Convocation Remarks

PaulHaughtPaul Haught addressed the class of 2018 at the Academic Convocation on August 28. Here is the text of his speech on being and becoming:

As you know, this is the second consecutive year the Academic Convocation has been held at the beginning of the fall term, and I have to say that it’s an incredible honor to be invited to address not only the CBU community but especially the class of 2018. You probably already know how remarkable you are, but I want you to be aware, on behalf of the faculty and staff, how much we cherish the opportunity to serve you as your teachers and to become your partners in Lasallian education. It is also with you in mind, the class of 2018, that my comments tonight have been assembled, and I hope you find value in what I have to say.

What that is will take a few minutes to sort out, but my topic has a lot to do with something I learned probably around the time I was a freshman or sophomore in college, something I still think about a lot. Back then (before the Internet!—but well after the last good Star Wars movie) I was still figuring out what my major was going to be. I was very interested in biology, as I was pretty good in math and science, and I was equipped with a childhood fascination with the diversity of living things. To kindle that fascination, it helped that I grew up in two worlds—on the one hand, home was the rapid and loud urban environment of Washington, DC where I was exposed to all kinds of people and all kinds of ideas, challenges, and opportunities, and of course to the remarkable political symbolism of our nation’s seat of government. On the other hand, we lived close enough to my father’s family farm in Culpeper, Virginia, where I had the frequent luxuries of the quietness of the countryside, the thrill of exploring the deep woods, learning to fish, and discovering the farm’s rich abundance of life. Unfortunately, the college I attended did not readily offer the support I needed to develop this fascination much further in science—I loved my classes in ecology and historical geology, but these were rarities for a department that had the responsibility of training hundreds of future health care professionals. There just weren’t enough classes or enough faculty to teach the ones I thought I needed.

Around the same time, I was also becoming increasingly attentive to threats to life’s diversity. I was already haunted by what I had learned in school about the extinction of once incredibly abundant populations of species like the passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet. The thought that human activity was somehow responsible for these losses was chilling, especially since people probably didn’t mean for them to happen. If there was something I wanted to be a part of, I wanted to be on the side that prevented such things from happening again. That was (and still is) a strong sentiment for me.

Of course, feelings and facts don’t always match, and as it turns out, I also knew from my studies that extinctions of species have occurred countless times over the roughly 3.6 billion years life has been part of Earth’s history. In fact, without extinctions, it is quite reasonable to think that the richness of life that I grew up having such affection for could have turned out quite differently. Or, stranger yet, that I or others like me may never have actually turned up on the scene to appreciate it all! In short, I was becoming aware that the history of life on Earth is much like a river. Sometimes, the river dries up in places, other times it spills over, creating meanders, and making islands, and here I was, like of all us, like all of life, just along for the ride.

I needed something other than biology. I needed philosophy.

When you’ve taken a few classes in philosophy, you soon catch on that philosophers are kind of obsessed with opposites. Of course, there’s the big one: Existence vs. Nothingness, famously etched into our cultural imagination by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. There’s also an opposition fundamental for logic: that something you believe cannot be both true and false. Although the law of non-contradiction is said to be inviolable, this is an important rule to forget when you fall in love or if you ever decide to enter politics. There are also a bunch of important opposites that structure the way we think: sameness and difference; unity and diversity; transcendence and immanence; universality and particularity; and of course, tastes great…less filling (you may have to be a bit older to get that one).

The opposition that attracted my attention in my early years of college was one that the ancient Greek philosophers—the ones who inspired Socrates and Plato—were also troubled by. The problem is this: when you take a picture of something (the Greeks would have made a drawing), you freeze that scene in time. The images in the picture will remain that way forever. But, if you try to describe what happens to that same scene outside the picture, over time, it changes. In fact, over time, nothing stays the same. Like the river of life I described a few minutes ago, everything is actually quite dynamic. It moves, things are constantly in the process of becoming something else.

The concise name for the opposition that the Greeks had stumbled upon is called  Being vs. becoming. On the one hand, we often take for granted that the world has some stability. Things are fixed. In fact, the world is kind of set up for us already. And it’s a good thing we didn’t have to design it ourselves. On the other hand, if we aspire to describe what is really and truthfully the case about the things with which we live, we can’t ignore the observation that all things eventually change. And of course, that includes ourselves.

