Bequest is a milestone alumni gift for the Saint Columbkille Partnership School
Bequest is a milestone alumni gift for the Saint Columbkille Partnership School
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova urged members of the Boston College Class of 2023 to find their inner strength—as her country has done in its struggle against Russia—to fight for a just and fair world.
“Freedom is not a given. Opportunities are not a given. Democracy is not a given,” Markarova told the Alumni Stadium audience at Monday’s Commencement Exercises. “We all have many battles to fight in, many obstacles to overcome, many challenges to see through. Where will we get the strength? In our responsibility to take action for what we love.
“Choose to do that, and in that moment, you will become truly extraordinary,” said the
ambassador, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of her “courageous and unwavering devotion” to her country and its people.
Following the main Commencement event, the 4,405 members of the Class of 2023 received their undergraduate and graduate degrees at separate ceremonies held around campus.
In addition to Markarova, the University presented honorary degrees to: Sister of Saint Joseph Jeanne McGowan M.Ed. ’90, Herb Scannell ’79, Katrina Shaw M.S.W. ’98, and Jerry York ’67. [Honorary degree citations are on page 4.]
In his greeting, University President William P. Leahy, S.J., noted that Commencement is not only an occasion to offer appreciation—to parents, spouses, families,
Continued on page 4
Thirteen Boston College alumni—10 of whom graduated earlier this week—have received prestigious post-graduate fellowship opportunities for the coming year.
Nine graduates won coveted Fulbright Scholarships, which support a year’s postbaccalaureate study abroad; two other BC grads were named as alternates, pending confirmation of funding for their projects. Fulbright recipients—chosen on the basis of academic merit and leadership potential—typically pursue research in various disciplines, or serve an English Teaching Assistantship, through which they teach English language and provide insights about American culture.
Nearly 600 American colleges participate in the Fulbright Program, sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to support academic exchanges between the U.S. and more than 150 countries around
the world. BC has been ranked consistently among the nation’s top producers of student Fulbright winners, according to statistics compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The University was 15th among doctoral institutions in the most recent survey.
In addition, two members of the Class of 2023 were named as Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Postgraduate Media Fellows [see story on page 6].
A look at Boston College’s Fulbright winners for 2023-2024:
Giovanna Eichner ’23
HOMETOWN: Washington, D.C.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; gather new, original insights from interpersonal experience rather than through a structured class.
FUTURE PLANS: Earn a doctorate in history; through first-hand experience in Germany, obtain archival material and cultural competency to extend her honors thesis into a dissertation,
Data indicates that most Class of 2022 graduates are engaged in work, grad studies, or serviceBY KATHLEEN SULLIVAN STAFF WRITER
Ninety-six percent of graduates from the Boston College Class of 2022 are employed, studying in graduate school, participating in a fellowship or engaged in service/volunteering, according to survey results released by the Office of Institutional Research & Planning (IRP) and the Boston College Career Center.
The findings offer information on the post-graduation lives of members of the Boston College Class of 2022 and underscore the value of a Boston College education, said administrators.
According to the survey results, 76 percent of graduates have entered the workforce, with the majority (82 percent) receiving job offers by the end of the second semester of their senior year. Their occupations cover a range of industries: 26 percent are employed by financial services; 20 percent are working in
health care, the sciences, or the environment; and 16 percent have jobs at business services, consulting, and management companies. Other fields attracting 2022 graduates were: government, law, public policy (7 percent); technology, engineering, startups, entrepreneurship (6); accounting (6); and communications, media, publishing, marketing (5), among others.
The median salary reported by members of the Class of 2022 is $67,000. Among the employers of Class of 2022 graduates were: Deloitte; Goldman Sachs; Ropes & Gray; Massachusetts General Hospital; Microsoft; Dana-Faber Cancer Institute; McKinsey & Company; Boston Red Sox; Dell Technologies; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Lionsgate; L’Oréal; and Boston Public Schools.
Of employed graduates, 67 percent said they utilized resources offered by the Boston College Career Center to secure their em-Page 2 Page 9 ‘A Woman for Others’ Heidi Yun ’24 is awarded the Aquino Scholarship. MAY 25, 2023 VOL. 30 NO. 17 PUBLISHED BY THE BOSTON COLLEGE OFFICE OF UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS Page 3 NSF Support BC chemists Donglai Wei and Nam Wook Kim receive major research grants.
A bequest in memory of a loyal Saint Columbkille School graduate is the largest single gift ever received in honor of an alumnus by the Brighton parochial school, which operates through a partnership with Boston College and the Archdiocese of Boston.
Kathleen (Kathy) Tudor, who died last year, left a bequest of $765,000 as a testament to her mother, Mildred O’Brien Tudor—known as “Millie”—who graduated from Saint Columbkille in the midst of the Great Depression. Millie, who died in 2020 at the age of 102, had left her estate to Kathy, who then bequeathed it to her mother’s alma mater.
Millie, who lived modestly and was not a woman of means, had previously donated a total of $550 to the school.
“The donation from Saint Columbkille alumna Millie O’Brien Tudor and her daughter Kathy Tudor is an incredible blessing,” said Jen Kowieski, head of school at Saint Columbkille Partnership School (STCPS), as it is now known. “The generosity of both Millie and Kathy will ensure that an education at Saint Columbkille will be available to all who seek it for generations to come.”
The donation will support the Peter McLaughlin Endowment Fund for Financial Aid, established in 2018 in honor of its inspiration and namesake Peter McLaughlin, former chair of the board and trustee emeritus of STCPS. The endowment underscores his commitment to making Catholic education accessible to all. He has long been instrumental in generating funds to support families in need of tuition assistance at St. Columbkille.
“The wonderful transformational gift from Millie and Kathy Tudor will enable the school to provide financial aid to deserving students. It allows us to stay true to our mission of providing a high-quality Catholic education to all our students,” said McLaughlin, a 1959 Boston College
A story in the May 11 Chronicle incorrectly stated that Mary E. Walsh is the fifth recipient of the Boston College Saint Robert J. Bellarmine, S.J., Award. Walsh is the fourth to have received the honor. Chronicle regrets the error.
ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
alumnus who served as an interim executive director of the Boston College Alumni Association.
“We hope to embody Millie and Kathy’s generous spirits as we offer financial support to our students,” added Kate Ward, chief advancement and enrollment officer at Saint Columbkille. “We plan to name them ‘Millie’s Scholars,’ so the students who benefit from this gift will be reminded of her kind-heartedness.”
Millie, who flashes a radiant smile in her 1936 Saint Columbkille School yearbook photograph—her senior profile identifies her as “a resident of good old Brighton,” where she was born in 1918— was a member of the school’s first co-ed high school graduating class. She fully engaged in her educational experience: She enjoyed camaraderie with her classmates, loved both the dramatic and visual arts, played basketball, swam, and served on the yearbook staff and prom committee. Millie relished her years there and credited the school, founded in 1901, for her deep faith.
As an adult, Millie was never far from Saint Columbkille. She married and lived with her husband John Tudor in nearby Newton, where they raised their family. Though her life was not easy—she lost two children at young ages and was predeceased by her husband and adult son—she embraced her schoolgirl philosophy of “looking at the sunny side of life.”
Millie would be thrilled by the donation to Saint Columbkille, according to neighbor Denise Murphy, Kathleen Tudor’s friend, who was close with the family and said the fond memories of the school that Millie shared throughout her life made a strong impression on her daughter.
“She would have said, ‘I expected nothing less from Kathy,’” Murphy said. “Millie would have wanted the money to support the education of the students at the school. Kathy knew that her mother loved Saint Columbkille and what the school meant to her.”
That sentiment is echoed by Joy Seufert, Kathleen Tudor’s second cousin.
Saint Columbkille “was a big part of both Kathy and Aunt Millie, who were generous people. [The school] was the love, the binding force, the assistance, the help, the everything [for Millie].”
“The Saint Columbkille school community strives to live out the Jesuit value of being people for and with others,” according to the school’s announcement about the donation. “Students are formed not just in academic knowledge and skills,
but in how to care for others. Kathy and Millie’s gift ensures that students for generations to come will be able to grow in knowledge, service, and faith at Saint Columbkille. And the generosity of Kathy and Millie Tudor is a living example of what it means to be a person for and with others.”
STCPS is now a leading Catholic and Jesuit-influenced private school for preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students. In 2006—amid declining enrollment among Catholic schools nationwide—Boston College and the Archdiocese of Boston collaborated with Saint Columbkille to reestablish it as Saint Columbkille Partnership School, to provide additional resources for a new national model of excellence in Catholic education, fusing rich tradition with innovation. In 2018, STCPS was designated as the laboratory school for BC’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development, to enhance opportunities for teacher training, educational research, and professional development.
For more information, see www.stcps.org
Boston College’s Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) will host 100 global scholars on June 9-10 at the inaugural Biennial Conference on International Higher Education.
