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April 7, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Young
734.487.4400
pamela.young@emich.edu

Former Eastern Michigan University professor part of Vatican spotlight

YPSILANTI - Former Eastern Michigan University professor Bernard O'Connor, a Roman Catholic priest who left the University in July 2004 for a position at the Vatican, will soon be seen in a new role - that of a media consultant.

Father Bernard O'Connor
Father Bernie O'Connor
O'Connor, or "Father Bernie" as he is called, will be interviewed on MSNBC's "Connected Coast to Coast" today (April 7) at 5 p.m., to discuss events following the death of Pope John Paul II and other issues facing the Catholic Church.   Ronald Reagan and Monica Crowley are the hosts of the show.

O'Connor is currently serving as a member or "adviser" to the Eastern Churches, which include countries such as Egypt, Syria, Iran and Jordan. His responsibilities include helping the eastern regions of the Catholic Church communicate with one another and working with various governments on human rights concerns.

"As part of our outreach to the media, we've been in contact with reporters from MSNBC, The Detroit News' Washington Bureau, NBC and CNN to help them report on the Pope's death," said Ward Mullens, associate director, university communications at EMU. "It's always great to work with Father Bernie, and to have a personal view inside the Vatican at this historic time is remarkable."

During his ten years at Eastern Michigan, O'Connor taught political science; served as assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; counseled EMU students and staff, and was the ROTC chaplain.

A native of Nova Scotia, O'Connor was ordained a Catholic priest in 1977. He earned a doctorate in systematic theology from the Gregorian University in 1986 and a law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1994.

His numerous honors include the EMU Gold Medallion Award in 2004, the Award for Excellence in Innovative Teaching from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in 2003, and Michigan Professor of the Year in 1999 and 2001.

He has United Nations certifications in peace support operations, international humanitarian law, and peacekeeping and international conflict resolution. He has also written the book, "Pope John Paul II: Papal Diplomacy and the Culture of Peace."

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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