Faculty

Economics professors Samuel Andoh (left) and James Thorson

Samuel Andoh, MBA program director and professor of economics, and James Thorson, professor and chair of economics, will be presenting their research titled “Female Entrepreneurs in Africa: Ethiopia, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Ghana” at the 2019 Association of Global South Studies Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 12 – 15, 2019.

Andoh and Thorson’s research seeks to understand whether women are more or less likely to apply for credit compared to men, and what factors explain the disparity, as well as whether women entrepreneurs use less leverage than men, and finally, whether women entrepreneurs are risk-averse. The answers to these questions could provide insights on how policy makers can work to include women in the rapid economic growth which countries such as Ethiopia and Ghana are currently experiencing.

As director of Southern’s MBA program, Andoh hopes not only to conference with colleagues and share his research in Argentina, but also to meet with anyone curious about the MBA opportunities at SCSU.

To highlight the strength of the SCSU School of Business MBA program, and the high quality of the students in the program, Andoh points to two recent graduates.

Teresa Rivera, a mother of three, enrolled in the MBA program while still nursing a baby. She defied the odds to complete the MBA, took the Treasury Management course, which proved to be her ticket to an executive position at Hartford Healthcare, where she works as a senior treasury analyst.

Eliza Tabaka, a mother of two young children, worked as a translator and as a Graduate Assistant in the School of Business while she pursued an intense Accelerated MBA. After passing the Treasury Management course, Tabaka was one of two students selected to join Webster Bank’s competitive internship program, and was subsequently hired by Webster Bank, where she is currently employed.

If you are interested in joining the ranks of successful Southern MBA grads, or hearing more about either the traditional MBA path or the accelerated MBA format, which allows students to complete their MBA degree in just 18 months with combined Saturday and online courses, please contact Dr. Sam Andoh at AndohS1@SouthernCT.edu. He is available to schedule meetings December 12 to 16 at Hotel UOM Buenos Aires.

Camille Serchuk discusses maps in the exhibit with her cousin, Dean Karlan (Photo credit: Jan Ellen Spiegel)

In 2006, Camille Serchuk, professor of art history, was working on a  project about French art in the 15th century when she discovered a previously-unknown map of France in a manuscript in the national library in Paris.

Uncovering and exploring that map launched her on a scholarly journey that has culminated in the exhibition entitled Quand les artistes dessinaient les cartes: vues et figures de l’espace français, Moyen Âge et Renaissance (When artists made maps: views and figures of France in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance). The exhibit runs through Jan. 7 at the Archives nationales in Paris.

Skeptical of the widely held belief at that time that the French hadn’t made any maps before the 17th century, Serchuk wrote to hundreds of French local archives to inquire what kinds of examples they had in their collections.

She received only a few replies. Most said either that they had no maps or only later printed ones; a few said, “this is a fascinating project but we really don’t know what we have,” and about a handful said, “Come! Look at what we have!”

Following those leads she began to research about a dozen local and regional maps that were little-known or unpublished. Serchuk was fascinated to discover that many of the maps she was examining had been made by painters, and that they shared many features with artistic traditions of their time.

“The Second Section of the Forest of Longbouel” [Seine-Maritime], 1566 Ink, gouache and gilding in a parchment codex. Paris, Archives nationales, AE/II/676, fol. 23v. This map shows one of the three sections of the royal forest of Longboël, near Rouen. It is part of a large volume containing a survey of the forest, carried out in 1566 for King Charles IX. For each section of the forest, the map indicates the surface area, measured in arpents, and the type of wood to be found in it (“D. F. B.”: demi-futaie bonne or good timber that has only reached half of its mature height ; “I. T. M. P.”: jeune taillis mal planté or young, poorly planted coppice ; “P. V.”: place vide, or empty space, etc.). (Photo credit: Cindy Karlan)
“They show a sophisticated command of draftsmanship and an innovative use of perspective, which explain, at least in part, why painters were considered to be valuable cartographers for the representation of small spaces, like villages, woods or fields,” Serchuk said.

