Saint Michael’s SAINT MICHAEL’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2016
FAITH AND REASON
EXPLORING DIFFERENCES, EMBRACING NEW PERSPECTIVES
“What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is a caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.” From “Beautiful Losers” by Leonard Cohen
FOUNDERS HALL 2
Summer, 2016 A Letter from President John J. Neuhauser
Beauty or Usefulness? A Conversation in the Garden with Valerie Bang-Jensen, Professor of Education and Mark Lubkowitz, Professor of Biology by Susan Salter Reynolds
STORIES Guns and Bibles A Conversation with Robert Brenneman, Professor of Sociology by Susan Salter Reynolds 6
Truth to Power A Conversation with Rowena He, Professor of History by Mark Tarnacki
A Cure for Homesickness Rahela Mohammad Akbar ’16 and Elizabeth Inness-Brown, Professor of English by Susan Salter Reynolds
To and From Around the World at Saint Michael’s by Mark Tarnacki
Commencement by Mark Tarnacki The Whole Athlete: Breaking the Mold by Lauren Friedgen ’16
Crossing the Causeway Doing Good Work at Enders Island by Mark Tarnacki
A Home for Hope Susanne (Murray) Byrne ‘95 and the York Street Project by Amy Klinger
Behind the Niqab | Behind the Veil A Conversation with Trustee Peggy Williams by Alessandro Bertoni A Whole New Party: Challenging a Few Myths About Diversity and Inclusion by Amy Klinger
Finding Hope in the Journey by Allison Cleary The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Last Bastion of the Liberal Arts? by Susan Salter Reynolds
The Scoop The Defender: Saint Michael’s Award-Winning Student Newspaper by Susan Salter Reynolds
SAINT MICHAEL’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE Summer 2016 Volume 16, No. 2 www.smcvt.edu EDITOR Susan Salter Reynolds CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alessandro Bertoni Allison Cleary Lauren Friedgen ’16 Amy Klinger Mark Tarnacki
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHER Brian MacDonald DESIGN Harp and Company Graphic Design Douglas G. Harp Jennifer Fisher MAGAZINE ADVISORY BOARD Angela Armour ’99 M’09 Alessandro Bertoni Kitty Bartlett Rev. Raymond Doherty, S.S.E. Sarah M. Kelly Josh Kessler ’04 Brian MacDonald Jerald Swope Mark Tarnacki
Go In The Value of Retreats by Susan Salter Reynolds
Athletic Round-Up by Josh Kessler ’04, Director of Athletic Communications
CLASS NOTES 49
Message from Alumni Association President P. Jonathan Heroux ’87
Saint Michael’s College Magazine (ISSN 0279-3016) is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications three times a year. The views expressed in the Saint Michael’s College Magazine do not necessarily represent the official policies and views of Saint Michael’s College. POSTMASTER Please send address changes to: Saint Michael’s College One Winooski Park. Box 6 Colchester, VT 05439
EDITORIAL OFFICE Saint Michael’s College One Winooski Park, Box 6 Colchester, VT 05439 802 654 2556 SMCMagazine@smcvt.edu @2016 All rights reserved ON THE COVER: Banner of Saint Edmund which hangs in the Saint Michael’s College Chapel
FOUNDERS HALL 2
ntil recently, the cost for having little winter in this corner of Vermont was to have little spring, but these last few days of glorious sunshine have dispelled any memories of February— just in time for seniors to bid a sunny farewell.
As you will see, this issue spends a good deal of time reflecting on the matrix of thought within which this
College is firmly embedded, The Catholic Intellectual Tradition. At the outset it is important to note that this Tradition is not one thing but many. Although others might trace its lineage even further back, it is reasonable to consider that its beginning coincided with the emergence of modern universities in
Europe and northern Africa in the late Middle Ages. (Given who we are, a college, let’s assume these Ages were Dark until lightened by universities!) Greek thought, mediated by Islamic scholars, was (re)introduced to the West just as the feudal society was changing. Along with this forgotten scholarship came the Greek method of discovering truth in dialogue. Certainly this early tradition was influenced by other cultures, including the emerging theologies and practices of the Christian world, because the fundamental tenant of this emerging Tradition rested on the belief that the world was good and worthy of study, all of it, since all was created by one Divinity. Thus a new idea was born, that belief in transcendence could coexist with intellectual curiosity, and that faith and reason were not incompatible. In this sense the Catholic Intellectual Tradition simply continues the Great Conversation that began with the preSocratic Greeks. Well, all this pretentious background is well and good, but how are we to interpret it, use it, in the modern context of an American college? If you are a liberal arts college this Tradition serves well because of the notion that any subject can be worthy of study, yet with an emphasis on consequences that are not
immediate but occur over a lifetime. As noted in this issue, “Catholic Colleges may be the last bastion of the liberal arts.” While giving due attention to the modern world (i.e., among other things recognizing that graduates have to make their way in this world) we have the luxury to explore deeper topics that become more clear only as life progresses. Certainly this is not for everyone and it is elitist in a sense because it emphasizes the development of intellect over time. This is indeed a privilege, but one a democracy requires. Still, there are issues left unresolved: We have to consider the role of evangelization or proselytizing embedded in an American college in a society that still, for the most part, insists on the separation of religion and statecraft. The American Catholic college has settled this quite imperfectly to be sure. Catholic colleges arose at a time when Catholicism was seen largely as a religion of immigrants, so the official Church often saw these colleges as instruments of spreading belief quite directly. This can be interpreted as offending the concept of ideas developed in dialogue, insisting only that all sides of a topic be explored. Even this is hard in an age when political correctness so dominates many campuses and some faculty members
abandon intellectual unbiasedness in favor of outright advocacy. This is dangerous ground because it violates the fundamental issue of trust so necessary in the dialogue. Recall that it is a fundamental tenet of this Tradition that all views be accorded respect, which is difficult to accomplish with political banners on display at the outset. College should be a safe place to explore ideas. We are not likely to settle on what precisely this Tradition is because it is many things, including a very important role for social justice, but it is much more than social justice. We are very proud of the work so strongly encouraged by the Edmundites, epitomized by their long service in such places as Selma, and New Orleans, and even in beloved Colchester. Social justice is a cornerstone of the Tradition, yet it is but one. This is a Tradition requiring expansive, intellectual engagement that is honest and admits differences— a hard job, but it is what our work here is all about. Take a look inside to see how others have interpreted these challenges.
John J. Neuhauser President
He’s perplexed. The conundrum? “WHY DO I LAUGH MORE TIMES IN A DAY IN GUATEMALA THAN I DO IN A MONTH IN THE U.S.?” PROFESSOR
BRENNEMAN PICKS UP THE STEEL COFFEE THERMOS ON HIS DESK. EXHIBIT A. “IN GUATEMALA YOU DON’T GET COFFEE TO GO. IT’S A SOCIAL THING. YOU SIT AND HAVE COFFEE AND LAUGH AND TALK.” Associate Professor Robert Brenneman is drawn to conundrums. For example, how do religion and violence co-exist in the world, often in a very complex, symbiotic relationship? How does the life of the mind coexist in one body with the life of an activist? What does it mean to be an observer, a sociologist and still care passionately, be truly engaged with the people and ideas one studies? And here’s another one: How, no, why does a boy, raised in a Mennonite community, throw himself into the whirling epicenter of a culture so far removed from his own experience? Or is it?
A Conversation with Robert Brenneman, Associate Professor of Sociology by Susan Salter Reynolds
Juan Jose Gomez Tobar (aka JJ), a gang leader in Guatemala City, died from lung complications in 2012 related to a shooting about ten years earlier. He joined the White Fence gang when he was nine and left after a religious conversion in 2006. He later founded a small outreach program to youth of his community.
GUNS AND BIBLES
Brenneman spent his sophomore year at Virginia’s Eastern Mennonite University in Guatemala, studying war and poverty and democracy. He did not study sociology in college—he studied English, minored in Spanish, and read sociologists like Peter Berger and theologians like John Howard Yoder. After graduation, he went right back to run the Central American Study and Service Program.
Brenneman conducts a follow-up interview with a former gang member in Guatemala City in 2013. In this case, the young man was thriving as an employed husband and father. The people in Central America wanted to celebrate. They wanted to worship for a really long time. I wanted to understand the appeal of the Pentecostal service to poor
see the human rights role the Pentecostal church played in Central America. He began to understand the important role that some of the churches were
“PEOPLE WANT THEIR STORIES TO BE HEARD. IT MEANS THEY ARE NOT INVISIBLE.”
Br. Robert Lentz, Seraphic Icons
people. I wanted to raise the curtain. The truth is sometimes ugly. Sometimes it’s just different [than you thought].” Drawn to playing an active role, Brenneman needed to know more. He signed up for a PhD in sociology at the University of Notre Dame in 2003. “I wanted to understand what tools can make a difference.” An iconic portrait of Archbishop Oscar Romero, killed by a sniper’s bullet while he conducted mass in San Salvador in 1980.
In those days, liberation theology was all the rage in the classroom. But Pentecostal liturgy, not progressive theology, ruled in communities in Central America. “The people I studied alongside wanted to reflect.
Gang violence and political corruption in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador filled the newspapers with grisly photos of murders and police parading young men covered with tattoos, heads held high for the news cameras. Brenneman talked with many people whose family members had been murdered, sometimes by weapons that came from his home country. He began to
playing in restoring human dignity to people. Even the most violent members of the congregations, he saw, wanted salvation. “The best way out of a gang,” people told him, “is joining a Pentecostal church.”
And he knew something about this kind of power and influence—the kind that has little to do with education. “In the conservative Mennonite community, you can be a preacher, a community leader, with an eighth grade education.” The Mennonites, like the Quakers, are pacifists. Robert Brenneman decided to study violence. A portrait of Oscar Romero, a Catholic priest in El Salvador, a champion of the poor and a fighter for social justice is the only decoration on the wall by Brenneman’s desk. It casts a sort of golden glow, it’s true, in the late afternoon light of the darkening office. Romero was assassinated in 1980. Pope Francis made him martyr and a saint in 2015.
This was contrary to popular opinion: Once a gang member, always a gang member. In the world becoming increasingly familiar to Brenneman, every“I am inspired by people one has the power to change. who face violence and are not Therefore, you simply can’t afraid. I am struck by Father turn your back on people, or Romero’s courage, motivated give them up for lost. by love. As a sophomore, I traveled to El Salvador and The conundrum? Pentecostals saw the place where he did not speak the language was killed.” of political progressives. But they were. “In that context,” Life as an academic and life as Brenneman explains, “often an activist began to come the only working institution together. Sociology, he says, is the small local church gave him the tools to “make in the barrio.” sense of the senseless.”
He began to understand the critical role shame played in the lives of gang members. Shame as a driver of violence. Bravado that comes from humiliation. He wrote a book proposal and earned a contract with Oxford University Press for what would become his first book: Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America (Oxford, 2011).
to adulthood that violence gave gang members. Belonging to a gang gave humiliated members access to status, and to addictions that come with access to adult activities. It gave them, he says, “temporary access to pride and a feeling of belonging.” “Look,” they could say, “at who you are messing with.” Pre-emptive violence made sure that others feared the dangerous man (59 of the 63 interviewees were men).
Brenneman interviewed 63 ex-gang members. Why ex? He and his wife, Gabriela Ochoa Brenneman (now an adjunct proessor of Spanish at Saint Michael’s), had two small children. Gabriela made him promise to only interview ex-gang members. And that worked out—“They had a valuable perspective,” he explains. “They could be sympathetic and critical.” Again, contrary to popular opinion: that these were sociopaths with no conscience.
Brenneman was not immune. A lot of this work made him angry, at the shame, the deprivation, the obvious connections between inequality and violence. Nor does he talk like a man with all the answers. He talks like a man who feels he should do more to change things, in spite of what others tell him, in spite of the obvious gratitude for his education and for his role as a teacher.
In his book, Brenneman exposed the short cuts
“I have a recurring nightmare,” he says. “That I am taking
Not all former gang members first interviewed in 2007 were thriving. Here, Brenneman interviews Susi, widow of JJ, who died of lung complications just weeks before this interview took place.
Professor Brenneman has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching/Research Fellowship for 2016-17. During the fellowship, he will split his time between teaching a graduate course in Religion and Violence in Guatemala at Universidad Rafael Landivar, Guatemala’s Jesuit University, and conducting research on the rise and impact of the private security industry in that country. Both aspects of the fellowship are a natural extension of Professor Brenneman’s previous work studying and writing about the impact religion has in counteracting gang violence in Central America. Shifting his focus to the burgeoning private security industry in Guatemala, Brenneman will interview current and former private security officers, hired by individuals and families who can afford it, to protect them from gang and other forms of violence and theft. “Because of the nature of violence in that country, people are hopping to ‘islands of security.’ Hired security is everywhere. You’ll even see a bread truck with an armed guard riding along.” “I don’t have an explicit hypothesis going in,” says Professor Brenneman. “But I’m looking forward to discovering the questions when I’m there.”
a final exam and the professor catches me with all my own books on the table.” It’s true that Brenneman has become an on-the-ground expert on a subject that often defies analysis. He speaks, testifies, and participates in many global forums on violence and is often asked to be an expert witness in cases involving gang violence— usually cases involving clients leaving gangs afraid of retribution—a role that proves the critical importance and value of his work in the “real world.” Beyond his work in the courtroom, Brenneman knows that his work as a social scientist—listening to people’s stories—has, by itself,
intrinsic value. “People want their stories to be heard. It means they are not invisible.” He’s currently interested in the private security forces, hired by people who can afford it, in places where daily violence can make buying a loaf of bread impossible. “What’s it like to live there? How is life different because of these security forces? What does it mean in a society when security becomes a commodity?” Monsignor Romero looks out across the room. “I’m enough of a sociologist,” Brenneman admits, “to believe that when we shed light on the world we do something valuable and humanizing.”
Truth to Power A Conversation with Rowena He, Assistant Professor of History by Mark Tarnacki
CAN DLELIGH T V I G I L , J UN E 4, 2012, AT V IC T O R I A PA R K, HON G KON G , COM M EM ORATI N G TH E 23 R D
AN N IVERS ARY OF TH E TI AN AN M EN M ASS A C R E
1989 “I try to cultivate students’ personal moral engagement as well as their intellectual
understanding of the world,” says Rowena He,
whose strong words and dramatic life example
teach her Saint Michael’s students that the courage
of one’s convictions often carries a dear price.
Rowena He expects much from students
at a “college of social justice.” The activist-author-
educator says the College itself showed courage
in hiring her as its East Asian history specialist last
year, knowing that her pointed, long-running
campaign to remember and tell the truth about the
1989 Tiananmen massacre in her native China would poke the bear of China’s powerful authoritarian
communist leaders and unsettle younger Chinese
international students in the West who are steeped
mostly in the state’s revisionist propaganda.
This recent semester she described the personal price she has paid for truth-telling to power,
first during a talk for the Saint Michael’s community to prepare for a presentation at Harvard and again
at a well-attended April 20 conversation in
McCarthy Recital Hall with exiled Tiananmen survivor Fang Zheng, who lost his legs when
a tank rolled over them in 1989.
TRUTH TO POWER 8
After donning a black armband to commemorate Tiananmen victims, Rowena was told as a teen student in China in 1989 that she either must get in step with the party version of events or face the worst. She decided “to lie to survive.” Nine years later, she’d had enough of lying, even with a promising banking career, so she left beloved family and homeland behind, possibly forever, and fled to Canada, bringing along two suitcases, little English, and no idea of what to expect. “I couldn’t even articulate why I left my rising
career to start all over. Now it is clear: like many others of my generation, we struggle to recover and regain our voice that was violently silenced in 1989,” she says.
Rowena—determined, bright, hard-working, and motivated—worked various jobs to survive while finding her way to graduate programs at the University of Toronto that led to a doctorate and later teaching opportunities at Harvard and Wellesley Colleges. For the 25th Tiananmen anniversary in 2014 she gave 30 talks, including at the State Department and for Congress, and at top universities in the U.S. and abroad. She often read from her book, Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggles for Democracy in China, named a Top Five China Book of 2014 by the Asia Society, with excellent reviews including from the New York Review of Books.
Rowena He with Tiananmen massacre survivor Fang Zheng during a recent public appearance at Saint Michael’s. and engaged citizens.” At her April appearance with Fang Zheng, she surveyed the large turnout at the outset with satisfaction (though afterward Fang sadly noted how only a few Saint Michael’s Chinese students attended) and remarked, “This is a most beautiful illustration of what a liberal arts education can be—Fang Zheng refused to lie, and we turn out like this to honor and support him for that.”
“Despite the challenges and pressures from society that are turning education into pure commodity, Telling a questioner she is “short-term pessimistic, I am still long-term optimistic” on an idealistic believer in the change coming to China, she power of education and said, “I believe in history in our commitment to liberal and the humanity of people. arts values against the trend Just when people say change is of excellence without soul,” impossible, the next day she says. something happens and they say ‘change is inevitable.’ ” Rowena says she is “grateful that St. Mike’s provided She hopes students me an intellectual home, and everywhere realize how I hope to inspire our students often the privileges and to be informed, responsible,
opportunities they enjoy are paid for by the dogged perseverance of generations before them who insist on fighting for the right and the “light.”
Tiananmen, Rowena He says, “is a reminder of oppression, but also symbolizes people’s power and the desire for freedom, the power of the powerless.” Gesturing toward herself and Fang Zheng in his wheelchair, she said, “They had guns, they had tanks, they had propaganda machines, we had nothing, so in 1989 I thought that was the end of it. But look—we survived, and tonight, we are all here, on this campus of social justice— to help the silenced voice be heard.”
