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ProfNet Experts Available on Pope Benedict's Resignation, Drone Strikes, Investor Visas, More

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:45 PM


Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive updates by email, drop us a note at profnet@profnet.com with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition.

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EXPERT ALERTS

  • U.S. Postal Service's Decision to End Saturday Mail Service
  • Why Drone Strikes Remain the Best Option in Pakistan
  • Axed Worker Takes Keys to Twitter Account
  • Interest Grows in 'Investor Visas'

EXPERT ROUNDUPS

  • Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation
  • Credit Card Surcharges

MEDIA JOBS

  • Corporate Journalist – News Link (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Economics Writer – Federal Reserve Bank or Richmond (Richmond, Va.)
  • Assistant Business Editor – OC Register (Orange County, Calif.)

OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

  • Tips for Beating Blog Burnout
  • Grammar Hammer: The Premier Premiere?
  • How Twitter's Vine App Will Impact Journalists

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EXPERT ALERTS:

U.S. Postal Service's Decision to End Saturday Mail Service
Robert Atkinson
President
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
"While this decision is a step in the right direction, what we really need is a fundamentally new postal model. The USPS should concentrate on its true competitive advantage -- last mile mail delivery -- and open up all other parts of the system to true and fair competition."
Based in Washington, D.C., Atkinson is the author of numerous reports and articles on innovation, including, "Stick to the Mail: Postal Reform Means Radical Cost Cutting, Not 'Product Innovation.'"
ProfNet Profile: http://www.profnetconnect.com/robatkinson
Website: http://www.itif.org
Media Contact: William Dube, wdube@itif.org

Why Drone Strikes Remain the Best Option in Pakistan
Michael W. Lewis
Professor of Law
Ohio Northern University
Lewis, who flew F-14s for the U.S. Navy and graduated from the Navy's TOPGUN training school, wrote in a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times: "President Obama's second term begins amid intense criticism of the drone strikes being conducted by the United States in Pakistan. Much of this criticism is based on claims that drones are doing more harm than good… After examining the alternatives, it is clear that drones remain the best option available to minimize the negative effects of the conflict on civilians while continuing to disrupt the Taliban and deny it control of territory in the tribal areas." (See link: http://tinyurl.com/ckv4ohf)
Lewis is coauthor of the book, "The War on Terror and the Laws of War: A Military Perspective" and "Drones and the Boundaries of the Battlefield."
Bio: http://law.onu.edu/faculty_staff/faculty_staff_profiles/michael_w_lewis
Website: http://onu.edu/
Media Contact: Mary A. Wilkin, m-wilkin@onu.edu

Axed Worker Takes Keys to Twitter Account
Michael McCabe
Employment Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas
"A United Kingdom-based entertainment retailer suffered international public relations embarrassment when it laid off dozens of employees, including the sole worker with access to the company's Twitter account. The fired employee proceeded to post a string of messages detailing how the company was discharging its workers. Terminating employees is never an easy task. It can be stressful for everyone involved, and companies need to think through all of the possible outcomes. Companies should make sure they're communicating a consistent message during downsizing, and today that includes making sure social media channels are not neglected in the communication plan."
News Contact: Robert Tharp, robert@androvett.com

Interest Grows in 'Investor Visas'
Marc Klein
Attorney
Thompson & Knight is Dallas
"While the debate over immigration continues, a 20-year-old program designed to attract specific immigration is seeing increased growth as well. Last year, the U.S. government granted lawful permanent resident status to more than 7,000 wealthy foreign investors through EB-5 visas, nearly twice the number issued in 2011, with more than 70 percent of EB-5 visas issued to investors from mainland China, with substantial investment occurring in new or existing real estate developments. A foreign national can secure a conditional resident visa after a 12- to 18-month process, as long as several conditions are met, including a minimum $500,000 business investment that produces at least 10 jobs. As personal wealth increases in other countries, I'm seeing the EB-5 program attracting individuals who want to leave those regimes for the U.S., even if they face an increased tax burden."
News Contact: Barry Pound, barry@androvett.com

EXPERT ROUNDUP: Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation

Following are experts who can discuss Pope Benedict DVI's resignation:

Mark Chopko
Chair, Nonprofit and Religious Organizations Practice
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young
"Pope Benedict was instrumental in addressing the way that the Church responded to claims of sexual abuse and gave a great witness by personally meeting with victims," says Chopko, a prominent religious organizations attorney with the nonprofit and religious organizations practice group of the law firm Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young. He has more than 20 years of experience serving as the principal legal officer to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), an organization that provides a framework by which the Catholic Bishops of the United States address important issues of national policy and matters affecting church life. He was the public contact for the USCCB on all legal matters, including church-state, Supreme Court cases, bankruptcy, complex litigation and bioethics. He has participated in more than 30 Supreme Court cases as counsel for the Catholic Bishops as well as other religious groups, in friend-of-the-court briefs. In addition to his practice, Chopko is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, where he teaches a seminar on church-state law. He has lectured widely in the United States and in Europe on liability trends, church-state relations, legal ethics for church lawyers, assisted suicide and a variety of other topics, at conferences hosted by bar associations, colleges and universities, lawyer guilds and religious organizations. He is also the published author of more than 40 articles on topics including church-state affairs, education, bioethics and liability issues.
Bio: http://www.stradley.com/bios.php?action=view&id=191
Media Contact: Jennifer L. Becker, jbecker@stradley.com

Michele Dillon
Professor of Sociology
University of New Hampshire
Dillon, a scholar of Catholicism, is available to discuss Pope Benedict XVI's legacy, how he was thought of by the laity, Benedict's decision to resign, and key issues facing the Roman Catholic Church and the next pope: "This is highly unexpected news, although given Pope Benedict's age and his deteriorating health, it strikes me as a very moral, courageous, selfless, and responsible act on his part. The church and Catholics around the world are going through a lot of changes and challenges, and its leader really needs to be in the whole of his health. Pope John Paul II was admired by many for his tenaciousness in the face of illness, but given the extensive leadership duties of the pope and the mental and physical energy necessary, it makes a great deal of sense for Pope Benedict to resign."
Other than for his resignation, Pope Benedict will be remembered primarily for his intellectualism and his concern for the integrity of Catholic moral teaching, according to Dillon: "As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for 24 years prior to being elected pope, Pope Benedict was responsible for articulating and enforcing official church teaching on highly contested issues, including homosexuality and women's ordination. As pope, he emphasized time and again the threat against the church and faith in general posed by the forces of secularism, especially in Europe where he witnessed historically Catholic countries embracing legislation extending on divorce, abortion, and gay rights. But he also spoke out against economic inequality and emphasized the responsibility of highly developed countries toward disadvantaged economies and societies."
Media Contact: Lori Wright, lori.wright@unh.edu

Andrew Chesnut, Ph.D.
Religious Studies Professor
Virginia Commonwealth University
"There is a good chance the Pope's successor will be from Latin America, Africa or Italy. There is a compelling argument for a Latin American or African pope, with two-thirds of the world's Catholics in the global south, and almost half in Latin America. That would be a smart choice for the future of the church. However, Italians have missed the papacy, with the last two popes being non-Italians, so some could fight for an Italian candidate." Chesnut, the Bishop Walter Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies and professor of religious studies in VCU's School of World Studies, can discuss Pope Benedict's resignation and the future of the Roman Catholic Church. Chesnut is an internationally recognized expert on Catholic topics and is frequently interviewed by national and international media on Latin American religious history.
Website: http://www.news.vcu.edu
Media Contact: Cassie Williams Jones, cwjones@vcu.edu

Gabriele Boccaccini
Professor of Near Eastern Studies
University of Michigan
Boccaccini says the pope's resignation is not totally unique: "Benedict XVI is the seventh pope to resign, and his resignation in itself does not imply any major theological change in the understanding of the role of the papacy. Benedict XVI's resignation highlights the incompatibility between the growing political role attributed to the pope in contemporary times (which would require young and energetic leaders and shorter periods of rule) and his more traditional role as representative for life of the Catholic Church. In today's world, it is impossible to have younger popes and shorter terms without some mechanisms of resignation."
Website: http://www.umich.edu/news
Media Contact: Jared Wadley, jwadley@umich.edu

Brian Porter-Sauces
Professor of History
University of Michigan
"Because this is so incredibly unusual, it is hard to know for sure how events will proceed over the coming weeks. I expect that the selection of a new pope will come more quickly than usual, because the process can move forward without the usual period of mourning over the death of the previous pope. In many ways, the selection of a pope is like any leadership struggle, but in other ways it is quite distinctive. There will be backstage lobbying, various alliances will be formed and broken, and supporters of the leading candidates will try to cajole and persuade the cardinals. But what makes the process unique is the fact that the participants sincerely believe that God is working through them during this moment of choice. That places significant constraints on what they can and cannot say, and it forces partisanship to be framed within the rhetoric of faith."
Website: http://www.umich.edu/news
Media Contact: Jared Wadley, jwadley@umich.edu

