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Xavier Magazine

Against the Wind

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April 8, 1968. The nation is on the verge of exploding into a firestorm of racial rage over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., when Garry Wills walks in the front door of the Clayborn Temple in Memphis, Tenn.

Wills stands in the entrance of the church, his two small bags and raincoat in hand, and looks around. The place is packed, but he is alone—a white Catholic from the Midwest in the heart of the poor, black South. A hundred or so striking sanitation workers, whom King came to Memphis to support, fill the pews and try to hammer out the details of getting to King’s funeral in Atlanta, some 400 miles away.

The tension is high, although that wasn’t unexpected. In order to get to the church, Wills has to break the city’s dusk-to-dawn curfew and catches a ride with a surly taxicab driver who keeps a gun on his seat and reflects the unease of the nation by responding to Wills’ chosen destination with a racial slur.

As the plans are hammered out, Wills sits back and observes, collecting an inside look at the living, breathing state of the civil rights movement. He collects more observations at the Lorraine Motel where King was killed, and still more at the funeral home where the embalmers tell him how they had to work all night using plaster to reassemble the right side of King’s face where the bullet blew out his cheek and left the jawbone dangling. When they wheel King out for the viewing, Wills notes how the TV lights “pick out a glint of plaster under the cheek’s powder” and that “not one white person from the town goes through that line.”

The next morning, Wills looks even deeper into the movement, climbing onto the rented second-rate bus and riding 12 hours with the black mourners to the funeral in Atlanta. Folding chairs set up in the aisles block the path to the toilet in the back. They arrive exhausted and cranky—and late.

As the mourners scatter to watch the procession, Wills holds back. He doesn’t need to go. The funeral is the focus of the nation. It’s the main stage. And as the nation’s eyes watch it to see how the drama will unfold, Wills knows he already has the real story. The one from backstage, from behind the curtain.

He begins writing about his experience—a 15,000-word account that runs over 16 pages in Esquire magazine and quickly becomes one of the greatest articles of its era. The story also becomes, in many ways, classic Wills.

His ability to go where others don’t go, look where others don’t look, dig where others don’t dig help him carve out an unexpected life as a writer—a life that over the course of 50 years garners him bylines in Time, The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and etches his name on the cover of more than 40 books.

[See Wills’ author page on Amazon.com]

His ability to reveal America by shining the light on all its many layers, especially the ugly ones, lands him on the list of the greatest “New Journalism” writers alongside Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion and Norman Mailer. And his ability to offer vivid insights into our world and shed new light onto our history—as he brilliantly did with Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg—earn him pinnacle of the writer’s life: the Pulitzer Prize.

In all, they have made Garry Wills one of the best writers of our time. They’ve also made him, in some cases, one of the most scorned.

 

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Richard Nixon hated Garry Wills.

The nation’s 37th president added Wills to his master list of political enemies in 1970, tucking him in alongside Bill Cosby, Ted Kennedy and The New York Times. Wills’ crime: Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man, a 617-page examination of Nixon—and politics as a whole—in which he concludes that the staunchly conservative Republican president is actually a liberal. Not in the modern liberalism sense—compassion for the poor, big government, tolerance of dissent—but classical liberalism, the liberalism of the Social Darwinians, and, says Wills, “he was as dated as those obsolete specimens.”

Wills didn’t return Nixon’s enmity, though. He admired the late President as intelligent but flawed, and admits he actually felt too sorry for him to feel hatred.

[Watch Garry Wills on the Colbert Report on Nixon, the Tea Party and more.]

But that’s Wills—outspoken, never pulling punches, but honest enough and intelligent enough to back up his claims. That’s one of his virtues. And flaws.

After six years of teaching Greek at Johns Hopkins University, the chair of the department decided he would no longer tolerate Wills’ part-time work—columnist for the ultraconservative magazine National Review and its outspoken editor, William F. Buckley. It was the era of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, but the magazine took a staunchly conservative viewpoint. The department head told Wills to stop writing for Buckley or he would not be recommended for tenure.

Wills refused. He also transferred to the humanities department to teach American history. But his coverage of the anti-war demonstrations and social issues of the time was turning him into a liberal. Eventually, he clashed with Buckley over a piece stating there was no conservative argument for the war.

