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Undergraduate Admissions E-Newsletter - Winter 2011

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.
Spotlight On: AQ Theatre
Aq Community Fellows Cultivate Student Leadership
Vander Meer Earns First Team All-American
Fall Academic All-Americans Announced
Foreign Language Students Teach, Learn and Serve
Working Toward a Sustainable World
Aquinas' New Fitness Center Opens After a Year of Renovation
Visit Campus for Upcoming AQ Days
Fall Sports Wrap Up
Parents' Newsletter
Spotlight On: AQ Theatre
AQ Theatre

By Lauren F. Carlson '12

The first weekend in October, on a crisp fall evening, Aquinas College Theatre Program Director, Randy Wyatt viewed the last performance of his fall show, Life is a Dream. The play, which boasts many humorous elements in addition to its underlying message about the perception of illusion and reality, was met with roaring applause and smiling faces at the final curtain call. Originally composed in 17th century Spain by Calderon de la Barca, Life is a Dream was adapted and published for a modern audience by Nilo Cruz in 2008. This unique piece demonstrated the broad range of emotions of the actors as well as the diversity of Aquinas Theatre. >More


>Check out the Winter/Spring AQ Theatre Performance Schedule

AQ Community Fellows Cultivate Student Leadership  

By: Allie Ferguson '11

This year marks the third year of the Michigan Service Scholars program, otherwise known here at Aquinas College as AQ Community Fellows. Dr. Kathy Kremer, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Eric Bridge, Coordinator of Service Learning, head up the program.

The mission of the program is to encourage students to be involved in their education, community, and campus. These goals are accomplished through participation in four areas:

  • 10 hours per week of paid student employment time in a community-based organization.
  • Regular attendance of cohort meetings that concern academic obstacles and the development of leadership.
  • Completion of a three-credit semester introductory course in Community Leadership.
  • Close collaboration with faculty advisors.


Vander Meer Earns First Team All-American

Katie Vander Meer becomes the first women's volleyball player in Aquinas history to be named All-American three times. Vander Meer is also the first Aquinas volleyball player to earn First Team All-American status. The first team accolades ranks Katie as one of the top 14 players in the country. The senior setter from Kentwood concluded her illustrious career leading the Saints to within one match of a berth in the national championships. Vander Meer propelled the Saints to a 29-12 record, highlighted by a 20 game winning streak.

Vander Meer graduates as the all-time assist leader in Aquinas history with 3,603. Katie also holds the top spot in career attacking percentage (.321) and assists per set (9.36). During the past season Vander Meer also set the single season record for assists (1379) and attack percentage (.390). Congratulations Katie! >More

Katie Vander Meer
Fall Academic All-Americans Announced
Men's Cross Country

Twelve Saints were named to their respective Daktronics NAIA Academic All-American teams for their fall sports. The criteria to earn this honor is to have either junior or senior status and sport a 3.5 or higher G.P.A. >More


Women' Soccer: Matthea Bradenburg, Teresa Buiocchi, Kelsey Duley and Mary Lothschutz


Women's Cross Country:  Alina Dhaseleer, Audrey Shireman and Samantha Rinkus


Men's Cross Country: Devin Lea, Nate Poirier, Nick Thelen, Eddie Seymour and Andrew Libs

Foreign Language Students Teach, Learn and Serve
By Lauren F. Carlson, '12

The Aquinas College Spanish Club, now in its second official year at Aquinas, is gearing up for another successful season of community outreach and culture immersion. The group, which includes Spanish-speaking students as well as those interested in Latino culture in Grand Rapids and abroad, seeks to teach students the importance of cultural, lingual, and racial diversity. Members of the group also aid the local Latino community through a variety of volunteer opportunities. In addition, the club members’ recent induction in Alpha Mu Gamma (AMG), the national collegiate foreign language honor society, demonstrates its members’ dedication to academics as well as cultural activities. >More

Spanish Club

Working Toward a Sustainable World
Sustainable Business

By Laura Bennett-Kimble '95, Contributing Editor

True to its motto, Aquinas College "makes all the difference in the world" when it comes to a sustainable environment.

