608: the BDIC newsletter






fall issue!

Welcome back to school everyone!

September has been an eventful and exciting month here at BDIC. We have an Interim Director replacing Jose Ornelas for the fall (you can read about Alex Deschamps, our Interim, later on in the newsletter). We also have five new peer advisors. You will also hear from them in the newsletter. The proposal writing class is larger than it has ever been this fall. We had to turn quite a few students away since there was no more room in the class.

Now that October is here, we are preparing for the influx of new proposals and, therefore, BDIC students. Our enrollment is at an all-time high!

Pretty soon, when November rolls around, it will be time for pre-registration for Spring '06! Look for our announcement about pre-registration advising appointments.

Meanwhile, please stop into BDIC and visit us sometime soon. Take advantage of all the advisors who are available to you. Your BDIC faculty supervisor can offer valuable advice about courses, graduate schools and career issues. Linda and Andrea, the two BDIC advisors, can help you with any questions about requirements or graduation eligibility. The BDIC peer advisors also have a great deal of knowledge about BDIC-related issues.

Wishing you a successful and fulfilling fall semester!


Post-Graduation Information and Workshops

Personal Statement Workshop
If you're planning on going to graduate school after finishing up your individual concentration, you'll need to fill out applications. One of the most important parts of a graduate school application is the personal statement. Don't know how to start? Come to this workshop and learn! At this session, you will learn how to brainstorm and organize your ideas, and can ask questions about form or content. The workshop is being held Monday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m. in Herter 217.

For more information, contact Career Services at (413) 545-2224 or ccnhelp@acad.umass.edu.

Resume Writing Workshop
Worried about finding a job? With so much competition in the job market, the hardest thing about successfully landing a job can be securing an interview. In order to get that far in the hiring process, it helps to have a stellar resume tailored to the needs of the job. This workshop will teach you how to sell your skills in a directed and effective manner by helping you to create a clear and effective resume. The workshop will be held right downstairs from BDIC in 508 Goodell on Wednesday, October 19 at 5:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Career Services at (413) 545-2224 or ccnhelp@acad.umass.edu.

Interview Skills Workshop
Once you've perfected your resume and gotten to the interview stage, it is important to know the best way to interact with your potential employers. At this workshop, you will learn how to clearly convey your ideas about why you are the best candidate for the job. You'll also be prepared for the types of questions that you will likely be asked, as well as what sorts of things you should ask the interviewer -- and what not to ask. This workshop will be held right downstairs from the BDIC office in 508 Goodell on Wednesday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Career Services at (413) 545-2224 or ccnhelp@acad.umass.edu.

Peace Corps Information Session
Interested in joining the Peace Corps? Come to this information session to find out more! Campus representatives from the Peace Corps will be there to talk about the application process and the program in general, as well as to answer your questions. Previous Peace Corps volunteers will also be present to discuss their experiences. If you've ever thought about being a part of the Peace Corps, don't miss out on this info session! It will be held Wednesday, October 19 in room 903 of the Campus Center at 7:30 p.m. For more information, e-mail Wendi Carman at peacecorps@educ.umass.edu or call her at 545-2105.

Cultural Events

31st Annual Pops Concert
Come experience a fast-paced showcase of Jazz, Percussion, Wind Music, and Dance performed by various UMass musical groups such as the Minute Man Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Marimba Ensemble, and many more. Special front-row seating is reserved for “Angels of the Hurricane” at $30 each, and additional donations for hurricane relief will be accepted. The concert will be held on October 14th, at 8 pm in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $12 for students.

Arabic Dabke Dancers
The Arab Student Club will host a performance of the IBDA Dancers performing a traditional Dabke dance on Friday, October 28th at 7:30 in Bowker Auditorium. Admission is free.

Women in Film: New Asia Cinema
The Filipino film “Anak” (A child), a powerful drama about a young Filipino worker who returns home to her family after many years at work abroad in Hong Kong will be shown on November 1st. The film was directed by Rory B. Quintos, one of the few female directors in her native Philippines. It will be shown in Room 137- Isenberg School of Management at 7 pm.

Academic Lectures

Bobby Gonzalez: The Untold Story of the Americas
Mr. Gonzalez, a nationally known lecturer, storyteller, and poet will give a lecture comparing the historic upheavals and triumphs of Native Peoples in the North, South, Central America, and the Caribbean. This lecture will take place on October 12, from 4-6 p.m in room 174-176 of the Campus Center. Admission is free.

