Bryant University College of Arts and Sciences Fall 2019 Magazine

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A Magazine of Bryant University’s College of Arts & Sciences Letter from the Dean offer because it represented an excellent opportunity to “give back” to her hometown of Concord, New Hampshire. Political Science Professor Rich Holtzman praised Vanessa, one of our Politics and Law Commencement Award winners, for the way she embodied the program’s mission to “develop students’ abilities to make a positive difference in the world.”

Dr. Brad Martin, Dean

Just before Commencement this May, Vanessa MacMillan ’19 accepted a job offer with the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program, to help provide direct services to victims and survivors of domestic, sexual, and stalking violence at crisis centers, police departments, and prosecutor offices. She embraced the

In doing so, Professor Holtzman planted the seed that we now harvest in this issue of CAS Magazine whose theme is: College of Arts and Sciences students doing good. On these pages you will find profiled current students and recent alumni who exemplify the passion and the character that are part of the University’s mission. The students’ success reflects the diligent work of our faculty to nurture and cultivate their efforts. I hope you enjoy reading their stories!

Issue 9, Fall 2019 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Letter from the Dean..……1 Academic Departments………..……….1 Elana WilliamsLeonard………………..………2 Colby Norris..…..………….. 3 Monika Sattler……………… 3 Ryan Strik..…….…………….4 Hannah Sheldon…………...5 Jerilyn Weglinski…………..6 Edward Golas & Anthony Park …………..………...……..6 Emma Ahlrichs..…………… 7 Molly Gearan…...……………7 Danielle Veith………………..8 Amica Event..…...………….. 8


New Faculty .……………..9/10 5th Annual Block Party..…11 Layout and Design: Kimberly Keyes, Academic Support Manager Edited by: Dr. Brad Martin, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Wendy Samter, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences.

Communication  Kevin Pearce, Chair

Mathematics  Rick Gorvett, Chair

Economics  Jongsung Kim, Chair

Modern Languages  Yun Xiao, Chair

English & Cultural Studies  Martha Kuhlman, Chair

Psychology  Joseph Trunzo, Chair

HISTORY & SOCIAL SCIENCES  John Dietrich, Chair

Science & Technology  Kirsten Hokeness, Chair

Elana Williams-Leonard ‘19, Literary & Cultural Studies “I Am Changing the World One Student at a Time” Toward the end of my senior year, I wanted to find a way to stay fulfilled and follow my passion after graduation. People often say, “your college years are the best four years of your life.” And while that was nice to hear, senior year forced me to reflect on those words: Did I really want college to be the best four years, or did I want every year of my life to be meaningful, exciting and impactful? My time at Bryant was immensely rewarding. As a Literary and Cultural Studies major, each class was my happy place. I expanded my love for literature through writing and exploration of poems, plays, fiction and nonfiction texts. I also delved into other forms of media such as film, television, and music. I minored in Psychology, Communication, and Africana/Black Studies. These subjects all aided my understanding of human interaction and the importance of understanding people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. I was surrounded by intelligent and ardent professors who cared deeply about my overall success. I was very active on campus. I was a Resident Assistant in the lower village, a Writing Consultant in the Academic Center for Excellence, and a writer and editor for the Archway Newspaper. Every day was purposeful as I fervently engaged in the activities that challenged me, excited me, and shaped me into who I am today. I knew I wanted to work somewhere that would allow me to tap into my passion and use the skills I’ve honed over the years. Because of this, I was naturally drawn to teaching. The idea of helping others understand important concepts and ideas has always excited me. But there was one issue: I didn’t want to teach at any regular school. If I had done that, I would not have been fulfilled. What I really wanted to do was teach for an organization that cared about the students who often fall through the cracks: the students who do not have access to opportunity and quality education due to environment, socio-economic status, or race. So, when I came across Success Academy Charter School, I knew that it was the perfect place for me.

