Posts Tagged ‘ali soufan’

Three Generations of Scholars Carry on MU Tradition

More than 45 students will give presentations during the Showcase of Student Scholarship Day, Tuesday, April 10 in Alumni 317 and 307.  Included will be posters, oral presentations, poetry reading, art exhibit, videos and research i n progress.  This special scholarship day is being coordinated by members of the faculty staff.

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English prof Jimmy Guignard’s latest blog, “Thinking Like a Rock,” uses  The Sierra Club’s acceptance of $25 million from the natural gas industry to explore the dangers of short term thinking. His graph is a startling reminder of just how short-term humans might be.

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Ali Soufan ’94 has been awarded the ninth annual Ridenhour Book Prize which honors acts of truth-telling and outstanding works of social significance in publishing.  The award is made by the Fertel Foundation and The Nation Institute. “At a time when our nation hungers for integrity in public life, The Ridenhour Book Prize shines a bright light on a man who is dedicated to the hard, often lonely work of truth-telling,” said Andy Breslau, president of The Nation Institute.  “Ali Soufan is a tonic against easy cynicism and a call to all of us  to do better.”  In his 2011 memoir The Black Banners, Soufan chronicled his life as a counter terrorism agent with the FBI as well as his interrogation methods, making a compelling argument that “enhanced interrogation techniques” do not work.

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Judith Sornberger, Linda Rashidi, Louise Sullivan-Blum and I will read from our latest works in the Traditional Reading Room , Friday, April 13 at 2 p.m.  The readings are part of the North Hall Library’s National Library Week activities.  If you have time to catch all or part of it, stop by.  It will be fun.

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Our painter Al Cole has been invited to serve as Spontaneous Judge at the Odyssey of the Mind 2012 World Finals at Iowa State University May 23-26.  Al has been a judge at the local Odyssey of the Mind for several years.

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Congratulations to Mike Crum and Richard Soderberg on being given faculty emeriti status during the most recent meeting of the council of trustees.  Mike taught theatre and Dick directed the fisheries program.

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And the latest Terry’s Take (filmed in a noisy place.)

09

04 2012

Plays, Poetry & Soufan + Stewart

The Sound of Music, the Rodgers & Hammerstein II hit that first hit Broadway in 1959, comes to the Straughn stage  March 1-4.

The MU production celebrates the 45th anniversary of the movie, which won five Oscars. It is directed and designed by Mike Crum with musical direction by Sheryl Monkelien and assistance from Peggy Dettwiler.

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Judith Sornberger, English, read from her newest collection of Poems, Wal-Mart Orchid, to a full classroom of students and colleagues this week.   We have a couple more videos that we’ll be saving for National Poetry Month.

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Though Ali Soufan ’94, has been featured on 60 Minutes, Frontline and the Colbert Report among others, most people agree that you are really there when you appear on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.

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Three generations of MU folks are featured in Pamela Parker’s Southern comedy Second Samuel opening this Friday at the Warehouse Theatre in the Deane Center, Wellsboro.  The cast includes English Professor Emeritus Larry Biddison, Math Prof Linda Iseri and student T.J. Maro.

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In case you missed it, here are five things that President Obama’s 2013 Budget would do for higher education.

On the other end of the spectrum, the classroom, Moshe Kai Cavalin,  has written the book We Can Do. Moshe is graduating from UCLA this year at age 14.

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Joe Gilbert, who was head coach at MU during the 2000 season, has been named the Indianna Colts’ assistant offensive line coach.

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Here’s the latest episode of Terry’s Take.  See if you recognize his surroundings.

17

02 2012

Golden Conversation, Black Banners and e-Books

The next couple years on campus are going to be full of demolition, construction, modification and improvement across campus.  And Interim President Allan Golden talks about all of it in the most recent episode of Conversations.

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The latest edition of The Mansfieldian is online with a cover story about retired FBI Agent Ali Soufan ’94 and his book The Black Banners, co-written  with Daniel Freedman.

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The Rock Wall, which has been discussed and anticipated for years has overcome its obstacles and is being erected in the Kelchner Fitness Center.  Here’s a promo video and a still shot overview of its current status.

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The North Hall Library now has downloadable e-books.  If you have an ereader, “check it out.”

