Wells College News Archives 2011

Stories from the College's news archives.


Wells College Hosts Peachtown Native American Festival

Weeklong Education Events Will Lead to Festival at the College

Wells College will hold Peachtown Education Week from Monday, September 12 through Friday, September 16, with the Peachtown Native American Festival concluding the weeklong celebration on Friday. All events are located on the Wells College campus and are free to the public. The series of educational events features Finger Lakes area speakers and College professors. Topics to be discussed include the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, the Haudenosaunee's Confederacy Great Binding Law as an inspiration for the U.S. Constitution, the Iroquois White Corn Project, and a panel discussion on the Cayuga Lake Watershed.

The Peachtown Native American Festival celebrates Cayuga and Haudenosaunee culture each year, and features a traditional dance workshop, vendors, crafts, and storytelling with Birdie Hill. Hill is a Cayuga Heron Clan Mother and former representative of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, who along with other clan mothers and council members will be talking about the Cayuga Nation and their roles and responsibilities in a clan. This year a peach tree will be planted on the College's campus to commemorate the event and celebration. The festival will conclude with a traditional Cayuga Nation social exhibiting singing and dancing along with a Native American dinner including corn soup. The community is invited to partake in the dances and singing and share in the culture that is Cayuga Nation.

The Peachtown Education Week schedule is as follows:

The Beginning of the End: The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, and How They Boomed the Guns for Twelve Hours Straight
Monday, September 12, 7:30 p.m.
Hostetter Lecture Hall (Room 209), Stratton Hall
Mr. Allan Jamieson, Director of Neto Hatinawke Ongwehowe [Here-Lives-the-People in the Cayuga Language]

Challenges to the Cayuga Watershed: A Two-Row Wampum Approach
Tuesday, September 13, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Hostetter Lecture Hall (Room 209), Stratton Hall
Ernie Olson, Professor of Anthropology and Religion at Wells College
Dan Hill, SHARE Farm Manager/Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force member/Musician/Cayuga Nation Council member
Hillary Lambert, Steward of Cayuga Lake Watershed Network

The Haudenosaunee and The Great Binding Law: An Inspiration for the U.S. Constitution
Wednesday, September 14, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Zabriskie Lecture Hall (Room 102)
Susan Tabrizi, Professor of Political Science

The Creator's Game: Lacrosse (interactive presentation)
Thursday, September 15, 5-7 p.m.
Art Exhibit Room (AER), Macmillan Hall
Alf Jacques, Master Lacrosse Stick Maker (Onondaga, Turtle Clan)

The White Corn Project
Friday, September 16, 12:40-1:30 p.m.
Art Exhibit Room (AER), Macmillan Hall
Kevin White, Visiting Professor of Native American Studies at SUNY Oswego/ former scholar-in-residence at Wells College/ Akwesasne Mohawk

Peachtown Native American Festival
Friday, September 16
Sommer Center lawn/Sommer Center
Birdie Hill and Clan Mothers 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Traditional Dance Workshop & Peach Tree Planting 3:30-4:00 p.m.
Birdie Hill and Clan Mothers 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Dinner 5:00pm (Dining Hall)
Vendors selling jewelry, crafts, musical instruments and more will be  available all afternoon.

Friday Social
Friday, September 16, 6:00 p.m.
Dining Hall
A traditional Cayuga Nation social event, with singing, dancing and a special Native American menu including corn soup!

September 12, 2011

Peter Cohen to Speak at Wells College

Prolific producer and editor will discuss technologies in design and editing.

Peter CohenThe Wells College Arts and Lecture Series welcomes editor and producer Peter Cohen to campus for a lecture titled "The Evolution of Electronic Editing from the Razor to the Edge." Cohen, an expert in digital media with years of notable professional experience, will discuss the changing technology and demonstrate some key media software. The discussion will be held at 7:30 p.m. September 14 in Phipps Auditorium of Macmillan Hall on the Wells College campus. The public is invited to attend.

Cohen's lecture will trace the technological developments of the post-production industry and the concepts that these technologies enhanced. He'll give an overview of how these concepts have evolved into today's media applications for video editing, graphic design, compositing and sound design among other things. The audience will be able to see some of this technology firsthand with software demos of Adobe Photoshop, Gimp GNU image manipulation, Apple's Motion templates and graphic tools, Sonicfire Pro audio editing, Compressor export and delivery, and Final Cut Pro editing software.

Cohen began his editing career with Lorne Michaels' post-production company Broadway Video, working as assistant editor for "Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert in Central Park" and preparing episodes of "Saturday Night Live" for syndication. In the time since, he has lent his talents to "The Twilight Zone," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Pee Wee's Playhouse," and numerous other network specials, television series, and music videos. Cohen was in charge of post-production for the films "Nobody Knows Anything" (Stargazer, 1999) and "Love Lies Bleeding" (Village Roadshow, 1998), and has built up extensive knowledge of and experience with film, video and digital media. His work has been recognized by the MTV Video Music Awards, Hamptons International Film Festival and the Worldfest Charleston International Film Festival. Currently, Cohen produces interactive DVD games for the Los Angeles-based CDG Entertainment.

The Wells College Arts & Lecture Series brings a range of artists and intellectuals to campus annually to perform, to speak on relevant issues, and to represent the disciplines of theatre, music and dance. Groups and individuals are selected annually by a committee composed of Wells faculty, staff and students. This lecture is the series' first offering this academic year.

September 1, 2011


Alf Jacques to Hold Interactive Session at Wells College

This year's Juliana James Native American Scholar will discuss the history of lacrosse.

Alf Jacques"When you talk about lacrosse, you talk about the lifeblood of the Six Nations. The game is ingrained into our culture our system and our lives." - Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, Jr

The Wells College Juliana James Native American Scholar Series is proud to welcome Alf Jacques (Onondaga, Turtle Clan) for an interactive session titled "The Creator's Game: Lacrosse." Jacques' discussion will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 in the Art Exhibit Room (AER) of Macmillan Hall. Refreshments will be provided, and the public is invited to attend. The discussion is part of Wells College's Peachtown Education Week.

The event will focus on the history and present state of lacrosse and its importance to the Haudenosaunee, the indigenous people of New York State. Jacques is a master lacrosse stick maker with over 45 years experience as a player, pro player, coach, and general manager of the Onondaga Redhawks. He has led the Redhawks to three championships and the President's Cup Championship in 2010, the year he retired.

Jacques has led workshops and given talks at many colleges and universities including Cornell, Ithaca College, Villanova, Yale, and Onondaga Community College. Recently, he and members of Onondaga Nation were invited to the White House to lead workshops on lacrosse with youngsters from the D.C. area as part of fostering well-being among Native youth.

Juliana James (1913-2000) was an artist who lived much of her life in New Mexico and was widely respected as an advocate for women's reproductive rights and social justice. Among her many contributions, she founded Santa Fe Woman's Services, which focuses on serving minority mothers, and was a fundraiser for the Women's Health Clinic. The Juliana James Native American Visiting Scholar residency, established in 2004, brings a scholar from the Six Nations or Haudenosaunee to campus. The resident may be an artist, musician, academic scholar, leader or teacher from the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee; depending on the areas of expertise, he or she may offer workshops, lectures, art exhibits, or performances. The scholar may also offer a course for a full-semester or for a shorter period.

The Department of Athletics is a proud sponsor of the Juliana James Native American Scholar program. With over one third of the student population participating on one of 16 varsity programs at Wells, providing diverse experiences for the student body is an essential core value of Wells Athletics and the NCAA Division III philosophy.

September 5, 2011


John Manning to Give Presentation on Geothermal Systems

Expert in the field will explain the technology and its potential for curbing gas emissions.

