Holocaust Study Day – “Radio during the Nazi Period: Dangers on the Airwaves”

The Graduate Program in Jewish-Christian Studies announces the 2012 Holocaust Study Day will take place on Thursday, March 15. This year’s theme is “Radio during the Nazi Period: Dangers on the Airwaves.”

Radio was used by the military during World War I and entered the life of civilians in the next decade. The Vatican created the first international radio station in 1931 and the Nazis exploited the medium soon after Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933. How cleverly Goebbels manipulated the way radio could enter every home! During the Second World War the airwaves were the source of people’s information about crucial events, often with the Axis powers and the Allies offering contradictory assessments of their impact. Various dimensions of this history will be presented by Mr. Richard Lucas and Ms. Laura N. Smith.

Today’s parents and educators face the expanding influence, for better or for worse, of the media in our time. Applications of historical lessons to the situation of ordinary people, and especially youth, will be considered in two workshops.

Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chancellor’s Suite, University Center, Seton Hall University, South Orange Campus

8:30 a.m. – Registration
9 a.m. – Introduction
9:15 a.m. – Berlin Calling- German Radio Broadcasts to America. Lecture by Mr. Richard D. Lucas
10:45 a.m. – Break
11 a.m. – Allied and Resistance Radio: Past and Present Dangers for All? Presentation by Ms. Laura Smith
12:15 p.m. – Lunch
1:15 p.m. – Workshop 1 by Mr. Lucas – Propaganda and Treason: Then and Now; Workshop 2 by Ms. Laura Smith – Radio in Daily Life: Then and Now
2:40 p.m. – Closing session
A $10 registration fee, payable on site, includes lunch and materials. Please register by March 8, 2012. For further information, please contact Rev. Lawrence Frizzell at (973) 761-9751 or lawrence.frizzell@shu.edu.

Richard D. Lucas, (M.A. in Political Science, Binghamton University), is a life-long shortwave radio enthusiast as well as a freelance writer. He studies the use of radio as a tool of propaganda and persuasion. He published a thorough and scholarly study of an American, Mildred Gillars, who broadcast Nazi propaganda to English-speaking soldiers. His book, Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany (Philadelphia: Casemate, 2010), tells her story in the context of a search for success that brought betrayal of her homeland.

Laura Smith, (M.A. in Jewish-Christian Studies, Seton Hall University), concentrated on Gandhian ahisma and civil resistance and mass media, symbolic politics and Nazi propaganda during her undergraduate studies in Political Science. She provides archivist and publication support to the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University and is currently assisting Rev. Lawrence E. Frizzell in preparing for publication the English translation of Msgr. John M. Oesterreicher’s 1939-1940 clandestine radio broadcasts. Broadcast from Paris, Msgr. Oesterreicher’s radio addresses encouraged Austrian resistance to Nazi occupation and were previously published in German by Erika Weinzierl (Wider die Tyranei des Rassenwahns: Rundfunkansprachen aus dem ersten Jaar von Hitlers Krieg (Wein: Gyer, 1986).

The study day will offer five professional development credit hours for participants. This study day is sponsored by the Graduate Program in Jewish-Christian Studies with financial assistance from Ms. Chris Liu of Hong Kong.

For more information on the workshop, please

Congratulations to our Choral Conductor

Seton Hall’s Choral Conductor Jason Tramm was featured in the Witner 2012 edition of Symphony Magazine, an international journal published by the League of American Orchestras. The Winter edition is the organization’s annual issue of Emerging Artists. In addition to being the Seton Hall Choral Conductor, Tramm is the New Jersey State Opera Artistic Director the Opera’s principal conductor. He was recognized as one of five conductors, and the only American among them.

Please join the College of Arts and Sciences in congratulating our Choral Conductor.

English Professor wins grant to write novel

Assistant Professor of English Nathan Oates, Ph.D., was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George foundation last month to help fund his upcoming novel, tentatively titled The Free Country.

