Call For Change

Call For Change

Call For Change 

An Age of Social Justice Movements


On March 24th, 2018 chants of “Vote them out!” rang out from the throats of over 200,000 angry protesters. I was among them. The March for Our Lives was a student-led protest in support of legislation to prevent gun violence in the U.S. It took place in Washington, D.C. after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which happened a month prior. The event gained national recognition and was described as a “possible tipping point” for gun control legislation. It was certainly a tipping point for me. 

I’ve experienced the aftermath of a shooting in my own school, so the march was something I personally cared about, although at first I wasn’t taking it seriously. For me, going to the march was just an excuse to take a roadtrip with two of my best friends and see D.C. for the first time. Plus, in addition to the normal speakers, there was a performance from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt that I was excited to watch. It was essentially a glorified field trip. The mood stayed light and everyone was walking around, joking, and making new friends.

My two friends on the left and me on the right.

Then, it started. The mood transformed. Suddenly, through 200,000 people, there was silence as the speakers came on stage. The energy was palpable; a mix of anger, determination, and kinship. I remember thinking, This has to change something, it can’t be worse than this. I was so moved by what was happening and I felt like my generation was doing something right as the march was largely organized and attended by young adults and high schoolers. There was an acknowledgment that every person there was working toward the same goal and witnessing that crowd in person made it hard to believe it wouldn’t stimulate a change. 

Growing up we are taught about social justice movements as if they are historical events and are not things that still happen. We are given the impression that people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are in the past and that we are living in a society that they made better. This is true, to an extent. Their history is closer to the present than we realize and, though we can see the success of their movements, there is still a long way to go.

Many social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter, have received criticism for the intense and sometimes destructive behavior of some protesters. The truth is, that’s how it’s always been. We’d like to think that we are evolved enough to solve societal issues without these extremes, but that’s just not the case. We have always needed extreme measures to promote change and we may always need them. Individuals can be mad about how our society works all they want, but without movements and combining our voices no real action would take place. 

When I attended the march as a teenager I was young, naive, and ignorant. It was the first time I realized that social justice movements are still very much a thing, I can be a part of them, and I should be a part of them. Many in my generation are realizing the same thing.

Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, I am once again surrounded by angry protesters, throats raw from screaming, but this time the words have changed from “Vote them out” to “I can’t breathe” in memory of George Floyd. In the US, and many countries around the world, protests for Black Lives Matter are building in numbers. Once again, I can feel that the energy has changed. Anger dominates. Now, we are fed up with inequality and we are fed up with not being heard. 

Complacency is the enemy of change. We need active involvement. Seeing firsthand the way my generation fights for change allowed me to let go of a worldview that centered around myself and my experiences. I realized that I was an idiot in thinking that being a part of social justice movements “wasn’t my place” because that’s the point! Regardless of political views or background, it is everyone’s right to voice the changes they want to see. 

My personal beliefs have not changed, but now I educate myself on what I don’t know and try to rid myself of complacency. Social justice is never on the back burner; there will always be people struggling for equality and those fighting for it. 

The Rabbit Hole of Words

The Rabbit Hole of Words

The Rabbit Hole of Words 

An Interview with Amanda Callendrier

“I don’t care what anybody thinks about my writing, but my shoes, that’s really nice,” Amanda laughs at herself. 

Amanda Callendrier is an academic advisor as well as composition and creative writing professor at Webster Geneva. She’s also working towards a doctorate and is a published author. In 2017 she released her debut novel Camino Beach. She studied English and French before ending up at Webster, almost accidentally, after falling in love with a French man. “Life happens and you just have to go with it, but you also have to be open to it,” she adds. 

Amanda is inarguably one of the coolest professors on campus. She sits down for the interview rocking Puma sneakers, skinny jeans, and a bright red fluffy jacket. It’s very bold, and I’m a little jealous. She turns in her chair and chuckles, the wall of books behind her in the Webster learning center is composed almost entirely of her own collection. She even grabs one to take back home with her. For Amanda, creativity and storytelling, in all its forms, is everything. 

