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E-Newsletter
 

Undergraduate Admissions E-Newsletter - Fall 2007

 
Welcome to the Aquinas College E-Newsletter - your source for the latest news and events happening at AQ! Read on to find out what amazing things AQ faculty, staff, students and alumni are up to as well as what exciting projects are going on at Aquinas.
 
Aquinas College Welcomes Record Freshmen Class
Aquinas College Names C. Edward Balog, Ph.D. President
Students Share Their VARI Research Experiences
AQ Selected as U.S. News & World Report "Best Value" College
2007-2008 AQ Days Schedule
AQ Installs Synthetic Athletic Field, Adds Lacrosse to its Sports Program in 2009
Aquinas is First Michigan College to Launch Google Apps for Education Technology
AQ Theatre 2007-2008 Season
 
Aquinas College Welcomes Another Record Freshmen Class
College tops 530 in total number of new students
Aquinas College Welcomes Another Record Freshmen Class Aquinas College Welcomes Another Record Freshmen Class
 
For the third year in a row, Aquinas College welcomed a record number of freshmen students to campus for the start of the new academic year. The 445 members of the Class of 2011, representing 14 states, arrived on Thursday, August 16. They took part in a two-day orientation program before classes started Monday, August 20.
 
This year’s record number of freshmen surpassed the previous record set last year with a class of 428. The addition of 85 transfer students brought the College’s total new student enrollment to more than 530.
 
Dean of Admissions, Tom Mikowski, attributed the growth of new students “to increased marketing efforts; facility enhancements, such as the new Grace Hauenstein Library, which opened September 2006; an increasing number of prospective students taking advantage of the College’s special AQ Day programs; and Web site enhancements that showcase the College’s academic programs.”
 
With its third record freshman class, Aquinas’ total enrollment, encompassing both its undergraduate and graduate programs, exceeds 2,200 students. To accommodate enrollment growth, the College is in the process of completing plans for a new student apartment building that will ready for the opening of school in August 2008.
 
Aquinas College Names C. Edward Balog, Ph.D. President
Aquinas College Names C. Edward Balog, Ph.D.

The Aquinas College Board of Trustees on May 23, 2007 announced that C. Edward Balog, Ph.D. has been appointed as the College's sixth president. Dr. Balog has served as interim president of Aquinas since July 1, 2006. He was elected unanimously at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 assumed this role effective July 1, 2007.

 

An outstanding academic leader with a proven track record of success, Dr. Balog served as provost and dean of faculty at Aquinas College for seven years prior to assuming the role of interim president. His responsibilities have included curriculum enhancement, institutional planning, enrollment management and oversight of academic resource including the school’s library and information technology.

 
"After an extensive nationwide search to find the best candidate to lead Aquinas into the future, it became clear to everyone involved that that person was right in front of us. We are delighted to announce Dr. Balog as the next president of Aquinas College," said Patrick Miles, Jr. chairman of the Aquinas College Board of Trustees. "Dr. Balog has risen to the occasion while serving as interim president, impressing us with his passion, vision and leadership while earning the confidence of the entire board, staff and faculty."
 
With more than a decade of experience in Catholic higher education, Dr. Balog has expressed a deep appreciation for Aquinas' commitment to Catholic liberal arts education.
 
"There is much to be admired in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Dominican values of study, community, and service. Aquinas College embodies these principles and is an outstanding example of the qualities of Catholic higher education," said Dr. Balog. "I am deeply gratified and humbled by the board's confidence in my ability to assume this role and the responsibilities that come with it. I look forward to continuing my work with the school's community of leaders, scholars and students."
 
Dr. Balog has a distinguished career in higher education. Prior to his arrival at Aquinas, he served as vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of Faculty and professor of History at Marian College in Indianapolis. In addition, he has served in a variety of positions with Lindenwood University, from professor of History to Dean of Social Sciences and chief assessment officer. He is a graduate of West Virginia University, where he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in History. He holds a doctoral degree in History from the University of Illinois.
 
Dr. Balog's tenure as interim president began following the retirement of Dr. Harry J. Knopke. The nationwide search for Aquinas' sixth president began last summer when a search committee, which included representatives from the college's Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty and staff, retained the services of R.H. Perry and Associates, a national search counsel firm for higher education, to assist in the search process. The committee solicited nominations, closely reviewed the credentials of the candidates, and conducted extensive interviews.
 
Students Share Their VARI Research Experiences
By Jeff McKelvey, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Students Share Their VARI Research Experiences

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) in Grand Rapids conducts biomedical research with a focus on cancer and Parkinson disease and with an emphasis on translating scientific research results into clinical applications. Van Andel Institute has gained worldwide recognition for its research.

 

Aquinas College is fortunate to be able to partner with VARI to ensure internships and independent study opportunities for AQ students. This past spring, seven biology majors were involved in independent study projects.