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Lilace Guignard’s poem “Belief,” which appeared in The Kerf Fall 2011, a publication of the College of the Redwoods, Del Norte Center for Writing. The poem has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, which is among the the most coveted literary honors in the small press world.  Lilace is an instructor in the Outdoor Recreational Leadership program.

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The International Film Series sponsored by the MU Library and the English & Modern Languages Department will begin Feb. 20.  Here is  a complete list of films, times and location.  After the initial screening, the films will be added to the library for everyone to access.

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Congratulations to Tim Huck, who has been named Student Entrepreneur of the Year by the Mansfield University Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Tim is a Wellsboro native.

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For the latest news updates via video, spent a minute with Terry’s Take.

02

02 2012

BOG Chair Speaks & Jackie Torrence Lives On

PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman Guido Pichini visited MU this week to tour the campus and talk with faculty, staff and students.  He also took a few minutes for this interview in which he talks about the System, its students, faculty and alumni.

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Craig Robinson and his Nasty Delicious Band will perform here Wed., Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. in Straughn.  Robinson is best known as one of the stars on The Office.  Tickets are $20 general public.

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Just in time for Halloween (but appropriate anytime) the library staff — David Guinn and Sheila Kasperek have digitized and posted two ghost stories from storytelling great Jackie Torrence during her performance in in September 1986 as part of the Northern Appalachian Storytelling Festival.  The first story is here.  Number two is here.

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Scott DiMarco recently reviewed Climate Change and National Security: a Country Level Analysis by Daniel Moran. the premise is that people tend to “overlook the realization that worldwide climate change presents a clear and present danger to the national security of almost every nation.”

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Biology prof  Bob Maris reports that the Biology Club’s “Haunted Grant,” a fundraiser for the Biology Club,   last weekend drew some 334 people  at a dollar each.

Former FBI counter terrorist agent Ali Soufan ’94  was a guest on the Colbert Report last week and drew several rounds of enthusiastic applause during his conversation with the host.  In addition to other shows, Ali was also a guest on BBC’s Hard Talk.

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Here’s the latest news about the new suite style residence halls from Mountaineer News reporter  Kris Dumschat.

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Prediction: “Jobs-mania” will intensify over the next few weeks with the publication of his biography, Steve Jobs, even though Huffington Post has been publishing tidbits and we can now read the “11 most startling revelations in ‘Steve Jobs.’ “ Now I know the real reason my iPad won’t play Flash  video.

28

10 2011

Homecoming, Dumb Terrorists & Inspirational Savant

Homecoming is October 7-9  and folks are going to “Paint the Town Red and Black.”   The Sprint football team is still savoring its 42-2 win over Princeton but will face stiffer competition against Navy at 1 p.m. Saturday.  For a full schedule and registration form, go to alumni.mansfield.edu

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MU and Albany State University  are featured on the Campus Safety Magazine website.  One Card Administrator Alex Miller talks about how  the Blackboard Transact programs has improved safety and streamlined security operations.

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The 60 Minutes episode that featured former FBI counter terrorist investigator Ali Soufan ’94, mentioned that a Mansfield University administrator suggested that he take the test to join the FBI.  We tracked down that administrator and talked with him about his relationship with the young political science major and why he made the now famous suggestion.

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Soufan’s book, The Black Banners, is now #9 on the NY Times Bestseller list.  His partner, Dan Freedman, looks at terrorists from a different angle in the Forbes Magazine article,  “Al Qaeda’s Dumbest Terrorists”.  Possibly taking top honors was the Yemini explosives trainer who told his class “not to do this” then accidentally did it.  (Must read to believe).

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And Mansfield continues to grow.  The new Sheetz, located on the Farmer-in-the-Dell site, complete with traffic light.  We are now a three-light town.

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Get the latest news via video with Terry’s Take whose location this week is the art gallery featuring the works of graphic designer and artist Marc Rubin.

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Finally, this story about Derek Paravacini, a blind, autistic, musical savant, should be of interest to folks in music, psychology, education and anyone who marvels at the power of the human mind and spirit.

Ali Soufan Update, News & “Conversations”

Ali Soufan ’94 is everywhere. This week he was a guest on  Fresh Air with Terry Gross, 60 Minutes and Frontline, among other shows.  Here’s a live chat with The New Yorker senior editor Amy Davidson.

