Inside Out / Dreamers Bus Tour Visits CBU

Inside Out

The Inside Out / Dreamers tour stopped at CBU just before winter break to celebrate America’s DREAMers and rally our community to support the DREAM Act. Inside Out / Dreamers is a nationwide participatory art initiative (the Inside Out Project), funded by the TED Foundation and launched by award-winning artist JR to create a portrait of America that includes immigrants and the descendants of immigrants alike.

Inside Out BusThe truck, retro-fitted to function as a photo booth, gave hundreds from CBU’s campus community an opportunity to have their picture taken and transform their personal identity into works of public art. The photos are instantly printed and were included in a series of highly visible art installations featuring a group of large-scale black and white portraits.

Inside Out NewsClick on the image above to watch a video news report on the project at CBU from WMC-TV5, which features interviews with President John Smarrelli and Rafaela Minor (Business Administration ’21).

CBU’s participation in the event and our support of DACA students were also the subject of a December 13 article in High Ground News entitled ”Inside Out/Dreamers art project drums up support for Memphis’ undocumented young people.” The article quoted President John SmarrelliTeresa Escobar (Finance ’19), and Mauricio Calvo (’87), executive director of Latino Memphis.

Grand Opening for The Rosa Deal School of Arts

You are invited to join us for the grand opening of The Rosa Deal School of Arts on Jan. 23rd from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

RDSOAWhen completed, this state-of-the-art educational facility will host the School of Arts offices, multi-modal classrooms, new art studios, the writing center and language lab, psychology lab, and communal spaces for students. You can learn more about the Rosa Deal School of Arts here.

2017 Vanderhaar Symposium Welcomes Shaka Senghor

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On Friday, March 31st The Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium at Christian Brothers University welcomes Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American PrisonThe event is free and open to the public.

Author Photo-Shaka Senghor WebShaka is a leading voice in criminal justice reform and the President and Co-Founder of #BeyondPrisons, an initiative designed to uplift the voices and experiences of those impacted by the criminal justice system. His memoir, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, was released in March 2016 and debuted on The New York Times Best Seller List as well as The Washington Post Best Seller List. An unforgettable tale of forgiveness and second chances, Writing My Wrongs reminds us that our worst deeds don’t define who we are or what we can contribute to the world. Senghor’s story has inspired thousands and serves as a powerful testament to the power of hope, compassion and unconditional love.

Oprah Winfrey has referred to her interview with Senghor for SuperSoul Sunday as “one of the best I’ve ever had-not just in my career, but in my life… His story touched my soul.” Senghor’s TED Talk, which he delivered at TED’s 30th Anniversary Conference, received a standing ovation and has been viewed more than 1.3 million times; TED later featured his talk in its “Year in Ideas” roundup, a collection of the most powerful TED Talks of 2014.

Senghor has been a guest on CNN, CBS This Morning, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Good Day New York, NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, and C-SPAN’s After Words. He has also been a guest on numerous radio programs, including All Things Considered, The Lenny Lopate Show, The Maggie Linton Show, and Power 105.1 with Angie Martinez.

Shaka Senghor is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 Ford Man of Courage Award, the 2016 NAACP Great Expectations Award, the 2015 Manchester University Innovator of the Year Award, and the 2012 Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership Award. He was recently recognized by OWN as a “Soul Igniter” in the inaugural class of the SuperSoul 100, a dynamic group of trailblazers whose vision and life’s work are bringing a higher level of consciousness to the world around them and encouraging others to do the same. Senghor was also a 2014 TED Prize finalist for The Atonement Project, is a former MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and a current Fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network. He has taught at the University of Michigan and shares his story of redemption around the world.

This year’s Vanderhaar Symposium kicks off two days of peaceful fellowship under the banner “Know Justice. Know Peace.” with The Gandhi-King Conference, which will be held at CBU on April 1st, and The National Civil Rights Museum, which will host a guest speaker that Saturday night. We hope you’ll join us as we come together for what promises to be an eventful two days of learning, camaraderie, fellowship and community building. Follow the School of Arts on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with announcements.

Upcoming Study Abroad Opportunities

The Study Abroad Office has been busier than an ice cream parlor in July and here’s the scoop. Dr. Palmer took a group of history students to Paris and Belgium over spring break to commemorate World War 1. They visited the famous sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and then they traveled up to Lille to see famous battle sites of WWI – you can read more from Dr. Palmer below.

Right after graduation, Dr. Trimboli’s Chemistry of Cooking class is going to take off to San Sebastian, Spain, to master culinary skills from top chefs from around the world. Students will indulge in many delicacies and refine their palates. It will be a long step from eating Ramen in their dorms. In their free time, students will be relaxing on the beach, hiking the mountain, or touring the historic city.

Professor Pat Papachristou is also offering a trip to Portugal and Spain this May leaving soon after graduation. Learn about economics and sustainability in these countries. Spots are still available for the price of $3000. Contact her at ppapachr@edu for more information about this trip.

