21st Century Leaders

Have you seen the “news” lately? If so, then you have been inundated with images of people needing our help. Lately, we have witnessed a conflagration of serious ethical conundrums. We are constantly seeing local officials flailing during important press conferences, national politicians trying to explain why they continue failing to serve the best interests of the American people, a cantankerous NBA sports team owner who continues to dig his family further into an inescapable abyss of wretched behavior, and we also see how preventable violence in our beloved Nutmeg state continues to weigh down the strong moral fabric which once existed in our neighborhoods. All of this is enough to make us ask two questions.

Where are the role models?

Why don’t we have ethics in our culture anymore?

_U7C6625Well, thankfully, these two difficult questions have very easy answers! In fact, just this past month we saw firsthand how our College’s role models successfully matriculated through the vibrant leadership program. During our most recent round of Capstone presentations, six graduate students put on full display how they are changing our communities for the better.

Jerica Ortiz and Keshia Tigner presented an exciting program titled Stir Up the Gifts Arts Academy. The academy empowers volunteers to serve as teachers who will train our adolescents to find their voices through meaningful arts and civic curriculums.

Rey Ali, Mike Donegan and Kevin Glenn developed a ready-to-use curriculum for newly-hired and seasoned employees who are interested in developing a sound culture within the workplace. Their Leadership Through Emersion course gives companies the ability to build upon the foundation of their leadership corps from the ground up, instead of from the top down. This new pedagogical method ensures that employees recognize that they are true leaders, no matter the current rank they may hold within an organization’s hierarchy.

Fr. Santhosh Syriac gave us all a glimpse into what he is developing for his community in India. Through the spirit of “Anugraha” [grace] he is changing the culture of his homeland one convalescent home at a time. Fr. Syriac and his peers recognize that the old ways of taking care of India’s expanding elderly population need real progressive change. By challenging current methodologies and cultivating healthcare officials, he has brought out the best core values that are taught at Albertus Magnus College.

These six impressive scholars took the theories they learned from their Master of Arts in Leadership courses and put those lessons into praxis. Their willingness to take part in the Capstone exercise afforded them the ability to affect positive social change in our universe, while simultaneously becoming the ethical leaders we all hope to see portrayed in nightly news stories. Our community is in a much better place, because these students unselfishly “shared the fruits of their contemplation’s” with our world.

The great Mahatma Gandhi said quite simply “Be the change you want to see in the world!” It is in that spirit that I salute these six students who made sacrifices so that we could witness true servant leadership in the making. We are all better people due to the work these scholars have put forward for the benefit of others. It is indeed my honor to know them and to call them tremendous colleagues!

karreem-mebaneKarreem Mebane, MAR
Philosophy And Religion Lecturer

Albertus Vets Honored at the State Capitol

Celebrated Albertus Vets Carlos Garcia, Merari Antunez and Jonathan Medina with Connecticut State Governor Dannel Malloy

Celebrated Albertus Vets Carlos Garcia, Merari Antunez and Jonathan Medina with Connecticut State Governor Dannel Malloy

A sentiment of pride filled the Connecticut State Capitol as the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LAPRAC) hosted its 8th Annual Tribute to Hispanic Veterans on May 14, 2014.  The ceremony celebrated over 50 outstanding veterans, among them four Albertus Magnus College students and one alumna.

Recognized Albertus Magnus College Students were Merari Antunez, Carlos Garcia, Jonathan Medina and Manuel Montañez. In addition, Yvette Bello, alumna and executive director of the Latino Community Services, Inc. was also acknowledged for her commitment to our nation.”It is rightfully due to pay tribute to our veterans throughout the State of Connecticut,” stated LAPRAC Chairman Richard Cruz. “These valiant men and women committed without hesitation their  service, talent and strength to protect the freedoms so many take for granted.”

Carlos Garcia, Keynote Speaker Lieutenant Colonel Lesbia Nieves, Merari Antu​nez

Carlos Garcia, Keynote Speaker Lieutenant Colonel Lesbia Nieves, Merari Antu​nez

The Albertus Magnus College honorees were acknowledged for their service in the armed forces and their commitment to the United States.

Senior Airman Merari Antunez of  U.S. Air Force Reserve is proud to serve her country and the world as a medical technician for the Air Force Reserve. She is happy in being part of a greater mission that makes a difference and helps the wounded. Antunez is currently obtaining her bachelor of science degree in Business Management and expects to graduate in 2015.

