Newsletter of the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Editor: Dr. Richard England
Student editor: Melyssa Malinowski
Writers: Tracey Borneman, Erin
Maloney, Harry Pippin,
Joe Updegrove, Elizabeth Wood, Dr. Tony
May 10, 2001 Vol. 5 No. 2
Welcome to the Saunterer
||Like Thoreau in Walden,
we will record our sauntering here, remembering that "if one
advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors
to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours."
By Richard England
The Saunterer is taking its name pretty seriously in
this edition, which features four reports from students who have
“sauntered” off for a study abroad experience. While students are
often encouraged to try this, few are able to do so. Time and money
are both tight, and the benefits are sometimes too difficult to
imagine when compared with the apparent costs and inconvenience.
It can be hard for professors to evangelize the
“study abroad gospel”. As a class, we are, like parents, experts in
knowing much, giving advice, and being as incomprehensible as
aliens. I have sometimes shared with students the wonder of my own
undergraduate summers in the High Arctic, and have found a few
appreciative auditors, but for the most part, one suffers from the
disadvantage of being hidden from the realm of student experience by
the veil of time. Although we are only a dozen years apart in age,
my students sometimes look at me as paleontologists must do at some
curious new specimen from the pre-Cambrian explosion, while I return
the favor occasionally with grandfatherly eye-rolling at the
Nature thus arrays youth and age in fond rivalry,
but the study abroad camp is fortunate in having younger converts,
who were kind enough to write these brief accounts of their
experience. Given the limits of space and language they do an
admirable job of showing the benefits of “getting out of town” and
into another place, another culture, another world. Their four
stories, from Spain, Ireland, France, and Kenya are entirely
different except in their shared conviction that the obstacles to
study abroad are nothing compared to its rewards.
Education happens in many ways. Your mind can be
wrenched open by a few lines of verse, a great book, a carefully
thought out argument, or by engaging in debate. You can learn
through serving others, by volunteering and working in another part
of the same small town. You can also be educated through theatrical
or musical performances, or the discussion that characterizes good
classes or conferences. What makes study abroad unique is that it
combines all of these ways of learning, and renders you more
sensitive to them by making you “a stranger in a strange land.”
And so I invite you to read, enjoy, and then, “get
out of town”!
Honors students making a friend in the warm
waters of Honduras
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A Semester in Spain
by Elizabeth Wood
Tilting at windmills on the Iberian peninsula.
Geez, it’s really hard returning to Salisbury
after a semester in Spain. Don’t get me wrong, I love SSU, but
studying in Europe was one big adventurous vacation. During my
semester there I got to relax, visit new places, meet a bunch of
interesting people, and eat out often. After ages of waiting on
tables, to save up for the trip, it was great to finally change
roles and play customer. I had never taken a four-month vacation
I arrived in Europe early so that I would have
some time to travel before my classes in Spain were to start. I
spent most of that time in Amsterdam where I visited numerous
museums and famous landmarks, including the Anne Frank House and Van
Gogh Museum. One day I ventured out into the Dutch countryside. It
is a storybook land with lots of green pastures dotted with lambs
and quaint houses with thatched roofs.
After nine days in the Netherlands, I was
reluctant to leave, but Spain was calling. I opted to take a train
from Amsterdam to Madrid, with a train change in Paris. I don’t
recommend you try doing that without advance reservations; I ended
up paying extra because there were no more “youth” seats left. The
trip was fine until I reached Paris. Upon arrival, I discovered that
my train was not on the schedule for departures. Apparently, the
ticket vendor in Amsterdam had failed to tell me that my connecting
train was leaving from a different station, which was located across
town. I had an hour to decipher the Paris metro system and to get
there on time. Speaking almost no French, I had trouble getting help
but I managed to catch my train.
From Madrid, I took a bus to Granada where I was
to study. I stayed with a host family consisting of a middle-aged
woman and her three grown sons. While there, I was given the royal
treatment. My senora prepared all my meals, washed my laundry—and
even made my bed on the few occasions when I woke up late and had to
dash to class! I recommend to anyone who is planning to study abroad
to opt for the family living arrangement. More so than anything
else, it was my senora and Spanish “brothers” who immersed me in
While in Granada I went to class during the week
and tried to travel during the weekends. Some of my excursions
included ventures to the cities of Seville and Cordoba, camp-outs in
the Apuharra and Sierra Nevada mountains, and a four day trek to
Portugal. Every trip was enjoyable, but one of my favorites was
taken during a December holiday when I went to the little village of
Castellon. My seat companion on the plane had invited me to visit
her at her family’s farm there. During my time there I sampled
paella and other traditional Spanish cuisine, roamed through the
family’s olive orchard, and played with their baby lambs.
After my final exams, I had additional time to
travel, and spent a week in the Canary Islands and then a few days
in Barcelona. In total I was in Madrid a half dozen times, but only
to pass through, never to stay, so I didn’t get to see much there.
The more places I saw, the more I learned, and the
more I got to view the world in different perspectives. One of the
best examples of this is when I got to see the 2000 Summer Olympic
games broadcast from the Netherlands. The games concentrated more on
the Dutch athletes, hardly speaking at all about the American
Athletes. People were kind of annoyed that the U.S. was winning more
medals than everyone else. I remember a man from the Netherlands
saying, “Of course the U.S. is going to win more, they are such a
big country. “ The Netherlands apparently won more medals per
Overall though, Europeans consider Americans to be
a friendly, jolly, generous people. I pretty much fit that mold
while traveling—after all, it is kind of hard to be upset when you
are on a four-month vacation! As for now it’s back to waiting on
tables. I’m trying to save up for my next trip to Europe.
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A Semester in Ireland
Tales of blarney, beer, and killer finals.
