Business students investigating viability of sun ovens for Haiti Singer/songerwriter Howie Day to perform at Fairfield University's Alumni Hall Fairfield University Glee Club presents "Blast from the Past" Pops Concert at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts 2003 student art exhibit shows range of expression at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery University of Michigan case may be historic in setting limits on affirmative action in admission policies: Fairfield University Supreme Court specialist Quartetto Gelato brings eclectic musical program to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts Vincent McCarthy wins Fr. Conlisk Irish Scholarship to attend Fairfield University for an MS in Finance More than 500 volunteers from Fairfield University to participate in annual Hunger Cleanup Fairfield University raises record $600,000 for multicultural scholarships with the help of Merrill Lynch and General Electric CEOs Fass family donates eclectic collection of multicultural art to the Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University Fairfield University assistant teaching program for foreign languages reaps rewards for students and teachers alike
It sounded like a neat idea. Introduce sun ovens to poor villages in Haiti and help the people there become less dependent on charcoal, an expensive form of energy that is stripping the island of its tropical rain forest and destroying the environment. But business and environmental students at Fairfield University are finding out that theory is easier than practice.
Dr. Michael Tucker, left, associate professor of finance, and Dr. Winston Tellis, director of undergraduate for the School of Business, display an oven that uses the heat from the sun to cook meals.
And that's o.k., says Dr. Michael Tucker, associate professor of finance who is teaching the course. "That's what experiential teaching is all about; learning that problems you didn't anticipate exist and that you have to find creative ways to overcome obstacles that will surely get in the way."
Students were asked to research the rural economy of Haiti and the small village of Fondwa in particular where the solar ovens were to be introduced. They investigated the environmental issues involved and estimated how many trees would be saved each year with the introduction of one oven.
Students checked out import restrictions into Haiti and investigated the weather patterns and sunshine index. They found that a Sun Oven manufactured by Burns-Milwaukee after two hours in the early September New England sun reached only 250 degrees. Transported to Haiti, the oven reached that same temperature in just 10 minutes and cooked twice as fast as charcoal.
Students also considered the viability of manufacturing solar cookers on site, including where raw materials would come from and the cost. They discussed the strategy of inviting charcoal manufacturers to participate in the new venture since the ovens would diminish the market for charcoal which is already threatened by the loss of trees.
In September, three sun ovens were delivered to the School of Business at a cost of $180 each and students were able to examine and test them. Durably constructed, there was a mechanism that allowed the pot to stay upright even if the oven was set on a hillside. One drawback: the ovens could only accommodate small pots.
In October, Dr. Winston Tellis, director of undergraduate programs in the School of Business, traveled to Haiti to deliver two of the ovens to the peasants of Fondwa. Traveling over 20 miles of bumpy roads from Port au Prince, he encountered great interest and many questions from the villagers about this new way of cooking that used the sun's heat. Plantains were the first items to be cooked and villagers circulated the oven among themselves and wanted to know if they could build their own model.
In spite of that initial success, recent reports back from Haiti say that the people have returned to the traditional charcoal, although one of the ovens is being used at a clinic to sterilize medical instruments.
"It just points up to us that you need someone on site to help people change such a basic way of doing something so essential to their everyday lives," says Dr. Tucker.
Such lessons, he says, are invaluable to business students. "They are learning that business is more than price and product. The comprehensive view they are seeing of bringing a project from conception to completion will serve them well when they enter the business world."
And a final lesson the students learn is not to give up when you have a good idea. The School of Business is already considering a larger project in Haiti through a graduate course in International Environmental Management and Policy. They are looking at a very large Sun Oven called the Villager which uses back-up propane for cloudy conditions and can bake hundreds of loaves of bread per day. The two sites they are investigating are Fondwa and a bakery in Port au Prince.
Projects such as these are what caught the attention of the AACSB-International Association of Management Education, the premiere accrediting agency for schools of business, which invited faculty from Fairfield's School of Business to present for an unprecedented four years in a row at its largest annual meeting, the Continuous Improvement Symposium.
The point was not just the attention-getting projects the faculty had developed (they also had students building Piper J-3 Cub model airplanes to one-quarter scale and developing ways to market Newman's Own products to college students), but the curriculum changes they made to create a cross-functional and experiential learning approach to business education.
