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Undergraduate Admissions E-Newsletter - Winter 2005-06

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.
Dr. Richard Lapchick, Nationally Recognized Expert On Sports, Speaks At AQ
Seamus Heaney, Winner Of The Nobel Prize Will Visit Aquinas May 10, 2006
Ireland... An Aquinas Tradition Since 1972
Grace Hauenstein Library - Opening August 2006
Michigan Governor Urges AQ Students to Pursue Math/Science
AQ's Science Initiative reaches over $400,000
AQ Student Interns with Michigan's U.S. Senators
2006 Visit Programs for Prospective Students
Dr. Richard Lapchick, Nationally Recognized Expert on Sports, Speaks at Aquinas College

Dr. Richard Lapchick, a nationally-recognized expert on sports issues, spoke on Monday, November 28 at Aquinas College on "Bridging the Racial Divide." He also has agreed to serve on a national advisory committee for the College's Sports Management program.


Lapchick, a scholar and author, was named "one of the 100 most powerful people in sport" for six consecutive years. He is a prolific writer and recently completed his eleventh book, New Game Plan for College Sport, which is set for release this fall. He has written more than 450 articles and given more than 2,600 public speeches

Often described as the "racial conscience of sport," Lapchick took a commitment to equality and a belief that sport can be an effective instrument of positive social change to the University of Central Florida . He heads the DeVos Sport Business Management Program, a landmark program that focuses on the business skills necessary for graduates to conduct a successful career in the rapidly changing and dynamic sports industry. Today's sports managers, he says, are business managers.

Under Lapchick's leadership, the DeVos program launched the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport in December 2002. The Institute focuses on two broad areas. On Diversity, the Institute publishes the critically-acclaimed Racial and Gender Report Card, which is a study of the racial and gender hiring practices of major professional, Olympic and college sport in the United States. In the area of ethics, the Institute monitors some of the critical issues in college and professional sport, including the potential for the exploitation of student-athletes, gambling, performance-enhancing drugs and violence in sports.

Students in the Business Administration/ Sport Management major at Aquinas College have completed internships and/or secured full-time positions either locally in Grand Rapids with the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Grand Rapids Rampage, MVP Sportsplex, various high school athletic departments, and numerous private businesses, or nationally with the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Coyotes, Palace Sports & Entertainment (Detroit Pistons), the Chicago Fire and The Buick Open.

(Those who attended) Paul Bee, Business Administration/Communication Major, Whitecaps Ticket Sales Intern; Katie Kroft, Business Administration/Sport Management Major, Whitecaps Marketing & Promotions Intern; Tony Puzzuoli, Business Administration/Communication Major, Whitecaps Promotions Team Member.


For more information on the Business Administration/Sports Management program at Aquinas College, contact Phil Hatlem, chair of the department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at (616) 632-2898.


Seamus Heaney, Winner Of The Nobel Prize Will Visit Aquinas May 10, 2006

By Linda Nemec Foster, '72
For nine years, the contemporary Writers Series (CWS) at Aquinas College has brought over 30 prestigious poets and writers to campus to read their work and interact with students, faculty and the West Michigan community. That legacy will be enhanced on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 when Seamus Heaney, acclaimed Irish poet and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, comes to Aquinas during a limited American reading tour. Heaney will be appearing at only ten venues nationwide, so his reading at Aquinas will be a rare opportunity to see and hear a literary master. This singular event is made possible through a generous grant from Deborah Meijer and the Rimbaud Fund, a donor-advised fund that she established with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
This isn't the first time that Meijer has partnered with the Contemporary Writers Series. In April of 2004 she was instrumental in bringing novelist Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient to Aquinas. Her love of great writing was instilled while she was an English literature major at University of Michigan; she graduated with honors and later also received a bachelor's degree in French. This dual interest in literature and the French language is reflected in the Rimbaud Fund which is named after the 19th-century French Symbolist poet. Because of her friendship with English professor Vicki McMillan and CSW founder Linda Nemec Foster '72, Meijer said it was a natural choice to approach the College to host the Heaney reading. "It's a privilege to be involved and I'm very honored to help Aquinas bring such a world-renowned literary figure to read for its Contemporary Writers Series.

