Summer Reading

Peace and War

Title: Organizing for War: France, 1870-1914peace and war
Author: Rachel Chrastil
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Price: $36.52
Purchase: Amazon.com and lsu.edu

The Red Cross as bad guy? That’s one way of looking at Rachel Chrastil’s newest history book, Organizing for War: France, 1870-1914. The assistant history professor sets forth the bold question: How did World War I happen? “That’s what fascinates me,” she says. “That question made me become a historian. And the answer to that question is in how people organize themselves to prepare for war.”

It’s intriguing to read and watch the many collective causes and forces—coming together over the course of decades—to formulate disaster. Much like gazing at a traffic accident while passing by, the reader is hooked from the moment in 1871 when the French lose to the Germans at the tail end of the Franco-Prussian War.

“What I find so interesting is that it took about a decade afterward for French citizens to begin to think, ‘Look, you know whose fault losing that war was? It was our own fault. As citizens, we weren’t prepared.’ ” To prepare, she argues, civic and volunteer organizations in France essentially became nationalized, namely the Red Cross. “I argue that the French Red Cross was all about healing French soldiers so that they could go back in and fight some more.” Rather than staying politically neutral or setting a goal to serve all humanity, the French Red Cross became, in her words, “a tool of the state.” Chrastil lambasts that group, while stressing that it in no way resembles or is connected to the Red Cross of today.

While stocking bandages and encouraging push-ups amid the populace has its place, Chrastil suggests French civic groups went way overboard, helping produce a society dedicated to military preparedness. These groups created a citizenry full of Manchurian candidates, mentally susceptible and psychologically drilled to accept the carnage, and prolonged length, of the first world war.

Chrastil stresses the lessons learned from her extensively documented research can apply to any country recovering from any man-made atrocity, “even 9/11.” Read Organizing for War, she suggests, “if you want to know why wars happen, and what happens to a country after a war.”

FELIX WINTERNITZ

If you like this, you should try: Along the Hudson and Mohawk: The 1790 Journal of Count Paolo Andreani by Karim Tiro (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).

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Victim Rights

bullyTitleBullying, Suicide and Homicide: Understanding, Assessing and Preventing Threats to Self and Others for Victims of Bullying
Author: Butch Losey Publisher: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Price: $88.50
Purchase: Amazon.com

A children and family mental health counselor since the mid-1980s, Butch Losey hears a never-ending stream of sad stories from young people tormented by persistent bullying. In too many cases, Losey explains in his first book, the young victims grow despondent and choose suicide to escape the pain inflicted on them.

“When I talk to kids who are 8, 9, 10 years old, they seem like normal kids. They have goals,” says Losey, a faculty member in the Department of School and Community Counseling. “Then they tell me how other kids are picking on them relentlessly for something they have no control over. They are tormented on a daily basis for something I don’t get. It breaks my heart and keeps me going.”

Consider the tragic story of Desiré Dreyer, a star student and cheerleader in suburban Cincinnati who hanged herself at age 16 after unrelenting bullying by several female classmates. In his 172-page book, Losey uses Dreyer’s experience to illustrate why American middle and high schools can and should do more to stop bullying before it leads to horrific, irreversible consequences.

He expands on the thoughts made famous by Dan Olweus, a Scandinavian mental health counselor who developed a prevention program for elementary-age students, while focusing on how bullying affects middle and high school students. The book also provides tools to help school and community counselors identify and assess victims, and provides appropriate response strategies before a situation escalates to the point that a victim commits suicide or seeks violent revenge on others.

Losey tells readers in the preface that he wants to make a difference—to stop or at least slow the tide of suicide and homicides among American teens.

Bullying, Suicide and Homicide will increase your understanding of the impact of bullying on the core essence of one’s sense of self,” he says.

In the book, Losey also includes an analysis of homicide risk in the context of school shooters, a topic that has led him to his next book— one that considers the bully’s perspective.

“I’m studying the progression of their thinking patterns, what’s driving them to kill,” says Losey, who is conducting prison interviews with shooters this summer. “They’re convicts and killers but they are also human beings who got lost when they were 13 or 14 years old.”

URSULA THOMAS MILLER

If you like this, you should try: Conduct Disorders: A Practitioner’s Guide to Comparative Treatments, edited by W. Michael Nelson III and Kathleen Hart (Springer, 2006).

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Indulging in Theology

Title: Eating & Drinking: Christian Exploration of Daily Livingtheo
Author: Elizabeth Groppe
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress
Price: $15
Purchase: Amazon.com

Eating and drinking—two of life’s basic necessities and greatest pleasures—make compelling subjects for associate professor of theology Elizabeth Groppe’s newest book, which considers the meaning of both from a Christian perspective.

While the subjects don’t necessarily appear to be ones a theology professor would espouse, the theological hook is immediately evident in the opening pages as Groppe makes a strong case for the Christian connection between the celebration of food we must consume to survive and the spiritual sustenance food provides for our soul in the form of the Eucharist.

“I gravitated to this topic because it is so sacramental,” says Groppe, explaining the ecclesiastical connections between food and drink and the body and blood of Christ.

Groppe was invited to write Eating & Drinking by theologian and author David Jensen as part of a series he conceived to explore how Christian ethics can be purposefully woven into our daily consumer-focused society. “The practices of eating and drinking, like all of the practices of daily life addressed in this series, shape our characters and our communities,” Groppe writes in the introduction. “In a real sense, eating and drinking also shape our very being.”

Groppe, who became interested in the topic of food—how it’s produced, sustainable farming and world hunger—while taking a philosophy course on food ethics during college, describes a day spent eating some of the foods that are typical in our culture and reflects on their provenance. And she encourages readers to consider the ramifications of consumer culture in a world in which hunger and malnutrition haunt the lives of millions.

