Blog posts tagged in President's Blog
Cacia King
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Hello everybody!

My name is Cacia (said K-sha) King. I am a sophomore music therapy major, and also an honors student here at AMC. I am a work-study student in the Admission department, and I am involved in several clubs.   I am writing this blog to answer questions and to talk about Anna Maria College.

But before we get started, I would like to give you a list (in no particular order) of my favorite things about AMC:

  1. I love being a music therapy major! In my opinion (although I am biased), it is the best major in the world! It is a perfect fit for me, and we have a great and immersive program here at AMC, and I love it!

  2. I love the honors program. Seriously though, if any current or prospective students are interested, go check it out! It is great to be in a class with other students who are like me, who all just love to learn about everything. It’s also great to have class with the honors program faculty. They are amazingly open and honest with us, which is great.

  3. I love the chicken fingers down in the HUB. Yes, that’s how much I love them. They’re really good. Gotta try ‘em.

  4. I love my relationship with my advisor and my professors. They are so supportive. I know that if I have an issue, I can confide in them and I know that they will help me conquer any problem I might have.

  5. I love being involved in my clubs. I am a member of music therapy club, drama club, and treasurer of chorus club. All of my clubs host great events and enrich my experience here at AMC

  6. I love Alice, the inter-library loan wizard in the library. I don’t think I could have done as well on my research papers without her. She is incredibly helpful (as is all the library staff), and would probably swim across the ocean to get the source you want. She’s great.

  7. I love all of the activities that the clubs and AMCAB put on. They are all great and there is always something to do, you just have to look (but not very hard).

  8. I love all of the supportive services we have on campus. It is really great to have the counseling center, career services, health services, the IT department, and the student success center on campus. I don’t know a single student who hasn’t used at least one. It is awesome to be able to have all of these services right on campus. It makes it easy to succeed when you’ve got all of these helpful people who want to help you right in your backyard.

  9. I love being a tour guide and working in Admissions. It seriously is the best job on campus.

  10. But most of all, I love the students and all of the people on campus. I’ve had so many heartwarming experiences that make me truly love my experience at AMC. I am just lucky to call many of these people my friends.

So there you have it. My favorite things. But don’t worry, I will be elaborating in future blog posts on several of these things because a few sentences don’t give them the justice they deserve.

And, that’s all folks!

Cacia

One of the growing trends in higher education is the increased number of students who choose to double major.  These overachievers tend to fill (overfill) their schedules in an attempt to maximize their undergraduate experience and increase their opportunities for career choices.

A recent study published by the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University provided an enlightening perspective on these students, the value of double majoring and the attitudes towards this phenomenon by most colleges and universities.

Sociologists Richard Pitt and Steven Tepper analyzed survey results of 1,760 seventh semester students at nine institutions: Duke, Emory, Ohio State, Trinity, Vanderbilt, Texas (Austin campus), Dartmouth, Knox and Wooster.  The survey was conducted through the web and asked students to provide information about their “academic choices, motivations, and measures of creative thinking and achievement.”  Within the sample group, 19% were pursuing double majors.

The first important insight from this study is the delineation of types of double major combinations most commonly chosen by students. The first type is identified as “hyper-specialization” majors or “deepeners.”  These students pick two majors in the same or similar disciplines (e.g., two humanities, two social sciences) that complement each other and blend easily.  

The second type is called “hypo-specialization” majors or “spanners” or “Renaissance students.”  These students pick majors from very disparate disciplines (e.g., a hard science and the arts).  Their choices provide the greatest challenge (and opportunity) to “bridge the furthest intellectual distance.”

This study also concludes that these students learn and think differently. The authors conclude that as our society demands more and more graduates capable of innovative thinking and higher level problem-solving skills, the answer may be in encouraging more double majors.

These students are “better at integrating knowledge, tend to think differently, and approach learning more creatively.”  These characteristics are more evident in “spanners” because of the different orientations of their varied disciplines.

The study also poses and answers two important questions:

1)    Are these students over-extended?

2)    How should institutions better support these students?

I will share these results and my own thoughts and observations next week.

(As always, your comments and questions are welcome.)

Posted by on in The AMC Observer
AMC Observer -1Welcome to the Anna Maria Observer, a new blog created to give students the chance to communicate with each other and share observations and questions about campus life at AMC through photos, videos and informal discussions.

Since I will be moderating this forum, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Mauro DePasquale and I am currently in my last semester as a senior at Anna Maria College studying Art and Business and working toward an MBA. I recently graduated from a local community college where I earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Arts.

I feel that my time here at Anna Maria exemplifies a successful educational experience. I began my career at AMC as a non-traditional transfer student with a strong desire to continue studying all things art. However, upon meeting my future advisor, Professor Alice Lambert, my interests expanded.

Professor Lambert recognized abilities and interests in me that I had yet to appreciate, and with her suggestion I began my current studies of Art and Business, placing much of my focus on business and marketing studies. Thanks to my advisor, my mind was opened to a whole other world of interests that I had yet to even know I had.

With less than three months left until I complete my undergrad degree, I have already learned the practical knowledge required to land a great job and I did just that. With the help of Career Services, I was recruited by the Anna Maria Marketing department to assist with website management and social media communication development.

