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Jan. 20, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 9

Boston College Head Football Coach Tom O'Brien and players salute the crowd following the Eagles' 37-24 victory over the University of North Carolina at the Continental Tire Bowl, played Dec. 30 in Charlotte, NC. BC's fifth consecutive bowl win is the longest active streak in the country. Quarterback Paul Peterson won the game's Most Valuable Player Award, completing 24 of 33 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns, despite leaving the game with a broken leg in the fourth quarter. Other BC athletic teams, meanwhile, have enjoyed recent success: Men's basketball, which hosted Villanova last night, earned a ninth-place ranking in this week's national polls, and women's basketball placed no. 14; menís hockey swept archrival Boston University over the weekend to solidify their second-place ranking. (Photo courtesy Boston College Athletics Media Relations)

Around Campus

Asia in wartime: history and memory

World War II ended 60 years ago this spring, and to commemorate the occasion Asst. Prof. Franziska Seraphim (History) has created a lecture series to explore the less-known aspects of its history and legacy in Asia.

"Students continually show great interest in learning about other cultures, and there is a particular demand for coursework on Asia," said Seraphim. "This lecture series reflects BC's commitment to provide other, non-Western perspectives, especially as they pertain to great historical events."

Seraphim will set the tone for the series, titled "The Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945): Perspectives at the 60th Anniversary of the War's End," when she presents the opening lecture, "Ten Legacies of the Asia-Pacific War," on Monday, Jan. 24, at 4:15 p.m. in Higgins 310.

Later on in the series, Seraphim's departmental colleague Asst. Prof. Seth Jacobs will discuss the US entry into the Pacific War, and four noted international scholars from Europe and the United States will speak on such topics as colonial Korea, China's war of resistance against Japan, Indonesia under Japanese occupation and contemporary Korean remembrance of the Korean War. In addition, the series will present the screening of a 2003 Japanese film "Spy Sorge," on the Richard Sorge affair, which involved the biggest espionage ring of the war.

Seraphim says the lecture series will dovetail with a new upper-division elective course on the Asia-Pacific War she is teaching, with 46 students currently enrolled. "I think students will benefit greatly from the opportunity to hear specialists on countries around Asia open up the usual framework of seeing this conflict as solely a US-Japanese affair," she said.

For information on the series, contact Seraphim at ext.2-2142 or seraphim@bc.edu.

Remembering Leah

Members and friends of the University's Urban Ecology Institute are mourning the death of Leah K. Deni, the institute's out-of-school time program director and partnership liaison. Ms. Deni, 25, died on Dec. 22 from complications from a blood infection she had battled for several weeks.

Her colleagues at the institute recently posted a Web page in her memory. "Leah was at the core of everything we do at UEI," reads the tribute. "Her bright spirit and enthusiasm were contagious. Whether coordinating a multi-city collaborative around urban environmental education, demonstrating how combined sewage outflow pipes work for a group of after school program staff or organizing an all-staff fridge clean-up at the UEI office, Leah approached every task with great gusto.

"She was much more than just a colleague - she was our friend, mentor, and inspiration. We will never forget her devotion to our work with urban young people, the energy she brought to all of the groups she worked with, and the support she provided to all of us at UEI and in the larger community. Leah lived each day to its fullest, inspiring all of us to be our best, dream big, laugh, play, and believe in ourselves. We all feel her spirit inside of us, encouraging us to carry on, and bring her with us from this moment forward."

On a "Wing"?

It's not the same as having an alumnus running for the White House, as was the case last year, but Boston College now apparently has a bit part in a made-for-television presidential campaign.

During the Jan. 12 episode of "The West Wing" - NBC's dialogue-driven chronicle of a fictitious Democratic president and his staff - a maverick congressman from Texas running for president (played by former "NYPD Blue" and "LA Law" star Jimmy Smits) demonstrates an all-consuming zeal for education reform. In one scene, he states his approval for lengthening the American school year, citing the research of "a Boston College professor" as a key source for shaping his view.

There was no further reference or elaboration during the rest of the episode regarding the professor's identity or his or her research. But Research Prof. Michael Martin (LSOE) is pretty sure the "West Wing" producers didn't pull BC's name out of a scriptwriter's hat. He thinks it may have to do with the ongoing Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study he directs with Prof. Ina Mullis (LSOE), which last month co-released its latest findings on math and science achievement by schoolchildren across the world.

"TIMSS has attracted a lot of attention, not only in the media but in politics - it's been mentioned in State of the Union addresses," said Martin, who says he is largely unfamiliar with "West Wing."

Lest anyone think policy positions for imaginary presidential candidates are being spun in TIMSS headquarters, Martin points out that TIMSS, while offering comparisons of different countries' educational practices and characteristics, has never taken a position for or against lengthening the American school year.

Curtain's up for Robsham tonight

The Robsham Theater Arts Center's second semester schedule, which gets underway tonight with Lanford Wilson's "The Book of Days," will feature productions of Leonard Bernstein's classic "Candide" and two plays written by Boston College undergraduates.

"Book of Days" depicts the upheaval in a small Missouri town when a local cheese plant owner is found murdered. The play will run in the theater's Bonn Studio through Jan. 22.

Student playwrights will be in the spotlight for the Theater Department's "New Voices: An Evening of Original Work," which runs Feb. 23-27. The plays are "Zoe," by Richard Lawson '05, and "Swimming After Dark," by Emily Dendinger '05.

Jane Martin's "Keely and Du" will be performed March 17-19 at Robsham. The play explores a number of compelling contemporary social and philosophical issues, revolving around the story of a right-to-life activist who confines a pregnant rape victim to keep her from having an abortion.

Turning to comedy, from April 7-9 Robsham will stage "Baby with the Bathwater," Christopher Durang's play about a couple's misadventures as ill-prepared new parents.

Families' efforts to confront terminal illness form the central theme of Michael Christofer's "The Shadowbox," which will be presented April 14-16.

"Candide" will ring down the curtain on the Robsham spring schedule, with performances April 27-May 1. The acclaimed musical has undergone many incarnations since 1953, when playwright Lillian Hellmann first proposed to composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein the idea of adapting the famous Voltaire novella, which tells of the ever-optimistic Candide's attempts to be reunited with his love Lady Cunegonde. Assoc. Prof. Stuart Hecht (Theater) will direct the Robsham production.

Robsham also will host music and dance events during the semester, including a March 19 concert by the popular student group BC bOp! and the BC Dance Ensemble spring production March 31-April 2.

For the full Robsham schedule and information on ticket prices, see the theater Web page at www.bc.edu/offices/robsham/ or call ext.2-4800.

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