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Fall 2012

Meeting Goals

Where did your day just go? Chances are good that some portion was swallowed up by meetings. In a recent survey by, 47 percent of workers cited “too many meetings” as the No. 1 time waster on the job.

Shock Absorbers

When Wei Guo packed for the 10-plus-hour flight from China to Bentley, he brought along some reminders of home. At U.S. Customs he was pressed to explain the “suspicious” jars of pickles and bags of seasoning in his suitcase.

“I immediately found a big gap between the Test of English as a Foreign Language and real life,” says Guo, who had scored well on the TOEFL, a standard test for language proficiency. “Situations like this definitely do not appear on the exam.”

Charting a New Course

Ninety miles south of – and in many ways, a world away from – the United States, Cuba has been largely a mystery to U.S. travelers for half a century. Last spring, a group of Bentley undergraduates got a rare firsthand look at the country, through a course led by Associate Professor of History Cyrus

During the embedded travel component of  “Cuba: Past, Present, Future,” students met Cuban economists, political scientists, architects and artists, as well as ordinary citizens, to glean insights across the island nation, which has been under a U.S. trade embargo since 1960.

Media Tap Bentley Experts

“We're beginning to see the leading edge of a time when a university is no longer defined by bricks and mortar at a set location with a set faculty. This notion of learning communities not defined by place is the way the market is going to go.”

Bill Gribbons, Program Director, MS in Human Factors in Information Design

Times Higher Education (UK), June 7, 2012


Fluent in Controversy

The cover of a recent Chronicle Review sums up academic reaction to a new book by linguist Dan Everett. Rendered in caricature, Bentley’s dean of arts and sciences exchanges scowls with the man who has dominated the field for some 50 years.

“Angry Words,” reads the headline. “Is Noam Chomsky’s reign over linguistics at an end?”

Everett chuckles at the illustration but answers the question with a serious “yes.”

Experience Counts

Crowded pages. Over-styled layouts with poor functionality. Confusing navigation. Bill Albert has seen many such website sins during his 15 years helping companies improve their online presence.

“It’s no longer good enough just to have an 'easy' website,” says Albert, executive director of Bentley’s Design and Usability Center (DUC) and an adjunct professor of information design and corporate communication. “The site has to provide an exceptional user experience.”

Forward Thinking

Most college seniors spend a good deal of time pondering their own future. For Ryan Miamis ’12, it was just as important to consider the future of the ground beneath his feet. 

Working with Professor of English and Media Studies Gesa Kirsch, Miamis spent the 2011-2012 academic year studying how urban dwellers might develop a “land ethic.” That is, a guiding philosophy for making decisions about land: using it, preserving it, changing it and more.   

History Gets Personal

For Daniel Marrano ’13, the history of Bentley University is much more than the stuff of dusty documents and yellowed news clippings.

“Basically, my whole family has gone to Bentley,” he says of a clan that includes his mother, father and two siblings. “I’ve always been interested in the history of the school, because it’s part of my own history.”

Instrumental Learning

The Arts and Lectures program is striking a chord on campus, with offerings so varied that even those who can’t carry a tune are taking note.

“The appeal is far-reaching, whether you want to learn a new skill or develop an existing skill, or find out how business is very much a part of the art world,” says Adam Payne (pictured above), whose gig as assistant director of student activities includes directing the Arts and Lectures Program and the Bowles Performing Arts Series. “People have the power to choose how they want to enrich themselves and their overall cultural awareness.”


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