President Sheahon Zenger is not on antibiotics


This interview with Dr. Sheahon Zenger, the interim president of the University of New Haven has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Q: Are you on antibiotics by any chance?
Zenger: No. Antibiotics I’ve read can mess up your gut biome, so you have the probiotics balance out the antibiotic. I don’t need to take more probiotics to offset the antibiotic.
Q: There’s been some internet connection issues lately. How do you feel about a campus partnership with, like, consumer cellular? Even a wire phone, maybe on your door. We should all install a landline at the same time.
Zenger: You know, anything that would help students, faculty [and] staff? An easier life with their way to communicate. I don’t know what the cost of that is and what that means, but in a perfect world.
Q: What are your thoughts on submarines?
Zenger: I think they’re pretty cool. And living here, I’ve learned a lot more being close to Groton. So my biggest thought would be [that] I want to take a field trip to Groton and do that. It’s been on my bucket list the last couple years and haven’t got it done. I also think I would be severely claustrophobic.
I have great admiration for the Navy and the Marines. I would be more of an Air Force kind of person where I can be looking down on earth. Not under the water. When I watch those documentaries on the deep sea, [it is] sea-life that scares me more than space.
Q: What’s your favorite bird watching location? Have you ever been bird watching?
Zenger: Since I live a block off the West Haven beaches, I get to watch birds a lot. I have this giant tree in my front yard that the previous owner told me that eagles have spent their summers there. I haven’t seen it yet and keep waiting for the eagle to come.
He said to watch out for your small dogs, which we have. So I guess my favorite bird watching area would be my front deck.
Q: This was a question that our campus news editor was on the edge of his seat, wanting to know: how many seagulls would have to land on your house before you started assuming someone was placing them there?
Zenger: It’s not a big house, so it wouldn’t take many. I would think there’d be some lead seagull commander plotting their attack. I’m not sure that college students today would be familiar with the old movie “Birds.” As a child, I used to have nightmares about that, you hit close to home because that was the scariest movie to me growing up.
Q: Who would you rather have dinner with? You have three options: John Stamos, Brigham Young, or Phil Nicholson.
Zenger: John Stamos. He just has that cool vibe.
Q: Do you know what kind of grass is on the new quad?
Zenger: Growing up I mowed lawns for a living, so while that doesn’t make me an expert on grass types, but if it’s green already then that means it’s good grass, right?
Q: Have you touched the grass yet?
Zenger: I walked across it. Or, or near it. There’s a poem about going barefoot more often. You just reminded me of that. Students should take their shoes off and walk on the ground. Really experience it.
Q: Are you upset about the “Ellen Show” being canceled?
Zenger: I think my wife is. She’s a little troubled. She went to see her live. I don’t get to see much daytime TV. So, everything I know about the Ellen Show is usually secondhand. She’s incredibly funny.
Q: Just to go into something a little bit more political, should we close the Panama Canal?
Zenger: Heck, it’s one of the few routes that connects the two hemispheres. Have you read much [about] how they built it? It’s fascinating. I’m sure there are folks who would like to go around South America again instead of [through] the canal. I’d honestly love to know who.
Q: For a quick sports question: Should Philip Rivers be the new quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts or the New York Jets?
Zenger: Oh, that’d be fun. I think the Jets are lining up with a quarterback right now. So probably the Colts. Probably the Colts.
Q: What’s your favorite team?
Zenger: I grew up in Kansas. So, it’s Kansas City. They’ve had a heck of a run the last few years and Mahomes is, according to my friends, just the coolest person ever. He’s beloved in Kansas City. He’s refreshing in his outlook.
Q: What do you think of my dog? His name is Leonardo da Vinci.
Zenger: I love dogs. I have a beagle and a French bulldog. We had a golden retriever. Their names are Roland and Eloise. I love talking about the dogs.