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Keeping the Dream Alive

January 20th, 2012 – On a cold Friday night at Neumann University, a crowd filed into the Fred P. Meagher Theater for a night filled with performances; However, the theme of the night would not be one of a joyous nature.  The “Keep The Dream Alive” concert, sponsored by Campus Ministry and The Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia, was in memory of the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.  But more importantly, the main purpose of this concert was to raise funds and awareness for the modern day form of slavery that Dr. King (had he lived on) would have surely been disgusted to hear of – human trafficking.

Sr. Ann Forrest commenced the event by speaking on behalf of the non-profit organization “Dawn’s Place”.  Dawn’s Place was named in memory of a prostituted women who was murdered in Camden, New Jersey.  She explained to the audience the vital role that Dawn’s Place plays in the lives of those that have been sexually exploited, including victims of prostitution and sex-trafficking.  Dawn’s Place aims to provide housing, recovery and many other services to those victims and to show their support for this organization, all proceeds from the Keep The Dream Alive concert were donated to Dawn’s Place.  The other notable speaker, outside of the Neumann community, of the evening was Sr. Donna Jo Repetti of Benedictine Academy, a Catholic high school that services young women through grades 9-12 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  Her and her students felt so compelled by the worldwide epidemic that is human trafficking, that they created a documentary to raise awareness of just how widespread this form of slavery has become.

The faculty and students that would represent Neumann University on the stage this night showed their awareness of human trafficking through music and poetry.  Dr. Mac Given (clarinet) , accompanied by Dr. Sylvia Riviello (piano), played a magnificent version of “Theme and Variation on Amazing Grace” that united the audience in a rhythm that would carry throughout the night.

Dr. Mac Given

But perhaps the most powerful performance of the night came from Neumann’s newest club – The Sister Bernadette McInnis Poetry Club.  Members of this club including Samuel Cole, Frank Altamuro, Nicole Thomas, Tiffany Connelly and Lauren Sherman, read a loud poems that had been written from the view point of an individual trapped in the human trafficking industry.  The performance of the poetic narrative “I Never Knew” by these students was outstanding and extremely moving.  Their words depicted the horrible realities of human trafficking, revealed the low level of awareness of this practice within the United States and left every member of the audience that night wondering if their personal problems were really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.


Samuel Cole during his portion of the poetic narrative "I Never Knew"


It may not have been something that we wanted to hear, but the things the members of the audience and myself saw and heard during the Keep The Dream Alive concert needed to be heard.  Human Trafficking is not a problem, it is an epidemic that has not properly addressed by the United States.  But for what it is worth, the participants of the Keep the Dream Alive concert are certainly doing their part in raising awareness and combating the problem through their words and talents.

Neumann Helps Archdiocesan Teachers

Neumann University will offer free career counseling and three master’s degree programs at 50% of its usual tuition to all Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic school teachers who lose their positions in 2012 through the reorganization of Archdiocesan schools. Neumann’s graduate programs that are available at 50% of standard tuition are education, organizational and strategic leadership, and pastoral care and counseling.

To qualify for the tuition discount, teachers must meet the criteria required by the regular University admissions process, provide documentation that their position was eliminated, and enroll by the start of the May 2013 summer session.

In addition, the master’s degree in education program will accept as many as 15 transfer credits with the approval of the dean of the Division of Education and Human Services. In the program, teachers can earn the M.S. degree in instructional leadership, principal certification (grades K-12), and teacher certification in early elementary education (grades PK-4) and special education (grades PK-8).

The free career counseling service, which includes portfolio assessment, will be available starting July 1, 2012, and possibly earlier. Teachers may email the Office of Graduate and Adult Admissions (gradadultadmiss@neumann.edu) at any time to be placed on a list of those interested in free career counseling. As soon as the service is available, University staff members will contact teachers to schedule counseling appointments.

“We offer this support to Catholic school teachers who now enter a new phase in their career journeys,” said Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, Neumann’s president. “Some may want to gain additional teaching credentials; others may prefer to acquire new skills and seek a different career path. We realize that the financial priorities of many affected families may not include a graduate degree at this time, but we will consider ourselves privileged if we help even a few achieve future success.”

For more detailed information about this program, visit www.neumann.edu/admissions or call 610-361-5208.

