Student Ambassadors  
 

Meet the AQ Student Ambassadors

Name: Hannah Acosta

Academic Standing: Junior

Major(s): Business Administration/ Communication Dual with Marketing concentration

Minor: Spanish

Hometown: Holland, Mich.

E-mail address: hea001@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Student Ambassador

Vice Chair of Student Senate

Abandon Praise and Worship Leader

Service Learning Student Leader- New Orleans 2014

Something fun/interesting/unique about you:I am in LOVE with the city of New Orleans and my dream job would be to work for the New Orleans Saints

Most unique experience at AQ? My most unique experience at Aquinas was being nominated to participate in the

Creative Challenge with Van Andel Institute. For two long days we created an entire marketing/

advertising plan for the Institute and Presented in front of their top board members. This was

such a wonderful networking and hands on experience. It helped me determine that Marketing is

exactly what I want to do.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? Aquinas has been a blessing in my life, granting me more opportunities in and out of the classroom than I could ever imagine. The excitement and passion I have for Aquinas has done

nothing but grow over the past 3 years. I wanted to be an ambassador in order to share that experience with others. I want them to understand that Prayer, Study, Service and Community are not just words here at Aquinas but rather characteristics that we see being emulated on the campus daily. It is incredibly rewarding for me to see first year students on campus knowing that I played a role in them calling AQ home.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? My favorite thing about Aquinas is the community. I have experienced this sense of community in student organizations, from professors, advisors, resident assistants and all over

campus. There isn’t anything quite like the AQ family.

Favorite Quote: "Work Hard, Stay Sweet, Trust God, & Love Deep"

   
Peter Brandenburg

Name: Peter Brandenburg

Academic Standing: Junior

Major: Accounting

Minor: Undetermined

Hometown: Mason, Mich.

E-mail address: pmb002@aquinas.edu                     

AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  Business and Accounting League, Men's Soccer.

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I love golf and running.

Most unique experience at AQ? The one-on-one relationship with professors. I have actually gotten to know a few of them.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? It seemed like a challenge that was worth accepting for me. I also want to surround myself with highly motivated individuals and learn to speak in front of, and socialize with, people I have just met.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? The small class size which promotes productive and inclusive discussion. It is also a very community developing environment where I feel at home and welcomed.

Favorite Quote: "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

   
Katie Brinklow Name: Katie Brinklow
Academic Standing: Junior
Major(s): Community Leadership and Communication
Hometown: Midland, Mich./ Mt. Zion, Ill.
E-mail address: ksb002@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Community Leadership Club, AQua Aid, AQpella
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I really want an axolotl named Lyle
Most unique experience at AQ? Instant messaging on the AQ Library website with one of the librarians to get help finding sources for a research project while I was off campus.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I really love my school and love telling everyone about it!
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The sense of community we have on our beautiful campus tucked in the woods while simultaneously being down the street from such an awesome city with so many opportunities.
Favorite Quote: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." - Maya Angelou
   
Alana Casullo

Name: Alana Casullo
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Biology
Hometown: Malden, Mass.
E-mail address: acc003@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Across State Lines, Tri-Beta, Bravo!
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I love giraffes so much I collect them (to an almost embarrassing degree... seriously, TLC might be calling me to be on a special soon.) The oldest one I have is named Giraffey and he still lives on my bed.
Most unique experience at AQ? My organic professor once wrote me a full-fledged art critique on the back of one of my quizzes where I had doodled a bunch of squiggly lines. He named the piece "Spaghetti Garden" and I still have the quiz hanging on my wall.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to help people fall in love with my second home. I also really wanted to be that deciding factor that made them want to come to AQ.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? I love that I can't walk from one building to the next without seeing at least five people that I know.
Favorite Quote: "Maybe there's something you're afraid to say, or someone you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go. It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt because it matters." - John Green

   
Tyler Wayne Clark

Name: Tyler Wayne Clark

Academic Standing: Senior

Major: International Studies and Political Science

Hometown: Saint Joseph, Mich.

E-mail address: twc001@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  Model UN, Saints for Refugees, CYBIAC

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: Both cars I've owned have had British names (Nigel and Winston), I love backpacking, and I once had an argument with six Somalian refugees at once - they won.

Most unique experience at AQ? Going on a retreat to South Manitou Island and swimming out to a sunken ship! We touched the butt!

