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Centenary College Honors Fischetti and Rhoads with Honorary Doctorates

The Rev. Carl E. Rhoads III and Mark Fischetti pause for a photograph prior to their receiving honorary doctorates from Centenary College of Louisiana on May 7 during commencement exercises in the Centenary Gold Dome. (Centenary News Service photo by Donna Bartholomew)

SHREVEPORT, LA — The faculty and trustees of Centenary College of Louisiana honored a writer-editor and a Methodist minister-adminstrator with honorary doctorates during commencement exercises May 7 in the Centenary Gold Dome.

Honored were Mark Fischetti, editor of Mind magazine and a nationally known science writer and editor, and the Rev. Carl E. Rhoads III, longtime Methodist minister and, since 1998, executive director of administrative services for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Fischetti, who delivered this year's commencement address, received the honorary Doctor of Letters and the Rev. Mr. Rhoads the honorary Doctor of Divinity. Their degrees and hoods were presented by Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab and Chairman William G. Anderson following the reading, by Provost Darrel Colson, of the following citations:

Mark A. Fischetti

"Mark A. Fischetti, a veteran journalist whose most recent book is The New Killer Diseases (Crown, 2003), writes science for general readers. His articles have appeared in such national periodicals as the Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, and Smithsonian. As an Attaway Fellow in Civic Culture, he spent a week in February 2003 on the Centenary College campus.

"Mark Fischetti was educated at the State University of New York at Albany, where he received the Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1978. His graduate studies there and at City University of New York included courses in energy technology and policy as well as integrated circuit design.

"His career as a scientist-as-journalist began in 1982 when he became an editor of IEEE Spectrum Magazine, a journal of technology based in New York City and boasting a circulation of 320,000. As the managing editor, Mark Fischetti oversaw the publication of award-winning articles on airline safety, the AT&T divestiture, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and space exploration. In 1989 he became the founding managing editor of Family Business, a national newsstand monthly with 65,000 subscribers. He currently edits Mind, a quarterly publication of Scientific American.

"The author of numerous articles--in Forbes, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Science, Washington Monthly--Mark Fischetti rates among his more "interesting" feature articles 'Why Not a 40 mpg SUV?' and 'The Future of Television,' which appeared as cover stories in Technology Review, and 'Drowning New Orleans,' which was first published in Scientific American and then featured on National Geographic TV. Our First-Year Experience faculty have also reprinted it in their reader Negotiating Uncertainty.

"As a journalist able to make difficult science accessible to general readers, Mark Fischetti has enjoyed much success as an editor and a ghostwriter. He collaborated with Harvard neurologist John Ratey on A User's Guide to the Brain (Random House, 2001); with Michael Dertouzos, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Laboratory for Computer Science, on The Unfinished Revolution (HarperCollins, 2001) about the future of computing; also with Dertouzos on What Will Be (HarperCollins, 1997), a national bestseller; and with Allan Hobson of Harvard Medical School on The Chemistry of Conscious States: How the Brain Changes Its Mind (Little, Brown, 1994).

"The co-author of two books, Mark Fischetti collaborated with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, on Weaving the Web (HarperCollins, 1999), which tells 'the real story' of how the Web was created. His most recent book, The New Killer Diseases, with Boston University microbiologist Elinor Levy, concerns the 'alarming rise of infectious diseases … and how scientists and public health experts are trying to fight them.'

"For his exemplary contribution to the public discussion of challenging ideas, Honorary Degrees Committee nominates Mark A. Fischetti to receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at the 2005 Commencement of Centenary College of Louisiana."

Carl E. Rhoads III

"Since 1998, after 30 years as a United Methodist minister in his native Tennessee as well as Louisiana, Carl E. Rhoads has served as Executive Director of Administrative Services for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.

"Born in Memphis, Carl Rhoads attended Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, where he received the Master of Divinity degree in 1968.

"That year also saw the beginning of a distinguished career in ministry when he became Associate Minister at Grace United Methodist Church in Memphis. In 1976, following other appointments at churches in Tennessee, he moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, as Minister of Education at First United Methodist Church. In 1981 he became its Minister of Pastoral Care. From 1985 to 1990, he served as its Executive Minister.

"In 1992, after two years with First United Methodist Church of Minden, Louisiana, Carl Rhoads entered administration as North Shore District superintendent in Mandeville, Louisiana. Six years later he became Executive Director of Administrative Services in Baton Rouge. In this position Carl Rhoads administers funds allocations to educational affiliates of the United Methodist Church, including Centenary College.

"His other contributions to the Conference include service on such committees as Continuing Education, Camps and Conferences, Higher Education and Ministry, and Communications and Interpretation.

"An active citizen of his community, whether in Tennessee or Louisiana, Carl Rhoads served on Shreveport's Citizens Advisory Committee and on the Caddo Parish School Board. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Shreveport's Live Oak Retirement Center and a member of Willis-Knighton Hospital's Institutional Review Board.

"A husband of 32 years, he is the father of two daughters, one of whom, Beth, is a 1994 graduate of Centenary College, where she sang in the Choir.

"For his career of service to the United Methodist Church and in recognition of a life of civic involvement, Honorary Degrees Committee nominates Carl E. Rhoads III, to receive the degree of Doctor of Divinity at the 2005 Commencement of Centenary College of Louisiana."

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