The idea of revamping the undergraduate program four years ago came with the endorsement of the GE Foundation which provided a $250,000 grant. Discarding the traditional "compartmentalized" approach to business education, the faculty devised a curriculum that incorporated marketing, management, accounting, information systems and finance into two three-semester courses, BU 100 (Business Decision Making) and BU 200 (Creating a Competitive Advantage). Team teaching also is a staple of the program; two to four faculty meet with each class, integrating their own disciplines while serving as models for how to work in a team.
Posted on February 1, 1998
Singer/songwriter Howie Day, who, at 21, is winning over fans and critics alike, will perform Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Alumni Hall. The Fairfield University Student Association is presenting the concert.
Day released his debut album "Australia" in 2000 and has been touring to appreciative audiences ever since. Dubbed "an artist to keep an eye on" by the Hollywood Reporter, he won "Best Debut Album by a Singer-Songwriter" at the 2001 Boston Music Awards. The following year, he picked up "Best Male Singer Songwriter" at the BMA ceremonies.
Inspired by the emotionally raw songs of Richard Ashcroft, U2 and Jeff Buckley, Day is known for wearing his broken heart on his sleeve. In memorable tunes, such as "Sorry So Sorry," "She Says" and "Ghost," he often blends hushed guitars with brooding vocals.
"My songwriting is somewhat moody," the Bangor, Maine resident has said. "It's not intentional, I just write what I feel."
Day began his career by booking himself at local bars and clubs in Maine on weekends. He admits the crowds were often more interested in their own conversations than in listening to a 15-year-old sing, but he won them over by playing popular cover songs and sneaking in a few of his originals.
Having only a teenager's budget, he "invented" a lo-fi system to record his early songs, recording a tune on one tape recorder and then playing along to the tape and recording the results on a second recorder.
Now more seasoned, he utilizes another inventive technique during his lively concerts: Armed with only an acoustic guitar, he uses an array of delay pedals to create and control what he terms an "invisible orchestra" around him. Picking melodies, scratching strings for percussion and adding background vocals, he pulls everything together with his soaring lead vocals.
In addition to building his songs in front of an audience, he sometimes writes tunes during live shows, finishing a half-written song under the spotlights.
"I like writing that way," he said. "I don't have a chance to edit myself and worry if something is cool or not. It's such a pure form of inspiration because I'm writing from my subconscious and not allowing time to second-guess myself."
Day says he's eager to treat fans to both old favorites and new material he's working on for his much-anticipated second album.
"The new songs are more personal and intense than before," he said. "I'm looking forward to showing the people what I can do now."
Tickets for Day's Fairfield University performance are $12. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets may be purchased at Fairfield University's Barone Campus Center information desk or through Ticketmaster at the website, www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 3875.
Posted on March 27, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 247
The Fairfield University Glee Club will present popular and show tunes from the 1940s through the 1970s in "Blast From the Past" on Monday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The glee club, under the direction of Carole Ann Maxwell, is continuing its 55-year musical legacy at Fairfield University. A mixed chorus of more than 130 undergraduate and graduate singers, the glee club has performed in churches, schools and recital and concert halls throughout Europe, singing from Galway to Rome and Florence to London. It has performed at Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Westminster and Southward Cathedrals in London, and the Aula Paolo VI at the Vatican.
Maxwell has served as director of choral and liturgical music at Fairfield University since 1980. She is also artistic director and conductor of The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut and chorus master of the Yale Opera. She has prepared and conducted choruses for the Prague Radio Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony among others.
Tickets are $8, $5 for students. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.
Posted on March 28, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 250
Painting, sculpture, even charcoal crushed by salsa dancing take center stage at the 2003 Student Art Exhibit running Wednesday, April 2, through Sunday, May 4, at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery. The juried show begins with a wine and cheese reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery, located in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The eclectic exhibit includes 32 pieces chosen from 106 student works. Some were encouraged to enter their work by professors and some took it upon themselves to try their luck in the biennial student show, the seventh since 1991.
The pieces were judged on a variety of standards from size and craftsmanship to originality and exploration of an idea, said Jo Katherine Yarrington, professor, Visual and Performing Arts.
