Communique

Communiqué submissions can be sent to spalmer@ccp.edu, ext. 8040, or by interoffice mail to Room A7-114.

July 2008

Eileen Abrams, adjunct professor of English, has initiated a weekly discussion and practice of mindfulness meditation in the Teaching Center. She has attended several conferences and workshops exploring the applications of mindfulness meditation in education. Meditation has been demonstrably successful in pain management and other medical applications, and in the past 10 years, many different disciplines have begun studying the potential benefits of meditation. Abrams defines mindfulness as: “The ability to pay attention to present-moment experience deeply and non-reactively.” Abrams has made use of mindfulness techniques in a tutoring setting and believes that it can help students stabilize their attention, regulate their behavior and reduce the effects of self-defeating thoughts on a student’s learning. Mindfulness meditation teaches individuals to recognize when the mind is losing focus or engaging in a negative dialogue and to move past those moments without judgment. The educational application of mindfulness meditation is very new, and educators have the opportunity to think about how it might serve them and their students and the logistics of incorporating meditation in a curriculum or its use as a personal stress management tool. A discussion on such issues is held in the Teaching Center every Tuesday from 1 to 1:45 p.m., where all faculty and staff are welcome to learn about, discuss and practice mindfulness meditation.

Fay Beauchamp, professor of English, has been actively engaged in a myriad of activities during her sabbatical, ranging from new research to participation in professional organizations. Beauchamp has been chairing the Japan Studies Association, has evaluated a Title VI project in Joliet, IL, and read proposals for the National Endowment for the Humanities seminar. Her recent research focuses on the tale of Cinderella in southwest China, specifically her slippers, and similar stories that circulated to Japan and India before A.D. 1000. Beauchamp’s research has taken her to Kyoto, Japan, where she interviewed a monk, and to the Guangxi University for Nationalities in Nanning, China. She has presented four different papers on her work at conferences across the country, including “Murasaki and the Watery World of the Sea Dragon’s Daughter” at the Japan Studies Association Annual Conference in Hawaii, and “The Zhuang Cinderella and her Golden-Eyed Red Carp” at the Asian Studies Development Program Annual Meeting in Chicago. Beauchamp has also organized a workshop in Fukuoka, Japan, in which several members of the College faculty will participate. Please look to the next issue of Communiqué for stories about their trip.

Maria Diaz-Aparicio, assistant to the dean of Adult Community Education, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Community Women’s Education Project (CWEP). The CWEP is a nonprofit organization that provides services and resources to at-risk families with the goal of mitigating the effects of social and economic inequities. Diaz-Aparicio will be joining several other members of the College community in this organization, including Susan Tobia and Lynette Brown-Sow.

Frank Gaydos, instructional aid of Art, has recently had work shown in several exhibitions and two pieces published in Lark Company’s new book, 500 Plates and Chargers. Gaydos was featured in an invitational alumni ceramics show sponsored by Edinboro University, which was held at the Alcoa Corporate Center in Pittsburgh, PA, in March 2008. The jurists of the 2008 Strictly Functional Pottery National exhibition also selected one of his platters for their highly competitive show that ran from April 19 through May 18 in Lancaster, PA.

Cecil Mosenson, adjunct instructor for the Division of Adult Community Education, has published an autobiography, It All Began With Wilt. The title refers to the Hall of Fame basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, who Mosenson coached in basketball at Overbrook High School. The story chronicles Mosenson’s experiences as a high school basketball coach and as a school principal.

Stanley Walling, assistant professor of Social Science, runs an archeological field school in Belize, Central America, in which College students participated last year. Different aspects of the program and student experiences in Belize have been publicized, but less well known is the actual research that Walling has conducted on the ancient Maya civilization. One of Walling’s more dramatic discoveries is a ball court in the classical Maya town of Chawak But’o’ob. The ball court and surrounding structures share the major features of urban ball courts, but this is the first such structure to be found outside of a city. The elements of this court were modified to meet the needs of a more rural population as opposed to the needs of the urban ruling class normally associated with ball courts; whereas royal ball courts evoke gods associated with royal lineage and warfare, the ball court at Wallings’ site conjures gods of fertility, renewal and afterlife. The ball court is significant because it is one of several ceremonial elements found in the town that have led Walling to believe the town may have produced ceremonial materials for a nearby city. These findings alter the view of the Maya lower and middle class, revealing a much more complex society than previously believed. A model of this Maya ball court is currently on display in the Rotunda in the Celebrate the College Family exhibit.

Jenavia Thompson Weaver, assistant director for Student Activities/Student Leadership and Invovlement, chaperoned 19 members of the student leadership society, L.E.A.D.S., to the National Conference on Student Leadership in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference took place March 29 through April 1, 2008, and was attended by student groups from 50 different colleges. The Community Service subcommittee of Community College of Philadelphia’s L.E.A.D.S. organization was recognized as one of the top three programs out of all of the schools in attendance. The Food Stamp Enrollment program, sponsored by the subcommittee, was selected as a “trendsetting program,” and the leadership society was presented with a certificate and monetary recognition.

EVENTS

Rotunda Exhibit
Celebrate the College Family exhibit opened on April 30 and is currently on display. The exhibit features works submitted by more than 70 different members of the College faculty and staff. Pieces range from photographs and drawings to publications and textiles. A walk through the current Rotunda exhibit is an educative experience, as you are sure to discover the many talents of your co-workers.

Blood Drive
Monday, August 11, 2008
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Coffeehouse, Winnet Building
Please mark you calendars for the next blood drive at the College. Donations are most needed during the summer months, and your individual contribution can help save up to three lives. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood or to get more information, please visit: www.pleasegiveblood.org. Use sponsor code 3349.

Annual Open Enrollment Benefits Fair
Monday, August 25, 2008
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bonnell Building, Ground Floor, Room 16 A and B
The Human Resources department will host the annual open enrollment benefits fair, where you can meet benefits vendors, ask questions, obtain materials and enjoy a free chair massage.