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.

Crosstown High School Receives XQ Grant

Crosstown HighIn late August, Crosstown High School received a $2.5 million, five-year grant from XQ Institute, a national education reform group founded by former U.S. Education Assistant Secretary Russlyn Ali and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Pictured above left, Dr. Smarrelli’s portrait is laid out on the Concourse Plaza along with those of other attendees at the XQ Block Party celebration at the site of the future high school on August 24. Check out some interviews with other local Crosstown High supporters at the XQ SuperSchool website — and some cool footage of the XQ School Bus in Memphis. CBU is a founding partner in Crosstown High, a public charter school in the Shelby County School system, scheduled to open in 2018.

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.



Faculty News: NPR Interviews, Food Ethics, Money Disorders, and More…

Burke AwardDr. Tracie Burke (Behavioral Sciences) was awarded the National Alumni Board’s Teaching Excellence Award at the 2017 Bell Tower Gala. Having taught at CBU since 1997, Dr. Burke’s pedagogy emphasizes active learning, practical application of course material, and creating community in the classroom. In addition to her faculty work as a Professor of Psychology, Dr. Burke has been the director of the CBU Honors Program since 2000. In 2012, Dr. Burke spearheaded the creation of CBU’s September of Service: 30 Days of Good Deeds, which has provided nearly 9,000 hours of service to local non-profit agencies. Click the link to watch a video honoring Dr. Burke’s service to CBU and the community.


Ben JordanDr. Ben Jordan (History & Political Science) was interviewed by National Public Radio for Air Talk with Larry Mantle, Los Angeles NPR Radio Show, “How will admitting girls to some Boy Scouts programs change both organizations?” He was quoted in an article entitled “Boy Scouts vote to enroll girls, but will they sign up?” in the October 16 edition of The Boston Globe. Dr. Jordan, who authored Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America (UNC Press, 2016), was quoted in the article saying that he he thought the group would lift its ban on atheists before accepting girls: “They have held consistently to the line about not allowing girls. For over a century that seemed like an immovable line.” In relation to the recent topic of discussion, Dr. Jordan also authored an essay in The Conversation in March entitled: “What history tells us about Boy Scouts and inclusion.”


Dr. Samantha Alperin (Education), pictured above center on a visit to Bethlehem University in the Holy Land earlier this year, was featured recently in the “Visitors” section of Fall 2017 edition of Bethlehem University magazine.


EmilyDr. Emily Holmes (Religion & Philosophy) presented a paper titled, “Becoming Without Sacrifice: Women, Religion, and the Vegetal in Contemporary Food Ethics,” at the 8th Conference of the Irigaray Circle, A Sharing of Speech: Scholarship on or Inspired by the Work of Luce Irigaray, held at the Institute for Theological Partnerships at the University of Winchester, UK.


Peña_Nick_Infinite_Loop_WEB_readyProfessor Nick Peña was in a group show entitled ”Better Homes and Gardens” at Crosstown Arts this past October. His work was also featured in New American Paintings, Issue 130 (“South”), June/July 2017. Nick says he is “interested in the American Dream, the history of landscape painting, and the effects that cultural ideals have on both our environment and our national psyche.”



Colby_Taylor_AD_01-10-17_SN7442Dr. Colby Taylor (Behavioral Sciences), our resident Jeopardy champion, had his research entitled “Money Disorders and Locus of Control: Implications for Assessment and Treatment” published in the Journal of Financial Therapy. The study found that people who have an external locus of control – meaning that they attribute the causes of events to outside factors such as luck and fate – are more likely to develop problematic financial behaviors than people with an internal locus of control – meaning they attribute events to internal factors such as their own beliefs and behaviors. Having an external locus of control predicted behaviors such as buying too many things, hoarding money and things, gambling, and workaholism. Mental health professionals as well as financial planners may use these findings to assess the locus of control of their clients and to intervene accordingly.

Brother Mike's PartyThe Department of Education Celebrated Brother Michael Schmelzer’s 50 years a Christian Brother on November 4.







The following awards and announcements were presented at Community Convocation on August 17, 2016.

Dr. Chanda Murphy (Behavioral Sciences), was awarded Outstanding New Advisor.
Dr. James “Bru” Wallace (Chair, Religion & Philosophy), was awarded the Brother Bernard LoCoco Presidential Chair.
Ms. Jana Travis (Chair, Visual & Performing Arts), was awarded the Harold R. Krelstein Chair in Performing Arts & Communications.
Dr. Jeffrey Gross (Chair, Literature & Languages), was awarded tenure.
Mr. Matthew Hamner (Visual & Performing Arts), was promoted to Associate Professor.