 

Each of the students expressed appreciation for the opportunity to experience graduate-level research using equipment they would not have had access to at Aquinas. “[Our VARI experience] was a great opportunity”, Natalie Kent said. “We were able to apply knowledge we gained at Aquinas in a research setting.”

(Above) Audry Sanders answers questions
about her VARI Project.
 
Krysta Collins added, “The experience exposed us to different ways of learning about science and scientific protocols than we can learn in the classroom.”
 
“The VARI experience was like a bridge between science and the classroom,” said Rebecca Trierweiler.
 
The AQ participants were excited to be involved in graduate-level research, with most of them working to characterize (or find ways to tag) abnormal cellular proteins associated with the development of various cancers. Other students studied the genes that code for such proteins.
 
The students not only felt that their Aquinas course work had prepared them for their VARI experiences, but also that their research will enable them to better comprehend scientific concepts during the next academic year.
 
“This will help me to have a better classroom learning experience next semester. I can bring knowledge back to Aquinas,” stated Mien Nguyen.
 
Audrey Sanders agreed, “The experience will be helpful for future classes. My confidence level among other students in my classes has been raised.”
 
Elizabeth Block also appreciates the self-confidence she gained through her work. “We confirmed to VARI and to ourselves that Aquinas students are as good as students from any other area college or university.”
 
Apparently researchers who worked with our students concurred, as all four who applied (Elizabeth, Krysta, Sara and Mien) were awarded Frederik and Lena Meijer Student Internships to continue their work at VARI during the summer of 2007. Natalie, a track and field stand-out at Aquinas (and the 2007 Outstanding Biology graduate), will work at VARI as a full-time research technician until beginning medical school in August 2008. The other students continued to broaden their scientific backgrounds as well, Audrey in a 2007 summer research project with Dr. Tom Bahl at Aquinas and Rebecca in medical school at Michigan State University.
 

AQ Selected as U.S. News & World Report "Best Values" College

Aquinas also recognized among "Best Universities" in Midwest
 
U.S.News & World Report (USN&WR) ranked Aquinas College as a “Best Values” college among Midwest universities offering master’s programs. According to the 2008 edition of USN&WR’s America’s Best College released August 17, 2007, Aquinas also placed among the “Best Universities” with masters’ programs in the Midwest.
 
The latest edition of America’s Best Colleges ranked Aquinas twelfth among 15 colleges in the Midwest selected for the “Best Values” category of universities/ colleges offering masters’ programs. Placement on the list relates to a school’s academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid, according to USN&WR. Aquinas figures showed that 73 percent of its students received need-based grants, reducing their net cost of attending to $14,208.
 
USN&WR measured 574 higher education institutions across the United States using more than a dozen key measurements in identifying its list of top schools for each region of the country in this category.
 
USN&WR’s rankings were compiled based on an exhaustive survey of colleges and universities across the nation. Using a multitude of criteria – including student retention rate, graduation rate, student/faculty ratios, and average alumni giving – USN&WR published detailed rankings of the colleges each fall.
 
USN&WR says its rankings list is designed to provide parents and students with a starting point in the college decision-making process. It believes the information contained in the report offers the opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence. Further, USN&WR encourages families to combine the information contained in the rankings with college visits and interviews in identifying the right school for college-bound students.
 
2007-2008 AQ Days
Friday, November 2, 2007 - General AQ Day
Friday, November 9, 2007 - Science, Nursing and Math AQ Day
Friday, November 16, 2007 - General AQ Day
Sunday & Monday, November 18 & 19, 2007 - Club AQ
Friday, December 7, 2007 - Leadership AQ Day
Sunday & Monday, January 20 & 21, 2008 - Club AQ
Saturday, January 19, 2008 - Athletic AQ Day
Friday & Saturday, February 15 & 16, 2008 - Club AQ
Saturday, February 16, 2008 - Spectrum Scholarship Competition
Sunday & Monday, March 16 & 17, 2008 - Club AQ
Friday, March 28, 2008 - Fine Arts Day
Friday, April 18, 2008 - General AQ Day
 
To register for your visit to Aquinas, visit our Web site at: http://www.aquinas.edu/undergraduate/campus_day.html
 

AQ Installs Synthetic Athletic Field, Adds Lacrosse to its Sports Program In 2009

Aquinas is First in WHAC to Get Artificial Soccer Field
AQ Installs Synthetic Athletic Field

Aquinas has expanded the opportunities for student-athletes with installation of an artificial playing surface to its soccer field. With the new synthetic turf, Aquinas became the first member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) to have an artificial playing surface for soccer and gave the College the option to add lacrosse to its 18-sport athletic program. Work on the project began early July was completed in mid-August.

 

The College’s Board of Trustees gave approval for the project in May. Athletics Director Terry Bocian commended the Board for its action.

