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Oct. 30, 2008


  1. Ithaca College professor to discuss sustainability talk today
  2. Girls Day for technology a success
  3. SBU community invited to Brady lecture
  4. Outlaws slog their way to second straight state rugby title
  5. SBU to hold unique fundraiser on eve of visit by author, survivor of Rwandan genocide
  6. Newsmakers for Fall 2008
  7. Friday Forum




Ithaca College professor to discuss sustainability in talk at St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure University recently turned out the lights, urged staff members to carpool to work, and reduced natural gas consumption by 50 percent in a campuswide conservation initiative.

The one-day sustainability effort resulted in a 26-ton drop-off in carbon dioxide emissions and saved the university some $4,000.

Answers to the question “Where do we go from here?” may come Thursday when Dr. Jason Hamilton, associate professor of biology and the Environmental Studies Program at Ithaca College, will discuss “Sustainability: Problems and Solutions” in a 6:30 p.m. talk in the William F. Walsh Science Center amphitheater.

Hamilton’s talk will explore the evolution of “sustainability” and the role it plays in dealing with current environmental, social and economic dilemmas, said Dr. Darryl Mayeaux, associate professor of psychology at St. Bonaventure. “After reviewing the current state of our knowledge regarding the science of global change, Professor Hamilton will highlight the critical role that we can play in moving ourselves and our local and global communities to a more secure future,” said Mayeaux.

Ithaca College established the Center for Natural Sciences Sustainability Group in 2004. The center seeks ways to best utilize resources in the Center for Natural Sciences, and to promote the use of those best practices across campus and in the community. Among its projects are identifying a site for a wind turbine, examining the inefficiency of doorways and windows, and developing an education model for teaching sustainability to high school and college students.

Thursday’s talk is free and open to the public.

For more on the Sustainability Initiative at Ithaca College, click here.

For more on Dr. Hamilton, click here.

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Girls Day for technology a success

More than 50 girls from 11 middle schools in the region took part Saturday in the seventh annual Girls Day, sponsored by St. Bonaventure University’s Computer Science Department.

Students had the opportunity to learn about robots, digital scrapbooking, computer-generated animations, encryption and other modern applications of computer technology through hands-on exercises in six different workshops presented by St. Bonaventure graduates and undergraduates and professional women in the computer science field.

St. Bonaventure students assisted participants during lab sessions and as they walked around campus between workshops.

Suzanne Watson, computer science lecturer, started the Girls’ Day event after reading about the decreased interest in the sciences among middle-school aged girls.

“Girls Day was a success because so many SBU students, alums, faculty, and professional women were willing to put so much time into creating exciting, interesting workshops that truly engaged the participating girls,” Watson said.

Notable graduates who presented at the workshops included: Heather Blersch, ’88, who works for General Dynamics IT as a program manager for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Telecommunication and Information Systems Command; Barbara McNally, ’93, who works at Birthday in a Box after spending 11 years at America Online; Barb Snyderman, ’93, proprietor of a web design business, BITS LLC, in Rochester; and Angela Colomaio, ’08, who works at Alcas Corp. as a web programmer.

“I hope my daughter takes some of the things she learned here and applies them to her schooling and her life,” said a parent who attended the day-long event. “I only wish a greater number of teachers would have attended so they could bring it back to the classrooms.”

Schools attending included Allegany-Limestone, Bolivar-Richburg, Cuba-Rushford, Ellicottville Central, Fretz (Pa.) Middle School, Gowanda, Olean Middle School, Portville, Southern Tier Catholic, St. Bernard (Pa.) and Wellsville.

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SBU community invited to Brady lecture

The Franciscan Institute invites St. Bonaventure Universitycommunity members to mark their calendars for Nov. 12 for the Fifth Annual Ignatius Brady, O.F.M., Memorial Endowment Lecture.

Dr. Alessandro Vettori, a professor of Italian Studies at Rutgers University, will present this year’s lecture on “Dante’s Re-writing of St. Francis’s Life: A Reading of Paradiso XI,” in the University Chapel at 4 p.m. Vettori is a world-renowned expert on the works of the two great medieval poets Dante Alighieri and the Spiritual Franciscan, Jacopone da Todi.

“Dr. Vettori is one of the finest specialists in the world today on the works of Dante. So, in our conversations, I asked him (Dr. Vettori) if he would address a topic related to Dante and the Franciscans,” said Fr. Michael F. Cusato, O.F.M., Ph.D., director of The Franciscan Institute and dean of the School of Franciscan Studies.

When choosing a presenter, the institute looks for a recognized leader in his or her field or particular discipline. Due to the nature of the Institute’s research and teaching programs – they concentrate primarily on the time period of St. Francis: the Middle Ages – most of the invited speakers have been medieval scholars, Fr. Michael said.

“Nevertheless, the Brady lecture allows a venue, once a year, for a top-rated scholar to open up the Franciscan tradition to the university community in an accessible way,” Fr. Michael said.

