Jan. 19, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 9
In praise of leaders
Once again, the Office of the Dean for Student Development is on the lookout for outstanding student leaders, as well as a club advisor who's performed distinguished service in helping to guide a campus organization.
From now until Feb. 8, the office will accept nominations for the annual Student Leadership Awards, which honor student contributions to co-curricular life at Boston College, exemplary student leadership through service, and a demonstrated commitment to student formation by an advisor. The awards will be presented on April 10.
Among the honors to be presented: the Jeff Keith Award, given to the graduating senior who has overcome a physical challenge to excel in academic and co-curricular activities; the St. Ignatius Award for Personal Development, for students whose values and ideals have been transformed or deepened through his or her participation in student programs; and the St. Ignatius Award for Student Involvement, for individuals who most exemplify the imperative to "Seek God in All Things."
Past recipients of the Rev. John R. Trzaska, SJ, Award for outstanding club advisor include Lynch School of Education Associate Dean M. Brinton Lykes, Bureau of Conferences Senior Functions Coordinator James Costa and Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities Suzy Conway.
Not exactly a page-turner
The Boston College bookstore this week unveils a new format of textbook that must have Johannes Gutenberg spinning in his grave.
Eleven of the estimated 3,300 text books for sale at the start of the spring semester will be available in both the traditional form and as an "EBook""- a fully digital version that students can download to their personal computers.
Has Gutenberg, the father of movable type printing, finally been knocked into obsolescence?
Not yet, says Bookstore Director Thomas McKenna: "It's only a pilot program right now. Students can try this out and see if they like it.
"We wanted our store to be at the forefront in presenting digital technology to our students."
The Universal Digital Textbooks program was established by MBS Textbook Exchange Inc. in conjunction with major textbook publishers. Eight US universities took part in the program last fall; this semester BC will be one of 30 schools, including Brown and Princeton, offering EBooks.
Students enrolled in one of the 14 courses using the EBooks may purchase a special card from the bookstore cashier. When the student is ready to use the EBook they must go to the computer where they intend to use it, log on to a special Web site and enter the card and receipt numbers. At this point the book is activated and cannot be returned.
The Web site then allows the student to download the book to the computer, which must be equipped with a free version of Adobe Acrobat. Ebooks are delivered in PDF format, and students can read the text on the screen and print out relevant sections.
McKenna said used textbooks are 25 percent less than new books and EBooks are 33 percent less than new textbooks.
"Not everyone will want their text books in this format," said Bookstore Assistant Director Carol Gertz. "It depends on the person."
Gertz said customers can make only one back-up copy of an EBook, to prevent students from copying multiple versions. The EBook will only function on the computer to which it was downloaded.
Faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, Carroll School of Management and the Lynch School of Education are employing Ebooks in their courses and McKenna hopes more will come on board.
"I think that it's good for our students to have another choice available to them," said McKenna. "The Ebook is simply another option with a lower cost."
It's not as if there isn't plenty to do and see in Ireland, but BC football fans over on the Shamrock Shore still like to keep up with their Eagles - and thanks to Michael Cronin, academic director of the Dublin-based Boston College Centre for Irish Programmes, they were able to enjoy much of the team's 2005 season.
Cronin subscribes to NASN, a broadcast service that beams American college football games across Europe. BC appeared on NASN six times during the regular season, and their appearance in the MPC Computers Bowl also was televised, so Cronin taped the broadcasts for BC students to watch.
This fall, Cronin says, the BC Centre expects to have the necessary technology in place so students and alumni who are "on the road" can watch the broadcasts themselves (most of the games are shown live).
But Cronin, who plans to work on promoting the availability of BC football via Irish and European television, says there's a larger purpose behind making the game telecasts more accessible: laying groundwork for possible staging of games in Dublin. "This is a way for the Irish domestic audience to become more familiar with BC and its football tradition."
Cronin, however, did not speculate as to whether "For Boston" might some day join the likes of "Spancil Hill," "Wild Rover" or "Lakes of Pontchartrain" in the Dublin pub-sing repertoire.
Year of jubilee
Like Jesuit institutions across the country, Boston College is celebrating Jesuit Jubilee 2006 with a series of cultural, spiritual and academic events designed to honor the spirit of the founders of the Society of Jesus.
The jubilee year officially opened Dec. 3, 2005, on the Feast of Francis Xavier, and commemorates the 450th anniversary of the death of Ignatius Loyola (July 31, 1556) and the 500th anniversaries of the births of Xavier (April 13, 1506) and Peter Faber (April 7, 1506).
As part of the jubilee year celebrations, Jesuit Institute Director T. Frank Kennedy, SJ, will travel to Rome in late March to produce two performances of "San Ignacio Loyola," an opera that dates to the Paraguayan missions of the 1720s. Joining him in Rome as music director for the opera will be John Finney, director of the University Chorale of Boston College.
"It's an honor for BC to be able to do this," said Fr. Kennedy, a music historian noted for finding and re-staging long-neglected Jesuit operas of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Closer to home, Fr. Kennedy is also planning a concert of Jesuit vesper music later this fall, and he is working with the Burns Library to stage an exhibition - also in the fall - of prints, books and other objects associated with the Jesuits. Finally, he is preparing a one-day academic conference in December as the jubilee year comes to a close.
Members of the BC community interested in retracing the steps of Ignatius Loyola and reflecting on the Jesuit ideals are invited to participate in one of two jubilee year pilgrimages planned later this year to Jesuit sites in Spain.
Center for Ignatian Spirituality Director Julio Giulietti, SJ, will help lead BC faculty and staff this summer on an 11-day pilgrimage tracing the life and spiritual heritage of St. Ignatius Loyola.
Campus Ministry is organizing a similar pilgrimage for students in late May and early June.
"It's not just a tour of historic sites but a retreat - a time for prayer and reflection and sharing for the students," said Campus Ministry Director James Erps, SJ. -GF •