Madonna University News : May 2016

Missing Persons Event

Forensic Science Students Assist at Missing Persons Event

May 25, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University Forensic Science students recently spent the day serving as ambassadors at the annual Missing in Michigan event, which enables families of missing loved ones to file and update missing persons reports.

At the event, Madonna students wore one wild sock in support of the #RockOneSock campaign by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Associate Professor Jodi Lynn Barta, Ph.D., also the director of Madonna’s Forensic Science Program, explained that Madonna students assisted families of missing loved ones during the event, guiding them through different stations. Families were able to update an existing report, file a report for the first time, or provide a DNA sample. The DNA samples are used in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) to help identify found persons or remains. NamUs is comprised of a missing persons database, an unidentified persons database, and an unclaimed persons database.

Barta said assisting at the event is one way students can actively participate in the mission of Madonna University. “It really brings to the forefront the scale of this problem, especially since it’s so close to home,” she said. “It also helps our students to understand that this isn’t something that happens for one week, one month or one year. There are people who have been looking for their loved ones for decades. They are still actively participating and updating the case files and trying to bring as much information as possible to find their missing person.”

This is the third year that Madonna students helped at the event, a joint venture between the Michigan State Police and the National Institute of Justice's NamUs ( to resolve the more than 4,000 active missing persons cases in Michigan.

The Madonna University Forensic Science Society donated $100 to the event, and Madonna students made yellow lapel ribbons for participants of the day to wear in honor of missing loved ones.

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Sisters Jubilee

Sisters Celebrate Golden Jubilee of Religious Life

May 24, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University congratulates Sister Mary Ann Smith, CSSF, and Sister Janet Stankowski, OP, as they celebrate 50 years of religious life in their respective orders. An accomplished musician, Sister Mary Ann, took her final vows with the Felician Sisters, right here at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Central Convent. She currently coordinates Madonna's Liturgical Services, helps to decorate the University chapel and plays the organ for Mass. Sister Janet Stankowski took her final vows with the Dominican Sisters while working in Florida. As coordinator for campus services, she assists with distribution of furniture, helps set up different rooms and the residence hall, and shares her knowledge of the University's history and values.

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Business Honors Convocation

School of Business Hosts 31st Annual Honors Convocation

May 18, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – The dean and faculty of Madonna University’s School of Business recently honored its 2016 graduates at the 31st annual honors convocation. Students received awards for academic achievement in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Graduate students recognized with the high achievement award, have achieved a 3.75 GPA or better and have completed at least two-thirds of the required credits for their major. Recipients of the 2016 high achievement awards for graduate students are Kimberly Allen, Lynnette Cain, Denise Collaku, Whitney Janaulis, Kevin Koch, Emily Kostin, Monica Polocoser and Ryan Webster.

The following undergraduate students were recognized with high honors for having completed 30 credits at Madonna University, 15 in their major, and for earning a 3.5 GPA or higher: Amanda Arcy, Thomas Ashmore, Brooke Austin, Natalie Blazo, Darsel Bonello, Joya Chowdhury, Bryan Day, Justice Dean, Alexander DeYonker, Amy Dickerson, Anthony Dunn, Nicholas Follbaum, Casey Gates, Breanna Geile, Jessica Giarmarco, Tina Gladki, Taylor Grzelakowski, Karl Haberl, Christina Harris, Deann Hutchins, Hyein Ji, Austin Johnson, Evan Kain, Michael Kanitra, Cynthia Kavanaugh, Erin Keiffer, Bradley King, Jovanie Laguerre, John Lauro, Morgan Lorkowski, Nga Nguyen, Nicole Pampreen, Evan Piechota, Adam Prashad, Savannah Price, Paul Radwan, Jeffrey Rand, Sarah Schlagheck, Marcel Schmid, Zachary Schmidtke, Daniel Swanson, Mitchel Sykes, Jessyca Sylvain, Barry Turner, and Hayley Warda.

Highest honors were awarded to the following undergraduate students with the highest GPA in their major and who had completed a minimum of 30 credits at Madonna University, 15 of which were in the past three semesters and 25 were in their major: Ryan Lambrecht for accounting and Bryan Giczewski for Business Administration, Joane Bijou for Business Administration & Leadership, LaTosha Myers for Health Care Management, Courtney Kihn for Hospitality & Tourism Management, Melissa Sidor for Human Resource Management, Strahinja Ljubevic for International Business, Sumaia Elsibai for Management Information Systems, and Caitlin Marchione for Marketing.

Receiving the Michael F. McManus Jr. award for outstanding leadership and proficiency in academics were graduate students Cesar Figueras and Thomas Oliver and undergraduate students Caitlin Marchione, Stephanie Lijewski, and Paige Schmidt.

During the ceremony, the following students were inducted into the Epsilon Gamma Chapter of Delta Mu Delta the National Honor Society in Business Administration: Natalie Anne Blazo, Denise Collaku, Christina Harris, Whitney Janaulis, Bradley King, Holly Laginess, Zack Schmidtke, and Manal Shehada.

The final award of the night – Meta & Bernard Landuyt award – recognizes high achievement from a senior with a 3.7 GPA or above, who has completed a minimum of 30 credits at Madonna University and 25 within the School of Business. The recipient of the award exhibits scholarly inquiry, critical thinking, professional growth, leadership qualities, participation in university and/or community activities, and evidence of integrity, responsibility and strength of character. The Meta and Bernard Landuyt award is the most prestigious award in the School of Business, and the 2016 recipient is accounting major Amanda Arcy.

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AoD Agreement

Madonna University Joins with Archdiocese to Offer Grants to Catholic School Graduates

May 18, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University is teaming up with the Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD) through its Catholic School Grant program, enabling students to more easily continue their Catholic education through college.

