Dec. 14, 2006


  1. Students lead and learn outside of the classroom
  2. New AD cites passion, loyalty of Bonnies fans in introductory press conference
  3. Smoking policy changes announced
  4. Bidell named head of annual fund
  5. History grads make the Bonaventure grade
  6. Newsmakers ...


Students lead and learn outside of the classroom

Students in the Latina Feminisms class at St. Bonaventure University ventured outside of the classroom in November, taking on the roles of both mentors and students.

Joined by a few modern languages students, the Latina Feminisms class traveled to New York City Nov. 8 to learn the inner workings of the minority publication “Latina Magazine.”

The six students were invited to the headquarters of the magazine and spent the afternoon in the board room asking questions to the editorial board about such things as the magazine’s mission and audience.

They were accompanied by Dr. Zennia Hancock, assistant professor of Modern Language and professor of the Latina Feminisms course, and Breea Willingham, visiting professor of journalism and mass communication.

“We chose to visit the magazine because it appealed toward what we were doing in the Latina Feminisms class. It is geared toward women … ,” said Hancock. “They really think through what they say. It deals with Latina culture and it’s not necessarily about assimilation. It’s also keeping the culture alive.”

The students also shared lunch with the magazine’s editors, which Hancock said was the highlight of their overnight trip.

“It was experiential learning. I think they got a lot out of it,” Hancock said. “We also had a couple of journalism students with us and they were able to establish contacts there for summer internships.”

The Latina Feminisms class examines the female constituent of the Latino minority, which is now the nation’s largest minority group. The primary objective is to encourage critical thinking about race, class, and gender, and to convey a foundational knowledge about a wide selection of Latin American and U.S. Latino/a cultures and the complex and ever-emergent roles played by Latina feminists in mainstream culture and academia.

The trip to “Latina Magazine” came shortly after the first phase of an outreach program geared toward high school girls of Latina descent. St. Bonaventure students abandoned their student roles and acted as mentors to more than 20 girls from Dunkirk High School, teaching them a little about college life and female leadership.

The first phase of the program was a visit to the high school Nov. 3, involving three of the four students of Hancock’s Latina Feminisms class. The students spoke to a group of more than 20 girls, played games and ice-breakers, and allowed the girls to talk a little about themselves.

The St. Bonaventure students also shared their class experience, gave motivational talks and allowed the Dunkirk girls to write their own life experience stories. The testimonials were later typed and hung in the Damietta Center.

“It was such a great idea to visit these Latina girls,” said student Emily Soule, a senior Modern Languages major. “They were all very sweet and bright. These girls definitely need encouragement and positive feedback from others to let them know of all the opportunities that are out there for them. I know that they have opened my eyes to a different culture and way of life and I’m hoping that I was able to be an influence on their lives.”

A reciprocal visit, the second phase of the outreach program, was held on Nov. 28, when 27 Dunkirk girls came to St. Bonaventure for the day. The visit was a joint effort between the Department of Modern Languages and the Damietta Center, St. Bonaventure’s multicultural center.

“It’s an outreach activity,” said Hancock. “The idea of them coming to Bonaventure is to show them what college students do. The goal is to expose them to female role models.”

During their visit, the girls toured the campus, ate at Hickey Dining Hall, and participated in several planned activities, including conversations on college life led by HEOP and Modern Languages students.

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New AD cites passion, loyalty of Bonnies fans in introductory press conference

Passion for and loyalty to St. Bonaventure were among the themes newly-appointed Athletics Director Steve Watson emphasized during his introductory press conference on Wednesday.

Speaking in a Reilly Center Hall of Fame Room full with members of the news media, campus faculty and staff and community members, Watson said that St. Bonaventure alumni and fans were driving forces in his pursuit of the position.

"The one thing that really drew me more than anything else was the passion people have for athletics here and the loyalty that they've shown over the years," he said. "(Athletics) are important. People care. People are loyal and they've stuck through things, good and bad."

Watson spoke about five core components that he said will guide all of his decision-making: academic achievement, the college experience of student-athletes, providing teams the ability to be successful in competition, compliance to NCAA and Atlantic 10 Conference rules and policies, and building relationships. After speaking at length about the first four components, he ended with relationships.

"Building relationships is what I think this job is all about. It's relationships on campus, relationships with alumni, relationships in the community, student-athletes and coaches," Watson said. "This (athletic) department is not going to be able to survive without the support and help of everyone. We need support, we need help ... the only way to do that is to build relationships."

Watson also addressed how he will begin to evaluate all 14 of the Bonnies' varsity teams, in particular the men's basketball program.

