News for Faculty, Staff and Friends of the Worcester State College Community

NEWS

Princeton Review Names WSC a "Best in Northeast" College

WSC Receives $200,000 Green Chemistry Grant

WTAG Interview with bestselling author John Dufresne '70

"Worcester State outsources e-mail to Google"



NOTEWORTHY


AROUND CAMPUS

Co-chairs Named for Opportunity for a Lifetime
Faculty/Staff Campaign


  Worcester Police Department Reaches
Out to City Youth with Summer G.A.N.G. Camp


RESEARCH

Students Join Professor in Search of Imperiled Species


ANNOUNCEMENTS


TRANSITIONS


WSC IN THE NEWS

WSC e-news General Info


 

NOTEWORTHY

Tim Hagopian (Academic Success Center) presented a paper titled "Cutting the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra Failure Rate in Half" at College Board’s 18th Annual Accuplacer National Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ,on June 26. Hagopian was also a panelist for "What's New in Developmental Mathematics?" at the  Massachusetts Department of Higher Education conference "Sustaining Growth: A Conference on Student Success" held at Bridgewater State College on June 18.

As Hagopian’s abstract notes, “Forcing early Blackboard use by incoming freshmen by sending user names and passwords well before placement testing and registration has opened the door to great opportunities. By requiring students to log into their account where the 'my courses' shell provides them with key information about the upcoming Accuplacer test and also directs them to take online practice tests in order to refresh their (very often) rusty math skills has drastically reduced the failure rate on the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test and consequently increased student morale (and hopefully retention too). Still more benefits are that all new freshmen will have experienced Blackboard and likely used WSC e-mail before arriving in September."  

Stephen A. Morreale (Criminal Justice) presented at the Annual Fraud Conference sponsored by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston in July.  The presentation, “The State of Health Care Fraud in America,” focused on schemes perpetrated within Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurers.  Morreale discussed the rise of criminal fraud cases aimed at sub-standard quality of care, medical identity theft, medically unnecessary testing, patient recruiting, infusion therapy fraud, and unnecessary surgeries to increase billing opportunities for providers.  In addition, Professor Morreale attended the Educator’s session, to discuss interdisciplinary studies in Fraud Examination and the benefits of a student chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Sudha Swaminathan (Physical and Earth Sciences) received a $370 grant from the American Association of Physics Teachers Bauder Fund for her proposal "Freefall with a Flip."  The grant will be used to purchase digital video cameras for measuring acceleration due to gravity. Swaminathan will train WSC pre-med club students to present the experiment at Worcester Public Schools participating in the Worcester Pipeline Collaborative.

Antonieto Tan (Biology) presented the results of his research project titled, “Rapid Identification and Phylogenetic Inference of the Luminous Bacteria Based on the DNA Sequences of the Amplified 16S rRNA Gene Using Novel PCR Primers” at the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology on June 1-5. The abstract of his poster (R-012) is published in the meeting ABSTRACTS. The research project was funded by a WSC faculty mini-grant during his sabbatical leave in fall of 2007.

On June 10, at Worcester’s Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, Henry Theriault (Philosophy) and Armenian Weekly editor Khatchig Mouradian addressed a group of Armenian college students drawn from the eastern United States for the Armenian Relief Society’s Youth Connection summer studies program and a broader community audience on the complexities and future trends in Armenian-Turkish relations. At the invitation of the MIT chapter of Students Against Genocide (STAND), Theriault delivered a talk at the Institute on the characteristic arguments and logical fallacies of denial, on May 1. On April 10, as part of the STAND "Days of Remembrance" event series, Professor Theriault delivered a lecture titled “Moral Dilemmas or Moral Choices:  Bystanders and Prevention of Genocide” to Newton South High School students.

 

 

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AROUND CAMPUS

Co-chairs Named for Opportunity for a
Lifetime
Faculty/Staff Campaign
Kimberly Brothers-Caisse

With the quiet phase of Opportunity for a Lifetime: A Campaign for the Future of Worcester State College coming to an end, the Worcester State Foundation and Office of Institutional Advancement are inviting College faculty and staff to participate in this historic effort to raise $10 million. The campaign has surpassed the halfway point, raising over $7 million from our generous alumni, foundations, and area corporations.

WSC faculty and staff participation in this campaign is very important, said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Thomas M. McNamara 94. Donors, foundations, and corporations like to see strong internal support for colleges when they are considering making a large gift. I urge all of you to help make this campaign the best it can be.

McNamara has appointed Mike Wronski, director of foundation and corporate relations, to spearhead this special campaign within the campaign.

Wronski believes he needs enthusiastic volunteers to launch the campaign and has enlisted Francis Tuck Amory, Carol Donnelly, Elaine Dukes, and Carolyn Dumais to co-chair the faculty and staff campaign committees.  

