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Brown Bag Series

Please join us in the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall (Music Building) on Fridays from 12:30-1:30PM for these upcoming Brown Bag Series presentations. Feel free to bring your lunch and relax! Visitors coming to the Brown Bag Series are able to obtain a day pass from the information booth at Paul Loser Hall and can park in the visitor lots on campus. For a list of all previous Brown Bag presenters, please click here. 

Dr. Anne S. Leonard Presents “Exploring the Sensory World of Bees Through Science and Art”

February 3, 2017


Hosted by the TCNJ Art Gallery Co-Sponsored by the Department of Biology

Dr. Leonard’s presentation is being made in conjunction with the TCNJ Art Gallery’s exhibition, Jessica Rath: A Better Nectar, which opened on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Over the past 100 years, interactions between bees and the flowers they pollinate have offered scientists a window into a sensory world other than our own.  Bees have emerged as an important model system for understanding not only the neural mechanisms involved in learning about floral scents, colors, and patterns, but also how such sensory and cognitive abilities have evolved to cope with the complex informational landscape that underlies a flower-filled meadow.  Scientists have mustered an array of approaches to quantify the perceptual world of bees, ranging from the early work of Nobel Laureate Karl von Frisch on color vision, to modern approaches that involve visual modeling of bee “color space”.  These discoveries have made it possible for researchers to ask new questions about both the function of common floral signals and the mechanisms of bee decision-making.

Building on these research themes, Jessica Rath’s exhibition A Better Nectar offers art as an alternative way to translate the sensory world of bees into human terms.  Drawing from the research findings and materials sourced from Anne Leonard’s Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, Rath began a cross-disciplinary conversation that challenged researchers to view their work on plant-pollinator communication from a shifted perspective.

Understanding how floral signals have evolved to manipulate the behavior of pollinators continues to be a major focus of Leonard’s research; in addition to sharing recent discoveries about how bumblebees learn and remember multi-sensory floral signals, she will also talk about this research’s role as a source of information and inspiration for A Better Nectar.

“Social Justice, Music, & Education” Presented by Colleen Sears & David Vickerman, TCNJ Music Faculty

February 10, 2017

Hosted by the Department of Music

This presentation will highlight some of the repertoire to be performed as part of the TCNJ Wind Ensemble’s upcoming performance, “On Violence & Peace.” The speakers will also discuss their work with the Institute for Social Justice in the Arts at TCNJ.

“Narrow minded” Presented by Craig Welsh, Co-Founder of Society of Design

February 17, 2017

Hosted by Art & Art History

Craig is principal/creative director of Go Welsh, co-founder of Society of Design, an associate professor of communications and humanities at Penn State Harrisburg, and a visiting MFA Graphic Design instructor at Marywood University. Craig was educated as an architect while earning a BS Architecture degree from Penn State University; he later earned his MA Advertising Design degree from Syracuse University and MFA Graphic Design degree from Marywood University. He has also participated in the AIGA/Harvard Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders executive education program. He has judged creative competitions in the U.S. and Canada, including One Show Design, AIGA 365, Applied Arts Photography & Illustration Annual, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington, and several ADDY Awards competitions. Craig has authored articles on design and creativity for publications in the U.S. and Canada, written a monthly column, ‘Overlooked,’ for the RockPaperInk blog from Rockport Publishing, and completed a book, “Design:Portfolio; Self-promotion at its best,” for Rockport in 2013. He regularly visits with students, conducts portfolio reviews, and presents at advertising and design conferences and events.

Esteban Martinez, TCNJ Alumni and Filmmaker

March 3, 2017

Hosted by Interactive Multimedia

TCNJ alumni and filmmaker Esteban Martinez talks about the process of taking his project from conception to completion while providing advice on how to do the same with your dream projects.

Annemarie Conte, Executive Editor of Woman’s Day

March 24, 2017

Hosted by Journalism & Professional Writing

Morehshin Allahyari, Artist, Activist, Educator, and Occasional Curator

March 31, 2017

Hosted by Interactive Multimedia

Morehshin Allahyari is an artist, activist, educator, and occasional curator. She is the recipient of the leading global thinkers of 2016 award by Foreign Policy magazine.

Creating Concrete Change in the Digital Age: Using Social Media for Advocacy and Public Education Presented by Hilary Woodward

April 7, 2017

Hosted by Communication Studies

Almost all of us use social media in some form in our personal lives, and we’ve become experts at extracting what we need from each platform – whether deep connections, endless distraction or helpful if constant streams of information. But how can nonprofit organizations further their missions using channels that are decidedly for profit and whose goals don’t necessarily align with their own? This lecture will discuss how real change can happen at the intersection of commerce, personal relationships and social good. We’ll examine case studies from nonprofits and other groups that have taken advantage of the pervasiveness of social media to further their own work in exciting and inspiring ways.

Brown Bag Series

April 21, 2017

Hosted by TBD

This event is free and open to the public; it will take place in the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall, Music Building. Feel free to bring your lunch and relax!

Victoria_JenningsCommunal Coping: How it Helps, How it Hurts, and How We Heal

September 30, 2016

Hosted by the Department of Communication Studies

Victoria Jennings-Kelsall will discuss how communal coping among military surviving spouses has the potential to promote resilience, normalize a non-normative experience and reduce stigma in a culture where discussion about death is uncomfortable. Through specific anecdotes about her personal experience she will highlight her perspective on the benefits of communal coping.

