Sophomore swimmer Angie Hinrichs won the 100-yard freestyle individual title in the Atlantic 10 Conference championships this spring—the best finish ever for a University swimmer. The Cincinnati native set a new school record in the race with a time of 51.47 seconds, while on her way to earning all-conference honors. The women’s team finished eighth overall, while the men’s team finished seventh.
The baseball team returned to the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament this year with a 15-8 mark in conference play. The record earned the team third place in the western division and a fifth seed in the six-team tournament. The Musketeers beat Dayton, but lost twice to Temple, knocking them out of the tournament and ending their season at 27-27 overall. The team had three players named to the A-10 all-conference team: freshman Jay Johnson, who was also named to the Louisville Slugger All-American team, junior Eric Greenwell and sophomore Alec Moss.
Former men’s basketball coach Pete Gillen, who lifted the program to greater recognition and took it to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in 1990, is being inducted into the athletic hall of fame during homecoming week Nov. 15-24, 2002. Gillen coached the Musketeers for nine seasons, accumulating a 202-75 record, before becoming the head coach at Providence College. He’s now head coach at the University of Virginia.
Alan Joseph walks past the empty .22 caliber cartridge shells that are scattered about the floor and heads toward the glass-enclosed trophy cases in the back of the room. Here, among the photos of All-Americans and Olympians, shine some of the most coveted pieces of hardware in college athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association championship trophies.
The trophies are a mixture of medals—one silver, two bronze. The gold one has proven to be a bit elusive. Still, of the 15 varsity sports that the University offers, this is the only spot where such trophies can been seen. The only problem is, hardly anyone sees them. Or knows they were won.
The trophies are the collection of the University’s rifle team, the least known of the school’s athletic programs but arguably its most dominant. From its inconspicuous home on the second floor of the Armory, the rifle team has produced 15 All-Americans and two Olympians. It’s been in the NCAA finals 10 of the last 13 years, finishing second in 2000, fourth in 2001 and third this year.
And, for the most part, it’s gone unnoticed. Which is somewhat understandable. Rifle is an obscure sport practiced by a limited number of universities. Spectators are few. Media members are fewer. Joseph, a quiet man who coaches the team, shrugs off the lack of attention.
“Every university has its unique sport,” he says. “Here, it’s rifle.”
Despite operating far outside the spotlight, the program has prospered greatly, particularly in recent years. This year’s team, for instance, tied or rewrote 11 team and eight individual records, led by junior Thrine Kane and freshman Hannah Kerr.
“Hannah is one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen,” says Joseph. That’s quite a statement, considering Kane shot for the United States in the 2000 Olympics along with Jason Parker, who graduated in 1996 and will be inducted into Xavier’s athletic hall of fame this fall.
In rifle, the objective is to hit the center of a target the size of the bottom of a Styrofoam cup. Each shooter gets 40 shots with a .22 caliber rifle from 50 feet away while standing, kneeling and lying down. A bull’s-eye is worth 10 points, making 400 points a perfect score for each position. Kerr averaged 397.5 from the prone position, 393.42 kneeling and 388.83 standing. She also averaged 389.67 out of a possible 400 in the air rifle category, in which pellets are shot from 33 feet away.
While a good eye is necessary for a bull’s-eye, what’s just as vital is a good brain. To train that area, the team began working with doctoral students in psychology in an effort to improve its mental strength. Rifle, Joseph says, requires great concentration, focus and aptitude.
“Distractions are hard to run away from in rifle,” he says. “It requires a great deal of self-motivation and self-discipline.”
While distractions are sometimes hard to overcome, he says, the upside is that the discipline also weeds out bad students, so rifle members tend to do very well in the classroom. And Xavier’s team is no exception. Every member is on an academic scholarship, and this year’s team had a combined 3.2 grade point average. One member, Sivan Barazani, entered the University with more than 50 advanced placement credits and just graduated after her sophomore year with a psychology degree.
Joseph hasn’t always gotten the pick of the best shooters, though. The rifle team evolved from being a club sport under the ROTC program in the 1980s. When ROTC’s budget constraints threatened to cut the program, Joseph took the idea of making it a varsity sport to the athletic director. He agreed and handed Joseph the keys to the rifle vault along with a tiny budget.
Since then, it’s grown into its own entity—one that no longer resembles its military beginnings.
“As shooters, we don’t think of this as a deadly weapon,” he says. “It’s not about violence. Most of us aren’t into hunting. For us, this is a discipline, a test. Are my focus and balance and eye better than the others?” Lately, they have been. And they have trophies to prove it.
A new theme house for African-American and other minority women opens this fall on campus. Jumba La Nia, which means “House of Purpose” in Swahili, is going to be the home of five women who have a goal of developing and enriching the lives of minority women. The group hopes to increase minority student enrollment by empowering high school students to the point they consider college, says Paul James, director for multicultural affairs.
