Teachers on Sabbatical for the 2012-2013 Academic Year

Next year, 14 faculty members will depart to locations around the world to gain fresh perspective, further their education and serve the greater community. Temba Maqubela, Dean of Faculty, and John Rogers, Dean of Studies, approved five full-year sabbaticals, seven one-term sabbaticals and two two-term sabbaticals for the 2012-2013 school year. Holly Barnes, Instructor in Music, Lou Bernieri, Instructor in English, Lisa Joel, Abbot Cluster Dean and Associate Dean of Admission, Matthew Lisa, Instructor in Mathematics, and Teruyo Shimazu, Instructor and Chair in Japanese, will take full-year sabbaticals. Margaret Jackson, Associate Director of Graham House and Instructor in Psychology, and Leon Modeste, Instructor in Athletics and Head Coach of Varsity Football were granted two-term sabbaticals. Max Alovisetti, Director of Graham House and Instructor and Chair in Psychology, Brian Cox, Head Trainer and Instructor in Athletics, John Maier, Instructor in Spanish, Kevin O’Connor, Instructor in English, Tony Rotundo, Instructor in History, Emily Trespas, Instructor in Art, and Judith Wombwell, Instructor in Theatre and Dance, will take one-term sabbaticals next year. Max Alovisetti Alovisetti will spend fall term studying and taking courses in mediation and conflict resolution. He said, “I do mediation with roommates. I do mediation with faculty… Faculty can speak with me with problems they have with their employer or other colleagues. Mediation is a very important tool in resolving these issues because I’m not a judge who can come down to what’s right and what’s wrong.” He said, “[Mediation] is an area that I’ve been interested in for a while and I’m fortunate enough to be given the time and the resources to pursue it. I look forward to being able to use these skills in my work here with students, families as well as colleagues.” During his sabbatical, Alovisetti will also work in the Boston Court system as a volunteer mediator. Holly Barnes Next year, Barnes will be off-campus researching ethnomusicology, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as the scientific study of music, especially traditional or non-Western music, as an aspect of culture. In the fall, she will travel to Brown University and study with Jeff Todd Titon, a renowned professor of music and author of several books on ethnic music. During the winter, she will go to Stanford University to continue her research. “I’m really excited about it. I’ve never studied ethnomusicology. To be able to work with people who are the top of their field, is incredible,” said Barnes. She hopes to bring back ideas from her research to integrate into the Andover Music Department curriculum, particularly at the introductory music levels. “We have such a diverse student body here, and we would like to see the offerings in the Music Department to be more inclusive of music from around the world,” she continued. “[Stanford University has] a lot of small performance ensembles. They have a mariachi band and every kind of ethnic music. So I’ll be watching these performance groups and getting ideas for things we might do here,” said Barnes. Barnes will also take time during her sabbatical to improve her violin playing. “I teach the 500-level [music] course which is performance-based. These are kids who are really committed to their instruments. They’re really practicing a lot. I feel like it’s important for me to not only have the experience to teach them but also to keep my performance at a level that is still very, very artistic.” Lou Bernieri Bernieri will spend his year working with the Bread Loaf Teaching Network, an organization he founded in 1985 that connects teachers in Lawrence to create a supplemental education system, with an emphasis on writing education. It currently has connections with every youth group in the town of Lawrence, including the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, Movement City and the Youth Development Organization. Bernieri will continue to build up “extended learning” programs by partnering with more schools. “One of the things we’ve seen is there’s this unbelievable demand and passion for writing, particularly for writing poetry in Lawrence. It goes from first grade up to 12th grade and no one’s really taken advantage of that. Kids will give up whole Saturdays or three weeks of their summer to come to poetry writing programs and workshops,” said Bernieri. Although the program already has branches established in New York, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Bernieri hopes to travel to each location and help develop their teaching plans. He will also spend time writing a history of Bread Loaf, outlining the methodology and development of the organization. Brian Cox During the fall, Cox will self-study to obtain certification as a strength and conditioning coach through a program offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Academy. The certification program is supported through a faculty development grant, according to Cox. “[My] end goal is to put myself in a position to be a greater resource for our student-athletes who are committed to improving their overall athletic performance,” wrote Cox in an email to The Phillipian. Though he will be on sabbatical, Cox will remain on campus in the fall and will continue to serve as a house counselor in Taylor Hall. Margaret Jackson Throughout the winter and spring, Jackson will study meditation and its applications in psychotherapy. She hopes to be able to teach and counsel students who come to Graham House using relaxation and meditation techniques. “[The techniques] can be applied to courts. I do volunteer mediation in Boston small claims courts. [These techniques] can also [be applied] within families and in terms of relationships. This is an area I’ve been interested in for a while and I’m fortunate enough to be given the time and resources to pursue it in the fall term.” She also hopes to have the opportunity to complete the Camino del Santiago pilgrimage. Two years ago, she and her husband walked the last 100 kilometers of the pilgrimage. “It was such a profound experience for us that I’d like to do a different 100 kilometers,” she said. “The timing is just feeling right. I’ve been wanting to do the pilgrimage as sort of a need to regroup, center a little bit more.” Lisa Joel Joel will spend her yearlong sabbatical pursuing a Masters Degree in Education at Boston University. However, she will retain her duties as a house counselor and Head Coach of Girls Varsity Soccer. Although Joel has not decided her exact course of study, she will likely focus on administrative leadership and adolescent psychology. “I enjoy working at the times when students and families are challenged by Andover. There’s a wish on my part to understand… the psychology behind the things that our students might go through – any student might go through – and help them move forward more effectively,” said Joel. “The spirit of a sabbatical is to step away, get refreshed and think differently. I’m excited to be in the city and be with people who don’t probably work in private schools. I