St. Thomas University President Receives The Thomas E. Gamble Service Legacy Award For Longtime Commitment To Serving And Engaging Campus Community

MIAMI, Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Miami's St. Thomas University (www.stu.edu) refers to "elevating leaders," the vision transcends academic and business endeavors. Rooted in the Catholic social doctrine principles, the University has increased social justice and advocacy initiatives as critical and burning issues from the local and national scenes arise.

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The School of Theology and Ministry's Ecumenical Institute (www.stu.edu/theology) continues its O'Neill Lectures Series with tonight's fall 2013 launch when US veterans' recovery will be discussed. The lecture is offered by the Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University and is entitled "Soul Repair: Veteran Recovery from Moral Injury after War".

Also hosted by the School of Theology and Ministry a most distinguished lecturer will reach students, faculty and staff as well as the South Florida community November 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM. Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents: an Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions (2004), will lecture on the death penalty as the great moral issue facing this country, urging guests to explore and reflect. Sister Helen began her prison ministry and became spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers, sentenced to die in the electric chair. Since 1984, she has divided her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners and the families of murder victims. She has accompanied six men to their deaths. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Chapel of Saint Anthony on campus. For information, please contact Dr. Mary Carter Waren at 305.628.6653, mwaren@stu.edu or Cary Trujillo, ctrujillo@stu.edu, 305.628.6765.

Over the last several weeks, members of the University community have engaged in a series of efforts to encourage dialogue and support passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation in Congress. On October 17th, UCLA Law Professor Hiroshi Motomura, a renowned expert on immigration law and policy, gave a Distinguished Speaker presentation in the Law School's Moot Courtroom to an overflow crowd, entitled Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Getting from There to Here and Beyond. Professor Motomura entered into a dialogue with students, faculty and staff regarding the backdrop to immigration reform, the content of the pending bill, and obstacles to its passage. His talk was one of the first in a series of events sponsored by the University's Immigration Reform Initiative Committee, led by Father Luis Rivero and Claudia Herrera of Campus Ministries. A few days later, on October 30, 2013, in Convocation Hall, the University held Face to Face: A Dialogue on Comprehensive Immigration Reform where Professor Lauren Gilbert from the Law School offered a 14-minute Crash Course on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and two students and a parent gave their testimonials, including a DREAMer and the parent of a DREAMer. U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart's District Policy Director, Lourdes Cosio, and members of the student group SWER ("Students Working for Equal Rights") also attended. A short film demonstrated campus-wide support for immigration reform and Father Rivero ended with a talk on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' official position in support of comprehensive reform and a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented.

This coming Thursday, November 14, STU Office of International Student & Scholar Services will host a presentation from Invisible Children, a worldwide known organization that focuses on bringing to light millions of child soldiers who are being exploited and treated as weapons. Invisible Children is trying to bring a permanent end to LRA atrocities (Joseph Kony's rebel army, the LRA). The organization tells captives how to escape, find their families and help them get the trauma counseling they so desperately need. The event will be held at the Student Center lobby at 1:30 PM. For information, please contact Adriana Menke, amenke@stu.edu.

Representing the entire STU community, President Msgr. Franklyn M. Casale received the Florida Campus Compact Annual Awards at a November 7 gala held at the Boca Raton Campus of Palm Beach State College. The Monsignor was awarded the Thomas E. Gamble Service Legacy Award for his longtime commitment to serving and engaging the wider community. Florida Campus Compact is the Florida division of a national organization dedicated to building campus-community partnerships that enhance student learning, build civic skills, and address key social problems. Msgr. Casale's long-time commitment to supporting Catholic education, as well as to supporting long-term development in Haiti, were highlighted among his many other achievements. For more information on the 2013 Florida Campus Compact awards see: http://www.floridacompact.org/2013awardwinners.html

About St. Thomas University:

St. Thomas University - a Catholic university affiliated with the Archdiocese of Miami with a rich cultural and international diversity- is committed to the academic and professional success of its students who become ethical leaders in our global community. St. Thomas is building upon its position as the leading Catholic university in the Southeast through its academic programs in  ministry, science, business and justice. For additional information, please contact Chief Marketing Officer Marivi Prado, mprado@stu.edu

SOURCE St. Thomas University



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