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Sanctae Crucis Award Recipients 2018

 Friday, September 21, 2018

Sanctae Crucis Award Recipients 2018


Augustine J. “Gus” Caffrey , Ph.D. ’73

Augustine "Gus" Caffrey, you are a world-renowned nuclear physicist, a pioneering researcher and a respected authority on gamma-ray and neutron spectroscopy. With unwavering determination over many years, you and your team developed a life-saving chemical analysis system that effectively sees through steel to identify super toxic or explosive materials. You are a loyal son of Holy Cross who, even from the great distance of time and geography, has honored, in memory and achievement, the professors on The Hill who opened your mind to the unlimited possibilities of physics and sparked your passion for discovery. As a man of science with a consuming interest in history, you stand tall as a testament to the great power, significant value and expansive sweep of a liberal arts education. 

You have focused much of your nearly four-decade career at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory on the nondestructive assessment of dangerous things that one would rather not open. Your signature invention is the Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy or the “PINS” system. PINS employs neutrons to probe and identify the contents of munitions or containers, including items filled with chemical warfare agents, e.g. sarin nerve gas, and high explosives, like TNT. 

You came to Holy Cross from Andover, Massachusetts, one of six children of the Honorable Andrew Caffrey ’41, chief judge of the US District Court in Boston, and Evelyn Caffrey, an electrical engineer at General Electric during World War II. Your father gave “firm direction” to you and your brothers, James ’73 (dec.) and Joseph ’81, about which college you three would attend. The Caffrey Crusaders also include your brother-in-law, David Boison ’74, sister-in-law Camilla Caffrey ’81, and nephew, Daniel Boison ’06. 

You learned from your parents’ example to work hard and independently. You learned the true value of teamwork during your military service as an infantryman in the U.S. Army, which took you away from The Hill for two years. It was your maternal grandfather, a steam boiler safety engineer, who sensed your interest in all things technical. He gave you a subscription to Popular Mechanics when you were only seven years old. One look at the magazine’s cover illustration in 1955, featuring the promise of flying automobiles by 1965, and you were hooked. Unfortunately, you are still waiting for your flying car.

You came to Holy Cross determined to be a physics major. Professors Edward F. Kennedy and Melvin C. Tews became lifelong role models for you. You have honored both men through your generosity in their names and your achievements. After graduation, you went on to earn a doctorate in physics from Johns Hopkins University. You went west to ply your trade at Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, where you and your wife, Adele, parents of David and Anna, still live today. 

You have been honored many times within and beyond Idaho National Laboratory for your research in both basic and applied physics. Your basic research includes breakthrough studies of muon-catalyzed fusion, and searches for rare nuclear double beta-decays—with half-lives greater than the estimated age of the universe--setting limits on the properties of that most elusive subatomic particle, the neutrino. In applied research, your development of PINS helped secure U.S. ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the international treaty that bans use and possession of chemical warfare agents.

You were recognized with a 1992 R&D 100 Award for inventing the PINS system. Your innovative work earned you the 2012 INL Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2014 INL Inventor of the Year Award, and promotion to INL Fellow in 2015. Your work is highly cited within the international physics community due to your expertise in nuclear physics and service as a peer reviewer, and your scientific publications top 100.

For your lifelong commitment to conducting research and development at its highest levels to reduce risk and save lives, for providing inspiration to our students seeking a worthy role to play in the world, and for heeding the Jesuit magus to “Be more,” the College of the Holy Cross presents you with the Sanctae Crucis Award.

The Honorable Richard J. Leon ’71

Richard “Dick” Leon, you have been described as “one of the most powerful men in Washington,” where you were appointed to the bench of the U.S. District Court on Valentine’s Day 2002.  Your Holy Cross classmate, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was standing by your side at the swearing-in ceremony.  On New Year’s Eve 2016, you assumed the title “senior judge.”  The holidays have been good for your career.  You are greatly admired as a no-nonsense jurist who speaks truth to power, possesses a brilliant legal mind and remains an independent and impartial jurist.  An expert on congressional inquiries, you are admired for your ability to display valor under political fire.  A true Holy Cross man for others, your distinguished career has been a powerful blend of private practice and public service for more than four decades.

