At a recent Grace Project event, Resident Director Amanda Morin and McKenzie Ligowski, wife of Resident Director Daniel Ligowski, shared their thoughts on female friendship. “If it wasn’t for the women I was with in nursing school, there’s no way I would have made it!” McKenzie exclaimed. She went on to talk about the temptation to “close off to the world when you fall in love,” but how maintaining your female friendships is important. Women “help you see a reflection of yourself,” she explained. “And they bring out the best in you!” Amanda, in agreement, shared: “The Lord sent me all these amazing girlfriends, and I spent a lot of time in college nourishing those relationships.”
The Grace Project brought a cozy evening of tea, biscotti and dialogue between women in the University community on the importance of cultivating strong female friendships
The Grace Project is a series sponsored by Student Life that offers undergraduate women on campus an opportunity to connect with and learn from female mentors in the University community. While sipping on tea and snacking on biscotti, the students at the latest Grace Project event learned from McKenzie and Amanda about fostering deep female friendships during and after college, balancing relationships and priorities, and entrusting their dreams to the Lord while keeping a practical focus.
On the topic of balancing female friendships while dating, both McKenzie and Amanda agreed that a romantic relationship should not take away from female friendships. But they also emphasized the importance of being realistic and setting clear boundaries with their friends. According to McKenzie, “You have to make realistic expectations, and just be honest with them when you’re saying no.” Amanda added that it’s all about intentionality: “If you’re going to call them, do it. If you can’t, just be honest with your reasons.”
Amanda and McKenzie concluded the Grace Project event in answer to a question on being at peace in the present. “ Get to know yourself,” McKenzie urged. “You can’t be present if you don’t even know who you are!” Amanda followed up with “God is in the present. Remember that. If you’re not there, you’re going to miss out.”
The Grace Project is just one of the over 250 events Student Life sponsors annually, including concerts, feasts, dances, talent shows, sports competitions and more. If you’re interested in learning more about the vibrant student culture at Ave Maria University, visit the website!
A few days ago seven AMU students left our sunny, SW Florida campus to head to Ireland for Spring Break. Little did they know that they would be greeted with a winter storm that would shut down the country and leave them stranded in an airport! Our Study Abroad Ireland campus at the Emmaus Centre came to the rescue and the stranded students were welcomed by our Study Abroad students with shelter and fun!
Read the account below:
We survived Winter Storm Emma! It has been a winter wonderland here at the Emmaus Centre in Ireland this weekend, and the Lord sent us a few surprises.
The storm was perhaps small by US standards, at least as it affected us here in North Dublin- perhaps 6 or 8 inches of snow fell, mostly melting as it came down. Nonetheless, this kind of weather is very unusual for Ireland and sent the country into a dither. Public transit, including taxis, shut down for two days, the airport cancelled all flights and closed entirely, and a “red alert” was declared, requiring people to stay indoors from 4 pm on the afternoon the storm hit until 4pm the next day.
We were very cozy at the Emmaus Centre- we never lost power except for a few hours during the night, while we were sleeping, and the staff here made sure we were well fed. Ms. Julie Cosden, Director of the Centre, actually moved in for the weekend to follow the storm’s progress and make sure everything at the Centre was okay. Especially memorable was our smoked salmon salad buffet during the peak of the storm. Has a cold salad ever tasted so delicious? J
While we weathered the storm in comfort here, being little affected since we have our classroom and professor on-site, we soon learned that some other AMU students were not having such good Irish luck with Emma. The arrival of the storm here in Ireland aligned perfectly with the first weekend of AMU’s typical Spring Break back on campus in Florida. Although this break for us took place a few weeks ago, as we’re on a different academic schedule here at Study Abroad, ten AMU students from our Florida campus had elected to spend their Spring Break week here in Ireland, and they were now markedly delayed by the nasty weather.
Learning that these friends had been delayed for nearly eight hours in the tiny Icelandic airport of Keflavik, and then that they would certainly miss their train to their arranged lodging on Ireland’s West Coast here, the Emmaus Centre staff went above and beyond to give an Irish welcome to these stranded students. Beds to rest and breakfast on the house- rest and nourishment to send them on their way for the next morning’s train- were a welcome relief to the AMU girls who finally arrived to us here at Emmaus at 2 am, after over 24 hours of traveling and delays.
I guess now we’re AVE STRONG in Ireland, too!
THANK YOU to our dear friends and hosts at Emmaus for making us all feel so loved!
St. Patrick, pray for us!
