Mount St. Joseph University

Around the Quad

Mount News: alumni magazine

Adaptive Camp Provides Great Opportunities

The Mount hosted the first ever Cincinnati Adaptive Music Camp in August. The six-day music camp was specifically designed for amputee or limb-different students who want to learn to play the piano or a stringed instrument, such as violin, viola, cello or bass.

The students learned from private lessons, group classes, and instruction in music history and musicianship. Students at the camp had their instruments adapted to meet their unique needs through special stands, devices and additions to their prostheses. The camp culminated with a recital on Aug. 10 in the Mount’s Recital Hall. Aly Amend, a 9-year-old from Finneytown, participated in the camp. Aly plays the cello with the help of an adapted music stand. “There aren’t many opportunities for children with disabilities to take part in a summer camp experience for music,” said Deb Amend, Aly’s mother. “Some children can play musical instruments beautifully if some adjustments can be made.”

This camp brought kids together with the technical side of music,so that children and parents have the tools they need to become budding musicians.” – Deb Amend ’90

Students Travel to Germany

The Mount’s education division is providing some amazing international opportunities for students. In June, a group of 10 graduate students in the TEAM MSE (Multicultural Special Education) program, along with Clarissa Rosas, Ph.D., director of the program, and Amy Emery, clinical placement coordinator, traveled to Munich, Germany. The purpose of the trip was to learn about inclusive practices in the country and meet with intervention specialists as well as the Minister of Education.

“The graduate students had a unique international opportunity to gain a more global perspective of inclusive practices in the field of education. They were able to observe various schools that serve children with special needs while collaborating with German professionals in the field,” Rosas said. In addition to touring German schools, the group also visited the original Hofbräuhaus, and took a day trip to Salzburg, Austria. In the future, the faculty from the TEAM MSE program hope to invite German educators (and continue the dialogue on inclusive practice) to observe the American special education system. Planning is underway for the next international special education experience in summer 2014.

“We experienced the culture, but we also learned about the German education system, special education in Bavaria, and the similarities and differences between the U.S. and Germany.” – Amy Emery

New Year, New Updates

Students returning for the fall semester were greeted by $3.2 million worth of renovations to the Seton Lobby and the Seton West residence hall. Work began in early May and continued through the summer. The renovations include new carpeting and seating in Seton Lobby, along with ample colors of the Mount’s blue and gold. However, the most excitement is coming from the renovation of the Seton West residence hall. “We have new floors, new furniture; everything has been gutted,” said Warren Grove, coordinator of residence life at the Mount. “The renovations were long overdue and now they’re finished. Everyone is very excited about it.”

Teens “Come Alive” at Camp

The youth worked with more than 40 different agencies throughout the Tri-state on projects that included visiting people with severe disabilities, cleaning and painting at Catholic schools, gardening, and working in soup kitchens and food pantries. They also had a chance to unwind with two bands that traveled to the Mount for the camp. Ayleron is a Catholic band from Lafayette, La., that served as the house band for the entire week, and Christian rock artist Matt Maher also performed one evening. “We helped religious communities, county parks, historical societies, farms and even individual home owners,” said 

Wayne Topp with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who helped organize the community service portion of the camp. “It was truly remarkable, all the work that was done in those three days.”

Mount Employees Love to Serve

More than 60 faculty and staff at the Mount took part in multiple community development projects in May as part of the Mount’s first employee service day. The service day gave Mount employees an opportunity to serve the community — one of the values of the College and the Sisters of Charity. Project locations included Hillside Community Garden, the garden at EarthConnection (pictured below, located near the Mount), The Women’s Connection, and the Western Wildlife Corridor. The service work took place in the morning before employees returned to the Mount for a picnic and recognition of service awards.

How Cool, Is Your Co-Op?

Did you have a cool co-op? Mount graduate Pete Thompson ’13 definitely thought his experience at the Reds Hall of Fame was awesome, so he applied for the Ohio Cool Co-op Contest sponsored by the Ohio Cooperative Education Association (OCEA). Thompson wrote about his experience planning and implementing the events at Redsfest, as well as helping to promote the Reds Hall of Fame’s new feature exhibit, Signature Reds, by contacting local hotels and distributing marketing materials to promote the museum. He was also given the opportunity to help raise funds for the Joe Morgan statue project, and wrote to former Reds players to participate in exclusive Sunday brunches that connect former players with fans. Thompson won the contest, and was honored in May at the OCEA meeting in Cuyahoga Falls with a $250 cash prize. 

Ultimately, what I had hoped to gain from the co-op experience was a well-rounded understanding of the functions of a business environment. I also hoped to acquire valuable work experience that would help me make a successful transition into full-time employment, hopefully in the sports industry.” – Pete Thompson 

Mount Community Goes to Beautiful Lengths for Charity

Have you ever considered donating your hair to organizations that work to make wigs for cancer patients? Pantene (a P&G product) partnered with the American Cancer Society in the Beautiful Lengths Campaign to bring a hair donation event to the Mount. The event was held in late September and was open to all Mount faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and family.

