From one new president to another--Twice in as many days, President Creighton helped inaugurate presidents at Massachusetts colleges. On September 18, she attended the Boston inauguration of William Bulger, president of the University of Massachusetts system. The next day, she was a distinguished guest and speaker for the inauguration of Babson College's new president, Lee Higdon. At Babson's special occasion, Creighton shared her impressions of what it is like to lead a college. Although she admitted the job has its "dark days," she added, "I can hardly imagine a job with greater rewards. One of the great pleasures of the job that more than makes up for its great pains is the vista--the bird's-eye view--afforded by the position ... From the broadest vista of the presidency, one appreciates the crucial role colleges and universities play in our society, not only for the benefits they offer to individuals, but also for the impact they have in generating the knowledge base, the intellectual capital of our society, and in building its economic, cultural, humanistic, and ethical character."
Same crime, more violence--Heading the September 7 books section of the Sunday Chicago Tribune was an extensive book review by MHC sociologist and criminologist Richard Moran. An authority on crime and criminal justice, Moran reviewed Crime Is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America by Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins, in which the authors argue that while crime rates in the U.S. are not far different from those in a number of other countries, easy access to handguns results in far more homicides here than elsewhere.
Smile; you may be on a candid camera--Although you probably weren't aware of it, everyone who's walked across Skinner Green in the last year has been on campus television. According to Networking Project Manager Wayne Ball, a camera mounted in a Skinner Hall office has been trained on the green twenty-four hours a day for about a year. Whatever it sees is broadcast to Channel 61 on campus TV sets. During the academic year, the green scene is accompanied by audio from WHMC radio. The all-seeing camera is not "Big Sister" watching you; it's a forerunner of campus-generated cable programming that will eventually carry curriculum-supporting television to campus sets. Professors are meeting this year to discuss how they want to use the "open" TV cable channels that are available for MHC-generated material. Meanwhile, if you decide to "streak" the Green, be aware that your feat will be broadcast to the entire campus!
Sabbatical roundup, from chickadees to klezmer music--The thirty-five MHC professors who took sabbaticals during the 1996-97 academic year published articles, finished and began books, traveled the world, created World Wide Web pages, learned yoga, and revised courses, among many varied activities. Here's a sample of what they've been up to.
On the multimedia front, Professor of Politics Doug Amy finished a Web site on election system reform; Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Leadership and Public Advocacy Eva Paus created a site for her Economic Development course; and Professor of Statistics George W. Cobb completed work on a combination book and multimedia CD for introductory statistics. It was published in May. Chair and Professor of History Daniel J. Czitrom served as a historical adviser on the upcoming PBS documentary series New York, and Assistant Professor of English Elizabeth Young presented a paper on Gone with the Wind at a film conference in Scotland. In India, Assistant Professor of Art History Ajay J. Sinha documented over fifty stone temples built during the sixth and twelfth centuries. In Dakar, Senegal, Associate Professor of French and Dean of International Affairs Chris Rivers worked on the MHC study-abroad program there.
Revised courses included Environmental Politics, Professor of English Anthony E. Farnham's work on English 301, Professor of English Virginia R. Ellis's reevaluation of women poets of the romantic period in England for English 344, and a new curriculum guide for a departmental course in Stress Management created by Physical Education and Athletics Senior Lecturer Penny Curtis.
Closer to home, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Stan Rachootin modified his sabbatical by advising two honors theses, Professor of Art Marion Miller was concentrating on her studio work, and Professor of Biological Sciences Susan M. Smith continued her local, long-term research on chickadees. Also in the sciences, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Helen Leung completed studies of three nitrous oxide-containing complexes, publishing three papers on them; her results have also been reported at a national meeting and two international meetings. Musically, Associate Professor of Music Adrianne Greenbaum's year boosted her efforts to bring klezmer music (Jewish music of Eastern Europe) to campus; she now has a foundation for beginning a student klezmer ensemble at MHC.
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