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eNewsletter: March 2014

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Greetings from our AQ Writing Center!
Study Abroad Programs Connect Students to Internships
Service Learning Trips: Spring 2014
Center for Diversity & Inclusion: Cross-Cultural Opportunities at AQ
Women's Hockey Added for 2015-2016
Two New Facilities to Open On-Campus, Fall 2014
Summer Classes: An Excellent Option for Learning
Save the Date: Students in Action Awards Ceremony
Greetings from our AQ Writing Center!

Greetings from our AQ Writing Center!

As a free service provided to support all writers in our Aquinas College community - including students, faculty, staff, and alumni - we meet with writers at every stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to final drafts.  With an emphasis on improving thinking as well as writing, the AQ Writing Center can provide fresh perspectives and ongoing support for all writing projects.  Our drop-in, no-appointment-necessary policy - accompanied by daytime, evening, and weekend hours in several locations on campus (including a 10 p.m. to midnight shift in one of our residence halls!) makes our Writing Center convenient, accessible and writer-friendly. The faculty and peer consultants in the AQ Writing Center are equipped to assist with a wide range of writing interests and academic disciplines.


As the Spring 2014 semester progresses, remind your student to visit the Aquinas College Writing Center. We are a resource students don’t want to miss!  >Learn more about the Aquinas College Writing Center


Study Abroad Programs Connect Students to Internships

It is hard to believe that many of our Spring 2014 study abroad programs are already approaching Spring Break when it seems like our groups were just meeting at the airport, praying for no weather delays to the starts of their semesters. Aquinas has five semester-long programs for Spring 2014; our students are studying in Angers, France; Tully Cross, Ireland; Santa Ana, Costa Rica; Lüneburg, Germany; and Tübingen, Germany.

In 2012, Aquinas College expanded the variety of internship experiences offered through the Ireland Program by creating the Ireland Community Aides Internships course. This elective course is offered in collaboration with a local non-profit organization connected to myriad programs and partnerships in the region which host our students as interns in such areas as conservation efforts; community radio; theatre; social care programs; second chance educational programs;

Study Abroad Programs Connect Students to Internships
child care center; Connemara National Park; community development programs; medical science; and educational and recreation programs. Jacob Harris, a junior majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry, is working as an intern at Connemara National Park this semester: 
  • “My internship at Connemara National Park has exposed me to multiple work environments. I have helped satellite track white-tailed eagles, participated in park public area clean up and restoration, and gone to several beaches tide pooling with ecologists. Soon I will be going to an elementary school to teach children about the indigenous mammals of Ireland. I am also working on a proposal to implement a composting program for use by park staff and possibly for refuse from the public tea room.
  • My internship allows me to investigate possible career choices that interest me as a biologist. These include park services, environmental conservation and restoration, and intelligent resource utilization. It also exposes me to a foreign work environment in these fields that interest me and allows me to gain new perspectives on these lifestyles. Incorporating my prior knowledge of these areas with what I am gaining from my internship allows me to craft a more realistic expectation for life after college.
  • I am enjoying my internship far more than any paid work experience I have had so far. It definitely validates my time in Ireland.”
In addition to the semester-long programs, Aquinas faculty have been actively designing courses with short-term travel components. The Master of Management Department organized travels to Munich, Germany in April. The Spanish Department is offering a Chicano Literature course with travel to New Mexico in May. Students have the opportunity to travel to Paris to explore, create and study with the Art Department in May. And the Sustainable Business Department is taking a group to Costa Rica in May. These short-term travel opportunities have diversified our study abroad options, opening the opportunity to explore the world to students who may not be able to study abroad for an entire semester.
For more information and for student-produced videos on studying abroad through Aquinas College, please visit

Service-Learning Trips: Spring 2014
Service-Learning Trips: Spring 2014

During the March 7-16, 2014 Spring Break week, five service-learning programs take Aquinas students around the U.S. and across the globe.  In Nicaragua, students work with International Samaritan and the Jose Artigas School, while they learn about garbage dump communities. In the Dominican Republic, students assist a doctor and nurse to offer medical clinics to people in several rural villages.  Other groups travel to Kansas City, Missouri, and Eastern Kentucky to complete home repairs with Jerusalem Farm and Christian Appalachian Project.  A final group heads to New Orleans to meet the community of St. Peter Claver Church and work with kids at the School.

Students describe service-learning programs as: 

  • “Inspirational!”
  • “One of my best decisions at Aquinas!” 
  • “I loved it!”
  • “Loved working with everyone, learning about the area, and helping with the needs of the people.” 
  • “I loved getting to know the people of the area as well as my group!”
  • “One of the most rewarding things I have done in a long time.”