Staff Sergeant Carlos Garcia of the U.S. Air Force National Guard recalls his love for the armed forces at an early age and considers it as is his calling. Upon completing high  school, Garcia enlisted in the United States Army and now continues to proudly serve the United States as a member of the Air Force National Guard.  A member of the Class of 2014, Garcia graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Business on May 18.

Albertus Veteran Jonathan Medina and his role mode, inspiration, and mother Isabel Rodriguez

Albertus Veteran Jonathan Medina and his role mode, inspiration, and mother Isabel Rodriguez

Petty Officer Jonathan Medina of the U.S. Navy takes pride in being a veteran and is committed to serving his community.  He is active in his church, community and is a new member of the Local 40 Union.  Medina plans to graduate in 2015 from Albertus Magnus College with a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration.

Tech Sergeant Manuel Montañez of the U.S. Air National Guard knew from a young age that he wanted to serve his country in the military.  His active commitment in the Air National Guard has bought Montañez several honors and recognition. He is studying finance and aims to graduate with his bachelor of science degree.

For more information about the Albertus Magnus College Veterans Support please visit the following link: http://www.albertus.edu/student-resources/veteran-friendly.php.

Attention May Graduates: It’s Payback Time!

Didn’t get your dream job right out of college? Worried about your student loan debt? Don’t fear the bill that’s coming in November!

The average Albertus graduating student borrowed $25,181 in federal student loans in the 2012/2013 academic year. These students received student loan bills for $290 a month, but you don’t have to! Standard repayment may not be the best fit for you.

There are seven different repayment plans available, and you have the ability to change your repayment plan each calendar year. What may work for you one year, may not in the next. If you find yourself in the position where a $290 payment would cause a financial hardship, here are three income-driven repayment options that you may want to look into:

 

To help you better understand the plans, here are some advantages and disadvantages:

Income-Based Repayment (IBR):

Advantages: Monthly repayment amounts are 15 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income and will never exceed the monthly Standard Repayment Plan. Interest that accrues in excess of your monthly payment will not capitalize. Any loan balances that remain after 25 years of qualified repayments will be forgiven. If you work full-time for a public service organization and make 120 full, monthly payments (10 years), you may be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Disadvantages: Reduced monthly payments extend the length of the loan and increase the amount of interest you are responsible for repaying. Documentation of your family size and income must be submitted annually to your loan servicer. If you fail to submit documents, or no longer qualify, your payment converts back to Standard Repayment Plan and any unpaid interest will begin to capitalize. You may have to pay taxes for any loan amounts that are forgiven.

Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR):

Advantages: Monthly payment amounts are no more than 20 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income. Monthly payments are made for a maximum of 25 years. There is a 10 percent cap on interest capitalizing. Any loan amount that remains after 25 years of qualified repayment will be forgiven. If you work full-time for a public service organization and make 120 full, monthly payments (10 years), you may be eligible for loan forgiveness. Your spouse’s income and student loan debt may also be considered as a factor in determining monthly repayments.

Disadvantages: Reduced monthly payments extend the length of the loan and increase the amount of interest you are responsible for repaying. Documentation of your family size and income must be submitted annually to your loan servicer. If you fail to submit documents, or no longer qualify, your payment converts back to Standard Repayment Plan and any unpaid interest will begin to capitalize. You may have to pay taxes for any loan amounts that are forgiven. Your spouse’s income and student loan debt may also be considered as a factor in determining monthly repayments.

Pay As You Earn:

biolab_041Advantages: Monthly repayment amounts are 10 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income and will never exceed the monthly Standard Repayment Plan. There is a 10 percent cap on interest capitalizing. Any loan amount that remains after 20 years of qualified repayment will be forgiven. If you work full-time for a public service organization and make 120 full, monthly payments (10 years), you may be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Disadvantages: This plan is only for qualified Direct Loans. Reduced monthly payments extend the length of the loan and increase the amount of interest you are responsible for repaying. Documentation of your family size and income must be submitted annually to your loan servicer. If you fail to submit documents, or no longer qualify, your payment converts back to Standard Repayment Plan and any unpaid interest will begin to capitalize. You may have to pay taxes for any loan amounts that are forgiven.

Don’t forget: we’re always here to help! Stop in or call anytime.

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We in the Financial Aid Office know how difficult it is to finance a private education (75 percent of us are graduates of Albertus Magnus College!). Because of this, our goal is to help finance your dreams through education by providing access to financial aid and promoting financial knowledge. We are invested in your future: Literally.

Location: Aquinas Hall, Room 107
Hours: Monday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:30a.m. – 4:30p.m.

Phone: (203) 773-8508
Fax: (203) 773-8972
Email: financial_aid@albertus.edu