Environmental Lecture Series
Dr. Paul Epstein of Harvard Medical School will be presenting this month’s talk for the Environmental Lecture Series on the “Health Impacts of Global Climate Change”. Dr. Epstein is the Associate Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard. The lecture will be held on October 17th at 3:30 pm in the Bernie Dallas Room of Goodell. A reception follows the lecture and is open to all.

Dr. Paul Polak, Founder and President of International Development Enterprises will present the last of four fall lectures on the global environment and health. His lecture entitled “Combating Rural Poverty in Developing Countries” will be presented on November 15th at 3:30 p.m also in Goodell’s Bernie Dallas Room.

WFCR presents Dr. Andrew Weil at Mount Holyoke College
Dr. Andrew Weil, one of the nation’s most trusted doctors and innovators of holistic medicine, and author of the new book “Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to your Physical and Spiritual Wellbeing”, will be presenting a lecture and book signing on October 28th. The lecture will take place at Mount Holyoke College’s Chapin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $10, and are available through the UMass Fine Arts Center Box Office.

Bodhisattva Tara: Compassion in Action
The Manjushri Institute of Buddhist Studies welcomes students to attend a talk presented by Za Choeje Rinpoche, a former student of the Drepung Loseling Monastery and current head of the Eamaho Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Riponce will discuss the special role that Tara plays in the Buddhist practice and her place in Tibetan history and culture. This talk will take place on Friday, November 18th in Memorial Hall from 7:30- 9 p.m.

Upcoming Art Exhibits

Svetlana and Igor Kopystiansky: “The Day Before Tomorrow”, “Fog”, and “Incidents”:
     Tuesday, September 13th- Sunday, October 30th      Fine Arts Center- University Gallery

Gretchen Beck: “Torridity”: An exhibition of drawings based on the degradation of the Nigerian landscape
     Thursday, September 22nd- Thursday, November 3rd      Fine Arts Center- University Gallery

Hieronymus Bosch, Revisted: “Garden of Earthly Delights”
     Sunday, September 18th- Sunday, October 30      Southwest Residential Area Gallery

“Petri Dishes and Anthrax: An exhibition in reaction to recent anthrax scares
     Tuesday, September 20th- Tuesday, October 18th

Bryant J. Stewart: “Reflections: Cars and Parts”
     Thursday, September 8th- Thursday, October 20th      Library, Integrated Sciences and Engineering

“Oz Books, the Movie, Gay Men, Oh My!”: Dee Michael’s Wizard of Oz collection that highlights the connection between the movie and gay male culture.
     Sunday, October 2nd- Wednesday, November 2nd      Library, W.E.B Dubois

Attention Knitters!

The BDIC knitting group will be starting up soon! Beginners are welcome to attend, even if you've never tried before! We are ready to teach you the basics of knitting or crocheting, and would love to have your company. If you are interested attending, let us know when you are available so that we can schedule a convenient time for everyone!


Make an Appointment

Registration for Spring 2006 is coming up in November, so it is important to schedule an appointment with an advisor in BDIC to discuss your course plans. There are sign-up sheets on the front desk in 608 Goodell to meet with Junior Year Writing teacher Andrea Bergstrom or Coordinator Linda Roney during pre-registration.

Alternately, you can schedule an appointment with your cluster supervisor to discuss upcoming classes and general course selection. The supervisors are equally willing to give advice on class registration, and have a wealth of knowledge to draw from.

     The fall hours for supervisors are as follows:

          Alex Deschamps
          Art and Cultural Studies, Interim Director
          Monday 9:30 - 12:30
          Wednesday 9:00 - 12:00

          Henry Geddes Gonzalez
          Tuesday 1:30 - 3:30

          Gino Sorcinelli
          Business and Law
          Monday 3:00 - 5:00

          Paula Stamps
          Natural Health and Computer Science
          Tuesday 1:00 - 3:00

     José Ornelas, supervisor of the Education and Human Services cluster is on sabbatical for the semester. If José is your supervisor, feel free to make an appointment with Linda, Andrea, or one of the other supervisors.

     Andrea will be in the office on Tuesdays 12:45 - 2:15 and Wednesdays 3:30-5:00, with writing sessions for all BDIC students on Tuesdays from 1:00 - 2:00. Linda is in the office Monday through Friday from 9-5.

BDIC Fashion

Show your BDIC pride! T-shirts in a variety of colors are on sale now in 608 Goodell. For only $10, you too can be the proud owner of a T-shirt with "BDIC" on the front. On the back, the BDIC motto ("Stand Out in the Crowd") is written beneath a depiction of a flamingo, the BDIC mascot. There is a bright pink flamingo in the foreground, and several uncolored flamingos standing behind it.

