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

October 26, 2009 

Around Campus
In the News


WSC to Host Forum on Meeting the
Needs of Homeless Children

Worcester State College
Campaign Meets $10M Goal

WSC part of $1M DOE Grant
to Improve History Instruction

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Barry DeCoster (Philosophy) presented a paper this summer titled "Improving Medical Explanations: Rethinking Explanatory Structure and Agency" as part of the second biennial conference of the Society for the Philosophy of Science in Practice(SPSP), which was co-sponsored with the Center for Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Science (CEPTES), University of Twente, Netherlands.

SPSP is an international group of philosophers and other scholars committed to thinking philosophically about science as it is actually practiced, not as an abstract and static system of knowledge. The group was organized to bring philosophers, scientists, and other academics together who are interested in grappling with fundamental questions about knowledge, with a focus on scientific and medical knowledge and knowledge-generating practices.

Aparna Mahadev (Computer Science) and Jonathan Nadeau (Computer Science, sophomore) recently participated in Expanding Access to Computing: Teaching & Design for All Abilities A Capacity-Building Institute sponsored by Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education and Access Computing in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Jonathan Nadeau was a panelist in the student panel "Student Experiences" where he shared his experiences and challenges he faces as a blind student who is majoring in Computer Science. Professor Mahadev was a panelist in "Coordinating Stakeholders to Improve Access" where she shared her experiences in teaching students with disabilities.

Henry Theriault (Philosophy) published "The Albright-Cohen Report: From Realpolitik Fantasy to Realist Ethics," in the August 2009 issue of Genocide Studies and Prevention, a peer-reviewed journal in genocide studies.

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Dr. Espín Chronicles Domestic
Violence in the Immigrant Community

Women and men have different experiences during border crossings, said Dr. Oliva M. Espín at the Worcester State College Women's Studies Program Candace Allen Scola memorial lecture last week. She told the often harrowing stories of immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence. According to Espín, between three and four million women are beaten by their husbands or partners every year and the most common injury among women between the ages of 15 and 40 is from domestic violence. She said immigrant women suffer even more. She reported that one-half of immigrant women are victims of domestic violence. Espín said that the reasons for the abuse are partly due to the stress of moving to a new country and the increased stress and marginalization of their husbands and partners in their new surroundings. But she said that although violence usually worsens after immigration, many of these women were also victimized before they moved to the U.S.

She also said there is a tendency in some law enforcement circles to consider the cultural background of the abuser. She cited the example of Somali immigrants in San Diego, where abuse is attributed to "a different culture," But she reminded the audience that authorities do not accept cultural differences in all laws. "It is also part of their culture for men to walk through the streets with the goats and herd them with sticks. But if they were to do that in San Diego, police would stop them."

Espín's talk was featured at the annual lecture honoring Candace Allen Scola, a Worcester State College geography and education student who was murdered in her Worcester home in July 2002. She had hoped to become a teacher, to make a difference in the lives of young people like the troubled youths she encountered in her work at Worcester Juvenile Court. WSC, with the support of the Allen family, responded to her death by creating a Student Meditation Garden on campus and established the college's annual lecture in her honor.

Espín is Professor Emerita of Women's Studies at San Diego State University and Professor Emerita of Psychology at Alliant International University (California School of Professional Psychology-San Diego). She specializes in the psychology of Latinas, immigrant and refugee women, women's sexuality across cultures and qualitative research methodology. Dr. Espín trained psychotherapists and worked as a feminist therapist for twenty years before coming to San Diego in 1990. A native of Cuba, Dr. Espín has lived and worked in several countries. She received the 1991 Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Public Service from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Career Award from the Association for Women in Psychology in 2001 and distinguished publication awards from the Association for Women in Psychology in 1993 and in 1999. She is a sought after consultant and the author of many articles. Dr. Espín regularly presents her work at national and international professional conferences

Dr. Darder Addresses "Issues of Culture and
Power in the Academy" as Part of WSC's
Courageous Conversations Series

Dr. Antonia Darder, Ph.D. made a case against institutional racism during a talk and film presentation last week. Her lecture was entitled, "Issues of Culture and Power in the Academy" and was part of Worcester State College's Courageous Conversations series.

