Humanities Student Awards Spring 2023

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.

Wesleyan Singers Spring 2023 Concert

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.

Ethics Bowl Team Claims Impressive Wins

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 Ethics Bowl Team (left to right): Noah Larkin, Fabio Felli, Elizabeth Perry, and Amanda Modlin. Photo courtesy of Dr. Shane Thompson.

“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.

Dr. Lee Templeton’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “The Consolation of Teaching: Grappling with the Ongoing Problem of Our Own Identity”

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’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Cultural Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in the Late Bronze and Iron Age Levant”

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. Thompson discusses scarabs of both Egyptian and Levantine origin, including one he excavated from Lahav (Israel), in the context of Egyptian “imperialism.”

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.  

Omnium Issue 4 (2021-22) Out Now!

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.

Dr. Jim Bowers’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Let’s Talk about Grading”

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.

Dr. Margaret Love’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Radical Canons: Epigraphs and Authority in Caribbean Fiction” on October 25, 2021, in Powers Auditorium

Join us for Dr. Margaret Love’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Radical Canons: Epigraphs and Authority in Caribbean Fiction” on October 25, 2021, in Powers Auditorium.

Why do authors use epigraphs? Do Caribbean and European authors use them in different ways? How might epigraphs be connected to our ideas about canonical literature? Dr. Love’s current book project reads the understudied device of the epigraph as a rhetorical tool used by Caribbean authors as a cultural reference point in crafting their literary identity. How does the use of epigraphs in Caribbean fiction shift over time and engage with a broader global literary community? Attend this lecture to find out!

Dr. Bill Grattan is Awarded Jefferson-Pilot Professorship

Dr. Bill Grattan, the 2021 Jefferson-Pilot Professor.

Dr. Bill Grattan has been awarded the 2021 Jefferson-Pilot Professorship, the highest honor North Carolina Wesleyan University bestows upon a faculty member to recognize their scholarship, teaching and, community service. Dr. Grattan will share his creative work at his upcoming Jefferson-Pilot presentation on October 19, 2021 on the Wesleyan campus.

Now in his 18th year at the college, Dr. Grattan will collaborate with seven friends in performing a table reading of scenes from Cousin Audrey, his new novel manuscript. Set during the fall of 1983, the novel focuses on five cousins from a working-class neighborhood of Pittsburgh at a time when the city’s major industry, steel, was in decline. While the two youngest cousins, Will and Jake, attend an out-of-state college, the next two oldest, Nick and Frank, struggle to find steady employment, with few prospects in a depressed economy. Audrey, the oldest of the five, and the cohesive force in the group, has been employed for 15 years as an administrative assistant at a downtown Pittsburgh law firm that, among other clients, represents U.S. Steel and Mellon Bank. Very close as children, the five cousins find themselves drifting apart and headed in different trajectories.

Please join us for the table read of Dr. Grattan’s new novel at 7:00 P.M. in the Powers Recital Hall, Dunn Center on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.

Omnium: The Undergraduate Research Journal at NC Wesleyan University

The Writing Center, Writing Program, and Sigma Tau Delta are proud to share with you the first edition of Omnium: The Undergraduate Research Journal at North Carolina Wesleyan University. This online journal showcases the winners of the 2019 Interdisciplinary Writing Competition.

View the journal here.

Please consider sharing with other students and encourage them to submit their best work in the coming school year to be considered for the 2020 edition!