Anselmians in Show Business Take Top Prizes

Prof. Peter Josephson

Three alumni and a politics professor received top prizes at the New Hampshire Theatre Awards ceremony on Jan. 31, 2015.

Peter Josephson, a Saint Anselm College professor of politics, was named best actor in the category of Drama/Comedy – Community, for his role as Dunne in Theatre KAPOW's production of “Penelope." On campus, Josephson is better known for his courses in political theory and his expertise on the political philosopher John Locke. He is the Bready Professor of Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good.

Prof. Peter Josephson

Prof. Peter Josephson

The play, “Penelope,” directed by 1999 alumnus Matthew Cahoon, won first place in the category “Drama/Comedy- Community.” He won the best director award for that production, which Theatre KAPOW’s website calls “a wildly funny riff on life, love and the war at home.” Carey Cahoon, of the Class of 1998, designed the costumes for the play.

KAPOW’s production of “Macbeth” was a finalist in the same category, and Matthew Cahoon was a finalist for best director for that production. Carey Cahoon was named best actress for what one judge called “her deliciously sociopathic” Lady Macbeth. She also was a finalist in the category “best scenic design.”

In the last two years, Theatre KAPOW has received 33 New Hampshire Theatre Award nominations, and New Hampshire Magazine has called it the best contemporary theatre in the state.

Audiences are eager for this kind of challenging entertainment, Professor Josephson says: “Folks have come to want and expect something special from KAPOW – in our material, in our staging, in our relation to the audience. That’s been the greatest reward of all.”

Wallace Pineault, of the Class of 1972, took home the “Best Original Playwright” award for his comedy, “Hotel La Putts.”

Matthew and Carey Cahoon and “Wally” Pineault were involved in the Anselmian Abbey Players as students. Pineault’s starring role in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” sparked a lifelong interest, and he went on to teach English and drama at New England College.

Music Students on Stage

Music students perform at Saint Anselm College

Eleven music performance students took the stage recently at the Dana Center auditorium, including four vocalists, five pianists, and two flautists. They were performing in the first Common Hour Music Concert of the spring semester, and the fine arts department’s first to feature students instead of faculty members. Molly Lozeau, a lecturer on the faculty, accompanied the vocalists.

Music students perform at Saint Anselm College

L to R, students who performed at the Common Hour Concert: Kaileigh Bumpus '17, Ryan Sandford '15, Evan Brown '15, and Noelle Michaud '17.

The students’ selections ranged from operatic arias to piano concertos to a song from the Broadway musical, “Carousel.” Those performing were: seniors Evan Brown, Frances Nicholson, and Ryan Sandford; juniors William Endicott, Briana Goddard, and Alexander Lemay-Kimball; and sophomores Kaileigh Bumpus, Amanda Field, Caresse Mailloux, Amelia McCue, and Noelle Michaud.

Music lessons for academic credit are a recent addition to the college’s course options. The Department of Fine Arts began offering music lessons for academic credit in Fall 2014. There is class instruction in piano and individual instruction in voice, piano, and other instruments.

“The student interest and enthusiasm for this new program adds much to our academic program and to the college community at large, to better understand the significance of the role of the arts in our current society,” says Katherine Hoffman, professor and chair of the Department of Fine Arts.

“All of the students performing are very talented. I was excited to be part of the concert,” says Caresse Mailloux, a fine arts major who performed a flute duet with Amanda Field ’17, a mathematics major.

Whether it was their first recital or their 40th, the noontime concert was a valuable chance for students to practice performing for an audience. It also was a chance to highlight a growing music performance program. Last, but not least, it was a treat for students, faculty and staff who attended during their lunch hour.

Saint Anselm Debaters Shine at Tournaments

Rebecca Pelletier ’17, Kevin Lacourse ’15, Katherine Muzzy ’15

Saint Anselm College’s debate team (the Thomas More Debate Society) capped off an exciting fall season in December, at the Otterbein University tournament in Ohio. Since September, the team members have grappled with topics including: the trade of antiquities, environmentalism and consumer culture, patriotism in public schools, and free elections in Hong Kong. They participated in both Lincoln-Douglas policy debate and parliamentary debate.

