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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Legacy of Leadership

While names like Nintendo, Jordan, and O.J. were making headlines in 1994, the groundwork for major headlines to come was being quietly laid at St. Thomas University. Twenty four years ago, on April 19, 1994, Msgr. Franklyn M. Casale began his first day of work as president of St. Thomas University.

“St. Thomas became his second family the moment my brother stepped on campus,” said Gail Casale, Casale’s younger sister. “It’s a family to him because he personally knows so many people that work and study there.”

Casale is hard to miss when he’s on campus. On any given day he can be seen chatting with students, faculty, or staff, a chat that is usually punctuated by his unique laughter. He makes it a point to be as accessible as possible to students. This is something that stems from the days he was interviewing for the position at St. Thomas. Students were part of the interview process, and he asked one student what he would like to see in the university’s next president, “more on-campus presence and interaction with students” is what the student told him.

“He’s not your typical president,” said Pam Loconto, executive assistant to President Msgr. Casale. “He’s accessible to everyone. To put it in perspective, he has a secret entryway to his office that he never uses because he prefers the longer way, which allows him to interact with others, and to see what’s happening on campus.”

And according to his friends and family he has always been that way.

Casale, a former Boy Scout, was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey during the 1940s and 50s, a time when children roamed the streets until their mothers would call them in for dinner.

“It was different back then, the streets were our playground,” said Casale. “We would spend hours upon hours outside playing pick-up basketball, baseball, and football on the streets or empty lots.”
Although he was an excellent student and loved by everyone around him (even his teachers), he wasn’t void of mischief. He was also a typical older brother. With Gail being four years younger than him, he was mortified every time his parents would make him take his sister places.

“He would make me walk two blocks behind him, and make me sit rows away from him and his friends at the movie theater! But I love him to death and we’re best friends,” said Gail.

Up until high school, Casale wanted to become a lawyer to fulfill the dream his father couldn’t because of The Great Depression. But according to his sister Gail, Casale always had an inclination toward clergy leadership.

“Our grandparents, who emigrated from Italy to the U.S., were very entrepreneurial, so it’s definitely in his blood. And while other little boys his age were making airplanes out of clothespins, he was making crosses.”

Young Casale was active in the church, starting off as a mass server at the age of 10, and as a result he grew very close to the sisters and ministers of his parish St. Francis Xavier in Newark. The pastor was a dominant and positive figure in the area who inspired Casale to start thinking of a leadership role within the clergy. 

He attended Seton Hall Preparatory School, where he started giving serious thought to going into the priesthood. He then went to Seton Hall University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities. He also has a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from the Catholic University of America, and a master of divinity degree from the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, New Jersey.

After being ordained a priest by the Catholic Church in 1967 and receiving the title of Monsignor in 1979, Casale thought he would be a parish priest his whole life, but God had different plans for him.

Prior to joining St. Thomas, Casale was the secretary, chancellor and vicar general of the Archdiocese of Newark, where he worked for 20 years, and met his mentor and life-long friend Archbishop Peter Gerety.*

“I have been fortunate to work with a number of wonderful priests, especially Archbishop Peter Gerety,” said Casale. “He was a man of great integrity and honesty. Tremendously respected man with a wonderful disposition. I learned a lot from him.”

As vicar general, not only did he have the opportunity to meet Pope John Paul II, but he learned the inner workings of the church. The position suited him well considering his love of math and numbers (a vicar general is much like being the COO of a company). His tenure at the Archdiocese of Newark prepared him for his next career endeavor – St. Thomas University.

“We [the family] were surprised when he told us he wanted to be the president of a university, but it was right in line with his experience in fundraising, community service, and leadership positions in several higher education associations,” said Gail.

Over span of two decades, Casale developed and nurtured St. Thomas into a better and stronger university. By engaging and encouraging those around him – students, faculty, staff, and alumni – Casale has invigorated the Bobcat spirit.

But as president, especially president of a university, you do almost nothing on your own. There’s a lot of team work and meeting halfway.

