Page 1

FA LL 2018

From Concept to Campus:

The Prince Building Expands Ave’s Mission

The newly completed mosaic featuring Sts. Teresa of Calcutta and John Paul II located on the Thomas and Selby Prince Building

Contents 3 Letter from the President 4 News 9 Academic Update 12 Advancement 19 Mother Teresa Project Mission Trips 28 Admissions 30 Athletics Update 33 Alumni News 34 Campus Updates


From Tom Monaghan’s vision for a strong Catholic educational institution that would develop future leaders of faith, to enrollment of over 1,100 students hailing from 45 states and 20 countries and an offering of 34 majors, Ave Maria University is going and growing strong!


Nearly two years of design and construction have led to the dream-come-true of the inauguration of AMU’s new multi-purpose, Thomas and Selby Prince Building.


Thanks to the generous support of the Jack Donahue family, the new Blackbox Theatre saw its inaugural Shakespeare performance last spring, creating a lasting legacy that will continue to thrive at AMU for generations to come.

18 AVE’S NURSING PROGRAM FACILITY UPGRADE Due to continued, rapid growth, the BSN program was in need of a larger, permanent home. The Prince Building proved to be the perfect space to house this major.


This new, year-long training program of Catholic leaders is guided by the example set by St. John Paul ll and is geared toward the many student leaders on campus, focusing on strategic goals and initiatives.

22 AVE’S STUDENT ATHLETES - KEEPING IT ALL IN BALANCE Meet four of AMU’s Athlete Scholars. Georgia Miller (‘19), John Preyer (‘19), Sarah Miller (‘20), and Sebastian Ramirez Masini (‘20) share how they balance athletics and academics, as some of AMU’s standout students.


Dr. Craig Flanagan shares some of the factors contributing to the growth and development of one of AMU’s largest majors.


Many of the Class of 2022 moments before embarking to go to the nearby farmworker community of Immokalee where students spent afternoon with area youths at the Boys and Girls Club.


a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018




PHOTOGRAPHY NICHOLE KENDALL FERNANDO PEREZ KARL ROUWHORST AMU ATHLETICS MOTHER TERESA PROJECT MANAGING EDITORS JEN LANG AND MARK MCCORMICK Ave Maria University Magazine is published by Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, Florida for alumni, parents and friends. Third class postage paid at Ave Maria, Florida. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Office of Advancement, Ave Maria University, 5050 Ave Maria Blvd., Ave Maria, FL. 34142 Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning devoted to Mary the Mother of God, inspired by St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, and dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service.


Letter from President Towey


President Towey leading AMU students at one of his fall Bible Study groups

features of the new Prince building that will enrich Ave’s academic and cultural life for generations to come. At the building’s dedication ceremony, I quoted from the homily of His Holiness Pope Francis on Pentecost Sunday, and how when the Holy Spirit blows and we raise our sails, God can work wonders. It is fair to say that as we begin our 15th year as a mission of the Church in higher education, Ave Maria University is one such wonder. Pope Francis also described how the Holy Spirit “inspires wholehearted generosity.” How true that is! Think about it. The new Prince building was fully paid for by individuals who didn’t attend this University. We have had the good fortune of being adopted as the “honorary alma mater” of so many. Selby and Tom, and

thousands of donors great and small, have followed in our founder Tom Monaghan’s footsteps and shared their resources so that students could access and afford an AMU education. Please enjoy this new edition of our magazine, and come and visit us and see what Scripture describes as “the evidence of God’s favor” that is Ave Maria University.

Kind regards,

Jim Towey Ave Maria University President

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

hen I first saw the beautiful mosaic mural of the great saints John Paul the Great and Mother Teresa of Calcutta on our campus, I was reminded of the iconic “Touchdown Jesus” on the Hesburgh Library of the University of Notre Dame. This thought wasn’t about a critical comparison of the aesthetic appeal of the two (for the record, I like ours better, but in fairness to the Fighting Irish, theirs went up in the mid-sixties during a time of cultural upheaval). It was how our image of these two great saints dramatically expresses who we are at Ave Maria University, and underscores their influence on the academic and cultural experience unique to our campus. This issue of the AMU magazine introduces you to so much that is new at Ave, including the “JPII Lead” program as well as recent missions of the Mother Teresa Project. These two saints’ writings permeate so many aspects of campus life, including our curriculum. No Catholic university in America is more closely aligned to the teachings and inspiration of John Paul II and Mother Teresa. This should surprise no one, for they both had a deep devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and our patroness. We are proud of this identification and claim for ourselves the right to be called Our Lady’s University. With another year of growing enrollment and our largest entering class ever, Ave Maria is thriving. You will read in these pages about our emergent nursing and exercise physiology majors and the state-of-the-art labs now available to support instruction. You’ll also read about



U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos at AMU’s Spring Commencement


a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

U 4

.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joined the ranks of Governor Rick Scott and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as one of Ave Maria University’s esteemed commencement speakers when she addressed the Class of 2018 in May. In her address to the approximately 250

undergraduate and graduate students, and their families, DeVos relied on scripture and narratives of historical religious leaders to welcome graduates into the next chapter of their lives. Secretary DeVos’ comments centered upon a key component of life at Ave Maria, namely, the importance of service to God, country, and neighbor.

Such service, she said, “is a calling, and it’s an imperative. It’s at the core of what it means to be an American. And it should be a calling for you.” DeVos outlined her hopes and encouragement for the Class of 2018, drawing on the inspiring words of Mother Teresa to “Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are—in your own

homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools.” In concluding her call to service, DeVos asked everyone in the room: “Where is your Calcutta? What will you do to put your newly gained skills to work in the service of others?” Thanking President Towey for his invitation to speak and introduction, DeVos highlighted the growth of AMU and specifically its development since President Towey took the helm in 2011. “In your seven years as president,” DeVos remarked, “Ave Maria University has grown in size and stature. And it will undoubtedly continue on that trajectory with you at its helm.” This trajectory is different from most other universities, as DeVos pinpointed by speaking of AMU as an institution “with the highest of aims: one that pledges fidelity to Jesus Christ and His church; one inspired by the lives of Saints John Paul II and Teresa of Calcutta;

and one dedicated to authentic character formation—young people with hands and hearts prepared to serve.” DeVos’ visit to Ave’s campus attracted the attention of the national media, including live C-Span coverage, and online pieces in Time magazine and Atlantic Monthly. Focusing on the future, DeVos inspired graduates to anticipate the vagaries of life. “I encourage you to embrace the mess,” she said. “Know that your life won’t always unfold according to plan. Anticipate being called to something different, to something unexpected. Don’t avoid a change in course, an alternate path. Don’t fear the unknown; step out with faith onto those stormy waters!” DeVos concluded with words that precipitated a standing ovation by the 1,500 in attendance, saying, “And what you do now is up to you. It’s not up to your parents. It’s not up to your professors. With God’s guidance, it’s up to you.”



r. Eddie Dejthai, AMU’s Chief Information Officer, was selected as the winner of this year’s Cisco Live Culture Spotlight Award. This international commendation, of which he was the sole recipient, is not only a testament to Dejthai’s work in cultivating an effective and synergistic IT department, but also speaks to the caliber of AMU’s employees

and the work culture of advancement and growth that has developed over the last fifteen years. Mr. Dejthai received his award in June at Cisco’s annual conference in Orlando. Established almost three decades ago, Cisco Live is a premier technology event among IT professionals that is hosted by Cisco Systems, Inc., the world’s largest networking company. The conference, held

annually in the U.S. as well as in various cities around the world, brings together international IT specialists for a week of networking, professional development, technical education, and personalized meetings with Cisco experts and partners. For the first time ever, the conference featured the IT Management Spotlight Awards Program. These awards are designed to recognize excellent IT

leaders from around the world in the categories of technology, culture, and leadership. The Culture Spotlight Award, chosen by a panel of Cisco’s top leaders, highlights an organization or company with an excellent team culture. Dejthai, who has worked at Ave since July of 2011, was nominated for this award by Rafael Gomez, a Manager and Network Administrator at AMU. In the

nomination letter, Mr. Gomez wrote how Dejthai has transformed the IT Department through his exemplary leadership skills, specifically highlighting his commitment to individual growth and the human person. “Eddie recognized that it is not technology that keeps us going,” Mr. Gomez wrote, “but people, a person, a human...Eddie believes that technology is not the most important thing in our field: it’s the people creating and consuming that technology.” Dejthai was presented with the Culture Spotlight Award, after which he had the opportunity to speak about how AMU’s IT Department culture has had a positive impact on business. He also spoke about what makes his department’s culture stand out, how he drove this change and the business outcomes that were accomplished as a result. Dejthai appreciated the Cisco Award and in his characteristic manner, deflected attention from himself to the team at AMU with whom he works. “All of our people made this award possible and share the spotlight with me,” Dejthai said.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