After delivering a paper at Oxford University in 2012 about one of these maps – depicting the  forest of Thelle, in Normandy, drawn by two young artists – Serchuk met Juliette Dumasy-Rabineau, a medieval historian who had come to a similar conclusion: the French had a robust tradition of mapmaking in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; it merely needed to be excavated from the archive.

When, in 2014, Dumasy had the idea for an exhibition of these maps, she contacted Serchuk to see if she would be interested in collaborating on it. Dumasy thought that an art historian, and an American, would bring a perspective to the project that would be different from her own and valuable to it.

Together, building on their prior research, they assembled a collection of items, organized them into themes and categories, and brought the project back to the national archives, where their team was joined by Nadine Gastaldi, the curator of maps and plans there.

Map of the Castellany of Billy (Allier), by Antoine de Laval, 1573 Ink and color on parchment, scale [1/245 000] Paris, Archives nationales, CP/N/III/Allier/6 When he produced this map, at the age of 23, Laval was the captain of the Château of Moulins and a Master of the administration of waterways and forests in the Bourbonnais region. In this capacity, he was under the command of Catherine de’ Medici, dowager queen of France, who controlled the Bourbonnais and often stayed in the Château of Moulins. He later followed in the steps of his father-in-law, Nicolas de Nicolay and became the royal geographer. His map delineates an administrative division, the castellany of Billy. The method of its production is described in its cartouche: “the entirety exactly described and measured on site.” (Photo credit: Cindy Karlan)
The exhibition that is the result of this collaboration brings together more than 100 of these long forgotten maps. Made between 1312 and 1619, in locations all over France, many are previously unpublished, and most are being exhibited for the first time.

The exhibition also explores the contribution of artistic traditions to cartography and how painters drew on the skills acquired during their training to make these maps, Serchuk said.

“Maps are not traditionally classified as works of art, but there is no doubt that there is considerable overlap in production methods and techniques, and the frequent role of painters as cartographers reveals how artists worked on a daily basis, between major commissions,” she said.

Indeed, many of these maps, or “figures,” as they were called at the time, were made by painters who were among the most renowned of their time (including Jean Cousin, Bernard Palissy, and Nicolas Dipre).

As such, they offer exceptional insight into the landscapes and scenery of everyday life at the turn of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance., Serchuk said.

Oddly enough, none of the maps in the exhibit were made to show the way from one place to another or to guide the traveler. Made at the request of prestigious sponsors (kings, princes, abbeys, cities), they were linked to practices of government.

The maps on display were produced by painters to delineate boundaries or legal rights, to resolve territorial disputes, to document public works, to support military operations, to describe historical events, to catalogue possessions, and to celebrate the identity of a place or territory.

Map of the area around the spring called Le Veau d’or (Hauts-de-Seine), with a plan of the Abbey of Longchamp (Paris), by Georges Lallemand (or Lallemant), 1619 Ink and color wash on parchment Paris, Archives nationales, N/III/Seine-et-Oise/479/1 On this legal map, the Seine appears in its valley, bordered by the villages of Suresnes (above) and Saint-Cloud (below). Almost hidden in the center, the spring is drawn in the form of a small structure covered with annotations in brown ink. The figure provides precious evidence of the plan of the abbey here depicted at the lower right, which was destroyed during the Revolution; the windmill is the only element of the convent that survives today in Longchamp. (Photo credit: Cindy Karlan)

At a time when cartography intersected with art, empirical observation took precedence over measurement in mapmaking, Serchuk said.

The painters drew on their expertise in drawing, composition, and perspective to create spectacular visual documents in a wide variety of media and formats, Serchuk said.

“Richly colored and abundantly detailed, these compelling images offer rich and unexpected insights into artistic and cartographic practice, and into the factors that shaped urban and rural landscapes during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,” she said.

For more on the exhibit, visit:  http://www.archives-nationales.culture.gouv.fr/quand-les-artistes-dessinaient-les-cartes

 

Assistant Professor of Anthropology William Farley sets out to answer an archeological question for the ages.

