Category: People

Papal Historian Reflects on Pope Francis’s First Year

In the historic run up to the election of Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio as pope, Church historian Christopher Bellitto spoke almost nonstop with national and international media organizations as they explored the possibilities and probabilities for the successor to St. Peter’s throne.

But, as he said during a recent talk at Georgian Court, the selection of the first Jesuit, the first Pope Francis, and first pope from the new world, surprised him and millions of others.

Dr. Bellitto, a frequent contributor to CNN and other outlets, spoke to a GCU audience of 130 students, faculty, staff, and members of the community during the university’s March 11 discussion of Pope Francis’ first year.

The Catholicism expert took listeners back in time to what would turn out to be the night of Francis’s election. Dr. Bellitto said he was determinedly preparing what is known as “b copy” —or background content—when his wife called and told him to stop writing and wait to see whom the cardinals had elected.

And, he acknowledged, the appearance of Francis on the balcony was, as it turns out, not only surprising but transformative.

In the historic run up to the election of Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio as pope, Church historian Christophe...

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Nursing Graduates Hit the Floor Running

 

Just hours before Hurricane Sandy roared ashore on October 29, 2012, Helen Yousef packed an overnight bag and reported for work at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune. A member of the first graduating class of the Georgian Court-Meridian Health School of Nursing, which bestowed 20 B.S.N. degrees in May, she didn’t know what injuries the superstorm would bring or when she would return home. One thing was certain: Helen was prepared to do her job.

“Working the day of the hurricane and in days after, I learned and truly appreciated the dedication, positive attitudes, flexibility, sacrifices and continued quality of care we—as hospital team members—provided despite the adversities in the hospital or in our personal lives,” says Helen, a 2012 GCU graduate. “Our staff shrunk significantly while the patient population was the greatest I have ever seen.”

In early 2013, the New Jersey Nursing Initiative highlighted the GCU-Meridian Health program for its innovative simulation project, which pairs nursing students with medical students. Led by nursing educators Teri Wurmser, R.N., Ph.D., department chair, and Jane Bliss-Holtz, R.N., D.N.Sc., associate chair, the program has received full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The goal was to build collaboration skills that would serve both professions once students enter the workforce. Since Helen’s pinning ceremony at the spring 2012 commencement, the university has graduated more than 30 additional nurses as the model partnership continues to attract industry attention. Georgian Court’s third class of nurses is set to march in May 2014.

  Just hours before Hurricane Sandy roared ashore on October 29, 2012, Helen Yousef packed an overnight bag and rep...

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Military veterans pursue studies at Georgian Court

Over the past five years, the number of military veterans and their relatives who are using the education benefits available to them has nearly doubled from 550,000 to 925,000. As calls for a “smaller and leaner” military are answered, more veterans are gravitating to college. Higher education institutions like Georgian Court, which was named a Military Friendly School for 2014 by Victory Media, a veteran-owned business and publisher of G.I. Jobs and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools, enjoy an advantage.

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One of those students is Marine Corps veteran Joe Hess. Joe joined the military right after high school, leaving home only four days after graduation to follow his grandfather’s “shining example of what is right.”

After six years, including a nearly 10-month tour of duty in Al Asad, Iraq, where he worked in motor transportation making fuel supply runs into often dangerous territory, Joe returned to college. The slightly unconventional and occasionally blue-Mohawked student/musician transferred to GCU from Ocean County College and is pursuing his dream of teaching mathematics.

“I want to teach high schoolers the subject they may dread and get them to enjoy math,” says Joe, who also professes a love for writing.

Over the past five years, the number of military veterans and their relatives who are using the education benefits avail...

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Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Georgian Court University’s beauty is breathtaking and provides the perfect backdrop for GCU’s semi-annual photo shoots. Each spring and fall, students volunteer to stroll across campus, pose for pictures in laboratories, and let their guard down in the dining room, residence halls, between stacks of library books, or even in the Wellness Center weight room. See for yourself in images from a recent shoot, led by GCU web manager Rich Berardi and award-winning photographer Bill Cain.

Photos by William Thomas Cain of Cain Images
Video by GCU Web Manager Rich Berardi

 

Georgian Court University’s beauty is breathtaking and provides the perfect backdrop for GCU’s semi-annual photo shoots....

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S. Pat McDermott: Not just a call to holiness, but to ‘wholeness’

S. Pat McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Institute of the Americas, recently addressed Georgian Court faculty, students and staff.

S. Pat McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Institute of the Americas, recently addressed Georgian Court faculty, students and staff. (Photo/AMANDA MACPHEE)


Guest post courtesy of Michelle Giles, GCU Grants & Advancement Communications Specialist

Sister Pat McDermott, President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, spoke about Vatican II and the Call to Holiness before a crowd of faculty, staff, and alumnae on the evening of April 25. Vatican II, she said, was an invitation to “change our way of seeing” and the Call to Holiness is also a “Call to Wholeness.” Sister Pat noted that in 1962, she was a freshman in all-women’s Sisters of Mercy High School in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up across the street from a Sisters of Mercy convent. Vatican II, she said, was the most significant event of the 20th century in which three themes emerged for the people of the Catholic faith: self-identity, engagement in the world, and participation and accountability.

Vatican II, she said, invited us to renew our identity as people of God, engage in the world for positive outcomes, and open up dialogue and collaboration. She embraced the words of John Paul XXIII:  “mercy rather than severity.” “The Call to Holiness is not a step away,” Sister Pat said. “The Call to Holiness is the whole of humanity.” Sister Pat also discussed the work of the Sisters of Mercy through social justice and charitable works and highlighted their advocacy, Mercy collaborations, and Mercy Taking Action events. “Nothing is separate in the journey of faith,” she said.

The entire text of S. Pat’s presentation can be viewed at http://www.georgian.edu/events/spm.htm.

 

—-Guest post courtesy of Michelle Giles, GCU Grants & Advancement Communications Specialist

Guest post courtesy of Michelle Giles, GCU Grants & Advancement Communications Specialist Sister Pat McDermott, Pres...

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Making Room for Men at Georgian Court

For more than a year, Georgian Court administrators, faculty, and staff gathered research and prepared to go coed. Now that the guys are here, everyone is asking the same question: How’s it going?

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GCU’s transition to coeducation has been the focus of recent feature stories in
The New York Times, National Catholic Reporter, Asbury Park Press and Star-Ledger.

Luka Zgonjanin spoke to the New York Times about GCU's transition to coed.

Perhaps business major and Serbia native Luka Zgonjanin (pictured at right) answers it best: “It’s a great honor to start something from scratch, to make history,” Luka, a 6’5” Lions basketball guard, told the New York Times in a November 29 story about GCU’s creation of men’s athletics. “Everything we do is a first.”

Indeed, they are the first—the first men to live on the GCU campus. The first men to tend the Mercy Garden. The first to run cross country or play soccer. The first men to serve in student government, and so much more.

For more than a year, Georgian Court administrators, faculty, and staff gathered research and prepared to go coed. Now t...

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