"If we are going to truly be diverse," she said, "we have to pay attention." She urged students and faculty to work on issues large and small, for example, making certain to pronounce names correctly. "What happens to kids when we cannot pronounce their names?" she asked.

"I am not a neutral scholar," she said and her work focuses on documenting institutional racism. "Universities are a mess," she said. She pointed to college retention rates often below 60 percent. "If we want students to succeed, we need to be willing to be there for students and to listen to them."

She did stress that she did not feel that college and university racism was deliberate. "I believe that most people are good, but as humans we have a hard time seeing, 'other'."

Darder is a professor of Educational Policy Studies and Latino/a Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and internationally recognized for her contributions as a radical educator. Her current work focuses on comparative studies of racism, class, gender, and society. Her teaching examines cultural and global issues in education with an emphasis on identity, language, and popular culture, as well as the philosophical foundations of critical pedagogy, Latino & Latina studies, and social justice theory.

The series, sponsored by the college's Third World Alliance, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Offices, is celebrating its third year. The college has also welcomed such distinguished speakers and thinkers as Cornel West and Angela Davis as part of the Courageous conversations series.

Worcester State College Theatre
presents Bus Stop, Nov. 12-15

The newly renovated Fuller Theater at Worcester State College will open in November with its first production, "Bus Stop," the warm-hearted, romantic comedy by William Inge.

Produced by Worcester State Theatre and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, "Bus Stop" will be performed at 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, November 12, 13, 14 and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 15 at Fuller Theater located on the second floor of the Administration building. Tickets are $7 for students and $14 general admission. Tickets are available for purchase at the Fuller Theater Box Office (second floor of the Administration Building), at the Student Center Info Desk, or at the door prior to the show.

A snow storm leaves a bus load of travelers trapped at Grace's Diner in a small Nebraska town, with the roads blocked and telephone lines down. There's the bus driver with a hankering for Grace; the dissolute former professor with eyes for the diner's young waitress; and the night club singer trying to escape from the cowboy's plans on marrying her. Inge's classic, American, romantic comedy explores the full spectrum of romantic relationships with a warm, touching humor that has pleased audiences since it first opened in 1955.

"Bus Stop" is directed by Adam Zahler, assistant professor of Theatre with scenic design by John Howell Hood, assistant professor of Theatre, costume design by Susan Johnson-Hood, adjunct professor of Theatre, and lighting design by Christopher Fournier.

For more information on "Bus Stop," call the Worcester State College Theatre info line at 508-929-8843.

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NEPA Conference Draws Over 200

Worcester State College received the honor to host the 49th Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association (NEPA) and the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Psychology (NECTOP) on October 9 and 10.

NEPA is a research conference open to faculty and students in all areas of psychology. NECTOP is a teaching conference that is attended by college and high school psychology faculty.

This endeavor was made possible because of the collaboration between the WSC Psychology Department and the Office of Academic Affairs. Over 200 faculty, students and scholars from the New England area attended. Emily Soltano (Psychology) serves on the steering committee for NEPA.

Numerous faculty, current WSC students and graduates from the Psychology Department participated in the conference. On October 9, five faculty from the WSC Psychology Department presented at NECTOP; Emily Soltano, Champika K. Soysa, Brandi Silver and Amy Cota-McKinley gave an invited symposium entitled Research Methods in Psychology. Beth Russell and Amy Cota-McKinley facilitated a participant idea exchange on Online Audio Instruction: Evaluation of Nontraditional Approach to Distance Learning.

On Saturday, nine WSC faculty and students presented their research. Mary Jane Rosati* and Pearl Mosher-Ashley presented a poster on College Student Involvement in the Care of Sick, Disabled or Elderly Family Members; Champika K. Soysa, Kathleen Clark*, and Jamie Venini* presented a poster on Procrastination, Coping, and Achievement Anxiety in College Women; Christine Becerra* and Champika K. Soysa presented a poster, Perfectionism, Support, Achievement Anxiety and Stress; Caitlin Desrochers* presented a poster, Lying to Get In: A study of deceptive practices used on job applications and resumes; and Cheryl Burlingame* and Beth Russell presented a poster, The role of parents attitudes towards play development of preschoolers" social skill.

