Wells College News Archives 2007

Stories from the college's news archives.

Wells College Board Elects New Trustees

Local businessman Daniel Fessenden among them

Daniel J. FessendenThe Wells College Board of Trustees recently elected a new board member and three honorary trustees. Among them is local business leader Daniel J. Fessenden.

Dan Fessenden of Union Springs will serve as a College trustee for a three-year term. He is the executive director of the Fred L. Emerson Foundation in Auburn. From 2004 to 2006, Fessenden was the founding executive director of the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva, N.Y., a nonprofit local development corporation engaged in cutting-edge research in food, agricultural and bio-based technologies. Before that he managed government and community relations for the Carrier Corporation in Syracuse, and in 1993, was elected to the New York State Assembly. He went on to serve four terms representing the 126th District.

Fessenden received his undergraduate degree from Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where he majored in applied economics and business management; he was honored in 1995 with that school’s Young Alumni Achievement Award. He also pursued graduate studies at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse. He has served on the staff of the New York state legislature and as a lobbyist with the New York Farm Bureau. 

“It is indeed an exciting time for Wells College,” said Fessenden. “As a resident of the Aurora area, I want to help strengthen the role and relevance of the College to our region’s economy. I also look forward to helping Wells build upon its strong tradition of preparing the next generation of leaders to impact our global economy.”

The College has also named three honorary trustees: Dr. William Clark of Corte Madera, Calif., and Wyoming residents Susan Wray Sullivan, Wells class of 1951, and her husband Pike Sullivan Jr. 

For more information about these appointments, please contact Director of Publications & Media Relations Kelly Tehan at 315/364-3260 or by email at ktehan@wells.edu.

December, 2007


Wintersession Dates

Wells College has adjusted hours for winter break 2007 – 2008:

Last day of classes: Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Final exams end: Thursday, December 13, 2007

College closed for winter break: 
   4:30 pm, Friday, December 21, 2007 – 8:30 am, Wednesday, January 2, 2008

College reopens: Wednesday, January 2, 2008
    Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Spring classes begin: Monday, January 28, 2008

If you have an emergency or need assistance while the College is closed December 22 – January 1, please contact the Office of Campus Security at 315.364.3229.

Happy Holidays! 

December, 2007


Rockin’ A Cappella Group Gives Concert at Wells

Grammy-nominated ensemble The Bobs fills room with high energy

The BobsThe Wells College Arts & Lecture Series Committee is pleased to welcome a cappella group The Bobs to campus on Friday evening, November 30. Billed as “an unforgettable evening of classics that rock and classic rock,” the performance will be held in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall, at 7:30 p.m. Prices are $6 for students, senior citizens and the Wells College community, and $10 for the general public; free for Wells students with ID. Tickets are available at the door the night of the performance or from the box office the week preceding the show; call 315/364-3456 to reserve seats. 

Grammy-nominated vocal pioneers The Bobs are a four-voice a cappella group that’s been performing for 25 years. Known for their incredible live show, witty, tuneful original material, and outrageous covers of classic songs, their repertoire runs the gamut from The Doors, Duke Ellington and Cream to flamenco and the Talking Heads. 

In 2001, the band’s concert special, “The Bobs Sing! ( And Other Love Songs),” was filmed for PBS and later released on DVD. That DVD won the Chicago International Film Festival’s film and video competition in the “Interactive Entertainment” category. Their recording of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter received a Grammy nomination in 1984 for Best Vocal Arrangement, and two of The Bobs’ CDs have been added to the permanent collection of the media archives in the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History.

The BobsWarming up for The Bobs will be Wells’ own Henry’s VIIIs and Whirligigs student singing groups.

Each year, the Wells College Arts & Lecture Series brings professional acts and individuals to campus to speak on relevant issues and represent the arts: drama, music, and dance. The acts are selected annually by a committee composed of Wells faculty, staff and students.

For more information about The Bobs’ concert and the Wells Arts & Lecture Series, please contact Rebecca Cooper, coordinator of the Arts & Lecture Series Committee, at 315/364-3330 or visit the College’s Web site: www.wells.edu. More information on The Bobs may be found at www.bobs.com.

November, 2007


48th Annual Holiday Choir Concert at Wells College

Festive tradition replete with evergreens and candlelight

Wells College ChoirAll are welcome to enjoy a long-standing holiday tradition at Wells College. On Sunday, December 2, the Wells Concert Choir will present the 48th annual holiday performance at 7:30 pm in Barler Recital Hall on the Aurora campus. Professor of Music Crawford R. Thoburn will conduct the program, which features seasonal music for the men’s, women’s, and combined choral ensembles. The public is warmly invited to enjoy this special treat. Donations of canned and boxed foods for a local food pantry will be gratefully accepted as the price of admission.

Pine trees and candlelight will create a festive atmosphere for this holiday favorite. This year’s program is a choral sampler, with works ranging from Renaissance motets to American folk-songs, and from the works of Baroque masters to African-American spirituals. Holiday favorites will include Lo, How a Rose, Carol of the Bells, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and Silent Night. The students will also sing several published choral compositions written by Professor Thoburn, including There is No Rose of Such Virtue, ’Neath Starlit Skies, and Venite Adoremus. Wells College Lecturer in Music Russell Posegate will serve as piano accompanist for the program.

“It’s a campus tradition — the candlelight, evergreens, carols and holiday music — but this year something new is added,” said Professor Thoburn. “This is the first year in the College’s history that the holiday concert will include a mixed-voice Concert Choir, with tenors and basses added to the sopranos and altos.” 

In the last two years, some of Professor Thoburn’s students formed a small mixed-voice chamber music group called Sine Nomine that helped make the vocal transition to coeducation. The group has already established a reputation for excellence.

Under Professor Thoburn’s direction, Wells College choral ensembles have appeared by invitation at national professional conventions, toured throughout the northeastern United States and western Europe, and been heard on national network radio and PBS.

For more informatio about the concert and music offerings at Wells College, please contact Professor Thoburn at 315/364-3347.

November, 2007


Wells College Hosts Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Cornell University professor Daniel Huttenlocher to give lecture, visit classes, conduct two-day residency

Dr. HuttenlocherCornell University's Neafsey Professor of Computing, Information Science and Business Daniel Huttenlocher will be on the Wells College campus November 15 and 16 for a two-day residency as the 2007-08 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. As part of his campus visit, Dr. Huttenlocher will give a public lecture on Thursday, November 15 entitled "Computer Vision: From Autonomous Vehicles to Video Surveillance to Image Search." The lecture will take place at 4:45 p.m. in Stratton Hall 209.  The public is invited to attend the free talk.

Professor Huttenlocher holds a joint appointment in the computer science department and the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell.  His research interests are in computer vision, online social networks, electronic collaboration tools, computational geometry, and financial trading systems. 

"Professor Huttenlocher is a particularly appropriate choice for Wells this year," said Assistant Professor of Psychology Deborah Gagnon, president of the Wells chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. "As a practitioner of computer and information science, he is a natural fit with the events coinciding with the opening of our new science building, the search for a tenure-track computer science faculty member, and the recent addition of a new associate vice president for library and information sciences."

The recipient of a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1990, Dr. Huttenlocher was named the New York State Professor of the Year by CASE in 1993, and honored as a Weiss Fellow by Cornell in 1996 for excellence in teaching.  He holds 24 U.S. patents and has published more than sixty technical papers.  In addition to academic positions, he has been chief technology officer of Intelligent Markets, a provider of advanced trading systems on Wall Street, and has spent more than ten years at Xerox PARC, where he directed work that led to the ISO JBIG2 image-compression standard.

During his Wells residency, Professor Huttenlocher will make several classroom appearances and meet informally with faculty and students. He will also present the weekly science colloquium lecture on Friday, November 16 in Stratton 209. Beginning at 12:30 pm, Huttenlocher will discuss "Computational Social Science: Large Scale Studies of Wikis, Blogs, and Social Networking Sites."

Huttenlocher earned his B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1980. He went on to receive both his master's and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His visit to the Wells campus coincides with the College's year-long celebration of the sciences, heralding the opening of Wells' new science building, Ann Wilder Stratton '46 Hall.

Daniel Huttenlocher's visit is part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program. Each year, the program makes available 12 or more distinguished scholars who visit 100 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. They spend two days on each campus, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and giving a public lecture open to the entire academic community. Now entering its 52nd year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent nearly 550 scholars on some 4,500 two-day visits. Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society, with chapters at 270 colleges and universities and over 600,000 members. The Wells College chapter was formed in 1932.

Dr. Huttenlocher's residency is sponsored by the Wells Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and the Office of the Dean of the College. For more information, please contact Professor Gagnon at 315/364-3307 and visit the College's Web site at www.wells.edu. For more information on the Phi Beta Kappa Society, go to www.pbk.org.

November, 2007


Fall Choir Concert

Students and faculty conductor present Schubert's "Mass in G Minor"

Wells College Professor of Music Crawford R. Thoburn is pleased to announce this fall’s choir concert. On Sunday, November 18, the program will include Schubert’s “Mass in G Major” for the combined Concert Choir with vocal soloists and string orchestra. The performance will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the Sommer Center.  The public is invited to attend the free concert.

Wells choir Fall2007Franz Schubert’s beloved “Mass in G Major” (D.167) will be the featured work presented by the Wells College Concert Choir and soloists, accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Professor Thoburn will conduct the performance, in which the College’s women’s and men’s choral ensembles will also sing works from their respective repertoires.

“The ‘Mass in G Major’ is Schubert’s best-known choral-orchestral composition and an astonishingly fine work for the eighteen year old composer who produced it in just five days!” said Professor Thoburn. “The choral parts present a lyrical, expressive setting of the traditional liturgical text in a style somewhat reminiscent of Mozart and early Beethoven. The vocal solo writing is woven into the choral movements, with the exception of the ‘Benedictus,’ which is set as a theme and variations for solo trio.”

The vocal soloists in this performance will be soprano Mary Gooding ’10 of Penfield, N.Y., tenor Justin Zehr ’11 from Syracuse, and basses Marshall Anderson ’09 of State College, Pa. and Travis Niles ’09 of Nineveh, N.Y., all of whom are Wells students from the vocal studio of Professor Thoburn.

In addition to the Schubert mass, the Concert Choir will sing arrangements of African-American spirituals and shorter works by William Byrd and Johann Sebastian Bach.  The women’s ensemble will perform works by Orlando di Lasso, Ellen Keating, and Henry Purcell, and the men’s ensemble will present pieces by William Byrd, Thomas Ravenscroft, and Marshall Bartholomew.  The women’s ensemble will be accompanied by pianist Russell Posegate, lecturer in piano at Wells. 

November, 2007


Special Literary Event

Tribute in honor of late Welsh poet, author Leslie Norris features readings, screenings

norrisThe Wells College Visiting Writer Series is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, November 14, there will be a special literary event celebrating the life and work of the late beloved Welsh poet and short story writer Leslie Norris. Beginning at 7:00 pm in the Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall, the tribute will include readings from Mr. Norris’s poems and stories, and will feature his recently released children’s book, published posthumously. The free event is open to the public; light refreshments will be served. 

Mr. Norris, who passed away last year, had a close relationship with Wells. He read on the Aurora campus several times, and Wells College Press’ first full-length book publication was his poetry collection Holy Places (1998). Subsequently, the Press reprinted his classic collection of poems for children, Norris’s Ark, as well as pamphlets and broadsides of his work. His readings are legendary; he was one of the all-time favorite writers to visit Wells. 

This reading will feature Norris’ latest book, Albert, Lucille, and the Two Williams, sequel to the 2003 Christmas story, Albert and the Angels. One of the readers will be editor, poet, and fiction-writer Peter Makuck, who co-edited An Open World: Essays on Leslie Norris (1994).

Mr. Norris ranks among the finest contemporary writers in English. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Welsh Academy, and recipient of numerous awards for poetry and fiction, he was named Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Brigham Young University in 1983. He authored more than twenty books of poetry and fiction; his Collected Stories and Collected Poems appeared in 1996. 

Crossing Borders, a DVD of Mr. Norris reading and talking about his life and work, will be shown repetitively in the Art Exhibit Room beginning at 4:30 pm on November 14 and continuing until the start of the event. Copies of his books will be available for purchase at the reading. 

For more information about this and other readings at Wells, please contact Professor Bruce Bennett at 315.364.3228 and visit the College’s Web site: www.wells.edu.

November, 2007


Wells Tennis Team Wins Tournament Berth

Women’s tennis captures first-ever NCAA championship bid

Wells College Tennis Team Fall 2007The Wells College Express women’s tennis team traveled to Clarks Summit, Pa. last weekend to compete in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) team and individual championships. In so doing, the Express earned the NEAC’s automatic qualification to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tennis tournament, the first in the College’s athletic history. 

