In February, a group of English Majors attended a performance of Macbeth at the Ware Center. Andie Petrillo, graduate student, wrote a summary of her experiences. Check out the Ware Center’s Upcoming Events page for more opportunities to see shows, screen films, and hang out with English major friends!
Millersville English students were given the opportunity to attend Macbeth at the Ware Center free of charge on February 15th. The actors and director also gave a pre-show talk back session to discuss the show with students and Dr. Craven. The People’s Shakespeare Project, sponsors of the show, never fail to produce a great performance. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the costumes created a fresh take on the play. Andie Petrillo, a graduate student in the English Department, attended the show.
I’m no stranger to the People’s Shakespeare Project’s biannual shows. I’ve attended many over the years and I’m astonished every time at the quality of each production. The sets are usually pretty minimal which allows for more focus on the actors and the plot. The amount of talent in the cast of local actors always astounds me as well. What I love most though are the time periods or themes they choose to set the shows in. This show’s post-apocalyptic theme provided for some interesting costumes that were a blend of period-specific pieces and avant-garde pieces. The actors also brought the play to life. A favorite amongst our group was definitely the drunken porter who brought some necessary comic relief to the show. All in all, I had a great time seeing the show with other English students and I’m grateful for the opportunities like this that are afforded English students!
Folks, this is a banner year for English at Made in Millersville. We have over 96 separate events (poetry readings, panel sessions, poster sessions, etc.) that Millersville English students are engaged in. What can I say–you all are rocking scholarship, creativity, and professionalism.
While the English faculty is always super proud of our students, we take it to the next level when we see all of your accomplishments together on one day. It’s just so fabulous! We hope you will come out and support each other and let your curiosity roam free!
We’ll have a film crew on site that day to capture some of your accomplishments. We’re making a video for the website. Eric Griffin, an MU Art alum who took film classes, is doing the video, so if you see him and his crew, give them a little of you for the video. He won’t be able to capture everything, but I’ve encouraged him to try to get as much as possible so we can represent our community well.
Thanks for all the positive energy, great scholarship, and creative ideas that you all put out into the world. You are inspiring.
On Tuesday, April 23rd, Millersville University will rally for Education Justice in front of the library. Come join us and share your passion for education.
Be part of the change you want to see by stepping up to voice your ideas and concerns, by learning about what legislation is proposed, by being an engaged citizen, and by forming an opinion on ways that–for example–Pennsylvania can move from the dead last state in the nation in high education (yeah… we are LAST) to something … better. We owe this to our younger siblings, our children, our state, and our democracy, because without education, democracy falters. So don’t just stand back… care about your world.
Education Justice is an intentionally broad term. You can slice it however you want, to address a concern that you feel strongly about. Here are some concerns that people have been talking about recently:
This is a topic you all have some experience with—your tuition dollars and debt. In recent decades, Pennsylvania has contributed less to the cost of running universities. Whereas in the past, PA would use its tax dollars to support the state colleges, now it supports them less.
For example, PA spends 37.3% less per student in 2018 than it did in 2008 (adjusted for inflation). What does that mean? It means that the money the state isn’t putting in has to come from tuition dollars, which eventually becomes debt, your debt. As taxpayers, we do have some say about how our dollars are spent—do you agree with the allocation? Do you know of some other ways that the state could fund education so that students and their families aren’t financially stressed? Speak out then (with a speech on the 23rd, or a video, or a meme, or a social media campaign) on the issue.
Racial Bias in the Funding of PA K-12 Schools
Would it surprise you to find out that the K-12 schools that have more students of color in PA get less money from the Pennsylvania government per student than schools with more white students? You would think someone might fix that, and they did with a Fair Funding formula (see attachment). Unfortunately, one of the conditions of the new formula is that it applies only to the new money brought in in taxes, leaving the vast majority of funds to be distributed in the old way. People are trying to change that—what do you think should be done to be fair?
Do you believe that students with disabilities should have the resources they need to succeed? It probably won’t surprise you that special education expenditures have also risen in the past 10 years—but state support, not so much. From 2008/09-2016/17, expenditures in School District of Lancaster for Special education rose over $8 million, or 40%. Where the state used to pay 41% of those costs, in 2016-17 it only paid 33%. That forced local funds to cover 59% (see attachment), forcing local taxpayers to foot more of the bill. What would be fair for covering the costs of special education?
