MEMPHIS, TN — Dr. Siripong Malasri has been appointed Dean of the School of Engineering at Christian Brothers University (CBU). Malasri has already played a significant role within the CBU engineering program during his 25-year tenure as a faculty member, department chair, program director, and a previous term as dean. Malasri will be responsible for recruiting, budgeting, preparing reports, working with faculty and staff to develop a long-term strategy for the University, supervising and participating in the expansion of degree programs, and being the public face for the School of Engineering.

Malasri is excited to take on the challenge as dean and believes that CBU will see the benefit.

“I see several opportunities in taking CBU engineering to the next level,” he said. “Memphis is home of many great companies. We need to establish industry-university relationship in a more formal way. We have already done this quite successfully through the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium during the last four years. We also need to collaborate with other universities. By combining our strengths with other local institutions, we will be a greater asset to the Memphis community together.”

Malasri is also a Professor of Civil Engineering at CBU and serves as the Interim Director of the Graduate Engineering Program, Chair of the Packaging Department and Director of the Healthcare Packaging Consortium. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Tennessee and is an ISTA certified packaging laboratory technologist. Malasri has authored various publications related to transport packaging, artificial intelligence and engineering education. Currently he serves as editor-in-chief for the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology.

Malasri holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University, as well as a master’s degree from the Asian Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

The CBU School of Engineering offers a 50+-year legacy of individualized engineering education with ABET accredited degrees in the four major engineering disciplines: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical.  A CBU engineering education is distinguished by personalized interaction between students and faculty, a strong laboratory component in the curricula and an emphasis on real-world experience through hands-on design projects and internships.

For more information on the CBU School of Engineering, visit or call (901) 321-3405.

Posted in Academics, Administration, Press Releases, School of Engineering

Research overwhelming indicates happy employees are higher performers. With that in mind, Christian Brothers University (CBU) is offering Happiness 101 this summer, an online course designed for working adults.

The Happiness 101 course is being offered as a Business class through CBU’s new College of Adult Professional Studies and will be taught by Dr. Bevalee Vitali, an associate professor of management at CBU. The course is designed to be highly interactive, with discussions, activities and assignments all developed to promote happiness and well-being. Because the course is completely online, students can improve their happiness level in a convenient, non-threatening environment.

Study after study shows happier employees are more engaged, more motivated, more innovative, give better customer service, play more effective roles in teams and make better leaders. In fact, managers ignoring this research run the risk of costing their organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. For example, an organization with 100 happy workers will experience $15,000 less in costs from absenteeism, $27,000 less in expenses from turnover, and be $297,500 more productive than their unhappy competitors.

Happiness 101 will deal with not only psychological factors but also business philosophies and practices put forth in the “strengths movement” and studies into well-being by the Gallup company.

The goal of the course is to address happiness research from two perspectives. First, it will address how individual employees can improve their own happiness levels in order to become more effective at work. Behavioral interventions will be discussed which will improve mindfulness, engagement and performance, giving students an edge at work. Second, the class will discuss action plans and strategies for managers and organizational leaders to improve the happiness levels of all employees.

The College of Adult Professional Studies (CAPS) at CBU offers a course delivery model that utilizes in-class and online class time. The program is oriented more specifically to older professional students, with different degree paradigms requiring statistics, speech, math and English courses that are more immediately oriented to a business focus. The College offers two new baccalaureate degree programs, the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Psychology and the Bachelor of Science in Business Studies. Additionally, this fall CAPS will institute three new associate degree programs, the Associate of Arts in Psychology, the Associate of Arts in General Studies and the Associate of Science in Business Studies

For more information on Happiness 101, contact Dr. Bev Vitali at (901) 321-3578 or For more information on the CBU College of Adult Professional Studies, call (901) 321-3291 or visit

Posted in Academics, Adult Professional Studies, Faculty & Staff, Press Releases, School of Business

Bachelor’s and Associate Degrees in Psychology, Business and General Studies Added

MEMPHIS — In response to the changing market demands in adult undergraduate education, Christian Brothers University (CBU) has established the College of Adult Professional Studies. CBU has long been a leader and innovator in adult education, starting its accelerated Evening Program in 1978. Started in January 2014, the College of Adult Professional Studies changed its course delivery model to one that utilizes in-class and online class time. The program is oriented more specifically to older professional students, with different degree paradigms requiring statistics, speech, math and English courses that are more immediately oriented to a business focus.