The Express entered the NEAC tournament as the #4 seed last and upset #1 seed Keuka College in the semifinals of the team championship on Friday. In the championship round, the Express took on #2 seed Penn State-Berks, who defeated #3 seed Keystone College in the other semifinal round. Due to their provisional member status of the NCAA, Penn State-Berks did not receive the qualifying bid. The first round of the 27th annual Division III women’s tennis championships will be held May 2-4, 2008. 

The tennis team continued their success on Saturday as eight of the nine flights qualified for the individual championships.  The team met their goal by placing in the top three in every position, and two flights came away with NEAC championship wins. 

“This whole season has been a full team effort as each individual player has contributed equally to our team’s success,” said Express first year head coach Andrew Gross. “The team reached its three season goals:  finish with a 9-5 regular season record, reach the NEAC championship final match, and have all our players place in the top three at individual championships. The team is intrinsically and extrinsically motivated and knows how to come through in the big matches – I couldn’t be more pleased.” 

The women finished the regular season 10-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play. The team will participate in practices and matches during the spring tennis season to prepare for the May tournament.

Founded in 1868, Wells College is a Division III member of NCAA and joined the North Eastern Athletic Conference this fall. Wells offers the following intercollegiate teams — Women: field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and cross country. Men: cross country, swimming, soccer, and lacrosse. Men’s basketball is being introduced this year at the club level and will elevate to varsity in 2008-09; women’s basketball will be sponsored at the varsity level in 2009-10.

For more information about the tennis team’s berth in the NCAA tournament or athletics at Wells, please contact Kelly Tehan, director of publications and media relations, at 315.364.3260 and visit the College’s Web site: www.wells.edu/athletics.

October, 2007


Beloved Poet, Children’s Writer Reads at Wells College

X.J. Kennedy to recite from two new books of poetry

Peeping Tom's Cabin by X. J. KennedyThe Wells College Visiting Writer Series is pleased to announce that renowned anthologist, poet, and children’s writer X.J. Kennedy is returning to the Aurora campus for a reading. The event will take place at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 8 in the Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall. The free reading will be followed by a reception with an opportunity to meet the writer; light refreshments will be served. 

For more than half a century, readers and listeners have taken special pleasure in the poetry of X.J. Kennedy. While at Wells, Kennedy will read from two of his latest books of poetry: Peeping Tom’s Cabin and In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus. The latter is an anthology of his best work — memorable songs, startling lyrics, in-depth character studies, and poems that tell poignant stories. A master of verbal music, Kennedy has long been praised for his wit and humor; as this collection reveals, many of his poems also reach surprising depths and heights. 

Kennedy is also the author of several other volumes and collections, including the prize-winning Nude Descending a Staircase, Cross Ties, and The Lords of Misrule. Kennedy has long occupied a unique place in American poetry; In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus offers the first comprehensive collection to span his entire career. 

“X. J. Kennedy is an eminent anthologist, author of children's books, essayist, and poet, who also happens to be one of the most entertaining readers of poetry around,” said Bruce Bennett, Wells professor of English and director of the Visiting Writer Series. “Wells is lucky to have him back to celebrate the publication of two new major books of his poetry.”

X. J. Kennedy has written poetry, children’s verse, and fiction as well as textbooks on writing and literature. Before becoming a full-time writer, he taught at the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, Tufts University, Wellesley College, the University of California–Irvine, and Leeds University. He now lives in Lexington, Mass. with his wife and sometime coauthor, Dorothy M. Kennedy. 

This reading and the Wells College Visiting Writer Series are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.  Poets and writers are invited to campus throughout the academic year to meet with students, present writing workshops, and read from their respective works.

For more information about X.J. Kennedy’s reading at Wells, please contact Professor Bruce Bennett at 315.364.3228

October, 2007


Wells Students Participate in Wide-Reaching Study

Results of “The Aurora Truck Study” report to be shared tonight with legislators, public officials

Professor Deb GagnonWells College continues to apply classroom learning to “real world” situations. In response to a request by Aurora trustees to quantify the magnitude of truck traffic in the village, 23 Wells students participated in a study that has made its way to the upper reaches of state government.

Under the direction of Wells’ Assistant Professor of Psychology Deborah Gagnon and at the request of Aurora village trustee George Farenthold, nearly two dozen students in May 2006 conducted a count of multi-axle trucks traveling through the village of Aurora on State Route 90.

“The truck project started out as what I thought would be a wonderful service learning project for my quantitative methods in psychology course,” said Dr. Gagnon. “I had no idea just how good an opportunity it would turn out to be. The students had been learning all semester about the importance of making careful, systematic, objective observations; here was an opportunity to apply their newfound skills to a concrete, real-world question that would be of use to the community in which they lived. It was truly a win-win situation.”

During the randomly selected and representative week of May 8 – 13, 2006, Wells students rotated shifts, camping out along Main Street in front of Wells College to count the number of multi-axle trucks that made their way through the village between 5:00 am and 7:00 pm. The final count for the six-day period was 617 — 322, or 52%, were identified as garbage trucks, likely en route to and from the Seneca Meadows landfill in Waterloo. 

“This has always been a life safety issue for me,” said Mr. Farenthold, also a nine-year Aurora EMT/first responder. “As an Aurora village trustee, I’ve been greatly concerned for years about the number of trucks pounding through our quiet downtown. Our infrastructure just isn’t designed to handle 80,000 pounds of truck and load. We are running out of time and luck, and without positive action, the results are certain to be tragic.”

Professor Gagnon has compiled the results of the study into a report entitled “The Aurora Truck Study.” She shared the report, which addresses life safety, quality of life, infrastructure costs, and environmental impact issues, with Mr. Farenthold and village leaders, who in turn passed it along to state legislators.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) recently introduced federal legislation (U.S. Senate Resolution 395) as part of a larger bill that will restrict movement of hazardous waste and prevent multi-axle trucks carrying hazardous waste from traveling on non-interstate highways. 

Mr. Farenthold has been lobbying for legislation as well: “We owe Senator John DeFrancisco [R-Syracuse] a huge collective ‘thank you’ for shepherding his trash truck legislation through the first day of the Special Session in Albany; the vote was 57-1. Now we begin to push it through the New York State Assembly’s Transportation Committee, then on to Governor Spitzer’s office.”

Following welcome remarks by Wells College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson, Dr. Gagnon will present the results of the study tonight, Thursday, October 25, to the Upstate Citizens Safety Task Force. The volunteer nonpartisan group is expecting more than 100 in attendance, including a number of public officials. The meeting will take place at the Aurora Inn at 6:00 pm.

“My hope is that our elected officials, concerned citizens, and the trucking industry can come to a mutually agreeable solution to this issue,” said Professor Gagnon. “My desire is not to put truckers out of business - as the niece of a retired interstate trucker, I am all too aware of the economic plight of the trucking industry. However, there is no economic argument, in my mind, that will offset the loss of even one Wells student or one Aurora resident to a multi-ton truck.”

She went on to say that “the students themselves ought to be recognized for the good work that they have done on behalf of Aurora. I hope that by seeing the effect of their work in the greater community, they will gain a sense of hope and optimism that collective efforts of concerned citizens really can make a difference.”

For more information about Wells College’s involvement in the Aurora truck study, please contact Director of Publications & Media Relations Kelly Tehan at 315/364-3260. Additional information about the Upstate Citizens Safety Task Force and legislation surrounding the study may be obtained from the task force’s vice president George Farenthold at 315/730-2698.

October, 2007


Art Exhibit Opens at Wells College

Sculpture, drawings on display by artist Jennifer Pepper of Cazenovia

PomPoms by Jenniver PepperThe Wells College Art Department is pleased to announce the third exhibition of the 2007-08 academic year. A selection of drawings and sculptural works by Cazenovia College art professor Jennifer Pepper will be on display in the String Room Gallery from November 7 through December 14. The exhibit is free and the public is cordially invited to view the show. An opening reception to be held on Wednesday, November 7 from 7:00-9:00 pm offers an opportunity to meet the artist; light refreshments will be served.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Jennifer Pepper is a sculptor and installation artist currently on the art faculty at Cazenovia College. Professor Pepper’s work focuses on the connections between language and the physical world. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in solo exhibitions and has participated in over fifty group shows since 1990. Her work has been seen in a variety of venues, including museums and galleries in Ireland, Japan, Canada, New York City and other locations throughout the United States.

In her artist statement, Ms. Pepper says of her Wells College installation: “I make use of found objects and dislocate them from their original cultural frames. By stripping the material from one context and incorporating it into another, the object has the potential to be complex, alive, available, and audience-activated. In new configurations, an object, word, idea, or meaning embraces endless options … These varied perceptions illuminate the very nature in which language functions when the activity of perception [and] interpretation and the process of translation are critically examined. … My drawings are active, contrasting hues and visual vibrations that infer the physical and malleable quality language continually reveals. The use of fragmented sentences from philosophy [and] everyday life and art presents language in an elusive manner, inferring its buoyant and transformational qualities. … In my works, I attempt to bring forth the temporal attributes language offers as it articulates and names our world.”

Ms. Pepper is the recipient of a number of granted awards, including The National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State Council on the Arts, New York State Foundation for the Arts, Astraea National Visual Artist fellow (NYC), and The Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She was a guest panelist at the 2007 Women’s Studies annual conference at Middle Tennessee State University where she presented a paper entitled The Latent Image: Performing Identity. She also presented Digital Flickerings & Femme Technology at the 2005 conference.

Ms. Pepper received her B.F.A. from The Maryland Institute College of Art in 1987, and her M.F.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1989.

The String Room Gallery is located in Main Building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the show and art classes at Wells, please contact gallery director William Roberts at 315/364-3237.
October, 2007


African Activist, Journalist to Speak at Wells

Sarah Mkhonza of Swaziland discusses censorship, literacy

Sarah MkhonzaWells College is pleased to welcome African author, activist, and journalist Dr. Sarah Mkhonza to Aurora. Dr. Mkhonza of Swaziland will give a lecture entitled “Exercising the Right to Write” on Thursday, October 25 at 4:45 pm in the Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall. The public is invited to hear the free presentation.

In July 2006, Sarah Mkhonza began a two-year residency sponsored by the Ithaca City of Asylum (ICOA) Project. ICOA is part of an international network of cities of refuge that supports the freedom of expression and human rights of writers exiled from their home countries. 

Sarah Mkhonza fled her homeland in 2003 after a campaign of harassment against herself and her family. An outspoken voice for women’s rights under the monarchical Swazi regime, Dr. Mkhonza wrote newspaper columns for The Observer and The Swazi Sun that told of the daily struggles of Swazi women and children ejected from their land. As her popularity as a critic of the government’s repressive policies grew, she was told to stop writing. Her refusal resulted in threats, assaults, and hospitalization. At the University of Swaziland, where she was a professor of linguistics and English, her office was twice robbed and vandalized. 

In 2003, Dr. Mkhonza arrived in the United States on a fellowship from the Scholar’s Rescue Fund and began teaching at the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind. She received political asylum in 2005.

Dr. Mkhonza’s talk at Wells College, “Exercising the Right to Write,” is from a paper she has been working on. She will also read some of the fiction she wrote while still in Swaziland.

During her residency in Ithaca, she holds a joint appointment as visiting scholar in the Department of English and the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. She has published two novels, What the Future Holds and Pains of a Maid, and is currently working on a third. She is co-founder of the Association of African Women, and the African Book Fund Group at Michigan State University.

The mother of two sons, Dr. Mkhonza earned her Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University She is ICOA’s first woman writer. 

For more information about Dr. Mkhonza’s lecture at Wells College, please contact Director of Institutional Diversity Stephen Gilchrist at 315/364-3463. 
October, 2007


Wells’ Fall Drama Production Gives New Take on Old Favorite

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is funny, madcap affair

The Wells College Theatre Department proudly presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as this fall’s student drama production. The performance will be featured on Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall. There will also be a 2:00 matinee on Sunday, October 21. Prices are $3 for students and children, $5 for senior citizens and the Wells community, and $7 for the general public. Tickets are available from the box office the week preceding the show, and at the door the night of the performance. Please call 315/364-3456 to reserve.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night or What You Will is the quintessential gender-bending romantic comedy. A love triangle of epic proportions is set into motion when fraternal twins Viola and Sebastian are victims of a shipwreck and both are left to believe the other is dead. Viola washes up on the shore of the mythical land of Illyria where she assumes the role of a eunuch named Cesario and enters the service of Duke Orsino. Viola soon falls for her benefactor, but his sights are set on the beautiful Countess Olivia, to whom he sends Cesario with a plea for her affections. The ploy works and Olivia does indeed fall in love—with the disguised Viola. From there further confusion and hilarity ensue, mostly due to Olivia’s house full of foolish pranksters and their victims.

Several Wells College students play lead roles: June Lesney ’08 is the obstinate Olivia; Zach Dickie ’11 portrays Orsino; Viola, disguised as the man Cesario, is played by Sarah Bonawitz ’11; Viola’s brother Sebastian is played by Ryan Addario ’10. Lindsey Cahoon ’09 is Feste the Fool. Additional students are cast in supporting roles and make up the crew. 

