New Civil War Exhibits Open at Sullivan Museum

Fall of Richmond Illustration by Currier and Ives
Norwich University museum celebrates opening of fifth and final exhibition in Civil War series and related show by artist Kara Walker
January 15, 2015


NORTHFIELD, Vt.–Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center invites the public to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit, “1865, Out of the Ashes: Assassination, Reconstruction, and Healing the Nation,” with a reception on Friday, January 23 from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibit, which focuses on the aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the rehabilitation and restoration of the South, and efforts to unify the country, is the fifth and final exhibition in the museum’s series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

A centerpiece of the new exhibition is a unique and rare firearm recently acquired by the Sullivan Museum and History Center: a Spencer repeating rifle. Possibly tested by President Lincoln himself, the weapon had remained in private hands for several generations and will now be on public view for the first time since the Civil War. The rifle was itself an important part of Civil War history. Adopted by Union troops, it allowed for more accurate and rapid firing. The Spencer rifle now on view was an early issue, originally given to Lincoln by the manufacturer and later gifted by Lincoln to Gideon Welles, NU’1826, in recognition of his Civil War service as Secretary of the Navy.

In addition to the rifle, historical objects from Ford’s Theater, a brass cannon used during the Civil War and period currency loaned by the Hon. John W. Walter will be included in the exhibition.

Kara Walker Prints

The museum is also pleased to concurrently present a separate complementary exhibition of pictorial works by contemporary African American artist Kara Walker, made possible through the generous support of Tawani Foundation Endowment Funds.

“Kara Walker: Juxtaposition, Contemporary Specters, and Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War,” features contemporary works on loan from Mount Holyoke College.  The artist combined her signature overlays of black silhouettes with historic lithography to produce poignant and sharp commentary on stereotypes found in the nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow and segregation that still infiltrate present stereotypes.

Both exhibits will remain on display until July 31, 2015. Visitors exploring the museum will find a blackboard to engage in ongoing discussion about the legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction that still affect society today.

Plan Your Visit

The Sullivan Museum and History Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate, the only such museum in the state of Vermont. (See related article.) The museum is located on the Northfield campus of Norwich University. It is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the academic year. There is no charge for admission to the museum. For more information call 802.485.2183 or visit the museum’s website ( or Facebook page (

Murder Scholar Prof. Elizabeth Gurian Receives Board of Fellows Prize

January 5, 2015–The Faculty Development Committee recently announced the recipient of the 2015-16 Board of Fellows Faculty Development Prize, Dr. Elizabeth Gurian, for her project, “Female Homicide Offenders: An Exploration of Personal Narratives.”

Dr. Gurian, an assistant professor in the School of Justice Studies and Sociology, completed her doctoral work at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge (UK) and was a consultant to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Vienna.

She joined the faculty of Norwich University in 2011, and since her arrival has maintained an active research and publication agenda in her area of expertise, female and partnered homicide offenders and serial murderers.

She is the recipient of several other Faculty Development Program awards, including a Charles A. Dana Research Fellowship and a Charles A. Dana Category I Grant.

In 2013 Dr. Gurian won statewide recognition when Vermont Women in Higher Education selected her as the recipient of the Peggy R. Williams Emerging Professional Award.

Norwich University Alumni Donate Vietnam Letters to Archives

Office of Communications | Norwich University

December 19, 2014

When American soldiers serving in Vietnam wrote letters home, they often included—on the backs of the Airmail envelopes—the number of days until homecoming. Now, the Vietnam letters of two members of the Class of 1966 are available in the Norwich University Archives, and thanks to these generous donations, researchers can see firsthand these details and others.

On Veterans Day, the family of the late Lt. Col. Howard C. Lewis ’66 donated two sets of letters that he, as a young captain, wrote home from in-country, 1969. It became the first collection of its kind at Norwich University. The donation includes letters Lewis penned to his twin brother Harold, who also attended Norwich, and parents Daniel and Dorothy Lewis. The collection also includes several photographs of Howard and the Lewis family (1964-1966) and material tied to the dedication of the Lt. Col. Howard C. Lewis Memorial Chapel at the Camp Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, VT, in 1988.

During his Vietnam service, Lewis was cited seven times for bravery and was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, five Bronze Stars, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, two Army Commendation medals and, later, the Vermont Medal of Merit. Following his return from Vietnam, he joined the Vermont National Guard, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel. He lived in Barre with his family until his death from cancer in 1987—the result, his family believes, of his exposure to Agent Orange. More than 500 people attended his memorial. The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus called the service “one of the largest funerals ever held in the Granite City.” At the time of his death, he was survived by wife Sandra Roscoe Lewis, and two children.

The Lewis donation evolved from a collaboration between Lewis’s youngest brother, Donald Lewis ’72, and the Norwich Record—Norwich University’s alumni magazine. Don Lewis originally presented the letters for publication in the winter 2015 issue, dedicated to Norwich alumni who served in Vietnam.

