Summer Media Coverage Report: May 28 to August 27, 2012
Even though summers, in general, are slower seasons for news about the College, there were quite a few stories about the College between the end of the spring term and the start of SMC’s sesquicentennial year in fall 2012. Including duplicate stories, Saint Mary's College was mentioned in the news nearly 1,600 times during the period of May 28 to August 27, 2012.
The media mentions included a variety of national and local items, including news stories that quoted the research or perspectives of Saint Mary’s professors, such as KSOE’s Kathleen Taylor’s research on the aging brain, reports of alumni career successes, including the nomination of Judge Troy Nunley `84 to the federal bench and chronicles of the exploits of SMC senior Matthew Dellavedova at the Olympics as part of the Australian men’s basketball team. They also included the sad notices of the passing of 98-year-old singer Tony Martin.
· KSOE’s Prof. Kathleen Taylor was quoted in the national CNN.com article “The aging brain: Why getting older just might be awesome.
· A School of Science summer research study on energy drinks, conducted by Prof. Vidya Chandrasekaran and her students, was profiled in a Prevention.com story.
· The Contra Costa Times story “St. Mary's College teaches summer camp, with a little help from Socrates,” about the Integral Program’s new summer camp, profiled the College’s academic focus on the liberal arts with a unique summer program for teens.
· School of Liberal Arts dean and politics professor Steve Woolpert continues to be a “go to” interpreter of political developments for local outlets, including KCBS radio, and KPIX-TV/CBS-5 on issues such as the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care law.
· The San Francisco Chronicle article “St. Mary's effect on world basketball” highlighted the impact of SMC athletic excellence at the Olympics; noting the presence of two SMC Gaels — alum and NBA player Patty Mills and senior guard and academic All-American Matthew Dellavedova — on the Australian men's basketball team in the summer games.
· The nomination of SMC alumnus and Sacramento Judge Troy Nunley '84 to the federal bench by President Barack Obama garnered coverage in the Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle.
· Sadly there were hundreds of notices about the sad passing of entertainer Tony Martin '35. The SMC alumnus, who was a debonair crooner in the tradition of singers such as Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, died from natural causes at the age of 98. Martin’s career spanned 80 years.
As mentioned above, there were nearly 1,600 total media hits. Many of those items were actually the same news story, or press release (alumni career moves), but duplicated in various, sometimes hundreds of markets.
To make the report more manageable, the clips categories are scaled to the original postings, bringing the number down to around 517 (duplicate totals appear in parenthesis). However, a report with total clip, including duplicates is available on request.
Clips are categorized alphabetically into alumni news (which includes news stories and career updates), news about SMC athletics, faculty-in-the-news, calendar listings, institutional news items (which focus on the College's reputation), obituaries, public safety news, SMC mentions (miscellaneous references to the College) and students in the news.
Alumni press releases about career moves made up the lion's share of the media mentions in this category. However there were several news reports about honors for two of SMC alums that were noteworthy. As mentioned earlier, the nomination of Sacramento Judge Troy Nunley ‘84 to the federal district court by President Barack Obama was noted by several California outlets. Nunley has spoken publically in recent years about how Saint Mary’s Collegiate Seminar program helped prepare him for a career as a lawyer.
Saint Mary’s alumna Sparky Harlan received a national Champion of Change award by the White House for her work as the CEO of the Bill Wilson Center in Santa Clara. Since 1983, Harlan has developed several innovative shelters and treatment programs for homeless and troubled teens.
Athletics: 137 (249)
There were many notices about SMC athletics during the summer. However, of the scores of media mentions, there were a couple of standouts moments, including the once in a lifetime opportunities that happened for a couple of SMC athletes during the summer.
Martin Agosta, an SMC junior, Gaels baseball pitcher and life-long San Francisco Giants fan was selected in the second round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft by the Giants. He was the 84th pick of the second round.
Gael basketball took center stage in the Olympics. The Australian team, which featured former Gael Patty Mills and current player Matthew Dellavedova, played well and emerged triumphant over the heavily favored Russian team. The success of the Australians caused some divided loyalties with many SMC basketball fans had as they watched the Aussies, with Mills and Dellavedova, go toe-to-toe with NBA superstars such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. And while the team from down under would eventually lose against the Bryant led Dream Team, it was pretty cool watching Delly wrestle with Kobe for possession of the ball.