"We all know how important it is to be successful in this building (Reilly Center). It's important to St. Bonaventure and it's important to the community. This is one of the challenges that I'm really looking forward to. I can't wait to get with (men's basketball coach) Anthony Solomon and talk about his vision, talk about success and what it's going to take," Watson said. "I'm looking forward to ... getting that program headed in the right direction. There's a lot of basketball to be played this year. There hasn't been one conference game yet. I'm looking forward to watching that team grow and develop and improve throughout the season."

Watson, who was named AD last Friday, will begin his new role on Jan. 15. He currently is associate athletics director at Eastern Michigan. Prior to that, he worked at the University of Dayton from 1999-2001 as director of marketing and promotions.

Watson will succeed Dr. Ron Zwierlein, who is retiring after three years at St. Bonaventure. Watson credited Zwierlein with righting the Athletic Department following NCAA sanctions to the men's basketball program in 2003.

"Ron has done a tremendous job over the last three years and really leaves the department in great shape," he said. "I am honored to follow in his footsteps."

As a collegiate student-athlete, Watson played basketball at Rutgers for two seasons before transferring to Bowling Green, where he also played basketball and earned a bachelor's degree in interpersonal and public communications in 1990. Watson earned a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1998. After college, the 6-foot-8 forward spent six years playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia.

Watson, 38, grew up in Franklinville, N.Y., and graduated from Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean. Watson's father, Dr. John Watson, has taught in St. Bonaventure's School of Business since 1975 and is the interim dean of the School of Business. His mother, Suzanne, has been a computer science lecturer at SBU since 2001.

"This is home. I grew up here. My first memories are in this (Reilly Center)," Watson said. "It's in my heart ... I'm passionate about this place."


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Smoking policy changes announced

After more than a year of consideration and deliberation, the University is making a change to the campus smoking policy to prohibit smoking from within 30 feet of building entrances. The new policy was recommended by the Campus Environmental Health and Safety Committee and endorsed by the Faculty Senate, Hourly Staff Affairs Committee, Senior Management Council and the President's Cabinet.

The new policy will be effective Feb. 1, 2007. More details will follow in January concerning implementation steps.

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Bidell named head of annual fund

Andrea Bidell has been named executive director of the Annual Fund and Alumni Services Programming at St. Bonaventure University, Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., University president, announced Monday.

Bidell worked at Alfred State College from 1996 to July 2006 in several capacities, but primarily as the director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. From 1985 to 1995, she was the executive director of the Hornell Area Arts Council.

Bidell’s skill set made it possible to expand the Annual Fund job description to include alumni responsibilities. The new combination of duties will link strategic planning and infrastructure design for the Alumni Office, allowing for the effective promotion of Annual Fund responsibilities within University Relations, Sr. Margaret said.

“We’re thrilled to have someone with Andrea’s experience join our team in University Relations,” said Paul Moore, interim executive director of development and senior major gifts officer. “We believe this expansion of the Annual Fund director’s position is a great opportunity to synchronize the efforts between the Annual Fund and our Alumni Office.”

Bidell, who began her job Monday, Dec. 11, earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State College. She replaces Marcell Mallette, who left as director of the Annual Fund in October. Joe Flanagan, Class of ’74, remains director of Alumni Services.

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Harlem Globetrotters to bring world tour to RC Arena

Celebrating their 81st consecutive season of barnstorming across North America, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their 2007 “Nothing Like It” World Tour to St. Bonaventure University.

Sponsored by Campbell’s Soup Company, the Globetrotters will take the court on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007, against the New York Nationals at the Reilly Center Arena. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $21 and are available at the Reilly Center Box Office, by phone at 888-223-6000 or online at www.tickets.com. To purchase group or Scout tickets, please visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com for more information.

“There is nothing like a Harlem Globetrotter basketball game and because of the players’ commitment and unique ability to balance great basketball with entertainment, innovation and community, there likely never will be,” said Globetrotters’ chairman Mannie Jackson. “The Globetrotters 2007 World Tour features the team’s strongest roster to date in terms of athleticism, skill and personality. There will be nothing like the Globetrotters’ game in Olean.”

“St. Bonaventure University is honored once again to host the true ambassadors of sport whose real mission is to connect the world through an entertaining brand of basketball that cannot be duplicated by any other organization on this planet save the original Harlem Globetrotters,” said Steve Plesac, director of Student Activities at St. Bonaventure.