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? Because I love Aquinas and I want to spread that love to as many people as I can.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? Squirrels. Everywhere.

Favorite Quote: “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister

   
Grant Cook

Name: Grant Cook

Academic Standing: Junior

Major(s): Sport Management and Business Administration

Minor(s): Coaching, Exercise Science, and Marketing

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

E-mail address: gmc002@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: President of the Sports Management Club, Business and Accounting League, AQ Rex, Cross Country, Track

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I won a half Marathon this summer

Most unique experience at AQ? Watching a squirrel run away with a whole piece of pizza.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be more involved than I was in high school.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? The AQ Community

Favorite Quote: “Everything can be taken away from you but one thing. To choose the attitude in any given set of circumstances." - Viktor Frankl

   
Travis DeHaan

Name: Travis DeHaan
Academic Standing: Sophomore
Major(s): Biology and Spanish
Hometown: Caledonia, Mich.
E-mail address: trd001@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  Aquinas Programming Board, AQ Intramurals, Education Club, Casa Hogar Club
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I was bitten by a bear cub in the neck while attempting to take advantage of a rare photo op. Although it's teeth did not break skin, I am now deathly afraid of people touching my neck.
Most unique experience at AQ? By far my most unique experience was being part of the Peru Service Learning Trip during summer 2014. Never have I been so immersed in a culture apart from my own and this adventure has forever changed my life. Something happened on that trip that I never thought would ever occur to me when preparing for Peru. I became so envious of the Peruvians because they were the happiest people I have ever met simply because they had their family. That's all it took.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be an AQ Ambassador because I wanted desperately to see the looks on prospective students' faces when they had that "ah ha" moment. This epiphany came to me when I visited campus and knew that this would be the perfect place to start the next chapter of my life. It is impossible not to fall in love with this campus and I desired to see that experience first hand.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? I simply can't choose just one so I would have to say my favorite things about Aquinas are 1. The academic and life support provided by the faculty here and 2. As cliche as it sounds, the sense of community. We are a small school which makes for one very large family.
Favorite Quote: “We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all." - The Breakfast Club

   
Casey Dickerson

Name:  Casey Dickerson

Academic Standing: Sophomore

Major(s): Biology

Hometown: Battle Creek, MI

E-mail address: cld004@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  Gay Straight Alliance Vice President, Saint Squard, Cava, VIBE, Pre-Health Club

Something fun/interesting/unique about you:  I have a black belt in the Korean Martial Arts of Hap Ki Do.

Most unique experience at AQ? My most unique experience at AQ was having math class in the amphitheater of the Arts and Music Center.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador?  I wanted to be an AQ Ambassador so that I could share my love for Aquinas and positive experiences with prospective students and to contribute to the welcoming, nurturing atmosphere of the school.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? My favorite thing about AQ is the caring community that is formed by students, faculty, and professors. I always feel included and encouraged.

Favorite Quote: "Be who you are, not who the world wants you to be."

   
Johanna Dugan

Name: Johanna Dugan

Academic Standing: Senior

Major(s): Community Leadership

Minor(s): Theology

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

E-mail address: jld003@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  President Saint's Squad

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I lived in the UK (Wales) for a year and a half before I started college.

Most unique experience at AQ? I planned a Christmas event on campus called AQuismas. Students are allowed to choose their favorite faculty and staff members to read stories to them. Students filled the Regina lounge in their pajamas, sitting on pillows and blankets. We served cookies and milk. It's a pretty magical experience. By far, however, the best moment during the planning stage was when a professor decided he wanted to wear an elf costume for his performance and sent me an email containing a selfie of him in the costume from the dressing room. It was priceless.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? When I love something, I want to talk about it. All the time. Being an ambassador allows me to do that. I get to tell people all about Aquinas. About my friends, my experience, my classes and professors.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? Hands down, no questions asked, my favorite thing about AQ is the community. There is no other place like it. I can't walk from one building to another without coming across someone I not only know, but consider a friend. It's beautiful.