Justin Catanoso
Director of the Journalism Program
Wake Forest University
On Pope Benedict's resignation: "The pope's resignation is unprecedented, historical, and very, very practical. It is a stark recognition that the papacy really is a job, a very difficult and demanding job. In a sense, this move demystifies the role of pope somewhat. Pope John Paul II chose the opposite path -- to suffer, wither and die in full public view, thus, as commentators said at the time, demonstrating his staunch belief in the value of all human life."
On Pope Benedict's handling of sex abuse scandal: "On this topic, the overall church hierarchy is generally viewed negatively in its response, and there are ongoing struggles. But Benedict very clearly and very movingly apologized repeatedly for these abuses during his visit to the U.S. -- Washington and Boston -- and met with victims to apologize personally. It became the defining memory of his U.S. visit, and it seems to be largely overlooked at the moment."
Catanoso is the former executive editor of the Triad Business Journal and author of a book, "My Cousin the Saint," about his cousin, one of the last saints canonized by Pope John Paul II before his death. His book deals with saint-making, Catholicism, miracles and finding his family in Italy. It's a testament about being Catholic in the 21st century.
Media Contact: Stephanie Skordas, Skordas@wfu.edu

Dr. Nick Cafardi
Professor and Dean Emeritus of Law
Duquesne University
"The considerations that will be paramount in selecting a new pope are which candidate is able to maintain fidelity with the church's teachings and present them effectively to the modern world; which candidate can handle the world stage that the papacy now functions on; and which candidate can manage the bureaucracy of the Roman Curia. The challenges that await the pope are many, as you would expect in a worldwide church of over 1.1 billion members. He must create unity out of diversity."
Cafardi is widely interviewed regarding the intersection of faith and politics. One of the foremost lay canon lawyers in the nation, he has represented dioceses (Pittsburgh), archdioceses and religious orders across the nation. He holds a doctor of canon law from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, and is a former member of the board of governors of the Canon Law Society of America. An original member of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth, Cafardi served as that board's chair from 2004-2005. He is also a co-author of the National Review Board's "Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States." His articles have appeared in America, Commonweal and the National Catholic Reporter. His most recent work, "Voting and Holiness," a collection of essays by Catholic scholars on Catholic participation in political life, was published by Paulist Press. In addition, Cafardi co-authored -- with Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit – "Church Property, Church Finances and Church Related Corporations," and is the author of "Before Dallas," a history of the child sexual abuse crisis in the American church. Cafardi, who also speaks Italian fluently, has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, the Associated Press, the Catholic News Agency, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post, among others.
Media Contact: Rose Ravasio, ravasio@duq.edu

Miguel Diaz
Retired U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
University Professor of Faith and Culture
University of Dayton
"In making this decision, the Holy Father shows us his awareness of the grace of living the transcendence of human life while accepting its limitations. I feel personally happy for the Holy Father, who, like me, is a teacher, scholar and an intellectual at heart. May he know the blessing of physical rest and Sabbath prayer." Diaz served as United States Ambassador to the Holy See from 2009-2012. A prominent Catholic theologian, Diaz was the first Hispanic to represent the United States at the Vatican and joined the University of Dayton faculty last year.
Website: http://tinyurl.com/auhz8hn
Media Contact: Shawn Robinson, srobinson@udayton.edu, or Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

Daniel Thompson
Religious Studies Professor, Chair
University of Dayton
"The legacy of Benedict XVI will be mixed. I have seen that, like his predecessor's, Benedict's project of conservative reform has attracted many young people toward a renewed sense of their Catholic identity. Yet, for every student so attracted by this vision, I find four or five who have little use for a Catholicism that seems focused in this country on opposing same-sex marriage or contraception to the apparent exclusion of all else. They do not find in his project any plausible way of life in response to their pressing concerns and often unspoken hopes."
Website: http://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/religiousstudies/thompson_daniel.php
Media Contact: Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

Sister Angela Ann Zukowski
Director, Institute for Pastoral Initiatives
University of Dayton
"Pope Benedict XVI's resignation has set the stage for a new perspective for contemplating roles within the church. I believe this may be one of his most significant contributions to the Catholic Church -- not just a new perspective on papal leadership but something about the election of future cardinals, as well." For more than 40 years, Zukowski has served the church at the Vatican and around the world as an advocate for global communication. She was a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Vatican) 1994-2002 and received the "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" Medal from Pope John Paul II in Rome in 2001.
Website: http://udayton.edu/artssciences/ipi/index.php#4
Media Contact: Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