“I think people who write or do creative things just always did. You don’t know when you started because you just always do it,” she says, reminiscing on childhood. Writing her own stories came as naturally as reading or writing, she doesn’t remember ever learning because that’s the way it always was. Inspiration came from everywhere; from watching way too much television to reading Roald Dahl, Stephen King, and Agatha Christie, even from a young age. 

So how does she manage to balance everything in her life with creative writing? “The short answer is I don’t,” she sighs, “And it weighs on you to have the things you want to work on that you can’t, but it’s really just finding a moment in between projects and deadlines where you can work.” Yet, writing finds a way to make time for itself. Amanda explains that even when she’s not actively working on a project, she’s still making progress. Just by existing, going places, and listening to people talk you can get inspired. Now she’s working on her second manuscript and wondering how COVID-19 will impact the future of writing. Will stories now have to be set in a post COVID world, or will we get tired of that? 

The labor of love that was Camino Beach took three years from idea to publication. After bringing a first page to a Meet the Agents event held at Webster, Amanda realized she was onto something. The agents loved the page and so she wrote the first chapter. The main writing took nine months and by the end neither the original first page or the first chapter had made it in. It then took months to get an agent who wanted to publish the book, but eventually she found one.

“Meanwhile, I decided I hated it and I rewrote the whole thing,” Amanda says. Like most writers she is never fully satisfied with her work. “Usually you go through and think, how could I have written this garbage? Then you get back to a point where you’re okay with it. You kind of have to find yourself on a good day and force yourself to stop. The good thing is I had a team who directed me. I admire someone who self publishes, and especially someone who self publishes and is successful. I don’t know how they do it because I needed a village.” 

For a lot of writers getting published is the ultimate goal. It’s the mark of success, ultimate validation, and proof to others that your little hobby can pay off. For Amanda, it was different. She quotes Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird, “If you weren’t enough before publication, you won’t be enough after publication.” Getting published was only ever secondary to the work itself. “It’s about the story and the work. The work has to be enough on its own,” Amanda explains, “but publication is great if it lets you do the work or helps you feel justified in doing it.” 

Though she remains proud of herself and her work, Amanda finds no validation in how well her novel was received. “I’m completely ambivalent of anybody’s opinion about the work,” she says. “It feels like it has no connection to me whatsoever. It leaves me absolutely cold.” She stays away from reading any reviews, and hasn’t even read the book herself. “I’ll talk about the story writing process for days, that’s tremendously rewarding. But the book itself? Those characters are dead to me, it’s done.” 

Writing is a hobby for some and a part of life for others. For Amanda it is clearly the latter. So, why does she write? “I have to,” she responds, without a second of hesitation. “If I could choose not to, I would choose not to. I think it would be better for me to spend more time at the gym or making new recipes. But I have to. There’s something interesting about going down the rabbit hole of words. I used to think you have to do it all the time. I think that there are points in time where you write a lot and times when you’re not going to write, but you’ll come back to it because one day the story will come up and you’ll have to.” 

Quarantine Creativity – We Need More!

Quarantine Creativity – We Need More!

It’s been more than a year since our initial COVID-19 lockdown and I’m sure we’re all sick of hearing about it. It’s taken over our lives, both for better and for worse, but now it’s time to focus on the positives. This year has been a time of extreme personal growth for a lot of people and, to my delight, a time of creative growth too. 

Many people have taken the free time locked up at home to learn new creative hobbies or develop old ones. I personally did more art than I have in years; I even learned to embroider. I also rediscovered my love for creative writing. As a kid I always had a handful of stories going at all times, but school and work made it difficult to keep up with. During our first lockdown I took a creative writing class for Webster and fell in love with it again. 

