Winter 2015

Cover Story

Hunger Strike: Francis Lawrence ’91, Director of “Mockingjay – Part 2”

“The Hunger Games,” in film as well as in print, has ignited the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe with its vision of a violent, authoritarian government that wages war against its people. Francis Lawrence ’91, director of “Mockingjay – Part 2,” discussed with critic David L. Ulin the fictional dystopia whose political conflict mirrors struggles taking place in the world today.—The Editor

A Conversation With Susan Scheibler

Susan Scheibler is associate professor of film, TV and media studies in the School of Film and Television. Her areas of expertise include film theory, television studies and documentaries. She was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.

A Conversation with Najwa Al-Qattan

For the past several months, thousands of migrants have been leaving war-torn areas of the Middle East, many of them attempting to reach welcoming nations in Europe and elsewhere. We asked Najwa Al-Qattan, associate professor of Ottoman and modern Middle Eastern history in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, for her perspective on the crisis. Al-Qattan was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.

Nuns Poolside

In our July 2015 LMU(update), LMU Magazine’s monthly email to alumni, we challenged readers to send us a funny caption for one of our favorite photos from LMU’s past.

Which Tradition Should I Be Part Of?

Chat is an LMU Magazine feature that links current students with alumni by using social media to get alumni answers to student questions.

Life Sciences Building

On Oct. 5, 2015, LMU’s new Life Sciences Building was dedicated with a celebration of more than 400 alumni, local government leaders and friends. We asked some of those now teaching there to describe a feature of the building they especially like.

Dear LMU — Letters From Our Readers, Winter 2015

Letters From Our Readers, Winter 2015

Dispatches Winter 2015

1971 Ricardo Navarrette [LibArts] is vice-president of student services at Santa Rosa Junior College, in Santa Rosa, California. His wife, Luz (Armendariz) [LibArts ’73], has a private hynotherapy practice and teaches a course at the college. 1973 Maureen (Shannon) Diekmann...

Manny Romero ’97

Manny Romero ’97 works as the Sacramento Kings' head athletic trainer where he uses cutting-edge monitoring technology to prevent injuries and improve injury recovery times.

Higher Ground: Interview With President Snyder

When Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., gave his inauguration address in October, he outlined a vision for higher education based on imagination and creativity and rooted in magis, which he defines as the restless urge to do more for those who are here, for those to come and for the earth itself. A few weeks later, we met with LMU’s 16th president to explore that vision further. Snyder was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.

Hunger Strike: Francis Lawrence ’91, Director of “Mockingjay – Part 2”

“The Hunger Games,” in film as well as in print, has ignited the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe with its vision of a violent, authoritarian government that wages war against its people. Francis Lawrence ’91, director of “Mockingjay – Part 2,” discussed with critic David L. Ulin the fictional dystopia whose political conflict mirrors struggles taking place in the world today.—The Editor

Minority Treatment

Japanese Americans are met by police and searched as they arrive at the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Los Angeles in April 1942. The temporary camp, located at the Santa Anita Race Track, was a way station for men, women and children who were later shipped to internment camps in the West.

Middle East Migration

Refugees face considerable dangers, including journeys over treacherous seas, long marches over land and lack of regular access to food and water. They arrive in Europe only to find communities unprepared to adequately accommodate their needs.

Journey South

For three decades, Professor Rubén Martínez, Fletcher Jones Chair of Literature and Writing in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, has described the intermingling of family, politics, culture and geography from Los Angeles to Zacatecas, El Salvador, and Guatemala City. His roots reach all of these places. In books, articles, interviews and a documentary, Martínez has drawn together the places of his and his ancestors’ lives, erasing borders that separate peoples and nations. When we invited Martínez to write an essay about political violence in Mexico, he gave us a story of his family.—The Editor

The Gift of the Dead

The last gift of a Jesuit may be one given after he dies.

Letter From Tokyo

“Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” (“For the greater glory of God”) still resonates some 43 years after graduating from LMU and living overseas since 1981 in Japan, where Jesuit St. Francis Xavier spread the Word of God.

David Berry ’92, M. Ed. ’96 and Theresa Smith ’93

Theresa enjoyed David’s jokes and stories, his big personality, and his ease with an audience. She even told a friend, “If that David Berry asked me to marry him, I would do it.”

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Fast Forward

The best teachers a first-generation law student ever had.

James Stahl ’65

James Stahl ’65 spent almost four decades working at the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, ending his career there as chief engineer and general manager.

Remembering Salamunovich

Paul Salamunovich (1927–2014) was director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, LMU professor and director of choral activities, and choir director of St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood. One of his most creative and satisfying collaborations with was Morten Lauridsen, composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1994–2001) whose “Lux Aeterna” was premiered by Salamunovich and the chorale. “I have waited for this piece my entire life,” Salamunovich once said of it. We asked Morten Lauridsen to reflect on his friendship and work with Paul Salamunovich.

Soccer Superfans

Jo Blankenship ’16, midfielder and co-captain of the LMU women’s soccer team, began playing at the age of 4. Her idol was Mia Hamm, star of the U.S. national team. Blankenship’s senior year has capped a stellar career: First Team All-WCC; second in total points in the WCC; led LMU to two NCAA tournament wins and the Sweet 16; and set the LMU career assists record. Blankenship has led soccer camps for young players for the past three summers. We talked with her about girls’ and women’s soccer in the United States. She was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.

Robert Gross ’77

Gross understands that he was fortunate that his parents saw the value of his going to college. That’s why he has set up a scholarship at LMU for mechanical engineering students who are the first in their families to pursue a college degree.

Voting Rights

Access to the right to vote in the United States has long been contentious, and it has been conditioned on everything from property to race and gender. In recent years, states have passed or introduced legislation that some say is intended to restrict voter access, including photo ID requirements, proof of citizenship and limits on early voting. We asked Christopher Shortell ’97, a professor of political science, for a guide to some of the milestones in U.S. voting rights history.

Toxic Waters: DDT in the Bay

For more than three decades, DDT was produced at the Montrose chemical plant in Torrance and dumped into Palos Verdes’ coastal waters. In 1996, the offshore site, considered by some the largest deposit of DDT in the world, was added to the EPA list of Superfund sites. Over the years, DDT spread to the Santa Monica Bay. The accurate measurement of the pesticide’s presence — the focus of Rachel Adams’ research — is crucial for assessing water quality in the bay.

De Colores

After 30 years, De Colores has reached a point when tradition is too weak a word to describe it. The Campus Ministry weekend social justice immersion experience brings together LMU students and the people of Tijuana, Mexico. In 1985, the late Fernando Moreno asked Chris North ’85 to organize a student trip to a Tijuana orphanage North had visited. Three decades later, the excursions, which include home-building or other construction work in the Tijuana community, take place almost every month during the academic year. The bonds grow deeper every year: The people of Tijuana have named a center Casa Loyola in appreciation of the LMU community's commitment. Today, when LMU students first step on campus, many of them are told, “Make sure you do a De Colores trip before you graduate. It changed my life.”

Tony Menendez, Whistleblower

David rarely fights Goliath and lives to tell about it. Tony Menendez, a lone accountant in a global enterprise, did just that after a nine-year battle, and he told his tale when he visited campus Sept. 29.