“Together we have strengthened the University’s position as the leading Catholic university in the southeast. We have had a transformational journey in renovating, reinventing and strengthening many aspects of the academic, physical, and student life at St. Thomas. And I could not have accomplished these things alone.”

Although there are many milestones he is proud of, he is proudest of the Law School’s Human Trafficking Academy. Casale’s voice is unwavering when speaking against human trafficking. He is the spokesperson on human trafficking for the Institute for Intercultural Human Rights at the St. Thomas School of Law, and has testified before the United States Congress on the reauthorization of the Human Trafficking Act. Casale may be retiring, but he’ll continue to have a leadership role in the strengthening and expansion of the Human Trafficking Academy.

“We want to empower and educate on a national level, to collaborate and be the hub for our nation’s efforts in eradicating human trafficking while providing dignified care to victims and survivors.”

When he’s not at St. Thomas University, 76-year-old Casale can be found swimming laps in a pool, sprawled on the floor playing with his grand nieces and nephews, engrossed in a book, or in the kitchen practicing his culinary skills. And come this January, St. Thomas University’s longest serving president of 24 years, will be doing a lot more swimming, playing, reading, and especially traveling.

“The job of president is never-ending, the job of building a great university is never done. Did I accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish? No, but I accomplished a lot, and I’m satisfied. It has been an honor to be part of an institution that changes the lives of people for the better, both intellectually and spiritually.”

Now, we celebrate the legacy he will leave behind.

 *Archbishop Peter Gerety, the oldest Catholic bishop in the world, passed away Sept. 20, 2016 at the age of 104 – 77 years after his ordination as a priest and after 50 years as a bishop.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Lenten activities on campus – all welcome

What is Lent?
Lent is a 40 day period of preparation for Jesus Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is also one of the major liturgical seasons of the Catholic Church. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (This year it falls on February 14th).

An Invitation
The STU-Campus Ministry team invites you to journey through the Lenten Season, by opening our hearts and minds to the possibility of being transformed by God, transforming others, and the world. We invite you to participate in our daily and Sunday celebration of the Eucharist (Mass), to take advantage of the times offered for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), Wednesday Nights of Soup, Bread and Lenten Series, and other opportunities that our school offers to enrich our faith and spiritual beings as part of the educational journey in Catholic Higher Education. We also encourage each other to serve in our local communities, particularly through the acts of mercy with the poor and most vulnerable. Pope Francis reminded us this year: “Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life (Francis, Lenten Message 2018).” Through this season, we may be seeking, questing, discerning and pondering. We invite you to take the first step and become Lenten people by extending acts of mercy, love, kindness, compassion, charity and service with one another. Then, we will be able to embody the living gospel and to seek, quest, discern and ponder these things with anew heart! Let’s transform and let God transform us!

May you have a blessed journey of renewal!

Dr. Claudia H. Herrera, Director of Campus Ministry

Weekly Schedule
Lenten Morning Prayer & Coffee
Monday - Friday | 9:15am| Dooner Hall 111

Building Your Foundation (Bible Study)
Mondays | 12:15pm – 1:15pm | Dooner Hall 111

Celebration of the Eucharist (Mass)
Daily Mass | Monday - Friday | 12:15pm
Sunday Mass | 7:00pm

Upper Room MIDDAY Mass (NEW)
Wednesdays | 12:15pm | Followed by Soup & Bread TO GO!

IGNITE Soup & Bread Lenten Series (NEW)
Young Adult Group | Wednesdays | 7:00pm | Dooner 111.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Monday 12:45pm | Wednesday | 4:30pm | The Chapel of Saint Anthony

Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confessions)
Monday 12:00pm | Sunday 6:45pm | (15 minutes before Mass) | OR email for an appointment

St. Thomas More Catholic Law Society Midday Prayer
Tuesdays | 12:05pm (10min) | Room 109A (Back of Law Library)

Almsgiving, Service and Charity
Fair trade Haitian coffee | Dooner 111 | Wednesdays | All donations go to CCE
See Lenten Events for service-learning opportunities

Lenten Special Events
Ash Wednesday Mass
February 14 | 12:15pm |The Chapel of Saint Anthony| Followed by: Soup & Bread (Chapel Porch)

