Dean’s Office Participates in Service-Learning Trip in Jamaica

From March 2nd through March 9th, the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts & Sciences participated in a service-learning trip in Jamaica. During this trip, members of the Dean’s Office along with Seton Hall students stayed at the Alpha Boys School and Orphanage in Kingston. There, they took part in a variety of activities such as working to enhance the facility, developing and executing social activities in the evenings, and partaking in educational programs. It was a valuable experience for all participants involved, and established a connection between Seton Hall University and the Alpha Boys School that the Dean’s Office looks forward to continuing in the future.

Here are some testimonials from students who participated in the trip:

“When I went to Jamaica, I went without a single expectation. No matter what it was going to be like, I knew it would be extremely different from anything I could ever expect from it. When I got there, I was ready to help the students academically, but I did not realize that the one thing the students really needed was just someone to listen to them. In listening to them, and hearing their perspectives on things, I realized that as much as they needed it, I needed it just as much. I grew as a person just from taking time to listen to the hope that a child with nothing else holds onto.” -Heather Robinson

“My experience in Jamaica changed my life. I am now 100% confident that as an Education major I am entering the right field for me. The boys’ desire and willingness to learn gave me hope that as a future teacher, I will be able to motivate my students and guide them in the right direction. I was taken aback by how quickly the boys opened up and trusted us. They taught me that it’s important to always smile despite everything you’re going through. They taught me that there is never an excuse not to be the most kind, caring and generous person you can be. They showed me how to find joy in every day and that it’s okay to be silly and to never take yourself too seriously. I will hold onto everything these 80 boys taught me for the rest of my life.” -Jenna O’Donovan

For more information about the Alpha Boys School and Orphanage, please visit:

One Young World Youth Leadership Summit

College of Arts and Sciences student and Political Science major Mario Costa has been presented with an incredible opportunity: attending the One Young World Youth Leadership Summit in October 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The One Young World is a charitable organization that chooses to gather the brightest leaders from all around the world. Approximately 196 different countries are represented, in which 1200 delegates are supposed to attend. The purpose of this conference is to channel the delegates’ energies into innovative leadership development, human resources and sustainability programs.

The One Young World Summit is competitively selected; Mario would devote substantial energy to his position as a delegate if able to attend. Mario has been selected from hundreds of potential candidates in the United States. The total cost of a sponsorship of a delegate is £3135.00, or approximately $4,900 excluding the cost of travel. Without a sponsorship, this conference will be cost-prohibitive for him to attend as a university student.

Please consider sponsoring Mario and allowing him to realize his goal of participating in this unique opportunity.

For more information about the One Young World Youth Leadership Summit, please visit:

To view Mario’s One Young World Sponsorship Profile, please visit:

Gita DasBender, Ph.D., Receives Fulbright Specialists Award to Vietnam

Gita DasBender, Ph.D., senior faculty associate and second language writing coordinator in the English department, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialists project in Vietnam at Ha Nam Teacher Training College, Phu Ly City, and Banking Academy of Vietnam, Hanoi, during March-April 2013, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

DasBender will spend four weeks at Ha Nam Teacher Training College and two weeks at the Banking Academy of Vietnam conducting lectures and workshops on English language skills development, second language writing pedagogy, effective teaching methods, program and curriculum review, and professional development. She will also work with the Directorate of BAV and the Dean on strategies to create Faculty of Language organizations, and on human resource development and incentive policies.

Dr. DasBender is one of over 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program. The Fulbright Specialists Program, created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term academic opportunities (two to six weeks) to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post secondary, academic institutions around the world.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Over its 60 years of existence, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have taught, studied or conducted research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. Over 285,000 emerging leaders in their professional fields have received Fulbright awards, including individuals who later became heads of government, Nobel Prize winners, and leaders in education, business, journalism, the arts and other fields.

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement. Among thousands of prominent Fulbright Scholar alumni are Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist; Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet; and Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation. Distinguished Fulbright Specialist participants include Mahmoud Ayoub, Professor of Religion at Temple University, Heidi Hartmann, President and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Percy R. Luney, Jr. Dean and Professor, College of Law, Florida A&M University and Emily Vargas-Barone, Founder and Executive Director of the RISE Institute.

For more information please contact:
Michael Dooney
(973) 275-2155

How to be a Religious Scientist

Matthew Stanley teaches and researches the history and philosophy of science. He holds degrees in astronomy, religion, physics, and the history of science and is interested in the connections between science and the wider culture. He is the author of Practical Mystic: Religion, Science, and A. S. Eddington , which examines how scientists reconcile their religious beliefs and professional lives. Currently, he is writing a book that explores how science changed from its historical theistic foundations to its modern naturalistic ones.

