Making a difference: Katie Laurino

 

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Katie Laurino with some of her students.

During her years as a Girl Scout, Katie Laurino befriended a girl who was deaf. Even as a child, she felt that no matter our differences, all people should be treated with respect and kindness.

Fast forward a few decades and the 30-year-old founder of The Creative Arts Project (CAP) still feels the same way. Everyone deserves decency and acceptance, especially the children with special needs who are enrolled in her music, dance and movement program in Point Pleasant.

“The parents are very appreciative,” said Katie, who launched CAP in September 2011. “With schedules that typically center around doctor visits and therapy appointments, the parents love that the Creative Arts Project offers their kids a place to just be themselves. “CAP offers children facing different life challenges the same quality instruction that typical children access on a daily basis.”

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Lakewood, Georgian Court U. Practice Response to Residence Hall Fire in Emergency Drill

For Immediate Release

Media contacts:

Gail Towns, 732.492.6957 or gtowns@georgian.edu       

Tara Strickland, 732.987.2291 or tstrickland@georgian.edu

Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department & Georgian Court Plan Disaster Drill

Lakewood, N.J., May 28, 2013—On Sunday, June 9, Georgian Court University and the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department will hold a disaster drill. The drill, which will simulate a residence hall fire situation, is one of LFD’s two required annual drills, and will include personnel from GCU, the LFD, the LFD Ladies Auxiliary, the Lakewood Township Emergency Medical Services Department, the Lakewood Volunteer First Aid Squad, and Station 24 of the Brick Township Fire Department. Members of the media are welcome to watch the drill, which will begin at 9:00 a.m. and be repeated several times to train multiple personnel, as well as listen to radio transmissions of emergency personnel. LFD will hold a debrief for media and all involved personnel in GCU’s North Dining Room at noon, after all of the drill rotations have been completed.

During the drill, Maria Hall, one of GCU’s three student residences, will be filled with smoke to simulate an actual fire. GCU students will be present in the hall as “victims,” and the drill will start with staff from GCU’s offices of Security, Residence Life, Student Life, Conferences and Special Events, as well as facilities personnel practicing response procedures. Once LFD and other emergency services agencies are on site, they will practice incident command. About 100 active participants will take part in the June 9 drill.

“Our firefighters will set up a command post and rehearse fire suppression techniques and searching and clearing the hall,” says LFD Assistant Chief Stephen McNamara. “First Aid and EMS will also be on hand to practice injury assessment and transport of ‘victims’ for further medical treatment.”

He notes that drills like this keep everyone involved prepared in the event of an actual situation like a residence hall fire.

“Georgian Court and the Lakewood Volunteer Department have always enjoyed a mutual coordination of efforts in any emergency situation,” says GCU Security Chief Thomas Zambrano. “This drill will only enhance cooperation with all involved.”

 

 

About the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department

The Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1888. There are currently 69 active firefighters and fire police members in the volunteer fire department. The Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department consists of five fire companies: Station 64, also known as Engine Co #1, 119 First Street; Station 65 also known as Rescue Co #2, 1350 Lanes Mills Road; Station 66 also known as Jr. Hose Co #3, 976 New Hampshire Avenue; Station 66-1 also known as Jr. Hose Co #3 170 Lafayette Blvd.; Station 67 also known as Reliance Hose Co #4, 300 River Avenue; Station 68 also known as Hook & Ladder Co #1, 733 Cedarbridge Avenue; and Department and Fire Police Station, 40 Clover Street. Volunteers are always needed.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court announced in May 2012 its transition to a fully coeducational university in 2013. Today, the university serves nearly 2,500 students of all faiths and backgrounds in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court’s main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at the New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall.

Positive Spaces at Georgian Court

Positive Spaces: Zsa Zsa StacklesPositive Spaces: An Alumni ExhibitionThe M. Christina Geis Gallery at GCUBarnegat Bay at DuskPositive Spaces: Ryan MitchellMarc
African SunsetPositive Spaces: Taryn StevensPleiadesLavenderCounting Sheep

‘Positive Spaces’ Evokes Peace, Happiness and More

A playful kitten paws at the curtains on a window ledge. The purple and orange hues of an African sunset beckon. And the sight of sailboats dotting the Barnegat Bay invites art lovers to pause—if only for a few mintues—to enjoy Positive Spaces, the June 1-28 mixed media installation on display in the M. Christina Geis Art Gallery at Georgian Court University.

