Alumni News: Political Authors & Activists, and Amazing Teachers!

Black Politics

Sharon Wright Austin (History ’87), an associate professor of political science and the director of the African American Studies program at the University of Florida, has a new book, The Caribbeanization of Black Politics: Race, Group Consciousness, and Political Participation in America recently published by the State University of New York, Albany Press.

 

Candous BrownCandous Brown (MAT ’12), a teacher at Raleigh Egypt High School, was the subject of a television report on WMC Action News 5 on January 17. Before snow closed the schools last week, her students were assigned to read the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. When her students didn’t want to wait to go back to school to move ahead in the lesson, Brown took to Facebook Live to answers questions and review the material.

Yancy Villa-Calvo (Psychology ’99) and her husband Mauricio Calvo (Business Administration ‘97) were sworn in as naturalized U.S. citizens on April 19. The couple were the focus of a Commercial Appeal article about the approximately 300 immigrants who were sworn in as citizens at the University of Memphis.

Kristen HensleyKristen Stokes Hensley (Psychology ’02) has been appointed director of operations and marketing at Bird B-Gone. In this role, Hensley is responsible for leading strategies and key business operations to sustain Bird- B- Gone’s continuing growth, while also managing and the company’s worldwide marketing program. Read more about Kristen and her work here.

 

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Tom Kolodziej (MAT) was awarded Germantown Education Commission’s Teacher of the Month for December – he teaches English and Mythology at Houston HS! Mr. Kolodziej blends humor and subject matter expertise to keep his classes engaging and demanding at the same time. He has had such an impact on his students that for the last several years the senior class has selected him to walk alongside them at graduation.

 

 

John KuykendallDr. John A. Kuykendall (MSEL ’02) has been appointed Dean of the School of Education at the University of Indianapolis. Dr. Kuykendall most recently served as a tenured associate professor of education and as the director for the School of Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In his administrative role at Little Rock, he oversaw 27 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in teacher education and educational leadership. Before arriving at Little Rock, he was a faculty member at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he oversaw the College of Student Affairs Program and taught graduate courses in higher education. Read more here.

Michael MacMiller (Psychology and Sustainability Studies ’15) was recently recognized as one of 10 “Emerging Sustainable Business Leaders” by the 2018 GreenBiz Conference in Phoenix, AZ. His short speech about his goal to teach low-income students sustainable waste management concepts and skills is at the end of the above YouTube video. He is currently working as Environmental Advocate for Doxicom Global Waste Stream Management Consultants, a Mid-South company working with large companies to reduce their landfill waste through green strategies.

 

CBU Alum & Author Donates Book Proceeds to St. Jude.

Cross & CancerAnthony Maranise, two-time CBU alum (Religion & Philosophy ’11, MACS ’17), instructor at the University of Memphis, and 20-year cancer survivor, has been on a local press tour to promote his newest book, Cross of a Different Kind: Cancer & Christian Spirituality. The book draws upon the richness of Christian spiritual theology with the aim of rejuvenating hope within and imparting eternal Truth to all persons who have been “touched” by cancer in any of its wicked forms. In an act of great generosity, Anthony has pledged that 100% of all proceeds from sales of the book will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

If you want to learn more about the book and Anthony’s experience, videos of a three-part lecture series (for those who have lost love-ones to cancer, for those currently battling cancer, and for survivors) he recently delivered at St. Louis School this past April.his lectures are available on Periscope. Anthony also gave a reading and signed books at Novel bookstore in March, and appeared on WREG’s Informed Sources:

Philly Teacher Tells Students to ‘Push Through,’ Inspires Global Mantra and Gap Commercial

jasmyn WrightJasmyn Wright (MEd, ’12), a third-grade teacher in Pennsylvania, starts her class each morning with a simple but powerful “call-and-response” with her students. The video of the routine has been viewed more than 3 million times on Facebook and teachers from Dhaka, Bangladesh; Saudi Arabia; and the Cayman Islands have used the mantra in their classrooms. Follow Jasmyn on Twitter @Just_Jasmyn and visit her YouTube page to see her class in action as they recite the full-length talk.

Donor To Match First $1,000 Toward Student Travel Fund

T Patrick - P WoodyChristian Brothers University and the Rosa Deal School of Arts have recently established a Student Travel Fund to support students in the RDSOA who wish to travel regionally, nationally, or internationally to participate in professional development workshops or to present original work at conferences, including research or creative work, in their chosen field. Such journeys provide students with invaluable experience and networking opportunities, and previous trips have included research presentations in SeattleMinneapolis, and, most recently, Vienna, Austria (link to be added).

