By Rowly Brucken, Professor of History
In late May, sponsored by Norwich University’s Faculty Development Program, I paid a second visit to the Archive and Collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In response to student interest, I taught a course on baseball history in the spring of 2016. The popularity of the course led me to submit a successful application to the Honors Council to create “inter-disciplinary Adventures in Baseball,” a seminar-type class for honors freshmen in the fall of 2016. I will teach that course again this fall. Using baseball as the central theme, students read poetry and short stories, learned about the game’s physics, statistics, and stadium architecture, played bat-and-ball games that might have evolved into baseball, led discussions on class readings, and wrote research papers.
A year ago, I worked with Ms. Cassidy Lent at the Hall of Fame to examine primary sources for the honors course. I photocopied scrapbooks compiled by the earliest “base ball” clubs in New York City in the 1840s, blueprints and construction records for Ebbets Field in New York and Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, and duplicated old scorecards from famous games. We found letters between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, including the famous “Green Light” letter in which the president approved of continued ball-playing despite WWII rationing restrictions. I utilized these and other archival sources in my honors class.
I returned to the Hall of Fame in May to obtain more historical records in preparation for teaching the history class again. I reviewed the papers of August “Garry” Herrmann (the first Chairman of the National Commission from 1902-1927), A. G. Mills (the first president of the National Association from 1877-1929), Jules Tygiel (the foremost historian of the Negro Leagues), and Landis (Commissioner of baseball, 1921-1944). The archives also possess copies of player contracts and hearings on contract disputes, records of the Official Athletic Almanac of the American Expeditionary Forces (WWI), and issues of Stars and Stripes, the newspaper of the U.S. armed forces (WWII). Given that the honors class investigated the fixing of the 1919 World Series (the infamous “Black Sox” scandal), I also reviewed newspaper articles, records of baseball’s official investigation, and financial records about the players and gamblers involved.
By John G. Dulmage ’12, Adjunct Faculty Member
NU College of Liberal Arts and College of Graduate and Continuing Studies
Kevin Fleming, Ph.D., chairman of the Psychology and Education Department, has a vision for applied psychology in a global cultural context. Beginning in fall 2016, Norwich University, in cooperation with g-Meo, a global education collaborative, and one of its consortium partners, Concordia University of Chicago, introduced Cross-Cultural Psychology at the Chengdu American Center for Study Abroad.
The spring minisemester expanded to include Social Psychology and Cross-Cultural Psychology for its second time. Summer Session 1 in June and July, in cooperation with another consortium partner, Fairleigh Dickinson University, welcomed four Norwich students (Sana Hamze ’20, Damon Watkins ’20, Morgan Chapman ’18, and Emily Johnston ’20) who will attend five weeks of class in Developmental Psychology and the flagship standard, Cross-Cultural Psychology.
Under Norwich Adjunct Faculty member John Dulmage’s leadership, these courses deliver content with a cultural emphasis. Dulmage has reached out to the Chinese service and business community, creating sustainable relationships that will enrich student academic experiences and social lives while in Chengdu.
Students have immersed themselves in Mandarin and in cultural excursions, stressing practical elements at local human service organizations. Current students have also visited Xi’an, the site of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, and the Chinese Opera, made dumplings with local Chinese families, visited the city’s historical sites, played traditional Chinese musical instruments under the guidance of Sichuan University Music Observatory students and, of course, shopped at ultramodern malls such as the student favorite, Raffles City.
Chengdu is a modern 21st century city of 14 million people, bustling with traditional values linked with newly sought westward-leaning aspirations. Students have discovered that Chinese students have much to offer the world but also are willing to learn Western values and beliefs. Also, American students can participate in many team-building sport activities while they are here. They also visit various corporate organizations as part of their professional development to investigate internship possibilities.
Following the lead of the Norwich Criminal Justice Program in recent years, the Norwich psychology program is establishing itself as a principal partner in providing student enrollment and programmatic leadership in two pivotal Norwich academic disciplines.
What is the next frontier? Simply bringing more Chinese students to Norwich and encouraging more Norwich students to enroll in the Chengdu Study Abroad Program.