Ali, former FBI counter terrorism agent, details his experiences investigating major terrorist attacks and getting terrorists to talk without “enhanced interrogation techniques” in his new book,  The Black Banners: the Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al Qaeda. Ali has been an outspoken opponent of torture since he first went public in a New York Times op-ed piece, “My Tortured Decision” in 2009.    Here’s the  Facebook site which has a running list of Ali’s media appearances along with links.   The Soufan Group website is also updated on a regular basis.

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And from our own archives is an  in-depth story I did on Ali in the Fall 1998 Mansfieldian.

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Area artist and graphic designer Marc Rubin has an exhibit entitled D2ALITY in Allen Hall through Oct. 7.  In addition to his art, Rubin is an award winning graphic designer  and owner of Marc Rubin Associates in Elmira , NY.

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Check out this week’s Terry’s Take, the under-two-minute video MU news blog.  Terry moves to a new location each week so you not only keep up with news, you also get a year-long tour of the campus!

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In this episode of Conversations, Peggy Dettwiler, director of Choral Activities, gives us a behind the scenes look at how the choirs came back from international competition victorious again, despite being evicted from their hotel two hours before their first competition.  You’ll come away feeling pride in our MU students who are talented, resilient and, well, just plain nice.

Topping it off, they’re among the best singers in the world.

15

09 2011

Two 9/11 Ceremonies; Soufan on Frontline

Lt. Rick Sethman, Pa State Police will be the featured speaker at the Sunday, 9/11 Ceremony of Remembrance at 2 p.m. in the Veteran’s Park in Mansfield.

Sethman was a first responder to the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Somerset County on September 11, 2001 and was assigned  to establish security for the “Inner Perimeter” of the crash site.

The Pride & Spirit of PA March Band will provide the  music at 1:45 p.m., followed by a welcome from Bruce Dart, Vice Commander Post 478, and posting of Colors by the Tioga Co. Honor Guard.  The band will play two other numbers, Campus Ministers Detlef Huckfeldt will give the invocation and Courtney Hull will give the Fireman’s Prayer.   Calvin Cobb, chaplain, Tioga Co. Honor Guard will give the benediction.

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A candlelight vigil will be held  on the lawn in front of Memorial at 9 p.m. Sunday.  President Loeschke, SGA President Thomas Thornton, Kris Dumschat, chair, Committee on Finance & Campus Minister Courtney Hull, will speak at the event which is open to the public.  If it rains, the ceremony will be held in Alumni Hall.

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Ali Soufan ’94, is the subject of a story entitled “The Interrogator” on PBS’ Frontline, Tuesday, Sept. 13. Here’s the trailer. Ali’s book, The Black Banner, goes on sale Sept. 12 with a first printing of 150,000 copies.   For info on the memoir and Soufan, see last week’s blog.

Update:  Just found out that Ali will also be on 60 Minutes this Sunday.

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Kristin Sanner, English, has an op-ed piece, “The Literature  Cure,” published in last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education. In it she makes a case, from personal experience, about the importance of literature and communication in dealing with breast cancer.

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North Hall custodian Joe Chapel said farewell to friends and colleagues Thursday.  Two friends gave him a pretty special farewell gift. Joe and his wife Peg, retired purchasing agent, have Alaska in their travel plans.

Soufan book has some spooked

Ali Soufan ’94,  continues to make headlines in his ongoing conflicts with the CIA.  Ali, a former FBI agent, was for years an Al-Qaeda expert and a lead investigator in several terrorist attacks around the world beginning with the USS Cole.  He also thwarted several terrorist plots and has publicly decried the use of torture to get information.

In his new book The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda, Ali provides an inside look at his years in the FBI.  The CIA is demanding that some information in the book be removed or redacted, saying  it’s classified information.

Author Lawrence Wright highlighted the problems between the FBI and CIA in his New Yorker article,  “The Agent,” which provides an in depth look at Soufan’s FBI years.

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Even before all the publicity about  Black Banners, SGA President Thomas Thornton, in his convocation address, listed Stuart Weiss ’80, president/owner of Studio City,  Steve Crawford ’81, Managing VP at S.R. Wojdak & Associates and Ali Soufan as his role models.  Tom took a break during the freshman picnic for local paparazzi to get this shot with colleague,  SGA Treasurer Kris Dumschat

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The 2nd annual Mansfield Block Party, sponsored by the Mansfield Chamber, will be held Friday, Sept. 2, from 6-8 p.m. on Main St.   Activities include: pedal tractor races, speed pitch, face painting, Price is Right wheel, bean bag toss, Grower’s Market, hula hooping, 50-50 raffle, sidewalk chalk, sidewalk sales and a food drive.

