Memphis Reads, the citywide community reading program sponsored by Christian Brothers University and the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, in cooperation with the Memphis Mayor’s Office, will host author Dinaw Mengestu at both the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library and CBU on November 4.

Mengestu is the author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, which was chosen by Memphis Reads as the inaugural book for its annual reading program to promote literacy in the city. The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) will host Mengestu for an author reading on November 4 at 5:30 p.m.

Following the reading, Mengestu will speak at the University Theater on the Christian Brothers University campus at 8:00 p.m. A booksigning will follow the author’s address at CBU.

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States as a small child with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled Ethiopia during the Red Terror. Mengestu is a graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction. He has been the recipient of a fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 5 Under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation, The New Yorker’s 20 under 40 Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. In 2012, he was a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient and was one of 23 to be awarded a genius grant from the foundation.He is currently serving as Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University.

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, first published in 2007, blends fiction with fact and Mengestu’s own history, detailing the experiences of an Ethiopian immigrant living in Washington, DC after fleeing his country’s revolution seventeen years earlier. Told in a haunting and powerful first-person narration, the novel is a deeply affecting and unforgettable examination of what it means to lose a family and a country—and what it takes to create a new home. It deals with themes that are increasingly prevalent in our national and international conversations such as immigration, race, the concept of family, and the increasing divide between poverty and wealth. It won the Guardian Unlimited’s First Book Award and was named a New York Times Notable Book.

Memphis Reads is affiliated with the “Fresh Reads” program at CBU, part of the First Year Experience, wherein all incoming freshmen participate  in the read and hold discussions and other events throughout the school year. The Memphis Public Library is publishing the top ten essays on The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by CBU freshmen on its Memphis Reads blog site at

For more information on Memphis Reads and the appearances by Dinaw Mengestu, please contact Karen B. Golightly at (901) 321-4483 or Further updates will also be posted at and at

Posted in Academics, Events, Memphis Community, Press Releases, School of Arts

MEMPHIS — The Board of Trustees at Christian Brothers University welcomes six new members: Richard A. Cargile, Leslie L. Daniel, Russell J. Hensley, Maria Lensing, Harold G. McNeil, and Glenn W. Mitchell.


Richard Cargile (’82) is the President of Midstream for Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), based in Houston and one of
the largest natural gas transporters and the fastest growing natural gas liquids producer in the U.S. His responsibilities include overseeing operations of ETP’s midstream
assets including gathering and processing, intrastate and interstate pipelines, gas storage, Lone Star NGL, Standard Equipment Company (compression packaging affiliate), and PEI Power Corporation (electric generation affiliate). Additionally, he is responsible for corporate engineering, environmental, health and safety, and materials management across the Energy Transfer serving as President of DCP’s Southern Business Unit.

The Memphis native earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from CBU in 1982. He also completed the Executive Program at the University of Houston where he received his MBA, and has completed the Harvard University Advanced Management Program.

Cargile served as a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Gas Technology in Chicago in 1986, president of the Natural Gas Society of the Permian Basin in 2001, and New Mexico Oil & Gas board director in 2007 and 2008. He also served as a member of the Gas Processors Association Executive & Finance Committees and Board from 2008 – 2009, and again in 2012 thru 2014.


Leslie Daniel (’90) has over 20 years of accounting experience with a solid manufacturing and service background. She is currently the Director of Finance of the Mill Division at Graphic Packaging International in Atlanta, where she has worked since 2009.

Daniel graduated from Christian Brothers University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics and Finance. In 1998, she became a Certified Public Account in Georgia.



Russell Hensley is an attorney with Evans Petree P.C. Law Firm and the CEO of The Hartwell Foundation. He graduated in 1978 from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1982. His law practice includes advising individuals and corporate entities on domestic and international transactions including raising of venture capital and structure issues, acquisitions, joint ventures and the issues which arise from such transactions. His clients include domestic and international companies, solely owned businesses and privately held companies ranging from entrepreneurial startups to mature multi-national corporations.

