View From the Front: Alumni Take On Terrorist

 KEVIN GARFIELD

Kevin Garfield always wanted to be a soldier. So armed with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and an ROTC commission in 1998, Garfield strode off to do his part. His tour took him around the world, and by November, with the Enduring Freedom campaign well under way in Afghanistan, Garfield’s skills as a communications and electronics officer were put to the test. His 5th Special Forces team moved to a base in Uzbekistan from which it could support the campaign in Afghanistan.

Their mission was to conduct “unconventional warfare with the anti-Taliban forces of the region,” he says in e-mail dispatches, carefully obscuring exact locations and maneuvers. They lived in safe houses and kept on the move to avoid detection by al-Qaeda forces. After extensive American bombing runs to rout al-Qaeda forces from the rugged mountain terrain, Garfield’s team helped scour caves for remnants of the fighters and their supplies. He was there when three Special Forces soldiers from his unit were killed by a wayward Air Force bomb in early December.

“I knew them very well and had been working with them for quite a while,” he says. “I also had one of my soldiers lose an eye and he will be walking with a cane for the rest of his life. And another one of my friends had his eardrums shattered and will never hear again.”

Capt. Garfield was back in Uzbekistan by January, and flew home to Fort Campbell, Ky., in February, where he awaited his next mission. The time away gave him time to ponder the bigger questions of war.

“Death is never so frightening until it happens in front of you and to someone you know and care about,” he writes. “I have a great deal of memories from my experiences; some I will cherish and some will haunt me for the rest of my life…To anyone thinking of joining the service, war is not glamorous or fun…[and] when you are directly involved in wartime operations, there is nothing that can prepare you for what you will see and have to do during combat.”

ARCHIE DEJESUS

This past New Year’s Eve, R.C. “Archie” DeJesus, like many Americans, saw brilliant fireworks light up the night in celebration of the holiday. Except that Capt. DeJesus, sitting in the navigator’s seat on a C-130 Air Force transport plane, was actually seeing the flashes of tracer rounds from weapons fired by Pakistani soldiers below.

In e-mailed letters home, DeJesus, a 1997 communications graduate with an Air Force ROTC commission, describes his experiences and emotions since being deployed to Oman. He and his crew have flown more than 60 missions, logging more than 200 hours of combat flight time. Their first mission was to pick up two Special Forces soldiers who died when hit by a wayward U.S. bomb in Afghanistan. The two metal coffins, packed with ice, were accompanied by the soldiers’ Army captain, who said he was only 22 feet away from the explosion.

Other missions involved delivering food, water, ammunition and other supplies to Marines protecting airfields from attacking fighters. “Try landing a 45-ton plane on a runway without any lights while the soldiers you are resupplying are busy in the middle of holding off outside attacks,” DeJesus says. “There’s really no time for us to second-guess each other.”

 

KERRY ARTIST

Immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, first lieutenant Kerry Artist envisioned herself scaling rocks in Afghanistan’s desert seeking suspected terror mastermind Osama bin Laden. Nothing less seemed worth doing.

But the 1999 communications and ROTC graduate found herself staying stateside, supporting and training young National Guard soldiers in the skills of airport security in Augusta and Portland, Maine, where she relocated after completing her two-year service commitment at Fort Campbell, Ky.

It didn’t take long for her to realize how valuable–and fulfilling–her participation in the nation’s homeland security has been.

Because she’s an officer, she trains soldiers in the field. “We’ve taught soldiers basic riflemanship, making sure they know how to fire and handle weapons, security training on how to search personnel for any type of weapons, how to search civilians and how to treat civilians and the whole terrorism scenario.”

For the first three months after she graduated, Artist put her Reserve Officer Training Corps skills to use working as a recruiter of incoming freshmen, then training in the U.S. Army’s chemical and signal corps. She feels well-prepared and knows the chances of being called up to active duty are greater now than ever.

She remembers while a student in ROTC realizing she could be sent to hot spots around the world such as the Gulf War. “It’s definitely more a reality now,” she says. “I definitely feel I’m doing my part to serve my country. It makes me feel good and I wish everyone else could have the same feeling.”

JOHN KRUTHAUPT

In his day job, John Kruthaupt wears the uniform of a special agent for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Las Vegas, Nev. But he moonlights as a supervisor for the Nevada National Guard, which, now that he’s stationed with the activated 72nd Military Police Company in Monterey, Cal., has taken over his life.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s seven days a week, 24 hours a day. There’s always someone on duty. During a regular week, I put in about 20 hours a day,” says Kruthaupt, 37, who graduated in 1989 with a degree in international affairs and an ROTC commission. “I’m a commander of the unit in charge of about 100 soldiers.”

