Federal grant to launch 'Project Excel' at Fairfield University Pianist Emanuel Ax will perform at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts Freshman at Fairfield University awarded The William and Melinda Gates Millennium scholarship Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto to speak at Fairfield University's Quick Center Dartmouth College theologian to present Christopher F. Mooney, S.J., lecture at Fairfield University Folk legend and spiritual seeker Arlo Guthrie to appear at Quick Center Theatre Fairfield's production of "Pippin" to bow at Quick Center "The Blame Show" opens at Fairfield University's Lukacs Gallery Politics professor receives Fulbright Scholarship to teach comparative politics in Turkey Bannow Science Center to unveil new science-research facilities Associate professor of mathematics at Fairfield University to head nationwide mathematics honor society
Fairfield University has been awarded a federal grant of $720,000 over the next four years to launch Project Excel, a program to help students who are from low-income families, are the first generation to attend a four-year college or have a learning disability.
The University was informed by Congressman Christopher Shays of Connecticut's 4th district that the grant was authorized by the Division of Student Support Services of the U.S. Department of Education and covers September 1997 through August 2001.
Dr. Georgia Day, assistant academic vice president and director of Project Excel, explained that the program will seek to assist 150 freshmen and sophomores who need added assistance in order to graduate from Fairfield in four years and go on to a graduate or professional school, if they desire.
"Fairfield accepts students with high SAT scores - this year's freshman class averaged 1127 - but they often come here from high schools without the resources that advantaged schools have. Project Excel will assist those students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds."
As a result, Fairfield will seek to familiarize high school students with the opportunities now available. "We will send literature about Project Excel to high school students through their counselors, the Connecticut Association of Educational Opportunity Program and Upward Bound and Talent Search, both of which operate on the University campus and are successfully helping high school students from Bridgeport raise their horizons in choosing colleges and careers," Dr. Day said.
Eligible students now attending Fairfield and in need of the program are currently being identified so that services can begin for them in January. Incoming students will enroll in summer courses even before the usual fall semester in order to ease the transition from high school to college.
Project Excel will go beyond the traditional tutoring program by offering more services including group tutorials plus one-to-one assistance; mentoring by faculty and upper level student to demonstrate how to set goals or enroll in internships and receive guidance from the University's Career Counseling Center.
In addition, the students will receive exposure to cultural and educational programs including trips to New York theaters. A top priority calls for counselors to assist students in securing admission and financial aid for graduate and professional schools. The program will operate without cost to students or their parents and will collaborate with the University's Office of Multicultural Relations, the Athletic Academic Support Office and the Office of Student Support Services.
In her proposal to the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Day pointed out that Fairfield University "is a selective residential university with a high overall completion rate that accepts a number of students who are low income, first generation or disabled. We believe that a Student Support Services Project could play a critical role in highlighting plans to identify and increase retention and graduation rates of at-risk students."
The goal is to insure that 65 percent of the students in Project Excel fulfill the requirements in order to graduate in four years and 70 percent will graduate in five years. In addition, counselors will work with students to help them gain a financial package to meet their needs and minimize their dependence on loans.
Dr. Day, a resident of New Haven, joined Fairfield University in 1988 as associate dean in graduate education and has secured five major grants from the U.S. Department of Education to increase undergraduate and graduate diversity at the University. She has been project director for the University's programs for Talent Search started in 1994 to provide 600 Bridgeport high school and middle school students with added tutoring and counseling for college; Upward Bound, an academic and counseling program for 80 Bridgeport high school students who come to the University every Saturday during the school year and then live on campus for five weeks during the summer; Project BEST, a program to train African-American teachers to work in special education; and a regional summer institute in science and mathematics for low-income students from six New England states.
Assisting her as program coordinator is Sherylann Rosenbergen, the academic counselor for the past year at the University for Talent Search and previously a counseling intern for Counseling Services, Inc., and a crisis intervention counselor for Sexual Assault Support Services. She holds a bachelor of science in elementary education from Western Connecticut State University and a master of arts in counseling from the University of New Hampshire.
Posted on November 1, 1997
Pianist Emanuel Ax, revered as one of the greatest musicians of our time, will perform on Friday, October 25 at 8 p.m. at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University. A pre-concert "Art to Heart" discussion with Dr. Laura Nash, director of the Fairfield University Classical Music Department, will take place from 7 to 7:40 p.m.
