Noteworthy Fall 2013


Jon McGee, CSB/SJU vice president of planning/public affairs, was recently elected chair-elect of the CSSAC (College Board, College Scholarship Service Assembly Council). His term will run from Nov. 1, 2013 through Oct. 31, 2015.

Tom Sibley, CSB/SJU professor of mathematics, has been elected for a three-year term as governor by the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Governors have fiduciary responsibility as well as decision-making responsibility for the national organization.


Delbert Brobst, CSB/SJU director of secondary education, will publish his first fiction novel in July 2014. The novel, Knock Until the Dog Barks: An Adventure in Puerto Vallarta, will be available at or from D. E. Brobst.

Anthony Cummingham, CSB/SJU professor of philosophy, published Modern Honor: A Philosophical Defense, with Routledge Press in April 2013.

James Read, CSB/SJU professor of political science, wrote the article "Transforming Power Relations: Leadership, Risk, and Hope," which has been accepted for publication in the American Political Science Review. The article, which is co-authored with Ian Shapiro of Yale University, argues that longstanding, bitter communal conflicts cannot be resolved without hopeful, risk-taking acts of political leadership.

Imad Rahal, chair and associate professor of CSB/SJU Computer Science, has published a paper co-authored with SJU 2010 alumnus Sean Landman, now pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Minnesota, in the journal of Data Mining, Modelling and Management by Indrescience: "Sean R. Landman, Imad Rahal: Using naïve Bayesian classification as a meta-predictor to improve start codon prediction accuracy in prokaryotic organisms. IJDMMM 5(3): 246-260 (2013)." The work provides a study of the use of a naïve Bayesian data mining model to accurately predict gene locations in the DNA of prokaryotic organisms (i.e., organisms whose cells lack a membrane-bound nucleus). The co-authors' empirical studies on E. coli as a case study established higher predication accuracy rates than current approaches in the literature.


Rachel Brandwein, CSB/SJU harp instructor, has been invited to give a full recital of her own compositions at the American Harp Society 2014 National Conference. The conference will be held in New Orleans.

Other News:

Saint John's Magazine Recognized

Saint John's Magazine won a Gold Award in its category at the Minnesota Magazine Publishing Association (MMPA) Excellence Awards for best profile article: Bringing His "A" Game, Michael Hemesath '81 Assumes Presidency in a Time of Change. The magazine also won a Silver Award for best special-issue publication: John Gagliardi Unrivaled and a Bronze Award for best profile article: Call on Me.

Leadership award recognizes Taylor

John Taylor, SJU institutional advancement senior associate, was recently given the George Latimer Leadership Award by Ever-Green Energy, a national and international consulting, operation and management firm that helps communities and organizations advance the study, development and operation of integrated energy systems. Former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer is often credited with leading the formation of the public-private partnership and the development of the nation's largest hot water district energy system that helped Saint Paul's system become a national model..

The award, celebrates Taylor's role in Ever-Green's growth as a service provider, system operator and leader in advancing community energy systems. Taylor is chair of Ever-Green Energy, now marking its 15th anniversary. Since 1982, Taylor has been active with Ever-Green's parent, District Energy St. Paul. The award recognizes Taylor for his vision for the District Energy family of companies, which have won numerous national and international energy awards. His unique experience in higher education and wealth of experience in the public and private sector has gained him the esteem of his colleagues.

Taylor has been active on the Saint John's campus serving as an original member of the Sustainable Campus Committee and playing a role in the development of the SJU Solar Greenhouse.

CSCI student programmers place third

One of two teams of CSB/SJU computer science majors placed third in the annual Digi-Key Collegiate Computing Competition (DKC3 - 2013) hosted by Digi-Key Corporation in Thief River Falls, Minn. Accompanied by Imad Rahal, CSB/SJU chair and associate professor of computer science, and Lynn Ziegler, CSB/SJU professor of computer science, the CSB/SJU teams competed in a pool of 15 teams from the following universities: Bemidji State University, North Dakota State University, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Minnesota-Morris, University of North Dakota, Concordia College, Minot State University, Dickinson State University and CSB/SJU.

The third-place team of Preston Hardy, Alida Hovey, and Hamrawit Tebeka is coached by Rahal. They each received a $100 Best Buy gift card, along with a $1,000 prize for the Computer Science Department. The department will use the money to fund future trips to similar contests.

Connolly recognized for SJU program

Michael Connolly, SJU dean of students, was among the 2013 winners of the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU) Mission Integration Project for the program "Deferred Suspension: an Alternative Sanctioning Model for Male Students - Centered on Self-Exploration and Growth."

The winners were recognized at the ASACCU Annual Conference July 23 - 26, co-hosted by Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America. In addition, they presented highlights of their project at the ASACCU annual business meeting July 25 and throughout the conference. The ASACCU project highlights model practice programs in various student life areas, which integration of Catholic identity and institutional mission.

British Academy bestows Ullendorff Medal upon Getatchew Haile

The Council of the British Academy has bestowed the Edward Ullendorff Medal upon Getatchew Haile, Ph.D., cataloguer emeritus of Oriental manuscripts and Regents Professor of Medieval Studies at The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at SJU. He will be presented the award on Nov. 14 at Carlton House Terrace in London. The ceremony will include the Academy's other annual prizewinners.

With a distinguished record of scholarship on Ethiopian studies both in English and Amharic, his native language, Haile is a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, winner of the MacArthur Foundation Award, member of the Academy of Social Sciences of Addis Ababa University and a member of the editorial boards of several international scholarly journals.

First awarded in 2012, the Edward Ullendorff Medal is awarded for scholarly distinction and achievements in the field of Semitic languages or Ethiopian studies. Ullendorff (1920-2011) was a fellow of the British Academy from 1965 until 2011 and a professor emeritus of the Semitic languages and of Ethiopian studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Nursing students experience Mayo externship

Three nursing students participated in the 2013 Summer III Nursing Externship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. These students - Kelsey McQuillan, Tyler Greguson and Marit Fraune - were three of 111 students nationwide selected from more than 900 applicants. All three students are seniors in the CSB/SJU Department of Nursing.

Music faculty award scholarship

The CSB/SJU Department of Music faculty has selected Spencer Frie as the recipient of the 2013-14 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award. In recognition of merit and excellence, the award is presented to one music major at the end of his or her junior year. Frie is a cello performance and instrumental music education major, with plans to attend graduate school. He has received an award certificate and a scholarship for his senior year. The scholarship is funded by The Presser Foundation, one of the few foundations in the United States dedicated solely to the support of music and music education.