Category: Of Special Interest

Week 1: January Boston-London Program

May 20th, 2016 in January Boston-London Program, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Spotlight, Students, Study Abroad 0 comments

Students from the College of General Studies January Boston-London program arrived in the United Kingdom on May 14, quickly diving into their packed semester of classes, sightseeing, and field trips to educational sites.

During their time in London, students stay at 14 Queens Gate, just minutes away from Hyde Park, London Museums, and the high street. Photo from Anika Dhar

During their time in London, students stay at 14 Queens Gate, just minutes away from Hyde Park, London Museums, and the high street. Photo from Anika Dhar

On their first day in London, students settled into their housing and met with classmates from different teams to begin exploring the sights of London. In the passenger pods of the London Eye, Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, students traveled to the height of over 300 feet and looked down on beautiful views of the River Thames and Westminster Bridge. CGS student Doruntina Zeneli said, “It was amazing to witness London, on a rare sunny day, at a different view and perspective.” The students also saw the attractions Westminster had to offer, including the iconic Big Ben clock.

Doruntina Zeneli and Roksolana Sikyrynska take a snapshot from the London Eye pod

Doruntina Zeneli and Roksolana Sikyrynska take a snapshot from the London Eye pod

A view of sunny skies, the London Eye, and London's famous double-decker buses

Sunny skies, the London Eye, and London’s famous double-decker buses. Photo by Anika Dhar

 

 

Breathtaking views from the London Eye. Photo by Ellen Clouse

A breathtaking view from the London Eye. Photo by Ellen Clouse

Big Ben Thames

Big Ben, the palace of Westminster, and the River Thames. Photo by LisaMarie Johnson.

 

On Monday, students took a boat tour and journeyed to Greenwich, where they climbed the hill in Greenwich Park that leads to the Royal Observatory. Students posed for pictures in front of the Royal Observatory, which stands on the Prime Meridian of the World.

Students at 0.1 degrees longitude, right next to the Prime Meridian in Greenwich. Photo by Anika Dhar

Students at 0.1 degrees longitude, right next to the Prime Meridian in Greenwich. Photo by Anika Dhar

The scenic gardens surrounding the Royal Observatory in Greenwich

The scenic gardens surrounding the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Photo from Aura Rossy

For the rest of the week, students settled into classes and field trips. A visit to the Museum of London (the largest urban history collection in the world) introduced students to the history, art and artifacts of London, from Roman times to the present. Students were even able to see a portion of the Roman Wall that circled London during 1000 A.D. The V&A, the world’s leading museum of art and design, introduced the students to over 4.5 million objects showing architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, and more.

As the semester progresses, students will be learning about the industrial revolution through the digital revolution by taking SS104: Politics Economics and Social Change in the West, HU 104: The Industrial Revolution to the Digital Revolution, and RH 104: Rhetorical Practices from the Industrial Revolution through the Digital Revolution.  Their curriculum will include studying and writing about London monuments, making videos of the attractions to be found at London Tube stops, and going to historical sites and museums. This week, students studied the poems of William Blake and Emily Dickinson, read J.S. Mill, and discussed A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

 

A view from the student classroom in Harrington Gardens. Photo by Madeline Foley

A view from the window of 43 Harrington Gardens, the headquarters of the BU London Programme. Photo by Madeline Foley

Royal Albert Hall, a concert hall in South  Kensington. Photo by Madeline Foley

Royal Albert Hall, a concert hall in South Kensington. Photo by Madeline Foley

A portion of the Roman Wall that protected London during 1000 AD, still standing at the Museum of London. Photo by Doruntina Zeneli

A portion of the Roman Wall that protected London during 1000 AD, still standing at the Museum of London. Photo by Doruntina Zeneli

Jennifer Gonzales takes a photo in one of London's iconic red telephone boxes

Jennifer Gonzales takes a photo in one of London’s iconic red telephone boxes. Photo from Jennifer Gonzales

CITL Summer Institute To Explore 1960s Politics and Pop Culture

May 9th, 2016 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, News and Events, Of Special Interest 0 comments

Summer institute 1960sOn July 16, Boston University College of General Studies will host a day of interdisciplinary learning exploring the politics, protests, progressivists and publications of a decade of radical social change—the 1960s.

The event is hosted by the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning and is the fourth Annual Summer Institute hosted by CITL. Each year, the institute highlights interdisciplinary and experiential learning—two hallmarks of the CGS teaching model. CITL Summer Institute: The 1960s will treat attendees to four interactive talks, breakfast and lunch, and a reception with the rock music of the 1960s.