The event is a celebration of a field of study championed by CIHE founder Philip G. Altbach, a research professor and distinguished fellow at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Altbach, who believed that a global perspective was needed to foster enlightened policies and practices in higher education, will be honored with an annual lecture series in his name.
Author and editor of nearly 100 books, Altbach is widely recognized for his contribution to the field of international higher education, particularly in relation to the academic profession, internationalization of higher education, academic mobility, and linking academic research to policy practice. The field now counts hundreds of research centers and programs around the world focused on the topic.
The first of the Altbach Lectures will be a keynote by University of Oxford Professor
Simon Marginson, director of the ESRC/ OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education and editor-in-chief of Higher Education, the international journal of higher education research.
The conference is composed of five interactive sessions, each launched by a global panel of experts and moderated by a CIHE affiliate: the history and future of the field of international higher education, led by Altbach; global trends and actors, local needs and policies, moderated by Lynch School Associate Professor Gerardo L. Blanco, CIHE academic director; the (d)evolution of internationalization in/of higher education, led by Lynch School Professor and CIHE distinguished fellow Emeritus Hans de Wit; existential threats to higher education around the world, led by Lynch School Professor of the Practice Chris R. Glass, leader of the Ed.D. in Higher Education program; and a closing panel, moderated by CIHE Managing Director Rebecca Schendel, a Lynch School associate professor of the practice.
More information is available at www. bc.edu/cihe.—Phil Gloudemans
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Computer Science Assistant Professors Donglai Wei and Nam Wook Kim recently received major grant awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will fund projects related to, respectively, human-centric machine learning and improving the quality of data visualization for data analysis.
Wei was selected for a coveted $600,000 NSF CAREER grant, which supports junior faculty in the sciences through the Faculty Early Career Development Program, while Kim was awarded a competitive $350,000 NSF Collaborative Research Grant as the principal investigator in a project with the University of Wisconsin.
“We are delighted to witness the continued rise in our department’s research productivity, which has been driven to an important degree by our talented junior faculty,” said department chair Professor Sergio Alvarez. “These two colleagues have had success in involving undergraduate students in their research. We congratulate them on their achievements and look forward to more exciting developments in our department’s research and teaching in the coming years.”
Wei’s research is rooted in the field of connectomics, which aims to reconstruct connections between various parts of the brain from extremely high-resolution microscopy images. This technology can provide detailed renderings of the brain at the cellular level to reveal the organizing principle and the mechanism of neural connectivities, yielding new insights that could accelerate the development of treat-
ment for neurodegenerative diseases and inspire novel AI algorithms.
His goal is to improve the neutron reconstruction method that is key to the process, and develop a human-centric approach to automate the labor-intensive workflows before and after the reconstruction—for example, data annotation to train the model and error correction to refine the results. This project will build a scalable human-centric computational pipeline with novel algorithms to mimic human cognition to significantly reduce human effort in the pipeline.
“Among the specific objectives will be to build automatic agents that will learn from domain experts’ proofreading strategies so they can detect and correct automatic
Boston College will launch a new minor in data science this fall that—reflecting the University’s Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts tradition—emphasizes human-centered applications of data analysis and modeling for the common good.
“Contemporary technologies have made data so plentiful and ubiquitous that many jobs of the 21st century require familiarity with concepts in data, computing, statistics, and machine learning,” said George Mohler, the Daniel J. Fitzgerald Professor in the BC Computer Science Department. “The minor in data science will prepare Boston College graduates to make sound arguments based on data, to think critically to interpret such arguments, and be versed in ethics and the responsible use of data to evaluate potential benefits and risks of new data-driven technologies.”
Each student in the minor will construct a “pathway” plan tailored to their major and career interests, Mohler explained. In the pathway, students take two electives in their chosen data science focus area, followed by
a required capstone project in the sixth and final course of the minor. The electives are chosen from a list of data science courses offered by a wide range of departments in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences—including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, Political Science, and Psychology—as well as by the Global Public Health and the Common Good program, the Carroll School of Management, and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.
Three foundational courses, offered through the Computer Science and Mathematics departments, will be required for the minor. Students must take Data Science Principles and Mathematical Foundations of Data Science, then apply for the minor by the end of sophomore year before taking the core integrative course Data Science: Methods and Applications.
The minor is open to all Boston College undergraduate students.
reconstruction results,” said Wei. “We’ll also develop transfer learning methods to reuse labeled connectomics datasets and pre-trained models to assist biology labs in analyzing their microscopy images. Accompanying our research aims will be comprehensive evaluations on collected benchmark datasets and accessible software resources for the biomedical image-analysis community.”
Kim’s project will investigate how to organize data visualization empirical research better and make it more accessible to visualization creators as easily consumable practical guidelines, and improve their data visualization literacy. He envisions a general, readily accessible body of knowledge, methods, and standards for producing data
visualizations, as well as a venue through which such guidelines can easily be discussed and updated as needed.
“We are surrounded by data and data visualizations have become a mainstream tool for understanding and communicating data,” he said. “Journalists, scientists, analysts, designers, developers, and just casual users produce data visualizations these days, but typically they are not very aware of the impact of their design choices and often rely on hunches. For example, they choose a pie chart over a bar chart even though too many categories make it illegible—and bar charts are faster to parse for human eyes for accurate comparison. Illformed visualizations can contribute to spreading bad information.”
Kim noted that the project will employ a “citizen science” approach to investigate the unexplored design space in real-world visualizations that involve design elements absent in typical empirical studies.
“The design space of data visualization is combinatorially large and complex,” he explained. “Visualization practitioners produce many different visualizations—such as those based on visualization perception theories—that have not been studied in the past: Scientists came up with Muller charts and Sequence Logo, for example, while others invested in Tornado charts and Marimekko charts. We’ve seen a flood of visualizations during important events like elections or pandemics.
“Researchers are trying to catch up, but the pace of innovation often makes that difficult. I propose finding ways to leverage practitioners in evaluating their effectiveness, such as empowering them to run experiments with their own visualizations.”
Oksana Markarova was appointed as the Ukraine Ambassador to the United States on April 20, 2021. Ten months later, her life—and those of her fellow citizens—was forever altered when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In the midst of the ongoing threat to her country’s existence, she has been an eloquent and effective diplomat and spokesperson. Through extensive media and public appearances, she has conveyed a sense of the crisis Ukraine is enduring, and made a compelling case for international assistance and intervention. She has declared on behalf of the Ukrainian people, “We are fighting against evil, which is a threat not only to Ukraine, but to everyone who believes in democracy.”
She has highlighted the courage and resilience of her country’s soldiers and its civilians, and called Ukrainian women “the heroes of this war, who risked their lives to deliver food, to help our brave armed forces, and to try to secure some kind of normalcy in this horrible war.”
Her effectiveness as an ambassador reflects extensive public and private sector experience, including as Ukraine’s minister of finance. She co-authored Ukraine’s macroeconomic revival program, conducted fiscal consolidation, and structured and coordinated two International Monetary Fund programs.
In recognition of her courageous and unwavering devotion to Ukraine, Boston College awards Oksana Markarova—on behalf of the people of Ukraine—the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
A dedicated educator and administrator, Sister Jeanne McGowan embodies the commitment of the Sisters of Saint Joseph to be “ready for any good work.”
She is the founding president of La Salle Academy in Philadelphia, a Catholic grade school that opened in 2003 to serve the “poorest of the poor.” For 20 years, her leadership and vision have guided the school to provide all students, regardless of their families’ resources or circumstances, with a high-quality education and an opportunity to reach their full potential.
Prior to leading La Salle, she was a teacher and principal of Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School in West Philadelphia, and also served as the president of the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Principals Association. She earned a bachelor’s
expanded programs that have helped more than 2,000 underrepresented students access postsecondary opportunities.
Previously, she worked as executive director of City Year Louisiana, assistant vice president of community affairs at the State Street Corporation, and director of community impact at the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.
An alumna of Spelman College and a 1998 graduate of Boston College School of Social Work, she was a founding member of New England Blacks in Philanthropy and the Gertie Pie Foundation, named in memory of her mother. The granddaughter of an Alabama sharecropper, she attributes her commitment to giving back to the selfless example of her parents and grandparents.
degree in elementary education from Chestnut Hill College and a master of education degree from Boston College in 1990.
In 2019, she was awarded the Father Edward Sourin Memorial Award, which honors a Catholic leader who by achievement and example has made noteworthy contributions to Catholic life and culture. In 2022, she was named a Distinguished Lasallian Educator by the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
For her steadfast commitment to the mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and Catholic education, Boston College awards Sister Jeanne McGowan the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
A national leader in television and radio broadcasting, Herb Scannell has maintained a strong connection to his Hispanic roots while pursuing a lifelong commitment to advancing diversity both on-air and behind the scenes.