“I said it’s hurting us and helping the Communists,” Wills says. “He said he couldn’t publish it, and so that ended it. We stopped talking for 30 years, then his sister called me up two years before he died and got us back together.”

 

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Wills grew up in Adrian, Mich., where his father worked as an appliance salesman. Both his parents were chain smokers, and Wills would escape the smoke by going outside to read comic books and dog stories. He became a voracious reader, which made his father angry, especially when he was caddying while his father played golf. Once his dad paid him $5 not to read. Wills took the money and bought more books.

Neither of his parents went to college, but his mother followed the advice of the Dominican nuns at his Catholic grade school, who said he ought to be challenged more.

So he was sent one state over to Campion High School, a boarding school run by the Jesuits in Prairie du Chien, Wis., where he was immersed in classical studies and the liberal art.

“There was tremendous encouragement for reading, music, debating, oratory and Latin and Greek,” he says. “I was really lucky. In fact, there are none of my later interests that weren’t begun in that school.”

After graduating from Campion, Wills felt the calling to become a Jesuit priest, so he entered seminary at Saint Louis University. Almost immediately, though, he realized it wasn’t for him. He completed his degree, but at the end of the five and a half years, he left. By then it was too late to apply to graduate school, but a Jesuit at the seminary helped him get into Xavier on the condition he work to pay his way.

The summer of 1957 was hot in Cincinnati. The air was humid and thick, hanging motionless inside the walls of Schmidt Hall where Wills spent his days cooped up in the library.

His job: Compare ancient handwritten manuscripts—some in Greek, some in Latin—of the homilies of St. John Chrysostom, one

of the founding fathers of the early Church. The job supported research by former Xavier classics professor Paul Harkins. It was tedious, but it underscored Wills’ ability to work in Greek and helped prepare him for doctoral study at Yale.

But Wills was not a one-dimensional guy. Though steeped in the classics—both his master’s and doctoral theses were on the Greek playwright Aeschylus—he also wrote essays on current events during his free time. Forbidden from publishing them

while in the seminary, he mailed off five of them to magazine editors across the country once he got to Xavier in hopes of getting published.

He got four rejections and one phone call—from Buckley, who tracked Wills down in his Brockman Hall dorm room. Wills’ essay, mocking Time magazine’s baroque style, caught Buckley’s eye.

“Can you come see me?” Buckley asked.

“No,” Wills replied. “I’m working, and I have to start class.”

“What are you working on?”

“A dissertation on Greek drama.”

“Well, would you become our drama critic?”

Wills said no, but Buckley kept talking. Finally he talked Wills into covering Jimmy Hoffa’s testimony at the labor committee hearings presided over by Robert F. Kennedy in Washington, D.C.

When the hearings were called off, Buckley invited Wills back to New York to attend a party at his 5,000-square-foot, 10-room Manhattan maisonette, where intellectuals and movie stars came to mingle.

[Listen to Wills on NPR’s All Things Considered about his autobiography.]

This was pretty heady stuff for a 23-year-old, small-town fellow like Wills. It almost couldn’t get any better. Then, on the flight to New York, a stewardess buckles in next to him and introduces herself: “I’m Natalie Cavallo.”She eyes the egghead book he’s reading about religion and morality, and tells him he’s too young for such complex material. They laugh.

The plane was late, so she offered to drive him to the party. She let him off at the door and drove away before he could think to get her number. “I’m fresh out of seminary and so naïve,” Wills says. In the morning, he called Eastern Airlines and got her number. “We had our first date, and she became my wife of 52 years.”

 

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Wills’ tree-shrouded home a block off Lake Michigan in Evanston, Ill., is a library unto itself. By his own estimate, he reads 200 to 300 books a year. Most go into boxes in the basement to be given away.

The ones he keeps are organized by room. English literature takes up the second floor study where he writes. Another room holds his collection of political thought and Latin texts. American novelists and poets occupy the shelves along one wall of the upstairs landing, Greek texts and philosophy on another.