Costume design is by adjunct professor Bobbie Kolpakas. Natalie Kemper ’10 serves as assistant director, and lights and set design were produced by Wells technical director Joe DeForest.

Twelfth Night is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Siouxsie Grady. Ms. Grady received a B.A. in speech/theatre from the University of Montevallo (Alabama); an M.Ed. in drama from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro; and an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College. She was visiting assistant professor of theatre at Wells from 2003 to 2006, and has had professional teaching, acting, and directing experience at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca; The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem, N.C.; Seattle Children’s Theatre; and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival in Atlanta. 

For more information about Twelfth Night and other theatrical productions at Wells, please contact Assistant Professor Grady at 315/364-3232.
October, 2007


Photography Exhibit Opens at Wells College

Memorial thesis exhibit by the late Emily Richardson, young local artist

Emily RichardsonThe Wells College Art Department is pleased to announce its second exhibition of the 2007-08 academic year. A selection of black and white photographs by the late Emily Richardson will be on display in the String Room Gallery from October 3 through November 2. The exhibit is free and the public is cordially invited to view the show. An opening reception to be held on Wednesday, October 3 from 7:00-9:00 pm offers an opportunity to meet the artist’s family; light refreshments will be served.

Emily Richardson of Sherwood, New York, graduated from Southern Cayuga High School in 2000 and received her B.F.A. from Hampshire College in 2004. After working in New York City for a few months, Emily and her college roommate Emily Doran moved to Portland, Ore. to begin their lives in the Pacific Northwest. Sadly, in September 2005, both young women perished in a tragic automobile accident in Oregon.

The photographs selected for this installation, “Rebuilt Histories: A Walk Through the House,” are “partially documentary and partially imagined fiction,” according to Emily’s artist statement. The show celebrates the creative talent and artistic energy of a young woman whose life ended much too soon.

“Emily was a gifted photographer and it is very clear that she would have continued to succeed in the profession had she lived,” said Wells Professor of Art William Roberts. “Emily had the eye, the intellect, and the heart of a true artist. It has been my privilege to work with her family to bring this exhibit to Wells College.”

Emily’s family shared that Emily found beauty in simple things among the rubble of things past. She often noticed details other people missed, joyfully picking up a leaf, a flower or a piece of glass. Her photographs of old houses reveal beauty in the remnants of past occupants.

Emily Richardson photographer - Emily Howland House back porchThe photographs displayed in “Rebuilt Histories: A Walk Through the House” were part of Emily’s senior thesis work at Hampshire College. She photographed three old unoccupied houses with a 4x5 large format camera. The Isabel Howland house, located in Sherwood, New York, is most familiar to local residents. When it was built by Miss Howland, it was one of the most lavish homes in the county, but has been abandoned by its current owner for many years.  The other houses featured in this exhibit are located in Charleston, S.C. and Northampton, Mass. Emily’s interest in photographing these houses may have been generated by the abundance of historic and interesting homes in southern Cayuga County, which she learned to value while growing up near them. 

The String Room Gallery is located in Main Building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the show and art classes at Wells, please contact gallery director William Roberts at 315/364-3237.
September, 2007


Fall Science Colloquium Series at Wells College

Special guests, Wells students present on wide variety of scientific topics

Poster Session at Wells CollegeWells College is pleased to announce the Fall 2007 schedule for Science Colloquium. The long-standing lunchtime seminars, held every Friday when classes are in session, feature speakers in all areas of the sciences, including Wells students and faculty, and researchers from other institutions. This semester, the series also presents senior thesis projects by two graduating science majors. Presentations take place on Fridays at 12:40 p.m. in the new science building, Stratton Hall, Room 209. All events are free and the public is cordially invited to attend. 

September 7 
William Ganis, Assistant Professor of Art, Wells College
Proof of Concept: Digital Tools and Contemporary Sculpture

September 14
Amy Daly, Wells class of 2002, and Li Ming Tseng, Wells class of 1998 
Careers in Genetic Counseling, Chinese Medicine, and Acupuncture

September 21
Susan Suarez, Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine
How does Sperm Get to the Egg?

September 28
Margaret Pericak-Vance, Wells class of 1973; Director, Miami Institute for Human Genomics; Professor, Miami University’s Miller School of Medicine
Part of Wells’ new science building dedication weekend

October 5 - Fall Break; no colloquium

October 12
Katy Payne, recently retired Director, Cornell’s Elephant Listening Project
Eavesdropping on Forest Elephants

October 19
Warren Allmon, Director, Ithaca’s Museum of the Earth and PRI
Evolution, Creationism and the Defense of Science

October 26
Amy McCune, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
Are Swimbladders Derived Lungs?

November 2
Mary Beth Kolozsvary, New York State Biodiversity Research Institute

November 9
Sol Gruner, Professor of Physics and Director, Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS)
CHESS and the Cornell ERL Project

November 16
Daniel Huttenlocher, Professor of Computing, Information Science and Business, Cornell University
Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Lecturer

November 30
Allyn Kramer and Alicia Bender, Wells class of 2008
Senior thesis projects

For more information about the Science Colloquium, please call series coordinator Carol Shilepsky, professor of math and computer science, at 315.364.3214 and visit http://morgan.wells.edu/groups/science/.
September, 2007


Wells College Dedicates New Science Building

Celebrating Connections ~ Stratton Hall officially opens during 
September 27-29 activities

Ann Wilder Stratton ’46 Hall at Wells CollegeWells College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson is pleased to announce that the Wells community will “Celebrate Connections” during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the College’s newest campus addition - the 45,000 square foot science facility. Ann Wilder Stratton ’46 Hall, named for the Wells alumna whose bequest in excess of $9 million helped the College reach fundraising goals, will be formally dedicated on Saturday, September 29 at 3:00 p.m.

“The opening of Stratton Hall heralds a new era of science education at Wells College,” said President Ryerson. “Wells has a long and proud history of educating students in the sciences within our rigorous liberal arts curriculum.  The new facility supports our quality program and the faculty-student learning relationship which is at the heart of the Wells experience.” 

A series of celebration events will begin on Thursday, September 27 and run through the weekend. Highlights include:

  • Talk and book signing by best-selling writer Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair; 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 27
  • Science Colloquium presentation by Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Pericak-Vance, Wells class of 1973, director of the Miami Institute for Human Genomics and professor at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine; 12:30 p.m. Friday, September 28
  • Open house and multidisciplinary demonstrations throughout Stratton Hall by Wells faculty and students; 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Friday, September 28
  • Keynote address by veteran science correspondent Ira Flatow of NPR’s “Science Friday;” 3:00 p.m. Saturday, September 29
  • Official ribbon-cutting ceremony; 4:00 p.m. Saturday, September 29

The public is invited to “Celebrate Connections” with the Wells community.

Ann Wilder Stratton ’46 Hall at Wells CollegeAfter nearly a decade of fundraising, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new science facility was held on April 28, 2006, which included remarks by Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), chair of the House Science Committee, and Dr. Abraham Lackman, president of the Council on Independent Colleges and Universities; and a panel discussion on the critical importance of science education.

Stratton Hall is a three-level, L-shaped structure which features flexible classroom and lab spaces to support courses developed for science majors and non-majors. The building also houses faculty offices and a multi-functional 92-seat lecture hall, named in honor of former Wells Board chair Margie Filter Hostetter, Wells class of 1962. The lecture hall and several other major spaces, including a two-story light-filled atrium, were designed to be attractive to students and to accommodate needs across academic disciplines, such as introductory course lectures, college symposia, and public presentations and events.

“This semester, more than 30 different classes, including math, first-year seminars, and anthropology are being conducted in Stratton Hall,” said President Ryerson. “This is truly a multidisciplinary facility.”

Ann Wilder Stratton ’46 Hall at Wells CollegeCreation of the building’s concept and design was a collaborative effort - Wells faculty identified needs for teaching space and HOLT Architects of Ithaca, N.Y. designed the facility. LeCesse Construction Company of Rochester, N.Y. erected the building on time and within its $19 million budget.  Ryerson noted, “We were pleased to with work with local vendors of such high caliber as well as have an economic impact of this magnitude in our region.”

“It is a joy to be teaching in Stratton Hall,” said Professor of Chemistry Christopher Bailey of Aurora. “Wells has always had excellent faculty and strong science programs, and now we have a space that will better reflect this. From the technology-rich classrooms, to the discipline-appropriate teaching labs, to the smaller undergraduate research labs, Stratton Hall was designed to allow us to use our teaching skills to their fullest.”

September, 2007


Veteran NPR “Science Friday” Host to Speak at Wells

Award-winning TV journalist Ira Flatow gives keynote address for new science building dedication

Ira FlatowThe Wells College community will “Celebrate Connections” during the dedication of the College’s new 45,000 square foot science facility. On Saturday, September 29, Ann Wilder Stratton ’46 Hall will be formally dedicated. Ira Flatow, host of NPR’s Science Friday, will give the keynote address at 3:00 pm, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community reception. Mr. Flatow’s talk is free, and the community is invited.

“Ira Flatow is knowledgeable about all the sciences, rather than focused on one in particular, and he is a gifted communicator of fascinating advances and remaining puzzles, and of the relevance of science to our lives today,” said Professor of Biology Candace Collmer, coordinator of the symposium planning group. “He is a perfect fit for our theme of ‘Celebrating Connections,’ and we couldn’t be more excited that he has agreed to be our keynote speaker for the Stratton Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 29.”

Award-winning TV journalist and National Public Radio science correspondent Ira Flatow anchors NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, sharing each week his deep interest in all things scientific with 2.5 million public radio listeners, who call in with questions, opinions, and ideas.

As a student earning his engineering degree at SUNY-Buffalo, Mr. Flatow began reporting at WBFO-FM in Buffalo during the 1960s. From 1971 to 1986, he was an NPR science correspondent reporting from such places as Three Mile Island, Antarctica, and the Kennedy Space Center. For six years, he was writer and host for PBS’s Emmy-winning Newton’s Apple, a science program for children. 

Mr. Flatow is the author of several books, including They All Laughed…From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions that Have Changed Our Lives and Rainbows, Curve Balls, and Other Wonders of the Natural World Explained. His numerous television credits include science reporting for CBS This Morning and appearances on talk shows with Merv Griffin, Oprah Winfrey, and Charlie Rose, and on Today. 

Mr. Flatow’s address is part of Wells’ new science building dedication activities. Other events in the weekend-long celebration include a presentation by Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, Wells class of 1973, director of the Miami Institute of Human Genomics; an open house featuring multidisciplinary demonstrations and performances by Wells faculty and students; and a talk by best-selling writer Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees. 

For more information about Ira Flatow’s address, Stratton Hall, and dedication celebration activities, please call 315.364.3416, or email CelebratingConnections@wells.edu.
September, 2007


Renowned Author Sue Monk Kidd Speaks At Wells

Award-winning writer to give reading, book signing

Sue Monk KiddThe Wells College Arts & Lecture Series Committee is pleased to welcome best-selling novelist Sue Monk Kidd to campus on Thursday evening, September 27. The award-winning writer, best known for The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair, will speak in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall, at 7:00 p.m. The reading is expected to sell out. General admission tickets will be available for $10 each from the box office beginning at 1:30 on September 14; please call 315/364-3456 at that time to reserve or stop by the box office Monday – Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 pm.

Sue Monk Kidd is the award-winning author of best-selling debut novel The Secret Life of Bees, which spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 5 million copies. The Secret Life of Bees was selected by Wells faculty as this year’s shared first-year reading experience. 

In 2005, her eagerly anticipated second novel, The Mermaid Chair, was published and won the 2005 Quill award. The book has sold 1.7 million copies and has been made into a television movie.

Ms. Kidd is also the author of three highly regarded spiritual memoirs. Her early writings have been published by Guideposts Books (2006) and will be released in paperback by Penguin this month. Titled Firstlight, the book is a compilation of inspirational stories, spiritual essays, and meditations. 

Sue Monk Kidd has received numerous writing awards and honors, including the 2004 Book Sense Paperback Book of the Year, a nomination for the Orange Prize in England, and the selection of The Secret Life of Bees as Good Morning America’s Read This! Book Club pick.

Cover of The Secret Life of BeesAt Wells, Ms. Kidd will speak about her work and life in the South, and the writing of The Secret Life of Bees. She will also hold a question and answer session followed by a book signing.  Copies of The Secret Life of Bees will be available for purchase that evening.

Each year, the Wells College Arts & Lecture Series brings professional acts and individuals to campus to speak on relevant issues and represent the arts: drama, music, and dance. The acts are selected annually by a committee composed of Wells faculty, staff and students.

Ms. Kidd’s talk is part of Wells’ new science building dedication activities. Her talk begins a weekend-long celebration that also includes a presentation by Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, Wells class of 1973, director of the Miami Institute of Human Genomics; and a keynote address by veteran TV journalist and national host of NPR’s Science Friday, Ira Flatow. 