Since early October, in the aftermath of Sept. 11, Kruthaupt’s company has provided security at the Presidio of Monterey, a U.S. Army base that holds about 3,000 soldiers. Their specific mission is to guard the Defense Language Institute, where service members of all military branches come to learn foreign languages ranging from Korean and Chinese to Arabic and German. Kruthaupt’s team patrols the access points into and out of the base, making sure those who enter have proper identification and permission to be there. They encountered no terrorist activity in the first few months, he says, just the occasional inebriated soldier behind the wheel. They search vehicles at random and also patrol the nearby military housing neighborhoods.

Ironically, the team had just wrapped up a two-week training session on how to guard special forces soldiers at Fort Polk, La., on Sept. 10 and was flying out the next day when the terrorist attack happened in New York. Their flights were delayed but they were activated shortly after arriving back in Nevada to do the same type of mission they had trained for. The assignment could last up to two years, which Kruthaupt says is unlikely. Even so, he says he’d serve it gladly despite being separated from his wife, Fabiola, and their three small children.

“I’m very proud to be involved. I left my family behind in Las Vegas and I told them I miss you guys a lot, but I am proud to be doing this now and if I had been sent to Afghanistan, I would be just as happy,” says Kruthaupt, who served seven months in the Persian Gulf War. “I think we all took this attack pretty personally. I miss my family terribly, but some things are worth sacrificing for and this is one of them.”

Art Education

Robert Flischel likes to tell about the days he tagged along with his father on weekend plumbing repair jobs in some of the older Cincinnati Public Schools buildings. While his dad worked on the pipes, the young Flischel explored the buildings, developing an appreciation–and eventually a love–for the ornate, sometimes whimsical collection of art, architecture, sculpture and tile that adorn the district’s oldest buildings. To Flischel, they were like jewelry draped on the neck of a grand dame.

There were painted murals depicting scenes from fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk and Hansel and Gretel. There were Wheatley and Rookwood tile water fountains with detailed scenes of Danish farm life or legends such as the Pied Piper. There were the grotesques defending against ignorance on the gargantuan roof of Hughes High School, and the friezes and reliefs documenting historic places and events like Columbus’ arrival in the New World and Cincinnati’s Fort Washington.

Flischel especially liked the brass sculpture of the nursery rhyme characters Wynken, Blynken and Nod that once graced the entrance of the former Oakley Elementary School. But his favorite is that of a young girl, perched on the roof of Oyler Elementary School, her legs tucked neatly under a green dress, reading a red-covered book she holds open in her two hands.

A picture of the polychrome terra cotta statue, showing all the blemishes of age and neglect, graces the cover of Flischel’s new book, An Expression of the Community: Cincinnati Public Schools’ Legacy of Art and Architecture.

The book is published by The Art League, an organization concerned with documenting and preserving the unique art and architecture of the schools.

But the idea began with Flischel, a 1972 graduate and professional photographer. In 1988, while roaming through Cincinnati’s Price Hill neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon, he rediscovered the statue of the Oyler girl, and the idea of a major book project came rushing into his mind along with the memories of his days in the schools plugging leaks with his dad.

“The schools were part of my early life and the project was a retracing of my father’s footsteps. I learned the schools were like palaces,” Flischel says. “The momentum in the book is to say, ‘Here it is, so you don’t forget, let’s respond as a community and make sure this legacy is still there to instruct, to educate and to inspire.’ ”

The publication of the 224-page coffee-table book last fall is particularly timely, just preceding the release of the school district’s long-awaited 10-year facilities master plan. The plan details about $1 billion in construction projects to modernize or rebuild every occupied school. One major issue is whether and how to preserve the oldest historic buildings–and their art–some of which the state recommended for demolition because of the high cost of renovation.

Beth Sullebarger of the Cincinnati Preservation Association says historic school buildings should be preserved because they’re landmarks that convey civic virtues and aesthetic values to students. She helped the district appeal the state of Ohio’s planned demolition of 11 such buildings, and all appeals were granted.

“As it stands now, no historic buildings will be demolished, which is a miracle,” she says. “Seventeen historic buildings will be renovated, and those that will be closed will be available for redevelopment. I consider this a major victory for preservation.”

What Flischel found in the 45 oldest schools he photographed was the legacy of art created in the early 1900s, when Cincinnati, like other growing Midwestern cities, committed itself to reinventing its school buildings. A culture of beautification in the style of the arts and crafts movement was adopted, and from 1905 to the 1930s, Cincinnati’s public schools were built or renovated with much attention paid to architecture and ornamentation.

At the helm of this school revival movement was John Murphy Withrow, a local physician who became the city’s health official and school superintendent. Appalled by the filthy conditions in the city’s hospitals and schools, he pushed for renovations and successfully got a school bond issue passed in 1905 to pay for the new construction.