The son of an Irish-American father and Puerto Rican mother, he attended Boston College, where he led the campus radio station WZBC before graduating in 1979 and embarking on a four-decade media career.
As president of Nickelodeon and chair of MTV Networks, he helped shape a generation of children’s television, developing award-winning favorites such as Blue’s Clues; SpongeBob SquarePants; and popular series showcasing Hispanic characters, including Dora the Explorer
steadfastness: “Ukraine is still standing. We’re still fighting.”
and The Brothers Garcia. Under his leadership, Nickelodeon grew into a media powerhouse, and his approach to programming earned him a 2004 Amnesty International award for promoting “activism, tolerance, and social responsibility.”
He has also served on the boards of Ballet Hispanico and the Latino Donor Collaborative, and has been a mentor to Boston College students seeking to launch media careers. Today, as CEO and president of Southern California Public Radio, he works to strengthen the civic and cultural bonds uniting the area’s diverse communities.
For his leadership, example, and commitment to media excellence and bridging divides, Boston College confers on Herb Scannell the degree of Doctor of Journalism, honoris causa.
Katrina Shaw has dedicated her life to advancing opportunity for underserved communities.
As senior program officer for the Liberty Mutual Foundation, she directs charitable investments to assist communities and individuals in Boston and across the nation. Before joining Liberty Mutual, she served as chief executive officer of Freedom House, Inc., a nonprofit organization that has been a hub of support and advocacy for Greater Boston’s diverse communities since 1949. During her tenure, Freedom House built a new learning facility and
For her distinguished contributions to the Greater Boston community as well as the advancement of educational opportunity and social justice, Boston College awards Katrina Shaw the degree of Doctor of Social Science, honoris causa.
The winningest coach in college hockey history, Jerry York amassed 1,123 career victories during 50 seasons, including 28 at his alma mater, where he won four national championships.
But his most enduring impact was in the formative lessons about leadership, character, and humility he taught to the BC students he coached, counseled, and mentored.
An All-American and graduate of the Boston College Class of 1967, he began his coaching career at Clarkson University before moving on to Bowling Green, where he also won an NCAA title in 1984. He is both a National Hockey League and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer, and a beloved ambassador to the sport of hockey.
Firmly rooted in his devotion to “faith, family, and Boston College,” he exhorted the BC community upon his retirement in 2022 to “discover your passion and live within it every day, support your teams, love your University, and live your life as men and women for others.”
For his unprecedented accomplishments as a coach, his unwavering devotion to his alma mater and its ideals, and his gracious example as a role model, teacher, and friend, Boston College awards Jerry York the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
Continued from page 1
friends, faculty, staff, alumni, benefactors, and others who contribute to students’ BC experiences—but to consider our response to compelling issues and events, as individuals and as members of a global community.
“Today we are especially mindful of the war in Ukraine, the thousands of soldiers and civilians on both sides killed in it, and the devastation it has caused for millions of people,” he said.
Markarova pointed out that Monday marked the 452nd day of Russia’s invasion of her country, which “many experts across the globe” had predicted would fall in three days. She touched on recent developments—including the liberation of Kherson and other towns in southern Ukraine and a “heroic stand” against Russian forces in the town of Bakhmut—as indicative of her country’s
The question she hears every day, said Markarova, is “what gives us strength?”—the title of a poem written more than a century ago by Ukrainian poet Lesia Ukrainka at a time when publishing in the Ukrainian language was punishable by prison. Ukrainka’s poem recounts the story of a poor carpenter in Jerusalem hired to construct crosses for the crucifixion of three criminals, she said. After doing the job, the carpenter laments his lot in life, until he sees the three prisoners trying to carry the heavy crosses to the place of their execution. The carpenter comes to the aid of one, saying “I made this cross so heavy,” he says, “It’s my job to carry it.”
She continued, “He straightens his spine, his arms find their old strength, and his eyes burn with determination as the carpenter bears Jesus’ cross to Golgotha.”
What gave the carpenter such strength, said Markarova, and what is the relevance to Ukraine today? She singled out three sources of strength for her and her people, the first of
which is responsibility. Ukraine’s hard-won democracy “was, like that poorly crafted cross, still unwieldy, and rough in places. But it was ours. We could not bear losing it. Just like the carpenter in the story rose up to take the responsibility for his craft, we rose to stand against the threat to our democracy.”
Another exponent of strength is taking action, Markarova said: Once the carpenter took action, he changed from victim to hero. Similarly, she said, in the first day of the Russian invasion, thousands of men flocked to military recruitment offices. Citizens began collecting donations and procuring military equipment for the army, while caring for those who had fled their cities and villages. Businesses relocated to safer areas. Software programmers wrote code in bomb shelters. Teachers taught students in subway stations and food courts.
“That moment when you decide to act is when you stop being an ordinary person and become truly extraordinary,” she said. “You excel!”
Love, continued Markarova, is the third
source of strength (not as in “hearts and flowers,” she added, “although as a happily married woman I can tell you it helps, too”). She cited many instances of love in this time of war: People sharing food and water with neighbors while sheltering together, or caring for others. Countries that took in Ukrainian refugees. Those who supported aid for people wounded psychologically as well as physically.
“This is how we become strong. By being there for other people, so that they are there for us when we need it. By showing love, giving love, by simply loving. Loving our family, loving our country, loving each other.”
Also at the ceremony, Huel (Trey) Cox III ’23 received the Edward H. Finnegan, S.J. Award as the graduating senior who best exemplifies the University’s motto, “Ever to Excel” [see story on page 5], while Mary Walsh, executive director for City Connects and the Walsh Center for Thriving Children, was presented with the Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J., Award in recognition of her exemplary career and significant role in advancing the mission of Boston College.
‘What Gives Us Strength?
Exceptional academic performance, outstanding contributions to research in the field of cancer biology, and exemplary service to others both on and off campus have characterized the Boston College years of Huel (Trey) Cox III ’23, recipient of the Edward H. Finnegan, S.J. Award as the graduating senior who best exemplifies the University’s motto, “Ever to Excel.”
Cox, who received the award from University President William P. Leahy, S.J., at Monday’s Commencement Exercises, has distinguished himself in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences as a biochemistry major in the Chemistry Honors Program, and conducted research at some of the Boston’s preeminent medical institutions, including Mass General Brigham and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“As a first-generation college student, he serves as an excellent role model for all Boston College students who are striving to live lives of meaning and purpose,” wrote Morrissey College Interim Associate Dean Thomas Mogan in Cox’s Finnegan nomination. Mogan also cited “his impressive academic endeavors in the classrooms and scientific laboratories at Boston College,” his undergraduate research off campus, and his plans to pursue a career in medicine.
“Coming into Boston College as a freshman, I would not have dreamed of finishing with such an honor,” said Cox, who grew up in Lake Oswego, Ore. “But with the encouragement of many professors and administrators, I have been able to thrive alongside my incredibly talented classmates. It’s a wonderful honor for me, but most importantly, it’s a reflection of the immense support I have received from family, friends, and mentors at the school.”
Cox noted the challenges he and his family faced as a “first-gen” in pursuing a college education: struggling to navigate the college admissions process and balking at the financial burden of attending many
schools—which, he added, “was not the case at Boston College.”
Acclimating to demanding college courses took time, but “the Boston College infrastructure to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds financially, academically, and emotionally helped more than I can put into words,” said Cox, who expressed gratitude to his professors and the College Transition and Learning to Learn programs.
As a graduate, Cox will continue to both volunteer at a local hospice service and work in the cancer biology lab at Dana-Farber, as he has for the past three years. Following a gap year, he hopes to matriculate into an M.D./Ph.D. program to study cancer biology, and go on to pursue a career in adult or pediatric oncology. “I plan to split my time between my passions for caring for those in need and scientific exploration.”
Cox engaged in volunteer and leadership activities with schoolchildren as a tutor and mentor in the Allston-Brighton community. He was a Big Brother and leader in the BC Bigs Program, and on campus assisted peers as an adviser and Mendel Society mentor. He also was a student member of the Morrissey College Educational Policy Committee.
“I sought to become involved with some of the many campus service programs,” Cox said. “Mentoring children from backgrounds similar to mine caught my eye and became dear to me. The resiliency of children amazes and inspires me. The opportunity to support children in attaining their goals and thriving
in their life is something that I highly value. The culture of service at Boston College cannot be overstated and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest features of our school. This culture stems from one of the tenets of a Jesuit education that I admire: to develop a whole, well-rounded world citizen.”
Cox appreciated the Core Curriculum and electives which allowed him “to engage with English and philosophy in ways that have had meaningful influences on my approach to life and how I orient myself in the world. Much of my academic success has been facilitated by a coherent philosophy of self, which I was able to refine in humanities courses.”
He completed a Scholar of the College project while at Dana-Farber, and during research last summer at Harvard University’s Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Cox received the Scholars Book Award for Outstanding Research Project.
