Dr. Stephen Yandell, associate professor of English, was awarded The Bishop Fenwick Teacher of the Year Award, presented by Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society. The Bishop Fenwick Teacher of the Year Award is given to a professor who has a profound impact on a wide range of students. It was presented by Brett Simmons, vice president of Alpha Sigma Nu. Alpha Sigma Nu was established at Xavier in 1939. ASN has awarded the Bishop Fenwick Teacher of the Year Award since 1980. Yandell grew up in Missouri and Texas and studied as an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. His interest in medieval literature and Celtic language politics led him to Indiana University where, as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, he completed his doctoral work in medieval political prophecy. His current publications include a translation of a Middle Welsh prose narrative in Medieval Literature for Children and a co-edited collection of essays entitled Prophet Margins: The Medieval Vatic Impulse and Social Stability. His current research interests include medieval prophecy, Welsh politics, narrative theory, and the writings of the Inklings (J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams). Yandell has taught at Xavier since 2003.
At the mid-June gathering of the International Thomas Merton Society at Loyola University in Chicago, Chris Pramuk, assistant professor of theology at Xavier, was awarded their highest honor, "The Thomas Merton Award," in recognition of his contributions to Merton scholarship. Pramuk has authored numerous articles and a recent book on Merton. The award, given every two years, is a beautiful bronze bust of Merton, is affectionately known in Merton circles as a "Louie" - in honor of his monastic name, Fr. Louis, and with a whimsical nod to the Oscars. Pramuk is one of the youngest scholars to have received the award.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a writer and Trappist monk at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. He is the author of more than seventy books that include poetry, personal journals, collections of letters, social criticism and writings on peace, justice and ecumenism.
Photo: Chris Pramuk and Bob Grip, president of the International Thomas Merton Society
Xavier University is participating in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an initiative led by the White House and supported by the Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). On August 3, Rabbi Abie Ingber, founding director of Xavier’s Office of Interfaith Community Engagement, traveled to the White House to help launch the challenge.
Associate Professor of Health Services Edmond A. Hooker, M.D., Dr.PH presented at two sessions of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Annual Educational Conference & International Meeting in Baltimore on June 27.
The first presentation titled Comparison of Rayon-Tip Swabs and Film Plates for Use in collecting and Quantifying Bacteria on Hospital Bed Mattresses concluded film plates are more effective than rayon-tip swabs for collecting and quantifying bacteria on hospital bed mattresses.
The second presentation titled Terminal Cleaning of Hospital Bed Mattresses and Bed Decks does not Eliminate Bacterial Contamination indicates a commonly used cleaning agent for terminal cleaning of hospital mattresses and bed decks does not completely disinfect the mattress or bed deck.
The study showed 85% of both mattresses and bed decks tested still contained a variety of bacteria after being disinfected. The presence of lingering bacteria on the mattresses and bed decks may be a source of hospital-acquired infections.
Dr. Hooker worked in collaboration with Indiana University James Warren Smith Professor of Clinical Microbiology Stephen D. Allen, M.D. and Larry D. Gray, Ph.D. from TriHealth Laboratory, Cincinnati. Students from Xavier’s number one nationally ranked Graduate Program in Health Services Administration assisted with the research.
Dr. Hooker’s research has received wide spread media coverage.
Dr. Hooker also coordinated the fifth edition of Indicators of Healthy Communities, first issued in 1997. The report includes more than 40 indicators capturing aspects of health and wellness in the 15-county Tristate area. The report is compiled by the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, Xavier University and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. This report is intended to establish a baseline of Tristate health and well being that will serve as a catalyst for community dialogue and action. This report has also received wide spread media coverage.