Dennis Doyle
Religious Studies Professor
University of Dayton
"There has been a kind of long-standing cultural expectation the pope should and will remain pope until he dies, so there is legitimately an element of shock at this news. But there are several reasons why Pope Benedict's retirement should not be completely shocking: First, the 1983 revision of Canon Law makes explicit provisions for a pope to be able to retire. Second, Pope Benedict is known for wanting the papacy to be somewhat more functional and relatively less iconic and charismatic. Third, it has seemed for a few years now the pope has not been the one completely in charge. When he says that his strength is failing him, he is telling the truth." Doyle is an expert in Vatican II, Catholic theology and the Catholic Church and author of The Church Emerging from Vatican II. He is currently teaching at the University of Augsburg, Germany, and is available for Skype interviews.
Website: http://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/religiousstudies/doyle_dennis.php
Media Contact: Cilla Shindell, shindell@udayton.edu, or Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

Vincent J. Miller
Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture
University of Dayton
"Pope Benedict XVI's statement is every bit as striking as his resignation itself. It deserves attention before talk turns to succession. This is not simply a retirement from the hectic pace of public office. Benedict emphasizes the humanity of the papacy and the demands of history. He humbly admits that he no longer possesses the mental and physical strength to lead the church as it faces 'rapid changes' and is 'shaken' by deep questions concerning the 'life of faith.' Always the theologian, Benedict is carefully refining the definition of the papacy even as he leaves it." Miller is an expert on religion and politics, religion and consumer culture, the U.S. Catholic church's involvement in politics and public policy, social justice and public policy, and the moral consequences of budgetary policies.
Website: http://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/religiousstudies/miller_vincent.php
Media Contact: Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

Sandra Yocum
Religious Studies Professor
University of Dayton
"Benedict has shown a great deal of courage in resigning. He has recognized his limits and accepted them, and this recognition has come, no doubt, with 'prayer and suffering.' He has shown a genuine humility in letting go of his office to allow someone physically more capable to take on the many demands of the contemporary papacy. In this age of longer life spans for those of us with access to medical care, he is a witness to letting go and accepting the limitations that come with advanced age." Yocum, president of the College Theology Society, is a well-known writer and lecturer nationally on U.S. Catholic life and thought. Her research interests include U.S. Catholic history and women in the Church. She's an associate professor of religious studies and former chair of the department.
Website: http://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/religiousstudies/yocum_sandra.php
Media Contact: Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

Joseph Valenzano
Communication Professor
University of Dayton
"U.S. media markets and news programs are already viewing this decision and the consequent impending meeting of the conclave through the lens of American politics and culture, despite the fact these practices are not in place for the Vatican. News reporters and hosts talk about who would be a favorite, and who are the 'candidates' for the next pope, but there is actually no public campaign, and often the person entering the conclave as the perceived frontrunner leaves as he entered -- not as pope." Valenzano's research interests include rhetoric and public communication, political communication, religious communication and culture, and communication education. He has written about Pope John Paul II's death as a final homily and Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Turkey. He has a Ph.D. from Georgia State University in public communication. He teaches a course called, "Priests, Preachers and Politics: Religious Communication."
Website: http://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/communication/valenzano_joseph.php
Media Contact: Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

William Portier
Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology
University of Dayton
"It is clear in making this announcement Pope Benedict XVI is attending to both the past and the future. First, he is careful to make sure that everyone knows his resignation is made freely in accordance with church law and that it is his certain intention to resign on a specific date and at a specific time so that there is no question the See of Rome will be vacant. There can be no repeat of the Great Western Schism when as many as three men claimed to be pope at the same time. Looking to the future, some theologians have lamented that the church had no explicit constitutional provision for a peaceful transition of office should the pope become unable to fulfill his duties due to illness or old age. Benedict's decision will have increasing significance in the future as medicine enhances human longevity and his successors with an alternative to the precedent set by Pope John Paul II, whose own conscience did not permit him to resign the office to which he had been called by God." Portier is an expert on Catholic theology, U.S. Catholic history and Catholic higher education. He has written or edited several books, and contributed nearly 100 articles and reviews. He has been frequently quoted and interviewed by the national press on the U.S. Catholic church, evangelical Catholicism, church culture and young Catholics.
Website: http://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/religiousstudies/portier_william.php
Media Contact: Cameron Fullam, fullam@udayton.edu

David Perry
Associate Professor of History, Coordinator of Catholic Studies
Dominican University, River Forest, Ill.
Perry, an expert on Medieval history and religion, is available to discuss Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation. "When Pope Benedict XVI announced he was retiring, the first question for many was, 'Can a pope retire? Can he even do that?' Medieval canon law tells us that yes, he can. But medieval history also tells us why so few popes have done so and that each retirement has had major consequences for the Church and the legacy of the outgoing pontiff." Perry has researched and written extensively on both historical and contemporary issues for popular and academic publications.
ProfNet Profile: http://profnetconnect.com/david_perry
Media Contact: Dan Armstrong, darmstrong@dom.edu