John Manning Wells College welcomes John D. Manning, president of Earth Sensitive Solutions, LLC, for a discussion of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and the potential of geothermal heating pumps in lowering these emissions. The discussion will take place Wednesday, September 7 at 12:40 p.m., in the Hostetter Lecture Hall (Room 209) of Stratton Hall on the Wells College campus. This presentation is a special event for the College's Science Colloquium series, and the public is invited to attend.

Geothermal heat pumps use underground systems and draw on the temperature of the earth to provide heat during the winter and cooling during summer months, resulting in economical, renewable temperature control. Manning's presentation will help the audience understand how heat pump technology works, the benefits of the process, and ways that it can be coupled with other renewable sources to create buildings that produce no greenhouse gases. The discussion will provide general information about heat pumps, drawing on examples of geothermal installations and Manning's personal experiences.

"I first heard about geothermal during [Wells College's] Activism Symposium a couple of years ago and have been learning about it since then," said Visiting Professor of Biology Mark Witmer, who is helping to coordinate the event. "Geothermal sure looks like an effective antidote to our carbon problem. I'm interested to see if that's true."

Manning has over 25 years of experience in mechanical engineering, with two decades of designing and installing geothermal systems. In 2003, he founded Earth Sensitive Solutions, an environmental engineering and consulting firm. With six patents in heat pump design, Manning has worked on hospitals, academic facilities, office buildings, military and low-income housing, and other projects as far-ranging as Port Augusta, Australia. He also helped with the Cambria, PA Department of Environmental Protection office, the first LEED 2.0 gold-rated facility.

September 1, 2011


Exhibition of Work by Jennifer Macklem at Wells College

"Peaceable Kingdom" features installation and video pieces.

l'hiver: volet 1The Wells College Visual Arts Department presents an exhibition of work by Ottawa artist Jennifer Macklem titled "Peaceable Kingdom." The exhibit will be on display in the String Room Gallery (SRG) of Main Building from August 31 to October 7. The gallery is free and the public is cordially invited to view the show. An opening reception on Wednesday, August 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. offers an opportunity to meet the artist; light refreshments will be served.

The exhibit will feature sculpture installations and video works by Macklem, associate professor of sculpture at the University of Ottawa and the director of the graduate program in the visual arts department. Macklem's work uses unusual materials within an inclusive process that bridges artistic forms. Her sculptural installations draw on themes of nature, narrative and hybridity to create intriguing experimental pieces. Some of her works invite viewer participation through the kinetic activities of touch and movement.

Macklem completed her undergraduate studies at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts and at the Parsons School of Design in Paris and later earned her MFA at UQAM in Montreal, Canada. She has exhibited her work widely in Europe, North America and Asia and has participated in various selected artists residencies, conferences, solo exhibitions and international exchanges. Her permanent, collaborative public art projects are installed in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick.

The String Room Gallery is a center for the exhibition of contemporary art in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It is located on the Wells College campus in the southwest corner of the first floor of Main Building. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12 to 5 pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

For more information, visit www. wells.edu/stringroomgallery/exhibitions.htm.

August 25, 2011


Wells College Ranked Among America's Top Colleges

Wells College Ranked 118th by Forbes

Wells College has earned high rankings among national colleges and universities in Forbes annual list of the nations' top 650 undergraduate colleges.

Wells College is ranked 118th among America's best colleges and universities by Forbes in its annual report, "America's Top Colleges."

Wells College has demonstrated considerable success in its commitment to an educational experience grounded in strong faculty-student relationships, interdisciplinary thinking, experiential learning, and actively engaging the world beyond the College's lakeside campus. Wells offers innovative, student-centered academic and co-curricular programming, including the Susan Wray Sullivan '51 and Pike H. Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship which provides a unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of business that is grounded in the liberal arts.

The listing by Forbes ranks the top 650 colleges and universities in the country. Fewer than 10% of all the accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States even qualify for inclusion on the list. The Forbes' rankings, according to the editors, are based on "educational outcomes, not reputations" and focus on "the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt." The rankings are undertaken by Forbes by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

August 5, 2011


Wells College Receives $5 Million Gift for New Center for Business and Entrepreneurship

Pike and Susan Wray Sullivan Support Innovative Business Program Rooted in the Liberal Arts.

Wells College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson announced on Friday, June 3 that the College has received a major gift from Pike and Susan Wray Sullivan to help establish its new business center. By endowing the Susan Wray Sullivan '51 and Pike H. Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship at Wells College, the loyal supporters are helping the College realize its vision of creating an undergraduate business program rooted in the liberal arts with an emphasis on innovation, experiential learning and entrepreneurship.

"As Wells College offered a transformational experience for Sue [Wray Sullivan], she and Pike have in turn made a course-altering commitment to Wells," said Ryerson during her speech at Wells' 2011 Reunion ceremony, where Mrs. Sullivan was celebrating her 60th reunion. "With the Sullivans' gift, the College will have the funding, in perpetuity, to assure that the Center for Business and Entrepreneurship develops and thrives."

The Susan Wray Sullivan '51 and Pike H. Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship marks an important strategic investment for the liberal arts college, which continually renews its curriculum to attract and serve students with an intensely personal education that boasts small classes, a tight-knit academic community, and a focus on experiential or "hands-on" learning. By integrating business fundamentals and distinctive course offerings with a core liberal arts curriculum, the business program at Wells aims to "prepare students not only with business acumen to help launch their careers, but also with the critical reasoning skills, communication skills, and well-rounded perspective essential for leadership," said Ryerson.

The new business program offers unique areas of interest for students to explore, including entrepreneurship, as well as an "innovation laboratory" and a "design thinking" course. Students will have the ability to tailor their course of study with these distinctive offerings and with coursework in business fundamentals including marketing, personal and organizational finance, economics, business strategy, accounting, human resources, business ethics and international business.

"The new Center for Business and Entrepreneurship will offer extraordinary opportunities for students at Wells, and I'm delighted that we can help make that possible," said Susan Wray Sullivan, Wells College Class of 1951. "Pike and I are thrilled to support Wells College, which long ago offered me the gift of a very special educational experience that made an enormous difference in my life. I remain deeply connected to my classmates and enthusiastic about Wells' future."

In addition to directing the undergraduate business program at Wells, the Center will host workshops and guest speakers on campus, as well as events such as the Wells "Entrepreneurship Week," which features a speaker series and business plan competition for students. The Center will also organize business-related clubs on campus and forge ties with businesses and not-for-profit organizations to provide internships and special educational opportunities for students.

Of the $5,000,000 given by the Sullivans, $4,500,000 will provide endowment for ongoing annual funding to support the staffing, operations, and programs of the Center. An additional $500,000 will provide start-up expenses for the Center for the first two years. The work of the Center began during the 2010-2011 academic year with the inaugural director, Robert J. Ellis, a graduate of the Harvard Business School who has extensive industry experience in financial services management, marketing, retail sales, and accounting.

"We're inspired by the Sullivans' generosity and by the promise that the Center holds for Wells College students," said Ryerson. "Sue and Pike Sullivan are wonderful representatives of our vibrant community of alumni and friends, who-in a multitude of ways-are making a difference in the world through visionary and humane leadership."

June 6, 2011


Wells College Announces New Victor Hammer Fellow

Katie Baldwin will join the College's Book Arts faculty this August.

The Wells College Book Arts Center is pleased to announce that Katie Baldwin will be the seventh Victor Hammer Fellow in the Book Arts. Ms. Baldwin, who will join the Book Arts faculty in late August, is currently teaching printmaking and book arts classes in Philadelphia. As the Victor Hammer Fellow, she will teach courses in introductory hand bookbinding as well as a variety of upper-level courses that may include binding, letterpress printing, box making, art on the press and printmaking. With the MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Ms. Baldwin brings both teaching experience and innovation to the program at Wells.

