January 25, 2010

Vol. 25 , No. 06   

From the Director

I hope you will come prepared to be challenged, inspired, informed, provoked — anything but indifferent — to the range of programs the Athenaeum has in store for the CMC community in 2010. An abundance of ideas and suggestions continue to flow from many sources, and what appears on the calendar represents interests and points of view from many constituencies on campus.

Everyone is thrilled with the installation of paintings by artist Ertai Gao — a fitting welcome to the new year. Ertai Gao was a guest at the Athenaeum in November following the publication of his memoir In Search of My Homeland (2009).

The Athenaeum is a precious resource for the intellectual life at CMC and it is my fervent hope that you will take full advantage of the rich and wonderful opportunities it has to offer.

Finding Your Path to Peak Performance

Jeff Greenwald is a nationally recognized sport psychology consultant, former world-ranked tennis professional, author, and clinical psychologist. As a tennis player, he was ranked #1 in his age group by the International Tennis Federation and #1 in the United States by the USTA in 2002. He is the author of both Fearless Tennis: The 5 Mental Keys to Unlocking Your Potential (2002) and The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Tennis (2007), and is on the International Speaker’s Bureau with Wilson Sporting Goods.

Greenwald has conducted one-on-one performance enhancement sessions and interactive group workshops with athletes in tennis, baseball, soccer, golf, gymnastics, and basketball. In addition to the sports world, his seminars are hosted by corporations looking to raise their employees' performance. Some of Greenwald’s clients have included the United States Tennis Association, U.C. Berkeley, UCLA Medical Center, Merrill Lynch, and KNTV/NBC. He lives with his wife and two children in San Rafael, California.

Jeff Greenwald’s visit to CMC is jointly sponsored by CMS Department of Athletics and the Athenaeum. During his campus visit he will share the anatomy of peak performance and discuss the universal mind-traps everyone faces under performance conditions, drawing from his experience as an athlete and clinician. In a collaborative style Greenwald’s Athenaeum presentation will explore how we can all improve our performance and increase our level of enjoyment as we learn to master our own mind.

Songs from the Middle East

John Bilezikjian, acclaimed musician, singer, composer, and teacher, may be the most prominent Oudist of his generation, performing for some 51 years on this ancient eleven stringed Persian fretless instrument dating back some 2,000 years. The oud is performed with an eagle’s quill. His mastery of this ancient instrument is the result of decades of practice and dedication to the art, elevating it to the concert stage in performances with such distinguished ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Renowned for his diversity of styles, Bilezikjian sings in 11 different languages including Arabic, Persian, Armenian, and English, and whose recordings include work with artists Leonard Cohen and Placido Domingo, to name a few.
Helen Bilezikjian is an accomplished singer of opera, folk, sacred, and secular music. She began studying voice for a career in opera at the age of eight. Possessing an incredible 3-octave range, she was awarded a Los Angeles City Music Scholarship at 15 years of age. She is the founder, general manager, and performer for the non profit organization Opera by the Sea, and also performs with ensembles that include Long Beach Civic Light Opera, San Diego Opera, Lindy Opera Company, and the Kansas City Opera.

In a concert jointly sponsored by the Arabic Program at CMC and the Athenaeum, John and Helen Bilezikjian will sing and perform songs that are Armenian, Turkish, Arabic, as well as selections from other Middle-Eastern countries. They will also speak about the rhythms, the folklore and what many of the songs mean in English. This is a rare and wonderful opportunity to experience music that has been a part of Middle Eastern cultures for centuries performed by these two distinguished musicians.

With Justice for All: Human Rights and Civil Rights at Home and Abroad

The Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson, president and founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and one of America's foremost political figures, will deliver CMC’s 22nd annual address commemorating the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. CMC first hosted Rev. Jackson in honor of Dr. King on January 17, 1989.

Over the past 30 years, Jackson has played a role in movements for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice.

Jackson began his activism as a student leader in the sit-in movement and continued as a young organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as an assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He went on to direct Operation Breadbasket and subsequently founded People United to Save Humanity (PUSH) in Chicago in 1971. PUSH's goals were economic empowerment and expanding educational and employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and communities of color.

In 1984, Jackson founded the National Rainbow Coalition, a national social justice organization devoted to political empowerment, education and changing public policy. In September 1996, the Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH merged into the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to continue both philosophies and maximize its resources.

Rev. Jackson advocated nationalized health care, the war on drugs, dialogue with the Soviet Union, and negotiations with the Middle East long before they became popular positions.

Jackson's two presidential campaigns broke new ground in U.S. politics. His 1984 campaign won 3.5 million votes and registered more than one million new voters, and helped the Democratic Party regain control of the Senate in 1986. His 1988 candidacy won seven million votes and registered two million new voters, helping sweep hundreds of elected officials into office. This was a historic victory, with Jackson coming in first or second in 46 out 54 contests.

