reading by RI Poet Laureate Tina Cane. We are also excited to bring to campus the writers, activists, and YouTube sensations Shane and Hannah Burcaw for a two-day program, with a lecture on writing and social media and a reading, Q&A, and book signing. On March 4, Prof. Ramesh Mohan's students presented their consulting projects on the economic impact of extreme weather crises on livelihood in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Holger A. Kray, Practice Manager for Agriculture and Food Security in the World Bank's Africa Sustainable Development Group, gratefully joined the presentations and shared his professional insights.

The Center for Global and Regional Economics Studies (CGRES) event The Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies (CGRES) hosts "Lecture Series" for the spring semester. On March 9, Dr. Mahesh Ramachandran, a Chief Economist of the Department of Economic Research of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, discussed how the global pandemic had impacted the labor market and future of work. He also highlighted policies that the

Faculty Highlights Scholarship by English and Cultural Studies faculty is getting lots of attention! Published by SUNY Press in 2021, Prof. Tom Roach’s monograph Screen Love: Queer Intimacies in the Grindr Era, has reached a wide audience and resulted in positive reviews and media appearances, including an interview on the podcast Eager to Know. Prof. Martha Kuhlman’s co-edited collection Comics of the New Europe: Reflections and Intersections, was recognized with an Honorable Mention for Best Edited Collection


by the Comics Studies Society. Prof. Kuhlman has been named series editor by the prestigious Cambridge University Press for its series on graphic narratives. Prof. Jeff Cabusao continues to be sought out as an expert on Filipina/o/x and Filipina/o/x-American writers; in the past year, he presented an invited lecture to educators in the Philippines and participated in an intergenerational roundtable piece with other intellectuals, academics, artists, and activists. Prof. Cabusao’s selections of Carlos Bulosan’s writing, America is in the Heart, will be reprinted in a hard copy edition by Penguin Vitae.

Well known for her research on satire and popular culture, Prof. Amber Day is completing a new book on feminist comedians that will be published by Indiana University Press. The success of Prof. Maura Coughlin’s co-edited collection Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture has placed her in demand as a speaker, and she recently gave an invited talk at the world-renowned Oxford University in England. In addition to publishing books, our faculty support Bryant’s reputation for rigorous scholarship with a steady stream of peer-reviewed articles and chapters, conference appearances, invited talks, and book reviews. Through creative works, exhibits, workshops, and programs English and Cultural Studies faculty and students continue to build appreciation for the arts across our campus. We are proud of Prof. Valerie Carrigan for winning a grant from the Taconic Foundation in sup-

port of a new body of work titled Into Thin Air. This project investigates bird population decline and will result in a series of broadsides, paintings, and artist books. In the fall, English and Cultural Studies co-hosted a reopening celebration for our wonderful Art Barn, featuring live performances, art, activities, and food trucks. As part of the Day of Understanding, Prof. Carrigan and Prof. Zaretti organized a student exhibit of bodymaps, a vibrant representational technique for individuals to express their identity, explore social issues, and give voice to personal experience. Prof. Zaretti recently guided the Bryant community in a one-hour creative play and collaboration workshop. Prof. Melissa Slocum, a creative writer whose collection of short stories Living on the Borderlines was a finalist for the Louise Meriwether first book prize, had students in her Poetry Writing class create a “poetry walk” on campus. Prof. Jennifer Horan and students in her Introduction to Philosophy class participated in a movement workshop led by choreographer Stephanie Turner, bringing movement and exploration into their reading of Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” English and Cultural Studies will bring to campus Becky Bass, a vocal artist and steel pan drummer, for a REDay event. Finally, Honors Student and Literary and Cultural Studies Major Kayla Batahla produced a powerful interactive exhibit, “Breaking Bias, Building Belonging,” as part of her Honors Thesis. We will celebrate these and many other creative contributions at our biannual Pop-Up Gallery, May 5 from 46 pm in the Art Barn. Don’t miss it!

HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES


The department of History and Social Sciences (HSS) continues to show the community the importance of examining contemporary events through a scholarly perspective. In our courses we explore such pressing issues as race relations, housing policy, climate change, and global trade. Outside of the classroom, department professors have played lead roles in campus discussions on topics such as whether the U.S. needs another Reconstruction, why the U.S. withdrew troops from Afghanistan, the legal aspects of COVID policies, the future of American democracy, and the War in Ukraine. Beyond Bryant, department professors also share their knowledge. For example, Prof. Michael Bryant, who recently published the second edition of his book A World History of War Crimes: From Antiquity to the Present, is a highly sought after commentator on possible war crimes in Ukraine. Collectively, we seek to develop knowledgeable and active members of the global community.

troversial political topics. Currently, the Krupp Library’s Research & Instruction Librarian, Dymond Bush, and Manager of Research & Instruction Services, Allison Papini, are playing this essential role.

Many of our current and recent graduates illustrate the great potential of their Bryant educations. For example, Politics and Law (PLW) major Fatima Bamba recently completed a Masters in Ethics, Peace and Human Rights from American University’s School of International Service. Another PLW major Aaron Bonsu is completing a Master’s in Liberal Arts at Dartmouth and has been accepted into multiple PhD programs. Among our most recent graduates, Kathleen Bannon went right from a PLW major to SUNY Binghamton for a PhD in political science, while Alyse Beauchemin, a double major in Global Studies and History, went to George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs for a masters in Space Policy and recently was offered a paid internship in the NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR). These students join the ranks of our successful grads who not only get jobs, but who work to make a difference in the world.