“The opportunity to perform research in cancer biology complemented my degree perfectly,” he said. “There were many instances when I would learn about something in the classroom that translated directly into how I performed or approached my research. There was something deeply satisfying about having a foot in both camps.”
He cites as among his mentors Danielle Taghian, professor of the practice in biology and Faculty Pre-Health Advising Committee chair, and Associate Dean Rafael Luna, director of Pre-Health Programs.
Reflecting on his undergraduate years, Cox noted the second semester of sophomore year—when the COVID pandemic emerged—as the most memorable. “I was forced to be resilient in a way that I had not been since I was a child. While I wish that many things had gone differently, it is in the toughest of times when we see who we are, and who others are.
“Having seen who many of my friends were in the face of adversity, it is being able to live and learn with them that I will miss the most. Additionally, I will miss the people of BC. All of the students I’ve met here share the quality that I think makes BC so unique: a selfless desire to make the world better than they have found it.”
This year’s Finnegan Award finalists: Jessie Cheng
Carroll School of Management
Major: Management (Marketing & Business Analytics); minor in Film Studies
Undergraduate dean’s office peer advisor; teaching assistant; Against the Current; Campus Activities Board; youth minister; advocate to address eating disorders, author of related work of young adult fiction. Will work at Calling All Crows, a non-profit organization which aligns with her passion for social impact and creative expression.
Lucille (Lucy) Rubenstein
Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Majors: Biology, Special Education
Active member of St. Ignatius parish, mentor to young Catholic women; Student Admission Program; Pre-Dental Society; volunteer for BC Campus School, BC Special Olympics, Best Buddies, Buddy Up Tennis. Will attend University of Louisville to pursue special needs pediatric dentistry training.
Karen J. Aldana
Connell School of Nursing
El Centro; CSON Seacole Scholar program, Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing; Eastern Nursing Research Society conference research presenter; Boston Children’s Hospital oncology fellow; peer mentor; Alpha Chi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Will enroll in CSON’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program.
Boston College Class of 2023 graduates
Delaney Coyne and Christine Lenahan have been selected as Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Postgraduate Media Fellows by America Media, which publishes the magazine America: The Jesuit Review of Faith and Culture, a leading Catholic journal of opinion in the United States whose editor-in-chief is 2000 BC alumnus Sam Sawyer, S.J.
O’Hare Fellows spend a year working at the New York City offices of America Media and generating content for America Media’s multiple platforms: print, web, digital, social media, and events, and gain professional experience through ongoing mentoring and other opportunities
Coyne, a native of Western Springs, Ill., who majored in theology and International Studies, was a member of 4Boston, serving as a student leader for a group of volunteers at the St. Francis House shelter in Boston. She has also led retreats in the Kairos and
Halftime programs and worked as a research assistant in the Theology Department. In her free time, Coyne is an avid reader and writer, and loves music, traveling and watching movies with her friends. As an O’Hare Fellow, Coyne plans to explore her interest in social and economic justice, immigration issues, and women in the Catholic Church. Lenahan, from Scranton, Pa., earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy.
As an Undergraduate Research Fellow in the English Department, she served as a manuscript editor and research assistant. She was a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society and Order of The Cross and Crown of Boston College, and a co-director for the Kairos Retreat Program in her senior year. Lenahan will focus on issues in liberation theology, criminal justice reform, and sexual ethics during her O’Hare Fellowship year. —University Communications
As missions go, this one was the most heartfelt for Boston College Police Patrol Officer Miguel Bueno: making sure his three daughters all got a college education.
At Monday’s University Commencement Exercises, he officially accomplished it.
His youngest daughter, Mia, received a bachelor’s degree from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, joining sisters Lana and Gina, who are alumna of the University of Massachusetts-Boston and University of New Hampshire, respectively (Lana also holds a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Northeastern University). Miguel and his wife Maria are residents of Newton, their daughters are graduates of Newton North High School.
A big part of the reason why Miguel Bueno came to BC almost 15 years ago, after retiring from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, was to provide for his children’s college education—a milestone he’d come close to, having attended Mass Bay and Bunker Hill community colleges, but never quite achieved. As the son of Cuban immigrants, he’d grown up with the belief that higher education was the pathway to a better life, and if it eluded him, he was going to make sure his kids would get there.
“It was really important to me that the girls finish college, and since they graduated, Lana and Gina have done just fantastically: One’s a nurse, the other a software engineer,” he said, a week before Commencement. “They worked hard to get their degrees and be where they are, and Mia has done the same at BC. I’m proud of her.”
Mia’s interest in BC came early, but more through sports rather than academics. Having taken up softball in early elementary school, she started following the BC team and decided she wanted to play for them. She entered BC thinking she’d study
to be a doctor, but eventually changed her career goal to that of a physician’s assistant, so she majored in neuroscience and minored in biology.
Part of the reason for that decision was practical: Her obligations as a varsity softball player (she throws right and bats left, and wore number 13 as an outfielder for the Eagles) would clash with those as a premed student. But Mia felt that, in today’s medical environment, she would have a better opportunity to cultivate a relationship with patients as a PA.
Mia found BC faculty to be caring and attentive, outside of class as well as in it. She points to Sister Jeanmarie Gribaudo, C.S.J., an adjunct faculty member in the Woods College of Advancing Studies who teaches theology classes as one who exemplifies BC’s cura personalis: “She’ll take walks with students, just to talk, and she stays in touch—she even came into the restaurant where I worked during the summer.”
She enjoyed service activities through her
membership on the softball team, such as the “Pen Pals” program matching BC student-athletes with children at the Thomas Edison Elementary School in Brighton, culminating in an end-of-the-year picnic (“The kids just go crazy when they meet the BC players,” she said). Mia also had a chance to volunteer at Saint Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton, of which her father is a graduate.
(Her sisters have connections of their own to BC: Gina took an analytics class and Lana worked at University Health Services for a summer.)
Mia won’t have much in the way of downtime as a newly-minted college gradu-
ate: Next week, she’ll begin her duties as a medical assistant at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, which will enable her to get the necessary prerequisites to enroll in a PA program.
Miguel—who got Monday off to attend Commencement ceremonies—waxed philosophically as he contemplated the prospect of three adult daughters with college degrees. “As police officers, we work up to 80 hours a week sometimes. It is what it is. You can make a nice living at it, but then you’re hardly ever home. I’m glad I was able to watch Mia’s softball games, and to see her, and her sisters, grow up to be intelligent, talented women.”—Sean Smith
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jia Niu has been named a Camille Dreyfus TeacherScholar for 2023, in recognition of his “outstanding independent body of scholarship” and his deep commitment to education, according to the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.
Niu, who joined the Chemistry Department in 2017, conducts research focused on creating precision functional macromolecules to address the pressing needs in biomedicine, materials, and environmental sciences.
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized with the Camille Dreyfus TeacherScholar Award,” said Niu. “I so appreciate my mentors and students for their guidance, support, and dedication throughout my academic journey. I am grateful for my colleagues at Boston College who have offered their trust and support that allowed me to develop as an educator and scholar in chemical science.”
The 18 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award honorees each receive $100,000 to support their research. Niu is working on a project titled “Precision Macromolecules for Sustainability and Biological Discoveries.”
Macromolecules are large and complex
molecules found everywhere in nature and our daily lives, Niu said. Examples such as DNA and protein are produced naturally. Others, like plastics and rubber, are made by humans.
“Usually, we think of natural and artificial macromolecules as separate things with little overlap,” said Niu. “However, our research group will break that tradition by combining chemistry and biology to create macromolecules that have precise structures and sequences. These specially designed macromolecules can be widely used in materials, sustainability, and biological applications.”
Among his other honors, Niu is the recipient of a 2020 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for early-career scientists, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, and a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, which included $2.3 million in research funding.
Niu’s research has been published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals including ACS Central Science and Nature Chemistry, where last month he was the lead author of the report “Precision native polysaccharides from living polymerization of anhydrosugars.”
“From our chair on down, my colleagues in the Chemistry Department have fostered a nurturing and inspiring atmosphere that
has been incredibly beneficial to me,” said Niu. “I consider myself incredibly lucky to be a part of this exceptional department.”
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars for 2023 are within the first five years of their academic careers, have each created an “outstanding independent body of scholarship, and are deeply committed to education,” according to the foundation announcement.
“We are most grateful to have colleagues like Jia. His selection for a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award is well-deserved recognition of his excellence as a researcher, mentor, and teacher,” said Chemistry Department Chair and Margaret A. and
program in chemistry research and education.”
Established in 1946, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation [www.dreyfus. org] seeks teacher-scholars who demonstrate leadership in research and education. Nominations must provide compelling evidence of the advance of important knowledge in the chemical sciences by the nominee, the foundation said. A particular emphasis is placed on candidates’ contributions to undergraduate education in the chemical sciences.