Hensley was the Staff Attorney for the City of Memphis for over 10 years, advising the Mayor and his Directors regarding real estate transactions for Housing and Community Development, the structure and development of single-family and multi-family housing under Federal Regulations, and acquisition of properties and governance for certain government facilities. He oversaw and advised WONDERS: The Memphis International Cultural Series, which negotiated with various international museums and governments for the display of certain pieces of arts and artifacts in the City of Memphis.

Hensley serves on the board of a number of non-profits, including the Hartwell Foundation, a non-profit private foundation distributing over $10 million a year to researchers doing research for children’s diseases throughout the United States; Memphis Athletic Ministries; and the Victory Ranch, a non-profit camp in Bolivar, TN.


Maria Lensing (’01, ’07) is Vice President of Signature Client Group at AT&T, where she is responsible for the growth and development of an $800M revenue stream. Lensing was previously responsible for the strategic direction and infrastructure operations for Rockwell Collins, a multibillion dollar global enterprise, with responsibilities spanning the LAN, WAN, WLAN and all the unified communications technologies including voice, video, email and mobility.

Lensing has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from CBU. She completed her Executive Education from Harvard Business School. In addition, she has multiple technical certifications including CCNA, CCNP, CCDA, CCDP, MCSE and ITILv3.

She is actively involved in many local and national non-profits. She is Chairman of the Board of DeNeuville Learning Center and the CBU Alumni Board. She is an active member of the Society of Information Management and Women in Engineering. Her passion for developing people and growing teams has resulted in speaking engagements on her platform of Servant Leadership. Lensing has received many awards including CBU’s Distinguished Young Alumnus of the year in October 2011, CBU’s R. Craig Blackman Outstanding Graduate Engineering Alumni Award in March 2013, the Memphis Business Journal “Top 40 under 40” Award in 2013, and was selected a “Super Woman in Business” in 2014 by the Memphis Business Journal.


Harold McNeil  (’79) is the Senior Vice President of Operations at Tarkett Sports in Atlanta. Prior to joining Tarkett Sports in 2010, he worked for Mohawk Industries and Dupont where his extensive expertise in Operations, Supply Chain and Engineering, and Six Sigma built solid operational infrastructures that maximized revenue and profit.

McNeil is a 1979 graduate of CBU, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In 1986, he received a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from James Madison University. He is also a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Registered Professional Engineers, and is a Certified Financial Planner.


Glenn Mitchell was named the Managing Partner of Ernst & Young Memphis, and relocated with his family to Memphis from Atlanta in July 2012. He is serving his 22nd year of providing professional services to high growth organizations in the southeastern United States, focusing on the financial statement audit of technology, software, life sciences, real estate and distribution companies.

Mitchell manages the Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” program in the Memphis market. He serves on the board of ArtsMemphis and represents Ernst & Young on the Greater Memphis Chamber and Financial Executives International. He is a member of the Southern Capital Forum, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Mitchell earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Auburn University and actively participates in the Auburn Alumni Association.

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Posted in Administration, Alumni, Memphis Community, Press Releases

Creative Fire by Sue S. Miller

MEMPHIS — The Beverly and Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University (CBU) announces the opening of “Creative Fire,” a retrospective exhibition by Memphis painter Sue S. Miller, on October 10. A public reception for the artist will be held that evening in the gallery, which is located on the lower level of Plough Library on the CBU campus, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Miller, who holds a BFA from the Memphis College of Art and a MFA from the University of Memphis, has exhibited widely in the Memphis area and Eastern United States. She is one of the four founders of Artists Link, a local resource and support group for visual artists. Her paintings are in the collections of the Tennessee State Museum, The Tennessee Valley Authority, Moons Internationals and various private collections.