"There's a broad range of media, both two- and three-dimensional. And there's a nice balance of color and black and white," Yarrington said of the tightly judged show. "We were trying to keep the numbers down to not overwhelm the gallery and to give each piece plenty of space."
The show, which includes both individual and group projects, also highlights a number of installations, larger works assembled on site, said Diana Mille, Ph.D., director of the Walsh Art Gallery.
"We're seeing a lot more creativity with installations, and that expands on the tradition of site-based work," she said. "I like the variety we have this year. In the past we've had more painting and there's a wider range of things here."
Two of the more than 30 participating students have two pieces in the exhibit. Joanne Hus, a graphic artist who has returned to college through Fairfield University's University College, will show "Women's Work," a large installation made of paper, beeswax, fabric and stainless steel. Her smaller, intricate etching "Silent Chaos" hangs on another wall.
Rebecca Young, an English major with a minor in Studio Art, offers an untitled collage that explores the mechanical and the organic. A field hockey accident inspired her to create her second untitled piece, which uses photos of her face under broken glass representing the process of injury and healing.
Junior Raymond Johnson created "Kumba (Salsa)" as a project on rituals in a drawing class. While living in Colombia, he often went out dancing and he used the ritual - literally - to create the framed piece, which is made of crushed charcoal on paper.
"I used to go dancing in the clubs, so I put this on the floor and danced on it every Thursday for three weeks in a row and made a ritual out of it," said the marketing major from Pinebrook, New Jersey.
Admission to the exhibit is free. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2969.
Posted on March 31, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 248
The Supreme Court's decision to immediately release audiotapes of oral arguments made in the University of Michigan affirmative action case is unusual and points to how significant the court believes the case to be, said Donald Greenberg, Ph.D., associate professor of politics at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Arguments in the case begin tomorrow.
"It obviously shows the court understands the political importance of this decision," Dr. Greenberg said. "This may be the case that firmly establishes the limits on affirmative action - the degree to which race can or cannot be used to determine admission to institutions of higher learning."
The Supreme Court usually does not make tapes available until after a decision is made, which can be anywhere from two to five months after the arguments, Dr. Greenberg said. The last time the court immediately released tapes was in the case of Bush vs. Gore, which decided the 2000 election, he added.
Dr. Greenberg teaches two upper level courses on the Supreme Court that examine the individual and the court as well as the relationship between the court and the remainder of the political system, including the political environment in which the court functions. Dr. Greenberg also teaches urban politics and media and politics.
Dr. Greenberg previously taught at Brooklyn College. He is the author of "The Politics of Privilege: Governing the Affluent Suburb," published by University Press of America, in which he looked into the myths of suburban life.
The media frequently call on Dr. Greenberg to give his analysis of Supreme Court issues and the political scene in general. He has been quoted in several papers nationwide, including the New York Times. A graduate of Alfred University in New York with a bachelor's degree in history, he did graduate work at Brooklyn College and earned a doctorate at City University of New York.
Dr. Greenberg will be available at home at (203) 576-1123. During the day, you can try his office number, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2860.
Posted on March 31, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 251
Quartetto Gelato, a hot Canadian group that takes on arias, tangos, gypsy fiddling and "Danny Boy" with equal gusto, will appear on Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. A pre-concert "Art to Heart" discussion with Laura Nash, Ph.D., director, Fairfield University Classical Music Department, will take place from 7 to 7:40 p.m.
Since its debut in 1994, the quartet's unique blend of sparkling technique, musical variety and wit has won over sold-out audiences from New York to Los Angeles and from London to Tokyo. National Public Radio recognized the group with its 1996 Debut Artist of the Year award and its latest release, "Neapolitan Café," has been a fixture on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart since its release in April 2001.
"An amazing ensemble that achieves the nearly impossible: They play salon music with real style and classical music with real precision," the NPR panel wrote of the quartet. "Great chops and a commitment in all that they play."
Classical in intent, eclectic by design, Quartetto Gelato programs are filled with an intriguing mix of traditional masterworks, operatic arias, tangos and folk songs from around the world. The Quick Center performance will include Johannes Brahms' "Rondo Alla Zingarese," Astor Piazzolla's "Meditango," Franz Lehar's "Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz" and the crowd-pleasing finale, "Danny Boy."