William Farley, assistant professor, at home in the Anthropology Lab.

When humans invented agriculture some 10,000 years ago, it forever changed how people worked and lived. In just about every place in the world where agriculture took hold — from Mesopotamia to Mesoamerica — small, transient hunter-gatherer tribes morphed into villages and large cities.

With these new, bustling settlements came sweeping cultural changes, new social hierarchies and, often, vast extremes of poverty and wealth. (Think pharaohs and slaves; kings and commoners.)

Except, that is, in New England.

In fact, around 1,000 A.D., when maize agriculture migrated here from Central Mexico and the Southwest, life seemed to go on pretty much as usual. Or so archaeologists thought.

Now, new research conducted by Assistant Professor of Anthropology William Farley is challenging that assumption. In a paper published last April in American Antiquity, Farley and coauthors Gabriel Hrynick and Amy Fox highlight a pattern of architectural changes that coincide with the arrival of maize farming in New England — shedding new light on a mystery that has stumped archaeologists for decades.

“The answer isn’t what people thought before, which is that maize came into the region and nothing happened,” Farley says. “The changes are subtler than in places like Mesopotamia, where you had 50,000 people living in a city. But we do start to see these subtle changes in houses. And from research we know that houses tend to strikingly reflect cultural values.”

Like so many good ideas, Farley’s was born on the back of the proverbial cocktail napkin, over drinks with Hrynick, a former University of Connecticut classmate, now also an archaeologist. The two were attending a conference and, having reconnected at a hotel bar, were deep in conversation, pondering age-old questions about the arrival of agriculture in New England — and its seemingly negligible influence on society.

“Why does New England look so different from other parts of the world? Why can’t we find these villages?” Farley recalls asking. Although some early European settlers describe encountering villages in the region, archaeologists have never found any evidence, Farley explains.

The talk was a serendipitous meeting of the minds. Farley is an archaeobotanist (he studies the interconnection of plants and humans), while Hrynick’s wheelhouse is architecture. Farley’s geographic focus is southern New England; Hrynick’s is northern Maine and Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

Assistant Professor Farley guides students at an archeological dig at the Henry Whitfield State Museum in Guilford, Conn.

Farley recalls the conversation: “We were talking about different sites in the region and Gabe [Hrynick] said, ‘You know, the houses stayed really small in the North.’” Unlike southern New England, the North adopted agriculture only after Europeans arrived.

In contrast, Farley observed that in southern New England, where he had worked on archeological digs, some of the houses grew larger during later periods. Could it be a pattern? And could maize farming be the reason for the shift?

“Maybe we should explore that,” he remembers thinking. It took a setback — one that threatened to derail Farley’s Ph.D. ambitions — to catapult the idea from barroom brainstorm to bona fide research project.

In January 2017, around the same time he was offered a full-time teaching job at Southern to start the following fall, Farley was diligently plugging away at his doctoral dissertation when his research came to a standstill. “I lost half of my data,” recalls Farley, a UConn grad student at the time. “I was looking at this site from Massachusetts, and the people who controlled the data told me I couldn’t use it anymore.”

He had six months to complete his dissertation. “I was in crisis mode,” says Farley. Forced to find a new topic, he called his friend Hrynick, now a professor at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. “Hey, do you want to write that paper together that we talked about that time at the bar?” Farley asked him.

And so the archeologists joined forces. They later recruited Fox, a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto and a “brilliant mathematician,” says Farley, to help with the statistical analysis.

Although their research examined more than 100 archeological sites from New York City to Newfoundland, “we didn’t move a spoonful of dirt,” Farley says. Instead, he spent eight hours a day for nearly two months in libraries around the region, poring over more than a century’s worth of often-obscure archaeological literature.

“Anytime anybody had excavated a house, a wigwam, a pre-European Native American house, we were going to measure them,” Farley says.