“We are very aware that adult students have very different needs,” says Toni Ross, Dean of the College of Adult Professional Studies. “Their schedules are different from traditional college-age students, and their lives have different priorities. We recognize and respect those differences, and we have designed our new programs to accommodate them.” The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning ( has already certified CBU’s College of Adult Professional Studies as an “Adult Learning Focused Institution.”

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. Additionally, this fall CAPS will institute three new associate degree programs, the Associate of Arts in Psychology, the Associate of Arts in General Studies and the Associate of Science in Business Studies.

“One of the biggest obstacles that adult learners face in completing a degree program is how to pay for college,” Ross adds. “We want to help ease that burden.
CBU’s core mission has always revolved around the idea that high-quality education should be accessible to everyone. In that spirit, we’ve also dropped our tuition rate for the CAPS program.” Formerly, tuition for CBU’s adult program was $500 per credit hour. The College of Adult Professional Studies lowered that rate to $395 per credit hour.

The Bachelor of Arts in Professional Psychology degree is designed to provide fundamentals of psychology, with focus in areas of demand and growth potential. Within this program, students may choose from three optional areas of concentration: Criminal Justice, Organizational Psychology and Consumer Behavior. The Criminal Justice concentration will focus on topics such as criminology, law enforcement, corrections, public administration, juvenile justice and counseling. The Organizational Psychology concentration applies the principles and science of psychology to human resources development and management. The Consumer Behavior concentration will cover topics such as motivation, persuasion, sales and promotional strategy and how they support marketing efforts in a business environment.

The curriculum of the Bachelor of Science in Business Studies degree is specifically designed to provide adult learners with core business skills, emphasizing planning and decision-making skills.  Coursework focuses on such topics as organizational structure and behavior, leadership theory, networking, human resources, international business, corporate policy and strategic planning. A concentration is offered in Management, as well as a concentration in Management of Information Systems, which focuses on topics such as networks and security, systems design and analysis, database design and data mining, web applications and development, and project management.

The new Associate of Arts and Associate of Science 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. Students may also choose from traditional in-class courses, hybrid/blended learning and entirely online formats. Credits may be transferred from previous educational experiences, and the associate degree programs also provide a solid foundation for future bachelor’s degree course work.

CBU has established transfer agreements with some local community colleges, including Midsouth Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College, and Southwest Tennessee Community College. Students at these community colleges who plan to transfer to CBU can be confident that certain credits will be accepted by CBU. CBU also participates in the TN Transfer Pathway program.

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, Adult Professional Studies, Memphis Community, Press Releases

CBU School of Arts is renamed in honor of benefactor, Dr. Rose Deal

A portrait of Dr. Rose Deal by Jason Bouldin, commissioned by CBU

MEMPHIS—Christian Brothers University (CBU) today announced the renaming of its School of Arts as the “Rose Deal School of Arts” in honor of a gift from the Rose G. Deal Educational Charitable Trust. A bequest of $5.4 million from the estate of Dr. Rose Deal, it represents the largest individual gift in the history of the University. It also pushes the University’s fundraising total for the fiscal year, which ends May 31, to $12 million — surpassing CBU’s previous historical high of $8.4 million in fiscal year 2007.

Dr. Deal, who passed away in May 2012, was hired in 1961 as the first female faculty member at what was then an all-male Christian Brothers College. She continued teaching foreign languages and European history at the coeducational Christian Brothers University until her final retirement in 1994. She was honored by the University as a professor emerita and also awarded the CBU Maurelian Medal for outstanding service. In 2002, she was named an affiliated member of the Christian Brothers—the highest honor granted by the Roman Catholic teaching order.

“Rose’s impact at this University was enormous, even before she made this generous bequest” said Dr. John Smarrelli Jr., university president. “She was always an active and vocal advocate for the liberal arts here at CBU. The general public might sometimes perceive us as focused more on the engineering and scientific disciplines, but the fact is that CBU’s educational core is strongly rooted in the arts. The liberal arts form the foundation for every degree that we grant. It is only fitting that Dr. Rose Deal’s name is attached to that foundation.”

The Board of Trustees at CBU has announced that it will be examining potential capital improvements to further develop, enhance and facilitate the Rose Deal School of Arts.

