Campus Currents

January 25, 2016

The Space Shuttle Challenger Crew

Inspiring the Future: 30 Years Since Challenger

The community is invited to attend a special event on January 28th at Framingham State University entitled “Inspiring the Future: 30 Years Since Challenger,” celebrating the legacy of the Space Shuttle Challenger Crew.

On January 28th, 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing its seven member crew, including Framingham State Alumna Christa Corrigan McAuliffe ’70, the First Teacher in Space. The tragedy inspired the creation of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, an organization with over 40 Challenger Learning Centers across the country, including one at Framingham State’s Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center. The legacy of the crew lives on through the thousands of children each year who are inspired to pursue science and engineering during visits to the centers.

Framingham State will celebrate that legacy during an event on Thursday, Jan. 28th, featuring a keynote address from NASA Astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman, a UMass Amherst alumna and veteran of two space shuttle missions and one to the International Space Station.

“The first time I visited the Challenger Learning Center at Framingham State and saw the expressions on the students’ faces as they were transformed into astronauts, scientists and engineers, I understood the wonderful legacy of Christa McAuliffe and the entire Challenger Crew,” says FSU President Javier Cevallos. “The center makes science come alive for students and leaves them with an experience they won’t soon forget.”

The speaking program will kick off at 5 p.m. in Dwight Hall Performing Arts Center and will be hosted by FSU McAuliffe Center Director Irene Porro. The program will include remarks from Massachusetts Secretary of Education Jim Peyser and Tess Caswell, a PhD candidate at Brown University who is currently pursuing her dream of flying in space. Longtime Framingham State McAuliffe Center Director Mary Liscombe, who retired in 2013, will talk about the history of the challenger center.

This special anniversary event is free and open to the community, but tickets are required. Tickets and information about parking on the FSU campus can be found at

Black History Month Speaker: Byron Hurt

The University is honored to be hosting award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer and lecturer Byron Hurt as a guest speaker in February, as part of Black History Month. Hurt is the former host of the Emmy-nominated television show, REEL WORKS with BYRON HURT.

His movie "Soul Food Junkies" will be screened on February 17th, at 7 p.m., in the Center for Inclusive Excellence, followed by a Diversity Dialogue. 

On February 24th, Hurt will be on campus to screen his film "Hip Hop:Beyond Beats and Rhymes" in the McCarthy Center Forum at 7 p.m. The screening will be followed by a talk with Hurt entitled "Hip Hop and Culture: How do Music, Messages and Images impact Society, Culture and Change?"

For more information about Hurt, visit

Black History Month: African Drum Performance

Grupo Fantasia will visit Framingham State on Thursday, Feb. 4th, for a performance of African drum music at 4:30 p.m. in the McCarthy Center Forum.

Upcoming Arts & Ideas Events

The spring semester kicks off with several exciting Arts & Ideas events on the horizon. They include:

Midday Performance: Musical Odyssey
Monday, Feb. 1st, at 1:30 p.m. in the Heineman Ecumenical Center
Acclaimed by the New York Times for their “expertly played” performances displaying “meaty lower brass textures,” the Guidonian Hand is America’s leading modern trombone collective. Tireless advocates for contemporary music, this adventurous ensemble collaborates frequently with living composers, bringing to life compelling new music.

“An Evening with Dr. Temple Grandin”
Tuesday, Feb. 16th, at 7 p.m. in DPAC
Dr. Temple Grandin, born in Boston in 1947, was diagnosed with autism as a child and went on to pursue work in psychology and animal science. She has become a leading advocate for autistic communities and has written books and provided consultation on the humane treatment of animals. Her mission for animal welfare is deeply connected to her autism. Since the early 1990s, a large number of U.S slaughterhouses have implemented her designs to reduce stress in the animals during their final minutes. In 2010, HBO released an Emmy Award winning film on Grandin’s life. Her current bestselling book on autism is The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's.