It is impossible to relate an experience that truly changed your
life without sounding trite. Believe me, I have tried, but I
can at least make it funny too! Being in Ireland for three and a
half months of school and adventures was truly the most amazing
series of experiences of my life. Knowing that I can go 3000 miles
across the ocean alone, make friends, try new things and explore a
whole new environment has given me a lot of confidence in other
aspects of my life.
But enough reminiscing – here’s what really happened. The
mountain of paperwork needed to actually make the travel, housing
and financial arrangements, as well as to make my “vacation” count
for college credit eventually got straightened out and I was on my
way. My Dad traveled with me, claiming that if he couldn’t go to
Ireland before me, he’d settle for going with me. It worked out
nicely since he paid for everything and did all the driving. We
arrived in the last week of August and had absolutely the best
weather, even the Irish were surprised at how nice it was, so we
spent an amazing week walking and driving all over the beautiful
countryside. Okay, so we spent some time in pubs too, but I have
photographic evidence that we did make it out to see a bunch of
fabulous castles, ruins and other sites of interest.
The Cliffs of Moher
So eventually I had to start school, which turned out to be a lot
like college in America, but without the annoyance of any
assignments during the term. We went to class in preparation for the
big, scary final exams, which take about three hours each and are
entirely in essay form. One really great thing about being a student
though, is that I got to live with other students. I shared an
apartment with Rosemary, one of the funniest, smartest girls I’ll
ever meet. My Spanish room-mate Silvia was a complete sweetheart,
and she picked up English amazingly quickly. In theory, we had
another girl, Dearbhaile (pr: Der-vla) living in the apartment too,
but she went home a lot, so that left more room for the rest of us
in the Very Small Fridge.
I met a lot of people, some of whom I remembered to get pictures
and email addresses from, and of course some I’d rather forget. But
some of the best times I had were with the people I met through
various clubs on campus. I hung out a lot with the Theater Society
and even sang solo in a concert sponsored by the International
Students Society. Through the various organizations, I had great
opportunities to travel, such as the weekend I spent chilling with
three really cool Danish girls in Belfast. Another fun trip was when
Jen Patro and Katie Bunk gave up Thanksgiving with their families to
visit me (and they brought pumpkin pie mix). I met them in Dublin,
we “did” the city and then shipped off for Cork city to party all
night. Four hours of sleep later we were kissing the Blarney stone
and climbing on yet another train, this time to my hometown of
Galway. They took off for Scotland the next day, and Rosemary and I
got ready for our big trip to Amsterdam. It was FABULOUS, a
beautiful, fascinating city with amazing food and fun times for all.
It did have to come to an end eventually. I struggled through the
hardest exams ever and then my parents came to collect my
many, many belongings and me. Thank God, I was so very out of money
by then! We did more sightseeing, and even in December it is
incredibly beautiful, if quite cold. If you want to talk to me about
any aspect of my trip, or even see my pictures, you won’t have to
twist my arm! I learned two really important things. Travel changes
you in very good ways, so if you can, go. And the recipe for a good
night on the town is: one part good music, one part great people,
lots of craic and sprinkle liberally with Smithwicks, and enjoy!
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Winter Term in Paris
by Joseph Updegrove
When you’re tired of Paris, you’re tired of life.
Before traveling to France this past winter, many
questions arose in my head. How would the French treat us? Would I
be able to survive for two weeks only knowing a few key French
phrases and words? Does Paris truly live up to its romantic and
majestic reputation? These questions and many more plagued my head
for the weeks before my adventure in France. However, after two
weeks spent in this magnificent country, not only did I find all of
the answers to my numerous questions, but I also found answers to my
own personal life that will be sure to have a profound and permanent
effect on my thinking, perceptions, and attitudes. Simply put, this
study abroad opportunity proved to be the most resounding and
memorable experience of my life.
To stare eye to eye with the Mona Lisa and to set
foot in Notre Dame is barely shy of unbelievable. To see the works
of Van Gogh, Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt,
Renoir, and Raphael, and to stroll nonchalantly past the Venus de
Milo in the gigantic Louvre is nothing short of indescribable. To
gaze down upon the city of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
and to travel up nearly three hundred stairs to the top of the Arc
De Triumph is literally breathtaking. Every site and experience
seems to be directly from a fairy tale and the Parisian reputation
of romance and majesty cannot even begin to actually describe the
beauty and splendor of this City of Lights.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this trip
proved to be the single best experience of my life thus far. The
people were wonderful, helpful, and kind: many are now my new best
friends. The cuisine was every bit as good as its reputation boasts.
And even my rudimentary French was not a serious problem. The French
way of living is definitely different than the American, but I will
be forever grateful for what I learned and experienced from this
trip, and hope that someday in the future, I will be able to return
to this awe inspiring country.
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A Semester in Kenya
Wildlife, wonder, and
the sheltering sky...
The semester before leaving to study in Kenya I remember seeing a
poster that said "Study Abroad: It could change the way you look at
the world." The experience has changed so many of my views and
outlooks on life. It challenged everything I thought I knew.
As most people assume, Kenya is much different than the U.S. For
one thing, I was overwhelmed with the wealth of our nation. I was
also often forced to adapt to the slower Kenyan lifestyle.
Everything in Kenya takes longer. Our attempts at making photocopies
in one of the small towns made this painfully apparent. It took
almost two and a half hours to make one copy each of twenty papers.
My parents were glad to have me back at home safe, especially
after I told them about one of the encounters I experienced. Early
one morning when we were on expedition camping in Maasai Mara
National Reserve I heard an animal brush by my tent. I sat up and
looked out the window into the predawn light expecting to see a
gazelle. However, attached to the end of the tan body I was startled
to just make out a long black tipped tail of a cat. Looking closer,
I realized it was a lioness! And, she was sniffing the corner of the
tent of a few other students! I later found out that six lionesses
walked through our camp in the wake of a herd of buffalo they were
following that had stampeded through our camp earlier that night.
