Sept. 28, 2006


  1. Benjamin Yeager goes to Oxford
  2. University keeps winning streak alive with seventh Murray Scholar
  3. Leadership is the focus of Francis Week
  4. University schedules Hickey Dining Hall open house
  5. University and Kinley Corp. announce new townhouse development
  6. School of Business to host first alumni reunion
  7. Student film to preview at University this weekend
  8. Mark Hellinger Award Ceremony to honor alums
  9. Career Center News
  10. Friday Forum


Benjamin Yeager goes to Oxford

"I recently returned from six fabulous weeks of study at the University of Oxford in England with 37 other St. Bonaventure students, courtesy of the Francis E. Kelley Oxford Program. The program has been a part of St. Bonaventure for a long time — next year marks the program’s 20th Anniversary — and has become a popular study abroad option, which I found out in the weeks leading up to my departure for Oxford. It seemed that every time I told an upperclassman I was going to Oxford, they would tell me that they had been there before and absolutely loved the trip. I was told I was going to have the time of my life.

Admittedly, I had my doubts about the trip. My first doubt was the business of flying to London. Due to a fear of flying, I had not flown on an airplane since I was three years old. It would be quite a challenge to actually get in one to fly across the Atlantic. A couple of friends from previous classes and other people I knew were going, so I knew I would not be completely lonely. There was a feeling I would make good friends on the trip, but then, one never completely knows. It could probably be written off as just a typical case of pre-trip jitters.

The jitters, however, did go away and flying with friends certainly helped. When we landed in London, we took a bus to Oxford, and then a taxi to Somerville College.

Perhaps I should digress for a moment to explain the Oxford collegiate system. The University of Oxford is not made of one large campus but 39 different colleges that are spread out all over the city, some of which date back to the 13th Century. They are independent of each other yet function within the larger University. All students must belong to a college to receive a University degree. All faculty must belong to a college as well, although they are not employed by a college but rather by the University, and almost all teaching is done at the collegiate level. This system has served as the inspiration for various residence systems at universities such as Cambridge, Harvard and Yale. The college that our group stayed at is Somerville, which was founded in 1879 as a college for women, although men have been admitted since 1994. Famous alumni of Somerville include Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi. Somerville has about 480 students, while the entire University has about 20,000 students.

Many of the colleges give tours. For example, we went on tours of New College, which is the first Oxonian college to be opened in a purpose-built building in 1379, and of Christ Church College, which is where a great deal of the Harry Potter movies have been filmed. Most of the colleges are in buildings that are several hundred years old. Words cannot describe how majestic they look compared to more modern architecture.

Stepping through the gate at Somerville, I looked at the front quad and could not believe what I was seeing. It was hard to believe that this place, the world’s center of learning, a place where countless presidents, prime ministers and authors had studied, would welcome a bunch of kids from St. Bonaventure University. For the most part, they did, especially some of the younger members of the catering staff at Somerville. By the end of the trip, they were joining in our activities, including basketball, soccer and sampling the Oxonian nightlife.

Oxford, as a city, is absolutely wonderful. About 100,000 people live there, and the city strikes a surprising balance in accommodating both college students and regular residents. Most of the buildings date back to the Middle Ages, yet retain surprising degrees of modernity. The shopping is excellent, although not on par with London as one would expect. Downtown, which is about a 10-minute walk from Somerville, is always packed with people. Many of the restaurants and pubs are within five minutes walking distance of Somerville. The most famous is probably the Eagle and Child pub, which is where J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and their associates used to debate vital matters of the day over a few pints. The food there is quite good and surprisingly inexpensive.

Activities, especially in the first week, were designed to encourage creating friendships and for the most part worked well. That will be discussed later.

The first day consisted of classes, including core courses offered at St. Bonaventure. The next day, the group visited London. The city has many great sites, starting with the British Museum. The museum contains many ancient artifacts, from the Rosetta Stone to Cleopatra’s mummy to ancient carvings from the Parthenon, all housed within a beautiful modern building.

Next, a group of us met Jeff Stinson, London correspondent for USA Today. He proved to be very knowledgeable about his subject, and I enjoyed the visit despite being an accounting major. Later, a smaller group of us visited the department store Harrods, which is located in the Knightsbridge district of London. Owned by Mohammed al-Fayed, Harrods is extremely upscale. Queen Elizabeth buys her groceries from the store’s food hall. Walking into the first of six floors, I felt as if I could not even afford to look at the merchandise, much less buy it. There was nothing that I saw in the store on sale for less than £100, or roughly $200.

