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From the Heights—Summer 2017 Campus News

SHU’s Online Program Ranked First in Michigan, Tied for 24th Nationally

SHU’s Online Learning Program was ranked as the first in Michigan among all institutions by the U.S. News and World Report. SHU also was ranked nationally for the fourth consecutive year, finishing tied for 24th among all public and private institutions. SHU has offered online bachelor’s degree completion programs in selected majors since 2004. U.S. News and World Report’s methodology included student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation and student services and technology to determine the rankings. The publication released its 2017 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings Jan. 10.

Frost Publishes New Book

SHU Associate Professor of History Julieanna Frost, Ph.D., had her new book published, “Chemo Fashion Fridays: One Woman’s Breast Cancer Journey.” This work is a photo essay of her chemotherapy journey, and includes funny stories and poems to inspire hope for others fighting breast cancer. It is available on Amazon.

‘Finding Your Roots’ Event Part of Black History Month

The Ethnic and Gender Studies Institute and Black History Month at Siena Heights presented “Finding Your Roots: Tracing Family History” Feb. 20 at Cotton Brewing Co. in Adrian. Debra Middleton discussed how to use traditional research methods as well as cutting-edge technologies to uncover and preserve your family history, and will share inspirational stories from her own journey in African-American genealogy. She is a member of the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society and is a staff member at the University of Toledo.

Walker Opens New Play in Ann Arbor

SHU Assistant Professor of Theatre Daniel Walker opened a new play, “Popcorn Falls,” in January at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor. Walker directed the play as well as designing the scenery and lighting. The play was a comedy about a failing town (Popcorn Falls) that gets a last chance to save themselves if they can put on a play in a week. Walker started Theatre Nova two years ago along with Artistic Director Carla Milarch to keep professional theatre alive in Ann Arbor.

Weinstein’s Book Named a ‘Notable Book of The Year’ by New York Times

SHU Associate Professor of English Alexander Weinstein’s book, “Children of the New World,” was named a 2016 Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. Also, the book was chosen by NPR as a best book of 2016. It also earned a 2017 Michigan Notable Book Award by The Library of Michigan.

College Sustainability Expert Featured Speaker at Issa Lecture Series

College sustainability development expert Anthony Annett was the featured speaker at the William Issa Endowed Lecture Series Nov. 16, 2016. Annett’s topic was “Laudato Si’ and the Moral Responsibility to Protect our Common Home.” As the Climate Change and Sustainable Development advisor at Columbia University, Annett is an economist and a specialist in Catholic social teaching. His work centers on the intersection of ethics, religion and sustainable development. In that capacity, he works closely with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, especially in the context of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’.

Frost Presents Paper at Labor History Conference

SHU Associate Professor of History Julieanna Frost presented her paper, “I shall never go back to Detroit…: The Re-education of Disorderly Juvenile Females at the Michigan Industrial Home for Girls” at the North American Labor History Conference in Detroit.

Marketing and Communications Office Receives Case V Awards

SHU’s Office of Marketing and Communications won three awards in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Pride of District V Awards Program. The awards program generated about 400 entries from approximately 80 institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Siena Heights earned recognition in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Design, Posters: Bronze,
  • Excellence in Design, Special Projects: Bronze,
  • Excellence in Design, Posters: Honorable Mention.

The program honors institutions and individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs and communications throughout District V.

King Presents at Michigan Music Conference

Director of Bands Wes King presented at the 2017 Michigan Music Conference. His session, “What the Tech Am I Doing?” was a primer for less tech-savvy educators and an exploration of the Surface Pro and iPad Pro devices.

Karin Barbee Has Poem Published by Toledo Journal

SHU Associate Professor of English Karin Barbee had a poem, “Girls,” published by Glass, a journal based in Toledo.

President Albert Receives Distinguished Alumni Award from Barry University

SHU President Sister Peg Albert was one of 10 people being honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from Barry University in January 2017. President Albert was honored for her outstanding achievements and contributions to society at the Coral Gables (Fla.) Country Club. The awards honor members of the Barry community who exemplify the university’s core commitments of knowledge and truth; inclusive community; social justice; and collaborative service. She is a 1982 and 1988 graduate of Barry, SHU’s sister institution. Shown to the right are Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, center, President of Barry University, with Sister Nancy Murray, OP, left, and Sister Peg Albert, OP.

New Enterprise System Announced

The Administrative Computing area of the Division of Information Technology announced that the University will partner with Campus Management Corp. and utilize its CampusNexus software as Siena’s new enterprise system. CampusNexus will replace the current Jenzabar Systems in place across the University.

Frost Article Published in Quarterly

SHU Associate Professor of History Dr. Julieanna Frost’s article, “Awaiting the Second Coming in the Piney Woods: The New House of Israel,” has been published in the American Communal Societies Quarterly (April, 2017).

Kaplan Launched New Video Series On YouTube

SHU Associate Professor of Spanish and YouTube content creator Maestro (Nick) Kaplan launched a new video series entitled “100 DAYS. 100 VERBS. 100 VIDEOS.” As part of his sabbatical, he posted one video per day for 100 days showcasing common Spanish verbs. Each video offered a new verb and a sample sentence. Taken together, all 100 sentences (videos) form a complete story.