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Talking About Politics Discussion Series The Department of History and Social Sciences’ “Talking about Politics” discussion series offers a unique way for students, faculty, and staff to engage in evidence-based conversations about current issues. Discussions are led by a faculty member, but what makes the experience particularly valuable for participants is the important role that Bryant librarians play in providing access to relevant quality sources of information in real-time while the discussion is taking place. This demonstrates the importance of information literacy for having informed discussions about important and con-

“Talking about Politics” was created by Legal Studies professor Liz Bornstein in February 2020. Since it’s inception, fourteen discussions have been organized on a wide range of issues. This schoolyear’s topics were: ·

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Afghanistan: The Graveyard of Empires · October 26, 2021 · Facilitators John Dietrich and Ron Bobroff Vaccines Mandates: A Fight in a Fight · November 16, 2021 · Facilitator Andrea Boggio What is the Future of American Democracy? · March 1, 2022 · Facilitator Rich Holtzman Russian Invasion of Ukraine · March 3, 2022 · Facilitators Ron Bobroff, John Dietrich, Martha Kuhlman, Elzotbek Rustambekov

Each has been facilitated by a different faculty member from the Political Science, Legal Studies, History, or Sociology programs, all housed within the Department of History and Social Sciences. The department will continue to offer two or three new discussions each semester and we hope to see you there! If you would like to be added to the email list so you are aware of upcoming discussions, please contact Rich Holtzman at rholtzma@bryant.edu. Mock Trail Team Shines at Regional Tournament This Fall, the Bryant University Mock Trial Team competed in their first Invitational competition of the year. The team competed in the virtual Bear Brawl classic, hosted by Missouri State University on October 23rd


and 24th. The competition consisted of 25 teams from 20 different colleges and universities. Invitationals are an opportunity for the team to get a first run at working with the case provided to the team and get practice against other top teams. Bryant was able to compete against multiple nationally ranked teams, such as the University of Rochester and the University of Texas at Dallas. The team also received a few awards. Team President Andrew Hinckley won an outstanding attorney award for his performance on the defense, as well as an outstanding witness award for his performance as prosecution witness across the entire competition. Andrew was tied for the top ranked witness in the entire competition and in the top 10 for all attorney competitors.

terprise Risk Management & Modeling Seminar for the Casualty Actuarial Society in March. This is required for actuaries pursuing the Global CERA (Chartered Enterprise Risk Analysis) credential. Faculty have been active on the research front! Examples of faculty scholarship include: · Prof. Alicia Lamere: an article in Methods in Molecular Biology: Modeling Transcriptional Regulation and a presentation at the Joint Statistical Meetings titled “The Effects of COVID-19 on Air Quality in Boston, MA.” · Prof. Gao Niu: article in Global and Planetary Change. · Prof. Bill Zywiak: articles in Advances in Historical Studies and Open Journal of Social Sciences. · Prof. Rick Gorvett: a book, Users’ Guide to Economic Scenario Generation in Property-Casualty Insurance. · Profs. Bishop, Niu, and Quinn: article in Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. · Profs. Lamere, Nguyen, Niu, Olinsky, and Quinn: an article titled “Predicting the length of stay in hospital emergency rooms in Rhode Island.”

Each year, the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), publishes a fictional case that is used for collegiate mock trial competitions across the country. The case problem comes complete with witness affidavits, case law, and all other relevant motions and orders that would be found in a real-life case. Teams compete with this case and rules of evidence that are modified for mock trial competition but mimic the federal rules of evidence. AMTA sponsors spring regional competitions, an opening round championship series (ORCS), and a national championship. Bryant competes at the regional level, and this could be the year that they make the advance to ORCS competition. President Andrew Hinckley says, “We have the strongest team I have seen since I have been at Bryant, and the sky really is the limit with this group.” In the Spring, Bryant will compete Student Highlights in the regional competition at Brown University, where Christina Capozzi ’24, a sophomore in Actuarial Math, they will face teams from Harvard, MIT, and Rutgers. is our department’s first Math STEM Scholar, under our five-year NSF STEM grant. Prof. Alicia Lamere is An exciting development is that Bryant Mock Trial, serving as her mentor. along with the Bryant Law Society and the Politics & Law department, aim to bring an invitational to campus Supported by a grant from two North American actuarin the Fall 2022 semester. Bryant is a great location for ial societies, a group of students and faculty are reteams in the surrounding area eager to show off their searching “Machine Learning Applications to Actuarial trial skills during in-person competitions. The goal is to Science.” Julia Ayres ’22, Luis Sanchez Mercedes ’22, make this a campus-wide event that incorporates mock and Amanda Stedman ’22 are among the students who trial teams from across the region, alumni judges, and have been training a computer to estimate the dollar community stakeholders. amount of insured loss to a car from just a picture of the damaged vehicle. The project is being overseen by Professors Gao Niu, Son Nguyen, Alicia Lamere, and Rick Gorvett.

MATHEMATICS

Our Math students are finding great jobs – both permanent and internship – at numerous great companies! Professor and Chair Rick Gorvett taught a national En- Some of those companies include: Allstate, Blue Cross

Faculty Highlights


Blue Shield, Cigna, Hanover Insurance Group, Liberty at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. Mutual, Lincoln Financial Group, MathWorks, and many more! Oliva and his team’s pedagogical projects reshape traditional language teaching approaches by allowing bilingual learners to use their preacquired linguistic and cultural repertoires while learning a third language. Adopting techniques such as intercomprehension allows for more incluThe Department of Modern Languages has added six sive approaches to foreign lannew courses in Spanish for Health Science to the catalogue from Introductory through advanced levels. Pro- guage teaching. This past fall the textbook was selected by fessor Tony Houston developed the courses with the the University of California, Irvine among others to support of the Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and a Bryant spearhead the implementation of new tracks and classes summer Faculty Development grant to complete a cer- designed for bilingual students. tification program in “Content-Based Language InIn fall of 2021, Dr. Oliva’s research on intercomprestruction and Curriculum Development” through the hension, co-authored with Dr. Donato, Ricciardelli, Center for Advanced Research on Language AcquisiPhD.c., “Translation and Translanguaging Pedagogies tion. in Intercomprehension and Multilingual Teaching” was attributed as “state of the art” research in Bryant Proud The faculty members from the Department of Modern “translanguiging” within the field of intercomprehenLanguages proudly supporting all students and mem- sion by the Project UNITA. This project is a consortibers of the Bryant community at Bryant Proud on Oc- um of six major EU universities entrusted by the Council of Europe to (re)design the future of European Edutober 15, 2021. cation by 2029.

MODERN

LANGUAGES

Student Highlight Patrick Roth, Class of 2024 is a major in International Business with two concentrations in French and Mar-

Social: #bryantproud #nationalcomingoutday

Faculty Research The innovative textbook Juntos: Italian for Speakers of English and Spanish, developed by Cedric Joseph Oliva and his team of co-authors from California State University, Long Beach led to him to offer three invited lectures at the graduate Modern Language departments keting and a minor in Economics. Patrick received an of teaching and pedagogy at the University of Guelph, Honors Contract for ML-FR403 The Francophone Concordia University, as well as the linguistics program World and Cultures in which he is learning about the


dynamics of the French language(s) and francophone cultures outside of traditional French prism. He is currently working on a research article on des perspectives Française au perspectives francophone: le futur de la langue française ? under the direction of Dr. Cedric Joseph Oliva.