Francisco de Roux, S.J., recently completed an eventful appointment as the 20222023 Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., Professor at Boston College.
The Colombian-born priest, economist, and philosopher arrived at BC last fall just a few months after submitting the report of Colombia’s government-appointed commission formed to study the country’s 58-year internal war. Fr. de Roux chaired the fouryear initiative, a product of the peace deal between the Colombian government and its largest rebel force, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Some 450,000 people died as a result of the war, according to the commission’s report, which also was critical of the United States’ collaboration with the Colombian armed forces in efforts to battle drug trafficking.
Fr. de Roux formally introduced the commission’s report at a public event in June of 2022. A New York Times story quoted Fr. de Roux as saying that the list of victims “is unending and the accumulated pain is unbearable. Why did we watch the massacres on television, day after day, as if they were a cheap soap opera?”
During the course of his term as Gasson Professor, Fr. de Roux received numerous honors for his work on—or accepted them on behalf of—the commission. In November, French President Emmanuel Macron invited him to Paris to address the World Peace Forum. The following month, he was presented with the Sakharov Prize, the highest tribute paid by the European Union to human rights work. In January, Fr. de Roux
received the Franco-German Human Rights Award, established by France and Germany as an example of enemies in war who resolved to live in peace.
April was especially busy: The Mayor’s Office of Paris held a public ceremony in tribute to the commission, and in Madrid, the Casa de América presented an act of recognition of the commission’s work at an event attended by Latin American ambassadors in Spain. The town of Gernika (Guernica)—an enduring symbol of the brutality of warfare in the wake of its devastation during the Spanish Civil War—selected the commission for its Peace and Reconciliation Award, presented as part of its annual commemoration of the 1937 attack by German and Italian fascist forces.
In June, Fr. de Roux will receive an
honorary doctorate for his contribution to peace and reconciliation from the Jesuit universities of Mexico at a ceremony in Mexico City.
“Pacho is fully at home here in BC,” said Vice Provost for Global Engagement James Keenan, S.J., Canisius Chair and director of the Jesuit Institute, referring to Fr. de Roux by his preferred nickname. “One of the most impressive Jesuits I have ever met, he is as generous as he is imaginative. Nearly every day someone at BC tells me a Pacho story, how they met him, heard him, engaged with him. His passion for peace and understanding is a part of his own DNA. It is not surprising that from all over Europe
his work is being recognized at the highest offices. He does us all good. He also starts his day with a 6 a.m. run around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir—not bad for an 80-year-old.
“The Gasson Professorship each year brings a Jesuit who is recognized internationally, but Pacho is a nation builder through peace building, an exemplar for our times.”
Funded by a gift from the Jesuit Community at Boston College, the Gasson Chair is held by a distinguished Jesuit scholar in any discipline and is the oldest endowed professorship at Boston College.—University Communications
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ployment, such as the campus Career Fair, Handshake job postings, or networking opportunities.
Of the 18 percent enrolled in a program of continuing education, 65 percent are pursuing a master’s degree, 16 percent a law degree, and 14 percent a doctoral degree. The top areas of study are STEM (19 percent), law (16), business (15), and education (14). The most popular graduate schools include Boston College, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Duke, and Yale universities.
For the graduates engaged in volunteering or service, 73 percent are doing so through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
While 78 percent of 2022 graduates remained in the Northeast, graduates did move
throughout the United States—42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—as well as to 19 other countries.
The findings reported by the IR&P represent nearly 78 percent of the Class of 2022. Most of the data were collected through a survey administered online from April to December 2022. The rest were obtained from Carroll School of Management First Destinations Survey, the National Student Clearinghouse, Boston College data, and public data.
“The Class of 2022 enjoyed remarkably successful post-graduate, first-destination outcomes,” said Associate Vice President for Career Services Joseph Du Pont. “Their success is a testament to their effort and the rich experience they had in and outside the classroom at Boston College.”
Richard Clifford, S.J.
Joined BC in 2008
Professor Emeritus of Old Testament; founding dean, School of Theology and Ministry; served in various roles (including president, dean, and professor) at Weston Jesuit School of Theology before coming to BC.
“My 55-year teaching career has been spent in three locations, each representing a stage in the formation of ministers in the Catholic church. In my first stage (19645), I taught at Weston College in the town of Weston where faculty and students were exclusively Jesuit. In the second stage (1968-2008), Weston College—later the Weston Jesuit School of Theology—movedSandra Hebert
Joined BC in 1990
Associate Professor of the Practice, Music; founder and director of chamber music program and performance ensemble; established and taught in keyboard program; played key administrative role in coordinating the department’s various instrumental ensembles.
“Chamber music programs at other schools tend to be very competitive, which means intermediate-level students usually get shut out; we take them in, although there are significant space limitations. I remember a flute student who wanted to audition for the orchestra, where there were only
Joined BC in 1982
Professor, Boston College Law School; expert in environmental protection and property law; chaired or provided consultation for various legal task forces related to environmental disasters, including ExxonValdez, Woburn/W.R.
Grace toxics; BP Deepwater and Lake Biwa; author of a national casebook and The Snail Darter and the Dam: How Pork-Barrel Politics
Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River.
“Even beyond the remarkable bricks and mortar additions to the campus, or the institutional reverberations of Doug Flutie’s pass, the most encouraging change I’ve seen at BC is the birth and flourishing de-
to in Cambridge where its faculty and student body grew to include members of other religious orders as well as lay women and men, and became a founding member of the ecumenical Boston Theological Institute. In 2008, Weston Jesuit School of Theology joined with the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry to become Boston College’s newest professional school, the School of Theology and Ministry. My own interests and horizon have expanded in accord with all three contexts, and I now rejoice to see enlarged resources and opportunities for our students.”
two positions and they were both taken. She didn’t get in, but we put her in a group and coached her, and she worked and practiced, went to improvisation class, did all kinds of things. By junior year, she’d made it into the orchestra, and had a chance to play a very difficult piece in a concert. When it was over, she was sobbing: ‘I didn’t know I could do that!’ Today, she’s an administrator for Boston Ballet.
“Throughout my time here, our department’s agenda has been to let students explore, and find a love for, music. And they tell us, ‘The Music Department put me on its back.’”
University President William P. Leahy, S.J., will host the annual Recognition Reception and Dinner for retiring Boston College employees on May 31.
Those administrators, faculty, and staff who retired during the 2022-2023 academic year are: Karen Arnold, Ann Barry, Frances Bates, Marina Broun, Patricia Callahan, Diane Carey, Edward (Michael) Clasby, Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Maureen Connolly, Sandra Corsi, Leo Croft, Maria DaCosta, Christine Dunn, Mary Durr, John Finney, Scott Fitzgibbon, Paul Flynn, Barry Gallup, Blanca Garcia, Jorge Garcia, Stephanie Green, Kenji Hayao, Sandra Hebert, Elizabeth Hewson, Fr. Kenneth Himes, Christopher Kelly, Susan KellyWeeder, and Maureen Kenny.
Also: Liliana Leombruno, Paul Lewis, Cynthia Lubianez, Larry Ludlow, Stephanie Maggiani, John Mahoney, Patrick McQuillan, David Morrissette, Eugenie M’Polo, Robert Muller, Diane Neylon, Luanne Nugent, Santos Perez, Helen Peters, Sarah Piepgrass, Zygmunt Plater, Ken Porter, Harcharan Rai, Norman Reid, Joan Reilly, Alan Richardson, Nancy Samya, Ce
Shen, Stephen Shepard, Mark Spiegel, Lori St. Peter, Ana Teixeira, and Susan Tohn.
In April, Boston College recognized employees who completed 25 years of service during 2022-2023: John Berardi, Paul Bonitto, Stephen Buckley, Rani Dalgin, Maria DiChiappari, Marsia Hill Kreaime, Theresa Kachmar, Anne Kenny, Helen Lacouture, Melissa Metcalf, Yasmin Nunez, Patrick Rey, Jennifer Thomas, Tuananh Truong, Modesta Alvarado, Jorge Barillas, Maria Teneus Benito, Kathleen Bailey, Alice Behnegar, David Blustein, Brian Braman, David Burgess, Dominic Doyle, Rhonda Frederick, Colleen Griffith, Peter Ireland, Luke Jorgensen, Christopher Kelly, Arthur Lewbel, Ana Maria Martinez, Marina McCoy, Michael Naughton, Prasannan Parthasarathi, David Quigley, Bonnie Rudner, Dennis Shirley, Min Song, Patricia Tabloski, Edward Taylor, David Wirth, Derrick Anacieto, Heloisa Martins-Colon, Roberto Opico, Maria Pontes, Joseph Reardon, Kristina Ellison, Kathleen Kyratzoglou, and Joan Reilly (retiring).
velopment of the Environmental Studies Program, and linkages between several dozen affiliated faculty members throughout the University in the field that presents the existential challenges of our era—even more daunting than in any prior. Noah Snyder and Tara Pisani Gareau guided the program to its remarkable present, and our recent acquisition of Philip Landrigan’s many talents have cemented our University’s place on the world stage.