As aspects of gender fluidity became more prominent in the national discussion, debates about the rights of LGBTQ+ students became more prominent in both K-12 and universities. Some of these revolved around practical issues (for example, issues of bathrooms), while others were more focused on support within the learning environments (for example, PA law did not explicitly protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, until in 2018 the Human Relations Commission stated that these categories were covered under sex discrimination in existing law). Does PA do enough to support the LGBTQ+ students? How could things be fairer? More supportive?
Do you want more financial support from the state for post-secondary education? Would you consider new legislation? Consider the proposed PA Promise legislation (excerpt below is from the proposal, which is attached)—is it fair?
The Need for Investment
There is a pressing need for reinvestment in post‐secondary education and training in Pennsylvania.
Thirty‐five years of state disinvestment have left Pennsylvania ranked worst in the nation when it comes to higher education, sunk in the rankings by students’ high debt at graduation and the state’s high tuition and fees, according to U.S. News and World Report.
The state ranks 40th for the share of adults 25‐64 with an education beyond high school. In over half of Pennsylvania counties (35), the share of adults with more than a high‐school degree is lower than in any of the 50 states (i.e., lower than West Virginia’s 48.1%).
A large body of economic research shows that lagging educational attainment translates to lower wages and incomes for individuals and slower economic growth for regions.
The Wall Street Journal has already labeled rural America the “new inner city,” the nation’s most troubled regions. Rural Pennsylvania has so far escaped the fates of some parts of West Virginia and Kentucky. But if Pennsylvania’s rural counties remain higher education deserts, it would guarantee their accelerating decline over the next generation.
The Pennsylvania Promise
For about a billion per year, Pennsylvania could:
cover two years of tuition and fees for any recent high school graduate enrolled full‐time at one of the Commonwealth’s 14 public community colleges;
cover four years of tuition and fees for any recent high school graduate with a family income less than or equal to $110,000 per year accepted into one of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education;
provide 4 years of grants ranging from $2,000 up to $11,000, depending on family income, for students accepted into a state‐related university.
Provide free college tuition and fees for adults without a college degree, with priority going to those seeking in‐demand skills and industry‐recognized credentials, as well as college credit.
Currently per capita funding for higher education in Pennsylvania ranks 47th out of 50 states.9 The increase in state spending required under the Pennsylvania Promise would raise Pennsylvania’s rank to 36th.
George Street Press is Millersville University’s literary magazine, open to students and faculty alike. Submissions are open for the Spring 2019 Edition!
This year, the club will be accepting submissions until March 8th. One student/faculty/alumni university member may submit:
3 poems (one poem cannot exceed two pages)
2 pieces of prose (one piece should not exceed 4,000 words)
2 pieces of non-fiction (one piece should not exceed 4,000 words)
3 pieces of flash-fiction (each 500 words or less)
5 pieces of original art (submit in .jpg format)
1 experimental piece (found poems, screen-plays, the strange, genre-bending, and unknown)
To submit, please email GeorgeStreetPressSubmissions@gmail.com with your name, contact info (phone number/email), as well as any notes about your pieces for the editors. All documents must be in .docx or .doc format, and art pieces must be in .jpg format. Once a piece is printed into the magazine, the writer is officially a printed author! This is a perfect opportunity for English Majors to get ahead in the creative world.
About a week before the end of the semester, the George Street Press will host a release party for the Spring 2019 Edition! Stay tuned for more information. Here are some photos from last year’s event:
On Saturday, January 26, Millersville University will share speakers on dyslexia with our community. Depending on the definition used for dyslexia (which occurs at different levels), between 5-10% of the population is affected by this language-based learning disability. The day will feature different perspectives and discussions to further personal and professional knowledge about this disorder.
The event will commence in the morning at the Winter Center (60 West Cottage Ave) on Millersville campus, and move to Stayer Building for breakout sessions in the afternoon. Admission is free and open to the public, excluding the lunch session with Marilyn Bartlett, which is $12.