To purchase a T-shirt, speak to Office Manager Davina Danian!

Fall Proposal Writing Class

Another semester of proposal writing is nearly over. This year, eighty-two students are enrolled in two sections of the class. This semester, class visitors have included John Reiffe from Community Service Learning, Sheila Brennan from Domestic Exchange and Five College Exchange, and BDIC alumnus John Hersey. The peer advisors and students have all been working hard, and many excellent ideas have been given the chance to flourish through BDIC. As examples of what students are studying this semester, here are some brief descriptions of concentrations currently being proposed:

Nikki Esty has an interesting background in yoga, and is planning a concentration called "Holistic Education: Human Potential and Development." She will take classes from the Education, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Outdoor Recreation and Human Development departments. She also plans to take advantage of the five-college system, and has many classes that take place in Hampshire College. Highly enthusiastic about her plans for her BDIC major, Nikki looks forward to doing many internships and independent studies that focus on yoga and teaching, which will further her knowledge and experience in a field she loves.

Jennifer Dell is a sophomore hoping to double major in Hotel and Tourism Management as well as her BDIC concentration, "Event Management." Jennifer's love for sports is what fueled her desire to be a BDIC student. She plans to intern for ESPN in order to gain experience in the field and possibly obtain a permanent position there in the future as an event manager. In order to better prepare herself for the event planning field, Jennifer works for a DJ company, helping to organize parties, dances, and more!

Katrina Cessna has been interested in the importance of social responsibility and equality under the law for most of her life. Her grandmother has been a foster parent for thirty years, so Kate and her mother both grew up alongside the countless number of children that her grandmother cared for. As Kate grew older, she became more aware that the children were mostly minorities and came from single parent and poverty stricken families. Her exposure to this environment inspired her to pursue a major that allowed her to study the concepts of racism, sexism, classism, as well public policy and law. Her concentration "Societal Inequality through a Legal Perspective" combines classes from the Sociology, Political Science, Legal and Women's Studies departments. Kate hopes to one day pursue a Law degree, and to eventually work as a professor, a counselor, in the field of social work, or to join the Peace Corps.

As you can see, this semester's proposal writing class is a varied and interesting group -- no exception from semesters past!

As a reminder to currently enrolled students, all final drafts are due on November 10. Make sure to include all parts of your proposal, a curriculum proposal sheet, a cover sheet signed by your sponsor, an unofficial transcript, and an SOM memo if necessary. Feel free to stop by 608 Goodell at any time with questions on sponsors, class choices, and anything else that is troubling you -- or stop by just to say hello!

Seniors Graduating in February

As a reminder to seniors thinking of winter graduation, now is the time to begin thinking about your Senior Summary and Abstract! This is your final requirement for graduation, and is an analysis of your entire program.

The summary serves as a permanent record of what you have accomplished through BDIC, and reflects upon all the work you've done since writing that proposal so long ago. It is also a good way for future students to learn about any troubles you've had along the way, so that they can steer clear of similar pitfalls. This is your time to share with the department all the lessons you've learned along the way.

You'll also need a one-page abstract of your summary, which can serve as a succinct way of fully explaining your degree to future employers or graduate schools.

Be sure to schedule an appointment with your BDIC supervisor to make sure that you have met all your requirements for graduation. If you have any questions about the senior summary and abstract, call or stop by the office to schedule an appointment with your supervisor, a peer advisor, or coordinator Linda Roney. The Senior Summary and Abstract deadline for February graduation is November 15.

Help With Papers!

For students currently enrolled in proposal writing, junior year writing, independent studies, or any other BDIC-related classes, help is now available with written assignments. Junior Year Writing Instructor Andrea Bergstrom is available on Tuesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 for Writing Sessions. In the Writing Sessions, Andrea will assist you with grammar, content, flow, or anything else that has been troubling you about your assignments.

If you can't make the Writing Sessions and need assistance, call the office at 545-2504 to set up a time to meet with any Andrea or any Peer Advisor. We are all here to help!

Grad School Advising

In addition to the writing sessions mentioned above, BDIC is also introducing Graduate School Advising with Andrea Bergstrom. As a current graduate student, she is very familiar with the process and all of its many requirements, and she is more willing to share her knowledge and provide guidance in this area. Graduate school advising sessions will be scheduled during the course of the semester. Andrea is also available for individual appointments for both writing assistance and graduate school advising during her regular office hours by calling the front desk at 545-2504.