Mount Offers the TOP Advantage

With headlines of underemployed college graduates routinely making national news, the Mount launched the Talent Opportunity Program (TOP) this fall. TOP is an innovative program designed to offer elevated career services (for free) for full-time students who enroll in the program.

In addition to the full range of career services provided by the College, with TOP the Mount pledges to pay for an additional package of career coaching services for students who complete the gold level of the program. Gold-level graduates who are unable to secure an entry-level professional position six months after graduation will have access to a complement of services from Cincinnati’s PROMARK company.

The three levels — bronze, silver and gold — consist of professional development courses, leadership development activities and attendance at career events, which include leadership speaker series, networking events and workshops. The intention of the program is to ensure students take advantage of the career development and leadership opportunities offered at the Mount to make their transition to a career successful. 

“Students and their parents want to see more of a commitment for their investment. Mount students who complete the gold level of TOP will be career ready. If they don’t find a professional job within six months after graduation, then we will pay for additional career services,” said Tony Aretz, Ph.D., president of the Mount. 

PROMARK Company, a Cincinnati-based firm specializing in career coaching services for 45 years, is partnering with the Mount on the TOP program. “The Mount has a good track record of graduates finding jobs after graduation, but there’s a national trend of college graduates being underemployed,” said Tim Schoonover, president and CEO of PROMARK Company. “It speaks volumes for the College to say, ‘We’re not just going to talk about the value of your degree, we’re going to give you our word that we will help you in your career search, even once you are out the door.’” 

The Mount’s latest employment survey of its graduates from 2011-2012 indicates the employment success rate of students who graduated in 2012 is 83.5 percent and 88 percent for students who participated in co-op jobs. Eighty-eight percent of the 2011-2012 graduates responded to the 2012 survey. “A liberal arts education prepares all students for a strong career experience,” said Maggie Davis, Ph.D., associate academic dean at the Mount. “Our goal is to achieve an even higher percentage of graduates working sooner in full-time, professional jobs after graduation.”

“We firmly believe that our students’ well-rounded education, coupled with opportunities from co-op and service learning experiences, positions them to land professional jobs after graduation. We have co-op positions for every major, which gives all students a chance to earn money while getting hands-on experience.” – President Aretz

New Division Deans Bring New Expertise to the Mount

Three new leaders at the Mount are now guiding the divisions of arts and humanities, business, and health sciences. Susan Wajert, Ph.D, MSN, MBA, RN is the dean of health sciences and Jamal Rashed, Ph.D., MBA, is the dean of business. Mike Sontag, Ph.D., has been named dean of arts and humanities after serving as interim dean since February. Sontag is an associate professor of philosophy at the Mount, and also previously served as chair of philosophy and coordinator of general studies at the Mount. Wajert comes to the Mount from Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Rock Island, Ill., where she had served as chancellor. She is excited to be at the Mount. “With the dynamic nature of health care, it is essential to prepare health care professionals who are knowledgeable and excel in their disciplines,” said Wajert. “The health sciences programs at the Mount are known for their high quality, and as a division, we will build on this foundation to advance each program and investigate new opportunities.” Rashed previously served as the dean of the college of business at Northern Michigan University and the director of the Center for International Business at Xavier University.

“This is an exciting time at the Mount. Three new leaders will take over key academic roles as we roll out our Vision2020 strategic plan.” – Alan deCourcy, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs

3 + 2 Agreement with Miami University Adds Up

Math majors at the Mount have a new opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Mount, and then complete a master of computer science degree at Miami University with an additional year of school. The articulation agreement between the Mount and Miami University will allow Mount students pursuing a bachelor of science in math with a 3.0 GPA or higher to apply to Miami’s graduate school when they reach junior status at the Mount. The articulation agreement is in effect until 2018. “We are very fortunate in the Cincinnati area to have partnerships among higher education institutions that offer programs that benefit college students,” said Maggie Davis, Ph.D., associate academic dean at the Mount. “We are grateful for this partnership with such an esteemed university.”

“The new articulation agreement that we have provides a unique opportunity for our students to use some of their Mount undergraduate course work toward a graduate degree from Miami.” – Maggie Davis, Ph.D.

Online Degree Programs

The first cohort for the online RN-to-BSN program that started this fall is going well! The fully online program, which allows registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing, currently has 15 students. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is where the majority of the students are working. Others are a part of Bethesda North, Interim Healthcare, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Mercy Health and Children’s Hospital Pennsylvania. More online programs will be offered, including multicultural special education (MSE), criminology degree completion and reading science.