Honors

 

Holloway Hall
The Saunterer

 

 

Newsletter of the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program

Salisbury University

Editor: Dr. Richard England      Student editor: Melyssa Malinowski    

Writers: Tracey Borneman, Erin Maloney, Harry Pippin, Joe Updegrove, Elizabeth Wood, Dr. Tony Whall

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."

Articles

Saunterers Abroad

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 slightest pretext.

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 before!

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 Spanish culture.

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 capita.

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

by Erin Maloney

 

 

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

by Tracey Borneman

 

 

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 Ocean.

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).

Fall 2001

HONR 111 Critical Thinking and Writing (Core I) Richard England (2 sections)

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 Mitchell

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 Hand’ ”

John Wenke, mentor
Gary Harrington, reader
James Hatley, reader

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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 road.

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 Bridge.

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 time.

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 annual conference.

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Celebrate Life!

 

 

 

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 feast.

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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Creative Writing

 

 

 

Making Amends

by James Frazier

Sun breaks
the window pain,
illuminating a loose strand
of forgotten hair,
Coffee’s brewing
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.

Spring

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

Eyes

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 important.

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 the following:

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 5 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 numerous accounts.

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 mccubbin3@erols.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 learning environment.

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 remaining.

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 guess...

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 notes:

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 half.

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: http://hincemaninhk.homestead.com/hincemanOne.html.

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 awesome woman.

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 gaining weight....”

 

The Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program

Bellavance Honors Center

Salisbury State University

1101 Camden Avenue

Salisbury, MD 21801

 

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The Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program

Bellavance Honors Center

1101 Camden Avenue

Salisbury, MD 21801