This is an ideal job for me because it has been a goal of mine since I began college to work for one. College students represent the near future of our world, and among them I feel the most change and influence for the betterment of society can occur.

That brings me full circle to the goal of this blog to communicate, brainstorm and build on ideas with other students of Anna Maria, and to explore what it is that can make our college experience more engaging, more entertaining and ultimately more meaningful.

I hope that you will join me in these discussions and observations. I welcome guest posts, and open the comment section up to anyone interested in the conversation.

Please contact me with photos, videos, news, questions or other ideas that you think might be worth sharing with others. As the moderator, I will try to include materials that I think are a good fit for this forum.

See you around campus!

Posted by on in President's Blog

This past Sunday, the Christian Church celebrated Easter. I extend my best wishes for a blessed Easter from the entire AMC community.  We are also in the midst of the Jewish celebration of Passover which began on March 25th and ends on April 2nd.  Both religious celebrations are marked by a spirit of hope for the future.

In this season of hope, I would like to share some observations … some of my hopes for the future.  And it should come as no surprise to those who read this blog regularly that my hopes center on an increase in civility, dialogue and service to the Common Good.

A month ago, I read an op ed piece by the theologian, Hans Kung, entitled, “A Vatican Spring” (NY Times, February 27, 2013).  Dr. Kung is the last surviving theological advisor to the Second Vatican Council.  While the Vatican stripped him of his authority to teach Catholic theology following his critique of the doctrine of Papal infallibility in the 1970s, he remains a priest in good standing and an emeritus professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Tubingen in Germany.  His writings were a central part of my undergraduate theology classes and remain important works today.

Kung’s article called for a reform in the Church and a movement away from the “monarchical habits” of the past.  Whether Pope Francis will lead this reform (or even thinks it is necessary) is yet to be seen.  But what gave me hope in Kung’s article was the recollection of an event that took place in 2005.

Kung recounts that in 2005, Pope Benedict invited him to a four-hour conversation at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence in Rome.  Josef Ratzinger and Hans Kung had been colleagues and friends at Tubingen, even though their theologies were very different and Kung had been a harsh critic of Ratzinger.  After Kung’s ecclesiastical teaching license was revoked, Kung and Ratzinger had no private contact for over 20 years.

Why did Pope Benedict reach out to Kung?  Kung relates that they “decided to set aside (their) differences and discuss topics on which (they) might find agreement.”  These included “the relationship between Christian faith and science, the dialogue between religions and civilization, and the ethical consensus across faith and ideologies.”

It seems to me that we need more dialogue and less division. This is true in the Church, in politics, on college campuses, in communities and in our families.  While differences are real, we should seek areas of common ground and be open to new perspectives and different points of view.  We should come to dialogue with an open mind, setting aside differences, and with a willingness to listen.

There is no evidence that the meeting in 2005 changed the thinking of Pope Benedict or Dr. Kung.  But it was a sign of hope.  And we need more signs of hope every day.  Happy Easter!

(As always, your comments and questions are welcome.)

Last week I shared my initial reflections about the election of Pope Francis.  In the past week, we have all had a chance to learn about this new leader, to see him in action and to listen to his words.  His Inauguration Mass, for example, provided graphic evidence of his ability to relate to all people and his commitment to a more simple and open style.

His homily at that Mass was replete with inspirational phrases capturing his clear focus on serving the needs of the poor, the less able and the environment.  He framed his ministry and our calling as one of being a “protector” in the model of St. Joseph, on whose feast day this special Mass was celebrated. He challenged all of us to be “protectors of God’s gifts.”  He encouraged us “not to be afraid of goodness, of tenderness.”  He called us to create “a horizon of hope.”

But in the coming weeks and months, we will move from rhetoric and symbol to the reality of Pope Francis’ leadership for the Church. And a Pew Research Center study released on the eve of his Inauguration Mass provided a sense of expectation, at least in the United States.

The study is based on a survey of over 1500 respondents from every state who were contacted by landline or cell phone between March 13th-17th.  The study reflects the actual responses from 325 Catholics.  While an overwhelming percentage (73%) were happy with the selection of Pope Francis (only 2% were unhappy with the rest unsure), they have a clear agenda for the future.

This study reflects the following priorities for Pope Francis:

-       Addressing the Abuse Scandal (70%)

-       Standing Up for Traditional Moral Values (49%)

-       Spreading Catholic Faith (39%)

-       Addressing the Priest Shortage (36%)

-       Reforming the Vatican Bureaucracy (35%)

But what this study also reveals is the increasing percentage of Catholics in the United States who favor a change in many of the Church’s “teachings and policies.”  For example, 76% believe the Church should permit birth control; 64% believe that priests should be allowed to marry; and 59% believe that women should be allowed to become priests.  Significantly fewer respondents thought any of these “teachings and policies” would, in fact, change in the foreseeable future.

What we know about Pope Francis is that his views are very traditional.  It will be interesting to watch how he balances his clear fidelity to the teachings of the Church with his apparent ability to inspire people to faith, prayer and service.  For now, we all look forward to a “horizon of hope.”

(As always, your comments and questions are welcome.)