Favorite Quote: “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere, people may decieve you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway." - Mother Theresa

 
Samantha Fogus

Name: Samantha Fogus
Academic Standing: 5th Year
Major(s): Spanish and Elementary Education
Hometown: Midland, Mich.
E-mail address: saf002@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Women's Lacrosse, Intramural Sports, Spanish Club, Special Saints Club, ASCD, Freshman Orientation, CYBIAC, CAVA, Casa Hogar, Service Learning
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I had an unknown Autoimmune disease attack my eyes and also have a genetic marker for VKH Syndrome which is commonly found in Asian men. Lucky me!
Most unique experience at AQ? Hands down being an Orientation Leader! It was some of the most fun I have ever had!
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I want others to fall in love with AQ like I did. I want to help others find the place they are meant to be, their second home.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? It has to be the sense of community. When you are on campus, there is always a face smiling back at you. We are a family.
Favorite Quote: “Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine." - Anthony J. D'Angelo

   
Graham Gates

Name: Graham Gates
Academic Standing: Sophomore
Major(s): Business Marketing
Minor(s): Economics
Hometown: South Bend, Ind.
E-mail address: gwg002@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Ice Hockey, Out of State Club  
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: My left foot is about an inch longer than my right.
Most unique experience at AQ?: Playing hockey on the rink we made for the community at Wilcox Park.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador?: So I could show off Aquinas in the best way possible, and help people that are in the same situation I was a couple years ago.
What is your favorite thing about AQ?: The sense of community from everyone here.
Favorite Quote: "During high school, I played junior hockey and still hold two league records: most time spent in the penalty box; and I was the only guy to ever take off his skate and try to stab someone." - Happy Gilmore

 
Katherine Glossop

Name: Katherine Glossop
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Communication & Theatre
Hometown: Lansing, Mich.
E-mail address: kcg001@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Orientation leader, In Case of Emergency Improv, Bravo! Theatre Club
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I recap my day with my Blackmoor Goldfish, Uncle Saul, every night before bed.
Most unique experience at AQ? Being in Derry, Northern Ireland, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday during my semester abroad.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to become an Aquinas Ambassador because Aquinas has been such an influential part of my life. It has shaped the human being I have become. It taught me community and service. That is a powerful message and opportunity that I want to share with other students.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The overall sense of community and camaraderie on display each and every day at Aquinas.
Favorite Quote: "Different strokes for different folks."

   
Tyler Golembiewski

Name: Tyler Golembiewski

Academic Standing: Junior

Major(s): Spanish, International Studies

Minor: Economics, Political Science

Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.

E-mail address: tjg003@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Baseball

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I have different colored eyes. I learned how to solve a Rubik's Cube in fourth grade.

Most unique experience at AQ? Getting my professor to jokingly throw a book and trash can because of a bad answer I gave in class. Or having a professor bring in ferrets to class and losing them for a few minutes. Searching for ferrets at the end of a night class was definitely an interesting experience.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? When I visited the campus, I fell in love with the school. I want to show people how amazing AQ is and help prospective students find their home here.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? My favorite thing about AQ is how well you can get to know your professors. Walking around campus, professors will talk to you about school, life, sports, whatever. It's great knowing in class that professors know how to best work with you, and are genuinely interested in your success.

Favorite Quote: Be the kind of man that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, "Oh crap. He's up."

   
Aaron Hendrick

Name: Aaron Hendrick
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Accounting and Math
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.
E-mail address: ajh007@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Men's Tennis, Intramural Sports, Student Athletic Advisory Board, Business and Accounting League 
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: My dream vacation would be a road trip to California in a no-door Jeep
Most unique experience at AQ? Playing tennis in the semi-finals of the National Tournament in Florida.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to share my experiences of Aquinas College with others and help prospective students choose the right college for them.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? I love the campus and tight-knit community of students and faculty.
Favorite Quote: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what people think you are." - John Wooden

   
Caleb Jenkins

Name: Caleb Francis Jenkins

Academic Standing: Sophomore

Major(s): Theatre and Community Leadership

Minor: Communication

Hometown: Byron Center, Mich.

E-mail address:cfj001@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Aquinas College Programming Board, Orientation Leader, Bravo!, Commuter Club, AQ Theatre Department

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: My best friend and I wrote a film script this past year. The entire film was shot on an iPhone and features local actors from Grand Rapids. Along with filming and acting, my friend and I also produced, directed and edited the film. We had a premier at Celebration! Cinema and it is now available to watch on YouTube.

Most unique experience at AQ? Serving as an orientation leader was such an incredible experience! I had a group of 28 girls and we had a blast!

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I strongly believe that there's at least one thing that everyone will find that they love about Aquinas. I love that is is my job to help people find those things and more.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? The caring and supportive community that I'm continuously surrounded by in the theater department!

