College of Arts and Sciences Spring 2019 Magazine

Page 1

A Magazine of Bryant University’s College of Arts & Sciences Letter from the Dean Last fall, President Machtley allocated a new “Academic Excellence” fund to Provost Sulmasy, who graciously distributed equal shares to the Deans. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we have long held the view that we are excellent, and we relished the chance to further prove it by using these funds to create programs and initiatives to benefit our students. With an eye toward demonstrable successes, I prioritized categories of proposals that were drawn from our own CAS strategic plan. These were: Undergraduate Research, Teaching and Faculty Development, an d another category designed to free our faculty’s remarkable creativity, entitled “Other Creative Stuff.” Upon reviewing the resulting proposals, I was struck by how universally thoughtful they were in their promotion of academic quality and enhanced experiences and outcomes for our students. As I expressed in a letter to our Chairs and faculty: “Collectively, you have hit a home run!” In the end, I had no problem approving all of the proposals! And so, due to the outstanding vision of our faculty: The Communication Department hosted a workshop with expert Cole Camplese on “Academic Excellence and Innovative Approaches to Teaching with Technology.”

Math stu den ts len t th eir Statistical Expertise to Local Non-Profit Organizations. Economics w ill la un ch a Sum m er Camp for High School students in August. Science an d Psychology co-sponsored the well-received panel discussion “Women in Science: Perspectives on Addiction.” English and Cultural Studies pr esen ted a daylong forum featuring keynote speaker Catherine D’Ignazio that introduced faculty, staff, and administrators from across the University to the field of Digital Humanities. Global Studies students traveled to the UN and got an inside view of its Economic and Social Council Youth Forum. Politics and Law stu den ts visited law schools and government agencies in Boston. These and many more worthy projects supported through Academic Excellence funding were carried out by our CAS faculty and students. I hope you enjoy reading about some of these projects in greater detail along with several other exciting initiatives in the College of Arts and Sciences in this issue of our Magazine! Sincerely, Brad Martin Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Issue 8, Spring 2019 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: High School Economics Summer Camp…….………….2 Bryant Language Students 2 Science Students & New Equipment…..…..………….. 3 Public Speaking Colloquium…….…………….. 3 Visualizing the Digital Humanities…………………... 4 Women in Science…………. 5 Psychology Research Center…………………...…….. 6 Math Students ……………… 7 Chinese Program…………….7 ECA 2019…………………….8-9 Honors Senior Thesis Project…………………………..9 Love Your Major……………10 BioPsych Double Major….11 United Nations Visits New York……………………………. 11 Layout and Design: Kimberly Keyes, Academic Support Manager Edited by: Brad Martin, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Wendy Samter, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences.

2019 High School Economics Summer Camp Professor Laura Beaudin is the force behind Bryant’s 2019 Summer Economics Camp. This coming August, selected high school students will come to campus to work closely with the Bryant Economics faculty for an intensive and immersive week of instruction, application, activities, and projects. At the beginning of the program, students will be introduced to a current economic issue in one of the following areas: sports economics, environmental economics, labor economics, or economics of social issues. Instruction and activities will center around that topic and, at week’s end, students will present their analyses of the issues and solutions. The days will be broken up into instruction, activities, lunch, and application. Students will engage in active learning activities including data collection and investigation, theoretical exercises, and presentation of ideas and analysis. The week will end with a celebration of learning to which campers’ families and friends will be invited. The camp will run from 9:00am to 3:00pm daily for five days from August 5th through 9th. The camp is open to all rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors – regardless of their level of experience with Economics.