“Being creative provides me with an incredible source of adventure, self-discovery, connection, spirituatlity, awakening….and power,” writes Zsa Zsa Stackles, whose displayed pieces include oil paintings, gel transfers, photography and more. “I believe that my life as a creative artist and educator is simply an ordinary life that is choreographed to support ongoing creativity in myself and in those around me.”

The entire collection evokes a certain sense of calm that has the power to take the edge off of a harried day packed with insane deadlines to meet or too many places to go. Positive Spaces, which is an alumni exhibit, gives art lovers a chance to slow down for a few minutes, breathe, and take in the simple pleasures—a starry sky, the sight of a full moon at high tide, or even the presence of 22 (yes, we counted them) sheep grazing peacefully in a lush, green meadow.

One of the most inviting pieces in the exhibit is a gorgeous watercolor, rendered in multiple shades of pink, gray and brown, of GCU’s own Japanese Garden. Alumni and students are often drawn there to relax and wander or to find inspiration.

“It has been my goal since I was young to reproduce my vision of the world through art and to portray nature and existence through my own lens,” Mitchell says.

Another piece, Taryn Stevens’ vividly detailed painting of an empty wooden picnic table surrounded by tall grasses in the woods, tempts viewers to go there—to escape—if only in their minds.

“My current style takes realism and warps it ever so slightly,” Stevens writes in her artist’s statement. “All of the objects or colors that I use can be found in reality; it is the way in which I use them that creates a whole new world.”

 

Georgian Court hosts Eden Energy Class

Georgian Court University
Holistic Health Studies Program Presents
Eden Energy Medicine 101
Friday, June 14, 2013
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
900 Lakewood Avenue
GCU McAuley Heritage Center, Lakewood, NJ

Join members of the GCU Holistic Health Studies program as Donna Eden Energy Medicine Certified Siobhan Hutchinson, MA (’09) leads this course. It introduces Eden Energy basics, plus many topics that are important for self-care and healing. A quick Daily Energy Routine (just over five minutes) is taught that will have your energies humming in no time, plus ways to feel more grounded and centered are explored. EM101 also teaches a mainstay of Eden Energy, ways to work and balance meridians, the rivers of energy that bathe and vitalize our body and its systems. This is a great class for beginners and nurses and massage therapists can earn CEU credits.

Fee: $155 (lunch and refreshment included)
Add $10 if continued education credit is needed

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required.

Need more information?
Please contact Holistic Health Studies program director Sachiko Komagata at 732-987-2663
or komagatas@georgian.edu. You can also reach Siobhan Hutchinson at 609-752-1048 or siobhan@nextstepstrategiesllc.com.

 

Praying for Oklahoma

Keeping Monday’s tornado victims in our prayers

Praying for OklahomaAs we begin our final preparations for celebrating our graduates, we collectively hold the people of Moore, Okla., in our hearts and prayers. Those of us at Georgian Court and throughout this region who understand—and have in some way experienced—the devastation wrought by violent weather can empathize with those affected by Monday’s tragedy.

The tremendous outpouring of help that we shared is indicative of the Mercy spirit of community. We pray that it will now strengthen and comfort the people of Moore, and that it will sustain the many first responders and others involved with the recovery effort. I have no doubt that many in our community will offer support the victims through appropriate channels like the Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations.

Generosity comes in many forms and I hope the GCU community will respond as we always do.

Yours in mercy,

Sister Rosemary E. Jeffries
President

 

Honoring some of our best

Phi Eta Sigma Inductions at Georgian Court University

Prepared by Kaitlyn Medina ’13

LAKEWOOD, NJ (04/26/2013)(readMedia)– The following local students were inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, the National Freshman Honor Society, at Georgian Court University.

Nicole Way, a resident of Jackson, NJ, and a member of the class of 2013 is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Marketing.

Emily Thomas-Ridgway, a resident of Howell, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.

Casandra Rose Hinderlider, a resident of New Egypt, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Mathmatics and Education.

Shannon Tull, a resident of Howell, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Mathmatics.

Monica Sepko, a resident of Brick, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Psychology and Education.

