Madonna University News

  • National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Awards

Student Videos Take Top Awards

April 27, 2015

LIVONIA, Mich. – The work of two talented Broadcast and Cinema Arts students was honored recently by the Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Junior Miranda Ferguson, of Ortonville, and graduating senior Darryn Montgomery, of Westland, received Michigan Regional Student Production Awards. Of the 40 nominations this year, 10 Madonna students received 12.

“We have a lot of talented students and very fine teachers from the industry,” said Chuck Derry, associate professor and director of the Madonna’s broadcast and cinema arts program. “We are very happy for the recognition our students received from the Academy as both nominees and awardees.”

Ferguson garnered three awards: for a public service announcement “Good Girl Come Back”, for a sign language music video “Wings,” and an editing award for “Wings”.

In the writing category, Montgomery took home the award for his movie script “Gangster Report,” the 2014 student capstone full-length feature film.

“It isn't just me that deserves the awards,” said Ferguson. “Without God I wouldn’t even be at college, let alone almost finishing,” said Ferguson. “I certainly would have given up long ago without His grace guiding me. My family, friends and coworkers have assisted me, too.”

Montgomery said he was “humbled” to be recognized with the award, “I want to thank the 2014 Capstone in Film Production class for all their hard work and dedication. That award belongs to the class.”

Madonna President Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa wrote in a campus-wide email, “We offer sincere congratulations to our students who captured enough awards to tie for first place in the statewide NATAS competition. This is extraordinary. Of course, we also congratulate their teacher and mentor Chuck Derry as well as the other faculty members who guided these students to these high standards.”

Awards were given at the Detroit Public Television studios in Wixom on April 18.

The Michigan Regional Student Production Awards for excellence ( promote best practices to university/college and high school students, and are intended to be an incentive for the pursuit of excellence in television journalism. They focus public attention on outstanding achievements in television produced by students.

NATAS is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and related media and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry, best known for the coveted Emmy® Award. The Michigan Chapter supports future broadcast and media producers by recognizing the talent and efforts of high school and college students in our region with Student Production Awards.

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  • Crystal Gala 2015

Madonna Gala Highlights Mission and Students

April 24, 2015

The Crystal Madonna Gala sparkled April 23, as alumni, benefactors, Felician Sisters and friends of Madonna University came together to raise funds for scholarships.

Decorated in shimmery gold, with splashes of blue, the ballroom was filled with some 350 guests. Emcee for the evening was Cheryl Chodun, broadcast and cinema arts instructor and former Channel 7 Action news reporter.

Highlights of the evening included a musical performance by Madonna students Viviana Garabello and Darian Bird. Garabella’s strong opera voice was accompanied by Bird’s magical piano performance. They were joined by some 25 student volunteers who shared their Madonna experiences with guests during dinner.

Board Chair Judge Michael Talbot brought into focus the event theme with an invocation that highlighted the Franciscan value: Respect for the dignity of all people.

After a delicious dinner, Rev. Raymond Hammond, founder of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church inspired the crowd with stories of how “education matters. As it turns out,” he said. “Education in our day and time is not a luxury. It is a necessity.”

He shared how a Madonna education had made the difference in the lives of a Detroit mother and her sons. Rev. Hammond closed with this impassioned plea, “I pray that tonight you will generously and sacrificially give to this outpost of God’s grace called Madonna University – that you will give not only until it hurts, but until it really helps another generation of God’s children to fill the gap between their potential and their opportunity.”

Mike Schmidt of the Ford Motor Company Fund joined Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa in presenting the 2015 Crystal Madonna Award to the Lions Clubs of Michigan, in recognition of their extraordinary respect for, and service to, those who are deaf or blind, as well as their huge commitment to scholarships for higher education,” said Kujawa.

A special tribute to Sister Rose Marie was made by Andrea Nodge, vice president for advancement, as Sister will retire at the end of June. When presenting Sister with a dozen roses, Nodge quoted Dr. Seuss, ‘Don’t cry because it is over,’ said Nodge. ‘Smile because it happened.’

In keeping with the theme: the audience was treated to a music video to John Lennon’s song, Imagine, which featured students and alumni living out the Franciscan values. After which, the raffle prize winners were drawn by sport management major D’Marco Redd.