And, indeed, Heaney is one of the most significant writers in the world. Born in Northern Ireland in 1939, Heaney writes poetry that is remarkable for its clarity, craft, exuberance and metaphorical intensity. He is often hailed as the most important Irish poet since W. B. Yeats. His books of poetry, criticism and translations include Door into the Dark, North, Field Work, Sweeney Astray, and Station Island. He has received numerous awards for is work including the ultimate accolade - the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.

Seamus Heaney's reading will conclude the 2005-2006 season which featured such noted writers as Betsy Sholl, Dinty Moore, Stuart Dybek and Sven Birkerts on Thursday, April 20. For general information about Seamus Heaney's reading, contact the CWS Director, Pamela Luebke at (616) 632-2127. This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited - first come, first served. All readings take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Wege Student Center Ballroom at Aquinas College.
Seamus Heaney's Most Recent Publications:
Translated: The Burial at Thebes - A Version of Sophocles' Antigone, 2004
Translation of Beowulf, 2000
Diary of One who Vanished, 2000

Open Ground, 1998

Latest Collection of Poems:
Electric Light, 2001
Latest Collection of Essays:
Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001

Ireland... An Aquinas Tradition Since 1972

Each year, Aquinas College offers its students the opportunity to become part of an Irish community. Tracing its beginning back to 1972, the program is located in Tully Cross, a small rural town located in the beautiful Connemara region on the west coast of Ireland. The village, surrounded by the landscape of the towering Twelve Bens mountain range and the rocky beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, mottled with thatched-roofed cottages and stone walls, embraces the Aquinas group each spring semester. This setting provides an intimate perspective on Irish culture for the students to take courses in Irish history, literature and various aspects of Irish studies. Two Aquinas faculty members accompany the students and direct the program throughout the semester. Students are also given the opportunity to work as teachers' aides in the Irish National schools as well as to travel on program excursions to many of Ireland's prominent historical sites.


Below is one student's reflections on her experience in Ireland.

Rose Daum, Junior, 2005 - Reflections on Ireland
Crowded into the flagstone-floored living room of Cottage Eight, the 22 of us sat in a circle trying to bring something called closure to our past four months together in Ireland. I looked at the faces all around me, each conveying its stories and memories without words. The narrative traveled around the circle as each person shared first impressions of Tully Cross, the tiny village of western Ireland that was our home. I watched as the sweet pleasure of memory warmed each face and brought laughter to the group. But the restrained sorrow I also saw in their eyes nearly caused me to lose the composure I was struggling so hard to maintain. I thought to myself, how did we get to this point? The four months between boarding the plane in Grand Rapids and this moment of goodbyes had passed so quickly and yet was seemingly full of years of experiences.
The stories each person shared were wonderful to revisit. One person told of the actual journey to Tully Cross, when the bus just kept driving us further and further from anything remotely resembling a city. The landscape was rugged and wild, dominated by rolling granite mountains and expansive bogs. Contrary to the green pastures which greeted us at the Shannon Airport , we were now surrounded by brown, rocky fields as far as the eye could see. Amidst such a formidable, yet gloriously beautiful landscape, the presence of people was dwarfed. The bus was silent, perhaps out of sleep or maybe awe, as we drove towards the lives awaiting us. The cottages looked like a post card with their thatched roofs and bright red doors, lining one side of the (only) street in town.
Sitting around the circle that day in April, we all chuckled to relive our first experiences in Ireland, unsure of each other and the new environment in which we found ourselves. From the naiveté of that first day, we had come so far. After that, we started classes, made friends in town, and adjusted to the slowness of life in Tully Cross. We explored the Connemara landscape, learned to dance and drink like true Irishmen, and fell in love with people and places. As a group, we became neighbors, then friends and finally family. There in that cottage, my heart felt so full of affection for these people who, mostly unknowingly, meant so much to me.
The next day, after the excruciating tragedy of being forced to board buses and planes which took us farther and farther away from everything we had come to love, a new dimension was added to our relationships within the group. As we sat in airports, singing songs we had so often heard in Ireland, we all realized that no one at home would ever fully understand the amazing experience we had just shared. The other people in the Aquinas group were the only ones who could relate to or know, in one glance, what we were each enduring.