Shortly thereafter, another member of the class of 1966, William F. Bonk, donated his collection of Vietnam letters. Bonk had also provided a collection of letters to the Record for publication, and afterwards, graciously offered them to the Archive for public access.

The collection consists of letters written by Bonk to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bonk of Connecticut, during his service as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, February through October 1968. The collection also includes color slides documenting his time in Vietnam as well as a single slide probably taken during his NU commencement in 1966.

These gifts constitute the first two substantial manuscript collections from the Vietnam era to be available in the University Archives. They will serve as the foundation to helping students, faculty, staff, alumni, and researchers better understand the Norwich experience in Vietnam.

To access these collections, please contact the Norwich University Archives, Kreitzberg Library, (802) 485-2947 or

Prof. Narain Batra Visits Bhutan to Research Tech Transformation

December 26, 2014–Dr. Narain Batra, professor of communications and diplomacy at Norwich University, recently completed a two-week research trip to Bhutan, where he laid the groundwork for his new book on how communications technology is transforming a country that has constitutionally mandated protection of the environment.

During his stay in Bhutan, he interviewed more than a dozen sources, including the Vice Chancellor (President) and Academic Manager (Vice President) of Royal University of Bhutan; an editor of Kuensel, a daily newspaper; and a group of doctors at the National Referral Hospital. He also spoke to telecommunications experts, students, and Buddhist monks at various monasteries.

Bhutan, a Switzerland-sized country of 740,000 inhabitants nestled in the eastern Himalayan Mountains, is known for its emphasis on “Gross National Happiness,” instead of Gross Domestic Product and is the only country in the world where environment protection is constitutionally mandated.

Bhutan is a member of South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a group of countries that are practicing democracies aiming to form an economic union despite all of their political problems, civil wars, internal insurgencies, and struggles with terrorism.

Norwich University Honors Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center as an “Employer of Distinction”

Dean of the College of Professional Schools Aron Temkin; Director of Career Development Kathryn Provost; Director of Nursing Sharon Richie; NU President Richard W. Schneider; DHMC Chief Nursing Officer Gay Landstrom and DHMC Chief Human Resources Officer John Malanowski

December 18, 2014

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University Alumni Association (NUAA) in conjunction with the Career Services Center honored Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center as a Norwich “Employer of Distinction” at an event at its Hanover campus on Thursday, Dec. 18.

Norwich President Richard W. Schneider joined Chief Nursing Officer Gay Landstrom at a 9 a.m. ceremony at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Fuller Boardroom.

“We recognize Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for not only providing Norwich alumni with opportunities to demonstrate the skills they learned at Norwich, but also for appreciating the values and ethics that Norwich alumni bring to the workplace,” Schneider said. “Of the many corporations Norwich’s Career Services Center works with, Dartmouth-Hitchcock has done an excellent job helping us prepare our students by providing information on the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the hiring process.”

The NUAA presents this award to employers across the country that recognize the value of hiring Norwich graduates for their operations. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center attends Norwich career fairs and makes presentations to Norwich nursing students as well as offering internships and employment to Norwich students and graduates.

“We are honored to accept this recognition from Norwich University and its Alumni Association,” said John Malanowski, Chief Human Resources Officer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

“As an academic medical center serving New England, Dartmouth-Hitchcock is eager to work with educational institutions to prepare and nurture another generation of healthcare providers who are committed to providing high-quality, patient-centered care to this region,” Malanowski said.

The NUAA developed the “Hire Norwich First” program to strengthen ties with businesses that share and appreciate the values that Norwich alumni bring to the workplace, such as hard work, integrity and leadership.

The NUAA plans to recognize more of the largest employers of Norwich alumni at campus or regional club events.

ABOUT DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK – Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) is a nonprofit academic health system that serves a patient population of 1.2 million in New England. Anchored by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, the system includes the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock; affiliate hospitals in New London, NH, and Windsor, VT; and 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. D-H provides access to more than 1,000 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine. In partnership with the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT, it trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research.

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here:

Geologist Rick Dunn, Unearthed

Norwich’s newest Dana Professor of Geology sees ancient worlds with fresh eyes
By Sean Markey | 2015 Annual Academic Research Report

December 18, 2014

Early one morning in late August, Richard Dunn prowled the grassy expanse of Groningen Garden, a large public park in downtown Tel Aviv. Part of an international research team, the geologist was in Israel to look for a pre-Roman harbor in the ancient city of Jaffa, the storied Biblical port of Solomon. With a coring rig due later that morning, Dunn and his colleagues opted to canvass the site with ground-penetrating radar in the predawn light. Less than an hour into their survey, air raid sirens wailed to life. Dunn, who played semipro baseball in college with an eye on the majors, scrambled for the nearest air raid shelter, hitting the dirt with his colleagues when they found the door padlocked. Overhead, Israeli Defense Force missiles intercepted a Palestinian rocket. As the team dusted themselves off after the attack, they decided it might be a good time to retreat to a local café.