Megan Sullivan, CGS associate dean for faculty research and development and director of CITL, said the theme for this year’s event emerged from the unique interests and expertise of CGS faculty. Thomas Whalen, associate professor of social sciences, will bring his study of presidential politics to the topic “Bobby, the Gipper, and Tricky Dick: The 1968 Presidential Election and Transformation of American Politics.” Lynn O’Brien Hallstein, associate professor of rhetoric, will speak on “Male Bashers, Mother Haters, and Bra Burners: The Myths and Truths of the Women’s Movement.” Lecturer Charles Henebry studies comic books and other graphic narratives and will be speaking on “Sick Humor and Upright Morals: Squeaky Clean to Counter-Cultural Comics.” Senior lecturer Cheryl Boots, whose study of civil rights era songs was recently highlighted by BU Research, will discuss “Attack Dogs and Firehoses: Local News Coverage and Protest Music.”

Sullivan says the annual institute allows CGS to practice what it preaches: “We teach students that in order to examine real world issues such as politics and civil rights, they have to use the ways they have learned to think in all the disciplines.” Studying an era like the 1960s involves looking at culture broadly—digging not just into history but also looking at pop culture, Sullivan says: “The institutes provide us an opportunity to show others how this focus on interdisciplinary thinking works.”

Most of the institutes have featured music, and this year is no exception. “We’ll cap our day with a reception and two musicians who will sing music of the sixties all while educating us about Boston’s contributions to the national music scene,” Sullivan says. BU alumnus John Broderick (ENG’70, ENG’77) and Nick Racheotes, board members of the Brighton-Allston Historical Society, will play music and show the Boston venues of the 1960s vibrant rock scene. Sullivan says, “My guess is that before the end of this final reception we’ll all be singing along!”

Register for the CITL Summer Institute to join CGS for this event and contact citl@bu.edu with questions.

The Chimaerid Publishes 2016 Edition of Literary and Arts Magazine

May 3rd, 2016 in Arts and Literature, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Students 0 comments

Student editors Jennifer Gonzales, Yael Bermudez, and Mitch McLeod

Student editors Jennifer Gonzales, Yael Bermudez, and Mitch McLeod

Contest winners Belecia Villafan and Luciano Cesta

Contest winners Belecia Villafan and Luciano Cesta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chimaerid (the CGS literary and arts magazine) has published its 2016 edition with art, poetry, and pose by College of General Studies students.

The Chimaerid (K-EYE-MI-RID) showcases the many artistic talents of CGS students, including poetry, photography, artwork, and more. Published each spring, the magazine is titled after a group of fish known as the chimaeridae, which are named after a Greek mythological beast composed of parts from many animals. Given the variety of artistic talents of CGS students, the magazine emanates a similar essence. 

The Chimaerid staff continued its annual tradition of awarding prizes for visual art and writing. This year, Belecia Villafan received the visual art award for “Solace” and Luciano Cesta received an award for his poem, “St. Clair Avenue West.”

Printed copies of The Chimaerid will be distributed in the Fall semester and the edition is also available here: The Chimaerid. If you are interested in working on The Chimaerid, please contact faculty advisor Professor Regina Hansen (rhansen@bu.edu).

CGS Recognizes Student Leaders at Capstone Turn-In

April 29th, 2016 in News and Events, Of Special Interest, Spotlight, Students 0 comments

On April 22, sophomore students and faculty gathered for students to turn in their team’s Capstone projectsthe final product of their two-year program at Boston University College of General Studies—and to celebrate the hard work, leadership and service of students. The school recognized the students with the top 10 GPAs and gave out awards to students who exemplify service, campus leadership, and community spirit.

2016 Student Award Winners

Student award winners with Dean Natalie McKnight

Judson Rea Butler Award

This award is made annually to the sophomore students who best exemplified the highest standards of leadership, citizenship, and loyalty in contributing to the student life of the College of General Studies.

2016 Recipient: Saraann Kurkul

Linda Bondy-Ives Advisee Award

This annual award is given to a deserving sophomore student who embodies the  values and spirit of Linda Bondy-Ives, who was a dear friend and colleague at CGS . For over 25 years, Linda touched the lives of many students through her energy, kindness, and compassion.

