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

THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES THROWS A BLOCK PARTY

Issue 2, Fall 2015

Laura Beaudin, Department of Economics Over 350 members of the Bryant Univer-

global awareness, historical context, critical

sity College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)

thinking, and choice. Communication high-

gathered on the Bello great lawn on September

lighted their television and video track by mak-

24th for the first annual CAS

Welcome

ing a short film featuring the unique character-

Reception. This exciting event served as the

istics of the College through student perspec-

official academic welcome to all CAS students

tives. A five month old puppy named Bella

and faculty and featured a live band, party food,

helped students to understand the concepts of

department tables, lawn games, and free

operant conditioning and positive reinforce-

t-shirts. As students arrived at the event they

ment at the Applied Psychology table.

were given a t-shirt depicting a neighborhood of

The live band and snack foods continued to

CAS departments on the back. Students were

draw a larger crowd to the Bello lawn. Soon the

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Strategic Planning….……...2 Undergraduate and Alumni Profiles…………….…….…….3 Around the Departments……………...4-7 Jobs of Recent Arts & Sciences Graduates…....….8 Graphic Novel Course...….9

then encouraged to explore the

departmental tables no longer

Arts & Sciences Student

disciplines

faculty

marked the territory of one

Research………………..…...10

demonstrated

while

fundamental

discipline but rather all faculty,

Sociology Interdisciplinary

concepts using creative and

students, administrators, and

Capstone…………..............11

interactive approaches.

staff mingled throughout the

New Writing Sequence in

The scene on the back of the

event. Students had the chance

t-shirt quickly came to life as

to interact with classmates and

the “Block Party”-themed event

faculty members from outside

got underway. English

and

of their own disciplines as they

Bryant Singers……………..14

Cultural Studies encouraged

learned how the departments

Internship Advice from the

faculty and student expressions

complement one another. The

AMICA Center……….….....15

Communication…………...12 From the Dean……….....…13

of creativity on a collaborative graffiti wall.

dynamic event not only marked the beginning

LCS 220 Creativity & the

Members of the Spanish club modeled tradi-

of a new academic year but also helped to

Arts Mini Installation……16

tional Spanish hats while faculty members

enhance the interdisciplinary perspectives and

handed out key chains with common English/

goals of the College. The connections and

Italian phrases at the Modern Languages

experiences shared at the “Block Party” will

table. Trivia games, maps, donut munchkins,

continue to facilitate faculty and student rela-

balance necklaces, and chess were used by

tionships within and across disciplines, as well

History and Social Sciences, Economics,

as in and out of traditional classroom settings.

Science and Technology, Mathematics, and Global Studies to exhibit probability,

SEE BLOCK PARTY PHOTOS ON PAGE 2.

Read and share the online version of A&S Magazine, and past issues, by searching “Bryant A&S Magazine” at Issuu.com And stay connected to the College of Arts & Sciences on Facebook and Twitter:


STRATEGIC PLANNING IN THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES An Interview with Brad Martin, Interim Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Why did the College undertake strategic planning? David Lux, Dean of the College for its first decade, left us in great shape. He really created the College of Arts and Sciences. Back in February as we started our second decade, we realized the time was ripe to do great things. Now is an excellent opportunity to get faculty all on the same page, to take advantage of our unique partnership with the College of Business, and to move forward. Can you talk about the process? Our Dean, Wendy Samter, wanted to assemble a group that broadly represented our College in terms of qualitative and quantitative disciplines, gender, and levels of experience, and so the initial Task Force lineup was Interim Associate Dean Brad Martin, Professor John Dietrich (History & Social Sciences), Professor Terri Hasseler (English & Cultural Studies), Associate Professor Kirsten Hokeness (Science & Technology), and Associate Professor Edinaldo Tebaldi (Economics). Since most of us were new to strategic planning our initial meetings included a couple of consultants with experience in the process. After our initial focus groups, we did some research on competitors. We wanted to try to expand our thinking and our boundaries, so in addition to our traditional competitors like Bentley University, we also looked at what nationally prominent liberal arts colleges are doing. How did you involve the faculty? Most of our early discussions revolved around building enrollments, enhancing academic quality, generating awareness of our programs, and building a sense of community. We formed five key work groups: Curriculum, Academic Quality, Student Outcomes, Graduate Education, and Community. Faculty members were free to choose the work group or groups in which they wanted to participate. The work groups conducted a lot of research into effective models and examples at other institutions and produced reports that the work group leaders brought back to the original Task Force. The Task Force is currently working to shape and refine a single consistent document that articulates the rationale and the data that support our most important strategic recommendations. Look for a final document by the end of the semester. The plan won’t be released until the end of the semester, but can you preview some of the notable findings and recommendations? Well, look for improvements to help faculty and students conduct research more efficiently, look for ideas about how to use campus spaces to build community in CAS, look for new ways to leverage our traditional strengths, and look for innovative ideas about how to get the message out about who our faculty and students are and the great things that they do!

A VERY WELCOMING RECEPTION September 24, 2015

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Fall 2015


~A&S STUDENT AND ALUMNI PROFILES~ Kurt Deion ‘16, History Major Since I was seven years old I have been fascinated by U.S. presidents. My passion was sparked by the humorously illustrated book So You Want to Be President? Almost two years later, my father watched a C-SPAN program featuring the station’s founder, Brian Lamb, and acclaimed presidential historian, Richard Norton Smith. The program was regarding the book Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb, which was about the burial sites of the presidents, which Lamb had visited, inspired by his friend Smith’s childhood quest. My father told me about the program afterward, at which point I asked him if we could trek to every president’s grave as well. Before turning eleven I visited the graves of twenty-eight presidents and saw them all before graduating high school. Though president’s graves have always been my main focus when traveling, I also visited state capitol buildings, presidential homes, and graves of other notable individuals. I’ve met two former presidents, two former first ladies, and interviewed the homicide detective who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when the latter was murdered on live TV. In 2014 I visited my last vice presidential burial site, making me likely the only person in the world who has seen all sixty-six graves of presidents and vice presidents. The biggest challenge was that of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Even Mr. Lamb, who also visited VP graves, was unable to access Rockefeller’s carefully guarded burial site. When I met the C-SPAN founder in July 2015, one of the first things he asked me was how I managed to see Rockefeller’s grave. Soon after, he told me he wanted to get me in front of a camera. Being interviewed by Mr. Lamb on C-SPAN made me feel as if my experiences had come full circle. But my adventures through “handson history” will continue my whole life.

