Category: Of Special Interest

Capstone Award Ceremony celebrates Exemplerary Work of CGS ’14 Students

October 21st, 2014 in News and Events, Of Special Interest, Spotlight, Students 0 comments

This past weekend, CGS had the pleasure of not only greeting the parents of its current students, but also of seeing the parents of those who graduated from CGS this past May to continue onto junior year. Friday night, students from the CGS class of 2014 gathered with their proud families in the Katzenberg Center for the Capstone Award Ceremony.

Capstone is an intensive project that challenges CGS sophomores to work in a small group to research a real-world, timely issue, and propose a comprehensive solution. It was conceived and designed as an interdisciplinary experience, as CGS’s pedagogical mission centers around the Liberal Arts, which are, by definition, interdisciplinary. After students put in countless hours of hard work- including desk research, field research, writing the 50-page paper, and preparing for and completing a group oral defense- each team of professors is challenged to select the strongest cases presented.

The 2014 theme, Think Globally, Act Locally, asked students to act as a panel of experts with the responsibility of surveying the history and scope of a particular problem in the Boston metropolitan area and proposing a policy recommendation. The projects explored targeted issues within the following “broader” topics: urban climate; urban resiliency in the face of hazards and crises; the value of urban biodiversity; transportation; urban waste; urban waterways and drainage; fisheries; human health and welfare in the city; and energy use and development in Massachusetts. With competition tough, each CGS team had to identify one winning group; the summaries of the winning projects can be found in the event program.

The Capstone project exemplifies CGS’s belief that a well-rounded education best prepares students to meet the challenges of today’s world; enabling them to think critically, understand and communicate effectively, bring together multiple perspectives to solve real-world problems. Congratulations to all!

Team S Winners: Ten-Year Proposal for Boston
Students include: Julia Budde, Michelle Grbic, Kathryn Lezynski, Michael Montesi, Katelyn Richerts, Teah Welsch-Rainek.
Faculty include: Millard Baublitz, Mary Catherine McDonald, and William Tilchin.


Team T Winners: Boston Transportation Improvement Agency- A Proposed Solution to Boston’s Transportation-Related Air Pollution
Students include: Tara De Rosa, Brienna Gould, Michael Moran, Marisa Shocket, and Dakota Woodworth.
Faculty include: Neal Leavitt, John Mackey, and Sally Sommers Smith.


Team U Winners: Building Resiliency in East Boston: A Proposal for Logan Airport and Residents Facing Sea Level Rise
Students include: Allison Brennan, Meghan Kelliher, Cecilia Ramierz, Tali Sandel, Dani Segelbaum, and Isabel Vera.
Faculty include: Christopher Fahy, June Grasso, and Samuel Hammer.
Team V Winners: Proposal for the Seafood Awareness Safeguard: Tackling Seafood Fraud in Boston
Students include: Marissa Brown, Ryan Guizano, Jayne Lee, Kyle Liberti, Alanna Raskin, and Daniel Rollins.
Faculty include: Sam Deese, Robert Schoch, and Robert Wexelblatt.
Team W Winners: Cycling Our Way to Safety, Recommendations for Safe Cycling in Boston
Students include: Kerem Kamisli, Sumer Kotwal, Genevieve Lane, Manuel Perello Fernandez, Daniella Seidl, and Max Soloshchanskiy.
Faculty include: Michael Kort, Kari Lavalli, and Jeffery Vail.
Team X Winners: BPA- A Global Issue Warranting Local Action
Students include: Jonathan Brooks, Lindsey Constantine, Megan Ebner, Julia Katzman, Carley Lemay, and Lilian Liang.
Faculty include: Peter Busher, John McGrath, and Meg Tyler
Team Y Winner: Eutrophication of Coastal Waters- The Problem and the BEST Solutions.
Students include: Emily fuller, Catherine Gatto, Lee Ginton, Maria Henning, Andrew Miller, and Lavinia Wihtol.
Faculty include: Sandra Buerger, Joshua Pederson, and Tom Whalen.


Interdisciplinary Baseball Course to Debut Spring 2015

October 3rd, 2014 in News and Events, Of Special Interest, Spotlight 0 comments

CGS is excited to announce that it will be offering a new, interdisciplinary elective this spring: The History, Literature, Film and Science of Baseball.

Baseball occupies a special place in American society and memory. As the distinguished historian Geoffrey C. Ward once pointed out, the two hundred year-old national pastime is “an odyssey that links sons and daughters to fathers and grandfathers. And it reflects a host of age-old American tensions: between workers and owners, scandal and reform, the individual and the collective.” The History, Science, and Literature of Baseball: An Interdisciplinary Course seeks to explore these vital links while offering a comprehensive overview of the sport from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Taking advantage of our Boston location, students can expect a hands-on, experiential approach to the course material. With plans to tour Fenway Park and Nickerson Field (formerly Braves Field), the course will demonstrate what important roles these venues have played in the history and development of the game.

