Dr. Rezende Offers Students Advice at “Professors are People, Too!”


“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.

The Kazma Scholars Fund Awards Academic Excellence, Character, and Initiative


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 Homes”: A Firm Foundation Built for Bright Futures


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.

 

Join the March for Life Rally


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 sophia.mick@avemaria.edu 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.

Additional Information:

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADOPTION IS THE ANSWER                                                                                    A MARCH FOR LIFE STORY

 

Fr. Matthew Lamb’s Funeral Information


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’s March for Life Story


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.”

 

 

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos To Address Graduates At 2018 Commencement


AVE MARIA, Fla. (January 11, 2018) — Ave Maria University announced today that the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, will be commencement speaker at this year’s graduation exercises

“It is a great privilege to have America’s top education official address the Class of 2018, and our entire campus community looks forward to welcoming her with joy in May,” said Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University. “Secretary DeVos is a passionate advocate for children in America and their right to a quality education, and the common-sense initiatives she has undertaken in her first year overseeing higher education in America merit our gratitude,” he added. President of the AMU Student Government Association, Stephen Akers, echoed Towey’s enthusiasm. “Having Secretary DeVos on our campus is a true honor for our graduates and Ave Maria’s students will receive her with all of the excitement and gratitude she so richly deserves,” he commented.

Chairman of the Ave Maria University Board of Trustees Michael Timmis believes Secretary DeVos’ choice of the University buttresses the campus’ growing national profile, and praised her selection. “Secretary DeVos recognizes the rights and importance of faith-based institutions of higher education in America,” he stated. “Her message will surely resonate with our graduates on their special day.”

Ave Maria University’s commencement takes place on May 5, 2018 at 10AM in the Tom Golisano Field House. Approximately 250 undergraduate and graduate students are expected to receive degrees at this year’s ceremony, the 11th on the University’s permanent campus, and 14th overall. Past commencement speakers have included former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; entrepreneur Dan D’Aniello; Florida Governor Rick Scott; The Wall Street Journal columnist and author Peggy Noonan; Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington; President of the American Enterprise Institute Dr. Arthur Brooks; and His Eminence Sean Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston.

Ave Maria University is a Catholic liberal arts college situated in Southwest Florida with approximately 1,100 students from 45 states and 24 countries, and offers concentrations of study in 34 majors as well as both a Master and Doctoral program in theology. AMU’s average class size of 20, 85% Ph.D. instruction, net out-of-pocket costs for tuition, fees, room and board of about $20,000, and low average student debt for graduates, make the University one of the best value propositions in all of academia. Recently ranked as one of the top 25 colleges in the South and the third best in Florida by the Washington, D.C.-based research firm WalletHub.com, Ave Maria University has the nation’s only Mother Teresa of Calcutta project and museum in her honor. This academic year scores of AMU students will travel on mission trips to India, Uganda, Haiti, Mexico, France and the Dominican Republic, as well as serve the poor in the nearby farmworker community of Immokalee.

CONTACT: Brian Couch; Vice President of Advancement; (239) 280-1695; brian.couch@avemaria.edu

Download the Press Release

Ave Receives Florida Department of Health Grant To Research Alzheimer’s Disease


AVE MARIA, Fla. (January 10, 2018) — Approximately 480,000 Floridians are currently affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers around the world are studying new methods of diagnosis and treatment. While significant research progress has been made, it is still unclear why some individuals develop Alzheimer’s disease.

To solve this question, the Florida Department of Health has awarded a $100,000 pilot grant from the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund to Ave Maria University chemists and biologists. Increasing evidence suggests that Alzheimer’s is linked to changes in the metabolic profiles of patients that diminish neuron survival.

Four Ave Maria University professors propose to investigate how the nicotinamide metabolites affect the aging-related protein sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) to promote neuron survival. The multi-investigator team includes Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Antonio Barbosa (principal investigator), and co-investigators Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Stephen Cronin, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Diana West, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. James Vranish. With expertise in biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and biology, this research team will work alongside Ave Maria University undergraduates to better understand how SIRT1 can be harnessed to prevent the formation of Tau tangles and amyloid beta plaque build-up in Alzheimer’s.

A portion of the grant award will initiate scholarships for undergraduates to conduct biomedical research in the summer. The Ave Maria University research team anticipates that this research will be beneficial for the discovery of new therapies for Alzheimer’s. For more information on this research project, please contact Dr. Tony Barbosa at tony.barbosa@avemaria.edu.