Throughout the book, Groppe reminds readers that how we eat matters as much as what we eat. “We are persons-in-communion who exist by forming our very bodies at the table with others through the medium of the fruits of the earth that we share,” she says. “Practices of eating and drinking can form as a community that flourishes in the nexus of life-giving relationships. Eating and drinking can also lead to death. The character of our daily practices of eating and drinking is of no small consequence.”

URSULA THOMAS MILLER

If you like this, you should try: Conscience in Conflict: How to Make Moral Choices by Ken Overberg, S.J. (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006).

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Daily Decisions

leadershipTitle: Practicing Leadership
Author: Art Shriberg
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Price: $90.59
Purchase: Amazon.com, www.wiley.com

You may think the world is made up of leaders and followers, and that if you lack the pluck of Napoleon or the charm of Martin Luther King Jr., then you’re destined to live the life of a follower. Well, with all respect, Arthur Shriberg thinks you’re wrong.

“Everyone can improve their ability to lead,” says the professor of management and entrepreneurship. “And everyone does lead.” That belief forms the foundation of his book, Practicing Leadership. Take for example the time Shriberg was invited to a prestigious conference in Malaysia over Thanksgiving. When he told his granddaughter he couldn’t spend the holiday with her, she said, “But aren’t we more important?” It was a small moment of leadership, and Shriberg hasn’t missed a Thanksgiving since.

The text is widely used in many academic disciplines, even internationally. “The goal of the book is for the reader to create their own theory and approach to leadership,” says Shriberg, who wrote the book with his son, David.

Most meaningful leadership takes place in our daily lives and seldom makes history. Our lives are filled with potential leadership moments, from raising children to playing sports, from decisions at work to helping someone who is lost.

“It’s the little stuff, not the big stuff,” Shriberg says. “Those little things add up. Most of the really great leaders didn’t seek to become great leaders. Quite to the contrary.”

We can all become better leaders, he says, by keeping track of our daily decisions, at work, at church or at home. Were the decisions effective? Efficient? How else could it have been made? Observation is a big part of becoming a better leader, and the exercise has never been more important.

“The world is over-managed and under-led,” Shriberg says. “We’ve got managers everywhere, but very few true leaders.”

JACOB BAYNHAM

If you like this, you should try: Contemporary Project Management by Tim Kloppenborg (Southwestern/Cengage Learning, 2011).

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Embedded in Africa

Title: Fipa Families: Reproduction and Catholic Evangelization in Nkansi, Ufipa, 1880-1960 africa
Author: Kathleen Smythe 
PublisherHeinemann Publishing 
Price$31 
Purchase: Google books, Amazon.com

Contrary to typical views of white European missionaries forcing religious conversion on innocent African tribes, Kathleen Smythe’s exploration of the Fipa people concludes quite the opposite: That the Fipa found common ground with their long-term Catholic missionaries. Both the Church and the Fipa people benefited from the relationship.

Smythe’s book is the product of 10 years of research, including 18 months in which the professor of history lived among the Fipa (pronounced feepa) in southwestern Tanzania and spoke the Kifipa language. The book is a study of the cultural interactions between the relatively isolated Fipa people and the missionaries who, because of this isolation, lived with the Fipa for decades at a time and essentially became part of their social structure.

“I learned that one way to see this cultural encounter is through the lens of strategies both of them had for a successful life,” she says. “The missionaries had to work on Fipa terms, and the Catholic Church succeeded because the Fipa saw them as valuable. The missionaries often took the place of parents and grandparents in the socialization of their children.”

The priests and sisters also brought education and religion to the Fipa. The Catholic religion was not that foreign to the Fipa because their traditional religion was monotheistic, Smythe says. A small number of Fipa actually became priests and nuns.

“The Fipa played a profound role in shaping the Catholic Church,” she says. “The Fipa remember the missionaries in the fondest of terms. They were good to them and helped provide for them. It was the first significant and sustained external contact.”

FRANCE GRIGGS SLOAT

If you like this, you should try: Catholic Social Teaching and Globalization: The Quest for Alternatives by John Sniegocki (Marquette University Press, 2009).

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Poetic Voices

Title: Inside the Ghost Factorypoet
Author: Norman Finkelstein
Publisher: Marsh Hawk Press
Price: $15 
Purchase: Amazon.com, Joseph-Beth Booksellers

If Xavier has a poet laureate, it is likely Norman Finkelstein. After publishing no less than seven books of poetry, along with five texts of literary criticism, the prolific author is nonetheless somewhat reluctant to be cornered concerning his creations. “It’s hard to talk about my own poetry,” Finkelstein says. “There’s a lot of different voices speaking through the poems. They are kind of haunting, but sometimes joking.”

As a longtime professor of English, Finkelstein has taught 20th century American poetry, modern Jewish literature and literary theory. And then he goes out to practice what he preaches. His most recent collection of poems is found inside the paperbackInside the Ghost Factory. “I was hired here 30 years ago to teach creative writing,” he says. “But I’ve been writing poetry forever, or at least since high school.”

Unlike some poets, Finkelstein isn’t necessarily seeking self-expression through his work. “There are ranges of feeling that aren’t necessarily connected to me. It’s really about possession, about being taken over by other voices.”

Perhaps it’s a fitting hell that a literary critic must endure examination from, well, literary critics. Reviewer Mark Scroggins tackles Ghost Factory this way: “Finkelstein has opened his pages up to a whole radio dial’s worth of outside voices—dreaming voices, loving and hating voices, museum docent voices, voices on the verge of a nervous breakdown—all of them eloquently, lyrically, obliquely and relentlessly murmuring answers to questions we had not thought to formulate.”

Ghost Factory is illustrated and illuminated by photographs from “Forevertron” and related works by Tom Every (aka Dr. Evermor), a self-taught scrap metal sculptor from Wisconsin. Finkelstein finds these sculptures talismanic, “a primal gesture of artistic rebirth, a literal rebuilding of the artist’s soul out of castoff industrial detritus and salvaged materials of modern life.”

