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The Boston College

Chronicle Published by the Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs march 26, 2015 VOL. 22 no. 13

University Announces the Tuition Rate for 2015-16

INSIDE •Photo exhibit celebrates Middle East/North Africa, page 2 •BC hosts “Own It” summit on Sunday, page 2 •Photos: Commencement Fair, page 2

•School of Theology and Ministry forum on libertarianism, page 3 •Honors for Tao Li, David Takeuchi, page 3 •BC Law holds discussion on “Civic Engagement,” page 4 •Hans de Wit appointed head of CIHE, page 4 •Q&A: CSOM’s Reuter on retirement savings advice, page 5 •Governor Baker joins in celebration for Sudders, page 5 •Looking ahead to the big snowmelt, page 7 •Women’s hockey continues ascension; Carpenter takes top award, page 8

•Grad students in social enterprise contest, page 9 •Photos: Baldwin and BCID, page 9 •Food and Culture Writing class gets hands-on, page 10 •BC continues strong performance on CPA tests, page 10 •Photo: BC Club donation, page 10 •Obituary: John “Jackie” Shea, page 11 •Dynamic author Dinaw Mengestu to visit, page 12

The Board of Trustees has set tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year at $48,540, as part of a 3.6 percent increase in tuition, fees, room and board, bringing the overall cost of attendance to $62,820. To maintain Boston College’s commitment to providing access to students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, the University Members and guests of the University community took part in the eighth increased need-based undergraduannual BC Relay for Life, held this past Friday at the Flynn Recreation ate financial aid by 5.9 percent, to Complex. More photos, details on page 12. (Photo by Christopher Huang) $109.6 million. Boston College remains one of only 19 private universities in the United States that is need-blind in admissions and meets the full demIt was about as bad a winter as anyone can recall, onstrated need of all undergradubut BC was able to keep going – and it wasn’t magic ate students. Overall, more than 70 percent of Boston College unstitution, Boston College also is a dergraduates receive financial aid, By Sean Smith working community with numerChronicle Editor ous administrative, service and inAs temperatures at long last frastructural operations. All were soared into the 40s and occasional sorely tested this winter, with re50s and patches of green appeared cord snowfall and unusually cold on campus lawns, it was almost temperatures, particularly from possible to forget the severe wintry late January through the end of weather that had assailed Boston February. BC was forced to cancel classes and close offices four times, The Boston College community College. and delayed opening until 10:30 will explore the effects of the BosAlmost. ton Marathon bombings through the Employees in Facilities Ser- a.m. on another day. Now, with the end of win- personal accounts of three alumni vices, Dining Services, Health Services, Athletics, the BC Police ter here (cool temperatures and during a panel discussion on April 14 Department, and Office of Resi- leftover snow notwithstanding), at 7 p.m. in Robsham Theater. Titled “BC Strong: Boston Coldential Life, University Libraries, these employees are reflecting on lege Alumni Share Their Personal among others, certainly weren’t the multitude of overtime hours Stories of the Marathon Bombings,” about to forget, nor are they likely – some of which necessitated the event will feature survivors Patrick bunking on campus overnight – to any time soon. Downes ’05 and Britanny Loring JD/ Although it’s an academic inContinued on page 6 MBA ’13, along with Dave Wedge ’93, co-author of the best-selling book Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy. Respected newscaster Paula Ebben ’89, P’17, an award-winning reporter and anchor at WBZ TV in Boston, will serve as moderator. Held on the eve of the second anniversary of the Marathon bombings, and in the midst of the trial of accused Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the panel discussion will provide members of the BC community with personal accounts from two alumni who were injured when bombs exploded near the Marathon finish line as they stood with family and friends. It will also feature the analysis of a former Boston Herald reporter-turned-

Toils of Winter

with the average need-based financial aid package projected to exceed $37,000 this year. In addition, the Board of Trustees set the University’s 2015-2016 operating budget at $956 million, which includes an additional $7 million in support of academic priorities and accompanying infrastructure outlined in the 2006 Strategic Plan. “A Boston College education remains a wise investment, and we continue to make strategic investments in our core academic programs,” said Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley. “We are blessed by the continuing recognition that the undergraduate experience here at Boston College is Continued on page 3

author whose detailed examination of the bombings shed light on an event that catapulted Boston into the international spotlight and earned it praise as a lasting example of civic resilience. “This event offers us an opportunity to hear the stories of BC grads who were directly involved in and affected by the bombings, but who, through inner strength and perseverance, have triumphed in the face of adversity,” said Jack Dunn, director of the Office of News & Public Affairs, which is co-sponsoring the event with the BC Alumni Association. “With Paula Ebben moderating the event, it will be a candid and personal discussion involving members of the BC alumni family who have inspired us with their resolve and dedication in the wake of the bombings.” The event is free and open to all BC students, faculty, staff and alumni. Online registration is required at www.bc.edu/marathon. For additional information, see http://bit.ly/1N6b1Fy; or call 617552-3350 or 617-552-4700. –Office of News & Public Affairs

Sean Smith

QUOTE:

“I’m extremely proud of the season our team had, what our players have done for our program, where they have brought it. These seniors and leaders have done a tremendous job.” –Boston College women’s hockey coach Katie King Crowley, page 8


T he B oston C ollege

Chronicle march 26, 2015

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A ROUND

C AMPUS HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT

Boston College held its inaugural Commencement Fair this week in the Murray Room of the Yawkey Center, offering 2015 grads the opportunity to pre-register for their cap and gown order, join the Senior Gift honor roll, meet with the Career Center and purchase Senior Week tickets or a class ring, among other things. Commencement Exercises take place on May 18 [www.bc.edu/commencement]. (Photos by Lee Pellegrini)

GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE REACHING THE SUMMIT Boston College is the venue this Sunday for a conference that is part of an initiative to promote leadership among the current generation of college students, particularly women. “The Boston College Women’s Summit: Own It,” which is expected to draw some 250 students, will feature keynote speeches by Carrie Rich, CEO of the Global Good Fund and Kate White, former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. The event also will include expert panel discussions on issues related to politics, media, business and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and breakout sessions, lectures and interviews with BC students, faculty, alumni and guests. Organizers say the summit – first held almost a year ago at Georgetown University, which is hosting Sunday’s event with BC, the University of Notre Dame and Washington University at St. Louis – is intended to “bring together like-minded students looking for ways to gain knowledge and leadership skills to amplify their personal and professional success.” The event also is a continuation of the BC Women’s Summit, which debuted last year. “Own It” is sponsored by Boston College Women in Business and the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, with support from numerous BC-affiliated organizations. For information on the summit and the “Own It” initiative, see http://bcownit.strikingly.com. –Office of News & Public Affairs

Watch the University’s official video “welcome” to the Class of 2019, produced by Office of News & Public Affairs Videographer Sean Casey, on the BC YouTube channel [youtube. com/BostonCollege]

Director of NEWS & Public Affairs Jack Dunn Deputy Director of NEWS & Public AFFAIRS Patricia Delaney Editor Sean Smith

Contributing Staff Melissa Beecher Ed Hayward Sean Hennessey Rosanne Pellegrini Kathleen Sullivan Michael Maloney Photographers Gary Gilbert Lee Pellegrini

“While it is true that the region The richness and diversity of ness and beauty of the MENA Middle Eastern and North African region,” said Dana Hadra ’15, a experiences instability and war, the (MENA) cultures is the subject of MEISSA executive board member people remain extremely hospitable, a photographic exhibit now on dis- who is a political science major in community-oriented and passionplay through March 31 in O’Neill the Islamic Civilization and Societ- ate.” She describes the region as ies program. “One of our goals in “extremely diverse in languages, Library’s Level One Gallery. Providing a glimpse into many creating this exhibit was to highlight ethnicities and cultures – hardly cultures in this lively and dynamic diversity in Middle Eastern culture, the homogenous consolidation of Sean Smith people portrayed by the region, student organizers media. believe, is the first step to“MEISSA and ASA ward breaking down stehope that this exhibit hureotypes often portrayed manizes those living in by western media. the MENA region, and Members of the Arab encourages viewers to Students Association continue to explore the (ASA) and Middle East richness of their cultures,” and Islamic Studies StuAzmy added. “MEISSA dents Association (MEISand ASA would like to SA) worked in conjuncthank exhibits specialist tion with Boston College Kevin Tringale for workLibraries to present the ing with us and giving us exhibit in anticipation of the opportunity to display Middle East and North The “Unity in Diversity” photo exhibit is on display African Heritage Week, through Tuesday in O’Neill Library’s Level One Gallery. our exhibit.” The groups encourage which will be marked on campus April 13-17. Its title, “Uni- something that is often overlooked. attendance at events they are orga“You will find photographs of nizing for MENA Heritage Week, ty in Diversity: Celebrating Cultural Pluralism in the Middle East and deserts, cities and people from all including a lecture on the topic North Africa,” also is the theme of over the MENA region. We hope of diversity, an Arabic calligraphy that in doing this, we can introduce night, film screening, ASA’s first that week. The exhibit comprises 18 photo- a more positive and complex per- culture show, and the sixth annual Mediterranean Ball. The organizers graphs taken by BC students – dur- spective on the Middle East.” “Western media often portrays note that some academic departing study-abroad trips in countries throughout the Middle East and the Middle East and North Africa ments will host an Arabic Culture North Africa, including Morocco, as war-torn, destructive and primi- Night – on April 14 at 8 p.m. in Egypt, Kuwait, and others – as well tive, but the reality is that this region Gasson 100 – that features a student as by alumni. The images on display is filled with a rich history, and from showcase of skits, songs, and other illustrate the diversity of peoples, this region comes the beginnings performances. For information, contact arabgeographies, religions, architecture of civilization,” said Monica Azmy ’15, a biology major and ASA social students.bc@gmail.com and food. –Rosanne Pellegrini “Each photo captures the rich- activities officer.

