Saturday, December 17, 2016

Celebrating 50 years of Teaching Excellence

Professor Richard Raleigh (second from the left) talking to former students.

When STU professor Richard Raleigh started teaching at St. Thomas University in 1966, assignments were done on typewriters not computers, research was done at the library not on the internet, music was heard on the radio not Spotify, and St. Thomas University, known as Biscayne College, was graduating its first class.

Fifty years later, Detroit-native Raleigh remains dedicated to the university and his students, and says living through the university’s growth and transformations has brought him much happiness throughout the years.

“Being part of the evolution of St. Thomas University, from its beginnings as a small men’s college to the thriving co-ed university it is today, has been the great joy of my life,” Raleigh said.

In addition to being a professor of English and the Humanities, he is a published poet whose work has appeared in more than two dozen literary quarterlies, and is recognized as one of the earliest members of the Hemingway Society.

He is also the university’s resident historian on all things St. Thomas: from the university’s founding, its Augustinian roots, to its expansion into the St. Thomas University of today.

In the classroom is where Raleigh has truly left his mark. Aside from being voted STU professor of the year nine times, students and alumni all agree that Raleigh’s passion for literature and the humanities combined with his sharp-witted personality make him a spectacular professor.

On Saturday, Dec. 17, Raleigh was honored with a celebration of his service to STU over the past five decades. Friends, colleagues, and current and former students gathered to thank him for his exceptional teaching and service to the university.

As he approaches year 51 at STU, Raleigh says he has no interest in retiring.

“Even after 50 years, I’m still happy and excited to have the job I have,” he said. “I’m truly blessed.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Elementary Engineers and Scientists Gather at STU

Delano Donk 10, of Hibiscus Elementary celebrates during last year's fifth annual Science and Engineering Fair awards ceremony at the Betty T. Ferguson Center. Photo Credit: Patrick Farrell, Miami Herald
With science projects in tow, more than 150 elementary school students from 19 schools across Miami Gardens will converge on St. Thomas University during the sixth annual Science and Engineering Fair.

The event is one of many science-based initiatives from Councilman David Williams Jr., who has been praised for efforts in building science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs throughout schools in Miami Gardens.

“This event is unlike any other in that it helps to expose students to science, engineering and technology components that will inspire their young minds to seek future endeavors in these fields,” said Williams.

One of the university’s STEM role models, Provost Dr. Irma Becerra, said she is excited to continue to grow the event and to work with students from local schools who have an interest in STEM.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to visit our campus and meet our science faculty and students,” Becerra said. “It’s part of our responsibility to be leaders in STEM outreach to the community, and to foster a passion for the sciences in students. Through events like these we keep our youth interested in STEM, engage with our community, and promote higher learning.”

Faculty and students of STU’s School of Science will be among the judges talking and working with students during the event. Other judges include representatives from Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science; William Pino and Sara Fulton, members of both STU’s Science Advisory Board and the President’s Advisory Board, among others. Students will be competing for scholarship prizes ranging from $100 to $750, with over 15 awards and prizes being distributed.

The City Miami Gardens sixth annual Science and Engineering Fair starts Monday, Dec. 12, in STU’s School of Science at 8:30 a.m. The awards presentation will be held Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the Betty F. Ferguson Recreational Complex from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

School of Science Hosts Childbirth Simulator Demonstration

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, St. Thomas University’s SIM (simulator) family welcomed a new addition-Thomas “Tommy” Villanueva. Tommy is now part of STU’s growing SIM family and friends– mom Rita, dad Augustine “Gus,” older brother Anthony, grandmother Clare, and pal Charlie. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 2 oz. and measured 21 inches long.

Tommy is part of the School of Science’s newly acquired childbirth simulator. This simulator is a lifelike mannequin (mom Rita) that includes a birthing fetus (Tommy) used to give nursing students practice in a variety of labor and delivery scenarios.

Each simulation is controlled by an instructor, who sets the childbirth to a normal delivery or a variety of obstetrical emergencies, and students make decisions based on the mother’s and baby’s vitals, and verbal cues.

SIM laboratories like these give students the ability to practice nursing skills in a safe environment, according to Rosa Rousseau, STU’s simulation lab coordinator with decades of nursing experience.

“This simulation laboratory is specially designed to offer experience and preparation for students interested in working in nursing,” said Rousseau. “We are proud to provide real-world scenarios in a safe and supportive environment where students can focus on becoming safe and efficient health practitioners.”

