Beauty Bound

open book laying on a table
Photo by Kevin Harkins

A unique coincidence of events presented a fortuitous opportunity earlier this academic year, and allowed for a very special book to find a permanent home on the Hilltop. The Limited Editions Club book of poetry by Langston Hughes, Sunrise is Coming After While, featuring Langston Hughes’ poems selected by Maya Angelou, and six serigraph prints of collages by artist Phoebe Beasley, was purchased in collaboration with archivist and special collections librarian Keith Chevalier. It is part of a program called Beauty Bound, begun at the Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center some years ago. This new acquisition initiated the formal collaboration with the Msgr. Wilfrid Paradis Archives and Special Collections to blend the expertise of art curating and book collecting.

“When I learned this book was available, I approached college archivist Keith Chevalier about partnering together to purchase it—the book is beautiful, and ties nicely together with the humanities and many courses that have been taught here over the years, including the renowned Paris-New York humanities-based course that focuses in part on New York’s Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s,” says Father Iain MacLellan, O.S.B. ’78, director of the Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center. Langston Hughes was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance art scene.

Sunrise is Coming After While is copy 48 of an edition of 300 published by the Limited Editions Club (New York) in 1998, and was on display in the Chapel Art Center this semester as part of its spring exhibit, Works on Paper, Including Recent Acquisitions, Selections from the Permanent Collection. The acquisition was made possible by the generosity of Catherine (Kate) Delory Brody ’78, longtime Cappella Circle friend and patron of the Chapel Art Center Fund for acquisitions and special programs.

art paintingEach week, the Chapel Art Center hosted a “turn the page” event for the book, which was open to visitors and shared on social media. The book’s permanent home will be in the Msgr. Wilfrid Paradis Archives and Special Collections in the Geisel Library.

“This new acquisition is an example of a meaningful book reflecting the art and craft of fine bookmaking, which are the hallmarks of the Limited Editions Club imprint,” says Chevalier. “With this copy, care and attention to its production are observed. The selection of Langston Hughes’ poems by Maya Angelou make this a special book.”

Other aspects of note include the book being letterpress printed. “[This is] a printing process that impresses Langston Hughes’ poems into the paper and thus giving a depth to the words on the page,” says Chevalier. “Through the serigraph [silkscreen] illustration technique, Phoebe Beasley’s collages rise up off the paper and allow the reader to engage with their incredible complexity of shape and color.”

The collaboration between the Chapel Art Center and the Paradis Archives and Special Collections is an important one. “As it is well known, the collecting and preservation of books is an important aspect of Benedictine heritage,” says Chevalier. “Our collaboration will benefit from contextualizing the Benedictine order’s long history through both bibliographic and aesthetic lenses,”
he says.   


2021 Institution of Acolytes

From left: Brother Titus, Abbot Mark Cooper, and Brother Basil
From left: Brother Titus, Abbot Mark Cooper, and Brother Basil

Photo by Father Francis McCarty, O.S.B. ’10

On Wednesday February 10, the Feast of Saint Scholastica, Abbot Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B. ’71, instituted two monks of the Abbey, Brothers Titus Phelan, O.S.B. ’12 and Basil Franciose, O.S.B. ’17, into the ministry of acolyte. The ministry of acolyte is formally conferred on those men who are preparing to be ordained as priests. Instituted acolytes serve at the altar by assisting priests and deacons during the Liturgy. They may also be tasked with distributing the Eucharist at Mass and bringing Communion to the Sick.

“We are so pleased to have two of our brothers take this step toward priesthood,” said Abbot Mark. “This event is a wonderful representation of how our community continues to grow and flourish.”

Brother Titus is currently in his final year of theological studies at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry in Brighton, Mass. He is a native of Swampscott, Mass.

Brother Basil is currently in his second year of theological studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. He is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah.


Kevin Lacourse '15 and Abbot Mark Cooper
Photo by Father Francis McCarty, O.S.B. ’10

 

On February 3, Kevin Lacourse ’15 was received into the monastic community as a postulant. He is a native of Chester, N.H. Please pray for Kevin as he begins his monastic life here at Saint Anselm. The monastic community is grateful to our alumni and friends for their continued prayers for vocations to our community.


Nursing Students on Front Lines of Pandemic

nurses consult a patient
Photos by Leah LaRiccia

As part of the curriculum, nursing students are placed in clinical rotations to gain real-world experience through their courses. Although some regular community learning sites are no longer accepting student nurses to minimize exposure to the virus, new opportunities have arisen.