Ms. Baldwin has taught at Moore College of Art and Design, Tyler School of Art, The University of the Arts, Drexel University and The Evergreen State College. She has given workshops at the Fleischer Art Memorial in Philadelphia; the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY; The Center for Book Arts in New York City and The Experimental Print Institute in Mexico City.

A recipient of many grants and fellowships, Ms. Baldwin has shown her work in solo, two person and group exhibitions in the US, Canada, China, France, Japan, Korea and Poland. Among her residencies, she spent three months in Japan studying traditional moku hanga woodblock printing. Ms. Baldwin's work is included in public and private collections across the country. Says Nancy Gil, director of the Book Arts Center, "We are thrilled to have Katie join us. Her skills in binding and printing make her a perfect fit for the Book Arts Center, and her talents in print making will make her an asset in the Visual Arts major as well."

The fellowship is named for Victor Hammer, an Austrian printer, book designer, typographer and portrait artist, who fled Nazi Europe to come to Wells College in 1939. The Hammer Fellowship is a two-year book artist-in-residence program that was founded in 1998. By bringing young, emerging book artists to campus, the Wells Book Arts Center has made a name for itself in the book arts world; applicants in recent years have been not only from across the nation, but also from Mexico, Russia and Korea.

The Book Arts Center teaches introductory courses in letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, calligraphy and various upper-level courses in binding and printing. In addition to courses taught in the academic year, the Book Arts Center offers two week-long series of workshops in the book arts at the Wells Book Arts Summer Institute in July. Visit www.wells.edu/bookarts for more information.

May 5, 2011


Wells Choral Ensembles Offer Spring Concert

Singing groups and student soloists to present classical works and arrangements of folk songs and spirituals.

Commencement Speaker Laurie Munroe AbkemeierThe Wells College Choral Ensembles will present their annual Spring Concert on Sunday afternoon, May 8 at 3:00 p.m. in Barler Recital Hall. This event will be the final performance of the college singers under the direction of their founder and conductor Crawford R. Thoburn, who will relinquish his duties as professor of music and director of choral activities at the end of this academic year. The three singing groups - Women's Ensemble, Men's Ensemble, and the mixed voice Concert Choir - will present a wide variety of choral works from the sixteenth century to the present. Admission to the concert is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend this festive event.

During the past fifty-one years, the Wells choral ensembles have performed widely throughout the Northeastern U.S., and in Europe, winning prizes in international competition, singing by invitation for national professional music organizations such as MENC and ACDA, and appearing on public television and radio in this country and abroad. These activities have established a reputation of choral excellence for the singers from Wells.

This year's Spring Concert will feature the Concert Choir of mixed voices singing sacred and secular works from composers such as Giovanni Palestrina, Thomas Tomkins, John Dowland, Henry Purcell, J.S. Bach, Giovanni Pergolesi, Franz Schubert, Charles Wood, James McCray and the Choir's conductor, Crawford R. Thoburn. Also on the program will be arrangements of folksongs and Afro-American Spirituals, and the Women's and Men's Ensembles will each present works from their own repertoires.

Student vocal soloists will include sopranos Marie Angus and Sarah Clark, and the ensembles will be accompanied by Pianist Russell Posegate, lecturer in music at Wells. Laura Campbell, also a lecturer in music at Wells, will provide a flute obligato in one of the selections.

Crawford R. Thoburn, the founder and conductor of the Wells Choral Ensembles, is professor of music, and chair of the division of the arts at the College. In addition to his work as a conductor and teacher, more than one hundred of his choral compositions, arrangements, and editions have been published, and choirs across the U.S. and throughout the world sing his music. Professional, church, and college groups record his works, which have been broadcast on National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

May 5, 2011


Wells College Announces Commencement Speaker

Laurie Munroe Abkemeier, Wells College Class of 1992, Will Deliver Commencement Address.

Commencement Speaker Laurie Munroe Abkemeier Wells College has announced that Laurie Munroe Abkemeier, Wells College class of 1992, will deliver this year's commencement address. Abkemeier is highly successful literary agent and a former book editor. The College's 143rd commencement will be held at 10 a.m. on May 27, 2011, lakeside at the Aurora Inn. The College expects 135 graduates.

Abkemeier is a literary agent with DeFiore and Company, where she represents more than fifty journalists, bloggers, poets, academics, and artists. She has also negotiated film and television deals on behalf of her authors, who include John Grogan (author of the multimillion-copy bestseller "Marley & Me," made into a movie starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston), and Kate Torgovnick (author of "Cheer!," which is the basis for "Hellcats," starring Ashley Tisdale and Aly Michalka, shown on The CW). Most recently she created and launched a publishing advice app, Agent Obvious, and has developed a network of online and social media to support her authors and promote the publishing industry. She is active on Tumblr, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

Abkemeier began her career as an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster in New York City, and after two years moved to Hyperion, where she was responsible for five New York Times bestsellers, including "Brain Droppings" by George Carlin, "Rock This!" by Chris Rock, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!" by Jeff Foxworthy, and "First Person Plural" by Cameron West, Ph.D.

Commencement Speaker Laurie Munroe Abkemeier Hailing from Eureka, California, Abkemeier graduated from Wells with a B.A. in communications, which she crafted as an individualized major. During her time at Wells she pursued her interest in journalism, as she worked in the public relations office, launched the Lakeside Press-the only campus newspaper at the time-and wrote her senior thesis on the women of television news. In addition, she spent a January internship writing and announcing the evening news for a radio station in her hometown, as well as taking advantage of the Washington semester at The American University, where she interned at ABC's "Nightline with Ted Koppel" during the Gulf War. She also worked for the Syracuse Post-Standard, and had a semester-long internship at the Ithaca Journal.

"Laurie's approach to lifelong learning and her entrepreneurial spirit embody the thoughtful criteria provided by the Class of 2011's class officers," said President Lisa Marsh Ryerson in an email announcement to the Wells community.

April 28, 2011


Wells College Senior Kassandra Stepniak Receives the SFS Distinguished Student Researcher Award

Stepniak's examination of wood density contributes to leading knowledge on global carbon cycles.

Wells Senior Kassie StepniakThe School for Field Studies (SFS) presented its bi-annual Distinguished Student Researcher Award to Wells College senior Kassandra Stepniak, a biological sciences major from Montrose, Pa., in recognition of exceptional environmental research she conducted while studying abroad during the spring semester of 2010 at The SFS Center for Rainforest Studies in North Queensland, Australia.

Each year, The School for Field Studies honors exceptional students with Distinguished Student Researcher Awards for making important contributions in environmental research. SFS semester students engage in undergraduate research guided by SFS faculty on projects related to the Center's Five Year Research Plan (5YRP). Outcomes of these Directed Research (DR) projects provide information and recommendations to community members and other stakeholders on critical, local environmental issues. Students are nominated by SFS faculty based on their demonstrated sophistication in research design, field work, and reporting; their leadership skills and teamwork; and their contribution to the Center's 5YRP.

SFS President Bonnie Clendenning and Dean Dr. Robin Sears presented the Award this spring with nominations from Stepniak's DR advisor Dr. Timothy Curran, associate professor in forest management at the Center.

Stepniak's research project, entitled "Does wood density affect the rate of wood decay?", found that wood density as a trait could predict decay rates of certain plant species in a relatively short period of time-a process which usually takes several years to complete. Her research is particularly timely in further understanding the carbon cycle in the midst of global warming.

