Wednesday, February 28, 2024

History Class works with Eldred World War II Museum


Eldred World War II Museum

Students in History 419: Digital History and Archival Practices are starting new projects working with the Eldred World War II Museum located in Eldred, PA. Over the next few weeks, they will be working with museum staff to build a digital complement for an exhibit in the museum. Stay tuned as we work on these cool projects.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

St. Bonaventure professors collaborate on interdisciplinary hybrid journalism stories


ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Feb. 13, 2024 — The Jandoli Institute at St. Bonaventure University has launched a second round of its Hybrid Journalism Project in which professors from different disciplines will partner with faculty from the Jandoli School of Communication to develop and produce news stories.

“The initial project in 2022 accomplished what we set out to do,” Jandoli Institute Executive Director Richard Lee said. “The faculty teams produced stories that were informative and engaging, and they learned about each other’s disciplines.”

Seven faculty teams are collaborating on stories for Round 2 of the project. Their stories will be published on the Jandoli Institute’s website,

“Each team will work in partnership to shape the ideas and concepts from the different disciplines into well-researched, well-reported and well-written journalism,” Lee said.

The hybrid teams and their projects are:

  • Dr. Tiffany Demiris, an assistant professor of sports management, and Dr. Denny Wilkins, a professor in the Jandoli School, will delve into questions about the implications of NCAA conference realignment.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Gratz, an assistant professor of marketing and interim chair of the Department of Marketing, and David Kassnoff, a retired Jandoli School faculty member, will explain how businesses can tap a $21 billion market by better connecting with consumers with disabilities.
  • Dr. Scott Medler, an associate professor of physician assistant studies, and Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews, an assistant professor in the Jandoli School, will develop a “how to” guide to collecting and processing acorns into versatile flour that can be used for a variety of dishes.
  • Dr. Phillip Payne, chair of the Department of History, and Dr. Brian Moritz, director of the Jandoli School’s online M.A. programs in sports journalism and digital journalism, will explore two contradictory trends in American society — the decline of history in the nation’s educational system and an explosion of popular history across various mediums.
  • John Stevens, a lecturer of management, and Carole McNall, an assistant professor in the Jandoli School, will collaborate on an article about what students know, and should know, about artificial intelligence in a college environment.
  • Dr. Robin Valeri, a psychology professor, and Dr. Pauline Hoffmann, an associate professor in the Jandoli School, will study the different ways hate is expressed in schools, why schools are often targets of hate crimes, and the educational culture that breeds dissent.
  • Dr. Xiao-Ning Zhang, a biology professor and director of the biochemistry program, and Hoffmann will explore how climate change will impact food security worldwide by sharing the data, as well as stories of people struggling with climate change-related food insecurity.

“This project is a perfect example of faculty innovation and collaboration,” said Aaron Chimbel, dean of the Jandoli School. “I am thankful for Dr. Lee’s leadership in making the Jandoli Institute a dynamic place for creative approaches to tackle important issues.”

The institute’s hybrid journalism project is funded by a grant from the Leo E. Keenan Jr. Faculty Development Endowment at St. Bonaventure.

Stories from Round 1 of the project are posted on the Jandoli Institute website, along with a video of a roundtable discussion among the faculty participants.

The Jandoli Institute, part of the Jandoli School of Communication, serves as a forum for academic research, creative ideas and discussion on the intersection between media and democracy.




About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).

Friday, February 9, 2024

Article by Smart published in the journal Classical Philology

An article by Dr. Kathryn Caliva Smart titled "Divine Liars: Gods and their Falsehoods in the Homeric Hymns" was published in the most recent issue of Classical Philology, a peer-reviewed journal devoted to research on the ancient Greek and Roman world.

You can find the article at the University of Chicago Journals web page.

This paper examines examples of lies performed by gods in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite and the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, and demonstrates how these false assertions illustrate each god’s power and essential nature. This analysis uses speech act theory and theories of lying to demonstrate that not all lies are speech acts that have deception as the primary objective. Rather, both Hermes and Aphrodite have goals beyond deception when they make false assertions. The lies uttered by Hermes and Aphrodite demonstrate how divine lies in the Homeric Hymns exert a perlocutionary force beyond deception and highlight the praiseworthy aspects of each god.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Team Taught Class on Democracy and the 2024 election


Democracy? Election 2024

Every election, we hear that this election is the most important one in our lives. Is it? It could be? How do we think about this? How do we process all the noise and chatter to get a deeper understanding of our political process?