After he amassed and crunched all the data, an interesting pattern emerged. In the Maritime Peninsula, where agriculture had not taken hold, houses stayed the same size and shape — small and round — for some 3,000 years. The same was initially true in southern New England — until about 1,000 years ago, when bigger, more elongated houses appeared.

“Things changed right at the same instant, archeologically speaking, that maize arrived in the region. You got a bifurcation of the data,” says Farley.

He can’t say exactly why the shift occurred. “It could be that a social hierarchy is emerging. It could be changes in labor practices,” he says. “I don’t think we’ve got enough data to say for sure. But I think there’s evidence that when maize agriculture arrived, society started changing,” he says. Seeing his work published in American Antiquity, the premier academic journal for American archaeology, marked a major career milestone for Farley, who is 33.

“It really was a bit of a lightning strike — a combination of Gabe’s and my interests,” he says. “This was a nagging question that archaeologists have been interested in for many decades in New England. We took a different approach than anyone has ever used before. We just got a little bit lucky that it worked.”

At a time when the U.S. is deeply divided politically and ideologically, Jonathan Wharton, associate professor of political science and urban affairs, is committed to students — democrats and republicans.

The office of Jonathan Wharton, associate professor of political science and urban affairs, houses numerous mementos.

Americans are divided on everything — except division. That’s the not-so-stunning conclusion of an NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll in which 80 percent of respondents described the U.S. as divided.

Helping to bridge this political and ideological rift, Jonathan Wharton, associate professor of political science and urban affairs, is a unifying force on campus — serving as adviser to the College Republicans and the College Democrats.

“I never thought I had to be partisan,” says Wharton of his students-first approach. Wharton is a member of the Republican Party, but was raised with an acceptance of opposing viewpoints by parents, who are members of different political parties. “They actually agree on 80 to 90 percent of things. But they are sticking [with their parties], and it was never problematic or disrespectful,” says Wharton.

The College Democrats and College Republicans work well together. The two student organizations held on-campus viewing parties during the 2016 presidential election. (Inspired, in part, by Wharton’s dual advisory roles, the vibrant gatherings received significant attention from the media.) In 2018, 20-plus students — members of both parties — joined faculty at the gubernatorial debates at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven. More joint events are promised for the 2020 election.

When it comes to political action, Wharton describes himself as “a behind the scenes kind of guy,” drawn to planning fund raisers and networking. “My students would rather do the door knocking, the phone banking, the social media. They’d rather follow the research, get the data,” he says.

Adept at wearing multiple hats, Wharton is also the internship adviser for the department. Many students complete multiple internships, up to 15 credits, working in federal and state congressional offices, law firms, nonprofit organizations, city offices, think tanks, and more.

“Most are much better students because of it,” says Wharton, who finds their commitment inspiring and heartening. “Do you know how many students love to do campaign work? It boggles my mind,” he says.

Wharton was raised in West Hartford but was born in New York City — and his parents came from Boston and Chicago. “As a child, I grew attached to these cities we visited. I think that’s why I studied local politics,” says Wharton, shown participating in Southern’s 2019 undergraduate commencement exercises.

Following, Wharton shares more on his commitment to urban planning, politics, and students.

A born educator: “One could argue it’s in the DNA. Both sides of the family have been educators,” says Wharton. His parents met in the doctoral program at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. His grandmothers were teachers. Both grandfathers were lawyers; his paternal grandfather an ambassador as well. “There was always this interest in politics, law, and education,” he says.

A career change: Wharton left a position working with the New Jersey State Legislature to pursue a career in education. “The classroom drew me back in every time,” he says.

In the class: “I like to spark debate and discussion. . . . I want students to be intrigued, curious, and provoked.”

Always civic minded: Wharton serves on the City Planning Commission of New Haven.

Thinking local: “What I try to convey to [students] is that you can make a difference in your community at the local or state level. It takes them a while to get their heads around that. But when they recognize it, the potential is there,” says Wharton.

