Media Coverage Report: October & November 2011
There were 343 news mentions about Saint Mary's College between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2011. SMC Faculty members continue to be highlighted for their academic excellence and tapped by news reporters and editors for their expertise and assistance in clarifying news issues for the public.
The following media mentions were especially noteworthy during the period:
- The October edition of New Yorker Magazine published the poem "Till It Finishes What It Does" by English Professor Brenda Hillman.
- The New York Times noted the novel "Crown of Dust" by English Professor Mary Volmer in its November Paperback Book Reviews.
- The School Library Journal included the novel "Stalker Girl" by English Professor Rosemary Graham in its suggested reads for November.
- Reporters covering the Occupy Movement turned to SMC professors repeatedly, the San Jose Mercury News featured commentary on the Occupy movement by Sociology Professor Robert Bulman; CBS-5/KPIX-TV Turned to Economics Professor Jack Rasmus about the various competing messages in the "Occupy" Movement.
- English Professor Lisa Manter was tapped by the San Jose Mercury News for commentary on why fairytales, such as Snow White, continue to appeal to TV audiences and to TV producers.
- NBC Bay Area News reached out to Economics and Politics Professor Jack Rasmus about the failure of the Congressional super-committee to reach an agreement on debt reduction for the country.
- KCBS Radio and KTVU-TV turned to Politics Professor Hisham Ahmed for analysis on Libya after the death of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the country’s overthrown military dictator.
- Saint Mary's men's soccer team advanced into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Soccer tournament.
- The sad loss of Brother Donald Mansir, a longtime and beloved faculty member at Saint Mary’s, was chronicled in a Contra Costa Times news obituary.
The clips are categorized alphabetically into alumni news (which includes news stories and career updates), news about SMC athletics, faculty-in-the-news, institutional news (which focus on the College's reputation), SMC mentions (miscellaneous references to the College), students in the news, and public safety updates.
Career moves among alumni helped this category garner the most media mentions at 118. Among the movers and shakers noted during the period, Dickson Chu was named Senior Vice President for Merchant Solutions for LivingSocial; entrepreneur Margaret ‘Mai’ Uy, was cited in the Manilla Bulletin for opening “Cheese Steak Shop,” the Philadelphia-style cheese steak restaurant is a unique offering in the Philippines and Carolyn Snelling was spotlighted for Christian children’s book.
The success of the men’s soccer team was by far the leading highlight of the 111 media notices for athletics. The Gaels advanced to the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen Soccer tournament and was spotlighted by the Contra Costa Times and other local media for its success. News hits revolving around SMC athletics include a KNBR spotlight interview with Randy Bennett and feature stories about the start of the season for SMC’s men’s and women’s basketball.
Campus events such as the ongoing William Keith exhibition of at the SMC Museum of Art and the Performing Arts department’s staging of “June in A Box” generated around 25 media mentions.
With about 41 news mentions during this last review period, it’s obvious that the College’s faculty members continue to be highlighted for their academic expertise and talent.
Several English professors were noted for their gifts as writers by the national media. English Professor Brenda Hillman, whose poem "Till It Finishes What It Does" was published in the October edition of New Yorker Magazine; English Professor Mary Volmer’s novel "Crown of Dust," now in paperback, was noted by the New York Times, and in its suggested reads for November, the School Library Journal recommended English Professor Rosemary Graham’s novel "Stalker Girl."
Additionally, Saint Mary’s professors are increasingly tapped as expert sources for members of the print, online and broadcast news media. The Voice of Russia’s American Edition repeatedly turns to SMC to take advantage of our faculty’s strong international perspective in politics and business. VOR connected with Politics Professor Suzi Weissman about Soviet Espionage, with Graduate Business Professors Tomas Gomez-Arias and Shyam Kamath on glitches with high tech product offerings and Italy’s sovereign debt crisis meltdown.
Highlighted faculty included Sociology Professor Robert Bulman, who was tapped by the Bay Area News Group’s San Jose Mercury News and Oakland Tribune for insight into the Occupy Movement, as was Political Economist Jack Rasmus, who was sought out by CBS-5/KPIX-TV on the Occupy Movement’s message in urban and suburban areas.
The Performing Arts department’s fall production of “June in a Box” generated a San Jose Mercury News profile of visiting playwright Octavio Solis and interviews with Rebecca Engle, Director of SMC’s Theatre Program.
Whether it’s local media reaching out to our faculty members such as English Professor Lisa Manter for insight into what makes fairy tales good grist for TV shows, or the international media —such as the near dozen Indian news outlets which connected with SEBA Associate Dean Shyam Kamath to find out the motivations behind a T-GEMBA cohort’s visit to India — it is clear our talented faculty have expertise that journalists need to help the public understand current affairs, at home and abroad.
There were about 17 items in this category; several of which reported on the disappointing news that the College was not selected to host a 2012 Presidential Debate. However, on more up beat note the Chicago Tribune spotlighted the efforts of SMC’s career office in educating students on the importance of etiquette when seeking employment. The College’s alliance with other Catholic institutions of higher education in requesting an exemption from federal health mandates at odds with Catholic values generated several news items.
There were three SMC-related obituaries published over October and November. The Contra Costa Times reported on the death of Brother Donald Mansir on Oct. 14. The 62-year-old beloved Saint Mary's professor was internationally recognized for his work in renovating the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in the 1990s. Mansir was also an expert on the Middle East; he was a Vatican adviser on Palestinian issues and president of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine during the 1990's. As such, he was involved in Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Lebanon, assisting in diplomatic and humanitarian missions.
Other losses during the month included childhood educator Diana Daniel, who earned her teaching credentials at Saint Mary’s. The 64-year-old Oakland native passed away in October. And 67-year-old James "Jim" Richard Byrne lost his battle with ALS ((Lou Gehrig's Disease). Byrne attended St. Mary's before joining the Army Special Forces in 1966.
There were about ten miscellaneous news mentions references to the College, such as a Davis Enterprise news brief referring to opportunities for teens to visit Bay Area Colleges.
A good many students at the College were galvanized by the “Occupy Movement” in the Bay Area and around the nation. Student-related “Occupy” stories generated half of the 18 or so mentions in this category. The Contra Costa Times reported on an Occupy Teach-In at SMC where dozens of students and teachers spoke about what the Occupy movement meant to them.
Some students participated in the demonstrations in Oakland and on the UC Berkeley campus. Several alternative news outlet stories reported on the arrest of scores of student protestors, including SMC senior Robert Slaughter by Alameda police officers during an Occupy protest at the Berkeley campus. Tatiana Fuaau, a 21-year-old Oakland resident and junior was also quoted in the Oakland Tribune about youth involvement in the Occupy movement.
Follow the link below to view a complete report with news mention summaries. If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact the College's office of Media Relations at 925-631-4222.