Schoolchildren also helped. The girls of Hughes High School formed The Art League in 1903 and collected pennies from students to buy the works of local artists like Paul Ashbrook and William P. McDonald.

During its heyday, the league contributed many items to the schools. The league disbanded in 1974, however, when school construction was minimal and attention to architectural and ornamental detail was considered too costly.

In 1995, Flischel helped revive The Art League, which now works to preserve and enhance the legacy of art in the schools. It raised about $116,000 for the publication of the book, which sells for $50. About 1,600 copies have been sold, with all proceeds benefiting The Art League. The group hired Donald Prues, an English major who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1990 and master’s in 1993, to be managing editor of the project.

Flischel says what’s compelling about the artwork is the education it imparts, the stories it tells and its beauty.

“The texture, the fact this art is touchable and the colors are bold, and the symbolism–it’s unforgettable,” he says. The title of the book, An Expression of the Community, is taken directly from a tile fountain at the Schiel Primary School for the Arts–one he undoubtedly came across with his dad so many years ago.

 

EARLY EXPOSURE
Robert Flischel discovered his love of art when his mother encouraged him and his siblings to explore their artistic abilities. That exposure led to a career in photography for Flischel, whose photos have appeared in publications such as Life, Time, Audubon and National Geographic Traveler. Flischel, 53, grew up in Cincinnati, attended Catholic elementary and high schools, and graduated from the University in 1972 with a degree in sociology and a minor in art. He bought his first camera in 1971 and took his first photography course from University professor Theodore Thepe, S.J.

Flischel tried social work, but his interest in photography led him to the Pazovski photography school in Cincinnati’s Mt. Adams neighborhood in 1973. In 1977, he opened his first studio and has been shooting ever since. He also worked as a staff photographer and editor for Ohio Magazine. He has been photographing the city’s school buildings for 13 years.

Breaking the Language Barrier

When Alvaro Alezard and his wife, Maru, came to America from Venezuela last year, Alvaro never suspected he would end up where he did—on stage at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at MGM Studios in Orlando, Fla. Of course, who would imagine themselves there? But that’s where he was. Front and center.

Members of the cast were picking audience members to come up on stage to demonstrate their laugh, and they nabbed Alvaro. It wasn’t where he wanted to be. He understood very little English and spoke even less. Who was this Indiana Jones fellow, anyway? Didn’t matter.

He tried to make the best of a bad situation by memorizing the questions: “What’s your name? Will you laugh for the audience?” That worked, until it was his turn. Then the cast member switched the order.

“Let’s hear you laugh,” the cast member said.

“Alvaro Alezard,” he responded.

“That was your laugh? Well then, what’s your name?”

“Ha ha hahahaha.”

For the audience, it was hysterical; he was the hit of the show. For Alvaro, he was just confused. But such are the struggles of those new to America, and such are the challenges the University faces as it tries to help its foreign-born students.

For the last 31 years, the University’s offered an English as a Second Language (ESL) program, a series of courses aimed at teaching English and prepping newcomers on the intricacies of American culture. ESL students can earn 15 credits toward an undergraduate degree by completing the four-level series of courses, which includes instruction in speaking, grammar, reading and writing with electives such as advanced vocabulary, pronunciation and conversational English. While being one of the University’s smallest offerings, it fits in with the educational mission as well as the concerted effort to diversify the student population and bring a more international flavor to campus.

“When I came to Xavier in 1954, I found that there were very few students from other countries here,” says Matt Vega, a retired modern languages professor who started the program in 1970. “The ones that were here were having difficulties because there was no program to improve their English and get them ready for college-level work.”

More than 17 million adults with limited English skills now live in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The language barrier makes it hard to get jobs, be social or further their education. The Alezards were well aware of this. That’s what brought them from Venezuela to Cincinnati.

They learned of the University’s ESL program on the Internet, and then picked Xavier because of the high quality of its business program.

“We wanted to find an M.B.A. program and ESL program in the same university,” says Maru. “We were interested only if they were in the same institute.” Upon graduating, the two plan to return home and advance their careers.

“At one time Xavier was very provincial,” says Vega. “ESL has given an international touch to Xavier’s campus.”

COMING TO AMERICA
Tips given to ESL students when they first arrive:

• It is acceptable to say “No” to an invitation or to disagree with a colleague.

• “We’ll have to get together soon” and “Let’s do lunch sometime” are just friendly closings and not always serious invitations.

• In conversation, maintain eye contact, but avoid staring. Avoiding eye contact is not interpreted as a sign of respect in the U.S.

• Get accustomed to self-serve. You will probably not find the level of customer service in the U.S. that you’re accustomed to.

• People really do stop at stoplights, and they really do follow the laws. You must too.

• Portion size in restaurants: Yes, all that food on one plate really is meant for only one person. You may ask for a box to take home whatever you can’t eat.