Marie A. Conn, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Chestnut Hill College
"There is no escaping the comparison of Pope Benedict with Pope John Paul II, whose decision was not to abdicate, a decision he no doubt made after his own period of prayer and discernment, and one that expressed his belief that remaining in the papal role was the best way for him to serve the people of God. Pope Benedict's decision strikes me as very loving, and one quite in keeping with the reality that people today simply live longer and so staying in any position for a lifetime is neither feasible nor advisable in many instances. Personally, I also think his decision, which strikes me as selfless, could assure those who revere him that acknowledging the challenges that aging brings on are quite natural, and, like all of life, are gifts from a loving Creator. His decision, finally, shows great respect for the office from which he is stepping down. Catholics believe in the Communion of Saints and the Body of Christ, beliefs that tell us that every one of us has a role to play in the life of the church. Pope Benedict is laying aside the very public papal role and entering into a quieter ministry marked by prayer and reflection, but a ministry that he also puts at the service of the universal church."
Conn received her doctorate in theology from the University of Notre Dame.  Her research interests include the "underside" (women's history) of Christianity, bereavement, social justice issues, and biomedical ethical issues. Her books include "Noble Daughters: Unheralded Women in Western Christianity, 13th to 18th Centuries" (Greenwood Press, 2000), "C. S. Lewis and Human Suffering: Light among the Shadows" (Paulist Press, 2008), and two previous books of essays co-edited with Therese McGuire for University Press of America.
Website: http://www.chc.edu
Media Contact: Lisa Mixon, mixonl@chc.edu

Francesco Cesareo
President
Assumption College, Worcester, Mass.
Cesareo specializes in and has been published on the Renaissance papacy and Catholic Church history. He is a frequent commentator for the media on issues regarding the Catholic Church and the papacy, and holds a Ph.D. in late Medieval/early modern European history from Fordham University. He makes these points about Pope Benedict's resignation: 1) While this is unprecedented in modern times, this is not the first time in Church history that this has happened. In his book "Light of the World," the Pope has said that at any point when the Pope can no longer carry the obligations of the office, he has a right and an obligation to resign. Pope Benedict has put the good of the Church ahead of his position. In Pope John Paul II's case, John Paul saw his suffering as teaching. Pope Benedict sees the needs of the Church as primary. 2) We should not expect to see a dramatic shift in the positions of the Catholic Church. All of the cardinals in the College of Cardinals were appointed by John Paul II or Benedict. They will not choose someone who would dramatically change the direction of the Church or repudiate Pope Benedict's policies. 3) We should expect this process to move quickly. After a pope dies, there are nine days of formal mourning. In this case, I would expect the Cardinals to begin their Conclave early in March, since Pope Benedicts resignation is effective Feb. 28.
Website: http://www.assumption.edu
Media Contact: Lorraine U. Martinelle, lu.martinelle@assumption.edu

Timothy Thibodeau, Ph.D.
Professor of History
Nazareth College, Rochester, N.Y.
Dr. Thibodeau has been interviewed by dozens of radio and television stations across the country and worldwide on the death of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI, including live commentary for ABC News in New York shortly after the pope's death. Other expertise includes: Medieval history and manuscripts, Catholic Church (church and state, church and civil society, church and education, religious life and orders, demise of church as institution, sex abuse scandals in the church and impact of the church on the presidential campaign). Interesting Note: Dr. Thibodeau wanted to be priest as a teenager but, in his 20s, switched to academia. He has published extensively on the history, theology and liturgy of the Church in the Middle Ages, including a chapter on medieval worship titled, 'Western Christendom,' in the new Oxford History of Christian Worship (2006). He has traveled throughout northern France and Provence, and has firsthand knowledge of many of the great cathedrals and historical monuments of those regions. His largest work was co-edited with the French Benedictine scholar Fr. Anselme Davril, O.S.B. "Rationale divinorum officiorum" of Bishop William Durandus of Mende (c. 1230-1296). A PDF of his CV is available at: http://bit.ly/YlQYtl
Media Contacts: Julie Long, jlong2@naz.edu, or Alicia Nestle, anestle5@naz.edu

Father Curt Cadorette
John Henry Newman Associate Professor of Catholic Studies
University of Rochester
A Maryknoll priest, Fr. Cadorette is the author of several books, including, "Liberation Theology: A Reader,"  and spent much of the '80s and '90s as a missionary among in Peru.
Bio: http://www.rochester.edu/College/REL/faculty/cadorette.html
Media Contact: Valerie Alhart, valhart@admin.rochester.edu

