Hometown: Rootstown, OH
Class of 2014

Back to the Roots of Walsh University

It is always amazing to take the time to hear about the story of Walsh’s founding. How the campus has grown from nothing but a field with one building to the larger and more well known campus that it is today, with nearly three thousand students is nothing short of amazing, especially in a little over fifty years. Much of the history of this campus, came from the Brothers of Christian Instruction, who founded our university, and who still have a presence on our campus to this day. These brothers are living history and have defined our university’s mission and vision from the very beginning and still today.

The past two years, there has been an organized trip of faculty and students that travel up to Alfred, Maine where many of the Brothers of Christian Instruction reside. They go at the beginning of the summer for a week to live in community with the brothers, learning from them and their experiences all while providing service for the brothers by helping to clean, organize, and remodel the campus on which they live as needed. This year is no exception, as a group of around twenty students will be attending the trip this May! I am so pleased to say that I will be a part of the group, and I know it is going to be such a wonderful experience.

While there, we will help the brothers to complete outdoor work, painting, remodeling, organizing and spring cleaning, but we will in fact be doing so much more than that. We will be providing the brothers with fellowship and community and we will have the chance to learn so much from the brothers as well. We will participate in daily prayer, Sunday mass, and all meal times with the brothers, and we will have the opportunity to learn firsthand more about Walsh, and how it has grown and changed from it’s beginnings.

This trip is so important to me, as a soon to be graduate of Walsh University. I am so blessed with this opportunity to know more about this wonderful place that has done so much for me over the past four years. I know that it will be the perfect way for me to end my time at Walsh, because I am already so proud of everything this campus is and everything it stands for. I cannot wait to give back to the men who have unknowingly played such an important part in the person I have become through my experiences at Walsh University. May 7th can’t get here soon enough!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them” – John F. Kennedy

Monday, April 14th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Going “Trayless”

Walsh, with the help and support of Student Government and the group called Walsh for Justice and Peace, has recently begun a new initiative on campus in order to conserve water, reduce waste, and ultimately help the environment in one small way – going trayless in the cafeteria! This idea arose at the beginning of this academic year when it was proposed to student government by a group of concerned Walsh students, and was then voted on by the various club representatives on campus. Ultimately the recommendation was passed, as the student government approved the movement for the 2014-2015 school year.

This week marked the “trial period” of the Go Trayless movement in the Walsh cafeteria, and it has come, of course, with its share of controversy. The students in favor of the decision have explained their reasoning through the use of various facts and figures that support the positive impact it will have on campus. These include: “eliminating up to 30% of food waste” and “saving a significant amount of water (1/3 to ½ gallon a tray)”. In addition the group mentions the importance of Walsh giving in service to the community by always working to make our community and world a better place throughout our actions. Finally “by going trayless in the Schervish Dining Centre, Walsh University can serve as a model of sustainability to other rival institutions. In fact, many colleges and universities have already gone trayless.” These include: Ohio State University, Bowling Green State University, University of Toledo, West Virginia University, and Malone University to name a few.

On the opposing side, those who do not agree with the movement have said that it creates more mess in the cafeteria, without the trays to pick up the excess, it is an inconvenience, as often students need to go back multiple times in order to move plates and cups to their table, and also argue that there is too much money that needs to be spent on changing the conveyor belt in the cafeteria to accommodate a lack of trays.

The initiative was in its “trial run” phase this week, as students practiced and experienced what it was like to go trayless in the cafeteria. The emotions and opinions were mixed, but nonetheless, the week ended in a success as the cafeteria ran without a hitch this week, despite not having trays to use. It is difficult to say, overall, what the outcome will be, although the plan is to maintain the Walsh cafeteria as “trayless” for the forseeable future.

Change is often difficult, and must be initiated gradually in order to be successful. There is always an uncomfortable transition period to anything that is new or unfamiliar, and I am sure that the new “trayless” initiative is no exception. It is truly inspiring, however, to note that a group of concerned Walsh students are stepping up and attempting to make a difference on our campus, in our community, and ultimately for our world. I hope that the transition will continue, and will eventually become more and more smooth, because there is truly no act too small when it comes to conservation that will ultimately make an impact far larger than we could possibly see.