2016 recipient: Regenie Chantradavy Tee

Brendan Gilbane Award

This award was established to honor long-time faculty member and dean Brendan F. Gilbane, who served as dean from 1974-2000. Initially nominated by a faculty member, this scholarship is given to a student based on following criteria:

  • plans to continue into either CAS or COM (Dean Gilbane received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from COM and his Ph.D. in history from CAS)
  • excellence in academic performance, as reflected in the faculty nomination and in the student’s academic record
  • a two-page personal statement written by the nominated student, linking the first two years of interdisciplinary general education at CGS with plans for the next two years of study at CAS or COM.

2016 recipient: Carolyn Amir

Ethan Lang Community Spirit Award

This award is established in memory of Ethan Lang (CGS’11, CAS’13), an alumnus with a genuine passion for people from all walks of life. Ethan valued human connection and had a sincere interest in learning about the stories of others. The award is given to an individual who possesses a vibrant spark in the community and who is focused on educational experience both in and outside of the classroom, highly involved in campus life, authentically true to their self, and passionate regarding genuine interaction and connection with all people.

2016 recipient: Aidan Donohue

In 2016, sophomores focused their Capstone projects on the theme, U.S Foreign Policy in 2016 and Beyond: Advice for the Obama Administration and Its Successor. The Capstone project is designed to help students put interdisciplinary learning into practice as they tackle a timely, real-world problem and propose a practical, comprehensive solution. Students work as a team to produce a fifty-page research term paper and as they learn to construct arguments and analyze and synthesize their research. After turning in their projects, students defend the project in oral arguments. Find more information about the Capstone 2016 project at CGSNow.

CGS sophomores Julie Lawson, Angela Wang, Bradley Valcin, Amelia Rosenberg, and Victoria (Tori) Avella display their finished Capstone project.

CGS sophomores Julie Lawson, Angela Wang, Bradley Valcin, Amelia Rosenberg, and Victoria (Tori) Avella display their finished Capstone project.

CGS sophomore students Kyra Benavent and Nicole Ericson go over their Capstone project one last time before they present it to faculty members. The students worked on a team of six students to study the issue of China’s expansion in to the South China Sea.

CGS sophomore students Kyra Benavent and Nicole Ericson go over their Capstone project one last time before they present it to faculty members. The students worked on a team of six students to study the issue of China’s expansion in to the South China Sea.

CGS Alum Wins Pulitzer Prize for Photography

April 22nd, 2016 in Alumni, News and Events, Of Special Interest 0 comments

Jessica Rinaldi (CGS’99, COM’01) is one of three Boston University alumni who received a Pulitzer Prize this April. Rinaldi, a reporter with the Boston Globe, took home the feature photography prize for her photography of Strider Wolf, a boy living in poverty and recovering from abuse in Oxford, Maine. Rinaldi and Globe reporter Sarah Schweitzer followed Strider’s family story as he moved to different homes with his grandparents and as he dealt with the physical and emotional aftermath of an abusive home. Rinaldi told the Globe, “documentary photography is all about building relationships with your subjects. It allows you to be sort of a fly on the wall.”

Read more about Rinaldi and the other Boston University alumni Pulitzer Prize winners at BU Today

A Look at Undergraduate Research: Climate Change and Law

February 18th, 2016 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, Faculty, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Research, Spotlight, Students 0 comments

Sam Deese and Isabel Koch meet

Prof. Deese and Isabel Keogh meet to review the latest translations of Elisabeth Mann Borgese’s biography, and discuss a journal article on the Mann family.

This post is part of a series that profiles the faculty-undergraduate research partnerships offered through the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. To learn more, please contact the Center at citl@bu.edu.

This past November, representatives from 195 countries came together for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change conference in effort to create a binding and universal agreement on climate from all the nations of the world. While the environment has been a long-time concern for many, it has increasingly gained momentum as carbon emissions ever-increase and more countries recognize and take ownership for their policies and actions. 

As the conversation about environmental protection intensifies, Humanities professor R. Samuel Deese and junior Isabel Keogh (CGS 15, SHA 17) are eagerly researching the life and work of maritime law and environmental protection expert Elisabeth Mann Borgese. As the youngest daughter of the German author and anti-facist Thomas Mann, Elisabeth became concerned with global law and a specific interest in ocean conservation. During the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea from 1973-1982, she served on an expert group that helped define the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. “As the international community struggles to find common ground on environmental issues, her writings on the Law of the Sea will take on great relevance,” shares Deese.