Bryant Language Students Excel at National Intercollegiate Sales Competition The National Intercollegiate Sales Competition (NISC) was held at Bryant last fall. This was the first year that languages were part of the prestigious competition. Stefanie Boyer, Associate Professor of Marketing, and Patricia Gomez, Lecturer in Spanish, worked diligently to integrate the foreign language component. Modern Languages Chair, Tony Houston, and Andres Ramirez, Director of the International Business program, graciously offered 30 scholarships for language students to compete in a foreign language round Saturday morning. The task was a sixty second pitch in French, Italian or Spanish on “why you are a good job candidate for a position.” Five students competed in French, three from Bryant, one from Canada, and one from France. Three Bryant students competed in Italian. In Spanish, 15 of the 23 competitors were from Bryant. The event was a resounding success, with six Bryant students winning the Saturday morning Speed Sell. Our winners in French and Italian were Cade Webster and Jose Gonzalez, respectively. In Spanish, Bryant students took the top honors, with 3rd runner up Gabriela Reymont, 2nd runner up Leanne Kendall, 1st runner up Taylor Saffer, and 1st place winner Anthony Deluca. The Department of Modern Languages is tremendously proud of our students. We look forward to continued collaboration with Marketing next year and beyond.


Spring 2019

Science Students Use Search for Antibiotic Resistance Genes Academic Excellence Funds Antibiotic resistance is a mounting health care crisis. As more bacteria become resistant to current treatment regimens and the pipeline for antibiotic development continues to be slim, the potential for infections to become more deadly heightens. Recent increases in foodborne illnesses, such as the romaine lettuce outbreak that occurred last Thanksgiving, add to the threat that potentially resistant bacterial strains could become even more deadly. Scientists and clinicians need to recognize quickly if a given bacterial strain is, in fact, resistant to antibiotics. The Department of Science and Technology used a portion of its Academic Excellence Funds to purchase six “miniPCR” machines for the undergraduate teaching labs. The equipment allows faculty and students to investigate the presence of resistant genes in the lab. These machines enable groups of students to amplify DNA and, using their cell phones, watch the progress of this process in real time. Students can then run the results of their DNA amplification on their own electrophoresis apparatus. The separation technology gives students the opportunity to watch the DNA separate into pieces live and in action, taking pictures with their phones as the process occurs.

This hands-on technology takes abstract processes that are difficult to comprehend and allows students to monitor and track the progress of their experiments in real time.

Public Speaking Colloquium This year, 40 students participated in Bryant University’s 10th Annual Public Speaking Colloquium. Competition was intense! Of the participants, the judges chose presenters Aaron Bonsu, Nivi Mohanraj, Ikenna Ndugba, Soala Ekine,

Alex Morrow, and Kafui Gozey to move forward as finalists because they excelled in speech design, audience connection, and both verbal and nonverbal delivery skills. The final event was hosted by Bryant Alumni Mark Dondero ‘08 and judged by Dr. Kristen Berkos, Associate Professor Department of Communication; Dr. Drea Brown, Assistant Professor Department of English and Cultural Studies; Ms. Beatrice Lanzi Director of the Rhode Island State Internship Program; Ms. Mikayla Locke ‘18, Alumni and Bryant University Human Resource associate; and Mr. Greg Pare Lead Recruiter, Target Corporation. The Colloquium resulted in a nail-biter competition ending in an impromptu speech tie breaker for 1st place. Aaron Bonsu 1st place in the competition with Nivi Mohanraj and Ikenna Ndugba respectively taking 2nd and 3rd places.