We at the 78 are always looking for new pieces from students. Whether it is an article, a piece of art, a video, or just an idea, we would love to receive new work that showcases what students have accomplished this year. Any work can be submitted to

Here’s a look at what I personally created. 




by C. Fish


If asked where you saw the house, you wouldn’t know, but on every drive, down every road, at least once, it will be there. If you looked for it you might come up empty. It might catch your eye driving past, maybe you’d even point it out. But later, if asked to describe the house that you’d seen, you’d be unable to recall any details, or if you’d even seen it at all. Like a dream from weeks past that you can only remember at the back of your mind; subliminal. 

You know it’s there but you can never bring it into focus, the more you try to remember the more your mind wanders, unable to recall details, never seeing it for more than a second. 

It would be an eyesore, if you were to notice it. But it blends in. It should’ve been knocked down a long time ago, if anyone cared. But nobody does. It was there but it wasn’t. Right on the side of the interstate. Right on the edge of consciousness. Past the guardrails and surrounded by dense forest.

I asked my mother once if she had seen the house. She said yes, she knew of it, but that was all. My grandmother said the same. So did everybody else that I asked. For them, the house held no intrigue, they didn’t care, but I can’t forget it. 

I’ve always been inquisitive. I like puzzles of any kind, and I don’t like leaving them unsolved. The house has always been a puzzle. It bothers me that nobody seems to acknowledge it. In my mind it’s like a thorn, always there, never leaving. When I think I have forgotten about it, the thorn digs deeper, drawing blood until I see red. 

I need to know. 

The mid-summer sun was beginning to set in the sky when I decided to satisfy my curiosity. I got in my car and headed off, in no direction in particular. It took longer than I expected but the house always shows up eventually. In front of it is a row of police barriers striped with orange and white, acting as a wall. Have they always been here? 

I brace myself on one of the barriers to jump over it and gasp. Pins and needles shoot through my hands and up my arms, equally as painful as it is shocking. I leap over and rub my arms, which are still tingling. 

I was so preoccupied with getting rid of the feeling that I didn’t notice the shift at first. Nor was I able to pinpoint what it was when I could feel it. Then, I understood. 


There are no more passing cars, the crickets have stopped singing, the frogs have stopped croaking, the wind in the leaves grew still. It’s not only quiet, it’s more than that. A silence that is everywhere, that creeps into my bones.

For the first time I can see the house with full clarity, like the edges have solidified and given the house shape that it didn’t have before. It’s a simple structure. Two stories with a porch out front and gardens that bloom with flowers, despite never being tended to. The house is muted, quaint in its own way. Grey-blue paint covers the outside, faded from uncounted years of sun damage. It was probably attractive when it was built, but that was a long time ago. It has faded to nothing, just like the memory of it will.

There are no tire tracks, no footprints, no signs of life. 

I take a step. The crunch of gravel underfoot creates a deafening break in the silence. The very earth seems to tell me that I’m doing something wrong. My body grows heavy and a silent wind pushes me back. 

I need to know.

From the porch I can see into the windows. On one side a living room and on the other a kitchen. They are the polar opposite of the outside. Bright floral drapes frame the kitchen, showing off vibrant turquoise and yellow inside. The living room is nothing short of lavish, multiple couches with plush blankets sit in front of bookcases that cover an entire wall. It looks like a set. Like a show house that has never been shown. 

I know someone lives here. They must. 

The door handle resists but, knowing it must act like its worldly counterpart, it complies and turns to the left. The lock clicks, the sound echoes into the trees and sinks into my consciousness. Suddenly ice cold shoots up my hand and as I pull it back and wince, the door flings itself open, revealing an entryway with a steep staircase. 

A gust of stale air and expensive perfume, like a sigh from the house itself, reaches me a moment before the sound does. 




I can’t tell if it’s human or animal, alive or dead. 

I need to know. 

I step inside a moment before my gut tells me not to, the door slamming behind me. There is something here. Something trapped. A deep laugh, full of centuries of resentment, hope, and glee comes from the top of the stairs. It fills the space, finding its way into every nook and corner of the house.  

Then, I see it beginning to descend from upstairs. Shrouded in darkness and formless to my eyes, I can feel the power it exudes. I want to get closer, to see what shape lies within that darkness, but I know it would be a mistake. 

