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From the President:

Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD President

Going for the Gold at Siena Heights University

We all had the opportunity to view the Olympic Games this past summer. Whether you are inclined toward athletics or not, one has to admire the human spirit demonstrated by so many of the athletes.

How about the runner from South Africa who had two amputated legs as a child who ran and qualified for the semifinals in one of the races?

Or how about the male gymnast who wanted to win so he could make a better life for his family?

And what about the African woman who ran and hoped to be successful so that she could support her village?

The Olympics are much more than athletic events. They are stories of people’s lives and their will to be the best they can be – for a variety of different reasons. Some nights I just sat and watched the television and wondered: what motivated these athletes to do what they do? Some may think that many are just in it for the prestige and the money. For some, that may be very true. But there is so much more.

Each athlete has a story that is most meaningful. The human spirit rises to the occasions in which it finds itself.

Read more . . .

From the President: Making Siena Heights a “Home Away from Home”

Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD President

Students—and many of our graduates— often refer to Siena Heights University as their “home away from home.” And we try to be exactly that for them in so many ways.

But what about those students who arrive at Siena Heights on a one-way ticket? For them, Siena Heights is their home.

Are you surprised we have homeless students here at SHU? We do. It’s not something we advertise or want to promote, however, we certainly want to call attention to their situation. In fact, this issue of Reflections reveals the challenges of a few of our homeless students, from their day-to-day struggles to the long-term trials they often face. We not only nurture their physical, emotional and educational needs, but their spiritual as well.

And, just as important, we also want to highlight the sometimes-herculean efforts of our faculty, staff and administration to help these students succeed.

At Siena Heights, we take a proactive approach to homelessness on a variety of levels. We host an annual homeless conference each year that discusses these issues and helps connect community resources with these needy individuals. SHU faculty member Sister Pat Schnapp and Tom Puszczewicz of SHU Campus Ministry continue to head Siena’s participation in the Salvation Army’s Share the Warmth program that helps house and feed the homeless in Lenawee County.

Also, Beth McCullough, one of our outstanding graduates, is meeting the local homeless challenge head-on. Her work as the homeless liaison for Adrian Public Schools aids homeless high school students in achieving their college goals. You can read about her story in greater detail in this issue.

However, the work we do with our own homeless student population touches me on a very personal level. As a trained social worker, my heart is with these students, many of whom come to us with nowhere else to go. I tear up every time I think of these students. Every fiber of my being wants to reach out and embrace them, and tell them someone cares.

Read more . . .