Category Archives: Media Lab

Seton Hill Christmas Choir Concert Preview

Seton Hill University (SHU) will hold its Christmas choir concert Sunday, Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. in St. Joseph Chapel.

Each concert is free and open to the public, featuring four of SHU’s choral ensembles: Una Voce, women’s chorale, the St. Cecilia ringers and the men’s glee club.

“This concert traditionally follows the Christmas story in song,” said Mark Boyle, director of choral activities. “We start by announcing the birth of Christ with traditional chant, harmonized in a modern way. The whole concert flows from piece to piece, without applause. The audience is invited to join in on the carols!”

Una Voce, meaning “one voice” in Italian, consists of 29 singers who auditioned for the ensemble. Women’s chorale has 50 singers, and there are 11 participants for the St. Cecilia ringers. The men’s glee club, which was founded this year, consists of 12 singers.

“The students and I sincerely hope that this gift will help those in attendance start their Christmas season with the beauty of song, ringing bells, organ and piano,” Boyle said. “It’s a cherished annual tradition and we can’t wait to share our gifts with the community, friends and family.”

Seton Hill freshmen react to their first Celebration of Writing

Freshmen Morgan Lightner (left) and Hannah Zunic (right) pose with their poster about the importance of the arts. Photo courtesy of P.Parse
Freshmen Morgan Lightner (left) and Hannah Zunic (right) pose with their poster about the importance of the arts. Photo courtesy of P.Parise

UPDATE: According to Wierszewski, the winners of the best group project were from Andrea Acker’s class with their project, “Growth of Soccer in America.” Frankie Weber from Christine Cusick’s class won best student project. The writing intensive class competition winner was Lyzona Marshall’s international business class.

Seton Hill University (SHU) held its Celebration of Writing event Wednesday in Cecilian Hall.

The event occurs every semester, and students from SHU’s seminar in thinking and writing classes presented information from their research projects. Their presentations were approximately four to five minutes long, accompanied by a visual aid. Some students had posters or virtual presentations, while others played instruments or had games for audience members to play.

This semester, students from the writing for public relations and international business classes also presented. Professors attended as well, along with some freshmen students who interviewed presenters for their basic composition classes. There was also popcorn and snow cones available for presenters and attendees.

Aubree Daumit, a freshman communication major, chose physician aided suicide for her research project, called “Death with Dignity.” She created a Prezi presentation on her laptop about her topic.

“It was something that has always interested me, and I recently heard a story about a girl who did this,” Daumit said. “After I read her story, it made me even more interested in it. Also, I knew it was something kind of controversial so I thought that it would be something good to write about.”

Freshman Aubree Daumit poses with her Prezi presentation on physician aided suicide. Photo courtesy of P.Parse
Freshman Aubree Daumit poses with her Prezi presentation on physician aided suicide. Photo courtesy of P.Parise

Daumit said that she enjoyed seeing the different projects, but she did not have many people to present to.

“I do think it is a good idea and I think they should keep having it, but I think it was kind of disorganized,” Daumit said. “I would say they should maybe have it in a bigger space, or have less people presenting at one time.”

Freshman English-literature major Hannah Zunic chose to research why the arts are important for her project.

“In high school I was very involved with my school’s music and drama department, and I knew I wanted to do my project on something related to that,” Zunic said.

Zunic’s seminar in thinking and writing professor put her in touch with freshman Morgan Lightner, since they had similar topics.

“We decided that working together would be a good way to help lighten the load on each of us,” Zunic said. “We did our research individually, and then got together to discuss what we wanted to put on our poster. We each had separate sides of the poster to talk about our topic.”

Freshman Katie Greggorson played the clarinet as part of her presentation on music education. Photo courtesy of P.Parise
Freshman Katie Greggerson played the clarinet as part of her presentation on music education. Photo courtesy of P.Parise

Although she did not have much time to explore other presentations, Zunic said she had people who are involved with the arts watch her and Lightner’s presentation.

“I would say this is a good way to build communication skills because you’re able to interact with the people you’re talking to, and they give you feedback right away,” Zunic said.

