Five students were recognized for their outstanding Personal Success Projects, which they completed as part of the course. Freshmen Michael Hill, Luke Hebert, Kyna Hogan, John Loth and Brittany Jones created portfolios, poems, songs and written papers to reflect on what they learned about themselves, UST and their future professional and personal goals.
The students presented their projects to the freshman class during the ceremony and were given book awards, which ranged from $200 to $400, to go toward their textbook purchases in the spring semester.
Loth said he was nervous before giving his presentation, but after seeing how well his friends presented, he was encouraged.
“Once I got up there, I was pretty nervous but just kept going through my poem as best as I could,” Loth said. “The course definitely helped me gain a greater knowledge about the University through our discussions, as well as establish good friendships and fun along the way.”
Speakers included Dr. Dominic Aquila
, vice president for Academic Affairs, the Rev. Ted Baenziger
, assistant professor of French literature and civilization, Barrett Lauer
, a UST senior and FS student mentor and the Rev. Mike Buentello
, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, who provided the freshman class blessing. About 200 students attended.
Dr. Ricardo Montelongo, director of the Office of Student Success, said FS reaches beyond the initial course.
“Freshman Symposium, through its goals to further connect students to the UST mission and liberal arts education, allows students to leave the course with a sense that they are part of an exciting community where learning is further developed and support is readily available,” Montelongo said. “Students will find that their mentor teams will always be available to assist them with these goals, despite the completion of the course. If anything, students find that they can and should ask for help, both in and out of the classroom.”
The Symposium course is a program that introduces students to the University by focusing on St. Thomas’ mission to educate leaders who can think critically, communicate effectively, lead ethically and succeed professionally.
Photo One: Dr. Dominic Aquila speaks to the freshman class.
Photo Two: (left to right) John Loth, Dr. Jo Meier-Marquis