A conversation with Quan Zhou

Graphic novelist Quan Zhou will talk with BC Professors Min Song and Mary Kate Donovan about Asian immigration, art, and representation on Oct. 29 at Boston College. Zhou, who was born in Spain and is ethnically Chinese, explores the topic of identity in her work. The conversation is free and open to the public and will take place in Stokes S295 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

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Alpha Sigma Nu Book Awards

Associate Professor of Communication Matt Sienkiewicz and Roche Center for Catholic Education Executive Director Melodie Wyttenbach have received 2019 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Awards from the honor society of Jesuit colleges and universities. Books are judged on the basis of scholarship, significance of the topic and its continuing importance to scholars in several disciplines, mastery of extensive literature, research findings, authority in interpretation, objectivity, and readability. Sienkiewicz was honored for his book, The Other Air Force: U.S. Efforts to Reshape Middle Eastern Media Since 9/11. Wyttenbach was honored for Responding to the Call for Educational Justice: Transformative Catholic-Led Initiatives in Urban Education, which she co-edited with L. Mickey Fenzel of Loyola University Maryland. The Alpha Sigma Nu Book Awards recognize books in three different areas (Humanities, Sciences, and Professional Studies) over a three-year cycle. This year’s award winners were in the Professional Studies category. More from BC News.

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Fear factor

Abigail Marsh, Georgetown University associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, will present “The Altruistic Brain: Making the Choice to Help” on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 100. She is author of the book The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between, centered on her research on the brain. Marsh uses functional and structural brain imaging in adolescents and adults, as well as behavioral, cognitive, genetic, and pharmacological techniques to explore questions of altruism, aggression, and other human behavior. Her work has been published in  journals such as Nature Human Behavior, American Journal of Psychiatry, and JAMA Psychiatry. Sponsor: Park Street Corporation Speaker Series.

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Professor and alumnus honored

Professor of English Suzanne Matson’s novel Ultraviolet, which chronicles the disappointments and dilemmas of the women of one family across 80 years, was selected by the Massachusetts Center for the Book as a 2018 “Must Reads” fiction title. Areas of Fog, a debut non-fiction book by BC alumnus Will Dowd, Matson’s former student, was named a 2017 “Must Reads.” The authors were recently recognized at a Massachusetts Book Awards State House ceremony acknowledging significant works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents during the past two years. More from BC News.

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Helping teens thrive

A new book written by Boston College alumna Katie Hurley, a child and adolescent psychotherapist, is geared to help teens cope with symptoms of depression, low self-esteem, and stress. The Depression Workbook for Teens (Althea Press, 2019) is an interactive book designed specifically for teens to help them develop the skills they need to manage their emotional well-being. Hurley’s book touches upon topics such as social isolation, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other mood shifts. Hurley also is the author of The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World and No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls.

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Drawing God

After a trip to an art museum, a young girl named Emma is inspired to create a spectacular masterpiece of her own. She decides to draw God. So begins Drawing God (Paraclete Press, October 2019), a new children’s book written by Church in the 21st Century Center Director Karen Kiefer and illustrated by Kathy DeWit. When Emma shares her drawings with her classmates, none of them can see God in her artwork. Initially frustrated, Emma realizes that she doesn’t need their approval. Soon after, inspired by her faith, Emma’s classmates are drawing God too. More from BC News.

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Learning How to Hope

Hope is especially difficult to maintain in politically contentious times. In her talk on Oct. 9, philosopher of education Sarah Stitzlein will talk about what hope is, why it matters to democracy, and how it can be taught—all topics of her forthcoming book, Learning How to Hope. Her appearance on campus, sponsored by the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, is for the annual Wolfe Lecture on Religion and American Politics. It will be held in Fulton Hall, room 511, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Lynch School Associate Professor Christopher Higgins will serve as respondent. A RSVP is requested. Stitzlein is an award-winning professor of education and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. Her talk will offer ways to engage in hope that will help to revive democracy during and after the 2020 election. Stitzlein is the author of American Public Education and the Responsibility of Its Citizens: Supporting Democracy in an Age of Accountability and co-editor of the journal Democracy & Education.

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