to opportunity.” My life’s decisions have always been made with fighting for equity at the forefront. A large majority of the student population at my school are students of color from lower-income areas. They deserve the best possible education and I know that I am contributing to that every day. To be a part of something bigger than myself feels like fate—like I am building upon the work to which I am committed. I currently teach second grade in an integrated classroom. This means that many of the students in my class have individualized education plans and special education programs. I work to provide them with as much information and knowledge as I can, and I truly enjoy it. My favorite moments in the classroom usually go like this: a student is struggling to grasp a concept. They raise their hand for help. They don’t get it at first. I walk them through a few strategies, but they still struggle to understand. Finally, I frame it in a way that makes sense to them. After our discussion, their face lights up, as if the lightbulb has finally clicked. They grin, and begin working with purpose and confidence in their eyes. Moments like these remind why I am doing what I am doing and how my hard work is truly worth it. My bachelor’s degree in Literary and Cultural Studies has truly prepared me for this position and I look forward to continuing to apply what I learned at Bryant to my practice. Every day I am providing access and opportunity to those who deserve it as much as anyone else. I am changing the world one student at a time.

Success Academy is located in New York City and was founded in Harlem in 2006. It has expanded to over forty locations throughout the New York City’s boroughs. The one where I teach is in Brooklyn. I was drawn to their organization because of the dual mission statement to “Build exceptional, world-class public schools that prove children from all backgrounds can succeed in college and life, and advocate across the country to change public policies that prevent so many children from having access 2

Fall 2019

Colby Norris ‘19 Psychology & Biology Colby Norris graduated with a double major from Bryant in the spring of 2019, one in Psychology and one in Biology. Double majoring in psychology and biology has become popular for our students, who receive extensive mentorship and advising from faculty in both departments. Her time at Bryant was exceptional. Colby was involved in multiple undergraduate research projects in both departments and served as a National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Research Fellow at the University of Rhode Island. In that role, she worked at the Ryan Institute of Neuroscience researching the effect of the anatomy of inhibitory spinal neurons on the symptoms of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She also served as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at Brown University.

Colby’s desire for service does not stop there, however. She was accepted to medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where she is currently a first-year medical student. Upon completion of her medical degree, Colby will become a commissioned officer in the United States Armed Forces, providing critical psychiatric care for our nation’s veterans.

From Colby’s first day on campus, she expressed a desire to become a psychiatrist so she could engage in the biological treatment of mental illness. Her double major has served her well. She engaged in multiple job shadow opportunities with various psychiatric providers over her 4 years at Bryant. These experiences cemented her desire to pursue psychiatry and provide service to those in need.

Monika Sattler ‘09 Global Studies Monika Sattler has worked for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, lived in five countries, speaks three languages, and set a cycling world record. As a public speaker and coach, she encourages and empowers others to overcome fears and break barriers to pursue their goals. I am currently working with motivating individuals to create their own sustainable paths in life that suit their passion and talents. During her recent visit to Bryant University, she talked to students about how to deal with the unknown post-graduation world, how to find their true passion, and how to decide about the "right" career path. Her TEDx talk on ’How to Pursue those Goals that Scare Us’ and her book entitled Unleashing my RAD potential!: From Corporate Life to Setting a World Record shares Monika’s story with life lessons everyone can apply. Check out her website which is full of information on how to reach your potential RAD potential!


Fall 2019

Ryan Strik ‘20 Politics & Law In September 2019, Politics & Law major Ryan Strik ’20 led several of his fellow American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers to Washington D.C. for the organization’s annual Leadership and Lobby Day Summit. There, they met with the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation to discuss issues relevant to cancer patients and their families. Their agenda included increasing funding for cancer research through the National Institutes of Health & National Cancer Institute, closing loopholes in colorectal cancer screening coverage, promoting hospice and palliative care education and training, and addressing the tobacco and electronic cigarette epidemic in the United States. ACS CAN is a volunteer-based organization working to influence change and impact the future of cancer. From gaining dramatic increases in funding for cancer research to ensuring all Americans have access to cancer care, their work is saving lives and leading to innovative breakthroughs in how to fight this disease. Their annual summit brings together ACS CAN volunteers and staff from across the country to bring vital issues in the fight against cancer directly into conversations with our elected officials. Ryan is in his third year of volunteering with ACS CAN Rhode Island after joining the organization in the winter of his freshman year. This exploration into the world of nonprofit advocacy has given Ryan the opportunity to get hands-on experience in a potential career path, and more importantly - to devote his time to helping those not necessarily in a position to help themselves. If you are curious to learn more about Ryan’s experience, email him at For more information on ACS CAN RI, visit