After Harrods, we took a taxi, which was a death-defying experience, to the Victoria Palace Theater, where the entire group saw a West End musical called “Billy Elliot.” The musical was a brilliant tale of a young boy in a tough mining town who wants to become a ballet dancer. Previously a movie, the lyrics to the songs were written by Elton John, and the musical provided laughs and tears all around. Everybody was quoting lines from the musical for the rest of the trip.

Our next trip was to Stonehenge, where we managed to get up close and personal with the ancient rocks. This is a privilege that is reserved only for the royal family and members of “Earth-based” religions — druids, pagans, etc., — on the two solstices and two equinoxes.

The Scottish tutor of the British and American Media and Culture course, Alan Mackenzie, regaled us with some Scottish folk songs. He is absolutely hilarious and a very good singer.

After a short briefing by a very staid Stonehenge guard, it was time to see the rocks. It is hard to believe that people built such a monument over five millennia ago without the modern technology of today. Such a feat is greatly magnified when you see the rocks up close.

We also spent a long weekend in Ambleside, a small village of about 2,500 residents in the Lake District of northern England. The beautiful Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, is located here. We spent the first two days hiking up the beautiful hills. Other activities included horseback riding and rowing, although I preferred to shop in downtown Ambleside. A small group of about 15 went up the hills one last time our last night in Ambleside to see the beautiful sunset.

Seeing such beauty in a cozy, small atmosphere really puts things in perspective. For me, it was almost like visiting paradise. The atmosphere really brought me closer to the group and made me realize that I did not want to leave any of these people. I think we were all a little sad to leave Ambleside.

The group also had the opportunity to travel anywhere in Europe for a long weekend. While most of the group visited Ireland, I visited an aunt and uncle in Germany. I had only seen them before in the States, so I considered this an opportunity to get to know where they lived. It turned out to be much more than that as I got to know much more about them and our family than I ever could during their short visits to America. On top of that, we visited castles, a fish market in Stuttgart and even France for a day. We were all sad when I left Germany, but I knew that I would be returning to my friends in Oxford.

Allow me to tell you a little bit about this group. I have never met more open-minded people in my life. It was absolutely amazing to see 38 people become friends so quickly, which was quite remarkable considering how long we stayed in England. We have had a couple of reunions since then, and we all stay in close contact with one another. I honestly believe that I made 37 of my best friends when I was in England. They are friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

That, perhaps, is what the Oxford program is all about. It is meant to be St. Bonaventure in microcosm. The program is meant to broaden our horizons and open our mind to the wider world through classes and building new friends. In my opinion, the program has succeeded in that respect. Not only have I seen three completely different countries, but I have also learned new ideas and made some of my best friends. I can only say that this is the greatest experience I have ever had."

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University keeps winning streak alive with seventh Murray Scholar

Senior Tim Bontemps of Randolph, N.Y., has been named the seventh consecutive St. Bonaventure student to win a Jim Murray Memorial Foundation Scholarship. Bontemps, along with six other recipients nationwide, will receive a $5000 scholarship in memory of the late Pulitzer-Prize winner, Jim Murray.

The scholarships will be presented at an awards dinner Nov. 12 at the La Quinta, CA, Resort & Club.

A panel of sports journalists chose the winners based on essays written on a sports-related topic. Bontemps competed with journalism students from 23 other journalism programs, including, among others, large universities such as Northwestern, Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Syracuse and Missouri.

Since the foundation was founded seven years ago, St. Bonaventure students have won a scholarship each year. No other program has produced a scholarship winner more than three times.

The panel of journalists who determined the 2006 winners included Jim Alexander, Riverside Press-Enterprise; Pat Forde, ESPN.com; John Markon, Richmond Times-Dispatch; Joe Posnanski, Kansas City Star; Dave Shelburne, LA Daily News; Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated; and Cindy Luis, Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Bontemps, a journalism and mass communication major, is a graduate of Randolph Central School. Last summer, he interned with the sports department of The Buffalo News and currently interns with the sports department of The Olean Times Herald. On-campus, he works as associate editor of the student newspaper, The Bona Venture.

“It is a big honor,” Bontemps said, “I was worried about breaking the streak because the school has won every year for the past six years, but it was a big honor to win. It was nice to win and honor the journalism school, and to win something associated with Jim’s name.”

Other scholarship recipients this year include students from Trinity College-Hartford, University of Florida-Gainesville, Wake Forest University, Ball State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Columbia University.

