An Exploration of Autism

Lois PrislovskyPsi Chi (the National Honors Society in psychology) and STARS (Students Tackling Autism Related Syndromes) hosted a talk by Dr. Lois Prislovsky, titled “I Might Be You: An Exploration of Autism and Connection,” on Thursday, September 24 in Spain Auditorium. Dr. Prislovsky graduated from CBU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She earned her M.S. in General Psychology from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Prislovsky then completed over 138 hours of post-doctorate studies in assessment, cognitive psychology, Lindamood-Bell reading therapy, DIRFloortime methods for strength/relationship approaches to understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and advanced certification in Ericksonian hypnosis. Her other areas of expertise include learning disabilities, multi-skills training for Autism Spectrum clients, anxiety management, and ADHD coaching. She has authored several nationally published articles on ASD, ADHD, and Anxiety.

Together with her Mule and Muse Productions business partner, Barb Rentenbach, a non-verbal woman with autism, Dr. Prislovsky wrote I Might Be You: An Exploration of Autism and Connection. Rentenbach and Prislovsky have another book coming out this fall entitled Neurodiversity: A Humorous and Practical Guide to Living with ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Dyslexia, Homosexuality, and Everyone Else. Dr. Prislovsky serves as the executive director of the Greater Living Institute GLI (non-profit designed to serve individuals with disabilities), president of Psychoeducational Network (private practice), and president of Mule and Muse Productions, LLC.

Alumni Making News

The Rev. Herbert Ene (MEd ’10) has joined St. Benedict at Auburndale High School (SBA) as a full-time chaplain. He joins Spiritual Affairs Director Hannah Keegan in the school’s Spiritual Affairs Office. You can read more about his appointment in the Bartlett Express.

Megan Wortham MurdockFour CBU alumni have been named to the Memphis Business Journal’s “Top Forty Under 40″ for 2105. Among them is the SOA’s Megan Wortham Murdock (ECC ’05), who is the marketing manager at CBIZ MHM.

7_dylan_web4Brother Dylan Perry (Religion & Philosophy, ’10) was honored with the Distinguished Young Alumni award at CBU’s Bell Tower Gala on November 14. Perry is the associate director of the Lasallian Volunteers for the De La Salle Christian Brothers. He earned a Master of Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in 2013. As part of his studies he worked with Little Rock Urban Farming to create the Southern Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Soil for Life (in Cape Town, South Africa), and with the Arkansas Governor’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. Perry was accepted into postulancy as a Christian Brother in July of this year. Postulancy is a period of time to learn to integrate faith, service, and community and to discern one’s call to the Brothers’ life. He currently resides in Washington, DC in the Martyrs of Turon Community.


Alumni Spotlight: Nathaniel Celeski

Karl Space 1On Saturday, November 14, at the invitation of School of Arts History alum Nathaniel “Nate” Celeski, Dr. Karl Leib traveled to Oxford, MS to speak with the Ole Miss Space Law Society, a formally recognized club at the University of Mississippi School of Law. The Society seeks to build relationships among individuals interested in air and space law who are connected to the Law School. The Society offers its members, and the Law School student body at large, exposure to contemporary issues in air and space law, and opportunities to meet professionals specializing in air and/or space law through regular meetings, social events, and educational opportunities.

“I joined the Ole Miss Space Law Society,” Celeski said, “because I gained an interest in space politics when taking Dr. Leib’s Honors class Political History of the Space Age. I’ve always had a curiosity about space and astronomy in particular, so his class piqued my interest. Dr. Leib’s energy and curiosity for the subject really struck a chord with us fellow space geeks,” Celeski stated, “so he was the most fitting scholar I could think of to do us the honor of being our first guest speaker at our very first event.”

Dr. Leib’s speaking engagement took place on the historic Oxford Square at the Growler, a local craft beer bar. In his talk, Dr. Leib established a basic foundation of space law knowledge, explored intriguing questions policy makers are facing, and will be facing in the not-so-distant future, regarding international space politics.

Dr. Leib reports, “More players are becoming active in space and activities such as tourism and mining are on the horizon. More countries, and more private actors, are developing space programs. International law for space must change to meet these new realities in order to promote commercial space activities and to avoid conflicting national or private claims to space-based resources.”