His most prized collection is a 39-volume set of works by John Ruskin, a 19th century English writer and art critic, salvaged for him by a friend in England. It sits on the top shelf of his study. There are also copies of the Bible and writings from the early church, while a collection of Venetian and Italian art occupy a room of their own.

Wills, 77, is no longer teaching since being named professor emeritus of history at Northwestern University in 2005. He spends his days reading and working, getting up around 6:00 a.m. to write on the computer in his study, recently foregoing his preferred method of writing in longhand. He spends afternoons in the library and reads well into the night.

His latest book, Verdi’s Shakespeare: Men of the Theater, was released in October, and he has three more in the works. He writes regularly for The New York Times Book Review and The New York Review of Books.

To relax, he listens to opera with Natalie and plans trips to Italy, their favorite destination. But even there, he can’t stop researching, often visiting the excavated underground baptistery of St. Augustine in Milan.

“I didn’t think I would be a writer,” Wills says. “I thought I would be a teacher.”

 

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Wills has never had to look for a job. He’s been getting offers to write since Buckley found him at Xavier. The offers continued after he earned a doctorate in classics at Yale in 1961, when he was invited to join Harvard’s new Center for Hellenic Studies.

“My parents thought my field of study was other-worldly, and my mother thought I wouldn’t make a living when I left the seminary,” Wills says. “But I started making money immediately when I got my doctorate. One of the senior fellows [at the center] was at Johns Hopkins, and he hired me. I was very lucky. I was just passed on from teacher to teacher and agent to agent.”

Wills stayed at Johns Hopkins for 18 years before moving to Northwestern in 1980 to teach American history. One of his favorite topics was Abraham Lincoln. Wills had loved Lincoln since high school and enjoyed teaching about the man and his rhetoric. It became the basis of his 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Lincoln at Gettysburg, which analyzes Lincoln’s address that invokes the principles of the Declaration of Independence to redefine the purpose of the Civil War.

[Watch a Conversation with History with Wills.]

A fan of Shakespeare, Wills says great presidents like Lincoln are themselves performers.

“Lincoln invited actors to the White House and read Shakespeare to his secretaries,” he says. “When he had a painter painting him, he read scenes from Shakespeare’s King John about the little boy and broke into tears because his son had just died. They all had this sense of performance. Even Nixon had this sense of performance, but he never could pull it off.”

In 1993, Wills was toasting another great American president, Thomas Jefferson, when he learned he’d won the Pulitzer for Lincoln. The Pulitzer publicists couldn’t reach him beforehand, so he learned about the award when the Washington Post tracked him down at Monticello.

“The guy introducing me before the toast said I’d just won the Pulitzer,” he says. “I was pleased of course. I don’t know if I was surprised. I don’t really think about those things.”

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Xavier Magazine

Soren Baker’s Top Five Lyrics (in chronological order)

1. Eric B. & Rakim’s “I Know You Got Soul” (1987)

Rakim: “I start to think and then I sink/Into the paper like I was ink/When I’m writing, I’m trapped in between the line/I escape when I finish the rhyme.”

Soren’s Comments: This is one of the first lyrics I remember being compared to poetry—in the Washington Post, no less. Rakim is one of the most respected rappers of all time and his wordplay on “I Know You Got Soul” shows why he is so revered. He’s also one of the first rappers—if not the first—to use internal rhyme.

2. Eazy-E’s “Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn” (1988)

Eazy-E: “Yo, I don’t do dope, but I’m dope, not a dope/But I’m doper than anybody who tries to cope.”

Soren’s Comments: This passage highlights one of my favorite things about rap—the wordplay. Here, Eazy plays off the many meanings of the word “dope,” both in common parlance and on the streets. The first dope refers to drugs; the second means that he’s among the best. The third says he’s not stupid and the last reference plays off of his status as an artist. I always thought it was incredible how he used the same word in so many different ways back-to-back.

3. LL Cool J’s “Fast Peg” (1989)

LL Cool J: “Not knowin’ her man messed up the money/Ridin’ around, thinkin’ everything’s funny/Went in a disco, came outside/Somebody pushed her in a beat up ride/She had to pay for her man’s mistakes/They shot her in the head/That’s the breaks.”