• Slurping soup or noodles is considered rude in the U.S. People chew with their mouths closed and eat quietly.

• You might see a lot more of your roommate’s boyfriend than you expected.

• It isn’t necessary to bow to your teachers. And if your roommate is five years older than you are, he doesn’t have to be obeyed.

 

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Jungle Jim’s International Farmer’s Market isn’t your average grocery store. A stuffed lion singing Elvis tunes sits near the meat counter. A replica of the S.S. Minnow from “Gilligan’s Island” rests in the produce area. The owner wears a safari jacket and pith helmet. And it’s the first place the University takes international students. Welcome to America.

Even though it’s a bit of a culture shock, Jungle Jim’s is a great place to welcome international students, says Kathy Hammett, director of international student services. The store, 45 minutes north of campus, has a huge selection of international foods, which helps ease the shock of being in a foreign land.

“Some students don’t miss their food at all, while some miss it pretty quickly,” says Hammett. “Finding foods they’re familiar with makes them feel more at home.”

FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Joann Jones, director of human relations development at Chiquita, deals daily with up-and-coming executives from Central America and Colombia who don’t speak English. It can be a problem.

“It’s especially important as you move up the organization that people know English since we’re an American-based company,” she says.

So when the executives get transferred to Cincinnati, she makes sure Xavier is one of their first stops.

The ESL program added a corporate component in 1996, training foreign executives from Chiquita, Procter & Gamble and the Japanese firm Itochu in English as well as American culture.

“There are lots of programs available to improve English skills,” says Steve Saxby, human resources director for global customer business development at P&G.

“With Xavier, you have that element, but you also have a holistic approach to language fluency—involvement in the M.B.A. program, training in telephone and social skills and the chance to live with a family. It really goes at it a number of different ways. It’s not just an academic approach.”

All in Good Faith

Sean O’Dwyer slowly walked out into the parking lot of Ursuline Academy, an exclusive, all-girls school in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash. The well-wishes and congratulations from colleagues were still ringing in his ears as he made his way toward his car, drowning out the sounds of his footsteps on the blacktop. For the last 20 years, O’Dwyer worked at the academy as a guidance director, and today was the end. He was retiring. Calling it a career. As he reached his car and pulled out his keys, he turned and took one last look at the building. Two decades of his life were spent there, and they were about to become just memories. But retirement would be good—time spent on the golf course or visiting relatives in his native Ireland. It was a phase he was looking forward to, and as soon as he got home he would immediately begin celebrating that new beginning with his wife, Mary. Except something happened. O’Dwyer never made it home that day.

As O’Dwyer drove, he began feeling ill. Light-headed. Granted, it was an emotional day, and anybody would feel a little uneasy. But this was different. It felt…dangerous. Rather than taking any chances, he detoured into his doctor’s office. The doctor sent him straight to the emergency room. After a battery of tests, O’Dwyer was diagnosed with blocked arteries and cardiomyopathy, a disorder of the heart muscle. A week later, he found himself lying on an operating table undergoing quadruple bypass surgery. But that was just the beginning. Over the next four years, the O’Dwyers were hit with a series of major health problems. Sean developed kidney failure and bone cancer; Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since both lived healthy lives—didn’t smoke or drink, no family history of these diseases, exercised regularly—the first question in their minds was “Why us?” It’s a common question for anyone with a serious illness to ask. But the medical industry is taking a greater interest in how patients answer that question. Studies show that hospitalized people who believe and trust in God show greater rates of recovery and improved health. Those who aren’t religious not only struggle with their illness, but are at an increased risk for death—as much as a 28 percent greater mortality rate during the two-year period following their medical discharge. The results are so conclusive, in fact, that more than half of all medical schools in the United States have started offering courses on spirituality. “The first thing people do when they’re diagnosed is ask ‘Why me?’ or ‘Why me, God?’ ” says Dr. Harold Koenig, director of the Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health at Duke University. “Some turn away from their religion, or feel they’re being punished by God or that God doesn’t love them. When that happens, they don’t do well.” For the O’Dwyers, their answer may have saved their lives.

The O’Dwyers are spiritual souls: he’s a former priest; she’s a former nun. They make weekly pilgrimages from their Hyde Park home to Bellarmine Chapel on the University campus for Mass. When their health problems hit, they turned to their faith. They received support from their parish community, which provided food, transportation and companionship. Letters from friends and family poured in. They’ve also made it a practice to meditate both together and alone. “Sometimes when I’m depressed or overwhelmed with anxiety, I’ll wash my face with the Lord’s water and ask for help,” says Mary. “I then begin to release the stress, and after that I might sit down and pray or meditate.” While the mental rewards of such practices are well-known, studies now show that they also convert into physical healing. Dr. Gail Barker, a 1976 graduate who earned her medical degree from the University of Cincinn-ati, says prayer and meditation actually trigger a physical healing reaction in the body. “It lends itself to a great relaxation response, and that response is a stress reliever,” Barker says. “Everything just works better in your body. Your breathing slows down. Your blood pressure lowers. You take in more oxygen. Your immune system kicks in, and that allows your body to move toward healing in a better way. It pushes you in the direction of health. It’s only been in the last 10 to 15 years that there has been more informative data to support prayer with patients. It’s really made doctors take a second look. The mind-body connection is big.”

