As students file into class and find their seats, they are greeted by a friendly and curious basset hound named Cydney. Several students pet Cydney as he sniffs his way through the room. Finally, Cydney settles in and lies on his side while a few students sit on the floor next to him and rub his belly. Cydney basks in the attention.
The treatment Cydney receives in the classroom is in sharp contrast to the treatment many animals receive each day at the hands of their owners. As Lauren Malmberg of the Peoria Animal Welfare Shelter (PAWS), and Kitty Yanko, director of education for the Peoria Humane Society, begin their presentation, the tone in the classroom abruptly shifts from light and fun to somber and sympathetic.
“An 11-year-old boy strangles a cat, and no one does anything. ‘Boys will be boys,’ they say. Two years later, the same boy strangles a 4-year-old child—now he’s a murderer,” explains Malmberg. “You have to take animal abuse seriously so you can stop the cycle of violence.”
The presentation was given in ETE 225—human development, a required class for education majors, and EHS 120—a class that introduces new Bradley students to campus life. The presentation stimulated discussion about discrimination, hate crimes, and other forms of abuse. Later, Zarvell’s EHS 120 class watched an edited version of The Laramie Project, the story of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was beaten to death. The class then discussed the death of James Byrd, Jr., a black man in Texas who was brutally dragged behind a truck until he was decapitated.
“I chose animals as the vehicle to introduce the topic of hate crimes because they elicit many different kinds of emotional responses from students without all of the human ‘drama’ that can often cloud the issue of human violence,” says Zarvell. He hopes that his students who become teachers will incorporate empathy education into their classrooms.
Malmberg and Yanko speak regularly to workers throughout the Peoria area whose occupations might require them to enter a home: social workers, postal carriers, meter readers, and police or probation officers. “Animal abuse is often the first indication that there is dysfunction in the family. Our goal is to make you understand the connection between animal abuse and human violence,” says Malmberg, showing graphic photos of animals that have been abused in the Peoria community. Malmberg explains the types of abuse in which animals fall victim: neglect, which involves not giving the animal proper food, shelter, or medical care; and cruelty, or intentional physical abuse. PAWS investigates more than 600 reports of cruelty or neglect each year. The dogs brought into the classroom are part of a group of animals that are taken to nursing homes as visitors and “animal therapists” for seniors. The animals are chosen for their gentleness.
Erin Kleiber ‘07, a music education major from Rock Island, says the experience was eye opening. “I had never heard of pet hoarding, and as a teacher, I will be more aware of what to look for in students who might live in a home where animal abuse and possibly human violence is a problem,” says Kleiber.
For more information, visit peoriahs.org or call PAWS at 309-494-8911.
“Math was just a cup of tea to me,” laughs Dr. William S. Massey ’41, the recent recipient of an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from Bradley in recognition of his 42 years of teaching math in the Ivy League. He taught 32 years at Yale and 10 years at Brown. After graduating third in his class at Peoria Central High School, Massey attended Bradley for two years on scholarship. Once he had taken all math classes offered, he left for the University of Chicago to complete his undergraduate studies and his master’s. Massey earned his Ph.D. from Princeton and has had 27 books published from his extensive math research. Adds Massey, “So many people have math anxiety. I was just one of the lucky ones, and Bradley prepared me well for going on to other universities.”
“7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens” offered
Bradley University Continuing Education will offer two one-day workshops this summer on “7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens.” Alumni and friends of the University are encouraged to enroll their high-school age children and grandchildren in one of two programs on Friday, July 14, or Friday, July 28. Workshops take place in the Michel Student Center’s Executive Suite from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The $95 fee includes Sean Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, the Success Guide workbook, refreshments, and lunch.
Leading the workshops are Franklin Covey-certified facilitators Janet Lange MA ’93, executive director of continuing education, and assistant director Jon Neidy MA ‘01. The workshops provide a step-by-step framework for boosting self-image, building friendships, resisting peer pressure, achieving goals, improving communication and relationships with parents, and much more. The habits build upon each other and foster behavioral change and improvement from the inside out.
Lange and Neidy will give participants a powerful overview of the 7 Habits in their language, helping them learn time-tested principles and how to apply them to the tough issues and decisions they face.
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