The musicians' relaxed stage presence creates a pleasant rapport with traditional and non-traditional classical audiences alike. Unlike most classical ensembles, they perform with their scores in front of them, adding a sense of spontaneity and exuberance not always found on the classical stage.
Many classical radio listeners are familiar with Quartetto Gelato. "Neapolitan Café" and their previous recordings, "Quartetto Gelato," "Aria Fresca" and "Rustic Chivalry," are all mainstays on the playlists of CBC, PRI and NPR. The group is also heard on the soundtrack to the film "Only You," starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
The quartet's lineup includes: Cynthia Steljes, oboe and English horn; Peter DeSotto, tenor, violin and mandolin; Alexander Sevastian, accordion and piano; and Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello.
Steljes, a founding member of the quartet, has performed in concert and on radio throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East, both as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition to her performing career, Steljes is an associate professor at The Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto and is on the music faculty at the University of Toronto. She often gives oboe master classes while on tour.
DeSotto, another founding member, unleashes his natural Italianate tenor on Sicilian and Neapolitan songs and plays both gypsy style and classical violin. He played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for a decade, but is equally at home with jazz, blues, folk songs and world music.
Sevastian joined Quartetto Gelato in September 2002. A three-time winner of the International Accordion Competition, he has also won the Oslofjord in Norway, The Cup of the North in Russia and the top prize of the Accordion Teachers Guild in the United States. Born in Belarus, he has performed with the Russian Radio Orchestra and in concerts at The Kremlin, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama.
Cooper also joined the group in September 2002. Hailed by the New York Times as "sensational," she has performed as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. She is a founding member of the Whitman String Quartet, which won the 1999 Walter M. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition, and she received her doctorate in music from the Julliard School in 2001.
Reviewers may have a tough time categorizing Quartetto Gelato's music, but singing their praises comes easy.
"Their versatility would put a chameleon to shame," wrote a reviewer for the Toronto Globe and Mail. "The performances are that good."
Tickets for the Quick Center performance range from $24 to $30, with discounts for students and senior citizens. For tickets, call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.
Posted on April 3, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 253
Although he's a native of Ireland, Seán Maher will always associate the playing of Irish bagpipes with the time he spent in America.
That's because he's heard them played more often during the year he's spent as a graduate student at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. than he did in Ireland. Irish people in America play the pipes to celebrate their heritage, Maher said. Cultural ironies are only a small part of the education Maher has received over the last year.
Maher was last year's recipient of the Fr. John M. Conlisk Scholarship at Fairfield University, which is awarded each year to an MBA or MS in Finance candidate from Ireland.
The scholarship pays full tuition, room and board, as well as medical insurance expenses for the time it takes to complete the degree, usually about three semesters since the students are attending full-time. The total grant generally amounts to between $40,000 and $50,000.
"Getting the MBA is a wonderful thing, but it's only half of what makes the scholarship so important," said Maher, who graduates in December. "It's great to learn about America and her people from the inside."
Vincent McCarthy, a student at the University of Limerick who is this year's recipient, will soon have that chance. "I am delighted to be able to pursue an MS in Finance at Fairfield University under the Conlisk scholarship," said McCarthy. "I feel that the greater specialization of an MS in Finance would equip me better to achieve my goal of a successful career in investment banking.
Mccarthy said he was impressed with Fairfield University's business school as well. "The geographical location in the U.S. and being part of the 25 percent of all business schools accredited by AACSB International, makes the Dolan School of Business an attractive choice," McCarthy said.
Kevin Conlisk, one of the principal owners of the Alinabal Co. of Milford, Conn., is part of a group that instituted the Conlisk Scholarship at Fairfield University in 1990. The scholarship is named for Conlisk's late brother, a 1954 Fairfield Prep graduate who served the Diocese of Bridgeport. About 20 local residents of Irish heritage comprise the committee that awards the scholarship each year. Many of the committee members are of the first or second generation in the United States. When their parents or grandparents immigrated, they had very little education, and they wanted to better themselves and see their children become educated, Conlisk said. "This was the driving force in my youth and also, I can say, in the youths of the other committee members," Conlisk said.
When the scholarship was born, Irish students graduating from Irish colleges faced a bleak job market. Bringing them to Fairfield for graduate school meant a chance to make contacts with U.S. firms here and abroad. While the Irish economy (since known as the Celtic Tiger) has grown tremendously, "the scholarship adds a new dimension of exposure to the American system and, ultimately, American employment," says Conlisk.
