USD Magazine, Winter 2004


Biogs Away Biogs sound like movie monsters, bur in fact they're a First Amendment fire– works display char would make a Founding Father beam. Shorr for Web logs, biogs are briefblasrs of opinion posred online and designed to stimu– late conversation among readers. Carl Luna, a lecturer in USD's political science department, waded into the blog bog during last year's California gubernatorial recal l elec– tion wirh "Pol itical Lunacy," a blog for the San Diego Union-Tribune's Web site chat generated thousands of hies per day. Luna's observations were some– times serious - analyzing rhe sur– prisingly tepid voter reaction to Green Parry candidate Peter Camejo - and sometimes reAecred che sur– real atmosphere accompanying the special election. "Like an alchemist of old, I have deciphered the secret of the Calif– ornia Recall," read one post-election blog. "3DYRWCH20 = T4, which translates as 'Davis, Deficit and Duplicity + Vast Right Wing Conspiracy + Housing Healthcare and Opportunity (diminished) = Terminator 4: Arnold Storms the Executive Office."

around him. The 2003-04 holder of USD's Portman Chair in Theology and Religious Studies, Mard1aler is the retired d1air of religion education at rhe Catholic University ofAmerica in Washington, D.C. Among USD's rheology and religious studies faculry are four of his former students - professors Joseph Columbo, Ron Pachence, Helen deLaurentis and Florence Gillman. "I just came our ro check up on chem," Marthaler jokes. Marthaler, who was executive edi– tor of the New Catholic Encyclopedia and editor of the quarterly Living Life, for pasroral ministers and religious educarors, will lecture on "The New Face ofAmi-Catholicism" at 7:30 p.m., March 22, in Shiley Theatre. Funded by an anonymous donor, USD's Monsignor John Raymond Portman Chair of Roman Catholic Systematic Theology allows a visit– ing scholar ro come to Alcala Park and engage in reaching, research and service. President Lyons Joins Theology and Religious Studies Faculty President Mary E. Lyons has accepted a tenured faculty position in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Joseph Columbo, the department chairman, says he suggested rhe idea at a faculty meet– ing last summer and it met with unanimous approval. "The president's doctorate in homiletics in the Franciscan school of theology, and her life experience, locate her squarely in rhe rheological sciences," Columbo says. Lyons' predecessors also carried tenured appointments, Alice B. Hayes in biology and Author E. Hughes in business administration. While such appointments often are a ceremonial designation, Lyons has already attended one department meeting. "The president will sec her own level of involvement," Columbo says, "but given her demeanor we won't be surprised if she becomes active in department activities."

Many newspapers across the nation now post biogs co attract traf– fic to their Web sires. The only secret to a good blog, Luna says, is to have a coherent opinion. "The UT gives me surprising freedom to write whatever I want," says Luna, who for years has written conventional columns and news sto– ries for the paper. "I don't submit anything co an editor, so what it amounts to is my rake on whatever topic seems to me relevant to the paper's readers. " During the recalJ, Luna posted four or five diatribes per week. Now, in more seeded rimes, the number is down to rwo or three. "Ir was a sprint," he says, "and now it's a marathon." To read Carl Luna's blogs, log on to weblogslluna. Border Patrol As far as David Shirk is concerned, San Diego extends well past the San Ysidro and Ocay Mesa border cross– ings, and he's perplexed char many San Diegans rhink their community scops where Mexico begins. "We have many common prob– lems, especially with health care and

David Shirk the environment, chat don't know any borders," says Shirk, the new director of USD's TransBorder Institute. "Ir is in our best interest to start chinking of them that way." San Diegans may not have a choice. Shirk points co demographic forecasts d1at indicate che bulk of the population in che San Diego– Tijuana metropolitan region soo n will be south of the border. What San Diegans consider Tijuana's problems, he says, may soon be their own. Shirk, who came to USO from the University of California at San Diego's Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, is the first full-rime director in the TBI's 10-year hisrory. He envisions che institute developing into a magnet for people engaged in any of the myriad issues that involve the rwo nations, a place to receive di reccion and insighc. "USO is a natural for this rype of work," he says, "and we just haven't been doing enough of it. We have a list of some 40 faculty members either doing research or having expertise related to border issues, and our aim is to increase chat num– ber and involve students as well. "Our initial focus will be on those areas USO is best positioned ro address - rule of law issues, cross-border health, community development and education - bur nothing is off the cable. I see the TBI having a profound and very positive inAuence in chis community for a long time to come." For information, log on to http:!! Distinguished Scholar Takes Portman Chair Father Berard Marthaler may be new ro USO, but he sees familiar faces all



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