For more information about Sue Monk Kidd’s talk and the Wells Arts & Lecture Series, please contact Rebecca Cooper, coordinator of the Arts & Lecture Series Committee, at 315/364-3330 or visit the College’s Web site: www.wells.edu. More information on Ms. Kidd may be found at www.suemonkkidd.com.

September, 2007


Wells College Announces 2007-08 Arts & Lecture Series

Theatre, dance, lecture/book signing, music featured

The Wells College Arts & Lecture Series Committee is pleased to announce the 2007-08 line up. Each year, professional acts and individuals are brought to campus to speak on relevant issues and represent the arts: drama, music, and dance. In addition, the Series offers a Day on Broadway trip each spring for members of the campus community.

This year, the Arts & Lecture Series presents:

Sue Monk KiddBest-selling writer Sue Monk Kidd’s stunning debut novel The Secret Life of Bees (2002) has enchanted readers and critics alike. She is also the author of The Mermaid Chair (winner of the 2005 Quill award) and several spiritual memoirs. One of the most popular writers working today, Ms. Kidd will speak about her writing and her life in the South. A book signing and reception with the author will follow her talk. Her visit is part of Wells’ new science building celebration activities. For more information see www.suemonkkidd.com. Thursday, September 27 at 7:00 pm 

The BobsGrammy-nominated vocal pioneers The Bobs are a four-voice a cappella group that’s been performing for 20 years. Known for their incredible live show, witty, tuneful original material, and outrageous covers of classic songs, their repertoire runs the gamut from The Beatles to flamenco to the Talking Heads. Warming up for The Bobs will be Wells’ own Henry’s VIIIs and Whirligigs student singing groups. For more information see www.bobs.com
Friday, November 30 at 7:30 pm

The Paul Taylor Dance CompanyThe renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company, celebrating its 50th anniversary with a tour of all 50 states, is one of the world’s most exquisite dance ensembles. In the decades following their first performance in Manhattan, Mr. Taylor has become a cultural icon and a celebrated artist. His two dance companies have performed in more than 500 cities in 62 countries, bringing his ever-changing repertoire of modern dance pieces to cultural capitals, college campuses and rural communities. For more information see www.ptdc.org
Friday, February 15, 2008 at 7:30 pm

The Aquila Theatre CompanyWith precision, sensitivity and unity of ensemble, The Aquila Theatre Company articulates the human essence inherent in classical drama. Their dynamic, timely and hilarious new production of Joseph Heller’s own stage adaptation of his classic novel, Catch-22, will explore the important and timely questions of the absurdity of war and its impact on American society.   
Friday, April 18, 2008 at 7:30 pm

“I’m excited about the variety of amazing talent that will be coming to Wells as part of this year’s Arts and Lecture Series,” said Rebecca Cooper of the A&L Series Committee. “All of these performers are icons in their own field and we are fortunate to be able to bring these artists to campus to share their talent and expertise with Wells students and the greater community.”

All events will take place in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall. Prices are $6 for students, senior citizens and the Wells College community, and $10 for the general public; free for Wells students with ID. Tickets are available at the door the night of the performance or from the box office the week before the show; please call 315/364-3456 to reserve. 

The Wells College Arts & Lecture Series features professional guest artists and performers who are invited to campus to enrich the cultural components of Wells as a learning community. The acts are selected annually by a committee composed of Wells faculty, staff and students.

For more information about these performances and the Wells Arts & Lecture Series, please contact Rebecca Cooper at 315/364-3330 and visit the College’s Web site: www.wells.edu. 

August, 2007


New Art Exhibit Opens At Wells College

Sculpture, paintings, portrait drawings by two artists

huttonThe Wells College Art Department is pleased to announce the opening of its first exhibition of the 2007-08 academic year. A selection of paintings, sculpture, and portraits by two artists will be on display in the String Room Gallery from August 29 through September 28. The exhibit is free and the public is cordially invited. An opening reception to be held on Wednesday, August 29 from 7:00-9:00 pm offers an opportunity to meet the artists; light refreshments will be served.

On display will be paintings and sculpture by Deale Hutton. Hutton is the art librarian at SUNY-Oswego and the curator for Oswego’s gallery space in Penfield Library. Her sculpture project, Swimming With the Fishes, is an installation of sculptures and paintings of dead fish in various media — beeswax, oils, copper, fabric, encaustic, and gels. Hutton was born in Minneapolis and lives in Fair Haven, NY. She is a recent graduate of the M.F.A. program at RIT. 

neblettAlso featured are portrait drawings by Marcia Neblett, professor of drawing and design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. The pieces exhibited in this show follow two themes: those that are part of a series of fifty drawings of actual individuals in public places - bus stops, beauty shops, bookstores, bars and subway stations; and another series that explores a fantasy theme – a mermaid and a frog in oblivion and bliss. Neblett received her bachelor of fine arts from Purchase College and her M.F.A. in painting and printmaking from SUNY–Stony Brook. 

The String Room Gallery is located in Main Building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the show and art classes at Wells, please contact gallery director William Roberts at 315/364-3237.

August, 2007


New Student Life Staff

Important positions filled in Dean of Students Division

Wells College Associate Dean of Students Joel McCarthy and Director of Campus Involvement Alyssa Binns Gunderson have announced that Trina Nocerino, most recently of Syracuse University, and Rebecca (Becca) Cooper, a 2007 Wells College graduate, have joined the Student Life staff.  Nocerino will begin her duties as the new Director of Residence Life and International Student Services on August 1.  Cooper has already begun working as the Programming and Events Coordinator.

Trina NocerinoTrina Nocerino comes to Wells from Syracuse University, where she served as a full-time assistant residence director for three years and was then promoted to a residence director in the Office of Residence Life. She brings experience in resident advisor (R.A.) supervision, residential curriculum planning, advising, and training.  Nocerino earned both her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Master of Science degree in Higher Education Administration from Syracuse University. 

“Trina will be an outstanding addition to our Student Life staff,” said McCarthy. “She brings a wealth of residence life and training experience to Wells.  She is well connected to the field of student affairs and is an active member of several professional associations, including the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I).”  Trina completed an ACUHO-I internship at American University during her graduate studies.

Nocerino has presented at numerous conferences on a variety of student affairs topics, including diversity, training, and pop culture.  At Wells, Nocerino’s responsibilities will include supervising 17 RAs, implementing a support structure for international students, overseeing residential programming, and working directly with the Associate Dean of Students to create and implement an RA training program.

cooperBecca Cooper joins the Student Life staff after graduating from Wells this spring with a Bachelor of Arts in performing arts and a minor in communications. She held many leadership positions during her four years at Wells, including positions as class officer and as a Collegiate Cabinet (student government) member. She participated on several student committees as well as various clubs and organizations. During 2006-07, as Collegiate president, Becca worked closely with the Student Life department to update documents and plan numerous programs.

Becca began her position as Programming and Events Coordinator on May 30 and continues to focus on the coordination of summer conferences in addition to working with student groups and space reservations during the academic year. 

“I am looking forward to working closely with Becca in the Office of Campus Involvement,” said Binns Gunderson.  “I hope that everyone will join me in congratulating Becca on her new position.” 


New Science Building Dedication

Activities planned for the last weekend of September

Wells College Science Building June 2007Save the Date 

Dedication ceremonies for the college's new science center, which will be named in honor of Ann Wilder Stratton ’46, will be held the last weekend in September! A full schedule with more details will be shared in the coming months. We hope you will join us to celebrate the opening of this wonderful new addition to campus.

June, 2007


2007 Faculty Excellence Awards

Each year, students nominate Wells professors for the Excellence in Academic Advising Award and the Excellence in Teaching Medal. Final selection is made by a committee comprised of two former recipients, an on-campus alumna, President of Collegiate, and the Director of Academic Advising. The Vice President for Academic Affairs convenes the committee. This year, the following honors were bestowed at Honors Convocation held on May 9, 2007:


Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Siouxsie Grady

Siouxsie GradyAcademic advising is a vitally important responsibility of the faculty at Wells College. The purpose of this award is to recognize the fundamental importance of academic advising to the students of Wells and to support faculty in their advising work. 

Five faculty members were nominated for the 2007 award. Among the comments made in Professor Grady’s favor: “There is no doubt that this professor fulfills the official role as an academic advisor superbly. There are any number of faculty members who do. What makes this advisor stand out however, is the ability and constant willingness to go above and beyond for advisees and students.” Another stated, “This professor is one of those amazing advisors who go far out of the way and way beyond the line of duty to help students. She is interested in my development as a person.” And another wrote, “My advisor gets so excited about the students’ desires and dreams, encourages them towards those dreams, and is always looking for ways to help the students grow towards them.  I have never heard her say that I could not do something.” 


Associate Professor of Mathematics Thomas Stiadle

Thomas StiadleExcellence in teaching is most highly valued at Wells College. The College’s Excellence in Teaching medal recognizes the outstanding contributions of faculty. The intention of this award is to acknowledge the fundamental importance of the quality of teaching to the mission of Wells and to support faculty in their pursuit of excellence in teaching.

This year students nominated eight faculty members for the teaching medal. Regarding this year’s recipient, a student wrote “Professor Stiadle has the teaching of the subject matter down to an art form. It is conveyed with great knowledge and clear teaching… when someone asks a question, no matter how mundane, he patiently explains things again and somehow manages to make the second explanation so concise and understandable that even if you understood it the first time, you will likely gain a new understanding.” Stiadle was also described as “constantly striving to improve explanations by asking where people tended to get confused, which areas were hardest and why, or whether we understood what is being explained at the moment.” Another nominator said, “Through diligence in teaching and obvious enthusiasm for not only the subject itself but the logical thinking and principle behind the subject, has made my mornings consistently interesting and caused me to appreciate the beauty of the discipline more easily than ever before.” And lastly, a student stated, “I am nominating this professor because he is the champion of creating such exhilarating moments of understanding, and in so doing has inspired me to new levels of interest and enjoyment of math.” 

June, 2007


New Associate Dean of Students Joins Wells College

Joel McCarthy brings experience in residential life, planning, assessment

Joel McCarthyWells College Dean of Students Anne Lundquist has announced that Joel McCarthy, most recently of Syracuse University, is Wells’ new associate dean of students for residence life. He will begin his duties on June 18.

Joel McCarthy comes to Wells College from Syracuse University, where he served as the coordinator for communications in the Office of Residence Life. He brings to Wells experience in staff selection and recruitment, orientation, advising, assessment and strategic planning. 

“Joel will be a great addition to our Student Life staff,” said Lundquist. “He brings a wealth of residence life experience to Wells, along with a rich background in diversity programming and intergroup dialogue planning and programming.  He is well-connected in the student affairs arena and we are pleased that he will be able to enrich our community with his ideas and energy.”

McCarthy has presented at national conferences on a variety of student affairs topics.  His article “The Evolution of a Learning Community:  Success Through Collaboration” is forthcoming in a book entitled Building Community: Stories and Strategies for Future Learning Community Professionals and Faculty. McCarthy earned his M.A. in higher education administration from Syracuse University and his B.A. in graphic design and secondary education from Bradley University. He is a member of the Intergroup Dialogue Planning Committee at Syracuse and the College Student Personnel Association of New York’s Planning Committee.

At Wells, McCarthy will be responsible for the residence life program, including residence assistant training and development, housing operations, and student disciplinary issues.  He will also oversee and implement the Community Standards program in the residence halls, and serve as advisor to the Student Diversity Committee.

For more information about Joel McCarthy’s appointment at Wells College, please contact Communications Director Kelly Tehan at 315/364-3260.

June, 2007


Wells College Announces 2007 Alumnae Award Recipients

Two Wells women are honored for their volunteerism, service, humanitarian efforts

Carrie Bolton, president of the Wells College Alumnae Association, has announced the College’s two 2007 Alumnae Award recipients. Shirley Schou Bacot of Montclair, New Jersey, and Karen Eckberg Gottovi of Raleigh, North Carolina, will be honored on Saturday, June 2 during Wells’ annual Reunion Weekend. 

The Wells College Alumnae Award honors Wells women of high achievement in professions and careers, in volunteer and community work, in service to their alma mater, or in some combination of these endeavors. 

Shirley Schou BacotShirley Bacot, Wells College Class of 1958, is recognized for her extraordinary volunteerism and for her indefatigable support of Wells. For more than 30 years, Shirley has volunteered at the Memorial Home for Aged People of Upper Montclair. As board president of the Senior Care and Activities Center of Montclair, she co-chaired that organization’s successful $3.1 million capital campaign undertaken to build a state-of-the-art elder day-care facility, which has since been named in her honor. Shirley has volunteered since the early 1980s with the New York Philharmonic; in 2005, she was unanimously elected to its board of trustees. 