One of Plato’s many gifts to philosophy and ultimately to science was to suggest that the forms that things take on are themselves real. That behind the scenes of the world in which everything is in flux is something permanent and eternal that gives every episode and event its meaning. Whether or not Plato’s thoughts were on target, I have always appreciated his insights into how one might go about holding in tension these opposites of Being and becoming. I have also come to appreciate how important that tension is for the kind of learning that takes place during college.

In every subject we teach here at CBU, you’re going to encounter Being. Each discipline is defined by methods and rules of inquiry for proper understanding. In many subject areas, the behavior of what you study is determined by laws. The institution—CBU—itself embodies the enduring intentions of countless educators and stewards of its mission, as evidenced by the university’s curriculum, its policies, and even its buildings. Indeed, the enduring visions of particular persons are all over this campus, and will soon be realized once more in the Rose G. Deal School of Arts in which I work. And of course, there is no more significant expression of our encounter with Being at CBU than in our sustained remembrance that we teach and learn within the holy presence of God. 

And yet, all encounters with Being must take root somehow in the world of becoming for them to become meaningful. Maybe it’s my own fascination with living things, but I’ve always been a little more excited about becoming than Being. Don’t get me wrong, there is wisdom to be gained in understanding what endures. And without laws, rules, and principles, life is chaotic, disordered, and often destructive. And yet, to learn, we have to surrender at some point to the restlessness of the desire to know—a restlessness that a college education is primed to cultivate. Sometimes, methods we’ve been taught require revision. Rules need to be replaced. What worked previously may not fit circumstances today. Let me be clear, I’m not advocating student rebellion. But I do want to caution against the fear of letting go of the past when it’s clearly time to move on. Better yet, find ways to be open to the excitement that comes from anticipating a future that is as mysterious as it is full of promise. 

I am as resolute in my convictions today as I was when I began my own college journey that we have the responsibility to ensure that we protect the web of life that sustains us. I am just as resolute, though, that what makes its protection so important is the creative and adventurous path life takes through the world of becoming. Not everything that happens is good, and not everything you will learn will be something you cherish, but the power to become something beautiful and good is something that resides in life and as a result it also resides in you. By embarking on a college education at CBU, you have all put yourselves in an outstanding place to be open to amazing transformations in your knowledge, character, and sense of community.

So, to the class of 2018, I wish you many many fantastic changes during the next four years. You guys are already great, but I can’t wait to see what you become!

A Note from the Dean

PaulHaughtThis is the third installment in a series of “Notes from the Dean” that focuses on the School of Arts’ recently adopted mission statement:

“The mission of the School of Arts at Christian Brothers University is to advance the Lasallian synthesis of knowledge and service by teaching students to think, to communicate, to evaluate and to appreciate.”


If there’s a single consistent message I share with prospective students and their parents, it’s that the most valuable skill you can develop and improve upon is your ability to communicate effectively. I make this claim for several reasons. One is straightforward: if you can communicate what you need and why you need it, you’ll improve your chances of actually getting it. Another reason stems from my observation that in any organization, those who possess really good speaking and (especially) writing skills are those who will advance. I have met and worked with many people who majored in English or philosophy who became leaders in finance, energy, healthcare, and many other sectors of our economy. Why? Because early in their careers they stood out for their clarity and reliability as communicators of the concepts, plans, and goals essential to their work.

Teaching communication skills also gives breadth to the Lasallian ideal of educating the whole person. Without effective communication, our relationships with one another are vulnerable to hardship and even failure. It is difficult to earn respect, admiration, or trust if one always has to struggle to communicate feelings, needs, or gratitude. Effective communication also involves the ability to listen well. Along these lines, the School of Arts offers a number of courses across its six departments that cultivate the communication skills needed for our relationships to flourish. For example, one of the things I’ve come to appreciate about Professor Matthew Hamner’s Speech Communication class is the extent to which it helps students become constructively self-aware about their appearance and performance at public speaking. Such learning is not always comfortable, especially because it involves critique by professor and peers, all of which involves a delicate negotiation of trust and respect. Nonetheless, Hamner’s students consistently report how grateful they are for going through this process and for how much confidence it gives them beyond the Speech Communication classroom.