The following faculty members promoted to the rank of Professor:

Dr. Scott D. Geis (Religion & Philosophy; Dean, Rosa Deal School of Arts)
Dr. Philip “Max” Maloney (Religion & Philosophy)
Ms. Jana Travis (Visual & Performing Arts)

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).


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.

Faculty Making News

Wendy Ashcroft

Left to right : Angie Delloso, Wendy Ashcroft, Anne Marie Quinn

Dr. Wendy Ashcroft, Ed.,D, BACB-D presented at the international conference of the Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Ashcroft and her public school colleagues have presented at this prestigious conference regularly since 2001.

This year’s presentation, entitled Social Skills for Exceptional Children: Effective Instruction With Tiered Interventions, was developed through collaboration with Angie Delloso, M.S, BCBA, and Anne Marie, Quinn, M.A. Both Ms. Delloso and Ms. Quinn completed their Beginning Administrative Leadership licences at CBU and are now Exceptional Student Education Coordinators for the Germantown Municipal School District.

This three-member team has also authored both a book (Social Skills Games and Activities for Kids with Autism, published by Prufrock Press, Inc.) and a laminated guide for teachers (Social Skills: Effective Instruction for Exceptional Learners). As a part of April’s Autism Awareness Month, they were actively involved in sharing their work and in learning about the latest evidence-based practices at the CEC conference in St. Louis.

Dr. Karen B. Golightly presented her paper “The Writing on the Wall: an Analysis of Dublin Street Art” as part of the “Visualizing Dublin in the 21st Century” panel of the American Conference of Irish Studies on April 15. Her paper examines the rhetoric of Dublin murals and how they are both a reflection of and an influence upon Irish past and present.

On January 10, Dr. Emily Holmes (Dept. of Religion and Philosophy) gave a lecture on “The Meaning and Practice of Mindfulness in the Christian Tradition” at the Harpswell Symposium for Mindfulness in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Dr. Holmes and Dr. Mary Campbell (Dept. of Behavioral Sciences) visited Cambodia as part of a partnership between CBU and the Harpswell Foundation, whose mission is to empower a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia and the developing world.

Dr. Kristian O’Hare has been accepted into Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. Lambda’s Retreat is among the country’s most competitive writer’s residencies and the only one specifically for LGBTQ writers. Lambda Retreat Fellows have a remarkable reputation of publishing, winning other fellowships and awards, and of active involvement in local and national literary communities. The Retreat will be held July 24– July 31, 2016 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

In addition, Dr. O’Hare and Dr. Golightly recently took several of our Creative Writing students to the Southern Literary Festival at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, where students participated in workshops and master classes in screenwriting, playwriting, memoir writing, and bookbinding.

Associate Professor Nick Pena’s work was selected, by the board of LOCATE Arts, for inclusion in their online registry. LOCATE Arts serves Tennessee by anchoring and spotlighting the contemporary visual art scenes in each region and fostering a unified statewide art scene. Our programs promote art dialogue between the different cities in the state, and between the state and the world. You can find the online registry at to find contemporary artists of Tennessee including Professor Pena’s located on the first page of the registry.

Professor Peña also recently participated as a panelist for Hustle: Fine Tuning your Studio Practice, on Tuesday, April 12 at Crosstown Arts. The talk highlighted ways to make your work needs the highest item on your priority list – how to get there and keep it there with all of the other pressures and obligations in your life.

Hustle: Professional Development for Artists is a series of free programs organized by ArtsMemphis, UrbanArt Commission, and Crosstown Arts. The series will provide visual artists with information, resources, and opportunities to support them in the development of their professional careers. Workshop topics will range from positive studio practices to pricing work and navigating gallery representation.

Dr. Jeff Sable, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences, took part in a session on Teaching Neuroscience at the Southeast Conference on the Teaching of Psychology (SETOP) in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 5, 2016. He and three colleagues were invited to plan and conduct the session, which included hands-on activities they conduct in their classrooms. Dr. Sable led the attendees through “The Quad is a Neuron”, an activity he does in PSYC 225 Biological Psychology, in which students spread out in the Buckman Quad and each plays the role of a single input to a nerve cell. The activity demonstrates some of the characteristics of communication inside a nerve cell.