The World in Flicks: Two Days, One Night (France, 2014)
Wednesday, February 17, at 7 p.m. in the Forum
For the first time, Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne team up with a major international star, Marion Cotillard, to create a story about working-class people living on the edges of society. Sandra (Cotillard) has just returned to work after recovering from a serious bout of depression. Realizing that the company can operate with one fewer employee, management tells Sandra she is to be let go. A powerful statement on community solidarity

PDLS - Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in DPAC
Fires, floods, droughts—how do we change the world before it changes so radically that no one is safe? Drawing on her new book This Changes Everything, award-winning journalist Naomi Klein tackles the climate crisis, the obstacles we face, political, economic, and ideological solutions necessary to build the next, regeneration-based economies. Can we pull off these changes in time?

Winter/Spring Lifelong Learning Series

Make sure you check out the schedule of events for the 2016 Winter/Spring Lifelong Learning Series. Each of these fascinating lectures is free and open to the public. They take place each Thursday, at 7 p.m. in the Framingham Public Library.

The series kicks off on February 11th with a talk by President Emerita Dr. Helen Heineman, who will discuss The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The complete series can be found here.

Faculty Fundraiser: FSU Going Back to Guatemala

From Dr. Pamela M. Ludemann, Psychology and Philosophy Department:

FSU is going to Guatemala one more time.  Given the student interest in this service trip, I am taking one more group of students (this year we are 15) to Guatemala in May.  Eight of us are traveling for three weeks, and the rest of the group will join us after graduation for two weeks.  I have arranged the building of two homes this year for identified families.  Last May, some moms said that the children need sneakers to fully participate in school. The majority of the local children wear flip-flops or sandal, as sneakers are too expensive – especially when most families have 5+ children. So, again, we need your help.  There are several ways to help us meet our construction goal and material needs:

•    Donate gently used children’s clothing and close-toed shoes/sneakers. Silver barrels are in the front entry of Crocker Hall or email me and I will pick up from offices -

•    Donate towards our $7,000 construction/volunteer fee to “From Houses to Homes.”  FHTH is a 501(c)(3) charity – donations are tax deductible.  Each student is responsible for paying a share of the remainder if enough is not raised by mid-April.  There are several ways to donate:

•   Through our GoFundMe site:

•   By check directly to “From Houses to Homes” – please write Ludemann - FSU Volunteers on the memo line.  Mail to:  From Houses to Homes, PO Box 85, Mt. Tabor, NJ 07878-0085.  (I am planning one mailing of student checks in late March and am happy to include others as well.)

•    Online to “From Houses to Homes” -  In the donation specification box, please indicate for Ludemann – FSU Volunteers.

•    Support our spring fundraising events: Feb 11th bake & gift sale; late April yard sale (we will need stuff to sell as well as buyers); possible car wash and restaurant fundraisers – I’m not sure what the students are planning yet. Watch for fliers/posters.
•    Post our GoFundMe url in any social media groups you belong to and spread the word of our support needs for home construction/volunteer fees.

•    Announce to your students that we need any “no longer needed children’s clothing” their families may have – good spring cleaning activity.

Thank you for all support! Every item and penny donated will be well used!

Notable Accomplishments

-Dr. Audrey Kali is keeping an updated blog of her Fulbright experience teaching in Malawi, Africa! You can follow her blog at:

-Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Hartwiger’s essay, “Shifting Proximities: A Case for Global Reading in US Higher Education,” has just been published in the journal New Global Studies.

-Communication Arts Professor Laura Osterweis' paper "The Impermanence of Art and Beauty" has been published in Athens Journal of Humanities and Arts, vol. 3, issue 1, January 2016, pp. 27-40 (

-Shin Freedman, academic librarian of the Whittemore Library, co-authored with Dr. Dawn Vreven a research paper entitled, “Workplace Incivility and Bullying in the Library: Perception or Reality?”   The paper has been accepted for publication in November 2016 from one of the leading academic journals in the library and information science field,  College & Research LibrariesCollege & Research Libraries (C&RL) is the official scholarly research journal of the Association of College & Research Libraries and is a double blind, peer reviewed journal with an impact factor of .82.  Pre-print journal article is available here:

Ms. Freedman presented her original research at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)/New England Chapter at Holy Cross College in Worcester.

Upcoming events

Manisha Sinha, The Slave's Cause: A New History of Abolition

Monday, November 20, 2017

4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Heineman Ecumenical Center

Organized by: Arts & Ideas

Suit Jacket Posse November Show

Monday, November 20, 2017

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

McCarthy Campus Center Forum

Organized by: Hilltop Players Club

Full Events Calendar More Events