Madonna offers $2,000 a year for four years to any student who has graduated from a Catholic high school. The agreement highlights an already existing relationship between the archdiocese and the Felician-sponsored University, according to Cam Cruickshank, executive vice president of enrollment management and university advancement at Madonna.

“We’ve very pleased to partner with the AOD, to offer these scholarships so students can pursue higher education at a Catholic college or university in Metro Detroit,” Cruickshank said. “The Archdiocese also has agreements in place with Marygrove College and University of Detroit Mercy, and we are pleased to be part of this partnership; this is a great way to further Catholic education.”

Cruickshank said recruiting more students from archdiocesan schools will enhance the Catholic and Franciscan spirit that permeates the Livonia University. “Graduates of Catholic schools, in the Archdiocese, are well-prepared, have a strong faith foundation and have similar goals to those we have at Madonna,” Cruickshank said.

The scholarships and grants, to graduates from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, are part of a collaborative effort to continue what Archdiocesan Superintendent Brian Dougherty, Ph.D., calls “K-16 Catholic education.”

“These agreements make Catholic education in the archdiocese more united,” Dougherty said. “This keeps the focus on cooperative education between the archdiocese’s schools and these higher-learning institutions.”

Dougherty said the new agreements, which begin with students registering for the fall 2016 semester, will help students to consider Metro Detroit’s three Catholic colleges, while strengthening the colleges as well.

“One thing we’ve noticed, universities are struggling with students taking five-and-a-half years to earn a bachelor’s degree,” Dougherty said. “But Catholic school students, consistently, are more likely to graduate in four years.”

Madonna University offers more than 100 undergraduate academic programs in business, education, arts and humanities, nursing, science and mathematics and social sciences. To learn more about Madonna University’s scholarships and financial aid offerings, or to apply for admissions, visit, or call 734-432-5339.


Nursing Pinning '16

Special Pinning Ceremony for Nursing Grads

May 10, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – Nearly 70 nursing graduates recently took part in a special graduation ceremony in which they received their nursing pin from either a Madonna nursing faculty member, their preceptor, or a relative who is a nurse.

Held at the Italian American Banquet Center, the pinning ceremony was coordinated by the graduates and the master of ceremony was Corinne Kee, nursing associate professor. Inspirational remarks were delivered by Nursing Professor Therese Jamison. Nursing graduate Lois Gagnon, of Goodrich, Mich., spoke to her classmates as well.

The Nursing Excellence Award went to male nurse Corey Bedra, of Allen Park, and the Dean’s Award was presented to Rebecca Stewart, of South Lyon. Athletic Director Bryan Rizzo acknowledged Blaire Schmalenberg, of Sterling Heights, as a scholar athlete for having successfully completed her nursing degree while also playing soccer for four years.

As each graduate came forward to receive their pin, a slide of their baby picture and current picture was shown on the large screen. Following the pinning the graduates recited the Nightingale Pledge.

Carole Booms, Madonna alumni director, presented the graduates with an alumni pin and welcomed them to the Alumni Association. Brother Jim O’Brien, nursing faculty member, gave the closing prayer.


Nolan Awards

Arts and Humanities Graduates Receive Nolan Awards

May 10, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – The College of Arts and Humanities recently honored the crème de’ la crème of its graduates at the 21st Annual Honors Convocation.

There were 15 students who received the Ernest I. Nolan Award for academic excellence in their major. Created in 1995, the award is named after Ernest Nolan, Ph.D., long-time provost and vice-president of academic affairs and professor of English, who retired in 2015. The award is presented to graduates who are selected by Madonna faculty and advisors, based on their overall academic achievement, demonstrated excellence in the fine arts and their service to others in the community.

The Ernest I. Nolan Award for Excellence in the Humanities was presented to the following students:

Wedad Maatouk – Master of Arts, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Miranda G. Ferguson – Broadcast and Cinema Arts
Brandy L. Baloh – Communication Studies
Benjamin W. Karl – English
Jacquelyn Castellese – English/Journalism
David J. Pierson– Fine Arts
Charlie Kee – Graphic Design
Nisrin Makki – Journalism and Public Relations
Brigid E. Behmer – Language Arts
Aaron W. von Allmen – Music
Emily A. Showler – Pastoral Ministry
Lawren K. Dame – Professional and Technical Writing
Natalia Bella Dawn Cappella – Religious Studies
Daniel Mahoney – Visual Arts Education
Catherine M. Crombez – Piano Performance

Also recognized were those graduating with highest honors (3.9 – 4.0 GPA), high honors (3.7-3.899 GPA), and honors (3.5-3.699 GPA):

Highest honors: Patricia N. Alvarado, Brandy L. Baloh, Brigid E. Behmer, Jacquelyn Castellese, Sebastian L. Cosma, Catherine M. Crombez, Miranda G. Ferguson, Rachel H. Goad, David M. Julien, Benjamin W. Karl, Regina T. Pustelak, Andrea L. Reames and Maggie Wunderlich.

High honors: Eric J. Borregard, Joseph L. Calhoun, Natalia B. Cappella, Michael D. Cobb, Chelsey C. Cook, Lawren K. Dame, Anna E. Dreslinski, Amanda E. Duda, Jason F. Harris, Allen G. Jankowics, Lauren M. King, James L. Larmour, Nisrin Makki, Jillian M. Mikolaizyk, Tae-Hun Park, David J. Pierson, Hannah E. Sabol and Michelle Sutherby.

Honors: Kimberly M. Ervin, Gabriel P. McCarthy, Brett T. Romisch, Emily A. Showler, Matthew E. Simpson and Taylor A. Walls.

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