Miller says that the images in her paintings come from dreams and insights. “A particularly vivid dream or significant insight will generate a series of paintings, best appreciated as an essay, with each individual piece extending, amplifying, or enhancing the initial impetus for the work,” she says in her artist’s statement.

Among the series exhibited in the retrospective are the “Woman’s Song” series, which “resulted from a dream of having a mouthful of stars… a dream of such power and beauty that the usual search for meaning continued for more than twenty paintings,” and the “Transmutation” series, which began with another dream and deals with “the sacred wound… that searing event that many of us receive in life.”

Miller’s current work focuses on the calla lily, which she sees as a symbol of life and passing time, to which numbers have been added as an intellectual and compositional contrast. “Numbers count the days, some have a fixed quality which express that which never changes,” she says. “Flowers on other hand are ephemeral, their beauty is in the present moment.”

The exhibition of artworks spanning Miller’s career will be on display in the gallery until December 4.

Also on exhibit concurrently in the foyer of the Ross Gallery is an exhibition of landscape paintings by Bernard Freiden. A reception for Freiden’s exhibition will be held on Sunday, October 12 on the first floor of Plough Library, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Brother Robert Werle at (901) 321-3243 or visit

Posted in Exhibits, Press Releases

Michael Pohlman, PE ('79) and Analice Sowell ('02, '05)

Christian Brothers University (CBU) will honor Michael Pohlman as its 2014 Distinguished Alumnus and Analice Sowell as the Distinguished Young Alumna at its 3rd Annual Bell Tower Gala on Saturday, November 15.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award, CBU’s highest alumni award, was established in 1974 and recognizes an alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and is 35 years or older. The Distinguished Young Alumnus Award was established in 1988 and recognizes an alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and is 35 years old or younger. These awards are given to CBU graduates who have achieved a notable level of success in life, made significant contributions to their profession, supported the efforts of CBU, and contributed to society through public service and/or church activities.

Michael Pohlman, PE (CBU Class of 1979) is CEO and President of the Pickering Firm, an engineering and architecture company in Memphis that provides services to public and private entities from surveying, civil/site development and design, to architecture, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, plumbing and fire protection, and construction administration.

Pohlman has 34 years of experience as a Professional Engineer; his entire career spent holding many positions within Pickering’s corporation. In the capacity of CEO and President, he currently directs the firm’s overall efforts. Pohlman has managed numerous projects for a variety of Pickering clients including governmental, private and public sectors in the industrial, commercial and federal markets. His corporate clients have included FedEx, UPS and Nike to mention a few, and governmental clients have included the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TVA and the Tennessee National Guard.

Pohlman holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from CBU and is a Professional Registered Engineer in the State of Tennessee. He has served as Director of the Western Region of the Tennessee Economic Development Council, on the Chairman Circle of the Memphis Regional Chamber, as President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee, and as President of the Memphis Post of the Society of American Military Engineers. He has also served on the Board of the Consulting Engineers of Memphis, and on the  Engineering Advisory Boards of both the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University. Pohlman is also a member of the Christian Brothers High School Hall of Fame.

Analice Sowell (CBU Classes of 2002 and 2005) is the Chair of the Science Department at Memphis University School, where she teaches Honors Chemistry and was recently voted the recipient of the John M. Nail Outstanding Teaching Award by the members of the graduating class. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and serves on its National Committee for Community Outreach Activities and High School Chemistry.

Sowell holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Master of Arts in Teaching from CBU. Prior to beginning her teaching career, she worked for two years as a Research Chemist for Buckeye Technologies (now Georgia Pacific Cellulose), developing analytical testing methods and working on new product development.

Sowell was named the 2014 Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year by the American Chemical Society for her efforts to interest and excite local students about chemistry, efforts which included regular visits to Klondike Elementary, a Memphis inner-city school, to provide lectures and demonstrations for the Science and Engineering Club. She has previously served the local section of ACS as chair, secretary, and as chair of the High School Exams Committee. She currently serves as chair of the Awards Committee and co-chair of the High School Program for the 2015 Southeastern Regional Meeting.

