Wednesday, June 27, 2018

From the couch to the stadium: eSports comes to STU

eSports is a growing phenomenon, and it is expanding into the collegiate sports scene. Currently, there are around 50 collegiate programs, with a national governing body known as the National Association of Collegiate (NACE). And, this fall, St. Thomas University will launch a scholarship supported competitive eSports team! But, what exactly is eSports? Read below to find out. 

What is/are eSports?
It is competitive tournament-style video gaming at a collegiate or professional level. Fun fact: The total prize money of all professional eSports events held in 2015 reached $61 million!

What sort of games can be an eSport? 
eSports athletes (yes, they are considered athletes) compete in a variety of game types including League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. 

Players train like traditional athletes.
Although they usually compete in stadiums, eSports players aren’t your traditional athletes. But, physical training is of utmost importance to collegiate players. Playing in eSports competitions requires physical conditioning, especially endurance. For optimal performance balance is key, and that involves nutrition, physical, and mental health. 

Who can play on an eSports team?
Anyone! And it’s not just for the boys. According to a report by PwC, 22 percent of women say they are involved in eSports compared to 18 percent of men. 

Where can I watch these games?
Major tournaments are generally held in sports arenas like LA’s Staples Center, but you could also watch them online. The typical online platforms are Twitch, a website where people stream themselves playing video games, and YouTube. Every now and then, ESPN will show a tournament on TV. 

Prospective student-athletes who are interested in joining the inaugural eSports team at St. Thomas University should contact Director of Athletics Laura Courtley-Todd via email at

Stay tuned to for announcements regarding the launch of the eSports program at St. Thomas University.

Friday, June 8, 2018

STU’s Nursing Program earns accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

After a rigorous review of the program, St. Thomas University’s Nursing Program has received full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national nursing accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

This accreditation includes the baccalaureate degree programs in Nursing (BSN and RN-to-BSN), and master's degree program in Nursing (MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner). Attaining this national accreditation positions St. Thomas University as a leader in the Southeast, for just like nursing professionals, we seek to infuse the world with compassion and faith.

“Nursing is a high demand career in South Florida, and across the nation there is a shortage of nurses,” said Luis C. Fernandez Torres, interim dean of the School of Science. “St. Thomas University is stepping up to fill that void with competitive Nursing program offerings attractive to our community, and also to the Southeast region through STU Online.”

Professors Adline Dormeus, Magdaleina Joseph, and Andre Menyonga; former School of Science Dean Adrienne Vynne; former Associate Dean of Nursing Marie-Bernard Lazare; and all of the nursing faculty adjuncts and staff were integral throughout the accreditation process and expect to see the nursing program grow.

Professionally accredited programs, open many doors for students, as well access to advanced degrees.

For more information about STU’s nursing program, please click here. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Meet David A. Armstrong, STU's 10th President

David A. Armstrong, STU's 10th President
The Board of Trustees of St. Thomas University (STU) today announced the appointment of David A. Armstrong, J.D. as its next university president. Armstrong will assume official duties Aug. 1, replacing outgoing President Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale, who announced his retirement in 2017.

Armstrong comes to STU from Thomas More College (TMC), a Catholic liberal arts college of the Diocese of Covington in Crestview Hills, Ky., where he has been president since 2013 after a decade in various leadership roles at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. He has dedicated his career to making sure small, faith-based colleges not only survive but thrive in the new landscape of higher education.

During his tenure at TMC, his commitment to the transformative power of higher education was instrumental in increasing enrollment, in addition to corporate partnerships and collegiate program agreements with other institutions through new academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs. His leadership guided TMC into the future with a comprehensive strategic plan which emphasized student success, faculty innovation and increased donor engagement and giving. He is also a nationally-recognized speaker on future trends of higher education law and Title IX issues.

“I cannot think of anyone more qualified, experienced and committed than David Armstrong,” said John Dooner, chairman of STU’s Board of Trustees. “He will take Msgr. Casale’s legacy to the next level.”

President Msgr. Casale reiterated Dooner’s sentiments about Armstrong saying, “I am confident that he will be an outstanding president at St. Thomas University.”

A Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Joseph Lacher, member of STU’s Board of Trustees, selected Armstrong from a pool of national candidates as one of four finalists who visited campus in April and met with members of the board of trustees, students, faculty and staff. He said it is an honor and a privilege to be STU’s next president, and looks forward to taking the helm of what is to become the leading Catholic university in the Southeast.

“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead this university to the next level of success and excellence,” Armstrong said.

Throughout his professional career, Armstrong has been recognized as the recipient of the following awards: “Carpe Diem Award” (highest distinction awarded to graduating senior), Mercyhurst University (1986); Rhodes Scholar Candidate; GTE Academic All-American; Member, Football Hall of Fame, Mercyhurst University (1991), Charter Member Athletic Hall of Fame, Mercyhurst University (1996), Member, Alumni Hall of Fame, St. Peter Chanel (OH) High School (2009), and Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Service in a Chosen Field, Mercyhurst University (2015).

