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BenU names new Provost

15 Feb

The following is a press release from the university –

Payne

Payne

Benedictine University has chosen James E. Payne, Ph.D., as its next chief academic officer.

Payne, dean of the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA, will succeed outgoing Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria J. de la Cámara, Ph.D., who last year announced her retirement.

With more than 28 years of experience in higher education at a variety of institutions, Payne brings a wealth of experience in academic program development and assessment, strategic planning and budgeting, and accreditation.

In his most recent role as dean at Georgia College, Payne helped lead reaccreditation efforts for the college of business by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and initial accreditation of the college’s computer science program by ABET, a nonprofit that accredits applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology programs. He also helped expand the college’s fundraising efforts.

In addition to his extensive administrative experience, Payne has continued to be an active scholar, serving on several editorial boards and as a journal editor. He was a 2000 Fulbright research scholar and 2007 Fulbright senior specialist to the Institute of Economics in Zagreb, Croatia.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Berea College and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Economics from Florida State University.

Payne will assume the new role at Benedictine in May and University leaders believe his experience and vision will make for a seamless transition.

“Dean Payne has the leadership experience and visionary aptitude to help not only maintain our University’s high academic standards, but also to provide guidance for setting a balanced academic infrastructure that will make Benedictine University a first-choice university,” said Benedictine University President Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., M.F.A.

 

Benedictine University at Mesa Opens First Residence Hall

15 Feb

By: Michelle Reilly

News Editor

On Tuesday, February 7, the Mesa campus turned a former hotel into its first residence hall. The Alhambra Hotel is located at 43 S. MacDonald Street in Arizona.

“We took a beautiful landmark that is at the heart of downtown Mesa and made a great thing happen,” University President Michael S. Brophy comments on the grand opening.

The renovation project cost $3.3 million and turned what was once a transient hotel into single- and double-room suites. The building comes with study areas, lounges, a café, kitchens, laundry and exercise rooms, an outdoor commons area, patio space and parking. The new facility can house up to 53 students, but with a second phase buildout, it will house roughly 10 more students. Nearly 100 people attended the dedication and ribbon-cutting, including students, faculty, staff, city officials, property developers and members of the general public.

“You can tell this is not a typical institution of higher education,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “Benedictine is very special.  What a great addition to downtown Mesa,” he added. “To have 24/7, these vibrant, great students who are going to be a part of this neighborhood, who are going to keep businesses alive and attract a lot of exciting activity to the downtown area … this is the start of a very healthy community housing development in our downtown. That’s worthy of our celebration.”

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Photos from Mercy Robb Executive Director of Marketing and Communications

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Photos from Mercy Robb Executive Director of Marketing and Communications

The building first opened in 1894 as the Pioneer Hotel. It was then named the Alhambra and was one of the most popular places to stay, it was devastated by a fire in 1921. Although it did endure the test of time, the hotel fell into neglect and eventually served as a transitional-living facility and residential hotel.

“If you know anything about Benedictine, history is important to us,” said Charlie Gregory, campus executive officer at BenU at Mesa. “Community is everything, and we are proud to be a part of this community.”

The project all began back in August when a Phoenix-based developer, Venue Projects, and California-based Community Development Partners, bought the building for $1 million. The teams then reached out to Benedictine at Mesa because they knew they were in need of a residential facility for students. They then both came to an agreement and leased the property to BU at Mesa. Some students were in attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony and could hardly contain their excitement.

“The facility is amazing,” said Ana Gonzalez, a junior Management and Organizational Behavior major. “I couldn’t ask for more. Everything is new. Students love the fact we are in Mesa, and that we are so close to school and all of the restaurants and businesses. We are really thankful that they chose this location,” she continues. Gonzalez, a Queen Creek, Arizona native, was named the first official resident assistant for Alhambra Residence Hall.

Before the new residential building opened its doors, student housing was available through an agreement with the Phoenix Marriott Mesa. The new residence hall is located near the Mesa Arts Center, which is only a mile away from the main campus building at 225 E. Main St.