These awards will be presented, along with the Maurelian Medal honoring Bishop J. Terry Steib, on Saturday, November 15 at The Hilton Memphis at 6:00 p.m.  To learn more about sponsorship and tickets for the 3rd Annual Bell Tower Gala, contact Karen Viotti at or (901) 321-3254. All proceeds from the Bell Tower Gala will support the exceptional academic programs and scholarships at CBU.

Posted in Alumni, Events, Press Releases

(l-r) Mallory Harvey, Shanice Oliver, benefactors Joyce Mollerup and Robert Buckman, Ronald Fotso, Lauren Harrett, and JD Wolfe

MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University (CBU) conferred its 2015 CBU Lasallian Fellowships at a dinner for the honorees and their families and friends on September 11, 2014. Ronald Fotso, Lauren Harrett, Mallory Harvey, Shanice Oliver and John David “JD” Wolfe were officially inducted as the CBU Lasallian Fellows Class of 2015, the highest student honor granted by the Catholic university, which was founded by the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

CBU Lasallian Fellowships are presented annually to five members of the senior class based upon the reflection of Lasallian values in their scholarship, leadership and service. Each student was nominated by a member of the CBU faculty or staff because of academic excellence, commitment to social justice, the active nature of his/her faith, and an inspired approach to change-making.

Upon graduation, the Fellows will be awarded $5,000 as a means of perpetuating their work in the community. The Fellowships are made possible through the creative generosity of benefactors Joyce Mollerup and Robert Buckman.

Ronald Fotso, a Computer Science major and native of Cameroon, was a founder of the Lasallian Volunteers of Cameroon, the first program of its type in all of Africa. He also establish the Mutien-Marie Centre in Mbalmayo, Cameroon, which provides a high school education for those living in extreme poverty. He was a teacher and mentor to the students of MMC for over four years before continuing his own education in the U.S. at CBU. At CBU, Fotso has been a dedicated French tutor, a table leader, a featured speaker on several campus ministry retreats, and an advocate for international initiatives as president of the Intercultural Club.

Lauren Harrett, a Civil Engineering major from Fort Mitchell, KY, has completed three internships with Toyota Motor Corporation, is a member of the CBU Honors Program, and two-sport varsity athlete at CBU, competing in tennis and golf. Through the Brothers’ Keepers, CBU’s servant-leadership program, she sits on the board of directors of Page Robbins Adult Day Care Center in Collierville, TN. Harrett was selected to participate in the United Nations World Youth Peace Summit,
an organization that helps develop scholar-athletes and scholar-artists from around the world into successful peace advocates. She is also an officer in the Society for Women Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Mallory Harvey, a Civil Engineering major from Memphis, has been a leader in the Science Olympiad, the Memphis-Area Joint Engineers Council Engineers Week Student Contest, and MATHCOUNTS, a middle school math competition. She is president and a founding member of the student chapter of Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry and vice-president of the Society of Women Engineers. She serves as a technical assistant for the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology and is one of approximately 250 individuals worldwide certified by
the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) to be a Certified Packaging Lab Technician. Harvey also holds a leadership position in CBU’s September of Service program, which organizes teams of CBU students, faculty, staff, and alumni to perform a different service project each day of the month each September.

Shanice Oliver, a Marketing major from Memphis, is very active at CBU and is involved in Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, the Black Student Association, the Sustainability Coalition, the Honors Program, the student chapter of the NAACP, Enactus, SGA Senate, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and September of Service. She has has secured three internships while a student, two of which were with organizations that assist minority small business owners — the Mid-South Minority Business Council (MMBC) and EDGE. As an Enactus leader, she organized a month-long camp in partnership with Memphis Challenge for 47 rising 9th- and 10th-graders of color, teaching entrepreneurial skills to the next generation of business owners. Oliver was instrumental in starting a campus initiative called the Food Recovery Network, which is designed to donate excess produce and unused food to local food banks/pantries. In addition to all of her activities on campus, Shanice has started her own company, The Pretty in Me, a company designed to assist lower income girls with self-esteem and confidence.

