Campus Currents

May 14, 2018

Michelle Smith Presents a Check to My Life, My Choice

Non-Profit Giving Students Provide 13K to Three Organizations

Students in Ira Silver’s Non-Profit Giving Course awarded $10,000 to the My Life, My Choice organization, which supports survivors of sexual exploitation, during a powerful ceremony on May 10th.

The cause was deeply personal for Liberal Studies major Michelle Smith, a non-traditional student who shared with the audience her story of being sexually exploited as a child, which led to drug use and derailed her life for many years.  

“Here I stand today with a little bit of hope,” said Smith, who will graduate from FSU next year and presented the $10,000 check to representatives from My Life, My Choice. “And I’m taking on the challenge of learning who I am and how I want to make an impact.”

Students in the course are provided with $10,000 from the Learning by Giving Foundation to donate to a charity of their choice. They begin the semester by reading Dr. Silver’s book, Giving Hope: How You Can Restore the American Dream, which shows how philanthropy can enable Americans experiencing hard times to move their lives forward. Students then begin a comprehensive process that involves researching local non-profit organizations, creating an RFP (Request for Proposals), reviewing bids, and doing site visits before determining how to spend the money.

“It’s hard to part ways with organizations as you go through the process, because we all felt really passionate about them,” says Brook La Flamme.

The class also made good on a pledge by Learning by Giving philanthropist Doris Buffett, who promised during a visit to FSU in 2016 that she would match any additional funding students could raise on their own. Throughout the semester, the students were able to raise $1,581, which allowed them to present $3,171 to their runner-up charity, Bethany Hill Place in Framingham.

As if that wasn’t enough, the students also received an additional $1,000 grant for their efforts to document the entire process they went through with a blog.

“The blog gave us a moment to reflect on how the class changed us,” says student Kiara Davis, who helped put it together. “The course opened my eyes to the struggles others go through.”

That money was presented to Roxbury Youth Works, whose mission is to help youth caught in cycles of poverty, victimization, and violence to transition successfully to adulthood.


Students Inducted Into Pi Sigma Alpha

Political Science Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society Inductees 2018

The students inducted were Joe Fraser, Tyler Spencer, Dom Batista, Melanie Amaral, Adam Scanlon, Seth Signa and Jessica Mulhearn.  Matty Bennet won the best essay award for American Politics. 

Pi Sigma Alpha was founded in 1920 at the University of Texas for bringing together students and faculty interested in the study of government and politics.  The ALPHA IOTA MU Chapter at Framingham State University is the 775th Chapter of the honor society.

A Day in May

The Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS) Presents:

A Day in May
Wednesday, May 16, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
McCarthy Center Forum

Faculty who receive CELTSS funding share their research at A Day in May.  The keynote speaker will be Paula M. Krebs, who is Executive Director of the Modern Language Association, a professional association with over 24,000 members in 100 countries. Her keynote presentation "Why the Humanities? Careers, Community, and Critical Consciousness," will take place after lunch. Krebs previously served as the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bridgewater State University; a special assistant to the president for external relations at Wheaton College; American Council on Education Fellow in the president’s office of the University of Massachusetts; and professor of English and department chair at Wheaton. Her work focuses on the value of studying the humanities, interdisciplinary collaboration, and partnerships between the campus and the

Coordinated Program in Dietetics Presentation

The following undergraduate and graduate students in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, presented at the 13th annual “MNT-FYI.”  Held Thursday, May 3, this is a Framingham State University/Massachusetts Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics combined meeting held at FSU each year.  The meeting provides 2 hours of continuing education for registered dietitian attendees.  Students are able to share their research and network with attendees.

• Tori Leger:  The effects of gluten free diet on BMD for individuals with Celiac disease

• Tyler Carden:  Is there a link between high BMI and low levels of vitamin D?

• Olivia Weinstein:  Probiotics for treatment of depression

• Rachel Tedford:  FODMAP diet as a treatment for IBS

• Johanna Cohan:  Plant-based diets in treating CKD

• Jesse Busa:  Anthocyanin’s impact on cardiovascular disease

• Abbey Johnston: Intuitive eating as a weight management tool                                                           

Late Night Skies at the FSU Planetarium

Friday, May 18, 2018, 6 p.m.
FSU Planetarium, O'Connor Hall
Register Here

How to Hold a Dead Star in Your Hands
Astronomy is a bit different from other sciences. Scientists in most other fields can take their subjects into labs and study them up close. But because objects in space are very far away, it is usually impossible for astronomers to get their hands on them. But now, thanks to data from some of our favorite observatories, anyone can hold a dead star in their hand…and even, walk (virtually) among the remains of a star that exploded a long time ago. Join us in the planetarium for a live, multimedia presentation with Kimberly Kowal Arcand, who will show us how light and information can travel millions of miles across the universe, and end up in the palm of our hands.

