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.

Posted in Uncategorized

MEMPHIS — An exhibition of photographic portraits entitled “Face It Memphis!” opens in the Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University on August 15 with a public reception, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through October 2, 2104.

The exhibition of portraits by Memphis Camera Club members contains 106 photographs of the faces we pass each day and sometimes don’t even notice — a study of everyday people in Memphis, children and adults, happy, pensive, sad. All are executed in black-and-white and printed as 24 x 24 inch squares.

Artists represented in “Face It Memphis!” are Beth Behm, Bill Belus, Steve Copen, Paula Cravens, Saj Crone, Beverly Hammond, Saji Madapat, Patty McLaughlin, Becky Ross, McRae, Mike Neal, Paul Nolte, Patricia Possel, Tom Richey, Uttam Shah, Patti Smith, Rog Spahr, Quinn Strother, Mary Stubbs, and Joe Sullivan.

Photographs above are by (l-r) Uttam Shah, Beverly Hammond, Patty McLaughlin, and Rog Spahr.

More information is available at

Posted in Events, Exhibits, Memphis Community, Press Releases

MEMPHIS — A group of high-achieving Christian Brothers University business majors met early this year to found an innovative club with the international non-profit organization Enactus. Enactus is comprised of student, academic, and business leaders across the globe who work together to make a positive impact on their surrounding communities and abroad. Enactus CBU, the first chapter in the Memphis area, was founded in March with 16 student members.

Enactus CBU and Memphis Challenge are hosting the month-long GEMS (Growing Entrepreneurship in Memphis Students) Bootcamp at CBU for rising 9th- and 10th-grade students of color, identified by Memphis Challenge as high academic potentials, July 7-30. During the camp, they are learning personal responsibility and goal-setting techniques to assist in their transition into high school. CBU Enactus students, as part of the teaching intern team, developed and are delivering a curriculum emphasizing business acumen.

“This partnership with Memphis Challenge is a perfect fit for us,” said Dr. Bev Vitali, Sam Walton Fellow and associate professor of business at CBU. “It’s been so rewarding to watch our Enactus CBU students take the lead on this project.  They have interacted with the Memphis Challenge interns to plan and coordinate every aspect of the camp, including the teaching of the curriculum.”

By the end of the camp on July 30, student teams
will turn in a business plan, complete
with financial forecasts and a marketing plan. CBU Enactus members will continue to engage with these ninth-graders during
the school year, refining the business plans and preparing the students for Phase II of the program: “The Shark Tank,” which is inspired by the TV show of the same name.

There are five phases planned for the project, and it will culminate in the high school students actually starting and running a business. “The goal of Enactus CBU is to improve the landscape of our campus, community and world, one entrepreneur at time. By focusing our efforts this summer on this promising group of young people, we hope to ignite a spark that leads to the next Fred Smith or Bill Gates.”

After a month of hard work, the GEMS Bootcamp will conclude on Wednesday, July 30 with a presentation of projects by the participating student teams. The presentation will be held in Spain Auditorium in Buckman Hall on the CBU campus at 5:00 p.m.

For more information on Memphis Challenge and its 9/10 Movement, visit For more information on the global Enactus organization, visit, or visit CBU’s chapter on Facebook at

Posted in Academics, Faculty & Staff, Internships, Memphis Community, Press Releases, School of Business, Student Life

MEMPHIS — The College of Adult Professional Studies (CAPS) at Christian Brothers University (CBU) will conduct the inaugural classes this fall for its new two-year Associate degree programs — the Associate of Arts in Professional Psychology, the Associate of Arts in General Studies and the Associate of Science in Business Studies.

CBU’s Associate programs are designed to provide a solid understanding of foundational skills in each degree area, while providing a variety of elective courses that allow students to customize their education to their interests. Classes are offered in a blended format giving you face-to-face time with faculty and peers on CBU’s midtown Memphis campus once a week along with the freedom to do additional coursework online.  Credits may be transferred from previous educational experiences, and the associate degree programs also provide a solid foundation for bachelor’s degree course work.

