Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dr. Schaeper to speak on Bancroft

Dr. Thomas Schaeper will be giving a lecture on October 1in Wethersfield, CT, on his book on Edward Bancroft.  If you are in the area and interested in the revolutionary war - or just a good spy story - check it out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Round of Game Design Complete

Our teams of students (seen in action above) have completed the first round of game design.  The two teams built some interesting card games.  As part of this mad scientist approach to public history, we're next discussing the hows and whys of education outside of the traditional classroom and school - museum education and its many, many relatives.  How do we, as students and educators, make history, in our case the specific case study of the NY 154 in the Civil War, accessible, understandable, and exciting?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hamilton the Musical

This morning I caught this story about Hamilton the Musical.

From the story:  Hamilton, the hottest ticket on Broadway, is a musical about the decidedly un-hot topic of his crucial role in U.S. economics. What can we learn about debt and the dollar through rhymes and R&B?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

St. Bonaventure to host Francis Week events from Sept. 26 through Oct. 5

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Sept. 18, 2015 —  St. Bonaventure University will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis by hosting a week of Francis-inspired events from Saturday, Sept. 26, to Sunday, Oct. 5.

Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries, said the yearly observation of Francis Week is to honor St. Francis as a teacher who has much to teach us. 

“St. Francis of Assisi is by far one of the most recognizable saints we have,” he said. “Everyone loves St. Francis. Francis Week is our celebration of a man, who lived over 800 years ago, that brings to life his message that is still relevant to us in our day. The Pope’s visit to the United States next week makes the celebration of Francis Week even more significant and relevant.”

Francis Week kicks off with Family Weekend Mass in the University Chapel at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26.

At 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28, the first floor of Robinson Hall will host “The Word” Open Performance Show, an open floor for students, faculty and staff to perform Franciscan-themed music, poetry and other performing arts.

The following day, Walsh Auditorium hosts “Francis Goes to Washington: a Panel Discussion on the Pope’s address to Congress,” at 7 p.m. Sept. 29. Four panelists of students, faculty and staff will give their reactions and impressions of Pope Francis’s speech to Congress.

Mount Irenaeus then hosts Francis Week Speaker Dr. Matthew Cressler on Sept. 30 for a contemplative evening with the topic “Francis and the Cross: Go Repair My Home.” Vans leave for the Mountain from the Thomas Merton Center at 4 p.m.

From 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, University Ministries will be giving out Lady Jacoba Cookies and coffee outside of Plassmann Hall and the Swan Business Center. This is to honor Lady Jacoba, who in her support for Francis would often bring him almond cookies.

At noon later the same day, the Thursday Forum will feature speaker Matthew Cressler. He will talk with St. Bonaventure faculty and staff about the rise of Black Catholic Chicago in the University Club. Questions will be taken after the lecture.

Cressler will then be the featured speaker for this year’s Fr. Jerome Kelly Lecture at 4 p.m. the same day in the University Chapel. The title of the lecture is “A Catholic Case for Reparation.”

Friday features a men’s overnight at Mount Irenaeus. The theme is “The Lord Gave Me Brothers.” Vans leave the Thomas Merton Center at 4 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 3, the Feast Day of St. Francis will be dedicated to the Francis Week Day of Service. This offers students and community members the opportunity to help those in need in the spirit of St. Francis.

Part of this Day of Service will include the March for Babies, sponsored by the March of Dimes. This will help fund research of childhood diseases and will take place on the Allegheny River Trail. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 11 a.m.

Students also have the opportunity to serve the local community by helping restore areas of the Allegheny River Trail during the Francis Week Day of Service starting at 10:30 a.m. beginning in the Swan Center Atrium.

Later at 7 p.m. will be the Transitus of St. Francis. This dramatic service, depicting the death of St. Francis, will be held in the University Chapel. This prayerful experience is coordinated by students.

The culminating event of Francis Week, the Feast of St. Francis Mass, will be celebrated at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4. This will be the only Sunday celebration on campus this day.

