Bryant University College of Arts and Sciences Spring 2020 Magazine

Page 1

A Magazine of Bryant University’s College of Arts and Sciences

Letter from the Dean

Dr. Bradford Martin Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

A distinctive feature of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) that I have always touted is the close attention that our faculty pay to students’ career education. This caring approach is enhanced through the strong cooperative partnership we enjoy with our Amica Center for Career Education. So when prospective students and their parents ask: “What kind of

internships do your students do?,” I tell them that internships, experiential, and project-based learning have long represented a strong suit for Bryant students, with 87% completing at least one internship and 44% completing two or more. CAS students have fared extremely well in the Amica Center’s competitive Summer Internship Fellowship program, which subsidizes low paid or unpaid internships related to students’ areas of study. But really the most effective way I can think of to convey our students’ diverse and deep internship experiences is to let the students tell their own stories. To this end, this issue of CAS Magazine describes, illustrates, and celebrates student internship experiences in the College of Arts and Sciences! Thanks to all who contributed!

Issue 10, Spring 2020 Letter from the Dean..…..…1 Meaghan Angers…..……..… 2 Audrey Chase...………..….….2 Hannah Couture……….…....3 Connor Henderson & Andrew McCotter…………...4 Michael Criscuolo…..….…..4 Michael Biskupic…..…...…..5 Sabrina Baron….…...…..…..5 Mackenzie Quinn.………..… 6 Jaden McCarthy…...…..….…6 Model United Nations…......7 Regional American Mock Trial …………..…….…...….…..7 Kaitlin Sidorsky………….…..8 Shane Vyskocil….………..…..9 New Faculty………….….…….10

ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS AND MAJOR DEGREE PROGRAMS Communication  Kevin Pearce, Chair B.A., Communication

Mathematics  Rick Gorvett, Chair B.S., Actuarial Mathematics B.S., Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Economics  Jongsung Kim, Chair B.S., Applied Economics

Modern Languages  Yun Xiao, Chair B.A., Chinese B.A., Spanish

English & Cultural Studies  Janet Dean, Chair B.A., Literary and Cultural Studies

Psychology  Joseph Trunzo, Chair B.S., Psychology

History & Social Sciences  John Dietrich, Chair B.A., History B.A., Politics and Law B.A., Sociology

Science & Technology  Kirsten Hokeness, Chair B.S., Biology B.S., Environmental Science Global Studies  Alex Perullo, Program Coordinator B.A., Global Studies

Meaghan Angers ’20 Communication Last summer, Meaghan Angers was a Public Relations and Marketing intern at Lowell General Hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts. While there, Meaghan created content for the new Circle Health website. She also wrote articles for the internal newsletter Heartbeat, and magazine For Your Health. Meaghan interviewed patients and physicians for their testimonial stories, which provided her with important personal perspectives and the opportunity to hone her interview skills. In addition to gaining exposure to media relations in a healthcare setting, Meaghan wrote press releases for local newspapers, tracked mentions of the hospital in media outlets and created a media contact list. As part of her internship, Meaghan attended the Emergency Preparedness Task Force meeting to learn about how the hospital would manage potential crises and high-risk situations. She attended the monthly Lowell Opioid Task Force meetings led by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan to understand how the community had been tackling the opioid crisis, as well as other relevant health issues such as “juuling.”

Audrey Chase ‘21 Mathematics Each summer, numerous Bryant Math students have full-time professional internships at companies throughout New England and beyond. Many of the internships are insurance-related, undertaken by Actuarial Math (AM) majors, and sometimes lead to permanent positions. Others are taken on by Applied Math and Statistics (AMS) majors, and involve statistical and data analysis. AMS major Audrey Chase began an internship with AAA Northeast in Providence, in June 2019. AAA found Audrey’s data analytics work so valuable that they asked her to continue interning on an ongoing basis. At AAA, Audrey works as a Data Analyst Intern on the Automotive Services' Business Intelligence team, and has helped to restructure their entire report system. In addition to coding, Audrey accesses data via SQL, and regularly meets with report users to understand their needs. Currently, she is developing a report for a AAA director for use by managers throughout several states in the northeast. Audrey is delighted to have a manager that encourages her to flex her statistical knowledge whenever possible, to give the reports she builds greater depth. “It’s amazing to work for a company and manager that trust me to build such large and important reports. My manager gives me a project and encourages me. No one hangs over my shoulder constantly watching what I’m doing, but help is always available when needed.” Audrey’s internship with AAA Northeast is a shining example of a mutually beneficial relationship between an important regional organization and the Bryant Mathematics program.