The Boston College

Chronicle www.bc.edu/chronicle chronicle@bc.edu

The Boston College Chronicle (USPS 009491), the internal newspaper for faculty and staff, is published biweekly from September to May by Boston College, with editorial offices at the Office of News & Public Affairs, 14 Mayflower Road, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (617)552-3350. Distributed free to faculty and staff offices and other locations on campus. Periodicals postage paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to The Boston College Chronicle, Office of News & Public Affairs, 14 Mayflower Road, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.

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T he B oston C ollege

Chronicle march 26, 2015

BC Mathematician a Simons Fellow By Ed Hayward Staff Writer

Professor of Mathematics Tao Li (Photo by Sean Smith)

to receive a Simons Fellowship in the last three years. Professor Martin Bridgeman was awarded a Simons Fellowship in 2013 and Professor G. Robert Meyerhoff received the award in 2012. James P. McIntyre Professor of Mathematics and department chairman Solomon Friedberg said the fellowship is fitting recognition for Li’s accomplishments. “I’m delighted to congratulate Professor Tao Li on this award,” said Friedberg. “His successes in working on the hardest open problems in his field have been striking, and I also appreciated his two years of service as assistant chair for graduate programs. I am confident that this award will lead to further mathemati-

cal discoveries by Tao of great impact.” Li said he works mostly from “a purely mathematical perspective.” But topics in topology do tie into other disciplines such as theoretical physics and biology. He looks forward to new challenges that emerge during the course of research and problem solving. “The more you study, the more questions you have,” said Li. “There are a lot of unsolved questions, especially in math. Some of these questions have been open for decades. I am trying to solve some of those questions as well as new questions.” Contact Ed Hayward at ed.hayward@bc.edu

The list of faculty promotions in the March 12 edition of Chronicle omitted Liane Young (Psychology), who was promoted to associate professor with tenure. Chronicle regrets the error.

Lee Pellegrini

BCSSW Associate Dean Takeuchi Earns Honor

CORRECTION

H. Bonsall Visiting Professor at Stanford University and a professor of politics at PrincThe political, theological and eton University, who will adlegal aspects of libertarianism, dress libertarianism as an issue a political philosophy that has in political philosophy. Ryan is gained increasing attention in an internationally recognized the US, will be in the spotlight political theorist and historian at the fourth annual School of of political thought, particularly Theology and Ministry Dean’s the development of modern libColloquium on Religion and eralism. He is the author of Public Culture on April 6 in several books, most recently The Making of Modern Liberalism. Gasson 100. At 1:30 p.m. will be Boisi Co-sponsored by the Boisi Center for Religion and Ameri- Center Director Alan Wolfe, can Public Life, “Why Libertari- professor of political science, the anism Isn’t Liberal” is free and author or editor of more than 20 books includopen to the public. Catholic leadChicago Archbishop ing Political Evil: What It Is and How ers from Pope Blase Cupich has To Combat It, The Francis to ChiFuture of Liberalcago Archbishop described libertariism, Does American Blase Cupich have anism and Catholic Democracy Still spoken critically of libertarianism, social teaching as be- Work? and Return to Greatness: How calling it inconsising “on two distinct America Lost Its tent with CathoSense of Purpose lic social teaching. trajectories.” and What it Needs Archbishop Cuto Do to Recover It. pich said the two The colloquium also will feaare “on two distinct trajectories when it comes to the meaning ture two panels. Libby Professor of economic life, and the goal Cathleen Kaveny, who holds a of politics in a world of glo- joint appointment in the Theolbalization.” He also expressed ogy Department and BC Law concerns about libertarianism’s School, will convene the mornimpact on pastoral life: “[Young ing panel, “Libertarianism, Socipeople’s] interior life is at risk in ety and Culture.” Panelists will a world that encourages them to be: Dana Dillon (Providence be caught up in their own inter- College), Mary Jo Iozzio (STM) ests, leaving no room for others, and Mark Silk (Trinity College). The afternoon panel on “Libno place for the poor.” “In the past few election ertarianism, Politics and Ecocycles,” said STM Dean Mark nomics” will be convened by Massa, SJ, “libertarianism has National Catholic Reporter jouremerged as an issue that has gen- nalist Michael Sean Winters, erated a great deal of discussion with Megan Clark (St. John’s among religious leaders, political University), Stephen F. Schneck pundits and public intellectuals. (Catholic University of AmeriThe April 6 event will continue ca) and Mary Jo Bane (Harvard that tradition with an array of University). For a complete schedule and very smart individuals focused on the issues that surround the participant bios, and to register libertarian impulse as a religious, for the colloquium, see http:// bit.ly/1Lxyowl. political and social stance.” The colloquium will open at Contact Kathleen Sullivan at 9:30 a.m. with a keynote adkathleen.sullivan@bc.edu dress by Alan Ryan, the William By Kathleen Sullivan Staff Writer

Professor of Mathematics Tao Li has been awarded a 2015 Simons Foundation Fellowship in Mathematics, granted to accomplished faculty for their recent research and the potential impact of their future work. Li, who joined the BC faculty in 2005, is an expert in low dimensional geometry and topology, examining crucial questions about the fundamental properties of shapes in space. The Simons Fellowship will allow Li to extend a sabbatical semester to a full-year sabbatical, conduct research, and attend seminars and conferences to work with collaborators. “I’m grateful to the Simons Foundation for this award,” said Li. “The Simons Fellowship supports research and provides funding to attend conferences and visit with collaborators. It offers a semester of freedom to do research and I’m looking forward to getting as much done as possible.” The Simons Foundation, a private foundation in New York City, aims to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science. Li is the third Boson College Mathematics faculty member

Boston College School of Social Work Associate Dean of Research David Takeuchi has been named winner of the American Sociological Association’s Leonard I. Pearlin Award for his distinguished contributions to the sociological study of mental health. Takeuchi is a sociologist with postdoctoral training in epidemiology and health services research, and his research focuses on the social, structural, and cultural contexts that are associated with different health outcomes, with a particular interest in racial and ethnic minorities. Takeuchi’s research also examines the use of health services in different communities. In his role at BCSSW, Takeuchi works with faculty members to facilitate their research, build net-

STM Forum Takes a Look at Libertarianism

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David Takeuchi

works, and strategize about how to prioritize projects. Throughout his career, Takeuchi has published in a wide range of journals, and has received funding for his work from the National Institutes of Health, W.T. Grant Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is the winner of the Legacy Award from the Family Research Consortium and the Innovations Award from the National Center on Health and Health Disparities. He has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Na-

tional Center for Health Statistics and is a member of the Integration of Immigrants into American Society Committee for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Program. Takeuchi is a strong proponent for developing interdisciplinary, research-driven approaches to solving complex societal issues. Recently, he penned editorials for the Boston Globe and the London School of Economics advocating against the FIRST Act – proposed legislation that would cut funding to research in the social sciences, and give politicians more say as to which projects are awarded federal monies. Prior to joining Boston College, Takeuchi was associate dean of research at the University of Washington School of Social Work, and a professor of sociology at Indiana University. The Pearlin Award will be presented on Aug. 22 in Chicago during the business meeting of the sociology of mental health section of the ASA. –Boston College School of Social Work

