Professor Presents Inaugural Sister Mary Ellen Murphy Faculty Scholarship Award Lecture

Dennis Barone, Ph.D., professor of English and American Studies, presented the inaugural Sister Mary Ellen Murphy Faculty Scholarship Award Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 at the University of Saint Joseph.

In his lecture, entitled “Praying Toward Acceptance: Aspects of African, Anglo, and Italian American Cooperation,” Dr. Barone described the circumstances of the Hartford Italian Baptist Church and Shiloh Baptist Church, an African American congregation, during the early 20thcentury. He not only explored the interplay between the two churches and their functioning within one city during a period of immigration and migration, but also highlighted the relevance of 1917 to 2017.

“There just has to be more ways to lift oneself up than to keep one’s neighbor down,” Dr. Barone concluded in his presentation. “Let us start building. Let us commit ourselves to the common good.”

Dr. Barone, a professor at USJ since 1986, was selected to receive this award for the significant contributions he has made to his field. While teaching, Dr. Barone has written, edited, and contributed to a half dozen scholarly books and has published numerous scholarly articles. In addition, he has authored more than a dozen books of original prose and poetry, edited three others, and contributed to several other books and anthologies. Over the past two years, Dr. Barone published three books: “Sound/Hammer,” a mixed-genre collection of original poems and short stories; “Beyond Memory: Italian Protestants in Italy and America,” a meticulously-researched study that analyzes immigration through the lens of ethnic and religious assimilation and differentiation; and “Second Thoughts,” a book of lyric essays and prose poems.

The faculty scholarship award, named for Mary Ellen Murphy, RSM, ’50, H’12, Ph.D., honors a faculty member with a record of exceptional research and creative work. Sister Mary Ellen, a professor of Chemistry and a trustee of the University, held two patents, authored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, and presented her work nationally and internationally. She was also one of the first women to analyze the moon rocks when the Apollo 11 mission concluded in 1969. In addition, she served as a consultant for NASA and on NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous team.