Presented by Victoria Jennings-Kelsall

CarolinaUnderstanding Artful Behaviors as a Human Proclivity: Clues from the Classroom

October 14, 2016

Hosted by the Department of Art & Art History

Because students spontaneously exhibit aesthetic and rhythmic acts in the classroom and human beings across the world have engaged in the arts for thousands of years, this body of research explores the possibility that artful behavior represents an inherent and significant human proclivity. Based on an ethological understanding of art (that is, as a behavior rather than an object) and informed by educational neuroscience, anthropology, psychology, educational research and arts education, this presentation investigates the tensions between the human predisposition and the physical and mental limitations of traditional formal education, ultimately seeking to understand how artful behaviors might represent an intrinsic part of human nature with the intent of bridging the gap between our natural inclinations for learning and the methods utilized in mainstream education.

Presented by TCNJ Assistant Professor of Art Education Carolina Blatt-Gross

RobertStraussWorst. President. Ever.

October 21, 2016

Presented by the Department of Journalism and Professional Writing

Robert Strauss’s most recent book is a discussion of the failed presidency of James Buchanan, but it is also a look at how and why we rate our presidents, who might be contenders to Buchanan’s nadir, why we might not get our best people to run, and Strauss’s own obsession with the presidents – The Guys, as his dad and he called them.

Robert Strauss has been a reporter for Sports Illustrated, a feature writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, and a news and sports producer for KYW-TV, then the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. He has been a freelance writer for the better part of the last two decades, with his primary client being the New York Times, where he has had more than 1000 bylines. He is the author of “Daddy’s Little Goalie,” a funny/sentimental memoir about being the dad of girl athletes, and the current, “Worst. President. Ever.”, a look at James Buchanan’s presidency, its failure, and the whole presidential rating game. He has taught non-fiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania since 1999.

Presented by Bob Strauss, University of Pennsylvania lecturer, freelance journalist, and author of Worst President Ever: James Buchanan, the POTUS Rating Game, and the Legacy of the Least of the Lesser Presidents.

To Be Announced

October 28, 2016

Hosted by the Department of Interactive Multimedia

NinaPaleyArt and Copyright

November 4, 2016

Hosted by the Department of Art & Art History

Nina Paley is the creator of the animated musical feature film Sita Sings the Blues, which has screened in over 200 film festivals and won over 35 international awards. More recently she made This Land Is Mine, a short about Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant intended for a larger project, Seder-Masochism. Her adventures in our broken copyright system led her to join as Artist-in-Residence in 2008, where she produced a series of animated shorts about intellectual freedom called Minute Memes. Today, as half of PaleGray Labs, she is developing techniques to combine animation with her other passions of quilting and embroidery.

Presented by artist Nina Paley

Bev_Crair_02_high_resWomen in Tech Panel

November 11, 2016

Hosted by the School of the Arts and Communication

Women in tech industries are far outnumbered by men, despite having once been a powerhouse in the field. How do women make it successfully to the top of the corporate tech ladder today? What are the challenges and obstacles they face along the way? In this panel discussion, women who are leaders in the tech industry will share their own stories, explore the role of women in the tech industry, and discuss why men should be advocates for an inclusive workplace.

Moderated by Monisha Pulimood, Chair of Computer Science at TCNJ

TMM logo-with-white-backgroundTrenton Makes Music IV: Where Do We Go From Here?

November 18, 2016

Hosted by the Department of Music

Experts on local/regional socioeconomic policy and local leaders discuss the impact of the arts on the local economy and community. Topics to include current music-making in the city and region, musical culture as an important driver of cultural memory and identity, the future of Trenton’s musical culture, and the future of Trenton itself.

This lecture is the fourth and final event in the Trenton Makes Music series. The other lectures are:

Trenton Makes Music I: Classical & Sacred Music
Wednesday September 21, 7:00-9:00pm Trenton Conservatory Mansion

Trenton Makes Music II: Colonial Roots, the Great Migration, and Jazz History
Wednesday October 12, 7:00-9:00pm Mayo Concert Hall

Trenton Makes Music III: School of Pop
Wednesday November 16, 7:00-9:00pm Mayo Concert Hall

Ken PerlinPrototyping Future Reality

December 2, 2016

Hosted by the Department of Interactive Multimedia

In the near future, how will communication between people evolve? How might language itself evolve, as children will be able to augment speech by drawing their ideas directly in the air, and gestures can trigger simulations as part of speech itself? One way that we explore this question is by creating prototypes in which people wear lightweight, untethered VR headsets within a shared alternate reality where they see each other as avatars, their positions tracked via Motion Capture, while sharing social experiences like drawing in 3D in thin air.

Presented by Ken Perlin, Academy Award winning computer graphics artist, Professor of Computer Science at NYU, and Director for Games for Learning Institute.


  • Russian Folk Goup "Zolotoj Plyos"

  • Dr. Warren Buckleitner: Making Digital Magic

  • Jeffry Cudlin: Imposters, Interlocutors, and Dilettantes

  • Boheme Opera NJ: Excerpts from "Don Pasquale" & "Faust"

  • TCNJ Orchestra Performs Stephen Gorbos's "Bounce"