For many, the name Thomas J. Hailstones is synonymous with the University’s Williams College of Business. Now, it will become a fixture on the side of the building. On May 3, University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., announced that the Williams College of Business building will become Hailstones Hall. This is the first time a major building on campus has been named for someone other than a priest or benefactor. Graham made the announcement during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the M.B.A. program, 40th anniversary of the business college and 20th anniversary of the Williams College of Business building. Hailstones, who died in 1993, founded the M.B.A. program and was the college’s first dean. Silver Anniversary | Nursing isn’t what it used to be. Today, nurses can enter the field as specialists in any number of areas: health care law, forensics, school nursing, gerontology, computer information management or even parish nursing. That evolution was celebrated on May 10 when the University’s department of nursing held its 25th anniversary. Sue Schmidt, chair of the nursing department, says the department has expanded beyond offering a bachelor’s degree in nursing to now offer a pre-licensure program and a master’s degree program, as well as programs where graduate nursing students can seek dual degrees in business, criminal justice and education. One thing that hasn’t changed much: the number of men entering the profession. All faculty in the program are women, and only three of the 140 students are men.
One Sunday night this spring, a distraught student threatened suicide. Over the next few hours, Oliver Birckhead, a clinical psychologist, carefully talked the student through the problems that led to this desperate call for help, successfully convincing the student to start a series of counseling sessions right away.
Fortunately, most visits to the University’s McGrath Health and Counseling Center, where Birckhead is director, don’t have such traumatic beginnings. They’re more likely to be students who need help adjusting to life away from home. Some are more serious.
Regardless of the reasons, more students than ever are showing up with eating disorders, depression, drug addiction and identity crises.
“We get students who need to be referred for a variety of reasons,” says Lorri Howell, Buenger Hall director and co-advisor of the resident student association. “I’ve been here three years, and it just seems like it’s a lot more.”
She referred about 15 students for counseling this year, and doesn’t know how many more students other hall directors referred. So acute is the increase that she and a group of directors are making a presentation this summer in Orlando about stressed-out students who need help coping on campus.
It’s not just at Xavier, though. The demand for mental health counseling services has exploded on campuses nationwide. The New York Times reports similar increases at colleges across the country, including Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has had 12 suicides since 1990.
At Xavier, visits by students to McGrath jumped 68 percent from 1999 to 2001 and were up 53 percent this January over the same year-to-date period two years before. There were 1,480 visits for counseling services during the 2000 school year, jumping 40 percent to 2,173 in 2001. Back in 1996, there were barely 1,000.
What’s going on here? Counseling professionals say there are no definite answers, but they have their theories.
“We are seeing more and more psychological problems and they are of worse complexity and more severe,” Birckhead says. “Most of those who come in are freshmen. It’s a trend and a nationwide observation. Most are societal factors.”
Life on campus can be very stressful, says resident student association president Steve Weissenburger, a senior this fall. There are high academic expectations and a demand for students to get involved in other activities. Eating disorders are among the most common problems he sees in the dorms, he says, but students today are more apt to seek help.
“I do know people who talked about suicidal thoughts, but it was not because of stress at school. It’s more from family situations,” Weissenburger says.
To respond to the demand, the McGrath center has four full-time counselors, including Birckhead, and a staff of four physicians who coordinate the care of patients receiving counseling. Even so, the demand was so high by Thanksgiving the last two years that Birckhead reluctantly had to start a waiting list. Some had to wait four weeks.
McGrath, however, has made sure that despite any time inconveniences, counseling still remains free for students. It covers the entire cost by billing students’ insurance plans for medical visits only. That, plus a University subsidy, has allowed the center to add more hours and higher-quality staff.
“The cost of psychological care is part of the tuition, part of the Jesuit tradition and is seen as a necessary service,” Birckhead says.
The care begins in the residence halls, where trained professionals like Howell and Jesuit priests keep an eye on students. Having adult advisors in the dorms helps keep many from going over the edge and gets them the help they need.
Roughly 30 years ago, Dr. Donald Shumrick’s family planted its first grapevines on an Indiana farm field just 40 minutes west of their Cincinnati home. Over the years, the land got larger, the vines grew longer and the business blossomed. They started growing a variety of grapes on the Dearborn County farm—Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, American Stuben and Concord.
By 1985, some of Shumrick’s nine children decided they should make their own wine, and today that family business has grown from one that sold grapes to wineries to one that now bottles 5,000 cases a year of its own brands.
Through their Chateau Pomije winery, they supply grocery stores throughout the region. Their Chateau Pomije restaurant in Cincinnati also has a wine store that sells its own wines among 900 different varieties.