New Interim Director

During this Fall semester, Professor Alexandrina Deschamps will be serving as Interim Director of BDIC while the regular director, Jose Ornelas, is away on sabbatical. Alex is not new to BDIC. She has worked since 1996 as a BDIC faculty supervisor in the Arts and Humanities cluster.

In addition to her work at BDIC, Alex is a professor in the Women's Studies department. Alex's areas of expertise in Women's Studies are women and gender and multicultural issues, particularly as they relate to the field of education. She is a highly acclaimed professor who has won many teaching awards, including the College Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005 and the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001-2002. Alex has also been an adjunct faculty at Smith and Mt. Holyoke Colleges.

Even though Alex is only slated to act as Interim BDIC Director for one semester, she has jumped into the role wholeheartedly. One of her priorities is to offer an upper level interdisciplinary course taught by BDIC faculty. It is extremely important to Alex that BDIC continue to grow into a high quality program that is sensitive to both educational and social demands.

Welcome Alex!

New Peer Advisors

This semester, we welcome five new peer advisors to BDIC! Three of them -- Nat Brown, Michelle DiIeso, Jasmine Monteiro, and Berkley Myers -- are brand new to the office and will be introducing themselves in the following section. Diana Barzscz is a familiar face to many, as she previously served BDIC as a front desk worker. This is Diana's first semester as a peer advisor.

Nat Brown

     My BDIC title is "Human Relations." It encompasses the study of human interaction in a psychological, societal, and cultural context. My classes span the Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Communications, and Philosophy departments. I am also pursuing an International Relations Certificate as well as a Film Studies Certificate. I plan on using these credentials to enter into the independent documentary film industry with a focus on international topics.

     I have been interested in how people interact since I was an infant and did nothing but stare at people, completely engrossed in what they were doing. I earned the nickname "The Judge" because I was always watching people, so intently that I rarely exhibited my own emotional response. I love to travel and have been to Europe and Central America. I think traveling allows you to truly get to know yourself and embrace the world around you. I look forward to finding a job that will allow me to travel as much as possible.

Michelle DiIeso

     "Equitation Therapy" is the concentration of my BDIC major. My ultimate goal with this major is to learn how to use horses to aid physically and mentally disabled people. To achieve this I am pulling classes from the Animal Science, Psychology, Education and Women Studies departments.

     My interest in working with horses stems from my childhood love of animals and my years of attending an agricultural high school where I focused most of my attention on horses. Going into UMass, I was an Animal Science major, but I decided livestock animals were not what I had in mind for my future goals, and I stumbled across the BDIC. I have always been fascinated as to how horses and other forms of therapy can help people with all types of disabilities to grow and develop. Riding a horse can build self-esteem, muscle tone and coordination, among many other things. I am excited to go further into the field of therapy and therapeutic riding, and my BDIC major is going to help me gather the knowledge and experience I will need to go on in the field.

Jasmine Monteiro

     My name is Jasmine Monteiro and I am a junior here at UMass. My concentration title in BDIC is "Creative Writing." Classes pertaining to my major are predominantly taken from English, Psychology, and Journalism. This is because my concentration is geared towards children and adolescents with an emphasis on human sexuality. And really that's even narrowing it down. There are plenty of aspects of writing I might have not been introduced to yet.

     I started writing poetry in middle school. It came about as a healing process for me following some tragic events in my life, and the lose of loved ones. I never considered writing as a career path until I was introduced to it more seriously last year in my freshmen writing class. After that, I researched and discovered a number of different writing styles I'd love to tackle. My goal in this major is to become a well rounded creative writer. My ultimate life goal would be to publish pieces that would help heal and inspire people in the same way it did for me.

Berkley Myers

     Hey, my name is Berkley Myers. I'm a senior at UMass and my BDIC concentration is "Entertainment and Performance Industry Management." I hope to use this focus towards a career in management, publicity, or marketing in the music industry at a major record label. My long-term goal is to start my own record label! I interned this summer at Columbia Records in NYC and met some amazing artists such as The Killers and Nas. I was able to attend tapings with the artists at networks like MTV, VH1, FUSE, and BET. My ultimate passion in life is music, hardcore rock and punk being my favorites, and at any given time you can find me driving clear across 3 states just for a concert!

     I'm the president of my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and was recently elected as an SGA senator. In my free time I'm working on starting up a band as a lead singer, or learning how to skateboard!


Eric Janszen

     Eric Janszen is a 2004 graduate of the Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration program and has been a successful venture capitalist for many years. After a long hiatus from school, he returned to UMass Amherst to finish his coursework after extensive work in the business world. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from BDIC with a concentration in "Resource Economics and Venture Capital."

