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Summer 2001

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Feature

Observations

On Campus

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People

Alumni and Development News

Class Notes

 

 
 

Acta: Highlights of faculty and staff news

     Michael Arnush, classics, was awarded an NEH summer stipend to pursue his work on “An Epigraphic Database for Demos: Classical Athenian Democracy On-line.”

     Lisa Aronson, art history, delivered a paper on “Stamps, Trademarks, and the Colonization of Nigeria” at the 12th International Triennial Symposium on African Art, held this spring in the Virgin Islands.

     Jacqueline Azzarto, social work, received a community service award from the Hudson Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities. The award cited her research on welfare reform and her service as board president of Saratoga’s Economic Opportunity Council.

     Pola Baytelman, music, was one of nine judges at the forty-third annual Jaén International Piano Competition in Spain this spring.

     Christopher Brubeck, music, was commissioned by Boston Pops director Keith Lockhart to write a concerto. In May, Lockhart and the Pops orchestra premiered the piece, entitled Convergence, at Symphony Hall.

     This summer Jordana Dym, history, earned a slot in a summer research and pedagogy seminar on “Ancient Cities and Modern Urbanism” as part of the Faculty Resource Network at New York University.

     Tisch Professor Robert Boyers, English, wrote an essay on the comedies of Peter Schneider in the February 26 New Republic magazine.

     John Brueggemann, sociology, is the co-author of an article on labor-union organizing in the steel and coal industries from 1870 to 1916, published in Review of Radical Political Economics.

     Robert Carter, permanent collections, retired this spring. Carter, who came to Skidmore in 1982, served as curator of the college’s permanent art collections and also lectured in art and art history, created various exhibits, and guided student assistants in curatorial and cataloging projects.

     Ross Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Terence Diggory, English, contributed entries on poets Jack Gilbert and Linda Gregg to Contemporary Poets, 7th ed.

     Pat Ferraioli, government, won a faculty award for leadership and service in diversity and multiculturalism from the Hudson Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities. A staff award went to Monica Minor, Higher Education Opportunity Program, and a student award to Mark Chen-Keenan ’03, Asian Cultural Association.

     Henry Galant, government emeritus, was a special guest at a dinner hosted by the French government in honor of the late Pierre Laroque. Known as the “father of the French Social Security system,” Laroque was Galant’s mentor when Galant was researching French Social Security as a student Fulbright scholar.

     Barry Goldensohn, English, has a poem in an anthology called Visiting Emily: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Emily Dickinson, published by University of Iowa Press.

     Kenneth Johnson, geology, received a research award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Division of Environmental Geosciences. The award honors his analysis of soils around upstate New York communities that are experiencing rapid growth and need information about groundwater availability and pollution risks.

     David Karp, sociology, discussed restorative justice in an interview on “The Breakfast Club,” a radio show in Jamaica hosted by Jamaica’s former first lady Beverly Manley.

     Rosie Manley, early childhood center, retired this spring after nearly 20 years as a teacher in Skidmore’s pre-kindergarten laboratory school affiliated with the college’s education department. She also served as acting director of the center this past year.

     Philip Ortiz, biology, gave two papers at the 2001 meeting of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His paper on hexose phosphates was co-authored by Becca Flitter ’02, Sharon Haynes ’01, and Amanda Wyerbacher ’01. His second paper was “Scientists of Color: Rewards and Responsibilities Outside the Lab.”

     Rajagopal Parthasarathy, English, is among “the world’s most important English-language poets” included in Contemporary Poets, 7th ed. He is also being included in 2000 Outstanding People of the Twenty-first Century, published by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England.

     President Emeritus David Porter, classics, has written three articles: “‘O all you beauties I shall never see’: An Unpublished Edith Wharton Letter,” in Edith Wharton Review, XVI, no. 2; “‘She had only to touch an idea to make it live’: Willa Cather and Mary Baker Eddy,” in Willa Cather Newsletter and Review XLIV; and “Orlando on her Mind? An Unpublished Letter from Virginia Woolf to Lady Sackville,” in Woolf Studies Annual 7.