I am immensely proud of the contributions of our faculty, who like Hamner, have invested their efforts in enhancing our students’ communication skills. I often hear back from former students now in graduate programs about how well-prepared they are compared to their peers. This success is not surprising given that the vast majority of our students in the School of Arts earn their degrees having presented research at a professional conference or other public setting. They leave CBU confident and secure in their ability to command an audience and to share their knowledge in the spirit of the Lasallian education they have received. Thus, as we recognize that the ability to communicate effectively is a skill with lifelong benefits, we are also grateful for the opportunity to nurture it in our students in the School of Arts.

Dr. Paul Haught

Upcoming Events

SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME                                                                                University Theater, April 24th, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Free!

blackmon-cals-lexJoin Facing History and Ourselves for an evening with Douglas Blackmon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. This groundbreaking work delivers a searing examination of the enslavement of African-Americans that persisted deep into the 20th century. In 30 years as a journalist, Blackmon has written extensively about the American quandary of race–exploring such issues as the integration of schools in his childhood Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, how contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Seating is limited. To RSVP, please visit or call (901) 452-1776 x221. As part of Facing History’s national series of Community Conversations, this event is free and open to the public.

BFA SENIOR SHOWCASE and CASTINGS RELEASE PARTY                             Kenrick Hall, May 2nd, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Free!


Mike at Moe’s by J.S. Huddlestone

This year’s BFA Senior Showcase will highlight the work of graduating Visual and Performing Arts senior, Johnnie Sue Huddlestone. Also on display will be works created by students in the Creative Writing Club and S.W.A.T. club (Students With Artistic Talents) for their Altered Book Project. Adding to the excitement, the newest volume of Castings Journal (the Department of Literature and Languages’ literary journal that publishes the poetry, prose, fine art, and photography of our students) will be available hot off the presses. To celebrate its release, the winning photography entries will be on display and the winners of the poetry and prose categories will give spoken word presentations. But the night doesn’t end there! Our Theater Studies students will be performing improvisational games in the spirit of Who’s Line Is It Anyway. Refreshments will be served!

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES PRESENTATIONS: EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH METHODS and TREATMENTS FOR THE MENTALLY ILL                                                     Kenrick Hall, #205, May 6th, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

unnamedStudents from Experimental Research Methods, after having spent the entire semester researching and experimenting, are now ready to present their findings. And students from Treatments for the Mentally Ill will present their research on various interesting and sometimes bizarre treatments for mental illness from throughout history and present day. Topics include: exposure to guns in the media and attitudes toward guns, violence, and gun control; the fear of dying and news media; online shopping and impulsivity; and various treatment methods including lobotomies, bloodletting, and shock therapy. Don’t worry, no visitors will be harmed during the presentation of these findings.

Faculty News

Dr. Marius Carriere (History & Political Science) kicked off Black History Month activities with a presentation on ”Blacks in Post Civil War Memphis: White Resistance to Reconstruction and the 1866 Riot.” Later that day, Student Life, in conjunction with Student Government Association, Black Student Association, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities, sponsored a showing of the Academy Award-nominated 12 Years a Slave at Playhouse on the Square. After the Brother Allen Johnson and Dr. Jeffrey Gross (Literature & Languages) shared their impressions and lead a discussion after the event.

Education Department faculty members participated in the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) conference in Nashville the weekend of March 26th. The faculty attended the conference in preparation for a visit by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in spring 2015. Topics included accreditation standards, reviewers’ expectations, how to measure candidate effectiveness, and the overall review process.

Dr. Jeff Gross (Literature & Languages) delivered the keynote address at the 11th Annual English Graduate Student Conference at the University of Kentucky on March 28. His address, “Grad School Won’t Kill You: Reflections on the Transition from Ph.D. Program to Assistant Professor,” addressed trends in the humanities and deconstructed both the rhetoric and accuracy of sensationalized “Don’t go to Grad School” polemics.