The door is open…
By Amy Woodbury Tease, Associate Professor of English
July 5, 2017
CoLA undergraduates were recognized for their achievements in research and creative inquiry at the 2017 Student Scholarship Celebration, which took place during the first week of May. Over 60 undergraduates across disciplines presented posters discussing the results of their research projects at the 15th Annual Poster Session held in Plumley Armory. Among the selected participants were twenty CoLA students with majors in Criminal Justice, English, Psychology, History, and Political Science. Faculty and students from the university community turned out to support their exceptional work and engage in conversation inspired by their projects. This event culminated in an awards ceremony where Undergraduate Research Program Director Amy Woodbury Tease recognized the incoming cohort of Summer Research Fellows, including the following CoLA students and mentors: Fareed Ahmadi ’19 (Dr. Rowland Brucken), Morgan Chapman ’18 (Dr. Kyle Pivetti), Spencer Duhamel ’18 (Dr. Dalyn Luedtke), Sean Michael McCrystal ’18 (Dr. Mi Ri Kim), Ian Stephens ’18 (Dr. Yangmo Ku), Jonathan Wriston ’18 (John Hart). Undergraduate Research Fellows will be working on their projects throughout the summer, with topics ranging from nation-building to the US “pivot to Asia” to language and rhetoric to Japanese military history.
The Student Scholarship Celebration also included oral presentations by CoLA students, including: Andrea Pennock ’17 (A Millennial’s Assessment of Underage Drinking), Cody Isaiah Hubbard ’18 (The Demographic Statistics of Prison Suicide), Bradley Raabe (Prisoner Transferal: A Symptom of Correctional Malpractice), Nicole Goudreault ’18 (Criminalization of Mental Illness: The Effects on the Criminal Justice System), Shawn Robert A. Houle ’19 (Support for Intergovernmental Organizations: How Ideology and Policy Preference Affect Support for IGOs), Daniel Valdes ’17 (Public Opinion on Immigration and the 2016 Presidential Election), Nate Leach ’19 (The Honduran Effort: US Policy and Responsibility towards Latin America), and Jacob M. Markwood ’21 (The Inner Darkness: PTSD Displayed in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now).
The Undergraduate Research Program will host Brown Bag Discussions featuring the work of our summer fellows, as well as other undergraduate researchers across disciplines, throughout the summer. A schedule of events will be posted on my.norwich.edu. We hope to see continued participation in these events by CoLA faculty and students!
By Michan Myer, Associate Director of the Center for Writing and Lecturer in English
July 5, 2017
It’s no secret that college students burn the proverbial midnight oil—especially when they are faced with final exams and papers. University libraries, including Norwich’s Kreitzberg Library, have long responded accordingly, extending hours as late as 2 a.m. to accommodate late-night studies. In like fashion, Norwich’s dedicated writing coaches decided to meet students where they most needed help—even if it meant eschewing some beauty sleep.
Planning for the “All Night Write” began at the Northeast Writing Center Association’s annual conference at PACE University in April where Norwich’s writing coaches not only shared their research and experience, but also won a team scholarship for student excellence. After attending a workshop at the conference, the coaches set to work, and the first annual event came together. Instead of leaving students to toil in lonely, energy-drink-fueled confusion, The Center for Writing coaches decided to hold an all-hands-on-deck writing event on the eve of finals for the spring semester. On April 30, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., writing coaches led 30-minute walk-in sessions, accompanied by the important support of food and coffee.
What a night it was! Coaches held over 50 writing sessions, and students brought all types and levels of writing assignments, from first-year English essays to engineering and history thesis projects. The atmosphere was percolating with collaboration and brewing coffee. Students and coaches alike infused their projects energy and excitement, and new ideas met excellence in expression as the coaching sessions progressed.