As Finkelstein plays with the poetic form, inserting a line at the bottom of each poem to sprout wise-guy comments such as “Little does he know” and “This space available,” he litters surprising myths and metaphors along the way.

Find yourself inside the Finkelstein Factory, and you might well end up believing in demons and ghosts.

FELIX WINTERNITZ

If you like this, you should try: On Spec [poetry chapbook] (Omnidawn Publishing, 2008) and Musique Noir [poetry chapbook] (Overhere Press, 2006) by Tyrone Williams.

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America’s Microcosm

garyTitle: Gary, the Most American of All American Cities
Author: S. Paul O’Hara
Publisher: Indiana University Press, 2011
Price: $19.95 paperback, $55.00 hardcover
Purchase: Amazon.com

In 1901, U.S. Steel Corp. bought up thousands of acres of empty sand dunes lining the southern shores of Lake Michigan, and in less than 10 years the company had transformed the land into the largest steel-producing center in the world. But Gary, Ind., named after the company’s chairman, was far from the utopian image of bold urban planning and triumphant industrial capitalism that its founders envisioned.

Paul O’Hara studied the century of change in this American industrial outpost, analyzing the effects of deindustrialization on Gary, which suffered the typical characteristics of urban decay and neglect: extreme poverty, unemployment, crime and racial disparity. “It’s both a history of Gary as an industrial city and a history of the place as it fit into our public discourse about industry and industrialization and deindustrialization,” O’Hara says.

O’Hara looks closely at the relationship between the corporation and the city that it spawned but took no responsibility for, and in the end he lays the problems of Gary at the feet of U.S. Steel. Readers will see in the story of Gary the same ramifications of deindustrialization happening across America now in cities like Detroit, Youngstown and Cleveland. O’Hara hopes Americans can learn what to do to help these cities by studying what happened in Gary. “Gary was birthed by the corporation and then abandoned by the corporation. This is the story of American corporate capitalism,” O’Hara says. “This is one of the ways to understand how we got here and what these cities used to mean. Gary is a microcosm, an empty slate. It was a steel town in the industrial era, but now it’s become a symbol of urban decay in the post-industrial era.”

FRANCE GRIGGS SLOAT

If you like this, you should try: The Public and Its Possibilities: Triumphs and Tragedies in the American City by John Fairfield (Temple University Press, 2010).

Open Windows

In 1965, the Catholic Church concluded its revolutionary Second Vatican Council in which it “threw open the windows of the Church” and let in some fresh air. Among its changes was a well-known document calledNostra Aetate that revolutionized the Church’s policies and theologies regarding world religions, moving from a strong exclusivist view to a more open, inclusivist view that acknowledged the beliefs of other Christian and non-Christian religions. While Xavier has a long history of welcoming students from other religions, and it views the study of different religious perspectives as a meaningful form of education, it is opening its own windows a little wider by creating new ecumenical and interreligious centers and programs that meet the needs and desires of its growing—and increasingly diverse—student population.

[divider]An Interfaith Perspective [/divider]

On most rainy days, Rabbi Abie Ingber grabs his two-headed umbrella and walks outside. His goal: to catch students. As they come scurrying out of buildings, he approaches them with an offer of respite from the pelting drops._GER9582

“Care to come under?” he asks.

Ingber’s crinkly eyes and wide, inviting smile exude warmth and compassion, and students rarely say no. They look at Ingber, then at the funny black umbrella, smile and step under. Then the conversation begins: Who are you? Where are you from? What are you made of? Often they become so engrossed in their discussion that they walk past their destination.

This is Ingber at his best. Ingber is a pillar of Cincinnati’s Jewish community and former director of the Hillel Jewish Center at the University of Cincinnati. After helping Xavier create “A Blessing To One Another” exhibit celebrating Pope John Paul II’s connection to the Jewish people, Ingber was invited by University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., to sit on a discernment group to study what it means for Xavier to be Jesuit. To prepare, Ingber researched the Jesuits and even practiced the Spiritual Exercises created by Ignatius Loyola. In short, he did his homework. So impressed with his work, three years ago Graham invited him to take the next step and come work for Xavier. After some thought, Ingber resigned from Hillel, wrote a proposal to start the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement and was given free rein.

“Fr. Graham’s understanding was there was room for the Jesuit mission to include the genuineness to serve people of many faiths,” he says. “If we are to be transformative on campus and model what it means to engage our campus, then you have to bring everyone to the table.”

Xavier’s resident Rabbi was not the sort of full-time employee you’d expect to find on a Jesuit, Catholic campus. But he would argue he’s a good fit. “I’m doing Jesuit work,” he says.

“I’m making sure every person here at Xavier will have their whole being affirmed, not just through book learning but also through their spiritual growth and affirmation. I’m here to do that serious work.”

Officially, the mission of Ingber’s office is “to create and strengthen a sense of community among individuals of diverse faiths.” Unofficially, it’s more humane.

“We collect people,” Ingber says. “It’s an honorable pastime.”

To fulfill his mission, Ingber reaches deep into his creative well and comes up with a number of unusual events each semester, such as:

  • The Wall of Hate, which allows students to write hateful phrases on a wall that is subsequently burned to support freedom from prejudice, bigotry and oppression.
  • Different Foods, Different Faiths, which brings ethnic restaurants to campus to expose students to various cultural food traditions.
  • A Quran reading on the day a Florida pastor burned a copy.
  • A 24-hour, non-stop Bible reading in different languages.
  • A Day Without Shoes in which students went barefoot as a means of solidarity with the poor.

The most recent—and most spectacular—was a mock interfaith wedding in the center of campus designed to expose students to different traditions of Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Muslim marriage cultures. The ceremony was stitched together with a string of various ethnic foods, clothing, headdress, henna tattoos and even a groomsman arriving on a white horse.