Kimberly Kowal Arcand is the Visualization Lead for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which has its headquarters at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Kim describes herself as a science data “story teller,” who transforms data into meaning through a variety of media, including 3D visualizations, exhibits and experiences, non-fiction books and more.

Outstanding First-Year Advocate

By Ben Trapanick, Director, First-Year Programs

It is with great excitement that I announce the recipient of this year’s Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award. The award recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of members of the Framingham State University community who have created positive change and/or developed programs designed to improve the transition to college for first-year students.

Please offer your congratulations to Dr. Patricia Lynne, Professor of English!

Dr. Lynne was nominated by multiple people who commented on the work that she has done regarding the first-year writing program and the development of a writing placement test. She has been instrumental in making sure that students are in the appropriate writing course based on their abilities. Through her dedication to the writing test and the curriculum of the first-year writing program housed within in the English department, Dr. Lynne has advocated for first-year students by making sure that they have the tools to succeed and that they are not set up for a troubling semester by being in a course that is not appropriate for their abilities. In addition, Dr. Lynne has worked with first-year students as a faculty member who regularly teaches Introduction to College Writing and has been part of the Foundations program as a faculty member and previously as a Steering Committee member. She understands the needs of first-year students and is a fierce advocate for them, making sure they have the tools to succeed.

Once again, please offer your congratulations to Dr. Patricia Lynne who will receive the award at Convocation on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

I would also like to congratulate Dr. Catherine Dignam, Associate Professor, and Chair of Chemistry. Dr. Dignam was nominated for her work with first-year students in several regards. She is a member of the Foundations Steering Committee while also serving as a Foundations Faculty member, has spent countless hours refining the curriculum of introductory Chemistry courses, and has been an instrumental part of the team that created and coordinates the STEM Scholars program. She has been, and thankfully will continue to be, an integral part of the first-year experience.

Congratulations to both Dr. Lynne and Dr. Dignam.

Upcoming Events Sponsored by Career Services


SAVE THE DATE: Employment & Engagement Day Fair
Monday, September 17, 2018, 11:30 a.m.— 2:20 p.m., Athletic Center
Great opportunity to find an off-campus job with one of our many local retailers and restaurants or non-profits. This event is also a fantastic opportunity to learn more about clubs, community service, and getting involved both on and off campus. Representatives from 100 local businesses will be looking for YOU!

SAVE THE DATE: Suitable Solutions Career Professionalism Program Kick Off Event
Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 1:30 p.m.— 2:30 p.m., MC Forum
Learn the professional skills that employers want—program overview.

SAVE THE DATE: Career Advice Roundtables (CARS) Networking Event
Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 3:30 p.m.— 5:30 p.m., MC Forum
The CARS Program is designed to provide a dialog between professionals (including many FSU alumni) and students seeking real answers to their career related questions. Each employer will moderate one table as students rotate from table to table seeking advice from participating professionals.

SAVE THE DATE: The 13th Annual Major/Minor Fair
Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 11:30 a.m.— 1:30 p.m., MC Forum
Having difficulty choosing a major or a minor? Learn more about which careers would correlate to your choice. Visit academic tables, Career Services, and 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.

SAVE THE DATE: Human Services Fair
Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 6:00 p.m.— 7:30 p.m., MC Forum
Explore internship and full-time opportunities available in human services and non-profits. Dress professionally, bring your resume, and network with up to 30 employers.

Notable Accomplishments

-Dr. Rachel Trousdale’s essay, “Teaching Comic Narratives,” has just been published in the volume, Teaching Narrative, edited by Richard Jacobs (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

-Dr. Carolyn Maibor’s essay, “Teaching the Practical Emerson Through the Sermons and the Early Lectures,” has been published in The Modern Language Association’s Approaches to Teaching the Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, edited by Mark C. Long and Sean Ross Meehan (April, 2018). Because this is a definitive volume on best pedagogical approaches, Dr. Maibor’s essay will reach a wide audience for many years to come.

Upcoming events

Habitat Earth Screening for Young Learners with Dr. Margaret Carroll

Monday, April 12, 2021

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Organized by: McAuliffe Center & Challenger Learning C

The Unraveling of the World: What Climate Change Has to Teach Us by Dr. Vandana Singh

Monday, April 12, 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Organized by: McAuliffe Center & Challenger Learning C, Dept of Physics & Earth Science

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