News from the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Message from the Dean

Welcome to this inaugural issue College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Newsletter. My hope is that through this mechanism we can share a wide variety of information about our college. Throughout the academic year our student and faculty achievements accrue and await recognition at the end of the year. True, some are recognized on the Wilkes website or in newspapers, but we all know that much of what we do is known only to our immediate colleagues. By the middle of each month during the academic year, your department chairs have agreed to provide updates to me on news, events, and accomplishments in your programs. I have agreed to have these posted on this website by the start of each month. In this way we can learn and share information about our college. Additionally, as each month passes we will retain this information for student and faculty recognition occasions. Each month, an email with this website link will be sent to all faculty and staff in the college.
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Twelve students and two faculty from the Department of Psychology attended the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association on March 10-13. Casey Connell and Melissa Mayhew presented a poster (coauthored with Dr. Ed Schicatano) which examined the perception of taste. Shanna Allen and Matthew Caines presented a poster with Dr. Debbie Tindell which looked at the effects of priming on memory blocks. Dr. Bob Bohlander also presented a poster dealing with the psychological aspects of homosexual relationships.

In addition to those presenting, 8 students from the Psychology Club also attended the conference. This event is an annual trip that the Psychology Club students take. It allows the students to see first-hand the research that is being conducted in the field and to gain a better appreciation of the process. In addition to research presentations, students are able to attend seminars on topics such as "careers in psychology" and "tips on applying to graduate school in psychology."

The Psychology Club at Wilkes took part in "Bowling for Kid's Sake" on Saturday, March 19th. Five teams of bowlers raised money to support the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. This is an community service activity that the Psychology Club tries to participate in every year.
Psi Chi sponsored "Eating Disorders Screening Day" on March 1st as part of the National Eating Disorders Screening Day program. Approximately 100 pens were distributed (courtesy of Student Affairs) with a web address to an online screening site. This event is part of a multi-screening program, that also includes screenings for depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. Based on the results of the survey, students are given information about appropriate resources available. National Alcohol Screening Day will be held on April 7th as part of the Wilkes Health Fair. To access these free and anonymous surveys, please log onto See Dr. Bohlander for more information (Breis 307, 408-4561).
Michael Bernatovich, the Northest Regional Director of Step By Step, Inc. visited campus on Tuesday, March 22nd to talk with interested students about this organization. The discussion included information about internship and employment opportunities.
Communication Studies
Senior Communication Studies major, Jess Niemiec, was named to the American Forensic Association's All-American Team for 2005. The All-American Forensics Team honors seniors who are successful competitors, maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average and contribute to both their campuses and communities. Dr. Brad Kinney and Dr. Jane Elmes-Crahall nominated Niemiec who was the automatic choice of AFA District 7. She is one of ten forensics competitors in the nation to be selected by her AFA District, which includes PA, MD, NJ, VA, DE and Washington DC. She is the President of the Wilkes Speech/Debate Team and has won over 150 intercollegiate awards including the 2005 PA State Championship in Rhetorical Criticism. She will be competing in 6 events at the upcoming AFA National Championship in April. This is the first time a Wilkes student was named to the All-American Team.
Elvira Illiano, senior Communication Studies major, will be presenting her senior capstone research paper at DePauw University's 2005 Undergraduate Communication Research Honors Conference on March 30-April 3 in Indianapolis, IN. Illiano's paper was written in Dr. Andrea Frantz's Communication Research Methods class in fall 2004. The paper, "Relational Maintenance in Long-Distance Dating Relationships Among College Students: Staying Close," was competitively selected for presentation at the Honors Conference.
Patricia Shyshuk, senior Communication Studies major, was recently named the Wilkes University's "Adult Learner of the Year." Shyshuk will be a featured guest at a dinner hosted by LCCC on March 22.
Need a laugh? The Department of Communication Studies, Zebra Communications and the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences invite all members of the College to the Pearsall Film Gala on Monday, April 18 in the SUB Ballroom. The classic Marx Brothers film, "A Night at the Opera," will be screened to celebrate the Pearsall Film Collection. Reception at 6 P.M. with the film screening at 7 P.M. Admission is free and the popcorn (among other yummy things) is on us!
Dr. Phyllis Weliver's book, The Musical Crowd in English Fiction, 1840-1910: Class, Culture and Nation, has been accepted for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in their series, Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture. The publisher is aiming for a publication date of May 2006.