Readings Without Borders On November 4, Reading Without Borders 2021 gathered 100 guests, 40 readers who shared 31 readings including 27 poems, 2 tales, and 2 songs representing 12 different languages, as well as several regional or international variations of our community’s languages. RWB 21 included the languages we teach on campus: Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish; but also Arabic, Catalan, Corsican, Dutch, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Wolof.

Biz Web Design Project last year. The goal was to pair up small Hispanic businesses and students in a website contest. The Department of Modern Languages was approached by Marta V Perez-Barton, Operations and Program Manager to attempt a partnership with Bryant University in late summer. Professors Sharmin Attaran, and Tony Houston and Senior Lecturer Patricia Gómez Zoomed in to collaborate along with Providence College (PC). There was a total of 16 students that participated (14 from PC a Hispanic Heritage Course and 2 from Bryant University).

Darren Sousa was mentored under Senior Lecturer Patricia Gómez working with a Directed Study this Fall Semester. Sousa is a senior that is a double major in Spanish and Global Supply Management. Christina Camillo is a Marketing major with a concentration in Spanish. She was mentored under Professor Sharmin Attarin. The project required students to contact a designated business owner that they were assigned and collaborate to create a functioning website while learning RWB 21 was organized and sponsored by the French WIX. Program with the support of the FrancoBU student organization and the Modern Language Department with The final project was submitted on November 17, 2021, the collaboration and participation of colleagues from followed by a ceremony on December 8, 2021. Sousa’s the Departments of English and Cultural Studies, Fi- website was chosen for that came along with a cash nance, Management, Mathematics, Science and Tech- prize. “These real-world experiences with Hispanic nology, the Division of International Affairs and Office owned businesses are exactly the type of work we want of the China Institute, the PwC Center for Diversity our Spanish students engaged in,” said Senior Lecturer and Inclusion, and the Program of International Busi- Professor Gómez. It is an opportunity for our students to be immersed in using the language while helping the ness. community as well. We are proud of both Camillo and Sousa who took on an opportunity that is new to New England and Rhode Island is leading in this endeavor and envisions moving onto other New England states before going national.

Chinese Festival Spring 2022

This workshop was held by our Chinese program and our Chinese student club (GCC), it was our first inWe are looking forward to next edition of RWB and person Spring Festival celebraincluding an even greater diversity of languages. If you tion in almost two years. are interested in collaborating in the organization of RWB 2022 contact Cedric Joseph Oliva at coli- We had variety of traditional va1@bryant.edu. food for Chinese New Year festival such as 饺子jiaozi RI Latino Biz Web Design Project (dumplings), 汤圆 tangyuan The Rhode Island Israel Collaborative (RIIC) and Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in col- (sweet dumplings), 茶 cha (tea), laboration with WIX tech company and the Consulate and many types of 糖 tang General of Israel to New England created the RI Latino (candy), we also had many dif-


ferent cultural activities, we gave out 红包 hongbao (red with the support of the CNC (Centre National du Cinéenvelopes) to our members as they walked through the ma et de l’Image Animée) and the Fonds Culturel Franco-Américain. door, engaged in 剪纸 Chinese paper cutting, played 毽 子 jianzi (a traditional Chinese game where you kick a shuttlecock), and finally hosted a Chinese New Year themed Kahoot! where our members tested their knowledge to win great prizes! Much has been happening in the psychology departThis event boasted some of the highest attendance our ment over the past couple of years! Professor Allison organization has seen in recent years with over 25 peo- Butler led a Summer Design Challenge sprint for CVS ple! We hope to hold more events like this in the future. health with 6 talented female Bryant students, focused on improving the health of CVS customers. She also served as a Co-Principal Investigator on a National SciFrench Movie Festival Spring 2022 ence Foundation grant that awarded Bryant $650,000 to Bienvenue au Festival Albertine Cinémathèque 2022! The French Program and the Modern Language De- help recruit people from diverse backgrounds to the partment hosted the annual Albertine Cinémathèque science and STEM fields.

PSYCHOLOGY

Faculty Highlights Associate Professor Heather Lacey has recently published three articles focusing on individual differences in people’s emotional sensitivity to risk probabilities, appearing in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, the Journal of Genetic Counseling, and the Psi Chi Journal. Much of this work has been co-authored with recent psychology alums. Their work indicates that risk numbers mean different things to different people, and helps to explain different response to health risks, including some of the behavioral differences we are seeing in reaction to COVID.

French Film Festival (formally known as the Tournées Film Festival). This year’s cinematic offerings cover important social issues included transgender discrimination, emotional and physical abuse, access to education for all in sensitive urban areas, the effects of war, etc. The movies helped our students to continue to reflect upon these important topics. The Bryant French film festival is made possible thanks to the support of Albertine Cinémathèque, a program of FACE Foundation, and Villa Albertine in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States and

Assistant Professor Kristin Scaplen recently published 3 research articles “Transsynaptic mapping of Drosophila mushroom body output neurons” in eLife, “Receptors and Channels Associated with Alcohol Use: Contributions from Drosophila” in Neuroscience Insights and “Neural circuits underlying behavioral flexibility: Insights from Drosophila” in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. She worked with undergraduates, Taryn Rauff (biology), Thi Mai Anh (Maya) Nguyen (Psychology), and Sam Pollack (Applied Math) to investigate the neural circuits that underlie alcohol induced locomotor activity in fruit flies. They presented their results, alongside other Bryant undergraduates, at the 14th Annual RI Summer Undergraduate Research Conference at URI, hosted by the Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE) program. Their efforts also earned them authorship on an accepted abstract for the International Society for Neuroscience conference held virtually in November. Dr. Scaplen was also awarded an INBRE Early Career De-


velopment Grant and the Rhode Island Medical Research Grant to support her research. Professor Joe Trunzo recently published his second book, “Long Haul COVID: A Survivor’s Guide,” which serves as a roadmap for coping with prolonged illness after a COVID infection. He also published an article in the APA journal Practice Innovations, entitled “Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease: A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners.” He has also been featured or quoted in several popular media outlets, such as the New York Post, The Huffington Post, Aeon magazine, and several radio and podcast interviews. Professor Nanci Weinberger recently published 2 research articles, “You’re Brave, I’ll Be Your Friend: Children’s Evaluations of Peers with cancer” in Psychology in the Schools; and “Anything He Can Do, She Can Do Better: Children's Attitudes About Gender and Occupations,” in the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research. The first author on the latter work was Ryan Linn Brown, an alum of Bryant’s Psychology department who is currently a PhD. Candidate at Rice University.

