The University’s service-learning emphasis had an impact on Patrick Nugent and his wife, Mary Kay Rehard. In fact, you might even say was stamped on their hearts. And now, more than a decade after their graduation, they’re passing that stamp along-with more than 40,000 other stamps as well. As part of a homeschooling project, the couple has their daughters, 9-year-old Emma and 5-year-old Eliza, collecting postage stamps for the Quaker Mission Project, which sells the stamps to collectors and donates the money to charities. Last year, more than 30 charities benefited from the money the stamps generated. “I’m glad that collecting stamps for a social justice project enables our girls to begin a life of service at an early age,” says Nugent, director of the Institute for Quaker Studies at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. Rehard’s found another use for the stamps: homeschool homework. “They’re a hands-on primer in geography, economics, culture, art, botany and zoology,” she says.
On the Record
Three Xavier graduates recently released CDs: Robert Agis recorded the 14-song classical CD, Amaranth, which he’s been composing since high school. Agis, who was born in Torejjon, Spain, graduated in May and plans on continuing his career in the music industry. Elaine Diehl, a 1981 Edgecliff graduate, released her second CD, Through My Eyes, with the Bromwell-Diehl Band. Diehl is also a member of another local band, Elaine & the Biscaynes. John Whitaker, Class of 2000, released the CD So Foul and Fair a Day earlier this year. Whitaker describes his music as non-whiney, non-confessional folk songs. It also features 1998 graduate Matt Hendricks on guitar.
Freshman physics majors get their first taste of physics-literally-each fall during a welcome back cookout in the Hauck Courtyard. There they mix together a scientific formula of milk, sugar, vanilla extract and liquid nitrogen and create: ice cream. They then serve it to any science major or faculty member willing to try their concoction. The real reason for the cooking lesson, though, is social-so students and faculty can better know one another, says lab technician Dennis Tierney. -Lisa J. Mauch
While a student, Chris Kelly worked at Ascus Micro, a local computer retail company. He left the company, though, to climb the corporate ladder. And by all definitions, he was climbing upward. Except his own definition, that is. “To me, it’s important that I’m in control of my own destiny,” he says, “to see the fruits of my accomplishments on any given day. In a larger company, that’s harder to see.” So he started looking for a smaller work environment. Ironically, his search took him full circle. In April, he purchased Ascus Micro from the owners, Duane and Marlene Forste, who gave him his first job. Here, he says, he can deal directly with clients and see the benefits of his efforts. “I never had as much fun working for larger companies as I do here,” he says.
A Post-It note was taped to Keith Klenowski’s bathroom door all summer: “Toalety” it said. That’s Polish for restroom, and one of the words he was trying to learn. He needed it. This fall, the May psychology graduate left for Poland to teach English-despite not knowing any Polish except his last name. He’ll teach for 10 months in Lomca, a village about two hours northeast of Warsaw. His students are Polish college students studying to become teachers, and-thankfully-entered his class knowing some English. Klenowski postponed getting a job for the opportunity, which was sparked by stories from his grandparents, who immigrated from Poland. After his assignment, he hopes to travel to Moscow or the Czech Republic. But for now, he’s concentrating on remembering all the Polish words he learned from his grandparents, assorted books and tapes-and the bathroom door.
Just the Facts
Last year, the office of student development conducted its annual survey of students regarding alcohol, tobacco and drug consumption. The results showed that students here ranked dramatically below other schools on tobacco and drug consumption, but generally ranked higher when it came to alcohol consumption. The survey is part of a larger national survey among universities collected, in part, to give parents and faculty an avenue for talking about the damaging effects drugs, alcohol and tobacco can have. And the effort seems to be working, says Debra Mooney, psychologist in the health and counseling center. After previous survey results were mailed to parents, last year’s freshman class showed a significant decline in alcohol-related problems. It’s a good sign, she says. How Xavier students compared to other schools nationally: Because of alcohol consumption, students: Suffered impaired test performance XU 22%, National 21%; Drove while under the influence XU 31%, National 33%; Got into an argument XU 32%, National 29%; Suffered memory loss XU 38%, National 28%; Missed a class XU 30%, National 30%.
While Xavier and the University of Cincinnati are more frequently embattled rivals, the institutions are working together to honor Leo J. Breslin, the former managing partner of law firm Lindhorst & Dreidame and a graduate of both schools. After his death in 2000 at age 71, colleagues, family and friends established a scholarship in his name to be given to a Xavier graduate planning to attend the UC College of Law. Blake Somers, a May graduate, is the first scholarship recipient. “The more I know about Mr. Breslin,” says Somers, “the more I sincerely hope to emulate him and pass his legacy on. He encapsulates the Jesuit ideals of giving back to the community. I only hope I can do the same.”
While the race riots that ignited in Cincinnati this spring have subsided, the concerns about diversity and racial equality they sparked within the University have not. Following the April unrest (See Racial Strife: Yester-day. Today. Tomorrow? in the Summer 2001 issue), the University has:
* Received recommendations from a campus committee assembled in April to design a plan to further address the issue of race on campus.
* Hosted weekly meetings of the Cincinnati Community Action Now police and justice system team, which is chaired by University President Michael J. Graham, S.J. It’s addressing police-community relations, police department structural reform and racial disparities in the justice system.
* Witnessed Graham give the keynote address at the Cincinnati Police Academy’s 90th commencement (above). “Let compassion be your constant companion,” he told the graduates.
* Hosted a citywide town hall meeting on race relations. The meeting was broadcast locally and moderated by University trustee Damon Jones.
* Discussed the subject of black/white community building during the presidential inauguration activities. The session was one of three interdisciplinary discussions conducted by members of the University faculty.Xavier’s efforts aren’t finished. How the University functions as a citizen within the community is one of Graham’s primary focuses as president. His upcoming plans include hosting another campuswide listening session this fall to give students, faculty and administration a chance to voice their opinion on the subject of race and provide input into how the University should deal with the issue.