My name is Stephanie Mosbrucker and on August 16th 2012 I set off on a most excellent adventure; the Disney College Program.
“What is this Disney College Program?” you may ask. No, I was not Snow White as fitting as my 6’, black haired, albino bisque appearance may lead on. Instead, I got to join close to 8,000 other college students from around the globe in a Live, Earn and Learn experience in the busy and beautiful city of Orlando. We piled into the Orientation building, full of expectations and wonder. We were met with just the magic we had been seeking: the lights dimmed, a fog blower machine ruffled our hair and laser lights strobed above us as the two orientation leaders danced down the middle isles greeting us enthusiastically, pumping us up and sprinkling the metaphorical fairy dust for which we had all been waiting.
That was my first experience with the Disney Company. What followed was a semester of training and experience in which I got to sprinkle fairy dust and make magic for each guest which whom I came into contact.
My Disney Adventure began many months before I actually arrived in Orlando. Last March I decided to apply to the program after 2 years of ‘friendly encouragement’ from an adult friend. She had participated in the program years and years and… years ago and believed that it would be an excellent fit for my personality and social nature, benefiting any of my future endeavors as well. Unsure if I wanted to give up a semester of school, I applied with the attitude of ‘If I get it then I can decided whether or not to go, but this is too great of an opportunity to just pass up entirely.” The next day I received an email congratulating my application and advancement to an interview which I promptly set up and completed –over the phone- about a week later. “Wow, Disney moves fast! This was the easiest thing ever!” I thought to myself. Well, God heard me and the waiting game began. One week. Two weeks. A million years it felt like since I had been contacted by Disney World! During this waiting period I was praying for guidance on the subject; beginning with the “God, if it is your Will, I think this would be a really cool thing to do”, “God, Your Will be done, just help me to know whether you would like me to go or come back to Ave next semester”. And then finally “God pleeeeaaaaaaassssseeeee let me go to Disney World! I really WANT to go!” Inbox: Disney World: Congratulations! You have been accepted to the Disney College Program Fall 2012!
Sometimes I think God lets us know His will by changing our own.
Erin’s studies have begun! If you’re at all interested in the opportunities to study abroad at AMU, be sure to follow her blog!
I’ve heard about these Italian scouts before, but I don’t know much about them. They’re so cool! They gave us homemade pastries for breakfast after Mass (which were really delicious!!). St. Philip’s body is buried in Chiesa Nuova, but we didn’t get to see it because Mass was going on. Next time though…More
I’m back! After three weeks of traveling and enjoying my break up in the frozen tundra of Michigan, (I enjoyed the break part, not so much the frozen part) I have to say it feels good to be back in Ave. Besides the obvious fact that it is about 70 degrees warmer in Florida, it’s good to see all my friends and get back into the swing of college life.
Now that I’ve settled back into my room, it feels like just yesterday we were all freaking out about finals: late nights in the library, study breaks on the sand volleyball court, and many prayers to St. Joseph of Cupertino. After my last final, I packed my bags for break—this entailed attempting to shove all my belongings into my suitcase and sitting on it to zip it. Before long, I was on the plane back home. The weather was a shock at first, I had to sleep with mittens on because I was so cold, but I did enjoy having a white Christmas. Seeing my puppy, my family, and friends was great and break seemed to fly by.
Those three weeks went by in the blink of an eye and before long I found myself in the bookstore, gearing up for a new semester of classes. The first day back went well, I really like all my teachers and classes so far and I’m looking forward to a great semester! I already signed up for the back to school beach trip this weekend, which I’m super excited about mostly because we’ll be going to the beach in January. The March for Life is also coming up soon. A bunch of my friends and I are going with the Ave group and we can’t wait to head up to DC to save the babies!
Like most people, I’ve made some New Years resolutions that I’m determined to work hard to keep this semester. For example, I want to go to daily mass and adoration more often, I want to keep my workout schedule consistent, and I especially want to procrastinate less and stay on top of all my work. So far, so good!
AMU student Erin is keeping a blog as she studies abroad in the AMU Rome program. You can follow her directly or get updates on her progress from us here. From what we’ve seen on her blog, she’s already on her way!
I’M LEAVING FOR ROME IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS!! I won’t have a working phone over there, and I wanted more legitimate means than Facebook to document my adventure, so here it is, the blog!