I am very grateful that Tuck Amory and Carol Donnelly have agreed to co-chair the faculty campaign and Elaine Dukes and Carolyn Dumais the staff campaign, Wronski said. Both Tuck and Carol have been very involved in the Opportunity for a Lifetime campaign committees and have also made major personal commitments to support this effort. They are wonderful ambassadors for the College and the Foundation. Elaine and Carolyn have been longtime supporters of the Foundations Annual Fund.

Through my work on proposals for foundation and corporate grants, I have learned that many of these organizations look closely at the level of participation of our alumni, staff, and faculty as well as our overall number of donors, he added. The Opportunity for a Lifetime campaign presents an ideal time for us to increase faculty and staff  involvement in fundraising for the College. Gifts of any size are vital in this phase of the campaign.

Amory said that he is in the process of recruiting a representative from every academic department to help out. Carol and I have received a very supportive and enthusiastic response from our faculty to serve as captains of their areas. Our plan is to take 15 minutes at every department meeting to talk about the importance of faculty participation in the campaign, he said.

Championing the staff campaign will be Elaine Dukes, accountant in the Payroll Department, and Carolyn Dumais, clerk III in the Languages and Literature Department.  

As a member of the class of 1986, I think it is important to give back to my alma mater, Dukes said. Dumais, who has served the College for almost 30 years, believes that the College has helped so many of our students and grown so much in the last few years, and I want to be part of its success.

To help facilitate contributions to the Opportunity for a Lifetime, the Payroll Department has made it easier than ever to make a donation through payroll deduction.

The faculty/staff campaign will be officially announced on Opening Day. However, you may visit www.worcester.edu/opportunity to learn more about the campaign today.



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Worcester Police Department Reaches Out to City Youth with Summer G.A.N.G. Camp
Adam Lyons '09

I just to try to set a path for them and find out what they want to be when they get older, said G.A.N.G Camp staff member Jacob Bottom.

Sounds like great advice from a decent and responsible adult looking to give back to some of the troubled youth of his community.

Indeed it is great advice, but Jacob Bottom isn't an adult at all.

He's actually a 13-year old former camper turned staff member and living proof of what great strides the Worcester Police Department Gang Unit and their G.A.N.G Camp have accomplished over the last five years.

G.A.N.G., which stands for Gang Awareness for the Next Generation, took place recently at Worcester State College.  It is a three-week camp that educates over 300 campers a year, all hailing from Worcester, from the ages of 8-16.  

Worcester Police Department Gang Unit Sergeant Miguel Lopez serves as the camps director, and has been involved since its inception five years ago.

Basically we're all Worcester police officers inside the gang unit and once a year we take out what ends up being 300 kids, 100 kids per week, and we put on this camp geared towards gang prevention, drug prevention, and positive adult role-modeling, Lopez said.

Sgt. Lopez and his staff stress the importance of reaching kids early in life, with statistics showing gang involvement and recruitment starts as early as the age of ten.

The basis of the camp is that we're trying to target these kids at an early age, between 11 and 13, Lopez said.  You look at these kids, and a lot of them look very young, but this is the group that is being targeted, so we're trying to get our message out to them before anyone else does.

Unlike programs like D.A.R.E., that focus more on visiting schools and educating young people in a classroom atmosphere, Sgt. Lopez and his staff take a more hands on approach, bringing the kids together in an atmosphere where relationships and friendships can be developed.

We take kids from different parts of the city and we bring them together. We create a shared history among these kids and we believe that that shared history is what reduces crime and violence later on in life, Lopez said.

Along with building these relationships, Lopez looks to provide the campers with positive role models of all different ages.

Some of the staff members are kids who were in this camp, kids who've been in our programs, and all the lead staff is Worcester PD, Lopez said.

Lopez takes pride in the fact that the officers at G.A.N.G. camp aren't just classroom cops, and that many of them will be seen on the streets, making their message hit home that much more.

Although the kids get to see us in a different light at camp, we're also very active police officers, Lopez said.

They'll see us on the street late at night, executing a search warrant or arresting somebody, so they know and see the real element to the whole thing. Its not like we're just telling them these things for our health, or because were told to say it. We believe in what we do and that's why we're doing it.

Richie Saya, a second-year camper, enjoys the fun and exciting atmosphere of the camp, but he isn't here just to play games.

I like the camp a lot because they teach you how to not be in gangs and stuff and we play a lot of games, Saya said. But people are here to learn. I wouldn't come if it was just fun and games. I came here to learn, too.

Saya is one of the 300 campers lucky enough to be accepted into the G.A.N.G. camp.  What started out as a camp for 50 has grown nearly six times in size in its short history.

But its a problem that Lopez and his staff are happy to have.