Jeanette (Ferraro) Gangi ‘13, M.A. ‘14 In 2014, Jeanette (Ferraro) Gangi graduated from Bryant’s Master’s in Communication program after receiving her B.A. in that field from Bryant the year prior. After graduation, she began work at Cigna as a Communication Coordinator. Her graduate thesis focused on Health Communication. She believed that conversations about topics such as condoms and sexual history are difficult for many young people; however, research indicates that having these conversations is extremely important. She believed that if young people had example scenarios it might make the process easier. She discovered that examples expressing more, rather than fewer emotions about sexual history and condoms were perceived as realistic by college-age students. Examples that created feelings of hope can contribute to greater intent to discuss issues such as past sexual history and condom use decisions. Recently, with the assistance of Professors Chris Morse and Julie Volkman, Jeanette’s research was accepted for presentation at the Society for Behavioral Medicine’s 2016 conference in Washington D.C. The Society, as stated on their webpage, “is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators, and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and then applying that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and popula-

Deion in 2012 at his final presidential grave, that of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, and that of his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, in Johnson City, Texas. Fall 2015 2015 Fall

tions.” Presenting at this conference is highly competitive and we are proud of Jeanette’s achievement. 2 3


~Around the Departments~

MATHEMATICS This October, one of the Math

Department’s two programs, Applied

Mathematics, was ranked #5 in the country by College Factual/USA Today. But great achievements have been made by students and faculty in both Applied Math and Actuarial Math. Thomas Hartl gave two presentations at the 2015 Casualty Loss Reserving Seminar (CLRS) in Atlanta. The first was a full day hands-on preconference workshop titled “Introduction to Development Triangle GLM-based Stochas-

ARTS & SCIENCES ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY  Nanci Weinberger, Chair COMMUNICATION  Kevin Pearce, Interim Chair ECONOMICS

tic Reserving,” which he co-taught with Stephen Lienhard from Guy Carpenter. The

 Sam Mirmirani, Chair

second was a 75 minute conference talk on the mathematics behind “Extrapolating Co-

ENGLISH & CULTURAL STUDIES

Linear Payment Trends for Development Triangle GLMs.” These presentations gave visibility to our program in front of an audience of professionals from many companies that are potential employers of our graduates. Hartl also presented with recent graduate, Andrew DiFronzo ’15, at the Actuarial Research Conference, on asymptotic theory approximations. In August 2015, Nancy Beausoleil gave a workshop to the Katie Brown Educational Project in Fall River, MA, a group of educators that visits nearby schools, grades 5 through 12, and presents interventions to improve the attitudes and behaviors around dating violence and bullying. They discussed how to use SPSS to set up their pre- and post-intervention surveys, create databases to analyze their findings, and analyze, interpret and present their findings to school administrators and school boards. Kristin Kennedy supervised the Honors theses of two Actuarial majors, Megan Mapp ‘15 and Enxhi Elezi ’15. Both of their papers have been accepted for academic

 Janet Dean, Chair GLOBAL STUDIES PROGRAM  Alex Perullo, Coordinator HISTORY & SOCIAL SCIENCES  John Dietrich, Chair MATHEMATICS  Kristin Kennedy, Chair MODERN LANGUAGES  Tony Houston, Chair SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY  Brian Blais, Chair

publication, each in two journals. Hartl and James Bishop spent many hours during the summer of 2015 applying to the Society of Actuaries (SOA) for the designation of “Center of Excellence.” This very large document was submitted August 15, 2015. We hope to hear soon from the SOA. Alan Olinsky has orchestrated a workshop to be held on campus in November 2015 with the SAS Corporation. This will take place over 2 days, and the SAS Corporation will be demonstrating the JMP package.

COMMUNICATION Many exciting things have happened over the past year in the

The department is also having its annual Alumni Panel this

Department of Communication. We have hired two new

semester. Communication alumni return to their alma matter to

faculty members: Julie Volkman and Consolata Mutua. Julie

give advice and help current undergraduate students.

comes from Pennsylvania State University where she received her

The Graduate Program is thriving and we had a record

Ph.D. in Health Communication. Before coming to Bryant she

number of students join this last year. The students that have

worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs and taught at

been accepted for admission and entered the program represent a

Emerson College. Consolata Mutua joined the Department of

wide diversity of experiences and backgrounds ranging from 4+1

Communication this fall and is currently completing her Ph.D.

Bryant students, Bryant alumni two to ten years removed, recent

from the University of New Mexico. She teaches a variety of

graduates from other institutions (Nichols College, Marist

courses for us including Introduction to Communication and

College, University of Denver, and University of Kentucky), and

Intercultural Communication.

individuals from various work experiences with no connection to

The department has two events planned this year that are

Bryant (AMICA, Citizens Bank, Department of Veterans Affairs,

open to all Bryant students. The first, the Public Speaking

etc.). We currently have a 100% job placement rate! Our grad-

Colloquium, is now in its 7th year and will once again be spon-

uates have been placed in jobs for companies such as Cigna,

sored by Hanover Insurance. In the last 6 years over 300 students

Deloitte Consulting, the Miami Chamber of Commerce, Fidelity,

have participated in this event. Prize money totals over $1,000.

and academic institutions such as Southern Vermont College.

