Newsletter of the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Editors: Mickey Burke, Becki Lee, Dr. Richard England
Mickey Burke, Eric Colvin, Tim Dowd,
Josh Gotwalt, Becki Lee, Melyssa Malinowski , Dr. Tony Whall
May, 2002 Vol. 7 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
At a recent conference students
introduced me to Cranium, a game which combined an array of mental
activities to maximize fun and noise output. It seems an apt symbol
for a common theme in this term’s Saunterer: the joy and
necessity of thinking!
We’ve got articles on thesis and junior research projects, a
report from the thesis symposium, reflections on poetic thought in
Tim Dowd’s interview with Nancy Mitchell, and picks for provoking
summer reading from yours truly. Even the lighter fare makes us
think about thought: baffling brain teasers for eight year old
Armenians, and blindingly daft (and humorous) instructions.
One might think that the social reports don’t fit the theme, but
even they are designed to promote the growth of an Honors community
in which ideas can be grown and shared. After all, the noise and
pleasures of parties and outings are superficial if they don’t help
forge friendships which will help us travel beyond our current
selves and mental walls. “Think Salisbury!” is more than a
University marketing motto; it implies the importance of a society
When I was an undergraduate, I would end my “to do” lists with
the self-admonition “Think!”. As such lists get longer, it becomes
easy to drop that one extra imperative and to simply “do.” I hope
that this issue of the Saunterer will spark a little thought
about how rewarding thinking and learning can be. In her
retrospective essay, graduating senior Melyssa Malinowski emphasizes
that college is a place to “enjoy.” In the midst of end of
term busy-ness both students and faculty can forget that. But in
summer one can remember, reflect, dream, perceive things again with
a renewed clarity. Welcome to the latest Honors newsletter. And
while you’re at it - ”Think!”
Vivere est cogitare
(the essence of
life is thinking)
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Delirious Doctors, Delicious Desserts, and a Digital Camera:
The HSA takes a trip
to see Jekyll and Hyde
By Becki Lee
Eleven people, three cars, two hours of
driving, Three Little Bakers, and an infinite amount of food –
sounds like an HSA outing!
On April 13th, the Englands escorted eight other
students and myself to the Three Little Bakers Theatre and Country
Club to see a showing of Jekyll and Hyde. Having never been
on an HSA trip before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
We piled into three cars and began the trek up to Wilmington. And
only two cars got lost! Hooray! Best of all, I got to play
with the digital camera on the trip, which kept me giddy with
preoccupation. Two and a half hours (and many pictures) later, we
all met up again at the Three Little Bakers Theater and Country
Club. Dinner was already waiting, which was good because we realized
that the pre-show didn’t start until 7 p.m., and the play itself
didn’t start until 8 p.m.. We elected to stuff our collective faces
during the two hours before the pre-show.
And stuff we did! The food was fantastic. Maybe I’m just used to
the “gourmet food” at the Commons, but the Three Little Bakers
definitely knew how to please our palates. The crowning point,
however, was the dessert tables – they were debatably the best part
of the night, next to catching the Englands dancing to the “Electric
Slide.” (Well, alright, they weren’t actually dancing to the
“Electric Slide,” but they happened to be onstage during it.)
I’ve never seen so many delicious treats in such close proximity!
Chocolate cheesecake, Heath bar cream pie, chocolate truffles,
peanut butter pie…you name it, they had it, and they wanted you to
take it off their hands. In fact, they informed us that there was a
two dessert minimum. The HSA gained about five pounds per
member that night.
As if all the food wasn’t enough, Nick of the Three Little Bakers
decided to entertain us before the show. We determined that (1)
Acrobats are nifty, (2) God bless the USA, and (3)
Nick is a dirty old man. Thankfully, the show started before we were
subjected to much more of Nick’s depressing babble.
The show itself was quite impressive. While the orchestra had
been pre-recorded, the actors and singers performed beautifully. The
scene changes were fascinating because some were done while
the show was being performed. It was interesting to watch how they
worked with the set, because it was a rather awkward setup. The set
was very small and at the very back of the stage, and the rest of
the stage was prop-free for dancing and acting. Regardless, the show
was a delight. All of the actors were wonderful, but Dale Martin Jr.
in particular, the man who played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, was
High points of the show: a soulful duet between Lucy and
Emma; the transformation of Jekyll to Hyde; the “Electric Slide”
during the intermission; and the climax of the show, Martin singing
a duet with himself as Jekyll and Hyde. (Low points: the lack
of an orchestra, and Nick asking to dance with another woman seven
inches taller than him.)
All in all, it was quite the excursion – the only thing missing
was Wrinkles. (And a photo of the Englands dancing.) My first outing
with the HSA was a blast – and I have the pictures to prove it!
Dessert number three? Let’s do it!
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Mickey Burke, a junior majoring in
English, and Josh Gotwalt, a senior philosophy major, write to their
fellow students about Honors research. Alumni are invited to send us
their memories of research and thesis projects for inclusion in the
From Junior Research Project...