“We want more people to see how something is celebrated in other people’s lives,” Ingber says. “Our program goal is to reach a point of celebrating with each other and being affirmed first in our spiritual identity. We try to say wherever and whoever you are, we commit that we will deepen that with you, and only when your feet are firmly planted are you able to build bridges with others. That’s what our office is all about.”

[divider]An Ecumenical Perspective [/divider]

In April, Bellarmine Chapel was rocking. Gospel and contemporary praise music whirled through the packed house. People were dancing, singing, clapping hands. God was being praised. It was exactly what Andrea Bardelmeier had in mind.

final religion_bw copyWhen Bardelmeier became the University’s first ecumenical and multi-faith minister last fall, one of her ideas was to revise “Rock the Chapel,” the “one-night, one-body, one-praise” event put on in collaboration with a variety of Christian-based student groups. “It was a pretty big event and it’s a really nice representation of the unity on campus, of Christian unity,” she says.

Which is precisely her task. While Catholics still represent the majority religious affiliation on campus at an estimated 60 percent, another 30 percent fall into the category of other Christian denominations, which include Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans and other Protestant religions. “By having my position we can do programming that’s uniquely Protestant, as well as do things that are specifically for Catholics,” Bardelmeier says. Or mixed.

Bardelmeier’s position—officially the assistant director for ecumenical and multi-faith in the Center for Faith and Justice—came to be as a result of the merger of the Office of Campus Ministry and Peace and Justice Programs last summer.

In addition, Bardelmeier has reached out to help unite Xavier’s non-Christian students by shepherding the creation of Xavier’s first Muslim Student Association and first, formal Jewish Student Organization.

“Promoting pluralism means we are able to enter into dialog with people who are different, while standing in our own truth,” says Bardelmeier. “The notion of pluralism rests on the ability to step into the shoes of another, to have empathy, and to learn from that experience without losing one’s own identity.”

[divider]An Abrahamic Perspective [/divider]

Waleed El-Ansary seems the perfect person for an intercultural, interfaith campus discourse. A dual citizen of Egypt and the United States, he peppers his speech with Arabic phrases like “Alhamdulillah” (thanks be to God) and “inshallah” (God-willing), but his childhood hero was Archie Griffin, the two-time Heisman Trophy running back at Ohio State.waleed

He graduated from a secular public high school in Washington, D.C., but went on to marry the daughter of the Grand Mufti of Egypt, the second-highest religious office in Sunni Islam.

“I feel almost like I’m a living bridge,” he says. “I’m American on the one hand, and on the other I feel very comfortable as a Muslim. I’ve been able to integrate those two identities without much tension.”

This fall, El-Ansary joins the faculty as Xavier’s first full-time Islamic scholar where he’s tasked with creating an Islamic studies program within the Department of Theology. The Abrahamic faiths of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, which share the same God and whose texts include many of the same stories, have much to share, says El-Ansary. Muslims consider Jews and Christians as “ahl al-kitab” (people of the book), and they consider Jesus Christ a prophet. St. Thomas Aquinas often quoted his Muslim contemporary, Mohammed Al-Ghazzali.

El-Ansary is finishing a five-year stint as a professor of Islamic studies and comparative religion at the University of South Carolina. He has devised a series of courses from the Hadith of Gabriel, a parable in which the Angel Gabriel visits the Prophet Mohammed and asks him about the essence of Islam. The series comprises five courses on the basics of Islam, the Quran and Hadith (the sayings of Mohammed), Islamic law, theology and mysticism. He also hopes to teach interdisciplinary courses on Islamic economics and civilization.

And he can’t wait to get started. Although the world is more interconnected than ever, he says, “In a way, we just talk more and more about less and less. A lot of the information we have about one another is really superficial. I very much look forward to collaborating with my Jewish and Christian colleagues. Having a Muslim scholar at a Catholic institution is the perfect environment for that type of deeper conversation.”

[divider]A Jesuit Perspective [/divider]

Ask a Jesuit priest why a Catholic university should be enthusiastic about having Hindu nuptials, Jewish ceremonies, readings from the Islamic Quran or any other interreligious activity take place on campus, and James Riordan, S.J., doesn’t hesitate: “It’s not only kosher, it’s absolutely the right thing to do.”

“The days of Catholic ghettos are gone,” says Riordan, the assistant director for the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice. “We can’t put up walls around the Church like a fiefdom anymore. After all, our students will, one day, go out into the world and work side-by-side with others of other faiths.”

_GER9644Preparing students for the real world is just part of the equation, Riordan says. Fostering an open interchange of discussions and beliefs is critical to mutual understanding and peace, not to mention that it fits perfectly within the role of higher education. “Like my mother always said, the truth always comes to the light,” he says.

When it comes to an active interfaith exchange, a willingness to explore diverse viewpoints can strengthen all those involved. An obvious benefit of interchange is the potential of engaging newcomers.

The question of interreligious dialogue is no mere academic pondering to Riordan. “Jesuits are an interesting species,” he says, noting that members of the Society of Jesus were once dispatched as missionaries to new frontiers. “Now, those frontiers are right here in the United States, on our own multicultural campuses.”

When it comes to outreach—especially in the context of campus ministry—universities of all stripes should offer a safe, supportive place for frank discussion and exploration, he says. From a Jesuit standpoint, this pluralistic perspective becomes particularly relevant.

“The University is not here to stifle, but to encourage expressions of truth,” Riordan says. “Yes, it’s always important that we represent the Catholic faith in its fullest, [but] if you are truly unafraid about being Catholic, there’s no reason to fear other faiths.”