At the forefront of much of that research is the Duke center, where its studies show that people who attend church frequently may have more stable immune systems than less frequent attendees. It also found that levels of private religious activity—meditation, prayer, Bible study—are a significant predictor of mortality in healthy, nondisabled adults. Those who have little to no activity face a 47 percent greater risk of dying. What’s also proving vitally important to the healing process is extending that spiritual component into the relationship with the physician. Many patients want to discuss spiritual issues with their physician, says Dr. Dale Matthews, an instructor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of The Faith Factor: Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer. He cites polls that show that 80 percent of all patients believe in the healing power of prayer, and two-thirds want their doctors to address spiritual issues with them. “We as doctors need to pay attention to what a patient thinks is important,” says Matthews. “Many patients turn to religion to make important decisions in their lives.” The biggest reason physicians don’t incorporate spiritual components into their practice, according to a study by the American Academy of Family Physicians, is expertise. They feel they lack the training to approach patients on faith-based matters, or to even identify those patients who desire spiritual discussions. “It was very verboten a few years ago for doctors to mix religion and medicine,” says Barker. “Doctors turning to their faith were at risk for looking like they were trying to convert patients. Because of that, I’ve seen doctors who have a deep faith keep it out of any treatment. Patients can sense that.” Medical schools are now working to bridge that gap. In 1992, only three out of the nation’s 126 accredited medical schools offered courses on incorporating spirituality into clinical care, says Dr. Christina Puchalski, director of the George Washing-ton Institute for Spirituality and Health. By 2000, however, that number grew to 72 out of 125 schools. “Patients are saying ‘We want our spiritual issues addressed‚’ ” says Puchalski. Sean and Mary O’Dwyer say their faith and spirituality have enriched their lives and helped them on their path toward healing. Sean’s cancer is stable and his heart condition improved, while Mary is recovering from her cancer. “One of the things we’ve discovered is that through spirituality, we’ve gotten more in touch with each other,” says Mary. “Listening to our hearts and being sensitive to each other’s needs. Just by holding hands, it’s a whole different way of praying. We’re on a path to healing.”

Leap of Faith

Joanna Brown walks across campus in her military fatigues. Her black, well-shined boots thud softly. Her green backpack, loaded with books, blends in with the drab hues of her uniform. Suddenly, the voice of a male student breaks the silence.

“Hey look at the she-male,” he says, his voice echoing off the buildings. “Where’s your rifle?”

Brown keeps walking, but the barb finds its mark. It stings.

“It was insulting,” she says, recalling the event a few weeks later. “I was in uniform at the time. I said nothing.”

That was before the events of Sept. 11, when students in the ROTC’s All For One battalion didn’t stand out in particular. To most, they were just students who chose the military as a career. To a very few, they were something to ridicule.

Things are different now. Quite different. Some of the 17 senior cadets graduating this spring with a full commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army say the terrorist attacks have had a profound effect on how they view events and how others view them. Strangers now come up to Brown in public to shake hands and thank her for her service. A stranger paid for her lunch at a local restaurant. Students ask more questions about ROTC and the military.

For these students, Sept. 11 left an indelible mark, even if many don’t yet fully appreciate the magnitude of the changes wrought by the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. They are members of the first class of ROTC students to graduate into a world sharply redefined by terrorists who stole America’s veil of security.

Four years ago, they came to campus under no military threat. The Cold War was over. The only real conflict in their lifetime was the Gulf War, and many were too young to fully remember that event. Today, though, their lives are changed, and they face the harsh realization that this spring some will march off the commencement stage and into a war.

Caleb Landry was still in fatigues when he went to dinner at the Cintas Center cafeteria the evening of Sept. 11. As he walked across the room, people stared.

“People were struck dumb,” he says. “They’re seeing that we are the people who are going to respond, and they’re looking to us for leadership. Everyone came to us at dinner and asked, ‘What’s going on? Are you leaving? What’s the next threat?’ Friends were calling and asking, ‘What are you doing? Where will you go?’ It made me feel a sense of pride. For the next few weeks, it was constant honking and people yelling.”

