Coming to America

One day last January, a Japanese businessman walked into Kathy Hammett’s office in the Gallagher Student Center and, after a brief conversation, pledged a contribution of $500.

When the check arrived a few days later, Hammett, director for international student services, was floored. She said the donation was “a fabulous opportunity.” But she didn’t know this man. He was not a Xavier graduate. And she hadn’t asked him for money. But to Scott Hayashi, his gesture was perfectly logical. He wanted to help an American student studying at Sophia University, a Jesuit school in Tokyo. You see, he explained, he’d been a student at Sophia many years ago and was forever changed by the black-robed Jesuits whose spirituality had touched him. Besides, it made up for his past behavior when as a college student he used to pester American servicemen and tourists in Tokyo by practicing his English on them until they became angry.

“When I was young, I thought Americans had an obligation to help me,” Hayashi says. “But now I think it’s far more important to help Americans go to Japan and learn the language and come back to the U.S. and help build stronger friendships.”

Now a sales director for an auto parts supplier in Detroit, he’s been in the U.S. about 25 years. He often stops by Xavier on his trips to the Toyota plant in Northern Kentucky to walk the quiet campus and meditate in Bellarmine Chapel. He’s since written a second $500 check and plans to continue the donations, which have been placed in a fund that supports Xavier students studying at Sophia.

Joseph Peters, S.J.

Whether discussing ethics during a spirited game of handball, demystifying cell structure in his biology lab or dispensing career advice in his office, Joseph J. Peters, S.J., was always teaching. And Dr. J. Joseph Marr, for one, counts himself all the richer for it. That’s why Marr, a 1959 graduate, has made it his personal mission to set up the Joseph J. Peters, S.J., Endowed Scholarship Fund—and encourage contributions from each and every student who benefited from Peters’ teaching.

“Joe was a remarkably influential person in my life, and I think in the lives of just about every person he came in contact with,” Marr says. “He was a mentor to anyone who would pay attention. He taught by example in a way that was very consistent with his religious and ethical principles. He showed us that education isn’t just a matter of knowledge—it carries ethical implications.

“He had a requirement that you used what you learned not just for the benefit of yourself, but for the benefit of others as well. I think that resolves itself into the Jesuit mission. And in the course of that experience, I became a very serious believer in Jesuit education.”

If Marr sounds grateful, he is. The Hamilton, Ohio, native earned his biology degree from Xavier and studied internal medicine at Saint Louis University and Johns Hopkins University. After a detour into the U.S. Army Special Forces, he earned a master’s degree in microbial biochemistry at Saint Louis University, then continued his education at Washington University where he eventually became a professor of medicine and biochemistry. He then moved to consecutive assignments as head of infectious diseases at both Saint Louis University and the University of Colorado.

In 1989 Marr left academia to become vice president for new drug discovery at Monsanto/Searle. He later founded a biotech company, RPI, in Boulder, Colo., and took it public after three years. Next, he headed to Boston to become CEO of Immulogic Pharmaceutical Co., where he stayed three years before arriving at his current position as a partner in a venture capital firm called Pacific Rim Ventures.

All of it, he says, can be traced to Peters, who died in 1998.

“I went to college at age 16,” Marr says. “I also had an appointment to Annapolis, but I was too young. So I had to decide whether to leave Xavier and take the appointment. Fr. Peters allowed me to make the decision—he gave me ways to think about the decision. As a result, I stayed in pre-med, which was exactly the right thing for me to do. He also taught us how to do research. I’ve had a research career in medicine for 25 years, parallel with everything else. I probably would not have done that if not for him.”

And Marr says his personal experience wasn’t anything unusual—Peters’ deft touch at guiding students in the right direction carried many others to rewarding careers.

“He could tell some people were just not cut out to do what they wanted to do,” Marr recalls. “He had a way of perceiving that, and he would steer people in different directions. He did it in a private way that made everyone realize he was doing it in their own best interest.”

Now Marr is hoping to provide for the best interests of others in his mentor’s name. He actually began his one-man fundraising campaign in 2001. But the events of Sept. 11 and the resulting economic uncertainty made it a bad time to raise money. Marr sent letters to several hundred of Peters’ former students, raising about $60,000 of the $350,000 needed, but the responses from those who chose not to give at that time convinced Marr that he’d find success if he waited for an economic upturn.

This year, as the Dow began to rise, he sensed the time was right.

