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.)

Student Spotlight: Mauricio Ramirez

Mauricio RamirezIn the fall of 2014, I was afforded an opportunity to attend Latino Memphis’s 1st Annual Leadership Luncheon, where I was fortunate enough to speak with many business and political leaders in our community, including one of the Vice Presidents of AutoZone. He and several other leaders encouraged me and made me realize my talents could be useful in the corporate world. Shortly thereafter, I reached out to AutoZone and was hired as part of their 2015 Summer Internship Program.

I found that AutoZone has a very unique and amazing culture that complements my philanthropic aspirations. The intriguing aspect that appeals to me is the care and respect that each person who interacts with AutoZone receives, whether they are an employee or a customer. By ensuring an accepting and diverse community, Autozone creates an enticing culture that rouses the best out of their employees.

The office is not just a place to work but also a comfortable safe haven. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that the organization I work for promotes internal outreach programs and connections with charities I grew up helping and volunteering at. AutoZone has opened up my eyes because the company contributes so much to the Memphis community by donating to great causes and by sponsoring local events. AutoZone also advocates for many of the philanthropies that I love, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Boys and Girls Club, and The Salvation Army.

One of my responsibilities in the Training and Development department in Human Resources includes looking at statistics to help develop action plans that will result in an increase in productivity. I have also developed several surveys, written newsletters, worked with succession planning, interacted with talent management systems, and even helped troubleshoot the annual performance appraisal used by thousands of managers. There is an incredible feeling I get at AutoZone because even as an intern I actually get to work on big projects across the company.

Perhaps most relevant to me is that my education in Applied Psychology at Christian Brothers University runs parallel to the work I do at AutoZone. Some of the classes I have taken, such as Organizational Behavior, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Human Resources have given me a firsthand experience about the inner workings of a corporate company. For example, case studies I examined in class are equivalent to those I see at my job. In fact, I first learned the jargon and terminology used at AutoZone in my classes. Similarly, I also encountered scenarios my professors had outlined for us in detail. I am excited to continue my journey in the corporate world and even more excited about the opportunities I have because of the unique experience I received from the CBU School of Arts.

Mauricio Ramirez
Psychology ‘17

Upcoming: Experimental Methods and Statistics Student Presentations

Experimental Methods and Statistics students will present their research projects on Tuesday, May 5th from 2:00 – 3:00 in St. Joseph 10. All are welcome to discover what they learned. We’ve got lots of really interesting projects this year, so please join us!

Presentation topics include but are not limited to the following:

Binaural Beats and Brain Activity
Victimization and Empathy
The Effect of Media Depictions of the Mentally Ill on Stigma of Mental Illness
Perceptions of and Exposure to Stuttering
The Effects of Optimism and Stress on Frustration

NSF Grant Research Takes Flight / Cognitive Neuroscience Minor Announced

Shortly after Spring Break, an interdisciplinary team of more than 15 CBU undergraduates began measuring their peers’ brain responses to emotional words and text shortcuts. The research project, “Judging Emotion in Words Brainwave Study,” is the first to use CBU’s new electroencephalogram (EEG) system, which was funded by a grant awarded to CBU from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The study was designed by David Kovaz, a doctoral student in cognitive psychology at the University of Memphis, and is being directed by Dr. Jeff Sable, an assistant professor in the CBU Department of Behavioral Sciences and the principle investigator of the NSF grant.

Oddball

Click Image To See Animation

The EEG system is something you might see at a large research university. What is unique about the research at CBU is that it is being driven by undergraduate students, rather than by graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The students are tag-teaming to collect data for up to 12 hours per day. Some students will also be involved in analyzing the data, which can produce animations such as the one included here.

Ultimately, Dr. Sable hopes the research—the current study and many to follow—will be presented at conferences and even published in scientific journals. Additional studies are planned that will examine the effects of emotion on attention and distractibility, as well as studies of interactions between emotion and memory. All studies will involve measuring brain activity in participants.

To take advantage of this new system and related resources, the Department of Behavioral Sciences will offer a minor in cognitive neuroscience, beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year. The minor will require courses in which students learn about various measures of brain structure and brain activity, as well as peripheral measures that reflect mental processing. In many cases, students will learn by doing—actually measuring these signals in themselves and each other. Students in the minor will also propose and conduct research projects.

