Women’s Studies and Music Majors Are Reduced To Minors, News Not Announced Around Campus
Erica Street-Valentine, one of the remaining music majors, found out that there was no music major during this semester as she was fixing a class issue. When she looked up the requirements, all she found was a music and dance minor. Confronting the department chair of music, she was finally informed of the news.
“You hear that the arts are cut back in high schools. I never thought they could be cut in college,” Valentine said.
The College’s enrollment in the Women’s Studies and Music majors have been diminishing and the administration has changed their statuses to minors and are “on hold in terms of accepting students into them as majors” as of last spring semester, according to the interim academic vice-president.
According to the CSE Fact Book of fall 2009 to 2012, there was a music major in 2011 and a women’s studies major in 2012. When a major is to be offered, the state has to approve it. CSE does not plan to take it off the approved list and there are plans to reinvigorate the program if the enrollment increases.
From the beginning of her 17 years at the college, Virginia Butera, art professor and department chair of the music and art, had a robust group of music students. Although there are many students taking performance classes, there are very few students who are majoring in music.
“Studies show that students who pursue music have higher IQs and have a higher intelligence. It’s a benefit to any educational institution to have a music program and I encourage every student to be a part of it,” said Butera.
“We had some conversation with Drew to connect the Music majors together somehow. But at least for now, that wouldn’t work because we’re both on different schedules,” said Dean Carol Strobeck.
Higher education is changing rapidly and many jobs in the humanities are not being pursued because their career availability for the future is not visible, like math and science careers. According to a New York Times article, there are only fifteen percent of students majoring in the humanities at Stanford University in California. And as of September, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania announced that it was closing its degree programs in German, philosophy, and world languages and culture.
Many people believe that humanities and science majors cannot be paired together for a career. Lisa Mastrangelo, professor of English and Women’s Studies, disagrees. “One student majored in Women’s Studies and Biology and is working in women’s medicine,” she said. “It’s interesting to see that we don’t have that much interest in this degree. But we’re working to get people to see it a little better.”
Valentine will now continue taking the classes that remain in the College’s program, as well as those at Drew University. “I would like to become successful in music industry and possibly raise money for the school and hopefully bring it back.” But in the meantime, any student can support the programs by taking classes in either minor.
CSE Alumna Tells Of Her Archeological Excursions
Digging into the past can be rewarding, just ask CSE alumna Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati, At a recent Lunch and Learn event, the accomplished archaeologist shared her journey from CSE to ancient excavation sites around the world . Her sister Nancy Kelly Plimpton, ’58, chemistry, accompanied her.
After graduating from CSE with a history degree, Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati received her master’s and Ph.D from University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, a research organization devoted to the study of the ancient Near East. “Even before I went there for my master’s, I knew almost everything about ancient history,” said Buccellati.
Coming from a strong background in religion, she has a great interest in ancient eastern archaeology, including Syro-Mesopotamia and its connections with Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus region. “Religion played a central role in these people’s lives, as does mine,” she said.
Buccellatti said that since then, she has excavated throughout Turkey, Iraq and Syria and has become the Director of the Mozan/Urkesh Archaeological Project in Syria. Plimpton walked around the room with a map and showed the students and teachers the site locations. Her site reports on these excavations are the main topic of her publications, written with her husband, Giorgio.
One of the Buccellati’s discoveries of piglet and puppy bones left the students sighing in sadness. Large pits filled with these bones were used as burial grounds for the ancient people’s sacrifices. “Unlike the Christian belief system where we speak to God, these ancient people would sacrifice animals and it was up to the gods to decide their fate.”
Many of her other publications include studies on seal iconography, ceramics and rituals. During her excavations, she has come across the seals that the ancient people used to identify their property and she had to write down every single one. “Everyone needed a seal, even the wet nurses who breast fed other women’s infants,” Buccellatti explained.
“I think the stories she told are amazing,” said Nastasya Tsultsomova, junior global studies and business major. “They inspire me to go out and find my own exciting adventures to tell the world.”
