Financial Aid for Veterans

Copy of 2014_04_10_IMG_20140320_133641_057Veterans Should Apply for Financial Aid (and it’s easier than you think!)

First of all, thank you for your service. We’re happy that you are interested in applying for financial aid and are here to take the confusion out of the process.

Have you visited the Registrar’s Office to let them know that you’re a veteran and to submit all of your documents for VA Educational Benefits? If not, you should as soon as possible.

Your educational benefits don’t stop there. Even if you receive the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you may still be eligible for federal and state financial aid. Don’t miss your chance to receive the Federal Pell Grant or the Connecticut Governor’s Scholarship Program (GSP) Grant.

Copy of 2014_04_10_Blog - PictureThe primary application for financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It can be a complicated form, but we’re here to help you. Stop by our office so we can walk you through the process, or give us a call if you are completing it by yourself and run into a problem. Thirty minutes can result in up to $5,645 in grant aid that you can receive in addition to your Post 9/11 GI Bill.

No time to do the FAFSA? All is not lost. Check out our “Alternative Financing” page (link to page) on the

Financial Aid section of the myAlbertus Portal for a list of Veteran Scholarships. The opportunities are endless.

Already applied for financial aid, received a Shopping Sheet with your award letter, and have some questions? We know that the Shopping Sheet can be confusing. It also doesn’t take your VA Educational Benefits into consideration. Give us a call and we’ll help you figure out your true Net Cost of Attending.

We understand the transition to college life can bring on unanticipated pressure and sacrifice; let’s not make finances another obstacle.

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

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

Learning the Dominican Foundation

Dominican Preaching Conference

The Dominican Preaching Conference is based in its mission statement:

“The National ‘Preaching in Action’ Conference is a venue where college-age students explore Dominican spirituality and preaching. The National College ‘Preaching in Action’ Conference is a collaborative response to our desire as Dominicans to introduce college students to the foundations and characteristics of Dominican Preaching. We commit ourselves to actively engage students in prayer, preaching the Word, service, community and modeling creative ways to make preaching a living dynamic in their daily lives.”

The conference is held for six days on the campus of Molloy College on Long Island. Students and mentors (faculty, staff) from Dominican Colleges and Universities in the United States and international sites attend each year. The goal of the conference is to empower students to “preach the good news” in a myriad of ways, developing an action plan for their own campus, and putting that plan into action when they return in the fall semester. Students learn the Dominican charism of preaching, and how to incorporate that into their own lives. Students are exposed to preaching in many forms, including art, dance, drama and music.

Deacon John Hoffman, coordinator of Dominican ministries, will accompany the students to this year’s conference, May 20 to May 25. If you would like to know more about the Dominican Preaching Conference, or about Dominican ministries here at Albertus Magnus College, you can contact Deacon John at hjhoffman@albertus.edu.

Dominican Preaching ConferenceDominican Preaching Conference

Dominican Volunteers

The Dominican Volunteers grows out of their mission statement which reads:

_U7C4700Dominican Volunteers USA searches for new frontiers for the faith by inviting men and women to walk with us in mission as volunteers.  Together, we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers, especially those who are poor and marginalized.  We live out the Dominican mission of proclaiming the gospel through our ministry, common life, prayer and study within a diverse, inter-generational community.

In February, Michael Chapuran, executive director of Dominican Volunteers USA, and two members of Domincan Volunteers USA visited the Albertus campus. They met with students and discussed their work, and the opportunities that exist for students who are inclined toward giving a year of service working as Dominican Volunteers.  Volunteers serve in positions across the country in education, healthcare, social services, peace and justice advocacy, environmental awareness, and more. If you are interested in the Dominican Volunteers, you can contact them directly at info@dvusa.org, or you can contact Deacon John Hoffman at Albertus at hjhoffman@albertus.edu.

Deacon_John_HoffmanDeacon John Hoffman
Coordinator for Dominican Ministries

Deacon John Hoffman’s academic background includes the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from the College of the Holy Cross as well as the completion of four years of graduate study prior to his ordination to the diaconate.  Deacon Hoffman comes to Albertus following a remarkable career as a member of the faculty at several Catholic high schools, most notably at Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT, where he taught in the department of Christian formation from 1989 to 2012. He was ordained to the diaconate in June 1993 and has previously served at Holy Infant Parish, Orange, CT; and he is currently deacon at St. Mary’s, Milford, CT.  He has also served on school boards for the Archdiocese of Hartford and for the Orange Board of Education

Update on the Crisis in Ukraine

An Election

Once the president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, fled to Russia, abandoning his country, and it became apparent that a movement existed in Crimea to rejoin Russia existed, the situation, which had been an internal struggle over the economy and future direction of the nation, quickly spiraled into further chaos.

