President's Column

Agnes O'Connell

Welcome to the Spring 2010 issue of The Emeriti Times, an e-news publication.  We are delighted to report that in the second year of the MSU Emeriti Association, we can say with confidence that the far-reaching accomplishments of emeriti enhance the reputation and status of the university.  Our Association encourages the continuing achievements of its members and publicizes these in The Emeriti Times and elsewhere.

This issue of The Emeriti Times highlights some of the rich creativity and creative process evident in the continued activity of emeriti involved in scholarly, educational, professional, and community service pursuits:  publishing books and other works, making professional presentations; giving professional performances; teaching; engaging in community projects, etc.

Drawing upon this creative output, we celebrated the music and poetry accomplishments of several of our emeriti in the program of the Second Annual Spring Meeting of the MSU Emeriti Association in April. 

In music, the program featured Chaim Zemach (Professor Emeritus, Music), principal cellist of the Chautauqua Symphony and a member of its teaching faculty; formerly a member of the Israel Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and principal cellist of the Suisse Romande Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the American Symphony.  Zemach played a Bach Suite for Solo Cello preceded by a short Israeli piece Moment Biblique composed by his brother.  (See his article in this issue.)

In poetry, the program featured three emeriti.  Ruth Handel (Professor Emerita, Reading) is the founder of the field of family literacy, author of numerous articles, and presenter at national and international conferences.  She manages a volunteer organization called the Poetry Caravan whose 35 poet members do readings in hospitals, senior centers, prisons, and shelters; teaches workshops in poetry and poetry writing in an adult school, for a community organization and for psychiatric patients.   Handel read from her recently published book of poetry, Reading the White Spaces, and from a collection in progress. (See her article in the Fall issue of The Emeriti Times

George Petty (Professor Emeritus, English) journalist and poet read short story poems from his work published in the past year.  Petty reported that many poems in today’s literary journals are interior monologues, in which the speaker muses in provocative words about a subject of interest. Or, they are collages of freely associated words on such a subject. Such poems are called lyrics.  But his favorite kind of poem tells a story. He read some of his story poems that have been published in the past year.  (See his article in this issue.)

Carole Stone (Professor Emerita, English), poetry editor of the journal, Tiferet, is recipient of three fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts.  Her poetry books include Lime and Salt (Carriage House Press), Traveling with the Dead, (Backwaters Press), American Rhapsody forthcoming from Cavankerry Press and seven poetry chapbooks, the most recent Paris Etudes (Finishing Line Press).  Her online chapbooks are at Beard of Bees Press.  She read from her forthcoming book, American Rhapsody.  (See her article in this issue.)

The focus on creativity and the creative process in this issue also includes an article by David Kelly (Professor Emeritus, Classics and General Humanities) on the development of the field of classics at Montclair State University over the last several decades, a microcosm of the creative evolution of classical studies at other universities.

A few examples of the creative expressions and accomplishments of numerous other emeriti, too many to mention here, follow:

Anna Pai (Professor Emerita, Biology) is the author of Choices (2009, Dorrance Publishing), a sci-fi novel about genetic cloning, academic politics, the role of women in science and academics, and obstacles faced by Asian minorities.  It is published under her pseudonym A. C. White.

Butler Brewton (Professor Emeritus, English) is the author of Richard Wright's Women: The Thematic Treatment of Women in UNCLE TOM'S CHILDREN, BLACK BOY and NATIVE SON (2010, Academic Press). 

Don Mintz (Professor Emeritus, Music) lectured in April at the Cornell University Musicology Colloquium on "How May We Talk about the Mendelsohn Octet:  Analysts and Problems"

Mort Rich (Professor Emeritus, English) was recognized with the New Jersey College English Association Steven J. Rosen Mentor Award for “tireless dedication to mentoring colleagues throughout his distinguished academic career.”

Warren Heiss (Professor Emeritus, Communication Sciences and Disorders) provides invaluable creative community service in overseeing and building homes for Habitat for Humanity in Southern Ocean County three days a week.

For more complete coverage and continuing updates on the accomplishments of emeriti and their contributions to the status of the university, see News & Events on our website (