Renowned for his elegant, soulful interpretations of both classic and modern compositions, Mr. Ax has graced the stages of the world's premiere concert halls. Committed to his art, he performs about 100 times a year, pairing his poetic temperament with major symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles, and commissioning and debuting innovative new music. He's also known for a longstanding musical partnership with virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma, with whom he's played for more than 20 years.
A 2000 Seattle Times review hailed Mr. Ax as "one of the finest musicians to sit before a keyboard" and a 1998 New York Times critic wrote that he played with such understated beauty "that one simply stepped back in awe and gratitude."
The son of Holocaust survivors, Mr. Ax was born in Lvov, Poland and raised in Winnipeg, Canada. He studied at the Juilliard School in his teens and continued there into his early 20s, while attaining a degree in French from Columbia University.
Mr. Ax first captured public attention in 1974 when, at age 25, he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists and, four years later, took the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.
At the start of his career, Mr. Ax showed a fondness for Chopin. In review after review, critics have noted Mr. Ax's natural affinity for the Polish composer's unusual blend of poetic flow and decisiveness.
Mr. Ax's passion for Haydn came through in the 1980s and 1990s, when he recorded several of Hadyn's works, including a Grammy-winning album of Hadyn piano sonatas.
Devoted to chamber music literature, Mr. Ax regularly works with Ma, Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Peter Serkin and Jaime Laredo, and had been a frequent collaborator with the late violinist Isaac Stern. He has recorded with Ma several times and the duo has won three Grammy awards for the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. The pair also teamed with Richard Stoltzman for a Grammy award-winning album of clarinet trios.
In recent years, Mr. Ax has continued to surprise and invigorate audiences with his interest in modern composers. In 1997, he gave the world premiere of a new piano concerto, "Century Rolls" by John Adams, with the Cleveland Orchestra, presenting the European premiere a year later with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. His programs often mix classical masters with 20th-century composers, including Sir Michael Tippett, Hans Werner Henze, Joseph Schwantner, André Previn and Aaron Copland.
"What's wonderful about new music for performers and audiences is that if the piece is good in and of itself, that's exciting," Mr. Ax told the Los Angeles Times. "It makes you hear things in a different way. You haven't been told what to think, which is very liberating."
In addition to his concerts and recordings for Sony Classical, Mr. Ax has played for the soundtracks of two movies based on the lives of composers. It's his playing you hear as Chopin in "Impromptu" and as Beethoven in "Immortal Beloved."
Beethoven will be part of Mr. Ax's Fairfield appearance. His program, which is subject to change, includes Beethoven's "Variations and Fugue in E-flat Major, Op. 35, "Eroica" and "Variations in F on an Original Theme for Piano, Op. 34." Works by Schubert and Johann Sebastian Bach round out the program.
When he's not on tour, Mr. Ax spends time at the New York City apartment he shares with his wife of more than 25 years, pianist Yoko Nozaki. The couple has two grown children, Joseph and Sarah. Though music critics laud his work, Mr. Ax is known for a self-effacing sense of humor. Asked what makes him satisfied with a performance, he told The Ottawa Citizen: "I'm always happy to get over 70 percent of the notes! A good batting average makes me happy. But also just if I've played a performance and I feel I've really enjoyed it, then I'm happy."
Tickets for Mr. Ax's solo Fairfield appearance range from $30 to $40. For tickets, call the Quick Center at (203) 254-4010 or toll free, 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com. WSHU-FM is the media sponsor for the concert.
Posted on August 10, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 37
Jamar Paris thought he'd be eliminated from consideration for a Gates Millennium scholarship before one judge took a look at his application. That's because an overloaded computer server prevented the Bridgeport student, then a senior at Harding High School, from submitting his application on time.
Apparently more than a few students had the same approach as Paris - a last-minute attempt to e-mail the application.
"The server was overloaded," Paris said with a smile. Luckily for Paris, the judges must have recognized the technological problem. Just a few weeks ago, Paris was informed that he had indeed been selected as one of only 1,000 students nationwide to receive the scholarship this year. The scholarship, which is for minority students with significant financial need, pays for all the costs of attending college that are not covered by the student's financial aid package - for four years.
The scholarships are administered by the United Negro College Fund in conjunction with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the American Indian Graduate Center of Scholars and the Organization of Chinese Americans. Students are judged based upon academic achievement, community service and leadership potential as well as financial eligibility.