Calendar Listings: 32 (159)
Events at the College during the summer drew a fair amount of media interest, including the College’s annual wine festival to support student scholarships. The festival was promoted in several calendar sections and covered by the Contra Costa Times. The Museum of Art’s exhibition "The Nature of Collecting: The Early 20th Century Fine Art Collection of Roger Epperson," which opened in July was also listed in calendar sections and was profiled by the Bay Area News Group.
Faculty In The News: 55 (119)
Saint Mary’s faculty continued to be recognized for their scholarship and expertise by media outlets. There were more than many notices about SMC professors, including KSOE’s Prof. Kathleen Taylor, who was quoted in the CNN.com article “The aging brain: Why getting older just might be awesome.
Other highlights included Prevention.com, which ran an article about a School of Science summer research study on energy drinks, conducted by Prof. Vidya Chandrasekaran and her students. Professor Jack Rasmus was quoted numerous times about the state of the economy domestically and abroad
Op-eds by SMC faculty included a perspective on the Greek economic crisis by SEBA Professor Tomas Gomez-Arias that was published by the Contra Costa Times and a commentary in the Lake Country Record on public policy held hostage by divisive partisan politics by politics professor Steve Sloane.
School of Liberal Arts dean and politics professor Steve Woolpert continued to be a “go to” interpreter of political developments for local outlets, including KCBS radio, and KPIX-TV/CBS-5 on issues such as the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the national health care law.
A syndicated Chicago Tribune story on runaway household budgets quoted research on ill-formed consumer purchasing decisions by SEBA professor Andrew Wilson.
Institutional News: 73 (157)
There were quite a few items relating to the mission and academic reputation of the College, including the Contra Costa Times story “St. Mary's College teaches summer camp, with a little help from Socrates” about the Integral Program’s new summer camp, which profiled the College’s academic focus on the liberal arts with a unique program for high school juniors and seniors. These stories were often repeated in other Bay Area News Group papers.
Other news institutional news items included the announcement Brother President Ronald Gallagher had decided to return to the classroom and step down as Saint Mary’s president. The release of the news was covered by the Contra Costa Times and KTVU-TV news. The newspaper also covered several other developments at the College, including plans for a new student recreation center and the expansion of the Kalmanovitz School of Education’s support for the Joey Travolta Autism Spectrum Camp with internship opportunities for graduate students in the KSOE’s special education program.
Additionally the Catholic Voice reported on SEBA’s mission driven Trans Global Executive MBA program that takes social justice values and business practices applies them to social problems across the globe. Other brief institutional mentions, included promotional references for the College's SEBA program in ads that were noted by SMC media monitoring service.
Obituaries: 74 (412)
The majority of the media mentions in this category are the result of wire service reports carried nationwided about the passing of entertainer Tony Martin. Hundreds of media outlets across the nation carried the sad news of the death of velvet voiced singer, and SMC alum, Tony Martin. The 98-year-old crooner, who grew up in the Bay Area, died from natural causes on the evening of Friday, July 27, 2012. The many news accounts note that Martin attended Saint Mary’s in the early 1930s as part of the class of 1934. However, his love of music took him in a different direction.
Public Safety: 6 (24)
Regretfully, there around six initial reports, followed by subsequent duplicate stories,, about the conviction of former Saint Mary’s student Pornthep Suvanasarn for exposing himself to a child while at his job at as a 24-Hour Fitness employee. There were no reports of Suvanasarn acting inappropriately on SMC’s campus.
SMC Mentions: 65 (296)
There were many miscellaneous mentions of the college during the summer, most were references to high school athletic events, or seasonal camps that rent facility space from the college but are not supported institutionally by SMC.
Students in the News: 18 (48)
Notices about students at the College appeared in media outlets for various reasons. Some items were related to incoming freshman and news briefs about their intentions of enrolling at SMC. Other reports were about students such as Amanda Sechrest, who is studying education at SMC and was listed as one of three patients to receive heart transplants at a Palo Alto hospital during a three-day period. Christopher Lee, a Pleasanton special education teacher, and possible KSOE grad-student, was profiled for his commitment in the elementary school classroom, and there was a brief note about Shannon Leigh Gaughf, who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College in May.