Paul Wilkes
Author
Wilkes is author of more than 20 books, mainly focused on Catholicism, and has written about the topic of Catholicism for many magazines, including The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, America, and Commonweal. His media appearances include "Larry King," NPR, and Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and he is very comfortable on camera.
Bio on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wilkes
Media Contact: Miles C. Daniels, miles@milesmaria.com

Randall "Woody" Woodard
Assistant Professor of Theology
Saint Leo University
Woodard teaches graduate-level courses in theology at Saint Leo, a Roman Catholic institution based in Saint Leo, Fla., with educational centers through the U.S.  He is available to discuss Pope Benedict's resignation.
Media Contact: Scott Willyerd, scott@dickjones.com

Brian Benestad
Theology Professor
The University of Scranton
"Pope Benedict's surprise resignation was an act of humility. Pope Benedict did his job on a high level for eight years, and he knows how important the job of pope is in the world, so his stepping down due to age and health is something to be praised." Benestad, who had read Benedict's writings and often used them in his classes, also included his teachings in a 2001 book, "Church, State and Society: Introduction to Catholic Social Doctrine"  (Catholic University Press).
Media Contacts: Stan Zygmunt, zygmunts2@scranton.edu, or Bill Johnson, Johnson@halsteadpr.com

Thomas Cattoi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Christology and Culture
Jesuit School of Theology
Santa Clara University
Cattoi can discuss Pope Benedict's legacy and some of the views of successors that have been discussed in Rome. He is based in Berkeley, Calif., and is available for interviews.
Media Contact: Deborah Lohse, dlohse@scu.edu

Michael McCarthy, S.J.
Professor of Theology
Executive Director, Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
Santa Clara University
McCarthy can discuss Pope Benedict's strengths and contributions to the Catholic Church during the past eight years, as well as the challenges facing the Church going forward under a new pope.
Media Contact: Deborah Lohse, dlohse@scu.edu

Elizabeth Drescher
Professor of Religious Studies
Santa Clara University
Drescher can discuss Pope Benedict's "substantial" legacy from a social-media perspective for the Church. She is author of "Tweet if  You (Heart) Jesus," about the intersection of social media and religion.
Media Contact: Deborah Lohse, dlohse@scu.edu

David William Scott
Pieper Scholar in Religion
Ripon College
Scott, a professor at Ripon College, a private liberal arts college in Wisconsin, can talk on deadline about the news of Pope Benedict XVI's retirement in historical perspective -- how this incident compares to previous instances of popes resigning and how it reflects certain aspects of Catholic doctrine, particularly papal infallibility.
Website: http://www.ripon.edu
Media Contact: Melissa Anderson, andersonmk@ripon.edu

Kevin Sullivan, D. Phil
Associate Professor and Chair of Religion
Illinois Wesleyan University
Sullivan is an expert on the New Testament and Christian origins, late second temple Judaism, apocryphal and pseudepigraphal texts, and Christian history to Nicaea. He has a doctorate in philosophy from University of Oxford; masters of arts from the University of Michigan and University of Notre Dame; a diploma from Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; and a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.
Publications and Presentations: https://www.iwu.edu/religion/faculty/Sullivan_publications.html
Faculty page: http://www.iwu.edu/religion/faculty/ksullivan.html
Media Contact: Matthew O. Kurz, mkurz@iwu.edu

Michael L. Budde
Director, Department of Catholic Studies
DePaul University
Budde is an expert on Catholicism and political identity, the interactions of Catholicism and contemporary cultures, and the church as a worldwide/transnational actor now centered in the so-called "global south" (Latin America, Africa, Asia). Recent books include "The Borders of Baptism: Identities, Allegiances and the Church."
News Contact: John Holden, jholden2@depaul.edu

Patrick Callahan
Professor of Political Science
DePaul University
Callahan is an expert on Catholic social thought and the role of the papacy in the church
News Contact: John Holden, jholden2@depaul.edu

Peter Casarella
Director, Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology
DePaul University
Casarella is an expert on issues pertaining to the Catholic Church's growing presence in the "global south" including Latin America and Africa, the demographic makeup of the College of Cardinals, and the centrality of Latino communities in the church. He also can comment on the theology of Pope Benedict XVI and his approach to cultural diversity. He is fluent in Spanish and German.
News Contact: John Holden, jholden2@depaul.edu

William Cavanaugh
Professor of Catholic Studies
DePaul University
Cavanaugh is a Catholic theologian specializing in social ethics; theology and politics; and theology and economics. Interests include the rapidly growing Catholic Church in the global south. Cavanaugh previously lived in Chile and wrote a book about the Catholic Church's response to the Chilean regime of General Augusto Pinochet.
News Contact: John Holden, jholden2@depaul.edu