The end goal is to create a lasting memorial that will benefit one student annually in the biology department. “If we can pull this off, some student will have a chance at an education every year forevermore,” Marr says. “That’s a legacy that Fr. Peters would have liked.”

Training Days

While tailgaters reveled in the parking lot of Paul Brown Stadium, Bob Stacey set up the football field, filled Gatorade coolers and taped ankles and wrists. The 2003 graduate interned as an athletic trainer with the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2002 season, earning not only class credit, but exposure to the professional sports world.

“When I first started, I thought the pro players would have big heads, but I realized they’re just like everyone else,” Stacey says.

Xavier’s athletic training program began setting up internships with the Reds and Bengals two years ago, sending a total of three students a year. They work with the head trainer, assist in player rehabilitation, inventory supplies and perform other daily tasks.

“They’ve been great ambassadors to the athletic training program because we’ve heard nothing but phenomenal things from the Reds,” says Mike Mulcahey, an assistant trainer at Xavier who initially helped set up the internships. “So that kind of helps the program perpetuate itself.”

The Natural

Diamonds are Dan Simonds’ best friend, and he’s seen his share of them, both major and minor—Wrigley Field in Chicago; Memorial Stadium in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Iowa. And now Hayden Field at Xavier. The 39-year-old Simonds was hired in June as the University’s head baseball coach after five years as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he helped the Redhawks earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The 1987 Davidson College graduate earned most of his coaching experience, though, at the professional level. After spending four years playing in the minor leagues for the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs organizations, Simonds became an assistant coach and bullpen catcher for the Cubs in 1992. He later became a roving instructor within the Orioles organization, a hitting and catching coach for the Class A Clinton Lumber Kings and manager of the Fort Wayne Wizards, a Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

“I truly believe the Xavier baseball program has a great foundation with many positive features in place,” he says. “My goal will be to expand on these positives and bring Xavier baseball to a new level.”

Born for Basketball

While the kitchen table discussions at homes across the country revolved around the weather or school or politics, at the Miller household in Beaver Falls, Pa., it was basketball. Always basketball.

John Miller, the family patriarch, coached the basketball team at Blackhawk High School, and his passion for the sport shadowed him when he walked through the door at the end of each day. He was on his way to a career that would include more than 500 wins, four state championships and status as arguably the best-known person from Beaver Falls behind a charismatic quarterback named Joe Namath.

For his two sons, Sean and Archie, his love of the game offered them an example and direction. In the blue-collar towns of western Pennsylvania, two subjects dominate life: sports and steel mills. Be good at the first one or spend your life in the second. So they watched as he taught his players about practicing hard and being disciplined. They listened as he drilled them on technique and fundamentals. And they learned.

Those lessons ingrained so many years ago are now making their way to Xavier. Sean, the eldest of the sons, became the University’s head basketball coach in June, replacing Thad Matta who left for Ohio State University. It didn’t take long for the University to hire Miller—less than 24 hours after Matta resigned. It was frequently mentioned that if Matta should ever leave, Miller would be his replacement. The three years he was associate head coach under Matta were like daily job interviews, allowing him the chance to impress the administration. And he did. They knew his character and coaching skills. And they knew basketball flowed freely in his family’s blood.

By age 5, Sean was so adept at dribbling it landed him an appearance on the Tonight Show. He later earned jobs at summer basketball camps around the country putting on ball-handling exhibits, eventually dribbling his way to a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh. He became an all-Big East point guard and still ranks among the conference’s top players in assists and free throw percentage.

A foot injury kept him from pursuing a professional career, but couldn’t keep him from following in his father’s footsteps. Before he even got a chance to apply his degree in communications, he was offered a coaching position at the University of Wisconsin. He took it. “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” he told his dad.

For 12 years he worked his way up the assistant coaching ladder—Miami University, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State. Basketball publications began naming him as one of the top head coaching prospects in the country after he came to Xavier in 2001 to work with Matta. He even interviewed for a few positions, but turned them all down because he could envision himself at Xavier’s helm if Matta ever left.

Much to everyone’s surprise, that’s what happened, leaving Dawn Rogers—just one month into her new job as director for athletics—with the task of finding a replacement. It was an easy search, never leaving the department’s fourth floor offices. Miller was the first and only person she called. They met within an hour of Matta’s official announcement on July 7, and Rogers made the official offer the next morning. By 2:30 p.m., Miller was standing in the Conaton Board Room being announced as the new head coach.