The Rose Deal School of Arts at CBU offers bachelor’s degrees in Applied Psychology, Child Development, Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, English, English for Corporate Communications, History, Liberal Studies, Psychology, Religion and Philosophy, and Studio Art. It also offers master’s degrees in Education and Catholic Studies. It is one of four academic schools at CBU, along with the School of Business, the School of Engineering and the School of Sciences.

For more information on CBU’s Rose Deal School of Arts, visit For information on the gift by Dr. Deal, contact the CBU Office of Advancement at (901) 321-3270.


Posted in Administration, Advancement, Faculty & Staff, Lasallian, Press Releases, School of Arts, Uncategorized

MEMPHIS — On May 17, Christian Brothers University (CBU) will claim the distinction of graduating the first class of physician assistants educated in the city of Memphis — 31 students who were admitted into the first cohort of the city’s first PA program.

“To be a part of not only the first master’s class in Physician Assistant Studies program at CBU, but also the first in the city of Memphis, is truly an honor,” said Cecilia Maxwell, a member of the graduating class. “I am proud to say that we have set the mark which other physician assistant students and programs may follow. To be a part of the first class is truly a humbling experience.”

Dr. Mark John Scott, director of Physician Assistant Studies at CBU, says that the program is not only groundbreaking, but is also much needed in the city. “The fact that this is the first program in Memphis is innovative in itself, but the PA as well as the BSN programs made CBU competitive in the healthcare market. We literally took a blank sheet of paper and created an entire program.” There was a known need for a program of this sort after a survey gauging the need for physician assistants went out to 100 Mid-South physicians. Eighty percent of the physicians responded positively to the survey and most expressed a desire to employ these students upon their graduation.

“We need to step back and look at healthcare,” Scott added. “Memphis is fortunate to have world-renowned expertise in this city, but we need primary care. We need someone you go to when you have a sore throat.” He states that healthcare today is too complex for one person to do it.  Adding PAs will help with the patient-physician relationship, by adding more one-on-one time.

Physician assistants are licensed to practice medicine as part of a team of physicians. They are qualified and licensed to conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel patients and families on healthcare issues including preventive care, and assist in surgery. Physician assistants are licensed to practice medicine, issue prescriptions, and practice in all medical fields including primary care, internal medicine and subspecialties, as well as surgical and emergency care. The PA’s scope of practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.

The CBU program, which currently numbers 106 students, is run and taught by Dr. Scott, along with six full-time and six adjunct faculty members. The cohort-based program consists of 110 credit hours offered over 27 months or seven continuous semesters. The curriculum focuses on six major competency components: medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, patient care, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.

The graduation of the first PA class also requires a formal addition to CBU’s traditional Commencement ceremony: the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath.

“The public affirmation of the Oath will draw attention to CBU’s success in establishing a true medical program on campus,” Scott said.  “Its addition is also an excellent way to mark the successful completion of our inaugural class.”

Scott is very impressed with tenacity of his graduating PA class. “We need to recognize the courage of the first students to graduate from the first PA program in the city. We weren’t even accredited yet when they first started this journey. They put faith in us that we were going to get them where they needed to be,” he said. “Dreams do come true.”

CBU’s Commencement Exercises will be held on Saturday, May 17 at 11:00 a.m. at Signaigo Field on the University campus. Other degrees being awarded include bachelor’s degrees in accounting, arts, fine arts, business, engineering, sciences and mathematics. Master’s degrees will also be awarded in education, accounting, business administration and engineering management.

For more information on the Physician Assistant Studies program at CBU, visit or call (901) 321-3388.

For more information on the CBU Commencement Exercises, visit or contact the CBU Office of Student Life at (901) 321-3531.

Posted in Academics, Alumni, Events, Faculty & Staff, Memphis Community, Press Releases, School of Sciences
MEMPHIS — Christian Brothers University President Dr. John Smarrelli Jr., has appointed Brian Summers as CBU’s seventh Director of Athletics, effective June 30. Summers comes to CBU after a distinguished 13-year career at Lewis University, a fellow NCAA D-II Lasallian school in Romeoville, Ill.

“I am so pleased to welcome Brian Summers to the CBU family,” Smarrelli said. “Having served at our sister university, Lewis, in Chicago, Brian brings a deep a
wareness and respect for CBU’s Lasallian heritage and mission. Integrity and character are important to me, and I’m very impressed with his strengths on those attributes. His professional and operational skills and his commitment to improving the experience of our student athletes both on and off the field will help to position our athletic program for significant growth.”