AMU’s CIO Eddie Dejthai being presented the Cisco Live IT Management Spotlight Award by Brian Christensen, Sr. Director at Cisco


a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018



Gyrene Field with the new bleachers and overhead lighting installed



hen the Gyrenes take the field this season, a number of Ave Maria facilities will look a little different—in a very good way, offering a boost to a variety

of AMU sports teams and their spectators, including football, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, and softball. Gyrene Field, with its new artificial turf installed a year ago, is finally complete and

ready for action, replete with new elevated bleachers and lighting. The new bleachers replace the previous ones that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma, and are built atop a cement platform

ded over the summer in order to fill in numerous worn spots. Additionally, two new soccer goals designed for use on the artificial turf were purchased to allow the men’s and women’s games to be played on Gyrene Field. AMU’s baseball program also will benefit from a major upgrade. The entire baseball field will be raised and replaced. New drainage systems are being installed and a complete re-sodding of the field, as well as a renovation of the dugouts, will be completed by December in time for seasonal play next semester. A new,

massive batting cage that also houses warmup pitching mounds, will further augment AMU’s growing baseball program. “I am excited about these improvements to our facilities as these are real game-changers for us,” Athletic Director John Lamanna said. “Our donors and the Trustees of the University deserve the credit, and will see and immediate improvement in our recruitment, and hopefully, our win-loss records.” The Gyrenes softball team also will have a new batting cage area to support the building of a

Spectators can now enjoy a fantastic view of all the action on the field. championship contending club. There were also repairs to the clay infield that will have a positive impact on play. Taken as a whole, these enhancements to AMU Athletics will cost over a half-million dollars. University leaders see this expenditure as a wise investment.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

that secures the base. Approximately 800 spectators—a 150% increase in size from the previous stands—can now sit in the bleacher system and enjoy a fantastic view of all the action on the turf field. The lighting for Gyrene Field was completed just in time for AMU’s first night football game on October 6th against Southeastern. AMU football, soccer, and lacrosse will enjoy playing games under the lights this season and throughout the years to come. As for other projects, Ave’s grass practice soccer field was re-sod-




a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

ollowing one of Ave Maria University’s oldest traditions, the first week of the fall 2018 semester was capped by the Academic Convocation ceremony and lecture. This year, students, faculty and administration gathered to hear words from President Towey, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Roger Nutt, and the keynote speaker, Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., a Professor of History at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. This year’s Convocation was made special by the fact that it was the first official University-wide event to be held in the stunningly beautiful 400-seat performance hall in the Prince


Building. Furthermore, Fr. Thompson is the best-selling academic author to have visited Ave Maria University, as his acclaimed Francis of Assisi: A New Biography (Cornell University Press) has sold over 170,000 copies to date. In his introductory remarks, Dr. Nutt joked that Fr. Thompson’s aptitude and prodigious gifts, as well as his voluminous book sales, were both sources of scholarly envy. President Towey began the ceremony with an encouraging welcoming address and congratulations to AMU’s Honor students. Dr. Nutt then recognized the Dean’s list students; congratulated Dr. Michael Dauphinais (full professor), Dr. Keith Houde (full professor), and Dr.

Nicholas Curtis (associate professor) on their faculty promotions; and welcomed thirteen new members of the faculty to the University community.

Fr. Thompson’s convocation address, titled “Francis, the Man behind the Myth: A Challenge to PostModernist Theory in History,” was a fitting welcome to AMU’s

Dr. Roger Nutt introducing Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. at Convocation 2018

new, Franciscan campus chaplain, Fr. Rick Martignetti, O.F.M. “Fr. Rick,” Dr. Nutt quipped, “we hope that a lecture on St. Francis makes you feel right at home here.”



Dr. Kathy Christensen Associate Professor of Education r. Christensen holds a B.S., M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ed.D. in education. Over her 35 years of service in Collier County Public Schools, she worked as a teacher in grades 3 and 5; an Elementary Reading Intervention teacher and reading coach; and a District Literacy Specialist. Dr. Christensen has been an Adjunct Professor at AMU for the last three years and is looking forward to devoting more time to the school, having just retired from Collier County Public Schools. She is excited to work with her students as they conduct practicums and internships in the Immokalee schools. Kathy and her husband, Michael, have six grown children and are expecting their 12th grandchild in September.


Dr. Abigail Fuller Assistant Professor of Education r. Fuller earned her Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Florida Gulf Coast University and her Ed.D. in Education Administration from the University of Florida. She also holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Dance from Slippery Rock University. After working as a school administrator, exceptional student education specialist, and teacher at Collier County Public Schools—where she was the


2009 Champions for Learning Teacher of Distinction—Dr. Fuller brings her passion for inspiring future teachers to AMU. In addition to an interest in students’ perceptions of teachers’ cultural responsiveness, she is fascinated by culturally responsive teaching and children’s socio-emotional learning. Dr. Fuller is married with two children.

Mr. Timothy Green Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition r. Green has taught English for many years at the college and high school levels, including the University of Michigan, Hillsdale College and Northern Michigan University. His ongoing dissertation research is about the influence of religious beliefs upon post-Reformation language instruction in England. Mr. Green has a B.A. in English and History from the University of Notre Dame, a M.Ed. through Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education and a M.A. in English Literature from DePaul University, earned while teaching at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a workstudy school serving Chicago’s Latino population on the southeast side.


Dr. Jeanette Hariharan Assistant Professor of Physics r. Hariharan enjoys teaching Physics and is excited about her new students and colleagues at AMU. Dr. Hariharan earned a B.S. in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, received an assistantship at NASA after graduation and has a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Tennessee. Her previous work experience includes Lockheed Martin, the Engineering PhD program at the University of Akron and Stark State College in the Electrical Engineering Technology College. She loves life, family and spending time enjoying nature and music. “I am so grateful to God for allowing me the privilege of being at AMU. May all be for His glory!”


ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

Dr. Zachary Bartsch Assistant Professor of Economics r. Bartsch earned his B.A. in economics from the University of Louisville and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics at George Mason University. While at GMU, Dr. Bartsch taught classes in economics and finance and was a teaching assistant for the GMU Athletics Department. Dr. Bartsch enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, playing sports, and making cocktails—though not at the same time, of course. He and his family moved to AMU from Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Alex, had their first child last year, and their second is now on the way. Dr. Bartsch will be teaching of range of economics courses this academic year.


ACADEMICUPDATE Dr. Patrick Hillesheim Assistant Professor of Chemistry r. Hillesheim completed his B.S. in chemistry at North Carolina State University and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry with a specialization in crystallography at the University of Florida. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee, Dr. Hillesheim accepted his first faculty position at Mississippi State University where he was a Lab Director and Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. Prior to AMU he was at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he was also a Lab Director for the general and organic chemistry labs. Some of Dr. Hillesheim’s interests include crystallography, ionic liquids, metalloproteins, and molecular structure-property relationships.