2015-16 Tuition Rate Is Set Continued from page 1 particularly rewarding. As the University retains its commitment to need-blind admissions while meeting the demonstrated need of all admitted and returning students, we have once again this year substantially increased our funding for undergraduate financial aid.” Nationally, the average tuition, room and board increase for fouryear private universities for the 2014-2015 academic year was 3.7 percent, according to the College

Board. Boston College is ranked 37th in the “Best Value Schools” category among national universities by US News & World Report. It also placed 22nd in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s ranking of the top 50 “Best Values” among American private universities. Overall, the University is ranked 31st among national universities by US News & World Report. –Office of News & Public Affairs


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Chronicle march 26, 2015

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Law School Hosts Panel Discussion on Racial Inequality Issues They offered an abundance of statistics, facts, theories, anecdotes and raw feelings. But in the end, the experts who took a close look at race relations in America seemed to agree on a simple solution: Start addressing inequality right at home. For 90 minutes last week at Boston College Law School, a panel of educators and community leaders laid bare the cultural, socioeconomic and political factors they believe conspire to place African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans rungs below white Americans in educational and economic opportunities. They acknowledged that halting racial inequality will require the dedication and perseverance that fueled successful civil rights movements of the past, but also suggested that progress can start in small ways — even with a gesture as small as talking openly with someone who doesn’t fully recognize discrimination. “It’s possible to live in this country and be white and never understand anything about the black experience,” said BC Law Professor Catharine Wells, who served as one of four panelists at the March 18 event, “Civic Engagement in an Equality Recession.”

Adam DeTour

By Albert McKeon Special to the Chronicle

BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau, above, introduced last week’s “Civic Engagement in an Equality Recession” panel, which included Darnell Williams, right.

The discussion tackled inequality head-on in the wake of the fatal shooting of a black man by a white Ferguson, Mo., police officer; the release of a videotape showing University of Oklahoma fraternity members singing a racist song; and other incendiary incidents that have prompted many to again review race relations in the US. Panelists also recognized recent anniversaries of landmark events: 60 years since Brown v. Board of Education, the US Supreme Court case that prohibited segregation in public schools, and 50 years since the federal Voting Rights Act law that prohibits racial discrimination in voting practices. But they agreed that court rulings, laws and individual actions in years since have lessened the potency of those

achievements. For example, “it’s no coincidence” that southern US states, where the vast majority of African-Americans live, continue to dilute the black vote by enacting legislation such as voter ID laws, said Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts President Darnell Williams, who focused on voting disenfranchisement in his panel talk. Williams personalized the struggle for equality by recounting how he recently sat down in a Baltimore restaurant, only to have the server ignore him long enough that he finally walked out. He believes he was a victim of discrimination and said such incidents prompt the same kind of hurt African-Americans feel when their vote is diminished by gerrymandering, systematic voter

roll purges and ID laws. Wells offered a detailed review of the cultural biases of standardized tests, including the LSAT, an integral component of the law school admission process. If equality is to be achieved, she said, then it’s necessary to examine whether the LSAT fairly represents academic merit. In the current system, law schools aim to accept students with high LSAT scores while also trying to attract worthy AfricanAmerican students, she said – but the imbalance of the test actually works as a gatehouse that keeps out the very students law schools seek. Tom Shapiro, a Brandeis University law professor and director

of the school’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy, focused on economic disparities between white and African-Americans. While solving equal opportunity problems matters greatly, Shapiro said, the US also needs to look closely at the financial structures — including how a white family has $111,000 in assets on average, compared to $7,000 for an African-American family — that compensate African-Americans less than whites despite them accomplishing the same academic and professional achievements. Northeastern University Professor of Law Susan Maze-Rothstein served as moderator for the panel discussion, which was sponsored by the Law School along with the Black Law Students Association and the Jesuit Institute, and was part of an ongoing series of campus events examining racerelated issues in the US. “This conversation was a mere springboard,” said Alvin Reynolds, who along with fellow BC Law student Taisha Sturdivant organized the event. “Many members of the Boston College community, including Taisha and myself, intend to effect positive change as we progress along our respective paths. Robust and informative discussions such as [this one] are essential to those efforts.”

Center for International Higher Education Welcomes New Director By Ed Hayward Staff Writer

Hans de Wit, a respected authority on global issues in higher education, has been named the director of the Center for International Higher Education at the Lynch School of Education, Lynch School Dean Maureen Kenny has announced. A native of the Netherlands, where his career as an administrator, researcher and teacher has spanned three decades, de Wit will join the Lynch School from the Universita Cattolica Sacro Coure in Milan, Italy, where he has served as the founding director of the Center for Higher Education Internationalisation. “The Lynch School is very excited to welcome Dr. Hans de Wit to our campus, as a faculty member in higher education and as the director of the Center for International Higher Education,” Kenny said. “He is a globally recognized scholar in the internationalization of higher education. He also brings extensive experience in program devel-

Hans de Wit

opment and administration that will facilitate our reach across our campus, the nation, and to universities worldwide, including the wide network of Jesuit and catholic institutions.” De Wit takes over leadership of CIHE from Research Professor Philip Altbach, the J. Donald Monan, SJ, University Professor of Higher Education until his retirement in 2013. Altbach has continued to serve as director at CIHE, which he has led since he joined BC in 1994.

Altbach praised the selection of de Wit, who has worked in academic posts, governmental consultancies and research initiatives since the 1970s. “Hans is without question ‘Mr. Internationalization’ in the world of higher education,” said Altbach. “He basically invented the field. He founded the most influential journal in the field, and established a program on higher education internationalization at the Catholic University of Milan that quickly became quite successful. He is an influential spokesperson for what I might call ‘thoughtful internationalization.’ “Hans is well positioned to take [the center] into our next decade with ideas and energy,” said Altbach. De Wit said he’s excited to return to BC, where he spent time in 1994 while on sabbatical writing an analysis of international higher education for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “I feel at home [at BC] and the CIHE is very close to my

research interests and the work the center does is fascinating to me,” said de Wit. “Knowing that inspired me to go for it.” In addition to his work directing the center in Milan, de Wit maintains a teaching role at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam, conducts research at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and is currently leading a study of internationalization of higher education for the European Parliament. De Wit also has focused on the comparative study of higher education around the globe, particularly on the developing nations of Africa and South America. “I have been interested in how developing countries can formulate their own higher education policies, not just act based on what has happened in America or Europe,” said de Wit. “Developing countries can find their own way. They don’t need to simply copy our systems. My work has focused on helping countries develop their own interests and their own focus.”

De Wit said he’s excited to build on the success of CIHE, which has examined changes in higher education around the world, particularly in populous nations like Russia, China and India. Research has focused on topics ranging from market demand to the influence of corruption on academic institutions. The center publishes International Higher Education, a 20-yearold publication now read in 149 countries and translated into Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. [For more on CIHE, see www.bc.edu/cihe.] “We want to build on CIHE’s successes and look at how we can develop some new research initiatives, as well as some new opportunities for teaching,” said de Wit. “I see opportunities for collaborative research and an opportunity to look at the relationship between the internationalization of Catholic universities and Catholic identity.” Contact Ed Hayward at ed.hayward@bc.edu


T he B oston C ollege

Chronicle march 26, 2015

Steering Clear of ‘Conflicted Advice’ on Retirement Savings

Last month, the White House released a report from its Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) that discussed how many investors receive conflicted advice when it comes time to roll over money from a 401(k) into IRAs. Some of the facts and findings cited in the report came from the research of Carroll School of Management Associate Professor of Finance Jonathan Reuter. Q: It’s not every day that the White House cites one’s research in compiling a report to educate the nation. What was your reaction? REUTER: I have been studying financial advice in various forms for over a decade. It was reassuring to learn that policymakers have been reading my papers and that they find the analysis convincing! Q: The White House report focused on what happens to retirement savings when they are the object of conflicted advice. Let’s start there: What is “conflicted advice”? REUTER: In many cases, the fees that mutual funds collect from investors are used to pay commissions to financial advisers. The White House is concerned that [some] financial advisers are tilting their recommendations toward investments that charge higher fees and pay higher commissions. The conflict arises because the higher fees reduce the returns than investors earn in their retirement accounts. While some financial advisers have a fiduciary duty to their clients, many others do not, allowing them to take commissions into account when making investment recommendations. Q: How much is being lost in the nation’s retirement accounts because of conflicted advice? REUTER: The CEA estimates that conflicted advice costs IRA investors approximately $17 billion per year. Because investors can receive conflicted advice outside of IRAs, the total cost of conflicted advice is likely to be much larger. Q: Some of your research found that fund flows are sensitive to the level of fees. Can you expand on that concept and describe exactly what your research uncovered? REUTER: The White House report cites two papers that use different types of data. In one paper, we study the retirement portfolios of Oregon investors who choose to invest through a broker. For each fund, we know the level of the annual broker commission paid by the fund. Consistent with the White House’s concerns about conflicted advice, we find that broker clients are more likely to invest in high-

commission funds than in low-commission funds with the same investment objective. Q: The CEA report also cited your research that found that after accounting for adviser fees, actively managed broker-sold mutual funds earn a return that’s 1.12 to 1.32 percent lower than identical accounts that are passively managed, and this reflects an agency conflict between advisers and their clients. Can you elaborate on this? REUTER: In another paper, we use historical data on mutual fund