Rebecca Pelletier ’17, Kevin Lacourse ’15, Katherine Muzzy ’15

(L-R) Rebecca Pelletier ’17, Kevin Lacourse ’15, Katherine Muzzy ’15

The final tournament was a season highlight for English major Rebecca Pelletier ’17, who reached the final round at the tournament and was 2nd place speaker in Lincoln-Douglas policy debate.

“Rebecca has been one of the most successful debaters in the league this fall,” says Coach David Trumble.

The team hosted the 22nd annual Jack Lynch Tournament at Saint Anselm College in November. There were over 100 competitors in all of the events. Pelletier was first place speaker overall in Lincoln Douglas debate. At a large tournament held at Marshall University, Pelletier reached the quarterfinal round and was 3rd place speaker.

The Jack Lynch Tournament was named after the college team’s first coach, history professor John Lynch. The team is now more than 60 years old and going strong.

Each year, the Lincoln Douglas policy debate league deals with a different topic. Last year’s topic was education reform. The policy topic this year involves American space policy.

Pelletier’s case calls for constructing a telescope on the moon to detect asteroids and other objects that might crash into earth. “The moon having a much clearer view of the galaxy would give us many years of additional lead-time to deflect the object compared with earth-based telescopes,” Trumble explains.

Also earning high marks from the judges at the fall tournaments were Katherine Muzzy ’15, Kevin Lacourse ’15, and Ashley Leonard ’17. Leonard was in the final round of LD debate in the Novice division.

Every year, many Saint Anselm alumni come to campus to help with the judging at the Jack Lynch Tournament. Without their help, the tournament would not be a success, says Coach Trumble. Nicole Thorspecken ’09, Michael Pirrello ’07, Matthew Delude ’04, Ryan Ollis ’08, and Christopher Tinsley ’13 returned to judge rounds, support the team, and relive their days of Anselmian debate.

In the spring semester, the team will compete at Webster University in St. Louis, the Northeast Regional Championship at Emerson College in Boston, and National Forensic Association Nationals at Ohio University.

"The Rule," Airing on PBS, features Benedictines and '86 Alumnus


At a preparatory school in Newark, N.J., educators are turning lives around by applying the precepts of the Rule of Saint Benedict. The school is the subject of “The Rule,” a 90-minute documentary being broadcast by PBS. Dr. Ivan Lamourt, Saint Anselm College Class of 1986, is director of counseling services at St. Benedict’s Prep, and is prominently featured in the film.

Promotional image for "The Rule"

From the film's producers:

See how the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey, in the heart of one of America's most dangerous cities, are able to achieve amazing success with the most vulnerable population: inner city African American and Latino teenage males.  While Newark, NJ, with a high poverty rate of 32%, has an abysmal high school graduation rate, St. Benedict's Prep has a near 100% COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE rate.  The film details how their "recipe for success" follows the 6th century Rule of Saint Benedict and how this rule can serve as a model for whole cities nationwide.

From St. Benedict's Prep:

The Newark Public Schools have an abysmal high school graduation rate. The primary reason for this is poverty. Equally abysmal is Newark's murder rate; since 2007, it has gone from 8th to 7th highest in the nation. Again, the reason is poverty. Since 2007, the poverty rate in Newark has risen from 25-percent to an even more appalling 32-percent. With a population of 278,000, this means that almost 90,000 Newarkers live in poverty!

The [filmmakers] spent over a year filming at the school, learning that for inner-city youth, cognitive skills are impeded by the dysfunctional environment caused by poverty, therefore inner city schools must be committed to helping students overcome this dysfunction so that the process of education can begin. At SBP, this commitment includes protracted counseling as well as a year-round residence for the most vulnerable students.

Class Presidents Get to Work

Alumni Hall at Saint Anselm College

Dr. Steven DiSalvo is not the only new president in town… or on campus.

Robert Merritt, a psychology major from Salem, N.H., was elected president of the Class of 2017 on Sept. 27. He arrived with four years of experience in student government at Salem High School, where he was president of the National Honor Society and the marching band. He speaks Spanish, plays intramural basketball, and just may be the only marimba player at Saint Anselm College.

Robert’s first order of business is raising money for class activities. He’s planning events that will raise funds without much overhead, so the class will not start the year taking out loans. He chose Saint Anselm because every single person he passed on his college tour said, “Hi, how are you?” And he chose psychology because he became fascinated by the subject during his senior year.

