Performing arts professor Dan Cawthon, who is retiring in June after 27 years at SMC, will perform his one-man show “Damien” on March 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. in the Soda Center. He has received rave reviews for his portrayal of the Belgian priest who ministered to lepers on Molokai. Cawthon founded the Performing Arts Department and has received several honors from SMC, including Professor of the Year and the De La Salle award.

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Brother President Ronald Gallagher was one of six college presidents who shared thoughts on the challenges facing Catholic higher education in the Nov. 2 National Catholic Reporter.

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On Nov. 4, 2007, the New York Times profiled the College’s Liberal Arts for Education Professionals Program in Manhattan and discussed Saint Mary’s in an article about the Great Books curriculum. In the Sept. 30 New York Times Magazine, education consultant Lloyd Thacker praised SMC in his discussion of “most underrated colleges.”

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Students gave the College high ratings in the National Survey for Student Engagement. The survey is meant to be an alternative to the controversial US News & World Report college rankings, and it attempts to measure the levels at which students are involved in their academic experience.

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Student body Vice President Erik Coloma, junior class President Sergio Trejo and junior class Vice President Tommy Bell were the College’s representatives at the “Ethics in America” conference at the U.S. Military Academy in October. The four-day event brought 150 student leaders from more than 60 academic institutions together for seminar-style discussions and talks by business innovators and political pioneers.

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The library recently unveiled its new Civil War Letters of Forrest Little Collection website (http://library.stmarys-ca.edu/research/history/usa/little/index.php). The collection includes digital copies of letters that Union soldier Forrest Little wrote from his 5th Vermont Volunteer Regiment’s camp in Virginia to his parents in New York during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. The College plans future digital archiving of materials by and about Cardinal John Henry Newman and Saint John Baptist de La Salle.
Jan Kavan, a leader of Czechoslovakia’s 1989 Velvet Revolution who later served as Czech foreign minister and U.N. General Assembly president, spoke to students on Nov. 15 about his involvement in peace movements and diplomatic strategies for Iraq and Iran.

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Three School of Science students presented their research at the annual conference of science honors society Sigma Xi in Orlando in early November. This year’s presenters included Francesco Mangini (optics and plasma physics), Jon Plotner (asteroid classification) and Ashton Smith (psychology and social services).

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Bon Voyage: Director of College Communications Barry Shiller left SMC at the beginning of the year to become Associate Vice Provost for Public Affairs and Communications at UC Santa Cruz.

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