Dr. Curran says, "Kassandra's project shows how work at a local scale can contribute to solving global issues; hers is the vanguard of a suite of studies which aim to understand patterns of wood decay and hence global carbon cycles."

"At the School for Field Studies, students engage in research projects that serve the local communities and address local environmental issues," says Wells College Professor of Environmental Studies Niamh O' Leary. "Kassie's research was not just for a class, it's is a great contribution to ongoing research activities in the rainforests of Australia."

April 28, 2011


Poet Jerry Mirskin to Hold a Reading at Wells College

Ithaca College professor and writer will read from his latest collection.

Poet Jerry MirskinWells College welcomes Ithaca College professor and poet Jerry Mirskin for a reading of his work at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Mirskin is currently an associate professor in the writing program at Ithaca College, and he regularly teaches select courses at Cornell University. In 2002, Mammoth Books published Mirskin's first poetry collection, titled "Picture a Gate Hanging Open and Let that Gate be the Sun." His new collection, "In Flagrante Delicto," was released in 2008. Mirskin has also been published in literary journals and anthologies including the Bloombury Review, the Madison Review, Mid-west Quarterly, "Roots & Flowers: Poets and Poems on Family" (anthology), "Contemporary Jewish American Writers" (anthology), and Sou'wester. He has presented his work and given workshops at universities, colleges, public libraries, art centers, and on television.

Mirskin earned his B.A. in psychology from SUNY Fredonia, his M.A. in English/creative writing from SUNY Binghamton, and his Ph.D. in English/composition theory from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and has lived in California, Wisconsin and Maine.

For more information, contact Wells College Professor of English Bruce Bennett, 315-364-3228, or e-mail brbennett@wells.edu.

April 28, 2011


Wells College Announces Winners of First Entrepreneurship Contest

Contest gave students a chance to show innovation, teamwork through project development.

Jessica Alicea and Melissa Fortin, winners of the not-for-profit categoryWells College has announced the winners of its inaugural entrepreneurship contest. The contest was held as part of the College's first Entrepreneurship Week; Wells recently added business and entrepreneurship as a course of study.

In the not-for-profit category, Jessica Alicea, a first-year student from Salisbury Mills, N.Y., and Melissa Fortin, a first-year student from Alton, N.H., bested six other teams with their concept to fund the SPCA through pet sitting and pet rental for stress reduction at Wells College.

In the for-profit category, Kasia Jandura-Cessna, a first-year student from New Hartford, N.Y., and Alev Cakmak, a first-year student from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., beat five other teams with their development plan for a new training golf club.

Criteria for judging were a mix of qualitative and quantitative assessments. In the for-profit category, students were measured on their business plan, revenue generation, and likelihood of becoming an actual product. In the not-for-profit category, judging criteria included number of people helped, number of people potentially helped, scale of social ill, and likelihood of alleviating social ill. All students were also judged on the quality and passion of their presentations.

"Entrepreneurship Week is full of innovation, challenge and reward for all participants," says Kasia Jandura-Cessna, one of this year's winners. "Students were given the opportunity to present their unique ideas, along with their hard work, with a more professional approach than in the classroom. This was a great experience to have as an undergraduate, and I am motivated to work even harder next year."

"Clearly this first ever entrepreneurship contest at Wells contributed to students' creativity and oral communication skills, two aspects of a liberal arts education that the College emphasizes," says Provost and Dean of the College Leslie Miller-Bernal. "The teamwork also involved collaboration with other students, another helpful aspect of 'lifelong learning' to which Wells College is committed."

The contest elicited 45 participants in its first iteration. The winning teams in two categories, for-profit and not-for-profit, each received a $1000 prize. All participants received a small reward for presenting their creative ideas to an audience estimated at around 100.

Entrepreneurship Week has been made possible, in part, by a gift in memory of Louise Bingham Hatch, Wells College Class of '38, from her family.

April 14, 2011


Dr. Richard A. Kissel to Speak at Wells College

Paleontologist and educator will explore the effects of climate change over time.

Dr. Richard KisselWells College proudly welcomes this year's Earth Day speaker, Dr. Richard Kissel of Ithaca's Paleontological Research Institution and Museum of the Earth. Dr. Kissel will give the discussion "Climate Change throughout Time" at 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall on the Wells College campus. This event is free and open to the public.

During the talk, Dr. Kissel will explain how the planet's changing climate has affected the course of life on Earth throughout the past four billion years. The discussion will explore the history and variety of life on Earth, from tiny trilobites to titanic dinosaurs, and the conditions under which these forms evolved.

Dr. Richard Kissel is a vertebrate paleontologist and the director of teacher programs at the Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth in Ithaca. He has studied ancient amphibians, dinosaurs and other reptiles, and the ancient relatives of mammals. Dr. Kissel has authored popular articles and children's books on paleontology and the nature of science, and he was a featured scientist on NOVA's scienceNOW. From 2003-2008, Dr. Kissel worked at The Field Museum in Chicago as a developer and the primary scientific advisor for Evolving Planet, the Museum's 27,000-square-foot exhibition on the history of life on Earth.

Dr. Kissel holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology, an M.S. in geosciences, and a B.S. in geology. His interest in science education has led to his current role at PRI. He also currently teaches courses at Cornell University and Ithaca College.

The discussion is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Major and the Campus Greens club.

April 14, 2011


Human Rights Activist and Educator Victoria Sanford to Speak at Wells College

Subject of the discussion will be community engagement and human rights.

Victoria SanfordWells College welcomes accomplished human rights activist and educator Victoria Sanford for a discussion titled "Sustained Engagement: Anthropology, Community Collaboration and Human Rights." The talk will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22 in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall. The event is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Sanford has spent many years studying, writing, and speaking about conflicts involving the Guatemalan government and indigenous Maya communities. Her talk will describe her work with a Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation's team in the 1990s; subsequent work with the country's Commission for Historical Clarification (the Guatemalan truth commission); getting a book published in Spanish about the Panzos massacre; and presenting this work in the town of Panzos last year, on the 32nd anniversary of the massacre.

Victoria Sanford has dedicated a great deal of her life to human rights activism. In 1986, she began assisting and representing Central American asylum-seekers through a nonprofit refugee legal services project that she founded and directed. In the time since, she has worked with Maya communities in Guatemala, Afro-Colombian and indigenous peace communities in Colombia, and Colombian refugee communities in Ecuador, and has done additional work and research in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, South Africa, and Mexico.

Victoria Sanford earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University, where she also received training in International Human Rights Law and Immigration Law at Stanford Law School. Additionally, she received a certificate in Human Rights Law from the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica. Currently an associate professor of anthropology at Lehman College, Sanford is also a member of the doctoral faculty at City University of New York. She was elected to the American Anthropological Association's Committee for Human Rights, serves as a Research Associate at Columbia University's Center for International Conflict Resolution, and is an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University, among other notable appointments and positions. Sanford has also taught in the Department of Rural and Regional Development at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia.

In addition to working and teaching, Sanford has had a prolific writing career. She is the author of "Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala," as well as several other books on violence and genocide in Guatemala, and is co-author of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation's report to the Commission for Historical Clarification (the truth commission mentioned above). Sanford has published articles and chapters in numerous peer-reviewed journals and volumes and has contributed to internet publications, human rights reports, articles, and other sources.

In recognition of her work, Ms. Sanford received a Bunting Peace Fellowship at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, a United States Institute for Peace grant, a Fulbright Teaching/Research Award, a Rockefeller Fellowship for research on violence, a MacArthur Consortium Fellowship, and the Early Career Award of the Peace Society of the American Psychological Association, among others. She has served as a consultant and provided invited expert briefings on human rights to private foundations as well as to governmental, nongovernmental and United Nations entities. She has published and presented her work for conferences and associations in England, Spain, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, Ecuador, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Austria, Slovenia, and the United States.

