Steve Sartori

International Connections

One of the main goals of the Office of Alumni Relations is to keep our alumni connected to SU. This is quite an ambitious goal, as we currently have more than 220,000 alumni around the world. Last June I had the opportunity to meet with alumni in London, Paris, and Geneva. I discovered that their spirit and dedication to the University truly transcends international borders. The alumni club that began in London a few years ago has flourished. We now have a club in Paris, as well as the beginnings of a Central Europe club, which will hold regional events in several countries throughout that area. I was truly inspired by the efforts of our alumni overseas to stay close to Syracuse University. Our commitment to reaching out to all alumni will continue—no matter where they reside.

We strive to communicate with our alumni—both at home and abroad—and will soon launch a new web site designed specifically with this in mind. We aspire to raise the bar in our online communications to help you, our valued alumni, find what you are looking for and to get the information you need. To assist us in this effort, please send us your current e-mail address. Visit our web site,, and click on Online Community to register or update your information. It is easy to do and will ensure that you get timely and pertinent news from your alma mater.

Alumni of Syracuse University share a bond composed of rich tradition and loyalty that few other schools can claim. With alumni living in more than 147 countries around the world, we know that communication is the key to keeping us together. We are proud of our alumni. Together, we can make a difference in the future of our great University.

Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88
Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations

Staying in Touch
If you want information on:
• Alumni events
• The SU Alumni Online Community
• The SU alumni club in your area
Visit the Office of Alumni Relations web site at and click on the appropriate link, or call 1-800-SUALUMS (782-5867)


Steve Sartori
up in lights
SU Show Goes
Up in Lights, Again

More than 25 former classmates returned to campus Reunion Weekend for Up in Lights, Again, a one-time revival of the popular student-written and -produced musical that debuted in 1954 at the Astor Theater in downtown Syracuse. In addition to Class of 1954 cast members celebrating their 50th reunion, other Lights alumni from across the country arrived ready to sing and dance their way down memory lane—including several returnees from the 2003 Reunion Weekend revival, White Bucks and Tales Revisited. “The original shows were such great fun,” says Joan Tesnow Litke ’54, G’65, who spent more than a year working with the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Office of Alumni Relations to organize this year’s production.

A 45-minute synopsized version of Up in Lights, the revival featured singing and dancing ensembles performing such numbers as “Stop, Look, and Love your Lady,” “Spaghetti with Betty,” and the renowned “Dingleman” song, as well as several solo performances. “The music in Lights was swingy, jazzy, and upbeat,” Litke says. The original show was directed by Jerry Leider ’53, who later became a producer and television and film executive in New York City and Hollywood. The script was written by Bill Dixon ’54 and Bill Levine ’54, and the original music and lyrics were written by Bill Angelos ’54 and Lan O’Kun ’54. O’Kun, who updated the show’s acts and music for the 2004 production, also served as master of ceremonies for the Reunion Weekend performance. He was joined by Anita Khanzadian Jones ’54, the show’s original choreographer, now an actress, director, and theater teacher. “Last year we tried to contact all the White Bucks and Lights cast members, but couldn't reach them all,” Litke says. “This year, we found more cast members who could return, so that was a nice surprise.”

Courtesy of SU Archieves
59 Orange
  The 1959 SU football team, led by coach Ben Schwartzwalder (front row, center), claimmed the national championship after defeating Texas in the Cotton Bowl (program above) to finish the season undefeated.

Remembering the '59 Orange

In the history of Syracuse Unviversity, 1959 will forever be remembered as the year the football team brought home the national championship after an undefeated season. “In 1959, Syracuse enjoyed its finest time on the gridiron, pulverizing its foes both offensively and defensively,” proclaims the 2004 Syracuse Football media guide.

But the team’s legacy is about more than the touchdowns, tackles, and rushes that allowed the Orange to dominate the field. “What made the team so great was the attitude of the coaches and the players, and our strong desire to win,” says former tackle Maury Youmans ’60. “We were a bunch of football players who—except for Ernie Davis [’62]—weren’t really stars when we came into college. But we came together that year and we got the job done.”

In 10 regular-season games, SU posted five shutouts and outscored its opponents, 390-59. The offense averaged 451 yards per game, while the defense held opponents to a total of only 193 yards rushing. As the number-one ranked team in the country since mid-season, SU was invited to the 1960 Cotton Bowl, where it defeated Texas, 23-14, to complete the season at 11-0 and claim the national title. ESPN football commentator Lee Corso, who was an assistant coach at Maryland in 1959 when the Orange beat the Terrapins, 29-0, once said: “It was an extremely well-coached football team, the best I’ve ever seen when it comes to total defense, running, toughness, and the ability to rush the passer. They had no weaknesses at all.”