Why he choose Southern: “I was struck by the fact that it was a teaching university. . . . I liked the small classroom sizes at Southern. And I like the regional universities dynamic. They take teaching so seriously, which I think is critical. They do faculty development workshops, analyze teaching methods, and focus on pedagogy concerns.”

Four treasured office mementos:
1) campaign signs — “A great opener with students when discussing the ins and outs of campaign work,” he says.
2) a first-place banner from a National Collegiate Club Golf Association tournament (2017), signed by the participating students. Wharton also is adviser of Southern’s golf team, which competes in the Metro region.
3) several awards for exceptional work as an adviser
4) a “Distinguished Alumnus Award” from Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity (March 2019)

Research focus: Wharton and Theresa Marchant-Shapiro, associate professor of political science, are working with university librarians to accession the archival papers of several former New Haven mayors. The collection was established through the generosity of attorney Neil Thomas Proto, ’67, and is housed in Buley Library.

In the News: Wharton is a monthly state/local politics analyst on WNPR’s Where We Live and The Wheelhouse.

Southern Alumni Magazine cover, Fall 2019, featuring Peter Marra, '85

Read more stories in the Fall ’19 issue of Southern Alumni Magazine.

Madhouse, funny farm, psychiatric hospital, loony bin, nuthouse, mental institution: no matter what you call it, the asylum has a powerful hold on the American imagination. Stark and foreboding, these institutions symbolize mistreatment, fear, and imprisonment, standing as castles of despair and tyranny across the countryside. In the “asylum” of American fiction and film, treatments are torture, attendants are thugs, and psychiatrists are despots.

In Nightmare FactoriesThe Asylum in the American Imagination, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, Troy Rondinone, professor of history, offers the first history of mental hospitals in American popular culture.

The book focuses on how the asylum has been portrayed though movies, novels and other media, exploring the effect that these portrayals have had on American culture and the stigma of mental illness.

Beginning with Edgar Allan Poe’s 1845 short story “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether,” Rondinone surveys how American novelists, poets, memoirists, reporters, and filmmakers have portrayed the asylum and how those representations reflect larger social trends in the United States. Asylums, he argues, darkly reflect cultural anxieties and the shortcomings of democracy, as well as the ongoing mistreatment of people suffering from mental illness.

Nightmare Factories traces the story of the asylum as the masses have witnessed it – often as dark, scary places, where patients are tortured with their “treatment.” This scenario is partly true and partly exaggerated, according to Rondinone, who shows how works ranging from Moby-Dick and Dracula to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestHalloween, and American Horror Story have all conversed with the asylum.

Drawing from fictional and real accounts, movies, personal interviews, and tours of mental hospitals both active and defunct, he has uncovered a story at once familiar and bizarre, where reality meets fantasy in the foggy landscape of celluloid and pulp.

Rondinone also points out that today’s mental health institutions are not like the scary places associated with the American imagination. But he said that unfortunate mantle has fallen to some of America’s contemporary prisons, particularly those where inmates are forced to stay in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.

Rondinone has discussed this topic with the media, including a recent conversation on WSHU radio.

He also has been writing a series of blog posts for Psychology Today magazine – exploring the history of mental institutions in America, their portrayal in pop culture and the impact that they have had on the American psyche and culture.

And most recently he wrote a perspective piece for The Washington Post: “Scary asylums are a Halloween classic, but it’s time to retire the trope: It’s hurting those suffering from mental illness.” 

 

Walter Stutzman with former students in the applied music program

Ten years later, the Stutzman Family Foundation is still transforming lives.

In January 2016 Candace Naude, ‘20, was sitting in the audience of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening when she had an awakening of her own. “I realized that I have to pursue music,” Naude says. “I couldn’t escape it anymore.”

Naude had been passionate about music her entire life but had been discouraged from making a career of it.

“Music wasn’t one of the hiring industries, and everyone told me it would be so hard for me to find a job and make a living,” Naude says. “Unfortunately I listened to them, and decided to join the Army. I enlisted immediately after high school and spent four years in the military. In 2014 I was honorably discharged and moved back home to Trumbull.” Money was tight, but Naude enrolled in the music program at Southern.

