Categories
Xavier Magazine

Long Live the Woods

Among the dozen or so properties acquired for the Xavier Square project, perhaps none holds more nostalgic memories for alumni than the Norwood Café, more commonly known as “The Woods.” Though the white-frame structure at the corner of Cleneay Avenue and Montgomery Road will soon disappear, there’s a good chance its spirit—or spirits, as the case may be—will live on in the new development, says John Kucia, administrative vice president for the University.

“We’ve bought the Norwood Café and all of its contents including a 100-year-old cherryback bar,” Kucia says. “Our plan is to preserve all of the elements of the bar and honor or replicate it in a new development. The owner, Charlie Becker, said he has 200 fake I.D.s that he’s confiscated from Xavier students over the years. We think it’d be good to frame them.” Becker’s father, Charles Sr., who founded the bar, was a military bugler and was famous for blowing his bugle around closing time. The new bar may also incorporate some tribute to that tradition as well. “Memories like that would be good for the bar,” Kucia says.

Categories
Xavier Magazine

Open Opportunities

Jason Kokrak was one of just 11 amateurs to qualify for this year’s U.S. Open at the brutally tough Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa.

Kokrak, who was named as a Ping honorable mention All-American this year, ended up missing the cut by six shots, but was the third-best amateur and finished ahead of some PGA pros, including Adam Scott, Colin Montgomerie and Steve Elkington

Categories
Xavier Magazine

Golden Honors

Xavier basketball has had many highlights over the years, and arguably the highest of them all came 50 years ago when the Musketeers knocked off the highly favored University of Dayton in overtime to claim the 1958 National Invitation Tournament championship in Madison Square Garden. Sport magazine called the game “one of the greatest upsets in basketball history.”

To honor the golden anniversary of the event, the department of athletics is hosting a reunion of the team during the men’s game this season. Members of the NIT champions will be on hand, and the current men’s team will wear throwback jerseys from that year—although the shorts will be a little longer.

 

Categories
Xavier Magazine

Desperately Seeking Athletes

The department of athletics is searching for all of its former student-athletes. In an effort to update its records, the department set up a database form on its web site, www.goxavier.com, and is asking former student-athletes to go to the site, click on the “alumni corner” button at the bottom and update their records.

Categories
Xavier Magazine

Athletic Pioneer

The women’s Crosstown Shootout against the University of Cincinnati is at the Cintas Center this year, and the University plans to recognize former members of the women’s basketball team with a banquet and ceremony. Xavier first fielded a women’s sports team in 1971, two years after it became a coeducational institution.

Categories
Xavier Magazine

Big Business

Sean Miller was working his way through Kroger recently when a man approached with a smile and a request. “This is my brother’s phone number,” the man said, handing Miller a piece of paper. “Can you give him a call and just say hi? He’s a big fan.”

Miller smiled in return, not sure whether he should be flattered that he was recognized outside of a basketball court or upset that his private life was suddenly intruded upon in the middle of a grocery store. Ultimately, the call wasn’t made. “You have to draw the line somewhere,” he says.

The line is that invisible boundary that separates the personal from the professional, the leisure from the labor—a boundary that is growing more and more blurry in the college coaching ranks. Coaches today are being asked to devote an ever-increasing amount of their time to concerns outside of their primary jobs of coaching and winning games, from personal appearances to speaking engagements to odd favors. It’s a growing price of their position.

They’re also being asked to spend an increasingly large percentage of their time in a role not typically associated with coaching—fundraiser. The economics of 21st-century college basketball have forced athletic departments to find new and creative ways to generate additional income. As a result, within the last 10 years there’s been a boom in the creation of fundraising efforts focused specifically on athletics, and coaches are being asked to help by providing slivers of their time.

Unlike many of the other non-coaching tasks that eat away at their time, however, ask them and they’ll insist that this additional role is part of their job. After all, in order to succeed, you need the tools, and money is one of them.

“I do whatever I need to do to represent Xavier,” says Miller, “whether that’s talking to season ticket holders or people who want to give significant money to the program. Those are the people who are interested in what we are about and what we stand for and not just what we did last year or what we’re going to do this season. They’re the ones who want the development of the student-athlete at the forefront of what we do, and I am very grateful to those people. I never looked at it as a burden.” On the day Miller was introduced as the head coach, he stopped Dan Cloran, director for Xavier’s All For One (AFO) club, and said he would do whatever he could to help. And he has. Last year he even hosted a party for more than 100 AFO supporters at his home.

The week women’s basketball coach Kevin McGuff was hired, he spoke at an event.

“In this day and age, you need to look at it as part of the job,” says McGuff. “And, for me, it’s an opportunity to sell the program. We’re still in the growth stage, so I’m happy to do it. It can be a double-edged sword—the more you win the more you’re in demand—but that’s a good problem to have.”

Fundraising and booster clubs are, certainly, nothing new for college athletics, and coaches have been speaking at events for decades. But the two have never been so closely linked.

“Before there was no reason to join the two,” says Cloran. “Coaches would go out and speak, make people feel good and leave. Now, with Coach Miller, with every one of his speaking engagements, he’s thinking, ‘How can this benefit Xavier athletics?’ Whether he mentions supporting the AFO directly in his talk or simply references it at the end, it’s there. So if someone comes up and says, ‘How can I help?’ he can point to this structured area where they can go.”

And it’s proven beneficial. AFO funds have resulted in benefits from hiring full-time coaches to improving transportation. This past year the locker rooms were upgraded and a new conditioning room was added.