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Fall 2015


GLOBAL STUDIES The Global Studies Program at

by Global Studies faculty. There is even a

Bryant University is undergoing substan-

monthly post on the website that lists

organizes several events throughout each

tial growth. We now have an advisory

current jobs for GS students who want to

academic year. This year, we plan to have

committee

members

work in international development, diplo-

several speakers discuss issues of global

representing five departments in the

macy, global arts, or other areas related to

social justice. On October 20th, we

College and Arts and Sciences. We

the GS program.

welcomed our first speaker, Ellen Messa-

expanded

with

our

twelve

social

media

presence

The

Global

Studies

program

The

Global

Studies

program

also

also

li, a lawyer at the International

through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

presented the first annual Global Studies

Institute of Connecticut (IICONN).

Links to these social media can be found

Scholar Award during the Global Studies

IICONN helps to settle refugees and

on the new GS website (global.bryant.edu),

reception in October. The Award for the

asylum seekers, many of whom have been

where you can watch videos of students

2015-2016 academic year went to John

victims of torture. Ms. Messali’s talk made

discussing their interests in Global Studies;

Dietrich. It is through his hard work that

a valuable contribution to student under-

find courses required for the GS program;

we have such a strong GS program, as well

standing of migration, human rights, and

and learn about exciting work being done

as dedicated students and faculty.

immigration services.

This semester the Economics Department will be hosting the first bi-annual, inter-section Principles of Economics Competition. The competition will add another layer to the traditional, introductory level student’s understanding of economic concepts. Students will be able to strategically apply the skills they learn in their introductory courses to examine and suggest solutions to current, real world, societal issues. The process of applying their knowledge to real issues will help students to gain a deeper understanding of fundamental economic concepts while providing them with practical hands-on experience. Students in Principles of Macroeconomics sections will use their economic knowledge to examine the larger problems facing overall economies such as unemployment, slowed growth, and debt. Students in Principles of Microeconomics classes will focus on one micro-

ECONOMICS

level issue. This semester the chosen issue for Microeconomics sections is legalizing or decriminalizing drugs such as marijuana. Students will be encouraged to look at economic

and social outcomes which may arise due to these current situations. The project will culminate in a group presentation in which the students will present their analyses and suggestions for future policies to mitigate impacts. Students will first present their analyses and policy recommendations in class. One group from each section will then go on to the final Microeconomic or Macroeconomic rounds. During the final rounds, teams will present their projects to judges from across the university. The students will be encouraged to examine different perspectives from across disciplines in order to show that societal problems often have many dimensions. By including judges from across the institution in the final rounds, we are hoping to convey to students that interdisciplinary approaches often lead to optimal outcomes. The winning Microeconomic group and Macroeconomic group will be presented with a cash prize during the closing ceremony at the end of the final round. Fall 2015

5


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Over the past year, the Department of Applied Psychology has been engaged in a self-study of its academic programs. We have heard from our current and former students about what we are

Why study Science at Bryant University? The question is

doing well and how we can do better. Students seem to appreciate

easy to answer—the personalized opportunities for research

our enthusiasm for what we teach and our ability to make connec-

and collaboration with faculty members. Bryant University

tions with whom we teach. Students liked having internship and

stands out for the dedication of its faculty to their students,

research opportunities and are looking for more ways to utilize

providing them opportunities in the classroom and the labor-

them. Some students greatly value meeting with their faculty

atory to explore complex and interesting issues. To highlight just one example, collaborative research between the labs of Christopher Reid and Amit Basu at Brown University has

APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY

identified a number of small molecules that disrupt bacterial

advisors, while others didn’t know they were assigned such advisors.

cell growth. This research was carried out by current and

So we have developed an Orientation Program for those new to

former Biology majors at Bryant University (James Gravier

psychology at Bryant. Orientation to new psychology concentrators

’19, Keyana Roohani ’18, Jennifer Brewster ’16, Drew

and applied psychology majors will be offered every semester.

Phelan ’16). These small molecules target a novel class of

We hope the Orientation will help students get to know our

proteins involved in the growth and division of the bacterial

programs better and get to know faculty better too. What are we

cell and show promising activity against a number of

teaching? What are our areas of research? How can they get

important pathogens such as multi-drug resistant Staphylo-

involved in related research or meaningful placements? We can

coccus aureus (MRSA). This work has resulted in the filing of

help them answer these and other questions at our Orientation,

a provisional patent with the US patent office in July!

during advising sessions, at Bryant Psychology Association

We have continuing projects in areas as diverse and interest-

Meet & Greet receptions, and during office hours. Students can also

ing as modeling HIV dynamics, measuring pollution in

find out about all things psychological with the help of our

Narragansett Bay, exploring mechanisms of cell death,

expanding social media presence. Former, future and current stu-

reconstructing paleoclimate, and examining protists in the

dents can find out about us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Great Barrier Reef. In each of these projects, and all others, undergraduates are encouraged to participate and are mentored to present their work at national conferences and in scientific journals.

