Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Alumni Profile: John Vandever

As a part of the first graduating class from Marymount College in 2012, John Vandever says, “At first I felt that being part of a first graduating class would be nothing special. However, considering how fast Marymount is moving and growing, I know that one day I will proudly be able to say that I was at the beginning of something special.” John recognizes that being the first class is not always easy, mentioning that there were uncertain times as the program took shape, but “the end result was a well-rounded experience.”
Vandever believes that the faculty at Marymount is directly credited with the success the programs have received, and help the students to reach whatever potential they desire. One of the most influential members of the Marymount community during John’s experience was Professor Rex Draman. “His open ended style of lecture, although sometimes frustrating, prepared me for what lies after graduation.”
Currently, John works as a loan officer at Prospect Mortgage, receiving the position one month after graduation and finished first in his training class amongst co-workers from many of the top Southern California universities. “The open ended nature and complexity of the capstone project”, Vandever says, “taught me how to survive in the complicated world of loans.” Because of the abundance learned in his short two years at Marymount and the capstone process, John shares lots of advice with the students at Marymount. “To the seniors or future seniors contemplating their Capstone projects: bite off more than you can chew, pick something outside your comfort zone, and try to make your project relate to your preferred job field. Even if you fall short of your high goals, you will have a heck of a story to tell the person interviewing you. You would be surprised how quickly they pass over the school you attended and GPA. Your experiences and ability to communicate the way you solve problems will leave you ahead of the competition.”
John is excited to hear about the growth and change Marymount has experienced in his short time away. “I am surprised by how quickly Marymount is growing. I know with this quick pace that Marymount will continue to move in the positive direction that the faculty and staff have been pushing towards.”

Alumni Profile: Alexa Ardeljan-Braden

Alexa Ardeljan-Braden, currently a story editor for Radical Studios, believes the people she met at Marymount are directly credited with her growth. A student with exceptional involvement at Marymount, as ASMC Student Body President, PTK, Marymount Lacrosse, and much more, Alexa finds her two years to be a very shaping time.  
Following her graduation at Marymount in 2010, where Alexa won the Elan Award, she continued her education, earning her BA, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Alexa recently moved companies, joining film development at Radical Studios as a story editor. Although she finds her current career to be a “complete change of pace and an absolute dream”, Ardeljan-Braden still aspires to be a film producer.
Alexa is very excited for Marymount after learning about the large amount of growth Marymount is offering their current students, first with the bachelor programs and now graduate programs. She mentioned many faculty members who influenced her throughout her time at Marymount and wants to tell students that “the years you spend at Marymount will be much more formative than you might imagine.”

Alumni Profile: Caroline Holmes

Caroline Holmes, class of 2008, recalls her years at Marymount fondly. Holmes believes that Marymount gives students, like herself, “another chance to perform well and do all of the things that they are capable of doing."

Her favorite memory from Marymount was Dr. Zanca’s philosophy class, where she was presented a copy of On Truth, by Harry G. Frankfort, in recognition of an excellent job. Caroline says, “Professor Zanca probably didn’t know this at the time, but that was the first recognition of academic achievement I had received since grade school.” And from that moment, she saw her life change.
It is evident that Marymount encouraged Caroline to recharge her academic career and grow as an individual. After graduating from Marymount with an associate’s degree with a concentration in psychology, Holmes enrolled in USC, earning her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, summa cum laude. Participating in the Department of Psychology’s Honors Program, she worked with the Center for Research on Crime and wrote a thesis on youth gang prevention.
Following her graduation from USC, Caroline found herself across town, enrolling at UCLA’s School of Law in September of 2011. Since joining law school, she has had many opportunities, becoming the social chair of the Student Bar Association UCLA Chapter, and working as articles editor for the Dukeminier Awards Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law.
Caroline says, “All of this, and I mean all of it, was possible because of Marymount, and I will always have a deep appreciation for the staff and teachers that work so hard to help students to achieve their full potential.”

Alumni Profile: Bob and Tina Kennedy

Bob and Tina (O’Dell) Kennedy met in September of 1980, shortly after enrolling at Marymount College. Tina remembers the days when she would gaze fondly upon Santa Catalina Island from her classrooms. Little did she know, Catalina would soon become her home.
     While studying at Marymount, Tina found herself working at the preschool, surrounding herself in the unique environment of early childhood education Marymount offered. An individual of particular influence was Virginia Wade, who Tina found to be “an awesome teacher, co-worker, and friend”, looking up to her as a great role model. After graduating, Tina attended classes to earn her child care director certificate, and together Bob and Tina attended United States Coast Guard captain courses.
        Today, Bob and Tina are parents to four daughters; the youngest graduating from high school this coming June. Tina is the preschool director for P.L.A.Y., Preschool Learning for Avalon Youth, where she has worked for the past 29 years. Bob was recently reelected for a fourth consecutive term as Mayor of Catalina, and is considering retirement. Twenty-eight years ago, Bob and Tina opened their full service dive shop, Catalina Scuba Luv, where they “have met many wonderful people from around the world, as well as many of the 800 species located under our beautiful waters on Catalina Island.”
Looking back on their experience, Bob and Tina found Marymount to be a school where they flourished, making longtime friends and contacts. Tina advises current students that “when things get tough, take a walk, look at the beautiful surroundings and count your blessings!”, and Bob says, “stay focused and enjoy the vacation from your parents.” They are happy to hear about Marymount’s changes and encourage it to keep growing! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Marymount Celebrates Commencement Ceremonies

On Saturday May 11, Marymount California University held its commencement ceremony on its Main Campus in Rancho Palos Verdes. A total of 139 students received their diplomas, including 52 students who received a bachelor's degree. This was the second year that Marymount awarded Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Business, Liberal Arts, Media Studies and Psychology. Journalist, author and radio-television personality Patt Morrison gave the commencement speech and received an honorary doctorate of humanities from the University. View graduation slideshow.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ghana Exchange Program

The Rev. Professor Samuel K. Adjepong of Accra, Ghana, visited Marymount California University where he signed an agreement with MCU President Dr. Michael Brophy for the two campuses to offer a student and faculty exchange program. Students from Marymount’s campuses will have an opportunity to learn about such diverse topics as African Studies, Global Information Systems, Business and Psychology as well as participate in research related to land and resource management. In return, Methodist University College of Ghana students will have the opportunity to attend classes at Marymount.

Dr.  Adjepong addressed campus leaders with a lecture “Tertiary Education System in Ghana.” President Brophy visited Ghana in 2012 to learn about this rapidly growing university. Marymount first learned of the incredible work led by Dr.  Adjepong through Craig and Loren DeRoy of the Medeem Institute at Marymount. It is expected that the first MCU students to study in Ghana will be in 2013-14.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Senior Capstone Presentations Successful!

On April 24, Marymount seniors presented their capstone research projects at the Waterfront Campus to an audience of fellow students, faculty, staff and community members. The capstone project is a yearlong effort that seniors undertake to demonstrate their comprehension of a specific area of interest and to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world. A wide range of topics were presented in the areas of Arts & Media, Business, Liberal Arts, and Psychology. Marymount's very first Psychology capstone was presented on the topic of "Parental Incarceration: The Effects On Children's Academic and Problem Solving Abilities". Other featured capstones included "Autism: Prevalence, Diagnosis, and Treatment Methods Today", "Anorexia: A Cross-cultural Perspective", "Gay Marriage: A Civil Rights Issue", and "MCU Bio-Diesel Program Analysis".

To view photos from this eventful day, visit the slideshow here.