Favorite Quote: “Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

   
Maggie Kieffer

Name: Maggie Keiffer
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Kinesiology
Minor(s): Biology and Allied Health
Hometown: Brighton, Mich.
E-mail address: mmk004@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Women's Soccer, Student Athletic Advisory Board 
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I am one of seven children and I love cheerios without milk
Most unique experience at AQ? Being in the WHAC Championship game my freshman year against Sienna Heights. The atmosphere of playing in the game with all the support from the AQ community was awesome and so much fun. A game I'll never forget!
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I love meeting new people and I wanted to show others how great Aquinas is and all the opportunities AQ has to offer for everyone.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? I love the AQ atmosphere and community. From the beautiful campus and people, to always seeing some I know while walking through campus. Also, having the opportunity to establish great relationships with professors and faculty.
Favorite Quote: “To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world." - Unknown

 
Brigid Kiley

Name: Brigid Kiley
Academic Standing: Junior
Major(s): Biology (Pre-med)
Hometown: Muskegon, Mich.
E-mail address: jmh003@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Intramural Sports

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: If I could have any superpower, I would want ninja powers! I could do sweet back flips on my way to class and be awesome at scaling trees.
Most unique experience at AQ? Losing every game in intramural volleyball last year. Some things teach you humility (and how to laugh at yourself, your friends, and all the silly things you do together).
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? To e able to share with others a little bit of what I get to experience everyday - going to class with my fellow Saints, walking and playing on campus and being a part of a community that really does make all the difference in the world.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? Our beautiful campus and all the smiling faces I see every day.

Favorite Quote: "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." - C.S. Lewis

 
Amanda Korcal

Name: Amanda Korcal
Academic Standing: Junior
Major(s): Psychology and Community Leadership
Hometown: Perry, Mich.
E-mail address: amk008@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Insignis 

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I collect cool socks. I have a pair for every holiday.
Most unique experience at AQ? The semester I spent abroad in Ireland. It was the most amazing experience.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be an AQ Ambassador to have the opportunity to share with others how wonderful the community is.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The community. I love that I feel at home here.
Favorite Quote: “I am fairly certain that a given cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world." - Leigh Standley

   
Alan Lally

Name: Alan Lally

Academic Standing:  Junior

Major: Business Administration and Communication

Hometown: Lowell, Mich.

E-mail address: arl006@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  Service Learning, AQ Special Saints, CUBIAC, Choir at Bukowski Chapel, CAVA, Abandon, Library worker

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: When I was a camp counselor at a special needs camp, my campers dressed me up as an Irish superhero for "dress your camp counselor as a superhero." They call me "Lepre-lally"..aka Agent L.

Most unique experience at AQ? I had the opportunity to go on a service learning trip to Acadia National Park in Maine my freshman year. Everything was incredible, from the car ride, to working in the park, to climbing mountains, to being with fellow AQ students. Opportunities like this one make me realize I picked the right school!

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? My time at Aquinas has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I want to help Aquinas change the lives of others too, one tour at a time!

What is your favorite thing about AQ? I love the class sizes and the community built between students, faculty, and staff. It has made my college journey worthwhile.

Favorite Quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

   
Brandon Lawson

Name: Brandon Lawson

Academic Standing: Senior

Major: French, Communication

Hometown: Roscoe, Ill.

E-mail address: btl001@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: French Club, Theatre, Across State Lines

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I love languages and I can currently speak French, Japanese, and English as well as some Russian and Spanish.

Most unique experience at AQ? When I was a freshman during exam cram, a few of my friends and I stayed up in the library until 7 a.m. studying. At 3 a.m. we decided to release some stress and have a mini dance party in one of the study rooms. A person brought energy drinks and we just sat there and joked around until about 5 a.m. (also staying relatively quiet out of respect for others of course)

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be an ambassador because this program was the reason I came to Aquinas. I stayed for a club AQ day with Chris Skurka my senior year of high school, and because of his kindness and the wonderful community I saw while I visited; I fell in love with this college. I want to create the same experience for prospective students as well.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? The people. From my classmates, to the professors, to my friends. I have never met or have been a part of such a wonderful community.

Favorite Quote: “Dream as if you'll live forever, live as though you'd die today."

