|Sept. 25, 2008
St. Bonaventure University’s Theater program will delve into a serious theme — the death penalty — for its fall production of “Dead Man Walking."
“Dead Man Walking” is the stage version of Sr. Helen Prejean’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated book by the same name. It was also made into an Academy Award-winning movie directed by actor and activist Tim Robbins, who worked with Prejean in developing the 1995 film.
"Dead Man Walking" tells of Prejean's early experiences ministering to inmates on Louisiana’s death row. It focuses particularly on Prejean’s relationship with inmate Matt Poncelet, on death row for rape and murder.
Playing the roles of Prejean and Poncelet in the campus production are students Erin Lowry, ’11, of Shanghai, China, a theater and journalism and mass communication major, and Alex Sanders, ’09, a journalism and mass communication major from Howell, N.J.
“I chose Lowry and Sanders to play Sister Helen and Matt Poncelet because they brought emotional reality and resonance to the text, which I recognized as having potential to grow through the rehearsal period and become, in performance, living character,” said Dr. Ed. Simone, chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. “I am also confident in their dedication and commitment to the emotional and physical processes of developing a role.”
Sanders is a first-timer with SBU Theater, but a veteran of theater classes, while Lowry has appeared in two previous SBU Theater productions: “Revenge of the Space Pandas” and “Scary But True: One Act Festival IV.”
“I was excited (to be chosen to play Sr. Helen), but it was also a little overwhelming,” said Lowry who said she is generally cast in more humorous roles.
“Dead Man Walking” will run at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5-8 in The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The production was chosen as the theater program’s contribution to St. Bonaventure’s 150th Anniversary Celebration because of its strong social justice and nonviolence themes.
“I hope people come in with an open mind,” Lowry said. “Our goal is to make them think about their own views.”
One talkback for audience members is scheduled after the Nov. 6 performance.
The stage version of “Dean Man Walking” is part of the national Dead Man Walking Theatre Project, which is only available to colleges, universities and some secondary schools. Its goal is to educate and promote social action. Thus, in conjunction with the theater production, St. Bonaventure will offer special death penalty and social justice lecture opportunities.
Dr. Barry Gan, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Nonviolence on campus, is offering a special topics philosophy course on the death penalty. In addition, “Dead Man Walking” was chosen as the fall selection for Alle-Cat Reads, making the book a topic for discussion and debate among readers in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.
On Nov. 11, Prejean will be on campus for a lecture, “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues,” and book signing. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Reilly Center Arena and is sponsored by the University’s Franciscan Center for Social Concern.
Lowry said she plans to attend Prejean’s lecture and would love to meet her in person.
Tickets for the
November theater production of “Dead Man Walking” are available by calling
the Quick Center for the Arts Box Office at (716) 375-2494. “Dead Man
Walking” contains adult subjects and language.
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The public is invited to join the St. Bonaventure University community for the upcoming All Bonaventure Views Film Festival.
The film topics were chosen to complement the All Bonaventure Reads selection for incoming freshmen: “Left to Tell,” a memoir by Immaculée Ilibagiza, is a story of survival and faith set in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
All of the films will be shown at The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts free of charge. Due to the films’ content, the movies are recommended for mature audiences.
The St. Bonaventure University School of Education has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for entry-level programs in community counseling and school counseling.
This accreditation adds St. Bonaventure to a long list of schools and universities throughout the country that offer CACREP-approved programs in the field of counseling.
CACREP accreditation contributes to the unity of the counseling profession by bringing together practitioners, teachers and students in the vital activity of setting standards for the preparation and education of entry-level professionals and of continually improving professional preparation, educational research and scholarship, and practice.
The process has taken Dr. Peggy Burke, dean of the School of Education, and her staff more than four years to complete.
“This is not the sort of thing you complete with one person overnight,” she said. “You need a team of individuals working together over a long period of time.”
The first step in the process is self-evaluation. Burke and her staff began working on an in-depth report on the School of Education four years ago when the University hired a specialized consultant to help with the process. The finalized report was submitted to CACREP at the end of the spring 2008 semester.
“The report itself is about six inches thick,” said Burke. “They don’t take your word; it is the program’s responsibility to prove everything with the proper documentation.”
After the report was submitted, CACREP sent a team to the campus to do its own evaluation of the programs up for accreditation. They submitted their report to the CACREP board and the programs were approved for accreditation.
The accreditation will last for a two-year period, standard for schools being accredited for the first time. CACREP will approve the accreditation for two years and then evaluate the progress the school has made. If all goes well for two years the school will then be accredited for eight years.
For potential students, consumers and counselor credentialing boards, CACREP accreditation provides recognition that a program meets or exceeds national standards as well as quality assessment and enhancement without resort to governmental control of or interference in the content of education for the profession.
According to the
CACREP Web site, graduates from CACREP accredited
“People looking for college programs in counseling look for CACREP accreditation,” said Burke. “It’s exciting to know that we now have those programs here at St. Bonaventure.”
Dr. Joel Horowitz, professor of history, presented the paper “Argentine Historical Writing since 1945” at a conference “Globalizing the History of Historical Writing: The Plenary Conference of the Oxford History of Historical Writing,” which took place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The conference was sponsored by the University of Alberta as part of its 100th anniversary celebration and by Oxford University Press. The papers that were presented at the conference will be published in five volumes as the Oxford History of Historical Writing.
Mark J. Inman has been named assistant director of communications at St. Bonaventure University.
Inman’s tasks will
essentially revolve around updating and modifying the St. Bonaventure
University Web site, as well as writing feature stories for various
University print and Web site publications.
“Since I began working in this office last summer, I have learned a lot about the expectations and commitments required in the communications field. The opportunity to complement job experience with formal classroom learning is phenomenal,” Inman said.
He will report to Tom Donahue, director of print and electronic publications, and Dr. Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president for University Relations.
“Mark has been a valued contributor to the Office of Communications, both as a writer and a Web content developer and editor. We are pleased that he will continue to lend his expertise to the production of print and electronic publications,” Donahue said.
Inman, a native of
Allegany, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English this
Center News ...
All SBU faculty, staff and administrators are welcome to all the Friday Forums.
Date: Friday, Sept. 26,
In the SBU statement of distinction (2007), we promised to “foster the development of knowledgeable, skilled, compassionate and ethical individuals by mentoring our students within vitally engaging learning environments.” Our Friday Forum will explore the challenges of fulfilling one dimension of that promise.