Is Grading Pointless?
Every computer in the Mahoney library is occupied by a student at the College of Saint Elizabeth, as each one works towards a final grade and a good end to the semester.
But with the work comes the worry that because of a biased grading system, students will not receive the grade they deserve.
“It’s better to give points, because in some classes you need certain numbers to pass,” said sophomore Ashley Hollingsworth when asked about grading policies. “To me, if you just see a letter, it’s not a specific grade.”
Hollingsworth, who is currently studying education and sociology at the College, believes that students should be able to know where their exact standing is.
“It depends on the age level,” said Dana Fuardo, also a sophomore at the College. “It’s easier for younger kids to have letter grades.”
The education and history double major gave the example of an elementary school student.
“If you give a test to a second grader, they aren’t going to understand a point system,” she said. “They will understand an A or a B.”
Dr. John Crews, program chairperson of the College of Saint Elizabeth’s Graduate Education has experienced very few times where the grading policy in a school system has changed.
With 36 years of experience in public education, Crews finds that “there is no perfect grading system.”
“People just become disenchanted with whatever grading system is in place,” he said.
When asked what the difference was between a point grading system and a letter one, Crews told reporters that there isn’t one.
“You’re rating the student,” Crews added. “Changing the grading system is not going to change the fact that some students rate higher than others.”
“The grading system gives everyone an equal chance,” Margaret Hayes, a sophomore education and math major at the College, said.
With a rated system comes the issue many professors face in the classroom: students who are more interested in the grade than they are the learning.
However, according to Crews, removing grading entirely from a student’s education is not an option.
“The public would react negatively if there were no grades,” Crews said, despite the fact that he has “never seen any grading system eliminate the concerns of subjectivism.”
Grading can be a subjective endeavor regardless of the system used, as with the case of grading essays.
“The subjectivity does influence a teacher, but they are looking at the big picture. Students often don’t,” said Crews. “Usually it comes down to the student.”
Questioning the grade also questions the professionalism of a professor, and their expertise in their field.
However, that does not mean that students are unable to debate their grade.
According to Crews, they should be able to question their grade, and see what criteria led to it. The criterion should give a student a basis for a grade determination.
“If a teacher can’t justify the grade, there is something wrong,” he said. “Any system is going to be flawed if there isn’t a criterion a professor is following.”
Artists Display the Agony of Human Restraint In the Latest Art Exhibition, Held Against Their Will
The College of Saint Elizabeth’s latest art exhibit, Held Against Their Will, invites both students and visitors inside artists’ interpretations of the Holocaust, and other moments of social injustice throughout the College’s Week of Holocaust Remembrance.
“People can be held against their will physically, mentally, and spiritually,” said Dr. Virginia Butera, the curator of the exhibit.
The pieces display the horrors of the Holocaust, but at the same time, the artists are able to incorporate the issues of social justice and injustice within their work.
The artwork in the exhibit does not show reproduction of the historical events, but instead show each artist’s interpretation of the tragedies with bright colors and a variety of media.
“Artistically, the beauty is purposefully there to juxtapose the horror,” Butera said. “The irony is that so many of these events took place when the sun was shining.”
Butera arranged the exhibit so that there would be a relationship between each of the works of art, and a constant dialogue going on between them.
“We are not without fault in these issues of captivity,” Butera told reporters. “This work could represent anyone, anywhere.”
Visual themes that run through this exhibit include the image of barbed wire, giving the overall psychological sense of what it feels to be bound throughout the exhibit.
“You have to not be afraid to go on the dark side of the human spirit,” said artist Kiyami Baird.
“I go through levels of emotion that take away human spirit, until there is very little life left.”
Baird’s artwork allows the individual to find his or her own meaning in the dark swirling colors.
When visitors asked her what the piece was supposed to be, she simply asked them what they thought it was.
“I don’t work with a preconceived idea,” she told reporters. “I start with a blank canvas, and it just happens.”
