Salve Regina to celebrate Convocation, officially open 2015-2016 academic year

Barbara LoMonaco, Salve Regina’s new vice president for student affairs, will present the keynote address when the university community gathers on Tuesday, Sept. 8 to celebrate Convocation, an annual ceremony to welcome new students and officially open the academic year. Festivities will begin at 2 p.m. on the lawn of Wakehurst Student Center, Ochre Point Avenue. The public is welcome.

The ceremony will include the inauguration of Student Government Association officers, and will include remarks from university President Jane Gerety, R.S.M., as well as from Sean O’Callaghan, the dean for the Class of 2019.

LoMonaco, who came to Salve Regina in July after serving for nearly two decades as an award-winning professor and administrator at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., is passionate about promoting holistic student development, civic engagement and inclusive communities.

She began her career in higher education in 1996 as professor of anthropology at Transylvania, where she created the anthropology major. A Bingham Award-winning professor, she has taught more than two dozen courses, including Human Origins, Healing and Culture, Urban Anthropology, Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, and Refugees in the Bluegrass, among others. She also taught Anthropology of Food, a class based on her interest in sustainability and producing her own food.

Appointed in 2012 as the chief student affairs officer at Transylvania, LoMonaco guided implementation of many new initiatives to bolster enrollment and retention strategies, among them a living/learning community plan, an expansion of counseling services, a First Generation Student program, the Pioneer Leadership program, and programs to boost bystander intervention, alcohol education, and awareness of diversity and inclusion concerns.

Her extensive faculty service record includes a number of positions directly related to student life, including leadership roles on the Alcohol Task Force, Judicial Council, Selection Committee for Student Orientation Leaders, Sexual Grievances Judicial Board, RA Selection Committee, and the Transylvania Scholarship Committee.

LoMonaco earned her B.A. in philosophy, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, both in cultural anthropology, from Southern Methodist University.

LoMonaco is also a certified addictions counselor and therapist who worked in community mental health and private practice for five years in Chicago.

Sean O’Callaghan
Born in Cork, Ireland, O’Callaghan has been teaching in Salve Regina’s Department of Religious and Theological Studies since 2012. He also serves as a faculty fellow at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.

O’Callaghan specializes in the areas of world religions and new religious movements, particularly as they relate to politics and global security, and advanced technologies. His book, “The Compact Guide to World Religions,” is a reference to the history and development of select world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Janism, Zoroastrianism, Bahai, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto.

He has lectured extensively in politics, philosophy, religion, and theological studies at universities in the U.K. and at Salve Regina, and he has degrees in Gaelic Language and Irish History from the University College Cork, and in Theology from the University of Liverpool, where he went on to pursue a Ph.D in theology. He completed his post-graduate qualification in education in Canterbury, Kent.

In addition to teaching at the university level, O’Callaghan taught for many years in schools throughout the U.K., also serving as a senior management team and board member at several.