Dr. Marilyn Ibarra-Caton Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics r. Ibarra-Caton holds a B.A. and M.A. in economics from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Georgia. Before arriving at AMU, Dr. Ibarra-Caton was Senior Research Economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the Research Branch of the Balance of Payments Division in Washington, D.C. She moved to Florida from Chennai, India, where she volunteered for the past two years at the Missionaries of Charity Nirmala Shishu Bhavan orphanage for the disabled. At AMU this academic year, Dr. Ibarra-Caton will be teaching a range of economics and quantitative courses.


Dr. John Jasso Assistant Professor of Communications r. Jasso joins AMU from the Pennsylvania State University, where he was an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Rhetoric. He earned a B.A. in Speech and Philosophy from Kansas State University, and an M.A. in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, where he specialized in the history of rhetoric in the Catholic intellectual tradition. At AMU, Dr. Jasso will be the chair of the new Communications Program and will teach courses in rhetorical and media history, theory,

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018



criticism, and practice. He and his wife join the AMU community with their seven children.

Dr. Gina Noia Assistant Professor of Theology r. Noia grew up in the Hudson Valley of NY—where she was a New Paltz HS pickleball legend—and then studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Scranton. While earning her M.A. in Health Care Ethics from Saint Louis University, she completed an ethics fellowship at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and served as the ethics consultant for St. Alexius Hospital. Dr. Noia also holds a B.S. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Scranton. Her scholarly work focuses on moral theology, especially Catholic bioethics. Outside of academics, Dr. Noia spends time with her philosopher husband, Justin. The couple has two children, Gabriel Pio and Perpetua Dominica, who went to their eternal rest before they were born.


Dr. James Prothro Assistant Professor of Theology ailing originally from Texas, Dr. Prothro misses his old pickup truck, but thankfully still has his guitar. His love for theology spurred him to pursue two Master’s degrees: one in theology, and one in ancient Greek and Latin. Following these, Dr. Prothro earned his Ph.D. in theology at the University of Cambridge, studying the writings of St. Paul in the New Testament. Dr. Prothro loves foreign languages, puns, music, watching the Muppets and the Rocky movies, and—most especially—his family. His wife Ashley is a former student of insect biology and an outstanding mother to their daughters, Sophia and Heidi.


Dr. Timothy Reilly Assistant Professor of Psychology r. Reilly earned his doctoral degree at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, after which he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology and Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing. He earned his B.A. in Psychology at Indiana University, and


Dr. Aileen Staller Assistant Professor of Nursing r. Staller graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After working in a Neurology/Neurosurgery ICU, Dr. Staller opened a Neuro ICU in Florida. Over the following years she worked as an ICU manager, Assistant Director of Nursing for Critical Care, Clinical Coordinator/Practice Manager for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Nurse Practitioner and Research Associate in Neuro Oncology. Dr. Staller then obtained her doctorate at the University of South Florida. Follow her acceptance of a role as Stroke Program Director at Physicians Regional Healthcare System in Naples, Dr. Staller became an adjunct faculty at AMU and, realizing her love of teaching, has now become a full-time Assistant Professor.


Dr. Steven Thong Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry r. Thong moved to Ave Maria with his wife Wendy from Grand Rapids, MI. They have 3 grown children, Ben, Jeremy & Sarah. Dr. Thong has a Ph.D in solid state inorganic chemistry and teaching chemistry. For the past 25 years, he has been conducting industrial research and developing personal care products for well-known brands such as Gillette (Proctor & Gamble) and Arm & Hammer (Church & Dwight). When he isn’t taking advantage of the educational opportunities in Ave Maria, he enjoys riding his bike, swimming, traveling and cooking. He and his wife have been blessed to work with refugees in the past and look forward to this new adventure in southwest Florida under God’s providence.


Dr. Peter Whalen Ungarino Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship fter earning a marketing degree from Florida State University and an MBA from Saint Louis University, Dr. Whalen received a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Oregon. Dr. Whalen spent seven years as an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Denver, and most recently served as an Associate Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Whalen has published research in the Journal of Strategic Marketing, AMS Review, and the European Journal of Marketing, as well as the Harvard Business Review and Huffington Post blogs. Peter is married to Beth Anne and they have three children: Wyatt, Lydia, and Camille.



In addition to our newly hired faculty, Ave Maria University is delighted to announce the promotion of three current professors. Dr. Nicholas Curtis, who has been teaching at AMU for 4 years, is now an Associate Professor of Biology; Dr. Michael Dauphinais, a veteran of the University for 17 years, is now a Professor of Theology; and Dr. Keith Houde, an AMU instructor for the past 7 years, is now a Professor of Psychology.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

has participated in various major grant research projects, in addition to working on Quest: Atlantis, a multiplayer online educational game funded by a MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning grant. Dr. Reilly will be teaching a range of Psychology coursework this academic year.



Harnischfeger Endowed Scholarship At 70,William Harnischfeger felt the call from God to become a healer of souls. Following 35 years of marriage and nearly 40 years as a physician,William, a widower and retired cardiologist, answered His call and entered the priesthood. Before his death, he included Ave Maria University in his estate plans.This simple but thoughtful act is a fitting chapter of Fr. Harnischfeger’s incredible life story—one which we are pleased to share.

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018



s a young boy in Bad Soden, Germany, William W. Harnischfeger dreamed of growing up to be a seelenarzt: a soul doctor. That feeling never left, but his dream of a medical education was quickly put on hold when World War II broke out and the German Rev. William W. Army inducted him as a medic. As a medic, Harnischfeger, MD William faced many hardships, including the loss of two of his four brothers during the war—both on the same day. He attributed many of his own near-death experiences to providence. He was nearly shot by a Russian soldier; was involved in a bunker explosion that left him blind in one eye and with shrapnel in his head; and, by a last-minute mix-up, was prevented from boarding a plane that was shot down, killing all on board. Following the war, William resumed his pursuit of a medical degree and was accepted to the University of Heidelberg in 1950. In 1952, William immigrated to the United States and served a second internship and residency at Northwestern University Hospital in Evanston, IL. From there, he went on to the Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, IL, for a fellowship in cardiology, where he met his wife, Irene, who was a nurse. After his fellowship, William served as a U.S. Navy doctor at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in VA; practiced diagnostic cardiology in IL; was an Assistant Professor of Cardiology at Northwestern University; and practiced internal medicine and cardiology in AZ, until 1989. After Irene’s death in 1990, William planned to become a permanent deacon, but later moved to Milwaukee, where he entered Sacred Heart School of Theology. For William, the transition from physician to priest was not difficult, nor did he see his two professions as incompatible. He recalled conversations with Irene in which they speculated what each might do should the other die. “We would sort of joke; she said she might become a nun, and I said then I would be a priest.” He knew his latest calling would entail a switch from treating bodies to ministering souls. On October 8th, 1993—his 70th

birthday—William was ordained as a Diocesan priest at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Sun City, AZ. “In 38 years (I have seen) many critical situations.When you can say a patient was saved, and without your help he would have died, that feeling surpasses all else. But now, as a priest, when I can stand on an altar and celebrate Mass and I become the mystical link between people of the Church and God, that feeling is elevated to an even higher level.” Father Harnischfeger passed away in 2013 at the age of 90. In 2017, Ave Maria University received a $2 million estate gift for the formation of the Rev. William W. Harnischfeger, MD Endowed Scholarship. Fr. Harnischfeger’s legacy is alive at Ave Maria University and will continue to impact people throughout the world as our students graduate. During its inaugural year, the Rev. William W. Harnischfeger, MD, Endowed Scholarship funded 19 students, and two additional scholarships will be offered in the 2018-19 academic year. Endowed scholarships are critically important to the future of Ave Maria University and provide a predictable source of funding that allows AMU to succeed in recruiting talented, deserving students who otherwise might not be able to attend Our Lady’s University. Estate gifts of any amount make an incredible difference by enabling the University to meet the needs of deserving students. If you would like to leave a lasting legacy, just as Father Harnischfeger did, through a planned gift or endowed scholarship, please contact Kevin Wiley in the Office of Advancement at 239-280-1512 or