By Mickey Burke
Like all of Dr. Whall’s guinea pigs, I registered for my junior
research project without any idea what I was getting into. I had
also signed up for an independent study research project with Dr.
Stewart, and I was not sure how I would have to adjust one class for
I took an independent study to learn about historical approaches
to mythology. It may sound boring, but I was curious to see how many
ways the same thing can be interpreted—and Dr. Stewart once told me
my technique was a hundred years behind the times. One of the
objectives that I set for my independent study was to write a paper
for a conference.
Since I was already working with a professor and creating a paper
to be presented at a conference, Dr. Whall didn’t have much to do.
He was available to help if things got rough between Dr. Stewart and
me, or if the subject became too daunting or boring. Fortunately
everything went smoothly, so I never had to take advantage of Dr.
Overall the most difficult part of the project was trying to keep
my paper within a reasonable length to present. I could have easily
written 20 pages from the material, but instead I wrote 12. Before
reading it, I had to shrink it into a six-page presentation.
Aside from the time limit, the presentation itself was painless.
After much practice, I read my shortened paper and answered a few
questions about why I chose the subject and what my reactions to it
were. I only wish that I could have spoken for longer or answered
more questions, and that I could have presented the paper at a
conference on mythology.
After this one credit class, I was left with a two-inch binder of
research, several drafts of my paper, a teacher that I know and work
well with, and perhaps the confidence to begin my thesis.
By Josh Gotwalt
If you are one of the those who has repressed the fact that this
project looms in your very near future, then I am here to calm your
trepidation. Although daunting, the Honors thesis is a very
rewarding process. Start thinking now about interesting debates and
topics within your field of study. If there is any one thing that
might streamline the thesis project, it is choosing a topic that you
find compelling. Once you have found this topic, the research is
exhilarating and enriching. In essence you are creating a question
for yourself and then working to articulate the best answer
possible. Thus the project serves as a test of your ability to
process large amounts of information, an introduction to the
processes of the academic world, and a chance to work closely with
your professors on topics that especially interest you.
Perhaps the most intimidating element of the thesis is its length
requirement. Certainly it is the largest assignment you might face
as an undergraduate. However, because of its scale, it represents a
serious academic achievement and a milestone in your college career.
I have spoken with alumni who have chosen to complete the Honors
program by doing a thesis and those who have not. Those who have
remember it with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Those who have
not regret missing the opportunity to test their ability and expand
their knowledge. So look forward to your thesis as a rigorous and
demanding project that will be the culminating achievement of your
Josh’s thesis, 60 very readable pages on post-modern cinema,
shared the Roth thesis prize with Laura Eierman’s project on the
phylogenetic analysis of Iridaceae.
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HONORS THESIS PROJECTS 2002
The following Honors theses have been
accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation
with Bellavance Honors - with Distinction.
LAURA EIERMAN, “Phylogenetic Analysis of the Genus Sisyrinchium (Iridaceae)”
Dr. Kim Hunter, Mentor
Dr. Ann Barse, Reader
Dr. Miguel Mitchell, Reader
GREG FLORKOWSKI, “Measuring the Success of Strategic Alliances
Using the Balanced Score Card"
Dr. Karen Papke-Shields, Mentor
Dr. Michael Garner, Reader
Ms. Kathie Wright, Reader
JOSHUA GOTWALT, “What is Postmodern Cinema?”
Dr. James Hatley, Mentor
Dr. Thomas Erskine, Reader
Dr. Francis Kane, Reader
MELYSSA MALINOWSKI and JACLYN RODRIGUEZ, “The Crisis and Rescue of
Science Education Today”
Dr. Starlin Weaver, Mentor
Dr. Edward Robeck, Reader
Dr. Claudia Morrison-Parker, Reader
Dr. David Rieck, Reader
Dr. Gail Welsh, Reader
ANNE NEUBAUER, “Mothers and Daughters in the Spanish-Speaking World:
A Relationship of Struggle and Love”
Dr. Brian Stiegler, Mentor
Dr. Keith Brower, Reader
Dr. Tony Whall, Reader
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Armenia: Superpower in Training
Helping with a GRE session recently,
Dr. England was reminded of the joys of logical puzzles. Here are
two from a book by A. Hakobyan and N. Khrimyan by Macmillan Armenia.
This book has been adopted by many Armenian schools for use in
grades three, four and five. Here are two of the easier ones (and to
make it even easier, I will give you their translation from the
1. A problem has been proposed in class. At the end of the lesson
it turned out that the number of boys who had solved the problem was
the same as the number of girls who had not solved it. Were there
more girls in the class than students who had solved the problem?
2. There is an incorrect arithmetic expression formed by matches
in the picture. Move one match per digit, so that the expression
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Honors Thesis Symposium
Thirteen presenters, a great buffet lunch, and good conversations
about Honors theses and junior research projects that ranged from computer
programming to Spanish literature, from gendered cultural scripts to the
finer points of insider trading, from phylogenetic statistics to the horrors
of the Inferno. Here are a few pictures....
Discussion is the order of the day...
Laura Eierman explains flower phylogeny.