Lee Pellegrini

fees and returns to compare funds sold through financial advisers with funds sold directly to investors. Although it is often claimed that actively managed mutual funds underperform index funds, we only find that this is true when we study the set of funds sold through financial advisers. Among this set, commission-paying actively managed funds earn annual returns that are 1.12 to 1.32 percent lower than commission-paying index funds. Given this large difference in returns, you might expect financial advisers to steer their clients away from actively managed funds and toward index funds. But that is not what we find. Only about 2 percent of the dollars invested in equity funds through financial advisers are invested in index funds. Q: Do you think advisers are intentionally directing clients into funds that will pay more fees to the adviser, or is it more of a subconscious directing of clients to those funds? In other words, are fund advisers out for themselves or the clients they are paid to be helping? REUTER: The fact that those financial advisers who receive commissions from mutual funds continue recommending actively managed funds over index funds certainly

calls into question the quality of the advice that they are offering to their clients. The most extreme interpretation is that advisers are “pushing” actively managed funds solely because they pay higher commissions. We found some evidence of this in the Oregon study.  A less extreme interpretation is that financial advisers avoid recommending index funds because they are concerned about being compensated for their time and effort. If a financial adviser recommends a portfolio based on high-cost, commission-paying index funds, the client could take the recommendations to a low-cost provider like Vanguard, thereby depriving the adviser of any compensation. In this second case, the advisers are still “out for themselves,” but in a way in seems less nefarious. When financial advisers are compensated directly by investors, this concern is reduced. Q: As much as potential investors are bombarded with marketing campaigns from investment firms, do you think, given your research and the potential conflicts at hand, that investors are better off without actively managed retirement funds? Are they better off opting for a Vanguard approach where you make your own choices and pay minimal fees? REUTER: There is a lot of academic research showing that investors are better off investing in lowcost index funds than in high-cost actively managed funds. This is how my retirement dollars are invested.  But I recognize that not everyone is comfortable managing his or her own retirement portfolio.  One reasonable approach is to invest in a target date fund.  There are different target date funds available for people who expect to retire in different years.  These funds start out investing primarily in stocks but automatically switch into less risky investments like bonds as the target retirement year draws near.  My preference would be one of the lowcost target date funds that invests in a small number of index funds.  They typically had the word “index” in their name. Another reasonable approach is to hire a financial adviser who has a fiduciary duty to you.  These advisers are typically paid directly by investors rather than through commissions paid by mutual funds.  While it may seem more expensive to write a separate check to your adviser, they are likely to put you into lower-cost, higher quality mutual funds, which will pay off over time. –Sean Hennessey

Read the full Q&A at http://bit.ly/1BqjWez

Caitlin Cunningham

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Q&A: JONATHAN REUTER

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and BC School of Social Work Dean Alberto Godenzi with former BCSSW faculty member Marylou Sudders Tuesday at the State House.

Colleagues, Friends Laud Sudders

Former Boston College School of Social Work faculty member Marylou Sudders, now the Massachusetts Commissioner for Health and Human Services, was honored on Tuesday at the Massachusetts State House for her contributions to the human services field. Governor Charlie Baker – who appointed Sudders to the post last fall – was among those praising Sudders for her long career as an advocate for the less fortunate. “Marylou is one of those people who simply knows how to get stuff done,” he said. “And to the people of the Commonwealth, and especially those who are serving in Health and Human Services, I can’t think of a more important characteristic to bring to the table every single day. I’m thrilled to have her on the team.” BCSSW Dean Alberto Godenzi also spoke at the event, which was sponsored by BCSSW, Boston University School of Social Work and the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “The appointment of Marylou Sudders to Secretary of Health and Human Services is historic,” said Godenzi. “To my knowledge there is no social worker in this country who has that kind of a leadership position. The appointment recognizes and leverages a unique social work champion.” Other featured speakers were BU School of Social Work Dean Gail Steketee, NASW Massachusetts Chapter Executive Director Carol Trust and NASW CEO Angelo McClain PhD’01. Sudders said, “What I’ve always taught students is that social work opens any door you want to run through. It is our inhibitions that prevent us from running through those doors, and there is no greater education than a social work education to open up a wealth of opportunities for us.” Sudders served as the state’s mental health commissioner from 1996-2003 and then became president and CEO of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. After teaching on an adjunct basis for five years, in 2012 she joined BCSSW as a full-time faculty member with the title of associate professor of the practice and chair of the health and mental health program. While at BC, Sudders continued to build on, and draw from, her experience in public service and public policy. She was appointed to special boards monitoring reform of the state’s health care delivery and studying potential legislative solutions to gun violence. Last fall, she was awarded a grant to fund a program that will provide critical on-the-ground training for 53 second-year master’s level students at BCSSW. –Office of News & Public Affairs and BC School of Social Work

Broadway actor Bryce Pinkham ’05 came to Robsham Theater on Monday to present the second annual lecture in the Matthew R. DeVoy and John H. DeVoy IV Perspectives on Theatre Series. He also worked with volunteer students in stage exercises for the audience. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)


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Executive Vice President Michael Lochhead on the performance of the University’s operations staff this winter: “Their dedication, professionalism and commitment to our mission to educate, nurture and care for our students is truly impressive and a fundamental cornerstone to the special community we have here at BC.” University departments and offices that went the extra mile to keep Boston College operations going these past couple of months included (clockwise from top of opposite page) University Libraries, Campus Recreation, Health Services, Boston College Police, Dining Services and Facilities Services.

Photos by Lee Pellegrini and Caitlin Cunningham

Teamwork Saw BC Through Winter Continued from page 1 and challenges in keeping BC operating as smoothly as possible. It’s all part of the job, they say, made easier by patience, perspective, a little humor and, most of all, a faith in their fellow workers. “We’ve got a very good team in here and when an emergency occurs, we come together very well,” says Dining Services’ Edgar Filho, a cook in Corcoran Commons and a 13-year employee. “It’s like in a hospital; if you get sick, a hospital is open for you 24 hours a day. And we are almost the same way – we are here almost 24 hours a day for the students.” “When you’ve got unprecedented weather events such as those we’ve seen, it’s a race to put things together and be prepared,” says Boston College Police Lt. Jeffrey Postell. “You’re playing chess with an unknown opponent – you just don’t know what you’re going to get. But the preparation here is not a by-theseat-of-the-pants operation: It’s well-organized, thought-out and relies on the great teamwork we have here at BC.” “Things can get chaotic at times,” says 26-year Facilities Services veteran Jack Coleman, who has worked in grounds and carpentry. “But in the end, it works.” His fellow 26-year Facilities colleague Mark Dalton agrees: “If you step back and really look at everything, the amount of work that gets done – and in a short time – is very impressive.” One way to grasp the scope of BC’s weather-emergency operations during the winter is to look at some hard numbers, courtesy of Facilities Services (reported on March 13): University crews used 1,062 tons of bulk road salt and 50 tons of bagged material for snow and ice removal, and hauled some 60,000 yards of snow from Main Campus to

the “snow farm” on Brighton Campus – approximately 2,400 truckloads. Another meaningful statistic is the numbers of BC Dining Services employees who stayed overnight on campus due to the four major snowstorms: Jan. 26 (55), Jan. 27 (25), Feb. 2 (21), Feb. 9 (45), Feb. 10 (31). Filho and his fellow BCDS staffers look back on 16 to 17-hour days that ended with sleeping accommodations in such locations as the Heights Room of Corcoran Commons, the McElroy Commons Faculty Dining Room or the Stuart Hall faculty lounge on Newton Campus, on air mattresses or cots with bedding supplied by the BC housekeeping department. (Maloney Hall was another rest area, mainly for Facilities and BC Police employees.) “Everybody helped each other,” says Dorita Angelats, a cashier at the Stuart Hall dining facility. “They were long days and long hours to work, but we were good. Our managers and directors came and made sure we were comfortable. They provided us with a place to stay, air mattresses, cots, couches, and blankets.” Says McElroy Commons Manager Donna Coleman, “It’s just automatically ingrained in us: If we have any serious snowstorms or any kind of emergency, the students have got to eat. Where are they going to go? We’ve got to have somebody here to feed them, and get it taken care of. When you work in Dining Services or any kind of service industry, you automatically just go into that that mode.” When it comes to numbers, four is a significant one for Joseph Reardon, who’s worked in grounds and landscaping for 18 years at the University: “That’s how many hours it takes to clear the snow on Lower Campus during a storm,” he says. “And then

