CLAS Acts October 2007

October 2007
Volume 1, Issue 2

Our Mission: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life.

Student working on clay urn

Prof. Rayor working on urn

Student displaying carved detail in urn

From the Dean's Desk
Frederick J. Antczak, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

It's October already and the faculty has already outdone itself.  Last weekend, the College was proud to provide a wonderful range of activities, lectures and demonstration for Family Weekend.  Special thanks to all of these departments and individuals: 

Voyages on AWRI's vessel
Performances of Shakespeare's Cymbeline
Diane Rayor, Classics, New Technology for Ancient Poetry
Robert Deaner, Psychology, Sex, Sports, & Testosterone: New approaches for exploring gender differences in competition
Stephen Burton, Biology, There's More Than Lost Golf Balls in the Water Hazard: Golf courses and amphibian conservation in West Michigan
Edwin Joseph, Geography & Planning, Geographic Information Systems demonstration: Navigating the World with GIS: How do they do that?
Mary Karpen, Chemistry, Molecular modeling demonstration , Molecular Architect
Prof. Geoff Lenters, Physics, Observing the Dance in the Heavens: Motions in the Sky
John Kilbourne, MOV, SPARKLE Dawn Coe, MOV, Heart Rate Monitors & Fun Fitness Assessment Activities Mike Roskamp, MOV, Family Fun - New Games You've Probably Never Played  

I attended most of these presentations and was impressed--not to mention very grateful--for your participation on a beautiful Saturday. I'm looking forward to the record-breaking 18 Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence who will be with us during October 11-12.  Their planned public events are too numerous to list here, but you can access them from the Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence webpage.  Please urge your students to make good use of this opportunity.   At Homecoming, the College will showcase our students, faculty, staff and alumni in Mindgating-a Cinematic Tailgating Party.  Five free films and complimentary popcorn will add a new dimension to Homecoming Day (October 13, 11:30am - 3pm in Loutit).  Please look at the wonderful offerings, see our promotional video on You Tube and let your students know.   All of these efforts help us, in Dale Carnegie's famous phrase, to win friends and influence people about the quality of our offerings at GVSU and in our college in particular.    We will receive additional assistance in this area from our newly constituted CLAS Alumni Board.  The 15 founding members are already proving enthusiastic ambassadors for us in "friend-raising" activities ranging from co-op and internship recruitment to alumni communications. Enormous effort on behalf of the College is taking place by all of these dedicated individuals as well as many others.  It is my hope that we can make you aware of these events and initiatives though this newsletter on a monthly basis so you can take full advantage of the opportunities they represent for you and your students.  

Featured Faculty

Urn to Learn

Team teaching, experiential learning, scholarly article reading, multimedia presentations and a museum visit all sound like laudable educational methods which are used singly and in combination at GVSU every day.  And yet it is an unusual class project that manages to scoop them all into the same vessel.  The results are lessons learned that will last a lifetime--and perhaps longer. The Honors Classical World (HNR 211/212) Greek Ceramics Project began in Fall 2000, soon after the founding of the Department of Classics, as the result of interdisciplinary collaboration between  Daleene Menning  (now emeritus) in Art & Design and Diane Rayor (Unit Head, Classics).  First under the guidance of Professor Menning and now with Assistant Professor Hoon Lee (Ceramics, Art & Design), participants have researched, designed, and created vases modeled upon ancient Greek pottery.   Students examine Greek originals during an annual field trip to the Toledo Museum of Art.  Students not only learn about the various types, uses and artistic achievement embodied by real examples of classical pottery, they also choose a particular vessel style, select a historically accurate motif and get to work making it.  Their vases are the products of many hours in the Ceramics Studio during the two-week project.  In 2004, the Art Gallery purchased and displayed three student pots.  The Classics Department displays a small selection of pots in Lake Huron Hall.   The interdisciplinary exchanges have continued in Hoon Lee's Ceramic lecture series. From Classics, Assistant Professor Melissa Morison gave a talk, "Archaeological Reconstruction of Ancient Greek Pottery Production" in December 2004 and Peter Anderson, "The Iconography of Sound on Ancient Greek Pottery," in April 2006.   Diane Rayor is quick to acknowledge her collaborators, "The continuation of the Honors Classical World ceramics project is only possible because of Hoon Lee generously donating his time and expertise".   The results are as remarkably as the untouchable museum pieces that inspired them.