“I didn’t care if I couldn’t find a job or make an easy living,” Naude says. “I needed to make music.”

An epiphany that calls one back to music is something Walter Stutzman, adjunct faculty member with Southern’s Department of Music, can relate to. Shaken by 9-11 — he was across the street from the North Tower of the World Trade Center when the attacks occurred  — he retired from 30 years of software consulting and came to Southern shortly afterwards to earn a BA in Music.

“My life was transformed through the music I studied and performed and was further changed when I joined [Southern’s] music faculty in 2009,” Stutzman says. He found the experience so transformative, he sought to help other students fulfill their dreams. As a trustee of the Stutzman Family Foundation, which was established by his parents, Geraldine and Jacob Stutzman, shortly before their deaths in the mid-2000s, Stutzman has helped make the music program at Southern one of the best.

“He has transformed the entire program,” says Craig Hlavac, associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Southern. “Music students are studying with professionals in the area, so they’re learning the ropes from these folks and the business aspects as well.”

Mani Mirzaee, ‘14, a composer, educator, pianist, setar and tar performer, experienced that first-hand.

“The care and kindness the music faculty showed gave me the confidence to pursue music as a career, and the Stutzman Foundation truly enabled the faculty to provide the student body with the attention and care they had to give,” Mirzaee says. “The Stutzman Foundation elevated the capacity the faculty had within the music department. Practice rooms, computers, enhanced digital audio work-stations and many other amazing amenities were provided for the students.”

This evolving technology has helped keep the music curriculum relevant — and to attract students interested in the technological side of the field.

“You can have a career in this, and that’s why our degree looks different than most,” Hlavac says. “We have classes in music technology, for example. With other schools, their curriculum may look the same as it did 50 years ago. We’ve adapted. And with Stutzman’s background in IT, he saw this and helped us to build a music studio, which allows us to train students in music technologies. The entire landscape of music has changed, from CDs to YouTube, and we’re right on pace.”

The cutting-edge technology appealed to musicians like Terri Lane, ‘08, who has been in the music business as a professional singer for years. (Similar to Stutzman and Naude, Lane had an epiphany and left a successful 20-year career in the fields of energy efficiency, sales, and marketing to pursue music.)

“When I researched schools, the SCSU professors impressed me school-wide,” says Lane. “The curriculum was so updated. The teachers were performers too and that means they’re continually improving themselves and not stagnant. It was the only school I applied to, and the first day I knew I’d made the right decision. The emphasis on technology gives everyone access to music and music production.”

Access is a crucial component to the Stutzman Family Foundation’s mission. In addition to revamping the program itself, the Stutzman Family Foundation offers the Stutzman Family Foundation Music Scholarship(s) and the Southern Applied Music Program, which provides  free weekly voice or instrument lessons.

Those free lessons immediately stood out to Naude. “Most, if not all, schools charge their students for music lessons,” Naude says. “It was remarkable to me that it wouldn’t cost me a dime. The lessons completely changed my life. I always considered myself as a pretty good singer, but never before have I been pushed so far to discover what I am truly capable of. I have learned to be more confident, have better stage presence, learn more languages (a lot of classical pieces are German and French), and access so many different parts of my voice that I didn’t even know I had. I have essentially become a more improved version of myself.”

International choir trips, available at a discounted price thanks to the Stutzman Foundation and taken with the University Choir, also enable students to improve their skills. This year, the choir is visiting Rome, Tuscany (Florence), and Venice and will sing Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Basilica of St. Anthony.

“For students that have been in the choir consecutively since they’ve attended Southern,” says Naude, “the foundation actually pays for the entire trip, apart from a $500 charge to the student. I was able to travel with the choir to Portugal. I am so appreciative for what [the Stutzmans] have done for the musicians of Southern.”

Mirzaee, too, is quick to express his gratitude.

