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Genesis outdoors: Getting creative about creation

web TumeinskiCongratulations to Dr. Marc Tumeinski for having a short article published in the journal Teaching Theology and Religion. Below is some information about the article:

The context: This activity was used in a required undergraduate introductory theology course at a Catholic college. I tried this exercise a month into class, at the start of a section on creation in Genesis.

The pedagogical purpose: The activity encourages students to deepen the skill of reading and understanding the Bible. It also invites students to use their imagination in recognizing the goodness and variety of creation described in Genesis 1. It takes place mostly outdoors, in a natural setting that mirrors the richness of the text, and encourages students to observe their surroundings in light of the text. Doing this as a group creates a positive learning environment; for example, the more active students act as role models of paying attention to detail, observing closely, and taking photos. The exercise mirrors the typical proclamation of Scripture within a communal context.

Description of the strategy: We went on a 40-minute gentle hike. I advised students to dress appropriately and to bring a smart phone. Our campus is wooded with groomed trails; this exercise could be adapted for other outdoor settings and for students of different abilities. We stopped seven times during the hike, reading aloud from Genesis 1:1-2:3, corresponding to the seven days of creation. I emphasized the repeated statement “and God saw that is was good” both vocally and with gesture, engaging student attention. Students were instructed to take lots of pictures (not of people or buildings) that had meaning for them in terms of the Genesis text – did they observe something mentioned in the text, what did they see that was good, and so on. We set a slow pace, allowing time to look, notice, and take photos. Returning to the classroom, students chose three photos and wrote a paragraph on each, describing: the photo, why they chose that image, and how they related it to Genesis. These were turned in, and students emailed the photos to me. I later shared all the photos with students. I tried the assignment twice in back-to-back classes, with different students. For future classes, I am considering possible variations, such as turning the questions into a class discussion, displaying photos in class immediately, adapting the written portion as an assignment.

Why it is effective: Students actively learn outside the classroom, rather than only listening to or reading a text, with the hope that later Bible readings will be more fruitful. They take photographs as a basis for writing, draw on multiple ways of learning, and make creative decisions. In the writing portion, students practice using course vocabulary. At least some were hearing Genesis for the first time, or the first time in a long time, which is a powerful pedagogical technique.

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Dr. Christensen and Two Students Publish Paper


Two AMC students, Nana Owusu and David Jean-Louis ('17), in collaboration with Dr. Christensen, recently published a paper in the journal Invertebrate Biology.  In the paper they examined how a protein called actin, which is present in all plant and animal cells, forms unique patterns (shown red in the image) in the the shell of a small freshwater invertebrate, Daphnia magna.  Moving forward, Dr. Christensen continues to work with AMC students on research projects that seek to shed light on the form and function of these unique, and beautiful, actin structures.  Here is an image of the actin in motion:

Factin 3D

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Lisa Summer Receives AMTA Award


Pictured left to right: Bryanna Tobin, Emma Nadeau, Dr. Lisa Summer, Kayla McBrien and Emily Hawley. 

Dr. Lisa Summer, Director of Music Therapy at Anna Maria College, received the 2017 Award of Merit at the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) National Conference in St. Louis on Friday, November 17. President-elect of AMTA Amber Weldon-Stephens presented the award to Dr. Summer for her contributions to the profession of music therapy.

“I am honored to be recognized by AMTA on a national level,” said Dr. Summer. “This is also an important achievement for the Anna Maria College Music Therapy program where we are preparing the next generation of music therapists and professionals. I will continue to work hard to be a role model to our students.”

The Award of Merit is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to AMTA through education, service, clinical practice and research. It honors their long term efforts towards the development and growth of the profession of music therapy.

“Lisa Summer tirelessly works to develop, maintain and advance Helen Bonny’s mission of GIM (Guided Imagery and Music) training, practice and research with a spirit of compassion, excellence and thoughtfulness,” said Amber Weldon-Stephens, President-elect of AMTA. “Lisa worked closely with Helen Bonny during her lifetime to maintain the integrity of the method. She has created important adaptations of GIM for acute populations.”

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A New Point of View

Civilian Academy

Paxton and Rutland residents shared what they learned shortly before receiving certificates to graduate from the free Civilian Police Academy at the Paxton Police Department on Dec. 12. Participants took part in weekly classes covering many aspects of law enforcement over the nine-week course, which started in early September.

The program included a class on domestic violence, taught by Dr. Tonisha M. Pinckney, a survivor of domestic violence. She is the director of the criminal justice graduate and undergraduate programs at Anna Maria College.

“The class educated students on the cycle of violence within a relationship, police responsiveness to domestic calls, the special considerations when a child is present on the scene, and how to tell if they are potentially in a violent or abusive relationship,” Pinckney said. “Students asked about how to help friends or family members who are in said relationships. We discussed the importance of proper police intervention, protection orders, and other legal means of protection and survival.”

Pinckney said many students were interested in the restraining order process, approaches for dealing with offenders, and resources that are available to victims.

Academy student Brett Wilson, of Rutland, a criminal justice major with a focus in domestic violence at Anna Maria College, grew up around domestic violence. As a result of that experience, he hopes to become a police officer in Worcester.

“My sister has bipolar disorder,” Willson said. “My parents divorced and became argumentative. So, it became parent vs. kid. And it hit home.”

In another part of the course, Webster Police K9 Officer Aaron Suss brought in two dogs, a 4-year-old German Shepherd named Bandit, and 4-month-old Dutch Shepherd named Bravo. Suss did a Powerpoint presentation and an outside live demonstration where Bandit had to apprehend a suspect, which was professional sport decoy Ken Pelc, and a short track where Bandit had to search for him and locate him, as he was hiding in some brush.

