Alumna Laila Robbins joins Homeland series; season premiere is Sunday
When the fourth season of the Showtime series "Homeland" begins Sunday, Oct. 5, Blugold alumni and friends may recognize a familiar face among its cast. Laila Robins, a 1981 music graduate and successful film, television and theater actress, signed on to the Emmy Award-winning series in June. She plays Martha Boyd, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, joining series regulars Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin and Rupert Friend. Robbins currently is in Cape Town, South Africa, where this season of the CIA spy thriller is being filmed. Robbins has this to say about joining the show as a series regular and shooting in South Africa: "It is a show that I have admired and the actors are amazing and wonderful and the writing is great. I am so very excited to be on the show. It has been an amazing adventure not only to be on the show but to be here in Africa. Very magical place. It is a wonderful opportunity for me. I have focused most of my career on theatre, but am really enjoying this change of pace. Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin and the rest of the cast have been extremely welcoming."
Dynamic math professor makes an impression
Few who meet Dr. aBa Mbirika on campus or in the community ever forget him. With his flashy style, math rap songs and big personality, the assistant professor of mathematics truly makes an impression on his students, colleagues and others. Now in his second year at UW-Eau Claire, everything from his colorful office to his rap lectures to his artistic class schedules reflect his dynamic personality and passion for teaching. For a glimpse into his world, see Dr. Mbirika’s Power of AND video, titled "a head for numbers AND a heart for music."
Interactive book reading to feature B.J. Hollars’ latest book
McIntyre Library will host an interactive book reading event from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the library's second-floor breezeway. The event will feature B.J. Hollars, assistant professor of English. Hollars' latest book, "Dispatches from the Drownings: Reporting the Fiction of Nonfiction," blurs the boundary between fact and fiction, and takes its readers on a dark and fascinating journey. The book presents 100 reports of drownings in, primarily, the Chippewa Valley region between 1875 and 1922. Of these 100 reports, 75 are factual accounts of reported events while 25 are completely fictitious accounts drawn from Hollars' imagination. Hollars pairs many of these accounts with images from the collection of Black River Falls photographer Charles Van Schaick, whose images capture life and death in the Black River Falls region from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. In essence, Hollars' book is an homage to author Michael Lesy's 1973 cult classic, "Wisconsin Death Trip," which also paired Van Schaick's images with bizarre newspaper excerpts. During Wednesday’s book reading, Hollars will present several of the vignettes detailed in his new book. Audience members will be provided with "fact or fiction" paddles and after the presentation of a scene they will be asked to guess whether they are being presented with fact or fiction.
Variety of Homecoming activities underway across campus
A variety of events — ranging from sand sculpture contests to a snake dance and pep rally — will take place on campus this week as part of the 2014 Homecoming festivities. A full list of student Homecoming activities and events is online. Thousands of Blugold alumni will return to campus this weekend to join the Homecoming activities. Alumni events include a variety of activities, including a Golden Blugold Celebration, the Homecoming parade, Blugold Fever Fest before the Homecoming football game, and numerous reunions and events for grads from a variety of majors, organizations and sports teams. A complete listing of alumni Homecoming events is online. Homecoming weekend will again end with students gathering on Sunday, Oct. 5, to clean up trash in neighborhoods near the university. Students participating in the Adopt-a-Block competition will meet at 1 p.m. Sunday in the university’s Water Street parking lot.