Freshman music education major Katie Greggerson chose the importance of music education in schools as her project, and played the clarinet as her visual aid.

“My overall thoughts are pretty positive,” Greggerson said. “I thought it was a good way to get the students to be more comfortable speaking for an audience or group of people, and it forced us to be more creative than normal since we were not allowed to use a PowerPoint for my class.”

Greggerson was able to present her project a few times throughout her shift, and said she does not think there should be any major changes for next semester.

“From this experience, I have learned more about how to research, as well as presentation and “people” skills,” Greggerson said.

The Celebration of Writing was created in 2011 by Emily Wierszewski, associate professor of English and composition. Wierszewski was unable to attend the event this year due to illness.

Staff members voted on the best student project, and the name of the winner will be posted when it is announced.

Celebration of Writing Preview

Seton Hill University (SHU) will hold its Celebration of Writing event Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 3:50-5:30 p.m. in Cecilian Hall.

Students from SHU’s seminar in thinking and writing classes will present information from their current research projects. Each presentation is approximately four to five minutes long, accompanied by a visual aid and time for viewers to ask questions.

“I think students need the opportunity to share their work with a larger audience and think about what that means for how they think and talk about their research,” said Emily Wierszewski, associate professor of English and composition. “It also gives them valuable, real-life experience with oral presentation skills in a non-intimidating way.”

Currently, Wierszewski is experimenting by including more writing intensive courses this semester. As a trial run, the writing for public relations and international business classes will be presenting. Basic composition students also attend and typically participate by interviewing student presenters.

Wierszewski started the Celebration of Writing in 2011, and it is held every semester. It was originally an additional project for seminar in thinking and writing students, but now it is a part of the curriculum. Faculty and staff may attend as well, and staff members can vote on the best student project.

“On one hand, I know students get really excited seeing their favorite professors and coaches come out to support and engage with them,” Wierszewski said. “On the other hand, I always hear faculty and staff tell me how much they enjoy the event and are learning new things from our students.”

Seton Hill holds 2015 Ethel LeFrak Holocaust education conference

Mary C. Boys gives her speech, "Dare We Hope" during her acceptance of the Nostra Aetate Award. Photo courtesy of P. Parise
Mary C. Boys gives her speech, “Dare We Hope,” during her acceptance of the Nostra Aetate Award. Photo courtesy of P. Parise

The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University (SHU) held the 2015 Ethel LeFrak Holocaust education conference from Oct. 25-27. This year’s theme was “The Holocaust and Nostra Aetate: Toward a Greater Understanding.” Many presentations were given, including the Rev. Patrick Desbois’ “The Holocaust by Bullets” keynote speech, and the Nostra Aetate Award presentation to Mary C. Boys.

Desbois, who recently appeared on 60 Minutes, is a Catholic priest who has researched the Holocaust and attempted to improve relations between Catholics and Jews. He is the founder and president of Yahad-In Unum, an organization that identifies and commemorates mass execution sites from World War II.

In his speech, Desbois discussed mass executions during the Holocaust, adding that many grave sites were never documented. He also made parallels to genocides in today’s world.

“What I thought was really important was his argument that we have to be very conscious when we are in positions of ‘well, it’s not me,’” said Jennifer Jones, assistant professor of communication at SHU. “He said it’s a disease that we can all fall into, and no one should think they are above that happening to them. I think his words really caused an interruption of the way people think.”

Father Patrick Desbois presents his "The Holocaust in Bullets" keynote speech at Seton Hill's Performing Arts Center. Photo courtesy of P. Parise
Father Patrick Desbois presents his “The Holocaust by Bullets” keynote speech at Seton Hill’s Performing Arts Center. Photo courtesy of M. Snyder

Desbois’ work is also shown in an exhibit in the Harlan Gallery in the Seton Hill Arts Center. Along with “Justice Illuminated: The Art of Arthur Syzk,” Desbois’ “Holocaust by Bullets: Yahad-In Unum, 10 Years of Investigation” is featured.

His exhibit shows the fieldwork that he did with his organization to collect evidence of Nazi shootings of Jews. Both exhibits are available to the public until Nov. 12.