Riordan, who works with Bardelmeier’s ecumenical team that creates prayer opportunities for the entire student body, also oversees a multi-faith area that serves as a resource center for various communities of practice. And, all this is balanced with Riordan’s own vocation group that offers students the opportunity to mull the possibility of a religious vocation within the Catholic Church, as well as a Catholic identity team that reflects on the tenets of the faith and spiritual navigation.

“The Catholic Church continues to pray for unity between other Christian faiths and hopes for a day when we will all be one Catholic Church,” he says. “A significant part of such a hope is to create a place for dialogue and trust. It is in trust and dialogue that the Catholic Church and those of other faiths can find a voice and a place to listen and learn from one another.”

Head of the Class

[Extended web version]

NAME:  Scott Chadwick
TITLE:  Provost and Chief Academic Officer
EDUCATION:
PhD in communication studies, Kansas, 1994
MBA in finance, University of Kansas, 1986
BS in psychology, University of Iowa, 1984

BACKGROUND:
Canisius College 2007-2011
• VP for academic affairs; mission and identity officer; professor communications
Creighton University 2003-2007
• AVP for academic affairs
Iowa State University 1997-2003
• Assistant professor
Oregon State University 1994 – 1997
• Assistant professor

Xavier: You didn’t take the traditional path into higher education, spending six years in the corporate world first. What made you decide to get into education?
Chadwick: “When I was at Sprint, I longed for something more. I wanted to take all the good parts of my previous jobs—making the organization run well according to its goals, being financially responsible, making sure the workers are stable and safe and are getting what they should be getting—and put them together. So, I decided to get a PhD so I could form my own consulting company. But once I got into the doctorate program, I fell in love with teaching. I said, ‘Let’s see where this leads me.’ ”

Xavier: It led you, first of all, to eight years at Jesuit institutions. That’s a lot different than the corporate world. Was it hard to adjust?
Chadwick: “In the interview process at Creighton, they asked questions about servant leadership and Ignatian charisms—finding God in all things, contemplation in action, things of that nature. They worked those things into the questions, and I found literally a sense of peace come over me. I did not know those phrases, but they referred to where I was coming from. It just felt right. So I translated my language into their language, and it had the same meaning. As I developed professionally and spiritually over these past eight years, the fit has gotten better and better. It is so applicable, so forceful for good, open, inclusive, and a great way of being.”

Xavier: So how do you merge your experience in the competitive world of business with this?
Chadwick: “I believe within the Jesuit system that it is very easily possible to be competitive without being ruthless. You can be driven and loving. You can be focused on results and other-oriented. I also believe that in the Jesuit way of proceeding, it is not a zero-sum game. Part of our job here is to expand that which is possible. If we can reach out to more people and offer education to more people who need it and influence the world in different ways than we are now doing, while continuing to do what we are doing, it is a good and appropriate thing. We can expand the domain of goodness.”

Xavier:Your decision to get into education also led you to your new position. Did you ever think it would lead you to becoming a provost?
Chadwick: “No. I did not aspire to be provost. I do not aspire to any position. What I aspire to is the work that a provost is blessed to do. This kind of work is fun. You get to learn the strengths, hopes and desires of so many people. We, as a community, get to interact with and help each other advance our lives and work to achieve our shared goals. Who wouldn’t want to do that?”

Xavier: Now that you are provost, what are you bringing to Xavier to push it to the next level?
Chadwick: “I think it is a combination of skills. It is a willingness and ability to listen to people, what they are saying and not saying, as well as the ability to read organizational systems and treat the organization as an entity. Being able to analyze the internal dynamics, as well as the external factors, and see how it all interrelates. You can build the best organization structurally, but if you do not have great people and you do not care for them, it is not going to matter.”

Xavier: That sounds like where your corporate background will be a great benefit—from the management standpoint.
Chadwick: “One of the particularly valuable aspects of higher education is the interplay of the management function and the governance function. When done well, I think it is one of the best systems you can find because it allows many people to have input into the planning and decision-making processes. If people are willing to come to discussions with open minds and open hearts, it becomes a great system based on trust and mutual respect in which you engage in dialogue and discussion and move at an appropriate pace to come up with solutions for the organization and its people. You sometimes see this in high-functioning teams in companies. You can see it in some forms of matrix organizations within organizations, but they tend to be fleeting. They tend to be task or function specific, while here it is actually possible to merge this as an ongoing way of proceeding.”

Xavier: Is there anything the University needs or needs to change to get to where you think we can be?
Chadwick: “Coming at it tangentially, the biggest need academically is to make sure the faculty are resourced appropriately for the learning goals they have set in their curricula for the students. Other than that, it is too early for me to say. But I can tell you one of the things that is absolutely crucial is to understand what the University is doing to maintain the liberal arts tradition and the power of the core curriculum. Intellectually that is such a foundational part of the institution and the students’ experiences that we have to keep that strong. From that everything else grows.

“I know the faculty will be looking at how well the core curriculum is helping students achieve their learning goals. They will do that through some forms of assessment and then will feed that information back into the system. So if we find that the core curriculum can be no better, than I would say leave it as it is. But I think all systems can be improved. As the world changes around us, we need to adapt to it in some way. And it is key that the faculty are a key driver of curricular change with support from the rest of the university community.”

Xavier: Any specific changes you want to share?
Chadwick: “There are ideas I have from my interaction with faculty, staff and students so far that I think we could use to optimize some systems that would be beneficial to everyone. But I really want to come here and listen to people first and find out what they see as the strengths and obstacles. Then, by bringing people together I think we will find that we can see some things differently, finding opportunities and synergies that we have yet to tap into. I think that will be not necessarily new but refreshing to people.”