There are only a handful of schools in the U.S. that offer an undergraduate minor in cognitive neuroscience. Of those, CBU is the only one in the Mid-South and ours is one of the more hands-on and research-oriented programs.

New Minor in Anthropology / Intercultural Communication and Archaeology Courses Announced

The Department of Behavioral Sciences is excited to announce the new anthropology minor, beginning fall 2015. The anthropology minor helps prepare students for graduate studies or a career in a range of public, private, and non-profit sectors. The minor requires 19 hours of anthropology coursework including one course in each of the four sub-fields (archaeology, linguistics, cultural, and physical/biological) and two additional courses of the student’s choice. Career and graduate opportunities for those with an anthropology background include: public administration, cross-cultural counseling, non-profit administration, regional planning, public health, museums, community development, international agencies, and international business.

Two new courses have been created in conjunction with the minor:

ENG 301. Intercultural Communication This course explores the role culture plays in communication in our current society. Students will explore communicative differences through both linguistics and societal applications. One semester; three credits. Prerequisites: COMMUNICATIONS THEORY

ANTH 282.  Introduction to Archaeology  This class introduces students to archaeological approaches to understanding prehistoric cultures. Students study general anthropological concepts and specific archaeological methods and theories. Specific case studies are presented to illustrate several aspects of archaeological practice, and to show how archaeologists develop their understandings of cultural variation, change, and the rise of modern societies. (Same as HIST 282). One semester; three credits.

For more information contact Dr. Mary Campbell, mcampbe6@cbu.edu.

Faculty Making News

Dr. Libby Broadwell (Professor, Literature and Languages) presented a paper entitled “Phoenix Jackson’s Repurposed Umbrella: An Ecocritical Reading of Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” at the Tennessee Philological Annual Conference in Henderson, TN, in February 2015.

Dr. Jeff Gross (Assistant Professor, Literature and Languages) presented a paper, “Teaching African American Literature in the Age of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown,” at the College English Association Annual Conference in Indianapolis.

Dr. Paul Haught (Dean, School of Arts, Associate Professor) along with Dr. Eric Welch (Electrical Engineering) presented their research on CBU’s STEM educational outreach programs at the second annual meeting of Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE). The meeting took place in Detroit, and the title of their presentation was “Educating Minds and Touching Hearts: Adventures in STEM Educational Outreach.”

On November 20, 2014, Dr. Emily Holmes (Associate Professor, Religion and Philosophy) read from and signed copies of her book, Flesh Made Word: Medieval Women Mystics, Writing, and the Incarnation (Baylor University Press, 2013). The event was sponsored by the President’s Commission on Women and held in Plough Library. Furthermore, Dr. Holmes was the guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Theology & Sexuality on the theme of “maternality.” In addition to editing, she contributed the introduction to the special issue, “On Maternality, Between Theology and Sexuality.” Theology & Sexuality 19:3 (2013): 195–202.

Little Free LibraryMaybe you’ve already noticed the little wooden “house” outside St. Joseph Hall. It’s CBU’s new “Little Free Library.” If you’re not familiar with the Little Free Library movement, it’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. CBU’s Little Free Library is the brainchild of Dr. Kelly James (Assistant Professor, Behavioral Science), who has already stocked it and is in the process of registering it with the international organization. By the way, our Little Free Library is the 15th one in Memphis — check out the map of all locations around the world. So, go ahead, take a book, CBU. (And don’t forget to return a book.)

Dr. Kelly James also lead a discussion on consent, sexual activity, and the dynamics between women and men on March 26 as part of the Women’s History Month Series at CBU.

An article by Dr. Karl Leib (Associate Professor, History & Political Science), entitled “State Sovereignty in Space: Current Models and Possible Futures,” has been published in the journal Astropolitics.

A huge thank you to all of the CBU students who helped out with Cheer for the Kids this year. Over 50 CBU students volunteered their time at the 8th annual event to help raise enough money for Make-A-Wish of the Mid-South to grant approximately five wishes. A special thank you to CBU student Mauricio Ramirez (Psychology) for all of his involvement over the past year in helping plan the 2015 event.

Cheer for the Kids is a grassroots non-profit organization founded by Chanda S. Murphy (Instructor, Behavioral Sciences) and fellow Memphian Ashley Bradford to help raise awareness and money for local child-focused philanthropy organizations. For more information or to get involved with Cheer for the Kids please visit www.facebook.com/CheerForTheKids

Dr. Brendan Prawdzik’s (Assistant Professor, Literature and Languages) article “Marvell’s Phenomenal Spirituality and the Processes of History: ‘Eyes of Tears’ and The Remarks upon a Late Disingenuous Discourse,” has been acccepted for publicaton in Explorations in Renaissance Culture, date TBA.Dr. Prawdzik also presented his paper “Sexual Violence and Civil War in ‘To His Coy Mistress’” at Exploring the Renaissance: An International Conference [SCRC], in Raleigh, NC, this past March. And will be presenting his paper “Samson Agonistes: Passion’s Looking-Glass” at the International Milton Symposium, Exeter, UK, in July of this year.

Psi Chi Induction

The CBU Chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, inducted 14 new members Sunday, March 22. At the ceremony, past-president Danielle Hobbs (left, Psychology ’13) was the guest speaker and helped welcome inductees (from left) Lauren DahlkeMichelle GrossKayla MartinSean RowlandBaraka DouglasJessica HefnerRebecca HallPatrick Woody, and James Rogers (not pictured: Jazmyn Broady, Za risa Parkey, Andrea Perez-Munoz, Gabriela Quiroz, and Mary Margaret Vollmar). Conducting the ritual of induction were current officers (back row from left) Lauren HutchisonCaitlin ConeyAnna LileyKatelynn Hicks, and Dr. Maureen O’Brien (Psi Chi advisor). Also in attendance were Dr. Tracie Burke and Dr. Jeff Sable. Congratulations new members!

Congratulations to our newly elected officers: Caitlin Coney (President), James Rogers (Vice President), Sean Rowland (Secretary/Treasurer), Kayla Martin (PR/New Member Coordinator), and Patrick Woody (Research Coordinator).

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!

Sincerely,
Bridget

 

SOA Faculty Making News

Dr. Samantha Alperin (Education) represented CBU on the Teacher Effectiveness Committee with Shelby County Schools – a committee of each of the directors of teacher education programs at each of the universities in West TN. She also conducted two seminars: ‘Put the Textbook Down and Teach’ for the summer Diocesan in-service at Holy Rosary this July; and ‘You have an IEP, Now What?’ for the fall Diocesan in-service at CBHS in October.

On October 16, Dr. Libby Broadwell (Literature and Languages) gave the keynote address on the Southern writer Eudora Welty to approximately 200 students in grades 9 through 12 at CBU Middle College’s Literary Festival. This event was the culmination of the students’ study across the disciplines of the short story “A Worn Path.”

Dr. Kristian O’Hare (Literature and Languages) was invited by his alma mater (Western Michigan University) to do an alumni reading as part of the Fall 2014 Gwen Frostic Reading Series.

Dr. Scott D. Geis (Chair, Religion and Philosophy) attended the Kierkegaard Symposium this November at Baylor University, where he presented his paper, “The Hound’s Distant Baying, the Attentive Teacher, and Kierkegaard’s Point of View.”

Additionally, as part of the implementation phase of CBU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Dr. Geis (Religion & Philosophy), along with Dr. James Moore (Biology), attended the 2014 National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, this October.

Golightly IrelandDr. Karen Golightly (Literature and Languages) attended the American Conference of Irish Studies in Dublin, Ireland in June 2014 where she presented her paper: “The Past and the Present: Battling it Out in Tana French’s In the Woods.” She was also a featured reader at the Partners in Health Fundraiser in April 2014, where she read a fiction piece titled, “There Are Things I Know.” Additionally, she attended the Southern Literary Festival in Oxford, MS, in March, where she accepted an honorable mention for Castings in the print literary journal category of their annual competition. Furthermore, she had 15 photos accepted for publication in Number Magazine (including the cover and an accompanying article entitled, “Graffiti: Art for the Lucky”), Pank Magazine, El Aleph Magazine, and Star 82 Review.