A respected world leader, Jackson has acted many times as an international diplomat in sensitive situations. For example, in 1984 he secured the release of captured Navy Lt. Robert Goodman from Syria, as well as the release of 48 Cuban and Cuban-American prisoners in 1984. He was the first American to bring hostages out of Kuwait and Iraq in 1990. In an impressive victory that same year, he also was elected to the post of U.S. Senator from Washington, D.C., a position also known as “Statehood Senator.” The office was created to advocate statehood for the District of Columbia.

A renowned orator, he has received numerous honors for his work in human and civil rights and for nonviolent social change. In 1991, the U.S. Post Office put his likeness on a pictorial postal cancellation, only the second living person to receive such an honor.

Since 1992, Jackson has hosted Both Sides with Jesse Jackson on CNN. He is also the author of Keep Hope Alive (1989) and Straight from the Heart (1987). In 1996, Jackson co-authored the book Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice, and the Death Penalty with his son, U.S. Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr.

The dinner preceding Jackson’s remarks is reserved for members of the CMC community. Jackson’s address begins at 6:45 p.m., is free and open to the public, with seating on a first come basis. Overflow seating, with a live feed to the event, will be available in McKenna Auditorium.

Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues

Sister Helen Prejean, a native of Louisiana, is known internationally for her tireless work against the death penalty. She was instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the issue and in shaping the Catholic Church’s newly vigorous opposition to all state executions.

Sister Helen is a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph. She spent her first 24 years with the Sisters teaching religion to junior high school students and working within her community, first as religious education director and then as formation director. At the age of 40, she realized that being on the side of poor people was an essential part of the Gospel. She moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans and began working at Hope House, a center that assists public housing residents.

During this time, she was asked to correspond with a death row inmate. She agreed and in 1982, she started visiting Patrick Sonnier in Louisiana’s Angola Prison. She became his spiritual adviser, worked to prevent his execution, and finally walked with him to the electric chair. She did the same thing with a second prisoner, Robert Willie. Concerned with the plight of murder victims’ families she founded “Survive”, which provides counseling and support for grieving families.

She then wrote a book about her experience, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, which Random House published in 1993. The book became a best seller, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and spawned an Oscar-winning movie and an internationally-acclaimed opera. Now Tim Robbins has made it into a play that is being performed by high school and college students across the country.

Since 1984, Sister Helen has divided her time between campaigning against the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners. She has accompanied six more men to their deaths. In doing so, she began to suspect that some of those executed were not guilty. This realization inspired her second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, which was released by Random House in December of 2004.

She is a regular interviewee and contributor to national and international publications, and has become a recurring presence on major TV news shows. Besides her degrees in English and religious education, Sister Helen has received honorary degrees from universities all over the world and numerous awards. Sister Helen lives in New Orleans and works with the Death Penalty Discourse Center, the Moratorium Campaign and the Dead Man Walking Play Project. She is presently at work on another book - River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey to Death Row.

The film Dead Man Walking (1995) will be shown at McAlister Center on Monday, January 25th at 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to all.

Taiwan’s Soft Power and Cross-Strait Relations

The rapid improvement in ties between mainland China and Taiwan since 2008 is one of the most encouraging geopolitical developments in East Asia. Not too long ago, the Taiwan Strait was considered one of the most dangerous flash points in the world. The pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party government in power between 2000 and 2008 was pursuing a course of policy that could drag the United States into a high-stake and potentially catastrophic confrontation with mainland China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan. However, since President Ma Ying-jeou, a Harvard-educated lawyer, led the Kuomintang in a landslide victory in March 2008, his government has embarked on a policy to reduce tensions with Beijing and improve economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Strait. In less than two years, Taipei and Beijing have resumed commercial flights and shipping. Negotiations on a free-trade agreement have begun as well. What explains Taiwan’s remarkable ability in maintaining its de-facto independence while improving relations with the mainland? Professor Yun-han Chu, Taiwan’s preeminent political scientist, attributes this to the new government’s exercise of soft power.

Yun-han Chu is Distinguished Research Fellow of the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica and Professor of Political Science at National Taiwan University. He also serves concurrently as President of Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. Professor Chu joined the faculty of National Taiwan University in 1987. He was a visiting associate professor at Columbia University in 1990-1991 and has held a visiting professorship at Peking University since 2007. Professor Chu specializes in politics of Greater China, East Asian political economy, international political economy, and democratization. He currently serves on the editorial board of Pacific Affairs, International Studies Perspective, China Review, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of East Asian Studies and Journal of Democracy. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of thirteen books. Among his recent English publications are Consolidating Third-Wave Democracies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), The New Chinese Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities after the 16th Party Congress (Cambridge University Press 2004) and How East Asians View Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2008).

Professor Chu’s visit to CMC is sponsored by the Freeman Foundation and the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.

What Makes a Portrait

Mariana Cook was born in New York City in 1955. The last protégée of Ansel Adams, Cook is best known for her intimate character studies of people both in and out of the public eye. Her photographs are held in a number of national and international collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, among many others.