Everything is voluntary, but actually every year we have to turn kids away, Lopez said. If we had the money, we could probably do 200 kids a week.

 

CJ Students Assist WPD with G.A.N.G. Camp

During the month of July, student volunteers from the WSC Criminal Justice Program joined with staff from the Worcester Police Department Gang Unit, and the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester for three separate weeks of Gang Prevention Summer Camps.  

CJ students were paired with Worcester Police officers and Worcester Boys and Girls Club staff on teams of Worcester youth from 10-15 years old.  Students were engaged in classes, sports activities, police canine demonstrations, and field trips.

With the assistance of Criminal Justice Professors Steve Morreale and Matt Palumbo, students gained valuable experience and were able to see firsthand the potential benefits of proactive, hands on police involvement in prevention.   Several members of the Worcester Police in attendance of the camp are alumnus of WSC.  Activities took place on campus, at Foley Stadium and at Shore Park.  Campers traveled to the Southwick Zoo, Department of Youth Services Holding facilities, and the Worcester County House of Corrections.

Students assisted in organizing and supervising several activities, bonded with Worcester at-risk youth and met management and members of the Worcester Police Department Gang Units.   

The following Criminal Justice students participated: Kaylyn Hewey, Kendra Kellett, Blakely Belisto, Anjeza Xhemollari, William White, Danielle Porter, Christina Bisbee, Carlos Sousa, Ryan Arseneualt, Nicole Schrunk,  Kevin OBrien, Tom Belanger, Dan Hartz, and Richard Rice. Photo by Professor Morreale.

 

 

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RESEARCH

 

WSC Students Join Professor Tracy in Search
of Imperiled New England Species
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

You may be familiar with the myth of lemming mass suicide. In fact, you may have even used the lemming metaphor to describe those who blindly follow their leaders to their deaths.

Randall Tracy (Biology) acknowledges this myth. Yet, his quest to find the Southern bog lemming in central Massachusetts was futile until June 3, when one lone lemming was discovered at Broadmeadow Brook.

A lemming is a small hamster-like mammal. Bogs are, or were, its favored habitat. Massachusetts has lost bogs over the last 120 years, Tracy said. But that isn't the whole story. He suspects a change in the surrounding vegetation has something to do with the decline of lemmings, too.

No one in years has looked at the Southern bog lemming, he said. The Massachusetts Division of Wildlife has no idea of where the lemmings are.

Tracy notes that there's a historical record of lemmings in Worcester County. But the last one was identified in the 1950s or 60s, he said. Nobody
is looking for these in Massachusetts.

Well, not nobody.

Tracy worked with three undergraduate students to find the Southern bog lemming and the New England cottontail rabbit, a species of special concern, in Massachusetts.

The students have done literature reviews of the habitats of these small mammals. They've been working in Broadmeadow Brook, Lancaster town forest and Poutwater Pond, an area between Holden and Sterling, to catalog species.

Tracy built 30 large wooden rabbit traps, which are specially designed for biological research. These supplement 200 aluminum Sherman traps he purchased with a previous mini-grant. The traps are of the Have-a-Heart variety: They are not invasive. Student researchers bait these traps with rolled oats, then set them in the evening.

They also put three cotton balls inside the traps so that an animal can make a nest in there, Tracy said. We don't want them to suffer hypothermia in the trap.

Come early morning, the students return to the traps to catalog the species and gender of the animals in them. They release the animals once they've catalogued them. 

Tracy, who is in his fifth year at Worcester State College, is particularly interested in metabolic studies of small mammals. The central questions behind his 2007-08 mini-grant, Quantifying Animal Diversity in Worcester County: Continued Undergraduate Student Research at Worcester State College, are why are these species in decline? And what is it about certain environments that allow these species to live there?

Students are actually able to do science, Tracy said of this project. He recruits student researchers from his ecology and introductory biology classes.

The mini-grant covered the cost of materials for the wooden rabbit traps. Tracy also bought cameras equipped with motion sensors. These are mounted on trees and capture movement of larger animals in the three research areas of central Massachusetts. The cameras have digital cards, which the student researchers download to see which species were in the area.

Tracy secured permits for this field research from the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife.

These are imperiled species, he said of the lemming and New England cottontail.

Tracy's research team may have a better chance of learning about the rabbit than the lemming. Although the New England cottontail was once the only rabbit species in New England, it currently is a mere 8 percent of the rabbit population in Massachusetts.

 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • 2008/2009 PARKING INFORMATION
    Don't forget to pick up your parking hang tag before that start of the semester. All PARKING INFORMATION FOR 2008/2009 can be found at
    www.worcester.edu/parking.