I’ll miss our students who bring us energy, inquisitiveness, multiple and diverse backgrounds and talents, and challenges. I’ve taught on seven faculties, and BC is a community, more than any others, where many students become our friends for life.”
Nearly 160 years of cumulative teaching experience will depart the Lynch School of Education and Human Development with the respective June 30 retirements of Professors Karen Arnold, Marilyn CochranSmith, Larry Ludlow, and Maureen Kenny, as well as Associate Professor Patrick McQuillan, who retired after the fall semester.
“This group of retirees has made extraordinary contributions in research, teaching, and administrative work,” said Stanton E.F. Wortham, the Charles F. Donovan, S.J.,
Dean of the Lynch School. “They have made globally recognized contributions to educational and psychological research, taught generations of Boston College students, and served as deans, department chairs, program directors, and in other crucial administrative roles, providing steady leadership and building new programs, strengthening the school in many ways that faculty and students continue to benefit from. We are deeply grateful for their work and commitment.”
Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences student Heidi Yun ’24, whose Boston College experience has been marked by advocacy for students with disabilities, promoting greater awareness of Asian culture, and work on behalf of low-income persons in Boston, is the winner of the 2023 Boston College Benigno and Corazon Aquino Scholarship.
Yun was presented with the scholarship by University President William P. Leahy, S.J., at the annual Aquino Scholarship Banquet earlier this month.
Annually awarded to a junior each spring, the scholarship recognizes a strong academic record, active engagement in Asian American issues, and service both on and off campus to the Asian American community. The Ridgefield, NJ, native was selected from among a highly competitive pool of applicants, including the three other finalists, Sophia Barrett, David Kim, and Lucy Xiao.
A sociology major with a minor in women and gender studies, and the daughter of South Korean immigrants, Yun is a member of the Undergraduate Government of BC, where this past year she served as the intersectionality coordinator on the Council for Students with Disabilities (CSD), providing a bridge between the council and the AHANA+ Leadership Council and LGBTQ Leadership Council; she will be the CSD director in the next academic year.
Yun said her decision to attend BC, based on its commitment to a liberal arts education and the goal of fulfilling its Jesuit and Catholic missions of faith and service, has proven a wise one in many ways. Class-
es such as Planet in Peril: The History and Future of Human Impacts on the Planet and Deviance and Social Control—featuring Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, which depicts the devastating effects of racism and self-hatred on young Black girls in America—have had a profound impact on her, as has Social Theory, which explored hegemonic masculinity and the path it paves for toxic gender norms.
“Through my courses, professors, and community, BC has been pivotal to my formation,” she said. “I understand that this is extremely important, as I aim to become a woman for others, not only on campus, but in the real world.”
She was named a Morrissey College Dean’s Scholar—selection is based on candidates’ overall academic performance,
recommendations from faculty, cocurricular initiatives, and “the sense of purpose with which they approach their future”—and has been a member of the Bellarmine Law Society, the Government, Law, and Public Policy Student Advisory Board, and the Korean Students Association (KSA).
“I’m very passionate about highlighting intersectionality,” said Yun, who helped facilitate, along with the CSD and KSA, a campus screening of the Academy Awardwinning South Korean movie “Parasite” with subtitles to enhance deafness awareness. “To me, diversity and inclusion mean normalizing the idea that you can be proud of your disability, and still feel upset about the issues you face as a disabled person. To advocate for BC students with disabilities gives me the opportunity to take a step in
the right direction in the fight for a more diverse and inclusive world.”
Last year, as KSA culture chair, she coproduced the 22nd Annual Culture Show, which honored the development of Asian cultures over time and encouraged students to remember their heritage and traditions— a matter of particular interest for Yun, who said that many in her generation and the one after it are losing touch with their familial roots. Winning the Aquino Scholarship, she said, engenders a responsibility to hold other Asian Americans accountable: “I hope to become a more knowledgeable and resilient Asian American leader on campus and in the greater world as well.”
Her stints as an intern with the Boston College Innocence Program and Greater Boston Legal Services, meanwhile, gave her the opportunity to have the greatest impact on others, said Yun. Among other activities at GBLS—which assists more than 10,000 low-income individuals and families with civil legal problems—she helped homeless and unemployed persons to obtain food benefits, searched for clinics that would address clients’ mental health needs, and found health services that were convenient for persons with disabilities who had difficulty traveling.
This combination of on- and off-campus service, along with her own family’s experiences, has pointed Yun to immigration law as a career path. “I want to practice law in a way that will establish it as a vehicle of change to eradicate the oppression and marginalization of communities in need of advocacy. My parents are my ‘fuel,’ and there is nothing more that stirs my will to serve and work for the Asian American community than knowing that there are other Asian Americans in similar positions.”
Boston College’s annual Corcoran Case Competition provides practical simulations in affordable housing planning for undergraduates, but as this year’s edition demonstrated, reality often hovers close by.
On April 25, the competition’s four finalists submitted their visions for affordable housing that would be located at the site of Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, current home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, to a panel of judges that included two prominent Nashville officials.
The very next day, the Metropolitan Nashville Council formally approved the Titans’ new $2.1 billion stadium, opening up some 100 acres of land for redevelopment at what is now Nissan Stadium.
“We’re trying to bring students actively into a conversation with real-world, ongoing planning processes,” said Taylor Perkins, competition director and associate director of the Joseph E. Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action, housed in the Carroll School of Management. “The goal is to educate and expose talented students
to the field of affordable housing and the diverse range of opportunities within that field.”
The contest kicked off for the fifth time in March with two online workshops during which the record-setting 56 undergraduate teams, representing 22 universities, learned about affordable housing and urban development issues from industry experts. Perkins noted that the competition strives to increase representation within the affordable housing industry, and invites teams from a diverse array of colleges, including Hampton University, a historically Black college in Hampton, Va. More than 20 BC teams participated.
A panel of four judges, including Nashville Deputy Mayor Sam Wilcox and Director of Economic Development LaTanya Channel, selected the four finalists, each of whom had 15 minutes to present its case online. In the end, Temple University won the $5,000 first prize for its proposed $35 million East River Apartments project, which would offer 72 units of affordable housing. The four-story facility would include a computer lab, two laundry rooms, a creative studio, classroom space, and a recreational rooftop; more than 80 parking spaces would
be available to tenants, along with a ZipCar station, and bicycle parking.
“[Temple] separated themselves through their professionalism, creativity, and attention to detail,” said Wilcox. “The group’s presentation demonstrated that they understood both the challenges and opportunities associated with delivering an affordable housing development on Nashville’s East Bank. Their overall articulation of the community benefits associated with their development struck the right balance between aspirational and practical.”
The other finalists were Florida State University, Georgetown University, and the University of Wisconsin Madison. Joining Wilcox and Channel on the judges panel were Sharon Wilson Geno, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council, and Gerald Zais, Capital One senior director of community finance underwriting and portfolio management. Corporate sponsors of the event included Capital One, Citizens Bank, and Red Stone Equity Partners.
Corcoran Center Executive Director Neil P. McCullagh noted that the case competition shares the vision of the center’s namesake, Joseph Corcoran ’59, who—inspired
by formative years spent in his socioeconomically diverse Dorchester neighborhood, and as a BC alumnus, by the University’s Ignatian values—pioneered mixed-use affordable housing in Boston. Given the profound shortage of affordable housing in the United States, key objectives of the competition are to raise awareness of its need, and to cultivate a crop of students with skill and interest in the field, he said.
“We are elated that more than 200 students from across the country can benefit from the opportunity to learn from experts, and [to] work on one of most complex challenges in American society,” he told the Carroll School News
The Corcoran Center was established in 2014 through a gift from Corcoran, a former BC trustee and founder and chair of Corcoran Jennison Companies who died in 2020. He taught a Carroll School course that eventually evolved into the center. The competition was launched in 2019 with the support and counsel from Darin Davidson, president of the Spokane-based Inland Group, and Boston Capital, a multifamily housing investment company whose chair is Jack Manning ’70.
It’s not surprising that a memoir by a priest and psychologist who has spent six decades in the Society of Jesus preaching, teaching, and leading academic and nonprofit organizations would include numerous tales of significant people and events.
The new memoir by Boston College Jesuit Walter J. Smith, however, comes with an unexpected benefit for readers: It’s also a major cookbook.
In addition to his wide-ranging career as a clinician, consultant, professor, department chair, dean, chancellor, trustee, and chief executive officer, Fr. Smith—who currently teaches in the School of Theology and Ministry—is an accomplished cook. His book, Faith, Food, & Friendship: Reflections and Recipes from a Jesuit’s Abundant Life, is replete with 175 carefully crafted classic, original, or adapted recipes, all of which—from dal chawal, an Indian dish once recommended to him by Mother Teresa, to the “21” burger popularized by the iconic Manhattan speakeasy-turnedrestaurant—in some way reflect his experiences preparing and savoring cuisine from around the world.