Greg Florkowski tries to explain business strategy to an English major (Tim
Here’s a list of presenters and their project field (in parentheses):
Sean Dukehart (computer science)
Laura Eierman (biology)
Greg Florkowski (management)
Elisa Frank (communications)
Josh Gotwalt (philosophy)
Alex Johnson (business)
Mike Kelley (English)
Melyssa Malinowski (education)
Erin Meyer (film and gender studies)
Anne Neubauer (Spanish)
Aimee Parker (biochemistry)
Harry Pippin (business)
Gayle Raynor (biology)
Jackie Rodriguez (education)
Matthew Steele (biochemistry)
And a good time (and lunch) was had by all!
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By Melyssa Malinowski
I can honestly say that until fairly
recently, I was never sad about leaving college. Don’t get me wrong,
I enjoyed college immensely, but ever since high school, I’ve been
ready to get into the real world.
My first bit of remorse came during a post NCHC conference
meeting with the HSA. We were talking about all of the incredible
things that we learned and all of the plans we had for the program.
As I sat there listening to my colleagues, a group of enthusiastic
sophomores with much college ahead of them, I realized that I would
not be around to help implement these fantastic ideas.
My second pang arose when I thought about The Saunterer. I
have at least written an article for this newsletter ever since I
came to college and I’ve had the privilege of being the student
editor. In leaving college that is something I’ll also have to leave
behind. I would like to think that I’ve been beneficial to the
newsletter (though I doubt the people who I’ve hounded about
deadlines would agree): I’ll certainly miss it.
In coming to college I had no idea what to expect. I knew that I
wanted to be a chemistry teacher; I knew that I wanted to be a part
of things. Well I’ve accomplished both of those goals. In retrospect
I can say that without a doubt the organization that I found to be
most beneficial is the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program. From
here I’ve found some of my closest friends. And remarkably, I’ve
seen the Honors Student Association come from nothing but three or
four people to a group of students willing to put some work into
creating an Honors community. On some small scale I’d like to think
of myself as a part of that.
The only sage advice I have for my fellow students is to find
something there that you want to put your energy into and enjoy
being in college, so you leave with no regrets. But the most
important thing is to enjoy; it’s the greatest time of your
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The HSA "Super Ball" Report
By Eric Colvin
Among the perks of being in the Honors
program here at Salisbury is the privilege of being able to
participate in the HSA “Super Ball,” an annual pool tournament held
in the lower levels of the Honors House. The second year for the
tournament kicked off with 16 participants and is single
elimination, best out of three games. Despite progressing slowly,
players are having fun and making good use of the new pool cues in
the basement. Competitors this year include “Dr. Destructo” England
and “Buffalo Fats” Whall, in addition to a wide range of Honors
students. The tournament is still going on since players set their
own schedules for matches, and it will probably last to the end of
the year, so there is no winner to announce yet. The HSA hopes to
expand this competitiveness in the future with a Ping-Pong
tournament and possibly even a foosball tournament. Who knows,
perhaps the entire country will soon be able to view these
tournaments via ESPN Broadcast, and the Bellavance Honors Center
will achieve national recognition as the elite table-top game place
we all know it to be.
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Armenian Puzzle Answers
1. The number of students who solved the
problem equals the number of girls who solved it plus the number of
boys who solved it. But the number of boys who solved the problem is
the same as the number of girls who did not solve the problem. So,
the number of all the girls in the class equals the number of
students who solved the problem.
Does your brain hurt yet? The moral of the story. Teach your
child Armenian and order this book Logical Puzzles (Macmillan
Armenia, 2000) today!
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Interview: Nancy Mitchell
By Tim Dowd
Nancy Mitchell is an outstanding member
of the Honors faculty, as well as a dominant figure in the English
Department’s Creative Writing Program. She has just published her
first book of poetry, titled the near surround, which has
been received with great success within the poetry community. I had
the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her writing.
-When did you first start writing?
I can’t really remember precisely, but it was very early on that
I started writing stories...I was a child with an inflamed
imagination and writing was just one of the less overt outlets for
it and got me into the least trouble. I started writing poetry much
later in my life.
-What is it about your personality that you think makes you a
I hope I'm a good writer, but I'm afraid I have to leave that
qualification up to time and my peers. I think what I can answer is
what it is about my personality that enables me to have a writing
life. Well, I don't mind spending long stretches of time in
solitude. In fact, I often undergo what Jung calls a "willed
introversion" in which I isolate myself for definite periods of time
to think and write. I also am fascinated with the way that the mind
along with the subconscious tries to make sense out of our emotional
life through imagery. I'm also very sensitive to the music, the
sound and rhythm in daily life: an overheard conversation,
background of trains, traffic, weather, etc., and how they inform
-Why do you teach while writing, as opposed to having some
other job to support your "writing habit?"
The longer I teach, the more I learn about writing, and I also
find that I learn so much from my students which informs my writing.
One of the biggest thrills for me in teaching creative writing is to
have the opportunity to witness students get what it means to "show"
through imagery sound and rhythm, etc., to reveal character through
a character's action, what he says, thinks, etc. rather than "tell"
with abstractions or editorializing.