What have I done? 

In a voice that is more inhuman than human it speaks, “Welcome.” 

My own voice is ripped out of my throat, and I suddenly understand why this house has never once had its door opened. 

A moment of absolute fear is overpowered by a feeling that has no place here. One that I should not be feeling. Contentment. 

I manage to speak in a voice that is no longer mine and never will be again, “I’m home.” 

Inside the Psych Department with Vlad Glaveanu

Inside the Psych Department with Vlad Glaveanu

Vlad P. Glaveanu is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at Webster University Geneva, Switzerland. He’s also director of the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation (WCCI). His work focuses on creativity, imagination, culture, collaboration, and societal challenges. We caught up with Vlad about what goes on in the psych department. 


What kind of activities and research is the psych department involved in? What’s the goal for the department?

We have a few programs; the BA, the BS, the minor in general psychology, and the counseling masters that adds a level of professionalism so that students can actually become a counselor and practitioner once they finish. 

We have a large variety of research topics in the department. Many of them relate to mental health and wellbeing, trauma, and growing out of trauma. So that’s a lot of the clinical counseling part. Then we have social psychology topics. We’re looking at online spaces, politics, IR, and creativity and innovation, which are of special interest because of the center we have. So we’re looking at how creative innovation transforms society. Then we have a lot of other specific topics, like family dynamics and even some related to spirituality. We have worked on it all. 

What opportunities does Webster provide students studying psychology?


Well, first and foremost, to graduate with a solid foundation in psychology. So you’ll emerge with either the BA or the BS in psychology and then you can specialize further. It’s a very good academic foundation. You know, we offer courses in all major areas of psychology. 

We have all of these events and all of these experts coming in. So we try to keep people up to date and then you have possibilities to do something practical. So if you are an undergrad and you want to go for an internship Webster helps students find them. Then as a counseling student you have 700 hours of internship and practice that you have to do. There is a lot of theory and hands-on applied experience and I think the big value is that being a small tight-knit community, we know each other and we have a better chance of understanding what people actually are interested in and responding to that. 

There are many jobs that require a masters, if you want to work in human resources or something around management or education. If you want to work in the clinical side that’s where we have the masters that helps people become counselors. It’s not psychotherapy, it’s a different thing, counseling is a bit of a more inclusive profession. 


How can students contribute and participate within the department?


So first is the psychology club. I’m hoping it’s coming back because it is a student led initiative. So we, the professors, are trying to support it, but not to officially run it. I’ve always offered that I can help with the academic part, meaning whatever speaker students would want, we can try to find a way. Whatever topic you want to approach, we can try to do that. 

Second one is we have many events that require help. We have departmental meetings and WCCI meetings that students can volunteer at to gain the practical experience of organizing events and contact with the speakers. 

Finally, I would love to see students engage in hot topics of debate. I’d like proposals from students where they mention intriguing topics that they care about, like conspiracy theories, anti-vax, nationalism and what it means, depression and anxiety. There’s so many things that psychologists could address and it would be nice to have student feedback. 


What is the psychology and society group?


When I joined three years ago, I wanted to understand what kind of research we do, and what we do is we meet every couple of months and we each present our research as members of the staff. So that it’s a way of keeping us up to date with the latest in the discipline. It’s open to many people; faculty, students, undergraduate, and postgraduate, minors in psych. Anyone interested but you have to be associated with psych because it’s a bit more specialized. 


Is there anything that you’d like for prospective students to know?


For prospective students, I think one of the biggest questions is what is the difference between the BA and the BS. Content wise it’s more or less the same degree but the BS adds more on methodology, research, and on the hard science kind of components like genetics or biology. So you would definitely become a psychologist with both but you would be a more experienced researcher if you do a BS, which is a very good skill to have. For students who want to continue with the masters a BS is the best route. We also have the option of a BA with an emphasis in mental health. Students interested may need to check the Webster St. Louis psychology catalogue and talk to us about tailoring a program. 


What is the WCCI?