It was Kevin O'Connell, former project coordinator for Fairfield University's Upward Bound program, who encouraged Paris to apply and assisted him through the process. Upward Bound is a federally funded "TRIO" program for low-income and/or first generation college students.
Paris is the second TRIO recipient of the Gates Scholarship and the third Fairfield University student. Kevin Bennett, a former Talent Search student and Fairfield University graduate in May 2002, received the scholarship, along with Aisha Seyal, who also graduated last May.
Dr. Georgia Day, assistant academic vice president for TRIO programs stated: "Jamar is a role model for other students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. He is a young man who has a vision and strives to be all that he can be. I'm delighted to know that he has chosen to matriculate at Fairfield University."
Fairfield University is host to three different TRIO programs, which are sponsored by the United States Department of Education. These programs are available to eligible students in the target areas of service. Project Excel works with Fairfield University students, while Upward Bound and Talent Search work with students in the City of Bridgeport.
Upward Bound works with students ages 13-19 in the Bridgeport Public High Schools to strengthen the academic, intellectual, and social skills they'll need for entrance to, and graduation from, college. It is one of three programs at Fairfield, collectively known as TRIO.
The foundation of the Upward Bound program begins with academic courses in mathematics, sciences, computer literacy, English, history, and foreign languages, to help students successfully complete their high school classes and prepare them for higher education. In addition, a number of cultural, recreational and informational events are provided to supplement the learning process. The program includes both an academic year and a summer residential component. During the academic year, classes are held on Saturdays at Fairfield University. During the summer session, students live in the dormitories and attend classes on the campus of Fairfield University for six weeks.
Paris had been involved with Upward Bound since his sophomore year at Harding. He is also a recipient of the State of Connecticut's Gear-Up scholarship for $2,500.
"He is just a prepared, well-rounded student," said Patrick David, academic counselor with Upward Bound, noting that Paris had good grades and high SAT scores.
Paris plans to major in accounting at Fairfield.
"It has a good school of business," Paris said of Fairfield, noting that the School of Business has been accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the leading accrediting agency for programs in business administration and accounting.
Posted on August 10, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 43
Benazir Bhutto, the first woman prime minister of an Islamic country, will speak at Fairfield University on Monday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m., just days before the people of her home country Pakistan elect a leader.
Ms. Bhutto will deliver the annual Jacoby-Lunin Humanitarian Lecture, funded by the Frank Jacoby Foundation in Bridgeport. Her lecture, which is presented in affiliation with the university's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, kicks off the university's Open VISIONS Forum series of lectures. The forum is an outreach of Fairfield's University College, formerly the School of Continuing Education.
Ms. Bhutto had said she would like to return to Pakistan to contest general elections on Oct. 10. But Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the country's military ruler and a political rival to Ms. Bhutto, has threatened to have her arrested on corruption charges if she reenters Pakistan.
Ms. Bhutto has endured imprisonment before. She suffered nearly six years in prison or detention for her opposition to the military regime of Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, who executed her father, founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), in 1979. Striving to bring democracy to her nation, Ms. Bhutto was first elected to serve as prime minister in 1988 as head of that party. In two terms as prime minister, Ms. Bhutto, who was educated at Radcliffe and Oxford, is credited with releasing political prisoners and taking steps to restore essential human rights. During her terms, Ms. Bhutto emphasized economic growth, privatization and decreased government subsidies. She is also recognized for her ability to maneuver politically in a nation with some who believe that a woman should not be a prime minister at all.
But charges of corruption have dogged Ms. Bhutto, whose husband, Asif Ali Zardari has been jailed in Pakistan since 1996 and awaits trial on several corruption charges. Ms. Bhutto was convicted in absentia in July for refusing to answer charges that she took kickbacks in exchange for a government contract. Ms. Bhutto has said that corruption charges against her have been fabricated by political rivals.
Ms. Bhutto has condemned the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, noting that they do not serve Islam. "At this time of crisis, the American people must remember that those who use violence and terror in the name of Islam are hypocrites. Their goal is to establish theocracies of ignorance that they can control and manipulate for their own political ends," Ms. Bhutto said in a newspaper editorial. "They oppose western values. They also oppose Islamic principles."
Later in July of this year, Ms. Bhutto was unanimously reelected to head the PPP, but Musharraf has taken steps to prevent her from becoming prime minister again. The military ruler has enacted laws precluding those who've served two terms or who have a criminal record, from participating.