“These images represent these people, and many people throughout the world, who have been kidnapped and taken away, said Hernando Sanchez, another artist whose artwork is displayed at the exhibit.
Lisa G. Westheimer, the artist of the piece War Money displayed in the Gallery, used the experiences of her father in the war to show a different kind of captivity: the psychological effect of war on soldiers.
Westheimer’s father “suffered terribly emotionally from what he experienced in the war,” she said. “War has made people who served in it emotional prisoners of war.
The piece itself displays the currency that Westheimer’s father collected throughout the war, which had been sewn into cellophane bags by her grandmother.
War Money will never be sold.
Ju Young, a sophomore and art major at the College of Saint Elizabeth, found the works to be inspirational.
“They honor both the Holocaust, and events similar to the Holocaust,” she said.
“This is another way of helping people to understand, and come to grips with, the terrible thing of the Holocaust,” said Sister Kathleen Flanagan, Co-Director of the Holocaust Education Resource Center.
“It is very well done, but you have to think about it,” the professor of theology added. She asks that students meditate on what they see, and on what the exhibit invokes in them.
Astounding New Technology Presented At CSE’s 23rd Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration
Holocaust survivor testimony may continue to thrive for the future generations due to a new interactive hologram technology demonstrated at CSE by two guest speakers on November 11, 2013.
Stephen D. Smith, the Executive Director of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, and Pinchas Gutter, a Polish Holocaust survivor, were the primary guests at the College’s Holocaust Remembrance Week’s 23rd annual Kristallnacht Commemoration in Dolan Performance Hall, Annunciation Center.
The event was the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. Nazi soldiers destroyed synagogues and Jewish-run businesses, splaying broken window glass on the sidewalks. This heap of destruction symbolized the beginning of the Holocaust.
The “New Dimensions of Testimony” hologram project was created for survivors’ testimonies to be available for future generations. Smith demonstrated it by projecting an image of Gutter sitting on a chair from his laptop. When Smith clicked a button on the screen and asked a question, Gutter would respond with an answer.
Dolan was filled with about 315 people, some of them Holocaust survivors and their children. While telling his story, Gutter stood up and threw his hands around in the air, like he was trying to conjure images of his past in order for the audience to better understand what he saw. But, instead, it was like he was conducting an orchestra and the audience were the musicians. During the testimony, his listeners gasped, clapped, laughed lightly, and even a few sniffles were heard.
Gutter, a veteran to Kristallnacht commemorations, claims he felt something different when he was telling his testimony in Dolan. “There was a spirituality that permeated and affected me. I don’t know if it was angels; Jews don’t have angels but Catholics do,” said Gutter.
“One memorable thing that Gutter said was that the survivors had faith. They kept their faith in God and that’s what helped them get through the troubles and struggles,” said Shauniqua Rollins, junior allied health major.
“We shouldn’t have to live in a world with continued genocides. We have to make this a world where all people are valued and respected,” said Dr. Harriet Sepinwall, the director and co-founder of the Holocaust Education Resource Center.
Learning How to Help the World, One Class At A Time
Two CSE students will learn the inner workings of the United Nations this semester through the highly-competitive Semester at the United Nations program at Drew University
Rowan Ghaly, a senior Global Studies major, and Zainab Yusofi, an Afghan senior international student also majoring in Global Studies, travel every Monday and Wednesday to the Presbyterian Ministry, across the street from the UN New York City headquarters, to receive classes from their professor, Carlos Yordan, Ph.D, an associate Political Science professor at Drew.
During each class, the students are lectured on the United Nations System and International Community. The program is writing intensive, with each student required to write reaction papers and create presentations. Each week, they have to read articles from the New York Times and Washington Post and the UN’s news updates.
“Our days start at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. But when we have a lecturer come to our class or if we perform activities, our days end at around 7 p.m.,” said Yusofi.