   
Jimmy McDonagh

Name: Jimmy McDonagh
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Business Administration and Communication

Minor(s): Economics
Hometown: Battle Creek, Mich.
E-mail address: jbm001@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Baseball, Ice Hockey, and College Republicans
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I collect different rocks from everywhere I travel for my aunt.
Most unique experience at AQ? Playing in the first hockey game in AQ history.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I love public speaking and I had a really good tour to get me to attend AQ.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The professors really want to see their students succeed and the tight knit student community.
Favorite Quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

 
Anne Morrow

Name: Anne Morrow

Academic Standing: Junior

Major: Community Leadership

Minor: Communication

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

E-mail address: aem007@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: SAAB, Women’s Lacrosse Team, Intramural Sports, and Campus Ministry Retreats, Special Saints, Abandon

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I LOVE nature. I enjoy being active outside and just being in nature brings me a sense of peace and reflection. I also enjoy lima beans and believe that ice cream can be eaten for any meal!

Most unique experience at AQ? I went backpacking on South Manitou Island with a group of people I had never met before and it was such a remarkable experience. And this tear I have the opportunity to be a leader for this amazing trip!

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I LOVE my school and this gives me the opportunity to share my personal experiences and how much Aquinas means to me.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? It's tough to narrow it down to one thing, but if I had to pick it would be all of the friendly faces on campus! I love the genuine closeness of our community here on our gorgeous campus!

Favorite Quote: “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

   
Taylor Nefcy

Name: Taylor Nefcy

Academic Standing: Senior

Major: Business Administration and Theatre

Minor: Communication

Hometown: Ogden, Utah

E-mail address: tjn003@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Bravo!, Orientation Leader

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I have lived in England and Japan

Most unique experience at AQ? I pulled an April Fools prank on my professor and the video went viral.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I want to make new students feel as welcome as I did when I came to Aquinas!

What is your favorite thing about AQ? Fall! #basic #pumpkinlattes #uggboots #noshame

Favorite Quote: “TV. Takeout food. Cat." - Taylor Swift

   
Claire O'Brien

Name: Claire O'Brien

Academic Standing: Junior

Major(s): Communication and Community Leadership

Minor: Journalism

Hometown: Higgins Lake, Mich.

E-mail address: cpo001@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  Aquinas College Programming Board, Insignis, Service-learning, Campus Ministry

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I have a very weak sense of smell. It's so weak it is basically nonexistent.

Most unique experience at AQ? I got to spent a week in the Dominican Republic serving others in need with a great group of Aquinas students.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be an Ambassador because I have so much fun telling people how much I love Aquinas and how many amazing opportunities it has give me.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? My favorite thing about AQ is that it has given me such great memories that will stay with me even when I leave the beautiful campus.

Favorite Quote: "The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway." - Mother Theresa

 
Rico Padilla

Name: Rico Padilla
Academic Standing: Junior
Major(s): International Business and Spanish
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.
E-mail address: eip001@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Captain of the Men's Soccer Team, Special Saints, Spanish Club  
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I have a younger brother and a younger sister and I've cut my own hair since my sophomore year of high school.
Most unique experience at AQ? The squirrels are very friendly.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I really want to be able to represent Aquinas. I want to be part of this great group of people and be able to interact with and surround myself with the successful students of Aquinas.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? I love the Wege Cafeteria and the friendliness of everyone on campus. Making friends is very easy and there is always something to do on or off campus.
Favorite Quote: "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Dumbledore

 
Crysta PAganelli

Name:  Crysta Paganelli
Academic Standing: Junior
Major(s): Communication

Minor(s): Journalism
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.
E-mail address: clp002@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Cross Country, Track and Field, Saints for Refugees
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I am a runner at AQ and running is such a strong passion of mine. So many great experiences I have had at AQ have been with Cross Country and Track and Field.
Most unique experience at AQ? My most unique experience at AQ was at my orientation freshman year. When we all lit candles, made a prayer and placed them in Wege pond. That is a memory that I will cherish all of my life.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be an ambassador because I really wanted to get involved more at AQ. I also wanted to take part in showing off our amazing school to prospective students.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The fact that it's such a close community and you get the opportunity to meet so many people. Not to mention our campus is gorgeous too!
Favorite Quote: "Life is a marathon, not a sprint."