Several upcoming trips are in the midst of being planned. Students have the opportunity to register for a History or Religion class this Fall 2016 semester that only meets four times the entire semester before leaving for Rome and Assisi, Italy, during Christmas break. They will join students from other Lasallian universities to continue their learning.

Dr. Jeff Gross and Professor Chanda Murphy are currently planning a trip to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Students have an opportunity to choose from an English class leaning about the Black Atlantic and African Diaspora or a psychology class and study the theory behind reduced stress and a slower paced environment yield higher productivity levels from employees. Can’t choose? Why not take both? Center your chi by doing yoga on the beach; take a relaxing hike to become one with nature, and take historical tours of the island, all while learning and writing about the culture.

Get all the up-to-date news about upcoming trips by checking out our website frequently or following us on Twitter” @cbubucs_abroad, Facebook: “Study Abroad Program at Christian Brothers University,” or Instagram @studyabroadcbu, and read about us in CBU’s weekly newsletter, The Connection.

E-mail us at or Call us at 321-3264 or 321-3461. Or stop by our office in Buckman 342 and 346 if you have any questions.


BFA Showcase

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts showcased the work of its 2016 BFA graduates at a one-night exhibition at Marshall Arts. The exhibit featured works by Alexi Blum, Jacob Brunner, Sheridan Cross, Morgan Granoski, Walter Harris, Tawanda Jones, and Seth Loomis.


castings_coverIn conjunction with the exhibit, CBU’s Castings Journalcelebrated its 2016 release.

For those who were not able to attend, an online edition can be found HERE. Students and work selected for prizes in the 2016 Castings journal can be found in the list below:




1st Place: “Overtime” by Savannah Austin
2nd Place: “Stages” by Jennifer Davidson
3rd Place: “Morning Time” by Savannah Austin

1st Place: “Withering” by Olivia Betterton
2nd Place: “The Losing Man” by Jessica Love
3rd Place: “Mississippi Station” by Seth Loomis

Digital Photography
1st Place: Top 5 Ways to Beat the Stay-at-Home-Mom Blues by Morgan Granoski
2nd Place: Foggy Woods by Ethan Hart
3rd Place: Serenity by Shannon McKee

Fine Art
1st Place: Play with Me by Taylor Bing
2nd Place: Skeletal by Megan Mosier
3rd Place: Post-Shower Ritual by Morgan Granoski

Faculty judges for this year’s Castings journal included Dr. Ann Marie Wranovix, Dr. Vincent O’Neill, Dr. Jeff Gross, Dr. Kristian O’Hare, Jana Travis, and Nick Pena.



Erik Larson

CBU and the Booksellers at Laurelwood hosted a Memphis Reads event featuring Erik Larson, author of five New York Times bestsellers, most recently Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which hit #1 on the Times list soon after launch. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.



Jana Gallery

Place Keepers, an exhibit of paintings by Memphis artists Elizabeth Garat and CBU Associate Professor of Visual Arts, Jana Travis, runs through May 14 at Annesdale Park Gallery. Professor Travis’s colorful and energetic abstract paintings are often multimedia creations. “My work,” she writes in her artist statement, “is heavily influenced by the constantly evolving effects of nature and the chaotic influences it has on our changing world.” You can learn more about Professor Travis and her work on her website.



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Chad Pregracke, founder and President of America’s only “industrial strength” river clean-up organization and the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, spoke at the eleventh annual Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium on April 21st. Chad told a compelling story about growing up on the Mississippi river and how his river experiences led to his unique vision to clean it up and start the internationally recognized not-for-profit, Living Lands & Waters. The Vanderhaar Symposium was founded in honor of Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar, a professor of religion for 28 years at Christian Brothers University, who spent his lifetime promoting peace and active nonviolence. Additionally, the Symposium honors one Mid-South area college student each year with the Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award, presented to the student who best exemplifies the spirit and practice of active nonviolence consistent with Dr. Vanderhaar’s life and work. This year’s award went to Damou Traore from LeMoyne-Owen College.



Book Stock

Dr. Benjamin Jordan was one of many local authors participating in Bookstock. His new book, Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America: Citizenship, Race, and the Environment, 1910-1930, was released this April by the University of North Carolina Press in April 2016. Bookstock is literacy festival of books and the authors who write them, offering a range of free activities for the whole family like a scavenger hunt through Central Library, face painting, chalk art, live music, food trucks, book signings, author talks, and more!



Evening of Scenes

On April 28th and 29th, students in Assistant Professor Mathew Hamner’s acting class produced scenes from the following plays: David Auburn’s Proof, Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men, and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. Featuring: Khadijah Green, Jarvis Sumlin, Emanuel Castellan, Precious Futch, Eric Johnson, Charles Moses, Jennifer Pearman, Tylan Peterson, Darious Robertson, David Ruiz-Padilla, Constance Strini, Grant Thompson, and Alonta Tripp.