Fine Arts Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
- Andy Blankenbuehler '88
- Phil DeGreg '72
- Linda (Donahue) Mace
- Michele Mascari
- Patrick Osborne '99
- Mary Ann Meyer
- David Quammen '66
- Michael Sparough SJ
Andy Blankenbuehler (born March 7, 1970) is an American dancer, choreographer and director primarily for stage and concerts. He has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Choreography five times, and has won three times: for In the Heights (2008), Hamilton (2016), and Bandstand (2017). Blankenbuehler's other Broadway choreography work includes 9 to 5, Bring it On: The Musical, and the 2016 Cats revival. Blankenbuehler was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor in 2018 for his work on Hamilton. He also choreographed the movie adaptation of Cats.
Blankenbuehler was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a 1988 graduate of St. Xavier High School and 1984 graduate of Nativity School in Cincinnati. He received his bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
As a performer, he has appeared on Broadway in many musicals, from Guys and Dolls (1992–1995) to Fosse (1999–2001).
His Broadway work as a choreographer includes the musicals In the Heights (2007–08) and 9 to 5 (2008–09). He won the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for his choreography for In the Heights. Other New York work includes choreography for the "Broadway By The Year:1930, 1938 and 1978" series, and the City Center Encores! productions of The Apple Tree (2006) and The Wiz (2009). He is the director and choreographer of Bring It On: The Musical, written by Jeff Whitty, with music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Amanda Green, which premiered at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia, on January 16, 2011. This production also performed at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles where Blankenbuehler won the 2011 L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography.
Additionally, Blankenbuehler choreographed the Frank Wildhorn world premiere production of Waiting for the Moon. The show featured 6 full-length dance sequences, including one that lasted over 10 minutes. He was nominated for a Barrymore Award for Choreographing the show.
Blankenbuehler has choreographed for Bette Midler and directed, choreographed, and co-conceived the production "Nights On Broadway" at Caesars Palace.
Blankenbuehler appears briefly in the 2008 documentary "Every Little Step" about the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, with his Polaroid shown as one of the people being cut from a callback for the show.
He choreographed the 2012 Broadway revival of Annie. He is the choreographer for the musical Hamilton (2015), both Off-Broadway and on Broadway. He received a special 2015 Drama Desk Award for Hamilton. The award was described: "For his inspired and heart-stopping choreography in Hamilton, which is indispensable to the musical's storytelling. His body of work is versatile, yet a dynamic and fluid style is consistently evident. When it's time to 'take his shot,' Blankenbuehler hits the bull's-eye." His choreography for Hamilton won the Tony Award for Best Choreography in 2016.
He both directed and choreographed a new musical, Bandstand, which premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse (New Jersey) in October 2015. The music is by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Oberacker. He directed and choreographed a developmental lab of this musical in August and September 2014, then titled Bandstand: A Musical.
In 2016, Blankenbuehler choreographed the revival of the movie Dirty Dancing starring Abigail Breslin and Shane Harper. He also choreographed the revival of the Broadway musical Cats with previews beginning July 14 and an August 2 opening.
He was nominated for the following awards:
2006: Barrymore Award for Outstanding Choreography/Movement in Waiting for the Moon
2007: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for In the Heights (Won).
2008: Tony Award for Best Choreography for In the Heights (Won).
2009: Tony Award for Best Choreography for 9 to 5.
2009: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for 9 to 5.
2011: Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography for Bring It On (Won).
2013: Tony Award for Best Choreography for Bring It On.
2015: Drama Desk Award for Special Award for Hamilton (Won).
2016: Tony Award for Best Choreography for Hamilton (Won).
2017: Tony Award for Best Choreography for Bandstand (Won).
2017: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for Bandstand (Won).
2017: Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Choreography for Bandstand.
2018: Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Hamilton (Won).
2018: Kennedy Center Honors for Hamilton (Won).
*Shared with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire and Thomas Kail
The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre is an annual, nationally recognized award program by Theatre Philadelphia for professional theater productions in the Greater Philadelphia area. Each season culminates in the Fall with an awards ceremony and celebration. The Barrymore Awards honoring local artists and theatre companies while increasing public awareness of the richness and diversity of Philadelphia's thriving theatre community.