More than four decades after that extraordinary season, Youmans says he still enjoys reminiscing over old times with former teammates. These reunions prompted Youmans and his brother, Gary, to write The Story of the 1959 Syracuse University National Championship Football Team (Campbell Road Press) in 2003. The book tells the tale of hard-nosed coach Ben Schwartzwalder, a former World War II paratrooper, and his players, including the “Sizable Seven,” the team’s offensive line. It also illustrates the alternately humorous and poignant moments that shaped the team’s triumphs, both on and off the field. “I got called into Ben’s office after a fight. Boy, was I nervous,” remembers quarterback Dick Easterly ’62. “Now he’s dead serious and he says, ‘We are going to be talking about maybe losing a scholarship here unless you answer the question right.’ And his question was, ‘Did you lick ’em?’ I told him I had won and he said, ‘Case dismissed.’ That was the end of it. That’s how Ben was.” For Youmans, such memories are an important part of the book. “I think what makes it so interesting is that it’s not just a football story, it’s a people story,” he says.

In the 45 years since, it is indeed the people who are remembered best—people like team captain Gerhard Schwedes ’60, who grew up in Germany during World War II and went on to an NFL career; and Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy, who tragically passed away at age 23 after battling leukemia. Before writing the book, Gary Youmans spent countless hours in the University’s archives doing research, while Maury interviewed former teammates, coaches, and friends of the team. “It occurred to me while listening to the hours of transcripts that the richness and the fullness of our lives is often enhanced by the stories we each have to tell and by the enthusiasm exhibited in sharing those events with others,” writes Gary in the book’s preface. “These stories that came from the people who were there in ’59 are delightful. The honesty, the genuine love, and respect each person has for one another comes through loud and clear.”

Courtesy of Cohagan & Company
Among the sights alumni visited were the Hong Kong harbor and the Temple of Heaven, a magnificient 15th-century complex of buildings and gardens in Beijing
Exploring China’s Treasures

FOR INFORMATION ON ALUMNI TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES, contact Tina Casella in the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-SUALUMS or

On his first day in Beijing, Dewey H. Kim ’61 enjoyed a 15-course meal fit for an emperor. In the Great Hall of the People—the meeting place for China’s governing body, the People’s Congress—Kim and other alumni and friends of Syracuse University feasted on an authentic imperial banquet lunch that included abalone, jellyfish salad, bamboo soup, squab, exotic fruit, and pastries bursting with pork and vegetables. The elaborate meal initiated a magical 16-day journey through China, sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association. “The lunch was absolutely superb, and the room was gorgeous,” Kim says.

In Beijing, where skyscrapers tower over historical hutongs—traditional Chinese neighborhoods—and lo-mein competes with Big Macs in a city straddling ancient foundations and 21st-century modernization, alumni received quick history lessons. They toured Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China, and the Forbidden City—with its lavish gardens, temples, and ceremonial halls. The journey continued in Xi’an, where alumni explored the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang, one of China’s foremost archeological treasures. Discovered in the 1970s, the 2,000-year-old tomb houses more than 6,000 life-size terra cotta warriors, said to protect China’s first emperor in the afterlife. For Doris Flood Ladd ’51, the tomb marked her favorite part of the trip. “It was truly the eighth wonder of the world,” Ladd says. “I’ve never seen anything so amazing.”

From the ancient tombs of Xi’an, alumni traveled through time to the modern technology of the Three Gorges Dam, as they embarked on a cruise down the Yangtze River aboard the M.S. Victoria. When completed, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, stretching nearly a mile across and towering 575 feet above the Yangtze. “It’s just mind-boggling,” Ladd says.

Alumni remained awestruck as they landed in the seaport city of Shanghai. “We arrived in the evening and just gasped when we saw it,” Ladd says. “Shanghai is like a glittering New York.” In the daylight, it was even more spectacular. “I didn’t think Shanghai would be as well-developed as it is. Hong Kong is an underdeveloped city compared to Shanghai,” says Kim, who has been to Hong Kong several times. Among the city’s gems were a spattering of street stalls offering such delicacies as fried scorpons, spiders, worms, weevils, and centipedes. Kim enjoyed the scorpions, served deep-fried on skewers. “It’s like eating a very crunchy shell,”
he explains.