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

by Nic Peischl

Hockey fans didn’t know what to expect going into the Collegiate Winter Classic between Neumann and Penn State. On one side was a powerhouse school in PSU, with a top ranked club team soon to become a member of Division I. On the other side was Neumann, a small often overlooked Division III school a few years removed from a National Championship. By the end of the night it was evident which team wanted to shine more under the lights of Citizens Bank Park, as Neumann cruised to a convincing 6-3 victory.
Penn State started out with a lot of energy leading to some scoring chances against the Knights who started Matt Tendler in net. The game was scoreless until the 10:30 mark when Knights defenseman Scott Farrell’s shot from the point found an open lane and beat the Icers goalie Matt Madrazo to give Neumann a 1-0 advantage. After a late penalty to PSU’s Kurt Collins Neumann quickly took advantage of the power play as Jordan Zalba lifted a shot past Madrazo with 10 seconds left in the first period to give the Knights a 2-0 lead.
The biggest threat the Knights needed to be prepared for was the Icers’ top scoring line of Taylor Holstrom, Justin Kirchhevel and Tommy Olczyk. The trio did not disappoint as they produced all three goals for the Icers. The first came from Holstrom who scored on a deflection cutting the Neumann lead to one. The Knights came right back with Corey Park and Jeff Bienvenue each lighting the lamp to put the Knights ahead 4-1. Both goals showed terrific forechecking abilities of the Knights to force PSU turnovers in their own zone.
Zalba added his second goal of the game on the power play, a couple of minutes into the third period putting a rebound past PSU goalie PJ Musico. The Knights work on the power play was impressive all night. They were very patient, getting a lot of time cycling the puck in their offensive zone getting a lot of scoring chances, eventually leading to two goals against a PSU penalty kill unit that had killed over 90% of their penalties throughout the year. Justin Kirchhevel added the final goal for the Icers before Andrew Love sealed the win with an empty netter.]
Jordan Zalba received first star honors with his 2 power play goals, the first of which was an incredible shot that was a big momentum boost for the Knights early on. “There was a little bit of an opening and I thought I might as well take a shot,” Zalba said. He showed great ability to be patient on the power play looking back door before taking the shot. “The goalie was kind of over, anticipating the pass a bit,” he added.
When asked about the experience of playing outdoors in front of a crowd of around 5,000, while coming from a small school Zalba said, “It’s awesome. You got your fellow students there, your peers, family and friends and for everyone on the team they saw the people in the stands and they were ecstatic from the get go, adrenaline starts pumping it was pretty good.”
One thing that stood out for the Icers was their ineffective passing which led to a lot of Neumann opportunities. Neumann Head Coach Dominick Dawes said it took the team “a while” to settle in. “Both teams had a hard time settling the puck down, it was bouncing all over the place out there.” For both teams the environment is such a unique thing and a special opportunity, a once in a life time opportunity, so the big thing is to enjoy it, soak it up and have fun with it.”
Dawes went on to say that the team went into the game wanting to keep it simple, which is exactly what the Knights did. They executed a very fundamentally sound game forcing Penn State to make mistakes, and capitalizing on all their opportunities. That seems like a characteristic in the Knights style of play since Dawes took the team over in 2008 a season that culminated with their national championship.
The Knights made the most of their time on the big stage, making all Neumann students and alumni proud, on what was a great Neumann Knight to be remembered.

Colbert 2012

Well, it’s official. I finally understand why other countries think the United States is a joke. (Besides the fact that we’ve officially declared pizza a vegetable.) It seems actor, entertainer and comedian Stephen Colbert has put his name in to run for… well, I don’t know, but I bet it’s pretty awesome

With just days leading up to the January 21st primary, last Thursday Colbert declared his intention to run for political office in South Carolina, by means of a write-in bid. Yesterday state officials in South Carolina said there wasn’t room on the bid for Mr. Colbert, but that doesn’t seem to stopping the Emmy Award winning satirist from “raising Cain” across the nation.

Colbert is best known for his “work” on The Colbert Report, a spin-off of The Daily Show with John Stewart. The Report, a parody on traditional news outlets, is currently one of the highest rated shows on Comedy Central.

No stranger to politics, Stephen Colbert was the featured entertainer in 2006 at the White House Correspondence Dinner under the George W. Bush administration. Famous for his quip, “This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!” Colbert quickly became a Republican enemy. In 2008 he hinted at running for political office in his home state of South Carolina under both the Democratic and Republican parties, but supporters of President Barack Obama pressured the state council to keep Colbert’s name off the bid. In return, Obama did not receive Colbert’s popularity booster, the curious phenomenon known as the Colbert Bump.

