• Follow us online!
  • Facebook  Twitter  YouTube
  • Chat with Admissions
  • Chat with an Admissions rep



Undergraduate Admissions E-Newsletter - Summer 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.
2007 AQ Days
Musically Speaking...
AQ Students Receive Michigan Campus Compact Award for Dedication to Community Service
Spring Sports Review
Q & A with Marnika Brown, AQ’s New Director of Diversity Initiatives
AQ Difference - The School of Education
Mexico: Service, Learning and Fun Aquinas Style!
Women’s Basketball Team Goes Full Court for Paralyzed Youth
2007 AQ Days
Albertus Hall
Friday, August 24, 2007 - General AQ Day
Friday, November 2, 2007 - General AQ Day
Friday, November 9, 2007 - Science, Nursing and Math AQ Day
Friday, November 16, 2007 - General AQ Day
Friday, December 7, 2007 - Leadership AQ Day
To register for your visit to Aquinas, visit our Web site at: http://www.aquinas.edu/undergraduate/campus_day.html
Albertus Magnus Hall of Science
Musically Speaking…
Barbara Witham McCargar '77, Chairperson/Associate Professor of Music; Sr. Catherine Williams '62, O.P., Associate Professor of Music
Jazz Jam at the Moose Cafe
2007 Homecoming Reception
This past year, you would have had a difficult time keeping up with all of the marvelous concerts that our ambitious directors, student recitalists and guests brought to public performances in West Michigan. From the many Homecoming Weekend events, including a tribute concert by Tim Froncek and Company to kick off the scholarship endowment honoring the memory of Rupert Kettle, to the popular end of the year Christmas concert in the new Aquinas College Performing Arts Center. Some other highlights were: an Odyssey in Opera, a Master class with tenor David Rosin, Jazz at the Moose Café, a dozen or more student recitalists, the Battle Creek appearance of our College Chorus in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Summer Jazz Camp, adjunct faculty member Roger MacNaughton’s CD Release Concert, and the lovely Service of Lessons and Carols at East Congregational Church with scripture readers from among AQ administrators, staff and faculty.
Our students have many opportunities. A highlight has always been the Spring Concert of the Music Department, when all manner of performing groups take the stage one last time before leaving campus for a well deserved summer break. Several alumni and donors (and even parents of our alumni) were on hand and enjoyed the top quality of musical selections from the 100 plus students, including more than 40 majors! That production brought home just how much those of us associated with the Music Department of Aquinas College have to be proud of and thankful for.
In addition this past year, several students received financial support from two newly established scholarships: The Maxine G. Hattem Memorial Music Scholarship and the Chuck and Stella Royce Music Scholarships. To assist student learning, we have been building the quality and number of fine new and refurbished instruments used in practice and performance. Recent acquisitions include a Young Chang upright piano, Steinway and Baldwin grand pianos, a bassoon and a new Steinway L grand piano. Through our annual piano sale held in early 2006, we have the matching funds to purchase one more new Steinway or Boston practice piano. Thank you to all alumni and donors for the assistance that has brought these gifts to the department!
AQ Students Receive Michigan Campus Compact Award for Dedication to Community Service
Five Aquinas College students were selected to receive Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) awards for their dedication and commitment to community service during the past year. The five were honored during the eleventh annual Outstanding Student Service Awards Luncheon held April 14, 2007 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Michigan.
Each year, MCC awards students from member colleges and universities across the state for their outstanding commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Four types of awards are given: the Outstanding Community Impact Award, the Commitment to Service Award, the Heart and Soul Award and the Michigan Humanitarian Award. Awardees were selected from a nomination pool of more than 400 students.