To learn more about our Study Abroad Ireland program contact Kateri.Allen@avemaria.edu
With the Biochemistry Club, enthusiasm for science extends well beyond the classroom at Ave Maria University! In this interview, Lizzy Cox, AMU senior and Vice President of the Biochemistry Club, shares details on what this student organization is all about.
Q: What would you say is the Biochemistry Club’s mission?
Lizzy: The club’s goal is to expose students to novel biochemical discoveries, and to prepare them for future post-graduate endeavors in the biochemical sciences.
Q: How did you get involved?
Lizzy: I got involved when a friend convinced me to help lead the club. She told me that I would have a chance to help other students gain a greater and more practical understanding of biochemical studies that have an impact on human health.
Q: What sort of things do you do as a club?
Lizzy: Roughly once a month, we host journal article discussions on a new publication, and we provide talks on resume building, interview preparation, obtaining letters of recommendation, etc. Our Journal Club Meetings are normally led by both students and professors, and they lead to thought-provoking conversations that encourage critical thinking and practical application!
Q: Speaking of professors, tell us a little bit about your club advisor.
Lizzy: Dr. Diana West (Assistant Professor of Chemistry) is our advisor and she’s helped us by speaking at our events and reviewing our presentations for accuracy prior to the events.
Q: Scenario: I’m a freshman on the fence about majoring in Biochemistry. Why should I join the Biochem Club?
Lizzy: The club can help students learn more about ways they can use a degree in biochemistry. Perhaps it will foster a greater interest in this subject, and help them realize the many life-changing opportunities available in the field of biochemistry.
Q: I’m sold! How do I get involved?
Lizzy: If you would like to become involved with the biochemistry club, contact Rachel Flowers, Assistant Director of Student Life. Let her know you’re interested, and she’ll direct you from there.
Q: What has been the response to the club around campus?
Lizzy: We have a prominent presence among the biochemistry students here, and the chemistry, biochemistry, and biology professors frequently encourage students to attend our events and become involved in our club.
Q: Do you have any fun club events coming up?
Lizzy: We are hoping to have more Journal Club Discussions in the next few months, and we would like to host a talk on personal statements in the near future as well!
Lizzy Cox, Vice President of the Biochemistry Club, hails from Miami, Florida. She is a senior at Ave Maria University majoring in Biochemistry. She has plans to enter medical school after she graduates in May 2018.
With over 300 guests in attendance, including the Board of Trustees, President Jim Towey, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, various faculty, administration, staff, students, and friends of the University, Ave Maria’s 7th Annual Scholarship Dinner, “Welcome to the Renaissance,” was truly a night to remember.
Candle-lit tables, stacks of books, and themed decor transported guests to an evening in the Renaissance
The Scholarship Dinner on Thursday, February 15th, opened with a cocktail hour accompanied by a student juggling act, after which guests streamed into the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples, Florida. Bishop Dewane offered an opening prayer to the bless the evening’s food and happenings. Festivities were sprinkled throughout the night in the form of a performance of the National Anthem by the AMU Chamber Choir, a special show from the Shakespeare in Performance Troupe, student testimonies, an operatic solo by AMU junior Matheus Bressan, and, of course, great company, fantastic food, and good cheer.
President Towey offered introductory remarks, including an announcement of the official naming of the new academic building as it nears completion of phase one. In honor of one of AMU’s trustees and his wife, who together made a major gift to the University, it will be called The Thomas and Selby Prince Building.
Keynote Speaker Arthur Brooks urged Scholarship Dinner guests to “disrupt” the culture
There were numerous unforgettable moments at AMU’s 7th Scholarship Dinner, but for many the highlight was hearing from keynote speaker Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute and Trustee of the University. In his address, Dr. Brooks called upon those gathered to “disrupt” the current culture’s destructive tendencies. Among the three ways Dr. Brooks identified in which we can disrupt the current culture was the answering of the world’s contempt with love. “Our culture is destructive, and we need people to disrupt it,” he said. “We need to create and support institutions that teach disruptive practices,” Dr. Brooks went on. “And that’s why I’m here tonight. That’s why I’m involved with Ave Maria University.”
“Welcome to the Renaissance” was a fitting theme for this year’s annual Scholarship Dinner, particularly in light of Dr. Arthur Brooks’ keynote address. The Renaissance (from the French, re, meaning “again,” and naissance, meaning “birth”) was a time of revival, a time of bringing back the culture and life of an earlier time. Similarly, Dr. Brooks was calling upon the evening’s guests to adopt an attitude, a way of life which we, as a culture, once had, but have now lost. Our world is in desperate need of a Catholic Renaissance, a revival of communities living out joy and peace, faith, hope, and love.
