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 Selects Juan Olivarez as New President
Aquinas College announced that Juan Olivarez, Ph.D., has accepted the position as president of Aquinas College. Dr. Olivarez, 61, becomes the school’s seventh president in 125 years, succeeding C. Edward Balog, Ph.D, who in January announced his retirement this year after serving five years as president.
Aquinas College is excited to have Dr. Olivarez return to our campus and lead us into our 125 year tradition of providing students of all backgrounds with the opportunity to develop in body, mind, and spirit,” says Aquinas College Board of Trustees Chairman Monsignor William Duncan. “We are confident that Dr. Olivarez will continue to build upon the initiatives begun by Dr. Balog to take our college to the next level of service to our students and our community.” >Read More
University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC Speaks at 2011 Aquinas College Commencement Ceremony
The 2011 Aquinas College Commencement was held on Saturday, May 7 in the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center. Approximately 500 students took part in the graduation ceremony. Commencement was the opening event of the Aquinas125th anniversary celebration. There will be anniversary events throughout the 2011-2012 year with Commencement 2012 wrapping up the year long celebration.
Addressing this year’s class was Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, University of Notre Dame president.
A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1990, Father Jenkins was elected president-elect in 2004 and became the University’s 17th president in 2005. He served the previous four years as vice president and associate provost. >Read More
Graduates of the Aquinas POHI Program Attend Conference in Hong Kong
On December 3, 2010 four staff members from the Conductive Learning Center (CLC) in Grand Rapids travelled to Hong Kong for the seventh World Congress on Conductive Education (CE). This event brought together 700 professionals from all over the world involved in the field of CE. Throughout the three-day conference, staff members furthered their knowledge by listening to numerous lectures, networked with others involved in CE, and also attended various cultural events throughout the city.
Several of the abstracts chosen for presentations at the World Congress were submitted and presented by the Conductive Learning Center staff - including Aquinas College graduates from the POHI/Conductive Education teacher-training program. Graduates from this program are currently working in various educational settings throughout the United States.
This Aquinas College degree offers a unique combination of educational experiences - providing graduates with an elementary teaching certificate from the State of Michigan with a POHI Endorsement (for working with students who are Physically or Otherwise Health Impaired), as well as a certification from the International Peto Institute for Conductive Education in Budapest, Hungary. Aquinas College is currently the only place in North America where a student can receive this internationally-recognized credential. >Read More
Honored Environmental Film Producer Chris Palmer Lectures at Aquinas College’s 15th Annual Wege Speaker Series
Internationally honored environmental film producer, Chris Palmer, delivered the 15th annual Wege Speaker Series lecture at Aquinas College’s Performing Arts Center on April 15.
Over the past 25 years, Palmer’s filming adventures include coming face-to-face with Kodiak bears, sharks, whales, and wolf packs. Audiences who have heard Chris Palmer use words like “incredibly entertaining,” “dynamic,” “funny,” and say he’s so engaging they don’t want his talks to end. Palmer’s British accent - he came to the U.S. in 1972 - adds an elegance to his free-wheeling speaking style.
Chris Palmer’s screen credits include producing environmental films for prime-time television, including the Disney Channel, TBS Superstation, Animal Planet, Home and Garden Television, The Travel Channel, The Outdoor Life Network, and PBS. >Read More
Aquinas Senior Gains Cross-Cultural Experience Through Local Internship
What's your major? The loaded question, asked of virtually every university and college attendee, usually demands a one-word answer that summarizes and stereotypes each complex four-year education. Senior Adam Hii, however, is unable to reply without a stunning tongue-twister.
As a triple major in political science, international studies, and Spanish, Hii has truly diversified both his education and job experience at Aquinas. Currently working in the AQ Career and Counseling office as well as participating in an internship at the YMCA, he has utilized his interest in language and culture to travel, work in community outreach, and develop his future career goals. Now, at the precipice of graduation, Hii is prepared to apply his three academic majors and his multi-cultural and international experiences to provide aid worldwide to those in need. >Read More
Semester in Rome
Aquinas sent seven students to Rome this fall as a new study abroad program began in the Eternal City. Aquinas students, along with students from partner school Thomas More College in New Hampshire, lived at the Villa Serenella monastery in the Trastevere neighborhood, located about five miles from the Vatican. >Read More
Generally reserved for first-year students in a classroom setting, the fall common reading experience at Aquinas College was opened up to others as they were invited to write statements of personal belief.