Xavier: There’s been a lot of talk about growing enrollment—can we make the numbers to pay for all our growth? Are we getting too big? So what’s your view? Can we grow and still maintain all of the personal, small-school benefits that Xavier is known for?
Chadwick: “Xavier’s uniquely placed to do that. In part you do it by aligning your enrollment management strategies with things that faculty and student life and leadership are doing. There are all these things we are doing here that make this a wonderful place to be, but we need to figure out precisely what they are. I think people know it intuitively, but we as an organization need to know it specifically. We really need to identify and celebrate those things that are done individually and in small groups and scale them university-wide. Student retention, for example. There are plenty of ways students are being engaged by faculty and staff through research, service learning, direct service, and myriad other activities. Imagine we said, ‘Let’s make student retention an institutional priority, growing those processes and activities we know work and expanding them across the entire university.’ To do that we will need discussions among faculty and staff and students to ask people to share their stories, describe what is working and why, and recognize things that are disconnected. This dialogic approach allows everyone to have a voice as we enact change that grows from the strong foundation of our existing culture. As we do this and share information internally, we can build this into our external communications to more fully inform prospective students and institutional partners how we and they fit each other.”

Xavier: In the last issue of Xavier magazine, we wrote about Xavier’s venture into online learning. Will that continue?
Chadwick: “I fully expect that. The key with online learning is to make sure we design it so we can maintain the academic rigor and support for students that they would have in any other form of instruction—small group, lab, lecture, active learning. Online is just another venue that is open to a number of different teaching and learning styles. There is a lot of research that shows that, when designed well, online instruction can be as good, or oftentimes better, than on-ground instruction. That is particularly true if it is a hybrid course where you have a combination of face-to-face instruction and online instruction.

“People new to online learning are somewhat surprised at how much interaction can be designed into the processes. It is not the old correspondence course where content was dumped onto a cassette tape. It is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous interactions between students and teacher, students and other students, and students and content. All three of those things have to be there. Online learning combines student reading, writing, thinking, and researching and allows students to bring it back to the virtual classroom in intentional and pedagogically sound ways.

“We can use online learning to reach out to a broad spectrum of people, offering this education to as many different people as fit our programs and capacity. This is particularly true of non-traditional students, whether they are a little older or are still working and cannot afford the family time or the money to be here at a concentrated period of time. With online instruction, we can design academic programs around their needs, and up to our standards. I see that as a very Jesuit thing to do.”

Xavier: One of the challenges for an institution like Xavier, though, is it doesn’t just teach academics but also ethics and values. How can you do this online?
Chadwick: “It is possible, and research will show this as well, that values can be taught, learned, and ultimately enacted through online education. It is challenging, because values tend to be ineffable. But it is a matter of designing the course that way. I can guarantee you if the academic rigor is not there and the Jesuit values or Ignatian charisms are not there, I am not going to support it. Having said that, I know the rigor and values can be there. So, it is just a matter of how we get there.”

Xavier: At Canisius, you led the effort to include a social justice component in all new programs. Can we expect that here?
Chadwick: “I’d want to talk to faculty about that, but at Canisius, what I specifically did was say that for every new program—minor, major, doctorate, certificate, across the board—we have to have an active social justice component. Which means you cannot just talk about it, you have to have the students engage it intellectually and then go do something. And while I am convinced it made the programs better, and more Ignatian, the other consequence is we got faculty talking about social justice and how it relates to the intellectual enterprise that is teaching and learning. In addition to the social justice component, every program had to show how it was mission-centric through people’s behavior and how that behavior could be assessed. Faculty, staff, and students really embraced the focus on social justice and mission.

Xavier: There’s been a lot of talk about expanding health-related programs, and possibly adding a doctorate in education. Can we expect growth in these areas?
Chadwick: “We know that the allied health industry is in a significant growth pattern and ratcheting up its required credentials. For example, the vision of the American Physical Therapy Association is that by 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy (see http://www.apta.org/Vision2020/). The transitional doctorate in physical therapy (t-DPT) is a degree that some schools offer to meet that demand. Look at the life sciences and at the growth in knowledge and medical advances that have arisen through the work of the human genome project. Pharmacology is advancing to the level of molecular pharmacology, so it is not just the pharmacists we need, it is all sorts of other people to do case management and clinical trial reviews and the myriad things that wrap around the industry. All sorts of degree programs can come out of that. But with any degree program, what is important is that we add it when the program is appropriate for us and because it fits with our mission. It really has to be mission-centric. It has to fit with and advance the Xavier brand. There are a limitless number of programs that are possible, but what programs fit with us? That is the key question to be answered.”

Selling Soccer

Russ Findlay walks around the hallways of his offices every day, a Sierra Mist held firmly in his grip. To him, the soft drink is more than a caffeine boost. It’s like a baby he’s brought into the world.

The 1994 MBA grad spent almost a decade with beverage behemoth PepsiCo, where he oversaw a billion (with a B) dollar branding effort for the launch of the Sierra Mist soft drink. “When you bring a brand to life,” he says, “you always have a soft spot for it.”

So don’t be surprised to see him dribbling a soccer ball around those same offices in the near future. In January, Findlay was tagged by Major League Soccer to become its first-ever chief marketing officer, responsible for running the organization’s marketing, branding and consumer initiatives as well as the group’s commercial subsidiary, Soccer United Marketing.

How did this switch from soda to soccer come about? “I worked at PepsiCo, a major soccer sponsor, before coming here, so I knew Don Garber and some of the people that work here,” he says. “I’m a certified U.S. Soccer referee, an active player and, most importantly, I am a consumer-focused brand builder, a market-eer.”

The path from Musketeer to market-eer has been something of a natural progression, beginning at home. “I learned how to sell in my mom’s bookstore, basically,” he says. He took those sales skills and applied them to rolling out Pepsi Max and the SoBe Mr. Green soft drink labels. While working on advertising and media strategy for these brands and others, he oversaw numerous Super Bowl ad campaigns, two of which won national awards.

Now the goal is applying those skills to soccer. Heading into its 16th season of existence, Major League Soccer is expanding, adding about three clubs per year. Overall, MLS fan attendance cracked the 4 million mark for the first time last year, meaning there’ll be lots of home-team jerseys, jackets, scarves and soccer balls to move.