What's really great when that happens is that the writer has started
to look to the world around him/her for authentic examples, and it
signals more engagement with the world than before. It's a big
moment for a beginning writer and I'm happy when I'm present for it.
I am equally thrilled when students understand the connection
between what I'm teaching and how it informs and enriches their own
-Do you feel more confident as a writer, now that a book of
your work has been published?
It's very validating, of course, for a press to think well enough of
your work to invest time and money to publish it, but I'm not sure
if that makes a writer more confident. I try to trust my instincts
and feel confident when I do and that trust is rewarded in work that
is clear and moves the reader emotionally, intellectually and
aesthetically. But you know, my poems are not going to be
everyone's cup of tea, but it is my hope to write poems which bring
readers some pleasure.
-Regarding the "Self" class that you teach for the Honors
Program, how do the concepts involving the self intertwine with
Wow...how much time do we have?...you should take the class!
Writing is just one of the means by which we can become most fully
present in the moment, and I think it is in these moments that we
get closer to knowing ourselves, the self. But someone can have a
very fully present experience pumping gas! I guess writing has
become for me a somewhat reliable way I can have those fully present
Oddly, one becomes oneself by becoming oneself, or as the poet
Theodore Roethke said "I learn by going where I have to go."
the near surround (Four Way Books, 2002)
For Years I Hid Things from Myself
on its chain,
I think, buried
in the yard
(when I'd lie on my back
the heart would lie
in the hollow
of my collarbone).
To the underside
of a bed, a table, I nailed
a tarot deck, an undershirt,
a faceless plastic saint--
to stop looking at them,
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Being Social with the Honors Student Association
This year the Honors Society Association
(HSA) has sponsored many gatherings, trips, colloquies, and other
social events. At the heart of all this activity has been Linda
Grimmer, the HSA’s social director. With the assistance of Dr.
England and the HSA board, she has hosted and attended many of the
goings-on at the Honors House. In an interview on April 19, 2002, I
asked her about the success of this year’s projects.
When I mentioned her title as social director, she laughed,
“Which means I get to run around like a chicken with my head cut
off.” That is not to say that she is not organized, but to suggest
that there is much to do. “There is a lot of behind the scene stuff,
making flyers, picking movies, making sure we have a sign in sheet.
. .” etc.
With so much to juggle, things occasionally fall through the
cracks. She admitted that on Kubrick Night she forgot to pick up the
movies until just before the Movie Night began. “No one saw me
running frantically through the movie store looking for A
Clockwork Orange” only to find it was unavailable. Despite this
difficulty the show went on. “I had two movies, just not the two
that were on the flyer.” Even though A Clockwork Orange
was not at the movie store, Jenny Good went home for a copy. This is
just the helpful atmosphere that Linda likes about Movie Nights.
“It’s like watching a movie with friends, people you don’t see
This close knit atmosphere is at the heart of HSA’s activities.
“We are trying to build an Honors community through our social
events.” Whether it is dinner theater in Delaware or a Christmas
party in the Honors House, the HSA tries to organize fun activities
that bring people together outside of the classroom.
Some functions like the Open Mic Nights and the Mind Shrapnel
colloquies draw folks from across the campus, while others seem to
attract students from the Honors program. All Honors events are open
to the campus community. No matter which it is, Linda is sure to be
there. Even when she doesn’t host it, she is “there 15 minutes
before the event making sure the house is open and things are
There are still a few activities coming up this semester, but
Linda is already looking forward to next year. There will be the New
Orientation Program, Movie Nights, Open Mic Nights, a return trip to
dinner theater in Delaware, an Ice Cream Social, and perhaps a
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The Cassini Division
Final exams have a way of making the idea
of reading unpleasant, but as the first weeks of June draw on,
summer demands books. Cicadas sing of prose over backyard hammocks,
city subways rattle like yarns read by sleepy commuters, and summer
job lunch hours were made to be read to. Even Assateague ponies peer
over your shoulder to see what you’re reading beneath your beach
umbrella. The hot silences of summer are waiting to be filled with
the vicarious adventures of bound words. And so, I venture to make a
few recommendations (with a promise to my students not to drag in
Afghanistan remains in the news, tempting unwary readers into books
recently penned by journalists. While these try to explain the
tangled politics and recent history of that unhappy land, one gets
too baffled by acronyms and dull prose to actually come away with
much. A luminous exception to this rule is Jason Elliot’s An
Unexpected Light (Picador, 2001) which describes two journeys
the author made to Afghanistan in 1979 and the early 1990s. His
reflections on the culture, politics and history of Afghanistan are
beautifully crafted into a book which allows the reader to
sympathize with a wild and alien land. He describes people who have
never known peace, who are marked and menaced by the constant threat
of land mines, and yet show incredible hospitality to strangers. His
imaginative flights through millennia of Afghan history are enriched
by his accounts of fantastic and rocket scarred ruins. He writes of
the rise of the Taliban, and tells of Mujaheddin commanders dueling
with tanks in a village square over the affections of a homosexual
lover. An astounding and excellent read that compares favorably with
such travel greats as Eric Newby and Wilfred Thesiger.