Oates, who teaches creative writing and was instrumental in establishing Seton Hall’s Master in English, writes novels which explore the American identity of United States citizens while abroad. The Free Country tells the story of an American aid worker in a fictional, post-civil war country in Central America. Oates says his fictional country is based on the Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

The novel will follow the experiences of an aid worker in a rural, mountain town working to establish a women’s community center, Oates said. As a Canadian company begins constructing a mine nearby, political tensions arise and violence between the civil war factions of country begins to reemerge. The American aid worker is torn. She feels connected to the people of the mountain town whom she serves, yet feels disconnected and distant from them due to the political pressures and privileges conferred by her American identity in a developing country.

The grant, according to Oates, will allow him to spend his upcoming summer researching post-civil war and revolution life in Guatemala.

The Elizabeth George Foundation provides grants to emerging playwrights, short story writers, poets and unpublished novelists, enabling them to live and work for a period of time as a writer,  according to the foundation’s website. The foundation was established by bestselling mystery novelist Elizabeth George who, after achieving success as a novelist, was determined to give back to writer’s world and help aspiring, unpublished writers have the opportunity to achieve success.

Oates encourages students who aspire to be novelists to not become discouraged by the novel writing process.

“The transition from short stories to the novel was harder than I anticipated,” he said. “The challenge is in building the narrative structure so that it maintains interest both in the immediate scene, and over the longer haul. Short stories are great because they have bursts of action that resolve themselves. Novels can’t be strings of short stories; the need a larger architectural structure that include a series of mysterious incidents that build toward a single, major incident.”

Aspiring novelists should investigate the structure of the novel, Oates said. “While the short story can teach an aspiring novelist many useful elements of prose fiction – from the importance of the sentence, to how to write convincing dialogue – the novel is a different form altogether. One needs to investigate the structure of the novel, by reading as many novels as one can, in order to be successful.”

In order to write The Free Country, Oates read every novel on Americans abroad he could find, as well as any novel by Latin American novelists whose works have been translated into English.

Arts and Sciences Announces New Data Visualization Certificate Program

The Seton Hall College of Arts and Sciences’ departments of Psychology and Computer and Mathematical Sciences are teaming up to launch undergraduate and graduate Data Visualization and Analysis certification programs beginning in the Fall 2012 semester.

The program seeks to arm students with the skills and knowledge to communicate information clearly and effectively using graphic representations that will engage the viewer, according to the program’s director Manfred Minimair, Ph.D., associate professor for the Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

“The students learn how to analyze and portray complex data in an attractive and vivid design format, Minimair said. “The students practice preparing real-world data for storing in databases, analyzing data with statistics and machine-learning tools, and using visualization in order to study data and present findings.”

Students will gain a variety of skills including using programs like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access to design databases and prepare data, use statistics, data mining and data visualizations to evaluate data and make inferences, and then use Excel and Tableau for data presentation and study.

Increasing demand for data visualization and data analysis in both the private and public sectors is behind Seton Hall and the College of Arts and Sciences decision to introduce a the program next fall.

“Organizations have a growing need for data analysis and visualization, but it is often very difficult to gain profound insights from this data such that decision makers reach adequate conclusions, Minimair said. “Employees trained by the programs will be able to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphic depictions that stimulate and encourage viewer engagement.”

A variety of businesses, organizations and government agencies are seeking employees with the skills the Data Visualization and Analysis program will provide them with because it will enable decision makers in those organizations to support their key decisions with complex data portrayed in attractive, understandable and vivid formats.

“Health and public administrators want to efficiently deliver health care to patients; therefore, they have to understand how the needs of the patients and the efficient delivery of health care drive cost,” Minimair said. “Doctors and health care professionals want to assess the effectiveness of treatments based on conflicting data from different studies. Marketing analysts study online social networks in order to provide the foundations for new marketing campaigns. Financial analysts want to understand the relationships among different stock prices and economic indicators. The government collects and analyzes data on terrorist threats.”

