Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bernard Graham Foundation Recognizes STU Student Leader


On Thursday, May 11, the Bernard F. Graham Scholastic Award in Finance and Accounting recognized the finance student with the highest grade point average, Luciano Cucinotta, and awarded him with a $10,000 check.

Pictured above from left to right, Dean Som Bhattacharya, award recipient Luciano Cucinotta, and Paul Bodin, director at Carlsen & Company and director of The Bernard Graham Foundation.

The Bernard F. Graham Scholastic Award in Finance and Accounting is provided by the Bernard F. Graham Charitable Foundation. This generous monetary award is intended to recognize student dedication and commitment to the study of finance and accounting – a passion of Mr. Graham.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Worming Around STU’s Research Garden

Dr. Pilar Maul and students in the I-Catch garden.
If you’ve ever wondered about the gardens on the north side of campus, you’re not alone. We were curious too and decided to do some digging.

St. Thomas University’s School of Science is always up to something new and striving to lead the path of innovation and opportunities for its students. And one of its latest projects is the I-CATCH program (Innovative Curriculum for Agriculture Training and Career for Hispanics), which is a collaboration between Florida International University, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Miami Dade College-North, St. Thomas University, and Miami Dade College-Homestead.

So, what is it?
The program trains Hispanic students in agricultural, plants, herbs and other natural resources, and prepares them for jobs with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as other federal agencies. The program also offers internships with the USDA, community engagement, and collaborative learning.

“We offer many opportunities such as tuition scholarship stipends, developing expertise in molecular biology, tissue culture, bioinformatics, field studies, and developing your soft skills (creativity, analytical thinking, multitasking, verbal and written communications, time management, teamwork, and collaboration),” said professor Dr. Pilar Maul.

It’s more than a garden
It’s a research garden, and it’s where several students have class every week. The garden is home to several scientific experiments arranged in different plots. Experiments range from testing organic fertilizers, growing carrots (as well as other vegetables), and medicinal plants.

Currently, students are testing different organic fertilizers, which they produce at STU using earthworm compost. In other words, using several bins, they have created an earthworm compost factory where they feed food scraps and other organic material to the worms, and use the worm’s nutrient-rich compost to grow plants.

Maul’s focus for this year is to expand the current garden and grow medicinal plants such as yarrow, aloe, Echinacea, and marshmallow. She challenges students by allowing them to use different growing techniques for their choice of plant. When plants are harvested, they assess the final product by measuring its length, width and mass.

STU student Luis Cendan, said the program has help him grow professionally and personally.

“The I-CATCH program changed me in many ways,” he said. “I grew as a scientist, learnied to design experiments, analyze data, and present my research in symposia. This kind of hands-on learning simply cannot be replicated by the mere reading of a book or watching videos, and I know I have grown considerably in the two years I've been involved in I-CATCH. “

If you would like to apply to this program, please contact professor Maul at Dmaul@stu.edu for more information.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Business Students Leading in Global Online Business Strategy Competition

From left to right: Kristers Zeidaks, Jeanette Pena, Federico Moronell, and Roni Luokkamaki.
Throughout the 2017 spring semester, St. Thomas University Gus Machado School of Business students have been competing in a global online business strategy simulation, the Business Strategy Game. The simulation is part of the capstone course, Business Policy, taught by professor Lloyd Mitchell.

During the online simulation competition, STU students manage an athletic footwear company that produces and markets both branded and private-label footwear. They compete against similar footwear companies run by other universities around the world (35 countries).

Students integrate concepts and apply principles studied throughout their undergraduate careers, covering multiple business disciplines. More than 415 universities make up the 2,457 competing companies, and one of our STU companies tied for first place in the world! First-place group members include: Roni Luokkamaki, Federico Moronell, Jeanette Pena, and Kristers Zeidaks.

While competing, students assess market conditions, respond to the actions of competitors, forge a long-term strategy, forecast sales volumes, and make operating decisions on a weekly basis. In addition to financing company operations, teams are responsible for worker compensation and training, shipping and inventory management, pricing and marketing.

“This simulation draws upon students’ ability to use theory, as well as team work and leadership skills,” said Mitchell. “This is what we are all about at St. Thomas University, we produce leaders for life. That our groups are doing so well, illustrates the quality of education at St. Thomas’ Gus Machado School of Business.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

University's response to Turning Point USA's concerns about its campus presence

As an institution of higher learning, St. Thomas University supports and encourages the respectful sharing of diverse concepts and ideas, as evidenced by the broad range of organizations that visit or have a presence on our campus.

The University looks forward to meeting with STU students who requested an opportunity to discuss the university’s process for the review of new student organizations, such as Turning Point USA. We look forward to moving beyond any miscommunication that may have occurred with this organization, and to working with our students and organizations in a positive and productive way to enhance student engagement in a manner that respects a commitment both to our mission and Catholic values, and to the open exchange of viewpoints and ideas.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

STU Impact: A Summer Program With a Higher Purpose

Registration is now open for STU IMPACT: Empowering Young Disciples, a summer program which aims to gather high school students both from South Florida and throughout Florida for an eight-day experience in Catholic theological education during summer 2017.