Professor Stanley is also part of a nationwide NSF-funded effort to use the humanities to improve science education in the college classroom. He has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, the British Academy, and the Max Planck Institute. He currently runs the New York City History of Science Working Group.

Date: March 13
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: McNulty Hall, Room 101

For more information please contact:
Michele Melvin
(973) 761-9480

Seton Hall to host NJCEA Conference

On Saturday, March 9, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of English will host the 36th annual New Jersey College English Association conference and meeting. Faculty, graduate student, and independent scholars from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania will be presenting papers on literature, composition, and pedagogy, as well as creative readings of non-fiction and poetry. The keynote speech will be delivered by Dr. Kurt Spellmeyer, Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Rutgers University, and he will be speaking on “English in the Market Society: Meaning Over Value.” More information is available at

For more information please contact:
Kelly Shea
(973) 275-2183

C.K. Williams Reads at Seton Hall

Acclaimed poet C.K. Williams will read from his work as part of the Poetry-in-the-Round reading series at 7 p.m. in Jubilee Hall Auditorium on Wednesday, March 13. This reading is made possible by a generous donation from the Giroux Foundation and the event is free and open to the public.

C. K. Williams is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Writers Writing Dying (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012), Wait (2010), and Collected Poems (FSG, 2007). The Singing won the National Book Award for 2003, and his previous book, Repair, was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His collection Flesh and Blood received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Williams has also published a memoir, Misgivings: My Mother, My Father, Myself, in 2000, and has published translations of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, Euripides’ Bacchae, and poems of Francis Ponge, among others. Williams was awarded the Twentieth Annual Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, an honor given to an American poet in recognition of extraordinary accomplishment. Among his honors are awards in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the PEN/Voelcker Career Achievement Award, and fellowships from the Lila Wallace Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003, and teaches in the Writing Program at Princeton University. C.K. Williams is the Giroux Reader for the 2012-2013 Poetry-in-the-Round series, which is made possible by the generosity of the Giroux Foundation.

For more information please contact:
Nathan Oates
(347) 351-8828

Black History Month Events for 2013

In honor of Black History Month, organizations on campus are holding events to celebrate and discuss important milestones in the pursuit of freedom and equality for African-Americans in the United States.

This year 2013 marks two important anniversaries.

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation marked the beginning of ending slavery. A century later, in 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans, Jews and Gentiles, blacks and whites, Protestants and Catholics, marched to the memorial of Abraham Lincoln on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Tiwatayo Ogunnowo, a member of the Silent Praise Dance Ministry at the university, says Black History Month is an opportunity to show appreciation to those involved in the movement.

“Although we cannot physically repay those who valiantly dedicated their lives in pursuit of equality for all men, we can in return strive for excellence and leadership and continue to pass the torch to the ones behind us,” she explains.

For Ogunnowo, everyone can learn from the events being held on campus. “Black History Month is important, not only for African-Americans, but for everyone because we can all learn from the past so that we can all press towards a brighter tomorrow together,” she adds.

Events, which range from panel discussions to film series, are ongoing through April.

February 20
BSU – Black Cinema
8:30pm, Nursing Amphitheater

BSU- Black Men of Standard
Black Love Affair
8:30pm, TBD

February 25
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Black to Business on Monday
8:30pm, Arts and; Sciences 103

February 26
EOPSO – “My President is Black: The Controversy”
8:30pm, TBD

February 27
African Heritage Luncheon and Exhibit
12:00pm, Chancellors Suite

BSU – Black History Month Showcase
8:30pm, Jubilee Auditorium

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. – Black History Month Trivia
8:30pm, Nursing Amphitheater

March 13
Africana Studies – International Film Series
7:00 – 8:00pm, TBD

BSU – True Life: I’m A Black Greek
8:30pm, Beck Rooms

March 19
BSU – Election Day
8:30pm, TBD

March 20
Africana Studies – International Film Series
7:00 – 8:00pm, Nursing Amphitheater

BSU – Tribute to Black Women
8:30pm, Main Lounge

March 27
BSU – Why You So Sidity?
8:30pm, Beck Rooms

April 3
Africana Studies – International Film Series
7:00 – 8:00pm, Nursing Amphitheater

BSU – Poetry Jam
8:30pm, Cove

April 10
Africana Studies – International Film Series
7:00 – 8:00pm, Nursing Amphitheater