With the Sustainable Business bachelor's and master's degree programs, students have the opportunity to learn about and gain the skills needed to incorporate a "triple bottom line" philosophy: integration of economic, environmental and social elements that can add up to a successful company - and help to change the business world, one organization at a time. >More

Aquinas’ New Fitness Center Opens After a Year of Renovation

By: Jacqui DeFouw '11

Since 1969, Aquinas College athletes have been working out and hanging out in a 44,000 square foot field house. The original building had a small upper area with a few machines for cardio workout and even less space for free weights, as well as a basketball/ volleyball court, locker rooms, and a classroom. Monday, October 25, 2010, however, all that changed. The Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center officially opened and the old, cramped field house turned into a brand new, completely up-to-date fitness center that the Aquinas community can be proud to call their own. >More

Fitness Center
Visit Campus for Upcoming AQ Days
AQ Days

AQDays are designed to introduce prospective students and their parents to Aquinas College. We encourage all high school and transfer students to attend!

Our lush 107-acre campus is a former estate, complete with an English Style Manor and Carriage House. Our 90 species of trees, ponds, creeks and terrace gardens will show you why we've been called Michigan's "most beautiful small college." If you're ready for some truly challenging intellectual terrain, consider Aquinas.   Aquinas hosts several AQDays including both general AQDays and specialized AQDays that cater to some of our most popular areas of interest. >More

Fall Sports Wrap Up

Men's Cross Country
The men's cross country qualified for their 11th straight trip to the NAIA National Championships this fall.  The Saints were led by All-WHAC performers Dustin Heiler and Devin Lea who paced Aquinas to a second place finish at the WHAC Championships.  The Saints placed 16th at the National Championships which were contested in Fort Vancouver, Washington for the second straight year.  The Saints posted the 4th fastest team time in school history as the Saints ran very well at the annual NAIA Great Lakes Challenge (Heiler – 24:52, Gravelyn - 25:00, Lea – 25:17, Poirier – 25:41 and Stickney – 25:49) hosted by Aquinas College at Riverside Park in late October.  Overall it was a disappointing conclusion to the season for the men's cross country team who will look to right the ship and get back to basics of what it takes to win championships.  The good news is that the stable is loaded with plenty of talented and determined student-athletes willing and excited to get the job done.

Women's Cross Country Women's Cross Country
The women's cross country team repeated as WHAC Champions for the 2010 season. With their dominate victory at the conference meet contested at Riverside Park, the Saints received an automatic bid to the National Championships in Fort Vancouver, Washington. The Saints were led by WHAC Conference Runner of the Year, Rachael Steil. The freshman led the Saints in every meet and placed 6th at the National Championships to claim All-American honors. Katy Cramer, Samantha Rinkus and Alina Dhaseleer were rewarded with All-WHAC honors for their performance at the WHAC Championships. The team finished in 13th place at the NAIA National Championships, the highest finish ever at Nationals for the women's cross country program.  The squad ran five of the top ten team times of all-time, including the school record performance from the WHAC Championships (Steil – 18:07, Cramer – 18:31, Rinkus – 18:47, Dhaseleer – 18:50 and Boynton – 19:00).  The women's program continues to improve and show signs of being a legitimate threat at both the conference and national levels for years to come.

Men's Golf
The men's golf team finished the 2010 season by taking sixth place in the WHAC.  Freshman Patrick O'Brien was named Honorable Mention All-WHAC for his efforts during the season. O'Brien carded a 78.8 average and captured two top ten performances in six rounds.  Alex Smith led the Saints with a 78.0 average, including meet medalist honors at the 4th WHAC Jamboree. Smith posted a two over par (74) to claim the top spot at the Tecumseh Country Club.