Dr. Phyllis Weliver has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend. The award will allow her to finish revisions on her second monograph, The Musical Crowd in English Fiction, 1840-1910: Class, Culture and Nation.

The Wilkes University Teacher Education Programs had a successful Technical Assistance Review in February by Mr. Clifton Edwards, the Wilkes U. liaison from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in preparation for the October 2005 PDE review.
Dr. Barbara Bellucci , Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Student Teaching, recently presented a paper entitled Aligning Teacher Preparation and Basic Education's Expectations at the PA Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (PAC-TE) Conference in Grantville, Pennsylvania.  Her most recent grant initiative, ACTS in PA (Aligning Curriculum to Standards), is part of PA's Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant that is providing ongoing training to the Education faculty for integrating technology into the curriculum. Dr. Bellucci serves as the Title II administrator for the Teacher Education Program at Wilkes.
Dr. Kristin Bewick , Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Special Education program, recently attended conferences sponsored by the Learning Disabilities Association of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Network (PATTAN). She is a co-author of Brainwave-R: Cognitive Strategies and Techniques for Brain Injury Rehabilitation , a series of rehabilitation training manuals. She serves as the Treasurer and Credentialing Chairperson of the international Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation. She recently completed an extensive review of two chapters in a special education textbook published by Allyn & Bacon Co.
Dr. Mary Kropiewnicki , Associate Professor of Education, created and designed a successful reading camp entitled Reading Round-up . The camp is offered as part of the Education course ED 298: Applied Reading Strategies. She presented the components of this innovative course at the Keystone State Reading Conference with two undergraduate Elementary Education majors who were camp teachers.  She has recently completed a research study in comprehension strategy instruction. The undergraduate research assistant in that study, an Elementary Education major, will accompany Dr. Kropiewnicki to a national conference in Texas to present the research findings.
Dr. Douglas Lynch , Associate Professor of Education, is active in both state and national Social Studies professional associations.  He recently Chaired the Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies Conference in Pittsburgh and will be a delegate to the National Council for Social Studies in Baltimore. Dr. Lynch recently led a discussion at the national conference of the Association of General and Liberal Studies in Kansas City.  The topic was Using Cognitive Research to Improve Learning and Curricular Coherence .
Gina Zanolini Morrison , Assistant Professor of Education, has published the article, Cultural Identity Development: A New Model for Building Positive Cross-Cultural Relationships in the international Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change .  Professor Morrison's paper was originally presented at last year's conference on Knowledge and Change Management in Penang, Malaysia. She also served as co-author of a new recently approved course, STTE 300:  The Study Tour Experience, which will enrich the Wilkes curriculum by offering several guided, short trips to other cultures each year.
Suzanne Murray-Galella, Assistant Professor of Education, was awarded "Educator of the Year," by Marywood University's Graduate Education Department, in May 2004.  She is active in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Special Education Committee.  She works directly with a local school district to view and improve special education IEP's as well working one on one with special education teachers to help implement appropriate curriculum and make needed adaptations to help students with differences find success.
Dr. Diane Polachek, Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Education Department, and Teacher Certification Officer, won The Best Paper Award at the International College Teaching Methods and Styles Conference, held in Reno, Nevada.  The paper was entitled, Performance-Based Faculty Teaching Evaluation . The paper presented a user-friendly evaluation instrument easily adapted to any academic department that can serve as an effective tool to initiate professional discussion, foster dialogue and reflection, and improve the teaching and learning processes. Dr. Polachek's paper will be published in The Journal of College Teaching Methods and Styles.
Visual and Performing Arts

Thanks to the work of Dr. Ellen Flint, the University hosted the annual meeting of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic on April 1st and 2nd. In conjunction with this event, the Kandinsky Trio presented a concert the evening of April 1st. The Trio is one of only six piano trios ever to win the prestigious Chamber Music America Residency Award.

Dr. Ellen Flint also recently participated in a meeting of the College Music Society Committee on Outreach to Higher Education. She met with distinguished colleagues in music as well as other higher education representatives from AAHE, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the Carnegie Foundation.

Hotel Universe, a theatre production performed by Wilkes University’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts, was selected out of seventy shows to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival XXXVII (Region II) at the Baker Theatre of Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa. in January.