Crimea Medvedev-1Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, speaks to Crimean Premier Sergei Aksyonov while visiting Crimea in Simferopol, Crimea, Monday, March 31, 2014.

First, the self-exiled president called for an election in Crimea for the people there to decide if they wanted to remain part of Ukraine or rejoin the Russian federation. A quick election took place with a reported 88 percent of the population there desiring reconciliation with Russia. Ukrainians living outside Crimea weren’t allowed to vote; if they had we could assume that the election results would be very different. But that vote is all that the Russians need to support their political ambitions of keeping Ukraine under their political control. To make a quick comparison to the United States, imagine if many people in New Jersey wanted to become English citizens again. Now imagine if a state-wide vote revealed that 88 percent of the people in the state wanted to rejoin the United Kingdom. How would we feel? That’s the way Ukrainian people feel right now!

Russia Invades

Uniformed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, walk in formation near Ukrainian military baseAs the Russians already occupied a naval base in Crimea (at Sevastopol) based on a treaty with Ukraine, they were able to quickly increase their military presence in the area. Ships and troops were moved onto the base, threatening Ukraine. In addition, pro-Russian Crimean militia joined their Russian brethren taking over the surrounding area.

Russian President Vladimir Putin then signed a treaty to incorporate the Crimea back into its territory. This move as welcomed by many Russians but condemned by Ukraine’s new government, which called Putin’s move “a threat to the civilized world and international security.”

The West and Ukraine described the Crimean referendum as illegitimate and being held at gunpoint. The United States and European allies imposed economic sanctions on Russia, targeting Russian and Crimean officials with visa bans and asset freezes.

Newly-elected Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov has his back against the wall. His forces are too small to oppose the Russian military. Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh was refused entry to Crimea when he tried to visit the region last week. Even he couldn’t enter the area.

NATO Responds

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NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was formed after World War II to balance the Russian influence in Eastern Europe. NATO’s collective economic strength is 20 times wealthier than Russia ($40 trillion in GDP versus $2 trillion). NATO’s collective military strength is also overwhelming compared to the Russians. However, as Ukraine is not a member of NATO, any threat to their national security will not trigger an armed response from NATO states. Thus, as of now there will not be any fighting between NATO forces and Russian forces.

So far, NATO will only say that they will conduct “war games.” These maneuvers are the traditional way that countries flex their military muscle at a threat without any type of formal declaration of hostilities. However, military forces in some NATO member countries, like Poland and Germany, have their forces on high alert.

The USA is the most important NATO member (followed by Germany, Britain, and France) and is still involved in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the American public wouldn’t support another war, any response by NATO will be symbolic at best.

Summing Up

What is evident by Russia’s previous invasion of Georgia and its invasion of Crimea is that the Russians deeply want to regain territory lost with the collapse of the former Soviet Union. A majority of Russian citizens seem to support this annexation of territory. The present situation in the region is analogous to Germany in the late 1930s. Back then, Adolf Hitler was suing his military (1935 in the Rhineland and 1938 in Czechoslovakia) questionable elections (in 1938 in Austria) to reclaim territory lost at the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Hitler was adored by the masses of German citizens who believed he was restoring their lost pride. Unfortunately, his machinations led directly to World War II (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945).

This situation in Crimea is alarming, but does not yet pose a real threat to the stability of Europe. We should, however, be concerned to the extent that a newly-democratic nation has had part of its sovereign territory taken over by another nation. We, therefore, need to closely monitor Russia’s geographic aspirations. Small nations need to have their sovereignty respected.

Interested in learning more about Criminal Justice? Click here to find out what Criminal Justice Programs we offer here at Albertus Magnus College.

michael-gearyMichael Geary
Sociology Department
Associate Professor, Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program
B.S., Mercy College
M.S., Long Island University
J.D., Pace University

Read more from Michael Geary:

National Security and Civil Liberty: A Chronological Perspective. M. Geary (2014) Carolina Academic Press.

Terrorism Investigations and the Public Safety Exception to the Miranda Rule. M. Geary (2013) Homeland Security Review, Volume 7, Number 3.