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Professor Gary Bailey is a well-loved professor in the School of Social Work and the School of Nursing and Health Studies. He is the Chair of the Simmons College Black Administrators, Faculty and Staff Council (BAFAS) and the first African-American and the first American in 20 years to be elected president of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).

We had the chance to talk to Professor Bailey about his interests, secret talents, and much more!

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Gary Bailey.



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Meet Professor Candy Schwartz, from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Professor Schwartz recently celebrated her 35th anniversary at Simmons, and is a highly enthusiastic, witty, and popular professor. We had the chance to talk to Professor Schwartz about her interests, secret talents, and much more!

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Candy Schwartz.



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Meet Marlene Fine, Professor and Interim Chair of the Communications Department. In addition to being a well loved professor and advisor, Professor Fine recently released The Interracial Adoption Option a book she co-wrote with her spouse, Fern Johnson, detailing their experience adopting two African American children. We got the chance to talk to Professor Fine about Simmons, her book, and much more!

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Marlene Fine.



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We are pleased to welcome Gretchen Dittrich to our Behavior Analysis faculty this year. She comes to us with degrees from the University of Nevada, Northeastern, and her Ph.D. from Simmons - and brings her research interests in behavioral medicine, functional analysis of complex behaviors, social skill training, the application of behavior analytic methodologies to higher education, and verbal behavior. Dr. Dittrich currently teaches several courses in the master's and doctoral programs. We wanted to know a bit about her life outside the classroom, so we asked:

What drew you to Simmons?
The doctoral program in behavior analysis offered the opportunity to work with some of the leading researchers in the field, and offered a comprehensive and rigorous course load.
What do you like most about living and teaching in Boston?
I love the rich history in Boston and New England. There are so many interesting historical landmarks and places to visit -- and it's amazing to see places that have been described in history books first-hand.
Boston is a large city, but it also is a great community, and people pull together to help each other in times of need, but also to cheer for the home teams. There is a great deal of camaraderie that can be seen whenever a game is on, and this is something you don't see at the same level in many other cities and states. It makes you feel welcome.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Gretchen Dittrich.



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Meet Simmons College's new provost, Dr. Katie Conboy. Dr. Conboy came to Simmons in July from Stonehill College, where she served as a faculty member in the department of English since 1987 and as chief academic officer (academic vice president and then provost) since 2000. She is also the co-editor of Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory (Columbia University Press), and has been published in Modern Language Studies, Verse and Poetry Ireland Review, among others. In this special edition of Know Your Professor (or, in this case, provost), we asked Dr. Conboy a few questions to help introduce her to the Simmons community and learn a little bit about her favorite things.

Tell us, what book are you reading right now, and what's your favorite book?
Right now I am reading Colum McCann's thoroughly ambitious, continent-spanning, time-traveling novel, TransAtlantic. My Ph.D. is in English, and I study the history of the novel, so I am always interested in how the forms of fiction continue to evolve.

My desert-island novel remains Bleak House, which Charles Dickens published serially in 1852-53. I actually have a first edition in my office--a "welcome" gift from my new Simmons colleagues!

Continue reading Know Your Provost: Katie Conboy.



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Meet Senior Lecturer Edie Bresler. Professor Bresler works in the Department of Art & Music teaching color photography from introductory to advanced and is actively involved in all aspects of traditional and digital imaging. She has exhibited her photographs at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Bernard Toale Gallery, Visual Studies Workshop, and many galleries across the United States, Canada and the Middle East. Learn more about Professor Bresler and her latest projects.

Beauty in the Eye of the Photographer

Trust, value, and social interaction: Three ideals that Art & Music Senior Lecturer Edie Bresler finds invaluable to her teaching at Simmons and in her photography.

From small businesses to people on the street, Professor Bresler has crossed the paths of many with untold stories, and uncovers the beauty of each in one photograph.

Her latest projects include "Lottery Economies," which captures characters and scenes from the lottery industry, and "Exchange Economy," an artist residency at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA).

We recently spoke with Professor Bresler to put our lens on her big picture and learn more about the projects from her angle.