In September of 2010, both Colbert and Stewart marched on Washington during their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that all of Colbert’s antics actually started to seem… scarily plausible.


On January 12, Colbert transferred control of his Super PAC to Jon Stewart, (read more about Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow) and began laying the groundwork for his intended campaign.

Now, of course he won’t be able to run. (Regardless of his intention to steal all Herman Cain’s votes.) But, imagine if he did. He’d actually have a chance, considering that currently only seven percent of Americans have faith in Congress and Colbert has more than that in average viewers.

“I’m doing it!’ Colbert declared on Thursday. I’m not too sure what it is, but he’s sure doing it well enough to make the American political arena look like something out of Barnum and Bailey’s.

Off Duty and Jobless

The United States has maintained a significant military presence in the Middle East for almost half of my lifetime and for a while it seemed as though they would never leave. But low and behold at the very tail end of 2011, President Obama called for the remaining troops in Iraq to return home to their families and friends. This was undoubtedly a joyous announcement for these troops and all of the military personnel that had served in the nine year war since the attacks of September 11th, 2001. And while I believe I speak for the majority of the citizens in the United States when I say that we are eternally grateful for their service, our nation is certainly not showing this gratitude.

Watching President Obama speak in North Carolina just a little over a month ago, he promised all of the returning military troops that they would be taken care of. This of course entails any psychological and physical rehabilitation needed from the perils of war, but on another note it meant the guarantee of a prospective job for those who did not have a job waiting for them back on American soil. While it is far too early to say that the President has failed in keeping this promise, it is safe to say that he has yet to deliver.

Over the past few months the job situation has improved for Americans, excluding this months jobless claims report which increased slightly. Nonetheless, as the nation-wide unemployment rate has steadily declined, the Veterans of War unemployment rate has increased. In fact, in just over one years time, that unemployment rate has increased from 11.1 percent to 13.1 – not to mention that in December of 2011 the unemployment rate for recent Veterans was 4.5 percent higher than the national jobless rate. (Both of these statistics were provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Clearly, these numbers indicate that while business are indeed starting to hire more across the nation, Veterans are not receiving those jobs. This may come to puzzle, and for lack of a more appropriate term, frustrate many. Hypothetically speaking, Veterans are the perfect candidates for the open jobs in the economy; unrivaled work-ethic, obedient, leadership skills, critical thinking skills, decision-making skills – the list can go on. So what is the cause of this phenomena? Andrea Phillips of The Washington Times made a great point in her recent article Veterans’ new battle front: Job Market by making the point that this current generation of business leaders is the first that have not served in the military, and therefore they may not see the easy transition from the military to a business career. Another component that may render as a sufficient answer to this question is the fact that businesses were not anticipating the return of this large amount of soldiers and have yet to really find any open positions for them.

Regardless of the reasons that may be given for the lack of hiring Veterans, the President and employers nation-wide need to find a way to take care of these men and women. They willingly put their life on the line for millions of people that they did not know. The very least we as a nation can do for them is provide them with employment.

The Annual American Expedition

With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, Americans are doing whatever they can to contain their excitement for the most beloved holiday of the season – Christmas.  But the holiday season in its entirety, Thanksgiving included, has a common underlying theme throughout – that theme of course being traveling.  Regardless of your family’s size or amount of friends you may have (or lack there of), chances are you will be doing some holiday season traveling, whether it is for Thanksgiving, Christmas or both.

However, if there was specific time period in which you can expect the roads and airports to be especially congested, it would be the last 11 days of the year, according to Travel Group AAA.  In fact, AAA has estimated that from December 23rd, 2011 to January 2nd, 2012, approximately 91.9 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away from their home. Of those 91.9 million, 91% of them plan to travel via their car(s), 6% through air travel and 3% have been classified as other (one can only imagine what methods of transportation ‘other’ constitutes as…).

Given the current economic state that our nation finds itself in, that is an extraordinary amount of people that are willing to spend the extra cash to spend that holiday(s) with family and/or friends.  The 2011-2012 holiday season traveling is up 1.4% from the 2010-2011 season and it is certainly worthy to note that these 91.9 million people represent roughly 30% of the United States population.  On a side note, AAA also found the 41% of the 91.9 million people planning to travel felt that the economy has hindered their travel plans, while the other 59% actually said that they either have not felt personal financial pressure or have actually benefited from these uncertain times.