Celeski said, “I took his class around the same time I decided to take the LSAT and see if law school would be a good plan for me. As it turns out, Ole Miss offers a certificate program in Air Sensing and Space Law, so I plan to earn that certificate while working on my JD over the next two years. Upon graduating, I intend to pursue space law in some capacity, as it is an increasingly necessary field in a growing industry.”

Lastly, Nate wants everyone to know that “Dr. Leib did fantastic, and we were incredibly fortunate to have him come down! I’ve certainly missed him and everyone back home!”

Testimonial: Behavioral Sciences Alumna, Bridget M. Nuechterlein

Bridget M. Nuechterlein, who graduated from CBU in 2009 with a degree in psychology, and is now serving as an Evaluation Specialist at The Evaluation Center, School of Education & Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver recently touched base with the School of Arts to say thank you:

The psychology program at Christian Brothers University has provided me with the necessary tools to successfully further my career in psychology. With its emphasis on research, I adapted well into my graduate program, earning a master’s degree in educational psychology with a focus in research and evaluation. The supportive faculty in the psychology department developed a sequence of research courses that outlined the first two semesters of my graduate program. I entered these courses with previous experience in writing literature reviews and developing research designs with appropriate analysis techniques. I also had a deep understanding of statistical analysis software and knew how to interpret an output. This research sequence exposed me to research methodology and statistical analysis at an early stage. I did not realize how “research minded” I was until I began my graduate program and realized my first few courses were review while my classmates were learning something brand new. I was asked to be a teacher assistant (TA) because of my previous exposure to the material. I credit CBU for my early success in graduate school!



SOA Students Making News

The CBU chapter president of Phi Alpha Theta, Eddie Gallarno, announced that three new members were initiated last month into the National Honorary History Society. Amy Rohling, Mustafa Hmood, and David Ruiz-Padilla are the society’s newest members.  All three students are CBU History majors. Amy is from Nashville, Mustafa is from Iraq, and David is from Horn Lake, Mississippi.

The Commissioning Ceremony for the 12th Cohort of the LANCE (Lasallian Association of New Catholic Educators) and LEaPS (Lasallian Educators and Professional Scholars) was held September 23 in Stritch Chapel. Seven new members were commissioned to join the current six members in their second year. The LANCE teachers are placed in schools in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, and our first LEaPS teacher is in the Shelby County Schools. They live in community on the CBU campus in the Avery apartments and are working on their master’s degrees in Education. The newly commissioned teachers are Elizabeth Ellman (MAT), Elizabeth George (MEd), Amber Lipford (MAT), Alexandra Odegaard (MEd), Clarence Say (MAT), Angelica Schutz (MAT), and Emma Voelker (MAT).

Derrick Brown, MAT Special Ed – teaches at Riverview Middle and has opened ‘The Academy’ an after school center for students in the Riverview area who need academic help and mentoring.

Lady Buc outside hitter Alexis Gillis (Visual Arts ’17) was named the GSC Defensive Volleyball Player of the Week. Gillis collected 3.25 digs per set, 39 in all, for the Lady Bucs last week, adding 38 kills, five aces and four blocks as well.

Twee Le, B.A. Liberal Studies, was accepted to Teach For America in Memphis.

Latoria Lewis (History ’11) is a now first-year law student at Faulkner University School of Law in Montgomery, AL.

Anthony Maranise, OblSB (Religious Studies ’11, Catholic Studies ’17) published an article entitled, “He visto la faz de Dios” in the September issue of La Palabra Entre Nosotros.

Emily Phillips (Studio Art ’15) was selected as a recipient of a $1000 award from the River Arts Festival, which was presented on May 30 at the Jay Etkin Gallery during the River Arts poster unveiling.

Lady Buc defender Gabrielle Pilgrim (English ’17) was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team (Soccer) for the South Region. She has played 14 games, starting 13, and she carries a perfect 4.0 GPA in English.

Ashley Williams (Liberal Studies ’15) was named CARL of the Year. CARL stands for CBU Advising Registration Leader. The program is available to students who are interested in helping their peers have a fullfilling CBU experience.

Student Spotlight: Michael MacMiller

MMC_pic2Michael MacMiller, a senior psychology major with a minor is sustainability studies, has certainly made the most of his four years at Christian Brothers University. He has organized and reinvigorated a number of student organizations, worked to clean-up McKellar Lake and city parks, donated his hair to Locks of Love in honor of his uncle who passed away from cancer (which meant not cutting his hair for a year), served as a mentor for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and worked tirelessly to promote sustainability initiatives and events on campus.

