Join us for the inaugural event of the North Carolina Wesleyan Humanities Speaker Series with Dr. Eric M. Trinka, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Emory & Henry College.
Dr. Trinka’s talk, “Joseph: Migration, Acculturation and a Tale of Two Bibles,” will be held in Powers Auditorium on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 3:00 P.M.
For questions about this event series, please contact Dr. Shane Thompson.
Check out the new issue of Omnium: The Undergraduate Research Journal at NCWU, released on August 15, 2023. Omnium collects written work by promising undergraduate scholars. This year’s essays, perhaps in response to current political trends, cluster around questions of identity, discrimination, justice, and freedom. In the same spirit, this issue of Omnium also features a forum of op-eds written by Dr. Kelvin Spragley’s students in support of protecting African American history, Native American history, and women’s history courses for high-school and college students. We thank Dr. Spragley for entrusting his students’ writing to the journal, invite our readers to enjoy and learn from the fifteen new essays collected here, and also encourage teachers in any discipline to use them as models in their own courses. Please use attribution when you do so.
OUR MISSION. Omnium, housed in the English Department at NCWU, provides our undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore the major genres of academic writing, join in scholarly conversations, share their ideas, perform original research, and see their work published in a professional venue. Omnium also serves as a teaching resource for NCWU faculty—and faculty at other institutions—as the essays and research articles published here reflect the skill and knowledge of real students at various stages of their academic careers, from first-year composition essays to projects created in senior seminars and honors theses. The materials lend themselves well to in-class discussion, analysis, and emulation, and we hope that students will be energized when they realize that there is no single arcane secret to writing well. All it takes is practice, motivation, and direction.
For questions about Omnium, please contact the editor, Dr. Doreen Thierauf.
Senior English Award
This year’s recipient of the Senior English Award, Madison Moore (pictured left), has proven herself to be a dedicated and intellectually curious student who enriches any classroom with her thoughtful insights and personal warmth. During her time as an English major, she has consistently demonstrated a deep investment in her own learning and fervent desire to explore new ideas and perspectives. One member of the English faculty writes: This year’s recipient “is an exceptional student, who engages in discussions with a curiosity, an openness, and a depth of thought that is inspiring to both her classmates and instructors alike. She has an admirable ability to connect the stylistic and thematic elements of literature to real-world, human experiences and their impact. Her impressive writing combines a creative sense of style with well-organized research and compelling analysis. Her presence in any classroom is truly a joy, and as she will soon be a certified teacher, her future students will be fortunate to receive the benefits of her warmth, humor, empathy, and intelligence.”
First-Year Writing Award
Andrea Fanzaga (pictured right) has been recognized for his essay “Climate Change Greatly Influences Everyone’s Daily Life,” which he wrote for Dr. Thierauf’s English 112 class in Fall 2022. Dr. Thierauf commented that the student’s work was outstanding throughout the semester, and his paper was the most deeply researched paper she has seen since the pandemic began.
The second recipient of the First-Year Writing Award, Layali Kasem, is being recognized for her essay “The Paradoxical Nature of Heroism,” written for Dr. Templeton’s English 195 Honors class in Fall 2022. Her essay revealed a gift for careful, critical analysis and demonstrated her talents as a perceptive and thoughtful thinker and writer.
Communication Outstanding Student Award
This year’s winner of the Outstanding Student Award in Communication is Jean LaGreca. Jean is an excellent student; he is highly motivated and always prepared, even when he has to balance his course load with his busy baseball schedule. His contributions to class discussions regularly elevate the experience for everyone in the class. His work is thoughtful and critically engaged, and he does an outstanding job of connecting course material to relevant topics in intercultural communication, his area of specialization. Jean represents the very best of our Communication Program, and he is a joy to work with. There is no one more deserving of this award.
The Wesleyan Singers are presenting their Spring 2023 repertoire on Thursday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the Garner Lobby of the Dunn Center of the Performing Arts.
Please mark your calendars for this semester’s Wesleyan Singers concert, including sacred, academic, and secular music. Highlights include madrigals of the Renaissance period, the French chanson “Dirait-on” by Morten Lauridsen, as well as Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Lord God Almighty, Thou Art Glorious” with a Soprano solo perfomed by Dr. Margaret Love.
The Wesleyan Singers also have a new website which features recordings of songs they rehearsed this semester. Please find their new page here.
Wesleyan’s four-member Ethics Bowl Team recorded three wins in a recent competition sponsored by the North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities. Coached by Drs. Jason Buel and Shane Thompson, the team is comprised of students Fabio Felli, Noah Larkin, Amanda Modlin, and Elizabeth Perry. The February 10-11, 2023, competition, taking place in the state legislative center in Raleigh, saw Wesleyan debate and defeat Barton, Catawba, and Livingstone colleges. The team lost to Johnson C. Smith in a split decision.
“The team was outstanding. I was very proud of their accomplishment,” Dr. Thompson said, noting that while students do earn one credit for participating in Ethics Bowl, they must dedicate many hours of their free time to researching and preparing for the debates. Modlin, a sophomore criminal justice major, was pleased with the results as well. “I thought we did very well overall, considering it was our first in-person contest as a team.”
