Media Coverage Report: December 1, 2011 — February 10, 2012

Media Coverage Report: December 1, 2011 — February 10, 2012

Saint Mary's College was mentioned in the news on 1,246 occasions between December 1, 2011 and February 10, 2012.

The media hits included feature articles on classes taught by our faculty, commentary and analysis by SMC professors in national and local news outlets, cross-posts of campus events in affiliated news streams, announcements about alumni-related career moves and regional and wire service reports about SMC's 16th ranked men's basketball team.


  • A national USA Today story featuring Economics Professor Kara Boatmen commenting on the growth of luxury boxes in N.F.L. stadiums.
  • Diablo Magazine’s January article “A Brighter Tomorrow,” featured School of Education Dean Phyllis Metcalf-Turner, Economics Professor Jack Rasmus and Politics Professor Suzi Weissman.
  • KQED’s Forum show explored Syria’s future with Politics Professor Hisham Ahmed.

 As expected, the lion’s share of the media hits the College received was the result of increasing media focus on the men’s basketball team. The 23-4 Gaels are the West Coast Conference leaders and have generated well-deserved interest in the Bay Area sports world and beyond.

News 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), obituaries, SMC mentions (miscellaneous references to the College) and students in the news.

There were 155 news mentions about SMC Alumni. The most notable of these media hits was a New York Times article on SMC alum Sean Devine in “The Boss.” Among the numerous notices on alumni career moves was the molecular diagnostics company PrimeraDX announcing the appointment of SEBA graduate business alumnus David Heffelfinger as Vice President of Engineering and Systems Development.

Including duplicate stories, there were 408 news clips about SMC athletics. This category was driven by media mentions about the College’s men’s basketball team. Articles about the play of the WCC leading Gaels. Profiles of players and coaches make up the major share of the news hits in the category.

Including duplicate listings and event profiles, there were 201 media hits about campus events and activities mentioned in news outlets. Events such as the Jan Term Speaker Series, which was cross-listed in the newspapers of the Bay Area News Group, and exhibitions at the Saint Mary's College Museum of Art were the primary generators of these notices.

There were 68 news mentions about SMC faculty during the period. Highlights of media attention on our professors included several glowing reviews of English Professor Lysley Tenorio’s new book “Monstress” by NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe.  A major media hit was a national USA Today/ news article that featured commentary by SEBA Economics Professor Kara Boatman.

The period also had prominent regional coverage of our faculty as thought leaders. Diablo Magazine’s January article “A Brighter Tomorrow,” featured perspectives from School of Education Dean Phyllis Metcalf-Turner, Economics Professor Jack Rasmus and Politics Professor Suzi Weissman and KQED’s Forum show joined the many media outlets that reach out to Politics Professor Hisham Ahmed for insight on the Middle East.

There were also Bay Area News Group profiles of Jan Term class offerings with Chemistry Professor Michelle Shulman’s science of baking course and courses on the science of coffee and wine taught, respectively, by Biology Professor Anthony Talo and Chemistry Professor Alexander Pandell.

There were 23 news items related the College’s reputation. The San Francisco Chronicle, and several other news outlets noted the College was among other Catholic institutions of higher education in the Bay Area that had expressed concern about proposed federal guidelines that would require Catholic affiliated institutions to provide medical coverage that is not consistent with Catholic values. Other institutional related news mentions of note was the New York Times brief mention about San Francisco neighborhood St. Mary’s Park, which was the location where the College was established almost 150 years ago.

Sadly, there were 340 articles about the passing of individuals affiliated with Saint Mary’s. Most of the notices were about 77-year-old Patricia Disney, a former Regent and generous supporter of the College. Among her many generous gifts to the College, was an endowment for the academic lecture series, the Roy E. and Patricia Disney Forum. Hundreds of news outlets around the nation carried the announcement of Patricia Disney’s passing, including Variety. Another sad notice was about the passing of Elaine McKeon. A longstanding supporter of Saint Mary’s, a former regent and trustee chairperson, Mrs. McKeon and her husband, and former trustee, George R. McKeon generously provided financial assistance to the College over many years. The McKeon Pavilion, which opened in 1978 and is the home of the SMC Gaels, was funded by the couple.

There were 31 public safety media mentions during the period. Published local police reports mentioned a stolen vehicle and several thefts of computer laptops and a tablet.

There were 9 miscellaneous references to SMC’s proximity and good relations with the Moraga Country Club.

There were 11 media mentions about SMC students during the period. They included reports by KGO Radio and the Lamorinda Patch on an SMC Jan Term trip to Cambodia, and a Contra Costa Times profile on Mary Beth Ward, a 19-year-old freshman who competed in the Miss California USA competition.


The Office of Media Relations helps to advance the reputation of Saint Mary's by actively promoting the College, its academic programming, faculty expertise and student achievements to news organizations and external audiences.  For more information about how SMC connects with the media contact Director of Media Relations Mike McAlpin at 925-631-4222 (office), 925-878-9535 (cell) or by e-mail at




Date of Mention: 
Saturday, February 11, 2012