The Drama Desk Awards, originally known as the Vernon Rice Awards, are an annual award, first bestowed in 1955, that recognizes excellence in New York theatre productions.
Initially they were awarded to Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. Broadway productions were included beginning with the 1968–69 award season. The awards are considered a significant American theatre distinction.
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Midtown Manhattan.
The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances. One is also given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are given, as well, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award.
The awards founded by Brock Pemberton are named after Antoinette “Tony” Perry, an actress, producer and theatre director who was co-founder and secretary of the American Theatre Wing. The trophy consists of a medallion, with a face portraying an adaptation of the comedy and tragedy masks, mounted on a black base with a pewter swivel.
The Outer Critics Circle Awards are presented annually for theatrical achievements both on Broadway and Off-Broadway. They are presented by the Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of New York theater writers for out-of-town newspapers, digital and national publications, and other media beyond Broadway. The awards were first presented during the 1949–50 theater season and will celebrate their 70th anniversary in 2020.
The Laurence Olivier Awards, or simply the Olivier Awards, are presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognise excellence in professional theatre in London at an annual ceremony in the capital. The awards were originally known as the Society of West End Theatre Awards, but they were renamed in honour of the British actor Laurence Olivier in 1984.
The awards are given to individuals involved in West End productions and other leading non-commercial based in London across a range of categories covering plays, musicals, dance, opera and affiliate theatre. A discretionary non-competitive Special Olivier Award is also given each year. The Olivier Awards are recognised internationally as the highest honour in British theatre, equivalent to the BAFTA Awards for film and television, and the BRIT Awards for music. The Olivier Awards are considered equivalent to Broadway's Tony Awards and France's Moliere Award.
The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual honor given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American Culture. The honors have been presented annually since 1978, culminating each December in a star-studded gala celebrating the honorees in the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington D.C.
Phil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist locally, regionally, and internationally. After graduating from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1972, Phil DeGreg studied psychology at Yale University. Later, he played in a folk rock duo in New Haven–area coffee shops. Influenced by the music of Bill Evans, he switched to jazz and played in a student jazz band at Yale. Eventually, he moved to Kansas City and joined the local jazz scene. He then studied at the North Texas State University College of Music from 1979 to 1982, completing a master's degree and performing and recording as a member of the One O'Clock Lab Band. He was briefly a member of Woody Herman's big band.
In 1987, he became a lecturer in the Jazz Studies Division at the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and wrote a textbook, Jazz Keyboard Harmony (1994). In addition to his lecturing, DeGreg recorded a series of albums in the 1990s with musicians Joe LaBarbera, Tim Ries, Don Braden, Drew Gress, and Randy Johnston. In addition, he has performed concerts with J. J. Johnson (Live in Concert, 2007). DeGreg is part of a trio with bassist Aaron Jacobs and drummer John Taylor from the faculty of CCM. The Phil DeGreg Trio has been an integral part of the Michael Benson Concert at St. Xavier High School since its inception 22 years ago.
His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from traditional to bebop to Brazilian jazz. His versatility has led to professional performances with dozens of internationally recognized jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, Ira Sullivan, Claudio Roditi, Howard Roberts, J.J. Johnson, Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Dave Liebman, Conrad Herwig and many others, as well as leading and recording with his own groups.
Phil has released twelve recordings as a leader and has been recorded as a sideman on many other jazz projects. He is also featured with J.J. Johnson on the video “J.J. Johnson Live in Concert.” The late pianist James Williams described Phil as “a musician of ceaseless curiosity…relaxed, natural, and soulful.” Jazz Improv magazine called him “…a strong musician with rock-solid rhythmic power and a tasteful sense of melody and arrangement.”
He was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, named one of the 10 best unsigned pianists in Jazziz Magazine’s 1995 “Keyboardists on Fire” competition, and was a 1996 finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. For 16 years, he served as the house pianist at Cincinnati’s famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club, accompanying visiting artists on weekends. He received two of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s prestigious “Cammy” Awards, and has been a frequent nominee for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. His jazz festival appearances include the North Sea, Pori, Monterey, Montreux, Brecon, Wigan, and Elkhart Jazz Festivals. Phil has performed in clubs and concerts throughout the United States, and in the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Brazil. In 2016 he was inducted into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame.