Cross-listed between CGS and CAS (CGS HU 500, CAS AM 502), The History, Literature, Film and Science of Baseball will be taught by Professors Andy Andres, Christopher Fahy, and Thomas Whalen.

CGS HU 500 CAS AM 502 Baseball Course Flyer

Leavitt and Hallstein Awarded for Oustanding Work

September 26th, 2014 in Faculty, News and Events, Of Special Interest 0 comments

Last Friday, CGS announced the recipients of this year’s annual faculty awards: Neal Leavitt and Lynn Hallstein.

Dr. Lynn Hallstein (L), Dean Natalie McKnight (C), and Prof. Neal Levitt (R) pose for a photo after receiving the Peyon Richter and Dr. Ismael Sensel awards, respectively.

Dr. Lynn Hallstein (L), Dean Natalie McKnight (C), and Prof. Neal Leavitt (R) pose for a photo after receiving the Peyon Richter and Dr. Ismael Sensel awards, respectively.

Leavitt was honored with the Dr. Ismail Sensel Award, which funded by the Estate of Dr. Ismael Sensel and is traditionally given to a faculty member who has had a particularly outstanding year in terms of publication and teaching.

Leavitt published a book last year, The Foreign Policy of John Rawls and Amartya Sen, that applies the philosophies of Rawls and Sen to current pressing global issues involving human rights, health care, and nuclear proliferation. A recent review declares that the book offers “valuable insights into how the ideas of Rawls and Sen might make the foreign policy of democratic regimes ‘a little better.’”  In addition to his book publication, Leavitt had another highly successful year as a professor, earning outstanding teaching evaluations and a Metcalf nomination from a former student. His students appreciate the clarity of his lectures, his ability to connect philosophy to contemporary issues, and the productive atmosphere he creates in the classroom.

Hallstein received the Peyton Richter Award, funded by alumnus Gary Kraut in honor of a long-serving CGS Humanities professor, Peyton Richter. Each year, the award goes to a professor who has demonstrated outstanding interdisciplinary teaching.

Hallstein’s students not only like her, they also learn from her. Students give praise Hallstein teaching them how to think more critically than they ever have before, and for strengthening their writing skills: “I have become not only a better writer, but also a better thinker. My vocabulary has improved in daily conversations and I find myself making connections between more and more things . . .” In addition to her success in the classroom, Hallstein has three books published and is working on her fourth, Bikini Ready Moms: Contemporary Motherhood, Celebrity Mom Profiles, and the Maternal Body.



Featured story on newly-appointed Dean McKnight in BUToday

September 26th, 2014 in Of Special Interest 0 comments

Check out BUToday’s feature on Dean Natalie McKnight: New Dean Chosen for college of General Studies


College Honors Distinguished Alumni and PR All-Star Peter Shankman

September 22nd, 2014 in News and Events, Of Special Interest, Other, Spotlight 0 comments

On September 19, CGS faculty and alumni gathered to recognize Peter Shankman (CGS ’92, COM ’94) in the Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony. Each year, the College recognizes an alumni for his or her outstanding professional success and continued involvement at CGS. Shankman not only meets, but exceeds, both criteria.

Award recipient Peter Shankman (CGS '92 COM '94) and Dean Natalie McKnight

Award recipient Peter Shankman (CGS ’92 COM ’94) and Dean Natalie McKnight

A marketing and customer service futurist, Shankman has been a leader in the marketing and public relations field. He started his career at America Online, and then founded two companies (both of which were acquired): a public relations and marketing firm called The Geek Factory, and resource for journalists looking for sources called Help a Reporter Out. Most recently, Shankman writes, speaks and consults for clients in a variety of industries, often being quoted by top-tier outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Associated Press. Additionally, Shankman has four books published and regularly contributes to his blog- all witty, engaging, and insightful.

Amidst all of this success, Shankman leads a robust personal life, spending time with his family and pursuing hobbies such as skydiving and Ironman Triathalons. The College is especially grateful for Shankman’s time and dedication to further the work of CGS, specifically with his contributions as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and his continued generous financial support.

Shankman was very honored and humbled Friday afternoon. Upon receiving the award, Shankman shared that his academic career was indeed a journey- he was different; and while he quickly found success in the business world, it was a much more enduring process to find success as a college student. The size, structure, and nature of CGS offered Shankman strong relationships with professors and the encouragement to continue pursuing his goals. Drawing parallels between his personal journey and the College, Shankman encouraged the audience: “Be different. The world needs different. You remember different. I recall being a student at BU, but I remember being a student at CGS.”

