Academic Convocation Awards

Congratulations to faculty and students who were honored at the Academic Convocation on August 27:
Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (Electrical & Computer Engineering) was the recipient of the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award for 2015-16. The award — the highest presented by the University to faculty or staff — annually honors a CBU educator, nominated by his/her peers, who exemplifies the ideals of St. John Baptist de La Salle in the 21st century. Recipients must have been a Lasallian educator for at least five years, be actively involved in fostering the mission of Lasallian education, exemplify in his/her life the spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle, and demonstrate an enthusiasm for the Lasallian tradition.
Mrs. Cathy Grilli (Mathematics) was the recipient of the Dr. Marguerite Cooper Distinguished Faculty Award, presented annually by the School of Sciences.
• Dr. Jeffrey Gross (Literature & Languages) was awarded the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award.
• Dr. James Moore (Biology) was awarded the Outstanding New Academic Advisor Award.
• Peter Bursi (Accounting ’18), Damini Patel (Biochemistry ’17), and Natalie Sterling (Liberal Studies ’17) were honored as Outstanding CARLs of the Year by the Office of Academic Services.
• John Dawson (Business Administration ’16), Rakesha Gray (English ’17), and Angel Rodriguez (Cybersecurity ’18) were honored by the Division of Student Life with the CBU Spirit Award.

Endowed Faculty Chairs were awarded to:
• The Harry B. Solmson Chair Of Business Administration was awarded to Dr. Bevalee Vitali (Management/Marketing/Economics).
• The Morrie A. & Lillian Moss Chair In Accounting was awarded to Dr. Jennifer Weske (Accounting).
• The Harold R. Krelstein Chair In Performing Arts & Communications was awarded to Nick Peña (Visual & Performing Arts).
• The Dr. John J. Shea Chair In Science & Mathematics was awarded to Dr. John Varriano (Physics & Natural Science).
• The Brother Bernard LoCoco Presidential Chair was awarded to Dr. Karen Golightly (Literature & Languages).
• The J. Everett Pidgeon Chair was awarded to Dr. Divya Choudhary (Electrical & Computer Engineering).

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS from the Academic Convocation (and also Service Awards from the Community Convocation on August 20) are available on the CBU Flickr site.

News at CBU

Camilla Rodrigues
(Civil Engineering ’15), Noah Kelley (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science ’15), Kasey Beekman (Mechanical Engineering ’16), Jose Carlos Oliva (Electrical & Computer Engineering ’15), and Philip Loewenberg (Mechanical Engineering ’15) were initiated into Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society. Mr. Gene McGinnis serves as chief faculty advisor for CBU’s TN Delta chapter.

Jake Porter (Civil Engineering ’15), Jennifer Loe (Mechanical Engineering ’15), Lauren Harrett (Civil Engineering ’15), Anna Baumheckle (Chemical Engineering ’15), and Patrick McGinnis (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science ’15) were among the students initiated into the Order of the Engineer during the Order’s Ring Ceremony on the campus of the University of Memphis. Mr. Gene McGinnis accompanied the CBU engineering students to the ceremony.

LEMOYNECBU President John Smarrelli was a participant in the formal installation ceremony of Dr. Linda LeMura, 14th president of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY, on March 20. Dr. Smarrelli was a senior administrator and faculty member at Le Moyne and served as its interim president prior to coming to CBU. Dr. LeMura is the first lay female to serve as president of a Jesuit college or university in the world. She has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Le Moyne since 2007.

SPS-Trivia-Winners[2]The Science Trivia Competition hosted by the Society of Physics Students held on March 26 was a success! Congratulations to Rebekah Herrman, Steven Menezes, and Megan Mosier for winning 1st place, and to the joint team of SPS chapters from Rhodes College and University of Memphis for winning 2nd place! Thank you to Dr. John Varriano for providing snacks, drinks, and challenging and fun questions. Pictured at left are Stephen Menezes and Megan Mosier with the coveted SPS Trivia Trophy.



Dr. Andrew Assadollahi (Civil Engineering) recently presented a paper entitled “Minimization of CO2 Emissions for Spread Footings under Biaxial Uplift Using a Big Bang-Big Crunch Algorithm” at the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure in Long Beach, California, November 6-8, 2014. The conference was hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald (Biology) has been elevated to a Gold Level Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). ARVO Fellows serve as role models and mentors for individuals pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research and help further ARVO’s vision ”… to facilitate the advancement of vision research and the prevention and cure of disorders of the visual system worldwide,” which includes advancing basic and clinical knowledge and serving as the leading international forum for vision research and the primary advocate for vision science worldwide. Dr. Fitzgerald was made a Silver Fellow in 2010, and as a Gold Fellow she will be among a select group of only 22 individuals. The official medal will be presented at the ARVO Annual Meeting in May in Denver.

Taylor Flake (History ’17) has been elected as a justice on the 2015 Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court. She will serve with four other justices from other universities in Tennessee.

Sarah Langsdon (Natural Science ’15) has been accepted to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine.

Dr. Y. Lu Lin (Civil Engineering) was recently appointed by Mayor A C Wharton as a member of the Memphis Stormwater Board. The Board oversees stormwater rules and regulations, and conducts hearing appeals due to civil penalties issued by the Stormwater Management Program in accordance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Dr. Lin is a stormwater expert. He has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering for the last seventeen years on various projects, including St. John-New Madrid Flood Control, EnvirFish Program, Bayou Metro Irrigation, Potamology-Sedimentation Study, White River Comprehensive Study.  Dr. Lin also served as the expert panel to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for TVA Hydrologic Projects.

Brother Francisco Martin
(Literature & Languages) was recently honored for his “generous commitment to the children of Operation Pedro Pan” by the organization of former child exiles from Cuba at an awards presentation in Miami. Operation Pedro Pan was a program created by the Catholic Welfare Bureau (Catholic Charities) of Miami in December 1960 at the request of parents in Cuba to provide an opportunity for them to send their children to Miami to avoid Communist indoctrination. The Church received the children in camps or foster homes. Brother Francisco was teaching and coaching in Nicaragua at the time, and raised money to relocate 250 Cuban children to the U.S. with visas. He also later worked in the Matecumbe relocation camp near the Everglades (that was nicknamed “el infierno verde” because of its rough natural habitat).

Camilla Rodrigues (Civil Engineering ’16) was named Second Team All-America by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Rodrigues, a forward for the Lady Bucs and a 2014 All-GSC First Teamer, finished second in total points in the conference this season (31). She scored 10 goals and paced the league with 11 assists. Rodrigues also garnered All-Region honors by both the NSCAA and Daktronics (see below).

Richard Townley
 (Physics ’17) marched in the “120 Mile March” in conjunction with the Justice for Michael Brown Initiative with the NAACP over Thanksgiving Break. He is pictured above with the NAACP National President Cornell Williams Brooks.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America named four CBU Lady Bucs to their Division II All-South Region Teams:
• Forward Camilla Rodrigues (Civil Engineering ’16) was a first-team selection after she scored 10 goals with 11 assists for 31 points. She was one of four GSC players to earn a spot on the All-Region first team. She leads the GSC and is 11th in the nation in assists per game.
• Goalkeeper Robyn Wade (Mechanical Engineering ’15) was a third-team pick after collecting eight shutouts with a 1.00 goals against average. She made 53 saves. She is 93rd in the nation in goals against average and holds school records for career wins, saves, minutes played, games played and games started.
• Midfielder Chelsea Casaccia (Biology ’16) and midfielder Carmen Manes (Liberal Studies ’15) joined Wade on the Third Team. Casaccia started all 19 games at midfield with two assists and two points, playing 1,414 minutes. Manes also started all 19 games, logging three assists and three points in 1,195 minutes.

CBU’s TN Theta chapter of Alpha Chi has been informed that it will receive the Star Chapter Award for the seventh time from the national interdisciplinary honor society. Star Chapters are named each academic year based upon a number of criteria, including attendance and presentations at regional or national conventions and an annual scholarly program sponsored on campus during the academic year. The chapter will be officially recognized at Alpha Chi’s National Convention in Chicago in March 2015.


Garrett Burton (Natural Science ’14) has been accepted to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at CBU.

Buccaneer soccer forward Jose Ferraz (Civil Engineering ’16) was named GSC Player of the Week after he led the Bucs to a 6-0 win over No. 13 Lindenwood on September 13. Ferraz scored a career-high four goals to lead the Bucs (2-0) to victory, scoring twice in each half.

Dr. Pong Malasri (Dean of Engineering) has been recognized by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) as a Certified Packaging Laboratory Professional. The CPLP designation consists of three levels of certification; Technician, Technologist, and Professional. The first two levels require a two-hour test each. Professional-level certification is based on a resume of transport packaging activities and accomplishments. Dr. Malasri’s accomplishments include authoring several transport packaging-related journal articles, serving as director of the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium, and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology.

Terence Netzel (Biology ’10) has been accepted to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at CBU.

The Gulf South Conference also named Lady Buc outside hitter Maggie Sorensen (Business Administration ’18) as its Freshman of the Week after she led the Lady Buc volleyball team to a 2-1 week last week. Sorensen averaged 2.89 digs and 2.11 kills per set last week, adding five aces and two blocks over nine total sets.

Lady Buc goalkeeper Robyn Wade (Mechanical Engineering ’15) was named GSC Defender of the Week after recording a shutout in the Lady Bucs’ win over Harding on September 12. Wade made three saves as she logged her school-record 16th career shutout in the Lady Bucs’ 1-0 win over Harding.

Angela Williams (Biology ’13) has been accepted to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at CBU.

Welcome, Baby Buc!

It is with great fanfare that the design team of Brad and Michelle Moats McCullough (Natural Science ’07) announce the birth of their first child, Mindy Grace McCullough, weighing in at 7 lbs., 7oz. and measuring 20 inches in length, on August 20.  After an exhausting 9-month production program, the proud grandparents, Mary Ann and Robert Moats (School of Engineering), are recovering at home.

Commencement Awards

Congratulations to the following members of the Class of 2014, who were honored at Commencement on May 17:

School of Arts Awards
• Frederick L. AcostaChristine Ladd Franklin Award for Outstanding Non-traditional Psychology Major
• Matthew Davis BirchLiterature and Languages Faculty Award for English and English for Corporate Communications Majors
• Allison Nicole DavisBehavioral Sciences Faculty Award
• Taylor Alicia GoodePsi Chi Outstanding Leadership Award
• Erika Frances HansenKenneth W. Mathis Award for Outstanding Education Graduate
• Melanie Nicole HawkinsLiterature and Languages Faculty Award for English and English for Corporate Communications Majors
• Johnnie Sue Huddleston, Outstanding Visual Arts Student Award
• Julia Katharine KueterOutstanding History Student Award and Margarette J. Sather Outstanding School of Arts Graduate Award

School of BusinessAwards
Kelsey Adair Bizzell, Moroni-Whaley Award

• Edward Matthew GenesMemphis Chapter – Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants Award
Shirley Yvette Green, School of Business Faculty Achievement Award
Taylor Nicole Pugh, School of Business Faculty Achievement Award

• Laura Michelle Grissom Vernon, Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key

School of Engineering Awards
Charles Cahlen Armour, Thomas G. Morrison Award
Cali Shannon Copsey, Outstanding School of Engineering Graduate Award
Michael Brennan Powers, Brother Philip Morgan Electrical Engineering Design Award
Wei Shiong Siow, Philip M. Becker Award in Chemical Engineering
Caleb Daniel Smith, T. Herbert Darnell Award

School of Sciences Awards
Elton Lenard Banks Jr., Biology Faculty Award
Anna V. Birg, Brother Dominic Dunn Award and Outstanding Chemistry Graduate Award
Kristen Marie Davis, Crane Fellowship Award
Rebekah Ann Herrman, Mathematical Science Faculty Award

University Awards
Anna V. Birg, Thomas Lipsmeyer Award
Kristen Marie Davis, Christian Brothers University Alumni Award
Melanie Estelle Horne, Brother I. Leo O’Donnell Outstanding Student Leadership Award



White Coats for the PA Class of 2015!

The Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2015 celebrated their White Coat Ceremony on May 10, marking a rite of passage for the students from didactic classroom and lab instruction to practical clinical training. Congratulations to the members of Class of 2015, CBU’s second cohort of PA students! More photos of the ceremony are available at the CBU Flickr site.

Reception for Kay Cunningham

The Plough Library staff is hosting a reception in honor of Kay Cunningham, director of CBU’s library, on Tuesday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m. The reception is in celebration of her selection as this year’s winner of the Memphis Area Library Council 2014 Award for Excellence. This annual award is for a Memphis area librarian who has demonstrated dedication to the profession, notable academic and professional accomplishments, contributed to professional organizations, and been involved in community activities.

All students, faculty, and staff are invited. Refreshments will be served.

2014 Student Leadership Awards

Congratulations to the following students and student organizations who were recognized at the Red Tie Affair” Student Leadership Awards on May 4 for their accomplishments and contributions to the CBU community.

