Seminary Honors Dr. Maher, Awards Degrees


Saint Vincent Seminary awarded the master of divinity, master of arts, and baccalaureate of sacred theology degrees to students from the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky; the Diocese of Greensburg; the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey; the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio; São Bento Monastery, São Paulo, Brazil; and Saint Andrew Abbey, Cleveland, Ohio and Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, at commencement ceremonies on May 6. The Seminary presented outgoing Board of Regents Chairman Dr. James V. Maher, Jr., with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, honoris causa.

Dr. Maher is provost emeritus, distinguished service professor of physics and senior science advisor at the University of Pittsburgh. He served as provost and senior vice chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh from July 1, 1994, to August 15, 2010 and has been a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh for forty years. Dr. Maher has been a member of the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents for seventeen years and has served as the Chairman of the Board for the past six years. As a member of the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents Information Technology Committee, Dr. Maher introduced the use of information technology in the Seminary’s classrooms. Through his expertise in higher education administration and accreditation he also brought renewed efficiency, accountability, and organization to the governing structure and the faculty of Saint Vincent Seminary.

Dr. Maher earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Notre Dame in 1964. He earned his master’s degree and his doctoral degree from Yale University in 1965 and 1969, respectively. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh faculty as an assistant professor in September 1970, Dr. Maher served as a post-doctoral research associate in the Physics Division of the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. During his tenure at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Maher has served as director of the University’s Scaife Nuclear Physics Laboratory, as a longstanding resident fellow in the University’s Center for the Philosophy of Science, and as a visiting scientist at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, the Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut in Groningen, the College de France in Paris, and the Argonne National Laboratory. Elected a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Maher has published numerous papers in refereed journals on the fields of nuclear physics (up through 1980) and statistical condensed matter physics (since 1980). He has presented numerous invited talks at topical conferences and physical society meetings.

He served as chair of the Council of Academic Affairs of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and was a member of the Association of American University’s (AAU) Intellectual Property Task Force that authored the formative 1999 report “Intellectual Property and New Media Technologies: A Framework for Policy Development at AAU Institutions.” He served on the AAU/National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) Task Force on Accreditation, which developed a set of principles adopted by the AAU and NASULGC and accepted in modified form by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. He was invited by the AAU and Association of Research Libraries to participate in writing the influential Tempe Principles on Scholarly Communications, a set of principles designed to guide the transformation of the scholarly publishing system.


Eric Lawrence Andriot of Florence, Kentucky, earned the master of divinity degree. He is the son of the late Phil and Mary Andriot. He is a 1992 graduate of Covington Catholic High School, Park Hills, and attended Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, Kentucky, where he studied business administration, from 2000 to 2003. He has an associate of applied science degree from Northern Kentucky University.

Thomas F. Picchioni of Beavercreek, Ohio, earned a master of divinity degree, summa cum laude. He also received the Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B., Sacred Scripture Award, which is given by the faculty to the student who most demonstrates excellence in the study of Sacred Scripture. Picchioni is the son of Frederick A. and Sharon C. Picchioni of Beavercreek. He is a 1984 graduate of Carroll High School, Dayton, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Cincinnati, earned in 1999. He has studied pre-engineering at Sinclair Community College, Dayton, and business administration at Indiana Wesleyan University.

James Patrick Schaeper of Fort Wright, Kentucky, earned the master of divinity degree, cum laude. He is the son of Don Schaeper of Cincinnati and the late Mary Jo Schaeper. He is a 1989 graduate of Saint Xavier High School, Cincinnati. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Xavier University in 1993 and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Tennessee in 2002.


John David Zombar of New Stanton, earned the master of arts degree, cum laude. He is in the permanent diaconate program for the Diocese of Greensburg. Zombar is the son of the late William V. and Helen M. Zombar. He is a 1973 graduate of Geibel High School. He has attended Westmoreland County Community College, and received a certificate in pastoral ministry from Seton Hill University, Greensburg.


Edwin Mauricio Tabera Vásquez of Hopelawn, New Jersey, earned the master of divinity degree. He is the son of Carlos Enrique Tabera and Maria Estella Vasquez of Medellin, Colombia. He is a 2004 graduate of Centro de Estudies Para el Aprendizaje Cepac, Cordoba, Colombia. He earned a degree in philosophy from Seminario Diocesano Santo Tomas de Aquino, Santa Rosa, Colombia, in 2010.


Matthew Warren James Gossett, the son of David and Loretta Gossett of Steubenville, received two degrees and two awards at the commencement. He received the master of divinity degree, cum laude, and the master of arts degree, magna cum laude. He received the Diakonia Award, given to the student nominated by the entire Seminary community, and chosen by the faculty. It honors a graduate who exhibits praiseworthy academic performance as well as service to the Seminary community through building student morale and spirit, exercising leadership within the community, and demonstrating creative outreach to others. Gossett was awarded the Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., Excellence in Preaching Award, given by the Rector’s Council to the fourth-year student who has most clearly demonstrated excellence in preaching during his fourth year of study. He is a 2004 graduate of Catholic Central High School, Steubenville. He earned a bachelor of music education degree from Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, in 2008. He received a masters degree in music performance from Kent State University in 2010.


Brother Thomas Sanders, O.S.B., of Cleveland, Ohio, earned the master of divinity degree, cum laude. He is the son of Gary L. and Joanne E. Sanders of Sheffield Lake, Ohio. He is a 1997 graduate of Brookside High School, Sheffield. He earned an associate of science degree from Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio, in 1999; a bachelor of science degree in life science and pre-professional health from Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, in 2003; and has done additional studies at the Ohio State University, Columbus and John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio.


Brother David Klecker, O. Cist., received the master of divinity degree, cum laude. He is the son of Robert Klecker of Eagon, Minnesota and Barbara Weiss of Hopkins, Minnesota. He graduated from Saint Paul Academy, Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1993. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1997 from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He has done graduate work at the Angelicum in Rome, the Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Missouri, and at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut.

Brother Matthew Clair Lambert, O.S.B., received two degrees and one award at the commencement. He earned the master of divinity degree, magna cum laude, as well as the baccalaureate of sacred theology degree, magna cum laude, conferred through the Pontifical Athenaeum of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, Italy. He was presented with the Honorable Judge Bernard F. Scherer Award, given to the student who most exemplifies the qualities evident in the life of Judge Scherer, including breadth of learning, the integration of knowledge, faith and life, service to others through corporal works of mercy, and a strong witness of faith, hope and charity. He is the son of Walter Clair Lambert of Port St. Lucie, Florida, and Nancy Roth of Boise, Idaho. A 2004 graduate of Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, Florida, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in English literature in 2008 from Florida State University.

Brother Rafael Quesada, O.S.B., a native of the Philippines, earned a master of arts degree. The son of Hector and Clare Quesada, he lived in Michigan and worked in the IT and web design industry before coming to the Archabbey. He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, earning a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering in 1998.


Brother Rafael (Milton Arcanjo) dos Santos, O.S.B., of Junqueirópolis, Brazil, earned the master of divinity degree. He is the son of the l José Arcanjo and Enedina Ferreira dos Santos. He graduated from Escola Estadual P.S.G. Prof. Geraldo Pecorarî High School, Junqueirópolis, São Paulo, in 1981. He earned a licentiate in philosophy from Faculdade de São Bento, São Paulo, in 2009.