In his benediction, Monsignor Todd Lajiness, rector and president of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, asked “God’s continued blessings on our Madonna family and friends as we live out our Franciscan values and work to make the world a better place.”


  • Kappa Delti Pi

Madonna students collect books to promote literacy among children

April 20, 2015

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University education honor society Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) members gathered more than a thousand books and put together 40 care packages for needy children in the community as part of the society’s Literacy Alive! challenge.

The Madonna students filled colorful pillowcases with toys, small games and a personalized note for children staying at the First Step domestic violence shelter in Wayne. The care package initiative is part of Kappa Delta Pi’s Project DREAM – Developing, Reading, Engaging and Memories. During the Milk and Cookies Read-in, May 2, KDP members will read to the children, help them make a craft and give each of them a care package.

The Project DREAM care packages were made possible through KDP student fundraisers, as well as grants totaling $1,000 received through Kohl’s Department Store Associates in Action program at the Canton store. In addition to financial support, five Kohl’s employees volunteered three hours to help KDP members write the notes and put together the packages.

In addition to new books donated by Kohl’s, Madonna University Kappa Delta Pi members collected gently used books, and will give more than 1,000 books to students at Gompers Elementary School in Detroit.

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  • Heart to Heart

Madonna University Receives Gift for Hospice Scholarships

April 15, 2015

LIVONIA, MICH. – Madonna University has been awarded a $28,500 gift from Texas-based Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation, an institution dedicated to supporting those at end of life, those with life-limiting conditions and the family members who care for them.

The funds will be used to create a $25,000 scholarship endowment for undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospice and Palliative Studies, as well as a $1,500 scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year for a graduate student in the Master of Science in Hospice and Palliative Studies program. The gift also includes a $2,000 donation to support the Transforming Loss Conference scheduled for fall 2015.  

Kelly Rhoades, professor and chair of the hospice and palliative studies program, said that the gift will have a significant impact on future hospice students.

“The students in the Hospice and Palliative Studies Department will benefit from the generous gifts made by the Foundation,” Rhoades said. “I am especially pleased to learn that an endowed scholarship was started, because this type of award establishes an ongoing legacy in the name of Heart to Heart Hospice for the hospice students who will be able to access financial support for years to come. We are so grateful,” she said.

Providing support for hospice education is a high priority for Heart to Heart Hospice according to Kelly Mitchell, CEO of the Heart to Heart Hospice Corporation and President of the Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation. “At the Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation we believe it is our responsibility and our privilege to promote quality of life for those with life-limiting conditions through patient/family grants and educational initiatives,” he said.

Madonna University was among the first institutions in the nation to offer a degree-based curriculum in end-of-life care. Since its inception in 1984 with a certificate at the undergraduate level, the program has grown to include both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Highlights of the program include a post-master’s certificate in bereavement (available online and on campus) and certificates in hospice and palliative studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Rhoades also expressed gratitude for the funds to support the conference in the fall. “The workshops at the conference will help create a greater awareness of the unique, quality educational offerings in the Hospice and Palliative Studies Department at Madonna University,” she said.

About Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation

Heart to Heart Hospice and the Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation dedicate their resources to supporting those at end of life, those with life-limiting conditions and the family members that care for them. They accomplish their mission by educating health care professionals, community members and caregivers, as well as providing critical need grants to patients and families in their care and in the community. The Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation also has targeted support programs for veterans and for those in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease. For more information or to make a donation, please visit the or contact the foundation at 1-855-HEART26.

About Madonna University

Liberal arts, career preparation and serving learning are the hallmarks of a Madonna University ( education. For more than 75 years, Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan has been preparing students for careers in nursing, education, business, social work, science, the arts and more than 100 other majors and minors. Its Graduate School offers master’s, doctoral and certificate programs in 30-plus areas of study.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Representatives of the Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation present the gift to Madonna University President Sister Rose Marie Kujawa, (center seated) Pictured with Sister are: Seated (L to R): Kimberly Dellinger and Terri Bailey, Heart to Heart Hospice; Kelly Rhoades, chair of Madonna’s hospice and palliative studies department. Standing (L to R): Ernie Nolan, Madonna provost and vice president for academic administration; Debbie Dunn, Graduate School dean; Lynn Jones and Gary Johnson, with Heart to Heart Hospice; Andrea Nodge, Madonna vice president for advancement.