EmilyDr. Emily A. Holmes (Religion and Philosophy) served on the planning committee of the Fourth Annual Mid-South Farm to Table conference, held on February 4, 2014, at Christian Brothers University, for which she organized three well-attended panels: “Beyond Charity: Faith-Based Food Justice Initiatives”; “Theory and Practice: The Role of Colleges and Universities in Building a Just, Local, and Sustainable Food System”;  and “Good Food for All: Increasing Access to Locally Sourced Foods.”

Additionally, on February 9, 2014, Dr. Holmes gave a public lecture on “Healing the Body and Repairing the World: The Ethics of Eating.” She was invited to speak by the Women of Reform Judaism Temple Israel Sisterhood as part of their event called SPA…ahh! A Spiritual Approach to a Happy & Healthy Life.

Her most recent book, Flesh Made Word: Medieval Women Mystics, Writing, and the Incarnation, was published in November by Baylor University Press. Dr. Shawn Copeland, Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College, writes, “Flesh Made Word brings medieval mystical writers and post-modern theorists into dialogue in order to demonstrate their relevance for a contemporary feminist theology and a theology of the Incarnation. This is an engaging and elegant work of history and theology.”

Furthermore, Dr. Holmes and Dr. Paul Haught (Dean, School of Arts) have each published an article in a special environmental issue, Living with Consequences, of the Slovenian philosophy journal Poligrafi. Dr. Holmes’ article is entitled “Ecofeminist Christology, Incarnation, and the Spirituality and Ethics of Eating.” Dr. Haught’s essay is entitled, “Place, Narrative, and Virtue.”

CFTK_SAECBU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and many other amazing CBU students volunteered their day on Saturday, January 25th, to the annual Cheer for the Kids event and helped raise $44,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South.

Cheer for the Kids is a grassroots non-profit organization founded by Professor Chanda S. Murphy (Behavioral Sciences) and fellow Memphian Ashley Bradford (front right and left respectively) to help raise awareness and money for local child-focused philanthropy organizations. For more information please visit Cheer for the Kids.

Professor Nick Pena‘s works Disruptive Pattern, oil on canvas, 48×48” and Through the Moulin, oil on canvas, 48×48” were selected, by Curator Ian Lemmonds, for an exhibition at Crosstown Arts Gallery titled Inspired Resistance. The exhibition focused on highlighting artists who have resisted failure by continuing to hone their craft. The exhibition featured 7 artists and more than 50 works of art. The exhibition opened on Monday, the 11th of February and closed on Saturday the 1st of March. Further information including a review of the exhibition and video introduction by the curator, Ian Lemmonds, can be found at the Memphis Flyer.


Through the Moulin

Professor Peña was also one of eight finalists for the third annual Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration, an award organized by ArtsMemphis. This was the first year the competition was open to faculty and students at local college and universities. Peña’s recent work in his What Lies Beneath series has exhibited at the Eggman &  Walrus gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and at Lyon College’s Kresge Gallery in Batesville, Arkansas. Paintings from this series will be highlighted in a solo exhibition entitled Processing the Ideal at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens from July 13th to October 5th. The exhibition will be sponsored by Suzanne and Nelly Mallory and Charles Wurtzburger with an opening reception on Thursday, July 17th in the Mallory and Wurtzburger Gallery from 6-8pm.

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Professor Pena (front row, first from left) with the other nominees.

Dr. Brendan M. Prawdzik’s (Literature and Languages) article “Theater of Vegetable Love and the Occult Fall in Paradise Lost,” has been accepted for publication in One First Matter All: New Essays on Milton, Materialism, and Embodiment by Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, PA (publication date TBA).

He recently delivered his paper, “‘Eyes and Tears’: Spiritual Phenomenology and Marvell’s Religion,” at Exploring the Renaissance: An International Conference, a meeting of the Marvell Society of America in Tuscon, AZ, April 3-5, 2014. At the conference Dr. Prawdzik was nominated for and elected to the Executive Committee of the Marvell Society, an international group of scholars — some the most renowned in the field — who work on the poet Andrew Marvell.