Finding Hope in the Journey by Allison Cleary
On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, students sifted sand and hauled cement-filled buckets beside villagers in a region where farming families struggle to sustain their way of life. When the Saint Michael’s MOVE group arrived, life struck them as harsh—where water runs for only two hours a day and school is a one-room wooden shack. Within the Edmundite commitment to social justice, service involves bearing witness. For these students, that meant working side-by-side with families who explained how they prop their beds upright to avoid the rains seeping through damaged roofs. It meant carrying a sack of kindling beside an 87-year-old woman who hauls an ax into the hills to collect wood for her clay stove. It meant entering a house where the floor has holes as big as rats. Yet bearing witness also means honoring the joy in people. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the rhythm of a community that opened its arms to a batch of inexperienced, nervous students. Children cheered the group as they scrambled to keep up with a woman whose land and goats, high on the hillside, brought her peace and purpose. An elderly gentleman laughed that college students could know nothing about dominoes, as he won five games in a row. A family insisted that the group try a ride on their burro, one by one. In a week, the group built a home, shelled peas, played soccer with schoolchildren, danced the bachata, and fell in love with a simplicity that they rarely experience at home. This journey, an echo of all MOVE trips, changed the students’ perception of poverty, of possibilities, and of our collective humanity. Allison Cleary is the international service coordinator for the College’s MOVE program (Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts), and an instructor in the department of Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts
The Catholic Inte Last Bastion of the Liberal Arts? by Susan Salter Reynolds 10
irst of all,” says John Kenney, Professor of Religious Studies, “the Catholic intellectual tradition is not ONE THING. Catholicism includes a variety of spiritual traditions, many of them represented here at Saint Michael’s.” Some study the work of Thomas Aquinas, others Erasmus, Thomas More, Teresa of Avila, St. Augustine, John Henry Newman, Dorothy Day, or even Transcendentalists like Emerson, to name a few. “Secondly,” he admonishes, “these days, it isn’t quite as heavy as it sounds. I recall an alumnus who told the graduates at commencement about the college in the 1930s: ‘In my day, we had to read Aquinas every semester, in Latin.’ ” Today, most students at Catholic colleges don’t have to take Latin. They might even get by without ever really knowing much about Thomas Aquinas. They are, however, encouraged to develop a tool kit—their very own—for using human reason, combined with faith, to lead a fulfilled life, to pursue truth from a variety of perspectives, and to use their scholarship for the good of the community, broadly defined. In the tsunami of information that modern life has become, knowing exactly how reason works, and having a sense of one’s own philosophy, may well prove useful for navigating terra incognita. Or, as Professor Kenney puts it: “If you plan on spending any time in Western Civilization, you have to become a good consumer of information.” The original seven liberal arts were: Grammar, Dialectic (logic), Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, and Music, all designed, as Professor Kenney puts it, to open students’ intellectual capacities and provide them with a way to “nurture their souls.” Father Mike Cronogue, SSE, Campus Minister, puts it a little differently: “Since reason seeks truth, it brings us closer to God.” While there are fewer and fewer practicing Catholics in North America, and fewer and fewer Catholic students in the 251
Catholic colleges in the U.S., it may be that these colleges are the last bastion of the liberal arts—the last place where reason and faith are employed in the pursuit of meaningful lives. Professor Ronald Begley, Classics Department Chair and Professor of Philosophy and Classics, believes in the liberal arts as “something handed down,” the wisdom of those who went before us. Professor Begley has been at Saint Michael’s for almost 30 years. He used to read St. Thomas in Latin with Edmundite Fr. Richard VanderWeel. For Ronald Begley, Fr. VanderWeel is the embodiment of a fine teacher in the Catholic intellectual tradition. “He has such humor and intellectual generosity,” Professor Begley says, “you could often hear him down the hall, laughing. We read the Summa Theologica, a work which is dialogical, and which sifts the different strains within the Catholic intellectual tradition, as well as ancient Greek thought coming to St. Thomas by way of Arabic commentators. We read, we debated, we laughed.” Centuries before Aquinas, Aristotle had employed the same technique—using contending views to get closer to truth. This dialogue helps teach students how to make distinctions and see things from other perspectives, another hallmark of Catholic higher education. There are plenty of liberal arts colleges out there. (Many do not, by the way, include requirements for religion or philosophy.) So what makes liberal arts at a Catholic college different? Deep exploration of faith and reason. Inclusivity. The integration of disciplines. Ideas about identity, individuality, and community. A passion for social justice. And last but not least, the pursuit of the good life. FAITH AND REASON
Edward Mahoney, Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Edmundite Center for Faith and Culture, says that “in a Catholic college students learn it is possible to be committed to
llectual Tradition: Tradition: faith and intellectual rigor. In the Catholic intellectual tradition they are intertwined. Our desire to know the truth comes from God. Reason is a reflection of God. Some students may be put off, thinking that this education involves memorizing catechism. It does not.” INCLUSIVITY
One of the goals of a Catholic liberal arts education, says Professor Mahoney, is the cultivation of openness to new ideas (emphatically reinforced by Thomas Aquinas), openness to mystery, and receptivity. There is also a way of being based on hospitality, generosity, and inclusivity, reinforced (as we will see below) by the presence of the founding Edmundite ministry. It’s a personal education, in which professors, if not saving souls, are letting students know that they care about who these students are. As Heidi St Peter, ’96, Assistant Director of Academic Support, puts it: “Inclusion isn’t just being invited to the party. It means being invited to dance…and having others recognize that as well!” INTEGRATION OF DISCIPLINES
While integrating disciplines may be the hottest new trend in Western pedagogy, it’s been around in the Catholic intellectual tradition for thousands of years, including, for better or worse,
the integration of science and religion. All disciplines, according to this tradition, were created by and are infused with God, and therefore reveal something of the sacred. The deeper you go in any subject, the closer you get to God, the ultimate creative source. The trademark tools of this way of learning involves engaged dialogue and a tendency to embrace seeming opposites, rather than settling on either/or positions. THE GOOD LIFE
The Catholic tradition includes a great deal of reflection on what constitutes a good life, explains Professor Begley. Early Christianity was competing with and influenced by ancient schools of philosophy, which were intensely practical— philosophy was a way of life designed to help students find ways to thrive and flourish. IDENTITY AND INDIVIDUALITY
Professors at Saint Michael’s tend to feel responsible for the well-being of their students, and protective of their students’ individuality. The Catholic intellectual tradition stresses reverence for the dignity of every human being. Begley quotes Newman on a college as “an Alma Mater, knowing her children one by one, not a foundry, or a mint, or a treadmill.” The motto of Newman’s cardinalate also calls to mind the deep conversation between teacher and student: Cor ad cor loquitur, “Heart speaks to heart.” Such conversation is
hard work and requires leisure—the word “school” comes from the Greek word for leisure—so teaching and learning are, he says laughing, “very leisure-intensive.” There is, above all, an insistence on intellectual humility.
students often spend summers, vacations, and even hours during the busy workweek volunteering close to home and across the globe.
In other words, it’s not all about you. (Yet in a way, it is.)
WHAT CAN YOUR CHILD DO WITH A LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE?
Professor Mahoney refers to the constant emphasis our culture places on the individual in terms of autonomy and self-determination, which is certainly evident , he says, among the students. Often, this stress on the individual can lead to a kind of relativism that eschews universal norms. In this context, a right to self-expression can trump the well being of the community. The Catholic tradition says that we are essentially communal by nature. Questions of identity in this context become: “Who am I in relation to others? What am I called to be for others?”
Professors are frequently asked by concerned parents what their children can do with a Catholic liberal arts education. “You don’t do anything with a degree, says Professor James Byrne, Honors Program Director and Professor of Religious Studies. “It’s what the degree does for you. It could be 20 years before you understand what it did for you. You are receiving transferrable skills you aren’t even aware of—public speaking, analyzing, research, critical thinking….” THE EDMUNDITE SPIN
PASSION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
In the Catholic intellectual tradition, explains Professor Mahoney, students can learn to “share a concern for the moral implications of their work in the world.” There is a sense of responsibility for the uses of scholarship, hopefully to improve the lives of others. Many of the discussions on ethical questions-around abortion, stem cell research, the dignity of work, the environment, violence, warfare, and weapons of mass destruction—says Professor Mahoney, raise similar arguments and responses over the years. The principles in Catholic teaching remain the same, but need to be applied in concrete situations as they arise. In that sense, there is a set of universal norms discovered but not invented by humans. This aspect of a liberal arts education is particularly pronounced on Catholic campuses, where work in the world to help the underprivileged is a critical part of scholarship. At Saint Michael’s
The Edmundites are a quiet, humble, welcoming presence on the Saint Michael’s campus. In fact, they do so little self-promotion that some, like Heidi St. Peter, worry that they do not promote themselves enough. The Edmundites practice what St. Peter calls a Ministry of Presence and a Ministry of Action. Their way of being emphasizes hospitality and openness, but they also, since the early years of postrevolution in France, are here to quietly evangelize their faith. Father Mike explains: “We are helping to shape the future responsibly. Students today have so much information available to them but no time for silence and contemplation.” How did he decide to enter the ministry? “I learned at college that I did not want to be an engineer,” he says, laughing. “One day, lying in bed, a voice spoke to me and said ‘read your bible.’ I did. The message of Jesus made sense to me.”
t’s a myth that science and religion are at odds in the Catholic Church, the result, in the U.S., of an anti-Catholic bias.” “We bring ourselves, our witness, to this education,” he says simply. “Our great strength lies in our ability to collaborate with others, with lay people. We are not hierarchical. Our mission here in Vermont is quite similar to the early days in France, when society had become extremely secularized. Students, people in general, had no idea what it meant to be Catholic. We try to show them.” Heidi St. Peter will never forget her volunteer year in Selma, in 1996-97, attributing her inspiration to help others to the Edmundite Ministry at Saint Michael’s. The Edmundites, she says fondly, “have guided my path.” LIMITS AND CHALLENGES
“The un-churching of our society is a real problem,” says Professor Mahoney. “It’s the detachment from institutional religion and from all institutions—a lack of trust in institutions. On top of that, most high school students who come to us have no formal education in religion. In general, the lower number of Catholic students on campus mirrors the lower numbers of Catholics, especially practicing Catholics, in this country.” Heidi St. Peter believes this change has taken place in recent decades. In her college years, the 1990s, she recalls, more students were Catholic. “It was cool to go to
the Chapel for Mass—and almost always crowded! Organized religion,” she says, “is a tough sell to college students today.” “We live,” agrees Professor Kenney, “in a post-enlightenment, secularized, inter-denominational age. There is a general disregard for the particular in favor of the universal. So, the Catholic intellectual tradition is in many ways counter-cultural.” Misconceptions, according to these professors, abound, beginning with the idea that Science and Religion are incompatible in a Catholic education, in spite of the many Catholic scientists down through the ages. Professor James Byrne says “it’s a myth that science and religion are at odds in the Catholic Church, the result, in the U.S., of an anti-Catholic bias.” Professor Kenney admits that “Catholicism has a rocky relationship with democracy.” This too, is often the result of a misconception that Catholicism (and, for that matter, Liberal Arts in general) are elitist, in spite of a continuous emphasis on openness and universality. Jeffrey Trumbower, Professor of Religious Studies, has a few more myths to debunk, after teaching at Saint Michael’s for almost thirty years. “Before Vatican II, in the days of the Index, there were books that required special permission from
C AT H O L I C T R A D I T I O N 14
the bishop for students to access at Catholic colleges. That has really changed. There has been reconciliation in the 20th century between the Catholic church and the sciences,” he explains. “There’s no problem teaching evolution or the big bang, for example.” For generations, the humanities were “often rabidly secular.” Now that the humanities have come under cultural assault, he says, Catholic colleges have become a firm bastion for the humanities. “It’s much harder for a Catholic college to dump, say, Classics, and move to a purely STEM or pre-professional curriculum like so many others. Our culture has backed the humanities into a corner, but in that corner they find refuge in the Catholic intellectual tradition, which has long valued the Humanities and the Humanist tradition.” Trumbower is a biblical scholar—he was raised Episcopalian and was the first full-time non-Catholic faculty member hired in the Religious Studies Department at Saint Michael’s. He later became a Unitarian. Professor Trumbower is also openly gay. The subject of some criticism in the world of conservative Catholic educators in the U.S., he received nothing but support from the administration at Saint Michael’s. “I’m telling you, for some of my critics, it was much worse that I was Unitarian!” he laughs. “The Catholic intellectual tradition includes the analysis of sacred texts from a variety of perspectives. You can’t do this in so many other religions! In certain forms of Fundamentalist Protestantism or Islam, there is no practice of critical study of their own tradition. The genius of the Catholic Church and its intellectual tradition is that it has been able to absorb new insights without losing its identity.”
Sometimes, Catholic colleges face an assumption of a lack of rigor—that religious studies are somehow akin to basket weaving. This assumption is rejected by Professor Byrne: “Classes in Religious Studies are not add-ons at Catholic colleges. These are central to our identity. They are every bit as academically rigorous as any other course. We offer an academic study of religions. We are not Catechists; our role is different.” Many, however, have felt that a little more catechism might not be a bad thing, that there is a secular bias in higher education. Notre Dame President Father Theodore Hesburgh convened the Land O’ Lakes conference in 1967 to strengthen the Catholic mission and curriculum at Catholic colleges. Associate Professor Raymond Patterson, Religious Studies Department Chair, explains that the fears that motivated the Land O’ Lakes conference were not unfounded. “For the last fifty years there has been a struggle to preserve the Catholic identity at Catholic colleges. There has also been a steady decline in the U.S. of practicing Catholics. “About fifty percent of the Saint Michael’s student body is Catholic,” he says. “About twenty percent of those students might show up at a Sunday service.” Father Marcel Rainville, SSE ’67, one of the Edmundite Ministers on campus, has a different view: “We may have fewer practicing Catholics on campus these days, but the ones we have are more mature and more committed. The students who come to mass are there because they want to be there, not because it is mandated.”
And what about the faculty? Whereas in the 1970s and ’80s faculty may have found a Catholic emphasis constraining, many are drawn today to the social justice emphasis, and to the freedom they have to discuss religious subjects wholeheartedly. (“If you really want to be counter-cultural,” Professor Patterson tells his students, “become a nun!”)
“I would argue,” Barrowclough continues, “that our decline is not related to any changes in our general education requirements, but rather a shift in student focus to some “hot” majors. In recent years, we have experienced growth in the new Environmental Studies major, as well as continuing interest in Biology (and the related Pre-Health track).”
“We are clearly so much freer to deal with religious subjects than we might be at a secular college. And in this day and age, many faculty really appreciate that. Since 9/11, the fear of religious extremism is everywhere. Religious discussions are practically taboo in public high schools. On Day One of my classes I say, ‘You may not be Catholic, but roughly 1.1 billion people in the world are, and that number is growing.’ ”
The decline in religious practice, says Professor Byrne, has been replaced by a Culture of Materialism—material well-being as an ideology. Sunday is now for sports and shopping.” In Professor Byrne’s 100 level class, students are given an assignment:
In 1990, Pope John Paul II issued the Ex Corde Ecclesiae, attempting to reinvigorate the ideals of a Catholic college. Catholic colleges were challenged, Professor Patterson says, “to live up to the Ex Corde.” “It is my hope,” he continues, “that both conservative and non-conservative Catholics would feel comfortable here—that we can have conversations in and outside our classrooms that one might not be able to have at secular schools. The goal is to make students aware that the spiritual quest is important. This is easier when there are people of different faiths all around you.” As for the liberal arts, there has, in this country, been a visible decline in Humanities degrees. A recent article in the journal Inside Higher Education (“The Shrinking Humanities Major,” March 14, 2016), cited a decline in humanities degrees from 2012 to 2014 of 8.7 percent, to 106,869, the lowest it has been since 2003. Reasons for the decline, the article posits, include changing general education requirements. Many believe that the decline is self-inflicted—that the humanities have been watered down and rendered irrelevant. On average, reports David S. Barrowclough, Saint Michael’s Registrar, about 25 percent of each class from 2003 to 2015 has earned a major in the Humanities. (The peak was in 2008, with 30 percent of all graduates majoring in the Humanities. In the previous decade, the highest number of Humanities majors was in 1995—31.66 percent). “From 2012 to 2014,” Barrowclough explains, “Our decline was 3.3 percent. So, while we are following the overall trend of decline, it is not as visible as the national average highlighted in the Inside Higher Education study.”
Go To Church. Write about it. In this assignment, students are encouraged to visit churches or centers of faith that may be unfamiliar to them. Often, he has found, students’ grandparents are the ones who keep the faith alive in the family, while parents may only go to church on holidays. Most students, he reports, say they found study of religion more interesting than they had thought. “Theology,” he reminds a listener, “was once the queen of the sciences. You only got to take it after you’d studied everything else.” As for the limits of reason and the importance of faith, Professor Byrne shrugs. “You can’t prove or disprove the existence of God. God is not an entity subject to definitive proof, like some object in the world. The assumption exists in our culture that only that which is measurable exists. I disagree.” Et voila. The Catholic intellectual tradition at work. Additional Online Content smcvt.edu/magazine
Illustrations courtesy of the Society of Saint Edmund Archives
A CURE FOR HOMESICKNESS RAHELA 16
MOHAMMAD AKBAR ’16
Rahela Mohammad Akbar ’16 is a long way from home. But she’s found ways to bring home to her. Akbar grew up in Herat, in western Afghanistan, in the valley of the Hari River, in the path of the ancient trade routes to Iran, and the Middle East. There has been suffering in Herat, throughout history and in recent history—since the Soviet invasion in 1979, the Taliban takeover in 1995, and the U.S. invasion in 2001. But this is not what Akbar hopes people think of when they think of Afghanistan.
AND ELIZABETH INNESS-BROWN, PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH by Susan Salter Reynolds
“Most people judge Afghanistan by what the media tells them. And it’s mostly negative. I want people to know the beautiful aspect of Afghanistan, an image that better resembles the truth,” she says. “Writing about my country helps me to be less homesick.” Akbar came to a high school in Middlebury, Vermont, in 2010, on a two-year scholarship. Her sister was studying at Middlebury College. Akbar was shocked—not by the weather in Vermont, but by the American culture. She was shocked by the way people
dressed. “As a high school student you wear a uniform in Afghanistan and you are not allowed to wear short dresses, jewelry, or makeup.” She was shocked by the bold way students talked to their teachers. “It is rude to talk to your teacher while you have gum in your mouth. You just don’t do that where I come from. In Afghanistan students have to behave certain ways (very polite and formal) and students are afraid of their teachers. In America it seems students have more authority than teachers!” Plus, she says, it was difficult to talk to boys: “In Afghanistan, you don’t make eye contact with guys!” And the language was hard to corral. “English was a challenge at the beginning, but now I feel more comfortable writing in English than writing in Dari, my mother tongue.”
Akbar’s friends say she has changed a lot since coming to the U.S. “I didn’t have the confidence to get involved when I first came.” Then she started writing. “I began working on a book about my country, about my own life experience. My teacher, English Professor Elizabeth Innes-Brown, encouraged me.” In her first year, Akbar, a biology major, took a first-year seminar with Inness-Brown—“The Examined Life.” In the summer of 2015, Akbar received a VPAA (Vice President of Academic Affairs) Summer Research Grant from Saint Michael’s College and wrote her first draft of an autobiographical novel. This academic year, Akbar did two independent studies with Inness-Brown, one each term, in order to work on the second draft of her book. While Akbar may have been shy at first, Inness-Brown reports that she is bold when it comes to writing new drafts, changing the storyline, improving, and editing.
“MOST PEOPLE JUDGE AFGHANISTAN BY WHAT THE MEDIA TELLS THEM, AND IT’S MOSTLY NEGATIVE. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THE BEAUTIFUL ASPECT OF AFGHANISTAN, AN IMAGE THAT BETTER RESEMBLES THE TRUTH.” “The wonderful thing about a liberal arts education,” says Inness-Brown, “is that it really helps you to become a complete person. You learn to enjoy the life of the mind. You develop curiosity and interests.” Inness-Brown teaches students how to write, and how to read their own writing and that of others. “Students love being creative. And they like writing about themselves! When they come to college, it’s as if a door has opened. They are liberated! And the writing helps them gain some perspective on themselves.” Inness-Brown believes that English—that is, the study of literature and writing—is the most interdisciplinary discipline in the liberal arts, including elements of psychology, history, art, the sciences, religion, sociology, linguistics…. She’s delighted by the diversity—cultural, gender, emotional—in her classes. But she also sees the challenges students
from other countries face expressing themselves in English. “For example, Asian writing may seem indirect to us. And Asian students often feel that American writing is too blunt!” Both Akbar and Innes-Brown point out that it helps that she is writing in English, which many people in her life back home do not read. As Akbar describes it, the book, with the working title, “Two Birds, One Cage,” is about everyday life in Afghanistan. It is also about romantic and familial relationships and how religion affects those relationships. The book also, Inness-Brown reports, contains beautiful imagery. Much of it, she says, is very sad. But not all. It is, Akbar says, an autobiographical novel, originally about a young woman who falls in love with a young man from another sect. But the story has widened to include the normal life of Afghans, their ups and downs and not only their tragic moments. “It is about strength of women, the creativity of Afghan youth, the support of fathers and brothers. This novel will be about hope,” Akbar says, “and how Afghans create happiness in distress.”
“People know so little about my country,” she says. Educating people about her culture is a big motivation. But Akbar is also motivated by the lack of female Afghani writers from Afghanistan writing about their lives. “In Afghanistan, there are few active female writers and it is mostly because of the limitations and lack of resources. Limitations include cultural and religious restrictions against women, particularly because Afghanistan is a male-dominant country. Female writers cannot write openly about women’s rights or their liberal ideas. They would be ridiculed or worse if they shared their feelings and wrote about lovers, which is completely accepted for male writers and poets.” Stories like the one about poet Nadia Anjuman (also from Herat), who was killed by her husband in 2005 for writing about love, are a powerful deterrent. “But we must write,” Akbar says, “to change this culture.”