Graduating senior engineering student and writing coach Artmiz Golkaramnay remarked, “I felt helpful! And the students seemed to feel like they got the help they needed too.” The collaboration extended beyond the sessions as well, with many students remaining in the second floor study area and calling on the “floating coach” for quick citation questions, sentence read-throughs, and moments of encouragement. In fact, the turn-out exceeded expectations, resulting in the delicious O’Maddi’s food being devoured before 10 .pm. Even after the food was gone, though, the coffee and tea were flowing—and the ideas followed suit—until the very end of the event. The final coaching session wrapped up at 2:05 am, when a security officer informed the team that the building was closing.
The “All Night Write” was a rousing success, with students commenting that the only improvement they could think of for next year would be more food (isn’t it always?!). It’s safe to say that the Norwich community can look forward to many more excellent collaborations as The Center for Writing continues to work to promote a culture of writing across campus.
August 30, 2017
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Travis Morris is a terrorism and policing scholar, who directs the Peace & War Center at Norwich University. He is the author of the recent book Dark Ideas, an exploration of how violent jihadists and neo-Nazis ideologues have shaped modern terrorism. On Tuesday, Morris addressed the Norwich community at Convocation. A copy of his prepared remarks follows.
President Schneider, Provost Afentio, deans, faculty, staff, guests, and most importantly the class of 2021: It is indeed an honor for me to be here today.
Incoming students, let me again welcome you to Norwich University. It’s a well-known fact that the audiences rarely remember what a speaker says. So with that in mind, I’ll be direct.
Each one of you is taking a risk by sitting there. Let me explain.
You face numerous challenges over the course of four years. And as you know, every challenge has two sides, success or failure.
As you think about your upcoming four years at Norwich, expect to be tested, intellectually, ethically, and some of you, physically. Expect to ask numerous questions. Expect to learn who you really are and make lifelong friends. Expect to emerge from Norwich more informed, service oriented, and a better person. I know that you have already thought about this and this is why you chose to come to Norwich. Norwich has been in the business of producing some of finest leaders, who have impacted countless lives around the globe and by sitting in those chairs, you aspire to join their ranks. You, however, are at the beginning of this journey, but you are not on this journey and risk taking alone.
The administration, faculty, and staff want you to succeed. We want you to excel and make us proud. But at the same time, we want you to be challenged, so that you leave here with the ability to make the world a better place. We know that some of you sitting here will reach the top positions in the military, government, corporations, academia, the arts, technology, engineering, medicine, law enforcement, and non-profits. We also know that some of you will face tremendous academic, personal, relational, and professional challenges during your four years. However, thousands have gone before you. But as General Sullivan states, “Hope is not a method.” You won’t make it back to these seats for graduation four years from now based on hope.
Taking risks is really a Norwich tradition. “I Will Try,” our motto, is really about taking a risk. That’s it. Norwich’s motto means that you take risks. You either make the shot or not. You either graduate or don’t. You pass the test or not. You either save the life or don’t. I also believe that “I will try” was never meant to be said in a comfortable chair or in a lackadaisical tone. Often the Norwich motto is uttered in stressful, uncertain situations with high stakes.
The first Norwich risk taker was our founder, Capt. Alden Partridge. You’ll pass his statue who knows how many times during your four years at Norwich. His ability to face challenges and take risks have impacted thousands. And you and everyone else sitting here today is part of his legacy. However, his actions took place a long time ago and have normalized over time. The courage required or the consequences of failure is often forgotten or taken for granted. It’s hard to picture Capt. Partridge sitting at his desk in 1866 after ... the impact of the Civil War. He began the fall semester with only 19 students. Imagine the risks involved! Or Dr. Homer L. Dodge, former Norwich professor and president, was also a risk taker. Like Capt. Partridge, he challenged teaching conventions of the day. He also visited a young man in Omaha, Nebraska, named Warren Buffet, before Buffet became one of the richest men in the world. Dr. Homer L. Dodge liked what he heard and invested thousands of dollars based on this young man’s advice, and guess what? That risk paid off. His thousands became millions. Taking risks can end in success sometimes.
If you allow me to offer you some points from my perspective that may be of benefit to you as you take risks and face the upcoming challenges during your time at Norwich. In some small way, I hope to share some lessons learned. These points are meant to assist you and come from serving as a Ranger-qualified infantry officer with the 10th Mountain Division, my years as a police officer, and as a criminologist at Norwich.