 
Micanna Pelkey

Name: Micanna Pelky
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Business Administration and Communication
Hometown: Grand Haven, Mich.
E-mail address: mrp003@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Communication Club, Intramural Basketball
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I've fractured my back twice.
Most unique experience at AQ? Being a Resident Assistant for two years in a first year residence hall where I was able to give my residents the same impact that my Resident Assistant to for me.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be an Ambassador because I wanted to be one of the first people that a prospective student meets and I wanted to show off my campus.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The professors. They make an effort to get to know you and they are very accessible when you are struggling with your class.
Favorite Quote: "Life goes on."

 
Nick Rudofski

Name: Nick Rudofski
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Sustainable Business
Hometown: Commerce, Mich.
E-mail address: nlr001@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Saints for Life, AQ Quidditch.
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I ran into actor Jason Segel on campus once!
Most unique experience at AQ? Seeing students I have given tours to actually come to Aquinas is incredibly rewarding. Knowing that I helped them make than important life decision gives me great satisfaction in what I do.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to help share the love I have for this school and its community. We have a hidden treasure here and I wanted to show prospective students what it was all about.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The sense of belonging here is my favorite thing. I feel like this place is my home.
Favorite Quote: “Men cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." - Andre Gide

 
Noah Sall

Name: Noah Sall
Academic Standing: Sophomore
Major(s): Math
Hometown: Holland, Mich.
E-mail address: nds002@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Resident Assistant, Bible Study, Snowboard/Ski Club, Intramural Volleyball, Intramural Basketball
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I look like Spock. I am a rock climbing and kayaking guide.
Most unique experience at AQ? CYBIAC.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? People thought I would be good, so I thought, "why not?" It's the most prestigious job on campus, so I thought it would be good for my resume, confidence and networking opportunities.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? I feel like I'm in the middle of nowhere in the woods, yet I'm right in East-town.
Favorite Quote: “The amateur practices until they get it right, a master practices until they never get it wrong."

 
Nathan (Nate) Schall

Name: Nathan (Nate) Schall

Academic Standing: Junior

Major(s): Community Leadership and Geography

Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.

E-mail address: nws001@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Habitat for Humanity, Across State Lines, and AQ Light Retreat Team, Campus Ministry, Heartside Pride Cleansweep Leader, Resident Assistant

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I am going to trying to make it the rest of the year without a haircut/

Most unique experience at AQ? I fibbed to my friends visiting from Indiana that you can touch the squirrels here. Sure enough the first one we saw let us touch its nose! We then became radioactive.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? Aquinas has challenged me and has made me work closer to my potential, so showing me love of AQ to prospective students, donors and alumni is the least I can do in return..

What is your favorite thing about AQ? The Dominican heritage. It's four pillars of study, prayer, service and community are tucked and hidden all over campus. Father Stan rocks.

Favorite Quote: “When you walk the street you will have no cares. When you walk the lines and not the squares. As you go through life, make this your goal: Watch the donut, not the hold!" - From the Donut Song by Burl Ives

 
Mary Schomisch

Name: Mary Schomisch
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Accounting and Business Administration
Hometown: Fowler, Mich.
E-mail address: mks003@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Catholic Life Club, Business and Accounting League, Grace Hauenstein Library Student Assistant
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I met the Eli Young Band while camping in Indiana.
Most unique experience at AQ? Receiving an email from a professor about potentially babysitting for her neighbors.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I wanted to be an Ambassador to share how I've been able to make AQ my home so future students can envision AQ as their home.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The squirrels. They are so friendly and can always make me laugh.
Favorite Quote: “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost

 
Abby Stocking

Name: Abby Stocking

Academic Standing: 5th Year Senior

Major(s): Learning Disabilities

Hometown: DeTour Village, Mich.

E-mail address: ass002@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Abandon, CYBIAC, Student Ambassador

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I'm from a very small town in the Upper Peninsula where people leave their keys in their cars and houses unlocked at all times.

Most unique experience at AQ? My junior year I had a large group of 15 friends that cam over and made dinner together in one of the LLC houses.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? The people at Aquinas have really helped me so much more than I can even begin to describe. Being an ambassador allows me to share my love for Aquinas with others.

What is your favorite thing about AQ?My favorite thing about Aquinas is how involved everyone is. The campus is great at creating opportunities that foster community and involvement.