"In the beginning of fall semester, I knew I wanted to run a couple of drives to help the community members around us! One drive I did was for MAE Organization which is a homeless wellness center. They provide the homeless with meals every weekend as well as promote healing and mental wellness. I ran a toiletry drive and received a ton of donations that ranged from hygiene products to winter necessities. I also ran a food pantry drive for Operation Stand Down RI. This organization helps veterans and their families with basic human needs as well as housing. Since Bryant is known as a top university for veterans, this organization was perfect! I believe it is important to help the people around us because there are always people in need. I'm so thankful for the Bryant community members who donated to these drives." – Alana Perkins

Lastly, the Psychology department is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! Over that span, we have graduated hundreds of majors, had 4 department chairs, formed a concentration and a minor, published countless research articles, received major research grants, expanded our faculty and course offerings, renovated our lab space (twice!), and most importantly, taught some of the best students, anywhere, ever – and learned from them as well. It has been an honor and a privilege, and we look forward to many more years! What our Women in STEM have to say on International Women in Science Day. Logan O’Donnell (’22) is a Biology major and Women’s lacrosse player. A member of the honors program, she is currently working on her thesis with Dr. Steven Weicksel, investigating the chromatin architecture on Hox genes as Student and Alumni Highlights it relates to regulation. Logan Community Service: Student athlete and Biology Alais currently a Semi-finalist for na Perkins (’23) organized a food and toiletry drive for the Fullbright Scholars prolocal organizations. Alana shines both on the basketball gram where she applied to court, playing for our women’s basketball team that study cellular senescence at a laboratory in Poland. Loplayed in the NEC finals this year, and in the classroom. gan plans to apply for medical school following her gap Alana is studying for the DAT exam with plans to apply year. A role model to us all, she provided some comfor dental school following graduation. Her infectious mentary on International Women in Science Day on smile, dedication to her academics and her generosity how she hopes to encourage more young women to add so much to our program.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


enter STEM disciplines. "As a woman in STEM, I wish to encourage other young women and girls to enter the field with confidence and do so unapologetically. Working in STEM provides a unique opportunity to explore scientific curiosities and fascinations. It is a gift to know that being a part of up-and-coming research can lead to bettering the community around you as a whole. Gender should not keep intelligent and passionate individuals out of this field. That is why I aspire to join the movement of making science and medicine more accessible for everyone. I hope to lead by example and celebrate other determined women in science. I am thrilled to be in a field that empowers me, and I cannot wait to see how future generations of women advance STEM programs internationally."

portunities for undergraduate research. If you are planning on attending graduate school this will be an excellent addition to your resume.

Another reason I enrolled into Bryant was because of the benefits of having a background in business. The other night I actually conversed about this with one of the CEO clubs guest speakers. A friend of his was a bio major with a minor in business and ended up opening a business that takes care of doctor’s finances for them because they have Alumni Profile: Hannah Couture (‘20) no idea how to. This Hannah Couture (’20) was accepted to every physical brings me to my next point. therapy program she applied to and will be off to Nashville There are so many niche jobs out there that most of us next year to attend Belmont have never heard of and so many that are being created University. Hannah was in- all the time. By diversifying your skill sets you will be a trigued by a career in PT fol- much stronger competitor in whatever field you lowing her experiences as a choose. I actually feel as though I learn just as much patient. She knew she wanted outside the classroom as I do inside. A few of my most to work with patients in an notable involvements include Student Senate where I individualized setting and can learn more about leadership, Ways and Means continue to learn about a topic that fascinated her. where I learn about finances, and the Collegiate EntreWhen asked why she chose Bryant Hannah replied, “I preneurship Organization (CEO) where I learn so was really drawn to the opportunities Bryant had for much about entrepreneurship and more. This October getting involved, becoming a leader, learning to work in I applied and was selected to attend the CEO clubs nagroups, and giving presentations. I thought that this tional conference in Tampa, Florida. was an opportunity that I wouldn’t get at a lot of other schools, especially as a science student.” Hannah feels Funny enough, on the way to Tampa I shared a wonthat the coursework at Bryant has prepared her for her derful conversation with someone I had just met on the DPT program along with the meaningful relationships plane. He actually studied anatomy at Brown University she forged with professors which helped encourage her and is currently working on a startup where he is helppassion for learning. Hannah worked with Dr. Brian ing create better methods to teach anatomy in the classBlais on her honors thesis, “Use of Biomechanical room and virtually. He is using virtual reality to allow Modeling to Provide Insights on Major Ligaments of students to have hands-on experience, especially with the Knee Joint.” more uncommon scenarios. He actually wished that he had some kind of background in business or entrepreWords from John Boccuzzii (’25) about his first- neurship so that he would not have to learn so much year experiences at Bryant. through creating this startup. Hello, my name is John Boccuzzi and I am a Bio major on the pre-health track. I love it here at Bryant and am Currently, Bryant is undergoing the creation of their so glad that Dr. Hokeness sold me on the bio program Vision 2030 plan which is rebranding Bryant with three and research opportunities here. Bryant’s STEM pro- main pillars, business, the liberal arts, and STEM. Come grams are unique not only because we get a background join us as we look toward the future with all three of in business but also because Bryant offers so many op- these pillars in mind