“When we met with the people who funded the new conditioning room,” says Cloran, “Coach Miller went with us on every call.”

“You have to,” says Miller. “Places like Ohio State, Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia are building new facilities and spending millions of dollars to make their programs better. You have to keep up. That’s a fact of college basketball.”

Categories
Xavier Magazine

New Dean

In July, the University named Mark Meyers dean of the newly renamed and reorganized College of Social Sciences, Health and Education. Meyers replaces Neil Heighberger, who retired after heading the college, which was formerly known as the College of Social Sciences, since its inception in 1988.

Meyers previously served for five years as the associate dean at Rowan University’s College of Education. He began at Rowan in 1996 and served as an associate professor in the department of secondary education and two years as the chair of the secondary education and foundations department.

He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida.

Categories
Xavier Magazine

M.B.A. Updates Program

Students taking M.B.A. classes this fall are entering a restructured program that emphasizes the growing global marketplace and a renewed call for ethical corporate leadership. After surveying corporate leaders, the Williams College of Business strengthened its M.B.A. curriculum by: raising admission standards; realigning courses for more depth and challenge; making International Business a required course; and embedding ethics throughout all its courses.

It also added options for the capstone course for students preparing to graduate, so now they have four choices instead of one. “Our goal is for our graduates to make a difference in business and society,” says Jen Bush, director for the M.B.A. program.

Categories
Xavier Magazine

Faithful Dialogue

The Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue continues to gain visibility in its field. This spring, the center was selected to participate in the initial Fulbright Interfaith Community Action Program, an interfaith exchange program created by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs aimed at promoting discussion, debate and collaborative learning centered on interfaith dialogue and cooperation. Only 10 institutions were chosen.

The program provides a multinational group of religious leaders, religious scholars, nongovernmental organizations and community leaders from a variety of religious backgrounds who are actively engaged in interfaith dialogue and cooperation programs in their home countries with a semester-long U.S. exchange program. The Brueggeman center was matched with Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq, chair of the department of Islamic law and faculty member of Arabic and Islamic studies at Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan. He arrived in September and is spending 10 weeks on campus.

The other institutions include Auburn Theological Seminary, Barnard College at Columbia University, DePaul University, Hartford Seminary, Michigan State University, Rice University, Temple University, the University of California and the University of Virginia.

Categories
Xavier Magazine

Policing China

Kam Wong and Jeff Monroe tuck themselves into the back seat of a Toyota Corolla and begin touring the bustling streets of Hangzhou City, the wealthy capital of Zhejiang Province on China’s east coast. They’re hardly your conventional tourists, though. Wong, who chairs the department of criminal justice, and Monroe, an assistant professor of criminal justice, are in China as part of a two-week tour of the country’s police training colleges and police stations.

 

Once a bastion of secrecy and security, China is opening itself up to Western ideas, and Wong and Monroe are here for three reasons: to get a closer look at Chinese police practices; to expose Chinese students and government officials to a U.S. view of policing and human rights; and to take the first steps for creating an exchange program for students studying criminal justice.

As they tour Hangzhou City, their police escorts discuss crime control and prevention, proudly pointing out the video cameras along every street and the modern, high-tech police stations where banks of video monitors keep an eye on Hangzhou’s 6.5 million people.

What Wong knows and Monroe quickly learns is that policing in Communist China is not much different than in the United States—at least on the surface. They want to prevent crime and keep their people and cities safe. The differences are more subtle, embedded in centuries of social and philosophical approaches to managing society: The American visitors are joined everywhere by ever-present government escorts; the city streets are infiltrated with video to catch—and prevent—criminal activity.

Another difference is how police trainees are handled. At the station in Hangzhou City, Monroe and Wong meet young officers who are required to live in a barracks at the police station until they’re 28 or married. It is sparse: Each officer is assigned a bunk and a locker.

“I think the public sees policing as more like the military,” Monroe says. “At the police training universities, they can’t come and go as they please. It’s lights off at a certain hour, and they get up at a certain time. It’s an interesting culture, and it’s changing dramatically.”

Such treatment of police forces is a vestige of Communist China under former Chairman Mao Zedong when police were expected to control the population, not merely to chase criminals. Now that China is emerging as a global player economically and culturally, it is opening itself to policing experts worldwide to both share and borrow best police practices.

Wong, who came to Xavier last year, has well-established links with China’s Ministry of Public Security and several major universities. A native of Hong Kong, he became a police inspector when he was 18 years old before coming to the United States to complete his education. Now he travels to Hong Kong in the summers as a visiting Chinese law professor at the City University of Hong Kong and is recognized as an international authority on police practices. Much of his research focuses on the history and sociology of Chinese policing, and he’s often invited to lecture on his research into comparative policing.

And, following his trip last December, he wants Xavier students to benefit from his connections. “The Public Security University and Zhejiang Police College are enthusiastic about establishing formal links with Xavier,” he says.

One of his ideas is to have joint courses on the Internet for both Xavier and Chinese students. He is also proposing summer exchange students who would work as interns at local police stations in each other’s countries.

“These people-to-people exchanges are most important in developing cross-cultural linkages and, in turn, promoting interpersonal understanding and preparing our students to work in a global economy with emerging China as a key player,” Wong says.

While policing in China still reflects a philosophy of social control to prevent crime, it’s moving toward community policing, where police at the local level assist people in policing themselves, Wong says.

But that is a difficult transition in a country where there is only one police agency—the national Ministry of Public Security—though the system is tiered with local, provincial and regional offices.

“They’re bringing the community in and trying to work with them rather than to always be about crime control,” says Monroe.

css.php