An academic year already made memorable by the coronavirus crisis has concluded with the retirement of some major figures among Boston College’s administrators, faculty, and staff members.

Among those retiring during 2019-20 are Lynch School of Education and Human Development Professor Audrey Friedman, whose honors include CASE Professor of the Year and BC Alpha Sigma Nu Teacher of the Year; Professor of Chemistry Paul Davidovits, a pioneering researcher in the study of heterogeneous gas-liquid interaction; Connell School of Nursing Associate Professor Catherine Read, a former associate dean and founder of the KILN program for underrepresented nursing students; and Boston College Law School Associate Professor Francis Herrmann, S.J., who served as a BC trustee and rector of the University’s Jesuit community.

Robert Newton, a special assistant and senior advisor to the president, came to BC in 1980 as associate dean of faculties. He has played a leadership role in key University initiatives, including regional accreditation and NCAA certification processes, four University-wide planning efforts, the 1990 revision of the Boston College Core Curriculum, establishment of the School of Theology and Ministry, development of the University’s comprehensive assessment plan, and creation of the Church in the 21st Century Center and C21 Online.  

“After four decades as a more than casual observer and active participant in the passing scene,” he said, “the mega-theme of these 40 years for me has been the consolidation of Boston College on a visionary collegiate foundation drawn from Jesuit educational and spiritual traditions, guided by two outstanding presidents, each committed to the mission and a person for his own time. I have been privileged to enjoy their trust and confidence as BC’s journeyed across the millennia into a new understanding of ‘Ever to excel.’”

Mary Cronin

Mary Cronin

Carroll School of Management Professor Mary Cronin —who developed and taught BC’s first courses on Internet business and e-commerce strategy and more recently a new course on Managing for Social Impact and the Public Good, now a University-wide interdisciplinary minor—is equally acclaimed for her achievements as University Librarian. Her term of 1986-95 saw the expansion of the library’s research collection and digital resources, while her own pioneering research focused on the impact of electronic networks on scholarship and business; in 1994, she published Doing Business on the Internet, the first popular book on Internet business.

“Looking back over three-plus decades of teaching, research, writing, and administration, I am so grateful for the opportunities and support that Boston College provided to experiment, innovate, and implement new programs, and brimming with admiration for the stellar colleagues and students who made those programs a success. To bring the story full circle, I am now teaching a new course in Digital Commerce, this time for the online summer session at the Woods College.”

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes

BC School of Social Work Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Academic Affairs Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, who earned her master’s degree at the school and returned in 1999 as a faculty member, co-founded the BCSSW Center for Social Innovation and established the Social Innovation Lab to support non-profit organizations. She also headed the school’s doctoral program, and directed the Center on Aging and Work and the Center for Work and Family. As a researcher, she is an internationally respected authority in the study of employment experiences of vulnerable populations.

“I have found great joy in many of my roles at BC,” Pitt-Catsouphes said. “My work supporting doctoral students has been incredibly rewarding.  I am fortunate to have maintained relationships with many former students who have already become leaders in social science research. In addition, I am proud that colleagues and students who worked at the Center on Aging and Work contributed to an expanded focus on the quality of employment available to older adults before as well as during their transitions to retirement.

“I view BC as a mission-driven organization which has an explicit commitment to social justice. I can’t imagine a more supportive organizational context for academics who focus on issues of equity and fairness.”

James Bernauer, S.J.

James Bernauer, S.J.

James Bernauer, S.J., joined the Philosophy Department in 1980 and has directed the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning since 2008; he was named Kraft Family Professor in 2009. His research and teaching interests include Jesuits and Jews during the period of the Holocaust.

“Looking ahead to what I trust will be my most intense period of spiritual and intellectual growth, I am grateful that these 40 years at Boston College have prepared me to flourish in that new age. Blessed by an abundance of personal communities—Jesuits, colleagues, staff members, students, so many people of powerful minds and gracious spirits—this ‘Heights’ pilgrim was able to enjoy a beautiful campus but was not confined to a sheltered life on it.”

Retiring Faculty

Other retirees include: Clough Millennium Professor of History James O’Toole, an expert on the history of American religion and the history of American Catholicism; Connell School Associate Professor Pamela Grace, a nurse scientist and nursing ethics researcher; Lynch School Professor Maria Brisk, an expert on literacy and bilingualism; Professor of Physics Baldassare Di Bartolo, who joined the University in 1968; Connell School Clinical Associate Professor William Fehder, a nurse anesthetist; Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Rudolph Hon, a researcher in solid earth and environmental chemistry; Associate Professor of Theatre John Houchin, a director and playwright; Professor of Biology Daniel Kirschner, whose research interests include structural biochemistry and neurology; BCSSW Professor Paul Kline, who has studied the long-term impact of clergy sexual abuse on survivors, families, and faith communities; and Carroll School Professor Jeffrey Ringuest, who held leadership positions in the school’s graduate education program.

