COLUMN: COLLEGE TOWN
Weapons of medieval destruction and lyrics of love sung to the plucking of a lute are part of a colloquium "Of Love and War," planned for Oct. 20 at The College of the Holy Cross.
The medieval and renaissance period program will include a live sword demonstration and a sword-handling workshop from representatives of the Higgins Armory Museum, and a concert-lecture by the award-winning duo, Asteria.
"The topics of love and war are very interconnected in medieval art," said Daniel J. DiCenso, assistant professor of music and coordinator of medieval and renaissance studies, adding that coordinating the Higgins Armory presentations with the concert-lecture was somewhat of "a happy coincidence."
The love aspect was covered in the concert of medieval music, and reaching out to Higgins Armory Museum to provide details on the war portion of this period made sense both in terms of the college's goal of involving the community, and taking advantage of the wealth of reliable information on this historical period located nearby, Mr. DiCenso said.
"People think of going to England or Boston to study the medieval period, but there are a lot of resources right in Worcester," he said.
The colloquium beginning at 4 p.m., includes short presentations, demonstrations and discussion from Holy Cross faculty and Higgins Armory personnel on military depictions, swords, fighting and knights.
One presentation led by Devon Kurtz and Neal Bourbeau, both from the museum, will discuss and show how to arm a knight and will most likely involve a volunteer from the audience, Mr. DiCenso said.
At 5:30 p.m. in Smith Courtyard, Ken Mondschein of Higgins and Holy Cross professor William Short will present a live sword demonstration and a sword-handling workshop. Students will also be participating in this, Mr. DiCenso said.
The concert-lecture, which begins at 8 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall, combines both music and historical explanations and interpretations of songs from medieval Burgundy.
Asteria's soprano, Sylvia Rhyne and tenor and lute player, Eric Redlinger are not only really excellent top-notch singers, but they speak in a "very compelling, genuine and not boring way about what medieval music is," Mr. DeCenso said.
In addition to the public concert, Ms. Rhyne will offer a private workshop on medieval music for the students.
While the concert is open to the public, Assumption College students and faculty in the new Medieval and Early Modern Studies program under the direction of associate professor of history Lance Lazar received a special invitation to participate.
A good cohort of Assumption faculty and students are expected to attend, Mr. Lazar said.
"Dan and I hope to tighten the bonds between Holy Cross and Assumption faculty (as well as related faculty at other Consortium schools, and local institutions like the WAM and Higgins Armory) so that students and the public can better savor the exceptional richness of resources and events relating to Medieval and Renaissance/Early Modern culture available here in central Mass," Mr. Lazar said.
In an unrelated matter, College Town investigated why an announcement of an open house at the University of Scranton, Pa., is displayed on a billboard overlooking Interstate 290 in close proximity to the College of the Holy Cross campus in Worcester.
Billboards are among the mediums used to provide information about the University of Scranton to prospective students and their families, and there are a number of these ads located on signage in several states, said Stan Zygmunt a spokesman for the University of Scranton.
The billboard being located near the College of the Holy Cross, College Town was told, is "coincidental rather than intentional."
"The high volume of traffic on Route 290 was the deciding factor," Mr. Zygmunt said.
Timothy Austin, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of the Holy Cross had this to say: "Getting a strong message out about the value and distinction of Jesuit higher education benefits all Jesuit colleges and universities. Many of Holy Cross' prospective students decide to apply to more than one Jesuit institution, and we're sure the same is true at Scranton. In fact, as a network, the 28 colleges and universities hope students realize that, if one Jesuit school is not the best fit for them - academically, socially or financially - there is probably another institution that can meet their needs."
Becker College celebrated National Veterinary Technician Week 2011, and its own veterinary technician students, with its second Continuing Education Conference for Veterinary Technicians. The conference was hosted in partnership with the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association and drew experts in a number of veterinary fields. Keynote Speaker Aggie Kiefer, of Novartis Animal Health, and former editor-in-chief of Veterinary Technician magazine, presented innovative opportunities vet techs have created for themselves: focusing on such specialties as nutrition and anesthesia; authoring books and articles; starting consulting businesses and even a veterinary practice.
Clark University senior Nicholas Rossi, of North Smithfield, R.I., won a gold medal in the Congressional Map category in the Redistricting Olympics, a contest sponsored by Common Cause Massachusetts that asked citizens to create their own redistricting maps. His work was also awarded a bronze medal in the House Map contest.
As one of 14 students in Clark's "Congressional Districting: The Geography of Politics" course Mr. Rossi learned how to combine new census data with Geographic Information Systems mapping techniques to create his own redistricting map.
He was able to apply this knowledge and skill to his winning submission to the Common Cause contest.
His holistic approach to mapping Massachusetts was aimed at producing "a more sensible congressional map less tailored to politicians and more focused on providing fair and sensible representation to the state's people." Still, given his prior in-class experience with others, Mr. Rossi said he quickly recognized the subjective nature of the redistricting process.
A total of 58 maps were submitted.
Faculty, staff and students of Quinsigamond Community College's dental programs are spearheading campus-wide participation in Operation Gratitude, a candy collection project for care packages destined for the U.S. Military, in conjunction with Stanley Levenson, DMD, Worcester.
Coordinated by Barbara Dawidjan, professor of dental hygiene, this is the first year QCC has participated in Operation Gratitude. Ms. Dawidjan partnered with Dr. Levenson, whose practice has been registered to collect candy for the project for several years. He has collected between 400 and 500 pounds of candy in previous years for Operation Gratitude. This year, with QCC's participation, the expectation is to break all records. The candy is packaged and shipped along with letters of gratitude and other small necessities, also donated, to soldiers on active duty. Students and others are encouraged to donate Halloween candy in exchange for raffle prizes.
QCC's collection will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1, 2 and 3. Collection boxes will be in the Fuller Student Center and at the Dental Hygiene Clinic on the main campus at 670 West Boylston St., Worcester. For more information or to donate, contact Ms. Dawidjan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gallery at Worcester State University will reopen after its renovation with the show, "The Global Perspective: Understanding the Past, Looking to the Future," Oct. 20 through Dec. 1.
The exhibition, curated by Catherine Wilcox-Titus, will showcase work that reflects the complexities of global connections and examines their costs and benefits. An opening reception will be held from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 20. Gallery hours are 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.