Sunday, February 21, 2016

Salem State Viking Voices: Vikings Roll into March 2016

The month of March is often said to, "come in like a lion." For Salem State the University will soon leave February behind and roar into the month of March like true Vikings. Across the campus from our sports teams, to our performing artists, to our cultural contributions, to new vibrant staff additions, positive stories abound as the University continues as a beacon of progress.

The month February began with several Salem State performing arts students taking home honors at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Regional Festival. Isabel Samuel, Morgan Flynn, and Matt Lundergan took home awards; Ms. Samuel for Lighting Design, and Flynn and Lundergan for categories in directing. With equal notoriety, student Mat Stanley, "received a musical theatre scholarship for the Open Jar Institute where he will workshop with for a week in New York City, and then to continue to Washington, D.C. for a week to compete for their national award at the Kennedy Center National Festival in April."

On February 3, Salem State’s 2016 Martin Luther King Leadership Awards were presented to Rev. Laura Biddle, English professor Keja Valens, and psychology major Molly Cavanagh ’15. For the first time in the annual award's history a fellow alumnus Emmuel Asonganyi ’11, was also honored. The award is given to a "faculty member, [alumnus] and staff or administrator for their outstanding and significant contributions to the cause of freedom, justice, peace, and equality." 

At mid month a new Dean of Students was appointed. Carla Tharp PhD was chosen to fill the void left by James Stoll, who retired from the position in December. Dean Tharp comes to Salem after, "most recently serving as associate vice president for student life & development at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey."

In winter sports the O'Keefe Complex is about to become an epicenter of Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) playoff action. After leading the conference all season the Salem State Men's Basketball Team has earned a first round bye and home court advantage for the conference tournament which begins for the Vikings on Thursday February 25. 

Heading into the final game of the regular season facing Worcester State Tuesday February 23, the Salem State Men's Hockey Team is riding a ten game win streak and is holding on to first place in the conference. In the month of February the Men's Ice Hockey Team has outscored opponents by a margin of 24 to 11. 

On February 11, the Vikings took over first place in the conference by defeating rival Plymouth State in an exciting 3 to 1 victory. With just a one point conference lead heading into Tuesday night's action at the Rockett Ice Arena, the Vikings stand on the verge of securing the top cede and home ice advantage for the MASCAC tournament which begins Saturday February 27. 

Among the many accolades received by student athletes in February, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced ice hockey players, "senior Cam Moniz (Seekonk, MA), junior defenseman Brad Jones (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and junior goaltender Marcus Zelzer (Green Bay, WI) as finalists," for the sixteenth Joe Concannon Award. Established in 2001 the award is named for journalist Joe Concannon and recognizes, "New England's Best American-born Division II-III hockey player." 

I hope you are able join other alumni as we travel to Salem to root for our Vikings as they pursue championship victories. If you can't make it to cheer in person, there are ways to follow online. Live game video and stats will be streamed on MASCAC TV and the individual Vikings' sports web pages. You can also follow our Vikings teams on Twitter @SsuVikings.

As February rolls into the month of March, many great things are taking place in which our alumni community may benefit. Highlights include: 

  • the premier production of A Small Death in a Big Country an original play written and directed by Salem State professor William Cunningham debuts February 25, 2016 at the Callan Studio Theatre (tickets: $15 general admission/ $10 student & seniors/ free with Salem State student ID, may be purchased at;
  • the Bertolon School of Business Marketing and Decision Sciences department is hosting the Entrepreneurship Guest Speaker Lecture, Monday, February 29; 
  • the Enterprise Center at Salem State University has a packed calendar of programs from the business applications of Social Media, to seminars on sustainability, to CEO group meetings, to the Business Plan Competition, to other events that can help in our alumni careers and businesses;
  • the Annual Career Fair, is taking place March 3 from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Gassett Fitness and Recreation Center;
  • jazz trumpet player Terell Stafford, who piano legend McCoy Tyner has described as, “one of the great players of our time," will perform in the new campus recital hall on March 11 (visit here for tickets and information);  and
  • many more events and happenings both in Salem as well as away from campus including the Naples Florida St. Patrick's Day Parade and Luncheon.

For a complete schedule of events, please click here for the University calendar. 

I hope to see you on campus or online as we Vikings charge into the month of March.