A gracious anonymous donor has agreed to match the first $1,000 in donations. So far, we have raised $300 for the fund, which has been matched by a $300 gift from the donor. Additional gifts will enable the university to access the remaining matching funds and offer more student travel grants. While we do our best to support our students, we (and they) still need additional support. Every little bit helps: for example, if ten people give $10 that means an additional $200 for our students to travel, which is equivalent to a night or two in a hotel or meals during their travel.

Grants from the fund will be made available to full-time students at the undergraduate or graduate level who are majoring in any discipline in the Rosa Deal School of Arts. The application and award process will be overseen and administered by the Academic Vice President, and the Dean of the School of Arts.

Anyone interested in making a gift to the Rosa Deal School of Arts Student Travel Fund can donate online at our donation page and choose the RDSOA Student Travel Fund in the designation drop-down menu. Checks can be made out to Christian Brothers University with “RDSOA Student Travel Fund” in the “for” line and mailed to:

Office of Advancement
Christian Brothers University
650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104

Student-led Psychophysiology Research Published

T Patrick - P WoodyResearch conducted at CBU on brain activity in people who experience migraines has been published “online first” in the journal, Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. The article, entitled “Auditory event-related potentials in the interictal phase of migraine indicate alterations in automatic attention,” is co-authored by Dr. Jeffrey Sable (Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences), Toni Patrick (Natural Science ’14), Patrick Woody (Psychology ’17), Katelyn Baker (Biochemistry ’16), Stephanie Allen-Winters (Biology ’14), and Dr. Frank Andrasik (Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology at the University of Memphis). A view-only PDF of the article is freely available and it will be published in print next year.

The researchers measured electrical activity from the brains of both migraineurs and those who do not experience migraines. All individuals watched a silent video while sounds played in the background. Although the study sessions took place between headaches, certain brain responses to these ignored sounds were larger in the migraineurs.

Jeff Sable“It’s well established that migraine headaches are part of a larger cycle in those who experience them,” Sable explains. “Brain activity between headaches is abnormal, and it actually normalizes during the headache. The headache itself seems to be a sort of release valve.” Sable’s team looked at brain responses related to attention.

“The larger responses we saw in migraineurs suggests that they may experience some degree of heightened sensitivity to things in their environment, even when they don’t have a headache. In contrast, if these responses get smaller during headaches, as has been found with other brain activity, the headaches themselves may be accompanied by a sort of ‘mental fogginess’.”

The study was initiated by students in Sable’s Psychophysiology course at CBU, including Patrick, Baker, and Allen-Winters. Patrick and Woody later completed the study. Andrasik, a clinical psychologist and leading migraine expert, helped to finalize the paper for publication. Patrick and Woody have presented the research at conferences, including an international audience at an annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. Sable said he takes pride in the interdisciplinary nature of this work: “The authors on this paper include students–now alumni–from four different CBU departments. That’s a big deal to me.”

Alumni News: Music, Marriage, and More…

Candous Brown Action News 5Candous Brown (MAT ’12) was recently featured on WMC Action News 5 for her creativity in the classroom, remixing the Cardi B rap hit “Bodak Yellow” with lyrics reminding the students about the importance of their final year in high school. Candous (pictured far left) teaches English at Raleigh-Egypt High School.

 

Brandon Robinson WeddingKären Brandon (English ’09) and Kristopher Robinson celebrated their marriage on October 28, 2017 at Lichterman Nature Center in Memphis, TN. The wedding was officiated by Dr. Tracie Burke (Behavioral Sciences, Honors Program) in a lovely ceremony. Kären and Kris reside in Starkville, Mississippi, where they both work at Mississippi State University.

 

1x1-W4C-TaylorBlandB2B marketing agency Godfrey has hired Taylor Bland (Applied Psychology ’05) as an account manager. Bland, of Mechanicsburg, PA, most recently worked at Oden & Associates in Memphis, Tennessee, as an account manager. Taylor manages communications programs as Godfrey’s day-to-day interface with clients. Bland has over 10 years of experience in the marketing and advertising world, on both the agency and the client sides. B2B accounts she previously worked with include FedEx and Homewood Suites by Hilton.

 

Deborah HallDe’Borah Hall (Applied Psychology ’11) recently joined The Arc Mid-South, whose mission is to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential, as a case manager. The Memphis Daily News published a Q&A with De’Borah, in which she discusses her new position and the lessons she’s learned during her 15 years of experience working in human resources. Per the Daily News, “In her new role, Hall visits The Arc’s clients, who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, in their homes to determine if the organization’s direct support professionals are providing appropriate services such as bathing, feeding and light housekeeping.”