Soren’s Comments: In my opinion, LL Cool J is the best rapper of all time. These lyrics and this song were striking to me because at the time, LL Cool J was catching heat for being braggadocios and materialistic during an era where rappers were making social commentary a focus of their lyrics. Of course, LL Cool J was also famous for making songs for and about women. This song is about the girlfriend of a drug dealer who enjoys material spoils and seemingly lives without a worry, but ultimately pays the price for her boyfriend’s mistakes. The song ends less than 1:40 after it starts, with the simple line, “That’s the breaks.” It’s such an abrupt ending and says—without saying—that this girl’s life is over and probably no one cares. There’s no epilogue, no commentary from her boyfriend or one of her friends. It’s simply over. Most rap songs were at least three minutes long at the time. LL Cool J did what his critics said he was unable or unwilling to do and to did it so dramatically and distinctively that it made me respect his artistry even more.

4. Ice Cube’s “Dead Homiez” (1990)

Ice Cube: “When there’s a tragedy, that’s the only time that the family’s tight/Lovin’ each other in a caring mood/There’s lots of people and lots of food/They say ‘Be Strong’ and you’re tryin’/How strong can you be when you see your pops cryin’?”

Soren’s Comments: In this song, Ice Cube talks about attending yet another funeral of one of his childhood friends. The Los Angeles-based rapper was in the group N.W.A that helped popularize gangster rap in the late 1980s and is now a movie star, but overlooking his influence as a social commentator would be neglecting his most powerful work. On this cut, Cube masterfully taps into the anguish that accompanies the aftermath of violent crime as well as the different ways people treat each other, depending on the circumstances.

5. OutKast featuring Slick Rick’s “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Pt. 1)” (1998)

Andre 3000: “We on our back starin’ at the stars above/Talkin’ ‘bout what we gonna be when we grow up/I said what you wanna be, she said, ‘Alive’/It made me think for a minute, then looked in her eyes, I coulda died…”

Soren’s comments: This is from one of my favorite rap albums of all time, OutKast’s Aquemini. In this song, Andre recounts a story about a fictitious (in name, at least) girl he was friends with growing up. The line about her wanting to be alive when she grows up is one of the most painful, powerful lyrics I’ve heard.

1. Best rap group: OutKast

“OutKast is the best rap group of all time. They are one of the few groups that really evolved sonically, thematically, stylistically, basically in every way you can imagine. I love the way they mix styles. They don’t worry about song structure. They do very creative, imaginative things. There’s lots of political commentary in their work. Everything about them is about being an outcast. They’re so different, and in my opinion, ahead of everyone else.”

2. Best rapper: LL Cool J

The best rapper of all time is LL Cool J. He was able to take something that was taboo—songs geared toward women and about women—and turn it to a trend. He caught a lot of flak for it. But his love songs are clever, imaginative, vivid. When you look at his catalog, he has songs about police brutality, bad decisions in the drug game, so many different types of songs. LL Cool J had been out 11 years before Jay-Z put out his first album. He evolved into a businessman, actor and entrepreneur. He was great in “Slow Burn” with Ray Liotta. He gets criticized because in 1987, “I Need Love” came out when the industry was about braggadocio. It was very popular, because women liked it, but the rap community was confused. But now Jay-Z, Kanye, 50-Cent, they’re all making those songs. The only notable exceptions are Ice-Cube and Scarface.

3. Personal favorite: Schoolly D

My favorite is a guy named Schoolly D from Philadelphia. He was the first gangsta rapper and the first to own his own label. He drew his own covers and made his own beats. The only thing he didn’t do was scratching. The guy was a one-man army. He’s not a household name, but a lot of rappers have all sampled him. He’s huge.

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School Boss

As a child, Julie Sellers developed a reputation for speaking out—about anything. At first, it was cute. By the time she was a teenager, it was annoying. As a young adult, it was risky.

“My mom always said, ‘Think before you open your mouth,’ ” she says. But her tendency to open her mouth didn’t go away. It got her into trouble sometimes, but it also got her noticed. And as she matured in her career as a teacher, it got her the votes to become president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers.

“I was asked to run for the position because I was actively involved in the union, and I knew what was going on in the district,” she says. “I’m outspoken and I follow up.”

