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


WSC Initiative to Address Nursing Faculty Shortage

Dr. Shamgochian Discusses WSC
China Initiative on WTAG



Nursing Students and Faculty to Sleep Outside to
Raise Awareness about Homelessness

Extraordinary Dedication Winners Recognized


North Carolina in the American Revolution:
Professor Haller Explores Race and Black Freedom

Faculty Mini-Grants Announced for 2008/2009




WSC e-news General Info



Tara Hancock (Alumni Relations) was chosen by the Worcester Business Journal (WBJ) for their 2008 "40 Under Forty." For the last nine years WBJ has sought out nominations for professionals across Central Massachusetts who, "though early in their professional careers, have nonetheless shown every sign that they have what it takes to be leaders within their fields." Tara and four other winners were photographed at Mechanics Hall for the cover of the 40 Under Forty issue. Click here for Tara's published profile.

Fortunata Songora Makene (Sociology) presented a paper at the Annual American Sociological Association (ASA) Conference held at the Sheraton Back Bay/Hynes Convention Center in Boston on August 4.  The paper titled A Glance at What Shapes Human History:  Globalization and Girls Rights to Education in Tanzania focused on contradictions between international  laws, national policies and local traditions and cultures in Tanzania. This paper analyzes what happens as these discourses get translated into policy on the ground and its consequences to a girl child's access to education.  During the conference, Professor Makene attended a one day workshop for new teachers of sociology titled Teachers are Made, Not Born organized by the ASA section on Teaching and Learning.

Sudha Swaminathan (Physical and Earth Sciences) received a travel grant from the American Physical Society Committee on the Status of Women in Physics, to reimburse travel expenses for one of two women speakers who are invited to WSC to speak on their research in physics.  Dr. Nancy Gulbahce from Northeastern University and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Dr. Sharmila Majumdar from the Department of Radiology at the University of California at San Francisco have agreed to speak during the 2008 - 2009 academic year.

Adam Zahler (Theatre/Visual & Performing Arts) directed a new play that was presented at the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. The world premiere of The Patriot Act by Lydia Bruce and Sandy Burns finished its three-week run on August 25 to sellout houses, accolades from the press, and a Best Actor nomination for Boston's own Will Lyman.
Under Zahler's direction the cast of four (Lyman, Robert Pemberton, Richard Arum, and Darri Johnson Colton) performed the play about Will Carpenter, a world famous playwright struggling to come to terms with his alienated son. The playwright, played by Lyman, has run afoul of US anti-terror laws because of his outspoken plays and is given a stark choice by the government: write an anti-terror play or be silenced by imprisonment.
        The Patriot Act received Five Star reviews from three publications including The Scotsman (Scotland's national newspaper), which also honored the play with a HotPlay designation, one of only seven dramas to be so recognized. The Stage, Britain's theatrical newspaper, honored Lyman with one of just five nominations for Best Actor.


Barbara Zang (Communication) presented an invited workshop, Reporting on Disabilities in a Community, for an IREX-sponsored Russian faculty study tour in New York City on June 25. Journalism professors from the University of the Russian Academy of Education in Nizhny Novgorod participated in the workshop to improve their understanding of media coverage of disabilities.


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 Nursing Students and Faculty to Sleep Outside
to Raise Awareness about Homelessness

WSC senior nursing students and faculty have pledged to sleep outside in cardboard boxes on September 25-26, in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless in the community.

Over 45 students and faculty have committed to spending the night on the lawn of the Student Center.  The students will also collect food and money to support local food banks and homeless shelters.


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Extraordinary Dedication Winners Recognized

For the fifth year in a row, President Janelle C. Ashley recognized faculty and staff at the Opening Day Conference who have demonstrated "Extraordinary Dedication" to the mission of the college. Congratulations to this years winners: Professor Francis "Tuck" Amory (Urban Studies), Brenda Campbell (Purchasing/Accounts Payable), Joyce Danelius (Information Technologies), Professor Julie Frechette (Communication), Eric Hall (Registrar) and Louise Taylor (Institutional Advancement). Picture (L-R): Brenda Campbell, Louise Taylor, Joyce Danelius and Julie Frechette. Not pictured: Francis "Tuck" Amory and Eric Hall.


