2014-15 Theme: "The Joy of Discovery"
SUNY Fredonia Convocation Events

Convocation Events for 2014-2015:

Fall Semester   -   Spring Semester    

Spring & Fall Semester:

Voyages of Discovery: Finding family and self in film
Film showings:
The Golden Door   October 13, time & location tba
From up on Poppy Hill    February 13, time & location tba
Wadjda   March 9,  time & location tba

"The Golden Door” is about Italian immigrants from Sicily at the beginning of the 20th century who moved to the United States for better opportunities and a better life. A father, two sons, and a grandmother decide to leave their own land for a journey full of unknowns and difficulties, a trip shared by many other immigrants from many different countries.

“From up on Poppy Hill” takes a look at the process of discovering and re-discovering community, family and friendship in post-war Japan.  Both the difficulty and joy of discovery are highlighted in this film, which follows the relationships of several teens as they try to rebuild a local building and carry on with lives disrupted by the war.  

“Wadjda” is a current exploration about the interplay of family, religion and self-discovery. It follows the title character, a young Saudi girl as she decides to enter a Koran competition to earn the money to buy a bicycle.  Both things are quite uncommon and perhaps even forbidden for girls, so Wadjda is required to discover her own strength to accomplish these tasks even as she learns more about her family.  

Event Organizers: KimMarie Cole, Department of English, and Chiara De Santi, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, on behalf of the Cross-cultural Renga


Fall Semester:

Fall Graduate Convocation Colloquium: Joy of Discovery
Thursday, September 18, 5:15 pm, Graduate Study Lounge (3rd floor Reed Library)

The fall colloquium invites graduate students to take part in the annual Convocation and make connections between their individual scholarly interests and the Convocation theme, “Joy of Discovery.”

Organized by Karry Kazial and the Graduate Studies Council

Discover Your Career!
Presented by the Career Development Office
Wednesday, October 1, 4:00 pm, Williams Center S-204ABC  

Participants will take the FOCUS 2 and Myers-Briggs career assessments prior to the event, and then will take part in a series of fun and interactive activities that will both explain their assessment results and start them on the path to discovering their career.  Students who are seeking a major, want to change their major, or are looking for career options, will get insights that will help them make good career decisions.  Participants must register and complete both assessments by September 26.

Event Organizer: Chris LaGrow, Assistant Director, Career Development Office

TransDiscovery: Exploring Gender Variant Lives
Film viewing of Trans: The Movie and panel discussion
Tuesday, October 7, 7:00 pm, McEwen 202 

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program will be screening the film Trans: The Movie. Trans is a documentary feature film (released in 2012, 93 mins) that provides an up-close and personal journey into the lives of a range of contemporary transgender persons. A trailer for the film can be viewed via the following link: http://transthemovie.com/about/. Transgender is an umbrella term that typically refers to any
person who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, and therefore transgresses gender norms.

The film will followed by a panel discussion. Light refreshments will be available

Event Organizers:Dr. Bill Boerner, Chief Diversity Officer and Dr. Jeff Iovannone, Coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies

Michael Colgrass Residency, October 22 - 24, 2014, School of Music
About the Performer: Michael Colgrass is truly a renaissance man. He began his musical career as a Chicago jazz drummer and quickly progressed to the rigorous life of a New York City free-lance artist (developing new musical instruments and advising Leonard Bernstein as to the orchestration of percussion parts to West Side Story, to name a few seminal influences). In subsequent years he has gone on to win the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Déjà vu, which was commissioned and premiered by the New York Philharmonic; an Emmy Award in 1982 for a PBS documentary “Soundings: The Music of Michael Colgrass;” two Guggenheim Fellowships; a Rockefeller Grant; First Prize in the Barlow and Sudler International Wind Ensemble Competitions; and the 1988 Jules Leger Prize for Chamber Music.
Excellence in Performance
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, 7-10PM, Mason Hall Room 1080
These exercises are for public speakers, managerial people, instrumentalists, & singers who need to communicate persuasively with groups. Exercises include anchoring confidence with a simple touch, stepping in front of people with comfort and ease and establishing your personal circle of excellence, includes how to deal with stage fright, concentrate under pressure and perform at your best.
Life Levels Alignment
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, 6:30-10:00PM, Mason Hall Room 1080
Life Levels Alignment is a spatial exercise showing you how to align your primary activity with your capabilities, your values, your identity and your spiritual self—all in relation to your environment. This exercise helps people focus priorities and even make career decisions.

Colgrass will rehearse with the Wind Ensemble: October 23, 12:30 pm and October 24, 7 pm, King Concert Hall

Winds of Naugal by Michael Colgrass will be performed on the Wind Ensemble concert: October 25, 8:00 pm, King Concert Hall

Event Organizer: Dr. Kay Stonefelt and the School of Music

Returning Veterans and the Civilian/Military Divide
Speaker: Brian Castner, Buffalo-based author of The Long Walk
November 13, 5:30 - 7:15 pm, Rosch Recital Hall
(followed by a book signing and reception in Reed library w/ Veterans Book Project viewing)
Brian Castner is a local Buffalo writer who has served in Iraq as a bomb defuser (EOD) on three deployments. His best selling book The Long Walk has had a tremendous reception in the United States and is already being translated into various languages. He has been featured on national television and has visited many university campuses as a speaker. He was recently featured as a guest speaker in the Chautauqua Institute's Summer seminar on Turkey. See The New York Times review.
Event Organizers, Dr. Iclal VanWesenbeeck (English), Randy Gadikian (Reed Library), and Ben Hartung (ITS)

Maintaining Joyful Discovery in Natural Spaces
College Lodge, Brocton NY, date & time tba 

This day-long interdisciplinary workshop will feature speakers from the Departments of Biology, Curriculum & Instruction and English and off campus speakers from Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York and The Nature Conservancy. Through this event, SUNY-Fredonia  staff whom are currently involved in land management activities will learn about current thinking on the topic from experts in the field. They can also make contact with other natural area managers such as individuals from the Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Roger Tory Peterson Institute and the Nature Conservancy. Educators can learn about how natural area experiences can be integrated into their curricula to ensure future generations of students opportunities for ongoing discovery. SUNY-Fredonia faculty, staff and students and the public with an interest in conservation, natural areas, and education and sustainability would also benefit from the opportunity to learn alongside these experts and participate.