Tippmann Scholarship Expansion


ve Maria University students are a dynamic force for good in the world, with many returning to be leaders in their home dioceses and parishes after graduation. Regional scholarships are a fundamental part of the culture of access and growth at AMU and are a wonderful way to encourage students from your local community to attend our University and receive an authentically Catholic education. By supporting or establishing such a scholarship, you too can play an essential role in lessening the financial burden to students, thereby directly contributing to the mission of AMU and the wider pursuits of the Catholic Church. The Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend in Indiana benefits from a diocesewide scholarship sponsored by a foundation started by Ave Maria University trustee John Tippmann, Sr. and his wife Jacqueline, which he established in honor of his mother. Originally, the Mary Cross Tippmann scholarship was available to students from Allen County (Fort Wayne). Due to the transformative difference this scholarship has made, it is now being offered to eligible students within the entire 14-county diocesan area who are planning on attending Ave Maria University. Ten current AMU students are recipients of the Tippmann scholarship, with a near-term goal of extending the scholarship to 20 students. The Tippmann family, who view being a part of the Ave Maria family as a natural extension of their vocations within the Church, consider the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend to be an integral part of their lives. The expansion of this scholarship to the diocese-wide level was announced by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, a member of AMU’s Board of Trustees, in July, 2018 at the St. Felix Catholic Center, which is operated by the Mary Cross Tippmann Foundation

in Huntington, IN. The announcement was a part of the celebration for the first feast day of Blessed Fr. Solanus Casey, who spent his retired years there. The event provided an opportunity for the AMU family—including students, alumni, parents, and friends—in the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend to celebrate both Blessed Fr. Solanus Casey and their love of AMU.  John Tippmann, Sr. stated that, “We have been delighted to support the outstanding Catholic education and excellent academics students receive at Ave Maria University. Through this scholarship eligibility expansion, we see the potential to develop even more future leaders of faith within the Catholic community.”  Other regional scholarships currently offered at Ave Maria University include those in Michigan, New Orleans, Ohio, Southern California, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Immokalee. If you would like to establish a regional scholarship for your state, diocese, or local community, or if you would like to contribute to an existing regional scholarship, please contact Brian Couch in the Office of Advancement at 239-280-2586 or advancement@

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

Attendees at the Tippmann Scholarship announcement (l to r): Madison Gerwels, Grace Garrett, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Brian Couch, Corinne Zay, Joe Wharton, Sean Hanley, John Tippmann, Jr., Cheryl Chalfant, John Tippmann, Sr.


The Thomas and Selby Prince building dedication ceremony

Fifteen Years of Growth at Ave Maria University

Going Strong a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

When Tom Monaghan made the decision


to move Ave Maria University from Michigan to Florida, he had a vision for a strong Catholic educational institution that would develop future leaders of faith on a grand scale. However, there was really no way to envision the full extent of growth and success the following 15 years would bring.  During its first semester in a temporary campus in Florida, AMU opened its doors to 120 students; now, a decade-and-a-half later, total undergraduate and graduate enrollment has grown to over 1,100 students hailing from 45 states and 20 countries. From only 10 majors as recently as 2011, AMU now boasts 34 majors, with 70% of current students pursuing those new disciplines of study. The growth that AMU has experienced recently goes beyond enrollment and majors, as evidenced by September’s dedication of the new $13 million Thomas and Selby Prince Building. On that occasion, President Towey commented, “The Prince building is further evidence of God’s favor on this campus in honor of Our Lady. In terms of what the University can now provide through

the performance hall, the nursing facilities, the Donahue Family Blackbox Theatre and future space for the Mother Teresa Museum— these are real game changers for AMU.” Indeed the game has changed. In AMU’s first year in Florida, for example, there were 15 full-time faculty members to support the 120 member student body. By May of 2004, AMU had its first graduating class of 23 students. Four years later saw AMU’s first commencement exercises on the permanent campus, with 88 undergraduates and 38 graduate students receiving degrees. Ten years later, the graduating class of 2018 had nearly tripled to AMU’s largest class ever.  While AMU has continued to expand its student body and facilities, it has been careful to protect the quality of its liberal arts education. Average class sizes of 20 and a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a record-breaking incoming class of 413 students, bode well for the future. The authentic catholic culture of AMU’s student life has deepened over the years. In July of 2009, the Martha J. Burke Adoration Chapel was dedicated and opened for Eucharistic

adoration, and by 2014 there was 24/7 exposition offered which continues to this day. The campus chapel, opened in 2018, now hosts two daily masses as well as frequent confession. AMU’s culture is also defined by a focus on service. In 2013 the university received a $2 million grant for the Mother Teresa Project to promote devotion to her and service to the poor. In May that year, President Towey and 12 students went on AMU’s first mission trip to Calcutta, India, to work with the Missionaries of Charity in Mother Teresa’s homes. Just two short years later, student involvement in mission trips had risen five-fold, with AMU students traveling to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, Mexico City, and elsewhere. Today, AMU’s students perform thousands of hours of community service and mission service

work annually, both locally and across the globe, as a part of the Mother Teresa Project. Perhaps most important to protecting AMU’s religious identity, was President Towey and the Board of Trustees decision to fight the federal government in court over the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive services mandate. AMU prevailed in this “David versus Goliath” battle when a favorable settlement was reached with HHS and the Department of Justice that permanently protects the University from future fines under the Obamacare law.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

The performance hall within the Thomas and Selby Prince building


GOING STRONG 15 Years of Growth at AMU

President Towey unveiling the plaque for the Thomas and Selby Prince building

Dedication of the

Thomas and Selby Prince Building

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

After nearly two years of design and construction, the dream


of a new multi-purpose building became a reality when the Thomas and Selby Prince building was dedicated on September 17th before a large crowd of AMU students, faculty members, trustees and area residents. The dedication ceremony included speeches by AMU trustee Tom Prince before the unveiling of the commemorative plaque, as well as by founder Tom Monaghan and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Michael Timmis. Bishop Frank Dewane blessed the building and led the gathering in solemn prayer, shortly after Student Government President Mary Rexroat led the assembled in the pledge of allegiance. The following are excerpts of the speech that AMU President Jim Towey gave on this historic occasion: For our students who may not know Tom and Selby Prince, they have been part of the Ave Maria family for over a decade, and Tom has been a trustee for almost six years.

(l to r) Patrick and Michelle Olson, Selby, Thomas and Joseph Prince

Tom and Selby have a fascinating story. They met during their college years, got married, Tom joined the US Army in 1967 and served in the Vietnam War, and then went on to build a very successful network of hotels, restaurants and other businesses, while she raised their family.  They’ve been married for 54 years, and now, their fine family name is joined to ours.  We are happy to have their children Michelle and Joe with us, along with Michelle’s husband Patrick, and we are mindful of the seven grandchildren who comprise the marvelous Prince clan. Today marks another stage in the gestation of this University that in one sense rests in the womb of Our Lady, for we are in the process of becoming what God wishes to birth in Catholic higher education.  This building and its multiple uses represent a major development in our young life, and owes to the kindness of so many.  On the Solemnity of the Pentecost, Pope Francis spoke of how the Holy Spirit “inspires wholehearted generosity.”  He added, “The Spirit keeps our hearts young.”  Tom and Selby have such young hearts.  His Holiness cautioned about those who “find shelter from the wind of the Spirit.”  He said, “When we live for self-preservation and keep close to home, it is not a good sign.  The Spirit blows, but we lower our sails.  And yet, how often have we seen him work wonders!” My friends, you are standing in front of one such wonder, thanks to two people who ventured out from home and raised their sails when the Spirit blew and moved their young hearts.  And they were not alone.  Many others contributed mightily to pay for this building which is fully paid for, including others gathered here today.  Our debt to our donors, to Manhattan Construction, and to those who labored in the sweltering heat or driving rain to shape these bricks and mortar, is great.