“I see that the younger generation in the U.S. is not that happy, in spite of the fact that they have everything! There is a lot of talk about depression and loneliness. In Afghanistan, we don’t talk about these things. Women in Afghanistan might not have access to a good quality education or the normal freedom and privilege that women have here, but they are still happy and grateful for the life they have. I know it is hard for people in the U.S. to believe this. My book will raise awareness that the challenges people face in the U.S. are minimal compared to the life struggles that women have in Afghanistan.” After graduation in May, Akbar plans to go to Washington, D.C., continue working on the book, and publish it. She will also continue to write frequently for a website called the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, http://awwproject.org. “I love the way she has blossomed,” says Inness-Brown. “She is supremely confident now, which I do think comes in part from her success with writing. I’m proud of her. I’ll miss her.” Photo of Herat: Yves Picq
Behind the NIQAB
A Conversation with Saint Michael’s College Trustee Peggy Williams by Alessandro Bertoni
have always been a traveler, especially to unfamiliar places where you can be surprised by the differences but also by the common humanity that we share.” Saint Michael’s College trustee Peggy Williams reflects on her recent trip to Saudi Arabia where she and three other accomplished American women from academia led groups of Saudi university women in developing their leadership skills.
Williams had been invited by the Academic Leadership Center of the Ministry of Education, which hosted the first ever Women’s Leadership Conference in Riyadh. As former chair of the Commission on Women at the American Council on Education and current president emerita of Ithaca College, Williams had been invited to share her leadership background in academia, as
well as her experience working for women’s advancement. “I’ve focused on women and leadership throughout my career. So this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to share what I have learned in a part of the world that has long been an interest of mine.”
from the valet and get in the driver’s seat,” Williams recalled. But the man standing beside the car was not the valet; he was their host’s male driver, a reminder to the Americans that it is against the law for women to drive in that country.
As excited as Williams was, she worried a bit about the cultural differences. “It was challenging to balance focusing on the conference program, while also being constantly careful I didn’t do something that might offend my hosts.” Such cultural differences were illustrated shortly after arriving when Williams and two of her American colleagues were invited to lunch by the vice rector of one of the area universities. After meeting their veiled female host in the hotel lobby, the women headed out to a waiting car. “I had fully expected the vice rector to take the keys
Williams added, “I love to swim, but as women, we were not even permitted to use the hotel pool—maybe the nicest hotel pool I have ever seen.” But when the conference began, the cultural differences faded to the background as Williams and her colleagues received an exceptionally warm welcome from the attendees and were embraced with a feeling of shared purpose. “Once we were together behind closed doors, and had removed our headscarves and niqabs (veils), we were just women working together and sharing our
“Once we were together behind closed doors, and had removed our headscarves and niqabs (veils), we were just women working together and sharing our knowledge and experience with incredibly warm, intelligent, and accomplished academics.”
knowledge and experience with incredibly warm, intelligent, and accomplished academics,” she said. The fact that the Saudi system of higher education is based on that of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada facilitated an easy sharing of knowledge and intellectual dialogue. The five-day conference was attended by approximately 80 women, all with doctorates from the seven area institutions. The program focused on three broad themes: leadership skills and styles, effective communication, and career advancement. One of the key points the American women stressed was the importance of building professional networks. In fact, they held themselves up as a model: “Three of us knew each other well professionally even before being contacted about the conference. We were a living example, demonstrating how valuable it is to support each other professionally.” As she expected, Williams and her American colleagues were not only sharing their knowledge but were actively learning about their host society. Saudi Arabia has experienced a remarkable increase in women attending university over recent
LIEV eht dniheB decades. “In fact, many Saudi women talked about having previously studied in the U.S. or other western countries.” In 2010, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University was built—the largest women’s university in the world, with over fifty thousand enrollees. In addition, there are six other institutions in and around Riyadh that educate both men and women. These co-ed institutions are really two schools operating in parallel as one. The entire supporting structure is duplicated to ensure men and women do not attend classes or work together. “The cost implication of such a structure is staggering, especially when seen through an American lens of cost containment as a priority in higher education,” says Williams. Another remarkable thing that the American women realized about their Saudi peers is that many of them are in STEM fields (science, technology,
engineering, and math). This is in stark contrast to the U.S., where there is wide concern for the lack of women pursuing study or careers in these fields. “Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to verify the impression and delve into what was driving that trend, but I hope to follow up to understand more about it,” says Williams. But perhaps the biggest question that lingers for Williams centers around
what will happen next. “This conference brought together a group of smart, ambitious women, all of whom were eager to both learn and teach,” she says. “It made me wonder: with the growing number of highly intelligent, academically accomplished women in a society that offers them so little professional opportunity, where will all that intellectual energy go?”
Side note: The exploration of things that are unfamiliar can bring surprising opportunities for learning. Peggy Williams considered this in light of her role as a trustee of Saint Michael’s College; that is, how valuable a liberal arts education is and how important it is to have international experiences that take a student outside of their comfort zone. Williams looks forward to opportunities to share her experiences with students at Saint Michael’s.
A WHOLE NEW PARTY: CHALLENGING A FEW MYTHS ABOUT
Diversity and Inclusion by Amy Klinger
iversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” As noted eslewhere in this issue, it’s an expression that has been used to help people from the majority culture step outside themselves to understand, in the simplest terms, what systematic and cultural exclusion feels like to minority populations, particularly people of color. But in today’s rapidly evolving demographics, the message
And it is more important than ever for a school like Saint Michael’s College to be active and committed to becoming more diverse in its student population, faculty, and staff.”
African American, Asian American, and Latino students makes it essential for us to focus our attention on recruiting and retaining a diverse student population.”
institution; national polls and other research indicate that parents from majority white demographics also seek diversity in their children’s college experience.
He is not speaking of increasing diversity as something to do simply because it is right. St. Louis and Saint Michael’s administrators see other, highly pragmatic reasons for making diversity and inclusion a priority for the college.
“Can you imagine if we hadn’t made the decision to admit women to the College back in the early 1970s?” says St. Louis. “Today, our student population is 53 percent female. We must have the imagination to think about diversity in the same way. It is that critical.”
Ultimately, a student’s success will depend on prior experience and engagement with people from cultures that are different from their own, as graduates navigate careers in which supervisors and co-workers hail from an array of ethnicities, countries,
“A MORE DIVERSE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT CONTRIBUTES TO MORE ENGAGED STUDENTS, RICHER CLASSROOM LEARNING, AND THE POTENTIAL TO ACQUIRE AN EDUCATION THAT HAS GREATER DEPTH AND RIGOR.”
is somewhat beside the point. “It’s time to imagine a different party, with lots of different types of music and perspectives,” says Moise St. Louis, Associate Dean of Students, and Director of Multicultural Student Services. “Because that is the way our society is growing and changing.
“Just in terms of numbers,” says Sarah Kelly, Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing, “our survival as an institution depends on broadening our reach to attract multicultural students. The decrease in the population of white, suburban youth compared to the increase in
At the same time, both Kelly and St. Louis stress that as an institution of higher learning, St. Michael’s has an obligation to do everything it can to prepare students for the world they will enter after graduation. And it’s not just multicultural families demanding a more diverse
cultures, and backgrounds. The case becomes even clearer when one imagines a graduating education major with no prior experience with diversity. It seems unlikely they would be able to understand or appreciate the cultural nuances that would help all their students thrive.
As a liberal arts college, giving students the opportunity to go deeper, to enrich their perspectives, is an essential part of the school’s mission.
Admissions team, he is adamant about that viewpoint: “It is a myth, and one that we need to stop using as an excuse.”
“The research is clear,” says St. Louis. “A more diverse educational environment contributes to more engaged students, richer classroom learning, and the potential to acquire an education that has greater depth and rigor.”
Nevertheless, he admits, attracting talented, multicultural high school students to St. Mike’s can be challenging, especially when many other schools are trying to do the same, and often, those schools’ recruiting programs have been focused on diversity longer than St. Mike’s.
MYTH #1: VERMONT IS TOO COLD
Vermont is one of the whitest states in the union. It’s cold, it’s rural, and it’s often said that people of color are simply not interested in living in a place like this. Kimoi Seale ’06, Assistant Director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs & Services and Assistant Dean of Students at St. Mike’s, laughs at this comment. “I came from Barbados. That’s about as different a climate as you can imagine. And yet, not only did I come to Saint Michael’s College as a student, I chose to come back to Vermont to live.” As a former recruiter with the St. Mike’s
So how can a school that is overwhelmingly white demonstrate its commitment to diversity in a way that doesn’t seem disingenuous to prospective students of color and their families? For Seale, back when he was recruiting at high schools in New York and New Jersey, the question was personal. “People wouldn’t ask outright, but you could read it in their expression, ‘How did this guy end up there?’ What I talked to them about were the benefits I experienced. That coming to St. Mike’s challenged me in ways that staying in my comfort zone wouldn’t have. How the school gave me the space
and opportunity to figure out who I was as an individual.” He continues, “I told them that it’s a place where the professors knew me and they cared enough to check on me if I was absent and they pushed me to do my best work.” This is a point that St. Louis stresses, as well. “What we have done well, where we clearly do better compared to our peer and aspirant schools, is in both our retention and graduation rates. We understand that every student has specific needs and whether you are Latino, African American, Asian, Muslim, white, low income, international—whoever you are, we will work hard to see that you have what you need to succeed during your time here. Helping students reach their full potential, as unique individuals, not as cultural groups, is the prime motivation for the Center for Multicultural Student Services.” This approach aligns perfectly with the school’s Edmundite philosophy of respect for the dignity of
every individual. “Hospitality and welcome are characteristics of who we are as Edmundites,” says Fr. Stephen Hornat, Superior General of the Society of Saint Edmund, St. Mike’s alumnus, and founder and former director of the Edmundite Mission Corps, in Selma, Alabama. “But beyond that, we have an obligation to the students we bring here to provide them with as much or as little support as they need.” MYTH #2: FINANCIAL AID IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS
Highlighting the genuinely supportive culture that exists at St. Mike’s is a message that resonates and can compel parents and students to choose St. Mike’s; but in an intensely competitive environment where all schools are working to meet their admission requirements, offering a competitive financial aid package is an important arrow in the quiver. Sarah Kelly doesn’t deny the critical role that financial aid plays. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the kind of endowment that would allow
A W H O L E N E W PA R T Y 22
us through financial means alone to become more substantially diverse. So in addition to touting our great outcomes, community, and the fact that we are located in the safest state in the union, we have to make sure our message is reaching multicultural high school students. And we’ve definitely made progress there.” “Eight years ago when we first recognized our need to become more diverse, students of color represented three percent of our population,” says St. Louis. “Within
two years, we were able to increase it to 11 percent simply by recruiting where they were and committing to being competitive.” At that time, in 2008, Saint Michael’s College established relationships with roughly 20 partner schools along the east coast, primarily in New York and New Jersey, many of them Catholic and all of them serving a high percentage of students of diversity. St. Mike’s maintains close relationships with their counselors so they can better represent the College,
its values, and environment to prospective students. As the College does with other recruitment initiatives, the program also offers partial and full tuition scholarships to selected students who demonstrate academic achievement, community leadership, and persistence. But no matter how good the financial aid package is for multicultural students, if the environment is not supportive of diversity, or if those students face hostility or feel uncomfortable on campus, they will leave. St. Mike’s may
not yet have a critical mass of multicultural students, faculty, and staff, but the retention, graduation, and academic performance rates suggest that it’s doing something right. MYTH #3: INCLUSION IS COMMON SENSE
The effort to reach out and support students of diverse backgrounds begins before they even arrive. At designated Select St. Mike’s overnights, ALANA students (African, Latino(a), Asian, and
“WE LEARNED THAT BY IMMERSING OURSELVES IN ANOTHER PERSON’S CULTURE WE ENRICH OURSELVES.”
Native American) have the opportunity to get to know the school in an experience designed to convey how their diverse backgrounds might translate on campus. It is at these events that students get to know the resources available to them, but more important, they start making connections with potential classmates. It was just such an overnight that convinced 2016 graduate, Karen Penafiel, to chart her collegiate course at St. Mike’s. “I truly got a sense of community here.” As an aspiring Latina business woman, who now has her BA in Business Administration, Penafiel sought an experience that was different from the urban, primarily Black and Latino environment in which she grew up in Newark, New Jersey. Though she admits being frustrated in not having a strong Latina mentor on campus, she found a home at St. Mike’s that she will miss as she heads out into the world.
“As a St. Mike’s student, whatever I needed, I knew there was someone I could go to. Whether it was academics, social, or personal, I had a long list of people I could turn to. And if they didn’t know, they would make sure I got to someone who did.” But creating and sustaining an atmosphere in which students from all backgrounds can equally thrive, in many cases, requires a deeper understanding of racial and cultural issues than most of St. Mike’s faculty and staff have experience with. So the college has been engaged in various educational efforts to enhance the cultural competency and awareness on campus. Through the We All Belong program, roughly 60 faculty, staff, and students have participated in training sessions that help participants not only recognize the advantages that come from being part of the majority culture, but where to put that knowledge in the context of their relationship to their broader communities.
“Having been in many training sessions with faculty, staff, and students,” says Kelly, “It’s clear our students “Obviously, we are not just speaking about racial diversity,” get it. You can almost hear them saying, ‘Would you guys says Dawn Ellinwood, Vice catch up already?’ And, too, President for Student Affairs, our younger faculty members “but also what might be have been leading the way, considered ‘hidden’ diversipushing us for more training.” ties: first generation students (first in their families to go Providing coaching and to college), those with training in cultural competenphysical limitations, those cy and social justice is an with learning needs, our ongoing part of the school’s veteran students, and more. effort to create a more While it’s always been in inclusive campus, helping St. Mike’s DNA to focus on faculty and staff better serve the student experience its diversifying community. and be supportive, this is a new world for us, as faculty In other areas related and staff figure out our to awareness, the You Count own relationship to diversity Educational Initiative and in order to truly understand Global Conversations Series and provide for each student’s both bring world-renowned unique needs.” speakers to campus. And the school has expanded its In many ways, the students MLK convocation into themselves are out in front of a week-long celebration and the institution in terms of lecture series that fosters a awareness and comfort level provocative campus-wide with issues of diversity and discussion about racial issues. inclusion. All these programs open up dialogues that might not otherwise have taken place. MYTH #4: DIVERSITY IS ALL ABOUT COLOR
A W H O L E N E W PA R T Y 24
“For a small college with limited funds, our campus has strong support for speakers and events,” says St. Louis. “One of our goals at the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services is to support and enhance the college’s efforts in that area by providing seamless exposure to learning opportunities, and developing strategies for student participation. Our students are thirsty for meaningful engagement.” Ultimately, the school’s goal is to connect students with each other and facilitate the human understanding that often takes place when people connect. The Global Experience Academic Residential program (GEAR) is an ideal model for such connections. Located in Cashman Hall, this residential initiative provides a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in an international environment—half the residents from the U.S. and half from countries around the world, all sharing their respective culture and exchanging perspectives. GEAR is designed to be an organic learning experience and genuine celebration of diversity, one that develops deep cultural understanding and lifelong friendships.
Whether it is cultural, ethnic, or other types of diversity, the college has various programs and organizations to help students feel supported. Centers like the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services and the Center for Women and Gender, as well as student organizations like Common Ground supporting the LGBTQ community, SMC 1st for first generation scholars, the Diversity Coalition, and the MLK Society all play a significant part in broadening understanding and providing support for the diverse student populations we have on our campus. MYTH #5: THIS WORK HAS A BEGINNING AND AN END
When it comes to issues of diversity and inclusion, many feel the school is making good progress, though they especially stress the need to further diversify staff, faculty, and curriculum, not simply the student body. Many indicate the school has to do more to root out more subtle forms of institutional bias. And friction, conflict, and discriminatory behaviors do emerge in the classroom, in residence halls, and at events. “That can be especially hard for some of our students who are active in our inclusively focused organizations,” says Ellinwood. “They can feel very
disheartened by some of the comments they hear. But we are a microcosm of the bigger world. And it’s a lesson for them in recognizing that there are people who simply don’t get it, but we still need to move forward in supporting and hopefully educating each student that we come in contact with.” Third-year Resident Assistant Marissa Kelemen believes it’s important to have those uncomfortable conversations. “Those of us from the majority culture need to understand it’s not about us, it’s about listening. And when misunderstandings occur, you still need to be thoughtful in your approach. Respect goes a long way.” MYTH #6: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS
“We should stop talking about diversity in terms of numbers. Numbers are significant, but when that’s our primary focus, we fail to see the important picture of how we are doing with our current students,” says St. Louis. The true measure, he believes, is in seeing students from all backgrounds taking leadership roles and serving as engaged members of the community. “Our multicultural students are not in the periphery; they are
embedded and take ownership of opportunities. They represent some of our finest students and community members, and they are not waiting for our invitation. That is the kind of community we want.” Tylik Williams-Prince, Class of 2016, was just such a leader: Vice President of the Student Association, Volunteer in the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services, Secretary of Student Policy, President of the MLK Society. The self-identified introvert from Brooklyn says, “What I learned from all these roles is that I am an activist and that I will be a lifelong activist, helping those in my community lift up their voices.” Such is the hope of every institute of higher learning: that students are like seeds released into the world— holding a more enlightened perspective than when they entered—whose large and small contributions will make a positive difference in their communities. It’s why the richness and complexity of their experience during their four short years at school matters so much: their success will determine our society’s future. “As an institution, we need to be talking about these issues every day,” says St. Louis. “How effective is what we are doing? Who have we
on welcoming all, their participation in the Civil Rights movement, and their committed ideology of serving others.
impacted? What could we have done to make someone’s experience better?” Sarah Kelly believes in the power of asking these questions. “I look at programs like the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services and our Student Affairs team, and honor their and so many others’ commitment. The arms that go around these students to guide them to opportunities…the net that is there if they struggle, is incredible.” MYTH #7: THE PAST IS PAST
Saint Michael’s Edmundite founders understood what diversity and inclusion mean.
Having come to America in 1892 as foreigners fleeing persecution, they had to acquaint themselves with the language and customs of a new country. Being French and Catholic, they were eyed with suspicion and were victims of discrimination. But rather than undermining their dreams of founding a Catholic institute in Winooski Park, these challenges shaped their vision of a more diverse and inclusive
enterprise. As Fr. Prevel (the first President of Saint Michael’s College) expressed in 1904, Saint Michael’s College would be “…not a weeping willow but rather an oak with strong roots that spreads wide its broad branches.” As the College continues working toward a more inclusive future, inspiration can be drawn from the Edmundite’s focus
Student portraits from left to right: Row one: Alexandre Mohbat ’18, Marissa Kelemen ’18, Sephorah Pierre ’16, Karen Penafiel ’16; Row two: Shawntice Gaynor ’16, Eliza McDonald ’17, Caitlin Weller ’17, Forrest Owen ’17; Row three: Valentina Rojas ’17, Da’Shon Adamson ’16
“When the Edmundites went to the Deep South in the 1930s, we went to evangelize the African American community,” says Fr. Hornat, “but we found ourselves evangelized in turn: we went to lift people out of their poverty but found ourselves lifted out of our prejudices. We learned that by immersing ourselves in another person’s culture we enrich ourselves. That is the gift we Edmundites received from our various ministries. It is also a gift and an example that we have brought to this college.”
The SCOOP 26
by Susan Salter Reynolds
ometimes it’s just the going that brings a fresh perspective. Maybe you drive to get there, past small towns and general stores, over bridges across clear water. Leaving your cozy comfort zone, getting a new perspective, is an essential part of an education in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Retreats provide a break from the pressures of everyday life, and an opportunity to recalibrate, retune yourself— to get in touch with core goals and values. At Saint Michael’s, there are many opportunities to go on retreat, some led by the campus ministry, and others with various groups
on campus (see opposite page for a complete list). On a bold March day in the Champlain Islands, a LEAP retreat is in full swing on the beautiful campus of St. Anne’s shrine—36 acres on Isle La Motte, maintained and developed by the Edmundites for over 100 years. On this same spot, where explorer Samuel de Champlain landed in 1609, French explorers build a fort against the Iroquois in 1666. Jesuits later built a chapel. The Edmundites arrived in Vermont in 1892, fleeing religious conflict in France. They have cared for and developed the site ever since.
