Monday Morning Update

September 15, 2014

Church Changes?: Considered the leading Vatican reporter in the U.S., Boston Globe columnist John Allen will visit the Martin Institute on Tuesday, September 23 at 7 p.m. In his talk, “Is Change Coming? Pope Francis and his Potential Impact on the American Church & Beyond,” Allen will explore what the Pope’s popularity among American Catholics means for the Catholic Church in the U.S. and his influence on America going forward. A veteran Vatican analyst for CNN and NPR, Allen joined the Boston Globe earlier this year after 16 years with The National Catholic Reporter where he wrote his popular column “All Things Catholic.” For more, visit here. Also, Allen’s writings appear regularly in a new online Globe publication called Crux, which you can subscribe to for free by visiting

Top Six: A nail bitter up until the very last minute, last Wednesday’s episode of “America’s Got Talent” saw Micah Christian ’06 and his group Sons of Serendip advance to the top six of the show’s finals through the “Snapple Save.” Up for elimination, the group’s hopes were kept alive thanks to a live vote where fans had about 30 minutes to vote before the end of the show. Sons of Serendip will give their final performance tomorrow night while the winner of the show’s $1 million dollar prize will be announced on Wednesday night.

Play Like a Champion: Stonehill 3+2 Engineering students Matt Plummer ’15, Chris Astephen ’15, Sara Boukdad ’15, Molly O'Toole ’15, Melissa Drury ’15 and Hannah Fitch ’15 arrived in South Bend, Ind. last month to begin their two years of study at Notre Dame through the 3+2 Engineering Program. One of the first things the group did was visit UND’s famous “Play Like a Champion Today” sign in the football team’s locker room leading out to the field at Notre Dame Stadium. To see the photo, visit here.

Rankings: Stonehill jumped ten spots in the latest U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings released last week. The College tied for 105th on the list of the top 236 National Liberal Arts Schools. The College’s 105 ranking is its second-highest since moving into the “National Liberal Arts” category in 2008. Previously, Stonehill held a No. 1 ranking in what was then called the “Comprehensive-Bachelor’s (North)” category from 2001-2007. The College’s highest ranking on the national list came in 2013 when it tied for 100.

Best Book:  In a new feature, we ask faculty and staff to discuss books that inspire them. Computer Science Professor Shai Simonson named Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum, a 19th century explorer who spent three years circumnavigating the world in a small sailboat built from scrap. Simonson appreciates how Slocum applied his wits and prowess against the challenges of nature. He also notes that Slocum was “content to be with himself for very long periods of time. In a world of Facebook and Twitter, social addictions can be as serious as alcoholism.  Slocum reminds me to look inside.” To read his essay, visit here.

Big Houses: The Easton Historical Society and our Archives & Historical Collections Department are curating an exhibit featuring 11 Easton mansions built by the Ames Family, including Donahue Hall. The display explores the architectural intricacies and the ultimate fate of each unique structure. The exhibit opened in Cushing-Martin Hall last week and will remain on display until summer 2015. For more, visit here.

Service and Scholarship: Today, Domenique Ciavattone ’13 heads to Tanzania where she will serve with the 2Seeds Network, a non-profit dedicated to food & income security. (Her classmate Hailey Chalhoub ’13 spent the last year in Tanzania and is now a senior project manager with 2Seeds.) Work that Ciavattone did as a SURE student in 2011 recently came to fruition when an article on women mill workers that she and Professor Anne Mattina wroteappeared in the book The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread and Roses Strike.