Bernard Lewis’s What Went Wrong? (Oxford, 2001) offers a
more scholarly, historical approach to the relations between Islam
and the West In a few lucid chapters Lewis lays out the history of
the encounter between European and Islamic cultures from the 16th to
the 20th centuries, and claims that as the despised Franks
outstripped the heirs to the Ottoman empire, Islamic scholars and
leaders sought to understand why they had fallen behind. I can’t
help feeling that in simplifying history for a popular audience
Lewis may have made his argument too stark, but this intellectual
and social history of the Near East is apparently the product of a
very knowledgeable and clear thinking scholar. This is a good brief
introduction to a troubled and immediately relevant problem.
On the domestic front, you might try Daniel Lazare’s The Velvet
Coup (Verso, 2001). There must be something wrong with America’s
electoral system if it takes the acerbic diatribe of an angry
communist to make me understand it. While Lazare comments on the
infamous Gore-Bush election debacle, his larger concerns are the
existence of the Electoral College, and the deleterious effect of
the balance of powers in American government. You may disagree with
his thesis, but his book is a great read, and offers some sharp
insights into the American political system. Best of all, it makes
me feel like dusting off my old Billy Bragg albums.
The last non-fiction book I’ll mention here is Eric Schlosser’s
Fast Food Nation (Houghton Mifflin, 2001). Blending cultural
history with investigative journalism, Schlosser takes us from the
first McDonald’s, through the landscape of franchises, flavors,
slaughterhouses, and consumers of fast food. He describes how market
analysts use Cold War satellite technology to place restaurants, how
lab-coated flavorists tantalize our nostrils with food perfumes, how
workers are exploited, and (horror of horrors) what you are actually
eating. I found myself getting very interested in tofu by the end of
this book. If any of you can read this book cover to cover over a
McDinner somewhere, I’ll buy you a burger. Disconcerting, disgusting
and highly recommended reading.
On a lighter note I’d like to recommend two fiction titles. The
first is David Mitchell’s clever debut novel, Ghostwritten
(Vintage paperback, 2001), which plays with the reader’s mind beyond
the title in a set of nine linked but distinct tales. By gradually
revealing the relationships between characters and plots, Mitchell
unwinds a web of meditations on love, science, ghosts, politics and
crime. The story leaps from Japan through Mongolia to St. Petersburg
to a remote Scottish Island, but. Mitchell is doing more than
showing off. The book proves animpressive first novel.
Lastly, for the science fiction buffs, I’d suggest the novels of
Ken MacLeod. His first trilogy, The Star Fraction, The
Stone Canal, and The Cassini Division, is now out in
paperback in the U.S. (Tor, 2001). McLeod writes of a near future in
which artificial intelligences, governments and an anarchic cast of
characters battle their way through ideological differences and
subtle plots. A friend of fellow Scot Iain M. Banks, McLeod shares
that writer’s taste for politically charged science fiction, but
better realizes the complexity of a libertarian post-modern
socialism. The prose is readable if not exciting, but the stories
are weird and highly entertaining.
Please feel free to communicate your recommendations to me, and do
have a happy, page-turning summer!
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Read Instructions Carefully
In case you needed further
proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some
actual label instructions on consumer goods.
On a Sear's hairdryer: “Do not use while sleeping.” (damn, and
that's the only time I have to work on my hair)
On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap." (and
that would be how???....)
On some Swanson frozen dinners: "Serving suggestion: Defrost. (but
it's "just" a suggestion.)
On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom): "Do not turn
upside down." (well...duh, a bit late, huh!)
On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after
heating." (And you thought?)
On packaging for a Rowenta iron: "Do not iron clothes on body."
(but wouldn't this save me more time?)
On Boot's Children Cough Medicine: "Do not drive a car or operate
machinery after taking this medication.” (We could do a lot to
reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those
5-year-olds with head-colds off those forklifts.)
On Nytol Sleep Aid: Warning: “May cause drowsiness." (and I'm
taking this because?)
On most brands of Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use
only." (as opposed to what?)
On a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use."
(now, somebody out there, help me on this. I'm a bit curious.)
On Sainsbury's peanuts: " Warning: contains nuts." (talk about a
On an American Airlines packet of nuts: "Instructions: Open packet,
eat nuts." (step 3: maybe, uh...fly Delta?)
On a Swedish chainsaw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your
hands or genitals."
(Was there a lot of this happening somewhere?)
(I did find some clip art for that last one but it was censored.)
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By Dr. Whall
It is such a pleasure to hear from so
many alumni via e-mail, telephone, and U.S. Mail. And I hope all of
you reading this, from whom I haven't heard in a while, or not heard
from at all, will take the hint! Equally delightful is being
surprised by former students who, for one reason or another, find
themselves back on the Eastern Shore and drop in to visit and to
bring me up to date on the adventures that are their lives. This
past year I've been specially blessed to see so many of you.