The Pakistan People's Party meanwhile, has created a new sub-group, the PPP Parliamentarians, headed by a long-time supporter of Ms. Bhutto. According to a party spokesperson, Ms. Bhutto would guide the new party, but not hold any elected seats.
Tickets for Ms. Bhutto's lecture are $18, with discounts available for seniors and non-Fairfield University students. To become a patron, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688. For tickets and information, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.
Photos by Jean Santopatre
Posted on August 10, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 31
Dartmouth College professor Susannah Heschel, Ph.D., a noted scholar in Jewish Studies, will present the ninth annual Christopher F. Mooney, S.J., Lecture in Theology, Religion and Society on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m., at Fairfield University. Her talk, titled "From Rabbi to Aryan: The Political Uses of Jesus in Jewish-Christian Dialogue," will take place in the Kelley Theatre at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
Dr. Heschel holds the Eli Black Chair in Jewish Studies and is an associate professor in Dartmouth's Department of Religion. She received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and taught at Southern Methodist University and Case Western Reserve University before joining the faculty at Dartmouth in 1998. Her research interests include modern Jewish thought, feminist theology and German Protestantism.
Dr. Heschel is the author of several works on Jewish thought, including "Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus" (University of Chicago Press, 1998). She co-edited "Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism" (University of California Press, 1998) with David Biale and Michael Galchinsky.
A frequent lecturer in Germany, Dr. Heschel served as the Martin Buber Visiting Professor of Jewish Religious Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt and has edited a volume of essays on German churches and the Nazis. She is also the editor of the classic collection of essays, "On Being a Jewish Feminist" (Schocken Books, 1983).
In 1992, Dr. Heschel spoke on Judaism as part of a panel on religion and the environment at the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. She addressed Judaism and population ethics in 1994 at the U.N. Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.
In her Fairfield lecture, Dr. Heschel said she will discuss Jewish-Christian relations from the 19th century to the present and consider what the future may hold. Her talk will touch on her research on archival materials that she uncovered in the former East Germany. In 1997-98 she spent time writing a book about a group of Protestant theologians in Nazi Germany who sought to bring Christianity and National Socialism together by declaring Jesus an Aryan, eliminating the Old Testament from the Bible and running an anti-Semitic propaganda institute.
"I see that as a response both to the Nazis and to Jewish thinkers," she said.
The Christopher F. Mooney, S.J., lecture is an annual event sponsored by the Office of the Academic Vice President and the Department of Religious Studies. This year it is also being co-sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies. The lecture honors Fr. Mooney, a former Fairfield University academic vice president who died in 1993. Fr. Mooney was the author of eight books, including "Teilhard de Chardin and the Mystery of Christ," (Collins and Harper & Row) which won the National Catholic Book Award in 1966, and "Public Virtue: Law and the Social Character of Religion" (University of Notre Dame Press), which won the 1987 national award of Alpha Sigma Nu. Before joining the Fairfield faculty, he was president of Woodstock College and was assistant dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Dr. Heschel said she looks forward to speaking at a Jesuit university. "I'm thrilled to have been asked and, seen in a historic perspective, it's momentus," she said.
Dr. Heschel's lecture is open to the public free of charge. For more information, call Fairfield University's Department of Religious Studies at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2130.
Posted on September 2, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 69
Arlo Guthrie, a folk musician and activist whose 1967 anthem "Alice's Restaurant" defined the country's counterculture vibe, will perform Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
Mr. Guthrie's distinctive voice, gift for story-telling and prowess on guitar, piano and harmonica, may be due, in part, to genetics: He is, after all, the son of folk icon Woody Guthrie. But he's a pioneer in his own right, stretching the limits of his musical talents from the Woodstock Festival to Boston's Symphony Hall, while passionately promoting interfaith community service, education, healthcare and other endeavors through two not-for-profit organizations he founded.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company, Arlo Guthrie grew up surrounded by the pure sounds of some of America's musical greats. Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and The Weavers were all family friends and significant influences on Mr. Guthrie's later career choices.
He gave his first public performance at just 13 years old and quickly became involved in the folk music that was shaping the turbulent 1960s. While playing in New York's Greenwich Village - whether at Gerdes Folk City or in Washington Square Park - he honed a distinctive, expressive style that would put him a class above a crowded community of budding singer-songwriters.
