News and Announcements
President's Notes V.13January 14, 2016
This is the January week faculty and students start wending back to campus, and I say welcome back! I hope you all had a joyful holiday and restful time off. In case you are in need of one more day off, however, we’ll celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this coming Monday, so please enjoy it, and then …. On Tuesday, January 19, classes will resume for the Spring semester.
Over winter break walls were painted, carpets shampooed, floors waxed, and new classroom chairs installed in College Hall. The new Occupational Therapy Lab (OTL) is ready to welcome its first cohort of graduate students.
Last week I was in Florida where I led a panel of presidents on advancing college and university strategic planning through effective board retreats. You all know that I love retreats and value the role of planning. The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Presidents' Institute is the largest gathering of college and university presidents in the country. And with the Administrative Council this week, I have been lining up our retreat and those of the Schools’ faculty and the Directors’ Council as we prepare the groundwork for a strategic plan for the next five years.
Students & Graduates
Over the winter break, 11 students traveled to London for a Theater/English course with Associate Professor & Theatre Program Coordinator, Dr. Frans Rijnbout, for 10 days. The London Study Abroad course allowed students to attend play productions—among them Macbeth and Jane Eyre—at historic theatres in London. The students would learn about the plays in class each morning and then watch them in the evenings. Exams and assignments stressed the academic nature of the course. The course also included a tour of the historic Globe Theatre and a full day excursion to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The picture below right shows the group at Shakespeare’s grave, and the one on the left their reading of passages from Shakespeare outdoors. This year, 2016, happens to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. On the trip to London with Frans were students Zachary Goodsell, Marcos Aguirre, Matthew Quattrociocchi, Kathleen Sullivan, Melinda Sutton, Xingtao Cheng, Maghenna Georges, Samantha Duclos, Cynthia Goncalves, Patricia Lorquet, and Jessica Taylor. Kathleen Sullivan ’16 said “The intensive London Study Abroad course was an amazing opportunity to learn about world-class theatre first hand. It was a challenging course that gave me new insight into the world of theatre. It is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
While on business visiting international schools, David Crisci, Director of the Center for Global Connections, met up with the group (at right), who look like they were enjoying every minute.
Faculty & Staff
Congratulations to Mary Ann Hart, Assistant Professor of Nursing & Health Administration Graduate Program Director, who successfully defended her DNP thesis at Regis entitled: “The Transition Experience of the Novice Nurse Practitioner in the First Year of Primary Care Practice.”
Liberal Arts Lecture Series, Fall 2015
This past fall two distinguished lecturers were the guests of the Liberal Arts Lecture Series, Deirdre Egan-Ryan and Marilyn Cochran Smith. Organized by Dr. Marilyn Nicholas, Towson University, a Regis alumna, and Dr. Mary-Anne Vetterling, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, this lecture series was funded in part by a Regis co-curricular grant, and it got off to a great start in its second year. Some photographs and a little recap of the two talks, which from different perspective each addressed education itself, make a fitting beginning to our spring semester.
On Thursday, November 19, 2015 Professor Deirdre Egan-Ryan, of Saint Norbert College, delivered a brilliant lecture on “Lady Liberty: Women Writers and Reform.” She is shown here with Assistant Professor Danquing Xiao of our STEM Department (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Egan-Ryan started, Mary-Anne informs me, with a reading of Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus,” and special emphasis on the first word, “Not.” Soon she explained the reason for the strong negative word by discussing the revolutionary meaning behind the poem and the life of its author, Emma Lazarus, a leading intellectual and reformer. She also reminded us that this poem is engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty and has thus become immortalized and familiar to all. It was quite fitting that we celebrated Emma Lazarus on November 19 since that day marks the anniversary of her passing in 1887.
Professor Egan-Ryan also talked about a number of other women writers who helped reform society through their writing: Mina Loy, Georgia O’Keefe, Willa Cather, Catherine Bauer, and Zora Neale Hurston. She gave us insights into the writings of these women and demonstrated the importance of their work in the context of their very active lives.
After the lecture Professor Egan-Ryan provided the faculty with a special seminar on Service Learning, “Structure, Syllabus and Scholarship: Academic Service-Learning in Mission-Based Higher Education: A Conversation with Faculty.” She is the Director of Academic Service Learning at St. Norbert College and gave Regis faculty an inspirational talk about how to make it work well for both faculty and students. If interested in finding out more about Service Learning at St. Norbert, go to the Sturzl Center for Community Service.
Then, on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, Professor Marilyn Cochran Smith, shown here with Professor Vetterling, lectured on “What Teachers Know that Policy Makers (and the Public) Need to Know.” Her lecture, marvelously illustrated through a PowerPoint filled with fascinating images, focused on stories from various groups of teachers. First, she read from a journal by a first grade teacher in an urban school about her daily discoveries and challenges. She remarked on the special relationships that develop between a teacher and his/her students and how teachers learn to appreciate the gifts of each person in their class. Next she talked about PLC’s (Professional Learning Communities) that are inspiring teachers to seek release time to meet weekly and discuss problems. They are also the subject of an impressive number of books. She mentioned that one group discovered institutional racism at their school once they realized that students at their school were being “rostered into general math” by lower expectations according to race. She then mentioned a group in Central Ohio, the “Pink TIGers” who work against homophobia and racism. All these groups, according to Cochran-Smith, engage in “hard talk,” meet on their own time, and pay attention to equity. She noted that teachers cannot save the schools simply by teaching better but also should take part in social movements. She believes that all people involved with educating our youth need to work together. The lecture ended with a lively discussion period and inspired many conversations for several days afterward. Thank you, Mary-Anne, for these summaries!
Recently I have published two articles about Regis North. One was co-written by me and President Lane Glenn from Northern Essex CC, our partner in Lawrence, and the other I authored from a Regis perspective.
Commonwealth Magazine: Tapping the workforce potential of our Gateway Cities
The New England Journal Of Higher Education: In a “Gateway City,” a Plan to Nurse Degree Attainment
We will have a busy semester with almost all staff directors and above participating in some professional development while keeping things humming along.
Next week I have an alumni and donor trip out of state. The next issue of President’s Notes will be out on January 28, 2016, just as the campus completes a round of interviews for the position of Director of Diversity and Inclusion, which I will oversee – a very important position for our campus pledged to CSJ inclusiveness. Stay tuned for more about those interviews in the next issue and keep warm!