~Around the Departments~

MODERN LANGUAGES The Spanish program now offers a two-semester business track at the intermediate level for International Business (IB) students who place in SP105 to take as sophomores in preparation for their internships abroad. A one-semester business course at the 300 level is in the pipeline for IB students who place in SP106 to take in their fourth semester. IB students who place in SP205 or higher will reach SP404—the required business Spanish course for IB—by their fourth semester as before. The Department again sponsored the Providence Latin American Film Festival (PLAFF) this October. Patricia Gomez has helped organize this festival since 2010 and for the past two years has served as a member of its board. The festival presented nine films, from Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, and Guatemala, and had a total of 263 attendees. Bryant’s U.S.-China Institute and Confucius Institute will offer beginning non-credit Chinese classes in the Spring semester for adults and young learners as well as one-on-one private tutoring on the Bryant campus. The classes are open to Bryant faculty, staff and family members for free. All students who took the French for Business 404 class and the Certification examination through the Paris Chamber of Commerce this past May received their diploma. Alexia Bayer ‘15, Ya Xu ‘15, and Mariana Contreras ’15 received their diploma with Honors. Students from Phi Sigma Iota—the Modern Languages Honor Society—were the stars of the Modern Languages table at the College of Arts & Sciences Block Party. They helped set up and staff the table, stocked with Chinese games, film posters, information packets, Spanish club t-shirts, a French flag, and Italian flash cards. 6

Fall 2015


HISTORY & SOCIAL SCIENCES The History & Social Sciences faculty and students continue to pursue a range of interesting projects that span the globe. Over the summer, Andrea Boggio had a pro-bono faculty position for the training program “Negotiations, Drafting and Management of Contracts” that took place in Kigali, Rwanda. Nicole Freiner interviewed farmers in Japan about the possible impact of the Transpacific Trade Partnership, and Judy Barret Litoff conducted research in China. Closer to home, History major Kurt Deion ’16 was interviewed by Brian Lamb of C-SPAN about his project of visiting the graves of every U.S. President and Vice President. Gregg Carter completed a new textbook, Population and Society: An Introduction, and Michael Bryant finished A World History of War Crimes. This fall the department helped host historians from around the world for a symposium on genocide in world history. The program began with a keynote address and book-signing by former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, who represented Connecticut for 30 years and is co -author of Letters from Nuremberg: My Father’s Narrative of a Quest for Justice. The department also coordinated Constitution Day with speaker Joe Rotella ‘68, a Bryant alumnus and local lawyer involved in a school prayer case argued before the Supreme Court. The Department of History & Social Sciences also completed internal and external program reviews this past year in an effort to gather evidence about what we are doing well and where improvements can be made. Program coordinators are working to develop and implement strategic plans based on these findings that will best meet the needs of our current and future students.

ENGLISH & CULTURAL STUDIES In the Department of English & Cultural Studies,

Media and Cultural Studies, and Literature. In addition, the ECS

students focus on analyzing and producing cultural artifacts. In

plays a prominent role in a number of interdisciplinary ma-

fact, culture is our middle name! Students in our courses discover

jors, concentrations, and minors, including Africana/Black

their passions through engagement with a variety of cultural

Studies, American Studies, Film Studies, Global Studies, Latin

forms—from film, to literature, to art, to music and performance.

American and Latina/Latino Studies, Professional and Creative

Because we are a truly multidisciplinary department, with

Writing, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

faculty expertise in anthropology, literature, film, media studies,

Our students learn by doing, and you will see their work

philosophy, performance, visual arts, and other areas, students

around campus and beyond. Students in LCS220 Creativity and

apply a range of methodologies to what they study. We encourage

the Arts produced a Mini-Installation in the Rotunda in

global understanding with courses that celebrate the diversity of

October (see photos on page 16). Our December Pop-up

cultural knowledge and production, including those addressing

Gallery/Project Showcase features students’ original artwork,

Eastern and Western European, Latin American and Latina/

writing, and research projects. Student creative writing appears in

Latino, African, Asian-American, and Native American perspec-

The Bryant Literary Review, our acclaimed yearly journal of

tives. Students focus on social and environmental justice by stud-

fiction and poetry; BLR Student Editors review as many as 3,000

ying the ways class, race, sexuality, and gender affect subject

submissions, from writers all over the country, to find the finest

positions and by considering how humans imagine and interact

work for each edition. Our students participate in internships at

with the natural world. Through our studio and workshop cours-

magazines, museums, and other cultural establishments, and

es, students gain practice making cultural artifacts as creative

engage in service learning at non-profits and community organi-

writers, visual artists, and performers. A commitment to fostering

zations throughout the region. In capstone projects and directed

independent thinking and creativity shapes everything we do.

studies, they conduct extensive research on subjects ranging from

ECS offers many different pathways for students interested in

gender and pedagogy to tattoo culture. We honor our outstanding

expanding cultural capital and engaging in creative enterprises.

students at our Sigma Tau Delta International English

The major in Literary & Cultural Studies gives students flexi-

Honor Society Induction and Awards Ceremony. Finally, we are

bility to take a broad spectrum of courses or to focus on one area

proud of our students’ success in graduate study and a wide array

of study. Concentrations in Creative & Applied Arts, Media

of professions, including business, education, and the arts.

and Cultural Studies, and Literature allow for an intensive

With dedicated, highly accomplished faculty members, inno-

exploration of particular disciplines, subjects, or practices.

vative, leading-edge courses and programs, and some of the most

Students can pursue minors in Literary and Cultural Studies,

creative and dynamic students around, ECS is well worth a look.

Fall 2015 Fall 2015

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ARTS & SCIENCES GRADUATES WORK IN ALL SORTS OF INTERESTING JOBS! Talent Management and Operations Associate, Development and Alumni Relations, Boston University Associate Publicist, Berkley & New American Library, Penguin/Random House Publishing Project Manager, Rhode Island International Film Festival Tax Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Best Foods Regional Distribution Coordinator, Unilever Marketing & Recruiting Specialist, Hire Logic LLC Accounting/Insurance Intern, Gilbane Building Company Management Trainee, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company of Rhode Island Editorial Assistant, Pearson Publishing Marketing and Communications Coordinator, New England Controls Assistant Marketing Coordinator, Saint Luke's Hospital Educational Leadership Consultant, Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity Inc. Vice President, Blue Hills Bank Office and Budget Coordinator, Bryant University Pride Center Coordinator, Bryant University Legal Associate, Intellectual Property Practice Group, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP Financial Analyst, Eaton Corp. Sports Anchor and Reporter, WPRI-TV Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin Brands Political Science Professor, Coastal Carolina University Reporter, WMUR-TV Faculty Assistant/Program Assistant, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Manager, Video/Technology, (add)ventures Development Officer, Special Events, Alzheimer's Association Executive Administrative Assistant, Citizens Financial Group Graphics Operator, NESN-TV Marketing and Communications Coordinator, New England Controls Communication Coordinator, Cigna Client Experience Associate, Fidelity Founder & CEO, Rose Relations, LLC Market Development Services, Deloitte Residence Director, Southern Vermont College Clinical/Developmental Specialist, South Bay Center Early Intervention Executive Team Leader, Target Corporation Administrative Assistant, Appli-Tec Advanced Thermoset Solutions Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army Applications Engineer, Hanna Instruments Technical Research Assistant, Genomics and Sequencing Research Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital

8

Fall 2015


WHAT IS A GRAPHIC NOVEL, ANYWAY? Martha Kuhlman, English & Cultural Studies It’s three o’clock on a Friday afternoon, but this class is just getting started. What kind of student signs up for a class that meets 3:00-5:45 every Friday? Answer: a student interested in graphic novels. Some students sign up for the class—LCS 468 The Graphic Novel—with an idea of what this is about, perhaps from reading Spiegelman’s Maus in high school. Others are simply curious or looking for something “different.” Still others, even more ambitious, are motivated to try the final project and make a comic or graphic novel of their own. The designation “graphic novel” requires some explanation. Long denigrated as disposable mass-culture artifacts, comics have gained increasing respect, especially in the past twenty years. In the American context, newspaper comics emerged around the turn of the last century. Addressed primarily to immigrants and children, comics such as Richard Outcault’s Hogan’s Alley were colorful, slapstick stories set in the streets of New York. Comic books, such as Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Action Comics featuring Superman, were published in the late 1930s. But the term “graphic novel,” first used by Will Eisner to describe his 1978 book A Contract With God, has gained currency as a way of distinguishing long-form comics intended for adults from shorter comic books designed for children. In the course, students study graphic novels that reflect upon this history and raise questions about identity and representation. Over the years, the syllabus has included standard texts such as Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, but it also experiments with lesser known works like Dylan Horrock’s Hicksville and Chris Ware’s Jordon Lint. Two years ago, Professor Kuhlman used her teaching innovation to bring two cartoonists—Marek Bennett and Walker Mettling—to campus to talk about their art and conduct workshops with students. Last year, she took a small group of students to the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, or “MICE,” which features a book fair, speakers, and workshops. Ideally, students in the course will not only read comics, but try their hand at making their own. One year, she required all of the students to work in groups to produce hand-made mini-comics which were then made available to the Bryant community for free. Whether you are interested in making comics yourself, or learning more about the form in cultural and historical context, the course has much to offer.

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE MAGAZINE! If you have news, articles, ideas, comments or would like to volunteer to help with the College of Arts & Sciences Magazine, please contact Rich Holtzman (rholtzma@bryant.edu). Issue 2, Fall 2015 was edited by Rich Holtzman, Associate Professor of Political Science and Gianna Sollitto ’17, a Communication major and double minor in Creative and Professional Writing and Marketing. Special thanks to College of Arts & Sciences Dean Wendy Samter, Students in Kuhlman’s course examine cartoonist Alison Cole’s original artwork and collection of Providence zines and comics. Fall 2015

Associate Dean Brad Martin, and Kim Keyes, Academic Support Manager, Office of the Provost.

9


ARTS & SCIENCES STUDENTS HAVE RECENTLY COMPLETED FASCINATING RESEARCH! Jillian Bonafede, “Framing Group Projects: Leadership and Style in Small Group Dynamics,” Honors Thesis. Ryan Brown, Allison Butler, Nancy Weinberger, Phyllis Schumacher, et. al., “Can Kids be Kids Here? The Evaluation of Hospital Playrooms by Child Life Specialists,” presented at the 2015 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY. Bailey Cornell, “Perceptions of Happiness and Its Determinants: An Intergenerational Study of What People Think about Money and Happiness,” Honors Thesis. Andrew DiFronzo, Jr., “Bootstrapping vs. Asymptotic Theory in Property and Casualty Loss Reserving,” Honors Thesis. Danielle Douglas and Ronald Deluga, “The Relationship Among Grit, Self-Deception, and Employee Performance,” poster presented at the 2014 Industrial Organizational Behavior Conference, Los Angeles, CA. Enxhi Elezi and Kristin Kennedy. “A Case Study Examining if Being Bilingual Can Improve One’s Math Skills,” published in Global Education Journal, 2015, and STEM Journal, 2015. Jeanette (Ferraro) Gangi, “Understanding the Impact of Emotion and Narratives on Partner Discussion of STIs: An Examination of Hope, Fear, Transportation and Identification,” to be presented at the 2016 Society for Behavioral Medicine Conference. Christine Lemme, “The Use of Exemplars in Audio-Based Media to Increase Behavioral Intent in Adopting Preventative Skin-Cancer Behaviors,” Master’s Thesis. Amanda LoBello, “The Implications of Self-Driving Cars on Insurance,” Honors Thesis. Conor Makepeace, “Assessment of Silk Degradation Using Pyrolysis,” Honors Thesis. Megan Mapp and Kristin Kennedy, “A Review of Standardized Testing in Mathematics – A Case Study Regarding the State of Connecticut,” published in Insights to a Changing World, 2015, and Education Journal Today, 2015. Arielle Melino, “The Influence of Family Communication on Organ Donation,” Honors Thesis. Kaylene O’Brien, Joseph Trunzo, Wendy Samter, Christopher Morse, Julie Volkman, et. al., “Relationships Among Energy Drink Use, Social Problem Solving Ability, and Academic Performance,” published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2014. Kaitlin Sidorsky, “Moving on Up? The Gendered Ambitions of State-Level Appointed Officials,” published in Political Research Quarterly, SAGE Publishers, 2015. Jonathan Skaza and Laura Beaudin, “Measuring the Total Impact of Demographic and Behavioral Factors on the Risk of Obesity Accounting for Depression Status: A Structural Model Approach Using New BMI,” to be published in Applied Economics. Laura Sprague, “Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching Diversity: A History and Future for Gender and Sexual Identity Education,” English & Cultural Studies Capstone Thesis. Erin Teffs, “From Cellblocks to Suburbia: Tattoos as Subcultural Style, Commodity and SelfExpression,” English & Cultural Studies Capstone Thesis. Brooke Tomasetti, “Black, Gold, and Green: Food Waste Management at Bryant University,” Honors Thesis. Nguyen Tran-Nguyen, “Innovation and Institutional Quality on Economic Growth in Asia,” Honors Thesis.

