Bestvalueschools.com has ranked The Rosa Deal School of Arts degrees in English and Psychology #2 in best value for small colleges nationwide in 2016-2017. Both programs offer numerous paths of study including English, Creative Writing, English for Corporate Communications, Speech Pathology, and Cognitive Psychology. The programs were recognized for CBU’s low tuition costs, “the broad range of skills” students learn, and for being “a powerful incubator for undergraduate research, encouraging all students to produce original work and share their results with others in order to maintain a thriving intellectual community on campus.”
Khadijah Green (Creative Writing ’19) has been awarded a scholarship to the Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Khadijah has been accepted into the two-week poetry workshop led by Peg Boyers. The scholarship winners (58 students – grad and undergrad) come from a wide range of colleges and universities (many are Ivy League); Khadijah will be one of the few to represent the South. This summer program is now in its 31st year and brings in award-winning writers (such as poets Robert Pinsky and Henri Cole, and fiction writers Mary Gaitskill and Joyce Carol Oates) to lead workshops in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Check out the awesome line-up of artists.
During Fall Break, Maya Freeman (ECC ’18) took a Career Road Show trip to Atlanta, GA with CBU’s Career Services. While on this trip, students visited the Atlanta Hawks arena and toured their facilities. “Our guide, Mr. Ben Brown, New Memberships Manager, spoke with us about careers within the sports business industry,” Maya recalls, “and suggested we all look for a summer internship in the sports field. Taking his advice, I searched for internships through teamworkonline.com and applied for at least 20. Among those was a communications intern position for the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). Once I received word that I made it through the application process, I was invited to their headquarters in Atlanta as a Top 100 Candidate. All candidates were put on teams of ten interns for the weekend and we were evaluated in several areas. After the weekend, I was offered the position as a Communications Intern for the summer. I will travel extensively throughout the United States helping to conduct national junior golf tournaments. I will be on a team of 6-7 other communications and operations interns and travel with a specific itinerary.” As a Tournament Communications Intern, Maya will be responsible for performing all on-site communications and media relations duties at each tournament.
Michalyn Easter (History ’13) was selected to The Memphis Flyer’s ”20<30: The Class of 2017,” an annual list of 20 young Memphians who are making a difference. Michalyn is a recipient of a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, and is currently a history teacher at Overton High School. she is the founder of the nonprofit Our Grass Our Roots in North Memphis, an organization designed to inform the community of resources and opportunities, resist gentrification, assist progressive developments, and advance individuals in the Memphis area.
Derrick Brown (MAT ’13) was a recipient of the 2016 SPARK Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations making a difference in our community. Derrick is an instructional resource teacher at Riverview Middle School and the founder and CEO of The Academy Memphis, which serves as an advocate to bridge students with special needs to higher education. The SPARK Award ceremony aired on WKNO on December 12 and is available online.
Kyra Sanchez Clapper (History ’13) recently passed her Comprehensive Exams for her Modern European History doctorate at the University of Memphis, and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, François Michael Mansour! Her doctoral dissertation on early French Romanticism and the writings of François-Rene de Chateaubriand builds on her earlier research for her dual Master’s degrees in French and History from the U of M.
Lauren Dahlke (Psych ’15), has been awarded a Van Vleet Memorial Doctoral Award at the University of Memphis. This is a university-wide fellowship – the top offered by the University, and two awards were made this year. Each doctoral-granting department nominates candidates, which then compete at the university level.
While at CBU, among other things, Lauren did an extended internship in the Department of Psychology at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and was involved with several studies in the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. She represented CBU at numerous research conferences, including two international venues–one of which was the 2016 International Symposium on Lasallian Research. Lauren entered the UM Master of Science Program in General Psychology last year, and this year she applied and was accepted to the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology. This award is a tremendous honor for Lauren.
Sister Mary Juliana (MSEL ’05), Principal of St. Croix Catholic School in Stillwater, MN, was named Educator of the Year for 2017 by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. You can read more about her and her extensive work in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
Christopher Peterson (Philosophy ’10) and Dr. Emily Holmes (Religion and Philosophy) co-authored a chapter: “Race, Religion, and Justice: From Privilege to Solidarity in the Mid-South Food Movement” that will be published in Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together, ed. Ian Werkheiser and Zachary Piso (Springer, 2017).