Hannah Couture ‘20 Biology Hannah Couture was accepted to every physical therapy program she applied to and will be off to Nashville next year to attend Belmont University. She was intrigued by a career in PT following her experiences as a patient. She knew she wanted to work with patients in an individualized setting and continue to learn about a topic that fascinated her. When asked why she chose Bryant, Hannah replied, “I was really drawn to the opportunities Bryant had for getting involved, becoming a leader, learning to work in groups, and giving presentations. I thought that this was an opportunity that I wouldn’t get at a lot of other schools, especially as a science student.” Hannah feels that the coursework at Bryant has prepared her for her DPT program, along with the meaningful relationships she forged with professors that helped encourage her passion for learning. “I think getting involved in general has helped me, in addition to gaining field-specific experience. I spent time shadowing in different physical therapy settings throughout my four years to supplement my applications. Also, I took on leadership roles on campus and got involved in clubs and organizations. These leadership roles weren’t specifically in science-related organizations, but I think having the experience of working with and organizing others really helped develop me as a professional. “ Hannah is finishing up her honors thesis, “Use of Biomechanical Modeling to Provide Insights on Major Ligaments of the Knee Joint,” which she will present this spring at Research and Engagement Day.


Fall 2015

Spring 2020

Connor Henderson ‘20 and Andrew McCotter ‘ 21 Politics and Law

Politics and Law majors Connor Henderson and Andrew McCotter have been working with the Town of Smithfield’s Charter Review Commission. Every five years, Rhode Island State Law requires each city and town to form a Charter Review Commission to examine their existing charter and make recommendations for changes to the Town Council. This work requires review of peer municipal charters, citizen meetings, and interviews with town officials to learn about new important issues. Andrew notes, “through interviews of officials, such as the Superintendent of Smithfield Schools and the Police Chief, I have learned a lot about how local government runs.” Connor has been impressed by “the level of passion and commitment this group of citizens has for the town of Smithfield. The commission takes its job very seriously and it has been a privilege to be a part of the process.” Andrew adds that the hands on experience has been rewarding and helped him “develop an appreciation for how democracy relies on passionate individuals, not just on the national level but on the local level as well.” Connor and Andrew’s experience marks the second time Bryant students have been asked to assist the process of shaping the governance of Bryant’s hometown. This represents an excellent emerging partnership that we hope to continue.

Michael Criscuolo ‘19 English and Cultural Studies Michael Criscuolo ‘19 was dedicated to the arts during his time at Bryant. As a member of the Bryant Players, Bryant Singers, Bryant Improv Group and the Creative Writing Club, Michael worked with students, faculty and administration to champion arts causes throughout the university. Michael’s interest in the arts moved beyond campus, and he completed two internships at arts organizations. He completed a semester-long marketing internship in Providence at the The Wilbury Theatre Group, an arts organization that produces provocative new plays, offers engaging classes and provides a space for playwrights to workshop their plays. Michael also interned in the Marketing Department at the Goodspeed Opera House, a performing arts organization in East Haddam, Connecticut that produces new and newly revived musicals. As a Marketing major and Professional and Creative Writing minor, Michael used his skills and talents to become an arts advocate on campus and to secure internships that reflected and furthered his interests and passions. 4

Spring 2020

Michael Biskupic ‘20 Economics This past fall, Michael had the opportunity to serve as a political and economic affairs intern with the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany. His experience working with America’s diplomats on the ground was eye-opening and fulfilling. Seeing first-hand how foreign policy and multinational agreements are crafted and implemented was a priceless experience for Michael, who is interested in international affairs. Within the scope of the Department of State in Europe, Michael focused on economic policy and transatlantic security. The dedicated foreign service officers of the USCG Frankfurt helped ensure that his experience was tailored around those interests. He was regularly tasked with preparing briefing and planning memos, conducting research on policy matters, and conducted a long-term project that involved large-scale bureaucratic restructuring within the consulate to address agency resourcing and staffing. Additionally, Michael enjoyed multiple opportunities to give presentations and engage with German students at both the secondary and university levels. The opportunity to collaborate and learn from similar-aged individuals within Germany offered unique perspectives on the state of play in European foreign affairs and insight into how the United States interacts with the rest of the world. Michael concluded that “working and learning among some of America’s finest diplomats and service members was an incredible experience for a young man who hopes to enter the field of foreign affairs. Seeing first-hand policymaking in action provided unparalleled practical experience, and travelling around the country to interact with German citizens allowed for a broadening of perspectives on U.S.-European relations that will serve me well going forward.”

