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

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February 21, 2012 

Around Campus
In the News


Liberia: Peace Corps to Peace
Prize, a 50-year Journey

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Kristin Waters (Philosophy) and Thea Aschkenase '07 will present at the Women in Print event on Wednesday, March 7 at the Worcester Public Library. The event, focused on local authors, is hosted by the Worcester Women's History Project. Professor Waters will speak about her book "Black Women's Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds," and Aschkenase will speak about her memoirs as a holocaust survivor. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Saxe Room and is free and open to the public.

Adam Zahler's (Visual & Performing Arts) production of "Breaking the Code," which was produced last spring at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, has received five nominations for the 2012 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards. Zahler has received a nomination for Best Director - Small Theatre. The other nominations include Best Production, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor. The IRNE Awards Ceremony will be held on April 23, 2012.

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WSU Theatre Production of
"The Weir" Opens Thursday

Check out the promotional video for The Weir.

Worcester State Theatre's production of The Weir is set to open this Thursday, February 23. The Weir is a remarkable and moving play by one of Ireland's greatest living playwrights. In a small, rural Irish pub, where the men spend their evenings, a former local brings a young woman from Dublin to whom he has just sold a house. The men start telling ghost stories, trying to impress her, and what seems like a standard evening in the pub takes an unexpected turn when she tells a tale of her own.

Conor McPherson has received abundant praise for his rich, evocative writing, sensitively drawn characters, and chilling surprises in a play called "sheer theatrical magic" by London's The Telegraph. For the first time, all the designers - set, costumes, lights, and sound - are students. Come see their excellent work.

Performances will take place on February 23, 24, and 25 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, February 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Fuller Theater box office (2nd floor of the Shaughnessy Administration Building) and at the Student Center Info Desk. General admission is $14, seniors $10, students $7. **Please note, this production contains strong language. For information and reservations call 508-929-8843. Check out the WSU Theatre blog to learn more about the student designers.

Performance Reviews the Pre-Civil War
Years Through Abraham Lincoln's Eyes

By Chelsea Tougas '12

In his performances as Abraham Lincoln, actor Jim Getty described Lincoln's personal, education and political background, the political parties of the era, and his popular debates over slavery with Stephen Douglas on Wednesday, February 15.

Getty discussed how Lincoln was from a very poor family and often didn't go to school, but he eventually became a lawyer and soon ran for Congress. Of the era's three political parties--the Whigs, Democrats and Free Soilers--Lincoln was part of the Whigs, which were like our modern day Democrats. In 1854, the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates began. They originated from the heated political debate over extending slavery to the Northwest of the United States. Lincoln was against the extension while Douglas favored it. Lincoln believed that "all men should be free" and "all men are created equal." The debates lasted up to three hours with a minimum of 4,000 people in attendance.

In 1854 the Republican Party was founded. It pulled together the Whigs and several other parties into one unified party that leaned abolitionist and opposed the expansion of slavery. It was the first time the Republicans ran against the Democrats. Missing from the performance were details of Lincoln's run for the presidency, his presidency and Civil War. Getty briefly addressed the reason the confederate states seceded from the Union, how long the Civil War lasted, the number of lives lost, and the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

The packed North/South Auditorium enthusiastically applauded at the close of Getty's nighttime performance. More than 100 attended Getty's first performance in the Sullivan Auditorium at 10 a.m. Getty also held a workshop for students and faculty in Eager Auditorium at 2 p.m. during which he described his research to develop his dramatic interpretation of Lincoln.

The "Abraham Lincoln" one-man play was part of the Department of History and Political Science's multi-year commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War. For additional information on this or future events, please call 508-929-8162 or email Gina Lavallee at You can also visit

More Than 100 Attend Teach-in
By Erika Anderson '13

The "Education for Power" teach-in at Worcester State University on Saturday, February 18, one of many monthly events put on by the University and Worcester Free School, was by far the "biggest one yet, presenter-wise," said Liz Swenson, the founder of the Free School. More than 100 people attended.

This event's presenters were mostly professors from Worcester State University, Clark University, and WPI. WSU presenters were Matt Taylor, Calvin Hill, Mark Wagner, Suzanne Buglione, Michelle Corbin, Matthew Johnsen, Jeremy Rifkin, Amy Ebbeson, Michelle Benjamin, Paul Hernandez, Marcia Eagleson, and Joyce Mandell. In addition, WSU undergraduate student Phil Cosker held a workshop on nutrition, and graduate student Michael Baker's workshop focused on history. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Charles Cullum welcomed everyone in the Eager Auditorium.

The event was centered on action heroes like Batman, Voltron, Wonder Woman, Captain Planet, and He-Man & SheRa. Each room was assigned an action hero and had a related theme. For instance, the Captain Planet room had Earth and eco-friendly themed lectures.