 

Lauren DahlkeCBU alumna, Lauren Schneck (fomerly Dahlke; Psychology ’16) is lead author of the paper, “Behavioral Therapy: Emotion & Pain, A Common Anatomical Background,” which was published in May in the journal, Neurological Sciences. Schneck co-authored the paper with Dr. Jeff Sable (Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences) and Dr. Frank Andrasik (Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology at the University of Memphis). On May 27, Andrasik gave an invited presentation of the paper at Stresa Headache 2017, an international multidisciplinary seminar in Stresa, Italy. Lauren is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Memphis.

 

John-Austin-Tubbs_1089-200x300John Austin Tubbs (Religion & Philosophy ’15) is currently a Lasallian Volunteer at Cathedral High School in El Paso, TX. He has a featured Q&A in the “Ministry of the Month” on the Lasallian Volunteers website highlighting his service at the school and within the communities of El Paso.

 

 

Alumni Making News: Memphis Flyer 20<30, Clinton Foundation, Award Winners & More

coverstory_20under30_p3a3365_michalyneasterMichalyn Easter (History ’13) was selected to The Memphis Flyer’s ”20<30: The Class of 2017,” an annual list of 20 young Memphians who are making a difference. Michalyn is a recipient of a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, and is currently a history teacher at Overton High School. she is the founder of the nonprofit Our Grass Our Roots in North Memphis, an organization designed to inform the community of resources and opportunities, resist gentrification, assist progressive developments, and advance individuals in the Memphis area.

Derrick Brown (MAT ’13) was a recipient of the 2016 SPARK Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations making a difference in our community. Derrick is an instructional resource teacher at Riverview Middle School and the founder and CEO of The Academy Memphis, which serves as an advocate to bridge students with special needs to higher education. The SPARK Award ceremony aired on WKNO on December 12 and is available online.

Kyra Sanchez Clapper (History ’13) recently passed her Comprehensive Exams for her Modern European History doctorate at the University of Memphis, and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, François Michael Mansour!  Her doctoral dissertation on early French Romanticism and the writings of François-Rene de Chateaubriand builds on her earlier research for her dual Master’s degrees in French and History from the U of M.

Lauren DahlkeLauren Dahlke (Psych ’15), has been awarded a Van Vleet Memorial Doctoral Award at the University of Memphis. This is a university-wide fellowship – the top offered by the University, and two awards were made this year. Each doctoral-granting department nominates candidates, which then compete at the university level.

While at CBU, among other things, Lauren did an extended internship in the Department of Psychology at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and was involved with several studies in the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. She represented CBU at numerous research conferences, including two international venues–one of which was the 2016 International Symposium on Lasallian Research. Lauren entered the UM Master of Science Program in General Psychology last year, and this year she applied and was accepted to the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology. This award is a tremendous honor for Lauren.

Sister Mary Juliana (MSEL ’05), Principal of St. Croix Catholic School in Stillwater, MN, was named Educator of the Year for 2017 by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. You can read more about her and her extensive work in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

Christopher Peterson (Philosophy ’10) and Dr. Emily Holmes (Religion and Philosophy) co-authored a chapter: “Race, Religion, and Justice: From Privilege to Solidarity in the Mid-South Food Movement” that will be published in Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together, ed. Ian Werkheiser and Zachary Piso (Springer, 2017).

You can read more about Chris’s thoughts on our food system and his life as a farmer on his blog Farmlosophy and on Loch Holland Farm’s Facebook page.

SaraSwisherHeadshotSara Swisher (English ’16) has been accepted into the Master’s program for Public Service at The University of Arkansas’s Clinton School for Public Service. The Clinton School is the first to offer a Master’s degree in Public Service, and gives students the knowledge and field experience to further their careers in the non-profit, governmental, volunteer, and private sectors. Upon Sara’s entry into the Clinton School, she will complete an international project in the summer of 2018. She is looking forward to this new and unique experience and furthering her career in non-profit management and policy. The Clinton School is a natural step forward from her service as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) with the City of Memphis, during which she served as a Food Policy Coordinator at Memphis Tilth, which cultivates collective action for an economically sustainable, socially equitable, and environmentally sound local food system. Sara developed the Food Policy Program, one of Memphis Tilth’s seven programs, which has the mission to advance policy and practice within Shelby County and Memphis in order to promote food security and access.