A special Blessing of Travelers took place in Bukowski Chapel at Mass on March 3, to send forth spring service-learning groups. For additional information, go to


Center for Diversity & Inclusion: Cross-Cultural Opportunities at AQ

This school year the Center for Diversity & Inclusion has continued to provide opportunities for students to engage cultural and social justice issues. In November we invited environmental activist Winona LaDuke to serve as the keynote speaker for our annual Native American Heritage Celebration. LaDuke packed the Wege Ballroom with her presentation, “Food Sovereignty: Environmental Justice in Native America.” Co-sponsors for this event included the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center, Center for Sustainability, Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians, and the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.


As part of AQ’s Black History Month recognition, V.I.B.E. hosted their annual Soul Food Sunday on February 16. This year’s theme was ‘Family, Faith and Food’ and included the IMANI Singers of Grand Rapids, local pastor Julian

Center for Diversity & Inclusion: Cross-Cultural Opportunities at AQ

Newman, and members from the AQ Jazz Band. The meal was provided by Xavier Jaramillo '00, owner of Xav’s Catering. Xavier is an AQ alumnus and an active member of the AQ Black Alumni Society.


Looking ahead - This March we will celebrate the life and legacy of labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávez. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join us at the Grand Rapids César E. Chávez Social Justice March and Community Gathering on March 20. Aquinas will host its own “César Chávez Commemorative Lecture” on March 25 featuring Dr. José Leyba. In addition, we will be coordinating a campus-wide donation drive to support local migrant families.


To learn more about the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, or for more details regarding upcoming events, please visit our website.

Women’s Hockey Added for 2015-2016

Aquinas College is announcing the addition of women’s ice hockey to its intercollegiate athletic opportunities beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

The women’s program will become a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I sanctioned programs. Aquinas will join the highly competitive Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association (CCWHA) which boasts well known schools such as Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Central Michigan University, Northern Michigan University and local members Grand Valley State and Davenport. >Read More


Two New Facilities to Open On-Campus, Fall 2014

Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building
The Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building will provide nearly 70,000 square feet of new space for the Aquinas College community. It will offer a great venue for our students to play, practice and compete. The new facility will not only offer a 200 meter track with all of the amenities for track and field events, but also additional wooden floor courts for basketball, volleyball, cheerleading and dance. Practice areas for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, golf and intramurals will also be available. An extensive curtaining system will allow for multiple uses simultaneously. >Follow the Construction Progress


Apartment E
On Wednesday, November 20, Aquinas College held the second groundbreaking of Fall 2013, this time to kick off construction of a new

Two New Facilities to Open On-Campus, Fall 2014

residence facility for students. Due to an increased demand by upperclass students to live on campus, the Aquinas College Board of Trustees approved the expansion of campus housing. Construction on the new apartment building will begin in early December and will be completed in time for next academic year (Fall 2014). Currently being referred to as Apartment E, this new building will be modeled after AQ’s most popular and LEED certified living space, Apartment D, and will overlook the College’s athletic field. Apartment E will be approximately 29,176 square feet and will accommodate 64 residents who are at upperclass status. >Follow the Construction Progress


Summer Classes: An Excellent Option for Learning

Many students find summer to be an excellent time to learn!  There are different motivations for taking a class in the summer. Some students want to get ahead in their credits, others want to tackle a particularly tough course independent of a full schedule, and others choose to learn on-line from a laptop in varied environments including a backyard deck.

This summer Aquinas is offering 78 courses, including 21 available online. Thirteen of these online courses fulfill our general education requirements, and summer tuition for online courses has been reduced by $100/credit hour. Summer Session courses begin May 19, and are available in 4, 8, and 12 week options.

Encourage your son or daughter to explore our class schedule for summer by logging on to MyAQ, or check out Early Registration for summer classes is open March 10-21.


Save the Date: Students in Action Awards Ceremony

The 2014 Students in Action Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 4, at 6 p.m. in the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center.


Aquinas College prides itself as an institution of highly involved and enriched students. The Students in Action Awards ceremony celebrates these accomplishments throughout multiple categories. These categories include but not limited to: 2013 Fall Dean’s List recipients, Outstanding Student Nominees, Students of the Month, Resident Assistants, and Orientation Leaders.


Throughout the evening, students are recognized for their academic and their overall impact on-campus. Please plan to come and celebrate with us on our students' successes; a light social and time for photos will immediately follow the ceremony. R.S.V.P’s will be made available to the students after they return from Spring Break. Please encourage the students to make the appropriate accommodations. If you have any questions, please contact the Campus Life office at Go Saints!

Students in Action Awards Ceremony

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