“I’d like to thank President Smarrelli and the search committee for entrusting me with the Christian Brothers University Athletics Department,” Summers said. “I am honored to replace CBU icon Joe Nadicksbernd, and I look forward to working with the student athletes, coaches, staff and University community to develop the program into a model NCAA Division II athletics department. Also, I relish the ability to continue serving students in the Lasallian tradition.”

Since December 2010, Summers has been Associate Director of Athletics – Director of External Relations, and he served from 2005-2010 as Assistant Director of Athletics – Marketing/Promotions Coordinator.

In those roles at Lewis, Summers supervises 10 of the school’s 18 sports, oversees all athletics fundraising and directs the department’s marketing and promotions efforts.

He started the school’s first corporate sponsorship program, which has generated more than a half-million dollars since its inception, and he expanded the school’s Varsity Club tenfold.

Summers also helped build community support for the athletics department. He developed student fan reward programs and marketing and promotions programs that led to an 8.5 percent increase in game attendance, and he was the primary game management supervisor.

A strong supporter of the NCAA Division II Community Engagement goal, he created a nationally-recognized community engagement program, “Spread Your Wings.” In that program, Lewis’ teams compete for points in a variety of ways including academic success, attendance at campus events and community service. In all, the initiative helps generate more than 3,000 community service hours annually.

Prior to moving into marketing, promotions and fundraising, Summers spent four years as Assistant Sports Information Director at Lewis. He was the primary contact for eight sports, and he led the effort to launch a new athletics website with an industry-leading host.

Summers also serves as Commissioner of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association this year, an NCAA Division I men’s volleyball conference. He served two years as the chair of the NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Committee after spending two years as the Midwest representative to the committee, and he has served the last three years on the NCAA Division II Baseball Midwest Regional Committee.

Summers earned his Bachelor’s degree in English in 2000 at North Central College, where he also played baseball and golf. He earned his Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis in finance at Lewis in 2005.

He and his wife, Tracy, have a daughter, Peyton, and their second child is due this summer.

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

CBU will host a lecture and demonstration by Ben McClelland, the main author of the book Lifesaving Labradors, on April 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Spain Auditorium.

McClelland is a Professor and Schillig Chair of English at the University of Mississippi, where he has taught for 26 years. Since 2011, he has been associated with Wildrose Kennels as an apprentice trainer and blog writer.

Lifesaving Labradors is a collection of true stories of people with Type 1 Diabetes that use Diabetic Alert Dogs or DADs to smell changes in their blood sugar levels. Using their sight and smell, these dogs keep their owners safe from life-threatening blood sugar episodes like falling into a coma or going into a stroke. It addresses issues of interest within the medical community today.

McClelland will lead a discussion and will be doing a demonstration with his dog. Following the lecture and demonstration, he will be available to sign copies of the book. Refreshments will be served. Open to the public and free of charge.

Posted in Academics, Events, Press Releases, Student Life

Christian Brothers University (CBU) will host its annual Sofapalooza music festival on April 25, starting at 5:00 p.m. in Boshwit Courtyard on the CBU campus, rain or shine.

This year’s festival will feature five acts and a variety of musical genres. Local food and drink will be available, and the festival is open to the public and FREE!

Goose, a band from Fayetteville, AR, has become a Northwest Arkansas sensation playing at local venues such as George’s Majestic Lounge. They serenade visitors to their Facebook page with a piano and stuffed goose at hand. With steady influences such as Jack Johnson, Amos Lee, Dave Matthews and Jason Isbell, Goose has their own Americana-folk-pop vibe. Goose has released two albums, Bad Idea in 2010 and Champagne and Wine in 2012.

Everything authentic. That is the tag line hip hop artist Wave Chappelle chooses to live by. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wave is determined to be a staple in the hip hop world. Having landed in Memphis to attend Lemoyne-Owen College, little did anyone in the world or Mid-South know that Wave was crafting a master plan (and album) entitled It’ll All Make Sense Soon. Teaming up with one of the Hottest DJ’s in the Midsouth DJ Rock Steady, Wave has set the scene on fire.

Spaceface is an original psychedelic rock band from Memphis. Formed in 2012, the band blends unique soundscapes, catchy vocals, raw energy, and a professional light show in order to create a truly memorable experience. Since their formation, they have been involved in two collaborative records assembled by The Flaming Lips to give tribute to King Crimson and The Stone Roses. These records were sold on limited edition colored vinyl and featured artists such as Ke$ha, Policia, Peaking Lights, New Fumes, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, HOTT MT, and Linear Downfall.

