Program to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Binghamton University will honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a multi-media project and performance by flutist and producer Pamela Whitman. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at the University Downtown Center.
The celebration will begin with a performance by Whitman, who will invite community members to take part in a multi-media project titled “Beloved Community: The Art of Living Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream.”
Audience members will be invited to participate by photographing their vision of a Beloved Community in Binghamton. Participants will be given cameras, which Whitman will then process and integrate into the project, to be unveiled April 4 during a concert at Binghamton’s West Middle School.
These events coincide with the national campaign “A Season for Nonviolence,” which runs from Jan. 30-April 4. The 64-day international event was inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and King.
For more information about the Feb. 1 program, contact the Multicultural Resource Center at 777-4472.
Campus energy contest to start Monday
A contest to see which of the University’s residential communities can cut its use of electricity the most will begin Monday, Feb. 4, and run for six weeks.
Electricity consumption will be compared to baseline information gathered during last year’s contest. Contest guidelines and more information are available at http://facilities.binghamton.edu/EnergyContest.htm
For more information, contact Sandy DeJohn or 777-4017.
Ross fund seeks grant applicants
Applications for the 2008 grant cycle of the Stephen David Ross University and Community Projects Fund are now available.
Ross, a distinguished professor of philosophy, interpretation and culture and of comparative literature, established a fund to support projects that promote creative and innovative cooperation between the University and local nonprofit agencies. Grant applications in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 are encouraged.
In 2008, the fund will award $10,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations in partnership with University units.
Previously funded projects include a collaboration between the Southern Tier Opportunity Coalition and the School of Education to help bridge the gap between the University and the surrounding community, educate students about opportunities in Greater Binghamton, provide a forum for discussion about economic progress and develop ways to expand career opportunities to retain students in Binghamton.
The application deadline is Friday, April 4. Applications, guidelines and further information are available on the Stephen David Ross University and Community Projects Fund Web site at http://rossfund.binghamton.edu. For more information, contact grant administrator Cindy Lupo at 777-6927 or at email@example.com.
Theatre tour of Scotland planned in August
The Binghamton University Alumni Association and the Theatre Department are coordinating a trip to Scotland, scheduled to run from Aug. 2-10. The tour is open to the public.
Travelers will take a ferry from Ullapool across “The Minch” to the Outer Hebrides, arriving at the Isle of Harris and Lewis. Participants will attend performances, go sightseeing and have an opportunity to walk the “Royal Mile.”
The final two days of the tour will be spent in Edinburgh during an annual performing arts festival. Known as “The Fringe,” the festival includes performances by actors, dancers, mimes, jugglers, comedians and musicians who assemble every August for the world’s largest indoor/outdoor “happening.”
The tour costs $2,499 per person, which includes roundtrip airfare, bed-and-breakfast accommodations and itinerary activities. A $500 deposit is required to reserve a place on the tour.
For more information, contact Professor Tom Kremer at 777-2456.
Winter art class available for youth
Continuing Education and Outreach, in collaboration with The Art School, will offer a Winter Youth Art Escape for children ages 5-15.
Two groups (ages 5-9 and ages 10-15) will meet from 9 a.m.-noon daily Feb. 18-22 at The Art School, 801 Main St., Vestal.
Children will have an in-depth photography course with photographer Peter Shell as well as instruction in pottery, African butterfly art, painting landscapes in acrylic, making ink and paint/Indian hide painting and watercolors.
The fee is $159. To register, call 777-6857 or visit http://continuinged.binghamton.edu.
New parenting books tap Decker professor's research
Parenting philosophies come and go, but one Decker School of Nursing faculty member says old-fashioned values are still the best.
“Kids are not just small adults,” Associate Professor Mary Muscari said. “That’s my mantra. Even teenagers don’t think like adults. They don’t have that ability, those experiences.”
Muscari’s latest books are Everything Parents Guide to Raising Adolescent Girls (with lead author Moira McCarthy) and Everything Parents Guide to Raising Adolescent Boys (with lead author Robin Elise Weiss), both out this month from Adams Media.
Muscari’s an experienced author of parenting books such as Not My Kid and Let Kids be Kids, but these projects were different.
“It was an experience I’ve never had before, working with journalists,” she said. “It was so fun, and a great honor to work with such wonderful writers. We did the whole thing over the Internet and phone. We had a blast.”
Muscari said writing projects like these fit naturally into her work as a nurse and as a professor.
“One of the things we always do as nurses is patient teaching,” she said. “This is just bigger numbers, reaching a lot more people. Research is useless if you don’t disseminate it.”
Muscari, who doesn’t have children of her own, draws on her 35-plus years of experience in pediatrics as well as her own upbringing as one of four kids in a tight-knit family. She believes the general issues of parenting don’t change so much, though new trends in society can create added challenges.
For instance, more families today have two working parents, which can make it difficult to spend time together. Muscari said it’s critical to find time — and quantity counts along with quality.
“All the toys in the world will never make up for parental time,” she said. “When the job takes priority, kids see that. And that’s a really bad place to be as a kid.”
Still, Muscari acknowledges that some ideas must be modernized a bit.
“The good, old-fashioned family meal that we’ve long forgotten about is so critical,” she said. “If you can’t do it at night because the kids are overscheduled, do it at breakfast. Have some time when people can sit down and share and connect.”
That connection will pay off in the long term, Muscari said. When parents and children communicate well and regularly, kids are less inclined to hide their problems. If your child tells you when something goes wrong, you can get involved before a situation escalates. Communication can help keep kids safe in other ways, too, because gangs and predators don’t want a child who runs to his parents for help.
Muscari said she often discusses safety concerns with parents. It’s true that children now are more exposed to the world outside their neighborhood, she said, but fear itself can be a threat to kids.
“We can’t make these kids bubble kids, even though we have all these things that we worry about,” she said.
The bottom line, she said, is that parents need to be parents.
“I’m very dead against that parents as pals business,” Muscari said. “Parents are there to be guides for their children.”