Dr. Sable also recently attended the International Conference on Nutrition and Growth in Vienna, Austria. He presented a poster, Development of Event-Related Brain Potentials in a Pig Model of Preterm Birth and Nutrition Support, which he co-authored with collaborators at the University of Memphis and Enzymotec Ltd. (Kfar Baruch, Israel). The research was also presented along with other results as a poster, Brain Development after Preterm Birth is Enhanced by Including Phosphatidylserine in Formula: Evidence from Preterm Pigs, at the recent Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California.

A volume entitled The Holy Spirit and the Church according to the New Testament, co-edited by Dr. James Wallace, Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, containing the papers from a Symposium he attended in Belgrade, is now out.

It contains his essay, “Spirit(s) in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.” The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is an ancient, pseudonymous text that was probably written by Jews but later edited and preserved by Christians. It offers rich discourse about “spirit” (Greek: pneuma) from around the time of the birth of Christianity. The essay explores the text’s presentation of human spirits, evil (demonic) spirits, and benevolent spirit, focusing on the last of these. Dr. Wallace argues that ultimately, despite various terms for a good spirit (e.g., “Spirit of Truth,” “Spirit of Understanding”), the author(s) of the text ultimately understands there to be only one good, divine spirit. The essay explores the role of this divine Spirit in promoting virtue and obedience to God’s law, as well as the eschatological role of this Spirit. In the essay, Dr. Wallace also examines the influence of Stoicism on this text and the similarities between the Testament’s discourse of “spirit” and what we find in certain Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the Rule of the Community. Finally, the essay offers conjectures as to why the pneumatology of the text may have been one factor that led early Christians to treasure and preserve this text.

As far as the edited volume as a whole, it contains papers around the central theme (“The Holy Spirit and the Church According to the New Testament”) from Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox perspectives. Topics include the Holy Spirit in: Luke-Acts, Paul, the Gospel of John, the Church Fathers, and the liturgy. Typically, there is one essay from a “Western” (Protestant or Roman Catholic) perspective, and one from an “Eastern” (Orthodox) perspective. There are also papers from the seminars on the Holy Spirit in: the Gospels, the second-century Christian writings, and ancient Judaism (my paper was from this last seminar). Other highlights include an essay (with illustrations) on the Holy Spirit in Orthodox iconography and essays on New Testament Scholarship in Serbia. The volume also contains an essay by N. T. Wright: “The Glory Returns: Spirit, Temple and Eschatology in Paul and John.”

Dr. Wallace also attended the Society of Biblical Literature conference in Atlanta back in November. I attended some great sessions, including one on “Luke-Acts and Ethnicity” and one on biblical interpretation in C.S. Lewis, as well as a session on the Gospel of John. While there, I caught up with our former colleague, Dr. David Dault, who continues to thrive in Chicago as president and CEO of the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. He also continues to run his radio program, “Things Not Seen: Conversations about Culture and Faith.”

Fr. Bruce Cinqeugrani and Dr. Wallace both attended Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s lecture here in Memphis entitled, “How Do We Read the Bible Faithfully Amidst a Predatory Economy?” They both report to have found the lecture engaging and inspiring, as Brueggemann elucidated the ways the Bible offers resistance to “economies of extraction” that seek to transfer wealth from the common people to the wealthy. He highlighted the Christian liturgy of the Eucharist – a term which means “Thanksgiving”! – as an alternative script for church communities, because the Eucharist highlights God’s abundance (as opposed to the rhetoric and fear of scarcity) to foster communities of neighborliness instead of competition.

The following faculty were awarded promotion effective starting the 2016/17 academic year:

Dr. Ben Jordan, promoted to Associate Professor of History and Political Science
Dr. Jeffery Gross, promoted to Associate Professor of Literature and Languages
Dr. Samantha Alperin, promoted to Professor of Education

The following faculty were awarded tenure effective starting in the 2016/17 academic year:

Dr. Ric Potts, Associate Professor of Education, Director of MSEL Program
Dr. Jeffrey Sable, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences

The following faculty were awarded tenure effective starting in the 2017/18 academic year:

Mr. Matthew Hamner, Assistant Professor of Visual and Performing Arts
Mr. Nicholas Pena, Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts
Dr. Benjamin Jordan, Associate Professor of History and Political Science

In Memoriam

Ellen FaithDr. Ellen Faith (Education) passed away on October 30th. She leaves behind her husband and love of her life of 45 years, Mack Faith. Mack sends this message: “We had an idea for a memorial which she liked a lot. I’ll share as soon as I can. We both fully expected we had months and maybe even years, so many things ‘in progress.’ She wanted and will have cremation. There will be no funeral. More on that later. Meanwhile, do what your own practice in integrity asks you to do. Thank you all for providing me so many wonderful little messages to deliver to her as Death’s Stalker closed in on her. Blessings to you all. Live bravely.”