The students are required to attend five General Assembly meetings and complete a research seminar, which consists of writing a 20-page paper, a monitoring project and a simulation exercise. The paper has to address any UN-related issue, while the project analyzes the UN’s role in the larger international community. The simulation exercise consists of each student choosing a topic and defending its position on a social issue chosen by the professor.
Since the program is the whole semester, students are encouraged to seek UN-related internships while taking the class. This opportunity is ideal for the two students because they both would like to work in humanitarian affairs at the UN.
Before they even attended the classes, both students had to go through an extensive application process. They had to hand in a letter of recommendation and an official transcript. The application process is competitive, with only 20 students allowed in it.
The program runs every fall semester and consists mostly of seniors. Transportation to New York is covered under the students’ tuitions, with the exception of metro cards.
Yordan said that although most students enrolled in the program are political science majors, students majoring in other disciplines like history and business administration are encouraged to take the class. The only requirement is to complete the Introduction to International Relations or the US Foreign Policy course, both offered at Drew. Students must also have a GPA of 3.67 out of a 4.0 scale.
Yusofi and Ghaly have been in the UN before the class began; they participated in the United for a Culture of Peace ceremony through the Interfaith Harmony Day, where students from all over the country assemble to promote peace amongst the world’s nations.
“The UN is a multi- dimensional organization founded upon ideals of peace and common good and I look forward to exploring what opportunities it has to offer,” said Ghaly. “This program is definitely the place to start.”
The Majors Fair 2013
Academic Convocation 2013
Stand Together To Help End Domestic Violence
“One in four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.”
This striking statistic from safehorizon.org shows the severity of the issue facing our nation that no one likes to talk about. The fact, however, is that domestic violence is prevalent in our society and needs to be addressed.
October was National Domestic Violence awareness month, and unfortunately, not too many people know much about the act that takes thousands of lives per year, most being young girls and women.
“I could never hit a woman, it is wrong on so many levels,” said Jean Durozeau, a college sophomore from Kane University. “Whenever someone makes me angry, I walk away and cool off, I would never result to violence, especially towards a woman.”
Domestic violence is any physical violence that occurs in any kind of relationship, the most common being in romantic relationships. Domestic violence can include but is not limited to: date rape, rape, any form of negative verbal abuse, and any form of physical abuse of any kind toward a partner.
The first annual Domestic Violence Awareness month occurred in October 1987. Since then, many groups have formed to help women who have been abused, and to help end domestic violence.
The Clothesline Project is the most widely known organization that fights domestic violence. They have an extensive information page on their website at www.clotheslineproject.org. Here, young men and women can go to find information and help that they may need.
Last month, The College of Saint Elizabeth partnered up with The Clothesline Project, and held some on campus events to help promote the severity of domestic violence across the campus.
On October 16, 2013, from 6:30-8:30 Pm, CSE hosted guest speaker Monica C. Guarl, a well-known attorney that represents abuse victims, to speak about the seriousness of domestic violence, and legal options to those who are abused.
The event was a success, and young women got valuable information they needed from Ms. Guarl.
On October 24, 2013, CSE hosted an open forum where students could speak with each other freely about their personal stories and experiences with domestic violence. Here, students decorated tee-shirts however they wanted to, and hung them on a clothesline to represent those victims that no longer have voices.
No one, man or woman, should ever be threatened, hit, or scared of a romantic partner. If someone confides that they have been abused, raped, or threatened, and do not want to go to the police right away, there are certain steps you can take to help them. According to clotheslineproject.org, don’t take charge of the situation, but help them explore their options, and let them choose what they want to do. Do not pressure them- the abuser already did that.
Next, ask the victim before you touch them in any way, even if you are just going to hug them Often, in rape cases, the victim is in a vulnerable state, and will not even want to be touched in any way by family or friends right after the attack. Make sure you have their permission before you physically comfort them.
“Men who hit women are cowards and should be behind bars. There is never any reason to put your hands on a female, no matter what the circumstances are,” Durozeau said.
Always listen and support the victim in any way you know how to. Although you may encourage them to go to the police, sometimes the best first step for them to take is to just tell their story to a trusted, reliable friend that they can confide in.