As migrating birds drifted between melting ice floes on Lake Champlain, 37 students drifted from the cabins at St. Anne’s Shrine to gather on their third day of the spring LEAP retreat. Arriving that morning, I was struck by the peace and vulnerability that connected the group as they settled into beanbag chairs and window benches, leaning into each other. To be invited to share your own journey with them is humbling. I’ve often heard from students that LEAP reaches them at a place that is deep and healing. At the close of my talk, students flooded me with hugs and Palanca letters. The love in that room infected us all with a sense of renewal and discovery. — Allison Cleary, international service coordinator for MOVE and an instructor in the department of Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts
Father Brian Cummings, SSE ‘86, Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry, led the campaign to revitalize the shrine, fundraising to build living quarters, create meeting space and add modest amenities to the existing buildings. “These retreats are tremendously important and provide opportunities for healing,” he says. “They give participants a chance to explore who God is, to reflect on their relationships with other people, to recognize the Holy Spirit in their lives, and to realize they are not alone.” On this particular Sunday, several talks are given by Saint Michael’s faculty and alumni on marriage, vocation, and the mission. Around 39 students recline on pillows. It’s clear that the weekend has been emotionally moving for many of the participants. Fr. Marcel Rainville, SSE ’67, a member of the Edmundite ministry on the Saint Michael’s campus, and Fr. Richard VanderWeel, SSE, watch quietly from the back of the room as a young couple (Tom Van Dzura, Instructor in Accounting at Saint Michael’s and his wife) describe their experience of marriage—the joys and challenges—to the group.
“What do you love about each other?” one student asks. “How soon after graduation did you get engaged?” asks another. (The couple met at Saint Michael’s, apparently in Professor Izzi’s philosophy class.) “How did you know he was the one?” “How do you instill faith in your kids?” These and many other questions fly across the room. These retreats follow the Cursillo retreat style— an effervescent program with strong Spanish roots and an anti-puritanical tone (cursillo means short course). Participants always speak from personal experience. “All of the retreats we offer at Saint Michael’s,” says Anna Lester ’98, Campus Minister, “are intended to give students and faculty and staff the opportunity to make this faith their own. This is a way to experience faith outside of learning in a classroom.”
Curled up in a blanket on a large bean bag chair in the stunning main building of Saint Anne’s Shrine, sipping some hot chocolate—this was not what I expected when I decided to go on a LEAP retreat. LEAP is completely led by students. Phones are left on campus and time is a mystery to all but the leaders. Stress about schoolwork is ignored and social barriers are diminished; at LEAP, you don’t feel uncomfortable opening up to someone you hardly know. For those you do know well, you are brought closer. Having most of the talks given by students made each topic sink in that much more—these were my friends, my classmates, and my neighbors. With each personal story I not only learned more about them, but I learned more about myself and how I fit into it all. I departed campus on Friday with a random group of students, but came back on Sunday part of a community that will last for life. — Lauren Friedgen ’16
Allison Cleary, instructor in Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts and the International Service Coordinator for MOVE (Saint Michael’s service organization) speaks next about vocation. She talks about the importance of storytelling in her life, and about the glimmer of a desire to join the Peace Corps that would transform her life, and earn her father’s disapproval. “Learn to trust your heart,” she tells the students. “Create space so you can hear that voice.” “Students leave here unburdened,” Father Marcel explains. “They get a short course in Christian living. They get to feel what it feels like to live in a faith-based community.” Greg Hamilton, a senior, gives the talk on Mission. He describes his growing desire throughout his education to take action— his desire to make a difference. Each talk is followed by what
the Spanish Cursillo movement calls the abrazo, or hugging. The following Monday morning, Father Marcel looks a little tired. “It was,” he says, “a bit ecstatic. These young people bring their heart and soul to the retreat. They have personal issues above and beyond their studies that are stressful. They may have made a mistake and they want to redirect their lives. They need to unburden themselves. They need to know that they are ok. They find a road back to equilibrium. We are not therapists, but therapy is not enough. Sometimes you need a higher power saying ‘you are forgiven.’ ” SAINT MICHAEL’S RETREATS
LEAP: Community retreats for young adults.
Emmaus: Weekend retreats for students, faculty, and staff—Ignatian contemplation, guided meditation, how to pray with scriptures, sacred silence at night, held at St. Anne’s shrine.
Pilgrimage: Journey to sacred spaces led by Saint Michael’s faculty.
Busy Student: Five-day, oncampus retreats—students are matched with a spiritual companion.
Schools Like Us: Retreats offered once a year, led with other students from Catholic colleges in New England.
New Student: Retreats meet once a year in September, Friday through Sunday at St. Anne’s shrine. New students hear upper classmen talk about faith life in college.
Confirmation: Retreats for local parishioners—an afternoon retreat for the sacrament of confirmation. In these retreats, ninth and tenth graders have the opportunity to meet with college students dedicated to their faith.
Pontigny Society: Faculty staff meet three times per semester and offer two retreats; one at St. Benoitdu-Lac monastery near Sherbrooke, Quebec, and one in May at St. Anne’s shrine. Burgundy: Retreat led by Professor Edward Mahoney and Terryl Kinder. Heritage: Edmundite heritage trips offered every few years.
Liturgical Choir: Retreats offered once a year with the music ministry.
Athletic Team: Retreats in which various athletic teams gather to bond, set team goals, and to learn about Christian spirituality. The Chaplain’s talk covers a wide range of topics including vocational choices, prayer and the nature of pilgrimage in the Catholic Tradition.
Additional Online Content smcvt.edu/magazine
BEAUTY OR USEFULNESS? (Good news! You don’t have to choose!) A Conversation
VALERIE (MISCHIEVOUS SMILE, TRULY PRESENT)
in the Garden
AND MARK (EBULLIENT, BARELY TOUCHES
THE GROUND) BOTH CAME TO SAINT MICHAEL’S
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. VALERIE TEACHES IN
THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, MARK IN BIOLOGY.
TOGETHER, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TEACHING
GARDENS, INCLUDING THE ARBORETUM; THE
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE, BOOKS IN BLOOM GARDEN;
THE NATIVE PLANTS OF VERMONT GARDEN; AND THE
WORD GARDEN. (THIS IS NOT THEIR DAY JOB.)
by Susan Salter Reynolds
Once it was a muddy field. Now it is a creative community of plants and stones and language and humans. It has a presence. Since 2006, these gardens have been used by several departments, including Education, Biology, and Applied Linguistics. Classes like Plant Biology and Children’s Literature are often held in the gardens. They are beautiful. And they are useful.
Bang-Jensen and Lubkowitz have written a book together, Books in Bloom: Discovering the Plant Biology in Great Children’s Literature, published in 2014 by the National Gardening Association, and are working on a second. This new book takes crosscutting concepts in science and makes them accessible to people whose work lies outside the sciences. Take for example, the idea of “activation energy,” the energy required to learn something
new, to leave the comfort zone, to get the ball rolling. It’s a scientific concept. And it’s a beautiful metaphor. EMERGENT PROPERTIES
One of the dearly held hopes for the garden was that it would inspire a crossdisciplinary approach to academic subjects, but also to how we learn, teach, write, think, live. “Too often,”
says Lubkowitz, “education puts kids in silos. Problems like climate change and solutions like recycling require new lenses.” The phrase emergent properties, Lubkowitz explains, describes the idea that you can study all the pieces of a thing, and still not understand the whole. To understand the whole you have to step back.
We talk a little about contemplation, pilgrimage, and finding meaning. “My ambition,” says BangThis and other key concepts Jensen, “is to make a play out daily in the life of a difference where I am.” garden. Lubkowitz and Disorientation has come so Bang-Jensen are interested in fast to this culture, she all of it—the role gardens play says. “So much of our comfort in our lives, how we express derives from a sense of our individuality through gardens, how gardens matter— place.” Lubkowitz agrees: “Geography matters! aesthetically, spiritually, and Pattern recognition and practically. They are trying to familiarity are important push the idea of what a garden reasons we feel good in is to its limits. They want to gardens.” “Why else,” Bangchallenge the idea that we can Jensen asks, “would so only understand nature with many children’s books feature the mind. gardens?” FLOWERS VS. VEGETABLES
Teaching gardens are often composed of vegetables,
intended to help visitors learn more about where our food comes from. Lubkowitz admits to a lesser interest in flowers. Vegetables get him going. Bang-Jensen believes in flowers as food for the soul. “I’m just a pollinator,” she admits. Both prefer gardens to museums. “I’ve never seen a painting of a flower as beautiful as a flower,” Lubkowitz says. On Lubkowitz’s birthdays, Bang-Jensen gives him cards that feature vegetables. ACADEMIA AND PURE PLAY
“What makes me happiest,” Bang-Jensen says, “is when I see people finding new ways to use the gardens. After all, what is a garden? Does it have to be intentional?” Students often rearrange the stones in the Word Garden to leave
hidden messages, and create mini-stories and poems. Faculty create assignments around the seasons. Visitors leave lilacs and other plants to commemorate loved ones who have passed away. “We’ve become a more technological society,” Lubkowitz says, “but we are still organic creatures. We still crave nature.” Lubkowitz hopes that the gardens provide a place for meditative engagement with nature— or doing nothing but clearing the mind. On a raw spring day, students and faculty wander through the gardens. The plants in the beds are on the verge of blooming. Everything seems alive, including the stones. Beauty is everywhere.
TO AND F ROM
by Mark Tarnacki
very journey offers the traveler a chance to understand the world from a different perspective. One of the first things a visitor to Saint Michael’s notices, especially at the beginning and end of terms, is the flurry of preparation for travel. “Have a great time,” “Can’t wait to see photos,” “When do you leave?” float across the quads and down hallways. Upon their return, life and learning pop in exotic bright shades from the annual Saint Michael’s College Global Eyes calendar—some of those images accompany this story.
Animating the 2015-2016 edition are children, old people, animals, European churches, South American marketplaces, Tibetan prayer flags, Irish lobster traps, a Korean pagoda. The Study Abroad office has used a photo-caption contest leading to publication of Global Eyes for 17 years to coax lasting meaning and memory from international learning experiences. Proceeds fund future global studies. Reflections by the photographers beneath their images reveal how profound the impact of travel to and from Saint Michael’s College can be, and just how important new perspectives and new lenses are in a Catholic
liberal arts education. “It was here where I learned how to appreciate little things and how beauty can be so unexpected.... Luxury came in the form of beauty and appreciation,” wrote a 2015 student in Morocco. “Nepali families have lived and breathed their land for centuries, but the younger generation is rushing out of the country in search of a better future. Which road will this girl take?” wrote another from the Himalayas about her image of a child. Travel has always been a part of the Edmundite tradition. In many ways, the college’s Edmundite founders from France were, as Associate
Professor of Applied Linguistics Richard Gamache says, “the first international students and English language learners.” For decades, sites like Selma, Alabama, have been service and perspectiveshifting destinations. Two alumni now on the College staff say their lives changed forever after working alongside Edmundites in Selma to help the desperately impoverished AfricanAmerican community there. Heidi Saint Peter ’96, longtime director of MOVE and now assistant director of academic support, says, “My time in Selma taught me about myself, who I wanted to be, and how I wanted to be in the world.” Meghan “MJ” Jaird ’10
Collection of 2016 Global Eyes winners—student names, locations, and descriptions can be found at www.smcvt.edu/globaleyes2016
of Admissions developed programs for middle schools and senior programs for food distribution at rural sites. Karen Talentino, Vice President for Academic Affairs, says: “Come to Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and see the world! Beyond our traditional semester-long and year-long study abroad programs, students can participate in faculty-led international academic study trips and international service trips, usually about 7-10 each year.” (Talentino led a coral-reef-study/cultural immersion program to Cuba in two of the past three years; a third trip is planned for next year.) “It is increasingly inconceivable,” says Jeffrey Ayres, Dean of the College, “to imagine a liberally educated citizen graduating from a residential liberal arts college without some educational or co-educational experience and exposure to global issues, cultural diversity, and
intercultural conflict and understanding. Saint Michael’s is committed to promoting a core 21st century liberal arts learning outcome of global awareness and intercultural understanding.” WHERE’S EVERYBODY GOING?
Study-abroad destinations this year included 13 nations in Europe, nine Latin
“ C O M E TO SAI N T M I CH A E L’ S C O L L EG E I N VER M O N T A N D SEE TH E WO R L D ! ” American nations, six in Asia, three in Africa, and two in the Middle East. Safety concerns keep numbers lower in those latter regions, says Peggy Imai, the College’s Director of Study Abroad for the past decade—though Africa is gradually gaining more popularity. The most popular countries include European nations like France and Germany. Australia is popular too. Service trips through Campus Ministry’s Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) program, both abroad (India and Dominican
Republic were 2015-16 destinations) or around the U.S. to cities and rural areas, for decades have taken other students off campus for experiences with a direct link to the Edmundite mission. Jeffrey Ayres says that the expansion of majors, minors, and programs that encourage or require an international study abroad experience have all helped to increase the number of students studying abroad. “The development of the Global Studies minor, the creation and growth of the International Relations major, the addition of the Peace Corp Prep Program, and the explosive growth
of the Environmental Studies major have broadened student engagement in international study,” Ayres says.
number as full-time students seeking four-year degrees, which may or may not come after or in conjunction with English-language studies.
IT WORKS BOTH WAYS
The largest international cohorts on campus in recent years have been from China, Saudi Arabia, and Latin America—perhaps 10 to 20 (or more) from each region at a time. The single largest growth in recruits has been from China, following a trend across the U.S. attributable to more intense recruiting and increased interest and ability of Chinese families to send students to the U.S. Being on a recommended list for Fulbright scholars helps Saint Michael’s attract stronger international prospects as well.
Beyond student travel to global-learning sites, Saint Michael’s longstanding and solid reputation abroad through the College’s well-established and popular Applied Linguistics Department (English Language Programs and MATESOL) leads to effective word-ofmouth recruiting from international graduates. That’s good news for the College’s international recruiter Kevin Spensley, who travels the world to bring international students to campus each year for studies of varying lengths of time—including an ever-increasing
This year, the College hosted 76 students from China, 22 from Saudi Arabia, 10 from Japan, 7 from Brazil, 4 from Honduras, 3 each from Venezuela, France and Korea, 2 each from Afghanistan, Netherlands, Norway, and Thailand; and one each from 26 other nations— everything from Australia to
Congo, Croatia, East Timor, Iraq, Nepal, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Tanzania, Vietnam, the West Bank, and several European nations. That’s 39 countries or regions. Summer English-learner groups add to those figures. Residential programs seek to make the most of such students’ presence by enabling closer friendships among internationals and with Americans. On an April afternoon, students from Afghanistan (Rahela Akbar), Saudi Arabia (Hail Hamil), Tanzania (Shraddha Bajaria), Baltimore, Maryland
(Braden Kerwin), Bourne, Massachusetts (Kristen Isabelle) and Essex Junction, Vermont (Gabriela Heermans) describe their experience at Saint Michael’s. Flags of diverse nations decorate the walls of Cashman Hall’s large firstfloor common room. Students gather by a fireplace and ping-pong table, laughing easily and kidding among themselves. Their group dynamic reveals affection, respect and kindness—a fast indicator that a three-year old Saint Michael’s College residential program called GEAR is meeting its goal of “an organic interaction that is not forced.” Roommates and neighbors, Cashman’s
internationals and Americans enjoy special events like bowling or themed food nights to encourage sociability and cultural sharing. Sometimes they present to one another about their native festivals and cultures. Moise St. Louis, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Multicultural Affairs, explains that “GEAR,” which he initiated, stands for “Global Experience Academic Residential.” He and the group discussed challenges and rewards of this living arrangement. Joining them was Kimoi Seale ’06, a native of Barbados and Brooklyn from the Multicultural Affairs office staff, whose student
experience a decade ago included service trips to Ghana and Selma, Alabama. Both leaders said that earlier Saint Michael’s globalthemed housing initiatives had plusses but still ultimately left international students and Americans largely apart among their own affinity groups in daily life. More than anything, GEAR aimed to change that with expanded expectations and activities for residents. Living in GEAR, the students agreed, demands a willingness to leave comfort zones and take chances, but the payoff is directly proportional to one’s personal investment. “Make sure students know that you notice them and make them feel like they are part of your family,” advises media studies major Braden, “because we can live together
“I N C ASHMAN STUDE N TS L EAR N H O W YOU MOVE FROM STR AN G ER TO FR I EN D AN D W H AT HAPPEN S IN TH AT TR AN SI TI O N . ”
and still, students may feel disconnected from you. But if you speak to them and include them in meals in Alliot or tell them about your outside activities and invite them to those, you start to connect, which leads to more shared activities and connections because now you’re friends.” Last year Braden invited his Colombian roommate to an early rugby practice and soon the roommate joined the team. Both had a blast and grew close. When the Colombian student went home, the whole rugby team and coaches had a special celebration for him that was touching for all involved. Several students said it’s important to recognize that GEAR is not just about Americans and internationals connecting meaningfully, but equally about people from different foreign lands finding friendship and understanding among themselves. Kristen, who did her senior psychology thesis about friendships among international students, agrees. “I find that huge amounts of international students are friends with other international students. And here in Cashman they find each other so much more easily than they
“I’d tell the Americans to take the initiative,” she says. “Allow them to feel safe to cross that big boundary into places on campus where they can connect with others.” Her own willingness to put herself out there for others is leading to a job and career direction after graduation. “I’m going to be working with international communities, with immigrants, in Boston with an advocacy coalition. Based on my experience here, I feel this is where I’m meant to be,” says Kristen.
“International students really want to not feel isolated,” says Rahela, a Biology major with a Philosophy minor. She is roommates and close friends with Shraddha, a senior Biology major with a minor in Chemistry, and they share a suite with a Honduran and Brazilian along with Gabriela, the American Anthropology major. “The college needs to pay attention and celebrate our cultural festivals,” Rahela says. For instance, as a Muslim, she made a presentation this year to explain the festival of Eid. “These kinds of things help a student be more connected to the college and feel less homesick,” she said.
Says St. Louis, “Here they learn how you move from stranger to friend and what happens in that transition. With GEAR we’ve enhanced the level of student leadership in presentations. We ask them to be more engaged. I think the demand for this housing option will grow as the international student population grows.”
Gabriela observed how Rahela’s program on Eid was a chance for students from other Muslim countries to bond over a common activity too. One of them was Hail from Saudi Arabia, who says of his GEAR experience: “It’s not just the language or different majors that we are learning at Saint Michael’s, but the cultures and different ways. I think that is important.”
might otherwise. These are important and challenging friendships as much as those with Americans.”
Through two GEAR years, Braden has had Saudi, Croatian, American, and Colombian roommates, and this year, all Chinese. His “shared activity” formula has bonded him in friendship
to this year’s Chinese roommates too, enriching his understanding and comfort level during recent travels to China. Most international students say religion wasn’t a strong consideration in their college choice. In fact, several said they enjoy learning about new religions and cultures in required liberal studies classes. “I saw similarities instead of differences,” says Rahela. “I didn’t really care it was a religious college, but I found that coming to Saint Michael’s was very good for me— I felt like their religion is very similar to Islam, so I feel more connected. Most of my people might think that going to a different religious school might change my own perspective or belief, but that wasn’t true.” Shraddha, a Hindu, says her Christianity class was “a good eye-opener.” What will these students miss most when they return home? “I’ll miss the constant opportunity for growth and challenging myself,” said Kristen. “I will miss you all,” said Rahela.
Commencement by Mark Tarnacki 38
SUNDAY, MAY 15. At the 109th Commencement in the Ross Sports Center, Dr. Frederick M. “Skip” Burkle Jr. ’61— global humanitarian, scholar and scientist—spoke of service and his lifelong commitment to help innocent victims of wars, epidemics, and natural disasters.