McCarthy noted that attending business school in the United States should better his chances in the job market. "My motivation for applying for a business school outside Ireland is the fact that the cultural experience of living and studying in the U.S. greatly improves my career prospects in the proposed field," McCarthy said.
Each year, the Connecticut Irish Open golf tournament and an Irish concert held at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts - this year featuring tenor John McDermott - raise money for the scholarship. The local Irish community also reaches out to the students, by taking them in on holidays and long weekends, and introducing them to local Irish cultural events, said Norman Solomon, Ph.D., dean of the Charles F. Dolan School of Business.
"The Father Conlisk Scholarship not only benefits the individual receiving the award but also the graduate student body as a whole," Dr. Solomon said. "There is a tremendous learning opportunity that occurs when American students are exposed to students from other cultures. In this case Seán Maher has been able to share with his fellow students an in-depth knowledge not only of business practices in Ireland but also knowledge of how business is done in the European Union, of which Ireland is a member. Given Vincent McCarthy's strong background he will also be able to make an important contribution to Fairfield students' understanding of global business practices."
Posted on April 29, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 277
More than 500 students, faculty and staff from Fairfield University will participate in this year's Campus Ministry-sponsored Hunger Cleanup Program at some 43 worksites throughout Fairfield County this Saturday, April 5.
The volunteers will work on everything from painting and cleaning to watching children, depending on the needs of the various worksites, which are located throughout Fairfield County. The volunteers have already solicited sponsors to donate money based on their hours of work. Those contributions will go to local programs and grass roots initiatives in underdeveloped nations, as well as for raising awareness about hunger and homelessness here at home. The total amount donated will be announced Saturday afternoon. Last year Fairfield University volunteers raised about $13,000 through the Hunger Cleanup. This year, Fairfield volunteers hope to raise $15,000.
About 150 colleges and universities nationwide participate in the Hunger Cleanup, which is a program of the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness. The group has regularly awarded Fairfield University its Gold Medal of Excellence.
Volunteers will meet behind Alumni Hall at Fairfield University at about 9 a.m. and fan out to the various worksites. Work will finish at about 1:30 p.m. at which time they will return to the University.
"Hunger Cleanup is a great event to allow everyone on campus to come together and help out those in need," said Christopher Dill '03, a resident of Guilford, Conn. and one of the chairs of this year's Hunger Cleanup. "It may be only one day, but it makes a significant difference to the people in Fairfield County."
A listing of this year's worksites is provided below.
|Alpha Home||336-4292 x103||Bridgeport|
|American Red Cross||576-1010 x24||Bridgeport|
|ASPIRA of Connecticut||336-5762||Bridgeport|
|Bread and Roses (McKinney House)||388-0187||Stamford|
|Bridgeport Rescue Mission||333-4087 x104||Bridgeport|
|Center for Women and Families||334-6154||Bridgeport|
|East End Community Center||334-7622||Bridgeport|
|East Main Street Revitalization Association||576-7160||Bridgeport|
|Easton Senior Center||268-1145||Easton|
|Fairfield Senior Center||256-3169||Fairfield|
|Family Matters Playskool at Calvary Church||371-2000||Bridgeport|
|Girl Scouts of Housatonic Council||334-3145 x3014||Bridgeport|
|Golden Hill United Methodist Church||368-4485||Bridgeport|
|Habitat for Humanity Greater Bridgeport||255-0257||Bridgeport|
|Holy Family Church||336-1835||Fairfield|
|Isaiah 61:1, Inc./Mary Magdalene House||368-6116||Bridgeport|
|Kennedy Center||332-4535 x240||Bridgeport|
|Kennedy Center (Beacon Court)||365-8522 x200||Trumbull|
|McGivney Community Center||333-2789||Bridgeport|
|Mercy Learning Center||334-6699||Bridgeport|
|Mohonk Children's Home||226-6665||Westport|
|NightRunners Christian Ministries, Inc.||330-1805||Bridgeport|
|Operation Hope||254-2935 x205||Fairfield|
|Probus House||365-8522 x200||Bridgeport|
|South End Community Center/YMCA||377-0689||Stratford|
|St. Anne's Church||368-1607||Bridgeport|
|St. Anne's School||334-5856||Bridgeport|
|St. George's Community Supper||333-2642 x111||Bridgeport|
|St. John's Parish||335-2528||Bridgeport|
|Sterling House Community Center||378-2606 x113||Stratford|
|Sullivan-McKinney Elder Housing||259-1991||Fairfield|
|Thomas Merton Family Center||366-0443||Bridgeport|
|Trumbull Social Services||452-5199||Trumbull|
|United Cerebal Palsy||576-7160||Bridgeport|
|Wakeman Boys/Girls Club||259-4805||Southport|
|WestSide Community Council||332-7404||Bridgeport|
|YMCA Shore Area||366-2809||Bridgeport|
Posted on April 4, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 256
Merrill Lynch CEO E. Stanley O'Neal and GE CEO of Commercial Finance Michael Neal played key roles in Fairfield University's record-setting awards dinner in New York City Monday evening for the Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund that raised over $600,000, exceeding last year's result by more than 80 percent.