With her two children grown, Sellers has the time to devote the 10-12 hours a day it takes to do the job. Elected to a second term, she’s starting her third year as president. Her days are long, meeting with Cincinnati Public Schools’ board members and administrators in the day and with community and union representatives at night.

Sellers earned her degree in elementary education in 1990 and has taught every elementary grade but first. She’s the first elementary school teacher to serve as president, representing more than 100 union staff and 2,400 teachers.

“A lot of my passion for this job is the social justice aspect of it—what’s right for the kids and what’s right for the teachers.”

Sellers put that passion to work last year negotiating a new contract that drew national attention because it ties teacher pay to student achievement as one of several measures of evaluation. The new system is the first in Ohio and is based on the district’s highly regarded teacher evaluation system.

“It is groundbreaking,” she says. “Teachers in other unions have said that’s the way to go and are looking at ours.”

As time-consuming as the job is, Sellers has no appetite for retirement yet. Being president suits her ability to reach collaboratively across several aisles—to the district’s administration, its board members and its community partners—and her tendency to be outspoken. Only now, she’s thinking first—and people are listening.

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Police Beat

The call came in to the Cincinnati Police Department’s homicide division. The 22nd murder of the year involved an elderly man who had not been heard from for days. Police found him tied up on the floor of his condominium. Dead. Strangled with his own neckties.

Detective Jennifer Mitsch arrived on the scene, followed closely by the film crew for A&E’s “The First 48,” a television series that chronicles the critical first two days after a death, detailing the investigation process as evidence is collected and criminals tracked down.

Mitsch’s case became “Episode 111: In Cold Blood/Red Handed.” And that’s pretty much how it went down, Mitsch says. She found out where the victim’s credit card was last used, and within hours police had the suspect in custody, caught driving the victim’s car with items stolen from his home.

“It was pretty easy,” she says. “It’s just real sad because he was just an old man.”

The film crew is gone now, and Mitsch has moved on as well, switching from homicide to cold cases—plowing through unsolved murders dating back to 1968. She’s also enrolled in Xavier’s CAPS program, getting set to complete her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in May.

Married with two children, she’s considering getting out of police work and moving into teaching. “I love my job,” she says. “Every day can be different, and there’s a lot of opportunity

in a city this size, but police work can’t go on forever. I’ll be 52 when I retire. Until then, we’re not guaranteed anything, and something could happen, especially in police work.”

Though she’s practically done it all—beat officer, violent crimes, personal crimes, homicide—police work still satisfies the social worker in her. It’s what she did before becoming a cop, and she still believes she can help some criminals change.

“A lot of this job is still helping people,” she says. “I try to explain to people charged with murder that if they step up and admit to what they did, it will make a difference. A lot of people think their lives are over, but I tell them they still have an opportunity to help others not go down the same path.”

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Picture This

Talk about your animal magnetism. David FitzSimmons always finds himself spellbound by the curious creatures of the world. Toads. Snakes. Centipedes. Snails. Crickets. Lizards. Beetles. Even the odd dragonfly.

Get an up-close look at some of FitzSimmons’ critters.

Fortunately for the rest of us, he managed to combine his intellectual curiosity with a photographic fascination to create Curious Critters, a book aimed at the toddler set but holds the attention of adults as well.

“My father was an earth science teacher, my mom was an elementary school teacher interested in nature,” says FitzSimmons. “So from a very early age, I was out collecting worms, amphibians, turtles, salamanders, you name it.”

FitzSimmons graduated with a degree in English in 1991 and followed his parents into the teaching field as an English professor at Ashland University. But his development of an innovative camera technique created his side profession and proved to be the inspiration that led to Curious Critters.

“As I delved into my photography career, I became interested in picturing natural subjects,” he says. “Most people think of wildlife photography as bears and such, but I think much smaller.”

Check out FitzSimmons’ blog in which he talks about his photo techniques and more.

Using a special lens and a technique called “light-tent” photography, he rounded up a series of creepy crawlies and shot their portraits inside what is, essentially, a box constructed of a frame and white sheets.

There is no background, no natural landscape, to distract from the expressions and detail captured on these creatures’ faces.