John David “JD” Wolfe, a Biochemistry major from Sherwood, AR, has played an important role in two large annual fundraisers organized by the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society to benefit Hope North in Uganda and the Church Health Center in Memphis. As philanthropy chair for Tau Kappa Epsilon, he organized events that raised $8000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Wolfe was selected to join the MHIRT (Minority Health Internal Research Training) program, a highly competitive program sponsored by the National Science Foundation that sends exceptional students from across the U.S. to work in various countries. He was matched in a lab in Sao Paolo, Brazil where his research involved aspects of visual physiology. His hard work was rewarded with first prize at a national vision conference for his poster on this research. As aspiring physician, Wolfe has also completed an internship at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

These young persons exemplify the Lasallian values of Christian Brothers University: academic excellence and a commitment to a life of faith, service, and community. The Fellows, each in his/her own unique way, embody Lasallianism by acting upon their beliefs and by making a difference in the world.

Posted in Academics, Events, Lasallian, Press Releases, School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Sciences

MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University (CBU) continues its long-standing status among the Top Tier of Southern Universities according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.” CBU is ranked 26th of 132 schools included among the Regional Universities category in the U.S. News methodology, which is based upon classifications created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Regional Universities are defined as those offering a broad scope of undergraduate degrees and master’s degree programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.

CBU was also recognized by U.S. News as offering one of the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs in the nation. Inclusion in the national engineering program rankings is based entirely upon surveys conducted among engineering school deans and faculty members at programs accredited by ABET, formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

CBU ranked seventh for “Best Value” among its Southern peer universities. This ranking takes into account CBU’s academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included, because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges whose academic programs are considered above average.

For students who are interested in a multicultural environment, CBU ranked third in in the South for Campus Ethnic Diversity among its peers. The Ethnic Diversity ranking identifies colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from ethnic groups different from their own. U.S. News factors in the total proportion of minority students, leaving out international students, and the overall mix of groups. In its measurements, U.S. News notes that CBU’s student body is 46% white, 32% black, 7% Asian, and 6% Hispanic, with the remaining 9% multiracial or unknown.

CBU was also selected as an “A+ School for B Students.” This distinction recognizes the fact that CBU welcomes and challenges serious B students with a desire to achieve. These good students excel and thrive at CBU because of its engaged faculty, caring environment and academic support systems. This U.S. News designation is measured according to CBU’s freshman retention rate and its overall high performance in the 2015 rankings.

Using a proprietary methodology, the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings represent a comprehensive look at how schools stack up based on a set of 16 widely accepted indicators of academic excellence from more than 1,300 accredited four-year schools. Colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

CBU, the first university founded in Memphis, was established in 1871 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers and is recognized as one of America’s finest Catholic universities. CBU currently offers undergraduate degrees in the arts, business, engineering and the sciences, as well as master’s degrees in business, education, engineering management and physician assistant studies.

Posted in Academics, Press Releases

MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University and the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, in cooperation with the Memphis Mayor’s Office, are partnering to present Memphis Reads, a city-wide initiative to promote literacy that will officially kick off on October 1.

The Memphis Reads program will select one book annually to be read by the Memphis community at large. This month-long community read will consist of discussions, interviews with the author and sponsors, and related arts events, all of which will be free and open to the public. Memphis Reads will culminate in a series of live presentations by the author of the book, which for 2014 is The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Ethiopian immigrant Dinaw Mengestu.

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, first published in 2007, blends fiction with fact and Mengestu’s own history, detailing the experiences of an Ethiopian immigrant living in Washington, DC after fleeing his country’s revolution seventeen years earlier. Told in a haunting and powerful first-person narration, the novel is a deeply affecting and unforgettable examination of what it means to lose a family and a country—and what it takes to create a new home. It deals with themes that are increasingly prevalent in our national and international conversations such as immigration, race, the concept of family, and the increasing divide between poverty and wealth. It won the Guardian Unlimited’s First Book Award and was named a New York Times Notable Book.