Mr. Guthrie's stature soared in 1967 with the release of "Alice's Restaurant," which he debuted at the Newport Folk Festival. The 18.5-minute song includes a witty spoken word account of an absurd Thanksgiving littering incident that left him branded a common criminal unfit to serve in the Vietnam War. The anthem, which ends in a sing-along with the audience, helped foster a new commitment to activism and social consciousness among his generation. The song was so popular it was made into a 1969 film of the same name directed by Arthur Penn and starring Mr. Guthrie.
His other early hits include the Woodstock favorite "Coming in to Los Angeles" and a definitive rendition of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans."
In recent years, Mr. Guthrie has released new music, but he's also remained true to his roots. In 1997, Rounder Records released a new version of Woody Guthrie's classic "This Land is Your Land," pairing his voice with that of his late father. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award. He also released "32¢," a compilation of Woody Guthrie tunes with special guests including The Dillards and his own children, Abe, Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee Guthrie. Abe and Sarah Lee Guthrie will be among the musicians backing their dad at his Fairfield University performance.
Mr. Guthrie believes his audience enjoys the combination of new musical challenges and the comfort of nostalgia.
"I think most people think of me as the happy hippie of the 60's, and that's fine," he told The New York Times. "I think we stood up for the right stuff, and many of us still do."
Over the years, Mr. Guthrie has toured extensively in the United States, Canada and Europe, winning fans for both his musicianship and the thoughtful tales and wry anecdotes he folds into his shows. He has also created a program of symphonic arrangements of his own songs and other American classics that he performs with orchestras across the country.
In 1983, Mr. Guthrie launched his own record label, Rising Son Records. The label offers his complete catalogue of more than two dozen albums, including "Alice's Restaurant: The Massacree Revisited," a 30th anniversary re-recording of the original album with an updated version of the title track.
In 1991, Mr. Guthrie found another way to preserve the spirit of the song: He purchased Trinity Church, the Massachusetts setting for "Alice's Restaurant." On the consecrated site, he's created two not-for-profit organizations to honor his father, who died in 1967 of Huntington's Disease. The Guthrie Center is an interfaith church foundation dedicated to a wide range of community services, including HIV/AIDS referral, art and music classes for children recovering from abuse and a lecture series. The Guthrie Foundation addresses issues of our time, such as education, healthcare, the environment and cultural exchange.
"I was raised in a family whose philosophy was to try to make the world better, and if you can't make it better, at least don't make it worse," Mr. Guthrie told the Washington newspaper The Olympian.
Over the years, Mr. Guthrie's earnest interest in religion led him to explore his mother's Jewish roots and study with Buddhists and Franciscan monks, eventually latching onto a Hindu practice of embracing all faiths. Mr. Guthrie, who is licensed to conduct weddings, hopes his two organizations will help others live in harmony by promoting understanding among all faiths and cultures.
"I have three or four major traditions that I'm carrying around inside me," he told The New York Times earlier this year. "And they are all just different views of the same reality."
Tickets for Mr. Guthrie's performance are $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-800-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.
Posted on September 6, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 66
Theatre Fairfield, Fairfield University's student theatre company, opens its 2002-03 season with the magical musical comedy "Pippin" at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University. The performances will take place at the Wien Experimental Theatre Wednesday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. performances on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 3.
Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson's "Pippin" is the fanciful tale of the eldest son of King Charlemagne, 8th-century leader of the Holy Roman Empire. Told in tongue-in-cheek fashion by a character aptly named the Leading Player, the story revolves around young Pippin's timeless quest for personal fulfillment.
With an ensemble of mysterious players guiding him, Pippin attempts to find meaning in life as a student, lover, warrior, king and, ultimately, a family man. Along the way, the intoxicating choreography of Bob Fosse and memorable songs such as "Corner of the Sky" and "Magic to Do" offer an evening of theatrical brilliance.
"Pippin" made its Broadway debut on October 23, 1972 at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. Directed and choreographed by Fosse, the show was 24-year-old Schwartz's second Broadway hit, coming fast on the heels of "Godspell." A favorite with audiences, "Pippin" ran for 1,944 performances over five years and won two Tony awards for Fosse and one for Ben Vereen, who became a Broadway mainstay for his star turn as The Leading Player. Schwartz's tuneful score received a Tony nomination.