April 13, 2011


Book Artist Sarah Bryant to Speak at Wells College

Victor Hammer Fellow will discuss the production of her latest book.

Victor Hammer Fellow Sarah Bryant in the Wells College PressWells College presents a discussion by book artist and Victor Hammer Fellow Sarah Bryant entitled "The Evolution of an Artist's Book." The talk, which is this year's Susan Garretson Swartzburg Lecture, will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 in the Lecture Hall (Room 209) of Stratton Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Bryant, the proprietor of Big Jump Press, will be discussing the design and production of her most recent book, a project entitled "Biography." The book is "an exploration of the chemical elements in the human body and the roles they play elsewhere in the world," according to the website of Big Jump Press. "Each spread is a diagram describing the elements as they exist on the periodic table, the earth's crust, a variety of man-made weapons, medicines and tools, sea water, etc.," and relating these to the elements within the human body. Bryant will also describe her current project, a letterpress treatment of a collection of poems by Wells Professor of English Bruce Bennett titled "The Bestial Floor."

Bryant founded Big Jump Press in 2005. In 2008, she earned her master's in book arts from the University of Alabama. From 2008 to 2011, she has served as the Victor Hammer Fellow at Wells College, teaching bookbinding and letterpress classes and designing and printing for the Wells College Press. Her artist's books have been featured in a variety of exhibitions and collections, and last year, she earned the Juror's Award for Artistic Excellence from the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair.

The Susan Garretson Swartzburg Lecture, sponsored by the Wells College Book Arts Center, is named for Susan Garretson Swartzburg, Wells College Class of 1960, who was one of the co-founders of the Book Arts Center. Swartzburg worked tirelessly to promote the fledgling Center until her unexpected death in 1996.

Bryant's talk will be preceded by a reading of "The Bestial Floor" by Wells Professor of English Bruce Bennett on Wednesday, April 20th at 7:00 p.m., in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

April 13, 2011


Wells Professor Bruce Bennett to Read at Wells College

Poet and professor will read from his upcoming publication of rhymed fables.

Professor Bennett and Sarah Bryant in the Wells College PressWells College presents a reading of rhymed and prose fables by Wells Professor of English Bruce Bennett on Wednesday, April 20th at 7:00 p.m., in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall. The occasion of this reading is the publication by the Wells College Press of "The Bestial Floor," a boxed letterpress edition of fifteen of Professor Bennett's rhymed fables.

"The Bestial Floor" was designed and printed by Victor Hammer Fellow Sarah Bryant, with the assistance of students Alex Schloop '12 and Abagail Williams '11 at the Wells College Book Arts Center in an edition of seventy-five copies. The boxes were handmade in the Wells College Bindery.

According to Professor Bennett, he has been writing fables of various sorts since the 1970s. Several of his books, including "To Be A Heron" (1989), "Hey, Diddle Diddle" (2001), and "Funny Signals" (2003), feature rhymed and prose fables. The fables in "The Bestial Floor" were selected from "Animal Rites," an as-yet-unpublished manuscript consisting entirely of fables.

"Influences, at the beginning anyway, were Aesop, Thurber, and LaFontaine," commented Bennett, "but after a while writing fables took on a life of its own. I have always been interested in exploring the possibilities of writing in a variety of forms, and the opportunities offered by writing fables, which in a way are pure storytelling and can have any subject whatever, seem to be inexhaustible."

Professor Bennett has taught at Wells since 1973. He is Chair of English and directs the college's Creative Writing Program.

Sarah Bryant will offer a talk about the creation of the printed edition of "The Bestial Floor," entitled "The Evolution of an Artist's Book," at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, in the Lecture Hall (Room 209) of Stratton Hall on the Wells College campus. This event is free and open to the public.

April 13, 2011


Ithaca Author Bob Proehl to Read at Wells College

Fiction writer will read from his award-winning work.

Wells College welcomes Ithaca writer Bob Proehl for a reading of his work at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall on the Wells College campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Bob Proehl will read "The Secret Origin of the Bethlehem Plant," which won the 2011 Allen and Nirelle Prize for Ficton from the Syracuse University journal Stone Canoe. A reception will follow the reading.

Bob Proehl was born near Buffalo, New York and went to college at SUNY Geneseo. He now makes his home in Ithaca, New York, where he works as outreach coordinator at Buffalo Street Books, and recently led the successful effort to preserve this independent bookstore as a cooperative. His first book, "The Gilded Palace of Sin," was published in 2008.

For more information, contact Cynthia Garrett, 315-364-3250, or e-mail cgarrett@wells.edu.

April 13, 2011


Reading of Stone Canoe, Arts and Literary Journal, at Wells College

Editors and contributors to the Syracuse University journal will present their work.

Stone Canoe by Tomm HuffWells College welcomes the return of editors and writers from this year's edition of Stone Canoe, Syracuse University's annual Journal of Arts, Literature, and Social Commentary, for a reading of selections from the journal. The reading will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 7th, in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall.

Editors and writers associated with the current issue of Stone Canoe will speak about the magazine and read from their work during their visit. Those participating include General Editor Robert Colley and Moving Images Editor Nancy Keefe Rhodes, as well as poets Philip Memmer and Michael Jennings, fiction writer Patrick Lawler, and nonfiction writer Sarah Averill. Wells Professor of English Bruce Bennett will also read, as well as comment briefly about poet Lucille Clifton, who died last year and to whom this issue is dedicated.

Stone Canoe showcases the work of emerging as well as established artists in a variety of fields who have connections to Upstate New York, with the aim of promoting "a greater awareness of the cultural and intellectual richness that characterizes life in the region." As one critic has commented, "Stone Canoe is beautifully done, and demonstrates that great things are happening Upstate." Another wrote: "Stone Canoe is an immensely impressive journal, adventurous, ambitious, and handsomely produced." Last year Wells hosted a similar event to mark the publication of Stone Canoe Number 4.

This year's issue, which was published in February, includes writing, artwork, and a new section that explores film and video. Further information about the current issue can be found online at www.stonecanoejournal.org/issues/2011/editorsnotes.html. For more information about the readings, contact Professor Bruce Bennett, 315.364.3228, or e-mail brbennett@wells.edu.

April 4, 2011


Lac La Belle to Perform at Wells College

Detroit musicians combine rural American folk with modern styles.

Lac La Belle with their instrumentsWells College presents a performance by acoustic duo Lac La Belle at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9, in Wells Campus' Sommer Center. The performance is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Lac La Belle is a collaboration between Jennie Knaggs and Nick Schillace, both accomplished artists in the tradition of American Appalachian folk music. Their music uses accordion, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and resonator guitar to create a snappy sound that blends their folk and country influences with modern sounds and conventions. Lac La Belle has completed four tours of the Midwest, South, and East Coast, appearing at the Detroit Folk Festival, The Chicago Calling Festival, and The Avant Fairfax Festival in Virginia.

The music of Lac La Belle has been described as "pitch-perfect originals in synch with the old-timey classics" by the Detroit Metro Times and "a startlingly authentic old-time country sound" by the Pittsburgh City Paper. Their first album, titled "Lac La Belle," was released in 2009, with another scheduled to be released later this year.

For more information, contact Nicole Pellegrino, director of student activities and leadership, 315-364-3428, e-mail npellegrino@wells.edu, or visit www.laclabellemusic.com.

April 4, 2011


Gene Baur, Animal Protection Activist, to Speak at Wells College

President and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary will discuss animals and food.

Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene BaurWells College presents a discussion by Gene Baur, the president and co-founder of America's leading farm animal protection organization, titled "Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food." The event will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall.

As the president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur campaigns to raise awareness about the consequences of industrialized factory farming and our food system. He has conducted hundreds of visits to farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses to document conditions, and his photos and videos exposing factory farming cruelty have been aired nationally and internationally. His book, "Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food," a national best-seller, is a thought-provoking investigation of the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs - and what each of us can do to promote compassion and help stop the systematic mistreatment of the 10 billion farm animals used for food in the U.S. every year.

Baur has addressed local, state and federal legislative bodies about these issues and has played a role in passing regulations related to abusive farming practices in several states. His work has been covered by publication such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, as well as networks ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN.

The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership and the Social and Economic Justice Minor. Books will be available for sale and signing by Baur. For more information, contact Nicole Pellegrino at 315-364-3428, e-mail npellegrino@wells.edu, or visit www.genebaur.org.

April 4, 2011


Burgeoning Filmmaker to Screen Tierras Libre at Wells College

Screening in Honor of International Day of Peasants' Struggle.

Image from the film Tierras LibreFilmmaker Edward Ellis will screen his work in progress, "Tierras Libre" (Free Land), at Wells College on Friday April 15, at 12:30 p.m. in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall. The documentary focuses on the plight of impoverished and landless farmers in Venezuela, where Ellis spent several years living and working.

The screening is offered in commemoration of the International Day of Peasants' Struggle.

The International Day of Peasants' Struggle is a day on which a wide variety of groups, communities and organizations engage in direct actions, cultural activities, conferences, film screenings, community debates and rallies to highlight the plight of peasants worldwide.

An aspiring filmmaker, Ellis' cinematic resume includes work as a production coordinator for Oliver Stone's documentary "South of the Border." His next project, "Miss," deals with Venezuela's multi-billion dollar beauty industry and the treatment (and mistreatment) of women in that country. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Buffalo State College.

For more information, please contact professor Laura McClusky, 315.364.3252, or e-mail lmcclusky@wells.edu.

April 4, 2011


Exhibition of Paintings by Michael Morrill at Wells College

"Pattern and Prayers" will display paintings by the Pittsburgh artist

Linea Terminale 3.10The Wells College Visual Arts Department welcomes Pittsburgh artist Michael Morrill with the exhibition "Pattern and Prayers." Morrill's work will be on display in the String Room Gallery (SRG) from March 30 through May 11. The exhibit is free and the public is cordially invited to view the show. An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, March 30 from 6 - 8 pm; light refreshments will be served.

The exhibit will feature serial oil and acrylic paintings by Morrill, an associate professor of studio arts at the University of Pittsburgh. Morrill's interest in abstract art-and its interactions with modern digital technology-show in his work, which has evolved as a style since he began focusing on painting in the 1980s. In his artist's statement, Morrill says, "My commitment to the language of abstraction stems from a belief that the expressive power of abstraction continues to hold potential for poetic visual experience."

Since 2007, he has been expanding two bodies of paintings, titled the Linea Terminale and ISIS series. The Linea Terminale paintings derive from Morrill's fascination with Galileo's 17th-century drawings of the patterns of light and shadow he observed on the surface of the moon. The Linea Terminale paintings are diptychs made from joining two 20 x 16 in. canvases. Painted in two phases of color and value, each panel of the diptych is divided into an area of light and dark along an imagined terminator line, suggesting a distant, abstracted topography.

The ISIS series is a meditation on the presence and absence of light expressed through applications of black and white over color. The title ISIS was selected for the symmetry of text, which echoes patterns of black and white and the repetitive rhythms of the painting technique.

Morrill received his BFA from Alfred University's School of Art and Design and his MFA from Yale University's School of Art. His work is represented in numerous private and corporate collections including the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Bayer Collection of Contemporary Art.

The String Room Gallery is a center for the exhibition of contemporary art in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It is located on the Wells College campus in the southwest corner of the first floor of Main Building. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12-5 pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 pm.

For more information, visit www.wells.edu/stringroomgallery.

March 29, 2011


Wells College to Offer Screening of "Quest for Honor"

Sundance Selection Offers View into "Honor Killings" and the Movement to End Them

Quest for HonorOn Wednesday, March 30, Wells College will hold a screening of the documentary film "Quest for Honor," a 2009 Sundance Film Festival selection. Set in Iraqi Kurdistan, the film explores the recent rise in "honor killings" in Middle Eastern nations, as modern technology and international ideas increasingly collide with traditional values. The screening will be held in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The film's executive producer Frances "Sissy" Tarlton Farenthold will be on campus to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards. Farenthold, a former president of Wells College and former member of the Texas House of Representatives, had traveled to Iraq three times on missions from women's groups, and came to be involved in the project from its inception.

The film follows, in particular, women activists combating the practice in Kurdistan, both by providing sanctuary to women at risk, and by working to change mentalities to prevent future killings. The aim of the film is to help educate the American populace about this complicated issue.

"Without proper analysis and knowledge," says the film's director, Mary Ann Smothers Bruni, "the West cannot appropriately support the women, lawmen, and governments who are fighting this plague without being seduced being believing negative cultural stereotypes and further victimizing these communities."

March 29, 2011


Wells College Students Present at National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Nine Wells Students Accepted into 25th Annual Conference

The National Conference on Undergraduate ResearchWells College will send nine of its students to the 25th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), to be held at Ithaca College March 31-April 2. This year some 2,000 students will present their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts and performances, including the 9 students from Wells.

NCUR's annual conference is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study. It welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning. A unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, NCUR provides models of exemplary research and scholarship, and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education.

The students from Wells are as follows:

· Jaclyn Bubnell, Biological & Chemical Sciences, will present "Cellular Transport Of Odorant Receptor M71, A G-Protein Coupled Receptor In Vitro" (advised by Paul Feinstein)

· Sara Chiochetti, Biological & Chemical Sciences, will present "Mapping the Acetylation Site of Cdc25a by ARD1" (advised by Kristina Blake)

· Catherine Dingley, Visual Arts, will present "Exotic Bodies in Motion" (advised by William Ganis)

· Caroline Ham, Anthroplogy, will present "That Sly Devil: How Loki Benefits Viking Culture" (advised by Ernest Olson)

· Samantha Hessling, Biological & Chemical Sciences, will present "Effects of Caffeine on Embryonic Cardiovascular Development" (advised by Christina Wahl)

· Jennifer McDermott, Psychology, will present "After The Storm: Therapeutic Techniques Used in Treating Children With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following Hurricane Katrina" (advised by Deborah Gagnon)

· Samuel Share, Post-Modern Studies, will present "The 'Name Of The Mother': John Gardner's Grendel and Lacanian Criticism" (advised by Catherine Burroughs)

· Kassandra Stepniak, Environmental Studies, will present "Does Wood Density Affect the Rate of Wood Decay?" (advised by Jaclyn Schnurr)

· Abagail Williams, Sociology, will present "Authenticity in a Rebellious Subculture: An Analysis of Punk And Hardcore Music Fans" (advised by Daniel Renfrow)

More information about NCUR is available at www.ithaca.edu/ncur2011. For more about the Wells students and their participation, contact Christopher Bailey, professor of chemistry and Mary Perley Wakeman '23 professor, at cbailey@wells.edu, or by phone at 315-364-3286.

March 29, 2011


Wells College Presents the Annual Faculty Dance Concert

Four performances by students and faculty will be accompanied by live music

Dancers prepare for the Faculty Dance ConcertThe Wells College Theatre and Dance Program is pleased to present their annual faculty and guest artist dance concert, on Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9 at 7:30p.m., in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall. This year's concert will feature choreography by faculty member Jeanne Goddard and guest artist Elizabeth Wilmot Bishop, with live music by baritone Steven Stull and four-piece band.