Sabrina Baron ‘21 Psychology Last summer, Sabrina completed an internship in the Affect and Relationship Lab at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. The project investigated the relationship between stress and the transition to first-time parenthood in over 50 couples. Each couple was interviewed, connected to a polygraph to measure various physiological functions, and filmed at the end of the third trimester, then again at 15 and 52 weeks post-birth. She measured galvanic skin response, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. Sabrina worked daily to clean and export over 1000 units of data for analysis. She learned to sift through the data efficiently and accurately and, on occasion, administered the interviews and connected the polygraph to participants herself. Sabrina concluded, “This work was very meaningful to me. It involved real people and gathering useful information for research and clinical purposes. I was also lucky to work in an office where everyone spoke two languages, allowing me to pick up some Hebrew phrases. This internship, combined with some of the amazing sights, sounds, and landmarks of Israel, allowed for a very important summer of growth and exploration. It was supported by the Amica Career Services Summer Fellowship program and I am grateful for the experience.” Sabrina atop Mt. Masada Fall 2015


Spring 2020

Mackenzie Quinn ‘20 Biology Mackenzie “Kenzie” Quinn aspires to become a Physician Assistant, a field she was exposed to as a child through her mother, a nurse. She chose to come to Bryant to study biology because of the palpable community feel, and because she was inspired by the female leadership in the science department. “I remember meeting with Dr. Gaytha Langlois, who was chair at the time. She was so warm and welcoming, and it was nice to see a female doctorate at the head of the program.” Kenzie was also encouraged by the relationship with our PA program and the ability to take an EMT course for credit her sophomore year. “This is something that I appreciated as a student at Bryant because EMT courses are time consuming and costly, so having the ability to take it for credit as a sophomore was great for me.” Kenzie has worked as an EMT for three years now which helped her to secure the internship she currently holds at Yale New Haven Hospital. Kenzie works as an ER Technician in this prestigious internship program, serving on the frontlines of emergency situations. Her role spans many different skill sets which include patient intake and assessment, triaging patients, attending to injuries, such as open wounds, and splinting and casting broken bones. She takes patient EKGs and is a certified phlebotomist, so she also takes blood and urine samples upon arrival. Currently, she is also trained to recognize signs of Covid 19 along with influenza A and B, and is knowledgeable about the protocols to limit spread of these potentially deadly infectious diseases. Kenzie credits her classroom training in Immunity and Disease and Anatomy and Physiology for helping her to understand pathogens, how they spread and how the body eventually responds. As a second semester senior, Kenzie is still busy assessing and triaging patients while completing her degree. She will also serve as a translator for the Bryant PA students at the Clinica Esperanza in Providence upon completion of her directed study course in Spanish medical terminology.

Jaden McCarthy ‘20 Biology Jaden McCarthy is fortunate enough to be spending her second semester senior year studying in South Africa while completing her Biology major. As a member of the women’s soccer team, her athletic and academic schedules have been challenging, but she still secured two internships this past year. Last summer, Jaden worked as a lab intern with the Narragansett Bay Commission, collecting water samples from manholes and output from companies. She spent her summer performing data analysis on the samples pertaining to quality, plant operations and efficiency, and bay biodiversity and water flow patterns. For the past year, Jaden has interned as a member of the Roger Williams Park Zoo Youth Advisory Council, shaping marketing decisions to attract college students to the zoo. She also shadowed and interacted with veterinary staff and animals. One of the overall goals of her internship is to develop programming to help spread awareness about animal care and conservation efforts at the zoo. Jaden also collaborated on creating a zoo event for high school and college students. Jaden’s two internship opportunities have fueled her passion to become a vet. She now faces the happy problem of choosing between multiple veterinary school acceptances.


Spring 2020

Harvard National Model United Nations February 13-16, 2020

Bryant’s Model United Nations club took nine students from a range of majors to the Harvard National Model United Nations, February 13-16, 2020. This is one of premier conferences in the world serving as a forum in which over 2,000 delegates from over 200 colleges across 60 countries come together to debate and propose diplomatic solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. This year, the Bryant team represented Greece across discussions in various committees. The conference also includes discussions of jobs in the field, cultural exchanges, and a social entrepreneurship competition.