You came to Holy Cross from South Natick, Massachusetts, the oldest son of a carpenter and the first in your family to go to college.  You attended Xavier High School in Concord with Rev. Michael McFarland, S.J., a former president of Holy Cross, and John Mahoney Jr., now chair of the College’s board of trustees.  During your four years on The Hill, you were fully engaged in a broad spectrum of campus and service activities, as well as serving as one of the varsity lacrosse team captains.

After graduating at the top of your class from Suffolk Law School in 1974, you were selected for a highly competitive judicial clerkship with both trial and appellate courts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  You were also selected for the U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program for judicial clerks and assigned to work in New York City.  At every turn, you have been recognized for your exceptional grasp of the law, extraordinary work ethic and tremendous potential.  By 1981, you had earned a master of laws degree from Harvard Law School and were teaching as a full-time professor of law at St. John’s University Law School.  In 1989, you went into private practice with the first of two prominent Washington law firms, where you made partner before you were tapped for the federal bench in 2001.  

As an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and in private practice, you handled a series of high-profile cases that, by 1987, resulted in your regular appearance on television during weeks of Congressional hearings.  You served as counsel to Congress in the investigations of three sitting U.S. presidents, which are remembered by their monikers:  Iran-Contra, October Surprise, and Whitewater.  

During the 16 years that you have served on the District Court, you have presided over some of the most complex, sensitive and historically significant cases filed in our federal court system.  Seven of your decisions have gone to the Supreme Court.  You served on a special three-judge court that issued an 1,800 page ruling, later upheld in part by the U.S. Supreme Court in what still stands as the longest opinion in the Supreme Court’s history.  In 2005, you were the first judge to rule on the Guantanamo detainees’ habeas petition cases.  In 2011 and 2012, you issued a series of historic rulings limiting the FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and the use of the painkiller in the death penalty “cocktail” used in three states.  In 2013, you were the first judge to rule on a constitutional challenge to the NSA’s bulk collection of meta-data from every cell phone user in the nation.  

You are also an adjunct law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and the George Washington University Law School. You have maintained strong and vital connections to your alma mater.  Your generosity of time, expertise and wise counsel has created an invaluable opportunity for our alumni, especially those still early in their legal careers.  Away from the bench, your interests are as eclectic as they are expansive.  You appreciate Beethoven, rock and roll and a good bowtie.  Above all, you prize time with family, including your wife, Christine, and your son, Nicholas. 

For your independent thinking and impartiality in your rulings in an increasingly divided world; for your tireless efforts to make a positive difference — one complex decision after another; and for the worthy example you provide to our students as a man of high purpose, unwavering courage and great generosity of spirit, the College of the Holy Cross presents you with the Sanctae Crucis Award.

Mary Beth Sheridan ’83

Mary Beth Sheridan, you have been a powerful voice for truth and justice for nearly three decades.  An award-winning journalist and Pulitzer Prize team finalist, you have traveled the world from Baghdad to Bogota to tell significant and compelling stories.  You have framed your reporting with courage, clarity and conscience.  You have been a fearless international correspondent and a peerless foreign editor at The Washington Post for nearly two decades.  A loyal daughter of Holy Cross, you live the Jesuit ideal of a woman for others whose deep faith and high purpose are revealed in your reverence for truth, advocacy for human rights and respect for the dignity of every person.  

You are well-known for your wide-angle vision, fluid writing and willingness to lead.  You have made a beeline to the world’s danger zones, been embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq and recounted difficult truths at every turn.  Your reporting from global hotspots brings light to dark places of human suffering.  You have given witness from the front lines to  the Ebola virus epidemic, the rise of the Islamic State, the global migration crisis, and the war and humanitarian disaster in South Sudan.  You co-authored a breaking news, front-page story about the release of seven American prisoners of war. Following the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, you filed stories from Baghdad — providing “a poignant slice of life about Iraqis beseeching U.S. Marines to restore electricity, help them find missing relatives and re-establish order.”  You have raised the bar for the next generation of truth-tellers as an extraordinary practitioner, a generous mentor and a courageous colleague. 