CBU’s Education Department Receives High Marks On TN Educator Preparation Provider Report Card

CBU’s Education department was lauded for its involvement with Shelby County Schools, particularly Maxine Smith STEAM Academy and Crosstown High School, in the “Memphasis” commentary column by Dan Conaway in The Daily News on February 17. Entitled “Publicly Advancing,” the column quoted President John Smarrelli and closed with Conaway’s comment that “CBU isn’t retreating into ivy-covered towers or private classrooms; they are publicly engaging in their city and committing their expertise to improve it.”

Additionally, according to the TN Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) report card, CBU’s Department of Education earned outstanding marks. We are 1 of 6 schools scoring a 4/4 in candidate performance and a 3/4 in overall performance, employment, and provider impact.

EQuAL-posterIn other news, the Education department will start a new MAT fast track cohort in June (left). Our LANCE program is welcoming three new teachers in the fall who will be teaching at Promise Academy, Resurrection Catholic School, and St. Paul’s, in addition to our two continuing second year teachers who will remain at Promise Academy and St. Paul’s.

On April 25, the Education department presented awards for Outstanding Alumni to Shawn Morgan (Mathematics with Licensure), Derrick Brown (MAT), Matt Campbell (MED), Heather Valdez (MED), John Bordelon (MED & MSEL), and Kristi Baird (MSEL). Awards for Outstanding Education Partner were presented to two of our adjunct supervisors, Katie Stanton and Barbara Greebon. The Ellen Faith Chair’s Award for Outstanding Alumi went to Colleen Boyette (Human Development with Elementary Licensure).

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Dr. Samantha Alperin (left), Colleen Boyette (center), Mac Faith (right)

The Outstanding Alumni Awards are given to undergraduate, MAT, MED, and MSEL alums who have shown outstanding teaching in their schools and have connected at the alumni level with our department. The Outstanding Partner Awards are given to adjuncts, school districts, or others who have partnered with our department to create professional development or other opportunities for our teaching candidates to interact with them (e.g., university supervisors, STEAM, SCS, municipalities,TFA, etc). The Dr. Ellen Faith Chair’s Award for Outstanding Alumni is in memory of Dr. Ellen Faith and is given at the chair’s discretion to the alumni exhibiting all domains of the Education Department Mission: Servant Leader, Effective & Reflective Practitioner, Champion of Individual Learner Potential, and Builder of Vibrant Learning Communities.

You can keep up with the Education Department on our Facebook page.

SOA Alumni Making News

Not a StrangerCBU alum Dennis Foley (’82) wrote and produced not a Stranger, a drama about a down-and-out, 50-year-old former high school teacher with a dark secret who befriends three 12-year-old boys, and helps one come to grips with his father’s death. Problems arise when police suspect the teacher of wrongdoing. The film was directed by and stars James Russo (pictured left).

 

 

Our Grass Our RootsMichalyn Easter (History ’13), a recipient of a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, has returned to the Memphis area to teach high school Social Studies and to unite education with community activism in the city. She is the founder of Our Grass Our Roots, “a grassroots, non-profit movement to assist in transforming the North Memphis neighborhood into an economically sustainable, community focused, cultural capital that will be the grounds for fighting gentrification and citizen displacement, involving the community, structures and businesses already present, and nurturing the individuals within the community to help make Memphis a better place.”

Danielle Hobbs (Psychology ’13) was recently named Embarker of the Week by The New Memphis InstituteEmbark is bringing together and shaping Memphis’ next group of young professionals. Our Embark alum are high-performing twenty-something change-makers who work together to make a meaningful mark on our city. We recognize those Embarkers making ripples in their professions and communities.

Bryan Williams (MAT ’03) was named as one of Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40.

David Vaughn (Psychology ’12) and Kara Jones (Psychology ’12) were joined in marriage on Oct. 22.

Alumni Making News

James Johnson (History ’13) has been working for three years on joint JD/MBA degrees at Samford University in Birmingham, and anticipates graduating from both programs in May. Afterward, he will take the Alabama Bar exam and seek employment as in house counsel to a business or for a firm that does contract, real estate, and corporate law work for business firms.

Julia Kueter (History ’14) has been selected LV of the Month by the Lasallian Volunteers. Julia is a second-year LV serving in St. Louis and had this to say about serving as an LV: ”I never thought that I would build such strong friendships with people who live across the country. I know that being Lasallian will remain core to who I am.” More on Julia at his link »»

Chris Oxford (Religion and Philosophy ’15, with a concentration in Philosophy) is now at University of Memphis law school.

Dean Shauger (English ’12) was sworn-in to the Delaware bar on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. Mr. Shauger joins the Corporate & Business Litigation group at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP. “DJ” earned his J.D. (2015) magna cum laude, Order of the Coif from Villanova University School of Law; and B.A. (2012) summa cum laudein English from Christian Brothers University.