Dr. Kerr to Receive 2008
George I. Alden
Excellence in Teaching Award
Dr. Arthur and Dr. Martha Pappas to be Honored
with the Worcester State College 2008 Community
Over 300 Attend Academic
Cultural Influences in
Early Childhood Development
Building a Career in
The Art of Physics
WSC Baseball Wins the 2008
WSC IN THE NEWS
WSC e-news General Info
Joseph P. Baratta
(History) published an article, “Of Global Democracy and Global Government,” in
the current issue of The Federalist Debate, 21, 1 (March 2008): 43-46.
Another work, drawn from his lead address at the conference on United Nations
reform in Turin last June, titled “World Government or Global Governance? The
United Nations Project in Historical Perspective,” will be published in a
volume, Reforming the United Nations: Democracy, Justice, and Security
in the Age of Globalization - foreword by Brian Urquhart, editors Giovanni
Finizio and Ernesto Gallo (Lothian Foundation Press, Blackwell, forthcoming).
On April 18, Julie Frechette (Communication), presented her paper "Media
Literacy for the Web 2.0: Online Strategies for the Digital Age" at the Politics
Web 2.0 conference sponsored by the Department of Politics and International
Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, U.K.
(History) was reelected as Secretary of the New England Historical Association
(NEHA) at NEHA's 80th annual meeting at Northeastern University in Boston,
Mass., in April.
(Visual and Performing Arts) was accepted to exhibit her prints in the Boston
Printmakers Celebrating 60 Years exhibition
at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass.
Lacey Hale '07 and
Professor Champika K. Soysa presented a poster titled "The Impact of
Housing Choice on Student Stress and Perceived Social Support," at the Eastern
Psychological Association annual conference in Boston, Mass., in March 2008.
Professors Andrea Dottolo, Champika K. Soysa, and Lori Dawson of
the Psychology Department together with Dr. Sarah Tillery (Washington
University, St. Louis, Miss.), presented a symposium titled "Cultural
insiders and outsiders: Theorizing relationships between social identities and
institutional structures," at the Association for Women in Psychology annual
conference in San Diego, Calif., in March. Professor Dottolo's paper was
titled "Feeling like freak: Working class narratives from inside academia."
Professor Soysa's paper was titled "Clipped wings in the birdcage: Trauma in the
Sri Lankan war zone," and Professor Dawson's paper was titled "The personal is
political: Self disclosure, safety, power and pedagogy."
As a follow up to the fall conference, “Before, During and After: Managing a
Campus Tragedy,” the Chief Student Affairs Officers Committee hosted the
Worcester Consortium to participate in a hands-on campus emergency planning
workshop on April 25. Teams were comprised of Consortium College
Presidents, Senior Administrators and Campus Police Chiefs. Chief Rosemary
Naughton (College Police) and Adrian Gage (Residence Life) lead a
discussion of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Along with
the overview of NIMS system, workshop attendees participated in a tabletop
exercise which described best practices following a major campus incident.
Top of Page
Over 300 Attend Academic Achievement Awards
Over 300 students, parents, families and friends attended the Worcester State
College Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony, Thursday May 1 at Mechanics Hall
in Worcester. Worcester State College President Dr. Janelle Ashley praised
the students for their hard work and perseverance. In her remarks she
quoted Aristotle as saying, “we are what re repeatedly do. Excellence,
then is not an act, but a habit.” Ashley added, “I think each of you epitomize
Aristotle’s ideal of excellence.” To read more about the awardees,
to see the ceremony’s program.
Top of Page
Exploring Cultural Influences in Early
Childhood Emotional Development
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.
Russell (Psychology) has been studying parental behavior for years, most
recently for her doctoral work in Human Development and Family Studies.
She studied shaken baby syndrome, which she defines as caregivers’ efforts to
deal with a baby’s inconsolable crying. “The caregivers are unable to
regulate their response to this increasing emotional display,” Russell said.
This work led Russell, who is in her second year at Worcester State, to her
current research question: How do parents think about their babies’ emotional
To answer this question, she is using 90-minute interviews with parents of
children under the age of three. During these semi-structured interviews,
Russell asks open-ended questions about such practices as sleep, eating, early
education and soothing.
“You can’t do paper and pencil surveys to find out how parents feel about these
things,” Russell said. How parents report their thoughts has been historically
dominated by paper and pencil survey methods. These don’t help parents
articulate what is a complicated and subtle process of decision making.
Interviews, she notes, are our “best way of understanding the nuanced tapestry
parents have to weave to take care of their children. They are the social
sciences’ best methodological bet for supporting parents’ expression of the
practices they use with their young children.”