If you suspect that someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, seek help from a trusted friend, family member, priest, or counselor. It is never okay to be hit or abused by a partner in any way, and it is never okay to stay in a violent relationship.
Unfortunately, high school and college students are the majority of victims of domestic violence. Some facts about domestic violence from clotheslineproject.org:
More than 1 in 10 teens experience physical violence in their dating relationships
Jealousy and possessiveness are the most common early warning signs of abuse
30% of all women who are murdered in this country are killed by their partner
95% of the reported incidents of assaults in relationships are committed by men
People stay in abusive relationships for a number of reasons: fear, economic dependence, confusion, loss of self-confidence, and the most common reason- belief that the person can or will change for the better.
The Freshies’ Fresh Start
The College of Saint Elizabeth is the last all women’s college left in New Jersey. Crazy thought, right? Now let us add on to that, the women’s college has around only 476 students. Many college’s range from 5,000 to 15,000 students.
Fortunately, the new freshman class at the College of Saint Elizabeth really took pride in their first choice college being a small community and decided to attended CSE. “I really fell in love with the idea of being in such a small college because the teacher-student interaction is so vital to my education,” stated by Katrina Fentress, a freshman majoring in Allied Health.
Orientation is usually very nerve-racking for the freshmen because it is the first time they get a chance to meet everyone. According to Tatiyana Holland, a freshman majoring in biology, “The orientation at the College of Saint Elizabeth really made a good impact on my opinion of the school. I loved the theme of music, and it really helped us connect to so many other students”.
Here at the College of Saint Elizabeth, it is important to dedicate weeks of preparation to make the freshman orientation welcoming and motivational. This year we included SGA into the orientation, which was a great change because it gave the freshmen an early start to learn more about the organizations and clubs that they can get involved with on campus.
After two weeks at the College of Saint Elizabeth, some of the freshmen have changed tremendously. “Two weeks ago, I saw the freshmen as very shy and now most of the freshmen are so much more outgoing and willing to go out and do something for the school,” said Amy Cooper, a senior at the College of Saint Elizabeth.
Just like most classes, the freshman class began their journeys at the College of Saint Elizabeth with high expectations. Many of them have decided on their majors already and are getting involved in the school quickly.
Coming into college during your first year with a decided major is very hard to do. You go through so many changes and decisions. It will be very interesting to see where the new freshmen are headed with their majors and goals.
So far, the College of Saint Elizabeth has really grabbed the attention of the freshmen, according to Tatiyana and Katrina, which should really decrease the amount of transfer outs that we usually have each year. For now, let us give the freshmen some advice about college. If you can’t imagine yourself leaving, that means this college is your new home for the next four years.
*This article has been corrected since its original posting to more accurately reflect the women’s college enrollment.
Many People Are “Psyched” for the New Doctorate Program
In January of 2013, the College of Saint Elizabeth was approved by the State to offer a new four-year doctorate program in Counseling Psychology. With sixteen students now enrolled and participating in their second week of the graduate courses this fall semester, the Psychology Department at the College is finally seeing the results of what took several years to plan.
Dr. Thomas Barrett, a Psychology professor, has been involved in both the research of these courses and the writing of the proposal that brought the Doctorate of Counseling Psychology to the College.
“The purpose of our Psychology Doctorate program is to prepare students for the professional practice of Counseling Psychology,” Barrett said. “Our students will be able to apply for licensure as psychologists in New Jersey after they graduate and complete all supervised experience requirements.”
Accepting applications as of last March, the new program consists of eighty-eight credits. Fifteen of these credits are achieved through pre-requisite courses completed by the student in order to receive his or her Master’s degree, which are then transferred to the credits earned towards the Doctorate degree.
With courses developed by the Psychology department, such as Doctoral Practicum, Clinical Applications of Human Development, and Advanced Adult Psychopathology, the degree is not easy to attain, but is incredibly rewarding to students willing to work hard.