A Day of Service-Learning
STU-Carol City Middle School| Report Card Review Day | Friday | February 23 | 8:00am-12noon| Email Center for Community Engagement at CCE@STU.EDU to RSVP

A Night of Hope and Healing
Ecumenical Prayer Service and Fellowship | Tuesday | March 13 | 7:00pm – 8:00pm |The Chapel of Saint Anthony

Lent Retreat at the Home of The Franciscan Sisters (IGNITE)
Soup & Bread with reflection | Date TBA | Email to register

Night of Reconciliation at The Chapel
Wednesday, March 28th | 7pm|
Live Passion Pantomime (IGNITE)| Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered | Soup & Bread will be served in the Campus Ministry lounge (Dooner 111)

Good Friday Way of the Cross through the Streets of Miami (Service with the Missionaries of Charity Homeless Shelter)| March 30th | 8:30am | 724 N.W. 17 St. Miami, FL, 33136

*For more information or to sign up for Lenten events visit: Campus Ministry Office - Dooner Hall 111, or e-mail

Lenten brochure can be found in the back of the Chapel or in the Campus Ministry Office.

ALL are welcome to participate!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Carnegie Corporation of New York Donates $150K to St. Thomas University for Displaced Caribbean Students

Months after a series of three catastrophic hurricanes hit Houston, Miami, and Puerto Rico, the regions are still coping with the destruction that closed schools and universities, and displaced students and their families. In response to the ongoing recovery efforts, Carnegie Corporation of New York is joining other U.S. foundations in providing relief funding and will donate $1.5 million to help communities affected by the disasters.

In partnership with the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Corporation has allocated $150,000 to support displaced Caribbean students continuing their studies at St. Thomas University. Other Miami-area universities receiving support:
  • Miami Dade College, $150,000
  • Florida International University, $200,000
In October, St. Thomas opened its doors to Caribbean students affected by the hurricanes and offered free room and board for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters. Currently the University has 90 students taking advantage of the opportunity.
“We are very grateful to the Carnegie Corporation of New York for its support of displaced students,” said Msgr. Franklyn Casale, president of St. Thomas University. “It’s important that these students continue their higher education uninterrupted, and we are committed to helping them as much as possible.”
In Puerto Rico, Carnegie Corporation of New York is donating:
  • $150,000 to Unidos por Puerto Rico, an emergency response initiative established by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló
  • $150,000 to the Puerto Rico Community Foundation
  • $150,000 to the American University of Puerto Rico
In addition, the Corporation has allocated $250,000 for Equal Justice Works to deploy a corps of attorneys, called Disaster Recovery Fellows, to aid those impacted by the hurricanes in Texas and South Florida. The Corporation has also earmarked $300,000 for to assist Houston-area schools. is a crowdfunding platform that engages the public in funding classroom projects, particularly in low-income areas.
“Carnegie Corporation of New York has a history of responding to disasters at home and abroad, including the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of the Corporation. “We are now proud to partner with the Knight Foundation and its President, Alberto Ibargüen, and to join many of our sister foundations in responding to the aftermath of the hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico last fall. Given the Corporation’s focus on the advancement of education, much of our support aims to assist schools and universities in responding to and recovering from the damage wrought by these disasters.”
The Knight Foundation has committed $2.5 million in disaster relief. The damage and lost productivity from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have stamped 2017 as the most expensive hurricane season in U.S. history, totaling more than $200 billion in losses according to a report by Bloomberg News.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Student displaced by storm, struggles and perseveres with music

Communications major Jose Vargas, 22, came to the United States on Oct. 8 with a backpack full of all his belongings—two shirts and two pants—and two days later he started class at St. Thomas University. Jose is one of the 68 students from Puerto Rico and other hurricane-battered Caribbean islands that chose to resume their education at St. Thomas.

Jose came to Miami looking for the basic necessities many of us take for granted: running water, electricity and a roof over our heads. But, he also came for the opportunity to continue his education and his music career.