Inspired by, This I Believe, an international organization that engages people in writing and sharing essays regarding their core values, the student read-in took place at the Moose Café. >Read More
Winter/Spring Athletics Wrap Up
Baseball Season Review
The Aquinas College baseball team was well represented on the 2011 All-WHAC Baseball selections. Overall the Saints finished the season with a 24-16-1 record, including a 17 game winning streak. Aquinas placed fourth in the final WHAC standings with a record of 9-7. Saints who garnered All-Conference accolades included: Vince Misiewicz, Austin King, Kennen Less and Michael Penny. Misiewicz, who anchored the Saints pitching staff, finished the season with a 6-2 record and a 2.33 earned run average. Austin King, who also won the Gold Glove Award for third base, hit .383 with 15 RBI's. Kennen Less, the Saints Champion of Character, led the team with 31 RBI's and hit for a .381 average. Michael Penny was also named an All-WHAC performer as he led the Saints in hitting (.400) and stolen bases (23). Earning Honorable Mention status was Cory Garneau, Taylor Pawlanta, Ryan Grigonis and Brent Butgereit. Garneau also earned the Gold Glove Award for pitchers.
Softball Season Review
The women's softball team’s toughest opponent this year might have been “mother nature”, who forced the Saints to open their home schedule on April 25th (overall three home dates). The Saints finished fifth in the WHAC (9-11) and finished the season with a 28-20 overall record. The Saints were represented by Carlie Giarmo, Heidi Holmes and Renae Tubergen on the WHAC All-Conference Team. Giarmo, who struck out 111 batters, led the Saints with a 12-9 record and a 2.31 earned run average. Tubergen supplied the power in the Saints offense as she hit nine home runs and collected 41 RBI's. Holmes, who also was named to the All-WHAC Academic Team, led the Saints with a .366 batting average. Sophomore Lindsey Stewart garnered All-WHAC Honorable Mention accolades for her play, while Kim Lohman was Aquinas' representative on the Champions of Character Team.
Men's Basketball Season Review
The men’s basketball team suffered through a season of transition that saw them finish in last place in the WHAC with a 4-12 record. Overall the Saints posted a 12-18 record that included key victories over Grace Bible and Calvin College. Aquinas’ season started with great promise as the Saints secured two victories at the WHAC-MCC Challenge that was contested at Aquinas College’s new Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center. The wins over Indiana Wesleyan and Spring Arbor were big at the time, but the Saints road got a little rocky once Aquinas hit WHAC play. Damacious White, who was named 3rd Team All-WHAC, led the Saints in scoring with 14.8 points per game, while Jake Shockey secured the team lead in rebounds with 6.4 per contest. Coach Hammer will look for new stars and leaders to emerge to ensure the Saints quickly return to the upper echelon of the WHAC next season.
Women’s Basketball Season Review
The women’s basketball program went through a rebuilding year that saw the Saints muster a 9-22 record. The 22 losses set the record for setbacks in a single season. Aquinas finished in eighth place in the WHAC with a conference mark of 5-11. The Saints were led by Taelor Sanders who averaged 9.5 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per contest. Shelby Carter, a transfer from Calvin College, also played well in her first year in a Saints uniform. Carter averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Aquinas will use this past season as motivation for future seasons, while Coach Nash looks to direct her team back into prominence in the WHAC.
Men’s & Women’s Lacrosse Review
The men's lacrosse team concluded their season with a playoff loss to Davenport in the CCLA-Division II Conference Tournament. The Panthers defeated the Saints to advance to play Dayton University. The Saints saw marked improvement in their third season as Coach Luke Griemsman guided the Saints to a 7-9 record. The Saints competed in their first playoff game in school history and closed the regular season winning five of their last six contests. Junior midfielder Jacob Jeffers was named Honorable Mention All-CCLA as a Face-Off Specialist. Jeffers won over 130 face offs for the Saints this season. Jacob also recorded 13 points (eleven goals and two assists) and also picked up 47 ground balls. The Saints will look to continue to improve next year in this "up and coming" sport at Aquinas College.