Robert’s fellow class presidents are Nolan Varee ’16, David McKillop ’15, and Guy Sergi  ’14.

Class presidents with Dr. DiSalvo

Nolan Varee is a politics major from Pennsylvania who was drawn to Saint Anselm by the reputation of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. He says he googled “small liberal arts college in New England with a good politics program” and “Saint Anselm came right up.” He’s an NHIOP student ambassador, and active in student political organizations on campus and in the state.  He is minoring in economics and says his favorite thing about the college is the food…. but he really loves his professors, too.

David McKillop is in his third year as president of the Class of 2015. He is politics major with a minor in philosophy, and he is an Orientation Leader and a member of the King Edward Society. He spends his free time thinking about Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, and how their ideas on morality and justice are relevant in today’s society—and going to CAB events and hockey games.

Guy Sergi is a politics major, an RA (resident assistant), a student ambassador at the NHIOP, and a member of the Mock Trial Association. He spent last summer as an intern at a law firm on Capitol Hill. You can spot him leading tours around campus, on his job with the Office of Admission.

Professor Publishes Book on Vietnam

Prof. Matthew Masur

Educators who teach high school and college courses about the Vietnam War will benefit from the insights of Saint Anselm College’s associate professor of history, Matthew Masur.

Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War, which he co-edited with John Day Tully (Central Connecticut State University) and Brad Austin (Salem State University), was released recently by The University of Wisconsin Press.

Masur’s primary area of research is the history of American foreign relations. The nation-building process in South Vietnam between 1954-1963 was the subject of his doctoral dissertation at Ohio State University, and he spent a year conducting research in Vietnam through a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship. He teaches and writes about the region, and has brought students on two immersion trips to Vietnam. This semester, he is teaching an honors course on modern Japan, and he is the advisor to the newly formed Vietnamese Student Association.

Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War offers essays by eminent Vietnam War scholars, and strategies for teaching the war’s most critical aspects: the Cold War, decolonization, Vietnamese perspectives, the French in Vietnam, the role of the Hmong, and the Tet Offensive.

In addition to editing the book, Masur provided the chapter “Nationalism, Communism, and the Vietnam War.”

Masur received financial support for his research from the college, including a summer research grant in 2010.

Easing the Transition for New Students

Photo by Jenna Osborn '16

Photo by Jenna Osborn '16

Many of the new Anselmians in the Transitions Program say that besides feeling excited, they are a little nervous about the start of the academic year. They are students who contribute to diversity on campus, whether it is because of where they hail from or because they plan to commute. They arrived yesterday, before most of their classmates, to get a preview of campus life.

“I adapt easily. I’ve lived on my own before, and I’ve moved a lot,” says Luz Stefani Salinas ’17, a Florida resident born in Venezuela.

The three-day pre-orientation program is in its third year, and has grown from 17 participants to more than 30, with nearly as many students serving as mentors. A luncheon on Tuesday also was attended by staff members and faculty. After being greeted by Yemi Mahoney, Multicultural Center director, the new students were welcomed by someone who has something in common with them: Steven DiSalvo, Ph.D., the college’s president of five weeks.

“I know a little bit about transitions, because I am transitioning myself,” he said.

Basirat Sanni, a young Nigerian woman who attended high school in Rhode Island, is in her second year as a mentor in the program. “I came here in 2011 and I’d never been in a community of primarily Caucasian people,” she said. “This program was exactly what I needed and wanted, and it really helped me a lot.”

Nursing major Jenna Osborn ’16, also helps with the program. “I was really scared when I got here, and I wanted to help new students make the transition,” she said. She helped the students move in on Monday, and planned to join them on a service project at a local homeless shelter. Bowling was on the agenda for the evening.

“We answer lots of questions,” Osborn said. “They want to know about classes and professors, and whether we have fun. They want to know, 'How squishy is it in your room?' and, ‘How do you get involved if you live off-campus?’”

Kayla McMinniman, who lives with her grandmother and brother in Methuen, is among the five percent of freshmen and new students who do not live on campus. “Being in this program makes us feel like we’re part of the family instead of outside the lines,” says the psychology major.