All of the Francis Week events are designed to showcase and celebrate how impactful St. Francis remains for us today.

“St. Francis is so much more than the saint who loved animals or a perfect accent piece in one’s garden,” Fr. Francis said. “St. Francis was a man of his time as well as a man of our time.”

Francis Week activities are sponsored by a generous gift from John, ’58, and Kay Meisch of Canandaigua. For a full list of events, go to


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.    

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

First Game (Viking Funeral) in Public History Class

Yesterday public history students warmed up for designing their first game by playing Viking Funeral, a card game by designer Rob Daviau.  We've been using Daviau's interview on Edx and Game Designer Round Table in class.

This gave us a nice way to discuss game mechanics and, perhaps more importantly, to begin thinking and talking about how we can use them in an educational context and apply them to our work with the Civil War.  Plus, we had fun (or at least as much fun as we can have in a class).  Thursday the students pitch their ideas for a card game.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Plassmann Writing Center

Making Better Writers!

Plassmann Hall, Room 6A
Monday 5:00pm-8:00pm
Wednesday 3:00pm-4:00pm
and 8:00pm-10:00pm
Thursday 2:00pm-4:00pm

PWC @ Friedsam Memorial Library
 Wednesday 8:00pm-10:00pm
Thursday 8:00pm-10:00pm

Staffed by friendly graduate students in English, the Writing Center aims to help you develop skills and strategies for every stage of
the writing process that will enable you to write effectively
in a variety of situations and courses.

To make an appointment for a thirty-minute face-to-face session with one of our tutors, sign up on the bulletin board next to

our door in the basement of Plassmann Hall. For appointments at Friedsam Memorial Library, sign up at the reference desk!

Anticipating Tuesday Game Jam

So.... materials have begun to arrive for the first Game Jam in History 206.  We spent last week talking about museum planning.  We've had some preliminary review of game mechanics.   We've bought some assorted widgets to make games with.  Tuesday, we start building.  Active learning, here we come.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The benefits of a liberal education

John Kay has a nice article on the benefits of a broad, liberal, education in the Financial Times.  In "The Benefits of a Liberal Education do not Go Out of Date," he writes that "The objective (of education) should be to equip students to enjoy rewarding employment and fulfilling lives in a future environment whose demands we can neither anticipate nor predict."

Friday, September 11, 2015

History Club at Organization Fair

(Mike Specht at the Fair)

The annual St. Bonaventure University Club and Organization Fair was held this past Wednesday, September 9, in the Richter Center. Members of the History Club were present in order to attract new members and inform new students about the different activities the History Club does throughout the year, such as going away on trips, hosting history related events on campus, and service opportunities. This event is targeted for the freshman class to see the many clubs and organizations that are present on campus, but is also open to upperclassmen looking to get more involved. In recent years the various events that the History Club has partaken in both on and off campus have been big hits and it has proven to be a place were history lovers can share in their common interests.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

History Alum to Speak during Francis Week

Dr. Matthew Cressler is a 2006 Bona grad.  He graduated with a degree in History and Theology. He completed a year as a visiting assistant professor of Religion and African American Studies at Earlham College.  He is currently an assistant professor at The College of Charleston (South Carolina) who focuses on African American Religions, Society, and Black Nationalism.  He’s also working on his first book From Conversion to Revolution: The Rise of Black Catholic Chicago.  He’ll be on campus Wednesday September 28th to Friday October 2nd.   His formal lecture will take place on October 1st at 4pm in the University Chapel. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Public History Week One

Students in History 206:  Introduction to Public History started the semester reading about Information Architecture and listened to a Game Design Round Table podcast on collaboration.  Now it was time to put theory into practice by doing a card sorting exercise.

We gave them note cards that I had labeled and shuffled.  The two teams then had to organize the mess. One of the challenges was reading my hand writing.

One group decided that they needed more space.  Next week we start looking at how these concepts apply to museum planning.