Saint Anselm is proud to announce that alumnae Jennifer Durant '02 and Colleen Farley '05, have been named to The Union Leader's 11th class of 40 Under Forty. The Union Leader is New Hampshire's largest daily newspaper. Every year the newspaper names 40 of the state's up and coming citizens, recognizing them for their charity and success.
On the Payroll Tax
While the Senate breaks for the Christmas holiday, the House of Representatives is taking a stand on the payroll tax, rejecting the bill days from the year-end deadline. If the bill doesn’t pass Congress by December 31, taxes will rise to 6.2% from 4.2% in the new year.
Regarding the current impasse, economics and business professor Amy Schmidt says:
"The national economy is still fragile. Letting the rate return to its pre-cut level is effectively a tax increase. Studies find that most people are spending the payroll tax cut—as opposed to tax cuts received by high-income individuals who tend to save more of a tax cut. But according to the CBO the tax cut amounts to about $20 billion over the next year if it is extended over the next two months. If it was extended for the next year, multiply that by 6 (my ballpark, not the CBOs) and you have $120 billion. The federal budget is over $3 trillion and Gross Domestic Product is about $15 trillion. It is unlikely that not passing the extension will throw us into a recession, but it is counterproductive. Similarly unemployment benefits are spent. To the extent that the reason unemployed individuals are out of work is because they are unable to find a job and not because they aren’t willing to accept a job, a reduction in those benefits will also have a negative effect on the economy."
On Occupy Wall Street
Regarding the movement, Schmidt says:
"Income inequality is at a historic high. I believe there is reason for concern. Democrats and Republicans seem to be talking past each other. I do not know how well organized or effective the Occupy movement will be in the long run, but they have brought the topic into mainstream discussion and it is likely to be part of the Presidential campaign.
Republicans, in general, are most concerned about growth of GDP. The income distribution does not seem to be a big concern to them. They oppose taxing those at the high end of the distribution because they are the “job creators”—which I think is too broad a brush to paint them with. My personal view is that there is a tradeoff between efficient taxation (which reduces growth the least) and equity. The United States has generally chosen to err on the side of efficiency compared to all other industrialized nations.
Democrats are also concerned about growth, but are also concerned about the income distribution. They have favored raising taxes on those making over $250,000 (the top 2%) and spending more on stimulus measures that are aimed especially at unemployed construction workers. The Republicans are opposed to stimulus."
Professor Schmidt's research interests include education and labor markets. She teaches Principles of Micro and Macroeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Statistics, Labor Economics and Environmental Economics. She has been interviewed by The Union Leader, New Hampshire Public Radio, and WMUR.
To speak to Professor Schmidt, please call Barbara LeBlanc at (603) 641-7241 (office) or (603) 486-8760 (cell).
This post was submitted by Laura Lemire.
It is at moments such as these when this place truly becomes the center of our campus, because it is here that we can we come with the deepest longing of our hearts for peace, and it is here than we can come with the sorrow, confusion, and anxiety of our hearts to ask our just and merciful God for his assistance.
As a campus community we have gathered to stand with one another in shock and sorrow for what has happened in our country today, to stand with one another on the side of faith, and to stand with one another on the side of peace and non-violence in our world.
–Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., president of Saint Anselm College
This is how Father Jonathan opened a special mass celebrated on September 11, 2001 at noon in the Abbey Church, after the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. Ten years later, we will mark the 10th year anniversary of that sorrowful day with a weekend of prayer and reflection.
We keep in mind the toll that 9/11 took on our community. Richard Keane '69 and Stephen Roach '86 lost their lives in the World Trade Towers that day. Since then, many of our alumni served and continue to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, where in 2009 Marine Captain Kyle Van De Giesen ’02 lost his life.
We invite you, members of the Saint Anselm community, to share your thoughts and your reflections on the anniversary. What does this date mean to you? How did the events of 9/11 and succeeding years affect your life, your country? What have you learned since then?
Please share your thoughts with your fellow Anselmians.
At 12 p.m. on September 11, 2001, the Saint Anselm community gathered in the Abbey Church for a special Mass. Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B. delivered the following homily at that time:
My dear brothers and sisters,
I have not had any more time than you have had to reflect on what has happened today. I come to you with thoughts from a heart as confused and anxious and your own may be.
