David Little '01

Alumnus Earns Critical Acclaim for Opera

Composer David Little ’01 was featured in the Critic’s Notebook column in the Jan. 14 issue of The New Yorker. In it, critic Russell Platt called Little’s opera Dog Days “an example of old-fashioned artistic achievement.” Created with librettist Royce Vavrek, Dog Days is based on Judy Budnitz’s short story of the same name, about a 13-year-old girl and her family during an apocalyptic wartime. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have also praised the show, which was part of Montclair State University’s Peak Performances series. Another one of Little’s operas, Soldier Songs, played at the Prototype Festival in New York City from Jan. 11 to 18. In addition, the Fort Worth Opera Company has commissioned Little and Vavrek to compose an opera about the final days of President John F. Kennedy’s life.

Budding Ecologist Interns at UC-Berkeley

Last summer, ecology major Andrew Budsock ’14, from Nazareth, Pa., completed a research internship at the University of California–Berkeley, as part of a program in the university’s School of Public Health called Short Term Educational Experiences for Research in Environmental Health for Undergraduate Students, or STEER. Working with assistant researcher Elizabeth Carlton, Budsock investigated the effects of flooding on the disease pathway of the liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand. He also helped establish a flood-monitoring system in northeast Thailand that facilitated understanding of waterborne disease patterns in the area. While at Berkeley, Budsock and 11 other STEER interns also attended a seminar series on environmental health. He learned of the internship through a Society of Toxicology conference he attended with a travel award.

Back at Susquehanna, Budsock is a member of the university’s Committee on Sustainability and also majors in German. He spent the fall semester immersed in the language through a study-abroad experience in Freiburg, Germany.

Hollywood is on the Horizon For Bailey’s First Novel

Glenn Close, James Franco and Brit Marling signed on last fall to star in the film version of The Grace That Keeps This World, the 2005 novel by Professor of English and Creative Writing Tom Bailey. The movie will be directed by Azazel Jacobs from a screenplay adapted by Matthew Aldrich. Bailey optioned the film rights in 2007 and anticipates filming to begin in December, although the lead character, Gary Hazen, has yet to be cast. Although no release date has been set, Bailey says he’s a patient man who is happy to leave Hollywood to filmmakers. “I’m content to see how it works out. Lots of really smart, talented people are going at this.”

Even so, he hopes to visit the set once filming is underway. “Matt [Aldrich] and I have become friends,” he said. “And my kids can’t wait to be extras!”

The Grace That Keeps This World follows the lives of Gary and Susan Hazen and their two adult sons in the days leading up to hunting season in the Adirondacks.

Faculty and Alumni Release New Books

The Proper Words for Sin
Gary Fincke, professor of English and director of the Writers Institute
West Virginia University Press (March 2013)

Audio Production Worktext: Concepts, Techniques and Equipment, Seventh Edition
Craig Stark, assistant professor of communications (with Samuel J. Sauls)
Focal Press (March 2013)

Inspired Teaching: Essays on Theatre Design and Technology Education
Erik Viker, associate professor of theatre and production manager (editor)
United States Institute for Theatre Technology (March 2013)

When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts
Jeffrey K. Mann, associate professor of religion
Tuttle Publishing (October 2012)

Encountering China: Early Modern European Responses 
Rachana Sachdev, associate professor of English (co-editor with Qingjun Li)
Bucknell University Press (October 2012)

This Is Not About Birds
Nick Ripatrazone ’03
Gold Wake Press (September 2012)

Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons
Tara Laskowski ’02
Matter Press (September 2012) 

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