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Dr. Prawdzik (back row, fifth from right) with members of the Marvell Society, including scholars from the U.S., Canada, England, and the Netherlands.

The following School of Arts faculty members have been promoted effective the 2014-2015 academic year:

Clayann G. Panetta, Ph.D. to Professor of Literature and Languages                   Nicholas Pena, M.F.A. to Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts            Conrad J. Brombach, Ed.D. to Professor of Behavioral Sciences


CBU Students Create Collegiate Chapter of the NAACP by Taylor Flake

My relationship with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People started during my high school career when I developed a close relationship with Madeline Taylor, the Executive Director of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP. The NAACP was founded on February 12th, 1909, by a diverse group of individuals that included Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villard, William English Walling, Dr. Henry Moscovitz, W.E.B. Dubois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Mary Church Terrell. This integrated group of people initially united in response to the violence and disparities that existed among blacks in the United States – they would formulate a mission that is still being fulfilled today. That mission is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”

With all of the work that the NAACP has done from past to present and what this organization stands for today, I felt like Christian Brothers University would benefit from a Collegiate Chapter of the NAACP. CBU’s LaSallian values of faith, service, and community run parallel with the goals that the NAACP is trying to achieve. We are located in a city that still has racial disparities in the school system and especially in the socioeconomic experiences of Memphians. Our community is in desperate need of a generation of “change-makers” who are willing to bridge the gaps and create opportunities in education, politics, and the economy. By building on both CBU and the NAACP’s rich heritages of community involvement, CBU’s Collegiate Chapter of the NAACP strives to grow this new generation of change-makers through our various committee and action meetings.

Earlier this semester, we sponsored a conversation with Brother Terence McLaughlin. This was an important event for us because the changes he instituted in the Christian Brothers community are still present today. A “change-maker” when change was needed, but not necessarily welcomed, Br. Terence, as President of Christian Brothers College in the 1960s, opened the doors for the first African-American student, Jesse Turner, to receive an education from CBC. During the February 27 conversation, Br. Terence discussed events from the 1960s and today, including the incident that recently occurred in Oxford, where three students from Georgia had draped a noose around the statue of James Meredith, the first African-American admitted to the University of Mississippi. Br. Terence’s message was that much had changed in fifty years to make society more equal, but that we still have work to do.


As the president of CBU’s NAACP Collegiate Chapter, I will be sure we work to create a diverse community of college students who are active and effective change-makers within both the CBU and Memphis communities. This university was a leader in the past, and we must work to expand the legacy Br. Terence and so many others have built for us.

Taylor Flake is a graduate of Arlington High School, where she was the first African-American Senior Class President in the school’s history. She continues to make and study history at CBU. If you would like to collaborate with or join CBU’s NAACP Chapter please send an email to

Alumni News


Kyra Clapper, at the house of Chateaubriand

Kyra Clapper, (B.A. in History 2013), is finishing the first year of work towards Master’s degrees in both history and French at the University of Memphis. She was awarded a two year teaching fellowship and recently won funding to support her work in France this summer, where she will be studying French and conducting research for her thesis on the nineteenth-century French writer and politician François-René de Chateaubriand. She was also elected president of the University of Memphis Graduate History Association.

Alicia Russell, who was a 2013 graduate in English and who will be awarded the M.A.T. in English and History this spring, has just learned she has been selected by the JET program (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) to teach English in Japan beginning in August. Alicia is extremely excited about this opportunity; she has had the dream of teaching in Japan for a number of years now.

Community and Cultural Events Shine A Light

Farm To Table LogoCBU was proud to be the host for the 4th annual Mid-South Farm to Table Conference on February 4th. Established in 2011, the conference is designed to provide a forum for farmers, consumers, entrepreneurs and other local food stakeholders to discuss ideas for developing the local food system of Memphis and the Mid-South. This year we welcomed a number of farmers, policy advocates, and scholars from across the region to discuss topics including, but not limited to, urban homesteading, mushroom cultivation, faith-based food justice initiatives, and the role universities can play in building sustainable local food systems. This year’s keynote speakers were Nat Turner, founder of Our School at Blair Grocery in New Orleans; and Chef Miles McMath, Director of Culinary Operations at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Race panel pic