In addition to a lifetime of exemplary community service, Shirley has been a generous donor and dedicated leader and volunteer for Wells. Beginning in the 1980s and continuing today, she has held almost every volunteer fund raising position available. She has also been an important supporter of the College’s internship program, partnering with late husband J. Carter Bacot to provide Wells students with experiential learning opportunities at the Bank of New York, where he was chairman and CEO for 16 years.

Both Shirley and Carter served Wells as trustees, Shirley from 1989 to 1998, culminating in five years as chair of the board. She led the College through the largest capital campaign in its history, exceeding the $50 million goal by $8 million. Her financial support and project leadership has also been instrumental in the creation of Wells’ new science facility.

Karen GottoviKaren Gottovi, Wells Class of 1962, is honored for a distinguished career in public service, her commitment to the environment and outstanding leadership.

Karen’s career in public service began in North Carolina when she helped found a local chapter of the League of Women Voters. She went on to serve as New Hanover County commissioner, was appointed by the governor to the Coastal Resources Commission, and served in the North Carolina General Assembly. 

While in public office, Karen worked tirelessly for environmental issues, in particular the protection of North Carolina’s fragile coastline. As a state legislator, she helped secure funding to preserve Fort Fisher at the mouth of the Cape Fear River and to establish an aquarium in the area. Her promotion of environmentally sound development practices along the river helped make Wilmington a thriving commercial port again as well as an important historical site, adding greatly to the state’s economic growth. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation awarded her the coveted Legislator of the Year distinction in 1993.

In 1997, Karen was appointed director of the Division of Aging and Adult Services for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. During her tenure, she oversaw the development of two of the state’s four-year State Aging Services Plans. Under Karen’s guidance, the division was able to implement a wide range of important programs and initiatives. Karen retired last year from the Division of Aging and Adult Services.

The Alumnae Award was established in 1968 as part of the Wells Centennial Celebration, and is presented by the President of the College at a convocation ceremony held during Reunion Weekend each spring. 

For additional information about Shirley Bacot, Karen Gottovi, and the annual Alumnae Award at Wells College, please contact Communications Director Kelly Tehan at 315/364-3260.

May, 2007


Renowned Scholar Named Dean at Wells College

Dr. Leslie Miller-Bernal appointed Vice President of Academic Affairs

Dean Leslie Miller-BernalWells College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson recently announced that Leslie Miller-Bernal has been appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, effective immediately. Miller-Bernal has taught sociology at the College since 1975 and was appointed interim dean last August. 

Dean Miller-Bernal has advanced a number of important strategic planning projects, including the development of the Pilot Information and Learning Center in Long Library and initiating a ten-year academic planning effort.  In addition, she has broadened faculty participation in the academic budgeting process, developed new off-campus study programs, and improved and expanded library services to meet the changing needs of today’s learning community.

“I am confident Dean Miller-Bernal’s collaborative and decisive academic leadership, commitment to excellence for Wells, and broad-based support will serve her well in this new post,” President Ryerson said in her announcement to the campus community.

Miller-Bernal joined the Wells faculty in 1975 and was promoted to full professor in 1991. She earned her B.A. and M.A. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her Ph.D. at Cornell University. In her 31 years at Wells she has provided exemplary service in a variety of leadership capacities. In addition to prior service as associate dean of the College, she has served as both chair of the Social Sciences division and chair of the Sociology department, and on faculty committees including Advisory; Academic Standing and Advising; and Admissions and Financial Aid; as well as on important campus-wide planning committees. Miller-Bernal held the distinguished Frances Tarlton Farenthold Presidential Professorship from 2000 to 2005.

One of the nation’s leading scholars in her field, Miller-Bernal’s extensive body of work includes Separate by Degree: Women’s Experiences in Single Sex and Coeducational Colleges (2000); Going Coed: Women’s Experiences in Formerly Men’s Colleges and Universities, 1950-2000 (2004); and her newest book, released earlier this year, Challenged by Coeducation: Women’s Colleges Since the 1960s. In these works and numerous others, Dean Miller-Bernal uses case studies, interviews and historical evidence to track the evolution of both single-sex and coeducational learning.

“Becoming dean of the college at this point in Wells’ history is a wonderful opportunity and an awesome responsibility, in the true sense of the word ‘awesome’,” said Miller-Bernal. “With the growth in enrollment, a new science building, an institutionalized commitment to diversity, and development of our study abroad programs, including some in the non-Western world, Wells faces exciting challenges. As dean I hope to work with faculty, staff, and students to develop these initiatives more fully, all the while mindful of how our past as a women’s college puts us in a unique position to promote equality.”

Dean Miller-Bernal’s husband, Martin Bernal, is professor emeritus at Cornell University. He retired from the Department of Government in 2001, where he held a joint appointment with the Department of Near Eastern Studies. He is the author of Black Athena: the Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (Rutgers University Press, 1987) and Black Athena Writes Back: Martin Bernal Responds to his Critics, ed. David Chioni Moore (Duke University Press, 2001).

For more information on Miller-Bernal’s appointment at Wells College, please contact Kelly Tehan, communications director, at 315/364-3260.

May, 2007


Wells College Announces 2007 Commencement Speaker

Dean of Catholic University’s Law School to address graduates on May 26

Dean Veryl MilesWells College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson has announced that Wells alumna Veryl V. Miles, dean and professor of law at Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, will be Wells’ 2007 commencement speaker.  This year’s ceremony will take place at the Aurora Inn on Saturday, May 26.

Veryl V. Miles, Wells class of 1977, earned a dual degree in English and theatre arts. She went on to earn her juris doctorate from the Columbus Law School in 1980. After working in the office of general counsel of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors, she joined the faculty at George Mason University School of Law. Miles became a member of the law faculty at Catholic in 1988. She also taught briefly as a visiting adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and the American University Washington College of Law. 

“I am delighted that Veryl has accepted our invitation to give the 2007 Commencement address,” said Ryerson. “Veryl is a dynamic leader in American higher education today. She has a deep commitment to the liberal arts and extensive experience educating generations of students. I am pleased to welcome this extraordinary Wells alumna back to campus.”

Miles has taught law for more than 20 years and held a number of administrative positions, including associate dean for academic affairs at Columbus School of Law and deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools, a national organization that oversees 166 institutions. Her teaching and scholarship interests include consumer bankruptcy, commercial law, and applied concepts of social justice, and she is published in the areas of diversity in the legal profession and higher education. She was named Dean of the Columbus Law School in 2005; she is the first woman and first African–American to hold that position.

In addition to a number of other leadership roles, Miles has served her alma mater as a College trustee for two terms, from 1978 to 1993 and again from 1999 to 2001. In that role, she sat on the External Relations, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs Board committees. A native of Washington, D.C., she is a lector at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, was a member of the Law School Alumni Society Board of Catholic University from 1990 – 1994, and is the recipient of the 2003 Public Leadership Education Network’s distinguished Mentor Award. Founded in 1978 by Wells College, PLEN is the only national organization whose sole mission is preparing women for public leadership.

For more information about Dean Miles’ 2007 Commencement address at Wells College, please call Communications Director Kelly Tehan at 315/364-3260.

May, 2007


Wells College Presents Senior Art Exhibit

Two graduates display paintings, photographs as part of thesis project

corblyThe Wells College Art Department is pleased to present the spring senior thesis exhibit featuring paintings and photographs by graduates Abby Corbly and Blythe Untiet. The show opens on Monday, May 14 in the String Room Gallery, Main Building, and will run through May 26. The public is cordially invited to view the free exhibit. An opening reception on May 14 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. offers an opportunity to meet the student artists and discuss their work; light refreshments will be served.

Abigail Corbly of Springfield, Mass. has been involved in the creation of art for as long as she can remember. Her thesis work is centered on the idea of abstract collage, incorporating found materials such as bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard and bright colors into bold, larger-scale pieces. 

“I like the idea of art that fluctuates between paintings and 3-D sculptures,” she says.  “This series incorporates both in a way that is engaging to the viewer and, I think, exciting to look at.”

Corbly enjoys abstract painting with both oils and acrylics. She is the self-appointed “art director” of Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel, a retro-kitsch motel in the Catskills, where she helped mural painter Michael Lee Scott decorate the outside of the buildings. She is also currently working on a retrospective for the Wells yearbook using black-and-white photographs, which will be on display in the College’s library during Reunion Weekend, May 31 – June 3.

Next fall, she plans to attend graduate school on the west coast for her MFA.

untietBlythe Untiet’s photographs reflect her personal vision of natural elements combined with the beauty of the female form.  The artist from Bluffton, S.C. created her own library of nature slides using a Nikon semi-automatic 35 mm camera and special slide film. She then photographed the nude female form to capture the subtleness and beauty of the model’s body. The slides projected onto the body play a large role in her unique collection of photographs, allowing one to see a shape from nature blossom onto a woman’s curves. 

“Combining these two distinct images helps me recognize that many things in life are related when you take the time to study them,” she says. “I chose individuals close to me, women with whom I’ve shared experiences.  My personal familiarity with each alters the image I project onto their body and therefore changes the way observers view them.  The selection of photographs I have chosen to display in my thesis show reveal an intimate look at how I perceive these four women. It is, however, the overwhelming sense of beauty and sensuality portrayed by these women that individualize each photograph.”

Blythe took full advantage of Wells’ Arts in Paris program last academic year; she spent both semesters in France studying under a master in the Louvre, and was able to take advanced photo lessons with a professional photographer. 

Following graduation, Blythe plans to return to South Carolina to continue her photography studies.

Senior theses are the culminating requirement of study at Wells College. Art seniors are expected to plan and implement the entire exhibit, including the creation of the artwork to be shown, hanging the pieces and preparing the gallery, coordinating the reception, and promoting the show. Art professor and gallery director William Roberts guides the students’ work in the studios and oversees the installation of the show. Both artists also found support and encouragement in Associate Professor of Art Ted Lossowski, who explored with them all aspects of their senior thesis project.

The String Room Gallery is located in Main Building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, please contact Professor Roberts at 315/364-3237.

May, 2007


Reunion 2007

paradeDear Alumna, 

Reunion at Wells is more than a weekend party. It’s a chance to come together and celebrate with your Wells sisters. Regardless of where you are or where you’ve been, come back to Aurora where your journey began. Enjoy a few late nights, lots of laughter, strolling through the village, watching the sunset and rediscovering a memory or two. 

Times may change but you and your class help define a unique moment in the history of this very special place. And the best way we know to make this celebration better is for you to pick up the phone and call your classmates. Find out who’s coming, who’s on the fence and if they’ve talked to anybody else yet. Encourage them to fill out the registration form and join you in Aurora for Reunion. 

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus. 

Pam Sheradin ’86 
Director of Alumnae Relations 

Carrie Bolton ’92 
WCAA President 

May, 2007


Science Building's New Teaching Spaces Come Into Being

Wells College Science Building April 2007With the warm weather here, landscape grading around the new science building site has begun. Framing and drywall installation in the main atrium is complete and workers have been laying decorative ceramic and quarry tile; millwork in the atrium is scheduled to begin soon. The ceiling grid is complete, while painting continues as does work on electrical and plumbing fixtures. 

Many of the new fume hoods have been moved into laboratory spaces, and cabinetry work is well underway on the first and second floors. Chalkboards and recessed screens have been put into the classrooms and labs.

The College has selected the colors and styles for the building’s furniture, which will arrive in late June, and audiovisual equipment will be installed in the lecture hall after Commencement and Reunion activities are over. Science faculty and staff are working on a timeline to move into the new building. Return to www.wells.edu for regular updates.

Save the Date

Dedication ceremonies for the science center, which will be named in honor of Ann Wilder Stratton ’46, will be held the last weekend in September! A full schedule with more details will be shared in the coming months. We hope you will join us to celebrate the opening of this wonderful new addition to campus.

May, 2007


Spring Faculty Dance Concert at Wells College

“Three Ways to Dance a Concert” is collaborative work

Wells College Spring Dance ConcertThe Wells College Performing Arts Department is pleased to present the annual spring dance concert, with performances on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Phipps Theatre, Macmillan Hall. “Three Ways to Dance a Concert” features choreography by Wells Professor of Dance Jeanne Goddard of Ithaca and guest artist Elizabeth Wilmot Bishop. Prices are $3.00 for students, $5.00 for seniors and the Wells community, and $7.00 for the general public; tickets are available at the door or by calling the box office at 315-364-3456.

Goddard’s new choreographic suite, “Three Ways to Dance a Concert,” was created through a series of collaborations with three other Wells faculty members and was crafted with a curiosity about bodies in space, storytelling, and confronting the “other;” each unfolds its own stunning imagery in a unique stage environment strewn with trash and treasures. 

During a presentation by Professor of Physics Scott Heinekamp on Brownian motion, which governs the random movement of large particles being pushed along by smaller particles, Goddard says she “immediately saw dancers ricocheting across the stage!”, describing the portion of the dance called ‘In Motion.’ “Similarly, I have been impressed with [Anthropology Professor] Ernie Olson’s storytelling abilities, his understanding of interactions between peoples, and his way of describing the dynamic meeting of land and sea. That part of the dance is called ‘Navigating by Water’.” 