The memorial activities will take place between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper St., Memphis, TN.

The sanctuary at First Congregational has an excellent indoor labyrinth. The first 45 minutes or so will be silent (voices) with a meditative musical accompaniment allowing those who wish to quietly walk the labyrinth as their form of memorialization to have that opportunity. It should be possible for participants to walk at any time during the service. Memorializing remarks will be more conversational in tone and less rhetorical than is sometimes the case.

Memories can be shared on a dedicated Facebook memorial page. Too, donations in Ellen’s honor may be made to Doctors Without Borders and/or the Church Health Center. Please keep Ellen and Mack in your thoughts and prayers.

Faculty Making News

Dr. Samantha Alperin, (Chair, Education) presented at the Diocesan summer and fall in-services on “Teaching Without the Text.” She has recently been appointed to the board of St. Paul’s, the CBHS President’s Council, and the Committee for Accreditation and School Excellence through the Diocese which works toward planning and improvement for system accreditation.

Dr. Frank Buscher (History & Political Science), along with Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (Electrical & Computer Engineering), attended the International Symposium on Lasallian Research from September 27-29 at the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus in Minneapolis. More than 120 Lasallian educators and scholars from numerous countries gathered to present and discuss current research. The Superior General of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Brother Robert Schieler, was the keynote speaker.

Dr. Marius Carriere (History & Political Science) attended “The Symposium of the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression” at U.T. Chattanooga. He is a member of the Symposium’s Executive Committee.

Mrs. Hollie Comas (LANCE Director) has announced her retirement as of December. Ms. Colleen Boyette, Education’s administrative assistant and university supervisor of student and intern teachers, will take her place starting in January. Colleen comes to us from a previous position OLPH. She was an Lasallian Volunteer in Freeport, NY, and received her Master’s degree in educational leadership from Notre Dame before returning to Memphis. She is a graduate of St. Agnes and CBU.

Dr. Cort Casey (Education) and Professor Nancy Wilder (Education) attended the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) conference in Washington, DC in September, and on behalf of CBU’s Department of Education, are happy to announce that the Selected Improvement Commission of CAEP granted NCATE accreditation to the Department at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. As noted in their report, “This accreditation decision indicates that the department and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community.” The next accreditation visit will be in Spring 2022.

Dr. Karen Golightly (Literature & Languages) was awarded The Brother Bernard LoCoco Presidential Chair. Dr. Golightly recently organized the Paint Memphis event on July 18, which brought together more than 50 artists to create the largest collaborative mural in town on the south side of the Wolf River flood wall that runs .3 miles along the proposed Chelsea Greenline in the New Chicago/North Midtown neighborhood. More information (and photos) are available at or The project was covered extensively in The Commercial Appeal, and she also appeared on Local Memphis Live on September 30 to discuss PaintMemphis and CBU’s Fresh Reads and Memphis Reads programs, which recently brought author Dave Eggars and Sudanese lost boy Valentino Achak Deng to Memphis.

Paint Memphis

Dr. Jeffrey Gross (Literature & Languages) was awarded CBU’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award.

Matthew Hamner (Visual & Performing Arts) was interviewed on WKNO’s Listening to the Arts about his participation in “The Laramie Project-10 Years Later,” which was produced by New Moon Theater Company at the Evergreen Theater in Memphis in June of 2015.

jordan_modernDr. Benjamin Jordan’s (History & Political Science) book, Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America: Citizenship, Race, and the Environment, 1910-1930, is coming out with the University of North Carolina Press in April 2016. In this illuminating look at gender and Scouting in the United States, Dr. Jordan examines how, in its founding and early rise, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) integrated traditional Victorian manhood with modern, corporate-industrial values and skills.


Nick Peña (Visual & Performing Arts) was awarded The Harold R. Krelstein Chair In Performing Arts & Communications. His exhibition, Crosscut,” was recently on display (Aug.-Oct.) in the Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery in CBU’s Plough Library.

