“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.
Earlier this month eight AMU students set out to the airport for a 5-day mission trip to Haiti with the Missionaries of Charity. Over the course of a week, they had an intense service experience focused on prayer. The students in Haiti worked alongside Mother Teresa’s congregation of sisters at their compound in Port-au-Prince, served in the Children’s Home, and accompanied the sisters as they traveled to other cities and attended to men, women and children in need.
Mrs. Mary Towey, wife to President Towey, led the annual mission trip to Haiti, which was just one among the many places where our students have the opportunity to serve. Other mission trips offered this year through the Mother Teresa Project (MTP) include Calcutta, Washington, D.C., Dominican Republic, New Mexico, Mexico City, and Uganda.
As with all the MTP mission trips, our students in Haiti attended daily Mass and adoration. They journaled about and shared with one another the transforming power of the experience of service. AMU alumnus Ethan Bertrand (‘16) says that his time in Haiti was incredible. “It was really inspiring to spend time with the Sisters who dedicate their entire lives to serving the poorest of the poor and still manage to let the Joy of Christ radiate from them constantly,” he shares. Going on: “It changes your perspective on poverty to see it all firsthand, and I think the experience did just as much, if not more, to help me grow in faith as it helped the people there.”
The MTP mission trips are an opportunity for students to broaden their horizons, grow in self-knowledge, discover the dignity of each and every person, and encounter the loving face of Jesus in the poor. Through the Mother Teresa Project, Ave Maria University students have opportunities to serve at home as well as abroad. Some of the local agencies AMU students volunteer with include Habitat for Humanity, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Immokalee, Immokalee Soccer School, Immokalee Housing and Family Services, and Harbor Chase Memory Care Center. To learn more, visit MotherTeresaProject.org.
|The March for Life Rally will take place in Washington D.C. on Friday, January 19th. Join us, from 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM EST at the National Mall. The March for Life will begin at 1:00 PM EST. Ave Maria University students, alumni, family and friends will be meeting up at the Rally at 11:30 AM EST at the corner of 14th and Constitution. Keep an eye out for the Ave Maria University banners and our new blue and green striped winter hats. We would love to have you March with Ave. Immediately following the March for Life, alumni and friends will head to The Dubliner (4 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001) for fellowship and celebration.
For additional information, contact Sophia Mick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 908-2414.
|If you are unable to join us in Washington D.C., show your support of Ave Maria’s ProLife initiatives by giving a gift, click here to Donate Now.
Fr. Matthew Lamb’s funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday at 10am in the Ave Maria Parish Church. 60-90 minutes prior to the start of the Mass the casket will be present in the Church for those who wish to pray with Father’s mortal remains or say a final farewell.
Classes are officially in session on Wednesday, but anyone who wishes to attend the funeral has permission to do so. The expectation for both students and faculty is that those who wish to attend the funeral will attend (or hold) as much class as possible prior to the funeral and return to class as soon as possible after it has ended.
Our beloved priest and graduate theology professor, Fr. Matthew Lamb passed away at 3am on Friday, the 12th of January. He passed after a rapid decline due to complications from blood clotting in his lungs and underlying pulmonary fibrosis. He was well-informed about the gravity of his situation, had received Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion several times, and spoke peacefully and openly about his desire to meet Jesus.
Ave Maria University is interested in cultivating every aspect of a student: spiritually, academically and physically. It takes a dedicated, talented, driven person to succeed both in the classroom and on the court, and sophomore women’s basketball player Emily Acosta can attest to that. She was originally drawn to Ave’s basketball program because she saw an ideal opportunity to pursue her “dream of becoming a college basketball player,” and to join as part of the “most successful program on campus.” Acosta’s love of the game, her teammates, and her coach all contribute to an overall incredible experience that she considers a blessing. Basketball is her “go-to therapy,” that serves to clear the mind and help her become the best version of herself. The sport itself, and the community it fosters, is a gift that Emily is grateful for every single day. She praises the team’s “good chemistry on and off the court,” believing that their repeated success is attributed to a positive group dynamic. Acosta also accredits the team’s success to their devoted coach: Bob Batson. “Not only does he guide us in basketball, but also with school and even life,” Emily explains. She describes Batson as an “outstanding mentor who wants nothing but the best for us.” Knowing the difficulties student-athletes face in an effort to maintain grades and keep up with a demanding training schedule, Emily notes that Batson “emphasizes school first to keep us in check.” Although it is difficult to strike a balance between sports, school, and other extra-curricular activities, Emily knows that a commitment to her education is what will secure her future. As she and her teammates continue reinforcing their winning streak while training and studying, the aim for Ave’s women’s basketball team remains clear: “our goal is to get to Sioux City, Iowa to compete in the national tournament.” The Ave Maria women’s basketball team is comprised of hardworking, passionate individuals like Emily, who are committed to receiving an authentically Catholic education, growing in skill, and earning a spot at nationals.
Every January, the staff, faculty and, most especially, the students of Ave Maria University become the voice for the University community at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. This past year was no exception as over 200 members of our University joined the ranks of Marchers, despite the cold of a record breaking winter. These 200 students, faculty, and staff were part of a peaceful protest that drew nearly half a million people from all over the United States looking to lend their voices to urge our government to abolish abortion from this country.
As usual, The March for Life was an excused absence from class for all Ave Maria University’s students attending with the University group. The University chooses to allow for this two-day absence to emphasize how important the fight for a Culture of Life is to the very mission of the University. In the spirit of Pope St. John Paull II and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Ave Maria University seeks to promote a Culture of Life which cares for the most vulnerable of our society from conception to natural death.
As can be heard in the resounding chants of her students at the March, Ave Maria University believes that the dignity of each person should be upheld not just by the Church, but all of society. Since life is a gift from God, every human is sacred and must be treated as such in any condition. By attending this March, Ave Maria University takes a stand to always defend the rights of those threatened by the culture of death, whether it’s the unborn, the disabled, the infirmed, or those at the end of their lives.
Like previous years, this mass pilgrimage to the U.S. capital from Ave Maria, Florida was entirely organized by the students of Ave Maria University, specifically Ave for Life; the University’s pro-life initiative and largest student organization. Ave for Life organized for three buses to transport these 200 students (almost 20% of the student population) over 1,000 miles to Washington D.C. This dynamic group of students was able to raise enough funds to cover all food and lodging costs for all the students traveling to Washington.
As is evident, everyone at Ave Maria University who was involved in the 2017 March for Life spent a great amount of energy to bring this event about. However, as usual, the established media chose to treat this large scale demonstration very minimally, or in some cases, pay no attention to it at all. One may ask why Ave Maria continues to be a part of an event that receives little attention due to biased reporting. What good can come of it?
In fact, a great deal of good has already come of it. According to the Washington Post, 53% of Americans ages 18-34 believe that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. This is a staggering number compared to the generation that was this age when Roe vs. Wade was passed. The students of Ave Maria University belong to a generation that believes it is becoming more and more likely that abortion will be abolished in this generation’s lifetime. This is why Ave marches. As AMU Junior Blair Harbison put it, “We believe that one day abortion will be seen as the evil that it truly is, and we hope to be remembered as the generation that stood for what they believed in and became the voice for the voiceless.”