 

Men’s Volleyball Defeats North Central in Straight Sets

15 Feb

Logan Hanson

Sports Editor

The Benedictine Men’s Volleyball team defeated North Central College 3-0 on Saturday night at the Rice Center. The Eagles won the first set 25-20, the second set 27-25 and the final set 25-23 to give them the set sweep.

“Our team has to keep battling,” said Head Coach Dan Buehring according to Benueagles.com, “If we do that we can start pulling out more victories. It was nice to get a win to end the day.”

In the first set, the Eagles came back early in the set to tie the score at eleven a piece. From there the Eagles took over, never trailing in the set. The Eagles defense stepped up during the run holding the Cardinals to only seven kills.

The second set was a back and forth match between the two teams as no side could take a sizeable lead. Junior Middle Hitter Zach Loeding gave the Eagles a lead late in the set and a hitting error by North Central gave the Eagles the set 27-25.

In the final set, North Central controlled the scoring and lead for most of the set. Fueled by several hitting errors by North Central, the Eagles were able to get back into the set and tied the game at 22. Some intense play by both sides brought the game to a head, but a kill by Junior Outside Hitter Sterling Glover gave the Eagles the set and the match 25-23.

The Eagles next game will be on the road when the team travels to Olivet College on Friday night at six p.m.

NFL Offseason Predictions

15 Feb

Daniel Dalenberg
Staff Writer

Dallas Cowboys Backup Quarterback Tony Romo Celebrates a Touchdown Photo by: nydailynews.com

Dallas Cowboys Backup Quarterback Tony Romo Celebrates a Touchdown
Photo by: nydailynews.com

 

Congratulations! If you’re reading this you made it through the first Sunday without NFL football. While sad that Sundays will no longer be filled with actual football games, we can now set our sights on the NFL offseason.

  1. Where will Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo land?

After a preseason injury gave way to rookie sensation Quarteback Dak Prescott, Romo’s future in Dallas was in constant question. With Prescott leading the Cowboys to a 14-2 record while taking home NFL offensive rookie of the year, it became clear Prescott was the QB of the future. So, unless Romo is content with being a backup, he will likely leave Dallas.

Some of the frontrunners to land Romo, according to USA Today, include the New York Jets, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. Recently, the Broncos front office has made it clear that they want to move forward with their two young quarterbacks, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. Similarly, Cardinals Quarterback Carson Palmer announced he will return next year. That leaves the New York Jets. Two years ago, the Jets were 10-6, but 2016 went much differently. The Jets finished 5-11 with struggling Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm most of the season. With an aging roster, the Jets likely want to win now, so Romo makes sense for them. He would be surrounded by a defense with a good front seven and offensive weapons that include Wide Receivers Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker. While the Jets would still not be a team likely to win the Super Bowl, a shot at the playoffs would be an upgrade after a dumpster fire 2016 campaign.

  1. What will happen with Patriots Backup Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo?

Quarterback Tom Brady has made it known that he does not anticipate retiring anytime soon. After backup Quarterback Garoppolo performed well through Tom Brady’s suspension, what will happen to the 2014 second round pick is up in the air. Some believe keeping Garoppolo is in the best interest of the Patriots so he can be the heir to Brady, but demand for Garoppolo may never be higher.

Therefore, the Patriots could come away with a bevy of draft picks for their backup QB. This is the route it seems the Patriots want to go. The main suitors for Garoppolo include the Cleveland Brown, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. The Bears seem like the team most likely to pull the trigger on Garoppolo. General Manager Ryan Pace is heading into his third season with the Bears and if the team’s record does not improve, ownership could send Pace packing.  Therefore, trading for Garoppolo is a safer bet for the Bears compared to drafting a rookie quarterback and having to endure a possibly shaky year. The move would also be received well by fans, as Garoppolo is a product of Chicago suburb high school, Rolling Meadows.

  1. What will happen with Redskins Quarterback Kirk Cousins contract situation? After a breakout 2015, the Redskins decided to franchise tag Cousins, basically making 2016 a tryout for a long term extension. According to ESPN, Cousins passed for nearly 5000 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2016, but the Redskins missed the playoffs after being a wildcard in 2015. Cousins seems to have cemented himself as a good NFL quarterback, but the Redskins do not seem to be sold on Cousins for the large price that he comes with.