Registration is required. A small fee ($5 per credit) will be charged for those desiring CEU or Act 48 credits.
9:15 Dyslexia, Its Subtypes, and Testing (Dr. Margaret Kay)
10:30 Dyslexia: A Strength, Not a Weakness (Ms. Sara Page Stinchcomb)
10:45 Raising Faith(a film on dyslexia by Dr. Stacey Irwin)
LUNCH and KEYNOTE ($12, GORDINIER HALL–Free for MU Students with ID)
12:00 Lunch: Gordinier Hall, Lehr room
12:30 Telling Her Story: The Marilyn Bartlett Case (Dr. Marilyn Bartlett)
Dr. Marilyn Bartlett, J.D., Ph.D. , former Dean and Professor at Texas A&M University, is a person who is dyslexic. She requested accommodations on the NY Bar Exam and was denied. Dr. Bartlett argued in court that she should receive accommodations on the test based on her learning disability and slow reading speed due to dyslexia. After a ten year battle, she won the case for herself and all of those persons who are protected by the ADA-AA and need accommodations for their disabilities when studying in post-secondary institutions and taking professional exams. Her case is still good law in the Second Circuit
AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS (STAYER HALL)
2:00 Breakout Session I (Stayer Hall)
Getting help in college (Audience: 1, 4)
Helping with Homework (Audience: 1, 2)
Kevin Ghaffari, Abby Rissinger, Sara Page Stinchcomb
“What is the difference among IDEA, the ADA-AA2008 and Sec 504” (Audience: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Dr. Marilyn J Bartlett
“The International Dyslexia Association’s (IDA) Knowledge and Practice Standards for teacher of reading”—(Audience: 3,5)
Dr. Pamela M. Kastner
2:45 Breakout Session II (Stayer Hall)
How to be a better self-advocate. (Audience: 1, 2, 4, 6)
Kevin Ghaffari, Abby Rissinger, and Sara Page Stinchcomb
“The process of being tested” (Audience: 1, 2, 4, 6)
Dr. Margaret Kay
“Transitioning: Middle School to High School to College to Graduate School” (Audience: 1, 2, 4, 6)
Dr. Marilyn J Bartlett
“Beyond Blending and Segmenting: Advanced Phonemic Awareness”
Dr. Pamela M. Kastner
“Psychological basis of Dyslexia and Co-morbid Conditions” (Audience: 2, 3, 4, 6)
Kathy Halligan and Helen Mannion
3:30 Breakout Session III (Stayer Hall)
“How to be Successful as a Student with Dyslexia” (Audience: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
Kevin Ghaffari, Abigail Rissinger, Sara Page Stinchcomb
Offerings of the Childrens Dyslexia Center in Lancaster (Audience: 6)
Heather Hinkel, Director of the Children’s Dyslexia Center
“Making a Game Plan for Raising a Child with Dyslexia” (Audience: 2)
Dr. Marilyn Bartlett
“Beyond Blending and Segmenting: Advanced Phonemic Awareness” PART 2
Dr. Pamela M. Kastner
“Multi-Sensory Reading Programs” (Audience: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
Kathy Halligan and Helen Mannion
4:20-5pm Stayer Refreshments
Teachers and Future Teachers
Administrators, Advocates and Attorneys
INFORMATION ON PRESENTERS
Dr. Marilyn Bartlett, J.D., Ed. D. Dr. Bartlett is a Retired Dean and Professor of Educational Administration, Law and Policy at Texas A&M University. Currently Dr. Bartlett is an Advocate for students and parents who are requesting services from schools K-16. As the plaintiff in Bartlett v New York Board of Law Examiners (2001), Dr. Bartlett won rights to accommodations under the ADA for dyslexics.
Mr. Kevin Ghaffari, MPS
Special Education Teacher, Millersville University Education Foundations Part-time Faculty Member
Ms. Kathy Halligan
Language Arts Teacher, Delaware Valley Friends School. Kathy trained at Teacher’s College with Judith Birsh in the Orton Gillingham Program. She is also trained in The Wilson Reading System, Just Words, Fundations, and the Read Naturally Fluency Program.