“What sets Professor Stutzman apart from other human beings is not his philanthropic activities, but his eagerness to partake in the act of enabling others as a teacher and a mentor,” Marzaee says. “Over the years as a student and now a teacher, I have come to the conclusion that we can surpass any hurdle in life if we have someone that enables us to believe in ourselves. Ten years ago, as I was dreaming about my future at Southern, moving forward inch by inch and hoping to get to the next level of my musical career and educational step. I am forever grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to dream and move forward.”

If you are wondering if the music field is right for you, perhaps your epiphany is soon to come. If you’re growing restless, though, perhaps the aphorism Stutzman uses when he begins his Music Survey class may ring true:

“Music in the ears. Listen with open ears and an open mind: There are many musics around the world that are worthy of your careful listening. Music in the head. Knowing what’s inside music (its structures) and how it developed into what we hear today is important. Music in the hands. Practice! One of my teachers at Southern used to say, ‘Music is the only major where you finish your homework and then have to practice.’ Music in the heart. Know your goals, talk to musicians who have achieved those goals, have a plan, and always keep whatever music is important to you in your heart.”

Bonnie Edmondson, graduate coordinator and professor in the School Health Education program, has just finished a stint as head coach of the U.S. women’s track and field team at the World Championships, which ran Sept. 27-Oct. 7 in Doha, Qatar. This was her fifth World Championship, but her first as a head coach.

Read the Hartford Courant article by Lori Riley:

Coventry’s Bonnie Edmondson ready for her role as the U.S. women’s track and field coach at the World Championships

Art Professor Mia Brownell and her husband, Martin Kruck, a professor and Art Department chair at New Jersey City University, were both awarded sabbaticals last year. Their joint interest in Roman art and architecture lead them to both being awarded Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome during the month of October 2019. Their research took them to additional locations in Sicily and Malta. Artwork created during sabbatical by Brownell and Kruck is on display in a two-person exhibitionSkeptical Realism — at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, N.J., through January 2020. The exhibition opened this month.

According to the museum’s description of the exhibit, “Brownell’s series Plate to Platelet simultaneously draws on scientific images of platelets (tiny blood cells shaped like plates) and the history of the painted food still life. She explores the realism of eating by recognizing the entanglement between the consumerist idealization of food with its biological engineering and the molecular strains that then interact with our bodies. The space she paints attempts to capture this paradoxical perspective, one that is equally rational and fantastical, material and in constant flux, Brownell said. She encourages viewers to consider this question: If we are what we eat, what are we becoming?”

A sabbatical leave, CSU Research Grant, and Faculty Creative Activity Research Grant supported Brownell’s creative activity research during the 2018-2019 academic year.

In addition, Brownell’s painting Pear and Grape, oil on canvas, 2008, is featured in the group exhibit Foodie Fever at NYC’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice Shiva Gallery. This painting was also on display at the USA Department of State Embassy in Hong Kong during the Obama administration.

Her painting Passing Fruit, oil on canvas, 2008, was also featured in the exhibit Foodie Fever at NYC’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice Shiva Gallery.

Brownell’s painting Bird and Bees, oil on canvas, 2014, is featured on the cover of SCSU’s English professor Margot Schilpp’s new book of poetry Afterswarm.

Bird and Bees

The paintings below, as well as the painting featured at the top of this story, are all from Brownell’s sabbatical and are on display with many others at the Hunterdon Art Museum.

Music Professor Mark Kuss (right) with Music for Life International Director George Mathew

Music Professor Mark Kuss has been elected by the board of Music for Life International as interim chairman for the next 24 months. The organization’s treasurer and longtime board member, Kuss — a composer and digital entrepreneur as well as an educator — has served on the board with distinction since 2011 and as treasurer since 2013. In addition, he has generously shared his own artistry with Music for Life International over the years, as pianist, composer and arranger in several Music for Life International initiatives in the United States and abroad. Kuss will join Artistic Director George Mathew in a lecture-performance focusing on Music, Migration and Displacement this next week in Maastricht, in the Netherlands.

