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Bachelor's Degree With Individual Concentration

Spring 2008 Newsletter
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Upcoming Events
By Katrina Cessna

BDIC students: Bored? Want to expand your cultural horizons, or maybe just enjoy some free pizza? Look no further than our list of upcoming events!


  • Pizza and Prof Nights
    Held every Tuesday evening, beginning at 6:30 pm, in the Commonwealth College Lounge (504 Goodell). The program brings students and distinguished faculty together in a casual setting to talk about a topic of the featured professor’s choosing. Students can enjoy free Antonio’s pizza during the discussion, which is led by a different professor each week.

Art Exhibitions:

  • Tuesday, 4/1 thru Saturday, 4/12- Charles “Teenie” Harris
    Presents “Rhapsody in Black and White”, thirty works by the late artist whose images portray and evoke the spirit of a great and historically significant era in
    African American culture. On display in the Augusta Savage Gallery in the New Africa House.
  • Tuesday, 1/8 thru Tuesday, 4/29- Images from VISUAL
    Exhibit on synergy between art and science at the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library.
  • Tuesday, 3/11 thru Saturday, 4/12- HELLO
    An exhibition featuring recent artwork by six UMass Amherst alumni and six graduates of the Tama School of Art and the Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. Located in Herter Art Gallery.
  •  Monday, 3/31 thru Wednesday, 4/30- The First World War
    Prof. Ed Klekowski’s exhibit of WWI artifacts recently found in France. Now on display in the Learning Commons of the UMass Amherst DuBois Library.
  • Thursday, 1/31 thru Wednesday, 4/30- A World of Cities
    Universal aspects of urban life are explored across time and place, while defining the sharp differences in how people live, work, and interact in cities around the world. On display in the DuBois Library Learning Commons.

Film Screenings:
Movie showings take place Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in 504 Goodell. Films are free and are open to all Commonwealth College members and their friends. Dinner will be served at 6:45 p.m.. Interested students should RSVP to by the Friday prior to the showing.

  • 4/14- Dark Days (2000)
    A filmmaker lives with a group of homeless people in an abandoned section of the New York City underground railway system.

  • 4/28- A Day Without a Mexican (2004)
    This mock-umetary provides a comic look at what California would be like if Latinos disappeared.

Music and Dance Events:

  • Saturday, 4/12- Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence
    Playing at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, 4/24 thru Saturday, 4/26- Alive With Dance
    Annual show in Bowker Auditorium. See UMass website for times, costs.
  • Friday, 4/25- Concert: Lila Downs
    Motivated by the songs and stories of the Oazacan people, Lila Downs’ extraordinary voice pays homage to her ancestral roots and reinvigorates the soul. At the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 8:00 p.m.

Miscellaneous Campus Events:

  • Tuesday, 2/12 thru Thursday 4/10: VITA Program
    Free income tax assistance to qualified taxpayers will be available by the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at the Isenberg School of Management, in room #27. Attendees will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Amherst Town Events:

  • Saturday, 4/19- 17th Annual Extravaganja
    This festival on the Amherst town common is sponsored by the Cannabis Reform Coalition, a UMass registered student organization. The day’s festivities will include vendors selling goods and food, and will feature music from popular local bands including the Alchemystics.

Important Dates:

  • Friday, 4/11- Sunday, 4/13: Family Weekend
  • Thursday, 4/10- BDIC 396P, Proposal Writing class, applications due, by 5 pm in 608 Goodell. No late submissions will be considered!!!
  • Friday, 4/11- Peer Advisor Training Session, 3-4 p.m., Goodell 604
  • Monday, 4/14- Peer Advisor Training Session, 5-6 p.m., Goodell 604

Do you think you are interested in becoming a peer advisor? Then come for an informative Q & A session to see if it’s the job for you!

  • Monday, 4/21- Patriot’s Day: No Classes!
  • Tuesday, 4/22- Honors Research Grant application deadline
    (See Commonwealth College website for details)
  • Friday, May 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Undergraduate Research Conference, Lower level Campus Center; BDIC Alumni Forum, 12-1 p.m., Graduate Reading Room, Campus Center
  • Tuesday, 5/13- Last Day of Classes
  • Thursday, 5/15- First Day of Final Exams
  • Thursday, 5/22- Last Day of Final Exams, Summer Recess Begins
  • Friday, 5/23- Graduate and Stockbridge Commencements
  • Saturday, 5/24- Undergraduate Commencement
  • Sunday, 6/1- Rotary Scholarship for International Study application deadline
    ($25,000 prize; see Commonwealth College website for details)

BDIC: A Creative Foundation for Majors of the Future

By Gina Simonelli

            It seems that each semester more and more students come to BDIC with concentrations in film studies. Within this broad category are titles ranging from "Film" and "Film Theory Studies" to "Soundtrack Integration to Film" and "Politics through Theater and Film," not to mention the dozens of concentrations in between. With such interest at the University, wouldn't you think that there would be an actual Film major available at UMass? Well, it may not be such an unrealistic idea after all! Since the Film Studies certificate program already exists, there has been discussion and some progress toward the establishment of a Five College Film major, as well as a graduate certificate. This very program has already been established at Hampshire, Smith, and Mount Holyoke, and has even turned out some graduates at this time. Will Film Studies ever be accepted as a major here at UMass? It is difficult to tell, but things are certainly looking hopeful. For the time being, at least, BDIC is happy to house those students who wish to make Film Studies their major. 
            Film is not the first concentration area to become so popular among incoming students. In fact, BDIC has mothered a few of the popular majors that exist at UMass today. Before the University offered Women's Studies, it was BDIC that allowed the students to pursue this major. The same was the case with Computer Science, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), Legal Studies and Architecture.
            A relationship between Information Technologies (IT) and BDIC is also beginning to develop. Representatives from IT and BDIC have been discussing the role of BDIC with students who wish to pursue Information Technology as a major, rather than as a certificate. These students will likely follow a prescribed track within BDIC. They will need to take certain classes within specified areas, but will have individualized concentrations through which they can connect their Information Technology studies. The establishment of an official Information Technologies major at UMass is not necessarily part of the grand scheme of things, but it is a pleasure to know that BDIC is able to increase the academic opportunities for students interested in IT.


The Undergraduate Research Conference

The Conference will take place on Friday, May 2, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the lower level of the Campus Center.   The following are some examples of the types of projects BDIC students will be presenting:

Ally Mentlik- The History of the German Horse Breeds
Nicholas Straggas- An Analysis of Consumerism and the Leisure Class
Deanna Gertonson- Evolution of Women's Fashion
Andrew Antonucci- Impact of Economic Development on Real Estate Markets
Britt Gwinn- Fair Trade and Ethical Markets
Renaldo Qafzezi- Discovery of Oil in Albania
Anne Macon- Historical changes of romance and marriage in Western society
Julie Loftus- Environmental Installation Art: Christo and Jeanne Claude
Ellen Ryan- Gender Representations in Advertising
Lindsay Ebert- The Psychological and Physical Benefits of Summer Camp
Melissa Castro- The Psychological Effect of Deportation on Latin American
Michael Byrne- Agriculture, Specialization, and Accountability
Scott Berkley- The Impact of Self-Help Reality Television Programs

We hope you will all attend the Conference, as well as the Alumni Forum!

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