Monday Morning Update

February 24, 2014

Global Leader: Students and faculty received a master class on bringing change to one of the world’s largest economies when former Mexican President Felipe Calderón spoke in the Martin Institute last week. Professor of Political Science Anna Ohanyan set the stage with a profile of Calderón who led Mexico from 2006 to 2012. Then, in a conversation guided by Professor of Political Science Richard Finnegan ’64, Calderón addressed the demands of leadership, U.S.-Mexico relations, building democracy, the threat of narco-terrorism, the importance of the rule of law, and the need for more green growth. Joining Calderón was Barbara Whalen ’78 Executive Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the Kennedy School. The co-chair of the Martin Institute Board of Advisors, Whalen was instrumental in bringing Calderón to the College.

Basketball Peace Corps: Former basketball player, Priscilla Dodoo '12 is in Rwanda as part of a "Shooting Touch Sabbatical," an international work program using the platform of basketball to help foster education and influence positive social change in third world communities. Through the program, she will get credit toward her master’s degree at the University of Bridgeport in global development and peace. To see Dodoo with aspiring players in Gikondo, an area on the outskirts of Rwanda’s capital Kigali, see our Picture of the Week.

Minutes That Matter: Ten years after Brittany Bergquist '13, and her brother Rob, created Cell Phones for Soldiers, the nonprofit is still helping U.S. troops to stay in touch with their families. Over a decade, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided 204 million free minutes of talk time to troops and veterans and it distributes 7,500 free calling cards annually. It has also recycled more than 11 million cell phones. Last year, the Bergquists launched Helping Heroes Home, a program to assist veterans with emergency financial assistance. In addition to her efforts for the family-run nonprofit, Bergquist works in marketing for an international toy company. For more, visit here.

Fun Fund: Students with ideas for weekend activities that do not involve alcohol can apply to the Fun Fund. If their ideas are approved, and about 50 percent of the 119 applications last year were approved, they can receive funding of up to $200. For example, Samantha Rose ’14 told The Summit that, last year, she and three friends attended a concert by the indie folk-rock band The Head and the Heart in Boston with the Fun Fund paying for their $20 tickets. For more, read The Summit’s Fun Fund story.

Songs of Praise: At Sunday Mass recently in the Chapel of Mary,the Boston Black Catholic Choir performed their wonderful songs of praise. As they have done before, they brought a special spirit of celebration as their songs rang out and the congregation joined along with them. To see photos of the Choir in action, visit here.

Spring Concert:  Here is a tonic for the winter weather blues, our Spring Nakamicki Concert tomorrow night in the Chapel of Mary. It will feature the warming sounds of Bach, Holst, and Hovaness when Stonehill’s own Margaret Angelini (organ), Dan Davey (trumpet) and Ana Popa (piano) perform. Supported in part by the Father Eugene Green Foundation, the Spring Nakamicki Concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25 and will be followed by a reception. All are welcome to attend.

Hallelujah: While on the subject of song, treat yourself to a wonderful version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah sung by Micah Christian ’06. A former member of the Hyannis Sound, Cape Cod’s finest a cappella group, Christian has just returned from  Peru where he and his wife, Jocelyn (Vierra) Christian '08, were volunteer high school teachers.  He is now teaching at the New England School of English in Cambridge. To hear his arrangement of Hallelujah, complete with harp, cello, guitar and vocals, visit here.

Record Season: Congratulations to the Stonehill men's ice hockey team on its record-breaking season. The Skyhawks claimed their first NE-10 regular season championship in history with a 16-9-0 overall record and a 11-0-0 mark in NE-10 play. The team closed out its season with a tough 2-1 loss to St. Michael's in the NE-10 Championship semifinal game on Saturday. The team had been on a record-setting ten game winning streak heading into the game.