SHU Signs up 87 for Gift of Life Campus Challenge

Siena Heights had 87 people sign up during the five-week Gift of Life Campus Challenge that involved 14 Michigan colleges and universities. SHU had the second highest percentage of its student body (7.25 percent) registered. In the nine years of involvement, SHU had added 663 names to the donor registry.

Blumenau Receives Commitment to Service Award from Michigan Campus Compact

SHU student Nick Blumenau was one of seven Michigan students honored with the Michigan Campus Compact’s 2017 Commitment to Service Award. Nominated by college and university presidents, students receiving the award recognizes the most dedicated and innovative student community leaders. Blumenau was honored at the MiCC Awards Gala March 23 in East Lansing.

Tsuji Presents Paper at Michigan Academy of Arts and Sciences Conference

SHU Professor of Biology Dr. Jun Tsuji presented a paper entitled, “A nationwide and temporal study of learning internet queries in the United States” at the Michigan Academy of Arts & Sciences annual conference. The paper describes a novel approach of using Google search data to measure learning.

Davin Heckman
Davin Heckman

’21St Century Propaganda’ Topic of Lecture Series on Ethics March 20

Electronic literature pioneer and mass communications expert Davin Heckman was the featured speaker for SHU’s 16th annual Chiodini/Fontana Lecture Series on Ethics March 20. His lecture was entitled, “21st Century Propaganda,” which addresses the emerging issue of “fake news” in today’s society. Heckman is the author of “A Small World: Smart Houses and the Dream of the Perfect Day.” He is supervising editor of the Electronic Literature Directory (, managing editor of Electronic Book Review and an associate professor of Mass Communication at Winona State University. In 2011, Heckman was named a Fulbright Scholar in Digital Culture and spent 10 months teaching and researching at the University of Bergen in Norway. He taught at Siena Heights from 2004-12 and received the Sister Eileen Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching from SHU in 2008. The Chiodini/Fontana series was established to provide students and the community the opportunity to reflect on matters of moral significance that touch many dimensions of today’s society. The series explores theoretical issues in ethics, current issues of moral importance, and the nature and meaning of Catholic identity.

Students Attain National Credential

The Child Development program recognized the following students and area child care providers who attained a Child Development Associate National Credential:

  • Jennifer Patterson, Family Child Care,
  • Candy Higgins, Family Child Care,
  • Aubrey Thran-Finch, Infant/Toddler,
  • Shannon Kissau, Preschool,
  • Tina Shown, Preschool,
  • Krista Sharpe, Preschool,
  • Cheri Easler, Preschool.

Karin Barbee Has Story Published in ‘Fiction Southeast’

SHU Associate Professor of English Karin Barbee had a new story published in the journal “Fiction Southeast.”

SHU Ethics Bowl Team Competes at National Bioethics Competition

The SHU Ethics Bowl Team traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, in April to compete in the 2017 National Bioethics Bowl. SHU won one round and lost two, finishing ninth out of 15 teams. Team members are students Justin Lempicki (captain), Laura Lattson, Gabby Beveridge, Jordan Ray, Marty Giannola and Ravin France. The coach/advisor was SHU Assistant Professor of Philosophy Jen Kling. In the Bioethics Bowl, teams are asked to constructively debate, with the goal of arriving at ethical solutions to complicated real-world bioethics problems. The teams are judged on their ability to make a clear, coherent, ethical argument on how well their discussion takes into account the point-of-view of people who might disagree with them, and on how well their manner and presentation are conducive to having a constructive debate. Several judges and coaches, not to mention other teams, could not believe that this was only SHU’s second competition ever! (SHU’s first ethics bowl outing was in December 2016 at the Ethics Bowl regional in Chicago.) SHU’s team was commended for its collegiality and thoughtfulness. The team made its debut last fall in the Upper Midwest Regional Ethics Bowl competition in Chicago against 25 other teams from colleges and universities. SHU won its match against Illinois Wesleyan, and lost to the eventual regional champion Macalester College.

Lucia Alfaro
Lucia Alfaro

Alfaro Receives MLK Student Service Award

SHU senior Lucia Alfaro received the Student Service Award at the 29th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Jan. 16. She earned the award due to her involvement with service within the Adrian community. The chemistry major is a member of Beta Beta Beta (National Biology Honors Society) and is the captain of the cross country and track teams. Also, Alfaro is part of the McNair Program at Siena, which is a federal program designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. To receive the award, the Alfaro had to submit her information and go through an interview with members of the award committee. Alfaro worked at Prairie Elementary School where she helped children with reading comprehen-
sion skills, math and science. She said the McNair Program staff and SHU Director of Diversity and Inclusion Sharese Mathis played an important role helping her throughout the process.

Student Government Announces New Leadership

Student Government has announced the election results for the 2017-18 academic year:

  • President: Arthur Gwoszdz,
  • Vice President: Jacob Wilson,
  • Treasurer: Gabby Beveridge,
  • Historian: Lauren McMahon.
  • Representatives: Kalah Parran, Meagan Helm, Lydia Schwerin, Ashley Best.

Wilkinson Awarded Scholarship by Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics

SHU senior mathematics major Stefan Wilkinson was awarded only one of three $3,000 scholarships by the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The award is based on grade point average, an essay and recommendation letters. Wilkinson is a member of the track and football teams and a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society. Wilkinson will receive his award July 26-27 at MCTM’s annual conference in Traverse City, Mich.

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