Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Literature and Medicine--Why One Doctor Started a Book Club

Surgical resident Dr. Daniel Marchalik reads Emily Dickinson to medical students.  An undergraduate English major, he found himself returning to literature "to help me formulate questions I had trouble pinning down, like why it was so easy to ignore the dead (and later, living) bodies around me? Illustrated cross-sections of the brain did little to illuminate the workings of my own mind. I needed time and space for introspection."  Dr. Marchalik claims that reading and thinking about books helps to counter the "practiced detachment" cultivated in his work--read why he calls literature "the anatomy lab of the mind":

Reading Novels at Medical School 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

The English community--faculty and students alike--sends the Class of 2016 off with warm wishes for every future success.  We were pleased to snap this photo just before the Commencement exercises began.  Department faculty were on hand to witness our grads cross the stage and change their tassles--the English Department was especially proud when Daniel Gertis was announced as the recipient of the prestigious Charles Lumsden Award, Daemen College's highest honor, given to the senior with the highest cumulative GPA.  Daniel will continue his education by beginning a Master's program in Media Studies at The New School in New York City.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

English Dinner Honors Graduates and Majors

The English Department hosted its annual awards dinner last night in Alumni Lounge.  This year’s theme, “Dining around the Mediterranean,” featured dishes representing Greece, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Kayla Kamp, Stephanie Parwulski, Daniel Gertis & Ann Marie Rose
The event celebrated the graduation of seniors Laura Bowman, Daniel Gertis, Kayla Kamp, Stephanie Parwulski, Ann Marie Rose, and Yolanda Stewart-Jones, who were honored with Daemen College pens and a corsage or boutonniere  presented by the department.

The three departmental awards were announced.  Daniel Gertis was awarded the John T. Masterson Award for literature and writing, Ann Marie Rose received the Katherine Sullivan Award for an outstanding student entering the field of English teaching, and Stephanie Parwulski was honored with the Senior Thesis Award for her essay on Maya Angelou.  All three awards will be presented before the Daemen College community at the Annual Excellence Awards Ceremony on May 20th.

Andreah Mott, Kelly Ferreira, and Sara Hornung
Summer Phillipson and Jeremia Squires were honored for their work on The Insight.  They will receive awards at the Student Leadership Awards ceremony.

Rising juniors Alexandra Danks, Kelly Ferreira, Sara Hornung, Andreah Mott, Hanna Perillo, and Summer Phillipson were formally awarded Upper Division status.

Seniors passed small candles to members of the Class of 2019, just completing their first year.
Samantha Then, Alisha Espinosa, Brooklyn Crockton, Cassandra Johnson,
Heather Brady, Mikyla Fisher, Connor Lotempio, and Jeremia Squires

Photo credit: Dr. Charlie Wesley

Monday, April 25, 2016

Banquet Celebrates Shakespeare's 400th

Students in the Shakespeare Onstage Learning Community held a Shakespeare Banquet in Alumni Lounge on April 20th, featuring scenes from Hamlet, directed by Dr. Robert Waterhouse.  Students have been working through the play's text in the literature class taught by Dr. Nancy Marck Cantwell.

Ophelia and Hamlet

English major Connor LoTempio took the stage as the melancholic Dane Hamlet along with Mikyla Fisher as Hamlet’s distraught love, Ophelia, and Wayne LeBlanc as her scheming father, Polonius.   Brian Kowalik was commanding as the Ghost of Hamlet’s father; English major Sara Hornung played his elegant but faithless mother, Queen Gertrude, while Nicholas Russo was stately and treacherous as the murderous King Claudius.  
Polonius (r) introduces King Claudius and Queen Gertrude

LeBlanc’s Polonius acted as major domo for the evening, announcing the courses in character to the accompaniment of Matthew Dalley’s royal fanfare on the herald’s trumpet.

Soldiers see a Ghost

Faith Torres as Horatio, along with soldiers Barnardo, Francisco, and Marcellus—played by Lara Krys, Cieran Bailey, and English major Brooklyn Crockton—trembled visibly in the Ghost’s presence, as he revealed the "murder most foul."  