Mr. Neal, a trustee of Fairfield University who took on the job of chairing the dinner during one of its most challenging economic periods, said the dinner was started 15 years ago to "broaden access to higher education for multicultural scholars." Since its inception, the fund has had 50 scholarship recipients, he said, and "deeply affected the lives of these students. Fairfield is a better institution for having more diverse students in its midst."
"I am deeply grateful to Mike both for his generosity with his time and for his superb leadership as this year's Fairfield Awards Dinner Chairman," Fairfield University President, Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., said, in remarks Monday evening. "Having heard Mike's report on the amount raised, you can fully appreciate how indebted Fairfield is to him for what he has accomplished for future generations of the University's multicultural scholarship recipients."
Mr. O'Neal was the keynote speaker for the dinner at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers that attracted 600 people, including some 50 corporate and business sponsors, many alumni, parents and friends, along with several Fairfield students who benefit from the scholarship.
Mr. O'Neal, born in rural Alabama, started his education in a one-room segregated school before his father moved the family to Atlanta, Ga., Mr. Neal's home state. Mr. O'Neal was one of the first students to integrate the high school there and while working part-time on a GM auto assembly line, earned a bachelor's degree in industrial administration from Kettering University, formerly known as the General Motors Institute, and then an MBA with distinction from Harvard University in 1978.
Education, he said, is what made possible his journey from "a segregated school in the south to an integrated boardroom in one of the most successful corporations in America." Still, he pointed out, "there are too many that don't have these opportunities available to them."
Education is the "key factor in getting a job, home mortgage, business loan" and other economic advantages, Mr. O'Neal said. "I feel passionately that the business community has a vital role to play. At Merrill Lynch we have made education our top philanthropic priority."
Begun in 1988, the dinner had raised more than $3 million for the endowed scholarship prior to Monday's event. In expressing his gratitude, Father Kelley said that many years of experience have shown that "Higher education offers an opportunity like no other in its potential to transform lives. Tapping into talents that might be otherwise lost creates a double blessing: one for the individuals who discover and develop their God-given gifts; the other for their classmates whose education is enriched by the presence of students from diverse cultures, varied backgrounds and multiple viewpoints."
"Fairfield University is grateful for the tremendous support it has received," said George E. Diffley, vice president for Advancement at Fairfield University. "The remarkable success of this year's multicultural scholarship fundraising effort, particularly in light of the difficult economic times we face, is a tribute to the hard work of Mike Neal and the 70 alumni who served on the Dinner Committee with him."
Father Kelley presented Mr. O'Neal with Fairfield University's Distinguished Leadership award and Mr. Neal with the Chairman's Award. Also honored at the dinner were two "pioneers" who helped open the university in 1947: Rev. Victor Leeber, S.J., a member of the first faculty, with the Honorary Alumnus Award; and Arthur Laske of Trumbull, Conn., a member of the first class (1951) at Fairfield with the Alumni Service Award. Also honored were Maive Scully of Fairfield, Conn., class of 1976 and senior vice president and chief financial officer of GE Consumer Finance operation in Stamford, Conn., with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; and Kurt Schlichting, Ph.D., of Fairfield, Conn., class of 1970 and professor of sociology and anthropology at Fairfield, with the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award.
