Monday, October 28, 2013

Technology in the classroom at SMC

Last August five members of the faculty participated in the Advanced Teaching With Technology Workshop offered by our Information Technology staff.  The first picture below  shows Amdework Aseffa, Support Technician who directs the College's NEW Mac lab - this VERY state of the art Mac Lab which is designed to support our Fine Arts Department, gives our students the support they need for digital learning and creative work. It is equipped with 15 iMac workstations that include the full Adobe Suite and other popular software.  While I have no clue as to most of what happens in this new Lab, I do know that Amde is a a great teacher who strives to make sure that anyone with questions, will get them answered.  He, along with Jerome Allen, Erik Lightbody, Sue Breeyear, Kellie Campbell and Jim Millard, helped the five of us from the faculty to, in some cases like me, redesign our classes.  The second picture is of a presentation I did this past Friday to explain how I utilize our Tegrity - video-capture program  - in both my Sports Psychology course (students making presentations get video-captured and then they have to view their own presentation and write up their own assessment) and in my Theories of Counseling class where students check out a "kit" containing a webcam and a microphone and then they have to - on their own - set up a mock counseling session which they submit to me.  THIS has been a huge success and the good folks in IT have been amazingly helpful resources as I try to make my classes even more "technology friendly" than they were.  One statistic I was surprised at when we first began the workshop was that the entering first year class at SMC this past August was the FIRST class to have had technology through their ENTIRE school experience.  Pretty amazing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

An amazing weekend - Gloria Steinem, Annie Liebowitz and Senator Patrick and his wife Marcel - for the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Ceremony

Astor Court in Rhinebeck, NY was the alternative site for the Eleanor Roosevelt Medal Award Ceremony since the gov't shutdown closed the site where this celebration normally takes place - Val-Kill is on government property so the shutdown meant their finding an alternative site.  Astor Court is where Chelsea Clinton was married and is a private residence.  Marc and Dana vanderHeyden hosted a reception here Saturday evening for the Vermont contingent who were there to share in the celebration of Senator and Mrs. Patrick Leahy being honored.

Marilyn Cormier is the College's Director of Governmental and Corporate Relations and she and Marcel and Patrick Leahy are good friends of hers.  Senator Leahy is our Vermont Senator and currently the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate which makes him the third in line for the Presidency.  Here they are in front of Astor Court with the Hudson River in the background.

Both Professor Reza Ramazani and I were honored to be at this event and to be asked to "pose" with the Senator.  Prof. Ramazani is one of our economics professor and he truly IS an extraordinary teacher.  His students love his classes and his energy seeps out into the hallways wherever he teaches.

Gloria Steinam is someone I have always admired.  I have used her scholarly writings in my classes seemingly forever.  She, along with the Senator and Marcel Leahy (and three other people) were honored at the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Ceremony.  I had a chance to meet and chat with her about my Men & Masculinities class and my newly published book I Wish He'd Taught Me How To Shave.  It was such a privilege to talk with her and later to hear her acceptance speech as she recounted her journey as a strong feminist scholar and author.  I am not one to be "star struck" but WOW - for me to meet such an icon WAS a privilege.

As we were gathering yesterday morning outside of Astor Court, I walked up to this group - former SMC President Marc vanderHeyden, Marcel Leahy and Senator Patrick Leahy were standing talking with Annie Liebowitz who just happens to live next to Astor Court and who took a break from pressing apples for cider at her home to stop over to greet her long time friend Gloria Steinam - Senator Leahy introduced me to her - she, for those who aren't aware, is an incredible photographer whose works are well known all over the world - she truly has an "eye" for taking pictures of world famous and not so famous people.

So, as indicated in the title of this post - an amazing weekend.  Thanks to Marilyn Cormier for the invitation.  Spending time with VP for Institutional Advancement Patrick Gallivan, his friend Dani Fisette, new VT friends Joy and Ed Limoge, Marilyn, Marc and Dana, Patrick and Marcel Leahy and, of course REZA made for not a "normal" weekend for me.  One of the many reasons I respect and admire Marcel Leahy is her openness about her successful battle with melanoma - she mentioned this in HER acceptance speech - she also is a staunch advocate for our military and their families - so it is fitting as always, for me to ask that you keep ALL of the members of our military and ALL of our veterans and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Take care