Poets Gone Wild

Ty Roth doesn’t just have students sitting in his classroom. He has a target audience. The high school English teacher in Port Clinton, Ohio, recently landed a hefty advance and a two-book deal with Delacorte, a Random House imprint, to write two books for the young adult market—that is, his students and their peers.

But, he admits, it wasn’t his idea. A 1984 graduate in sociology, Roth had written three novels in four years without any luck. Finally, someone suggested he write for young adults, an exploding market thanks to the likes of Harry Potter and the Twilight series.

“I started reading some and found some real literary works out there,” he says. “It’s been a fairly hot genre in recent years.”

So Roth put pen to paper once again and wrote a fourth novel—this one recreating the lives of the Romantic poets Lord Byron, John Keats and Percy Shelley, as modern-day Ohio teenagers. The premise caught the eye of an agent and So Shelly soon hit the bookshelves.

The novel’s been a hit so far, not least among his students. “I don’t know if they like it because of it’s quality or because their teacher wrote it, but it’s given me some street cred in the English department,” Roth says.

The idea of using Romantic poets in a novel came to Roth when he found his students more interested in the scandalous biographies of the poets than their poetry. In that regard, So Shelly is a sugar-coated pill to teach the Romantics to a generation for whom, by Roth’s reckoning, “poetry is on life support.”

If there’s any hope in a poetry renaissance for today’s youth, Roth says, the Romantics are a good place to start. “Romanticism is kind of a philosophy for the young,” he says. “There’s a point when you have to cut your hair and go to work.”

Life in the Second 50

J. Leo Klein, S.J., one of Xavier’s longest-serving Jesuits, knows a thing or two about aging, and he has two artificial knees and an artificial hip to prove it. Getting old ain’t for sissies, he likes to say. But he also knows there’s more to life as an elder statesman than new body parts, which is why he created “The Second Fifty: Spirituality in Later-Life Issues,” a program that seeks to offer meaning, direction and spirit to those in the second half of their lives. The program meets nine times in the evenings for two hours and touches on issues such as God, prayer, spiritual mile-markers and legacy/heritage by utilizing books such as Man’s Search for Meaning and films such as “Oh God!” The next Second Fifty program begins Tuesday, Oct. 4. Cost is $110. Interested alumni should reserve a place in the program by contacting Laura Allen at 513-745-3571 or AllenL2@xavier.edu.

Letters to the Editor

Moving Story

I noticed your article about EkoMovers (Fall 2010) and they are truly a great company. To be fair, though, our company has been in business longer, is a certified Green Mover and even opened a moving supply store that only sells recycled moving materials. While we are glad to see any green business gain recognition, it would be nice to see you recognize some of the companies that pioneered it before those that copied us.

—Jon Hill, manager, 4WeHelp Movers

Boos for Boehner

Having just received the Spring 2011 Xavier magazine issue, I paged through to catch the latest news and activities. Imagine my surprise to see an article on John Boehner ’77. Surely it would contain some mention of his work in disenfranchising the poor, the middle class, minorities and anyone else who is not a member of the corporate elite. I guess he slept through all his courses on social justice, compassion (“If jobs are lost, so be it”), religion (spiritual and corporal works of mercy) and even the Golden Rule. I would have thought that you would be thrilled to have some other college or university logo on such a person who goes against all the values that are part of the core of a Xavier education. Silly me.

—Kevin Hayes, Class of 1968

So you are proud of XU alumnus John Boehner (Spring 2011), the new Speaker of the House? Last time I checked he was refusing to do business until he secured continuing tax breaks for the wealthy, wants to take away people’s health care and wants to bring down the president. If you think my comments harsh, I hope you never mention my classmate, Ken Blackwell, who many believe is responsible for stealing Ohio for Bush in 2004.

—Robert A. Curry, Class of 1970

Karen on Deck

I really enjoyed your article on Karen Gladstone’s 52 adventures (Winter 2011). However, I was a bit concerned about her “empirically proven 1,567 licks” required to reach the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. My freshman year in Brockman, I set off to explore the same experiment. After many hours of consecutive licks while doing homework, taking a walk around campus and even making a visit to Bellarmine Chapel, I reached the Tootsie Roll center with 807 swipes of my tongue. My results are still published on the baby blue chest of drawers that is blanketed in quotes and memories written by my Xavier classmates and me during those great four years. Thus, while I question the validity of Ms. Gladstone’s result, which was almost twice as mine, I appreciate the great memories sparked by our common experiment.

 

PS: A few weeks later I learned I could fit 800 Cheerios in my mouth at once. Brockman Hall was such a great laboratory.

—R. James Uhler, Class of 1996

Fr. O’Connor

Hooray! The article and photographs on Fr. Paul O’Connor’s witnessing of the Japanese surrender aboard the battleship Missouri (Fall 2010) was particularly appreciated, I’m sure, by those few “GI’s” left among us who were privileged to “serve” under him from September 1946, to June 1950, while he was Dean of the University. Though I, for one, feel strongly the good he did in that role should also be highlighted, and strongly! He was every (tall!) inch “a man’s man;” certainly the man for the job at the time of riding herd on thousands of us veterans on campus who had returned all at once to the confines of the classroom and the structures of a Jesuit education. He understood us and patiently tolerated our peculiar foibles and frustrations, while at the same time running, “a tight ship,” in his quiet unassuming, but always gently authoritative way. His personality and his prudent decisions were a positive influence on the future lives of many of us veterans in particular. As one small example of his unassuming, informal, but effective ways, he momentarily stopped me one day with a light touch on the arm as we passed one another in the narrow passageway between Hinkle Hall and an adjoining building, and said quietly, “Oh, by the way … just so you won’t be surprised during graduation next week, you will be receiving the Archbishop McNicholas Gold Medal for excellence in the study of philosophy. It won’t put any beans and bacon on the table, but it might make your mother happy.” He was perspicacious on both counts: It did please my parents. But it didn’t help me much in finding gainful employment with an AB degree in Philosophy, History and English Literature at a time when engineers were inheriting (rebuilding) the earth!