Looking around at my classmates on the plane, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness and sadness. I wanted the experience of Ireland to last forever. It was such a dream world. And yet, as we were leaving, I knew we could never go back to that world as it was when we lived there. It was untouchable, unreachable. I knew things would be different from then on. Ireland, to me, is like a snow globe. We were all blessed to live in an idyllic, priceless, magical world with breathtaking moments and heartwarming people. But now, all we can do is look back at the memory and wish we could get back inside that world, being forever outside of it. All we can do is remember. That will have to be enough. Try as I have, there is no way, even with millions of words, to share our experiences perfectly. We all learned and grew, loved and hurt, so much. I'm sure not one of us would trade that journey for anything, all the highs and lows included. Perhaps some of us will return to Ireland, but there will never be anything like those amazing four months. Ireland was our home, our dream, and so much more. The song two local brothers sang to us before we left describes perfectly what was, and still is, in many of our hearts: "Back across the ocean to my home away from home, I'm glad to be returning but sad to have to go. I'd like to find a way to be two places at one time, it's easy going back again but hard to say goodbye."


Grace Hauenstein Library - Opening August 2006

A groundbreaking ceremony seems so appropriate for a new library. The start of construction is symbolic of the opening a new book for the first time. We look to books to provide new insights and wisdom which can then added to our own knowledge, much like the rise of a new building.

Under a beautiful, clear, fall, sun-filled sky, a brief ceremony was held September 23, 2005 to mark the official start of construction on the new Grace Hauenstein Library. Work actually got underway nearly a month and a half earlier. A crowd numbering several dozen gathered to listen to remarks and watch as the ceremonial shovels full of dirt were scraped and turned in a very determined manner.

The library is named for the wife of 93-year-old local philanthropist Ralph Hauenstein whose generous contribution helped to launch the project. Grace Hauenstein was at her husband's side on the platform for the morning ceremony. "This Library opens a lot of knowledge for a lot of people," he said. "No matter (what you do) how you use it... computers, reading, [library users will] be far richer persons."

Provost Ed Balog told the audience that the new library is the result of many years of effort by dozens of people connected with the Aquinas - efforts that stretch back as many as 30 years. The latest effort began in late 2002 with a committee that would soon identify Jarecki Center as an ideal site to accommodate a new three-story addition/expansion. The Board of Trustees agreed and, on May 23, 2003, approved the plan. Balog recalled telling the architect from Progressive AE of his vision for a building that emanated light from a largely glass structure that drew "not just the eye but a steady stream of people to it. I said my dream was a beacon as both a symbolic and physical focal point for the campus."

The current library was established "temporarily" in the Academic Building in 1978. In the time since, Balog stated, each library staff has faced a great many challenges. "They used their limited space wisely; they worked diligently to keep the collection current while not expanding the stack space; and they learned to deliver services in new and unconventional ways. But throughout that time the library director and the staff provided a uniformly high level of library services to students, faculty and community members," Balog stated.

Peter Wege, one of the College's most generous and long-time benefactors, offered a shared perspective on the project. "A library is the heart of a campus... and [this library will be] one of the greatest things on this campus," he said.

Balog added, "This building project represents Aquinas' commitment to the heritage of our namesake and the pursuit of truth."

The Grace Hauenstein Library will open its doors in August 2006, in time for the start of the new academic year. You can follow the library's construction progress online.

"A library represents the very essence of what a college is about. It is the intellectual hub of the campus. It is a center for displays and programs that serve the broader community. And it is the repository of the information and ideas of the past and the present that will provide the basis for our students to shape the future. We know that there is a strong link between libraries and student achievement. Libraries are places where people read and think, and learn. " - Ed Balog, Aquinas College Provost


Michigan Governor Urges AQ Students to Pursue Math/Science

Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) had a message for area college students during a visit to Smiths Aerospace, a Grand Rapids' high tech defense contractor, in December. She told the group that included five Aquinas students to pursue math and science and get some applied learning.