Posted on April 4, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 255
The Fass family of Massachusetts has donated a 30-piece collection of artworks, which range in style and origin, to the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University.
This assortment of art has been collected from various parts of the world, including South America, Mexico, Africa, and Asia. A number of pieces also stem from Incan and Mayan influence. While most of the works originated as recently as the 20th century, some can be traced from 100 B.C. to 900 A.D.
"This collection will serve - first and foremost - as a significant academic and practical educational tool for al students taking AH 12 (Introduction to the History of Asia, Africa and the Americas) as well as those enrolled in AH 100 (Arts of India, China and Japan)," said Diana Mille, Ph.D., director of the Walsh Art Gallery. "It will also provide the Fairfield community with the rare opportunity of viewing such sculptural eclecticism in one local collection."
The collection is varied in make and model. Wooden figures make up the majority of the pieces while masks and pottery constitute the rest. The material used to create these culturally emblematic pieces is as varied as the people represented by the art. The works are made of stone, bronze, terracotta, mud, vegetable matter and tree resins. Among the most significant works is a sculpture of a Nayarit seated couple which originated in the Ixtlan region of Mexico during 100 B.C.-250 A.D.
The works are attributed to various regions of the world and its people.
Wooden sculptures belonging to 20th century New Guinea include: a Maprik standing male figure; an Asmat canoe prow from the Irinin Jaya people; a Kikori River delta ancestor figure; and a Maprik head.
Mexican culture is represented with: a Colima seated figure of a whistler, 300-900 A.D.; a Colima standing female figure from the west coast of Mexico, 300-900 A.D.; a Veracruz winged bat figural whistle from Mexico, 250-550 A.D.; the Nayarit head of a man, 100 B.C.-250 A.D. All these pieces are made from terracotta.
The pieces originating in Africa are all carved from wood and come from various time periods: a standing male figure from South Africa, 20th c.; a Mitsogho mask from Gabon, 1920-1930; an Ashanti seated female figure, 20th c.; a Bena Lulua standing female figure from Africa, 1940-1950; a Bamana marionette head, 20th c.; a Dan Kran mask from Liberia, 1900; a Baule standing male figure, 1940-1960; and a Dan Poro Society mask from the Ivory Coast with no time period specified.
The South American works vary from pottery to carved sculpture. They include: a central Veracruz seated female figure, 250-500 A.D. (terracotta); a Chancay mask with textile headdress from the central coast of Peru, 1300-1450 A.D. (wood); a Panamanian standing figure of a Missionary Uchu from the San Blas Islands, 20th c. (wood); a Peruvian double-lobed vessel, possibly Inca, 1200-1400 A.D. (blackware pottery); a Kuna standing figure of a Missionary Uchu from the San Blas Islands of Panama, early 20th c. (wood); a Mayan stone seated figure from El Salvador, 500-1000 B.C.; a double bodied figured vessel from Peru, 200-400 A.D. (hollow pottery).
Rounding out the collection are a number of pieces from the Middle East and Asia: a Phillipine group of three standing figures, 20th c. (wood); a bronze head of Buddha with Thai or Cambodian origins dating from the 17th-19th c.; two Temes Nevimbur Grade Society staffs from the southwest bay of Malekula, Vanuatu, 20th c. (organic materials-vegetable matter, mud, tree resin); an Indian standing female figure, 20th c. (wood).
An installation plan for the Fass collection is being developed.
"This important gift from Mr. and Mrs. Fass is a significant milestone in the acquisition of a permanent art collection here at Fairfield," said Orin Grossman, Ph.D., academic vice president at Fairfield. "It will be studied and enjoyed by generations of students and we are grateful for this valuable collection."
Posted on April 05, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 241
Trumbull High School teacher Xiomara Morales builds props, dresses up, draws pictures and acts things out in the course of her class.
But her antics aren't part of a course on theatre and drama. They're techniques she learned and perfected at Fairfield University, for teaching students another language.
Morales, who graduated from Fairfield University in 2000, worked for two years as an assistant teacher (AT) in the Oral Practice Session Program of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (DMLL) at Fairfield University. Her experience in that program helped to put her at ease when teaching older students - and enabled her to let inhibitions go when she throws herself into active teaching. "I think the experience made me more comfortable in front of a group more advanced in age," Morales said of the AT/OPS, noting that many of her Fairfield University students were older than she was at the time.