Excursions to the Yuyuan Gardens, the Chinese Quarter historic district, and the renowned Shanghai Museum of Art punctuated the tour. “If you only had one trip to China, this would be the one to take,” Kim says. “You see some of the countryside, the big cities, and great treasures of antiquity. You get a good feel for how vast this land is.”

Join the Club We encourage you to get involved with your local alumni club. Clubs participate in a variety of activities, including game-watching events, networking opportunities, new student recruiting, and community service projects. Visit the Office of Alumni Relations web site at: The programs link on our home page will take you to the club pages. There you will find a complete listing of all our regional and specialty clubs, as well as the club contact's name, phone number, and e-mail address. For information on the club nearest you, contact the person listed or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-782-5867.
Nominate Communications Leaders

Steve Sartori

The Advisory Board of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications seeks nominations for 40 years of communications leadership.

This year the Newhouse School celebrates the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the iconic I.M. Pei building, cornerstone of the Newhouse Communications Complex. To cap off the anniversary year, the school’s advisory board will host a benefit gala on May 3, 2005, at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. The event will be co-chaired by SU Trustee Bob Miron ’59, chairman and CEO of Advance/Newhouse Communications, and Dick Parsons, chairman and CEO of Time Warner.

As part of the event, the school will recognize 40 alumni who have made significant contributions to the evolution of the communications industry and/or who have significantly advanced the Newhouse School’s reputation for excellence.

Please submit your nominations for “40 at 40” via the web at, or mail to “40 at 40,” Room 20, 215 University Place, Syracuse NY 13244. Nominations should include name, class, major, and a brief statement of qualifications. Nominees must be graduates of the Newhouse School or one of its predecessors (School of Journalism, etc.). Deadline for nominations is November 15.


Alumni Happenings


1. Courtney Bell ’04 (left) and Betsy Sherwood ’04, winners of the Alumni Association’s Create a Tradition Competition, fasten a ribbon to a tree in the Orange Grove. The tradition will officially begin in May 2005, when seniors will have the opportunity to place ribbons representing their wishes near the trees in the Orange Grove during Commencement week.

2. The Class of 1954 meets on the steps of Hendricks Chapel, Reunion Weekend ’04.

3. Alumni gather in front of the Hotel Tiffany in Geneva, Switzerland, where they met with Maxwell graduate students and University staff in June. A new club—the Central Europe/Alps Alumni Club—was launched and future events are being planned.

4. The Office of Alumni Relations and the Alumni Club of London hosted an event at the London School of Economics in June. The London Alumni Club is one of eight international SU alumni clubs/associations.

5. The Office of Alumni Relations hosted an alumni event at The American University of Paris in June. A new alumni club was started in Paris.

6. Martin J. Whitman ’49 and his wife Lois celebrate during Reunion ’04 at the annual Arents Award Dinner, where he received a George Arents Pioneer Medal for excellence in business. Other Arents award recipients were the Reverend Joseph C. Ehrmann Jr. ’73 (ministry); Kenneth R. Sparks ’56, G’61, G’64 (public service); Carole Wolfe Korngold ’57 (education); and Chancellor Emeritus Kenneth A. Shaw H’04 and Mary Ann Shaw H’04 (educational administration).

7. The Southern California Alumni Club held its 18th annual Distinguished Alumnus Award Luncheon in June at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. Pictured, left to right, are Jen Erzen ’97; Tim Mahar ’95, assistant dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA); VPA Dean Carole Brzozowski ’81; Gregg Doherty ’55; award recipient Rob Edwards ’85; Aaron Sorkin ’83; Suzanne Boyd ’82; Don Doerr ’85, G’88, assistant vice president of alumni relations; Wally Bobkiewicz G’89; and Holmes Osbourne ’98.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations
For more photos, go to

Steve Sartori

Just Choices

Judge Joanne Fogel Alper ’72, University Trustee and president of the Syracuse University Alumni Association, didn’t get a lot of guidance in choosing a college. “My parents had never gone to college, so I was sort of on my own,” she says. “I started at a small college, but it didn’t provide enough diversity in its student body or enough depth in its course offerings. I felt stifled.”