Daniel Von Benken was at home watching the events unfold on television. He knew right away that what he was watching would probably have a permanent effect on him. “As soon as we all sat down, the first thing we all talked about was that this will probably bring about something serious, and we’ll probably be involved,” Von Benken says. “I’m not scared now, but I feel obligated to the cause. At first everyone was like, ‘Go get bin Laden.’ But that’s not the only thing out there. There’s a greater evil out there that he represents.”

If anything, senior cadets like Landry and Von Benken feel an increased resolve to fulfill their chosen path. “I signed up to be a soldier,” says Landry. “Nine-one-one has made me more of a patriot, and I realize things about this country I didn’t know before. It has not changed my resolve or my job performance. It made me reevaluate my choice, and I came to the same conclusions.”

Brown, too, re-evaluated her career plans. “September 11 made me feel more vulnerable, even though I’m being trained to deal with it,” she says. “It definitely reinforced my resolve. At first I was set on going only four years then out, and now I’m not so sure. I think more that the people I’m responsible for need the experience of a person who’s been there more than four years, and if I don’t do it, then who will?”

Contrary to some assumptions, the terrorist attacks haven’t sparked an enrollment boom in the 270 Army ROTC programs on college campuses across the country, says Army ROTC spokesperson Paul Kotakis. Nor have they reactivated programs at colleges like Stanford and Harvard that were dumped during the 1970s anti-war movement.

Enrollment was up 5 percent nationally, however, prior to the attacks, reflecting a renewed interest in the program and its benefits—scholarships paid by the Army, guaranteed jobs, opportunities to learn high-tech skills, the lure of travel. For this, students commit to four years of active service after graduation.

At Xavier, 77 cadets are now enrolled, up 14 percent from two years ago. That’s partially attributable to the University’s reputation as being highly competitive and successful. Since 1998, its ranking among all ROTC programs went from 168th to ninth by meeting performance and graduation goals.

Lt. Col. Tim Gobin, chair of the department and professor of military science, is making some changes he believes will help boost enrollment. For example, in his first year at the helm, he weeded out the in-your-face drill sergeant approach in favor of one that focuses on developing good leaders. But ROTC is still a tough program to complete: a three-hour military science course each semester teaching everything from the mundane—how to fill out reports—to technical studies of historic battles; a weekly leadership lab where cadets learn battlefield knowledge such as weaponry and first aid; and a summer camp after the junior year that replaces traditional boot camp.

The University first offered military instruction in 1877. Until 1971, military science was mandatory. During the anti-war movement, many colleges dropped ROTC, although Xavier, which has a mission dedicated to promoting peace and justice, did not. Though it may seem contradictory, there’s room for a military science program on such a campus, argues J. Leo Klein, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry.

Unfortunately, he says, there must be an Army to defend our society, and, hopefully, it will be a peacetime Army run by people educated with a humanistic background. “They should be very responsible Army people,” he says.

Though cadets say they sometimes feel tension around some professors when they come to class wearing fatigues, they also are finding their military choice to be more accepted by their peers and the public.

“Before September 11, people were more like, ‘What are you going to do?’ ” says the 22-year-old Brown, who plans to specialize in transportation after graduation. “People smile at us now, and they never did before. One little old man came up to me and said, ‘I want to thank you for serving your country the way I did in World War II.’ ”

But they wonder what’s next, if they’ll see combat. Von Benken has a friend who graduated in May and was in Afghanistan by the fall. He’s convinced he will see action, too. “I think it’s 10 times more likely I’ll see combat now that this has happened.”

Senior Eric Chappell says when he enrolled, he didn’t expect this kind of war to be going on by the time he graduated.

“It’s the last thing I wanted,” he says. But the 22-year-old cadet, who plans to train as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, says he’ll be among the first volunteers to go overseas.

Officials, however, say there’s no guarantee.

“Nine-one-one was a tragedy and obviously the military is a major player in doing what the president wants to do in support of the country’s goals,” Gobin says. “There may come a time down the road when these students may have to deploy because of decisions our leaders may make.”

That may be sooner than they think.

Profile: Tom Finke

As a child living on the west side of Cincinnati, young Tom Finke just wanted to fly—a desire endlessly fed by his home’s location beneath the flight paths of the nearby international airport.

“I used to sit in my backyard and watch airplanes land,” he says.

Though his father’s death thwarted his plans to start flying at age 16, Finke has more than made up for it.

Finke, a 1980 information systems graduate, made a career out of flying, even though his vision was too poor for him to be a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. So he did the next best thing. He trained as a navigator, logging an impressive 2,600-plus hours of flight time in the Wild Weasel—the F-4G/E fighter jet. That includes 130 hours of combat time during the Gulf War, including on the first day of combat with Iraq on Jan. 17, 1991.

“I was in the sky south of Baghdad the first night of Desert Storm,” he says. “My mission was to take out surface-to-air missile systems and allow other airplanes to freely bomb their targets. We were successful. I shot two missile systems that night, two different radar sites on the ground.”