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Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass, will speak on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Straughn. Morris, also the great-great grandson of Booker t. Washington, will talk about these pioneers as well as the topic of modern day slavery and the work of his foundation to end it. His appearance is part of the Frederick Douglass Institute Lecture Series.

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Reminder:  The student newspaper, The Flashlight, is now online with lots of new features.  It will also continue in the print version.

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Last but not least: great new video from the North Hall Library  for online students.

01

09 2011

Digital Textbooks, Expensive Dropouts & Uneasy Riders

Check out the Chronicle article  “As Textbooks Go Digital, Will Professors Build Their Own Books?“  Both the article and responses cover high cost of textbooks, saving students money, staying relevant, a professor’s responsibilities and the changing nature of technology and teaching.

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Students who drop out of college during their freshman year are costing state and federal governments billions of dollars.  In fact, between 2003 and 2008, freshmen dropouts cost $9 billion, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education article.  The American Institutes for Research conducted the study and created a website that lets users compare performances of more than 1,500 higher ed institutions.  And yes, Mansfield is one of the colleges you can check on the site.

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I thought these helmet-clad students riding down the steps by North Hall were a band of suicidal daredevils.   Turns out they were part of  English prof Jimmy Guignard’s noncredit Mountain Biking class testing their skills.  In a couple weeks they head for the mountains for the real ride.

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MU is now a recognized leader in the security world.  One Card Administrator Alex Miller was recently interviewed by Security Magazine which posted a brief article on our one-card system.  A more detailed piece is in the works. Alex and Chuck Colby, associate VP of Residence Life, were interviewed by Blackboard Transact for the video “Mansfield University Implements Integrated Campus Safety.”  Alex and Comptroller Curt Tofts gave a presentation last March at the BbWorldtransact conference on  Door Access Implementation.

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In a NY Times op-ed piece, former FBI agent Ali Soufan argues that the USS Cole case should be wrapped up and involved terrorists should be prosecuted in the name of justice and national security.  Soufan ’94 was one of the investigators in the bombing that killed 17 sailors 10 years ago.  He argues that if FBI investigators had not been so constrained “. . . we could have undermined Al Qaeda and perhaps even averted the 9/11 attack.”

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“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”

Mark Twain

13

10 2010

Local, National, Past & Present

While the past few months have been speeding by, a lot of MU folks have appeared in the national news, from Provost Peter Keller’s appearance in the Chronicle to advice from alum Mozart Guerrier on how to be a better student.  Here are highlights from articles in nationally distributed publications about MU and its people over the past 10 months.

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The Mansfield Grower’s Market has added a lively, green touch to downtown Mansfield with food, produce, education and entertainment.  A group of these growers and doers will discuss the seeds and fruits of the market during the panel discussion “Animal, Vegetable, Mansfield: living, eating and reading local,” Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. in Straughn.

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Physics prof Mike Chester, a vendor at the Grower’s Market, will share some insights about physics and farming during his address at Convocation Friday at noon in Straughn.  Let’s hope he doesn’t combine his knowledge of nano technology and farming.  We could wind up with the world’s smallest snow peas.

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“Young American-Muslims need to focus on comments by leaders like Mayor Bloomberg, whose stand on the issue exemplifies the very best in American leadership: educating people and standing up for the values of our Constitution, rather than playing on fear and ignorance.”  Excerpt from Mansfield Alumnus and former FBI Agent Ali Soufan’s thoughts  on the mosque controversy on forbes.com Thanks to John Maslar,  CT who shared the link on Facebook.

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Allen Hall is leveled and is nearly ready for its reincarnation as a parking lot.  When Allen Hall was built in 1926,  Calvin Coolidge was president.  Federal spending was $2.93 billion and unemployment was 1.8%.  The St. Louis Cardinals beats the Yankees 4-3 in the World Series and area historian Chester Bailey was 12 years old.

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Here’s this year’s “Mindset for the Class of 2014” from Beloit College which has produced the list annually since 1998.  While there are 75 items, it only takes a few to make you feel really old.

25

08 2010