Matthew Maguire
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
DePaul University
Maguire is a historian of modern Europe, especially the history of Christianity and intellectual cultural history. He is currently writing a book about Catholic theology and philosophy in the early 20th century and its influence on the modern world. He is fluent in French.
News Contact: John Holden, jholden2@depaul.edu

Thomas O'Brien
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
DePaul University
O'Brien is an expert on Catholicism and its economic, social and political teachings, business ethics. He is a board member of the progressive Catholic organization Call to Action. Though he doesn't expect a major shift in the overall direction of the church under a new pope, O'Brien notes that a new papacy may be able to more directly address various aspects of the sex abuse scandal.
News Contact: John Holden, jholden2@depaul.edu

Alexander Stummvoll
Research Fellow
Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology
DePaul University
Stummvoll is an expert on issues related to the Catholic Church and global politics, Vatican politics, the College of Cardinals, and papal election procedures. A native of Austria who lived and studied on three continents, he can comment on the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI and challenges awaiting the future pope on a variety of national, political and cultural perspectives. He is fluent in German.
News Contact: John Holden, jholden2@depaul.edu

EXPERT ROUNDUP: Credit Card Surcharges

Following are experts who can discuss credit card "swipe fees" and their impact on consumers and retailers:

Greg McBride, CFA
Vice President and Senior Financial Analyst
Bankrate.com
"There are a lot of consumers that will walk in the door, see the notice that there's a surcharge posted, and they're not going to resort to another method of payment. No, they're going to turn around and they're going to walk right back out the door and they'll go down the street to one of their competitors that does not assess a surcharge."
McBride is available to provide analysis and advice on personal finance. With almost 20 years of experience, he has the unique ability to provide both in-depth commentary and practical advice to consumers. He has appeared on hundreds of national cable and network broadcasts, and is a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. He is routinely quoted by major print outlets such as The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and is a regular radio guest on financial talk shows throughout the United States. He is also an accomplished public speaker, having appeared before audiences at the Federal Reserve Board, Mortgage Bankers Association, Federal Trade Commission and at the China Times Golden Cicada Awards in Beijing, China. He is on the board of directors of CredAbility, an Atlanta-based nonprofit credit counseling agency accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Media Contact: Ted Rossman, ted.rossman@bankrate.com

Charles Tran
Founder
CreditDonkey.com
"Consumers are king. Thanks to the Internet, social media and mobile phones, consumers can easily compare and share with the world their shopping experience. According to a January 2013 CreditDonkey.com survey of over 700 active credit card holders, nearly 21 percent said they would not buy anything at merchants that impose a credit card checkout fee. Small-business owners should evaluate if it makes sense to potentially lose one in five of their best customers by charging a checkout fee of up to 4 percent on transactions."
Tran is founder of CreditDonkey.com, a credit card comparison and financial education website. He is available to discuss credit card surcharges.
Expert Contact: charles.tran@creditdonkey.com

Kathy Doyle Thomas
Executive Vice President
Half Price Books
"As a retailer, just because we can now charge a fee doesn't mean we will. Retailers are already worried about alienating our customers, and in this tough economy, when we're fighting for every sale, we do not need any additional reasons to deter the customer from spending money in our stores. It is also important to note that a credit card transaction is larger, in most cases, than a cash one, so retailers don't want to discourage people from using their credit cards. If retailers do decide to charge a fee, educating the customer is a concern. To be able to charge customers, the law states retailers need to let the customer know a fee will be charged with signage on the door, so a prospective customer walks in knowing they will pay two to three percent more with their credit card."
Working in the retail industry for more than 20 years, Thomas currently serves on the Global Retail Marketing Association board and is a member of NRF's Integrated Mobile Initiative Task Force. She is also a former board chair of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA).
ProfNet Profile: http://www.profnetconnect.com/kathy-doyle-thomas
Half Price Books Bios: http://www.hpb.com/about/bios/
Website: http://www.hpb.com
Media Contact: Emily Bruce, ebruce@halfpricebooks.com

Patricia Seaman
Director of Marketing and Communications
National Endowment for Financial Education
Seaman joined the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) in April 2007, as director of marketing and communications. She is responsible for communications, media and public relations outreach, and marketing NEFE programs. She also supports the chief executive officer in his service on the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Her recent media interviews include Forbes, Parents, Washington Times, Woman's Day magazine, and local radio and television. A lifelong student of personal finance, Seaman is conversant with a wide variety of financial education topics and research, and is available to discuss credit card surcharges and how they will impact both consumers and businesses.
Media Contact: Daniel Malkin, dmalkin@rubeinsteinpr.com

