Westminster College Associate Professors Published in Psychology of Women Quarterly

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -Westminster College associate professors Dr. Sherri Pataki and Dr. Scott Mackenzie were published in Psychology of Women Quarterly in November.

"Modeling Social Activism and Teaching About Violence Against Women Through Theatre Education" reviews the development of a joint course taught by Pataki, associate professor of psychology, and Mackenzie, associate professor and director of theatre, that used both disciplines to teach about global violence against women.

"Our article discusses the development of the course; the implementation of active learning strategies to develop critical thinking, empathy and social engagement; and relative course outcomes," said Pataki and Mackenzie.

The article elaborates on the use of required reading from such texts as A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to be a Woman and The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo; free-writing assignments that asked students to respond to a presentation on the international sex trade; and the one-night performance of #Enough which was written and performed by the students and raised over $800 to sponsor two Congolese women through Women for Women International,  an organization that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.

The two professors end the article by saying, "Ultimately, we believe students grew from these experiences and gained a better understanding of the reality of violence against women in the world, as well as their ability to take action."

Visit http://pwq.sagepub.com/content/36/4/500 to read the entire article.

Pataki, who joined the faculty in 2004, is coordinator of the Peace Studies Program at Westminster and is a social psychologist who specializes in research methodology and experimental social psychology. Her primary research interests are in the areas of interpersonal relationships and issues related to cross-cultural understanding, diversity, and prejudice.

Pataki earned an undergraduate degree from Allegheny College and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.   

Mackenzie, who joined the faculty in 2001, is a certified associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework who has acting experience in film, television, and theatre and has directed over 30 productions.  Mackenzie co-wrote, produced, and directed Out of the Fire: Voices of the Holocaust for the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts.  While on active duty with the United States Army Reserve, he directed Bigfoot Stole My Wife, the first show produced entirely by military and civilian personnel stationed in Baghdad's International Zone.

Mackenzie earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Dallas, master of fine arts in acting from Michigan State University and Ph. D. from Wayne State University.

Contact Pataki at (724) 946-7361 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


Click image to enlarge.
Dr. Sherri Pataki, associate professor of psychology




Click image to enlarge.
Dr. Scott Mackenzie, associate professor and director of theatre