Rhodora Donahue at the inaugural Shakespeare performance in the Donahue Family Blackbox Theatre

As Tom Monaghan

initially considered moving Ave Maria University from Michigan to Naples, businessman and friend Jack Donahue was the first person he consulted. Jack was the founder of Pittsburgh, PA-based Federated Investors and a Naples philanthropist. “I can’t think of anybody in this country I more admire,” Monaghan said. Jack and his wife, Rhodora, were committed to Catholic education and believed in Tom’s vision of Ave Maria University. The close connection between Jack Donahue and Ave Maria University received visible and permanent expression last spring

when the new Blackbox Theatre was dedicated in Jack and his family’s honor in a brief ceremony attended by Rhodora and other family members, prior to an inaugural Shakespeare performance. Jack Donahue passed away on May 11, 2017 at the age of 92. He is survived by 13 children, 84 grandchildren, and 122 great grandchildren – and counting! Jack’s commitment to Ave Maria University and Catholic education has created a lasting legacy that will continue to thrive at AMU for generations to come.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

The Donahue Family Blackbox Theatre


GOING STRONG 15 Years of Growth at AMU

Ave Nursing Program Facility Upgrade

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

This past July, the Ave Maria University Bachelor of Science


in Nursing (BSN) program moved into its new location in the Prince Building. Ave’s BSN program is a four-year, prelicensure degree approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing and regionally accredited by SACS. BSN graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination, successful passing AMU nursing students learning in the Nursing of which qualifies them for work as licensed Registered Nurses. Simulation Lab Due to its continued rapid growth, the BSN program was in need of a larger permanent home. The Prince Building proved to be the perfect space to house this major. Within this Ave Maria University’s BSN degree is the first BSN program exquisitely designed building, the new nursing program space in Collier County and the only Catholic nursing program in features a simulation lab, a dedicated classroom for didactic southwest Florida. The program employs three full-time nursinstruction and offices for faculty. The nursing simulation lab ing faculty and three part-time or adjunct faculty, all of whom includes six hospital beds and one crib furnished with state-ofserve as clinical instructors to guide students through their the-art mannequins and equipment clinical experiences. that allow students to learn and Within the Prince Building, the AMU’S NURSING PROGRAM VISION STATEMENT: practice their skills before beginning BSN facilities are appropriately “Ave Maria University’s BSN program aspires to be their clinical experiences at local located adjacent to the future home internationally recognized as a producer of future registered hospitals and healthcare agencies.  of the Mother Teresa Museum as The BSN program was launched nurse leaders who emulate the words and example of St. the BSN program’s vision statement in August, 2015 and has grown to 29 exemplifies St. Teresa of Calcutta as a Teresa of Calcutta through healing of mind, body, and spirit students enrolled for the fall of 2018. role model.

for individuals and communities throughout the world.”

Mother Teresa Project

Spring & Summer Mission Trips

Emelia Alflen in Kampala, Uganda

Kampala, Uganda

This past spring and summer

, more than forty Ave students traveled around the country and world on University sponsored mission trips. This year saw a huge rise in mission work at Ave, not just in the number of students involved— which has almost quadrupled since the first mission trip in 2013—but also in the breadth of locations visited.

SPRING MISSIONS Calcutta, India With President Towey and graduate student Traviz Dziad as chaperones, 12 students traveled to Calcutta, India in the spring. The group spent their week-long mission trip helping the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order that was the focus of much of Mother Teresa’s work. Students volunteered in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity, as well as at the Home for the Dying and Home for the Children—the first two homes established by the Missionaries of Charity. In addition to their mission work, the team had the opportunity to spend time with Sr. Prema, the head of the Missionaries of Charity.

Mexico City, Mexico Ten students traveled to Mexico City, Mexico, in our third spring mission trip of 2018. AMU staff members Yensy Flores and Mia Padrone chaperoned the trip, which saw students volunteer at the Home for Disabled Women and Children. On their cultural day, the group visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and they were able to see the local pyramids as well.

SUMMER MISSIONS This past summer, 12 students attended summer missions with the Missionaries of Charity in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Pacifica, California; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the Dominican Republic; and Liverpool, England. The student volunteers worked at the summer camps that the Sisters host for local children in the various communities. Our students helped to run camp activities such as singing, art projects, games, and stories.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

Kylen Pohl, Madalyn Koep, Eileen Blanchard and other volunteers in Liverpool, England

In the second spring trip, seven students participated in a mission work in Uganda. Chaperoned by Jeff Fox and Fr. Joseph Lugalambi, the students volunteered at the Home for the Disabled, as well as accompanied the Missionaries of Charity Sisters on home visits and assisted with religious education. The group also took a cultural trip to Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile river, and had the opportunity to cross the equator.


JPII Lead program introduction training session at AMU



It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.



—Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day, Rome, 2000

his fall, AMU is excited to have launched JPII Lead, a new leadership development program for students. This year-long training program is directed towards developing the next generation of Catholic leaders, guided by the example set by Saint John Paul II. John Paul the Great was an extraordinary cultural leader whose enduring efforts to educate young people reflected his belief in the power of youth to shape the world. The JPII Lead program is geared towards the many student

leaders on campus, including resident assistants, household leaders, varsity athletes, student government representatives, as well as elected officers on the student activities and honors boards. At the start of the school year, these students were included in a training session led by University security, those serving in key ministries and on-campus advisors. In addition to the initial training, a group of professors and professionals will work alongside participants throughout the school year to support the focus on strategic goals and initiatives developed during the initial training.

John Paul II Hall RA staff (l to r): Grace Cabrey, Anna Richart, Mackenzie Tourville, Madelaine O’Rourke, Kateri Allen, Corinne Zay, Maria Choals, Emily Capone and Maura Littleton

Goretti Hall RA staff (l to r): Adam Brown, Peter Suchomski, Andrew Canavan, Daniel Ligowski, Isaac Weltens and Philip Rhein

Following the inspirational life and words of Saint John Paul the Great, JPII Lead aims to form Christian leaders who will

Throughout the program, students will be exposed to the life and legacy of St. John Paul II and his impact on the world through a balanced, faithful approach to leadership. In an effort to cultivate leadership qualities in AMU students, as well as to foster a deeper Christian self-understanding, the program aims to provide answers to these key questions: • Who am I? • How do I live in relationship to others? • How do I influence the culture around me? • What is my mission in life? What is God calling me to, and for what purpose? • How can I learn from those who are active in their faith and in the world?

To help answer these questions, the JPII Lead program emphasizes processes and attributes related to self-awareness, trust, conflict resolution, accountability, setting goals, achieving results, actively engaging in culture, influencing others, and effective teamwork. Beyond the initial training, the JPII Lead program will expand upon student’s understanding of relational leadership, servant leadership, and self-leadership. In addition, JPII Lead seeks to provide student leaders with opportunities to engage in mentoring relationships with supporters who have expressed interest in becoming more involved in positively impacting student’s lives.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

change the world around them in their current and future roles.




» » Georgia Miller

What is one of your favorite lacrosse memories at Ave so far?

Hometown: Winter Park, FL

Once, when we were traveling for

Year: Senior

a lacrosse game, we convinced

Major: Psychology (with a minor in

our coach to go on a hike in South

Exercise and Health Science)

Carolina. Coach was very inten-

Sport: Lacrosse

tional about it though, pairing up

Extracurriculars: Vice President of

upperclassmen and lowerclassmen,

Mary Magdalene household, mis-

and she gave us questions so we

sion work, fishing, bug collecting

could reflect on the past season

Post-graduation plans: MA in Occupational Therapy Why did you decide to come to Ave Maria University?

while we hiked.


coach...they all push me to

originally wanted to go to a

be my very best. Coach, in

bigger school further from

particular, is super awe-

home. After stepping on

some, with an open door

campus, however, I felt so

policy. She cares about the

much peace at Ave, and I

whole team emotionally,

didn’t want to go anywhere

spiritually, and physically.

else after that tour. I love the

The teachers at AMU also

small, tight-knit community,

really care about you, and

and the balance of sports

not only your education—

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

and academics.


you aren’t just a number to them.