Theatre Fairfield's ensemble includes 20 Fairfield University students directed by Adjunct Professor Heather Parady, the company's resident improvisation teacher and director. Lisa Brailoff is the show's choreographer and Charles Wade is musical director. Guest designers are Hugh Hanson, Kevin Schneck and Lynne Chase. Fairfield students Danny Williams, Nadja Encarnación, Liz Capinera and Kristy Farrell have major roles.
And all involved have Schwartz's blessing.
"I hope the students of Theatre Fairfield have a great time doing the show and the audience has an even better time watching them," said the Fairfield County resident.
Tickets for "Pippin" are $12 for general admission, $6 for staff and $5 for students. For more information, call Theatre Fairfield at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2274.
Posted on September 10, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 67
"The Blame Show," an eclectic collection of current art, will be on display Tuesday, Oct. 15 through Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Fairfield University's Lukacs Gallery, Loyola Hall, Room 17. The exhibit opens with a reception Oct. 15 from 5 to 5:30 p.m. followed by a half-hour lecture, "The Blame Show Live: Polite, Politic and Political," by curators/artists Larry Litt and Eleanor Heartney.
"The Blame Show" is devoted to topical, political and satirical videos, visual art and graphics from a diverse group of artists and writers. Sponsored in part by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Coalition Against Censorship, the exhibit is an expression of the political crises created after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, the war that continues today, censorship and other important topics.
"It's inspired by the need to give voice to the loyal opposition. There are voices out there that aren't being heard," Ms. Heartney said. "And if we aren't behind all of it, it doesn't mean we're traitors."
The cornerstone of the exhibit is "The Blame Show," a video by Mr. Litt. In December 2001 and January 2002, he videotaped about 90 ordinary people discussing their post-Sept. 11 views on "the current homeland situation." The 13-minute video which the New York Times called "wryly conceived and politically provocative," presents a range of opinions from gung-ho hawk to pacifist.
The show features several cartoons by Dan Perkins, whose Tom Tomorrow appears in The Nation and The Village Voice, a list of political satire websites and graphics, posters and stickers from the "Your Right Not to Remain Silent" project created by ACLU design director Sara Glover. National Coalition Against Censorship Arts Advocacy Coordinator Svetlana Mintcheva offers her "Censorship Timeline: 1989-2002," which details specific acts of censorship.
Also included in the exhibit are: works by Tim Rollins and the Kids of Survival; The Political Artists Open Interactive Media Lab; graphics and posters from the Artists Network of Refuse and Resist; and other pieces.
The Lukacs Gallery is open weekday afternoons and several evenings a week. Admission is free. For more information and specific gallery hours, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2476.
Posted on September 14, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 20
In light of a lifetime's love affair with the nation of Turkey, it's fitting that Marcie Patton, Ph.D. and professor of politics at Fairfield University, should receive a Fulbright scholarship to teach there.
Dr. Patton, who lives in Bridgeport, is one of only 10 people nationwide chosen to receive a Fulbright to Turkey this year. She is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 140 countries for the 2002-2003 academic year through the Fulbright Scholar Program.
The Program was established in 1946 to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields. Among thousands of prominent Fulbright Scholar alumni are Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman and Intel Corp. Chief Executive Officer Craig Barrett.
Dr. Patton will teach comparative political economy at Bilkent University in the capital city of Ankara.
Turkey is a predominantly Muslim nation in the Middle East that borders Bulgaria, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Georgia. Now a candidate for admission into the European Union, Turkey has been and is one of the United State's biggest allies in that region of the world.
Dr. Patton's devoted interest in Turkey began during her first visit there in 1977. Since then she has visited frequently, although the last time she lived there for an extended period was more than twenty years ago, as a graduate student developing a dissertation topic.
It wasn't always fun. Dr. Patton remembers the chilling winter of 1979-1980, when fuel oil shortages deprived her apartment of heat for two months. Dr. Patton and her Turkish flatmate donned hats, long underwear and gloves and curled up to watch episodes of Dallas dubbed in Turkish.
Most recently, Dr. Patton spent last summer teaching two courses in the summer session at Bogazici University in Istanbul. "I regarded this as a kind of pilot project to determine if I would enjoy teaching in Turkey and if I could make any useful contributions," Dr. Patton said in her Fulbright project statement.
The answer on both counts was a resounding yes. Dr. Patton found the students to be bright and energetic with a deep interest in the global issues they studied. In evaluations of their class with Dr. Patton, Turkish students praised her motivated teaching style and sincere presentation of all sides of an issue.