While Fairfield does not utilize teaching assistants for actual classes, the DMLL relies on peer student teachers to conduct special oral practice sessions that language students are encouraged to attend. The AT/OPS Program has proven to be a success, not just for students practicing how to speak another language, but for the student assistant teachers who are training them, said Joel Goldfield, Ph.D., director of the Charles E. Culpeper Language Resource Center at Fairfield University.
"It is extremely satisfying to see students open themselves up to other cultures through the active learning of a language," said AT Carol Chiodo, of Weston, Conn., a student of University College at Fairfield University. Chiodo sees the program as a gratifying opportunity to share both her love of language and culture. "Through the dramatic immersion in a foreign language, the OPS forces students to extend their minds well beyond the mechanics of the language and embrace its cultural context as well - something normally experienced only through a prolonged visit abroad."
The program was borne out of the need to give language students more oral practice in their new language, said Dr. Goldfield, who is also an associate professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at Fairfield.
"There's no way most college students can effectively supervise their own oral practice," Dr. Goldfield said. But such practice is necessary for learning how to speak a language properly - as opposed to just writing and reading, although these goals are important. Eighty percent of students consider speaking a language their number one goal in taking foreign language courses, according to student surveys at Fairfield University, Dr. Goldfield said.
The AT/OPS program, which began in the spring of 1998 as a pilot in French only, has blossomed to include eight of the nine languages offered at Fairfield. And while students are able to hone their oral techniques, more advanced students get hands-on teaching experience with an adult class. Each language's ATs are supervised by departmental faculty specially trained for that additional work.
Morales knew from the start that she wanted to be a teacher. But the AT/OPS assistant teaching experience encourages many undecided students to become foreign language teachers, Dr. Goldfield said, noting that by the end of the program, 80 percent of participants say they are interested in pursuing teaching.
That's good news for Connecticut schools, which are often in need of foreign language teachers, according to Mary Ann Hansen, Ph.D., the world languages consultant for the Connecticut Department of Education. The state has turned to partnerships with other nations, such as Spain, to recruit teachers from overseas, said Dr. Hansen.
"We have had a shortage of Spanish teachers for a number of years," Dr. Hansen said, adding that French and Italian teachers are also becoming difficult to find.
Students who are chosen for the paid positions attend a workshop to receive 14 hours of training. Those who want to be ATs in the Fairfield University program must (re)audition each year. A jury of faculty selects ATs based on merit and availability. The ATs evaluate the students in their sessions, although they do not grade them, Dr. Goldfield said. This semester, Fairfield has about 20 ATs. On average, 30 percent of the ATs who participate in the program are international students, Dr. Goldfield said. Many ATs, such as Morales, are native speakers in the language in which they will be teaching.
"The success of Fairfield's Assistant Teaching/Oral Practice Session Program comes from long-standing and emerging intellectual traditions, forged through the immense energy and talent of Professor Joel Goldfield," said Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. "He is joined by similarly engaged colleagues of the College of Arts and Science's Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, who understand the value of language and the literary and cultural worlds that it opens to modern leaders and learners."
In addition to gaining teaching experience at Fairfield University, Morales learned the Rassias Method for teaching a foreign language. Named for its creator, John Rassias, president of The Rassias Foundation at Dartmouth and chair of the college's Department of French and Italian, the method calls for physical demonstrations to teach students vocabulary in a different language. By doing so, the method eliminates the need to translate a new word into the equivalent word in students' native tongue. Translating a new word into the equivalent word in the students' native tongue would substantially slow down communication, Dr. Goldfield said. The dramatized and direct approach taken in the AT/OPS Program accelerates students' ability to communicate orally in the new language, Dr. Goldfield said, adding that there is an element of humor and playfulness in the method to put students more at ease.
The method ingrains the new language in students' heads, Morales said. It's also a very energetic and active way of teaching. Morales will act out a word, say the word in Spanish, and then quickly point to students, who must identify and repeat the word she is demonstrating. "When I point at you, you better repeat what I said and you better repeat it correctly," Morales said, laughing. "It keeps everybody on their toes."
Posted on April 07, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 236