Therefore, the most likely scenario is that the Redskins apply the franchise tag to Cousins again. Shortly after, long term contract talks will fall through and Cousins will play 2017 under the franchise tag for the Redskins. If Cousins continues his high level play and the Redskins improve on their 2016 record, look for Cousins to finally get the long term deal he has been coveting.

 

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards: Was it a hit or a miss?

15 Feb

Jacqueline Gorr

Scene Editor

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards aired on Sunday, Feb 12, 2016. James Cordon was the host of the night and started the night off with his monologue right after Adele sang her popular song “Hello.” He made a hilarious entrance while trippin, falling and losing his shoe. He broke out into a rap from the musical “Hamilton” and had the crowd going wild.

With the Grammys being such a big event, there weren’t many celebrities in the audience. The only ones that were there were Beyoncé, Lady Gaga,   Adele, Katy Perry, Rhianna and Jennifer Lopez. That surprised me because multiple stars were nominated for awards. The night was filled with performances rather than giving out awards.

The major performance of the night was done by Beyoncé. She is expecting twins and it was a great way to show off her baby bump for the first time. Her performance was a video montage and was all about her being a mother to her daughter Blue Ivy and now to her twins.

Other performances included Katy Perry debuting her new song “Chained to the Rhythm,” Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood and Chance the Rapper. Adele did a tribute performance for George Michael and stopped halfway for going off key and restarted. She swore in her performance and apologized to the crowd for it but, exclaimed she had to start over because she couldn’t mess this performance up for him.

Bruno Mars did a tribute to Prince that had the crowd dancing on their feet. Many of the awards weren’t given on the live show and instead was more performance based. The big winner of the night was Adele, she won all five of the awards she was nominated for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album. She made history by winning Album of the year twice. Other winners were Beyoncé for best music video for “formation” and best urban contemporary album. Chance the rapper won best Rap album and 21 pilots won best pop duo/performance. Overall the Grammys was full of performances and a couple awards were given so, was it a hit or miss with the minimal celebrities and not many awards given?

Is a Declining Divorce Rate a Good Sign for Our Culture?

15 Feb

 

Omair Ali

Perspectives Editor

Yesterday was a day when many relished in romantic ventures with their partners. However, the picture-perfect image of love on Valentine’s Day does not reflect the true, day-to-day nature of love in America. The heart-breaking reality is that the divorce rate has historically been  high in the United States, which has been a problematic social issue that has afflicted millions of Americans. Fortunately, the divorce rate has been declining for the last several years.

In this melting pot of a nation, we share the rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and also the right to hold different opinions. For instance, some cultures are fine with uncommitted relationships and divorces, whereas others are completely against both ideas (but isn’t that the beauty of diversity?). However, this doesn’t mean that a divorce isn’t one of the most tragic decisions. I mean divorce is not just a simple break-up between a legally-bonded couple: it’s an irreversible, traumatic experience that inevitably leads to incurable rifts families and personal hardship. Break ups might be difficult to deal with, but divorces are outright excruciating.

Remarkably, the millennial generation has contributed to unprecedented trend changes in the divorce rate in America. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research, sponsored by Bowling Green State University, reports that the divorce rate in 2015 was lower than the divorce rate in 2014 (16.9 vs. 17.6 divorces per 1000 married women), and has shown a steady decrease since 2012. Increases in cohabitation, when unmarried, romantic partners live together, also appears to play a key role in lowering divorce rates (The Insider). This means that romantic partners in our generation are being more patient before committing to marriage than in previous generations.

Obviously, everyone from every culture can agree that a divorce is inherently not good and a stable, long-lasting relationship is the best form of romance. So, what is something that all of these parties would love to see? Less divorces? Maybe, but how does this prove that we still want to have long-term, stable relationships? The truth is that it doesn’t tell us anything about improving cultural attitudes because having less divorces is simply a matter of more people making well-informed decisions, not a matter of enforcing new cultural norms that would allow everyone to immediately become romantically righteous. And accompanied by the decrease in divorces is an increase in temporary, unstable relationships, which has its fair share of problems that conflict with the idea of healthy, long-term romance. So, I don’t believe that a decrease in the national divorce rate is a telltale sign that our society is developing positive attitudes toward romantic relationships.