“CBU is dedicated to helping raise the number of well-educated and fully-trained college graduates available to the Memphis workforce,” said Toni Ross, Dean of the College of Adult Professional Studies. “We realize that some adults may not be ready or able to commit to a four-year degree program yet, but they still want to further their education. By offering these two-year Associate degree programs, we’re providing an opportunity to do just that. Since this could also be their first step toward an eventual Bachelor’s degree, we’re additionally offering them a seamless transition within a long-established and highly-esteemed university.”

All three Associate degrees require a total of 66 credit hours in General Education and major-specific requirements that include courses in writing, mathematics, science, social sciences, religious studies, speech, foreign language, and computer skills. The Professional Psychology degree also includes courses in cultural anthropology, human development, personality and psychopathology. The Business Studies degree includes additional courses in accounting, business law, economics, management and marketing. The General Studies degree, which is designed for exposure to multiple fields of study, allows students to fill the remaining 24 credit hours with electives.

The College of Adult Professional Studies (CAPS) has already established two new baccalaureate degree programs, the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Psychology and the Bachelor of Science in Business Studies, both of which share the first two years curriculum with the corresponding Associate degrees.

Program start dates will be in January, March, June, August, and October. More information on the College of Adult Professional Studies at CBU is available at or at (901) 321-3291.

Posted in Academics, Admissions, Adult Professional Studies, Press Releases

Nick Peña, What Lies Beneath (Slow Creep), oil on canvas.

Nick Peña, Associate Professor of Art at CBU, is currently exhibiting his paintings at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. The exhibition, titled “Processing the Ideal,” features large-scale paint­ings that re-visualize perceptions of the “American Dream” and the effects that pursuit has on our environment.

Many of Peña’s paintings begin with personal nostalgia and culminate in serious, social, or polit­ical inquiries. He considers both changing social norms and the physical appearance of the American landscape in his work. “Processing the Ideal” presents an interesting conundrum and questions if the ground that we live upon is both physically and ideologically solid.

“Each painting is set up with a similar schema that includes a house as a symbolic ideal of family and home ownership that is juxta­posed with an environment that is familiar yet, equally fragmented, abstracted, and strange,” Peña says. “The result is a series of images that represent the solidarity and stability of our personified 30-year fixed rate mortgages and the leftover fragments of waste that lie beneath them.”

“Processing the Ideal” is on exhibit through October 5 at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens (4339 Park Avenue). More information at

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

MEMPHIS — Six De La Salle Christian Brothers affiliated with Christian Brothers University (CBU) will be among the 21 being honored by the Midwest District for their Jubilee ceremonies on July 19 at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.

Brother Robert Staub, Professor Emeritus in Biology, entered the Christian Brothers in 1939 and is celebrating his 75th year. He received his B.S. in Biology from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and was given his first teaching assignment at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis. He received his M.A. and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has taught in schools in Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee.

Brother Joel Baumeyer, Professor Emeritus in Mathematics, entered the Order in 1954 and is celebrating his 60th Jubilee. He received both his B.A. and M.Ed. from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and his M.A. and Ph.D. from St. Louis University. Brother Joel has taught in schools in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. He presently serves as Math Center Director since his semi-retirement in 2011.

Brother Mark Gubbels, Retired Business Office Manager, entered the Brothers in 1954 and and is celebrating his 60th year. He completed his B.S. and M.Ed. at St. Mary’s University. Brother Mark has taught in the Brothers’ schools in Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. He came to CBU in 1981 and retired in 1999. He is now in his 16th year of volunteering at the Church Health Center.

Brother Bernard LoCoco, Trustee and Former CBU President (1973-80), entered the Order in 1954 and is also celebrating his 60th Jubilee. He holds an honorary doctorate in Humanities from Christian Brothers University and one from Lewis University. He also holds three master degrees — one in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Counseling and Guidance degree from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and Education (Biology) from St. Mary’s University. Brother Bernard was Provincial of the St. Louis District (1980-84) and president of the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley, CA (1999-2009).