“Never doubt that a small group of caring people can change the world, indeed that’s all who ever have” -Margaret Mead

Friday, April 11th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Servant Leadership Banquet 2014

Thanks to the Brothers of Christian Instruction who founded our university, Walsh is dedicated to the principle of leading by giving of yourself in service to others. The brothers exemplified this through their dedication to founding this university as well as their outreach to those in need through their word and through their action.

This quality of servant leadership, exemplified through the brothers is respected, carried on, and recognized each year through the servant leadership banquet held during the spring semester. Today was the annual date, and it was a wonderful event as always, recognizing those students that go above and beyond in their classroom, but especially beyond the academic aspect of college and into their activities and volunteer participation both on and off campus.

Many scholarships are awarded throughout the event, and various other recognitions are awarded to students. Two of my favorite awards, however, are the Mentor of the Year Award to recognize an outstanding educator who also serves as a mentor and role model for all students on campus, and also the TOWER award, which is the highest award a senior student can receive in their time at Walsh, given to an individual who exemplifies the Walsh mission in their day to day life.

The Mentor of the Year award for 2014 was given to Fr. Anselm Zupka, the chaplain here on campus, and it was so well deserved. I was so happy to see such a wonderful individual who continually gives of himself to others in all that he does, win this prestigious award. One thing about Father that always reminds me of his dedication to others is the way he always reaches out to anyone and everyone in the cafeteria at Walsh. For example, he will go and sit one day with the baseball team, and another day with a table of freshmen, and still another day with that person who is sitting at a table all alone. He reaches out to others regardless of that person’s reputation, interests, or beliefs and he takes the time to get to know them, and to make them an important part of his day. Father is truly an asset and a blessing to our campus, and I couldn’t be happier at his accomplishment tonight.

The TOWER award is also important to the senior class, as it is given to one outstanding senior each year. I was blessed to be nominate not only for the top 15 in my class, but also for the top 5 overall! It was a very exciting afternoon as we all were able to share our various accomplishments, recognitions, and opportunities throughout our college careers. In the end, Kelley Manning, a wonderful friend of mine won this most prestigious award. I am so happy for her, and I couldn’t possibly think of someone more giving, more caring, or more deserving of this today.

I count myself as blessed for having the opportunity to be counted within the top five of my senior class, and to take a moment to be recognized for what I have been able to accomplish, but I think there is more to it than that, for me. I think that each one of us deserves that moment of recognition, for all the little things we do each day. Because really, when you stop and think about it, the world is a better place because of each random act of kindness, each smile, each positive word, and each moment of support offered from one person to another.

In the end, all that we do, we don’t really do for the recognition at all, and I think that is the beauty of what it means to be a servant leader. We continue to give, regardless of award or recognition, because it is simply the right thing to do, and in essence, the only thing to do to help us all lead a happier life. May we all take the time to serve others in all that we do, put others first, and recognize that each act, noticed or unnoticed makes a very real difference in our world, each and every day.

“Speak the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words” – St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, April 6th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Carpe Diem!

This weekend I will be participating in the first ever Carpe Diem retreat on campus. It is the first retreat at Walsh focused specifically on bridging the gap between high school and college by inviting high school students to participate in the retreat run completely by Walsh University students.

Carpe Diem is designed to educate high school students about issues surrounding hunger in the community while also strengthening retreatants in their faith and in their mission to make a difference in the world around them. The retreat will consist of speakers, activities, videos, and discussion about what hunger is, and how the issue of hunger is real not only in other countries in the world, but also within our own immediate community. But here’s the catch, the retreat is also an opportunity to experience hunger firsthand as we will all be fasting for twenty four hours.

Roughly twenty high school students will be participating in the retreat, and it will be organized and run by Walsh students ranging from freshmen to seniors. It will take place in the David Center on Campus, and will conclude on Sunday. Sunday morning, the students will serve breakfast to some of the local individuals involved in hunger relief efforts in the community, and these organizations will spend time sharing information about what they do to volunteer and what they do to combat hunger head on.