That was probably my most exciting morning. Back at our permanent
camp, we only had giraffe, zebra, and warthogs visiting us.
A giraffe in camp
The program that I traveled with, the School for Field Studies,
has two established camps in Kenya. The group of 23 students that I
was a part of stayed at the Game Ranching Limited (GRL) site first.
This experimental ranch encompassed 80km2 and was fenced
in. The animals on the ranch were herbivores (except for the few
rouge hyenas and jackals that got through the fence). The animals
were not fed or watered, so they were still pretty much wild, but
they were stuck on the ranch. Because of the lack of predators, our
camp did not have to be fenced in, and the wildlife could wander
through it. I woke up one morning, rolled over and looked out my
window to see giraffe legs walking by (I couldn’t see any of his
body since he was so tall). This site was also only about a 45
minute drive away from Nairobi. At GRL, we had most of our classes
and lectures. All the students attended the same classes at the same
times. The classes were Wildlife Management, Wildlife Ecology, and
Environmental Policy. Different professors, all of whom were native
to Africa and now lived in Kenya, taught each of the classes. We
stayed on this site for a month and a half.
Between switching sites, we had a week break. During the break we
were on our own and were allowed to travel wherever we chose. I went
with about ten of the other students to the coast of Kenya. We
stayed in great cottages by white sand beaches and the clear Indian
Camp, located near the border of Kenya and Tanzania and near the
base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This site was located on a Group Ranch, the
land and property division present in much of Kenya. At this site we
lived in large safari tents called “enkajis” in Maa, the tribal
language of the local Maasai people. The view to the right of my
enkaji was gorgeous - Mt. Kilimanjaro. This was especially true in
the mornings when I would rise around 6:00 in time for the sunrise.
Dusks and dawns were awesome in Kenya. Although I tried often, the
pictures I took don’t even capture a fraction of their beauty. Our
camp was fenced in at this site because of the roaming wildlife
including elephants, buffalo, lions, and a group of hippos living in
the river across the street. At Kuku, we finished up our lectures,
then began our research projects.
I learned much about wildlife conservation in a country where the
wildlife has a constant considerable effect on the people and
economy of the country. My research was done on a census of local
wildlife and the conflicts that arise between the wild animals
present and the Maasai people living in the area. Many rural Kenyans
have to deal nightly with large, dangerous animals like buffalo,
elephants, and lions destroying their cattle and farms. Since
Kenya’s wildlife is one of its major sources of revenue, we hoped
our research would help humans and animals to share the land.
On my return to Salisbury, the first morning I woke for classes
to begin the new semester I felt no desire to drag myself from bed.
I did not feel as if I was waking in the right place and there
seemed to be something missing. Then, after surviving the monotony
of sitting through that first class, I stood outside my room letting
the tears and sorrow slip out. I looked to the sky, the only common
element between here and there, and so the only thing I could find
comfort in. If I craned my neck far enough so that the sky filled my
entire range of vision with nothing else intruding, I could almost
take myself back. All I wanted to do was go back.
Study abroad could change the way you look at the world? I
think not. It will, dramatically.
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Fall 2001 Course offerings
Here are the courses and faculty that current
Honors students were able to choose from among this year. Note that
we’ve switched from IDIS (interdisciplinary studies) to our very own
HONR (guess what that stands for).
HONR 111 Critical Thinking and Writing (Core I) Richard England
HONR 111 Critical Thinking and Writing (Core I) Tony Whall
HONR211 Issues in Humanities: On Being a Self (Core III) Tony
Whall (2 sections)
HONR211 Issues in Humanities: The Hero’s Journey (Core III) Nancy
HONR311 Mathematics and Culture Lee May
HONR311 Imagining the Earth James Hatley
HONR311 Communication, Gender and Culture Jodi Morrison
HONR312 Honors Research/ Creative Project Tony Whall
HONR490 Honors Thesis Preparation Tony Whall
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Thesis! Thesis! Thesis!
Congratulations to the following students for
completing their theses this year, and many thanks to their thesis
committees for helping these students enjoy the success of scholarly
research and writing.
Amanda Elzey, “Globalization and Its
Effect On Small Businesses”
Richard Hoffman, mentor
Memo Diriker, reader
Kit Zak, reader
Christina Gargan, “Development of M13
Bacteriophage Particles as an Antigen Presentation Platform For
Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B”
Steven Fong, mentor
Cynthia Cowall, reader
Mark Frana, reader
Brandi Griffin, “The Effects of Teacher
Training Workshops on Teacher Attitudes Towards Service Learning in
Wicomico County Public Schools”
George Whitehead, mentor
Barry King, reader
John Shortt, reader
Joseph Hutchinson, “Shattering the Spear
and the Sword: Missionaries and British Perceptions Of Imperialism
in the Nineteenth Century”
Wayne Ackerson, mentor
Dean Fafoutis, reader
George Rubenson, reader
Joshua Mitchell, “A Proposed Landscape
for the Henson School of Science Building”
Les Lutz, mentor
Christopher Briand, reader
Mark Holland, reader
Catherine Sheehy, “Gender Issues in
Comedy: Difficulties that Face Funny Women”
Jody Morrison, mentor
Robert Smith, reader
Brian Steigler, reader
Nicole Vincent, “Fiction: ‘Losing A
John Wenke, mentor
Gary Harrington, reader
James Hatley, reader
Honors Thesis Symposium
On May 4th, the seniors who
had completed a thesis or research project gathered to present their
results of their work in a poster-session symposium. About 40
members of the campus dropped in to share lunch, chat with students
and examine the posters. Several sophomore and junior Honors
students came to examine the posters and to get an idea of what was
involved in the research requirement for Honors. The projects
represented ranged from nineteenth century history to fiction, from
wildlife management to reviews of Broadway musicals. Congratulations
to the presenters for some excellent posters and research work!
