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.”

Dr. Horowitz's Retirement Celebration

Friday, May 13, 2016

Arts and Sciences Expo


History Majors were again well represented at the Arts and Sciences Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exposition, a great event featuring some great work by our students.  You can check out pictures (better than my humble pics) on SBU's Flicker account where you will see history majors showing off their work in the digital and public history classes.

The games from the public history class were available for inspections - and play!  Below is a poster explaining the connection between the games and the Civil War research.


Our digital map of the cemetery, part II, as Carter Bunce (pictured below) and other students showed off our continuing development of that project.  



Thursday, May 5, 2016

St. Bonaventure and Robert H. Jackson Center Embark on Public History Partnership



JAMESTOWN N.Y., May 5, 2016 — Grounded by similar principles, St. Bonaventure University and the Robert H. Jackson Center have signed an agreement to take advantage of each institution’s resources.

The collaboration will aim to enhance scholarly research, educational opportunities, advocacy, and expansion of Jackson’s legacy.

The Robert H. Jackson Center is a non-profit dedicated to promoting liberty under law through the examination of the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson.

The center engages students of all ages, scholars, educators, national officials, and international dignitaries in analyzing contemporary issues of equality, fairness, and justice through the lens of Justice Jackson’s body of work.

The Jackson Center’s mission is to advance public awareness and appreciation of the principles of justice and the rule of law as embodied in the achievements and legacy of Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), U.S. Supreme Court Justice and chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. Jackson grew up in Frewsburg, just outside of Jamestown, N.Y., where the Jackson Center is located.

The Jackson Center “envisions a global society where the universal principles of equality, fairness and justice prevail.” St. Bonaventure adheres to three core values: discovery, community, and “a strong belief in the goodness of life and the God-given worth of every individual.”

“Our partnership with St. Bonaventure significantly augments our ability to initiate dynamic program and exhibit offerings, informed scholarship and research, educated discourse, and innovative collaborations engaging an ever-broadening audience,” said Susan Moran Murphy, executive director of the Jackson Center.

“We are thrilled at this opportunity to share resources and work together with St. Bonaventure to develop further academic and experiential opportunities for undergraduates and students aspiring to university study,” she said.
Jackson Center and university officials began talks in fall 2015 to learn more about each other and their respective missions. Ultimately, officials realized they could utilize each institution’s resources and form an educational partnership.

“Partnering with the Jackson Center is a great opportunity for our students,” said Phillip Payne, Ph.D., professor of history at St. Bonaventure.  “Not only do students get to study a pivotal historical figure, but they have the opportunity to do hands-on research and public history programming. We’re also looking to take advantage of technology to build an innovative partnership that will prepare our students for the world of the 21st century.”

Among the highlights of the agreement:

· St. Bonaventure students and faculty will have access to the Jackson Center archives, subject to donor restrictions and approval by the Jackson Center archivist, and the Jackson Center facilities to enhance education and scholarship associated with Jackson.

·  History courses will be developed to include use and analysis of the archives of Jackson.

·  The Jackson Center will take advantage of St. Bonaventure’s existing educational expertise in building public and digital history using the Jackson archives.

· St. Bonaventure students will utilize the Jackson archives to develop research projects and scholarly papers focused on Jackson and his legacy.

· St. Bonaventure and the Jackson Center will develop technological platforms to help link the two institutions. These initiatives will be directed by the Department of History, the archivist, library director, and the Office of Information Technology at SBU.

· Collaborative software will be utilized to digitally link the two institutions.

· Student work will be posted and shared with the Jackson Center.

· An internship will be planned to assist the Jackson Center in increasing its digital archive capacity.

· The university’s Friedsam Memorial Library will increase its archival capacity to accommodate the Jackson archival material, the ownership of which will be retained by the Robert H. Jackson Center, and academic research which results.

·         A collaboration of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication with the Jackson Center will be explored.