Event Organizers: Jonathan Titus – Biology Dept., Priscilla Titus – Independent Ecologist, Mike Jabot – Curriculum and Instruction, Joseph Pusch – Faculty Student Association, Twan Leenders -- Roger Tory Peterson Institute and Jamestown Community College, Mark Baldwin -- Roger Tory Peterson Institute and Jamestown Community College



Spring Semester

The Joy of Discovering Proust
Panelists:Dr. Ruth Antosh (Modern Languages), Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck (English), Dr. Jonathan Titus (Biology), Dr. Jacqueline Swansinger (History), and Dr. Robert Dahlgren (Curriculum & Instruction)
February, time and location tba

This year’s convocation theme offers a unique opportunity to revisit the legacy of a writer whose interest and insight into the processes of rediscovery and memory have long made him a source of inquiry for scholars in the humanities,in the sciences and in popular media alike. This event will bring together Fredonia faculty members from the sciences, the humanities, and education, in an informal panel to share their experiences reading and discovering Proust.

Event Organizer: Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck (English)

War, Science, and Nice Stuff: How World War I science transformed the global marketplace
March 13 – 14, time and location tba

The relationship between science, war and markets begs for new eyes! In this hundredth anniversary of the Great War – World War One –the relationship between science and war is a historical commonplace, but what is less explained – and exciting to contemplate – is how mobilization for total war paved the way for a global citizenry to accept the reach, benefits and application of science in everyday life. Just as modernized war itself overwhelmed language’s ability to capture its horror, it extended the significance of science and math as the surviving symbols of progress. 

To explore the ambiguities of this era, the History Department will be hosting a notable speaker, as well as a campus-wide panel discussion. 

Event Organizers: Jacky Swansinger, David Kinkela and Xin Fan, on behalf of the History Department

Invention of Writing and the Discovery of The Epic of Gilgamesh
Speaker: Professor and Assyriology specialist Benjamin Foster (Yale University)
April 15, 6:00 pm, 105 Science Center

The invention of writing and the discovery of the world’s first literary text, The Epic of Gilgamesh, constitute the most revolutionary events in the discipline of literature. Professor and Assyriology specialist Benjamin Foster (Yale University) will talk about the discovery of the Gilgamesh tablets, cuneiform, and the significance of the discovery. This lecture will be followed by an hour-long Q&A and discussion with professor Foster. This event will showcase the intricate link between writing, literature, and civilization, and more specifically, illuminate the audience about the discovery process of long-lost texts.

Event Organizer: Iclal Vanwesenbeeck, Department of English


Self Discovery and the Sociology of Encounters
Speaker: Dr. Allen Shelton, Buffalo State College, and author of Where the North Sea Touches Alabama
date, time & location tba

Allen Shelton is a key intellectual figure and innovator in applying auto-ethnographic methods. In his new book, Where the North Sea Touches Alabama, Shelton ushers us into realms of fantasy, revelation, and reflection, paced with a slow unfurling of magical correspondences. Though he is trained as a sociologist, this is a genre-crossing work of literature, a two-sided ethnography: one from the world of the living and the other from the world of the dead. (From the University of Chicago Press)

Event Organizers: Dr. Randolph Hohle on behalf of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice

Spring Graduate Convocation Colloquium: There and Back Again
date, time & location tba 

Graduate student alumni will share their own “Joy of Discovery” in their current position and their path after Fredonia. 

Organized by Karry Kazial and the Graduate Studies Council

Discovering the Truth: Forensic Science in Action
Three-part Lecture Series: date, time & location tba
Speakers: Erie Co. Central Police Services; Dennis Dirkmaat, PhD, Forensic Anthropologist Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute; and Sgt. Michael Williams, Crime Scene Investigator Chautauqua Co. Sheriff’s Office 

About the Speakers:

Erie Co. Central Police Services:
The Central Police Services Forensic Lab provides centralized scientific support and assistance in association with criminal investigations for all law enforcement agencies in and around Erie County.

Dennis Dirkmaat, PhD – Forensic Anthropologist Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute:
Dr. Dirkmaat has conducted over 300 forensic anthropology cases for nearly 30 coroners, medical examiners and the state police in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The cases include nearly 50 field recoveries involving the processing of evidence from human death scenes, and the comprehensive forensic anthropological analysis of over 100 sets of human remains.

Sgt. Michael Williams – Crime Scene Investigator Chautauqua Co. Sheriff’s Office:
Sergeant Williams has thirty years experience as a police officer which includes thirteen years experience as a Senior Crime Scene Analyst. He is also a certified police instructor at the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Academy at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York. His forensic investigation technique specialties include latent fingerprinting techniques and examination, impression evidence, blood spatter analysis, photography, accident investigation, and death investigation.

Event Organizer: Daniela Peterka-Benton, PhD

Questions regarding Convocation matters may be addressed to Dawn Eckenrode at 673-4864 or send an e-mail to: 

Past Convocation Programs

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