STU IMPACT is made possible through a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes Initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

Jennifer Kryszak, faculty director and assistant professor of theological and ministerial studies at STU, will be joined by other STU faculty members, guest faculty, and counselors in leading the high school youth through the program. During the program, scheduled for June 17 - 24, 2017, youths will live on campus, learn from renowned scholars, and participate in local and regional civic engagement activities. 

The program will open with guest speaker ValLimar Jansen, an inspirational and catechetical speaker, singer, composer and recording artist. Her records include Catholic classics: African American Sacred Songs, Give God the Glory, and Spirit & Soul.

“We’re excited for this second year of the program. STU IIMPACT provides the youth opportunities to reflect on their faith and how they will live it out in the course of their lives,” said Kryszak. “In addition to time with professors learning about the Old Testament, New Testament, and Catholic social teaching, the youth participate in service projects, as well daily prayer and a concluding retreat.”

High school students wishing to participate in the STU IMPACT summer institute must complete the application process available here. While the cost for the program is $600, scholarships are available. For any questions about the program, scholarships, or the application process, please email STUIMPACT@stu.edu, or call 305-474-6842.

STU IMPACT is also seeking counselors, age 21 and up. Counselors will walk along-side high school youth as they explore their call to service, as well as have an opportunity to discover, or re-discover their own call to service. The position provides a $500 stipend. For more information, click here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Leaving a Legacy: The Col. Jacquelin J. Kelly Softball Field

Before Col. Jacquelin Kelly passed away from cancer in 2014, she bequeathed a generous gift to STU’s Athletic Program. Jacquelin, a lifelong athlete and coach, held a strong belief that women should participate in competitive sports and pursue higher education, and in recognition of her gift, the university will be dedicating “The Col. Jacquelin Kelly Field” at the St. Thomas Softball Complex.

In 1960 she joined the army and was stationed in the Middle East and the Far East working in military intelligence. Jacquelin, who received her bachelors from St. Elizabeth College, served in the army for 21 years, 12 of them at the Pentagon, where she was the highest ranking woman at that time, having achieved the rank of colonel.

In the mid-1980s, Jacquelin moved to South Florida where she continued her education by pursuing a master’s in sports administration at STU and graduated in 1987 at the age of 56 - in total she earned four master’s degrees, including one in Chinese.

"This generous donation to our athletics department not only allows us to upgrade our facilities, but also gives us the opportunity to honor an amazing female, a champion of character,” said Laura Courtley-Todd, STU director of athletics. “Jacquelin was a phenomenal role model, and will remain so through the naming of the softball complex."

 STU will host the Jacquelin J. Kelly Softball Field dedication Friday, March 23, at 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lent Q&A: Everything you were embarrassed to ask about Lent


This week marks the beginning of the Lent season, and in collaboration with STU’s Campus Ministry, we’ve developed the following questions and answers about Lent. After the Q&A, make sure to view our schedule of events for the Lent season.

Q: Getting fat on Fat Tuesday?
A: Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. Mardi Gras, which is French for "Fat Tuesday," is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period.

Q: What is Ash Wednesday?
A: Ash Wednesday celebrates the first day of Lent, and it always falls 46 days before Easter Sunday. On this day, observers attend worship services, where a priest or minister combines ashes with water, dips his or her thumb into the mixture, and uses it to make the sign of the cross on parishioner’s foreheads.

Q: What is Lent?
A: It’s the 40-day fasting period leading up to Easter, modeled after Christ's 40-day fast in the desert, and ends on Good Friday. During this fasting period people give up certain foods, habits, or indulgences. This is considered a season of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

Q: Why are we marked with ashes?
A: Ashes, applied in the shape of a cross, are a symbol of mortality and repentance, and represent the idea that "people came from ash, and to ash they will return." Most people wear them throughout the day as a public expression of their faith and penance.

Q: Where do the ashes come from?
A: The ashes are from the burning the palms used for the previous year’s Palm Sunday, which occurs on the Sunday before Easter. Palm Sunday marks Jesus' return to Jerusalem, when people waved palm branches to celebrate his arrival.

Q: Meatless Fridays?
A: Since Jesus sacrificed his body for us on Good Friday, we refrain from eating meat in his honor on the Fridays during lent.

Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and the Fridays in between are considered “Days of Abstinence.” You will notice that over the next few weeks beginning from tomorrow March 1, until April 14, the Dining Hall and the Rathskeller will not be serving meat or any meat products on Fridays. This is part of our Catholic Tradition.

On these days, by sacrificing something we really enjoy, we reflect on God’s goodness to us in the abundance of not only food but of the many blessings in our lives. By not eating meat, and whatever else you may choose to give up, we also reflect on the many people in our own community and throughout the world who go to bed hungry each day. It is for these people that we should pray and offer whatever support we can. We invite our entire religiously diverse community to participate in this meaningful and personally fulfilling Lenten Discipline.

For a list of events and activities on campus during Lent, click here.

For a list of Holy Week events, click here.