Madonna University News : April 2016

Full Student Senate

Student Senate takes office

April 15, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University students made history when the first-ever Student Senate was sworn into office today.

Madonna President Michael Grandillo, Ph.D., swore in Senate President Thomas Martin and Vice-president Stefanie Papasoglu, who in turn gave the oath of office to 22 additional students. As a whole, the Student Senate will represent student-athletes, organizations, school spirit, the University’s various colleges, and many more subgroups; several other students are senators-at-large.

In President Grandillo's remarks to the senate members and community, he encouraged students to focus on what was right for the student body, and to encourage everyone – member of the senate or not – to get involved. “You have to have a voice that represents the student body,” Grandillo said. “Keep the excitement that you have today going.”

Martin and Papasolgu then addressed the gathered students, faculty and staff, sharing their enthusiasm for leading the student body, and their appreciation for the support from the campus community.

The Madonna University Student Senate consists of:
President: Thomas Martin
Vice-President: Stefanie Papasoglu
Treasurer: Lauryn Larnhart
Senate secretary: Nicole Carlin
Secretary of Athletics: Dayna Meloche
Secretary of Clubs and Organizations: Kayla Jakel
Secretary of Communications: Nancy Boyd
Secretary of Religion: Kevin Finch
Secretary of School Spirit: Sara Szalay
Speaker and School of Business: Bryan Giczewski
Science and Math: John Carzon
Commuter Students: Rachel Szalay
Resident Students: Ryan Freemantle and Brianna DiMilia
Education: Maria Rigato
Social Sciences: Seth Globke
Transfer Students: Meghan Griesbeck
Nursing and Health: Kaylyn Scott
Graduate School: Ashley (De’La) McClendon
Non-Traditional Students: Dean Herron
International Students: Yago Scalet Pires
Senators at Large: Adam Lindoo, Madelynn Adams and Marwah Ayache



Symposium explores need for research, honors student achievement

April 15, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – What is the future of animal law? What can nurses do to encourage innovation? And what can Madonna University students do to support “Meaningful Research that Matters”?

These questions and many more were discussed at the second annual Symposium for Research, Scholarship and Creativity – a day of keynote speeches, poster presentations, demos and student achievement – which took place April 13.

The event began with students, from each of the University’s colleges, receiving awards for leadership, scholarship and academic achievement. Following the recognition event guests could review the student posters detailing their academic research, with topics ranging from dietetics and business plans, to medical care and marketing.

Hands-on activities for visitors included assembling prosthetic hand using parts made with 3D printers, and lifting fingerprints as part of a forensic science workshop.

In a letter to attendees, Phillip Olla, Ph.D., director of the Center for Research at Madonna University, talked about the “critical role” research has in health, quality of life and the environment.

“As both creators and disseminators of knowledge, we aim for our students to be discoverers of knowledge, not passive educational tourists,” he said.

“As society and higher education experiences challenges in securing funding to support activities like the arts and research, it is important for us to be bold, diverse, adaptive, inventive, and strategic with our research and creative endeavor. Crucially, our research has relevance beyond the confines of the University.”


Secret Garden: the Musical

Madonna Lyric Theatre presents ‘The Secret Garden’

April 7, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University will bring children’s classic “The Secret Garden” to full bloom this weekend, as students and community members perform the musical version on stage.

The story follows young Mary Lennox who, after she loses her parents to a cholera outbreak, is sent to live with her reclusive uncle. She befriends her sickly cousin, Colin; discovers her late Aunt Lily’s hidden garden, which she is determined to revive; and is both warned and welcomed by “Dreamers,” those in her past. The adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Victorian classic was written by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. 

The Secret Garden has become one of my favorite musicals to direct,” said Barbara Wiltsie, Madonna University associate professor of voice and director of Lyric Theatre. “Our cast has thoroughly enjoyed the process of developing their characters – analyzing the characters, their relationships, their thoughts, pain, joys, and eventual healing – all the while, perfecting the difficult musical score.”

Performances are Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m. in Madonna University’s Kresge Hall. General seating tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $12 for adults, available at the door.

The full cast of Madonna University students (marked with *) and community members:

Mary Lennox – Jordyn Lash (13, Huntington Woods)
Lily – Lyndsay Burke
Rose Lennox – Kathryn Linzmaier*
Captain Albert Lennox – Aaron von Allmen*
Major Holmes – Timothy Krause
Lieutenant Shaw – Brenden Delaney*
Lieutenant Wright – Joseph Fisher
Fakir – Zander Meehan*
Ayah – Kelly Ryan*
Alice – Abigail Youngerman
Claire Holmes – Shivonne Matthews
Archibald Craven – Daniel Kitzman
Dr. Neville Craven – Matthew Wallace
Mrs. Medlock – Linda Hagopian
Martha – Brittany Dimmitt*
Dickon – Frank Ritz
Colin Craven – Lucas Jraiche (10, Livonia)
Ben Weatherstaff – Mark Vondrak
Timothy – Aaron Davis
Mrs. Shelley/Jane – Erin Jobst*
Major Shelley/William – Ethan Walker
Mrs. Winthrop/Ensemble – Katherine Schmaltz*
Betsy/Ensemble – Abby Randolph 

The poster was designed by Madonna University graphic arts student Lauren Levinsky.

CEO Guest Lecturer: Ramsey Sweis

CEO Guest Lecturer Shares Business Start-Up Tips at Madonna

April 5, 2016

Livonia, Mich. – As part of Madonna University’s School of Business CEO/Executive Lecture Series, Ramsey Sweis, president and founder of Aqaba Technologies gave a talk on “Entrepreneurship.” A global expert in internet marketing and information technology, Sweis shared with the audience of students and community members, how he launched his business, including working with Google in Argentina.

It was the experience he gained working with the search engine giant that gave him envision the kind of business he wanted to create and the way in which he would develop it. Sweis outlined tips for anyone desiring to be an entrepreneur, i.e., start lean, think small and grow big, know your competition, and build something you are passionate about.

He shared seven critical steps for building a business for success that included: setting realistic goals, outlining processes and workflow, and sticking to a plan. He also encouraged the business students and future entrepreneurs in the audience to continue to study, and to keep up with rapidly-changing technology. “When it comes to technology, what you study now may be obsolete in a couple of months,” Sweis cautioned. “Study, study, study…not only for yourself, but also to help you educate your customers. That way, you sell without selling." 

Sweis has served in many capacities to help companies thrive and succeed in the global marketplace. He currently serves as vice chairman of the executive committee of the Automation Alley International Business Center’s Advisory Council. He also teaches as a faculty member of the School of Business at Oakland University.

Madonna University’s School of Business students have planned one more CEO/Executive Lecture for Tuesday, April 19, at 6 p.m., featuring Ron Hesse, President & CEO,, who will talk about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): Then and Now. All CEO Lectures are held in the Franciscan Center at Madonna University. RSVP at 

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