You cannot do it alone. You cannot do it alone. The United States Army Ranger School is one of the toughest training courses the Army has to offer. To me, a 22-year-old at the time, Army Ranger School was a lifetime of challenges, with the very real risk of failure crammed into a few months. Ranger students train to exhaustion, pushing the limits of their minds and bodies. Ranger School students learn whether they can lead or follow when tired, hungry, physically on the edge of exhaustion, and pushed to their often previously untested limits. Ranger School was more like getting into a car wreck. It was a collision, not a jostle. I learned that it is possible to actually sleep and walk at the same time. At one point in the school I thought the sunset was a mountain rock ledge that I continually tried to step under but later realized that it really was a hallucination caused by carrying over a hundred pounds of gear, starvation, sleep deprivation, pushed physical limits, and the stress of being evaluated. To be sure, any soldier who attends Ranger School will be a better leader for it.
You see, no matter how prepared you are mentally or physically, you will break down at some point. You’ll have moments where you think you just can’t go any farther, and you need someone to tell you that there is only one mile left, someone to take 25 pounds of equipment off your back so you can make it up the mountain or through the swamp. You have a Ranger buddy, someone who you are paired with throughout the entire school if you both make it through. Your Ranger buddy not only helps, but becomes someone you don’t want to let down. You actually can do more than you imagine because someone is there to push and support you. Being a lone ranger is not the goal, and my Ranger buddy is a lifelong friend. There is a reason that some of you call each other Rook buddies—you need them.
You may not know this now but you soon will: You are surrounded by some of the finest faculty and staff in the United States. I’m honored to know them and call them colleagues. They are here to push you, challenge you. But also assist you to carry your academic load when you feel like you can’t go any further. Notice I said, “assist.” You still have to shoulder the weight. But they will both encourage you and hold you to a standard. They will see potential in you that some of you don’t currently. Some of them will spark an idea, offer a word of encouragement, challenge you in such a way that it will alter your life path. Some of you will stay in contact with them for the rest of your lives (or theirs), because they played a pivotal role in impacting you during your time here. So remember: You cannot do it alone. Depend on others. Find a mentor.
Own your mistakes. Some of you have been pulled over by a police officer. In another life, before academia, I used to be that guy who met you by the side of your vehicle. I have heard every excuse imaginable and those even unimaginable. These include, after finding drugs in a suspect’s pants pocket, being told with a straight face that these were not his pants. He just put them on at a party he just left. I never asked why he wasn’t wearing pants at the party in the first place. What I learned from those thousands of interactions with the public was that some people were honest, despite what they had done, and told the truth. They owned that they had broken the law. They had moral courage and recognized they had made a mistake when they, in fact, had.
You will make mistakes at Norwich. Some of you more than others. However, be honest and tell your professors, cadre, RA, parents, friends that you made a mistake. Corruption begins at the smallest levels at first, and then it will grow. Own your mistakes. Learn from them. Deal with the consequences and move on. Show yourself to be someone that others can trust.
Small tasks turn into large ones. Some of you in the distant future will write a dissertation for a PhD. While some of you this year will feel like you are working on a dissertation, you can be certain that the faculty will tell you that you are not. I look to my colleagues, who know how arduous, psychologically challenging, and difficult the dissertation process can be. Fifty percent of PhD students don’t finish and most of it has to do with not being able to finish the dissertation. During the dissertation process, you have a committee that reviews your work. When I was almost at the end of my dissertation, a committee member told me that I had to make certain changes. However, these changes would take over a year to complete. A year or more. The next day, as I sat looking at an empty computer screen trying to move the project forward and wondering how I was going to support my family, progress started with one small task. Putting words on a page. Words were soon typed on the screen, which then become sentences, which became pages, which become chapters and moved the project ahead one day at a time or really one word at a time. The dissertation was successfully defended and that chapter closed.