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Armstrong holds a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Accounting from Mercyhurst University. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children, David, a sophomore at TMC, and Johanna, a high school senior.

Armstrong will be on campus Monday, June 4, for a town hall meeting in the Goldbloom Convocation Hall. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the town hall and to ask questions, share ideas, concerns and suggestions with Armstrong.

Friday, April 27, 2018

New Endowed Professorship Advances Sports Tourism at St. Thomas University

Dr. Robert Epling
The Gus Machado School of Business at St. Thomas University (STU) is pleased to announce the
appointment of professor Dr. Robert Epling as the “Arthur H. Hertz Endowed Professorship in Sports Tourism.”

 This new endowed professor position is supported by a charitable gift from Arthur H. Hertz, who generously donated $500,000 before his passing last year to establish the endowed professorship in sports tourism. Hertz’s donation and vision allows the University to expand its sports administration program, one of the only in the nation with a business focus and founded in 1973; and be among
the few universities in the world that offer a sports tourism management degree or specialization.

“Dr. Epling’s expertise and dedication to our sports administration program, which is already one of the oldest and highly ranked in the country, will set us further apart from the rest,” said STU President Franklyn Casale. “He will build upon the university’s strong commitment to student success and prepare students for professional careers in sports tourism.”

Dr. Epling joined the University in 2016 as an associate professor of sports administration and sports tourism. He previously served in administrative roles as a program coordinator, department chair, and school dean at Reinhardt University and Berry College in Georgia. His research and professional development interests focus on the history of big-time intercollegiate sports, and the relationship between academics and athletics on contemporary college campuses.

“Arthur Hertz was and remains a south Florida business icon, especially in the areas of entertainment and tourism," said Epling. "It is humbling and gratifying to hold a professorship that bears his name. His philanthropic legacy now provides our already renowned Sports Administration program the opportunity to benefit St. Thomas University students through expanded efforts in sports tourism."

According to the World Tourism Organization, the global tourism market is projected to grow between 2 and 3 percent while estimating that the sport tourism sector will grow approximately 14 percent presenting major national and global opportunities to the University’s graduates.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

In the aftermath of Maria, Caribbean students at St. Thomas University create short story collection

On April 23, St. Thomas University will be unveiling a rich and diverse short story collection “Student Narratives on Hurricane Maria” written by Caribbean students displaced by Hurricane Maria. Nineteen students, mostly from Puerto Rico and one from the Dominican Republic, came together to share their stories of resilience and courage before, during, and after the hurricane devastated their homeland.

This past October, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, St. Thomas acted quickly to make sure students in the Caribbean could continue their studies uninterrupted and regain a sense of normalcy. Not only were the Islands left without power or infrastructure, but all businesses and institutions were closed. By taking in these students, immediately in October 2017, they were able to continue their academic careers and find a safe, supportive environment to live in.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Bobcat Hall of Fame.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Bernard F. Graham Achievement Award of $10,000

The Bernard F. Graham Scholarship Award in Finance and Accounting is a $10,000 prize awarded to a graduating senior with the highest GPA in the accounting or finance program at the Gus Machado School of Business.

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. The winner of the award is notified shortly after final grades and the list of graduates compiled.

Check out last year's recipient with his check, here!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

From the Miami Open to D.C.

A year ago Adrian Escarate, ’11, was the designated “hitting partner” for Roger Federer, and a few weeks ago he was the designated guest of Rep. Carlos Curbelo at the President’s State of the Union address.

The 29-year-old master's candidate, in the U.S. since he was 3, is among the 800,000 DREAMers eager to continue in the DACA program which allows them to stay in the country and continue their education.

Adrian was one of 25 DREAMers that Democratic and Republican lawmakers invited to the President’s speech. He met several top politicians including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and even sat four seats away from the Trump family.

“My hope is that we made a positive impact,” he said. “That our presence and our stories reinforce the amazing contributions DREAMers have made to the country.”

Adrian was able to attend St. Thomas University as a student-athlete by playing on the men's tennis team. Although undocumented, he was able to attend school with private scholarships and graduated Cum Laude from St. Thomas University in 2011 with a degree in communications arts and a minor in psychology. It was a great accomplishment, but unfortunately he could not exercise his degree because of his undocumented status. When DACA went into effect, Adrian was able to acquire a work permit, social security number, and a Florida Driver's License.

“At St. Thomas I was given the opportunity to play tennis and receive scholarships that covered 100 percent of my tuition. I was very fortunate because it weren’t for St. Thomas I don’t know if I would’ve kept studying.

“St. Thomas also provided a sense of community and unity unlike any other university. The professors know you by name and you form a strong bond with other students.”

Tennis has always been part of Adrian’s life, but he plans to pursue a career in communications after receiving his master’s degree in communications.