Having grown up in a German-speaking household, Isabel worked with another CGS professor during her sophomore year in a similar manner. Keogh is helping translate the text of the only biography about Borgese, including making an index of key terms and people.  After distilling insights, Keogh and Deese meet to discuss. “Translating for Professor Deese has helped me further improve my German; I am diversifying my vocabulary while learning about German literature and history,” Koegh shares. “It’s a great added dimension to my classroom education, as I’m a student in the School of Hospitality.”

Deese plans to present findings in a paper at the World History Association’s 24th Annual Conference in Ghent, Belgium, and include the research in his forthcoming book, Our Spherical Oasis: Climate Change, Democracy and the Global Commons (Springer Verlag. 2017). Keogh plans to pursue a career in event planning, and looks forward to using German when she can.

A Look at Undergraduate Research: Victorian Feminism

February 8th, 2016 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, Of Special Interest, Research, Students 0 comments

This post is part of a series that profiles the faculty-undergraduate research partnerships offered through the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. To learn more, please contact the Center at citl@bu.edu.

Kramer and Ricz discuss findings

Jessica Rizk (CGS 15, COM 17) sits with Professor Beth Kramer at a regular check-in to discuss her research findings in analyzing Virginia Woolf’s work.

Parallel to the United States, twentieth century Great Britain was marked with a series of women’s rights victories. But what preceding efforts, championed by those in the nineteenth century, set the stage for success in Britain? CGS professor of rhetoric Beth Kramer is studying how the trends and concerns of Victorian feminism– including what many take for granted today such as married women’s property rights, employment rights, and educational opportunities– influenced modern feminism. This year, Kramer has had the support and partnership of undergraduate research assistant and former student Jessica Rizk (CGS 15, COM 17); the partnership was made possible by the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning.

Specifically Rizk is helping analyze the writing and letters of Virginia Woolf. “With the guidance of Professor Kramer, I analyze Woolf’s letters to better understand the struggle Woolf faced in balancing her professional and domestic roles,” she explains. “I find a lot of enjoyment in the work– peeking into the life of such an admirable writer– and being able to better understand how the feminist views of her time sneak their way into her daily activities and conversations.”

This research offers a degree of flexibility and independence, and is underpinned with partnership and collaboration. Often, the duo conducts work independently and comes together to review findings and discuss what that might mean for research moving forward. “So far, we have discovered that Woolf’s letters reveal a very intense engagement with many of the same concerns as her feminist predecessors. A prominent theme is the continual struggle to recognize her professional, public goals with more personal, domestic concerns,” reports Kramer. “Along those same lines, we are looking into how her letters foreshadow twenty-first century feminist concerns around balance in women’s lives.” This continues to remain a trending topic today.

When asked why she decided to pursue an undergraduate research opportunity, Rizk shared, “A liberal arts education complemented my studies outside of CGS in many ways. Particularly, it strengthened my analytical and communication skills. I knew I wanted to pursue truly balanced education while majoring in economics and communication… this project has enriched my academic experience by teaching me how to quickly synthesize information, organize my findings, and communicate their significance. This has not only helped me study more efficiently, but is also a skill that easily translates into any research I conduct in class.” Rizk looks forward to applying such skills as she begins researching for her thesis in economics.

 

 

Wexelblatt releases eighth book, Heiberg’s Twitch

January 20th, 2016 in Faculty, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Publications, Spotlight 0 comments

Heiberg's Twitch

The first story, titled Heiberg’s Twitch, takes place in Scandanavia and introduces a contemplative character. Fittingly, the image of the book cover is Norwegian painter Edvard Munch’s Melancholy.

Professor of Humanities Robert Wexelblatt recently released his eighth book, Heiberg’s Twitch, which features a collection of fourteen distinct short stories. Named after the first story in the volume, this is the latest addition to his extensive writing career, which encompasses both scholarly and literary publications.

Wexelblatt selected these stories for their differences in character, tone, and form. He explains that “the aim is to deploy imagination and invention to furnish tales about the variety of human conditions, the scope of thought, the diversity of experience.” Readers continent-hop from Europe to Africa, South America to North America, and meet a full spectrum of characters along the way. “Each tale conjures its own world, has its own language, aims to illuminate a distinct experience, a unique situation. Like human life, the stories in Heiberg’s Twitch are comic, sad, pathetic, perplexing, and tragic,” (Pelekenisis).

Though fresh off the press, Wexelblatt already has ideas brewing for his next book.

Heiberg’s Twitch can be purchased directly through Pelekinesis.