9781441115485On July 22, the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala, Dr. Emily Holmes gave a lecture on “Mary of Magdala and Marguerite Porete: Faithful Witnesses” at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Additionally, Breathing with Luce Irigaray, a collection of essays centered on the work of philosopher Luce Irigaray, which she co-edited with Lenart Škof was released.

 

Dr. Karl Leib (History & Political Science) had an article published in Science and Politics: An A to Z Guide to Issues and Controversies (CQ Press, 2014).The article is entitled “The International Space Station.”

Dr. Christophe Ringer (Religion and Philosophy) recently presented two papers: “District 9 and the Gates of Difference,” at Afrofuturism in Black Theology: Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the State of Black Religion in the Black Metropolis sponsored by the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University this October; and “The Militarization of the American Dream,” at Nightmare on Our Street: A Teach-In on Racialized Violence in America, again sponsored by the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University on October 31st.

Dr. Jeff Sable (Behavioral Sciences) teamed up with Rebecca Klatzkin from Rhodes College to give a workshop at MSPC (which CBU hosted in March): How to Read Minds (well… sort of): An Introduction to Psychophysiological Methods, and was co-author of a talk given there.

He also co-authored of a journal article published in March in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. The article was “Sex differences in response to amphetamine in adult Long-Evans rats performing a delay-discounting task”, by Paul A. Eubig, Terese E. Noe, Stan B. Floresco, Jeffrey J. Sable, and Susan L. Schantz. This was a collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of British Columbia.

Furthermore, he and Dr. Mary Campbell (Behavioral Sciences) attended the third annual Symposium for Lasallian Research, held in September at St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, MN. The symposium was attended by more than 120 members of the Lasallian community from the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, Andorra, and New Zealand—primarily from colleges and universities. The conference fosters international relationships and collaborations among researchers, especially in advancing research in line with the Lasallian mission.

As part of one of the conference “breakout sessions”, Dr. Sable delivered a talk entitled “Psychophysiological Methods for Assessment of Education and Learning Innovations”, which is related to one of the three broad themes on the research agenda of the International Association of LaSalle Universities.

History professors Dr. Neal Palmer, Dr. Ben Jordan, Dr. Marius Carriere, and Dr. Doug Cupples presented papers at the 30th Annual Ohio Valley History Conference at Austin Peay State University. Palmer’s and Jordan’s papers were a part of a panel on “Race & Identity: The Politics of Citizenship during World War I.”  Carriere’s and Cupples’ papers were on the topic “Varied Perspectives of the Civil War Era.”

Dr. Ric Potts (Education) presented a workshop for 12th Annual RISE state conference: Reading Instruction Successfully Enhanced – topic: “6 Trait Writing and Common Core: Meeting Students Where They Are and Providing the Path to Improvement” this April. He also gave a presentation titled “Literacy in the Age of Common Core” for the Martin Institute Conference in Memphis in June.

Dr. Brendan Prawdzik’s (Literature and Languages) article, “Naked Writhing Flesh: Rhetorical Authority and Theatrical Recursion,” remains forthcoming in the tentatively titled volume, “Varietie without end”: Generative Irresolution in Milton’s Poetry, ed. Mimi Fenton and Louis Schwartz. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. Additionally, his article “State-Building in Harrington’s Oceana and Milton’s Paradise Lost, i-ii,” was recently published in Notes & Queries. Dr. Prawdzik has also been chosen to present “Samson Agonistes: Passion’s Looking-Glass” at the 2015 International Milton Symposium in Exeter, England in July of 2015.

Jana Travis (Chair, Visual and Performing Arts) was in a group show in June at Marshall Arts called: THIS ART HAS COOTIES. Follow the link to read the review in the Memphis Flyer.

The following faculty members were granted tenure or received promotions for the 2014-15 academic year:

Dr. Wendy Ashcroft (Education) has been granted tenure.
Dr. Burt Fulmer (Religion & Philosophy) has been granted tenure.
Dr. Karen Golightly (Literature & Languages) has been granted tenure.
Dr. Clayann Panetta (Literature & Languages) has been promoted to the rank of Professor.
Nick Peña (Visual & Performing Arts) has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

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.”

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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.”