Spring 2019

Visualizing the Digital Humanities In November, Bryant University held an all-day session titled “Introduction to the Digital Humanities,” organized by Martha Kuhlman, Chair of the Department of English and Cultural Studies, and subsidized by the Academic Excellence Funds, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Business. Digital Humanities refers to the application of digital technologies in humanities scholarship which may include, but is not limited to: databases, image archives, interactive websites, maps, and data visualization tools. Faculty from a variety of departments across both colleges attended, along with several of our reference librarians who have expertise in this area. Research Librarian Maura Keating gave a conceptual overview of the digital humanities and discussed a few faculty projects that are already using some of the tools and best practices in the field, while her colleague Rachel Juskuv, who has a Master’s in Data Science, provided some examples of the kind of work that’s possible through the Tableau data visualization program. Kuhlman showed some of her mapping work on international comics using ArcGis, and discussed how storymaps can be a powerful tool for representing data for humanities projects, especially in a global context. The keynote speaker, Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor of Data Visualization and Civic Media at Emerson College, spoke about her various art projects that engage with data to empower communities and promote social justice. To cite one example, she showed a mapping project she completed for the MIT Center for Civic Media that tracked how neighborhoods in and around Boston were covered by the Boston Globe. While the wealthy suburbs overwhelmingly featured positive articles, articles on inner-city and poorer neighborhoods were primarily negative, perpetuating facile stereotypes.

In the hands-on portion of the session, attendees played with the suite of free online data tools that she developed with Rahul Bhargava,, a project funded by the Knight Foundation. Using the tool samediff, participants compared the frequency of words and patterns in political speeches or music lyrics. As Professor D’Ignazio explained, the trick is to find patterns in the data that tell a useful story about how we deal with information in our research and in our everyday lives. At the day three conclusion, Library Director Laura Kohl commented, “Catherine's workshop about data visualization and data literacy removed some fears I had about the complexity of this work and made it feel possible.”

Finance Professor Hakan Saraoglu points out the intersections in discourse between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaign speeches in the fall of 2016.

Professor D’Ignazio indicates districts around Boston that received more press coverage in the Boston Globe.


Fall 2015

2 Spring 2019

Women in Science On April 1st, over 200 Bryant students packed the Grand Hall in Bello to hear a panel discussion on “Women in Science: Perspectives on Addiction.” The Science and Psychology Departments co-sponsored the event to create a multi-disciplinary discussion about a problem whose solution will need to come from many areas of science. The panelists included Dr. Karla Kaun, a neuroscientist from Brown University, who discussed her work with fruit flies and how she attempts to understand the brain mechanisms involved in addiction at the cellular level. Dr. Christy Capone, a clinical psychologist at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Providence and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Brown University, spoke about her work with veterans. Alcohol and prescription drug abuse are higher among active duty service members and veterans, and Dr. Capone works with these individuals to deal with the complex effects of addiction and trauma. Wendy Buja, MHP, PA-C has spent time in cardiothoracic surgery and working with patients to prevent breast cancer. She discussed her clinical experience in caring for patients who may have encountered addiction, particularly those who have undergone surgery and may be at heightened risk of addiction due to post-surgical pain management needs.

problem, from how and why the brain becomes addicted to treating patients and helping families to cope with this disease. These amazing women have dedicated their lives to helping others and gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms of addiction. They served as inspirational role models for young women in the audience who are interested in pursuing a career in a scientific field. They offered advice pertaining to overcoming past and present challenges, along with inspiration to continue to follow their career aspirations in fields where women are typically underrepresented. This thought-provoking seminar and panel discussion was made possible by funds provided by Bryant University to support academic excellence.

Lastly, Dr. Lynn Sweeney shared her experiences as an emergency medicine specialist at Lifespan hospitals in RI. As an ER physician, she is on the front lines of addiction and related care for people who suffer from substance use disorders. Because addiction places a great burden on individual, social, and economic welfare and strain on the nation’s health care system, it is imperative to understand all facets of the