Favorite Quote: "Even in the darkest hour of your life, God loved you right where you were." - Mac Gober

 
Kara Turkstra

Name: Kara Turkstra
Academic Standing: Senior
Major(s): Accounting
Hometown: Zeeland, Mich.
E-mail address: kh001@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: I am a member of the Bowling tea. I currently work in Spectrum Health's Internal Audit department.
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I have never eaten a grape.
Most unique experience at AQ? Due to traffic, my friends and I missed the Award's Night for students that are on the Dean's List. By the time we got to Sturrus, the ceremony was done and everyone was taking pictures. My friends were seniors. If you make the Dean's List your senior year, the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Dawson, will hand you a coffee mug that states "Dean's List Recipient." These mugs are a big deal for seniors and my friends missed the ceremony! I found the mugs for my friends, but that wasn't good enough for Dr. Dawson. She dragged us to the state, and re-enacted the final part of the ceremony. This experience showed Dr. Dawson's dedication to the students of AQ.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? So I can show prospective students the reason why I came to Aquinas.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? I love the atmosphere at AQ. When I walk from one place to another, everyone will say "hi".
Favorite Quote: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

   
 

Name: Catherine Turner

Academic Standing: Sophomore

Major(s): Biology, French

Hometown: Florissant, Miss.

E-mail address: cet002@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Habitat for Humanity, AQ LIGHT, Mass Choice, Saints for Life, A.E.D., Pre-health Honors Society, Insignis, Small Group Facilitator

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I swam (on a team and high school) for 15 years.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I am extremely proud of Aquinas College, and I want to show it off to as many people as possible. If not for my first experience with an AQ Ambassador, my first glimpse of Aquinas would have been extremely different.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? I absolutely love the welcoming nature of the college. I can always find two of three people I know really well while walking to class. Also, professors and staff are always eager to engage and challenge students.

Favorite Quote: “Don't worry about the unimportant details, or you'll grow up very unhappy."

   
Elyse Vanderkamp

Name: Ellyse VanderKamp
Academic Standing: Sophomore
Major(s): Business, Communication Marketing Concentration
Minor(s): Women's Studies
Hometown: Lowell, Mich.
E-mail address: evk002@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: President of the Gender Studies club, student worker at the Registrar's Office
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: Sometimes I tell waiters at restaurants that I am allergic to tomatoes because I hate them so much. Also I may or may not drink up to six cups of coffee per day.
Most unique experience at AQ? Getting to have dinner with the Dominican sisters and President Olivarez's wife, Mary, during Saint Thomas Aquinas week while eating a lot of strawberry shortcake!
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? I fell in love with Aquinas when I went on my first campus tour and I want to show off what makes Aquinas so amazing so hopefully they will fall in love with AQ too!
What is your favorite thing about AQ? The people I've met and the beautiful campus...it is hard to choose just one thing!
Favorite Quote: "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." - Ayn Rand

 
Amanda Vanderplow

Name: Amanda Vanderplow
Academic Standing: 5th Year Senior
Major(s): French, Psychology
Minor(s): Biology
Hometown: Cicero, Ill.
E-mail address: amv002@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports: CAVA, French Club, Student Senate, Orientation Leader, Service Learning, Student Ambassador
Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I lived in France for 4 1/2 months.
Most unique experience at AQ? Traveling to Acadia National Park in Maine. I was able to travel there through the AQ Service Learning.
Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? To show prospective students why I have fallen in love with Aquinas.
What is your favorite thing about AQ? That everyone finds their place here. It truly is a home away from home.

Favorite Quote: “Through all the windows, I see only infinity." - Mark X. Danielewski

 
Erin Varner

Name: Erin Varner

Academic Standing: Senior

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Plymouth, Mich.

E-mail address: env001@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Student Nurse Association

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I worked at a deli in high school so I make a mean sandwich.

Most unique experience at AQ? Living in Gate House with 10 other girls!

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? Aquinas College has so much to offer and I love to show off my school. I also wanted to show prospective nursing students why the UDM/AQ nursing program is the best thing that has even happened to me!

What is your favorite thing about AQ? The people are the greatest. The students are so friendly and welcoming and the professors will go to great lengths to help you succeed.

Favorite Quote: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” - Philippians 4:13

 
Joe Wenderski

Name: Joseph Wenderski

Academic Standing: Junior

Majors: Political Science, French

Hometown: Brighton, Mich. Although, I attended Detroit Catholic Central High School

E-mail address: joe.wenderski@gmail.com

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Executive Editor of the Catholic Life Club's publication, The Paraclete, Altar Server for Campus Ministry, Insignis, Model UN Head Delegate, THINK!, Peer Tutoring, Student worker in Political Science Department

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I'm the eldest of six children. I've only ever attended a private Catholic school. I've traveled to six different countries outside the U.S.