The Class of 2016 had 420 undergraduates and 30 graduatedegree recipients. Honorary degree recipients reflected the service theme: the eminent choral arranger and conductor Robert De Cormier, whose music is motivated by passion for social justice; Rita Markley, the Burlington-area advocate for the homeless as Executive Director of the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS); and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, representing many other Vermont agencies that help refugees and immigrants. Karen Talentino, Vice President for Academic Affairs, announced the top academic prizes: The 2016 Valedictorian was Briana Brady from Winsted, CT, a double major in English and philosophy with a 3.99 GPA. The Katherine Fairbanks and Father Prevel Memorial Awards for the woman and man best reflecting the College’s highest values went, respectively, to Victoria Barnum of Beverly, MA, (religious studies/American studies majors/art history minor/ 3.78 GPA/active in student government, campus ministry and volunteerism) and Gregory Hamilton of Upton, MA, (chemistry major/biology minor/ 3.967 GPA/many high academic honors/notable volunteer service/entering Jesuit Volunteer Corps). Talentino recognized 28 students graduating summa cum laude with GPA of 3.90 or higher. Among faculty or staff fixtures experiencing their last official Commencement were Jacqueline Murphy ’74, Director of Admission, with nearly 40 years of service to the College (and whose own graduating class had fewer than 20 women); and English Professor Nicholas Clary, the college’s Shakespeare specialist for 46 years, who said the parental advice of Polonius from Hamlet still for him rings as profound as ever as advice for new graduates: “This above all: To thine own self be true.” Commencement photo gallery and additional online content at smcvt.edu/magazine
THE WHOLE ATH BREAKING THE MOLD
by Lauren Friedgen ’16
aint Michael’s College students are known for their commitment to service. For those on a sports team, making the time to do what they care about may be more difficult, but they make it work. Many even find that sports and service go hand in hand.
For hockey teammates and members of the StudentAthlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Justin McKenzie ’17 and Danny Divis ’17, this realization started in the fall of 2015. After a high school friend’s suicide, McKenzie decided he wanted to do something on campus related to mental health. This friend
speaking with his coach and Athletic Director Chris Kenny ’86, and with Divis’ help, the idea got bigger. McKenzie and Divis started Hope Happens Here, a campaign to promote mental health awareness. They’ve shared the program with many Saint Michael’s sports teams. “We talk about jock culture,” Divis says. “Kids in athletics have this stigma around them that they have to be cool. Our idea is to try to break that stigma and try to get people to start talking about it.” McKenzie says they have tried to apply what they have learned to some of their
one fans,” said McKenzie. “A lot of the guys really opened up to the idea and have supported us through everything.” McKenzie and Divis have also created a flyer with mental health support resources and internet links to put in every locker room and weight room on campus. They presented to the SAAC at the University of Vermont, and recently gave a 45-minute talk to all of the students at Enosburg High School about how to take care of yourself. It’s ok, they told the students, to talk about mental health. Everyone goes through things. After the presentation, around 30 students thanked them.
Hope Happens Here has raised around $750 so far for the non-profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms, and plans on raising more money for another undecided charity over the summer. “It’s really nice to commemorate a friend,” McKenzie says. “I also lost a family member to suicide a few years back, so that’s what keeps me going. We learned some ourselves when we did the presentations, and more friends are now willing to talk to me because they know I’m trying to learn how to listen more. I take counseling classes because I picked up a psychology minor, so it’s cool to go full circle and not
“ KIDS IN ATHLETICS HAVE THIS STIGMA AROUND THEM THAT THEY HAVE TO BE COOL.” had difficulties juggling academics and athletics, and McKenzie thought the topic was particularly important with student-athletes. The original idea was a simple fundraising game, but after
friends. “It’s all about being there and showing support, asking the right questions and showing that you care,” he explains. “Our teammates have been our number
“The fulfillment of having people come up to you after the presentation and saying that you changed their perspective on mental health is pretty wonderful,” Divis says.
only teach people, but also learn more yourself.” What’s next for Hope Happens Here? McKenzie and Divis hope to give
LETE: more talks and create a model for other colleges to follow. “The sky’s the limit,” says Divis. For lacrosse team captain Brian Devilly ’16, service has always been important. “My mom always
raised me to give back, to volunteer, get involved,” Devilly says. Devilly did his first service trip in high school to Paterson, New Jersey, then another to Baltimore, Maryland, from Saint Michael’s. Last summer, Devilly was one of 10 members of the Saint Michael’s community to go on the annual MOVE extended service trip to Kolkata, in India. Over the threeweek period, Devilly worked at a house called Justin McKenzie ’17, left, and Danny Divis ’17
“Since Kolkata doesn’t have a lot of money to pay for health care, the children of Daya Dan do not go to regular schools. Volunteers help with their education,” Devilly explains. The group also worked with Freeset, a charity that works with women in the sex trade in Kolkata, India, to show them that there’s another way of life and provide them with employment—making clothes and different products—as well as full health care both mental and physical. With his team and through the SAAC, Devilly has volunteered at a youth clinic in New Jersey, inspiring kids to play lacrosse, and has played lacrosse with kids at a juvenile detention center. “Some of them come from broken homes,” says Devilly, “so it’s nice for them to see college students showing support for them.” The lacrosse team has also become close with a local boy named Joey, who has cerebral palsy. Joey attends a lot of their practices and games, and the team supports him in attending other sports games at Saint Michael’s. “He has the biggest smile in the world,” says Devilly. “He may not
Photo: James Buck
Daya Dan for the mentally and physically disabled, teaching a student math, science, and social studies.
Brian Devilly ’16 be able to communicate with us verbally, but you can definitely see he loves hanging out with us—it’s really cool.”
Michael’s College. She was also extremely involved in service through MOVE, going on service trips to Baltimore, South Dakota, and the Dominican Republic, and on weekly trips to Chittenden County Correctional Facility to play volleyball with the inmates.
Devilly believes sports and service share many similarities. “You dedicate so much time to sports, whether it’s with a team, going out and practicing, or lifting on your own,” he “I was very actively involved, explains. “Service is kind of the same thing—it’s putting in wearing many hats throughout my four years. I was able a little extra time to care for to connect and meet so many someone else—in the way different people from many your team cares for the guys. different facets of the campus,” It’s a mentality that is bigger she said. “My athletics drove than you. You can’t be selfish, you have to help other people.” my successes.” Hillary Miller ’15 was a member of the volleyball and swimming and diving teams during her time at Saint
Miller reminisced that she would often be in the athletic training office planning service events while getting taped. “I’d be multitasking everywhere I went,” she said, “but I would always try to make sure that I was able to
put 100 percent into everything that I started. There were definitely times I did not get a lot of sleep, but I do not regret any of the activities that I was able to take part in.” Miller is now in the middle of a year with the Mercy Volunteer Corps, a subsidiary of the Sisters of Mercy. She works at Mary Howard Health Center in Philadelphia, which is a Health Care Center serving homeless and previously incarcerated individuals. “I’ve learned so much about both the people I work with and the patients,” Miller says. “Many of the clients I work with have experienced very traumatic events at young ages. Many have bounced between foster care homes, grown up with
absent parents, experienced shootings, lack of education, and poverty. It has been an incredible learning experience each and every day.” Despite working full-time, Miller still tries to make time to be involved with local boys and girls clubs and rec leagues. She was also involved with Back on my Feet— a running group for people living in the shelters. “My ultimate goal is to have a job
in Philadelphia for another year as a Medical Case Manager for HIV positive and AIDS individuals. She plans on attending nursing school, eventually becoming a nurse practitioner. “My time at Saint Michael’s College was filled with many incredible memories and still continues to play such a vital part in my life. As soon as I found the MOVE office, I realized that Saint Michael’s
Cynthia Edgerton ’14 is another former Saint Michael’s College athlete who had a lot on her plate. Edgerton applied for ROTC when she was 18, knowing she wanted to go into veterinary medicine for the Army. However, she also wanted to join the volleyball team at Saint Michael’s. By the time she was a senior she was the only female on campus in ROTC and the only student-athlete in ROTC.
Despite her heavy workload and long days full of classes, Edgerton continues playing volleyball with an intramural team at her school. She says it can be stressful balancing personal life and work, but volleyball helps her with that and her ROTC background as an undergraduate taught her how to manage her time. “A lot of veterinarians are very studious and they want to help all the animals they can,”
“ I REALLY BELIEVE THE DISCIPLINE AND CONFIDENCE FORMED IN SPORTS ARE WHAT HAVE MADE ME SO SUCCESSFUL.” where I’m able to do something on the side with sports, like enrichment,” Miller says. “I really believe the discipline and confidence formed in sports are what have made me so successful. Whenever I feel overwhelmed I turn to athletics whether that is running, swimming, or going to the gym. I find athletics and sports are what keep me going.” Miller will finish her time with Mercy Volunteer Corps in July, and will continue
College was the right fit for me. I quickly realized that athletics and service can truly go hand in hand. I credit the incredible people of Saint Michael’s College who support their students in both academic and athletic achievements. I could not feel more prepared to take on the ‘real world.’ ”
“Both ROTC and the volleyball team understood my commitment,” Edgerton says. “They understood that sometimes I had to miss practice to go do an ROTC lab, or I would miss an ROTC lab for a volleyball game.” After graduating, Edgerton was able to have her service deferred so that she could attend a four-year veterinary school at the University of Minnesota. She will now be entering the Army in 2018 as a veterinarian, helping with military dogs.
she says. “They need to realize that it’s important to take care of yourself before you can really take care of everyone else. Balancing schoolwork with some fun volleyball really helps me keep grounded in this school.”
Additional Online Content smcvt.edu/magazine
Crossing the Causeway by Mark Tarnacki
ross a narrow oceanfront causeway to a small, postcard-pretty island estate off Mystic, CT. This is the path taken decades ago by Edmundite Father Tom Hoar ’73 that connected him to unanticipated possibilities for service and fulfillment. It’s an experience he hopes today’s visitors to the island share as they pursue recovery, creativity, or retreat. Enders Island and Saint Michael’s College are kin, each a place where the Society of Saint Edmund (SSE) and lay partners have spent generations nourishing searchers for direction and meaning. Beyond shared historical ties, both communities rely on Saint Michael’s alumni to thrive. As a Saint Michael’s graduate, Fr. Hoar, once head of campus ministry and today president of Enders Island, is deeply invested in the success and growth of both. For nearly 25 years, his Enders ministry has been threefold: spiritual retreats for lay and religious; a 50-year old recovery ministry that today features a relatively new residential transitional program for college-aged men; and the expansion of the Sacred Art Institute.
The 64-year old priest says his work on the island is the work of Edmundites everywhere: “Bringing hope to the marginalized and forgotten by bringing meaning into their lives and relationship with God.” Today he oversees a unique property with ties to the Society dating to 1954, when the island estate’s owner approached Bishop Flanagan, a close friend with the Edmundites, about making a gift to the religious order. In 2003, Enders Island’s became an independent Catholic nonprofit (in recognition of limited SSE staff and finances), but its connection to Saint Michael’s continues through alumni like Fr. Hoar; trustees, including Tracy Romano’86, prominent marine biologist, Chief Scientist and VP of Research at the nearby Mystic Aquarium; and scores of alumni retreatants, counselors, staff, and artists who regularly cross the causeway. Besides being a trustee of Enders, Romano attends weekly Mass on the island and recently mentored a young man from the residential program. After an internship at a nearby museum that she helped him secure, he now has a job in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the Historical Society.
Learning the art of illuminated manuscripts at Enders Island. The year 2017 will mark 50 years of recovery on Enders. Fr. Joseph Waite, SSE brought the 12 steps there in 1967 with regular AA meetings and special recovery retreats. Today’s residential program was established in 2008 to address a mounting addiction crisis among college-aged males, says Program Director Tracy Georgetti ’84, whose staff includes Bryan Hickey ’14, the Resident Director of the Recovery Residence at Enders. Fr. Hoar says the Island’s programs have served many alumni in recovery at retreats over the years. Alumni religious and laymen in large numbers continue to attend the more general spiritual programs or retreats that long have been
the island’s centerpiece. Graduates take art classes too—the Sacred Art Institute is an outgrowth of classes offered for nearly 30 years. Recently, instructors have partnered as adjuncts with a nearby seminary to offer an undergraduate major in sacred art. Though Romano has an uncommonly exciting work career, frequently observing whales in arctic zones, she marvels at what goes on at the island. “I see so many alumni who are just enthralled as volunteers, watching how this program treats the mind, body and spirit,” she says. “To Saint Michael’s people, it feels like home.”
Additional Online Content smcvt.edu/magazine
A Home for Hope
by Amy Klinger
usanne (Murray) Byrne ’95, Executive Director of the York Street Project, has a clear vision for the Jersey City non-profit: “The goal of the York Street Project,” she says, “is for there not to be a need for the York Street Project.” For the foreseeable future, however, providing essential support to economically disadvantaged and homeless women and children in the area is an ever-growing, not shrinking endeavor. But there are bright spots to be found in the stories of the families and individuals who come to the center to receive housing, child care, education, and perhaps most important: compassion.
Though the York Street Project was formally founded in 1989, its history dates back to 1885 and the establishment of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, whose mission was to
support the housing and job training needs of poor immigrant women. Today, York Street is a holistic, integrated center comprised of three buildings and a network of four programs, including an alternative high school, a residence with affordable housing and support, a year-round licensed child development center, and structured, temporary housing for single mothers and their children. The organization is structured as a multi-faceted system of support designed to break the cycle of poverty—not simply providing shelter, but also food security, physical and mental health care, and safe, quality child care so residents can focus on training and education as an investment in their own self-sufficiency. “What is hard for many people to understand is that the journey toward that kind of independence can
Susanne (Murray) Byrne ’95 be a long one, taking anywhere from 5-15 years,” said Byrne. “In some cases, we are working with people who have no experience with something as basic as recognizing what a healthy, caring relationship looks like.” Still, Byrne is clear: “We can’t do it for them. We can’t simply give them a diploma or make them have a sense of selfworth. We can only provide the tools and opportunity.”
Looking back on her time at St. Mike’s, Byrne says, “I can honestly say that my college years were some of the best of my life, and I always reflect on them with joy. The one common theme that always flowed through my classes—whether it was history, political science or creative writing— was that the opportunity to do good for others exists wherever you are.” “I consider myself very fortunate to do the work I do. I always look at the women and children we serve here and think about the fact that if I didn’t have the support systems I have—it could be me. We need to ensure that the paths to opportunity are as clear as possible. That’s what most of our residents want: the chance to be independent…the chance to build a better life.”
Globalization and Food Sovereignty: Global and Local Change in the New Politics of Food by Peter Andree, Jeffrey Ayres, Michael Bosia, and Marie-Josee Massicotte (University of Toronto Press)
Engaging critically with a broad set of politics that use the food sovereignty framework, this book addresses a wide array of contexts, including Vermont. From fair trade to peasant activism, participatory food democracy to locavore movements, it is the first comparative collection to focus on food sovereignty activism worldwide. Michael Bosia (at right) is an Associate Professor of Political Science. Jeffrey Ayres is a Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College.
Planning for Escape: A Novel by Sara Dillon (Green Writers Press) Following a young woman in her quest for fulfillment, this novel interweaves her memories through an array of people and places, ultimately landing in Greensboro, Vermont. Sara Dillon is a graduate of the Class of 1977.
So Close to Home: A True Story of an American Family’s Fight for Survival During World War II by Michael J. Tougias and Alison O’Leary (Pegasus Books) When a German U-boat torpedoes the freighter Heredia on May 19, 1942, few survive. Incredibly, the entire Downs family is among those that endured eighteen hours in the ocean before rescue, and this book tells their tale. “The part of these stories,” says Tougias, “that fascinate me is the question how did these people survive and endure against all odds? I enjoy explaining that we can all utilize some of the mindsets of successful survivors when we face a real challenge in our own lives.” Michael Tougias is a graduate of the Class of 1977.
A L U M N I A N D
A close-up look at the lives of 63 former gang members, many of whom joined an evangelical congregation as part of their attempt to extricate themselves from gang violence. Robert Brenneman is an Associate Professor of Sociology.
Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggles for Democracy in China by Rowena He (Palgrave Macmillan)
Tracing the lives of three exiled student leaders over two continents before and after the 1989 Tiananmen Uprising, this fascinating oral history explores how their political ideals were shaped by institutionalized education and social movements in China, led to action and punishment, and were revised under the challenges of exile. Rowena He is an Assistant Professor of History
F A C U L T Y
Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America by Robert Brenneman (Oxford University Press)
COMING SOON! Associate Professor of History Jen Purcell writes: â€œMy work at the moment is focused on writing a biography of Mabel Constanduros, one of the first stars of BBC radio and a pioneer in British situation comedy and soap opera. She was a prolific writer and actress who wrote all her own material, and is best known for her comedic sketches of working-class London family life. Her contemporaries credited her for developing the first radio family (the Bugginses) and for bringing soap opera from America to Britain. My job is to put her (and other important female performers, especially comedians and comedic writers) back on the map and to credit their efforts in the evolution of 20th and 21st century British culture.â€?
by Josh Kessler ’04, Director of Athletic Communications
MEN’S BASKETBALL A young team (7-19, 5-16 NE-10) surged to a 5-7 finish after a 2-12 start, picking up such momentous victories as an 84-75 triumph over eventual NCAA Division II Tournament regional finalist Saint Anselm in the process. Matt Bonds ’17, who earned ECAC All-Star and NE-10 All-Conference accolades, led Division II in offensive rebounding (4.3), took second in rebounding (12.3) and tied for second in double-doubles (19) while averaging 16.2 points. Levi Holmes III ’19 (11.3 points) earned a selection to the NE-10 All-Rookie Team. WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
The Purple Knights (9-17, 5-16 NE-10) completed their first season sweep of eventual NE-10 Championship quarterfinalist Stonehill in 25 years during a season when Makenzie Burud ’16 became the fourth player in school history to be named all-conference multiple times. The 5-foot-8 Burud, who averaged 14.4 points, was second in the
NE-10 in rebounding (9.8) while recording 12 double-doubles. She also claimed an ECAC All-Star selection. Megan Gaudreau ’16 buried 61 three-pointers, tying for fifth in school history, and Samantha Delaney’s ’19 34 blocks were the second most ever by a Purple Knight rookie. MEN’S ICE HOCKEY
Danny Divis ’17 highlighted his team’s season (6-18, 3-15 NEHC, 2-3 NE-10) by earning all-conference laurels from both the NEHC and the NE-10, leading NE-10 defensemen with 12 assists and taking second in the NEHC among blue liners. With 10 goals and seven assists, Kevin Altidor ’16 was also named NE-10 All-Conference, and Sam D’Antuono ’19 totaled eight goals and eight assists to land an NE-10 All-Rookie Team nod. Nine of the Purple Knights’ losses came by three goals or less. WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY
Saint Michael’s (6-19-2, 3-13-1 NEHC) produced a 3-2-1 run toward the end of the season that included a 5-2 upset of higher-seeded
Sacred Heart during the NEHC Open Tournament play-in game, the first win-and-advance postseason victory in program history. Erin Dwyer ’17 was the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals and 16 points, while Emily Loebs ’16 was among 18 Division I, II, and III men’s and women’s ice hockey players from across the nation under consideration for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. Abby Burke ’17 tied the program’s season and career shutout records. ALPINE AND NORDIC SKIING
During a season that included numerous historic results for both disciplines, Guillaume Grand ’19 ended the year by becoming the first All-America skier in Saint Michael’s history while joining Alpine teammates Meggane Grand ’18 and Torjus Grimsrud ’19 in representing the College at the NCAA Championship. The trio lifted the Purple Knights to 15th place at NCAAs, their best showing at the meet since 1988. Guillaume Grand was also an EISA All-East qualifier. In January, Emma Barnes ’18 became the first female Nordic skier in program
annals to advance to heats of a sprint event. Alpine and Nordic combined to place eighth at February’s UVM Carnival, their best finish at a meet since 1999. MEN’S AND WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING
Eleven school records fell in 2015-16, with Julie Shea ’16 capping her career with four marks in the final 10 days of the season for the women (6-3). Among her 15 victories, all of which came in the second semester, was the 100 IM at the season-ending NEISDA Championship, as the Purple Knights booked their fourth consecutive fourth-place finish at the meet, an unprecedented feat in program history. Patty Kohn ’19 and Lindsay McNall ’17 earned 22 and 20 victories, respectively, during the year. Zach Kosakowski ’18 had a hand in a pair of program marks while leading the men (1-7) with 17 event triumphs. Saint Michael’s was fifth at the NEISDA meet for the second straight year after collecting two fifth-place showings in the prior 12 seasons combined.