From Actuarial Mathematics to Biology, Bryant Allows Students to Explore Opportunities and Discover their Passion Michael Pepin (’20) hails from Douglas, MA and came to Bryant to study actuarial mathematics. However, when he was working to complete one of his scientific modes of thought, he had a change of heart. “I came to Bryant as an actuarial mathematics major until I took Dr. Hokeness’ Biotechnology course which gave new life to the field of Biology and science for me.” Through continual mentorship from professors in the science department, and a passion ignited in him from that course, Michael decided to pursue a career in medicine. Since then he has taken advantage of several research opportunities. “I have completed two research fellowships, one here at Bryant and one at the University of Rhode Island. They were great learning experiences where I was able to use the information I learned in the classroom.” His work with Dr. Reid allowed him to put what he learned in the biochemistry classroom into action. These research experiences helped him in many ways. “Not only was I able to gain real-world experience on scientific experiments, I was able to increase my understanding of biochemical processes which is going to be extremely beneficial for me in the future for both the MCAT and medical school.” Michael spent a gap year working as a medical vista with the RI Free Clinic. He was accepted to and is attending the UMASS Chan Medical School this coming fall.■

Arts & Sciences Department Chairs Communication…….....…….....Dr. Chris Morse Economics…..……………….Dr. Jongsung Kim English & Cultural Studies….....Dr. Janet Dean History & Social Sciences…..Dr. John Dietrich Mathematics…………..……….Dr. Rick Gorvett Modern Languages………...…….Dr. Yun Xiao Psychology…………....……..Dr. Joseph Trunzo Science & Technology….Dr. Kirsten Hokeness


The Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences The Center for Health & Behavioral Sciences has had a Productive 18 Months. Today’s complex health issues require a holistic approach to education and research, bringing together the multiple facets of this highly interdisciplinary field. The Center for Health & Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) aims to do just that. CHBS was formed in August of 2020, in part due to funding from the Fred M. Roddy Foundation. The mission of CHBS is to support faculty and student research and develop new academic programming in the health and behavioral sciences. The CHBS currently has 20 faculty fellows and 24 student fellows from both the college of business and the college of arts and sciences, who have published numerous articles related to health and behavioral sciences. The Center aims to fund small research grants to support this work, which is centered on student training. In addition, CHBS has developed a new interdisciplinary major in Health Sciences, which launched in spring of ‘21. Leveraging biology, psychology, and communication at its core, the program has tracks in General Health Sciences, Behavioral Health, and Health Promotion. There are also two new majors in Health Analytics and Ex-

www.bryant.edu/center-health-and-behavioral-sciences ercise Science in development for a proposed launch in Fall of ‘22.

CHBS also worked to support students in gaining experiential learning opportunities last summer. CVS Health sponsored a Summer Design Sprint Challenge, applying the design thinking methodology to help CVS tackle major problems in healthcare. Psychology Professor Allison Butler oversaw the work of 6 incredible female students during this 6-week challenge. Students worked with high level CVS executives to help improve the health and well-being of its valued customers. In all, 21 student fellows gained critical experiences working on this challenge, in the laboratories, or on remote projects with faculty mentors. Their work was presented as a part of the CHBS Research Symposium this past fall.

Lastly, the Center continues to sponsor an annual speaker series, bringing several high-profile individuals to campus to address issues around the pandemic and health and behavioral sciences. Talks were given by Dr. Andrey Zarur, CEO of Greenlight Biosciences; Dr. Michael Osterholm, an immunologist who advises the Biden Administration; and Dr. Jerome Adams, former United States Surgeon General, among others. CHBS puts out a call for faculty and student fellows every fall, but if anyone is interested in joining, or for more information, please feel free to contact CHBS Director Dr. Kirsten Hokeness or Deputy Director Dr. Joe Trunzo. Follow us on social media using the handle BryantU_Health■


Visiting Writer Series

Marjan Naderi, the 2020 D.C. Youth Poet Laureate, is an Afghan-American writer and educator based in Washington, D.C. As a 6 -time Poetry Grand Slam Champion, Naderi has been featured on NowThis News, The Washington Post, NPR, The United Nation’s Girl Up Campaign, NBC News, Amazon Prime, The Kennedy Center, D.C. United, Nike, and more. Her writing has been recognized by The Adroit Journal, Brave New Voices, The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database, and The National YoungArts Foundation where she was nominated for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award. Her first chapbook, Bloodline, was released in 2019 and sold out in 2020. She's currently working with international non-profits to build schools and libraries in Afghanistan and The Gambia. Her work is featured in curricula including Fairfax County Public Schools, Bryant University, The University of Virginia, and L.M.S. Voice.

Tina Cane is the founder and director of Writers-in-the Schools, RI, for which she works as a visiting poet. Over the past twenty-five years, Tina has taught French, English, and creative writing in public and private schools throughout New York City and Rhode Island. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including Spinning Jenny, The Literary Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Common, Poem-a-Day. Her work, The Fifth Thought, was the 2008 Other Painters Press chapbook winner. Her books include The Fifth Thought, Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, Once More With Feeling, and Body of Work. Tina was the 2016 recipient for the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island where she lives with her husband and their three children. In 2020, Cane was named a poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American Poets. Tina is also the creator/ curator of the distance reading series, Poetry is Bread.

Shane Burcaw is an American writer, blogger, and activist who has written about living with the disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy for The Morning Call and his blog, Laughing at My Nightmare. He was born on May 28, 1992, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States. Burcaw’s humorous and optimistic outlook on his condition has earned him attention from outlets like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post. Burcaw’s also a member of the Squirmy and Grubs web group. Burcaw started dating Hannah Aylward in 2015. She is also his Squirmy and Grubs partner. Burcaw and Hannah Aylward are vloggers on a mission to change the way society understands disability. On their YouTube channel, Squirmy and Grubs, the couple shares a hilarious and authentic examination of what it’s like to be in an interabled relationship. The channel has amassed nearly 1 million subscribers and worldwide recognition in its first year. Shane lives with a form of muscular dystrophy that requires him to use an electric wheelchair.


“The first step in learning is bringing in new ideas, perspectives and experiences,” notes Melissa Michal Slocum, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies. As the director for Bryant’s Visiting Writer Series, Slocum introduces the University’s students to works and authors who help them develop as writers, hone their skills as conscientious communicators and understand the world a little more clearly.

Direct engagement Slocum works with the visiting writers to prepare discussions and workshops tailored to the Bryant community and the interests of the students. Their work is also explored in English and Cultural Studies classes, preparing the students for engaged, in-depth discussion.