That day in Tel-Aviv stands out in Dunn’s memory as a dramatic moment in the midst of a busy, semester-long, research sabbatical. Earlier that summer, Dunn had visited several sites in Greece, where he is currently involved in four distinct projects with colleagues from UCLA, Vanderbilt, the Field Museum of Chicago, and other institutions.

Deep Geologic Time

An expert at reconstructing ancient landscapes and environments, Dunn chairs the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Norwich University. In 2014 he was named the University’s 21st Charles A. Dana Professor. The author of more than a dozen papers (with a half-dozen more in press), several book chapters, and scores of conference presentations, Dunn majored in geology and anthropology at the University of Minnesota Duluth, which housed a leading archaeometry lab at the time. It was an era, begun in the 1970s and continued in the 80s, when geology and archaeology began to overlap, converging into a dedicated field known as geological archaeology.

Hooked, Dunn earned a master’s in geology from Wichita State University in Kansas and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Delaware. Fieldwork in Florida, Belize, Cyprus, and Greece helped him hone his expertise at reconstructing ancient coasts. Combing geologic fieldwork and mapping with lab analysis of ancient pollen and marine organism microfossils from core samples, he teased out clues about previous landscapes and environmental conditions.

Today, his research follows a transect of deep geologic time, informing the work of archaeological projects throughout the Mediterranean and, more recently, Easter Island. His recent and current projects include a Neolithic cave site and archaeological sites of the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans, and ancient Greeks. Providing geologic insight, Dunn seeks answers to important questions, such as the best place to dig for Roman tombs in a dynamic coastal zone, or where the former inhabitants of a long-ago vanished city may have found a plentiful source of freshwater.

Solving Puzzles

The city in question is Korphos-Kalamianos, a 3,500-year-old Bronze Age site on the Aegean coast of Greece. “According to archaeologists, this was one of the sites named by Homer as having sent ships to Mycenae that then went to Troy to get back Helen,” Dunn says. The site was unusual because the walls of its many buildings were exposed, as if archaeologists had abandoned it after 25 years of digging. Dunn was enlisted, in part, to explain why. “It had been covered in this really thick bramble,” Dunn says. “There had been a fire, and it burned off, revealing the ancient port city.”

Korphos-Kalamianos clings to a rocky coast backed by hills and mountains. There is no stream, river, or other obvious source of freshwater. Archaeologists had assumed residents stored rainwater in large underground cisterns, but had yet to unearth any of note.

“That was kind of problematic,” Dunn recalls. He had mapped the site’s basic geology with Norwich undergraduates Devin Collins ’09, Greg Miller ’10, and Ethan Thomas ’11. “We realized that the bedrock had this pattern of fractures in it.” A chat between Dunn and a Greek fisherman hinted at places where freshwater flowed from the seafloor. “Springs, right? Aha!” Dunn hypothesized that groundwater was moving underground from the hills down through the fracture system to upwell at Korphos-Kalamianos. The archaeologists were skeptical, believing that the site’s rocky fissures carried salt water from the Aegean Sea, whose waves crashed ashore just 10 yards away.

A quick taste test proved he was right. Once the team mapped the site, they saw a pattern to the buildings: two rows separated by a blank zone. “Those lines of buildings were situated right on top of these two big fractures. Basically people didn’t want to walk very far to get their freshwater,” Dunn explains, “so they built their homes along this sort of artesian well system.”

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

More recently, Dunn has upended the conventional wisdom at an archaeological site on Easter Island, where a team co-led by Jo Anne Van Tilburg from UCLA is investigating Rano Raraku, the ancient quarry that supplied the stone for the islanders’ iconic moai statues. The team is the first to investigate the site since a 1955 Norwegian archaeological dig.

“His work is fundamental in establishing the probable location of those quarries and helping us to pinpoint the location of the next phase of our investigations,” Van Tilburg says, from Easter Island.

One task Dunn undertook was to produce the first-ever geologic map of the quarry, steep slopes that flank a freshwater lake in what was believed to be a collapsed volcanic cone. Yet Dunn’s fieldwork pointed to a different geologic story altogether—namely, that the site occupies the collapsed basin on the flank of a much larger, older volcano, now nearly completely eroded away. Dunn presented his findings at the Geologic Society of America conference to wide acclaim.

“Things like Easter Island, we think we understand—or the Grand Canyon, or something. It turns out that often not as much work has been done as we think, and we’re still trying to figure these things out,” Dunn says.