Since its founding in 2006, Music For Life International has pursued its mission to create transformative social impact through music for the most vulnerable human beings. Music for Life International Inc. (MFLI), which takes its name from the legendary MUSIC FOR LIFE concerts organized by Leonard Bernstein in the late 1980s at Carnegie Hall, was created to conceive and present musical concerts and related events to promote the awareness of significant international humanitarian crises and other public interest issues in the United States and throughout the world. MFLI, a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, contributes the net-proceeds from its humanitarian concerts at Carnegie Hall to organizations directly addressing the crises and issues, which are the context for the concerts.

Kuss has received awards from the American Academy and the Institute of Arts and Letters, the N.E.A., the Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, A.S.C.A.P., the Copland Foundation and others. His work has been performed by the 21st Century Consort, the Folger Consort, the State Orchestra of Romania, at Merkin Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the MacDowell Colony, the Swannanoa Music Festival, the Monadnock Music Festival, San Francisco’s Composers Inc., the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

 

 

 

✉️ Deliver to:

Dr. Barbara Aronson
Professor of Nursing & Ed.D. Coordinator
Department of Nursing


Dear Professor,

This past semester I was faced with a very stressful family event. While on campus to see my dissertation chair, you happened to see me waiting and inquired how I was doing. I am sure youdid not expect to hear the story I told youBut you listened with kindness and understanding. You offered some supportive suggestions to help me not only manage this time in my life, but to put my educational goals into perspective. Throughout this semester you have been a source of guidance. When faced with a decision to possibly withdraw from the program, you took it upon yourself to seek out a solution that I was not able to see. You have been a source of guidance during a time of darkness in my personal life. I find that I look to you for help, but also find that I want to prove to you that I can make it through this challenging time. I am grateful to have you as my advisor. You have gone out of your way to show me that having balance is essential. It is so apparent that you truly care.

Thank you,
Deborah Morrill


About Barbara Aronson

Favorite Teaching Moment(s):

Some of my most favorite teaching memories happen after the long process of helping my students write, conduct and defend their dissertations. As I watch them on the podium during the defense, nothing can match the pride I feel for my students, knowing how hard they have worked and the many obstacles and frustrations they have overcome. Being a part of their dissertation journey, and watching them transition from novice researchers to emerging scholars, is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a faculty member at SCSU.

Teaching Philosophy:

I believe good teaching is student-centered and grounded in evidence-based teaching practices and theories of teaching and learning. Excellent teachers set high expectations for students and encourage students to be active partners in their own learning and development as a practitioner or teacher/scholar. Providing prompt feedback to students and opportunities for ongoing student/faculty interaction and collaborative problem solving will prepare students to be innovators in their future practice. Active teaching practices encourage students to be self-directed and accountable for their learning. Teachers who role model professionalism, caring, curiosity, respect and humility in their teaching and interactions with students prepare students to extend the same virtues to their patients or students in their future practice.

Favorite Course to Teach:

One of my favorite courses to teach is Theories of Teaching and Learning in Adult and Higher Education. This is one of the very first courses our Ed.D. in Nursing Education students take in the program. While they are understandably overwhelmed by the amount of work in the course, they quickly come to realize how helpful learning about educational theories can be to them in their role as academic nurse educators. What is most gratifying to me as a teacher is to hear how they are using what they are learning each week to improve their teaching. As one student said, “The knowledge and understanding of adult learning theory I gained in this class has had a tremendous impact on my teaching and course design. I have begun to incorporate the different theories into my class presentations. I now see the students as a unique, multi-generational, multicultural set of learners. This course has also shifted my framework from my teaching to student learning.”

Recent Courses Taught:

  • NUR 432: Adult Responses to Complex Health Problems
  • NUR 443: Nursing Capstone
  • NUR 801: Theories of Teaching and Learning in Adult and Higher Education
  • NUR 803: Curriculum Development, Implementation, and Evaluation in Nursing
  • NUR 813: Dissertation Seminar I
  • NUR 814: Dissertation Seminar II
  • NUR 817: Continuing Dissertation Advisement