The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a California Nonprofit Corporation, established on May 17, 1999. The foundation strives to give opportunities to talented journalism students nationwide in memory Jim Murray. Murray passed away Aug. 16, 1998, following a lifetime of achievement. Some of his awards include being inducted in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame; Pulitzer Prize for commentary; Best Sportswriter Award from the Washington, D.C., Journalism Review and “America’s Best Sportswriter” by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters 14 times.

Any questions or comments should be directed to Bryan S. Smith, director of Media Relations, at (716) 375-2376 or bsmith@sbu.edu.

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Leadership is the focus of Francis Week

Leadership is the focus of this year’s Francis Week events at St. Bonaventure University.

Dr. Sharon Daloz Parks, director of Leadership for the New Commons, will give the keynote public lecture, “Leadership Can Be Taught,” at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, at the Rigas Theater in The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. A post-lecture reception will be held at 5:15 p.m. in the Dresser-Rand Atrium of the Quick Center.

Parks had served for more than 16 years in faculty and research positions in leadership and ethics at Harvard University in the Schools of Divinity, Business, and the Kennedy School of Government. She now teaches in the Executive Leadership and Pastoral Leadership programs at Seattle University and serves nationally as a lecturer and consultant for a broad range of professional groups, especially in higher education and religion.

Parks will also speak about leadership and vocation to student leaders and senior-level forums during her stay at St. Bonaventure. She has a particular concern for the formation of citizenship, leadership and ethics in the context of today’s changing organizations and cultures.

Francis Week begins Sunday, Oct. 1, with a Family Weekend Eucharist at 10:30 a.m. in the University Chapel and concludes Wednesday, Oct. 4, with the Blessing of the Animals at 4 p.m. in front of the University Chapel and the Feast of St. Francis Eucharist at 5 p.m.

The Blessing of the Animals is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis’s love for all creatures. Francis wrote A Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. During the Blessing of the Animals, pets are sprinkled with holy water while a prayer thanking God for all of His creatures is recited.

This custom first began at St. Bonaventure in 2003. This year, many unique animals will be blessed at the ceremony, including alpacas. All are welcome to have their pets or pictures of their pets blessed. Turn in the pictures to Peter Ghiloni in the Thomas Merton Center on campus by Monday, Oct. 2.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Student Government Association will sponsor Canticle of the Campus, a University beautification and cleanup project.

The traditional Transitus will be held at 9 p.m. Oct. 3 in the University Chapel. A celebration of the life and passing of St. Francis, the Transitus incorporates music and narration in retelling the story and legacy of St. Francis. A dessert reception follows in the Robert R. Jones Trustees Room of Doyle Hall. The event is open to the public.

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University schedules Hickey Dining Hall open house

On Friday, Oct. 6 from 4 - 6 p.m., St. Bonaventure University will host a “community” open house inside the newly renovated Hickey Dining Hall.

The free event will showcase the dining hall, originally built in 1930, which underwent a $4 million renovation this summer. The building renovation restores and highlights one of SBU’s historic and signature buildings by preserving and highlighting its architecture while adapting it to the dining needs of today’s college student. The building exterior remains the same while the interior is completely re-done.

The renovation includes exposing the original hemlock wood beam ceiling and ironwork, totally new wall and floor coverings, lighting, furniture and infrastructure, including electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems as well as a totally new food preparation and serving area that is second to none in the nation.

The University contracted with ARAMARK Higher Educational Services for operation and management of campus dining services. ARAMARK Services, under the supervision of Anthony Criscone, director, employs over 150 full- and part-time staff members in the Hickey Dining Hall and other campus locations.

St. Bonaventure and ARAMARK welcome you to this reception. Light refreshments will be served. Free parking is available adjoining the dining hall, off East Union Street.


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University and Kinley Corp. announce new townhouse development

St. Bonaventure University and Kinley Corporation announced today that they have reached agreement for development of townhouses near the University.

Under the agreement, the University will sell just less than three acres of land at Cranberry Road and Constitution Avenue to Kinley Corporation. Kinley has agreed to construct townhouses on the property, according to Jason Crisafulli, chief administrative officer for Kinley. Crisafulli stated that developing upscale townhouse communities in the area has been a long-time vision of his brother, John A. Crisafulli, chief operating officer for Kinley. “For years we have been following the growing interest and need in our area for affordable, luxurious, low maintenance homes in a convenient location,” he said. “We are excited to begin what we know will be a great, long-term relationship with St. Bonaventure University in helping to make these visions come true.”

