View upcoming events at Boston College
Books by alumni, faculty, and staff
Order books noted in Boston College Magazine
Join the online community of alumni
View the current BCM in original format
“Class acts,” “Justice,” “Back stage,” “Sleight of hand,” “John Romeo remembered”
I was thrilled to see the inclusion of Pete Wilson in William Bole’s article, “Master Teachers” (Fall 2011). During my sophomore year I remember the funny faces that fellow CSOM students made when I told them I liked financial accounting. “Well, I’ve got Pete Wilson,” I’d say, and they’d all sigh, “Ohhh, that makes sense.” The enthusiasm Pete showed for the subject matter, in our 8:30 a.m. section no less, was inspiring and refreshing.
My enduring memory of Pete, however, will always be our final class of the semester. As he does with each of his financial accounting sections, he held an extra long class where he offered his candid perspective on the stresses of the job search and of choosing a career. Most important, he told us, was to make sure we do what we love. With many of my classmates tearfully saying good-bye, I remember thinking how lucky I was to have had a professor who so clearly followed his own advice.
Ryan Kiracofe ’11
Re “Master Teachers”: One day as I stood up to leave her class, Dr. Judith Shindul-Rothschild asked if I had a minute. She went on to ask what I thought of her class, how everyone was responding to the new layout, whether she could make any adjustments, and if the grading was fair enough. She recorded my responses, and invited me to e-mail any further thoughts. This encounter exemplifies why Dr. Rothschild is a “master teacher.” She constantly works to improve herself and her classes.
Margaret Veroneau ’12
In William Bole’s article, Dan Harrington, SJ, was recognized (yet again), and deservedly so. In my time at the School of Theology and Ministry, I took Dan’s classes on the Gospel of Matthew and post-exilic books of the Bible. It was not uncommon for my hand to ache from taking so many valuable notes. What the article doesn’t mention, however, is that in the face of a serious illness (about which Dan was immediately upfront with his students), he never missed a single day of school. No classes were cancelled, he was still the first one in the 9 Lake Street building every morning, he still pored over books for New Testament Abstracts, and graded students’ papers on the day they were turned in.
Dan Cosacchi, MTS’10
The article citing Diana Pullin’s exceptional teaching brought back my days in her classroom and the time she gave me as the third reader for my dissertation. Dr. Pullin creates an environment that allows all of her students to construct meaning through rigorous discourse. Although it has been a few years since I have sat in her classroom, her work continues to resonate with me often, as I try to view my own work though the lens that she helped me to create.
Victor D. Mercurio ’89, Ed.D.’07
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
The writer is superintendent of the East Greenwich Public Schools.
Diana Pullin gently but firmly leads education graduate students and law students into the world of legal reasoning, challenging them to express their ideas more clearly and precisely than some have ever been required to before.
Julie Margetta Morgan, JD’06, Ph.D.’10
The writer is a policy analyst with the Postsecondary Education Program at the Center for American Progress.
Re “The Whole Truth,” by Mary-Rose Papandrea (Fall 2011): Most of us who scribble notes on a pad for a living are told from the first day we walk into a newsroom that New York Times Co. v. Sullivan establishes the “actual malice” standard for libel. Step over that line, and you’ll have your notepad taken away—not to mention your career. I’m ashamed to say that until reading Professor Papandrea’s article, I had no idea the fuss was over an advertisement.
Some 25 years ago, I met Justice William J. Brennan, the author of that landmark opinion, in his U.S. Supreme Court chambers. He asked me what I did for a living, and I told him I was a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Queens, New York. He wondered—with a wry smile that suggested he knew the answer—if there was a judge in Queens who shared his name. Indeed, there was, I told him, smiling along. Some months before, Queens Supreme Court Justice William C. Brennan had been sentenced to five years in prison for taking cash bribes to fix criminal cases while on the bench.
Justice Brennan told me a friend had sent him a newspaper clipping about the corrupt Justice Brennan; the story had been accompanied by his U.S. Supreme Court photo. So, the judge told me, he called the paper’s editor and pointed out to him that—oops—he’d run the wrong picture.
