Students present papers at religion and philosophy conference

SalveToday: April 4, 2014

Brandon Harrington ’16, Sarah Kalny ’14 and Anneka Vanderveen ’14 recently presented papers at the North American Undergraduate Conference in Religion and Philosophy.

Harrington’s paper, “Jurgensmeyer and the Weathermen: Terrorism in Retrospect and Lessons for the Present,” won second prize at the conference. Using a secular-theological application of Mark Jurgensmeyer’s framework for religious violence, his paper compared the 1970s American revolutionary group The Weather Underground with contemporary terrorism to suggest operative alternatives to present dogmas.

Kalny’s paper, “Thoughts on Death of God Theology and Jeffery Robbins’ ‘Radical Democracy and Political Theology,’” discussed how we might understand how the death of God and theology have influenced politics today and how they can be applied to life and in decision making.

Vanderveen’s paper, “Robbins Hood: Creating an Egalitarian Society,” suggested that the creation of a utopia is the only way to repair the broken political and economic systems that are plaguing America.

Adjunct professor Jordan Miller accompanied the students and chaired their panel, which was titled “Politics and Theology Without God: Toward Secular-Theological Applicability.” A doctoral candidate at Salve Regina, Miller also serves as the faculty adviser to the Religious and Theological Studies Club.

Hosted by Lebanon Valley College in partnership with St. Francis University, the conference featured paper presentations from 28 students representing 16 colleges and universities.


Pulitzer Prize winner to discuss Islam in post-9/11 America

SalveToday: April 1, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, will discuss Islam in post-9/11 America when she visits Salve Regina on Wednesday, April 2.

“One Decade, Many Lessons: Islam in Post-9/11 America,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall. Free and open to the public, the event is co-sponsored by the Mosaic student newspaper and the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.

Elliott was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her series “An Imam in America,” which chronicled the life of an immigrant Muslim leader in Brooklyn in 2007. Her other projects include an examination of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, special reports for The New York Times Magazine on an Alabama-born jihadist and the lives of Moroccan suicide bombers, and a probe into how more than 20 young Somalis from Minneapolis joined an Al-Qaeda-linked militia in Somalia.

Elliott’s work has received honors from the Overseas Press Club, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and the New York Press Club, and she was featured in Best Newspaper Writing of 2007.

Campus Life bringing “pet therapy” to residence halls

SalveToday: November 15, 2013
With the stress of the fall semester piling on, the Office of Campus Life has teamed up with Dr. Robin Hoffmann, chairwoman of the Department of Administration of Justice, to bring some “pet therapy” to Salve Regina’s residence halls.

Sasha, Hoffmann’s miniature poodle, is a certified therapy dog that has been trained specifically to work with people. Next week, the pair will stop by Miley Hall to visit residents on the second and third floors.

Jenn Rosa, assistant director of campus life, says that Sasha’s visits help students who may be feeling homesick, or missing their own family pet. Resident Advisers notify their students of the upcoming visit opportunities so they can leave their doors open if they want to say hello.

The Office of Campus Life has also organized two dates to host therapy dogs from the Potter League to come and interact with students. They are also hoping to sponsor a stress buster finals party with Sasha and Hoffmann before the start of finals week.

Upcoming dates:

Sasha – 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 in the Miley Hall second and third floor common areas
Potter League – 6-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 and Monday, Dec. 2 in the Miley Hall garden level lounge

Spanish Club seeks students looking to improve verbal skills

SalveToday: November 25, 2013

The Spanish Club invites students who are looking to improve their verbal Spanish skills to join their campus organization. Formed last fall, the club aims to provide students with an opportunity to speak Spanish outside of the classroom, regardless of their skill level.

The group meets at 5:30 p.m. Mondays in the Antone Academic Center, Room 121 to watch a telenovela (Spanish soap opera) and converse in Spanish. Dr. Linda Crawford, the club’s faculty adviser and chairwoman of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, emphasizes that speaking Spanish outside of the classroom is vital in order for students to progress.

“This year the club has taken off much stronger than it did last year,” Crawford says. “We really have a strong group of people participating on a regular basis.”