Paul Farmer Draws Hundreds to Discuss Global Health

November 5th, 2015 in Alumni, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Other, Spotlight 0 comments

Yesterday, more than 600 people gathered at the College of General Studies to hear Dr. Paul Farmer speak as part of the 25th annual Stanley P. Stone Distinguished Lecture Series. The auditorium started filling in as early as 2:15 p.m., buzzing in anticipation to hear Dr. Paul Farmer speak at 4 p.m. Even Dean Natalie McKnight confessed, “I’m a bit in awe, as you are one of my personal heroes,” as she welcomed Farmer to the stage. The event attracted BU undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, alumni, and even those from other universities and locals.

Farmer uses Ebola to illustrate his six pitfalls in global public health.

Farmer uses Ebola to illustrate his six pitfalls in global public health.

Charged to speak about the current state of global health, Farmer framed the conversation by citing one of BU’s most famous alumns, Martin Luther King Jr.: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Farmer went on to contrast the healthcare expectations between a developed and developing world, advocating to close that gap with an example from a trip just last year to Sierra Leonne. His Partners in Health team found an infant alone in a home where the adults had died from Ebola. Her veins had shrunk from dehydration and were too tiny to insert a needle for the medicine. Fortunately, the team was able to hydrate the infant and administer medication, and a volunteer commented that it was a “miracle.” “It’s not a miracle,” reflected Farmer. “It’s how medical care should be. A baby who falls sick in the United States can expect an IV bag, if that’s what’s needed. Adequate health care is a right, not a miracle.”

One of the biggest figures in the global public health arena, Farmer used years of experience treating infectious diseases to suggest the “six pitfalls in global public health.” Using the most recent epidemic, Ebola, Farmer illustrated each point: prevention versus care, absence of specialists, weak infrastructure, fixed costs, cost of inaction, and lack of sustainability. One could feel the thoughts stirring in the 600 attendees– be it current medical-related students, graduates, researchers; or those working for organizations that help fund or mobilize relief– of what actions could be taken to help improve the situation.

Even though he discussed painful subjects, Farmer charmed the audience by peppering in personal anecdotes and jokes. He also projected a positive outlook to the audience. Reflecting on the progress that has been made over the past two decades in Rwanada, Farmer summed up, “That gives me hope.” With a dismal life expectancy in the wake of the 1994 genocide and as one of the world’s poorest countries, Rwanda has seen significant improvement since building high-quality health care systems.

Truly a man committed to others, Farmer didn’t leave the building until nearly 11 p.m. Nearly 350 people lined up for the book signing, and Farmer not only signed each copy, but also held a substantive conversation with every single person. “That is truly remarkable and in my experience unprecedented,” commented McKnight.

Dean Natalie McKnight, Dr. Paul Farmer, Stanley Stone (64, Questrom 66), and Sharna Striar pose for a photo before the event.

Dean Natalie McKnight, Dr. Paul Farmer, Stanley Stone (64, Questrom 66), and Sharna Striar pose for a photo before the event.

The Lecture Series was instituted in 1980 through the generosity of Stanley Stone (CGS 64, Questrom 66),  “This [donor opportunity] immediately appealed to me since it would be a gift to all the students at the College, the faculty and alumns, and would be given annually in perpetuity,” comments Stone. “The two years at CGS were the most stimulating and meaningful of my entire education. I believe in the value of the integrated core curriculum and team teaching approach at CGS. It meant a lot to me, and I trust it has and will be to many others.” The College of General Studies aims to equip students with key skills and foundational knowledge to help be forces of change in the world.

For those who were unable to attend, the lecture is posted on the Stanley P. Stone Distinguished Lecture Series page.

Hallstein will give keynote address at Mothers, Mothering, Motherhood in 21st Century conference

October 20th, 2015 in Faculty, Of Special Interest, Publications, Spotlight 0 comments

On the tails of releasing her new book, Bikini-Ready Moms: Celebrity Profiles, Motherhood, and the Body, Dr. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein displays her new book, Bikini Ready MomsRhetoric Professor Dr. Lynn O’Brien Hallstein is headed to Canada to give the keynote address at the Mothers, Mothering, Motherhood in 21st Century: Culture, Society, Literature, and the Arts conference. Sponsored by the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI), the three-day conference will explore motherhood from multiple dimensions, including: film, TV and literature; religion; law and policy; heath, medicine and well-being; technology; and more.

Hallstein will discuss findings and theories from Bikini-Ready Moms, with a particular focus on the media analysis of her work. For more information on the conference, please see here.