Long gone have the days of the great American journey’s, but much like Black Friday has become the shopping day of the year, the last few weeks of each year are now marked with the distinction of long lines at the airports, taxing on the runway, highway backups, malfunctioning GPS devices and for those who are in the right region of the nation – snow. But hopefully, the patience that you exerted in that undoubtedly uncomfortable car seat or airline seat will be worth it come Christmas morning and/or New Years Day.


Networking with the Pro’s

by Ariel Box

Nov. 2011, Neumann University- The Networking With the Pro’s event was held Thursday, November 17, 2011 in the Micnicol room of Neumann University. This was an event that gave the students of CA-345 Public Relations class a chance to hear testimony and interact from people who are already working in the field of Communications. There were four representations of the communications work field; radio, internet, television, and print.

Debbi Calton, an on-air Personality at WMGK represented the radio aspect of communications. She has been in radio for 35 years and been here in Philly for 28 years. Calton told the PR students that she is actually extremely shy although she works in radio. She also explained about being from the south and her accent that she had to overcome in order to be overall accepted on radio. Early in Calton’s career she came into a situation where she was being treated unequal. A man was hired to do the same job as her and was openly paid twice the amount Calton was being paid. She filed an equal opportunity law suite against the company and moved on to a new job. After moving all around she landed in Philly and has been here for 28 years. She worked at WYSP for 10 years and has been at WMGK for 18 years.

Frank Mazza, the lead designer and developer at Advanced Telecom services and also an Neumann University Alum, represented the internet aspect of communications. After graduating just last December, Mazza is secure in a job creating and customizing PR codes. He started his own business when he was only 13 years old, creating websites. Since then, he has created many websites for companies such as a dating site called Matchlink.com. Mazza’s main message was for the students not to be so focused on working for a very large corporation and not to undermine the small companies. “You don’t need to work for the big companies to do work for them.” Mazza said. In some way one will probably end up in some type of connection with the larger companies.

Karen Thomas, who is a certified broadcast meteorologist at Fox 29 and also a current employee at Neumann University, stood as representation of television in communications. Thomas use to be a weekend new anchor in Harrisburg, but when she was referred to by the term “whether babe” she was so offended and immediately left the whether industry to cover crime in the city of Philadelphia. After sometime experiencing hard crime in the city, it came to be a lot to handle and she decided to go back to covering the whether and has worked for Fox 29 since 1997. Thomas wanted to make sure she let the students know to work hard by telling the story of her many internships. “I did so many internships I was kicked out of one.” She explained that one the company realized she had done so many internships that she was no longer eligible to be considered an intern and was actually a liability she was no longer allowed to do the work. Thomas just wanted as much experience as possible.

Amy Winnemore, the journalist and editor of the Delaware County/ Delco News Network, represented print in communications. Winnemore wrote for her school paper. She told the students that she was the opposite of Karen Thomas when it came to her internship. She only did one for about three days and she did not do much networking while she was there. But even with out that she still landed a job as a beat reporter. After that she moved her way up to her current job as a journalist and editor. Her main message was to be dedicated to what you want to do.

After all the Guest spoke the students had a chance to ask questions and later enjoy refreshments and interact on more of a personal level. By the end of the event business cards were given out, possible internships were discussed, and lots of networking was done.

A Box within a Xbox

As of yesterday, Microsoft began upgrading Xbox Live product, and will continue to do so for the remainder of this month. The upgrading taking place will allow Xbox Live users to access an online entertainment service, filled with a variety of television shows and movies – nothing too spectacular right? Well what if I told you that Xbox Live users will also be able to search for and select shows with voice commands and hand movements via the Xbox Kinect?

Of course, users will have the option to simply select their desired content with their Xbox 360 controllers as well, but this new feature is sure to attract users in the future. As Microsoft continues to build this online library for users to access, they will also be adding other major sources of programming such as Xfinity, HBO and Verizon FiOS. Up until now, the television capabilities of the Xbox 360 has been fairly limited by Microsoft with the most popular video services including Netflix, Hulu Plus and ESPN. These services will still be offered to Xbox Live users, but this new upgrade will undoubtedly take the content viewing capabilities of the Xbox 360 to new heights.