You can read more about Peter Shankman here:






A Night with BBC Filmmaker Maurice Fitzpatrick

September 22nd, 2014 in Arts and Literature, News and Events, Of Special Interest 0 comments

On Thursday, September 18, the Institute for the Study of Irish Culture welcomed documentary director Maurice Fitzpatrick to campus for a viewing and discussion of his 2013 BBC documentary, “Translations Revisited.”

As the title suggests, Fitzpatrick’s documentary revisits Brian Friel’s 1980 play “Translations,” which explores the beauty and borders of language, the diversity of cultures, and how people transcend differences. The play was performed amid the strife of Derry, Northern Ireland in 1980, and staged once again in 2013 in the same city, which had been transformed by fifteen years of ‘peace.’ Given this unique parallel occurrence, Fitzpatrick looks at the significance of “Translations” and asks whether its message has stood the test of time.

Fitzpatrick provided the context for the making of the film. He and his crew filmed the rehearsals for its 2013 production. He interviewed actors, directors, theater scholars and Derry locals. He was interested in discerning in what ways a performance in 2013 would be different from one in 1980. Although the political situation was far less fraught than in 1980, the play’s themes — a society riven by differences in language and outlook — still resonate. The documentary added another layer of translation, serving as a means to carry across the meaning and import of this play written in the late 1970s.

The event concluded with Fitzpatrick fielding excellent questions from the audience, including one about the percentage of Irish versus English spoken in the film. Fitzpatrick estimates a 70-30 breakdown between Irish and English spoken in films sponsored by RTE/BBC. (Intriguingly, the Irish language doesn’t include terms or modes of address that make it easy to identify the socio-economic class of the speaker.)

A scholar and filmmaker, Fitzpatrick also authored a book titled “The Boys from St. Columb’s,” which he also made into a documentary.

The Chimaerid, 2011

June 6th, 2011 in Of Special Interest 0 comments

Chimaerid (K-EYE-MI-RID) – The chimaerids are a group of fish, named after Greek mythological beast the chimaera, a monster put together from the parts of many animals. Our magazine also is put together from many parts and includes the talents of many types of artists – poets, photographers, filmmakers, painters, prose artists, etc.  We’re that kind of fish.

Chimaerid 2011


The Literary Magazine of the College of General Studies



5          Roman Ilnicki           “I hear BU Singing”
6          Rachel Hopkins        “Boston” (An Imitation of Blake’s “London”)
7          Rachel Hopkins        “Passion” (An Imitation of Bronte)
9          Casey Nulph             untitled image
10        Marc Orlandella        “I hear BU Singing”
11        Liz Dimant                untitled image
12        Jeremey Lowe           “Boston”
13        Tony Pham                untitled image
14        Brittany Szabo           “Whenever you”
15        Brittany Szabo           “Closest Thing”
16        Brittany Szabo           “Rainy Day”
17        Savanah Walsh          untitled image
18        Shershah Atif:            “Complications of the Heart”
19        Colin O’Neill             untitled image
20        Sara Shilling              “Window Box”
23        Isabella Spence         untitled image
24        Isabella Spence         “To Loss”
25        Isabella Spence         “Winter is Love to Me”
26        Isabella Spence         “Summer is Overrated”
28        Melissa Papalcure:    “All Mine”
29        Ben Goodman           “Chair”
30        Brandon Wood          “Nightmare of the Conscious”
32        Sean Maria Nelson   “Sleepless Thought”
37        Shershah Atif             untitled image
38        Jonathan Heilman    “One Day”
39        Mathis Baucher         untitled image
40        Roman Ilnicki           “Great Expectations”



The Chimaerid is dedicated to the memory of our long time supporter and adviser, Dean Bob Emery, “… a true friend and a good writer.”

chimaaerid 2011_page3_image1

Photo:  Naomi Lomba-Gomes

Magazine Credits:

Student Editors: Simon Mendes, Casey Nulph, Colin O’Neill
Cover Image: Tom Kokoska
Contributors: Sher Shah Atif, Mathis Bauchner, Liz Dimant, Ben Goodman,  Jonathan Heilman,  Rachel Hopkins, Roman Ilnicki, Jeremy Lowe, Sean Marria-Nelson, Casey Nulph, Marc Orlandella, Melissa Papalcure, Tony Pham, Sara Shilling,  Isabel Spence, Brittany Szabo, Savanna Walsh, Brandon Wood

Technical advisors and gods: Matt Dursin, Matt Hallgren, Dean Robert Oresick

Faculty Advisors: Professor Meg Tyler and Professor Regina Hansen

Many many thanks to: Dean Wells, Professor Natalie McKnight and all associated with the CGS Student Film Festival (especially Pat Mullane), the professors in the Rhetoric and Humanities Divisions who encouraged their students to submit to the magazine.  Naomi Lomba-Gomes and Dean Robert Oresick for promoting the magazine.