Costello Lecture Event Includes Mack Holt Lecture, Award Presentation

Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D., will receive the Costello Excellence in Teaching Award.

Profile photo of Mack HoltMack Holt, Ph.D., will deliver the 18th annual Costello Lecture in memory of former Manhattan College professor Brother Casimir Gabriel Costello, FSC. 

The event will take place on Tuesday, September 10, at 4:30 p.m. in room 5B of the Kelly Commons. Holt’s presentation is titled "Bibles and their Readers in the French Reformation."

Holt is a professor of history emeritus at George Mason University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the political, religious, social, and cultural history of early modern Europe. His research focuses on France in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Mehnaz Afridi at Karski LecturePrior to the lecture, Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D., director of Manhattan College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith (HGI) Education Center and associate professor of religious studies, will receive the annual Costello Excellence in Teaching Award.  

Afridi teaches contemporary Islam and the Holocaust, with a look at current issues of religious identity like gender, race and class. Within the local community, she is widely recognized as a unifying figure — a Muslim woman teaching about the Holocaust at a Catholic college. Afridi has also made several appearances in national and international media and education panels, discussing her interfaith efforts and tying her work to current events.

Afridi earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Syracuse University, where she studied post-Holocaust studies and Islam. She earned her doctorate in religious studies from the University of South Africa, where she examined the shift from early Islamic models of social life toward postcolonial and modern conceptions of Islamic Identity.

About Brother Casimir Gabriello Costello, FSC

The Brother Casimir Gabriel Costello, FSC, Award for Excellence in Teaching is named in memory of Brother Casimir Gabriel Costello, FSC (1910-92), a Manhattan College graduate who chaired its department of History for many years and served as dean of the College from 1953-59. His book, The Arches of the Years, traces the history of Manhattan College from its founding until 1979.

Thanks to the generosity of Patricia and Jack Stack, the annual award recognizes a faculty member in the School of Liberal Arts who exemplifies the excellence in teaching that characterizes Manhattan College and that is central to its mission and the mission of the Lasallian Christian Brothers. 

The nomination for the Costello Award is initiated by students, and the award is decided by a faculty committee after a review of the required materials submitted by the nominated professors.

By Pete McHugh