Living up to their billing as “ambassadors of goodwill,” the Globetrotters will continue their tradition of:
- introducing amazing ball-handling and comedy routines, while keeping the timeless classics from throughout their history.
- featuring an autograph session at the end of every game, allowing fans a chance to get autographs and interact with their favorite Globetrotter.
- becoming involved in every community they play by visiting local schools, hospitals and other youth-based organizations. The Globetrotters donate money and merchandise to hundreds of local and national charities every year.
- entertaining crowds with the antics of their exciting mascot, Globie.

“There is no sports organization in history that has shown more goodwill toward its fans on a worldwide stage then this team of basketball magicians on the hardwood,” Plesac said.

Since their inception in 1926, the Harlem Globetrotters have traveled to 118 nations, played before 124 million fans, won championships and built bridges between people and communities around the world.

In 2002, the organization was only the fifth team to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, followed by an induction into the Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame and the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. They have also been recognized as the most popular sports team by the 2002, 2000 and 1999 Q Ratings.

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History grads make the Bonaventure grade

Two friends and successful alumni of St. Bonaventure University’s Department of History credit their accomplishments to their SBU professors for helping them get where they are today.

Dr. Amy Staples and Dr. Michael Gabriel are publishing books, winning awards and living the values of St. Bonaventure University through active social service. A common theme both graduates stress is their gratitude for the history faculty at St. Bonaventure. In particular, both Staples and Gabriel are grateful to Dr. Thomas Schaeper for helping them along the way in their careers.

Staples, a 1991 summa cum laude graduate, released her first book, “The Birth of Development,” this year. “The Birth of Development” highlights efforts to diffuse the destructive role of the nation-state in world affairs by constructing truly international organizations with global agendas.

“I entered Bona’s with every intention of being a high school history teacher, but my professors convinced me that I had the talent and passion for research needed to be a historian,” Staples recalls.

Schaeper, along with Dr. Joel Horowitz and former history professor Dr. Ed Eckert, encouraged Staples to attend graduate school. Staples personally thanked Schaeper by writing a thank-you note in the front cover of her book she sent him.

STAPLES RECEIVED her Ph.D. in June 1998 from the Ohio State University and is now an associate professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

Gabriel was awarded the Arthur and Isabel Wiesenberger Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching this past August as a history professor at Kutztown University.

Chair of the Kutztown History Department, Gabriel was given a placard for the award and a $2,000 check from the Alumni Association at Kutztown.

Gabriel has published two books on the American Revolution: “Major General Richard Montgomery: The Making of an American Hero” and “Quebec During the American Invasion, 1775-1776: The Journal of Francois Baby, Gabriel Taschereau, and Jenkin Williams with S. Pascale Dewey.” Gabriel is currently working on his third work.

GABRIEL, WHO earned his master’s degree in history from St. Bonaventure in May 1988, recognized Schaeper as being his favorite professor and helping him to figure out where he wanted to go in his life. “One of the strongest memories I have at Bonaventure is the sense that I was doing something that really interested me (history),” said Gabriel. “The professors were also excellent, and it was good seeing that such talented historians were approachable and very helpful.”

“When gifted students such as Staples and Gabriel choose to become professors of history, I feel flattered,” said Schaeper. “The fact that these two young academics are publishing books, winning awards, and becoming active community servants, speaks well of the academic training and the values that they absorbed here at St. Bonaventure.”

“If I had to sum it all up, St. Bonaventure gave me an opportunity to try out lots of new things in a safe space where I was nurtured and challenged,” said Staples when asked about her fondest moments at Bonaventure.

Schaeper said the bond between professor and student at St. Bonaventure goes beyond the classroom: “Amy and Mike are not just former students, they are friends.”

By Chris DeMarchis, '08

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Newsmakers ...

Dr. Chris Stanley, professor of theology, presented a seminar paper titled "The Role of the Audience in the Interpretation of Paul's References to the Jewish Scriptures" at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18-21, 2006. The paper was the primary focus of discussion in a 2-1/2 hour session of the Paul and Scripture Seminar, a six-year collaborative research project of which Stanley is also the chair.

The National Association of African American Studies has invited Breea C. Willingham, Visiting Professor in the School of Journalism, to present a paper at its annual conference in Baton Rouge, La. in February. The title of the paper is "Shadow of a Father" and it's an extension of an essay she wrote last year that appeared in USA Today. Her paper focuses on the relationship between fathers in prison and their children, and whether maintaining or starting those relationships from prison do more harm than good. This topic will also be the focus of her dissertation; she's currently a doctoral student at UB studying American Studies with an emphasis in African American Studies. Willingham is scheduled to give a preview of her presentation during the Feb. 2, 2006, Friday Forum.


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