Phil considers music to be a gift and is dedicated to sharing his love of jazz through teaching. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, from which he recently retired after 27 years. He has taught for the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1982 and has also taught at the UK Jazzwise Jazz Camps, the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Miami Valley Summer Jazz Workshops, and the Jim Widner Jazz Camps. In 2008 he received a Fubright Fellowship to teach jazz for a semester at the University of Campinas in Brazil. He has appeared as a visiting artist/clinician at colleges and high schools throughout the U.S., Europe, Central and South America. Phil has presented lecture/demonstrations to the International Association of Jazz Educators, the National Group Piano Teachers Association, the Ohio Music Educator’s Association, the Ohio Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association, and has published articles for Jazz Player Magazine. In 1995 he published “Jazz Keyboard Harmony,” a chord voicing method written for non-pianists and beginning jazz pianists, which is now used at universities throughout the world.
Phil DeGreg has professionally shared the stage with these artists:
Greg Abate, Jamey Aebersold, Eric Alexander, Harry Allen, David Baker, Alan Barnes, Bob Belden, Roni Ben-Hur, Chuck Berry, Gene Bertoncini,Blue Wisp Big Band, Don Braden, Randy Brecker, Nick Brignola, Rusty Bryant, Gary Campbell, Gary Carney, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Pops, Dave Cliff, Dayton Philharmonic Orchesta. Jerry Coker. Richie Cole, Cal Collins, Junior Cook, Dan Faehnle, John Fedchock, Carl Fontana, Maurizio Giammarco, Dizzy Gillespie, Brad Goode. Ronan Guilfoyle, Everett Greene, Scott Hamilton, Slide Hampton ,Eddie Harris, Billy Hart, Woody Herman, Conrad Herwig, Sheila Jordan, Javon Jackson, Carter Jefferson Clay Jenkins, J.J. Johnson, Randy Johnston, Ken Karsh, Paul Keller, Kentucky Symphony Orchesta John LaBarbera, Joe LaBarbara, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Miami Saxophone Quartet, Delfayo Marsalis, Paul McKee, Don Menza, Ron McCroby, Billy Mitchell, Bill Mobley, James Moody,Mark Murphy, Sal Nistico, Jimmy Owens, Ken Peplowski, Bill Perkins, Rich Perry, Ralph Peterson, Dave Pietro, Boots Randolph, Nelson Rangel, Janelle Reichman, Rufus Reid, Kim Richmond, Barry Ries, Howard Roberts, Lynn Seaton, Tim Ries, Claudio Roditi, Jim Rotundi, Harvie S, Maria Schneider, Bobby Shew, Zoot Simms, Jim Snidero, Ed Soph, Byron Stripling, Ira Sullivan, Frank Tiberi, Stanley Turrentine, Warren Vaché, Ray Vega, John Von Ohlen, Gene Walker, Jim Walker, Tom Warrington, Bobby Watson, Walt Weiskoph, Jiggs Whigham, Jim Widner Big Band and Jack Wilkins.
As a child, Linda’s father worked two jobs—at night, he worked on the stage crew and spotlights for the Kenley Players in Dayton, OH. Her Mother was afraid he would fall asleep driving home, so she had Linda go with him. Linda learned a great deal watching from backstage and from the lighting booth. She met many actors and actresses, including Diana Ross and Carol Channing.
Her father’s cousin was Elaine Stritch (who played Alec Baldwin’s mother on 30 Rock, and in 1971, she starred in Stephen Sondheim’s musical, Company.)
Linda had a double major in college at Bowling Green State University, English and Theatre. Her favorite show in college was West Side Story where she was the Props Manager. She did her student teaching in Sao Paulo, Brazil and while there, assisted the Theatre Director, James Colby, with the production of South Pacific.
Her first teaching and directing position was at Badin High School from 1971-74. She taught English and Acting there. She directed Heidi, The Importance of Being Earnest, You were born on a Rotten Day, and The Glass Menagerie, and co-directed the annual Talent Shows. She decided to leave Badin and applied to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. St. Xavier High School responded, and Father Nastold hired her in 1974.
