Abbey Players Open Family Weekend With "A Hawk's Life"

"A Hawk's Life" Family Weekend Show 2015

Lights, camera, action! It is that time of year for the annual Family Weekend Show, “A Hawk’s Life.” This weekend, the Anselmian Abbey Players will perform this student-run show about life at Saint Anselm.

"A Hawk's Life" Family Weekend Show 2015The Family Weekend show, featuring 43 students, is a sequence of nine vignettes about the experiences of college life. “A Hawk’s Life” follows the year of a freshman as he experiences events such as orientation, roommate conflicts, the gingerbread competition, finals, senior graduation, and leaving for the summer.

Photo Gallery: "A Hawk's Life"

Students auditioned during the second week of September and have been practicing four days a week, three hours a day since. However, without the leadership and guidance of the show’s creative team, this would not have been possible. The creative team includes Kaity Beaumont ’16 (writer; director), Ginger Gates ’17 (music director) Marialena Bazzano ’16 (choreographer), Katie Corbett ’16 (producer, choreographer), and Morgan Turnbull ’17 (producer).

The writing of “A Hawk’s Life” began back in the spring semester of last year. Kaity Beaumont created the plot and major events for the show around re-written Saint A’s oriented song lyrics. She chose a creative team for running the show and presented her script to the Abbey Players, having it selected at the end of April.

The show includes traditional Broadway, Disney, pop, and rock songs. Beaumont tried to select songs and events that are relative to a wide audience in order to connect with both students and parents.

“I chose to incorporate things that everyone goes through in college, and also things specific to Saint A’s. I wanted to include snippet of life here to show how unique and special our school is and paint an accurate picture of college life,” says Beaumont.

One of the scenes included is the annual gingerbread competition, featuring an all boys musical number. The sequence shows the boys arguing over what to make for the competition through the popular Backstreet Boys’ song “I Want it that Way.”

Over the summer, Beaumont sent multiple drafts of the script to her team and the process has been ongoing. Ginger Gates reviewed the songs chosen for the show and began recruitment for the student pit band. Meanwhile, Marialena Bazzano and Katie Corbett began the choreography; each creating four dances independently while collaborating on the opening number.

“[I] had to keep in mind that everyone’s dancing levels were different, as they varied from experienced to beginner,” said Corbett.

“But I believe that the choreography for the show is able to showcase everyone and their talents, as well as be simple enough that everyone, regardless of their dancing skills, would be able to enjoy.”

Besides co-choreographing the show, Corbett, along with Morgan Turnbull, serves as co-producers for the production. Both of them are in charge of communicating with the cast when it comes to detailing out weekly rehearsal schedules as well as keeping track of the progress of the show. Furthermore, as stage managers, they make sure the scenes will run smoothly.

Although putting on the show takes a lot of time and effort, it is worth the hard work. Beaumont expressed, “The experience has been so wonderful! It has been a lot to juggle, but every second has been worth it. It is surreal to see something that you created come to fruition.”

Corbett adds, “I have enjoyed watching the show itself grow into an amazing production.”

The Abbey Players will perform two productions of “A Hawk’s Life”: Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Dana Center. Tickets are $8.

Zoos, Music, and WWII: A Sample of 2015 Fall Courses

BI 335: Animal Behavior

Visiting the zoo, learning to play a new instrument, and reading texts about Nazi Germany are a sample of what students are doing at the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Animal Behavior, Reading Seminar: Nazi Germany, and Studies in Music Performance are three courses that are bound to give students an interesting and fun Fall Semester.

BI 335: Animal Behavior

This course offers an introduction to basic animal behaviors and the mechanisms that drive them. Taught by Professor Lori LaPlante, the course lectures cover an array of topics ranging from evolution to neurobiology, genetics, and territoriality.

A unique and major component of the class is a semester-long zoo project at the Stone Zoo. For the project, each student has to complete an observational study on an animal of his or her choice.

The study requires students to develop a research hypothesis, collect observational data, analyze the data, and draw conclusions about his/her animal. According to LaPlante, students have chosen an array of unique and exotic animals including flamingoes, snow leopards, reindeer, and tamarins.