  • CAMPUS EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
    The College community can now also dial 8911 for an on campus emergency. Chief Rosemary Naughton urges use of this number, rather than dialing 911. "The problem with dialing 911," explained Chief Naughton, "is that the call is sent to the State Police - then to Worcester Police, which creates some delay. Then, when officers do respond to an emergency at Worcester State College, they arrive on campus without knowing which location on campus is appropriate. By calling us, we work with local emergency personnel to ensure the most timely response.

  • DENNNIS BRUTUS COLLECTION
    The Dennis Brutus Collection is now listed on the international website of the African Activist Project (www.africanactivist.msu.edu).

  •  The Dennis Brutus Collection at WSC now contains over 5000+ documents, audio, video and photographs. These materials are currently available for access by scholars and students, as well as independent researchers from outside WSC.  Many of the documents in the collection concern the work of Professor Emeritus Merrill Goldwyn's efforts in the early 1980s on behalf of Brutus' impending deportation from the U.S. back to South Africa.  Dr. Goldwyn was one of the very first academics to offer Brutus a teaching position, in order to demonstrate his worth to remain in this country, rather than to face re-imprisonment or worse for his decades of pro-human rights activities. For permission to examine the collection, please contact Dr. Aldo Guevera at the Center for the Study of Human Rights (Phone: 508-929-8612 or e-mail Aldo.Guevara@worcester.edu) or Library Director Dr. Donald Hochstetler, (Phone: 508.929.8511 or e-mail Donald.Hochstetler@worcester.edu). Collection website: http://wwwfac.worcester.edu/dbrutus/Default.htm

  • NEW ADDITION TO ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT
    The Admissions Department would like to welcome a new addition to their team. Sara J. Grady will serve as the Associate Director of Admissions. Sara comes to us from Assumption College where she served as Associate Director of Admissions.  She has over eight years experience in admissions, and looks forward to learning the process from Worcester State’s perspective.  She recently earned her master’s degree in Business Administration from Assumption.  She is married with two children, Jordan Elizabeth, 5, and Jack, 3.

     

 

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TRANSITIONS

TRANSFERS:

Stephanie Formica
Clerk III
Visual and Performing Arts

Ronald Kramek
Storekeeper II
Purchasing/Central Receiving

Richard Skowyra
Skilled Laborer - Trades
Facilities

PROMOTIONS:

Robert P. Daniels, III
Mail Clerk II
Purchasing/Central Receiving

Gary Joppas
Skilled Laborer - Grounds
Facilities

Roger Martin
Mail Clerk II
Purchasing/Central Receiving

WELCOME TO:

Laxmi Bissoondial
Academic Coordinator
Multicultural Affairs

Sara Grady
Associate Director
Admissions

Steven Miller, Jr.
Sports Information Director
Athletics

David Needham
Technical Assistant I
Information Technologies

Cheryl Vieira
Residence Director
Residence Life & Housing

NAME CHANGE:

Anne Marie Heyes
Athletics

GOOD LUCK TO:

Don McCabe, Graphic Artist from the
Office of Publications & Printing Services, on his retirement.

 

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WSC IN THE NEWS

**Please Note - Links to online newspaper articles may
no longer be available after a certain period of time.**

Colleges await word on when projects can start
Telegram & Gazette (8-9-08)
Excerpt: Worcester State College also has a project on the list: $25.5 million for a new health, science and athletic center that would replace the current gymnasium ...

Bruso pockets another victory at Pine Ridge
Webster Times (8-8-08) (Adobe Reader required for this article)
Excerpt:
A rising sophomore and Auburn native, Bruso was recently named the co-captain of his golf team at Worcester State College after winning three tournaments this past spring.

College Town
Telegram & Gazette (8-3-08)
Excerpt: 
Worcester State College and Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital have announced the continuation of its collaborative partnership formed in...

WSC outsources e-mail to Google
College saves cost of updating

Telegram & Gazette (7-31-08)
Excerpt: In May, Worcester State became the first four-year public college in Massachusetts to outsource its e-mail accounts to Google through the companys Google ...

Regional Digest
Telegram & Gazette (7-31-08)
Excerpt:  The Worcester-based Stoddard Charitable Trust recently awarded Worcester State College a three-year, $200000 grant to buy equipment for the ...

First test in college a toughie
Telegram & Gazette (7-28-08)
Excerpt:  Worcester State College
Mathematics Professor Richard C. Bisk believes their skills deficit goes back further than high school course selection. ...

Worcester State outsources e-mail to google
The Journal of New England Technology (7-25-08)
Excerpt: Inspired by the business world, Worcester State College is outsourcing its e-mail system to Google Inc. to cut costs and reduce a drain on support services.
 

Monday, August 18, 2008

 

COMING UP
 

Tuesday, September 2

Pre-College Conference

Student Center
Exhibit Area/Blue Lounge

 

 

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