10

Fall 2015


THE SOCIOLOGY INTERDISCIPLINARY CAPSTONE Judy McDonnell, History & Social Sciences What do you get when you combine a sociology professor with

All students participated in writing workshops and had to

seventeen spring semester seniors who have different majors,

produce a “perfect first page.” All students had ample opportunity

minors and concentrations, in a required capstone course?

to discuss their own projects with their classmates in a truly

According to some of the seventeen, you get the following:

collaborative effort and were responsible for helping other

—“It is a really great project/course to finish out an undergrad

students find and evaluate information sources for their projects.

career. It is a culmination of

All students also had to meet

many things I have learned in

with Judy McDonnell, the

my area of concentration.”

instructor, on a regular basis,

—“A well coordinated class as

either individually or as part

a whole. It is a difficult task to

of a small group. Additionally,

have students from different

all students had to meet with

disciplines different

and

even

from

a faculty member in their

majors

to

come

respective discipline to be

together and collaborate.”

sure there was enough disci-

—“It was a lot of work, but in

pline-specific substantive con-

the end it was worth it. I was

tent in their final project. For

able

example, a student met regu-

to

acquire

a

lot

of

knowledge.”

larly with Sam Mirmirani

So, what is the story behind this Senior Capstone that brought together students with different majors, concen-

to discuss the economics conChris Bole, Kristen Collard, Katie Dustin, Nick Cianfaro, Dawnette Wallace, Edwin Sirois and Ravi Pandey take a last look at Kristen's capstone project.

tent in his final project. All students were required to attend

scheduled

capstone

trations and minors? First of all, it was an experiment. Both the

sessions, but we did not meet three times a week. All students

Sociology major and the Sport Studies Concentration required

were required to sign a capstone project contract specifying the

a senior capstone course, which was to be the culminating

requirements of students’ final projects. Last but not least, all

experience for seniors in their

students presented their final

major or concentration. Both

projects to each other and

programs valued the group

invited faculty members.

experience and the possibility

No, we didn’t eat pizza and

of creating an esprit de corps

wear suits to class every day,

among students all working

but the eighteen of us came

toward the same objective—

together in a way that few of

completing a high quality final

us had ever done before. We

project in their substantive

celebrated each other, our

area of interest. Both pro-

intellectual development, the

grams preferred to avoid sen-

merging

iors

efforts across different disci-

working

independently

of

interests

with different faculty mem-

plines,

bers, never or rarely coming

requirement—project presen-

together as a group. Both programs valued the process in a

Devante Heath breathing a sigh of relief that his project presentation is complete and the celebration has begun.

capstone of intellectual inquiry as much if not more than creating the final end product. Finally both programs prioritized meeting student needs and interests as

finishing

the

and last

tations—and, of course, completing the requirements of a College of Arts and Sciences

major or concentration leading to a Bryant bachelor’s degree. The following summarizes, well, the heart of the capstone:

well as a meaningful use of faculty resources and areas of exper-

—“Very interesting course, great way to end senior year. Felt very

tise. With these priorities, we decided to offer a capstone course

accomplished with finishing a large project, and well supported by

bringing together seniors focusing on different substantive areas.

classmates and professor.”

Fall 2015

11


NEW WRITING SEQUENCE: WRITING FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATION AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA Stanley Baran, Communication The Department of Communication’s collection of classes focusing on the skill of written communication has not

tions. A long-time professional journalist, he has written scores of books and articles, primarily on music and entertainment.

undergone revision in at least 12 years. So, five years ago three

We then engaged Sharmin Attaran of the Marketing

faculty—Mary Lyons, Tom Dooley, and Tom Zammarelli—

Department in a series of planning sessions in which she edited

began revising/updating the Department’s writing offerings. They

and improved the descriptions and proposals of the classes

made some progress toward defining a more contemporary,

proposed by the writing team with an eye toward creating a

coherent sequence of writing classes, but the crush of every-day

Marketing/Communication minor in Digital Writing and Mar-

duties ultimately stalled their efforts.

keting. Dr. Attaran took the courses and our proposal for a minor

Last Spring, however, we revitalized this important project.

to her department and the response was so overwhelmingly

We distributed what the previous group had prepared to three

positive that the Chair of Marketing suggested something even

writing professionals whose writing duties represent contempo-

bolder, a joint Marketing/CIS/Communication concentration in

rary writing for the real world; that is, they write professionally

Digital Writing and Marketing. As it stands right now, this is

for traditional and digital media across all platforms:

a writing sequence that is unparalleled in New England higher

David Beauchamp is Digital Marketing Manager for the

education. It promises to be even more groundbreaking as the

FGX Corporation (Foster Grant glasses). David writes (or super-

relationship between Communication, CIS, and Marketing

vises the writing of) material for this global corporation’s website,

evolves even further.

blogs, and social media.