you start over.” Roads and walkways have to be kept clear, of course, but drains and fire hydrants, too. Typically, there are two-man teams out to work on stairs and handicapped ramps. Perhaps the most demanding spot is the lengthy Higgins Stairs (its nickname is “the punishment stairs”) but Conte Forum is challenging, too. Meanwhile, the Alumni Stadium “bubble” – the special enclosure used during cold weather months – needs to be constantly monitored by Athletics Maintenance staff so it doesn’t puncture or deflate. Of course, even as Facilities employees dealt with campus snow removal, their own driveways, sidewalks and homes were facing the wrath of winter. “Fortunately,” quips carpenter Joseph O’Brien, a 16-year BC employee, “we tend to be drawn to strong women.” [His comment elicits chuckles from his colleagues, but all agree that their spouses and significant others are more than capable of handling the job.] The tough part about this winter was that there was almost no melting between storms, says Dalton. “So that means you’re trying to shovel out places and throwing the snow over banks that are six, seven feet tall – and your arms feel like lead.” He and other employees add, however, that their supervisors were careful to make sure that crews got sufficient rest and downtime. Therein lies the test for Facilities, as well as BC Police and other departments –  tending to day-in, day-out operational needs even while dealing with the extraordinary conditions of a winter storm. “You’re not just waiting around for an emergency,” says carpenter Nick Mastropoll. “You have things to do, and you can’t let them build up on you.” Continued on next page


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Snow Going Sean Smith

Continued from previous page

The security of residence halls “is always the highest priority,” notes O’Brien. “If you have an external door that’s not closing properly, or a window that doesn’t shut, you have to give it your attention.” Crews also have to minimize the accumulation of snow and ice on roofs, during and after storms, and be quick to fix any leaks. “It’s about being pro-active and visible,” says Postell of BC Police’s snow emergency procedures. “You need to do facilities and building checks, maintain roadways – there might be a fire or medical emergency – but mainly you want to check in with people around campus. It really provides a sense of comfort for them to know that there are professionals around, helping to make sure they’re safe.” Do they feel the community values their efforts? “We saw that the management really appreciated what we had done,” says Jair DaSilva, a cook in McElroy Commons. “A lot of students came to us and asked, ‘Are you open today?’ When we said we were, they would say, ‘Oh, thank you so much, we appreciate it. How are

you guys sleeping? Are they taking care of you?’ So the students really care about us, too.” Adds Postell, “We have a whole wall of home-made cards from students, faculty and staff telling us that we’re basically unsung heroes. It’s rewarding to know your work doesn’t go unnoticed.” Executive Vice President Michael Lochhead, who is wrapping up his first year at BC, certainly has been impressed. “These recent weeks have been an ordeal for many of us, but it is our operations staff who have had the greatest of demands placed on them: keeping walkways and roads clear, maintaining our buildings and facilities, ensuring public safety, and most of all, seeing to the needs of our students. “Their dedication, professionalism and commitment to our mission to educate, nurture and care for our students is truly impressive and a fundamental cornerstone to the special community we have here at BC.” Sean Hennessey contributed to this story Contact Sean Smith at sean.smith@bc.edu

Assoc. Prof. Noah Snyder (Earth and Environmental Sciences)

We’ve had a record-breaking winter, so what happens when all that snow finally melts? Earth and Environmental Sciences faculty members Hon and Snyder explain. With the arrival of equinoctial spring, the historic winter of 2015 at last seems truly over. But the postscript is still not quite finished. Call it the Great Snowmelt of 2015. Sooner or later, the approximately 108 inches of snow Boston received this winter – most of it from late January through February – will fall victim to the effects of sun, warmth and rain. This month, with moderating temperatures and periods of rain, has already seen a considerable decrease in the snowpack. While many will likely mark its passing with hardly a thought (other than relief), for some the snow’s inevitable disappearance raises questions about possible environmental impacts, good and bad, short and long-term. To appreciate the dimensions of the snowmelt now in progress, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Noah Snyder says it’s useful to take a look at the snow water equivalent (SWE) figures as compiled by the Northeast River Forecast Center. As of mid-March, he says, Boston had a SWE of about two to four inches; the maximum SWE following the procession of severe winter storms was eight to 10 inches of water. Looking at precipitation data for January and February, Boston received about seven inches of water equivalent. “That’s actually pretty normal for two months,” he says, “It’s just that usually it doesn’t all fall as cold, fluffy snow.” Impatient as many Boston-area residents might be to see the snow disappear, Snyder says the “gentle” melting pattern of late – where the weather has been sunny with temperatures in the 30s and low 40s – has lessened the danger of flooding and should benefit yards and other greenery.

“The melt is recharging the groundwater, which is good for plants and trees,” he says. “Because the water is accumulating at a steady pace rather than all at once, it creates a reservoir for the soil, and lawns that drain reasonably well should do just fine.” But if April’s legendary showers become a deluge, areas vulnerable to flooding, like the University’s Lower Campus, may face additional risk if there is sufficient snowpack left. Snyder points out, however, that typically floods on Lower Campus have been caused most often by rainfall rather than snowmelt, citing research by former student Jae Jin Han ’14. “She found that the flooding was a function of the rainfall’s intensity, not its duration. There’s a difference between a couple of days of intermittent light drizzle and a storm where rainfall amounts to one inch in an hour; that’s a problem. So, with the snow that’s left, if in the next couple of weeks we were to get a storm where five inches of rain falls in a day, that would be pretty bad.” Snyder and his Earth and Environmental Sciences colleague Associate Professor Rudolph Hon say that one definite cause for concern about the winter-spring transition is what mixes in with the snowmelt as it turns to water and is absorbed into the ground, eventually making its way to streams and rivers. De-icing salt used on roads, driveways and sidewalks can be harmful to the environment, they note, especially over the long term. Hon, who has compiled and collaborated on research about road salt’s environmental impact, notes that about 20 to 30 percent of de-icing material is flushed into streams and rivers. The run-off increases the salinity of the water and may adversely affect species inhabiting it, especially if the con-

centration exceeds federal safety standards of 230 parts per million – the longer the material stays present, the greater the environmental hazard. The remaining 70 percent of the de-icing material is absorbed into the ground – posing a potential threat to vegetation – but also eventually winds up draining into streams, adding to the build-up. As a result, Hon says, over the last two to three decades, streams in the northern tier of the US have become increasingly saltier. In fact, de-icing material makes up as much as 85-90 percent of all dissolved substances – organic or artificial – in the region’s ponds and streams. “The water seems to be safe for drinking or other uses, and is not yet threatening to humans,” says Hon. “But if trends continue, in five years the amount of material could exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standard for drinking water.” Hon and Snyder say that ensuring public safety on roads and walkways, especially given the ferocity of this past winter’s major storms, must be a priority. But the application of road salt and other de-icers on such a grand scale will inevitably have environmental consequences that cannot be ignored. “You also have to factor in physical trash or other waste material that can get caught up in the snow,” says Snyder. “Obviously, when the warm weather arrives – as we’ve seen – that will all mix into the snowmelt, too. Now, there is plenty of dirt and other organic matter that is present, so it’s not as if the water is completely pure and clean, anyway. But you do have to be concerned over what else gets dissolved into the water.” –Sean Smith


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By Reid Oslin Special to the Chronicle

The high-level success of the Boston College women’s ice hockey program is mirroring a dramatic growth in this old winter sport – a surge in interest, participation and skill that has all of the speed and power of an Olympic slap shot. This past weekend, Coach Katie King Crowley’s Eagles completed a hugely successful season, advancing to the “Frozen Four” National Championship round in Minneapolis before bowing to Harvard, 2-1, in a semifinal game that went down to the wire. Along the way, Crowley’s team notched an eye-popping 34-3-2 record, the best showing by any Boston College hockey team – male or female – since the storied 1948-49 squad of Hall of Fame Coach John “Snooks” Kelley posted a 21-1 mark en route to the school’s first NCAA hockey title. In recognition of her team’s stellar accomplishments, Crowley was voted National Coach of the Year and Hockey East Coach of the Year by her peers; Olympic silver medalist Alex Carpenter ‘16 was named winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as college hockey’s best female player [see separate story]; two other players, defender Emily Pfalzer ’16 and forward Haley Skarupa ’15, joined Carpenter as finalists for the Kazmaier honor; and freshman goaltender Katie Burt was chosen for Hockey East’s All-Rookie team. “I thought our team played hard,” Crowley said after the Eagles bowed out in the Friday night national championship semifinal. “We ran into a goalie that made some really nice saves on us, and we knew that was going to happen. I thought our kids stuck to it and worked extremely hard. We just came up short. Those are the games that you’re hoping to get a bounce to go your way, and it didn’t seem to happen for us. “But I’m extremely proud of the season our team had, what our players have done for our program, where they have brought it. These