This year's concert promises an eclectic mix of new dances performed by the Wells College Dance Ensemble of students and faculty. The four dances are entitled "Blizzard," "Surface," "Never Give Up" and "That's Amoré!" Focusing on the bonds among lovers, friends, community and strangers, this work brings out the complicated, yet often humorous and uplifting, moments in relationships through the use of narrative and reflection. On stage, dancers create juxtaposing images, playfully wrestling with pillows and stealing glances at each other over drinks in light-hearted romantic vignettes, while achingly dividing themselves from one another in pulsating narratives that speak of a darker, distant past. Musical accompaniment ranges from songs by Judy Collins and Yolanda Adams to classical/African fusion from the Kronos Quartet. Jazz, pop, music theatre tunes and Italian art song will be performed live by Steven Stull and an ensemble of professional and student musicians, with a chance for the audience to sing along. The performances are complimented by simple, yet aesthetically striking, set and lighting design by resident designer Joe Deforest.

Here's what the choreographers say about their work:

"Blizzard" evokes the turmoil of the human heart-an inner "storm" that needs to be quieted. We realize that our lives can sometimes feel as variable and uncertain as the weather, with periods of turmoil and periods of calm.

"Surface" is really about what goes on below the surface-the layers of life and meaning that maintain their own reality despite being hidden from the outside view. There are suggestions of past generations, the movement of time, cycles of life and loss, memory and constant change. The underlying energy is always ready to break through and spill into the present.

"Never Give Up" encourages us to believe in ourselves and your dreams. Trust what you have been given to do with your life and follow that path, whatever obstacles or stumbling blocks you may encounter along the way.

An old Dean Martin recording reminded me of the perennial appeal of the love song. "That's Amoré" celebrates love in all its crazy, confusing, confounding and exhilarating aspects, its various and changeable moods: excitement, sensuality, longing and entanglement. A live band with singers will heat up the theatre with such popular tunes as "Let Me Go, Lover," "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On" and of course the title song, "That's Amoré," during which the audience will be invited to sing along.

The Wells College Dance Program seeks to offer diverse, vibrant concerts of both new and repertory works that communicate to a wide audience. Many of the performers are not dance majors but share a deep and abiding dedication to the art form of dance.

Ticket prices are $5 for students and $7 for adults, and can be purchased at the door or by calling the Phipps Auditorium Box Office at 315.364.3456. Children are admitted free. For information, contact Professor Jeanne Goddard, 315.364.3213, or email jgoddard@wells.edu

March 28, 2011


Wells College Hosts 10th Annual Activism Symposium

Conference Explores the Themes of Roots, Action and Activism in Social Justice Work

2011 Activism Symposium Logo.Wells College will host its 10th annual Activism Symposium March 10-11, 2011. The student-centered event is held with the aims of promoting civic engagement, encouraging critical thinking, and finding links between the academy and the world at large. To that end, symposium presentations and workshops are presented by local activists as well as Wells College faculty, staff and students. Sessions deal with a wide array of topics, ranging from the very local to the very global, although loosely bound by the annual theme. The theme of this year's symposium is "Reframing Our Roots: Manifesting Our Action(s)."

A statement from the Activism Symposium Student Group, the organizing body of the symposium, reads: "Our theme this year is a challenge to members of our local, regional and global community to identify the roots of themselves, their communities, and the global atmosphere. We aim to celebrate the intent of Activism Symposium by making it accessible to everyone, and hopefully encourage the utilization of what we are given to create, implement, and root activism in our lives."

"Embrace artistic/ scientific/ playful/ experimental/ researched/ conjectural/ personal/ cultural work that allows you to be true to yourself and your roots," the statement further encourages.

The Symposium features an impressive array of panels and discussions, totaling nearly 20 in all. Although the bulk of symposium events occur on Friday March 11, the event opens on the evening of the 10th with a 7:30 screening of the Academy Award-nominated film "Exit through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film," followed by dessert and discussion. The film, a widely-lauded documentary, follows the contemporary guerilla street art movement and Thierry Guetta, the would-be documentarian himself. The film has been described as provocative, subversive, weird, and raucously funny.

Friday's panels cover a multitude of subjects, encompassing such broad-ranging topics as positive psychology, conservative politics, social media, same-sex marriage, hydrofracking, the garden movement, and identity-based politics, among others. All events are free and open to the public.

March 4, 2011


Wells College Opens Innovation Lab

Lab, Teaching Design Thinking, is Hallmark of New Business Program

Students prototype solutions in the Wells College Innovation Lab. Wells College has opened an Innovation Lab, offering a class in design thinking, under the auspices of its new Center for Business & Entrepreneurship in the Liberal Arts. Although still in its infancy, the Wells College Innovation Lab will attempt to solve real-world problems, locally, globally, and within the Wells community.

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem solving that is fast, cheap, and that yields breakthrough results. Its process depends upon ethnographic understanding, and the rapid building and testing of low-tech prototypes. Developed at the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, design thinking has already spawned a host of businesses, books and lectures. Yet, says the Innovation Lab's course instructor Tracy Brandenburg, undergraduates outside of Wells have a difficult time learning this problem-solving technique.

"To the best of our knowledge, Wells College is currently the only school in the nation where an undergraduate studies design thinking as part of their business curriculum," she says. Brandenburg trained at Stanford's famous "d.school."

When Wells announced plans for a Center for Business and Entrepreneurship in the Liberal Arts, Brandenburg-a visiting associate professor in Spanish-recognized the potential for an incubatory space like the Innovation Lab. She also says Wells is a perfect fit for design thinking, because the College emphasizes humane action and an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Design thinking relies upon collaboration by individuals with diverse skills and viewpoints, and has resulted in such developments as $25 premature infant incubators for use in Nepal.

Brandenburg hopes that individuals from Wells and the local community will suggest problems for students to tackle, yet stresses that the Wells College Innovation Lab, while attempting to solve problems, is primarily concerned with producing innovators. To that end, the innovation lab itself was designed to facilitate the creative process. It features numerous whiteboards to capture ideas, movable furniture to allow the space to be manipulated, and foam "sugar cubes" that have multiple purposes, ranging from seating to prototyping.

Additionally, Brandenburg stresses that the lab, while a requirement for business majors, is open to all students in any field. "We hope to teach Wells students how to successfully approach problems in any discipline," she explains. "Design thinking is great for business, but once it's learned, it can really be applied to produce fun and innovative solutions in any facet of work or life," says Brandenburg. "I'm really proud that Wells can offer this to students."

The development of Wells' innovation lab was made possible in part from a gift in memory Louise Bingham Hatch, Wells College Class of 1938, from her family.

February 24, 2011


Wells College Earns Support for Its Learning Commons

The Hagedorn Fund Offers Gift for Wells' Educational Support Center

Wells students in the Learning CommonsWells College has received a gift in excess of $34,000 from the Hagedorn Fund in support of its Learning Commons. The Learning Commons is a center providing academic support, encouraging student learning, and centralizing academic resources. It also promotes the Wells College library, where it is located, as a study space and point of access. The gift comes in addition to the Hagedorn Fund's continued and generous support of Wells College's annual fund.

The Commons currently houses the Dean of Academic Advising, the Director of Experiential Learning and Career Services, the Coordinator of Learning Support Services, and the Writing Center-a student-tutor writing support center overseen by a professor. Through the Learning Commons, students can hone their skills in inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, written and oral communications, career preparedness, information literacy, teamwork and problem solving, and personal and social responsibility.