“I’ve been independently writing and producing music since the age of 15,” he said. “After Hurricane Irma it was hard to focus on what I loved the most, my music, but that changed the moment I stepped onto campus at St. Thomas.”

Shortly after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, St. Thomas University began offering free room and board for college students in Puerto Rico and affected islands who wished to continue their studies, and regain a sense of normalcy.

Jose took advantage of this opportunity, which allowed him to refocus on his education and music. Jose credits his dad for the exposure to the music business, and church for the inspiration to pursue his music dreams.

“My dad, Jose, has been in the music industry for years in Puerto Rico. He produced music events for people like Elvis Crespo, Grupo Manía, and Toño Rosario, to name a few.”

But, church is where he found his voice.

“I was sitting in church one day, and was inspired by the choir.”

Immediately after mass, he approached the priest and asked if he could sing with the choir. Soon after, he became a member of the choir and even learned to play several instruments including the piano, bass, and guitar.

His vocal and instrumental prowess can be heard on his first single “Tu lo Llenas Todo” available on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

And, in a few days, his newest single “Se Termino,” an ode to the brokenhearted, will be playing on the radio! He wrote “Se Termino” in his dorm room at St. Thomas’ in less than two days.

Jose is currently in the process of shooting the music video in Los Angeles, and a remix is also in the works.

Make sure to follow all his social media adventures and on Spotify: @vargasrhodes.

Friday, January 26, 2018

St. Thomas University breaks ground on Gus Machado School of Business

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, St. Thomas University (STU) broke ground on a brand new business school—The Gus Machado School of Business—thanks to the generous $5 million gift from South Florida business leader Gus Machado.

The ceremonial first shovel signified a major step in future of the state-of-the-art-complex, which will foster the growth of current and future St. Thomas business students.

“It is an honor to have The Machados be part of this transformative project,” said Monsignor Franklyn Casale, St. Thomas University president. “Our business programs have expanded to meet market demand, including new degree programs in Cyber Security Management and Trade and Logistics. This complex meets an important need of the growing business school, and with its many multipurpose uses it will make it be a hub where all students meet and exchange ideas.”

In her speech to the audience, Lilliam Machado stressed the importance of education.

“We wanted to give back, to invest in the future, in education because like Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ My husband and I are very positive that this will make a difference in the lives of many, many students and future generations here in Miami,” said Lilliam Machado.

Cuba native Gus Machado also stressed the importance of a good education and hard work.

“When students walk through the doors of the Gus Machado School of Business, I want them to feel inspired to be innovators in whatever they study; to be leaders for life,” said Gus Machado.

The new complex will include a trading room and a global conference auditorium. Housed in it will be the Institute for Cybersecurity; the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; the Institute for Sports Administration; and the Institute for Trade and Logistics. The Gus Machado School of Business offers 21 different undergraduate degrees and 27 different graduate degrees.

The new building is targeted to open fall2019.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Groundbreaking ceremony for the new Gus Machado School of Business Complex

St. Thomas University will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new Gus Machado School of Business Complex.

The ceremony will be held at 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the future site of the new building, across the Saint Anthony Chapel on campus.

The new complex will have state-of-the-art classrooms with a robust technology infrastructure. It will include a trading room and a global conference auditorium. Housed in it will be the Center for Cybersecurity; the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; the Center for Sports Administration; and the Center for Trade and Logistics. The Gus Machado School of Business offers 21 different undergraduate degrees and 27 different graduate degrees.

Speakers include Msgr. Franklyn Casale, president of St. Thomas University; Gus and Lilliam Machado, South Florida business leaders and entrepreneurs; Jorge Rico, trustee and co-chair of the Gus Machado School of Business Advisory Board; and Dr. Somnath Bhattacharya, dean of the Gus Machado School of Business.

Gus Machado, a well-respected South Florida business leader and entrepreneur, generously gave the naming gift that makes this new building complex possible. Machado came from Cuba as a young man, became an American citizen, and worked hard to build an auto dealership company. He and his wife Lilliam gave the gift because they want to support the success of young people who come from modest backgrounds.

