Friday, May 16, 2008

Finals are Over!

Finals week is over! Let summer begin! It's been a crazy week here at the Rock--wrapping up the Spring semester. Of course, as a proff I had to assign research papers, and of course these had to be due at the end of the semester once students had enough information under their belt, so that meant reading a slew of papers, about a hundred during the past week. And what would a semester be without a week of finals? So for students and instructors alike the end of term is a real zoo, and you can just imagine how restless the natives get.

Well today is Baccalaureate, my favorite event. It has lots of pomp and celebration and an informal reception afterwards. That's the part I like most: the food--jk. While the finger food is good, the opportunity to see graduating seniors one on one and get photos taken etc, that's the real event. Tomorrow is Commencement, and while that's nice in its own way, it's such a BIG production with hundreds of people, there's no real opportunity for the more friendly exchange. Anyhow kudos to the graduating class!

I'll be in England for the next two weeks, visiting my wife's Dad and some relatives. Then I'm back in the swing of things teaching two summer courses, so I'll let you in on what it's like during the summer, (besides hot and sweaty). And if you're thinking about summer classes, better sign up soon. BTW, they're cheaper in the summer than in the Fall and Spring.

Until then . . .

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Student Wins Regional Paragon Award

At Rockhurst University we emphasize developing the whole person in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition. One outstanding student example of this drive for excellence is Garrett Fischer who has been selected to receive the 2007-08 Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award. The award, bestowed annually by the Great Lakes Valley Conference to one male and one female student athlete that display academic excellence, athletic ability and achievement, character and leadership, will be presented at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car GLVC Awards Banquet in St. Louis on May 20.

Fischer exemplified the traits of a Paragon Award recipient during his time as a tennis player at Rockhurst. He helped guide the Hawks to the NCAA Tournament in all three years he was with the program and will earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in May. Fischer maintained a 4.0 grade point average, while excelling on the hardcourt and in the community.

He was an All-GLVC selection in 2008 and posted a 20-31 record in singles play over the course of his career. Fischer guided the Hawks to a second-place finish in the GLVC in both 2007 and 2008 and was named the 2007 GLVC Men’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year. During Fischer’s tenure with the squad, Rockhurst is 38-26 overall.

Fischer is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, a three-time GLVC All-Academic selection, a two-time ITA Academic All-American and a member of the Rockhurst Dean’s List and National Dean’s List. He is also the recipient of The Wall Street Journal Award and the Delta Sigma Phi Scholarship Key.

His activity in the community also sets him apart. After battling an illness in 2006, Fischer organized a fundraising team for the annual Guts & Glory Walk-Race in 2006-07 and helped raise over $1 million for research for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). He contacted congressmen to advocate for support of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Bill currently in Congress and planned a CCFA benefit night through the St. Louis Aces.

Fischer was also a representative at the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education in 2006, was an Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Honors Student Council Member in 2007 and was a three-year member of the Helzberg School of Management Dean’s Student Advisory Board.

“Garrett Fischer is very deserving of the GLVC Paragon Award,” states RU tennis coach Carolina Mayorga-Perry. “He displays academic excellence, tremendous athletic ability, tremendous character and strong leadership.”

Fischer is the first Rockhurst student-athlete to be awarded the Paragon Award. Rockhurst began competing in the GLVC in the fall of 2005. The Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award was established prior to the 1990-91 season in honor of Richard F. Scharf, Commissioner Emeritus of the GLVC.

(Thanks to John Dodderidge for this report.)