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Swinging Over the Brooklyn Bridge
by Melyssa Malinowski
The latest NE-NCHC conference: Should
we be allowed to have this much fun?
The North-Eastern National Collegiate Honors Council met on April
27th to 29th at the Marriott Hotel and Long
Island University in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Tony Whall, Dr. Richard
England, Julia Knudson, Melyssa Malinowski, Mary Beth Garner and
John Heath represented SSU.
The conference began with “City as Text,” an opportunity for
students to explore the city. Julia and I paired up to see the
sights of Greenwich Village, while Mary Beth and John went to Little
Italy and Chinatown. Our first task was to negotiate the NYC subway
system. Julia and I boarded an Express, then switched trains at
Chambers Street, eventually emerging at Houston Street. Greenwich
Village is tricky to navigate, because its streets are a series of
concentric circles, rather than the traditional grid. The area
offered a pleasant variety of businesses, niche shops, cafes, and
beautiful (and expensive) residential sections. Fenced trees graced
sidestreets, giving some areas a tailored look. After this, we took
a jaunt to Times Square to see the sights and then played a rousing
game of guess the price on fashion avenue. Changing trains on the
way back, the subway door shut between us, leaving me on the
platform and Julia on the train. But that’s another adventure.
That evening we all attended the fabulous conference banquet at
the Marriott. Between that main course and dessert, Jim Lacey, this
year’s NE-NCHC president, was the speaker. His oration (think of the
voices of Jimmy Durante, and Joe Pesci, mixed with William Shatner’s
dramatic pauses) proved extremely poetic. Full of figurative
language and covering Whitman to Goethe, Brooklyn to Berne, he
illuminated the splendors of the cities through time, always
returning to the conference theme of Intersections. His final
exhortations were to ‘live in a great city’ and to follow our own
On Saturday the conference was in full swing. After a breakfast
poster session in the grand ballroom, we split into morning
‘breakout sessions.’ such as Food as a Vehicle of Culture,
and Museums in the City, which gave us a glimpse of New
York’s fascinating culture. Julia, Mary Beth, John and I all chose
The Brooklyn Bridge: History and Structure. We walked from the
hotel to the first tower of the bridge, guided by a professor at St.
Francis College in Brooklyn. He told us about Brooklyn’s politics,
population, and architecture and the years it took to complete the
Honors students Julia, MB, John and Melyssa (disguised as German
tourists) cross over the extremely long Brooklyn Bridge.
During a picnic lunch, we discussed our plans for the afternoon
session. Our own Dr. Whall presented at a session entitled Poems
and Pictures: Verbal Imagination. John and Dr. England went to a
workshop on peer mentoring and I, predictably, chose one on
Newsletters. I learned a great deal that I can’t wait to put into
motion, as did John and Dr. England. Look out Bellavance Honors
Program, here we come!!!
After the workshops, Dr. England, John and I headed over to the
Metropolitan Museum of Art to check out the Vermeer & Delft exhibit.
The subway at rush hour is an experience everyone should go through.
Somehow, although it seemed anatomically and spatially impossible,
more and more people boarded the train. Let’s just say that we were
all very happy to exit the station and take to the street. The
exhibit was crowded but captivating. I enjoyed the show, although I
preferred the work of other Delft artists to Vermeer’s.
The climax of the day was the evening dance in the magnificent
Art-deco hall of Long Island University. We were taught the
rudiments of swing by a pair of skilled dance teachers (after the
lesson they put on an amazing show of wild and intricate swing
dancing). When they finished, eager new swingers took the floor,
excited to test their newly acquired skills: among them were Julia,
John, Mary Beth and Dr. England. They all did fantastically and if
you don’t believe me, I have photographic evidence. About halfway
through the night, the music became more modern and the room
exploded. There was very little ‘couple’ dancing after this, but
there was a modified conga line and a whole lot of line dancing
(minus the boot slaps). I’d say that everyone had a magnificent
On the way back, we all chatted in the van about what we had
learned. We eagerly await our next opportunity to attend the NE-NCHC
Back to Top
Early in the semester a wave of
nostalgia washed over Dr. Whall. He decided that since the honors
students tend to scatter after the core courses that there should be
receptions celebrating juniors and seniors. He invited them to come
and enjoy scintillating conversation and delicious foods.
On February 27. Dr. Whall and over twenty juniors mingled and
caught up with each other, and the new assistant director, Dr.
England, introduced himself. The better halves of the faculty, Carol
Whall and Charlotte England, came to meet the students and enjoy the
The senior reception took place a month later, with ten almost
graduates sharing memories with Dr. Whall and meeting Dr. England.
Although there were only half the students, the seniors were as loud
as the juniors. The jokes flew, and everyone learned some things
about Dr. Whall that evening.
SSU catering did its usual superb job, offering shrimp,
spanakopita, cheesecake etc. etc., and inviting everyone to
participate in a frenzy of auto-taxidermy. Both receptions were a
big hit. The students reconnected with Dr. Whall, met Dr. England,
conversed with each other and celebrated life.
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by James Frazier
the window pain,
illuminating a loose strand
of forgotten hair,
in the mind with
memories of her.
A long bath
washes away the dirt
of a lifetime’s struggle,
and cleanses the wounds
of an injured body.
The chirp of the morning dove
sings to the broken heart.
A moment of nostalgia
delays the departure
to an inevitable future.
Rushing out the door
a moment late,
running from a past
to an identical future.
Then a sudden moment of hesitation;
soon to succumb
to the inevitability of a predetermined fate.
