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Jesuit Honor Society Welcomes Outstanding Fordham Students

Rosemary DeJulio, Ph.D., welcomes Fordham’s 2007 Alpha Sigma Nu inductees. DeJulio received honorary membership in the society as well.
Photo by Chris Taggart
Students from all 11 Fordham University colleges were welcomed into Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society for Jesuit universities, in a ceremony at the McGinley Center on Feb. 26. In addition to outstanding students from all of its campuses, five University faculty and administrators were accorded honorary membership in the society. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, along with the respective college deans, presented the inductees with their certificates and keys.

Kate Gaertner, executive director of the society, was the evening’s guest speaker. “It’s very energizing to be part of a ceremony honoring students who have chosen to live academically and to serve others,” she said. “They’ve made Ignatian values their life choice.”

Rosemary DeJulio, Ph.D., advisor to the Fordham chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, recognized the incoming inductees for their “example of fine scholarship, loyalty and outstanding service.” The Fordham chapter of the society was founded in 1983, and this year marked the first time that students from each of the University’s colleges were inducted.

Vincent J. Duminuco, S.J., rector of Fordham’s Jesuit community, was inducted as an honorary member along with Georgina Calia Arendacs, Ph.D., director of equity and equal employment; Rosemary DeJulio, Ph.D., assistant to the president; Ron Jacobson, Ph.D., dean of summer session; and Anne Walsh, RSHM, assistant academic advisor for athletes. Father Duminuco said in his invocation that members of the society were answering the question that all Jesuit scholars face: “What have I done for Christ, and what am I doing for Christ?”

Alpha Sigma Nu was founded in 1915 at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc. Membership is based on scholarship, loyalty and service, and commitment to intellectual, social, moral and religious ideals, and is open to students at 30 Jesuit universities in the U.S., two in Canada and one in South Korea.

— Brian Kluepfel

IIHA on Exhuming the Truth

Arancha Garcia del Soto, Ph.D., has studied the effect of human rights violations and war in several places around the globe.
Photo by Chris Taggart
Arancha Garcia del Soto, Ph.D., and Carlos Beristain, Ph.D., discussed how the people of Guatemala are confronting a legacy of human rights abuses, mass deaths and disappearances in “Working with Exhumations and Families of the Missing in Latin America,” on Feb. 21 in the McNally Amphitheatre. The talk was presented by Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) and Columbia University’s School of International Public Affair’s Humanitarian Affairs Program as part of a Brown Bag Lecture Series, “Humanitarianism Beyond Service Delivery.”

Garcia del Soto, Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow at IIHA, discussed the exhumation of a mass grave in the mountain village of Rabinal, central Guatemala. She said in these situations it is important to prepare families of the missing for both the possibility of finding their loved ones, and of not finding them. Garcia del Soto said that in this context, it was important that the villagers sensed the deaths as a collective loss, and not an individual one, so the recovery of one particular person’s remains was de- emphasized.

During Guatemala’s late 20th-century civil strife, more than 150,000 people were killed and another 50,000 were “disappeared,” and most of the victims were of indigenous ancestry.

The Fordham professor said thatthe effort involving psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists demonstrated the need “to move in an interdisciplinary way” in this sort of research. She described the Rabinal project as “a unique opportunity” to examine the individual and collective effect of exhumations on this mainly Mayan community. “It was a very good opportunity for locals to share their memories and retell their story,” said Garcia del Soto.

“This process is also about trying to recover or exhume the truth of what happened,” said Beristain, who has worked in Central America for more than 15 years. Both lecturers talked about the importance of including Mayan ritual in the exhumation and reburial process. “If these rituals cannot take place, the loss is aggravated,” said Beristain. The Mayans believe, for example, that church bells had to be rung to return the dead from “walking around lost” to their rightful resting place.

IIHA was established in 2001 to forge partnerships with relief organizations, publish books, create training programs and host symposia relating to humanitarian affairs. Garcia del Soto will present a talk on war crimes in the Balkans as part of the Brown Bag Lecture Series on April 12.

— Brian Kluepfel

Sylvia’s of Harlem Brings Soul Food to Rose Hill

Football Ram Amen Igbimosun, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, with a plate of Sylvia’s soul food.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

In celebration of Black History Month, Fordham welcomed acclaimed Harlem restaurateur Sylvia Woods, “the Queen of Soul Food,” to Rose Hill’s Marketplace for a cooking demonstration and lunch on Feb. 13. Sylvia’s, which celebrated its 45th year of business at the same upper Manhattan location this year, brought a taste of African-American culinary heritage to Fordham students, who eagerly lined up for beef brisket, three-potato mash, and a three-green sauté prepared by Sylvia’s chef Calvin Jenkins and Michael DeMartino of Sodexho Campus Services.

Jenkins and DeMartino, dressed in the restaurant’s vivid pepper-bedecked shirts designed by Nicole Miller, explained how the brisket’s dry rub was applied, and the secret ingredients to Sylvia’s famous mashed potatoes (roasted garlic and sour cream). Woods, 81, made a brief appearance, posing with members of Asili, the University’s African-American student organization, and surprising Sodexho staff with a quick tour of the kitchen. The meal was prepared with the help of Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook (Morrow Cookbooks, 1999), one of a variety of items the restaurant offers for sale on its website. The Fordham University campus television station, Channel 10-EIC T.V., taped the demonstration for future broadcast.

— Brian Kluepfel

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