“Sean’s been a big part of our success over the past three years,” says Rogers, “and I know he is the right choice to build on that success for our future. Our best days are yet to come.”

Although the coach is new, don’t expect a lot of changes on the court. Miller had a great deal of influence on the players who were recruited and the action on the court, and that will carry over, he said. And don’t expect any more changes in the coaching position, either.

“This is where I want to be,” he says. “I come with the perspective of the highest level of basketball, and I came to Xavier because I knew there was something special about this place. I looked at it as a diamond in the rough—that it was the highest level I could be. “And when you’re tied with Duke coming out of the final TV timeout and just minutes away from the Final Four, I don’t know what else is out there that is bigger than that. When you have three players drafted into the NBA in the last two years, I don’t know what’s bigger than that. This is the pinnacle of basketball.”

Reality Check

Xavier finance majors are getting a taste of real-world investing this fall with the creation of a year-long portfolio management course. The nine seniors selected for the course are given responsibility for managing $1 million worth of the University’s high-grade corporate and government bonds from the University’s endowment, says finance chair James Pawlukiewicz.

“It’s like an internship getting real job experience in managing this portfolio,” he says. “We’re referring to it as the Xavier student investment fund.”

Many colleges and universities allow students to practice investing money. What makes Xavier’s program unique is that rather than giving the students stock-picking funds, they are managing fixed-income securities, which is where most of the jobs are right now, Pawlukiewicz says.

The students, of course, aren’t totally on their own. A panel of investment professionals led by Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc., has ultimate veto power over the students’ decisions. The students are in charge of the fund from October through May.

Going to Ghana

The teachers are in place, the agencies are identified and the families are waiting. All that’s left is for the students—and spring—to arrive.

The University’s newest service-learning semester is in Ghana on Africa’s west coast, where eight students will live and learn during the spring semester. Several faculty members traveled there this summer to complete preparations, including identifying the students’ host families in Kumasi, a city of more than 1 million people.

“Archbishop Peter Sarpong of Kumasi has embraced us and helped us make the connections,” says Patrick Welage, the program’s assistant director. “He’s a very down-to-earth, active person and sees this as an opportunity for partnership and dialogue and understanding. Our students are there not so much to help but to learn.”

Regardless, the students each will work 12 to 15 hours a week in volunteer positions at one of four locations, including a home for abandoned children set up by the late Mother Teresa and run by the sisters of her order. Other sites include an orphanage and two prisons.

Students will take classes in African literature, the Twi language and theology, taught by Xavier faculty with help from local teachers and guest speakers. A service-learning course examining the social and historical issues of the country rounds out the program’s academic component which awards students 15 credit hours. The students will also take two trips, including one to the coastal cities of Cape Coast and Elmina. There they’ll cap off their African experience by visiting the castles-turned-dungeons that held native people captured for the slave trade.

Alumni ALL Card

This fall, every Xavier alumni is being mailed an alumni ALL Card—a specialized version of the University’s student ID. Rather than being an ID, though, the card can be used for discounts and benefits from a host of sponsors— electronic and clothing chains, banks, airlines, phone companies and car manufacturers, to name a few. Xavier is the first university to implement such a comprehensive affinity program for its alumni. For a detailed list of the card’s benefits, as well as for additional alumni coupons or for more information, visit www.myALLcard.com.

Sending Jobs Overseas

The evidence was piling up: Companies were calling for advice. Newspapers editorialized about it. Presidential candidates were making it a campaign issue.

The topic of concern: offshoring and outsourcing, business practices with histories tracing back more than 30 years, but with a heightened impact now as businesses become more global, the economy weakens and more white collar and professional jobs are lost.

Offshoring—when a company hires foreign workers to do the same jobs at lower wages—and outsourcing—when a company contracts with a foreign company to provide a service—are now major issues, even in the academic world. M.B.A. students now ask why they lost their jobs or wonder if the jobs they want will be there when they graduate.

Raghu Tadepalli and Jamal Rashed, professors of international business in the Williams College of Business, wanted to address the subject in their classes. But when several high-level corporate managers declined invitations to talk on the highly sensitive subject, they knew they had to do something. “They were so concerned about the public relations aspect of this subject because the companies doing it were being labeled un-American and anti-American,” says Tadepalli, associate dean of the college. “One person said, ‘If I talk about this, then word would get out, and I’d rather just not.’ ”

Tadepalli and Rashed quickly put together a six-week course for M.B.A. students and offered it in May and June. Thirteen students signed up.