What does the sequence look like? First, the description of

Tracy Minkin is an online journalist, founding editor of the

COM 251 Written Communication was expanded to add attention

hyperlocal digital news and information site, GoLocalProv.com,

to writing for multiple traditional and digital communication

and travel editor for Coastal Living magazine. Former editor of

settings and distribution platforms. COM 332 Broadcast Journal-

RI Monthly, she also maintains a career as a freelance journalist,

ism: Research, Writing, On-Air, was restructured and renamed

for both traditional and digital media, and as a writing teacher.

Writing and Reporting for Broadcast and Digital Media.

Bob Gulla is Senior Communication Consultant for interna-

But what we are most excited about is a sequence of new

tional finance giant FM Global. Bob writes (or supervises the writ-

courses that will be taught primarily by industry professionals,

ing) of that giant company’s print and electronic magazines, its

starting with those experts who helped us craft the classes. For

website and blogs, its social media, and its various video produc-

more information, see below or contact me, sbaran@bryant.edu.

COM 252 Professional Writing as Storytelling Contemporary professional writing stresses telling stories that reinforce or expand the brand, that is, the organization’s identity. Stories are the way that humans make sense of the world. This class teaches the process of telling great stories in differing lengths and formats for diverse platforms. Students take their basic writing skills and, with peer and instructor evaluation, shape and refine those skills through storytelling writing that will have vast implications for a variety of professional careers. COM 352 Writing for Social Media Much of today’s Internet writing—personal, professional, and commercial—takes place on social networking sites (SNS). This class explores the demands, limitations, and potential of effective SNS writing and the different distribution platforms available for SNS writing. Students will have ample opportunity to practice their skill and receive peer and instructor evaluation. COM 353 Writing for Rich Media Media’s contribution to effective communication—interpersonal and mass—falls along a continuum of rich to lean, employing criteria such as the presence of instant feedback, the use of multiple cues and natural language, and a medium’s personal focus. This class explores the potential of rich media in writing across a number of contexts, personal and professional, and provides practice and evaluation of students’ rich media efforts. COM 452 Writing for Brand Creation and Digital Execution All professional writing is designed to attract an audience and hence, improve an organization’s bottom line. This class investigates the role of writing in strategic business communication, from identification of a goal to measurement of success that, regardless of platform, builds, enhances, or maintains an organization’s identity or brand. COM 453 Writing for Niche Media All media in the digital era are niche media. Even the largest national broadcast networks and global news sites rely on very specifically targeted essays and stories designed to attract specific sets of demographically similar readers who are sold programmatically (automatically by desired demographic) to sponsors. This course centers on identifying niche audiences, assessing their tastes and needs, and meeting them through “push” writing that is authoritative, compelling, and peer-to-peer, as well as scalable across a number of different platforms.

12

Fall 2015


I have to do a lot of official reading in my position as Dean

means, among other things, to create opportunities outside the

of the College of Arts & Sciences. As a matter of fact, when I sat

classroom in which students can learn what their professors

down to write this I thought it might be interesting to count the

are “about,” and professors can learn what their students

number of emails—just emails—that I had to deal with in the

would like to be “about.” Chambliss and Takacs note that when

past week. By the time I got back to only last Wednesday I was

professors take on a mentoring role that goes beyond the

already at 278 messages in the inbox and deleted folders, at

basic classroom encounter, their students are appreciative

which point I simply stopped counting. And that number didn’t

not only in the moment, but experience beneficial effects in

even include the dozens of reports, memos, texts, articles, news

their long-term academic and even career performance. Also,

items, and student papers that came to me via other media.

these young people spread the word among their friends, which

But don’t think of this as a complaint. Much of the reading I

provides tangible advantages to the institution.

do on the job is very positive, and in some cases quite gratify-

The data also demonstrate the very concrete benefits that

ing. For instance, in the last several weeks I read about our

result when institutions help motivated students meet

Applied Math program being ranked 5th in the nation,

others with shared interests, and provide them with

and about how members of our science faculty in conjunction

physical and social spaces in which to interact.

with their colleagues at Brown University are pursuing a

How Colleges Work identifies a number of other strategies

patent on a new anti-microbial compound which may

that were shown to be effective in improving the college experi-

make a serious difference to individuals fighting stubborn bac-

ence. But these two academically nurturing practices—

teria like MRSA. I read glowing summaries of our conference

encouraging true student mentoring by faculty and enabling

on World History, which featured a very well-received

like-minded individuals to meet and hang together—caught my

discussion of Genocide. I saw reports about our foreign

attention. Why? Because here in the College of Arts & Sciences

language students excelling in a French Certification exam which

FROM THE DEAN...

was conducted by the Chamber of

Wendy Samter, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

Commerce of Paris. And I read of

at Bryant it so happens that we’re doing some of this already. Just as one example, perhaps you’ve heard of Science Chats,

numerous examples of faculty-student collaboration on learn-

sponsored by our Science & Technology faculty. What

ing initiatives, and joint research projects in several of our A&S

happens is, students and faculty get together outside of regular

disciplines. Also, every month it seems at least one new book is

classroom sessions—it’s completely voluntary—and talk from a

published by one or more of our Arts & Sciences faculty.

scientific perspective about things we see in the news, in mov-

Given this amount of reading, you can imagine my reaction

ies, in society, in popular culture, and on TV. Are these things

when someone recently handed me a copy of How College

possible? Do they make scientific and/logical sense? Take

Works and said “Here, read this.” I did, and I’m glad I did.

