Recently in Faculty Highlights Category
Meet Professor Wanda Torres Gregory. Professor Gregory is chair of the Philosophy Department and her passion for the Simmons vision and women's empowerment makes her a perfect fit to feature during Women's History Month! She has been the recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching and has taught over fifteen different courses at Simmons.
- What is your favorite class to teach?
- I love teaching the Seminars in Philosophy, where I've taught Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein--my favorite philosophers.
- What book are you currently reading?
- Une mort tres douce (A Very Easy Death) by Simone de Beauvoir. I've read it in English, but I wanted to practice reading French literature as I prepare for my Existentialism course in which we will discuss this book.
- What's your favorite book?
- Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges. I love it so much that I don't own a copy presently because I'm always giving mine away to others who have not read his stories!
Continue reading Know Your Professor: Wanda Torres Gregory.
Simmons English Associate Professor Emeritus Susan P. Bloom is a staff reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine and has served on the Newbery Committee. Every year she makes a list of her picks for the "Best Children's and Young Adult Books" of the year. If you're doing some last minute shopping for the holidays, these make for great gifts. Here is her list for 2011:
1. Ray, Mary Lyn. Stars.
"Calmly and directly, Ray addresses the reader in this gentle, somnolent narrative. 'A star is how you know it's night. / As soon as you see one, there's another, and another. / And the dark that comes doesn't feel as dark.' Like a lulling tide, the text moves easily between grounded practical advice ('...[Y]ou can draw a star on / shiny paper and cut around it. / Then you can put it in your pocket') and naturalistic metaphor: 'Blow a ball of dandelion and you blow / a thousand stars into the sky.' Ideal for bedtime, this will shine on through repeat readings." - Kirkus
2. Sidman, Joyce. Swirl by Swirl.
A graceful poem about the spiral shape. "A spiral is a snuggling shape," begins the story of the ways the spiral appears in the world. "Exquisitely simple and memorable." - Kirkus
3. McDonnell, Patric˚. Me...Jane: Young Jane Goodall.
A young Jane Goodall and her toy chimpanzee, Jubilee, wander outside their country home observing every day animals. The story shows the groundbreaking primatologist during her early days, perfectly content lying in the grass. "Children will appreciate McDonnell's original format and take heart that interests logged in their own diaries might turn into lifelong passions." - Kirkus
4. Stead, Phillip. Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat.
Jonathan's parents trade his teddy bear for a toaster, so he sets sail on a Big Blue Boat to find his lost friend. The illustrations will keep young readers engaged, shifting their focus from big to little and large shapes to tiny numbers. "Stead encourages children to puzzle over minutia, readying them to think about more opaque topics: growing up, obsolescence and the intrigue of old, forgotten things." - Kirkus
Continue reading Susan Bloom's Best Children's and Young Adult Books of 2011.
Three years ago, Simmons College and the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) entered a partnership to create and maintain Boston's first public school managed by the teachers union.
The initiative, led by Education Professor Daren Graves, has given Simmons students, across disciplines, the opportunity to connect theory, practice, and community service. Now in it's third year, the teacher-led Union School has grown tremendously. We asked Professor Graves to update us on its progress.
- Q: Why did Simmons engage in this partnership?
- The partnership was initiated after a series of meetings in the Simmons Department of Education, where faculty expressed an interest in deepening our partnerships with schools that serve our neighbors.
We chose to partner with the BTU School because we knew it would be an opportunity to help build a school from its inception. We were also particularly drawn to working with the Union School because of its unique teacher-leader ethos.
- Q: How are students and professors across the College involved?
- We have education and social work student teachers/ interns working in the school; and we have student volunteers from Graduate School of Library and Information Science(GSLIS) and the Simmons Library who have helped us build the Union School library.
Faculty from the Department of Education, GSLIS, and social work have helped with various professional development efforts. The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service has also coordinated various student community service efforts at the Union School.
Forget cookbook lab instruction. Simmons' science program has transformed the way students learn chemistry, physics, and biology by combining lab training with original undergraduate student and faculty research projects. The innovative curriculum introduces students to the fundamentals of research starting their first semester at the College.
"Our students need to be trained to enter the workforce immediately, and to do that in chemistry they need to know how to do research when they graduate," says Gurney. "More learning takes place when students experience the ins and outs of an experiment and have to work through or around problems that arise."
Continue reading Science at Simmons integrates lab training with original research.
With its intricate web of conspiracies, the story of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination has fascinated Americans for nearly a century and a half.