     Roy Rotheim, economics, presented “Inflation Targeting in the U.S. and Europe” at a conference on macroeconomic theory and policy in Denmark.

     Linda Simon, English, won a summer scholar-in-residence appointment through the Faculty Resource Network at New York University. Her research concerns cultural anxiety about the coming of electricity at the end of the nineteenth century.

     Mary Stange, religion, authored entries on “Christianity,” “hunting,” and “Mormons” in the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women’s Issues and Knowledge.

     Steven Stern, English, has been appointed the Moss Professor of Excellence for next spring at the University of Tennessee in Nashville.

     Garett Wilson and David Yergan, theater, are the scenic designer and lighting designer, respectively, for the Lake George Opera Festival’s fortieth season this summer, presenting Ariadne auf Naxos, Il Re Pastore, and HMS Pinafore.

Online revolution?

They must have had mixed feelings, sitting in front of a computer in a Harder Hall classroom, the air buzzing with terms like FTP, HTML, and UNIX. Yet there they were, by choice—fourteen faculty members from disciplines including foreign languages, management and business, and theater—taking a summer workshop, “Put Your Course Online,” led by Skidmore’s Center for Information Technology Services and University Without Walls. (UWW relies on Skidmore professors to teach several courses and is actively building its online offerings to serve its students on several continents.)

CITS trainer Phylise Banner, a perfect blend of supportive mother and in-your-face drill sergeant, is walking her pupils through the basics of connecting to the college’s network, where, with the help of software called Dreamweaver, they will publicly post video clips, chat rooms, links to online reference works, and other learning tools for their students.

“Do you ever get to the stage where you remember all this?” asks English professor Phyllis Roth, former dean of the faculty, who is planning her return to the classroom this fall. Cornel Reinhart, UWW’s techno-savvy director, replies, “The frustration will go away after you do it three to four times.”

A day later, fresh from an in-class chat room experience about the movie Pearl Harbor, Roth is focused on the rich possibilities of online education. “What you’re modeling here is the writing process,” she says excitedly. “There are opportunities here not available in conventional classrooms, including increased group interaction. Students could easily spend more time with the instructor and with each other about writing.”

That’s music to Banner’s ears. “Faculty aren’t limited anymore. The fear level is down compared to last year. They’re starting to think of technology as a tool,” she says. “And they’re also starting to say, ‘We have to do this.’ They realize their students demand it.”

Some Skidmore professors are supplementing their existing courses —by putting the syllabus online, requiring assignments to be submitted online for peer review, providing links to Web sites, and so on—rather than creating all-online courses as they might do for UWW. In contrast with “distance learning,” says Leo Geoffrion, longtime CITS academic consultant and now Skidmore’s “Webmaster,” the technology enhancements merely add “remote collaboration” to classroom-based courses for residential students.

A growing list of faculty pioneers have designed purely online courses for UWW, most recently Reinhard Mayer (German) and Roy Meyers (biology), who this summer offered “Representations of the Holocaust” and “Biology of the Mind.” And Patricia Rubio (Spanish) has signed up to teach a fall UWW class, “Spanish-American Women Writers”—adapted from a course she previously taught in a seminar setting.

Roth also has interest in developing a UWW course, but for now she has smaller, but intriguing, plans: a one-credit add-on, for honors, to a regular fiction course that covers one of her specialties, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Using a collection of Dracula material donated to Skidmore’s Scribner Library by Christopher Giancarlo ’81 in Roth’s honor, the extra credit can be earned three ways: creating a Halloween exhibit from the library collection, selecting Dracula films for public screenings and leading discussions on them, or designing additions for the official Dracula homepage.

Says Roth of the work on the Dracula Web site, “Students will take this and run with it.” The only danger they might encounter comes from CITS’s Banner, who says she would kill to design the site. —PM

 


© 2001 Skidmore College