For Goddard, it seemed natural to complete the trilogy by working with her closest colleague, Assistant Professor of Theatre Siouxsie Grady: “We had shared childhood stories about quests for buried treasure as well as images from dreams. Siouxsie is studying the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the idea of traveling through the underworld or the afterlife. Her own performance art installations influenced my choreography of this piece. Siouxsie’s section is called ‘Digging Dreams’.” 

Goddard says the three conversations became “remarkably interconnected” around themes of memories and dreams, journeys, and encounters. She created the movement vocabulary in collaboration with the dancers, who will work with long rolls of paper, ladders, enormous water jugs, swaths of wet fabric, and barrels of earth on stage. 

Wells College Spring Dance ConcertIn addition to Goddard, the dancers in this performance include several Wells students: Elizabeth Chacchia ’07, Hannah Elwyn ’10, Heather Frost ’09, Mary Gooding ’10, Talyse Hampton ’09, Janin Hendry ’08, Eden Kostick ’10, Jenna Martinez ‘07, Christina Miglino ‘07, Rebecca Moss ’10,  Iivy Murphy ‘09, Rebecca Nichols ’09, Caitrin O’Connell ’07, Erin O’Meara ’10, Tiffany Orellana ’09, Pershemia Reynolds ’09, Shanna Scramlin ’10, Leah Swenson ‘10, and Bella Tschinkel ’07.

“Three Ways” marks the third dance and music collaboration for Goddard and local composer Ethan MacCormick. MacCormick has crafted an original score for “Three Ways” using, in part, excerpts from the conversations between Goddard and Grady, Heinekamp, and Olson.

Also on the program are two works by Elizabeth Wilmot Bishop of Weedsport. “Waltz of the Flowers,” from the beloved Tchaikovsky score for The Nutcracker, is a classic celebration of long-awaited spring, performed by twelve dancers. Wilmot Bishop’s contemporary trio, “Per te,” is a poignant lyrical piece danced to Josh Groban’s haunting baritone. Wilmot Bishop has taught ballet at Wells for five years.

Wells’ technical director Joe DeForest has created vibrant scenic and lighting designs for the entire concert.

For more information about “Three Ways to Dance a Concert” and dance at Wells College, please contact Professor Goddard at 315/364-3213.

May, 2007


Wells Students Host Fund Raiser for School in Africa

Benefit performance to fund construction of elementary school in Senegal

The Wells chapter of the student organization Operation D.E.E.P. (Developing Elementary Educational Possibilities) will host “Breaking Ground,” a benefit performance featuring multicultural dance and music, on Saturday, May 5, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. The concert, which aims to raise $1,500 to fund construction of an elementary school in Senegal, will take place in Barler Recital Hall on the Wells College campus in Aurora. 

Tickets are $10 general admission ($5 for students and senior citizens) and will be available at the door the night of the show.

Headlining the event is the Bush Mango Drum and Dance troupe from Rochester. The ensemble promotes the depth and power of traditional West African dance and drumming in its performances throughout the Central New York area. Ithaca-based alternative rock group Soundfall —fronted by Wells College sophomore Nik Mateer — and the Wells dance group In Motion will also perform. 

Operation D.E.E.P. began at nearby Cornell University, where students came together to provide education opportunities for children in rural China. Among other projects, the Cornell group conducts an annual teaching and training project in Yujiang, where a school it helped build is located. 

Wells senior Chearnysa Tim returned from studying abroad in Senegal last spring with a desire to help its elementary education system; after a chance meeting with Andrew Fleury, this year’s acting chair of the Cornell student group, she believed that that D.E.E.P.’s scope could be expanded to countries other than China. Hence the Wells chapter of Operation D.E.E.P., with its focus on building a school in Senegal, was born.

The benefit is sponsored by Operation DEEP, Collegiate Cabinet, and the Model United Nations Club. For more information about this event, please contact Communications Director Kelly Tehan at 315/364-3260.

May, 2007


Heather Frost Selected As Coca-Cola First Generation Scholar

Afton youth among 18 Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship Recipients in New York

Heather Frost from Afton, NY has been selected as a recipient of a Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship.  Frost attends Wells College in Aurora, NY due in part to the scholarship from The Coca-Cola Foundation and its partnership with the Independent College Fund of New York. 

“Thanks to The Coca-Cola Foundation, students like Heather at our member colleges and universities have the opportunity to be the first in their families to achieve a higher education,” said Joseph Curtin, president, Independent College Fund of New York.

The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program supports students who are the first in their immediate family to attend college or university. 

Heather’s grant is part of the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program with the Independent College Fund of New York (ICFNY), which has resulted in almost $1 million in scholarships for New York since 2000.

The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program has awarded more than $14 million to over 1,000 students on almost 400 campuses in 32 states since 1993.

“The Coca-Cola Foundation is pleased to help deserving students who without this scholarship might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college.  It is especially rewarding for us to play a part in supporting students who are the first in their families to attend college and to invest in their education,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, The Coca-Cola Foundation.

The grants provide one student scholarship of $5,000 per member school for four years.  To be eligible for the program, qualifying students, who are selected by their schools, have a demonstrated financial need, are the first in their immediate family to go to college, are enrolled as full-time incoming freshmen, and attain and maintain a 3.0 academic average.

About the Independent College Fund of New York
The Independent College Fund of New York, founded in 1952, represents 18 small to mid-size private colleges located throughout the Empire State. Its primary goal is to secure support for its member colleges from corporations, foundations and individuals.

About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The mission of The Coca-Cola Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the community and enhance individual opportunity through education. The Foundation supports educational programs primarily within three main areas: higher education, classroom teaching and learning, and international education. Their programs support scholarships for aspiring students; encourage and motivate young people to stay in school; and foster cultural understanding. Over the last ten years, The Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed more than $155 million in support of education.

May, 2007


Annual Spring Choir Concert at Wells College

Two choral ensembles to perform

Wells College Concert ChoirThe Wells College choral ensembles, conducted by Professor of Music Crawford R. Thoburn, will present their annual spring concert on Sunday evening, May 6 at 7:30 pm in Barler Recital Hall. Participating will be the College Concert Choir of women’s voices and the recently formed ensemble of mixed voices, Sine Nomine. Admission to the concert is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

The Wells Concert Choir, accompanied by pianist Nancy Gilbertson of Moravia, will begin with the performance of selections from the Renaissance by Christopher Tye, Orlando di Lasso, and Gregor Aichinger, followed by two works by 19th century composer Felix Mendelssohn.  The opening group will conclude with “Wisdom Exalteth Her Children,” a composition by Thoburn.

The mixed voice chamber ensemble, Sine Nomine, will next present a group of unaccompanied works ranging from Elizabethan sacred and secular songs by Adrian Batten, Thomas Tomkins and John Farmer, through English and American folksongs and spirituals.

Following a short intermission, the Concert Choir will return for a concluding group of selections which will include Edward Elgar’s “My Love Dwellt in a Northern Land,” Eugene Butler’s “Loveliest of Trees,” settings of American folksongs, and Harvey Enders’ “Russian Picnic.” Student vocal soloists will be Molly Cichy ’10 of Oswego, NY and Mary Gooding ’10 of Penfield, NY.

The Wells choral ensembles have achieved a national reputation for excellence. Under Thoburn’s direction, they have appeared by invitation at national professional conventions, on tour throughout the northeastern United States and Western Europe, on national network radio, and on public television.

For more information about the concert and music offerings at Wells College, please contact Professor Thoburn at 315/364-3347.

May, 2007


Wells College Celebrates Earth Day

RPI Professor John Gowdy gives public lecture on climate change, global warming

John GowdyDr. John Gowdy, professor of economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will give a lecture at Wells College in celebration of Earth Day. The free talk, “The Economics and Politics of Climate Change,” will take place next Wednesday, April 18 at 4:45 pm in the Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall. All are invited to attend. 

Dr. John M. Gowdy has been with the economics department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since 1982. He holds a B.A. in anthropology from American University, a master’s in community planning from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from West Virginia University. The Fulbright Scholar is the author of eight books, including his latest, Paradise for Sale: Markets, Myths, and Ecosystem Destruction, to be published next year by the University of California Press. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies major and the Campus Greens.

For more information about Dr. Gowdy’s Earth Day lecture, please contact Professor Niamh O’Leary at 315/364-3279 or Professor Kent Klitgaard at 364-3231.

April, 2007


Former Soviet Dissident Speaks at Wells

Pavel Litvinov to address human rights in Russia

Pavel LitvinovFormer Soviet dissident Pavel Litvinov will be on the Wells campus to give a free lecture, “A Look at Putin’s Russia.” The talk will take place on Tuesday, April 24, at 4:30 p.m. in the Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall; all are invited to attend.

One of the early leaders of the dissident movement in the Soviet Union, Pavel Litvinov will discuss his campaign for free speech in the Soviet Union; his lead role in a 1968 demonstration in Moscow’s Red Square against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia (all of the demonstrators were beaten by KGB agents and arrested); his five years of exile in Siberia; and, also at the hands of the KGB, his ultimate exile in 1974 to the United States.

In the U.S., he continues to speak out in defense of human rights. He is a member of the Human Rights in Russia group, and founded “Friends of Memorial,” one of the largest Russian human rights organizations in the U.S. 

Litvinov received his physics degree from Moscow State University in 1966 and, before his exile, was an assistant professor of physics at the Moscow Institute of Fine Chemical Technology while working on his doctoral thesis in the field of atmospheric physics. He has given numerous interviews and talks; published and edited several articles and magazines; and has taught at SUNY Purchase and Manhattanville College. He travels to Russia regularly.

This lecture is sponsored by the Wells College History Department. 

For more information on Pavel Litvinov’s lecture, please contact Kelly Tehan, communications director, at 315.364.3260.
April, 2007


Renaissance Faire Jingles and Jousts at Wells College

Spring Weekend festivities in Aurora include jousting match

Renaissance Faire-Wells College Spring Weekend 2007Hear ye! Hear ye! Ye olde Wells College Programming Board is pleased to announce Spring Weekend 2007. On Saturday, April 28, Renaissance Faire will take place on the Wells College campus on Route 90 (Main Street) in the village of Aurora. Gates open at 11:00; knights and ladies will be admitted for $5; youngsters and elders for $3. Renaissance Faire is free for Wells students and employees.

Festivities run from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the grand lawn in front of Main Building (inside the Sommer Center in case of frightful weather). Such minstrels as the Bottom Feeders and the Destination will provide live music to get the crowd moving, and soft drinks and food will be available for purchase.

Watch as Lady Catrina Bard fights on horseback for the right to choose her own life course. In keeping with the Renaissance theme, of special interest this year will be a jousting match presented by senior Becca Cooper. As part of her performing arts senior thesis project, Becca joins with the Paragon Jousting Company and friends to put on a jousting contest complete with trumpets, fanfare, fluttering flags, and full costumes. Contests will take place on the lakeshore at 2:00 pm and again at 5:30 pm by the Wells College boathouse. In the event of thunder and lightning, the matches will be postponed until Sunday, April 29.

Special novelty activities featured during Renaissance Faire will include candle making, Renaissance old time photos, Dip ‘n Dots ice cream, face painting, sword fighting, inflatable jousting, and more. The public is invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair. No recording devices, coolers or outside food or beverages permitted. 

Renaissance Faire will be held rain or shine. For more information, please contact Alyssa Binns Gunderson, director of campus involvement, at 315/364-3428 and visit the College’s events calendar www.wells.edu/calendar.
April, 2007


Wells College Presents Talk on Spanish Novelists

Noted scholar of Hispanic studies Pedro Piñero Ramirez to lecture in Spanish

WHAT: The Wells College Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, together with the Office of Off-Campus Study, will host a talk by Pedro Piñero Ramirez, a noted scholar of Hispanic studies. The lecture, which will be delivered in Spanish, is free and open to the public. 

His talk is entitled, “Cervantes y Mateo Alemán—frente a frente: El comienzo de la novela moderna” (“Cervantes and Mateo Alemán—Face to Face: The Beginning of the Modern Novel”).

Dr. Piñero is chair of the Department of Spanish at the University of Sevilla (Spain) and co-director of the Wells College Program for Advanced Spanish Studies in Sevilla. He has dedicated his long academic career to the study of the Spanish Renaissance and Baroque periods and has written extensively in both fields.

For more information about the lecture, please contact faculty secretary Deborah Boyd at 315.364.3288 or visit the College’s Web site at www.wells.edu.

WHEN: Thursday, April 26, 2007, 4:45 p.m.