Sara Swisher (English ’16) has been accepted into the Master’s program for Public Service at The University of Arkansas’s Clinton School for Public Service. The Clinton School is the first to offer a Master’s degree in Public Service, and gives students the knowledge and field experience to further their careers in the non-profit, governmental, volunteer, and private sectors. Upon Sara’s entry into the Clinton School, she will complete an international project in the summer of 2018. She is looking forward to this new and unique experience and furthering her career in non-profit management and policy. The Clinton School is a natural step forward from her service as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) with the City of Memphis, during which she served as a Food Policy Coordinator at Memphis Tilth, which cultivates collective action for an economically sustainable, socially equitable, and environmentally sound local food system. Sara developed the Food Policy Program, one of Memphis Tilth’s seven programs, which has the mission to advance policy and practice within Shelby County and Memphis in order to promote food security and access.
CBU students and alumni presented their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research on April 14-16 at the University of Memphis. Theresa Havelka (Psychology ’18) presented “Examining the Link Between Religiosity and Altruistic Behavior of College Students.” Olivia Evans (Psychology ’18) and Brigid Lockard (Psychology ’18) presented “Impression Management and Social Capital on Social Networking Sites: Post like Everyone’s Watching.” Andrea Perez-Munoz (Psychology ’17) and James Rogers (Psychology ’17) presented “N1 to Distractor Tones is Affected by Tone Salience and Primary Task Difficulty,” and Lauren Dahlke (Psychology ’16) and Daniel Gabriel (Natural Science ’16) presented “Emotional Stimuli Reduce Distractibility to Irrelevant Stimuli.” It was an exciting and informative conference with approximately 4000 undergraduate presenters from all over the United States, including a plenary address by FedEx CEO, Fred Smith.
Andrea Perez-Muñoz (left), Patrick Woody, and James Rogers (with alum Jamonté Wilson)—all psych majors—won first place in the poster session at the Tennessee Academy of Sciences. Ironically, since there was no submission category for psychology, behavioral sciences, social sciences, or neuroscience, they submitted the poster under the health and medical sciences category.
The study, titled: “Brain responses indicate that task difficulty and distractor salience create competition for attention,” was a project the students initiated in PSYC 372 Psychophysiology in Fall 2015, and have continued to work on. It was supported by the grant CBU received from National Science Foundation to purchase an electroencephalogram.
Joel Moore (English for Corporate Communications ’17) has been admitted to the law school at Suffolk University in Boston, MA, and to Syracuse Law School in New York. Regardless of what school he decides to attend, he plans to study corporate law and go into contracts and intellectual property.
Walt Stallings (English ’18) recently received an Audience Award at this year’s Theatre Oxford’s Nat’l 10-Minute Play Contest. He work-shopped the piece in Dr. Kristian O’Hare’s playwriting class this semester. Additionally, his play will receive a production (dates TBA), and he also receives a cash award. Not bad for the first play he’s actually ever written!
The Rosa Deal School of Arts Language Center and it’s tutors were honored at the Second Annual Peer Educator Awards, Tuesday April 11, 2017. Bruna Colono and Efren Luna received the Tutor of the Year award for 2017. We would like to recognize the hard work of our other tutors, who put in long hours helping their peers master new languages, at the Language Center.
Dr. Marius Carriere (History and Political Science) attended the Organization of American Historians conference in New Orleans in April, where he and several other historians were honored as Distinguished Historians.
Federico Gomez-Uroz (Literature and Languages) attended the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association conference for West Tennessee on March 25, where he chaired a session on the use of commercial games in the language classroom. The session was titled, “Using non-serious games in a serious way.” On March 26, he then spoke a panel on the Psychological Benefits of Gaming at Mid-South Con, a local convention about Fantasy, Science Fiction, and gaming held each year in Memphis.
Dr. Emily Holmes (Religion and Philosophy) was interviewed by Rev. Broderick Greer, Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, about her book, Flesh Made Word: Medieval Women Mystics, Writing, and the Incarnation, on December 14. The interview was recorded and broadcast as part of the Theology Live podcast series. Listen to the podcast.
Dr. Holmes and Christopher Peterson (Philosophy ’10) co-authored a chapter: “Race, Religion, and Justice: From Privilege to Solidarity in the Mid-South Food Movement” that will be published in Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together, ed. Ian Werkheiser and Zachary Piso (Springer, 2017).
Dr. J. Seth Lee (Literature and Languages) gave a paper at the College English Association conference in Hilton Head at the end of March. His paper, “From Early Modern Print to EEBO: (Digital) Early Modern Texts in the 21st Century Classroom,” addressed how we can utilize technology in the classroom to better understand how texts work in both their “original” forms and their digital, 21st century manifestations. More specifically he outlined an assignment using GoogleDocs to create a digital commonplace book that would allow for the creation of a semester-long grand narrative of a course. The assignment offers a place where students can bring together their knowledge from other classes germane to the readings and discussions.
Dr. Rod Vogl (Behavioral Sciences) was quoted in an article in the February 2 edition of The Commercial Appeal, entitled “Healthy relationships, healthy you.” The article dealt with ways to make strong marriages and good friendships even better.
