October 21, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 4
One Athens to anotherBefitting Boston's status as the "Athens of America," Hellenic culture will be in the spotlight at BC next week with a series of lectures by an eminent visiting scholar.
Euthymios Soulogiannis, a research fellow in contemporary Greek history at the Academy of Athens, will speak on a variety of subjects during his stay at BC from Oct. 25-29, including the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, the identity of Greeks in Egypt and Ottoman History from the Egyptian perspective. On Oct. 29, he will hold a discussion on "The New Library of Alexandria" at 3 p.m. in the Burns Library.
Soulogiannis' visit to BC is part of a four-week trip to the US sponsored by the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, which has sent other lecturers to BC under the auspices of its University Seminars Program. BC is the recipient of a three-year grant from the A. S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation in Athens that supports the teaching of courses in Orthodox Theology and advanced seminars in modern Greek.
Soulogiannis' wife Alkestis, a literary critic who is director of the Department of Cultural Relations of the Greek Ministry of Culture, is scheduled to give a talk on poetry and cultural diplomacy to a class in the Classical Studies Department.
Hosting the ambassador
The University recently hosted another prominent visitor, United States Ambassador to Ireland James C. Kenny, who made a rare Boston appearance on Oct. 12 at the invitation of BC's Center for Irish Programs.
Kenny, in addition to touring the campus and attending a reception and dinner in his honor, sat in on a class, Irish Neutrality in World War II, taught by University Professor of History Thomas Hachey, executive director of the Center for Irish Programs.
A team of four Carroll School of Management students will take part in the Dalhousie University Business Ethics Case Competition to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Nov. 11-13. Boston College is the first American school to be invited to participate in the formerly all-Canadian event.
One of 24 teams in the event, Anne Cooper '05, Michael Dixon '06, Matt Lawton '05 and Kevin Schohl '06 will formulate and present responses to two - and for finalists, three - case problems. Each team will be expected to include appropriate business ethics and corporate social responsibility facets into their proposed solutions.
CSOM Assistant Dean for Academic Counseling James F. Halpin will head up the BC delegation.
"We are pleased to have been the first US undergraduate program to be invited to this competition," said CSOM Associate Dean for Undergraduates Richard Keeley. "I think that's a testimony to the reputation of Boston College, and the Carroll School as places where ethical inquiry are central to mission.
"I am sure that the team, under the guidance of Dean Jim Halpin, will acquit itself very well," Keeley said.
In addition to their presentations, students taking part in the competition will hear two well-known speakers with significant experience in the field of corporate ethics: Cynthia Cooper, vice-president of internal audit at MCI, Corp. (formerly WorldCom) and her former WorldCom employee Glyn Smith. Together, the two uncovered $3.8 billion in inflated profits, the largest corporate fraud in history.
Coping and hoping
This October marks the 20th anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a milestone of no small importance for Assoc. Prof. Karen Kayser (GSSW), who has pursued groundbreaking research aimed at helping couples cope with breast cancer.
In the past, psychosocial services were rarely available to help couples, but in the five years since Kayser's "Partners in Coping" program was launched at three Boston hospitals, it has become a model for hospitals and professionals in health-related fields across the US, and recently expanded to China. Her study tracks the progress of 53 couples in the early stage of breast cancer, half of whom were randomly assigned to her program, and offers insights into the potential effectiveness of couples' therapy.
Kayser has found three essential ingredients for successful coping: an awareness of cancer as affecting both partners; effective communication of empathy and understanding of emotional needs; and honesty about stress, emotions and needs. She also found the program was particularly helpful in increasing the couples' communication about their stress, and how to deal with it together.
Younger couples are most likely to benefit from intervention, according to Kayser, since they tend to have other sources of stress, such as work, finances and childcare, in their lives.
During the summer, Kayser taught the program online to social workers. "The Internet enables me to train practitioners worldwide in my treatment protocol. As a result of my course this summer, we are adapting the program for Chinese couples so that we can implement the program and conduct an evaluation study at a medical center in Hong Kong."
Kayser is developing a Web site for patient education and support that will provide information about psychosocial issues related to coping with breast cancer, as well as disseminate research findings on psychosocial oncology to healthcare practitioners and researchers.
Letters home, and abroad
The Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections will this afternoon officially mark its latest major acquisition: an extraordinary collection of letters and artifacts from the Irish Famine era of the mid-19th century.
This collection consists of 45 letters and artifacts sent to and from several individuals associated with the Persses, a prominent Galway family, during the Famine. The Persses are the family of Lady Gregory, one of Ireland's foremost literary figures and a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.
At 4 p.m. today, Burns Library will welcome Terry Dugan of Sacramento, California, who inherited the collection from his mother, Jesse Evans Dugan, the person chiefly responsible for preserving the letters and artifacts for posterity. Other descendants of the correspondents featured in the collection also are expected to attend.
Noted Irish scholar and author James Charles Roy, who was instrumental in bringing about this donation to the library, will present a talk titled "'I Prefer a Free Country': Letters to and from Country Galway Emigrants 1843-1856." Also speaking will be Diarmuid O'Cearbhaill, editor of the Journal of the Galway Archeological and Historical Society, which will officially mark its American launch at the event. The journal was co-founded a little more than 100 years ago by Lady Gregory.
"Collections of Famine-era letters of this size and scope are rare," said Burns Librarian Robert O'Neill, "and represent an important source of information on the Famine years, especially in terms of social history.
"Correspondents in this collection include domestics, estate managers, gamekeepers and nursemaids of the Curley, Doyle and Evans families, all of whom emigrated to North America in the 1840s," O'Neill said. "Ellen Doyle, for example, a central figure in this dynamic, displayed the remarkable mobility so characteristic of the era, moving about from Ontario, Canada to New York City to New Orleans and finally back to Ontario."
More on the Burns Collection, can be found online.