     Eric is currently president and CEO of AutoCell, and also the former CEO of NewLans, Inc. and Bluesocket, Inc. He has had several management positions prior to his experience as CEO, and has won many awards for his achievements. He was a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2003 and was named CEO of the Year in 2002 by the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council. He has been recognized for his accomplishments and been the subject of many features in publications such as USA Today, Business Week Online, and the Wall Street Journal.

     With a combination of work experience and academic study, Eric has acquired an extensive knowledge of technologies such as internet infrastructure, IP networking and programming languages. Even before Eric graduated from BDIC, he built an admirable career for himself. Eric is a BDIC alumnus who has accomplished great things in his life and made memorable contributions to global society.

Senofer Stead

     Senofer Stead, a BDIC alumna, graduated with a concentration in "Community Action Through Art" in February of 2004. Prior to leaving the University, her last semester was busy with organizing plays and performances. This left her with no time to plan for life after graduation. So, she found herself living at home and waiting for an opportunity to start her career.

     The opportunity came when her brother financed a trip to Los Angeles. As a result, Senofer began her "solo cross-country road trip." In Los Angeles, she worked in film finances, and participated in various scene shops. However, the city of Los Angeles was not a place where she wanted to build her life. Therefore, she sold her car and purchased a return ticket to Boston.

     Currently, Senofer is a Project Supervisor for Travel Exhibits at the Boston Children's Museum. She has started working on another show, and is proud to be a contributor to the Boston Art Community.


     If you're a BDIC student, your dean is Kregg Strehorn. BDIC employee Kate O'Connell recently had the opportunity to interview Kregg about his work and life in general and learned about the impact he has on students here in BDIC, and also in Pre-Major Advising.
     Kregg considers himself the 'day to day dean' for all BDIC students, and students without a major (pre-major), which he's done for the past 2 ½ years. Most of the students that see Kregg are there with 'deans issues' which include late adds/drops, withdrawal from the University, "at risk" students, academic discipline cases, and all "sticky situations," as he calls them. Because of this, Kregg is most busy during the beginning and end of the semester. But this does not discourage him as he finds the most pleasure in seeing the outcomes of the cases he reviews. The best part, he says, is helping students out of trouble, and helping students find a track they're comfortable with. However, the aspect of his job that he finds the most difficult is being the bridge between students and parents, especially in regards academic discipline. Generally, the students and parents aren't in sync on the matter, and with legal issues at hand it is a particularly complicated situation to see through. In such tender situations, it can be very difficult but also extremely rewarding.
     Kregg hails from Huntington Beach, California, where he received his undergraduate degree UC Berkley, in Psychology and English. He then made the move to our beloved UMass, where he received his PhD. in Psychology. Along with being the dean for BDIC, he also has a private practice. When asked what he would do if he were a BDIC student, Kregg said that his concentration would involve computers, music and psychology- somewhere in the realm of understanding how music affects the mind.
     Some side information about Kregg is that he has one younger brother, and when asked what he wanted to be when he was younger, he said doctor or traveler. He described himself as a person who goes where life takes him, a bit of a "romantic." He's a Scorpio, which is a description he feels, is dead on. In his spare time he likes to bike (sometimes to work), travel (he has traveled all over the world, and has lived in Poland and Chile), and playing the guitar and fantasy football. He also enjoys the company of his wife, whom he's been married to for two years. For foods, he loves Indian, and Mexican- all good in his eyes. Damien Rice tops his list of favorite artists right now, but he generally like all kinds of music, especially acoustic guitar.
     It is well known that Kregg is a big sports fan. The Red Sox are his favorite baseball team. He considers Varitek his favorite player because he's a hard worker, with no complaints, and have you seen those quads?? They don't call him Quadzilla for nothing! When asked about the Championship last year, all he could say was "thrilled, it was a really exciting time to be here." He was definitely in awe, but doesn't think they will repeat this year because of pitching. He also follows other sports like football, a Pats fan, and soccer.
     A piece of advice Kregg wants to give to all BDIC students is to get as much internship and field experience as possible, it will make transitioning after school that much easier, and also, don't take it all too seriously! There is always time to do the things that you want to accomplish!

Remember, the BDIC office is open every weekday from 9-5. Stop by anytime with questions about pre-registration, courses, junior year writing, sponsors, or any other concerns you might have! Good luck on all your midterms, and have a lovely autumn!

Happy Fall!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Additions? Contact Paula Aden at paden@student.umass.edu.