Brother Joel McGraw, Assistant Principal at Christian Brothers High School, joined the Christian Brothers in 1964 and is celebrating his 50th Jubilee. He is a native Memphian and a graduate of CBHS. He holds his undergraduate degree from CBU and Master’s degrees in English and Educational Administration from the University of Memphis. He has taught at schools in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee and has served as a board member for CBU, Memphis Catholic High School, Immaculate Conception Schools, and St. Louis School.

Brother Robert Veselsky, Former Director of Campus Ministry, entered the Order in 1964 and is also celebrating his 50th year as a Brother. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Lewis University, a Master’s degree in Religious Education from St. Mary’s University, and a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry from Loyola University. Brother Rob has also served as a University Minister at Lewis University and as Principal of De La Salle at Blessed Sacrament Elementary School in Memphis. He is currently a part-time Associate University Minister at Lewis.

Also celebrating Jubilees are Brother Basil Rothweiler (his 80th Jubilee!), Brothers Joel Dolan and James McDonald (their 70th), Brothers Ralph Heppe, Andrew Jacobson, Damian Steger (their 60th), Brothers Peter Hannon, Douglas Hawkins, Thomas Johnson, Paul Joslin, Paul McDonough, Paul Meyer, Lawrence Oelschlegel, Michael O’Hern, and Michael Schain (their 50th).

The Jubilee celebrations will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 19 with a Eucharistic Liturgy at the St.Charles Borromeo Pastoral Center in Romeoville, IL with a reception following at the Lewis University Fieldhouse.

Posted in Administration, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Lasallian, Press Releases, School of Sciences, Student Life

MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University (CBU) hosted an event promoting comprehensive immigration reform on July 9 in the Wilson Family Commons of the Living Learning Center on the CBU campus. Billed as part of “A National Day of Action for Immigration Reform,” the event featured several speakers who urged the government to act on this issue, including Dr. John Smarrelli, CBU President; Lacy Upchurch, President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation; Andre Dean, Vice President of Community Development for the Greater Memphis Chamber; and Mauricio Calvo (CBU Class of 1997), Executive Director of Latino Memphis.

Smarrelli opened the event by relating that his parents were immigrants and that “these issues were crucial then and they’re crucial now.” He spoke of the impact on higher education in Tennessee, stating that more than one third of master’s and PhD students in the STEM fields are foreign-born temporary residents on student visas. “At CBU, we are very proud of what we do in our science and technology and engineering curricula. But we are hampered by lack of immigration reform and immigration policy.” Because of caps on permanent visas, he continued, many foreign-born students graduate from American colleges and are forced to take jobs elsewhere in the world.

Upchurch, speaking for the grassroots membership of the Farm Bureau, stated that immigration reform “must include fair and workable farm labor provisions and needs to ensure an adequate supply of farm labor.” Noting that today’s consumers want locally grown food, he said that labor and immigration reform would help assure that our food supply is produced on a local level. The problem reaches far beyond the concerns of the agricultural community, he stated. “Fixing the immigration system is critical for economic growth. Study after study shows that immigration reform is an economic driver and would boost growth.”

“We Americans pride ourselves on being global thinkers,” Dean said in his remarks. “We aspire to being part of a global economy. It’s time to back up that thinking with a modern immigration system that can attract and keep in the United States the world’s top students, innovators, entrepreneurs, and job creators.” He noted that, due to the retirement of millions of baby-boomers, American companies are beginning to face a shortfall in trained and qualified workers on all levels of the employment spectrum. Immigration reform “would provide a bigger talent pool at a time when we need it,” he said.