While it may seem plausible to ditch your old cable box completely, the deal that Microsoft and these cable providers have agreed to does not allow customers to do that. In order to have access to this online entertainment database, you must have a traditional cable contract with one of these providers and then pay the $60/year for a Xbox Live Gold membership. Users should also be mindful that during the early stages of this upgrade, a majority of the shows they are used to accessing via their cable box may not be available on Xbox Live because of the negotiating that is necessary in deciding the content rights within these deals.

Clearly, this innovative idea, that Microsoft has begun implementing, is not a favorable choice for the consumer that is on a tight budget. But for those that will be able to afford the luxury of a cable contract and the Xbox Live Gold membership, they will be be the first to utilize the impressive voice control technology that the Xbox Kinect has with these new services. The majority of Xbox players would not hesitate to tell you that typing out searches and messages with the traditional Xbox 360 controller is somewhat of a hassle and can be time consuming. Early tests of the Kinect’s voice control technology have been very successful and shown that this feature will be very useful to users of the online entertainment services.

For Microsoft and the Xbox, this is just another step towards developing a gaming system that can do it all. In fact, with the many luxuries that the Xbox 360 now has in store for its millions of users, you could say that Microsoft is taking the same approach towards their gaming system that many other technology companies have towards their smart phones – including Apple. The ability of Microsoft to develop the Xbox 360 into a device that is capable of so much more than just gaming is relatively similar to the ecosystem that Apple pioneered within many of its devices. With this upgrade in process, Xbox users can now stream music, movies, television, download game demos, store their own personal music, videos and pictures and even access their Facebook and Twitter accounts. This new service will also increase the perceived value of the Xbox Live Gold membership that has become quite expensive for the traditional gaming uses. But with all of these new built features that are accessible right from the Xbox, $60/year suddenly seems like a bargain.

On the other hand, Cable companies such as Verizon and Comcast are sure to have mixed feelings about this deal with Microsoft. Yes, it is another way to receive revenue from their services via these contracts, but at the same time this new feature exposes the fact that gaming systems are not far from becoming the singular device that users will need to access everything they want on their television – where does that leave these cable companies? Of course they will continue to stay in business as the two largest cable operators in the nation, but it will be interesting to see if Microsoft does not re-negotiate this contract in the future to allow users to use the Xbox 360 as their prime cable box as well. If something along those lines were to happen, the cable companies, and their suppliers, would be sure to lose millions of dollars in revenue.

Regardless of what plans Microsoft may have for the future uses and capabilities of the Xbox 360, for now it seems that users are currently receiving a fantastic product for a reasonable price – let’s hope it stays that way.

NHL Power Rankings (December 5, 2011)

It’s that time again – time to take another look at what teams stand where in the NHL.  The past two weeks have been filled with an enormous amount of news in the league including coach firings and hirings, the return of Sid the kid and Ryan Miller getting bulldozed yet again.  Now that we are getting closer to the half way point of the season and the All-Start break, the rankings will be cut down from the entire NHL to 16 teams – the only spots that will be relevant at the end of the season.

1.  Pittsburgh Penguins (16-7-4)

The return of Crosby has refocused all fans attention back onto the Pens.  With one of the best goal differential’s in the NHL (+19) the Penguins star studded offense , but what makes this offense so lethal is the teams ability to share the love in terms of scoring.  3 players above 20 points and 10 players above 10 points makes for a offense where any of the four lines is capable of scoring – not to mention Bylsma has vote for coach of the year and “The Flower” has maintained a .923 save %.

2.  Minnesota Wild (17-7-3)

I’m still not a believer that this team will be around come playoff time, but I have to admit they have shown the consistency of a team that is here to stay. The real story behind this team is the two headed monster occupying the net that is Niklas Backstrom (.929 sv%) and Josh Harding (.934 sv%).  On the other hand, we have to give credit where credit is due considering the off-season moves that the team made have paid off so far in Heatley and SetoguchiAnd at the same time, Captain Mikko Koivu have really stepped his game up this year to lead his team.  Bottom line – this record is the result of a great TEAM effort.