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States as a small child with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled Ethiopia during the Red Terror. Mengestu is a graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction. He has been the recipient of a fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 5 Under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation, The New Yorker’s 20 under 40 Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. In 2012, he was a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient and was one of 23 to be awarded a genius grant from the foundation.He is currently serving as Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University.

Memphis Reads is affiliated with the “Fresh Reads” program at CBU, part of the First Year Experience, wherein all incoming freshmen participate  in the read and hold discussions and other events throughout the school year. The Memphis Public Library will be publishing the top ten essays on The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by CBU freshmen on its Memphis Reads blog site at The Memphis Reads blog will also post other news regarding the October community read and additional events that may be scheduled as the month progresses.

Mayor A C Wharton remarked, “For many years, I have been a strong supporter of literacy. This is why I am tremendously delighted about Memphis Reads. When watching events on television and computer screens has become such a mainstay in the life of the average American, calling attention back to books and words in print is a fantastic activity to bring a city together.“

Wharton emphasized, “In addition to the beauty of the narrative in the selected book, one of the more powerful things this program accomplishes is to create a universal model of literacy. We can never underestimate the impact of young people seeing a certain behavior modeled and showing youth a city reading as one is a truly powerful image.”

Memphis Reads will host author Dinaw Mengestu at the conclusion of the community read with appearances and presentations at both the Memphis Public Library and CBU on November 4-5.

On November 4, Mengestu will make an appearance at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center at 5:30 pm. The “Fresh Reads” event at Christian Brothers University will follow with a reception at 7:00 pm and Mengestu’s address in CBU’s University Theater at 8:00 pm. A booksigning will follow this presentation.

On November 5, Mengestu will participate in a morning interview at the Memphis Public Library for broadcast on WYPL FM 89.3’s “Book Talk” program.

For more information on Memphis Reads, please contact Karen B. Golightly at (901) 321-4483 or  ###

Posted in Academics, Events, Faculty & Staff, Memphis Community, Press Releases, School of Arts

MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University (CBU) is making history among Lasallian institutions by becoming the first to incorporate a student chapter of the NAACP. In celebration, an official charter ceremony will take place on September 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the University Theater on the CBU campus.

The ceremony will serve as a formal welcome from the Memphis branch of the NAACP as well as the Tennessee NAACP, the governing advocate for the state’s branches. The ceremony will also honor the achievements of the charter members and welcome them to the campus of CBU. A reception will follow the ceremony.

Madeline Taylor, executive director of the Memphis branch of the NAACP and Gloria Sweet Love, president of the Tennessee NAACP, will join a host of local members and community representatives for the ceremony. The CBU chapter also extends an invitation to the general public.

The NAACP, which is the common abbreviation for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the nation. It is comprised of more than a half-million members and over 2,000 local units throughout the country.

“We began this process last September, and we received approval from the national chapter of the NAACP in July. I am extremely excited about everything coming together,” said chapter president Taylor Flake, a sophomore history major at CBU. “It is our mission to keep our Lasallian values first and foremost as we actively and effectively advocate for social justice within both our CBU community and the greater Memphis community.”

CBU is pleased and excited to have a chapter of the NAACP on campus. “It is a joy to see young student leaders embrace the tradition and diversity of this organization by implementing a chapter on the campus of Christian Brothers University,” said Karen Conway-Barnett, dean of students and advisor to campus multicultural organizations. “Through this organization, CBU students from all walks of life work together to continue the struggle for seeking social justice for all Americans, a cause which embodies the Lasallian mission.”

CBU was founded in 1871 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, a Catholic teaching order founded by Saint John Baptist De La Salle. This community of educators dedicates their lives to provide Christian education to young people, especially the poor.