Biology and Psychology major Courtney Russell ’16 chose to take the class last year because she originally wanted to become a veterinarian. For her animal study, she observed the vigilant versus day-to-day behaviors of Cotton Top Tamarins, an endangered species. Although difficult, she was able to support her hypothesis that vigilance occurs more frequently in the wild than in captivity.

She feels that the lectures and project was very beneficial and also helped valuable writing experience needed for other classes.

“I greatly enjoyed having Professor LaPlante as a teacher and taking this class. The information presented was very interesting and presented in a way that was easy to remember,” said Russell.

“I would definitely suggest this class to students majoring in Biology and Psychology as well as anyone interested in animal behavior.”

HI 489: Reading Seminar: Nazi Germany

For many majors, seniors are required to write a Research Thesis in order to finish their degree requirements. However, the History Department offers senior History majors two choices: a Research Seminar or Reading Seminar.

The difference between the two courses is that the Research Seminar allows students to develop, research, and write on a topic of their choosing. On the other hand, the Reading Seminar analyzes and discusses works on an area of historical study as a class. This fall, Department Chair Phil Pajakowski chose a Reading Seminar related to Nazi Germany.

“Nazi Germany is a good subject for such a seminar because this period in German history has attracted enormous interest and study among historians, and has given rise to great questions of interpretation,” Pajakowski states.

“Nazism evokes evaluation of the ways historians come to grips with a difficult subject.”

Unlike most history majors, Kristen Van Uden (’16) is taking both Seminar courses. However, her interest in both World War II and her thesis topic did not deter her from pursuing them.

She explains, “I have always been fascinated by the Holocaust. Taking the World War II class with Professor Hugh Dubrulle last year definitely sparked my interest. I am not afraid of the work so I thought I would take a class that interested me, and related to my thesis.

Throughout the course, students will be reading and discussing a variety of books including Henry Turner’s Hitler’s Thirty Days Power: January 1933, Timothy Ryback’s Hitler’s First Victims: The Quest for Justice, Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men, Robert Gellately’s Backing Hitler, and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

MU 160: Studies in Music Performance

After offering music lessons for credit in piano and flute last fall, the Fine Arts Department is expanding its program. This semester, students will be able to take lessons in violin, organ, and voice.

Over the summer, the Department hired four part-time faculty members to teach lessons—Liesl Schoenberger Doty (violin), Eric Bermani (organ), Emily Jaworski (voice), and Nick Pothier (piano).

Liesl Schoenberger Doty explains how expanding the music department has been great for students. She says, “It is so great to be offering lessons to students. They are able to take lessons and creatively improve their musical voice. It is the core of what it means to be interested in and play music.”

Students have also found much excitement about the program expansion. “I did concert choir while in high school and have not been able to continue training during college. So I am ecstatic to be doing voice lessons this semester,” says senior voice student Alanna Tremblay.

“Even though I’ve only had two lessons so far, they have already been helpful for noticing what I have to work on as a performer.”

Tremblay also revealed how these new classes will prove beneficial to the college. “Having the opportunity to offer music classes raises the standards of the college. Saint Anselm has expanded their expectations on what a liberal arts college is all about.”

Alongside the new lessons, Professor Sean Parr is also teaching senior Fine Arts majors Billy Endicott and Emily Barrett an Independent Study course in Conducting.

Parr hopes that these new additions will have a positive impact on the Fine Arts Department. He says, “ Hopefully, these chamber ensembles will continue to gain momentum. We’re hoping that the growing interest in music performance at the college will lead to the founding of a new Chamber Orchestra for credit and perhaps even a Band.”

Adding to the individual lessons, Professor Parr has established a new choir for credit—the Chamber Singers. The group, consisting of sixteen students, will be singing a mix of secular and sacred classical music as well as Holiday songs. The singers will be presenting several outreach performances and will perform in a concert at the end of the semester.