During her first year, 1974-75, she assisted Michael Sparough with the technical crews of J.C. and Other Resurrection Stories and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Michael Sparough relocated, and she became the TX Director from Sept. ’75 to Feb. ‘85 at St. Xavier producing 19 shows (Plays and/or /Musicals) including:
’75-’76 Charley’s Aunt
’76-’77 The Fantastics
A Man for All Seasons
The Hungry Ones
‘77-’78 Our Town
Twelve Angry Jurors
Once Upon a Mattress
’79-’80 Inherit the Wind
Little Mary Sunshine
’81-’82 No Time for Sergeants
Flower Drum Song
’82-’83 Night of January 16th
’83-’84 The Front Page
The Music Man
’84-’85 The Diary of Anne Frank
Her fondest memories include:
- The Cast and Crew of Mr. Roberts getting her a puppy.
- The International Thespian Society Ball State competition, where she won the drawing to go to NYC for Make-up under Make-up Artist Bob Kelly for one week.
- Taking a group of TX members to NYC to see Broadway productions.
- Winning a house in a dollar lottery during a dress rehearsal.
- Winning "Miss Tall Cincinnati" in 1982.
The challenges she fondly recalls include:
- Creating sets and performing in the basement under the gym (known as the Pit)—The Student lounge during the day with no protection for our set. Having a place to store everything—furnace room—stalactites, and stalagmites.
- Moving chapel pews down the main hall on Friday afternoon before the show that night.
- Building stages and sets in the Chapel.
- For Musicals, finding a place for the orchestra to perform—balcony walkway—Fujimoto
- No reasonable budget whatsoever—faculty and friends worked for nothing!
- No assigned faculty technical support—Students did all of the set building and lighting—Tim Reilly, Tony Eicher, Chris Austing, Renny Austing, Andy Staub, Scott Steins, Scott Stegman, Tom Bockhorst, Mike Garry, Jim Schababerle, John Boehm, Mike Gilkey, Sean Shafer and others. Later on, my friends and faculty buddies worked on the stage sets, especially Karl Hauck, Jim Ott, and Ed Sunderhaus.
After leaving St. Xavier Linda continued her career in the following ways before she retired in 2016:
- AT&T, 13 yrs.—Trainer, Instructional Designer, Sales Trainer, and Manager of Instructional Design, and Computer Based Training—Remotely managed 18 Instructional Technologists located across the country
- Atos Origin, 7 yrs.--Training Consultant for P&G and Cincinnati Water Works, and Manager of Training at Atos Origin
- American Modern Insurance Group, 11 yrs.--Sales Training Manager for American Modern—Managed team responsible for developing and delivering training for company Sales Reps and hundreds of contracted Insurance Agents. Created Opening Skits for annual Sales Meetings
Michele Mascari traveled down river to Cincinnati from a small town in tip of the state - South Point, Ohio – intent on an arts-filled life in secondary education. She attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, choosing study in Speech and Theater, a second major in English, with teaching as her goal. Not an easy task at the time, the early 70s. She worked 4 years in advertising before finding that first teaching job at Newport High School, in Northern Kentucky.
Early years of teaching Freshman English, Journalism, cranking out the school newspaper, and working on teaching Acting were the “beginning years” of her development as a teacher and theatre director. She directed five musicals and created 5 Variety Shows, opening up casting to the entire school. Another takeaway was actually seeing the ghost-like entity rumored to haunt the school (which had been built on cemetery grounds) as she was cleaning up after a night’s performance. Truth…really…she had not been drinking.
Michele Mascari came to St. Xavier High School in 1982 and became the Assistant director of Theatre Xavier, then the Director in spring of 1985. During her 33 years at St. X, she taught English 2, Acting 1 & 2, Advanced Acting, Production/Performance, Speech/Debate, usually teaching 4 to five sections of classes each day, and engaging with more than 100 students in her productions after school. In addition, she headed the Fine Arts Department during a time of intense growth for the arts in her final years at St. X.
Her career at St. X is marked by the path she chose in theatrical production, focusing on ensemble, building community and co-creating. Thematic interests of salvation and redemption were always front and center in the 82 shows she directed or co-directed at TX. She believed that no challenge was too great for her students, who managed to (with assistance from adult mentors) perform, design, and build everything from Godspell, to Ms. Saigon, to Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and West Side Story just to name a few. She sought shows that would expand critical thought, learning horizons, and engaging possibilities for her students, while enriching audiences at the same time. Some shows were produced multiple times for this very reason: Wizard of Oz, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Foreigner, The Diviners, Man of La Mancha, Children of Eden, and The Fifth Sun. She also authored the book for the musical, Shades first produced in 1998, and restaged it as her final TX production in 2015.