The Hagedorn Fund gift will allow spatial upgrades to better accommodate peer tutoring, with movable furniture, better lighting, and sound barriers. It will also help provide more computer terminals with "text to speech" software, which aids students with a wide array of disabilities.

Wells created its Learning Commons in 2007 from another Hagedorn Fund gift. Its stated vision is to facilitate learning and scholarship, and to foster collaboration, inventiveness, ingenuity, and intellectual responsibility, in order to better prepare students for 21st century challenges.

"We're proud of the longstanding partnership with the Hagedorn Fund and family, and their very generous support of Wells," says Michael McGreevey, vice president for advancement at the College.

The Hagedorn Fund was established by William Hagedorn in memory of his late wife, Tillie. William Hagedorn's daughter Ruth graduated from Wells College in 1930. When William Hagedorn appointed his daughter to assume philanthropic oversight of the Hagedorn Fund, Ruth began a history of annual gifts to Wells. Since her death, the trustees of the Hagedorn Fund have continued to recognize Ruth's commitment to Wells.

February 24, 2011


Wells College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to Sponsor New Essay Contest

Area High School Juniors and Seniors Eligible for $300 First Prize

The Phi Beta Kappa KeyThe Wells College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society for liberal arts and sciences graduates, has announced a new annual essay contest for high school juniors and seniors attending school in Auburn, Southern Cayuga, Union Springs, Port Byron, and Skaneateles. The winner of first prize will receive $300 and the runner-up will receive $200, donated by the Wells Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and by the Seneca Falls Savings Bank.

The contest's essay prompt is designed to encourage students to grapple with a question about school learning, explains Bryan Duff, faculty president of the Wells College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. He adds that the prompt is "in keeping with Phi Beta Kappa's advocacy for persistent and joyful learning, and open exchange of well-founded ideas."

Specifically, the essay prompt asks students to consider, in an essay of 750 words or less, whether there's value in engaging with ideas, skills, and texts whose direct relevance or application outside the classroom is far from obvious.

Duff says that, while Phi Beta Kappa does advocate for the value of such learning, the essay question is not meant to elicit any particular response. He explains, "You might look at the essay question and think, 'Hold on. The question you're asking is loaded. Any students who answer that they disagree with the society's position are doomed to lose.' Not so. A well-defended argument that challenges the values of Phi Beta Kappa would, if I can be technical, totally rock."

The joint sponsorship by Seneca Falls Savings Bank evolved from a conversation between Duff and one of the bank's branch managers. "We were chatting about the value of solid writing skills for getting jobs, keeping jobs, thinking clearly, and making sure one's ideas get the best possible hearing," says Duff. "Encouraging and celebrating good writing through this contest is a sign of our shared commitment."

As measures of good writing, essays will be judged on the strength of reasons underlying authors' positions; their consideration of potential concerns about their reasons; voice and tone (whether elements of the writing style help the reader feel the author's perspective and interest in the topic); organization (within paragraphs and across the whole essay); and conventions (spelling, punctuation, and grammar).

Duff aims to assemble a judging panel comprised of both high school teachers and Wells College faculty, and hopes that the contest will foster a greater shared understanding of what makes a successful transition from high school to college level writing.

The deadline to enter will be 5 p.m. on April 1, 2011. Students interested in entering the contest can pick up a flier with details from their high school guidance counselor.

February 24, 2011


Wells College Students Advocate in Albany for Higher Ed

Join Students from Around the State in Support of Higher Education Funding

Six Wells College students and two members of the Wells College staff will participate in the New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day in Albany, N.Y. The advocacy day takes place on February 8, 2011.

NY Capitol

The students, who hail from around New York State, will have the opportunity to meet with the office of State Senator David J. Valesky. In their meeting, students will discuss the importance of state aid including such programs as TAP (the Tuition Assistance Program). They will also voice their support for the governor's proposed budget for higher ed.

"This is a great opportunity for our student leaders to experience our democratic process," says Isabelle M. Ramos, one of the staff members accompanying the students. Ramos is a Wells College alumna who went on to train as a lawyer.

More than 600 students from close to 40 campuses will attend the advocacy day, which carries the theme "student + aid = opportunity." Participants will rally at the capitol in the morning before meeting with legislators in the afternoon. In their sessions with elected officials, students will lobby officials on the importance of such programs as TAP, HEOP, C-STEP, and Liberty Partnerships. Students from Wells will focus their efforts on TAP.

Governor Cuomo's proposed budget maintains the current $5,000 TAP maximum award for students attending 4-year colleges and universities. Additionally, he proposes that funding continue at last year's levels for HEOP, C-STEP, and Liberty Partnerships. Students attending the advocacy day will voice their support for this aspect of the budget in advance of the legislature's vote. In particular, they will discuss the personal ways in which this funding supports their education.

All six of the student attendees are connected to the political science program at Wells. They are: Alex Schloop, Jacqueline Ross, Caitlin Titus, Rachel Snyder, Kathryn McNamara, and Zachary Kohn. They will be accompanied on their trip by Wells College admissions counselors Jaclyn Freeland and Isabelle M. Ramos, Esq. The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities sponsors the one-day experiential learning opportunity. Additional learning opportunities for the students come before their arrival in Albany, with basic training in lobbying techniques in advance of their meetings.

Photo Credit: "New York State Capitol," copyright 2009 wadester16, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

October 14, 2010


Wells College Revamps Its Experiential Learning Program

Incorporates Career Services, Internships, Work Study

Wells College is expanding its experiential learning program in order to better bridge students' transitions from majors to careers. To facilitate the change, Wells is transforming its office of career development services into a center for the advising of "experiential learning"--learning that takes place through educational experiences that occur outside the conventional classroom, such as internships. The restructured office will guide students through required undergraduate experiential learning, and will also provide more traditional career services.

Additionally, in a move to more greatly align students' work study experiences with their academic pursuits, Wells has moved the supervision of work study assignments to the office of experiential learning and career services, where it will be supervised by the Director of Experiential Learning and Career Services, Mr. Eric Vaughn. Vaughn says the updated program will incorporate a more team-based approach to student work assignments. Additionally, says Vaughn, the program will offer professional development opportunities to student workers as well as staff.

Eric VaughnSince joining the Wells community in September, Vaughn has committed to moving the resources of his office into databases and onto the Web, allowing students, alumnae/alumni, faculty, and employers to access information more quickly. He plans to hold workshops to better prepare students for graduate school and the work force, and would like to make contemporary their subjects, such as the uses and pitfalls of social media.

"I'm also looking to work more closely with alums of Wells College, to get them more involved in programs and events the office will host in the future," says Vaughn. "One of my favorite parts of the position is collaborating and working with students, faculty, alums and employers. I love seeing a student grow and learn. It also excites me to see the great opportunities that students have, and that they can put on their resumes."

Vaughn previously held the position of Director of Career Development at Doane College in Crete, Neb. He has also held positions at Saint Leo University in Fla., St. John Fisher College in Rochester, and SUNY Oswego. Vaughn earned his B.S. in elementary education from SUNY Oswego, and a M.Ed. in College Student Affairs from the University of South Florida. He can be reached on the phone at 315.364.3379, or by email at evaughn@wells.edu.

Wells' office of experiential learning and career services is located in the Learning Commons, an academic area that also houses academic advising, learning support services, a writing center, a computer lab, and a library research desk. Future plans for the Commons include the addition of a peer tutoring center.

"By centralizing the location of services," explains Associate Provost for Academic and Student Life Cindy Speaker, "we're able to work together in a more holistic manner to help students meet their current academic needs, enrich their educational experiences, and be better prepared for their futures."

February 2, 2011