Message from the Alumni Association President
fter a wonderful and rewarding two years, my term as president of the Saint Michael’s Alumni Association comes to an end on June 30, making this my final letter to all of you. Every time I have returned to Saint Michael’s it has brought back fond memories of classmates and events that occurred during my four years on campus. Each return has also offered me the opportunity to reflect on how much the college has grown, prospered, and become more diversified, not only in its student body but in the programs it offers to students. Before I take my leave, allow me to share some recent successes and great opportunities to stay engaged with our alma mater.
First off, the Alumni Board of Directors (ABOD) would like to thank everyone who participated in our Alumni Appreciation Week events, particularly our third annual Purple and Gold Day on March 10. We saw a dramatic increase this year in the number of alumni, students, faculty, and staff who took the time to celebrate our alumni who give back to Saint Michael’s in so many ways. We are grateful to the alumni volunteers who helped to plan the 19 Purple and Gold socials around the country where nearly 450 folks gathered together to network
and reminisce about their college days. Nearly 200 alumni, parents, faculty, and staff posted photos using #smcvtalumni, and nearly 800 thank-you postcards were signed by students for our alumni donors. This is a great community event that has seen tremendous growth the last three years and we hope to continue this tradition for years to come. I am also thrilled to report that we had a tremendous response from alumni, parents, faculty, staff and students to the Tobin $100K Challenge. Not only did we reach our goal of 1,000 donors and secure Bob Tobin’s $100,000 challenge a week early, an anonymous trustee stepped forward to continue the challenge with $25,000 for the next 250 gifts. In the end, we exceeded both phases of the challenge! Collectively, we raised a total of $567,410 for Saint Michael’s College to invest in our programs and students! As alumni, you can play an important role in the lives of St. Mike’s students by providing mentoring, and I hope you’ll consider volunteering for the Alumni Job Shadow Program. Last fall, nearly 30 students spent time with a graduate
learning about their role in their respective company/ organization. This fall, members of the ABOD will assist in matching students with alumni for a job shadow experience. While we encourage alumni from all professions to participate, we are particularly interested in alumni who work in health-related fields and medical research as this was the most popular request by students last fall. If you are able to host a student for a day or even a half day at your workplace, please visit our website: smcvt.edu/ alumni-jobshadow to sign up or email Angie Armour, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations at email@example.com. In our continued effort to recruit more military veterans to Saint Michael’s each year, the Alumni Office and Veterans Support Services Office are looking to form a group of veteran alumni willing to assist veteran students for career networking and internship opportunities. If you have served in the military and would like to support current students who are also veterans, please email Angie or Ken O’Connell, our new Veterans Services Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. As the out-going president of the alumni association, I would encourage my fellow
alumni to become involved with the college in some way or form. By doing so, I hope you will enjoy the warm feelings that I have had for the
college over the last several years and that it rekindles some positive memories you take forward. Best wishes to the president-elect Annie Rosello ’94 on moving forward! Warm Regards,
P. Jonathan Heroux ’87 President, Saint Michael’s College Alumni Association
Florida Reunion for three former Saint Michael’s College Alumni Directors: l-r Joe Curtin ’63, Peter Cragan ’70 , Rit DiVenere ’67.
Joe Farrell ’75 writes: “Greetings to all on The Hilltop. Here is another ‘Small World story for your enjoyment! Pictured are Joe Farrell, SMC ’75 and Shawn Gleason, SMC ’00 in Snowmass Village, CO, January 28, 2016. Joe is President of the Board of Directors of the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District and had just sworn in Shawn as the newest member to the Board. Joe has lived in the Aspen/Snowmass area since graduating. He intended to be a Ski Bum “for a season” … 40 years ago. Business opportunities, a wife and children (including Rita Farrell, SMC’09) “just happened” and he is still there…an OLD Ski Bum! Shawn is active in the business community, has a lovely wife and family and lives just around the corner from Joe! Both of us send our best wishes to Michaelmen everywhere.”
Jay McGuiness ’77 describes one of those happy chance alumni encounters: “I was visiting an old friend of mine who had, a couple of years ago, moved to Venice, FL, to retire. We had a tee time to play golf at Pelican Pointe Golf Club in Venice on the afternoon of Saturday, March 5th. My friend and I were randomly paired with another twosome. Long story short, after much conversation, we discovered we were both St Michael’s alumni. The photo attached is of Bob Sweeney, Class of ’64 and me, Jay McGuinness, Class of ’77.
On Tuesday, March 22, Professor John Kenney (second from right in photo) spoke as part of the President’s Lecture Series at Assumption College. The talk was open to the public, but Saint Michael’s invited alumni and parents from the area to attend. Professor Kenney’s topic was “The Mysticism of St. Augustine,” and Dan DiTullio ’01 from Assumption College (second from left) served as the emcee. Those attending included seminarian Michael Carter ‘10 of the Society of Saint Edmund (far left in photo) who is finishing his studies for the priesthood at Boston College. Melanie Demarais ’79 is at right.
MIKE TRANGHESE, JERRY FLANAGAN, North Kingston, RI, former Colchester, VT, made a commissioner of the Big “farewell tour” down the East East Conference and a veteran Coast with his wife, Judy, in of the NCAA Division anticipation of his imminent I Men’s Basketball Committee, retirement from Saint has been named special Michael’s after decades of advisor to the commissioner service in Enrollment for Men’s Basketball in the and Institutional AdvanceSoutheastern Conference, it ment. Jerry was gratified was announced in midto be warmly received at stop March by SEC Commissioner after stop. See photo of one Greg Sankey. Mike, who of his Florida stops with more served as commissioner of the details of the trip. Big East Conference from 1990 to 2009, is credited with contributing to the growth of 1 9 7 5 the Big East in basketball during its early years while JOE FARRELL, Snowmass successfully establishing Village, CO, recently wrote football as a conference sport. of a “small world” alumni He has been an active leader encounter (see photo). on the national collegiate athletics landscape. In GLENN ROY, Beacon, NY, 2000–01, he concluded writes that he “walked away a five-year term on the NCAA from food and beverage Men’s Basketball Committee corporate life after 32 years in by serving as chair. He has 2012. This is my fourth year also served as chair of the now as adjunct assistant NCAA Men’s Basketball professor at Vassar College Subcommittee on Television teaching organic chemistry— and as lead administrator having a part-time academic for the Bowl Championship life I’ve dreamed of. I was Series for two seasons. He offered a one-year contract as recently completed a twofull-time assistant professor year term as a member of the in organic chemistry. What College Football Playoff path to choose?” Selection Committee.
1978 PAUL GALBRAITH, Highland Falls, NY, has a new movie-acting gig (see photo).
For a few weeks in early March, Jerry Flanagan, the beloved longtime Saint Michael’s College admission chief and now a fund-raising goodwill ambassador for Institutional Advancement, traveled with his wife, Judy, down the east coast of the U.S. to Florida, stopping along the way for reunions with Purple Knight alumni, including this group in Juno Beach, FL, at the Juno Beach Café on March 14: From left, Patty Morrisey Hearns ’78, Jennifer Wade Garrity ’79, Sue Ann Corrigan ’79, Joe Garrity ’78, Judy, Jerry, Karen Ruscoe Hurlburt ’78 and Martha Dame ’78. “What a wonderful prize it was to have people want to see Judy and me during my farewell trip,” says Jerry. “It was very generous of them to take time out of their day to meet with us. We had a great time talking about Saint Michael’s both past and present. Some great stories and memories were shared. I only wish I had the time to see many more of our wonderful and supportive alums and friends but time is running out as I plan to really retire at the end of June.
1981 John Wagner, Montpelier, VT, visited Cambodia in March with his family (see photo).
1988 DIANE WHITE BARNES, Boston, MA, recently fulfilled a two-book deal with Kensington Publishing in New York. Diane’s debut novel, Waiting for Ethan, about a woman who tries to turn the wrong man into the right man because of a
fortune-teller’s prediction, was published in September 2015. Her second novel, Mixed Signals, about a breakup that goes viral, will be published in September 2016. Diane is currently working on her third novel, Reshaping Peggy, about a widow who reshapes her body and her life after her twins leave for college—“Saint Michael’s, of course!” writes Diane, who adds that she is very grateful to the journalism professors at the College who helped her develop her craft.
Paul Galbraith ’78 is an actor who recently has been working as “a commuter” for the film The Girl On the Train as it is being shot in Ardsley and Yonkers NY. “Coming to a theater near you later this year,” he writes.
John D. Wagner ’81 shares this photo from Angkor Wat, Cambodia, showing (from left) three Cambodian monks, and Micah Wagner, John, Asa Wagner, and Leita Hancock, John’s wife. John and his family traveled to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in March to see the famous Angkor ruins and temples. “We were particularly moved by how lovely the Cambodian people are, and we were amazed by the Land Mine Museum, and the selfless efforts of the staff there to de-mine Cambodia, after decades of civil and international war,” writes John.
1996 BO FINNEGAN (also M’07), Williston, VT, in December 2015 was appointed the new human resources director at Community College of Vermont.
1998 JEFFREY “JEFFY” DOUCETTE, Boston, MA,
writes “Back in 2013 a member of the class of 1998, Andrew Pywell, passed away
after a five-year battle with brain cancer. This April, I ran in the 120th Boston Marathon, my third marathon. I was a member of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Marathon Team, raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer in memory of Andrew. If you would like to know more about how to help support MGH, please feel free to reach out to me at my email: Jeffreydoucette76@gmail. com, or check out my marathon fundraising page at
Rich Gallerani ’86 writes of his latest artistic creation and places the work in his personal historical context: “… Having been an Edmundite for ten years and having gone to Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, I’ve made lifelong friends that remain priests to this day. When I was diagnosed with liver cancer last year, I contacted those priest friends asking to be remembered at their Masses and in their prayers. One good friend suggested I join him and a group of 50 people on a pilgrimage to Italy this April. When I discovered how much it cost, I had to decline. I have eight thousand dollars in cancer bills I can’t afford. How was I going to afford a two week pilgrimage to Italy? A week later he called to tell me I had been given a free trip, all expenses paid! How could I say, no? …In preparation for the trip and to say thanks for prayers answered, I wanted to do something special. I decided to carve a statue of the Virgin Mary to present at the altar at Padre Pio’s monastery… [an update followed after the Italy trip from Rich: “The statue was subsequently placed on every altar where Mass was celebrated for our group. [This photo shows me] offering the statue at [at Padre Pio’s altar in the Capuchin monastery] —Rich Gallerani, ’86
https://www.crowdrise.com/ massachusettsgeneral Boston2016/fundraiser/ jeffreydoucette
2000 SHAWN GLEASON,
On Saturday, October 24, 2015 Annie Cressey ’01 married Kevin Valentine at the Ponds at Bolton Valley. A special thanks to Jerry Flanagan for providing the SMC banner. Left to Right (Skip first person with fist in the air): Pat May ’98, Tracy Briggs (Meyers ) ’01, Lisl May (Kuklinski) ’01; Andrew Wot ’01, Brent Courchene ’01, Mandy Courchene (McAuley) ’01, Kerry Mayo ’01, Megan Mayo (Lynch) ’01, Maegen Curley (Delahantey) ’01, Jay Curley ’02, Zach Cattan ’01, JD Hoffman ’01, Michael Flanagan ’01, Andy Jong, Elizabeth Kaplan (Pantano) ’01, Jennifer Klein (Rankow) ’01, Nicole Weiss (Napoli) ’01, Josh Lafreniere ’01, Ali Lafreniere (Mladenoff ) ’01, Sue Better ’01, Maria Milikin (Ferrante) 01, Annie Valentine (Cressey) ’01, Jolene Lovejoy (Pinette), Nikki McDonnell (Charbonneau) ’01.
Heather Clow, executive director of the Lebanon Opera House in New Hampshire, shared this photo of seven graduates of the Saint Michael’s Theater Department who visited the home of retired department Chair Donald Rathgeb prior to a reunion dinner at Waterworks on May 14, 2016. Front row, from left: Jennifer Perry McVetty ’94, Donald Rathgeb, Heather Clow ’92; back row, from left: Richard Homan ’92, Michael Dziura ’92, G. Richard Ames ’95, Stephanie Hughes Atkinson ’93, Gregory Niquette ’95.
Snowmass Village, CO, recently was sworn in as the newest member of the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District— by another Saint Michael’s graduate (see photo). KRISTIN ZAWATSKI,
Waltham, MA, writes, “After nine years, I’ve left John Hancock and taken a position with Brandeis University in the Professional Services Office of Library & Technology Services. It was a great opportunity for my career to help build a strong project management office for an institution like Brandeis. Seeing the inner workings of the university has given me a new appreciation for my SMC years!”
Mariusz Misiaszek ’03 married Kimberly Ho at St. Anthony & Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica, on January 9, 2016. The ceremony was presided by Bishop of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Burchell McPherson. The reception was held at the Trident Castle, Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica.
STACIE KITTELL-GODIN, Franklin, VT, and her husband, Andrew Godin, welcomed twins—a son and daughter named Graham and Charlotte—on June 22, 2015. Stacie is a special educator in Sheldon. NICHOLE CHARBONNEAU,
Rochester, MA, recently published her short story, “540°,” in YARN (Young Adult Review Network).
ANNIE CRESSEY, Burlington, VT, married Kevin Valentine on October 24, 2015, at the Ponds at Bolton Valley (see photo).
2003 MARIUSZ MISIASZEK, Coral Gables, FL, married Kimberly Ho in January (see photo).
2004 SCOTT GREDLER and AMY DRISCOLL GREDLER ’05,
Hingham, MA, welcomed a daughter, Clare Egan, on October 29, 2015. She joins big sister Grace (4) and big brother Thomas (3). JESSICA HANCHETTE NEUWEILER, Wallingford,
CT, and her husband, Michael, welcomed their first child, a son, Braiden Joseph, on October 21, 2015.
JENNIFER QUINLAN CANCELLIERI, Scituate, MA,
and her husband, Andy, welcomed a baby boy, Nolan Andrew, on February 23, 2016. Nolan joins big brother Colin. ADAM JOHNSON,
Las Vegas, NV, has a leadership position with Teach for America (see photo). TIMOTHY NICOSIA,
Westwood, MA, is tax manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Boston, focusing on tax advisory and compliance services to the Columbia family of registered investment vehicles, with
Adam Johnson ’03 and Emmy Lewis ’07 had an alumni encounter recently at Teach for America’s 15th Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C. Emmy is on TFA’s national team as the Director of Knowledge Management while Adam is the organization’s Head of Development in Las Vegas. He reports the summit was a gathering of more than 15,000 staff, teachers (current & future), alumni and community partners “ to celebrate the organization’s progress and to discuss the commitment that is necessary to reach our collective mission of ‘One Day’ (our mission is a future where all students can attain an excellent education). The event was capped with a main event at the Verizon Center where President Obama delivered a special message.”
Aaron Kaigle ’08 and Laura Willette were married August 29, 2015 at the Old Lantern Inn and Barn in Charlotte, VT. The ceremony was officiated by Erin (Mooney) Martin ’08. Alumni in attendance, from left: Allison Levesque ’08, Taylor Newton ’08, Gabrielle (Bourgeois) Blow ’08, RJ Blow ’08, Michael Ricciardi ’08, Scott Greenan ’08, Jill Levasseur ’08, Erin (Mooney) Martin ’08, Laura Willette (bride), Aaron Kaigle (groom) ’08, Bill Flanagan ’72, Kristen Totten-Greenwood ’08, Graham Kaigle ’18, Julie (O’Riordan) Galeros ’08, Rachel Haven ’08, Tierney Carey ’09, Kyle Johnston ’08, Prof. Jennifer Vogt; Not pictured: Michael Dowling ’71 and the photographer Ariana (Fondry) Wammer ’08.
Emily Heffernan ’06 married Jordan Helter on September 6, 2015 at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, MA. Alumni in attendance: Front row: Raymond Dargie ’65, Amanda Dargie ’06, Taylor Piffath ’06, Emily (Heffernan) Helter ’06, Jordan Helter, Anne Fletcher ’06, Michaela (Abramo) Strom ’06, Jill (Kasierski) Charest ’04, Karyn (Clark) Tyler ’06, Lindsey Venne ’06, Kristen (Crall) Burke ’06; Back row: Lauren Mraz ’06, Nate Williams ’06, Kate Lesniaski ’06, Chris Higgins ’06, Josie (Woodward) Booth ’07, Brian Howley ’06, Jason Charest ’06. Victoria Townsend ’08 and Kevin Parise ’09 were married in Swampscott, MA on September 19, 2015. Alumni in attendance left to right, top-bottom: Jennifer Patterson ’08, Micaela Mendicino ’07, Mark Pierce ’08, Jayden Choquette ’10, Krista Tunnell ’10, Rory Fitzgerald ’10, Alexander Kelley (honorary SMC), Stephen Townsend ’84, Wendy Mustapha ’10, Brendan O’Leary ’10, Megan Marsh ’08, Alyisha Wasilewski ’08, Christina Hart ’08, Kristen Andresen ’10, Craig Ueland ’11 , Elizabeth Hartford ’07, Julia Parise ’10, Andrew Parise ’09, Kyla Waldron ’08, Emily Benway ’08, Rachel Zimmerman ’08, Katie Crawford ’08, Amelia Holstrom ’08, Arianne Bedard ’08 (not pictured).
William “Griffin” Curtin ’05 married Alicia Paglia on October 10, 2015 in Newport, RI. Other alumni attending among those in photo were Sunny (Timbo) White ’05, Chris White ’05, Jarrod Hagen ’04, Melissa McLacklan ’05, Beth (Winton) Campbell ’04, John Sampson ’04 (who made the poster with Saint Michael’s symbols in the foreground of the photo), Kirk Bailey ’04, Steve Parke ’04, Mike McDonough ’04, Nick van Bourgondien, William Curtin ’05.
CLASS NOTES 54
Michael Donahue ’09 and Kimberly DiTullio ’10 were married at the Mount Washington Hotel in August 2015. They now live in Marshfield, MA. Saint Michael’s alumni in attendance at the wedding included Matt Reese ’09, Michael Giordano ’09, Ryan Mero ’09, Jeff Amato ’09, Alex Paulhus ’09, Dan Erhardt ’09, Meredith Falzone Reese ’09, Haley Belofsky ’09, Kim Berlo ’09, Michelle Thomas ’10, Molly Canfield ’10, Sky Bryan ’09, Ashley Jean ’09, Emily Conley Benoit ’10, Lauren Rizzotti ’09, Alex Canepa ’10, Dustin Hunter ’10, Miranda Croteau Becker ’10, and Becky Liebal ’10.
specialization in regulated investment company (RIC), complex securities, and derivatives taxation. Tim also is a certified public accountant (CPA) licensed to practice in Massachusetts.
2005 AMY DRISCOLL GREDLER
had a baby (see 2004 notes).
WILLIAM “GRIFFIN” CURTIN, Fairfield, CT,
married Alicia Paglia on October 10, 2015, in Newport, RI (see photo).
2006 Alida Destrempe ’09 and Gregory Corcoran ’07 were marred on September 12, 2015 at Dowd’s Country Inn in Lyme, NH. Alumni attending included: Front Row from left, Jack Owens ’07, Cassie Dewey ’07, Ben Nottingham ’07, Jamie Hackney ’09, Bride: Alida Corcoran ’09, Groom: Greg Corcoran ’07, Back Row: James Sarno ’07, Caitlin Griffin ’02, Erin Monzione ’09, Meg Giuliano ’07, Kim Berlo ’09, Chris Giuliano ’08, Page Young ’07; Back Row: Ryan McKinney ’07, Patrick Harrington ’07, Megan Lagasse ’07, Ryan Tracy ’07.