A fate as inevitable
as the sun setting
and later rising again
on a brighter future.
by Harry Pippin
Gone are the days of death
Gone are the days of cold
Spring is here again
Life renews itself once more
She blossoms in the trees,
The flowers and birds
Warmth and growth triumph
Melting the frozen land
Quickly these things pass
The beginning matures again
But for the summer to occur
Spring must make her entrance
By Melyssa Malinoswki
All I heard were the screams of the people around me. I wasn’t
sure what was going on but suddenly I couldn’t see. I turned my head
from side to side but all there was darkness. The screams rang, then
eventually they stopped. Nothingness became eternal.
I began to see things. No matter how strange what I saw was, it
was reassuring. At least I knew I wasn't dead. I tried to wake up,
but I couldn’t. I was stuck in my dream world.
As my dreams continued I wondered what had happened to me. The
dreams became less strange and I saw them in color and heard sounds.
I tried asking the companions of my dreams what I was doing there.
They just laughed and called me silly. Despite my frustration the
dreams never became sullen or disturbed.
Was I in a coma? I really didn’t think so. I heard
that people in comas are just like the dead. I’d never heard of
anyone waking up from a coma and saying that they dreamed. Maybe I
was just really tired. Maybe I was recovering from some sickness and
I needed to recuperate.
I had no way to mark the passing of time so I could have been
asleep for eight hours or 80 days. My dreams were exciting and
adventurous, but I was bored. I wanted to wake up, I had a life, and
I had things to do. I didn’t know if I was missing something
I had no feeling of my body. I didn’t know if someone was trying
to wake me or if I was in a hospital bed being fed intravenously.
All I wanted was to know. The dreams never dimmed, so I was sure
that I wasn't dying. With that assurance I stopped paying attention
to what was going on in them.
My main focus was on trying to wake myself. I tried simple things
like trying to wiggle my fingers and toes, but since I couldn’t feel
where my limbs were that didn’t do any good. I tried yelling in my
dreams, that just made my imagined companions think I was ill. They
tried to put me to bed. I declined. That was just what I wanted. To
be sleeping, dreaming about myself sleeping.
Finally, as a last resort, a desperate attempt to regain
something that belonged to me, I waited until all of the people of
my dreams had left me and I tried to go to sleep in my dreams. The
black reigned once again. Then something began to happen.
I felt a hand on my arm and I opened my eyes.
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Hi Dr, Whall! Alumni News.
STEPHANIE (BELFI) DIEHL (1991) Long time no chat! This is the
former Stephanie Belfi, by the way---I think you met my
then-boyfriend Mark when I was down in Salisbury a few years
ago--well we got married about a year and a half ago and have
settled down in Calvert County, MD. I'm back working for the
Navy--but as an attorney this time--the work is fine (not
outstanding but fine) but I came back to the Navy mainly for quality
of life issues--all my friends from law school who work in firms
essentially have no life to speak of—at least I get to see my spouse
and work predictable and manageable hours--which of course leaves me
plenty of time to what's really important--starting a family! Mark &
I are expecting our first child on March 1st and we are REALLY
EXCITED (as I approach my ninth month and I get more uncomfortable
and with each passing day I am getting more and more anxious to move
onto the next phase!) I just wanted to touch base--hope you are
doing well--last I heard you were on sabbatical?? Take care—
then on March 18th I received the following:
Just wanted to let you know that the baby has finally arrived.
Justin Matthew Diehl was born at 7:00 am on 3/8/01 and weighed in at
6 lbs, 5.7oz and measured 21 inches long. We had a bit of rough
start--I had to have an emergency C-section because his heart rate
kept going down and he had to be sent up to Children's Hospital in
D.C. because his respiration wasn't too good. But we finally brought
him home on Tuesday and things have been great since—if only Mark &
I could get some sleep...)! Gotta go!
Congratulations, Stephanie and Mark! You can figure out what’s
going on here: the Honors students of years past are giving life to
the Honors students of the future. That’s got to be good for the
world in general and SSU in particular.
MITCH KAVALSKY (1993) Well, you've begged and you pleaded, so
I guess you really want to know, "What is going on in Mitch's life?"
Well, after graduation I went to work for Giant Food in their IS
department, knowing that my life as a movie critic would have been
short-lived [Mitch went on a field trip to D.C. in his sophomore
year with Drs Whall and Kane to see Kenneth Branaugh’s Henry V,
one of the greatest Shakespeare films of all time. Mitch slept
through most of it.] About a year after that, my parents had
enough of me and I finally moved out to Crofton. And six months
after that I was married to Tiffany Putman (SSU alum). After exactly
5 years at Giant, the enrichment of the job no longer burned inside
of me so I joined an upstart company in Annapolis called US internet
working. I continue to work at USi to this day and enjoy every day
of it. The challenge that meets me every day at the door can only be
compared to the plethora of philosophical works we were introduced
to in your classes.
About a year ago I was truly blessed with the birth of my
daughter, Hanna Leigh (January 6th). This past year has flown by and
I can't begin to tell you the positive impact she has had on me (not
that my wife didn't try). I will have to admit this, and it may
sound corny, but I do attribute a lot of my thinking and daily
analysis to what I absorbed in the Honors Program. I can honestly
say I continue to strive to be the "best" person I can be. I can
also say that the program has taught me to be a leader, not one of
the followers that so many others tend to be.
Well, in a nutshell you now know my deal. I currently have a
brother in Salisbury (my sister graduated 4 years ago from there),
but the requirements to get into the Honors program are so high he
couldn't qualify. Take care and send my good wishes to the current
batch of students.
KRISSY (MONKS) WOODRUFF (1993) In May 2000, Krissy wrote a
letter (with a stamp on it and everything!) in which she included
Hello! How are you? I hope you are well, and enjoying another
class of SSU students. Travis (my husband) and I often talk about
how glad we are that we went to SSU. We both had some exceptional
teachers who truly cared about us as students and individuals. We
also both had the opportunity to grow and experience leadership
roles and to learn the skills that go with it.