When we gathered just a week ago here in this Abbey Church we did so with the joy and anticipation of another academic year beginning. We gathered to ask God’s blessing on us and our world. Today – just one week later — we have come with profound sorrow and grief as our nation has suffered unprecedented terrorist attacks that have taken the lives of as yet unknown numbers of innocent men and women. We know definitely that one of our alumni was in that World Trade Center Tower this morning – though we do not know his fate — and I ask your prayers for him, Stephen Roach, class of 1986, husband and father of three. We know that others connected to us work in that building as well. Whether they were there or not, we do not know, but please pray for them.
But this is a tragedy beyond Saint Anselm College. This is a tragedy for our nation that will change forever the way we are in the world. We can no longer say: not here, not us. For it has happened. And for all our lives we shall remember this day as the moment when our history and our lives changed.
Even as we see the awful images on the television screen, we may ask how this can happen in our age, in our country, in our world. How can this happen here – though for others it has been a way of life. There is no other answer than that evil can so take hold in hearts of human beings that it causes them to commit the most heinous acts of violence. There is no answer but that. There is no other answer than that the human heart can be so turned against another, that it causes the harm we see today.
On Friday we spent the day talking about the art of politics, about the replacement of war with dialogue, about the need for good people to do good things in our world…and today we see the effects of a different world view – one that believes that if I do not agree with you, I can do anything to cause you harm, to destroy you.
Jesus knew the human heart better than any of us ever will. And what did he say: not only “Do not commit murder” but “do not use abusive language towards one another,” “do not hold one another in contempt,” “do not leave your gift at the altar if you know that you need to be reconciled with your brother or sister.
Let us ask God today to remove from us even the traces of evil that could cause us to hate; let us beg his mercy on those who performed these awful acts; and let us pray for the victims and their families, that God will welcome those who died to the everlasting peace of his kingdom and that he will console those who remain the consolation only he can give.
Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B.
President of the College
Mass invoking God’s Mercy for the living and the dead on the day of terrorist bombing
September 11, 2001, 12 p.m. in the Abbey Church
And Jesus said: “Blessed are they who mourn; blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness; blessed are the peacemakers.” Blessed are we because today we mourn. Blessed are we because today we commit ourselves again to righteousness and peace. But also — Blessed are we because we live in a land where freedom rules. Blessed are we because we live in this land where we can come together as a community of faith to pray as we choose without fear, without interference from government. Blessed are we because we live in a land where women and men can be educated to seek the truth wherever it is to be found. Blessed are we because we have our faith, and we have one another, and we can find God in our midst.
Those of us who were here a year ago came together in this sacred place on this day, not knowing for sure what was happening or how it would end. We did not know what to say, except to call out to God for help. We had seen the unthinkable happen before our eyes. We saw evil in a way many of us had never seen it before. And then day and weeks passed and we learned who; then why. We heard our leaders speak words that stirred our hearts and minds: “Freedom was attacked by a faceless coward. Freedom will be defended.” (President Bush) We heard our leaders speak the words that we felt in the depths of our being: “Our hearts are broken, but they are beating stronger than ever.” (Mayor Giuliani)
The terrorists wanted us to believe that it was religion, not evil that caused our losses in New York and Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. But through every day and every month that followed that awful morning as we read accounts of the innocent lives lost, we came to know those men and women who were guilty of nothing else but having gone to work in the morning, guilty of nothing else but going about living their lives in our free country, some putting their own lives on the line, first to rescue then recover. And we knew even more certainly what we had seen. As one New York Times commentator said: “Part of what makes civilization civilized is a natural reluctance to believe unconscionable evil until it is realized in front of us. Because of September 11th our civilization is less civilized…but it is more conscious, and therefore more alive.” (NY Times Magazine, Andrew Sullivan)
One year ago not only did our civilization suffer but even more personally our community suffered as well – as we lost Richard Keane from the class of 1969 and Stephen Roach from the class of 1986, and Orio Palmer, a cousin of our admission officer, Sean Ryan. They with the hundreds of others that day left behind families and communities and places of worship behind. They can never be replaced. We remember…and for them we mourn deeply again today.