Fall 2019

Hannah Sheldon ‘20 Economics After participating in the Federal Reserve Challenge and co-authoring a short article with Professor Tebaldi, I had caught the research bug and was eager to conduct more research within the field of economics. During the Federal Reserve Challenge, I asked Professor Kaminaga questions almost every day, and I spent a lot of time in her office, so I got to know her well. Professor Kaminaga is an expert in the field of intimate partner violence especially as it relates to Africa. I took her Economic Development class and my eyes were opened to the challenges that women face in developing countries. Yet, without even leaving the United States, I knew I could help these women by contributing to the research. I dropped by her office and I told her that I wanted to write a paper and asked her if she would be willing to work with me. She agreed.

for her to write it all herself, but she took the time to make sure I understood what I was doing. Working with an economist gave me a new perspective on how the process of economic research works, from idea generation, to fact finding, data cleaning, writing, and proofreading. I am very excited to attend conferences to get feedback on the paper and am looking forward to the day it will get published in an academic journal. Having something like this on my resume is certainly a differentiator. Through this experience, I expanded my knowledge and developed my passion while doing good for the continent of Africa.

We bounced several ideas around and I learned just as much from the ones we abandoned as the one we finally settled upon. After much research we had found our final topic: the ability of land and home titling to empower women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the summer we wrote a paper entitled “Property Titling and Women’s Empowerment: Help or Harm? The Impacts of Land and Home Ownership and Titling on Women’s Acceptance of Intimate Partner Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Our results showed that having a title with a woman’s name on it is empowering to women. Through this experience, I strengthened my econometric skills and learned more about topics that are Professor Kaminaga’s expertise. I asked Professor Kaminaga about a million questions and she diligently answered them all. I am grateful that she took me under her wing and allowed me to write a paper with her. I am sure it would have been faster


Fall 2015

Fall 2019

Jerilyn Weglinski ‘17 Biology Jerilyn Weglinski (’17) earned her B.S. in Biology and is currently finishing her first year in the Bryant Physician Assistant program, and getting ready to begin her clinical rotations. Jerilyn always had a passion for helping others and wanted only to become a PA. Given that PA programs are highly competitive, many students have a back-up plan, that thing you do just in case your original plan doesn’t work out. Jerilyn never had a back-up plan. She set her sights on PA school and chose Bryant because she wanted a program in which could form meaningful relationships with faculty, staff and peers that would help her to achieve her goals. She didn’t want to sit in a big lecture hall with hundreds of other students. In fact, Bryant's rapidly growing science program became her family. Jerilyn adds, “Whether it was studying for an exam with my classmates or sitting in a professor's office hours nearly in tears from the stress of the semester, there was always support when I needed it most. I truly felt like the professors were just as invested in my success as I was.” In addition to the long-lasting relationships she forged at Bryant, she also claims that the leadership skills she obtained through her business core classes allowed her to excel in the hospital environment where she worked post-graduation to obtain patient contact hours. She didn’t know this at the time, but she learned on her job training that members of a healthcare team must work together effectively, or lives can be lost. She offers support for students who may be buried in group projects to “think of it as a chance to possibly save someone's life someday.” Jerilyn is just one example of Bryant Biology students who are doing good, while pursuing their passion.