3.  Chicago Blackhawks (16-8-3)

With the return of Crosby, the Blackhawks now have a rival team competing for the best offense in the league.  But for the time being, the Hawks are statistically dominating offense in the NHL with names like Toews, Hossa, Kane and Sharp who I have bestowing the Fearsome Four – that is for defenses and goaltenders around the league.  But the Hawks offensive abilities have never been in question this year – it is the goaltending and as far as the last two weeks go relatively nothing has changed in the stats of Crawford and Emery.  Both are still below .900 save % which is just not going to be good enough later on in the season.  Will Crawford come out of the sophomore slump? Or will Emery prove he can be a consistent NHL goaltender?

4.  NY Rangers (15-5-3)

Personally, I thought the Rangers gave Brad Richards too much money this off-season.  And I admit, up until this point of the season, Richards has been making me eat those words game in and game out.  Regardless of what Ryan Getzlaf might think, this Rangers team is playing a hard nose style of hockey that has been getting the job done with an offense that is slowly beginning to develop a chemistry that could be deadly later on in the season.  Of course, it always helps when both of your goaltender have a save % over .930, but what else do you expect from King Henrik?

5.  Boston Bruins (16-7-1)

+34 goal differential is the best in the NHL and is the reason why the Bruins have been able to crawl all the way back from the basement of the league where they were in the beginning of the season.  9-0-1 and their last 10 games, the Bruins offense have been receiving contributions from everyone on the offense and fantastic play from Big Z.  A .936 save % and 3 shutouts have Tim Thomas looking might good for another shot at the Vezina – only time will tell.

6. Detroit Red Wings (16-8-1)

We knew this was coming – the awakening of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.  Yes Franzen still leads the team in points, but nothing parallels watching Datsyuk skate around defenders like their practice cones.  Jimmy Howard has picked up right he left off last year with a .931 save % and 3 shutouts.  But we already know that as the most consistent team in the last two decades of professional sports, the Red Wings organization expects nothing less than this.

7.  Philadelphia Flyers (15-7-3)

The injury bug has plagued the Flyers early on in this season, but what has been the most impressive aspect of this team is the play from their rookies. Specifically Matt Read, Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo – their stats may not be up their with the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but the effect that these three players have had on the Flyers has been enormous.  Neither of the goaltenders have stood out, but they have both played well enough to get the job done.  Look for Bryzgalov to find his mid-season groove and expect Claude Giroux to sustain this tremendous scoring pace that he has had.

8.  Vancouver Canucks (15-10-1)

I admit that earlier this season, I proclaimed that this team would never get over their Stanley Cup hangover that they received this Summer.  But low and behold, the Canucks have stopped feeling sorry for themselves and have reminded us why they were and still are one of the best teams in the league.  The offense is back to producing outside of just the Sedin twins and the defense has four players with more than 10 points – the best in the NHL.  Unfortunately, Luongo has still not hit his stride, while Schneider quietly plays more than well.

9.  Florida Panthers (14-8-4)

Coming into this season, very few people would have picked the Florida Panthers to win the Southeastern division.  But as the season has progressed and the Capitals and Lightning have continued to disappoint, the Panthers now seem not only a legitimate contender to win the division, but they are looking for a long awaited playoff spot as well.  The ultimate free-agency experiment has blossomed into a offensive threat complimented by shining young defensemen Dimitri Kulikov.

10.  St. Louis Blues (14-9-3)

For those of you that did not know, David Perron finally returned to the starting lineup last week to score his first goal after over a year of concussion related issues.  With as great of a story of Perron’s, the Blues story as a team this season has been ever more incredible.  They may not have the most premier players in the league, but this team has made it a priority to show the rest of the league what they are capable of – including arguably the most improved player of the year (pending his play for the rest of the season) Brian Elliot!

11.  Los Angeles Kings (13-9-4)

This potential potential top 5 offense has yet to begin to fire on all cylinders, but in the last two weeks the team has shown some consistency at the cusp of breaking the top 10 in the league.  Quick has continued to quietly be one of the best goaltenders in the NHL again with a .936 sv % and a league leading best 4 shutouts.  Unfortunately, Doughty continues to disappoint and the offense as a whole is 28th in the league for goals per game.

12.  San Jose Sharks (14-8-1)

4th in the league with a 20.5 powerplay %, the Sharks have fallen from grace in the past two weeks, but only because they were arguably the best team in the league then.  6-4 in their last 10, the Sharks have continued to increasingly improve on offense, specifically Martin Havlat, and it is safe to say that Niemi has made it through his sophomore slump.