Women's Golf
The women's golf team claimed a third place finish in the WHAC this past fall.  The team was once again led by Abigail Hagan, who was named to the All-WHAC first team for the second time in her career. Hagan (83.3 avg.) finished in the top ten in five of her six matches.  Kristen Pike (87.6 avg.) and Kristina Raiz (88.2 avg.) were named to the All-WHAC Honorable Mention team for their efforts this past season. Coach Pupel returns his top five ladies for next season as the Saints look to unseat Madonna and Indiana Tech at the top of the WHAC standings.

Women's Soccer
The women's soccer team finished the 2010 season with a record of 5-13-2.  An uncharacteristic season by the Saints saw them finish a disappointing 5th place in the WHAC.
The lack of wins was by no means due to a lack of effort or preparation, but rather of just not getting the breaks needed to string together some victories. Eight of the 13 losses by the Saints were by one goal. A bounce here or a controlled ball there and their record could have been flipped.
The Saints were led by All-WHAC performers Jaime Tomaszewski, Heather Lewis and Rebecca Underwood. Tomaszewski led the team with six goals and seven assists, while Underwood was credited with four goals and three assists. Coach Fales will look to the future and get the Saints back competing for a WHAC title.



Women's Soccer

Men's Soccer
The men's soccer team posted a record of 15-5 for the 2010 season and claimed their third straight WHAC regular season title.  The Saints fell one game short of advancing to the NAIA National Tournament as Aquinas fell to Davenport 1-0 in the WHAC Tournament Championship game.
Senior forward Jeovani Pantoja received All-American accolades for the third straight year as he accounted for 16 goals (eight of the goals were of the game winning variety) and three assists. Pantoja concludes his stellar career posting school records for career points (138), goals (61) and game winning goals (25).  Pantoja and fellow seniors Michael Vaughan, Chad DuRussel and Ruben Ornelas-Luna have elevated Aquinas soccer to a very respected and competitive squad in the soccer community.   Coach Veal will look to the next generation to carry on the tradition and legacy these four leave behind. In Coach Veal's five seasons the Saints record stands at 67-27-5

Women's Volleyball
Over the past four seasons the Saints have gone from cellar dwellers in the WHAC to one of the most respected and feared programs in the conference. Aquinas won eight matches in 2007, improved to 22 in 2008, continued to excel in 2009 with 26 wins and finally in 2010, the Saints finished the season with an overall record of 29-12. A tough non-conference schedule left the Saints with a 9-11 record twenty matches into the season. The Saints responded and went on a 20 match winning streak that lasted from October 9th to November 13th.  Aquinas came within mere points of a trip to the NAIA National Championships as they lost to WHAC Champion Indiana Tech in four sets.  The Saints ascent to the top of the league is in direct relation to the improvement and leadership of senior co-captains, Katie Vander Meer and Mollie Lounds. The twosome has been the driving force in the resurgence of Aquinas Women's Volleyball. Vander Meer graduated as the career assist leader at Aquinas College, while Lounds is the school record holder for career kills.

Fall 2010 Aquinas NAIA All-Americans
Athletic All-American
Jeovani Pantoja – Men's Soccer
Rachael Steil – Women's Cross Country
Katie Vander Meer – Women's Volleyball
Academic All-American
Matthea Brandenburg – Women's Soccer
Teresa Buiocchi – Women's Soccer
Kelsey Duley – Women's Soccer
Mary Lothschutz – Women's Soccer
Devin Lea – Men's Cross Country
Nate Poirier – Men's Cross Country
Nick Thelen – Men's Cross Country
Eddie Seymour – Men's Cross Country
Andrew Libs – Men's Cross Country
Alina Dhaseleer – Women's Cross Country
Audrey Shireman – Women's Cross Country
Samantha Rinkus – Women's Cross Country
Parents' Newsletter

Are you a parent that wants to keep in touch with what is going on at Aquinas? >Sign up for the Parents' Newsletter

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