Though he describes his fascination with the culinary arts as “lifelong,” the interest was not sparked by his upbringing.
“Growing up in South Boston in a second-generation American Irish family that ate but rarely dined, it is remarkable that I developed any interest at all,” Fr. Smith said. “But my mother claims that I was curious about cooking and baking from an early age. Call it innate or simply a child’s budding curiosity, the attraction to ingredients and ways to combine them have early antecedents in my life.”
Raised in a working-class community and educated by Jesuits at both Boston College High School and Boston College, Fr. Smith joined the order in 1962, and was ordained 10 years later. He holds degrees in philosophy, theology, French language and literature, and counseling and clinical psychology—and his culinary abilities also have an impressive educational pedigree: While he was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris in the 1960s, he completed training at Le Cordon Bleu, billed as the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive program in classic French techniques.
Such a high-level introduction to cooking resulted from a combination of what he calls “serendipity, curiosity, and boldness.”
“I was living at the Jesuit community near to the Sorbonne where I was completing graduate studies,” he said, “and wondered if Le Cordon Bleu might allow a neophyte and non-professional cook like me to audit their basic courses in method and technique. I walked in off the street and asked to speak with the director. It was as simple as that. In life, if one is prepared for the answer ‘no,’ it’s amazing how many things unimagined can happen, and how often the answer surprisingly may be ‘yes.’”
Later, while teaching in Rome and serving as a psychological consultant for the Vatican, Fr. Smith immersed himself in learning about regional Italian food and wine. Subsequent travel in Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and the Middle East—related to Jesuit missions, international conferences, or his extensive maritime military chaplaincy on cruise ships—expanded his culinary knowledge and repertoire.
Faith, Food, and Friendship offers a rich menu of stories related to each included recipe. Tortellini alla Papalina, for example, traces its modern origins to Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), who was from an aristocratic Roman family. “The Holy Father allegedly once asked his cook to prepare a pasta dish that used Roman ingredients and was original,” Fr. Smith said. “This dish was the result, and I learned it firsthand from a family that owned and operated a small trattoria, located very near the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome.”
Other recipes also relate to personal interactions.
During his tertianship—the final period of formation for Jesuits—in Rome
in 1975, Fr. Smith’s director, Fr. Edward Malatesta, S.J., asked him to offer a series of three evening talks and celebrate Mass for a small group of Missionary of Charity novices in the Tor Fiscale suburb.
“On the first evening when I arrived at the novitiate, I was greeted by the community’s superior who advised me that Mother Teresa of Calcutta had arrived that day and wished to participate with the novices in the triduum,” Fr. Smith recalled. “Mother Teresa was not a foodie, but she did tell me that her mother often said that one could never enjoy a meal without sharing some of it with another. When I asked her what she enjoyed sharing, she spoke about a simple dish called dal chawal, an Indian lentil dish with rice, which I subsequently researched and learned to make.”
In keeping with his philosophy of being prepared for the answer ‘no,’ but asking anyway, one of his inquiries uncovered the secret to a crowd favorite.
“During my 26 years as the CEO of a healthcare nonprofit organization, I became friends with many ‘movers and shakers’ in the city,” said Fr. Smith, who is a recognized clinical specialist in palliative and end-of-life care, the author of two
award-winning books in the field, and led the world’s largest clinical pastoral education training and research center in New York City.
“One of them was Marty Lipton, the eponymous law partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, who for many years was chair of the board of New York University. His law offices were located just down the street from the famous landmark restaurant ‘21’. Marty and I would occasionally share lunch together there and invariably he would order a hidden pleasure—the 21 Club House Burger—even though his wife and cardiologist would shudder to know that,” Fr. Smith said. “I was able to persuade the chef to teach me how that burger was made. The secret to its richness is a generous portion of compound herbal butter that is inserted into the patty before grilling.”
Don’t forget the chocolate
Following four decades of work, travel, and culinary appreciation, Fr. Smith joined the Boston College Jesuit community in 2020, and currently teaches courses in lifespan pastoral care and counseling at the School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology, of which he was once dean).
He also is a member of the palliative care and workforce development advisory boards at Mass General Brigham NewtonWellesley Hospital, a commissioner of AgeFriendly Boston, has served as a director on the boards of national health, spiritual care, legal, advocacy, and higher education institutions, and consults and lectures nationally and internationally.
And. yes, he still cooks at any opportunity.
“Many of my friends don’t invite me to dinner, they invite me to cook dinner,” he said. “In the book, I recount some of these events where I create a menu and cook a 5-course meal for 12 guests. I’m often the principal holiday chef for large extended family gatherings, and during the years in which I served as superior of the Campion Center [the Jesuit retirement community in Weston, Mass.], I regularly cooked meals for groups of Jesuits.”
Does he have a favorite dish?
“Truthfully, I don’t, but I find myself most frequently gravitating toward Italian dishes when I cook or dine, and to French recipes when I bake. The recipes in the book not only are linked to people and events, but are reflective of my lifelong fascination and love affair with both classic French and regional Italian cuisine.
“I love being creative with the permutations and combinations of pasta sauces and with various kinds of pasta, polenta, and rice. I seem never to weary of exploring novel ways to cook chicken or seafood. And, like [New York French pastry chef and chocolatier] Jacques Torres, there isn’t anything chocolate that I don’t like to prepare or eat.”
More than 100 thought leaders from business, academic, and government sectors convened at Boston College last month for the inaugural Analytics and Industry Symposium hosted by the Woods College of Advancing Studies.
The event, held in Yawkey Center Murray Room, focused on the use of analytics across various business areas, with emphasis on bridging analytic and non-analytic fields.
“This was a great day full of valuable conversations and candid insights about the role and integration of analytics in the world,” said Aleksandar Tomic, associate dean for strategy, innovation, and technology at the Woods College, and director of its master’s programs in applied economics and applied analytics, which sponsored the event.
The M.S. in Applied Economics (MSAE) program prepares students to evaluate policies and programs, develop forecasts, understand consumer behavior, and analyze market efforts, all with an emphasis on ethical decision-making. Among the top 20 economics master’s programs in the United States in terms of enrollment, the MSAE recently was named the nation’s third best online M.S. program in the field—after those at Johns Hopkins and Purdue universities—by education resource group University Headquarters.
The success of the MSAE spurred the Woods College’s launch in 2022 of the M.S. in Applied Analytics, to provide students with a comprehensive focus on all aspects of data analysis, as well as grounding in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
At the symposium, Mojgan Lefebvre, executive vice president and chief technology and operations officer for Travelers, de-
livered the keynote address, which was followed by a “fireside chat” on a wide range of topics from her career, from insights on how tech is changing the insurance industry to how to help women thrive in a primarily male-dominated industry.
“Technology organizations have evolved; we are no longer in the ‘back-office’ focused on being reactive,” said Lefebvre, who was named to Forbes’ first CIO Next List of 50 Innovative Technology Leaders. «We are driving outcomes that help fuel the business and the work we are doing is an integral part of the company’s strategy.”
Discussions on the importance of analytics in three distinct areas—enterprise, policy, and social good—followed.
Panelists addressing the use of analytics for enterprise included Kirsten Stone, head of quantitative manager research at BNY Mellon; Andrew Sherwin, vice president of business strategy and operations for the Boston Celtics; and Michael Jester, leader of the Data as a Product Principal team at 7-Eleven.
The speakers presented real-world examples of analytics employed not only in the service of better organizational outcomes, but chiefly to improve the experience of customers and stakeholders across a wide range of scenarios—from wildfire victims seeking to process insurance claims to Celtics fans trying to buy a ticket to 7-Eleven customers located in “food desert” areas of the U.S., Tomic said.
Nechama Katan, director of data science insights at Pfizer, discussed analytics for policy with Lawrence Fulton, visiting professor of the practice of applied analytics at the Woods College. Katan spoke of improvements in the use of data analysis in clinical trials, and of the role analytics played in helping to change Department of Defense policy regarding women medics in combat.
The use of analytics for social good— particularly as related to environmental,
social, and governance (ESG) investing, diversity, and climate risk—was the topic of the final panel, moderated by Laura J. Steinberg, Seidner Family Executive Director of Boston College’s Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society. Participants included Stephen Lawrence, head of indexing research at Vanguard; Michael Baicker, director of ESG data at EY-Parthenon; and Greg Tully, director of climate risk and resilience data science at PwC.
“It’s important to stress the role of analytics in inherently non-quantitative fields like ESG and diversity,” Tomic said. “A common theme in the discussion was the need to integrate analytics more deeply into the work of non-analytic stakeholders,
The following are among the recent positions posted by the Department of Human Resources. For more information on employment opportunities at Boston College, see www.bc.edu/jobs or scan the QR code at right.
