From: Falls Church, VA
Hobbies? Irish dancing, hiking, horseback riding, and party planning.
What's your favorite class/professor? Since freshman year, I have always loved my history classes, but Prof. Sharon Hickson's short story class and Prof. Mike Brown's modern philosophy class are definitely two of my favorites. As for teachers, I could name at least ten off the top of my head that have impacted me in some way. That being said, the two teachers who have impacted me a great deal, both in and outside of the classroom, and whose classes I have always thoroughly enjoyed, are Dr. Adam Schwartz and Dr. Brendan McGuire.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I have a job as a kitchen assistant; I have been on the Student Activities Counci;, I have played for the women's soccer team for two seasons; I have participated in multiple intramural sports; I am the co-manager of the Sacred Grounds coffee shop; I have been largely involved as a stage manager with the Mystery Dinner Theatre, and have been, and am now currently, a stage manager for the Christendom Players group; I am a lector for Mass; and I have also participated in the Mega Shield, which prayerfully protests outside abortion clinics.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The teachers and community for sure. Because Christendom's student body consists of about 420 students, the campus is an awesome Catholic community. I absolutely love the fact that we are able to attend daily Mass here and receive the sacraments frequently right on campus. Many thanks to our amazing chaplains: Fr. Planty, Fr. Mark, and Fr. Pilon.
Why did you choose Christendom? My Catholic faith is very important to me, and I wanted to attend a school that was centered around my faith, and the education I have received from Christendom has been just that. It has strengthened my faith tremendously!
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? How dedicated the faculty and staff are to the student body. Each professor is here for you and to enhance your personal learning experience in any way they can. Similarly, the staff here is awesome in every way. They really care about each individual student and strive to make them feel as much at home as possible.
Plans after graduation? After graduation, I am planning on being an Event Coordinator, and then eventually a Wedding Planner.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? If you want an education that is in accordance with the Catholic faith, and that will prepare you for whatever your vocation in life may be, then come here! I cannot thank God for blessing me enough with the opportunity of coming to Christendom College! My education here has been priceless, my teachers have been incredible, and I have made so many awesome friends who have always been here for me. Do not take a single day for granted, for it's an education like no other.
President O'Donnell in Rome
As a papal consulter to the Vatican, Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell traveled to Rome during fall break, and participated in the 21st Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Cardinals, bishops, and scholars convened to discuss a wide range of topics on the family, such as the role of the State in recognizing marriage and the theological foundation of the Vatican's 1983 Charter of the Rights of the Family.
The Council met with Pope Francis at the conclusion of the assembly and Dr. O'Donnell was able to personally meet the Holy Father and extend greetings from Christendom College.
"I told the him that we were praying for him everyday," O'Donnell said.
O'Donnell enjoyed special seating at a Mass in St. Peter's square in honor of the Plenary Assembly.
Silent Retreat for Fall Break
For fall break this year, over 20 students traveled 14 hours to the Community of St. John in Princeville, Illinois, for a silent retreat. Throughout the week, they listened to talks given by Fr. Joseph Mary Brown ('85).
"The retreat was amazing! It was an experience I will never forget," junior Elizabeth Slaten said. "I learned so much about myself and about becoming a better disciple and follower of Christ."
The group also went on hikes and had much time for personal prayer and adoration throughout the week.
"We went further into prayer, silence, and meditation by living with the Community of St. John," junior Mark Turner said. "I would highly recommend this retreat to all students as a means of reconnecting with God halfway through a busy semester. The experience of silence is something that anyone will profit from in a multitude of different ways."
The group of students that went on the silent retreat.
Time flies while in college—especially senior year. So the seniors and faculty members sat down to enjoy a special dinner together on the Monday after fall break. The students enjoyed spending time with their professors, who—through the personal education experience offered here—have become mentors to the seniors.
"I loved having my class back together as one group, since last year we were split due to studying abroad in Rome," senior Zach Smith said. "And it was also nice being able to chat with my professors outside of the classroom in a relaxing and casual setting."
Throughout the evening, Dr. Timothy O'Donnell and English professor emeritus Dr. Robert Rice gave brief remarks to the seniors. Political science professor Bracy Bersnak gave a talk on the value of a Liberal Arts education, especially in today's society. Bersnak explained how a Christendom education expands the mind and teaches students how to interact with their peers on a whole new level.
Prof. Bersnak gives a talk on the importance of a liberal arts education.
English majors and professors toast to the beginning of the final stretch of their education.
Some philosopher majors with their professors, Dr. Flippen and Prof. Wunsch.
Students enjoyed sitting with Dr. O'Donnell, Prof. Bersnak, and Fr. Planty.
The senior men gather together for a fun group shot...
...and a few of the ladies did too!
Crusader Sports Center
Crusader Soccer Finishes Phenomenal Season
Members of the 2013 Christendom College soccer and volleyball teams broke into the record books recently,earning top spots in the USCAA rankings.
Senior Bridget Vander Woude made Christendom history, becoming the first Christendom student-athlete to lead a statistical category in the USCAA. Vander Woude is currently ranked No. 1 for average aces per set with 1.43 aces per set. Also in women's volleyball, junior Mary Barbale is currently ranked No. 2 in hitting percentage at .370, while Vander Woude is ranked No. 5 at .346.
The men's soccer team features five players with high rankings. Sophomore Sean Salmon is currently ranked No. 5 in total goals. Senior Johnny Foeckler, sophomore Patrick Audino, and freshman Joey Kuplack are all ranked in the top 25 for goals scored. Additionally, goalkeeper Tim Vander Woude is ranked No. 7 in goals allowed per game and No. 10 in total goals allowed.
For the women's soccer team, senior Morgan Kavanagh also broke into the top 10, being ranked for her total goals and points scored. Freshman goalie Anna Forst is currently ranked No. 4 for average goals allowed each game at just .83 per game.
"Congratulations go out to these tremendous young student-athletes as well as to their coaches and teams," athletic director Chris Vander Woude says. "Individual awards are so much a product of the entire team and, for these three teams, it is no exception."
Each team had great seasons due to the leadership of their coaches and the discipline and sacrifice that each player made for the benefit of the team. The men's soccer team was particularly exceptional, finishing with a record of 11-2-1 and outscoring their opponents by an astonishing 78-14 goal-margin.
Click here to find out more about Christendom Athletics.
A Best Value College — Without Federal Funding
This year Christendom College once again appears in an exclusive ranking of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation by Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. Kiplinger's made the announcement in mid-October, including Christendom in the top 50 of its national list of best values in liberal arts colleges, naming the institutions that combine outstanding quality with affordability.
"Our continued appearance in this ranking is a testament to Christendom's high value in the world of higher education," says Christendom's Director of Admissions Tom McFadden. "Our generous donors enable us to remain free from Federal funding and still offer a robust financial aid program. We can keep costs down, while at the same time, make sure our personal and highly-acclaimed liberal arts education is within reach of every family."
Kiplinger's rankings measure academic quality and affordability—quality accounts for 56%, and cost factors account for 44%. Factors studied include cost and financial aid (31%), student indebtedness (12%), competitiveness (25%), graduation rates (19%), and academic support (13%).
Ranked as one of the top ten colleges in the nation by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Christendom appears in numerous other national secular and religious guides each year including Barron's Best Buys, Peterson's Competitive Colleges, The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, and others.