Most recently, this semester he and three other students (Shanice Oliver, Sara Swisher, and Johnathan Mosley) co-founded CBU’s chapter of the Food Recovery Network, a program that “unites students on college campuses to fight waste and feed people by collecting the surplus unsold food from their colleges and donating it to hungry Americans.”


Within just the first month of the program they have coordinated with campus dining and other student organizations to recover over 300lbs of food which they have donated to the Memphis Union Mission, the Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow-Up, the St. Vincent DePaul Food Mission, and FirstWorks, a non-denominational, faith-based, non-profit organization that strives to meet the needs of inner city children.

Michael is also a co-founder of the Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC), for which he has served as President during the past two years. The SSC was created three years ago from one of the many student-lead projects born out of Dr. Ben Jordan’s Intro to Sustainability class. The SSC’s mission is to promote the advancement of sustainable projects on campus and in the community, serve as a campus voice for sustainability issues, and engage with and promote sustainability within other student organizations.

“Michael is one of our key student difference-makers in recent years,” says Dr. Jordan. “He stands out at CBU for his leadership and his ability to encourage other students to get involved in campus and city vibrancy projects. He’s a great ambassador for CBU and its Lasallian mission.”

As Michael explains, Dr. Jordan and his sustainability class were the inspiration for his future endeavors. “When I first arrived at Christian Brothers University, Dr. Jordan was one of the first professors I met. He sparked my interest in sustainability and exposed me to some core notions, namely how interdependent the world really is, how some corporations don’t take the social cost of their business plans into consideration, and what it means to be a responsible citizen in society and to really appreciate the earth’s natural beauty and remedies. In short, I reevaluated my place in nature and my responsibilities toward it.”

As part of his presidential duties for the SSC, Michael sits on the university’s Sustainability Committee. In service of the committee’s mission, Michael has helped promote committee sponsored events, including a lecture by Reverend Fletcher Harper of GreenFaith, the Mid-South Farm to Table Conference, and the Livable Campus, Livable City workshop CBU co-hosted with Livable Memphis, in which he spoke about the Sustainability Coalition. He has also been a strong advocate for the university’s recycling program, which has seen its material collection double in recent months from a previous average of 1.5 tons a month to 3 tons a month.

10171885_271165759736777_8277782730438355735_nBut that’s not all. This past summer, he was one of only two undergraduates chosen to participate with graduate students and young professionals from across the country in the week-long Byron Fellowship, “an interdisciplinary course in leadership and sustainable community development that uniquely engages participants through place-based learning” that takes place in Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana.

“When I went to Byron, the program wasn’t about race, prestige, class, or place of origin. It was about action and being impactful in the places and spaces we dwell in. That meant a lot to me. In six days, I went from feeling I was just doing cool projects at CBU to understanding that I was one part of a global initiative, and that no matter your color, place you’re from, or station in life, we all want the same things – to breath clean air, drink clean water, and eat good food with the people we care about the most. That is our common bond.”

Student Spotlight: Alicia Russell’s Letter from Japan

RusselDear Dr. Broadwell,

I hope all is going well this year! Things are finally picking up here in Nago, Okinawa Japan and I started teaching last week! It feels wonderful to finally be able to put my degrees to work and to help teach English as a second language. I have even been given my own class of seniors to teach for two hours once a week! I expected to be team teaching for the duration of my stay, but I’m getting practice on my own now!


Japan is such a wonderful place. I have agreed to two years so far, but my schools are already talking about me staying the full five years allotted in the JET Program. I wanted to say thank you again for helping me get to this point and to give you and update on how things are here.

Again, thank you for everything!

Alicia Russell, English Education graduate (B.A., 2013; M.A. 2014)


Alumni News


Kyra Clapper, at the house of Chateaubriand

Kyra Clapper, (B.A. in History 2013), is finishing the first year of work towards Master’s degrees in both history and French at the University of Memphis. She was awarded a two year teaching fellowship and recently won funding to support her work in France this summer, where she will be studying French and conducting research for her thesis on the nineteenth-century French writer and politician François-René de Chateaubriand. She was also elected president of the University of Memphis Graduate History Association.

Alicia Russell, who was a 2013 graduate in English and who will be awarded the M.A.T. in English and History this spring, has just learned she has been selected by the JET program (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) to teach English in Japan beginning in August. Alicia is extremely excited about this opportunity; she has had the dream of teaching in Japan for a number of years now.