In addition to, or instead of, their usual sites, this year’s Community Health Nursing students were placed at local vaccination and testing facilities, such as Catholic Medical Center, Elliot Hospital, and the Nashua Department of Health. Each student participated in a Point of Distribution (POD) site, either vaccinating or testing the population for Covid-19. Many of the vaccination clinical experiences the students participated in were dedicated to populations that have health care inequities—the impoverished, minority, and elderly.

“Being a part of the solution, even though a small role, will be something us student nurses will be able to hold onto for the rest of our lives,” said Benjamin Norris ’22 about his time distributing vaccines.

According to Professor Pamela Preston, there was no hesitancy among nursing students to embrace the change and help out with vaccinations and testing; they jumped at the opportunity. “[Students are] very enthusiastic about helping out in this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic opportunity,” remarked Preston.

Meanwhile, this semester’s Critical Care Nursing students are caring for Covid or suspected Covid patients in intensive care units (ICU) during their hospital clinical experiences.

While this experience has come with its own set of challenges, students are able to engage with the intense nursing interventions involved with caring for a patient on a ventilator managing multiple intravenous infusions and maintaining strict Covid precautions.

“It is a whole new world wearing an N95 mask the entire day you are at clinical,” said Critical Care Nursing Professor Carrie MacLeod.

Nonetheless, students are eager to get out and help. “The work the healthcare community has put in to save and help the ones affected by Covid is something I am proud to be a part of,” said Jessica Gendreau ’22.

In the classroom, professors have incorporated conversations around Covid to provide real-life examples of course concepts. For instance, Professor Caryn Sheehan’s Pathopharmacology course includes information about the FDA’s process for fast-tracking approval of Covid medications and vaccines

Similarly, Professors Carrie MacLeod and Destiny Brady added content focused on the multi-system impact of Covid in lectures about caring for a critically ill patient. For the first time this spring, a virtual family communication component was added to simulation labs. Students can practice interacting with a patient’s family member on Zoom or Facetime. These real-time experiences helped the students recognize the impact of Covid on nurse-patient-family communication.

nurse vaccinates a patientThe pandemic also has adjusted the nursing program’s overall structure for this year. Due to the high risk of exposing vulnerable long-term care residents to the virus, sophomore nursing students in their Care of the Elderly and Chronically Ill nursing course now start their first clinical placement in a hospital setting, rather than a long-term care facility.

In the past, the first clinical rotation for sophomore students took place in nursing homes whereas now, students embark on their clinical journey in a fast-paced hospital setting with complex patients.

“So far, clinical faculty and nursing students have adapted well,” said Sheehan, despite the new alterations.

On top of their coursework and clinical experiences, nursing students are still college students. When their shifts end, and they are done vaccinating or caring for those on ventilators, they rejoin their classmates on the Hilltop.

“My friends and I still find ways to hang out on campus, whether it is attending CABingo, eating at the C-shop, or taking walks on the trails on a nice day of course,” said Gina Gagliardi ’22.

The pandemic has created a new sense of appreciation for healthcare workers, particularly nurses. The Saint Anselm community, however, has held a heightened respect for nurses long before Covid began.

“To me, nurses have always been heroes,” said Gagliardi.


Course Intertwines Race and Theology

Professor Ward Holder
Photo courtesy of Professor Ward Holder

This semester, Saint Anselm students have been discussing the construct of race and how it affects Christian theology. Professor Ward Holder’s Race and Theology course has met virtually with guest lecturers and more frequently, with a group of theology students from Tumaini University Makumira in Tanzania thanks to a grant from the American Academy of Religion (AAR), and a grant from the Saint Anselm College Fund for Catholic Social Teaching.

The group of students from Tanzania are earning their degrees in theology and are taught by Professor Holder’s colleague and sister Cynthia Holder Rich. The course has put the two student groups (Saint Anselm students and Tumaini students) in touch over regular intervals in the semester to discuss lectures and to converse on difficult topics.

The 24 Saint Anselm students completing their Catholic Theological Reasoning requirement with this course come from varying backgrounds and majors including sociology, English, philosophy, theology, criminal justice, business, and biology.

The class is reading works by sociologists, ethicists, historians, and biblical scholars and has tackled issues interwoven by Christianity and slavery, including examining the theological perspective of what it means when a country like the United States permits lynching.

The new course was developed by Holder following the deaths of Brianna Taylor and George Floyd. His goal is for students to better understand how racism has affected doctrine. In addition to reading a variety of writings by important figures such as James Cone and Frederick Douglas, students are also hearing from guests like Professor J. Kameron Carter, Ph.D., professor of religious studies at Indiana University, and Rev. Dr. Elieshi Ayo Mungure, the Lutheran World Federation’s regional secretary for Africa, who bring new perspectives to course material. Those lectures in conjunction with the dual-class discussions are helping people see broader horizons.