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North Carolina in the American Revolution: Professor Haller Explores Race and Black Freedom
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.

In a primary campaign season rife with discussions of race and gender, Charlotte Haller (History) is examining those issues, albeit from a different historical vantage point. She is revisiting the paradox of slavery among women in North Carolina.

Haller's doctoral work at University of Wisconsin-Madison was in social history and women's history. She looked at the daily life of black and white Southerners for her dissertation. Her 2007-08 mini-grant, Taking Liberties: Household, Race and Black Freedom in Revolutionary North Carolina, has allowed her to transform her dissertation, completed in 2000, into a book.

Its also enabled her to buy books on the topic to get back into the academic conversation. There's been a really wonderful flowering of scholarship around this topic, she said.

States handled the freeing of slaves in different ways. In Virginia, after the Revolution, for example, if a master wanted to free a slave, he could just do it, Haller said.

North Carolina was interesting in this regard, she said. It had greater numbers of slaves in the 1780s and 90s as well as an increase in free blacks in the early 1800s.  In 1790, five percent of the black population in North Carolina was free. 

North Carolina never liberalized its laws to let masters free their slaves, she said. In order to free a slave, a master had to petition the county court and make the case for the deserving slave.  Such slaves were often freed for meritorious service.

In fact, many of these masters were interested in freeing the mothers of their children. Slavery was inheritable through the mother. If a mother was a slave, her children were slaves.

Lots of people just ignored this law, Haller said. The freed slaves don't come into the public records because they were merely set free.

The role of religion in slavery adds another dimension to her study. Methodists had circuit riders, who went from church to church, and, at times, offered  not only spiritual freedom but physical freedom.

They played a concrete role in helping people gain their freedom, Haller said. For a few critical years, Methodists preached that one couldn't be a slaveholder and be a Methodist.

Baptists, on the other hand, allowed each individual church to set its own policies on slavery.  These churches convened discussions of such topics as How can slavery be a moral institution in North Carolina?

During this era, North Carolina had the second largest population of Quakers, who, after 1781, no longer owned slaves. Activists when it came to emancipation, when they found that their freed slaves were rounded up and sold, they went to court to complain. They established schools for freed slaves, sheltered runaways and spoke out against slavery.

The Quakers also formed the Society for the Protection of Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage and would sometimes help women who were seeking freedom for their children.

These slave women, once they knew that their children would be taken away from them and sold, brought freedom suits in which they would hire a lawyer to try to prove that their children were entitled to freedom. 

Haller, who has been teaching at Worcester State since January 2005, envisions refreshing her U.S. History online survey course with the material she's been examining for this book. I've been wanting to shake up how I teach it, she said.

She also has plans for a book for such a college history course, a collection of articles on women and the Civil War.  Such a collection will undoubtedly add to our contemporary understanding of race and gender.


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Faculty Mini-Grants Announced for 2008/2009

The Worcester State College Mini-Grant Program offers faculty an opportunity to seek college-funding for scholarly research and/or creative activities.  The Mini-Grant Review Committee consisting of seven faculty and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs as a non voting member, volunteer to review proposals and make recommendations to the Academic Vice President. 

With the mini-grant program entering its eleventh year, this task has become more and more difficult.  To illustrate the competitive nature of this program, this years committee was responsible for reviewing 41 quality proposals, requesting over $194,351 in financial support.  From that initial list, thirty-four mini-grant projects were recommended for approval enabling 46 faculty members and opportunity to work on individual and/or joint projects. 

