Campus Currents

February 2, 2016

The Space Shuttle Challenger Crew

FSU Celebrates Challenger Legacy

By Alexandra Gomes ’16, publications intern  

In honor of the legacy of FSU alumna Christa McAuliffe '70 and the entire Space Shuttle Challenger crew, the Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center hosted the event “Inspiring the Future: 30 years since Challenger,” on Thursday, Jan. 28.

NASA Astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman, flight controller Tess Caswell, former Center director and classmate of McAuliffe’s Mary Liscombe and Massachusetts Secretary of education Jim Peyser all spoke in remembrance of the crew. Current McAuliffe Center Director Irene Porro served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

McAuliffe, who was one of the seven crew members killed after the Challenger space shuttle broke apart 73 seconds into flight, had dreamed of space travel since her years as an undergraduate at FSU.

According to Liscombe, McAuliffe’s dream of becoming an astronaut was prompted by two astronauts she had met at a science conference her freshman year.

“She came back from that conference and she was just really excited,” said Liscombe. “She said, ‘I’m going to do that someday. I’m going to go into space.”

Liscombe added, “That’s what Christa did. She thought big. She thought outside the box.”

McAuliffe was picked out of 11,000 applicants to be the first teacher in space. In her application McAuliffe said, “When Sally Ride and other women began to train as astronauts, I could look among my students and see ahead for them an ever-increasing list of opportunities.”

Peyser said, “It is right that we honor her commitment to teaching, and inspiring young people about their potential for learning and discovery.”

The need for STEM education in Massachusetts is still increasing, according to Peyser, and the rates of students graduating with STEM related degrees are stagnant.

“We need to move beyond awareness and campaigns to create new capacity that will provide young people with real opportunities to convert their interest in STEM fields into academic achievement and career success. That’s why initiatives like the McAuliffe Center are so important.”

For Caswell, the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is where her ambitions for outer-space began.

At the learning center, Caswell met two astronauts who told her if she wanted to be an astronaut she would also have to be an engineer. “My trajectory towards working at NASA launched from that point. The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska set my course toward working at Houston.”

Caswell went on to become a member of the environmental and thermal operating systems team (ETHOS) at mission control and was responsible for the air, water and temperature on the space station.

McAuliffe’s influence also reached Coleman. She said McAuliffe “made just a huge difference to me.”

Coleman spent 159 days aboard the International Space Station performing experiments not possible here on earth.

“When you go to space, you bring others with you,” said Coleman. “No one goes alone, and I don’t know anyone who isn’t bringing teachers with them.”

Dr. Temple Grandin - Different Kinds of Minds

Dr. Temple Grandin will visit Framingham State on Tuesday, February 16, at 7 p.m. in DPAC, for a discussion entitled “Different Kinds of Minds.”

Dr. Grandin's talk explores how different kinds of minds -- those shaped by different learning styles, different disciplines, or more profoundly by neurological difference -- can offer new opportunities for problem solving, boosting creativity and just plain getting things done. For Dr. Grandin, understanding different kinds of minds has never stopped with the human, but has always included the ways animals think. It was this empathetic line of inquiry which led her to discover her career in animal husbandry.

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 Dwight Hall Performing Arts Center 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.

Career Services Events

Workshop For Diversity Virtual Career Fair
Tuesday, February 3, Noon — 1 p.m., MC 1839
This workshop offers free pizza and teaches the skills that allow you to get the most out of the Diversity Virtual Career Fair!

The 10th Annual Major/Minor Fair
Tuesday, February 9, 11:30 a.m.—1:30 p.m., MC Forum
Having difficulty choosing a major or minor? Learn more about what careers would correlate to your choice.
Visit academic department tables, Career Services, International Education (Study Abroad.) Ask questions about classes and skills needed for the major /minor you are considering, and how graduate school and internships play a role.

Diversity Virtual Career Fair
Tuesday, February 23, TBA
We are partnering with INSIGHT into Diversity magazine on our first ever co-sponsorship of a Virtual Career Fair for our students.  Over 30 employers registered.  Join us prior to the event to gain interviewing skills and learn how to maneuver a virtual career fair on the February 3rd workshop.

Employer Showcase Series
February 3    9:00 AM-Noon    Citizen's Disability   
February 3    Noon - 2:30PM    Lionbridge Technologies  
February 3    Noon - 2:30PM    Chick-fil-A   
February 10  9:00Am-11:45AM    National Guard of Massachusetts   
February 10  Noon - 2:45PM    A Better Insurance Agency   
February 10  Noon - 2:45PM    RSM-Metro West  
February 10  2:45PM - 5:45PM    Nordstrom   
February 17  Noon - 2:45PM    Amazing Things Art Center  
February 17  Noon - 2:45PM    Valet Park of America   
February 24  Noon - 2:45PM    Scribe America   

Save the Date - Accepted Student Days

This year's Accepted Student Receptions are scheduled for:

Saturday April 2, 2016
Saturday April 9, 2016

Health and Wellness Event

Wednesday, February 3rd, is National Condom Day. Stop by the McCarthy Center Lobby from noon to 2 p.m. to check out this popular annual event of free condoms for all. Sponsored by SEALS.

9th Annual Family Fun Day

The 9th annual Family Fun Day at Framingham State is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 21st, 2016, from noon to 3 p.m. in the McCarthy Center Forum. The theme of the event is Wild Safari and will feature crafts, snacks, live animal shows and much more!

The snow date is February 28th, from noon to 3 p.m.

Questions? E-mail

Notable Accomplishments

-Professor John Anderson, Art Department, is a recipient of the 2016 Artist Resource Trust Fund individual grant. This grant of $7,500 was awarded based on his current body of work in sculpture and his proposal for future work.
The money will allow Professor Anderson to explore new materials and link up technologies such as 3D printing with older traditional crafts such as woodturning and carving.

-Professor Patricia Horvath’s essay, “Patience,” part of a collection-in-progress, has just been published in The Massachusetts Review

Upcoming events

Thanksgiving Recess (Begins @ 4:30pm on Wed, Nov 22)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

8:30 am - 10:00 pm

Campus Wide - No Location

Organized by: University Registrar

Marijuana: Then and Now

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

McCarthy Campus Center Forum

Organized by: Wellness Education

Full Events Calendar More Events