What motivated you to

I was new to the area and wanted to try something different. I felt really excited to be offered a spot on the AMU team—it’s not very often that you can play a college sport.

I am so blessed to have great household, teammates, and

until coach contacted me. I

I’ve played lacrosse for 13 years. I started in 3rd grade because

like here? support at Ave. Roommates,

I had never heard of Ave

play lacrosse at AMU?

What is your support group

What advice do you have for others considering playing a sport at AMU? Not only do you get to exercise your body, but also your mind. I wanted to play for a Division 1 school, but I’m so glad to be playing for Ave. With such a great team, I am able to fall deeper in love with sports. It is so wonderful to play with a team that wants the best for you—much better than going to a Division 1 school.

» John Preyer Hometown: Brandon, FL Year: Senior Major: Accounting Sport: Football (linebacker) Extracurriculars: carpentry, flipping houses Post-graduation plans: MA Officer Candidate in the Marines Why did you decide to come to Ave Maria University? 
After high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure about playing football in college, or what to major in. Coach Armstrong reached out, though, and said he saw both academic and athletic potential in me. My parents both started college but couldn’t finish due to financial reasons, so they encouraged me to attend and play football at Ave where it was affordable. What motivated you to play football? When I was nine, my parents asked me what sport I wanted to play. I wasn’t much into sports, but I decided on football. I hated it my first season, but I made friends, and so I said

How do you balance your athletic, faith, and academic responsibilities? Coach incorporates scripture into team meetings and always allows time for Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, and the rest is about balancing athletics and academics. You really just need to commit and do what you need to do. It’s great to have friends and teammates who are willing to help out. We lend each other books, tutor each other, and read and review each other’s papers. We work together as a team both in the classroom and on the field. What is your support group like at Ave? In addition to my fellow teammates, Dr. Dittus and Dr. Patterson—as well as the majority of professors on campus—are very supportive. They understand the hectic student-athlete’s life, as well as the education schedule. Sometimes there are extra credit seminars, and the coaches will tweak the practice schedule so we can attend both practice and the extra credit seminar. Our head coach, Dr. Patterson, stresses the importance of education, because he also has experience as a teacher.

yes to playing a second season. That one was better because I started to understand the sport. What is one of your favorite football memories at AMU so far? Once at an away game, we went for a walk around Lincoln park and Lake Michigan. There was no humidity, which is appealing to me, a native Floridian. It was very simple—the fact that we were traveling the country and playing a sport we love with close



ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

friends. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.



» » Sarah Miller Hometown: Canton, OH Year: Junior Major: Accounting Sport: Basketball Extracurriculars: Student Government Association Post-graduation plans: Start a career in business; Explore the world Why did you decide to come to Ave Maria University? I really connected with the people that I met while visiting campus during my winter break. I liked the basketball team a lot and envisioned myself being a part of a team similar to

How do you balance faith, academics, and sports at Ave?

the one at Ave Maria University.

Faith is pretty easy to maintain at Ave Maria. The coach always

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

makes time for faith in practice. When traveling to away games,


What motivated you to play basketball?

the team goes to Mass together. As for school and sports, you

I’ve been playing basketball since I was 14 years old. I’m really

just have to truck through it. You have to force yourself to go to

close to my aunt, who lived only five minutes away from my

the library for quiet time to write a paper. You learn to be respon-

house at the time, and she played basketball in college, which

sible for finding help if you are struggling, such as taking the time

inspired me to play the sport.

to go for extra tutoring if needed.

What is one of your favorite basketball memories at AMU so

What advice would you give athletes who are considering


attending AMU?

I love that every year, always at the beginning of the season, the

I would say that you should just take advantage of all your op-

team goes on a trip together. It is a good opportunity to bond to-

portunities here. There are so many things to get involved in and

gether, meet newcomers and get to know each other better. When

experience. Even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, try it out

we have a game and there is a chance to do some sightseeing.

before you knock it.

» Sebastian

How has playing tennis at Ave im-

Ramirez Masini

pacted other areas of your life? Playing tennis at Ave Maria University

Hometown: Merida, Venezuela

has improved my responsibilities and

Year: Senior

dedication. Tennis is a passionate

Major: Business and Economics

sport, and you need that dedication to

(Double major)

motivate yourself to be training every

Sport: Tennis


Extracurriculars: playing soccer, riding mountain bikes

What would you say to students

Post-graduation plans: Work in

interested in playing a sport at AMU?

the U.S., then move abroad to Spain

I would say: enjoy it! It is a privilege.

or Latin America to work in finance

You are doing what you love and growing in all kinds of knowledge. It is

Why did you decide to come to

also a responsibility. You have to have

Ave Maria University?

dedication and really love what you

I originally went to New Hampshire

are doing.

University on a tennis scholarship. I was unhappy with the school being from a Latin background as I felt very alienated from the culture there. I began looking at schools in Florida. When I heard about and saw Ave, I really liked the campus and the environment. I also really enjoyed that the school was Catholic and that I was offered a scholarship that would let me attend and play tennis. What is one of your favorite tennis memories at Ave so far? Last year, we were trying to reach the conference finals, and it was left down to one match. If we lost, we would have been done; if we won, we would go on to the post-season conference. We won the match! It was also a home game, it was an extra bonus to win at home so we could celebrate together. What does being a student-athlete mean to you? Being a student-athlete is both a privilege and a


responsibility. You have to keep working harder than everyone else, both academically and athletically, have to be a leader.


ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

and you need to continue growing in the faith. You


a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018



triathletes. Exercise Physiology students at AMU are also presented with opportunities during their college semesters to receive certifications in strength and conditioning, personal training, and sports nutrition. This added benefit prepares them for—and makes them more competitive in—the job market following graduation. Ultimately, the Exercise Physiology program at AMU develops students’ understanding of the key factors that contribute to full and healthy human development and performance.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r


n just over four years, the Exercise Physiology program at Ave Maria University has grown to over 85 students, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing majors at AMU. With an ever-developing curriculum and brand new facilities, the major is highly appealing and has quickly become another source of pride for the University. Dr. Craig Flanagan, a professor at Ave since 2016, is leading the expansion this major at AMU. Dr. Flanagan has fortified the Exercise Physiology course offerings, including Biomechanics and Kinesiology, Nutrition, Advanced Sports Nutrition, Exercise Assessment, and Exercise Prescription; and the major has recently added coursework in areas related to metabolism, sports medicine, aging, exercise prescription, and the prevention of chronic disease. One of the most powerful components of this program is that it encourages students to spread their newly-acquired knowledge to their relative spheres of influence. As Dr. Flanagan says, “Students love to share stories about how they’ve conveyed course content to their family members and friends, sparking them to changes in approach to dietary and exercise habits.” According to Dr. Flanagan, a variety of factors are contributing to the highly positive response of AMU students to the Exercise Dr. Craig Flanagan and Physiology program: “The major students in action in the Applied Physiology & has grown because the content of Human Performance Lab the courses is very much applicable to daily life,” he says. “How we move and how we eat have a direct role in our basic health and performance, and students are eager to learn why.” The AMU community has also been extremely excited by the fall opening of the laboratory for applied physiology and human performance. This state-of-the-art facility augments students’ coursework by providing hands-on experience assessing cardiovascular, neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and metabolic function during exercise. The lab allows AMU to conduct research related to new evaluation tools and intervention strategies, both of which have implications in clinical and athletic settings. The new facility also affords the Exercise Physiology program with an opportunity to provide assessments and education services for the broader Naples-Collier community. Work is already being planned across a range of topics from stratifying fall risk in older populations to monitoring performance thresholds in



Ave Maria Goes Online!

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5: 14-16)


Ave Maria University has long offered a world-class education in the best of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Ave’s liberal arts core curriculum spans the depths and riches of Western thought while training students not only to think and write critically but also to do good and live well. The graduate theology program and pre-professional programs prepare students for careers of their choice and have been sustained sources of pride and joy for the Catholic Church in America. 