Hawks Beat SNHU in Nationally Televised Basketball Game

Saint Anselm beats SNHU in nationally televised basketball game

It was a great day to be a Hawk today as the Saint Anselm men’s basketball team beat cross-town rival Southern New Hampshire University 83-75 in front of 1,000 fans in Saint Anselm College's Stoutenburgh Gymnasium and a national television audience.

Saint Anselm College beat SNHU in nationally televised basketball gameThe game, aired live on CBS Sports Network, was Hawks’ coach Keith Dickson’s 525th win and helped the team improve to a 14-6 season, winning seven of their last nine games.

It was a game to remember played in front of a sold-out crowd including more than 450 Saint Anselm students as well as Saint Anselm trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, monks, and friends of the college.

Led into the stands by the college’s Hawk mascot, students were decked in super fan t-shirts and face paint and kept the gym rowdy. Senior, psychology major and volleyball player Vivian Fitzgerald joined by fellow senior, politics major Guy Sergei kept the crowd energized with cheers and chants.

“It was a great game,” said Fitzgerald. “The energy in the gym was contagious and the boys brought their A-game.”

Saint Anselm athletic director Jo-Ann Nester was ecstatic about the high attendance and number of student-athletes involved including the entire field hockey team who assisted with ticketing and refreshments.

Alumnus Dave Cuzzi, class of 1996, was only one of more than 300 alumni who attended the game to support his alma mater.

“It was a lot of fun to see the game and all the students and their school spirit,” said Cuzzi.

The game also brought together friends from the classes of 1969, 1968 and 1962 as well as some Saint Anselm basketball greats who returned to campus for the special game.

Even Arthur Cummings from the class of 1953 returned to get in on the action. Particularly though, Cummings wanted to see senior point guard Dino Mallios play. Cummings has known the Mallios family for years, having taught Mrs. Elaine Mallios, Dino’s mother, in high school. The former teacher and principal of Winthrop High School in Winthrop, Mass., has recommended Saint Anselm to many a high school-er through the years.

“He’s a legend in the community,” said Mrs. Mallios.

In addition, alumni and Anselmians all over the country rooted for their Hawks from watch parties in Boston, Hartford, Long Island, and Manchester.

The Hawks return to action at home on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m. when they play host to Franklin Pierce University at Stoutenburgh.

Read more of the game highlights »

Game Day Photos

BBC Correspondent Discusses "A Journey with Hillary Clinton"

BBC Correspondent Kim Ghattas with Saint Anselm students

Although she’s lived in the U.S. for four years, reported all over the world, and traveled around the world with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, BBC correspondent Kim Ghattas had never been to New Hampshire prior to her visit to Saint Anselm College and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library on Monday, Sept. 30.

BBC Correspondent Kim Ghattas with Saint Anselm studentsGhattas, who currently covers the United States Department of State, was at the Institute discussing her new book "The Secretary: a Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power." The book explores Clinton’s handle on international relationships following the Bush era of policies. Ghattas recalls examples of her own experiences growing up in Beirut, Lebanon during the discord of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), where the general view of America was negative. From that perspective, she explained, Clinton had a refreshing outlook on foreign relationships: sympathizing with other countries while focusing on America’s ability and policies.

As Ghattas' touching and personable speech concluded she took questions from the audience of professors, students, and members of the community. As she answered, she several times referred to Clinton as “Hillary.” Although she was as uncertain as anyone else of Clinton’s political intentions, she noted the remarkable way in which the former secretary of state had created her own name, recalling one instance at a convention when an observer, seeing former President Bill Clinton, excitedly said, “There’s Hillary Clinton’s husband!”.

Concluding the event, Ghattas signed copies of her book and spoke with the students. The two hour event ended as Ghattas shook hands with the fourteen Kevin Harrington Student Ambassadors present at the event. Student ambassador Abagail Krusemark, an international relations major from the class of 2014, was particularly impressed with Ghattas’s work showing the lesser known side of Clinton.

"I was interested in Hillary Clinton not only as secretary of state but also as a person. Often, the best analysis of character, work ethic, and content comes from the inner circle. [Ghattas] gave a succinct and clear analysis—it was very enriching and enlightening. [Ghattas’s]… perspective of growing up in Lebanon [was interesting]—it was very personal.” Krusemark said.