Account Manager, Tickets Sales & Services
Assistant/Associate Director, Annual
Fiscal & Operations Specialist
Life Skills Coordinator
Campus Security Officer
Administrative Assistant, University Advancement
Senior Philanthropic Advisor
Senior Database Administrator
Head Librarian, Social Work Library
Assistant Director, Athletics Annual Giving
Research Associate (multiple positions)
Animal Care Technician
as well as to be able to communicate analytic findings for maximum impact.”
Capping the event was a research showcase featuring poster presentations by students and alumni of the Woods College graduate programs in applied economics and applied analytics. Participants included Damon Gray, Anthony Cirino, Han (Kinsey) Zhang, Kurtie Kellner, Nicholas Wofford, Rachel Zhou, Ivan Lozano, Sofia Earle, Zhentao Wen, Marty Harrison, Matthew Colantonio, and Nicholas Rita.
“I am so pleased that our students were able to showcase their work to attendees at this forum,” said Tomic. “I could not be prouder of their work and the compliments received about it.”
Resident Director, Residential Life
Assistant Director, Advancement Talent
Assistant Director, Admissions, School of Social Work
Life Skills Coordinator
Public Safety Dispatcher
Senior Applications Architect/Engineer
Software ReleaseAnalyst Enrollment & Financial Aid Analyst
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ideally leading to a career as a policy analyst and historian, and teaching at the university level.
“Because Boston College focuses on the development of the person along with a liberal arts education, my four years here have given me the tools to find the overlap between intellectual curiosity and personal connection. My future experiences as a Fulbright Scholar, whose mission is to foster cultural exchange through teaching, will benefit from my classes and extracurriculars that showed me how knowledge can bring people together. “
Mary “Molly” Harrison ’23
HOMETOWN: Narrowsburg, NY
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; will seek to mentor projects to offer outreach and in turn, enhance her language and interpersonal skills; also plans to dedicate time to explore her creative writing skills.
FUTURE PLANS: Prior to her Fulbright, she will pursue an internship at the Sullivan County, NY, District Attorney’s Office and is considering industries and professions of interest upon the completion of her year abroad.
“Boston College gave me the place and space to not only be accepted as I am, but to also push me to get more comfortable in being uncomfortable. I hold the lessons I’ve learned close to my heart and am thankful for all the mentors that have aided me in my exploration. As I begin this new journey, I know that my fears will not outweigh my successes and that taking chances is the only way to discern my future.”
Sophia Hoang ’23
HOMETOWN: Manchester, NH
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship
FUTURE PLANS: Pursue a master’s degree in classics with teaching licensure at UMass-Boston to prepare for a future as a classics teacher at the secondary education level.
“The classes I have taken in the Classics Department and in the [Lynch School of Education and Human Development] have framed my intentions to create a safe, accommodating, engaging, and fruitful environment to learn new languages and cultures. My commitment to the AHANA community and community service have reminded me to embrace my identity as a Southeast Asian American and a child of Vietnamese immigrants, know and acknowledge everyone’s strengths that come from their culture, serve others the best I can, and remember that the little actions have the biggest impacts. My pursuit of academic success has taught me to prioritize myself, and to prioritize the relationships that give great meaning to my life. Altogether, these BC experiences have prepared me for the Fulbright, as not just an educator, but also a supporter and community member to the students and greater community that I will be a part of in Vietnam.”
Shemar Joseph ’23
HOMETOWN: Brooklyn, NY
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; will share the foods, music, and other facets of his Caribbean background with his host community.
FUTURE PLANS: Research training at the National Institutes of Health, pursue career as a physician.
“BC was where I was first really exposed to the language and culture of my host country. It was here that my interest in Germany developed and came to fruition. I feel that my courses and campus activities have intellectually prepared me to embark on this adventure.”
Brittney Klein M.A. ’21
HOMETOWN: Deerfield, Ill.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; initiate a book club to encourage reading and conversation in English and hopes to volunteer with a Hungarian organization focused on supporting people with disabilities.
FUTURE PLANS: Return to work at an American higher education institution in either disability services or study abroad; return to Europe to pursue a doctorate in higher education or educational leadership, focusing on higher education access and equity for students with disabilities. Klein currently works in the Academic Resource Center at Georgetown University.
“While obtaining my graduate certificate and degree at BC, I had access to world-renowned faculty who encouraged my interest in international higher education. Professors such as Hans de Wit, Gerardo Blanco, and Rebecca Schendel expanded my worldview and always encouraged me to push myself further, which I hope will serve me well as I embark on my Fulbright.”
Christopher Mastroianni ’21
HOMETOWN: Hopkinton, Mass.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; start an extracurricular sports club for students at his school.
FUTURE PLANS: Considering graduate school or possibly foreign service work. Mastroianni has spent the past two years working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
“Three of the most impactful parts of my BC experience were tutoring elementary students with 4Boston, leading 48Hours, and volunteering at the YMCA for PULSE. These experiences, combined with BC’s emphasis on being ‘men and women for others,’ have inspired me to teach in Taiwan.”
Caroline Melancon ’23 (alternate)
HOMETOWN: Saint Helena, Calif.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; plans to organize community celebrations of “uniquely American” holidays, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day, to provide a greater understanding of American diversity, family customs, and history.
FUTURE PLANS: Apply for positions in the U.S. Department of State or Defense to work on global issues or serve the U.S. abroad; considering a graduate degree in security studies.
“Throughout my four years at BC, my foreign language professors in Hispanic Studies and French, the guidance of faculty in the International Studies program, and my internship while studying abroad have prepared me to live and work abroad serving others after graduation. Whether that be through the Fulbright program or through other means, I am excited to see where the future takes me.”
Leo Pandolfi ’23
HOMETOWNS: Concord, NH; Dedham, Mass.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; in light of the NFL’s efforts to promote the popularity of American football in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, he plans to organize an American football club where students can watch games together and learn more about the sport.
FUTURE PLANS: Return to Boston to pursue a position in the finance or consulting field.
“I am forever grateful for all that the German Studies Department at Boston College has done to support me in my application for this Fulbright award. I especially thank Professor Michael Resler, our Fulbright advisor.”
Maeve Ronan ’21
HOMETOWN: Stamford, Conn.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; create and lead a Spanish and American art and art history program for students.
FUTURE PLANS: Pursue graduate studies in the field of international relations.
“I owe so much to the BC International Studies
programs and the professors who introduced me to ideas such as global citizenship, cultural ownership, and deconstructing the concept of the ‘other.’ I was encouraged to think about these concepts, not just in the context of the classroom and how we engaged with readings and discussions, but also in the broader context of how we interact with the world around us and how we can recognize the humanity in all cultures—including our own. This kind of education truly shaped the ways in which I think about cultural exchange and has had an enormous impact on my goals going into my Fulbright grant as an English teacher in Spain. Through my work in the classroom and with my project, I am excited to foster a stronger intercultural awareness aided by a dedication to improving communication.”
Colleen Scerpella ’23 (alternate)
HOMETOWN: Syracuse, NY
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; organize a dance club that teaches choreography from popular American music videos or movies to help promote mutual understanding and appreciation between cultures.
FUTURE PLANS: Enroll in a graduate program in international relations or public policy, pursue career as a foreign service officer.
“The education that I received at BC cultivated a habit of self-reflection and intentionality regarding the importance of being a positive force within the communities to which I belong. In addition, BC’s emphasis on the development of a well-rounded individual meant that I was able to draw upon a variety of experiences, perspectives, and skill sets throughout every part of the Fulbright process.”
Fizah Yousuf ’23
HOMETOWN: Chambersburg, Pa.
DESTINATION: Czech Republic
PROJECT: Biological research under the supervision of Masaryk University Professor David Smajs on the diversity of the outer membrane proteins of the syphilis-causing bacteria Treponema pallidum. If successful, this research will be used in the development of a vaccine with the potential of eliminating syphilis worldwide.
FUTURE PLANS: Pursue an M.D./Ph.D. that would allow her to practice and also perform epidemiological research, combatting disease at the interpersonal and macro scientific levels; continue to work with Partners in Health, traveling to communities deprived of quality health care.
“My BC experience has not only prepared me for the vaccine research I will undertake, but also for the experience of finding a new community halfway across the world. Through my years of performing immunological research under Assistant Professor of Biology Ismael Ben Fofana, I gained critical experience in the protocols, persistence, and perseverance necessary for scientific success. Furthermore, BC has prepared me to take on the challenge of building a new life in a country different from my own, surrounded by entirely new people. As a philosophy/biology double major, I’ve learned how to interact with individuals from differing backgrounds and perspectives, and to enter into real conversations that form genuine connections with others. Lastly, BC has taught me to utilize my gifts for the common good, which is the underlying principle that catalyzed my decision to use my scientific knowledge and skills to better the human condition.”