In case you haven’t heard, I will be spending the next three months studying abroad in Rome, the Eternal City, the Heart of the Church! I still can’t believe it! It’s so unbelievable to me that I just started packing yesterday afternoon (which is actually a pretty early start for me, as I tend to operate last minute). Consequently, I still have quite a bit to accomplish and I should get back to packing soon. Packing in itself has been an adventure. Actually, that’s a lie. It’s been pretty uneventful. Packing is one of my least favorite things in the whole wide world. I’m trying to pack…More
One of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make in the transition into college life is budgeting my time and creating a balanced schedule. There is the constant temptation to procrastinate and put off homework while lying in my bed watching Disney movies in between classes. Of course I’m still working out the bugs, but I think I’ve established a pretty solid set of working habits.
1) Start early. Even if you think you have three weeks before you need to start a paper, start thinking about it earlier. I’ve found that the weeks often speed by, and little assignments and essays pop up very quickly. Unfortunately, I would sometimes consider myself as an AP (Advanced Procrastination) student, so I always make a conscious effort to sit down and start brainstorming or outlining so I have something to go off of once my essay deadline gets closer.
2) Make a list. This always keeps me organized and helps me handle stress. I make lists all the time, of homework that I need to do, when I need to work out, shopping lists, ideas for new blog posts or Facebook graphics. Checking off a task on my list is like a mental high five and I like having everything written down so nothing gets forgotten.
3) Nap. I never really appreciated the wonderfulness of napping until I got to college. Staying up late studying, or even a rough couple morning classes can be rewarded with a heavenly daytime nap. It’s a good pick-me-up and also helps make up for some lost sleep. Make sure you set an alarm though, because nothing is worse than your roommate throwing a pillow at you at 2:29 asking, “Don’t you have class at 2:30?”
4) Find what works for you. For me, I’m most productive sitting on my floor while listening to movie soundtracks or Christmas music. Why? I have no idea whatsoever, but that’s what works for me. Some people need to clean their desk off and can’t work with music. Others are masters of multitasking, like my roommate for example. She can write an essay, watch The Office, and update her Twitter while still getting work done.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’ve never been a big fan of admitting when I need help, but I’ve learned that it’s not a sign of weakness or lack of intelligence. Here at Ave, there are many opportunities to get homework help or someone to proofread a paper. All the professors have office hours, and are more than willing to help with any questions or papers. The Academic Center for Excellence, aka the ACE Place, is a great place to get help as well. Going to the library for study groups or working in the 24 hour room is always beneficial, and is always popular around exam time.
6) Leave time for you. I’m pretty sure if I shut myself in my room and worked all the time, my brain would explode. And that wouldn’t be helpful for anyone now, would it? Set aside time to go to a sporting event, get involved in an intramural sport, have a movie night, go for a walk around campus, find a friend with a car and drive into Naples, stop by the Café for a snack and a quick game of pool. There are always activities on campus that are great opportunities to socialize and take a break from homework.
I think Mary Poppins was absolutely right when she said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” I’ve found that the less I worry about an assignment and the more I try to really get into it and find something to be passionate about, I get it done with less stress and I am able to finish a lot faster. Of course, sometimes that ‘element of fun’ is something you have to insert yourself, and very often includes some form of procrastination. However, once you find your balance and work out your schedule, everything seems to fall into place.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
These last couple of weeks have been filled with firsts for myself and other Ave students. One such first was the first day of fall. On this day, the humidity decreased ever so slightly in preparation for what I’m told is “winter” (about 60 degree weather). In addition to this, we’ve experienced multiple exciting and challenging firsts as a student body.
Orientation week had officially come to an end and as the first day of classes drew closer, so did Hurricane Isaac. Everyone was busy watching the radar and making preparations for the storm. Now being from Michigan, I had never experienced a hurricane or tropical storm before, so needless to say I was pretty excited. Snow days are an integral part of Michigan educational culture, so I came to Florida with the unfortunate knowledge that I would no longer spend a day off of school sipping hot chocolate with six feet of snow outside. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Florida has hurricane days. It was announced that the first day of classes would be cancelled due to Isaac.
Freshman Orientation, the week I had been waiting for all summer, had finally come. We were driving to Ave Maria after flying from the northern tundra known as Michigan, to humid but beautiful southern Florida. I was both nervous and excited as we drew near to my new home.
My family and I arrived on campus for Honors Orientation, joining about 70 other honors program participants and the athletes that had arrived earlier in the month. I got all checked in and headed over to my dorm. After I unpacked and my Disney posters were hung, the real fun began.