“[It was interesting to see] how much dialogue and respect can make a difference on a national and global scale and that the role of the Secretary of State is not to be a bulldog but to be an ear. Clinton made it clear though town halls, especially with local journalists."

Learn more about upcoming NHIOP events at


Landscape Exhibition Opens at Chapel Art Center

Rain Over Ipswich by artist Sandy Wadlington

Artists, private collectors, alumni, faculty, staff and students gathered on Thursday, Sept. 26 in the college's Chapel Art Center for the opening of Reflections of the Day, an exhibition of works by Sandy Wadlington. Nearly 130 people attended the event including Wadlington.

Rain Over Ipswich by Sandy WadlingtonA New-England based artist, Wadlington is known for her American landscape naturalism and has been compared to Maxfield Parrish for her use of blue and purple. She has marked her own path with the hands-on media of pastel, caran d'ache, and color woodcuts. Modernist in their patterned simplicity, her works are said to capture the sensations of passing moments.

Private collector Jennifer Hopkins said she was most impressed with the snow scenes. “Snow is white, but it’s also blue and orange and purple. I love the way she uses color,” said Hopkins.

This recount made Wadlington laugh, “the gallery told me no snow pictures because snow is boring. But I think people can get tired of green too, and that’s why I started doing a lot of these misty landscape pictures.”

Fine Arts Professor Kimberly Kersey-Asbury and her class also attended. "Charcoal, woodblock, caran d'ache and pastels are all materials our students might have used while studying studio art here at the college. Seeing these materials applied to the familiar subjects of landscape and interiors by a working artist, can only expand a student's understanding of the media's possibility," said Professor Asbury.

"Also, the exhibition highlights the impact the choice of scale can have on the treatment of a single motif. A very different effect, very different physical presence, is achieved depending on the scale the artist has chosen."

Julia Welch, the assistant curator, assisted in putting together the exhibition, contacting private collectors for Wadlington’s work, which was discovered by the gallery’s director, Fr. Iain MacLellan. This exhibition was organized with assistance from McGowan Fine Art, Concord, N.H.

The exhibit will remain in the gallery until Dec. 7. Throughout the semester various programs be available which can be found on the Chapel Art Center's website.

Image: Rain over Ipswich, Color Woodcut (2005) Permanent Collection, Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center

Therapy Dogs Reduce Finals' Stress

Student William Endicott with three dogs at Saint Anselm College's Pet-a-Pooch

Some special guests visited campus last week thanks to three inventive students who organized the first ever "Pet-a-Pooch" to help Saint Anselm students de-stress during finals. Throughout the day, Thursday through Sunday, May 2 – 5, therapy dogs of all sizes and shapes stopped by with their owners in tow to hang out, play, and be held by eager students.

“I’m so happy people seem to be loving it,” said sophomore Meagan DiDonato who organized the program with fellow students Gianpaolo Rufo ’13 and Jon Wells ’15.

“It takes their mind off everything and they can relax. It is definitely a good study break.”

On Thursday, Diane from Paws for Friendship brought her three rescue dogs: Mojo, Sarah and Munchkin, a miniature pinscher, toy poodle, and toy Chihuahua respectively. On average 40 to 50 students at a time sat in the North Lounge in Cushing, patiently waiting their turn to hold the small dogs.

Somehow I was lucky enough to hold all three of them. It brightened up my whole week after being so totally drained from biology and french that day, it helped me unwind and relax," said freshman William Endicott.

The rest of the weekend delivered border collies, golden retrievers and Saint Bernards. Students came and went, taking study breaks or stopping-by after a final to pet the pooches.

Students from service societies Koinonia and Teddys staffed the event and the organizers hope these groups will take over organizing this event in the future, making it a tradition during finals.

Junior nursing major Molly McClintock stopped by Thursday afternoon and couldn’t get enough of little dog, Mojo. “It was good to have a brief time to get a little love and get back to work,” said McClintock.

She was only one of many who voiced their appreciation for the program and hoped they would see their furry friends again next semester.