Lottery Economies involves photographing people who sell winning lottery tickets. What sparked this concept?
In any project there are many things responsible for generating an idea. I have a history of finding something on the ground that sparks some idea. In this case, I started noticing all these very colorful tickets withering on the ground of Davis Square where I live in Somerville. Once I noticed them, I started seeing them everywhere. And so that was my first encounter with the lottery. I started noticing the lottery tickets in 2008, when the country was experiencing a huge economic downturn. I myself was experiencing a lot of difficulty economically as were many people I think in the Simmons community, and the lottery became something of a fascination. The more I found out about it the more intrigued I became.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Edie Bresler.




Watch Noah Wilson-Rich: Every city needs honey bees

Meet Noah Wilson-Rich, one of Simmons College's newest faculty members in the Department of Biology. If there's one thing you need to know about Noah Wilson-Rich, it's that he's an expert on urban beekeeping. He recently gave an extremely popular TED Talk about the importance of honey bees in cities, and the key role they play in creating a sustainable ecosystem. In this edition of Know Your Professor, we chatted with Noah Wilson-Rich to find out more about his passion for bees, what he does when he's not teaching, and why he loves Simmons.


Any plans for a beehive at Simmons?
I am willing and ready to set up a (non-aggressive!) honey bee hive at Simmons anytime. I am a relentless proponent of urban beekeeping, urban agriculture, and sustainability as a whole. Anyone who eats food needs to understand that honey bees are of vital importance because of their role as pollinators.The Simmons Sustainability Club is working hard at getting a honey bee hive on campus. These Simmons honey bees would reflect the Simmons community in many ways.
How so?
Because bees are a female-dominated society that does extremely good work for the betterment of this world. The educational value of honey bees is endless. There are opportunities for hands-on agricultural and sustainability training; we can study systems to test theories relating to economics, sociology, biology, and chemistry; and the sale of honey and beeswax products can be a source of fundraising revenue for student groups. I strongly encourage everyone at Simmons to join the effort to bring honey bees to campus!
What's your favorite class to teach? Why?
Biology 342 - Topics in Behavioral Biology is my baby! I enjoy teaching this class for so many reasons. Animal behavior is so fascinating because we have been studying it our entire lives, whether consciously or not. Beyond studying the human animal, we take a lot of "virtual field trips" to become intimately familiar with all sorts of animals. So far this semester, we have learned interior decorating techniques from bowerbird nests in the dense forests of Papua New Guinea; dating and mate choice advice from seahorses; food selection techniques from platypuses and sharks; navigation techniques from sea turtles, sibling rivalry dynamics from African hyenas; and many, many more! Teaching this behavior course really is a dream come true for me.
What book are you currently reading?
Inferno by Max Hastings and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Noah Wilson-Rich, urban beekeeper.





Meet Professor Bob White. Professor White has taught in the Simmons Communications Department for more than 40 years. He's best known by Simmons students, faculty, staff, and alumni for his animation skills, cheerful attitude, and teaching the crowd favorite, Communications Media. But did you know he wants to travel to Avalon and has an extremely useful hidden talent? Plus, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear who he wishes every boss in the world was!

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What is your favorite class to teach?
Communications Media which I have taught for 40 years.
What's your favorite book?
The novelization of the screenplay for Forbidden Planet, the movie that burned the back of my eyes and the edges of my brain away when I was 10 and a half years old.
Do you have a favorite TV show?
I wish every boss in the world was Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS.
Fill in the blank: When I was in college, I ____
Learned to perform for the public while working in college radio, and by reading my poems & stories, and by being a student teacher, and screening my films, and by serving as acolyte in the Jesuit Cloister before dawn as Mass was celebrated.
What's your favorite band/artist?
I have loved Kind of Blue by Miles Davis ever since I saw tears running down a woman's face while she listened to it.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Bob White.



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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.





Afaa Michael Weaver


Simmons English Professor Afaa Michael Weaver grew up in East Baltimore, Maryland and worked in a factory for 15 years. He started writing poetry to help him rise above his struggles and was awarded a NEA Literature Fellowship for poetry. He went on to earn a master's degree from Brown University and is now a world-renowned poet, often referred to as the "successor to Walt Whitman."

You can follow Professor Weaver's poetic tweets at @Afaa_Weaver.



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