November 2009

Faculty Accomplishments

Bruce Bennett, Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing Program and Writing Center Coordinator – Professor Bennett's book of poetry, SUBWAY FIGURE, was reviewed in the Fall 2009 issue of TAR RIVER POETRY.

Two poems from SUBWAY FIGURE, "Fictions" and "Last Lunch," were nominated by the book's publisher, Orchises Press, for the annual Pushcart Prize.

Poems by Professor Bennett were published last month in THE HEALING MUSE, the Spring/Summer issue of LIGHT, and in the on-line journal CONNOTATION PRESS


Kate Dimitrova, Visiting Professor of Art History – On October 22, 2009, Professor Dimitrova's review of Merchants, Princes and Painters: Silk Fabrics in Italian and Northern Paintings, 1300–1550, by Lisa Monnas (Yale University Press, 2009) was published by the College Art Association's on-line book review site (


Beatrice Farnsworth, Professor of History; Herbert J. Charles and Florence Charles Faegre Professor of International Relations - .Professor Beatrice Farnsworth will be participating on November 12, 2009 at the annual Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies meeting in Boston in an international roundtable: Aleksandra Kollontai: New Insights from the Russian Archives.


William V. Ganis, Assistant Professor of Art History; Director of the String Room Gallery - On November 7, Dr. Ganis participated in a featured event at the Society for Photographic Education Mid-Atlantic (SPEMA) conference held at Montclair State University. In "Andy Warhol & the Market: William Ganis & Neil Baldwin in Conversation," Dr. Ganis and this distinguished author focused on the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Project and the "Andy Warhol Photography: Through a Glass Starkly" exhibition that Ganis curated for the university's George Segal Gallery.

As director of Wells College's String Room Gallery, Professor Ganis opened the second show of the 2009-10 season with "Affinity" featuring twenty-eight paintings by Central New York artists Brett Scheifflee + Lana Purnell. This exhibition is on view from October 21 to December 2. 

Dr. Ganis launched the website for the Aurora Arts and Merchants Association— of which Wells College and its commercial properties are members. In support of the Aurora commercial community, Dr. Ganis worked pro-bono with Julia Reich Design to create a program on the website in HTML on behalf of the association.


Siouxsie Grady, Assistant Professor of Theatre - recently directed "Pygmalion" at Wells College for Friends and Family Weekend. The production won two awards from the Theatre Association of New York State. Becca Danis won "Excellence in Acting" for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle, and Alex Riad won "Meritorious Achievement in Acting" for his portrayal of Freddy Enysford Hill. The professional adjudicator wrote, "Wells College Department of Theatre and Dance brought Pygmalion to life last weekend. The students studied and developed their characters with a fresh, new approach to the classic. They displayed insight into the production that is not often realized."


Bobbie Kolpakas, Lecturer in Production Design - recently completed an evolving art installation as part of the Ithaca Community School for Music and Arts for an All Marathon fundraiser. The installation, entitled String or Nothing, included 13 pieces created over 26 days, each inspired by what she had in her pockets at the time. Professor Kolpakas created a conceptually-based scenic design revolving around the desks of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf for Eileen Atkins' play "Vita & Virginia" as part of Cornell University's Johnson Museum of Art Bloomsbury Exhibit opening. In collaboration with Professor Siouxsie Grady and Mr. Joe DeForest, Professor Kolpakas designed costumes and created originally painted drops for the Mainstage Production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Professor Kolpakas' designs explored class and gender identity in a multiclass system through extreme color and texture choices. Coinciding with the production, Professor Kolpakas organized and coordinated the Off-Stage Series: Pyg Pen. This lecture series included thesis presentations by students Rebecca Danis and Beverly Bauman exploring individual characters as actors; Professor Erin Hunter exploring Shaw through psychoanalysis; student Elsa Dial discussing her role as dramaturg; Professor Siouxsie Grady presenting Director vs. Shaw; and Professor Kolpakas comparing Eliza Doolittles experience in Pygmalion to a modern college education through her W2 Theory of Learning.


Laura Purdy, Professor of Philosophy and Pre-law Advisor - (with Becky Holmes) organized (and introduced) a panel entitled "From Hypatia 1989: The FABulous Burgeoning of Feminist Bioethics" for the conference "Feminist Legacies/Feminist Futures: Hypatia 25th Anniversary Conference," at the University of Washington in Seattle, Oct. 22-24, 2009. Hypatia quickly became a well-respected and highly selective venue for feminist philosophers; it is still the only such journal. Professors Purdy and Holmes co-edited a pair of special issues on bioethics in 1989, and Professor Purdy is on the editorial board of the journal.


Cindy Speaker, Associate Dean of the College, with Sara Grove, Professor of Political Science at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, were the invited presenters for the plenary session on preparing and planning for self study at Middle States Commission on Higher Education's Self-Study Institute held November 10-11 in Philadelphia. In addition, Dean Speaker served as co-facilitator with MSCHE's Vice President Mary Ellen Petrisko for sessions for baccalaureate institutions over the two-day institute.


Crawford R. Thoburn, Professor of Music, Director of the Wells College Concert Choir - The Wells Choral Ensembles, conducted by Professor Crawford R. Thoburn and accompanied by Russell Posegate, Lecturer in Music, presented their annual Fall Concert in Barler Recital Hall on October 31st at 5:15 P.M. for a large and enthusiastic Family and Friends Weekend audience.

The women's ensemble began the program with works by Donald Johns, Gabriel Faure and J.S.Bach, and were followed by the men's ensemble singing selections by Ludwig Spohr, Samuel Wesley, and a sea chantey arranged by Norman Luboff.

The two ensembles then combined as the Concert Choir to perform a wide variety of works for mixed voices by Adrian Batten, Thomas Tallis, Antonio Lotti, Felix Mendelssohn, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Crawford R. Thoburn. and Folksongs and African American Spirituals arranged by Morten J. Luvaas, William F. Dawson and Jester Hairston.