March 2012

March STEMM Idol Speaker Duo

On Tuesday, CJ welcomed biomedical engineering professionals Chuck Webb and Matthew Ferguson from Good Samaritan Hospital (Catholic Health Initiatives) to speak with students during homeroom periods as part of the STEMM Idol Speaker series.

Ferguson, a recent college graduate, has worked as a biomedical engineer with Good Samaritan Hospital for less than one year. He is responsible for 3,000 pieces of equipment, maintaining and repairing numerous devices and technical equipment critical to patient care. Ferguson said the associate degree program he completed at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College was rigorous and prepared him well for the work, two days of which are never alike.

Chuck Webb, a veteran in the biomedical engineering field, maintains all of the imaging equipment at the hospital. He began his health care career as an X-ray technician 30 years ago.

According to Ferguson and Webb, opportunities and potential salaries abound for graduates of biomedical engineering degree programs at all levels—associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and beyond. No matter which occupation a biomedical engineering graduate might pursue, whether more technical, hands-on, or engineering, research and design, the application of math, electronics/computer technology, communication skills, problem solving, and quick response are important skills required to be successful.

Biomedical engineers interested in the technical hands-on application of the degree may work for hospitals or equipment manufacturers such as Phillips, General Electic, or Siemens—the three largest medical equipment manufacturers—or may find employment with service companies that manage equipment at multiple locations.

Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation’s second largest Catholic health care system. CJ’s biomedical sciences program is sponsored in part by GSH.


CJ Crowns Poetry Out Loud Champ

On February 23, the CJ English department conducted the fifth annual Poetry Out Loud school-wide competition. Sophomore Rachel Strahorn was declared the winner when it was all over, based on her recitation of “Flies Buzzing” by Mark Turcotte and “What Work Is” by Philip Levine.

In all, 22 classroom champions participated in the event that night, and approximately 420 students participated in the classroom competitions that preceded it. In four previous appearances, CJ school champions won the state competition twice and finished second and third on other occasions.

“The school-wide competition this year was tremendous,” said Jim Brooks, CJ English teacher and Poetry Out Loud coordinator. “The scoring was as close as it has ever been for the top positions.”

The runner-up this year was senior Sam Mullins, while juniors Kathryn Marshall and Emma Bridgman finished third and fourth respectively.

Partially in honor of previous state champions Rachel Chandler ’08 and Lynsay Strahorn ’11, the parents of those two graduates (David and Tamara Chandler, and Derrick and Kris Strahorn, pictured above) purchased and donated a beautiful wooden plaque which will now showcase the names of all CJ Poetry Out Loud school-wide champions for years to come.

The plaque will reside in the school library near the new poetry collection, a result of Rachel’s and Lynsay’s accomplishments at the state level. This special poetry collection will be dedicated later this year.

Visit or for more about the national and state-wide competitions.


Ugandan Shares Lesson on Social Justice

For 26 years, children in central Africa have been subjected to senseless violence, murder, rape and slavery—and the injustice has gone on almost entirely unnoticed. On Tuesday, CJ students’ eyes, ears and hearts were opened to the atrocities in a lesson on social justice.

The lesson was presented partly in the flesh by Richard, a 29-year-old survivor of the terror and violence that has wreaked havoc on his village in northern Uganda for almost as long as he has been alive.

“People lived in fear of being killed, being abducted and losing their family members,” Richard told students. He recounted the night he and his brother, both young boys, were chased through the dark forests of Africa by soldiers carrying guns.

Today, Richard travels across the United States with volunteers from the San Deigo-based nonprofit group known as the Invisible Children, whose mission it is to shed light on the injustices that continue to affect young people and families in his home country.

The injustices against innocent Africans are carried out by a militia known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which operates under the leadership of Joseph Kony, said Richard. The idea is to bring the battle with Kony to America by making him a household name amongst the citizens, policy-makers, and “culture-makers” stateside.

"The reps from Invisible Children did a great job sharing their knowledge with the CJ students and their message is like Theresa Flores' message," said senior Emily Casey. "We must be a voice for the voiceless."

The Invisible Children creates awareness and sounds the global call to action by taking advantage of the role of new media, its diminshed barriers of communication, and the speed at which technology has enabled us to share information in today’s social climate. Their presentation to CJ religion students during periods 3, 4, 6 and 7 began in the chapel with a screening of the short film Kony 2012.

“This movie is a 26-minute experiment, but in order for it to work you have to pay attention,” says the film’s narrator Jason Russell, co-founder of the non-profit group. Russell, a filmmaker and human rights advocate, asks that everyone pay attention and partake in the viral movement to “make Kony famous” in 2012.

In recent years, Russell and his group’s movement has gained ground in political and news media circles. Their efforts culminated in the October 2011 deployment of about 100 U.S. troops by President Barrack Obama. The troops serve as advisers to African militaries fighting against the LRA.

Students were encouraged to learn more about the movement and find out how to help by visiting or