"Professor Patton is known for her bright synthesis of teaching and research. Fulbright recognition and support of her scholarship will allow her to immerse herself fully in a region that is central to her work," said Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University. "Fairfield is proud of Professor Patton and her continuing accomplishments."
The Fulbright will also give Dr. Patton a chance to develop her own research on the political economy of globalization to a greater extent. She plans to expand upon an earlier paper she published, "Open for Business: Capitalists and Globalization in Turkey and Morocco."
As a Muslim nation that has embraced western capitalism, Turkey offers a unique example of democratization. The abrupt transition for an Islamic culture has left both challenges and opportunities for the Turkish people.
"Several faculty members at Bilkent share my interest in the processes of globalization and economic liberalization as experienced in Turkey, and therefore I am eagerly anticipating our engaging in mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and views," Dr. Patton said.
Posted on September 15, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 55
Photos from the ceremony
When Fairfield University's new Bannow Science Center is officially dedicated on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 4:30 p.m., visitors will see new state-of-the-art science laboratories and get a look at the depth of research faculty are doing in collaboration with students.
In biology, for instance, students Jeff Tetrault and Caitlin O'Connor work side-by-side with assistant professor April Hill, Ph.D., to isolate genes related to the embryonic development of sponges.
Hill's youthful enthusiasm, the collaboration with undergraduates, the nature of the research and the cutting-edge equipment - all of these represent a biology department that has changed and renewed itself over the past five years, and that now stands poised at the edge of the national scene.
The new facilities - classrooms, instructional and research labs - feature top-of-the-line laboratory equipment that rivals that at major research institutions. Technology is used to compile and share data. Microscopes are connected to computers and fitted with real-time digital cameras. Other machines can isolate, synthesize and duplicate DNA. All around, the design is meant to encourage individual and collaborative undergraduate research, with each student assigned his or her own storage drawer.
"This space is very similar to the kind of research space you'd find at other high-caliber institutions," Hill said. "The construction of this new facility and the procurement of new equipment will put us in a good place to secure grants to fund our research."
In addition to the new facilities, there are new faculty - seven of them in biology alone - in the past five years. Hill, who specializes in developmental genetics, is among them, as is her husband, Malcolm Hill, whose interest lies in evolutionary ecology. Rounding out the newcomers are: Olivia Harriott, microbiology/molecular biology; Jennifer Klug, zoology; Tod Osier, entomology; Shelley Phelan, cell biology; and Glenn Sauer, cell biochemistry.
"These are bright, new, recent Ph.D. graduates who come to us with state-of-the-art biological knowledge," said department chair Raymond Poincelot, Ph.D., a 25 year-veteran.
In addition to their teaching commitments, all are active researchers working with the support of government, foundation and other grants. And they are open to student collaboration; in fact, students have co-authored scientific papers, presented at conferences and pursued off-site internships at hospitals and health organizations. On campus, their research options include the effects of environmental pollutants on freshwater sponge growth with Malcolm Hill, the relationship between plants and herbivorous insects with Osier, and many others.
"The professors are always willing to sit down and take time with us," said Tetrault, who hails from Ludlow, Mass. "They're very accessible and very helpful."
O'Connor, of Rockville Centre, N.Y., concurred. "It's not so much a professor-student relationship, but a personal one," she said. "And that makes learning easier."
Finally, there's been a shift in the curriculum to one focused on the "new" biology: molecular biology. (Concentrations are available in marine biology and environmental science). Today, scientists are interested in the common, shared genetic pathways among all life forms, says Poincelot, as opposed to the study of plants, animals and insects as distinct organisms.
Knowledge of molecular biology is a hot commodity among pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies specializing in medical, agriculture and food technology. Poincelot said he frequently receives calls from recruiters eager to offer Fairfield grads positions with starting salaries of $35,000 to $50,000. One graduate was recently featured on a corporate recruiting brochure for Pfizer.
Other recent graduates have enrolled in graduate schools and medical schools at Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Tufts and New York universities, among others. Says Poincelot, "Wherever our students go, they do well, and that reflects well on us."
For more information about the department of biology, contact Poincelot at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2542.
Visit the other sciences in Bannow North
The Chemistry Department has two new undergraduate research labs, an advanced lab and a chemistry computer lab, each with16 stations, providing ample space for research and opportunities to work closely with professors. One is devoted to general chemistry, while the other is for organic chemistry projects, said Kraig Steffen, Ph.D., associate professor.