Among the non-New Englanders in Transitions is Connor Dooley, a resident of Long Island, N.Y. “The ice breakers we did really helped us make friends,” the Spanish major said of the program.

He’ll miss his six of his seven siblings but he won’t miss his sister Brianna. She’s a Transitions mentor, and joined him at lunch.


Senior Spends Summer Digging History

Alexandra Madsen '14

Finding a tiny piece of quartz on a Connecticut hillside will always be a memorable moment for Alexandra Madsen ’14. The history major is spending the summer working at a Native American museum and troweling up artifacts at a multi-period excavation site.

Alexandra Madsen '14Madsen was always interested in archaeology, and visited the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn. many times while growing up in nearby Southbury. She enjoys working there this summer, helping to clean and categorize artifacts and design museum exhibits. The other half of her internship is on location in the town of Warren, where she works with the Litchfield Archaeology Club at a site containing Native American artifacts and evidence of colonial settlements.

Finding the quartz point was the highlight of the summer. “It’s either an arrow point or a knife, but probably a knife because one side is more pronounced than the other,” she says.

Last summer, Madsen fueled her passion for archaeology at the college’s dig in Italy with Professor David George and a group of students. She is minoring in classical archaeology and Spanish, and plans to pursue a graduate degree in museum studies.

Madsen’s internship is one of a dozen that are made possible by alumnus Kevin J. Gould (class of 1976). He feels that since many internships are unpaid, students with financial need miss out on valuable experiences that can enrich their education. The awards have gone to aid students in a variety of majors, who are gaining practical experience through summer internships at news organizations, law firms, financial firms, sports organizations, and other businesses.

Faculty Summer Projects, Research, and Adventures

Saint Anselm professor Dan Broek conducts summer research

Ever wonder what Saint Anselm College’s faculty members are doing during “summer vacation?” From Israel to Alberta, they are embarked upon projects and activities that fuel their academic interests and inspire their classroom teaching. They’re also checking a few things off their “bucket lists,” just for fun.

Here are a few of their projects

Students work in "Trench C" at the dig site.Mary Kate Donais (chemistry) joins David George (classics) and a team of Saint Anselm students on the college’s archaeological dig in Italy, where she analyzes the makeup of metallic artifacts from Etruscan and Roman times. Learn more about the dig on

Jay Pitocchelli (biology) is in the Rocky Mountains continuing his research on the MacGillivray’s Warbler. Learn more about Professor Pitocchelli's research on MacGillivray's and Mourning Warbler's blog.

Joseph Spoerl (philosophy) is a fellow in the Shusterman Summer institute for Israel Studies, expanding his knowledge of Israeli history and culture at Brandeis University and in Israel and the West Bank.

Beth Salerno (history) is writing the story of an antislavery activist born in Concord, N.H.

Gary Bouchard (English) will speak at a national conference of Benedictine colleges and universities, and teach a Substantially Catholic workshop for high school teachers in San Francisco.

David Guerra (physics), with former student Deana Del Vecchio ’13, is working on a computerized forest mapping project in the Saint Anselm physics lab.

Elizabeth Fouts (modern languages) is making whole grain pasta. (Not part of her academic curriculum, but she’s fulfilling a long-held dream of attending organic cooking school in Italy.)

Katherine Hoffman (fine arts) will make a trip to France to continue research on her latest book project, which focuses on two female French photographers who were influenced by Alfred Stieglitz.

Alumnus Mike Jaillet Sings National Anthem at Fenway Park

Mike Jaillet singing the National Anthem at Fenway Park

Mike Jaillet ’91 made a bucket list when he graduated. On May 30, he crossed off “Sing the national anthem at Fenway.”

The Dell Computer Company executive and diehard Red Sox fan wrote a letter to the team about his 2011 diagnosis with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. When the Sox planned ALS night to raise awareness of the progressive motor neuron disease, they gave Jaillet a call.

“In a word, it was awesome,” Jaillet says. “It was the most bittersweet thing I could possibly think of doing. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, and to tie it in with this cause meant I could do something positive. Events like this bring people together and galvanize what’s good in us.”

The criminal justice alumnus, a Texas resident, recently founded MJ’s Army to build awareness, promote volunteer activity, and raise funds for research and therapy.

For additional information on MJ's Army visit


This post was submitted by Laurie Morrissey.