Paul Golden
Media Relations Project Manager
National Endowment for Financial Education
Golden serves as project manager for the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping all Americans acquire the information and gain the skills necessary to take control of their personal finances. Golden is the media relations manager for the foundation, and is responsible for communications and public relations efforts. He also serves as NEFE spokesperson and has been quoted by the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Detroit Free Press and Baltimore Sun. Prior to joining NEFE in 2005, he worked as a managing editor for an online news service and has spent time working in the financial services industry. Golden graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, with an emphasis in broadcast media, from the University of Northern Colorado. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio-Television News Directors Association. He is available to discuss the credit card surcharges and how they will impact both consumers and businesses.
Media Contact: Daniel Malkin, dmalkin@rubeinsteinpr.com

Taki Skouras
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Cellairis
Skouras is the co-founder, CEO and CFO of Cellairis, a specialty retailer of wireless accessories with more than 700 locations (many of which are franchised) nationwide. He is available to discuss not only the impact of credit card surcharges at the corporate level, but also how the individual franchisees (independent small-business owners) will be affected. He can also detail the strategies he has explored with his team in response to this settlement.
Considered by many to be a thought-leader in the industry, Skouras revolutionized the retail arena by taking an emerging trend (wireless accessories) and commercializing that popularity in a store model separate from wireless retailers like Verizon, T-Mobile and Apple. In an increasingly demanding marketplace, Skouras has overseen the company's growth from a single, standalone kiosk 13 years ago to the world's largest wireless accessory retailer. With more than 15 years of retail and operational experience, as well as more than 12 years in franchising, Skouras is instrumental in the operation of all of Cellairis' 700 locations and recently led the implementation of a cloud-based POS companywide in order to improve measurement and consistency in the customer experience.
Website: http://www.cellairis.com
Media Contact: Jessica Hatcher, jhatcher@konnect-pr.com

Greg Hammermaster
President
Sage Payment Solutions, a division of Sage North America
Hammermaster has 25 years of experience in banking, payment solutions and business software applications. He is currently president of Sage Payment Solutions, a division of Sage North America that has been providing businesses and organizations with electronic payment systems for more than 20 years. He was previously with SunTrust Banks, where he served as senior vice president and managing director of the commercial card and payment solutions division. He has also had experience with a number of online businesses, as well as with Visa International, the world's largest card network, where he worked with banks in the areas of online merchant services, debit, credit, and commercial payment solutions. Prior to working for Visa, he was instrumental in delivering Visa's first corporate and purchasing card program. Hammermaster has presented at various industry conferences and events, including the annual Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) Meeting & Expo and Commercial Payments International (CPI) events, and contributed payments-related information to numerous trade and business publications, including Business Finance, Chain Store Age, Credit Union Journal, eWeek, The Green Sheet, ISO & Agent, Journal of Accountancy, Small Business Computing and several regional business journals.
Website: http://na.sage.com/sage-payment-solutions
Media Contact: Cynthia Sutton, cynthia.sutton@sage.com

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MEDIA JOBS:

Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board: http://bit.ly/pncjobboard

  • Corporate Journalist – News Link (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Economics Writer – Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Richmond, Va.)
  • Assistant Business Editor – OC Register (Orange County, Calif.)

See more listings here.

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OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES:

Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

  • TIPS FOR BEATING BLOG BURNOUT. Producing an engaging and successful blog means coming up with new ideas while staying energized, but how do you find inspiration, and generate fresh and creative ideas, time and time again? BlogHer's Susan Getgood shares her strategies and tips for generating ideas and avoiding blog burnout: http://bit.ly/WQRdMG  

  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: THE PREMIER PREMIERE? It's awards season, so for this week's Grammar Hammer, Cathy Spicer tackles the trickiness of "premier" vs. "premiere": http://bit.ly/127JOer

  • HOW TWITTER'S VINE APP WILL IMPACT JOURNALISTS. Twitter recently rolled out Vine, a video-sharing app that lets users capture a six-second video that loops continuously. In this week's Q&A Team column, four ProfNet Experts discuss how Vine will affect journalism: http://bit.ly/YX73aR

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PROFNET is an exclusive service of PR Newswire. To submit a request for experts: http://bit.ly/findexperts  To search the ProfNet Connect experts database: http://www.profnetconnect.com  To contact ProfNet by phone: +1-800-PROFNET, ext. 1  To share a thought on Expert Alerts: profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

/PRNewswire -- Feb. 13, 2013/

SOURCE ProfNet

(Source: PR Newswire )
(Source: Quotemedia)

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