In addition to the weekly meetings, the club hosts dinners and takes part in community outreach programs. This semester, several students volunteered with Bike Newport to distribute reflectors and safety gear at Leo’s Market on Broadway.

“The large biking population in Newport consists of people from Guatemala and Central America,” Crawford says. This outreach program provides students with an opportunity to communicate with native speakers of the Spanish language while giving back to the Newport community.

Students who are interested in getting involved with the Spanish Club can email Crawford or co-president Samantha LoPinto ’14.

Eat In, Take Out, Delivery

Report From Newport: Fall 2013

Boss Man Burgers – run by Sean Peters ’09 and his brother, Jason – has it all … with hand-cut fries.

As an administration of justice major at Salve Regina, Sean Peters ’09 planned to pursue a job with the police force after graduation. His twin, Jason, had recently opened Boss Man Burgers in Portsmouth, R.I., and Peters was helping out with the restaurant while applying for jobs. But when Jason developed some health issues, Peters put the job search on hold and stepped up to run his brother’s business.

Today, the Peters brothers co-run Boss Man, and Sean’s role is just as important now as when he joined the business three years ago. Located on 510 East Man Road in Middletown – Boss Man has evolved from a small burger joint inside an Irving gas station to a 2,000-square-foot restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

“People don’t like to travel on the island,” Peters says. “We wanted to get closer to the majority of the people.”

Once known only for burgers, the restaurant now serves breakfast and has expanded its menu to include a variety of appetizers, salads, seafood and pasta specials. Although burgers are still a staple, Peters says the new menu serves the needs of a greater number of people.

Focused on fresh and local ingredients, customers can feel confident they are eating quality food while dining at Boss Man. “This is not fast food,” says Peters. “This is more food fast.”

Boss Man relies on local farms to get the majority of their produce. “We don’t bring much stuff in; we make everything in-hose that we can,” Peters adds. “We hand-cut our fries, make our own onion rings, pickles, mozzarella sticks, sauces and even our salad dressings.”

In looking toward the future, The Peters brothers have a few ideas to expand their business. “The dream is to franchise, kind of like a Five Guys,” says Peters. “We have someone in Texas that wants to open one and we have someone who contacted us from Massachusetts as well.”

In addition to franchising Boss Man, Peters says the ultimate goal is to expand their business to include “gastropubs,” upscale pubs that serve high-quality food.

Although Peters is working in a field totally unrelated to administration of justice, he says the Salve Regina curriculum prepared him well to run a business. “Nobody holds your hand in college,” Peters adds. “Nobody tells you what to do; you have to be responsible enough to know what you need to do and do it.”

During the past year, Boss Man has developed a partnership with Salve Regina that enables students with funds on their student ID card to swipe and make a purchase at the restaurant. The business also participates in Swipe for a Cause, a credit card system that supports local charities. “Our credit card processor is Swipe for a Cause so the credit card fees go toward hospice houses in Rhode Island,” Peters explains.

With a more centralized location on Aquidneck Island and a recently acquired license to serve beer and wine, odds are that Boss Man will keep Peters even busier as the business grows. When he does manage to get some time off, he spends it with his high school sweetheart and spouse, Alison Wicks Peters ’09 (MBA). Although she does not have a lot to do with Boss Man, Wicks Peters has a busy schedule of her own as the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, where she works as a contracting officer.

“Alison and I always look forward to having old friends from Salve Regina come down to hang out at Boss Man,” Peters adds.

A Perfect Match

BY Meredith Mason
Report From Newport: Fall, 2013

A day after graduating, Bryant Ostrander ’13 becomes a bone marrow donor.

Bryant Ostrander, ’13, an accounting major and football player, had a fairly routine schedule last spring. Wake up, go to class, work out at the gym and hang out with friends. But a few days before Easter vacation, Ostrander’s usual schedule was interrupted by an unusual call from the Rhode Island Blood Center, who told him he was a possible bone marrow match for someone with cancer. After some tests, Ostrander was told he was second on the donation list.