Most unique experience at AQ? Well, if I really wanted to be flippant about this question—because it is one I generally do not like to be asked—I would say that it is, in fact, not possible to characterize something as more or less unique than anything else because individuality, i.e. uniqueness, is absolute. Yet, grammatical nuance and philosophical contest aside, I would venture to say that the amount of opportunities AQ has provided me to explore my talents is uncanny. I have seemingly every opportunity in the world to pursue anything; God, friends, research, work, clubs service, all can be done without worry of the obnoxious busybody stereotype. Attaining my defined success and breaching my personal box are actively encouraged, incentivized, and rewarded, namely insofar as loving others. To me, love ought to be at the center of life, and all I have done or can do at AQ permits that love to be shared.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? There are so many great advantages to being an ambassador: networking with alumni, being gainfully employed, having résumé experience, etc. Yet, these were not whatsoever my primary motivators. I, in fact, merely wanted to return the service that was provided me during my college search. Regardless where I toured, I always left grateful to those guides who took the time, effort, and energy to help me in my discerning process. Therefore, it was my goal that, wherever I decided to eventually attend college, paying forward the good deeds originally afforded to me would be a goal to achieve.

What is your favorite thing about AQ?Generally speaking, this is a really interesting query that I can answer firstly by saying that I’m not entirely sure if I can definitively answer this question. Yet, I can say this about AQ, college, and really life in general. These are all, in many ways, what one makes of them. Effectively, any place is a place to be or to do, so it is then those aspects of the heart, those intrinsic benefits, which are of most worth. Thus, I would have to say that the greatest part about AQ, is that as one assumes the creation process during this stage of one’s life, one does so alongside the greatest people possible. I find relationships, especially with God and with people, to be the greatest source of intrinsic value as they are the most lasting and most memorable aspects of the journey that is life.

Favorite Quote:“...thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. / This is the great and first commandment. / And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. / On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.”
— Matthew 22:37-40

 
Kailie West

Name: Kailie West

Academic Standing: Junior

Major(s): Community Leadership and English Language Arts with Elementary Education Certification

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

E-mail address: krw002@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Education Club, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Writing Center Consultant, Literacy Center of West Michigan Intern.

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I am very adventurous and love crossing this off my bucket list. The most memorable adventure so far has been skydiving.

Most unique experience at AQ? Participating in the New Orleans service-learning trip during Spring Break of my first year at Aquinas was such a memorable and amazing experience.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador?  I wanted to be able to share my personal experience and love for Aquinas and the city of Grand Rapids and through that, hopefully inspire others to make the great choice that I did—to become a student at AQ!

What is your favorite thing about AQ? I love that Aquinas feels like a cozy, exciting and welcoming little community filled with big opportunities.

Favorite Quote: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.: - Maya Angelou

 
Nick Whise

Name: Nick Whise

Academic Standing: Junior

Major: Accounting

Hometown: Saint Joseph, Mich.

E-mail address: njw001@aquinas.edu
AQ clubs /organizations/sports:  Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, and Business & Accounting League

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: My dream is to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia.

Most unique experience at AQ? Having the opportunity to twice represent the Saints at Indoor Track Nationals.

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? To have the opportunity to share with prospective students my passion for Aquinas!

What is your favorite thing about AQ? My favorite thing about AQ is that it is so easy to get involved and meet new people and that it is so close to downtown Grand Rapids!
Favorite Quote: “Every moment you live is another pain brush stroke on the canvas of life."

 
Casey Wila

Name: Casey Wila

Academic Standing: Junior

Major(s): Business Administration/Communication Dual Major

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

E-mail address: crw002@aquinas.edu

AQ clubs /organizations/sports: Baseball

Something fun/interesting/unique about you: I've torn both my ACLs playing basketball and can still dunk.

Most unique experience at AQ? Sunday Mass at Bukowski Chapel

Why did you want to be an AQ Ambassador? To display Aquinas College to the best of my abilities to prospective students; to portray Aquinas College in the best light that I possibly can.

What is your favorite thing about AQ? The camaraderie and community feel among the students and faculty.

Favorite Quote: “Do what you love, love what you do.”