Poet, professor presents lecture to commemorate presidential inauguration

TEMP ORARY February 16, 2012 1

Carmine Sarracino, professor of English at Elizabethtown College, will be reading poetry and lecturing for the Inaugural Scholarship Lecture Series.

On Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Carmine Sarracino, poet and professor of English, will be presenting “Life, Point Blank: War as a Metaphor for Ordinary Life.” Sarracino plans to read from his collection of poems in Hoover 212.

Sarracino, who attended Rhode Island College and the University of Michigan, has had previous poems published in magazines such as The Laural Review and The Beloit Poetry Journal. His first book of poems, “The Idea of the Ordinary” was published in 2003. He later went on to publish “The Heart of War” in 2005 and “The Battlefield Photographer” in 2008.

The particular collection of poems Sarracino will read has a great deal to do with the American Civil War. He will explain how, in various ways, he has come to think and see each day as a life in war.

Our lives are similar to war. We are wounded everyday, just as those in war are. These wounds can be physical, such as a repercussion of an accident, or they can be psychological and emotional. Some of these wounds could even be fear or grief.

But this does not mean that we have to see everything so negatively. The positive aspects/outcomes of conflict are courage, heroism and love. Things of this sort are conditions of war that we can see in our everyday life experiences.

Sarracino’s presentation is just one in the yearlong Inaugural Scholarship Lecture Series. “It is celebrating the year of a new president, Carl J. Strikwerda. It is an appropriate celebration for the new president, considering he is a scholar himself,” said Dr. Susan Traverso, provost and senior vice president, “This series is to recognize what a special year it is for [the] College. It is a special year because of the new president and also to remind us all that we have distinguished accomplished scholars on our campus.”

She went on to state how pleased she is with the results of the series so far. There have been a number of students who have been attending the various presentations. “When the President, Carl, presented, it was a standing presentation, every seat was taken.”

The presenters of the Inaugural Scholarship Series were all chosen by Dean of Faculty Fletcher McClellan and Traverso. “The professors who are speaking are some of the most distinguished faculty of Elizabethtown,” Traverso added. The five speakers who were chosen are: Dr. Mark Harman, Dr. Catherine Lemley, Dr. Carl Strikwerda, Dr. Carmine Sarracino and Dr. Jane Cavender.

Each one of the speakers individually chose the topic they would speak about in their presentations. “I asked them to select a topic that they were passionate about, and they could engage a general audience,” Traverso said. “I wanted to have diversity of fields represented. I wanted to have science, creativeness and humanists. Basically, have a high range of fields. I also wanted to make it clear that we have women professors who are very distinguished.” Traverso also stated that she thinks that this series works toward the themes set forth by the current strategic plan.

“When we do programs like this series, we want to make sure there is diversity and that there is access to all students to be able to engage in all the programs that are offered on campus,” Traverso explained. “The number one goal is creating independent learners. You on your own [will] make good decisions.”

The presenters want students to be able to have the opportunity to feel the campus culture not just inside our regular classrooms, but also outside of them. They hope to accomplish this by creating programs such as the current Inaugural Scholarship Series. “Students should be able to say, ‘I am so grateful I have not only this option but so many options to learn from,’” Traverso said. “That is the kind of environment the president, the Board and I would like to see around campus, students learning beyond the classroom.”

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