Dr. Kelly James (Behavioral Sciences – center) with students from the Multicultural Committee

The Multicultural Committee and students in the Sociology Minor sponsored a “Let’s Talk About Race” program on the student experience of race. A diverse group of students shared their personal stories and insights to help the CBU community better understand how race and ethnicity influence daily life. The panelists spoke about the limits of stereotypes and educated the audience on common race-based myths in hopes of increasing understanding for our student population. As one panelist explained ‘Not all Asians study every weekend’ and, although this comment belies one of the more positive stereotypes, inaccurate generalizations about a group discount the true diversity within a racial or ethnic group.


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Malik Yakini speaks to a packed audience in the University Theater

The 2014 Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium was held at CBU’s University Theater on March 27th. The symposium seeks to continue Vanderhaar’s legacy by bringing a noted scholar or peace activist to Memphis each year to address social and moral issues related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching.This year’s symposium featured Malik Yakini speaking on the topic of “Fostering a Just Food System.” Yakini is a founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. He views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equality. This year’s Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium, the ninth in the symposium’s history, was co-presented by GrowMemphis. For more information on the 2014 Vanderhaar Symposium visit


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Dr. Ben Jordan (History and Political Science) with students during the “Livable Campus” breakout session.

CBU and Rhodes College student groups presented their campus vibrancy and Memphis engagement projects and ideas during the “Livable Campus, Livable City” breakout session, a new component of the Livable Memphis organization’s annual neighborhood leaders summit hosted this year at CBU by the Living Learning Communities. More than 40 students and professors heard presentations about the Sustainability Coalition and its Green Fund initiative, a campus food survey petition, the Food Recovery Network concept, Rhodes College’s Community Garden and Farmers’ Market, the CBU Honors’ Program’s September of Service and Brothers’ Keepers, and B.A.M. – Becoming a Memphian. After the session, students and professors enjoyed a lunch to discuss their ideas further provided by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. More than 80 neighborhood activists from around the city attended the summit to learn more about Neighborsourcing, Tactical Urbanism, and the In Our Back Yard funding platform to support their efforts to make their neighborhoods even better places to live.


2014-04-03 15.43.22Gabriel Bol Deng, a former Lost Boy of Sudan, spoke to students about the unbelievable obstacles he overcame in life. Ten years old when North Sudanese Murahileen militiamen led a violent attack on his village of Ariang in South Sudan in 1987, he fled into a forest, not knowing the fate of his parents or siblings. After his escape, Gabriel embarked on a perilous four-month long journey, crossing the Nile River and untold miles of desert; surviving disease, and devastating hunger to reach the Dimma Refugee Camp in Ethiopia. In 1988, he had a life-changing dream in which he was reminded of his parents’ charge to him as a young boy: that he could move mountains with the power of hope. This mantra continues to guide Gabriel.

Documented in his film Rebuilding Hope, Deng returned to his war-torn home in 2007 to search for his family, rebuild Sudanese schools — including the Ariang School in his hometown — and provide health services for local residents. Today, instead of traveling for survival as he once did as a refugee, Gabriel now travels to inspire others with the mantra that helped him overcome extraordinary odds: Resilience, respect, a positive attitude, hard work, and the power of dreams can empower individuals to reach their full potential. has built a reputation as an informative and passionate public speaker in an effort to create awareness of the suffering of the millions of people in his native Sudan.


Honors Program

The CBU Honors Program hosted the Tennessee Collegiate Honors Council conference on Saturday, February 22. CBU President Dr. John Smarrelli Jr. welcomed over 100 honors students from fourteen colleges and universities, who gave 60 presentations. Honors Program alum, Burton Bridges (Economics and Finance ’09), wowed attendees with his plenary keynote titled What to Expect in Your First 90 Days at Work. Presenting CBU School of Arts students were: Carly Geis (Psychology ’16), Law and Order: SVU and the Effects of SolitudeLogan Butler (Psychology ’15) with Kelsey Coolican (Biochemistry ’14) The Art of Saying YesTaylor Flake (History ’17) and RaKesha Gray (English ’17), Little Geek vs. Big Geek: Honors Programs in High School vs Honors Programs in CollegeSarah Longoria (Religion & Philosophy ’14), Marriage and Sex in 1 Corinthians 7: What Does Paul Really Think?