Tim Doyle, associate vice president for student life, said that the history of Lasallian education and the mission of NAACP are closely related. “Lasallian Catholic institutions have a proud history of promoting and supporting social justice movements, and CBU embraces that tradition. Our diverse, deeply integrated student body is a tangible reminder of our all-embracing and universal mission to educate the minds and touch the hearts of all willing people. Our student organizations should and do reflect that.”

Posted in Administration, Events, Faculty & Staff, Memphis Community, Press Releases, Student Life

MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University (CBU) has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for nearly $60,000 to purchase an Advanced Psychophysiological Recording System, including a 64-channel electroencephalography system (commonly known as an EEG machine). The grant, awarded to the CBU Department of Behavioral Sciences, came after a proposal was submitted in January to fund the purchase of the whole-head EEG system. Along with the purchase of the EEG system, the grant will allow the creation of the only whole-head laboratory geared to undergraduate education.

Electroencephalograms record electrical activity and are often used to diagnose epilepsy and brain disorders. This EEG machine also gauges stress levels, heart rate, brain activity and human experience from the head of one or two persons at a time. The measurement of physiological activities such as arousal, emotion and muscle activity will also be conducted.

CBU’s new ARPS laboratory would be the only facility in greater Memphis to focus on multi-disciplinary research using a whole-head EEG system. This will give students competitive knowledge through hands-on experience along with the combined education they will gain through required projects. The proposed research will explore the emotional aspects of computer-mediated communication, examine different electrical processes, and also study the interaction of affect and memory. The research will allow students to witness the brain’s response to seemingly mundane everyday tasks such as texting and multi-tasking.

“In many ways, this is a unique proposal. What it brings to the Memphis area, especially in terms of opportunities for students, seems to have been one of the main strengths. In particular, it presents a terrific opportunity to engage students who are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sable, assistant professor in the CBU Department of Behavior Science.

For the duration of three years, under the leadership of Dr. Sable, the department is responsible for maintaining goals and progress by conducting three initial projects. Each project will be studied collaboratively by students and faculty, leading to published research and presentations. There will also be a joint collaboration with the graduate students from the Department of Psychology at the University of Memphis.

“Our psychology program has a strong tradition providing excellent undergraduate research experiences. Student research is a given at the graduate level, but it’s unusual to have a program as robust with hands-on research as ours designed exclusively for undergraduates. The grant is in large part recognition of our success in this area,” said Dr. Paul Haught, Dean of CBU’s Rose G. Deal School of Arts.

Sable believes that this grant will put undergraduate students in a position that most would consider a rarity and make them more marketable in their future career choices.

“This will provide undergraduate students with opportunities to present and publish their research and to even develop novel research plans of their own,” Sable said.

CBU faculty members will also employ the APRS in coursework in order to offer research-based experiences. By employing this equipment, the possibility of acquiring new and unique results is hoped to not only educate but also motivate student researchers to explore additional uses and generate innovative new ideas for further experimentation.

CBU’s grant is one of only six active NSF Major Research Instrumentation awards in Tennessee.

For more information on the CBU Department of Behavioral Sciences, visit or call the Rose G. School of Arts at (901) 321-3335. ###

Posted in Academics, Faculty & Staff, Press Releases, School of Arts

CBU expects nearly 400 incoming freshmen and transfer students this fall, the largest class since it was founded in 1871. This number has already beaten the previous record of 355 admitted students in 1978.

President John Smarrelli and his staff are celebrating. “This has been an amazing recruiting season.  I’m very, very proud of how we have pulled together to make this happen, and I look forward to welcoming these wonderful young people into the CBU family when they start moving in next week.”

