Madonna University News | June 2017

Silay Phillipines

Silay, Philippines Names Madonna Adopted University

June 28, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – When Madonna University Vice President Connie Tingson-Gatuz, nursing students and faculty members returned from the Philippines recently, they brought with them a resolution from the Mayor of the City of Silay, recommending Madonna as the Adopted University of Silay City. The framed resolution recognizes the “various humanitarian activities of officials and delegates, whose mission has been focused on the stakeholders of the City of Silay, especially the beneficiaries of the Gawad Kalinga-Fiat Village and Adela Plantation Village for three years.”

Joining Tingson-Gatuz and the students on the Study Abroad trip were nursing faculty members Pat De Guia, Roxanne Roth, and Kathleen Aseltyne as they provided health education and administered immunizations to children in the rural clinic as part of the NUR 4430 Population-focused Nursing Clinical Experience course. The students taught proper nutrition, dental hygiene, handwashing and the prevention of hypertension and diabetes. They conducted blood pressure screenings and taught mothers about postpartum and infant care. “The students did an amazing job providing service to the underserved,” said De Guia. “They demonstrated professionalism, cultural humility, and exemplified our Franciscan values.”

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Bethanie Saint Louis

Madonna University Alumna in Haiti Selected as Fulbright Scholar

June 22, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University 2015 alumna Bethanie Saint Louis was among 10 students in Haiti who were awarded 2017 Fulbright Scholarships. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries, while fostering academic excellence. Academically-gifted students from around the world are selected into the program to pursue master’s degrees at universities in the United States.   

Saint Louis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and leadership through Madonna University’s distance learning program in Haiti, participated in a rigorous selection process in order to be chosen from more than 150 applicants this year. The process consisted of an interview, an English exam, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 

In 2012, Saint Louis became a founding member and coordinator of an association of professional volunteers, "Youth Vision", which supports the academic and vocational training of children and young adults living in disadvantaged rural communities across Haiti. She currently works as a human resources officer at Catholic Relief Services. This fall, she plans to pursue a Master of Science in Public Policy at Western Michigan University.

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Scholarship Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

More than 370,000 scholars have participated in the program since its inception. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Currently, the Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

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Solar Panels

Solar Panels Use Solstice Rays to Generate Power at Madonna University

June 22, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – On June 21, the summer solstice and the day when the Northern Hemisphere tallies the most hours of daylight for the year, Madonna University generated enough power via its solar panel system to run a coffee pot for an hour per day for a year, or to power six laptops for eight hours per day for a year.*

A bright, sunny day resulted in more than 430 kilowatt hours being generated from sunrise to sunset. This was the highest energy-producing day since June 12, when more than 450 kilowatt hours were produced during sunlight hours.

Since the panels’ installation late last year, nearly 73,000 kilowatt hours have been generated, enough to charge more than 3,000 electric cars or 13.5 million smartphones, and to avoid 44 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and offset 65,000 gallons of gasoline.

The 432 solar panels on the roof of Madonna University’s Franciscan Center are part of the Felician Sisters of North America’s solar project. The effort involved the installation of 1,032 solar panels at two Felician Ministries in Livonia, which included a 600-panel ground array on Newburgh Road that helps power the Montessori Center of Our Lady. A total of six Felician Sister sites across the country had solar panels installed as part of the Felician Sisters’ nationwide project.

The University’s solar panels directly supply a portion of the campus’s total electric power. Madonna University plans to incorporate the solar array into the University's larger sustainability program, offering students first-hand insight into the practical application of sustainable solutions.

Care for the earth is a cornerstone of the Felician Sisters’ core values and central to the centuries-old Felician Franciscan tradition. “This solar power project represents the next chapter in our ongoing efforts to care for and repair the earth,” said Sister Mary Jean Sliwinski, Felician Provincial Sustainability Coordinator. “It is also a wonderful opportunity to educate the larger community about renewable energy.”

*Source: Department of Energy

Brain Day in South Lyon

Madonna Students Host Brain Day in South Lyon

June 16, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – Student members and the faculty advisory of the Madonna University Psychology Club presented Brain Awareness to some 80 third- and fourth-graders at Bartlett Elementary School in South Lyon, Mich., Monday, June 12. They were hosted by Sarah Thiel, a guest teacher for the South Lyon School District.

This annual service project combines aspects of psychology and biology, and addresses the need for neuroscience education in primary schools. The dual-goal for Brain Awareness Day is for elementary students to receive a thorough introduction to the inner workings of their brains, and for the college student mentors to gain experience developing effective and meaningful teaching strategies for extremely difficult topics.

The Madonna student mentors prepared dynamic and engaging lesson plans that highlighted the importance of the brain and brain research. At interactive brain stations, the children were able to see and touch real animal brains, play with plastic models of the human brain, play games to understand the function of the brain’s neurons, experience optical illusions, and play beach ball catch while wearing image-distortion goggles. The future neuroscientists also made brain neurons from pipe cleaners to take home.

“It was a lot of fun working with the kids and seeing how excited they were to learn about neuroscience,” said Tiffany Gibbons, Madonna psychology student from South Lyon. “One student told me she ‘wouldn't mind cutting into her recess to finish building her neuron!’”

According to Kenneth Thiel, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Madonna, the event is meant to spark scientific inquiry, and to develop an interest in brain health in young children. “I was really amazed with how quickly all of the students caught on to the lessons. Neuroscience is not an easy topic, even for college students, but by the end of the day it seemed like the children had a pretty firm grasp on most of the brain terminology we were trying to teach,” he said.

Kenneth Thiel added, “Equipping elementary students with knowledge about their brains is an important early step in helping them understand and optimize their own cognitive capacity, as well as preserve and promote their own neural health.”

About Madonna: Liberal arts education, career preparation and service-learning have been the hallmarks of a Madonna University education for 80 years. In addition to the beautiful main campus, conveniently located at I-96 and Levan Road in Livonia, Madonna offers academic programs in Gaylord, Macomb, and online in China, and Haiti. Michigan’s most affordable, independent, Catholic, liberal arts university, Madonna offers more than 100 undergraduate and 35 graduate programs in the colleges of arts and humanities, natural and social sciences, education, and nursing and health, as well as the School of Business.