Also, Carroll School Professor Hossein Safizadeh, who taught and researched operations and strategic management; Carroll School Professor and BC faculty athletics representative Robert Taggart, whose expertise includes corporate finance and financial institution asset management; Associate Professor of English Laurence (Lad) Tobin, inaugural director of BC’s Freshman/First Year Writing Seminar; and Professor of English Christopher Wilson, a specialist in American print culture and representations of crime and police power.

Retiring Staff

Barbara Mento joined the University in 1981 as a business librarian in the School of Management Library, eventually becoming data/GIS librarian and senior bibliographer for economics, computer science, and mathematics.

“As a librarian I experienced the dramatic impact technology has had on my profession and academic research at Boston College,” she said. “Materials migrated from print to microform to CDs to full online access to text and data, and now include images, video, and audio.  Every level of researcher, including undergraduates, has access today to a worldwide scope of materials easily downloaded to their desktop. It’s quite remarkable.”

Men’s soccer coach Ed Kelly, whose 281 wins rank him first on BC’s all-time list, is retiring, along with administrators Donna Bennett (Sports Medicine), Rebecca Berry (Information Technology Services), Rosalind Cooper Wyman (O’Neill Library), William Crowley (Lynch School), Sonia Ensins (O’Neill Library), Steven Hatch (Information Technology Services, middleware and architecture), Robert Loughlin (Controller’s Office), Halley McLain (Human Resources), Kim Principi (Robsham Theater Arts Center), and David Webb (Institute for Scientific Research).

Gloria Rufo, who after temping for several months began working full-time at BC in 1989, left the University during the winter. She worked as an administrative assistant in the Development Office, and the Theology and Psychology departments.

“Whatever else may have changed, the quality of people at BC was always fantastic,” she said. “Certainly, the faculty are top-notch: The research that’s been done over the years has gotten better and better. I was always impressed with the Theology Department, because it seemed to the center of what BC was all about, where you could learn not just about Catholicism but other religions. Most of all, the friendliness of the faculty, and their attention to students, was something that stood out to me.”

Other retiring employees include Paul Gallivan (Athletic Maintenance), James Hamilton (Central Heating), Michael Lennon (Athletic Maintenance), Blanca Mejia (Custodial), Stephen Mitchell (Central Heating), Margaret Bakalo (Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences), Barbara Burdick (Carroll School), Jane Costello (Computer Science), Euphemia DeVincentis (Auxiliary Services), Rosemary Eleuteri (Stewardship and Donor Engagement), Joanne Elliott (Art, Art History, Film), Gail Lefebvre (O’Neill Library), Colleen O’Reilly (History), and Gail Sullivan (Economics).

He’s not a Boston College administrator, but another retiree of note for the University community is Saint Columbkille Partnership School Head of School William Gartside Ph.D. ’12, who has been invaluable in the University’s decade-and-a-half collaboration with STCPS and the Boston Archdiocese to create a flagship Catholic school in Boston.

During Gartside’s 10-year tenure, Saint Columbkille broadened its ties with BC, which provided financial and technical support. The Lynch School of Education and Human Development supplied a steady stream of student teachers, giving STCPS teachers an opportunity to earn master’s degree at no cost, and assisting with upgrades to curriculum and support services. In 2018, STCPS was formally designated as a laboratory school for the Lynch School, enhancing opportunities for teacher training, educational research, and professional development.

“The past 10 years have been the best in my professional career,” said Gartside. “Thank you, Boston College, for all you have done to help Saint Columbkille Partnership School become the excellent school that it has become.”

Celebrating 25 Years

The following administrators, faculty, and staff marked 25 years of employment at Boston College during 2019-20: Patricia Bando, Theresa Barba, Brian Bernier, Kerry Cronin, Brian David, Donna DeRosa, James DiLoreto, Kathryn Doan, Amy Donegan, Patricia Donellan, John Gordon, Linda McCarthy, Elizabeth McLain, John McLaughlin, Daniel Ponsetto, Cristin Foley Richard, Gillian Rolfsen, Elizabeth Rosselot, Lavette Scott-Smith, Giuseppina Sullivan, and Thomas Walsh.

Also, Abdelhak Aslane, Roy Farrell, Glyn Lazare, Sandra Pedraza, Roisin Reilly, Sharon Beckman, Kevin Bedell, Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Scott Cummings, H. Kent Greenfield, Andrea McColgan Javel, Ruth Langer, C. Lynn Lyerly, Brian O’Connor, Michael K. Russell, Evangeline Sarda, Robert Stanton, Catharine Wells, Michael Bercovitz, Kevin Christopher, Carmen Cruz, Maria Darosa, Curtis Finkley, and Ricardo Madrid.

Also, Richard Newton, Ercilia Nunes, Santos Perez, James Ruth, Lidia Valdez, Frederick Vautour, James Vizakis, Maria Alvarez, Lauren McGrath, Joyce Taylor, and Joseph Herlihy.

University Communications | May 2020