You climbed Linden Lane as an English major with thoughts of law school.  Reporting and editing for The Crusader opened your eyes and heart to journalism as another  worthy way to make a positive difference in the world.  You kick-started your career by heading as a freelancer to Spain, where you got a job filling in at the Associated Press in Madrid.  You spent the next decade as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.  Story by story, you built a rock-hard resume and an international reputation, ultimately reporting from nearly 50 countries, while based in Rome, Bogota and Mexico City.  You fine-tuned your craft at Columbia University when you were named a Knight-Bagehot Fellow for the 1992-93 academic year.  You were fluent in Spanish and focused on Latin America when The Washington Post hired you in 2001.  Your successive beats included immigration, homeland security and diplomacy, and you completed dozens of short-term assignments in countries including Venezuela, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Egypt.

The outsized body of impeccably researched reporting you have amassed, often cited in others’ books and articles, has garnered many awards.  The Overseas Press Club recognized your Latin America coverage with the 1998 Robert Spiers Benjamin Award. You were a member of the Washington Post team named a finalist for a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for an “exhaustive and illuminating” post-9/11 exploration of the government's war on terrorism and the tension between national security and individual liberty.  

You were named a 2013 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where you studied international politics and economics.  You focused on countries struggling to transition from authoritarian to democratic systems, particularly in Latin America.  Since returning to the Post in 2013 to join its foreign desk, you have distinguished yourself as a thoughtful, perceptive and dedicated leader.  You led the newspaper’s coverage of Asia and eventually the Middle East.  Named deputy foreign editor in 2015, you managed most of the newspaper’s coverage of Africa and Latin America.  You received high praise for spurring “some of the Post’s finest narrative storytelling.” You will return to reporting later this year as a Mexico and Central America correspondent, based in Mexico City.

For your relentless reporting on human rights abuses in dark and dangerous places around the globe; for shining a light on devastating health crises and heartbreaking humanitarian issues; and for serving as a beacon and a mentor for the next generation of truth tellers in news media, the College of the Holy Cross presents you with the Sanctae Crucis Award.

Barbara Tylenda, Ph.D. ’79

Barbara Tylenda, you have been an unequalled advocate, exceptional practitioner, outstanding educator and brilliant researcher in support of the most vulnerable among us — children and adolescents with intellectual or developmental disabilities.  You offer your young clients and their families a powerful voice, a strong vote of confidence and a vision for a new way forward.  You lead on many fronts to change public perceptions, increase understanding and improve opportunities for children with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disorders.  With great compassion, unending patience and expert knowledge and insight into human behavior, you look beyond the acting out to fully explore and actively listen to what the child in front of you is thinking, feeling and experiencing.  

You have been a force for change throughout your distinguished career.  You have been focused on reshaping the understanding of your peers and your students regarding the possible long-term repercussions of assessment and testing.  The resultant reports and records that follow young clients can provide or deny opportunities if not written with care and insight.  In your reports, you take the time to present the wholeness of each child within his or her story.  You have been a licensed, practicing clinical child psychologist for more than three decades.  You are chief psychologist and associate unit chief to the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Rhode Island’s Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital, the nation’s first children’s psychiatric hospital.  Bradley is also a teaching hospital of Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, where you are a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior.  You are dedicated to teaching and training the next generation of clinical child psychologists and child psychiatrists at the residency and postdoctoral fellowship levels to be outstanding clinicians and fierce champions for children seeking help. 

A New Jersey native, you arrived at Holy Cross planning to double major in psychology and fine arts.  Seeking opportunities to learn in real time beyond the classroom, you turned to the Worcester Juvenile Court.  Ultimately you completed a two-year internship under its auspices, specializing in children in need of services cases.  You knew that in helping children that you had found your life’s work.  The late Dr. Ogretta McNeil, chair of the Holy Cross psychology department, became your adviser and principal mentor throughout your adult life.  Dr. McNeil encouraged you to specialize in clinical child psychology as a career.  It is her tremendous example that you have tried to emulate as a mentor to your own students for the past 32 years. 