The fast will be broken on Sunday with the Eucharist at mass and the lunch to follow. It will without a doubt be a powerful weekend to experience hunger, serve others, and get involved in relief efforts, one person and one day at a time. The motto for the retreat is “Did you know that 24 hours can change lives?” and indeed hopefully all students will have the chance to see the difference they can make one small act at a time. Carpe Diem…seize the day!

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin” ― Mother Teresa

Friday, April 4th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

One Exciting Weekend!

This weekend was full of excitement, as Walsh University hosted a country concert featuring Josh Gracin on Friday night, and the annual Spring Formal dance on Saturday evening. Both were major events for campus, and there was certainly no dull moments to be had with these awesome events.

The Josh Gracin concert was hosted by the University Programming Board (UPB) and was held in Alumni Arena on Friday. The place looked great, set up with a stage and enough room to rock out to the country concert that we had been looking forward to all semester. Complete with cowboy hats, plaid shirts, and boots, the campus was dressed up and ready to go long before the concert actually started on Friday. Seeing the tour bus parked in front of the PE Building was especially exciting, and had all of campus buzzing about the event to come. It was great too because the cost was free to all Walsh students, and only $5 for those who came from off campus to attend. This is surely an event that will not be soon forgotten as Josh Gracin threw his drumsticks into the crowd and jumped down off stage to sing side by side our students.

Spring Formal was also a great event this weekend. The theme for this year was “The Great Gatsby” and everyone who attended certainly dressed the part. Many of the girls looked like they came straight from the era with the appropriate clothing and accessories to match. It is always a fun evening to celebrate the semester coming to an end, enjoy good food and good friends, and above all dance like no one’s watching and have some good old-fashioned fun! This event was also put on by UPB, who did a wonderful job as always, making the evening fun for everyone involved.

It was bittersweet to enjoy this weekend, knowing that it will be my last Spring Formal, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. It is always good to take some time to have fun in community together here at Walsh!

You gotta have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we’re playing a game. It’s a business, it’s our job, but I don’t think you can do well unless you’re having fun -Derek Jeter

Monday, March 31st, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Finding the Job You Have Always Wanted

It is something that all students worry about when they come to school – what am I going to do with the rest of my life? Now for some, this question may be simple. For some, they have thought about their plan since they first knew what it was they wanted to major in. For others though, it is slightly more difficult. Maybe they know what their major is, but have no idea where they may want to work. Maybe they don’t even know what they want their major to be. Or maybe, they know what that dream job is, but they aren’t sure how to get there. All of these questions, thankfully, can have an answer thanks to the Career Center here at Walsh. It is truly a wonderful resource that students can take advantage of to help them with any of their career needs.

For example, for freshmen and sophomores, the career center can help with resume writing, can help with finding that perfect internship that will help build your experience, and can help with showing more about graduate school opportunities or the right path to take over the next few years of school to achieve whatever goal you may have post-graduation.

For juniors and seniors, the options are even greater. The career center offers such things as the College Central Network that allows students the chance to be connected with local businesses that may be hiring. This includes uploading a resume to actually apply for jobs as they open up. In addition, the Career Center hosts mock interviews in which you have the chance to sit down with an actual recruiter and practice how to conduct yourself in an interview. You get to dress the part, act the part, and even get feedback to help when the real interview rolls around. Finally, the career center offers job fairs to allow students the chance to meet face to face with companies that are looking to hire Walsh graduates.

Many students may think that it is “too soon” for them to go and see someone in the Career Center, while others may simply not know the possibilities that exist for them there. All I can say is, it is one of the most valuable resources on our campus, and something that every student should take the time to check out as soon as possible. As a senior, it has helped in so many ways as I have been looking for jobs and preparing for my future, but it is never too soon to start this process!

We all have a vision of what we want our future to look like, we all have goals, dreams, ambitions, and we work hard toward these goals every day in college with every class we take. Don’t be afraid to ask for some help and guidance from the experts that are available to you, because they will do everything they can to make your dreams a reality!

“Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything” ― Patrick Süskind

Friday, March 28th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

What a Difference a Day Makes!

The mission statement of the honors program at Walsh University is “Lead, Serve, Learn” and this is something that we represent each and every semester through the creation and implementation of a service project to help those in our community.

This semester, our senior class planned for our final service project before graduation, and we were hoping to finish up with a project that was both memorable and impactful.

We contacted an individual agency called the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, who directed us to take on an annual project that they call “What a Difference a Day Makes (WADADM)”. This project is designed to provide a day of service to help a family in the local community whose family member suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating disease that progresses through an individual’s lifetime with no known cure at this time. MS is an autoimmune disorder that mostly affects the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). The disease is characterized by periods of remission (with no symptoms present) and periods of attacks (symptoms present) that can last for days, weeks, or even months at a time.

The symptoms are devastating, ranging from loss of balance, muscle spasms, numbness and tingling to more severe symptoms including the inability to move or walk, and prolonged tremors and weakness that make caring for yourself difficult and independence nearly impossible. One of the most common symptoms of MS is fatigue, that is so severe an individual may not be able to perform day to day tasks and may make even getting out of bed difficult. Individuals become easily exhausted and can not do the things that they are ordinarily able to do.

There is no known cure to multiple sclerosis at this time, and the main goal to treatment includes managing symptoms so that an individual can live their life as normally as possible. It is a difficult disease to manage and it affects all aspects of daily life.

The National MS Society works throughout the United States to offer support to those who suffer from MS and provide education to others about MS, and how they can get involved to make a difference. The Ohio Chapter hosts the WADADM project each year during March, National MS Awareness Month, to help a local family suffering from the effects of MS.

Our group worked with a family in Stark County to do a spring cleaning, organizing, and renovation day in their home. We worked from 10am-3pm to complete various tasks in the home such as organizing rooms, hanging rods in the closets, cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming the home, washing windows, moving boxes, cleaning the garage, and renovating a spare room. We did all of these things because the woman and her family were not able to do these things themselves, as they spent most of their time caring for the individual in their family suffering from the effects of MS.

It was such a wonderful project, and we all felt so accomplished making a visible difference for the family in need. There were sixteen of us total, and we were able to work together as a team to truly change this family’s life for the day and hopefully for a long time in the future. If anything, I feel that it was most important for this family to realize that we cared, we cared for them, for their wellbeing, and for their happiness, and we gave of our time to make sure that they felt our love and support.

I am very proud to have been a part of such an amazing cause, and I strongly encourage anyone to contact the National MS Society to see what you can do to make a difference for a family who needs so much support! You will be glad you did!

“A lot of emotional stress that people go through, some people figure out a way to handle it. They have a strong enough support system to keep going and keep moving forward” – Terrell Owens

Monday, March 24th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Polka Party!

There is certainly never a dull moment at Walsh, and there is always something new to try. Last night on campus was the first ever “Walsh Polka Party” hosted by Father Anselm himself! It was organized to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day. This day is usually set aside to honor Joseph, as he is a symbol of strong family relationships. Father Anselm decided to dedicate the day to fellowship, feasting, and of course dancing!

It was such a wonderful time! The game room was packed with students, eagerly waiting their lesson from Father Anselm about how to dance the Polka. The night was even complete with an accordion player, singing along to traditional Polish and German songs. I was surprised to find that it was not difficult at all to learn, and in fact, was so much fun to do! Though I must admit, I left sweating, and sure that I would have sore muscles in the morning.

There are always wonderful opportunities on campus to understand other cultures, and other traditions, and this night was no exception. In addition, it was wonderful to have the chance to be silly, have fun, and not worry what anyone thinks of your Polka dancing (good or bad!)

I think it is important that we all take time out of our busy lives to just be silly, laugh, have fun, and even dance the Polka! Fellowship with friends is one of life’s greatest joys and certainly what can help to get us through the most difficult times in our day to day lives.

You’ll never be disappointed if you always keep an eye on uncharted territory, you’ll always be challenged and growing and having fun” – Kirstie Alley

Thursday, March 20th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Can I Really Afford to go There?

