Professor Barbara Riess Publishes Translation of Short Stories by Cuban Author María Elena Llana

Address_CoverFeb. 25, 2015 – Cubanabooks has published a translation by Barbara Riess of an anthology of María Elena Llana’s short stories, “Domicilio Habanero,” or “An Address in Havana.”

Riess, who is chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Allegheny College, will give a presentation on Cuba at noon on Thursday, March 5 in Quigley Hall auditorium at Allegheny College. The public is invited.

A bilingual collection, “An Address in Havana” highlights Llana’s most critically successful stories, a mixture of fantasy and dark humor.

Llana’s short stories contain a rich and entertaining representation of a particular social class in Cuba during the last 40 years: the bourgeoisie who struggled to maintain their social status and participated only by default in the construction of the new socialist society. Portraits of family and twisted gender roles appear throughout the stories, within a mysterious domestic sphere that is unmistakably set in Havana. (more…)

Playshop Theatre at Allegheny College To Present “Clybourne Park”

Clybourne press release imageFeb. 20, 2015 — The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre continues its 85th season with Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park,” directed by Dan Crozier. Four performances will be given in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts: at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 26-28, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.

Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Clybourne Park” takes place in the same house in Chicago on two afternoons decades apart. In 1959 a white neighborhood is thrown into turmoil when a black family prepares to move in. In Act Two, set in 2009, the same house becomes contested property as gentrification reverses the demographics of the community.

Called “ferociously smart” by the New York Times and “pulverizingly funny” by Variety, “Clybourne Park” won the Pulitzer and Olivier awards for Best Play in 2011 and the Tony in 2012. Playwright Bruce Norris explains that “‘Clybourne Park’ is a universal story that isn’t about American black/white history. It’s about territory and disputes over territory because of ethnicity or difference.”

Performing in the production are Allegheny students Christine McGrath, AJ Long, Imani Prince, Sean McClain, Elijah Prince, Chris Schuchert, Leanne Siwicki and John Watt. (more…)

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Step Afrika! To Present Free Performance To Celebrate Black History Month

Feb. 20, 2015 — Step Afrika! — the first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping – will present a free performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28 in Shafer Auditorium at Allegheny College. The event is part of the college’s celebration of Black History Month.

Founded in December 1994, the company is celebrated worldwide for its efforts to promote an appreciation for stepping and the dance tradition’s use as an educational tool for young people. Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on stages in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

Based in Washington, D.C., Step Afrika! is D.C.’s first cultural ambassador representing the city and nation at events around the world. The company completes an annual 50-city tour of colleges and theaters from Maine to Mississippi and is a national model for the use of stepping in education, espousing themes such as teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding.

Step Afrika! and other Black History Month events at Allegheny College are sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Black Culture.

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Augmented Reality Sandbox Allows Students To See Three-Dimensional Topographic Maps in Real Time and Even “Make It Rain”

News release by Camille Sicker

Feb. 18, 2015 – Allegheny College has gained a new piece of technology, the Augmented Reality (AR) sandbox, that combines the playfulness of a child’s sandbox with advanced technology to create a learning tool that can be used by students of all ages. When students shape the sand, a Microsoft Kinect 3D camera and a projector with powerful software detect the movement and display a three-dimensional topographic and colored elevation map in real time.

Unlike street maps, topographic maps display three-dimensional characteristics of an area using lines, called contours, to represent elevation above or below sea level. Using topographic maps, engineers know where best to build a road, scientists know where rainwater will flow after a storm and hikers know where a trail is steepest.

Students can have a hard time understanding the connection between a two-dimensional map and a three-dimensional world. But with the AR sandbox, students can build any three-dimensional landscape in the sand and view the changes in topography and elevation as a two-dimensional map. (more…)

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Allegheny College Once Again Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges

Feb. 18, 2015 – The Peace Corps today released its 2015 rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country. For the second consecutive year, Allegheny College ranks No. 8 among small schools in the number of its alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

Allegheny was one of three Pennsylvania institutions included in the 2015 rankings. Dickinson College and Bucknell University also made the Top 10.

Twelve Allegheny alumni are currently serving in Albania, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Moldova, Paraguay, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. They work in sectors including agriculture, education, the environment, health, community economic development and youth development.

Courtney Columbus, who graduated from Allegheny in 2011, is in her third year of service as a community environmental development volunteer in the Dominican Republic.

