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Welcome Back! Fall 2017 News & Updates

It was another beautiful summer in Boston, with excitement, activity and energy ever present at 400 The Fenway. As we begin the 2017-18 academic year, we welcome more than 530 new students to Emmanuel, who join our ambitious and engaged community of students, faculty, staff and alumni. There is much to report regarding campus improvements, new academic offerings, faculty and staff appointments, and upcoming events, and we are thrilled to start the year.

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MARCH—On Wednesday evening, March 29, students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered to hear a lecture by writer and civil rights activist Shaun King in the Janet M. Daley Lecture Hall.

The event, which was part of Emmanuel’s “Through the Wire” series, filled the lecture hall from wall to wall. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Multicultural Programs hosted the event and invited King, who has written extensively in the scope of the Black Lives Matter movement, to speak to the Emmanuel community. Read more

Message from the President on the Passing of the Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J.

Dear Members of the Emmanuel College Community,

The College was saddened to learn of the death of the Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J., the 24th president and first chancellor of Boston College. To Father Monan’s family, to his brother Jesuits, and to the entire Boston College community, I express my heartfelt condolences.

Father Monan was an extraordinary person and a transformational figure in the history of Boston College. During his 24-year tenure as president (1972-1996), he led B.C. through a period of unprecedented growth and elevated its stature as one of the nation’s most preeminent Catholic universities. His leadership was an inspiration to many, and I consider it a great blessing to have known him and to have benefited from his wisdom and advice over many years.

At each of this weekend’s Masses in the College Chapel, we will offer prayers of gratitude for the life of Father Monan. We will always remember his enduring contributions to our city, to Catholic education and to the lives of generations of students.

Sister Janet Eisner, SND

Emmanuel Students and Faculty Engage with Boston Community Leaders on Urban Violence Reduction

Emmanuel students and Dr. Janese Free with (left to right) Rev. Jeff Brown, Rev. Mark Scott, Mr. Ed Gaskin, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans

“Toward a Safer Community” 

Written by: Elisabeth Carse & Sarah Salerno, Sociology students concentrating in Criminology

On Sunday evening, February 26th, Emmanuel College students and Professor Janese Free were joined for dinner by Mr. Ed Gaskin. The dinner served as a forum for students to engage in a discussion with Mr. Gaskin, who is a community activist, author and executive director of Greater Grove Hall Main Streets in Dorchester, MA. Additionally, Mr. Gaskin was the chief operating officer of Boston’s TenPoint Coalition and played a role in the “Boston Miracle” – an unprecedented drop in youth violence and homicides in the 1990s, including a period of more than two years when there were no teenage homicide victims in the city. The Boston Miracle involved collaboration between sometimes conflicting constituencies, such as the police, social workers, religious leaders and community members.

In addition, Professor Free discussed her recent research project on “streetworkers.” (Streetworkers aim to connect at-risk youth to social services, jobs, school and other pro-social activities and work to disrupt gang involvement and community violence. They are often from the neighborhoods they serve and have backgrounds similar to their clients, but are choosing now to give back to their communities by helping high-risk youth.) Professor Free and a student research assistant, Jenna Wilson ’18, interviewed 48 streetworkers in the city of Boston regarding the rewards and challenges of their jobs, their lived experiences, their relationships with their clients and the strategies streetworkers employ to intervene and interrupt violence. The purpose of the dinner was to learn more about these important issues before attending a lecture and panel discussion the following night at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum entitled, “Toward a Safer Community.”

On Monday evening, February 27th, some students from the Criminology concentration within the Sociology department, as well as other Emmanuel students, joined Prof. Free and Mr. Gaskin at the John F. Kennedy Library for a panel discussion featuring Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, Revs. Jeffery Brown (founding member of the TenPoint Coalition and founder of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace)) and Mark Scott (founding member of the TenPoint Coalition and member of Boston’s Streetworker Team). All three are nationally known experts and consultants on reducing violence via relationships and collaborations among the police, religious leaders and community members. Evans, Scott and Brown spoke about the successes and challenges Boston has faced historically regarding youth violence, gang involvement and police-community relations and the progress that is being made through community policing and collaborations. Rev. Scott spoke on the importance of streetworkers in this process and their key role in interrupting violence and supporting high-risk youth. The Boston model of collaboration, community policing and violence reduction is now being replicated in several cities in hopes of reducing youth violence and homicide rates across the United States.

Mr. Ed Gaskin, Rev. Mark Brown and Dr. Janese Free
Emmanuel students, Dr. Janese Free, Mr. Ed Gaskin and panelists
Mr. Ed Gaskin and Rev. Mark Brown


Emmanuel College 2017 Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

To:        The Emmanuel College Community
From:   Sister Janet Eisner, SND, President
Date:    March 2, 2017
Re:        2017 Honorary Degree Recipients

At this year’s Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 13th, Emmanuel will confer an honorary doctorate on our distinguished speaker, Rosanne Haggerty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions. During the ceremony, the College will award honorary degrees to two additional individuals who exemplify Emmanuel’s mission and values by their superb contributions to their professions and to society.

Wayne Budd, Esq. is an attorney with over 40 years of legal experience in the public and private sectors. From 1989 to 1992 he served as United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, acting as the Commonwealth’s chief federal prosecutor and representing the federal government in all matters involving civil litigation. In 1992, he was appointed by then-President George H.W. Bush to serve as an Associate Attorney General, overseeing the Civil Rights, Environmental, Tax, Civil and Anti-Trust Divisions at the Department of Justice, as well as the Bureau of Prisons. He was later appointed by then-President Bill Clinton to serve as a member of the Sentencing Commission. Currently, Mr. Budd is Senior Counsel at Goodwin Procter LLP, where he was a partner from 1993 to 1996. Prior to rejoining Goodwin in 2004, he served as a Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel and a Director of John Hancock and as Group President-New England of Bell Atlantic Corporation. He formerly served as President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and in 1979 became the first African-American President of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He holds an A.B. from Boston College and a J.D. from Wayne State University School of Law.