Tyler Smith and Chandler Jeacoma produced and directed two short films to bring the well-known story to its fatal close; in “A Document in Madness” Ophelia (Fisher) enters a downward spiral after Hamlet’s rejection and her father’s death, while “Goodnight, Sweet Prince” offers a montage of the death scenes of all the principal characters.

The Mousetrap--Hamlet's play-within-a-play enacting Claudius's murder of his brother, usurpation of the crown, and seduction of Queen Gertrude--was performed by puppeteers Faith Torres, Alex Quinn, Iyanna Taylor, Kseniya Myalik, Brian Kowalik,, and Lara Krys, with puppets loaned by theatreFiguren.

Other students in the Learning Community contributed to the banquet by selecting the Renaissance menu, decorating the hall, working on publicity (including Hamlet t-shirts worn by the crew), and collecting costumes and props.

April 23 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Photo credits: John B. Poisson

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Amherst Advertising Firm Seeks Interns

Quinlan, an advertising agency in Amherst, New York, is currently looking for four internship positions:
  • Summer 2016 content marketing intern
  • Fall 2016 content marketing intern
  • Summer 2016 account service intern
  • Fall account 2016 service intern
The content marketing intern would be responsible for helping the content marketing team write blogs, assist with social media and engage with influencers in our clients' industries, among other things.

The account service intern, on the other hand, would be responsible for assisting with project coordination, developing schedules/driving project execution with the creative team, researching client industries and competitors and more.

For further information and to apply, please contact Grace Gerass at

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 Grad Gets Law School Scholarship

The English Department proudly announces that senior Kayla Kamp has been admitted to the Charleston School of Law in Charleston, South Carolina, where she has been awarded a scholarship
valued at $30,000.  She says that the critical thinking skills she acquired as an English major particularly helped her to prepare for the LSAT exam, which required "reasoning through questions and coming up with answers that might not be obvious at first."

Congratulations, Kayla--we wish you well as you begin this new adventure!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Students Learn about Children's Book Publishing

Senior English major Stephanie Parwulski and senior Liberal Studies major Jinell Webb are currently assisting a local author, Dave Bauer, with the marketing of his newly-released children’s book, What’s Under That Rock, Papa?, published by Brandylane Publishers. The book encourages children and adults to share quality time together in nature. Reading the book creates a shared experience for a child and adult to discover the wonders of nature in everyday places. His grandchildren, Serea and Kai, served as the inspiration for writing this book. A series of outdoor adventures are captured in the pages. Discoveries, such as the zoo of insects that the children uncover beneath a big piece of slate and the visceral experience of holding a live toad in their hands, remind us that children view their world through a remarkably unique lens. Readers of this book will find that children are natively creative and spontaneous when given access to local places in nature. By allowing a child to be the leader of nature discovery, a fascinating world will unfold before an adult’s eyes!

Stephanie is deeply grateful for this inspiring experience, from helping Mr. Bauer edit his manuscript to attending readings at local schools. Furthermore, she appreciates that this project always encourages her to think creatively. Stephanie states, “I am so honored to be involved with this incredible children’s book project. This journey has helped my leadership skills and confidence to grow and has further nurtured my genuine love for literature and composition. I am so thankful to be working alongside an amazing team of people in the effort of sharing Dave’s book with his readers.”

Jinell shares what she finds most inspiring about this project: “The reason why I said yes to this internship is because during the interview process, I was immediately excited about what Dave was trying to do. I began to get excited at what the future entailed and started to look forward to participating in this journey and experience he spoke about. I believe in Dave, his book, and his vision. Being able to be part of this project creates a new opportunity for me because I’m able to learn from him and be a part of a team. Being that I came aboard on the beginning stages of his newly published hard copy books, I am just excited to embark on this journey to see how this grows and to actively participate in this process.”

To explore the exciting journey of What’s Under That Rock, Papa? further, please visit the links for the book’s website and Facebook pages that are included below.
Book Facebook page:

by Stephanie Parwulski