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                                                                 College of Liberal Arts  

CoLA Weekly

  Friday, November 18, 2016   
One of the advantages of being a young institution is the many beginnings and firsts you get to see and help build. This past weekend Sara Woodhull, CoLA Major Gifts Officer, and I had the privilege of attending a WSU Alumni get-together in California at the home of Tricia Small, one of our Theatre alums. There were over 50 people at the event, many of whom were CoLA alums (MoPix, Theatre, Communication, History, English, Sociology, Music) as well as alumni from other colleges, most employed in the entertainment business. Special guest was Chuck Derry, Professor Emeritus of our Motion Pictures program, and he told the real story of why the Hanks Center is BLUE. This was a first big get-together for them as they work on forming the WSU alumni society of Southern California. Go California Alums!

Wright State hosted its annual Heritage Societies Event last night to recognize generous donors who have cumulatively given $10,000 or more to the university. CoLA celebrated a number of honorees this year who were either being inducted into the Heritage Societies for the first time or moving from one Heritage level to the next. I am especially grateful to the amazingly generous CoLA donors who were honored that evening:

Wright Brothers $10,000
Jeffrey Amlin and Jane Dockery
Donald and Lois Bigler
Brian and Cathleen Crotty
Roger and Debra Downing
Michael Houser and Stephen Wargo
Margaret Keith
Tricia Small
Kristin Sobolik and Scott Peterson
James and Karen Tinney
Stanley Allyn $25,000
Daniel and Carole Kerber
Donald and Amanda (Wright) Lane
Ildikó Marcus
Neal and Tante Pemberton
Aviation Heritage Foundation, Inc.
Dayton Chamber Music Society
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
The Greentree Group
Robert S. Oelman $50,000
Abe and Sharon Bassett
Linda Caron
Garrett and Kathleen Gall
Travis and Lisa Greenwood
Vishal and Melissa Soin
Thomas and Cathryn Young
Dayton Public Radio, Inc.
Heidelberg Distributing Company
Brage Golding $100,000
Paige E. Mulhollan $250,000
Adams Robinson Enterprises
Robert J. Kegerreis $1,000,000
Michael and Holly Di Flora
Kim Goldenberg $2,500,000
Gloria and Don Graber

F√©licitations to Pascale Abadie, French, who was selected for the International Education Award for 2016. Pascale was presented with this award at the International Education Week Reception on Tuesday. What a well-deserved honor! 

I'm looking forward to Sunday's Dayton Literary Peace Prize Ceremony where we will celebrate many years of Advancing Peace through Literature. Each year dozens of books are nominated in fiction and nonfiction categories with the top two authors in each category coming to Dayton for Meet the Author receptions, readings, panels, and a big gala downtown on the Schuster Center Stage. I cannot wait to read the 2016 Nonfiction Winner Nagasaki by Susan Southard and the 2016 Fiction Winner The Sympathizer by  Viet Thanh Nguyen.
So many CoLA faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees have helped bring the Dayton Literary Peace Prize to fruition and support it each year. Carol LorangerEnglish, is a member of the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award Panel and helped with organization and ferrying authors hither and yon. First Readers of the numerous nominated books include Christopher ChaffeeMusicJacob Dorn, Emeritus HistoryLynette JonesEnglishSarah TwillSocial Work, and Mary Beth Pringle, Emerita English. And kudos to Dean Emeritus Chuck Taylor for getting CoLA engaged in this event from the get-go.
In addition to the four writers being honored at this year's ceremony, Marilynne Robinson will be presented the Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award Marilyn has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, the 2012 National Humanities Medal, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.  We are fortunate to bring her to Wright State's campus this coming Monday where she will lead an important conversation on Literature, Religion, and Peace. The event takes place in the Stein Galleries from 11:15 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.  I hope you can attend.
Wright State's Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Jerry Noble, Music, recently participated in a Showcase concert at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC).  They performed Threads by Paul Lansky, Ohko by Iannis Xenakis, and Bonham by Christopher Rouse. Wright State Percussion was selected as winners through the highly competitive International Percussion Ensemble Competition that included the world's best percussion programs.  PASIC is the Percussion Industry's leading annual event and hosts over 5,000 attendees annually, including industry executives, college professors, international drumset and percussion artists, and students from across the globe.  Hundreds of industry leaders and students attended the concert and spoke very highly of the performance quality.  Congratulation Wright State Percussion, and congratulations Jerry!