When looking through schools and trying to decide where it was I wanted to go to school, I remember taking a significant amount of time looking at the price tag. Though that is not the most important thing about choosing a school, and we would all like to think that we ALWAYS choose our college because it is the best fit for us because of majors, the mission of the university, or because of the opportunities that the college offers, in this day and age, money still becomes a significant issue.

Even for me, as I began to narrow down my search that began with over twenty schools, I realized that it was very important to “do the math” and find out what each school could offer me because of my grades, because of my accomplishments, and because of the programs that the school offered as incentive for students to participate.

When all was said and done, I obviously chose Walsh. I was accepted into the honors program here, with an academic scholarship to match, and I was offered a good amount of money for my grades. But more than all of that, I loved campus, and I truly felt at home.

Now, my story is not all that different from most students that come looking at Walsh as a potential college to attend. And the first thing most students see is the scary…and I mean SCARY bottom line number for what it would cost for someone to come to school here. I encourage you, and advise you, to look beyond this number, despite the fact that it tends to hit you like a ton of bricks.

You see, the great thing about Walsh is that there are not many (if any!) students that pay that bottom line number. Walsh is so blessed to have amazing alumni and donors that help to keep tuition prices lower for students. In addition, Walsh offers countless scholarships for academic performance as well as for financial need that can help to make it more affordable. And these savings don’t stop when you come to campus!

Once you are enrolled at school here, there are opportunities for work study on campus that allows you to make a paycheck to help pay off tuition, and in addition, many private scholarships are offered from various families and alumni of Walsh that you can apply to every year. These are often offered for a variety of majors and almost all students have the chance to apply!

I love being here at Walsh, and I love that I chose this school because it was the right fit for me. I love that the aspect of community is so strong on campus, I love that it feels like home. I love that it is personal, and I love that Walsh challenges me every day to be better than I was before. I love all of these things, and I love most of all that Walsh helped me to make it happen by making the financial side of things a little bit easier.

An education at Walsh, to me, is worth any amount of money, and it is truly an investment in me and in my future. I know that I will never regret this choice, because it has been one of the best choices of my entire life!

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

Monday, March 17th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »

Mr. Walsh!

One of my favorite events on campus every year is the annual Mr. Walsh Competition. It is an event that never fails to pack the auditorium full of students, staff, and family members, and it certainly never disappoints. The competition has been a part of Walsh’s history for quite some time, and it is a tradition that is put on with great anticipation each and every time.

The competition is just as it sounds, it is a chance for the male students on campus to show what they have that makes them truly Mr. Walsh. Only the most outgoing, the most bold, and arguably, the most outrageous tend to apply, and this year was no exception.

The contestants come together for one evening of friendly competition in which they participate in a series of three events: talent, Walsh spirit, and formal wear/interview, all while an audience of their peers watch their performance, and a panel of faculty and staff judge the competitors to decide who is the best of all!

Talent this year was a very close match as the participants shared talents like photography, dancing, poetry, drumming, and wacky science experiments to name a few. It is always impressive, and of course, always entertaining. The Walsh spirit wear is perhaps the portion that gets the most laughs, as the participants came out wearing cheerleading outfits, hula skirts, and their best Walsh maroon and gold. The formal wear portion allows the guys to dress up in their best suits and ties and then requires them to answer one random question to the best of their ability, on the spot, in front of the judges and the audience. You never know what might happen!

Though the competition was tough, and there were many great participants in the competition, the winner was Coen, a sophomore science education major, who won with his science experiment involving toilet paper and a leaf blower, his head to toe Walsh spirit, and his vest and bow tie. In addition, Coen wowed everyone as h shared his love of Walsh, and the love of his major, and how excited he is to educate young people in the future.

All in all, the Mr. Walsh competition was a huge success and a night of fun as always. I am sad to say it is the last one that I will be able to attend, but I hope that it is a tradition that will continue for years to come.

“Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality” -Erich Fromm

Saturday, March 15th, 2014    Subscribe  No Comments »