Holder says the grant putting them in touch with the Tumaini students has opened doors for both groups, giving them the opportunity to see that their college experience is not the same as others in the world.

“This class has opened my eyes up to different views of race through the readings and our discussions and conversations with our peers across the world in Tumaini,” says psychology major and gender studies minor Heisha Trilla Rodriguez ’22. She was excited to take a course that brought the topic of race to the forefront.

Through the AAR grant, Holder and Holder Rich were able to set up the joint classroom sessions virtually. It will also fund travel to Tanzania if Covid allows, as well as additional research by Holder, Holder Rich, and Saint Anselm Education Professor Aubrey Scheopner Torres. This research will focus on how student exposure to the influence of race and racism on theology might impact views of race, theology, and spirituality; as well as investigate how the insights derived from this class may suggest future pedagogical approaches that are sensitive to critical race theory and its influence on learning.

Holder shares that some of the conversations they’ve had in class have been difficult. He does include warnings in his syllabus counseling students to seek another course if unwilling to hear certain messages or unable to bear the uncomfortable discussions.

“One of the reasons I teach here is that Saint A’s is unabashedly a liberal arts college—it says we are equipping you, preparing your mind for a lifetime of opportunities and joys and challenges; and that’s going to require your mind to be stretched in a variety of ways to use a physical metaphor,” says Holder. “So it’s preparing students to look critically at systems we live with, to ask questions of who is benefitting and who is being put upon by such systems and recognizing that such systems are a representation of series of choices we make. Thus, realizing that coming generations can make different choices.”


Discussing Journalism and Politics at the NHIOP

hallway at the NHIOP
Photo by Gil Talbot

The “Get Connected, Stay Connected” program has played a significant role in re-connecting alumni with Saint Anselm College and providing networking opportunities for current students. Hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP), the program has been in place since 2014. The program was held virtually this year and took the form of a series of interviews.

“The goal of this program is to offer students involved with the NHIOP an opportunity to engage with their peers, establish connections, network, and learn more about internships and job opportunities,” said Ann Camann, deputy director of the NHIOP. “It also provides NHIOP alumni an opportunity to reflect on their experiences, share stories of their career paths, and fond memories of their time at SAC.”

Executive director of the NHIOP,
Neil Levesque, welcomed Matthew Fuller ’10 and Connor O’Brien ’10 for each webinar to discuss current events and the impact that a liberal arts college has made on their careers.

Fuller currently covers Congress as a reporter for Huffington Post. Fuller was also in attendance during the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill. During a webinar titled “Covering the Capitol,” Fuller and Levesque discussed the events of the riots and his experience working on the Capitol. Matt also discussed many relevant topics surrounding media and journalism, specifically the impact that bias has made on events like the Capitol Hill riots.

Fuller also discussed his decision to go into politics and journalism. While attending Saint Anselm College, he was a politics major who immensely enjoyed his philosophy courses. He remarked on the importance of philosophy in relation to journalism.

“We are here to tell hard truths… whether you like it or not, these are facts, we are here to convey those facts and report on the landscape of these things and the motivations of these actors, but we are not here to just report he-said she said. Journalism is very much related to philosophy… the essential element in both is truth.”

Levesque then asked Fuller a final question about how the college should react to the protest and, more specifically, how they should advise their students to consider the riots on Capitol Hill.

“Being from both New Hampshire and Saint Anselm College, there is a sense of valuing people’s opinions, whether you are a democrat or republican,” said Fuller. “Something that needs to be added to this list is moral clarity. Professors need to be honest about this event and see it for what it is.”

During another webinar, “On Defense and Politics,” Levesque interviewed O’Brien, who currently works for POLITICO as a senior defense reporter. Levesque and O’Brien discussed many topics covering the change of office between the Trump and Biden administrations. O’Brien also discussed many other issues regarding national defense, including China, vaccine distribution, and the role diversity and inclusion plays in defense politics.

Connor also mentioned his senior thesis and found that the research and development needed to complete the assignment relates to journalism as a whole.

“You develop the idea, do the research, and create the argument, then you put it through the wringer, and then you have to stand up for what you wrote,” he said. “That is a key tenet of journalism; you need to write something you can stand behind.”


Ethiscope Podcast Covers Big Issues

Ethiscope Podcast LogoDespite the restrictions of a pandemic world, the Center for Ethics in Society is still striving to provide the Saint Anselm College community with the knowledge and practice of ethical decision-making through the use of its podcast, entitled Ethiscope.