I am happy to announce that Travis and I are the proud parents of
our first baby. Our little girl, Maija (pronounced “Maya”) Dutcher
Woodruff, was born on February 7, 2000. I LOVE being Maija’s mom!!
And Travis is a wonderful father.
I’m still working at Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) on an
on-line database of child welfare statistics (National Data Analysis
System). I enjoyed designing it, but it’s not so much fun
maintaining it and dealing with some of the personalities involved
in the project.
Travis and I have started a non-profit organization, Progress
Online. We have been discussing it and working on it since we lived
in Miami, but we have not had much time to give to it. At the end of
1999, we finally submitted our Articles of Incorporation to the
State of Maryland, and we are now an official organization. We have
our web site up at http://www.progressonline.org.
Our mission for Progress Online is to make educational materials,
community resources and technology more accessible to the general
public and particularly to low-income and under-served communities.
The larger vision is to ensure that all people have equal access and
opportunity to live in a safe and strong community, have a voice in
the political process, and live free from all forms of oppression.
Practically speaking, we want to bring computer technology to
low-income communities, including Internet access. The lack of
computer technology in some communities compared to the incredible
boom of computer technology in other areas is a real problem.
In case I did not already tell you, I received my MSW from
Florida International University in April of 1997. Transferring from
the University of California Berkeley to FIU was definitely a good
decision. When I took my social work licensing exam, I realized that
I had learned much more at FIU than Berkeley. Also, my field
placement was much better supervised, and I learned a great deal in
a positive clinical environment. Still, I am glad that I went to
Berkeley for one year. I met some wonderful friends, hiked in some
beautiful places, had a wonderful interchange experience in
Guadalajara, Mexico, and learned quite a bit from my Research
Assistant position working with Rick Barth and Jill Duerr-Berrick.
TERRY MCCUBBIN (1994) I was just reading The Saunterer
and realized that it has been a longtime since I touched base. The
past few years have been very busy!
Heather Heimes (SSU, 94) and I have now been married for 5½
years. We have two boys; Sean is 3 1/2 and Ryan just turned 1. In
November 1999, I finished my Master of Science in Finance at George
Washington University (It seems that the SSU Honors Program is a
feeder school for GW graduate programs). The honors thesis at SSU
was an incredible help in getting me through my masters thesis. I
took a 1972 empirical critique of the Capital Asset Pricing Model by
Fisher Black, Michael Jenson and Myron Scholes and, using the work
of Stephen Roll, showed both theoretically and empirically that
their conclusions were the direct result of their inappropriate
specification of the "market portfolio."
In September 1999, I started what has turned out to be my dream
job. I am the head of investment research for Chevy Chase Trust
Company, a subsidiary of Chevy Chase Bank, in Bethesda. We manage
investment portfolios for high net worth individuals, charitable
organizations, foundations, and pension plans. It is my job to pick
the stocks and bonds that we purchase, as well as directly manage
In addition, we were just hired to manage two Common Trust Funds
(similar to a mutual fund) with about $30 million in assets. We
opened the doors to accounts in November 1999 and have grown to well
over $100 million in managed assets and $500 million in custody
assets in just over a year, in spite of the ugly stock market.
I have been thinking about going back to GW to work towards a Ph
D., but for now, I will probably just take classes here and there in
subject matters that interest me. First, I have to finish the
Chartered Financial Analyst program this spring.
In mid December we finally moved from Hagerstown to Frederick,
MD, so my commute is much shorter now. If anyone would like to touch
base with us, our email is email@example.com.
GEORGE & JANET SCOUTEN (1994) write from Columbia, South
Carolina: As always, we enjoyed hearing from you when we
received our copy of The Saunterer. Janet and I have big
news, as you may have already heard. On September 27, 2000, our son
was born: William Oliver Scouten. As you know, parenthood is both
exciting and exhausting. Janet has stopped her consulting work to
stay at home with Will; she plans to work part-time, consulting out
of the house come spring. I've been behind at work since his birth,
so I'm using the holiday to get caught up.
I've been given the endowed Writing Chair at Heathwood, so I'm
coordinating our visiting writer's program in addition to teaching
four classes (two sections of American Literature, two sections of
AP Rhetoric and Writing--occasionally I steal ideas from your
Critical Thinking and Writing class for this one). We've had John
Lane--a poet and essayist--and a couple of other published writers
come to campus, and I've also been meeting students at some of the
readings that take place at one of the local colleges or
universities, most recently Galway Kinnell and Pat Conroy.
When I'm not being a husband and parent or molding young minds,
I'm still making slow progress on my dissertation [Ph.D. in English,
University of South Carolina]. I've completed a good portion of my
research, and my prospectus was approved this fall. I also have a
couple of small publication projects in the works, including two
short articles in the newly published Robert Frost Encyclopedia
(Greenwood, 2000). Right now, it's difficult to think about much
beyond my family though.
BROOKS TRUITT (1994) Good to hear from you again! Sorry I
haven't written since June. My life is a mix of euphoria and
drudgery right about now. Something, huh? I have so many wonderful
things going on right now that the drudgery isn't too painful. I am
preparing to move to Texas in February, so I am trying to get all
kinds of stuff done (packing, changing address, etc.) ahead of time.
Work is quite stressful right now. We're been in the midst of a
complete overhaul of our company for about 6 months now and no one
quite knows what's going on at any given time. Luckily, I'll be able
to take my job with me to Houston and I'll be working remotely from
my apartment. That's not something I intend to do forever, but it
will allow me to keep a steady income and get settled down there. I
guess you know why I'm moving to Texas? I want to be closer to Lisa!
She's coming up the 27th of this month [December]. We're going to
spend a few days in Amish country and then will be back in Delaware
on the 31st. Will you be around the first week of January? I would
love for you to meet her.
