When putting together the Barry Magazine we spend a lot of time talking about the Barry community. How could we not? Anyone who has ever spent any time on campus – whether as a student, alumna or member of the faculty – knows that the university engenders a strong sense of place and connectedness. After being here only a short time, most of us feel as if we’ve become “lifelong” members of the Barry community. Many alumni tell us that even if it has been years since they’ve stepped foot on campus or are working half way around the world, seeing a picture of the palm-tree lined façade of the Cor Jesus Chapel still makes them feel “at home.”
That said, as we began compiling story ideas for the spring 2009 issue, we kept coming back to a common theme: “the power of one,” or perhaps “in appreciation of the individual.” Our community is made up of some remarkable people. We have students like Tony Dutra, a doctoral student in the Adrian Dominican School of Education (ADSOE) who was named Broward County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year for 2010. Anyone who has ever spent time in his classroom, observing him in action, can see what makes him Teacher of the Year. His energy, his sense of humor and his natural ability to connect with his students all contribute to his success.
The same is true for computer science professor Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan - part rocker and part “engineering geek” - she melded her passions to create a software program that generates musical accompaniments to new or existing melodies, making it easier for aspiring musicians everywhere to learn from the styles of their favorite bands. “I guess I was born with this,” she says of her work. “Even when I was composing, I would do it systematically. I was born to do this type of thing, using both sides of my brain.”
Even when compiling our tribute to the 25th anniversary of Barry University athletics, we were struck by the individual feats of our student athletes. Athletes like senior Bobby Hernandez (baseball), Sunshine State Conference Pitcher of the Year and 3rd-team All-America in 2008, and Geralyn Elam’03 (softball), who was named the top pitcher of the first quarter century in the SSC, have stood out as individual athletes while being team players and contributing to the overall success of the athletics program.
And, sadly, while working on this issue, we lost individuals who will be missed by everyone in the Barry community. During her 25-year tenure, Dr. Elizabeth “Betty” Hays (otherwise known as “the frog doctor”) was a wise and comforting voice for many of her students and advisees. Similarly, no one who had the privilege of working with and getting to know Sister Arlene Scott, OP, who last served as assistant to the president for Mission Integration, will ever forget her overwhelming generosity of spirit and the sense of serenity that always seemed to surround her. The Barry community was made infinitely stronger by their presence.
So we consider this issue to be a celebration of the individual; it is truly incredible what one person can accomplish, and how many lives they can affect.