Through the combined efforts of both the Colleges Offices of Institutional Advancement, and Academic Affairs as well as the Worcester State College Foundation this year we are pleased to announce that $100,000 has been made available to provide financial support for the following projects:


Dr. Latifeh Kormi-Amini, Dr. Brandi Silver

Neurobiology Lecture Series

Dr. Daron Barnard

Biology Scholar Research Residence: The Use and Assessment of Research Project Based Laboratories in Biology

Prof. Cynthia Bechtel, Prof. Deborah Benes, Prof. Mary Ellen Brisbois Ms. Jillian Parzych, Ms. Katherine Dufresne

Implementation of Personal Digital Assistants in the Clinical setting

Professor Julian Berrian, Dr. Alta Carroll

Teaching through Community Outreach 

Dr. Andrea Bilics

Using Case-Based Instruction to Teach Evidence-Based Practice 

Dr. Kelly Boone, Dr. Stephen Morreale

Anti-Bullying Intervention: Focus on Vocabulary and Pragmatics as Predictors in Decreasing Bullying

Dr. Alta Carroll

The Recontextualization of American Advertising by Recent Immigrants

Dr. Steven H. Corey, Dr. Lisa Krissoff Boehm

Book Proposal and Documents/Photographs Research for books,
The American City Reader (Routledge Press, proposed)

 Dr. Carrie Todd Davis

Providing Interactive Virtual Field Trip Experiences to Students in Introductory Geoscience Courses

Dr. Patricia S. Donovan, Dr. Maureen Stefanini, Dr. Laurie Dahlin

Development of the Worcester Entrepreneurial Leadership Center

Dr. Allison L. Dunn

Sequestration of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide in Regenerating New England Forests: Quantifying Pools and Constraining Fluxes

Dr. Carlos Fontes

"Blow Guns, Spirits and Satellites" (Working Documentary Title)

Dr. Julie Frechette

Becoming the Media: Experiential Learning through Media Analysis,
Critical Thinking and Political Activism during the 2008
National Presidential Election

Professor Suzanne Gainer

National Geographic Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dr. Joanne Gallagher, Professor Catherine McNeil

Improving Reading Competency for Academic Success in
Occupational Therapy

Dr. John Goodchild

Studies of Plant Phenols

Dr. Eihab Jaber

Nanotechnology Investigation into the Binding of Surfactant Coatings
onto Magnetic Nanoparticles

Dr. Matthew Johnsen

The Singing Revolution: Music and Social Change

Dr. Frank Lamelas

Measurement of the Index of Refraction Using a Fabry-Perot Technique

Dr. Linda Larrivee, Dr. Emily Soltano, Dr. Susanna Meyer

Predictors of English Language Development in Internationally
Adopted Children: Part 2"

Dr. Emanuel Nneji

To Determine the Modes of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Provisio and their Appropriateness for Community Organizations in Worcester, Massachusetts

Dr. Steven J. Oliver, Dr. Randall L. Tracy

Continuing the Galapagos Initiative: A Study-Abroad Program for Undergraduates in Natural History and Evolution

Dr. Maureen Power

The Development of a Cross Age Community Fellows Program at WSC

Dr. Josna Rege

The Difference that Dispora Makes: Contemporary Womens Writing and Diaspora

Dr. Beth Russell

Reliability Results for the Parenting Interview on Caregiving-Infancy (PICI)

Dr. Beth Russell, Dr. Amy Cota-McKinley

Exploring Best Practice for Teaching Online

Dr. Sudha Swaminathan

Portable Physics: Experiment Kits for the First Year of High School

Dr. Champika K. Soysa

Tsunami 2004: Trauma and Resilience in Sri Lanka

Dr. Seth Surgan

Building Process-oriented Methods for Developmental Psychology

Dr. Henry Theriault

Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association
of Genocide Scholars

Professor Marc Wagoner

Ethnic Studies Introduction and Capstone Course Development Workshop 

Dr. Karen Woods Weierman

Transatlantic Women Conference at Oxford University

Dr. Karen Woods Weierman, Dr. Phil Burns, Dr. Carey Smitherman

Writing at Worcester State: A Professional Development Program for Composition Instructors (2nd year)

Dr. Janice Yee

Social Capital and its Implications


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    PRESIDENT'S ANNUAL REPORT: The 2008 WSC Annual Presidents Report was distributed during the Opening Day meeting on September 2.  If you did not receive your copy, please pick one up at the PR and Marketing Office, Room 107A.  

