Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's been a long time

I know it's been way too long since we've posted here. It's just because there is so much going on.

First, let me share the word of our president, the Rev. Michael J. Graham, S.J., about the events in Illinois last week: "
It is with sadness that we follow the tragic events at Northern Illinois University. Our prayers are with the victims of the shootings as well as their families and the entire Northern Illinois campus community.
Events such as the one at Northern Illinois, serve as a reminder that none of us, as individuals or as a campus community, is immune from the possibility of a tragedy, but working together to keep Xavier students and employees safe is a top priority. Ironically, Xavier’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) had been planning for some time a training exercise on an “active shooter” scenario for Friday, February 15, the day after the NIU shootings. As part of this training exercise, campus police officers and 200 Cincinnati and Norwood police officers participated in an “active shooter” simulation on Xavier’s campus last December. Based on this simulation, the ERT went through all the response and recovery actions that need to happen if such an event would occur on our campus.
The ERT, made up of representatives from every division on campus, meets every other week to review our campus emergency plans. The team is continually looking at new ways to keep the campus safe, informed and operating during a crisis or emergency situation. In such a situation, communication is critical. During an emergency, the University will communicate to members of the campus community by voice and text messages via XU ALERT ME, through the Xavier portal and website, and through local media. If you have not signed up for XU ALERT ME, I encourage you to go to the campus portal to sign up.
In addition to XU ALERT ME, the ERT has recommended several other security measures that have or will be implemented this year. Campus emergency procedures were posted in every classroom; card access has been installed on the exterior doors of the five residence halls; and locks will be installed on classroom doors. During a crisis it is important for individuals to remain calm and to follow emergency procedures and the directions of emergency personnel. For information regarding campus emergency procedures go to www.xavier.edu/emergency.
I know that you will keep the entire Northern Illinois University community in your thoughts and prayers. May God bring them some sense of peace and comfort during this very sad and tragic time."

Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin will be here tomorrow. He'll give a presentation in connection with his latest CNN documentary, titled "Planet in Peril: Environmental Threats of the 21st Century." He is in the Cintas Center from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. and will have a book signing afterwards.

A couple of professors took some biology students to Costa Rica to study ecology.

Our own Sister Rose Ann Fleming, academic advisor for our student-athletes, was featured with the men's basketball team in a “Race to March Madness” segment. It aired nationally on ABC-TV Saturday, Feb. 16, at 3:00 p.m. and is being rebroadcast Friday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU and Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 3:30 pm on ESPN2.
Check it out. For more than two decades, Sr. Rose Ann has been the academic adviser for the athletes. Now Xavier is known nationally for student-athlete graduation success.

Speaking of basketball, Mike Bobinksi, our athletic director, has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. He will start September 1 and serve for five years.

Xavier will honor the first two African-American female graduates of the University—Cleaster Whitehurst-Mims and the late Alice Campbell—on Saturday, March 1. Ladies With Emphasis on Achievement and Distinction (LEAD)is also honoring an outstanding female student from Xavier at the celebration.
Raised on a peanut farm in Enterprise, Ala., Whitehurst-Mims put herself through school for a bachelor's degree in communication and English and a master's degree in education. She started the Marva Collins Preparatory School of Cincinnati, modeled after the teaching methods and techniques of the Chicago educator. The school provides an education alternative for children others have given up on teaching, says Mims. She also taught three days a week at Xavier.
Campbell received her master’s degree in education from Xavier in 1969 and was a dedicated long-time teacher at McKinley Elementary in the East End of Cincinnati. She died in 2003 at the age of 65. Her late husband, Robert, also a teacher, was at Hughes High School in Clifton.
In addition to honoring the astounding achievements of Whitehurst-Mims and Campbell, LEAD is also awarding a deserving African-American female who embodies the same excellence in service, leadership and purpose. The nominees’ commitment to LEAD, campus involvement, academic accomplishments and service endeavors are taken into account.

I'll try to keep in touch better!