Noelle Wheeler, a junior and Psychology major at the College, is excited that this program that will open doors for students already working towards their Bachelor’s degree at the College. “If I choose to go for my doctorate degree, going here will be my first choice,” Wheeler said.
In order to be eligible for the innovative program, Wheeler, alongside any student interested in the degree, will first have to complete her Master’s in Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology and Counseling, or an equivalent before she can apply.
Students are expected to have letters of recommendation for the program, as well as a transcript that reflects their integrity and dedication to the field of psychology.
As it is important for the College to understand not only a student’s grade, but what drove them to join the program, students are also required to submit a short essay of their professional goals and motivations.
Upon acceptance into the program, students have the opportunity to register for advanced courses, as well as internships designed to prepare them for what will be a mentally and physically challenging career.
Throughout the first and second academic year, students enrolled in the program are taught advanced research techniques and theories, including the History and Systems of Psychology, and the Foundations of Clinical Psychology.
Their third and fourth academic year will consist of fine-tuning their skills with counseling and psychology research, as well as Doctoral projects and internships that will give them connections that will last throughout their career.
Succeeding in fulfilling these degree requirements would mean being able to establish effective relationships in their work, whether it be one-on-one, or with a group.
They will be proficient in evaluating both psychological treatments and programs, as well as independently judging and modifying these treatments based on an individual’s need. With advanced skills in addressing individual, as well as cultural differences, the College’s graduates will display both sensitivity and unbiased judgment in their work.
This displays not only the College’s high expectations of any graduating student, but also the hope for students to maintain the College’s values even after leaving the role of student, and assuming the role of one experienced in leading and helping others.
“One final aspect of our program that is noteworthy is that it is grounded in the foundational value of social justice.” Barrett concluded. “We are seeking to train psychologists who are committed to working with disadvantaged populations.”
Our New President is a Freshman Too
Helen J. Streubert, the new College of Saint Elizabeth president, has been a busy woman during the new fall semester of 2013, trying to reach her primary goal of meeting the emission of education of the students and figuring out how to provide the highest quality education for them.
“I’m organizationally-oriented and I want to learn how the business at CSE works,” she said. “But it’s important that the students know that I am here for them.”
During these past weeks of the new school year, Streubert has spent her time learning about CSE and meeting with vice-presidents, trustees and major donors, and doing her philanthropic duties. For example, she has been conducting an analysis of how the college uses power in order to reduce utility costs and put money back into the academics.
Like many CSE students, Streubert was a first generation college student. “As I meet each student, I am reminded by how many dreams they have and how CSE is part of fulfilling them.”
And Streubert has met several new students during the orientations of first year, continuing studies and doctoral students, but has not been able to meet them in informal settings. During the EAGLES fair on September 5, she was seen walking around St. Joe’s McGuire Lounge, greeting students, staff and outside organizational leaders.
Marissa Gioffre, a sophomore Global Studies major and Campus Ministry advisory board member, said, “I wasn’t sure who she was until she introduced herself; she complimented the jewelry I was wearing.”
She has met with Chayanne Grant, the Student Government Association president and a senior Mathematics major, and said she was pleased with Grant’s “sincere commitment to do what she’s doing.” She added, “CSE women look you in the eye and don’t shy away from who they are. There’s something about the women here that makes them different.”
“I’m trying to plan a day in which the students can come to my house to eat cookies and pizza,” she said. She is currently living in the Nevin House close to the campus where Sister Francis, the former president, used to reside
Before becoming CSE’s president, Streubert was the vice-president of academic affairs at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She has written Qualitative Research in Nursing: Advancing the Humanistic Imperative and has written many articles and chapters on nursing education and qualitative research.
Streubert also helped develop Ready Campus, a planning guide that helps higher educational institutions serve as resources to surrounding communities in times of crises. Two goals that Streubert would like to accomplish during this year are to stabilize student enrollment and have the campus “have a better understanding of how we integrate the mission and values of the campus, Sisters of Charity, and our Catholicity.”