Ethiscope began in 2020 in response to the center’s inability to hold its usual in-person events while still trying to continue to grow its audience. With an easily accessible format that you can take with you anywhere, the Ethiscope podcast’s mission is to examine the deeper ethical questions in our world with dynamic, in-depth interviews with some of the sharpest minds in academia, business, civil society, and government.

“Our mission is to make our listeners more thoughtful about complex and difficult problems, particularly those relevant to our state,” says Jason Sorens Ph.D., director of the Center for Ethics in Society and host of the Ethiscope podcast. “We think you’ll even discover new issues and questions that you never realized existed.”

The podcast typically runs a new episode every month, covering a wide range of topics in society. Past episodes and interviews have included market urbanism with limited government regulation, the ethicality of casting an uninformed vote, and the smart growth movement towards more government regulation to improve cities.

“Our society needs more opportunities for reflection and conversation about ethics,” says Max Latona Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Ethics in Society and co-interviewer on the Ethiscope podcast. “Saint Anselm College has a long history of teaching and discussing ethics, so this podcast series is really an extension of our identity, and a sharing of who we are with the world at-large.”

Future episodes of Ethiscope will cover topics ranging from the concept of happiness, to environmental ethics, to freedom of speech on campus. With the entire scope of ethics in question, no topic is off the table.

“Ethiscope goes beyond the theories and methodologies of the classroom to bring in true experts on timely topics, from the causes and consequences of residential racial segregation in America today to solutions for the affordable housing crisis in many cities,” says Sorens. “It’s our ability to identify experts on important ethical issues and provide reasoned, critical analysis from diverse perspectives that makes Ethiscope a unique podcast.”


College Choir Persists Through Pandemic

college choir practice
Photo by Alex Fischer ’21

The Saint Anselm College Choir, directed by Eric Bermani, is one of many organizations on campus that had to change how it operates this year to comply with pandemic safety guidelines. The 2020-2021 academic year choir, with 65 members, is smaller than in past years, but still is able to meet regularly and perform at Sunday masses.

Bermani spoke on what changes were necessary in order to keep the choir active: “We really had to think outside the box during this year if we wanted to have any choral structures at all. Thankfully, science has shown that a small group of choristers can sing safely as long as 1) they are masked while singing and 2) they observe social distancing.”

As a result of this thinking, the decision was made to split the 65-member choir into smaller vocal ensembles, referred to as scholas. This change gave the choir flexibility in how they organized, as it now had smaller ensembles practicing either Mondays or Wednesdays without the need for contact with the whole group. Each schola would now only perform at one or two masses during each semester, working on a rotating schedule with the rest of the choir.

Bermani expressed worry that the choir would not be able to meet at all during this academic year, saying he was thankful the choir was able to proceed with the schola option. He also expressed his gratitude for the support the choir has garnered from professional colleagues. “I am fortunate to have much external support,” he says. “My colleagues in the office of campus ministry have provided extraordinary emotional support during this entire period of time and I am blessed to have a network of professional colleagues who are able to understand what the specific challenges are because they, too, are in the same situation.”

Bermani hopes that the Saint Anselm College Choir will be able to return to normalcy with the beginning of Fall 2021, saying “we’ve weathered a significant storm and we all need the opportunity
to reset.”


Saint Anselm to Honor Dan Kelly '86 in 2021-22 Men's Ice Hockey Season

Dan Kelly '86Saint Anselm College is pleased to announce that the Department of Athletics will dedicate the upcoming 2021-22 men’s ice hockey season to Daniel J. Kelly, III, Class of 1986.

Kelly played for the men’s ice hockey team during his four years at Saint Anselm. Thanks in part to Dan’s leadership, the team was collectively devoted to the sport and collaborated to achieve its goals. This passion for ice hockey was a way of life for Dan and his teammates.

“We worked hard and were committed to the game, to each other and to maintaining the high standards of the Saint Anselm men’s ice hockey program,” said Kelly during a recent call with Head Men’s Ice Hockey Coach Larry Rocha ’79. “All of us on the team at that time were 100 percent dedicated and truly loved the game.”

Kelly, who recently retired as a lieutenant from the Arlington, Mass., police department, has been courageously battling cancer over the past few years. Despite his illness, a demanding job as a public servant and unwavering love and commitment to his beloved family, Kelly has never lost his passion for the game.

“The bond between the current student-athletes on the men’s ice hockey team and the alumni is very strong,” said Rocha, who himself skated for the Hawks from 1975-79. “It is special to be a part of the college’s hockey family. The current team and its coaching staff are deeply moved that Saint Anselm will be honoring a member of our family and dedicating the 2021-22 season to Dan Kelly.”