Now 44, Lt. Col. Finke spends more time behind a desk than in the cockpit. But as commander of the Air Force’s Warrior Preparation School at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, he still gets some seat time so he can keep up with emerging technologies in the planes. He hasn’t flown the Weasel since the Air Force retired it in 1996, but, he says, as long as he’s around planes, he’s happy.

Finke went to Korea for a year in 1996. He returned to Nellis as a flight commander in 1997 and two years later was named deputy commander of the school. Since February 2001, he’s been running the show. Finke is also one of the teachers who instructs hot young pilots not how to fly, but how to fly better.

“We get the top fliers who are preparing to move on to the next level of flying,” he says. “They’re the up-and-coming leaders of their squadrons, and they come to get a top-off program.”

The school—the academic arm of the 414th Combat Training Squadron—teaches aircrews, planners and intelligence specialists about air combat. It is the Air Force’s premier school for fighter pilots and their crews, teaching more than 600 students a year.

“We’re teaching fighter pilots things like electronic combat. We teach them what the enemy has to shoot them down with. It always changes.”

Two of the four courses, reserved for the best pilots from around the country, focus on coordinating air campaigns and the role of mission commander. One includes a red flag exercise—a two-week simulation where pilots practice flying in warlike conditions. Statistics show pilots who survive their first 10 missions will survive a war.

“We try to get pilots their first 10 missions. It’s not for every pilot,” he says.“The nice thing about this job is, I am required to fly twice a month just to make sure the training is working and to stay current in the airplanes.”

But, as it goes in the military, Finke’s time at the helm of the school will be up after another year. Then he’ll be reassigned, or could retire. His interests for future work include space-related systems or plane and equipment testing—the next best thing to actual flying.

Xavier Faces

Frank Oppenheim, S.J.
Philosophy

This is a benchmark scholastic year for Oppenheim. He’s publishing new introductions for two books by American philosopher Josiah Royce and has a project under consideration for publication. He came to the University in 1961, when philosophy faculty spent their Friday afternoons gathered together tackling meaty issues. “The level of teaching and research has become stronger,” he says. “We’re asking for much higher quality of philosophy from students.”

Dawn Crooks
M.B.A. on-site programs

Crooks is working on her master’s degree in English while running the M.B.A. on-site program—an unusual combination, she admits. But she’s woven the two together and now likes the administrative side of education. “What started as a way to pay for school has become a serious career move,” she says. A self-described conservative poet, she’s writing a book, Sum of My Parts: A Collection of Life’s Peculiar Ways, on diversity and female empowerment.

Graley Herren
English

After four years of teaching modern drama, British and Irish literature, playwriting and literature, and the moral imagination, Herren is enjoying life. He just became a father, and April means the beginning of baseball season – his two great passions. In between feedings and the seventh inning stretch, he’s also a board member for the Know Theatre Tribe, an Over-the-Rhine theater group dedicated to multicultural productions.

Carol Maas
Athletics

“I get to see our best athletes, not as performers, but as kids,” says Maas. The mother of four came to the University in 1999 as secretary in the Olympic sports office. She recently became administrative secretary for the new basketball management program, in which she coordinates the various athletic seasons and works with the student-athletes on the student athletes advisory council.

X Files

Student-run Radio
J.P. Engelbrecht is giving the idea of work/study a new definition. Two years ago, at the age of 20, the business management major became one of the youngest people ever to purchase an FM radio station. He acquired a tiny 250-watt station that played old country songs in Boonville, Ind., a small rural community about 20 miles from Evansville in the state’s southwest corner. Since purchasing the station, he’s turned it into a 3,000-watt classic rock station called Y107.

Engelbrecht has the radio business in his blood. His grandfather, J.A. Engelbrecht, got into the radio business after serving as a communications officer in World War II. When he died, his 22-year-old son, J.D., became CEO of the family company, South Central Communications, whose holdings now include Indiana and Tennessee radio and TV stations, as well as 11 Muzak franchises.

“I grew up in radio,” says J.P. “Ever since I was 3 years old, all I’ve wanted was to have my dad’s job. I’ve done everything possible: promotions assistant, cutting the grass, engineering, going on sales calls, getting coffee. I knew I’d have to do anything and everything to show the employees that I was tough enough to do the job.”

So when the opportunity arose for Engelbrecht to purchase his own station, he grabbed it. “It’s a really good business. It’s amazing how you can touch people,” he says. “When I go out on location, I get to see how people interact with the station. You’re part of the community that you’re trying to make a better place. I’m proud to be in this business and lucky to do something I love.”