In years past, topics have ranged from gender studies (how Francis and Clare looked at issues differently) to the impact of Franciscan philosophy upon university education. Two years ago, the featured speaker addressed the sexual abuse scandal in the Church from a Franciscan perspective. Last year’s presenter lectured on Franciscan influences upon medieval and renaissance art. This year’s invited guest will turn his attention to the realm of literature and the issue of the relationship between Dante and the Franciscan Order.

Following the lecture, there will be a cocktail hour from 5–6 p.m. in Doyle Dining Room.

The Ignatius Brady, O.F.M., Memorial Endowment was established in 2004 to support the research and scholarly purposes of the Franciscan Institute. Through the generosity of the St. John the Baptist Province of Friars Minor, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, this memorial honors the memory of Fr. Ignatius Brady, O.F.M. Fr. Ignatius is considered to be one of the greatest scholars of medieval Franciscan philosophy in the 20th century and was a beloved confrère to the friars of this Franciscan province.

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Outlaws slog their way to second straight state rugby title

A mouthful of mud never tasted so sweet.

On a field better suited for amphibians, St. Bonaventure’s men’s rugby team captured its second straight New York Rugby Conference Division II title with a nerve-wracking 7-5 victory over Hamilton Saturday in a game that was decided on the game’s final play.

Hamilton missed a three-point penalty kick from about 35 yards and a tough angle, setting off a wild celebration by the Outlaws (7-0), who had beaten their opponents in the regular season by an average score of 70-1.

SBU coach Clarence Picard, who mustered a nervous smile and muttered “this is it” just before the attempt, was finally grateful for the swampy conditions.

“I knew that was almost an impossible kick because the ball had become so heavy from all the water,” Picard said. “I didn’t think anyone would be able to power that through.”

The Outlaws, ranked No. 7 in the nation, dominated much of the first half, a couple times coming within a yard or two of scoring, but Hamilton gritted its teeth and forced SBU to a scoreless draw at the half.

“I just think we got too excited when we were down there and didn’t always make the best decisions based on the weather,” Picard said.

After a strong punt reversed the field and pushed the Outlaws deep into Hamilton territory, junior Darren Kmicinski finally broke the ice early in the second half with a try (touchdown) and converted kick — “a great kick by Darren in the conditions,” Picard said — to give SBU a 7-0 lead.Hamilton, now 6-1 and ranked No. 8 in the nation, bulled its way into the try zone midway through the half to cut the lead to 7-5, but the conversion was off the mark.

Bruising and physical, the game was also sloppy, as if either team had a choice. Heavy rains overnight and Saturday morning turned the McGraw-Jennings field into a quagmire, pock-marked with mud pits and puddles that slowly grew into ponds as showers continued during the game.

“It totally took away our game,” Picard said. “We like to get out and run and use our speed but we just couldn’t in this weather. But you have to live with it. I was saying to Charlie (Specht) before the game when we were up in the Grotto for our team prayer, maybe this is what we need to get ready.

“I’m actually glad we got a tough game. That really challenged our mental toughness.”

The Outlaws earned the No. 4 seed in the NRU tournament and will host No. 5 Coast Guard Academy, from the New England Rugby Football Union. The game is Saturday at 1 p.m.Hamilton remains alive as the No. 7 seed in the NRU tourney and will travel to face Maine-Orono, the No. 2 seed in the eight-team tournament.

The winners advance to the NRU final four at West Point Nov. 8-9. Middlebury, the 2007 national champs, is the top seed.

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SBU to hold unique fundraiser on eve of visit by author, survivor of Rwandan genocide

Organizers of a St. Bonaventure University fundraiser are confident they can recruit 91 teams of eight people each – 728 volunteers in all – to take a turn at crowding into a tiny room and standing in discomfort, in complete silence, for 10 minutes.

“It’s a large goal, but it’s very achievable,” said Christopher Brown, assistant director of the First-Year Experience program at the university. “We’re already seeing strong interest among students, particularly the freshman class and the Student Government Association.”

What’s spurring the recruitment, said Brown, is the desire to aid orphans of the Rwandan Holocaust of 1994, and the understanding that 10 minutes in the room is an instant, the blink of an eye, when compared to the 91 days Immaculee Ilibagiza spent in a 3-by-4 bathroom with seven other women to escape the genocide.

Want to participate?

Teams of eight members each are being recruited for the fundraiser. Ninety-one time slots, one for each day the author hid, need to be filled. For available time slots and details, go to www.sbu.edu/lefttotell.

Ilibagiza, who tells her harrowing and inspirational story in the book “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust,” will visit St. Bonaventure to deliver a keynote address on Nov. 20. Her book, an international bestseller, was chosen as this year’s All Bonaventure Reads selection for the freshman class.

The campus fundraiser will benefit Ilibagiza’s Left to Tell Charitable Fund, which provides support and educational opportunities for Rwandan orphans.