Ave Maria University established its permanent campus near Naples in 2007, and has since expanded the number of majors offered from 11 to 34, including programs in business, nursing, education, and the arts and sciences. The University this year has an enrollment of 1,100 that includes students from 45 states and 20 countries, and a student body that is approximately 85% Catholic, 25% minority, and evenly-divided between men and women. Ave Maria’s state-of-the-art campus offers six residence halls with a capacity for 1,300 students and rests on a tract of over 300 acres in Southwest Florida.

Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning devoted to Mary the Mother of God, inspired by St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, and dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service. For more information on Ave Maria University, visit https://www.avemaria.edu.

CONTACT: Katy Thoele
Program Manager, Advancement
(239) 280-1565
katy.thoele@avemaria.edu

Download the Press Release

Resident Assistant Spotlight


Senior Matt Peterson gives a glimpse into what it’s like to be a Residence Assistant.

Q: First, the details. Where are you from, and what are you studying?

A: I am from Bedford, New Hampshire and I am studying accounting with a minor in Latin.

Q: So, why did you want to be an RA?

A: I wanted to be an RA because I saw the impact my RAs had on me, and I wanted to have the same sort of impact on other students.  Having transferred into Ave halfway through my sophomore year, I understand that the transition to college can be challenging and awkward at times, but the RAs were always there to aid with that transition. I’s satisfying knowing that now I can be that for other students.

Q: What have you learned from being an RA?

A: I’ve learned that every single person truly is unique and comes from a different walk of life. This definitely helps me handle situations with a less judgmental mindset, knowing that when a student is acting out or being unsociable, it has much deeper roots than what I see.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an RA?
A: Aside from the lack of sleep, the most challenging part of being an RA is stepping outside of my comfort zone, whether it be to connect with a student who wants nothing to do with me, or handling an incident.

Q: What makes Residence Life at Ave so awesome?

A: The people. Not just the residents, but also the other RAs, who are carefully and prayerfully grouped with one another to make the most perfect fit possible for each of the dorms.

At Ave Maria University, each residence hall is served by a Residence Director, a live-in full-time staff member who plays a critical role in the lives of the students in their residence halls. Residence Directors are assisted by a team of Resident Assistants (RAs), students who are hired for their leadership skills and heart of service.

Ave Maria University Now Offers Nationwide Distance-Learning Through SARA


Ave Maria University is excited to announce that it is now a participating institution in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), which sets national standards for postsecondary distance-learning programs. SARA works to lower the costs and increase the opportunities associated with students taking college-level online courses from institutions operating in other states.

Approved participation in SARA is good news for Ave Maria University, which launched its first distance-learning program, JumpStart, in August 2017. JumpStart offers high school juniors and seniors the chance to enroll in highly affordable, fully accredited college-level courses, taught by Ave Maria University professors and offered entirely online. When enrollment for JumpStart first opened, its offerings were limited to Florida residents alone, but the expansion of course offerings and extension of the program to students in other states was always part of the long-term plan. With its approved participation in SARA, Ave Maria University is now in a position to move forward and open up the benefits of JumpStart to high school students nationwide. “Ave Maria University’s new Jumpstart program provides a wonderful opportunity for high school and homeschool students to earn college-level course credit from one of the finest classical liberal arts curricula available,” says Director of Admissions Karen Full. “We are thrilled to offer these affordable, online courses to students from all over the country.”

SARA is a voluntary agreement among participating states to a set of national standards for distance-learning programs with the goal of making it easier for students to take courses from institutions that are based in another state. SARA, which is overseen by a National Council, began inviting states to become members in January 2014. States become members through a process overseen by their regional compact. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), of which Florida is a member, approved Florida to join SARA as the 48th state member in August 2017. Once Florida was established as a member of SARA, the Florida-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (FL-SARA) opened up the application process in October 2017 for institutions such as Ave Maria University to seek approval to become participants in FL-SARA.

Starting next year, Ave Maria University will be able to offer more distance-learning courses, all available to students nationwide. High school students across the country will soon be able to reap the benefits of AMU’s online program, JumpStart, which is one step closer to the ultimate goal of offering more students access to quality Catholic postsecondary education at an affordable price. Registration for JumpStart is now open online for classes beginning January 8th, 2018.

“Joining SARA is a big step for Ave Maria,” says JumpStart Academic Coordinator Dr. Gabriel Martinez. “Not only does this allow us to serve almost the entire country, but also SARA institutions commit themselves to the highest standards in online education.  By joining SARA, we are committing ourselves to developing high-quality, academically rigorous online programs in a manner that fulfills our mission and serves society.”