During the interview, this support comes in the form of prompts, examples and a
reframing of questions when parents seem unsure or less confident of their
Russell hopes to ferret out parents’ cultural understandings of the way the
world works. Sometimes, their understandings are different from the cultural
values of the larger society.
For example, in U.S. culture, there’s a value of independence, Russell said. We
believe babies should get through the night alone, and therefore we do not
support co-sleeping, which is a practice with a negative, positive value. “These
children are perceived as clingy,” she said.
Academics might label co-sleeping as a practice that fosters interdependence.
This mirrors the feelings of some parents, Russell says, for whom the practice
is a positive value. “They like the closeness. They like the quiet time they
have with the baby. They can provide comfort when the baby is restless,” she
Her 2007-08 mini-grant, “Reliability of the Parental Interview of Caregiving—Infancy,”
supports this research. She has recruited 11 parents so far; her goal is 30. The
mini-grant paid for a Sony Voice recorder and voice transcribing software as
well as small stipends for the interviewees.
“I hope to determine the reliability of the measure of such interviews,” Russell
said. Her aim is to develop one of the very few interviews that will
improve on the data collection methods in her field.
She also hopes to use her findings as
the basis for a symposium on metaparenting she will propose for the 2009
conference of the Society for Research in Child Development, which will be in
Top of Page
Building a Career in Not-for-Profit
Nonprofit Management Program and the Urban Studies department sponsored a
Nonprofit Fair on April 9, 2009, at the Students' Center. The fair
attracted twenty-five nonprofit organizations from the region. The nonprofits
represented a wide array of service areas including elder services, youth
mentoring, at-risk youth services, the arts, crisis centers and health promotion
services. Live music was provided by Sterling Music Exchange, a nonprofit
organization that empowers youth by providing them with an opportunity to
express themselves through music. Over ninety students attended the fair.
Top of Page
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.
Sometimes professors see possibilities in students that they themselves don’t
More than two decades ago, Sudha Swaminathan (Physical and Earth
Sciences), then a physics and mathematics major at Mount Holyoke, took a
sculpture class for fun.
“My sculpture professor predicted that one day I would find a way to bring my
fondness for science and art together,” she said.
That prediction, with some help from serendipity, is coming true: In the spring
of 2009, Swaminathan and her colleague Frank Lamelas will offer Physics
in Art, a new, three-credit lab course they’ve developed for science and art
Swaminathan, who is in her third year on the faculty, began researching art
analysis using physics when she got to Worcester State. “I found a book, Art
Criticism from a Laboratory,” she said. “It was published in 1938, and some of
the images were from the Worcester Art
She called the museum to make an appointment to see the images and talk with a
curator. The idea for Physics in Art was born. Her 2007-08 mini-grant with
Lamelas has that title.
The two have used the grant to develop an introductory physics course with three
components. The first addresses optics. What are the basic principles of
optics and how did artists use those principles? They’ve constructed a camera
obscura to give students the opportunity to experience the ways artists painted.
course will then move to the analysis of art using physical techniques. They’ve
employed Emily Nelson, a WSC junior history major with an interest in art, who
has also worked in a dentist’s office and therefore knows something about x-ray
technology. Nelson is creating painting swatches to illustrate the use of
non-invasive techniques such as x-rays, infrared and ultraviolet techniques.
X-rays of paintings are used to reveal underpaintings. These are the painted
layers beneath the outermost visible layer. Pigments with greater amounts of
lead or other heavy elements absorb x-rays strongly, and can be seen in an x-ray
of a painting.
“With infrared detection you can see Emily’s charcoal drawings underneath the
samples of 10 different colors of paint,” Swaminathan said.
Infrared techniques can also be used to see the under image, because some paints
are transparent in the infrared portion of the spectrum.
“Research-grade infrared cameras are too expensive for such a course,” Lamelas
said. “But by adapting a camera made for amateur astronomers, and with a
home-made infrared light source, we can see some of the infrared spectrum we’re
They used part of the mini-grant to purchase the camera then outfitted it with a
50mm Nikon lens from an old film camera, and a $50 infrared filter. “We’re
trying to engineer our own way of doing this so that it will be interesting for
students,” Lamelas said. “We’ll be able to do multi-spectral imaging.”
The third part of the course encompasses the analysis of art for authentication
and dating. “We don’t have the capacity to examine paintings with neutrons,”
Swaminathan said. “Neutron analysis is invasive. You need a small part of the
painting itself to do the analysis.”
Instead, they’ll use a scanning electron microscope to examine paint pigments.
“This way you can tell whether the pigment source is natural or synthetic,” she
said. “Natural iron oxide shows up differently than synthetic iron oxide.”
Paintings can thus be dated.
