Category Archives: News

Social Justice Reading Series with Reginald Dwayne Betts this evening

SOLLU’s MA/MFA program in Literature, Creative Writing and Social Justice welcomes poet and memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts as part of the “Social Justice Reading Series,” today at 7 p.m., in Thiry Auditorium.

Betts is the author of three books, “Bastards of the Reagan Era,” “Shahid Reads His Own Palm,” and “A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Surviving and Coming of Age in Prison.”

At 16, Betts participated in a carjacking that landed him a nine-year prison sentence. During this time, he discovered the power of language through books, poetry and his own pen.

Betts will share not only his transformative tale from prisoner to scholar, poet, Yale Law graduate and practicing attorney, but also use his experiences to speak to important issues surrounding the American criminal justice system and read poetry inspired by that experience.

The national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice, Betts writes and lectures about the impact of mass incarceration on American society. A powerful and inspirational speaker, Betts is an important voice and advocate for juvenile justice and prison reform. His own experiences as a teenager in maximum security prisons uniquely position him to speak to the failures of the current criminal justice system and present encouraging ideas for change. His advocacy work led President Barack Obama to appoint him to the Coordinating Council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Betts’ writing has generated national attention and earned him a Soros Justice Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Ruth Lily Fellowship, an NAACP Image Award, PEN New England Award, and most recently, a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship.

This event is hosted by the OLLU English Program, OLLU Office of Global and Strategic Initiatives, OLLU Center for Women in Church and Society, the OLLU Worden Social Work Organization and My Brother’s Keeper—San Antonio.

The reading is free and open to the public.

This reading is made possible in part with grants from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Shield Ayers Foundation.

OLLU congratulates Dr. Evans on selection as Bloomfield College’s 17th President

OLLU is proud to announce that Dr. Marcheta Evans has been selected as the next president of Bloomfield College in New Jersey. She will begin her tenure there in June.

Dr. Evans came to the university in July 2013 to serve as the dean of the School of Professional Studies and the Worden School of Social Service. After just seven months on the job, then-president Sister Jane Ann Slater asked Dr. Evans to take on the role of vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer while still maintaining her duties as dean. Her efforts helped strengthen collaboration between administration and faculty and staff, and they paved the way for significant progress. In 2016, she was selected to serve as OLLU provost and vice president for academic affairs following a national search. As provost, she added the areas of student life and athletics to her responsibilities.

Dr. Evans has overseen the development of OLLU’s new core curriculum; championed a growth in retention from 56.2 percent to 68.2 percent over three years; and enhanced faculty and staff development opportunities through Provost Professional Development Days and other initiatives. She also was instrumental in renegotiating contracts with OLLU’s national online platform and food services vendors. She fostered growth in the university’s student development programs by hosting numerous social occasions for students in her home and on campus. In addition, she worked to increase OLLU’s cultural understanding through the Provost’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.

“I am confident Dr. Evans will serve the students, faculty and staff of Bloomfield College with the same integrity, innovation and deep caring that she brought to the OLLU community,” remarked Diane E. Melby, OLLU President, “I know she will carry with her the spirit of Providence that she experienced at OLLU.”

RSVP for Dean’s List reception by Feb. 22

Undergraduate students who maintained a grade point average of at least 3.75 during the fall 2018 semester have been named to the Dean’s List. Those students are eligible to attend the Dean’s List reception, which will take place on Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Providence Hall, West Social Room.

The reception will include presentation of medal and certificate to each recipient and will be followed by cake and punch.

Students who have made the Dean’s List and would like to attend the reception should RSVP by Friday to

Click here to view full list of recipients.

Earn extra cash by becoming a phonathon caller

The Development Office is hiring students for the university’s spring phonathon. Phonathon callers raise money for the Lake Fund by speaking with alumni and community friends, informing them of OLLU news and events, updating their contact information and asking them to make a gift to OLLU.

The pay is $8 per hour and students will work up to 20 hours per week during phonathon. The job description is available in the Student Employment Office. Contact Rosanna Luke at for more information.

Employee comings and goings – Feb. 18, 2019

The following employees joined the OLLU community in late January and early February:

  • Scott Mattera – Volleyball Head Coach
  • Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros – Center for Women in Church and Society Program Coordinator

Thank you to the following for their service to OLLU:

  • Joe Salazar – Custodian
  • Yessica Hernandez – Police Officer
  • Sara Moreno – Online MSW Field Education Coordinator
  • Jose Valverde – Master Telephone Technician
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