Quinnipiac University College of Arts and Sciences

Archive for February, 2014|Monthly archive page

Hip Hop and Urban Schools

In Faculty, Research on February 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm

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By Don C. Sawyer III, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Hip-hop is often blamed for the academic plight of students in urban schools. However, the use of hip-hop as a scapegoat is problematic when considering that many students in underserved areas face poverty, a lack of access to quality health care, hyper-surveillance by police, criminalization of educational spaces, faulty school reform efforts, etc. With increases in technology and student investment in popular/hip-hop culture, it is important for our understandings of urban youth/culture to be complicated and expanded. Finding ways to educate students in a manner that will keep them engaged and one that is current with new trends is a difficult task for educators (Morrell, 2002). However, an engagement with popular culture texts has the possibility of providing students with the tools to reframe, retell, or deconstruct dominant narratives as well as provide the opportunity for students to deal with existence in oppressive spaces. Schools often do not provide a space conducive to this critical development. Even though we know students are living in digital worlds outside of school, our standard school curricula do not allow students’ outside knowledge and practices to exist inside of the school setting (Vansudevan 2008; Kelner and Share, 2007).

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2014 New Play Festival

In Event, Students on February 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

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By Drew Scott, Adjunct Professor of Theatre

How often do beginning playwrights get the chance to have their first plays produced in New York at an Off-Broadway theatre? At least once a year if they are Quinnipiac students taking part in Theater for Community’s New Play Festival.

This year Theater for Community in partnership with Abingdon Theatre, a professional Off-Broadway theatre dedicated to developing and producing new plays by American playwrights, is launching an exciting endeavor for students, its first annual New Play Festival! The festival will be comprised entirely of plays written, directed, and performed by Quinnipiac students. For this first festival, seven original ten-minute plays have been chosen to be performed at Abingdon. As all the plays are set in a diner, the festival is being billed as The 2014 New Play Festival: The Diner Plays. The playwrights and plays which will be presented are Samantha Chasse, Emma; Marina Dugan, Diner of Eden; Yara Farahmand, Love At Corner Diner; Steph Fasano, Count; Alan Johnson, Three Musketeers; Jessica Lehman, The Lives We Lead; and David Piselli, Apocalypse Tonight.

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I Never Intended to Write a Book

In Faculty, Research on February 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm

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By Stan Rothman, Professor of Mathematics

Part 1

In the spring of 2008, my colleague, Professor Larry Levine, knowing how much baseball was part of my life, suggested that I offer a course which introduces a student to the area of mathematics called sabermetrics. Sabermetrics uses statistics to replace subjective decisions in baseball with objective decisions. This course would be offered as part of our new sports minor at Quinnipiac. The idea intrigued me because it would give me an opportunity to teach an introductory statistics course wrapped around baseball data. Upon approval of the course, I began looking for a textbook. Unfortunately, although there are many books that use sabermetrics, I could not find a book that met my goal of teaching a true introductory statistics course applied to baseball data. In the summer of 2008, I began writing my lecture notes for my new course called Baseball and Statistics.

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Co-curriculars Draw Out Talent

In Faculty, Students on February 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm

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By Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies

I used to find myself questioning whether students would be motivated to engage in challenging assignments in the classroom if grades were not included as an artificial catalyst. Beginning the mock trial program made me realize that our students possess both the talent and the motivation to spend countless hours devoted to meaningful and rigorous academic work regardless of grades or official credit. It also connected me with students who were willing to spend the kind of time required to prepare for an intensive academic program of study. I have already observed noticeable differences in the articulation of concepts, and a willingness to speak up, by students who began the program quiet and reserved. These students now assert their opinions rather decidedly after winning awards and praise for mastery of their performance at tournaments. In fact, the students themselves have noticed a difference in their own engagement in other classes.

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