The BC women’s hockey team fell just short of a championship in 2015, but its historic season confirms the program is continuing to rise seniors and leaders have done a tremendous job.” A good measure of the Eagles’ current success in women’s ice hockey may be tied to the influence of the US Olympic Team on young players. Crowley is a perfect example of the growing interest in the women’s game, as she won All-America honors at Brown and earned a spot on the US National Team for nine consecutive seasons (1997-2006). Crowley helped Team USA win the gold medal in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, a silver in the 2002 Olympics and a bronze in the 2006 Games. She also hired former University of Minnesota standout Courtney Kennedy, a fellow Olympian in both 2002 and 2006, as her top assistant. “Since women’s ice hockey became an Olympic sport, it has just exploded,” explains Crowley. “It’s been fun to see the growth of the sport. There are so many more scholarships and so many more opportunities in college for these young kids.” Hockey East Commissioner Joe

“They just love hockey and they love being out on the ice,” says coach Katie King Crowley. “It’s a long season that starts in September and goes through March, but they loved it.” (Photos courtesy of BC Athletics)

Bertagna, who began his own postplaying career as Harvard’s first women’s ice hockey coach, readily concurs with Crowley’s analysis. “When I first started coaching back in the ’70s, I think we only had three women who had ever played hockey on an organized team. They were all from Concord Academy,” he laughs. “Now, opportunities for young girls have increased through USA Hockey as well as through school systems, creating a larger pool of players who wanted places to go. “At the same time, colleges were dealing with issues where they had to provide equal opportunities for women, so what we have seen in the last 30 or 40 years is a terrific development of the product on the ice,” Bertagna says. “BC has really grown the sport,” Bertagna adds, “and Katie has been a big part of it. There are very few female head coaches in the country. She is a great role model, and to have two Olympians behind your bench is really something special.” After retiring from active play, Crowley served as BC’s assistant coach from 2003 until she was appointed to the top bench job in 2007. The Salem, NH, native quickly turned a sub-.500 team into a winner and has constructed a stellar 190-72-39 record in eight seasons at the helm. This year, the Eagles were ranked No. 1 in women’s college hockey polls for most of the season, and advanced to the Frozen Four group for the fourth time in the last five years. Crowley’s plan for hockey success is basic: Recruit hard-working, talented players who want to be part of a successful team. “Ultimately, I look for hard work, intensity and the drive to be good as a group. As an individual, you have

to make sure that for every shift you get, you are working as hard as you can work. Even if you don’t have the talent that the other team has, if you can outwork them you are going to be successful.” Crowley adds that “We have been able to get not only good players to come to BC, but the right players. You can’t have all Alex Carpenters or all Kelli Stacks or all Molly Schauses [BC’s three 2012 Olympians], you have to have the pieces that fit into your

overall puzzle. Kids know their roles when they come in here and what we expect of them. “My favorite part is that they are all good kids – kids who want to be at Boston College. They want to help our program be successful and compete for national championships,” Crowley says. “This year’s team, I think as a whole, is the team that loves the sport the most. “They just love hockey and they love being out on the ice. It’s a long season that starts in September and goes through March, but they loved it,” Crowley notes. “They were never bored. They loved always trying to get better out there. Crowley does not lose sight of the fact that one of the nation’s top men’s college teams shares the same ice with her own charges in Kelley Rink. “We have been so fortunate to have our men’s team to learn from, and to have Jerry [York] and his coaches here to have really good conversations about things like practice drills, power plays or offensive zone stuff that might be happening to us that similarly happened to them. We try to model ourselves after them a little bit. “You know how important the concept of ‘team’ is to them and what it means to them. I think that our kids feel that too.”

Read the full version of this story at http://bit.ly/1bsZNiP

Top Prize for Carpenter There was little doubt that Boston College forward Alex Carpenter ’16 was the top player in women’s college hockey this year. The North Reading native, who led the nation in scoring with 81 points, settled the question last weekend as she was awarded the 2015 USA Hockey Foundation Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the nation’s best female player – the first Eagle to win the coveted honor. Carpenter not only led the nation in overall points, but her output of 37 goals and 44 assists were the best in each scoring category as well. She tallied nine game-winning goals this season, another best for the sport. “Winning the Patty Kazmaier Award is just unbelievable,” Carpenter John Quackenbos said as she accepted the trophy in Minneapolis last Saturday. “I am also honored to be the first Patty Kazmaier winner from BC and proud to represent the University on this stage.” Winning awards is becoming second nature for the Lynch School of Education junior. She was a member of the US Olympic Team that captured a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, won Hockey East Player of the Year honors this season and was a unanimous All-America selection. Hockey skills come naturally to Carpenter. She is the daughter of Bobby Carpenter, who played professionally in the National Hockey League for 15 years, including a stint with the Boston Bruins. She was recently named an alternate captain for Team USA when the squad will compete for the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship tournament in Sweden from this Saturday through April 4. –Reid Oslin


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Graduate Students Get a Crash Course in Social Entrepreneurship By Sean Hennessey Staff Writer

A cross-collaborative team of graduate students from the Carroll School of Management, the Lynch School of Education, and the School of Social Work recently took part in a unique competition where contestants proposed innovative solutions to pervasive social problems. The five-person Boston College team joined other budding young entrepreneurs in the annual Hult Prize Foundation $1 Million Social Enterprise Competition, which is sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative. The competition aims to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas to tackle serious issues affecting millions of people. Student teams compete in five cities around the world for a chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture. The Hult Prize regional finals were held earlier this month for 300 teams pitching their ideas in Boston and four other cities around the world. While the BC team – Dana Loatman, Greg Cassoli and Stephanie Brueck (Social Work), Raya Al Ageel

(L-R) Dana Loatman, Raya Al Ageel, Francesca Longo, Stephanie Brueck and Greg Cassoli took part in the Hult Prize Foundation Social Enterprise Competition.

(Carroll School) and Francesca Longo (Lynch School) – did not advance from the regional rounds to the final six, they came away sounding upbeat, and determined to put to use what they learned. “It was an awesome, awesome experience,” says Loatman, the team leader. “No one on our team had ever done anything like that. It was very rewarding for us to go through the process together and address the challenge with a grassroots approach, instead of a top-down policy approach.”

WINGING IT Baldwin got into the act during the Boston College Irish Dance Club’s annual performance at Robsham Theater, on March 14. This year’s show, “Radiance,” also featured appearances by the Dance Organization of Boston College and The Acoustics.

Photos by Amelie Trieu ’18, courtesy of The Heights

Faced with the competition’s challenge of addressing the needs of young children in global urban slums, the Boston College entry came up with a low-cost, scalable solution to distribute cloth tote bags, which they branded as the DialogBag, combined with community-based training sessions. Because poor children often miss out on social, emotional, and executive functioning development, the BC students explain, the DialogBag would double as a play mat to be used for educational games that pro-

mote the necessary and essential adult-child interactions. Corporate sponsorship from firms looking to reach low-income families, including mobile phone companies, helped to make the venture financially sustainable. “I was very impressed with the commitment and creativity of the students on the BC team,” says Carroll School of Management part-time faculty member Laura Foote, the team adviser. “They got invaluable experience from taking on the challenge, brainstorming ideas, and developing a sustainable high-impact idea to pitch to the judges.” Team members said the combination of different minds from the different schools yielded the greatest educational dividend. “At the beginning, it felt like my vocabulary as an international MBA student was completely different from that of a social work student,” says Al Ageel, “but as the project built momentum we collaborated well.  We were all excited to participate.” “I could really see the power of combining forces to apply a business mindset to address a serious social problem,” says Cassoli. “This required a differ-

ent perspective from our other courses.” “During our initial meetings, it seemed impossible to design and scale up a venture to reach 10 million children in five years,” says Loatman. “Also, we all weren’t sure what the others were saying. Maybe we didn’t get the business frameworks or maybe we didn’t understand the educational psychological language. “But at the end of the day, during every meeting we got closer to a solution because we saw the need for the other person’s input and what that brought to the table. So the interconnectedness of our different backgrounds was essentially how we got to a solution.” Foote and the five students see BC as a fount for social entrepreneurship. “The University is well-positioned to form cross-disciplinary teams like this one to tackle important community and global challenges,” says Foote, “and I hope to see this happening more at BC.” Contact Sean Hennessey at sean.hennessey@bc.edu