“The Visiting Writer Series brings in writers from around the country who are often underrepresented voices and who are thinking through issues of community, issues of social justice and issues relating to how we communicate with one another,” says Slocum. “They represent multiple genres as well as multiple ways in which we can think about writing, communi- The interactions the series sparks can be invaluable, cating and addressing community issues.” Slocum notes. “Through the series, students are able to directly engage and talk with a workThe series, open to members of the "Creativity and the arts are ing writer, and that can be a really Bryant community, brings a diverse hard thing to come by,” she says. vitally important to how we Aside from an enlightening opporgroup of professional writers to campus to share and discuss their work. all exist in the world, and tunity to learn the craft or discuss the Past speakers have included nonfic- they make some of the most profession, it can also be inspirational tion writer Elissa Washutta, essayist for young writers to see what their challenging dialogues more Sejal Shah and poet Geffrey Davis. potential careers might look like. This year’s slate includes slam poet approachable because of the and DC Youth Poet Laureate, MarThat inspiration often energizes the way they help us craft jan Naderi, who spoke in the fall, students’ future work, says Slocum. them.” Rhode Island Poet Laureate and “We are having different dialogues young adult novelist, Tina Cane and across all of the writers, which enauthors and YouTubers, Shane and Hannah Burcaw. courages students to think outside the box, to be more creative in their projects and to introduce themselves to Exposure to that diversity of experience and perspec- people that they may not have in the past.” tive, she notes, can be thought Learning from one another provoking for The benefits of the Visiting Writer Series, and the ideas audiences. “The behind it, however, aren’t just for aspiring writers or way that writers English and Cultural Studies students, says Slocum. interact, observe They have value for students in any discipline. and craft the “Creativity and the arts are vitally important to how we world, allows us all exist in the world, and they make some of the most to really see how challenging dialogues more approachable because of uniquely differ- the way they help us see them,” she points out. ent we are but also know how The series, at its core, is about having those dialogues— we can all find and inspiring future ones. “We can all learn from each common ground other,” she states.■ and common experiences,” says Slocum, who is herself a fiction writ- February 25, 2022, by University Relations Staff Writer. Reprinted from www.bryant.edu with permission. er, literary critic and essayist.


Public Humanities and Social Impact Research Our College of Arts & Sciences mission statement emphasizes the importance of contributing to the creation of a more just and equitable world. From our CAS Common Read, In Defense of a Liberal Education, Fareed Zakaria places our efforts within the framework of challenges: “. . . a good education system must confront the realities of the world we live in and educate in a way that addresses them, rather than pretend that these challenges don’t exist.” This active approach is a central function of a Liberal Arts education.

voices, support communities in cri- tion in the state focused on African sis, and democratize educational immigrants. This partnership has led access. to several projects, including efforts to bring together university students We announce two exciting steps and African communities in an anforward to highlight and bring struc- nual event called the African Studies ture to Public Humanities and Social Workshops. Since 2017, the partnerImpact research and programming ship has increasingly turned toward in CAS. First, we will be reaching health. The annual African Health out to you to inventory existing pro- Summit, hosted by the AARI, works grams, classes, and connections you to educate local populations about have forged to build a digital site to health concerns, such as vaccine identify and share those efforts. hesitancy in a time of COVID-19. Through these summits and follow Second, for REDay, as a part of the up meetings, members of African afternoon keynote panel, Professors communities increasingly requested Public-facing efforts break down the Alex Perullo and Katayoun Alidadi research on health in African comIvory Towers, exclusive, and isolat- will speak about their research. munities. ed understanding of the university to emphasize the accountability of Alex Perullo, Professor, De- This fieldwork study is on the correeducational systems to the commulations between discrimination and partment of English and nities they operate within, commuaccess to health among African Cultural Studies nities students are drawn from, and communities living in Rhode Island. communities that have been marginHealth is a significant concern alized and excluded. among the 45,000 people who identify as African and live in Rhode CAS faculty and programs have deIsland. This study aims to establish veloped a strong commitment to focus groups, made up of a broad facing challenges, teaching our stuselection of individuals from Afridents about them, and engaging dican communities, who will meet rectly with local communities to regularly over a six-month period to forge meaningful connections and discuss issues related to their health to bring sustainable change. Daniel and well-being. These issues include Fisher, from the National Humaniaccess to medical care, available reties Alliance, states that it is sources to address medical con“through publicly engaged research, cerns, structural and cultural deterteaching, preservation, and prominants of health, and engagements gramming, humanities faculty and between traditional and Western students are directing their expertise medicine. The data and narratives and resources to create positive generated from the focus groups change across the US.” These efwill be turned into a multilingual forts, he notes, can be used to proreport that details both findings and Since 2004, I have partnered with vide education on contemporary solutions in addressing health conthe African Alliance of Rhode Isissues, bring attention to diverse cerns, a workshop on findings and land (AARI), the largest organiza-


solutions for African communities in Rhode Island, and credentialing credit for medical professionals to learn about ways to assist African immigrants.

Katayoun Alidadi, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Social Sciences

In the classroom, I adapted the research by assigning groups of students different sites for short empirical research. This resulted in a series of student posters broadening and deepening the project findings.■

2021 Summer Internship Fellowship Reflections of the Experience Class of ‘22, Destiny Andrade’s summer internship was at PDR Events in East Greenwich, RI.

During the past summer, I conducted an empirical research project, seeking to document and interpret the experiences of a diverse group of selected churches, mosques, and synagogues (religious communities) across Rhode Island during the pandemic and during the “return to normalcy.” The documentation of this unique period for people of faith was a reminder that challenges can be overcome and can transform community dynamics. By bringing visibility to the experiences of diverse religious communities across Rhode Island, the project fostered a community dialogue about shared experiences among religious and non-religious organizations and their members across Rhode Island. In this way, it supports and strengthens civil engagement at the local level. Instead of only publishing the research findings via academic channels, the goal was to make accessible to a broad audience the images and stories of religious services in the age of social distancing in a palatable form, which included freely accessible events and poster exhibits, including at local libraries. The project was supported by a mini-grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and a summer research project from Bryant University.