We have seen during this year what price freedom must sometimes pay. We have seen what oppression and terror can do to a people. We have seen heroism in the face of horror and we have seen a nation convinced that freedom comes from God and it shall not be taken away. So today we pray that peace – God’s peace will triumph not only for us but also for the world. We believe that in Christ all things are possible. We believe that what we have learned and received about what is true, and honorable, and worthy of praise is the truth of God’s victory in Christ. This is the faith that compels us to pray deeply for all who suffer…and for our enemies as well. This is the faith that compels us to remove all prejudice and jealousy, all hatred and evil from our hearts, so that we can remove them from our world as well. For this we pray together today.
My dear brothers and sisters, last year I went to New York and prayed with our alumni and friends there for our nation and for those we lost. I stood near ground zero when the rubble was still piled high and one could still breathe the heavy air of our nation’s sorrow. Time has healed some wounds for all of us. The rubble is gone; the air is lighter. Tonight I will be in New York again; and again I shall stop to pray for those we lost and for our nation’s future: all of you will be in my heart.
God bless you all. And God bless America!
Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B.
Sept. 11, 2002
Tonight during a break in debate action, Saint Anselm student Ahmed Saeed '13 interviewed The Daily Show's John Oliver. Asked about the spin room and speaking with candidates and the media following the debate, John Oliver said, "I've been in three or four spin rooms while on The Daily Show and I lose a piece of my soul whenever I go. I don't even know how many I've got left, I may lose the last piece tonight." Oliver continued by saying they make him feel "hollow" and affect his "belief in humanity and democracy."
Upon interviewing Oliver, Ahmed Saeed, an international relations major from Manchester, N.H., admitted he was nervous. "It was a very Nixon-Frost sort of ordeal, if you know what I mean?"
Yes, Ahmed, we know exactly what you mean.
Sam Feist, CNN Washington Bureau Chief and Debate Producer, on stage: "We feel like we're family now. Every four years we come here to do debates. It's like coming home."
John King: "There's another event going on tonight but that's why God made TiVo."
Kevin Ward '12, welcoming audience: "I stand here in awe. As a communication major, I never thought I'd be standing on the same stage where seven presidential candidates were going to debate."
Liz Kulig '13, picked up Wolf Blitzer from the airport: "He liked the Simon and Garfunkel music I picked out. I wasn't going to subject him to Lady Gaga."
Liz Ossoff, professor on Sirius Radio: "New Hampshire isn't just a place to go skiing."
Neil Levesque, NHIOP Executive Director: "My favorite part is seeing our students up on stage standing in for the candidates, because some day one of them might be up there for real."
Father Jonathan, O.S.B, president of Saint Anselm College, on stage: "Pardon my voice but it was alumni weekend and I spent too much time under the tent."
William "Burke" Bero, politics major: "This is what I've been waiting for for three and a half years."
David Bohrman, Senior VP CNN: "YouTube seems so four years ago, doesn't it?"
Quotes collected by Laurie Morrissey
The doors of Sullivan Arena, home of tonight’s CNN debates, have finally opened to its 700 attendees. But on the other side of campus, the Carr Center has its own line as media from around the world settle into the media filing center to watch the debate.
More than 300 accredited journalists are expected to cover the debates from campus including the New York Times and the NHK Broadcasting Corporation from Japan. The media will watch the debates and then file their stories.
Following the debate, the reporters will move to the spin room to talk with candidates (or candidates' surrogates).
Lisa Kennedy Sheldon '78 discussed the confusion set off by a government panel's new recommendations on mammograms. She appeared on NECN on Thursday, Nov. 19, during the news network's "Affairs of State" segment.
Sheldon says the panel's recommendations are surprising because they are an abrupt change from those set in place in 2002. Despite the new recommendations, she emphasizes that women should speak with their own health care providers to determine what is best for them.
Sheldon is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses focusing on oncology nursing and cancer care.
Jeanne Cavelos, editor, author, former astrophysicist and part-time English professor, led her 14th Odyssey Fantasy workshop this summer at Saint Anselm College. The workshop brought together 16 writers hoping to improve their skills and dazzle the publishing world with their stories of zombies, vampires, and living on the moon.
These students of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, flew in from as far as Australia and Singapore, leaving behind their families and quitting their jobs to spend six weeks with Cavelos. They all hope to eventually be published authors.
In this podcast with Jeanne Cavelos, she discusses the workshop, her students, science fiction, and the world of publishing.
To read more about Odyssey, visit this previous blog post.
Photo credit: Greg Wallace '10