“I am helping to train host country nationals to advocate for the fulfillment of children’s rights and human rights,” she said. “Raising awareness about children’s and human rights in marginalized communities gives their residents empowering knowledge, and allows them to be self-advocates.” (more…)

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Conference at Allegheny College To Celebrate Two Pioneering Women Journalists: Ida Tarbell and Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Feb. 17, 2015 – “Honoring Ida: Celebrating the Legacies of Ida Tarbell and Ida B. Wells-Barnett,” the third annual journalism conference at Allegheny College, will bring together students and experts to honor investigative journalists Ida Tarbell and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. The conference on March 6-7 is free and open to the public and requires no preregistration.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1857, Ida Tarbell was the only woman in her 1880 graduating class at Allegheny College. She exposed the illegal practices of the Rockefeller trust in her groundbreaking work “The History of the Standard Oil Company.” Born in Mississippi in 1862, Ida B. Wells-Barnett reported on lynching in the South. An advocate for women’s rights and suffrage, she also helped block the establishment of segregated schools in Chicago.

Women journalists will serve as speakers, mentors and coaches during the conference. In addition, on Friday, March 6, journalism students from Allegheny College, Ohio University and the University of Mississippi will team up to report in Meadville on local women who make a difference in the community. The invited journalists will work as mentors with students to produce multimedia pieces that will debut at the end of the conference. (more…)

Pelletier Library Lecture Brings Renowned Poet and Award-winning Translator to Allegheny College

SONY DSCFeb. 17, 2015 – The 19th annual Pelletier Library Lecture at Allegheny College will bring to campus award-winning translator Maria Roof, who graduated from the college in 1967, and renowned Nicaraguan poet Vidaluz Meneses.

The public is invited to the lecture, titled “Transnation Translation: From the Tower of Babel to Internationalizing Poetry,” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24 in the Pelletier Collaboratory, on the upper floor of Pelletier Library. A reception with the speakers will follow the lecture.

Roof and Meneses will also read selections from their collaborative work “Flame in the Air,” a Spanish-English presentation of Meneses’ poetry that includes extensive interviews with the poet on her life and public activism, especially during the tumultuous decades beginning in the 1980s. Roof is the volume’s editor and translator. (more…)

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Consecutive Days in March Feature Alec Chien in Solo Performance and in Concert with Alexander String Quartet

Feb. 16, 2015 – Concerts on consecutive days in March will give the community two opportunities to hear Alec Chien perform in his final concerts at Allegheny College before his retirement from teaching at the college. Both concerts are free.

Chien will appear as guest artist with the Alexander String Quartet at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6 in Ford Chapel. The program includes the Schumann and Brahms Piano Quintets. In addition, the Allegheny Chamber Choir, conducted by James Niblock, will join the quartet for Beethoven’s “Elegischer Gesang” and Eric Whitacre’s “Five Hebrew Love Songs.”

On Saturday, March 7, Chien will perform an all-Chopin program at 3 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium, the conclusion of a seven-concert series that Chien began in 2011 focusing on the major works of Franz Schubert and Frederic Chopin.

Chien is artist-in-residence and professor of music at Allegheny College. He joined the college’s music faculty in 1980 after earning his doctorate at Juilliard. (more…)

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Director Richard Ray Perez To Screen “Cesar’s Last Fast” at Allegheny College

Feb. 12, 2015 – Director Richard Ray Perez will screen his documentary “Cesar’s Last Fast” on Thursday, February 19 in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center at Allegheny College. Perez will follow the 5:30 p.m. screening with a talk.

The public is invited to this free event in Allegheny College’s Year of Voting Rights and Democratic Participation, which celebrates the 50th anniversary in 2015 of the Voting Rights Act and explores the state of voting rights, broadly defined, in the world today.

A multi-platform feature film, “Cesar’s Last Fast” explores the private sacrifice and spiritual conviction behind Cesar Chavez’s struggle for the humane treatment of America’s farm workers, as well as the impact Chavez’s legacy has on today’s generation of organizers fighting for the rights of farm workers.

An official selection of the 2014 Sundance Festival, the documentary is built around powerful, never-before-seen footage of Chavez’s 1988 “Fast for Life,” a 36-day act of what he described as penance for not having done enough to stop growers from spraying pesticides on farm workers. (more…)

Allegheny College Students Help Area Children Through Free Children’s Dental Health Fair

Feb. 9, 2015 — Students from Allegheny College’s Pre-Dental Society are teaming up with Meadville Medical Center to host a free Children’s Dental Health Fair for the community.

The fun, interactive fair for children ages 18 and under will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Lew Davies Community Building, 1034 Park Ave. It is being held as part of National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month in February.

The fair will include a fluoride station, healthy food demonstrations, good hygiene techniques and community-based oral health resources, along with free games, prizes and giveaways.

“The goal is to provide a fun experience for the whole family while also giving children and adults techniques and resources they can use for a lifetime,” says Matt Zaborowski ’17, a global health major/biology minor from Bloomfield, N.Y. “We want to help the community understand how important oral health is. And at the same time, we hope to get a better idea of what some of the barriers to oral health are.” (more…)