A year ago, Ostrander registered to become a bone marrow donor when Be the Match came to campus to recruit volunteers. For the past two years, the Salve Regina football team has worked with Be the Match Foundation to match members of the Salve Regina community with those in need of a bone marrow transplant. Marrow donors are constantly needed to save the lives of patients with diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia.

Ostrander met the ideal donor qualifications of a healthy athlete between the ages of 18 and 22, and, at the end of April, he received a call that he was the best choice for the match. He was injected with the first of five shots May 20, the day after his graduation ceremony.

“The procedure was basically painless,” Ostrander says. “With the shots I received, the nurses said I might feel like I had the flu and would experience little aches and pains and have trouble sleeping, but going through preseason football camp was a lot worse than going through the bone marrow donation process.”

Ostrander was told that the recipient of his bone marrow donation was an older woman, but because of a confidentiality agreement, that was the only information he was given. “They want to keep it totally confidential; however, if bother parties agree, in a year I can get her information and she can get mine,” Ostrander says.

After undergoing a four-hour final procedure to collect his white blood cells, Ostrander said he was glad he had the opportunity to sign up for the marrow donation with the football team. “In all of my years of playing football, this was the most important thing I have ever done,” he says. “It was a great way to end my playing career.”

A New Twist on Summer School

Report From Newport: Fall, 2013

Cultural and historic preservation field school integrates the past with the present.

When students “study away,” most do so in a foreign country, thousands of miles from home. Although Charleston, S.C. may not be a faraway place, five Salve Regina students chose to “study away” by participating in a four-week summer archaeological field school led by Dr. Jon Marcoux, assistant professor of cultural and historic preservation.

Open to all majors, the program allowed students to earn credit for cultural and historical preservation, sociology and anthropology, or American studies curriculum requirements.

According to Marcoux, the field school had three primary goals: To train students in fundamental archaeological field methods and excavation techniques, to have students work closely with experts to tackle a real-world research project and to show students how the past is related to the modern cultural experience of the Lowcountry region through historic preservation.

“The last goal was accomplished by housing students on the College of Charleston in the heart of the city,” Marcoux says. “Students were encouraged to see, hear and taste the uniqueness of Charleston and the Lowcounty through excursions to important historical and cultural sites, attractions and restaurants.”

Melissa Andrade ’14, Alison Cutter ’14, Jillian Diffendaffer ’14, Sigourney Faul ’15 and Shannon Salome ’15 began their field work on May 28. On a typical day, Marcoux and his students left for the site at 7:30 a.m.

“There are several procedures that need to be followed to conduct an official archeological dig, including mapping, retrieving various sample of soil and taking notes of your specific excavation, just to name a few,” Faul explains.

The first phase of the field school took place at a 30-acre grass field that was likely an Indian village occupied sometime around 1700. As a part of a collaborative project with the College of Charleston, the Charleston Museum, the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Archaeological Research Collective, Inc., the second phase of the field school, where students spent the majority of their time, was located at the site of the New World plantation St. Giles Kussoe.

Salome, a cultural and historic preservation major, decided to participate in the field school after taking Introduction to Historical Archaeology with Marcoux. “I did not expect to fall in love with archaeology as I did during this program,” she says. “Working at the Lord Ashley plantation was amazing, and it opened my eyes to the incredible possibilities and opportunities that could be in store for me in the future.

Marcoux said there were three very important discoveries made during this field season. “First, we found a lot of broken pieces of pottery made by Native Americans who were trading at the plantation or were perhaps enslaved laborers,” he says. “This style of the pottery is most commonly found in Georgia and East Tennessee. To me, this means that Native American groups from hundreds of miles away came to this plantation – by choice or by force.

“Second, we found the mostly intact remains of a brick building foundation along with the base of a chimney,” Marcoux continues. “Build around 1674, this may be the oldest evidence for a brick foundation in the Carolinas. Lastly, and perhaps most satisfying, we were able to confirm the existence of a defensive moat surrounding the core of the site.”

“I had no idea what to expect entering this field school, and it has turned out to be one of the most important things I’ve done with my life thus far,” Salome says. “I grew a great deal as an individual, made a great group of new friends, experienced a different culture and began to see my future more clearly.”