Ignite-LogoIgnite CBU! returned for its 2nd annual event under the auspices of the CBU Honors Program and the CBU Alumni office. Ignite is a geek event in over 100 cities worldwide. At theses events, Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes. And, for the second year, CBU is presenting its own Ignite show. The line-up this year proved to be diverse, entertaining, and (above all) quickly enlightening.

• “Journalism Disrupted: Entrepreneurs and the Nouveau Niche” by Burton Bridges(Economics and Finance ’09)
• “Why I CHOOSE to be an Educator: The Importance of STEM Education” by Tiffany Corkran (Physics ’15)
• “Another Side of Female Objectification” by Bijou Coulibaly (Accounting ’16) andTaylor Goode (Psychology ’14)
• “Moral Relativism” by Eddie Gallarno (Mathematics ’15)
• “Modernly Convenient” by Patrick Ghant (Business Administration ’15) and Travis Whiteside (Business Administration ’15)
• “I Hate Math” by Rebekah Herrman (Mathematics and Physics ’14)
• “5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Server Hate You AND Why Tipping is SO IMPORTANT” by Danielle Hobbs (Psychology ’13)
• “Friendship is Awesome” by Noah Kelley (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science ’16)
• “Tips to Study Better” by Michael MacMiller (Psychology ’15)
• “How Gaming Can Improve Our Educational System” by Breanna Nikaido(Computer Science and Electrical Engineering ’16)
• “The ‘R’ Word” by Payton Powers (Undecided ’17)
• “Creating Your Brand” by Jordan Smith (Creative Writing ’14)
• “Why I Will Probably Never Amount to Anything” by Kierra Turner (Biology ’16)
• “Wauford Enterprises” by Becky Wauford (Mechanical Engineering ’16)

There are videos of  last year’s Ignite CBU! at the Honors Program YouTube Channel, but below is one to whet your appetite for more.

Castings Journal

Eleven creative writing students attended the Southern Literary Festival and Oxford Conference for the Book this past March, where they participated in master classes on screenplay writing, dramatic writing, poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction as well as publishing. Castings 2013, edited by alums Paulena Passmore, Jennifer Sharp, and Danielle Morris received an honorable mention in the Print Literary Journal category of the literary competition.

Castings is the literary journal that publishes the poetry, prose, fine art and photography of our students. It’s an opportunity for students to showcase their talent and represent the creativity within the CBU community. It is put together every Spring semester by two student editors and overseen by Dr. Karen Golightly in the School of Arts. To help promote the journal and motivate students, submissions are entered into a contest where the winning students in each category win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place monetary prize.

2014 Winners of Castings Art and Literary Competition:

Fine Art: Johnnie Sue Huddleston — Mike at Moe’s
Photography: A Gift of Nature — Alvin Siow
Poetry: 3:28 am — Claire Rutland
Prose: Eight Weeks to the Sea — Jessica Love

Fine Art
2nd and 3rd place: Johnnie Sue Huddlestone

2nd and 3rd place: Alvin Siow

A Gift of Nature 2

“A Gift of Nature” Alvin Siow



2nd place: Nathanial Celenski
3rd place: Jessica Love

2nd place: Janara Harris
3rd place: Larshay Watson

CBU Mock Trial Team

The Pre-Law Program at CBU is announcing the creation of a CBU Mock Trial Team. The establishment of the mock trial team will not only introduce students to new rules and procedures in the law field, but also teach them lessons in confidence, skill, and eloquence. Through introducing the team to the campus, we hope to set a strong foundation for those who are interested in pursuing a career in law. The goal is to recruit a strong team of talented and hard working individuals who will not only perform at the height of their abilities, but will represent both CBU and the team in a positive way — and to teach and strive for excellence within the team, but also create within the students a new passion for the craft. Students who are interested in participating in the CBU Mock Trial Team, should contact Angelica Brown at or Joel Moore at