Many factors came together to create this milestone for the University, with deans, faculty members, and even President Smarrelli making personal phone calls to prospective students. “The entire campus community collaborated to reach this goal,” says Dr. Frank Buscher, Vice President for Academics and Student Life.  “I am particularly grateful to the CBU faculty who work tirelessly to ensure the success of each student. ”

Ben Keuter, a current incoming freshman said that CBU was a top pick for him because of its tradition, size and faculty-student interaction, but he was even more impressed with the student community.

“I think the biggest pull for me was the students themselves,” says Kueter. “They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I had a potential new family. They readily accepted me into their circles and showed me the ropes of CBU. I am really excited for the independence and the lifelong friends that I know I will make.”

Dr. Anne Kenworthy, Vice President for Enrollment is pleased to see the efforts of the admissions and enrollment office bear fruit in the class of 2018. She described this class as something special. “I am thrilled to welcome this amazing Class of 2018! They will bring great energy to campus.”

The oldest university in Memphis, CBU has always been committed to serving the young people within the city and the region.  Almost 80% of CBU students are from within 300 miles of Memphis. “Clearly, the community-at-large acknowledges the great value of a CBU education by enrolling its daughters and sons here,” explains Dr. Buscher. “The university remains deeply committed to graduating individuals who will shape this region and its economy for years to come.”

Brother Dominic Ehrmantraut, Director of the Christian Brothers Community on campus, shares the excitement of the Brothers. “We are just so very pleased that our extraordinary history in this community continues to evolve. Our mission is alive and well in our faculty and in these incoming students.”

Over half of CBU students are minorities, and 41 different faiths are represented on campus. Building on the tradition of inclusion, CBU has formed relationships with Latino Memphis and the Memphis Leadership Foundation to bolster support for both the Hispanic community and urban community.  Latino Memphis will offer its Abriendo Puertas program at CBU, a program designed to help Latino students reach above and beyond their educational goals by providing mentoring and offering academic support to ensure success in college. The Memphis Leadership Foundation is coordinating an EXCEL program at CBU to support college students from urban communities.

For her part, Kenworthy says that the spike in enrollment can be attributed to the vision of the university’s future that is shared by faculty, staff, students, and alumni. “We have reinvigorated our student life activities. CBU is creating more opportunities for students to engage in projects and research in their fields, while at the same time offering more enriching and exciting activities outside of the classroom.”

Dr. Tim Doyle, Associate Vice President for Student Life, came to CBU a little over a year ago and set to work making some very positive changes to campus culture. Among those changes is a focus on residential life. “We’re so excited to have campus housing completely full at CBU,” says Doyle. “We will be housing the most students we have ever had on campus. Our newly renovated lounge in Maurelian Hall and the four-year old Living Learning Center will host our freshmen, who represent the energizing diversity of the mid-South and beyond.”

In anticipation of the large class, campus staff have been busy. The summer has been full of projects for those readying the dorms for the students. “I am truly excited and pleased to be welcoming this year’s incoming class. Residence Life has been working alongside Aramark and Maintenance throughout the entire summer to prepare for the arrival of this record class and to make campus feel like ‘home away from home,’ says Alton Wade, Director of Residence Life.

Additional programs have been added, campus renovations are underway, and faculty have responded to the increase in students by scheduling additional courses to meet the demand. “Since we are launching a ‘Freshman Experience’ program in a newly-designated first-year student building, we are able to meet individual student needs while securing them a place within a cohort,” says Doyle. We’ve got a full programming calendar for this community, and we’ve dubbed it ‘Maurelian Mondays’ in name of the newly renovated building lobby. With our closely connected Academic Advising and Student Life programs, we’re ready to build a successful cohort of future CBU alumni.”

The class of 2018 includes students from 18 states and 9 countries. The average high-school grade point average is 3.75, and the average ACT composite score is 24.4. Of these students, 56% intend to major in CBU’s STEM programs.

“There are so many of them, the sophomores better watch out! The freshmen are going to steal their parking places,” says Kenworthy.

Classes will resume for the fall academic semester August 25th.

For more information on the academic programs and services at CBU, visit or call (901) 321-3000.

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