WHERE: Wells College
Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall
170 Main Street (Route 90)
Aurora, N.Y.  13026

PRICE:  Free and open to the public

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kelly Tehan, Communications Director, 315.364.3260    ktehan@wells.edu

April, 2007


Faculty Art Exhibit Opens at Wells College

Father and daughter duo display their abstract paintings

Melissa Roberts JohnsonThe Wells College Art Department is pleased to announce the opening of its next exhibition. The show, titled ROBERTS.JOHNSON – NEW ABSTRACT PAINTINGS, features a selection of artwork by Wells Professor of Art William Roberts and his daughter, Melissa Roberts Johnson. The paintings will be on display in the String Room Gallery, Main Building, from April 11 through May 10. The exhibit is free and open to the public. An opening reception to be held on Wednesday, April 11, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. offers an opportunity to meet the artists; light refreshments will be served.

The ROBERTS.JOHNSON – NEW ABSTRACT PAINTINGS exhibition will include recent non-representational abstract paintings by artists William Roberts and Melissa Roberts Johnson. Roberts and his daughter Melissa will be collaborating for the first time in an installation which is focused strictly on abstract imagery with an emphasis on movement, brush stroke, coloration and composition. The artists have been working independently of one another in their respective studios and will view one another’s new work for the first time when the show opens. Both are devoted aficionados of abstract expressionism and all of the descendent variations of that mid-20th century movement. 

Roberts, who is in his 36th year of teaching painting and drawing at Wells College, has moved back and forth between representation and abstraction. “I find that this vacillation has allowed me to advise students of realism and abstraction with greater ease,” he says. “I can relate to the issues of both directions because of my varied experiences pursuing my own work as a painter. I am a firm believer that the very best realist work has a strong abstract foundation and that the best realists are really abstractionists. My new work is an attempt to create the sense of excavation or uncovering layers as well as movement.” 

The new paintings by Roberts will include oils on paper, slate and canvas.

William RobertsMelissa Roberts Johnson of Manlius, N.Y., holds a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also has a B.S. in sociology from Cornell University. Roberts Johnson replaced her father while he was on sabbatical leave from Wells last fall. She is currently teaching art at Syracuse University and LeMoyne College. Her work has been displayed at a number of galleries in Chicago and the Northeast.

“My father shared his love of art with me as I was growing up and I attended many openings at the String Room Gallery,” said Roberts Johnson. “Last semester I had the privilege of teaching at Wells and I truly enjoyed being part of the Wells community.  I am honored to be showing my work with such an accomplished artist, my father.”

For Roberts, who has directed the String Room Gallery since 1972, the show also holds special meaning. “I am delighted to finally have the privilege and honor to collaborate with my daughter in an art exhibition in the String Room,” said Roberts. “It is an absolute thrill for me to know that she and I share the same obsession with painting and that our common devotion to art is a catalyst that helps reinforce our relationship.”

The String Room Gallery is located in Main Building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the show and art classes at Wells, please contact Professor Roberts at 315/364-3237.

April, 2007


Irish Band The Prodigals Play at Wells College

Celtic rockers from Manhattan bring jig-punk sound to Aurora

The ProdigalsThe Wells College Arts & Lecture Series Committee is pleased to welcome the Prodigals to campus on Saturday evening, April 14. This funky Irish band will perform in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall, at 7:30 p.m. Prices are $6 for students, senior citizens and the Wells College community, and $10 for the general public; free for Wells students. Tickets are available at the door the night of the performance or from the box office; please call 315/364-3456 to reserve. 

Prepare yourself for the Prodigals! This rockin’ Irish jig-punk band from the Big Apple pounds out a fusion of traditional Irish music laced with strong rock beats and lyrical story lines. Hailed by the Boston Herald as “…punchy Irish rock with fiery punk sensibilities,” the Prodigals offer up an indelibly Irish sound with their combination of vocals, drums, guitar, keyboards and accordion.

Critically acclaimed by American and Irish music journals alike, the Prodigals have been headliners at the Milwaukee Irish Festival and the Dublin (Ohio) Irish Fest, among many others. Their genre-spanning act has crossover appeal that resonates with a broad range of fans who appreciate traditional and modern Celtic music, rock, folk and world beat. The Prodigals were the only American-based band selected for inclusion on the “Rough Guide to Irish Music” compilation CD produced in 2005.

The Wells College Arts & Lecture Series features professional guest artists and performers who are invited to campus to enrich the cultural components of Wells as a learning community. The acts are selected annually by a committee composed of Wells faculty, staff and students.

For more information about the Prodigals’ show and the Wells Arts & Lecture Series, please contact Siouxsie Grady, chair of the Arts & Lecture Series Committee, at 315/364-3232. More information on the Prodigals may be found at www.prodigals.com.

March, 2007


Wells College Hosts Presentation on Appalachian Coal Mining 

Sandra Diaz of Appalachian Voices speaks on mountaintop removal

Appalachian VoicesThe Wells College chapter of Amnesty International has invited Sandra Diaz, a field coordinator for Appalachian Voices, to campus for a talk on the impact of mountaintop removal coal mining. The multi-media presentation, entitled “Appalachian Treasures,” will take place on Monday, April 9 at 7:00 pm in the Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

In the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia, the rural population is threatened as a result of mountaintop removal coal mining. Large coal companies use dynamite to blast the mountains, removing up to 1,000 feet of elevation to reach seams of coal below the surface. “Valley fills,” the term for the mining waste dumped into adjacent valleys, have already buried 1,200 miles of mountain streams.

Mountaintop removal leaves behind barren wastelands too remote to be viable for development and too disturbing in appearance to support a tourism economy like those flourishing in the non-coal regions of Appalachia. To date, mountaintop removal mining has flattened more than a million acres across the Appalachian coalfields. 

“Appalachian Treasures,” a multi-media presentation on mountaintop removal and its critical social and environmental justice impacts, discusses these ramifications and more.

“Although Appalachia may seem far from New York, we are all deeply tied to the region,” says Diaz. “Not only does much of the electricity powering our homes and businesses come from Appalachian coal, but the region's history, music, and famed self-reliance remain a great influence in American culture.”

Appalachian Voices is a citizens group that seeks to solve the environmental problems having the greatest impact on the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. Their mission is to empower people to defend the region’s rich natural and cultural heritage by providing them with tools and strategies for successful grassroots campaigns.

Diaz continues: “The Appalachian Treasures project is focused on ending this particular form of coal mining. Over the course of years working with coalfield residents, we realized that mountaintop removal would only continue if the American people remain unaware that such an unjust, destructive, and shortsighted enterprise is happening. Most coalfield communities are rural and isolated. In states where big coal companies hold overwhelming political power, the opposition of coalfield citizens alone is not enough to stop mountaintop removal.”

Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending abuses of human rights. These rights include physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination. The Wells College chapter of Amnesty International participates in urgent actions each month. As part of these monthly events, the student organization seeks to build awareness of human rights abuses, gain support for the release of prisoners of conscience, and sponsors speakers and events on campus. 

For more information about the Appalachian Treasures presentation, please contact Kelly Tehan, Communications Director, at 315-364-3260 go to www.appvoices.org for more on Appalachian Voices.

March, 2007


Lecture on Gender Bias Held at Wells College 

Dr. David Sadker will speak on gender-equal education

Dr. David SadkerThe Wells College Dean’s Council has invited Dr. David Sadker to deliver this year’s Beckman Lecture. During his two-day residency, Sadker, an educational researcher and author, will speak on “Closing the Gender Gap: Making Classes Work for All Students” on Wednesday, April 4. The lecture will begin at 4:45 pm in Cleveland Auditorium, and is free and open to the public. 

Dr. David Sadker is a professor at American University’s School of Education. He and his late wife Myra have a national reputation for work in confronting gender bias and sexual harassment. He has directed more than a dozen federal education grants and is the author of five books, including the well-known Failing at Fairness: How Schools Cheat Girls. His articles documenting gender bias from the classroom to the boardroom have appeared in such journals as Phi Delta Kappan, Harvard Educational Review, and Psychology Today. The Sadkers’ work has been reported in hundreds of newspapers and magazines including USA Today, Business Week, The Washington Post, The London Times, The New York Times, Time, and Newsweek. He has appeared widely on television and radio shows, and is the recipient of a number of national awards. 

In his talk, Sadker will explore ways to implement gender-equal coeducation. While on the Wells campus, he will also conduct a faculty workshop aimed at helping professors think about ways they can more effectively teach coeducational classes. 

The Dean’s Council selected Dr. Sadker as someone particularly appropriate for Wells College at this time of transition to coeducation. “Dr. Sadker’s well known commitment to inclusiveness and equality and his excellence at conducting workshops that help participants recognize subtle forms of discrimination make him an ideal speaker,” said Dean of the College Leslie Miller-Bernal. “We are fortunate to have him as our Beckman lecturer; he is invited to speak at many institutions, not only in the United States but also in such countries as India.”

The Beckman Lecture Fund was established in 1952 by three Wells alumnae.  The Beckman sisters endowed the fund “with sincere appreciation of the enduring character of a Wells education.” They desired that Beckman lecturers “be distinguished for creative work and the ability to teach. The lecturer should be an original thinker, an artist in his or her field who can communicate easily and with enthusiasm.” 

For more information about Dr. Sadker and the Beckman Lecture, please contact Kelly Tehan, Communications Director, at 315-364-3260; visit the College’s Web site at www.wells.edu; or go to www.american.edu/sadker/ to read Sadker’s biography and take his equity quiz.

March, 2007


New Art Exhibit Opens at Wells College 

Sculpture of Arizona artist James Cook to be featured 

Sculpture by James A. CookThe Wells College Art Department is pleased to announce the opening of its next exhibition. A selection of mixed media sculpture by James A. Cook of the University of Arizona will be on display in the String Room Gallery from March 7 through April 6. The exhibit is free and the public is cordially invited. An opening reception to be held on Wednesday, March 7 from 7:00-9:00 pm offers an opportunity to meet the artist; light refreshments will be served.

James A. Cook is Assistant Professor and Chair of the 3-D Division at the College of Fine Art at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He has also taught at Cornell University and Elmira College. His work appears in private and public collections in the United States and abroad, and he has received commissions from institutions and individuals all over the world.

Sculpture by James A. CookCook received a Master of Fine Arts from the California College of Arts in Oakland and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California at Berkeley. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries around the world, including the Toledo Contemporary Art Center (Spain); Nathan Rosen Museum (Boca Raton, Fla.); Rousse Art Museum and the Sophia Contemporary Art Center (Bulgaria); Binghamton University (New York); the Johnson Museum at Cornell University; the Runnels Gallery at Eastern New Mexico University; and many more. 

The String Room Gallery is located in Main Building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the show and art classes at Wells, please contact William Roberts at 315/364-3237.

March, 2007


Alternative Soul Singer to Perform at Wells 

Singer-songwriter Yewande to give lecture/concert on music and race

YewandeAlternative soul singer Yewande will give a multicultural lecture/concert, "Bridging the Gap: Rhythms, Rhymes and Race in America," Friday, March 9, at 9:00 p.m. in Barler Recital Hall on the Wells College campus in Aurora.

In spite of hundreds of acclaimed performances around the world, nothing prepared Yewande (pronounced "ee-wan-day") for the social issues that weighed on the hearts of her youngest listeners. After nearly every concert, she was overwhelmed with sobering questions about race, prejudice and other deeply personal obstacles they seemed eager to share. Discovering the need for a platform that simply didn't exist, Yewande drew on her training from Carnegie Mellon University's Conservatory of Music and Howard University to develop a program that transcended the unspoken boundaries that still thrive in our society. She became fiercely determined to encourage greater racial tolerance and cultural understanding through the one thing that had always brought her diverse audiences together – music. 

Through a compelling lecture and entertaining performance, Yewande takes you on an unforgettable journey through historical social movements that shaped American popular music and culture. Through the three central cultures that defined America – African, European and Native American – the audience will explore music that forever changed the course of freedom, civil rights, war, and women's rights. The journey ends with a riveting concert of Yewande's award-winning songs and a Q&A with the audience. “Bridging the Gap” is a true celebration of human courage, unity and the undeniable power of music.

Yewande has shared the stage with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, Enrique Iglesias and India.Arie. She is the founder of Lotus Records; her debut EP, "Evolution," is in stores now. 

Her performance at Wells College is co-sponsored by student multicultural group P.O.W.E.R. (Praising Our Work, Ethnicity and Race) and the Office of Campus Involvement. For more information please contact Alyssa Binns, interim director of campus involvement, at 315/364-3428 or abinns@wells.edu

February, 2007


Wells College Joins Higher Ed Consortium 

New online resource features career opportunities at 23 New York State colleges and universities 

HERCPresident Lisa Marsh Ryerson recently announced that Wells College has joined the new Upstate New York Higher Education Consortium (UNY-HERC). The online program is now available as a resource to effectively recruit and retain diverse and qualified faculty and staff, and assist their spouses and partners in securing area employment. 