“My favorite was the pink katydid,” he says. “It’s a bush katydid, but with a rare bubble-gum pink coloring mark. It’s a recessive trait, so the numbers of pink katydids are very small. I figured I’d never see one again in my life, so I took two hours photographing her. She spent the entire time grooming herself, fastidiously.”

FitzSimmons is taking time off from his day job to launch the book. He hopes his art exhibit and lecture tour encourage parents

to purchase Curious Critters and pass on the text’s ecological message. “It’s important to teach children about nature. I have two

children, Sarah and Phoebe, and I believe getting children interested in nature is key to environmental conservation. If children learn to love nature, they will grow to respect and conserve it.”

See some of FitzSimmons’ other photography work.

 

•••

FitzSimmons speaks and signs his book at Xavier on Jan. 19, 2012, at a 5:00 p.m. reception (artist’s talk at 6:30). His corresponding photo exhibit runs at the Gallagher Student Center from Jan. 13 through Feb. 26.

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Profile: Scott R. Stiens

Scott R. Stiens

Bachelor of Science in business administration, 1988; Master of Business Administration, 1990; Master of Health Services Administration, 1992

Project Manager, U.S. Department of State

Washington, D.C.

One Thing Leads to Another | Stiens’ interests at Xavier were health and business, not government. But jobs at health care centers and a Boston summer camp for diabetic children led to his dual master’s degrees and a residency at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in England. “It brought me into international health care delivery, which is why I am where I am now.”

English Beginnings | In England, Stiens shopped at an Air Force base for cheap gas and PX specials. There he met former Secretary of the Navy and now Congressman James Webb who put him in touch with his wife at the Veterans Administration. She hired Stiens into his first government job as a health policy analyst.

First Lady | Stiens was the VA’s representative on the national health care reform team led by then-First Lady Hilary Clinton, who is now his boss at the State Department.

Getting To Know You | “I met with her more on a conversational basis when I worked on health care reform. If you’re on her good side, she’s wonderful, but if you’re perceived to be an enemy, look out. I consider it an honor to work for her.”

Aid Worker | Wanting to get back into international health care, Stiens was hired in 2001 by the State Department as an auditor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He was drawn by the work USAID did in international health care such as baby and maternal health, and HIV prevention.

World Traveler | The job involved traveling every three months to places like South Africa, Namibia and Botswana; Paraguay, El Salvador and Brazil; Belarus, Macedonia, Ukraine; and Thailand, Indonesia and China.

Family Man | Stiens’ favorite project was in South Africa. It provided health care and nutrition education for mothers and training centers to give them job skills. “I liked meeting the people. We’d go to folks’ houses and have a cookout. I learned that many people are similar across the world.”

Promotion | Since 2006, Stiens has been in charge of the system that distributes the funds to the projects he used to audit, overseeing funds going abroad for USAID, the State Department and AIDS relief. “This is the level where I go to Congress and ask for money,” Stiens says.

Home Boy | When he isn’t working, Stiens relaxes in his townhouse with his three dogs. He owns rental property and enjoys fishing the Potomac on a 1977 boat he restored. He misses traveling and thinks about the possibility of accepting a foreign service assignment somewhere. South Africa usually comes to mind.

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Profile: Peter Holtermann

Peter Hotlermann

Bachelor of Arts in communications, 1998

President, HolterMedia Inc.

Jacksonville, Fla.

Solid Service | Pete Holtermann started working in pro tennis in college after a blind call to the ATP tournament. “I’m a student at Xavier,” he said. “Can I volunteer in your press room?” The answer was yes. Holtermann volunteered with the tour for the next nine years. In 2004 he was assistant sports information director at Xavier when a position opened up on the ATP World Tour. This time he got the blind call.

Global Reach | As an ATP communications manager, Holtermann publicized events around the world. “I was going to anywhere from 18 to 20 tournaments a year,” he says, from Moscow to Tokyo. Holtermann’s job was to pitch stories to local media, monitor post-match press conferences, take care of sponsors and arrange events with the players.

Flying Solo | In 2008, he broke away to start his own company, HolterMedia, which promotes tennis, figure skating and golf events, all around the world.