Dr. Pamela M. Kastner, Ed. D. Literacy Statewide Lead, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network [PaTTAN]
Dr. Margaret Kay, Ed.D. NCSP, FABPS
Licensed Psychologist, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Fellow, American Board of Psychological Specialties with Forensic Specialization in Educational & School Psychology. Dr. Kay has been in private practice since 1980 and is often relied upon by parents and schools to perform Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE’s) for school-age children and college students. Dr. Kay has a doctorate in Educational & School Psychology with a specialization in child neuropsychology and has testified as an expert in a number of Dyslexia cases. The title of her doctoral dissertation was: Cognitive Predictors of the Dyslexia Syndrome and she is a lifetime member of the International Dyslexia Association.
Ms. Sara Page Stinchcomb
Lancaster Country Day Student, Dyslexic Student Advocate
These events were generously supported by Millersville’s Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, the Dean of the School of Art, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Dean of the School of Education, the Department of English, and the Office of the Provost.
To participate in Saxby’s Selfies, invite a professor to coffee and the department will provide a $5 gift card for a “tasty beverage.” Take a selfie and send to Rachel Hicks with a quick blurb about what you talked about!
On October 18th, Dr. Phannenstiel and Skyler Gibbon went out for coffee on the English Department. Their conversation covered myriad topics- from grad school opportunities to fashion.
We talked about our coffee addictions. We talked about grad school and the opportunities that come with it. We talked about the opportunities that professors and students have to participate in conferences. We talked about TV shows, like our love for John Oliver, cake-baking shows, and Atlanta. We talked about how important writing skills are essential to all areas of study (like advocacy campaigns, science/technology). I talked about my thesis topic on the rhetorical influence and hermeneutics of black preaching…Nicole gave me sources to help with my research. -Skyler Gibbon
In October, graduate student Andie Petrillo and Dr. Phannenstiel grabbed coffee and talked about career opportunities after graduate school, among other things.
Back in October in the throes of juggling classwork, my G.A. duties, and rehearsing for Jesus Christ Superstar I was invited by Dr. Pfannenstiel to have a cup of coffee at Saxby’s as part of the “Saxby’s Selfie” promotion. Dr. Pfannenstiel is both my degree advisor and my thesis chair. After swapping updates on classwork and the show, Dr. Pfannenstiel and I discussed how to prepare for the real world after graduation. As someone who is interested in entering the world of academia and higher education, her advice has been invaluable in terms of building up a professional résumé and preparing myself for the higher ed job market next year. This is why I chose Millersville for my graduate degree; I wanted to be somewhere where I was a name, not a number and where my professors would help me succeed not only with my degree, but also in my career path. Not many programs would offer this, and not many professors would choose to see you as more than a glorified undergrad. -Andie Petrillo
Leah Hoffman participated in the International Policy Conference held on October 24th and 25th at MU. Check out her experience below!
The International Policy Conference, focusing on the Power of Media, was held on October 24 and 25. One of the sessions focused on interacting with other languages and cultures in a digital space. Along with two other students, I examined the possibility for misinterpretation of other languages when engaging online and the practices that will hopefully lend themselves to more successful communication across languages.
The first aspect to our presentation focused on idiomatic phrases and their use in language. I brought some Spanish idiomatic phrases and asked students to use an online translator to learn the literal meaning of the phrase. We then contrasted the literal and idiomatic phrases. For example, “ser pan comido” literally translates as “to be eaten bread,” but it is more closely aligned to the American idiomatic phrase “to be a piece of cake.” I asked students to consider how a lack of cultural understanding or going solely off a literal translation could make communication more difficult, or even impossible. This began a discussion of user responsibility to have personal or cultural knowledge when interacting with other languages online, or at the very least user understanding that some meanings may literally get lost in translation.
We then spoke about the use of proverbs and sayings and their ability to convey the morals of a society. There is a Japanese proverb that literally translates to “Let the cute journey.” This may not make sense to a nonnative, but the meaning behind the proverb is not dissimilar to the American proverb meaning “spare the rod, spoil the child”. Again, this demonstrates the need for deeper cultural understanding, an understanding that cannot simply be garnered through an online translator.