Edward Golas ‘20 & Anthony Park ‘20 Mathematics This past spring the Mathematics Department formed Bryant University’s Statistical Consulting Office (BUSCO). The office employs students and offers free statistical consulting to local non-profit organizations. Edward Golas and Anthony Park have been working with professors Son Nguyen and Alicia Lamere to help the Katie Brown Educational Program (KBEP). This non-profit, operating out of Fall River, Massachusetts, was founded in memory of Katie Brown, who was killed at the age of 20 by a young man she was dating. The program offers workshops to educate young people about relationship violence prevention. To evaluate the effectiveness of these workshops, KBEP performs surveys of the participants before and after receiving the training. The results of these surveys are used not only to improve the program, but to demonstrate to sponsors that the organization is accomplishing its goals. However, KBEP ran into an issue this past year: they could no longer afford the statistical software with which they performed their analyses. This is where BUSCO stepped in. Edward and Anthony met with KBEP’s Executive Director, Claire S. McVicker, and Programs Manager, Angela Marandola, to learn about their analytics goals. Edward and Anthony then went to work replicating and improving the analysis with the programming language R and the Tableau analytics platform. The pair is now working on developing workshops to teach KBEP’s team how to perform this analysis themselves. As KBEP grows comfortable with R and Tableau, Edward and Anthony hope to teach them more advanced techniques so that KBEP can continue to leverage more information from the data they collect to better tailor training programs to their needs. Fall 2015


Fall 2019

Emma Ahlrichs ’19 Environmental Science Emma mastered the ability to handle the pressures of being a Division 1 student athlete and the rigor of her academic courses in Environmental Science. As a member of the women’s lacrosse team she was named to the NEC Academic Honor Roll, a testament to her abilities and her determination to perform at her best. Emma was also selected for membership to the Sigma Xi Honor Society for her scientific research. She worked with Dr. Dan McNally in his pollution prevention laboratory to determine the potential of microorganisms from pristine and contaminated soil to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons pollution. Additionally, Emma was a valuable and respected member of the Bryant community and served on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. Originally from Carmel, Indiana, Emma developed a passion for Environmental Science. Her experience at Bryant prepared her for the opportunity she long coveted. Emma was contacted by the U.S. Forestry Service before graduation and offered a job in wildlife management at their Oregon office. Emma says she loves “working outside everyday with people who enjoy working hard and having a good time while doing it.” She also claims her degree “taught me about dedication and commitment even in difficult times.” Her job requires more than the ability to fight fires and save wildlife: “It really tests my communication and leadership capabilities which I developed through my time at Bryant.”

Molly Gearan ‘18 Communication For Molly Gearan, her time inside and outside the classroom had a profound effect on who she would become: “The classes I took and the clubs and groups I was involved with at Bryant helped shape my decision to work with others.” Getting involved with the PwC Center for Diversity and Inclusion was instrumental in her decision. Gearan says programs run by Dr. Kevin Martins and Kelly Boutin enhanced her understanding of the plight of marginalized populations. Working closely with Kati Machtley, Director of the Bryant University Women’s Summit, she helped plan this annual event that attracts over 1000 women to Bryant. This experience exposed Gearan to the specific issues facing women today. In the classroom, Gearan deepened her knowledge of inequalities facing the less privileged by taking classes in history and sociology. “I became enraged by the inequalities those populations face, and I knew I wanted to be part of the solution.” She credits her Communication major with providing the background and skills to make her voice heard and address those inequities after graduation. “After Bryant, I began a year-long service program with the Jesuit Volunteer Core. I was assigned to Covenant House in New York and lived with nine other Jesuit volunteers in an old convent in Harlem.” Covenant House is the largest provider of runaway and homeless youth services in New York City. Her year-long volunteer stint turned into a full-time job. Gearan now works as an Anti-Human Trafficking Case Manager for Covenant House. She helps young people get the services they need and serves as a positive influence in their lives. Gearan affirms that rewards far beyond the monetary go with her job. “You become very closely connected to the youth with whom you work. You really start to feel like they’re your kids. There is a graduation, and you cry like a mother of the child.”