Love All | Holtermann’s job entails getting high-strung stars to do things they don’t want to—give TV spots, teach clinics, stand for pictures—and if he’s not careful, it’s easy to seem like a nag. So he tries to see the players before he needs anything. “You make contact with them the first time you see them, so you’re not just hounding them,” he says. “It helps build a little more goodwill.”

Brothers in Arms | The tour creates camaraderie between the media folks and the players, who experience the same traveling frustrations. “You’ve flown 12 hours, missed a connection and lost your luggage,” Holtermann says. “They respect that. Because they go through it, too.”

Pete Sandwich | One day Olympic gold medalist Pam Shriver asked him, “Are you in my phone?” She scrolled down to check, finding him between Peter Angelos and Pete Sampras. “It’s pretty good to be sandwiched between the owner of the Baltimore Orioles and one of the greatest tennis players that ever lived,” he says. “I felt a little out of place.”

World Tour | With events taking place around the world, his frequent flier miles are, well, sky high. “Those accounts are doing all right,” he says. Which means he can hope for an upgrade on the grueling haul to Sydney.

Jettisoning Jet Lag | Wherever he goes, he has to hit the ground running, so there’s no time for jet lag. “Always try to not sleep during the day,” he says. “Stay up to 11:00 p.m. I don’t care how much it hurts, that’s going to be the key.”

International Education | For a kid from Milwaukee, seeing the world has been one of the best parts of his job. “I’d never have been exposed to people from Cyprus, India, Japan, Sweden and Serbia,” he says. “Tennis is a melting pot of a sport.” He might be on his way to Turkey soon—“I hear it’s nice this time of year,” he says.

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Profile: Emma Caroline Fernandez-Albert

Emma Caroline Fernandez-Albert

Bachelor of Science in elementary education, 1991

Special education consultant, Santo Domingo, D.R.

The Accident | When she was 12, she took her bicycle for a spin. Her tires caught in a rut, and she crashed into a light pole, fracturing 13 bones in her face. Unconscious and bleeding on the side of the road, she remembers dreaming she was with Jesus and wanting to stay with him, but he told her she must live because, “You have many things to do.”

Special Education | One of those things was to get right back on the bike once she was released from the hospital. The other was devoting her life to helping others, especially children—like her brother who could read but couldn’t write.

Early Childhood | One of nine children, her parents wanted them to meet people from other cultures, so they were sent to the private Carol Morgan School. “I had friends from China and Japan, and had many opportunities to share with the very rich and regular people like us. Father had to work to pay for all nine of us to go there.”

Pulling Strings | After high school, she studied at a local university. When she decided to apply to Xavier, she was told she missed the deadline. Her father called his friend, the archbishop, who called the Cincinnati archbishop who called the president of Xavier who called the admissions office and said, “Give this girl a chance.”

Clowning Around | She joined the swim team because she wanted the discipline of 5:00 a.m. practices. She also joined the Clown Club, performing at basketball games, hospice centers and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Going Home | After graduating, she worked for the Milwaukee public schools as a bilingual special education teacher. Then she won a fellowship at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., where she earned a master’s in bilingual special education. She returned home in 1992 and put her knowledge to work.

Changing the Game | “In the D.R. then, the only special education was for kids who were deaf, blind or had mental retardation. One thing I have changed is to observe children in the classroom and then meet with teachers to determine the needs of each child.”

Word of Mouth | Her reputation spread. Families brought their children to her—so many that she started a school, The World of Learning, which became a resource center offering special education testing, training and instruction. Now a consultant, she creates individual education plans for children and works with them as part of their school day.

Authority Figure | Fernandez-Albert is now an authority for special education in the Dominican. “I am one of the top three in the country. I’m seeing the difference as schools are starting to talk about integration and inclusion. You can’t do it without educating the teachers, and they are starting to do that.”

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Xavier Magazine

Our Favorite Martian

When Howard Hendrix was taking his first biology classes in Albers Hall many eons ago, he found himself firmly grounded in the botanical basics. It was customary and orthodox, planted deep into examinations of down-to-Earth dirt and mundane single-cell lifeforms. How dull.