Justine Rau of Sparta received the Commitment to Service Award. This award is given to one student per campus in the state of Michigan for their commitment to community service. Jessica Coffelt, Johanna Kessel, Claire O'Neill and Heidi Swihart each received the Heart and Soul Awards. This award is given to students to recognize their time, effort and personal commitment through service.
Michigan Campus Compact promotes the education and commitment of Michigan college and university students to be civically engaged citizens, through creating and expanding academic, co-curricular and campus-wide opportunities for community service, service-learning and civic engagement. For more information, please visit
Spring Sports Review
Women's Softball
Men's Baseball
Head Coach Doug Greenslate led the Saints to a 27-27 overall record, 11-13 in the WHAC, good for third place in the regular season. Leading the way for the Saints were seniors Lee Moser and Matt Soergel and sophomore Brent Serba, all of whom made the WHAC All-Conference team. Senior Dave Dinallo and juniors Michael Giddings, Todd Peters and Kevin Scholten earned Academic All-Conference.
Led by Head Coach Ronda Varnesdeel, the Saints set a school record with 49 home runs, finished ninth in the country in team batting average (.362) and won their fourth WHAC title in five years. Region VIII Player of the Year sophomore Ashley Aspinall headed the Saints charge with a school record 14 home runs and a .452 batting average to lead the Saints to a 31-19 overall record and a 16-4 WHAC record. Joining Aspinall on the All-Region team were sophomore Amanda Heuvelman and freshman Carissa Saterlee. Earning WHAC All-Conference honors were WHAC Player of the Year Aspinall, Heuvelman, Saterlee, senior co-captain McCall Kleinfelt and sophomore outfielder Courtney Miles. Kleinfelt and fellow seniors Jodi Dieterle (co-captain) and Kathi Williams earned Academic All-Conference honors as well.
Women’s Tennis
The 2007 season saw Head Coach Jerry Adams lead the Saints to a 10-7 overall record with key wins coming against Calvin, Spring Arbor and WHAC rival Indiana Tech. The Saints also won the Tri-State University Doubles Tournament before bowing out of Regionals in a tightly contested 4-5 loss to Indiana Wesleyan that would have earned the Saints a trip to the NAIA National Championships. Leading the way for the Saints were sophomores Bethany Flick and Katelyn Grashorn.
Men’s Tennis
Head Coach Jerry Hendrick will lead the Saints to the NAIA National Championships once again after winning a seventh consecutive Regional Championship. The netters also set a school record for wins in a season, running their overall record to 23-3. Pacing the Saints were seniors Patrick Grashorn and Mike Rose and newcomers Tuan-anh Tran. The Saints finished regular season play ranked 17th nationally, dominated local teams with an undefeated record and won the Grand Rapids City Tournament again.
Women’s Golf
Following a successful fall, the Saints finished second at the Madonna Gold Tournament at the Fox Gold Course this spring. Leading the way for the Saints was sophomore medalist Jessica Morse. Head Coach Dan Pupel led the Saints to a fifth place finish in the NAIA Regionals at South Bend. Senior Nikki Benoit led the Saints with a 14th place finish.
In four events this past fall, head coach Dan Pupel’s squad enjoyed their finest finish at their own Aquinas Invitational at Scott Lake Country Club. Led by senior Nikki Benoit’s 88, the Saints finished 2nd behind Davenport. Aquinas also beat local rival Calvin College at Thornapple Point with sophomore Liz Clement carding an 83 and freshman Kylie Damore scoring an 87 to pace the Saints.
Men’s Golf
Junior Brian Hayward led the Saints this season with an overall scoring average of 74.57. He was the MVP of the WHAC fall season, tied for 3rd at the NAIA Regional, made the All-Region Team and set the competitive course record at Railside Country Club with a 67 at the Furniture City Classic. In other highlights, freshman Brian Hall hit the first hole-in-one in the illustrious Aquinas College golf history at Madonna in the fall.
Q&A with Marnika Brown, AQ’s New Director of Diversity Initiatives
Noddea Moore, Program and Building Coordinator for Campus Life, sat down with Marnika to chat about diversity at AQ.
Marnika Brown

