Alternative Break Inspires Ministry, Service

Chris Lytle

For many students, spring break is a vacation, a chance to step away from the stresses of daily life. But last year, Mary Carper and Kaylee Bluethmann (now sophomores) embarked on Marian University’s alternative spring break to Campton, Kentucky, and their experience wasn’t exactly a walk on the beach. Perhaps for the first time in their lives, the young women witnessed abject poverty - hungry people, living in a food desert, their lives oftentimes made even more complicated by a lack of education, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse.

Enter Sr. Susan Pleiss, OSF, pastoral associate at Good Shepherd Parish, the only Catholic Church in Campton, and all of Wolfe County. Both Mary and Kaylee were inspired by Sr. Susan’s outreach efforts...

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Marian University’s School of Mathematics and Sciences Helps 10th Grader Earn National Award

by Mark Apple | May 29, 2013

When Kimberly Vogt, Ph.D., accepted an offer to become an assistant professor of biology at Marian University in June 2012, she didn't realize one of her first duties would be to assist a 10th grader with a science fair project. As it turned out, this was no ordinary 10th grader, and the project was quite extraordinary as well.

Iman Mahoui, a sophomore at Eman Schools in Fishers, Indiana, finished fourth in the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, with a project titled “The Use of Antioxidants to Combat in vitro Lipid Peroxidation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” She was one of the youngest students to win an award in her division at the competition, which is hosted annually by the Society for Science and the Public.

Mahoui and her project first came to the attention of Loren Bertocci, Ph.D., dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences at Marian University, during a science fair hosted on the Marian University campus. Mahoui was just a ninth grader at the time, but Bertocci immediately identified the potential in both the student and the project. He contacted Mahoui’s mother, and offered Marian University facilities and faculty to help the gifted student further develop her project. The offer was eagerly accepted.

Vogt was the faculty member who took the lead in assisting Mahoui, and she found the experience to be incredibly rewarding.  “She’s truly amazing,” Vogt said of Mahoui. “She knows so much. It was a pleasure working with her.  I couldn’t be any more proud of her.”

Mahoui also had the opportunity to work closely with Sinead Miller ’12, who graduated summa cum laude in chemistry. It was an experience that proved valuable for both students.

This summer, Marian University will attempt to help even more students interested in science. IROCC (Individualized Research Oriented College Credit), offered to incoming high school juniors and seniors, and Camp ROC (Camp for Research Orientation and Collaboration), offered to incoming 7th-10th graders, present hands-on learning opportunities in a college atmosphere. IROCC attendees earn three credit hours of tuition remission if they later enroll at Marian University.

“It’s a great way to introduce Marian University to high achievers who may not be considering us,” said Bertocci. “Nobody else is offering camps and science fair mentoring the way we are. When students see they can do research at Marian University, we increase our chances of getting them to enroll. This will help put us on the map as a leader in mentoring and developing the scientists and doctors of tomorrow.”

For more information about IROCC, Camp ROC, and other opportunities offered through Marian University’s School of Mathematics and Sciences, please call 317.955.6331 or visit www.marian.edu/irocc.

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