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Westminster English Professor Published in Miamian Magazine

Dr. James Perkins, professor of English at Westminster College, recently had a short story published in the "Miamian," the magazine of his alma mater, Miami University.

 "The Discovery of Electricity" is a story about Perkin's childhood experience surrounding plugging in his dad's console radio, and the resulting jolt that sent him "flying backwards across the living room."  This story is one of many from Perkin's book "Snakes, Butterbeans, and the Discovery of Electricity" published in 2003 by the Mercer University Press.

 "I loved the picture of the young boy tuning the old radio that they found to accompany the story," Perkins said.  "I was pleased with the fact that my appearance in the "Miamian" sparked a noticeable increase in book sales."

 Perkins book explores the innocence of Four-eyes, a Kentucky boy who grew up in the 1940s.  Through a series of stories about his family, his childhood pranks, and his vivid imagination, this nostalgic and funny book goes down the forgotten paths and pitfalls of childhood.  In the fashion of the truest Southern storytellers, Perkins invites the reader to come in, stay awhile, and listen.

 Perkins who has been with Westminster College, since 1973, is also the chair of the Department of English and Public relations.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Centre College, his master's from Miami University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.  During the fall term of 1998, he was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at Seoul National University in Korea.  He has also been honored as a Henderson Lecturer and McCandless Fellow.  His publications also include three chapbooks of poetry, "For the Record: A Robert Drake Reader (a collection edited with Randy Hendricks), and collections of short stories, and "Southern Writers at Centuries End," (a collection of essays co-edited with Jeffrey Folks).

 For more information, contact Perkins at (724) 946-7347 or e-mail

Dr. James Perkins

Westminster College Students Study Organ in Germany

Two Westminster College music majors, Shelley Culver and Craig Dressler, spent 15 days in Germany and the Netherlands taking advantage of the Westminster College International Historic Organ Program.

 "Å“The purpose of this visit was to hear and experience North German organs from the 16th to the 21st centuries,"? said Dr. Elizabeth Harrison, assistant professor of music, Westminster College organist, and founder of this program.  "Å“We also visited the Ahrend Organ Workshop, one of the most prestigious organ workshops in the world."?

 "Å“Playing the great organs of the Netherlands and Germany helped me to develop better articulation and understanding of phrasing when playing my organ repertory,"? Dressler said.  "Å“The people of these countries are very proud of their instruments and work hard to preserve them, and the organ is highly respected and used in almost all worship."?

 "Å“During a lesson on campus, we talk about articulation and fingering, but sometimes it"â„¢s hard to hear the difference,"? Culver said.  "Å“When you play an organ that the music was written for, it"â„¢s so easy to hear the difference and improve almost immediately."?

 While in Germany, the students were part of the Marktmusik concert series, where they  performed on the Arp-Schnitger organ.  The series takes place on Saturdays, when the open market is occurring across the street from the church.  People were free to enter and leave, but many stayed for the entire concert.

"Å“There"â„¢s a growing trend toward the historical style of playing, and playing original pipe organs made by Arp Schnitger, one of the most influential organ builders in the world, gives our students a unique opportunity to learn this,"? said Harrison.

"Å“The pipe organs in Germany and the Netherlands are very sensitive to the organist"â„¢s touch because there is a direct connection between the key, which the organists depresses and releases, and the pipes being opened for air to enter, causing them to speak,"? Dressler said.  "Å“This allows the organist to truly control all aspects of the music he or she performs."?

"Å“Dr. Harrison is an incredible teacher,"? Culver said.  "Å“She knows so much about these organs and the music of the time.  This trip was really a great experience."?

Culver, a senior sacred music and music education major, is a daughter of Rickey and Susan Culver, Frewsburg, N.Y.  She is a graduate of Frewsburg Central School.

Dressler, a sophomore music performance major, is a son of Douglas and Diane Dressler, Erie.  He is a graduate of McDowell High School.

 Contact Harrison at (724) 946-7024 or e-mail for more information.

Shelley Culver
Craig Dressler

Professor to Discuss Sabbatical Research

Dr. Camila Bari de Lopez, associate professor of Spanish at Westminster College, will present "Between Literary Criticism and Sociology: What Literature Can Contribute to Cultural History" at Faculty Forum Wednesday, April 5, at 11:45 a.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater located in the McKelvey Campus Center.

 "During my sabbatical leave I pursued my quest for the complete list of works at the personal library of the Venezuelan novelist, thinker, and physician Manuel Diaz Rodriguez, whose works I have been studying for a long time," Lopez said.  "He published at the beginning of the 19th century and I was trying to confirm his connections with a series of European authors of the time.  My intention was to find support for a redefinition of Latin American Modernism as part of the same European and Anglo-American movement.  For that purpose, I prepared an annotated edition of one of Diaz Rodriguez' main essays on Modernism, which I have already sent out for publication."

 Lopez, who has been with Westminster College since 1997, earned her undergraduate degree from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Argentina and her Ph.D. from the University of Albany.

Faculty Forum, established in 1990, serves as a venue for the exchange of ideas and information among Westminster College faculty.  Speakers present their research, teaching ideas, lectures, performances, special programs, and uses of technology to keep faculty informed about the work of colleagues from many disciplines.

 The event is free and open to the public.  Contact Lopez at (724) 946-7258 or e-mail for more information.

Dr. Camila Bari de Lopez

Westminster College Presents International Films

"Live Flesh," a Spanish/French film directed by Pedro Almond var, will play Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. in the McKelvey Campus Center Theater.

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Westminster College Senior to Give Organ Recital

Preston Dibble, a senior music education major from Karns City, will present his senior organ recital Friday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m., in Orr Auditorium.

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Westminster College Hires Minority Recruiter

Dawn M. Chapman has been hired as an admissions counselor whose specialty is recruiting minority students to Westminster College.

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Westminster to Celebrate Homecoming Weekend Oct. 19-21

Westminster College will celebrate Homecoming & Reunion Weekend Oct. 19-21.

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Student to Give Senior Capstone Recital

Mezzo-soprano JoAnne Johnston, a Westminster College senior music and business administration major, will perform her capstone senior recital Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel.

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Residence Halls to Participate in Energy Conservation Competition

Leanna Stitt, Amy Whitling and Jim Bryan composting at the Field Station
Julia Barker and Sirena Coon preparing materials for recycled paper
Veronica Geretz preparing recycled paper
Julia Barker with recycled paper

Westminster College will kick off the "Do it in the Dark" energy conservation competition the week of Jan. 27-Feb.1.

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Admissions Staff Visits High Schools

Westminster College admissions staff will be visiting local high schools the week of Oct. 6.

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