Learning by doing has always been my style of learning. Internships are one of the most important ways to learn by doing. This summer, I had a once-in-alifetime opportunity to intern for one of Rhode Island’s most prominent and well-known event planners, Pamela D’Orsi Ryan. Her two companies, PDR Events and New England Invitations, specialize in large-scale weddings and events taking place on Rhode Island’s coast in the beautiful city of Newport. This year, PDR Events began to expand— I was able to travel to Palm Beach, Florida for a destination wedding at the “Pink Paradise” hotel known as The Colony. This internship has been one of the greatest experiences that I have ever had in my life thus far. As a young woman beginning her life and career, I always hear the phrase “do what you love and love what you do.” This internship allowed me to do just that. I came into this internship ready to learn and ready to be successful. Just like I do with everything else in my life, I set goals for myself before my first day. I am happy to say that after three months with PDR Events, I


have successfully met each and every one of my goals. My first goal was to form relationships with vendors for the future. I met this goal by effectively communicating with vendors at events. I put myself out there and presented myself to them in a professional, yet approachable way. I now follow many photographers, venues, caterers, florists, and more on social media. I would feel comfortable reaching out to any of these contacts at any time because I formed connections with them on event days. A second goal of mine prior to starting this internship was to learn professionalism and build my confidence. Pamela taught me email etiquette, phone etiquette, and conversation etiquette. Furthermore, she even taught me body language etiquette when we were at events in front of hundreds of people. I now know how to communicate with event professionals the correct way, and I now carry myself in a more professional manner than I did before. This makes me feel more confident when I am interacting with others. Lastly, the final goal that I set for myself was to learn the event industry inside and out— I wanted to make sure I completed this internship with enough knowledge to be able to plan events on my own, or at least understand how to. I met this goal beyond my expectations. As stated before, I learned by doing when I attended events. I got to watch everything unfold and come together. Therefore, I now know how to run an event using an event script, I am able to follow and decipher floor plans, I am able to examine vendor contracts, and I know the in-dustry like the back of my hand. Overall, I am leaving this internship with more knowledge about my field, and I am feeling confident about my future. Each day in the office was different from the last, which made it so exciting to go to work every day. Pamela gave me a lot of important responsibilities that I never had before. As a result, many wedding deci-sions were up to me. It was my responsibility to make the right

choices for clients. While it was a challenge, I felt honored that I was trusted by my boss and clients to make these important decisions for one of the most special days of their lives. Throughout the internship, I felt like I was an essential part of the wedding planning process. I never felt that my work was unimportant - I felt like I was leaving a mark on these clients. More specifically, I designed, created, and assembled invitations and wedding stationery. I created and organized wedding scripts for each client that keeps detailed records about their vendors and wedding aesthetics. I ordered and tracked wedding items, including rentals, favors, and welcome boxes. I directly communicated with vendors and clients when there were issues to be solved. My favorite task, however, was attending three weddings and one private party this summer— getting to see my hard work come together was the best part. Based on the responsibilities that I was given, I would say that the management style at PDR Events was mostly laissez-fare. There was trust between my boss and me. Most days, I was given a todo list and I was expected to independently stay on track with this list. This was how I learned and how I was trained. I learned by doing, which was extremely helpful versus if I were to read a handbook. Of course, Pamela checked up on me, but I never felt like I was being micro-managed. I was really able to explore my creativity and independently explore the concepts of event planning. A key takeaway from the internship that aided in my career plans after graduation was how it helped me realize it was even possible in the first place to be a successful event planner at such a young age. It helped me confirm that event planning is what I want to do, and it is a passion of mine that I will continue after graduation. It helped guide me when applying for jobs.■


ALUMNA PROFILE

Aparna Paul LCS ‘04 What is your current position, and what does a typical day look like for you? I am the Director of Communications at the Society for Science, a 100-year old nonprofit organization in Washington D.C. We are best known for our awardwinning science journalism, Science News, STEM competitions – the Regeneron Science Talent Search Major: English Literature & Cultural and the Regeneron International Studies, Business Administration Science and Engineering Fair - as well as our suite of outreach and and figure out what makes you the equity programs that are helping to most excited. When I graduated, I worked as an editor in a book diversify STEM fields. publishing house focused on selfMy calendar can vary dramatically help books, crafting, parenting and day to day, depending on the week, world religions. I also hustled at a but typically I have several meetings PR firm, working on a variety of with my team and organization-at- clients and at a neuroscience journal large to discuss what needs to be at Harvard Medical School, and I’ve communicated to our external and even worked as a studio assistant internal stakeholders. I am usually for a MacArthur fellow and visual on tap to draft press releases, staff artist in her studios in New press interviews, schedule interviews Hampshire and Brooklyn, New for our students as well as my York. These experiences taught me President and CEO with journalists what I enjoy doing and where my or producers. Throughout the year I strengths lie. Outside of work, I pitch reporters on both a local and love to hike, oil paint, try new national level about our programs. restaurants with friends and practice As editor of our blog, I also assign meditation. stories to my staff and write pieces, celebrating our students and programming. What do you like best about your Before I ended up in this role, I job? explored many different opportunities and positions and advise recent graduates to do the same. In fact, during college, you should do internships; during the worldwide pandemic this may mean that the internships are virtual but that’s fine. Look for ways to explore

The most fulfilling aspect of my job is thinking creatively to tell positive stories about the world’s next generation of leaders and students who are looking to and are already working hard to find solutions to the daunting problems we see all around us. I also love connecting

with producers, podcasters, media practitioners who are telling stories via creative mediums and new skillsets. I am particularly moved when I see how our kids are using their curiosity, intelligence and innovative minds to move the needle on challenges that can seem impossible – like climate change, wildfires, COVID-19 and so much more. This year it was really heartening to see that in an ever-challenging media climate and a turbulent year dominated by COVID-19 coverage that a teen inventor and our competitions, could be a most-read story in the esteemed national magazine, Smithsonian, for instance. I pitched this story and worked with the reporter there to tell it. This proves that in a news environment relentlessly focused on the bad, there is an appetite for the inspiring and the hopeful. How did your experience as an LCS major help prepare you for life after college?

You will learn as the years pass that there is a lot more to life than just rote learning, your resume, business and the bottom line, getting a job or making money. My Bryant education and LCS curriculum armed me with a creative mind, imagination and critical thinking skills. The program helped me to become a person who is unafraid to use my voice and ask tough questions of the world and the people in it. It also taught me to


push myself and ask myself the hard questions.