JORDAN SMITH COTA,
got married (see 2009 note and photo).
EMILY LEWIS, South Burlington, VT, has a leadership position with Teach for America. See photo for more details on that job and on a recent alumni meetup she had.
Sheldon, VT, and her husband welcomed a daughter, Zoe, on August 17, 2015.
EMILY HEFFERNAN, Newtonville, MA, married Jordan Helter on September 6, 2015, at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, MA (see photo).
AARON KAIGLE, Williston, VT, married Laura Willette on August 29, 2015, at the Old Lantern Inn and Barn in Charlotte, VT (see photo).
VICTORIA TOWNSEND, Medford, MA, and KEVIN PARISE ’09 were married in
TINA NARDI, Park City,
On October 3, 2015, Meghan Driscoll ’10 married Nick Harvey at Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in Centerville, MA with a reception that followed at The Wianno Club in Osterville, MA, and 17 SMC grads were in attendance. Writes Meghan’s dad Tommy Driscoll ’74, who sent the photo, “… My brother Jay is the only non-graduate to be given that honor” (appearing in the alumni photo, which even the groom did not qualify for!) “because he attended but did not graduate.” Back from left, Tommy Driscoll ’74, Pat Byrnes ’74, William Driscoll ’72, Leo McCrann ’71, Dick Sullivan ’73, Lindsay Bernard ’10, Scott Gredler ’04, Amy Driscol Gredler ’05, Alana Driscoll McGrath ’10, Jay Driscoll, Corey McGrath ’09; Front from left: Daniel Driscoll ’12, Christine Driscoll ’08, Kristen Salierno ’10, Meghan Driscoll Harvey ’10, Maddi Lena ’10, Danielle Gagnon ’10, Kathleen Thompson ’10.
as their summer adventure concierge. We were also recognized by Worth Magazine as one of the 2015 Trips of the Year. Marie Claire mentioned us in a recent article: ‘14 Reasons Winter Vacations Are Better Than Tropical Ones’ (we are #7).” She encourages alumni to find her company on Facebook or Instagram to learn more, and calls the enterprise “a premier adventure brand out West.”
UT, is a partner in Elevated Adventure Co., which does customized single- to multi-day adventures in Utah. The company is based in Park City, UT. “We will fly guests to the desert in small turbo prop planes to hike, bike, climb, do yoga, canyoneer, whitewater raft, SUP, or fly fish (whatever the group prefers),” Tina writes. “In 2015 we partnered with the St. Regis Deer Valley [resort]
Swampscott, MA, on September 19, 2015 (see photo).
2009 MICHAEL DONAHUE,
Marshfield, MA, and
KIMBERLY DITULLIO ’10
were married at the Mount Washington Hotel on August 22, 2015 (see photo).
Columbus, OH, married
GREGORY CORCORAN ’07
BEN DAIGLE and ELISE NESTOR DAIGLE ’10,
Ashland, MA, welcomed their first daughter, Harper Denise, on June 29, 2015. COURTNEY LAMDIN, Winooski, VT, recently was promoted to executive editor of the Milton Independent, Colchester Sun, and Essex Reporter by The Champlain Valley Newspaper Group (CVNG). In her new role, Courtney will oversee the editorial direction of all three publications and continue reporting on local news. She started her journalistic career with CVNG in 2009 after graduating from Saint Michael’s with highest honors. Starting as a reporter, she quickly moved up the ladder once the Independent’s founder retired in December 2010. An award-winning journalist both regionally and statewide, Courtney has collaborated in redesigning the Independent’s print and Web products, led the establishment of two local events (and has one forthcoming), and cemented community relationships that resulted in hyperlocal, quality reporting for one of Vermont’s fastest-growing towns. She also serves as the Northwest representative on the Vermont Press Association board and as a business representative on Milton’s Economic Development Commission.
KEVIN PARISE got married (see 2008 note and photo).
Marybeth Ash ’11 and Matthew Dattilio (SMC ’07-’08) UVM ’11 were married at Sacred Heart Parish in Lebanon, NH on September 26, 2015. A reception followed at the Quechee Club in Quechee, VT. Alumni in attendance from left to right: Marran Ranks ’11, Eileen Mullowney ’12, Jean-Marie McGrath ’13, Katherine Hackett ’11, Emily Ogilvy ’12, Marilyn Ferreira ’11, Gabriel Ash ’09, Meghan McCormack ’11, and Emily Magee ’13.
on September 12, 2015, at Dowds’ Country Inn in Lyme, NH (see photo).
She also taught newspaper production as an adjunct professor at Saint Michael’s in 2010–11. She is a fellow of the New England First Amendment Coalition, a program that develops reporters’ investigative skills. The Champlain Valley Newspaper Group also includes the St. Albans Messenger and Addison Independent.
2010 EIREANN ASPELL, Concord, NH, was hired by Louis Karno & Company as a project manager. She will join the healthcare policy team and oversee outreach, events, and new media strategies for clients. Eireann’s Saint Michael’s degree is in English. ELISE NESTOR DAIGLE
had a baby (see 2009 note). KIMBERLY DITULLIO got
married (see 2009 note and photo).
MEGHAN DRISCOLL, Belmont, MA, married Nick Harvey on October 3, 2015, at Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in Centerville, MA, with a reception that followed at the Wianno Club in Osterville, MA (see photo).
2011 MARYBETH ASH, Quechee, VT, and Matthew Dattilio (SMC 2007–08), UVM ’11, were married at Sacred
Eliza Young and Mike McDonough, both from the Class of 2011, were married on August 15, 2015, in Williston, VT, at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center. Alumni in Attendance included: Back Row: Nate Birr ’11, Pete Estes ’11, Jesse Sullivan ’12, Maura Baxter ’11, Ben Yodzio ’11, Evan Grenier ’08, Colleen Grenier ’08, Brian Clifford ’04, Missie Thurston ’03, Mike Robert ’10; Middle Row: Montana Palmer ’11, John Contrada ’09, Claire McQuillen ’11, Emily Heney ’11, Tony Bonvechio ’10, Mike and Eliza ’11, Natasha Van Backer ’11, Abby Robbins ’11, Erica Birr ’11, Jeff McLaughlin ’10, Matt O’Brien ’08’ Laying in front: Tyler Gillinghman ’11, Catherine DiPesa ’11. “We love SMC!” writes Eliza.
Rachael Sparks ’11 in April was the first female finisher in the Punta Cana Marathon and first female finisher in Rock the Ridge 50 Miler. She used these races to raise money for Back on My Feet, a national nonprofit that uses running as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of people who are transitioning out of homelessness. Rachael ran her first 5k during her first year at Saint Michael’s and credits that race, and her RA who made her join, with starting her running career.
Heart Parish in Lebanon, NH, on September 26, 2015 (see photo). TOM KEEFE, Mountain View, CA, moved from Boston to California to work for Ayla Networks as the company’s new lead generation manager.
ELIZA YOUNG and MIKE MCDONOUGH, West
Newbury, MA, were married August 15, 2015, at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, VT (see photo). RACHAEL SPARKS, Brooklyn, NY, in April was the first female finisher in the Punta Cana Marathon and the first female finisher in the Rock the Ridge 50 Miler (see photo).
2012 ELYSE DESMARAIS, Salem, MA, is a marketing and graphic consultant for a Boston-based text message survey software startup called Instant Census, recently featured in an article on the online news site and community publishing platform
BostInno, covering “the view from inside” innovation in Boston. The piece featuring Elyse told how her firm would be gathering valuable insights to help uncover gender issues in advertising during the most recent Super Bowl. SARAH CINO, Waterbury, VT, married Cory Noyes on August 23, 2015 (see photo).
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: TO THE EDITOR: REMEMBERING DONALD COOK, A MAN OF FAITH, A TRUE HERO
When I returned from the Korean War zone and went off to St. Michael’s College for the last two years of my education, it was exhilarating to get up early in the morning and walk around the campus. I savored the beauty of Vermont’s countryside, the Green Mountains off in the distance, the quiet serenity of it all. It was quite a change from the barren hills of Korea. I’d go to Mass at 7 a.m. before classes started each day.
KNIGHT STRIDERS VIRTUAL 5K RACE IS BACK! Run alone or with your SMC friends during Alumni and Family Weekend Friday, September 16 – Sunday, September 18, 2016 SIGN UP ONLINE: https://runsignup.com/knightstriders5k Cost is $30 and all participants receive a pair of SMC running socks! Proceeds go to the Saint Michael’s Fund and count as your gift for the year! Post a photo/selfie on social media of you and or your running group using #smcvtalumni #KnightStriders
During those first months, I became friendly with another student who showed up frequently at Mass. His name was Don Cook. He was from Brooklyn, NY, and we’d often go to breakfast together. He had gone to a Catholic high school in Brooklyn and was at St. Michael’s on a football scholarship. We decided to be roommates
for our senior year. Often, Don would ask me about my Army experiences. He had an interest in the military and thought he might pursue a career in the Marine Corps after we graduated. Following our graduation, he did exactly that. He enlisted and took with him to officer’s candidate school
Sarah Cino ’12 married Cory Noyes on August 23, 2015. Alumni present included, from left: Rebecca Belrose ’12, Chad Chapman ’13, Heidi Chapman ’13, Brianna Atkins ’14, Emily Gauthier ’12, Denise Belanger ’12, Mary Hall ’14, Mick Roberto ’12, Bride - Sarah Cino ’12, Jim Watson ’12. Kaitlin McCarthy ’12, Christian Ortiz ’12, Meg D’Elia ’14, Kyle Craven ’12, Emily Polo ’15, Aisling Guinee ’11, Amy Blackey ’12.
his new wife, a Vermont girl he’d met during our final year there.
During the 1960s, the situation in Vietnam went from civil strife to all-out war and gradually the United States got involved. Don was assigned to Vietnam as an advisor to the South Vietnam troops trying to cope with invasion from enemies in the north. In 1967, I was invited to the commissioning of the USS Donald Cook in Bath, ME. This is when I learned the details of Don’s story. I met two men who had been in captivity with him. Both said they would not be alive if not for Don’s self-sacrifice. I saw a small letter he’d written to his family on the inside of a cigarette package. It had been smuggled out
What is it, I’ve asked myself, that would move a man so young, with a wife and four small children, to sacrifice his very life so that those near to him could live. The only answer that makes sense to me is … love. The presence of God in him. Don was a quiet, gentle believer. Strong in his faith as his own life ebbed away. What a man. What a life. “Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friends.” Ogden Dodge Class of 1956 TO THE EDITOR:
I received the excellent St. Michael’s magazine today. It prompted me to write this email to update my info. I received my MATESL degree from St. Michael’s in 1987. I made wonderful friends there. They were from Brazil, Jordan, Japan, and other countries. Some visited
my multiage classroom (grades 1, 2, and 3) and talked about their countries. Hisham wrote their names in Arabic, which they treasured. I’m certain those children remember those visits today, 30 years later. I was an elementary teacher in Montpelier, VT, from 1985 to 1993, when I left Vermont for Tucson, where I studied at the University of Arizona and received a Ph.D. in teaching and teacher education in 1997. I returned to Vermont and taught at CCV and Vermont College with the ADP and M.Ed. programs. I returned to Arizona in 2000 to prepare elementary teachers at the University of Arizona South in Sierra Vista. I retired in 2006 and taught a semester at the University of Sonora in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. After almost five years in Albuquerque, NM, where my daughter and family lived and I cared for my granddaughter, I returned to Sierra Vista in 2011 and began volunteer work in 2013 as an education coach in an elementary classroom with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Recently, I became the program coordinator for RSVP in Cochise
County. My task is to recruit RSVP education coaches to serve children and teachers in Sierra Vista classrooms. I know this work greatly benefits the senior volunteers as well as teachers and students. My life has come full circle now as I started work in classrooms in the Philippines 55 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer in its first year. My MATESL degree has served me well. I remember the good professors I had and the fine graduate students I studied with there. Thank you for reading my story. Best, Charlotte H. Stocek, M’87, Ph.D. 5105 Camino del Norte Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 520.459.1408
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We kept in touch by mail and occasional phone calls. I’d gone to work for Vicks in New York City and Don was down in North Carolina earning his commission. I, too, got married, and over the years, we both had four children. Slowly, we lost touch. The last I heard of him, he’d gone to language school to study Chinese and was stationed in Okinawa.
by a prisoner who’d been released early. In this letter, Don expressed his love for them and wrote, “Do not worry about me. I am in a state of grace.” I saw a small rosary Don had fashioned from stalks of rice, with knots to help him pray.
In Memoriam 1943 EDWARD J. PFEIFER, MARSHFIELD, VT, died
January 27, 2016. A widely respected and much-loved humanities professor at Saint Michael’s, he joined the College’s faculty in 1948 in the English department and retired in 1986 after more than 30 years of teaching and mentoring as a professor in the history department, while also serving as the academic dean from 1965 to 1970. After Saint Michael’s, Ed served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the destroyer USS Albert W. Grant, and was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and other honors for his service. He then attended graduate studies at Brown University, earning a master’s degree in American civilization. From 1951 to 1953 he was recalled into active duty with the Navy and served aboard the USS Cogswell and at the Navy Training Center in Newport, RI. He then returned to Brown University, where he earned his doctorate in American civilization before starting his long Saint Michael’s faculty career. He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Joan, two sons, John Pfeifer ’85 and Martin Pfeifer ’92, two daughters, Justine Landry ’84 and Eliza Sweeney P’16, and extended family, including
son-in-law Francis Landry ’82 and granddaughters Jessica Sweeney ’16 and Hannah Guilmette ’09. He was the uncle of longtime Saint Michael’s Registrar John Sheehey ’70.
1944 HOWARD F. SMITH, Venice, FL, died January 20, 2016. He was the last living member of the Class of 1944. As a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he saw active duty in the Pacific theater during World War II. Following the war, he was a regional salesperson for Stanley Works Corporation throughout the Midwest. He returned to Connecticut and completed degrees in education at Teachers College of Connecticut and the University of Hartford and doctoral studies at the University of Connecticut. He held several education positions prior to becoming superintendent of schools in Stafford Springs, CT. He loved poetry, all types of music, his homes in Florida and Maine, and travel— especially piloting his Cessna. Howard is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lucile, a son, three daughters, and extended family.
1947 SIMON P. HANLEY,
he returned home for a long career in education and retired in 1984 as BrushtonMoira superintendent of schools in New York. He lived most of his life in Brushton before dividing time between a condo in Fort Myers, FL, and a camp on Indian Lake, NY. He is survived by his wife, Connie, two sons, and extended family.
St. Augustine Beach, FL, died April 13, 2016. He received an MBA from New York University in 1955. In his life he also studied at St. Joseph’s-Dunwoodie (major seminary for the Diocese of New York), Fordham University, and Brooklyn Law School. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1953 in Greenland and Korea (infantry and signal corps). 1950 He worked for the FBI in New York, and Monsanto JOHN “JACK” R. DOBBYN, Company’s textile division Alexandria, VA, died on for 26 years as a fiber and February 26, 2016 of kidney yarn marketing manager. He failure. He was a U.S. later worked for SI-TEX Inc. Army sergeant during the Import-Export Textile Fibers/ Korean War and later Yarns. He retired to St. entered the seminary and Augustine in 1991. Simon served as a Catholic priest was active in the Knights of with the Passionists for Columbus and his parish. 13 years. After leaving the He is survived by his wife of priesthood, Jack moved 60 years, Mary Frances; to Washington, D.C., became he also was father to two sons a commodities broker, and and five daughters, college retired as a vice president of records from 1992 show. Merrill Lynch. After retirement he homeschooled his children and raised his grandchildren. He is survived 1948 by four sons, two daughters, and extended family. JASON N. WAGNER, Bloomingdale, NY, died March 16, 2016. After Saint HENRY J. FANDEL, Jr., West Michael’s he earned a Roxbury, MA, died February master’s degree in education 16, 2016. A U.S. Navy veteran from St. Lawrence University. of the Korean War, he had He was a veteran of the U.S. worked as a sales representaArmy Counter Intelligence tive for Artco Offset in Corps, serving in Japan from 1951 to 1953. After that tour
ARTHUR J. FRASER,
Rochester, NY, died January 25, 1926. A World War II veteran, he received a master’s degree in history at Fordham University after Saint Michael’s and moved to Rochester to work for the Boy Scouts of America. He later went to work for Kodak and retired there as director of management and general education in 1986. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Genevieve, and is survived by two sisters, a brother, and extended family. DR. ROBERT E. STANTON, Palm Coast, FL, died January 15, 2016. A U.S. Army veteran, he served as a T/3 surgical technician in the 107th Evacuation Hospital, which landed on Omaha Beach, France. He earned five Battle Stars and a Presidential Unit Citation for serving at the only hospital to be open throughout the Battle of the Bulge. After the service he returned to Vermont and finished at Saint Michael’s before graduating from Boston University School of Medicine. He did his internship at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut and his residency in OB-GYN at the Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven, CT. He opened his practice in Manchester, CT, and joined a colleague to form Manchester Obstetrician and Gynecology P.C. He
was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served a year of active duty in Florida, after which he worked at a medical center in Alabama. Bob was an avid golfer, belonging to 16 clubs from Vermont to Florida. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, three sons including Christopher Stanton ’78 and Kevin Stanton ’86, two daughters, and extended family. Bob’s brother-in-law was Ed Pfeifer (see 1943 death listings).
1951 REV. JOSEPH L. HART, SSE, Englewood, FL, died March 18, 2016. He was a professed member of the Society of Saint Edmund for 66 years and an Edmundite priest for over 60 years. Ordained in 1955, he served for several years at parishes in North Carolina and Alabama, including extensive work among African-American communities during the challenging Civil Rights era. After obtaining his doctorate at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1965, Fr. Hart worked at Saint Michael’s as academic dean for two years and then director of counseling and testing for seven more. From 1974 to 1988 he ministered at the House of Affirmation in Worcester, MA, as psychotherapist, and then became director. In 1988 he joined the Saint Michael’s faculty and served as a counselor in the Student Resource Center until 1990
when he was elected 12th superior general of the Society of St. Edmund. He retired in 1998 to Englewood. He is survived by extended family.
1953 KENNETH C. CASPERSON,
Vero Beach, FL, died June 11, 2013, the College learned recently. After studying history at Saint Michael’s, Ken pursued industrial engineering through International Correspondence Schools and worked in that field in Massachusetts for a time, including with Cornish Wire Co. in Williamstown, according to a 1965 alumni survey that also indicates he was married with a daughter and active in youth work then. He had lived in Florida for many years. LEO H. FLOYD, Harwich, MA/Ft. Lauderdale, FL, died April 17, 2016. Before Saint Michael’s, Leo served in the U.S. Army during World War II in Japan with the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division. Upon graduation he began a 32-year career with General Foods in sales management, during which he earned a master’s degree from Cornell University. He lived in Norwood, MA, until retirement, when he moved to Harwich. There he enjoyed travel, golf, and membership in a yacht club. He also loved his Florida condo in cold months and staying connected to his Saint Michael’s Golden Knights classmates. Leo was
predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Jacqueline; he is survived by a son, four daughters, and extended family.
1954 DONALD M. BRESCIA, Riverdale, NY, died February 24, 2016. A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, Donald was an English teacher and department chair with the New York City Board of Education. He retired as a teacher trainer in 1989. He is survived by his spouse, John Spinelli, and a sister, Marie Delfino. WILLIAM H. O’SHEA,
Greenwich, CT, died April 15, 2016. After Saint Michael’s he served in the U.S. Air Force until 1957. He lived in Greenwich for the past 22 years. He once worked as district manager for the Research Institute of America. Bill loved the Mets. His wife of 46 years, Jean, died in 2012. He is survived by a son, two brothers, and extended family.