Translation to you… . Don’t get overwhelmed by the challenge of your papers, projects, or labs. Pick one thing you can do, be consistent, and do it. These small things will eventually lead to completing a larger, much more complex project.
Put yourself in unfamiliar territory. In 2017, news about the nation of Yemen, which is located at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, involves war, al Qaeda, ISIS fighters, or the biggest cholera outbreak in decades. However, I was able to do some research there several years ago. Yes, those news headlines are unfortunately true. But they’re not the only Yemen. Just like there is never one side to a cube. One cannot simply paint a nation, region, or a people group with broad brush strokes. To me, Yemen reminds me of some of the most hospitable people I’ve ever met, amazing mountaineers, unsurpassed scenery, kindness, and a remarkable history. Being in unfamiliar territory can often challenge your own biases or assumptions. You leave seeing yourself and that territory with enlightenment.
You are in unfamiliar territory right now. NU is unfamiliar to you, the Corps is unfamiliar, university academics is unfamiliar, and Vermont may be unfamiliar. But, believe it or not, this will soon become your new normal. You and your environment will equalize. Don’t become stagnate when it does.
There are [many] nations represented at Norwich. Make it a goal of yours to welcome them, learn from them, and ask them questions. Going overseas does not have to involve physical travel. It can begin with the international student in your residence hall, classroom, or platoon. Study overseas if you can. And if you can’t, spend a semester overseas, participate with NU Visions Abroad or another overseas NU experience. Continue to find unfamiliar territory for you to explore.
Believe that you are talented. Every one of us is talented. Some talents are more visible and valued than others, but we all have them. I can remember a student in class a couple years ago who may represent, in some way, the way some of you may think right now. When I asked a question during class, he would almost always raise his hand and give a well-thought, articulate answer. One day after class, we had a conversation, and I was shocked to hear him describe himself as being “not that smart.” I disagreed and questioned why he thought this way and was told that he was not a good test-taker. He was told by a teacher in high school that he was not intelligent and should focus on athletics. Maybe he needed to learn how to take tests more effectively. Maybe others only saw his kinesthetic intelligence. Maybe he did not know the most effective way to process information. But somehow along the way, they missed that he was intelligent. Although this may not be the case for you, it’s important for you to find your true talents and be proud of them.
It is critically important for you to know that you are talented and to be confident in whatever it is you can do well, even to the point when others tell you the opposite. For some of you, you’ll discover your talents here at Norwich. You’ll find that you can write, translate, solve, interpret, mediate, create, make, and the list goes on. Believe in your talents.
Make the most of every situation. Like it or not you now live in Vermont. Make the most of your time here, enjoy it. This will become easier after your rook year. There are always positive rays of light no matter where you are. I agree, sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the rays can be very dim, but they are there. The challenge is to find them, but you can. But for you, you’re in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Don’t become numb to the beauty around you, no matter what the season, and chose to make the most of this special place you now reside. Making the most of every situation is more about a philosophy than Vermont. Some of you, though you don’t know it now, will find yourself in very tough and unwelcoming places. Make the most of it, and try to see the best in others.
Class of 2021, you are beginning a journey that involves risk, but it will change you. Four years from now you will not be the same person. One of the rewards staff and faculty share is to see how you change from first year students to seniors. You will face challenges. You will fail and you will succeed. But in the end, when you are sitting here once again for graduation, you will be prepared to lead others through some of the most difficult circumstances this world can throw at you. Becoming that type of person does not happen by hoping it does or without thoughtful planning. For almost 200 years, Norwich University faculty and staff have helped students like you give the world hope and set an example of what it means to be a leader, work hard, make the right choice, and get the most out of life. When you walk past Capt. Alden Partridge’s statue remember that he was a risk taker. He worked with others. He was honest, talented. He made mistakes and made the best of situations. Your Norwich journey started a few days ago when you arrived on campus. Remember that you are not alone in this process. Use all of Norwich’s resources to prepare you to lead, serve, and impact the world. Four years will go by fast. So make the most of your time at Norwich. Make us proud now and in the future. We’ll see you in the classroom tomorrow.