A. Shaw, Chancellor
Sandi Tams Mulconry ’75, Associate Vice President for University
Jeffrey Charboneau G’99, Executive Director of Creative Services;
Amy Shires, Christine Yackel G’75
Margaret Costello, Kate Gaetano
WEB PAGE DESIGNER
CLASS NOTES COORDINATOR
Lindsay Beller G03, Cori Bolger 03,
Kristen Swing 03
Arney, Nicci Brown G98,
Patrick Farrell, Wendy Loughlin G95,
Lisa Miles 03, Peggy Morgan,
Mark Owczarski 86, G88,
Kathleen S. Smith
Syracuse University Magazine (USPS 009-049, ISSN 1065-884X)
Volume 20, Number 1, is an official bulletin of Syracuse University
and is published four times yearly: spring, summer, fall, and winter
by Syracuse University, Syracuse NY 13244. It is distributed free
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expressed in Syracuse University Magazine are those of the
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UNIVERSITY MISSION •
To promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative
accomplishment, and service.
UNIVERSITY VISION •
be the leading student-centered research university with faculty,
students, and staff sharing responsibility and working together
for academic, professional, and personal growth.
As you page
through various issues of this magazine, one catch phrase you will
come across is real-world experience. If youre
like me, you may have asked, As opposed to whata surreal-world
experience? At one time I tried to expunge the phrase from
these pages, but that became an exercise in futility. Id zap
the words real world in one story and theyd pop
up modifying experience in another and another, until
I was nearly buried in an avalanche of them as they appeared in
writers narratives, professors quotes, students
anecdotes, and alumnis reflections. It was like shoveling
the driveway in a Syracuse snowstorm: By the time you reached the
road and turned around, the driveway was buried again.
It seems as
if there is no escaping real-world experiencesand that must
be a good thing for SU students, because familiarity with the Real
World is important. After all, remember when you were a sheltered
student and some wisdom-oozing person warned, Just wait until
you get out into the Real World. And you just shrugged it
off, thinking: What could possibly be worse than pulling all-nighters,
sharing a room with a slob, and subsisting on macaroni and cheese
for months on end?
To be fair,
the phrase real-world experience is most often used
around here to draw a distinction between scholarly activities and
life beyond the borders of academiawhere students mix it up
with, well, real-world folks. They step outside the classroom and
find themselves working with people in the corporate sector, social
service agencies, and other places. Such experience, of course,
is an important part of college nowadays, especially if post-graduation
employment is a goal. The Universitys Academic Plan, for instance,
notes the value of experiential learning. Not only does this kind
of learning provide students the opportunity to explore professions
and gain valuable experience, but it also gives them a good idea
about whether theyre suited for their current career choice.
In this issue, for example, youll learn about students performing
with professional actors in a Syracuse Stage production of West
Side Story. Youll also read about law students who represent
real clients in real courts in the Real World (but, thankfully,
not on Reality TV).
And if theres
ever a real-world experience to savor, trust me, court is a good
place to find it. I discovered this a long time ago in one of my
own real-world experiences for a college journalism class. The professor
sent us to city court in Boston to observe the proceedings. I learned
a lot that dayperhaps more than I should haveabout snitches,
thieves, and the Real Worlds oldest profession. For another
class assignment I was instructed to wander out into the Real World
and interview someone interesting. I came back with a story about
a tea-leaf reader who set up shop in a flea market and claimed to
have a Ph.D. in medieval literature. This made me wonder if understanding
Beowulf was necessary to launch a career as a soothsayer
using one of those Magic Eight Balls. Trouble Ahead,
I envisioned it saying.
for many students the beauty of getting off campus, out into the
community, engaging in a professional pursuit, and experiencing
lifeas glorious or unvarnished as it may beis unmatched.
And I hope that, more often than not, these out-of-class adventures
inspire the students to say, I cant wait to get out
into the Real World. Theyll be welcomed toobecause
we need all the help out here we can get.