Read the full recap of the competition and learn more about the Ethics Bowl team in the March 2023 issue of The Decree.
Join us for Dr. Templeton’s Fourth Monday Colloquium on “The Consolation of Teaching: Grappling with the Ongoing Problem of Our Own Identity” in Powers Recital Hall on February 27, 2023, at 3:00 p.m.
Do you find yourself experiencing a creeping sense of existential dread about the current state of higher education and your place in it? Do you wonder what it means to teach in the face of numerous challenges, such as the increasing corporatization of colleges and universities, a growing public skepticism regarding the value of the liberal arts, the privileging of short-term profit and the cultivation of “useful” skills over the imaginative, creative, and communal aspects of education? If so, then I have good news… wait… checks notes… no, sorry. No good news. But join me anyway as I flail about in an attempt to come to terms with teaching as an act of consolation, an act of connection and healing and profound engagement with the humane.
Dr. Shane Thompson released his first monograph, Displays of Cultural Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in the Late Bronze and Iron Age Levant The Public Presence of Foreign Powers and Local Resistance, published with Routledge in 2023.
In this work, Dr. Thompson examines the power relationships between the rulers of the Late Bronze and Iron Age and their subjects in the Levant through the lens of “cultural hegemony.” He explores the impact of these foreign powers on all social classes and reconstructs the public presence of cultural control.
Dr. Thompson’s book serves to determine the impact of foreign control on the daily lives of those living in the ancient Levant and offers a means by which to attempt to discuss non-elites in the ancient Near East. He examines expressions of foreign ideology within public performance such as religious expressions and in public places, observable by all social classes, which assert control or dominance over local identity markers. In utilizing textual, epigraphic, and archaeological records, Dr. Thompson paints a more complete picture of Levantine society during this time while also drawing upon evidence from neighbouring Anatolia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia.
The book is meant as a resource for students and scholars of the ancient Near East, particularly the Levant, but also Anatolia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia in the Late Bronze and Iron Age periods. It is also useful for scholars working on power and imperialism across history.
Join us for the final Fourth Monday Colloquium of the Fall 2022 semester in Powers Recital Hall on November 21, 2022, at 3:00 p.m.
Dr. Shane M. Thompson will present on research for his forthcoming book, Displays of Cultural Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in the Late Bronze and Iron Age Levant (Routledge, 2023). In the period of 1550-586 BCE, the Levant, i.e., the Eastern Mediterranean region, was under the direct control of multiple powerful states. Scholars have studied this period through the lens of imperialism, particularly focusing on political and economic dominance through administrative rule, military occupation, and the payment of tribute that primarily impacted local elites.
Dr. Thompson’s study arises from this simple question: to what extent did foreign dominance impact the daily lives of people who were not part of the ruling elite? Were they even aware that they were under foreign rule? By studying evidence from the Levant, such as religious iconography, architecture, and ritual, Dr. Thompson shows how locals countered foreign rulership in their cultural, especially religious, practices.
Check out the new issue of Omnium: The Undergraduate Research Journal at NCWU, released on August 15, 2022. Omnium collects written work by promising undergraduate scholars. As we emerge from more than two years of harrowing pandemic-related restrictions, we notice that our students, perhaps in an effort to rethink issues of universal values, empathy, and quality of life, have collectively turned to issues of animal welfare and protection in the past academic year, a prominent trend reflected in the latest issue of which more than a third is dedicated to animal life, explored from various disciplines’ perspectives. We invite our readers to enjoy and learn from the fifteen new essays collected here and also encourage teachers in any discipline to use them as models in their own courses. Please use attribution when you do so.
OUR MISSION. Omnium is a collaboration between the Writing Program and the Writing Center at NCWU, providing our undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore the major genres of academic writing, join in scholarly conversations, share their ideas, perform original research, and see their work published in a professional venue. Omnium also serves as a teaching resource for NCWU faculty—and faculty at other institutions—as the essays and research articles published here reflect the skill and knowledge of real students at various stages of their academic careers, from first-year composition essays to projects created in senior seminars and honors theses. The materials lend themselves well to in-class discussion, analysis, and emulation, and we hope that students will be energized when they realize that there is no single arcane secret to writing well. All it takes is practice, motivation, and direction.
Join us for the final Fourth Monday Colloquium of the Spring 2022 semester as Dr. Jim Bowers presents “Let’s Talk about Grading” in Powers Recital Hall on March 28, 2022, at 3:00 p.m.
Over a century of pedagogical research reveals that grades not only undermine learning and a genuine education, but many of our most valued goals as educators. We are therefore faced with the question of how we might best help students “be rewarded with deep, meaningful, and joyful learning,” to quote Susan D. Blum, an anthropologist and author of several works on higher education. Please join an open conversation on grading. In addition to reviewing Alfie Kohn’s scholarly summation of the harmful effects of grades in “From Degrading to De-Grading,” and discussing some of our own observations and struggles, we will examine the distinctions among training, schooling, and an education in the humanistic tradition. Finally, we will share pedagogical methods, strategies, and the resources we have adopted (or hope to adopt), along with those that other educators have found successful, to begin decentering or even replacing grades with more authentic, instructive, and meaningful forms of feedback and assessment.