I am sure most LCS majors would agree that life is an introspective, contemplative journey where you are tasked with figuring out what makes it meaningful and purposeful for you. You may look great on paper, but what is in your heart and what makes you feel good about yourself? Ultimately, the answer is not just one thing but many and usually the good feelings that stick come from intangible things, not the tangible ones. Much like the characters in the stories you read in your liberal arts classes, I and my fellow Bryant alumni have waged a struggle day to day, learning to navigate the challenges and relationships in what we call the real world. LCS prepared me by helping me to delve into questions that are challenging and do not always have just one right answer. This is what the world is like. Often it is uncharted territory for the human being… there is no right or wrong way or right or wrong answer. For instance, questions that have come up for me are challenging and complex: how do you find a professional mentor when people in the workforce are most focused on their own advancement? How do you deal with power structures informed by race, gender and socioeconomic class? Unpacking stories and the real-life characters around you, using strong communication skills, creativity and critical thinking is invaluable when there isn’t a roadmap for life and you have to find your own way. I cherish the days I had with my Bryant professors and classmates. Professors Martha Kuhlman and Judy McDonnell are two treasures at Bryant who I will be grateful to for the rest of my life, for their classes and support. Teachers and mentors can change your life and I know at Bryant there are so many professors who you can learn and grow with, together. Seek them out!

I am so very grateful for my Bryant education because it has allowed me to become an intelligent and wellrounded human being. I encourage you to connect with your professors in LCS and beyond - read the material and push yourself to do the work, because the skills you hone and build as an LCS major will be the most valuable when you graduate - in my opinion they are even more valuable than the business courses because you can learn business on the job. The value LCS brings won’t be clear till later in life, perhaps many years after graduation, at least it was not for me. Be grateful and forge ahead!■

2022 Fellowships For students seeking unpaid or extremely low-paid internships, the Summer Internship Fellowship awards up to $2,000 to help students meet costs. This can include summer tuition, travel, room and board, internships across the US, regionally, locally, and abroad. The application deadline is just one month away! In addition to “standard” Fellowships, the Amica Center has 4 unique Fellowships, for which funds are specifically allocated: ·

The Leger R. Morrison Summer Internship Fellowship, generously endowed by Alumnae Judith Allen (’55), specifically funds a student interning at a cultural arts site (think: museum, theatre, library, nonprofit music venue, opera/symphony, a community center promoting cultural arts, parks, and more).

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The Sheryl Crowley (’60) Memorial Summer Internship Fellowship, generously funded by her daughter, Merritt Crowley, carries an additional $500 for an opportunity that requires significant travel or housing expenses (e.g., international or DC).

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The Amica Center’s own Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summer Internship Fellowship funds one student interning at an organization or role that embraces and specifically addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion in its engagement with the community and people they serve.

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The Entrepreneurship Track Summer Internship Fellowship funds one student intern at an entrepreneurial startup organization.

For more information, please contact: Amy Ames, Aames1@bryant.edu■


Bryant University’s Statistical Consulting Office An opportunity for Bryant students to learn, sharpen their skills, assist the non-profit community… and get paid for the privilege? Sounds like a win-win-win!

The Bryant University Statistical Consulting Office (BUSCO) was created to provide opportunities to engage mathematics students (both majors and non-majors) in realworld and meaningful projects, allowing them to make use of and enhance their learned quantitative skills, while providing information and insights of value to non-profit organizations. Since its initiation in January 2019, BUSCO has been creating collaborations with non-profits in the local Rhode Island and Massachusetts area. Under the guidance of faculty from the Bryant Mathematics Department, teams of student consultants have worked on projects in the past with The Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island and The Katie Brown Educational Program, and are currently working with The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC Chapter and with College Visions. College Visions' mission is to “empower low-income and firstgeneration college-bound students to realize the promise of higher education by providing advising and resources to promote college enroll-

ment, persistence, and graduation. College Visions advances equal access to educational opportunities in historically under-served communities.” Under the mentorship of Prof. Gao Niu, student consultants Briana Beland '23, Gregory Farrell '22, and Nathan Hochberger '23 are working with College Visions to create a statistical model to predict student success. The ultimate goal is to identify the factors most linked to student success, in order to better inform tutors and allow them to tailor their mentoring approach on a case-by-case basis. The Nature Conservancy's mission is to “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. To achieve this, we must boldly address the biodiversity and climate crises over the next decade. By maximizing our ability to effect change between now and 2030, we can shape a brighter future for people and our planet.” Under the mentorship of Prof. Alicia Lamere, student consultants Amanda Stedman '22 and Louise Offersen '23 are working with TNC to characterize bias that exists in the distribution of funding resources. There are numerous grants and funding opportunities available for communities who seek to improve and protect their environmental resources. Conceptually, these opportunities should have the

power to support and transform underserved communities. In practice, unfortunately, funding is often provided to communities based more on the most strongly phrased proposals, rather than the most critical or impactful projects. This inherent bias can lead to propagating systems where the “winner takes all” and struggling communities continue to see decline. Our collaboration seeks to determine if language choices are contributing to this disparity. The hope is that changes can then be recommended to the way such solicitations are crafted in the future and to the methods used to evaluate the resulting proposals, in order to ensure a more equitable and effective distribution of resources.■


and classrooms, and design of a Convocation Center and Arena.

Bryant’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan: Education Through a New Lens sets an exciting trajectory for our University’s next decade. With Vision 2030, Bryant will be positioned to continue to support strong student engagement and student outcomes with innovative academic programing and a superior campus life experience. The Vision 2030 strategic plan reconfirms Bryant’s deep institutional-wide commitment to engaged learners, educating our students to be real-world ready with graduates achieving life-long earnings among the top 1% nationally. A centerpiece of Vision 2030 is the commitment to education for 21st century skills, knowledge, and emerging career opportunities by expanding the University’s health and behavioral sciences, data analytics and entrepreneurship programming. Since receiving enthusiastic endorsement by the Board of Trustees, the University has moved forward and announced Digital Communication as a new academic major, added a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship degree, and shared plans for facilities including a new dining hall, enhanced residence halls

We look forward to introducing additional academic initiatives including enhancement of Bryant’s Gen Ed curriculum and expanding experiential learning opportunities in all four years and all academic disciplines, with a first-year career launch course and a junior-year design sprint building on the Innovation and Design Experience for All (IDEA) program’s design-thinking skills. Vision 2030’s interconnected concepts will be further developed and refined over the course of this spring and summer, with continued community engagement, then implemented in multiple phases over the next decade. We look forward to continuing to keep the Bryant community updated and informed of our progress.■ April 6, 2022, by University Relations Staff Writer.


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