JOANN (MCCARTNEY) WOOD (1991) dropped by the office in
late October with her husband, David Wood and their gorgeous little
son. Needless to say I got that "Grandfather rush." They were here
to witness all the many wonderful, amazing changes that have taken
place at SU--a great reason for all of you to come for a visit.
Joann is an attorney in Leonardstown, Maryland.
I gave a presentation about the Honors Program to the Alumni
Association's Board of Directors in February and was so pleased to
discover two alumni of the Honors Program present and serving the
University as members of that Board: ERIC MCLAUCHLIN (1992)
JIM HUDSON (1994). Jim is director of corporate
support at Delmarva Online where his job is to oversee technical
support and customer retention of business clients. Eric is
an attorney with Gessner, Snee, Mahoney & Lutche in Bel Air,
In mid-April, at the annual Philosophical Symposium (this year's
topic: the religion of Islam), I had a chance to spend time with
KATIE KIRBY (1999) and ELIZABETH GRANT (1996) who
Salisbury to "recreate [their]
intellectual [selves]" (surely you all remember John Farmer in
resting on his porch after a hard day's labor, listening to a
flute which woke certain higher faculties which slumbered in him?
No?). Katie is currently at work on her Ph.D. dissertation in
Philosophy at Fordham and is also teaching philosophy which, she
says, is thrilling and rewarding labor. Elizabeth is working
for a Nature Conservation organization in Pennsylvania, combining
her biology training and her devotion to the environment. It was a
special treat seeing Elizabeth again because I had lost touch with
her as she heeded the philosopher's peripatetic calling, moving
first to Boston, then to Texas, and most recently to the vales of
central Pennsylvania. (My dear friends: please remember to send me
changes in your whereabouts so we can keep in touch--unless, of
course, you're in a witness protection program or have gone
undercover for the CIA.)
In February I had lunch with BECCA BROOKS (1998) who works
for the University as principal archivist at the Nabb Research
Center for Delmarva History and Culture. She promised that there
would be a "mystery guest" dining with us, and, imagine my surprise
when we were joined by ELVIS PRESLEY! I'm just kidding. I was
checking to see if you were paying attention. No, it wasn't The
King; it was KATIE GEORGE (1997). During our modest but tasty
repast at Vinnie's La Roma, Katie told us about her adventures in
Atlanta, from which city she has recently moved. As many of you will
recall, Katie received an M.A. in puppetry from the University of
Connecticut (how many of us can make that claim!?) and she has
recently been given a grant by the Howard County library system to
create children's shows for the libraries to bring stories alive
with her puppet and acting arts.
Two weeks ago I was again surprised in my oak-lined lair, this
time by KAREN ARCHAMBAULT-CRIM (1996). After leaving SU Karen
studied for and received her M.A. in history at Old Dominion
University. While studying for her degree she worked at Trinity
College in admissions and as an academic counselor for UMBC Online.
These experiences have led to her pursuit of a second master's
degree in academic counseling focusing on student development in
higher education. Also while studying at ODU she met and married her
husband, Brian Crim, who has recently completed his Ph.D.
dissertation in modern German history at Rutgers. While at ODU,
Karen's SU Honors thesis won second prize in a paper competition
sponsored by Virginia's Phi Alpha Theta chapter and the ODU
Historical Review. First place went to a classmate named Brian
Crim. . . .
And this past weekend, while slogging away at the grading trade,
I was set upon by a quartet of recent Honors alums, KATIE PROFILI
(2001), RAY HEER (2001), JULIA KNUDSON (2001), and Julia's
fiancÚ, SCOTT SOUTHERN (2000) who roared into town to enjoy
Salisbury Festival, Sun Fest at the beach, and to see the Sophanes
production of Steve Martin's play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
All four had been involved in theater while studying at SU. Katie
is teaching language arts to 150 sixth graders at Perry Hall
Middle School and devoting her nights and weekends to grading their
written masterpieces. Ray is teaching language arts and math
to fifth graders at Four Seasons Elementary School in Gambrill and,
according to a few of his anecdotes, learning all sorts of neat new
things about discipline and intimidation. Julia is a public
relations associate with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, sending
out all those announcements and press releases to entice music
lovers to the majestic Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. She and Scott are
house-hunting, and planning their nuptials for early next May.
Finally, I haven't heard from him in a while, and he hasn't
dropped by in a long, long time, but I have read about LEN
FOXWELL (1992) in the Washington Post. It was announced
last week that Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the current lieutenant
governor of Maryland, will run for governor to succeed Paris
Glendenning, and that Len will serve as her campaign press
secretary. I'm just hoping that all those writing and speaking
skills he learned in Honors classes haven't been forgotten over the
past ten years. . . .
Back to Top
More News from Honors Alumni
JOSEPH HUTCHINSON (2001)
After several months of searching and facing some ups and downs with
the job market, I am happy to report that I have a career! On
February 11th, I will begin a management training program with Chevy
Chase Banks. The program runs for just under a year. At the
successful completion of the program I will become a branch manager.