With the help of a major philanthropic gift from Dan’s teammate Michael Rockett ’88, former member of the board of trustees, and Patricia Rockett ’88, the Hawks will be provided an extra boost with four sets of Under Armour uniforms next year, two for the men’s team and two for the women’s team. Furthermore, the men’s ice hockey team will honor Dan by wearing a special patch on their jerseys throughout the season. Saint Anselm will also embed his jersey number—No. 4—on a graphic underneath the Sullivan Arena ice. Both teams also will receive replica jerseys that Dan and his team wore during his time on the team.

Serving as a team captain in 1985-86, Kelly helped Saint Anselm to 50 victories in four seasons, scoring 10 goals and 41 assists across more than 100 games. He was recently informed of the news during a Zoom call with members of the athletic department staff, on which he was joined by family and friends.

Saint Anselm will formally recognize Dan with a special celebration of his time on the Hilltop at a home game to be determined near the start of the 2021-22 season. Kelly’s family members and close friends, members of the college’s senior leadership team and ice hockey alumni from the more than 50 years of the men’s ice hockey program will also be invited. Formal plans will be released this summer.

“This is an honor to be recognized and to be a part of a focus on the current and future Saint Anselm men’s ice hockey program, one that I was so proud to be a part of,” said Kelly.

Dan and his wife Kelley reside in Arlington, Mass. and have three children, Lauren, Daniel and Jack. He served as a coach to his sons, as well as many youths in Arlington, over the years and is a valued member of the community.


Christopher Rodgers '93 Memorial Men's Basketball Endowment Fund Announced

Christopher Rodgers '93Saint Anselm College has announced the Christopher Rodgers ’93 Memorial Men’s Basketball Endowment Fund that will support improvements and enhancements for the Hawks nationally-ranked men’s basketball program.

In a true display of generosity and Anselmian spirit, a Saint Anselm College men’s basketball alumnus, with the blessing of Karen and Joseph Brisbois, recently expressed his intent to establish a fund that would celebrate the memory of his former basketball teammate and close friend, Christopher Rodgers ’93.

A member of the Hawks basketball program, Chris was an outstanding teammate and embodied sportsmanship with his fair and generous treatment of others. He had a sense of humor that kept spirits high. Chris was beloved by all who knew him, including his family, friends, classmates, and teammates.

Before enjoying a stellar career at Saint Anselm, Rodgers was a Boston Globe All-Scholastic selection out of Saint Clement School in Medford, Mass. On the Hilltop, Rodgers produced an impressive senior season with the Hawks in 1992-93, averaging 10.6 points per game and earning a spot at the New England Senior All-Star basketball game following his career.

“Our son would be ecstatic knowing this endowment in his memory will continue the fellowship, hard work and discipline he garnered as a student athlete at Saint Anselm,” said Karen and Joseph Brisbois. “Chris truly loved his college years here. We feel blessed and beyond pleased that our son’s memory will live on through this endowment.”

The establishment of this fund by his teammate, James Mann ’93, ensures the connection will live on between Chris Rodgers and Saint Anselm Basketball.

“Chris loved Saint Anselm and, more specifically, men’s basketball,” said Mann, a friend, classmate and teammate on the Hawks men’s basketball team. “I wanted to help establish and seed a memorial fund that both honors Chris’ memory and creates a recurring revenue stream for men’s basketball in perpetuity.”

A contribution to this fund will pay tribute to his character and accomplishments while also supporting the basketball program that was so important to Chris.

“Chris was a valued and beloved member of the men’s basketball program who developed many close relationships with his teammates and coaches during his time on the Hilltop,’ said Keith Dickson, long-time head coach of Saint Anselm men’s basketball. “His incredible improvement during his senior year and more specifically his performance during the 1992-93 Northeast-10 Conference playoffs is legendary among his peers.”

All alumni, family and friends are welcome to contribute to the Christopher Rodgers ’93 Memorial Men’s Basketball Endowment Fund by making a gift online or by phone. Please contact Ashlee Demers ’08, senior associate director of Annual Giving, at (603) 641-7376; ademers@anselm.edu.


A Record-Setting Days of Giving

During this year’s Days of Giving campaign, Anselmians took time to honor the influential and often unsung heroes who inspired and influenced their time at Saint Anselm College. This year’s campaign raised a record-shattering $1,277,431 from 3,455 donors. Gifts came in from across campus and the world in denominations ranging from $5 to $100,000, with help from hundreds of volunteers—including alumni, faculty, staff, monks, parents, and students, who assisted by making phone calls, sending emails, taking photos, and spreading the word through social media.