The rest of my summer and fall was an interesting mix of fun
things and drudgery too. Lisa and I took a vacation to New Hampshire
and explored some of the towns in the White Mountains and hiked up
Mount Monadnock. I hiked up Mount Washington later in the summer.
Then I was involved in a big project at work that was presented
before Congress. I got to go to D.C. and heard John McCain (among
others) speak. It was cool! Then I spent a week in Texas during the
first week of November. That was a lot of fun!!!
Then, on March 22nd, I received the following:
I've got some good news for you. Lisa and I are going to get
married in July of this year, in Delaware. Right now, we're planning
for the weekend of July 21. Will you be around that weekend? I know
you're usually in NY then, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Let me know
if this sounds like something you could make. Lisa and I think of
you often. Bye!
MIKE LONG (1996) sent a newspaper article, part of which
is copied below, from Morgantown, W.Va. where he's doing graduate
work for his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education:
Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, groups of
graduate students from West Virginia University are visiting middle
schools throughout the area to "reinvigorate" students in math and
science. At South Preston Middle School, Paul Simes, Electrical
Engineering, and Mike Long, Mathematics, visit every Tuesday to
co-teach in Jodi Myers's math classes and Peggy Maxwell's science
classes in which the students are learning how math and science play
an important role in the design, construction and operation of a
theme park, specifically on those wild rides that all students love.
Long and Simes bring with them original activities to help teach
through hands-on experiences. In one class, students constructed a
model of a roller coaster. In science class, the students learned
about the speed of the coaster; in math, they learned geometry by
making observations about the structure of the coaster.
Simes and Long have been told that the students are eager to have
them visit the classrooms, and the teachers report an increased
energy level in the classes and an increased desire to learn by
learning in a real-world environment.
A new level of enthusiasm for learning math and science is coming
to local middle schools. If you stop by South Preston Middle School
on a Tuesday, you might think you have walked into a new mini-theme
park. Actually, you are entering a very special, very unique
HEATHER MCINTOSH (1996) Since it's been forever since I last
wrote to you, it seems like a lot has changed. I live in Joppatowne,
15 miles north of Baltimore and work at Aberdeen Proving Ground. I
don't actually “work” (not that people said that at my last job, but
am technically a 'research participant with the Oak Ridge institute
of Science and Engineering and the Army.' I work at Aberdeen Proving
Ground in the environmental clean-up program. I used to do
permitting and compliance and public relations, and really enjoy
clean-up more. Working here, the Army pays for some of my education.
I am on my last required class at Hood College, focusing my master's
on an environmental biology degree and have only the thesis
CAROLYN BLEAU (1997) Carolyn wrote this last March; I’m
sure there’s lots to report on since then (is that too egregious a
hint?): Greetings from Philadelphia! How are you? I'm doing
well. I have approximately one-month left of my second year of
medical school. It's hard to believe that I'm almost finished with
the classroom portion of my education. Following finals, I have 3
weeks off to prepare for my first board exam. The boards are
national exams given to medical students following the 2nd, 4th, and
internship years required for licensing as a physician. It is a very
intimidating test that includes all we have learned in the past two
years. So life is a little stressful right now, but this too shall
pass, right! We are finishing up our courses with Pediatrics and
Oncology. After the boards, I will start right into my clinical
years by rotating through hospitals and clinics. I'm really looking
forward to seeing what this medicine thing is all about finally.
I was fortunate enough to go on a trip to Paris last month for my
spring break with some friends. Having never been there before, I
immediately fell in love with all of its beauty, history, and most
importantly food. The food was to die for! I wanted to buy out a
bakery to take home with me. We were only there for 5 days, just
long enough to get a feel for the city.
Take care and keep in touch.
KATIE GEORGE (1997) Exactly what does Katie do for a
living? Here are a few pictures for you.” [She attached
pictures of human-sized bugs that were slimy and creepy and scary,
oh my!]. Although I do generally stick to puppets, here are two
of the costumed characters that I designed and built this year.
We do a science-oriented show every year at the Center for
Puppetry Arts [in Atlanta]. This year's show is the adventures of
Mighty Bug. I am the resident puppet builder here, but I was also
given the opportunity to design this show. There are over a hundred
puppets (most of them shadow puppets) and they are all bugs (as the
title might suggest). These (the creatures in the pictures) are two
of the main characters, our hero, Mighty Bug and his arch nemesis,
Scorpiana, doing a special appearance at the Orkin company's 100th
anniversary party last night.
ELIZABETH PAGEL-HOGAN (1997) I had a friend at the University
of Maryland forward the last issue of The Saunterer to me. I
told him, "Throw away the other mail, just send that one thing!”
I am no longer in the MA program there, thank goodness. Three
years was enough. I passed my comps with no real problem, mostly
because I liked the material. It was therefore easy to remember. I
focused on women in the US, 1890-1930, and the relationships and
impact of race and sex. A lot of the same relationships exist today.
I got a lot out of the readings. I finished my two papers, and I'm
just waiting for a professor to give me a final grade on my last
paper so I can submit it to my committee. He's a slow reader, I
But I didn't sit around waiting for him. I did some cool things
with my life these past few months! 1. Moved to Pittsburgh, PA! 2.
Got married! 3. Got a part time job 4. Got promoted to my very first
full time job ever!
1. I moved out of Takoma Park, D.C., and now I live w/my husband
in our own home, in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The
Utne Reader rated Pittsburgh as one of 10 under-rated American
cities, and I whole-heartedly agree. The architecture, character of
citizen, history, and natural beauty of this region make this city
unique and memorable. I love living here!
2. Edward and I, high school sweethearts, got hitched on July 7,
2000. Perfect weather in MD, low humidity, almost all of his Irish
relatives were present, so many of our friends--it was a wonderful
day. Our honeymoon was amazing as well. We went to the Republic of
Palau, in Micronesia. We went for the scuba diving and found an
unpopulated paradise. And Lord, was the seafood fresh and big! We
actually scuba-ed with sharks! I will never forget it. We're
planning a trip to Belize or Bonaire this summer.
