Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What an honor!

I've just been informed that Janet Williams, a new grad in OCLD, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for next year; she'll be teaching in Spain through the program.

As you all know, the Fulbright is one of the most competitive and prestigious academic awards in the world; Janet -- who has been a highly involved and visible leader in Park and across the campus -- is among our best and brightest, and it's nice to know that the rest of the world recognizes her special talents and strengths.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Home again, home again....

It's been almost two weeks since I last posted to the blog, but I have a very good reason (really, I promise): I just spent 10 days in Antigua, where Internet connections are strictly dial-up (and I mean s-l-o-o-o-o-ow) AND it costs 50 cents a minute to send an email message.

Bottom line? I've been as unplugged for the past two weeks as I've been in the past five years. It was interesting....until I got home to an email inbox that is 99 percent full (and I already asked ITS to increase my quota, so I'm pretty sure *that's* not happening again....)

Anyway, it was worth it.

I was one of about 20 IC faculty, administrators and students who traveled to Antigua from May 16 to May 28. We were there to teach, to meet with local business and government leaders, and to explore and expand upon the developing relationship between the college and the island nation.

I taught Travel Writing to six IC students and three Antiguans every morning (way fun!), and presented professional training workshops to ten Antiguan journalists every afternoon (way interesting).

In addition to our class sessions, the Travel Writing students spent their time updating the LonelyPlanet.com's Antigua directory; writing short feature stories on the resort where we stayed; writing longer feature stories on one of the events we attended (including a catamaran sailing trip!); and reporting and writing a long-form profile on a local celebrity -- from Sly J, a local DJ, to Number One, a well-known cab driver. All in 10 days! The stories are amazing; we're going to publish them in a magazine that will be distributed to libraries and schools on the island. So here's a public "thank you" to the students who made my time in Antigua such a great experience: Emily McNeil, Kendall Gilchrest, Ian Poole, David Burnes, Lissa Twichell and Christina Folkard.

Every afternoon, while my students were reporting and writing, I worked with ten Antiguan journalists, most of whom are employed by the government-owned television station (at this point, the only local television outlet in the country). They were a lively group, to say the least, and we devoted most of our time to journalism basics: news judgment, ethics, and story construction. Some of them have college degrees, in subjects ranging from biology to English; others are high school graduates hired by the station without any professional experience or training. I am certain I learned as much from them as they learned from me; I came away from our conversations far more aware of the restrictions and challenges they face, and far more committed to helping them understand and adopt the principles of a free press in an open democracy.

In addition to the journalism contingent, the IC group included administrators, including Provost Peter Bardaglio, Associate Provost Garry Brodhead, Music School Dean Art Ostrander, and Assistant Dean Janet Wigglesworth; Music faculty Paige Morgan and Conrad Alexander; HSHP faculty Jan Monroe; and Education faculty Pat Tempesta...to name a few. They worked in the schools, interacted with local public health organizations, and met with government officials; Pat even spent a day as a substitute teacher at one of the elementary schools!

And we were a media hit: Garry Brodhead and I were on television the night of our arrival (you should have seen how quickly we all made it through Customs so we could make it to the VIP lounge!), and Conrad and Ernest (a music student) were on the front page of the newspaper on the day of our departure.

All in all, it was an extraordinary couple of weeks; we came home excited about the possibilities of the college's developing relationship with the country of Antigua and its people.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Nicole wants to be a millionaire!

FINALLY...after waiting months for the big day, Parkie Nicole Muehlhausen's appearance on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is scheduled for May 23 and May 24. You'll all be home for the summer by then, but do take the time to tune in and watch.
She's been sworn to secrecy, so we have no idea how well she did. But it'll be fun to watch -- whatever happens....

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Ithacan Awards: A tribute to journalists

I know, I know: I'm a journalism fanatic. I have devoted more than two decades of my life to the pursuit of truth -- especially in the form of a great interview and a well-turned phrase -- and I can't help but get excited on Thursday mornings when the Ithacan staff produces yet another issue of what has to be the best student newspaper in the country.

Last week, in keeping with longstanding tradition, the newspaper awarded its own "best of the best" to its editors, reporters, and photographers. My seven-year-old daughter, Annie Grace, spent most of the banquet under our table, but afterwards, she observed astutely: "Those people win lots of awards, don't they?" And I was able to say, with great pride, "Yes, honey, they do."

Here's the list of award winners this year:

Story of the Year: Anne K. Walters, "Secret Camera Found in Clock/Victims Struggle with News"
Photo of the Year: Rebecca Gardner, "Sophomore Mark Jeffires collides ..." (Men's soccer photo)
Outstanding Editor: Vanessa Schneider
Outstanding Section: Design (Matt Quintanilla, editor; Nic Barajas, assistant editor)
Outstanding Freshman: Chris Baxter
Outstanding Senior: Anne K. Walters
Outstanding Achievement: Chris Colleluori, Caitlin Connelly, Rebecca Gardner, Emily Paulsen, Emil Petti

Congratulations to them all -- and to the Ithacan staff as a whole. You are all real pros.


This just in from Scott Hamula and the Ad Lab Team:

Guess what? We won again! The hard work and great results of this
year's team edged out the second place finish by .3 points!


Again, the team wants to thank everyone for your support and a special
thanks to those who were able to attend our presentation on Friday.
It was a great to see you there.

Here's a brief rundown of the top 5
[21 total competed]:

Book Presentation Total
33.6 35.1 68.7 Ithaca College
31.3 37.1 68.4 Pace - NY
31.8 35.7 67.5 Syracuse
30.2 36.3 66.5 George Washington
25.8 31.9 57.7 St. John's

Congratulations to Scott and the team; we know how good we are, but it sure is nice when everybody else realizes it, too!