Fall 2015

Spring 2019

Major Upgrades to the Psychology Research Center Thanks to support from the offices of the President and Provost and Bryant’s commitment to academic excellence, big changes are happening in the Psychology Research Center (PRC). In the coming weeks, we will be expanding the PRC’s footprint, adding additional square footage to usable space in the lab. This will allow more students to use the lab simultaneously and create additional meeting and data collection space. The PRC will also be getting a significant upgrade to our video monitoring technology, updating the video cameras and recording technology that are primarily used in the Child Development Lab. In addition to improvements on the fixed video system, we will be adding mobile video capture technology that can move with and follow participants as they roam about the room. The Lab will also be adding several new assessment instruments across a variety of areas, including developmental, personality, clinical, cognitive, and other domains. Additional technology will include improved psychophysiological and biofeedback apparatus that can be used to measure physiological reactivity to various stimuli. Examples are equipment such as eye tracking glasses, heart rate and blood pressure monitors, and galvanic skin response devices. We also hope to identify and incorporate cutting edge Virtual Reality software to maximize research synergies with Bryant’s new Data Visualization Center. These enhancements to the Psychology Research Center will dramatically improve students’ and faculty’s ability to expand and advance research outcomes within the department. We’re grateful for the infusion of funds from the University to continue our pursuit of academic excellence!


Psychology  Joseph Trunzo, Chair

Communication  Kevin Pearce, Chair

Economics  Jongsung Kim, Chair

English & Cultural Studies  Martha Kuhlman, Chair

HISTORY & SOCIAL SCIENCES  John Dietrich, Chair

Mathematics  Rick Gorvett, Chair

Modern Languages  Yun Xiao, Chair

Science & Technology  Kirsten Hokeness, Chair

Fall 2015


Spring 2019

Math Students Lend Statistical Expertise to Local Non Profits Thanks to Bryant’s recent Academic Excellence Funds, the Mathematics Department implemented an exciting new project: the Bryant University Statistical Consulting Office (BUSCO). This effort, initiated in January 2019, provides opportunities for Bryant undergraduate students (both math and non-math majors) to participate in meaningful, real-world research; enhances our academic profile; and engages directly with the community by providing local nonprofit organizations with quantitative analyses and advice. In its first few months, under the guidance of Math faculty, BUSCO’s student consultants have begun working on projects with The Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island (CFRI), College Visions, and The Katie Brown Educational Program (KBEP). The CFRI – which procures and builds endowment funds to support the educational and community programs of the Diocese of Providence, through a wide variety of donor relationships – manages $100 million in assets. Our student consultants are working with this donor data to develop a better understanding of donation trends. Ultimately, they plan to create a database with the goal of allowing foundations throughout New England to compare and contrast their strategies and outcomes. College Visions provides advising and resources to low-income and first-generation college-bound students. An important aspect of this support is assisting students in applying for financial aid. College Visions has retained a large dataset of information concerning outcomes for nearly 300 students that have participated in their program. Our student consultants are working with this dataset to identify important variables for predicting these outcomes, particularly with respect to financial aid awards. KBEP provides relationship violence prevention education to children throughout New England. To evaluate and demonstrate the value of their program to schools and donors, they frequently analyze student performance and outcomes, before and after they have experienced training. Currently, KBEP is in a transitional period between using the SPSS and R statistical languages for performing this analysis. Our student consultants are not only introducing KBEP staff to the use of R, but are helping them create scripts and analysis structures that they will be able to continue to update and use on their own to generate analyses that incorporate visualizations and summaries suitable for school systems and donor reports.

Modern Languages—Chinese Program The Modern Languages Department hosted a Chinese movie and game night event! With over sixty students in attendance, both authentic and American Chinese food was served to the students. The food was such a hit that there was nothing left at the end! Students and faculty enjoyed great food, entertainment, culture and learned how to play "Majiang" which is the most popular game in China. Professor Jongsung Kim from Department of Economics participated in the event as he was really interested in learning how to play Majiang and won a game with beautiful Chinese souvenirs for prizes.