Shumrick, who earned an M.B.A. in 1994 and just retired as chair of the department of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at the University of Cincinnati, now spends his days shuttling between the winery and restaurant, depending on the time of year. During a six-week period in the fall when the grapes are sweetest, they are harvested and turned into wine.
Wine-making, Shumrick says, is as much an art as it is a science, requiring variety, supply and patience. He never stomped grapes barefoot in a bucket, but much of the process, he says, is the same today as it was 100 years ago—crushing, fermenting, racking, which allows the sediment to settle to the bottom of the tank, filtering and then bottling.
Shumrick’s winery fills six bottles at a time, which are stored upside down to keep the corks moist. All wine is bottled, aged and ready to sell within about nine months. Cheers.
July 3, 2002—Denny Evans presented his students a simulated business scenario:
The product is a meal of steak, rice and tea, and the purpose is to keep customers coming back.
The problem: the steak isn’t fresh and the tea tastes like rice.
The solution? Just ask the 16 government officials from the Sichuan province of southwestern Peoples Republic of China.
In a recent two-hour seminar on total quality improvement with the Xavier Consulting Group, the Chinese students knew the answer. They had to find better steak and stop boiling the tea in the same water as the rice. A no-brainer. But the simulation illustrated the need to first give customers what they want, whether you’re in business or the government, then focus on being efficient.
“If you don’t give tourists what they want, they won’t come. And that hurts China,” Evans told the delegates.
The Sichuan officials were on campus for a three-month program with the Xavier Consulting Group in an effort to boost their leadership and management skills and contribute to economic growth in their province. Xavier is one of at least 40 universities to host Chinese business and government officials.
“At the time, we thought it would be profitable, but it’s turning out to be more of a goodwill gesture,” says Susan Bensman, senior program manager of the consulting group. “We wanted the experience of doing it and the good PR. They’ve been a pleasure to work with. They’re so polite and enthusiastic and different from the way people in America treat each other. They ask a lot of questions and are eager to learn our way of doing things.”
A second group of Chinese delegates from Hunan Province arrives on campus later this summer. The first group arrived in April to study business and executive management training. Organizers say the overall goal is to expose Chinese executives and government officials to America and Western market economies to improve their understanding of Western business practices.
“Our mission is to study advances in technology and scientific knowledge,” said Zhang Gu, Sichuan’s tourism administrator. “We hope to develop our provincial economy and make big progress.”
Zhang, whose American name is Bryce, wants to see more tourists in his country. Tang Yan, whose American name is Jenny, procures equipment for large international projects in Sichuan’s project establishment division and is interested in seeing the region’s business opportunities expand.
But they’re also going home with a new view of America and Americans. “Jenny” Tang likes the way Americans “are very fussy about sports” and plans to concentrate more on her own exercise. She also thinks Americans don’t understand the Chinese people and culture well because of poor media coverage.
And “Bryce” Zhang is impressed by the housing developments in West Chester. He likes the way the houses are laid out and each looks different. He says a few similar developments are starting to pop up around Sichuan.
They all say the American people and the Chinese could develop greater friendships if they try to understand each other better, but Americans are very individualistic. “American people focus on individual issues, but I found team spirit in the companies,” Zhang Gu says. “American life is quite different. Technology is more advanced and the society is stabilized. Living levels are very high.”
During their 10 weeks in Cincinnati, arranged by China’s International Management Education Center through a Procter & Gamble scientist, the 16 men and women stayed at the Park Lane Apartments on Victory Parkway and walked to class every day. Procter & Gamble arranged all other transportation. They took two-hour courses daily at the Cintas Center in business English, marketing, economics, government, e-commerce, technology and other topics. They took tours of Cincinnati City Hall, Cintas Corp., the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Ky., P&G, a retirement home, the Statehouse in Columbus, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and local farms.
The delegation left Cincinnati on June 15 for Boston, where they joined another group of Chinese delegates who spent three months studying at the University of Utah. Together they spent a week at Boston College then toured Washington, D.C., and New York City before returning to China.
On graduation day, most parents follow their kids around with cameras trying to capture every Kodak moment. Two moms took it a step further at the University’s May commencement, though. They followed their kids onto the graduation floor. Xavier employees Kathy Boutiere and Kay Ohradzansky joined their children by receiving their degrees, too.
Boutiere, a staff assistant in financial administration, earned a bachelor’s degree in communications alongside her son, Joel, who received the same degree.
“I worried about being with younger students for classes, but it was a really good experience,” says Kathy. “I teased Joel a lot about the fact that we’d be sitting together.”
Ohradzansky, a staff assistant with information systems and services, earned an associate’s degree in organizational communications, while her daughter, Sara, received a bachelor’s degree in political science.
“I wasn’t going to walk at first, but then Sara said, ‘No, you have to walk too.’ ” Cheering them on was husband/father Joseph, Class of 1969, and son/brother Joe, Class of 1997.