To conclude our session, we introduced a quote from Nigerian author Chinua Achebe who suggested that “proverbs are like the palm oil with which words are eaten.” We asked students to consider how proverbs and idiomatic phrases allow us to communicate more clearly. We noted their importance in expressing abstract thoughts or making concepts and ideas more digestible. Students were challenged to think of modern or digital examples that serve the same purpose across different modes of communication. They were invited to participate in an ongoing conversation by adding their own thoughts and realizations to the poster with sticky notes, which were available for other students with the purpose of seeing how their peers were engaging with the content. Students made suggestions of examples in digital communication, such as the use of emojis to clarify text messages or the unifying or clarifying roles of memes of gifs which contain their own brand of meaning that can transcend communication barriers.
Overall, the goal of the session was to make students more cognizant of aspects of language that may not always be received when engaging in online communication. This called to attention practices that they may employ in digital communication to clarify their own intentions and messages. Overall, the students came away with a new perspective on their roles as digital citizens and a deeper understanding of intercultural interactions online in an age where the entire world is connected.
Read about Dr. Baldys’ Victorian and Edwardian Literature class and their trip to see “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” starring Jeremy Kendall at the Ware Center on October 26th.
The story of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is about Mr. Utterson and his friend Dr. Jekyll living in Victorian England. Various crimes and murders occur in London, all connected by a strange man named Edward Hyde. Utterson eventually finds out that Hyde is associated with Jekyll, as Jekyll states in his will that his establishment in the case of his disappearance or death should go to Hyde. When Utterson sees Jekyll, he notices that he has been getting frail and sickly, due to his addiction to a particular drug. This drug is connected to Hyde, as Jekyll takes the drug to transform into Hyde. More and more, Jekyll grows addicted to the drug, and his transformation into Hyde becomes increasingly difficult. Eventually, Hyde is accused of these various crimes, and by the end of the novella he disappears. This novella demonstrates late Victorian anxieties about science and class in the post-Darwinian era; it also reflects emerging theories about the structure of the human psyche while addressing the age-old question of how to balance the “duality” of good and evil within ourselves.
Our class read the novella a few days before the performance by Jeremy Kendall. We have also been discussing how science and religion was viewed in the Victorian period and how these concepts impacted cultural discourse and literature. Jeremy also visited with the class to discuss his choices in adapting the work and his work as an actor. Jeremy’s adaptation was interesting because it was a one-man show. He played sixteen different characters and had to vary his acting to demonstrate sixteen different voices and used pre-recorded audio tracks to represent offstage crowds. The original novella doesn’t portray any strong women characters, but he added a female character, Louisa, to his performance.
The simplistic set including the door frame on wheels really forced the audience to focus on the characters and their actions. Jeremy was able to accurately capture the essence of sixteen different people in the course of 75 minutes. Seeing the performance enhanced my understanding of the text and allowed me to visualize each character in a new way. This show sparked discussion of adaptive choices with the class.
Thursday, Kevin Willmott, screenwriter of Blackkklansman, shared his expertise with Millersville University Students. Willmott visited classes, lunched with students, dined with faculty and students, and participated in a panel discussion with Dr. Tracey Weis, Mr. Barry Kornhauser, and Dr. Theresa Russell-Loretz.
Professor Willmott gave students great advice about writing for the screen, including how to establish a controlling idea for a narrative. In the discussion, Willmott and the MU students discussed the concept of “twoness,” the controlling idea which grounds Blackkklansman. For example, characters in the film identify as African American and a policeman, as Jewish and a policeman, as African American and American, etc. As many people live with such double identities, the film reaches out to diverse audience members through its central concept.
The discussion also explored how this narrative set in the 1970s connected to the white supremacist actions in Charlottesville and elsewhere. When Willmott was questioned about the suggestions the film made for addressing racism, Film and American Society student Aliya Brown suggested that the final scene offered answers: to work together to expose racist acts for what they are.
Willmott generously discussed narrative ideas with film students like Ismael Miranda, pictured above to the right of Willmott, Dr. Craven (to left of Willmott) and Dr. Theresa Russell-Loretz (on right). Willmott encouraged students to set aside some time each day for writing, even just half an hour. He noted in his own writing he often tried to make his hero’s life as difficult as possible. To write realistic dialogue, Willmott advised students to always identify the point of a scene; then characters should be talking about that point. Students who attended were grateful for the practical writing advice so generously offered by Willmott, who was written such films as C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America and Chi-Raq.