Katherine Mitchell, an attendee, saw the event posted on Facebook and thought "the different lectures seemed really interesting." Mitchell attended the Voltron: E.P.O.C.A -- Building Relationships -- Building Power lecture with speakers Luis Bajana, Jaime Ayers, and Kevin Welby. She said it met her expectations and she was glad she went.

This event, part of the Theme Semester "Worcester in the World," was a collaboration between the University and the community. The goals of this teach-in were to help students and citizens understand current global issues and events and to assist them in formulating effective individual responses. "Learning is lifelong," noted Swenson.

Worcester State University sponsors included "Worcester in the World" Theme Semester, Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, Disability Services Office, Next Step Program, Career Services, Urban Studies, Sociology, Health Science, and the Office of Diversity & Affirmative Action. Other sponsors were the Worcester Free School, the Worcester Occupy Movement, The Social Justice Roundtable, CommunityBuild, Neighbor 2 Neighbor, E.P.O.C.A, and Saori Weaving.

The Worcester Free School is "a group working to develop better ways for people in the community of Worcester to learn from each other, and improve their lives and communities through education," according to the school's Facebook page. The Worcester Free School meets Thursdays at 9 p.m. at 97D Webster Street in Worcester.

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Online Scholarship Applications Are Being Accepted

It's time for students to apply for our 2012-2013 academic scholarships. They are available to a wide variety of class years, majors, backgrounds, and interests, as well as varying levels of academic success and financial need. There are currently about 120 named scholarships available. Please tell your students that they can learn more and apply at Students will use a new and improved electronic application form that will automatically recommend scholarships based on information they provide. The deadline is Monday, April 16 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit

Blood Pressure Clinic
The WSU Student Nurses' Association will be hosting a Blood Pressure Clinic on Wednesday February 22 from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Exhibit Area of the Student Center. Please stop by and have your blood pressure checked!

SGA Fundraiser at Unos
Uno's at The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley in Millbury is having a fund raiser on Thursday, February 23rd to benefit the WSU SGA Auction. The event will run from 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. and 20% of your total (excluding tax and tip) bill will benefit the WSU SGA Auction. This deal is valid on Dine In or Take Out. Please email Josh Katz at to receive a flyer which must be presented to your server. Red Sox raffle tickets will be sold from 4 - 10 p.m. (1 for $5, 2 for $8, 3 for $10). The winner will be drawn at the SGA Auction on March 30, 2012. A Sports Memorabilia Silent Auction will take place from 4 - 10 p.m. (cash, checks, credit cards).

Local AmeriCorps VISTA Position Available
Habitat for Humanity of Metro West/Greater Worcester is looking for a candidate for an AmeriCorps VISTA position at the ReStore in Worcester. The position would be full time for one year starting May 2012. The VISTA would work on the following projects:

-Recruiting Volunteers
-Track volunteer progress and establish a recognition system
-Expanding the ReStore's social media presence, along with general public relations
-Run alternative spring break for local college students
-Create advertising and promotional materials
-Community and donor outreach, including community groups, schools, and faith groups

To learn more, please contact Nate Flynn, ReStore Volunteer Coordinator at or call 508-439-7655.

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Welcome to:

Ruby Morris Jones
Staff Assistant/Academic Advisor
Academic Success

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College Town

Telegram & Gazette 2/19/12
Those attending a theatrical performance usually don't give much thought to all the work that goes into making the show a success. And that's as it should be, according to Adam Zahler, Worcester State University professor and director of "The Weir," which opens Thursday at WSU's Fuller Theatre.

Speakers at Clark forum discuss universal right to peace
Telegram & Gazette 2/19/12
Opening the day via Skype was Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former ambassador to Bangladesh and former undersecretary general to the United Nations. Last year, he prompted Virginia Swain and Joseph Baratta of Worcester to form the Coalition for the Human Right to Peace. Ms. Swain, who is married to Mr. Baratta, a Worcester State University professor, organized the conference. They met at the United Nations in the 1990s.

Good Deeds
Telegram & Gazette 2/19/12
A $7,500 grant to the Genesis Club will support a program for young adult club members enrolled at Worcester State University...

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Tues., Feb. 21

Career Mentoring
Student Center,
Blue Lounge

5:30 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 22

Daryl Davis
Student Center,
Blue Lounge

11:30 a.m.

Thurs., Feb. 23

Unos Fundraiser
for SGA Auction

Millbury Unos at
Blackstone Shoppes
11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

The Weir
Admin. Building
Fuller Theater

8 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 24

The Weir
Admin. Building
Fuller Theater

8 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 25

The Weir
Admin. Building
Fuller Theater

8 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 26

The Weir
Admin. Building
Fuller Theater

2 p.m.


Thurs., Mar. 1

Journalist & Author
Christian Parenti

Student Center,
North/South Aud.

11:30 a.m.

Fri., Mar. 2

Civil Rights Beyond
Black & White

Student Center,
Blue Lounge

10:30 a.m.


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