Only a week earlier, the governor had signed a $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund that was established to help specific areas of the state's economy - life sciences, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy and homeland security. The fund was designed to help created new high tech jobs.

One of the Aquinas students, sophomore India Saunders, told a Grand Rapids Press reporter that she's interested in studying robotic engineering in graduate school and, until she visited the company, she had never heard of Smiths.

The other Aquinas students who visited with the governor at Smiths Aerospace were Jessica Bonner, Amanda Shuman, David Ophoff and Tim Ramsay.

(From Left) Jessica Bonner, Amanda Shuman, David Ophoff,
Governor Jennifer Granholm, Tim Ramsay and India Saunders


AQ's Science Initiative reaches over $400,000

Science majors at AQ will continue to find tremendous opportunities in Grand Rapids where a life-science building boom is adding $500 million in research facilities, hospital expansions and medical centers. Locals are calling Michigan Street the "Medical Mile" or "Healthcare Hill" to reflect the changing landscape of the downtown corridor.

Coinciding with the Grand Rapids boom, Aquinas itself launched a science initiative a couple of years ago to raise $500,000 in which funding would be focused on the purchase of laboratory equipment for student course work and research projects. To date, more than $400,000 has been raised toward the goal. In addition, Aquinas has established a science equipment endowment goal of $800,00 for long term support of the programs. The college has recently received a $50,000 commitment towards this goal.


Below are recent purchases made using the science initiative funds:

Laboratory Equipment Purchased:
Over the summer our faculty purchased $100,000 worth of needed laboratory and student research equipment. Below are brief descriptions of the items they requested:


Four iWorx Physiology Systems were purchased and will be used in teaching physiology (both animal and human) in at least three courses. iWorks Human Physiology Teaching Kits include everything needed to conduct a comprehensive lab course consisting of 22 experiments and 76 exercises in cardiovascular, respiratory, and neuromuscular physiology.  The units also have many potential applications in student research.


The 60MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer was fitted with Anasazi upgrade which will allow for computer control and network usage. This NMR is one of the more powerful tools available for chemists in smaller colleges for determining the structure of both organic and inorganic compounds.  In organic and biochemistry, especially, NMR is the fastest and simplest method of analysis for many experiments.  It will be used in our Organic, Biochemistry, Advanced Organic, Advanced Inorganic, and Instrumental Methods courses, and have a smaller benefit in all other chemistry courses.  It will also assist students and faculty involved in research projects by providing structural information leading to the identification and/or purification of any compounds in which the researcher is interested.


GIS (geographic information systems) are computer programs that combine database analysis with spatially explicit mapping capabilities. They are, in essence a mapping program that allows data to be stored and analyzed spatially. The new software and equipment for the GIS lab will greatly enhance our ability to teach GIS to students and train them in current GIS programs. The new computers and scanning equipment will allow us to scan large format maps and download data to perform essential GIS analyses.


AQ Student Interns with Michigan's U.S. Senators

Frances Kabat (pictured at left), a junior from Oxford, Mich., secured summer internships in the offices of Michigan's two United States Senators. She spent May and June in the Detroit office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), working in the areas of immigration and constituency services. She also worked on legislative issues in the Washington, D.C. office of Sen. Carl Levin (D) in July and August. Kabat, a double major in political science and environmental studies, is a member of the AQ Insignis Honors Program and plans to go to law school to study environmental law.


2006 Visit Programs for Prospective Students

Fine Arts AQDay (Music, Art, Theatre and Creative Writing) - Friday, March 17
Club AQ (Accepted Students Only) - Sunday & Monday, March 19 & 20
AQDay Open House - Friday, April 21


To register for your visit to Aquinas, visit our Web site at: http://www.aquinas.edu/undergraduate/campus_day.html

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