Each unit will be one-story high and approximately 1,200 square feet. The attractive floor plan will include a kitchen with separate dining area, living room, laundry room, mudroom, master suite with sitting area and private bath as well as an additional bedroom and bathroom. Additionally, each unit will have a private one-car garage, patio and porch and will feature upgraded carpet and ceramic tile floors, granite and marble counter tops, solid wood cabinets and fixtures such as a gas burning fireplace in the living room and ceiling fans in the bedrooms. The exterior of the units will be vinyl sided with cultured stone accents. All units include kitchen appliances, central air conditioning and forced air heat.

Construction of the units is expected to begin in the near future. Brenda Snow, vice president for business and finance at St. Bonaventure University, commented that the University is “very pleased to reach this agreement with Kinley Corporation to establish this new and attractive residential community near the University” and expressed a high degree of confidence in Kinley’s approach. “We are excited to realize the University’s vision of having a new townhouse development near the campus,” said Snow. “We believe this development will be beneficial to the surrounding community as well as to the University.”

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School of Business to host first alumni reunion

The Master of Science in Professional Leadership program (MPL), created through the School of Business, is hosting its first alumni reunion since the graduate program’s inception in 1998.

The reunion will be held at Hilbert College, the site where the program is delivered, on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 3 to 5 p.m.

“The main goal of the reunion is a kickoff to the alumni network that has been created,” said Dr. Kimberly S. Young, director of the leadership program and creator of the alumni reunion.

Graduates attending include current and former CEO’s of companies, a vice president of HSBC, the president of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the chief financial officer of The Rehabilitation Center and a Major in the U.S. Army.

“The spirit of St. Bonaventure is building community,” said Young. “The reunion will hopefully foster fellowship for our alumni and the MPL Alumni Network will hopefully create a continued sense of community for students long after they graduate from the program,” said Young.

The MPL program is a 16-month program designed to create effective leaders and is accredited by the Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, focusing on skill development to prepare students for leadership positions in corporations, government, healthcare, nonprofit or community organizations.

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Student film to preview at University this weekend

Matthew Detisch, a journalism and mass communication student in his junior year at St. Bonaventure, will host the preview of his new movie, “The Wolf at the Door,” on Sunday, Oct. 1, in the Murphy auditorium at 8 p.m.

Shot on location in Detisch’s hometown of Erie, Pa., the 91-minute narrative feature film, written, produced and directed by Detisch, centers around a murder that is everything but what it seems.

“The Wolf at the Door” is a violent, emotional and devastatingly real journey into one man’s darkest hour.“I wanted to make a movie that doesn’t fit easily into any one genre,” Detisch said. “It’s a cop movie, a family drama and a violent thriller rolled into one.”

Detisch’s film is also an official selection of the 2006 Great Lakes Film Festival and stars Shannon Solo, Jason Merriott, Mike Tesore, Tracey Lecker and Clinton Young. Music is by Greg Johnson with additional music by Tony Logworth. “The Wolf at the Door” is produced by Scott McGrath.

“My goal was to make a movie that on the surface is a relatively straight forward police procedural,” Detisch said, “but as certain things occur in the story, the film turns on a dime into a very serious, very emotional story about a family torn apart by death and divorce.”

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Career Center News ...

For more information on On-campus Recruiting, On-Campus Recruiting Orientations, upcoming workshops and more visit: Career Center Events Web page.

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Mark Hellinger Award Ceremony to honor SBU alums

St. Bonaventure University will honor two top 2006 journalism graduates, and a longtime journalism alumnus at the 2006 Mark Hellinger Award ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 6, in the Statler Towers in downtown, Buffalo, with lunch at noon.

The Mark Hellinger Award, established in 1960, honors Broadway playwright and Hollywood producer Mark Hellinger by honoring a graduating senior journalism and mass communication student who demonstrates academic excellence and genuine promise in the arena of journalism or mass communication.

Among those to be honored are:
• Rachel George, 2006 St. Bonaventure graduate, Hellinger winner
• Heidi Ofinowicz, 2006 St. Bonaventure graduate, Hellinger honorable mention
• Michael Ryan, general manager of The Arizona Republic, and 1977 St. Bonaventure graduate, journalism alumnus of the year
• Joe Enoch, 2006 St. Bonaventure graduate, inaugural Buffalo News Award for investigative and/or enterprise reporting

Speaking at the ceremony will be Sal DeVivo, ’56, recipient of the second Hellinger Award.