Mariana Cook’s eight published books include the monograph, Manhattan Island to My Self (1978) and the much acclaimed Fathers and Daughters: In their Own Words (1994), Mothers and Sons: In their Own Words (1996), Generations of Women: In Their Own Words (1998), and Couples: Speaking from the Heart (2000). Cook is also known for her photographs of landscape and still life which are exhibited regularly and published in book form.

The Path to Leadership Mastery

If leadership were a gift that was easily identified or a commodity that could be taught in programs and courses, then either selection or training would have produced a bevy of outstanding leaders. Clearly that is not the case. In his Athenaeum address, Professor Morgan McCall will suggest that leadership can be learned, but not by everyone; that the primary teacher is experience, but not just any experience; and that the path to mastery of leadership has much in common with the acquisition of expertise in any field.
Morgan McCall, Professor of Management and Organization in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, specializes in executive leadership. He was previously Director of Research and a Senior Behavioral Scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.

McCall writes about the early identification, assessment, and development of executives, as well as the cause for their possible downfall. Among his published books are Frequent Flyers: Developing Global Executives, co-authored with George Hollenbeck (November 2001), Advances in Global Leadership, Volume II, co-edited with William Mobley (July 2001), and High Flyers: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders (1998) (translated into Japanese, Dutch, and Thai, and winner of the 1998 Athena Award for Excellence in Mentoring). He co-authored The Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop on the Job (1988), Whatever it Takes: The Realities of Managerial Decision Making (1992), Leadership: Where Else Can We Go? (1978), and Key Events in Executives' Lives (1987).

Dr. McCall is a sought-after speaker and consultant. He has worked with a variety of organizations including Amgen, Boeing, British Airways, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Sun Microsystems, Royal Bank of Canada, and Toyota Motor Sales. He works with senior executives to develop corporate strategies and systems for executive development.

McCall received his B.S. from Yale and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He is active in a variety of professional organizations including the American Psychological Association and has served on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Review and the Executive Management Journal. His visit to CMC is sponsored by the Kravis Leadership Institute.

The Past and Future of Terrorism Research

Todd Sandler is a specialist in the study of terrorism. His work on terrorism dates back to early 1980s. In his Athenaeum lecture, he will highlight five areas where economic analysis of terrorism has had the greatest policy relevance during the last 30 years. These areas involve evaluating the effectiveness of counterterrorism actions, identifying the causes of terrorism, measuring the economic ramification of terrorism, analyzing the time-series dynamics of terrorist events, and formulating game-theoretic representations of terrorism. The novelty of this approach lies in synthesizing past research and in identifying the key policy-relevant issues that require additional analysis. These issues include understanding the operation of global terrorist networks, ascertaining the payback of counterterrorism strategies, evaluating the returns from alternative forms of international cooperation, and investigating the strategic aspects of suicide terrorism.

Sandler holds the Vibhooti Shukla Chair in Economics and Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas. In 1971, his received his Ph.D. at SUNY Binghamton. He has held positions at Arizona State University, University of Wyoming, Iowa State University, Australian National University, University of York, UK, University of Southern California, and elsewhere. He has written or edited twenty-one books, including The Political Economy of Terrorism (2005), Global Collective Action (2004), Economic Concepts for the Social Sciences (2001), and Global Challenges: An Approach to Environmental, Political, and Economic Problems (1997). He has authored or co-authored over two hundred journal articles in economics and political science, many appearing in top journals. His work on terrorism dates back to early 1980s. In 2003, he was the co-recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War for his theoretical and statistical analysis of terrorism.


It is the policy of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum that no lecture, appearance or performance by any speaker or performer at the Athenaeum is to be videotaped, audiotaped, or otherwise recorded and/or broadcast without the prior written permission of the relevant speaker, performer, or other authorized owner of the intellectual property rights to the event. Anyone requesting permission to record an event is required to submit an “Event Recording Request Form” to Bonnie Snortum, the Director of the Athenaeum, at least 48 hours in advance of the relevant event. It is understood that the speaker, the performer, the Athenaeum, and any other event sponsor, as appropriate, reserve all intellectual property rights for each Athenaeum event. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Bonnie Snortum at bsnortum@cmc.edu or at (909) 607-4180.


The Athenaeum serves as a gathering place where ideas, inquiry, and fellowship bring students, faculty, staff, other scholars, and nationally prominent speakers together. Attendance at any event may be limited to persons associated with CMC, to the people who signed up for the dinner, or to the maximum number of people allowed by fire regulations. On some occasions the speaker may address the group in another forum or the College may set up a video feed to handle an overflow crowd. All programs at the Athenaeum are filmed. Individuals attending should understand that their image might appear on the videotape. House rules and common courtesy prohibit disruptive actions inside the building during an Athenaeum sponsored program. Time allowing, there will be a period set aside for questions. Students will have priority during this portion of the program. Guests are expected to dress appropriately in all dining rooms. Shorts, jeans, and t-shirts are not acceptable at dinner; more casual attire is acceptable for lunch and tea. No bare feet at any time.