BSU – Domestic Violence Panel
8:30pm, Beck Rooms

April 17
Africana Studies – International Film Series
7:00 – 8:00pm, Nursing Amphitheater

April 21
BSU – 21st Annual Formal
8:30pm, Main Lounge

April 24
Africana Studies – International Film Series
7:00 – 8:00pm, Nursing Amphitheater

For more information please contact:
Forrest Pritchett
(973) 275-2760

China Night

Do you miss the fun times from New Year’s celebrations? Now with China Night 2013, there is no need to wait for another year! Asian Studies Program invites you to celebrate the Lunar New Year at 7 p.m. on February 20 in the Jubilee Hall Auditorium. This year we have invited professional artists to join us in celebrating the Year of Snake. They will bring us, among others, traditional Chinese Beijing Opera, mysterious face changing, and exciting acrobatics shows.

There will also be performances by students in the Chinese Program. They will sing, dance, and also perform a skit, which will show you the Chinese history and traditions. Among all these wonderful performances will be a prize drawing, offering you New Year presents. Chinese refreshments will be served at the end of the event. Please come to have fun!

For more information please contact:
Dongdong Chen
(973) 761-9465

Filmmaker Robin Hessman Presents “My Perestroika”

“My Perestroika” follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times – from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. The film interweaves their contemporary world with rare home movie footage from the 1970s and ‘80s in the USSR, along with official Soviet propaganda films that surrounded them at the time. Their memories and opinions sometimes complement each other and sometimes contradict each other, but together they paint a complex picture of the challenges, dreams, and disillusionment of this generation in Moscow today.

Robin Hessman graduated from Brown University with a dual degree in Russian and Film. She received her graduate degree in film directing from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow (with a “red diploma” of honors). She received an Academy Award® in 1994 – with co-director James Longley – for their student film, “Portrait of Boy with Dog.” During her eight years living in Russia, Robin worked for the Children’s Television Workshop as the on-site producer of “Ulitsa Sezam,” the original Russian-language Sesame Street.

In the US, Robin co-produced the documentary “Tupperware!”, which received the Peabody Award in 2005. Robin also co-produced the PBS biography of Julia Child, “Julia! America’s Favorite Chef.” In 2004, she founded Red Square Productions and was granted the position of Filmmaker in Residence at Boston’s PBS affiliate, WGBH, to develop “My Perestroika.” The project received the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant at the Full Frame Festival for a work-in-progress. In 2008 Robin was a MacDowell Colony Fellow.

Her feature-length documentary directing debut, “My Perestroika,” premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as part of the US Documentary competition and was screened in New York as part of the prestigious film series, New Directors/New Films, curated by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Awards include a 2012 Peabody Award, the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at the Full Frame Festival in April 2010, Special Jury Award at Silverdocs in June 2010, and special Jury Award at Pravo Ljudski in Sarajevo. “My Perestroika” was released theatrically in the US in 2011 and played in over 45 cities. It has been rated one of the top films of the year by leading critics, including the New York Times.

Robin is also an Associate of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian Studies and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since 2006, Robin has served as the Director of documentary programming for Amfest, the American Film Festival in Moscow.

Robin Hessman will present her documentary “My Perestroika” on Thursday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m. in Fahy Hall 236 on Seton Hall University campus. The screening will be followed by Q&A.

The event is sponsored by the Russian and East European Studies Program and the Slavic Club.

For more information please contact:
Maxim Matusevich
(973) 761-9386

Seeking Sicily

Author John Keahey will present his book Seeking Sicily on February 19 at 6 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge of the Bishop Dougherty University Center. Q and A session and reception to follow.

John Keahey has spent more than thirty years as a newspaper/wire service reporter and editor who has turned his love for Italy into a career of writing and speaking on the subject. His third book–Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey through Myth and Reality— takes a unique approach beyond the typical travel narrative. It explores Sicilian culture through a variety of elements: its cuisine, which draws from the influences from the various nations that once controlled the island; its authors who, like their fellow islanders, consider themselves Sicilian rather than Italian; and through their deeply ingrained isolationist attitudes of Sicily’s three thousand-year history of being ruled by one invader after another (northern Italians being that latest conqueror during Italian Unification in 1861). Keahey also examines the influence of the Mafia and the impact of Sicilian-Greek myths that still permeate the Mediterranean’s largest, most mysterious, and most historically significant island.

For more information please contact:
Barbara Ritchie
(973) 275-2967