Elaine El-Khawas, Ph.D. is a research sociologist and Professor Emerita of Education Policy at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Dr. El-Khawas’s areas of expertise include higher education policy at both the state and federal level, and comparative policy and practice in higher education. She has published widely on trends and policies affecting higher education, including issues in accreditation and quality assurance, organizational change, faculty and governance. Previously she served as Professor of Higher Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also served as Vice President for Policy Analysis and Research at the American Council on Education (ACE) for 14 years. She was a member of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) scientific committee for Europe and North America and served on the boards of several international journals, including Quality in Higher Education. She has been a consultant and advisor to the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Association of African Universities. Dr. El-Khawas has served as a Trustee of Emmanuel College for three decades and serves as the Chair of the Board’s Committee on Academic Affairs. She received her B.A. from George Washington and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

I look forward to welcoming all of our distinguished guests to campus as we celebrate the achievements of the Emmanuel College Class of 2017!

Emmanuel’s Theater Programs Continue to Earn Accolades

emmanuel-theater-program-accoladesChristina Listro ’17 has won the “KC/ACTF Barbizon Award for Excellence in Costume Design” for Emmanuel’s spring show, “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine.” As part of the award she will travel to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for the National Festival and is invited to present her work to a team of professional artists and designers.

Darren Cornell ’16 won the “KC/ACTF USITT Meritorious Service Award for Outstanding Student Design Work” for his work on the set of the same show. Darren will travel to the U.S. Institute of Theater Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO, to present his work and meet with professional designers.

This is the first time anyone from Emmanuel has won either award!

Congratulations to Christina and Darren for this extraordinary recognition of their talents and hard work.

Name Dropping and Product Mentions: Branding in Popular Music Lyrics

flynn-markThe latest publication (Feb. 2017) of Dr. Mark A. Flynn, Assistant Professor of Media & Communication Studies at Emmanuel, was a collaborative effort that explored name dropping and brand mentions in popular music lyrics. He and his co-authors analyzed over 600 songs from the six most popular genres: Rap, Rock, R&B/Hip hop, Country, Adult Contemporary, and Pop from 2009–2013. They found that more than a quarter of all songs analyzed contained a celebrity mention! And more than a third of all songs analyzed contained a brand mention! The findings of this research offer interesting and valuable socio-cultural and branding insights.

To read the article, click here.


A Message from Sister Janet Eisner, SND Regarding the Jan. 27 Executive Order

Dear Members of the Emmanuel College Community,

Last Friday, January 27th, the Trump Administration issued an Executive Order imposing a ban on travel into the United States by refugees for 120 days; by nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days; and by Syrian refugees indefinitely. The precise impact of the Executive Order remains unclear, with the White House continuing to provide clarifications regarding who is and who is not affected by this action. In addition, there are ongoing court cases challenging the Executive Order’s constitutionality.

We are all concerned about these developments. I want to assure all students, faculty and staff that the College will do all it can within the law to protect the well-being of all community members during this uncertain time and to protect privacy rights in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Based on our current understanding of the Executive Order, and following a review of College records, it appears that we have two members of our community who may be directly and immediately subject to these travel restrictions. Additionally, we know that Emmanuel students are studying in none of the seven countries identified in the Executive Order.

We recognize that some of you may have family members and friends whose lives have been interrupted by this new measure taken by the Trump Administration. I want you to know that you have the full support of the Emmanuel community, and that the College is ready to provide guidance and resources.

As you may recall, on December 8, 2016, I issued a message to the College community noting that I had signed a statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy (see below). Today I wish to express the College’s commitment to all who seek refuge from political or religious persecution or from economic hardship in their home countries.

In a broader sense, these times call on us to affirm the values at the heart of Emmanuel’s Catholic educational mission, including a compassionate embrace of humanity that is authentically “catholic”—that is, universal—in scope. These values are consistent with Catholic social teaching on immigration and with a recent statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As we navigate the days and months ahead, may we be inspired by Pope Francis’ declaration that “migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.” 

Sister Janet Eisner, SND



President Sister Janet Eisner, SND, sent the following message to the College community on December 8, 2016:

Dear Members of the Emmanuel College Community, 

As we approach the close of the fall semester, we are experiencing an important moment in the life of our nation. We recognize well that for some members of our community this is also a time of uncertainty about the future.

Consistent with Emmanuel’s policies, and with our commitment to social justice, I have joined presidents of other Catholic colleges and universities in signing a statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, issued in 2012. The statement is attached.

This statement reflects Emmanuel’s values:

  • We are guided by the values of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the College’s mission, the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
  • We are responsive to the needs of students from diverse backgrounds.
  • We encourage informed debate and dialogue on the critical issues of our time, exchanging perspectives freely in a climate of reason, respect and civility.

We will continue to uphold our commitment to engaging as a College community in listening sessions and dialogue on diversity and inclusion, as well as on national and global events. We will continue to uphold the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy rights of all our students.

As we conclude the Year of Mercy, we recall Pope Francis’ appeal to “promote a culture of mercy…in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sisters.”

During this Advent season, may you experience the blessings of Emmanuel, our God with us.

Sister Janet Eisner, SND