The Department of Literature and Languages’ annual publication of Castings, which publishes poetry, prose, fine art, and photography of our students is now available online. The 2017 edition was edited by Betty Armstrong (English ’17) and Alex Garry (Creative Writing ’18), and designed by Luis Martinez (Graphic Design ’18). Submissions were judged by the following faculty. Poetry: Dr. Vincent O’Neill, Dr. Ann Marie Wranovix, and Dr. Kristian O’Hare. Prose: Dr. Kelly James, Dr. J. Seth J. Lee, and Dr. Karl Leib. Fine and Visual Art: Jana Travis and Nick Pena.
Fine Art (From left to right)
1st Place: Maritza Mena for “Untitled”
2nd Place: Lauren Jeu for “Prim and Proper”
3rd Place: Lauren Jeu for “Birds of a Feather”
Photography (From left to right)
1st Place: Olivia Betterton for “Untitled”
2nd Place: Lauren Jeu for “Red Eyes”
3rd Place: Ethan Carpenter for “Untitled”
Short Stories & Prose
1st Place: Alex Garry for “Caesura”
2nd Place: Alex Garry for “What I Wanted”
3rd Place: Olivia Betterton for “Such A Pretty Thing”
1st Place: Alex Garry For “Forgotten Fairytales”
2nd Place: Marissa Anderson for “Hunt”
3rd Place: Betty Armstrong for “Grandpa”
Dr. Roger Easson (Literature and Languages, Retired) passed away on Saturday, October 22 at Methodist Hospice. He had been suffering for several years from cancer that was diagnosed five months after he retired from CBU and had recently spread to his bones. He chose palliative care rather than an operation that might have interfered with his ability to breathe on his own and to continue writing. His wife, Kay, and his sister, Joyce, had been with him during his hospice stay.
Dr. Easson began teaching in the School of Arts in 1987 and played a seminal role in establishing the still-popular English for Corporate Communications major, which aims to prepare students for careers in professional writing and also directed the Writing Center for a number of years, and guided students through internships at Memphis-area businesses. He retired from CBU in 2013.
Please keep Dr. Easson and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Donations to help pay for Roger’s medical expenses can be made on his GoFundMe page.
In the last year, several students from the Department of Literature and Languages have completed practicums in digital writing for CBU’s Galleon online magazine. Throughout the semester, the students write in a variety of web genres such as short-form essays, listicles, and arts reviews.
Like many online magazines, Galleon provides authors with opportunities to address everything from the election to the Memphis music scene. For example, Austin Essary tries to pin down the “Memphis Sound” and Berlin Howell outlines the best of Memphis music in 2015. What’s more, our students have tackled difficult political and social issues. For example, in her piece about the theology of lynching trees, Maya Freeman demonstrates the ways in which lynching continues to be a powerful image for African American communities. And Chase Encalade addresses the experience of being a young black person by interviewing her peers and contextualizing their thoughts with the larger movement for racial equality.
While the opportunity to publish is important, writing for the Galleon provides students with an opportunity to develop their voice and hone their writing skills. Austin says he learned a lot about the writing process and how long it takes to work interview subjects. Chase says her experience was “awesome and enriching.” And Morgan Harper is pleased that her post, “23 Ways You Know You’re a CBU Student”, became one of the most popular and widely shared articles. These experiences are invaluable for students who have to think critically about genre, medium, and audience.
CBU alum Dennis Foley (’82) wrote and produced not a Stranger, a drama about a down-and-out, 50-year-old former high school teacher with a dark secret who befriends three 12-year-old boys, and helps one come to grips with his father’s death. Problems arise when police suspect the teacher of wrongdoing. The film was directed by and stars James Russo (pictured left).
Michalyn Easter (History ’13), a recipient of a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, has returned to the Memphis area to teach high school Social Studies and to unite education with community activism in the city. She is the founder of Our Grass Our Roots, “a grassroots, non-profit movement to assist in transforming the North Memphis neighborhood into an economically sustainable, community focused, cultural capital that will be the grounds for fighting gentrification and citizen displacement, involving the community, structures and businesses already present, and nurturing the individuals within the community to help make Memphis a better place.”
Danielle Hobbs (Psychology ’13) was recently named Embarker of the Week by The New Memphis Institute: Embark is bringing together and shaping Memphis’ next group of young professionals. Our Embark alum are high-performing twenty-something change-makers who work together to make a meaningful mark on our city. We recognize those Embarkers making ripples in their professions and communities.
Bryan Williams (MAT ’03) was named as one of Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40.
David Vaughn (Psychology ’12) and Kara Jones (Psychology ’12) were joined in marriage on Oct. 22.