 

“The (Board’s) decision was one of the most practical decisions ever,” he said. “The new artificial turf will give us greater flexibility, allowing us to use the field for many other activities.”

 
Bocian explained that, until now, only the men’s and women’s soccer teams were allowed to use the field for practices and games in order to minimize potential damage. The new synthetic surface, however, will allow us to host outdoor physical education classes, intramural activities and other field sports.
 
Paula Meehan, Vice President of Enrollment Management, said that the new field surface will also have a positive impact on recruiting and retaining students to Aquinas. “It gives us the ability to expand our sports program to include lacrosse,” Meehan explained. “Having that option will help us attract new students and add vitality to an already strong soccer program.”
 
Aquinas will hire a lacrosse coach later this year and begin recruiting athletes for the new program. A men’s club program would begin in spring 2009, followed by a women’s team in 2010.
 
According to research from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations, lacrosse has been the fastest-growing team sport at both the collegiate and high school levels. Participation increased 11.7 percent in 2006 with the largest component of participation at the youth level (under 15). High school lacrosse has grown to nearly 170,000 players, up 68 percent in the last five years.
 
Aquinas had been considering lacrosse for some time, Bocian noted, but couldn’t add the sport without an artificial turf that could ensure the integrity of the playing surface for all the sports activities that would use it. In addition, he likes the fact that lacrosse is a spring sport, which means that its schedule won’t conflict with the College’s fall soccer schedule.
 
The artificial surface was developed by Pittsburgh-based ProGrass, which is also overseeing the installation work.
 
Aquinas is First Michigan College to Launch Google Apps For Education Technology
Aquinas is First Michigan College to Launch Google Apps for Education Technology

Aquinas College has become the first college/university in the state of Michigan to transition its e-mail and calendaring systems to Google’s Apps Education Edition. The College switched to Google technology over the weekend of June 9 & 10 2007, moving its 2,800 students and 400 faculty and staff to the cutting-edge technology for electronic communications and scheduling. AQ joins only a handful of other colleges/universities nationwide that have joined the technology partnership with Google.

 

“This technology is revolutionary,” said Joyce LaFleur, director of Information Technology Services at Aquinas College. “Aquinas is setting the pace with this technology in Michigan and other schools are watching what we’re doing.”

 
Information Technology (IT) representatives from 22 Michigan schools attended a conference in Ann Arbor to learn more about the Google Apps for Education technology. At the conference, LaFleur shared a presentation on her department’s experience with the new technology during its testing phase. At that time, more than a dozen Michigan schools were testing the Google product while the rest are still assessing the benefits of a possible switch from their current antiquated systems.
 
Google's Apps for Education was designed to allow colleges to transition from their outdated e-mail systems and replace them with Gmail, Google's popular e-mail service already being used by millions of students nationwide for their personal accounts. But unlike standard Gmail accounts, according to Google, schools can maintain their ".edu" addresses, have students log in from school Web sites, brand the system with their own logos and block advertisements that typically appear in standard Gmail accounts.
 
According to a Detroit News article, small colleges could spend $300,000 in first-year costs alone in order to upgrade their own e-mail to something comparable to Google’s. For similar services, businesses pay Google $50 a year -- per user. But for Google Apps, colleges pay nothing to Google for their services. Google launched the education program late last year.
 
The move gave the search engine giant an early introduction to thousands of college students whom Google hopes will continue to use and recommend its products after graduation, according to published reports.
 
In addition to e-mail, the Google Apps Education Edition suite also gives faculty and students access to Google's online word processor and spreadsheet programs, calendar functions and a customizable personal home page. Also, where Aquinas allowed for 500 megabytes of storage for an e-mail account, the Google system offers four times that amount.
 
The word processor, for example, lets two or more users log into a document at the same time and work together. The program also allows college papers to be saved online, and users can access the most up-to-date version -- eliminating a maze of e-mail attachments that can lead to needlessly repeating work or turning in the wrong version of a paper.
 
"We're talking about real-time collaboration on a document," said Greg Vedders, senior network systems administrator at Aquinas. "Students can share early drafts with a faculty member and get a response in minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks."
 
AQ Theatre 2007-2008 Season
AQ Performing Arts Center
Gimme, Gimme... That Thing Called Love!
October 4-6, 2007
An Original Musical Cabaret assembled by Amy Persons and the Musical Theatre Workshop 
 
The Arabian Nights
November 28, 29 & 30, December 1 & 2, 2007
A fantasy adapted by Mary Zimmerman
 
Music for the Holidays
Sunday, December 9 at 4 p.m.
“Music for the Holidays” from the Aquinas College Music Department
 
The Misanthrope
February 15-17 & February 21-24, 2008
A classic comedy by Moliere, translated by Richard Wilbur
 
Dimly Perceived Threats To The System
April 2-6 & April 10-13, 2008
A dark comedy by Jon Klein
 
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