“I had some good feedback from the class, especially after I did the live demonstrations,” Suss said. “I explained how they detect drugs, how they search for evidence, track suspects, and how they are used to gain control and compliance from a suspect when they are located.”

Suss brought Bravo to show them the difference between a young pup that has the qualities to be a police dog versus a house pet. Bravo showed the class some of his beginning bite work on a puppy sleeve, Suss said. He talked about how dogs can be used for solving things other than crimes.

“I do go into a little bit of how dogs are used by other professions,” Suss said. “Some examples are: service dogs that help identify when their owners are going to experience a seizure, search and rescue dogs, and detector canine’s that are used by the movie industry to help detect pirated movie tapes, and the extermination industry, which uses dogs to detect bed bugs.”

Former owner of Land & Sea Market in Paxton, James Laingor, knew many of the police officers, who were customers, but he said he learned something in every class. Laingor said as a town resident, he wanted to know more about what officers go through on a daily basis, adding he luckily hasn’t needed them for an emergency.

“I now have a lot more respect for what they do,” Laingor said. “I recommend anyone to take the class, whether you have some police background or not.”

Laingor’s favorite class was when Police Chief Robert Desrosiers did an accident reconstruction demonstration in the station’s parking lot – the old-fashioned way – with the weighted half-tire, pulling it to determine how fast the victim’s car could have been traveling.

“Today, they use a math formula to determine the speed,” Laingor said. “But sometimes the old way is the best way.”

Holden’s former police service aide and former Paxton public safety dispatcher Donmarie Desrosiers, of Paxton, has enrolled in the class twice, adding that case law changes.

“It wasn’t the same verbatim,” Desrosiers said. “My favorite class was on the role of the medical examiner. Seeing the bones, excavator, and the site are intriguing.”

Civilian Academy organizer Sgt. Guy Bibeau said he felt and hoped that the program gave the five Anna Maria College students and eight others an insight as to what goes on in law enforcement.

Pinckney agreed.

“I believe it necessary to bridge the gap between communities and law enforcement so that questions can be answered, relationships can build, and there can be more communication and cooperation between the two groups,” said Pinckney.

Article and Picture taken from:

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Dr. Karin Ciance selected as Top Female Executive for 2018



Dr. Karin Ciance selected as Top Female Executive for 2018 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP)

Dr. Karin Ciance, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Anna Maria College was just recently selected for the Top Female Executive Award for 2018 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP).

While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor in itself, only a few women are chosen for this distinction based on their years of experience in the field, professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, and contributions to their communities.  These are truly incredibly talented women who have dedicated their life to their work and have had a lifetime of achievement and success in a male dominated industry!

Dr. Ciance was also selected by IAOTP as Top Professional of the Year in Community Health Nursing for 2017 for her outstanding leadership and dedication to the field.  She will be honored at IAOTP’s 2017 Annual Award Gala at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park NYC for both distinctions. 

Dr. Ciance is being recognized for having over 3 decades of professional experience in the Nursing Industry and for her dynamic results-driven leadership on all levels with Nursing.  With her diverse background and experience, Dr. Ciance has held an impressive repertoire of prior roles.  She started her career as a Staff Nurse, Charge Nurse, Associate Nurse Manager, Nurse Manager, Director of Clinical Services and Director of Urgent Care.  She has worked in many different areas in nursing including urgent care, medical/surgical nursing, women’s health, rehabilitation, community health, home health and long-term care. 

Dr. Ciance earned her Diploma in Nursing in 1983 from Worcester City Hospital School of Nursing and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1989 at Worcester State College.  While working full time, she simultaneously earned her MS in Community Health Nursing also at Worcester State College in 2004 and completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Walden University in 2014.

Dr. Ciance began teaching a lab section at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) and fell in love with it that she later accepted a position at MCPHS University in Worcester, Massachusetts as an Adjunct Nursing Professor.  She also accepted a position as an adjunct nursing professor and taught in the graduate nursing program at Worcester State College in the Community Health Nursing program. In 2010, Dr. Ciance taught in the Associate Nursing Program as an adjunct professor, before accepting a full time faculty at Anna Maria College in 2011. Dr. Ciance has demonstrated success not only as a nurse but also as a professor educating nursing students and developing courses for the BSN program and for the college’s online RN-BSN program including fundamentals, community health, public health, research and senior seminar.   Dr. Ciance also advises students and attends faculty assemblies and school meetings when she isn’t in the classroom and serves as a mentor for new faculty and graduate nursing students, is the Vice President of the Faculty Assembly.

Throughout her illustrious career, Dr. Ciance remains active in her community, has received numerous awards, accolades and has been featured in many publications and magazines for her outstanding leadership and commitment to the profession. In 2011 selected as Professional of the Year by Continental Who’s Who.  In 2013 selected as VIP of the Year with Strathmore Whos Who.  In 2015 she was selected as Outstanding Professional of the Year and inducted as Roundtable Member by Strathmore Who’s Who.  In 2016 selected by Oxford Who’s Who Tier of Excellence and featured in Women of Distinction Magazine. She was featured on a billboard on the Reuters Building in Times Square and for 2017 selected Top Nurse in Paxton, Massachusetts by the International Nurses Association and named Top Professional of the Year in Community Health Nursing by the International Association of Top Professionals.  She is an active member of Worcester City Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, Vice President of the Iota Phi Chapter for the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses, the American Nurses Association, Massachusetts/Rhode Island League for Nursing, Golden Key International Honor Society and American Woman of Today. She is also the Executive Director for the Greenwood Street Medical Clinic, which is a free medical clinic that serves underprivileged citizens with no medical insurance.

 For more information on Dr. Ciance please visit (

Watch her video: 



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