Students at AMU are filled with joy and being formed to “disrupt” the culture
Ave Maria University, with its commitment to the Church’s teachings and guided by the apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, is undertaking just such a Catholic Renaissance. AMU works to foster these virtues among its members, forming them to be disciples of Jesus, equipped and eager to go out and disrupt the world. The evening concluded with closing remarks from Brian Couch, Vice President of Advancement, and a prayer from Fr. John Ludden.
Judging from the talent, wit, and faith on display at the 7th Annual Scholarship Dinner, the community of Ave Maria University is well on its way towards achieving a Catholic Renaissance. Watch the highlight video from this year’s Scholarship Dinner to see for yourself, and be sure to mark your calendars for AMU’s 8th annual Scholarship Dinner on February 14th, 2019!
Why Study Accounting? Junior Adrienne Conley Wonders: Why not?
“Going into Ave, I had no idea what I wanted to do post-graduation,” Junior Adrienne Conley reflects. “I knew one thing: the last thing I wanted to study was Accounting. How could I study such a boring field for three to four years?”
Fast forward three years, and Adrienne is confidently pursuing a degree in Accounting with a minor in Philosophy. What changed? “I actually took an accounting class and did a bit of reflection on the wide range of opportunities in the field,” she says.
Accounting can be the springboard that helps you get where you want to go.
Adrienne is a little bit hesitant to share her family background when it comes to the topic of accounting. “I am one of fourteen in my family who have studied, study, or plan to study accounting,” she declares. Both of her parents, six of her aunts and uncles, and two of her cousins are CPAs. “My oldest sister just passed her CPA exam this past December, and my other sister plans to sit for her first section this March,” Adrienne adds.
But wait! She has more to say: “Before you grab the nearest sharpie and permanently cross my name off the list of single people you know in fear that I come from the most boring family in the world, realize that a) only three of them do tax, and b) the rest of them do completely different jobs in the business field. Accounting was simply the springboard that gave them the qualifications to get where they wanted to go.”
Adrienne goes on to explain how accounting has application far beyond taxes. “From corporate to public, program management to data analytics, audit to valuation,” she says, “there are as many possibilities with an Accounting degree is there are personalities.” Accounting, she insists, is a springboard into the world of business.
Ave Maria University’s Accounting Program builds upon a liberal arts foundation, giving its students a deeper level of understanding that sets them apart.
One of the things that makes Ave Maria University’s Accounting Major unique is how it builds upon a Core Curriculum rooted in the liberal arts. “I think studying accounting at a school with a strong liberal arts tradition has made me a more competitive job candidate,” Adrienne says. “It helped me land my ‘dream’ internship doing audit for the General Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. this summer.”
Another thing unique about AMU’s Accounting Program is the level of interest professors take in the success of their students. “Beyond classroom instruction,” Adrienne shares, “the guidance from my accounting professors has helped me prepare for my future beyond graduation. Their advice regarding my resume, internship applications, and interview skills has been invaluable to my professional development.”
One of Adrienne’s favorite courses has been Cost Accounting (ACCT 300), where she learned to value inventory. “I don’t plan on valuing inventory any time soon, but you can bet your last dollar that when the time comes, I’ll be ready,” she exclaims.
Adrienne plans to pursue a Master’s in Accounting and sit for the CPA exam in Texas after earning her undergraduate degree, and she is sure her AMU education has prepared her well: “I am confident that my studies at Ave will give me the foundation necessary to pursue these goals.” Ave Maria University offers 34 majors, including 9 pre-professional programs. Interested in learning more about Accounting at AMU? Visit the Accounting Department’s homepage!
“What is God’s will for you?” one student asked at the latest event in the series hosted by Student Life, “Professors are People, Too!”
“That’s the wrong question,” Dr. Ubiratan Rezende, Associate Professor of Politics and Business, replied. “We know what it is: to respond to the here and now. Jesus told us He would take care of things; we just don’t trust Him.” Going on, Dr. Rezende explained: “If God wants you to be one of those pivotal people who change the world, you will do it. But don’t try to control things, that’s my main advice.”
“Professors are People, Too!” is a recurring event designed for students to get to know their professors outside of the classroom. In a casual setting, AMU students feel free to ask questions on a range of topics. In turn, their professors respond openly, offering life tips, words of advice, insights from their experience, or simply expounding on their hobbies and pursuits.