Fall 2019

Danielle Veith ‘19 English & Cultural Studies If you told me a year ago that I would be living in New York City, attending graduate school at Columbia, and loving my work - student-teaching in a middle school in the East Village— I would have laughed. I found out two days before graduation that I had gotten into Columbia’s Teachers College, and I moved to New York one month later. I am finding my place here, as I learn how to navigate this city and all it has to offer. I am also figuring out my own teaching style and how it fits into the larger context of secondary education. In the midst of all this uncertainty, of one thing I am absolutely sure: being a Literary and Cultural Studies major at Bryant could not have prepared me better for a career as a future English educator. One of the most wonderful things about becoming a teacher, I am finding, is that you have a wealth of experience to draw on from your own life as a student. I am so lucky to have found exemplary role models in the English and Cultural Studies Department. My professors had unique and amazing teaching styles. They were supportive, passionate, challenging, and put an emphasis on process to inform their assessment of the end product. They also covered diverse texts and subjects outside the literary “canon.” I am learning in my classes here that this is exactly what I must do with my middle schoolers, and that this kind of teaching philosophy should not be limited to higher education. Though we sometimes griped about having to do high-stakes group presentations in our classes at Bryant, my supervisors have complimented me on my clear voice and comfortable presence in front of a classroom. After doing the elevator pitch final in front of an intimidating panel and all the sections of freshman GFOB, how scary can 24 middle schoolers really be?

Enjoying the city skyline after a day in Brooklyn!

I now find myself holding my own at one of the best teaching schools in the country, surrounded by peers that attended Ivy League schools for their undergraduate careers. If I have any advice for fellow LCS majors and minors, who find themselves in the whirlwind of career fairs and job pressures, it is this: work hard, but do not rush the process. You have many opportunities open to you after graduation. For now, love the process and where you are - small assignments in your LCS classes may carry more weight and relevance than you realize right now.

Arts & Sciences Fall Networking Event The Amica Center held the Fall Arts & Sciences Career Networking Event in November. This exciting networking opportunity helps students explore career possibilities through the experiences of professionals. Some of the organizations represented include: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 8

Achievement First AmeriCorps Vista Art League Bowen’s Wharf Bryant Director of Physical Therapy Program Bryant University Physician Assistant Program Butler Hospital City Year Crossroads RI Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island Douglas & Judith Krupp Library Green and Healthy Initiative Nature Conservancy-Boston Office of Congressman David Cicilline RI Department of Administration RI State Government Internship Program Roger Williams Park Zoo Seven Hills—Early Intervention The Groden Network

* Triumvirate Environmental * University Orthopedics * Yale New Haven Hospital

Fall 2019

Welcome New Faculty 2019-2020 Ronald Bobroff Associate Professor History & Social Sciences Ph.D., M.A., Duke University MSc London School of Economics and Political Science B.A., University of Pennsylvania

Ella Browning Assistant Professor English & Cultural Studies Ph.D., University of South Florida M.A., Simmons College B.A., Boston College

Valerie Carrigan Visiting Artist/Lecturer English & Cultural Studies M.A., The University of the Arts M.Ed., Western Washington University B.S., Nazareth College

Ryan Marnane Lecturer English & Cultural Studies Ph.D., M.A., Salve Regina University B.A. Providence College A.A., Newbury College


Fall 2019

Welcome New Faculty 2019-2020 Cedric Oliva Assistant Professor Modern Languages Ph.D., University of Corsica, France M.A., California State University; University of Corsica B.A., Stendhal University, France; University of Sussex, Brighton, UK University of Corsica

Kristin Taylor-Costello Lecturer Sociology Ph.D., Florida State University M.A., University of Massachusetts B.A., Rutgers University A.A., Community College of Rhode Island

Deniz Ozdiktas Lasater Lecturer Economics Ph.D., M.A., Clark University M.A., Central Michigan University B.A., Yeditepe University

Steven Weicksel Assistant Professor Science & Technology Ph.D., Providence College B.S., University of New Hampshire


Fall 2019

5th Annual College of Arts & Sciences Block Party—October 2, 2019


Fall 2019

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