A replica of the bathroom that hid Ilibagiza and seven others from discovery and certain death is being built and will be placed in the foyer of the Reilly Center. For three days prior to Ilibagiza’s visit, Nov. 17-19, teams of eight volunteers will take turns crowding into the room for 10 minutes at a time.

Jean Trevarton Ehman, director of the Teaching and Learning Center at St. Bonaventure and chair of the All Bonaventure Reads committee, said 10 minutes in the confined space will be a challenge for many, and an education for all.

“Students in my class taped off a 3-by-4 area and stood in it, being silent, for five minutes,” said Ehman. “You wonder how those women were able to do it for 91 days.”

Silence is part of the pact for volunteers because the Rwandan women dared not speak for fear of being discovered, said Dr. Nancy Casey, professor of elementary education and director of the First-Year Experience program. “Immaculee and the other women couldn’t talk while they were in the bathroom because people were often right outside searching for them,” said Casey.

The replica bathroom is being built to size by the university maintenance staff. It will consist of four walls, a toilet, a small window and a shower fixture. The interior walls will be painted white and quotes from the book, selected by students, will be written on the bathroom walls.

Participants will be invited to write their reflections in a journal that will be presented to Ilibagiza during her visit.

Teams are asked to seek sponsors for their time in the bathroom or commit to a donation themselves. “We’re asking for a minimum donation of $10 per team, which is only $1.25 per team member,” said Brown. “Many students are getting donations from home, some are contacting churches, and we’re confident many teams will donate more than the $10.”

The team that raises the most money will be invited to present the check to Ilibagiza during her visit to campus.

Volunteers are being sought from across campus and from the surrounding community. Churches, schools and community groups are also encouraged to participate, said Casey.

The 10-minute time slots will begin each day at 9 a.m. and continue without interruption, ending with a 4:45 p.m. session. Teams that wish to volunteer are asked to contact Stephanie Herzig at herzigsa@sbu.edu, or to leave a message on her phone: (716) 375-2084.

To view the schedule of available times, which will be updated daily, go to www.sbu.edu/lefttotell.

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Newsmakers for Fall 2008

Rob Augustinos, class of 1984, senior vice-president and regional sales manager for News America Marketing, made a presentation to more than 50 students in Walsh amphitheater on Oct. 29. Augustinos was invited to campus by Dr. Michael Russell, chair of the Department of Marketing. Augustinos spoke on the changing role of the consumer, focusing on issues related to customer loyalty and current trends in how consumers shop. He also reviewed how marketers are responding to the current volatile economic changes. In addition, Augustinos reviewed the research efforts made by firms like his and the opportunities for careers with News America Marketing. News America Marketing is a subsidiary of News Corporation, one of the world's largest integrated media and entertainment companies with operations in the filmed entertainment, television, cable network programming, direct broadcast satellite television, magazines and inserts, newspapers and information services and book publishing industries.

Dr. Carl J. Case, professor of management science, and Darwin L. King, professor of accounting, had the paper “Phishing for Undergraduate Students” published in the Research in Higher Education Journal.

Dr. Rodney Paul, associate professor of economics in the Department of Finance, had the paper “National Television Coverage and the Behavioral Bias of Bettors” accepted for publication in International Gambling Studies, an inter-disciplinary academic journal (sociology, political science, economics, etc.). The paper illustrates rejections of the efficient markets hypothesis seen in sports wagering markets stem from television coverage of these events, which illustrates the importance of consumption value in explaining behavioral biases.

Constance Pierce, associate professor in visual and performing arts, has two upcoming invitational solo exhibitions scheduled. Pierce has been invited to present a solo exhibition of her paintings, prints, drawings and sketchbooks at the Clara Fritsche Gallery of Notre Dame College in Ohio in the fall of 2009. She is also presenting a solo exhibition of her art at the Yates Gallery of Siena College College in New York during its 2010 gallery exhibition schedule. The artist plans to feature several series of her works on paper, including new works informed by Dante’s Divine Comedy and created during her upcoming 2009 sabbatical.

Anne Foerst, associate professor of computer science, is quoted in Lisa Miller’s Belief Watch column in the Oct. 25 online issue of Newsweek. The article titled, Click In Remembrance Of Me,” will appear in print Nov. 3. The article explores the following question, 'How can we provide authentic worship through the Web for people who are not part of the church? The article can be found online at http://www.newsweek.com/id/165676.

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Friday Forum

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

Date: Friday, Oct. 30
Speaker: Jason Hamilton, Ph.D.
Time: Lunch starts at noon, Forum goes from 12:35 to 1:30 p.m., including Q&A
Place: University Club - Above Hickey
Topic: Integrating Sustainability Across the Campus: Mistakes & Successes: Sustainability is not just another word for green. In this presentation, Dr. Hamilton will use specific examples & case studies to show how sustainability can be used as an organizing context to enrich curriculum, improve instruction, inform operations and enrich student life.
Cost: $3 (pay upstairs)

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