Alper transferred to Syracuse for the spring semester of her sophomore year and found a social and academic environment on the Hill that turned her college experience around. “I transferred mid-year, which can make it hard to meet people,” she says. “But the Hillel Society had Sunday suppers in the old Watson Hall dining room and I found a community there. The people made me feel like part of the University right away.” Alper served as vice president and then president of Hillel. Of the many activities she became involved in, she has special memories of hosting the speakers Hillel sponsored. “Yitzhak Rabin, who was then Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, came to talk to us,” she says. “I picked him up at the airport!”

All this didn’t slow Alper down in the classroom. With her sights set on a career in law, she majored in American studies. “It was interdisciplinary and I loved it,” she says. “I took courses in history, literature, political science, philosophy, and sociology. My advisor was a young professor named Michael Flusche [now SU’s associate vice chancellor]. I still have my senior thesis with his handwritten notes on it.”

A magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Alper earned a J.D. degree in 1975 from George Washington University and then joined an Arlington, Virginia, law practice that eventually became known as Cohen, Gettings, Alper, and Dunham. After 16 years as a distinguished specialist in civil litigation and family and matrimonial law, she was elevated to the bench on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and named its chief judge in 1996. She has been a judge of the 17th Circuit Court of Virginia since 1998.

Family has played a role in strengthening Alper’s many ties to the University. Her younger brother, Dr. Jeffrey Fogel ’76, followed her to Syracuse. Her son Michael ’99 and daughter Brooke ’04 are also SU graduates. “At a football game a few years ago, we were singing the alma mater and I looked around. There they both were, along with my daughter’s boyfriend, now her fiancé [Joshua Lipschitz ’99, G’01], and I just started tearing up.” Known for her fairness on the bench, Judge Alper apparently doesn’t mind showing a bit of bias when it comes to some matters.

Dynamic Duo


Renowned chef Emeril Lagasse is so impressed with the work of the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) that one night a year he closes his New Orleans restaurant to host a fund-raising dinner to support this innovative program that helps young children cope with trauma. VIP is the brainchild of Joy Osofsky ’66, G’67, G’69, a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, and public health at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC). She created the program in 1992 as a way to educate the police on how to deal with children exposed to violence. “I thought the best way to reach traumatized children earlier is work within a neighborhood and educate the police,” she says. “They were skeptical at first, but I just kept talking to them about effective ways they can intercede on behalf of children.”

Joy shares her passion for working with psychologically vulnerable people with her husband, Howard Osofsky ’55, G’74, a teacher, researcher, and expert in terrorism preparedness who holds the John and Kathleen Bricker Chair of Psychiatry at LSUHSC. As head of the center’s Department of Psychiatry, Howard has expanded services for low-income children, adolescents, and families who would otherwise be denied access to the mental health care system. He also partnered with local juvenile courts and the sheriff’s department to establish the Youth Leadership Program to provide educational enrichment, mentoring, and counseling for adolescents with severe educational, behavioral, and legal challenges. “Although our careers have followed different paths, Joy and I have a strong commitment to urban community issues,” Howard says. “We are especially interested in advocating for socially high-risk populations.”

When the Osofskys got married in the early ’60s, he had already earned a medical degree and was completing his residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, while she had just finished her first year at Simmons College. The couple moved to Syracuse, where Howard taught obstetrics and gynecology at Upstate Medical Center, and Joy earned bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in psychology at SU. Although Howard enjoyed teaching medicine, he had always been interested in working with people at high psychological risk, so he completed a doctorate in psychology at SU. “I had no idea how we were going to balance marriage and two careers,” Joy says. “But with family support and a few compromises along the way, it has worked out fine.”

After several career moves and training at the Topeka Institute of Psychoanalysis, the Osofskys settled in New Orleans, where they raised three children and continue to be involved in the community, work with private patients, and pursue demanding academic careers. They also travel throughout the nation and the world as expert consultants—Joy has worked with Russian orphanages to help them provide consistent care, and Howard develops training programs for first responders and community-based psychosocial preparedness programs related to complex emergencies. He also works with NATO and the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma to provide stress aid and mental health treatment for refugees and traumatized children and families. After 9/11, both Joy and Howard were called to New York City to help therapists cope with the emotional stress of counseling traumatized people in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks.

The Osofskys recognize that, unlike most of the high-risk people with whom they work, they were fortunate to have been part of a family that believed in them and encouraged their educational pursuits. To help young people starting out in life follow their dreams, they established the Howard and Joy Osofsky Endowed Scholarship for undergraduate students at Syracuse. “You realize you have a limited number of years to contribute to society,” Howard says. “How can you not want to give something back?”