The public will also benefit from the development of this course. Swaminathan
and Lamelas are preparing a one-hour “Physics in Art” tour for the Worcester Art
Museum. They’ll write guides to six paintings in the museum’s collection that
illustrate the techniques they’re teaching their students. They hope to
have this tour available for museum visitors later this year.
Top of Page
WSC Baseball Wins the 2008 MASCAC Tournament
Worcester State snapped a 4-4 tie with a four-run, seventh-inning uprising in a
9-4 victory over Westfield State in the Massachusetts State College Athletics
Conference (MASCAC) baseball tournament championship game.
Top of Page
BRIDGE TO HER FUTURE AWARD:
The WSC Women’s Forum would like to thank all those who contributed on
Thursday, May 1 toward funding their First Annual “Bridge To Her Future”
Award. A total of $400 was raised – an exciting and successful start.
Contributions will continue to be accepted through May 30th. Donations
can be mailed directly to Nancy Morton, Abby’s House, 52 High Street,
Worcester, Mass., 01609. Or, you may contact Bonnie Orcutt at
email@example.com or ext.
8750 or Rita Franz, President of the Women’s Forum, at
firstname.lastname@example.org to make other
contribution arrangements. Again, thank you all for your generosity
and support of women struggling to become financially independent during an
increasingly difficult economic time.
Third World Alliance presents "Diversity; The Tapestry of Life," on
Wednesday, May 7, 2008, in the Student Center exhibit area from 10:30 a.m.
to 2:00 p.m. Come and enjoy Polynesian dancers, Latin music, Latin dancers,
a live Caribbean band, Jamaican, Spanish and Irish food.
WSC TRACK CLOSED:
Due to a replacement of the field surface with new turf and refurbishing of
the track, the track and field complex will be unavailable for use as of
Monday, May 5 through Friday, August 15.
ALL SPORTS CAMP @ WSC:
Athletics will be holding their 3rd Annual Summer All-Sports Day Camp July
21-25. The camp includes: baseball, basketball, street hockey, stickball,
ultimate frisbee, softball, football, soccer, volleyball, kickball, track &
field. For boys and girls ages 8-13.
For more information click here for the brochure
Don't forget to nominate someone. Awards are given in three categories:
Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance, Eugene H. Rooney, Jr.
Public Service Award and the Manuel Carballo Governor's Award for Excellence
in Public Service.
Nomination forms for these awards are available in the Human Resources
Office on campus (Admin. Village, Room 118). All nomination forms must be in
to Carol Faron by Friday, May 16.
Do you know a graduating senior who will be missed? Show them just how proud
you are of their great accomplishments by placing a Friend Ad in the 2008
Yearbook. It's FREE. 100 words or less. Deadline for submissions is April
25. Email message to email@example.com.
Please note: messages may be edited for content and/or space.
SUPER SENIOR SEND-OFF BBQ:
The campus community is invited to join the seniors and their families for a
send-off bbq. The meal includes shrimp, rib eye steak, ribs, bbq chicken,
salads, baked potato bar, corn on the cob and a make-your-own sundae dessert
bar. There will be caricaturists, wacky photos, psychics and music. Tickets
are only $10 and can be purchased through the Student Center Information
Desk or by calling extension 8073. Checks can be made payable to WSC Student
Activity Trust Fund. Please order your tickets by Friday, May 9, 2008.
HOW TO WRITE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Understanding the difference between departmental goals, learning objectives
and outcomes. This forum will be presented by Andrea Bilics and Maureen Erickson
on Tuesday, May 13 at 10 a.m. in the Student Center
North/South Auditorium. Space is limited. Please bring your own syllabi.To
reserve a space please contact Andrea Bilics at:
Top of Page
WSC IN THE NEWS
**Please Note - Links to online newspaper
may no longer be available after a certain period of
A Good win for Worcester State
Telegram & Gazette
Wicked Local Hull (5-2-08)
Worcester State College got a tremendous starting pitching performance Thursday
from sophomore Joey Lucier (Brockton, MA). The right-handed hurler went
7.2 innings scattering 8 hits giving up 3 runs and striking out 10 in a 7-6,
10-inning win over Salem State.
May 5, 2008
Monday, May 5
Student Center, Exhibit Area
& North/South Auditorium
Free and Open to the Public
3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 6
Ghosh Center, Room 318
Free and Open to the Public
Wednesday, May 7
All Classes End
Open to Campus
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 8
Active Shooter in the
Ghosh Center, Room 102
Open to all Faculty & Staff
10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
WSC Dance Company
Tickets @ door
Tuesday, May 13
How to Write Student
10 - 11 a.m.
Thursday, May 15
Friday, May 16
Saturday, May 17
Sunday, May 18
Open to Campus Community
Tickets @ Student Center Info Desk