Throughout my job search, I have substitute taught. I have had
the chance to experience the range of elementary through high
school. Subbing has been a good experience for me. There was a time
that I pondered teaching at the high school level. Of the classes
that I have taught, I most enjoyed fourth and fifth grades. For
them, everything is interesting, new, and fun. I still flirt with
the idea of teaching at the college level, but for now I eagerly
anticipate the experiences that banking affords.
In many aspects I miss Salisbury, in many ways I am ready to move
on. I am confident that the skills I have learned while at SU have
prepared me for this new role.
TERESA PIEKARSKI (2001) Well, my grad school search is over and
the final decision.... gulp, has been made. After carefully
considering the programs and other factors (like money!), I have
decided to attend Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was one
of the two schools that gave me an early indication of financial
aid, and since money is a huge consideration right now, I decided I
would be a fool to pass up a free master’s. At Virginia Tech, the
program seems pretty solid, touching on many different aspects of
higher education. I love the town of Blacksburg...some small town
action surrounded by beautiful mountains to explore and places to
hike and camp. Also, they offered me an interesting graduate
assistantship with the University's Center for Academic Excellence.
Basically, I will learn to administer reading tests to undergrad
students, score and interpret them, and then help the students
improve their reading ability, comprehension, etc. Not a bad gig for
an old English major! With the assistantship comes a tuition waiver
and a $10,000 stipend each year.
LISA HELM (1997) So, I got into medical school! I'll be starting
on August 12th, up in Philly at PCOM. I'm a bit overwhelmed with all
that this entails. I've decided to buy rather than rent due to the
ridiculous cost of renting in the area. Why drop $800+ a month on
rent when I could sink it into a mortgage and build a little equity?
So that means getting approved for a loan and finding a good school
district for Colin in a nice, reasonably-priced area, finding a
preschool/daycare since he'll have only just turned four when I
start, finding a church, a grocery store, my way around,
scholarships and grants, etc. So much to do! Other than that,
there’s not much going on!
Everything is going pretty well around here, glad to be out of
school. I moved from Reisterstown to Bowie in October. Actually, I'm
living with Brandi Griffin (2001). And to think we never
would have known each other without the Honors Program. Anyway, I'd
been interning with the City of Rockville for the last few summers
and started a permanent position with them in October. The only
thing I don't like about the job is the drive – 50 West toward D.C.,
then 495 for a good while – definitely not fun. Brandi is teaching
sixth grade language arts in Edgewater. She likes it, but she
doesn't get paid enough for what she does. I don't know how teachers
SHANNA SIZEMORE (2001) I've forgotten about things like
"breaks." Well, I'm not really doing anything directly in biology
now. I work for engineers doing lots of different things. Most of my
work is in GIS, which, in its simplest form, is mapping on the
computer. The program also allows for some pretty deep analysis. Our
office is trying to become totally digital (which frightens me
terribly, given the reliability of computer networks and their
vulnerability to worms and viruses) and we're getting stuff off
paper and onto the computer. I've also done a little bit of
surveying (think of guys in the middle of the road with orange vests
and the weird looking instruments). I'm hoping to go to Hopkins for
their Environmental Engineering Master’s Program after I take
differential calculus next semester. The master’s would incorporate
both biology and engineering, which seems to be a good fit for me.
SUMMER BLAIS (1997) Thanks for the note in the Saunterer.
I always like it when you dash off a personal greeting, despite the
feelings of guilt for not writing to you that accompany it. I am
doing well. I will go ahead and give you an update with the hopes
you won't print it in the Saunterer. (Please forgive me,
I got married last June to a guy named Mike. I've been dating him
since my last year of college and you may have even met him on the
Honor's cruise. You'd like him- he had a mohawk in high school. The
wedding was pretty - out in a park, and the reception was in a
garden atrium. We wrote the ceremony ourselves based on Native
American ceremonies, and it included a hand-fasting. Agnes (Patkowski,
1997) was a bridesmaid, much to her delight. We took an amazing
honeymoon in Costa Rica. It was one of the most beautiful places I
have ever been. Back in 1998 we bought a house in Reston, Virginia,
and we live there still with two fat cats.
I have been working at AOL since January of 2000, one week before
the Time-Warner merger. I am a graphic artist in the creative design
group. I find this highly ironic. It would have been my first choice
to have majored in art in college but upon parental advice (and
funding) was told to major in something practical, or else. Now,
making a pretty good living doing art, I feel like I've come home. I
don't know how to explain it but I am so much happier. However, I
can't lose the lingering feeling that had I actually majored in art
in college, I would be flipping burgers now, just like my mom
MICHELLE BULGER (1995) I'm still happily employed at Franklin
Pierce College in New Hampshire, halfway through my third year.
Student activities is an ever-changing adventure that keeps me on my
toes (my director calls it "managing chaos"). The students I work
with are pretty energetic and motivated. They generally do a good
job of getting things done. I have to be the bad guy occasionally,
but not that often.
I'm also starting my third season as the assistant coach for the
women's lacrosse team, which brings me in contact with an entirely
different group of students than those I normally work with. The
girls are great, but mostly brand new to the sport. Fortunately,
they're willing to learn and have really come together as a team. It
was also suggested that I could teach a science lab or two this
semester (the Natural Sciences Dept. was a little short on
instructors), but spring is way too busy for me to take on something
else! Hmmm, maybe next semester! :)
I really enjoy living in New Hampshire. Last fall I climbed Mt.