Kudos to Mike Wiehe, director of the Applied Policy Research Institute (APRI), and his team for their great work in partnership with loc al start-up Cognovi Labs to analyze the 2016  Presidential Campaign. Utilizing Cognovi's semantic web technology tool, which was developed on c ampus by Dr. Amit Sheth of Kn.o.esis, APRI was able to collect real-time data from social media about how Twitter users were feeling towards the candidates. "War rooms" were
held for each debate and tracking continued throughout Election Day. The data from Cognovi Labs pointed to a decisive Trump victory hours before any other outlets were able to call the election.  

Intensive English Program also got involved in this year's election by holding a mock ele ction on November 8. Students lined up to vote, showing their Wright One cards and signing a regis tere d-for-LEAP-classes list before casting their ballots in the LEAP Office. Afterwards, they were treated to a red, white, and b lue election cake baked by one of the faculty and "Wright Vote 2016" buttons donated by Service Learning. Prior to Election Day, students learned about the US election process in their classes through collaboration with Lee Hannah, Political Science, and Dorothy Alvarez, Modern Languages. Who won the LEAP mock election? Hilary Clinton took home 74% of the votes, Donald Trump 12%, and 14% voted "Other."

This week's featured New Faculty members are Melissa Doran and Josh Mc Cabe.

Melissa Doran is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from The Ohio State University and her B.A. from Wright State University. Melissa previously taught for four years at Wright State as an Instructor of Spanish and is delighted to be teaching Spanish Conversation I, Writing in Spanish, and Spanish Culture this semester. Her research interests center around the intersection of history, politics, and literature, with a particular focus on representations of gender and terrorism in Spain and throughout the Hispanic world. Melissa's favorite teaching experience so far was a collaboration with the Department of Theatre, Dance, & Motion Pictures on their production of Blood Wedding during which she and her Modern Languages students worked as dramaturges for the play. Welcome Melissa!

Josh McCabe is an Assistant Professor of Acting in the Department of Theatre, Dance, & Motion Pictures. He received his M.F.A. in Acting from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and his B.F.A. and B.A. from Ohio University. This semester Josh is teaching Acting II (Arc of the Character) and Acting III (Shakespeare). His fondest accomplishments include his performance playing Olympia Dukakis's son, Eilif, in Mother Courage and Her Children at Shakespeare & Company and working with The Shakespeare in the Courts Project, a White House award-winning program that works with adjudicated teenagers who have been "Sentenced to Shakespeare" by a judge, culminating in a final performance as a part of their probation. Josh is excited to be an assistant professor at Wright State where he has already had many wonderful experiences with the students in the short time he's been here. Welcome Josh!
I hope you will take some time next week to rejuvenate and relax as we celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. The next CoLA Weekly on December 2 will lead us on the homestretch of Fall Semester.
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Kristin Sobolik

Upcoming Events: 
The Untold Story of the Arab Uprisings: Climate Stress, Wednesday, November 30, 11:10 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  in the Student Union Discovery Room (163 A/B). Fadhel Kaboub, associate professor of Economics at Denison University and president of Binzagr Institute of Sustainable Development, will examine how climate change helped spur the wave of Arab uprisings in 2012.
ArtsFair, Saturday, December 3, 9:00 - noon in the Creative Arts Center. Don't miss this fun and educational experience for art lovers of all ages to enjoy a full morning of entertainment, including hands-on, interactive learning experiences in a variety of fine and performing arts. Learn more and buy your tickets online at