Co-led by representatives from Syracuse University and Cornell University, Wells College and 22 other upstate New York colleges and universities are working together to cohesively provide employment listings at each of their respective institutions and address dual career needs in higher education.

New York State’s higher education institutions are a vital component of economic growth and development for the state and its local communities; they also provide some of the country’s best career opportunities for college faculty and professionals. This new resource brings together colleges and universities across the state to provide the best information, technology, networking and outreach programs.

In addition to featuring a free, comprehensive search engine for career opportunities, UNY-HERC also provides online information on local real estate, healthcare, arts and cultural resources and childcare, along with other helpful centralized links that can assist individuals and families new to a particular area. Online users can also sign-up for e-mail alerts for the latest jobs in their field and desired location.

UNY-HERC is composed of a diverse group of public and private schools, colleges and universities across the state, independent of schools in the New York City area. Member representatives—who have helped develop the consortium since January 2006 – include faculty, staff, human resource professionals, institutional leaders and faculty relations experts from each member institution. Other regions across the United States, such as New England, Metropolitan New York/Southern Connecticut, Northern California, Southern California and New Jersey have developed similar HERC consortiums. 

“The strength of the Upstate New York HERC comes from the collaboration of the provosts, vice provosts and human resources professionals at our member institutions,” says Syracuse University’s Camille Donabella, UNY-HERC’s acting director. “We are all committed to helping each other in recruiting and retaining the best faculty and staff, and assisting dual career couples in their job search.”

For more information about Wells’ partnership with UNY-HERC, contact Communications Director Kelly Tehan at 315.364.3260 and visit UNY-HERC’s Web site: www.unyherc.org.

February, 2007


Feature Film Location Manager to Lecture at Wells College 

Spielberg’s Mike Fantasia of Hollywood talks about his role in global filming

FantasiaHollywood film location manager Mike Fantasia will speak on “Exploring the Globe: The Role of the Feature Film Location Manager” on Tuesday, March 6. Scheduled for 7:30 pm, the talk will take place in Cleveland Auditorium and is free and open to all.

Mike Fantasia, a graduate of SUNY-Plattsburgh, was working for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana when filmmaker Steven Spielberg came to town in 1989 to film the movie “Always.” Fantasia helped the location manager scout the region for possible filming sites, and then was hired to supervise twenty firefighters whose job it was to insure that the fire created for the film did not spread outside the perimeter of the set. Those four weeks literally sparked his interest in the film business and changed his future career path.

Since then, Fantasia has scouted and location-managed numerous feature films across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Hungary, Austria, France, Slovenia, New Zealand and Mexico. Some of the more well known movies that Mike has worked on include “Blow,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Seabiscuit,” “The Terminal,” “In Her Shoes,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and “Munich.” He recently started work for Spielberg on the fourth installment in the Indiana Jones series.

“I have had the pleasure of working with some of the premier directors, producers, cinematographers and production designers in the film business, many of whom have been nominated for and/or won Golden Globes and Academy Awards,” said Fantasia. In addition to Spielberg, Fantasia has worked with Cameron Crowe, Robert Redford, Curtis Hanson, Ted Demme, Rob Marshall, Sophia Coppola, and many others.

Auburn resident Nancy Bates, Wells class of 2008, organized Fantasia’s visit to Wells. Knowing of Nancy’s interest in screenwriting, Auburn mayor Tim Lattimore suggested Nancy contact Fantasia in Los Angeles about possible internship opportunities. 

“I thought inviting Mike to Aurora would be a wonderful opportunity for the Wells community,” said Nancy. “Mike will speak to us about his work on feature films, and I am especially appreciative of his time since he is graciously squeezing us in while in pre-production on Indiana Jones 4.”

While on campus, Fantasia will also make a career presentation to students. His visit to Wells is sponsored by the Dean of the College, Career Services, Campus Involvement, and the Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Art History Departments.

For more information about Mike Fantasia’s lecture, please contact Terry Bilak in the Office of Career Services at 315/364-3225. 

February, 2007


Wells College Presents Faculty Piano Recital

Nancy Gilbertson of Moravia to perform

Nancy GilbertsonThe Music Department at Wells College is pleased to offer an evening of piano music. On Saturday, February 24, music lecturer Nancy Gilbertson of Moravia will present a free concert at 8:00 pm in Barler Recital Hall. The public is cordially invited to attend. A reception will follow the recital.

The evening’s program includes “Gavotte and Variations” by Rameau, four Chopin waltzes, two Rachmaninoff preludes, and the rarely performed “Piano Fantasy” by Aaron Copland.

Nancy Gilbertson has taught music at Wells College since 1987. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from Kent State University in Ohio. She has been a dedicated private piano teacher since 1973, and an active soloist and accompanist in central New York since moving to Moravia in 1986. Nancy released her first recording, Mediterranean Magic, in 2000. 

For more information about the performance, please contact Nancy Gilbertson at 315/364-3343. 

February, 2007


Sixth Annual Gospel Workshop and Concert at Wells College 

The sixth annual Wells College Gospel Workshop and Concert Weekend will be held February 16 and 17, 2007. The workshop is a two-day event in which the Wells College community and the local Aurora community come together to learn about and engage in singing this uplifting genre of music. No auditions are required and the event is free and open to the general public. Everyone is warmly invited to lift their voices during this inspirational weekend event. 

The Gospel Workshop Weekend is coordinated by Wells’ Gospel choir Appointed and the Dean of Students Office. L. Kirk Hatcher of Montgomery, Alabama will be choir director, and Ed Menifee of Atlanta, Georgia serves as music director.

All rehearsals and the concert will be held in Barler Recital Hall. The weekend schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 16 
Rehearsal 7:00-9:00 p.m. 

Saturday, February 17
Rehearsal 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. 
Warm-up 6:30 p.m.
Concert 7:30 p.m.

No advance registration is necessary, but participants must attend both rehearsals. Those interested in participating in the workshop should contact Mehegan Murphy in the Dean of Students Office at 315/364-3311 by no later than Monday, February 12.

Gospel Weekend and Appointed are the brainchildren of former Dean of Students Karen Green. For more information about Gospel Weekend and the concert, please contact Mehegan Murphy in the Dean of Students Office at 315/364-3311.

February, 2007


Annual Student Art Show Opens at Wells College

Work by more than 40 students to be featured

String Room Art Gallery at Wells CollegeAn eclectic mix of art will be on display in Wells College’s String Room Gallery from February 7 – March 2, 2007. Artwork produced by students enrolled in studio art classes during the Fall 2006 semester will be shown. The annual student art exhibition is free and the public is cordially invited to view the show. An opening reception with refreshments on Wednesday, February 7 from 7:00-9:00 pm offers an opportunity to meet the student artists and view and discuss their work.

Nearly 50 students are exhibiting their work this winter. Media represented include painting, ceramics, photography, design, drawing, sculpture, and more. 

Associate Professor Theodore Lossowski and visiting instructor Melissa Roberts guided and instructed the students during the fall semester. They oversaw the students’ work in the studios and coordinated the installation of the show. Roberts temporarily replaced her father, Wells Professor of Art William Roberts, while he was on sabbatical leave. 

The String Room Gallery is located in Main Building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the show and art classes at Wells, please contact William Roberts at 315/364-3237.

January, 2007


It’s Starting to Look Like a Real Building!

Wells College Science Building January 2007Having finished the atrium roofing and much of the exterior bricklaying, most of the work on the new science building has moved to the structure’s interior. Construction of the ceiling grid on the first level is underway, as is painting on the first and second levels. The elevator has been installed, and permanent electrical power to the entire building will soon be connected. Drywall hanging will be complete within the next few weeks. Return to wells.edu for future updates.

January, 2007


Lecture on “Brown v. Board of Education” at Wells College

Renowned African-American pianist speaks on groundbreaking Supreme Court civil rights decision

Leon BatesThe Wells College Arts & Lecture Series Committee is pleased to announce that Leon Bates will be on campus Friday evening, February 9. In recognition of Black History Month, Bates will speak on Brown v. Board of Education in Barler Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Prices are $6 for students, senior citizens and the Wells College community, and $10 for the general public; free for Wells students. Tickets are available at the door the night of the performance or from the box office the week preceding the show. Please call 315/364-3456 after January 29 to reserve. 

Leon Bates is a world-class pianist who speaks articulately and from an historical perspective about the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. A child when the decision was handed down, declaring “separate but equal” unconstitutional, Bates reviews the sweeping benefits to minorities, especially African-Americans.

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren handed down a 9-0 decision that stated “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Although wide resistance followed, it was a giant step forward for the civil rights movement and desegregation, revealing human tendencies to prejudge, discriminate against, and stereotype people by their ethnic, religious, physical, or cultural characteristics. Legally ending school segregation had far-reaching social and ideological implications that galvanized human rights struggles across America and around the world.

Since winning the Philadelphia Orchestra Senior Audition as a student, Leon Bates has emerged as one of America’s leading pianists. He has performed in virtually all of the major halls in the United States and on nearly every continent. He made his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2001, and has appeared on the Today show and CBS News Sunday Morning. A former radio host, Bates discusses the personal impact that the Brown v. Board of Education decision had on his life and career. He will also demonstrate a few short piano works. 

The Wells College Arts & Lecture Series features professional guest artists and performers who are invited to campus to enrich the cultural components of Wells as a learning community. The acts are selected annually by a committee composed of Wells faculty, staff, and students.

The final performance in the 2006-07 Arts & Lecture Series is a concert by Irish rock-punk band the Prodigals on April 14, 2007.

For more information about Leon Bates’ lecture and the Wells Arts & Lecture Series, please contact Siouxsie Grady, chair of the Arts & Lecture Series Committee, at 315/364-3232. 

January, 2007


Wells College Board Elects New Trustees

At its fall meeting, the Wells College Board of Trustees elected three members to the Board.

John Andrew Andy Noel
John Andrew “Andy” Noel
Stephen L. Zabriskie
Stephen L. Zabriskie
Carrie Collins '06
Carrie Collins ’06

John Andrew “Andy” Noel of Ithaca, N.Y. is the Meakem-Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education at Cornell University. He has led the university’s athletics program to unprecedented success in the seven years he has served in this position. His expertise in intercollegiate athletics will be key as Wells continues to build its programs.

In his capacity as director, Andy has hired top coaches and successfully upgraded a number of department facilities. He was a member of the team that raised $66 million in support of capital projects and endowment, helping to secure the financial future of the department. During the campaign, 21 coaching and staff positions were endowed, bringing the total number of endowed positions within the department to 30 – the most of any school in the country.

Earlier in his career, Andy was Cornell’s head wrestling coach from 1974 to 1988 and served two years as assistant director in the department’s public affairs office. A native of Lancaster, Pa., he graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a bachelor of arts degree in history and received his M.A. in counseling and guidance from Colgate University.

After a year away from the Board, Stephen L. Zabriskie of Aurora, N.Y. has been elected to a fourth term as trustee. Steve, who previously served from 1995-2005 – the last two years as chair, oversaw the Board’s decision to become a coeducational institution, was instrumental in the creation of the current Strategic Plan, and helped envision the shape of a new Wells College.

The Zabriskie family has served Wells and the surrounding community since the College’s earliest days. Steve’s grandfather was Nicholas Lansing Zabriskie, whose wife Louise Morgan was the daughter of E.B. Morgan (Henry Wells’ business partner and the first president of Wells Fargo). 

Steve has been a director at Cayuga Lake National Bank for 31 years, and has served as president of Auburn Memorial Hospital, chair of the Central NY Regional Planning & Development Board, and president of the Cornell Cooperative Extension. As The Post-Standard newspaper proclaimed in 2002, “A tradition of public service entwines Stephen Zabriskie and Aurora like ivy and old buildings.”

He attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and later earned a B.A. from Ithaca College. 

Carrie Collins ’06 was raised in Soldotna, Alaska. During her time as a student at Wells, she was an exceptional student leader and enormously respected by her professors and her peers. She was president of Collegiate Cabinet during her senior year, and graduated in May with distinction in Public Affairs: Ethics, Politics and Social Policy. 

She also served as treasurer of Collegiate (student government body), the Programming Board, Symposium Club, and the sophomore class; chair of the Traditions Committee; and as Collegiate’s representative on the College’s Strategic Planning Committee. In her capacity as president of Collegiate, she was invited to make remarks at the College’s science building groundbreaking ceremony in April 2006.

At Commencement, Wells President Lisa Marsh Ryerson presented Carrie with the Presidential Leadership Award, noting: “This award is given annually to a student who has demonstrated particular initiative and responsibility in service to our community. This year’s recipient distinguished herself through consistent and dedicated leadership, her cooperative spirit, and her collaborative approach.” 

Carrie also won the Excellence in Student Governance Award and the Outstanding Leadership Award at the first Student Life Awards presented in May 2006.

For more information about these appointments, please contact Communications Director Kelly Tehan at 315/364-3260 or by email at ktehan@wells.edu.

January, 2007