1955 THOMAS P. GALUPPO,
Riverwoods, IL, died September 2, 2014. He had once lived in Millbrook, NY, and in Detroit, MI. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, three sons, a daughter, two sisters, and extended family.
Boston and was owner of Fandel Press in Jamaica Plain. A son predeceased him. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, three sons, two daughters, a sister, and extended family.
PHILIPPE L. BEAUDOIN, Shelton, CT, died April 15, 2016. He was a U.S. Navy corpsman (medic) during the Korean War. Phil was an industrial chemist with McKesson Labs and then King Industries before retirement; a longtime president and board chairman of McKesson Credit Union; and a certified EMT and Huntington Ambulance volunteer for many years. He was active in his parish with the choir and folk and prayer groups. A gifted musician, Phil played electric organ and harmonica and sang beautifully. He is survived by four sons, a daughter, and extended family. THOMAS L. CARPENTIER,
St. Albans, VT, died March 8, 2016. He worked for 33 years for the Union Carbide Corporation in chemical engineering. Tom enjoyed casinos and lottery tickets, hunting, studying World War II, and driving around. He belonged to the National Rifle Association. His wife, Barbara, predeceased him. He is survived by two sons, a daughter, four sisters, a brother, and extended family.
THEADOR J. HEBERT,
Madison, OH, died January 9, 2016. After Saint Michael’s he joined the U.S. Army, then worked at Norwich Pharmaceuticals Co. until 1977, when he took a job at Diamond Shamrock Co., heading its animal
research division. He started T.J. Hebert & Associates in 1986. Ted was a scoutmaster, a junior sports mentor, a craftsman who enjoyed restoring cars, and a selftaught poet. He enjoyed gardening and raising alpacas. His wife of 49 years, Lynn, died in 2007; he is survived by his wife since 2010, Paula, two sons, two daughters, two sisters, and extended family. JOHN W. KINGSTON, Wells, ME/Englewood, FL, died February 29, 2016 of cancer. He was class president at Saint Michael’s and chaired his 50th reunion committee. He served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve; he was called to active duty and stationed in France during the Berlin Airlift in the late 1940s. After college, Jack began his 35-year career with IBM as a marketing representative throughout New England. He was proud of the family cottage he helped build on Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport, ME, and the farmhouse he restored in Canterbury, NH. He loved New England sports teams, golf, travel, Italian food, numbers, and lists. He is survived by his wife, Carol, a son, a daughter, three brothers, a sister, and extended family.
1958 CHARLES A. GAGNON, Burlington, VT, died January 20, 2016. He started seminary studies as a young man (two of his brothers were priests and his sister was a nun) before choosing
non-seminary studies at Saint Michael’s. He worked for years at General Electric in Burlington in production. He enjoyed attending religious retreats and reading and writing about them, and was active in his Milton parish. He also loved playing sports, teaching sports skills to his kids, and rooting for local teams. His first wife of 30 years, Lorraine, died in 1990. Soon, he met and married Alice, and they moved to Arizona in 1994. Charlie was active in his community and with the Salvation Army, enjoyed cards and dancing, and attended daily Mass. He moved to Maryland in 2014, and to The Villages, FL, in 2015. Besides his wife, Alice, he is survived by a son, three daughters, including Michelle Gagnon M’95, five stepdaughters, two brothers, a sister, and extended family.
1959 FRANCIS C. MAKULA, Branford, CT, died February 21, 2016. Fran was named the College’s Alumnus of the Year in 1979. He worked for years in the public relations department of Southern New England Telephone, and he and his wife owned a travel agency, Goin’ Places, in Branford for many years. He is survived by two sons, a daughter, a stepdaughter, a stepson, a brother, and extended family.
1960 ROLAND P. FAWTHROP, East Longmeadow, MA, died January 19, 2016. He spent more than 30 years working for USF&G Insurance and the United States Naval Reserve. Rollie was a President’s Medallion Society supporter of the College. He was predeceased by his wife of 44 years, Jeannette. He is survived by two sons, including Gerald Fawthrop ’89, two daughters, including Susan DeWeese ’92, brothers, a nd extended family, including granddaughter Katelyn Fawthrop ’17. EDWARD G. MCDONOUGH, Pembroke, MA,
died May 12, 2016. He was a retired claims supervisor for Home Insurance Company, a former board member and coach for Pembroke Youth Hockey, and a coach for Pembroke Baseball. He is survived by three sons, three brothers, two sisters, and extended family.
1963 THOMAS R. CORCORAN, Voorheesville, NY, died March 19, 2016. He was a secondary school teacher of music and English before entering the telecommunications field with New York Telephone Company and AT&T, from which he retired in 1999. Tom was the Glee Club accompanist while at Saint Michael’s and later in life an accomplished and sought-after pipe organist, most recently at his parish.
1964 DANIEL F. CAHALANE, JR.,
Dix Hills, NY, died December 14, 2015. He earned an MBA from New York University and had worked as treasurer for Mutual Marine Office, Inc., in New York City. Daniel was married to Bernadette; in a 1984 alumni survey he listed his children as two sons and two daughters. JAMES M. CLARKE,
Honolulu, HI, died March 14, 2016. He was retired from teaching math for Mid-Pacific Institute and Punahou School, having completed graduate studies in math education at Wesleyan University in 1969. He is survived by a companion, Nancy White, a daughter, and two brothers.
1966 THOMAS K. CONERTY,
Bolton Landing, NY, died December 24, 2015. From 1966 to 1980 Tom taught biology, chemistry, and physics at Bolton Central School and was the boys’ junior varsity basketball coach. Throughout his college and teaching years he worked summer months at the Lake George Steamboat Company as a pilot and captain, and in 1980 he left
teaching to join the company full-time as pilot and captain of the Mohican, Ticonderoga and Lac du Saint Sacrament. His career with the company spanned 53 years. He served his hometown and surrounding community as a volunteer fireman, in town government, and on many boards and committees—libraries, planning, zoning, assessment review, parks, recreation, law enforcement, and stormwater were a few. He was happiest outdoors hunting, gardening, fishing, or boating. He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Kathleen, two daughters, and extended family. MICHAEL A. DRAPER (M’67), Guilford, CT, died
February 27, 2016 of lung cancer. Enrolled in ROTC while earning his Saint Michael’s English bachelor’s and teaching master’s degrees, he served in the U.S. Air Force in Texas after graduation, retiring as captain of the 3280th Squadron. He then entered insurance sales/financial advising with Connecticut Mutual Life (which later merged with Mass Mutual) in New Haven, CT, achieving many top professional certifications and awards. He was an avid sportsman—an all-star softball player in the service, and later a runner of countless road races, including major marathons. He enjoyed baseball via card collecting and the Mets. Mike loved reading and book collecting, and he wrote two mystery novels and many book reviews. He also sang
oldies and Irish songs while playing guitar. He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Diana, a son, three brothers, three sisters, and extended family. PAUL M. KOWAL, Palmer, MA, died June 7, 2015 of cancer. After college he entered the U.S. Air Force and became a bomber planner/targeteer, earning a Bronze Star in Vietnam. He met Vo Thi Thu (Lynn Kowal) in 1967, and they married a year later in Saigon, returning to the U.S. to live in Massachusetts before moving to New Jersey as Paul worked for Sunoco in Philadelphia, applying his master’s degree from Western New England College. Paul worked statistics for high rollers at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, tried tomato farming, had his own computer business (Absolute Systems), and worked for Heim’s IGA. To be near family members, he moved to Florida, then back to Massachusetts. He loved golf, fishing, and following his son in sports. His wife, Lynn, predeceased him. He is survived by his son and extended family. ROBERT B. NOLAN, Wyomissing, PA, died February 17, 2016. After Saint Michael’s he became a captain in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Wyoming during the Vietnam War. He later was a sales manager for Westvaco and Interstate Container. He enjoyed golf; was a big fan of the Red Sox, the Patriots, and Notre Dame
football; and served as a high school football official. He is survived by three sons, including Brian Nolan ’00, two brothers, a sister, and extended family.
Besides music, he most enjoyed gardening and travel. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Ellen, three sons, a daughter, and extended family.
THOMAS P. CASHMAN,
Healdsburg, CA, died March 30, 2016 of cancer. After Saint Michael’s he taught for nine years in the Catholic schools of Meriden, CT, volunteered at a children’s hospital, and worked for a time with Dunham-Bush, a heat-recovery and air conditioning systems business, in Newington, CT. He then moved to Virginia, doing volunteer work at a Catholic parish there. Tom relocated to Healdsburg in 1990 and worked at the Downtown Bakery and Creamery for many years and later at two other markets. He loved history, politics, animal care and rights, birding, reading, and supporting Central American youth. He is survived by a brother and extended family.
1970 THOMAS E. CONNALLY,
Troy, NY, died January 31, 2016. He worked for Kamco Supply for 18 years and Bi-Lo for 12 years. He enjoyed restoring antiques and playing softball. At Saint Michael’s he was on the ski team. Tom is survived by his wife of 44 years, Robin, a son, a daughter, a sister, two brothers, and extended family.
IN MEMORIAM 62
PAUL J. GLADIS, Bayonne, NJ, died March 14, 2016. Paul was a longtime employee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a survivor of the September 11 attack on lower Manhattan. In the 1980s he lived in Massachusetts, including Attleboro and Waltham, working for a time as an insurance adjuster. He is survived by two daughters, four sisters, and extended family.
RICHARD J. MARCHEWKA, Fairport, NY, died July 15, 2015. He had worked as a personnel manager for IBM Corporation in Rochester, NY, and earlier had worked for IBM in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He was predeceased by a daughter. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen, three daughters, a son, his father, a brother, a sister, and extended family.
BRIAN J. O’RIORDAN,
Manchester, NH, died May 8, 2016. He worked for DeBruyckere Law Offices in Londonderry, NH, as a client services coordinator. A President’s Medallion supporter of the College, Brian spent most of his life on Big Island Pond in New Hampshire, a place very special to him, and he was active in Republican politics. He is survived by two sisters and extended family. PATRICK J. RYAN, Easton,
PA, died August 4, 2015. He held various jobs as a supervisor and was in sales for a time with EdmontWilson, a maker of gloves and protective clothing. He was a writer, fisherman, dog lover, and collector of model trains who also enjoyed auto racing and reading about history and politics. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Amelia, a son, four sisters, and extended family.
1976 JULIE M. FITZGERALD,
Essex Junction, VT, died April 18, 2016. A certified educator, Julie spoke Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish. Her jobs included police dispatcher for Essex Junction, clinical coordinator at Oral Surgery Associates in South Burlington, and most recently, researcher at the University of Vermont Genetics Center. As a legacy, she inspired the creation of SMARTvt.org, which resulted in the re-employment of thousands of workers displaced after the 2008 economic collapse and whose work continues. During her tenure with the police she became an expert on true crime authors and literature. Julie journaled all her life, including writing volumes of coming-of-age stories related to Essex Junction. She was an animal rights advocate, was active with the DAR and Toastmasters, and was a spousal member of Kiwanis and Rotary. She enjoyed travel, particularly to Mexico and
the Balsams in Dixville Notch, NH. A devout Catholic, she evangelized at Fanny Allen Chapel and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. She is survived by her husband, Mark Renkert, and extended family. ROBERT J. LYNOUGH,
Elmira, NY, died March 23, 2016. After Saint Michael’s, Bob studied at Syracuse University. He was a banker in the Finger Lakes and Rochester regions of New York for several banks, retiring from Elmira Savings Bank as a vice president for commercial lending. He also taught banking courses. He was active in Kiwanis, including serving a term as president, and in his parish. He won several community awards and honors. He enjoyed working on his antique classic Triumph TR6 and loved the Yankees, Notre Dame sports, and his dog. He is survived by his wife, Sue, a son, a daughter, his mother, a brother, Richard Lynough Jr. ’79, two sisters, and extended family. He was also son of the late Robert J. Lynough Sr. ’48.
1977 JUDITH A. MAGUIRE,
Framingham, MA, died March 14, 2016. She worked many years for Leidos Engineering in Framingham; before that, she worked for the Docker Group, an executive search firm in Boston; in marketing at several Boston-area firms;
and as secretary/treasurer for Maguire-Valente Mechanical in Framingham. She is survived by her mother, three sons, a brother, a sister, her former spouse, and extended family. WALTER G. WHELAN,
Nashua, NH, died April 11, 2016 of pancreatic cancer. He lived in the Boston area until 1980, when he moved to New Hampshire. After Saint Michael’s he earned an MBA from New Hampshire College and spent more than 30 years in the finance industry. Most recently he worked at Heilind Electronics in Wilmington, MA. He enjoyed playing sports in his youth and was an avid fan of Boston’s pro teams. He enjoyed golf and played around the world. He is survived by his wife, Linda, two sons, two sisters, a brother, and extended family.
2003 PATRICK O’KEEFE, Newburyport, MA, died February 15, 2016, 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Marybeth, a daughter, his parents, a brother, three sisters, and extended family.
2012 BERNARD MCGRATH, Washington, D.C., died May 8, 2016. Bernard had lived in College Park, MD, Burlington, VT, Boston, MA, and Jersey City and Middletown, NJ, before settling in Washington, D.C. Bernie held
M A S TE R ’ S DE G R E E G R A D U ATE S
M1 9 6 8 SISTER ELIZABETH O’NEIL
(Sister M. Cabrini), Burlington, VT, died February 6, 2016, in the 68th year of her religious life among the Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community at Mount Saint Mary’s Convent in Burlington. Sister O’Neil earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Trinity College; her Saint Michael’s master’s degree also was in history. She taught at many schools across Vermont, also serving as a principal (St. Monica’s/ Barre) and high school history teacher (Rice/ Burlington). She is survived by a twin sister and extended family.
SISTER MARGARET MARY SEGUIN, CSC (SISTER MARY OF ST. MARGUERITA), Manchester,
SISTER MATHILDA DRUKE, RMS (SISTER MARY THADDEUS), Albany, NY,
died January 11, 2016. She was a Sister of Mercy for 67 years. She studied at Trinity College in Burlington and earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Rose in Albany as well as her Saint Michael’s master’s degree. Sister Druke taught for years at many schools and parishes in New York and Vermont, and ministered to the sick at hospitals and nursing homes and to the homebound. Born and raised a farm girl, she loved and studied the natural world, to the benefit of her science students. She is survived by two sisters, three brothers, and extended family.
SISTER FLORE TRUDEAU, DHS, Putnam, CT, died
NH, died March 9, 2016. She entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1945 and made her final profession in 1952, serving her congregation for 70 years. Sister Seguin received her bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame College in Manchester and her MAT from Saint Michael’s. She taught kindergarten through high school in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and British Columbia. She is survived by two sisters and extended family.
March 20, 2016. A member of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, Sister Trudeau entered religious life in 1941 and made her profession in 1945. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Diocesan Sisters College in Connecticut before completing her Saint Michael’s master’s degree in theology. She was a teacher from 1945 to 1991 in Burlington and Swanton, VT, as well as at schools in Connecticut and California. In 1994 she became transportation director at the Holy Spirit Provincial House, coordinating medical trips for sisters, until retiring in 2001. She is survived by three brothers and three sisters.
MAUREEN TILLEY, New York, NY, died on April 3, 2016 of pancreatic cancer. She had been a professor of theology at Fordham University since 2006 and previously taught at Florida State University and the University of Dayton. Her bachelor’s degree was from the University of San Francisco, her master’s degree from Saint Michael’s (her husband was a member of the Saint Michael’s faculty, 1979-1989), and her doctorate from Duke University.
An internationally renowned scholar of late ancient North African Christianity, she co-edited a book of essays and published an influential monograph on Donatism, as well as publishing more than 70 scholarly articles, more than 50 book reviews, and two volumes of translated texts. She also was deeply involved in professional groups and editorial review boards in her field. Maureen delighted in travel and embroidery research that contributed to her scholarship and was active in religious education, publishing several parish histories. She is survived by her husband, Terry, two daughters, two sisters, and extended family.
M1990 SISTER VIVIANA CUSTO, OP, Adrian, MI, died April
17, 2016, in her 52nd year of religious profession. Born Rosa Custo on the island of Malta, she joined the Dominican Sisters of Malta in 1965 before transferring to the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1983. Besides her Saint Michael’s master’s degree in pastoral ministry and spirituality, Sister Custo had education degrees from Florida Atlantic University and taught for 22 years in Australia, Florida, and Michigan, also serving as a hospital chaplain in Ohio and Indiana. She is survived by four sisters and a brother.
a master’s degree from George Mason University in public administration. He was executive director for Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso, a nonprofit helping underprivileged foster children in Washington, D.C. He loved music, movies, literature, and sports (Patriots, Red Sox, Jersey Devils). He is survived by his parents, Robert and Marty McGrath, four brothers, his grandmother, and extended family.
FA C U LTY, STA FF, A N D F R IE N DS
LT. COL. DAVID PAUL COSEO, Williston, VT, a
former director of purchasing for the College, died April 25, 2016. David earned his bachelor’s degree in history/ government and master’s degree in education from St. Lawrence University and served for 20 years in the military before entering work in college administration at the University of Vermont, St. Thomas University, and Saint Michael’s. He is survived by his wife, Debra Ann Stauffer, two sons, a daughter, a brother, and extended family. FAY LYNN MILLER, Colchester, VT, died March 27, 2016. Fay worked for Sodexo for many years and was particularly well known to students, faculty, and staff who frequented Café Cheray on campus. She enjoyed boating, gardening, and vacationing by the ocean. She is survived by her husband, Patrick, a sister, a brother, and extended family.
ALEX NAGY, Murfreesboro, TN, died January 17, 2016. Alex was a professor of journalism at Saint Michael’s in the late 1970s and instrumental in developing its journalism department. During World War II he served in the South Pacific as a radio operator with the 37th Infantry Division, saw action on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, and was in the first wave to hit the beach in the Luzon landing in 1945. He also was present at Japanese General Yamashita’s surrender in the Philippines. After the war he earned a journalism bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He worked for newspapers in Iowa and Wisconsin for 10 years before entering teaching and college public relations, and was an officer for professional press organizations in Wisconsin and Vermont. He moved to Tennessee in 1980 to chair the former Middle Tennessee State University Department of Mass Communication, later leading major initiatives there. He was on that university’s journalism faculty for 25 years, retiring in 2005. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joan; three sons, including Robert Nagy ’78; two daughters, Barbara Nagy ’80 and Jean Nagy ’80; a sister; and extended family.
ROGER L. PAQUETTE, Winooski, VT, died February 18, 2016. Roger worked as a security officer for the College for a time. He also worked in hospital security and for the Winooski Police and Fire Departments, Chittenden County Sheriff ’s Department, and Vermont Corrections; and as a Shelburne Museum trolley driver, a Yellow Cab driver, and a “floor man” for Wake Robin in Shelburne. He belonged to the Eagles, Green Mountain Airies, and Milton Horseshoes Club. He enjoyed travel, horseshoes, NASCAR (becoming an official at local tracks in his younger years), humor, and detailing cars. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Sharon, a stepdaughter, and extended family.
No n-Pro f i t O rg. US Po s t age PAI D Per mi t No . 154 B ur l ., VT 05401
Saint Michael’s College One Winooski Park, Box 6 Colchester, VT 05439 Change Service Requested
“I RECALL A FRANCISCAN FRIEND OF MINE ONE TIME SAYING THAT TO WORK IS TO PRAY … WHEN WE WORK WE SERVE AND TAKE PART. TO WORK IS TO BE INTEGRATED INTO THE DAILY LIFE OF THE COMMUNITY. THERE IS PRIDE AND SATISFACTION IN DOING WORK WELL, IN WORKING WITH OTHERS AND LEARNING A DISCIPLINE OR CRAFT OR AN ART. TO WORK IS TO GROW AND TO FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE. WORK ALSO ALLOWS YOU TO RENEW YOUR LIFE.” — Michael New, V.P., Human Resources
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