The editor (I’d name his paper, but I fear committing libel—without “actual malice,” of course) was deeply apologetic and promised it would never happen again. “Don’t worry,” Justice Brennan assured him. “I have no grounds to sue. I wrote the decision in Times v. Sullivan.”
Thomas Zambito ’85
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Mr. Zambito is a staff writer for the New York Daily News.
As a theater major, I was delighted to read “Mishaps and Miracles: Tales from Robsham Theater,” BCM‘s fall 2011 interview with Stuart J. Hecht on the occasion of the Robsham’s 30-year anniversary. I don’t doubt that theater students spend more time within Robsham’s walls than in their dorm rooms. It was in this comfortable atmosphere that my strongest friendships were born.
The Robsham also fosters extraordinary relationships between student and teacher, transforming the department into a family. And as in every family, stories grow into legends, to be passed down. A frequent highlight of my frantic school day might involve an impromptu tale from a professor at the coffee maker, or a passing anecdote at the snack machine. We heard of near catastrophes, and we hoped not to repeat them. But we couldn’t be too perfect, or we would leave no stories of our own behind.
Sarah Lucie ’09
New York, New York
I remember rehearsing an Irish play in a pub, going on a cast retreat in Maine, and listening to the OJ Simpson verdict over the radio in the costume shop. Robsham was a home away from home for many of us. And to those who say a theater major is useless in the real world, I’ve been pulled over four times since graduation and haven’t gotten a ticket yet.
Courtney Heins ’98
Los Angeles, California
Sleight of hand
Kudos to Andrew Nelson for his excellent Boston College memorabilia collection and to photographer Gary Gilbert for his images. The Led Zeppelin ticket “floating” on its end is really great. Most impressive are the old football ticket stubs in several rows that appear to be standing. I’d be interested to learn how he accomplished these looks and how much time it took him. Nice attention to detail by someone who clearly loves his work.
Drew Massey ’92
Gary Wayne Gilbert agrees to share one trade secret: The Led Zeppelin ticket is “floating” thanks to a clamp on the top corner, which cannot be seen in the frame.
John Romeo remembered
Re Ben Birnbaum’s tribute to John Romeo in the Fall 2011 Linden Lane: A few years ago, I took an assignment at Boston College that moved me to the Facilities area to work on the campus master plan for a year. My office was on the first floor of St. Clement’s, not far from John’s office. Toward the end of the first week, after he’d passed my office dozens of times barking out orders to the project managers (PMs), he arrived at my door. My office was very welcoming, with colorful rugs and a number of side chairs for guests. John chose to stay in the doorway. He gruffly informed me that he was sorry if I had found any of his “discussions” with the PMs offensive (they were more like outbursts up and down the hall). But, he said, I would have to understand this was the way it was, and I would just have to get used to it.
I assured him that I had heard or said myself many of the things I heard him say over the course of the week. I did observe that he had an interesting management style, which he told me was designed to call one PM out, but also make sure the rest of them overheard him, so he could make his point all at once for everyone. He also told me that I could bring none of that “touchy-feely business” from Student Affairs with me. When I told him that I was probably the least “touch-feely” person in my whole division, he seemed unconvinced.
From that point on, I made it a point to give John a hug whenever possible. And I must say, once I returned to Student Affairs and would have occasion to see him, he welcomed the hug. One of my prized possessions is the hard hat he gave me when I left Facilities. I gave him a roll of police tape to run down the hallway, to separate the PMs (the serious people, in his view) and the architects and designers (the “artsy” people in his view).
Carole Hughes, Ph.D.’99
The writer is an associate dean and director of the Office of Graduate Student Life.
Correction: In the photograph on page 29 of “Master Teachers” (Fall 2011), the Tax I students at center and right were misidentified. They are Michael Meidinger and Stacia Kroetz, both third-years.
BCM welcomes letters from readers. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and must be signed to be published. Our fax number is (617) 552–2441; our e-mail address is email@example.com.