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Assignment Brings Students from the Classroom to the Kitchen By Sean Hennessey Staff Writer

Most classes taught at the University require time in a library or with study groups to achieve a passing grade, but one new course features an assignment that requires students to get their hands dirty – literally. A recent session of the English Department creative writing seminar Food and Culture Writing took place in the Lyons Hall kitchen, as students – with Boston College Dining Services cooks standing by to help – carried out the assignment of creating a menu and then preparing a meal, based on ingredients they had been researching. “I think it’s difficult to write about food when you’re not immersed in a context connected to it, whether it be a market, a garden, a kitchen,” says seminar leader Lynne Anderson, a parttime faculty member and director of English Language Learning, and author of the book Breaking Bread, Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens.  The third of four assignments for the class, this hands-on exercise required students to pursue a journalistic food profile, where they would research a particular ingredient – such as how to cultivate, shop for, or prepare a particular vegetable – and then develop a recipe around it, Anderson explains. “The night at Lyons was a great success: Students worked

Part-time faculty member Lynne Anderson (second from left in photo below) teamed up with Dining Services as part of her Food and Culture Writing seminar. At left, Associate Director for Food and Beverage Michael Kann provided some instruction in kitchen hygiene, knife use and food preparation.

Photos by Lee Pellegrini

well together and created a lovely meal. The experience will certainly inform their writing of the ingredient profile because all of the chopping, mixing, kneading, sautéing, etc., evokes the senses which, in turn, will inform the way they use language to convey this sensory imagery. Being able to do this well is an integral part of food writing.” The menu was quite different than what the typical college student is used to eating – or making, for that matter: crostini topped with blood orangecilantro salsa, slivers of bacon, and seared scallops; breaded chicken breasts with wine reduction sauce; tomato, onion and feta cheese salad; roasted sweet potatoes with fresh herbs; roasted brussels sprouts with wild mush-

Carroll School CPA Results Continue Positive Trend

Graduates of the Carroll School of Management’s Accounting program continue to earn impressive results on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Recently released results for the 2014 test show an all-time high overall passing rate for BC of 72 percent, while less than half of all test takers nationally passed the rigorous exam. When only first-time test takers are tabulated, the Carroll School’s Accounting program excels again, placing 15th nationally among all programs, with an all-time high pass rate of 80.3 percent (compared to 55 percent nationally). Last year, BC was ranked 31st among first-time test takers. “We are very proud of our graduates’ performance on the CPA exam,” says Associate Professor and Accounting Department Chair Billy Soo. “These results are a reflection of the increasing caliber of our students and faculty and the investments the school has made in its programs and advising.” Adds Carroll School of Management Dean Andy Boynton, “Our Accounting Department, under the fabulous leadership of department chair Billy Soo, continues to get better and better. In addition to amazing teaching, as witnessed by the strong CPA test results, the Accounting faculty research is routinely published in the world’s leading journals. We clearly get great students admitted to the Carroll School, and our faculty challenges them to evolve into terrific thinkers, problem solvers, and young professionals.” –Sean Hennessey

rooms and shallots; butternut squash soup; penne with spinach-pea pesto; and vanilla ricotta cake. “I think the takeaway from the experience was that cooking is a powerful way to bring people together, says Lia Gentile ’15, who enjoyed the collaborative environment despite the challenge of working in unfamiliar territory. “It was much more about the process of cooking with many people in the kitchen and being able to share our hard work at the end than it was about the actual food we were eating.” Senior Jacqueline Parisi says the assignment underscores the idea that food means far more than the simple act of eating. “The most fun part about the experience was the fact that we were able to bridge the gap in a very tangible way between what we were reading and learning in class

and what we were doing outside of class. I did not know most of my classmates before this semester, but the process of making a meal together is such an authentically human act that all of us, despite our different interests and backgrounds, could come together to cook for a night.” Anderson, a former professional chef who will teach Food Writing in Paris overseas this summer,

expressed gratitude to BCDS Associate Director for Food and Beverage Michael Kann and Lyons Hall Production Manager Tom Cerulli for their help. “I could not have done this assignment without them. Having a couple of professional cooks in the kitchen while students attempted the recipe was really important.” Contact Sean Hennessey at sean.hennessey@bc.edu

The Boston College Club leadership last week presented University President William P. Leahy, SJ, with a donation of more than $475,000 to continue its support for University scholarships. Income from the BC Club Scholarship Fund, an endowment valued at approximately $5.8 million, has funded 58 scholarships in all, including 10 this year. With Fr. Leahy at the presentation were (L-R) BC Club Executive Committee member Jack MacKinnon ’62, BC Club Chairman John E. Joyce ’61, BC Club General Manager Meredith Waites and executive committee member Owen Lynch ’56. (Photo by Ed Hayward)


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Chronicle march 26, 2015

OB I TUARY

John R. Shea, Classical Studies Father sent him legendary ‘Letter to Jackie’

A funeral Mass was held March 18 at St. Bartholomew Church in Needham for John R. “Jack” Shea ’58, a former Boston College faculty member who was the recipient of the famous “Letter to Jackie” – a wartime message from his father considered by many as a touchstone of classic American values. Dr. Shea, who taught part-time in the Classical Studies Department for many years, died on March 14. He was 78. A native of Arlington who graduated from Boston College High School, Dr. Shea was awarded a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship – which encouraged college students to consider teaching careers at the university level – during his senior year at BC. He later earned his doctorate in classical philology at Harvard University. But early in his life, Dr. Shea’s education had a uniquely personal, and tragic, dimension. In 1942, with the US at war, his father, Lt. Commander John J. Shea – a former BC football star – prepared to ship out for duty in the Pacific. In June, Commander Shea spoke by phone one last time with his wife and then his five-year-old son. “Daddy,” young Jackie told his father, “you’ll be home in two weeks.” Sometime after that conversation, John Shea composed a letter to his boy explaining, as best he could, why his absence would extend far longer than two weeks: “Because there are people and countries who want to change our nation, its ideals, form of government and way of life,” he wrote, “we must leave our homes and families to fight.” Protecting America, he told Jackie, “is an honor and a duty which your daddy has to do before he can come home to settle down with you and mother.” Commander Shea also sought to inculcate in Jackie the virtues of honor and duty to uphold at home, and to offer guidance he believed would benefit Jackie. “Study hard when you go to school. Be a leader in everything good in life. Be a good Catholic and you can’t help being a good American. Play fair always. Strive to win, but if you must lose, lose like a gentleman and a good sportsman. Don’t ever be a quitter either in sports or in your business or profession when you grow up.” After passing along more such advice, Commander Shea concluded by asking Jackie to pray for his return. “And if it is God’s will that he does not, be the kind of boy and man your daddy wants you to be.” [The full version can be read at http://bcm.bc.edu/issues/winter_2002/jackie_letter.html.] On Sept. 15, 1942, Commander Shea was killed in action near Guadalcanal.

But the “Letter to Jackie” ensured that Commander Shea’s memory, like his tribute to American values and beliefs, lived on. The Boston Globe, New York Times and other publications picked up the story and the letter was widely reprinted. After Dr. Shea’s three sisters – all teachers in Boston and Cambridge – shared the letter in their classrooms, copies were distributed for classroom use in Boston schools. Major figures of the day, including Boston Archbishop Richard Cushing, extolled its tone and contents. A super-destroyer was christened the USS Shea – Dr. Shea and his mother attended the launch – and in 1963 Boston College named its baseball field after Commander Shea. The Burns Library included a copy of the letter in its archives, and over the years became one of its most requested items. Dr. Shea began teaching ancient Greek and Latin language classes at BC in 1975, and occasionally taught courses on literature and etymology. In 2001, Dr. Shea donated the original Letter to Jackie to BC. Interviewed by Boston College Magazine in 1991, Dr. Shea, by then himself a father of three, reflected on the letter and its impact. “In the space of several handwritten pages, he put down things that I hope I have communicated to my kids. I think what made the letter so appealing [to the public] is that he took some thoughts which were probably shared by many, and expressed them very directly.” BC colleagues said that Dr. Shea enjoyed a successful and productive career as a teacher, researcher and translator. One of his major achievements was his extensive translation, from Renaissance Latin into English, of 16th-century physician Johann Weyer’s treatise De praestigiis daemonum, regarded by many scholars – “one of the 10 most significant books of all time,” according to Sigmund Freud – as an important work for Weyer’s encyclopedic grasp of biblical, classic and patristic literature. In addition to translating the book, his colleagues noted, Dr. Shea provided most of the biblical and classical citations for the book’s notes.  “Jack was respected and loved because of who he was and how he treated students, colleagues and other people,” said Classical Studies Research Professor Dia Philippides. Dr. Shea is survived by his wife, Claudette; his son, John T. Shea, and daughters Laura Knowles and Christine Pitts; and nine grandchildren. –Office of News & Public Affairs Read the full version of this obituary at http://bit.ly/19KWZxd