think a lot of people I’ll go to school with are public school people. That’s great – it’s a different perspective because I’ve only ever worked at Andover,” continued Joel. Matt Lisa Lisa, who currently teaches Math 530, hopes to add a service-learning component to his AP Statistics Class. He said that he will spend most of his yearlong sabbatical finding a community partner organization in Lawrence and designing the logistics of the service-learning project. “[The organization] would have an idea about the type of question they want to try to gain answers to and as a class we would hope to help either develop a survey and help them find ways of gathering that type of data and drawing conclusions from that data,” said Lisa. Lisa also hopes to learn to use Fathom and GeoGebra, data analysis software packages. He said, “Not only can I use it to create demonstrations for class, but I could have students use it to do homework problems and to create projects and reports using the software.” John Maier Maier will use fall term to walk a pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago, which he has completed twice before in 1995 and 2003. Covering 600 miles in 45 days, Maier will journey along the northern coast of Spain, starting from a Irun, Spain, a small town on the French border. “I kind of want to do some things before I retire. This sabbatical is just a way of recharging my batteries,” said Maier. “Somebody very wise once told me, ‘When you start, you really have no idea why you’re doing this. And by the time you get to Santiago, you’ve figured it out,’” said Maier. Leon Modeste Modeste plans to use winter and spring terms to pick up a new language, Spanish. After coaching Varsity Football in the fall, he will spend his time taking intensive Spanish courses between Lawrence, Massachusetts and Taos, New Mexico, where he has a house. Modeste also hopes to travel to a Spanish-speaking country in South America. “Speaking just English is very limiting, so based upon the fact that [I] live in two areas [Taos and Lawrence] that Hispanic people are very much a part of, I thought it would be in the best interest for me personally and the greater good, as the world shrinks, to learn another language,” said Modeste. “I think it’s important for teachers to learn new things. We have to always remember how our students are learning. And one of the best ways to learn how to learn, is to learn a new language because you really kind of start from scratch. As I get older, I want to learn more, not less. I don’t want to get stuck,” he continued. Kevin O’Connor O’Connor will spend fall term working on several writing projects. He plans to write poetry as well as essays about poetry, both of which he has written in past vacations and sabbaticals. “I’m looking forward to the sabbatical because it’s really just a time to concentrate, focus. Time I need to revise. In writing, for me, it’s not a matter of time during vacation. It’s sustained time, to focus without being continually interrupted by duties at school. When I’m teaching, that’s pretty much my focus,” said O’Connor. “Even though there’s good time period in the summer, it’s good to take a longer spell of time every once in a while to get a little perspective on what you’ve been doing the last number of years. Without that extra time, you don’t really have time to rethink it until you get far enough away.” O’Connor said that he does not want to restrict himself to writing about any one topic, so he has not yet decided which poet he will review or which type of poetry he will write. O’Connor will work through the summer and into fall term. He plans to take at least a couple of short trips to spend time in Maine. Tony Rotundo Rotundo will spend fall term conducting research for his book, focusing on the intricacies of gender and politics. “The project I’m working on has to do with men, masculinity, and changes in American politics over the last 40 years. Gender actually has a bigger effect on politics than people realize. If only women could vote, Al Gore would have overwhelmed George Bush in the 2000 election. If only white men could vote, we wouldn’t have had a Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson left office in 1969,” Rotundo wrote in an email to The Phillipian. “Next fall, I’ll be doing more research, examining voting data, reading speeches, looking at images of politicians in cartoons, political advertisements… By then, I expect I will also be writing chapters of the book that will come out of my research. I doubt that the book will be finished by the end of my sabbatical but I certainly hope I’ll have a good chunk of it written,” he continued. According to Rotundo, the knowledge he has gained from working on the book has already “informed [his] teaching” of his History 300 classes and Social Science 571 course, “Issues in Gender Relations.” Teruyo Shimazu Shimazu will spend next year revising the material for her Japanese classes and studying computer programming and application development for Japanese education. “The technology out there is really advanced. I want to see how technology is used in classroom settings in Japan. For example, iPad applications and SmartBoard-oriented classes are very advanced,” she said. She plans to spend most of her time taking classes in Japan, but she will also look into Japanese language education in Brazil. “I want to do some research on Japanese language education in Brazil because Brazil has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.” Shimazu said, “I feel very strange. My life [has been at Andover] basically for the past decade. And when I took my maternity leave [this year], I felt so isolated and weird not being here. At the same time, I’m excited.” Emily Trespas Trespas will spend fall term working on a new collection of “large-scale paintings” and applying for an Artist-in-Residency. She will also use the time to rework and develop the curriculum for her visual studies, painting and printmaking courses. “A fall term sabbatical permits me to fully focus on several creative and educational endeavors,” wrote Trespas in an email to The Phillipian. Judy Wombwell Although she has yet to solidify her plans, Wombwell, Instructor in Theatre and Dance, hopes to spend spring term participating in a workshop in multimedia at the Troika Ranch. Troika Ranch is a contemporary dance and theater group based in New York that focuses on projections and multimedia art displays. Wombwell will also build on her self-taught work in projection design by learning more about Isadora, a graphic programming environment that Wombwell said is becoming an industry standard. Wombwell said she hopes to return to Andover with new ideas for choreography and an outline for a projection course for the Theater and Dance Department. “I think it is important for teachers to take time to reflect, recharge and investigate new trends in their fields [and] to break familiar patterns and try to put themselves in situations where they are learning new things so that they can continue to relate to what their students experience on a regular basis,” wrote Wombwell in an email to The Phillipian.