Pena Crosscut


Teaching NeuroscienceDr. Jeff Sable (Behavioral Sciences) authored two chapters in Teaching Neuroscience: Practical Activities for an Engaged Classroom, a freely available e-book published on September 10 by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2 of the American Psychological Association). Each chapter describes a “classroom” activity Dr. Sable developed, including one he developed at CBU as part of PSYC 225 Biological Psychology. In it, the Buckman Quadrangle becomes a giant virtual nerve cell in which students take on roles as its working parts.

Students Making News

A Brown - Joel BrownCBU celebrated Constitution Day on Thursday on September 17 with the valuable assistance of the CBU Pre-Law Society. Angelica Brown (English for Corporate Communications ’18) and Joel Moore (English for Corporate Communications ’17) distributed pocket editions of the U.S. Constitution to the CBU community in front of Alfonso Dining Hall and the Buc. This year, antique-style reproductions of the Declaration of Independence were also available. Dr. Karl Leib (Associate Professor, History & Political Science, and Pre-Law Advisor) was on hand to answer questions about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.

The Gulf South Conference named Lady Buc outside hitter Alexis Gillis (Visual Arts ’17) as its Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending September 30 after she broke the school record for kills. For the week, Gillis averaged 4.62 kills per set, pounding 60 kills and hitting .233 with 34 digs in 13 sets. She started the week with 17 kills and 11 digs in a five-set loss at Lee Tuesday night. Friday night, she set a new school record with 32 kills, hitting .366 with 14 digs as the Lady Bucs upended Alabama Huntsville in five sets. She concluded the week with 11 kills, nine digs and four blocks in a three-set loss to first-place North Alabama Saturday afternoon.

The Gulf South Conference also named Lady Buc midfielder Connie Strini (Early Childhood ’19) as its Freshman of the Week for the period ending September 30 after she led the Lady Bucs to a 1-1 week. Strini played all 90 minutes and scored two second-half goals in the Lady Bucs’ win over Spring Hill. She also played all 90 minutes in a loss to West Florida.

Rakesha Gray (English ’17), John Dawson (Business Administration ’16), and Angel Rodriguez (Cybersecurity ’18), were honored by the Division of Student Life with the CBU Spirit Awards.

Anthony Maranise, OblSB (Religion & Philosophy ’11, Catholic Studies ’17) was recently invited to submit an article on the theology of sports and recreation to the summer 2015 issue of Church Health Reader, the official publication of Memphis’ own Church Health Center. Also, his recent paper entitled “Welcomed as Christ: Immigration Through the Lens of Benedictine Hospitality” has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming (yet undetermined) issue of Benedictines, a journal of contemporary monastic issues published by the Sisters of Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, KS.

Daryl Stephens

Daryl Stephens (top, 2nd from right), Dr. Hanebrink (not pictured)

Daryl Stephens (Psychology ’14, Uganda site manager) was one of several participants in the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) program who presented their summer-abroad research on September 19. and Dr. Julia Hanebrink (Psychology ’01, Uganda site director). The MHIRT program at CBU provides international research training opportunities to qualified undergraduate, graduate, and medical students from socially or economically disadvantaged groups who have been historically underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research careers.

Phi Alpha ThetaThe CBU chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, held its induction on October 6. Pictured above (l-r) are new initiates Jackson Brumfield (History ’18) and Jumari Callaway (History ’17) with Amy Rohling, President (History ’17); Mustafa Hmood, Treasurer (History ’16); and Katie Lewis, Secretary (History ’16).

Lasallian FellowsCBU has named (above l-r) Mustafa Hmood (History ’16), Ian Boyd (English ’16), Sara Swisher (English ’16), Kierra Turner (Accounting ’16) and Rebecca Wauford (Mechanical Engineering ’16) as its 2016 Class of CBU Lasallian Fellows. The 2016 Fellows were introduced to the CBU Community at the Academic Convocation on August 27 (pictured above with Dr. John Smarrelli, CBU President).

CBU Lasallian Fellowships are presented annually to five members of the senior class based upon the reflection of Lasallian values in their scholarship, leadership, and service. Each student was nominated by a member of the CBU faculty or staff because of academic excellence, commitment to social justice, the active nature of his or her faith, and an inspired approach to change-making.

Upon graduation, the Fellows will be awarded $10,000 as a means of perpetuating their work in the community. The Fellowships are made possible through the creative generosity of Joyce Mollerup and Robert Buckman. (They also now appear, much larger than life, on the west wall of the Thomas Center.)