The women's lacrosse team was recognized by both their league and the national offices for their fine play on the field. The Saints, who finished the season with a 21-1 record, were led by Kati Rogers. Rogers was named second team All-American by the Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (WCLA). Joining Rogers with Honorable Mention All-American honors included Hannah Brogger, Bri Shefferly and Bre Stockall. The WCLL Division II also handed out awards for their top players. Kati Rogers, Hannah Brogger, Bri Shefferly and Bre Stockall all were recognized on the first team. Michelle Murphy, Lauren McCarty and Jess Tunis were all named to the second team. The Saints strung together 21 wins in a row, but fell to Oakland University in the WCLL Finals to deny Aquinas a trip to the National Championships. Coach Rogers will look to his veteran leaders to keep Aquinas College on the map as one of the best small college lacrosse programs in the country.
Men's Tennis Season Review
The men’s tennis team was the buzz around campus this spring. Coach Hendrick’s crew, which was compiled of all underclassman, completed one of the most successful seasons in school history. The Saints finished the year with a mark of 25-4, a WHAC Championship and a berth in the NAIA National Championships. The Saints fell to St. Thomas University (Fla.) in the opening round of Nationals (5-4) in a very entertaining, yet heartbreaking match. Aaron Hendrick and Nik Artaev, both freshman members of the men's tennis team, were named Honorable Mention All-American by the NAIA. The dynamic duo led the Saints to conference and regional titles and amassed a 24-2 record playing first doubles. Hendrick, who was also named WHAC Player of the Year, recorded a 23-4 record at #1 singles, while Artaev finished his freshman campaign at 20-6. The pair was ranked first in the East Region and seventh in the country in the latest rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Aaron Hendrick, Nik Artaev, Kyle Masteleer, John Telfer and Travis Wolf were all recognized as All-Conference by the WHAC. Coach Jerry Hendrick was named WHAC Coach of the Year for Men’s Tennis.
Women's Tennis Season Review
The women’s tennis team started the season strong winning six of their first eight matches. Unfortunately the Saints did not finish as well as they would have liked, as Aquinas closed the season with five consecutive losses. Overall the Saints amassed a record of 6-7 on the year and finished in third place in the WHAC. Aquinas will look to next year to move up in the WHAC standings and strive for a bid to the National Championships. The doubles combination of Kristen Heinrich and Lauren Ramey were recognized as All-Conference performers by the WHAC. The women’s tennis program will see a change in leadership next season as long time head coach Gerry Adams resigned. Aquinas will turn to former alums, Steve Greene and Jordan O’Neill, to guide the Saints during the 2012 season.
Men's & Women's Track Review
The Aquinas College Track & Field teams had another successful campaign this past winter and spring under the direction of head coach Dave Wood. The women's team placed fourth at the Indoor WHAC Championships and improved to second at the Outdoor WHAC championships contested at Houseman Field. At the indoor championships, the Saints were led by All Conference performance of Rachel Luehm, who won the 5000 Meters. When the competition switched to outdoors Katy Cramer, Emily Smith, Rachael Steil and Joordan Hall recorded All-WHAC performances at the championships. At the Outdoor National Championships Emily Smith earned All-American honors with a fourth place finish in the Discus, while Rachael Steil earned All-American accolades by finishing seventh in the 5000 Meters. New school records were delivered by Alicia Dorko (Pole Vault) 11-10, Joordan Hall (100M) 12.00, Joordan Hall (200M) 25.00 and Rachael Steil (5000M) 17:04.58 during the outdoor season.
On the men's side the Saints finished in third place at both the Indoor and Outdoor WHAC Championships. At the Indoor WHAC Championships, the Saints were led by first place finishes by Nick Thelen (800M) and Dustin Heiler (Mile). The Saints were represented well on the All-WHAC team during the outdoor season as Charles Irman, Stephen Huizing, Kolin Stickney, Dustin Heiler, Nick Thelen, Devin Lea and Justin Marquardt all placed first in their respective events. In Geneva, Ohio the men's Distance Medley Relay received All-American recognition as Grant Gunneson, B.J. Klotz, Nick Thelen and Dustin Heiler placed third at the Indoor National Championships. The men’s 4x800 Meter Relay placed fourth at the NAIA Outdoor Championships, breaking the previous school record by five seconds. The foursome of Nick Thelen, Grant Gunneson, Kolin Stickney and Dustin Heiler earned All-American status for running the relay in 7:36.38. Other record broken during the 2011 season included: Rumeal McKinney (60M) 6.72 and the Men’s Indoor Distance Medley (Gunneson, Klotz, Thelen and Heiler) 10:00.50. Besides his two records as part of a relay, Dustin Heiler also established school records in the 600M (1:21.62), 800M (1:53.47), 1000M (2:30.36) and the 1500M (3:53.45).