Until now, students have only been able to enjoy these educational opportunities on AMU’s beautiful southwest Florida campus. Starting this Fall AMU began to offer a fully online curricula through the Lux Mundi program. A mixture of new and established undergraduate and graduate courses, Lux Mundi aims to shine the light of Ave education into the lives of those unable to take on higher education in the traditional manner. AMU has been preparing for this day for some time. Over the last seven summers, hundreds of students have been enrolled in online courses offered

by Ave professors. This past year, more than two dozen professors taught over 50 summer classes. In light of such summer success, developing fully-online coursework and degree offerings was a natural progression.  The first programs AMU has launched through Lux Mundi are three Bachelor’s degrees—Business Administration, Accounting, and Finance—and two Master’s degrees—M.A. in Theology and a new Master’s in Business Administration. As online student enrollment expands, more programs are planned for addition over the next few years. All online degrees carry the same requirements as AMU’s

on-campus programs, fostering AMU’s commitment to a foundational liberal arts education. Unlike the traditional structure of on-campus classes, Lux Mundi offerings will be accessible in an intensive yet flexible format, with short-term courses starting at multiple points throughout the year. The content of online courses is substantially the same as their on-campus counterparts, as they are developed and taught by AMU faculty members trained for online education. Currently, two dozen AMU professors have been trained by the Online Learning Consortium. Most Lux Mundi students tend to be

25-44-year-olds who have full-time jobs, families, and commitments that prevent them from taking on full-time campus learning. Many of these students started, but were unable to complete, previous on-campus undergraduate degrees. Others are now seeking to obtain a graduate degree to continue their professional development. Recent reports indicate that there are more than six million online students in the United States. And, online enrollment has grown by more than 5% annually the last several years. As more than half of online students live in the same state as their online institution, Ave is

well positioned to serve Florida’s growing population of adult students. To facilitate a smooth and efficient online program introduction, AMU has partnered with The Learning House (TLH). TLH is managing the AMU Lux Mundi marketing and enrollment processes. TLH is highly experienced in managing online programs for universities much like Ave; colleges with tightknit, faith-based communities that have a great deal to offer but need support launching digital programs. With their knowledge of online education advertising and best practices, TLH’s resources will help AMU and its online students meet their goals. Mother Teresa did not wait for the poor to come to her but instead went out to meet and care for those in need where they were. Likewise, the Lux Mundi program will facilitate the mission of Ave Maria University in bringing the light of Catholic education to everyone who desires it, regardless of where they are located. In seven short years, AMU has gone from no online education to a thriving summer school for current AMU students and a new degree program through distance learning. Today, the light from Ave Maria’s lampstand shines more brightly than ever!

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

As online student enrollment expands, more programs are planned over the next few years.



Fall Athletics Are Underway NEW COACHES WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: MEGAN BECKER Coach Becker was most recently an assistant coach at NCAA DII University of Nebraska at Kearney. Prior to that, Becker was a graduate assistant at UNK for two seasons and earned a BS in Communications and a MS in Education. At UNK, Becker was one of 24 UNK Lopers to score over 1,000 points (1,043). She was All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference twice. “I am very excited for the opportunity to coach at AMU,” said Becker. “Ave is a special place, and I’m thrilled to be a part of a university that integrates faith into competition.”

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS: CARLOS PINEL Coach Pinel most recently served as a graduate assistant for the Warner University tennis program, where the Royals men posted a .500 season. His experience also includes assistant coach at Lees McRae College, his alma mater and Head Tennis Pro at The Country Club of Winter Haven. “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to coach the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Ave Maria,” said Pinel. “Director of Athletics Lamanna has great plans for the tennis program and I look forward to continuing to build on what Coach Allen had begun.”

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: SONYA LESZCZYNSKI Coach Leszczynski brings extensive experience to AMU including prior coaching roles in Austin, Venice and NY where she was an assistant coach at Canisius College. Most recently, Leszczynski oversaw the volleyball program and served as head coach at Imagine Schools North Port. Leszczynski played at the University of Central Florida where she was honorable mention all-conference. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. “It is a great honor to be chosen to lead AMU’s volleyball program,” said Leszczynski.

DIRECTOR OF SPORTS MEDICINE: NICK MENDEZ AMU announced the promotion of Nick Mendez from interim to full time Director of Sports Medicine. Mendez has a BS from Florida Gulf Coast University and a MA in Kinesiology and Sport Studies from East Tennessee State University. Mendez’s previous experience includes co-Head Trainer for New Mexico Highlands University and roles at Pivot Physical Therapy including, Certified Athletic Trainer and Head Athletic Trainer. A member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association, Mendez is BOC certified and licensed to perform athletic training duties in the state of Florida. He is also certified in CPR/AED.

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018



MEN’S SOCCER Coming off one of their strongest seasons yet, AMU’s men’s soccer program hopes to continue their recent run of success with head coach Eddie Gaven and returning key players, as well as some fresh new talent. A number of sophomores return after successful freshman campaigns, including Kensley Jean Baptiste, who scored seven goals and converted nearly half of his shots on goal, and Raphael Rodriguez, who lead AMU last season with five assists and also scored three goals. In net, Andrea Salomone returns for his fourth season as AMU’s starting goalkeeper. Over the last three years, Salomone saved an impressive 221 shots, playing over 3,000 minutes in net.

FOOTBALL AMU football is in its third season under head coach Joe Patterson, its second as a member of the Mid-South Conference. The Gyrenes look to improve on their record last year with all homes games being played on the new artificial turf field, the last three games being the first under lights. Returning this season is top receiving target Traylyn Jackson, who had 36 catches for 413 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman. On the defensive side, John Preyer, Jordan Barrow, and Shar-Quez Hamilton hope to star this year, as they finished respectively second, third and fourth on the team in tackles last season. Seniors on the team will be recognized before the season finale against Warner on November 10th.

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY AMU’s cross country teams will look to continue their stellar performances from last season, which saw two Gyrenes earn All-Sun Conference honors and one run in the NAIA National Championships. On the men’s side, junior Gabriel Hogan leads the Gyrenes as a two-time All-Conference selection and national championship qualifier. Entering the year, Hogan holds nine of the ten fastest times in school history, including the fastest five. Second Team All-Sun Conference selection Madeline Rublee leads the Gyrenes’ female returners. Rublee ran the two fastest times of last year in the final two events of the season, and four of Ave’s five fastest runners in last season’s conference championship are back, including Rublee, Michaela Elmer, Mary Kozik, and Mary Rexroat.

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

WOMEN’S SOCCER AMU’s women’s soccer program has returned in force this season, adding a large group of freshman to the fold in an effort to rise in The Sun Conference. Sophomore Lauren Campoe is looking to resume her form of last season, when she scored three goals and tallied two assists. Meghan Precord, Riley Aaron, Ale Vazquez, and Bernadette Hartney, all of whom recorded at least one point last season, return to head coach Tyler Rosser’s team, which also features 13 freshmen, many of whom will be expected to contribute immediately. The women’s soccer schedule contains seven home matches, including five in Sun Conference play.



a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S GOLF The Ave Maria golf teams will began their fall schedule in September at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. On the men’s side, the Gyrenes welcome back top three golfers Isaac Nycum, Andre’a Scopone and Brad Wonka, as well as several players who gained match experience last year. The women’s golf team returns four of five players who competed in the Sun Conference Tournament for AMU last season. Anchoring the team are Bianca Vicioso and Jessica Licari, who finished first and second at the Webber Start 2 Finish Classic last season. Vicioso carded rounds of 76 and 85 to take home medalist honors.