The signature event of your four years on The Hill was being named a Fenwick Scholar, one of the highest academic honors the College bestows on a rising senior.  You immersed yourself in Jungian theory, travelling to the Jung Institute in Switzerland to study, an opportunity available to very few undergraduate students.  A true Holy Cross woman for others, you have reached back consistently to meet and generously support Fenwick Scholars who followed in your footsteps.  After graduation, you went on to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in clinical child psychology at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.  You returned to New England to complete your clinical psychology residency and a postdoctoral fellowship through the Brown University department of psychiatry and human behavior.
You are a respected leader in your field.  You serve as a national board examiner for Specialty Certification in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology through the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.  Brown University’s Alpert Medical School has honored your dedication to preparing the next generation of clinicians with a 2004 Teaching Recognition Award, and with 2008 and 2018 Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards, among other honors.  

For your exceptional leadership, tireless advocacy and significant research in support of increasing public understanding of children and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities; for your tremendous efforts to remove barriers to intervention, diagnosis and treatment for the whole child; and for the great kindness, unending patience and active listening you bring to your life’s work as a compassionate clinical psychologist helping children in crisis find a way forward to reach their God-given potential, the College of the Holy Cross presents you with the Sanctae Crucis Award. 

Arthur E. Weyman, M.D. ’62

Arthur “Ned” Weyman, you take everything to heart — and with good reason.  A half-century ago, you were the visionary young physician who saw the life-saving potential of echocardiography as a noninvasive diagnostic tool for detecting heart disease.  As a passionate healer, pioneering researcher, master teacher, exceptional mentor and tremendous role model, you helped to build infrastructure, a team and acceptance in the burgeoning application of echocardiography, the use of ultrasound technology to image the heart and cardiovascular system.  You have transformed medical education, patient treatment and cardiac outcomes.  

Your revolutionary work in the diagnosis of cardiac disease was vital to the acceptance of echocardiography as the preferred low-risk technique for a noninvasive diagnosis of heart disease.  Your development of new methods and research models led the way for echocardiography to move from its initial descriptive uses to become a quantitative physiologic tool and the preferred technique for cardiac imaging. Your early work with the device led to original descriptions of valvular, ischemic and congenital heart disease, and you are recognized worldwide as a pre-eminent leader in echocardiography today.   As a result of your research, writing, textbooks, teaching and speaking — you presented upwards of 20 lectures annually over two decades — echocardiography devices are in use around the world and millions of lives have been saved. You have authored more than 300 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, and you wrote a textbook that has become the gold standard resource in echocardiography.  The depth and breadth of your research and the success of your funding efforts are legendary.  

After graduation, you left The Hill to earn your medical degree at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.  You interned at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in New York City before putting your residency on hold to serve your country as a Marine squadron and air group flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1971.  You returned to St. Vincent’s to complete your rotation as a chief medical resident and later left for the Midwest when you were awarded a research fellowship in cardiology at Indiana University Medical Center.  There you were first introduced to the wonders of echocardiography.  In the several years that followed, you turned down other job offers to become an associate professor of medicine at Indiana.  In 1980, you were named director of the cardiac ultrasound laboratory at Mass General Hospital and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.  In 1995, you were promoted to full professor, and served as chief of cardiology at Mass General from 1994 to 1996.  

You and your work have been recognized by your peers with a litany of awards and honors.  You received a 2001 American College of Cardiology Gifted Teacher Award.  The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey presented you with its 2004  Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of your tremendous contributions to the advancement of the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The American Society of Echocardiography honored your record of teaching and mentorship by naming it’s annual Arthur E. Weyman Young Investigator’s Award Competition in your honor. You were one of the first incorporators of the American Society of Echocardiography and served as its president. You were also founder and first president of the National Board of Echocardiography.

“True family man, devoted husband of Jean and loving father of three daughters and a son” are descriptors included among the high praise you have received from your peers. We would add “stellar role model” for today’s Holy Cross students.  Throughout your life and career, you have embraced the College’s Jesuit mission to do your best at whatever worthy role you play in the world — and then do more. 

For your pioneering research and advocacy for a low-risk noninvasive alternative for detecting and diagnosing cardiac disease; for the now generations of medical students and young scientists you have taught, trained and mentored, who will take forward the knowledge, vision and values you have imparted to transform medical education and patient care; and for all patients diagnosed with heart disease who have benefited in significant ways from your innovative approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating heart disease, the College of the Holy Cross presents you with the Sanctae Crucis Award.