Monday, August 22, 2016

THATCamp Bonas 16

We're hosting a THATCamp on Oct 25.  This is an outgrowth of the digital and public history projects we've been working on with Dennis Frank and the folks at the Friedsam Memorial Library.  We've got the beginnings of a web page up that we'll be adding more information as we go along.

Because Dennis and I are involved and because we've been exploring gamification and game design in the classroom, we're kicking things off with a talk by Brian Mayer who is an educational game designer.  You can see his work here.

A THATCamp is an unconference.   The rules of an unconference are (1) have fun, (2) be productive, and (3) stay collegial.  The rules explained:

Unconferences are about you, the participants, proposing sessions that you explore with fellow participants with similar interest.  All disciplines are welcome.  Technology is broadly defined.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Teaching Bonas History

There is a nice article in today's Chronicle, Why a College Should Teach Its Own History, that is worth reading.  We don't teach a class on St. Bonaventure's history, but students in students who take public history, digital history and history internship often spend a lot of time working in our archives telling the history of Bonas.  It's a great way to learn something about their school, do original research, and learn some of the skills of public and digital history.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dr. Robbin's Essay

This post is a little behind.  We've already put this on Facebook, but we should also make sure readers of the department's blog have seen Karen Robin's excellent essay, "Sorry, but the `Pursuit of Happiness,' Doesn't Mean What You Think it Means," on the meaning of happiness on the History News Network.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Liberal Art Majors and Job Skills

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting piece on a subject we have been giving a lot of thought to - liberal arts majors and careers.  In "Liberal-Arts Majors Have Plenty of Job Prospects, if They Have Some Specific Skills, Too" the point is made that gaining a few specific skills can greatly increase the chances of getting a good first job.

From the article:
The analysis can help defuse the debate over the value of a liberals-arts education versus a career-focused one, says Matthew Sigelman, chief executive at the job-market-analytics company Burning Glass Technologies. The company undertook the analysis as part of its continuing study of the job market.
"Employers really value soft skills that are the bedrock of a liberal-arts education," he says. But many employers are also looking for applicants with additional, specific skills, such as knowledge of Java or other programming languages, or proficiency with graphic-design tools like InDesign or Adobe Suite. "It’s not a matter of shutting down the classics department and turning it into a business degree," he says.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Everything has a history."

James Grossman's op ed, "History isn't a 'useless' major," is worth a read.  He is the executive director the American Historical Association.  From the essay:

"All liberal arts degrees demand that kind of learning, as well as the oft-invoked virtues of critical thinking and clear communication skills. History students, in particular, sift through substantial amounts of information, organize it, and make sense of it. In the process they learn how to infer what drives and motivates human behavior from elections to social movements to board rooms.
Employers interested in recruiting future managers should understand (and many do) that historical thinking prepares one for leadership because history is about change — envisioning it, planning for it, making it last. In an election season we are reminded regularly that success often goes to whoever can articulate the most compelling narrative. History majors learn to do that."

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jason Damon named Ideal Bonaventure Man

Jason Damon was named the Ideal Bonaventure Man during commencement ceremonies over the weekend.  Congratulations to Jason.  Jason is well deserving of this honor.  His presence in the classroom will be missed but we're sure he has a bright future.

From the press release:
"Damon is described by history professor Dr. Joel Horowitz as “an extremely pleasant and hardworking individual who cares deeply about the world, his university and his faith. He is also a very thoughtful individual who combines that with great intelligence and curiosity.”
Damon, who completed his degree requirements in December 2015, has been living with the Franciscan friars at Mt. Irenaeus as a Mountain Companion and plans to enter the Postulancy of Holy Name Province in Silver Spring, Md.
Dedicated to the ideas of the Catholic Church and the Franciscan friars, Damon has been active in numerous Church-related activities on campus, many times taking on leadership roles. Damon spent two years as the men’s overnight coordinator for the Mountain and was active in Mountain Community Leaders as well as the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, the SBU chapter of Students for Life, and as a Eucharistic minister."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dr. Horowitz Bona Venture Interview

Joel Horowitz, Ph.D., said it was his college language requirement that gave him the idea to study Latin American history.
Horowitz, professor of history, plans to retire after 27 years of teaching at St. Bonaventure. He credited his trip to Mexico during his undergraduate career at the University of Pennsylvania to his love of Latin American history, specifically Argentinian history.
“It’s intriguing because there are real parallels with the United States as a country of immigrants, and I actually see the United States moving into a political situation that resembles Argentina, which is not a good thing,” Horowitz said.
He said while he will miss his students most during retirement, academia will still be in his future.
“I’m planning to write. I’m going to Argentina in September for a while, and I got invited to give a paper and do some research,” Horowitz said. “Eventually [my family and I] are going to move to the Boston area, and my goal is to write. I’ve got at least another book in me.”
Horowitz said he most enjoys teaching seminar courses in Latin American history because, “you actually get to deal with the students in a real way.”