Merrimack Celebrates Campus Authors

Merrimack recently recognized more than 80 authors during Tolle Lege, an annual event celebrating faculty, staff, students and alumni who published in the last year.

  • Merrimack College recently celebrated its faculty, staff and students who had academic work publi...
    Merrimack College recently celebrated its faculty, staff and students who had academic work published in the past year. In all, 80-plus members of the Merrimack community were published.

“Follow your restless heart,” St. Augustine advised, and these writers did just that, exploring topics they are passionate about in books, scholarly journals and other publications. Eight faculty and staff presented highlights of their work to a packed room at the Writers House, including:

  • Assistant professor Daniel Herda of sociology spoke about rampant misperceptions about immigrants and the damaging consequences. In one study of Muslim youth in Michigan, he found they struggled to assimilate, constantly feared discrimination, and acted out against other minorities.
  • Associate professor of management Rodrigo Bandeira de Mello touched on the advantages and pitfalls of government-supported corporations. “It’s important for students to know that international players have had government support to become successful,” he said. He’s also studied how governments punish companies that don’t support their agendas.
  • Assistant physics professor Christopher Duston shared his struggle to quantify dark matter. “Physics fails all the time to estimate it,” he said. But he won’t give up trying to convert the “abstract ideas of mathematicians” into workable theories. “We want to know, does the universe hang together the way we want it to?”

Kathryn Geoffrion-Scannell, director of McQuade Library, which sponsors Tolle Lege, said she was particularly struck by Duston’s perseverance. “He and his colleagues keep refining their experiments in the face of negative results.” 

Joseph Vogel, assistant professor of English, could take the prize for most prolific. Four years of work led to three books published in 2018. His secret? “Writing marathons in the summer of seven to 10 hours a day.” He said he’s most proud of “James Baldwin and the 1980s: Witnessing the Reagan Era.”

“It’s cool to be part of the James Baldwin renaissance,” said Vogel.


Find the Tolle Lege Collection on the second floor at McQuade. Tolle Lege is a reference to St. Augustine, who heard a voice telling him to “tolle lege,” or “pick up and read.” Reading the Bible led him to become a Christian — and a prolific writer.

By Office of Communications
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