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Newsmakers Monan Professor of Theology Lisa Sowle Cahill was among the experts invited by The New York Times to offer their views on a working paper issued before the recent Vatican plenary assembly on women that offered a glimpse of the latest Catholic thinking about a number of issues, including as cosmetic surgery. Prof. Robert Bloom (Law) continued to provide analysis about the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, most recently as a guest on the New England Cable News “Broadside” program and in several interviews with WGBH News. Asst. Prof. David Hopkins (Political Science) commented in the Boston Herald on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decisive victory, and its likely impact on US-Israeli relations. First Amendment interpretations need not be simplistic and empty of nuance, wrote Prof. Kent Greenfield (Law) in a piece for The Atlantic weighing in on the debate among legal scholars surrounding the expulsion of University of Oklahoma fraternity members following a racist chant. In multinational companies, effec-

Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley chatted with Nancy Hebert Drago ’61 after his address at the annual Laetare Sunday event on March 15 in Conte Forum. (Photo by Justin Knight)

tive social media may need a multilingual approach, according to Assoc. Prof. Gerald Kane (CSOM), co-author of a piece for Sloan Management Review. Assoc. Prof. Usha Tummala-Narra (LSOE) spoke with WBZ-AM News about the difficulties faced by families of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in coming to

BC BRIEFING terms with their loss, one year after the plane’s disappearance. Jesuit Artist-in-Residence Robert VerEecke, SJ, pastor of St. Ignatius Parish, wrote an essay for Amer-

NOTA BENE Professor of the Practice of Theology Monsignor Liam Bergin, a native of Ireland, was asked by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap., to preach at the annual Mass for the Feast of St. Patrick at Holy Cross Cathedral. The principal celebrant was Bishop Robert Hennessey and attendees included Woods College of Advancing Studies alumnus Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Consul General of Ireland Breandán Ó Caollaí, and a number of alumni, students and staff.  German Studies Lecturer Ruth Sondermann and students in her Business German and Trends in Europe class were invited to WGBH-FM to discuss a radio program about German higher education, the dual education system and controlling cost of higher education. The Roche Center for Catholic Education brought principals, teachers and students from nearly 30 Catholic schools throughout the Northeast to campus earlier this month to take a close look at how they can help fulfill Pope Francis’ stirring vision of faith in action. Inspiring faith is a central focus of Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel – Pope Francis’s 2013 call to evangelical action. How Catholic schools embrace the apostolic exhortation is central to their mission to foster the Catholic faith and achieve educational excellence, said Roche Center Executive Director Patricia WeitzelO’Neill. The program was part of the Roche Center’s Emmaus Series, which offers school leaders professional development focused on the areas of spiritual formation, curriculum and instructional design, and business management. Speakers included Michael J. Corso ’84, MA ’89, PhD ’94, of the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, and Paul Melley, St. Ignatius Parish liaison to BC’s Office of Campus Ministry.

ica on his years exploring Ignatian spirituality through dance, a piece that included a video profile of Fr. VerEecke produced by Jeremy Zipple, SJ, ’00, STM ’14, executive editor of America Films. WGBH News visited Boston College and went along on an Office of Undergraduate Admission tour as part of a report on how this winter’s record-breaking snowfall in Boston hasn’t deterred prospective students from visiting area colleges.

Publications Assoc. Prof. of the Practice Michael C. Keith (Com) published the short story “What Papa Want” in The Penmen. 

Honors/Appointments McIntyre Professor of Mathematics Solomon Friedberg has been appointed an editor of a new journal, Research in Number Theory.

JOBS The following are among the most recent positions posted by the Department of Human Resources. For more information on employment opportunities at Boston College, see www.bc.edu/offices/hr: Network Systems Engineer, Information Technology Fiscal Assistant, Auxiliary Services Health Services Aide, Health Services Assistant Director, Graduate Student Life Legal Information Librarian, Law Library Director of Assessment and Accreditation, Lynch School of Education Assistant Director, Office of Health Promotion Research Economist, Center for Retirement Research Assistant/Associate Director for Parents’ Fundraising, Development Director of Major Gifts, Athletic Association


T he B oston C ollege

Chronicle march 26, 2015

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See BC Social www.bc.edu/social

Mengestu to visit BC for talk on ‘Politics and Aesthetics in Literature’ By Rosanne Pellegrini Staff Writer

Acclaimed and award-winning Ethiopian-American writer Dinaw Mengestu, whose works chronicle the African diaspora in America, will visit Boston College on April 8. His appearance, sponsored by Fiction Days, the Lowell Humanities Series and African and African Diaspora Studies, will include an informal Q&A session with students and faculty in the English Department and African and African Diaspora Studies. That evening, he will give a public lecture, “Politics and Aesthetics in Literature,” at 7 p.m. in Gasson 100. “Dinaw Mengestu is a novelist of great power whose subjects are both timely and universal,” said Professor of English Elizabeth Graver. “He writes about college campuses, the young and old, about love, revolution and the longing for justice. He writes about Ethiopia, Uganda, the American Midwest, New York, Washington, DC. He once said that novels ‘exist to complicate and expand upon our understanding of the world.’ “This is something his own novels – so full of both depth and reach

BC SCENES

Mathieu Zazzo

– have done for me in profound ways,” she added. “My hope is that students of literature, creative writing, and African and African Diaspora Studies will find similar inspiration in his books and visit.” Since his bestselling 2007 debut novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, Mengestu’s work has earned him prestigious accolades, such as the Guardian First Book Award, the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” designation, and a 2012 MacArthur Fellowship. Born in 1978 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he immigrated to the United States at age two with his mother and sister to join his father, who had fled Ethiopia during the

Red Terror. A graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction, he was the recipient of a 2006 fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. In his first and two subsequent novels, How to Read the Air and All Our Names, Mengestu channels the formation of identity as connected to the immigrant experience. “All three of Dinaw Mengestu’s novels are about people who, for various reasons, come to this country and fashion new lives,” wrote Malcolm Jones in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. But “while questions of race, ethnicity and point of origin do

crop up repeatedly, they are merely his raw materials, the fuel with which he so artfully — but never didactically — kindles disruptive, disturbing stories exploring the puzzles of identity, place and human connection.” Mengestu’s novels and nonfiction pieces, according to the MacArthur Foundation, “open a window into the little-explored world of the African diaspora in America. He composes tales distilled from the experience of immigrants whose memories are permanently seared by escape from violence in their homelands.” In an interview with Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international

broadcaster), he described his novels as “very closely related, not necessarily because the characters or the settings are the same, but because the ideas are similar and revolve around dislocation. What is it like to lose the things that you value most in your life, your family, your country, your friends? What happens to the person who has lost those things; how do they rebuild themselves?” Mengestu has written for Rolling Stone and Harper’s, among many other prominent publications, holds the Lannan Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University, and is on the faculty of Brooklyn College. His most recent novel, All Our Names, set in the American Midwest, alternates between narrators Isaac (an African exchange student) and Helen (an American social worker assigned to work with him), and interweaves disparate tales of naming, loving and belonging. “Mengestu’s depictions of the loss of culture, community, and landscape endured by immigrants in America are broadening the thematic concerns and voices encompassed by the American novel,” according to the MacArthur Foundation. For more on Mengestu’s public lecture at BC, see www.bc.edu/ lowell. Contact Rosanne Pellegrini at rosanne.pellegrini@bc.edu

EIGHTH WONDER This past Friday night saw a turnout of nearly 1,500 for the eighth annual Boston College Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society held in the Flynn Recreation Complex. BC Relay raised almost $150,000 this year, and passed a major benchmark of $1 million in total fundraising since its inception – the first university in Massachusetts and second in New England to do so. The 12-hour event featured numerous events and activities for participants, including karaoke and raffles, and performances by student groups. Cancer survivors, including Volunteer Service and Learning Center Director Dan Ponsetto (below), also shared their experiences.

Photos by Christopher Huang

Boston College Chronicle  

March 26, 2015

Boston College Chronicle  

March 26, 2015