Within the classroom, Dr. Rezende is known for touching on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from politics, economics, and theology, to international affairs, business and culture. It’s no wonder: his educational background includes a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, a JD from the University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and an MA in Theological Studies from the John Paul II Institute, Washington, DC.
Outside the classroom, Dr. Rezende has experience working in both the private and public sectors. He has served as Senior Consultant for the World Bank and Secretary of the Treasury for the State Government of Santa Catarina Brazil. He is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. When reflecting on his work in the public and private sectors, he said: “There’s no difference. Wherever you are, you will see the human existence.”
He went on, urging the students gathered to consider a life of public service. “Serve the public,” he said, “because public service is disappearing.” Invoking the example of Jesus’ apostles, who followed Him with a simple “yes” and went on to transform the world, Dr. Rezende challenged AMU students to do the same. “Think of the twelve apostles, who didn’t know what they were doing,” he said. “Why not do something out of your comfort zone and be unprepared for it?”
In addition to academic and professional achievements, Dr. Rezende has succeeded in attaining many personal achievements. A Cavalry officer in Brazil, skilled in the guitar and Johnny Cash impressions, and an excellent cook are just a few of them. “I love to cook,” he shared. “I enrolled in a French cuisine academy. I wanted to be a chef. I want to understand the inner workings of things. Cooking is chemistry, because of the interaction between the heat and different chemical substances.” Going on, he said: “My wife loved it, because I had to come home and work on making different meals.”
Humbly responding to a student’s question about his favorite meal, Dr. Rezende answered: “My favorite meal is the one I receive every morning in the Church: the Eucharist.”
Dr. Rezende understands that many struggle with decisions and, as a man who has accomplished so much, he reassured the students wondering what to do with their lives. “I never knew what I wanted to do,” he expressed. “I still don’t. But if you have an inkling, do it.” Dr. Rezende couldn’t continue without describing his love for his wife and children: “I was able to do all that I did because of my wife’s support. My wife is the backbone of my life.”
In front of the many students listening eagerly to his words, Dr. Rezende shared from his experience and wisdom. “Professors are People, Too!” is an event that further builds the strong personal relationships possible between students and teachers at Ave Maria University. This academic year is Dr. Rezende’s final year of teaching at Ave Maria University. His impact and presence at the University will not easily be forgotten by the students, faculty, and staff who have known and learned from him. Dr. Rezende left off the event telling students that, although he doesn’t know what the next year will contain, he leaves it all in the hands of God with faith, hope and trust.
From the earliest Homeric songs, down through the centuries, to the courtly love poems of the Middle Ages, the madrigals of the Renaissance, the art songs of the 19th century, and the golden age of singer songwriters, music has been a way for humans to express our deepest sentiments. The same holds true today. Through the combination of music and lyrics, each song in the AveFy winter exhibition is presented as a piece of one student’s story, an aspect of their life, a vehicle through which they have found the expression of something meaningful or important.
Located on the second floor of the Canizaro Library, AveFy is a display of the music that speaks to our students.
The featured songs are a true mixture of genre, feeling, attitudes, and history. From the well-renowned Mozart and eccentric Elton John, to pop star Harry Styles and Christian group Casting Crowns, the display hosts a variety of music that moves and inspires. AveFy is an opportunity for some AMU students to take a moment in the spotlight.
“I think my Mom first introduced me to this song,” says student Alijah Madkour about her chosen song, “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle. “When I experience a cross, big or small, it reminds me to trust God completely.” Yet another student, Clara Diodati, comments on her favorite song, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, that she was taught how to play the song on guitar when she was about 15: “I never get tired of it; both the melody and the words are beautiful, timeless, and very relatable. It always makes me feel happy and nostalgic to hear it!”
In a display that features song titles, album covers and lyrics alongside photos of student contributors and quotes about why the song speaks to them, AveFy is an exhibit that shares a positive message on campus about the impact of music on our lives. If you’re in the area, stop by the Canizaro Library’s winter exhibition and take a look! The AveFy auditory exhibit will not disappoint; rather, it uplifts and inspires.
Canizaro Exhibit Gallery Hours
Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm
Ave Maria University is proud to announce a new opportunity for students to receive scholarship through the generosity of the Kazma Scholars Fund.
AMU now offers a new scholarship opportunity for students in the academic top 20% of the incoming class who are demonstrated leaders and committed to serving others.
Through the generous donation of the Kazma Family Foundation, The Kazma Scholars Fund now provides up to twenty scholarships of $12,500 per year. The Kazma Scholarships are awarded to students of strong moral character, demonstrated initiative, and a commitment to the service of others, and who also establish high academic achievement.