Next fall, we are offering a team-taught class interdisciplinary class focusing on democracy and the 2024 election. It is a collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Jandoli School of Communications. Details will be forthcoming, but if you are interested in democracy and politics, this will be a great class to examine our election from a variety of perspectives.

The following faculty are participating.

College of Arts and Science:

History - Phillip Payne

Political Science - Mary Rose Kubal

Sociology - Benjamin Gross  

Jandoli School of Communications:

Journalism and Strategic Communication - Pauline Hoffmann

Journalism, Strategic Communication, Integrated Marketing Communications, Sports Media - Richard Lee, executive director of the Jandoli Institute.

Stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

 An unexpected connection back to Dr. Henning’s days at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

This past summer, I was on the hunt for bargains at garage sales on a Saturday morning in Olean, New York.  As my companions and I drove down a road just off the main thoroughfare a crooked historical marker caught my eye that said “Vin Fiz” and I shocked the other occupants of the car by loudly blurting out something to the effect of “Vin Fiz!  No way, I know what that is! What are the odds that it landed here, we need to turn around and investigate!” 

Back in 2010-2011, when I was a Guggenheim Fellow at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, I frequently attended the “Ask the Expert” presentations on Wednesdays at noon.  I remember being particularly interested in the talk given by Peter Jakab of the Aeronautics Division on Cal Rodgers and the Vin Fiz.  Jakab discussed Rodgers and his experimental Wright biplane that made the first transcontinental flight in 1911.  There are several things that made this brief presentation in the Pioneers of Flight gallery so memorable.  First, the unique name of the plane has stuck with me, the Vin Fiz, which was named after the flight’s sponsor’s grape soda.  More seriously, Jakab posed questions that day that have stayed with me.  While describing this first successful transcontinental flight across the United States, Jakab noted that Rodgers’s trip involved a lot of accidents that required extensive repairs and a lot of spare parts.   Jakab asked those in attendance if the Vin Fiz really made that first crossing of the United States or was it several planes with the same name and some parts in common?  Can a single airplane get credit for this flight when many pieces of the plane that took off from Sheepshead Bay New York on September 17, 1911 did not land 49 days later in Long Beach California?  What percentage of the original plane actually made it the whole way there?  If only 49% of the aircraft made it from coast to coast, should a Vin Fiz get the credit for completing this flight?

While I still do not have definitive answers to Jakab’s questions, I am excited to share my discovery of the Vin Fiz’s stop in Olean with my students at St. Bonaventure this Fall.  Although I didn’t find the types of treasure I thought I would when I left the house to go to garage sales, I was awarded with the knowledge that the Vin Fiz Flyer did land in Olean on September 24, 1911 when it ended leg four of the trip and began leg five of the 40 leg trip to California. 


Note: The historical marker states that Rodgers began his flight on September 11, but the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and other sources have the date as September 17, 1911.

Friday, April 21, 2023


Members of the History Club spend Saturday April 15 exploring Old Fort Niagara.  Students saw demonstrations by reenactors on bluing fabric and musket firing as well as presentations on espionage in the textile industry and the history of the fort.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Chris Dalton Presented at Cuba Circulating Library

Professor Chris Dalton presented "Early Rail Travel: How National Events Affect Local Life" at the Cuba Circulating Library on March 30. A crowd of 38 attended to hear about the work his students did on the local connection to a national disaster. Professor Dalton and his students enrolled in History 300: Historical Methods and Historiography worked with the Cuba Circulating Library and local historians. According to the Cuba Circulating Library web page: "Over the past few months, the St. Bonaventure University History Department and its students, in coordination with the Cuba Circulating Library and some of the community’s local historians, have pursued a project to understand how historic events on a national scale are able to reflect the life and times of people at more localized level."

The project originated with a tour of the Cuba Cemetery. Again, from the Cuba Circulating Library web page: "In the Cuba Cemetery stands an obelisk which memorializes the life and tragic death of Hiram Chamberlain, who perished in the Ashtabula Railway Disaster on a blizzardy evening on Dec. 29th, 1876. This calamity, now a distant memory of the hazards of early train travel, once occupied the attention of our entire nation. Even now, the collapse of the Ashtabula Bridge and the plummeting of the Lake Shore & Michigan passenger train to the bottom of the gulch remains one of the deadliest train accidents in American history."

The project made use of local historical newspapers that have been digitized, examining the impact of a distant tragedy on the nation but also on Cuba residents. Students could see the increased interconnection created by newspapers and railroads.

The project was funded by a Connections grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.