The Mark Hellinger Award
Rachel George, ’06, is a sportswriter and copy editor for the Wilmington, N.C., Star-news. While attending St. Bonaventure, George served as a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society, yet found time to make Dean’s List with distinction throughout her college career. She was also a two-time recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists scholarship.

George’s experience comes from numerous internships she held while a student at St. Bonaventure, which include working as a sports intern at The Olean Times Herald; stringer reporter for The Arcade Herald; sports intern at The Buffalo News; and stringer reporter for The Associated Press.

On campus, George worked as the assistant sports director for the campus radio station, WSBU-FM, and sports editor for the student newspaper, The Bona Venture.

Heidi Ofinowicz, ’06, of Franklinville, N.Y., is a graduate assistant at St. Bonaventure University’s Office of Communication and is also employed at Mellon Technology in Olean, N.Y., while pursuing her master’s degree in the University’s Integrated Marketing Communications program. She graduated summa cum laude from St. Bonaventure with a degree in journalism and mass communication.

Throughout her career at St. Bonaventure, Ofinowicz was a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society. She was in the top 10 J/MC majors, and named to the Dean’s List each semester of her college career.

Ofinowicz’s experience includes working as a public relations intern at the Public Affairs Office in Fort Knox, Ky., during the summer of 2005; as a reporter for The Mercury Gazette in Franklinville, N.Y.; and as copy editor for the student newspaper, The Bona Venture.

In the summer of 2002, Ofinowicz studied at Oxford University, where she was recognized for being the only student to receive a 4.0 in all classes taken.

Alumnus of the Year
Michael Ryan, ’77, is general manager of The Arizona Republic, overseeing its Scottsdale and Phoenix community newspaper operation. He joined The Republic in 2002 to develop the business plan and launch the six-day-per-week Scottsdale Republic. Recently he took over responsibility for revamping the Phoenix community newspapers. The Republic is Gannett’s second largest newspaper after USA Today. Ryan also hosts a weekly public affairs television program on Scottsdale television.

The Scottsdale Republic received the Sterling Award in the Big Business Category in 2004 for its innovation and community leadership.

Prior to his work at The Republic, Ryan was managing editor at the Pensacola News Journal in Pensacola, Fla., where the newspaper won more than 70 national and state awards, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in public service. Before that, Ryan worked in Rochester, N.Y., as sports and news editor, and assistant managing editor at The Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle. He also wrote a nationally syndicated sports television column for Gannett News Service and occasionally for USA Today.

Ryan graduated from St. Bonaventure with a journalism degree and received his MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1992. He established a scholarship at St. Bonaventure for talented mass communication students who were in need of financial assistance.

The Alumnus of the Year award was established in 1981 to recognize a journalism and mass communication graduate who has exemplified the highest professional standards and who has shared them unselfishly with the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication and St. Bonaventure University in their educational mission.

Buffalo News Award
Joe Enoch of Ft. Wayne, Ind., works as an investigative reporter in Washington, D.C., for ConsumerAffairs.com, where he has distinguished himself by uncovering information that led to recall of faulty computer batteries. While at St. Bonaventure, he was editor of the student-run newspaper and was the recipient of the Jandoli Award for excellence in the print curriculum.

Guest Speaker
Sal DeVivo started his career in journalism in his hometown of Saratoga, N.Y., working as a reporter for The Saratogian in 1956. Two years later, DeVivo attended St. Bonaventure and graduated with a degree in journalism.

DeVivo then joined the Niagara Falls Gazette as a reporter, rising to Sunday editor, and then to city editor three years later. In 1968, he was named managing editor of The Saratogian and editor and publisher in 1974. In 1975, he went on to become editor of The Courier-Post and the next year was named publisher of the Cherry Hill, N.J., newspaper. In 1979 he moved to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin as executive editor and associate publisher, and transferred to The Observer-Dispatch and Daily Press in Utica, N.Y., a year later as publisher.

In 1985, DeVivo moved to Wilmington, Del., where he served as publisher of The News Journal papers for 10 years, and then moved to Vineland, N.J., as publisher of The Daily Journal in 1995. After an illustrious career, DeVivo retired in 1996.

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Friday Forum

All SBU faculty, staff and administrators are welcome to all the Friday Forums.

Date: Sept. 29, 2006 (this Friday)
Speaker: Br. Edward Coughlin
Time: Lunch starts at noon, Forum goes from 12:35 to 1:30 p.m., including Q&A
Place: University Club - Above Hickey
Title: "St. Francis' encounter with the Sultans; Lessons for 21st Century Educators"

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