    This informative report highlights key accomplishments of the last fiscal year and features profiles of students, faculty, alumni, and donors. For the first time, the Presidents Report was combined with the Report of Giving and includes the honor roll of donors.

    Please note that we will no longer mail publications to the homes of faculty and staff, even if other household members are alumni of the College. Therefore, please be sure to take your copy home to share with members of your household who are WSC alums.

    Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We hope you enjoy the report.

    THE INTERSECTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE and CIVIC ENGAGEMENT - The First 2008-2009 CSD/SLD Think Tank Gathering will be held on Monday, September 29, from 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the College of the Holy Cross. Schedule: 9:30-10:00 Check in and Continental Breakfast; 10:00-11:00 Welcome and Introductions- MACC and Campus Updates; 11:00-12:00 Workshop Presentation; 12:00-12:30 Lunch; 12:30-2:00 Resume Workshop, Closing. Open to ALL Community Service Directors, Service Learning Directors and any Faculty involved with Service Learning. Location: Room 402 (4th Floor), Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross,
    1 College Street, Worcester, Mass. Please RSVP by September 22 to Julian Brown-Myers, MACC Operations Manager, at so we can plan a great breakfast and lunch for you.

    All PARKING INFORMATION FOR 2008/2009 can be found at

    PLANNING AN EVENT THIS YEAR? - Are you thinking about the following: How to get the media interested?; How to fill those seats?; On and Off-Campus Press?; The Best Day and Time to hold your event?; Photography? If so, get your event on our radar! Even if you are just thinking about holding an event, the Office of Public Relations and Marketing is here to help guide you through the process of promoting a successful event. Contact us as soon as possible at 508-929-8018 or Already have an event in the works? Contact us today with the details.

    Current and retired educators save on purchases for personal or classroom use. Just bring proof of educator status (librarians and school administrators also eligible). Special Reception on
    Friday, Oct. 3, 4-8 p.m. at Borders stores** food, fun and prizes
    25% off list prices of books, CDs, DVDSs, etc. Free tote with $40 purchase. *Certain exclusions apply. **Receptions not held at Borders Express or Waldenbooks. Visit

    CAMPUS EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS: The college community can now 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." From a cell phone, dial 508-929-8911.


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    Administrative Promotions
    Administrative Appointments
    Faculty Appointments
    Faculty One Year Temporary Appointments
    Faculty One Semester Temporary Appointment
    Faculty Promotions and Tenured
    Faculty Promotions
    Faculty Tenured



    Jennifer English
    Associate Director
    Financial Aid


    Mark LaCroix
    Staff Assistant/Design Artist
    Publications, Printing Services

    Joann Reidy
    Staff Assistant/Clinical Lab Instructor

    Mandi Scala
    Staff Assistant/Coordinator
    Student Activities and Commuter Services


    Raymond Fontaine (Mail Clerk II/Purchasing/Central Receiving)
    on his retirement after 27 years


    Brad Bryan
    Assistant Professor
    Biology, Tenure Track

    Karen Camargo
    Nursing, Tenure Track

    Stephanie Chalupka
    Full Professor
    Nursing, Tenured

    Jeffrey Cohen
    Criminal Justice, Tenure Track

    Jeremy DeSilva
    Assistant Professor
    Biology, Tenure Track

    Meghna Dilip
    Assistant Professor
    Chemistry, Tenure Track

    Maria Fung
    Assistant Professor
    Mathematics, Tenure Track

    Michael Gesin
    Assistant Professor
    History/Political Science, Tenure Track

    Tona Hangen
    Assistant Professor
    History/Political Science, Tenure Track

    Elizabeth Siler
    Business Administration/Economics, Tenure Track

    Robert Smith
    Assistant Professor
    History/Political Science, Tenure Track

    Caitlin Stover
    Nursing, Tenure Track

    John Tahiliani
    Assistant Professor
    Criminal Justice, Tenure Track



    Kathryn Baldor

    Barry DeCoster
    Assistant Professor

    Andrea Dottolo
    Assistant Professor

    Douglas Frink
    Assistant Professor
    Physical and Earth Sciences

    Gabriel Katz
    Assistant Professor

    Rami Khalaf

    Jeffrey Meunier
    Computer Science

    Raphael Njoroge
    History/Political Science

    Eileen Perez

    Matthew Taylor

    Jingyu Zhang
    Assistant Professor
    Computer Science



     Michael E. Shamgochian
    Assistant Professor
    Business Administration/Economics