Our state-of-the art simulation laboratory, located in the Carnival Cruise Lines Science and Technology Building, features seven SIM mannequins, ambulatory care exam tables, an incubator and medical equipment, designed to offer invaluable opportunities to enrich and enhance learning, as well as to increase student confidence.

For more photos of the demonstration, click here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

STU Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Havana, Cuba

St. Thomas University alumni and guests celebrated the university’s 70th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 10.

STU, originally founded in 1946 as the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Havana, Cuba, by American Augustinian priests from Philadelphia, was ordered to close its doors in 1961 by Fidel Castro. But many of its administrators, faculty and students were determined to continue their education, and came to Miami, Fla., to start a new Catholic men’s college – Biscayne College. In 1984, the college became St. Thomas University.

Students who persevered through the closing of the university in Cuba and fled to the United States to complete their degree will also be in attendance.

For more on event and it's guests stories, see Jim Davis' story on the Archdiocese of Miami's website.

Monday, November 21, 2016

University Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

Administrative offices at St. Thomas University will be closed Wednesday–Friday, Nov. 23–25, in recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday.

In addition, several university facilities may be closed or operating on reduced schedules this week due to the holiday. Classes and regular office hours will resume Monday, Nov. 28.
University facilities with reduced or altered hours of operation include:
Fernandez Family Center: 
  • Wednesday, Nov. 23: Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 24: CLOSED
  • Friday, Nov. 25: Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 26: Normal hours resume 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Also, there is a men’s basketball game on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Nova Southeastern University. GO BOBCATS!
Law Library:
  • Wednesday, Nov. 23: Open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 24: CLOSED
  • Friday, Nov. 25: Open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 26: Regular schedule
Einstein Bros:
  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday, Nov. 23-27, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Main Library:
Closed: Wednesday–Friday, Nov. 23-25
Closed: Wednesday–Friday, Nov. 23-25
Daily Mass:
There will be no daily mass during the Thanksgiving break, Wednesday–Sunday Nov. 23-27.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Business Dean Meets with Former Prime Minister of Haiti

Laurent Lamothe, former Prime Minister of Haiti, and Dean Somnath Bhattacharya during the Association of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce in Florida (ABICC) gala dinner held on November 17, 2016 at the Biltmore Hotel.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Marching for Farmworker Rights

This past weekend, dozens of St. Thomas University (STU) students joined students from Barry University and local community leaders in a “March for Fair Food” alongside one of the nation’s leading farmworker-rights organizations. The march was the culmination of the semester’s work, with STU students joining the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) call for Wendy’s and Publix to join the Fair-Food program – a land-mark agreement that ensures that the produce of restaurants and supermarkets is produced in fair working conditions.

Throughout the semester students had issues of farm labor, agriculture and immigration integrated into their classes – classes facilitated by St. Thomas University’s Center for Community Engagement, the central unit for connecting university teaching and research to social issues.

In addition to their studies, students participated in day-long immersions to Immokalee, Fla., where they worked with direct service providers and met with the CIW, one of the nation’s leading farm work advocacy organizations.

“We’ve worked for years with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and are honored to do so again this year,” said Anthony Vinciguerra, coordinator of STU’s Center for Community Engagement. “The US Catholic Bishops Conference, as well as Archbishop Wenski himself, have a long history of supporting farmworker rights. This is a way we are able to engaged students from a variety of disciplines in the Church’s teaching on farmworker rights, as well expose them to ways they can make a real difference in the world. It means bringing theory to action – and it is a key part of what makes our university Catholic.”

How STU professors integrated farm labor, agriculture and immigration throughout the semester:
Dr. Giselle Jamison, associate professor of political science, examined issues of international human rights law and its applicability to modern-day slavery in Florida’s tomato fields in her introduction to international relations class. Theology professors Dr. Jennifer Kryszak and Dr. Nathaniel Samuel used the ideals of Catholic social teaching and the call of the Christian community to examine a faith-based response to abuses in agriculture. Assistant professor of history, Dr. Michael Mulvey, created a course that examined the history of gender labor inequalities and the prevalence of these issues in Florida’s fields. Finally, professor of philosophy Dr. Darrell Arnold re-developed an introduction to university studies class to examine models of grass-roots leadership, and its application in Florida’s struggle for farmworker justice.

For more information, contact Anthony Vinciguerra at 305-628-6717,