The skills learned in the certificate programs are in demand in many industries, according to Minimair, including marketing, finance, insurance, news and health care, as well as in many academic fields like business, criminal justice, economics, psychology, sociology, biology and applied mathematics.

Data Visualization and Analysis is an interdisciplinary field. As such, the certification program will draw from a variety of courses and build the variety of skills required for data analysis and visualization. The program also has an internship component to give students hands-on experience applying what they learn in the field.

Computing and statistics are needed for data analysis. Psychology and design are needed for data visualization,” Minimair said. “Further elective courses have been chosen to allow students to specialize in specific application areas such as business.”

Visual Analytics is a new and growing academic field, according to Minimair, and Seton Hall’s new program will position the University as an educational leader in the field. Rutgers University recently announced a new graduate core curriculum in Interdisciplinary Perceptual Science, computational techniques and human perception, which is targeted at Ph.D. students in affiliated departments. Columbia University is offering a graduate program in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences.

“While other educational institutions offer certain programs with visualization and data analysis components, certificates with this focus are unique in our area,” Minimair said. “The certificates are a great opportunity to assume leadership in this area and to differentiate ourselves from other programs.”

Anthropology professor helps date oldest known Achulean handaxes


KS4 Handaxe

by Brenden Higashi

Rhonda Quinn, Ph.D., Seton Hall’s new biological anthropology professor, is part of a research team whose study was published on the front page of the prestigious “Nature” magazine in September.

Quinn and her team’s research in the Turkana Basin of Kenya unearthed and dated the world’s oldest known set of Acheulean handaxes. Previously thought to have emerged around 1.4 million years ago, the Acheulan handaxe is a bifacial stone tool that is believed to have been a sort of “Swiss-Army knife” of the era, according to Quinn.

The set dated by Quinn and her team is approximately 1.76 million years old. This new date has many implications for the way scientists and anthropologists understand the world.

“Pushing back (the date of) those stone tools actually brings up more questions than we have answers for,” Quinn said. “Previously, the oldest well-dated site was about 1.4 million years ago, and at that time, in Africa, we really only have one hominid species, which is Homo erectus.”

According to Quinn, there are more hominid species in Africa at the new date for Acheulean handaxes. Previously, the Oldowan industry was the only known tool kit at 1.7 million years ago.

“At this time, there are probably three if not more hominids on the landscape, which brings up the question: how many tool users do we have,” Quinn said. “How many branches do we have? We have all of this morphological variation, but now we also have this behavioral variation. And so now is it Homo habilis using Oldowan and Homo erectus using Acheulean? Is it a species-level difference? Or is Homo erectus is the only tool user who is using both Oldowan and Acheulean?”

As a result of the new date for the emergence of the Acheulean, Quinn says there are new questions about the dispersal of hominids out of Africa.

“We don’t see widespread handaxe use until 600,000 years out of Africa, some researchers push that to 1 million years out of Africa,” Quinn said. “If (the Acheulean) is a sort of Swiss Army knife and it helps you in so many circumstances, why didn’t Homo erectus take it during dispersal? There is a real question now about competition and whether or not the individuals who stayed in Africa and had the Acheulean were the ones outcompeting everyone else.”

According to Quinn, this calls into question the very idea about why hominids began their dispersal out of Africa.

“Maybe it’s not this curious intrepid Homo erectus that, armed with the Acheulean handaxe, went and tapped into new resources all over the world, or at least Asia and Europe,” Quinn said. “Rather, maybe it was the ones who could compete for food resources who stayed in Africa and those that dispersed initially at least, may have been looking for less competition.”

“We think of dispersal as the ‘successful’ thing to do,” Quinn continued. “If you can disperse, you must be better than sliced bread. Your brain’s bigger; your body’s bigger; you are expanding your home range; you are expanding into new environments; you are versatile. Well, maybe, that’s not what is happening at all.”