     Elena Braynova
    Associate Professor
    Computer Science

    John Goodchild
    Associate Professor

    Anne Gathuo
    Urban Studies

    Penny Martin
    Associate Professor
    Criminal Justice

    JoAnne Maynard
    Associate Professor
    Health Science

    Steven Oliver
    Associate Professor

    Brandi Silver
    Associate Professor

    Maria-Amaryllis Sinossoglou
    Associate Professor
    Visual and Performing Arts

    Randall Tracy
    Associate Professor


    Andrea Bilics
    Occupational Therapy

    Sue Fan Foo
    Associate Professor

    Julie Frechette

    Kyle Martin
    Visual & Performing Arts

    Rodney Oudan
    Associate Professor
    Business Administration/Economics

    Margarita Perez

    Audrey Wright


    Mary Fowler
    Assistant Professor

    Francisco Lamelas
    Associate Professor
    Physical & Earth Sciences

    Emanuel Nneji
    Associate Professor

    Carey Smitherman
    Assistant Professor
    Languages & Literature

    Champika Soysa
    Associate Professor



    The College community expresses sincere condolences to Janice St. Germaine (Education) for the loss of her mother, Florence G. Hodgerney of Auburn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Assembly of God Church.

     The College community expresses sincere condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Dr. Robert M. Spector (History/Political Science)  who died August 17. Donations in his memory may be made to the Worcester State Foundation  Robert M. Spector Ph.D. Memorial Scholarship Fund
    c/o Office of Institutional Advancement.

    The College community expresses sincere condolences to Carol Donnelly (Education) on the passing of her mother, Loretta (Chisholm) Burns, 97, of Auburn, who died  Thursday, August 21, in the UMass-Memorial Medical Center Memorial Campus after a short illness. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UMass-Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 2795, Worcester, Mass. 01613-9938


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

    Dorm on a dime
    Boston Globe (9-4-08)
    Excerpt: As a freshman at Worcester State College, he's here for the essentials. And while he admits he's not much of a decorator - "I hate clutter," he says - since ...

    Students roll into area colleges
    Move-in day is oft-overlooked Labor Day tradition

    Telegram & Gazette (9-2-08)
    Excerpt: Yesterday at Worcester State College, for instance, Sharon Doiron of Gardner was helping her daughter, Sarah, move into one of the campus dormitories. ...

    Community college popular for members of class of '08
    Telegram & Gazette (9-1-08)
    Excerpt: He hopes to transfer to Worcester State College after two years, also for a degree in education.

    Transfusions pumping new life into the Lancers
    Telegram & Gazette (8-31-08)
    Excerpt: To address some of last seasons problems, Worcester State brought in 12 transfers, about half of them from Dean College, which went 9-1 last year. ...

    Rising tuition on the brain
    Area colleges costing more

    Telegram & Gazette (8-26-08)
    Excerpt: Worcester State College has the lowest tuition among the four-year schools in the Consortium. As a state-funded school, the tuition is set by the state ...

    Worcester State receives nursing grant
    Telegram & Gazette (8-17-08)
    The Worcester-based Fairlawn Foundation has given Worcester State College a $120,000 grant to encourage nurses to become professors and train other nurses.

Monday, September 8, 2008



Fri., Sept.12

"What We Say Goes:
Pakistan, Iran and
U.S. Foreign Policy"

10:30 a.m.

Old and New"

7 p.m.


Tues., Sept. 23

When Anchormen Attack..."
11:30 a.m.
Student Center
Blue Lounge

Wed., Sept. 24

Latino Family
College Fair

6-8 p.m.
Student Center
Blue Lounge

Thurs., Oct. 2

"Slaves to Fashion"
11:30 a.m.
Student Center
Blue Lounge


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