“It was an important topic to deal with in a timely fashion,” Rashed says. “We felt Xavier should be a pioneer in offering courses relevant to the business community.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered the first course on offshoring this spring, Rashed says. But Xavier is the first school in the Cincinnati area to offer the course and is believed to be the first in the Midwest, both say. The course will be offered again in the spring or summer of 2005.

With no textbooks on the subject, the two professors spent hours creating the course-planning topics, deciding on lectures, locating materials and incorporating a software program.

“We wanted to offer a course very objective in nature,” Rashed says. “We wanted to give our students the skills to make decisions and to evaluate the justifiability of making such a decision.”

The course, titled Offshoring Issues in International Business, looks at all aspects of offshoring and outsourcing, including the ethical issues associated with giving American jobs to foreign workers. It addresses America’s place in the global economy and the fact the United States has lost 2.5 million jobs to other countries, initially blue-collar factory jobs but increasingly white-collar office and higher paid professional positions. It looks at the effects of the trend on the U.S. economy and whether globalized production is inevitable.

Topics covered in lectures include the global job shift and politics, terrorism, offshore outsourcing of information technology and human resources positions, and offshoring’s next wave.

“When I started the course, I saw it as a necessary evil where companies can save money, and so they’ll do it despite the human cost,” says M.B.A student Charles Murphy, national sales manager for a power equipment manufacturer in Harrison, Ohio. The company has outsourced some of its manufacturing but has kept its headquarters in the town where it was founded in 1860. Murphy finished the course with a new view of offshoring and outsourcing as good for the global economy and vital for some companies’ survival. But employees must be kept informed and offered options for retraining and reemployment, he says.

The human cost can be devastating, especially for older workers who must learn new skills for new jobs. But now there are examples of the trend beginning to reverse as companies that profited by sending jobs overseas are creating new jobs in the U.S., such as GE Aircraft Engines. Other companies, stung by the high turnover rate of Indian workers, have pulled positions back to the states.

“We’re not for or against it, but it’s happening, and as academics, we need to know why it’s happening and to teach it to our students,” Tadepalli says. M.B.A. students often changed their views by the end of the course. “You could see a sea change in their attitude,” he says.

A Laughing Matter

Hassan Arawas believes a good laugh can help pave the road to peace in the Middle East. So earlier this year, the 2000 graduate, a Muslim and native of Kuwait, sat down with Roni Geva, a Jew and native of Israel. Together, the unlikely duo created The Arab/Israeli Comedy Hour, a 20-skit play that humorously traces the history of the Middle East. Through imaginative sketches like “The Chair,” where the pair cast the Israeli/Palestinian situation as an argument over a chair and who gets to sit in it, and “Dueling Davids,” where both claim to be the heroic David slaying the Philistine Goliath, Arawas and Geva burn cultural and political stereotypes in the fire of humor.

The show has become a hit at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic theater, overselling every performance since its April opening. And Arawas says audience members often stay afterward to discuss their divergent views.

“Despite all these obstacles, we really believe that peace is possible,” Arawas says. “We show points of view from the Arab and Israeli sides—both valid points of view. And we proudly say that we’re equal opportunity offenders. Sometimes we’ll have a Jewish person come and say that something in the show offended them, and we say, ‘Go talk to the equally offended Arab across the room.’ ”

The show’s climax is a seven-number musical parody of “West Side Story” called “West Bank Story,” in which the actors express their hopes for peace.

“That’s actually my favorite part,” Arawas says. “In the rest of the show, I represent the Arab point of view, and Roni the Israeli view. But in this part, we switch roles; she becomes an Arab woman and I become a Jewish man.”

Arawas says the show will go on in Chicago as long as attendance remains high. When things slow down, plans call for a move to the ImprovOlympic West in Los Angeles. In the meantime, Arawas has a more basic goal: to stay in the United States. His work visa expires next summer, and if he hasn’t established a career, he could be sent back to Kuwait. Nevertheless, he’s optimistic. Perhaps, he says, he could get a job in television.

“I think it’s time for an Arabic ‘Cosby Show,’ ” he says. “Something like ‘Everyone Loves Hassan.’ ”