Regional American Mock Trial

February 15-16, 2020

During the weekend of February 15-16, 2020 the Bryant University Mock Trial team participated in the highly competitive Regional AMTA Tournament held at Brown University, competing against teams from Harvard, MIT, UMass Amherst, Dartmouth, and Brown. Each team is comprised of 10 students who take on the roles of prosecutor, defense lawyer, expert witnesses and defendant, in a fictitious criminal lawsuit. In mock trial tournaments, students must work in a close team and under intense pressures to convince two judges of their client’s side of the story, putting up an entire trial - opening statement, examining witnesses, closing argument - in just under 3 hours. At the end of the tournament, Bryant’s Thomas Pappas received a mention as “Outstanding Attorney.” This past fall, the Bryant team also participated in the 2019 Cougar Classic Invitational Tournament at Clark University. Interest in Mock Trial has grown substantially this year at Bryant and currently includes 16 students who meet weekly under the leadership of junior Andrew McCotter. Professor Katie Alidadi is their coach/adviser. Students need not have legal expertise to participate, but they gain considerable insight into the American legal system through taking part. Mock Trial also appeals to those with a love of theatre or drama, or who wish to practice their oratory skills. If you are interested in participating in Mock Trial, Andrew McCotter will be happy to provide more information. 7

Spring 2020

Kaitlin Sidorsky ’10 Politics and Law

On February 19, 2020, Dr. Katilin Sidorsky returned to the Bryant University campus to speak with women studying Political Science, as the first in a series of lunches that Associate Professor of Political Science Nicole Freiner organized to support and mentor women in the Politics and Law program, or those who are interested in political science more broadly. Kaitlin also gave a talk about her new book All Roads Lead to Power: Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for US Women. Around 25 students, faculty, and staff attended her talk and participated in a Q&A session. Kaitlin graduated from Bryant in 2010 with a major in Politics and Law and received the program’s Commencement Award. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science at Brown University and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University. Kaitlin teaches courses in U.S. National Government, state politics, political communication, and gender and politics. Her research involves the role that gender plays in political ambition, recruitment, and public service. Her book, All Roads Lead to Power, published last year, assesses the pathways and ambitions of the men and women appointed to public office compared to those who were elected. She has also published in Political Research Quarterly and on the London School of Economics USAPP - American Politics and Policy blog. Currently, Kaitlin is working on a new research project that explores the hidden public service of women on state boards and commissions.


Spring 2020

Shane Vyskocil ‘19 Politics and Law This past spring semester, Shane Vyskocil returned to Bryant to speak with current students about his undergraduate experience and how it helped launch him onto his chosen career path. In his four years at Bryant, Shane swam with the NCAA Division I Men’s team, tutored students at the Academic Center for Excellence, interned with New Jersey Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, and worked as a research assistant with renown Holocaust expert Professor Michael Bryant. Shane combined each of those experiences and influences into one big picture that has prepared him for a bright future. Shane’s coursework, a mix of economics, politics and law, and finance, readied him to formulate public policy – and to make sure it works. Studying with professors such as Edi Tebaldi, whose extensive experience includes working with the World Bank, helped him build the skills to support his ideas. According to Shane, “Having professors who understand that big-picture application is really important. Professor Tebaldi incorporates a real-world aspect into everything he's teaching. A good education is about more than learning facts. It’s about learning the best ways to solve problems and being able to apply that to all sorts of different scenarios. You need to be flexible to be successful.” As a senior, Shane secured a position as an incoming Economic Associate at Regional Economic Models Inc., a firm that works to improve public policy through testing the economic effects of various decisions against high-level models. As part of the interview process, he had to make a presentation, and he chose to adapt a project from his Economic Growth and Policy class about the Greek economy. The real world experience that has helped shape Shane includes: a Government Affairs internship at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association; quantitative and qualitative research on New Jersey’s postsecondary education; state initiatives for innovation and economic development; fiscal policy, tax legislation and health care regulations; analysis on policy issues to communicate with task forces of New Jersey employers and businesses; monitoring and documentation of the status of various legislative bills at committee hearings for the lobbyist team; serving as a congressional intern in The Office of Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen; helping connect constituents with federal resources; drafting congressional record statements; and conducting research and maintaining event calendars for the Congressman’s schedule.

“I want to do something that has an impact, and public policy directly affects so many people. It’s something I’ll feel good about doing.”


Spring 2020

Meet Our New Faculty

Kristin Scaplen Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Ph.D. Neuroscience, Brown University B.S. Psychology & Biology, University of Connecticut Dr. Scaplen’s current research investigates the neural circuitry of alcohol addiction using fruit fly brain model procedures.

Melissa Michal Slocum Assistant Professor, Department of English and Cultural Studies

Ph.D. English Literature, Arizona State University M.F.A. Creative Writing, Chatham University M.A. English Literature, The Pennsylvania State University B.A. English and Communications/Journalism, St. John Fisher College Dr. Slocum’s primary research project investigates what knowledge gaps students are imprinted with about American Indians, their sources, and how better to incorporate local American Indian culture through inclusive lessons.


Spring 2020

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

The CAS magazine is edited by: Dr. Bradford Martin, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Wendy Samter, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences