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A wrenching legal battle ensued, with legal, medical, ethical and end-of-life issues colliding with the emotional pain of Munoz’s sudden and tragic death. In the process, many tough questions surfaced: Was Munoz now just a “host” for the fetus, as her husband claimed? Were hospital officials misinterpreting Texas law? What does brain death really mean? For Arthur Caplan, the renowned bioethicist who has provided perspective for organizations ranging from the Vatican to the United Nations, these questions reflect the continuing and often contentious deliberation that is roiling public debate in the United States about end-of-life issues. “It has become harder to die,” Caplan says of the situation. “And it’s harder to have our wishes respected in terms of how we want to die.” Caplan delivered the Batdorf Lecture at Alvernia in March. He is considered one of the foremost experts on bioethics and the ethics of health care reform. The author or editor of 32 books and more than 600 papers in refereed journals, and currently head of the Bioethics Division at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, Caplan is a forceful advocate and commentator — in academia, medical circles and public media. His work has elevated discussions about death, dying and how we make critical decisions about life and death.

I

n November 2013, 33-year-old Marlise Munoz collapsed on the kitchen floor of her Fort Worth, Texas home, suffering from a blood clot in her lungs. Munoz, who was 14 weeks pregnant at the time, was later pronounced brain dead at John Peter Smith Hospital. Her husband and family were soon shocked to learn that the hospital would not remove Munoz from life support as they had requested and which would have been in line with her “do not resuscitate,” or DNR, directive. The hospital argued that a Texas law prohibited them from doing so because she was pregnant.

s nge lle cha

His Alvernia lecture, “End of Life: Legal, Medical and Ethical Issues,” comes at a time when advances in medical science and technology are prolonging life, intensifying difficult decisions faced by patients, doctors and spiritual and religious communities. While Christian understanding has long held that death is defined by separation of the soul from the body, the Catholic Church has looked to the medical community to determine biological signs that indicate with “moral certainty” that death has occurred. In recent years, medical research has provided proof that the irreversible loss of brain function offers a firm indicator that death has taken place. The family of Marlise Munoz eventually won its case against the hospital, and she was taken off life support. (Her fetus, then 22 weeks old, was not viable, the hospital said.) In other cases, however, families fight to keep patients on life support, citing a variety of reasons. Such debates are not new, of course. The Karen Ann Quinlan case in the 1970s and more recently, the Terri Schiavo case were among the most prominent that raised public awareness about right-to-die issues. Today, a raft of new technologies, drugs, devices and therapies keep us healthier and alive longer — exacerbating the already troubling decisions we have to make about dying. “We are simply getting better at keeping people alive,” Caplan observes. How we die and where we die is also changing. More people are dying in hospital settings instead of at home or in nursing facilities. That means possibly forgoing life support for a family member languishing in the ICU, an onerous decision. At the same 

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Alvernia University Magazine

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14 | Die Harder Discussing end-of-life issues.

Y

The beat goes on

How timeless tunes bridge the gap with Gen

By Jack Croft

Rock legend Jimi Hendrix performs live at a street concert in Harlem in 1969.

26 Alvernia University Magazine 24

24 | Beat goes on Music bridges the gap with Gen Y.

hero maker Bill Rosemann turns Marvel Comics characters into larger than life icons.

left: Zade Rosenthal.© 2014 MaRvel; top Right: couRtesy bill RoseMann

by Junior bernard with carey Manzolillo Anyone can be the hero of his or her own story. Just ask Bill Rosemann. A life-long comic book connoisseur turned editor and now creative director of Marvel Comics, Rosemann knows a thing or two about the subject. “Because I was so interested in reading, sci-fi, fantasy, movies and comics growing up, I felt I was a bit of an outsider,” Rosemann said. “But I was lucky to have parents, friends and teachers who encouraged me.” These days, Rosemann’s work on Captain America, Iron Man, X-Man and Spider-Man is enthusiastically consumed by audiences of all ages. As a long-time editor, Rosemann’s expertise has helped him to comprehend all aspects of his colorful world. He travels all over the country sharing his experiences and fascination of superheroes and the motives behind their creations. In a recent visit to Alvernia University, he offered an inside look at the world of comic editing and talked about stretching boundaries. He challenged students to “take what you can from these granderthan-life characters and find a calling. Bring your own individual super-human abilities into your occupations and life.” But heroes often find their calling when times are toughest. For Rosemann, that time came at a young age, when his parents divorced. Though his parents and older brother were supportive, Rosemann

Marvel Comics Creative Director Bill Rosemann

found that he needed a distraction. He began not only reading comic books, but scrutinizing them. With his eyes fixed on the letters, images and drawings, he’d read and analyze materials for hours at a time. It was the beginning of Rosemann’s own magical story. “This inspired me to help create stories to entertain and help others get through tough moments, just as I was helped,” he said. After majoring in English at the University of Notre Dame, Rosemann embraced his passion for comics. He followed frontrunners such as Klaus Janson and Ralph Macchio — some of the greatest creators and editors in the comic industry. With the same brave devotion as his superheroes, the new graduate climbed the ladder into a top position at Marvel Comics — one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. “I started out as a freelance journalist, writing articles for Marvel Age magazine,” explained Rosemann. He worked his way up as a copywriter, scriptwriter, project manager, marketing director and eventually, an editor. “Today, I have about 12 years of experience as an editor with over 1,000 comics,” he said. A great amount of Rosemann’s work has been translated into big-name movies, including the newly released Captain America: Winter Soldier, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Thor: The

Dark World” (2013). He has overseen monthly comics as well as Marvel Custom Solutions publications, in addition to Avengers Arena — which he explains as “the Hunger Games with superheroes.” Meant to show the capability that superheroes have to stimulate optimistic transformation and save lives, Rosemann’s comic creations present metaphors for anyone aiming to release their own unique abilities. Even little boys with hearing impairment. In 2012, Rosemann directed a team that produced the character “Blue Ear” in response to a mother who wrote that her son refused to wear his hearing aid to school because “superheroes don’t wear hearing aids.” Drawn in the likeness of the woman’s son — Blue Ear uses his device to hear people who need help. In creating heroes like Blue Ear, Rosemann hopes to make an impact on the next evolution of comic books. “Many creators before me both pushed and protected Marvel’s amazing characters,” he explained. “My goal is to continue doing whatever I can to both stretch boundaries and guard our core beliefs, so that new generations can enjoy our heroes and stories just as I did.” Rosemann’s own superhero power is no secret. “Never stop trying, constantly hone your skills, say yes to as many opportunities as possible, use every ‘no’ you’re told as fuel to propel your passion,” and lastly, “be the hero of your story.” Alvernia University Magazine

Let’s get physical

47

46 | Hero maker Bringing superheroes to life in comics.

Also inside:

The Campus Commons fitness center remains a hot spot for students seeking to stay in shape.

6 | On campus News from around Alvernia.

Above right: Theo Anderson

12 | P  eriscope Faculty making a difference.

Summer 2014

36 | Cover story Forgive me, forgive me not.

58 | Saintly encounters Inspiration from Fr. Ciszek.

A place we call home “Alvernia’s commitment to service and civic engagement is deeply embedded in its heritage and mission.”

Thomas F. Flynn President

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When Helen and I moved to Reading nine years ago, it quickly became much more than a place where we worked. As it is for the many who live, work and learn here, Reading became our home and our community. And we have continued to enjoy and cherish many aspects of Berks County living. Alvernia considers Reading its home too. Since its founding by Sister Mary Zygmunta, the institution has been steadfastly committed to our community, especially by providing a range of educational opportunities and serving those most in need. Today, the legacy of our foundresses is alive and thriving. In fact, unlike most colleges and universities, we view community service and civic engagement not as tangential to our work in higher education but as essential to our mission. Far beyond preparing students of all ages for their vocations as well as their careers, we contribute to the quality of life in our community through partnerships with our local neighborhoods, K–12 schools, small and large businesses, health care institutions and a multitude of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Reading area. Through our well-established South Reading Youth Initiative, Alvernia READS and the new Reading Collegiate Scholars program, our students are working with innercity children from kindergarten through high school to help them envision a brighter future. And our students are responding, as you would expect, with enthusiasm. We now anticipate that as many as 400 students will take part in each of our four annual Days of Service — whether helping kids with special needs and older residents or cleaning up parks and trails in the area. According to a recent survey, Alvernia’s impact extends beyond graduation, with an impressive 76 percent of alumni remaining active in community service after graduation. So as our alumni population grows, the number of engaged citizens also expands, across the country but also right here in Reading. Beyond the volunteer service and civic partnerships for which Alvernia’s two centers of excellence — the Holleran Center for Community Engagement and O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service — are now well known, our faculty, administrators and students make significant contributions of professional expertise to many community organizations. This spring, an entire Federal Taxation class prepared returns for low-income elderly citizens as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Alvernia’s wide-ranging professional community service is the special kind of contribution available only at a university. Early this year, the O’Pake Institute, in partnership with the Berks County Community Foundation, produced a research-based comprehensive report that documented — with hard data and the results of public opinion surveys — conclusions on topics such as population, education, health care, crime and the environment in Berks County. The report has sparked much conversation, which we hope will evolve into initiatives that have a

positive impact on the county’s quality of life. Participants tell us that campus programs like Leadership Berks, the Seniors College, the Carpenter Science Camp, the Common Heart and other interfaith events, our Arts and Culture Series and special activities like the Vatican II Lecture Series enhance the region’s intellectual, cultural and spiritual life. And we hope our new Bog Turtle Creek Farm at Alvernia’s Cumru-based Sports Park will create better community food access in a sustainable way. Alvernia’s commitment to service and civic engagement is deeply embedded in its heritage and mission. The success of this commitment has been well documented and widely praised by state and national organizations. In fact, Alvernia is one of only 53 private institutions in the country (including Duke, Georgetown and Emory universities) recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as national models for service and civic engagement. But we don’t help our community in order to receive recognition. We do what we do because civic engagement is essential to our students’ education and important to the lives of the people who live in Reading. We also do it because it is simply the right thing to do. At freshman orientation and again on graduation day, I tell our students that, both during and after their time at Alvernia, we expect them to do well and to do good. They might not understand what that means when they first arrive on campus, but from talking to our seniors it’s perfectly clear they understand and embrace this concept by the time they move on. They leave Alvernia ready — as our vision statement promises — to be “engaged citizens and ethical leaders with moral courage.” They say home is where the heart is, and for Alvernia, as for the Flynns, our heart remains in Reading. Peace and all good,

Thomas F. Flynn President

Exploring Vatican II Getting in touch with our Catholic Heritage Alvernia’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council has brought some the nation’s foremost experts in Catholic theology to its campus during the past two years. These speakers have provided provocative points of view on events that “changed the landscape” by renewing Catholic doctrine in a modern perspective. The series continues this fall on Sept. 11 with a presentation by Richard Gaillardetz, the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College and the director of graduate studies. Dr. Gaillardetz, president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, will speak about the theology of baptism, as shaped in the council. In spring 2015, as part of the Vatican II lecture series, Massimo Faggioli from the University of St. Thomas will address the issues of interpreting Gaudium et Spes, one of the council’s most important apostolic constitutions. The series concludes in fall 2015 with a presentation by Angela Camara of Seton Hall University, who will examine the council’s declaration of religious liberty. Please mark your calendar to attend these important events. For more information, contact Sr. Roberta McKelvie at Roberta.McKelvie@alvernia.edu.

On Campus NAICU Taps Flynn Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Flynn will represent National Region III, which includes Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Members of the NAICU Board of

Plans for Veterans Center Unveiled Beginning this September, military veterans

“The idea is to coordinate and centralize

Directors set the association’s agenda

and members of the armed forces enrolled at

campus efforts for all veterans, together with the

on federal higher education policy,

Alvernia will have a new destination on campus.

creation of a designated space,” said Joseph

A Veterans Center is slated to open this fall, pro-

Cicala, vice president of University Life and dean

financial administration. Flynn will

viding centralized support for Alvernia’s growing

of students. “We hope to continue identifying

serve a three-year term.

veteran student population. Plans for the center

best practices that will help our veterans do well

were announced at a ceremony in April attended

in college and acclimate to a civilian lifestyle.”

by a number of students who are currently serv-

Alvernia is a member of the Yellow Ribbon

actively encourage support of NAICU priorities and oversee the association’s

down on the farm A new program in sustainable agriculture has Alvernia students seeing green! Bog Turtle Creek Farm

ing or have served in the armed forces. The Veterans Center resulted from a university

Program and was named one of the top Military Friendly Schools in the country. The university

“innovation grant” awarded to staff members

is an increasingly popular choice for veterans,

Shanna Bossler, Jason Dietz and Claire Murphy.

having realized a 40 percent increase in student-

aged by students as a sustainable

Strongly supported by a number of faculty and

veteran enrollment since 2008. “In a few short

agriculture project. The garden is a

staff members who are themselves veterans, the

years, Alvernia has become a “Military-Friendly

student-led response to help address

effort was made possible by significant start-up

School” and an emerging national leader in the

funding from a trustee and proud veteran, Carl J.

education and support of veterans,” said Alvernia

Anderson, Jr., and his wife, Debbie.

President Thomas F. Flynn. “This is a genuinely

features a garden at the university’s Cumru-based Sports Park, man-

affordable healthy food options for low-income families. Produce grown at the garden will be sold at Reading’s Penn Street Farmer’s Market and purchased by Aladdin Food Management Services for use in the Student Center cafeteria.

Newman civic fellow named

The new center will employ a specially trained

mission-centered initiative, faithful to the Bernar-

staff familiar with the needs of those who have

dine Sisters’ historic commitment to serve those

served in the armed forces. They will provide

most in need of help and educational opportu-

training to faculty and resident advisors and work

nity…sons and daughters of coal mining families,

with student-veterans to develop counseling, as

working women returning to school, local cops

well as career development and financial plans.

and inner-city youth and now our veterans.”

Campus Compact has named Kevin Shainline, founding president of the student service honor society Alpha Phi Omega, a Newman Civic Fellow. The junior psychology and theology major with an impressive array of community activities, has served as a student leader for the Alternative Break program, participated in Interfaith Youth Core events, led mission trips with the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and contributed to the university-wide Days of Service. Through his involvement with the Holleran Center for Community Engagement, Shainline works primarily with the South Reading Youth Initiative where he is universally acknowledged as a student mentor and leader.

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On John Updike: The international John Updike Society Biennial Conference returns to Alvernia’s campus Oct. 2-5. Alvernia hosted the inaugural conference in 2010, attracting global media interest and attendees from around the world. In between academic sessions and receptions, scholars are expecting to tour Updike’s childhood home in Shillington and hear from keynote speaker and author/ illustrator Chip Kidd.

For more news, visit alvernia.edu/news

Feelin’ Groovy; Living in Berks How’s life in Berks County? According to a study led by the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service, area residents are feeling upbeat and positive about many aspects of their region. Sponsored by the Berks County Community Foundation, the Community Indicators Report offers a look at hard numbers and public opinion on topics such as population, education, health care, safety and the environment in Berks County. “We wanted to take a look at issues that are important to the community,” said David Myers, director of the O’Pake Institute. “Part of our mission is to promote dialogue on important civic issues and this report provides a starting point for those conversations.”

Community Indicators Report

Vice Admiral honored May graduates received more than just their long-awaited degrees at Reading’s Santander Arena during the spring commencement ceremony.

International Conference returns Many believed Updike was the most prominent writer of his generation who was equally prolific and respected as a critic. President George H.W. Bush honored him with a National Medal of Arts in 1989, and President George W. Bush recognized him with a National Humanities Medal in 2003. Twice Updike won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (for “Rabbit Is Rich” and “Rabbit at Rest”), joining Booth Tarkington and William Faulkner as one of only three

American writers to earn that distinction. In addition to more than 30 novels and collections of stories, Updike published nine volumes of poetry and assorted memoirs and children’s stories. His first book, “The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures” was published in 1958, the year of Alvernia’s founding. For more information visit http://blogs.iwu. edu/johnupdikesociety/.

They also benefited from some very compelling and insightful life advice from featured speaker Vice Admiral Matthew L. Nathan, the 37th surgeon general of the Navy and chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Nathan was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the event. A decorated Navy officer, Nathan drew on his more than 30 years of military service and work in health care during his remarks.

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On Campus Dying to live Rev. Daniel Groody, director of the Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture at the University of Notre Dame, spoke to an engaged McGlinn Center audience for his remarks on Dying to Live: Theological Perspectives on Undocumented Migration. Rev. Groody was the keynote speaker for the annual Hesburgh Lecture that brings attention

Program to attract Chinese students to Alvernia

to relevant topics in today’s local and global communities. Groody’s remarks provided a profound look at the human face of the immigrants seeking to enter the United States and explored why people leave their homes and what they face in their journey to enter America.

RCSP Launches

Alvernia hopes to attract greater numbers of Chinese students to study at its Reading campus through a unique partnership. Aimed at preparing larger numbers of high school students from Reading to attend and succeed at the college of their choice, the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program (RCSP) got underway this spring. Four Alvernia students — Christine Hall, Ashley Winters, Julianne Kuzma and Jenschool students in four Olivet Boys & Girls Clubs as part of the program. In addition, Alvernia student mentors provided SAT preparation and career guidance to Olivet students, and led discussions about the college application process and choice of major process. Through the RCSP program, eligible students can earn four-year scholarships to attend Alvernia. The first Reading Scholars are expected to enter Alvernia this fall.

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Earth Day of service — On a beautiful April day, 250 Alvernia students, faculty and staff members manned shovels, saws, rakes and clippers to clean up the Angora Fruit Farm near Antietam Lake.

bottom: Carey Manzolillo; left: Theo Anderson

nifer Toledo — worked with 58 high

For more news, visit alvernia.edu/news

Jung named VP Alvernia has developed a unique partnership with four highly regarded American institutions to provide options for Chinese students seeking to study in the United States while offering American students and faculty members the chance to explore scholarship and study possibilities in China. Known as The Alpha Group, the consortium includes Alvernia as well as Benedictine University (Ill.), Gwynedd Mercy University (Pa.), Mount Saint Mary College (N.Y.) and the University of St. Thomas (Texas). Representing more than 25,000 students and 100,000 active alumni, the consortium offers a breadth of academic programs for Chinese students through its Study Across America initiative. Interested students can choose to take courses at a number of campus locations creating a well-rounded education and ensuring broad exposure to the American culture. “Our consortium model will make it easy for Chinese students to experience American culture while providing an outstanding academic experience that will both challenge their abilities and reward their commitment to excellence,” said Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn who helped develop the initiative. The Alpha Group’s MBA core curriculum is shared across consortium schools, allowing ease of credit transfer for students from one campus location to the next. Specialized courses will be offered at each institution, serving to differentiate the consortium’s business programs and allowing Chinese students to make choices based on their preferences and career interests. Alvernia will offer a specialization track in sustainability. The Alpha Group also provides Chinese educational partners access to U.S. students who are interested in studying in China. Alvernia students Kyle Covington and Monica Echeverri were selected as the university’s first ambassadors to China. “The pair traveled to China in May where they enrolled in an online course taught at one of the our partner Chinese institutions and participated in a related study program to promote the consortium to Chinese universities,” said Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Beth Aracena, who is leading development of Alvernia’s global learning experiences. “Our hope is that a group of Chinese students will visit our campus in July, with others to follow in 2015,” said Aracena.

Laramie A. Jung was named as Alvernia’s next vice president of institutional advancement. She will report to Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn and begins her role July 1. With more than two decades of executive experience leading successful fundraising initiatives, Jung’s background includes roles with Mercy Health Foundation of Southwest Ohio in Cincinnati and Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. It also includes serving as a senior consultant for Ketchum, Inc., where she directed fundraising initiatives for a number of national and regional organizations. “Laramie brings to Alvernia significant and wide-ranging experience in advancement,” said Flynn. “She was highly praised by board members with whom she has worked and staff whom she has mentored and is well suited to lead Alvernia’s advancement effort at a time of momentum and promise for the university.” “I am impressed by the spirit and energy of the Alvernia community and feel fortunate to join the Alvernia team at an exciting time,” said Jung. “The university’s recent success is especially impressive, given the challenges facing private higher education.”

Women and Ethics Ethics in the workplace is a complicated issue that doesn’t necessarily have

Gallery scene President Flynn is flanked by students Andy Kaucher,

when gender issues are factored in. That was a key takeaway from the Women2Women leadership series pre-

Dave Sloan, Louie Lacek

sentation that featured Daria LaTorre,

and Ashley Beyer in The

dean of the School of Graduate and

Miller Art Gallery for a recent

Adult Education, and Mary Ellen Wells,

exhibit of religious paintings

associate professor of business. The

and sculptures. Many of the

pair, who both possess significant

creations were on loan from

legal backgrounds, spoke to more

area parish collections and right: theo anderson

black or white answers, especially

portrayed biblical scenes and patron saints, as well as the crucified Jesus Christ.

than 70 women this spring. “Ethics is what we as a society decide should be enforced,” Wells said. “But we expect a lot more than what we are enforcing.” Wells said problems begin because employees expect good behavior in the workplace without laws to mandate it.

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On Campus Nursing grad programs expand Students seeking a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree at Alvernia can now select between two specialty tracks – Nursing Education and Nursing Leadership and Healthcare Administration. The Nursing Education track teaches professional nurses how to instruct pre-licensure students in both didactic and clinical settings, while the Nursing Leadership and Healthcare Administration track prepares students to practice as nurse managers or executives in health care systems. In addition to the MSN paths, a new 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Nursing Leadership recently launched offering professional registered nurses who possess a BSN, MSN or related field courses with foundational knowledge and essential skills to fulfill leadership and management roles in various health care settings.

Rush, Shields join Alvernia Board Two successful area leaders have been appointed to Alvernia’s Board of Trustees. Jeffrey R. Rush, regional president for the Great Valley Division of Fulton Bank, has had a distinguished career in the banking industry spanning nearly 30 years. He oversees wealth management, commercial and business banking teams and is responsible for delivery of client services in the Great Valley Market. Patrick Shields is owner and CEO of Fromuth Tennis. Since 1992, he has led efforts for the national distributor of racquet sports equipment, footwear and apparel to the education sector as well as country clubs, pro shops, and specialty stores. Both Rush and Shields are active in a number of Berks County community organizations.

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For more news, visit alvernia.edu/news

Fueling faculty excellence Alvernia’s board chair Joanne Judge and her husband Rick Oppenheimer along with President Thomas F. Flynn and his wife Helen have pledged a combined $150,000 to boost faculty excellence and launch a new undergraduate research program to expand collaborative student and faculty research projects. The new initiative will help grow opportunities for faculty scholarship and provide talented students with valuable, hands-on research experience in their major areas of study. “Support

Alvernia All-American The National Association of Basketball Coaches named senior forward and Crusader team co-captain Brian Parker to its second team All-America squad. Parker, a former Chichester High School standout, is the fourth Alvernia men’s basketball player to achieve the honor. Parker and the Crusaders won their third Commonwealth title in the last four years this season, on their way to yet another NCAA Division III tournament appearance. With an impressive list of postseason awards and accolades to his credit, including Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year and Commonwealth Championship MVP, Parker finished his senior year third in the Commonwealth in scoring and second in rebounding.

for faculty excellence is essential to our continuing improvement of educational quality,” said Flynn.

New program trains leaders Alvernia’s newest graduate program is addressing the growing need in organizations large and small to further develop leadership skills in highperforming managers and directors. The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program will enroll its first students this fall. It is the first program of its kind in the area and emphasizes development of skills required to direct organizations as well as behaviors required to effectively develop and lead teams in complex global organizations.

Gone Country Country music superstar Rodney Atkins rocked Alvernia’s Physical Education Center at this year’s Spring Fling. Atkins, a platinum-selling artist, has received six nominations from the Academy of Country Music and two from the Country Music Association, winning Top New Male Vocalist in 2006. He thrilled a packed house with a selection of his best melodies and smooth vocals.

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Sean Cullen Doctoral Candidate

Tufan Tiglioglu, Ph.D. Left to right

Associate Professor of Finance and International Business

Peggy Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., CTS Chair, Psychology and Counseling, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

This group presented “Digital Leadership for Local Resilience During Disasters” at the International Leadership Association Conference in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

For more news, visit alvernia.edu/news/faculty_scholarship

Left to right

Mary B. Schreiner, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Education

Cynthia D. Rothenberger, MSN, RN Assistant Professor of Nursing

Janae Sholtz, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Rothenberger, Schreiner and Sholtz had an article published in the Journal of Excellence in College Teaching. “Using Brain Research to Drive Teaching Innovations: Faculty Development in Universal Course Design” introduces how brain-related research is yielding universal course design strategies.

 Notable 2014 Award Recipients Donna Yarri, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology Lindback Foundation Award

Constance Twyman, MSN, RN Assistant Professor of Nursing Sister Donatilla Award

Victoria Williams, Ph.D.

Father Michael Danczak, D.P.M.

Associate Professor of Political Science Teaching Excellence Award

Adjunct of Biology and Theology Saint Bernardine Faculty Award, Adult Education

Kevin Burns, BS, CHO

Allison Althouse, MBA

Director of Laboratory Services and Safety Holleran Center Outstanding Partner Award

Adjunct of Business Saint Bernardine Faculty Award, Professional Programs

Joseph Swope, MA

Adjunct of Communication Saint Bernardine Faculty Award, Arts & Sciences

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Periscope Alvernia’s faculty making a difference

Judith Warchal, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology and Counseling

Paul West, Ed.D., LPC Associate Professor of Psychology

Warchal and West co-authored an article “Obesity is not new: Addressing it in counseling is.” The article presents counseling issues affecting clients with obesity. It’s published in the American Counseling Association’s VISTAS: Ideas and Research You Can Use.

Carey Manzolillo (4); THEO ANDERSON, top right

This group’s panel presentation of “Camus and the communication of science paradox” was given at the 74th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Communication Association in Erie.

Caroline Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Communication and English

Adam Heinze, Ph.D. Left to right Assistant Professor of Biology

Ryan Lange, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Communication Kevin Donnelly, Ph.D. (not pictured) Assistant Professor of History

q My Turn

Decade of the Mind

Psychology has always been an exciting field that is full of promise. Theories developed from psychological study and research have changed the way we explain human behavior and mental processes. These theories have ongoing influences on the lives of every person. The field is a dynamic science and the last 50 years of psychological research have led to Erin Way, exponential growth Ph.D. in every domain of Assistant psychology. President Professor of Bush proclaimed 1990 Psychology to 1999 “the decade of the brain” based on the burgeoning field of neuroscience and the rapid growth of knowledge about the brain’s structure, growth and functions. The major benefits of this neuroscientific research have included more effective treatments that prevent, halt or delay damage from trauma and disease, as well as restoration in damaged brain functions for many individuals. It also acknowledges that human behavior and mental processes are more complex than we imagined. In 2007, top neuroscientists proposed a renewed focus on the brain in the context of the larger construct of “the mind” which encompasses the physical brain, thoughts, feelings, desires, plans and memories… the entire human experience. The exciting focus of this new “decade of the mind” is the interdisciplinary nature of the work being done. Psychological research is flourishing through interdependent relationships with sociology, anthropology, biology, medicine, education, mental health, neuroscience and even artificial intelligence and robotics! So what will the next 50 years look like? Where will the field of psychology be in 2065? I believe the “decade of the mind” will lead to continued discoveries about our experience as human beings. The meaningful connections created through collaborations within and across fields will push the frontier of psychology as a science and lead to new and important questions that could not be imagined 50 or even 20 years ago. Although I cannot predict the future of psychology, I am convinced it will be incredible and I am thrilled to be a part of it! Alvernia University Magazine

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k c e B t s e rn E By 14 Alvernia University Magazine

I

n November 2013, 33-year-old Marlise Munoz collapsed on the kitchen floor of her Fort Worth, Texas home, suffering from a blood clot in her lungs. Munoz, who was 14 weeks pregnant at the time, was later pronounced brain dead at John Peter Smith Hospital. Her husband and family were soon shocked to learn that the hospital would not remove Munoz from life support as they had requested and which would have been in line with her “do not resuscitate,� or DNR, directive. The hospital argued that a Texas law prohibited them from doing so because she was pregnant.

es g n le l a ch s ic h t ioe b to s u c o f g n ri b His Alvernia lecture, “End of Life: Legal, s Medical and Ethical Issues,” comes at a e u s time when advances in medical science and s i technology are prolonging life, intensifying fe difficult decisions faced by patients, doctors i l and spiritual and religious communities. f o While Christian understanding has long d held that death is defined by separation of n E the soul from the body, the Catholic Church A wrenching legal battle ensued, with legal, medical, ethical and end-of-life issues colliding with the emotional pain of Munoz’s sudden and tragic death. In the process, many tough questions surfaced: Was Munoz now just a “host” for the fetus, as her husband claimed? Were hospital officials misinterpreting Texas law? What does brain death really mean? For Arthur Caplan, the renowned bioethicist who has provided perspective for organizations ranging from the Vatican to the United Nations, these questions reflect the continuing and often contentious deliberation that is roiling public debate in the United States about end-of-life issues. “It has become harder to die,” Caplan says of the situation. “And it’s harder to have our wishes respected in terms of how we want to die.” Caplan delivered the Batdorf Lecture at Alvernia in March. He is considered one of the foremost experts on bioethics and the ethics of health care reform. The author or editor of 32 books and more than 600 papers in refereed journals, and currently head of the Bioethics Division at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, Caplan is a forceful advocate and commentator — in academia, medical circles and public media. His work has elevated discussions about death, dying and how we make critical decisions about life and death.

has looked to the medical community to determine biological signs that indicate with “moral certainty” that death has occurred. In recent years, medical research has provided proof that the irreversible loss of brain function offers a firm indicator that death has taken place. The family of Marlise Munoz eventually won its case against the hospital, and she was taken off life support. (Her fetus, then 22 weeks old, was not viable, the hospital said.) In other cases, however, families fight to keep patients on life support, citing a variety of reasons. Such debates are not new, of course. The Karen Ann Quinlan case in the 1970s and more recently, the Terri Schiavo case were among the most prominent that raised public awareness about right-to-die issues. Today, a raft of new technologies, drugs, devices and therapies keep us healthier and alive longer — exacerbating the already troubling decisions we have to make about dying. “We are simply getting better at keeping people alive,” Caplan observes. How we die and where we die is also changing. More people are dying in hospital settings instead of at home or in nursing facilities. That means possibly forgoing life support for a family member languishing in the ICU, an onerous decision. At the same 

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Die Harder:

Arthur Caplan, center, talks with Alvernia students during his recent visit to campus.

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End-of-life issues bring focus to bioethics challenges time, doctors are increasingly deferring to patients on end-of-life questions. “In the past, doctors would tell patients, ‘the time has come to stop,’ but now the emotional burden is too high and families do not want to give up,” Caplan says. This raises ethical questions because doctors strive to respect patient wishes and values, although as clinicians they know that the situation is hopeless. What’s more, many people simply find it difficult to confront and talk about death in a hospital, a place where lives are supposed to be saved. “When people see someone die in a hospital, it is horrible. It freaks them out,” Caplan says. Delivering medical care on a daily basis in a health care facility, however, is different than debating the finer points of end-of-life ethics. For medical professionals, it is a delicate balancing act that requires dealing with critical decisions and distraught families, often in emergency situations. “For the most part, unless something is against the law, then ultimately it is between the physician and the family to come to a conclusion. But care providers often come to us with difficult cases,” says Dr. Thomas E. Beeman, an Alvernia University board member and president and chief executive officer of Lancaster General Health, a non-profit health system in Lancaster, Pa., which includes Lancaster General Hospital.

Theo Anderson

“In the past, doctors would tell patients, ‘the time has come to stop,’ but now the emotional burden is too high and families do not want to give up.” Arthur Caplan

Dr. Beeman worked with Caplan at the University of Pennsylvania (where Caplan was a professor of bioethics and founder of the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Medical Ethics) and considers him “an engaging and great spokesman” for the field of bioethics. Still, their opinions sometimes differ. “Ethics isn’t black and white,” Dr. Beeman says, “and some of our conversations centered on our understanding of natural law and theory and the faith-based and intellectual-based points of view.” Bioethics is directly addressed at Alvernia in a course titled Ethics: Values and the Quality of Life taught by Assistant Professor of Philosophy Josh Hayes, which includes a special section devoted to the topic of euthanasia. Many of his students have a special interest in the topic because they are nursing majors with a personal or professional experience with end-of-life issues. Hayes’ course starts with Plato’s dialogue, the Phaedo, which considers Socrates’ decision to end his own life. That marks the first moment in the history of philosophy, Hayes says, that examines what it means to die well. “I begin with this because by looking at how Socrates confronts the prospect of his own death, we too might begin to consider how we are to live,” Hayes explains.

Right to Die? The legal right to control how we die was firmly established in the 1950s. At the time, it was mostly based on religious grounds, with groups such as Christian Scientists and Jehovah’s Witnesses arguing that they had a right to refuse medical services such as blood transfusions. Over the decades, however, secular arguments came to the fore, changing the context to, “I should have control over my body,” Caplan explains. Today, a number of factors — from rationed care to growing pressure to contain costs in health care management — are making some segments of the population nervous and distrustful about end-of-life care. “People say, I want everything done for me because I can’t trust the system,” Caplan points out. One issue that doctors frequently face is whether to continue providing services to patients who are already in  Alvernia University Magazine

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Die Harder: the hospital and receiving treatment, even though the patients might not have wanted such care. “If a patient does not have an advance directive and the person is unconscious and comes into the ER, we do not know what the patient may have wanted and there may not be a power of attorney or other designated health care representative to help with decision making,” Dr. Beeman says. “If you make the determination not to be in an intensive care unit and you want to die, you have that right, and our hospital must be informed, because the withdrawal of treatment is very difficult.” Another ethical dilemma Dr. Beeman mentions is weighing the benefits of offering a certain treatment or therapy to a patient. For example, is a new type of heart valve replacement that does not require highly invasive open-heart surgery appropriate for, say, a 90-yearold patient? “We wouldn’t have done it years ago, but now we can, so the question is, should we make all things available to all patients at all times? Who should receive the surgery, or the technique or the therapy?” Dr. Beeman asks, noting that this procedure costs around $35,000. So far, the hospital has performed the procedure for all patients who wanted it, but Dr. Beeman believes we need to have more serious dialogue about these issues, without resorting to political debates about “death panels.” That is, “we need to be focused not only on the length but also the quality of life.”

‘Ultimately Up to God’ Catholic Perspective

Defining Death There is some disagreement over the definition of death, although the concept of brain death is now the accepted benchmark recognized by all 50 states. The problem, Caplan says, is that doctors don’t always communicate this clearly and openly to patients, for fear of delivering irrevocably bad news. However, as Caplan wrote on the website bioethics.net: “Brain death is death. It has nothing to do with being in a coma. It does not to a permanent “…we need to be refer vegetative state. When it is focused not only pronounced using on the length but the standard tests and diagnostic procedures, a person also the quality is dead. When of life.” a person is dead there is no longer Dr. Thomas any possibility of Beeman ‘life support’ by any technology or machine. When a person is dead, life support has to end since regardless of what parents, judges or legislators might want to believe, no physician can do anything to treat death.” When doctors say “brain death”

Catholic teaching on end-of-life issues can

like nutrition, food and hydration that keep

plug,” says Father Joseph Currie, an Alvernia

the patient, whether conscious or not,

chaplain and rector of the Jesuit Center in

comfortable.

Wernersville, Pa. “We should not be too ready

“If it is clearly extraordinary measures

to judge when a person is going to die. For

that keep the heart and the kidneys going,

people of faith, that is ultimately up to God.”

then that can be withdrawn,” Father Currie

Father Currie, who taught at a Jesuit school

explains. “If it is a feeding tube with water and

in India for 20 years and has directed campus

nutrition, then that is allowed.” A DNR relates

ministries at Loyola and Fordham universities,

to extraordinary means, he believes, while

says the Church draws a distinction between

nutrition and hydration do not.

“extraordinary” measures, such as heart and kidney machines for life support and

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“ordinary” or “proportionate” measures,

be summarized: “Don’t be too quick to pull the

When aggressive or experimental methods are recommended by a doctor, the Catholic

End-of-life issues bring focus to bioethics challenges instead of dead, “they confuse family members, the media, judges and the public. Calling someone brain dead makes it seem they are almost dead, sort of dead, kind of dead, but not really dead — which they are.” Use of neurological criteria to determine death is legitimate according to the National Catholic Bioethics Center, an organization with an impressive board that includes the archbishops of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Philadelphia and Minneapolis, as well as a number of other medical and policy experts. Pope John Paul II approved this approach in an address given to the 18th International Conference of Organ Transplant Specialists in August 2000. In a recent interview, Caplan acknowledged that some people would like to roll back the definition of brain death, or at least to make it negotiable — a concept he describes as completely wrong. “If we rely on families, we would have ICUs filled with bodies,” he said. “We couldn’t afford it and it’s not the right use of resources.” Making sound moral decisions in the face of life and death is especially difficult given emotional pressures that accompany situations when family members or loved ones endure great suffering. For Catholics and other Christians alike, the question “How can a merciful God allow us to experience such suffering?” is not uncommon. “Death is not the end of our life; it is merely a transition to a life for which we were born in the first place — the eternal life of bliss with our loving 

Church teaches that individuals can pursue

according to the National Catholic Bioethics

such treatment when there is a reasonable

Center.

hope of benefit. They are also free to refuse

Father Currie acknowledges that spiritual

When his mother had a stroke, Father Currie recalls, the doctors asked about inserting a feeding tube. If the answer was no, he was

treatment that has a questionable benefit or

leaders often find themselves in difficult

told, then she would starve to death or find

when its burdens are larger than its benefits.

situations when advising patients on such

it difficult to swallow. “That was hardly a

issues. “We don’t know sometimes what will

choice,” he says. The best approach is to

decline forms of treatment that would only

happen, even if the patient is in a vegetative

have a written advance directive, Father Currie

result in a burdensome prolongation of

state for a long period of time,” he says.

suggests.

life. There is often presumption in favor of

“Maybe he won’t come back. Maybe it’s not

continuing to provide food and water to the

worthwhile to prolong the agony.” Moreover,

then God and the patient’s faith should be

patient, but there is a stage in the dying

he says that hospitals today more readily offer

brought into the decision. “At times that

process when even these may no longer be

life support because they are trying to save

means having the patience to let the system

obligatory because they provide no benefit

lives and often err on the side of caution.

break down and allow natural death to occur.”

When death is imminent, patients may

If life is seen as a gift from God, he adds,

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Die Harder: End-of-life issues bring focus to bioethics challenges high media profile and prolific pace of blogging and writing. His feisty sense of humor and a disarming, gregarious personality often take the edge off any conversation about death, dying, genomics or the ethics of stem cell research, topics that easily raise the hackles of supporters and critics. For philosophy professor Hayes, discussions about end-of-life issues today hinge upon how much sovereign power or authority a state has to legislate or decide these issues. In that sense, he adds, “the rights of the individual are often weighed against the rights of the state.” Hayes believes there should be more public discussion about death, dying, and how we die, with a broader emphasis Bioethics & End-of-Life upon the underlying implications for At Lancaster General Health, an social policy. That can be difficult, ethics committee headed by physicians however, because of and comprised of medical media misinformation staff, attorneys and pastoral care members trained “We need philosophers and and the lack of political motivation to tackle such in ethics, continually educators to first present difficult issues. reviews the issues in order “We need philosophers to make knowledgeable these issues in the clearest and educators to first recommendations to present these issues in the doctors, patients and and most rationally clearest and most rationally families. Specific cases at defensible way,” he says. the facility and the external defensible way.” That has been happening landscape are always being Professor Josh Hayes over the past decade as evaluated. At the end of the more philosophers are day, though, it’s the ethics asked to serve on ethics that drive the final decision. committees at hospitals, providing an “You have to understand the ethics opportunity for them to “contribute and the rules and recognize where more to a conversation that serves the you sit spiritually or religiously and common good,” Hayes says. as part of a broader community,” Dr. Looking ahead, there will no shortage Beeman reckons. of ethical issues for Caplan and other Caplan and Beeman do agree on bioethicists to examine. The science of one thing: There are no easy solutions brain research and new knowledge of to easing end-of-life decisions. Caplan the brain and how it functions will raise urges people to have serious family critical questions about mental health conversations about what interventions and aptitude screening for children. are wanted before they are needed Synthetic biology — the design and — not when you call 911 — and for construction of new biological entities doctors to more readily offer their such as enzymes, genetic circuits and opinions while respecting informed cells to improve biological functions consent. For his part, Beeman suggests — will challenge notions of how we starting medical ethics training as an can engineer life. And with an aging undergraduate (as he did, taught by a population, the debate over managing person he describes as “a wise Jesuit”) health care costs will certainly escalate. as the baseline for understanding Ernest Beck is a freelance journalist the arguments before moving on to and former veteran Wall Street Journal medical school. reporter. He writes on a range of subjects for Bioethicists like Caplan play an publications including The New York Times important role in public debates and and SmallBiz. policy making, especially given his God. Human life on earth, correctly understood, is only a preparation for the life beyond. Our suffering, like that of Christ, is redemptive,” says Sr. Jacinta Respondowska, OSF, Ph.D., former chair of Alvernia’s department of philosophy and theology and an emerita faculty member. “Christ is with us during our illness and shares in our suffering as we share in His and this should always comfort us. Remember, God Himself entered into human suffering through His Son who suffered and died so that we could overcome death and rise to the fullness of life with Him. He does not ask us to carry a cross He himself has not first borne.”

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Sharing your father with the

world Baseball legend Jackie Robinson was a Renaissance man who once served in the Army with boxer Joe Louis and as the Rockefeller family’s delegate at a Republican National Convention. He hosted a radio show, participated in civil rights marches, raised money to support Martin Luther King, Jr., and founded the first African-American owned bank in Harlem, N.Y. At one point, he was named the country’s most

By Kristin Boyd

popular star, behind crooner Bing Crosby.

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photos courtesy of Sharon Robinson

But to Sharon Robinson, he was just dad — the guy who would allow her to get dressed up in her favorite fancy white gloves, coat and fake fur ear muffs, and then drive roller-coaster fast from their Connecticut home to New York City, where he worked as vice president and director of personnel at Chock Full O’ Nuts following his retirement from baseball. They would sit at a café counter, her legs dangling as she swirled around on the bar stools and order hot chocolate and brownies. It was special moments like that, she said, that made it much easier to share her famous father with the world. “It was our private, individual time,” she said. “It was an adventure. It was just fun. It couldn’t have been better.” Today, Robinson continues to share her father as she travels nationwide and talks to students about his legacy, lessons and home

Jackie Robinson with his wife, a young Sharon, and her two brothers.

run life, both on and off the field. The author of several children’s books about her father and an educational consultant with Major League Baseball, she spoke at Alvernia in February as part of Black History Month. While Jackie Robinson is most remembered for breaking Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he was also a devoted father and civil rights activist whose deep political interests once caused a good-natured rift with his daughter when she was 10-years-old. Sharon Robinson recalled a homework assignment in which students had to ask their fathers whether they planned to vote for John F. Kennedy or Richard Nixon in the presidential election. During the pair’s “first political discussion,” she begged her father to select Kennedy. He insisted on Nixon. “Well, I was right,” she said with a sly smile as the audience chuckled. Robinson, a former nurse and midwife, told a string of heartwarming stories, including the time her father, who couldn’t swim, took a broom and walked to the center of the frozen lake on their sprawling, six-acre estate in Stamford, Conn., to check if it was safe for her and her two brothers, Jackie and David, to ice skate. To make sure some areas of his life are more than mere footnotes, Robinson also revealed details about her father that are rarely discussed, such as his civil rights activism, strong opposition to the Vietnam War and value system based on nine characteristics, including teamwork, determination, persistence and integrity. “To me, that is as much of who he was,” said Robinson, who manages Breaking Barriers, a national baseball-themed character education program and essay contest based on her father’s values. “He didn’t see himself as just a baseball player. He wanted to make a difference in the world.” Jackie Robinson was adamant about creating a family mission that centered on social justice and social change. He often visited the south to support the Freedom Riders, and he took the entire family to the 1963 March on Washington. He also hosted jazz concerts at the family’s home to raise money for civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and attended the first event, which raised $1 million. “I have lived a mission-driven life always,” said Robinson, who became involved with the women’s movement after college and now seeks to be a voice in changing health care and improving education. “It has made my life richer.” Before answering audience questions, posing for cellSharon Robinson phone pictures and grabbing dinner at the Courtside Café on campus, Robinson implored the students to follow in her father’s footsteps and find their voice. “[My father] ran into racism and people who did not want him to succeed. He did it against great odds. And he didn’t fight back with fists or words, and people responded to that,” she said. “What my parents taught that has been the most valuable to me is that the struggle is ongoing.” She encouraged students to fight for what they believe in and figure out a way to advance their cause, whether that is addressing racism and sexism, preventing bullying, collecting coats or preparing military care packages. Most importantly, she said, never bypass an opportunity to get involved. “When you see an injustice,” she said, “ask what you can do.”

“He didn’t see himself as just a baseball player. He wanted to make a difference in the world.”

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The beat goes on

Rock legend Jimi Hendrix performs at a street concert in Harlem in 1969.

26 Alvernia University Magazine 24

Y How timeless tunes bridge the gap with Gen

By Jack Croft

The beat goes on

A

strange thing happened in Tim Blessing’s methods class recently. “I often use music to illustrate an historical point, and I was talking about how you compare one era to another,” recalls Blessing, a professor of history and political science. “I had a video of the Beach Boys singing ‘Help Me Rhonda’ from ’65.

Then I had one of them doing it on their 50th anniversary tour. What I didn’t realize when I turned it up was that I would suddenly have a sing-along going on in my classroom. It just floored me. I said, ‘What are you guys doing? This song is 50 years old!’” The music of the 1960s provided the soundtrack for the momentous events of that tumultuous time — the civil rights and anti-war movements; assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy, Malcom X and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the rise of the youth movement and drug culture, the pill and changes in attitudes toward sex, politics and religion, and so much more. Change was in the air, and the music both reflected and fueled it. Half a century later, the music of the 1960s and early ’70s continues to have a profound influence on American culture and society, especially Generation Y (the 70-million-plus Americans born from 1977 to 2002). Much of the music is almost as familiar to children, teens and young adults today as it was when their parents or even grandparents were their age 50 years ago. Instead of transistor radios, record players and jukeboxes, today’s teens listen to the music through earbuds from an iTunes playlist, or trendy web platforms like Spotify or Pandora. So what causes a classroom of college coeds born

three decades after the music originally hit the charts to belt out Beach Boys lyrics like it’s 1965? Why do notes conjured a half century ago still ring true for a generation to whom the 1960s are often unfamiliar history? And why is it that a song on the radio can instantly transport a baby boomer back five decades to a very specific time and place, surrounded once again by family and friends, some of whom are long gone? Believe it or not, science can help tell us why that happens, and can even explain connections between music, memory and emotions. Of course, it also helps that the best of the music, most of what has endured, really was pretty special.

Chuck Berry & the Big Bopper The most amazing thing is that it happened at all. As Dr. Blessing sees it, the music of the 1960s came perilously close to arriving stillborn. This spring, Blessing teamed with Beth Aracena, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and a music historian, to teach “HIS 290: Sinatra to Led Zeppelin,” a music history course. The course engaged students in examining the historical and cultural context of popular music primarily from the 1950s to the early 1970s, and to develop 

“I do think the historical context … is part of understanding the music.” Beth Aracena

“I was driving in a hopped-up car of some kind along a beach the first time I heard (The Beach Boys song ‘Do It Again’). I remember thinking that I could smell the sea.” Tim Blessing

The Beach Boys in a 1962 outtake from the cover photo shoot of their first album, Surfin’ Safari. From left: Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, and David Marks. Dennis Wilson holds a surfboard.

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The beat goes on

critical listening skills, evaluating each song by categories such as whether it was good, important and/or sophisticated. During one two-hour session, Drs. Blessing and Aracena took students on a tour of 1959 through music that topped the charts that year, playing YouTube videos through a state-of-theart sound system in a first-floor classroom in Francis Hall. There was nothing magical about this tour, and the only mystery was how such an odd assortment of music could co-exist on the same pop charts. Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn Theme.” Dave Brubeck’s jazz classic “Take Five.” Mary Martin singing “My Favorite Things” from the Broadway musical “The Sound of Music.” And a motley mix of hits that included the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the consumerist confectionary of “Pink Shoelaces” by Dodie Stevens, the rollicking class clown tribute “Charlie Brown” by The Coasters, and the patriotic country hokum of “Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton. What’s missing is anything that remotely resembles the classic rock ‘n’ roll of the mid1950s, much less a bridge to the more creative rock music that exploded. There’s a good reason for that, as Blessing recounts: Elvis was in the Army. Little Richard had renounced the devil’s music to go into the ministry

28 Alvernia University Magazine

thing t a e is en “Th t music in u abo unfolds ic is it s t u a m th The ack for . e tr tim und o s ovie m l the enta ” m e s. th f o l d Janata n u r that et

and record gospel music. Chuck Berry was arrested for transporting a 14-yearold girl across state lines in violation of the Mann Act. Jerry Lee Lewis had married his 13-year-old cousin. Bill Haley had rocked around the clock, but his time ran out. And Buddy Holly was dead, killed in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, that also claimed the lives of Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper on Feb. 3, 1959 — an event that singer-songwriter Don McLean memorialized more than a decade later as “the day the music died.” “Essentially, that first rock impulse is gone,” Blessing says. “And this is just a guess and there’s no way I could prove this, but I think if other things hadn’t happened, the rock era would have been a relatively short one.”

Flashbacks Two historic events that are forever linked had a lot to do with what followed: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas, and the arrival of The Beatles in New York City, heralding the start of the British Invasion, less than three months later. Bruce Posten, a veteran reporter for the Reading Eagle, calls the Kennedy assassination “a seminal moment” for the nation. Along with his newspaper colleague Ron Devlin, Posten taught a Seniors College class at Alvernia earlier this year that

P

brought together about 20 adults over age 55 to study the event’s implications and share their memories and experiences. Nov. 22, 1963, was undoubtedly a watershed moment in history. The biggest change, Posten says, is “how you became aware.” It marked the last time daily newspapers broke “a major deadline story,” he says, with afternoon papers publishing special editions that landed on the doorsteps of factory workers as they got home from work. “Conversely, ’63 was the first time television news came into its own, because for four days of live, constant coverage you were watching the events subsequent to the assassination,” Posten says. “This was the first signal, although I’m sure nobody saw it at the time, of the change in (how we get) our information.” In the immediate aftermath of the assassination, a grieving nation — or at least its burgeoning, post-World War II youth who would later come to be known as the baby boomers — found “the antidote to all 

Right: Theo Anderson; Upper left: ZOLTAN GERGELY KELEMEN/epa/Corbis; previous spreads: Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis; Douglas Kent Hall/ZUMA/Corbis

Drs. Beth Aracena and Tim Blessing’s musical history class spanned everything from Led Zeppelin to Frank Sinatra.

The beat goes on

Left and back cover: Ron Campbell, www.rockartshow.com

“Question Authority” became the mantra of young people who demanded freedom from cultural, societal, political and sexual mores. Music became the soundtrack for the times. of this trauma and duress” in a rock band from Liverpool. “The Beatles came on the scene that winter, ’64, and our generation flocked to that,” Posten says. “We reached out to London, to England, to all things British.” Following their Feb. 9, 1964 appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Beatlemania swept America. Within two months, The Beatles had the top five singles on the U.S. charts — a feat unmatched before or since. The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who and other British bands followed. But American groups weren’t about to surrender without a fight, as the Beach Boys and the Byrds from California, the Motown sounds of The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and others from Detroit and East Coast bands such as The Four Seasons and Young Rascals all made their marks. And Bob Dylan, the brightest light of the Greenwich Village folk music movement, was getting ready to scandalize his followers by going electric. In the wake of 1963, the Civil Rights Act was passed and the nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War expanded, leading to a growing anti-war movement on college campuses. “Question Authority” became the mantra of young people who demanded freedom from cultural, societal, political and sexual mores. Music became the soundtrack for the times. And the assassinations continued. Malcolm X was gunned down in 1965. In 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the nation’s foremost civil rights leader — was shot dead. Not long after, Robert F. Kennedy, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination as an anti-war candidate, lay in a pool of blood, mortally wounded. “After ’63, within five years you had the country in polarized fashion, torn apart,” Posten says. “And ultimately, at the end of the decade, you had a backlash, which Richard Nixon played into with the ‘silent majority.’ And there was a silent majority who just felt we’ve had enough of these kids. And it swung the other way from ’68 to ’72.” As a music historian, Aracena — who is too young to have experienced the ’60s herself — sees the music and the events of the time inextricably linked. “I think the music of the ’60s was a product of the times,” Aracena says. “That’s what makes it special. And that’s why it perhaps wouldn’t work the same way if a song from the ’60s were introduced today as a new song. I don’t think it would be received in the same way. I do

think the historical context, the moment and the timing of everything, is part of understanding the music. You can’t divorce one from the other.”

Thanks for the memories For the generation that came of age during those turbulent times, the music they listened to has the power to instantly transport them back. With an estimated 78 million baby boomers in the United States, that makes for a lot of memories. And for that, you can thank your medial prefrontal cortex. Petr Janata, associate professor of psychology at the University of California Davis Center for Mind and Brain, has done fascinating research mapping brain activity of people as they listen to songs that were popular when they were teenagers. The medial prefrontal cortex — the portion of the brain that’s directly behind the forehead in the middle — serves as a hub for “autobiographical memory” that links music, memories and emotions. So a familiar song can launch a vivid “mental movie” that brings you back to a particular time, place or person, Janata says. “The neat thing about music is that it unfolds in time,” he says. “The music is the soundtrack for the mental movie that unfolds. So the idea is if we can understand that soundtrack and understand how it’s helping coordinate activity in a whole bunch of different brain regions, the hope is then that we can really understand in great detail ultimately how these different parts of our brain work together to give rise to this rich remembering experience that makes it feel like you’re actually there.” It’s an experience almost all of us have had. Blessing will never forget where he was the first time he heard the Beach Boys song, “Do It Again” — a nostalgic nod to “suntanned bodies and waves of sunshine, the California girls and a beautiful coastline” — released in the summer of 1968. “I was driving in a hopped-up car of some kind along a beach the first time I heard it,” he says. “It was about 8 o’clock at night. I remember thinking that I could smell the sea. I remember the song because it fit in perfectly to that moment.” And whenever he hears the song now, he is immediately transported back to that car and that beach. Continued on page 55

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It’s all about people Looking to begin or advance in a career? Dr. Nevel has some advice, drawing on both her career experience and the lessons she passed along to her daughter and son. ■ Career and life plans sometimes get derailed. If an idea or life pathway isn’t working out, take some time to rethink your goals and then try again. ■ Don’t be afraid to learn something new. ■ Appreciate the work and ideas of others. ■ Take advantage of internship programs and work-study programs. ■ Volunteer, both when you’re working and during any periods in which your career has stalled. In addition to helping others, volunteering can help you to build a network and make connections. And, perhaps most importantly, Nevel said, always try to pay attention to every person you meet, recognizing the value and seeking the potential of each individual. “It’s all about people,” she said.

Before earning her Ph.D. from Alvernia, Kathleen Nevel had to learn hard-fought lessons during a 32-year career in the once male-dominated steel industry.

K

athleen Nevel knows a big idea when she sees it. After spending a career successfully leading teams to develop innovative solutions for international specialty metals manufacturer Carpenter Technology, it’s practically second nature for her. But her success didn’t come without struggles, risks and the drive to excel. Nevel began her Carpenter career in 1981 after earning a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. It was a period when the plant’s manufacturing operations were very much male dominated, a trend that was commonplace throughout the manufacturing and steel sectors everywhere. “I pretty much stood out as a female industrial engineer in that setting,” Nevel said. “I think I was the first woman manufacturing supervisor at Carpenter.” While she occasionally met with some resistance from male

Lessons in By Susan Shelly

Leadership

“Now, I get to pass along some of (my) experience to students at Alvernia.” Kathleen Nevel

employees, Nevel demonstrated leadership skills that were quickly recognized. Her career development path rotated her through various management positions in maintenance, operations planning, technical services and logistics, where she worked to improve business processes, reduce costs and increase productivity. As she worked and led, Nevel learned more and more about the value of entrepreneurial thinking. “I learned that you should never be afraid to try something new,” she said. “I had to do a lot of that, especially working in a steel manufacturing business.” She also learned the value of empowering employees to exceed their expectations for success. “It was always great to see a team take ownership of a project and run with it,” Nevel said. “When you demonstrate respect for someone’s work and ideas, you encourage that person to strive to achieve even better work.” As she was advancing in her career, Nevel and her husband, an electrical engineer, raised a “team” of their own. Their daughter — now 30, served several deployments to the Middle East as a Navy lieutenant and now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area. Their 26-year-old son owns a successful accounting services and management consulting business in Nashville. While at Carpenter, Nevel led an effort to develop a summer science camp for middle school students in partnership with the Holleran Center for Community Engagement Center at Alvernia. Now in its third year, Continued on page 56

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Tracking the Taliban

Hunting down the bad guys “(My) ethics classes reminded me that complacency can kill.” Matthew Wertz ’86, M’11

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A Navy technician, in an explosive ordnance disposal suit, inspects the remains of a disrupted improvised explosive device (IED) during a training exercise.

M

An improvised explosive device is destroyed by C-4 explosives in Iraq.

ost English majors graduate from college and find their way into academe. Or editorial positions. Maybe graduate school. Quiet. Safe. Comfortable. Predictable. Matthew Wertz never got that memo. The ’86 graduate left the serenity of Alvernia’s Reading campus and headed to the armed forces, spending the next two decades as an accomplished Naval intelligence officer. Wertz eventually landed a spot as a commanding officer for major strike units, hunting down bad guys and gathering intel to keep the world safe. In 2000, he was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in Afghanistan for operating a joint command center that helped save an Afghan village after a dam burst. He retired in 2005 with the rank of lieutenant commander. It’s a tough act to follow. But the talented alto saxophonist, who has been known to bring a crowd to its feet on occasion as part of the Mount Vernon Community Band, realized it was time to shift gears. He headed back to the familiar, the place he called home as an undergraduate, to earn his MBA, an achievement he completed in 2011. “I had wanted to get out of the ‘analyst’ part of the intel community and to get into the program/project management side,” explains Wertz. He says it was an easy choice to return to Reading. “Coming back to ‘The Vern’ for an MBA was a logical thing to do based on known education standards, accessibility and cost,” he says. These days, he works as a senior intelligence analyst for global defense contractor Lockheed Martin, engaged on a project supporting the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Their focus — root out Taliban members who are planting roadside bombs. And the group’s work is as complex and important as it sounds. Their efforts enable offensive operations against complex networks of financiers, IED makers (the signature enemy weapon in both Iraq and Afghanistan), trainers and supporting infrastructure by providing intelligence and counter-bomber targeting capabilities. Pretty heady stuff for the Hamburg, Pa., High grad who spent hours in the library pondering the likes of Emerson, Tolstoy and Hemingway. Wertz says that when searching for terrorists and IEDs, he uses the skill sets developed through his MBA training, like statistics, strategic thinking — even accounting principles to “follow the money.” “The law course was a good exercise in what we call Alternative Competitive Hypothesis,” says Wertz, “And the ethics classes reminded me that complacency can kill.” Alvernia University Magazine

35

Forg

ive m

e,

Movin g bey ond h to lo atred ve you r ene mies By L ini S . Kad aba

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Oct. 2, 2006, was one of those stunning Lancaster County fall days. Terri Roberts was enjoying lunch outdoors with her best friend. But even as she ate her salad and chatted, sirens — and an ominous helicopter that circled overhead ďƒ¨

FORGi

ve ME

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Children are seen on their way to the newly constructed schoolhouse, built to replace the razed West Nickel Mines Amish School.

broke the tranquility of the crisp afternoon. When Terri Roberts returned to her office at Sight & Sound Theatres, the phone was ringing. It was Chuck Roberts, her husband. “I need you to come to Charlie’s house right away,” he said. Charles “Charlie” Carl Roberts IV, 32, was the eldest of the couple’s four sons. She knew from the heaviness in her husband’s voice that something horrible had happened. Over the next several hours, Terri Roberts would come to know the depths of tragedy that forever changed her life and the inkling of joy — though she certainly didn’t call it that at the time — that would bring her and her family, as well as the wider community, immeasurable peace. Oct. 2, 2006, is forever marred by the senseless shooting of 10 Amish girls inside their West Nickel Mines School — just 40 miles from Reading. Charlie Roberts, the local milkman and a father of three, lined up the children in front of the blackboard and shot them execution style as they prayed. The youngest was just 6, the oldest 13. Five of the girls died, and five more suffered injuries. As police charged the schoolhouse, Charlie Roberts took his life. The rampage made headlines around the world. Oct. 2, 2006, however, remains remarkable for another just as shocking and life-altering reason. It, too, made headlines around the world. When the worst happened to its community’s most vulnerable, the Amish had only one swift response — forgiveness. “Forgiveness became a bigger story than what

38 Alvernia University Magazine

Charlie did,” says Terri Roberts, 62, who still lives in Strasburg, Pa. Since what she calls “the tragedy,” she has traveled the country and world to tell her story of Christian faith, trust in Jesus Christ and the healing power of forgiveness. She calls her talk, which also covers her battle with Stage 3 breast cancer, “Joy Through Adversity.” “That’s what the Amish do. They live the Lord’s Prayer,” she says to a group of students at a lecture near Malvern, Pa., where this wideeyed grandmother with a gray bob is speaking on a March morning. “They live that, forgive and be forgiven.” “We need to allow forgiveness in our hearts so we can be whole,” she says, still overcome with emotion more than seven years later. It’s a sentiment echoed by Charlie Roberts’ wife, Marie. In an April newspaper interview that followed a speaking engagement in Allentown, Pa., she said “…laying there at night thinking about it and in the time since, by them coming so quickly and letting us know their forgiveness of Charlie and the way they were extending grace and compassion to our family, it was an amazing gift because it released me from giving a response for Charlie’s choices and, instead, opened the door to find the healing of the Lord that we all needed.”

Making a choice It is a choice — to forgive or not. Christians know forgiveness as a core tenant of their faith and the Catholic belief in forgiveness is foundational. “Jesus died that our sins might be

top left: ASSOCIATED PRESS; right; Theo Anderson

Moving beyond hatred to love your enemies forgiven,” says Brian Neely, director of campus ministry at Alvernia and an adjunct lecturer in theology. “In doing so, he set an intentional example for all of us to follow.” The concept of forgiveness is mentioned over 100 times in the Bible, and Matthew 18:2122 gives us the principle as Jesus told it to the apostle Peter: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but 77 times.’” At Alvernia, where Franciscan roots run deep, forgiveness is imbedded in the heart of the university’s mission. Often, it involves grappling with social justice issues and finding a peaceful response grounded in empathy — an essential component of forgiveness — rather than anger. Class discussions, guest speakers and alternative break trips encourage and nurture the value in students. It is a quality that the university’s patron saint Francis himself highly valued. During the Crusades, Francis of Assisi walked across the battle lines to speak with the Sultan — setting the stage for how Franciscans approach conflict, says Neely. Instead of villainizing and saying the other is the enemy, St. Francis is looking eye-toeye and talking and reconciling. “I think it’s the hardest part of the Gospel,” Neely continues. “I think our natural tendency is to seek revenge.” In fact, there is no shortage of families and individuals who are consumed by anger, even rage, when death or serious injury of a loved one is caused by another. Says one father whose son was shot to death by a relative: “I want him to spend the rest of his life remembering his cousin and honoring his memory. I want him to suffer forever, just like me.” But victims’ families are not the only ones struggling with forgiveness. Police officers often find the sentiment hard to muster. Attorney Edgar J. Hartung, a retired FBI special agent and chairman of the Criminal Justice Department at Alvernia, has seen firsthand how difficult letting the anger go can be. “Law enforcement professionals spend entire careers putting bad people in jail,” he says. Many of the offenders have committed brutal offenses, including rape and murder. “When you see the extent of the hatred, violence and man’s inhumanity to his brother, it affects you to your core,” Hartung says. “Many top law enforcement officials have become hardened, and simply cannot find forgiveness for offenders who commit heinous crimes. While they admire people who can forgive, they often think violent criminals should rot in a cell, or worse.”

Why some can’t forgive Forgiving someone who has committed a terrible crime can test the faith of almost anyone. But why is it that some people find it easier to forgive than others, even in interpersonal relationships? Di You, an associate professor of psychology at Alvernia, says studies show that people who score high on scales that measure narcissism and neuroticism, and score low on scales that measure agreeableness, find it hard to forgive. “For narcissists, they have a strong sense of entitlement that fosters vengefulness…and that may lead people to maintain grudges for a very long time,” explains You, who teaches a course titled Close Relationships. Research also shows that those who are less agreeable often express anger and hostility toward wrongdoers. In fact, agreeableness, that is being friendly and cooperative, is a key personality trait related to the ability to forgive, You says. “They are looking forward,” she says, citing the well-known Paul Boese quote: “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” In the long run, forgiveness also fosters wellbeing for victims and their families. According to You, studies show that people who forgive “usually enjoy more personal wellbeing, that is, more self-esteem, less hostility, less distress and more satisfaction with life overall. Forgiveness reduces our hurt and pain, enables us to replace anger with equanimity and it enables us to move forward.” Since her daughter’s abduction and brutal murder in 1984, Wilma Derksen has struggled with forgiveness. At a news conference soon after the killing, the Canadian woman 

Brian Neely, Alvernia’s director of campus ministry, talks with students in the Campus Commons.

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Moving beyond hatred to love your enemies said, “I choose to forgive.” She writes in an October 2013 blog post: “I thought they were simple words that would go unnoticed. Little did I know that these four little words would haunt me for the next 30 years — prod me, guide me, heal me, forsake me, taunt me, label me, defy me, pull me, enlighten me, imprison me, free me and in the end define me.” At first, Derksen felt compelled to abandon the choice expressed in those “simple words” when she joined a support group whose members viewed forgiveness as “one of the enemies,” a way of letting an offender off the hook. But eventually, she says, she returned to it and “all the freedom it promises.” Donald Kraybill has written extensively on forgiveness, including the book “Amish Grace” following the Nickel Mines shooting. He emphasizes that forgiveness does not mean the offender is free of responsibility for his crimes. The Amish, Kraybill says, expect justice when tragedy strikes. Terri Roberts speaks to that as well. “If our son had lived, he would have been held accountable for this,” she says. “He would have been in prison. Justice would have served us.”

“Forgiveness became a bigger story than what Charlie did. That’s what the Amish do. They live the Lord’s Prayer.” Terri Roberts

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Rather, forgiveness means “giving up my right to revenge,” as one Amish man who lost a daughter at Nickel Mines put it to Kraybill. Like other Amish, he turned to the Lord’s Prayer as the source of his actions. Michael Davis’ daughter, Claire, was a 17-year-old student at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., when she was shot to death in December 2013. In a January interview with NBC News, Davis said that the last thing his wife and he wanted to do “is perpetuate this anger and rage and hatred in connection with Claire. Claire would also not want this. “Unchecked anger and rage can lead to hatred, and unchecked hatred can lead to tragedy, blindness and a loss of humanity,” he said.

Lasting memories As Terri Roberts drove to her son’s home, she heard the news on her car radio about a shooting at the Amish school. Her son parked his milk tanker near there and she immediately worried about his safety. As she pulled into her son’s driveway, her husband stood alongside a state trooper. “It was Charlie,” Chuck Roberts told her.

left: Mark Makela/Reuters; top: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Amish buggies line up for a funeral following the 2006 shootings at the Nickel Mines School, Lancaster County, Pa.

She remembers her husband’s eyes, dark and sunken. “This could not be,” Terri Roberts recalls thinking. “I had a wonderful son.… But it was very true.” Later that day, as family and friends streamed through the Roberts’ home, Chuck Roberts, a retired police officer who drove for the Amish, buried his head in sorrow. “The tears just kept coming,” Terri Roberts says. Her husband wiped his face so often with a dishrag that it wore a patch of skin raw on his forehead. Then Henry, the Roberts’ Amish neighbor, stopped by. He went over to Chuck Roberts, still unable to lift his head, and began massaging his shoulders. “Roberts, we love you,” Henry said. “We don’t hold anything against you, the family, in any way, not against your son.” After 20 minutes, Chuck Roberts lifted his face. “Thank you, Henry,” he said. “In that moment,” says Terri Roberts, “God stirred in me.” She calls Henry “our angel in black,” referring to his black Amish garb. “He gave my husband what he needed to lift his head that day, just that first piece of hope for healing.”

The Amish attended Charlie Roberts’ funeral, forming a supportive circle around the Roberts family that was a “healing balm,” she says. At first, Zachary Roberts — her third son who lived in Manhattan at the time — refused to return home for his brother’s funeral. “I will not honor him by being there,” he told his mother. Terri Roberts was heartbroken and asked visitors to pray for a change of mind. One Amish guest offered to call Zach — and the message he left made a difference. Her son came to the funeral. Now living in Sweden, Zachary Roberts is making a documentary called Hope about his mother’s battle with cancer and her relationship with the Amish. In the months that followed the tragedy, the Roberts family grew close to the families of the victims. Terri Roberts was even invited into the home of Rosanna King, a 6-year-old who suffered such serious injuries in the shooting that she was sent home to die — but lived. She is 13 years old now, “a beautiful young girl,” says Terri Roberts, but still in need of a feeding tube and unable to talk or walk. Since the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, Terri Roberts has gone most Thursday evenings to visit with Rosanna, “to sing to her, to read to her, to bathe her,” she says. “She needs care 24/7. It’s just a little respite for them.” This, says Neely, is the perfect example of “what spiritual maturity looks like. That’s exactly what Jesus had in mind when He said love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. The Amish have so loved their enemies that they have ceased being their enemies. They became friends.” “Forgiveness can open the door to reconciliation,” Kraybill the “Amish Grace” author says, though there is no guarantee. “I think that’s what happened in Nickel Mines. Forgiveness is a survival skill for a communal group like the Amish. It’s in their vocabulary. They teach it to their children. For them, forgiveness is a very high religious and moral tradition, and if they are not willing to forgive, they jeopardize their own salvation.” It is a message central to the Alvernia experience — and one that Terri Roberts and the Amish who have become her friends attest to daily. “We can have a hole in our hearts, like my son had a hole in his heart, where the suffering inside is worse than any cancer,” she says, “or we can release it and let it go. Forgiveness is not the natural thing to do, but it is the necessary thing to do.” Lini S. Kadaba is a journalist based in Newtown Square, Pa., who frequently writes for Alvernia Magazine. Alvernia University Magazine

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Birdies bogies backswings

&

And one student’s account of lessons learned on the links at the mighty U.S. Open.

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T

By Jon King

theo anderson

here is an unassuming, two-lane street and a portion of the Norristown High Speed Rail Line that separates the campus of Haverford College from the 18th fairway at Merion Golf Club’s historic East Course. On Father’s Day last June on the east side of the tracks, Alvernia senior Colin Donovan was wrapping up a three-week internship with MSG Promotions at the 2013 U.S. Open. On the other side of the tracks, Englishman Justin Rose was putting the final touches on his first major golf championship, and the first U.S. Open title for his beloved homeland in 43 years. “I’m not really into golf,” said Donovan when asked how he landed the internship. “A friend of mine did the internship the year before and said he really liked it. I needed an internship and it sounded pretty cool.” Rose’s post-round emotions were more profound. “This is a childhood dream come true,” said Rose, addressing the media in a tent that took up most of what is usually the driving range for the East Course. “I’ve worked my whole life for this and holed the winning putt hundreds of thousands of times.” Donovan’s experience that week, while not quite as life-altering as Rose’s, got him hooked on the game and booked for the 2014 U.S. Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina. For the 2013 event, he was stationed in a hospitality tent located on the grounds of Haverford College, just a few hundred yards from the 18th green. Donovan was working to entertain some of the tournament’s corporate sponsors who are clients of MSG — the official hospitality provider of the U.S. Open. “I was with maybe 14 other interns working for MSG,” said Donovan. “We were there to make sure everything got set up 100 percent. For two weeks leading up to the event our workdays were basically 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., but once the tournament started we were there at 4 a.m., until about 9 p.m. at night.” Some of the bigger-name MSG clients at Merion included Rolex, Lexus, IBM and the Philadelphia Eagles, giving Donovan the opportunity to rub elbows with some local celebrities. “It was great to meet Michael Phelps,” said Donovan when asked who some of his favorite meetings were. “Then there was Ron Jaworski, Eagles owner [Jeffrey Lurie], Governor Tom Corbett and some of the Eagles players. I also got to meet ESPN broadcasters Scott Van Pelt and Roger Maltbie.” The U.S. Open plans to run the women’s and men’s opens in successive weeks at Pinehurst No. 2 this June, and Donovan plans to be there in his same role for both. “Right after it was finished I knew I wanted to do it again,” said Donovan, who will be one of just 11 interns working with MSG this summer. I made sure I gave it my all and let them know I wanted to do it again.” Donovan, a communication major at Alvernia, hopes to turn his experiences into a career in sports, either in broadcasting or working with a sports agency. After logging a few 15-hour days, Donovan and his co-workers were permitted to cross the tracks and watch the tournament finish up. “I watched the last hole on the last day a little bit,” said Donovan. “We watched maybe five guys finish. We saw Phil and Justin. Our boss said you guys have worked hard enough, go enjoy the finish. I never knew golf was such a big spectator sport until I was there. It was great seeing that atmosphere.” At the center of the atmosphere, Rose was negotiating a par at the 72nd hole, giving him a two-shot win and exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Opens. Back down the fairway tucked under a tree, Donovan was soaking it all in. Both men will pack their bags for a return trip this summer hoping to take another step in defining their careers.

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After following in the footsteps of two iconic figures of the Catholic faith, a pair of Alvernia students embarked on a pilgrimage of self-discovery that changed their lives.

By Elizabeth Shimer Bowers

Assisi is a small Italian village. With fewer than 26,000 townspeople, its quaintness is its charm. But the main attraction, drawing 4 million tourists annually, is a link to two spiritual giants who, by their saintly examples more than 800 years ago, changed the world. And continue to change the lives of countless global citizens, including two Alvernia students whose recent encounters in the Italian hamlet made a lasting impact. Kevin Shainline ’15 and Jennifer Toledo ’15 set off on a 10-day Franciscan pilgrimage last December, a trip underwritten by the Alvernia Assisi Fund. The pair were among 33 college students nationally to participate in the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities sponsored event. Stops included Assisi and the Vatican, the backdrop for countless experiences that included prayers, Eucharistic celebrations, meditations, visits to historic locations and lectures, all patterned after Francis and Clare’s attempts to “fix their gaze on God.” “The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Shainline said. “I will always be able to look back on it and see how it impacted my life.” Toledo, whose birthday coincidentally falls on St. Francis’ feast day, Oct. 4, nurtured a special bond she feels with the revered saint. “The pilgrimage completely changed my life; I have a better understanding of what Francis and Clare gave up for God,” Toledo said. “And when it comes to helping people, I do it without thinking twice, no matter who they are.” When they lived in the 13th century, Saints Francis and Clare served the poor and sick and stressed the importance

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Continued on page 54

Left and below: Theo Anderson (2)

Through the eyes of a saint

For Kevin Shainline, left, and Jennifer Toledo, a pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy, opened their hearts to Franciscan spirituality.

Assisi, Italy, attracts 4 million tourists annually to walk in the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare.

Jennifer Toledo Alvernia University Magazine

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hero maker Bill Rosemann turns Marvel Comics characters into larger than life icons.

left: Zade Rosenthal.© 2014 Marvel; top right: courtesy bill rosemann

By Junior Bernard with Carey Manzolillo Anyone can be the hero of his or her own story. Just ask Bill Rosemann. A life-long comic book connoisseur turned editor and now creative director of Marvel Comics, Rosemann knows a thing or two about the subject. “Because I was so interested in reading, sci-fi, fantasy, movies and comics growing up, I felt I was a bit of an outsider,” Rosemann said. “But I was lucky to have parents, friends and teachers who encouraged me.” These days, Rosemann’s work on Captain America, Iron Man, X-Man and Spider-Man is enthusiastically consumed by audiences of all ages. As a long-time editor, Rosemann’s expertise has helped him to comprehend all aspects of his colorful world. He travels all over the country sharing his experiences and fascination of superheroes and the motives behind their creations. In a recent visit to Alvernia University, he offered an inside look at the world of comic editing and talked about stretching boundaries. He challenged students to “take what you can from these granderthan-life characters and find a calling. Bring your own individual super-human abilities into your occupations and life.” But heroes often find their calling when times are toughest. For Rosemann, that time came at a young age, when his parents divorced. Though his parents and older brother were supportive, Rosemann

Marvel Comics Creative Director Bill Rosemann

found that he needed a distraction. He began not only reading comic books, but scrutinizing them. With his eyes fixed on the letters, images and drawings, he’d read and analyze materials for hours at a time. It was the beginning of Rosemann’s own magical story. “This inspired me to help create stories to entertain and help others get through tough moments, just as I was helped,” he said. After majoring in English at the University of Notre Dame, Rosemann embraced his passion for comics. He followed frontrunners such as Klaus Janson and Ralph Macchio — some of the greatest creators and editors in the comic industry. With the same brave devotion as his superheroes, the new graduate climbed the ladder into a top position at Marvel Comics — one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. “I started out as a freelance journalist, writing articles for Marvel Age magazine,” explained Rosemann. He worked his way up as a copywriter, scriptwriter, project manager, marketing director and eventually, an editor. “Today, I have about 12 years of experience as an editor with over 1,000 comics,” he said. A great amount of Rosemann’s work has been translated into big-name movies, including the newly released Captain America: Winter Soldier, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Thor: The

Dark World” (2013). He has overseen monthly comics as well as Marvel Custom Solutions publications, in addition to Avengers Arena — which he explains as “the Hunger Games with superheroes.” Meant to show the capability that superheroes have to stimulate optimistic transformation and save lives, Rosemann’s comic creations present metaphors for anyone aiming to release their own unique abilities. Even little boys with hearing impairment. In 2012, Rosemann directed a team that produced the character “Blue Ear” in response to a mother who wrote that her son refused to wear his hearing aid to school because “superheroes don’t wear hearing aids.” Drawn in the likeness of the woman’s son — Blue Ear uses his device to hear people who need help. In creating heroes like Blue Ear, Rosemann hopes to make an impact on the next evolution of comic books. “Many creators before me both pushed and protected Marvel’s amazing characters,” he explained. “My goal is to continue doing whatever I can to both stretch boundaries and guard our core beliefs, so that new generations can enjoy our heroes and stories just as I did.” Rosemann’s own superhero power is no secret. “Never stop trying, constantly hone your skills, say yes to as many opportunities as possible, use every ‘no’ you’re told as fuel to propel your passion,” and lastly, “be the hero of your story.” Alvernia University Magazine

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Alumni Class Notes 1960s

Theodora (Milczanowski) DeAngelis ’69, M’02 passed away on Dec. 15, 2013. Nancy M Nicklas ’69 is planning a two-week vacation to the United Kingdom to meet long-lost cousins on her mother’s side of the family. Back in 1946, Nancy’s mother wrote a letter to a cousin living in Manchester, UK. That woman’s daughter found the letter, along with many others, in her mother’s belongings. In 2007, Nancy received a call, and the cousins began a relationship. They will be meeting for the first time in Oct. 2014. During her trip, Nancy plans to give other family letters (found in her mother’s possessions) to the children of the people who wrote them.

1970s

Donna (Stonelake) Monaghan ’72 passed away on Sept. 22, 2013. Sr. Florelle Nordheim, OSF ’73 passed away on March 5, 2014. Sr. Jean Jacobchick ’77 was featured in the Reading Eagle regarding a lecture she gave on the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. She demonstrated how the lives of the two holy men ultimately led to approval for sainthood. Linda (Mowson) Ludgate ’77 was honored with Alvernia University’s 2013 Franciscan Award. The award is presented

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to people who selflessly give their time, talents and resources for the betterment of others. Linda thanked Alvernia for the award and said the university holds a special place in her heart. Denise (Smith) Allen ’79 has been employed by the Michigan Department of Corrections as a probation/parole agent for over 26 years. For the last six years, she has been engaged in supervising a genderspecific caseload of approximately 100 women offenders. Denise earned her master’s degree in public administration – criminal justice at the University of Michigan in 2010, after which she immediately enrolled in Walden University, where she completed coursework in public policy and administration – criminal justice. She is currently working on completing her dissertation on women offenders. Dominic Murgido ’79 became vice chair of the Circle of Life Coalition for Berks County and continues to serve on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board for Wilmington University in Delaware.

1980s

Joanne Felix ’80 passed away on Jan. 25, 2014. David Yoch ’82 was named the 2013 Officer of the Year by the Fraternal Order of Police Berks Lodge No. 71. David had worked for the Wyomissing Police Department for 28 years. His nomination for the award cites numerous examples of his

service to both the greater law enforcement community of Berks County and its citizens. Debra (Downing) Letts ’83 passed away suddenly on Sept. 17, 2013. She is survived by her husband Robert Letts ’83 and her children Derek and Mallorie. James Gierlich ’84, ’97 was named vice president of commercial lending at Vist Bank. He will serve as a relationship manager for commercial clients. Sr. Joanne Frances Hayes ’87 passed away on Jan. 4, 2014. Jeannine (Fowler) Voit ’87 passed away on Nov. 16, 2013. Peter Champagne ’89 was quoted in a Reading Eagle article on Internet marketing by realtors. Peter said, “When I started, every agent knew that SEO stood for sewage enforcement officer, now it is search engine optimization.” The phrase is in reference to the use of keywords on sites to make sure they come up in the first items on Google and other search engines. Peter is the president of the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors and a broker at Keller Williams Realty Elite.

1990s

Lori (Reinhart) Lucas ’92 passed away on Jan. 13, 2014. She is survived by her husband Jim and her daughter Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Lucas.

Colette (Boucher) Price ’92 has been promoted to senior vice president of National Penn Investors Trust Company. With 28 years of financial services experience, Price is manager of operations and technology, providing direction and oversight of National Penn Investors Trust Company’s securities, cash processing, reconciliation and control units. Daniel Stasek ’92 passed away on Feb. 23, 2014. Robert H. Grey, Sr. ’93 and Betty Jane celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married on October 18, 1963, and have four children, six grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren. David Bentz ’94 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s Faces in the News section for being the county DUI enforcement coordinator. David is an Exeter Township police officer who coordinates sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and seatbelt enforcement activities that are funded by PennDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He is a certified fire and explosion investigator and is the assistant fire marshal of the township. David and his wife Elizabeth (Kocher) ’92 have two daughters. Principal of Conrad Weiser East Elementary School, Janet (Immendorf) Heilman ’94, M’06 was featured in the Reading Eagle for running the Walt Disney World Marathon and challenging her students to read one book for every mile she ran during the marathon weekend. In total, 300 students read nearly 32,500 books.

Mary (Iswalt) Moyer ’95 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s Faces in the News section. She is director of the St. Joseph Medical Center’s downtown campus in Reading. Drusilla Haas ’96 passed away on Feb. 4, 2014. Meggan (Hannigan) Kerber ’96, M’01 was selected as one of the 2013 Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s rising stars. Meggan is director of marketing at Viva Good Life. Evelyn Morrison ’97, M’01 was featured in an article about her ancestry. She is very involved with social causes and the struggle for equality, especially for women, blacks and other American minorities. April (Wynkoop) Knerr ’99 was married in Nov. 2013. She has been a police officer in Allentown, Pa., for more than 12 years and has a 14-year-old son. Jill Lawler ’99 and Kevin Semmel are engaged.

2000s

Todd Laeger ’00 was selected to fill the position of Fire Marshal at North Carolina’s Chapel Hill Fire Department. Susan Schwartz ’00 was featured in the In Our Schools section of the Reading Eagle. She is a life skills teacher at Tulpehocken Jr./Sr. High School. Claire (Overkott) Krapf ’01 passed away on March 27, 2013.

Elise Carmen Smith was born on Aug. 1, 2013 — See p. 53.

Shaun Nye ’01 was promoted to director of finance at Siemens Healthcare in Malvern, Pa. Jeanmarie SteiningerMason ’01 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s In Our Schools Section for being an eighth-grade science teacher at Daniel Boone Middle School. Patrick List ’03 and Lauren Saul were married on Nov. 30, 2013 in Lancaster, Pa. Rob Shannon ’03 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s In Our Schools section for his job as a fourth-grade teacher at Brecknock Elementary in the Governor Mifflin School District. Kelly (Verasis) Berry ’04 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s In Our Schools section. Kelly is the science, religion, writing, vocabulary and reading teacher at St. Catharine of Siena School in Mount Penn, Pa.  Alvernia University Magazine

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group for local businessmen after graduating from Alvernia. Called Berks Business Leaders, the group often discuss sports, hobbies and community issues as well as business and industry challenges. A second-grade class taught by Ryan Oberly ’07 at Reading’s 16th and Haak Elementary School was recently chosen to receive $1,000 in supplies from OfficeMax as part of its A Day Made Better campaign. Ryan’s name was submitted by his school. Jennifer Richter M’07 and her husband Matt welcomed their first child into the world on Feb. 10, 2014 at 10:01 p.m. Bella Elizabeth Richter was 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 20 inches long. Say hello to Blake Hudson Berger, born Nov. 7, 2013 — See below.

Julie Angstadt ’05 and her husband Rick were featured in the Reading Eagle’s Home section for their transformation of their home for the holidays. The Angstadts’ decorations represent seasonal themes and come from as many as 14 states and several countries.

Nicole Cassidy ’06 and her husband Franz Binder welcomed their new baby Lukas into the world on Jan. 1, 2014 at 7:42 a.m. The first baby born in Ingolstadt, Germany for 2014, Lukas weighed 9 pounds and was 22.5 inches long.

Travis Berger M’05 and Lindsay (Trottier) Berger ’07 welcomed Blake Hudson into the world on Nov. 7, 2013.

Ellen Rodriguez ’06, M’08 passed away on Jan. 30, 2014 from injuries sustained from an automobile accident.

Megan King ’05, M’06 is the academic learning specialist at Alvernia University, where she has taken over the management of the Learning Center and student tutors. Steve Koons ’05 is now a partner with Cotton & Company LLP.

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Pam Wagar ’06 recently graduated from the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and is now a first-year pediatrics resident at The Children’s Hospital of Georgia. She married Adam C. Smith on Nov. 2, 2013. Conor Delaney ’07 was included in a Reading Eagle article about networking groups. He founded an invitation-only

Nick Yando ’07 and his wife Sarah welcomed their first child, Lily Anne Yando, on Thanksgiving morning at 9:58 a.m. Lily weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and was 20.75 inches long. Amanda Fenkner ’08 is the executive recruiter for the Washington Redskins football team. Michelle (Johnson) Kissinger M’08 is the director of Organizational Development with Kissinger Associates Inc., and a principal with Kissinger Leadership Consulting. Michelle related her personal experiences as part of the Women2Women speaker series sponsored by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Michelle discussed how to convert personal stories of loss and hardship into stories of empowerment and inspiration.

Just another way to stay connected

Denise Kramer ’08 received her master’s degree from Kutztown University. She got engaged in October. A July 19, 2014 wedding is planned. Daniel Laws ’08 was appointed to the Reading Downtown Improvement District’s board of directors. Dan is the principal owner of DaBrian Marketing Group and had previously served on the DID marketing committee. He was part of an article in the Reading Eagle on social media. Dan discussed leveraging social media content, such as an event announcement and blog posts, to position his team members as experts in the digital space. A lot of the traffic to the company website comes from their Twitter and LinkedIn posts.

2010s

Monica Consoli ’10 married Joshua Pellman on April 27, 2013 in Lancaster, Pa. Luis Fontanez, Jr. ’10 received the National Achievement Special Honors award from Learning Ally for proving that visual impairment is no obstacle to educational success. Luis is currently attending Penn State University and will be graduating with his master’s degree in counselor education in 2016. He will receive cash rewards in recognition of his academic excellence, extraordinary leadership and service to others.

Scott McFeaters M’10 and Kelly Chubb were married on Oct. 19, 2013 in Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, West Lawn. A reception was held at the Eden Resort and Suites in Lancaster and their wedding trip was to Aruba. Maureen Plover ’10 is now an associate campus minister at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. She began her new job in Oct. 2013 after completing graduate programs at Arcadia and Trinity College, Dublin. Stacey Sears ’10 and Ryan Babula are engaged. 

Margot Allen ’09 received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in July 2013. She is now the director of social work at Genesis HealthCare in Lutherville, Md. Audrey (Hoffman) Krupiak ’09, M’10 took on a new role as marketing coordinator at Shinn Spring Water Company, “The Water Guy” in Birdsboro, Pa. Katie Loubier ’09 has been accepted into the Teaching Certification Program for College Graduates at the University of Connecticut. She plans to graduate with a Master of Arts degree in education in May 2015 and obtain a Connecticut teacher certification in social studies. Amy Squibb ’09 got married on June 1, 2013 to Brent Whary. Audrey and Stephen Krupiak were married March 1. Alvernia University Magazine

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Our Schools section as a music teacher at Robeson Elementary Center in the Twin Valley School District. Carly Glasmyre ’12 is engaged to marry Ryan Haas. Heather Kraft ’12 and Kevin Gibson are engaged.

Bella Elizabeth Richter was born Feb. 10 — See p. 50.

Shannon Ballantyne M’11 was promoted to manager in the audit group at ParenteBeard, where she will lead the group’s audit work. Dr. Mary (Lynch) Barbera ’11 was announced as one of the honorees for the 2014 Take the Lead award from the Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.

at Fiesta Pediatric Therapy. Fiesta is a medically based outpatient pediatric clinic located in Phoenix. Lisa (Rinehart) Dieffenbach ’12 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s In

Joe Pritiskutch ’12 was named director of Public Relations for the Pennsylvania Roar where he will be in charge of the dayto-day activities associated with all home games for the Roar, including pre- and post-game interviews as well as sending out releases from sponsors and player signings. He will also assist with statistics and boosting the team’s social media visibility.

Mark Your Calendar!

Emily Berret ’11 and James Carroll are engaged. Laura Gardner ’11 is a teacher at the Westchester School for Special Children in Yonkers, N.Y. Adam Krick M’11 was named a senior auditor with Customers Bank. Lauren Kurek ’11 is engaged to marry Scott Francik ’11. The wedding is scheduled for Oct. 17, 2014 at Alvernia University’s Sacred Heart Chapel. Brittany Tasch ’11 was hired by the City Alliance Church in Williamsport, Pa., as their ministry coordinator. Adam Butler ’12 relocated to Tempe, Ariz., and began working in a new position as a pediatric occupational therapist

52 Alvernia University Magazine

September 11 Founders Day Lecture

October 8 Author, Denise Kierman

October 17-18 Homecoming & Family Weekend

Now through December St. John’s Bible Exhibit

Visit Alvernia’s alumni website: alumni.alvernia.edu

Jessica Slavin ’12 is engaged. A Nov. 1, 2014 wedding ceremony is planned. Tiffany (Barndt) Smith ’12 and husband Eric Smith welcomed their first child Elise Carmen Smith on Aug. 1, 2013 at 4:28 p.m. Elise weighed 7 pounds and was 19 1/2 inches long. Samantha Boone ’13 and Dustin Manz were married on Sept. 24, 2013 on the beach on Cat Island in the Bahamas. Leon Geiger ’13 graduated on Feb. 14, 2014 from the Army’s military police basic officer leadership course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Military police officers are charged with leading soldiers in the execution of law and order; internment and resettlement; area security; stability operations; civil support; and maneuver and mobility support operations. Second Lieutenant Geiger’s first duty assignment will be as a military police platoon leader in a rapidly

deployable company currently located at Fort Stewart, Ga. While at Fort Leonard Wood, he was awarded the National Defense Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, and the German Armed Forces Badge for military proficiency. Thomas Hall ’13 is the leader of the Philadelphia Chapter for Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania, for which he set up speakers and served as emcee for a recent rally. Kimberly Horan ’13 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s At Your Service section for her volunteer service at Berks Counseling Center. She assists with counseling sessions pertaining to education about drug and alcohol addictions. Kristy Jacoby ’13 and Errol Hartman are engaged. Jennifer Kaucher ’13 became the Prevention Specialist for Council on Chemical Abuse in Reading, Pa., on Sept. 30, 2013.

Lily Anne Yando was born Thanksgiving 2013 — See p. 50.

He is engaged to Cory Marques ’12.

Timothy Kershner ’13 is engaged to Sarah Harris.

Rebecca Stein ’13 and Joshua Moyer are engaged.

Kevin Mengel ’13 is a fulltime police officer for the Northern York Regional Police Department.

Olaya Uribe ’13 and Jose Roman were married on Feb. 18, 2014.

Calling all proud Crusaders!

We want YOU! Alvernia’s Undergraduate Admissions Office is looking for proud Alvernia alums to volunteer their time to represent the university at college fairs in the Mid-Atlantic Region. If you are interested in attending a college fair near you, please contact admissions counselor Christopher Fake ’10, christopher.fake@alvernia.edu. Follow Alvernia alumni on

twitter.com/Alvernia_Alumni Alvernia University Magazine

53

President Flynn discusses the Assisi trip in Francis Hall Chapel with Jennifer Toledo (left) and Kevin Shainline.

of simplicity, humility and prayer. Francis’ axiom, “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received — only what you have given,” is emblematic of how he lived his life, and expected others to as well. Shainline and Toledo aspire to exemplify the same virtues. Both volunteer through Alvernia’s Holleran Center for Community Engagement and are founding members of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a new student honor society dedicated to community service. A psychology and theology major from Boyertown, Pa., Shainline is a resident assistant who also works in the Holleran Center and is leading the charge as president of APO. “I have been able to share a lot about my trip with the students and community members I work with, about the Italian culture and my spiritual experience,” he said. A first-generation student whose parents hail from the Dominican Republic, Toledo is taking full advantage of college — majoring in early childhood education, playing the saxophone, volleyball and using all of her remaining spare time volunteering with the South Reading Youth Initiative. A course in Franciscan studies sparked her interest in St.

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Francis, so she jumped at the opportunity to visit the region where he lived and preached. “I went on the pilgrimage to experience everything attached to St. Francis’ spirit — solidity, openness and graced moments,” she said. “Francis was all about looking past differences and finding common ground, which I believe in strongly.” Toledo had her own graced moment while visiting the Basilica of St. Francis. “We went to the Basilica and had Mass. At the end, we all received a new white candle to pray to at St. Francis’ tomb. I had been struggling with one specific event in my life that I’d never been able to let go of, but that day at the Tomb of St. Francis, with tears streaming down my face, I was able to. It was such an amazing experience to walk outside and feel 50 pounds lighter,” she said. As part of their journey, the students also visited Vatican City and had a rare opportunity to watch and be blessed by Pope Francis, as he conducted the Sunday Angelus Service from a window. “I saw how much people truly love the Pope — they go absolutely crazy for him,” Shainline said. Nowhere was this love more obvious than at the Sunday Service. “It felt amazing to be blessed by Pope Francis and to share a common belief with all of the people there.”

Both Toledo and Shainline say they have forever internalized the personal and spiritual lessons they learned during their Winter Break overseas. “When I go through my day, I get flashbacks of the trip,” Toledo said. “I apply what I learned to the way I conduct myself — my morals and spirit — whether I am playing volleyball or performing in a concert,” Toledo said. Shainline agreed. “I will forever appreciate the Franciscan tradition and strive to live by the Franciscan values each and every day,” he said. To carry on all she learned during the monumental trip, Toledo plans to find a job as a teacher, possibly in the Reading School District, after she graduates next May. “I want to impart in my students a love for sharing and an understanding that people are different, but stress that we shouldn’t build boundaries but instead unite and learn from each other,” she said. Shainline’s exact career plans are still up in the air, but he knows for sure he wants to help people. “I took a lot of lessons from the pilgrimage, but I think the most important was that I am called to serve humanity in some way, and that God is with me on each step of my journey,” Shainline said. Francis couldn’t have said it any better.

Theo Anderson

eyes of a saint | Continued from page 44

the beat goes on | Continued from page 31 However, the power of music to evoke strong memories and emotions doesn’t apply only to the music of the ’60s. It’s universal. “From a scholarly perspective, that first hearing — how old you are, where you are, what mood you’re in, who you’re with — that makes an indelible impression and sort of forms what you think about a piece,” Dr. Aracena says. “It’s part of our memories and cognition.” For Aracena, the song that transports her to a different time and place is Christopher Cross’ 1980 hit, “Sailing.” “I just heard it in the past few weeks and it immediately took me to that one place in time,” she recalls. “I always remember being on the boat with my father, and maybe a brother or sister, bluefishing in Long Island Sound. That’s the only time I listened to that song. But it seemed like when we were fishing for bluefish, we brought a transistor radio and that song would always play. So I immediately think of that whenever that song comes on the radio.” But that still doesn’t explain why a class of students born three decades after a song was on the charts would break out in an impromptu sing-a-long when

it was played. “I wonder what is their recollection?” Blessing muses. “Does this become like ‘White Christmas’ for my generation, something your parents played and your grandparents played at Christmastime?” Actually, yes, something very similar to that. The answer may lie in the “cascading reminiscence bumps” found in research conducted by Carol Lynne Krumhansl of Cornell University. Dr. Krumhansl had 62 college students listen to two top Billboard hits per year from 1955 to 2009. The students were asked which periods of music were most memorable, which songs stirred the most emotion and whether they remembered listening to the song by themselves, with their parents or with friends. In the literature on autobiographical memories, a “reminiscence bump” refers to the finding that people tend to remember events from their teenage years and early 20s more than other periods in life. Krumhansl’s study showed a surprising “reminiscence bump” in memories, familiarity, perceived quality and emotional connection to songs from the early 1980s — the songs that students’ parents would have

listened to as young adults. And a smaller bump was seen regarding music from the 1960s — when the students’ grandparents would have been young adults. “One of the things we’ve learned from our students is their musical repertoire, what they know and are familiar with, depends in large part on what their parents listen to, or in some cases, their grandparents,” Aracena says. For Casey Strong, an 18-yearold psychology major who took the “Sinatra to Led Zeppelin” course, her appreciation of The Beatles’ music was handed down by her dad. “A lot of it is imprinted on me through my childhood memories,” Strong says. “I can remember my dad listening to “Let It Be,” and quite nearly crying, and seeing your father cry, it’s one of those things you just don’t forget. So that music becomes a part of you through the experiences.” Although she doesn’t share the memories of those who heard The Beatles’ music when it was new, Strong says it resonates with her in different ways. “I grew up with the context of my dad’s interpretation of the music and what it meant,” she says. “My ideas kind of grew off

of his, but we share completely different opinions and thoughts about The Beatles. His are more visceral, very emotional, very within the time. Mine are a lot more analytical. I like to think about what was he feeling, why was he feeling it, what would create this kind of reaction in a person? For my dad, it’s very much ‘this is how it was,’ and I understand. At the same time, I can also enjoy it for what it is.” So there you have it. For many, the music of the ’60s endures because it is special, because it was, as Posten puts it, “a renaissance period” in music and the arts. Janata, who plays in a band and is married to a singer, agrees that the quality of the music matters. “One can’t discount the music itself,” he says. “I don’t think you could necessarily play any old music and just situate it at a particular moment in time and expect that to necessarily be salient or popular over the ages. Everybody has different musical preferences, but I think there’s something enduring about the various forms of popular music that have come through the ages so they’d be popular or stand a chance of being popular irrespective of when they came around.”

Change a student’s life today During these economically challenging times, many of our students rely on the generosity of others to make their college dream at Alvernia a reality. Please consider making a difference in the lives of deserving students by donating to the Alvernia Fund. You can make a gift on line at alumni.alvernia.edu/donations or by contacting Mark Pickarski at 610.790.1901. Thank you for your support! alumni.alvernia.edu/donations Alvernia University Magazine

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saintly encounters | Continued from page 59 “He believed that every person he met was not a chance encounter but an act of God,” recalled Sister Rosemary. “He believed that every person who crossed his path was a person that God knew he needed to see. There were people in the Bronx who would call him night and day...homeless people, street people, people who were mentally unbalanced. And he would never discriminate.” She knew of one man, “an alcoholic or drug addict who would be sick for days at a time,” for whom the priest would wash clothes, bed sheets and towels and return them clean to his apartment, unasked. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome continues its investigation into the documents and testimonies of Father Ciszek’s life to determine if it was one of heroic virtue. If the Holy Father agrees that it was, the Congregation will await the confirmation of two miracles. If the first is accepted, Father Ciszek will be beatified. Upon acceptance of the second miracle he will be canonized. Sister Rosemary’s letters are part of that historic effort now. In an odd twist, last May was not the first time she gave Father Ciszek’s personal letters to Rome. She had mailed them to the Vatican earlier but the package never arrived. “I was just sick about it,” she said. A couple of months later the box, battered and bruised but intact, was mysteriously delivered to her at Alvernia. “The (letters) were held up in the Italian postal system and after about two months they were returned, which was like a miracle in itself,” she said. So when the chance to travel to Rome with her Mother Superior allowed her to present them in person, she grabbed it. “It’s almost as if there were forces out there that didn’t want the letters delivered,” she said, “but God had other plans.”

President Thomas F. Flynn, Ph.D. Publisher and Editor in Chief Brad Drexler Creative Director Steve Thomas Contributing Editors Carey Manzolillo ’06, M’07 Jack Croft Contributing Writers Junior Bernard ’14; Elizabeth Shimer Bowers; Kristin Boyd; Jack Croft; Dr. Thomas F. Flynn; Lini Kadaba; Jon King; Peggy Landers; Carey Manzolillo ’06, M’07; Laurie Muschick; Amy Music; Susan Shelly Contributing Photographers Theo Anderson; Ed Kopicki; Carey Manzolillo ’06, M’07; Ryan Samson Alvernia Magazine is a publication of Alvernia University. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Correspondence should be addressed to 540 Upland Avenue, Reading, PA 19611, or email: magazine@alvernia.edu.

56 Alvernia University Magazine

Married? New job? Family addition? Have info for Class Notes? Submit it to: alumni@alvernia.edu

leadership | Continued from page 33 the free camp attracts more than 150 students and is supported by Carpenter engineers and Alvernia students, faculty and staff. So after a prosperous career that spanned more than three decades, breaking down gender barriers and contributing to a successful global business, Nevel called it quits last year, retiring to her Wyomissing, Pa., home. Finally, free time to spend with friends, family and loved ones, enjoying the fruits of hardearned success, right? Well, not quite. In December 2013, Nevel received both a Ph.D. in Leadership degree from Alvernia and the Director’s Award for her commitment to academic excellence and Franciscan ideals. “It was purely personal drive that sent me to Alvernia to get this degree,” Nevel said. “It wasn’t going to directly help me in my job, but I always wanted to earn a Ph.D., and having it enables me now to contribute through teaching.” And teach she does, encouraging Alvernia students to be innovative thinkers as an adjunct faculty member leading a class in entrepreneurship. “I spent a career working on entrepreneurial projects at Carpenter,” Nevel said. “Now, I get to pass along some of that experience to students at Alvernia.” In her free time, Nevel serves on the boards of the John Paul II Special Learning Center, a local school for developmentally disabled students; Berks Catholic High School; and the ARC Alliance Advocacy Services, an organization that advocates and provides services for children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Just as in her corporate career, Nevel’s drive and entre­ preneurship are still serving her well, even in retirement!

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For over a decade, Sr. Rosemary Stets’ correspondence with Fr. Walter Ciszek provided spiritual inspiration. Now they may lead to his canonization.

Saintly Encounters When Sister Rosemary Stets first met Father Walter J. Ciszek, the Jesuit priest from Shenandoah, Pa., who spent almost 23 years in Russian prisons and Secret Service confinement, she had no idea they would develop a spiritual friendship that would span a dozen years. The two exchanged some 150 personal letters so crammed with insight and thoughtfulness on Father Ciszek’s part that he would write on both sides of the paper, up the sides, across the top and bottom. On instinct she kept them all, in chronological order, in a special box, which was a good thing because six years after Father Ciszek’s death in 1984 a movement to canonize him began. It picked up steam over the years and last May, Sister Rosemary traveled to Rome to hand-deliver her treasured letters to the assistant postulator for Jesuit causes who is overseeing the inquiry into Ciszek’s life. Father Ciszek’s letters to Sister Rosemary could end up playing a key role in the canonization process. “Although the assistant postulate had many reports and stories of people who had met Father Ciszek at a retreat...or who met

58 Alvernia University Magazine

him when he visited the family, no where did he find someone who had a sustained correspondence that extended as many years or was of a similar depth,” Sister Rosemary explained. “He felt (the letters) would give him different insights about the humanity, spirituality and richness of Father’s life. Maybe even the good and bad mixed together because you can reveal a lot in a letter about what you did or didn’t do, what you wanted to do and didn’t. That was how our correspondence went. I struggled. He struggled. He’d encourage me. I would ask him questions.” Sister Rosemary was just 19 when she met Father Ciszek, who then was recently released from Russia in exchange for a U.S.held Russian spy. His sister, Sister Evangeline, a Bernardine Franciscan nun who was the provincial of Sister Rosemary’s province, had invited him to meet the sisters. “Out of this vast group of sisters who he met and talked to and celebrated Mass for that day was me. But we never talked,” said Sister Rosemary, whose mother was a

friend of Sister Evangeline. Five years later, when Sister Rosemary’s father died, her local superior suggested she write to Father Ciszek to ask him to celebrate a Mass for her father. She did. Father Ciszek responded. A thank you note followed. He sent another note. Christmas cards were exchanged. As the years progressed the correspondence deepened and Father Ciszek became a spiritual mentor. “He was so solid in his spiritual advice. He didn’t tell you what to do or not do, but seemed always to go to the deeper truth about life and the mystery of it all,” she said. Each time she reread the letters “I saw more of what he was saying. And as I understood more I realized that there was a strong connection between growing spiritually and staying connected to this priest.” They met in person about a dozen times. She attended a couple of retreats he led. She took Sister Evangeline to visit him in New York. He saw her when he visited his sisters in Pennsylvania. She read his books — “With God in Russia” (1964) and “He Leadeth Me”

right: Theo Anderson

By Peggy Landers

(1973), both co-written with Father Daniel L. Flaherty. And she began to understand the incredible and brutal journey he never talked about in his letters. “He would talk more about the spiritual implication of those events. What he learned from those sufferings. What he experienced that caused him to doubt or struggle but finally to overcome or get back on track,” she said. “And always in context of what we were discussing before.” In the books, Father Ciszek describes how as a very young man he decided to take up Pope Pius XI’s 1929 call to send missionaries to Russia. The Soviet Union at the time was persecuting believers, limiting their access to priests and services, closing down churches. Born of immigrant Polish parents, Ciszek was a kindred spirit to his family’s former Slavic neighbors. And he always loved a challenge. To prepare for it he studied theology at the Pontifical Russian College in Rome and in 1937 was ordained a Byzantine rite priest. He worked in a Jesuit mission in Soviet-occupied Poland until the war broke out in 1939 and the Soviets closed it down. Then, using fake IDs, he and another priest snuck across the border into Russia. There, in a small town in the Ural Mountains, he worked as a logger while surreptitiously performing priestly duties until around 3 a.m., one night in June 1941, when the secret police surrounded his barracks and arrested him. They eventually accused him of being a spy for the Vatican. He spent most of the next five years in solitary confinement in the notorious Lubyanka prison in Moscow. A year into the sentence, tortured, beaten and drugged, he was coerced into signing a confession. “It was the lowest point of his life. He almost despaired,” said Sister Rosemary. “He felt he had let God down, let the Order down, failed himself. With his own personal high standards, he couldn’t see how he could fall that low. But he said, ‘When I picked myself up I realized then who I truly was and how I needed God’s mercy, and only God could help me get through.’ He reclaimed his faith in an act of courage and kept on going.” He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the Gulag. The years that followed were long, dull, and physically grueling, but also spiritually invigorating. In Siberia he

was so solid “He in his spiritual advice. He didn’t tell you what to do or not do, but seemed always to go to the deeper truth about life and the mystery of it all.

Sister Rosemary Stets

shoveled coal into freighters, worked in an ore processing plant and toiled in the mines. Prisoners showered every 10 days and their clothes were washed every three months. Yet Father Ciszek managed to secretly celebrate Mass in the commandant’s office after he left for the day. “And (prisoners) risked their lives over their lunch hour to meet him in the back of a shed where he would offer the Mass,” said Sister Rosemary. He even managed to run secret retreats. He convinced many prisoners to not commit suicide. “He was known for that. He could in some way instill hope back into their hearts,” she said. After he was released from prison in 1955 he remained confined to Secret Service-

designated towns, where he worked as an auto mechanic and in a chemical plant, all the while continuing to spread the Gospel. The KGB allowed him to write to his sisters that year. It was the first they heard from him since 1939. They, and the Jesuit Order, had thought he was dead. Finally, in 1963, in a complicated political negotiation honchoed by President John F. Kennedy, Ciszek was allowed to leave Russia and return to the States. He settled in Bronx, N.Y., and worked at the Pope John XXIII Center at Fordham University where he continued his humble everyday ministry. Continued on page 56

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Will you still need me ‌ Will you still feed me, and will you still be boogying to the Beatles when you’re 64?

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Alvernia Magazine Summer 2014