The Fall 2018 English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities Conference was held at Shippensburg University on October 4-6. EAPSU prides itself as an inclusive organization dedicated to excellence in English Studies. The conference showcases the best in many disciplines within English Studies: creative writing, literature, film, composition, technical/scientific writing, and pedagogy. Members of the organization come from faculty and students from the 14 English Departments in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The overarching theme of the event was “Creativity in Times of Crisis”.
The keynote speaker was Patricia Smith, an award-winning author of eight critically acclaimed books of poetry. She is the winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for her poetry collection Incendiary Art (Triquarterly Press/Northwestern University Press, 2017).
Dr. Corkery and two groups of MU students presented at the conference. On Friday, the first panel, Hip Hop & Lyrics to Move the World, explored what can be learned about creativity through the emergence of Hip Hop, especially related to marginalized Blacks and Latinos in the Bronx, New York during the 1970s and ’80s. Panelists discussed the crises surrounding key players in hip hop who produced innovative lyrics aimed at addressing their circumstances. Nelian Cruz, Claribel Rodriquez de la Rosa, Barseh Gbor, and Dante McLeod were the students involved.
Later that day, a second group of students discussed the implications of Alice Walker’s piece “Search for Our Mother’s Gardens” in a panel titled Creativity and Oppression: Innovations of African American Female Authors. Walker and her ideas call attention to creativity where it is seemingly absent, encouraging Black women to create despite historical abuse and neglect. Students highlighted the creativity of different African American female writers, recognizing their unique challenges and creative products. Tatyanna Campbell, Naima Winder, Apsara Uprety, and Imani Anderson were involved in the panel.
A group of graduate students along with Dr. Pfannenstiel presented on Creatively Solving Data Dilemmas in Digital Humanities Student Projects. Each member of the panel presented their paper: Nicole Pfannenstiel, “Data Fluency in Assignments: Assigning and mentoring through data dilemmas”; Andie Petrillo, “Missing Data is not “Emma Approved”: How to make meaning with poorly archived data”; Jay Barnica, “Call, Raise, or Fold?: The ethics of evesdropping on an online poker forum”; Jason Hertz, “Control+s Your Data: A lesson learned with NeoGAF gafe made NeoGAF into Neo-NeoGaf.”
Hi everyone! I was honored last fall to be asked by Dr. Pfannenstiel to be a part of a panel discussion for this year’s EAPSU conference at Shippensburg University. After months of preparation, the day finally arrived for us to present. We left Millersville at an alarmingly early 6:30 am. We then arrived at Shippensburg University around 8:30 and wandered over to sign in and receive our “swag bags” and headed to our assigned room. We waited for what seemed like an hour, but was actually only about 15 minutes for our designated chair person and for any attendees to wander in. Even though our presentation wasn’t well attended (it was at 9 a.m. so I can’t blame students for not coming), I still had a great time presenting with my panel and answering English Librarian, Michele Santamaria’s many questions. Relieved to have successfully presented at my first conference, we headed to other sessions led by MU faculty and students. My favorite part of the day aside from presenting was having lunch with Dr. Pfannenstiel, Dr. Mando, Michele Santamaria, and Jay Barnica (fellow grad student and presenter). It was a great way for us all to get to know each other outside of the classroom! After a long day of presenting and learning from other presenters, we left the conference exhausted but inspired. I’m so glad that I got the chance to experience academic conferences!
-Andie Petrillo, second-year graduate student
A few faculty members participated in a panel presentation titled Observation, Invention, and Information in Times of Crisis. Justin Mando, assistant professor of English and Science Writing, presented “Tiny Ecology Project: A Place-Based Writing Pedagogy.” Joyce Anderson, instructor of English, presented “Curbing Writer’s Block: A Quick Workshop.” Last but not least, Michelle Santamaria, English and Foreign Language Subject Librarian, presented “Challenging Confirmation Bias: Creating & Playing an Information Literacy Game.”
Thanks to all MU students and faculty for their hard work!