Faculty Spotlight: Kirstin Schultz

by Brenden Higashi

Kirsten Schultz, assistant professor of History, was awarded a prestigious 2011 American Council of Leaned Societies Fellowship to conduct research on the eighteenth-century Portuguese Empire in the Americas. Schultz will use the fellowship research for her upcoming book, entitled From Conquests to Colonies: Authority, Knowledge and Difference in the Luso-Brazilian Empire, ca. 1700-1800.

Schultz is a historian specializing in the histories of Brazil and the Portuguese Empire. She teaches courses in Latin American History for Seton Hall’s Department of History and the Latin American and Latino/Latina Studies Program.

Schultz said she plans to use her ACLS Fellowship to research and assess “the changing understandings of governance and the governed, focusing on elite debates about the status of non-European peoples in Brazil during a period of imperial crisis and reform,” using print culture, society and culture in the eighteenth-century Portuguese Empire in the Americas.

By examining the influences of religious and secular ideas on the universality of humanity in the context of cultural, social and economic hierarchies on the imperial administrative practices of the era, Schultz book, From Conquests to Colonies, will contribute to the humanistic and social scientific scholarship on legacies of imperial rule and its impact on the modern conceptualizations of sovereignty and political agency.

The ACLS, the organization funding Schultz’s research, is a nonprofit federation of over 70 national scholarly organizations which, according to the organization’s website, “is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.” The ACLS exists to promote the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning, particularly within the humanities and social sciences and to maintain and strengthen the relations among the numerous national societies devoted to the humanistic studies.

For more information please contact:
Joan Guetti, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
(973) 761-9022

Arts & Sciences graduate lands job at MSNBC

Brian Wisowaty '11 at MSNBC studios in New York City

by Brenden Higashi

Seton Hall alumnus Brian Wisowaty ’11, was like many other students who were unsure of what the future held as he, and other members of his graduating class, met outside of the Izod Center for Seton Hall’s 2011 Commencement Exercises.
Wisowaty had applied for a position as graphics production assistant at MSNBC in the final weeks of his collegiate career.

“After I interviewed, I didn’t hear anything for a week or two – which, naturally, worried me as Commencement drew closer,” Wisowaty said in an email interview.

As Wisowaty was greeting his other soon-to-be graduated Seton Hall seniors, he received a phone call that, because he was talking to some friends, he didn’t answer. It turns out the call he missed was from an NBC HR representative.

“She left a voicemail which I checked just minutes before the student procession into the arena,” Wisowaty said. “The voicemail had all the details, including that I was now a member of the MSNBC team.”

Wisowaty believes that, were it not for the opportunities the Seton Hall College of Arts and Sciences provided him, he would not have been able to land a job like the one he did.

“The College works with the two campus media outlets that have propelled and shaped my Seton Hall experience – WSOU-FM and The Setonian,” he said. “Without my time and growth as a journalist and professional in these two outlets, I do not think I would be able to secure such a high profile job right out of school.”

Wisowaty was WSOU-FM’s station manager and The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief his senior year.

Additionally, Wisowaty credits the strength of The College’s Journalism program for his success.

“The College also gave me a series of strong journalism courses taught by dedicated and talented faculty members,” He said. “Coupled with mentors who are either members of the College or alumni, I found my four years at the Hall to be a fostering environment for my career path.”

Wisowaty participated in a mentoring program offered by Seton Hall. As a result, during his years as an upperclassman, Wisowaty had been paired with Bob Windrem, a producer at NBC Nightly News. A few months after meeting Windrem, Wisowaty found himself interning in the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams newsroom. Were it not for Seton Hall’s proximity to New York, Wisowaty would not have been able to get his foot in the door.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that having already been a part of NBC News made my résumé stand out when I applied with MSNBC,” he said. “But aside from that, and the opportunities at WSOU and The Setonian, Seton Hall allowed me to showcase myself as a hard-working, strong-willed and eager journalist ready for the professional ranks.”

For more information please contact:
Joan Guetti, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
(973) 761-9022

View original story at: http://www.shu.edu/news/article/358581