Ave Maria University is grateful to the benefactors who give so generously, providing students across the country with the opportunity to receive a quality Catholic education..
If you are a student who fits the criteria and wishes to benefit from this opportunity, apply for the Kazma Scholarship today! To learn more about the Kazma Scholars Fund and other scholarship opportunities at Ave Maria University, visit https://www.avemaria.edu/future-students/scholarships/.
The Ave Maria Mission Society Scholarship Dinner is always a night to remember, and this year’s event will be no exception. With keynote speaker Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, entertainment from the Shakespeare in Performance troupe, and a merry-making Renaissance theme, the 2018 Scholarship Dinner promises to be an unforgettable event.
Get ready for a night making merry with good food, good drink, and good friends!
The dinner, which raises funds for scholarships at Ave Maria University, will take place on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at the The Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, Florida. The University is honored to have Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute and Trustee of the University, as keynote speaker for this event. Dr. Brooks is a bestselling author and social scientist. He has served as president of Washington D.C.’s premier public policy think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, since 2009. Dr. Brooks has served as a member of AMU’s Board of Trustees since 2012, and he received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2015.
In addition to an address from distinguished speaker Dr. Brooks, attendees of the 2018 Scholarship Dinner will be delighted by a performance from AMU’s Shakespeare in Performance troupe, complete with song and dance. Directed by Professor and Chair of Humanities and Literature, Dr. Travis Curtright, Shakespeare in Performance at AMU investigates early modern acting styles, thrust stages practices, and how an acting troupe cooperates and functions in the preparation and performance of plays. The troupe is part of a minor of studies program at AMU.
The 2018 Scholarship Dinner will take place on Thursday, February 15th, from 5:30-8:30pm. Preceding the evening event, Ave Maria University will host an Inaugural Symposium on Principled Entrepreneurship over brunch.The symposium will feature Plenary Speakers Dr. Peter Whalen (Penn State University) and Dr. Seana Sugrue (Ave Maria University), as well as a panel of entrepreneurs. The topic of this Inaugural Symposium is “Creating Faith Based Value.” AMU students enrolled in the Principled Entrepreneurship course, created with funding from the Charles Koch Foundation, will be in attendance. The Symposium brunch will be held at 9:30am at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, Florida. Admission to the Symposium on Principled Entrepreneurship is included with every purchased ticket to the Scholarship Dinner.
The annual Scholarship Dinner is organized by the Ave Maria Mission Society. Mission gifts support AMU scholarships, programs, faculty and opportunities to advance the institution. To learn more about the Mission Society, register for the 2018 Scholarship Dinner, or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit dinner.AveMaria.edu.
On a recent Saturday morning, a project becoming known as The Ave Homes brought a spot of brightness to a community still reeling in the aftermath of a tremendous natural disaster.
30 Habitat for Humanity homes in Immokalee, Florida, were dedicated at a ceremony on Saturday, January 20th. Three of these homes, The Ave Homes, were built in partnership with The Mother Teresa Project at Ave Maria University by funds raised by Steve Auth, Wall Street Executive and friend of AMU.
Mr. Auth owns a seasonal home in Naples, Florida. After Hurricane Irma passed through the area in early September 2017, Mr. Auth was struck by the damage suffered in the town of Immokalee, which is located ten minutes from Ave Maria, Florida. He reached out to his friends and colleagues, quickly raising enough money to build new homes. Through a connection with a student at Ave Maria University, Mr. Auth partnered with The Mother Teresa Project and Habitat for Humanity to help coordinate the volunteer labor and logistics required to make this dream a reality.
Much of the work put into building The Ave Homes was done by AMU students. Athletic teams, faith households, RAs, and individual students signed up to volunteer their free time to frame, put up siding, and paint homes built to last. Mr. Auth and his wife, Evelyn, also devoted many of their weekends to work alongside the volunteers building homes. On January 20th, the donors, volunteers and homeowners all came together to celebrate the accomplishment. At the Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony, each family was presented with a housewarming basket, and the homes were blessed. AMU student volunteers also had an opportunity to tour the completed homes and meet the grateful families.
Immokalee Rebuilds, the collaborative project between Mr. Auth, Habitat for Humanity, and Ave Maria University, has already begun construction on a fourth home. The project’s operating motto echos the words of Mother Teresa: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Two AMU student volunteers (in the official bright blue Immokalee Rebuild t-shirts) stand for a group picture with Steve Auth, at center, the Wall Street Executive who funded The Ave Homes project, and the new residents.