3. I was hired in August by the Carnegie Science Center as a
"program presenter.” That meant I learned our traveling science
shows and took them to schools, churches, community centers, etc.
all over PA, OH, NY, WV- wherever! I worked hard, because again - I
LOVED IT! We do big stage shows for 200 kids and hands-on discovery
days in the classroom.
4. My promotion was a combination of hard work and good timing. I
had been employed for about 4 months when one of the full-time
employees announced he was returning to grad school. He suggested to
our supervisor that I get his job! I wished him luck, buckled down
and worked harder, and finally got the job! Now I am facilitating
all staff training and scheduling, monitoring our inventory,
developing new shows, improving existing ones, covering all kinds of
customer service issues, having lunch with the big wigs (ha!) and
working 10 hr days. But I LOVE IT! We are a non-profit organization
so we do a lot of free shows and neat events. I love seeing the
students in the audience yell and laugh when we do an amazing
science trick that looks like magic, but we can explain the science
behind it, and the children REMEMBER what we've shown them. The
whole program makes science fun and exciting, and I'm constantly
challenged by the questions they ask.
YOAV WACHSMAN (1997) stopped by for a most enjoyable visit
on March 27th. Why don’t more of you plan to do that? He
is taking a brief break from working on his Ph.D. in Economics at
the University of Hawaii. He’s writing on “Social Sentiments in
Public Goods Games” and, believe me, the topic is fascinating and,
despite its playful title, is concerned with economic issues of
global importance. He hopes to complete the dissertation this summer
and begin a post-doctoral project with the federal government’s
fisheries program in Hawaii. Yoav was very complimentary about the
graduate program at UH, and he also commented in passing that the
paradisal climate and natural beauty of the islands and the people
made his several years there more than bearable. Funny, he didn’t
proffer an invitation to visit. . . .
KAREN (BROWN) SCHECK (1998) Karen did send an update of
sorts, from Wichita, Kansas—a large, colorful announcement of the
birth of her daughter, Clara Mackenzie Sheck, born January 16, 2001.
The card informs us that, for her and her husband, Jason, the days
are sweeter since Clara’s arrival, but their nights are shorter. The
card contains a photo of a beautiful little girl, posing
thoughtfully in her first moments in the light, hand on chin, with
that wry, bemused look that assesses the fundamental silliness of
much of existence that I recall so fondly seeing on the face of her
mother. Congratulations, Karen and Jason! Karen adds the following
Just thought I'd send a couple of pictures and a short note to
keep you all up to date on Clara's progress! She's growing fast -
already wearing 3-6 month clothes. On a good night she sleeps 8
hours, but usually its more like 6 hours, then she eats, then sleeps
2 to 4 more hours. I think we're doing pretty good in that
department. Clara is extremely "talkative" - would you believe that
she can already say "hi"? (She really does make a sound that sounds
eerily like hi!)
Jason and I are enjoying parenthood - it's hard to remember life
without Clara. She is an absolute joy! I love being a stay at home
mom. There are days when I think of something I need at Wal-Mart,
just to get out of the house for a little while, but for the most
part, Clara keeps me very busy and entertained! Jason is busy at the
church getting ready for Easter and is wrapping up his first year
internship at the county mental health agency. He will have his
Masters of Social Work in May 2002.
BEN HINCEMAN (1998) keeps us updated from Hong Kong (where
he’s studying international law) on his very impressive website
replete with photos of the Mysterious City with its crowded streets
and wide bay, plus Hinceman’s witty musings on how Hong Kong has
changed him into an cosmopolitan man of mystery. Here’s a snippet
from his latest missive:
I have been having to up the ante on my studies; I have a paper
due at the end of the month on transfer pricing laws in the Peoples’
Republic of China (transfer pricing is a corporate taxation scheme
dealing with the transfer of tangible and intangible assets between
structures of the same corporation.) I am also researching for
another paper I have to write on the enforcement of arbitral awards
between Hong Kong and the P.R.C. My goal is to get as much as I can
finished early so that I can have time at the end of the semester to
travel to either Vietnam and Thailand or Nepal for a week and a
I had the opportunity to play soccer with my dorm's team. The
inter-hall soccer tournament here is ultra competitive (there's
actually a big trophy and banner that goes to the winner each year),
they get really into it. The St. John's team that I played for had
these nice uniforms with sewn on numbers and matching warm ups --
they've been practicing for the tourney all term. The best part was
that we played on the University's fields, which are right on the
water. If a ball travels over the fence (15ft), it goes into the
harbor! My team had all these little pre-game ceremonies; for
instance, I drank some traditional Chinese energy drink to a team
toast in Cantonese. The drink was pretty disgusting, but when in
China, do as the Chinese do!
You can check out Ben’s website at:
STEPHANIE FELIX (2000) Not much going on over on this side of
the Chesapeake. Work's fine - I've got about 6 months left in my EPA
internship, then I'm in a permanent position (yet to be determined
where that will be, but I'm not really worried). What else? Oh, I'm
going to Atlanta in June for the National Environmental Health
Association meeting to test for my professional certification as a
Registered Environmental Health Specialist. Sounds very important,
doesn't it? I'm not really sure what all the benefits are, but I get
to have a "title," work is paying for the trip, and I get to stay in
a hotel (which I love). And Dr. Venso will be there, too, so we get
to catch up. She was my advisor through school, and is an overall
Please extend a warm hello to anyone who shared space with me at
SSU. I have recently run into some folks from school, and have had a
great time catching up... its like I just left school yesterday.
This may change, I guess, after people start losing hair and
The Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Bellavance Honors Center
Salisbury State University
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21801
PLEASE FORWARD!! (if necessary)
The Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Bellavance Honors Center
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21801