Wednesday, May 7, 2008

School of Liberal Arts Highlights 2007/2008

Education Department alumnus Richard Ognibene, Jr., was named New York State Teacher of the Year. He is the second Siena Education alum to be named Teacher of the Year in New York in the past four years. Mr. Ognibene is the son of Professor Elaine Ognibene from the English Department and Professor Richard Ognibene, Sr. from the Education Department. Both of our Professors Ognibene are retiring this year after many decades of service to the College.

  • Center for Revolutionary Era Studies is a the single academic partner of the Historic Saratoga – Washington on the Hudson Partnership. This New York State Commission was established to raise public awareness of the rich Revolutionary War heritage of our area. The Commission will work to encourage tourism while maintaining the natural beauty of Upstate New York. Siena’s Center will conduct research, present public lectures, and provide student internships in collaboration with the Saratoga National Historic Park Here is an article from the Schenectady Daily Gazette published today.
  • Professor Margaret Hannay of the English Department has received two grants to write a biography of Lady Mary Sidney Wroth: a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Short-Term Fellowship from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Wroth was the first woman in England to write a sonnet sequence, and the first to write an original drama. Hannay has recently discovered evidence suggesting that her illegitimate son became a pirate in the Caribbean.

  • The Philosophy Department hosted its second Living Philosopher’s program. The American philosopher and political theorist Michael Walzer was in residence during both the fall and spring semesters, working with a select group of 15 students who studied his writings and then presented their findings to him in a final symposium. Professor Pablo Muchnik has directed this unique program for the past four years, assisted by many colleagues in the School of Liberal Arts.

  • Many students in Liberal Arts presented papers at national conferences with the support of their professors. The students come from a variety of majors, including Psychology, Sociology, English, and American Studies. Larissa Walker '09, a double major in Philosophy and Political Science had a paper accepted for publication in The Reed, an interdisciplinary journal of existentialism, St. Olaf’s College.

  • Also in English, Professor Nate Leslie’s book entitled Emma Saves Her Life was nominated in the first round for a Pulitzer Prize. The book is based on the letters written by Leslie’s grandmother over the course of her long life.
  • Two Siena professors were recently honored by the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Professor Maureen Hannah of the Psychology Department and Ms. Karla Digirolamo, chief operating officer for Unity House in Rensselaer County and an instructor in the Social Work Department were both recognized for their work in preventing domestic violence.

Photos: The Ognibenes and Dr. Naton Leslie at a book signing

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