Spring 2019

Eastern Communication Association Convention Bryant Communication faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and alumni, contributed leadership, expertise, and scholarly works at the 110th annual Eastern Communication Association Convention, held at the Omni Hotel in Providence April 10-14. Assistant Communication Professor Julie Volkman served as the Second Vice President of the prestigious academic conference, which attracted nearly 700 attendees. “The success of ECA is due to the amazing and dedicated faculty and students that represented the university,” said Volkman. “Bryant shined in every aspect of the conference.” Bryant’s contributions to the program included: 

    

Kristen Berkos, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication: "Incorporating Communication Competencies and Learning Outcomes in Communication: Identifying, Articulating and Assessing Outcomes in the Basic Course.” Courtney Gale ’19: “ Diabetes in the Media: How Hollywood is Causing Miseducation.” Meaghan Angers ’20 and Mitch Anderson '20: “The Likelihood to Share Stigmatized Health Topics on Social Media.” George Eglesfield, M.A. Candidate: “The Effects of Coach Confirmation on Athlete Motivation.” Allison Miller, M .A. in Com m u nication : “Trends in American Newspaper Coverage of Autism.” Briana Trifiro, M.A. in Com m u nication : “Instagram Use and Its Effects on Well-Being and Self-Esteem.”

Faculty-Student Mentorship Faculty from the department engaged with students from the beginning, encouraging them to submit their research to the conference. Department Chair Kevin Pearce, Professor Stanley Baran, Associate Professor Chris Morse, Susan Baran, Mary Robins, an d Thomas Zammarelli advised studen ts th r ough the entir e pr o cess - reviewing applications, to mentoring, and attending the conference to show their support. Established in 1910, the Eastern Communication Association (ECA) Convention is the oldest professional communication association in the United States. This year’s event was built around the idea of “Creating Our Future” through research and scholarly activities to transform lives, communities, and organizations.

Bryant University students’ art work on display at the ECA conference.


Spring 2019

Eastern Communication Association Convention CONTINUED…. Bryant as Local Host The Communication Department at Bryant won the bid once again to be the local university host, the third time Bryant has received the honor. “It’s really a team effort,” said Volkman. “This gave everyone a chance to be integrated into the pulse of what the field of Communication is doing, studying, applying, and practicing.” “Being a local host allows our students to understand what communication is, outside of the classroom,” added Volkman. “For them to see the communication research, hear the scholars that they learn about in the classroom, and absorb how people are applying communication and knowledge to different situations, is an amazing opportunity for them.” The Department of Communication is ranked No. 3 on College Magazine’s 2017 list of top 10 broadcast journalist programs. It is also ranked among the top 15% in the nation, according to College Factual/USA Today.

Honors Senior Thesis Project Through the Academic Excellence Funds, the College of Arts and Sciences provided Brian Salit the opportunity to further explore his senior thesis project on the opioid epidemic. Brian has spent the last 12 months working with the Rhode Island State Police and their new Opioid Enforcement and Prevention Team. So that he could apply his work to Bryant, the College of Arts and Sciences gave Brian funding to create workshops that educate and prepare our campus for the dangers of the epidemic. As Brian explained, “Our campus is very safe and we are fortunate to not have an opioid issue. Our goal is to prepare the community and prevent opioids from destroying the lives of those around us.” Brian is thankful to the State Police for providing him the opportunity to work directly with the Rhode Island community. His time with the State Police has afforded many opportunities to meet experts in the field and to see how opioids have impacted the State of Rhode Island. Brian has been assigned to work on the HOPE (Heroin-Opioid Prevention Effort) Initiative, a special state police program under the command of Captain Matthew Moynihan. This initiative aims to help community members in a proactive approach. On the Bryant University campus, Brian has teamed up with classmate Jenna Cali to create a larger outreach of their mission. They are planning events to train students and faculty on the dangers of opioids and how to respond to an incident on our campus. The students have also partnered with the College of Arts and Sciences and Office of Student Affairs to bring a speaker to campus to tell his story of how opioids ruined his life. Additionally, Brian and Jenna hosted Naloxone training for students and staff. The training educated participants about the epidemic’s prevalence throughout the state and how to administer the lifesaving drug to a person experiencing an opioid overdose. The training was provided by Erin McDonough from the Naloxone and Overdose Prevention Education Program of Rhode Island. Brian and Jenna are excited to leave a positive impact on the Bryant community and hope that the University will continue to stay a safe and prepared campus. 9