Pure enjoyment moments as a teacher, theatre producer and director are indeed milestones. Like the awards for theatrical excellence TX performers and tech received from The Cappies, which is a national organization featuring area high schools who compete yearly. TX received 89 awards for 12 productions. Being awarded the Theater Educator of the Year award in 2009-2010 presented by the Acclaim Organization was certainly an honor. More personal moments of appreciation brimmed when students dove into their Acting scene study and rehearsal – or Sophomores in English 2 enjoying poetry and Shakespeare, allowing themselves to be moved and raised up – and the amazing growth of TX freshmen by the end of the year, who became the leaders and the doers in the next three years…and the next…and the next. For her, the “milestones” were “always about the students…her kids.”
Theater itself lives in all spaces…a park, a classroom, a chapel, on a riverboat…. Here at St. X we grew with advances which fortified improvement and strength in student and adult capabilities…Three decades of work in three “theaters” – The old chapel filled with wooden pews and a wall full of windows – Then renovation of that area into Xavier Hall that was quite comfy for the audiences, and very challenging for performances and tech – Then the ultimate construct in the Fine Arts wing with the 2 contemporary and fully equipped theaters!! Milestones!!! For the audiences and the students!!
Michele’s mentoring and support helped launch numbers of successful professional performers, tech theatre artists, designers, writers, and teachers. Her heart soars when she thinks of Peter Pan flying out over the audience in her final year at TX, and she is eternally grateful to all of her students, colleagues, and parents who helped TX soar over the years. Michele is so honored to be one of the first members of the St. X Fine Arts Hall of Fame.
Patrick Osborne is an American animator, screenwriter and film director. He won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his 2014 film Feast.
Osborne grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Green Township, went to The Our Lady of the Visitation School (Cincinnati) for middle school, and graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1999. He earned a degree in computer animation from the Ringling College of Art and Design in 2003.
Osborne's directorial debut was the short film Feast (2014), about a Boston Terrier who loves getting fed junk food. The short was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and premiered in front of Big Hero 6 (2014) in theaters. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2015.
Osborne had previously worked as an animator on films such as Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Bolt (2008).
Osborne directed Pearl for Google's Spotlight Stories, a short film about the relationship between a father and his daughter. The film is set entirely in a car and shows the decay of the car and the structure of the film reflects the song which plays throughout it. It uses cuts, which were previously unexplored, and over forty sets, which is more than any other of the Google Spotlight shorts. For his work on the film, Osborne was again nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2017.
Osborne served as animation director for the ABC comedy series Imaginary Mary (which he co-created alongside The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg) until it was cancelled in 2017. He is directing Paul Popue's graphic novel Battling Boy.
Osborne has been selected by Paramount Pictures and Weed Road to direct a film version of the video game Monument Valley, originally developed by Ustwo in 2015.
Mary Ann Meyer has been involved with Catholic education for most of her life. She attended Mother of Mercy High School and went on to attend Edgecliff College. She did graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati and earned a Master’s Degree at Xavier University. She began her teaching career at Covington Catholic High School where she taught freshman English and all levels of studio art. She came to St. Xavier High School in the 1979-80 school year and spent the next 30 years teaching art. Thirty-eight years of her life have been spent with adolescent boys who probably taught her far more than she ever taught them. She spent her last nine years in education at Saint Ursula Academy where she served as the Academic Assistant principal, talk about a learning curve!
Mary Ann loved all her years in education but certainly her years at St. Xavier hold the most memories. Her earliest years at St. X were spent in what was truly just a basement underneath the gym. She learned quickly how to speak louder than the basketballs pounding above her “cellar” classroom. The art department grew quickly from basic introductory classes to studios in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and Advanced Placement classes. The growth allowed for personnel additions, and she was joined by Dennis O’Brien, affectionately called OB. OB was a great “partner in crime” and they quickly formed the MOB squad, a dynamic homeroom force in the school for mission collections, canned food drives, and other spirit activities. Our classrooms moved over the years from the “basement” to the third-floor old conference rooms and finally into the beautiful, roomy facilities of today. The curriculum continued to grow with the addition of photography and a computer lab for digital artwork. One of the most exciting additions was another teacher and a teacher who had been an outstanding student of both me and OB’s, Ted Mechley.