Ave Maria University Discontinues Student Health Insurance
Although colleges and universities in America are not bound by law to require students to have health insurance, Ave Maria University from its founding has done so and made an inexpensive group policy available to them. Click here to read more
1st Annual Marian Eucharistic Conference at Ave Maria University
This dynamic and faith-filled weekend, May 18-20, will include many opportunities for you to celebrate your faith on the beautiful campus of Ave Maria University! Be sure to check out our live streaming site for those of you unable to attend the conference. Click here to read more
Dr. Michael Pakaluk Article Featured in the Boston Pilot
There are lessons in fish. Consider: Do you, as a Catholic, abstain from meat on Fridays? If not, you would probably tell me that practice was abandoned by Vatican II. Indeed, but I would say that your reply is a half truth. Before Vatican II, Catholics abstained from meat, and ate fish instead, as a very slight penance, to remember the day of the Lord’s Passion. After Vatican II, Catholics are still supposed to do penance on Friday and remember the Passion, only the specific penance need not be fish. Read the Full Article Here
Joyful greetings to you graduates of Ave Maria University, to your parents and friends, Chancellor Monaghan and President Towey, and distinguished faculty, staff and visitors. In the venerable traditions of Catholic universities, we invoke the Advocate, the Spirit of truth, upon you graduates before sending you forth with your degrees at Commencement.
Former Governor Jeb Bush and William E. Simon, Jr. to Receive Honorary Degrees at May 5 Commencement
The Honorable Jeb Bush, former two-term governor of Florida, will address the 2012 graduating class of Ave Maria University on May 5, 2012, at 10 AM in the Tom Golisano Fieldhouse. Click here for more information
End–of–Semester Recital FRIDAY, April 27 The Music Department presents its end–of–semester recital, featuring organists, pianists and singers who have performed optimally on their juries. The recital begins at 7pm in the Oratory for the organists and continues in the Private Dining Room for the singers and pianists. Come and support our talented students as they perform the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov and others.
Chamber Music SUNDAY, April 29 The Music Department and Professor Lan Lam’s Chamber Music Class present Johannes Brahms’s Liebeslieder ( Love Song ) Waltzes, performed by a vocal quartet and piano four-hands, and the music of Handel, Mozart and Debussy at 4 pm in the Private Dining Room. Come and share this intimate music-making that is chamber music.
Guest lecture on the Berlin Wall by Dr. Gerald Franz
The Department of History is sponsoring a lecture entitled The Berlin Wall: 1961-1989 by Dr. Gerald Franz of Hodges University on Wednesday, April 25, at 6 p.m. in the Henkels Academic Building, Demetree Auditorium, room 1001. Dr. Franz will be joined by two former residents of Berlin, Ekkehard Grampp and Heidemarie Klimt.
AMU Professor to Teach Two Biology Classes in Nicaragua this Summer
AMU Professor, Thomas Smith, will teach two Biology classes (Natural History Field Studies and Environmental Science) at AMU’s Nicaragua campus this summer from May 6 - June 7. Both classes will fulfill the natural sciences core curriculum requirement for AMU students.
Scholarship Fund Established in Memory of AMU Graduate
Jon Scharfenberger just wanted to help people, his mother said at a gathering in Ave Maria. Now, a scholarship fund being established in the name of the young man who died in a car accident last fall may help many others attend the university where he was such an active part of the campus life for four years.
HHS Mandate Article in The Weekly Standard Quotes Jim Towey
On February 11, as the debate over the Obama administration’s rule forcing religious institutions to provide insurance for contraceptive and abortifacient drugs to their employees was reaching fever pitch…
The obituary of Leigh Fermor, war-hero and travel-writer, which appeared in TheTelegraph (UK) last year (June 10, 2011), contains the following account of an incident on the island of Crete in April 1944:
‘Dressed as German police corporals, the pair [Fermor and Bill Stanley Moss]…
The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge is widely known for his famous poems “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan”. The familiar term “psychosomatic,” and the phrase “the willing suspension of disbelief,” have passed into popular modern usage, while most are unaware of their origin in Coleridge. In fact, Coleridge, along with his friend and collaborator William Wordsworth, who together founded the Romantic Movement in England with the anonymous publication of Lyrical Ballads in 1798, have exerted a profound influence upon modern culture. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Transcendentalism finds its roots in Coleridge’s work, while Blessed John Henry Newman claimed that Coleridge “instilled a higher philosophy into inquiring minds” in England in the early nineteenth century, preparing the way for a whole generation to receive of the teachings of Oxford Movement favorably. These influences have largely been forgotten, even in the academic world, where Coleridge’s profound philosophical analyses of the relationships between humans and
Political Economy and Government, a truly exciting new major, brings together the disciplines of politics and economics to explore their mutually supportive dimensions. It provides students, as aspiring policy-makers, with the ability to understand the importance of institutions in shaping public policy as well as the sometimes agonizing trade-offs involved in responsible decision-making. Be it the nation’s debt crisis, health care reform, immigration policy, or proposed K-12 educational initiatives, the study of the intersection of government and economics is essential to any sensible and meaningful public policy. This study is also at the very heart of philosophical inquiry into the nature of man and society, for as Aristotle noted, “politics uses the rest of the sciences, and … the end of this science… must be the good for man.”