“I think he is very passionate about his work, and that made the speech so much better,” said freshman Megan Snyder. “I thought his speech was very in depth about what happened, and although it was a terrible event, it interested me when he talked about what he discovered.”

The Nostra Aetate Award was given to Mary C. Boys, who is the dean of academic affairs along with the skinner and McAlpin professor of practical theology at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Nostra Aetate is a 1965 statement from the Catholic church about its relationship with other religions, including Judaism. The award acknowledges a person’s scholarly work regarding Catholic-Jewish relations, along with a result of interfaith understanding and promotion of awareness of religious values in society.

IMG_1687
Mary C. Boys utilizes a PowerPoint presentation during her “Dare We Hope” speech as she discusses how she would change the fourth passage of Nostra Aetate. Photo courtesy of P. Parise

“This is an honor for me personally, but more importantly, these kinds of events are excuses for people to gather about a really important issue,” Boys said. “Nostra Aetate started something very important. A lot of work has been done since then, and we still have a lot of work to do.”

In Boys’ speech, “Dare We Hope,” she discussed the messages sent in Nostra Aetate and offered her own rewrite of the fourth section of the document. She also allowed audience members to ask questions or comment to continue the conversation.

“If you want to be an educated person in the world today, you better know something about religion, because when it’s misused, it can be a horrible source of justification for violence,” Boys said. “Maybe you don’t feel religious spiritually, but you shouldn’t be ignorant about religion. People who are ignorant about religion can then be led to some very ignorant things.”

From left to right: John T. Pawlikowski, Mary C. Boys, Elena G. Procario-Foley and Tim Crain pose for a picture after the Nostra Aetate Award presentation. Photo courtesy of P. Parise
From left to right: John T. Pawlikowski, Mary C. Boys, Elena G. Procario-Foley and Tim Crain pose for a picture after the Nostra Aetate award presentation. Photo courtesy of P. Parise

Desbois and Boys were only two of the many speakers who discussed Catholic-Jewish relations in regards to the Holocaust, Nostra Aetate or a combination of the two.

“I felt like a common theme throughout all of the presentations was to respond to suffering and injustice, and that it needs to be done now,” Jones said. “We have the luxury of thinking ‘what am I doing now,’ and we should move out of that luxury to engage in real action.”

Snyder said although she only attended Desbois’ presentation, she wishes she could have attended more events because she considered it very educational. Jones said she is proud to be at SHU because of the work that everyone in the Holocaust center does, and she considered the conference a great experience.

“What I took away from this is action really matters,” Jones said. “I think the lesson for all of us is that every thing we do, even if we think it doesn’t matter or even if it’s something small, it does matter.”

My Past Experience with Journalism

My experience with journalism began when I was a junior at Greensburg Salem High School. I took my first journalism class that year, which was basically an introductory course. My teacher taught us the history of journalism, along with the basics of writing different types of articles and stories. Our biggest project was a personality profile; I wrote mine about my mom’s friend from Honduras. This was my first real experience with interviewing, writing a story and meeting a deadline. I enjoyed the assignment, which inspired me to continue with journalism in high school.

My senior year, I took journalism both semesters, this time becoming an official staff member of our school newspaper, The Lions’ Den. Our staff was relatively small; we had five members the first semester and four the second semester. However, we all worked well together to brainstorm article ideas. For each issue, all of us had to write one or two articles, which we then gave to our teacher to approve. We also had to take pictures to correspond with our articles. While one of my classmates did the layout for the paper the first semester, I ended up learning how to do it for the second semester. Overall, I enjoyed being able to spend my entire senior year working on the school newspaper. I gained a lot of knowledge from working with my teacher for two years that I think will be valuable as I continue to pursue my interest in journalism.

Other than journalism, I took creative writing courses during my junior and senior years. My school also requires that all students complete a senior project. Due to my love for writing and wanting a challenge, I ended up writing a memoir about my experiences in marching band for my project. I think being able to do both creative writing and journalism strengthened my writing skills, and I really enjoyed all of the writing that I was able to do throughout high school.