On the other hand, I can point out several social customs that glamorize not stable love, but lust and unhealthy romance. When I look at my age group, I immediately notice the prevalence of the hookup culture. The hookup culture has existed for quite some time at the national, college level, and is something to take note of. People that “hook up” with others are never trying to start or build a relationship: They’re simply seeking pleasure. Thus, the hookup culture is quite possibly the greatest enemy of the ideal, stable relationship or marriage, which emphasizes patience, balance, moderation, and loyalty. As well, this hookup subculture has been enabled by online dating platforms like Tinder to become more popular than ever before, as these companies have been shown to promote hookups rather than long-lasting relationships. Internet pornography, prostitution, strip clubs, and sex trafficking are also still alive and performing well, if not better than before, and none of these aspects promote healthy, romantic relationships. A quick glance at pop culture would show that many of the most popular songs today encourage lustful behavior rather than exercising temperance in romance. Finally, to make matters even worse, people will invent “sex robots” that would drastically change existing love dynamics so that people would crave robots more than humans!

Cringe-worthy, social taboos aside, the decline in the divorce rates has not necessarily improved the societal situation of the regressing family structure. According to a study published by Pew Research Center, more children in our time are being raised by unmarried, cohabiting parents or single parents. This means that more children are at risk for improper nurturing as a result of unstable or broken relationships, which aren’t necessarily related to divorces. And because being a parent without marrying (or worse, being single) is a relatively new phenomenon, only time will tell what the ramifications will be for the children raised in these circumstances.

Sorry for bursting any heart-shaped bubbles out there, but the jury is still out for proof that society is making reasonable progress toward healthy, long-lasting romantic relationships. Yes, it’s true that today’s generation has found a way to avoid divorces. However, it really seems that healthy ideas about love and family structure are considered by many to be foolish thoughts, and thus have been hijacked by cheap thrills, indecency, and poor decision-making by uncommitted parents.

May God help us all.

 

Top 5 Best Binge-Worthy Netflix TV-Shows

9 Feb Girls

Lubna Ziauddin     

Staff Writer

If there’s one accomplishment I wish I could put on my resume, it would be my ability to binge on Netflix. Binging takes a lot of determination, patience, and stamina and once you start a binge, you can never go back. With as much experience as I have, here are my top 5 best binge-worthy shows on Netflix.

#5- Gossip Girl

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If there’s one show probably every girl has watched, it’s Gossip Girl. The dramatic lives of Serena, Blair, Nate, Chuck, (and let’s not forget) Dan, have us wishing we were living on the upper east side, and Ivy bound like New York’s social elite. Every Thanksgiving episode will have you shook, as well as every messy love triangle. By the end of this binge, you’ll be ending all your posts with, xoxo- gossip girl.

#4- Gilmore Girls

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Gilmore Girls will also have you feeling happy. Following the lives of not only a single mother and her daughter, but along with everyone else in the small town of Stars Hollow, you develop almost this sort of bond with the characters. From watching Rory start Chilton all the way to her graduating college it really is the perfect show about love, friendship, and family.

#3- House

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As someone who just couldn’t deal with Grey’s Anatomy, House was one of my favorite hospital shows. I felt the need to binge not because of the drama between the characters, but rather the cases. Each medical mystery which seemed so complicated at first ended up having the simplest of solutions and as each episode went on I felt that I had enough knowledge to wear the white coat myself and solve these cases along with the rest of the team.

#2- White Collar

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While this show seems boring and almost predictable at first, you’ll fall in love with Neil Caffrey. His charm will captivate you to never want to stop watching, and always impressed with just how clever he really is. It’s different to see a criminal working on the other side…or is he?

#1-Friends

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Hands down probably THE best show to ever binge is Friends. What makes Friends such a great show is that you could start from any episode and you wouldn’t feel lost. While many are bothered by the lack of plot buildup in the show, I always felt that it was the best part. Every episode seemed to be just another day in the life of Ross, Joey, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe. It’s so ordinary yet so satisfy to keep watching. The more you binge the more involved you feel in these characters’ lives and you just want to never stop. Trust me, the series finale really did have me saying, “now what do I do with my life?”