Young, loud, and fearless, Fingertrick can rock the roof off with raw talent alone. Combine this wild drive with screaming guitar riffs, bombastic bass lines, and bone-crushing drums—not to mention an absolutely uncompromising lyrical style—and you are left with an unstoppable rock and roll machine.

And everyone at CBU already knows that it isn’t a party until our very own DJ John Dawson says it is.




Posted in Events, Memphis Community, Student Life

Memphis, TN - Carolyn Head has been newly appointed as the CFO and Vice President for Administration & Finance for Christian Brothers University (CBU), effective June 1, 2014.

In her role as Vice President for Administration and Finance, Head serves as the chief administrative and financial officer and is charged with ensuring effective and efficient plant management, food management, fiscal operations, human resources and purchasing, administration and bookstore operations in accordance with the mission and goals of Christian Brothers University.

Head comes to CBU from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where she served as the chief budget officer for the College of Medicine since January 2011, overseeing approximately $400 million in resources from tuition, research, state funding, contracts, practice plans and endowments. Head previously served as accounting and business manager for the UT Medical Group. She was also the owner of her own public accounting firm, Management Consulting & Accounting Services, since 2002.

Head received her Master of Business Administration in accounting from the University of Memphis, as well as her Bachelor of Business Administration.

Head will step in for Daniel Wortham, who is retiring at the end of May from the CBU Vice President position after 14 years of service.

“We are very pleased to have Carolyn join the CBU family,” said Dr. John Smarrelli, CBU President. “Her depth of experience in higher education and nonprofit finance, as well as her previously existing ties to our community make her an ideal individual to help us chart the course for CBU’s financial stability and long-term prosperity.”

Head is also a longtime member of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception and currently serving as a cathedral cantor, school board member and finance committee member.

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

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

Founder’s Week at CBU begins on Monday, April 7, the official feast day of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers and patron saint of teachers. A Founder’s Week Heritage Mass, celebrated at Christian Brothers High School, will begin the week. Bishop Terry Steib will celebrate the Mass, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Brothers, faculty and staff, SGA Officers, Lasallian Fellows, and students are all invited to CBHS for this special Mass. Following the religious service, a continental breakfast will be served.

Also on April 7, the CBU Athletic Department will host the annual Brother Mark Sullivan Golf Tournament at Mirimichi Golf Course at 1:00 p.m. The President’s team includes two of our CBU Brothers. A Founder’s Week Prayer will be offered at lunch in Alfonso Dining Hall by our CBU Lasallian Fellows.

To further promote one of the pillars of the institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, our Student Life Department and Campus Ministry will jointly sponsor a clothing drive through Catholic Charities in Memphis. The drive will begin on Tuesday, April 8 and conclude on Wednesday evening.

A Prayer Service will be offered at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, with the Brothers leading in song. On Tuesday evening, the CBU Honors Program will present Ignite CBU! in Spain Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

The clothing drive will continue all day on Wednesday, April 9 and conclude that evening. CBU’s first “Together For Mission Reception” on Wednesday will honor approximately 40 administrators, faculty, staff, and students have enrolled in or graduated from a variety of Lasallian Studies (such as the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies, Lasallian Leadership Institute, or the International Lasallian University Leadership program) and programs, workshops, etc. on campus or locally. Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award winners over the years at CBU are also welcome! The reception will be hosted by the Brothers Community.

Plough Library will introduce its Lasallian Section on Wednesday, 1:00-2:00 p.m., and at 3:15 p.m., everyone is invited to gather on the Front Lawn on East Parkway to form a human Lasallian Star of Faith.

Examples of Stars of Faith (click to enlarge)

The President’s Community Conversation for faculty and staff will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, with an opening prayer provided by the Christian Brothers of the Lambert Hall Community. The Brothers will also host dinner in Alfonso Dining Hall on Thursday, providing special Lasallian treats.

Founder’s Week will conclude on Friday, April 11 when the whole CBU Community — students, alumni, faculty, staff, and families — take over AutoZone Park for the Memphis Redbirds opening game of the 2014 season.

St. John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, Forever.

Posted in Administration, Advancement, Events, Faculty & Staff, Lasallian, Student Life