—John E. Wall, Class of 1950, USN (ret.)

 

More Fr. O’Connor

I enjoyed very much your article on Fr. O’Connor (Fall 2010). I only knew him from a distance, though I did wash his dishes and the other Jesuits while attending XU. He was always friendly when he delivered his plates to my work station. I have worked for at least 10 presidents at my institution (CSU-Pueblo), and Fr. O’Connor was the very best of a good bunch. I remember his concern for academic excellence, his reluctance to spend money on himself. My other connection is my wife. She was one of the victims of the bomb and had to flee Hiroshima under the prospect of something “big” that the Americans were about to do. God bless Fr. O’Connor and all the other Jesuits at Xavier. Most of them were persons that I have tried to imitate in my life.

—John R. Griffin, PhD

 

American Dream

I’d like to comment about the article, “American Dream,” by Ms. Julie Zimmerman (Summer 2010). Here are two of my favorite quotes:

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight—it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”—Dwight D. Eisenhwer

“Throughout history, the most common debilitating human ailment has been cold feet.”—Unknown It’s been said that if you repeat a lie frequently enough people begin to accept it as truth. The American people should stop feeling sorry for themselves. I learned at a very early age, life isn’t easy. It’s full of difficulties and challenges. You either take on these challenges head on or they overwhelm you. It’s in your hands. No one else’s. Those surveyed should read some history about the founding of this country. The sacrifices made my those courageous people are astounding. Look at what the men and women in the 1940s sacrificed to save the world, the world from tyranny. How do you think they felt about the American Dream? Lastly, I simply could not resist commenting about the Dayton woman in Mr. Ford’s focus group who thought, “We did everything we could to do right by our kids.” Having a child graduate with $170,000 of debt borders on insanity. The only thing she said that made any sense was, “she felt like they must have done something wrong.” Do you think?

 

PS: If you want to see a picture of optimism, courage and a genuine American, take a look at that guy on page 3 with the black suit, white collar and sunglasses. A great teacher never strives to explain his vision. Rather, he simply invites you to stand beside him and see for yourself.

—Andrew A. Egloff

 

Retired Professors

Thanks so much. I really appreciate your articles on the retired professors (Winter 2010). It’s just so good to hear all about them. Please do more of this in the future.

—Mark Smith

Help for Humans

Tammy Wynn was driving to a crematorium to retrieve her father’s remains in 2004. En route, she was praying and reflecting on her father’s life when her thoughts shifted to her beloved cat, Cagney, who died a year earlier. While she found plenty of support during her father’s death, she had to suffer through Cagney’s death all alone. Pet owners, she thought, could benefit from the same kind of hospice-style care provided to humans and the families of their terminally ill loved ones.

“Home hospice on the human side was so amazing,” she says. “I realized how amazing it would be to have the same service for pets and their owners.”

Wynn, a licensed social worker with a master’s degree in hospital and health administration from Xavier, soon took a job at Hospice of Cincinnati to learn more about the end-of-life care business for humans and also began taking classes to become a registered veterinary technician. With that knowledge, she opened Angel’s Paws, a hospice-style pet loss counseling and cremation business in Cincinnati, last year.

Wynn serves any type of animal-—her most exotic pet clients have included a monkey and an African gray parrot. No matter what the animal, she admits it’s tough when they die.

To help, she offers some helpful tips:

1. Cuddle something furry.

2. Cry.

3. Do something. Focus on a task so you don’t dwell on the loss.

4. Count your blessings. Good things are still happening in your life.

5. Eat something. Grief burns energy and you need fuel.

6. Avoid irrevocable decisions. If you can’t stand the sight of your pet’s toys, don’t throw them away. Put them in a box out of sight.

7. Think of the special moments shared with your pet, not its final moments.

8. Be honest with yourself. Losing a beloved pet is a big loss. You’re not weak, crazy or overly sentimental to feel sad.

9. Make a decision to work through your grief. You can’t control whether or not you grieve, but you can decide whether you let grief control you.

Fueling Jesuit Ideals

Ethics and values have always been part of the Jesuit curriculum. But does it make a difference? Associate professor of theology Elizabeth Groppe would argue that it does. As proof, she offers this story of what happened to her this spring:

“I was driving my 5-year-old son to his Suzuki violin lesson. It was a busy week, my husband was out of town and I had many things on my mind—one of which was not keeping an eye on the gas gauge. We hit empty on Interstate 75 North in the middle of rush-hour traffic. I coasted to the shoulder, put on my flashers and tried to reassure my son, who was in tears, that we would not be stuck on the side of the road forever. I tried to flag down a passerby, hoping to borrow a cell phone to call our emergency road service.

“Hundreds of cars went by. Finally, a gentleman in a red pick-up truck pulled up in front of us. He said I was welcome to use his cell phone but suggested it would be simpler to allow him to help me get some gas. The Good Samaritan, it turns out, was a Xavier alum, a graduate of our MA program in criminal justice, named Jason Fowee. He enrolled in the program after discharge from the military where he performed search-and-rescue missions. He helped me transfer my son’s car seat to his truck and tried to help John David feel comfortable by sharing photos of his cats.

“Jason drove us to the nearest gas station, insisted on filling a plastic gas can himself to spare me spillage, and then called the police to ask them to please get someone on the scene to ensure that we could safely refuel the car and move John David between vehicles in the midst of heavy traffic. When we returned to my stranded car, the police were there with lights flashing. My son and I returned safely home thanks to a Jesuit man-for-others.”