Art Exhibition Showcases Anselmian Talent

Five Saint Anselm students were recognized for their artistic talent in the Chapel Art Center's most recent exhibition, the 12th annual Juried Fine Arts Student Exhibition. The opening reception on Thursday, April 11, showcased 29 pieces by 14 students from ceramic sculptures and photographs, to watercolor paintings and charcoal drawings. The reception, which brought together faculty, staff, students, families and community members, was followed by an awards ceremony at 7 p.m.

The top award presented to a piece that reflects the "Portraits of Human Greatness," was given to fine arts major and senior Lauren Miller for her piece, "Born and Raised." First place went to Abigail Crane '15, a nursing major, for "Victory in Death," 2012, charcoal and white chalk on paper; second place to Laryssa Feliciano '13, communications major for "Winter Scene," 2010, gouache on paper; third place was awarded to Carlo D'Anselmi '13, classics major for "Self Portrait," 2012, oil on panel.

Other honorable mention awards were given to Laryssa Feliciano '13 for "The Dance Room," Jasna Numanovic '13, a communications major, "Girl with the Red Hat,"and Miller's "Self Portrait from Life."

The pieces in the student exhibition were selectively chosen due to their impressive quality and ability to complement one another in the showcase by juror Rane Hall, a director at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

The exhibit displayed pieces that varied greatly in subject and technique, with paintings and drawings made of materials such as crayon, pen, watercolor, gouache, graphite, and chalk. The works of art focused on a variety of subjects, from self-portraits to winter scenes. In addition, two photographs and several sculptures were displayed including ceramic pieces and abstract pieces made of fabrics and household objects.

"I really appreciate the creativity and the quality of the work of the art students. It reflects the quality of education from the fine arts department and the school in general" said student-participant Dao Le '15, whose photograph, "Life's a Song" consisting of silver gelatin print, was on display.


Saint Anselm College Welcomes the Daughters of Isabella

Daughters of Isabella 2013

On Saturday, March 22, 2013, nearly 70 women from Saint Anselm College were inducted into the newly formed Saint Anselm College circle of the Daughters of Isabella. The group, which focuses on the teachings of the Catholic faith and the unity of the women involved, has brought together more than 60,000 women in Canada and the United States.

Daughters of Isabella 2013

The 2013 class of Daughters of Isabella. Photo by Dao Le '15.

Founded in 1897, the group was started as a women's version of the Knights of Columbus and focuses primarily on unity, charity, and friendship. The group’s goal is to follow in the steps of their patroness, Queen Isabella of Castile, to assist in the promotion of the good of society by following the teachings of the Catholic tradition and taking part in acts that aid in the betterment of society.

As a new addition to campus, the induction of 66 women into the group was a first in the history of Saint Anselm College. The conferral, which included the group’s chaplain Father Anselm Smedile, O.S.B., and four international members of the Daughters of Isabella, took place in a private, spiritual ceremony in the lower Abbey Church. Following the private conferral was a public induction of the group’s officers, who were accompanied by Saint Anselm College's Knights of Columbus.

After Saturday’s conferral ceremony, the new circle of the Daughters of Isabella joined together to attend the Palm Sunday Mass in the Abbey Church, followed by a reception in Cushing’s North Lounge, and the group’s first official business meeting, where the group discussed what to look forward to as the group proceeds.

Due to the hard work and tremendous efforts of sophomore founder and regent, Molly White ’15 and the group’s advisor and treasurer, Director of Campus Ministry Sue Gabert '91, the weekend was a successful and rewarding one for all involved.

“I feel so blessed to be working with such an amazing group of energetic and dedicated women. These girls have come together in faith to serve our community. Based on the motto, 'Unity, Friendship, and Charity,' the Daughters of Isabella strive to foster communities where these three characteristics thrive, and I am so grateful to all 66 of these girls for coming together with their enthusiasm to move forward serving as a new family,” said White.

All of the new members of the Daughters of Isabella are greatly looking forward to a successful future at Saint Anselm College.