Spring 2019

LOVE YOUR MAJOR 2019 February 14, 2019


Spring 2019

BioPsych Double Major Launching Students to Success A lot of natural synergies exist between Biology and Psychology, so much so that some students have difficulty choosing between the two for a major. For motivated students who want to work hard, increase their career flexibility, and earn a higher starting salary, there is no reason to choose. The Bryant curriculum makes it possible for students to complete two majors for the price of one! Several students have taken advantage of this option over the past several years, and this has opened the doors to top notch doctoral programs and jobs in both fields. By combining majors, students get an exceptional educational experience, blending rigorous laboratory work with a deeper understanding of human behavior and thought processes. Both majors emphasize research and practical experience. Whether students decide to apply to medical school, a biology doctoral program, a psychology doctoral program, or enter the workforce, this double major combination sets them apart from their peers and provides greater options. Faculty in both departments engage in specialized advising and mentorship for students to make sure they are on track with both degrees and setting themselves up for success. This is just one example of the close mentorship and relationships students form with faculty at Bryant. If you are interested in pursuing the double major, feel free to contact Professor Kirsten Hokeness (Biology) or Professor Joe Trunzo (Psychology) at or

United Nations Visits New York

In April, the Global Studies (GS) Program sponsored an unforgettable three day New York City trip for eight GS students along with Professors Katayoun Alidadi and Patricia Gómez. This was the second year that GS organized the trip, which included a tour of the United Nations headquarters. This year, thanks to alumnus Ricardo Moscoso ‘15, currently a diplomat for the mission of Panama to the UN, select Bryant students were able to get an inside view of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum. The Youth Forum is an annual platform where young people can contribute to policy discussions at the United Nations through their collective ideas, solutions and innovations. For Frank Dejkus, ’21, this was a transformational experience; “Since I was a young child, I enjoyed reading about international relations and foreign affairs where the U.N. is a huge player. When I finally had the opportunity to walk into the U.N. and go on the guided tour, it felt surreal and inspiring to me.” Bryant students also visited the Brooklyn Museum to view a unique exhibit of Frida Kahlo’s oeuvre, the largest such exhibit to take place in the US in ten years. Krystal Feliciano ‘19 described this as “an unforgettable experience. I was able to connect to the Latino heritage and admire strong unique women from the past that have 11

shaped the future for all of us.” The packed three-day trip also included the prestigious international law firm of Reed Smith LLP on Lexington Avenue, where Bryant students engaged with junior and senior associates working in the firm’s different departments. For many students this was a deeply rewarding experience. For instance, Haleigh Resnick, Class of 2020 said: “a lot of advice that one of the more experienced attorneys shared with us truly resonated with me. He talked about how he wants to make a difference in his lifetime and followed his passion to do so in every step of his career. Hearing what he had to say related to the goals that I have set for myself. At the end of the conversation, I spoke with him some more individually and he gave me his business card. In the beginning, I did not think that I would get much from the law firm, as I do not have any intentions of becoming an attorney, however, this experience goes to show that you never know when you will make a newfound and meaningful connection.” Finally, students engaged with Danica Damplo from the human rights NGO Universal Rights Group, a small, independent think tank dedicated to analyzing and strengthening global human rights policy. Notably, URG is the only think tank in the world focused exclusively on human rights and it recently set up an office in New York (it has locations in Geneva and Bogata.) Aidan Aisa, ‘21 stated, “The trip was also informative since it was patently different than a usual classroom setting. It involved direct contact with the professionals working in their field.” “The trip was a success and exposed our Global Studies students to what New York has to offer from a career perspective,” reflected Professor Gomez.

Spring 2019

Read and share the online version of A&S Magazine, and explore past issues, by searching “Bryant A&S Magazine� at