RUGBY CLUB NEWS AMU welcomes Thys du Plooy as the University’s new rugby coach. Hailing from South Africa, Coach du Plooy has been playing rugby for 27 years. He loves the sport because it caters to athletes of all shapes and sizes, and because everyone’s contributions matter; as the saying goes, soccer is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, while rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen. Coach du Plooy also loves the lessons learned from the sport: “The game is based on respect, teamwork, discipline and enjoyment,” he said. “Although fiercely competitive, these are always the principles that rugby players never stray from.” The main objective for Coach du Plooy’s first season is to increase the skill levels of the players. The team’s goal is to take home the Catholic Cup, which has been won by Christendom College the past two consecutive years. Returning junior Andrew Canavan said, “This year has a lot of promise, we are excited and motivated to win as this team’s potential is incredible.” Coach du Plooy is also excited to take on the challenge of coaching AMU’s women’s rugby team. “During the first year, our focus will be on recruiting as many young women as possible on campus,” he said, “growing numbers and improving skill levels will build towards the spring season.”

VOLLEYBALL New head coach Sonya Leszczynski looks to make a big impression during her first year at the helm of women’s volleyball, where she will be able to utilize the talents of seven returning members of the 2017 roster. Senior Lauren Ruby enters the season second in Gyrene history in assists, and top-ten in service aces, digs, and sets played. Daniela Jaramillo, whose 331 digs last season ranked second in school history, and Aspen Davidson round out the senior class. Last season’s leader in kills, Erica Chenard, as well as Cassie Davis, Sydney Clark, and Talia Samuels will be leaned on as veterans during the 2018 campaign.


Keep In Touch This is the first installment of a new section to keep alumni updated on what is happening in the lives of AMU graduates. The University is also working on new ideas, a few of which will require active alumni involvement, to help build the communication and engagement between campus and grads. We encourage all alumni to, “Help us stay in touch!” Please let us know where you are at in your life and career today, and if you are interested in being a part of future programs that require alumni involvement. Email with your name, graduating class, address, phone, and life updates to help AMU keep you and the alumni community informed.

Grace Farley (2014 BA graduate, 2016 MA graduate) & Michael De Salvo (2018 MA graduate) Wedding Date: December 30, 2017 Grace currently works for the University, and Michael is a first year PhD student.

George De Los Reyes, Jr. (2017) Katie (Eads, 2017) and I met at Ave and got married, and are now celebrating our first anniversary. I work at ADP and Katie works at AMU. It’s nice to be here, near AMU and other recent grads.

Have a new job? How about a promotion? Gotten engaged, or married? How about a new addition to the family?

Tell us about your exciting news! Just send a note to:

We’re starting our second year of living in Ave Maria after having been in Naples for a while. We moved to Ave because my husband Robert (’15) took a job teaching humanities, literature, and Shakespeare at the Donahue Academy. I’ve been working as the Recruiting Operations Manager in the Enrollment Department at AMU since April. Our daughter is a year and a half and we’re very grateful to be able to raise her in a good, Catholic environment. We’ve made lots of friends here and we love it!

ave ma r ia maga z i ne | ave ma r

Katherine Gotschall (2015)



Campus Ministry Updates Ave Maria University is excited to announce the hiring of Fr. Rick Martignetti, OFM, as the new Director of Campus Ministry. Fr. Rick, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, comes to us with over 10 years of campus ministry experience. At Ave, he has hit the ground running: not only does he already have a fully-booked spiritual direction schedule, but also he has taken over leadership of Household Life. Under his guidance, AMU has begun to offer 12 Masses per week on campus, with confessions available six days a week in the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, located in Xavier

residence hall. Mission Outreach welcomes Alyssa Schneider as its first ever Coordinator. Previously, Alyssa was working as both a youth minister and theology teacher in LaPlace, Louisiana. No stranger to mission work, Alyssa has been on mission trips to Mexico many times, as well as Bolivia. Despite only being in her position for a few short weeks, Alyssa has already taken the lead on the Fall Co-Ed “ASCEND” retreat. Alyssa is thrilled to be leading the charge this year with our Outreach Missionary student leaders, Blair Harbison and Tarkan Martin.

a v e m a r i a m a g a z i n e | f a l l 2018

Xavier Kitchen


Another community campus update that is exciting the students at AMU is the installation of a brand new kitchen in Xavier Hall. This room, comprised of both dining and living room space, is equipped with a refrigerator, stovetop, oven, microwave and all the utensils students need to make dorm life a little more homey. In order to create more common space in the hall, the kitchen was built in an area previously used for storage. All students, along with the residents of Xavier Hall, are welcome

to utilize this new community kitchen for various cooking and entertainment purposes.

The Old Hub/New Social Space Of all the pieces that comprise a successful university, perhaps the most vital is a strong community. Community is mainly built through social interactions, supportive relationships, and an underlying sense of unity. In order to foster and strengthen such community-centric experiences, AMU has created a new social space at the center of campus life. Located on the second floor of the Student Union where the tutoring hub used to be, this social space has been renovated and modernized into a fully-stocked stomping and studying ground for college students. With a 60-inch Smart TV, a sound bar, a ping pong conference table, and— potentially—a putting green, this space has been transformed to emit a relaxed and amiable tone that welcomes all who enter. Framed against the beautiful backdrop of a brick wall, this new hangout has been designed to host many students at a time, with a variety of seating options and replete with brand new furniture. The new layout entices students to sit, relax, socialize—and study for those who desire a less secluded campus space!  While this space does not yet have an official name, students will soon be voting to decide on something that is suitable to this new AMU community social hub. 

Student Fitness Upgrades Ave continues to keep the physical fitness needs of campus residents a priority. For the fall, the purchase of new workout equipment allowed the Student Union fitness area to be upgraded while another workout room was added in St. Joseph Hall. With a complete set of new free weights, racks and benches—and some equipment rearranging—the SUB is ready to support student’s aerobic and anaerobic workout needs. The update also improved the room layout for organized group classes, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT). The new workout room in St. Joseph Hall adds to another exercise option on campus, in addition to the Fieldhouse and Student Union fitness facilities. This recently updated room includes weights, a squat rack, and a workout bench, along with rubber flooring. Now, dorm residents looking for a quick workout can exercise without having to travel too far across campus.

Library 24-Hour Reading Room Update Currently in progress, with a planned completion prior to the fall semester break, is a significant remodel of the 24-hour Reading room within the Canizaro Library. The room’s updated layout features new window and wall additions that help to insulate the area from external noises coming from other parts of the library, along with a much improved seating and table arrangement. The highlight of the upgrade is the addition of a café-style coffee bar that will offer beverage and snack service during key campus hours. Various options to meet seating and table preferences will make the new 24-hour room much more conducive to the relaxed study needs of AMU students—no matter what time of day the need arises.


UPCOMING EVENTS AT AVE 2018 OCT 18-21 Fall Break OCT 25 Henkels Lecture Series: Dr. Elizabeth Lev: “How Catholic Art Saved the Faith” NOV 1 All Saints Day Celebration NOV 2 Pro-Life Dinner NOV 9-11 Drama Club production: “Cabaret” NOV 22-25 Thanksgiving Break DEC 7 Lessons and Carols DEC 8-15 Final Exams and End of Fall Semester

2019 JAN 7 First Day of Spring Semester

JAN 18 March For Life JAN 25 Henkels Lecture Series: Br. Ignatious Perkins: “Human Fulfilment in Christ: A Journey of Hope for the Christian Community” JAN 26 Country Night Festival FEB 7-8 The Aquinas Center Conference FEB 14 Annual Scholarship Dinner FEB 15 Henkels Lecture Series: Thomas Hibbs: “Sickness Unto Death? Suffering, Evil and Death in Contemporary Popular Culture” MAR 2-10 Spring Break MAR 23-24 Feast of the Annunciation Celebration APR 4 Henkels Lecture Series: Dr. John Dilulio “What Would Madison Do? Refelctions on the Past, Present and Future of American National Government”

APR 18-22 Easter Break APR 26-MAY 3 Final Exams and End of Spring Semester

MAY 4 Commencement For sports schedule information visit: calendar



Ave Maria University 5050 Ave Maria Blvd. Ave Maria, FL 34142

Save the Date


1 4

1 9



Please register online at

AMU Magazine Fall 2018