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From the Heights – Spring 2012

Sister Schnapp Receives Award from Michigan Campus Compact

Sister Pat Schnapp

Siena Heights English faculty member Sister Pat Schnapp received the Michigan Campus Compact Community Service Learning Award. This prestigious award is given annually to faculty and staff of Michigan institutions who excel in community service and higher learning. It is the highest honor the MCC can bestow on faculty and staff in the state.

Peeradina’s Poetry Reviewed by World Literature Today

A review of SHU English faculty member Saleem Peeradina’s latest book of poetry, “Slow Dance,” was released in the November-December 2011 issue of “World Literature Today,” one of the oldest magazines to feature Inter- national writing.  Read more . . .

From the Editor: A Very Bright Future Indeed

Doug Goodnough
Reflections Editor

My office is fortunate to host several student interns and additional work study students throughout the academic year. While many of our interns come to us with a special purpose or career aspiration in mind, such as graphic design or writing, others just show up looking for a resume-building opportunity.

As the office that helped develop and implement the “Opportunity U” brand, how can we not oblige? What we have discovered, however, is that these experiences are not just one-way opportunities.

In fact, one of the “perks” of being in a university environment is the interaction with the students. They not only keep you young (at least at heart), but they provide a long-forgotten perspective on life. We find ourselves engaging our students not only on a professional level, but a personal one. They become one of “ours.”

A common thread for these students is their drive to succeed. Some come from challenging backgrounds, others not so much. But they all have goals and dreams. Let me share some of our students with you:

Brittney Rhodes, a senior who has become a fixture in the marketing office the past two years, wants to work in college athletic marketing. As we have found out, if you give her a task, it gets done well and usually way ahead of deadline. As an academic All-American softball player, Brittney rarely has to be told anything twice. She will be missed.

Kaitlin Ludwig came to us more than three years ago as we were entering the arena of social media. She quickly showed us why she was a 4.0 student. She helped us build our network in Facebook, and her reliability is unquestioned. Kaitlin is now completing a (paid) internship in Boston before beginning her new job.

A trio of second-semester seniors joined us in January, and all three have made a quick impact on our office:

Lyndsay Payne you have probably seen in this magazine quite often as a standout cross country and track athlete. She is also an accomplished graphic designer who is as polite as they come. She is hoping to get a design job somewhere where the weather is a bit warmer than Michigan. My guess is she won’t have much trouble.

Kyle Armstrong came to our office as an accomplished English student who was looking for a little career guidance. Two months into his writing internship, he is now working as a part-time sports writer for the local newspaper. And he throws a wicked shot put and discus, too.

Barbara Crosby entered my office last fall interested in an internship in the marketing office because “I want to work with people.” Her outgoing personality has worked well as our student photographer and marketing assistant, and hopefully those skills will help her achieve her people-centered goals.

Austin Harper just wanted to write. She volunteered her services to my office a year ago, and last fall interned as a feature writer. Although she switched majors from English to more of a business focus, she is not far off from working as a newspaper or magazine feature writer right now.

Two non-traditional students, Michelle Blackerby and Jay Nicols, also impacted our office in different ways. Michelle juggled children and a full class load and still found time to complete a writing internship. Jay showed up at our doorstep a couple of years ago because he heard we needed some help with video editing. A self-taught videographer and editor, he quickly became an invaluable addition to not only our office, but in athletics as well. As producer of the Siena Heights Sports Network, I can honestly say SHSN would not exist without his efforts.

Finally, throw in our two work study students who played the role of Halo the Husky, the university’s lovable mascot. Logan Poskarbiewicz and Gerald Richardson grew into their roles as the academic year progressed, and helped establish Halo as a campus favorite.

Whew. That’s quite a list. And the impact they have on our marketing efforts is meaningful and profound. If they serve as a cross section of the kind of student Siena Heights produces, we have a very bright future indeed.

Doug Goodnough

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 . . .