Sporting Success

Steve Sartori

For Brandon Steiner ’81, the road to success began with his acceptance at Syracuse University. As a child growing up in a struggling, single-parent home in New York City, he learned the value of hard work, patience, and determination. Today, he is the chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing, a multimillion-dollar company that is a leading provider of sports marketing services and authentic memorabilia, and the author of The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons from the World of Sports (McGraw-Hill, 2003).

Steiner’s success story is even more poignant when you consider that his high school guidance counselor told him he wasn’t cut out for college and should consider trade school. But a door of opportunity opened at SU. “I remember going on my interview and saying, ‘If you accept me into this school, I will take advantage of every opportunity you offer me,’” he says. The University offered Steiner a financial scholarship, and he enrolled as an accounting major in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Steiner says that even with his drive to succeed, studying didn’t come easy. “I really struggled,” he says. “I fought my way through and did the best that I could. I knew I needed that degree.”

After graduation, Steiner went to work for the Hyatt Corp. and then for the Hard Rock Café in New York City, where he met many professional athletes. In 1984, he opened the Sporting Club, one of New York’s first sports bars. “It was a big break for me,” he says. Three years later, Steiner brought his love of sports and his acquaintances together in a new venture, Steiner Sports Marketing. He started the company with $4,000 and a vision of matching athletes with corporations.

Steiner lives in Scardale, New York, with his wife, Mara, and their two children. He is proud of how far he’s come, and grateful for every opportunity he was given—and those he made for himself. “It is a good life,” he says.

Her Bag Is Full

Jessica Alpert-Goldman ’96 has always wanted to live on her own terms. Many times, this meant standing out from everyone around her. As a child, she would decorate her hair with barrettes and wear a tutu to play soccer. As an SU student, she would embellish her otherwise ordinary clothes with ribbons and paint. Today, this originality has made her the successful businesswoman behind the World According to Jess accessories line (


Alpert-Goldman credits Syracuse University with opening her eyes to diversity, and says she quickly realized how different life on the Hill was from her small hometown in Massachusetts. She was exposed to people from different backgrounds with different passions, but realized how much she could relate to everyone she met. “I really learned the ways of the world at SU,” she says. After graduating from the College for Human Development with a degree in fashion design, Alpert-Goldman worked for 14 different designers in little more than five years. “You have to learn everything you can about the business you are in,” she says. “If I wasn’t learning, I was moving on to the next job.” Two years ago, she decided to pursue her childhood dream of designing her own handbag line. Today, her designs are sold in more than 500 stores across the United States, and in Japan, Canada, Australia, and London. Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Christina Aguilera, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Janet Jackson have even been spotted toting them around.

Alpert-Goldman attributes her handbags’ success to their eccentricity and function, and says each piece is inspired by something in her life. Her mom, an EKG technician at Mass General Hospital, inspired the “EKG Clutch,” a gingham purse with a sequined EKG line across the front, and the “Hey Baby Diaper Bag” features an actual sonogram of her cousin Isabella. The quirky designs help sell the bags, but their high-quality construction keeps customers coming back. Though she is pleased with her current success, Alpert-Goldman is determined to accomplish even more. With three accessory runway shows under her belt, she plans on starting her own clothing line in the near future. “I can’t believe I’m here,” she says. “It’s pretty amazing.”

A Voice for Immigrant Education


Sam Zamarripa G’78 knows the value of a good education. Once a vocational student with no intention of attending college, he now uses his position as Georgia’s first Hispanic state senator to push for educational rights for undocumented immigrants. Zamarripa believes his ethnic background allows him to appreciate the needs of the Hispanic and African American people he represents in the Atlanta area. “I understand the issue of educational rights and their public policy implications,” Zamarripa says. “I felt I could be a responsible leader in that area.”

Zamarripa became active in minority affairs while earning a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School, where he was one of several Hispanic students to be awarded a fellowship from the Ford Foundation. “It was an era when Maxwell was very aggressive in recruiting Hispanic students,” says Zamarripa, who studied public policy issues pertaining to mental health and mental retardation while working as a graduate assistant in the School of Education.

Following graduation, Zamarripa worked for five years as a planner for Georgia’s Department of Human Resources. “I was not impressed with the pace of government,” he says. “It was too slow for me. I needed more stimulation.” This prompted Zamarripa to “retire” from his state government job and pursue a career in investment banking. But he never shook the urge to return to public service. “I never lost that political appetite,” says Zamarripa, the founder and managing partner of Diaz-Verson Ventures, an investment banking service. “I’ve always found a way to accomplish my goals.”