St. Thomas expects the new building to open in a year and a half.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

STU Alumnus brings book signing tour to Miami

Robert E. Constant '01

Robert E. Constant, a product of Miami Norland Senior High and a 2001 graduate of St. Thomas University, has written the first children’s book about the historic Tuskegee University, where he received his undergraduate education. “Hey Tuskegee!” follows two siblings as they relive the accomplishments of iconic African-Americans, including the university’s founder, Booker T. Washington.

Join Robert, during his book tour, at Barnes and Noble in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at 1 p.m. He will be on hand for a reading and signing of his children’s book debut. STU caught up with Robert and asked him a few questions about his career and time at St. Thomas.

Tell us about your years at St. Thomas University.
My years at St. Thomas University were fantastic! I spent both years working full-time with the Florida Marlins, planning a wedding with then girlfriend and now wife of 18 years, and studying when I could! Those years were all a blur, but it was such an exciting time to be a part of the sports industry because many of my classmates were already working in the business with organizations and teams like the Marlins, Dolphins, Hurricanes, Panthers and the Orange Bowl Committee. Bringing that sort of experience to the classroom just enhanced our graduate school experience. This was clearly one of St. Thomas’ strengths as a Sports Administration program!

How has St. Thomas helped you in meeting your goals?
STU increased my ability to prioritize as I had a demanding work schedule, but moreover, the experience sharpened my ability in working collaboratively within small groups.

Tell us about your career journey and how you ended up where you are today.
My career journey has been an exciting an unpredictable ride as I have worked for several top universities, but also had the chance to work in professional sports. I never expected to find my way into University Advancement, however, many of the skills I gained in college and professional sports are highly valued as a professional fundraiser. When opportunity knocks you have to determine if the upside is greater than the risk. For me, I continue to believe that making the move to University Advancement has paid huge dividends in allowing me to leverage my skills in strategic planning, marketing, entrepreneurship, teamwork, fundraising and leadership.

So far, what accomplishments, both personally and professionally, are you most proud of and why?
Personally, nothing beats watching the birth of your children and having the opportunity to pass along everything you were taught. Professionally, starting the Regional Major Gift Program at Rutgers University and having a successful 9-year stint rising from the first ever Central Major Gift Officer to leading the Regional Major Gift team as the Associate Vice President.

What is your most memorable experience from when you were a student at STU?
Hands down, it was the night that former Director of Athletics at the University of Miami, Paul Dee, visited class in the middle of UM’s head football coach search. Hearing him describe the experience and how the press was literally following his every move put a lot of things in perspective for me. Given his role at the University of Miami and the time constraints that go with it, I was impressed that he cared enough to still visit our class and share some of his advice and wisdom with us. That moment just underscored the respect he had for the Sports Administration Program at St. Thomas and our very own, Dr. Jan Bell!

What advice would you give to current students and/or young alumni?
Current students and/or young alumni need to follow their heart and use their natural and gained skill sets to focus on opportunities that bring them the most joy! Whether you find a career interest or create something from scratch, always pursue your dreams with an obsession that drives you to seek excellence and a higher level of achievement.

Robert E. Constant is a senior level fundraising administrator with over 20 years of experience in higher education. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Tuskegee University in 1998, Robert earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens in 2001.

Friday, January 5, 2018

New bike sharing program comes to St. Thomas University

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, lime green bikes will be taking over the STU campus! LimeBike, a new dock-less bike share program at St. Thomas, allows users to find, unlock, and rent bikes with their smartphones.

LimeBike will provide 120 bikes available for rental at various locations throughout campus, and there’s no kiosk docking station so bikes can be ridden anywhere and parked at any bike rack or designated bike parking area on campus.

The first five rides are free. After the promotional five free rides have been used, a 30-minute ride is only $.50 for STU students and employees who register using email accounts.

A kickoff party will take place in the Convocation Hall, Jan. 10, at 12:15 p.m. On this day, bike rentals will be free of charge!

LimeBike provides a free app in the Google Play Store for Android users and the App Store for iPhone users. In the app you will find information on how to use the bikes, bike locations, promotions, and more.

*For security and safety concerns, we advise that bikes NOT be taken off campus after sundown.