In Tune With a Dream
Peter Hamaguchi is a big shot in Tokyo—president of two corporations and friend to some of the world’s most powerful business leaders. But even he was humbled by his latest venture: singing at the Vatican. In fact, he says, it was downright scary. During a 5:30 p.m. Mass in September, Hamaguchi and his 20-member choir sang five hymns in Japanese in front of about 500 people.

The performance in the Basilica of St. Peter capped off a 10-day circuit of Italy, which started in Bologna and moved to Florence, Siena and Assisi—about 20 churches in all—before finally reaching Rome.

Hamaguchi arranged the Basilica performance through his friendship with Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, S.J., former president of Sophia University in Tokyo. Pittau, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education at the Vatican, presided over the Mass.

The two were among several honored guests at the University in December 1999 for the 450th anniversary celebration of St. Francis Xavier’s arrival in Japan, when Hamaguchi was awarded the St. Francis Xavier Medal. Hamaguchi, a 1962 M.B.A. graduate, still hosts executive M.B.A. students each year, mentors other students studying in Tokyo, and brings a group of Japanese business professionals to Cincinnati every year for seminars arranged through the University.

Of all his accomplishments, though, the experience in Rome was perhaps the richest. “For many years it was my dream,” he says, “and with a lot of help from many people, finally, it came into reality.”

Worldly View

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga from Honduras, who is on a first name basis with the Pope, told an audience of University students that they can make a difference in a world that appears beaten down by war in the Middle East, terrorism from Afghanistan and rampant poverty, corruption and injustice worldwide.

Through stewardship—his favorite English word—and solidarity, Cardinal Rodriguez said Catholics here can help the church move forward in its mission of improving living conditions for all people.

“You, my friends, are called to answer to these challenges,” he said. “Are we growing in humanity? I think we are, and the way is through solidarity. We are given co-responsibilities in trying to make this world a better world to live in. When you grow in co-responsibility, every day, you are building justice and building peace.”

The cardinal was brought to the University by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk to be the keynote speaker at the Third Annual Su Casa awards dinner and silent auction at the Cintas Center. Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the Su Casa Hispanic Center, a Cincinnati Archdiocese-sponsored organization that helps local Hispanic residents with employment, housing, legal, medical and translation assistance, youth activities, educational programs, and social and religious issues.

During his talk to students and again in his evening address, Cardinal Rodriguez spoke of the challenges facing the Catholic Church in the new millennium and what Catholics can do to meet them. The theme he repeated, using examples from his own impoverished country, was creating grassroots solidarity among people to fight poverty, injustice, corruption and racism.

“The world is full of hatred, rivalries and racism. It’s a reality,” he said. “We are created to know, to serve and to love God. It’s all interrelated. This is the road to walk to face the great challenges in the 21st Century. You can’t love if you do not know. Once you know other people and cultures, it’s impossible to forget and be indifferent.”

He spoke of a united North and South America—a single America—and he mourned the fact that though 25 percent of the world’s population is Catholic, there are too few lay missionaries. He ranted about the corruption of governments that has weakened the economies of many countries, including Honduras, and suggested the answer is to teach ethics. He talked of the poor and downtrodden for whom more money is not the answer.

“With Pope John Paul II there has been a great impulse for solidarity in the church. We know the best answer to poverty in the world is solidarity. In a globalized world, we need the globalization of the solidarity of the church. This is the great hope for all of us in America,” he said.

The 59-year-old Rodriguez, who was named Archbishop of Tegucigalpa in 1993 and Cardinal last year, is often mentioned as a possible successor to the Pope. He holds many important positions in the Roman Curia—Papal Commission on Latin America, Papal Justice and Peace Council, and Papal Council for Social Communications—but he brushes off any talk about succeeding Pope John Paul.

“I don’t even think about it because I’m sure when the moment comes, it will be the Holy Spirit who will decide,” he said.

The Boot and the Booty

Last year was a record-setter for campus police: 10,144 parking tickets issued and 125 cars given the boot—the automotive handcuff that gets clamped onto tires of cars with three or more outstanding tickets. While the flurry of tickets frustrates many, it does have its benefits. Namely, the booty. Last year, parking tickets generated $81,000 in revenue.

So what becomes of the loot? The first $30,000 goes toward alcohol-free weekend activities for students, says campus police chief Mike Couch. Some gets combined with parking permit fees and deposited into the University’s general fund, while the extra—about $45,000 last year—goes toward improvements. It’s purchased a new traffic booth on University Drive, a computer system to track tickets and four outdoor emergency telephones. An 8-foot-tall fence near the Cintas Center is planned this year, along with 14 high-tech cameras.

And last year’s record, says Couch, may not last long. He expects the 8 percent jump in tickets issued to continue since more students live on campus and more people attend Cintas Center events.

“People say all we do is write parking tickets,” he says, “but when our student parking monitors and officers are in the lots, it’s win-win because the criminal element is deterred and the students feel safer.”