Zamarripa returned to the political arena in 2002, when he was elected to his state senate seat. Since then, he has pushed for legislation that would give undocumented immigrants access to higher education. In Georgia, illegal immigrants and their children are ineligible for in-state tuition rates and scholarships. Federal law requires schools to provide undocumented immigrants an education through high school, but no law guarantees them access to college.

On a national level, Zamarripa is a board member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a civil rights organization that represents the U.S. Hispanic population. While he remains in tune with the needs of Georgia’s Hispanic population, Zamarripa continues to recognize the broader impact of his job—one that he does out of a personal desire to represent those who rarely get to speak out. “I didn’t get into politics because I needed to do it,” he says. “I do it purely for public service reasons. I hope to continue to remind America that it’s a country of immigrants, and to translate that into awareness.”

Slovak Treasures


During one of their earliest trips to Slovakia to visit their ancestral village, Helen Baine ’74 and her daughter, Helene Baine Cincebeaux ’59 relied on the kindness of strangers. They stayed with people they met and gathered mementos—primarily folk costumes—along the way. “We weren’t intentionally collecting anything. We were just interested, but it became a passion,” Baine says. “We took a piece from each village and, before we knew it, we had one of the largest private collections of Slovak folk dress in the world.” The collection, for which the pair was recognized by Slovak President Rudolph Schuster with a medal of honor, now includes more than 5,000 articles. Baine and Cincebeaux have staged cultural exhibitions in the United States and eight other countries, and have done ethnographic research everywhere from Lithuania to China. In addition, Cincebeaux has written extensively about Slovakian clothing and customs, and photographs of the artifacts have been published in several books, including their book, Treasures of Slovakia.

Mother and daughter share a fondness for SU as well. Cincebeaux studied journalism and home economics; her mother graduated years later with a degree in English. “I had not gone to college and wanted to experience it,” says Baine, who earned a bachelor’s degree over the course of 16 years, while working and raising a family. Cincebeaux met her husband Jon ’59 on the Hill, where she was a cheerleader and he was a three-time basketball letter winner. “We loved sitting on the Kissing Bench and seeing the roses in Thornden Park,” she says. “It was a special time, and I haven’t missed a single reunion.”

Baine and Cincebeaux have made more than 50 trips to Slovakia so far, with no end in sight. “People open their houses to us, feed us, tell us stories, and sing us songs,” Cincebeaux says. “Now we are helping them keep their cultural heritage alive. This is our way of paying them back.”

Coaching Against Violence


As coach of the Syracuse Vipers semi-professional football team, Jerome Hall ’86 teaches his players how to deal punishing hits to opponents. But off the field, he knows such violence can tear families apart. He talks to team members about such issues as healthy relationships, perceptions of what it means to be a man, and domestic violence, because he has witnessed how aggression on the field can translate to trouble in other sectors of men’s lives. He finds men are not trained to deal with aggression. “As a man, you are taught to be in control of everything in your life,” Hall says. “I find my guys want information about how to handle personal issues.”

Hall manages domestic abuse prevention efforts in his position as a counselor and social worker with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and coordinator of the Alternatives program at Vera House (a domestic violence shelter in Syracuse). “I see violent men who were never taught how to transfer or interpret their feelings across different aspects of life,” he says. His interest in domestic violence prevention and its relationship to aggressive sports began when he was a linebacker for the Orange in 1984 and 1985. As a student, he balanced the hard-hitting world of football with human development classes, summer work at youth centers, and an internship at a day care center. “Sports have done a lot for me,” Hall says, “but it’s the things sports don’t teach that we need to deal with. Life is not about being bigger, stronger, or faster, but rather about caring and having the ability to communicate.”

Growing up with four sisters taught Hall to respect women. Now married and with children of his own, he collaborates with his wife, Rita, to demonstrate the value of healthy relationships for their twin 15-year-old son and daughter, stressing the importance of open communication and respectful negotiating. “Our kids come to us all the time talking about what they see at school,” Hall says. “We want them to know they can talk freely with us. And when, or if, they find themselves in an unhealthy situation, they’ll have something positive to compare it to.”

Hall believes men’s futures are shaped at an early age by coaches, as well as by teachers, parents, and community members. That’s why he believes role-modeling respect is the most effective way to get the message across. “Men need to know that violence is not an option,” he says. “It’s about taking personal responsibility in your daily life.”

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