Monday, November 23, 2015

"I Ordered Take Out That Day"- A Life Enriched with Learning

Professor Christopher O'Brien and Brandy Parker
Brandy Parker has been interested in the field of psychology and has been taking classes for several years at SUNY Delhi.  When asked how she became interested in the field of psychology she shared: “It helps me understand more about myself and I wanted to learn more about why people behave and react to things  the way they do.”  

Assistant Professor, Christopher O’Brien stated, “Brandy is performing at the top of her class. She comes prepared to class and always has insightful comments. She raises her hand often and always has something valuable to contribute.”  He stressed that there is a lot of hard work, study, and preparation that is involved in order to do well in the class.  He said, “Brandy is a strong advocate for herself.  She submits her work early and emails me to ask me to let her know how she is doing.” 

Brandy said that Professor O’Brien challenges her in her studies.  She spoke about “reaction papers” that she particularly liked.  When asked what a “reaction” paper was, Professor O’Brien explained that it is a writing assignment 3-4 pages in length using an article of the student’s choice that is fairly current (printed in the last 6 months).  He stated that he makes the assignment purposefully vague because “My hope is that they find an article that interests them.”  The first requirement of the assignment is that they engage their critical thinking skills and ask themselves reflective questions such as what some alternative explanations might be, are there any loopholes in the hypothesis, etc. “I want them to“dig deeper” he stressed.   The second requirement is that they apply the concepts they have learned in class such as establishing a hypothesis, using research methodology, selecting variables, etc.

Brandy recently had cause to celebrate, after learning of the very high mark she received on an exam.  According to Becky Townsend who attends classes with Brandy, “Brandy is very responsible and she doesn’t normally treat herself to much.” Brandy chimed in, “But I ordered take out that day!” 

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Penchant for the Arts

Shannon Robinson points out his picture on display at Evenden Tower, SUNY Delhi
Shannon Robinson has a passion for the arts. He loves listening to music and has a special place in his heart for opera. Shannon shared that as he listens to music, he likes to draw.  This peripheral interest has taken flight as Shannon began taking a course at SUNY Delhi, “Freehand Drawing” taught by Assistant Professor, Lisa Tessier.  The course helps students to see, understand, and record visually complex items. Students are taught the basic principles of design and composition using both black and white as well as colored pencils.   

Recently one of Shannon’s drawings was selected for a display at Evenden Tower located on campus. Professor Tessier said that the drawings for the display were selected based on opinions of the students as well as her own perception of how well the drawing met the requirements of the assignment.  She had tasked the class to use shadow and highlighting to create dimension in an object using a range of 4 or more values.   When Shannon learned that his drawing had been selected to be a part of the display he said “It made me feel good”.   

Professor Tessier shared that Shannon’s line work has developed a lot. “He is really starting to see lights and shadows and is using a greater range of values. “  Other items Shannon has drawn include a perspective study on a commercial building, a figure study of his own hand, and the apple drawing that is in the display at Evenden Tower.  

On a personal note, Professor Tessier said, “It is so nice to have Shannon in class; he has a “can do” attitude. When I ask him to try something he responds, “I can do that.” He exemplifies a positive attitude and I appreciate that.” 
Shannon with (L to R): Assistant Professor Lisa Tessier and fellow students Jamie Walsh and Josephine DeSanto who also had pictures in the exhibit.