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Office of Communications

Notable & Quotable

  • Dan Sarofian-ButinDan Sarofian-Butin, professor of education, was quoted in a July 6, 2017, BBC story about celebrities who take executive education courses at Harvard Business School. “These type of courses allow students to say they went to Harvard, were taught by a famous professor and interacted with other cool students,” he said. Sarofian-Butin added that while most celebrities may know more about their industries than their professor, they can still benefit from the program. “This is what a good teacher can bring to the table: the ability to point things out that are obvious, but only once you are able to see the bigger picture,” he said.

  • Mary KantorMary Kantor, adjunct lecturer in religious and theological studies, was quoted in a July 3, 2017, Catholic News Service story about three women who were consecrated June 24 into the Catholic Church’s order of virgins in a ceremony at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. The vocation of consecrated virginity, which requires women to live a life of perfect chastity, dates back to the beginnings of the Catholic Church but had all but disappeared by the 11th century. “The rite of consecration of virgins in the world dropped off over the centuries as monastic community life for women developed,” said Kantor, who studied the vocation extensively for her doctoral dissertation at Harvard Divinity School. “During my  (dissertation) research, I spoke with someone in the bishop and/or vocation offices of each diocese in the country. Some had no knowledge of the rite.”

  • Andrew Tollison, assistant professor of communication, gave a talk July 20, 2017, to the Newburyport Parkinson’s Support Group on the emotional impact of difficult medical diagnoses. Tollison emphasized the role of communication in dealing with illness, and the importance of disclosure with friends and relatives. The talk was held at the Newburyport, Massachusetts, Senior Center.

  • Thomas Nolan, associate professor and program director of the criminology and criminal justice graduate program, was quoted in a June 21, 2017, Boston Globe story about Boston police officers who last year earned up to four times their base salary due to a provision in their union contract that mandates a minimum of four hours’ pay when they work details or testify in court. Nolan said the generous contract provision demonstrates the union’s ability, over the years, to demand and win favorable terms in contract negotiations. “Boston police have historically earned some of the highest salaries in the country,” he said. “There has been a history of the police obtaining (contracts) and being very successful at the bargaining table.”

  • Harry Wessel, associate professor and chair of political science, was quoted in a June 15, 2017, Eagle-Tribune story about the shooting rampage at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, that injured five, including one critically. Wessel said the shooting puts a damper on the annual baseball game between Democratic and Republican representatives, one of the last bipartisan traditions that survives in the nation’s capital. “Baseball games are a way to facilitate bipartisanship, but of course, that is now the exception to the rule,” he said. “Everybody is now in their silos. You have 3 million plus viewers of Fox News basically getting news that reinforces their own pre-existing views, and it’s the same with MSNBC on the other side.”

  • Karen HaydenKaren Hayden has been promoted from associate to full professor in the department of criminology, which she also chairs. Hayden joined the Merrimack faculty in 1997 and earned tenure in 2001. Her areas of interest include girls, women and crime; rural crime; society and law; and cultural criminology. She is working on two books, one on society and law, and the other on images of rural people and rural crime in popular culture. Hayden holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from the University of New Hampshire and a Ph.D. in sociology from Northeastern University.

  • Juliana CohenJuliana Cohen, assistant professor of health sciences, co-authored a May 18, 2017, column for The Huffington Post on the Trump administration’s decision to rollback regulations associated with the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, an Obama-era initiative to curb this country’s obesity epidemic and maximize children’s learning and development. “We should not weaken the school lunch standards further,” wrote Cohen and her co-authors, Jessica Hoffman, Lindsay Rosenfeld and Edward Alan Miller. “Instead, we should truly make school lunches great by providing schools with the resources they need to offer the healthiest, best-tasting foods possible. Investing in the health and development of our youngest citizens is one of the most important investments we can make as a country.”

  • Tom NolanThomas Nolan, associate professor and program director of the criminology and criminal justice graduate program, was quoted in a May 18, 2017, Boston Globe article on a controversial Facebook post by the Taunton, Massachusetts, Police Department. The post detailed the police’s encounter with a 39-year-old Newton, Massachusetts, woman who allegedly mowed down several mailboxes with a lizard tucked into her undergarments. It read: “Where does one hold a bearded dragon lizard while driving, you ask? Answer: In their brassiere, of course!” Nolan said the post, while perhaps meant to be lighthearted, was instead mean-spirited. “The purpose of putting this out on social media is what?” he asked. “Embarrassment of someone and their family?”

  • Melissa ZimdarsMelissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication, was quoted in a May 16, 2017, post by technology blogger Richard Hartley about new measures taken by Facebook to root out “fake news.” Zimdars, who has gained national attention for creating a list of untrustworthy news sites, said it seemed Facebook was largely responding to bad press. “My initial read on it is it’s ultimately kind of a PR move. It’s cheap to do. It’s easy. It doesn’t actually require them to do anything,” she said.

  • Zipper examines fire damage at Haverhill home with WBZ-TV's Cheryl Fiandaca (WBZ-TV). Zipper examines fire damage at Haverhill home with WBZ-TV’s Cheryl Fiandaca (WBZ-TV).

    Paul Zipper, adjunct lecturer in criminology and a detective lieutenant at the Massachusetts State Police, was interviewed for a May 8, 2017, Channel 4 I-Team report on how state investigators pinpoint the causes of fire. Zipper said each fire is like a mystery. “To simplify it, we are doing an autopsy,” he said. “We have a death of a building, and we try to figure out what caused it.”

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Ken Gornstein
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