Rosalia Musto, a resident of Freehold, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Spanish and Education.

Kelly Braun, a resident of Brick, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Communications.

Rebecca Santos, a resident of Toms River, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Biology.

Chelsea Sikora, a resident of Bayville, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Paychology.

Lauren Merwin, a resident of Jackson, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Dance and Communications with a Public Relations Concentration.

Stephanie Fuchilla, a resident of Forked River, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Mathmatics and Education.

Emily Gialanella, a resident of Toms River, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design and Multimedia.

Sarah Abramow, a resident of Malboro, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Exercise Science.

Mackenzie Morris, a resident of New Egypt, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Dance.

Heidie Beyer, a resident of Howell, NJ, and a member of the class of 2016 is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice and Chemistry.

Nicole Bonacci, a resident of Jackson, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice.

Kristen Johannessen, a resident of Whiting, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Psychology.

Caitlin Roman, a resident of Allentown, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in English and Education.

Lesia Didukh, a resident of Lakewood, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Accounting.

Augustina Obir-Yeboah, a resident of Hamilton Township, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Biology.

Kimberly Kosinski, a resident of Howell, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Hostory and Education.

Morgan Abrams, a resident of Howell, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Psychology and Education.

Nicole Mossbacher, a resident of Brick, NJ, and a member of the class of 2015 is pursuing a degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Psychology.

Phi Eta Sigma honors students of four-year colleges and universities who have passed their freshman year with flying colors! (3.5 GPA and above)

When a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet speaks, GCU listens

A night to remember at Georgian Court

Guest post by Charlee Bassillo  ///  Photos by Amanda MacPhee

On April 23, 2013, thanks to diligent preparations made by students and faculty of the Georgian Court University Department of English, Massachusetts native Tracy K. Smith visited for a poetry reading in the Little Theater, an evening event that will surely be held near and dear to the hearts of English majors across campus. GCU’s Dr. Russell McDonald ushered in the visiting poet with a warm welcome and introduction, echoing the pleasure shared by the entire audience to have had the distinct opportunity to meet, greet, and speak with such a highly-esteemed literary voice as Tracy K. Smith, whose 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning Life on Mars is preceded by the James Laughlin Award-winning Duende and The Body’s Question, a Cave Canem Poetry Prize-winner.

Poet Tracy K. Smith Listening
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The night’s readings primarily focused on material from her 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winner, Life on Mars, but Smith also surprised guests with a brand new selection, dazzling attendants with her poetic artistry, invigoratingly fresh insight, and meditative prose. ​Explaining that her poetry has blossomed out of life’s perplexing quandaries, both big and small, Ms. Smith’s writing encompasses even day-to-day ponderings, which are, of course, juxtaposed neatly and meaningfully against “big ticket” questions, revealing uncanny connections between unlikely pairings – such as the cosmos versus ordinary, everyday life. Many poems were designated by Smith as being largely elegiac to her father, a retired Space Hubble engineer, though Tracy also discussed the impact of a unique blend of political, personal, and spiritual influences on her writing of Life on Mars, citing a sundry of inspirational sources – from the gassing of geese at JFK airport and seeing her father’s reflection in the impressive stance of a tiger on a magazine page to the contemplation of dark matter – as she demonstrated by sharing the collection’s title poem, Life on Mars,” which begins:

Tina says what if dark matter is like the space between people
When what holds them together isn’t exactly love, and I think
That sounds right – how strong the pull can be, as if something
That knows better won’t let you drift apart so easily, and how
Small and heavy you feel, stuck there spinning in place.

Not only was the audience given a chance to procure a much-coveted autograph, but they also received a precious behind-the-scenes pass to the poet’s mind at work. During the reading, and in this post-reading question and answer session, audience members were afforded the privilege of seeing through the eyes of Tracy K. Smith – as the award-winning author, David Bowie lover, daughter of a dearly loved, but lost, father, and as the new mother. She was witty, approachable, and a master of her trade – her poetry probing for profound meaning and reflecting upon all of life’s significance, wonder, and beauty, however big or small.

Charlee Bassillo is an English and Education major at Georgian Court University where she expects to graduate in Spring 2014 to pursue a career in secondary education.


References

Smith, Tracy K. “Life on Mars.” Life on Mars. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2011. 37 – 42. Print.

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