Calvo pointed out that “We are a nation of immigrants, and we need to foster that.” As a graduate of CBU, he also referred to the Lasallian tradition and to the tradition of all faiths. “People of all faiths realize that this is the right thing to do,” he stated. Like Upchurch, he also called for action from Congress and urged them to “stop kicking the ball from one side to the other” while families are suffering and business are hurt. “We are smart enough to come up with a solution where we find compromise,” he said.

The event was part of a national collaboration between the Partnership for a New American Economy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Farm Bureau Federation, Business Roundtable, AmericanHort, National Association of Manufacturers, and Western Growers to host a day of action to deliver a message to Congress that immigration reform is an economic imperative this year, with a national press conference in Washington, DC and events in 40 key districts across the country.

Posted in Administration, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Lasallian, Memphis Community, Press Releases

MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University Director of Athletics Brian Summers has announced the promotion of Donna Crone to Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance.

Crone has been Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance for five years, also serving as Interim Director of Athletics from October to June after the death of Joe Nadicksbernd.

“In conjunction with President John Smarrelli, I am pleased to elevate Donna Crone to Associate Director of Athletics,” said Summers. “Donna has served CBU as an athlete, coach, alumna and distinguished athletics administrator. This promotion recognizes her commitment to CBU athletics and our student athletes, and her integral role in our athletics administration.”

“I’m excited about the new opportunity,” Crone said. “Last year was a tough year after losing Joe, but I’m looking forward to working closely with Brian to bring CBU and CBU athletics to the next level.”

A two-sport athlete at CBU, Crone has been the school’s Senior Woman Administrator for 13 years. She serves as a member of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for women’s golf, and she is the GSC liaison for men’s and women’s golf. She previously served a three-year term on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for softball.

Crone was CBU’s head softball coach for 10 years, coaching 16 All-GSC players and two GSC Freshmen of the Year in her time. The all-time winningest coach at CBU, Crone led CBU to its four highest season win totals.

Crone played basketball and tennis for CBU, graduating in 1983. She earned her Master’s of Business Education from the University of Memphis in 1988. Her family has deep ties to the school. Her husband, Chris, is a 1976 CBU graduate. Her daughter, Kristen, is a 2011 graduate and is enrolled at CBU pursuing her master’s degree, and her son, Justin, is enrolled at CBU as well.

Posted in Administration, Athletics, Faculty & Staff, Press Releases

Trey Casey and Alison Welch

MEMPHIS — The Gulf South Conference recognized two Christian Brothers University student-athletes in its Top Ten, as junior basketball player Trey Casey (Cincinnati, Ohio, La Salle HS) and senior volleyball player Alison Welch (Olive Branch, Miss., Olive Branch HS) were named finalists for the Commissioner’s Trophy, the GSC’s highest individual honor, which recognizes success on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

Casey was a first team All-GSC performer for the Bucs this season, averaging 17.9 points, 2.8 assists and a GSC-best 2.2 steals per game. He was a First Team NABC All-South Region player, and he was voted to the Daktronics All-South Region Second Team. But as lofty as his basketball success has been, Casey’s work in the classroom has been even better, as he carries a perfect 4.0 GPA in business administration with a concentration in finance. Casey was the only student-athlete in the GSC in 2013-14 to earn Capital One First Team Academic All-America honors in any sport. Also the men’s basketball representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), he helped lead CBU’s fundraising for Make-A-Wish, and he worked with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis’ ReStore.

Welch was a starter and team captain, leading CBU to its most successful run since joining the NCAA. She was a part of two NCAA Tournament runs, the school’s first ever South Regional in 2011 and then the school’s first South Regional victory in 2012. She also led CBU to the GSC Finals for the first time in school history in 2012. Welch graduated with a stellar 3.85 GPA in psychology, earning Dean’s List honors all eight semesters, and she was one of only two unanimous selections to the GSC Fall All-Academic Team this season. She has been CBU’s SAAC representative for three years, and she has spent the past two years as the GSC’s SAAC representative to the NCAA Division II SAAC. She has also been active in the community, volunteering at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital and Hope House, a daycare center for children affected by HIV.

Posted in Uncategorized