There are many monumental occasions that were learning events not only for the students but for Mary Ann as well. In 1984, students turned the entire front of the building into an Orwellian canvas. Mary Ann learned how difficult it is to fly an 8’x16’ plywood structure from the roof of the building. Big Brother was watching! On another occasion, the students had great fun making life-size plaster molds of each other. When the life squad arrived, Mary Ann learned that there are special saws to cut through plaster casts on legs! She thought it would be a great experience when the students asked to paint the football field with the Bomber logo. When a helicopter was called in to dry the field an hour before game time, I learned there is something called field paint that I should have purchased instead of cheap latex. Another year, students created chairs for a primary classroom at Winton Academy. They built the chairs based on characters from their favorite children’s book. When a student used an electric screwdriver to try and drill a hole, she learned that not all boys can use power tools! When the twin towers were destroyed in 2001 the students mounted a huge memorial exhibit. It was then that she learned that within each adolescent there is deep compassion, empathy and yearning for remembrance and justice. Mary Ann was overwhelmed by their sincerity and incredibly proud of their efforts.
The most important parts of Mary Ann’s years, however, are not about big events and big displays. She remembers Kairos letters, laughter and jokes in the classroom, the first mission trip, a year of all 5’s in AP Drawing, Mr. Potato Head, Irish music, seniors’ acceptances into DAAP, a hug on graduation from a student with Asperger’s who couldn’t be touched, and many more cherished moments. Her years in education have always been about the opportunities to connect with students, to celebrate the little successes and to help them turn their failures into future learning. She never believed that students are vessels or pottery that she filled with the knowledge she thought was important. Rather, she liked the image of small flames – flames that ignite passion for what students create, what they work for, what they believe in and what they love. Mary Ann hopes that in her 47 years, she has been a good fire-starter. John Steinbech once said, “Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the media is the human mind and spirit,” and Mary Ann thinks he was right!
David Quammen (born February 24, 1948) is an American science, nature, and travel writer and the author of fifteen books. For 15 years he wrote a column called "Natural Acts" for Outside magazine. His articles have also appeared in National Geographic, Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and other periodicals. In 2013, Quammen's book Spillover was shortlisted for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Quammen graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1966. He is a Yale graduate and Rhodes Scholar; during his graduate studies at Oxford, he studied literature, concentrating on the works of William Faulkner.
Quammen was drawn to the state of Montana in the early 1970s for the trout fishing. He still lives in Montana, while traveling widely for National Geographic and to research his books. During Autumn 2014, he was much involved, because of books and articles he has published, in the public discussion of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa and its spread beyond. His book Spillover received two awards: the Science and Society Book Award, given by the National Association of Science Writers, and the Society of Biology (UK) Book Award in General Biology.
He received honorary doctorates from Montana State University and Colorado College. For his work Quammen was awarded with a Rhodes scholarship, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction. From 2007 to 2009 he was the Wallace Stegner Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University.
Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature; 1984 (Avon Books reprint 1996. ISBN 0-380-71738-7)
Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature (Revised and Expanded, with a New Introduction); W. W. Norton, 2009. ISBN 978-0-393-33360-2
The Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature; Scribner, 1988. ISBN 0-684-83626-2
The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions; Scribner, 1996 (reprinted 1997). ISBN 0-684-82712-3
Wild Thoughts From Wild Places; Scribner, 1999. ISBN 0-684-85208-X
The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder; Scribner, 2001. ISBN 0-7432-0032-2
Monster of God : the man-eating predator in the jungles of history and the mind (2003), New York: W. W. Norton ISBN 0393051404
The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (Great Discoveries); W. W. Norton, 2006. ISBN 978-0-393-32995-7
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic; W. W. Norton, 2012. ISBN 978-0-393-06680-7
Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus; W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. ISBN 0393351556
The Chimp and the River: How AIDS Emerged from an African Forest; W. W. Norton, 2015. ISBN 978-0-393-35084-5
The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life; Simon & Schuster, 2018. ISBN 9781476776644
"The Sobbing Pangolin: How a threatened animal may be linked to the [Covid-19] pandemic's beginnings", The New Yorker, 31 August 2020, pp. 26–31. "More field research is needed [...]. More sampling of wild animals. More scrutiny of genomes. More cognizance of the fact that animal infections can become human infections, because humans are animals. We live in a world of viruses, and we have scarcely begun to understand this one [ COVID-19 ]. (p. 31.)
