Video: Why First-Year Science Majors Read “The Martian”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYDSqc04yWg&w=560&h=315]

Norwich University Office of Communications

September 21, 2016

Incoming freshman in Norwich University’s College of Science and Mathematics discuss Andy Weir’s blockbuster about survival, science, engineering, and leadership on the Red Planet. Prof. David Westerman discusses why he recommended the book and NU Board of Fellows member and UVM polymer chemist Chris Allen leads the discussion.

9 Objects: The Office of NU Terrorism and Policing Scholar Travis Morris

Norwich University Office of Communications
September 13, 2016

It’s been a busy year for Norwich Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Travis Morris. Recently named the director of the university’s Peace and War Center, Morris organized a NATO-sponsored advanced training course on counter terrorism in Macedonia for South Eastern Europe this past spring. He’s also brought a Canadian Fulbright scholar to campus and co-led a summer trip to Israel and Palestine. The trip enabled students from Norwich and the Royal Military College of Canada to explore the roots of the Middle East conflict. All that while teaching and continuing his wide-ranging scholarship, which explores how ideas have shaped modern terrorism. His book, Dark Ideas: How Violent Jihadi and Neo-Nazi Ideologues Have Shaped Modern Terrorism is slated for publication later this year. Morris shares the backstory of nine objects from his office in Ainsworth Hall.

Great Moments in Aviation History Print
A gift from Morris’s father, a retired Air Force colonel, who taught at the Air Command Staff College at Maxwell AFB. “As a kid, I wanted to be a pilot and fly A-10s. But I didn’t have 20/20 vision, so I had to let that dream go.” Morris says the poster is a nod to his father and “reminds me a little bit of growing up surrounded by aviators.”

Kentucky Colonel Certificate
When Morris was a police officer in Kentucky, his in-laws nominated him as a colonel in Kentucky’s honorary state militia. He received the certificate among his wedding gifts.

Mountain Bike
As a PhD student and father in Nebraska, Morris cycled to work to squeeze in a workout. “The problem was the wind.” Today, Morris still bikes to the office, albeit less frequently. “I don’t have time just to go to the gym. So that’s where that fits in.” More often he drives, dropping his kids off at school along the way.

Florida Folksong Book
“My grandfather was a fourth-generation Floridian.” His brother, Alton C. Morris, PhD, was an ethnographer who recorded and preserved folk songs and taught English at the University of Florida. Morris’s grandfather constantly sang Florida folksongs to him as a child. The book speaks to the academic side of his family tree.

Miniature of Point Arena, Calif., Lighthouse
A gift from his father recalling Morris’s early childhood. The family lived on a remote USAF radar base in northern California that scanned the West Coast for the Soviet threat. “There were only several hundred people that lived on this remote mountain top. We had a doctor once a week.”

Scrimshaw Whale Tooth
Another memento from that time. Morris remembers it mostly as kid heaven. “It was like living in some outpost away from the rest of civilization—miles and miles and miles and miles of huge redwoods around us, and wild boars, and the long winding access road that made us car sick almost every time.”

Carnegie Foundation Mug
Part of the grant writing endeavors Morris has taken on as director of the Peace and War Center.

Haifa Photo
Morris spent two years living in Israel with his wife and young daughter while studying Hebrew and doing research for his master’s thesis on the Israel national police. “Believe it or not, that’s looking out our porch. If you turn your head slightly to the right you can see Lebanon.”

Family Photo Taken in Israel
“The girl in the middle is my little daughter, Eden. She was 6 months [old] when we lived there. She happens to be sitting on the Horns of Hattin, which is the site of a historic Crusader battle.” The 12th-century battle marked the turning point of the religious war. There’s no park, just a “small beat up metal sign at the end of a dirt path. You looked down from the battlefield to see the Sea of Galilee.”

Norwich in the News (Video): Montpelier Weekly Chats With 2016 Colby Book Award Winner Nisid Hajari

Photo: Formal head and shoulders portrait of author Nisid Hajari
Norwich University Office of Communications

April 14, 2016

Nat Frothingham, the publisher of the Montpelier weekly The Bridge, interviews journalist and author Nisid Hajari, winner of the 2016 Colby Book Award. A former editor at Newsweek, Hajari is the author of Midnight’s Furies, a riveting account of the partition of India following the end of British colonial rule in 1947 and its continued relevance today.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_KBO8sbMQU&w=560&h=315]

NU in the News: Professor Sean Prentiss Publishes Book on Edward Abbey

The Times Argus writes about Norwich assistant professor of English Prentiss and his quest to find the final desert resting place of environmental writer Edward Abbey
Norwich University Office of Communications

 
April 15, 2015

The Times Argus profiles Norwich University Assistant Professor of English Sean Prentiss in a March 28, 2015 article and discusses his new book on Edward Abbey.

A poet and author, Prentiss teaches creative writing at Norwich and runs the Norwich University Writers Series. In his new nonfiction book, Prentiss describes his search for the final desert resting place of famed environmental writer Edward Abbey.

Prentiss, who grew up in the same Pennsylvania town as Abbey, tells the Times Argus that his book is part memoir, part biography and part travelogue.

“Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave” will be issued by publisher University of New Mexico Press on May 1, 2015.

An essayist and novelist, Abbey loved the desert and has been described as the Thoreau of the American West. Among his best-known books are “Desert Solitaire,” an ode to time spent in his favorite landscape.

Before he died in 1989 at the age of 62, Abbey asked four friends to bury him in the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Arizona.

“It was one of Abbey’s favorite deserts,” Prentiss tells the Times Argus. “Maybe America’s most beautiful desert, it’s a spectacular place — a vast wilderness, very stark, very rocky. Full of saguaro cactus and very little else.”

“This book is about mystery, about the search for home and about asking a mentor for advice,” Prentiss says. “Yes, it’s about the search for the grave, but the search doesn’t matter. What matters is the journey.”

Read the full article here.

Norwich Writers Series to Host Iraq War Vet, Memoirist Kayla Williams

Norwich University Office of Communications

Updated April 13, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University Writers Series continues with Iraq War veteran and memoirist, Kayla Williams, author of “Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love & Recovery in the Aftermath of War” (2014) and “Love My Rifle More than You: Young & Female in the U.S. Army” (2006). Williams will read on Tuesday, April 21, at 4 p.m. in the Chaplin Hall Gallery.

Williams has appeared in numerous media interviews including this radio piece on PRI’s The World from February 2014, and including an appearance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show during a segment dealing with claim backlog at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Williams enlisted in the U.S. Army as an interpreter in 2000. She served as a sergeant and Arabic linguist in a military intelligence company of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for five years. During that time, she spent a year deployed in Iraq and Kuwait during the buildup to and ultimate invasion of Iraq in 2003. Williams served at the forefront of troops’ interaction with Iraqis while navigating the challenges of being part of the 15 percent female minority enlisted in the Army.

“Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army” is a memoir about Williams’ experiences negotiating the changing demands on today’s military. “Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War” details Williams’ marriage to Brian McGough, who was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. The book explores the effects of traumatic brain injury and PTSD.

Williams is a 2013 White House Woman Veteran Champion of Change, Truman National Security Project Fellow, and member of the Army Education Advisory Committee, and a former member of the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. She currently lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband.

The Norwich Writers Series event is presented by the university’s Center for Peace and War, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of English & Communications. All events in this series are free and open to the public. Williams’ memoir will be on sale at the event. A book signing will follow the reading.

Media Contact

Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
dlarkin@norwich.edu
802-485-2886 or 595-3613(m)

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About Norwich University

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). www.norwich.edu

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: bicentennial.norwich.edu