Forunately for two generations of science-fiction buffs, Hendrix has lavishly built on these early roots, evolving into an accomplished scrivener of the weird and fantastic. Think Charles Darwin meets Rod Serling. Since graduating in 1979 with a degree in biology, he’s penned a bookshelf of sci-fi thrillers such as Spears of God, The Labyrinth Key, Möbius Highway, Better Angels, Perception of Depth and Lightpaths. He also just released a new collection of essays, Visions of Mars—The Red Planet in Fiction and Science, and is working on an Encyclopedia of Mars due out in 2013.

Hendrix was just 9 years old when he first stumbled upon a copy of Ray Bradbury’s R is for Rocket. “Even at 9, I was picking up on themes and ideas in his work,” he says. “There was a real conscious lyricism of his prose. His writing is poetic and very vivid.”

Combined with his new degree, he began scribbling out tales of science fiction and fantasy in his spare time, landing short stories in such scholarly scientific journals as Tales of the Unanticipated (“The Notorious Sitting Judge of Bullfrog County”), Amazing Stories (“Chameleon on a Mirror”), Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (“Incandescent Bliss”) and Analog Science Fiction Science Fact (“Palimpsest”).

It’s skyrocketed since then, and he’s now able to combine his writing with his job teaching literature at California State University Fresno.

But Hendrix is also something of an oddball in the sci-fi universe, a strange duck among a conflux of Klingons and space ‘droids. For one, he’s incessantly old-school.

“I persist in insisting that people have a right to push back against technology they perceive to be destructive to their ways of life and their beliefs.”

As a two-term vice president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Association, he took heat for complaining in a much-discussed rant that too many of his colleagues were becoming “pixel-stained technopeasant wretches.” A pithy phrase, indeed—“I actually got a death threat on that one.”

See Hendrix’s author page on Amazon.com

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Xavier Magazine

Profile: John Logsdon

John Logsdon

Bachelor of Science in physics, 1960

Professor Emeritus, political science and international affairs, George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

First Job | After graduating from Xavier, Logsdon took a job in Los Angeles as a technical writer on military programs for Hughes Aircraft. “I found it very unsatisfying,” he says. “Having writing skills for a military program was a very marketable skill, but it was boring.”

The Big Apple | Logsdon moved to New York City in 1962 for a technical writing job, and began taking political science courses at New York University. “There at NYU, almost by osmosis, I started focusing my work on the politics and history of the space program.”

Bookmark | Before Logsdon could defend his dissertation, it was turned into a book, The Decision to Go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest.

The Doyen | Logsdon considers himself a career academic whose specialty is government policy making, but he likes the label assigned him by the Economist: “The doyen of American space studies.” “To me, that’s a pretty good description of my career. I helped create an area of space study and I’m recognized as one of its leading practitioners.”

Credentials | Logsdon taught full time at George Washington University for 38 years, after serving four years as a professor at Catholic University of America. Among his credentials are founder and long-time director of GW’s Space Policy Institute and member of the NASA Advisory Council. In 2003, he served as a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

NASA Niche | “The Washington location has allowed me to have continuing contact with leadership of the space community. I’ve worked with every head of NASA since the 1960s. Since the Challenger accident in 1986, I’ve had a media talking-head career.”

Bookmark 2 | Logsdon’s 2010 book, John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon, outlines his belief that Kennedy wanted to cooperate with the Soviet Union, not compete.

Setting it Straight | Logsdon’s new book is an attempt to tell another side of the story he says he missed 40 years earlier. “My 1970 book only went through the decision Kennedy announced in the speech to send American astronauts to the moon. The compelling evidence that Kennedy, in fact, wanted to cooperate with the Soviet Union, rather than compete, was lost after the assassination. Kennedy is so closely associated with the race to the moon, the idea of cooperation doesn’t fit the story. It’s not part of the master narrative.”

Lost in Space | The last U.S. space shuttle blasted off last summer, a move that Logsdon agrees with, in part, but bemoans as well. “It’s overdue. The sad thing is the country’s leadership hasn’t had the political will to replace the program.”

Read Lodgson’s article on the Space Shuttle program in Scientific America

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