In an attempt to shed even more light on the subject, Robert Redford's new civil war-era movie, The Conspirator, explores the lesser known story of Mary Surratt, the only woman tried by the military tribunal for the murder, and the first woman to be federally executed in the United States.
Mary Surratt owned a boardinghouse in Washington D.C., where John Wilkes Booth, and other co-conspirators, including her son, plotted the assassination. Immediately after Lincoln's death, Washington panicked and reacted accordingly. The Conspirator suggests that authorities avoided a long, fair trial for the accomplices in fear that it would encourage rebel opposition.
How historically accurate is the film?
Continue reading Expert historian believes Mary Surratt guilty in 'Conspirator'.
In honor of Social Work Month, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) interviewed Simmons School of Social Work professors Gary Bailey and Dr. Beverly Sealey about their experiences in the field.
The following is an excerpt from a Q&A conducted by the NASW:
Professor Bailey, why did you choose social work as your profession?
I did not choose social work, social work chose me. I always knew that I wanted to work directly with people. My parents, especially my mother, were very much engaged at the community level, and in retrospect, my mother was a non-credentialed community organizer.
My parents had grown up under the yoke of apartheid in this country and instilled in my bother and me a sense of pride in who they were and where we came from. They held us accountable for making a difference and making a contribution, which would lift us up.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
Continue reading Professors Bailey, Sealey talk about their careers in social work.
The Chemistry Department at Simmons is doing something incredible! Students are conducting serious research and are being asked to present their findings at national conferences. Since Simmons is committed to going green, this particular project is important.
Science students are taking the plastic cups that are distributed around the Simmons campus and turning them into a cleaning solution that is comparable to Lysol, 4-in-1 all-purpose cleaner, and other similar products. The Cups to Cleaners: Trash to Treasure project was spearheaded last year by Cassandra Cocoq '10 who worked on the project as her senior thesis, under the tutelage of Associate Professor and Department Chair Rich Gurney.
Continue reading Science students turn trash into treasure.
Amy was a recent guest on WGBH radio's The Emily Rooney Show where she discusses how libraries might be re-imagined in the future.
She says libraries will continue to provide the public with two extremely valuable resources: youth services and access to technology.
Continue reading Do we still need libraries? GSLIS Prof Amy Pattee says yes.
Simmons Associate Professor Emeritus Susan P. Bloom makes an annual list of her picks for the "Best Children's and Young Adult Books" of the year. If you're doing some last minute shopping for the holidays, these make for great gifts. Here is her list for 2010:
1. Wiles, Deborah. Countdown.
Countdown takes place during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. 11-year-old Franny Chapman lives just outside of Washington, D.C., near Andrews Air Force Base. As the world holds its breath during this intense time in our history, Franny is also dealing with her own family drama; A fight with her best friend, a chain-smoking mother, a college-student activist sister, and an absent pilot father. The story tells of a radical change in American history. Read the book review on Kirkus.
2. Teller, Janne. Nothing.
Pierre Anthon, a seventh grader at Tring School, has an existential crisis, climbs a tree, and refuses to come down to go back to school. "Determined to prove to Pierre Anthon that life has plenty of meaning, the students embark on a dire quest. Over the course of months, each student is required to give up something full of meaning, something chosen by the previous sacrificing student." Read the review on Kirkus.
3. Dogar, Sharon. Annexed.
Dogar writes a historical fiction about Peter Van Pels, Anne Frank's companion while hiding in the Annex. Peter deals with his feelings towards Anne, which range from annoyance to fascination, his sexuality, and loss of faith. Dogar follows his life after the Annex is raided and through to the concentration camp. Read the review on Kirkus.
Continue reading Susan Bloom's Best Children's and Young Adult Books of 2010.
MarthaStewart.com's Senior Associate Garden Editor named Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens by Professor Vaughn Sills her favorite book of 2010.
Every year, dozens of books cross our desks (a real perk of this job!) but my hands-down favorite of 2010 was Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens by photographer Vaughn Sills. For nearly 10 years, Sills traveled the South visiting gardeners and the spaces they created. The beautiful photographs she took during this period showcase the vision, creativity, and soul that her subjects have poured into their gardens.
She goes on to say that Places for the Spirit would make a perfect gift for "gardeners, artists, photography lovers, history buffs, book lovers, culture junkies, collectors, and the insatiably curious."
Interested? There's a copy in the lobby of the admission office (C-116) -- stop by anytime to take a look!
See Professor Vaughn's photographs on display in the Trustman Art Gallery March 21-April 22, 2011.