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Faculty Spotlight

Faculty Spotlight

 

Janice Chik Breidenbach began her education at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, where she started learning violin at the age of five. Music has always been important in her life. Philosophically, music taught her about the significance of the embodied experience. She explains: “There are so many ways to learn how to play something on the violin or piano that one cannot learn ...

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Dr. Michael Breidenbach traces his interest in 18th century European and American religious liberty to the cover of a book he came across while interning at the White House between his sophomore and junior years at Northwestern University. The cover was a picture of an American flag lapel pin wrapped in plastic with a label that read: Made in China. The picture struck Breidenbach, and he began ...

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Even the casual follower of academic science and industry R&D will recognize that most areas of scientific inquiry are quickly becoming interdisciplinary in nature. The reason for this is both simple and exciting. Technology and broad experimental proficiency have allowed the scientist to start asking bigger, more complex questions. The tools of molecular biology and genetics are helping in...

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The Psychology Major at Ave Maria University is off to an auspicious start.  While offering a standard psychology curriculum, the study of psychology at Ave Maria is based upon a foundation that integrates the wisdom of philosophy and the treasury of Catholic theological anthropology with the theory, research, and practice of the discipline of psychology.  This is presented most expli...

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Dr. Andrew Dinan went to the University of Notre Dame for a B.A. in Liberal Studies. After graduating, he sought out the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. as a place where he could examine the cutting issues of today within the larger picture of Western tradition. It is a place, he explained, “where modernity could be engaged from the theologica...

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Political Economy and Government, a truly exciting new major, brings together the disciplines of politics and economics to explore their mutually supportive dimensions.  It provides students, as aspiring policy-makers, with the ability to understand the importance of institutions in shaping public policy as well as the sometimes agonizing trade-offs involved in responsible decision-making....

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The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge is widely known for his famous poems "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan". The familiar term "psychosomatic," and the phrase "the willing suspension of disbelief," have passed into popular modern usage, while most are unaware of their origin in Coleridge. In fact, Coleridge, along with his friend and collaborator William Wordsworth, who tog...

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Susan Treacy came to Ave Maria University in 2005 from teaching at Franciscan University of Steubenville and being a section leader and soloist with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. She loved classical music from a young age, and after attending public school through high school, she was in search of a place where she could major in music and study the liberal arts. “That’s why I chose...

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Susan Waldstein was always interested in science. From a young age, she would experiment with her chemistry sets and conduct science projects with rodents and plants. She wanted to be a marine biologist, and she planned on going to MIT—that is, until her parents intervened. They wanted her to consider going to Thomas Aquinas College, a small liberal arts school tucked away in th...

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Friendship and the Good Life

Dr. Michael Pakaluk, the Chairman of the Philosophy department, is known for his work on the philosophy of friendship.  In a recent interview, he explained how he became interested in the subject and why it is important.
Pakaluk: I wrote my dissertation on friendship at Harvard, and I can remember the exact moment when I d...

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On campus and among students, Dr. Travis Curtright is known for a lively, engaging classroom and for teaching and directing Shakespeare’s plays. A popular professor, the class of 2012 elected him as their faculty speaker for graduation.

Also an active scholar, Dr. Curtright is author of a new book, The One Thomas More, which is forthcoming from the Catholic Univers...

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In the summer of A.D. 113, Ignatius, bishop of Antioch was chained to a detachment of ten imperial soldiers and led on a trek of some 1,500 miles from his episcopal see in Syria westward to Rome, where he was to be thrown to the lions. As the entourage crossed Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Ignatius was allowed to meet with the leaders of several local churches and to w...

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When Catherine Ruth Pakaluk received her Ph.D. in economics in 2010 from Harvard University, it was an easy decision to accept a job offer from Ave Maria University. Besides the evident personal attractions—such as living in a terrific community just a bike-ride away from campus, where it would be easy to raise her six young children, aged 2 to 11—she was attracted to the possibilit...

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Dr. Stefanie Dorough took a roundabout path to discovering her academic specialty. She began her undergraduate studies in Theology at Southern Nazarene University, a Christian liberal arts university in central Oklahoma. At some point, she came across a book that looked at the psychology of the activity of the brain and body with a theological perspective. She changed majors, and grad...

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The new major in Global Affairs and International Business gives students the intellectual foundation to think about global interactions.  The program coordinator, Dr. Gabriel Martinez, is an economist specializing in global economic interactions, particularly the effect of the quality of institutions on living standards across countries.

We know that we live in a "globali...

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Jorge Alberto Calvo went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for an undergraduate degree in Math and Computer Science. After doing an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the University of California, Santa Barbara the summer before his junior year, and a 90-day internship with Toshiba in Japan the summer before his senior year, Calvo realized that he was more inclined to pu...

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