To Walk the Line, 1970.
Walking Out, 1980, made into a movie of the same name in 2017.
The Zolta Configuration, 1983.
The Soul of Viktor Tronko, 1987.
Blood Line: Stories of Fathers and Sons, 1988.
Awards and accolades:
1970 Rhodes Scholarship
1987 National Magazine Award
1988 Guggenheim Fellowship
1994 National Magazine Award
1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
1996 Natural World Book Prize
1997 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism
1997 Lannan Foundation Fellowship
1997 John Burroughs Medal for nature writing
2000 Honorary doctorate from Montana State University
2001 PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay for The Boilerplate Rhino
2005 National Magazine Award
2009 Honorary doctorate from Colorado College
2012 The Stephen Jay Gould Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution.
2013 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, finalist for Spillover
Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ is a retreat leader, spiritual director, and itinerant preacher living and working at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. He holds an MFA in theatre directing from the Yale School of Drama and a Doctorate in Ministry from St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Il. He studied mime with the legendary Marcel Marceau, and screenwriting in Los Angeles with Act One.
From 1973 - 75, the then “Mr. Sparough, SJ” taught English, Speech, and Acting at St. Xavier. He led the theatre program directing large cast performances of Cyrano De Bergerac and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A gifted writer, poet, and storyteller, he used his talents at St. X to contribute numerous works to the St. Xavier Blueprint. He also co-wrote with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, and directed the musical J.C. (And Other Resurrection Stories).
He is known for coining the name “Theatre Xavier,” or TX, as the storied program has become. In all his productions at St. X, Fr. Michael sought to widen the audience appeal by casting not just those who loved theatre but actively reaching out to the athletes and jokesters. This proved quite successful in broadening the appeal of his productions. He also strove to integrate faith and prayer into his rehearsals and productions, by holding regular cast Masses. He counts among his successes at St X his recruiting a bright but shy young student named “Tim Reilly” to work stage crew for TX.
After his popular production of J.C., he was asked to stage a reprise of the show with his cast members on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. The success of that event led to his founding the Fountain Square Fools, “Portable Theatre Proclaiming ‘Good News.’” After leaving St. X, Sparough directed from 1975 – 1991 what would grow to become this internationally acclaimed performing arts ensemble. “The Fools,” as they were known, brought the gospel alive through drama, dance, mime, and music. They performed and taught workshops and classes throughout the US, Canada, and the British Isles, as well as performing numerous times on television and radio. They published scripts through GIA and other inspirational AV content through Franciscan Media and Audible.com.
Fr Michael is also the founder and former director of Charis, a national Jesuit spiritual outreach to young adults in their 20s and 30s. During his 10 years of directing this ministry, he co-authored six volumes of retreat guides for the dozens of religious institutions across the country which partnered with Charis. During this same time, he also served as superior of one of the Jesuit communities at Loyola University and taught at the Institute of Pastoral Studies training spiritual directors.
He continues to use his performance and storytelling skills in leading international pilgrimages and retreats with Betsey Beckman and parish missions with his brother Tom and his other siblings in a ministry called “The Sparough Family Mission Team.”
He is now the current president of Heart to Heart, a Catholic ministry spreading the gospel through print and electronic media. He served as a script consultant for the award winning 2018 biblical drama film Paul, Apostle of Christ. He recently wrote, directed, and produced Courage to Forgive, a documentary aired by Salt & Light Television on the reconciliation that took place between Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Steven Cook, the man who falsely accused him of sexual abuse.
A prolific writer and speaker, Fr. Michael has published books, CDs, and DVDs on prayer, discernment, and the sacraments with Franciscan Media, Paulist Press, Liturgical Training Publications, Loyola Press, and Heart to Heart. He is seen periodically on Shalom World Catholic Television and is heard regularly on Sacred Heart Radio in Cincinnati.
His latest co-authored book published by Loyola Press is What’s Your Decision? An Ignatian Approach to Decision Making. Fr. Michael’s weekly video homilies and other inspirational messages can be seen online at www.HtoH.US
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