Dr. Seana Sugrue, who teaches a number of courses in the PEG major, is passionate about the study of institutions and the ways in which they interact to sustain or undermine one another. It is from this vantage point that she
Even the casual follower of academic science and industry R&D will recognize that most areas of scientific inquiry are quickly becoming interdisciplinary in nature. The reason for this is both simple and exciting. Technology and broad experimental proficiency have allowed the scientist to start asking bigger, more complex questions. The tools of molecular biology and genetics are helping introduce new innovations to the fields of chemistry, ecology, archeology, and even physics, to name a few. Importantly, this transforming principle goes both ways. The tools and principles of chemistry are quickly becoming an integral part of modern biology. Historically, the fields of chemistry and biology were considered distinct disciplines, each applying its own technology and methods to solve problems within their own field of study. The boundaries between the chemical and biological sciences are rapidly dissolving as scientists increasingly use chemical tools and concepts to explore mechanism, structure and function in complex biological systems at the biochemical, genetic and organismal level.
The new major in Global Affairs and International Business gives students the intellectual foundation to think about global interactions. The program coordinator, Dr. Gabriel Martinez, is an economist specializing on global economic interactions, particularly the effect of the quality of institutions on living standards across countries.
We know that we live a “globalized” world, in which interactions with other countries are inescapable. “Globalization” is not just a political phenomenon, or an economic phenomenon, or a cultural phenomenon: it affects the very fabric of our lives, and it does so in a million directions. Not only do we need to know about it, we need to have the intellectual foundation with which to think about interactions that span the planet. For this reason, a major like Global Affairs and International Business is an attractive complement to a solid liberal education.
When Catherine Ruth Pakaluk received her Ph.D. in economics in 2010 from Harvard University, it was an easy decision to accept a job offer from Ave Maria University. Besides the evident personal attractions—such as living in a terrific community just a bike-ride away from campus, where it would be easy to raise her six young children, aged 2 to 11—she was attracted to the possibilities that exist for academic work in a genuinely Catholic university. “At AMU the natural human family is taken seriously by the social sciences,” she commented. “There are abundant opportunities for discoveries in areas yet uncharted.”
That is why almost immediately upon arriving at Ave Maria she founded the Stein Center for Social Research, a non-partisan, interdisciplinary center for advanced studies in the social sciences, especially economics, sociology, and
Classics professor Daniel Nodes loves searching for treasure and sharing what he has found with scholars and students. The finds are written in Latin and Greek, buried in manuscripts. Unearthing them is done with tools of philology (being a word-lover), paleography (reading early handwriting) and philosophy (love of the wisdom sought by those writers).
Some treasures are large, like an entire Commentary on the Trinity by Cardinal Giles of Viterbo (1469-1532), which is now getting better known through Prof. Nodes’s edition of the complete text published by E.J. Brill in 2010. Giles was head of the Augustinian Order at the height of the Renaissance and was widely respected for his learning and preaching. His Commentary is large and rich, over five hundred pages of Latin and Greek preserved in five handwritten copies. It has never been published until now: Giles did not take advantage of the new technology, the printing press, as did his subordinate in the Augustinian order, Martin Luther.
Dr. Michael Pakaluk, chairman of the AMU Philosophy Department, was pretending to be upset with his publications for last year: besides half a dozen scholarly papers, “only three books of mine were published last year,” was his mock-complaint, “when I was trying to finish twelve!”
Whatever one’s judgment on the number of books published, one can’t help being impressed by the range of interests they display.
His first book of the year, Human Action and Moral Psychology in Aristotle, was published by Oxford
Dr. Marc D. Guerra, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Theology at Ave Maria University, has been awarded a $150,000 grant through the New Sciences of Virtue Project at the University of Chicago. Guerra and his project’s codirector, Dr. Peter Augustine Lawler, Professor of Government and International Studies at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, will use this grant to hold a series of three interdisciplinary conferences at Berry College that focus on the challenges and prospects modern technological society pose to the cultivation of virtue. The University of Chicago’s multidisciplinary research initiative awarded a grand total of three million dollars to 19 highly original, scholarly projects that have the potential to contribute to a renewed focus on the study of virtue in the contemporary academy. The New Sciences of Virtue Project garnered more than 700 grant applications worldwide. Researchers chosen for funding come from a wide range