Monadnock three times (it's the most-climbed mountain in the world
that doesn't have an auto-route to the top), once with the college
and twice with visiting friends. It definitely gave me a feeling of
having done something those days! I'm somewhat enjoying the mild
winter this year (as opposed to last year's never-ending one), but
it makes me wonder if Mother Nature has something more in store for
I still keep in touch with a number of people from SSU (I agree
with Doug Zwiselsberger...I endured too many Salisbury Steak jokes
to give up the "State" now!). A few of us are keeping our Algonquin
tradition alive by heading to Canada for an annual canoe trip
(dubbed the "Big Kids Trip"). Word has it that there may be an
Algonquin reunion in honor of the program's 20th year during
Homecoming next fall. Hopefully, it won't be some equally crazy
weekend here, so that I can make it down for a visit. Some friends
were down there for the Sea Gull Century, and I'm really curious to
see all the changes on campus that they were talking about.
JENNIFER MARINER (1995) I wanted to let you know that I finally
defended my dissertation in October and I am officially Jennifer
Mariner, Ph.D. Writing the actual dissertation and defending it was
really not as stressful as I imagined. In fact, I enjoyed the
experience. There were days when I felt I would die from lack of
sleep, but other than that, it was fine.
I have another piece of good news. I am getting married in April.
His name is George Kilbourne and we have known each other for over
10 years. We started seriously dating two years ago and we got
engaged last February. I am very excited and I have never been
happier. He is really a great guy.
I have also been thinking a lot about Salisbury lately. The
Biology Department has an opening for an assistant professor in
molecular biology. I know that these positions are tough to get, but
I sent in my application to Dr. Holland and I have my fingers
crossed. I also applied for positions in other small universities.
If nothing pans out this time, I'll get a postdoctoral position in a
lab and try again next year. I have been teaching at George
Washington for three semesters and I really enjoy it. I think this
is truly where my talents lie. Anyway, wish me luck.
JENNIFER (GAAB) FREY (1995) We have moved! My husband was
assigned to an F/A-18 Hornet squadron at Marine Corps Air Station in
Beaufort, South Carolina. He is hoping to be promoted to major this
month. We returned to the East Coast from San Diego with a great
souvenir—we had a baby boy in October. His name is Jackson Walker
Frey, and he defines JOY. Labor?...not so joyous an experience. Mine
was two minutes under 24 hours long. So what did I do with all of
that education and those two degrees? Become a stay-at-home mom!
Actually, I prefer the title "stay-with-son mom" since we are rarely
"at home." I can fathom no better, more fulfilling job. I miss my
interior decorating work, but now I get to work on our home! My
husband Jay is not scheduled to deploy again until January 2003, but
with the state of world events, that could certainly change. It is
so important for us all to remember these servicemen and women as
they defend our freedoms, and the families that they sometimes must
leave behind. We love being back east and close to family, but are
already missing quality Mexican food and the beautiful deserts and
mountains of Southern California.
BROOKS TRUITT (1994) We had just found out that Lisa was
expecting the last time I wrote. Now she's entering her fourth
month. It's hard to believe I'm soon going to be a father. I've
already started reading to the baby. I started with a little book
called What Daddys Do Best and a Dr. Seuss beginner book (not
actually written by Theodore Geisel) called It's not Easy to Be a
Bunny. I'm working my way up to Walden. I figure it'll be
hard to impress him or her with the need to strip life to its
essentials, while sucking its thumb and toes are a top recreational
A lot has happened the past few months. We did a little bit of
traveling this spring. We took two trips out to the Hill Country,
including a camping trip to a ranch once owned by Willie Nelson
that's been converted into a state park. We also took a week's
vacation out to the desert in west Texas. We camped at Big Bend
National Park and had an awesome time. Made me a bit curious to read
some Edward Abbey. I've missed the mountains. It was nice to see
some rugged, if barren, ones. I felt like I was on the set of an old
western; I kept expecting a stagecoach or a band of desperados to
rush by at any moment. Then we went up through the high desert where
Lisa grew up. We actually passed through George W. land, in the
Midland-Odessa area. Plenty of oil, but they can keep it.
Tumbleweeds and sand everywhere, 10 mile views on the flat. We
traversed the high plains through Abilene, onto Ft. Worth and
Dallas. The next day we cruised into Houston. All told, about 1,950
miles. Quite a trek, but I loved it! So did Lisa. I'm glad that she
is adventurous. I guess she needs to be to put up with my
restlessness. We were going to drive up to Denver at the beginning
of June, but Lisa's had a few complications. She's not allowed to
travel long distances until we get another ultrasound, sometime in
June. Nothing serious. So, I might fly up alone. I'm going to work
from Gartner's Boulder office, look around Golden - Denver metro -
Boulder to get a sense of the area, and maybe get a few hikes in.
I'll be sure to send you some pictures.
The Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Bellavance Honors Center
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21801