College of Arts and Sciences

 May 2011
A Message from the Dean

Dear Alumnus/a,

We proudly send you the first installment of our biannual e-magazine, The Lamp. In these e-magazines, we will showcase the exciting, edifying and scholarly activities of our faculty, programs, students and alumni.

In this edition, we present Jim Ginther of the Center for Digital Theology. This center creates multimedia projects, web-based databases and electronic resources that preserve and give access to historical artifacts and significant theological texts. Utilizing the center's resources, one could read original medieval texts that are otherwise inaccessible or virtually tour a medieval church.

Michael Barber, S.J.
Michael Barber, S.J. Photo by Chad Williams

In addition, we share with you an interview with Travis Threats, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Threats explains his department's clinic and research, which seek to remedy hearing and speech disorders, like that of King George VI in the "The King's Speech." Our clinic recently treated a client whose brain injury had deprived him of any usable speech or ability to comprehend spoken language until our therapists enabled him to resume full conversations and acquire his driver's license.

Finally, we will hear from a graduating student, Courtney Anvender, and an alumnus, Michael Rozier, S.J., both past presidents of the Student Government Association and both models of the Jesuit mission. In fact, all our stories capture ways in which the mission of the College and University is realized in efforts to preserve and transmit the riches of faith, to help people recover their God-given gifts to speak, hear and engage fully with others, and, finally, to transform our world into a home for everyone.

I welcome your reactions. Please e-mail me at

Michael Barber, S.J.

Leaders for a Lifetime
by Marie Dilg

After serving as her high school's student council president, Courtney Anvender (A&S '11) thought it was time for a break. "It was fun but busy," she said. "I swore I wouldn't get that involved in student government again." But Anvender couldn't help herself.

After transferring to SLU from Miami University in Ohio for her sophomore year, Anvender found herself "craving" knowledge about the University community.
Read more

 2010-2011 SGA President Courtney Anvender and 2002-2003 SGA President Michael D. Rozier S.J.
2010-2011 Student Government Association President Courtney Anvender and 2002-2003 SGA President Michael D. Rozier, S.J.
Photo by Chad Williams


The Digital Medievalist
by Marie Dilg

Theology Professor James R. Ginther, Ph.D, has been using a computer to unlock the riches of the humanities for more than a decade. Now, he is developing software to help other academics decipher those riches.

James R. Ginther, PhD
James R. Ginther, PhD.

Finding One's Voice
by Marie Dilg

For Travis Threats, Ph.D., helping people overcome communication disorders isn't just business. It's personal. Threats' younger brother was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, but because he didn't meet the specific criteria required for support services, he fell through the cracks. He didn't talk until he was 10. Read more >>

Dr. Travis Threats and first-year graduate student, Renee Miles
Dr. Travis Threats and first-year graduate student, Renee Miles

History Professors Play Dress Up for a Good Cause

What started out as a joke among members of the history department's honor society has become one of its most successful fundraisers.

by Marie Dilg

This story might sound somewhat familiar if you've ever seen the play-turned-movie Calendar Girls. Members of Saint Louis University's Phi Alpha Theta chapter were looking for a way to raise money to support the honor society's activities. In jest someone suggested a calendar. But instead of having members of the department's faculty pose tastefully in the buff, as did members of the prim and proper ladies club in Calendar Girls, members proposed faculty pose in period costumes.

Professor Phil Gavitt as Machiavelli
Professor Phil Gavitt as Machiavelli Photo by Ashley "Lita" McNamee

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