Oh, it’s fabulous! This is a center that’s not within psychology, but it includes everyone on campus because it’s an inter-departmental center. So we recognize creativity, innovation and the things everyone is interested in from business, to the world of politics and IR, to media and photography, and obviously psychology. So this became an emerging theme and that’s why we have a center around it and we organize so many events.

We have several different series. One of them is Meet the Artist, which is run by Julianna Bark, in collaboration with the center and within the department. So that’s one way of meeting actual creators. We also have workshops, seminars, an expressive arts lab, the Spotlight Seminar (with Francesco Arese Visconti), and a series of lectures with a speaker every couple of months.  

We also have a Creativity Week every year in June, with a whole week of lectures, workshops, and even artistic exhibitions. People come from all over the world, so we’re really into experimenting with all sorts of things.


How do you foster creativity and innovation in yourself and in students?


What I’m very concerned with is building up climates or environments for creativity. It’s important to think about yourself as a person, but also about the world you live in. Everything we surround ourselves with matters for one’s own creativity, so what I would recommend is to be open to multiple perspectives at all times, even the ones you don’t agree with. Also, be a bit less linear in the way you think. A lot of times people jump from problem to solution. Give yourself that time to just wander around the problem and look at it in different ways. Finally, I would say there is something valuable about flexibility. Don’t make up your mind immediately and talk to other people.

Curando: The Journey of Healing

Curando: The Journey of Healing


Here at 78 Magazine, we are all about sharing the creativity of our students, faculty, and even alumni. Well, recently we came across something sweet from a former Webster media student, Alexandra Rodriguez, that we just had to share with you.

Rodriguez, who attended Webster Geneva from 2010-2012, recently finished a Goethe Institute art residency (Salvador, Brazil) through which she curated a new exhibition called Healing (Curando in Portuguese). According to the exhibition press release, “Healing explores the process of healing personal and collective wounds – a process presented as an emotional and spiritual journey that seeks a re-encounter with one’s authentic self, and aims to establish a connection between humans beyond the three-dimensional experience.”

Curando showcases the work of 13 Brazilian artists and is split into two parts: Sanctuary and Transformation. Transformation explores the concepts of change, uncertainty, metamorphosis, movement, and rebirth. Sanctuary focuses on safety and comfort, which is shown through art pieces that portray love, peace, and well-being. The goal for Rodriguez was to make Healing an exhibition that acts as “a safe space that supports vulnerability, authenticity, courage, love, beauty, transformation, diversity, and growth.”

Curator Alexandra Rodriguez

Diversity is a key element both at Webster Geneva and within the exhibition Healing. Rodriguez reminisces about her time at Webster, “The first thing that comes to mind that I associate with Webster is the multi-cultural aspect of the educational environment. One of the things I miss the most is the diversity. Cultural exchanges and cultural understanding is so important. Webster has always been a hub of internationalism, which is something I was looking to explore in this exhibition: making connections internationally.”

Artists were chosen from a variety of mediums including photography, embroidery, watercolors, digital painting, mixed media, and dance. Rodriguez explains that a lot went into her role as a curator and how she chose the best submissions. “The criteria of selection included different points, such as the quality of the work, disciplinary diversity and geographical diversity. Some artists are debuting their career with this exhibition, and others have a longstanding one with a significant international presence. The aesthetics and relevance to the subject were also other important aspects to consider when evaluating the submitted works.”

The online exhibition is available at, and is accessible through November 15th, 2021. Visitors are highly encouraged to make donations that will help to financially support the work that Rodriguez and the artists dedicated to the creation of this independent artistic production, which was adapted and presented as an online project due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While it would have been wonderful for these works to be seen in a physical setting, we here in Geneva are loving this opportunity to see high-quality work that we wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise!


Loretta Pelosi

Léo Lopes

Fabi Ferro


Maíra Ortins

Igor Rodrigues


Fernanda Liberti

Rimon Guimarães

Raísa Inocêncio


Raiça Bomfim

Lucas Feres and Lucas Lago