Harry Potter, for example. Why doesn’t he use the two-way

This book, by Daniel Chambliss and Christopher Takacs,

mirrors more often? When Superman is flying, it’s one thing.

summarizes the results of their 14 year study at a liberal arts

But what happens when such an irresistible force intersects

institution in the Northeast in which they asked and answered

with other people and objects? Why don’t they get squashed?

the question, “What strategies lead to student satisfac-

Science Chats, just coincidentally, brings together

tion and success?” In brief, after collecting data in a number

students from multiple disciplines—all are welcome—to

of ways, including quantitative and qualitative surveys, inter-

meet and hear the perspectives of other interested people,

views, panels, network analysis and more, they came to this

including faculty, on questions and queries that aren’t going to

conclusion: it’s relationships that matter, especially in the

be on the test. It’s mentoring and enabling the development of

form of meaningful interpersonal

important interpersonal relationships based on academics, just

interactions between

students and professors, and among students and their peers during the college experience.

like Chambliss and Takacs recommend. During any given week, you can find lots of examples of

Their evidence shows that when specific kinds of relation-

similar, engaging activities going on around the College of Arts

ships are fostered early in the college experience, students do

& Sciences. Moreover, fostering mentoring relationships

better, stay longer, and feel good about themselves and their

between faculty and students—and building A&S spaces where

school.

those relationships can occur—are also important parts of our

The authors explain a couple of key ways that their findings

Strategic Plan that we’ll talk about in the coming months. Alas,

can be successfully put into play. One is to leverage good

I’m getting ahead of myself. So, for now, I have a suggestion.

teachers to impact as many students as possible. This

Check out the next Science Chat, and see what happens.

Fall 2015

13


COME SING A SONG AT BRYANT Florence St. Jean, Director, Bryant Singers Would you like to be a happier person? Studies show that people who sing in a choral group tend to be less stressed, to feel more connected to others, to form new friendships, and to share in a sense of achievement with other members than those who don’t. At Bryant, the Bryant Singers offer an opportunity for anyone who loves to sing to enjoy these benefits, along with fun rehearsals, performance opportunities on and off campus, social events, and more. There is no audition and members do not have to be able to read music. Regardless of your level of group singing experience or your musical taste, Bryant Singers offers something for most everyone. During the fall semester, Bryant Singers focus mostly on traditional

Bryant Singers perform at Salve Regina University in November 2013.

choral and holiday music in their performances. The first of the

December 10 in the Unistructure Rotunda. On December 12 the

fall semester is a joint concert with Salve Regina University called

Bryant Singers will be performing their Holiday Concert in the

Voices in Harmony on November 14 in Newport, RI. Next is

Machtley Interfaith Center (IFC), which will be followed by carol-

Bryant’s popular Festival of Lights, which will be held on

ing at a local nursing home and a group dinner. During the spring semester, the Singers perform at the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, held on February 4, in the Bello Grand Hall. Their Spring Music Showcase will take place in April (date TBA), and the Spring Cabaret will be on May 7 (location TBA). The music performed by the group during the spring includes pop, jazz, Broadway, country, and other non-classical songs. The spring semester also features a men’s ensemble, a women’s ensemble, a mixed ensemble, and many solo

opportunities

for

group

members. The spring semester wraps up with the senior recognition and awards banquet. If you have an interest in joining Bryant Singers or would like more information Bryant Singers at their 2015 Year-End Banquet. 14

about

performances,

contact us at bsingers@bryant.edu. Fall 2015


FINDING A SUMMER INTERNSHIP MAY BE EASIER THAN YOU THINK! Amy Weinstein, Associate Director, Amica Center for Career Education Here are a few simple strategies for rocking your summer internship search. MAKE DECISIONS Where do you want live this summer? Are you willing to re-locate and spend money for housing? What do you want to do? This is the million dollar question! Keep in mind that an internship is an opportunity to “test out” a career path. If you don’t like your internship, congratulations, you are one step closer to figuring out what you REALLY want to do. GET YOUR TOOLS READY: Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile Use online workshops to help you get started. Get your resume and/or cover letter reviewed in the Amica Career Center. We offer Quick Questions Monday-Friday, 1:00-3:00 pm, no appointment needed, 1st come, 1st served. CONSIDER TIMING Your Accounting/Actuarial roommates have already found internships. Does that mean you should have one too? Not at all! Companies post internships at all different times! Don’t worry if you don’t find a summer internship in the fall. Many times the better opportunities are posted later. START YOUR SEARCH 1. Tell EVERYONE Most internships are found through some sort of personal connection! Don’t leave any possible connection unturned: friends, family, neighbors, faculty, alumni, coaches, advisors, hairdressers (YES, think about it, they know a lot of people). Keep in mind that NO ONE hands you the internship, your connections just open the door to give you a chance to put your best foot forward. 2. Use the Bryant Career Connection- BCC (and other job boards) Open up additional opportunities by using job boards. BCC is not the job board for everyone, but at least check it out. Bryant gets cool internships that go up quickly, and then go away if you’re not watching. Check once a week. Also try indeed.com, it searches internships by keyword and pulls from the internet. Use the keyword “intern” in your search. 3. Talk to Bryant alumni Create a LinkedIn profile NOW, so you can use the “find alumni” tool. Here, you can search Bryant alumni by major, company, location and more… Most recent Bryant alums are willing to talk with you for 15 minutes (sometimes more). Here’s how to connect: A) Send a personalized invitation to connect. B) After you become a 1st connection, follow up with an email. C) Ask if they have 15 minutes to share information about their current position over the phone. D) Express interest in them and what they do. E) Prepare good questions in advance: tell me about a typical day, how did you find an internship, do you have tips and advice for me? F) Thank them a lot! Gratitude goes a long way. 4. Connect through the Shadow Program The Shadow Program matches you with a Bryant alum, over winter break, for a ONE day company site visit. SIGN UP HERE before Friday, November 13 at midnight. 5. Visit the Amica Career Center! Don’t let your frustration build. We are here to help you! Make an appointment today. Schedule through the BCC or stop by our center (next to Salmo).

Fall 2015

15


A peek at the Literary & Cultural Studies 220, Creativity & the Arts Mini Installation

16

Fall 2015


Bryant University A&S magazine, Issue 2, Fall 2015