Black Student Association, Most Improved Organization*
 Jail N Bail (Alpha Xi Delta), Campus Program of the Year
 Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Campus Organization Community Service Award
 Tau Kappa Epsilon, Excellence in Community Service
 Alpha Xi Delta, Greek Chapter of the Year
 Divine Voices Gospel Choir, New Student Organization of the Year
 Alpha Xi Delta, Outstanding Greek Chapter Scholarship Award
• Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Student Organization of the Year

 Jessie Wortham (Alpha Xi Delta), Most Outstanding Advisor
 Carlos Amador, Most Outstanding RA
 Evan Munier, Outstanding Community Servant
 “Night of Artistic Express” by Jonathan Mosley, Creative Program of the Year
 Sushma Kalava, Committment to Diversity Award
 Kierra Turner and Joel Moore Jr., Emerging Leader Awards
 Jessica Ruff and Samuel Tope-Ojo, Outstanding New Members
 Solomon Amiri and William Norman, Outstanding Senators
• JD Wolfe, Greek Man of the Year
 Erika Yates, Greek Woman of the Year
• JD Wolfe, Outstanding Fraternity Scholar
 Anna Baumheckel, Outstanding Sorority Scholar
 Julia Kueter and Ian A. Boyd, St. Thomas More Service Awards

*Through an oversight, the BSA was not recognized at the awards ceremony. Student Life apologizes for this oversight.


Trey McGinnis
and Becky Wauford show off their trophy for winning the Memphis Rocks “School” category (two years in a row!) at the On Location: Memphis International Film and Music Festival at Studio on the Square. Their film, September of Service Non-Profits Make Memphis Rock, highlights the many agencies with which CBU works during September of Service: 30 Days of Good Deeds. The film can be viewed below:

If the video above doesn’t play in your browser or mobile device, please click here. Thanks to Jeremy Park and the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, who created the Memphis Rocks initiative, a fundraiser for a Memphis fallen officers’ memorial.

Dr. Kelli Hefner (Academic Services) is presenting a poster entitled “Lunch and Learn:  If you feed them, they will come” at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)  Regional Conference in Morgantown, WV.

Dr. Randel Price (Chemical Engineering) will receive the Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding Advising Award – Faculty Academic Advising from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)  at its national conference.


Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald
(Biology) has assumed her role as president of Region III of the Alpha Chi National Organization, as of the National Convention held March 27-29 in St Louis. Also at the convention, CBU’s TN Theta Chapter was recognized as a Star chapter for the fifth time. Stephanie Allen-Winters (Biology ’14), chapter vice president, presented the results from her senior research with Dr. Anand Kanwaljeet in the Health Sciences division of the Alpha Chi presentations and won first place for her presentation entitled “How demographic factors influence the cortisol levels of infants and young children.” Stephanie also competed and won one of two regional scholarships (Region III SE USA) of $500 to be used towards her graduate education.  Pictured above (l-r) are Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, chapter advisor; Elton Banks (Biomedical Science ’14), chapter president; and Stephanie Allen-Winters, chapter vice president.

Joanna Arnett (Biochemistry ’15) has been selected to be a Summer Research Scholar to participate in research during Summer 2014 at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Anna Birg
 (Biochemistry ’14) was honored by the School of Sciences with the  Dominic Dunn Award at the Student Research Poster Session on April 15.  This award is presented annually by the faculty of the School of Sciences to the outstanding graduating senior with a major in science or mathematics.  The award is given in the memory of Brother Dominic Dunn to the graduate giving strong evidence of academic excellence and of service to the University and/or the community. Anna is pictured above with Dr. Johnny Holmes, Dean of the School of Sciences.

Damien Stevenson (Biochemistry ’15) has been selected to participate in the 2014 Tennessee Institute for Pre-professionals summer program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Esha Thakore (Biochemistry ’14) has been accepted into the Fall 2014 entering class of the University of Tennessee School of Pharmacy in Memphis.

J.D. Wolfe (Biochemistry ’15) has been selected to participate in the Summer Science Program at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Athletic Hall of Fame

CBU inducted eight new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame on April 12. Pictured above are inductees Andres Martinez Gonzalez (Baseball & Soccer ’89), Mike Bennett (Baseball ’87), Dave Loos (Baseball coach 1971-74, Basketball Coach 1982-86), Margaret Saurin (Soccer ’02), and Missy Gregg (Soccer ’02). Also inducted but not pictured are Kenneth Blake (Basketball ’97) and Wayne Clayborne (Basketball ’61). Inez Scruggs, former basketball scorekeeper, was Also inducted in the Hall of Fame posthumously. The 2001-2002 Lady Buccaneer soccer teams were also honored as Teams of Distinction; the 2001 team were the NCAA national runners-up, and the 2002 team were the NCAA National Champions. Photos of all inductees are below.