Education Students Take Part in Mock Interviews

Saint Anselm education student during mock interview with principal

On Monday, March 11, 2013, students in the field of education were receiving an education of their own as they took part in mock interviews with principals from around New Hampshire. The 12 seniors with elementary education majors or secondary education minors sat down with ten current and former school principals from the Manchester, Derry, Bedford, Londonderry and Merrimack school districts to discuss how the students should conduct themselves in future interviews.

In the 7th annual event arranged by education department chair and professor Laura Wasielewski, the students were given the opportunity to network with men and women who could potentially be their future employers. During the event held at Joseph Hall, each student received direct feedback from five of the ten principals in attendance, including two Saint Anselm College alumni Ed Joyce and ’94 and Frank Hoell ’73, who instructed them on how to organize their résumés and cover letters, which gave the students the opportunity to see just what their employers would be looking for when they apply for jobs in the very near future.

Described as “A favorite event of the principal and the student,” which the principals often view as a “win, win situation,” Professor Wasielewski noted that it really helps the students make connections, which are essential to the “relational” field of education. In addition, some students were able to obtain substitute teaching positions by many of the principals in attendance.

“What is really affirming for me is that the principals speak very highly of the students’ preparation. They are strong in their content and pedagogy,” said Professor Wasielewski, who has been running this event since 2006.

However, it is not just the principals that speak highly of the event, as Lauren Ross '13 said, " I am very thankful that area principals took time out of their busy schedules to come in and meet with the senior education majors. The mock interviews provided me with an excellent insight on how the interview process works. It was a great experience which allowed me to start networking and get my name out there."

The event was a success for all in attendance, and as the seniors approach graduation, they are grateful for this experience which will be extremely beneficial to them in their search for employment.

Sophomore Nursing Students Begin Clinical Experience with Blessing

Saint Anselm College's Blessing of the Hands ceremony in the Abbey Church

“You begin your clinical experience in a very Benedictine way,” said Fr. Anselm, O.S.B. on Friday night, Jan. 25 as he blessed the hands of 94 sophomore nursing students preparing for their first clinical experience in the coming weeks. The annual Blessing of the Hands ceremony in the Abbey Church is a meaningful step for students on their journey to becoming nurses.

Saint Anselm College's Blessing of the Hands ceremony in the Abbey ChurchEach member of the nursing class of 2015, sporting his or her new navy scrubs, approached nursing faculty where they were given their blessing while Fr. Anselm reminded students that God will guide them today and every day throughout their careers as nurses.

In his address to both students, faculty, and visiting parents and friends, Fr. Anselm reminded the group of the first words of the Rule of Saint Benedict.

“Listen to your heart,” he said, “St. Benedict said to be open, be receptive, and whenever you begin a good work, you must first begin with prayer.”

Students had mixed emotions about the start of their clinical experience, which begins the first week of February. Breanna Harper '15 described the experience as “both nervous and exciting,” she said, “working with real people will definitely take some getting used to.”

Matthew Zacchilli '15 admitted, “dealing with medicine is going to be a little scary, but I am definitely more excited than nervous.”

Brittany Taylor '15 said that the blessing made her “really nervous and excited because the blessing means that clinicals are getting closer,” but that she is totally okay with her uniform. “I love my scrubs, I want to wear them every day!” She said with enthusiasm.

The Blessing of Hands was followed by a reception in the lower church, full of families congratulating their sons and daughters and students wishing each other good luck with the start of their clinicals.

Anselmian Compassion in Action
Following the Blessing of the Hands ceremony on Friday, a sophomore student was distressed to learn that her parents, who flew in from California, had unfortunately missed the ceremony by an hour. In hearing the student's sad news, the nursing department faculty immediately returned to the upper church to reenact the ceremony for the student and her family including senior nursing student Lauren Boyce who re-read her speech.

"The faculty prayed over the student and, although quick, the moment was real and very moving," said nursing professor Caryn Sheehan.

"At that time, I was bursting with pride to know that I work with such kind and thoughtful nurses. Many people talk about caring and serving Christ, but these nurses (and one nurse-to-soon-be) actually acted with their hearts. I think that they really made a difference [tonight] and should be recognized," said Sheehan.