Emily Soltano (Psychology Club Advisor) and Amy Cota-McKinley coordinated a Psi Chi Student-Faculty exchange that included student club officers and members: Jonida Theodhoraqi (former Psychology Club Present) Miriam Curini (former Psychology Club Vice President), Megan Tull (Psi Chi President), Amanda VanNess (Psi Chi Vice President), Nicole Braga (Psychology Club Secretary), Jessica Lalli (Psychology Club Vice President), and Kathryn Fokas (Psychology Club Member).

The conference not only showcased the research of faculty and students from the Psychology Department but also provided the chance to share knowledge and learn from colleagues across New England.

* = Students and graduates from the WSC Psychology Department. These students accomplished these projects from Psychology Department Honors and independent study projects.

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A reminder that it's not to late to donate your gently used shoes to Soles4Souls. Boxes are located in the Student Center near the Info Desk, and in the Science and Technology building, lobby and 3rd floor. Join the campaign to change the world one step at a time. Shoes are distributed worldwide, most recently to Samoa, Indonesia and the Philippines in response to natural disasters. The WSC shoe drive ends October 30.

20th-Year Reunion Concert of the WSC Chorale
The reunion will include a free public concert on Saturday, November 7 at 4 p.m. in the Student Center Exhibit Area followed by a dinner at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club in Boylston.

If you would like to attend the Reunion Dinner at Cyprian Keyes (with cash bar and karaoke) the cost is $35 per person. Contact Christie Nigro at cnigro@worcester.edu for details or reservations.

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Tokarz leads the way at Worcester State

... touchdowns in leading the Worcester State College football team to a 20-10 victory over Fitchburg State last Saturday at the Lancers' Coughlin Field. ...

Iraqi journalist fears for future generations

Yesterday, he spoke at Worcester State College as part of its Diversity Lecture Series sponsored by Flagship Bank. Mr. Hamza has spoken in Iraq, too, ...

Theriault: Sarkisian and Nalbandian have
rescued the failed Turkish denial campaign

Dr. Henry Theriault, a professor of philosophy at Worcester State College and author of several articles on genocide denial, wrote: The notion of a ?historical commission? to bring together the ?points of view? of Armenians and Turks on ...

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Tues., Oct. 27

Barbara Pilon
Poetry Contest
Open Mic &
Awards Ceremony

Student Center,
Blue Lounge

3-5 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 28

Forum - Kids Count:
Meeting the Needs of
Homeless Children

Student Center,
N/S Aud.

2-4:30 p.m.

Speed Networking
Careers in College
Student Affairs

Student Center,
Blue Lounge

3-4:30 p.m.

Field Hockey vs.
Nichols College

Coughlin Field
7 p.m.

Thurs., Oct. 29

Faculty Art Show
Opening Night

Ghosh, 1st Floor
5 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 30

Ice Hockey vs.
Monroe Jr. College

Horgan Rink,
400 Oxford St. North,
Auburn, MA

5:30 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 31

Field Hockey vs.
Eastern CT

Coughlin Field
11 a.m.

Women's Soccer
vs. Salem State

Coughlin Field
7 p.m.


Tues., Nov. 3

"2012: End of Days"
w/ Dr. Barnhart

Student Center
Blue Lounge

11:30 a.m.

Faculty Art Exhibit
on display

Ghosh, 1st Floor
3-5 p.m.

Thurs., Nov. 5

Faculty Art Exhibit
on display

Ghosh, 1st Floor
3-5 p.m.

Professors' Night
at Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury St.,

6-9 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 7

Football vs.
Westfield State

Coughlin Field

20th Year Reunion
Concert of the
WSC Chorale

Student Center,
Exhibit Area

4-5:15 p.m.

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