Noddea Moore: Why is diversity education and programming important at a college like Aquinas?
Marnika Brown: These experiences prepare students with the skills necessary to collaborate with all people effectively. Our students will not remain here forever, so this is preparation for their futures.


NM: Tell me about one Diversity Initiative program that really has you excited.
MB: I am excited about the AQ and You initiative. The purpose of the program is to expose first generation college students to a collegiate experience while instilling the value and feasibility of higher education in their future. AQ and You is a week-long residential summer program. The students engage in challenging liberal arts coursework, workshops on college planning and ACT preparation, as well as enjoyable extracurricular activities.

NM: Diversity can be defined in numerous ways. How do you define it?
MB: I define diversity as a collection of unique characteristics, beliefs and values. Diversity is so much more than race. It includes important and inter-related elements of human identity such as ethnicity, nationality, gender, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, religion, sexual orientation, ability and age.


NM: What’s one aspect of your job that you truly enjoy?
MB: I enjoy interacting with the students of AQ. A large part of what I do is to assist them in their development by helping to optimize their experience at Aquinas through various programs, events and initiatives. This allows me to take an active role in promoting academic, social, cultural and professional development.
NM: What’s one goal that you wish to accomplish regarding diversity at AQ?
MB: To network, establish and maintain working relationships with the Grand Rapids community and other organizations whose focal point is diversity.
AQ Difference - The School of Education

As the largest school in the college, we represent an eclectic mix of full-time faculty, adjunct instructors, and some of the best master teachers in their fields. We are surrounded by well-trained staff members who are approachable and highly qualified in their areas. We believe in our students and are adamant about allowing them to become the best teachers they can be.


We don’t save the real-life classroom experiences until the end of our program.  The School of Education offers a hands-on approach to teaching that models and emphasizes reflective, constructivist pedagogy.  We have small class sizes and require classroom field experiences throughout the program.  Roughly 80% of our education courses will require some type of daytime field placements in area schools.  It is our intention to have students gain valuable experiences in a variety of settings, including urban, suburban, private, and public, in order to gain a broad-based perspective of tomorrow’s classrooms today.

School of Education
In the 2005-2006 report from the Michigan Department of Education, Aquinas College ranked fourth (of 46 colleges offering teacher certification) in cumulative pass rate on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification with a 95.2% pass rate.
Mexico: Service, Learning and Fun Aquinas Style!
By: Courtney Bender '07
Service Learning Trip to Mexico

From December 28 to January 6, six Aquinas students and one staff advisor went to Cholula, Mexico as part of the College’s service learning program. We worked in collaboration with Community Links, a non-profit organization. In years past, the program had normally traveled to Oaxaca, but due to increased violence and political unrest there, the trip was moved to Cholula, a city located about an hour and a half east from Mexico City.


The purpose of our trip was to immerse ourselves in the community and to learn more about the culture and ourselves.

Our first few days brought new surroundings, new friends and hard work. On Friday, December 29, the group spent the day meeting the director of Capulli de los Ninos, an organization that helps underprivileged youth by getting them off the streets. We spent the day baking cookies for the community, shucking corn for animal feed and touring the area while learning firsthand about the effects of globalization. That evening, we attended a Christmas play put on by local children. The next day was spent raking and baling alfalfa on a local farm. The local farm owner, or campesino, told us that the workers work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and make only about ten dollars a day. We celebrated our hard work by meeting new friends and dancing.
We spent New Year’s with the family of Community Links’ director Arturo Ortega. We ate lentils and the traditional Mexican New Year’s meal and spent the night dancing. On January 2, we returned to Capulli de los Ninos and participated in an indigenous ritual steam ceremony. The end of our trip was spent experiencing cultural sites, such as the mountains and pyramids of Mexico. We also visited a Franciscan monastery in the mountains and assisted with a clean-up project there. The last two days we spent in Mexico City. We visited Teotihuacan and the Basilica of Guadalupe.
The trip wrapped up on January 6 as we said goodbye to new friends and new experiences. The trip taught us a lot about life and about ourselves. The group quickly bonded and we had experiences that we would never forget. We learned a lot about the communities we served and about Mexico in general. I found that the people are generous, unassuming and completely genuine. This trip made such a positive impact on my life. I cannot wait to share my experiences, take what I learned and put it into action.
Women’s Basketball Team Goes Full Court for Paralyzed Youth

Used with permission of Ludington Daily News

AQ Women's Basketball

The Aquinas college women’s basketball program, under the helm of Linda Nash, has made a commitment through the years not only to focus their energies on the basketball court, but to reach out in the community. Last October, the team returned a day early from fall break and loaded up for a two-hour drive to Ludington to lend a helping hand to Zach Willis.


Zach, a junior at Mason County High School and a member of the boy’s basketball team, woke up on Thanksgiving Day 2005 and discovered that he didn’t have any feeling in his leg. A blood test detected that Zach had leukemia. To complicate matters, a 14-inch tumor was discovered in his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. The women’s basketball team spent the day working on projects that would make the Willis home handicap accessible for Zach. As the team witnessed this past fall, Zach is a brave young man. He continues to battle the disease and is an avid follower of the women’s basketball team.

>>E-Newsletter Archives