In addition to the new labs, the existing chemistry space is undergoing renovations to improve facilities, including the room that houses the department's state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance instrument, Steffen said. The changes will benefit chemistry majors and many others, because most students majoring in biology, psychology and other sciences take chemistry courses to complete their studies.
In the Psychology Department, several new labs and interview and viewing rooms will mean more opportunities for student and student/faculty research projects, said Psychology Department Chair John McCarthy, Ph.D.
Located on Bannow's fourth floor, the Department will offer a series of interview rooms for meeting with subjects and a group dynamics room to observe small groups. The department plans to add television cameras in the group dynamics room to aid researchers studying the way people interact, McCarthy said. Another room has a one-way mirror and the department plans to add sound equipment to better study subjects.
The Physics Department is unveiling a new teaching suite that will take first-year students from studying theory in the classroom, to conducting experiments in a state-of-the-art laboratory, to analyzing data in a dedicated computer lab. The comprehensive approach "launches not only our physics majors, but students from other sciences as well as engineering and computer science," said Jack Beal, Ph.D., chair of the Physics Department.
In addition, two new research labs will support the work of Dr. Beal, who conducts environmental studies of air and water quality, and Nancy Haegel, Ph.D., professor of physics.
Dr. Haegel, assisted by students, is conducting experimental and theoretical studies to improve the performance of semiconductor detectors in space-based far-infrared astronomy. Fairfield's Physics Department was the only undergraduate program in the United States to receive an award in the NASA Explorer Technology program.
Photos by Jean Santopatre
Posted on September 15, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 54
The National Honorary Mathematics Society, Pi Mu Epsilon, has elected Joan Weiss, D.A., associate professor of mathematics at Fairfield University, to head its organization.
Dr. Weiss, a Fairfield resident, will serve as president-elect for three years, then serve a three-year term as president.
Pi Mu Epsilon was founded in 1914 at Syracuse University and now has about 300 chapters nationwide. The organization acknowledges outstanding achievement in mathematics for undergraduates. Fairfield University established the third Connecticut chapter in 1986 under the direction of Edward J. O'Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics at Fairfield. Dr. O'Neill quickly turned the reins over to Dr. Weiss, then a new hire in Fairfield University's math department. Connecticut currently has four chapters of the organization.
Under Dr. Weiss' direction, the Pi Mu Epsilon Connecticut Gamma chapter has brought mathematical speakers to the university, participated in math bowl competitions, invited panels of math-major graduates to provide insights to up and coming students and hosted review sessions for the comprehensive examination that all math majors at Fairfield University must take.
"Joan Weiss has been highly active in this organization both at the national and local level," said Chris Bernhardt, Ph.D. and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Fairfield University. "We are very lucky to have someone like Joan on our faculty, and it is gratifying to see her work receiving national recognition."
As head of the nationwide organization, Dr. Weiss will recruit new chapters and organize summer meetings of the organization - at which students and faculty make presentations on research - among other duties.
"It's quite an honor to be president-elect of an organization that acknowledges student achievement in math and encourages student research and participation in mathematical activities," Dr. Weiss said.
Undergraduates in their sophomore year must have a math grade point average of 4.0 and be in the top quarter of their class to gain entry to Pi Mu Epsilon. Junior and senior year students must have a 3.0 math GPA and be in the top third of their graduating class to be eligible for membership. Fairfield University, which averages 25 to 30 math majors per class, consistently inducts 10 to 15 undergraduates per class, Dr. Weiss estimated.
"Fairfield is proud that Professor Weiss has been selected to lead Pi Mu Epsilon," said Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University. "Her long-standing dedication to the learning of mathematics will work well in an organization that has dedicated itself to promoting scholarly activities for students of mathematics."
Lauren Sarrey, a Fairfield University senior and student president of Pi Mu Epsilon Connecticut Gamma, said the organization helps undergraduate math majors get a better awareness of society.
Sarrey first learned about Pi Mu Epsilon in her sophomore year when one of her classmates was inducted. "Since then I really strived to become apart of the elite honor society," Sarrey said.
The organization lets math majors meet new people with the same interest and adds another dimension to life at Fairfield, Sarrey said. "It is a great way to get recognized among your professors and peers and of course, it's a nice pat on the back!" Sarrey said.
Posted on September 15, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 62