13.  Toronto Maple Leafs (14-10-2)

It seems like the Leafs have a Boston curse falling over them this year, losing every game they have played against the Bruins this year by large margins.  The secondary scoring of Kulemin, Macarthur and Grabovski has been relatively absent this year – but the good news is James Reimer is back from injury and looking to reassert himself as the top dog in Toronto.  The team is slipping lately and people are starting to question their ability to be a playoff contending team, but I believe the coaching of Ron Wilson will prevail, and this team will snap back after going 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.

14.  Buffalo Sabres (14-11-1)

If there is anyone more pissed off than Ryan Miller in the NHL, please let me know.  You would think that a league that has begun to take pride in protecting its players would be protecting one of the league best goaltenders.  Nevertheless, the Sabres have also gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games with a continually disappointing offense.  Yes, Vanek and Pominville are playing outstanding, but the rest of the offense has not been producing as people expected them to.

15.  Phoenix Coyotes (13-9-3)

Mike Smith has made it his mission to resurrect his career from his poor play in Tampa Bay with a .932 sv % and 2 shutouts so far.  They may not put a lot of points up on the board, but this team has shocked a lot of NHL experts after losing Iyla Bryzgalov and Ed Jovanovski and still being able to sustain this early record.

16.  Edmonton Oilers (13-11-3)

The kid is alright.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to be worth every bit of that first round pick.  The ‘Bulin’ Wall is still playing the best that he has in year with a .932 save %.  With a relatively unknown defensive core, the Oilers have been able to hold teams to 3 goals a game and with their high potent offense that has gotten the job done.


The Spirit of Assisi Lives on at Neumann University

         by, Sr. Mary Ann & Sr. Pat Hutchison

On October 27, 1986, 70 representatives of major religions accepted the invitation of Pope John Paul II to gather in Assisi to pray for Peace. This experience came to be called the Spirit of Assisi.  John Paul II chose Assisi as the location for this day of prayer because St. Francis is a symbol of peace, reconciliation, and brotherhood.

In January 1993 and again in 2002, Pope John Paul II invited religious leaders to come back to Assisi.  The Pope asked world religions to turn themselves into instruments of peace because hate and violence generate nothing except more hate and violence.

On Thursday evening, October 27, 2011, more than 150 members of the Neumann University community and Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Spirit of Assisi.  The Neumann community gathered in silence with lighted candles to express solidarity with those who joined Pope Benedict XVI in Assisi as “pilgrims of truth and pilgrims of peace.” The lighted candles served as reminders that each of us can be a light to spread peace and to confront the threats to peace and to the environment that we face in our world today. Slowly a reverent procession, led by the haunting sound of drums, moved through the halls of the Bachmann Main Building and into the Sacred Heart Chapel where participants overflowed into pews, aisles, floor, sanctuary, and hallways!

Following the introduction and welcome, the Neumann University Gospel Choir offered a song of prayer and praise. Then members of the Student Government and the Dean of Students read excerpts from the Jewish and Christian scriptures, the writings of Francis of Assisi, and reflections from the Muslim tradition.  Following intercessions, offered by the president of the Neumann University Student Peace Alliance, the Neumann Praise Dancers performed their prayerful plea that God’s peace would shower down upon all peoples.


Before the closing song, the Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis, participants directed their attention (virtually) to the Neumann University Peace Pole which was first dedicated in October, 1995, during a weekend program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. The Peace Pole was originally placed among trees on the lawn between the university and Our Lady of Angels Convent. Recent construction on the campus made the Peace Pole practically invisible. Therefore, it was re-positioned in the center of the large rocks which stand between the St. John Neumann Circle and the Rose Garden.

Each Peace Pole, an internationally-recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, bears the message May Peace Prevail on Earth in different languages on each of its sides. Tens of thousands of Peace Poles in nearly every country in the world stand as reminders that Peace begins in the hearts and minds of each individual.

According to Pope Benedict the message of peace is needed as much today as it was 25 years ago.  As Pope Benedict XVI has said, the world has changed since the first Spirit of Assisi celebration.  Violence threatens not only the human family, but also all of creation. Religions are asked to dialogue among themselves, and to reach out to all people whether they are believers or not.  Therefore, in addition to over 300 representatives of world religions, Benedict extended an invitation to people “to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God.” On October 27, 2011, in Assisi, Italy, and at Neumann University in Aston, PA, people of good will joined as sisters and brothers in a fervent prayer that Peace will Prevail on Earth!