“[Easter Island] was a classic example of falling back on literally the things I learned as an undergraduate. The most basic tools, you know… Taking the puzzle pieces from that and putting together the right story. Rather than starting out with what I thought the picture already looked like, [asking] does that make sense?”

Undergraduate Research Highlights From the College of Liberal Arts

By Isabel Weinger Nielsen | College of Liberal Arts

December 5, 2014

Students in the College of Liberal Arts, working with faculty mentors, have been involved in many exciting projects at Norwich University. Some recent highlights:

Psychology major Ali Shahidy ’17 is the first student from Afghanistan to attend Norwich University. His summer research project, under the mentorship of Criminal Justice Professor Travis Morris, was titled “How is Jihad Marketed in Kabul, Afghanistan?” Shahidy was able to develop six typologies through which Jihadi information is disseminated, and concluded that Jihadi information circulates in Kabul on a regular basis, in multiple manners, and on a large scale. However, the study could not conclude that all texts are propaganda with a specific purpose to influence and encourage people to join a Jihadi movement; some texts or speeches on Jihad are ideological concepts that are taught as part of the religious studies, and therefore they can’t be defined as propaganda. Shahidy said, “I valued the opportunity to conduct one-on-one in-depth academic works with a faculty mentor who is an expert on the subject matter. The research project is a process through which I have learned tremendously about academic research from my mentor.” Shahidy will be staffing the Undergraduate Research information table as one of its new Ambassadors.

Wren and Gwynn’s London

Shaili Patel ’16 is a double-major in architectural studies and history who was mentored by Professor Emily Gray. Patel traveled to London this past summer on an Undergraduate Research Fellowship to conduct research in the British Library. She studied two architects who conceptually redesigned the city of London: Christopher Wren in the late seventeenth century, and John Gwynn in the late eighteenth. Patel’s paper has been accepted for presentation at the Phi Alpha Theta (history honors society) undergraduate research conference in November at Roger Williams University. Patel said “working on the project was an adventure; it was a story coming to life. I spent most of my time in the British Library looking at old maps. While I walked around the city, these maps became reality, and I could imagine how London looked and felt in the 17th and 18th centuries. The project was a limitless expansion of imagination and creativity. “

Nile Journal

Frank Carissimo, a double major in history and studies in war & peace with a minor in political science, will graduate in December 2014. Mentored by History Professor Rowly Brucken, Carissimo will present a paper based on his summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the Phi Alpha Theta conference. His paper, “War and Hardship on the Nile: The Journal of Frederick Charles Miller,” is based on a journal of Charles Miller that was donated by a Norwich alumnus to the University’s Archives and Special Collections. In 1885, Miller documented an expedition to rescue British Governor-General Charles George “Chinese” Gordon from the city of Khartoum, a subject which had never been studied by historians. Frank said, “The Miller journal of 1885, one of a collection of four, was fascinating to research, as each day brought more unstudied pages [to light]. The research was extremely rewarding as it was the first project I’ve completed thus far in which no other person or source-other than the 1885 Miller journal-could answer my questions.”

Post-WWII Japan

International studies major Jake Freeman ’17 was mentored by Dean Andrea Talentino. His summer research project, “From Destruction to Stability,” examined the methods and circumstances that led to the successful rebuilding of Japan after WWII through the national investment of social and economic resources by the United States for the purpose of developing a mutually beneficial relationship of security and economic interests.

Freeman’s study showed that economic policies promoting the middle class, combined with social institutions that continue to reinforce the outcomes of those policies, along with a mutual security interest make a successful mission. Freeman said, “The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and working closely with Dr. Talentino opened my eyes to research being a professional way to discover things no one else has and, that each person’s research is a small jigsaw piece to a [complete] picture of understanding.”

About Undergraduate Research

Norwich students have a wealth of options when it comes to learning. One of the most exciting developments in this area is the Undergraduate Research Program, which provides funding to students for summer research projects, original research, or creative work projects done during the academic year, as well as opportunities to present papers at professional meetings.

Each October, a Faculty Scholarship Celebration is held on campus featuring displays of faculty/student joint summer research fellowship projects. In December, an Undergraduate Research Symposium generates conversation about research methods across disciplines and gets students thinking about independent research. The symposium provides a collaborative forum for students to develop their research ideas and introduces them to a range of funding opportunities. In May, a Student Scholarship Celebration allows students the opportunity to display their research abstracts from the previous summer or academic year, and recipients of upcoming summer grants are acknowledged.

A recently created Ambassadors Program enlists Undergraduate Research fellows from the previous year to promote the program by visiting classes, attending department meetings, displaying their research posters in the Wise Campus Center, and providing information to future student researchers.

English Professor Amy Woodbury Tease and Criminal Justice Professor Travis Morris are the COLA representatives to the Undergraduate Research Committee.

Read more about Norwich Undergraduate Research.